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Sample records for attentional set-shifting task

  1. The neurodynamics underlying attentional control in set shifting tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stemme, Anja; Deco, Gustavo; Busch, Astrid

    2007-09-01

    In this work we address key phenomena observed with classical set shifting tasks as the "Wisconsin Card Sorting Test" or the "Stroop" task: Different types of errors and increased response times reflecting decreased attention. A component of major importance in these tasks is referred to as the "attentional control" thought to be implemented by the prefrontal cortex which acts primarily by an amplification of task relevant information. This mode of operation is illustrated by a neurodynamical model developed for a new kind of set shifting experiment: The Wisconsin-Delayed-Match-to-Sample task combines uninstructed shifts as investigated in Wisconsin-like tasks with a Delayed-Match-to-Sample paradigm. These newly developed WDMS experiments in conjunction with the neurodynamical simulations are able to explain the reason for decreased attention in set shifting experiments as well the different consequences of decreased attention in tasks requiring bivalent yes/no responses compared to tasks requiring multivalent responses.

  2. Attentional Set-Shifting in Fragile X Syndrome

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    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…

  3. PNU-120596, a positive allosteric modulator of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, reverses a sub-chronic phencyclidine-induced cognitive deficit in the attentional set-shifting task in female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLean, Samantha L; Idris, Nagi F; Grayson, Ben; Gendle, David F; Mackie, Claire; Lesage, Anne S; Pemberton, Darrel J; Neill, Jo C

    2012-09-01

    The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) have been highlighted as a target for cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia. Adult female hooded Lister rats received sub-chronic phencyclidine (PCP) (2 mg/kg) or vehicle i.p. twice daily for 7 days, followed by 7 days' washout. PCP-treated rats then received PNU-120596 (10 mg/kg; s.c.) or saline and were tested in the attentional set-shifting task. Sub-chronic PCP produced a significant cognitive deficit in the extra-dimensional shift (EDS) phase of the task (p < 0.001, compared with vehicle). PNU-120596 significantly improved performance of PCP-treated rats in the EDS phase of the attentional set-shifting task (p < 0.001). In conclusion, these data demonstrate that PNU-120596 improves cognitive dysfunction in our animal model of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, most likely via modulation of α7 nACh receptors.

  4. Animal neuropsychology: validation of the Intra-Dimensional Extra-Dimensional set shifting task for mice.

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    Garner, Joseph P; Thogerson, Collette M; Würbel, Hanno; Murray, James D; Mench, Joy A

    2006-10-02

    Research in animal neuropsychology is providing an exciting new generation of behavioral tests for mice that promise to overcome many of the limitations of current high-throughput testing, and provide direct animal homologues of clinically important measures in human research. Set shifting tasks are some of the best understood and widely used human neuropsychological tasks, with clinical relevance to traumatic brain injury, schizophrenia, autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, trichotillomania, and many other disorders. Here we report the first successful modification of a human set shifting neuropsychological task, the Intra-Dimensional Extra-Dimensional (IDED) task, for use with mice. We presented mice with a series of compound discrimination and reversal tasks where one stimulus dimension consistently cued reward. Task performance improved with a new set of compound stimuli, as did reversal performance--indicating the formation of a cognitive-attentional set. We then overtrained a subset of the mice, and presented control and overtrained mice with a new compound discrimination where a novel stimulus dimension cued reward. As is the case in human control subjects, control mice persisted in responding to the now-incorrect stimulus dimension, performing poorly on this extra-dimensional shift compared with the previous intra-dimensional shift, thereby validating the task as a measure of set shifting. Furthermore, overtrained mice were impaired on this extra-dimensional shift compared with controls, further validating the task. The advantages and disadvantages of the IDED task compared to high-throughput approaches are discussed.

  5. 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.

  6. Stress-induced alterations in prefrontal cortical dendritic morphology predict selective impairments in perceptual attentional set-shifting.

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    Liston, Conor; Miller, Melinda M; Goldwater, Deena S; Radley, Jason J; Rocher, Anne B; Hof, Patrick R; Morrison, John H; McEwen, Bruce S

    2006-07-26

    Stressful life events have been implicated clinically in the pathogenesis of mental illness, but the neural substrates that may account for this observation remain poorly understood. Attentional impairments symptomatic of these psychiatric conditions are associated with structural and functional abnormalities in a network of prefrontal cortical structures. Here, we examine whether chronic stress-induced dendritic alterations in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and orbital frontal cortex (OFC) underlie impairments in the behaviors that they subserve. After 21 d of repeated restraint stress, rats were tested on a perceptual attentional set-shifting task, which yields dissociable measures of reversal learning and attentional set-shifting, functions that are mediated by the OFC and mPFC, respectively. Intracellular iontophoretic injections of Lucifer yellow were performed in a subset of these rats to examine dendritic morphology in layer II/III pyramidal cells of the mPFC and lateral OFC. Chronic stress induced a selective impairment in attentional set-shifting and a corresponding retraction (20%) of apical dendritic arbors in the mPFC. In stressed rats, but not in controls, decreased dendritic arborization in the mPFC predicted impaired attentional set-shifting performance. In contrast, stress was not found to adversely affect reversal learning or dendritic morphology in the lateral OFC. Instead, apical dendritic arborization in the OFC was increased by 43%. This study provides the first direct evidence that dendritic remodeling in the prefrontal cortex may underlie the functional deficits in attentional control that are symptomatic of stress-related mental illnesses.

  7. Set-Shifting in a Rodent Model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

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    Chess, Amy C.; Raymond, Brittany E.; Gardner-Morse, Ira G.; Stefani, Mark R.; Green, John T.

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments compared Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHRs; a rodent model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) and Wistars (a normoactive control strain), on the acquisition of a set-shifting strategy. In Experiment 1, SHRs and Wistars were equivalent in trials to criterion to learn a brightness or a texture discrimination but SHRs were faster than Wistars in shifting to the opposite discrimination when there was one or two days between the initial discrimination and the shift. In Experiment 2, SHRs and Wistars were equivalent in shifting when the shift between discriminations occurred immediately after a criterion had been met in the first discrimination. The results are discussed in terms of a failure of SHRs to store or retrieve an initial discrimination and/or latent inhibition over a delay, leading to faster acquisition of a set-shift. This failure in storage or retrieval may be the result of a hypoactive dopamine system in the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens shell as well as abnormalities in entorhinal cortex in SHRs. PMID:21500882

  8. Set shifting in a rodent model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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    Chess, Amy C; Raymond, Brittany E; Gardner-Morse, Ira G; Stefani, Mark R; Green, John T

    2011-06-01

    Two experiments compared spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs; a rodent model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) and Wistar rats (a normoactive control strain), on the acquisition of a set-shifting strategy. In Experiment 1, SHRs and Wistar rats were equivalent in trials to criterion to learn a brightness or a texture discrimination but SHRs were faster than Wistar rats in shifting to the opposite discrimination when there was 1 or 2 days between the initial discrimination and the shift. In Experiment 2, SHRs and Wistar rats were equivalent in shifting when the shift between discriminations occurred immediately after a criterion had been met in the first discrimination. The results are discussed in terms of a failure of SHRs to store or retrieve an initial discrimination and/or latent inhibition over a delay, leading to faster acquisition of a set-shift. This failure in storage or retrieval may be the result of a hypoactive dopamine system in the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens shell as well as abnormalities in entorhinal cortex in SHRs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 finding...

  12. Assessing planning and set-shifting abilities in autism: are experimenter-administered and computerised versions of tasks equivalent?

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    Williams, David; Jarrold, Christopher

    2013-12-01

    Across studies, analysis of performance on classic measures of executive functioning (EF) among individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suggests that people with this disorder may be impaired only when tasks are experimenter-administered, but not when the same tasks are computer-administered. This would imply that the underlying cause of apparent executive dysfunction in ASD is a diminished ability to engage with another person/comprehend what another person expects, rather than a diminution of the control processes that typically underpin EF task performance. However, this suggestion is limited because, to our knowledge, no study has directly compared the equivalence of computer-administered and standard experimenter-administered versions of EF tasks that have been presented in counterbalanced order among a common sample of individuals with ASD. In the current study, 21 children with ASD and 22 age- and intelligence quotient (IQ)-matched comparison participants completed, in counterbalanced order, computerised and manual versions of both a planning task and a cognitive flexibility/set-shifting task. Contrary to expectation, results indicated that participants with ASD were equally impaired in terms of the key dependent variable on standard and computerised versions of both tasks. Practically, these results suggest that computer-administered and experimenter-administered versions of planning and set-shifting tasks are equivalent among individuals with ASD and can be used interchangeably in studies of EF among this population. Theoretically, these results challenge the notion that poor performance on EF tasks among school-aged children with ASD is only the result of a limited ability to engage with a human experimenter/comprehend socially presented rules. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Neuronal substrates participating in attentional set-shifting of rules for visually guided motor selection: a functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation.

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    Omori, M; Yamada, H; Murata, T; Sadato, N; Tanaka, M; Ishii, Y; Isaki, K; Yonekura, Y

    1999-04-01

    To investigate the neuronal substrates participating in attentional set-shifting for motor selection rules, a functional magnetic resonance imaging study was performed during hand-shape selection tasks. During the session, six right-handed subjects were required to make one of three hand-shapes using their right hands, in response to the hand-shape images on a video screen, following one of the three predefined rules of win, lose, and tie. The selection rules were consistently applied in three conditions (win, tie, and lose), and changed alternately in one condition (alternate win-lose). Thus the alternate win-lose condition requires the shift of rules for motor selection. This alternate condition compared with the win, tie, and lose conditions showed activation in the left middle frontal gyrus, the bilateral inferior frontal gyri, and the left posterior fusiform and lingual gyri. These activation patterns in the prefrontal cortex were similar to those observed during the performance of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), which requires a typical set-shifting ability from one perceptual dimension to another (Berman et al., 1995. Neuropsychologia 33, 1027-1046; Nagahama et al., 1996. Brain 119, 1667-1675; Konishi et al., 1998. Nature Neuroscience 1, 80-84.). Our data may indicate that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex including the middle and inferior frontal gyri are important in attentional set-shifting of both perceptual and non-perceptual characteristics. Another activation in the fusiform and lingual gyri may have reflected the increased attentional demand for visual processing in the light of a current rule for motor selection.

  14. Differential contributions of set-shifting and monitoring to dual-task interference

    OpenAIRE

    Cooper, Richard P.; Wutke, Karolina; Davelaar, Eddy J.

    2012-01-01

    It is commonly argued that complex behaviour is regulated by a number of “executive functions” which work to co-ordinate the operation of disparate cognitive systems in the service of an overall goal. However, the identity, roles, and interactions of specific putative executive functions remain contentious, even within widely accepted tests of executive function. The authors present two experiments that use dual-task interference to provide further support for multiple distinct executive func...

  15. Cariprazine, a dopamine D(3)-receptor-preferring partial agonist, blocks phencyclidine-induced impairments of working memory, attention set-shifting, and recognition memory in the mouse.

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    Zimnisky, Ross; Chang, Gloria; Gyertyán, István; Kiss, Béla; Adham, Nika; Schmauss, Claudia

    2013-03-01

    A major challenge in the pharmacological treatment of psychotic disorders is the effective management of the associated cognitive dysfunctions. Novel concepts emphasize a potential benefit of partial agonists acting upon dopamine D(2)-like receptors in ameliorating these cognitive deficits, and pre-clinical studies suggest that D(3)-receptor-preferring compounds can exert pro-cognitive effects. The objective of the study was to use acute phencyclidine (PCP) treatment to model the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia in mice, and to test the efficacy of the novel, dopamine D(3)-receptor-preferring drug cariprazine in ameliorating the severity of PCP-triggered cognitive deficits. One group of wild-type or D(3)-receptor knockout mice was acutely treated with either saline or phencyclidine (PCP, 1 mg/kg). A separate group of mice was treated with cariprazine prior to PCP administration. Both groups were then tested in three cognitive tasks: social interaction/recognition and recognition memory, spatial working memory, and attention-set-shifting. PCP effectively disrupted social recognition and social recognition memory, spatial working memory, and extradimensional attention set-shifting. Cariprazine pretreatment significantly attenuated the emergence of these cognitive deficits in PCP-treated wild-type mice, but not in PCP-treated D(3)-receptor knockout mice. In an animal model of PCP-induced cognitive impairment, cariprazine pretreatment significantly diminished PCP-triggered cognitive deficits, and studies on knockout mice show that dopamine D(3) receptors contribute to this effect.

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

  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 finding...

  18. 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

    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...... of schizophrenia and assessed by a rodent analog of the intradimensional-extradimensional (ID-ED) attentional set-shifting task. The second generation antipsychotic, sertindole, provided further validation of the schizophrenia-like disease models. METHODS: Animals were subjected to (a) sub-chronic or (b) early...... postnatal phencyclidine (PCP) treatment regimes: (a) Administration of either saline or PCP (5 mg/kg, intraperitonally b.i.d. for 7 days) followed by a 7-day washout period and testing on day 8. (b) On postnatal days (PNDs) 7, 9, and 11, rats were subjected to administration of either saline or PCP (20 mg...

  19. Anxiety is associated with freezing of gait and attentional set-shifting in Parkinson's disease: A new perspective for early intervention.

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    Martens, K A Ehgoetz; Hall, J M; Gilat, M; Georgiades, M J; Walton, C C; Lewis, S J G

    2016-09-01

    Previous research has shown that anxiety in Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with freezing of gait (FOG), and may even contribute to the underlying mechanism. However, limited research has investigated whether PD patients with FOG (PD+FOG) have higher anxiety levels when compared directly to non-freezing PD patients (PD-NF) and moreover, how anxiety might contribute to FOG. The current study evaluated whether: (i) PD+FOG have greater anxiety compared to PD-NF, and (ii) anxiety in PD is related to attentional set-shifting, in order to better understand how anxiety might be contributing to FOG. In addition, we explored whether anxiety levels differed between those PD patients with mild FOG (PD+MildFOG) compared to PD-NF. Four hundred and sixty-one patients with PD (231 PD-NF, 180 PD+FOG, 50 PD+MildFOG) were assessed using the Freezing of Gait Questionnaire item 3 (FOG-Q3), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Digit Span Test, Logical Memory Retention Test and Trail Making Tests. Compared to PD-NF, PD+FOG had significantly greater anxiety (panxiety as the PD+FOG. In all patients, the severity of anxiety symptoms was significantly correlated to their degree of self-reported FOG on FOG-Q3 (panxiety in FOG and also suggest that anxiety might be a promising biomarker for FOG. Future research should consider whether treating anxiety with pharmacological and/or cognitive behavioural therapies at early stages of gait impairment in PD may alleviate troublesome FOG. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Task Engagement and Attentional Resources.

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    Matthews, Gerald; Warm, Joel S; Smith, Andrew P

    2017-02-01

    Two studies tested multivariate models of relationships between subjective task engagement and vigilance. The second study included a stress factor (cold infection). Modeling tested relationships between latent factors for task engagement and vigilance, and the role of engagement in mediating effects of cold infection. Raja Parasuraman's research on vigilance identified several key issues, including the roles of task factors, arousal processes, and individual differences, within the framework of resource theory. Task engagement is positively correlated with performance on various attentional tasks and may serve as a marker for resource availability. In the first study, 229 participants performed simultaneous and successive vigilance tasks. In the second study, 204 participants performed a vigilance task and a variable-foreperiod simple reaction-time task on two separate days. On the second day, 96 participants performed while infected with a naturally occurring common cold. Task engagement was assessed in both studies. In both studies, vigilance decrement in hit rate was observed, and task performance led to loss of task engagement. Cold infection also depressed both vigilance and engagement. Fitting structural equation models indicated that simultaneous and successive tasks should be represented by separate latent factors (Study 1), and task engagement fully mediated the impact of cold infection on vigilance but not reaction time (Study 2). Modeling individual differences in task engagement elucidates the role of resources in vigilance and underscores the relevance of Parasuraman's vision of the field. Assessment of task engagement may support diagnostic monitoring of operators performing tasks requiring vigilance.

  1. Limited Effects of Set Shifting Training in Healthy Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra Grönholm-Nyman

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to flexibly shift between tasks or task sets declines in older age. As this decline may have adverse effects on everyday life of elderly people, it is of interest to study whether set shifting ability can be trained, and if training effects generalize to other cognitive tasks. Here, we report a randomized controlled trial where healthy older adults trained set shifting with three different set shifting tasks. The training group (n = 17 performed adaptive set shifting training for 5 weeks with three training sessions a week (45 min/session, while the active control group (n = 16 played three different computer games for the same period. Both groups underwent extensive pre- and post-testing and a 1-year follow-up. Compared to the controls, the training group showed significant improvements on the trained tasks. Evidence for near transfer in the training group was very limited, as it was seen only on overall accuracy on an untrained computerized set shifting task. No far transfer to other cognitive functions was observed. One year later, the training group was still better on the trained tasks but the single near transfer effect had vanished. The results suggest that computerized set shifting training in the elderly shows long-lasting effects on the trained tasks but very little benefit in terms of generalization.

  2. Touchscreen Sustained Attention Task (SAT) for Rats.

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    Bangasser, Debra A; Wicks, Brittany; Waxler, David E; Eck, Samantha R

    2017-09-15

    Sustained attention is the ability to monitor intermittent and unpredictable events over a prolonged period of time. This attentional process subserves other aspects of cognition and is disrupted in certain neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, it is clinically important to identify mechanisms that impair and improve sustained attention. Such mechanisms are often first discovered using rodent models. Therefore, several behavior procedures for testing aspects of sustained attention have been developed for rodents. One, first described by McGaughy and Sarter (1995), called the sustained attention task (SAT), trains rats to distinguish between signal (i.e., brief light presentation) and non-signal trials. The signals are short and thus require careful attention to be perceived. Attentional demands can be increased further by introducing a distractor (e.g., flashing houselight). We have modified this task for touchscreen operant chambers, which are configured with a touchscreen on one wall that can present stimuli and record responses. Here we detail our protocol for SAT in touchscreen chambers. Additionally, we present standard measures of performance in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. Comparable performance on this task in both sexes highlights its use for attention studies, especially as more researchers are including female rodents in their experimental design. Moreover, the easy implementation of SAT for the increasingly popular touchscreen chambers increases its utility.

  3. Acute stress impairs set-shifting but not reversal learning.

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    Butts, K A; Floresco, S B; Phillips, A G

    2013-09-01

    The ability to update and modify previously learned behavioral responses in a changing environment is essential for successful utilization of promising opportunities and for coping with adverse events. Valid models of cognitive flexibility that contribute to behavioral flexibility include set-shifting and reversal learning. One immediate effect of acute stress is the selective impairment of performance on higher-order cognitive control tasks mediated by the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) but not the hippocampus. Previous studies show that the mPFC is required for set-shifting but not for reversal learning, therefore the aim of the present experiment is to assess whether exposure to acute stress (15 min of mild tail-pinch stress) given immediately before testing on either a set-shifting or reversal learning tasks would impair performance selectively on the set-shifting task. An automated operant chamber-based task, confirmed that exposure to acute stress significantly disrupts set-shifting but has no effect on reversal learning. Rats exposed to an acute stressor require significantly more trials to reach criterion and make significantly more perseverative errors. Thus, these data reveal that an immediate effect of acute stress is to impair mPFC-dependent cognition selectively by disrupting the ability to inhibit the use of a previously relevant cognitive strategy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Versatility of the mouse reversal/set-shifting test: effects of topiramate and sex.

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    Bissonette, Gregory B; Lande, Michelle D; Martins, Gabriela J; Powell, Elizabeth M

    2012-12-05

    The ability to learn a rule to guide behavior is crucial for cognition and executive function. However, in a constantly changing environment, flexibility in terms of learning and changing rules is paramount. Research suggests there may be common underlying causes for the similar rule learning impairments observed in many psychiatric disorders. One of these common anatomical manifestations involves deficits to the GABAergic system, particularly in the frontal cerebral cortical regions. Many common anti-epileptic drugs and mood stabilizers activate the GABA system with the reported adverse side effects of cognitive dysfunction. The mouse reversal/set-shifting test was used to evaluate effects in mice given topiramate, which is reported to impair attention in humans. Here we report that in mice topiramate prevents formation of the attentional set, but does not alter reversal learning. Differences in the GABA system are also found in many neuropsychiatric disorders that are more common in males, including schizophrenia and autism. Initial findings with the reversal/set-shifting task excluded female subjects. In this study, female mice tested on the standard reversal/set-shifting task showed similar reversal learning, but were not able to form the attentional set. The behavioral paradigm was modified and when presented with sufficient discrimination tasks, female mice performed the same as male mice, requiring the same number of trials to reach criterion and form the attentional set. The notable difference was that female mice had an extended latency to complete the trials for all discriminations. In summary, the reversal/set-shifting test can be used to screen for cognitive effects of potential therapeutic compounds in both male and female mice. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Impairment in local and global processing and set-shifting in body dysmorphic disorder.

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    Kerwin, Lauren; Hovav, Sarit; Hellemann, Gerhard; Feusner, Jamie D

    2014-10-01

    Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by distressing and often debilitating preoccupations with misperceived defects in appearance. Research suggests that aberrant visual processing may contribute to these misperceptions. This study used two tasks to probe global and local visual processing as well as set-shifting in individuals with BDD. Eighteen unmedicated individuals with BDD and 17 non-clinical controls completed two global-local tasks. The embedded figures task requires participants to determine which of three complex figures contains a simpler figure embedded within it. The Navon task utilizes incongruent stimuli comprised of a large letter (global level) made up of smaller letters (local level). The outcome measures were response time and accuracy rate. On the embedded figures task, BDD individuals were slower and less accurate than controls. On the Navon task, BDD individuals processed both global and local stimuli slower and less accurately than controls, and there was a further decrement in performance when shifting attention between the different levels of stimuli. Worse insight correlated with poorer performance on both tasks. Taken together, these results suggest abnormal global and local processing for non-appearance related stimuli among BDD individuals, in addition to evidence of poor set-shifting abilities. Moreover, these abnormalities appear to relate to the important clinical variable of poor insight. Further research is needed to explore these abnormalities and elucidate their possible role in the development and/or persistence of BDD symptoms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Ranking Cognitive Flexibility in a Group Setting of Rhesus Monkeys with a Set-Shifting Procedure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shnitko, Tatiana A; Allen, Daicia C; Gonzales, Steven W; Walter, Nicole A R; Grant, Kathleen A

    2017-01-01

    Attentional set-shifting ability is an executive function underling cognitive flexibility in humans and animals. In humans, this function is typically observed during a single experimental session where dimensions of playing cards are used to measure flexibility in the face of changing rules for reinforcement (i.e., the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST)). In laboratory animals, particularly non-human primates, variants of the WCST involve extensive training and testing on a series of dimensional discriminations, usually in social isolation. In the present study, a novel experimental approach was used to assess attentional set-shifting simultaneously in 12 rhesus monkeys. Specifically, monkeys living in individual cages but in the same room were trained at the same time each day in a set-shifting task in the same housing environment. As opposed to the previous studies, each daily session began with a simple single-dimension discrimination regardless of the animal's performance on the previous session. A total of eight increasingly difficult, discriminations (sets) were possible in each daily 45 min session. Correct responses were reinforced under a second-order schedule of flavored food pellet delivery, and criteria for completing a set was 12 correct trials out of a running total of 15 trials. Monkeys progressed through the sets at their own pace and abilities. The results demonstrate that all 12 monkeys acquired the simple discrimination (the first set), but individual differences in the ability to progress through all eight sets were apparent. A performance index (PI) that encompassed progression through the sets, errors and session duration was calculated and used to rank each monkey's performance in relation to each other. Overall, this version of a set-shifting task results in an efficient assessment of reliable differences in cognitive flexibility in a group of monkeys.

  7. Executive functions in early childhood: interrelations and structural development of inhibition, set-shifting and working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo Stievano

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present study is to examine the interrelations of executive function (EF tasks with general cognitive ability and linguistic level in preschool children. The analyses of the correlation between EF sub-domains, particularly inhibition and set-shifting, have been studied to comprehend the ontogenesis of EFs. Task analysis has allowed us to identify which EF sub-domains are prevalent in each task, with particular attention to inhibition and set-shifting definitions. The sample was composed of 40 typically developing children from 48 to 69 months old (M=58 months, SD=5.02; 28 boys and 12 girls. The results give some insight into the development of executive functions, their utility in clinical assessment and indication.

  8. Increased set shifting costs in fasted healthy volunteers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather M Bolton

    Full Text Available We investigated the impact of temporary food restriction on a set shifting task requiring participants to judge clusters of pictures against a frequently changing rule. 60 healthy female participants underwent two testing sessions: once after fasting for 16 hours and once in a satiated state. Participants also completed a battery of questionnaires (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]; Persistence, Perseveration and Perfectionism Questionnaire [PPPQ-22]; and Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire [EDE-Q6]. Set shifting costs were significantly increased after fasting; this effect was independent of self-reported mood and perseveration. Furthermore, higher levels of weight concern predicted a general performance decrement under conditions of fasting. We conclude that relatively short periods of fasting can lead to set shifting impairments. This finding may have relevance to studies of development, individual differences, and the interpretation of psychometric tests. It also could have implications for understanding the etiology and maintenance of eating disorders, in which impaired set shifting has been implicated.

  9. The role of set-shifting in auditory verbal hallucinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddi, Sara; Petretto, Donatella Rita; Burrai, Caterina; Scanu, Rosanna; Baita, Antonella; Trincas, Pierfranco; Trogu, Emanuela; Campus, Liliana; Contu, Augusto; Preti, Antonio

    2017-04-01

    Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are a cardinal characteristic of psychosis. Recent research on the neuropsychological mechanism of AVHs has focused on source monitoring failure, but a few studies have suggested the involvement of attention, working memory, processing speed, verbal learning, memory, and executive functions. In this study we examined the neuropsychological profile of patients with AVHs, assuming that the mechanism underlying this symptom could be a dysfunction of specific cognitive domains. A large neuropsychological battery including set-shifting, working memory, processing speed, attention, fluency, verbal learning and memory, and executive functions was administered to 90 patients with psychotic disorders and 44 healthy controls. The group of patients was divided into two groups: 46 patients with AVHs in the current episode and 44 who denied auditory hallucinations or other modalities in the current episode. AVHs were assessed with the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales (PSYRATS); the Launay-Slade Hallucination Scale was used to measure long-term propensity to auditory verbal hallucination-like experiences (HLEs) in the sample. Patients showed poorer performances on all neuropsychological measures compared to the healthy controls' group. In the original dataset without missing data (n=58), patients with AVHs (n=29) presented poorer set shifting and verbal learning, higher levels of visual attention, and marginally significant poorer semantic fluency compared to patients without AVHs (n=29). In the logistic model on the multiple imputed dataset (n=90, 100 imputed datasets), lower capacity of set shifting and semantic fluency distinguished patients with AVHs from those without them. Patients experiencing persistent AVHs might fail to shift their attention away from the voices; poorer semantic fluency could be a secondary deficit of set-shifting failure. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Neural correlates of set-shifting in children with autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yerys, Benjamin E.; Antezana, Ligia; Weinblatt, Rachel; Jankowski, Kathryn F.; Strang, John; Vaidya, Chandan J.; Schultz, Robert T.; Gaillard, William D.; Kenworthy, Lauren

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often associated with high levels of inflexible thinking and rigid behavior. The neural correlates of these behaviors have been investigated in adults and older adolescents, but not children. Prior studies utilized set-shifting tasks that engaged multiple levels of shifting, and depended on learning abstract rules and establishing a strong prepotent bias. These additional demands complicate simple interpretations of the results. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates of set-shifting in 20 children (ages 7-14) with ASD and 19 typically developing, matched, control children. Participants completed a set-shifting task that minimized non-shifting task demands through the use of concrete instructions that provide spatial mapping of stimuli-responses. The shift/stay sets were given an equal number of trials to limit the prepotent bias. Both groups showed an equivalent ‘switch cost’, responding less accurately and slower to Switch stimuli than Stay stimuli, although the ASD group was less accurate overall. Both groups showed activation in prefrontal, striatal, parietal, and cerebellum regions known to govern effective set-shifts. Compared to controls, children with ASD demonstrated decreased activation of the right middle temporal gyrus across all trials, but increased activation in the mid-dorsal cingulate cortex/superior frontal gyrus, left middle frontal and right inferior frontal gyri during the Switch vs. Stay contrast. The successful behavioral switching performance of children with ASD comes at the cost of requiring greater engagement of frontal regions, suggesting less efficiency at this lowest level of shifting. PMID:25599972

  11. Adoption of Task-Specific Sets of Visual Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike Wendt

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Evidence from behavioral and physiological studies suggests attentional weighting of stimulus information from different sources, according to task demands. We investigated the adoption of task-specific attentional sets by administering a flanker task, which required responding to a centrally presented letter while ignoring two adjacent letters, and a same-different judgment task, which required a homogenous/heterogeneous classification concerning the complete three-letter string. To assess the distribution of attentional weights across the letter locations we intermixed trials of a visual search task, in which a target stimulus occurred randomly in any of these locations. Search task reaction times displayed a stronger center-to periphery gradient, indicating focusing of visual attention on the central location, when the search task was intermixed into blocks of trials of the flanker task than into blocks of trials of the same-different task (Experiment 1 and when a cue indicated the likely occurrence of the flanker task as compared to the likely occurrence the same-different task (Experiment 2. These findings demonstrate flexible adoption of task-specific sets of visual attention that can be implemented during preparation. In addition, responses in the intermixed search task trials were faster and (marginally significantly more error-prone after preparation for a (letter task repetition than for a task switch, suggesting that response caution is reduced during preparation for a task repetition.

  12. Adoption of Task-Specific Sets of Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendt, Mike; Kähler, Svantje T.; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Evidence from behavioral and physiological studies suggests attentional weighting of stimulus information from different sources, according to task demands. We investigated the adoption of task-specific attentional sets by administering a flanker task, which required responding to a centrally presented letter while ignoring two adjacent letters, and a same-different judgment task, which required a homogenous/heterogeneous classification concerning the complete three-letter string. To assess the distribution of attentional weights across the letter locations we intermixed trials of a visual search task, in which a target stimulus occurred randomly in any of these locations. Search task reaction times displayed a stronger center-to periphery gradient, indicating focusing of visual attention on the central location, when the search task was intermixed into blocks of trials of the flanker task than into blocks of trials of the same-different task (Experiment 1) and when a cue indicated the likely occurrence of the flanker task as compared to the likely occurrence the same-different task (Experiment 2). These findings demonstrate flexible adoption of task-specific sets of visual attention that can be implemented during preparation. In addition, responses in the intermixed search task trials were faster and (marginally significantly) more error-prone after preparation for a (letter) task repetition than for a task switch, suggesting that response caution is reduced during preparation for a task repetition. PMID:28536543

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Learner Attention to Form in ACCESS Task-Based Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dao, Phung; Iwashita, Noriko; Gatbonton, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    This study explored the potential effects of communicative tasks developed using a reformulation of a task-based language teaching called Automatization in Communicative Contexts of Essential Speech Sequences (ACCESS) that includes automatization of language elements as one of its goals on learner attention to form in task-based interaction. The…

  15. Lesion Neuroanatomy of the Sustained Attention to Response Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molenberghs, Pascal; Gillebert, Celine R.; Schoofs, Hanne; Dupont, Patrick; Peeters, Ronald; Vandenberghe, Rik

    2009-01-01

    The Sustained Attention to Response task is a classical neuropsychological test that has been used by many centres to characterize the attentional deficits in traumatic brain injury, ADHD, autism and other disorders. During the SART a random series of digits 1-9 is presented repeatedly and subjects have to respond to each digit (go trial) except…

  16. Pupil Sizes Scale with Attentional Load and Task Experience in a Multiple Object Tracking Task

    OpenAIRE

    Wahn, Basil; FERRIS, DANIEL P.; Hairston, W. David; K?nig, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have related changes in attentional load to pupil size modulations. However, studies relating changes in attentional load and task experience on a finer scale to pupil size modulations are scarce. Here, we investigated how these changes affect pupil sizes. To manipulate attentional load, participants covertly tracked between zero and five objects among several randomly moving objects on a computer screen. To investigate effects of task experience, the experiment was conducted...

  17. Impaired Attentional Control in Pedophiles in a Sexual Distractor Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Kirsten; Fromberger, Peter; von Herder, Jakob; Steinkrauss, Henrike; Nemetschek, Rebekka; Witzel, Joachim; Müller, Jürgen L.

    2016-01-01

    Pedophilic disorder, a subtype of paraphilia, is defined as a recurrent sexual interest in prepubescent children, which is characterized by persistent thoughts, fantasies, urges, sexual arousal, or behavior. Besides a deviant sexual preference, sexual preoccupation was found to be a dynamic risk factor for reoffending. Thus, it is conceivable that sex offenders and especially sex offenders against children have difficulties to control their responses to sexual stimuli. In the current study pedophiles, forensic and non-forensic control subjects had to solve a cognitive task, while sexual distractors were presented simultaneously. This kind of task also requires control functions. Therefore, data were analyzed with respect to attentional control while comparing eye movements toward sexual distractors and toward the cognitive task. We were mainly interested in how early (fixation latency) and late (relative fixation time) attentional processes were allocated to both, the cognitive target stimuli and the sexual distractors. Pedophiles demonstrated significantly lower attentional control in the sexual distractor task than both control groups (non-pedophiles). They showed a shorter fixation latency and longer fixation time for sexual distractors than non-pedophiles. Furthermore, pedophiles demonstrated a longer fixation latency and shorter fixation time for cognitive target stimuli. For classification analyses, an attentional control index (ACI) was built, i.e., the difference between eye movements on cognitive target stimuli and sexual distractors. For the ACI of early attentional processes, i.e., fixation latency, a good classification between pedophiles and non-pedophiles was found. We assumed that the measured attentional control represents inhibitory executive functions, specifically interference control. Further studies should examine if low attentional control in pedophiles is due to low motivation to solve the task or rather to a lack of ability to control

  18. Impaired attentional control in pedophiles in a sexual distractor task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten Jordan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Pedophilic disorder, a subtype of paraphilia, is defined as a recurrent sexual interest in prepubescent children, which is characterized by persistent thoughts, fantasies, urges, sexual arousal or behavior. Besides a deviant sexual preference, sexual preoccupation was found to be a dynamic risk factor for reoffending. Thus, it is conceivable that sex offenders and especially sex offenders against children have difficulties to control their responses to sexual stimuli. In the current study pedophiles, forensic and non-forensic control subjects had to solve a cognitive task while sexual distractors were presented simultaneously. This kind of task also requires control functions. Therefore, data was analyzed with respect to attentional control while comparing eye movements towards sexual distractors and towards the cognitive task. We were mainly interested in how early (fixation latency and late (relative fixation time attentional processes were allocated to both, the cognitive target stimuli and the sexual distractors. Pedophiles demonstrated significantly lower attentional control in the sexual distractor task than both control groups (non-pedophiles. They showed a shorter fixation latency and longer fixation time for sexual distractors than non-pedophiles. Furthermore, pedophiles demonstrated a longer fixation latency and shorter fixation time for cognitive target stimuli. For classification analyses, an attention control index (ACI was built, i.e. the difference between eye movements on cognitive target stimuli and sexual distractors. For the ACI of early attentional processes, i.e. fixation latency, a good classification between pedophiles and non-pedophiles was found. We assumed that the measured attentional control represents inhibitory executive functions, specifically interference control. Further studies should examine if low attentional control in pedophiles is due to low motivation to solve the task or rather to a lack of ability to

  19. Pupil Sizes Scale with Attentional Load and Task Experience in a Multiple Object Tracking Task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basil Wahn

    Full Text Available Previous studies have related changes in attentional load to pupil size modulations. However, studies relating changes in attentional load and task experience on a finer scale to pupil size modulations are scarce. Here, we investigated how these changes affect pupil sizes. To manipulate attentional load, participants covertly tracked between zero and five objects among several randomly moving objects on a computer screen. To investigate effects of task experience, the experiment was conducted on three consecutive days. We found that pupil sizes increased with each increment in attentional load. Across days, we found systematic pupil size reductions. We compared the model fit for predicting pupil size modulations using attentional load, task experience, and task performance as predictors. We found that a model which included attentional load and task experience as predictors had the best model fit while adding performance as a predictor to this model reduced the overall model fit. Overall, results suggest that pupillometry provides a viable metric for precisely assessing attentional load and task experience in visuospatial tasks.

  20. Pupil Sizes Scale with Attentional Load and Task Experience in a Multiple Object Tracking Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahn, Basil; Ferris, Daniel P; Hairston, W David; König, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have related changes in attentional load to pupil size modulations. However, studies relating changes in attentional load and task experience on a finer scale to pupil size modulations are scarce. Here, we investigated how these changes affect pupil sizes. To manipulate attentional load, participants covertly tracked between zero and five objects among several randomly moving objects on a computer screen. To investigate effects of task experience, the experiment was conducted on three consecutive days. We found that pupil sizes increased with each increment in attentional load. Across days, we found systematic pupil size reductions. We compared the model fit for predicting pupil size modulations using attentional load, task experience, and task performance as predictors. We found that a model which included attentional load and task experience as predictors had the best model fit while adding performance as a predictor to this model reduced the overall model fit. Overall, results suggest that pupillometry provides a viable metric for precisely assessing attentional load and task experience in visuospatial tasks.

  1. Sustained attention in adult ADHD : time-on-task effects of various measures of attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tucha, Lara; Fuermaier, Anselm B.M.; Koerts, Janneke; Buggenthin, Rieka; Aschenbrenner, Steffen; Weisbrod, Matthias; Thome, Johannes; Lange, Klaus W.; Tucha, Oliver

    Neuropsychological research on adults with ADHD showed deficits in various aspects of attention. However, the majority of studies failed to explore the change of performance over time, so-called time-on-task effects. As a consequence, little is known about sustained attention performance of adults

  2. Distributed Attentional Deficits in Chronic Methamphetamine Abusers: Evidence from the Attentional Network Task (ANT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, Ruth; Gabay, Shai; Fassbender, Catherine; Henik, Avishai

    2011-01-01

    Objective: The goal of the present study was to examine distributed attentional functions in long-term but currently abstinent methamphetamine (MA) abusers using a task that measures attentional alertness, orienting, and conflict resolution. Methods: Thirty currently abstinent MA abusers (1 month-5 years) and 22 healthy non-substance using adults…

  3. Apathy is related to reduced activation in cognitive control regions during set-shifting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaasen, Nicky G; Kos, Claire; Aleman, André; Opmeer, Esther M

    2017-05-01

    Apathy is a prominent and influential symptom in several neurological and psychiatric disorders, but it also occurs in the healthy population. It has considerable impact on daily life functioning, in clinical as well as healthy samples. Even though cognitive control is thought to be disrupted in people with apathy, the exact neural underpinnings of apathy remain unclear. Because flexible shifting between behaviors (set-shifting) is crucial for goal-directed behavior, disruptions in set-shifting may underlie apathy. In this study, the neural correlates of apathy during set-shifting were studied in 34 healthy participants with varying levels of apathy, measured by the Apathy Evaluation Scale. During functional MRI scanning participants performed a set-shifting task, distinguishing between behavioral switches (a change in response to different stimuli), cognitive switches (a change in response rule), and salience decoupling (detecting a change in relevant stimuli). Regression analysis was used to assess the relationship between apathy and brain activation. Results showed that higher apathy scores were related to reduced activation in the medial superior frontal gyrus and cerebellum (Crus I/II) during cognitive set-shifting, but not behavioral shifting and salience decoupling. No relationship between apathy and accuracy or response time was found. These results support the idea that alterations in the neural basis of cognitive control, especially cognitive set-shifting, may contribute to apathy. Hum Brain Mapp 38:2722-2733, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Selective attention and response set in the Stroop task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, M.J.M.; Roelofs, A.P.A.; Rabeling-Keus, I.M.

    2010-01-01

    Response set membership contributes much to the interference in the color word Stroop task. This may be due to selective allocation of attention to eligible responses or, alternatively, to greater inhibition of distractors that are not responses. In the present article, we report two experiments

  5. Do Bilingual advantages in attentional control influence memory encoding during a divided attention task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Natalie H; Murphy, Eric R; Vaidya, Chandan; Barr, Rachel

    2016-05-01

    The current study examined if bilingual advantages in cognitive control influence memory encoding during a divided attention task. Monolinguals, simultaneous bilinguals, and sequential bilinguals switched between classifying objects and words, then were tested for their recognition memory of stimuli previously seen during the classification task. Compared to bilingual groups, monolinguals made the most errors on the classification task and simultaneous bilinguals committed the fewest errors. On the memory task, however, no differences were found between the three language groups, but significant correlations were found between the number of errors during switch trials on the classification task and recognition memory for both target and non-target stimuli. For bilinguals, their age of second language acquisition partially accounted for the association between attentional control (number of switch errors) and subsequent memory for non-target stimuli only. These results contribute to our understanding of how individual differences in language acquisition influence interactions between cognitive domains.

  6. Selective Age Effects on Visual Attention and Motor Attention during a Cued Saccade Task

    OpenAIRE

    Huddleston, Wendy E.; Ernest, Brad E.; Keenan, Kevin G.

    2014-01-01

    Objective. Visual information is often used to guide purposeful movement. However, older adults have impaired responses to visual information, leading to increased risk for injuries and potential loss of independence. We evaluated distinct visual and motor attention contributions to a cued saccade task to determine the extent to which aging selectively affects these processes. Methods. Nineteen healthy young (18–28 years) and 20 older (60–90 years) participants performed a cued saccade task u...

  7. Acquisition of habitual visual attention and transfer to related tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salovich, Nikita A; Remington, Roger W; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2017-07-11

    Extensive research has shown that statistical learning affects perception, attention, and action control; however, few studies have directly linked statistical learning with the formation of habits. Evidence that learning can induce a search habit has come from location probability learning, in which people prioritize locations frequently attended to in the past. Here, using an alternating training-testing procedure, we demonstrated that the initial attentional bias arises from short-term intertrial priming, whereas probability learning takes longer to emerge, first reaching significance in covert orienting (measured by reaction times) after about 48 training trials, and in overt orienting (measured by eye movements) after about 96 training trials. We further showed that location probability learning is persistent after training is discontinued, by transferring from a letter search task to a scene search task-emulating another characteristic feature of habits. By identifying the onset of probability learning and investigating its task specificity, this study provides evidence that probability cuing can induce habitual spatial attention.

  8. Acoustic detail guides attention allocation in a selective listening task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wöstmann, Malte; Schröger, Erich; Obleser, Jonas

    2015-05-01

    The flexible allocation of attention enables us to perceive and behave successfully despite irrelevant distractors. How do acoustic challenges influence this allocation of attention, and to what extent is this ability preserved in normally aging listeners? Younger and healthy older participants performed a masked auditory number comparison while EEG was recorded. To vary selective attention demands, we manipulated perceptual separability of spoken digits from a masking talker by varying acoustic detail (temporal fine structure). Listening conditions were adjusted individually to equalize stimulus audibility as well as the overall level of performance across participants. Accuracy increased, and response times decreased with more acoustic detail. The decrease in response times with more acoustic detail was stronger in the group of older participants. The onset of the distracting speech masker triggered a prominent contingent negative variation (CNV) in the EEG. Notably, CNV magnitude decreased parametrically with increasing acoustic detail in both age groups. Within identical levels of acoustic detail, larger CNV magnitude was associated with improved accuracy. Across age groups, neuropsychological markers further linked early CNV magnitude directly to individual attentional capacity. Results demonstrate for the first time that, in a demanding listening task, instantaneous acoustic conditions guide the allocation of attention. Second, such basic neural mechanisms of preparatory attention allocation seem preserved in healthy aging, despite impending sensory decline.

  9. Selective Age Effects on Visual Attention and Motor Attention during a Cued Saccade Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy E. Huddleston

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Visual information is often used to guide purposeful movement. However, older adults have impaired responses to visual information, leading to increased risk for injuries and potential loss of independence. We evaluated distinct visual and motor attention contributions to a cued saccade task to determine the extent to which aging selectively affects these processes. Methods. Nineteen healthy young (18–28 years and 20 older (60–90 years participants performed a cued saccade task under two conditions. We challenged motor attention by changing the number of possible saccade targets (1 or 6. Results. Older adults had difficulty in inhibiting unwanted eye movements and had greater eye movement inaccuracy in the hard condition when compared to the younger adults and to the easy condition. Also, an inverse relation existed between performance on the visual and motor components of the task in older adults, unlike younger adults. Conclusions. Older adults demonstrated difficulty in both inhibiting irrelevant saccade targets and selecting correct saccade endpoints during more complex tasks. The shift in relations among attention measures between the younger and older participants may indicate a need to prioritize attentional resources with age. These changes may impact an older adult’s ability to function in complex environments.

  10. 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....

  11. Disentangling attention from action in the emotional spatial cueing task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulckhuyse, Manon; Crombez, Geert

    2014-01-01

    In the emotional spatial cueing task, a peripheral cue--either emotional or non-emotional--is presented before target onset. A stronger cue validity effect with an emotional relative to a non-emotional cue (i.e., more efficient responding to validly cued targets relative to invalidly cued targets) is taken as an indication of emotional modulation of attentional processes. However, results from previous emotional spatial cueing studies are not consistent. Some studies find an effect at the validly cued location (shorter reaction times compared to a non-emotional cue), whereas other studies find an effect at the invalidly cued location (longer reaction times compared to a non-emotional cue). In the current paper, we explore which parameters affect emotional modulation of the cue validity effect in the spatial cueing task. Results from five experiments in healthy volunteers led to the conclusion that a threatening spatial cue did not affect attention processes but rather indicate that motor processes are affected. A possible mechanism might be that a strong aversive cue stimulus decreases reaction times by means of stronger action preparation. Consequently, in case of a spatially congruent response with the peripheral cue, a stronger cue validity effect could be obtained due to stronger response priming. The implications for future research are discussed.

  12. Introduction of the Utrecht Tasks for Attention in Toddlers Using Eye Tracking (UTATE): A Pilot Study

    OpenAIRE

    Marjanneke eDe Jong; Marjolein eVerhoeven; Hooge, Ignace T.C.; Anneloes L van Baar

    2016-01-01

    Attention capacities underlie everyday functioning from an early age onwards. Little is known about attentional processes at toddler age. A feasible assessment of attention capacities at toddler age is needed to allow further study of attention development. In this study, a test battery is piloted that consists of four tasks which intend to measure the attention systems orienting, alerting, and executive attention: the Utrecht Tasks of Attention in Toddlers using Eye tracking [UTATE]. The UTA...

  13. Effects of acute restraint stress on set-shifting and reversal learning in male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thai, Chester A; Zhang, Ying; Howland, John G

    2013-03-01

    Exposure to acute stress alters cognition; however, few studies have examined the effects of acute stress on executive functions such as behavioral flexibility. The goal of the present experiments was to determine the effects of acute periods of stress on two distinct forms of behavioral flexibility: set-shifting and reversal learning. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained and tested in an operant-chamber-based task. Some of the rats were exposed to acute restraint stress (30 min) immediately before either the set-shifting test day or the reversal learning test day. Acute stress had no effect on set-shifting, but it significantly facilitated reversal learning, as assessed by both trials to criterion and total errors. In a second experiment, the roles of glucocorticoid (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) in the acute-stress-induced facilitation of reversal learning were examined. Systemic administration of the GR-selective antagonist RU38486 (10 mg/kg) or the MR-selective antagonist spironolactone (50 mg/kg) 30 min prior to acute stress failed to block the facilitation on reversal learning. The present results demonstrate a dissociable effect of acute stress on set-shifting and reversal learning and suggest that the facilitation of reversal learning by acute stress may be mediated by factors other than corticosterone.

  14. Anabolic-androgenic steroids impair set-shifting and reversal learning in male rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallin, Kathryn G; Wood, Ruth I

    2015-04-01

    Anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse is prevalent not only among elite athletes, but is increasingly common in high school and collegiate sports. AAS are implicated in maladaptive behaviors such as increased aggression and risk taking, which may result from impaired cognition. Because they affect dopamine function in prefrontal cortical (PFC)-striatal circuitry, AAS may disrupt PFC-dependent processes such as behavioral flexibility. This was the focus of the present study. Adolescent male Long-Evans rats were treated chronically with high-dose testosterone (7.5mg/kg in water with 13% cyclodextrin) or vehicle sc, and tested for set-shifting and reversal-learning. For set-shifting, rats were trained on a visual cue task (VCT), then were shifted to a direction cue task (DCT), or vice-versa. For reversal learning, rats were first trained on VCT and were then required to press the opposite lever. 2-cue set-shifting introduced a novel paradigm in which rats shifted from a 1-Light Visual Task (1LVT) to a tone cue task (TCT). Testosterone-treated rats were significantly impaired on the set-shift from DCT to VCT compared to vehicle-treated controls (trials to criterion: vehicle 240.9±29.9, testosterone 388.3±59.3, p<0.05). However, on the set-shift from VCT to DCT, testosterone did not affect performance. During reversal-learning, testosterone significantly increased trials to criterion (vehicle: 495.9±91.8 trials, testosterone: 793.7±96.7 trials, p<0.05). In 2-cue set-shifting, testosterone diminished performance and the difference showed borderline significance (vehicle: 443.2±84.4 trials, testosterone: 800.4±178.2 trials, p=0.09). Our results show that testosterone impairs behavioral flexibility and have implications for understanding cognitive and behavioral changes in human AAS users. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  15. Perceived mental effort correlates with changes in tonic arousal during attentional tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howells, Fleur M; Stein, Dan J; Russell, Vivienne A

    2010-07-08

    It has been suggested that perceived mental effort reflects changes in arousal during tasks of attention. Such changes in arousal may be tonic or phasic, and may be mediated by the locus-coeruleus norepinephrine (LC-NE) system. We hypothesized that perceived mental effort during attentional tasks would correlate with tonic changes in cortical arousal, as assessed by relative electroencephalogram (EEG) band power and theta/beta ratio, and not with phasic changes in cortical arousal, assessed by P300 amplitude and latency. Forty-six healthy individuals completed tasks that engage the anterior and posterior attention networks (continuous performance task, go/no-go task, and cued target detection task). During completion of the three attentional tasks a continuous record of tonic and phasic arousal was taken. Cortical measures of arousal included frequency band power, theta/beta ratios over frontal and parietal cortices, and P300 amplitude and latency over parietal cortices. Peripheral measures of arousal included skin conductance responses, heart rate and heart rate variance. Participants reported their perceived mental effort during each of the three attentional tasks. First, changes in arousal were seen from rest to completion of the three attentional tasks and between the attentional tasks. Changes seen between the attentional tasks being related to the task design and the attentional network activated. Second, perceived mental effort increased when demands of the task increased and correlated with left parietal beta band power during the three tasks of attention. Third, increased mental effort during the go/no-go task and the cued target detection task was inversely related to theta/beta ratios. These results indicate that perceived mental effort reflects tonic rather than phasic changes in arousal during tasks of attention. We suggest that perceived mental effort may reflect in part tonic activity of the LC-NE system in healthy individuals.

  16. 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

    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:

  17. Beyond time and space: The effect of a lateralized sustained attention task and brain stimulation on spatial and selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalev, Nir; De Wandel, Linde; Dockree, Paul; Demeyere, Nele; Chechlacz, Magdalena

    2017-10-03

    The Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) provides a mathematical formalisation of the "biased competition" account of visual attention. Applying this model to individual performance in a free recall task allows the estimation of 5 independent attentional parameters: visual short-term memory (VSTM) capacity, speed of information processing, perceptual threshold of visual detection; attentional weights representing spatial distribution of attention (spatial bias), and the top-down selectivity index. While the TVA focuses on selection in space, complementary accounts of attention describe how attention is maintained over time, and how temporal processes interact with selection. A growing body of evidence indicates that different facets of attention interact and share common neural substrates. The aim of the current study was to modulate a spatial attentional bias via transfer effects, based on a mechanistic understanding of the interplay between spatial, selective and temporal aspects of attention. Specifically, we examined here: (i) whether a single administration of a lateralized sustained attention task could prime spatial orienting and lead to transferable changes in attentional weights (assigned to the left vs right hemi-field) and/or other attentional parameters assessed within the framework of TVA (Experiment 1); (ii) whether the effects of such spatial-priming on TVA parameters could be further enhanced by bi-parietal high frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) (Experiment 2). Our results demonstrate that spatial attentional bias, as assessed within the TVA framework, was primed by sustaining attention towards the right hemi-field, but this spatial-priming effect did not occur when sustaining attention towards the left. Furthermore, we show that bi-parietal high-frequency tRNS combined with the rightward spatial-priming resulted in an increased attentional selectivity. To conclude, we present a novel, theory-driven method for attentional modulation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  20. Neurodynamics of cognitive set shifting in monkey frontal cortex and its causal impact on behavioral flexibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamigaki, Tsukasa; Fukushima, Tetsuya; Tamura, Keita; Miyashita, Yasushi

    2012-11-01

    Flexible behavior depends on the ability to shift an internal cognitive set as soon as external demand changes. According to neuropsychological studies in human and nonhuman primates, selective lesion to the PFC impairs flexible behavioral shifting. Our previous fMRI study demonstrated that the prefrontal regions showed transient activation related to set shifting in humans and monkeys. To investigate the underlying neural processing, we recorded single-unit activities while monkeys performed a cognitive-set-shifting task, which required shifting between shape-matching and color-matching behaviors. We identified a group of neurons in the inferior arcuate region that exhibited selective activity when the monkeys were required to shift their cognitive set. These shift-related neurons were localized in the focal area along the posterior bank of the inferior arcuate sulcus. Reversible inactivation of this area ipsilateral to the response hand with a small volume of muscimol (even with 0.5 μl) selectively impaired the performance of behavioral shifting. Moreover, this selective behavioral impairment strongly correlated with the dose of muscimol. These results demonstrated localized neural processing for cognitive set shifting and its causal role for behavioral flexibility in primates.

  1. The Attentional Dependence of Emotion Cognition is Variable with the Competing Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Chen

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between emotion and attention has fascinated researchers for decades. Many previous studies have used eye-tracking, ERP, MEG and fMRI to explore this issue but have reached different conclusions: some researchers hold that emotion cognition is an automatic process and independent of attention, while some others believed that emotion cognition is modulated by attentional resources and is a type of controlled processing. The present research aimed to investigate this controversy, and we hypothesized that the attentional dependence of emotion cognition is variable with the competing task. Eye-tracking technology and a dual-task paradigm were adopted, and subjects’ attention was manipulated to fixate at the central task to investigate whether subjects could detect the emotional faces presented in the peripheral area with a decrease or near-absence of attention. The results revealed that when the peripheral task was emotional face discrimination but the central attention-demanding task was different, subjects performed well in the peripheral task, which means that emotional information can be processed in parallel with other stimuli, and there may be a specific channel in the human brain for processing emotional information. However, when the central and peripheral tasks were both emotional face discrimination, subjects could not perform well in the peripheral task, indicating that the processing of emotional information required attentional resources and that it is a type of controlled processing. Therefore, we concluded that the attentional dependence of emotion cognition varied with the competing task.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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…

  4. Use of a sustained visual attention task to determine children at risk for learning problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richman, J E

    1986-01-01

    Use of a sustained visual attention task to determine children "at risk" for learning problems. The purpose in the study was to compare the sustained visual attention performance of 42 first grade children on a 9.5 minute continuous performance test, as measured by error rate and off-task visual behaviors, e.g., off-task looking time and number of fixations off the task, with a measure of impulsivity and a teacher rating scale of classroom behavior designed to identify children with potential learning disabilities. The present findings suggest that the measurement of "off-task looking time" and "off-task fixations" during a sustained visual attention test are significantly related to the classroom teacher's observation of personal-social behavior and the child's decision making style. This approach for measuring sustained attention has potential use as a clinical tool in identifying and monitoring treatment methodologies for children considered "at risk" for attention and learning problems.

  5. The role of attention during retrieval in working-memory span: a dual-task study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, M Karl; Miyake, Akira

    2009-04-01

    We tested the hypothesis that retrieving target words in operation span (OSpan) involves attention-demanding processes. Participants completed the standard OSpan task and a modified version in which all equations preceded all target words. Recall took place under either full attention or easy versus hard divided-attention conditions. Recall suffered under divided attention with the recall decrement being greater for the hard secondary task. Moreover, secondary-task performance was disrupted more by the standard OSpan task than by the modified version with the hard secondary task showing the larger decrement. Finally, the time taken to start recalling the first word was considerably longer for the standard version than for the modified version. These results are consistent with the proposal that successful OSpan task performance in part involves the attention-demanding retrieval of targets from long-term memory.

  6. Attention tasks as skills performance measures of drug effects

    OpenAIRE

    Moskowitz, H.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Gait in Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in a Dual-Task Paradigm

    OpenAIRE

    Manicolo, Olivia; Grob, Alexander; Hagmann-von Arx, Priska

    2017-01-01

    The aim was to examine gait in school-aged children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and typically developing controls in a dual-task paradigm. Thirty children with ADHD (without or off medication) aged 7–13 years and 28 controls walked without an additional task (single-task walking) and while performing a concurrent cognitive or motor task (dual-task walking). Gait was assessed using GAITRite recordings of spatiotemporal and variability gait parameters. Compared to singl...

  9. 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,

  10. Cardiac responsiveness to attention-demanding tasks in socially maladaptive children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Althaus, M; Aarnoudse, CC; Minderaa, RB; Mulder, Gysbertus; Mulder, Lambertus

    Cardiac responsiveness to attention-demanding tasks in socially maladaptive children A psychofysiological study of the cardiac adaptivity to attention-demanding reaction time tasks demonstrated that children with a lesser variant of the pervasive developmental disorder (DSM-IV: PDDNOS) exhibit less

  11. Effect of attention division on movement detection and execution in dual-task conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Farina, Dario

    2017-01-01

    Dual tasking refers to the simultaneous execution of two tasks with different demands. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of a second task on a main task of motor execution and on the ability to detect the cortical potential related to the main task from non-invasive electroencepha......Dual tasking refers to the simultaneous execution of two tasks with different demands. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of a second task on a main task of motor execution and on the ability to detect the cortical potential related to the main task from non...... the number of sequences of special tones (dual task level). EEG signals were recorded from nine channels centered on Cz. Analysis of event-related potential (ERP) signals from Cz confirmed that the oddball task decreased the attention to the ankle dorsiflexion significantly. Furthermore, movement...

  12. A Software Environment for an Adaptive Human-Aware Software Agent Supporting Attention-Demanding Tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosse, T.; Memon, Z.A.; Oorburg, R.; Umair, M.; Treur, J.; de Vos, M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a software environment providing human-aware ambient support for a human performing a task that demands substantial amounts of attention. The agent obtains human attention-awareness in an adaptive manner by use of a dynamical model of human attention, gaze sensoring by an

  13. Lost in vision: ERP correlates of exogenous tactile attention when engaging in a visual task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Alexander; Forster, Bettina

    2013-03-01

    Behavioural studies have shown that when engaging in a visual task response facilitation to tactile stimuli at exogenously cued locations is diminished. Here we investigated behavioural and also neural correlates of tactile exogenous attention when participants either watched a visual stream (single task) or also detected targets in the visual stream (dual task). During the visual stream, tactile cues were presented to the left or right hand followed by tactile targets at the same or opposite hand. Behavioural results demonstrated slowed responses to tactile targets at cued locations (i.e., IOR) in the single whilst no attention effect in the dual task. Concurrently recorded EEG revealed multiple stages of tactile processing to be attenuated when engaging in a visual task: First, the amplitude of the cueelicited somatosensory P100 component was suppressed suggesting relative early cross-modality effects in the dual task. Second, correlates of cue-induced attentional control processes showed a reduced late somatosensory negativity (LSN) in the dual compared to the single task suggesting smaller preparatory processes. Finally, early attentional selection correlates of post-target ERPs (N80) were absent in the dual task. This study demonstrated for the first time that engaging in a visual task abolished behavioural IOR in touch. ERP analyses showed that early somatosensory processing as well as specific correlates of tactile attentional orienting and target selection are diminished under visual engagement. Our findings are in line with a supramodal account of attention. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Effects of attentional filtering demands on preparatory ERPs elicited in a spatial cueing task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiss, Ellen; Driver, Jon; Eimer, Martin

    2009-06-01

    We used ERP measures to investigate how attentional filtering requirements affect preparatory attentional control and spatially selective visual processing. In a spatial cueing experiment, attentional filtering demands were manipulated by presenting task-relevant visual stimuli either in isolation (target-only task) or together with irrelevant adjacent distractors (target-plus-distractors task). ERPs were recorded in response to informative spatial precues, and in response to subsequent visual stimuli at attended and unattended locations. The preparatory ADAN component elicited during the cue-target interval was larger and more sustained in the target-plus-distractors task, reflecting the demand of stronger attentional filtering. By contrast, two other preparatory lateralised components (EDAN and LDAP) were unaffected by the attentional filtering demand. Similar enhancements of P1 and N1 components in response to the lateral imperative visual stimuli were observed at cued versus uncued locations, regardless of filtering demand, whereas later attentional-related negativities beyond 200 ms post-stimulus were larger the target-plus-distractor task. Our results implicate that the ADAN component is linked to preparatory top-down control processes involved in the attentional filtering of irrelevant distractors; such filtering also affects later attention-related negativities recorded after the onset of the imperative stimulus. ERPs can reveal effects of expected attentional filtering of irrelevant distractors on preparatory attentional control processes and spatially selective visual processing.

  15. Task relevance of emotional information affects anxiety-linked attention bias in visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Helen F; Vogt, Julia; Turkileri, Nilgun; Notebaert, Lies

    2017-01-01

    Task relevance affects emotional attention in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate whether the association between anxiety and attention bias is affected by the task relevance of emotion during an attention task. Participants completed two visual search tasks. In the emotion-irrelevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of neutral, middle-aged faces was old or young. Irrelevant to the task, target faces displayed angry, happy, or neutral expressions. In the emotion-relevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of middle-aged neutral faces was happy or angry (target faces also varied in age). Trait anxiety was not associated with attention in the emotion-relevant task. However, in the emotion-irrelevant task, trait anxiety was associated with a bias for angry over happy faces. These findings demonstrate that the task relevance of emotional information affects conclusions about the presence of an anxiety-linked attention bias. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. Modulation of the attentional span by foveal and parafoveal task load: An ERP study using attentional probes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornrumpf, Benthe; Sommer, Werner

    2015-09-01

    Due to capacity limitation, visual attention must be focused to a limited region of the visual field. Nevertheless, it is assumed that the size of that region may vary with task demands. We aimed to obtain direct evidence for the modulation of visuospatial attention as a function of foveal and parafoveal task load. Participants were required to fixate the center word of word triplets. In separate task blocks, either just the fixated word or both the fixated and the parafoveal word to the right should be semantically classified. The spatiotemporal distribution of attention was assessed with task-irrelevant probes flashed briefly at center or parafoveal positions, during or in between word presentation trials. The N1 component of the ERP elicited by intertrial probes at possible target positions increased with task demands within a block. These results suggest the recruitment of additional attentional resources rather than a redistribution of a fixed resource pool, which persists across trials. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria eMittag

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 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 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 auditory phonological and non-phonological tasks and during the visual phonological tasks was suggested by a rejection positivity to unattended syllables. We also found evidence for suppression of the processing of task-irrelevant visual stimuli in visual ERPs during auditory tasks involving

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pottage, Claire L; Schaefer, Alexandre

    2012-02-01

    The emotional enhancement of memory is often thought to be determined by attention. However, recent evidence using divided attention paradigms suggests that attention does not play a significant role in the formation of memories for aversive pictures. We report a study that investigated this question using a paradigm in which participants had to encode lists of randomly intermixed negative and neutral pictures under conditions of full attention and divided attention followed by a free recall test. Attention was divided by a highly demanding concurrent task tapping visual processing resources. Results showed that the advantage in recall for aversive pictures was still present in the DA condition. However, mediation analyses also revealed that concurrent task performance significantly mediated the emotional enhancement of memory under divided attention. This finding suggests that visual attentional processes play a significant role in the formation of emotional memories. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved

  20. Motivational intensity modulates the effects of positive emotions on set shifting after controlling physiological arousal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ya; Siu, Angela F Y

    2015-12-01

    Recent research on the construct of emotion suggests the integration of a motivational dimension into the traditional two-dimension (subjective valence and physiological arousal) model. The motivational intensity of an emotional state should be taken into account while investigating the emotion-cognition relationship. This study examined how positive emotional states varying in motivational intensity influenced set shifting, after controlling the potential confounding impacts of physiological arousal. In Experiment 1, 155 volunteers performed a set-shifting task after being randomly assigned to five states: high- vs. low-motivating positive affect (interest vs. serenity), high- vs. low-motivating negative affect (disgust vs. anxiety), and neutral state. Eighty-five volunteers participated in Experiment 2, which further examined the effects of higher vs. lower degree of interest. Both experiments measured and compared participants' physiological arousal (blood pressure and pulse rate) under the normal and experimental conditions as the covariate. Results showed no difference in switching performance between the neutral and serenity groups. As compared with the neutral state, the high-motivating positive affect significantly increased set-switching reaction time costs, but reduced error rate costs; the higher the motivational intensity, the greater the time-costs impairment. This indicates a role of the high-motivating positive affect in regulating the balance between the flexible and stable cognitive control. Motivational intensity also modulated the effects of negative emotional states, i.e., disgust caused a larger increase in time costs than anxiety. Further exploration into neurobiological mechanisms that may mediate the emotional effects on set shifting is warranted. © 2015 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Comparison of Single and Dual Target Visual Attention Tasks in Children with down Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie J. Murphy

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the nature of attentional processing in children with Down Syndrome (DS is imperative for developing effective education practices. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether children with DS exhibit impairment in sustained, transient, single-, or dual-target continuous performance tasks. Target detection time and accuracy was compared in children with DS to Typically Developing (TD children of similar nonverbal mental age (as measured by the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices, on single and dual- target continuous performance tasks measuring sustained attention, a visual change detection task measuring transient attention, and feature and conjunctive visual search tasks measuring both sustained and transient attention. Results showed that children with DS performed similarly to TD children on sustained and transient attention tasks that only required the detection of a single unique target, but were impaired in overall accuracy on tasks that required dual-target detection. Findings suggest a possible impairment in attention and working memory in children with DS. Error analysis of task responses revealed differences in problem solving strategy between children with DS and TD children, despite similar overall performance. Findings have implications for the education of children with DS and understanding of the nature of intellectual disability per se.

  2. Effects of noise on a simple visual attentional task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britton, L A; Delay, E R

    1989-06-01

    15 male and 15 female subjects scanned an array of lights during one of three types of white-noise conditions (continuous, 1-Hz pulse rate, and 10-Hz pulse rate) at 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 dB. Detection of light stimuli increased under the lower intensities and decreased under the higher intensities in the continuous and the 1-Hz pulse-rate conditions, but decreased as intensity increased in 10-Hz pulse-rate noise. Detection of peripheral stimuli was greatest during continuous noise and lowest during 10-Hz pulse-rate noise. These data are interpreted in terms of changes in attentional focus which result from altered levels of arousal.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Visual Attention Allocation Between Robotic Arm and Environmental Process Control: Validating the STOM Task Switching Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher; Vieanne, Alex; Clegg, Benjamin; Sebok, Angelia; Janes, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    Fifty six participants time shared a spacecraft environmental control system task with a realistic space robotic arm control task in either a manual or highly automated version. The former could suffer minor failures, whose diagnosis and repair were supported by a decision aid. At the end of the experiment this decision aid unexpectedly failed. We measured visual attention allocation and switching between the two tasks, in each of the eight conditions formed by manual-automated arm X expected-unexpected failure X monitoring- failure management. We also used our multi-attribute task switching model, based on task attributes of priority interest, difficulty and salience that were self-rated by participants, to predict allocation. An un-weighted model based on attributes of difficulty, interest and salience accounted for 96 percent of the task allocation variance across the 8 different conditions. Task difficulty served as an attractor, with more difficult tasks increasing the tendency to stay on task.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Lengshi; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lengshi Dai

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelleck, Valerie; Passmore, Steven R

    2017-05-01

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

  8. Classification of EEG signals to identify variations in attention during motor task execution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Jiang, Ning

    2017-01-01

    attentionlevels onmotor tasks ineachparticipant. Then, a globalfeature distribution was constructed with the projected time-frequency features of all participants from all channels and applied for attention classification during motor movement execution. Results: Time-frequency features led to significantly...... BCI systems with time-frequency features. This is the first step towards an adaptive real-time BCI with an integrated function to reveal attention shifts from the motor task....

  9. Classification of EEG signals to identify variations in attention during motor task execution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Jiang, Ning; Farina, Dario; Mrachacz-Kersting, Natalie

    2017-06-01

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems in neuro-rehabilitation use brain signals to control external devices. User status such as attention affects BCI performance; thus detecting the user's attention drift due to internal or external factors is essential for high detection accuracy. An auditory oddball task was applied to divert the users' attention during a simple ankle dorsiflexion movement. Electroencephalogram signals were recorded from eighteen channels. Temporal and time-frequency features were projected to a lower dimension space and used to analyze the effect of two attention levels on motor tasks in each participant. Then, a global feature distribution was constructed with the projected time-frequency features of all participants from all channels and applied for attention classification during motor movement execution. Time-frequency features led to significantly better classification results with respect to the temporal features, particularly for electrodes located over the motor cortex. Motor cortex channels had a higher accuracy in comparison to other channels in the global discrimination of attention level. Previous methods have used the attention to a task to drive external devices, such as the P300 speller. However, here we focus for the first time on the effect of attention drift while performing a motor task. It is possible to explore user's attention variation when performing motor tasks in synchronous BCI systems with time-frequency features. This is the first step towards an adaptive real-time BCI with an integrated function to reveal attention shifts from the motor task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  11. 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

  12. The involvement of central attention in visual search is determined by task demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Suk Won

    2017-04-01

    Attention, the mechanism by which a subset of sensory inputs is prioritized over others, operates at multiple processing stages. Specifically, attention enhances weak sensory signal at the perceptual stage, while it serves to select appropriate responses or consolidate sensory representations into short-term memory at the central stage. This study investigated the independence and interaction between perceptual and central attention. To do so, I used a dual-task paradigm, pairing a four-alternative choice task with a visual search task. The results showed that central attention for response selection was engaged in perceptual processing for visual search when the number of search items increased, thereby increasing the demand for serial allocation of focal attention. By contrast, central attention and perceptual attention remained independent as far as the demand for serial shifting of focal attention remained constant; decreasing stimulus contrast or increasing the set size of a parallel search did not evoke the involvement of central attention in visual search. These results suggest that the nature of concurrent visual search process plays a crucial role in the functional interaction between two different types of attention.

  13. 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…

  14. The influences of task repetition, napping, time of day, and instruction on the Sustained Attention to Response Task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schie, M.K.M. van; Alblas, E.E.; Thijs, R.D.; Fronczek, R.; Lammers, G.J.; Dijk, J.G. van

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: The Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) helps to quantify vigilance impairments. Previous studies, in which five SART sessions on one day were administered, demonstrated worse performance during the first session than during the others. The present study comprises two

  15. More attentional focusing through binaural beats: evidence from the global-local task.

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    Colzato, Lorenza S; Barone, Hayley; Sellaro, Roberta; Hommel, Bernhard

    2017-01-01

    A recent study showed that binaural beats have an impact on the efficiency of allocating attention over time. We were interested to see whether this impact affects attentional focusing or, even further, the top-down control over irrelevant information. Healthy adults listened to gamma-frequency (40 Hz) binaural beats, which are assumed to increase attentional concentration, or a constant tone of 340 Hz (control condition) for 3 min before and during a global-local task. While the size of the congruency effect (indicating the failure to suppress task-irrelevant information) was unaffected by the binaural beats, the global-precedence effect (reflecting attentional focusing) was considerably smaller after gamma-frequency binaural beats than after the control condition. Our findings suggest that high-frequency binaural beats bias the individual attentional processing style towards a reduced spotlight of attention.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  17. Force control tasks with pure haptic feedback promote short-term focused attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dangxiao; Zhang, Yuru; Yang, Xiaoxiao; Yang, Gaofeng; Yang, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Focused attention has great impact on our quality of life. Our learning, social skills and even happiness are closely intertwined with our capacity for focused attention. Attention promotion is replete with examples of training-induced increases in attention capability, most of which rely on visual and auditory stimulation. Pure haptic stimulation to increase attention capability is rarely found. We show that accurate force control tasks with pure haptic feedback enhance short-term focused attention. Participants were trained by a force control task in which information from visual and auditory channels was blocked, and only haptic feedback was provided. The trainees were asked to exert a target force within a pre-defined force tolerance for a specific duration. The tolerance was adaptively modified to different levels of difficulty to elicit full participant engagement. Three attention tests showed significant changes in different aspects of focused attention in participants who had been trained as compared with those who had not, thereby illustrating the role of haptic-based sensory-motor tasks in the promotion of short-term focused attention. The findings highlight the potential value of haptic stimuli in brain plasticity and serve as a new tool to extend existing computer games for cognitive enhancement.

  18. Nicotine-induced enhancement of attention in the five-choice serial reaction time task: the influence of task demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, B; Shoaib, M; Stolerman, I P

    2002-07-01

    Beneficial effects of nicotine on cognitive processes including attention have potential therapeutic uses and have been proposed as incentives for tobacco smoking. To establish task conditions under which the effects of nicotine on attention are obtained reliably and to characterise such effects further. Rats were trained in a modified version of the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) to detect 1-s light stimuli with greater than 70% accuracy and fewer than 20% omission errors. Nicotine was tested under different task requirements by varying signal event rate, stimulus duration and stimulus predictability, and by introducing white-noise distractors. Nicotine (0.05-0.2 mg/kg, s.c.) repeatedly improved accuracy and reduced omission errors and reaction times, leading to increases in numbers of reinforcers earned. Anticipatory responding was increased. Parametric modifications intended to increase demands on sustained attention did not affect performance in a manner suggesting that this subtype of attention was being taxed, and the effects of nicotine were not more marked under such conditions. Shorter stimulus durations impaired performance, but this manipulation weakened the effect of nicotine on accuracy. In contrast, the presence of noise distractors facilitated the effects of nicotine to the extent that distractor-induced impairments were abolished by the drug. The 5-CSRTT can provide a sensitive rodent model for the attention-enhancing effects of nicotine. Changes made to the procedure may have increased its sensitivity to nicotine, particularly with respect to accuracy. There were indications that the effects of nicotine were largest on processes of selective attention or on disengaging attention from irrelevant events and shifting it to behaviourally significant stimuli.

  19. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Effect of Peripheral Communication Pace on Attention Allocation in a Dual-Task Situation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gueddana, Sofiane; Roussel, Nicolas

    Peripheral displays allow continuous awareness of information while performing other activities. Monitoring such a display while performing a central task has a cognitive cost that depends on its perceptual salience and the distraction it causes, i.e. the amount of attention it attracts away from the user’s primary action. This paper considers the particular case of peripheral displays for interpersonal communication. It reports on an experiment that studied the effect of peripheral communication pace on subjects’ allocation of attention in a dual-task situation: a snapshot-based peripheral monitoring task where participants need to assess the presence of a remote person, and a central text-correcting task against the clock. Our results show that the addition of the peripheral task caused a drop in the success rate of the central task. As the pace of snapshots increased, success rate decreased on the peripheral task while on the central one, success rate remained the same but failures to reply in time occurred more frequently. These results suggest that the increase in pace of snapshots caused participants to change their strategy for the central task and allocate more attention to the peripheral one, not enough to maintain peripheral performance but also not to the point where it would affect central performance. Overall, our work suggests that peripheral communication pace subtly influences attention allocation in dual-task situations. We conclude by discussing how control over information pace could help users of communication systems to adjust their local distraction as well as the attention they draw from remote users.

  2. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitzpatrick, C. M.; Caballero-Puntiverio, M.; Gether, U.

    2017-01-01

    Rationale The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) is widely used to measure rodent attentional functions. In humans, many attention studies in healthy and clinical populations have used testing based on Bundesen’s Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) to estimate visual processing speeds...... thresholds and motor response baselines. Conclusions This study shows for the first time how 5-CSRTT performance in mice can be mathematically modelled to yield estimates of attentional capacity that are directly comparable to estimates from human studies....

  4. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  7. [Influence of balance exercises during an attention task on fear of falling among frail elderly fallen].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takai, Itsushi

    2010-01-01

    Recent research suggests that the fear of falling may be a more serious problem than actual falling among frail elderly people. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not it is possible to influence the fear of falling among frail elderly people who previously had fallen, by balance exercises under attention tasks. The subjects were 22 frail elderly people in nursing homes (3 men and 19 women, mean age 83.1+/-5.2 SD) who had fallen. Written informed consent was given for participation in the study. Subjects were divided into two groups at random: the balance exercise group (the control group) and the balance exercise during an attention task (the attention group). Balance exercise continued for 10 weeks, consisting of one 5 minute session, 3 times weekly. The control and intervention subjects were evaluated using the Fall Efficacy Scale (FES), Functional Reach Test (FRT), Timed Up & Go Test (TUGT) and walking speed, before the program, at the end of the trial, and 10 weeks after the program. There was no change in walking speed in either group, and difference in TUGT of the control group was observed. We found improvement in FRT and TUGT of the attention group. The FES decreased in the attention group. These findings indicate that balance exercise during an attention task can improve standing posture balance in frail elderly people who have fallen. These results also suggest that it is important to intervene in both motor function and attention function to decrease the fear of falling.

  8. Computerized assessment of sustained attention: interactive effects of task demand, noise, and anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, J C

    1996-12-01

    In a sample of 163 college undergraduates, the effects of task demand, noise, and anxiety on Continuous Performance Test (CPT) errors were evaluated with multiple regression and multivariate analysis of variance. Results indicated significantly more omission errors on the difficult task. Complex interaction effects of noise and self-reported anxiety yielded more omissions in quiet intermittent white noise, particularly for high-anxious subjects performing the difficult task. Anxiety levels tended to increase from pretest to posttest, particularly for low-anxious subjects in the quiet, difficult-task condition, while a decrease was seen for high-anxious subjects in the loud, easy-task condition. Commission errors were unrelated to any predictor variables, suggesting that "attention" cannot be considered a unitary phenomenon. The variety of direct and interactive effects on vigilance performance underscore the need for clinicians to use a variety of measures to assess attentional skills, to avoid diagnosis of attention deficits on the basis of a single computerized task performance, and to rule out anxiety and other contributors to poor vigilance task performance.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Machado Lopes

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Task-Set Reconfiguration Suspends Perceptual Processing: Evidence from Semantic Priming during the Attentional Blink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vachon, Francois; Tremblay, Sebastien; Jones, Dylan M.

    2007-01-01

    When two visual targets, Target 1 (T1) and Target 2 (T2), are presented among a rapid sequence of distractors, processing of T1 produces an attentional blink. Typically, processing of T2 is markedly impaired, except when T1 and T2 are adjacent (Lag 1 sparing). However, if a shift of task set--a change in task requirements from T1 to T2--occurs,…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nils eHolmberg

    2014-02-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Age affects the attentional demands of stair ambulation: evidence from a dual-task approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojha, Heidi A; Kern, Rebecca W; Lin, Chien-Ho Janice; Winstein, Carolee J

    2009-10-01

    Approximately 75% of all injury-producing falls on steps for people of all ages occur in people 65 years of age and older. Diminished attentional capacity contributes to fall risk in older adults, particularly when task demands are high. The purpose of this study was to compare the attentional demands of ascending and descending a set of stairs (stair ambulation) in older adults and younger adults. This was a nonblinded, prospective, single-site, observational cohort study. Ten older (>65 years of age) and 10 younger (21-33 years of age) adults without disabilities were recruited. A dual-task approach was used for 2 task conditions: the first task was standing and responding verbally to an unanticipated auditory tone as quickly as possible (probe task), and the second task was ascending or descending a set of stairs with the same probe task. A 2-factor (group x task) analysis of variance with repeated measures on task (standing and stair ambulation) was performed for voice response time (VRT). Significance for the analysis was set at Ptask interaction was significant for VRT. Post hoc analyses indicated that during stair ambulation, the VRT for older adults was significantly longer than that for younger adults. For the standing task, the VRTs (X+/-SD) were similar for younger (322+/-65 milliseconds) and older (306+/-22 milliseconds) participants. For stair ascent and descent, the average VRTs were more than 100 milliseconds longer for older participants (493+/-113 and 470+/-127 milliseconds, respectively) than for younger participants (365+/-56 and 356+/-67 milliseconds, respectively). Because of the small sample size and generally fit older group, generalization of findings to older people at risk for falls is not recommended until further research is done. The results demonstrated that although both older and younger adults required similar attentional resources for the standing task, older adults required significantly more resources during stair ambulation. The

  19. Task-specific, dimension-based attentional shaping of motion processing in monkey area MT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schledde, Bastian; Galashan, F Orlando; Przybyla, Magdalena; Kreiter, Andreas K; Wegener, Detlef

    2017-09-01

    Nonspatially selective attention is based on the notion that specific features or objects in the visual environment are effectively prioritized in cortical visual processing. Feature-based attention (FBA), in particular, is a well-studied process that dynamically and selectively addresses neurons preferentially processing the attended feature attribute (e.g., leftward motion). In everyday life, however, behavior may require high sensitivity for an entire feature dimension (e.g., motion), but experimental evidence for a feature dimension-specific attentional modulation on a cellular level is lacking. Therefore, we investigated neuronal activity in macaque motion-selective mediotemporal area (MT) in an experimental setting requiring the monkeys to detect either a motion change or a color change. We hypothesized that neural activity in MT is enhanced when the task requires perceptual sensitivity to motion. In line with this, we found that mean firing rates were higher in the motion task and that response variability and latency were lower compared with values in the color task, despite identical visual stimulation. This task-specific, dimension-based modulation of motion processing emerged already in the absence of visual input, was independent of the relation between the attended and stimulating motion direction, and was accompanied by a spatially global reduction of neuronal variability. The results provide single-cell support for the hypothesis of a feature dimension-specific top-down signal emphasizing the processing of an entire feature class.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Cortical processing serving visual perception prioritizes information according to current task requirements. We provide evidence in favor of a dimension-based attentional mechanism addressing all neurons that process visual information in the task-relevant feature domain. Behavioral tasks required monkeys to attend either color or motion, causing modulations of response strength, variability, latency, and

  20. Attentional bias during emotional processing: evidence from an emotional flanker task using IAPS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Mario A; Sánchez, Manuel Guillermo; Valencia, Stella; Trujillo, Natalia

    2018-03-01

    Attention is biased towards threat-related stimuli. In three experiments, we investigated the mechanisms, processes, and time course of this processing bias. An emotional flanker task simultaneously presented affective or neutral pictures from the international affective picture system database either as central response-relevant stimuli or surrounding response-uninformative flankers. Participants' response times to central stimuli was measured. The attentional bias was observed when stimuli were presented either for 1500 ms (Experiment 1) or 500 ms (Experiment 2). The threat-related attentional bias held regardless of the stimuli competing for attention even when presentation time was further reduced to 200 ms (Experiment 3). The results indicate that automatic and controlled mechanisms may interact to modulate the orientation of attention to threat. The data presented here shed new light on the mechanisms, processes, and time course of this long investigated by still largely unknown processing bias.

  1. Functional mobility in a divided attention task in older adults with cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Sheila de Melo; Radanovic, Márcia; Forlenza, Orestes Vicente

    2015-01-01

    Motor disorders may occur in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and at early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD), particularly under divided attention conditions. We examined functional mobility in 104 older adults (42 with MCI, 26 with mild AD, and 36 cognitively healthy) using the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) under 4 experimental conditions: TUG single task, TUG plus a cognitive task, TUG plus a manual task, and TUG plus a cognitive and a manual task. Statistically significant differences in mean time of execution were found in all four experimental conditions when comparing MCI and controls (p .8, p .7, p < .001 for MCI vs. AD). The authors conclude that functional motor deficits occurring in MCI can be assessed by the TUG test, in single or dual task modality.

  2. The effects of attention sharing in a dynamic dual task environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cliff, R. C.

    1972-01-01

    There are numerous examples of cases where the human operator is confronted with several tasks occurring simultaneously and continuously in time. The current study is an investigation into the nature of attention sharing between two continuous tasks with independent input-output modes. Eleven subjects were tested using a zero order compensatory control task with three levels of difficulty (input bandwidth) for each subject. As a secondary task on half of the trials, the subjects were also required to verbally shadow a random auditory input. Results from an extensive time and frequency domain analysis of the data are presented and discussed. The evidence supports a single channel model for continuous dual-task control.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uba, Anselm

    1982-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. The Beneficial Effects of Additional Task Load, Positive Affect, and Instruction on the Attentional Blink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivers, Christian N. L.; Nieuwenhuis, Sander

    2006-01-01

    The attentional blink reflects the impaired ability to identify the 2nd of 2 targets presented in close succession--a phenomenon that is generally thought to reflect a fundamental cognitive limitation. However, the fundamental nature of this impairment has recently been called into question by the counterintuitive finding that task-irrelevant…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan B Engelmann

    2009-03-01

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

  8. Examining age-related differences in auditory attention control using a task-switching procedure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawo, Vera; Koch, Iring

    2014-03-01

    Using a novel task-switching variant of dichotic selective listening, we examined age-related differences in the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention between 2 speakers defined by their sex. In our task, young (M age = 23.2 years) and older adults (M age = 66.6 years) performed a numerical size categorization on spoken number words. The task-relevant speaker was indicated by a cue prior to auditory stimulus onset. The cuing interval was either short or long and varied randomly trial by trial. We found clear performance costs with instructed attention switches. These auditory attention switch costs decreased with prolonged cue-stimulus interval. Older adults were generally much slower (but not more error prone) than young adults, but switching-related effects did not differ across age groups. These data suggest that the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention in a selective listening task is not compromised in healthy aging. We discuss the role of modality-specific factors in age-related differences.

  9. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noelle R Leonard

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 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.

  13. Stressing the feedback: attention and cardiac vagal tone during a cognitive stress task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azam, Muhammad Abid; Ritvo, Paul; Fashler, Samantha R; Katz, Joel

    2017-07-07

    The present study examined relationships among gaze behaviour and cardiac vagal tone using a novel stress-inducing task. Participants' (N = 40) eye movements and heart rate variability (HRV) were measured during an unsolvable computer-based task randomly presenting feedback of "Right" and "Wrong" answers distinctly onscreen after each trial. Subgroups were created on the basis of more frequent eye movements to the right ("Correct"-Attenders; n = 23) or wrong ("Incorrect"-Attenders; n = 17) areas onscreen. Correct-Attenders maintained HRV from baseline to the stress task. In contrast, Incorrect-Attenders spent significantly more time viewing "Wrong" feedback, exhibited a reduction in HRV during the stress condition (p attention to negative feedback ("Wrong") elicits perseverative stress and negative self-evaluations among university students. This study highlights the potential for studying attentional biases and emotional distress through combined measures of gaze behaviour and cardiac vagal tone.

  14. 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

  15. Text-speak processing and the sustained attention to response task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, James; Russell, Paul N; Dorahy, Martin J; Neumann, Ewald; Helton, William S

    2012-01-01

    We examined performance in a sustained attention to response task (SART) (Experiment 1) and a more traditionally formatted vigilance task (Experiment 2) using novel word stimuli (text-speak) and normally spelt words. This enabled us to address whether the SART is a better measure of sustained attention or of response strategy, and to investigate the cognitive demands of text-speak processing. In Experiment 1, 72 participants completed a subset (text-speak) and a word SART, as well as a self-reported text experience questionnaire. Those who reported more proficiency and experience with text-speak made more errors on the subset SART, but this appeared to be due to their increase in response speed. This did not occur in the word SART. In Experiment 2, 14 participants completed high No-Go, low-Go (more traditional response format) versions of these tasks to further investigate the cognitive demands of text-speak processing. Response latency increased over periods of watch only for the text-speak task, not for the word task. The results of Experiment 1 support the perspective that the SART is highly sensitive to response strategy, and the results of both experiments together indicate target detection tasks may be a novel way of investigating the cognitive demands of text-speak processing.

  16. 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 effects...

  17. Investigating the time course of tactile reflexive attention using a non-spatial discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Eleanor; Poliakoff, Ellen; Brown, Richard J

    2008-06-01

    Peripheral cues are thought to facilitate responses to stimuli presented at the same location because they lead to exogenous attention shifts. Facilitation has been observed in numerous studies of visual and auditory attention, but there have been only four demonstrations of tactile facilitation, all in studies with potential confounds. Three studies used a spatial (finger versus thumb) discrimination task, where the cue could have provided a spatial framework that might have assisted the discrimination of subsequent targets presented on the same side as the cue. The final study circumvented this problem by using a non-spatial discrimination; however, the cues were informative and interspersed with visual cues which may have affected the attentional effects observed. In the current study, therefore, we used a non-spatial tactile frequency discrimination task following a non-informative tactile white noise cue. When the target was presented 150 ms after the cue, we observed faster discrimination responses to targets presented on the same side compared to the opposite side as the cue; by 1000 ms, responses were significantly faster to targets presented on the opposite side to the cue. Thus, we demonstrated that tactile attentional facilitation can be observed in a non-spatial discrimination task, under unimodal conditions and with entirely non-predictive cues. Furthermore, we provide the first demonstration of significant tactile facilitation and tactile inhibition of return within a single experiment.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Effect of attention division on movement detection and execution in dual-task conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Farina, Dario

    2017-01-01

    the number of sequences of special tones (dual task level). EEG signals were recorded from nine channels centered on Cz. Analysis of event-related potential (ERP) signals from Cz confirmed that the oddball task decreased the attention to the ankle dorsiflexion significantly. Furthermore, movement......-related cortical potential (MRCP) analysis revealed that the amplitude of the MRCP and pre-movement slopes were changed significantly. These variations were significantly greater for the EEG channels corresponding to the motor cortex and the frontal-central cortex....

  1. The relationship between bilingualism and selective attention in young adults: Evidence from an ambiguous figures task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung-Fat-Yim, Ashley; Sorge, Geoff B; Bialystok, Ellen

    2017-03-01

    Previous research has shown that bilinguals outperform monolinguals on a variety of tasks that have been described as involving executive functioning, but the precise mechanism for those effects or a clear definition for "executive function" is unknown. This uncertainty has led to a number of studies for which no performance difference between monolingual and bilingual adults has been detected. One approach to clarifying these issues comes from research with children showing that bilinguals were more able than their monolingual peers to perceive both interpretations of an ambiguous figure, an ability that is more tied to a conception of selective attention than to specific components of executive function. The present study extends this notion to adults by assessing their ability to see the alternative image in an ambiguous figure. Bilinguals performed this task more efficiently than monolinguals by requiring fewer cues to identify the second image. This finding has implications for the role of selective attention in performance differences between monolinguals and bilinguals.

  2. Social attention in a virtual public speaking task in higher functioning children with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrold, William; Mundy, Peter; Gwaltney, Mary; Bailenson, Jeremy; Hatt, Naomi; McIntyre, Nancy; Kim, Kwanguk; Solomon, Marjorie; Novotny, Stephanie; Swain, Lindsay

    2013-10-01

    Impairments in social attention play a major role in autism, but little is known about their role in development after preschool. In this study, a public speaking task was used to study social attention, its moderators, and its association with classroom learning in elementary and secondary students with higher functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). Thirty-seven students with HFASD and 54 age- and intelligence quotient (IQ)-matched peers without symptoms of ASD were assessed in a virtual classroom public speaking paradigm. This paradigm assessed the ability to attend to nine avatar peers seated at a table, while simultaneously answering self-referenced questions. Students with HFASD looked less frequently to avatar peers in the classroom while talking. However, social attention was moderated in the HFASD sample such that students with lower IQ, and/or more symptoms of social anxiety, and/or more attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder inattentive symptoms, displayed more atypical social attention. Group differences were more pronounced when the classroom contained social avatars versus nonsocial targets. Moreover, measures of social attention rather than nonsocial attention were significantly associated with parent report and objective measures of learning in the classroom. The data in this study support the hypothesis of the Social Attention Model of ASD that social attention disturbance remains part of the school-aged phenotype of autism that is related to syndrome-specific problems in social learning. More research of this kind would likely contribute to advances in the understanding of the development of the spectrum of autism and educational intervention approaches for affected school-aged children. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Feature-selective Attention in Frontoparietal Cortex: Multivoxel Codes Adjust to Prioritize Task-relevant Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jade; Rich, Anina N; Williams, Mark A; Woolgar, Alexandra

    2017-02-01

    Human cognition is characterized by astounding flexibility, enabling us to select appropriate information according to the objectives of our current task. A circuit of frontal and parietal brain regions, often referred to as the frontoparietal attention network or multiple-demand (MD) regions, are believed to play a fundamental role in this flexibility. There is evidence that these regions dynamically adjust their responses to selectively process information that is currently relevant for behavior, as proposed by the "adaptive coding hypothesis" [Duncan, J. An adaptive coding model of neural function in prefrontal cortex. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2, 820-829, 2001]. Could this provide a neural mechanism for feature-selective attention, the process by which we preferentially process one feature of a stimulus over another? We used multivariate pattern analysis of fMRI data during a perceptually challenging categorization task to investigate whether the representation of visual object features in the MD regions flexibly adjusts according to task relevance. Participants were trained to categorize visually similar novel objects along two orthogonal stimulus dimensions (length/orientation) and performed short alternating blocks in which only one of these dimensions was relevant. We found that multivoxel patterns of activation in the MD regions encoded the task-relevant distinctions more strongly than the task-irrelevant distinctions: The MD regions discriminated between stimuli of different lengths when length was relevant and between the same objects according to orientation when orientation was relevant. The data suggest a flexible neural system that adjusts its representation of visual objects to preferentially encode stimulus features that are currently relevant for behavior, providing a neural mechanism for feature-selective attention.

  4. 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.

  5. 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....

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:26539137

  8. Social Attention in a Virtual Public Speaking Task in Higher Functioning Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrold, William; Mundy, Peter; Gwaltney, Mary; Bailenson, Jeremy; Hatt, Naomi; McIntyre, Nancy; Kim, Kwanguk; Solomon, Marjorie; Novotny, Stephanie; Swain, Lindsay

    2013-01-01

    Background Impairments in social attention play a major role in autism, but little is known about their role in development after preschool. In this study a public speaking task was used to study social attention, its moderators, and its association with classroom learning in elementary and secondary students with higher functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD). Method Thirty-seven students with HFASD and 54 age and IQ-matched peers without symptoms of ASD were assessed in a virtual classroom public speaking paradigm. This paradigm assessed the ability to attend to 9 avatar peers seated at a table, while simultaneously answering self-referenced questions. Results Students with HFASD looked less frequently to avatar peers in the classroom while talking. However, social attention was moderated in the HFASD sample such that students with lower IQ, and/or more symptoms of social anxiety, and/or more ADHD Inattentive symptoms, displayed more atypical social attention. Group differences were more pronounced when the classroom contained social avatars versus non-social targets. Moreover, measures of social attention rather than non-social attention were significantly associated with parent report and objective measures of learning in the classroom. Conclusions The data in this study supports the hypothesis of the Social Attention Model of ASD that social attention disturbance remains part of the school-aged phenotype of autism that is related to syndrome specific problems in social learning. More research of this kind would likely contribute to advances in the understanding of the development of autism and educational intervention approaches for affected school-aged children. PMID:23696132

  9. Concurrent deployment of visual attention and response selection bottleneck in a dual-task: Electrophysiological and behavioural evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimer, Christina B; Strobach, Tilo; Schubert, Torsten

    2017-12-01

    Visual attention and response selection are limited in capacity. Here, we investigated whether visual attention requires the same bottleneck mechanism as response selection in a dual-task of the psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm. The dual-task consisted of an auditory two-choice discrimination Task 1 and a conjunction search Task 2, which were presented at variable temporal intervals (stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA). In conjunction search, visual attention is required to select items and to bind their features resulting in a serial search process around the items in the search display (i.e., set size). We measured the reaction time of the visual search task (RT2) and the N2pc, an event-related potential (ERP), which reflects lateralized visual attention processes. If the response selection processes in Task 1 influence the visual attention processes in Task 2, N2pc latency and amplitude would be delayed and attenuated at short SOA compared to long SOA. The results, however, showed that latency and amplitude were independent of SOA, indicating that visual attention was concurrently deployed to response selection. Moreover, the RT2 analysis revealed an underadditive interaction of SOA and set size. We concluded that visual attention does not require the same bottleneck mechanism as response selection in dual-tasks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Increased visual task difficulty enhances attentional capture by both visual and auditory distractor stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugimoto, Fumie; Katayama, Jun'ichi

    2017-06-01

    Previous studies using a three-stimulus oddball task have shown the amplitude of P3a elicited by distractor stimuli increases when perceptual discrimination between standard and target stimuli becomes difficult. This means that the attentional capture by the distractor stimuli is enhanced along with an increase in task difficulty. So far, the increase of P3a has been reported when standard, target, and distractor stimuli were presented within one sensory modality (i.e., visual or auditory). In the present study, we further investigated whether or not the increase of P3a can also be observed when the distractor stimuli are presented in a different modality from the standard and target stimuli. Twelve participants performed a three-stimulus oddball task in which they were required to discriminate between visual standard and target stimuli. As the distractor stimuli, either another visual stimulus or an auditory stimulus was presented in separate blocks. Visual distractor stimuli elicited P3a, and its amplitude increased when visual standard/target discrimination was difficult, replicating previous findings. Auditory distractor stimuli elicited P3a, and importantly, its amplitude also increased when visual standard/target discrimination was difficult. This result means that attentional capture by distractor stimuli can be enhanced even when the distractor stimuli are presented in a different modality from the standard and target stimuli. Possible mechanisms and implications are discussed in terms of the relative saliency of distractor stimuli, influences of temporal/spatial attention, and the load involved in a task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. A few of my favorite things: circumscribed interests in autism are not accompanied by increased attentional salience on a personalized selective attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Owen E; Bayliss, Andrew P; Remington, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Autistic individuals commonly show circumscribed or "special" interests: areas of obsessive interest in a specific category. The present study investigated what impact these interests have on attention, an aspect of autistic cognition often reported as altered. In neurotypical individuals, interest and expertise have been shown to result in an automatic attentional priority for related items. Here, we examine whether this change in salience is also seen in autism. Adolescents and young adults with and without autism performed a personalized selective attention task assessing the level of attentional priority afforded to images related to the participant's specific interests. In addition, participants performed a similar task with generic images in order to isolate any effects of interest and expertise. Crucially, all autistic and non-autistic individuals recruited for this study held a strong passion or interest. As such, any differences in attention could not be solely attributed to differing prevalence of interests in the two groups. In both tasks, participants were asked to perform a central target-detection task while ignoring irrelevant distractors (related or unrelated to their interests). The level of distractor interference under various task conditions was taken as an indication of attentional priority. Neurotypical individuals showed the predicted attentional priority for the circumscribed interest images but not generic items, reflecting the impact of their interest and expertise. Contrary to predictions, autistic individuals did not show this priority: processing the interest-related stimuli only when task demands were low. Attention to images unrelated to circumscribed interests was equivalent in the two groups. These results suggest that despite autistic individuals holding an intense interest in a particular class of stimuli, there may be a reduced impact of this prior experience and expertise on attentional processing. The implications of this

  13. Acute alcohol effects on set-shifting and its moderation by baseline individual differences: a latent variable analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korucuoglu, Ozlem; Sher, Kenneth J; Wood, Phillip K; Saults, John Scott; Altamirano, Lee; Miyake, Akira; Bartholow, Bruce D

    2017-03-01

    To compare the acute effects of alcohol on set-shifting task performance (relative to sober baseline performance) during ascending and descending limb breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), as well as possible moderation of these effects by baseline individual differences. Shifting performance was tested during an initial baseline and a subsequent drinking session, during which participants were assigned randomly to one of three beverage conditions (alcohol, placebo or control) and one of two BrAC limb conditions [ascending and descending (A/D) or descending-only (D-only)]. A human experimental laboratory on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, MO, USA. A total of 222 moderate-drinking adults (ages 21-30 years) recruited from Columbia, MO and tested between 2010 and 2013. The outcome measure was performance on set-shifting tasks under the different beverage and limb conditions. Shifting performance assessed at baseline was a key moderator. Although performance improved across sessions, this improvement was reduced in the alcohol compared with no-alcohol groups (post-drink latent mean comparison across groups, all Ps ≤ 0.05), and this effect was more pronounced in individuals with lower pre-drink performance (comparison of pre- to post-drink path coefficients across groups, all Ps ≤ 0.05). In the alcohol group, performance was better on descending compared with ascending limb (P ≤ 0.001), but descending limb performance did not differ across the A/D and D-only groups. Practising tasks before drinking moderates the acute effects of alcohol on the ability to switch between tasks. Greater impairment in shifting ability on descending compared with ascending breath alcohol concentration is not related to task practice. © 2016 Society for the Study of Addiction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, C M; Caballero-Puntiverio, M; Gether, U; Habekost, T; Bundesen, C; Vangkilde, S; Woldbye, D P D; Andreasen, J T; Petersen, A

    2017-03-01

    The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) is widely used to measure rodent attentional functions. In humans, many attention studies in healthy and clinical populations have used testing based on Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) to estimate visual processing speeds and other parameters of attentional capacity. We aimed to bridge these research fields by modifying the 5-CSRTT's design and by mathematically modelling data to derive attentional parameters analogous to human TVA-based measures. C57BL/6 mice were tested in two 1-h sessions on consecutive days with a version of the 5-CSRTT where stimulus duration (SD) probe length was varied based on information from previous TVA studies. Thereafter, a scopolamine hydrobromide (HBr; 0.125 or 0.25 mg/kg) pharmacological challenge was undertaken, using a Latin square design. Mean score values were modelled using a new three-parameter version of TVA to obtain estimates of visual processing speeds, visual thresholds and motor response baselines in each mouse. The parameter estimates for each animal were reliable across sessions, showing that the data were stable enough to support analysis on an individual level. Scopolamine HBr dose-dependently reduced 5-CSRTT attentional performance while also increasing reward collection latency at the highest dose. Upon TVA modelling, scopolamine HBr significantly reduced visual processing speed at both doses, while having less pronounced effects on visual thresholds and motor response baselines. This study shows for the first time how 5-CSRTT performance in mice can be mathematically modelled to yield estimates of attentional capacity that are directly comparable to estimates from human studies.

  15. Attentional demands of movement observation as tested by a dual task approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saucedo Marquez, Cinthia M; Ceux, Tanja; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Movement observation (MO) has been shown to activate the motor cortex of the observer as indicated by an increase of corticomotor excitability for muscles involved in the observed actions. Moreover, behavioral work has strongly suggested that this process occurs in a near-automatic manner. Here we further tested this proposal by applying transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) when subjects observed how an actor lifted objects of different weights as a single or a dual task. The secondary task was either an auditory discrimination task (experiment 1) or a visual discrimination task (experiment 2). In experiment 1, we found that corticomotor excitability reflected the force requirements indicated in the observed movies (i.e. higher responses when the actor had to apply higher forces). Interestingly, this effect was found irrespective of whether MO was performed as a single or a dual task. By contrast, no such systematic modulations of corticomotor excitability were observed in experiment 2 when visual distracters were present. We conclude that interference effects might arise when MO is performed while competing visual stimuli are present. However, when a secondary task is situated in a different modality, neural responses are in line with the notion that the observers motor system responds in a near-automatic manner. This suggests that MO is a task with very low cognitive demands which might be a valuable supplement for rehabilitation training, particularly, in the acute phase after the incident or in patients suffering from attention deficits. However, it is important to keep in mind that visual distracters might interfere with the neural response in M1.

  16. Relations between emotion, memory, and attention: evidence from taboo stroop, lexical decision, and immediate memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKay, Donald G; Shafto, Meredith; Taylor, Jennifer K; Marian, Diane E; Abrams, Lise; Dyer, Jennifer R

    2004-04-01

    This article reports five experiments demonstrating theoretically coherent effects of emotion on memory and attention. Experiments 1-3 demonstrated three taboo Stroop effects that occur when people name the color of taboo words. One effect is longer color-naming times for taboo than for neutral words, an effect that diminishes with word repetition. The second effect is superior recall of taboo words in surprise memory tests following color naming. The third effect is better recognition memory for colors consistently associated with taboo words rather than with neutral words. None of these effects was due to retrieval factors, attentional disengagement processes, response inhibition, or strategic attention shifts. Experiments 4 and 5 demonstrated that taboo words impair immediate recall of the preceding and succeeding words in rapidly presented lists but do not impair lexical decision times. We argue that taboo words trigger specific emotional reactions that facilitate the binding of taboo word meaning to salient contextual aspects, such as occurrence in a task and font color in taboo Stroop tasks.

  17. Effect of dual-attention task on attack and defensive actions in fencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Davila, Marcos; Rojas, F Javier; Gutiérrez-Cruz, Carmen; Navarro, Enrique

    2017-09-01

    The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect that the presence of two stimuli that require two different responses (dual-attention) has both, on offensive reaction-response time to a light stimulus, and on defensive response time when the stimulus is a real fencing attack. Twenty-five elite fencers and a fencing master were included in the study. The equipment included four force plates adapted to a scaffold that served as a fencing piste. Two force plates were placed, at the start position, under the fencer's feet and another two plates were placed under the master's feet. The results demonstrate that choice reaction time to visual stimuli increases in dual-task conditions with respect to simple reaction time, whereas the mean horizontal force tends to decrease in dual-task. However, when the stimulus was an opponent's movement, dual-task conditions did not have any effect on the time required to initiate a defensive action. The changes in reaction time when real movements were used as stimuli challenge the validity of the reaction time to visual stimuli paradigm as a predictor of performance in fencing. Also, the results obtained demonstrate that perceptual and attentional processes play a major role in fencer performance in real competition.

  18. Differential effects of a visuospatial attention task on measures of postural control in young and older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jeffrey J; Keenan, Kevin G

    2017-12-18

    The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of a visuospatial attention task on three measures of postural control in young and older adults. 20 young (19-36  years) and 20 older (67-91 years) adults performed a choice stepping response time (CSRT) task, a submaximal dorsiflexion force steadiness task, and quiet standing in 3 bilateral stances. All tasks were performed with and without a visuospatial (VS) attention task that involved visualizing a star moving within a 2 × 2 grid. CSRT increased with the addition of the VS task in both groups (p  older adults than young adults (p Older adults were less steady while performing the dorsiflexion task with the VS task (p  adults (p = .235). Performance during quiet standing was not influenced by the VS task in any stance (p  > .084). The findings suggest that visuospatial attention differentially affects postural control in young and older adults and the effect is task-specific. These findings suggest the need to include stepping and force control tasks to further determine what role visuospatial attention plays in postural control. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Negative Affect during a Collective (but Not an Individual Task Is Associated with Holistic Attention in East Asian Cultural Context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hitoshi Tominaga

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have suggested that individuals from East Asian cultures are more likely to show holistic attention—a pattern of attention that incorporates contextual information into focal stimuli—than individuals from North American cultures. Holistic attention is also prevalent in communities that require close cooperation. However, it is not yet known how cooperation is related to holistic attention. We theorized that holistic attention increases when people experience negative affect (e.g., worry, sadness, and frustration during collective tasks (but not during individual tasks because negative affect in social contexts signals the existence of potential threats to social harmony, thus indicating a need to restore social harmony. To examine this hypothesis, an experiment was conducted in which participants performed a musical duet either with another participant (a collective task requiring cooperation, or individually with a computer (an individual task. After the musical task, the Framed Line Task (FLT was administered to examine their holistic attention. Participants also reported their emotional states both before and after the music task. Results suggested that negative affect in the collective task—but not the individual task—was positively correlated with a holistic pattern of attention. The function of negative affect in social contexts as motivation to restore relationships and how this enhances holistic attention is discussed. The moderating effect of social context on the link between negative affect and cognition is also discussed.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

  1. Attentional biases in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD): Eye-tracking using the emotional Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toh, Wei Lin; Castle, David J; Rossell, Susan L

    2017-04-01

    Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterised by repetitive behaviours and/or mental acts occurring in response to preoccupations with perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance. This study aimed to examine attentional biases in BDD via the emotional Stroop task with two modifications: i) incorporating an eye-tracking paradigm, and ii) employing an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) control group. Twenty-one BDD, 19 OCD and 21 HC participants, who were age-, sex-, and IQ-matched, were included. A card version of the emotional Stroop task was employed based on seven 10-word lists: (i) BDD-positive, (ii) BDD-negative, (iii) OCD-checking, (iv) OCD-washing, (v) general positive, (vi) general threat, and (vii) neutral (as baseline). Participants were asked to read aloud words and word colours consecutively, thereby yielding accuracy and latency scores. Eye-tracking parameters were also measured. Participants with BDD exhibited significant Stroop interference for BDD-negative words relative to HC participants, as shown by extended colour-naming latencies. In contrast, the OCD group did not exhibit Stroop interference for OCD-related nor general threat words. Only mild eye-tracking anomalies were uncovered in clinical groups. Inspection of individual scanning styles and fixation heat maps however revealed that viewing strategies adopted by clinical groups were generally disorganised, with avoidance of certain disorder-relevant words and considerable visual attention devoted to non-salient card regions. The operation of attentional biases to negative disorder-specific words was corroborated in BDD. Future replication studies using other paradigms are vital, given potential ambiguities inherent in emotional Stroop task interpretation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The time course of semantic and associative priming effects is different in an attentional blink task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Karen; Hunt, Hayley

    2013-08-01

    When two targets are presented using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) and the interval between the targets is 200-500 ms, report of the second target is impaired, a phenomena known as the attentional blink (AB). This study examined the time course of semantic-only and associate-semantic priming effects during an AB task. Three RSVP experiments were conducted using targets that shared either a semantic-only or an associative-semantic relationship. The results of the three experiments demonstrated semantic-only priming effects at the shortest stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). Associative-semantic priming was evident at shorter and longer SOAs. This suggests that priming in an AB task is driven by conceptual overlap facilitating lexical access at short SOAs and with longer SOAs lexical access benefits from word associations links between targets.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Attentional biases using the body in the crowd task: are angry body postures detected more rapidly?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Tracy; Martin, Rachael; Coulson, Mark

    2011-06-01

    Research using schematic faces has consistently demonstrated attentional biases towards threatening information (angry faces), which are accentuated for individuals with higher levels of anxiety. However, research has yet to reveal whether this is the case for other nonverbal channels of communication. In the research reported here, ninety-five undergraduates completed a body in the crowd task analogous to the face in the crowd task, to examine whether attentional biases for threat existed for schematic body postures. Participants demonstrated faster detection of threat. A discrepant angry posture in a neutral crowd was identified quicker than a discrepant happy posture in a neutral crowd. This effect was pronounced for individuals with higher self-reported levels of trait anxiety. Results also demonstrated evidence of delayed disengagement from threat. Individuals were slower (i.e., more distracted) by identical crowds of angry postures rather than happy or neutral crowds and were slower to detect a discrepant neutral posture among an angry crowd than neutral among a happy crowd. These findings are the first to establish threat biases using body postures in a visual search paradigm. The results are in accordance with previous research using schematic face stimuli. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

  6. Sustained attention is associated with error processing impairment: evidence from mental fatigue study in four-choice reaction time task

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Xiao, Yi; Ma, Feng; Lv, Yixuan; Cai, Gui; Teng, Peng; Xu, FengGang; Chen, Shanguang

    2015-01-01

    .... In this study, we examined how error-related negativity (ERN) of a four-choice reaction time task was reduced in the mental fatigue condition and investigated the role of sustained attention in error processing...

  7. Neuropsychological Characteristics of Right Hemisphere Damage: Investigation by Attention Tests, Concept Formation and Change Test, and Self-evaluation Task

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    水野, 雅文

    1991-01-01

    Neuropsychological characteristics of right (non-dominant) hemisphere damage were investigated by attention tests, a concept formation and change test, and a self-evaluation task on a total of 126 brain damaged subjects...

  8. Intrinsic motivation and attentional capture from gamelike features in a visual search task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Andrew T; Palmer, Evan M

    2014-03-01

    In psychology research studies, the goals of the experimenter and the goals of the participants often do not align. Researchers are interested in having participants who take the experimental task seriously, whereas participants are interested in earning their incentive (e.g., money or course credit) as quickly as possible. Creating experimental methods that are pleasant for participants and that reward them for effortful and accurate data generation, while not compromising the scientific integrity of the experiment, would benefit both experimenters and participants alike. Here, we explored a gamelike system of points and sound effects that rewarded participants for fast and accurate responses. We measured participant engagement at both cognitive and perceptual levels and found that the point system (which invoked subtle, anonymous social competition between participants) led to positive intrinsic motivation, while the sound effects (which were pleasant and arousing) led to attentional capture for rewarded colors. In a visual search task, points were awarded after each trial for fast and accurate responses, accompanied by short, pleasant sound effects. We adapted a paradigm from Anderson, Laurent, and Yantis (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(25):10367-10371, 2011b), in which participants completed a training phase during which red and green targets were probabilistically associated with reward (a point bonus multiplier). During a test phase, no points or sounds were delivered, color was irrelevant to the task, and previously rewarded targets were sometimes presented as distractors. Significantly longer response times on trials in which previously rewarded colors were present demonstrated attentional capture, and positive responses to a five-question intrinsic-motivation scale demonstrated participant engagement.

  9. An Individual Differences Approach to Temporal Integration and Order Reversals in the Attentional Blink Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willems, Charlotte; Saija, Jefta D; Akyürek, Elkan G; Martens, Sander

    2016-01-01

    The reduced ability to identify a second target when it is presented in close temporal succession of a first target is called the attentional blink (AB). Studies have shown large individual differences in AB task performance, where lower task performance has been associated with more reversed order reports of both targets if these were presented in direct succession. In order to study the suggestion that reversed order reports reflect loss of temporal information, in the current study, we investigated whether individuals with a larger AB have a higher tendency to temporally integrate both targets into one visual event by using an AB paradigm containing symbol target stimuli. Indeed, we found a positive relation between the tendency to temporally integrate information and individual AB magnitude. In contrast to earlier work, we found no relation between order reversals and individual AB magnitude. The occurrence of temporal integration was negatively related to the number of order reversals, indicating that individuals either integrated or separated and reversed information. We conclude that individuals with better AB task performance use a shorter time window to integrate information, and therefore have higher preservation of temporal information. Furthermore, order reversals observed in paradigms with alphanumeric targets indeed seem to at least partially reflect temporal integration of both targets. Given the negative relation between temporal integration and 'true' order reversals observed with the current symbolic target set, these two behavioral outcomes seem to be two sides of the same coin.

  10. Trait self-focused attention, task difficulty, and effort-related cardiovascular reactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvia, Paul J; Jones, Hannah C; Kelly, Casey S; Zibaie, Alireza

    2011-03-01

    Using motivational intensity theory as a framework, the present experiment examined how individual differences in self-focused attention interact with task difficulty to predict effort, assessed via cardiovascular reactivity. Participants (n = 50) worked on a cognitive task fixed at an easy, medium, or hard level of difficulty, and individual differences in private self-consciousness and self-reflection were measured. Regression models indicated that trait self-focus interacted with task difficulty to predict cardiovascular reactivity, particularly systolic blood pressure (SBP) reactivity. Participants low and high in trait self-focus showed similar SBP reactivity in the easy and medium conditions, but they diverged in the hard condition: High trait focus was associated with higher SBP reactivity, indicating greater effort, whereas low trait self-focus was associated with low SBP reactivity, indicating disengagement. The findings thus support the motivational intensity approach to effort and its interpretation of self-focus's role in effort mobilization. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Differential sensitivity to psychostimulants across prefrontal cognitive tasks: differential involvement of noradrenergic α₁ - and α₂-receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berridge, Craig W; Shumsky, Jed S; Andrzejewski, Matt E; McGaughy, Jill A; Spencer, Robert C; Devilbiss, David M; Waterhouse, Barry D

    2012-03-01

    Psychostimulants improve a variety of cognitive and behavioral processes in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Limited observations suggest a potentially different dose-sensitivity of prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent function (narrow inverted-U-shaped dose-response curves) versus classroom/overt behavior (broad inverted U) in children with ADHD. Recent work in rodents demonstrates that methylphenidate (MPH; Ritalin) elicits a narrow inverted-U-shaped improvement in performance in PFC-dependent tests of working memory. The current studies first tested the hypothesis that PFC-dependent tasks, in general, display narrow dose sensitivity to the beneficial actions of MPH. The effects of varying doses of MPH were examined on performance of rats in two tests of PFC-dependent cognition, sustained attention and attentional set shifting. Additionally, the effect of pretreatment with the α₁-antagonist prazosin (.5 mg/kg) on MPH-induced improvement in sustained attention was examined. MPH produced a broad inverted-U-shaped facilitation of sustained attention and attentional set shifting. Prior research indicates α₁-receptors impair, whereas α₂-receptors improve, working memory. In contrast, attentional set shifting is improved with α₁-receptor activation, whereas α₂-receptors exert minimal effects in this task. Given the similar dose sensitivity of sustained attention and attentional set-shifting tasks, additional studies examined whether α₁-receptors promote sustained attention, similar to attentional set shifting. In these studies, MPH-induced improvement in sustained attention was abolished by α₁-receptor blockade. PFC-dependent processes display differential sensitivity to the cognition-enhancing actions of psychostimulants that are linked to the differential involvement of α₁- versus α₂-receptors in these processes. These observations have significant preclinical and clinical implications.

  12. Differential Sensitivity to Psychostimulants Across Prefrontal Cognitive Tasks: Differential Involvement of Noradrenergic α1- and α2-Receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berridge, Craig W.; Shumsky, Jed S.; Andrzejewski, Matt E.; McGaughy, Jill A.; Spencer, Robert C.; Devilbiss, David M.; Waterhouse, Barry D.

    2011-01-01

    Background Psychostimulants improve a variety of cognitive/behavioral processes in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Limited observations suggest a potentially different dose-sensitivity of prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent function (narrow inverted-U-shaped dose-response curves) vs. classroom/overt behavior (broad inverted-U) in children with ADHD. Recent work in rodents observed that methylphenidate (MPH; Ritalin®) elicits a narrow inverted-U shaped improvement in performance in PFC-dependent tests of working memory. The current studies first tested the hypothesis that PFC-dependent tasks, in general, display narrow dose sensitivity to the beneficial actions of MPH. Methods The effects of varying doses of MPH were examined on performance of rats in two tests of PFC-dependent cognition, sustained attention and attentional set shifting. Additionally, the effect of pretreatment with the α1-antagonist, prazosin (0.5 mg/kg), on MPH-induced improvement in sustained attention was examined. Results MPH produced a broad inverted-U-shaped facilitation of sustained attention and attentional set shifting. Prior research indicates α1-receptors impair, while α2-receptors improve, working memory. In contrast, attentional set shifting is improved with α1-receptor activation, while α2-receptors exert minimal effects in this task. Given the similar dose sensitivity of sustained attention and attentional set shifting tasks, additional studies examined whether α1-receptors promote sustained attention, similar to attentional set shifting. In these studies MPH-induced improvement in sustained attention was abolished by α1-receptor blockade. Conclusions PFC-dependent processes display differential sensitivity to the cognition-enhancing actions of psychostimulants that are linked to the differential involvement of α1- vs. α2-receptors in these processes. These observations have significant preclinical and clinical implications. PMID:21890109

  13. Using Activity Schedules to Increase On-Task Behavior in Children at Risk for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirelli, Christe A.; Sidener, Tina M.; Reeve, Kenneth F.; Reeve, Sharon A.

    2016-01-01

    The effects of activity schedules on on-task and on-schedule behavior were assessed with two boys at risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and referred by their public school teachers as having difficulty during independent work time. On-task behavior increased for both participants after two training sessions. Teachers, peers,…

  14. 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…

  15. Is performance on probed serial recall tasks in schizophrenia related to duration of Attentional Blink?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David P. McAllindon

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is associated with a deficit in working memory, with the degree of working memory impairment related to the level of social and occupational functioning. This study tests the hypothesis that the working memory deficits in individuals with schizophrenia can be explained by slow processing of visual stimuli, as measured by the attentional blink (AB task. Individuals with schizophrenia (SC and controls (HC were recruited from an early intervention service for psychosis and the local community. Data from 16 SC (11M/5F, mean = 26.4 yo and 20 age-matched HC (11M/9F, mean = 25.8 yo were analyzed. Each subject performed an AB task to determine their AB duration, defined as the lag to reach their plateau performance (ltpp. As expected, mean AB duration in the SC group (575 ms was significantly slower than HC (460 ms; p = 0.007. Recall accuracy of the SC group on a working memory task, a 6-item probed serial recall task (PSR, was reduced compared to the HC group at a standard interstimulus interval (ISI (p = 0.002. When the individual's AB duration was then used to adjust the ISI on the PSR task to three relative ISI rates (Slow (2 × ltpp, Medium (ltpp and Fast (1/2 × ltpp, performance on the PSR task was affected by group, position and ISI and qualified by an ISI ∗ position (p = 0.001 and a trend to a triple interaction (p = 0.054. There was main effect of group at all ISIs, but group ∗ position interaction only at Slow ISI (p = 0.01. Our interpretation of the results is that absolute ISI, rather than ISI relative to AB duration, affected performance.

  16. The influences of task repetition, napping, time of day, and instruction on the Sustained Attention to Response Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schie, Mojca K M; Alblas, Eva E; Thijs, Roland D; Fronczek, Rolf; Lammers, Gert Jan; van Dijk, J Gert

    2014-01-01

    The Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) helps to quantify vigilance impairments.Previous studies, in which five SART sessions on one day were administered, demonstrated worse performance during the first session than during the others. The present study comprises two experiments to identify a cause of this phenomenon. Experiment 1, counting eighty healthy participants, assessed effects of repetition,napping, and time of day on SART performance through a between-groups design. The SART was performed twice in the morning or twice in the afternoon; half of the participants took a 20-minute nap before the second SART. A strong correlation between error count and reaction time (RT) suggested effects of test instruction. Participants gave equal weight to speed and accuracy in Experiment 1; therefore, results of 20 participants were compared to those of 20 additional participants who were told to prefer accuracy (Experiment 2). The average SART error count in Experiment 1 was 10.1; the median RT was 280 ms. Neither repetition nor napping influenced error count or RT. Time of day did not influence error count, but RT was significantly longer for morning than for afternoon SARTs. The additional participants in Experiment 2 had a 49% lower error count and a 14% higher RT than the participants in Experiment 1. Error counts reduced by 50% from the first to the second session of Experiment 2, irrespective of napping or time of day. Preferring accuracy over speed was associated with a significantly lower error count. The data suggest that a worse performance in the first SART session only occurs when instructing participants to prefer accuracy, which is caused by repetition, not by napping or time of day. We advise that participants are instructed to prefer accuracy over speed when performing the SART and that a full practice session is included.

  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. Shared and disorder-specific task-positive and default mode network dysfunctions during sustained attention in paediatric Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and obsessive/compulsive disorder

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    Luke J. Norman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD share problems with sustained attention, and are proposed to share deficits in switching between default mode and task positive networks. The aim of this study was to investigate shared and disorder-specific brain activation abnormalities during sustained attention in the two disorders. Twenty boys with ADHD, 20 boys with OCD and 20 age-matched healthy controls aged between 12 and 18 years completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI version of a parametrically modulated sustained attention task with a progressively increasing sustained attention load. Performance and brain activation were compared between groups. Only ADHD patients were impaired in performance. Group by sustained attention load interaction effects showed that OCD patients had disorder-specific middle anterior cingulate underactivation relative to controls and ADHD patients, while ADHD patients showed disorder-specific underactivation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex/dorsal inferior frontal gyrus (IFG. ADHD and OCD patients shared left insula/ventral IFG underactivation and increased activation in posterior default mode network relative to controls, but had disorder-specific overactivation in anterior default mode regions, in dorsal anterior cingulate for ADHD and in anterior ventromedial prefrontal cortex for OCD. In sum, ADHD and OCD patients showed mostly disorder-specific patterns of brain abnormalities in both task positive salience/ventral attention networks with lateral frontal deficits in ADHD and middle ACC deficits in OCD, as well as in their deactivation patterns in medial frontal DMN regions. The findings suggest that attention performance in the two disorders is underpinned by disorder-specific activation patterns.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2015-10-14

    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.

  1. Changes in attention to an emotional task after sleep deprivation: neurophysiological and behavioral findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfarra, Ramey; Fins, Ana I; Chayo, Isaac; Tartar, Jaime L

    2015-01-01

    While sleep loss is shown to have widespread effects on cognitive processes, little is known about the impact of sleep loss on emotion processes. In order to expand on previous behavioral and physiological findings on how sleep loss influences emotion processing, we administered positive, negative, and neutral affective visual stimuli to individuals after one night of sleep deprivation while simultaneously acquiring EEG event related potential (ERP) data and recording affective behavioral responses. We compared these responses to a baseline testing session. We specifically looked at the late positive potential (LPP) component of the visual ERP as an established sensitive measure of attention to emotionally-charged visual stimuli. Our results show that after sleep deprivation, the LPP no longer discriminates between emotional and non-emotional pictures; after sleep deprivation the LPP amplitude was of similar amplitude for neutral, positive, and negative pictures. This effect was driven by an increase in the LPP to neutral pictures. Our behavioral measures show that, relative to baseline testing, emotional pictures are rated as less emotional following sleep deprivation with a concomitant reduction in emotional picture-induced anxiety. We did not observe any change in cortisol concentrations after sleep deprivation before or after emotional picture exposure, suggesting that the observed changes in emotion processing are independent of potential stress effects of sleep deprivation. Combined, our findings suggest that sleep loss interferes with proper allocation of attention resources during an emotional task. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. Learning to react: anticipatory mechanisms in children and adults during a visuospatial attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perchet, C; Garcia-Larrea, L

    2005-08-01

    To investigate the mechanisms underlying age-related improvement in response times during forewarned motor tasks, using reaction times (RTs) and event-related potentials (ERPs) during a variant of the Posner paradigm. Children and adults reacted to visual targets preceded by a spatial cue. As expected, adults responded faster than children whatever the cue-target combination, but this advantage could not be explained by differences in attentional orienting to, or detection of, target stimuli. ERP differences between children and adults corresponded almost exclusively to the period preceding target stimuli, where adults, but not children, exhibited a slow negative wave that extended from the delivery of the cue to slightly beyond the presentation of the target. The timing, morphology and topography of this slow negativity corresponded to those of 'Contingent Negative Variation' and 'Readiness Potential' processes. We argue that the relative slowness of motor reactions in children during this task was not due to a deficit in spatial orienting or target evaluation, but rather to a failure in developing anticipatory and preparatory reactions in response to cues, i.e. a deficit in executive functions.

  4. 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.

  5. Toward the influence of temporal attention on the selection of targets in a visual search task: An ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolke, Bettina; Festl, Freya; Seibold, Verena C

    2016-11-01

    We used ERPs to investigate whether temporal attention interacts with spatial attention and feature-based attention to enhance visual processing. We presented a visual search display containing one singleton stimulus among a set of homogenous distractors. Participants were asked to respond only to target singletons of a particular color and shape that were presented in an attended spatial position. We manipulated temporal attention by presenting a warning signal before each search display and varying the foreperiod (FP) between the warning signal and the search display in a blocked manner. We observed distinctive ERP effects of both spatial and temporal attention. The amplitudes for the N2pc, SPCN, and P3 were enhanced by spatial attention indicating a processing benefit of relevant stimulus features at the attended side. Temporal attention accelerated stimulus processing; this was indexed by an earlier onset of the N2pc component and a reduction in reaction times to targets. Most importantly, temporal attention did not interact with spatial attention or stimulus features to influence visual processing. Taken together, the results suggest that temporal attention fosters visual perceptual processing in a visual search task independently from spatial attention and feature-based attention; this provides support for the nonspecific enhancement hypothesis of temporal attention. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kray, Jutta; Karbach, Julia; Haenig, Susann; Freitag, Christine

    2011-01-01

    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 (WM). 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 WM 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 WM, 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. 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.

  8. Target and distractor processing and the influence of load on the allocation of attention to task-irrelevant threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretherton, P M; Eysenck, M W; Richards, A; Holmes, A

    2017-09-09

    This study investigated the characteristics of two distinct mechanisms of attention - stimulus enhancement and stimulus suppression - using an event-related potential (ERP) approach. Across three experiments, participants viewed sparse visual search arrays containing one target and one distractor. The main results of Experiments 1 and 2 revealed that whereas neural signals for stimuli that are not inherently salient could be directly suppressed without prior attentional enhancement, this was not the case for stimuli with motivational relevance (human faces). Experiment 3 showed that as task difficulty increased, so did the need for suppression of distractor stimuli. It also showed the preferential attentional enhancement of angry over neutral distractor faces, but only under conditions of high task difficulty, suggesting that the effects of distractor valence on attention are greatest when there are fewer available resources for distractor processing. The implications of these findings are considered in relation to contemporary theories of attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Virtual environment to quantify the influence of colour stimuli on the performance of tasks requiring attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Alessandro P; Frère, Annie F

    2011-08-19

    Recent studies indicate that the blue-yellow colour discrimination is impaired in ADHD individuals. However, the relationship between colour and performance has not been investigated. This paper describes the development and the testing of a virtual environment that is capable to quantify the influence of red-green versus blue-yellow colour stimuli on the performance of people in a fun and interactive way, being appropriate for the target audience. An interactive computer game based on virtual reality was developed to evaluate the performance of the players.The game's storyline was based on the story of an old pirate who runs across islands and dangerous seas in search of a lost treasure. Within the game, the player must find and interpret the hints scattered in different scenarios. Two versions of this game were implemented. In the first, hints and information boards were painted using red and green colours. In the second version, these objects were painted using blue and yellow colours. For modelling, texturing, and animating virtual characters and objects the three-dimensional computer graphics tool Blender 3D was used. The textures were created with the GIMP editor to provide visual effects increasing the realism and immersion of the players. The games were tested on 20 non-ADHD volunteers who were divided into two subgroups (A1 and A2) and 20 volunteers with ADHD who were divided into subgroups B1 and B2. Subgroups A1 and B1 used the first version of the game with the hints painted in green-red colors, and subgroups A2 and B2 the second version using the same hints now painted in blue-yellow. The time spent to complete each task of the game was measured. Data analyzed with ANOVA two-way and posthoc TUKEY LSD showed that the use of blue/yellow instead of green/red colors decreased the game performance of all participants. However, a greater decrease in performance could be observed with ADHD participants where tasks, that require attention, were most affected

  11. Altered visual strategies and attention are related to increased force fluctuations during a pinch grip task in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keenan, Kevin G; Huddleston, Wendy E; Ernest, Bradley E

    2017-11-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine the visual strategies used by older adults during a pinch grip task and to assess the relations between visual strategy, deficits in attention, and increased force fluctuations in older adults. Eye movements of 23 older adults (>65 yr) were monitored during a low-force pinch grip task while subjects viewed three common visual feedback displays. Performance on the Grooved Pegboard test and an attention task (which required no concurrent hand movements) was also measured. Visual strategies varied across subjects and depended on the type of visual feedback provided to the subjects. First, while viewing a high-gain compensatory feedback display (horizontal bar moving up and down with force), 9 of 23 older subjects adopted a strategy of performing saccades during the task, which resulted in 2.5 times greater force fluctuations in those that exhibited saccades compared with those who maintained fixation near the target line. Second, during pursuit feedback displays (force trace moving left to right across screen and up and down with force), all subjects exhibited multiple saccades, and increased force fluctuations were associated (rs = 0.6; P = 0.002) with fewer saccades during the pursuit task. Also, decreased low-frequency (attention z scores. Comparison of these results with our previously published results in young subjects indicates that saccadic eye movements and attention are related to force control in older adults.NEW & NOTEWORTHY The significant contributions of the study are the addition of eye movement data and an attention task to explain differences in hand motor control across different visual displays in older adults. Older participants used different visual strategies across varying feedback displays, and saccadic eye movements were related with motor performance. In addition, those older individuals with deficits in attention had impaired motor performance on two different hand motor control tasks, including the

  12. Effects of an attention demanding task on dynamic stability during treadmill walking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy Karen L

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background People exhibit increased difficulty balancing when they perform secondary attention-distracting tasks while walking. However, a previous study by Grabiner and Troy (J. Neuroengineering Rehabil., 2005 found that young healthy subjects performing a concurrent Stroop task while walking on a motorized treadmill exhibited decreased step width variability. However, measures of variability do not directly quantify how a system responds to perturbations. This study re-analyzed data from Grabiner and Troy 2005 to determine if performing the concurrent Stroop task directly affected the dynamic stability of walking in these same subjects. Methods Thirteen healthy volunteers walked on a motorized treadmill at their self-selected constant speed for 10 minutes both while performing the Stroop test and during undisturbed walking. This Stroop test consisted of projecting images of the name of one color, printed in text of a different color, onto a wall and asking subjects to verbally identify the color of the text. Three-dimensional motions of a marker attached to the base of the neck (C5/T1 were recorded. Marker velocities were calculated over 3 equal intervals of 200 sec each in each direction. Mean variability was calculated for each time series as the average standard deviation across all strides. Both "local" and "orbital" dynamic stability were quantified for each time series using previously established methods. These measures directly quantify how quickly small perturbations grow or decay, either continuously in real time (local or discretely from one cycle to the next (orbital. Differences between Stroop and Control trials were evaluated using a 2-factor repeated measures ANOVA. Results Mean variability of trunk movements was significantly reduced during the Stroop tests compared to normal walking. Conversely, local and orbital stability results were mixed: some measures showed slight increases, while others showed slight decreases

  13. Continuous Cognitive Task Promotes Greater Postural Stability than an Internal or External Focus of Attention in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richer, Natalie; Polskaia, Nadia; Lajoie, Yves

    2017-01-01

    Background/Study Context: Recent evidence suggests that removing attention from postural control using either an external focus or a cognitive task will improve stability in healthy young adults. Due to increases in attentional requirements of upright stance in older adults, it is unclear if similar benefits would be observed in this population. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of attentional focus and of a continuous cognitive task on postural control in older adults. Sixteen healthy older adults (71.9 ± 4.32 years) were asked to stand quietly on a force platform with feet together in three different conditions: internal focus (minimizing movement of the hips), external focus (minimizing movement of markers placed on the hips), and cognitive task (silently counting the occurrence of a single digit in a 3-digit number sequence). A one-way analysis of variance with repeated measures on condition was performed for each postural control measure. Hypotheses were partially supported because the cognitive task led to greater stability than both focus conditions, as evidenced by a smaller sway area (p attention-demanding cognitive task significantly improved stability in older adults compared with an internal or external focus of attention. This suggests that older adults were able to effectively allocate their attention away from postural control, allowing a more automatic type of control to operate. Future studies should investigate a variety of cognitive tasks to determine the degree of postural improvement that can be observed in older adults.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kollmorgen, Sepp; Nortmann, Nora; Schröder, Sylvia; König, Peter

    2010-05-20

    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 neglected in a model

  16. Dissociable Mechanisms Supporting Awareness: The P300 and Gamma in a Linguistic Attentional Blink Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen

    2012-01-01

    As demonstrated by the attentional blink (AB) phenomenon, awareness for attended stimuli is governed by sharp capacity limits. We used a linguistic AB task to investigate the neural mechanisms that underlie failures of awareness, examining both event-related potentials and oscillatory brain activity to correctly reported and missed second targets (T2s) presented after a correctly reported first target (T1) in a rapid visual stream of distractors. Correctly reported targets occurring at a short lag (250 ms) after T1—within the classic AB period—elicited enhanced late gamma activity relative to incorrectly reported targets but showed no P300 modulation relative to missed targets. In contrast, correctly reported targets presented at a long lag (830 ms)—outside the classic AB period—elicited a greater P300 component but did not significantly modulate oscillatory activity. This double dissociation suggests that there are multiple neural mechanisms supporting awareness that may operate in parallel. Either the P300 or the gamma can index impairment in the cascade of processing leading to a target's entry into awareness. We conclude that the P300 and gamma activity reflect functionally distinct neural mechanisms, each of which plays an independent role in awareness. PMID:22166765

  17. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Rapid Cerebral Hemodynamic Modulation during Set Shifting: Evidence of Time-Locked Associations with Cognitive Control in Females

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuepbach, Daniel; Huizinga, Mariette; Duschek, Stefan; Grimm, Simone; Boeker, Heinz; Hell, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    Set shifting provokes specific alterations of cerebral hemodynamics in basal cerebral arteries. However, no gender differences have been reported. In the following functional transcranial Doppler study, we introduced cerebral hemodynamic modulation to the aspects of set shifting during Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Twenty-one subjects…

  19. Task-independent and task-specific age effects on brain activity during working memory, visual attention and episodic retrieval

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cabeza, R.; Daselaar, S.M.; Dolcos, F.; Prince, S.E.; Budde, M.; Nyberg, L.

    2004-01-01

    t is controversial whether the effects of aging on various cognitive functions have the same common cause or several different causes. To investigate this issue, we scanned younger and older adults with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing three different tasks: working

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  1. 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.

    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

  2. Effects of amphetamine and methylphenidate on attentional performance and impulsivity in the mouse 5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caballero Puntiverio, Maitane; Fitzpatrick, Ciarán Martin; Woldbye, David Paul Drucker

    2017-01-01

    Background: Few studies have investigated the effects of conventional attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication in the mouse 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), and rat studies have yielded inconsistent results. Objective: We aimed to examine the effects of acute...

  3. Mood & alcohol-related attentional biases: New considerations for gender differences and reliability of the visual-probe task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, Noah N; Simons, Jeffrey S

    2015-11-01

    Alcohol-related attentional biases are positively associated with drinking history and may represent a mechanism by which alcohol use behavior is maintained over time. This study was designed to address two unresolved issues regarding alcohol-related attention biases. Specifically, this study tested whether acute changes in positive and negative mood increase attentional biases toward alcohol cues and whether coping and enhancement drinking motives moderate these effects. Participants were 100 college students aged 18-25, who drank alcohol at least once in the last 90 days. In a 2 × 3 mixed design, participants were randomized to one of three mood conditions (neutral, negative, or positive) and completed visual-probe tasks pre- and post-mood-induction. Attentional biases toward alcohol cues were significantly associated with alcohol consumption among men, but not women. Although the mood manipulation was highly successful, attentional biases did not vary as a function of mood condition and hypothesized moderating effects of drinking motives were not significant. The largely null findings of the experiment are discussed in light of the fact that the visual probe task had poor reliability. Issues related to the reliability of visual-probe task are discussed, as more research is needed to evaluate and improve the psychometrics of this method. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. A single bout of meditation biases cognitive control but not attentional focusing: Evidence from the global-local task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colzato, Lorenza S; van der Wel, Pauline; Sellaro, Roberta; Hommel, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies show that a single bout of meditation can impact information processing. We were interested to see whether this impact extends to attentional focusing and the top-down control over irrelevant information. Healthy adults underwent brief single bouts of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing a global-local task. While the size of the global-precedence effect (reflecting attentional focusing) was unaffected by type of meditation, the congruency effect (indicating the failure to suppress task-irrelevant information) was considerably larger after OMM than after FAM. Our findings suggest that engaging in particular kinds of meditation creates particular cognitive-control states that bias the individual processing style toward either goal-persistence or cognitive flexibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Egocentric Coding of Space for Incidentally Learned Attention: Effects of Scene Context and Task Instructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.; Sun, Liwei

    2014-01-01

    Visuospatial attention prioritizes regions of space for perceptual processing. Knowing how attended locations are represented is critical for understanding the architecture of attention. We examined the spatial reference frame of incidentally learned attention and asked how it is influenced by explicit, top-down knowledge. Participants performed a…

  6. The effect of methylphenidate on postural stability under single and dual task conditions in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - a double blind randomized control trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobi-Polishook, Talia; Shorer, Zamir; Melzer, Itshak

    2009-05-15

    To investigate the effects of Methylphenidate (MPH) on postural stability in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children in single and dual task conditions. A randomized controlled double-blind study analyzing postural stability in 24 ADHD children before and after MPH vs. placebo treatments, in three task conditions: (1) Single task, standing still; (2) dual task, standing still performing a memory-attention demanding task; (3) standing still listening to music. MPH resulted in a significant improvement in postural stability during the dual task condition and while listening to music, with no equivalent improvement in placebo controls. MPH improves postural stability in ADHD, especially when an additional task is performed. This is probably due to enhanced attention abilities, thus contributing to improved balance control during performance of tasks that require attention. MPH remains to be studied as a potential drug treatment to improve balance control and physical functioning in other clinical populations.

  7. Competition for attentional resources between low spatial frequency content of emotional images and a foreground task in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Matthias M; Gundlach, Christopher

    2017-03-01

    Low spatial frequency (LSF) image content has been proposed to play a superior functional role in emotional content extraction via the magnocellular pathway biasing attentional resources toward emotional content in visual cortex. We investigated whether emotionally unpleasant complex images that were presented either unfiltered or with LSF content only in the background while subjects performed a foreground task will withdraw more attentional resources from the task compared to unemotional, neutral images (distraction paradigm). We measured steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) driven by flickering stimuli of a foreground task. Unfiltered unpleasant images resulted in a significant reduction of SSVEP amplitude compared to neutral images. No statistically significant differences were found with LSF background images. In a behavioral control experiment, we found no significant differences for complexity ratings between unfiltered and LSF pictures. Content identification was possible for unfiltered and LSF picture (correct responses > 74%). An additional EEG study examined typical emotion-related components for complex images presented either as unfiltered, LSF, or high spatial frequency (HSF, as an additional control) filtered, unpleasant, and neutral images. We found a significant main effect of emotional valence in the early posterior negativity. Late positive potential differences were only found for unfiltered and HSF images. Results suggest that, while LSF content is sufficient to allow for content and emotional cue extraction when images were presented alone, LSF content is not salient enough to serve as emotional distractor that withdraws attentional resources from a foreground task in early visual cortex. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  8. Do restrictive and bingeing/purging subtypes of anorexia nervosa differ on central coherence and set shifting?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Autreve, Sara; De Baene, Wouter; Baeken, Chris; van Heeringen, Cornelis; Vervaet, Myriam

    2013-07-01

    Anorexia nervosa (AN) has been associated with weak central coherence (CC) and weak set shifting (SS). The main aim of this study was to examine possible differences between restrictive AN (AN-R) and bingeing/purging AN (AN-BP) on these features. A total of 31 patients with AN-R, 20 patients with AN-BP and 26 healthy controls (HC) completed five neuropsychological tests (Block Design, Object Assembly, an adapted task-switching paradigm, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and Trail Making Test). Using Block Design and Object Assembly, indicative for CC, AN-R patients performed significantly worse than AN-BP patients and HC, without any difference between AN-BP and HC. On SS measures, no group differences were observed. The results suggest that cognitive profiles of AN-R and AN-BP patients differ significantly on CC and not on SS. Our current findings support the idea that the two subtypes of AN have a distinctive underlying nature and might need a different approach in cognitive remediation. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

  9. Attentional Selection Can Be Predicted by Reinforcement Learning of Task-relevant Stimulus Features Weighted by Value-independent Stickiness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcarras, Matthew; Ardid, Salva; Kaping, Daniel; Everling, Stefan; Womelsdorf, Thilo

    2016-02-01

    Attention includes processes that evaluate stimuli relevance, select the most relevant stimulus against less relevant stimuli, and bias choice behavior toward the selected information. It is not clear how these processes interact. Here, we captured these processes in a reinforcement learning framework applied to a feature-based attention task that required macaques to learn and update the value of stimulus features while ignoring nonrelevant sensory features, locations, and action plans. We found that value-based reinforcement learning mechanisms could account for feature-based attentional selection and choice behavior but required a value-independent stickiness selection process to explain selection errors while at asymptotic behavior. By comparing different reinforcement learning schemes, we found that trial-by-trial selections were best predicted by a model that only represents expected values for the task-relevant feature dimension, with nonrelevant stimulus features and action plans having only a marginal influence on covert selections. These findings show that attentional control subprocesses can be described by (1) the reinforcement learning of feature values within a restricted feature space that excludes irrelevant feature dimensions, (2) a stochastic selection process on feature-specific value representations, and (3) value-independent stickiness toward previous feature selections akin to perseveration in the motor domain. We speculate that these three mechanisms are implemented by distinct but interacting brain circuits and that the proposed formal account of feature-based stimulus selection will be important to understand how attentional subprocesses are implemented in primate brain networks.

  10. Individual differences in oscillatory brain activity in response to varying attentional demands during a word recall and oculomotor dual task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gusang eKwon

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Every day, we face situations that involve multi-tasking. How our brain utilizes cortical resources during multi-tasking is one of many interesting research topics. In this study, we tested whether a dual-task can be differentiated in the neural and behavioral responses of healthy subjects with varying degree of working memory capacity (WMC. We combined word recall and oculomotor tasks because they incorporate common neural networks including the fronto-parietal (FP network. Three different types of oculomotor tasks (eye fixation; Fix-EM, predictive & random smooth pursuit eye movement; P-SPEM & R-SPEM were combined with two memory load levels (low-load: 5 words, high-load: 10 words for a word recall task. Each of those dual-task combinations was supposed to create varying cognitive loads on the FP network. We hypothesize that each dual-task requires different cognitive strategies for allocating the brain’s limited cortical resources and affects brain oscillation of the FP network. In addition, we hypothesized that groups with different WMC will show differential neural and behavioral responses. We measured oscillatory brain activity with simultaneous MEG and EEG recordings and behavioral performance by word recall. Prominent frontal midline (FM theta (4-6 Hz synchronization emerged in the EEG of the high-WMC group experiencing R-SPEM with high-load conditions during the early phase of the word maintenance period. Conversely, significant parietal upper alpha (10-12 Hz desynchronization was observed in the EEG and MEG of the low-WMC group experiencing P-SPEM under high-load conditions during the same period. Different brain oscillatory patterns seem to depend on each individual’s WMC and varying attentional demands from different dual-task combinations. These findings suggest that specific brain oscillations may reflect different strategies for allocating cortical resources during combined word recall and oculomotor dual-tasks.

  11. The effect of valence on young and older adults' attention in a rapid serial visual presentation task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmetz, Katherine R Mickley; Muscatell, Keely A; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2010-03-01

    Using a rapid serial visual presentation task, the authors examined how the emotional valence of a word affected young and older adults' abilities to detect another word that closely followed it in temporal proximity. Both age groups detected neutral words better when such words followed a positive or negative arousing word rather than a neutral arousing word. These results suggest that emotion influences attention in a similar fashion for young and older adults. Despite evidence that older adults can sometimes show a "positivity effect" in memory, we found no evidence of increased attention toward positive words for older adults.

  12. Different Attentional Blink Tasks Reflect Distinct Information Processing Limitations: An Individual Differences Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Ashleigh J.; Dux, Paul E.

    2011-01-01

    To study the temporal dynamics and capacity-limits of attentional selection and encoding, researchers often employ the attentional blink (AB) phenomenon: subjects' impaired ability to report the second of two targets in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream that appear within 200-500 ms of one another. The AB has now been the subject of…

  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 Beneficial Effect of Concurrent Task-Irrelevant Mental Activity on Temporal Attention.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olivers, C.N.L.; Nieuwenhuis, S.T.

    2005-01-01

    It is believed that the human cognitive system is fundamentally limited in deploying attention over time. This limitation is reflected in the attentional blink, the impaired ability to identify the second of two visual targets presented in close succession. We report the paradoxical finding that the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tucha, Lara; Simpson, William

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, S. G.

    1975-01-01

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

  17. Direct and indirect effects of attention and visual function on gait impairment in Parkinson's disease: influence of task and turning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Samuel; Galna, Brook; Delicato, Louise S; Lord, Sue; Rochester, Lynn

    2017-07-01

    Gait impairment is a core feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) which has been linked to cognitive and visual deficits, but interactions between these features are poorly understood. Monitoring saccades allows investigation of real-time cognitive and visual processes and their impact on gait when walking. This study explored: (i) saccade frequency when walking under different attentional manipulations of turning and dual-task; and (ii) direct and indirect relationships between saccades, gait impairment, vision and attention. Saccade frequency (number of fast eye movements per-second) was measured during gait in 60 PD and 40 age-matched control participants using a mobile eye-tracker. Saccade frequency was significantly reduced in PD compared to controls during all conditions. However, saccade frequency increased with a turn and decreased under dual-task for both groups. Poorer attention directly related to saccade frequency, visual function and gait impairment in PD, but not controls. Saccade frequency did not directly relate to gait in PD, but did in controls. Instead, saccade frequency and visual function deficit indirectly impacted gait impairment in PD, which was underpinned by their relationship with attention. In conclusion, our results suggest a vital role for attention with direct and indirect influences on gait impairment in PD. Attention directly impacted saccade frequency, visual function and gait impairment in PD, with connotations for falls. It also underpinned indirect impact of visual and saccadic impairment on gait. Attention therefore represents a key therapeutic target that should be considered in future research. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Assessing the effects of caffeine and theanine on the maintenance of vigilance during a sustained attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foxe, John J; Morie, Kristen P; Laud, Peter J; Rowson, Matthew J; de Bruin, Eveline A; Kelly, Simon P

    2012-06-01

    Caffeine and L-theanine, both naturally occurring in tea, affect the ability to make rapid phasic deployments of attention to locations in space as reflected in behavioural performance and alpha-band oscillatory brain activity (8-14 Hz). However, surprisingly little is known about how these compounds affect an aspect of attention that has been more popularly associated with tea, namely vigilant attention: the ability to maintain focus on monotonous tasks over protracted time-periods. Twenty-seven participants performed the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) over a two-hour session on each of four days, on which they were administered caffeine (50 mg), theanine (100 mg), the combination, or placebo in a double-blind, randomized, cross-over fashion. Concurrently, we recorded oscillatory brain activity through high-density electroencephalography (EEG). We asked whether either compound alone, or both in combination, would affect performance of the task in terms of reduced error rates over time, and whether changes in alpha-band activity would show a relationship to such changes in performance. When treated with placebo, participants showed a rise in error rates, a pattern that is commonly observed with increasing time-on-task, whereas after caffeine and theanine ingestion, error rates were significantly reduced. The combined treatment did not confer any additional benefits over either compound alone, suggesting that the individual compounds may confer maximal benefits at the dosages employed. Alpha-band oscillatory activity was significantly reduced on ingestion of caffeine, particularly in the first hour. This effect was not changed by addition of theanine in the combined treatment. Theanine alone did not affect alpha-band activity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The effects of priming in a cued dot-probe task on appearance-related attentional biases in women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Ben R; Mulgrew, Kate E; Mahar, Doug; White, Melanie J; Loughnan, Siobhan A

    2017-07-01

    The dot-probe task (DPT) is a reaction time measure of attentional bias. Research using this task has found inconsistent patterns of appearance-related attentional biases in women. This study examined the effects of a novel priming variation of the DPT, which incorporated additional cues into each trial of the task, on measurement of such biases. The study also examined associations between these biases and body image, a component of eating disorder symptomatology. A convenience sample of women from the general community (N = 103) completed body image measures online and attended a laboratory session to complete one of four DPTs: (1) an appearance-cued DPT containing images of thin-ideal models between each trial; (2) neutral-cued DPT containing images of forests; (3) time-delayed DPT controlling for time in place of an image; or (4) typical DPT containing only word stimuli. Women who completed the appearance-cued DPT demonstrated a stronger attentional bias for positive, but not negative, appearance words than women who completed the other DPT versions. Furthermore, for the appearance-cued and time-delayed DPTs, this bias correlated with poorer body image across several indicators (appearance evaluation, body dissatisfaction, self-evaluative salience of appearance, and state body satisfaction). Although it was unexpected that no attentional bias for negative-appearance words was found, the attentional bias for positive-appearance words may suggest that effects were driven by the ego-threat of positive-appearance words. Further research is warranted to determine whether such biases contribute to and maintain body image disturbance and disordered eating. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Higher burnout scores in paediatric residents are associated with increased brain activity during attentional functional magnetic resonance imaging task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Andrade, Anarella Penha Meirelles; Amaro, Edson; Farhat, Sylvia Costa Lima; Schvartsman, Claudio

    2016-06-01

    Burnout syndrome is common in healthcare workers. We evaluated its prevalence in paediatric residents and investigated its influence on cerebral function correlations, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), when they carried out an attentional paradigm. This cross-sectional descriptive study involved 28 residents from the Department of Paediatrics at the University of São Paulo. The functional MRI was carried out while the residents completed the Stroop colour word task paradigm to investigate their attentional task performance. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was applied, and stress was assessed using the Lipp Inventory of Stress Symptoms for Adults and by a visual analogue mood scale. The MBI subscales of depersonalisation and emotional exhaustion indicated that 53.1% of the residents had moderate or high burnout syndrome. The whole-brain multivariate analysis showed positive correlations between the blood oxygenation level dependent effect and the MBI depersonalisation and emotional exhaustion indices in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which controls for anxiety. Increased brain activation during an attention task, measured using functional MRI, was associated with higher burnout scores in paediatric residents. This study provides a biological basis for the implementation of measures to reduce burnout syndrome at the start of residency training programmes. ©2016 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. A novel eye-tracking method to assess attention allocation in individuals with and without aphasia using a dual-task paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Sabine; Hallowell, Brooke

    2015-01-01

    Numerous authors report that people with aphasia have greater difficulty allocating attention than people without neurological disorders. Studying how attention deficits contribute to language deficits is important. However, existing methods for indexing attention allocation in people with aphasia pose serious methodological challenges. Eye-tracking methods have great potential to address such challenges. We developed and assessed the validity of a new dual-task method incorporating eye tracking to assess attention allocation. Twenty-six adults with aphasia and 33 control participants completed auditory sentence comprehension and visual search tasks. To test whether the new method validly indexes well-documented patterns in attention allocation, demands were manipulated by varying task complexity in single- and dual-task conditions. Differences in attention allocation were indexed via eye-tracking measures. For all participants significant increases in attention allocation demands were observed from single- to dual-task conditions and from simple to complex stimuli. Individuals with aphasia had greater difficulty allocating attention with greater task demands. Relationships between eye-tracking indices of comprehension during single and dual tasks and standardized testing were examined. Results support the validity of the novel eye-tracking method for assessing attention allocation in people with and without aphasia. Clinical and research implications are discussed. Readers will be able to: (1) summarize the nature of dual-task paradigms, (2) identify shortcomings of existing dual-task measures of attention allocation for application to people with aphasia, (3) describe how eye-tracking measures may be recorded and analyzed to reflect differences in attention allocation across conditions, and (4) summarize potential clinical applications for eye-tracking measures of attention allocation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Age differences in reaction time and attention in a national telephone sample of adults: education, sex, and task complexity matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tun, Patricia A; Lachman, Margie E

    2008-09-01

    This study demonstrated effects of age, education, and sex on complex reaction time in a large national sample (N = 3,616) with a wide range in age (32-85) and education. Participants completed speeded auditory tasks (from the MIDUS [Midlife in the U.S.] Stop and Go Switch Task) by telephone. Complexity ranged from a simple repeated task to an alternating task that involved central executive processes including attention switching and inhibitory control. Increased complexity was associated with slower responses in older adults, those with lower education, and women, even after controlling for differences in health status. Higher levels of education were associated with greater central executive efficiency across adulthood: Overall, adults with college degrees performed on complex tasks like less educated individuals who were 10 years younger, up to age 75. These findings suggest that advanced education can moderate age differences on complex speeded tasks that require central executive processes, at least up to the point in old age at which biological declines predominate. The approach demonstrates the utility of combining laboratory paradigms with survey methods to enable the study of larger, more diverse and representative samples across the lifespan.

  3. Saccadic eye movements in a high-speed bimanual stacking task: changes of attentional control during learning and automatization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Rebecca M; Carbone, Elena; Koesling, Hendrik; Schneider, Werner X

    2011-06-10

    Principles of saccadic eye movement control in the real world have been derived by the study of self-paced well-known tasks such as sandwich or tea making. Little is known whether these principles generalize to high-speed sensorimotor tasks and how they are affected by learning and automatization. In the present study, right-handers practiced the speed-stacking task in 14 consecutive daily training sessions, while their eye movements were recorded. Speed stacking is a high-speed sensorimotor task that requires grasping, moving, rotating, and placing of objects. The following main results emerged. Throughout practice, the eyes led the hands, displayed by a positive eye-hand time span. Moreover, visual information was gathered for the subsequent manual sub-action, displayed by a positive eye-hand unit span. With automatization, the eye-hand time span became shorter, yet it increased when corrected by the decreasing trial duration. In addition, fixations were mainly allocated to the goal positions of the right hand or objects in the right hand. The number of fixations decreased while the fixation rate remained constant. Importantly, all participants fixated on the same task-relevant locations in a similar scan path across training days, revealing a long-term memory-based mode of attention control after automatization of a high-speed sensorimotor task.

  4. A Novel Eye-Tracking Method to Assess Attention Allocation in Individuals with and without Aphasia Using a Dual-Task Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Sabine; Hallowell, Brooke

    2015-01-01

    Numerous authors report that people with aphasia have greater difficulty allocating attention than people without neurological disorders. Studying how attention deficits contribute to language deficits is important. However, existing methods for indexing attention allocation in people with aphasia pose serious methodological challenges. Eye-tracking methods have great potential to address such challenges. We developed and assessed the validity of a new dual-task method incorporating eye tracking to assess attention allocation. Twenty-six adults with aphasia and 33 control participants completed auditory sentence comprehension and visual search tasks. To test whether the new method validly indexes well-documented patterns in attention allocation, demands were manipulated by varying task complexity in single- and dual-task conditions. Differences in attention allocation were indexed via eye-tracking measures. For all participants significant increases in attention allocation demands were observed from single- to dual-task conditions and from simple to complex stimuli. Individuals with aphasia had greater difficulty allocating attention with greater task demands. Relationships between eye-tracking indices of comprehension during single and dual tasks and standardized testing were examined. Results support the validity of the novel eye-tracking method for assessing attention allocation in people with and without aphasia. Clinical and research implications are discussed. PMID:25913549

  5. The Effect of Different Attentional Focus Instructions during Finger Movement Tasks in Healthy Subjects: An Exploratory Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giacomo Rossettini

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available External focus of attention (EFA and internal focus of attention (IFA represent commonly used strategies to instruct subjects during exercise. Several studies showed EFA to be more effective than IFA to improve motor performance and learning. To date the role of these strategies on motor performance during finger movement was less studied. The objective of the study was to investigate motor performance, patient’s preference induced by IFA and EFA, and the focus during control condition. Ten healthy right-handed participants performed a finger movement task in control, EFA, and IFA conditions (counterbalanced. Errors, patient’s preference, and type of attentional focus spontaneously adopted during the control condition were recorded. EFA determined less error (p<0.01 compared to control and IFA. Participants preferred EFA against IFA and control condition. In the control group 10% of subjects adopted a purely EFA, 70% of subjects adopted a purely IFA, and 20% of subjects adopted a mixture of the two foci. Our results confirm that EFA is more effective than IFA and control in finger movement task. Due its clinical relevance, the interaction between attention and finger movement should be further investigated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-15

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

  7. Expectations impact short-term memory through changes in connectivity between attention- and task-related brain regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinke, Christopher; Forkmann, Katarina; Schmidt, Katharina; Wiech, Katja; Bingel, Ulrike

    2016-05-01

    Over the recent years, neuroimaging studies have investigated the neural mechanisms underlying the influence of expectations on perception. However, it seems equally reasonable to assume that expectations impact cognitive functions. Here we used fMRI to explore the role of expectations on task performance and its underlying neural mechanisms. 43 healthy participants were randomly assigned to two groups. Using verbal instructions, group 1 was led to believe that pain enhances task performance while group 2 was instructed that pain hampers their performance. All participants performed a Rapid-Serial-Visual-Presentation (RSVP) Task (target detection and short-term memory component) with or without concomitant painful heat stimulation during 3T fMRI scanning. As hypothesized, short-term memory performance showed an interaction between painful stimulation and expectation. Positive expectations induced stronger neural activation in the right inferior parietal cortex (IPC) during painful stimulation than negative expectation. Moreover, IPC displayed differential functional coupling with the left inferior occipital cortex under pain as a function of expectancy. Our data show that an individual's expectation can influence cognitive performance in a visual short-term memory task which is associated with activity and connectivity changes in brain areas implicated in attentional processing and task performance. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. The beneficial effects of additional task load, positive affect, and instruction on the attentional blink.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olivers, C.N.L.; Nieuwenhuis, S.T.

    2006-01-01

    The attentional blink reflects the impaired ability to identify the 2nd of 2 targets presented in close succession - a phenomenon that is generally thought to reflect a fundamental cognitive limitation. However, the fundamental nature of this impairment has recently been called into question by the

  9. Verbal and facial-emotional Stroop tasks reveal specific attentional interferences in sad mood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Isaac, L.; Vrijsen, J.N.; Eling, P.A.T.M.; Oostrom, I.I.H. van; Speckens, A.E.M.; Becker, E.S.

    2012-01-01

    Mood congruence refers to the tendency of individuals to attend to information more readily when it has the same emotional content as their current mood state. The aim of the present study was to ascertain whether attentional interference occurred for participants in sad mood states for emotionally

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Attentional capture by irrelevant transients leads to perceptual errors in a competitive change detection task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eSchneider

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Theories on visual change detection imply that attention is a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite for aware perception. Misguidance of attention due to salient irrelevant distractors can therefore lead to severe deficits in change detection. The present study investigates the mechanisms behind such perceptual errors and their relation to error processing on higher cognitive levels. Participants had to detect a luminance change that occasionally occurred simultaneously with an irrelevant orientation change in the opposite hemi-field (conflict condition. By analyzing event-related potentials in the EEG separately in those error prone conflict trials for correct and erroneous change detection, we demonstrate that only correct change detection was associated with the allocation of attention to the relevant luminance change. Erroneous change detection was associated with an initial capture of attention towards the irrelevant orientation change in the N1 time window and a lack of subsequent target selection processes (N2pc. Errors were additionally accompanied by an increase of the fronto-central N2 and a kind of error negativity (Ne or ERN, which, however, peaked prior to the response. These results suggest that a strong perceptual conflict by salient distractors can disrupt the further processing of relevant information and thus affect its aware perception. Yet, it does not impair higher cognitive processes for conflict and error detection, indicating that these processes are independent from awareness.

  13. 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…

  14. The Peripheral Detection Task (PDT) : On-line measurement of driver cognitive workload and selective attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horst, A.R.A. van der; Martens, M.H.

    2010-01-01

    Peaks in workload while driving might have immediate safety implications. The Peripheral Detection Task (PDT) has shown to be a sensitive objective workload measure. Drivers have to respond to the onset of a peripherally presented simple visual stimulus (red square or LED) by pressing a finger

  15. 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…

  16. Attentional control adjustments in Eriksen and Stroop task performance can be independent of response conflict

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

    In the Eriksen flanker and colour-word Stroop tasks, the response time (RT) difference between incongruent and congruent trials is smaller following incongruent trials than following congruent trials: the oGratton effecto (Gratton, Coles, Donchin, 1992). According to the prevailing

  17. Effects of Caffeine on Classroom Behavior, Sustained Attention, and a Memory Task in Preschool Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, Ruth A.

    1987-01-01

    The investigation of the effect of normative amounts of caffeine on the behavior of six normal kindergarten children found that caffeine exerted only small and inconsistent effects on such classroom behaviors as time off-task and gross motor activity. (Author/DB)

  18. 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

  19. 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

    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...

  20. Working Memory, Attention Control, and the N-Back Task: A Question of Construct Validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Michael J.; Conway, Andrew R. A.; Miura, Timothy K.; Colflesh, Gregory J. H.

    2007-01-01

    The n-back task requires participants to decide whether each stimulus in a sequence matches the one that appeared n items ago. Although n-back has become a standard "executive" working memory (WM) measure in cognitive neuroscience, it has been subjected to few behavioral tests of construct validity. A combined experimental-correlational study…

  1. ASSESSMENT OF ATTENTION THRESHOLD IN RATS BY TITRATION OF VISUAL CUE DURATION DURING THE FIVE CHOICE SERIAL REACTION TIME TASK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas J.; Grigg, Amanda; Kim, Susy A.; Ririe, Douglas G.; Eisenach, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Background The 5 choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT) is commonly used to assess attention in rodents. We sought to develop a variant of the 5CSRTT that would speed training to objective success criteria, and to test whether this variant could determine attention capability in each subject. New Method Fisher 344 rats were trained to perform a variant of the 5CSRTT in which the duration of visual cue presentation (cue duration) was titrated between trials based upon performance. The cue duration was decreased when the subject made a correct response, or increased with incorrect responses or omissions. Additionally, test day challenges were provided consisting of lengthening the intertrial interval and inclusion of a visual distracting stimulus. Results Rats readily titrated the cue duration to less than 1 sec in 25 training sessions or less (mean ± SEM, 22.9 ± 0.7), and the median cue duration (MCD) was calculated as a measure of attention threshold. Increasing the intertrial interval increased premature responses, decreased the number of trials completed, and increased the MCD. Decreasing the intertrial interval and time allotted for consuming the food reward demonstrated that a minimum of 3.5 sec is required for rats to consume two food pellets and successfully attend to the next trial. Visual distraction in the form of a 3 Hz flashing light increased the MCD and both premature and time out responses. Comparison with existing method The titration variant of the 5CSRTT is a useful method that dynamically measures attention threshold across a wide range of subject performance, and significantly decreases the time required for training. Task challenges produce similar effects in the titration method as reported for the classical procedure. Conclusions The titration 5CSRTT method is an efficient training procedure for assessing attention and can be utilized to assess the limit in performance ability across subjects and various schedule manipulations. PMID

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  3. Methylphenidate enhances brain activation and deactivation responses to visual attention and working memory tasks in healthy controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasi, D; Volkow, N D; Wang, G J; Wang, R; Telang, F; Caparelli, E C; Wong, C; Jayne, M; Fowler, J S

    2011-02-14

    Methylphenidate (MPH) is a stimulant drug that amplifies dopamineric and noradrenergic signaling in the brain, which is believed to underlie its cognition enhancing effects. However, the neurobiological effects by which MPH improves cognition are still poorly understood. Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used together with working memory (WM) and visual attention (VA) tasks to test the hypothesis that 20mg oral MPH would increase activation in the dorsal attention network (DAN) and deactivation in the default mode network (DMN) as well as improve performance during cognitive tasks in healthy men. The group of subjects that received MPH (MPH group; N=16) had higher activation than the group of subjects who received no medication (control group: N=16) in DAN regions (parietal and prefrontal cortex, regions increasingly activated with increased cognitive load) and had increased deactivation in the insula and posterior cingulate cortex (regions increasingly deactivated with increased cognitive load) and these effects did not differ for the VA and the WM tasks. These findings provide the first evidence that MPH enhances activation of the DAN whereas it alters DMN deactivation. This suggests that MPH (presumably by amplifying dopamine and noradrenergic signaling) modulates cognition in part through its effects on DAN and DMN. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Classification effects of real and imaginary movement selective attention tasks on a P300-based brain-computer interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvaris, Mathew; Sepulveda, Francisco

    2010-10-01

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) rely on various electroencephalography methodologies that allow the user to convey their desired control to the machine. Common approaches include the use of event-related potentials (ERPs) such as the P300 and modulation of the beta and mu rhythms. All of these methods have their benefits and drawbacks. In this paper, three different selective attention tasks were tested in conjunction with a P300-based protocol (i.e. the standard counting of target stimuli as well as the conduction of real and imaginary movements in sync with the target stimuli). The three tasks were performed by a total of 10 participants, with the majority (7 out of 10) of the participants having never before participated in imaginary movement BCI experiments. Channels and methods used were optimized for the P300 ERP and no sensory-motor rhythms were explicitly used. The classifier used was a simple Fisher's linear discriminant. Results were encouraging, showing that on average the imaginary movement achieved a P300 versus No-P300 classification accuracy of 84.53%. In comparison, mental counting, the standard selective attention task used in previous studies, achieved 78.9% and real movement 90.3%. Furthermore, multiple trial classification results were recorded and compared, with real movement reaching 99.5% accuracy after four trials (12.8 s), imaginary movement reaching 99.5% accuracy after five trials (16 s) and counting reaching 98.2% accuracy after ten trials (32 s).

  5. Long-lasting attentional influence of negative and taboo words in an auditory variant of the emotional Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertels, Julie; Kolinsky, Régine; Pietrons, Elise; Morais, José

    2011-02-01

    Using an auditory adaptation of the emotional and taboo Stroop tasks, the authors compared the effects of negative and taboo spoken words in mixed and blocked designs. Both types of words elicited carryover effects with mixed presentations and interference with blocked presentations, suggesting similar long-lasting attentional effects. Both were also relatively resilient to the long-lasting influence of the preceding emotional word. Hence, contrary to what has been assumed (Schmidt & Saari, 2007), negative and taboo words do not seem to differ in terms of the temporal dynamics of the interdimensional shifting, at least in the auditory modality. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved.

  6. Examining task-dependencies of different attentional processes as reflected in the P3a and reorienting negativity components of the human event-related brain potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munka, Lutz; Berti, Stefan

    2006-04-03

    Unexpected changes in task-irrelevant auditory stimuli are capable to distract processing of task-relevant visual information. This effect is accompanied by the elicitation of event-related potential (ERP) components associated with attentional orientation, i.e. P3a and reorienting negativity (RON). In the present study we varied the demands of a visual task in order to test whether the RON component -- as an index of attentional reorientation after distraction -- is confined to a semantic task requiring working memory. In two ERP experiments we applied an auditory-visual distraction paradigm in which subjects were instructed to discriminate visual stimuli preceded by a task-irrelevant sound, this being either a standard tone (600 Hz, 88%) or a deviant tone (660 Hz, 12%). The visual stimuli were numbers which had to be judged on basis of a semantic (odd or even) or physical feature (either size or colour). As expected, deviance related ERP components namely the mismatch negativity (MMN), P3a, and RON were elicited. Importantly, the RON was affected by the variation of the task: within the semantic task an early RON and within the physical task a late RON was obtained. These results suggest that the RON component reflects two functionally distinct processes of attentional allocation after distraction: refocusing on task-relevant information on the working memory level, and general reorientation of attention, e.g. preparation for the upcoming task.

  7. Comparing Treatment Effect Measurements in Narcolepsy: The Sustained Attention to Response Task, Epworth Sleepiness Scale and Maintenance of Wakefulness Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Heide, Astrid; van Schie, Mojca K M; Lammers, Gert Jan; Dauvilliers, Yves; Arnulf, Isabelle; Mayer, Geert; Bassetti, Claudio L; Ding, Claire-Li; Lehert, Philippe; van Dijk, J Gert

    2015-07-01

    To validate the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) as a treatment effect measure in narcolepsy, and to compare the SART with the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Validation of treatment effect measurements within a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Ninety-five patients with narcolepsy with or without cataplexy. The RCT comprised a double-blind, parallel-group, multicenter trial comparing the effects of 8-w treatments with pitolisant (BF2.649), modafinil, or placebo (NCT01067222). MWT, ESS, and SART were administered at baseline and after an 8-w treatment period. The severity of excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy was also assessed using the Clinical Global Impression scale (CGI-C). The SART, MWT, and ESS all had good reliability, obtained for the SART and MWT using two to three sessions in 1 day. The ability to distinguish responders from nonresponders, classified using the CGI-C score, was high for all measures, with a high performance for the SART (r = 0.61) and the ESS (r = 0.54). The Sustained Attention to Response Task is a valid and easy-to-administer measure to assess treatment effects in narcolepsy, enhanced by combining it with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. © 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Niharika; Mishra, Ramesh Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Using a variant of the visual world eye tracking paradigm, we examined if language non-selective activation of translation equivalents leads to attention capture and distraction in a visual task in bilinguals. High and low proficient Hindi-English speaking bilinguals were instructed to programme a saccade towards a line drawing which changed colour among other distractor objects. A spoken word, irrelevant to the main task, was presented before the colour change. On critical trials, one of the line drawings was a phonologically related word of the translation equivalent of the spoken word. Results showed that saccade latency was significantly higher towards the target in the presence of this cross-linguistic translation competitor compared to when the display contained completely unrelated objects. Participants were also slower when the display contained the referent of the spoken word among the distractors. However, the bilingual groups did not differ with regard to the interference effect observed. These findings suggest that spoken words activates translation equivalent which bias attention leading to interference in goal directed action in the visual domain.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niharika Singh

    Full Text Available Using a variant of the visual world eye tracking paradigm, we examined if language non-selective activation of translation equivalents leads to attention capture and distraction in a visual task in bilinguals. High and low proficient Hindi-English speaking bilinguals were instructed to programme a saccade towards a line drawing which changed colour among other distractor objects. A spoken word, irrelevant to the main task, was presented before the colour change. On critical trials, one of the line drawings was a phonologically related word of the translation equivalent of the spoken word. Results showed that saccade latency was significantly higher towards the target in the presence of this cross-linguistic translation competitor compared to when the display contained completely unrelated objects. Participants were also slower when the display contained the referent of the spoken word among the distractors. However, the bilingual groups did not differ with regard to the interference effect observed. These findings suggest that spoken words activates translation equivalent which bias attention leading to interference in goal directed action in the visual domain.

  10. Neural correlates of the spatial and expectancy components of endogenous and stimulus-driven orienting of attention in the Posner task

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Doricchi, Fabrizio; Macci, Enrica; Silvetti, Massimo; Macaluso, Emiliano

    2010-01-01

    Voluntary orienting of visual attention is conventionally measured in tasks with predictive central cues followed by frequent valid targets at the cued location and by infrequent invalid targets at the uncued location...

  11. Task-optimal auditory attention set restored as fast in older as in younger adults after distraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volosin, Márta; Gaál, Zsófia Anna; Horváth, János

    2017-05-01

    The present study investigated how fast younger and older adults recovered from a distracted attentional state induced by rare, unpredictable sound events. The attentional state was characterized by the auditory N1 event-related potential (ERP), which is enhanced for sound events in the focus of attention. Younger (19-26 years) and older (62-74 years) adults listened to continuous tones containing rare pitch changes (glides) and short gaps. Glides and gaps could be separated in 150ms, 250ms, 650ms or longer and the task was gap detection while ignoring glides. With longer glide-gap separations similar N1 enhancements were observable in both groups suggesting that the duration of the distracted sensory state was not affected by aging. Older adults responded, however, slower at short glide-gap separations which indicated that distraction at subsequent levels of processing may have nonetheless more impact in older than in younger adults. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Interactive effects between gaze direction and facial expression on attentional resources deployment: the task instruction and context matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricciardelli, Paola; Lugli, Luisa; Pellicano, Antonello; Iani, Cristina; Nicoletti, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    In three experiments, we tested whether the amount of attentional resources needed to process a face displaying neutral/angry/fearful facial expressions with direct or averted gaze depends on task instructions, and face presentation. To this end, we used a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation paradigm in which participants in Experiment 1 were first explicitly asked to discriminate whether the expression of a target face (T1) with direct or averted gaze was angry or neutral, and then to judge the orientation of a landscape (T2). Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1 except that participants had to discriminate the gender of the face of T1 and fearful faces were also presented randomly inter-mixed within each block of trials. Experiment 3 differed from Experiment 2 only because angry and fearful faces were never presented within the same block. The findings indicated that the presence of the attentional blink (AB) for face stimuli depends on specific combinations of gaze direction and emotional facial expressions and crucially revealed that the contextual factors (e.g., explicit instruction to process the facial expression and the presence of other emotional faces) can modify and even reverse the AB, suggesting a flexible and more contextualized deployment of attentional resources in face processing. PMID:26898473

  13. Neural Control of a Tracking Task via Attention-Gated Reinforcement Learning for Brain-Machine Interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yiwen; Wang, Fang; Xu, Kai; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Zhang, Shaomin; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2015-05-01

    Reinforcement learning (RL)-based brain machine interfaces (BMIs) enable the user to learn from the environment through interactions to complete the task without desired signals, which is promising for clinical applications. Previous studies exploited Q-learning techniques to discriminate neural states into simple directional actions providing the trial initial timing. However, the movements in BMI applications can be quite complicated, and the action timing explicitly shows the intention when to move. The rich actions and the corresponding neural states form a large state-action space, imposing generalization difficulty on Q-learning. In this paper, we propose to adopt attention-gated reinforcement learning (AGREL) as a new learning scheme for BMIs to adaptively decode high-dimensional neural activities into seven distinct movements (directional moves, holdings and resting) due to the efficient weight-updating. We apply AGREL on neural data recorded from M1 of a monkey to directly predict a seven-action set in a time sequence to reconstruct the trajectory of a center-out task. Compared to Q-learning techniques, AGREL could improve the target acquisition rate to 90.16% in average with faster convergence and more stability to follow neural activity over multiple days, indicating the potential to achieve better online decoding performance for more complicated BMI tasks.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. Differences in Visuo-Motor Control in Skilled vs. Novice Martial Arts Athletes during Sustained and Transient Attention Tasks: A Motor-Related Cortical Potential Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Lopez, Javier; Fernandez, Thalia; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Martinez Mesa, Juan A.; Di Russo, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive and motor processes are essential for optimal athletic performance. Individuals trained in different skills and sports may have specialized cognitive abilities and motor strategies related to the characteristics of the activity and the effects of training and expertise. Most studies have investigated differences in motor-related cortical potential (MRCP) during self-paced tasks in athletes but not in stimulus-related tasks. The aim of the present study was to identify the differences in performance and MRCP between skilled and novice martial arts athletes during two different types of tasks: a sustained attention task and a transient attention task. Behavioral and electrophysiological data from twenty-two martial arts athletes were obtained while they performed a continuous performance task (CPT) to measure sustained attention and a cued continuous performance task (c-CPT) to measure transient attention. MRCP components were analyzed and compared between groups. Electrophysiological data in the CPT task indicated larger prefrontal positive activity and greater posterior negativity distribution prior to a motor response in the skilled athletes, while novices showed a significantly larger response-related P3 after a motor response in centro-parietal areas. A different effect occurred in the c-CPT task in which the novice athletes showed strong prefrontal positive activity before a motor response and a large response-related P3, while in skilled athletes, the prefrontal activity was absent. We propose that during the CPT, skilled athletes were able to allocate two different but related processes simultaneously according to CPT demand, which requires controlled attention and controlled motor responses. On the other hand, in the c-CPT, skilled athletes showed better cue facilitation, which permitted a major economy of resources and “automatic” or less controlled responses to relevant stimuli. In conclusion, the present data suggest that motor expertise

  17. Differences in visuo-motor control in skilled vs. novice martial arts athletes during sustained and transient attention tasks: a motor-related cortical potential study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sanchez-Lopez

    Full Text Available Cognitive and motor processes are essential for optimal athletic performance. Individuals trained in different skills and sports may have specialized cognitive abilities and motor strategies related to the characteristics of the activity and the effects of training and expertise. Most studies have investigated differences in motor-related cortical potential (MRCP during self-paced tasks in athletes but not in stimulus-related tasks. The aim of the present study was to identify the differences in performance and MRCP between skilled and novice martial arts athletes during two different types of tasks: a sustained attention task and a transient attention task. Behavioral and electrophysiological data from twenty-two martial arts athletes were obtained while they performed a continuous performance task (CPT to measure sustained attention and a cued continuous performance task (c-CPT to measure transient attention. MRCP components were analyzed and compared between groups. Electrophysiological data in the CPT task indicated larger prefrontal positive activity and greater posterior negativity distribution prior to a motor response in the skilled athletes, while novices showed a significantly larger response-related P3 after a motor response in centro-parietal areas. A different effect occurred in the c-CPT task in which the novice athletes showed strong prefrontal positive activity before a motor response and a large response-related P3, while in skilled athletes, the prefrontal activity was absent. We propose that during the CPT, skilled athletes were able to allocate two different but related processes simultaneously according to CPT demand, which requires controlled attention and controlled motor responses. On the other hand, in the c-CPT, skilled athletes showed better cue facilitation, which permitted a major economy of resources and "automatic" or less controlled responses to relevant stimuli. In conclusion, the present data suggest that motor

  18. Differences in visuo-motor control in skilled vs. novice martial arts athletes during sustained and transient attention tasks: a motor-related cortical potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Lopez, Javier; Fernandez, Thalia; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Martinez Mesa, Juan A; Di Russo, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive and motor processes are essential for optimal athletic performance. Individuals trained in different skills and sports may have specialized cognitive abilities and motor strategies related to the characteristics of the activity and the effects of training and expertise. Most studies have investigated differences in motor-related cortical potential (MRCP) during self-paced tasks in athletes but not in stimulus-related tasks. The aim of the present study was to identify the differences in performance and MRCP between skilled and novice martial arts athletes during two different types of tasks: a sustained attention task and a transient attention task. Behavioral and electrophysiological data from twenty-two martial arts athletes were obtained while they performed a continuous performance task (CPT) to measure sustained attention and a cued continuous performance task (c-CPT) to measure transient attention. MRCP components were analyzed and compared between groups. Electrophysiological data in the CPT task indicated larger prefrontal positive activity and greater posterior negativity distribution prior to a motor response in the skilled athletes, while novices showed a significantly larger response-related P3 after a motor response in centro-parietal areas. A different effect occurred in the c-CPT task in which the novice athletes showed strong prefrontal positive activity before a motor response and a large response-related P3, while in skilled athletes, the prefrontal activity was absent. We propose that during the CPT, skilled athletes were able to allocate two different but related processes simultaneously according to CPT demand, which requires controlled attention and controlled motor responses. On the other hand, in the c-CPT, skilled athletes showed better cue facilitation, which permitted a major economy of resources and "automatic" or less controlled responses to relevant stimuli. In conclusion, the present data suggest that motor expertise

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olfers, Kerwin J F; Band, Guido P H

    2017-12-20

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

  20. The impact of 10-minute activity breaks outside the classroom on male students' on-task behaviour and sustained attention: a randomised crossover design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Andrew N; Olds, Timothy; Lushington, Kurt; Petkov, John; Dollman, James

    2016-04-01

    The aim was to evaluate the impact of a brief activity bout outside the classroom on boys' attention and on-task behaviour in the classroom setting. Fifty-eight boys (mean age 11.2 ± 0.6 years) were recruited from a boys' elementary school in Adelaide, South Australia. Two year 5 and, similarly, two year 6 classes were assigned using a crossover design to either four weeks of a 10 minute Active Lesson Break followed by four weeks of a 10 minute Passive Lesson Break (reading) or visa versa. Attention was quantified using a computerised psychomotor vigilance task, and on-task behaviour by direct observation. Neither the Active Lesson nor the Passive Lesson condition significantly affected sustained attention or on-task behaviour, and there were no significant differences between conditions. There was no impact on participants' sustained attention or on-task behaviour after a short activity break between lessons. Brief activity breaks outside the classroom do not compromise participants' on-task behaviour or attention levels upon returning to the classroom, although improvement in these variables is not seen either. However, the results suggest that active breaks are effective for accruing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity without compromising classroom behaviours. ©2015 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Attention-shift vs. response-priming explanations for the spatial cueing effect in cross-modal tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paavilainen, Petri; Illi, Janne; Moisseinen, Nella; Niinisalo, Maija; Ojala, Karita; Reinikainen, Johanna; Vainio, Lari

    2016-06-01

    The task-irrelevant spatial location of a cue stimulus affects the processing of a subsequent target. This "Posner effect" has been explained by an exogenous attention shift to the spatial location of the cue, improving perceptual processing of the target. We studied whether the left/right location of task-irrelevant and uninformative tones produces cueing effects on the processing of visual targets. Tones were presented randomly from left or right. In the first condition, the subsequent visual target, requiring response either with the left or right hand, was presented peripherally to left or right. In the second condition, the target was a centrally presented left/right-pointing arrow, indicating the response hand. In the third condition, the tone and the central arrow were presented simultaneously. Data were recorded on compatible (the tone location and the response hand were the same) and incompatible trials. Reaction times were longer on incompatible than on compatible trials. The results of the second and third conditions are difficult to explain with the attention-shift model emphasizing improved perceptual processing in the cued location, as the central target did not require any location-based processing. Consequently, as an alternative explanation they suggest response priming in the hand corresponding to the spatial location of the tone. Simultaneous lateralized readiness potential (LRP) recordings were consistent with the behavioral data, the tone cues eliciting on incompatible trials a fast preparation for the incorrect response and on compatible trials preparation for the correct response. © 2016 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Neural signals of selective attention are modulated by subjective preferences and buying decisions in a virtual shopping task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goto, Nobuhiko; Mushtaq, Faisal; Shee, Dexter; Lim, Xue Li; Mortazavi, Matin; Watabe, Motoki; Schaefer, Alexandre

    2017-09-01

    We investigated whether well-known neural markers of selective attention to motivationally-relevant stimuli were modulated by variations in subjective preference towards consumer goods in a virtual shopping task. Specifically, participants viewed and rated pictures of various goods on the extent to which they wanted each item, which they could potentially purchase afterwards. Using the event-related potentials (ERP) method, we found that variations in subjective preferences for consumer goods strongly modulated positive slow waves (PSW) from 800 to 3000 milliseconds after stimulus onset. We also found that subjective preferences modulated the N200 and the late positive potential (LPP). In addition, we found that both PSW and LPP were modulated by subsequent buying decisions. Overall, these findings show that well-known brain event-related potentials reflecting selective attention processes can reliably index preferences to consumer goods in a shopping environment. Based on a large body of previous research, we suggest that early ERPs (e.g. the N200) to consumer goods could be indicative of preferences driven by unconditional and automatic processes, whereas later ERPs such as the LPP and the PSW could reflect preferences built upon more elaborative and conscious cognitive processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. The n-back test and the attentional network task as measures of child neuropsychological development in epidemiological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forns, Joan; Esnaola, Mikel; López-Vicente, Mónica; Suades-González, Elisabet; Alvarez-Pedrerol, Mar; Julvez, Jordi; Grellier, James; Sebastián-Gallés, Núria; Sunyer, Jordi

    2014-07-01

    Computerized neuropsychological tests offered several advantages for large epidemiological studies to assess child neuropsychological development. We aimed to evaluate the psychometric properties and criterion validity of 2 computerized tests (n-back and attentional network task [ANT]) used to assess the working memory and attention function, respectively. As part of the BREATHE (BRain dEvelopment and Air polluTion ultrafine particles in scHool childrEn) project, we evaluated the neuropsychological development of 2,904 children between 7 to 9 years of age. The main outcomes of the n-back test were d' scores and hit reaction time (RT) (HRT). The outcomes measured for ANT were incorrect responses, omissions, alerting, orienting, and conflict. We also collected data of child's sex, age, school achievement, ADHD symptomatology, behavioral problems, and maternal education. We observed that the d' scores and HRT showed acceptable internal consistency, reasonable factorial structure, as well as good criterion validity and statistical dependencies. Regarding the ANT, incorrect responses, omissions, and conflict score had acceptable criterion validity although the internal consistency of the ANT was low. We strongly recommend the use of these tests in environmental epidemiological studies as valid, objective, and easy-to-apply measures of child neuropsychological development.

  4. 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)

    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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Sandra; Leite, Jorge; Galdo-Álvarez, Santiago; Gonçalves, Oscar F

    2011-01-01

    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. © 2011 Carvalho et al.

  9. 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.

  10. Psychophysiological Correlates of Sexually and Non-Sexually Motivated Attention to Film Clips in a Workload Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Sandra; Leite, Jorge; Galdo-Álvarez, Santiago; Gonçalves, Óscar F.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:22216305

  11. Interactions among attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and problem gambling in a probabilistic reward-learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abouzari, Mehdi; Oberg, Scott; Gruber, Aaron; Tata, Matthew

    2015-09-15

    Problem gambling is thought to be highly comorbid with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We propose that the neurobiological pathologies underlying problem gambling overlap with those in ADHD. In this study, we used a simplified computerized version of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) to assess differences in reinforcement-driven choice adaptation among participants with pathological gambling and/or ADHD. The task contained two choice options with different net payouts over the session; a good bet that resulted in a win of +50 points on 60% of trials (and -50 points on 40%), and a bad bet that resulted in +100 points on 40% of the trials (and -100 points on 60%). We quantified participants' preference for the good bet over the session and their sensitivity to reinforcement. Both the control subjects and medicated ADHD nongamblers significantly increased the proportion of good bets over the 400-trial session. Subjects with problem gambling performed worse than controls and ADHD nongamblers, but better than our limited sample of unmedicated ADHD gamblers. Control subjects, medicated ADHD nongamblers, and unmedicated ADHD nongamblers tended to tolerate losses following good bets, whereas unmedicated ADHD gamblers tended to tolerate losses following bad bets. These data reveal that ADHD, particularly when treated with medication, is not associated with poor choices on the IGT, but may exacerbate pathological choices in problem gamblers. It seems that stabilization of dopamine signaling that occurs when ADHD is treated is itself also a treatment for certain forms of problem gambling. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Effects of OROS methylphenidate on academic, behavioral, and cognitive tasks in children 9 to 12 years of age with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Desiree W; Childress, Ann; Giblin, John; Williamson, David; Armstrong, Robert; Starr, H Lynn

    2011-04-01

    To assess effects of OROS methylphenidate on cognitive and academic tasks in 9 to 12 year olds with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A double-blind, within-subject, crossover design was used to compare OROS methylphenidate with placebo in a laboratory classroom setting on several cognitive and academic tasks for 68 children who met randomization criteria. Performance on the following measures was significantly better when children received individually optimized OROS methylphenidate than placebo: math fluency and accuracy measured by the Permanent Product Math Test, ADHD symptoms observed in the laboratory setting, computerized indices of attention and impulsivity as measured by the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), and visual-spatial working memory (Finger Windows Backwards). Study medication was well tolerated; adverse events were generally consistent with previous reports. OROS methylphenidate improves performance on measures of attention and vigilance, behavior, and working memory in a laboratory school setting in 9 to 12 year olds with ADHD.

  13. Task-irrelevant expectation violations in sequential manual actions: Evidence for a “check-after-surprise” mode of visual attention and eye-hand decoupling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Martina Foerster

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available When performing sequential manual actions (e.g., cooking, visual information is prioritized according to the task determining where and when to attend, look, and act. In well-practiced sequential actions, long-term memory (LTM-based expectations specify which action targets might be found where and when. We have previously demonstrated (Foerster and Schneider, 2015b that violations of such expectations that are task-relevant (e.g., target location change cause a regression from a memory-based mode of attentional selection to visual search. How might task-irrelevant expectation violations in such well-practiced sequential manual actions modify attentional selection? This question was investigated by a computerized version of the number-connection test. Participants clicked on nine spatially-distributed numbered target circles in ascending order while eye movements were recorded as proxy for covert attention. Target’s visual features and locations stayed constant for 65 prechange-trials, allowing practicing the manual action sequence. Consecutively, a task-irrelevant expectation violation occurred and stayed for 20 change-trials. Specifically, action target number 4 appeared in a different font. In 15 reversion-trials, number 4 returned to the original font. During the first task-irrelevant change trial, manual clicking was slower and eye scanpaths were larger and contained more fixations. The additional fixations were mainly checking fixations on the changed target while acting on later targets. Whereas the eyes repeatedly revisited the task-irrelevant change, cursor-paths remained completely unaffected. Effects lasted for 2-3 change trials and did not reappear during reversion. In conclusion, an unexpected task-irrelevant change on a task-defining feature of a well-practiced manual sequence leads to eye-hand decoupling and a check-after-surprise mode of attentional selection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuo, Yuka; Watanabe, Masayuki; Taniike, Masako; Mohri, Ikuko; Kobashi, Syoji; Tachibana, Masaya; Kobayashi, Yasushi; Kitamura, Yuri

    2015-01-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. The efficacy and psychophysiological correlates of dual-attention tasks in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Sarah J; Lee, Christopher W; Drummond, Peter D

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the psychophysiological correlates and the effectiveness of different dual-attention tasks used during eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Sixty-two non-clinical participants with negative autobiographical memories received a single session of EMDR without eye movements, or EMDR that included eye movements of either varied or fixed rate of speed. Subjective units of distress and vividness of the memory were recorded at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and 1 week follow-up. EMDR-with eye movements led to greater reduction in distress than EMDR-without eye movements. Heart rate decreased significantly when eye movements began; skin conductance decreased during eye movement sets; heart rate variability and respiration rate increased significantly as eye movements continued; and orienting responses were more frequent in the eye movement than no-eye movement condition at the start of exposure. Findings indicate that the eye movement component in EMDR is beneficial, and is coupled with distinct psychophysiological changes that may aid in processing negative memories. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Error related negativity and multi-source interference task in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-combined type

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    Rosana Huerta-Albarrán

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective To compare performance of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders-combined (ADHD-C type with control children in multi-source interference task (MSIT evaluated by means of error related negativity (ERN. Method We studied 12 children with ADHD-C type with a median age of 7 years, control children were age- and gender-matched. Children performed MSIT and simultaneous recording of ERN. Results We found no differences in MSIT parameters among groups. We found no differences in ERN variables between groups. We found a significant association of ERN amplitude with MSIT in children with ADHD-C type. Some correlation went in positive direction (frequency of hits and MSIT amplitude, and others in negative direction (frequency of errors and RT in MSIT. Conclusion Children with ADHD-C type exhibited a significant association between ERN amplitude with MSIT. These results underline participation of a cingulo-fronto-parietal network and could help in the comprehension of pathophysiological mechanisms of ADHD.

  18. Self-Paced Preparation for a Task Switch Eliminates Attentional Inertia but Not the Performance Switch Cost

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    The performance overhead associated with changing tasks (the "switch cost") usually diminishes when the task is specified in advance but is rarely eliminated by preparation. A popular account of the "residual" (asymptotic) switch cost is that it reflects "task-set inertia": carry-over of task-set parameters from the…

  19. Mind-wandering in younger and older adults: converging evidence from the Sustained Attention to Response Task and reading for comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jonathan D; Balota, David A

    2012-03-01

    One mechanism that has been hypothesized to contribute to older adults' changes in cognitive performance is goal neglect or impairment in maintaining task set across time. Mind-wandering and task-unrelated thought may underlie these potential age-related changes. The present study investigated age-related changes in mind-wandering in three different versions of the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART), along with self-reported mind-wandering during a reading for comprehension task. In the SART, both younger and older adults produced similar levels of faster reaction times before No-Go errors of commission, whereas, older adults produced disproportionate post-error slowing. Subjective self-reports of mind-wandering recorded during the SART and the reading task indicated that older adults were less likely to report mind-wandering than younger adults. Discussion focuses on cognitive and motivational mechanisms that may account for older adults' relatively low levels of reported mind-wandering.

  20. Attention to emotion through a go/no-go task in children with oppositionality and callous-unemotional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezpeleta, Lourdes; Navarro, J Blas; de la Osa, Núria; Penelo, Eva; Trepat, Esther; Martin, Virginia; Domènech, Josep M

    2017-05-01

    There is debate about whether the difficulties that children with different degrees of oppositionality (ODD) and callous-unemotional traits (CU) have in processing emotions are global or specific. The aim of this study is to identify difficulties in recognizing emotion (happiness, anger, sadness and fear) through a go/no-go task in children with different levels of ODD and CU traits. A total of 320 8-year-old children were assessed through questionnaires filled out by teachers about oppositional defiant symptoms and CU traits and were then distributed into four groups: LowCU-HighODD, HighCU-LowODD, HighCU-HighODD and a comparison group (LowCU-LowODD). The analyses of variance comparing the 4 groups showed that the two groups with high ODD were less accurate than the control group in recognizing the emotion when the stimuli expressed happiness, fear or neutral emotion. The HighCU-HighODD group differed in the quality of the response (correct/wrong responses) but not in the reaction time in relation to the comparison group. The LowCU-HighODD group was faster to respond to emotions than the comparison group. The results show that the deficit in emotion processing is not restricted to specific distressing emotions such as fear or sadness, but they point to a global impairment in emotion processing in children scoring high in the constructs studied. The results also suggest that the difficulties that children with combined CU traits and oppositional conduct problems have in processing emotions are more of an emotional rather than an attentional nature. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Mice haploinsufficient for Map2k7, a gene involved in neurodevelopment and risk for schizophrenia, show impaired attention, a vigilance decrement deficit and unstable cognitive processing in an attentional task: impact of minocycline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Openshaw, R L; Thomson, D M; Penninger, J M; Pratt, J A; Morris, B J

    2017-01-01

    Members of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) family of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, and the upstream kinase MKK7, have all been strongly linked with synaptic plasticity and with the development of the neocortex. However, the impact of disruption of this pathway on cognitive function is unclear. In the current study, we test the hypothesis that reduced MKK7 expression is sufficient to cause cognitive impairment. Attentional function in mice haploinsufficient for Map2k7 (Map2k7 +/- mice) was investigated using the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT). Once stable performance had been achieved, Map2k7 +/- mice showed a distinctive attentional deficit, in the form of an increased number of missed responses, accompanied by a more pronounced decrement in performance over time and elevated intra-individual reaction time variability. When performance was reassessed after administration of minocycline-a tetracycline antibiotic currently showing promise for the improvement of attentional deficits in patients with schizophrenia-signs of improvement in attentional performance were detected. Overall, Map2k7 haploinsufficiency causes a distinctive pattern of cognitive impairment strongly suggestive of an inability to sustain attention, in accordance with those seen in psychiatric patients carrying out similar tasks. This may be important for understanding the mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in clinical populations and highlights the possibility of treating some of these deficits with minocycline.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopher, D.; Wickens, C. D.

    1975-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Temporally specific divided attention tasks in young adults reveal the temporal dynamics of episodic encoding failures in elderly adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Ray; Nessler, Doreen; Friedman, David

    2013-06-01

    Nessler, Johnson, Bersick, and Friedman (D. Nessler, R. Johnson, Jr., M. Bersick, & D. Friedman, 2006, On why the elderly have normal semantic retrieval but deficient episodic encoding: A study of left inferior frontal ERP activity, NeuroImage, Vol. 30, pp. 299-312) found that, compared with young adults, older adults show decreased event-related brain potential (ERP) activity over posterior left inferior prefrontal cortex (pLIPFC) in a 400- to 1,400-ms interval during episodic encoding. This altered brain activity was associated with significantly decreased recognition performance and reduced recollection-related brain activity at retrieval (D. Nessler, D. Friedman, R. Johnson, Jr., & M. Bersick, 2007, Does repetition engender the same retrieval processes in young and older adults? NeuroReport, Vol. 18, pp. 1837-1840). To test the hypothesis that older adults' well-documented episodic retrieval deficit is related to reduced pLIPFC activity at encoding, we used a novel divided attention task in healthy young adults that was specifically timed to disrupt encoding in either the 1st or 2nd half of a 300- to 1,400-ms interval. The results showed that diverting resources for 550 ms during either half of this interval reproduced the 4 characteristic aspects of the older participants' retrieval performance: normal semantic retrieval during encoding, reduced subsequent episodic recognition and recall, reduced recollection-related ERP activity, and the presence of "compensatory" brain activity. We conclude that part of older adults' episodic memory deficit is attributable to altered pLIPFC activity during encoding due to reduced levels of available processing resources. Moreover, the findings also provide insights into the nature and timing of the putative "compensatory" processes posited to be used by older adults in an attempt to compensate for age-related decline in cognitive function. These results support the scaffolding account of compensation, in which the

  6. The effect of performing a dual-task on postural control and selective attention of older adults when stepping backward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, William Wai-Nam; Chan, Vito Wai-Lok; Wong, Henry Hei; Yip, Tony Wai-Cheong; Lu, Xi

    2016-10-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of the study was to investigate the postural control and cognitive performance of older adults when stepping backward with and without a concurrent cognitive task. [Subjects and Methods] Thirty young adults and twenty-eight older adults (mean age=21.3 ± 1.2 and 72.2 ± 5.7 years, respectively) were recruited. Participants were asked to step backward and then maintain a single-leg stance for 10 seconds with and without a concurrent auditory response task. The reaction time and error rate while performing the cognitive task were recorded. Postural stability after stepping back was measured in terms of total sway path and total sway area. [Results] The older subjects had significantly longer reaction times and higher error rates in both single- and dual-tasking. When dual-tasking, both groups had significantly longer reaction times than when single-tasking. Only the older adults showed significantly higher error rates. The older adults also had significantly longer total sway paths and larger total sway areas of single-leg stance after stepping back. Neither group showed a significant difference in total sway path and sway area between single- and dual-tasking. [Conclusion] Older adults have poorer cognitive performance and postural stability during both single- and dual-tasking. They tend to prioritize postural control over cognition in dual-tasking.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bari, A; Robbins, T W

    2013-11-01

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

  8. Introduction of a retention interval in a sustained attention task in rats: effects of a visual distracter and increasing the inter-trial interval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burk, Joshua A

    2004-11-30

    The impact of manipulating explicit attentional demands on working memory has not been well studied in rodents. The present experiment was designed to test the effects of incorporating a retention interval in a two-lever sustained attention task that requires discrimination of visual signals and non-signals and that has previously been shown to yield valid measures of attention in the rat. Upon establishing baseline performance, additional manipulations, including presentation of a visual distracter and increasing the length and variability of the inter-trial interval were conducted. During baseline conditions, accurate detection of signals, but not non-signals, decreased as the retention interval was increased. Presentation of a flashing houselight throughout the session eliminated delay-dependent detection of signals. Increasing the inter-trial interval improved detection of signals and decreased detection of non-signals at the longest retention interval. Finally, increasing the variability of the inter-trial interval did not have significant effects on performance above and beyond the effects of increasing the inter-trial interval. The present experiment demonstrates that manipulation of explicit attentional demands can alter working memory performance in the rat. This task may be employed to understand the neuropharmacological and neuroanatomical substrates mediating memory while attentional load is systematically varied.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherri, Elena; Eimer, Martin

    2011-04-01

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

  10. Memory-driven attentional capture reveals the waxing and waning of working memory activation due to dual-task interference

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sasin, Edyta; Nieuwenstein, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that information held in working memory (WM) actively or as a residue of previous processing can lead to attentional capture by corresponding stimuli in the environment. Here, we compared attentional capture by goal-driven and residual WM activation and exam- ined how

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Göran B W Söderlund

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Gray matter regions statistically mediating the cross-sectional association of eotaxin and set-shifting among older adults with major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smagula, Stephen F; Karim, Helmet T; Lenze, Eric J; Butters, Meryl A; Wu, Gregory F; Mulsant, Benoit H; Reynolds, Charles F; Aizenstein, Howard J

    2017-12-01

    Eotaxin is a chemokine that exerts negative effects on neurogenesis. We recently showed that peripheral eotaxin levels correlate with both lower gray matter volume and poorer executive performance in older adults with major depressive disorder. These findings suggest that the relationship between eotaxin and set-shifting may be accounted for by lower gray matter volume in specific regions. Prior studies have identified specific gray matter regions that correlate with set-shifting performance, but have not examined whether these specific gray matter regions mediate the cross-sectional association between eotaxin and set-shifting. In 27 older adults (mean age: 68 ± 5.2 years) with major depressive disorder, we performed a whole brain (voxel-wise) analysis testing whether/where gray matter density statistically mediates the cross-sectional association of eotaxin and set-shifting performance. We found the association between eotaxin and set-shifting performance was fully statistically mediated by lower gray matter density in left middle cingulate, right pre-/post-central, lingual, inferior/superior frontal, cuneus, and middle temporal regions. The regions identified above may be both susceptible to a potential neurodegenerative effect of eotaxin, and critical to preserving set-shifting function. Longitudinal and intervention studies are needed to further evaluate whether targeting eotaxin levels will prevent neurodegeneration and executive impairment in older adults with depression. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Methylphenidate normalises activation and functional connectivity deficits in attention and motivation networks in medication-naïve children with ADHD during a rewarded continuous performance task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubia, Katya; Halari, Rozmin; Cubillo, Ana; Mohammad, Abdul-Majeed; Brammer, Mick; Taylor, Eric

    2009-12-01

    Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have deficits in motivation and attention that can be ameliorated with the indirect dopamine agonist Methylphenidate (MPH). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the effects of MPH in medication-naïve children with ADHD on the activation and functional connectivity of "cool" attentional as well as "hot" motivation networks. 13 medication-naïve children with ADHD were scanned twice, under either an acute clinical dose of MPH or Placebo, in a randomised, double-blind design, while they performed a rewarded continuous performance task that measured vigilant selective attention and the effects of reward. Brain activation and functional connectivity was compared to that of 13 healthy age-matched controls to test for normalisation effects of MPH. MPH normalised performance deficits that were observed in children with ADHD compared to controls. Under placebo, children with ADHD showed reduced activation and functional inter-connectivity in bilateral fronto-striato-parieto-cerebellar networks during the attention condition, but enhanced activation in the orbitofrontal and superior temporal cortices for reward. MPH within children with ADHD enhanced the activation of fronto-striato-cerebellar and parieto-temporal regions. Compared to controls, MPH normalised differences during vigilant attention in parieto-temporal activation and fronto-striatal and fronto-cerebellar connectivity; MPH also normalised the enhanced orbitofrontal activation in children with ADHD in response to reward. MPH normalised attention differences between children with ADHD and controls by both up-regulation of dysfunctional fronto-striato-thalamo-cerebellar and parieto-temporal attention networks and down-regulation of hyper-sensitive orbitofrontal activation for reward processing. MPH thus shows context-dependent dissociative modulation of both motivational and attentional neuro-functional networks in

  16. Students with Attention Deficit Disorder Carrying out Tasks of Reading Comprehension and Text Production: A Comparative Study in 4th-Grade Students of Primary Education in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabián Andrés Inostroza-Inostroza

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The present article aims to compare the performance in students with Attention Deficit Disorder to those who do not present it, in tasks of reading comprehension and text production carried out by students attending the fourth grade of primary education. This quantitative, non-experimental comparative study aims to provide evidence regarding the way in which this condition limits the learning outcomes in the tasks of comprehension and production of texts, language, and communication. One the main findings of this research was that students with attention deficit disorder showed lower reading comprehension performance than their peers who do not presented this diagnosis. This same tendency was observed in the results of the texts production tasks. This implies that the disorder affecting the attention in students with it interferes in the process of language learning. This generates challenges and new questions for those who do research in this topic; and for the case of teachers, it presents new challenges when planning the teaching in order to adapt it to the specific requirements of these students in the area of language.

  17. Impaired choice stepping in response to a visual-spatial attention demanding task among older adults at high risk of falling: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uemura, Kazuki; Yamada, Minoru; Nagai, Koutatsu; Tanaka, Buichi; Mori, Shuhei

    2012-08-01

    Impairment in visual-spatial attention can cause difficulties in planning and guiding movements, leading to falls in older adults .The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between visual-spatial attention during movement and the risk of falling in older adults. Thirty-six elderly volunteers (mean age, 73.2±6.8 years) performed a rapid choice stepping task in response to flanker task stimuli. Step errors in congruent or incongruent conditions were recorded as a measure of the accuracy of choice stepping. Four clinical measurements were also assessed: 10-min walking time, timed up and go test, functional reach test and 5- chair stand test. High-risk (HR) participants showed a significantly higher rate of step errors in the incongruent condition than low-risk (LR) ones (HR: 55.5%, LR: 18.5%; p =0.032). Step error in the incongruent condition [odds ratio (OR)=5.5; p=0.041] was the only independent variable which remained significant in the final step of the logistic regression model. Impaired choice stepping in response to a visual-spatial attention-demanding task was associated with the risk of falling in older adults.

  18. Is the emotional Stroop task a special case of mood induction? Evidence from sustained effects of attention under emotion

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ben-Haim, Moshe Shay; Mama, Yaniv; Icht, Michal; Algom, Daniel

    Sustained effects of emotion are well known in everyday experience. Surprisingly, such effects are seldom recorded in laboratory studies of the emotional Stroop task, in which participants name the color of emotion and neutral words...

  19. Effects of Classroom-Based Physical Activities on Off-Task Behaviors and Attention: Kindergarten Case Study

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sara E Wiebelhaus; Michelle Fryer Hanson

    2016-01-01

      The qualitative case study's purpose was to determine if classroom-based physical activities would affect student off-task behaviors during instruction and students' perceptions of ability to focus...

  20. Consumer Perception of Online Advertising - The Effects of Animation, Ad Characteristics, Repetition and Task Relevancy on Attention and Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Kuisma, Jarmo

    2015-01-01

    Prior advertising research on advertising perception models has mainly focused on effects that occur after consumers have been exposed to advertising stimuli. Little research has examined how consumers are exposed to advertising and the quality of visual attention during advertising exposure. This doctoral dissertation examines how consumers allocate their visual attention to online ads and how consumers memorize ads in different viewing conditions. More precisely, the dissertation focuses on...

  1. Attending to quadrants and ring-shaped regions: ERP effects of visual attention in different spatial selection tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eimer, M

    1999-07-01

    Attentional modulations of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured when subjects were cued to attend to a visual quadrant or to a ring-shaped region of visual space to detect infrequently presented targets within the attended region. Spatial attention directed to quadrants was reflected in modulations of sensory-evoked P1 and N1 components at lateral posterior sites and enhanced negativities (Nds) at midline electrodes that started around 150 ms poststimulus. When attention was directed to ring-shaped regions, no modulations of P1 and N1 amplitudes were found, and Nd effects observed at midline electrodes were delayed by about 50 ms. These findings indicate that behavioral effects observed both when attention is directed to contiguous regions and to general areas of visual space may be caused by different underlying processes. Intraperceptual "sensory gating" mechanisms operating in a way suggested by the notion of an attentional "zoom-lens" may be responsible for the selection of single regions, quadrants, or hemifields. When relevant regions are more complex, spatial selectivity will affect primarily postperceptual processes.

  2. Resting cardiac vagal tone predicts intraindividual reaction time variability during an attention task in a sample of young and healthy adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, DeWayne P; Thayer, Julian F; Koenig, Julian

    2016-12-01

    Intraindividual reaction time variability (IIV), defined as the variability in trial-to-trial response times, is thought to serve as an index of central nervous system function. As such, greater IIV reflects both poorer executive brain function and cognitive control, in addition to lapses in attention. Resting-state vagally mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV), a psychophysiological index of self-regulatory abilities, has been linked with executive brain function and cognitive control such that those with greater resting-state vmHRV often perform better on cognitive tasks. However, research has yet to investigate the direct relationship between resting vmHRV and task IIV. The present study sought to examine this relationship in a sample of 104 young and healthy participants who first completed a 5-min resting-baseline period during which resting-state vmHRV was assessed. Participants then completed an attentional (target detection) task, where reaction time, accuracy, and trial-to-trial IIV were obtained. Results showed resting vmHRV to be significantly related to IIV, such that lower resting vmHRV predicted higher IIV on the task, even when controlling for several covariates (including mean reaction time and accuracy). Overall, our results provide further evidence for the link between resting vmHRV and cognitive control, and extend these notions to the domain of lapses in attention, as indexed by IIV. Implications and recommendations for future research on resting vmHRV and cognition are discussed. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  3. Mind-wandering in Younger and Older Adults: Converging Evidence from the Sustained Attention to Response Task and Reading for Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jonathan D.; Balota, David A.

    2011-01-01

    One mechanism that has been hypothesized to contribute to older adults’ changes in cognitive performance is goal neglect or impairment in maintaining task set across time. Mind-wandering and task-unrelated thought may underlie these potential age-related changes. The present study investigated age-related changes in mind-wandering in three different versions of the Sustained Attention to Response task (SART), along with self-reported mind-wandering during a reading for comprehension task. In the SART, both younger and older adults produced similar levels of faster reaction times before No-Go errors of commission, whereas, older adults produced disproportionate post-error slowing. Subjective self-reports of mind-wandering recorded during the SART and the reading task indicated that older adults were less likely to report mind-wandering than younger adults. Discussion focuses on cognitive and motivational mechanisms that may account for older adults’ relatively low levels of reported mind-wandering. PMID:21707183

  4. 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.

  5. Time Reproduction in Finger Tapping Tasks by Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and/or Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiffin-Richards, Margaret C.; Hasselhorn, Marcus; Richards, Michael L.; Banaschewski, Tobias; Rothenberger, Aribert

    2004-01-01

    Aim: Deficits in timing and sequencing behaviour in children with dyslexia and with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder have already been identified. However many studies have not controlled for comorbidity between dyslexia and ADHD. This study investigated timing performance of children with either dyslexia or ADHD, or ADHD + dyslexia or…

  6. A short physical activity break from cognitive tasks increases selective attention in primary school children aged 10-11

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, M.; Chin A Paw, M.J.M.; Rauh, S.P.; Toussaint, H.M.; van Mechelen, W.; Verhagen, E.A.L.M.

    2014-01-01

    Importance Evidence for an acute effect of physical activity on cognitive performance within the school setting is limited. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into acute effects of a short physical activity bout on selective attention in primary school children, specifically in the school

  7. 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…

  8. Selective attention and error processing in an illusory conjunction task - An event-related brain potential study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijers, AA; Boksem, MAS

    2005-01-01

    We recorded event-related potentials in an illusory conjunction task, in which subjects were cued on each trial to search for a particular colored letter in a subsequently presented test array, consisting of three different letters in three different colors. In a proportion of trials the target

  9. Difference in Perseverative Errors during a Visual Attention Task with Auditory Distractors in Alpha-9 Nicotinic Receptor Subunit Wild Type and Knock-Out Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascal Jorratt

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The auditory efferent system is a neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through olivocochlear (OC neurons. Medial OC neurons make cholinergic synapses with outer hair cells (OHCs through nicotinic receptors constituted by α9 and α10 subunits. One of the physiological functions of the α9 nicotinic receptor subunit (α9-nAChR is the suppression of auditory distractors during selective attention to visual stimuli. In a recent study we demonstrated that the behavioral performance of alpha-9 nicotinic receptor knock-out (KO mice is altered during selective attention to visual stimuli with auditory distractors since they made less correct responses and more omissions than wild type (WT mice. As the inhibition of the behavioral responses to irrelevant stimuli is an important mechanism of the selective attention processes, behavioral errors are relevant measures that can reflect altered inhibitory control. Errors produced during a cued attention task can be classified as premature, target and perseverative errors. Perseverative responses can be considered as an inability to inhibit the repetition of an action already planned, while premature responses can be considered as an index of the ability to wait or retain an action. Here, we studied premature, target and perseverative errors during a visual attention task with auditory distractors in WT and KO mice. We found that α9-KO mice make fewer perseverative errors with longer latencies than WT mice in the presence of auditory distractors. In addition, although we found no significant difference in the number of target error between genotypes, KO mice made more short-latency target errors than WT mice during the presentation of auditory distractors. The fewer perseverative error made by α9-KO mice could be explained by a reduced motivation for reward and an increased impulsivity during decision making with auditory distraction in KO mice.

  10. 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

  11. Psychophysiological Correlates of Sexually and Non-Sexually Motivated Attention to Film Clips in a Workload Task

    OpenAIRE

    Sandra Carvalho; Jorge Leite; Santiago Galdo-Álvarez; Oscar F Gonçalves

    2011-01-01

    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 d...

  12. Music Recommendation System for Human Attention Modulation by Facial Recognition on a driving task: A Proof of Concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avila-Vázquez Roberto

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of music on driving process had been discussed in the context of driver assistance as an element of security and comfort. Throughout this document, we present the development of an audio recommender system for the use by drivers, based on facial expression analysis. This recommendation system has the objective of increasing the attention of the driver by the election of specific music pieces. For this pilot study, we start presenting an introduction to audio recommender systems and a brief explanation of the function of our facial expression analysis system. During the driving course the subjects (seven participants between 19 and 25 years old are stimulated with a chosen group of audio compositions and their facial expressions are captured via a camera mounted in the car's dashboard. Once the videos were captured and recollected, we proceeded to analyse them using the FACET™ module of the biometric capture platform iMotions™. This software provides us with the expression analysis of the subjects. Analysed data is postprocessed and the data obtained were modelled on a quadratic surface that was optimized based on the known cestrum and tempo of the songs and the average evidence of emotion. The results showed very different optimal points for each subject, that indicates different type of music for optimizing driving attention. This work is a first step for obtaining a music recommendation system capable to modulate subject attention while driving.

  13. Hippocampal volume and auditory attention on a verbal memory task with adult survivors of pediatric brain tumor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakar, Reema; King, Tricia Z; Morris, Robin; Na, Sabrina

    2015-03-01

    We examined the nature of verbal memory deficits and the possible hippocampal underpinnings in long-term adult survivors of childhood brain tumor. 35 survivors (M = 24.10 ± 4.93 years at testing; 54% female), on average 15 years post-diagnosis, and 59 typically developing adults (M = 22.40 ± 4.35 years, 54% female) participated. Automated FMRIB Software Library (FSL) tools were used to measure hippocampal, putamen, and whole brain volumes. The California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition (CVLT-II) was used to assess verbal memory. Hippocampal, F(1, 91) = 4.06, ηp² = .04; putamen, F(1, 91) = 11.18, ηp² = .11; and whole brain, F(1, 92) = 18.51, ηp² = .17, volumes were significantly lower for survivors than controls (p memory indices of auditory attention list span (Trial 1: F(1, 92) = 12.70, η² = .12) and final list learning (Trial 5: F(1, 92) = 6.01, η² = .06) were significantly lower for survivors (p Memory differences between survivors and controls are largely contingent upon auditory attention list span. Only hippocampal volume is associated with the auditory attention list span component of verbal memory. These findings are particularly robust for survivors treated with radiation. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela Behs Jarros

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Near-infrared spectroscopy assessment of divided visual attention task-invoked cerebral hemodynamics during prolonged true driving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ting; Zhao, Yue; Sun, Yunlong; Gao, Yuan; Su, Yu; Hetian, Yiyi; Chen, Min

    2015-03-01

    Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents. It is imperative to develop a technique to monitor fatigue of drivers in real situation. Near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is now capable of measuring brain functional activity noninvasively in terms of hemodynamic responses sensitively, which shed a light to us that it may be possible to detect fatigue-specified brain functional activity signal. We developed a sensitive, portable and absolute-measure fNIRS, and utilized it to monitor cerebral hemodynamics on car drivers during prolonged true driving. An odd-ball protocol was employed to trigger the drivers' visual divided attention, which is a critical function in safe driving. We found that oxyhemoglobin concentration and blood volume in prefrontal lobe dramatically increased with driving duration (stand for fatigue degree; 2-10 hours), while deoxyhemoglobin concentration increased to the top at 4 hours then decreased slowly. The behavior performance showed clear decrement only after 6 hours. Our study showed the strong potential of fNIRS combined with divided visual attention protocol in driving fatigue degree monitoring. Our findings indicated the fNIRS-measured hemodynamic parameters were more sensitive than behavior performance evaluation.

  17. Is the emotional Stroop task a special case of mood induction? Evidence from sustained effects of attention under emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Haim, Moshe Shay; Mama, Yaniv; Icht, Michal; Algom, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Sustained effects of emotion are well known in everyday experience. Surprisingly, such effects are seldom recorded in laboratory studies of the emotional Stroop task, in which participants name the color of emotion and neutral words. Color performance is more sluggish with emotion words than with neutral words, the emotional Stroop effect (ESE). The ESE is not sensitive to the order in which the two groups of words are presented, so the effect of exposure to emotion words does not extend to disrupting performance in a subsequent block with neutral words. We attribute this absence of a sustained effect to habituation engendered by excessive repetition of the experimental stimuli. In a series of four experiments, we showed that sustained effects do occur when habituation is removed, and we also showed that the massive exposure to negative stimuli within the ESE paradigm induces a commensurately negative mood. A novel perspective is offered, in which the ESE is considered a special case of mood induction.

  18. A novel variable delay Go/No-Go task to study attention, motivation and working memory in the head-fixed rodent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolzani, Samuel D; Nakamura, Shinya; Cooper, Donald C

    2013-01-01

    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.

  19. Boundary conditions for the influence of unfamiliar non-target primes in unconscious evaluative priming: The moderating role of attentional task sets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, Markus; Sim, Eun-Jim; Wentura, Dirk

    2015-09-01

    Evaluative priming by masked emotional stimuli that are not consciously perceived has been taken as evidence that affective stimulus evaluation can also occur unconsciously. However, as masked priming effects were small and frequently observed only for familiar primes that there also presented as visible targets in an evaluative decision task, priming was thought to reflect primarily response activation based on acquired S-R associations and not evaluative semantic stimulus analysis. The present study therefore assessed across three experiments boundary conditions for the emergence of masked evaluative priming effects with unfamiliar primes in an evaluative decision task and investigated the role of the frequency of target repetition on priming with pictorial and verbal stimuli. While familiar primes elicited robust priming effects in all conditions, priming effects by unfamiliar primes were reliably obtained for low repetition (pictures) or unrepeated targets (words), but not for targets repeated at a high frequency. This suggests that unfamiliar masked stimuli only elicit evaluative priming effects when the task set associated with the visible target involves evaluative semantic analysis and is not based on S-R triggered responding as for high repetition targets. The present results therefore converge with the growing body of evidence demonstrating attentional control influences on unconscious processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. "Hunting with a knife and ... fork": examining central coherence in autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and typical development with a linguistic task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Rhonda; Happé, Francesca

    2010-12-01

    A local processing bias, referred to as "weak central coherence," has been postulated to underlie key aspects of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Little research has examined whether individual differences in this cognitive style can be found in typical development, independent of intelligence, and how local processing relates to executive control. We present a brief and easy-to-administer test of coherence requiring global sentence completions. We report results from three studies assessing (a) 176 typically developing (TD) 8- to 25-year-olds, (b) individuals with ASD and matched controls, and (c) matched groups with ASD or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The results suggest that the Sentence Completion Task can reveal individual differences in cognitive style unrelated to IQ in typical development, that most (but not all) people with ASD show weak coherence on this task, and that performance is not related to inhibitory control. The Sentence Completion Task was found to be a useful test instrument, capable of tapping local processing bias in a range of populations. (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Reduced Prefrontal Cortex Activation in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder during Go/No-Go Task: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuo Miao

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders in children and affects 3 to 5% of school-aged children. This study is to demonstrate whether functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS can detect the changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-HB in children with ADHD and typically developing children (TD children.Method: In this study, 14 children with ADHD and 15 TD children were studied. Metabolic signals of functional blood oxygen were recorded by using fNIRS during go/no-go task. A statistic method is used to compare the fNIRS between the ADHD children and controls.Results: A significant oxy-HB increase in the left frontopolar cortex (FPC in control subjects but not in children with ADHD during inhibitory tasks. Moreover, ADHD children showed reduced activation in left FPC relative to TD children.Conclusion: Functional brain imaging using fNIRS showed reduced activation in the left prefrontal cortex (PFC of children with ADHD during the inhibition task. The fNIRS could be a promising tool for differentiating children with ADHD and TD children.

  3. Event-related variations in alpha band activity during an attentional task in preadolescents: Effects of morning nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivik, R T; Dykman, R A

    2007-03-01

    Event-related desynchronization and synchronization (ERD/ERS) methodology was used to study interactions between nutrition, brain function, cognition and behavior in children who ate or skipped breakfast after overnight fasting. Healthy preadolescents performed a cued visual Go/No-Go RT task after overnight fasting (Phase 1) and again (Phase 2) after eating breakfast (n=30) or continuing to fast (n=30). ERS and ERD determinations (8-10, 10-12Hz; frontal, central, parietal, occipital sites) and measures of sleep (overnight actigraphy) and blood glucose (finger sticks) were obtained. Feeding increased blood glucose, but the groups were similar in sleep amount and response accuracy. Between-phase comparisons showed slower RT and increased alpha synchronization in fasting subjects, but little change in those who ate breakfast. Phase 2 group differences emphasized greater frontal early ERS and late frontal-central ERD in Fed subjects. In preadolescents a brief extension of overnight fasting resulted in significant changes in brain activity and behavior that were effectively countered by eating breakfast. Delaying breakfast until mid-morning appeared to have introduced fasting effects that attenuated responses in Fed subjects. These findings show the sensitivity of brain function and behavior to subtle variations in nutritional status and argue for greater consideration of nutritional variables in neurobehavioral studies.

  4. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Shifting between mental sets: An individual differences approach to commonalities and differences of task switching components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Bastian, Claudia C; Druey, Michel D

    2017-09-01

    Switching between mental sets has been extensively investigated in both experimental and individual differences research using a wide range of task-switch paradigms. However, it is yet unclear whether these different tasks measure a unitary shifting ability or reflect different facets thereof. In this study, 20 task pairs were administered to 119 young adults to assess 5 proposed components of mental set shifting: switching between judgments, stimulus dimensions, stimulus-response mappings, response sets, and stimulus sets. Modeling latent factors for each of the components revealed that a model with 5 separate yet mostly correlated factors fit the data best. In this model, the components most strongly related to the other latent factors were stimulus-response mapping shifting and, to a lesser degree, response set shifting. In addition, both factors were statistically indistinguishable from a second-order general shifting factor. In contrast, shifting between judgments as well as stimulus dimensions consistently required separate factors and could, hence, not fully be accounted for by the general shifting factor. Finally, shifting between stimulus sets was unrelated to any other shifting component but mapping shifting. We conclude that tasks assessing shifting between mappings are most adequate to assess general shifting ability. In contrast, shifting between stimulus sets (e.g., as in the Trail Making Test) probably reflects shifts in visual attention rather than executive shifting ability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. 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

    2016-02-04

    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

  7. Strength-balance supplemented with computerized cognitive training to improve dual task gait and divided attention in older adults: a multicenter randomized-controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van het Reve, Eva; de Bruin, Eling D

    2014-12-15

    Exercise interventions often do not combine physical and cognitive training. However, this combination is assumed to be more beneficial in improving walking and cognitive functioning compared to isolated cognitive or physical training. A multicenter parallel randomized controlled trial was conducted to compare a motor to a cognitive-motor exercise program. A total of 182 eligible residents of homes-for-the-aged (n = 159) or elderly living in the vicinity of the homes (n = 23) were randomly assigned to either strength-balance (SB) or strength-balance-cognitive (SBC) training. Both groups conducted similar strength-balance training during 12 weeks. SBC additionally absolved computerized cognitive training. Outcomes were dual task costs of walking, physical performance, simple reaction time, executive functions, divided attention, fear of falling and fall rate. Participants were analysed with an intention to treat approach. The 182 participants (mean age ± SD: 81.5 ± 7.3 years) were allocated to either SB (n = 98) or SBC (n = 84). The attrition rate was 14.3%. Interaction effects were observed for dual task costs of step length (preferred walking speed: F(1,174) = 4.94, p = 0.028, η2 = 0.027, fast walking speed: F(1,166) = 6.14, p = 0.009, η2 = 0.040) and dual task costs of the standard deviation of step length (F(1,166) = 6.14, p = 0.014, η2 = 0.036), in favor of SBC. Significant interactions in favor of SBC revealed for in gait initiation (F(1,166) = 9.16, p = 0.003, η2 = 0.052), 'reaction time' (F(1,180) = 5.243, p = 0.023, η² = 0.028) & 'missed answers' (F(1,180) = 11.839, p = 0.001, η² = 0.062) as part of the test for divided attention. Within-group comparison revealed significant improvements in dual task costs of walking (preferred speed; velocity (p = 0.002), step time (p = 0.018), step length (p = 0.028), fast speed; velocity (p attention

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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.

    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.

  13. Does cortisol influence core executive functions? A meta-analysis of acute cortisol administration effects on working memory, inhibition, and set-shifting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Grant S; Bonner, Joseph C; Moons, Wesley G

    2015-08-01

    The hormone cortisol is often believed to play a pivotal role in the effects of stress on human cognition. This meta-analysis is an attempt to determine the effects of acute cortisol administration on core executive functions. Drawing on both rodent and stress literatures, we hypothesized that acute cortisol administration would impair working memory and set-shifting but enhance inhibition. Additionally, because cortisol is thought to exert different nongenomic (rapid) and genomic (slow) effects, we further hypothesized that the effects of cortisol would differ as a function of the delay between cortisol administration and cognitive testing. Although the overall analyses were nonsignificant, after separating the rapid, nongenomic effects of cortisol from the slower, genomic effects of cortisol, the rapid effects of cortisol enhanced response inhibition, g+ = 0.113, p=.016, but impaired working memory, g+ = -0.315, p=.008, although these effects reversed over time. Contrary to our hypotheses, there was no effect of cortisol administration on set-shifting. Thus, although we did not find support for the idea that increases in cortisol influence set-shifting, we found that acute increases in cortisol exert differential effects on working memory and inhibition over time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Exposure to sevoflurane anesthesia during development does not impair aspects of attention during adulthood in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Kathy L; McGaughy, Jill; Croxson, Paula L; Baxter, Mark G

    Exposure to general anesthetic agents during development has been associated with neurotoxicity and long-term behavioral impairments in rodents and non-human primates. The phenotype of anesthetic-induced cognitive impairment has a robust learning and memory component, however less is known about other psychological domains. Data from retrospective human patient studies suggest that children undergoing multiple procedures requiring general anesthesia are at increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. We therefore assessed whether single or repeated exposures of neonatal rats to general anesthesia caused long-term attentional impairments. Female or male Long-Evans pups were exposed to 2.5% sevoflurane for 2h on postnatal day (P) 7, or for 2h each on P7, P10 and P13. Rats were behaviorally tested in late adolescence on the sustained attention task and on the attentional set shifting task. There was no compelling evidence for anesthetic-induced impairment in attentional processing in adult rats exposed to general anesthesia as neonates. These results suggest that, at least at the developmental stage tested here, the phenotype of anesthetic-induced cognitive impairment does not involve disruptions to attentional processing. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. Chemogenetic Activation of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Affects Attention, but not Impulsivity, in the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task in Rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boekhoudt, Linde; Voets, Elisa S; Flores-Dourojeanni, Jacques P; Luijendijk-Berg, Mieneke Cm; Vanderschuren, Louk Jmj; Adan, Roger Ah

    2017-01-01

    Attentional impairments and exaggerated impulsivity are key features of psychiatric disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction. These deficits in attentional performance and impulsive behaviors have been associated with aberrant dopamine (DA) signaling,

  16. Chemogenetic Activation of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Affects Attention, but not Impulsivity, in the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time-Task in Rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boekhoudt, Linde; Voets, Elisa S; Flores-Dourojeanni, Jacques P; Luijendijk, Mieneke Cm; Vanderschuren, Louk Jmj|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/126514917; Adan, Roger Ah

    2017-01-01

    Attentional impairments and exaggerated impulsivity are key features of psychiatric disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and addiction. These deficits in attentional performance and impulsive behaviours have been associated with aberrant dopamine (DA)

  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.

    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.

  18. Mechanisms of Perceptual Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dosher, Barbara

    2000-01-01

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

  19. Mechanism of Perceptual Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2000-01-01

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

  20. The use of music with young children to improve sustained attention during a vigilance task in the presence of auditory distractions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, David E; Noguchi, Laura K

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the use of music to sustain attention of young children during conditions of auditory distractions. Kindergarten students (N=76) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions/groups: (a) spoken story with no distraction, (b) spoken story with distraction, (c) musical story with no distraction, musical story with distraction. Participants were asked to listen to the story and to identify specific "actions" and "animals" that were presented (i.e., spoken or sung) within the story. A tally of correct responses (child pointed to correct actions/animals at appropriate times) was recorded during the listening task. Observations of participants' behaviors while listening were also made by the experimenter using narrative recording procedures. A one-way ANOVA was computed to assess the difference in mean scores across the four experimental conditions. Significant results were found. Further analysis employing a Tukey post hoc/multiple comparisons test revealed significant differences between the spoken story with distraction condition and the musical story with distraction condition. These statistical results, along with the observations of listening behaviors, were discussed in terms of providing suggestions for future research and in lending support to the use of music with young children to improve vigilance within educational and clinical settings.

  1. 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.

  2. Using a divided-attention stepping accuracy task to improve balance and functional outcomes in an individual with incomplete spinal cord injury: A case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leach, Susan J; Magill, Richard A; Maring, Joyce R

    2017-01-01

    A spinal cord injury (SCI) frequently results in impaired balance, endurance, and strength with subsequent limitations in functional mobility and community participation. The purpose of this case report was to implement a training program for an individual with a chronic incomplete SCI using a novel divided-attention stepping accuracy task (DASAT) to determine if improvements could be made in impairments, activities, and participation. The client was a 51-year-old male with a motor incomplete C4 SCI sustained 4 years prior. He presented with decreased quality of life (QOL) and functional independence, and deficits in balance, endurance, and strength consistent with central cord syndrome. The client completed the DASAT intervention 3 times per week for 6 weeks. Each session incorporated 96 multi-directional steps to randomly-assigned targets in response to 3-step verbal commands. QOL, measured using the SF-36, was generally enhanced but fluctuated. Community mobility progressed from close supervision to independence. Significant improvement was achieved in all balance scores: Berg Balance Scale by 9 points [Minimal Detectable Change (MDC) = 4.9 in elderly]; Functional Reach Test by 7.62 cm (MDC = 5.16 in C5/C6 SCI); and Timed Up-and-Go by 0.53 s (MDC not established). Endurance increased on the 6-Minute Walk Test, with the client achieving an additional 47 m (MDC = 45.8 m). Lower extremity isokinetic peak torque strength measures were mostly unchanged. Six minutes of DASAT training per session provided an efficient, low-cost intervention utilizing multiple trials of variable practice, and resulted in better performance in activities, balance, and endurance in this client.

  3. Attention shifting in Parkinson's disease: an analysis of behavioral and cortical responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rustamov, Nabi; Rodriguez-Raecke, Rea; Timm, Lydia; Agrawal, Deepashri; Dressler, Dirk; Schrader, Christoph; Tacik, Pawel; Wegner, Florian; Dengler, Reinhard; Wittfoth, Matthias; Kopp, Bruno

    2014-11-01

    The study was designed to examine persistent (input selection) versus transient (input shifting) mechanisms of attention control in Parkinson's disease (PD). The study identifies behavioral and neural markers of selective control and shifting control using a novel combination of a flanker task with an attentional set-shifting task, and it compares patients with PD with matched controls. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded, and analyses focused on frontally distributed N2 waves, parietally distributed P3 waves, and error-related negativities (Ne/ERN). Controls showed robust shifting costs (prolonged response times), but patients with PD did not show evidence for comparable shifting costs. Patients with PD made more errors than controls when required to shift between attentional sets, but also when they had to initially maintain an attentional set. At the neural level it was found that contrary to controls, patients with PD did not display any N2 and P3 augmentations on shift trials. Patients with PD further did not display any error-related activity or posterror N2 augmentation. Our results reveal that intact selective control and disrupted shifting control are dissociable in patients with PD, but additional work is required to dissect the proportionate effects of disease and treatment on shifting control in PD. Our ERP-based approach opens a new window onto an understanding of motor and cognitive flexibility that seems to be associated with the dopaminergic innervation of cortico-striatal loops. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  4. Assessment of Attention in Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahone, E.M.; Schneider, H.E.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:23090646

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  8. Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on memory, attention and executive functions: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendelsohn, Daniel; Riedel, Wim J; Sambeth, Anke

    2009-06-01

    The serotonergic system is implicated in the regulation of mood and cognition. Acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) is an experimental procedure for lowering central serotonin levels. Here, the effects of ATD on psychomotor processing, declarative memory, working memory, executive functions and attention are discussed. The most robust finding is that ATD impairs the consolidation of episodic memory for verbal information. Semantic memory appears to be unaffected by ATD although a limited variety of tasks examined effects in this domain. Similarly, evidence suggests ATD does not influence verbal, spatial and affective working memory. Most studies investigating effects on executive functions have produced non-specific or negative findings. In terms of attention, ATD either does not affect or may improve focused attention and ATD likely does not impact sustained and divided attention or attentional set-shifting. Although ATD is known to affect mood in certain vulnerable populations, the effects of ATD on cognition in non-vulnerable participants are independent of mood changes. Suggestions for future directions and implications for psychiatric illnesses are discussed.

  9. Implicit attention to negative social, in contrast to nonsocial, words in the Stroop task differs between individuals high and low in loneliness: Evidence from event-related brain microstates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacioppo, Stephanie; Balogh, Stephen; Cacioppo, John T

    2015-09-01

    Being on the social perimeter is not only sad, it is dangerous. Our evolutionary model of the effects of perceived social isolation (loneliness) on the brain as well as a growing body of behavioral research suggests that loneliness promotes short-term self-preservation, including an increased implicit vigilance for social, in contrast to nonsocial, threats. However, this hypothesis has not been tested previously in a neuroimaging study. We therefore used high density EEG and a social Stroop interference task to test the hypothesis that implicit attention to negative social, in contrast to nonsocial, Words in the Stroop task differs between individuals high versus low in loneliness and to investigate the brain dynamics of implicit processing for negative social (vs nonsocial) stimuli in lonely individuals, compared to nonlonely individuals (N = 70). The present study provides the first evidence that negative social stimuli are differentiated from negative nonsocial stimuli more quickly in the lonely than nonlonely brains. Given the timing of this differentiation in the brain and the fact that participants were performing a Stroop task, these results also suggest that these differences reflect implicit rather than explicit attentional differences between lonely and nonlonely individuals. Source estimates were performed for purposes of hypothesis generation regarding underlying neural mechanisms, and the results implicated the neural circuits reminiscent of orienting and executive control aspects of attention as contributing to these differences. Together, the results are in accord with the evolutionary model of loneliness. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Individual differences in asymmetric resting-state frontal cortical activity modulate ERPs and performance in a global-local attention task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.A.S. Boksem (Maarten); E. Kostermans (Evelien); M. Tops (Mattie); D. de Cremer (David)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractRecent 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

  11. 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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    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...

  12. Beta Responses in Healthy Elderly and in Patients With Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment During a Task of Temporal Orientation of Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caravaglios, Giuseppe; Castro, Giuseppe; Muscoso, Emma Gabriella; Crivelli, Davide; Balconi, Michela

    2016-11-02

    Recent studies demonstrated that beta oscillations are elicited during cognitive processes. To investigate their potential as electrophysiological markers of amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), we recorded beta EEG activity during resting and during an omitted tone task in patients and healthy elderly. Thirty participants were enrolled (15 patients, 15 healthy controls). In particular, we investigated event-related spectral perturbation and intertrial coherence indices. Analyses showed that (a) healthy elderly presented greater beta power at rest than patients with aMCI patients; (b) during the task, healthy elderly were more accurate than aMCI patients and presented greater beta power than aMCI patients; (c) both groups showed qualitatively similar spectral perturbation responses during the task, but different spatiotemporal response patterns; and (d) aMCI patients presented greater beta phase locking than healthy elderly during the task. Results indicate that beta activity in healthy elderly differs from that of patients with aMCI. Furthermore, the analysis of task-related EEG activity extends evidences obtained during resting and suggests that during the prodromal phase of Alzheimer's disease there is a reduced efficiency in information exchange by large-scale neural networks. The study for the first time shows the potential of task-related beta responses as early markers of aMCI impairments. © EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society (ECNS) 2016.

  13. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

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

  14. 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

  15. Measuring the Neural Basis of Reward Anticipation and Reward Receipt in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: The Importance of Task Design

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plichta, M.M.; Scheres, A.P.J.

    2015-01-01

    In the May 2015 issue of the Journal, von Rhein et al. investigated ventral-striatal (VS) response during monetary reward anticipation and receipt using an impressively large sample (N = 350) of adolescents and young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), their unaffected

  16. 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-…

  17. Do Dyslexic Individuals Present a Reduced Visual Attention Span? Evidence from Visual Recognition Tasks of Non-Verbal Multi-Character Arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeari, Menahem; Isser, Michal; Schiff, Rachel

    2017-01-01

    A controversy has recently developed regarding the hypothesis that developmental dyslexia may be caused, in some cases, by a reduced visual attention span (VAS). To examine this hypothesis, independent of phonological abilities, researchers tested the ability of dyslexic participants to recognize arrays of unfamiliar visual characters. Employing…

  18. 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.…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

  20. 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.

    2013-01-01

    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

  1. Laughter catches attention!

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pinheiro, Ana P; Barros, Carla; Dias, Marcelo; Kotz, Sonja A

    2017-01-01

    In social interactions, emotionally salient and sudden changes in vocal expressions attract attention. However, only a few studies examined how emotion and attention interact in voice processing. We investigated neutral, happy (laughs) and angry (growls) vocalizations in a modified oddball task.

  2. Testing Measurement Invariance across Groups of Children with and without Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder: Applications for Word Recognition and Spelling Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lúcio, Patrícia S; Salum, Giovanni; Swardfager, Walter; Mari, Jair de Jesus; Pan, Pedro M; Bressan, Rodrigo A; Gadelha, Ary; Rohde, Luis A; Cogo-Moreira, Hugo

    2017-01-01

    Although studies have consistently demonstrated that children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) perform significantly lower than controls on word recognition and spelling tests, such studies rely on the assumption that those groups are comparable in these measures. This study investigates comparability of word recognition and spelling tests based on diagnostic status for ADHD through measurement invariance methods. The participants (n = 1,935; 47% female; 11% ADHD) were children aged 6-15 with normal IQ (≥70). Measurement invariance was investigated through Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes models. Measurement invariance was attested in both methods, demonstrating the direct comparability of the groups. Children with ADHD were 0.51 SD lower in word recognition and 0.33 SD lower in spelling tests than controls. Results suggest that differences in performance on word recognition and spelling tests are related to true mean differences based on ADHD diagnostic status. Implications for clinical practice and research are discussed.

  3. 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo C. Vergara

    2017-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Desempenho de escolares com transtorno de déficit de atenção e hiperatividade em tarefas metalinguisticas e de leitura Performance of students with attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity in metalinguistic and reading tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Lúcia Orlandi Cunha

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVOS: comparar e caracterizar o desempenho de escolares com Transtorno de Déficit de Atenção e Hiperatividade (TDAH em tarefas metalinguísticas e de leitura com escolares sem queixa de transtornos comportamentais e/ou de aprendizagem. MÉTODO: participaram vinte escolares do 4º ao 8º ano do ensino fundamental, sendo catorze escolares do sexo masculino e seis do sexo feminino, na faixa etária de 9 a 13 anos. Os escolares foram divididos em dois grupos, sendo o GI composto por dez escolares com diagnóstico interdisciplinar de TDAH e o GII composto por dez escolares sem queixa de transtornos comportamentais e/ou de aprendizagem, pareados com os escolares do GI de acordo com a idade e o nível escolar. Foi utilizado como procedimento a aplicação de protocolo com provas de habilidades metalinguísticas e de leitura de palavras reais e pseudopalavras. RESULTADOS: houve diferença estatisticamente significante entre os grupos nas tarefas de manipulação silábica e fonêmica, como também nas provas de leitura de palavras reais referentes à leitura de palavras regulares e palavras irregulares, bem como para as pseudopalavras. CONCLUSÃO: os escolares com Transtorno de Déficit de Atenção e Hiperatividade apresentaram desempenho inferior nas tarefas consideradas mais complexas, como a manipulação de sílabas e fonemas e na leitura de palavras irregulares, que exigem retenção, análise e recuperação de informação. As dificuldades apresentadas nessas habilidades pelos escolares com Transtorno de Déficit de Atenção e Hiperatividade podem ser atribuídas não a um déficit primário, mas como um fenômeno secundário à desatenção que interferem de forma direta em seu desempenho.PURPOSES: to compare and characterize the performance of students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD in metalinguistic tasks and reading with students without behavioral disorders and/or learning disabilities. METHOD: twenty students

  7. Desempenho de escolares com transtorno de Déficit de Atenção e Hiperatividade em tarefas metalinguisticas e de leitura Performance of students with Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity in metalinguistic and reading tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Lúcia Orlandi Cunha

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVOS: comparar e caracterizar o desempenho de escolares com Transtorno de Déficit de Atenção e Hiperatividade (TDAH em tarefas metalinguísticas e de leitura com escolares sem queixa de transtornos comportamentais e/ou de aprendizagem. MÉTODO: participaram vinte escolares do 4º ao 8º ano do ensino fundamental, sendo catorze escolares do sexo masculino e seis do sexo feminino, na faixa etária de 9 a 13 anos. Os escolares foram divididos em dois grupos, sendo o GI composto por dez escolares com diagnóstico interdisciplinar de TDAH e o GII composto por dez escolares sem queixa de transtornos comportamentais e/ou de aprendizagem, pareados com os escolares do GI de acordo com a idade e o nível escolar. Foi utilizado como procedimento a aplicação de protocolo com provas de habilidades metalinguísticas e de leitura de palavras reais e pseudopalavras. RESULTADOS: houve diferença estatisticamente significante entre os grupos nas tarefas de manipulação silábica e fonêmica, como também nas provas de leitura de palavras reais referentes à leitura de palavras regulares e palavras irregulares, bem como para as pseudopalavras. CONCLUSÃO: os escolares com Transtorno de Déficit de Atenção e Hiperatividade apresentaram desempenho inferior nas tarefas consideradas mais complexas, como a manipulação de sílabas e fonemas e na leitura de palavras irregulares, que exigem retenção, análise e recuperação de informação. As dificuldades apresentadas nessas habilidades pelos escolares com Transtorno de Déficit de Atenção e Hiperatividade podem ser atribuídas não a um déficit primário, mas como um fenômeno secundário à desatenção que interferem de forma direta em seu desempenho.PURPOSES: to compare and characterize the performance of students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD in metalinguistic tasks and reading with students without behavioral disorders and/or learning disabilities. METHOD: twenty students

  8. 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.

  9. Unmasking the Attentional Blink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieuwenstein, Mark R.; Potter, Mary C.; Theeuwes, Jan

    2009-01-01

    When asked to identify 2 visual targets (T1 and T2 for the 1st and 2nd targets, respectively) embedded in a sequence of distractors, observers will often fail to identify T2 when it appears within 200-500 ms of T1--an effect called the "attentional blink". Recent work shows that attention does not blink when the task is to encode a…

  10. Attention deficits and divorce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard, Geneviève; Saint-Aubin, Jean

    2014-09-01

    Building on previous work on the role of attention deficits associated with the regulation of executive control in psychiatric disorders, we examine whether these attention deficits are related to an interpersonal disturbance, the experience of divorce. Attentional capacities of 95 randomly selected couples from the general population were measured with a well-established task, the Attentional Network Task, which assesses the efficiency of 3 attention networks (that is, alerting, orienting, and executive control). Among the 190 participants, 32 had experienced a divorce in the past. ANCOVAs were used to compare divorced people in marital or cohabiting unions with people in first unions in their performance on this purely cognitive task. Our findings indicate that divorced people who are currently living in a cohabiting relationship show significantly lower executive control than other adults living as couples, after controlling for sex, age, income, and education. This subgroup of divorced people not only exhibit greater difficulty in responding to some stimuli while ignoring irrelevant ones but also manifest cognitive deficits in conflict resolution. This study highlights the links between attention and the long-term maintenance of intimate relationships. Our results may have important implications for the identification of people at risk for divorce.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jepsen, Jens Richardt M; Fagerlund, Birgitte; Pagsberg, Anne Katrine

    2010-01-01

    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...

  12. Using Finite Mixture of GLMs to Explore Variability in Children's Flexibility in a Task-Switching Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauvier, Bruno; Chevalier, Nicolas; Blaye, Agnes

    2012-01-01

    The present study illustrates the usefulness of finite mixture of generalized linear models (GLMs) to examine variability in cognitive strategies during childhood. More precisely, it addresses this variability in set-shifting situations where task-goal updating is endogenously driven. In a task-switching paradigm 5-6-year-olds had to switch…

  13. Monitoring attentional state with fNIRS

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2013-01-01

    .... We therefore investigated whether functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), a portable brain neuroimaging technique, can be used to distinguish between high and low levels of task engagement during the performance of a selective attention task...

  14. Common and disease-specific dysfunctions of brain systems underlying attentional and executive control in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melcher, Tobias; Wolter, Sarah; Falck, Stefanie; Wild, Eva; Wild, Florian; Gruber, Eva; Falkai, Peter; Gruber, Oliver

    2014-09-01

    Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder broadly overlap in multiple areas involving clinical phenomenology, genetics, and neurobiology. Still, the investigation into specific elementary (sub-)processes of executive functioning may help to define clear points of distinction between these categorical diagnoses to validate the nosological dichotomy and, indirectly, to further elucidate their pathophysiological underpinnings. In the present behavioral study, we sought to separate common from diagnosis-specific deficits in a series of specific elementary sub-functions of executive processing in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. For our purpose, we administered a modern and multi-purpose neuropsychological task paradigm to equal-sized and matched groups of schizophrenia patients, patients with bipolar disorder, and healthy control subjects. First, schizophrenia patients compared to the bipolar group exhibited a more pronounced deficit in general measures of task performance comprising both response speed and accuracy. Additionally, bipolar patients showed increased advance task preparation, i.e., were better able to compensate for response speed deficits when longer preparation intervals were provided. Set-shifting, on the other hand, was impaired to a similar degree in both patient groups. Finally, schizophrenia patients exhibited a specific deficit in conflict processing (inhibitory control) and the shielding of task-relevant processing from distraction (i.e., attentional maintenance). The present investigation suggests that specific neuropsychological measures of elementary executive functions may represent important points of dissociation between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which may help to differentiate the pathophysiological underpinnings of these major psychiatric disorders. In this context, the present findings highlight the measures of inhibitory control and attentional maintenance as promising candidates.

  15. Concrete Operations and Attentional Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Michael; Lindenberger, Ulman

    1989-01-01

    To test predictions regarding the attentional capacity requirements of Piaget's stage of concrete operations, a battery of concrete operational tasks and two measures of attentional capacity were administered to 120 first-, second-, and third-graders. Findings concern class inclusion, transitivity of length and weight, and multiplication of…

  16. 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…

  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. Modelling auditory attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaya, Emine Merve; Elhilali, Mounya

    2017-02-19

    Sounds in everyday life seldom appear in isolation. Both humans and machines are constantly flooded with a cacophony of sounds that need to be sorted through and scoured for relevant information-a phenomenon referred to as the 'cocktail party problem'. A key component in parsing acoustic scenes is the role of attention, which mediates perception and behaviour by focusing both sensory and cognitive resources on pertinent information in the stimulus space. The current article provides a review of modelling studies of auditory attention. The review highlights how the term attention refers to a multitude of behavioural and cognitive processes that can shape sensory processing. Attention can be modulated by 'bottom-up' sensory-driven factors, as well as 'top-down' task-specific goals, expectations and learned schemas. Essentially, it acts as a selection process or processes that focus both sensory and cognitive resources on the most relevant events in the soundscape; with relevance being dictated by the stimulus itself (e.g. a loud explosion) or by a task at hand (e.g. listen to announcements in a busy airport). Recent computational models of auditory attention provide key insights into its role in facilitating perception in cluttered auditory scenes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'. © 2017 The Authors.

  19. Attention theory and training research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connelly, James G., Jr.; Wickens, Christopher D.; Lintern, Gavan; Harwood, Kelly

    1987-01-01

    This study used elements of attention theory as a methodological basis to decompose a complex training task in order to improve training efficiency. The complex task was a microcomputer flight simulation where subjects were required to control the stability of their own helicopter while acquiring and engaging enemy helicopers in a threat enviroment. Subjects were divided into whole-task, part-task, and part/open loop adaptive task groups in a transfer of training paradigm. The effect of reducing mental workload at the early stages of learning was examined with respect to the degree that subordinate elements of the complex task could be automated through practice of consistent, learnable stimulus-response relationships. Results revealed trends suggesting the benefit of isolating consistently mapped sub-tasks for part-task training and the presence of a time-sharing skill over and above the skill required for the separate subtasks.

  20. Brain activity associated with selective attention, divided attention and distraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, Emma; Salmela, Viljami; Salmi, Juha; Numminen, Jussi; Alho, Kimmo

    2017-06-01

    Top-down controlled selective or divided attention to sounds and visual objects, as well as bottom-up triggered attention to auditory and visual distractors, has been widely investigated. However, no study has systematically compared brain activations related to all these types of attention. To this end, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity in participants performing a tone pitch or a foveal grating orientation discrimination task, or both, distracted by novel sounds not sharing frequencies with the tones or by extrafoveal visual textures. To force focusing of attention to tones or gratings, or both, task difficulty was kept constantly high with an adaptive staircase method. A whole brain analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed fronto-parietal attention networks for both selective auditory and visual attention. A subsequent conjunction analysis indicated partial overlaps of these networks. However, like some previous studies, the present results also suggest segregation of prefrontal areas involved in the control of auditory and visual attention. The ANOVA also suggested, and another conjunction analysis confirmed, an additional activity enhancement in the left middle frontal gyrus related to divided attention supporting the role of this area in top-down integration of dual task performance. Distractors expectedly disrupted task performance. However, contrary to our expectations, activations specifically related to the distractors were found only in the auditory and visual cortices. This suggests gating of the distractors from further processing perhaps due to strictly focused attention in the current demanding discrimination tasks. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Social Image Captioning: Exploring Visual Attention and User Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leiquan Wang

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Image captioning with a natural language has been an emerging trend. However, the social image, associated with a set of user-contributed tags, has been rarely investigated for a similar task. The user-contributed tags, which could reflect the user attention, have been neglected in conventional image captioning. Most existing image captioning models cannot be applied directly to social image captioning. In this work, a dual attention model is proposed for social image captioning by combining the visual attention and user attention simultaneously.Visual attention is used to compress a large mount of salient visual information, while user attention is applied to adjust the description of the social images with user-contributed tags. Experiments conducted on the Microsoft (MS COCO dataset demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method of dual attention.

  2. Does imminent threat capture and hold attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koster, Ernst H W; Crombez, Geert; Van Damme, Stefaan; Verschuere, Bruno; De Houwer, Jan

    2004-09-01

    According to models of attention and emotion, threat captures and holds attention. In behavioral tasks, robust evidence has been found for attentional holding but not for attentional capture by threat. An important explanation for the absence of attentional capture effects is that the visual stimuli used posed no genuine threat. The present study investigated whether visual cues that signal an aversive white noise can elicit attentional capture and holding effects. Cues presented in an attentional task were simultaneously provided with a threat value through an aversive conditioning procedure. Response latencies showed that threatening cues captured and held attention. These results support recent views on attention to threat, proposing that imminent threat captures attention in everyone. (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved

  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. Attention enhances apparent perceptual organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbot, Antoine; Liu, Sirui; Kimchi, Ruth; Carrasco, Marisa

    2017-08-28

    Perceptual organization and selective attention are two crucial processes that influence how we perceive visual information. The former structures complex visual inputs into coherent units, whereas the later selects relevant information. Attention and perceptual organization can modulate each other, affecting visual processing and performance in various tasks and conditions. Here, we tested whether attention can alter the way multiple elements appear to be perceptually organized. We manipulated covert spatial attention using a rapid serial visual presentation task, and measured perceptual organization of two multielements arrays organized by luminance similarity as rows or columns, at both the attended and unattended locations. We found that the apparent perceptual organization of the multielement arrays is intensified when attended and attenuated when unattended. We ruled out response bias as an alternative explanation. These findings reveal that attention enhances the appearance of perceptual organization, a midlevel vision process, altering the way we perceive our visual environment.

  5. [Effect of methylphenidate on executive function for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuai, Lan; Yang, Li; Cao, Qing-jiu; Wang, Yu-feng

    2007-06-18

    To explore whether methylphenidate (MPH) can improve the executive function (EF) of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children and the degree of the improvements. We conducted an open study of 29 children (25 boys and 4 girls) who met DSM-IV criteria for ADHD. The variations of their EF before and after methylphenidate extended-release tablets [osmotic release oral system(OROS) methylphenidate] treatment were evaluated, and the differences of EF between 24 ADHD boys before and after treatment and 24 age-matched typically developing control boys were compared. The research instruments included Stroop color-word task, Rey complex figure test, digit span test, trail making test, tower of Hanoi and verbal fluency test. The performances of errors in Stroop 1, time and errors of Stroops 2 and 4; the immediate memory and delay recalling of structure and detail score of RCFT; time of number-letter trail making, shifting time; total time and steps, rule violation of tower of Hanoi improved significantly after OROS methylphenidate treatment as compared with those before treatment. They were no significant differences between ante- and post-treatment. The initiation planning time of tower of Hanoi was significantly shorter after treatment as compared with that before treatment . This study suggests that methylphenidate can improve the executive function in the aspects of inhibition, visual working memory, set shifting and planning in ADHD children, and almost all aspects of EF can reach the normal level except the inhibition.

  6. Attention visuelle

    OpenAIRE

    Rousserie, Marie

    2015-01-01

    William James, philosophe et psychologue américain, est le premier à parler de l’attention en 1890 dans son livre The Principles of Psychology : il dit que c’est un concept connu mais dont personne ne saurait en donner une définition précise. Il la définit alors ainsi : « L'attention est la prise de possession par l'esprit, sous une forme claire et vive, d'un objet ou d'une suite de pensées parmi plusieurs qui semblent possibles […] Elle implique le retrait de certains objets afin de traiter ...

  7. Measuring Multi-tasking Ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-07-01

    Bunting, 2001), antisaccade tasks (Kane, Bleckley, Conway, & Engle, 2001), and Stroop tasks (Kane & Engle, 2003). These attention-control tasks...departments of hospitals care for individuals who have cancer or who have other medical problems requiring surgery, respectively. Patients may be very...competition, and task set to Stroop interference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 132, 47-70. Lansman, M., Poltrock, S., & Hunt, E. (1983

  8. Sustained Attention Ability Affects Simple Picture Naming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne R. Jongman

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Sustained attention has previously been shown as a requirement for language production. However, this is mostly evident for difficult conditions, such as a dual-task situation. The current study provides corroborating evidence that this relationship holds even for simple picture naming. Sustained attention ability, indexed both by participants’ reaction times and individuals’ hit rate (the proportion of correctly detected targets on a digit discrimination task, correlated with picture naming latencies. Individuals with poor sustained attention were consistently slower and their RT distributions were more positively skewed when naming pictures compared to individuals with better sustained attention. Additionally, the need to sustain attention was manipulated by changing the speed of stimulus presentation. Research has suggested that fast event rates tax sustained attention resources to a larger degree than slow event rates. However, in this study the fast event rate did not result in increased difficulty, neither for the picture naming task nor for the sustained attention task. Instead, the results point to a speed-accuracy trade-off in the sustained attention task (lower accuracy but faster responses in the fast than in the slow event rate, and to a benefit for faster rates in the picture naming task (shorter naming latencies with no difference in accuracy. Performance on both tasks was largely comparable, supporting previous findings that sustained attention is called upon during language production.

  9. 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

  10. Attention in dichoptic and binocular vision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimchi, Ruth; Rubin, Yifat; Gopher, Daniel; Raij, David

    1989-01-01

    The ability of human subjected to mobilize attention and cope with task requirements under dichoptic and binocular viewing was investigated in an experiment employing a target search task. Subjects were required to search for a target at either the global level, the local level, or at both levels of a compound stimulus. The tasks were performed in a focused attention condition in which subjects had to attend to the stimulus presented to one eye/field (under dichoptic and binocular viewings, respectively) and to ignore the stimulus presented to the irrelevant eye/field, and in a divided attention condition in which subjects had to attend to the stimuli presented to both eyes/fields. Subjects' performance was affected mainly by attention conditions which interacted with task requirements, rather than by viewing situation. An interesting effect of viewing was found for the local-directed search task in which the cost of dividing attention was higher under binocular than under dichoptic viewing.

  11. Impairments of Attention and Effort Among Patients With Major Affective Disorders

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cohen, Ronald; Lohr, Ilan; Paul, Robert; Boland, Robert

    2001-01-01

    .... There were low-effort and high-effort versions of each task. Significant group differences were consistently observed on tasks demanding sustained and focused attention, but not on tasks requiring visual selective attention...

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Onozuka, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We inspected the attributes of effects on attention in studies investigating the effects of chewing on attention or alertness conducted with pre-post design in healthy subjects, except elderly. We identified 151 references, 22 of which were included: 14 (64%) showed positive attributes of effects on attention, 1 (5%) showed negative attributes of effects on attention, 5 (23%) showed both positive and negative attributes of effects on attention, and 2 (9%) showed no significant attributes of effects on attention. Thus, positive attributes of effects of chewing on attention, especially on sustained attention, were shown in over half of the reports. These effects also appeared with improvement in mood and stress relief and were influenced by time-on-task effect. Further studies are needed, but chewing could be useful for modifying cognitive function.

  14. Attention and reading skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Commodari, Elena; Guarnera, Maria

    2005-04-01

    Attention plays a critical role in information processing. Its adequate functioning is required for correct development of complex cognitive abilities and regular scholastic progress. Children with attention deficits often have difficulties in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The present study investigated interactions among reading skills, overall scholastic performance as rated by teachers, and components of attention: visual reaction time, simple immediate span of attention, and selectivity. The sample was 98 students in the first and second years of public junior high school (age range 11-14 years, M = 12.6, SD = 1.2), i.e., with expected already well-established reading. Reading was evaluated using Comprehension, Accuracy, and Speed tests. Overall scholastic performance was obtained by means of teachers' ratings. Simple Reaction Time, Digit Span, and Color-Word Interference, included in a multitask computerized test, assessed attention. Analysis confirmed the hypothesis that the reading skills are strongly predictive of the Scholastic Assessment rated by the teachers. High scholastic ratings were correlated with Reading Speed and Accuracy rather than Reading Comprehension. Poor readers showed worse performances on the Digit Span test which measures simple immediate span of attention. Good and poor readers obtained a similar score on the Color-Word Interference task. This observation seems to contrast with the more common interpretation of this effect, suggesting that reading is an automatic process and, therefore, the semantic dimension overcomes the controlled perceptual one. According to other studies, an alternative explanation is suggested. In conclusion, present results confirm the hypothesis of a strong link among reading speed and accuracy, scholastic assessment as rated by teachers, simple immediate span of attention, and visual reaction time.

  15. Attentional accounting: Voluntary spatial attention increases budget category prioritization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mrkva, Kellen; Van Boven, Leaf

    2017-09-01

    Too often, people fail to prioritize the most important activities, life domains, and budget categories. One reason for misplaced priorities, we argue, is that activities and categories people have frequently or recently attended to seem higher priority than other activities and categories. In Experiment 1, participants were cued to direct voluntary spatial attention toward 1 side of a screen while images depicting different budget categories were presented: 1 category on the cued side and 1 on the noncued side of the screen. Participants rated cued budget categories as higher priority than noncued budget categories. Cued attention also increased perceived distinctiveness, and a mediation model was consistent with the hypothesis that distinctiveness mediates the effect of cued attention on prioritization. Experiment 2 orthogonally manipulated 2 components of a spatial cuing manipulation-heightened visual attention and heightened mental attention-to examine how each influences prioritization. Visual attention and mental attention additively increased prioritization. In Experiment 3, attention increased prioritization even when prioritization decisions were incentivized, and even when heightened attention was isolated from primacy and recency. Across experiments, cued categories were prioritized more than noncued categories even though measures were taken to disguise the purpose of the experiments and manipulate attention incidentally (i.e., as a by-product of an unrelated task). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Visual attention: The past 25 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Role of attentional tags in working memory-driven attentional capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Chun-Yu; Chao, Hsuan-Fu

    2014-08-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that the contents of working memory capture attention when performing a visual search task. However, it remains an intriguing and unresolved question whether all kinds of items stored in working memory capture attention. The present study investigated this issue by manipulating the attentional tags (target or distractor) associated with information maintained in working memory. The results showed that working memory-driven attentional capture is a flexible process, and that attentional tags associated with items stored in working memory do modulate attentional capture. When items were tagged as a target, they automatically captured attention; however, when items were tagged as a distractor, attentional capture was reduced.

  18. Do ERP components triggered during attentional orienting represent supramodal attentional control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiss, Ellen; Gherri, Elena; Eardley, Alison F; Eimer, Martin

    2007-11-01

    Lateralized ERP components triggered during cued shifts of spatial attention (anterior directing attention negativity [ADAN], late directing attention positivity [LDAP]) have been observed during visual, auditory, and tactile attention tasks, suggesting that these components reflect supramodal attentional control processes. This interpretation has recently been called into question by the finding that the ADAN is absent in response to auditory attention cues. Here we demonstrate that ADAN and LDAP components are reliably elicited in a purely unimodal auditory attention task where auditory cues are followed by auditory imperative stimuli. The fact that the ADAN is not restricted to task contexts where visual or tactile stimuli are relevant is consistent with the hypothesis that this component is linked to supramodal attentional control.

  19. External noise distinguishes attention mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Z L; Dosher, B A

    1998-05-01

    We developed and tested a powerful method for identifying and characterizing the effect of attention on performance in visual tasks as due to signal enhancement, distractor exclusion, or internal noise suppression. Based on a noisy Perceptual Template Model (PTM) of a human observer, the method adds increasing amounts of external noise (white gaussian random noise) to the visual stimulus and observes the effect on performance of a perceptual task for attended and unattended stimuli. The three mechanisms of attention yield three "signature" patterns of performance. The general framework for characterizing the mechanisms of attention is used here to investigate the attentional mechanisms in a concurrent location-cued orientation discrimination task. Test stimuli--Gabor patches tilted slightly to the right or left--always appeared on both the left and the right of fixation, and varied independently. Observers were cued on each trial to attend to the left, the right, or evenly to both stimuli, and decide the direction of tilt of both test stimuli. For eight levels of added external noise and three attention conditions (attended, unattended, and equal), subjects' contrast threshold levels were determined. At low levels of external noise, attention affected threshold contrast: threshold contrasts for non-attended stimuli were systematically higher than for equal attention stimuli, which were, in turn, higher than for attended stimuli. Specifically, when the rms contrast of the external noise is below 10%, there is a consistent 17% elevation of contrast threshold from attended to unattended condition across all three subjects. For higher levels of external noise, attention conditions did not affect threshold contrast values at all. These strong results are characteristic of a signal enhancement, or equivalently, an internal additive noise reduction mechanism of attention.

  20. More attention must be paid: the neurobiology of attentional effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarter, Martin; Gehring, William J; Kozak, Rouba

    2006-08-01

    Increases in attentional effort are defined as the motivated activation of attentional systems in response to detrimental challenges on attentional performance, such as the presentation of distractors, prolonged time-on-task, changing target stimulus characteristics and stimulus presentation parameters, circadian phase shifts, stress or sickness. Increases in attentional effort are motivated by the expected performance outcome; in the absence of such motivation, attentional performance continues to decline or may cease altogether. The beneficial effects of increased attentional effort are due in part to the activation of top-down mechanisms that act to optimize input detection and processing, thereby stabilizing or recovering attentional performance in response to challenges. Following a description of the psychological construct "attentional effort", evidence is reviewed indicating that increases in the activity of cortical cholinergic inputs represent a major component of the neuronal circuitry mediating increases in attentional effort. A neuronal model describes how error detection and reward loss, indicating declining performance, are integrated with motivational mechanisms on the basis of neuronal circuits between prefrontal/anterior cingulate and mesolimbic regions. The cortical cholinergic input system is activated by projections of mesolimbic structures to the basal forebrain cholinergic system. In prefrontal regions, increases in cholinergic activity are hypothesized to contribute to the activation of the anterior attention system and associated executive functions, particularly the top-down optimization of input processing in sensory regions. Moreover, and influenced in part by prefrontal projections to the basal forebrain, increases in cholinergic activity in sensory and other posterior cortical regions contribute directly to the modification of receptive field properties or the suppression of contextual information and, therefore, to the mediation of

  1. Preservation of crossmodal selective attention in healthy aging

    OpenAIRE

    Hugenschmidt, Christina E.; Peiffer, Ann M.; McCoy, Thomas P.; Hayasaka, Satoru; Laurienti, Paul J.

    2009-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to determine if older adults benefited from attention to a specific sensory modality in a voluntary attention task and evidenced changes in voluntary or involuntary attention when compared to younger adults. Suppressing and enhancing effects of voluntary attention were assessed using two cued forced-choice tasks, one that asked participants to localize and one that asked them to categorize visual and auditory targets. Involuntary attention was assessed using ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Chern-Pin Chua

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Practicing the attentional Dwell Away?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Bundesen, Claus Mogens

    2007-01-01

    Studies of the time course of visual attention have identified a temporary functional blindness to the second of two spatially separated targets: attending to one visual stimulus may lead to impairments in identifying a second stimulus presented about 200-500 ms later than the first. The phenomen...... the task....

  6. Visual Selective Attention in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lupeng; Krauzlis, Richard J

    2018-02-08

    Visual selective attention is a fundamental cognitive ability that allows us to process relevant visual stimuli while ignoring irrelevant distracters and has been extensively studied in human and non-human primate subjects. Mice have emerged as a powerful animal model for studying aspects of the visual system but have not yet been shown to exhibit visual selective attention. Differences in the organization of the visual systems of primates and mice raise the possibility that selective visual attention might not be present in mice, at least not in the forms that are well established in primates. Here, we tested for selective visual attention in mice by using three behavioral paradigms adapted from classic studies of attention. In a Posner-style cueing task, a spatial cue indicated the probable location of the relevant visual event, and we found that accuracy was higher and reaction times were shorter on validly cued trials. In a cue versus no-cue task, an informative spatial cue was provided on half the trials, and mice had higher accuracy and shorter reaction times with spatial cues and also lower detection thresholds measured from psychometric curves. In a filter task, the spatial cue indicated the location of the relevant visual event, and we found that mice could be trained to ignore irrelevant but otherwise identical visual events at uncued locations. Together, these results demonstrate that mice exhibit visual selective attention, paving the way to use classic attention paradigms in mice to study the genetic and neuronal circuit mechanisms of selective attention. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. A Performance of Individual Differences in Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahl, Otto

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

  8. Effects of spatial and selective attention on basic multisensory integration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gondan, Matthias; Blurton, Steven Paul; Hughes, F.

    2011-01-01

    When participants respond to auditory and visual stimuli, responses to audiovisual stimuli are substantially faster than to unimodal stimuli (redundant signals effect, RSE). In such tasks, the RSE is usually higher than probability summation predicts, suggestive of specific integration mechanisms...... underlying the RSE. We investigated the role of spatial and selective attention on the RSE in audiovisual redundant signals tasks. In Experiment 1, stimuli were presented either centrally (narrow attentional focus) or at 1 of 3 unpredictable locations (wide focus). The RSE was accurately described...... task) or to central stimuli only (selective attention task). The RSE was consistent with task-specific coactivation models; accumulation of evidence, however, differed between the 2 tasks....

  9. 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.

  10. Fast Mapping Semantic Features: Performance of Adults with Normal Language, History of Disorders of Spoken and Written Language, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on a Word-Learning Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alt, Mary; Gutmann, Michelle L.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: This study was designed to test the word learning abilities of adults with typical language abilities, those with a history of disorders of spoken or written language (hDSWL), and hDSWL plus attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (+ADHD). Methods: Sixty-eight adults were required to associate a novel object with a novel label, and then…

  11. Anisotropic versus isotropic distribution of attention in object tracking: Disentangling influences of overt and covert attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frielink-Loing, A.F.; Koning, A.R.; Lier, R.J. van

    2015-01-01

    In recent studies, multiple-object tracking (MOT) tasks combined with probe detection tasks have been used to investigate the distribution of attention around moving objects (e.g., Atsma, Koning & van Lier, 2012). During these tasks, participants were allowed to move their eyes freely around the

  12. Interaction Between the Development of Postural Control and the Executive Function of Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Reilly, Dinah S.; van Donkelaar, Paul; Saavedra, Sandy; Woollacott, Marjorie H

    2008-01-01

    The authors examined the interaction between the development of postural control and the development of the executive function of attention in 13 children and 6 adults in dual-task conditions. Participants performed an attentionally demanding cognitive task and a postural task simultaneously. The authors equalized the attentional load of the cognitive task across age groups. Comparative changes in the center of pressure in dual- and single-task conditions indicated that dual tasks interfered ...

  13. 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.

  14. Dissociations between developmental dyslexias and attention deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukov, Limor; Friedmann, Naama; Shalev, Lilach; Khentov-Kraus, Lilach; Shalev, Nir; Lorber, Rakefet; Guggenheim, Revital

    2014-01-01

    We examine whether attention deficits underlie developmental dyslexia, or certain types of dyslexia, by presenting double dissociations between the two. We took into account the existence of distinct types of dyslexia and of attention deficits, and focused on dyslexias that may be thought to have an attentional basis: letter position dyslexia (LPD), in which letters migrate within words, attentional dyslexia (AD), in which letters migrate between words, neglect dyslexia, in which letters on one side of the word are omitted or substituted, and surface dyslexia, in which words are read via the sublexical route. We tested 110 children and adults with developmental dyslexia and/or attention deficits, using extensive batteries of reading and attention. For each participant, the existence of dyslexia and the dyslexia type were tested using reading tests that included stimuli sensitive to the various dyslexia types. Attention deficit and its type was established through attention tasks assessing sustained, selective, orienting, and executive attention functioning. Using this procedure, we identified 55 participants who showed a double dissociation between reading and attention: 28 had dyslexia with normal attention and 27 had attention deficits with normal reading. Importantly, each dyslexia with suspected attentional basis dissociated from attention: we found 21 individuals with LPD, 13 AD, 2 neglect dyslexia, and 12 surface dyslexia without attention deficits. Other dyslexia types (vowel dyslexia, phonological dyslexia, visual dyslexia) also dissociated from attention deficits. Examination of 55 additional individuals with both a specific dyslexia and a certain attention deficit found no attention function that was consistently linked with any dyslexia type. Specifically, LPD and AD dissociated from selective attention, neglect dyslexia dissociated from orienting, and surface dyslexia dissociated from sustained and executive attention. These results indicate that

  15. Effect of attention control on sustained attention during induced anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grillon, Christian; Robinson, Oliver J; Mathur, Ambika; Ernst, Monique

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety has wide-reaching and complex effects on cognitive performance. Although it can intrude on cognition and interfere with performance, it can also facilitate information processing and behavioural responses. In a previous study, we showed that anxiety induced by threat of shock facilitates performance on the Sustained Attention to Response Task, a vigilance test, which probes response inhibition to infrequent nogo stimuli. The present study sought to identify factors that may have contributed to such improved performance, including on- and off-task thinking (assessed with thought probes) and individual differences in attention control, as measured with the Attention Control Scale. Replicating our prior finding, we showed that shock threat significantly reduced errors of commission on the nogo trials. However, we extended this finding in demonstrating that this effect was driven by subjects with low attention control. We therefore confirm that anxiety increases inhibitory control of prepotent responses--a mechanism which is adaptive under threat--and show that this effect is greater in those who rely more upon such prepotent responding, i.e., those with low attentional control.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohse, Keith R.; 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, 1998). In Experiment 1, we used a fatiguing wall-sit posture (essentially a complex, isometric task) to compare two different types of external attention with an internal focus on the position of the legs. An external focus (regardless of type) increased the time taken to failure and reduced perceived exertion. In Experiment 2, we manipulated subjects’ expectancy of fatigue to test the interaction of attention and expectancy (both top-down factors) in this highly fatiguing task. Previous theories of attention during endurance tasks have suggested that as fatigue/pain increase, bottom-up factors begin to dominate subjects’ attention. While this may be true, Experiment 2 showed that even in a highly fatiguing task, attentional strategies, and expectancies affected the time to failure and perceived exertion. PMID:22102843

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith eLohse

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available 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, 2007 compared to associative/dissociative (e.g., Stevenson & Biddle, 1998. In Experiment 1, we used a fatiguing wall-sit posture (essentially a complex, isometric task to compare two different types of external attention with an internal focus on the position of the legs. An external focus (regardless of type increased the time taken to failure and reduced perceived exertion. In Experiment 2, we manipulated subjects’ expectancy of fatigue to test the interaction of attention and expectancy (both top-down factors in this highly fatiguing task. Previous theories of attention during endurance tasks have suggested that as fatigue/pain increase, bottom-up factors begin to dominate subjects’ attention. While this may be true, Experiment 2 showed that even in a highly fatiguing task, attentional strategies and expectancies affected the time to failure and perceived exertion.

  18. Attention dysfunction subtypes of developmental dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewandowska, Monika; Milner, Rafał; Ganc, Małgorzata; Włodarczyk, Elżbieta; Skarżyński, Henryk

    2014-11-12

    Previous studies indicate that many different aspects of attention are impaired in children diagnosed with developmental dyslexia (DD). The objective of the present study was to identify cognitive profiles of DD on the basis of attentional test performance. 78 children with DD (30 girls, 48 boys, mean age of 12 years ±8 months) and 32 age- and sex-matched non-dyslexic children (14 girls, 18 boys) were examined using a battery of standardized tests of reading, phonological and attentional processes (alertness, covert shift of attention, divided attention, inhibition, flexibility, vigilance, and visual search). Cluster analysis was used to identify subtypes of DD. Dyslexic children showed deficits in alertness, covert shift of attention, divided attention, flexibility, and visual search. Three different subtypes of DD were identified, each characterized by poorer performance on the reading, phonological awareness, and visual search tasks. Additionally, children in cluster no. 1 displayed deficits in flexibility and divided attention. In contrast to non-dyslexic children, cluster no. 2 performed poorer in tasks involving alertness, covert shift of attention, divided attention, and vigilance. Cluster no. 3 showed impaired covert shift of attention. These results indicate different patterns of attentional impairments in dyslexic children. Remediation programs should address the individual child's deficit profile.

  19. Joint Attention is Slowed in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deroche, Thomas; Castanier, Carole; Perrot, Alexandra; Hartley, Alan

    2016-01-01

    The automatic propensity to orient to the location where other people are looking is the main way of establishing joint attention with others. Whereas joint attention has been mostly investigated with young adults, the present study examines age-related differences in the magnitude and time course of joint attention. Forty-three community-dwelling seniors and 43 younger adults performed a visuospatial task. The procedures closely follow those of gaze-cueing tasks commonly used to investigate joint attention. The findings revealed that a gaze-cueing effect occurs for both younger and older adults, with an equivalent average magnitude but with different time courses. The effect peaks later in older adults. Age-related differences in joint attention could be linked to a more general cognitive slowing rather than to poorer basic social skills. The present study adds to the growing interest in gerontological research regarding social attention.

  20. Attention-training with children from socioeconomically ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: Attention is a core process underlying competence in higher-order cognitive abilities. Previous research suggests that healthy children from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds perform poorly, relative to those from higher SES backgrounds, on tasks assessing attentional abilities. In this pilot study, we ...

  1. Impaired Visual Attention in Children with Dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiervang, Einar; Hugdahl, Kenneth

    2003-01-01

    A cue-target visual attention task was administered to 25 children (ages 10-12) with dyslexia. Results showed a general pattern of slower responses in the children with dyslexia compared to controls. Subjects also had longer reaction times in the short and long cue-target interval conditions (covert and overt shift of attention). (Contains…

  2. Attentional control and competition between episodic representations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akyürek, Elkan G.; Schubö, Anna; Hommel, Bernhard

    The relationship between attentional control and episodic representation was investigated in six experiments that employed a variant of the classic attentional blink paradigm. We introduced a task-irrelevant (unpredictive) color match between the first and second target stimulus in a three-stream

  3. Longterm visual associations affect attentional guidance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olivers, C.N.L.

    2011-01-01

    When observers perform a visual search task, they are assumed to adopt an attentional set for what they are looking for. The present experiment investigates the influence of long-term visual memory associations on this attentional set. On each trial, observers were asked to search a display for a

  4. 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…

  5. Mental Fatigue Affects Visual Selective Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Cognitive control and attentional functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackie, Melissa-Ann; Van Dam, Nicholas T; Fan, Jin

    2013-08-01

    Cognitive control is essential to flexible, goal-directed behavior under uncertainty, yet its underlying mechanisms are not clearly understood. Because attentional functions are known to allocate mental resources and prioritize the information to be processed, we propose that the attentional functions of alerting, orienting, and executive control and the interactions among them contribute to cognitive control in the service of uncertainty reduction. To test this hypothesis, we examined the relationship between cognitive control and attentional functions. We used the Majority Function Task (MFT) to manipulate uncertainty in order to evoke cognitive control along with the Revised Attention Network Test (ANT-R) to measure the efficiency and the interactions of attentional functions. A backwards, stepwise regression model revealed that performance on the MFT could be significantly predicted by attentional functions and their interactions as measured by the ANT-R. These results provide preliminary support for our theory that the attentional functions are involved in the implementation of cognitive control as required to reduce uncertainty, though further investigation is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Dissociations between developmental dyslexias and attention deficits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Limor eLukov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We examine whether attention deficits underlie developmental dyslexia, or certain types of dyslexia, by presenting double dissociations between the two. We took into account the existence of distinct types of dyslexia and of attention deficits, and focused on dyslexias that may be thought to have an attentional basis: letter position dyslexia (LPD, in which letters migrate within words, attentional dyslexia (AD, in which letters migrate between words, neglect dyslexia, in which letters on one side of the word are omitted or substituted, and surface dyslexia, in which words are read via the sublexical route.We tested 110 children and adults with developmental dyslexia and/or attention deficits, using extensive batteries of reading and attention.For each participant, the existence of dyslexia and the dyslexia type were tested using reading tests that included stimuli sensitive to the various dyslexia types. Attention deficit and its type was established through attention tasks assessing sustained, selective, orienting, and executive attention functioning. Using this procedure,we identified 55 participants who showed a double dissociation between reading and attention: 28 had dyslexia with normal attention and 27 had attention deficits with normal reading.Each dyslexia with suspected attentional basis dissociated from attention:21 individuals with LPD,13 AD,2 neglect dyslexia,and 12 surface dyslexia. Other dyslexia types(vowel dyslexia, phonological dyslexia, visual dyslexia also dissociated from attention deficits.Examination of 55 additional individuals with both a specific dyslexia and a certain attention deficit found no attention function that was consistently linked with any dyslexia type.Specifically, LPD and AD dissociated from selective attention, neglect dyslexia dissociated from orienting, and surface dyslexia dissociated from sustained and executive attention. These results indicate that visuospatial attention deficits do not underlie

  8. Perception of ensemble statistics requires attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson-Nielsen, Molly; Cohen, Michael A; Pitts, Michael A

    2017-02-01

    To overcome inherent limitations in perceptual bandwidth, many aspects of the visual world are represented as summary statistics (e.g., average size, orientation, or density of objects). Here, we investigated the relationship between summary (ensemble) statistics and visual attention. Recently, it was claimed that one ensemble statistic in particular, color diversity, can be perceived without focal attention. However, a broader debate exists over the attentional requirements of conscious perception, and it is possible that some form of attention is necessary for ensemble perception. To test this idea, we employed a modified inattentional blindness paradigm and found that multiple types of summary statistics (color and size) often go unnoticed without attention. In addition, we found attentional costs in dual-task situations, further implicating a role for attention in statistical perception. Overall, we conclude that while visual ensembles may be processed efficiently, some amount of attention is necessary for conscious perception of ensemble statistics. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Attentional capture by working memory contents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yi

    2010-06-01

    There has been controversy on whether working memory (WM) contents automatically guide attention. The present study tried to replicate the effect of WM-based attentional capture using an adaption of Downing's (2000) paradigm, in which WM and attentional capture were combined. Subjects were presented with an attention display containing two objects, one of which could be precued by a matching item being held in WM. As measured by a probe discrimination task, the memory-matching object had a privileged status to capture attention regardless of the stimulus onset asynchronies between the memory cue and the attention display, even when there was absolutely no benefit for subjects to bias attention in favour of the memory match. These results suggest that WM contents guide attention in an involuntary manner. The implications of current findings for understanding of WM effects on visual selection are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

  10. Fast mapping semantic features: performance of adults with normal language, history of disorders of spoken and written language, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder on a word-learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alt, Mary; Gutmann, Michelle L

    2009-01-01

    This study was designed to test the word learning abilities of adults with typical language abilities, those with a history of disorders of spoken or written language (hDSWL), and hDSWL plus attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (+ADHD). Sixty-eight adults were required to associate a novel object with a novel label, and then recognize semantic features of the object and phonological features of the label. Participants were tested for overt ability (accuracy) and covert processing (reaction time). The +ADHD group was less accurate at mapping semantic features and slower to respond to lexical labels than both other groups. Different factors correlated with word learning performance for each group. Adults with language and attention deficits are more impaired at word learning than adults with language deficits only. Despite behavioral profiles like typical peers, adults with hDSWL may use different processing strategies than their peers. Readers will be able to: (1) recognize the influence of a dual disability (hDSWL and ADHD) on word learning outcomes; (2) identify factors that may contribute to word learning in adults in terms of (a) the nature of the words to be learned and (b) the language processing of the learner.

  11. Impaired visuomotor generalization by inconsistent attentional contexts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tony S L; Song, Joo-Hyun

    2017-09-01

    In daily life, people are constantly presented with situations in which they have to learn and acquire new motor skills in complex environments, where attention is often distracted by other events. Being able to generalize and perform the acquired motor action in different environments is a crucial part of visuomotor learning. The current study examined whether attentional distraction impairs generalization of visuomotor adaptation or whether consistent distraction can operate as an internal cue to facilitate generalization. Using a dual-task paradigm combining visuomotor rotational adaptation and an attention-demanding secondary task, we showed that switching the attentional context from training (dual-task) to generalization (single-task) reduced the range of transfer of visuomotor adaptation to untrained directions. However, when consistent distraction was present throughout training and generalization, visuomotor generalization was equivalent to without distractions at all. Furthermore, this attentional context-dependent generalization was evident even when sensory modality of distractions differed between training and generalization. Therefore, the general nature of the dual tasks, rather than the specific stimuli, is associated with visuomotor memory and serves as a critical cue for generalization. Taken together, we demonstrated that attention plays a critical role during sensorimotor adaptation in selecting and associating multisensory signals with motor memory. This finding provides insight into developing learning programs that are generalizable in complex daily environments.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Learning novel motor actions in complex environments with attentional distraction is a critical function. Successful motor learning involves the ability to transfer the acquired skill from the trained to novel environments. Here, we demonstrate attentional distraction does not impair visuomotor adaptation. Rather, consistency in the attentional context from training

  12. Musical expertise has minimal impact on dual task performance

    OpenAIRE

    Cocchini, Gianna; Filardi, Maria Serena; Crhonkova, Marcela; Halpern, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Studies investigating effect of practice on dual task performance have yielded conflicting findings, thus supporting different theoretical accounts about the organization of attentional resources when tasks are performed simultaneously. Because practice has been proven to reduce the demand of attention for the trained task, the impact of long-lasting training on one task is an ideal way to better understand the mechanisms underlying dual task decline in performance. \\ud \\ud Our study compared...

  13. Attention modulates emotional expression processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wronka, Eligiusz; Walentowska, Wioleta

    2011-08-01

    To investigate the time course of emotional expression processing, we recorded ERPs to facial stimuli. The first task was to discriminate emotional expressions. Enhanced negativity of the face-specific N170 was elicited by emotional as opposed to neutral faces, followed by the occipital negativity (240-340 ms poststimulus). The second task was to classify face gender. Here, N170 was unaffected by the emotional expression. However, emotional expression effect was expressed in the anterior positivity (160-250 ms poststimulus) and subsequent occipital negativity (240-340 ms poststimulus). Results support the thesis that structural encoding relevant to gender recognition and simultaneous expression analysis are independent processes. Attention modulates facial emotion processing 140-185 ms poststimulus. Involuntary differentiation of facial expression was observed later (160-340 ms poststimulus), suggesting unintentional attention capture. Copyright © 2011 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  14. Rewards teach visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-07

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

  15. [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.

  16. 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.

  17. Sustained attention ability in schizophrenia: Investigation of conflict monitoring mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoonakker, Marc; Doignon-Camus, Nadège; Marques-Carneiro, José Eduardo; Bonnefond, Anne

    2017-09-01

    The main goal of the current study was to assess, with a time-on-task approach, sustained attention ability in schizophrenia, and to investigate conflict monitoring underlying this ability. Behavioral and event-related potentials data (N2 and P3a amplitudes) were recorded in a long-lasting sustained attention Go/NoGo task (sustained attention to response task, SART), over a period of 30min, in 29 patients with schizophrenia and 29 pair-matched healthy subjects. Our results revealed spared sustained attention ability in patients throughout the task. Impairment of conflict detection (N2) in patients was particularly significant at the end of the task. Furthermore, both schizophrenia and healthy subjects exhibited a decline in conflict detection from the beginning to the middle of the task. Whereas controls' conflict detection recovered in the last part of the task, patients' did not, suggesting a deficit in recovery processes reflecting a lack of additional resources sustained attention Go/NoGo task. Conflict resolution (P3a) was preserved throughout the task in both groups. Conflict monitoring processes are increasingly impaired in schizophrenia during a long-lasting sustained attention Go/NoGo task. This impairment at the end of the task may rely on deficit in recovery processes, rather than a deficit in conflict detection per se in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. The Attention Cascade Model and Attentional Blink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Shui-I

    2008-01-01

    An attention cascade model is proposed to account for attentional blinks in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) of stimuli. Data were collected using single characters in a single RSVP stream at 10 Hz [Shih, S., & Reeves, A. (2007). "Attentional capture in rapid serial visual presentation." "Spatial Vision", 20(4), 301-315], and single words,…

  19. 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.

  20. Attentional Capture in Driving Displays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arexis, Mahé; Maquestiaux, François; Gaspelin, Nicholas; Ruthruff, Eric; Didierjean, André

    2016-01-01

    Drivers face frequent distraction on the roadways but little is known about situations placing them at risk of misallocating visual attention. To investigate this issue, we asked participants to search for a red target embedded within simulated driving scenes (photographs taken from inside a car) in three experiments. Distraction was induced by presenting, via a GPS unit, red or green distractors positioned in an irrelevant location at which the target never appeared. If the salient distractor captures attention, visual search should be slower on distractor-present trials than distractor-absent trials. In Experiment 1, salient distractors yielded no such capture effect. In Experiment 2, we decreased the frequency of the salient distractor from 50% of trials to only 10% or 20% of trials. Capture effects were almost five times larger for the 10% occurrence group than for the 20% occurrence group. In Experiment 3, the amount of available central resources was manipulated by asking participants to either simultaneously monitor or ignore a stream of spoken digits. Capture effects were much larger for the dual-task group than for the single-task group. In summary, these findings identify risk factors for attentional capture in real-world driving scenes: distractor rarity and diversion of attention. PMID:28369841

  1. [Selective visual attention and simultanagnosia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, K

    2001-12-01

    The parietal lobe is an important key station in the network for selective attention. We found that spontaneous shift of visual attention, depending on task requirement, was impaired by parietal lobe lesions and confirmed the relationship between parietal lobes and visual attention with cortical electric stimulation. Patient 1. A 52-year-old, right-handed carpenter with a diagnosis of 'visual form' of Alzheimer disease showed marked kanji (logogram) agraphia and constructional impairment. Cerebral atrophy and hypoperfusion were observed in bilateral parietal lobes. He showed preserved form and color perception and an ability to describe spatial relationship among several items. In contrast, he could not copy or match them. He seemed to look at only the site he was drawing. Patient 2. A 77-year-old man with cerebral infarction in bilateral parietal lobes and right frontotemporal areas, demonstrated simultanagnosia and visuomotor ataxia. He readily named an object but could not describe a scene. Furthermore he noticed a line between sentences when they were written in English, but could not notice a line when sentences were written in Japanese. Cortical electric mapping, in two patients with subdural electrodes on the left or right parietal lobe, revealed circumscribed regions related to global/local attention shift or line bisection tasks.

  2. Habitual attention in older and young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yuhong V; Koutstaal, Wilma; Twedell, Emily L

    2016-12-01

    Age-related decline is pervasive in tasks that require explicit learning and memory, but such reduced function is not universally observed in tasks involving incidental learning. It is unknown if habitual attention, involving incidental probabilistic learning, is preserved in older adults. Previous research on habitual attention investigated contextual cuing in young and older adults, yet contextual cuing relies not only on spatial attention but also on context processing. Here we isolated habitual attention from context processing in young and older adults. Using a challenging visual search task in which the probability of finding targets was greater in 1 of 4 visual quadrants in all contexts, we examined the acquisition, persistence, and spatial-reference frame of habitual attention. Although older adults showed slower visual search times and steeper search slopes (more time per additional item in the search display), like young adults they rapidly acquired a strong, persistent search habit toward the high-probability quadrant. In addition, habitual attention was strongly viewer-centered in both young and older adults. The demonstration of preserved viewer-centered habitual attention in older adults suggests that it may be used to counter declines in controlled attention. This, in turn, suggests the importance, for older adults, of maintaining habit-related spatial arrangements. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Modality-specificity of selective attention networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Jamieson Stewart

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To establish the modality specificity and generality of selective attention networks. Method: Forty-eight young adults completed a battery of four auditory and visual selective attention tests based upon the Attention Network framework: the visual and auditory Attention Network Tests (vANT, aANT, the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA, and the Test of Attention in Listening (TAiL. These provided independent measures for auditory and visual alerting, orienting, and conflict resolution networks. The measures were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis to assess underlying attention constructs. Results: The analysis yielded a four-component solution. The first component comprised of a range of measures from the TEA and was labeled ‘general attention’. The third component was labeled ‘auditory attention’, as it only contained measures from the TAiL using pitch as the attended stimulus feature. The second and fourth components were labeled as ‘spatial orienting’ and ‘spatial conflict’, respectively – they were comprised of orienting and conflict resolution measures from the vANT, aANT and TAiL attend-location task – all tasks based upon spatial judgments (e.g., the direction of a target arrow or sound location. Conclusions: These results do not support our a-priori hypothesis that attention networks are either modality specific or supramodal. Auditory attention separated into selectively attending to spatial and non-spatial features, with the auditory spatial attention loading onto the same factor as visual spatial attention, suggesting spatial attention is supramodal. However, since our study did not include a non-spatial measure of visual attention, further research will be required to ascertain whether non-spatial attention is modality-specific.

  4. Analysis of Attention and Analogical Reasoning in Children of Poverty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weatherholt, Tara N.; Harris, Ruby C.; Burns, Barbara M.; Clement, Catherine

    2006-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between specific attentional aspects of processing capacity and analogical reasoning in children from low-income families. 77 children aged 48-77 (M = 56.7) months were assessed on an analogical reasoning task (matrices subtest of the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test) and on computerized attention tasks designed…

  5. 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...

  6. Attentional capture by the onset and offset of motion signals outside the spatial focus of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawahara, Jun; Yanase, Kaori; Kitazaki, Michiteru

    2012-11-16

    The present study examined whether participants were able to ignore a task-irrelevant commencement or cessation of optic flow while they were engaging in a letter-identification task, as claimed by adherents of the view that attentional set determines deployment of attention, or whether irrelevant events would capture attention regardless of observers' attentional set, as claimed by adherents of a broad range of views emphasizing the behavioral urgency of stimulus motion. Observers identified a green letter in a central rapid stream of heterogeneously colored nontargets. A completely task-irrelevant optic flow occurred in the periphery. If attentional deployment were governed by a top-down attentional set, the letter identification would be unaffected by the temporal change in the optic flow. The results reflected attentional capture by commencement or cessation of optic flow, which is inconsistent with the top-down view. When the peripheral dots expanded at various speeds before onset of the target, identification was impaired relative to when no motion occurred. Mere commencement or cessation of motion was sufficient to produce the capture effect. Qualitative (commencement or cessation) rather than quantitative changes (acceleration or deceleration) of the motion display were critical for the occurrence of attentional capture. We conclude that salient discontinuities in optic flow induce attentional capture when observers search for a feature in a different stimulus domain, an idea implying a unique role for of expanding global motion in the deployment of visual attention.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Treating attention in mild aphasia: evaluation of attention process training-II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Laura L; Keeton, R Jessica; Karcher, Laura

    2006-01-01

    This study examined whether attention processing training-II [Sohlberg, M. M., Johnson, L., Paule, L., Raskin, S. A., & Mateer, C. A. (2001). Attention Process Training-II: A program to address attentional deficits for persons with mild cognitive dysfunction (2nd ed.). Wake Forest, NC: Lash & Associates.; APT-II], when applied in the context of a multiple baseline ABA design, would improve the attention abilities of RW, a patient with mild conduction aphasia and concomitant attention and working memory deficits. We also explored whether APT-II training would enhance RW's auditory comprehension, other cognitive abilities such as memory, and his and his spouse's perceptions of his daily attention and communication difficulties. With treatment, RW improved on trained attention tasks and made modest gains on standardized tests and probes that evaluated cognitive skills related to treatment activities. Nominal change in auditory comprehension and untrained attention and memory functions was observed, and neither RW nor his spouse reported noticeable improvements in his daily attention or communication abilities. These and previous findings indicate that structured attention retraining may enhance specific attention skills, but that positive changes in broader attention and untrained functions are less likely. As a result of reading this article, the participant will be able to: (1) summarize the previous literature regarding attention impairments and treatment approaches for patients with aphasia. (2) describe how Attention Processing Training-II affected the attention, auditory comprehension, and other cognitive abilities of the patient in this study.

  9. 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

  10. Online Attention Training for Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wennberg, Alexandra; Kueider, Alexandra; Spira, Adam; Adams, Gregory; Rager, Robert; Rebok, George

    Evidence suggests that cognitive training interventions can improve older adults' cognitive performance. Successful training programs are adaptable and train multiple cognitive domains to target individual strengths and weaknesses. Computerized training programs are useful because they allow older adults to easily access training. This pilot study used an online attention training program, ATTENTION WORKOUT™, to enhance three aspects of attention- coordination, allocation, and selective focus -in community-dwelling older adults randomized to either an abbreviated (n=13) or an extended (n=17) practice training program over a 6-week period. Participants in the extended practice group significantly improved on selective focus reading distraction tasks with unrelated words (U=39.5; Z=-2.34; p=.02) and blanks (U=26.5; Z=-3.05; p=.002) as well as a matching attributes task (U=49.5; Z=-2.33; p=.02). The extended practice group significantly improved on three tasks of coordinating attention - radio-tuning (U=30; Z=-2.73; p=.01), circuit-breaker resetting (U=46; Z=-2.24; p=.03), and the combination of the two tasks (U=15; Z=-3.51; pattention training programs, like ATTENTION WORKOUT, can improve attention-related skills in community-dwelling older adults.

  11. Insights into the Control of Attentional Set in ADHD Using the Attentional Blink Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Deanna J.; Humphreys, Glyn W.; Kent, Lindsey

    2005-01-01

    Background: Previous work on visual selective attention in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has utilised spatial search paradigms. This study compared ADHD to control children on a temporal search task using Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP). In addition, the effects of irrelevant singleton distractors on search performance…

  12. [Effects of distractors on sustained attention in children with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yan; Zhou, Xiao-lin; Wang, Yu-feng

    2004-01-01

    Using an experimental design combining the sustained attention task (CPT, SART) and the flanker task, we investigated: 1) whether children with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) have deficits in their sustained attention; 2) whether distractors have different effects on response to targets at different sustained attention levels; 3) whether different subtypes of ADHD children show different patterns in sustained attention. Subjects were recruited from elementary school (Grade 2 - 6). Twenty seven ADHD children (23 male, 4 female) and 29 normal controls (24 male, 5 female) were matched by IQ and age. The cognitive experiment measuring reaction times and error rates was conducted on a computer using DMDX software. ADHD and normal children's performance in sustained attention and the effect of distractors were analyzed, and the results of subtypes of ADHD were compared. ADHD children and normal children did not show significant differences in error rates in their response to dominant (non-attentional) item. However, distractors impaired ADHD children's response to targets. ADHD children also showed more errors than normal children in the sustained attention task, but compared with the non-distractor condition, distractors facilitated their response. ADHD children have deficits in their sustained attention, reflecting the deficits in brain development. More importantly, this study found that the effects of distractors in sustained attention can be dissociated according to the level of demand on sustained attention: distractors interfered with responses to targets when the demand on sustained attention was low, and they facilitated responses to targets when the demand on sustained attention was high. There were no significant differences between ADHD-inattentive type and ADHD-combined type in their deficits in sustained attention.

  13. Attention to touch weakens audiovisual speech integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsius, Agnès; Navarra, Jordi; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2007-11-01

    One of the classic examples of multisensory integration in humans occurs when speech sounds are combined with the sight of corresponding articulatory gestures. Despite the longstanding assumption that this kind of audiovisual binding operates in an attention-free mode, recent findings (Alsius et al. in Curr Biol, 15(9):839-843, 2005) suggest that audiovisual speech integration decreases when visual or auditory attentional resources are depleted. The present study addressed the generalization of this attention constraint by testing whether a similar decrease in multisensory integration is observed when attention demands are imposed on a sensory domain that is not involved in speech perception, such as touch. We measured the McGurk illusion in a dual task paradigm involving a difficult tactile task. The results showed that the percentage of visually influenced responses to audiovisual stimuli was reduced when attention was diverted to a tactile task. This finding is attributed to a modulatory effect on audiovisual integration of speech mediated by supramodal attention limitations. We suggest that the interactions between the attentional system and crossmodal binding mechanisms may be much more extensive and dynamic than it was advanced in previous studies.

  14. Mental fatigue affects visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faber, Léon G; Maurits, Natasha M; Lorist, Monicque M

    2012-01-01

    Mental fatigue is a form of fatigue, induced by continuous task performance. Mentally fatigued people often report having a hard time keeping their attention focussed and being easily distracted. In this study, we examined the relation between mental fatigue, as induced by time on task, and attention-related changes in event-related potentials (ERPs). EEG, reaction times and response accuracies were obtained from 17 healthy volunteers during two hours of task performance on an adapted Eriksen flanker task. In this task, the size of targets and flankers was manipulated to discern neuronal processes that are related to processing of relevant information from processes related to the processing of irrelevant information. The ERP data showed that effects induced by target size manipulation were not affected by time on task, while an initial effect of flanker size manipulation decreased gradually with increasing time on task. We conclude that attention was affected by mental fatigue, in the form of a decrease in the ability to suppress irrelevant information. In behavioural results, this was reflected by a tendency of participants to increasingly base their response decision on irrelevant information, resulting in decreased response accuracies.

  15. 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.

  16. Brain activations during bimodal dual tasks depend on the nature and combination of component tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, Emma; Rinne, Teemu; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activations during nine different dual tasks in which the participants were required to simultaneously attend to concurrent streams of spoken syllables and written letters. They performed a phonological, spatial or "simple" (speaker-gender or font-shade) discrimination task within each modality. We expected to find activations associated specifically with dual tasking especially in the frontal and parietal cortices. However, no brain areas showed systematic dual task enhancements common for all dual tasks. Further analysis revealed that dual tasks including component tasks that were according to Baddeley's model "modality atypical," that is, the auditory spatial task or the visual phonological task, were not associated with enhanced frontal activity. In contrast, for other dual tasks, activity specifically associated with dual tasking was found in the left or bilateral frontal cortices. Enhanced activation in parietal areas, however, appeared not to be specifically associated with dual tasking per se, but rather with intermodal attention switching. We also expected effects of dual tasking in left frontal supramodal phonological processing areas when both component tasks required phonological processing and in right parietal supramodal spatial processing areas when both tasks required spatial processing. However, no such effects were found during these dual tasks compared with their component tasks performed separately. Taken together, the current results indicate that activations during dual tasks depend in a complex manner on specific demands of component tasks.

  17. Brain activations during bimodal dual tasks depend on the nature and combination of component tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma eSalo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate brain activations during nine different dual tasks in which the participants were required to simultaneously attend to concurrent streams of spoken syllables and written letters. They performed a phonological, spatial or simple (speaker-gender or font-shade discrimination task within each modality. We expected to find activations associated specifically with dual tasking especially in the frontal and parietal cortices. However, no brain areas showed systematic dual task enhancements common for all dual tasks. Further analysis revealed that dual tasks including component tasks that were according to Baddeley’s model modality atypical, that is, the auditory spatial task or the visual phonological task, were not associated with enhanced frontal activity. In contrast, for other dual tasks, activity specifically associated with dual tasking was found in the left or bilateral frontal cortices. Enhanced activation in parietal areas, however, appeared not to be specifically associated with dual tasking per se, but rather with intermodal attention switching. We also expected effects of dual tasking in left frontal supramodal phonological processing areas when both component tasks required phonological processing and in right parietal supramodal spatial processing areas when both tasks required spatial processing. However, no such effects were found during these dual tasks compared with their component tasks performed separately. Taken together, the current results indicate that activations during dual tasks depend in a complex manner on specific demands of component tasks.

  18. 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

  19. Vigilance and Sustained Attention in Children and Adults with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucha, Lara; Tucha, Oliver; Walitza, Susanne; Sontag, Thomas A.; Laufkotter, Rainer; Linder, Martin; Lange, Klaus W.

    2009-01-01

    Objective: The present article tests the hypothesis of a sustained attention deficit in children and adults suffering from ADHD. Method: Vigilance and sustained attention of 52 children with ADHD and 38 adults with ADHD were assessed using a computerized vigilance task. Furthermore, the attentional performance of healthy children (N = 52) and…

  20. Training Attention-Switching Ability in Adults with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Holly A.; Shah, Priti

    2006-01-01

    Objective: Children with ADHD show attention-switching impairment. The present study assessed attention-switching ability in adults with ADHD, the extent to which this ability can be improved via targeted training, and the degree to which training extends to novel tasks of attention-switching. Method: Adults with ADHD (n = 16) and adults without…

  1. Influence of attentional load on spatial attention in acquired and developmental disorders of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellgrove, Mark A; Eramudugolla, Ranmalee; Newman, Daniel P; Vance, Alasdair; Mattingley, Jason B

    2013-05-01

    Converging evidence suggests that right-hemisphere dominant spatial attention systems can be modulated by non-spatial processes such as attentional capacity. The severity of neglect in right-hemisphere stroke patients for example, is correlated with impairments in non-lateralized attention. Evidence also suggests the coexistence of lateralized inattention and reduced capacity in developmental disorders of attention, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is marked by cognitive impairments suggestive of right hemisphere dysfunction. These lines of evidence argue against a coincident damage hypothesis and suggest instead a direct modulation of spatial attention by non-spatial processes. Here we sought experimental evidence for this relationship in both acquired and developmental disorders of attention. Six adult stroke patients with focal right brain injury and 19 children with ADHD were studied in comparison to control groups of both healthy older adults and typically developing children. The participants were required to detect transient, unilateral visual targets while simultaneously monitoring a stream of alphanumeric characters at fixation. Load at fixation was manipulated by asking participants either to ignore the central stream and focus on the peripheral detection task (no report condition), or to monitor the central stream for a probe item that was defined by either a unique feature (low load condition) or a conjunction of features (high load condition). As expected, in all participants greater load at fixation slowed responses to peripheral targets. Crucially, in right brain injured patients but not older healthy adults left target detection was slowed significantly more than central and right target detection. A qualitatively similar pattern was seen in children with ADHD, but not in typically developing children. The imposition of load at fixation slowed responses to left compared with right targets, and this response time

  2. Cognitive maps and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardt, Oliver; Nadel, Lynn

    2009-01-01

    Cognitive map theory suggested that exploring an environment and attending to a stimulus should lead to its integration into an allocentric environmental representation. We here report that directed attention in the form of exploration serves to gather information needed to determine an optimal spatial strategy, given task demands and characteristics of the environment. Attended environmental features may integrate into spatial representations if they meet the requirements of the optimal spatial strategy: when learning involves a cognitive mapping strategy, cues with high codability (e.g., concrete objects) will be incorporated into a map, but cues with low codability (e.g., abstract paintings) will not. However, instructions encouraging map learning can lead to the incorporation of cues with low codability. On the other hand, if spatial learning is not map-based, abstract cues can and will be used to encode locations. Since exploration appears to determine what strategy to apply and whether or not to encode a cue, recognition memory for environmental features is independent of whether or not a cue is part of a spatial representation. In fact, when abstract cues were used in a way that was not map-based, or when they were not used for spatial navigation at all, they were nevertheless recognized as familiar. Thus, the relation between exploratory activity on the one hand and spatial strategy and memory on the other appears more complex than initially suggested by cognitive map theory.

  3. Emotional attention in acquired prosopagnosia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Nadia; Mayer, Eugene; Vuilleumier, Patrik

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated whether emotionally expressive faces guide attention and modulate fMRI activity in fusiform gyrus in acquired prosopagnosia. Patient PS, a pure case of acquired prosopagnosia with intact right middle fusiform gyrus, performed two behavioral experiments and a functional imaging experiment to address these questions. In a visual search task involving face stimuli, PS was faster to select the target face when it was expressing fear or happiness as compared to when it was emotionally neutral. In a change detection task, PS detected significantly more changes when the changed face was fearful as compared to when it was neutral. Finally, an fMRI experiment showed enhanced activation to emotionally expressive faces and bodies in right fusiform gyrus. In addition, PS showed normal body-selective activation in right fusiform gyrus, partially overlapping the fusiform face area. Together these behavioral and neuroimaging results show that attention was preferentially allocated to emotional faces in patient PS, as observed in healthy subjects. We conclude that systems involved in the emotional guidance of attention by facial expression can function normally in acquired prosopagnosia, and can thus be dissociated from systems involved in face identification. PMID:19401380

  4. Cognitive programs: Software for attention's executive

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John K Tsotsos

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available What are the computational tasks that an executive controller for visual attention must solve? This question is posed in the context of the Selective Tuning model of attention. The range of required computations go beyond top-down bias signals or region-of-interest determinations, and must deal with overt and covert fixations, process timing and synchronization, information routing, memory, matching control to task, spatial localization, priming, and coordination of bottom-up with top-down information. During task execution, results must be monitored to ensure the expected results. This description includes the kinds of elements that are common in the control of any kind of complex machine or system. We seek a mechanistic integration of the above, in other words, algorithms that accomplish control. Such algorithms operate on representations, transforming a representation of one kind into another, which then forms the input to yet another algorithm. Cognitive Programs (CPs are hypothesized to capture exactly such representational transformations via stepwise sequences of operations. CPs, an updated and modernized offspring of Ullman's Visual Routines, impose an algorithmic structure to the set of attentional functions and play a role in the overall shaping of attentional modulation of the visual system so that it provides its best performance. This requires that we consider the visual system as a dynamic, yet general-purpose processor tuned to the task and input of the moment. This differs dramatically from the almost universal cognitive and computational views, which regard vision as a passively observing module to which simple questions about percepts can be posed, regardless of task. Differing from Visual Routines, CPs explicitly involve the critical elements of Visual Task Executive, Visual Attention Executive, and Visual Working Memory. Cognitive Programs provide the software that directs the actions of the Selective Tuning model of visual

  5. 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…

  6. Changes in workplace tasks in Germany—evaluating skill and task measures

    OpenAIRE

    Rohrbach-Schmidt, Daniela; Tiemann, Michael

    2013-01-01

    "The task approach is attracting increasing attention and recognition among scholars in economics, sociology and related fields. However, measurement still presents an important challenge to the task approach. This paper studies the comparability of task measures in the commonly used German BIBB/IAB-BIBB/BAuA employment cross-sections on qualification and working conditions from 1979, 1985/86, 1991/92, 1998/99, and 2006. We hypothesize that findings on task-biased technological change are sen...

  7. Saccadic adaptation alters the attentional field

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farahnaz Ahmed Wick

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available It is currently unknown whether changes to the oculomotor system can induce changes to the distribution of spatial attention around a fixated target. Previous studies have used perceptual performance tasks to show that adaptation of saccadic eye movements affects dynamic properties of visual attention, in particular, attentional shifts to a cued location. In this study, we examined the effects of saccadic adaptation on the static distribution of visual attention around fixation (attentional field. We used the classic double step adaptation procedure and a flanker task to test for differences in the attentional field after forward and backward adaptation. RT measures revealed that the shape of the attentional field changed significantly after backward adaptation as shown through altered interference from distracters at different eccentricities but not after forward adaptation. This finding reveals that modification of saccadic amplitudes can affect metrics of not only dynamic properties of attention but also its static properties. A major implication is that the neural mechanisms underlying fundamental selection mechanisms and the oculomotor system can reweight each other.

  8. Neuropsychological correlates of sustained attention in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, E Y; Lam, L C; Chen, R Y; Nguyen, D G; Chan, C K; Wilkins, A J

    1997-04-11

    We employed a simple and relatively undemanding task of monotone counting for the assessment of sustained attention in schizophrenic patients. The monotone counting task has been validated neuropsychologically and is particularly sensitive to right prefrontal lesions. We compared the performance of schizophrenic patients with age- and education-matched controls. We then explored the extent to which a range of commonly employed neuropsychological tasks in schizophrenia research are related to attentional impairment as measured in this way. Monotone counting performance was found to be correlated with digit span (WAIS-R-HK), information (WAIS-R-HK), comprehension (WAIS-R-HK), logical memory (immediate recall) (Weschler Memory Scale, WMS), and visual reproduction (WMS). Multiple regression analysis also identified visual reproduction, digit span and comprehension as significant predictors of attention performance. In contrast, logical memory (delay recall) (WMS), similarity (WAIS-R-HK), semantic fluency, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (perseverative errors) were not correlated with attention. In addition, no significant correlation between sustained attention and symptoms was found. These findings are discussed in the context of a weakly modular cognitive system where attentional impairment may contribute selectively to a range of other cognitive deficits.

  9. Musical expertise has minimal impact on dual task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocchini, Gianna; Filardi, Maria Serena; Crhonkova, Marcela; Halpern, Andrea R

    2017-05-01

    Studies investigating effect of practice on dual task performance have yielded conflicting findings, thus supporting different theoretical accounts about the organisation of attentional resources when tasks are performed simultaneously. Because practice has been proven to reduce the demand of attention for the trained task, the impact of long-lasting training on one task is an ideal way to better understand the mechanisms underlying dual task decline in performance. Our study compared performance during dual task execution in expert musicians compared to controls with little if any musical experience. Participants performed a music recognition task and a visuo-spatial task separately (single task) or simultaneously (dual task). Both groups showed a significant but similar performance decline during dual tasks. In addition, the two groups showed a similar decline of dual task performance during encoding and retrieval of the musical information, mainly attributed to a decline in sensitivity. Our results suggest that attention during dual tasks is similarly distributed by expert and non-experts. These findings are in line with previous studies showing a lack of sensitivity to difficulty and lack of practice effect during dual tasks, supporting the idea that different tasks may rely on different and not-sharable attentional resources.

  10. 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

  11. Mindful movement and skilled attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Dav; Schumann, Frank; Mostofsky, Stewart H

    2015-01-01

    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 populations.

  12. Attention bias for chocolate increases chocolate consumption--an attention bias modification study.

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    Werthmann, Jessica; Field, Matt; Roefs, Anne; Nederkoorn, Chantal; Jansen, Anita

    2014-03-01

    The current study examined experimentally whether a manipulated attention bias for food cues increases craving, chocolate intake and motivation to search for hidden chocolates. To test the effect of attention for food on subsequent chocolate intake, attention for chocolate was experimentally modified by instructing participants to look at chocolate stimuli ("attend chocolate" group) or at non-food stimuli ("attend shoes" group) during a novel attention bias modification task (antisaccade task). Chocolate consumption, changes in craving and search time for hidden chocolates were assessed. Eye-movement recordings were used to monitor the accuracy during the experimental attention modification task as possible moderator of effects. Regression analyses were conducted to test the effect of attention modification and modification accuracy on chocolate intake, craving and motivation to search for hidden chocolates. Results showed that participants with higher accuracy (+1 SD), ate more chocolate when they had to attend to chocolate and ate less chocolate when they had to attend to non-food stimuli. In contrast, for participants with lower accuracy (-1 SD), the results were exactly reversed. No effects of the experimental attention modification on craving or search time for hidden chocolates were found. We used chocolate as food stimuli so it remains unclear how our findings generalize to other types of food. These findings demonstrate further evidence for a link between attention for food and food intake, and provide an indication about the direction of this relationship. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. Cultural differences in visual attention: Implications for distraction processing.

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    Amer, Tarek; Ngo, K W Joan; Hasher, Lynn

    2017-05-01

    We investigated differences between participants of East Asian and Western descent in attention to and implicit memory for irrelevant words which participants were instructed to ignore while completing a target task (a Stroop Task in Experiment 1 and a 1-back task on pictures in Experiment 2). Implicit memory was measured using two conceptual priming tasks (category generation in Experiment 1 and general knowledge in Experiment 2). Participants of East Asian descent showed reliable implicit memory for previous distractors relative to those of Western descent with no evidence of differences on target task performance. We also found differences in a Corsi Block spatial memory task in both studies, with superior performance by the East Asian group. Our findings suggest that cultural differences in attention extend to task-irrelevant background information, and demonstrate for the first time that such information can boost performance when it becomes relevant on a subsequent task. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  15. Monitoring attentional state with fNIRS

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

    2013-01-01

    The ability to distinguish between high and low levels of task engagement in the real world is important for detecting and preventing performance decrements during safety-critical operational tasks. We therefore investigated whether functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), a portable brain neuroimaging technique, can be used to distinguish between high and low levels of task engagement during the performance of a selective attention task. A group of participants performed the multi-source interference task (MSIT) while we recorded brain activity with fNIRS from two brain regions. One was a key region of the “task-positive” network, which is associated with relatively high levels of task engagement. The second was a key region of the “task-negative” network, which is associated with relatively low levels of task engagement (e.g., resting and not performing a task). Using activity in these regions as inputs to a multivariate pattern classifier, we were able to predict above chance levels whether participants were engaged in performing the MSIT or resting. We were also able to replicate prior findings from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) indicating that activity in task-positive and task-negative regions is negatively correlated during task performance. Finally, data from a companion fMRI study verified our assumptions about the sources of brain activity in the fNIRS experiment and established an upper bound on classification accuracy in our task. Together, our findings suggest that fNIRS could prove quite useful for monitoring cognitive state in real-world settings. PMID:24379771

  16. Components of working memory and visual selective attention.

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

    2014-02-01

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