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Sample records for attentional set-shifting task

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

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    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. Set shifting training with categorization tasks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Soveri

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

  3. Intra-orbitofrontal cortex injection of haloperidol removes the beneficial effect of methylphenidate on reversal learning of spontaneously hypertensive rats in an attentional set-shifting task.

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    Cheng, Jen-Tang; Li, Jay-Shake

    2013-02-15

    Numerous studies suggest that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is caused by deficits in catecholaminergic systems. Furthermore, dysfunctions of prefrontal cortex can impair inhibitory controls of ADHD patients, resulting in their impulsive behaviors. Researchers also find that rats with lesions in the orbitofrontal cortex show deficits in the reversal learning of attentional set-shifting task (ASST), a behavioral test frequently used in human studies to asses the inhibition system. However, the role of orbitofrontal dopamine system in the mechanism responsible for the dysfunctions of inhibitory controls in ADHD patients and animal models remains unknown. In the present study, we manipulated orbitofrontal dopamine activities of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), a widely used ADHD animal model, through intra-peritoneal injection of methylphenidate (MPH) and central infusion of haloperidol, and observed their performances in ASST. The results show that juvenile SHRs learned slower than Wistar controls in the first and second reversal learnings of ASST. The deficits could be removed by intra-peritoneal injections of MPH. Furthermore, central infusions of haloperidol in the orbitofrontal cortex blocked the effects of MPH. In conclusions, dopamine activity in orbitofrontal cortex might play a crucial role in the neural mechanism of reversal learning deficits in this animal model of ADHD.

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

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    Scheggia, Diego; Papaleo, Francesco

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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...... as adults on an attentional set-shifting task. Performance in this task depends upon the integrity of the PFC and NAC. TTX infusions did not affect the initial acquisition or ability to learn an intra-dimensional shift. However, TTX rats required a greater number of trials than did controls to acquire...... α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist SSR 180711 (3.0 mg/kg) eliminated the TTX-induced performance deficits. Given that patients with schizophrenia exhibit hippocampal pathophysiology and deficits in the ED stages of set-shifting tasks, our results support the significance...

  6. 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.

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

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    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.

  8. Daily associations between anxiety and alcohol use: variation by sustained attention, set shifting, and gender.

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    Dvorak, Robert D; Simons, Jeffrey S

    2014-12-01

    Many theories of emotion regulation and alcohol use posit that alcohol is consumed as a way to regulate negative mood. However, the literature has conflicting evidence on mood-alcohol use associations. Understanding how individual differences affect mood-alcohol use associations remains an important area of study. Previous research has suggested that cognitive abilities may affect the relationship between mood and alcohol. The current ecological momentary study examined associations between daytime anxious and positive mood and both (a) the likelihood of alcohol use and (b) the intensity of use on drinking nights as a function of sustained attention, set shifting, and gender. Participants (n = 100) completed assessments of sustained attention and set shifting, then carried palmtop computers for 21 days, reporting mood and alcohol use up to 8 times per day. Results showed that positive mood was consistently associated with both likelihood and intensity of alcohol use, but the association between positive mood and alcohol outcomes was not affected by cognitive abilities. Anxious mood was positively associated with the likelihood of drinking for men with high cognitive abilities. Anxious mood was positively associated with intoxication on drinking nights for men with high sustained attention, but inversely associated with intoxication on drinking nights for women with high sustained attention. Results suggest that variation in mood, executive functioning, and gender interact to contribute to observed differences in drinking behavior. These differences may be the result of gender-specific coping strategies in response to negative emotion.

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Gonadal Hormones and Voluntary Exercise Interact to Improve Discrimination Ability in a Set-Shift Task

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    Eddy, Meghan C.; Rifken, Katharine M.; Toufexis, Donna J.; Green, John T.

    2014-01-01

    Exercise has been demonstrated to improve multiple facets of health, including cognitive function. Rodent studies have suggested that exercise has robust effects on the hippocampus, and on tasks that require the hippocampus. However, studies of the effects of exercise in humans often focus on the benefits to cognitive processes that engage areas outside of the hippocampus, such as executive function. Additionally, when exercise’s cognitive benefits are examined, consideration of both males and females, and gonadal hormones, is rarely made. Here we looked at the interaction of gonadal hormones and exercise in terms of the ability of male and female rats to learn to discriminate rewarded from unrewarded arms in a T-maze based on either brightness (white vs. black) or texture (rough vs. smooth), and then to set-shift (a measure of executive function), where this required discrimination based on the opposite dimension. Gonadectomized or intact males and females had access to running wheels for two weeks before being tested. Intact males and females given access to unlocked running wheels performed better at the initial discrimination (Set 1) compared to intact males and females with locked running wheels, but not at the set-shift (Set 2). No advantage of exercise was observed in gonadectomized rats. PMID:23978149

  12. Selective blockade of 5-HT7 receptors facilitates attentional set-shifting in stressed and control rats.

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    Nikiforuk, Agnieszka

    2012-01-01

    Preclinical data demonstrate that the selective blockade of 5-HT7 receptors produces antidepressant-like behavioural effects. Although the involvement of 5-HT7 receptors in cognitive processes has been previously suggested, little is known about their role in the prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent processes that may be impaired in stress-related states. According to our previous study, repeated restraint stress induces the long-lasting cognitive impairment in a rat model of PFC-dependent attentional set-shifting task (ASST). Therefore, the first aim of the present experiments was to examine the impact of the selective 5-HT7 receptor antagonist, SB-269970, on ASST performance of stressed and control rats. Since the selective blockade of 5-HT7 receptors has been previously demonstrated to enhance the behavioural effects of antidepressants, the second goal was to examine the impact of the joint administration of inactive doses of SB-269970 and escitalopram in the ASST. SB-269970 (0.3 and 1mg/kg) given to stressed rats 30min before testing reversed the restraint-induced impairment of the extra-dimensional (ED) set-shifting ability. Additionally, SB-269970 (1mg/kg) also improved ED performance of the unstressed control group. Moreover, SB-269970, given at an inactive dose, enhanced the pro-cognitive efficacy of escitalopram. In conclusion, these results highlight the possibility that 5-HT7 receptor antagonism may represent a useful pharmacological approach in the treatment of frontal-like cognitive disturbances in stress-related psychiatric disorders.

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

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    原三娜; 罗晓敏; 张帆; 邵枫; 王玮文

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Jorge Leite

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

  15. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Set Shifting Among Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa

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    Fitzpatrick, Kathleen Kara; Darcy, Alison; Colborn, Danielle; Gudorf, Caroline; Lock, James

    2012-01-01

    Objective Set shifting difficulties are documented for adults with anorexia nervosa (AN). However, AN typically onsets in adolescents and it is unclear if set-shifting difficulties are a result of chronic AN or present earlier in its course. This study examined whether adolescents with short duration AN demonstrated set shifting difficulties compared to healthy controls (HC). Method Data on set shifting collected from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Functioning System (DKEFS) and Wisconsin Card Sort Task (WCST) as well as eating psychopathology were collected from 32 adolescent inpatients with AN and compared to those from 22 HCs. Results There were no differences in set-shifting in adolescents with AN compared to HCs on most measures. Conclusion The findings suggest that set-shifting difficulties in AN may be a consequence of AN. Future studies should explore set-shifting difficulties in a larger sample of adolescents with the AN to determine if there is sub-set of adolescents with these difficulties and determine any relationship of set-shifting to the development of a chronic from of AN. PMID:22692985

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

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    Grönholm-Nyman, Petra; Soveri, Anna; Rinne, Juha O.; Ek, Emilia; Nyholm, Alexandra; Stigsdotter Neely, Anna; Laine, Matti

    2017-01-01

    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.

  1. Learning to Model Task-Oriented Attention

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    Xiaochun Zou

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Attentional Lapses of Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Tasks of Sustained Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gmehlin, Dennis; Fuermaier, Anselm B.M.; Walther, Stephan; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; Lange, Klaus W.; Tucha, Oliver; Weisbrod, Matthias; Aschenbrenner, Steffen

    2016-01-01

    Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show attentional dysfunction such as distractibility and mind-wandering, especially in lengthy tasks. However, fundamentals of dysfunction are ambiguous and relationships of neuropsychological test parameters with self-report measures of AD

  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.

  4. Attentional Lapses of Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Tasks of Sustained Attention.

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    Gmehlin, Dennis; Fuermaier, Anselm B M; Walther, Stephan; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; Lange, Klaus W; Tucha, Oliver; Weisbrod, Matthias; Aschenbrenner, Steffen

    2016-06-01

    Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show attentional dysfunction such as distractibility and mind-wandering, especially in lengthy tasks. However, fundamentals of dysfunction are ambiguous and relationships of neuropsychological test parameters with self-report measures of ADHD symptoms are marginal. We hypothesize that basic deficits in sustaining attention explain more complex attentional dysfunction in persons with ADHD and relate to ADHD symptoms. Attentional function was analyzed by computing ex-Gaussian parameters for 3 time Blocks in a 20 min test of sustained alertness. Changes in performance across these blocks were analyzed by comparing adult persons with ADHD (n = 24) with healthy matched controls (n = 24) and correlated with neuropsychological measures of selective and divided attention as well as self-report measures of ADHD symptoms. We found a significantly steeper increase in the number of slow responses (ex-Gaussian parameter τ) in persons with ADHD with time on task in basic sustained alertness. They also performed significantly worse in tasks of sustained selective and divided attention. However, after controlling for an increase in τ during the alertness task, significant differences between groups disappeared for divided and partly selective attention. Increases in τ in the sustained alertness task correlated significantly with self-report measures of ADHD symptoms. Our results provide evidence that very basic deficits in sustaining attention in adults with ADHD are related to infrequent slow responses (=attentional lapses), with changes over time being relevant for more complex attentional function and experienced ADHD symptoms in everyday life.

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

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    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. PMID:28386222

  6. Increased set shifting costs in fasted healthy volunteers.

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    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.

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

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    Collier David A

    2010-06-01

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

  8. SLAM: A Connectionist Model for Attention in Visual Selection Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phaf, R. Hans; And Others

    1990-01-01

    The SeLective Attention Model (SLAM) performs visual selective attention tasks and demonstrates that object selection and attribute selection are both necessary and sufficient for visual selection. The SLAM is described, particularly with regard to its ability to represent an individual subject performing filtering tasks. (TJH)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockler, Anne; Knoblich, Gunther; Sebanz, Natalie

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Reduced Theta Connectivity during Set-Shifting in Children with Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doesburg, Sam M; Vidal, Julie; Taylor, Margot J

    2013-01-01

    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 magnetoencephalography 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Continuous Performance Tasks: Not Just about Sustaining Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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…

  15. Common neural recruitment across diverse sustained attention tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grahn, Jessica A; Manly, Tom

    2012-01-01

    At one level "sustained attention" is simply a description of a task demand. It is often used, however, in reference to a putatively unitary capacity to remain engaged in tasks that are lengthy, dull, repetitive and/or characterised by long intervals between relevant events. Deficits in sustained attention have been reported in a range of clinical conditions. Despite this, there is paucity of well-controlled human functional imaging evidence about regions commonly recruited during diverse sustained attention tasks. Here, for the first time, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor brain activity patterns as healthy volunteers performed two sustained attention tasks. The first, widely used in clinical assessment, required participants to count tones separated by long unpredictable intervals. This was contrasted with a control counting condition in which tones were presented at a brisk, regular rate. The second task was the Sustained Attention to Response Test (SART) in which participants responded to sequentially presented digits with the exception of a nominated infrequent no-go target. In the control condition, no-go trials were explicitly absent, removing the requirement to maintain a readiness to withhold responses. Although there were distinct patterns of activation associated with each task relative to its control, activity common to both tasks was found in the bilateral inferior frontal operculum, anterior cingulate, and bilateral premotor cortex. Although some researchers argue for a specific role of the inferior frontal operculum in inhibition, our results are consistent with recent findings of a more general attentional role for this area. The maintenance of a goal directed stance in the absence of strong environmental facilitation is challenging and this may underpin the sensitivity of sustained attention tasks to functional difficulties in a range of clinical groups.

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

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    Pingyan Zhou

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Pingyan; Liu, Xun

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    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. 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

  20. 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

  1. Statistical regularities attract attention when task-relevant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea eAlamia

    2016-02-01

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

  2. Attention Modifies Spatial Resolution According to Task Demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa

    2017-03-01

    How does visual attention affect spatial resolution? In texture-segmentation tasks, exogenous (involuntary) attention automatically increases resolution at the attended location, which improves performance where resolution is too low (at the periphery) but impairs performance where resolution is already too high (at central locations). Conversely, endogenous (voluntary) attention improves performance at all eccentricities, which suggests a more flexible mechanism. Here, using selective adaptation to spatial frequency, we investigated the mechanism by which endogenous attention benefits performance in resolution tasks. Participants detected a texture target that could appear at several eccentricities. Adapting to high or low spatial frequencies selectively affected performance in a manner consistent with changes in resolution. Moreover, adapting to high, but not low, frequencies mitigated the attentional benefit at central locations where resolution was too high; this shows that attention can improve performance by decreasing resolution. Altogether, our results indicate that endogenous attention benefits performance by modulating the contribution of high-frequency information in order to flexibly adjust spatial resolution according to task demands.

  3. 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

    2017-01-01

    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 w

  4. Nonstrategic Contributions to Putatively Strategic Effects in Selective Attention Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risko, Evan F.; Blais, Chris; Stolz, Jennifer A.; Besner, Derek

    2008-01-01

    Proportion compatible manipulations are often used to index strategic processes in selective attention tasks. Here, a subtle confound in proportion compatible manipulations is considered. Specifically, as the proportion of compatible trials increases, the ratio of complete repetitions and complete alternations to partial repetitions increases on…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basil eWahn

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Richard P; Marsh, Verity

    2016-03-01

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

  9. The Effect of Task Demands on Attention Allocation in Children of Different Ages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiff, Andrew R.; Knopf, Irwin J.

    1985-01-01

    In a study of the effect of task demands on attention allocation, 20 9-year-olds and 20 13-year-olds were presented with a primary and a secondary task. Subjects were instructed either to respond to the primary task or to respond to both tasks. Overall, findings indicate that ability to allocate attention in accordance with task demands improves…

  10. Local muscular fatigue and attentional processes in a fencing task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devienne, M F; Audiffren, M; Ripoll, H; Stein, J F

    2000-02-01

    Study of the effects of brief exercise on mental processes by Tomporowski and Ellis (1986) has shown that moderate muscular tension improves cognitive performance while low or high tension does not. Improvements in performance induced by exercise are commonly associated with increase in arousal, while impairments are generally attributed to the effects of muscular or central fatigue. To test two hypotheses, that (1) submaximal muscular exercise would decrease premotor time and increase would increase the attentional and preparatory effects observed in premotor time 9 men, aged 20 to 30 years, performed an isometric test at 50% of their maximum voluntary contraction between blocks of a 3-choice reaction-time fencing task. Analysis showed (1) physical exercise did not improve postexercise premotor time, (2) muscular fatigue induced by isometric contractions did not increase motor time, (3) there was no effect of exercise on attentional and preparatory processes involved in the postexercise choice-RT task. The invalidation of hypotheses was mainly explained by disparity in directional effects across subjects and by use of an exercise that was not really fatiguing.

  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. Clinical investigation of set-shifting subtypes in anorexia nervosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbate-Daga, Giovanni; Buzzichelli, Sara; Marzola, Enrica; Amianto, Federico; Fassino, Secondo

    2014-11-30

    While evidence continues to accumulate on the relevance of cognitive inflexibility in anorexia nervosa (AN), its clinical correlates remain unclear. We aimed at examining the relationship between set-shifting and clinical variables (i.e., eating psychopathology, depression, and personality) in AN. Ninety-four individuals affected by AN and 59 healthy controls (HC) were recruited. All participants were assessed using: Eating Disorders Inventory-2 (EDI-2), Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). The AN group scored worse than HCs on set-shifting. According to their neuropsychological performances, AN patients were split into two groups corresponding to poor (N=30) and intact (N=64) set-shifting subtypes. Interoceptive awareness, impulse regulation, and maturity fears on the EDI-2 and depression on the BDI differed across all groups (HC, intact, and poor set-shifting subtype). Self-directedness on the TCI differed significantly among all groups. Cooperativeness and reward dependence differed instead only between HC and AN poor set-shifting subtype. After controlling for depression, only interoceptive awareness remained significant with reward dependence showing a trend towards statistical significance. These findings suggest that multiple clinical variables may be correlated with set-shifting performances in AN. The factors contributing to impaired cognitive inflexibility could be more complex than heretofore generally considered.

  13. Conjunctive Continuous Performance Task (CCPT)--A Pure Measure of Sustained Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalev, Lilach; Ben-Simon, Anat; Mevorach, Carmel; Cohen, Yoav; Tsal, Yehoshua

    2011-01-01

    Among the large variety of attentional tasks that have been used to study sustained attention, the Continuous Performance Task (CPT) is perhaps the most widely used. Despite substantial differences in task characteristics and demands, all CPT paradigms have been referred to as measures of sustained attention. In the present study we introduce a…

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘军; 苏巧荣; 曹枫林; 苏程

    2010-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Attentional Focus Effects as a Function of Task Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1999-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Kevin; Smith, Peter J K

    2013-08-01

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

  2. Attention and Inhibition in Bilingual Children: Evidence from the Dimensional Change Card Sort Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialystok, Ellen; Martin, Michelle M.

    2004-01-01

    In a previous study, a bilingual advantage for preschool children in solving the dimensional change card sort task was attributed to superiority in inhibition of attention (Bialystok, 1999). However, the task includes difficult representational demands to encode and interpret the task stimuli, and bilinguals may also have profited from superior…

  3. Effectiveness of Disc 'O' Sit cushions on attention to task in second-grade students with attention difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeiffer, Beth; Henry, Amy; Miller, Stephanie; Witherell, Suzie

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated the effectiveness of a type of dynamic seating system, the Disc 'O' Sit cushion (Gymnic, Osoppo, Italy), for improving attention to task among second-grade students with attention difficulties. Sixty-three second-grade students participated in the study. Using a randomized controlled trial design, 31 students were assigned to a treatment group, and 32 were assigned to a control group. Treatment group participants used Disc 'O' Sit cushions throughout the school day for a 2-week period. The teachers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (Gioia, Isquith, Guy, & Kenworthy, 1996) for each participant before and after the intervention. An analysis of variance identified a statistically significant difference in the attention to task before and after the intervention for the treatment group. The results of the study provide preliminary evidence for the use of the Disc 'O' Sit cushion as an occupational therapy intervention to improve attention in the school setting.

  4. Children's Attention to Beliefs in Interactive Persuasion Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartsch, Karen; London, Kamala; Campbell, Michelle Diane

    2007-01-01

    Whether and when children can apply their developing understanding of belief to persuasion was examined using interactive puppet tasks. Children selected 1 of 2 arguments to persuade a puppet to do something (e.g., pet a dog) after hearing the puppet's belief (e.g., "I think puppies bite"). Across 2 studies, 132 children (ages 3-7 years) engaged…

  5. Dopamine, Salience, and Response Set Shifting in Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiner, T; Symmonds, M; Guitart-Masip, M; Fleming, S M; Friston, K J; Dolan, R J

    2015-10-01

    Dopamine is implicated in multiple functions, including motor execution, action learning for hedonically salient outcomes, maintenance, and switching of behavioral response set. Here, we used a novel within-subject psychopharmacological and combined functional neuroimaging paradigm, investigating the interaction between hedonic salience, dopamine, and response set shifting, distinct from effects on action learning or motor execution. We asked whether behavioral performance in response set shifting depends on the hedonic salience of reversal cues, by presenting these as null (neutral) or salient (monetary loss) outcomes. We observed marked effects of reversal cue salience on set-switching, with more efficient reversals following salient loss outcomes. L-Dopa degraded this discrimination, leading to inappropriate perseveration. Generic activation in thalamus, insula, and striatum preceded response set switches, with an opposite pattern in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). However, the behavioral effect of hedonic salience was reflected in differential vmPFC deactivation following salient relative to null reversal cues. l-Dopa reversed this pattern in vmPFC, suggesting that its behavioral effects are due to disruption of the stability and switching of firing patterns in prefrontal cortex. Our findings provide a potential neurobiological explanation for paradoxical phenomena, including maintenance of behavioral set despite negative outcomes, seen in impulse control disorders in Parkinson's disease.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. The role of metacognition in prospective memory: anticipated task demands influence attention allocation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, Jan; Meiser, Thorsten

    2013-09-01

    The present study investigates how individuals distribute their attentional resources between a prospective memory task and an ongoing task. Therefore, metacognitive expectations about the attentional demands of the prospective-memory task were manipulated while the factual demands were held constant. In Experiments 1a and 1b, we found attentional costs from a prospective-memory task with low factual demands to be significantly reduced when information about the low to-be-expected demands were provided, while prospective-memory performance remained largely unaffected. In Experiment 2, attentional monitoring in a more demanding prospective-memory task also varied with information about the to-be-expected demands (high vs. low) and again there were no equivalent changes in prospective-memory performance. These findings suggest that attention-allocation strategies of prospective memory rely on metacognitive expectations about prospective-memory task demands. Furthermore, the results suggest that attentional monitoring is only functional for prospective memory to the extent to which anticipated task demands reflect objective task demands.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Vigilance, visual search and attention in an agricultural task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, L R; Arnold, P K; Kobryn, H; Macleod, C

    1989-03-01

    In a fragile agricultural environment, such as Western Australia (WA), introduced exotic plant species present a serious environmental and economic threat. Skeleton weed, centaurea juncea, a Mediterranean daisy, was accidentally introduced into WA in 1963. It competes with cash crops such as wheat. When observed in the fields, farms are quarantined and mechanised teams search for the infestations in order to destroy them. Since the search process requires attention, visual search and vigilance, the present investigators conducted a number of controlled field trials to identify the importance of these factors in detection of the weed. The paper describes the basic hit rate, vigilance decrement, effect of search party size, effect of target size, and some data on the effect of solar illumination of the target. Several recommendations have been made and incorporated in the search programme and some laboratory studies undertaken to answer questions arising.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [The examination of attentional load theory by Stroop-like task].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yagi, Yoshihiko; Kikuchi, Tadashi

    2003-06-01

    Attentional-load theory (Lavie, 1995) states that task load determines whether task-irrelevant stimuli are processed semantically. In three experiments students were asked to perform a Stroop-like task. They named a centrally fixated target color, while ignoring the task-irrelevant stimulus, which was an incompatible, compatible or non-color word. When perceptual load (the number of target-like stimuli adjacent to the target) was increased, the Stroop-like effect was diminished, providing the evidence for early selection. However, when cognitive load (task demands for identical stimuli) was increased, the evidence for late selection was found. These results were inconsistent with the previous hypothesis that both kinds of task load similarly affect the attentional mechanism.

  16. Enhancement of selective attention by tDCS: interaction with interference in a Sternberg task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gladwin, T.E.; den Uyl, T.E.; Fregni, F.F.; Wiers, R.W.

    2012-01-01

    Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) enhances performance on working memory tasks. However, such effects may be dependent on modulation of specific aspects of working memory. We therefore tested the hypothesis that tDCS improves selective attention in the context of a Sternberg task. Subje

  17. Executive Processes in Appearance-Reality Tasks: The Role of Inhibition of Attention and Symbolic Representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialystok, Ellen; Senman, Lili

    2004-01-01

    Two studies addressed the role of representation ability and control of attention on solutions to an appearance-reality task based on two types of objects, real and representational. In Study 1, 67 preschool children (3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds) solved appearancereality problems and executive processing tasks. There was an interaction between object…

  18. Enhancement of selective attention by tDCS: Interaction with interference in a Sternberg task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gladwin, T.E.; Uyl, T. den; Fregni, F.F.; Wiers, R.W.H.J.

    2012-01-01

    Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) enhances performance on working memory tasks. However, such effects may be dependent on modulation of specific aspects of working memory. We therefore tested the hypothesis that tDCS improves selective attention in the context of a Sternberg task. Subje

  19. 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…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Attention to Form in Collaborative Writing Tasks: Comparing Pair and Small Group Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobao, Ana Fernández

    2014-01-01

    This study examines the opportunities that a collaborative writing task completed in pairs and in small groups offers for attention to form. Previous research suggests that collaborative writing activities encourage learners to focus their attention on language and to collaborate in the resolution of their language-related problems in ways that…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Adam C; Patterson, Michael D

    2015-01-01

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

  3. The effects of warning cues and attention-capturing stimuli on the sustained attention to response task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finkbeiner, Kristin M; Wilson, Kyle M; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S

    2015-04-01

    Performance on the sustained attention to response task (SART) is often characterized by a speed-accuracy trade-off, and SART performance may be influenced by strategic factors (Head and Helton Conscious Cogn 22: 913-919, 2013). Previous research indicates a significant difference between reliable and unreliable warning cues on response times and errors (commission and omission), suggesting that SART tasks are influenced by strategic factors (Helton et al. Conscious Cogn 20: 1732-1737, 2011; Exp Brain Res 209: 401-407, 2011). With regards to warning stimuli, we chose to use cute images (exhibiting infantile features) during a SART, as previous literature indicates cute images cause participants to engage attention. If viewing cute things makes the viewer exert more attention than normal, then exposure to cute stimuli during the SART should improve performance if SART performance is a measure of perceptual coupling. Reliable warning cues were shown to reduce both response time and errors of commission, and increase errors of omission, relative to unreliable warning cues. Cuteness of the warning stimuli, however, had no significant effect on SART performance. These results suggest the importance of strategic factors in SART performance, not increased attention, and add to the growing literature which suggests the SART is not a good measure of sustained attention, vigilance or perceptual coupling.

  4. rTMS of medial parieto-occipital cortex interferes with attentional reorienting during attention and reaching tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciavarro, Marco; Ambrosini, Ettore; Tosoni, Annalisa; Committeri, Giorgia; Fattori, Patrizia; Galletti, Claudio

    2013-09-01

    Unexpected changes in the location of a target for an upcoming action require both attentional reorienting and motor planning update. In both macaque and human brain, the medial posterior parietal cortex is involved in both phenomena but its causal role is still unclear. Here we used on-line rTMS over the putative human V6A (pV6A), a reach-related region in the dorsal part of the anterior bank of the parieto-occipital sulcus, during an attention and a reaching task requiring covert shifts of attention and planning of reaching movements toward cued targets in space. We found that rTMS increased RTs to invalidly cued but not to validly cued targets during both the attention and reaching task. Furthermore, we found that rTMS induced a deviation of reaching endpoints toward visual fixation and that this deviation was larger for invalidly cued targets. The results suggest that reorienting signals are used by human pV6A area to rapidly update the current motor plan or the ongoing action when a behaviorally relevant object unexpectedly occurs in an unattended location. The current findings suggest a direct involvement of the action-related dorso-medial visual stream in attentional reorienting and a more specific role of pV6A area in the dynamic, on-line control of reaching actions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. On the flexibility of sustained attention and its effects on a texture segmentation task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeshurun, Yaffa; Montagna, Barbara; Carrasco, Marisa

    2008-01-01

    Previously we have shown that transient attention--the more automatic, stimulus-driven component of spatial attention--enhances spatial resolution. Specifically, transient attention improves texture segmentation at the periphery, where spatial resolution is too low, but impairs performance at central locations, where spatial resolution is already too high for the task. In the present study we investigated whether sustained attention--the more controlled component of spatial attention-can also affect texture segmentation, and if so whether its effect will be similar to that of transient attention. To that end we combined central, symbolic cues with texture displays in which the target appears at several eccentricities. We found that sustained attention can also affect texture segmentation, but unlike transient attention, sustained attention improved performance at all eccentricities. Comparing the effect of pre-cues and post-cues indicated that the benefit brought about by sustained attention is significantly greater than the effect of location uncertainty reduction. These findings indicate that sustained attention is a more flexible mechanism that can optimize performance at all eccentricities in a task where performance is constrained by spatial resolution.

  7. A methodological note on evaluating performance in a sustained-attention-to-response task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seli, Paul; Jonker, Tanya R; Solman, Grayden J F; Cheyne, James Allan; Smilek, Daniel

    2013-06-01

    We evaluated the influence of speed-accuracy trade-offs on performance in the sustained attention to response task (SART), a task often used to evaluate the effectiveness of techniques designed to improve sustained attention. In the present study, we experimentally manipulated response delay in a variation of the SART and found that commission errors, which are commonly used as an index of lapses in sustained attention, were a systematic function of manipulated differences in response delay. Delaying responses to roughly 800 ms after stimulus onset reduced commission errors substantially. We suggest the possibility that any technique that affects response speed will indirectly alter error rates independently of improvements in sustained attention. Investigators therefore need to carefully explore, report, and correct for changes in response speed that accompany improvements in performance or, alternatively, to employ tasks that control for response speed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maquestiaux, François

    2016-02-01

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

  9. Changes in absolute theta power in bipolar patients during a saccadic attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Consuelo; Diniz, Claudia; Di Girogio, Luiza; Bittencourt, Juliana; Gongora, Mariana; Ken Tanaka, Guaraci; Teixeira, Silmar; Basile, Luis F; Novis, Fernanda; Angélica Silveira, Luciana; da Silva, Rafael de Assis; Cagy, Mauricio; Cheniaux, Elie; Ribeiro, Pedro; Velasques, Bruna

    2015-08-30

    The present study analyzed absolute theta power (ATP) in brain areas involved with attention in the three phase of BD while the patients performing a saccadic attention task. We hypothesized that patients in depression and mania states show a higher ATP compared to euthymic patients, since a higher ATP is indicative of attention deficit. We analyzed the frontal (F7, F3, Fz, F4 and F8) and central (C3, Cz and C4) areas. Thirty bipolar patients were enrolled in this study. The subjects performed a saccadic attention task while their brain activity pattern was recorded using quantitative electroencephalography (20 channels). Our results showed a main effect for group over C3, C4, Cz, F7, F4, F8 electrodes, and a main effect for moment over Cz, F7, F8 electrodes. These results indicate that both task and groups produce changes in theta activity in distinct cortical areas that participate in the organization of attention. Our results therefore demonstrate that, although it is well established in the literature that theta has a relevant role in the attention process, it is necessary to deepen the investigations to better understand the specifics of theta during visual processing tasks that have a demand for attention.

  10. Modulating irrelevant motion perception by varying attentional load in an unrelated task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, G; Frith, C D; Lavie, N

    1997-11-28

    Lavie's theory of attention proposes that the processing load in a relevant task determines the extent to which irrelevant distractors are processed. This theory was tested by asking participants in a study to perform linguistic tasks of low or high load while ignoring irrelevant visual motion in the periphery of the display. Although task and distractor were unrelated, both functional imaging of motion-related activity in cortical area V5 and psychophysical measures of the motion aftereffect showed reduced motion processing during high load in the linguistic task. These findings fulfill the prediction that perception of irrelevant distractors depends on the relevant processing load.

  11. 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.

  12. Common mechanisms of spatial attention in memory and perception: a tactile dual-task study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M

    2014-03-01

    Orienting attention to locations in mnemonic representations engages processes that functionally and anatomically overlap the neural circuitry guiding prospective shifts of spatial attention. The attention-based rehearsal account predicts that the requirement to withdraw attention from a memorized location impairs memory accuracy. In a dual-task study, we simultaneously presented retro-cues and pre-cues to guide spatial attention in short-term memory (STM) and perception, respectively. The spatial direction of each cue was independent of the other. The locations indicated by the combined cues could be compatible (same hand) or incompatible (opposite hands). Incompatible directional cues decreased lateralized activity in brain potentials evoked by visual cues, indicating interference in the generation of prospective attention shifts. The detection of external stimuli at the prospectively cued location was impaired when the memorized location was part of the perceptually ignored hand. The disruption of attention-based rehearsal by means of incompatible pre-cues reduced memory accuracy and affected encoding of tactile test stimuli at the retrospectively cued hand. These findings highlight the functional significance of spatial attention for spatial STM. The bidirectional interactions between both tasks demonstrate that spatial attention is a shared neural resource of a capacity-limited system that regulates information processing in internal and external stimulus representations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gemma Learmonth

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

  14. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitzpatrick, Ciarán Martin; Woldbye, David Paul Drucker; Andreasen T., Jesper

    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...... and other parameters of attentional capacity. OBJECTIVES: 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. METHODS: C57BL/6 mice were tested in two 1-h sessions...... 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....

  16. Sex differences in the Simon task help to interpret sex differences in selective attention

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    In the last decade, a number of studies have reported sex differences in selective attention, but a unified explanation for these effects is still missing. This study aims to better understand these differences and put them in an evolutionary psychological context. 418 adult participants performed a computer-based Simon task, in which they responded to the direction of a left or right pointing arrow appearing left or right from a fixation point. Women were more strongly influenced by task-irr...

  17. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mei Teng Woo; Jia Yi Chow, Michael Koh

    2014-01-01

    Recent research in attentional focus of instruction has predominantly over-emphasized the investigation of discrete and continuous skills rather than serial skills. The purpose of this study was therefore to examine the effect of different attentional focus instructions on learning a serial skill task (i.e., taekwondo routine) in novice learners. It was predicted that the use of movement outcome instructions could enhance the learning of a serial skill as previously supported in studies exami...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kida, Tetsuo; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2013-01-01

    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.

  3. Mental health in humanitarian settings: shifting focus to care systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordans, Mark J D; Tol, Wietse A

    2013-03-01

    Mental health in low- and middle income countries has received increasing attention. This attention has shifted focus, roughly moving from demonstrating the burden of mental health problems, to establishing an evidence base for interventions, to thinking about care delivery frameworks. This paper reviews these trends specifically for humanitarian settings and discusses lessons learned. Notably, that mental health assessments need to go beyond measuring the impact of traumatic events on circumscribed psychiatric disorders; that evidence for effectiveness of interventions is still too weak and its focus too limited; and that development of service delivery in the context of instable community and health systems should be an area of key priority.

  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.

  5. 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.

  6. The fate of task-irrelevant visual motion: perceptual load versus feature-based attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taya, Shuichiro; Adams, Wendy J; Graf, Erich W; Lavie, Nilli

    2009-11-18

    We tested contrasting predictions derived from perceptual load theory and from recent feature-based selection accounts. Observers viewed moving, colored stimuli and performed low or high load tasks associated with one stimulus feature, either color or motion. The resultant motion aftereffect (MAE) was used to evaluate attentional allocation. We found that task-irrelevant visual features received less attention than co-localized task-relevant features of the same objects. Moreover, when color and motion features were co-localized yet perceived to belong to two distinct surfaces, feature-based selection was further increased at the expense of object-based co-selection. Load theory predicts that the MAE for task-irrelevant motion would be reduced with a higher load color task. However, this was not seen for co-localized features; perceptual load only modulated the MAE for task-irrelevant motion when this was spatially separated from the attended color location. Our results suggest that perceptual load effects are mediated by spatial selection and do not generalize to the feature domain. Feature-based selection operates to suppress processing of task-irrelevant, co-localized features, irrespective of perceptual load.

  7. Attentional switching in the sequential flanker task: age, location, and time course effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Karen Z H; Dupuis, Kate

    2008-02-01

    The sequential flanker task was developed to study sequential performance using methodology borrowed from studies of task switching. We investigated age differences in backward inhibition [BI: Mayr, U., & Keele, S. W. (2000). Changing internal constraints on action: The role of backward inhibition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 129, 4-26] during a sequential category search task. Participants learned four animal categories in a fixed order, and then searched for exemplars from those categories in runs of mis-ordered exemplars. Across three experiments, we observed robust BI facilitation effects. However, the magnitude of BI effects did not differ across age groups. This age-invariance held despite manipulations of distractibility (Experiment 2), and interstimulus interval (Experiment 3), suggesting that BI processes may be relatively automatic and obligatory in the context of sequential tasks. The findings are discussed in terms of the attentional mechanisms that underlie task set switching and sequential performance.

  8. Attentional Differences in a Driving Hazard Perception Task in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheppard, Elizabeth; van Loon, Editha; Underwood, Geoffrey; Ropar, Danielle

    2017-01-01

    The current study explored attentional processing of social and non-social stimuli in ASD within the context of a driving hazard perception task. Participants watched videos of road scenes and detected hazards while their eye movements were recorded. Although individuals with ASD demonstrated relatively good detection of driving hazards, they were…

  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. Interference and Inhibition in Tasks of Selective Attention by Persons with and without Mental Retardation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Edward C.

    2006-01-01

    Persons with mental retardation often exhibit greater interference in visual selective attention tasks than do persons matched with them on CA. My goal here was to evaluate whether differences in distractor interference between persons with and without mental retardation may be related to differences in negative priming. Fifteen participants with…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Vision and audition do not share attentional resources in sustained tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrighi, Roberto; Lunardi, Roy; Burr, David

    2011-01-01

    Our perceptual capacities are limited by attentional resources. One important question is whether these resources are allocated separately to each sense or shared between them. We addressed this issue by asking subjects to perform a double task, either in the same modality or in different modalities (vision and audition). The primary task was a multiple object-tracking task (Pylyshyn and Storm, 1988), in which observers were required to track between 2 and 5 dots for 4 s. Concurrently, they were required to identify either which out of three gratings spaced over the interval differed in contrast or, in the auditory version of the same task, which tone differed in frequency relative to the two reference tones. The results show that while the concurrent visual contrast discrimination reduced tracking ability by about 0.7 d', the concurrent auditory task had virtually no effect. This confirms previous reports that vision and audition use separate attentional resources, consistent with fMRI findings of attentional effects as early as V1 and A1. The results have clear implications for effective design of instrumentation and forms of audio-visual communication devices.

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamers, Martijn J M; Roelofs, Ardi

    2007-11-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Probing the attentional control theory in social anxiety: an emotional saccade task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieser, Matthias J; Pauli, Paul; Mühlberger, Andreas

    2009-09-01

    Volitional attentional control has been found to rely on prefrontal neuronal circuits. According to the attentional control theory of anxiety, impairment in the volitional control of attention is a prominent feature in anxiety disorders. The present study investigated this assumption in socially anxious individuals using an emotional saccade task with facial expressions (happy, angry, fearful, sad, neutral). The gaze behavior of participants was recorded during the emotional saccade task, in which participants performed either pro- or antisaccades in response to peripherally presented facial expressions. The results show that socially anxious persons have difficulties in inhibiting themselves to reflexively attend to facial expressions: They made more erratic prosaccades to all facial expressions when an antisaccade was required. Thus, these findings indicate impaired attentional control in social anxiety. Overall, the present study shows a deficit of socially anxious individuals in attentional control-for example, in inhibiting the reflexive orienting to neutral as well as to emotional facial expressions. This result may be due to a dysfunction in the prefrontal areas being involved in attentional control.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  2. Large sex difference in adolescents on a timed line judgment task: attentional contributors and task relationship to mathematics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collaer, Marcia L; Hill, Erica M

    2006-01-01

    Visuospatial performance, assessed with the new, group-administered Judgment of Line Angle and Position test (JLAP-13), varied with sex and mathematical competence in a group of adolescents. The JLAP-13, a low-level perceptual task, was modeled after a neuropsychological task dependent upon functioning of the posterior region of the right hemisphere [Benton et al, 1994 Contributions to Neuropsychological Assessment: A Clinical Manual (New York: Oxford University Press)]. High-school boys (N = 52) performed better than girls (N = 62), with a large effect for sex (d = 1.11). Performance increased with mathematical competence, but the sex difference did not vary significantly across different levels of mathematics coursework. On the basis of earlier work, it was predicted that male, but not female, performance in line judgment would decline with disruptions to task geometry (page frame), and that the sex difference would disappear with disruptions to geometry. These predictions were supported by a number of univariate and sex-specific analyses, although an omnibus repeated-measures analysis did not detect the predicted interaction, most likely owing to limitations in power. Thus, there is partial support for the notion that attentional predispositions or strategies may contribute to visuospatial sex differences, with males more likely than females to attend to, and rely upon, internal or external representations of task geometry. Additional support for this hypothesis may require development of new measures or experimental manipulations with more powerful geometrical disruptions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Effect of different attentional instructions on the acquisition of a serial movement task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Mei Teng; Chow, Jia Yi; Koh, Michael

    2014-12-01

    Recent research in attentional focus of instruction has predominantly over-emphasized the investigation of discrete and continuous skills rather than serial skills. The purpose of this study was therefore to examine the effect of different attentional focus instructions on learning a serial skill task (i.e., taekwondo routine) in novice learners. It was predicted that the use of movement outcome instructions could enhance the learning of a serial skill as previously supported in studies examining the acquisition of discrete and continuous skills. Thirteen female participants were recruited for this study and were assigned to either movement form condition - control group (n = 7) or movement outcome condition - treatment group (n = 6). All participants underwent 12 practice sessions over an 8-week period with their respective instructional conditions with each session lasting 30 minutes. Video recording of the serial skill tasks (hand techniques, kicking techniques and 10-step routine) were captured at "the-twelfth-training session", "after 1-week", and "after 1-month". It was found that more participants in the treatment group obtained a higher score in all three serial skill tasks, especially in Mastery component of 'Kicking' techniques at 'after 1-week' (p skill task, especially in kicking actions. Key PointsMovement outcome (MO) instructions have a positive impact on learning a serial task, especially in kicking actions.More functional coordination during movement executions for MO participants.Benefits for MO instructions may be individual specific.

  7. Intracranial Electrophysiology of Auditory Selective Attention Associated with Speech Classification Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nourski, Kirill V.; Steinschneider, Mitchell; Rhone, Ariane E.; Howard III, Matthew A.

    2017-01-01

    Auditory selective attention paradigms are powerful tools for elucidating the various stages of speech processing. This study examined electrocorticographic activation during target detection tasks within and beyond auditory cortex. Subjects were nine neurosurgical patients undergoing chronic invasive monitoring for treatment of medically refractory epilepsy. Four subjects had left hemisphere electrode coverage, four had right coverage and one had bilateral coverage. Stimuli were 300 ms complex tones or monosyllabic words, each spoken by a different male or female talker. Subjects were instructed to press a button whenever they heard a target corresponding to a specific stimulus category (e.g., tones, animals, numbers). High gamma (70–150 Hz) activity was simultaneously recorded from Heschl’s gyrus (HG), superior, middle temporal and supramarginal gyri (STG, MTG, SMG), as well as prefrontal cortex (PFC). Data analysis focused on: (1) task effects (non-target words in tone detection vs. semantic categorization task); and (2) target effects (words as target vs. non-target during semantic classification). Responses within posteromedial HG (auditory core cortex) were minimally modulated by task and target. Non-core auditory cortex (anterolateral HG and lateral STG) exhibited sensitivity to task, with a smaller proportion of sites showing target effects. Auditory-related areas (MTG and SMG) and PFC showed both target and, to a lesser extent, task effects, that occurred later than those in the auditory cortex. Significant task and target effects were more prominent in the left hemisphere than in the right. Findings demonstrate a hierarchical organization of speech processing during auditory selective attention. PMID:28119593

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roebuck, Hettie; Guo, Kun; Bourke, Patrick

    2015-12-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Peer-mediated reinforcement plus prompting as treatment for off-task behavior in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    OpenAIRE

    Flood, William A; Wilder, David A; Flood, Amy L; Masuda, Akihiko

    2002-01-01

    Functional analyses revealed that peer attention was one variable maintaining the off-task behavior exhibited by 3 students with a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Peer-mediated reinforcement plus prompting was then used to reduce off-task behavior in a simulated classroom environment. Implications for future applications of this procedure with children diagnosed with ADHD are discussed.

  13. Divided visual attention: A comparison of patients with multiple sclerosis and controls, assessed with an optokinetic nystagmus suppression task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Isla M; Schofield, Peter; Khade, Neha; Abel, Larry A

    2016-12-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) frequently causes impairment of cognitive function. We compared patients with MS with controls on divided visual attention tasks. The MS patients' and controls' stare optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) was recorded in response to a 24°/s full field stimulus. Suppression of the OKN response, judged by the gain, was measured during tasks dividing visual attention between the fixation target and a second stimulus, central or peripheral, static or dynamic. All participants completed the Audio Recorded Cognitive Screen. MS patients had lower gain on the baseline stare OKN. OKN suppression in divided attention tasks was the same in MS patients as in controls but in both groups was better maintained in static than in dynamic tasks. In only dynamic tasks, older age was associated with less effective OKN suppression. MS patients had lower scores on a timed attention task and on memory. There was no significant correlation between attention or memory and eye movement parameters. Attention, a complex multifaceted construct, has different neural combinations for each task. Despite impairments on some measures of attention, MS patients completed the divided visual attention tasks normally.

  14. 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....

  15. 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.

  16. Sustained attention failures are primarily due to sustained cognitive load not task monotony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, James; Helton, William S

    2014-11-01

    We conducted two studies using a modified sustained attention to response task (SART) to investigate the developmental process of SART performance and the role of cognitive load on performance when the speed-accuracy trade-off is controlled experimentally. In study 1, 23 participants completed the modified SART (target stimuli location was not predictable) and a subjective thought content questionnaire 4 times over the span of 4 weeks. As predicted, the influence of speed-accuracy trade-off was significantly mitigated on the modified SART by having target stimuli occur in unpredictable locations. In study 2, 21 of the 23 participants completed an abridged version of the modified SART with a verbal free-recall memory task. Participants performed significantly worse when completing the verbal memory task and SART concurrently. Overall, the results support a resource theory perspective with concern to errors being a result of limited mental resources and not simply mindlessness per se.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Jia; LI Chang; HE ChunHong; CHEN AnTao

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mei Teng Woo

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MACARENA eSUÁREZ PELLICIONI

    2015-10-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Waltz

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

  3. Sustained attention to response task (SART) shows impaired vigilance in a spectrum of disorders of excessive daytime sleepiness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Schie, Mojca K M; Thijs, Roland D; Fronczek, Rolf; Middelkoop, Huub A M; Lammers, Gert Jan; Van Dijk, J Gert

    2012-08-01

    The sustained attention to response task comprises withholding key presses to one in nine of 225 target stimuli; it proved to be a sensitive measure of vigilance in a small group of narcoleptics. We studied sustained attention to response task results in 96 patients from a tertiary narcolepsy referral centre. Diagnoses according to ICSD-2 criteria were narcolepsy with (n=42) and without cataplexy (n=5), idiopathic hypersomnia without long sleep time (n=37), and obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (n=12). The sustained attention to response task was administered prior to each of five multiple sleep latency test sessions. Analysis concerned error rates, mean reaction time, reaction time variability and post-error slowing, as well as the correlation of sustained attention to response task results with mean latency of the multiple sleep latency test and possible time of day influences. Median sustained attention to response task error scores ranged from 8.4 to 11.1, and mean reaction times from 332 to 366ms. Sustained attention to response task error score and mean reaction time did not differ significantly between patient groups. Sustained attention to response task error score did not correlate with multiple sleep latency test sleep latency. Reaction time was more variable as the error score was higher. Sustained attention to response task error score was highest for the first session. We conclude that a high sustained attention to response task error rate reflects vigilance impairment in excessive daytime sleepiness irrespective of its cause. The sustained attention to response task and the multiple sleep latency test reflect different aspects of sleep/wakefulness and are complementary.

  4. Factor Structure of Attention Capacities Measured With Eye-Tracking Tasks in 18-Month-Old Toddlers.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, M.; Verhoeven, Marjolein; Hooge, I.T.C.; van Baar, A.L.

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Attention capacities are critical for adaptive functioning and development. Reliable assessment measures are needed for the study of attention capacities in early childhood. In the current study, we investigated the factor structure of the Utrecht Tasks of Attention in Toddlers Using Eye-

  5. Voluntary modulations of attention in a semantic auditory-visual matching task: an ERP study.

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    Ortega, Rodrigo; López, Vladimir; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2008-01-01

    The present study explores the neural correlates of voluntary modulations of attention in an auditory-visual matching task. Visual stimuli (a female or a male face) were preceded in close temporal proximity by auditory stimuli consisting of the Spanish word for "man" and "woman" ("hombre" or "mujer"). In 80% of the trials the gender of the two stimuli coincided. Participants were asked to mentally count the specific instances in which a female face appeared after hearing the word "man" (10 % of the trials). Our results show attention-related amplitude modulation of the early visual ERP components NI and anterior P2, but also amplitude modulations of (i) the N270 potential usually associated with conflict detection, (ii) a P300 wave related to infrequency, and (iii) an N400 potential related to semantic incongruence. The elicitation of these latter components varied according to task manipulations, evidencing the role of voluntary allocation of attention in fine-tuning cognitive processing, which includes basic processes like detection of infrequency or semantic incongruity often considered to be volition-independent.

  6. 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

    range, indicative of rapid suppression of capture. Results show that attentional capture by salient distractors can be inhibited for short-duration search displays, in which it would interfere with target processing. They demonstrate that salience-driven capture is not a purely bottom–up phenomenon...... 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...... component that was followed by a late Pd component, suggesting that they triggered attentional capture, which was later replaced by location-specific inhibition. When search arrays were visible for only 200 msec, the distractor-elicited N2pc was eliminated and was replaced by a Pd component in the same time...

  7. A model for dynamic allocation of human attention among multiple tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, T. B.; Tulga, M. K.

    1978-01-01

    The problem of multi-task attention allocation with special reference to aircraft piloting is discussed with the experimental paradigm used to characterize this situation and the experimental results obtained in the first phase of the research. A qualitative description of an approach to mathematical modeling, and some results obtained with it are also presented to indicate what aspects of the model are most promising. Two appendices are given which (1) discuss the model in relation to graph theory and optimization and (2) specify the optimization algorithm of the model.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegener, Detlef; Galashan, Fingal Orlando; Aurich, Maike Kathrin; Kreiter, Andreas Kurt

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Detlef eWegener

    2014-06-01

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

  10. Specifying Associations Between Conscientiousness and Executive Functioning: Mental Set Shifting, Not Prepotent Response Inhibition or Working Memory Updating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Kimberly A; Heintzelman, Samantha J; Bartholow, Bruce D

    2016-06-01

    Conscientiousness is characterized by self-control, organization, and goal orientation and is positively related to a number of health and professional outcomes. Thus, it is commonly suggested that conscientiousness should be related to superior executive functioning (EF) abilities, especially prepotent response inhibition. However, little empirical support for this notion has emerged, perhaps due to oversimplified and underspecified modeling of EF. The current study sought to fill this gap by testing relations between conscientiousness and three facets of EF using a nested factors latent variable approach. Participants (N = 420; Mage  = 22.5; 50% male; 91% Caucasian) completed a measure of conscientiousness and nine EF tasks designed to tap three related yet distinguishable facets of EF: working memory updating, mental set shifting, and prepotent response inhibition. Structural equation models showed that conscientiousness is positively associated with the EF facet of mental set shifting but not response inhibition or working memory updating. Despite the common notion that conscientiousness is associated with cognitive abilities related to rigid control over impulses (i.e., inhibition), the current results suggest the cognitive ability most associated with conscientiousness is characterized by flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing environmental contingencies and task demands.

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

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    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oka,Makio

    2012-10-01

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

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

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    Ronald eHübner

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zordan, Lara; Sarlo, Michela; Stablum, Franca

    2008-01-01

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

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

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    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…

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Anderson, Britt

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britt Anderson

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

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

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

    2016-10-01

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

  20. 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.

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

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    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.

  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

    2015-10-14

    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.

  3. 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.

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

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    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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Attention is important in error processing. Few studies have examined the link between sustained attention and error processing. 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. Forty-one recruited participants were divided into two groups. In the fatigue experiment group, 20 subjects performed a fatigue experiment and an additional continuous psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) for 1 h. In the normal experiment group, 21 subjects only performed the normal experimental procedures without the PVT test. Fatigue and sustained attention states were assessed with a questionnaire. Event-related potential results showed that ERN (p attention and fatigue states in electrodes Fz, FC1, Cz, and FC2. These findings indicated that sustained attention was related to error processing and that decreased attention is likely the cause of error processing impairment.

  7. 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.

  8. Acts of Attention: An Exploration of Teacher Candidates' Attention to Educational Encounters, and How It Relates to Task Formulation

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    Harvey, Victoria A.

    2015-01-01

    This study begins with the belief that the ways in which teachers see and attend to educational encounters matter for their actions in classrooms. Using microethnography as a framework, this dissertation explores the relationship between teacher candidate attention, problem formulation, and action. Through analysis of the M.Ed. inquiry reports of…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stables, Andrew

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Marjanneke; Verhoeven, Marjolein; Hooge, Ignace T C; van Baar, Anneloes L

    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 t

  12. Meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of inhibition and attention in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: exploring task-specific, stimulant medication, and age effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Heledd; Radua, Joaquim; Nakao, Tomohiro; Mataix-Cols, David; Rubia, Katya

    2013-02-01

    CONTEXT Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) revealed fronto-striato-parietal dysfunctions during tasks of inhibition and attention. However, it is unclear whether task-dissociated dysfunctions exist and to what extent they may be influenced by age and by long-term stimulant medication use. OBJECTIVE To conduct a meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in ADHD during inhibition and attention tasks, exploring age and long-term stimulant medication use effects. DATA SOURCES PubMed, ScienceDirect, Web of Knowledge, Google Scholar, and Scopus databases were searched up to May 2012 for meta-analyses. Meta-regression methods explored age and long-term stimulant medication use effects. STUDY SELECTION Twenty-one data sets were included for inhibition (287 patients with ADHD and 320 control subjects), and 13 data sets were included for attention (171 patients with ADHD and 178 control subjects). DATA EXTRACTION Peak coordinates of clusters of significant group differences, as well as demographic, clinical, and methodological variables, were extracted for each study or were obtained from the authors. DATA SYNTHESIS Patients with ADHD relative to controls showed reduced activation for inhibition in the right inferior frontal cortex, supplementary motor area, and anterior cingulate cortex, as well as striato-thalamic areas, and showed reduced activation for attention in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, posterior basal ganglia, and thalamic and parietal regions. Furthermore, the meta-regression analysis for the attention domain showed that long-term stimulant medication use was associated with more similar right caudate activation relative to controls. Age effects could be analyzed only for the inhibition meta-analysis, showing that the supplementary motor area and basal ganglia were underactivated solely in children with ADHD relative to controls, while the inferior frontal cortex and

  13. 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...... assessed. Saline treatment data determined high- and lowattentive (LA), and high- and low-impulsive (LI) subgroups according to the upper and lower 30th percentiles, respectively. Results: In the LA subgroup accuracy was improved by 0.5 mg/kg AMPH and 2 mg/kg MPH, while no effect was found in the high-attentive......-CSRTT when investigating drug effects on attention and impulsivity....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Neuro-Oscillatory Mechanisms of Intersensory Selective Attention and Task Switching in School-Aged Children, Adolescents and Young Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Jeremy W.; Foxe, John J.; Molholm, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    The ability to attend to one among multiple sources of information is central to everyday functioning. Just as central is the ability to switch attention among competing inputs as the task at hand changes. Such processes develop surprisingly slowly, such that even into adolescence, we remain slower and more error prone at switching among tasks…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Goal Priming and the Emotional Experience of Students with and without Attention Problems: An Application of the Emotional Stroop Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sideridis, Georgios; Vansteenkiste, Maarten; Shiakalli, Maria; Georgiou, Maria; Irakleous, Ioanna; Tsigourla, Ioanna; Fragioudaki, Eirini

    2009-01-01

    The primary purpose of the present study is to evaluate the emotional experience of students with (n = 52) and without attention problems (n = 272) during an achievement task. A secondary purpose of the present study is to compare students' emotional response to various stimuli, when motivated by various achievement goals. Participants were…

  20. Preschool children fail primate prosocial game because of attentional task demands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Maria Burkart

    Full Text Available Various nonhuman primate species have been tested with prosocial games (i.e. derivates from dictator games in order to better understand the evolutionary origin of proactive prosociality in humans. Results of these efforts are mixed, and it is difficult to disentangle true species differences from methodological artifacts. We tested 2- to 5-year-old children with a costly and a cost-free version of a prosocial game that differ with regard to the payoff distribution and are widely used with nonhuman primates. Simultaneously, we assessed the subjects' level of Theory of Mind understanding. Prosocial behavior was demonstrated with the prosocial game, and did not increase with more advanced Theory of Mind understanding. However, prosocial behavior could only be detected with the costly version of the game, whereas the children failed the cost-free version that is most commonly used with nonhuman primates. A detailed comparison of the children's behavior in the two versions of the game indicates that the failure was due to higher attentional demands of the cost-free version, rather than to a lack of prosociality per se. Our results thus show (i that subtle differences in prosociality tasks can substantially bias the outcome and thus prevent meaningful species comparisons, and (ii that like in nonhuman primates, prosocial behavior in human children does not require advanced Theory of Mind understanding in the present context. However, both developmental and comparative psychology accumulate increasing evidence for the multidimensionality of prosocial behaviors, suggesting that different forms of prosociality are also regulated differentially. For future efforts to understand the evolutionary origin of prosociality it is thus crucial to take this heterogeneity into account.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tucha, Lara; Simpson, William

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. Adult age-differences in subjective impression of emotional faces are reflected in emotion-related attention and memory tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joakim eSvard

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Although younger and older adults appear to attend to and remember emotional faces differently, less is known about age-related differences in the subjective emotional impression (arousal, potency, and valence of emotional faces and how these differences, in turn, are reflected in age differences in various emotional tasks. In the current study, we used the same facial emotional stimuli (angry and happy faces in four tasks: emotional rating, attention, categorical perception, and visual short-term memory (VSTM. The aim of this study was to investigate effects of age on the subjective emotional impression of angry and happy faces and to examine whether any age differences were mirrored in measures of emotional behavior (attention, categorical perception, and memory.In addition, regression analyses were used to further study impression-behavior associations. Forty younger adults (range 20-30 years and thirty-nine older adults (range 65-75 years participated in the experiment. The emotional rating task showed that older adults perceived less arousal, potency, and valence than younger adults and that the difference was more pronounced for angry than happy faces. Similarly, the results of the attention and memory tasks demonstrated interaction effects between emotion and age, and age differences on these measures were larger for angry than for happy faces. Regression analyses confirmed that in both age groups, higher potency ratings predicted both visual search and visual short-term memory efficiency. Future studies should consider the possibility that age differences in the subjective emotional impression of facial emotional stimuli may explain age differences in attention to and memory of such stimuli.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popovich, Christina; Staines, W Richard

    2015-03-15

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

  9. 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.

  10. Absolute Theta Power in the Frontal Cortex During a Visuomotor Task: The Effect of Bromazepam on Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gongora, Mariana; Peressuti, Caroline; Velasques, Bruna; Bittencourt, Juliana; Teixeira, Silmar; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Cagy, Mauricio; Ribeiro, Pedro

    2015-10-01

    Bromazepam is a benzodiazepine, which has been widely employed in the treatment of anxiety. We investigated the electrophysiological changes in absolute theta power within the frontal cortex when individuals performed a visuomotor task under bromazepam. The sample of 17 healthy individuals was randomized into 2 experimental conditions, under which bromazepam 6 mg and placebo were administered on different days. All subjects were right -handed, with no mental or physical illness and were not using any psychoactive or psychotropic substance during the entire period of the study. We found an increase in reaction time under bromazepam compared with placebo . With regard to the electrophysiological variable, we found a lower theta power value in the prefrontal cortex prior to task execution, compared with after. We therefore suggested that this could be an increase of neural activity in this region, because of the subjects' readiness to perform the task, that is, because of their higher alertness. The right lateral frontal region showed lower theta power under bromazepam for pre- and post-finger movement. This could have occurred because of more effort to execute the task. In the left frontal region: premovement did not demonstrate any difference between conditions, possibly because the proposed task was simple to execute. In conclusion, theta power plays an important role in the analysis of visuomotor performance, assuming that bromazepam causes impairment on sustained attention and sensory perception.

  11. 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.

  12. ERPs and behavioral inhibition in a Go/No-go task in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yong-Liang, G; Robaey, P; Karayanidis, F; Bourassa, M; Pelletier, G; Geoffroy, G

    2000-01-01

    In order to study the behavioral responses and the brain inhibition process in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 30 scalp electrodes in 21 ADHD and 21 normal boys during performing a Go/No-go task. ADHD children made fewer correct responses to both Go and No-go stimuli than normal controls. The frontal N2 amplitude was larger for No-go stimuli than Go stimuli in both groups, reflecting inhibition of responding. Smaller N2 amplitudes to No-go stimuli were found in ADHD children, but only when the Go/No-go task was performed after a first stimulus-response compatibility (SRC) task. In addition, the controls exhibited a prolonged N2 only when the Go/No-go task was performed second. However, the ADHD subjects exhibited this prolonged N2 when the task was first, but not when it was second. These results suggest an inhibitory regulation problem rather an inhibition deficit in ADHD children.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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).

  18. Control of working memory: effects of attention training on target recognition and distractor salience in an auditory selection task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melara, Robert D; Tong, Yunxia; Rao, Aparna

    2012-01-09

    Behavioral and electrophysiological measures of target and distractor processing were examined in an auditory selective attention task before and after three weeks of distractor suppression training. Behaviorally, training improved target recognition and led to less conservative and more rapid responding. Training also effectively shortened the temporal distance between distractors and targets needed to achieve a fixed level of target sensitivity. The effects of training on event-related potentials were restricted to the distracting stimulus: earlier N1 latency, enhanced P2 amplitude, and weakened P3 amplitude. Nevertheless, as distractor P2 amplitude increased, so too did target P3 amplitude, connecting experience-dependent changes in distractor processing with greater distinctiveness of targets in working memory. We consider the effects of attention training on the processing priorities, representational noise, and inhibitory processes operating in working memory.

  19. Environmental heat stress enhances mental fatigue during sustained attention task performing: evidence from an ASL perfusion study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Shaowen; Li, Min; Li, Guoying; Liu, Kai; Li, Bo; Jiang, Qingjun; Li, Li; Yang, Zhen; Sun, Gang

    2015-03-01

    This study was to investigate the potential enhancing effect of heat stress on mental fatigue progression during sustained attention task using arterial spin labeling (ASL) imaging. Twenty participants underwent two thermal exposures in an environmental chamber: normothermic (NT) condition (25°C, 1h) and hyperthermic (HT) condition (50°C, 1h). After thermal exposure, they performed a twenty-minute psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) in the scanner. Behavioral analysis revealed progressively increasing subjective fatigue ratings and reaction time as PVT progressed. Moreover, heat stress caused worse performance. Perfusion imaging analyses showed significant resting-state cerebral blood flow (CBF) alterations after heat exposure. Specifically, increased CBF mainly gathered in thalamic-brainstem area while decreased CBF predominantly located in fronto-parietal areas, anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and medial frontal cortex. More importantly, diverse CBF distributions and trend of changes between both conditions were observed as the fatigue level progressed during subsequent PVT task. Specifically, higher CBF and enhanced rising trend were presented in superior parietal lobe, precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, while lower CBF or inhibited rising trend was found in dorsolateral frontal cortex, medial frontal cortex, inferior parietal lobe and thalamic-brainstem areas. Furthermore, the decrease of post-heat resting-state CBF in fronto-parietal cortex was correlated with subsequent slower reaction time, suggesting prior disturbed resting-state CBF might be indicator of performance potential and fatigue level in following task. These findings may provide proof for such a view: heat stress has a potential fatigue-enhancing effect when individual is performing highly cognition-demanding attention task.

  20. Comparison of sustained attention assessed by auditory and visual psychomotor vigilance tasks prior to and during sleep deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Christopher M; Ronda, Joseph M; Czeisler, Charles A; Wright, Kenneth P

    2011-06-01

    To date, no detailed examination of the pattern of change in reaction time performance for different sensory modalities has been conducted across the circadian cycle during sleep deprivation. Therefore, we compared sustained auditory and visual attention performance during 40h of sleep deprivation assessing multiple metrics of auditory and visual psychomotor vigilance tasks (PVT). Forty healthy participants (14 women) aged 30.8±8.6years were studied. Subjects were scheduled for an ∼8h sleep schedule at home prior to three-six laboratory baseline days with an 8 h sleep schedule followed by 40h sleep deprivation. Visual and auditory PVTs were 10min in duration, and were administered every 2h during sleep deprivation. Data were analysed with mixed-model anova. Sleep deprivation and circadian phase increased response time, lapses, anticipations, standard deviation of response times and time on task decrements for visual and auditory PVTs. In general, auditory vigilance was faster and less variable than visual vigilance, with larger differences between auditory and visual PVT during sleep deprivation versus baseline. Failures to respond to stimuli within 10s were four times more likely to occur to visual versus auditory stimuli. Our findings highlight that lapses during sleep deprivation are more than just long responses due to eye closure or visual distraction. Furthermore, our findings imply that the general pattern of change in attention during sleep deprivation (e.g. circadian variation, response slowing, lapsing and anticipations, time on task decrements and state instability) is similar among sensory-motor behavioral response modalities.

  1. Chronic cannabis use and ERP correlates of visual selective attention during the performance of a flanker go/nogo task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholls, Clare; Bruno, Raimondo; Matthews, Allison

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between chronic cannabis use and visual selective attention by examining event-related potentials (ERPs) during the performance of a flanker go/nogo task. Male participants were 15 chronic cannabis users (minimum two years use, at least once per week) and 15 drug naive controls. Cannabis users showed longer reaction times compared to controls with equivalent accuracy. Cannabis users also showed a reduction in the N2 'nogo effect' at frontal sites, particularly for incongruent stimuli, and particularly in the right hemisphere. This suggests differences between chronic cannabis users and controls in terms of inhibitory processing within the executive control network, and may implicate the right inferior frontal cortex. There was also preliminary evidence for differences in early selective attention, with controls but not cannabis users showing modulation of N1 amplitude by flanker congruency. Further investigation is required to examine the potential reversibility of these residual effects after long-term abstinence and to examine the role of early selective attention mechanisms in more detail.

  2. 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

    2016-02-22

    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.

  3. Flanking magnitudes: dissociation between numerosity and numerical value in a selective attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naparstek, Sharon; Safadi, Ziad; Lichtenstein-Vidne, Limor; Henik, Avishai

    2015-07-01

    The current research examined whether peripherally presented numerical information can affect the speed of number processing. In 2 experiments, participants were presented with a target matrix flanked by a distractor matrix and were asked to perform a comparative judgment (i.e., decide whether the target was larger or smaller than the reference 5). In Experiment 1, the target was symbolic (i.e., a single digit), and in Experiment 2, it was nonsymbolic (i.e., a random presentation of dots). In both experiments, flanker matrices had 2 dimensions-numerosity and numerical value-that were manipulated orthogonally to create stimulus congruent and stimulus incongruent conditions. Incongruent trials differed in the laterality between target and flanker (i.e., their location in relation to the reference 5). When responding to symbolic targets (Experiment 1), only the flanker's numerical value affected reaction times (RTs), whereas when responding to nonsymbolic targets (Experiment 2), only the flanker's numerosity affected RTs. In addition, the pattern of flanker interference differed between targets: For symbolic targets, laterality did not affect responses, whereas for nonsymbolic targets, laterality did affect responses. These results imply both symbolic and nonsymbolic magnitudes can be automatically activated; however, this activation is contingent upon their relevance to the task at hand. Implications of these results on the efficiency of the visual processing system and on numerical cognition are further discussed.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The Roles of Reward, Default, and Executive Control Networks in Set-Shifting Impairments in Schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Patients with schizophrenia (SZ) show deficits on tasks of rapid reinforcement learning, like probabilistic reversal learning (PRL), but the neural bases for those impairments are not known. Recent evidence of relatively intact sensitivity to negative outcomes in the ventral striatum (VS) in many SZ patients suggests that PRL deficits may be largely attributable to processes downstream from feedback processing, involving both the activation of executive control task regions and deactivation o...

  7. Visually guided auditory attention in a dynamic "cocktail-party" speech perception task: ERP evidence for age-related differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getzmann, Stephan; Wascher, Edmund

    2017-02-01

    Speech understanding in the presence of concurring sound is a major challenge especially for older persons. In particular, conversational turn-takings usually result in switch costs, as indicated by declined speech perception after changes in the relevant target talker. Here, we investigated whether visual cues indicating the future position of a target talker may reduce the costs of switching in younger and older adults. We employed a speech perception task, in which sequences of short words were simultaneously presented by three talkers, and analysed behavioural measures and event-related potentials (ERPs). Informative cues resulted in increased performance after a spatial change in target talker compared to uninformative cues, not indicating the future target position. Especially the older participants benefited from knowing the future target position in advance, indicated by reduced response times after informative cues. The ERP analysis revealed an overall reduced N2, and a reduced P3b to changes in the target talker location in older participants, suggesting reduced inhibitory control and context updating. On the other hand, a pronounced frontal late positive complex (f-LPC) to the informative cues indicated increased allocation of attentional resources to changes in target talker in the older group, in line with the decline-compensation hypothesis. Thus, knowing where to listen has the potential to compensate for age-related decline in attentional switching in a highly variable cocktail-party environment.

  8. Association between genetic variants of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 3 (GRM3) and cognitive set shifting in healthy individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baune, B T; Suslow, T; Beśte, C; Birosova, E; Domschke, K; Sehlmeyer, C; Konrad, C

    2010-07-01

    Set-shifting and maintenance are complex cognitive processes, which are often impaired in schizophrenia. The genetic basis of these processes is poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the association between genetic variants of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 3 (GRM3) and cognitive set-shifting in healthy individuals. The relationship between 14 selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the GRM3 gene and cognitive set-shifting as measured by perseverative errors using the modified card sorting test (MCST) was analysed in a sample of N = 98 young healthy individuals (mean age in years: 22.7 +/- 0.19). Results show that SNP rs17676277 is related to the performance on the MCST. Subjects with the TT genotype showed significantly less perseverative errors as compared with the AA (P = 0.025) and AT (P = 0.0005) and combined AA/AT genotypes (P = 0.0005). Haplotype analyses suggest the involvement of various SNPs of the GRM3 gene in perseverative error processing in a dominant model of inheritance. The findings strongly suggest that the genetic variation (rs17676277 and three haplotypes) in the metabotropic GRM3 is related to cognitive set-shifting in healthy individuals independent of working memory. However, because of a relatively small sample size for a genetic association study, the present results are tentative and require replication.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Investigating glutamatergic mechanism in attention and impulse control using rats in a modified 5-choice serial reaction time task.

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    Abigail Benn

    Full Text Available The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT has been widely used to study attention and impulse control in rodents. In order to mimic cognitive impairments in psychiatry, one approach has been to use acute administration of NMDA antagonists. This disruption in glutamatergic transmission leads to impairments in accuracy, omissions, and premature responses although findings have been inconsistent. In this study, we further investigated glutamatergic mechanisms using a novel version of the 5CSRTT, which we have previously shown to be more sensitive to cognitive enhancers. We first investigated the effects of systemic treatment with NMDA antagonists. We also carried out a preliminary investigation using targeted medial prefrontal cortex infusions of a NMDA antagonist (MK801, mGluR2/3 antagonist (LY341495, and mGluR7 negative allosteric modulator (MMPIP. Acute systemic administration of the different NMDA antagonists had no specific effects on accuracy. At higher doses PCP, ketamine, and memantine, increased omissions and affected other measures suggesting a general disruption in task performance. Only MK801 increased premature responses, and reduced omissions at lower doses suggesting stimulant like effects. None of the NMDA antagonists affected accuracy or any other measures when tested using a short stimulus challenge. Infusions of MK801 had no effect on accuracy but increased premature responses following infralimbic, but not prelimbic infusion. LY341495 had no effects in either brain region but a decrease in accuracy was observed following prelimbic infusion of MMPIP. Contrary to our hypothesis, disruptions to glutamate transmission using NMDA antagonists did not induce any clear deficits in accuracy in this modified version of the 5CSRTT. We also found that the profile of effects for MK801 differed from those observed with PCP, ketamine, and memantine. The effects of MK801 in the infralimbic cortex add to the literature indicating this brain

  13. Task-Irrelevant Expectation Violations in Sequential Manual Actions: Evidence for a "Check-after-Surprise" Mode of Visual Attention and Eye-Hand Decoupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Rebecca M

    2016-01-01

    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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Long-term memory-based control of attention in multi-step tasks requires working memory: evidence from domain-specific interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Evidence for long-term memory (LTM)-based control of attention has been found during the execution of highly practiced multi-step tasks. However, does LTM directly control for attention or are working memory (WM) processes involved? In the present study, this question was investigated with a dual-task paradigm. Participants executed either a highly practiced visuospatial sensorimotor task (speed stacking) or a verbal task (high-speed poem reciting), while maintaining visuospatial or verbal information in WM. Results revealed unidirectional and domain-specific interference. Neither speed stacking nor high-speed poem reciting was influenced by WM retention. Stacking disrupted the retention of visuospatial locations, but did not modify memory performance of verbal material (letters). Reciting reduced the retention of verbal material substantially whereas it affected the memory performance of visuospatial locations to a smaller degree. We suggest that the selection of task-relevant information from LTM for the execution of overlearned multi-step tasks recruits domain-specific WM.

  18. Long-term memory-based control of attention in multi-step tasks requires working memory: Evidence from domain-specific interference

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    Rebecca Martina Foerster

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Evidence for long-term memory (LTM-based control of attention has been found during the execution of highly practiced multi-step tasks. However, does LTM directly control for attention or are working memory (WM processes involved? In the present study, this question was investigated with a dual-task paradigm. Participants executed either a highly practiced visuospatial sensorimotor task (speed stacking or a verbal task (high-speed poem reciting, while maintaining visuospatial or verbal information in WM. Results revealed unidirectional and domain-specific interference. Neither speed stacking nor high-speed poem reciting was influenced by WM retention. Stacking disrupted the retention of visuospatial locations, but did not modify memory performance of verbal material (letters. Reciting reduced the retention of verbal material substantially whereas it affected the memory performance of visuospatial locations to a smaller degree. We suggest that the selection of task-relevant information from LTM for the execution of overlearned multi-step tasks recruits domain-specific WM.

  19. Self-monitoring during spelling practice: effects on spelling accuracy and on-task behavior of three students diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafferty, Lisa A; Arroyo, Jenna; Ginnane, Shaunna; Wilczynski, Kelly

    2011-01-01

    We used a multiple baseline across subjects design to investigate the effects of self-monitoring on the on-task behavior and spelling accuracy of three fifth-grade students diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during an independent spelling practice period in the general education environment. We also compared their on-task levels to that of peers without disabilities in the same classroom context before and after the self-monitoring intervention. Our results showed that time on-task and spelling accuracy increased for the students diagnosed with ADHD during independent spelling practice after the teacher taught them how to self-monitor. These same students' on-task behavior also increased to levels comparable to that of their peers. Suggestions for educators interested in teaching their students self-monitoring strategies are included following a discussion of the results of the analysis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-04-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colombo, Jorge A.

    2012-08-01

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

  8. 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…

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

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    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.

  10. Performance of juvenile baboons on neuropsychological tests assessing associative learning, motivation and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zürcher, Nicole R; Rodriguez, Jesse S; Jenkins, Sue L; Keenan, Kate; Bartlett, Thad Q; McDonald, Thomas J; Nathanielsz, Peter W; Nijland, Mark J

    2010-05-15

    The CANTAB (Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery), a system developed for human neuropsychological testing, has previously been used to assess cognitive function in two species of nonhuman primates, common marmoset monkeys and rhesus macaques. We describe the application of the system to the juvenile baboon, a nonhuman primate species offering specific investigative advantages. Juvenile baboons were trained and tested on a progressive ratio task to assess motivation, simple discrimination and simple reversal tasks to assess associative learning, and intra- and extra-dimensional set-shifting tasks to assess selective attention and attentional set-shifting, respectively. Study subjects were 8 juvenile baboons (Papio sp.), 4 females and 4 males aged 3.0+/-0.1 (mean+SEM) years and weight 8.2+/-0.4 kg. All baboons were easily trained, readily learned the neuropsychological tests and exhibited a stable performance. Applying a method such as the CANTAB has significant implications for expanding on the translational utility of the baboon in studies of neurodevelopment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  12. Far bias on the radial line bisection task: measuring perceptual-attentional and motor-intentional bias in normal subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Anna M; Crosson, J Brent; Crucian, Gregory P; Heilman, Kenneth M

    2002-12-01

    Normal subjects usually err distally when bisecting radial lines below eye level in midsagittal space (far bias). To learn if a radial line bisection bias may be characterized as primarily perceptual-attentional or primarily motor-intentional, we had subjects bisect lines while watching their hand and the line under two video monitoring conditions. In the DIRECT condition, proximal (near) and distal (far) on the video monitor corresponded with the workspace where subjects bisected lines. In the INDIRECT condition, we reversed proximal and distal as they appeared on the monitor. Thus, in the indirect condition, distal hand movement appeared proximal, and vice versa. In the DIRECT condition, subjects erred toward far space (mean 2.075 mm). In the INDIRECT condition, however, subjects erred proximally (mean 1.59 mm, near bias). Distal-proximal reversal of errors over the group of subjects is consistent with a primarily perceptual-attentional bias. In lower body space, normal visual-perceptual-attentional systems may be more biased toward far space than are kinesthetic-motor systems.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sufen eChen

    2014-08-01

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

  14. 17β-estradiol replacement in ovariectomized female rats slows set 1 dorsolateral striatial-dependent learning and enhances learning of set 2 in an extradimensional set-shifting paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Volatiles emitted from the roots of Vetiveria zizanioides suppress the decline in attention during a visual display terminal task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsubara, Eri; Shimizu, Kuniyoshi; Fukagawa, Mio; Ishizi, Yuka; Kakoi, Chikako; Hatayama, Tomoko; Nagano, Jun; Okamoto, Tsuyoshi; Ohnuki, Koichiro; Kondo, Ryuichiro

    2012-01-01

    The perennial grass Vetiveria zizanioides (vetiver) is mainly cultivated for its fragrant essential oil. Although the components of the oil and their biological activities have been studied extensively, the effect of the volatiles emitted from the roots of V. zizanioides on humans has so far remained unexplored. We investigated the effects of volatile compounds emitted from the cut roots of V. zizanioides (1.0 g, low-dose conditions; 30 g, high-dose conditions) on individuals during a visual display terminal task. Participants who breathed the volatile compounds emitted under low-dose conditions showed faster reaction times and stimulation of sympathetic nerve activity as measured by electrocardiography. These effects were not observed under high-dose conditions. The total amounnt of volatiles emitted during the experiment was 0.25 μg under low-dose conditions and 1.35 μg under high-dose conditions. These findings indicate that volatile compounds emitted from the roots of V. zizanioides under low-dose conditions may have helped subjects to maintain performance in visual discrimination tasks while maintaining high sympathetic nerve system activity.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丁颖; 杨双

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Multisensory interactions elicited by audiovisual stimuli presented peripherally in a visual attention task: a behavioral and event-related potential study in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jinglong; Li, Qi; Bai, Ou; Touge, Tetsuo

    2009-12-01

    We applied behavioral and event-related potential measurements to study human multisensory interactions induced by audiovisual (AV) stimuli presented peripherally in a visual attention task in which an irrelevant auditory stimulus occasionally accompanied the visual stimulus. A stream of visual, auditory, and AV stimuli was randomly presented to the left or right side of the subjects; subjects covertly attended to the visual stimuli on either the left or right side and promptly responded to visual targets on that side. Behavioral results showed that responses to AV stimuli were faster and more accurate than those to visual stimuli only. Three event-related potential components related to AV interactions were identified: (1) over the right temporal area, approximately 200 to 220 milliseconds; (2) over the centromedial area, approximately 290 to 310 milliseconds; and (3) over the left and right ventral temporal area, approximately 290 to 310 milliseconds. We found that these interaction effects occurred slightly later than those reported in previously published AV interaction studies in which AV stimuli were presented centrally. Our results suggest that the retinotopic location of stimuli affects AV interactions occurring at later stages of cognitive processing in response to a visual attention task.

  19. 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.

  20. Behavioral, Cognitive, and Motor Preparation Deficits in a Visual Cued Spatial Attention Task in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokhadze, Estate M; Tasman, Allan; Sokhadze, Guela E; El-Baz, Ayman S; Casanova, Manuel F

    2016-03-01

    Abnormalities in motor skills have been regarded as part of the symptomatology characterizing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It has been estimated that 80 % of subjects with autism display "motor dyspraxia" or clumsiness that are not readily identified in a routine neurological examination. In this study we used behavioral measures, event-related potentials (ERP), and lateralized readiness potential (LRP) to study cognitive and motor preparation deficits contributing to the dyspraxia of autism. A modified Posner cueing task was used to analyze motor preparation abnormalities in children with autism and in typically developing children (N = 30/per group). In this task, subjects engage in preparing motor response based on a visual cue, and then execute a motor movement based on the subsequent imperative stimulus. The experimental conditions, such as the validity of the cue and the spatial location of the target stimuli were manipulated to influence motor response selection, preparation, and execution. Reaction time and accuracy benefited from validly cued targets in both groups, while main effects of target spatial position were more obvious in the autism group. The main ERP findings were prolonged and more negative early frontal potentials in the ASD in incongruent trials in both types of spatial location. The LRP amplitude was larger in incongruent trials and had stronger effect in the children with ASD. These effects were better expressed at the earlier stages of LRP, specifically those related to response selection, and showed difficulties at the cognitive phase of stimulus processing rather that at the motor execution stage. The LRP measures at different stages reflect the chronology of cognitive aspects of movement preparation and are sensitive to manipulations of cue correctness, thus representing very useful biomarker in autism dyspraxia research. Future studies may use more advance and diverse manipulations of movement preparation demands in testing more

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    2012-07-01

    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- and without ADHD. Studies examining this in executive functions other than WM, show inconsistent results. These inconsistencies may be related to differences in the reinforcement used. The effects of different reinforcers on WM performance were investigated in 30 children with ADHD and 31 non-ADHD controls. A visual-spatial WM task was administered in four reinforcement conditions: Feedback-only, 1 euro, 10 euros, and a computer-game version of the task. In the Feedback-only condition, children with ADHD performed worse on the WM measure than controls. Although incentives significantly improved the WM performance of children with ADHD, even the strongest incentives (10 euros and Gaming) were unable to normalize their performance. Feedback-only provided sufficient reinforcement for controls to reach optimal performance, while children with ADHD required extra reinforcement. Only children with ADHD showed a decrease in performance over time. Importantly, the strongest incentives (10 euros and Gaming) normalized persistence of performance in these children, whereas 1 euro had no such effect. Both executive and motivational deficits give rise to visual-spatial WM deficits in ADHD. Problems with task-persistence in ADHD result from motivational deficits. In ADHD-reinforcement studies and clinical practice (e.g., assessment), reinforcement intensity can be a confounding factor and should be taken into account. Gaming can be a cost-effective way to maximize performance in ADHD.

  8. Decision making and set shifting impairments are associated with distinct symptom dimensions in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lawrence, N.S.; Wooderson, S.; Mataix-Cols, D.; David, R.; Speckens, A.E.M.; Phillips, M.L.

    2006-01-01

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is clinically heterogeneous. The authors examined how specific OCD symptom dimensions were related to neuropsychological functions using multiple regression analyses. A total of 39 OCD patients and 40 controls completed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; A. Bechara, A.

  9. 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.

  10. Computing an optimal time window of audiovisual integration in focused attention tasks: illustrated by studies on effect of age and prior knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colonius, Hans; Diederich, Adele

    2011-07-01

    The concept of a "time window of integration" holds that information from different sensory modalities must not be perceived too far apart in time in order to be integrated into a multisensory perceptual event. Empirical estimates of window width differ widely, however, ranging from 40 to 600 ms depending on context and experimental paradigm. Searching for theoretical derivation of window width, Colonius and Diederich (Front Integr Neurosci 2010) developed a decision-theoretic framework using a decision rule that is based on the prior probability of a common source, the likelihood of temporal disparities between the unimodal signals, and the payoff for making right or wrong decisions. Here, this framework is extended to the focused attention task where subjects are asked to respond to signals from a target modality only. Evoking the framework of the time-window-of-integration (TWIN) model, an explicit expression for optimal window width is obtained. The approach is probed on two published focused attention studies. The first is a saccadic reaction time study assessing the efficiency with which multisensory integration varies as a function of aging. Although the window widths for young and older adults differ by nearly 200 ms, presumably due to their different peripheral processing speeds, neither of them deviates significantly from the optimal values. In the second study, head saccadic reactions times to a perfectly aligned audiovisual stimulus pair had been shown to depend on the prior probability of spatial alignment. Intriguingly, they reflected the magnitude of the time-window widths predicted by our decision-theoretic framework, i.e., a larger time window is associated with a higher prior probability.

  11. 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.

  12. Sustained attention, attentional selectivity, and attentional capacity across the lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvinue, Laura P; Habekost, Thomas; Johnson, Katherine A; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Vangkilde, Signe; Bundesen, Claus; Robertson, Ian H

    2012-11-01

    Changes in sustained attention, attentional selectivity, and attentional capacity were examined in a sample of 113 participants between the ages of 12 and 75. To measure sustained attention, we employed the sustained-attention-to-response task (Robertson, Manly, Andrade, Baddeley, & Yiend, Neuropsychologia 35:747-58, 1997), a short continuous-performance test designed to capture fluctuations in sustained attention. To measure attentional selectivity and capacity, we employed a paradigm based on the theory of visual attention (Bundesen, Psychological Review 97:523-547, 1990), which enabled the estimation of parameters related to attentional selection, perceptual threshold, visual short-term memory capacity, and processing capacity. We found evidence of age-related decline in each of the measured variables, but the declines varied markedly in terms of magnitude and lifespan trajectory. Variables relating to attentional capacity showed declines of very large effect sizes, while variables relating to attentional selectivity and sustained attention showed declines of medium to large effect sizes, suggesting that attentional control is relatively preserved in older adults. The variables relating to sustained attention followed a U-shaped, curvilinear trend, and the variables relating to attentional selectivity and capacity showed linear decline from early adulthood, providing further support for the differentiation of attentional functions.

  13. Assessment of attention in preschoolers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahone, E M; Schneider, H E

    2012-12-01

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

  14. Attentional Processes in Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, Gerald; Johnson, Cynthia R.; Minshew, Nancy J.

    2001-01-01

    Attention processes in 103 children and adults with high functioning autism were compared with a matched control group using a battery of attention measures. Differences were found only on tasks which placed demands on cognitive flexibility or psychomotor speed, suggesting that purported attention deficits in autism may actually be primary…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Age-related differences in attentional cost associated with postural dual tasks: increased recruitment of generic cognitive resources in older adults.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boisgontier, M.P.; Beets, I.A.; Duysens, J.E.J.; Nieuwboer, A.; Krampe, R.T.; Swinnen, S.P.

    2013-01-01

    Dual-task designs have been used widely to study the degree of automatic and controlled processing involved in postural stability of young and older adults. However, several unexplained discrepancies in the results weaken this literature. To resolve this problem, a careful selection of dual-task stu

  18. 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…

  19. 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 wh...

  20. Target Predictability, Sustained Attention, and Response Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Leonie; Russell, Paul N.; Helton, William S.

    2013-01-01

    We examined whether the sustained attention to response task is a better measure of response inhibition or sustained attention. Participants performed a number detection task for 37.3 min using either a Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART; high Go low No-Go) or a more traditionally formatted vigilance task (TFT; high No-Go low Go) response…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.…

  3. 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 motivati

  4. 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-…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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

    -organic, non-affective psychoses (EOP) (N = 11). Speed of processing of executive functions, set shifting, and attention improved significantly in the healthy controls and reflected continuous functional maturation during late adolescence and early adulthood. The developmental progression of attention and set...

  7. Search Asymmetry, Sustained Attention, and Response Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, Hugh; Russell, Paul N.; Helton, William S.

    2011-01-01

    In the present experiment, we used search asymmetry to test whether the sustained attention to response task is a better measure of response inhibition or sustained attention. Participants performed feature present and feature absent target detection tasks using either a sustained attention to response task (SART; high Go low No-Go) or a…

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Self-handicapping prior to academic-oriented tasks in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): medication effects and comparisons with controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waschbusch, Daniel A; Craig, Rebecca; Pelham, William E; King, Sara

    2007-04-01

    Examined self-handicapping prior to academic-oriented tasks in children with and without ADHD and examined whether stimulant medication influenced self-handicapping. Participants were 61 children ages 6 to 13, including 22 children with ADHD tested after taking a placebo, 21 children with ADHD tested after taking stimulant medication, and 18 non-ADHD controls. Participants completed three measures of self handicapping and also completed self-evaluations of their performance. Results showed greater self handicapping and more positive self-evaluations in children with ADHD than in controls regardless of medication condition. Findings suggest children with ADHD may use self handicapping to ameliorate the effects of experiencing high rates of academic failure.

  10. Estimating the cost of mental loading in a bimodal divided-attention task: Combining reaction time, heart-rate variability and signal-detection theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casper, Patricia A.; Kantowitz, Barry H.

    1988-01-01

    Multiple approaches are necessary for understanding and measuring workload. In particular, physiological systems identifiable by employing cardiac measures are related to cognitive systems. One issue of debate in measuring cardiac output is the grain of analysis used in recording and summarizing data. Various experiments are reviewed, the majority of which were directed at supporting or contradicting Lacey's intake-rejection hypothesis. Two of the experiments observed heart rate in operational environments and found virtually no changes associated with mental load. The major problems facing researchers using heart rate variability, or sinus arrhthmia, as a dependent measure have been associated with valid and sensitive scoring and preventing contamination of observed results by influences unrelated to cognition. Spectral analysis of heart rate variability offers two useful procedures: analysis from the time domain and analysis from the frequency domain. Most recently, data have been collected in a divided attention experiment, the performance measures and cardiac measures of which are detailed.

  11. 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.

  12. Attention allocation before antisaccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klapetek, Anna; Jonikaitis, Donatas; Deubel, Heiner

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the distribution of attention before antisaccades. We used a dual task paradigm, in which participants made prosaccades or antisaccades and discriminated the orientation of a visual probe shown at the saccade goal, the visual cue location (antisaccade condition), or a neutral location. Moreover, participants indicated whether they had made a correct antisaccade or an erroneous prosaccade. We observed that, while spatial attention in the prosaccade task was allocated only to the saccade goal, attention in the antisaccade task was allocated both to the cued location and to the antisaccade goal. This suggests parallel attentional selection of the cued and antisaccade locations. We further observed that in error trials--in which participants made an incorrect prosaccade instead of an antisaccade--spatial attention was biased towards the prosaccade goal. These erroneous prosaccades were mostly unnoticed and were often followed by corrective antisaccades with very short latencies (parallel programming of the reflexive prosaccade to the cue and the antisaccade to the intended location. Taken together, our results suggest that attention allocation and saccade goal selection in the antisaccade task are mediated by a common competitive process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-15

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

  14. Individual Differences in Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-09-01

    Psychology Technical Report, August, 1977. It Attention 50 References Atkinson , R.C., & Shiffrin , R.M. Human memory : A proposed system and its control...referred to as a continuous paired assoc- iates task. The present form was developed by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968), who used it to test their buffer...They found that digit memori - zation Interfered with sentence comprehension. Baddeley and Hitch’s inter- pretation was that the two tasks competed for

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Attention Economies

    OpenAIRE

    Falkinger, Josef

    2003-01-01

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

  19. Space-based visual attention: a marker of immature selective attention in toddlers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivière, James; Brisson, Julie

    2014-11-01

    Various studies suggested that attentional difficulties cause toddlers' failure in some spatial search tasks. However, attention is not a unitary construct and this study investigated two attentional mechanisms: location selection (space-based attention) and object selection (object-based attention). We investigated how toddlers' attention is distributed in the visual field during a manual search task for objects moving out of sight, namely the moving boxes task. Results show that 2.5-year-olds who failed this task allocated more attention to the location of the relevant object than to the object itself. These findings suggest that in some manual search tasks the primacy of space-based attention over object-based attention could be a marker of immature selective attention in toddlers.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  2. Human treadmill walking needs attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Olivier

    2006-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Shifting Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Jenni

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. Attention to the Second Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher D.

    2007-01-01

    Attention to a task, and the language it requires to be performed, can be described in relation to two theoretical models which have prompted research into the effects of task demands on learning and performance outside the field of second language acquisition (SLA). These are the SEEV (selection, effort, expectancy and value) model of selective…

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. Shared Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shteynberg, Garriy

    2015-09-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Nonretinotopic exogenous attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boi, Marco; Vergeer, Mark; Ogmen, Haluk; Herzog, Michael H

    2011-10-25

    Attention is crucial for visual perception because it allows the visual system to effectively use its limited resources by selecting behaviorally and cognitively relevant stimuli from the large amount of information impinging on the eyes. Reflexive, stimulus-driven attention is essential for successful interactions with the environment because it can, for example, speed up responses to life-threatening events. It is commonly believed that exogenous attention operates in the retinotopic coordinates of the early visual system. Here, using a novel experimental paradigm [1], we show that a nonretinotopic cue improves both accuracy and reaction times in a visual search task. Furthermore, the influence of the cue is limited both in space and time, a characteristic typical of exogenous cueing. These and other recent findings show that many more aspects of vision are processed nonretinotopically than previously thought.

  13. Attention Sensor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Börner, Dirk; Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Attentional Networks and Biological Motion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandramouli Chandrasekaran

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to see meaningful actions when presented with pointlight traces of human movement is commonly referred to as the perception of biological motion. While traditionalexplanations have emphasized the spontaneous and automatic nature of this ability, morerecent findings suggest that attention may play a larger role than is typically assumed. Intwo studies we show that the speed and accuracy of responding to point-light stimuli is highly correlated with the ability to control selective attention. In our first experiment we measured thresholds for determining the walking direction of a masked point-light figure, and performance on a range of attention-related tasks in the same set of observers. Mask-density thresholds for the direction discrimination task varied quite considerably from observer to observer and this variation was highly correlated with performance on both Stroop and flanker interference tasks. Other components of attention, such as orienting, alerting and visual search efficiency, showed no such relationship. In a second experiment, we examined the relationship between the ability to determine the orientation of unmasked point-light actions and Stroop interference, again finding a strong correlation. Our results are consistent with previous research suggesting that biological motion processing may requite attention, and specifically implicate networks of attention related to executive control and selection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-10

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

  18. Mind wandering and the attention network system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Óscar F; Rêgo, Gabriel; Oliveira-Silva, Patrícia; Leite, Jorge; Carvalho, Sandra; Fregni, Felipe; Amaro, Edson; Boggio, Paulo S

    2017-01-01

    Attention and mind wandering are often seen as anticorrelated. However, both attention and mind wandering are multi-component processes, and their relationship may be more complex than previously thought. In this study, we tested the interference of different types of thoughts as measured by a Thought Identification Task - TIT (on task thoughts, task related interference thoughts, external distractions, stimulus independent and task unrelated thoughts) on different components of the attention network system - ANT (alerting, orienting, executive). Results show that, during the ANT, individuals were predominantly involved in task related interference thoughts which, along with external distractors, significantly impaired their performance accuracy. However, mind wandering (i.e., stimulus independent and task unrelated thoughts) did not significantly interfere with accuracy in the ANT. No significant relationship was found between type of thoughts and alerting, orienting, or executive effects in the ANT. While task related interference thoughts and external distractions seemed to impair performance on the attention task, mind wandering was still compatible with satisfactory performance in the ANT. The present results confirmed the importance of differentiating type of "out of task" thoughts in studying the relationship between though distractors and attention.

  19. Unitary attention in callosal agenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell'acqua, R; Jolicoeur, P; Lassonde, M; Angrilli, A; De Bastiani, P; Pascali, A

    2005-01-01

    The interhemispheric organisation of two specific components of attention was investigated in three patients affected by partial or complete agenesis of the corpus callosum. A visuospatial component of attention was explored using a visual search paradigm in which target and distractors were displayed either unilaterally within a single visual hemifield, or bilaterally across both visual hemifields in light of prior work indicating that split-brain patients were twice as fast to scan bilateral displays compared to unilateral displays. A central component of attention was explored using a psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm in which two visual stimuli were presented laterally at various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs), with each stimulus associated with a different speeded two-alternative choice task. The stimulus-response compatibility in the second task was systematically manipulated in this paradigm, in light of prior work indicating that split-brain patients exhibited a close-to-normal PRP effect (i.e., slowing of the second response as SOA is decreased), with, however, abnormally decreasing effects of the manipulation of the response mapping on the second task speed as SOA was decreased. The present results showed that, although generally slower than normals in carrying out the two tasks, the performance of each of the three acallosal patients was formally equivalent to the performance of a matched control group of normal individuals. In the visual search task, the search rate of the acallosal patients was the same for unilateral and bilateral displays. Furthermore, in the PRP task, there was more mutual interference between the lateralised tasks for the acallosal patients than that evidenced in the performance of the matched control group. It is concluded that the visuospatial component and the central component of attention in agenesis of the corpus callosum are interhemispherically integrated systems.

  20. Distractor suppression when attention fails: behavioral evidence for a flexible selective attention mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, James C; Giesbrecht, Barry

    2015-01-01

    Despite consistent evidence showing that attention is a multifaceted mechanism that can operate at multiple levels of processing depending on the structure and demands of the task, investigations of the attentional blink phenomenon have consistently shown that the impairment in reporting the second of two targets typically occurs at a late, or post-perceptual, stage of processing. This suggests that the attentional blink phenomenon may represent the operation of a unique attentional mechanism that is not as flexible as other attentional mechanisms. To test whether the attentional blink is a fixed or flexible phenomenon, we manipulated first target task demands (i.e., difficulty) and measured the influence this had on processing a subsequently presented distractor and the second target. If the attentional blink represents a mechanism that is fixed and consistently fails at a single stage of processing, then manipulations of task difficulty should not affect distractor processing. However, if the attentional blink represents a more multifaceted and flexible mechanism, then task difficulty should modulate distractor processing. The results revealed that distractor processing during the AB was attenuated under high task difficulty. In addition, unlike previous studies, we failed to find a correlation between distractor processing and the severity of the attentional blink. Using a simulation, we demonstrate that the previously reported correlations may have been spurious and due to using variables that were not independent. Overall, the present results support the conclusion that the selectivity of attention during the AB is flexible and depends on the structure and demands of the task.

  1. 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.

  2. Thinking of God Moves Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chasteen, Alison L.; Burdzy, Donna C.; Pratt, Jay

    2010-01-01

    The concepts of God and Devil are well known across many cultures and religions, and often involve spatial metaphors, but it is not well known if our mental representations of these concepts affect visual cognition. To examine if exposure to divine concepts produces shifts of attention, participants completed a target detection task in which they…

  3. Developmental Trajectories of Form Perception: A Story of Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovshoff, Hanna; Iarocci, Grace; Shore, David I.; Burack, Jacob A.

    2015-01-01

    The developmental trajectories of selective and divided attention were examined in relation to the processing of hierarchically integrated stimuli. The participants included children in 4 age groups (6, 8, 10, and 12 years) and a group of young adults (24 years) who completed 2 computer-based attention tasks. In the selective attention task, the…

  4. Putting Mathematical Tasks into Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagle, Courtney R.; Styers, Jodie L.

    2015-01-01

    Although many factors affect students' mathematical activity during a lesson, the teacher's selection and implementation of tasks is arguably the most influential in determining the level of student engagement. Mathematical tasks are intended to focus students' attention on a particular mathematical concept and it is the careful developing and…

  5. Designing for dynamic task allocation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Ambiguity produces attention shifts in category learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vadillo, Miguel A; Orgaz, Cristina; Luque, David; Nelson, James Byron

    2016-04-01

    It has been suggested that people and nonhuman animals protect their knowledge from interference by shifting attention toward the context when presented with information that contradicts their previous beliefs. Despite that suggestion, no studies have directly measured changes in attention while participants are exposed to an interference treatment. In the present experiments, we adapted a dot-probe task to track participants' attention to cues and contexts while they were completing a simple category learning task. The results support the hypothesis that interference produces a change in the allocation of attention to cues and contexts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahn, Basil; König, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Attenuating age-related learning deficits: emotional valenced feedback interacts with task complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorlick, Marissa A; Giguère, Gyslain; Glass, Brian D; Nix, Brittany N; Mather, Mara; Maddox, W Todd

    2013-04-01

    Previous research reveals that older adults sometimes show enhanced processing of emotionally positive stimuli relative to negative stimuli, but that this positivity bias reverses to become a negativity bias when cognitive control resources are less available. In this study, we test the hypothesis that emotionally positive feedback will attenuate well-established age-related deficits in rule learning whereas emotionally negative feedback will amplify age deficits-but that this pattern will reverse when the task involves a high cognitive load. Experiment 1 used emotional face feedback and revealed an interaction among age, valence of the feedback, and task load. When the task placed minimal load on cognitive control resources, happy-face feedback attenuated age-related deficits in initial rule learning and angry-face feedback led to age-related deficits in initial rule learning and set shifting. However, when the task placed a high load on cognitive control resources, we found that angry-face feedback attenuated age-related deficits in initial rule learning and set shifting whereas happy-face feedback led to age-related deficits in initial rule learning and set shifting. Experiment 2 used less emotional point feedback and revealed age-related deficits in initial rule learning and set shifting under low and high cognitive load for point-gain and point-loss conditions. The research presented here demonstrates that emotional feedback can attenuate age-related learning deficits-but only positive feedback for tasks with a low cognitive load and negative feedback for tasks with high cognitive load.

  9. Visuospatial selective attention in chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xia; Liu, Xiaoyue; Fu, Shimin

    2016-07-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Individual Differences in Secondary Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-09-01

    task similar to that used by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968). The spatial task in- volved holding in memory a random pattern of plus signs. In all cases...may serve to attenuate the easy-to-hard correlation. I *1,~ __ __ _ Secondary Task Performance 33 References Atkinson , R. C., & Shiffrin , R. M. Human...aIde if nec.eaar, and Identify by block number) ability, attention, dual task, information processing, individual differences memory , secondary task

  13. 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.

  14. Peripheral contrast sensitivity and attention in myopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerber, Kristen L.; Thorn, Frank; Bex, Peter J.; Vera-Diaz, Fuensanta A.

    2017-01-01

    Disruption of normal visual experience or changes in the normal interaction between central and peripheral retinal input may lead to the development of myopia. In order to examine the relationship between peripheral contrast sensitivity and myopia, we manipulated attentional load for foveal vision in emmetropes and myopes while observers detected targets with peripheral vision. Peripheral contrast detection thresholds were measured binocularly using vertical Gabor stimuli presented at three eccentricities (±8°, 17°, 30°) in a spatial 2 alternative forced choice task. Contrast thresholds were measured in young adult (mean age 24.5 ± 2.6 years) emmetropes (n = 17; group SE: +0.19 ± 0.32D) and myopes (n = 25; group SE: −3.74 ± 1.99D). Attention at central fixation was manipulated with: (1) a low attention task, requiring simple fixation; or (2) a high attention task, which required subjects to perform a mathematical task. We found that at 30° all subjects exhibited lower contrast sensitivity (higher thresholds). In addition, myopes (Wilcoxon, p task. However, the attention dependent threshold increase for myopes was not significantly greater than for emmetropes (Wilcoxon, p = 0.27). Attentional load did not increase thresholds at 8° or 17° for either refractive group. These data indicate that myopes experience a greater decrease in contrast sensitivity in the far periphery than emmetropes when attention is deployed in central vision. PMID:27264028

  15. Voluntary attention increases perceived spatial frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Jared; Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa

    2010-08-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Trait Mindfulness and Cognitive Task Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emalee J. W. Quickel

    2014-11-01

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

  18. Distractor Suppression When Attention Fails: Behavioral Evidence for a Flexible Selective Attention Mechanism

    OpenAIRE

    James C. Elliott; Barry Giesbrecht

    2015-01-01

    Despite consistent evidence showing that attention is a multifaceted mechanism that can operate at multiple levels of processing depending on the structure and demands of the task, investigations of the attentional blink phenomenon have consistently shown that the impairment in reporting the second of two targets typically occurs at a late, or post-perceptual, stage of processing. This suggests that the attentional blink phenomenon may represent the operation of a unique attentional mechanism...

  19. 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…

  20. Single-Trial Inference on Visual Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we take a step towards single-trial behavioral modeling within a Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). In selective attention tasks, such as the Partial Report paradigm, the subject is asked to ignore distractors and only report stimuli that belong to the target class. Nothing about...

  1. Attentional control and competition between episodic representations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akyürek, Elkan G.; Schubö, Anna; Hommel, Bernhard

    2013-01-01

    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 ra

  2. Interactions between working memory and selective attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Greater attention problems during childhood predict poorer executive functioning in late adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Naomi P; Haberstick, Brett C; Willcutt, Erik G; Miyake, Akira; Young, Susan E; Corley, Robin P; Hewitt, John K

    2007-10-01

    Attention problems (behavior problems including inattention, disorganization, impulsivity, and hyperactivity) are widely thought to reflect deficits in executive functions (EFs). However, it is unclear whether attention problems differentially relate to distinct EFs and how developmental stability and change predict levels of EFs in late adolescence. We investigated, in an unselected sample, how teacher-rated attention problems from ages 7 to 14 years related to three correlated but separable EFs, measured as latent variables at age 17. Attention problems at all ages significantly predicted later levels of response inhibition and working memory updating, and to some extent set shifting; the relation to inhibiting was stronger than the relations to the other EFs or IQ. Growth models indicated that attention problems were quite stable in this age range, and it was the initial levels of problems, rather than their changes across time, that predicted later EFs. These results support the hypothesis that attention problems primarily reflect difficulties with response inhibition.

  4. Infant visual attention and object recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Greg D

    2015-05-15

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

  5. 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.

  6. 注意训练对非流畅性失语患者双任务范式干扰效应影响的功能磁共振研究%Effects of Attention Training on Interference Effect of Dual-task Paradigm in Poststroke Nonfluent Aphasiacs:A Functional Magnet-ic Resonnce Imaging Study

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    裴倩; 宋鲁平; 张通

    2015-01-01

    目的:考察注意训练对非流畅性失语患者汉字加工任务中双任务范式干扰效应的激活区及偏侧化指数的影响。方法将20例脑卒中后非流畅性失语患者分成实验组及对照组各10例,分别给予注意训练和认知训练,每次30 min,每周5次,共4周。训练前后分别采用组块设计对患者汉字加工任务进行功能磁共振扫描,比较训练前后双任务范式干扰效应的激活区及偏侧化指数。结果训练前两组患者均为右侧额下回、双侧顶叶、双侧小脑显著激活;训练后,实验组各激活区更加显著,而对照组各激活区未见显著变化;训练前两组患者均呈右半球优势;训练后实验组呈左半球优势,而对照组仍呈右半球优势。结论在双任务范式干扰效应中,右侧额下回、双侧顶叶、双侧小脑可能在知觉注意阶段对解决双重任务干扰非常重要;注意训练后激活更加显著;注意训练可能使失语症患者语义加工产生了功能重组。%Objective To investigate the effect of attention training on cortical activation area and lateralization index in interference ef-fect of dual-task paradigm as the poststroke nonfluent aphasiacs processing the Chinese character tasks. Methods 20 cases with nonfluent aphasia after stroke were divided into the training group and the control group, who accepted attention training and cognitive training respec-tively, 30 min a time, 5 times a week, for 4 weeks. They were investigated the cortical activation area and lateralization index caused by in-terference effect of dual-task paradigm under block design. Results The right inferior frontal gyrus, bilateral parietal and cerebellar cortex were activated before training in both groups, and more activated after attention training, but no change after cognitive training. Lateraliza-tion index suggested that the right brain was more activated before training, while the left side was

  7. Inflexible minds: impaired attention switching in recent-onset schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henderikus G O M Smid

    Full Text Available Impairment of sustained attention is assumed to be a core cognitive abnormality in schizophrenia. However, this seems inconsistent with a recent hypothesis that in schizophrenia the implementation of selection (i.e., sustained attention is intact but the control of selection (i.e., switching the focus of attention is impaired. Mounting evidence supports this hypothesis, indicating that switching of attention is a bigger problem in schizophrenia than maintaining the focus of attention. To shed more light on this hypothesis, we tested whether schizophrenia patients are impaired relative to controls in sustaining attention, switching attention, or both. Fifteen patients with recent-onset schizophrenia and fifteen healthy volunteers, matched on age and intelligence, performed sustained attention and attention switching tasks, while performance and brain potential measures of selective attention were recorded. In the sustained attention task, patients did not differ from the controls on these measures. In the attention switching task, however, patients showed worse performance than the controls, and early selective attention related brain potentials were absent in the patients while clearly present in the controls. These findings support the hypothesis that schizophrenia is associated with an impairment of the mechanisms that control the direction of attention (attention switching, while the mechanisms that implement a direction of attention (sustained attention are intact.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Do Multielement Visual Tracking and Visual Search Draw Continuously on the Same Visual Attention Resources?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, George A.; Horowitz, Todd S.; Arsenio, Helga C.; DiMase, Jennifer S.; Wolfe, Jeremy M.

    2005-01-01

    Multielement visual tracking and visual search are 2 tasks that are held to require visual-spatial attention. The authors used the attentional operating characteristic (AOC) method to determine whether both tasks draw continuously on the same attentional resource (i.e., whether the 2 tasks are mutually exclusive). The authors found that observers…

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘军; 苏林雁; 李飞; 曹枫林; 龚梅恩

    2007-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Distractor suppression when attention fails: behavioral evidence for a flexible selective attention mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Elliott

    Full Text Available Despite consistent evidence showing that attention is a multifaceted mechanism that can operate at multiple levels of processing depending on the structure and demands of the task, investigations of the attentional blink phenomenon have consistently shown that the impairment in reporting the second of two targets typically occurs at a late, or post-perceptual, stage of processing. This suggests that the attentional blink phenomenon may represent the operation of a unique attentional mechanism that is not as flexible as other attentional mechanisms. To test whether the attentional blink is a fixed or flexible phenomenon, we manipulated first target task demands (i.e., difficulty and measured the influence this had on processing a subsequently presented distractor and the second target. If the attentional blink represents a mechanism that is fixed and consistently fails at a single stage of processing, then manipulations of task difficulty should not affect distractor processing. However, if the attentional blink represents a more multifaceted and flexible mechanism, then task difficulty should modulate distractor processing. The results revealed that distractor processing during the AB was attenuated under high task difficulty. In addition, unlike previous studies, we failed to find a correlation between distractor processing and the severity of the attentional blink. Using a simulation, we demonstrate that the previously reported correlations may have been spurious and due to using variables that were not independent. Overall, the present results support the conclusion that the selectivity of attention during the AB is flexible and depends on the structure and demands of the task.

  14. A dynamic model of stress and sustained attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancock, Peter A.; Warm, Joel S.

    2003-01-01

    This paper examines the effects of stress on sustained attention. With recognition of the task itself as the major source of cognitive stress, a dynamic model is presented that addresses the effects of stress on vigilance and, potentially, a wide variety of attention performance tasks.

  15. Selective Impairment of Auditory Selective Attention under Concurrent Cognitive Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittrich, Kerstin; Stahl, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    Load theory predicts that concurrent cognitive load impairs selective attention. For visual stimuli, it has been shown that this impairment can be selective: Distraction was specifically increased when the stimulus material used in the cognitive load task matches that of the selective attention task. Here, we report four experiments that…

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Andreas eKeller

    2011-01-01

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

  1. A taxonomy of external and internal attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Marvin M; Golomb, Julie D; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B

    2011-01-01

    Attention is a core property of all perceptual and cognitive operations. Given limited capacity to process competing options, attentional mechanisms select, modulate, and sustain focus on information most relevant for behavior. A significant problem, however, is that attention is so ubiquitous that it is unwieldy to study. We propose a taxonomy based on the types of information that attention operates over--the targets of attention. At the broadest level, the taxonomy distinguishes between external attention and internal attention. External attention refers to the selection and modulation of sensory information. External attention selects locations in space, points in time, or modality-specific input. Such perceptual attention can also select features defined across any of these dimensions, or object representations that integrate over space, time, and modality. Internal attention refers to the selection, modulation, and maintenance of internally generated information, such as task rules, responses, long-term memory, or working memory. Working memory, in particular, lies closest to the intersection between external and internal attention. The taxonomy provides an organizing framework that recasts classic debates, raises new issues, and frames understanding of neural mechanisms.

  2. Exploring conflict- and target-related movement of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendt, Mike; Garling, Marco; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Intermixing trials of a visual search task with trials of a modified flanker task, the authors investigated whether the presentation of conflicting distractors at only one side (left or right) of a target stimulus triggers shifts of visual attention towards the contralateral side. Search time patterns provided evidence for lateral attention shifts only when participants performed the flanker task under an instruction assumed to widen the focus of attention, demonstrating that instruction-based control settings of an otherwise identical task can impact performance in an unrelated task. Contrasting conditions with response-related and response-unrelated distractors showed that shifting attention does not depend on response conflict and may be explained as stimulus-conflict-related withdrawal or target-related deployment of attention.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Attention Stabilizes Representations in the Human Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aly, Mariam; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eKeller

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the relation between attention and consciousness is an important part of our understanding of consciousness. Attention, unlike consciousness, can be systematically manipulated in psychophysical experiments and a law-like relation between attention and consciousness is waiting to be discovered. Most attempts to discover the nature of this relation are focused on a special type of attention: spatial visual attention. In this review I want to introduce another type of attention to the discussion: attention to the olfactory modality. I will first clarify the position of attention to smells in a general taxonomy of attention. I will then review the mechanisms and neuroanatomy of attention and consciousness in the olfactory system before using the newly introduced system to provide evidence that attention is necessary for consciousness.

  7. 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.

  8. Relationship between visuospatial attention and paw preference in dogs

    OpenAIRE

    Marcello Siniscalchi; Serenella d’Ingeo; Serena Fornelli; Angelo Quaranta

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between visuospatial attention and paw preference was investigated in domestic dogs. Visuospatial attention was evaluated using a food detection task that closely matches the so-called “cancellation” task used in human studies. Paw preference was estimated by quantifying the dog’s use of forepaws to hold a puzzle feeder device (namely the “Kong”) while eating its content. Results clearly revealed a strong relationship between visuospatial attention bias and motor laterality, ...

  9. 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

  10. Attention alters the appearance of motion coherence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Taosheng; Fuller, Stuart; Carrasco, Marisa

    2006-12-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Challenge and Error: Critical Events and Attention-Related Errors

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Attention lapses resulting from reactivity to task challenges and their consequences constitute a pervasive factor affecting everyday performance errors and accidents. A bidirectional model of attention lapses (error [image omitted] attention-lapse: Cheyne, Solman, Carriere, & Smilek, 2009) argues that errors beget errors by generating attention…

  15. 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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  17. Painful faces-induced attentional blink modulated by top-down and bottom-up mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Pain-related stimuli can capture attention in an automatic (bottom-up) or intentional (top-down) fashion. Previous studies have examined attentional capture by pain-related information using spatial attention paradigms that involve mainly a bottom-up mechanism. In the current study, we investigated the pain information–induced attentional blink (AB) using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task, and compared the effects of task-irrelevant and task-relevant pain distractors. Relationshi...

  18. Painful faces-induced attentional blink modulated by top–down and bottom–up mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Pain-related stimuli can capture attention in an automatic (bottom–up) or intentional (top–down) fashion. Previous studies have examined attentional capture by pain-related information using spatial attention paradigms that involve mainly a bottom–up mechanism. In the current study, we investigated the pain information-induced attentional blink (AB) using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task, and compared the effects of task-irrelevant and task-relevant pain distractors. Relationshi...

  19. The Role of Analogical Thinking in Designing Tasks for Mathematics Teacher Education: An Example of a Pedagogical Ad Hoc Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peled, Irit

    2007-01-01

    This article discusses the design of tasks for teacher education. It focuses on tasks that are used in a university course for pre-service secondary school mathematics teachers. Special attention is given to tasks that use analogical thinking in their construction or implementation. These tasks are categorized by type of teacher education goal and…

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Attentional bias in math anxiety

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Attentional bias in math anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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....... by a coactivation model assuming linear superposition of modality-specific activation. Effects of spatial attention were explained by a shift of the evidence criterion. In Experiment 2, stimuli were presented at 3 locations; participants had to respond either to all signals regardless of location (simple response...

  6. Active suppression after involuntary capture of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawaki, Risa; Luck, Steven J

    2013-04-01

    After attention has been involuntarily captured by a distractor, how is it reoriented toward a target? One possibility is that attention to the distractor passively fades over time, allowing the target to become attended. Another possibility is that the captured location is actively suppressed so that attention can be directed toward the target location. The present study investigated this issue with event-related potentials (ERPs), focusing on the N2pc component (a neural measure of attentional deployment) and the Pd component (a neural measure of attentional suppression). Observers identified a color-defined target in a search array, which was preceded by a task-irrelevant cue array. When the cue array contained an item that matched the target color, this item captured attention (as measured both behaviorally and with the N2pc component). This capture of attention was followed by active suppression (indexed by the Pd component), and this was then followed by a reorienting of attention toward the target in the search array (indexed by the N2pc component). These findings indicate that the involuntary capture of attention by a distractor is followed by an active suppression process that presumably facilitates the subsequent voluntary orienting of attention to the target.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, David J; Schwarz, Norbert

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Components of working memory and visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Attention Mosaics: Studies of Organizational Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Carvalho de Mesquita Ferreira, Luciana

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Domain-specific control of selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Szu-Hung; Yeh, Yei-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has shown that loading information on working memory affects selective attention. However, whether the load effect on selective attention is domain-general or domain-specific remains unresolved. The domain-general effect refers to the findings that load in one content (e.g. phonological) domain in working memory influences processing in another content (e.g., visuospatial) domain. Attentional control supervises selection regardless of information domain. The domain-specific effect refers to the constraint of influence only when maintenance and processing operate in the same domain. Selective attention operates in a specific content domain. This study is designed to resolve this controversy. Across three experiments, we manipulated the type of representation maintained in working memory and the type of representation upon which the participants must exert control to resolve conflict and select a target into the focus of attention. In Experiments 1a and 1b, participants maintained digits and nonverbalized objects, respectively, in working memory while selecting a target in a letter array. In Experiment 2, we presented auditory digits with a letter flanker task to exclude the involvement of resource competition within the same input modality. In Experiments 3a and 3b, we replaced the letter flanker task with an object flanker task while manipulating the memory load on object and digit representation, respectively. The results consistently showed that memory load modulated distractibility only when the stimuli of the two tasks were represented in the same domain. The magnitude of distractor interference was larger under high load than under low load, reflecting a lower efficacy of information prioritization. When the stimuli of the two tasks were represented in different domains, memory load did not modulate distractibility. Control of processing priority in selective attention demands domain-specific resources.

  12. The impact of mental fatigue induced by sustained cognitive performance tasks on attention test and event-related potential P300%持续认知操作任务诱发脑力疲劳对注意测验和事件相关电位P300的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨博; 苗丹民; 吕静; 张焱; 薛昀赟

    2009-01-01

    Objective To establish the laboratory research model of mental fatigue,as well as to discuss and assess the changes of attention test and P300 before and after mental fatigue. Methods 20 young male students continued to complete 8h cognitive performance tasks. Auditory P300 component (evoked by oddball paradigm), attention test and the self-rating scale for subjective fatigue symptoms were recorded before and after tasks.Results Before and after mental fatigue,there was significant difference of attention test.In black-red number table test,the average time used for test completion before and after mental fatigue were respectively (130.6±20.6)s and (142.4±24.6)s,P <0.05.In attention diversion check,the average attention assignment before and after mental fatigue were respectively 0.86±0.06 and 0.79±0.05(P <0.05).There was no significant difference of P300 latency change, but there was significant difference of P300 amplitude change. The average amplitudes on Fz before and after mental fatigue were respectively (7.8±5.1)μV and (5.4±5.6)μV(P <0.05).Conclusion The amplitude change of P300 provides neuro-electrophysiological evidence for diagnosing mental fatigue.%目的 建立脑力疲劳研究的实验室模型,探讨和评估持续认知操作任务前后注意测验和P300的变化.方法 20名青年男性受试做自身前后对照,持续完成8h的认知操作任务,在任务前后分别完成注意测验和事件相关电位(ERP)的测量,并对被试的主观疲劳感做出评价.结果 脑力疲劳前后注意测验成绩差异有显著性,黑红数字表法疲劳前后平均完成测验时间分别为(130.6±20.6)s和(142.4±24.6)s(P <0.05);注意分配检查法疲劳前后注意分配量的平均值分别为(0.86±0.06)和(0.79±0.05)(P <0.05).P300潜伏期前后比较差异无显著性,脑力疲劳后波幅明显减小,Fz点疲劳前后平均波幅分别为(7.8±5.1)μV和(5.4±5.6)μV(P <0.05).结论 事件相关电位P300的波幅差值能够为

  13. Single-Trial Inference on Visual Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Kai eChang

    2015-04-01

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

  15. The yin and yang of sleep and attention

    OpenAIRE

    Kirszenblat, Leonie; van Swinderen, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Sleep is not a single state, but a complex set of brain processes that supports a number of physiological needs. Sleep deprivation is known to affect attention in many animals, suggesting that a key function of sleep is to regulate attention. Conversely, tasks that require more attention drive sleep need and sleep intensity. Attention involves the ability to filter incoming stimuli based on their relative salience, and this is likely to require coordinated synaptic activity across the brain. ...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Attention Breaks in Lectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnstone, A. H.; Percival, F.

    1976-01-01

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

  18. Understanding Attention Deficit Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villegas, Orlando; And Others

    This booklet provides basic information regarding attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), in their separate modalities, with hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. Explanations are offered concerning short attention span, impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, and beginning new activities before completing the previous one. Theories…

  19. Reformulation and Reconstruction: Tasks That Promote "Noticing."

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornbury, Scott

    1997-01-01

    Rehabilitates teaching techniques that exploit both the meaning-driven and form-focused potential of reformulation and reconstruction tasks in English-as-a-Second-Language classes. Argues that the potential for focusing learners' attention on form has received little attention in instruction models. (30 references) (Author/CK)

  20. Attention Competition with Advertisement

    OpenAIRE

    Cetin, Uzay; Bingol, Haluk O.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuki Yoshida

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Influences of Task Type on Interaction under Group Work Setting

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘晓萍

    2005-01-01

    Interaction between learners under group work setting is considered to be signifieantly influenced by task types. The present empirical study was designed to explore interaction characteristics under convergent tasks and divergent tasks from three aspects: language production, meaning negotiation and attention to form while performing different types of tasks. The results reveal that there was significant statistical difference in the total language production between two types of tasks. In terms of the occurrence of meaning negotiation and the extent to which students paid attention to language form, there were no significant difference between the two task types.

  3. Children Sustained Attention Task (CSAT): Normative, reliability, and validity data

    OpenAIRE

    Mateu Servera; Esther Cardo

    2006-01-01

    La atención sostenida ha demostrado estar relacionada con diferentes problemas clínicos, tales como el trastorno por déficit de atención e hiperactividad (TDAH) y los trastornos de aprendizaje. La atención sostenida puede estudiarse desde dos paradigmas relacionados pero independientes representados por los tests de ejecución continua (CPT) y las tareas de vigilancia. La Tarea de Atención Sostenida en la Infancia (CSAT) es una tarea de vigilancia. El propósito de este estudio i...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 pe...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 c...

  6. The relationship between attention allocation and cheating

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pittarello, Andrea; Motro, Daphna; Rubaltelli, Enrico; Pluchino, Patrik

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about the relationship between attention allocation and dishonesty. The goal of the present work was to address this issue using the eyetracking methodology. We developed a novel task in which participants could honestly report seeing a particular card and lose money, or they could f

  7. Attentional Focus Effects in Balance Acrobats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulf, Gabriele

    2008-01-01

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

  8. What determines consumer attention to nutrition labels?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Attentional deficit in dyslexia: a general or specific impairment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bednarek, Dorota B; Saldaña, David; Quintero-Gallego, Eliana; García, Isabel; Grabowska, Anna; Gómez, Carlos M

    2004-08-06

    Dyslexic and control children were tested in a visuomotor attentional task, which provides independent measures of the alerting, orienting and conflict components of the attentional system. Our results show that dyslexics are impaired with respect to controls in the attentional conflict component (resolution of conflict of incongruent peripheral information), while the alerting and orienting components remain preserved. It excludes an overall attentional impairment and points to more specific attentional processing difficulty i.e. distributed attention strategy. Generally, results of dyslexic boys are within the range of the control group, while reaction times of dyslexic girls are significantly slower than that of all other groups.

  10. Plant intelligence and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marder, Michael

    2013-05-01

    This article applies the phenomenological model of attention to plant monitoring of environmental stimuli and signal perception. Three complementary definitions of attention as selectivity, modulation and perdurance are explained with reference to plant signaling and behaviors, including foraging, ramet placement and abiotic stress communication. Elements of animal and human attentive attitudes are compared with plant attention at the levels of cognitive focus, context and margin. It is argued that the concept of attention holds the potential of becoming a cornerstone of plant intelligence studies.

  11. Attention competition with advertisement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cetin, Uzay; Bingol, Haluk O

    2014-09-01

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

  12. Attention competition with advertisement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cetin, Uzay; Bingol, Haluk O.

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto Silva

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Age trends for failures of sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  16. Attention Alters Perceived Attractiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A

    2016-04-01

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

  17. Principles of visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas

    The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention...... research as a field that is fundamentally fragmented. This book takes a different perspective and presents a unified theory of visual attention: the TVA model. The TVA model explains the many aspects of visual attention by just two mechanisms for selection of information: filtering and pigeonholing....... These mechanisms are described in a set of simple equations, which allow TVA to mathematically model a large number of classical results in the attention literature. The theory explains psychological and neuroscientific findings by the same equations; TVA is a complete theory of visual attention, linking mind...

  18. A limited role for mediodorsal thalamus in devaluation tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickens, Charles L

    2008-06-01

    Six experiments were performed to determine the role of mediodorsal thalamus (MD) in the devaluation task, varying the type of contingencies (Pavlovian or operant), the number of reinforcers (one vs. two), and the order of experiments (in naïve or experimentally experienced rats). MD-lesioned rats were impaired in devaluation performance when switched between Pavlovian and operant devaluation tasks, but not when switched from one Pavlovian devaluation task to another Pavlovian devaluation task. MD lesions caused no devaluation impairment in a multiple-reinforcer Pavlovian devaluation task. These results suggest that MD lesions impair performance in devaluation tasks as a result of an inability to switch the form of associations made from one type of outcome-encoding association to another. This is in accord with previous literature suggesting that MD is needed for strategy set shifting. The results further suggest that MD is a necessary part of devaluation circuits only in cases in which previous associations need to be suppressed in order for new associations to be learned and control behavior, and otherwise the devaluation circuit does not require MD.

  19. Attentional Focusing Instructions and Force Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David C Marchant

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Sustained attention in language production: an individual differences investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongman, Suzanne R; Roelofs, Ardi; Meyer, Antje S

    2015-01-01

    Whereas it has long been assumed that most linguistic processes underlying language production happen automatically, accumulating evidence suggests that these processes do require some form of attention. Here we investigated the contribution of sustained attention: the ability to maintain alertness over time. In Experiment 1, participants' sustained attention ability was measured using auditory and visual continuous performance tasks. Subsequently, employing a dual-task procedure, participants described pictures using simple noun phrases and performed an arrow-discrimination task while their vocal and manual response times (RTs) and the durations of their gazes to the pictures were measured. Earlier research has demonstrated that gaze duration reflects language planning processes up to and including phonological encoding. The speakers' sustained attention ability correlated with the magnitude of the tail of the vocal RT distribution, reflecting the proportion of very slow responses, but not with individual differences in gaze duration. This suggests that sustained attention was most important after phonological encoding. Experiment 2 showed that the involvement of sustained attention was significantly stronger in a dual-task situation (picture naming and arrow discrimination) than in simple naming. Thus, individual differences in maintaining attention on the production processes become especially apparent when a simultaneous second task also requires attentional resources.

  1. Does attention redirection contribute to the effectiveness of attention bias modification on social anxiety?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Nisha; Yu, Hongyu; Qian, Mingyi; Li, Songwei

    2015-12-01

    Attention bias modification (ABM) is designed to modify threat-related attention bias and thus alleviate anxiety. The current research examined whether consistently directing attention towards targeted goals per se contributes to ABM efficacy. We randomly assigned 68 non-clinical college students with elevated social anxiety to non-valence-specific attend-to-geometrics (AGC), attention modification (AMC), or attention control (ACC) conditions. We assessed subjective, behavioral, and physiological reactivity to a speech task and self-reported social anxiety symptoms. After training, participants in the AMC exhibited an attention avoidance from threat, and those in the AGC responded more rapidly toward targeted geometrics. There was a significant pre- to post-reduction in subjective speech distress across groups, but behavioral and physiological reactivity to speech, as well as self-report social anxiety symptoms, remained unchanged. These results lead to questions concerning effectiveness of ABM training for reducing social anxiety. Further examination of the current ABM protocol is required.

  2. Attention Mosaics: Studies of Organizational Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Carvalho de Mesquita Ferreira (Luciana)

    2010-01-01

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

  3. The centroid paradigm: Quantifying feature-based attention in terms of attention filters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Peng; Chubb, Charles; Wright, Charles E; Sperling, George

    2016-02-01

    This paper elaborates a recent conceptualization of feature-based attention in terms of attention filters (Drew et al., Journal of Vision, 10(10:20), 1-16, 2010) into a general purpose centroid-estimation paradigm for studying feature-based attention. An attention filter is a brain process, initiated by a participant in the context of a task requiring feature-based attention, which operates broadly across space to modulate the relative effectiveness with which different features in the retinal input influence performance. This paper describes an empirical method for quantitatively measuring attention filters. The method uses a "statistical summary representation" (SSR) task in which the participant strives to mouse-click the centroid of a briefly flashed cloud composed of items of different types (e.g., dots of different luminances or sizes), weighting some types of items more strongly than others. In different attention conditions, the target weights for different item types in the centroid task are varied. The actual weights exerted on the participant's responses by different item types in any given attention condition are derived by simple linear regression. Because, on each trial, the centroid paradigm obtains information about the relative effectiveness of all the features in the display, both target and distractor features, and because the participant's response is a continuous variable in each of two dimensions (versus a simple binary choice as in most previous paradigms), it is remarkably powerful. The number of trials required to estimate an attention filter is an order of magnitude fewer than the number required to investigate much simpler concepts in typical psychophysical attention paradigms.

  4. Symbiosis of executive and selective attention in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandierendonck, André

    2014-01-01

    The notion of working memory (WM) was introduced to account for the usage of short-term memory resources by other cognitive tasks such as reasoning, mental arithmetic, language comprehension, and many others. This collaboration between memory and other cognitive tasks can only be achieved by a dedicated WM system that controls task coordination. To that end, WM models include executive control. Nevertheless, other attention control systems may be involved in coordination of memory and cognitive tasks calling on memory resources. The present paper briefly reviews the evidence concerning the role of selective attention in WM activities. A model is proposed in which selective attention control is directly linked to the executive control part of the WM system. The model assumes that apart from storage of declarative information, the system also includes an executive WM module that represents the current task set. Control processes are automatically triggered when particular conditions in these modules are met. As each task set represents the parameter settings and the actions needed to achieve the task goal, it will depend on the specific settings and actions whether selective attention control will have to be shared among the active tasks. Only when such sharing is required, task performance will be affected by the capacity limits of the control system involved.

  5. Resolving the Brainstem Contributions to Attentional Analgesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Jonathan C.W.; Davies, Wendy-Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    Previous human imaging studies manipulating attention or expectancy have identified the periaqueductal gray (PAG) as a key brainstem structure implicated in endogenous analgesia. However, animal studies indicate that PAG analgesia is mediated largely via caudal brainstem structures, such as the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) and locus coeruleus (LC). To identify their involvement in endogenous analgesia, we used brainstem optimized, whole-brain imaging to record responses to concurrent thermal stimulation (left forearm) and visual attention tasks of titrated difficulty in 20 healthy subjects. The PAG, LC, and RVM were anatomically discriminated using a probabilistic atlas. Pain ratings disclosed the anticipated analgesic interaction between task difficulty and pain intensity (p pain intensity. Intersubject analgesia scores correlated to activity within a distinct region of the RVM alone. These results identify distinct roles for a brainstem triumvirate in attentional analgesia: with the PAG activated by attentional load; specific RVM regions showing pronociceptive and antinociceptive processes (in line with previous animal studies); and the LC showing lateralized activity during conflicting attentional demands. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Attention modulates pain intensity, and human studies have identified roles for a network of forebrain structures plus the periaqueductal gray (PAG). Animal data indicate that the PAG acts via caudal brainstem structures to control nociception. We investigated this issue within an attentional analgesia paradigm with brainstem-optimized fMRI and analysis using a probabilistic brainstem atlas. We find pain intensity encoding in several forebrain structures, including the insula and attentional activation of the PAG. Discrete regions of the rostral ventromedial medulla bidirectionally influence pain perception, and locus coeruleus activity mirrors the interaction between attention and nociception. This approach has enabled the

  6. Orbitofrontal cortex biases attention to emotional events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartikainen, Kaisa M; Ogawa, Keith H; Knight, Robert T

    2012-01-01

    We examined the role of orbitofrontal (OF) cortex in regulating emotion-attention interaction and the balance between involuntary and voluntary attention allocation. We studied patients with OF lesion applying reaction time (RT) and event-related potential (ERP) measures in a lateralized visual discrimination task with novel task-irrelevant affective pictures (unpleasant, pleasant, or neutral) preceding a neutral target. This allowed for comparing the effects of automatic attention allocation to emotional versus neutral stimuli on subsequent voluntary attention allocation to target stimuli. N2-P3a and N2-P3b ERP components served as measures of involuntary and voluntary attention allocation correspondingly. Enhanced N2-P3a amplitudes to emotional distractors and reduced N2-P3b amplitudes to targets preceded by emotional distractors were observed in healthy subjects, suggesting automatic emotional orienting interfered with subsequent voluntary orienting. OF patients showed an opposite pattern with tendency towards reduced N2-P3a responses to emotional distractors, suggesting impaired automatic orienting to emotional stimuli due to orbitofrontal damage. Enhanced N2-P3b responses to targets preceded by any affective distractor were observed in OF patients, suggesting bias towards voluntary target-related attention allocation due to orbitofrontal lesion. Behavioral evidence indicated that left visual field (LVF) attention performance was modulated by emotional stimuli. Specifically, OF patients responded faster to LVF targets subsequent to pleasant emotional distractors. We suggest that damage to the orbitofrontal circuitry leads to dysbalance between voluntary and involuntary attention allocation in the context of affective distractors with predisposition to posterior target-related processing over frontal novelty and affect-related processing. Furthermore, we suggest that orbitofrontal influence on emotion-attention interaction is valence and hemisphere dependent.

  7. Attentional load modulates large-scale functional brain connectivity beyond the core attention networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alnæs, Dag; Kaufmann, Tobias; Richard, Geneviève; Duff, Eugene P; Sneve, Markus H; Endestad, Tor; Nordvik, Jan Egil; Andreassen, Ole A; Smith, Stephen M; Westlye, Lars T

    2015-04-01

    In line with the notion of a continuously active and dynamic brain, functional networks identified during rest correspond with those revealed by task-fMRI. Characterizing the dynamic cross-talk between these network nodes is key to understanding the successful implementation of effortful cognitive processing in healthy individuals and its breakdown in a variety of conditions involving aberrant brain biology and cognitive dysfunction. We employed advanced network modeling on fMRI data collected during a task involving sustained attentive tracking of objects at two load levels and during rest. Using multivariate techniques, we demonstrate that attentional load levels can be significantly discriminated, and from a resting-state condition, the accuracy approaches 100%, by means of estimates of between-node functional connectivity. Several network edges were modulated during task engagement: The dorsal attention network increased connectivity with a visual node, while decreasing connectivity with motor and sensory nodes. Also, we observed a decoupling between left and right hemisphere dorsal visual streams. These results support the notion of dynamic network reconfigurations based on attentional effort. No simple correspondence between node signal amplitude change and node connectivity modulations was found, thus network modeling provides novel information beyond what is revealed by conventional task-fMRI analysis. The current decoding of attentional states confirms that edge connectivity contains highly predictive information about the mental state of the individual, and the approach shows promise for the utilization in clinical contexts.

  8. Announcements to Attentive Agents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolander, Thomas; van Ditmarsch, Hans; Herzig, Andreas;

    2016-01-01

    In public announcement logic it is assumed that all agents pay attention to the announcement. Weaker observational conditions can be modelled in action model logic. In this work, we propose a version of public announcement logic wherein it is encoded in the states of the epistemic model which...... agents pay attention to the announcement. This logic is called attention-based announcement logic. We give an axiomatization of the logic and prove that complexity of satisfiability is the same as that of public announcement logic, and therefore lower than that of action model logic. An attention......-based announcement can also be described as an action model. We extend our logic by integrating attention change. Finally, we add the notion of common belief to the language, we exploit this to formalize the concept of joint attention, that has been widely discussed in the philosophical and cognitive science...

  9. Word semantics is processed even without attentional effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Relander, Kristiina; Rämä, Pia; Kujala, Teija

    2009-08-01

    We examined the attentional modulation of semantic priming and the N400 effect for spoken words. The aim was to find out how the semantics of spoken language is processed when attention is directed to another modality (passive task), to the phonetics of spoken words (phonological task), or to the semantics of spoken words (word task). Equally strong behavioral priming effects were obtained in the phonological and the word tasks. A significant N400 effect was found in all tasks. The effect was stronger in the word and the phonological tasks than in the passive task, but there was no difference in the magnitude of the effect between the phonological and the word tasks. The latency of the N400 effect did not differ between the tasks. Although the N400 effect had a centroparietal maximum in the phonological and the word tasks, it was largest at the parietal recording sites in the passive task. The effect was more pronounced at the left than right recording sites in the phonological task, but there was no laterality effect in the other tasks. The N400 effect in the passive task indicates that semantic priming occurs even when spoken words are not actively attended. However, stronger N400 effect in the phonological and the word tasks than in the passive task suggests that controlled processes modulate the N400 effect. The finding that there were no differences in the N400 effect between the phonological and the word tasks indicates that the semantics of attended spoken words is processed regardless of whether semantic processing is relevant for task performance.

  10. Neural Mechanisms of Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-05-21

    315-335). : Elsevier Science Publishers BV. Andrew, R.J. (1991). Testosterone, attention and memory. In P. Bateson (Ed.),The development and...reflects global stimulus properties. Nature, M,334-337. Gregory , S. D., Heath, J. A., & Rosenberg, M. E. (1989). Does selective attention influence...properties. Nature, 338,334-337. Gregory , S. D., Heath, J. A., & Rosenberg, M. E. (1989). Does selective attention influence the brain-stem auditory evoked

  11. Examining the relationship between skilled music training and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao; Ossher, Lynn; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A

    2015-11-01

    While many aspects of cognition have been investigated in relation to skilled music training, surprisingly little work has examined the connection between music training and attentional abilities. The present study investigated the performance of skilled musicians on cognitively demanding sustained attention tasks, measuring both temporal and visual discrimination over a prolonged duration. Participants with extensive formal music training were found to have superior performance on a temporal discrimination task, but not a visual discrimination task, compared to participants with no music training. In addition, no differences were found between groups in vigilance decrement in either type of task. Although no differences were evident in vigilance per se, the results indicate that performance in an attention-demanding temporal discrimination task was superior in individuals with extensive music training. We speculate that this basic cognitive ability may contribute to advantages that musicians show in other cognitive measures.

  12. How Attention Modulates Encoding of Dynamic Stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren, Noga; Shapira-Lichter, Irit; Lerner, Yulia; Tarrasch, Ricardo; Hendler, Talma; Giladi, Nir; Ash, Elissa L.

    2016-01-01

    When encoding a real-life, continuous stimulus, the same neural circuits support processing and integration of prior as well as new incoming information. This ongoing interplay is modulated by attention, and is evident in regions such as the prefrontal cortex section of the task positive network (TPN), and in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), a hub of the default mode network (DMN). Yet the exact nature of such modulation is still unclear. To investigate this issue, we utilized an fMRI task that employed movies as the encoded stimuli and manipulated attentional load via an easy or hard secondary task that was performed simultaneously with encoding. Results showed increased intersubject correlation (inter-SC) levels when encoding movies in a condition of high, as compared to low attentional load. This was evident in bilateral ventrolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices and the dorsal PCC (dPCC). These regions became more attuned to the combination of the movie and the secondary task as the attentional demand of the latter increased. Activation analyses revealed that at higher load the prefrontal TPN regions were more activated, whereas the dPCC was more deactivated. Attentional load also influenced connectivity within and between the networks. At high load the dPCC was anti-correlated to the prefrontal regions, which were more functionally coherent amongst themselves. Finally and critically, greater inter-SC in the dPCC at high load during encoding predicted lower memory strength when that information was retrieved. This association between inter-SC levels and memory strength suggest that as attentional demands increased, the dPCC was more attuned to the secondary task at the expense of the encoded stimulus, thus weakening memory for the encoded stimulus. Together, our findings show that attentional load modulated the function of core TPN and DMN regions. Furthermore, the observed relationship between memory strength and the modulation of the dPCC points

  13. Attention and Visuospatial Working Memory Share the Same Processing Resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing eFeng

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Attention and visuospatial working memory (VWM share very similar characteristics; both have the same upper bound of about four items in capacity and they recruit overlapping brain regions. We examined whether both attention and visuospatial working memory share the same processing resources using a novel dual-task-costs approach based on a load-varying dual-task technique. With sufficiently large loads on attention and VWM, considerable interference between the two processes was observed. A further load increase on either process produced reciprocal increases in interference on both processes, indicating that attention and VWM share common resources. More critically, comparison among four experiments on the reciprocal interference effects, as measured by the dual-task costs, demonstrates no significant contribution from additional processing other than the shared processes. These results support the notion that attention and VWM share the same processing resources.

  14. Where's the impairment: an examination of factors that impact sustained attention following a stressor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, Jonathan B; Tartar, Jaime L; Welhaf, Matthew S

    2014-01-01

    The impact of stress on cognitive functioning has been examined across multiple domains. However, few studies investigate both physical and psychological factors that impact cognitive performance. The current study examined the impact of a physical and psychosocial stressor on sustained attention and identified factors related to sustained attention, including cortisol, salivary alpha amylase (sAA) and mind wandering. A total of 53 participants completed either the socially evaluated cold pressor task or a control task followed by the sustained attention to response task with mind wandering measures. Participants also provided saliva samples following the attention task. Results indicate the stressor task did not impact mind wandering or sustained attention but increased cortisol and sAA. Mind wandering was negatively related to sustained attention and mediated the relationship between cortisol and sustained attention. The findings highlight the importance of examining multiple sources of stress-related cognitive impairments.

  15. Mobile EEG on the bike: disentangling attentional and physical contributions to auditory attention tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zink, Rob; Hunyadi, Borbála; Van Huffel, Sabine; De Vos, Maarten

    2016-08-01

    Objective. In the past few years there has been a growing interest in studying brain functioning in natural, real-life situations. Mobile EEG allows to study the brain in real unconstrained environments but it faces the intrinsic challenge that it is impossible to disentangle observed changes in brain activity due to increase in cognitive demands by the complex natural environment or due to the physical involvement. In this work we aim to disentangle the influence of cognitive demands and distractions that arise from such outdoor unconstrained recordings. Approach. We evaluate the ERP and single trial characteristics of a three-class auditory oddball paradigm recorded in outdoor scenario’s while peddling on a fixed bike or biking freely around. In addition we also carefully evaluate the trial specific motion artifacts through independent gyro measurements and control for muscle artifacts. Main results. A decrease in P300 amplitude was observed in the free biking condition as compared to the fixed bike conditions. Above chance P300 single-trial classification in highly dynamic real life environments while biking outdoors was achieved. Certain significant artifact patterns were identified in the free biking condition, but neither these nor the increase in movement (as derived from continuous gyrometer measurements) can explain the differences in classification accuracy and P300 waveform differences with full clarity. The increased cognitive load in real-life scenarios is shown to play a major role in the observed differences. Significance. Our findings suggest that auditory oddball results measured in natural real-life scenarios are influenced mainly by increased cognitive load due to being in an unconstrained environment.

  16. Moving to Capture Children's Attention: Developing a Methodology for Measuring Visuomotor Attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liam J B Hill

    Full Text Available Attention underpins many activities integral to a child's development. However, methodological limitations currently make large-scale assessment of children's attentional skill impractical, costly and lacking in ecological validity. Consequently we developed a measure of 'Visual Motor Attention' (VMA-a construct defined as the ability to sustain and adapt visuomotor behaviour in response to task-relevant visual information. In a series of experiments, we evaluated the capability of our method to measure attentional processes and their contributions in guiding visuomotor behaviour. Experiment 1 established the method's core features (ability to track stimuli moving on a tablet-computer screen with a hand-held stylus and demonstrated its sensitivity to principled manipulations in adults' attentional load. Experiment 2 standardised a format suitable for use with children and showed construct validity by capturing developmental changes in executive attention processes. Experiment 3 tested the hypothesis that children with and without coordination difficulties would show qualitatively different response patterns, finding an interaction between the cognitive and motor factors underpinning responses. Experiment 4 identified associations between VMA performance and existing standardised attention assessments and thereby confirmed convergent validity. These results establish a novel approach to measuring childhood attention that can produce meaningful functional assessments that capture how attention operates in an ecologically valid context (i.e. attention's specific contribution to visuomanual action.

  17. Moving to Capture Children's Attention: Developing a Methodology for Measuring Visuomotor Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Liam J B; Coats, Rachel O; Mushtaq, Faisal; Williams, Justin H G; Aucott, Lorna S; Mon-Williams, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Attention underpins many activities integral to a child's development. However, methodological limitations currently make large-scale assessment of children's attentional skill impractical, costly and lacking in ecological validity. Consequently we developed a measure of 'Visual Motor Attention' (VMA)-a construct defined as the ability to sustain and adapt visuomotor behaviour in response to task-relevant visual information. In a series of experiments, we evaluated the capability of our method to measure attentional processes and their contributions in guiding visuomotor behaviour. Experiment 1 established the method's core features (ability to track stimuli moving on a tablet-computer screen with a hand-held stylus) and demonstrated its sensitivity to principled manipulations in adults' attentional load. Experiment 2 standardised a format suitable for use with children and showed construct validity by capturing developmental changes in executive attention processes. Experiment 3 tested the hypothesis that children with and without coordination difficulties would show qualitatively different response patterns, finding an interaction between the cognitive and motor factors underpinning responses. Experiment 4 identified associations between VMA performance and existing standardised attention assessments and thereby confirmed convergent validity. These results establish a novel approach to measuring childhood attention that can produce meaningful functional assessments that capture how attention operates in an ecologically valid context (i.e. attention's specific contribution to visuomanual action).

  18. Using Goal Setting and Task Analysis to Enhance Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Joan

    2015-01-01

    Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching has received sustained attention from teachers and researchers for over thirty years. It is a well-established pedagogy that includes the following characteristics: major focus on authentic and real-world tasks, choice of linguistic resources by learners, and a clearly defined non-linguistic outcome. This…

  19. Embodied Infant Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Steven S.; Johnson, Sarah L.

    2009-01-01

    Does real time coupling between mental and physical activity early in development have functional significance? To address this question, we examined the habituation of visual attention and the subsequent response to change in two groups of 3-month-olds with different patterns of movement-attention coupling. In suppressors, the typical decrease in…

  20. Attention and Intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Michael; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne

    1981-01-01

    The authors discuss methodological and theoretical issues in psychological investigations of infant attention, fixation times, habituation, and intelligence. A consensus on how to measure individual differences in habituation has not been reached. The relation between IQ and attention is discussed. (RD)

  1. Visuospatial tasks affect locomotor control more than nonspatial tasks in older people.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasmine C Menant

    Full Text Available Previous research has shown that visuospatial processing requiring working memory is particularly important for balance control during standing and stepping, and that limited spatial encoding contributes to increased interference in postural control dual tasks. However, visuospatial involvement during locomotion has not been directly determined. This study examined the effects of a visuospatial cognitive task versus a nonspatial cognitive task on gait speed, smoothness and variability in older people, while controlling for task difficulty.Thirty-six people aged ≥75 years performed three walking trials along a 20 m walkway under the following conditions: (i an easy nonspatial task; (ii a difficult nonspatial task; (iii an easy visuospatial task; and (iv a difficult visuospatial task. Gait parameters were computed from a tri-axial accelerometer attached to the sacrum. The cognitive task response times and percentage of correct answers during walking and seated trials were also computed.No significant differences in either cognitive task type error rates or response times were evident in the seated conditions, indicating equivalent task difficulty. In the walking trials, participants responded faster to the visuospatial tasks than the nonspatial tasks but at the cost of making significantly more cognitive task errors. Participants also walked slower, took shorter steps, had greater step time variability and less smooth pelvis accelerations when concurrently performing the visuospatial tasks compared with the nonspatial tasks and when performing the difficult compared with the easy cognitive tasks.Compared with nonspatial cognitive tasks, visuospatial cognitive tasks led to a slower, more variable and less smooth gait pattern. These findings suggest that visuospatial processing might share common networks with locomotor control, further supporting the hypothesis that gait changes during dual task paradigms are not simply due to limited attentional

  2. Emotion-attention interactions in recognition memory for distractor faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Narayanan; Gupta, Rashmi

    2010-04-01

    Effective filtering of distractor information has been shown to be dependent on perceptual load. Given the salience of emotional information and the presence of emotion-attention interactions, we wanted to explore the recognition memory for emotional distractors especially as a function of focused attention and distributed attention by manipulating load and the spatial spread of attention. We performed two experiments to study emotion-attention interactions by measuring recognition memory performance for distractor neutral and emotional faces. Participants performed a color discrimination task (low-load) or letter identification task (high-load) with a letter string display in Experiment 1 and a high-load letter identification task with letters presented in a circular array in Experiment 2. The stimuli were presented against a distractor face background. The recognition memory results show that happy faces were recognized better than sad faces under conditions of less focused or distributed attention. When attention is more spatially focused, sad faces were recognized better than happy faces. The study provides evidence for emotion-attention interactions in which specific emotional information like sad or happy is associated with focused or distributed attention respectively. Distractor processing with emotional information also has implications for theories of attention.

  3. Attention and choice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

    2013-01-01

    This paper reviews studies on eye movements in decision making, and compares their observations to theoretical predictions concerning the role of attention in decision making. Four decision theories are examined: rational models, bounded rationality, evidence accumulation, and parallel constraint...... satisfaction models. Although most theories were confirmed with regard to certain predictions, none of the theories adequately accounted for the role of attention during decision making. Several observations emerged concerning the drivers and down-stream effects of attention on choice, suggesting...... that attention processes plays an active role in constructing decisions. So far, decision theories have largely ignored the constructive role of attention by assuming that it is entirely determined by heuristics, or that it consists of stochastic information sampling. The empirical observations reveal...

  4. Dynamics of Media Attention

    CERN Document Server

    Traag, V A; Hicks, J; van Klinken, G

    2014-01-01

    Studies of human attention dynamics analyses how attention is focused on specific topics, issues or people. In online social media, there are clear signs of exogenous shocks, bursty dynamics, and an exponential or powerlaw lifetime distribution. We here analyse the attention dynamics of traditional media, focussing on co-occurrence of people in newspaper articles. The results are quite different from online social networks and attention. Different regimes seem to be operating at two different time scales. At short time scales we see evidence of bursty dynamics and fast decaying edge lifetimes and attention. This behaviour disappears for longer time scales, and in that regime we find Poissonian dynamics and slower decaying lifetimes. We propose that a cascading Poisson process may take place, with issues arising at a constant rate over a long time scale, and faster dynamics at a shorter time scale.

  5. Mental training enhances attentional stability: neural and behavioral evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Antoine; Slagter, Heleen A; Rawlings, Nancy B; Francis, Andrew D; Greischar, Lawrence L; Davidson, Richard J

    2009-10-21

    The capacity to stabilize the content of attention over time varies among individuals, and its impairment is a hallmark of several mental illnesses. Impairments in sustained attention in patients with attention disorders have been associated with increased trial-to-trial variability in reaction time and event-related potential deficits during attention tasks. At present, it is unclear whether the ability to sustain attention and its underlying brain circuitry are transformable through training. Here, we show, with dichotic listening task performance and electroencephalography, that training attention, as cultivated by meditation, can improve the ability to sustain attention. Three months of intensive meditation training reduced variability in attentional processing of target tones, as indicated by both enhanced theta-band phase consistency of oscillatory neural responses over anterior brain areas and reduced reaction time variability. Furthermore, those individuals who showed the greatest increase in neural response consistency showed the largest decrease in behavioral response variability. Notably, we also observed reduced variability in neural processing, in particular in low-frequency bands, regardless of whether the deviant tone was attended or unattended. Focused attention meditation may thus affect both distracter and target processing, perhaps by enhancing entrainment of neuronal oscillations to sensory input rhythms, a mechanism important for controlling the content of attention. These novel findings highlight the mechanisms underlying focused attention meditation and support the notion that mental training can significantly affect attention and brain function.

  6. Individualism-collectivism and interpersonal memory guidance of attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    He, X.; Sebanz, N.; Sui, J.; Humphreys, G.W.

    2014-01-01

    Recently it has been shown that the allocation of attention by a participant in a visual search task can be affected by memory items that have to be maintained by a co-actor, when similar tasks are jointly engaged by dyads (He, Lever, & Humphreys, 2011). In the present study we examined the contribu

  7. Resolving Semantic Interference during Word Production Requires Central Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinman, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    The semantic picture-word interference task has been used to diagnose how speakers resolve competition while selecting words for production. The attentional demands of this resolution process were assessed in 2 dual-task experiments (tone classification followed by picture naming). In Experiment 1, when pictures and distractor words were presented…

  8. Understanding the allocation of attention when faced with varying perceptual load in partial report

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Sy, Jocelyn L; Giesbrecht, Barry

    2011-01-01

    The allocation of visual processing capacity is a key topic in studies and theories of visual attention. The load theory of Lavie (1995) proposes that allocation happens in two steps where processing resources are first allocated to task-relevant stimuli and secondly remaining capacity 'spills over......' to task-irrelevant distractors. In contrast, the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) proposed by Bundesen (1990) assumes that allocation happens in a single step where processing capacity is allocated to all stimuli, both task-relevant and task-irrelevant, in proportion to their relative attentional weight...... theory of visual attention by Bundesen et al. (2005)....

  9. Executive functions and selective attention are favored in middle-aged healthy women carriers of the Val/Val genotype of the catechol-o-methyltransferase gene: a behavioral genetic study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutiérrez-Muñoz Mayra

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cognitive deficits such as poor memory, the inability to concentrate, deficits in abstract reasoning, attention and set-shifting flexibility have been reported in middle-aged women. It has been suggested that cognitive decline may be due to several factors which include hormonal changes, individual differences, normal processes of aging and age-related changes in dopaminergic neurotransmission. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT, a common functional polymorphism, has been related to executive performance in young healthy volunteers, old subjects and schizophrenia patients. The effect of this polymorphism on cognitive function in middle-aged healthy women is not well known. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether measures of executive function, sustained attention, selective attention and verbal fluency would be different depending on the COMT genotype and task demand. Method We genotyped 74 middle-aged healthy women (48 to 65 years old for the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. We analyzed the effects of this polymorphism on executive functions (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, selective attention (Stroop test, sustained attention (Continuous Performance Test and word generation (Verbal Fluency test, which are cognitive functions that involve the frontal lobe. Results There were 27 women with the Val/Val COMT genotype, 15 with the Met/Met genotype, and 32 with the Val/Met genotype. Women carriers of the Val/Val genotype performed better in executive functions, as indicated by a lower number of errors committed in comparison with the Met/Met or Val/Met groups. The correct responses on selective attention were higher in the Val/Val group, and the number of errors committed was higher in the Met/Met group during the incongruence trial in comparison with the Val/Val group. Performance on sustained attention and the number of words generated did not show significant differences between the three genotypes. Conclusion These

  10. Attention induces conservative subjective biases in visual perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rahnev, D.; Maniscalco, B.; Graves, T.; Huang, E.; Lange, F.P. de

    2011-01-01

    Although attention usually enhances perceptual sensitivity, we found that it can also lead to relatively conservative detection biases and lower visibility ratings in discrimination tasks. These results are explained by a model in which attention reduces the trial-by-trial variability of the percept

  11. Familial Influences on Sustained Attention and Inhibition in Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groot, Alexia S.; De Sonneville, Leo M. J.; Stins, John F.; Boomsma, Dorret I.

    2004-01-01

    Background: In this study several aspects of attention were studied in 237 nearly 6-year-old twin pairs. Specifically, the ability to sustain attention and inhibition were investigated using a computerized test battery (Amsterdam Neuropsychological Tasks). Furthermore, the Teacher's Report Form (TRF) was filled out by the teacher of the child and…

  12. Development of Attention Networks and Their Interactions in Childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozuelos, Joan P.; Paz-Alonso, Pedro M.; Castillo, Alejandro; Fuentes, Luis J.; Rueda, M. Rosario

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated developmental trajectories of alerting, orienting, and executive attention networks and their interactions over childhood. Two cross-sectional experiments were conducted with different samples of 6-to 12-year-old children using modified versions of the attention network task (ANT). In Experiment 1 (N = 106),…

  13. Enclothed Cognition and Controlled Attention during Insight Problem-Solving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Stockum, Charles A., Jr.; DeCaro, Marci S.

    2014-01-01

    Individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) increase the ability and tendency to devote greater attentional control to a task--improving performance on a wide range of skills. In addition, recent research on enclothed cognition demonstrates that the situational influence of wearing a white lab coat increases controlled attention, due…

  14. Impulse Control or Selective Attention: Remedial Programs for Hyperactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Ronald T.; Conrad, Kendon J.

    1982-01-01

    Compared various cognitive treatment approaches for ameliorating the difficulties of hyperactive children on tasks requiring sustained vigilance and accuracy. Differential training techniques comparing training in attention to inhibitory control indicated that a combination of attentional and inhibitory control strategies was most efficacious in…

  15. An interface agent for attention manipulation [Extended Abstract

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosse, T.; Lambalgen, R. van; Maanen, P.P. van; Treur, J.

    2009-01-01

    This paper describes the idea of an interface agent that is able to manipulate the visual attention of a human, in order to support naval crew in a tactical picture compilation task. The agent will consist of four submodels, including a model to reason about a subject’s attention. In a study (not pr

  16. Sustained Attention, Activation and MPH in ADHD : A Research Note

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Meere, Jaap; Shalev, Ruth; Börger, Norbert; Gross-Tsur, Varda

    1995-01-01

    Sustained attention was studied in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and normal controls using a continuous performance task with slow presentation of stimuli and carried out with an experimenter-present and absent condition. Children with ADHD were slower than controls,

  17. Children's cognitive performance and selective attention following recent community violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Dana Charles; Raver, C Cybele; Sharkey, Patrick

    2015-03-01

    Research has shown robust relationships between community violence and psychopathology, yet relatively little is known about the ways in which community violence may affect cognitive performance and attention. The present study estimates the effects of police-reported community violence on 359 urban children's performance on a computerized neuropsychological task using a quasi-experimental fixed-effects design. Living in close proximity to a recent violent crime predicted faster but marginally less accurate task performance for the full sample, evolutionarily adaptive patterns of "vigilant" attention (i.e., less attention toward positive stimuli, more attention toward negative stimuli) for children reporting low trait anxiety, and potentially maladaptive patterns of "avoidant" attention for highly anxious children. These results suggest that community violence can directly affect children's cognitive performance while also having different (and potentially orthogonal) impacts on attention deployment depending on children's levels of biobehavioral risk. Implications for mental health and sociological research are discussed.

  18. Lateral asymmetry of voluntary attention orienting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.A. Castro-Barros

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available We recently demonstrated that automatic attention favors the right side of space and, in the present study, we investigated whether voluntary attention also favors this side. Six reaction time experiments were conducted. In each experiment, 12 new 18-25-year-old male right-handed individuals were tested. In Experiments 1, 2, 3 (a, b and 4 (a, b, tasks with increasing attentional demands were used. In Experiments 1, 2, 3a, and 4a, attention was oriented to one or both sides by means of a central spatially informative visual cue. A left or right side visual target appeared 100, 300, or 500 ms later. Attentional effects were observed in the four experiments. In Experiments 2, 3a and 4a, these effects were greater when the cue indicated the right side than when it indicated the left side (respectively: 16 ± 10 and 44 ± 6 ms, P = 0.015, for stimulus onset asynchrony of 500 ms in Experiment 2; 38 ± 10 and 70 ± 7 ms, P = 0.011, for Experiment 3a, and 23 ± 11 and 61 ± 10 ms, P = 0.009, for Experiment 4a. In Experiments 3b and 4b, the central cue pointed to both sides and was said to be non-relevant for task performance. In these experiments right and left reaction times did not differ. The most conservative interpretation of the present findings is that voluntary attention orienting favors the right side of space, particularly when a difficult task has to be performed.

  19. MAOA Influences the Trajectory of Attentional Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundwall, Rebecca A.; Rasmussen, Claudia G.

    2016-01-01

    Attention is vital to success in all aspects of life (Meck and Benson, 2002; Erickson et al., 2015), hence it is important to identify biomarkers of later attentional problems early enough to intervene. Our objective was to determine if any of 11 genes (APOE, BDNF, HTR4, CHRNA4, COMT, DRD4, IGF2, MAOA, SLC5A7, SLC6A3, and SNAP25) predicted the trajectory of attentional development within the same group of children between infancy and childhood. We recruited follow up participants from children who participated as infants in visual attention studies and used a similar task at both time points. Using multilevel modeling, we associated changes in the participant’s position in the distribution of scores in infancy to his/her position in childhood with genetic markers on each of 11 genes. While all 11 genes predicted reaction time (RT) residual scores, only Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) had a significant interaction including time point. We conclude that the MAOA single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1137070 is useful in predicting which girls are likely to develop slower RTs on an attention task between infancy and childhood. This early identification is likely to be helpful in early intervention. PMID:27610078

  20. Two systems drive attention to rewards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher K Kovach

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available How options are framed can dramatically influence choice preference. While salience of information plays a central role in this effect, precisely how it is mediated by attentional processes remains unknown. Current models assume a simple relationship between attention and choice, according to which attention should uniformly bias preference towards the attended item over the whole time-course of a decision between similarly valued items. To test this prediction we considered how framing alters attention during a simple choice between two options, using eye movements as a sensitive online measure of attention. In one condition participants selected the less preferred item to discard and in the other, the more preferred item to keep. We replicated the well-known observation that gaze gravitates towards the item ultimately selected, but did not observe the effect to be uniform over time. Instead, we found evidence for distinct early and late processes that guide attention according to preference in the first case and task demands in the second. We conclude that multiple time-dependent processes govern attention during choice, and that these may contribute to framing effects in different ways.

  1. Inhibition of saccades elicits attentional suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhawan, Saurabh; Deubel, Heiner; Jonikaitis, Donatas

    2013-05-17

    Visuospatial attention has been shown to have a central role in planning and generation of saccades but what role, if any, it plays in inhibition of saccades remains unclear. In this study, we used an oculomotor delayed match- or nonmatch-to-sample task in which a cued location has to be encoded and memorized for one of two very different goals-to plan a saccade to it or to avoid making a saccade to it. We measured the spatial allocation of attention during the delay and found that while marking a location as a future saccade target resulted in an attentional benefit at that location, marking it as forbidden to saccades led to an attentional cost. Additionally, saccade trajectories were found to deviate away more from the "don't look" location than from a saccade-irrelevant distractor confirming greater inhibition of an actively forbidden location in oculomotor programming. Our finding that attention is suppressed at locations forbidden to saccades confirms and complements the claim of a selective and obligatory coupling between saccades and attention-saccades at the memorized location could neither be planned nor suppressed independent of a corresponding effect on attentional performance.

  2. Attentional effects in the visual pathways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundesen, Claus; Larsen, Axel; Kyllingsbæk, Søren

    2002-01-01

    Attentional effects in the visual pathways were investigated by contrasting the distribution of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) measured by H(2)(15)O positron emission tomography (PET) during performance of a shape-matching task with the distribution of rCBF during a less demanding color...... and middle temporal gyri. The attentional effects found by the shape-color comparison in the thalamus and the primary visual cortex may have been generated by feedback signals preserving visual representations of selected stimuli in short-term memory....

  3. Automaticity and attention in Huntington's disease: when two hands are not better than one.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Jennifer C; Poliakoff, Ellen; Sollom, Andrea C; Howard, Elizabeth; Craufurd, David; Snowden, Julie S

    2010-01-01

    People with Huntington's disease (HD) commonly report difficulty carrying out two everyday tasks simultaneously. This difficulty, confirmed by experimental studies, is typically ascribed to impaired attention. Yet, dual-task problems extend to relatively simple tasks, such as walking and talking, which would ordinarily be considered relatively undemanding of attention. The study tests the hypothesis that in HD there is a deficit in the ability to automatise task performance. Thus, simple tasks, which place minimal demands on conscious attention in healthy controls, make disproportionately high demands on attentional resources in HD. We examined the performance of HD patients and healthy controls on a simple, paced finger-tapping task, comparing single-task (tapping with one hand) and dual-task (tapping with both hands simultaneously) performance. For HD patients, bimanual tapping increased the task demands: there was greater variability in tapping rate and patients reported that the 'dual-task' condition was more difficult. The opposite pattern was observed for controls. Variability in tapping performance in HD was highly correlated with performance on cognitive tasks that have the potential to be automatized but not with performance on tasks that are more demanding of executive control, suggesting a common substrate for cognitive and motor automaticity. The data support the hypothesis that HD patients are impaired in their capacity for automisation, and suggest that impaired automaticity may be one source of attentional deficits in HD. The findings have implications for the interpretation of 'high level' deficits in attention and executive function previously reported in HD.

  4. Attention Sensitive Web Browsing

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    With a number of cheap commercial dry EEG kits available today, it is possible to look at user attention driven scenarios for interaction with the web browser. Using EEG to determine the user's attention level is preferable to using methods such as gaze tracking or time spent on the webpage. In this paper we use the attention level in three different ways. First, as a control mechanism, to control user interface elements such as menus or buttons. Second, to make the web browser responsive to ...

  5. Evidence for a Cognitive Control Network for Goal-Directed Attention in Simple Sustained Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilti, Caroline C.; Jann, Kay; Heinemann, Doerthe; Federspiel, Andrea; Dierks, Thomas; Seifritz, Erich; Cattapan-Ludewig, Katja

    2013-01-01

    The deterioration of performance over time is characteristic for sustained attention tasks. This so-called "performance decrement" is measured by the increase of reaction time (RT) over time. Some behavioural and neurobiological mechanisms of this phenomenon are not yet fully understood. Behaviourally, we examined the increase of RT over time and…

  6. Sustained Selective Attention Skills of Preschool Children with Specific Language Impairment: Evidence for Separate Attentional Capacities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaulding, Tammie J.; Plante, Elena; Vance, Rebecca

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The present study was designed to investigate the performance of preschool children with specific language impairment (SLI) and their typically developing (TD) peers on sustained selective attention tasks. Method: This study included 23 children diagnosed with SLI and 23 TD children matched for age, gender, and maternal education level.…

  7. Attentional Control Theory in Childhood: Enhanced Attentional Capture by Non-Emotional and Emotional Distractors in Anxiety and Depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waszczuk, Monika A; Brown, Hannah M; Eley, Thalia C; Lester, Kathryn J

    2015-01-01

    Attentional control theory (ACT) proposes that anxiety is associated with executive functioning deficits. The theory has been widely investigated in adults. The current study tested whether symptoms of childhood anxiety and depression were associated with experimentally measured attentional control in the context of non-emotional and emotional stimuli. Sixty-one children (mean age = 9.23 years, range = 8.39-10.41) reported their trait anxiety and depression symptoms and completed three visual search tasks. The tasks used a variant of an irrelevant singleton paradigm and measured attentional capture by task-irrelevant non-emotional (color) and emotional (facial expressions) distractors. Significant attentional capture by both non-emotional and emotional distractors was observed, and was significantly correlated with trait anxiety and symptoms of depression. The strength of relationship between attentional capture and the symptoms did not differ significantly for non-emotional and emotional distractors. The results suggest that symptoms of childhood anxiety and depression are associated with poorer attentional control both in the presence of emotional and non-emotional stimuli, supporting ACT in younger populations. This attentional deficit in the context of non-emotional information might be as central to childhood internalizing symptoms as attentional biases often observed on tasks investigating processing of emotional stimuli.

  8. Divided Attention Can Enhance Early-Phase Memory Encoding: The Attentional Boost Effect and Study Trial Duration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Neil W.; Spataro, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    Divided attention during encoding typically produces marked reductions in later memory. The attentional boost effect (ABE) is a surprising variation on this phenomenon. In this paradigm, each study stimulus (e.g., a word) is presented along with a target or a distractor (e.g., different colored circles) in a detection task. Later memory is better…

  9. Visual attention: Linking prefrontal sources to neuronal and behavioral correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Kelsey; Squire, Ryan Fox; Merrikhi, Yaser; Noudoost, Behrad

    2015-09-01

    Attention is a means of flexibly selecting and enhancing a subset of sensory input based on the current behavioral goals. Numerous signatures of attention have been identified throughout the brain, and now experimenters are seeking to determine which of these signatures are causally related to the behavioral benefits of attention, and the source of these modulations within the brain. Here, we review the neural signatures of attention throughout the brain, their theoretical benefits for visual processing, and their experimental correlations with behavioral performance. We discuss the importance of measuring cue benefits as a way to distinguish between impairments on an attention task, which may instead be visual or motor impairments, and true attentional deficits. We examine evidence for various areas proposed as sources of attentional modulation within the brain, with a focus on the prefrontal cortex. Lastly, we look at studies that aim to link sources of attention to its neuronal signatures elsewhere in the brain.

  10. Designing CALL Tasks for College English Learners

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    <正>As CALL(Computer Assisted Language Learning) became a new trend among China’s college English learners nowadays,it is time that teachers reflected on their teaching methodology innovation with the new technological advancement,one part of it is writing CALL tasks for their own individual classes.This paper presents a few basic principles and rationales of designing such tasks,and hope to work as a reminder for task writers.These principles and rationales include how to realize CLT(communicative language teaching) and learner-centredness and foster learner autonomy.In order to achieve this,it is reminded that task writers pay attention to a few points,like the communicativeness,contextualization,authenticity,and relatedness in task writing. Aspects of syllabus design,choice of texts,contents of activities and tasks and sequencing are put under investigation.

  11. Are You Paying Attention?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørmen, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    A still understudied area in media research is how people pay attention to news in daily life. To do so, the chapter develops a theoretical framework grounded in news audience research and practice theory. This framework conceptualizes practices as different ways in which attention is directed...... and sustained. To study such attention practices, 16 semi-structured interviews with adult Danes are carried out. Through a thematic analysis of these interviews, the chapter explores how ways of attending relate to individual media and how patterns of daily life enable some practices and constrain others....... In the concluding discussion, the chapter relates the findings to further perspectives on attention to news specifically and media content more generally. Accordingly, this chapter contributes to cross-media news research by analyzing ways in which people attend to news and how these ways of attending vary across...

  12. Primate Visual Perception: Motivated Attention in Naturalistic Scenes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, David W.; Sabatinelli, Dean

    2017-01-01

    Research has consistently revealed enhanced neural activation corresponding to attended cues coupled with suppression to unattended cues. This attention effect depends both on the spatial features of stimuli and internal task goals. However, a large majority of research supporting this effect involves circumscribed tasks that possess few ecologically relevant characteristics. By comparison, natural scenes have the potential to engage an evolved attention system, which may be characterized by supplemental neural processing and integration compared to mechanisms engaged during reduced experimental paradigms. Here, we describe recent animal and human studies of naturalistic scene viewing to highlight the specific impact of social and affective processes on the neural mechanisms of attention modulation.

  13. Adaptive visual attention model

    OpenAIRE

    Hügli, Heinz; Bur, Alexandre

    2009-01-01

    Visual attention, defined as the ability of a biological or artificial vision system to rapidly detect potentially relevant parts of a visual scene, provides a general purpose solution for low level feature detection in a vision architecture. Well considered for its universal detection behaviour, the general model of visual attention is suited for any environment but inferior to dedicated feature detectors in more specific environments. The goal of the development presented in this paper is t...

  14. Efficient attentional selection predicts distractor devaluation: event-related potential evidence for a direct link between attention and emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiss, Monika; Goolsby, Brian A; Raymond, Jane E; Shapiro, Kimron L; Silvert, Laetitia; Nobre, Anna C; Fragopanagos, Nickolaos; Taylor, John G; Eimer, Martin

    2007-08-01

    Links between attention and emotion were investigated by obtaining electrophysiological measures of attentional selectivity together with behavioral measures of affective evaluation. Participants were asked to rate faces that had just been presented as targets or distractors in a visual search task. Distractors were rated as less trustworthy than targets. To study the association between the efficiency of selective attention during visual search and subsequent emotional responses, the N2pc component was quantified as a function of evaluative judgments. Evaluation of distractor faces (but not target faces) covaried with selective attention. On trials where distractors were later judged negatively, the N2pc emerged earlier, demonstrating that attention was strongly biased toward target events, and distractors were effectively inhibited. When previous distractors were judged positively, the N2pc was delayed, indicating unfocused attention to the target and less distractor suppression. Variations in attentional selectivity across trials can predict subsequent emotional responses, strongly suggesting that attention is closely associated with subsequent affective evaluation.

  15. Task difficulty in mental arithmetic affects microsaccadic rates and magnitudes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegenthaler, Eva; Costela, Francisco M; McCamy, Michael B; Di Stasi, Leandro L; Otero-Millan, Jorge; Sonderegger, Andreas; Groner, Rudolf; Macknik, Stephen; Martinez-Conde, Susana

    2014-01-01

    Microsaccades are involuntary, small-magnitude saccadic eye movements that occur during attempted visual fixation. Recent research has found that attention can modulate microsaccade dynamics, but few studies have addressed the effects of task difficulty on microsaccade parameters, and those have obtained contradictory results. Further, no study to date has investigated the influence of task difficulty on microsaccade production during the performance of non-visual tasks. Thus, the effects of task difficulty on microsaccades, isolated from sensory modality, remain unclear. Here we investigated the effects of task difficulty on microsaccades during the performance of a non-visual, mental arithmetic task with two levels of complexity. We found that microsaccade rates decreased and microsaccade magnitudes increased with increased task difficulty. We propose that changes in microsaccade rates and magnitudes with task difficulty are mediated by the effects of varying attentional inputs on the rostral superior colliculus activity map.

  16. Modelling auditory attention: Insights from the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Roberts, K. L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren

    modelled using a log-logistic function than an exponential function. A more challenging difference is that in the partial report task, there is more target-distractor confusion for auditory than visual stimuli. This failure of object-formation (prior to attentional object-selection) is not yet effectively......We report initial progress towards creating an auditory analogue of a mathematical model of visual attention: the ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990). TVA is one of the best established models of visual attention. It assumes that visual stimuli are initially processed in parallel......, and that there is a ‘race’ for selection and representation in visual short term memory (VSTM). In the basic TVA task, participants view a brief display of letters and are asked to report either all of the letters (whole report) or a subset of the letters (e.g., the red letters; partial report). Fitting the model...

  17. How Task Representations Guide Attention: Further Evidence for the Shielding Function of Task Sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreisbach, Gesine; Haider, Hilde

    2009-01-01

    To pursue goal directed behavior, the cognitive system must be shielded against interference from irrelevant information. Aside from the online adjustment of cognitive control widely discussed in the literature, an additional mechanism of preventive goal shielding is suggested that circumvents irrelevant information from being processed in the…

  18. Neuropsychological attention skills and related behaviours in adults with tuberous sclerosis complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tierney, Kevin M; McCartney, Deborah L; Serfontein, Jaco R; de Vries, Petrus J

    2011-05-01

    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disorder associated with mTOR over-activation and disruption of MAPK, PI3K and AMPK signalling. Children with TSC have significant deficits on neuropsychological attention tasks, particularly dual tasking. Here we investigated attentional skills and related behaviours in daily life in normally intelligent adults with TSC and matched controls using the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch) and the Attention-Deficit Scales for Adults (ADSA). No group differences were demonstrated on selective or sustained attention tasks carried out alone. However, adults with TSC performed significantly worse when these tasks were combined in a cross-modal dual task condition. On the ADSA the TSC group had significantly worse scores on several subscales (attention/concentration, behaviour/disorganization, academic and emotional behaviours) compared to controls and these correlated with dual task performance, indicating a clear impact of dual task deficits on attention-related behaviours in daily life. The presence or absence of epilepsy did not influence dual task performance or attention-deficits in daily life. Taken together with similar findings in children, results suggest that dual task difficulties are a core feature of the neuropsychological phenotype of TSC.

  19. EEG predictors of covert vigilant attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, Adrien; Dähne, Sven; Blankertz, Benjamin

    2014-06-01

    Objective. The present study addressed the question whether neurophysiological signals exhibit characteristic modulations preceding a miss in a covert vigilant attention task which mimics a natural environment in which critical stimuli may appear in the periphery of the visual field. Approach. Subjective, behavioural and encephalographic (EEG) data of 12 participants performing a modified Mackworth Clock task were obtained and analysed offline. The stimulus consisted of a pointer performing regular ticks in a clockwise sequence across 42 dots arranged in a circle. Participants were requested to covertly attend to the pointer and press a response button as quickly as possible in the event of a jump, a rare and random event. Main results. Significant increases in response latencies and decreases in the detection rates were found as a function of time-on-task, a characteristic effect of sustained attention tasks known as the vigilance decrement. Subjective sleepiness showed a significant increase over the duration of the experiment. Increased activity in the α-frequency range (8-14 Hz) was observed emerging and gradually accumulating 10 s before a missed target. Additionally, a significant gradual attenuation of the P3 event-related component was found to antecede misses by 5 s. Significance. The results corroborate recent findings that behavioural errors are presaged by specific neurophysiological activity and demonstrate that lapses of attention can be predicted in a covert setting up to 10 s in advance reinforcing the prospective use of brain-computer interface (BCI) technology for the detection of waning vigilance in real-world scenarios. Combining these findings with real-time single-trial analysis from BCI may pave the way for cognitive states monitoring systems able to determine the current, and predict the near-future development of the brain's attentional processes.

  20. Reduced attentional capture in action video game players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Joseph D; Hickey, Clayton; Theeuwes, Jan; Kingstone, Alan

    2010-04-01

    Recent studies indicate that playing action video games improves performance on a number of attention-based tasks. However, it remains unclear whether action video game experience primarily affects endogenous or exogenous forms of spatial orienting. To examine this issue, action video game players and non-action video game players performed an attentional capture task. The results show that action video game players responded quicker than non-action video game players, both when a target appeared in isolation and when a salient, task-irrelevant distractor was present in the display. Action video game players additionally showed a smaller capture effect than did non-action video game players. When coupled with the findings of previous studies, the collective evidence indicates that extensive experience with action video games may enhance players' top-down attentional control, which, in turn, can modulate the negative effects of bottom-up attentional capture.

  1. Towards the quantitative evaluation of visual attention models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bylinskii, Z; DeGennaro, E M; Rajalingham, R; Ruda, H; Zhang, J; Tsotsos, J K

    2015-11-01

    Scores of visual attention models have been developed over the past several decades of research. Differences in implementation, assumptions, and evaluations have made comparison of these models very difficult. Taxonomies have been constructed in an attempt at the organization and classification of models, but are not sufficient at quantifying which classes of models are most capable of explaining available data. At the same time, a multitude of physiological and behavioral findings have been published, measuring various aspects of human and non-human primate visual attention. All of these elements highlight the need to integrate the computational models with the data by (1) operationalizing the definitions of visual attention tasks and (2) designing benchmark datasets to measure success on specific tasks, under these definitions. In this paper, we provide some examples of operationalizing and benchmarking different visual attention tasks, along with the relevant design considerations.

  2. A change of task prolongs early processes: evidence from ERPs in lexical tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elchlepp, Heike; Lavric, Aureliu; Monsell, Stephen

    2015-04-01

    Switching tasks costs time. Allowing time to prepare reduces the cost, but usually leaves an irreducible "residual cost." Most accounts of this residual cost locate it within the response-selection stage of processing. To determine which processing stage is affected, we measured event-related potentials (ERPs) as participants performed a reading task or a perceptual judgment task, and examined the effect of a task switch on early markers of lexical processing. A task cue preceding a string of blue and red letters instructed the participant either to read the letter string (for a semantic classification in Experiment 1, and a lexical decision in Experiment 2) or to judge the symmetry of its color pattern. In Experiment 1, having to switch to the reading task delayed the evolution of the effect of word frequency on the reading task ERP by a substantial fraction of the effect on reaction time (RT). In Experiment 2, a task switch delayed the onset of the effect of lexical status on the ERP by about the same extent that it prolonged the RT. These effects indicate an early locus of (most of) the residual switch cost: We propose that this reflects a form of task-related attentional inertia. Other findings have implications for the automaticity of lexical access: Effects of frequency, lexicality, and orthographic familiarity on ERPs in the symmetry task indicated involuntary, but attenuated, orthographic and lexical processing even when attention was focused on a nonlexical property.

  3. Children born with very low birth weight show difficulties with sustained attention but not response inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Katherine A; Healy, Elaine; Dooley, Barbara; Kelly, Simon P; McNicholas, Fiona

    2015-01-01

    Children born with very low birth weight perform poorly on executive function and attention measures. Any difficulties with sustained attention may underpin impairments in performance on tasks measuring higher order cognitive control. Previous sustained attention research in very low birth weight cohorts has used tasks that involve arousing stimuli, potentially spoiling the measure of sustained attention. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of very low birth weight and normal birth weight children on a well-controlled task of sustained attention. The Fixed and Random versions of the Sustained Attention to Response Task were given to 17 very low birth weight and 18 normal birth weight children. The very low birth weight group performed the Fixed and Random Sustained Attention to Response Tasks in a similar manner as the normal birth weight group on all measures except for the omission error and Slow Frequency Area under the Spectra variables on the Fixed Sustained Attention to Response Task. These measures index lapses in sustained attention that may be underpinned by declining arousal. The very low birth weight group showed no response inhibition deficits. Omission errors and slow-timescale response-time variability on predictable tasks may thus present sensitive indices of difficulties with sustained attention and arousal associated with premature birth and low birth weight.

  4. Adaptive Task Assignment in Online Learning Environments

    OpenAIRE

    Andersen, Per-Arne; Kråkevik, Christian; Goodwin, Morten; Yazidi, Anis

    2016-01-01

    With the increasing popularity of online learning, intelligent tutoring systems are regaining increased attention. In this paper, we introduce adaptive algorithms for personalized assignment of learning tasks to student so that to improve his performance in online learning environments. As main contribution of this paper, we propose a a novel Skill-Based Task Selector (SBTS) algorithm which is able to approximate a student's skill level based on his performance and consequently suggest adequa...

  5. Using Highlighting to Train Attentional Expertise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roads, Brett; Mozer, Michael C; Busey, Thomas A

    2016-01-01

    Acquiring expertise in complex visual tasks is time consuming. To facilitate the efficient training of novices on where to look in these tasks, we propose an attentional highlighting paradigm. Highlighting involves dynamically modulating the saliency of a visual image to guide attention along the fixation path of a domain expert who had previously viewed the same image. In Experiment 1, we trained naive subjects via attentional highlighting on a fingerprint-matching task. Before and after training, we asked subjects to freely inspect images containing pairs of prints and determine whether the prints matched. Fixation sequences were automatically scored for the degree of expertise exhibited using a Bayesian discriminative model of novice and expert gaze behavior. Highlighted training causes gaze behavior to become more expert-like not only on the trained images but also on transfer images, indicating generalization of learning. In Experiment 2, to control for the possibility that the increase in expertise is due to mere exposure, we trained subjects via highlighting of fixation sequences from novices, not experts, and observed no transition toward expertise. In Experiment 3, to determine the specificity of the training effect, we trained subjects with expert fixation sequences from images other than the one being viewed, which preserves coarse-scale statistics of expert gaze but provides no information about fine-grain features. Observing at least a partial transition toward expertise, we obtain only weak evidence that the highlighting procedure facilitates the learning of critical local features. We discuss possible improvements to the highlighting procedure.

  6. Less Efficient Neural Processing Related to Irregular Sleep and Less Sustained Attention in Toddlers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyniak, Caroline P; Petersen, Isaac T; McQuillan, Maureen E; Staples, Angela D; Bates, John E

    2015-01-01

    The current study used event-related potentials to examine a candidate process through which sleep difficulties affect attentional processing in toddlers. Fifteen toddlers participated in an auditory Oddball task while neurophysiological data were collected. Sleep deficits were assessed using actigraphs, and attention was examined with a sustained attention task. A P3-like component was elicited from the toddlers, and longer target P3 latencies were associated with poorer sustained attention and irregular sleep. Findings suggest that irregular sleep is associated with less efficient attentional processing as reflected by the P3 component, and that longer target P3 latencies are associated with poorer sustained attention.

  7. Anterior medial prefrontal cortex exhibits activation during task preparation but deactivation during task execution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideya Koshino

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC exhibits activation during some cognitive tasks, including episodic memory, reasoning, attention, multitasking, task sets, decision making, mentalizing, and processing of self-referenced information. However, the medial part of anterior PFC is part of the default mode network (DMN, which shows deactivation during various goal-directed cognitive tasks compared to a resting baseline. One possible factor for this pattern is that activity in the anterior medial PFC (MPFC is affected by dynamic allocation of attentional resources depending on task demands. We investigated this possibility using an event related fMRI with a face working memory task. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Sixteen students participated in a single fMRI session. They were asked to form a task set to remember the faces (Face memory condition or to ignore them (No face memory condition, then they were given 6 seconds of preparation period before the onset of the face stimuli. During this 6-second period, four single digits were presented one at a time at the center of the display, and participants were asked to add them and to remember the final answer. When participants formed a task set to remember faces, the anterior MPFC exhibited activation during a task preparation period but deactivation during a task execution period within a single trial. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results suggest that the anterior MPFC plays a role in task set formation but is not involved in execution of the face working memory task. Therefore, when attentional resources are allocated to other brain regions during task execution, the anterior MPFC shows deactivation. The results suggest that activation and deactivation in the anterior MPFC are affected by dynamic allocation of processing resources across different phases of processing.

  8. Dissociating temporal attention from spatial attention and motor response preparation: A high-density EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faugeras, Frédéric; Naccache, Lionel

    2016-01-01

    Engagement of various forms of attention and response preparation determines behavioral performance during stimulus-response tasks. Many studies explored the respective properties and neural signatures of each of these processes. However, very few experiments were conceived to explore their interaction. In the present work we used an auditory target detection task during which both temporal attention on the one side, and spatial attention and motor response preparation on the other side could be explicitly cued. Both cueing effects speeded response times, and showed strictly additive effects. Target ERP analysis revealed modulations of N1 and P3 responses by these two forms of cueing. Cue-target interval analysis revealed two main effects paralleling behavior. First, a typical contingent negative variation (CNV), induced by the cue and resolved immediately after target onset, was found larger for temporal attention cueing than for spatial and motor response cueing. Second, a posterior and late cue-P3 complex showed the reverse profile. Analyses of lateralized readiness potentials (LRP) revealed both patterns of motor response inhibition and activation. Taken together these results help to clarify and disentangle the respective effects of temporal attention on the one hand, and of the combination of spatial attention and motor response preparation on the other hand on brain activity and behavior.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita D. Barber

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Orienting of attention, pupil size, and the norepinephrine system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabay, Shai; Pertzov, Yoni; Henik, Avishai

    2011-01-01

    This research examined a novel suggestion regarding the involvement of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine (LC-NE) system in orienting reflexive (exogenous) attention. A common procedure for studying exogenous orienting of attention is Posner's cuing task. Importantly, one can manipulate the required level of target processing by changing task requirements, which, in turn, can elicit a different time course of inhibition of return (IOR). An easy task (responding to target location) produces earlier onset IOR, whereas a demanding task (responding to target identity) produces later onset IOR. Aston-Jones and Cohen (Annual Review of Neuroscience, 28, 403-450, 2005) presented a theory suggesting two different modes of LC activity: tonic and phasic. Accordingly, we suggest that in the more demanding task, the LC-NE system is activated in phasic mode, and in the easier task, it is activated in tonic mode. This, in turn, influences the appearance of IOR. We examined this suggestion by measuring participants' pupil size, which has been demonstrated to correlate with the LC-NE system, while they performed cuing tasks. We found a response-locked phasic dilation of the pupil in the discrimination task, as compared with the localization task, which may reflect different firing modes of the LC-NE system during the two tasks. We also demonstrated a correlation between pupil size at the time of cue presentation and magnitude of IOR.

  11. Interactions of attention, emotion and motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Jane

    2009-01-01

    Although successful visually guided action begins with sensory processes and ends with motor control, the intervening processes related to the appropriate selection of information for processing are especially critical because of the brain's limited capacity to handle information. Three important mechanisms--attention, emotion and motivation--contribute to the prioritization and selection of information. In this chapter, the interplay between these systems is discussed with emphasis placed on interactions between attention (or immediate task relevance of stimuli) and emotion (or affective evaluation of stimuli), and between attention and motivation (or the predicted value of stimuli). Although numerous studies have shown that emotional stimuli modulate mechanisms of selective attention in humans, little work has been directed at exploring whether such interactions can be reciprocal, that is, whether attention can influence emotional response. Recent work on this question (showing that distracting information is typically devalued upon later encounters) is reviewed in the first half of the chapter. In the second half, some recent experiments exploring how prior value-prediction learning (i.e., learning to associate potential outcomes, good or bad, with specific stimuli) plays a role in visual selection and conscious perception. The results indicate that some aspects of motivation act on selection independently of traditionally defined attention and other aspects interact with it.

  12. 图片点探测任务法观察加压诱发的实验性疼痛对健康人注意偏向的影响%The effect of experimental pain on attentional bias in a pictorial dot-probe task

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗艳琳; 崔敏; 杨延辉; 窦鑫; 于洋; 韩松; 李俊发

    2012-01-01

    .Pain was inflicted by inflating the tourniquet,and the pressure was maintained at 26.66kPa.While tourniquet was inflated (with pain) or not (no pain),each subject was asked to finish a pictorial dot-probe task with three kinds of pictures-emotionally positive,negative and neutral.In experiment 1,subjects performed the dot-probe tasks with the contralateral hand while the tourniquet was tied on the left upper arm without inflation.In experiment 2 the tourniquet was inflated until the subject completed the dot-probe task (for about 10min).The reaction times (RTs) and the error rates (Ers) in the recognition task were recorded,and the intensity of the subject's pain and discomfort were measured using a verbal rating scale.Results The subjects reported moderate to severe pain with the tourniquet inflated.The RT and ER data were analyzed using two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) which showed a significant difference between the average RTs of the males (482±73ms without pain and 466±82ms with pain) and those of the females (536±90ms without pain and 519±100 ms with pain).The average ER was significantly different between the pain (2.38±1.49)% and no pain (1.09±0.82)% conditions in both groups.Holn-Sidak multiple comparison testing showed significant differences in both groups' average ER between the negative picture (3.81±1.73)% and the positive picture (1.66±0.97)%,and between the negative and neutral pictures (1.68±0.8) % in the pain condition.Mild attentional avoidance was observed with the positive [pain condition (-5.1±4.8) ms and no pain (-4.6±4)ms] and negative pictures [pain condition (-3.43±6) ms and no pain (-0.79±4.1)ms],but no significant difference was found between the pain and no pain conditions.Conclusion The error rate in a pictorial dot-probe task is influenced by pain,especially with negative pictures.

  13. Effects of attentional and cognitive variables on unilateral spatial neglect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricci, Raffaella; Salatino, Adriana; Garbarini, Francesca; Ronga, Irene; Genero, Rosanna; Berti, Anna; Neppi-Mòdona, Marco

    2016-11-01

    Patients with visuospatial neglect when asked to cancel targets partially or totally omit to cancel contralesional stimuli. It has been shown that increasing the attentional demands of the cancellation task aggravates neglect contralesionally. However, some preliminary evidence also suggests that neglect might be worsened by engaging the patient in a demanding, non-spatial, cognitive activity (i.e. a mathematical task). We studied cancellation performance of 16 patients with right-hemisphere lesions, 8 with neglect, 8 without neglect, and 8 age-matched healthy control participants by means of five cancellation tasks which varied for the degree of attentional and/or high level cognitive demands (preattentive and attentive search of a visual target, searching for numbers containing the digit 3, even numbers, and multiples of 3). Results showed that attentive search of visual targets, relative to the preattentive search condition, aggravated neglect patients' performance. Moreover, searching for multiples not only worsened spatial neglect contralesionally, but also slowed down performance of patients with right-hemisphere lesions without neglect. Our findings further demonstrate the presence of specific deficits of attention in neglect. In addition, the worse performance of patients without neglect in the 'multiples of 3' task is consistent with the evidence that right-hemisphere lesions per se impair the ability to maintain attention (i.e. sustained attention). This suggests that the exacerbation of neglect during execution of a demanding, non-spatial, cognitive task might be explained by a deficit of sustained attention in addition to a selective deficit of spatial attention.

  14. Shared and Disorder-Specific Prefrontal Abnormalities in Boys with Pure Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Compared to Boys with Pure CD during Interference Inhibition and Attention Allocation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubia, Katya; Halari, Rozmin; Smith, Anna B.; Mohammad, Majeed; Scott, Stephen; Brammer, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Inhibitory and attention deficits have been suggested to be shared problems of disruptive behaviour disorders. Patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and patients with conduct disorder (CD) show deficits in tasks of attention allocation and interference inhibition. However, functional magnetic resonance imaging…

  15. Reduced attentional scope in cocaine polydrug users.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenza S Colzato

    Full Text Available Cocaine is Europe's second preferred recreational drug after cannabis but very little is known about possible cognitive impairments in the upcoming type of recreational cocaine user (monthly consumption. We asked whether recreational use of cocaine impacts early attentional selection processes. Cocaine-free polydrug controls (n = 18 and cocaine polydrug users (n = 18 were matched on sex, age, alcohol consumption, and IQ (using the Raven's progressive matrices, and were tested by using the Global-Local task to measure the scope of attention. Cocaine polydrug users attended significantly more to local aspects of attended events, which fits with the idea that a reduced scope of attention may be associated with the perpetuation of the use of the drug.

  16. Attentional selection by distractor suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caputo, G; Guerra, S

    1998-03-01

    Selective attention was studied in displays containing singletons popping out for their odd form or color. The target was defined as the form-singleton, the distractor as the color-singleton. The task was to discriminate the length of a longer line inside the target. Target-distractor similarity was controlled using a threshold measurement as dependent variable in experiments in which distractor presence vs absence, bottom-up vs top-down selection (through knowledge of target features), and target-distractor distance were manipulated. The results in the bottom-up condition showed that length threshold was elevated when a distractor was present and that this elevation progressively increased as the number of distractors was increased from one to two. This set-size effect was not accounted by the hypothesis that selective attention intervenes only at the stage of decision before response. Selective attention produced a suppressive surround in which discriminability of neighboring objects was strongly reduced, and a larger surround in which discriminability was reduced by an approximately constant amount. Different results were found in the top-down condition in which target discriminability was unaffected by distractor presence and no effect of target-distractor distance was found. On the other hand, response times in both bottom-up and top-down conditions were slower the shorter the target-distractor distance was. On the basis of the experimental results, selective attention is a parallel process of spatial filtering at an intermediate processing level operating after objects have been segmented. This filtering stage explores high level interactions between objects taking control on combinatorial explosion by operating over only a limited spatial extent: it picks out a selected object and inhibits the neighboring objects; then, non-selected objects are suppressed across the overall image. When no feature-based selection is available in the current behavior, this

  17. Cognitive Control Network Contributions to Memory-Guided Visual Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, Maya L; Stern, Chantal E; Michalka, Samantha W; Devaney, Kathryn J; Somers, David C

    2016-05-01

    Visual attentional capacity is severely limited, but humans excel in familiar visual contexts, in part because long-term memories guide efficient deployment of attention. To investigate the neural substrates that support memory-guided visual attention, we performed a set of functional MRI experiments that contrast long-term, memory-guided visuospatial attention with stimulus-guided visuospatial attention in a change detection task. Whereas the dorsal attention network was activated for both forms of attention, the cognitive control network(CCN) was preferentially activated during memory-guided attention. Three posterior nodes in the CCN, posterior precuneus, posterior callosal sulcus/mid-cingulate, and lateral intraparietal sulcus exhibited the greatest specificity for memory-guided attention. These 3 regions exhibit functional connectivity at rest, and we propose that they form a subnetwork within the broader CCN. Based on the task activation patterns, we conclude that the nodes of this subnetwork are preferentially recruited for long-term memory guidance of visuospatial attention.

  18. Relationship between visuospatial attention and paw preference in dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siniscalchi, Marcello; d'Ingeo, Serenella; Fornelli, Serena; Quaranta, Angelo

    2016-08-22

    The relationship between visuospatial attention and paw preference was investigated in domestic dogs. Visuospatial attention was evaluated using a food detection task that closely matches the so-called "cancellation" task used in human studies. Paw preference was estimated by quantifying the dog's use of forepaws to hold a puzzle feeder device (namely the "Kong") while eating its content. Results clearly revealed a strong relationship between visuospatial attention bias and motor laterality, with a left-visuospatial bias in the left-pawed group, a right-visuospatial bias in the right-pawed group and with the absence of significant visuospatial attention bias in ambi-pawed subjects. The current findings are the first evidence for the presence of a relationship between motor lateralization and visuospatial attentional mechanisms in a mammal species besides humans.

  19. The modality effect of ego depletion: Auditory task modality reduces ego depletion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiong; Wang, Zhenhong

    2016-08-01

    An initial act of self-control that impairs subsequent acts of self-control is called ego depletion. The ego depletion phenomenon has been observed consistently. The modality effect refers to the effect of the presentation modality on the processing of stimuli. The modality effect was also robustly found in a large body of research. However, no study to date has examined the modality effects of ego depletion. This issue was addressed in the current study. In Experiment 1, after all participants completed a handgrip task, one group's participants completed a visual attention regulation task and the other group's participants completed an auditory attention regulation task, and then all participants again completed a handgrip task. The ego depletion phenomenon was observed in both the visual and the auditory attention regulation task. Moreover, participants who completed the visual task performed worse on the handgrip task than participants who completed the auditory task, which indicated that there was high ego depletion in the visual task condition. In Experiment 2, participants completed an initial task that either did or did not deplete self-control resources, and then they completed a second visual or auditory attention control task. The results indicated that depleted participants performed better on the auditory attention control task than the visual attention control task. These findings suggest that altering task modality may reduce ego depletion.

  20. The roles of cortical oscillations in sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, Michael S; Yeung, Nick; Cohen Kadosh, Roi

    2015-04-01

    We rely on sustained attention to protect task performance against fatigue and distraction. Time-related variations in attention correlate with amplitude changes of specific cortical oscillations. However, the ways in which these oscillations might support sustained attention, how these oscillations are controlled, and the extent to which they influence one another remain unclear. We address this issue by proposing an oscillatory model of sustained attention. Within this framework, sustained attention relies on frontomedial theta oscillations, inter-areal communication via low-frequency phase synchronisation, and selective excitation and inhibition of cognitive processing through gamma and alpha oscillations, respectively. Sustained attention also relies on interactions between these oscillations across attention-related brain networks.

  1. Training of selective attention in work-active stroke patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starovasnik Žagavec, Barbara; Mlinarič Lešnik, Vesna; Goljar, Nika

    2015-12-01

    The aim was to examine the effects of computer-based cognitive rehabilitation of attention in work-active patients after stroke. The study included 11 patients treated as inpatients at the University Rehabilitation Institute, Republic of Slovenia, who were included in intensive selective attention training four times a week for 3 months. Each patient was assessed at the initial and the final rehabilitation stage with the TAP system (Test of Attentional Performance), alertness, and divided attention tasks. The results indicate a moderate to strong increase in performance on the divided attention test and a mild effect on the alertness test. Early cognitive rehabilitation of the attentional system can contribute toward recovery of divided attention in work-active patients after stroke.

  2. Visual attention capacity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi

    2009-01-01

    Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity...... to patient testing, and review existing TVA-based patient studies organized by lesion anatomy. Lesions in three anatomical regions affect visual capacity: The parietal lobes, frontal cortex and basal ganglia, and extrastriate cortex. Visual capacity thus depends on large, bilaterally distributed anatomical...... networks that include several regions outside the visual system. The two visual capacity parameters are functionally separable, but seem to rely on largely overlapping brain areas....

  3. Emotional Stroop Dilution: The boundary conditions of attentional capture by threat words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Michael G; Langerak, Robin M

    2015-07-01

    It is widely believed that threatening stimuli in our environment capture attention. Much of the core evidence for attentional capture by threatening stimuli comes from the Emotional Stroop task. Yet recent evidence suggests that the Emotional Stroop task does not measure attentional capture (e.g., Algom et al., 2004). The present paper assesses whether threat words can capture attention using a modified Stroop Dilution procedure (e.g., Kahneman & Chajczyk, 1983), where attentional capture by a threat word is inferred from a reduction in color-word interference for threat words compared to non-threat words (emotional Stroop Dilution). The outcome of the present experiments indicates that threat words can capture attention, but only when task demands do not require that a word be attended. It is suggested that threat words produce (1) cognitive slowing, and influence two processes of selective attention (2) attentional capture and (3) the ability to filter irrelevant dimensions of an attended stimulus.

  4. Sustained Attention to Local and Global Target Features Is Different: Performance and Tympanic Membrane Temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helton, William S.; Hayrynen, Lauren; Schaeffer, David

    2009-01-01

    Vision researchers have investigated the differences between global and local feature perception. No one has, however, examined the role of global and local feature discrimination in sustained attention tasks. In this experiment participants performed a sustained attention task requiring either global or local letter target discriminations or…

  5. Attention Deficits in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC): Rethinking the Pathways to the Endstate

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, P. J.; Watson, P.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic disorder associated with a range of neurocognitive manifestations, including neuropsychological attention deficits most notably in dual tasking/divided attention. These dual-task deficits have so far been interpreted as evidence of a vulnerable "cognitive module" in TSC. Here, we suggest…

  6. Selective Attention of Impulsive and Reflective Children. Research Report No. 66.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egeland, Byron; Thibodeau, Anne

    The present investigation looked at selective attention in impulsive and reflective children using a central/incidental task similar to that used by Hagen, 1967. In order to examine developmental change in selective attention, children at kindergarten, second, and fifth grades were tested. The central recall task involved presenting the child with…

  7. Impact of Auditory Selective Attention on Verbal Short-Term Memory and Vocabulary Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majerus, Steve; Heiligenstein, Lucie; Gautherot, Nathalie; Poncelet, Martine; Van der Linden, Martial

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the role of auditory selective attention capacities as a possible mediator of the well-established association between verbal short-term memory (STM) and vocabulary development. A total of 47 6- and 7-year-olds were administered verbal immediate serial recall and auditory attention tasks. Both task types probed processing…

  8. The Impact of Visual-Spatial Attention on Reading and Spelling in Chinese Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Duo; Chen, Xi; Wang, Ying

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the associations of visual-spatial attention with word reading fluency and spelling in 92 third grade Hong Kong Chinese children. Word reading fluency was measured with a timed reading task whereas spelling was measured with a dictation task. Results showed that visual-spatial attention was a unique predictor of…

  9. Domain Specific Attentional Impairments in Children with Chromosome 22Q11.2 Deletion Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bish, Joel P.; Chiodo, Renee; Mattei, Victoria; Simon, Tony J.

    2007-01-01

    One of the defining cognitive characteristics of the chromosome 22q deletion syndrome (DS22q11.2) is visuospatial processing impairments. The purpose of this study was to investigate and extend the specific attentional profile of children with this disorder using both an object-based attention task and an inhibition of return task. A group of…

  10. "Task" as Research Construct

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seedhouse, Paul

    2005-01-01

    The article examines "task" as research construct as predominantly conceived in terms of task-as-workplan in the task-based learning/second language acquisition literature. It is suggested that "task" has weak construct validity and ontology in an overwhelmingly quantitative paradigm because the construct has a "split personality."…

  11. Survival Processing and the Stroop Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie A. Kazanas

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study was designed to investigate the impact of survival processing with a novel task for this paradigm: the Stroop color-naming task. As the literature is mixed with regard to task generalizability, with survival processing promoting better memory for words, but not better memory for faces or paired associates, these types of task investigations are important to a growing field of research. Using the Stroop task provides a unique contribution, as identifying items by color is an important evolutionary adaptation and not specific to humans as is the case with word recall. Our results indicate that survival processing, with its accompanying survival-relevance rating task, remains the best mnemonic strategy for word memory. However, our results also indicate that presenting the survival passage does not motivate better color-naming performance than color-naming alone. In addition, survival processing led to a larger amount of Stroop interference, though not significantly larger than the other conditions. Together, these findings suggest that considering one’s survival when performing memory and attention-based tasks does not enhance cognitive performance generally, although greater allocation of attentional resources to color-incongruent concrete objects could be considered adaptive. These findings support the notion that engaging in deeper processing via survival-relevance ratings may preserve these words across a variety of experimental manipulations.

  12. Facial expression influences face identity recognition during the attentional blink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bach, Dominik R; Schmidt-Daffy, Martin; Dolan, Raymond J

    2014-12-01

    Emotional stimuli (e.g., negative facial expressions) enjoy prioritized memory access when task relevant, consistent with their ability to capture attention. Whether emotional expression also impacts on memory access when task-irrelevant is important for arbitrating between feature-based and object-based attentional capture. Here, the authors address this question in 3 experiments using an attentional blink task with face photographs as first and second target (T1, T2). They demonstrate reduced neutral T2 identity recognition after angry or happy T1 expression, compared to neutral T1, and this supports attentional capture by a task-irrelevant feature. Crucially, after neutral T1, T2 identity recognition was enhanced and not suppressed when T2 was angry-suggesting that attentional capture by this task-irrelevant feature may be object-based and not feature-based. As an unexpected finding, both angry and happy facial expressions suppress memory access for competing objects, but only angry facial expression enjoyed privileged memory access. This could imply that these 2 processes are relatively independent from one another.

  13. Components of attentional bias to threat in high trait anxiety: Facilitated engagement, impaired disengagement, and attentional avoidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koster, Ernst H W; Crombez, Geert; Verschuere, Bruno; Van Damme, Stefaan; Wiersema, Jan Roelf

    2006-12-01

    There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating enhanced attention to threat in high trait anxious individuals (HTA) compared with low trait anxious individuals (LTA). In two experiments, we investigated whether this attentional bias is related to facilitated attentional engagement to threat or difficulties dis-engaging attention from threat. HTA and LTA undergraduates performed a modified exogenous cueing task, in which the location of a target was correctly or incorrectly cued by neutral, highly and mildly threatening pictures. Results indicate that at 100 ms picture presentation, HTA individuals more strongly engaged their attention with and showed impaired disengagement from highly threatening pictures than LTA individuals. In addition, HTA individuals showed a stronger tendency to attentional avoidance of threat at the 200 and 500 ms picture presentation. These data provide evidence for differential patterns of anxiety-related biases in attentive processing of threat at early versus later stages of information processing.

  14. Personality and Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-03-28

    1977) have integrated information processing models of attention with social learning theory in order to conoeptualize the behavior change process...consistency at these loci. ’M Nielsen & Sarason 35 References Bandura, A. Social learning theory . Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice- Hall, Inc

  15. Visual attention and stability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mathot, Sebastiaan; Theeuwes, Jan

    2011-01-01

    In the present review, we address the relationship between attention and visual stability. Even though with each eye, head and body movement the retinal image changes dramatically, we perceive the world as stable and are able to perform visually guided actions. However, visual stability is not as co

  16. Attention and Distraction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anne Ring

    2010-01-01

    This article aims to examine the interrelationship between attention and distraction in the reception of video installation art, a genre which is commonly associated with "immersion" and an intensified feeling of presence in the discourses on new media art and installation art. This tends to veil...

  17. Pain and attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blom, Jorian Hendry Gerwin

    2017-01-01

    The ability to sense pain may be considered as a prerequisite for human survival. The experience of pain helps humans to avoid the execution of actions that can seriously endanger their lives; pain is therefore evolutionarily predisposed to interrupt and capture attention. However, this supposed int

  18. Attention-dependent sound offset-related brain potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horváth, János

    2016-05-01

    When performing sensory tasks, knowing the potentially occurring goal-relevant and irrelevant stimulus events allows the establishment of selective attention sets, which result in enhanced sensory processing of goal-relevant events. In the auditory modality, such enhancements are reflected in the increased amplitude of the N1 ERP elicited by the onsets of task-relevant sounds. It has been recently suggested that ERPs to task-relevant sound offsets are similarly enhanced in a tone-focused state in comparison to a distracted one. The goal of the present study was to explore the influence of attention on ERPs elicited by sound offsets. ERPs elicited by tones in a duration-discrimination task were compared to ERPs elicited by the same tones in not-tone-focused attentional setting. Tone offsets elicited a consistent, attention-dependent biphasic (positive-negative--P1-N1) ERP waveform for tone durations ranging from 150 to 450 ms. The evidence, however, did not support the notion that the offset-related ERPs reflected an offset-specific attention set: The offset-related ERPs elicited in a duration-discrimination condition (in which offsets were task relevant) did not significantly differ from those elicited in a pitch-discrimination condition (in which the offsets were task irrelevant). Although an N2 reflecting the processing of offsets in task-related terms contributed to the observed waveform, this contribution was separable from the offset-related P1 and N1. The results demonstrate that when tones are attended, offset-related ERPs may substantially overlap endogenous ERP activity in the postoffset interval irrespective of tone duration, and attention differences may cause ERP differences in such postoffset intervals.

  19. Migraine and attention to visual events during mind wandering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kam, Julia W Y; Mickleborough, Marla J S; Eades, Chelsea; Handy, Todd C

    2015-05-01

    Although migraine is traditionally categorized as a primary headache disorder, the condition is also associated with abnormalities in visual attentional function in between headache events. Namely, relative to controls, migraineurs show both a heightened sensitivity to nominally unattended visual events, as well as decreased habituation responses at sensory and post-sensory (cognitive) levels. Here we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine whether cortical hypersensitivities in migraineurs extend to mind wandering, or periods of time wherein we transiently attenuate the processing of external stimulus inputs as our thoughts drift away from the on-going task at hand. Participants performed a sustained attention to response task while they were occasionally queried as to their attentional state-either "on-task" or "mind wandering." We then analyzed the ERP responses to task-relevant stimuli as a function of whether they immediately preceded an on-task versus mind wandering report. We found that despite the commonly reported heightened visual sensitivities in our migraine group, they nevertheless manifest a reduced cognitive response during periods of mind wandering relative to on-task attentional states, as measured via amplitude changes in the P3 ERP component. This suggests that our capacity to attenuate the processing of external stimulus inputs during mind wandering is not necessarily impaired by the class of cortical hypersensitivities characteristic of the interictal migraine brain.

  20. Attentional Decoupling while Pursuing Intentions: A Form of Mind Wandering?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna-Lisa eCohen

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In the current study, participants performed an ongoing lexical decision task (LDT in which they had to classify letter strings as words or nonwords. In intention conditions, they also had to encode a postponed intention to remember to make a different response if a pre-specified cue appeared. Attempting to replicate an important finding from Cohen, Jaudas, and Gollwitzer (2008, the interest was in examining how varying cognitive load associated with an intention influences attention to the ongoing task (measured by reaction times. Typically, disengaging from a primary task is perceived as negative as it can lead to performance decrements; however, if disengaging from a primary task helps one to accomplish a desired future goal, then these attentional shifts may in fact be constructive. Results replicated those of Cohen et al. (2008 and showed that participants were very flexible in how they managed attention in the ongoing lexical decision task. Reaction time costs emerged when cognitive load was high and solely for word trials (i.e., not for nonword trials. The implications for mind wandering are that, while our attention may wander when stimuli are present that trigger a suspended or unfulfilled goal, we are better able to stay on task when the stimuli are less goal relevant. Therefore, the decoupling process (e.g., Schooler et al., 2011 might be initiated when postponed goals are accompanied by a high degree of cognitive load and when external stimuli are present that relate to that goal.