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Sample records for cognitive task performance

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  3. Shift Work and Cognitive Flexibility: Decomposing Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Philip; Tallent, Gabriel; Bender, Thomas John; Tran, Kieulinh Michelle; Drake, Christopher L

    2017-04-01

    Deficits in cognitive functioning associated with shift work are particularly relevant to occupational performance; however, few studies have examined how cognitive functioning is associated with specific components of shift work. This observational study examined how circadian phase, nocturnal sleepiness, and daytime insomnia in a sample of shift workers ( N = 30) were associated with cognitive flexibility during the night shift. Cognitive flexibility was measured using a computerized task-switching paradigm, which produces 2 indexes of flexibility: switch cost and set inhibition. Switch cost represents the additional cognitive effort required in switching to a different task and can impact performance when multitasking is involved. Set inhibition is the efficiency in returning to previously completed tasks and represents the degree of cognitive perseveration, which can lead to reduced accuracy. Circadian phase was measured via melatonin assays, nocturnal sleepiness was assessed using the Multiple Sleep Latency Test, and daytime insomnia was assessed using the Insomnia Severity Index. Results indicated that those with an earlier circadian phase, insomnia, and sleepiness exhibited reduced cognitive flexibility; however, specific components of cognitive flexibility were differentially associated with circadian phase, insomnia, and sleepiness. Individuals with an earlier circadian phase (thus more misaligned to the night shift) exhibited larger switch costs, which was also associated with reduced task efficiency. Shift workers with more daytime insomnia demonstrated difficulties with cognitive inhibition, whereas nocturnal sleepiness was associated with difficulties in reactivating previous tasks. Deficits in set inhibition were also related to reduced accuracy and increased perseverative errors. Together, this study indicates that task performance deficits in shift work are complex and are variably impacted by different mechanisms. Future research may examine

  4. Measuring cognitive load: performance, mental effort and simulation task complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haji, Faizal A; Rojas, David; Childs, Ruth; de Ribaupierre, Sandrine; Dubrowski, Adam

    2015-08-01

    Interest in applying cognitive load theory in health care simulation is growing. This line of inquiry requires measures that are sensitive to changes in cognitive load arising from different instructional designs. Recently, mental effort ratings and secondary task performance have shown promise as measures of cognitive load in health care simulation. We investigate the sensitivity of these measures to predicted differences in intrinsic load arising from variations in task complexity and learner expertise during simulation-based surgical skills training. We randomly assigned 28 novice medical students to simulation training on a simple or complex surgical knot-tying task. Participants completed 13 practice trials, interspersed with computer-based video instruction. On trials 1, 5, 9 and 13, knot-tying performance was assessed using time and movement efficiency measures, and cognitive load was assessed using subjective rating of mental effort (SRME) and simple reaction time (SRT) on a vibrotactile stimulus-monitoring secondary task. Significant improvements in knot-tying performance (F(1.04,24.95)  = 41.1, p cognitive load (F(2.3,58.5)  = 57.7, p load among novices engaged in simulation-based learning. These measures can be used to track cognitive load during skills training. Mental effort ratings are also sensitive to small differences in intrinsic load arising from variations in the physical complexity of a simulation task. The complementary nature of these subjective and objective measures suggests their combined use is advantageous in simulation instructional design research. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Reduced Electromyographic Fatigue Threshold after Performing a Cognitive Fatiguing Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferris, Justine R; Tomlinson, Mary A; Ward, Tayler N; Pepin, Marie E; Malek, Moh H

    2018-02-22

    Cognitive fatigue tasks performed prior to exercise may reduce exercise capacity. The electromyographic fatigue threshold (EMGFT) is the highest exercise intensity that can be maintained without significant increase in the EMG amplitude versus time relationship. To date, no studies have examined the effect of cognitive fatigue on the estimation of the EMGFT. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to determine whether or not cognitive fatigue prior to performing exercise reduces the estimated EMGFT. Eight healthy college-aged men were recruited from a university student population and visited the laboratory on multiple occasions. In a randomized order, subjects performed either the cognitive fatigue task (AX Continuous Performance Test; AX-CPT) for 60 min on one visit (experimental condition) or watched a video on trains for 60 min on the other visit (control condition). After each condition, subjects performed the incremental single-leg knee-extensor ergometry test while the EMG amplitude was recorded from the rectus femoris muscle and heart rate was monitored throughout. Thereafter, the EMGFT was calculated for each participant for each visit and compared using paired samples t-test. For exercise outcomes, there were no significant mean differences for maximal power output between the two conditions (control: 51 ± 5 vs. fatigue: 50 ± 3 W), but a significant decrease in EMGFT between the two conditions (control: 31 ± 3 vs. fatigue: 24 ± 2 W; p = 0.013). Moreover, maximal heart rate was significantly different between the two conditions (control: 151 ± 5 vs. fatigue: 132 ± 6; p = 0.027). These results suggest that performing the cognitive fatiguing task reduces the EMGFT with a corresponding reduction in maximal heart rate response.

  6. Conservatism and liberalism predict performance in two nonideological cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernabel, Rodolpho Talaisys; Oliveira, Amâncio

    2017-01-01

    Intuitive thinking would argue that political or ideological orientation does not correlate with nonpolitical decisions, and certainly not with nonideological cognitive tasks. However, that is what happens in some cases. Previous neuropolitics studies have found that liberals are more adept at dealing with novel information than conservatives. This finding suggests that conservatives and liberals possess different cognitive skills. For the purposes of this article, two studies were executed to test whether this difference remained in alternative environmental settings. To this end, two novel cognitive tasks were designed in which one type of ideology or another was privileged according to the cognitive environment created by the tasks. Experimental findings indicate that liberals committed fewer errors than conservatives in one kind of cognitive environment, while conservatives scored higher in another.

  7. Cognitive task analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schraagen, J.M.C.

    2000-01-01

    Cognitive task analysis is defined as the extension of traditional task analysis techniques to yield information about the knowledge, thought processes and goal structures that underlie observable task performance. Cognitive task analyses are conducted for a wide variety of purposes, including the

  8. Cognitive and motor dual task gait training improve dual task gait performance after stroke - A randomized controlled pilot trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yan-Ci; Yang, Yea-Ru; Tsai, Yun-An; Wang, Ray-Yau

    2017-06-22

    This study investigated effects of cognitive and motor dual task gait training on dual task gait performance in stroke. Participants (n = 28) were randomly assigned to cognitive dual task gait training (CDTT), motor dual task gait training (MDTT), or conventional physical therapy (CPT) group. Participants in CDTT or MDTT group practiced the cognitive or motor tasks respectively during walking. Participants in CPT group received strengthening, balance, and gait training. The intervention was 30 min/session, 3 sessions/week for 4 weeks. Three test conditions to evaluate the training effects were single walking, walking while performing cognitive task (serial subtraction), and walking while performing motor task (tray-carrying). Parameters included gait speed, dual task cost of gait speed (DTC-speed), cadence, stride time, and stride length. After CDTT, cognitive-motor dual task gait performance (stride length and DTC-speed) was improved (p = 0.021; p = 0.015). After MDTT, motor dual task gait performance (gait speed, stride length, and DTC-speed) was improved (p = 0.008; p = 0.008; p = 0.008 respectively). It seems that CDTT improved cognitive dual task gait performance and MDTT improved motor dual task gait performance although such improvements did not reach significant group difference. Therefore, different types of dual task gait training can be adopted to enhance different dual task gait performance in stroke.

  9. Children's Sleep, Sleepiness, and Performance on Cognitive Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckhalt, Joseph A

    2011-01-01

    While causal connections between sleep deprivation and attention, learning, and memory have been well established in adults, much less research has been done with children. Relations between the amount and quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness have been found for a number of cognitive and academic tasks in several groups of children. These relations have been found for children who have sleep disorders, for children with disorders involving cognitive impairment, and for typically developing children with no known disorders. The research is reviewed here with a focus on the types of cognitive and academic tasks that have been related to insufficient sleep. A series of studies is described that relates sleep parameters to the Woodcock-Johnson® III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and other, similar measures. Implications for educators and psychologists who work with children are discussed.

  10. Children's Sleep, Sleepiness, and Performance on Cognitive Tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Buckhalt, Joseph A.

    2011-01-01

    While causal connections between sleep deprivation and attention, learning, and memory have been well established in adults, much less research has been done with children. Relations between the amount and quality of sleep and daytime sleepiness have been found for a number of cognitive and academic tasks in several groups of children. These relations have been found for children who have sleep disorders, for children with disorders involving cognitive impairment, and for typically developing...

  11. Age-related neural correlates of cognitive task performance under increased postural load

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Impe, A; Bruijn, S M; Coxon, J P; Wenderoth, N; Sunaert, S; Duysens, J; Swinnen, S P

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral studies suggest that postural control requires increased cognitive control and visuospatial processing with aging. Consequently, performance can decline when concurrently performing a postural and a demanding cognitive task. We aimed to identify the neural substrate underlying this

  12. Individual Differences in Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities and Team Performance in Dynamic Task Environments

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Doane, Stephanie

    2004-01-01

    The specific goal of this research was to examine the role of individual differences in cognitive and non-cognitive abilities on individual and team performance in a real-time dynamic team-task environment...

  13. The Effects of Distraction on Cognitive Task Performance during Toddlerhood

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    Wyss, Nancy M.; Kannass, Kathleen N.; Haden, Catherine A.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effects of distraction on attention and task performance during toddlerhood. Thirty toddlers (24- to 26-month-olds) completed different tasks (2 of each: categorization, problem solving, memory, free play) in one of two conditions: No Distraction or Distraction. The results revealed that the distractor had varying effects on…

  14. Roles of Working Memory Performance and Instructional Strategy in Complex Cognitive Task Performance

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    Cevik, V.; Altun, A.

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to investigate how working memory (WM) performances and instructional strategy choices affect learners' complex cognitive task performance in online environments. Three different e-learning environments were designed based on Merrill's (2006a) model of instructional strategies. The lack of experimental research on his framework is…

  15. Very low birth weight piglets show improved cognitive performance in the spatial cognitive holeboard task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra eAntonides

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Low birth weight (LBW is common in humans and has been found to cause lasting cognitive and developmental deficits later in life. It is thought that the primary cause is intra-uterine growth restriction due to a shortage of oxygen and nutrients supply to the fetus. Pigs appear to be a good model animal to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW, as LBW is common in commercially farmed breeds of pigs. Moreover, pigs are developmentally similar to humans and can be trained to perform complex tasks. In this study, we trained ten very low birth weight (vLBW piglets and their ten normal birth weight (NBW siblings in a spatial cognitive holeboard task in order to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW. In this task, four out of sixteen holes contain a hidden food reward, which allows measuring working memory (short-term and reference memory (long-term in parallel. Piglets were trained for 46-54 trials during the acquisition phase, followed by a 20-trial reversal phase in which a different set of four holes was baited. Both groups acquired the task and improved their performance over time. A mixed model repeated measures ANOVA revealed that vLBW piglets showed a better reference memory performance than NBW piglets in both the acquisition and reversal phase. Additionally, the vLBW piglets fell back less in working memory scores than the NBW animals when switched to the reversal phase. These findings are contrary to findings in humans. Moreover, vLBW pigs had lower hair cortisol concentrations than NBW pigs in flank hair at 12 weeks of age. These results could indicate that restricted intra-uterine growth causes compensatory mechanisms to arise in early development that result in beneficial effects for vLBW piglets, increasing their low survival chances in early-life competition.

  16. Very low birth weight piglets show improved cognitive performance in the spatial cognitive holeboard task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonides, Alexandra; Schoonderwoerd, Anne C; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2015-01-01

    Low birth weight (LBW) is common in humans and has been found to cause lasting cognitive and developmental deficits later in life. It is thought that the primary cause is intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR) due to a shortage of oxygen and supply of nutrients to the fetus. Pigs appear to be a good model animal to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW, as LBW is common in commercially farmed breeds of pigs. Moreover, pigs are developmentally similar to humans and can be trained to perform complex tasks. In this study, we trained ten very low birth weight (vLBW) piglets and their ten normal birth weight (NBW) siblings in a spatial cognitive holeboard task in order to investigate long-term cognitive effects of LBW. In this task, four out of sixteen holes contain a hidden food reward, which allows measuring working memory (WM) (short-term memory) and reference memory (RM) (long-term memory) in parallel. Piglets were trained for 46-54 trials during the acquisition phase, followed by a 20-trial reversal phase in which a different set of four holes was baited. Both groups acquired the task and improved their performance over time. A mixed model repeated measures ANOVA revealed that vLBW piglets showed better RM performance than NBW piglets in both the acquisition and reversal phase. Additionally, WM scores in the vLBW were less disrupted than in the NBW animals when switched to the reversal phase. These findings are contrary to findings in humans. Moreover, vLBW pigs had lower hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) than NBW pigs in flank hair at 12 weeks of age. These results could indicate that restricted intra-uterine growth causes compensatory mechanisms to arise in early development that result in beneficial effects for vLBW piglets, increasing their low survival chances in early-life competition.

  17. Children's mathematical performance: five cognitive tasks across five grades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Alex M; Ashcraft, Mark H

    2015-07-01

    Children in elementary school, along with college adults, were tested on a battery of basic mathematical tasks, including digit naming, number comparison, dot enumeration, and simple addition or subtraction. Beyond cataloguing performance to these standard tasks in Grades 1 to 5, we also examined relationships among the tasks, including previously reported results on a number line estimation task. Accuracy and latency improved across grades for all tasks, and classic interaction patterns were found, for example, a speed-up of subitizing and counting, increasingly shallow slopes in number comparison, and progressive speeding of responses especially to larger addition and subtraction problems. Surprisingly, digit naming was faster than subitizing at all ages, arguing against a pre-attentive processing explanation for subitizing. Estimation accuracy and speed were strong predictors of children's addition and subtraction performance. Children who gave exponential responses on the number line estimation task were slower at counting in the dot enumeration task and had longer latencies on addition and subtraction problems. The results provided further support for the importance of estimation as an indicator of children's current and future mathematical expertise. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Cognitive Load Theory: An Empirical Study of Anxiety and Task Performance in Language Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, I-Jung; Chang, Chi-Cheng

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: This study explores the relationship among three variables--cognitive load, foreign language anxiety, and task performance. Cognitive load refers to the load imposed on working memory while performing a particular task. The authors hypothesized that anxiety consumes the resources of working memory, leaving less capacity for cognitive…

  19. The effect of caffeine on cognitive task performance and motor fatigue

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Duinen, Hiske; Lorist, Monicque M.; Zijdewind, Inge

    Rationale: In everyday life, people are usually capable of performing two tasks simultaneously. However, in a previous study we showed that during a fatiguing motor task, cognitive performance declined progressively. There is extensive literature on the ( positive) effects of caffeine on cognitive

  20. Context-Sensitive Adjustment of Cognitive Control in Dual-Task Performance

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    Fischer, Rico; Gottschalk, Caroline; Dreisbach, Gesine

    2014-01-01

    Performing 2 highly similar tasks at the same time requires an adaptive regulation of cognitive control to shield prioritized primary task processing from between-task (cross-talk) interference caused by secondary task processing. In the present study, the authors investigated how implicitly and explicitly delivered information promotes the…

  1. System structure and cognitive ability as predictors of performance in dynamic system control tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Hundertmark

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In dynamic system control, cognitive mechanisms and abilities underlying performance may vary depending on the nature of the task. We therefore investigated the effects of system structure and its interaction with cognitive abilities on system control performance. A sample of 127 university students completed a series of different system control tasks that were manipulated in terms of system size and recurrent feedback, either with or without a cognitive load manipulation. Cognitive abilities assessed included reasoning ability, working memory capacity, and cognitive reflection. System size and recurrent feedback affected overall performance as expected. Overall, the results support that cognitive ability is a good predictor of performance in dynamic system control tasks but predictiveness is reduced when the system structure contains recurrent feedback. We discuss this finding from a cognitive processing perspective as well as its implications for individual differences research in dynamic systems.

  2. Age-related decrements in dual-task performance: Comparison of different mobility and cognitive tasks. A cross sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brustio, Paolo Riccardo; Magistro, Daniele; Zecca, Massimiliano; Rabaglietti, Emanuela; Liubicich, Monica Emma

    2017-01-01

    This cross-sectional study investigated the age-related differences in dual-task performance both in mobility and cognitive tasks and the additive dual-task costs in a sample of older, middle-aged and young adults. 74 older adults (M = 72.63±5.57 years), 58 middle-aged adults (M = 46.69±4.68 years) and 63 young adults (M = 25.34±3.00 years) participated in the study. Participants performed different mobility and subtraction tasks under both single- and dual-task conditions. Linear regressions, repeated-measures and one-way analyses of covariance were used, The results showed: significant effects of the age on the dual and mobility tasks (ptask costs (pperformance under dual-task conditions in all groups (pperformance in the older group (ptask activity affected mobility and cognitive performance, especially in older adults who showed a higher dual-task cost, suggesting that dual-tasks activities are affected by the age and consequently also mobility and cognitive tasks are negatively influenced.

  3. Effects of Cognitive Demand on Situational Interest and Running Task Performances

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    Zhu, Xihe; Chen, Senlin

    2017-01-01

    This study examined the effect of cognitive demand on situational interest and performance using running tasks in physical education. Adolescents (N = 179) participated in a field study involving three different levels of cognitive demand. Running performances and situational interest were measured four times with a testing interval of seven days.…

  4. Relationship between Age Cognitive Decline and Performance of Cognitive Motor Tasks in Seniors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Mudrák

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Relationship between Age Cognitive Decline and Performance of Cognitive Motor Tasks in Seniors Relationship between the age-related cognitive decline and decline in cognitive processing speed, in a variety of cognitive motor tasks was examined. The sample consisted of 33 well-adjusted older adults (on average 68 years old, recruited from several physical activity programs. The participants performed five cognitive tests selected from the Vienna test system battery. Subsequently, the relationship of their age and the measures of cognitive function was analyzed. It was found that the age of respondents was related only to their performance in complex tasks which included a processing speed component. The participant’s performance in simple tasks and in measures unaffected by processing speed was unrelated to age. Results are consistent with the processing speed theory of adult age differences in cognition (Salthouse, 1996. Furthermore, the performance in complex cognitive tasks was influenced by the level of participation in leisure physical activities; this suggests that physically active lifestyle may limit the impact of age on cognitive function. Stárnutí a rychlost zpracování kognitivních funkcí V předkládáné studii se zabýváme některými aspekty věkem podmíněného úbytku kognitivních funkcí. Konkrétně zkoumáme předpoklady vycházející z teorie rychlosti zpracování (Salthouse, 1996 týkající se toho, že věkem podmíněný pokles kognitivních funkcí je dán především poklesem rychlosti kognitivních procesů, což se projevuje především u komplexních kognitivních úkolů. Vzorek v naší studii se skládal z 33 seniorů a seniorek (průměrný věk byl 68 let, které jsme oslovili prostřednictvím několika programů pro seniory. Respondenti byli testováni prostřednictvím pěti testů kognitivních funkcí, které jsme vybrali z testové baterie Vienna test systém. Následně jsme analyzovali

  5. The cognitive complexity of concurrent cognitive-motor tasks reveals age-related deficits in motor performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oliveira, Anderson Souza; Reiche, Mikkel Staall; Vinescu, Cristina Ioana

    2018-01-01

    Aging reduces cognitive functions, and such impairments have implications in mental and motor performance. Cognitive function has been recently linked to the risk of falls in older adults. Physical activities have been used to attenuate the declines in cognitive functions and reduce fall incidence......, but little is known whether a physically active lifestyle can maintain physical performance under cognitively demanding conditions. The aim of this study was to verify whether physically active older adults present similar performance deficits during upper limb response time and precision stepping walking...... tasks when compared to younger adults. Both upper limb and walking tasks involved simple and complex cognitive demands through decision-making. For both tasks, decision-making was assessed by including a distracting factor to the execution. The results showed that older adults were substantially slower...

  6. Dual-task performance involving hand dexterity and cognitive tasks and daily functioning in people with schizophrenia: a pilot study.

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    Lin, Keh-chung; Wu, Yi-fang; Chen, I-chen; Tsai, Pei-luen; Wu, Ching-yi; Chen, Chia-ling

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated separate and concurrent performance on cognitive and hand dexterity tasks and the relationship to daily functioning in 16 people with schizophrenia and 16 healthy control participants. Participants performed the Purdue Pegboard Test and the Serial Seven Subtraction Test under single- and dual-task conditions and completed two daily functioning evaluations. The hand dexterity of all participants declined in the dual-task condition, but the discrepancy between single-task and dual-task hand dexterity was greater in the schizophrenia group than in the control group (p.70, for all). The extent of discrepancy in hand dexterity was negatively correlated with daily functioning in the schizophrenia group (rs=-.3 to -.5, ps=.04-.26). Ability to perform dual tasks may be an indicator of daily functioning in people with schizophrenia. Use of dual-task training may be considered as a therapeutic activity with these clients. Copyright © 2015 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

  7. Associations between physical function, dual-task performance and cognition in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobol, Nanna Aue; Hoffmann, Kristine; Vogel, Asmus; Lolk, Annette; Gottrup, Hanne; Høgh, Peter; Hasselbalch, Steen G; Beyer, Nina

    2016-11-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) causes a gradual decline in cognition, limitations of dual-tasking and physical function leading to total dependence. Hence, information about the interaction between physical function, dual-task performance and cognition may lead to new treatment strategies with the purpose of preserving function and quality of life. The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between physical function, dual-task performance and cognition in community-dwelling patients with mild AD. Baseline results from 185 participants (50-90 years old) in the single blinded multicenter RCT 'ADEX' (Alzheimer's disease: the effect of physical exercise) were used. Assessments included tests of physical function: 400-m walk test, 10-m walk test, Timed Up and Go test and 30-s chair stand test; dual-task performance, i.e., 10-m walk while counting backwards from 50 or naming the months backwards; and cognition, i.e., Mini Mental State Examination, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, the Stroop Color and Word Test, and Lexical verbal fluency test. Results in the 30-s chair stand test correlated significantly with all tests of cognition (r = .208-.242) while the other physical function tests only randomly correlated with tests of cognition. Results in the dual-task counting backwards correlated significantly with results in all tests of cognition (r = .259-.388), which accounted for 7%-15% of the variation indicating that a faster time to complete dual-task performance was associated with better cognitive performance. The evidence of the associations between physical function, dual-task performance and cognition is important when creating new rehabilitation interventions to patients with mild AD.

  8. Motor-cognitive dual-task performance: effects of a concurrent motor task on distinct components of visual processing capacity.

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    Künstler, E C S; Finke, K; Günther, A; Klingner, C; Witte, O; Bublak, P

    2018-01-01

    Dual tasking, or the simultaneous execution of two continuous tasks, is frequently associated with a performance decline that can be explained within a capacity sharing framework. In this study, we assessed the effects of a concurrent motor task on the efficiency of visual information uptake based on the 'theory of visual attention' (TVA). TVA provides parameter estimates reflecting distinct components of visual processing capacity: perceptual threshold, visual processing speed, and visual short-term memory (VSTM) storage capacity. Moreover, goodness-of-fit values and bootstrapping estimates were derived to test whether the TVA-model is validly applicable also under dual task conditions, and whether the robustness of parameter estimates is comparable in single- and dual-task conditions. 24 subjects of middle to higher age performed a continuous tapping task, and a visual processing task (whole report of briefly presented letter arrays) under both single- and dual-task conditions. Results suggest a decline of both visual processing capacity and VSTM storage capacity under dual-task conditions, while the perceptual threshold remained unaffected by a concurrent motor task. In addition, goodness-of-fit values and bootstrapping estimates support the notion that participants processed the visual task in a qualitatively comparable, although quantitatively less efficient way under dual-task conditions. The results support a capacity sharing account of motor-cognitive dual tasking and suggest that even performing a relatively simple motor task relies on central attentional capacity that is necessary for efficient visual information uptake.

  9. Exploring the Relationship of Task Performance and Physical and Cognitive Fatigue During a Daylong Light Precision Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Marcus; Manji, Rahim; Wells, Richard P

    2017-11-01

    Our aim was to explore the relationship between fatigue and operation system performance during a simulated light precision task over an 8-hr period using a battery of physical (central and peripheral) and cognitive measures. Fatigue may play an important role in the relationship between poor ergonomics and deficits in quality and productivity. However, well-controlled laboratory studies in this area have several limitations, including the lack of work relevance of fatigue exposures and lack of both physical and cognitive measures. There remains a need to understand the relationship between physical and cognitive fatigue and task performance at exposure levels relevant to realistic production or light precision work. Errors and fatigue measures were tracked over the course of a micropipetting task. Fatigue responses from 10 measures and errors in pipetting technique, precision, and targeting were submitted to principal component analysis to descriptively analyze features and patterns. Fatigue responses and error rates contributed to three principal components (PCs), accounting for 50.9% of total variance. Fatigue responses grouped within the three PCs reflected central and peripheral upper extremity fatigue, postural sway, and changes in oculomotor behavior. In an 8-hr light precision task, error rates shared similar patterns to both physical and cognitive fatigue responses, and/or increases in arousal level. The findings provide insight toward the relationship between fatigue and operation system performance (e.g., errors). This study contributes to a body of literature documenting task errors and fatigue, reflecting physical (both central and peripheral) and cognitive processes.

  10. Observing prioritization effects on cognition and gait: The effect of increased cognitive load on cognitively healthy older adults' dual-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maclean, Linda M; Brown, Laura J E; Khadra, H; Astell, Arlene J

    2017-03-01

    Previous studies exploring the effects of attention-prioritization on cognitively healthy older adults' gait and cognitive dual task (DT) performance have shown DT cost in gait outcomes but inconsistent effects on cognitive performance, which may reflect task difficulty (the cognitive load). This study aimed to identify whether changing the cognitive load during a walking and counting DT improved the challenge/sensitivity of the cognitive task to observe prioritization effects on concurrent gait and cognitive performance outcomes. Seventy-two cognitively healthy older adults (Mean=73years) walked 15m, counted backwards in 3s and 7s as single tasks (ST), and concurrently walked and counted backwards as DTs. Attention-prioritization was examined in Prioritizing Walking (PW) and Prioritizing Counting (PC) DT conditions. Dual-task performance costs (DTC) were calculated for number of correct cognitive responses (CCR) in the counting tasks, and step-time variability and velocity in the gait task. All DT conditions showed a benefit (DTB) for cognitive outcomes with trade-off cost to gait. In the Serial 3s task, the cognitive DTBs increased in PC over the PW condition (p<0.05), with a greater cost to walking velocity (p<0.05). DT effects were more pronounced in the Serial 7s with a lower cognitive DTB when PC than when PW, (p<0.05) with no trade-off increase in cost to gait outcomes (p<0.05). The findings suggest that increased cognitive load during a gait and cognitive DT produces more pronounced gait measures of attention-prioritization in cognitively healthy older adults. A cognitive load effect was also observed in the cognitive outcomes, with unexpected results. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Dual-Task Performance: Influence of Frailty, Level of Physical Activity, and Cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusti Rossi, Paulo; Pires de Andrade, Larissa; Hotta Ansai, Juliana; Silva Farche, Ana Claudia; Carnaz, Leticia; Dalpubel, Daniela; Ferriolli, Eduardo; Assis Carvalho Vale, Francisco; de Medeiros Takahashi, Anielle Cristhine

    2018-03-08

    Cognition and level of physical activity have been associated with frailty syndrome. The development of tools that assess deficits related to physical and cognitive frailties simultaneously are of common interest. However, little is known about how much these aspects influence the performance of dual-task tests. Our aims were (a) to verify the influence of frailty syndrome and objectively measured physical activity and cognition on the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test and Timed Up and Go associated with dual-task (TUG-DT) performances; and (b) to compare TUG and TUG-DT performances between older adults who develop frailty syndrome. Sixty-four community-dwelling older adults were divided into frail, prefrail, and nonfrail groups, according to frailty phenotype. Assessments included anamnesis, screening of frailty syndrome, cognitive assessment (Addenbrooke's cognitive examination), placement of a triaxial accelerometer to assess level of physical activity, and TUG and TUG-DT (TUG associated with a motor-cognitive task of calling a phone number) performances. After 7 days, the accelerometer was removed. A multiple linear regression was applied to identify which independent variables could explain performances in the TUG and TUG-DT. Subsequently, the analysis of covariance test, adjusted for age, cognition, and level of physical activity covariates, was used to compare test performances. There were no differences in cognition between groups. Significant differences in the level of physical activity were found in the frail group. Compared with the frail group, the nonfrail group required less time and fewer steps to complete the TUG. Regarding the TUG-DT, cognition and age influenced the time spent and number of steps, respectively; however, no differences were found between groups. Frail older adults presented worse performance in the TUG when compared with nonfrail older adults. The dual-task test does not differentiate older adults with frailty syndrome, regardless of

  12. Cognitive performance on Piagetian tasks by Alzheimer's disease patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornbury, J M

    1992-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine cognitive abilities in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients using Piaget's child developmental theory. Thirty elderly AD patients and 30 elderly control subjects were given two traditional Piagetian measures, the Infant Psychological Development Scale and the Concrete Operations Test. Half of the AD subjects (15) were in Piaget's sensorimotor or preoperational stages, while the remaining half of the AD subjects and all elderly control subjects were in Piaget's concrete operational stage, chi 2 [1, N = 60] = 17.42, p less than .001. If subsequent studies confirm that AD patients' cognitive characteristics are similar to Piaget's theoretical model, nursing care might be individualized based on mental competence, thus minimizing the commonly observed caregiver overestimation and underestimation of the AD patient's ability to understand and cooperate.

  13. Relationships among gender, cognitive style, academic major, and performance on the Piaget water-level task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, R E; Hoffer, N; King, W L

    1995-06-01

    Many researchers have found that more college-age adults than would be expected fail Piaget's water-level task, with women failing more frequently than men. It has been hypothesized that differences in cognitive style may account for performance differences on the water-level task. In the present study, 27 male and 27 female architectural students and 27 male and 27 female liberal-arts students were assessed for their performance on both Piaget's Water-level Task and Witkin's Group Embedded Figures Test. No difference was found in performance of male and female architectural students on either task, but male liberal-arts students scored significantly higher than female liberal-arts students on both measures. A disembedding cognitive style predicted success on the water-level task for the architectural students but not for the liberal arts students.

  14. Effects of dual task difficulty in motor and cognitive performance: Differences between adults and adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustillo-Casero, Pilar; Villarrasa-Sapiña, Israel; García-Massó, Xavier

    2017-10-01

    In the present study our aim was to compare dual-task performance in thirteen adolescents and fifteen young adults while concurrently performing a cognitive and a motor task. The postural control variables were obtained under three different conditions: i) bipedal stance, ii) tandem stance and iii) unipedal stance. The cognitive task consisted of a backward digit span test in which the participants were asked to memorize a sequence of numbers and then repeat the number in reverse order at three different difficulty levels (i.e. with 3, 4 and 5 digits). The difficulty of the cognitive task was seen to have different effects on adolescents and young adults. Adolescents seem to prioritize postural control during high difficulty postural conditions while a cross-domain competition model appeared in easy postural conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Task-relevant cognitive and motor functions are prioritized during prolonged speed-accuracy motor task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solianik, Rima; Satas, Andrius; Mickeviciene, Dalia; Cekanauskaite, Agne; Valanciene, Dovile; Majauskiene, Daiva; Skurvydas, Albertas

    2018-06-01

    This study aimed to explore the effect of prolonged speed-accuracy motor task on the indicators of psychological, cognitive, psychomotor and motor function. Ten young men aged 21.1 ± 1.0 years performed a fast- and accurate-reaching movement task and a control task. Both tasks were performed for 2 h. Despite decreased motivation, and increased perception of effort as well as subjective feeling of fatigue, speed-accuracy motor task performance improved during the whole period of task execution. After the motor task, the increased working memory function and prefrontal cortex oxygenation at rest and during conflict detection, and the decreased efficiency of incorrect response inhibition and visuomotor tracking were observed. The speed-accuracy motor task increased the amplitude of motor-evoked potentials, while grip strength was not affected. These findings demonstrate that to sustain the performance of 2-h speed-accuracy task under conditions of self-reported fatigue, task-relevant functions are maintained or even improved, whereas less critical functions are impaired.

  16. Blue or red? Exploring the effect of color on cognitive task performances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Ravi; Zhu, Rui Juliet

    2009-02-27

    Existing research reports inconsistent findings with regard to the effect of color on cognitive task performances. Some research suggests that blue or green leads to better performances than red; other studies record the opposite. Current work reconciles this discrepancy. We demonstrate that red (versus blue) color induces primarily an avoidance (versus approach) motivation (study 1, n = 69) and that red enhances performance on a detail-oriented task, whereas blue enhances performance on a creative task (studies 2 and 3, n = 208 and 118). Further, we replicate these results in the domains of product design (study 4, n = 42) and persuasive message evaluation (study 5, n = 161) and show that these effects occur outside of individuals' consciousness (study 6, n = 68). We also provide process evidence suggesting that the activation of alternative motivations mediates the effect of color on cognitive task performances.

  17. Effects of cognitive appraisal and mental workload factors on performance in an arithmetic task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galy, Edith; Mélan, Claudine

    2015-12-01

    We showed in a previous study an additive interaction between intrinsic and extraneous cognitive loads and of participants' alertness in an 1-back working memory task. The interaction between intrinsic and extraneous cognitive loads was only observed when participants' alertness was low (i.e. in the morning). As alertness is known to reflect an individual's general functional state, we suggested that the working memory capacity available for germane cognitive load depends on a participant's functional state, in addition to intrinsic and extraneous loads induced by the task and task conditions. The relationships between the different load types and their assessment by specific load measures gave rise to a modified cognitive load model. The aim of the present study was to complete the model by determining to what extent and at what processing level an individual's characteristics intervene in order to implement efficient strategies in a working memory task. Therefore, the study explored participants' cognitive appraisal of the situation in addition to the load factors considered previously-task difficulty, time pressure and alertness. Each participant performed a mental arithmetic task in four different cognitive load conditions (crossover of two task difficulty conditions and of two time pressure conditions), both while their alertness was low (9 a.m.) and high (4 p.m.). Results confirmed an additive effect of task difficulty and time pressure, previously reported in the 1-back memory task, thereby lending further support to the modified cognitive load model. Further, in the high intrinsic and extraneous load condition, performance was reduced on the morning session (i.e. when alertness was low) on one hand, and in those participants' having a threat appraisal of the situation on the other hand. When these factors were included into the analysis, a performance drop occurred in the morning irrespective of cognitive appraisal, and with threat appraisal in the

  18. Differential effects of emotionally versus neutrally cued autobiographical memories on performance of a subsequent cognitive task: Effects of task difficulty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kymberly eYoung

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Attention is a limited resource, and in order to improve processing of the attended information, competing processes must be suppressed. Although it is well established that an experimentally induced change in mood state comprises one type of competing process that can impair performance on a subsequent task, no study has investigated whether an emotionally valenced autobiographical memory (AM also can alter performance on a subsequent task. We therefore examined the effects of AM recall on cognitive performance. Healthy participants (n=20 per experiment recalled AMs in response to positive, negative, and neutral cue words. Following each AM participants completed a simple perceptual task (Experiment 1 or solved moderately difficult subtraction problems (Experiment 2. In Experiment 1 participants performed less accurately following exposure to positive or negative versus neutral cue words (ps<0.001, and also were less accurate following negative versus positive cue words (p<0.001. In Experiment 2, in contrast, no difference in accuracy or response times reached statistical significance. Performance accuracy even trended towards being higher following exposure to negative versus neutral cue words (p=0.08. The results of Experiment 1 suggested that recalling emotionally salient AMs reduces the attention directed toward a simple continuous performance task administered immediately following the AM task, conceivably due to persistent contemplation of the AM. The negative results of Experiment 2 suggested that the effect of AMs on attention was attenuated, however, by increasing the difficulty of the subsequent task. Our results have implications for patients with MDD, as performing cognitively demanding tasks may allow them to attenuate the impairing effects of negative rumination on cognition.

  19. Methylphenidate decreased the amount of glucose needed by the brain to perform a cognitive task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora D Volkow

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available The use of stimulants (methylphenidate and amphetamine as cognitive enhancers by the general public is increasing and is controversial. It is still unclear how they work or why they improve performance in some individuals but impair it in others. To test the hypothesis that stimulants enhance signal to noise ratio of neuronal activity and thereby reduce cerebral activity by increasing efficiency, we measured the effects of methylphenidate on brain glucose utilization in healthy adults. We measured brain glucose metabolism (using Positron Emission Tomography and 2-deoxy-2[18F]fluoro-D-glucose in 23 healthy adults who were tested at baseline and while performing an accuracy-controlled cognitive task (numerical calculations given with and without methylphenidate (20 mg, oral. Sixteen subjects underwent a fourth scan with methylphenidate but without cognitive stimulation. Compared to placebo methylphenidate significantly reduced the amount of glucose utilized by the brain when performing the cognitive task but methylphenidate did not affect brain metabolism when given without cognitive stimulation. Whole brain metabolism when the cognitive task was given with placebo increased 21% whereas with methylphenidate it increased 11% (50% less. This reflected both a decrease in magnitude of activation and in the regions activated by the task. Methylphenidate's reduction of the metabolic increases in regions from the default network (implicated in mind-wandering was associated with improvement in performance only in subjects who activated these regions when the cognitive task was given with placebo. These results corroborate prior findings that stimulant medications reduced the magnitude of regional activation to a task and in addition document a "focusing" of the activation. This effect may be beneficial when neuronal resources are diverted (i.e., mind-wandering or impaired (i.e., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but it could be detrimental when

  20. Performances on a cognitive theory of mind task: specific decline or general cognitive deficits? Evidence from normal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fliss, Rafika; Lemerre, Marion; Mollard, Audrey

    2016-06-01

    Compromised theory of mind (ToM) can be explained either by a failure to implement specific representational capacities (mental state representations) or by more general executive selection demands. In older adult populations, evidence supporting affected executive functioning and cognitive ToM in normal aging are reported. However, links between these two functions remain unclear. In the present paper, we address these shortcomings by using a specific task of ToM and classical executive tasks. We studied, using an original cognitive ToM task, the effect of age on ToM performances, in link with the progressive executive decline. 96 elderly participants were recruited. They were asked to perform a cognitive ToM task, and 5 executive tests (Stroop test and Hayling Sentence Completion Test to appreciate inhibitory process, Trail Making Test and Verbal Fluency for shifting assessment and backward span dedicated to estimate working memory capacity). The results show changes in cognitive ToM performance according to executive demands. Correlational studies indicate a significant relationship between ToM performance and the selected executive measures. Regression analyzes demonstrates that level of vocabulary and age as the best predictors of ToM performance. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that ToM deficits are related to age-related domain-general decline rather than as to a breakdown in specialized representational system. The implications of these findings for the nature of social cognition tests in normal aging are also discussed.

  1. Mutual interaction effects between discomfort and cognitive task performance in clothing systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartog, E.A. den; Koerhuis, C.L.

    2016-01-01

    The focus of this study was to establish a relationship between physical discomfort and performance. Eleven healthy male subjects participated in this pilot study. The subjects performed a 2-h protocol without and with significant thermal and mechanical discomfort. Various cognitive tasks were

  2. Gait and Cognition in Parkinson’s Disease: Cognitive Impairment Is Inadequately Reflected by Gait Performance during Dual Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heiko Gaßner

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available IntroductionCognitive and gait deficits are common symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD. Motor-cognitive dual tasks (DTs are used to explore the interplay between gait and cognition. However, it is unclear if DT gait performance is indicative for cognitive impairment. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate if cognitive deficits are reflected by DT costs of spatiotemporal gait parameters.MethodsCognitive function, single task (ST and DT gait performance were investigated in 67 PD patients. Cognition was assessed by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA followed by a standardized, sensor-based gait test and the identical gait test while subtracting serial 3’s. Cognitive impairment was defined by a MoCA score <26. DT costs in gait parameters [(DT − ST/ST × 100] were calculated as a measure of DT effect on gait. Correlation analysis was used to evaluate the association between MoCA performance and gait parameters. In a linear regression model, DT gait costs and clinical confounders (age, gender, disease duration, motor impairment, medication, and depression were correlated to cognitive performance. In a subgroup analysis, we compared matched groups of cognitively impaired and unimpaired PD patients regarding differences in ST, DT, and DT gait costs.ResultsCorrelation analysis revealed weak correlations between MoCA score and DT costs of gait parameters (r/rSp ≤ 0.3. DT costs of stride length, swing time variability, and maximum toe clearance (|r/rSp| > 0.2 were included in a regression analysis. The parameters only explain 8% of the cognitive variance. In combination with clinical confounders, regression analysis showed that these gait parameters explained 30% of MoCA performance. Group comparison revealed strong DT effects within both groups (large effect sizes, but significant between-group effects in DT gait costs were not observed.ConclusionThese findings suggest that DT gait performance is not indicative

  3. Effects of the Addition of a Dual Task to a Supervised Physical Exercise Program on Older Adults' Cognitive Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansai, Juliana Hotta; de Andrade, Larissa Pires; de Souza Buto, Marcele Stephanie; de Vassimon Barroso, Verena; Farche, Ana Claudia Silva; Rossi, Paulo Giusti; de Medeiros Takahashi, Anielle Cristhine

    2017-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the addition of a dual task to multicomponent training on cognition of active older adults. Eighty physically active older adults were divided into an intervention group (IG) and a control group (CG). Both groups performed multicomponent training over 12 weeks. The IG simultaneously performed exercises and cognitive tasks. The Mini-Mental State Examination, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and the Clock Drawing Test were used for cognitive assessments. The Timed Up and Go Test associated with a cognitive task was used for dual-task assessment. Significant interactions were not observed between groups in terms of the cognitive variables or the dual-task performance. An interaction was observed only for Timed Up and Go Test performance, which was better in the CG than in the IG. Active older adults showed no improvement in cognition following the addition of the dual task to the multicomponent training.

  4. Cognitive demand of human sensorimotor performance during an extended space mission: a dual-task study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Otmar; Weigelt, Cornelia; Bloomberg, Jacob J

    2010-09-01

    Two previous single-case studies found that the dual-task costs of manual tracking plus memory search increased during a space mission, and concluded that sensorimotor deficits during spaceflight may be related to cognitive overload. Since dual-task costs were insensitive to the difficulty of memory search, the authors argued that the overload may reflect stress-related problems of multitasking, rather than a scarcity of specific cognitive resources. Here we expand the available database and compare different types of concurrent task. Three subjects were repeatedly tested before, during, and after an extended mission on the International Space Station (ISS). They performed an unstable tracking task and four reaction-time tasks, both separately and concurrently. Inflight data could only be obtained during later parts of the mission. The tracking error increased from pre- to in flight by a factor of about 2, both under single- and dual-task conditions. The dual-task costs with a reaction-time task requiring rhythm production was 2.4 times higher than with a reaction-time task requiring visuo-spatial transformations, and 8 times higher than with a regular choice reaction-time task. Long-term sensorimotor deficits during spaceflight may reflect not only stress, but also a scarcity of resources related to complex motor programming; possibly those resources are tied up by sensorimotor adaptation to the space environment.

  5. Characterization of cognitive and motor performance during dual-tasking in healthy older adults and patients with Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Lucia Bartmann; de Lima, Daiane Borba; Balardin, Joana Bisol; Rizzi, Luana; Giacobbo, Bruno Lima; Oliveira, Henrique Bianchi; de Lima Argimon, Irani Iracema; Peyré-Tartaruga, Leonardo Alexandre; Rieder, Carlos R M; Bromberg, Elke

    2013-02-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of dual-tasking on cognitive performance and gait parameters in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD) without dementia. The impact of cognitive task complexity on cognition and walking was also examined. Eighteen patients with PD (ages 53-88, 10 women; Hoehn and Yahr stage I-II) and 18 older adults (ages 61-84; 10 women) completed two neuropsychological measures of executive function/attention (the Stroop Test and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test). Cognitive performance and gait parameters related to functional mobility of stride were measured under single (cognitive task only) and dual-task (cognitive task during walking) conditions with different levels of difficulty and different types of stimuli. In addition, dual-task cognitive costs were calculated. Although cognitive performance showed no significant difference between controls and PD patients during single or dual-tasking conditions, only the patients had a decrease in cognitive performance during walking. Gait parameters of patients differed significantly from controls at single and dual-task conditions, indicating that patients gave priority to gait while cognitive performance suffered. Dual-task cognitive costs of patients increased with task complexity, reaching significantly higher values then controls in the arithmetic task, which was correlated with scores on executive function/attention (Stroop Color-Word Page). Baseline motor functioning and task executive/attentional load affect the performance of cognitive tasks of PD patients while walking. These findings provide insight into the functional strategies used by PD patients in the initial phases of the disease to manage dual-task interference.

  6. A comparison of the effects of a secondary task and lorazepam on cognitive performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    File, S E

    1992-01-01

    In order to test whether the lorazepam-induced impairments in a variety of cognitive tasks were similar to those of divided attention, the effects of lorazepam (2.5 mg) in healthy volunteers were compared with those requiring subjects to perform an additional task (detecting silences superimposed onto classical music). Neither treatment impaired implicit memory or judgements of frequency. Both treatments impaired performance in tests of speed, lorazepam having the greatest effect on number cancellation and the additional task having the greatest effect on simple reaction time. Both treatments impaired performance in a coding task, in a test of explicit episodic memory and in judgements of recency (indicating impaired coding of contextual information). Lorazepam significantly reduced performance in a word completion task, but this was unimpaired in the group performing the additional task. In general, the pattern of results suggests that there are similarities between the effects of divided attention and lorazepam treatment, and that lorazepam-induced cognitive impairments are not restricted to explicit tests of episodic memory.

  7. Comparable cortical activation with inferior performance in women during a novel cognitive inhibition task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halari, R; Kumari, V

    2005-03-07

    Men are hypothesised to perform better than women at tasks requiring cognitive inhibition. The present study applied whole-brain functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural correlates of cognitive inhibition using a novel task, requiring detection of numbers decreasing in numerical order, in relation to sex. The study involved 19 young healthy subjects (9 men, 10 women). Behavioural sex differences favouring men were found on the inhibition, but not on the automatization (i.e. detection of numbers increasing in numerical order), condition of the task. Significant areas of activation associated with cognitive inhibition included the right inferior prefrontal and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, left inferior and superior parietal lobes, and bilateral temporal regions across men and women. No brain region was significantly differently activated in men and women. Our findings demonstrate that (a) cognitive inhibition is dependent on intact processes within frontal and parietal regions, and (b) women show inferior cognitive inhibition despite of comparable activation to men in relevant regions. Equated behavioural performance may elicit sex differences in brain activation.

  8. The effect of a secondary cognitive task on landing mechanics and jump performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Boyi; Cook, Ross F; Meyer, Elizabeth A; Sciascia, Yvonne; Hinshaw, Taylour J; Wang, Chaoyi; Zhu, Qin

    2018-06-01

    Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries commonly occur during jump-landing tasks when individuals' attention is simultaneously allocated to other objects and tasks. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of allocation of attention imposed by a secondary cognitive task on landing mechanics and jump performance. Thirty-eight recreational athletes performed a jump-landing task in three conditions: no counting, counting backward by 1 s from a randomly given number, and counting backward by 7 s from a randomly given number. Three-dimensional kinematics and ground reaction forces were collected and analysed. Participants demonstrated decreased knee flexion angles at initial contact (p = 0.001) for the counting by 1 s condition compared with the no counting condition. Participants also showed increased peak posterior and vertical ground reaction forces during the first 100 ms of landing (p ≤ 0.023) and decreased jump height (p jump performance. ACL injury risk screening protocols and injury prevention programmes may incorporate cognitive tasks into jump-landing tasks to better simulate sports environments.

  9. The impact of occipital lobe cortical thickness on cognitive task performance: An investigation in Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Eileanoir B; Rees, Elin M; Labuschagne, Izelle; Durr, Alexandra; Leavitt, Blair R; Roos, Raymund A C; Reilmann, Ralf; Johnson, Hans; Hobbs, Nicola Z; Langbehn, Douglas R; Stout, Julie C; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Scahill, Rachael I

    2015-12-01

    The occipital lobe is an important visual processing region of the brain. Following consistent findings of early neural changes in the occipital lobe in Huntington's Disease (HD), we examined cortical thickness across four occipital regions in premanifest (preHD) and early HD groups compared with controls. Associations between cortical thickness in gene positive individuals and performance on six cognitive tasks, each with a visual component, were examined. In addition, the association between cortical thickness in gene positive participants and one non-visual motor task was also examined for comparison. Cortical thickness was determined using FreeSurfer on T1-weighted 3T MR datasets from controls (N=97), preHD (N=109) and HD (N=69) from the TRACK-HD study. Regression models were fitted to assess between-group differences in cortical thickness, and relationships between performance on the cognitive tasks, the motor task and occipital thickness were examined in a subset of gene-positive participants (N=141). Thickness of the occipital cortex in preHD and early HD participants was reduced compared with controls. Regionally-specific associations between reduced cortical thickness and poorer performance were found for five of the six cognitive tasks, with the strongest associations in lateral occipital and lingual regions. No associations were found with the cuneus. The non-visual motor task was not associated with thickness of any region. The heterogeneous pattern of associations found in the present study suggests that occipital thickness negatively impacts cognition, but only in regions that are linked to relatively advanced visual processing (e.g., lateral occipital, lingual regions), rather than in basic visual processing regions such as the cuneus. Our results show, for the first time, the functional implications of occipital atrophy highlighted in recent studies in HD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Sleep restriction and cognitive load affect performance on a simulated marksmanship task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Carl D; Cooper, Adam D; Merullo, Donna J; Cohen, Bruce S; Heaton, Kristin J; Claro, Pedro J; Smith, Tracey

    2017-11-24

    Sleep restriction degrades cognitive and motor performance, which can adversely impact job performance and increase the risk of accidents. Military personnel are prone to operating under sleep restriction, and previous work suggests that military marksmanship may be negatively affected under such conditions. Results of these studies, however, are mixed and have often incorporated additional stressors (e.g. energy restriction) beyond sleep restriction. Moreover, few studies have investigated how the degree of difficulty of a marksmanship task impacts performance following sleep restriction. The purpose of the current experiment was to study the effects of sleep restriction on marksmanship while minimizing the potential influence of other forms of stress. A friend-foe discrimination challenge with greater or lesser degrees of complexity (high versus low load) was used as the primary marksmanship task. Active duty Soldiers were recruited, and allowed 2 h of sleep every 24 h over a 72-h testing period. Marksmanship tasks, cognitive assessment metrics and the NASA-Task Load Index were administered daily. Results indicated that reaction times to shoot foe targets and signal friendly targets slowed over time. In addition, the ability to correctly discriminate between friend and foe targets significantly decreased in the high-cognitive-load condition over time despite shot accuracy remaining stable. The NASA-Task Load Index revealed that, although marksmanship performance degraded, participants believed their performance did not change over time. These results further characterize the consequences of sleep restriction on marksmanship performance and the perception of performance, and reinforce the importance of adequate sleep among service members when feasible. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  11. Associations between physical function, dual-task performance and cognition in patients with mild Alzheimer's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sobol, Nanna Aue; Hoffmann, Kristine; Vogel, Asmus Mejling

    2016-01-01

    blinded multicenter RCT 'ADEX' (Alzheimer's disease: the effect of physical exercise) were used. Assessments included tests of physical function: 400-m walk test, 10-m walk test, Timed Up and Go test and 30-s chair stand test; dual-task performance, i.e., 10-m walk while counting backwards from 50...... or naming the months backwards; and cognition, i.e., Mini Mental State Examination, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, the Stroop Color and Word Test, and Lexical verbal fluency test. RESULTS: Results in the 30-s chair stand test correlated significantly with all tests of cognition (r = .208-.242) while...

  12. Fatigue does not conjointly alter postural and cognitive performance when standing in a shooting position under dual-task conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bermejo, José Luis; García-Massó, Xavier; Paillard, Thierry; Noé, Frédéric

    2018-02-01

    This study investigated the effects of fatigue on balance control and cognitive performance in a standing shooting position. Nineteen soldiers were asked to stand while holding a rifle (single task - ST). They also had to perform this postural task while simultaneously completing a cognitive task (dual task - DT). Both the ST and DT were performed in pre- and post-fatigue conditions. In pre-fatigue, participants achieved better balance control in the DT than in the ST, thus suggesting that the increased cognitive activity associated with the DT improves balance control by shifting the attentional focus away from a highly automatised activity. In post-fatigue, balance control was degraded in both the ST and DT, while reaction time was enhanced in the first minutes following the fatiguing exercise without affecting the accuracy of response in the cognitive task, which highlights the relative independent effects of fatigue on balance control and cognitive performance.

  13. The Effect of Corrective Feedback on Performance in Basic Cognitive Tasks: An Analysis of RT Components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Moret-Tatay

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The current work examines the effect of trial-by-trial feedback about correct and error responding on performance in two basic cognitive tasks: a classic Stroop task (n = 40 and a color-word matching task ('n' = 30. Standard measures of both RT and accuracy were examined in addition to measures obtained from fitting the ex-Gaussian distributional model to the correct RTs. For both tasks, RTs were faster in blocks of trials with feedback than in blocks without feedback, but this difference was not significant. On the other hand, with respect to the distributional analyses, providing feedback served to significantly reduce the size of the tails of the RT distributions. Such results suggest that, for conditions in which accuracy is fairly high, the effect of corrective feedback might either be to reduce the tendency to double-check before responding or to decrease the amount of attentional lapsing.

  14. Slowing down after a mild traumatic brain injury: a strategy to improve cognitive task performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozen, Lana J; Fernandes, Myra A

    2012-01-01

    Long-term persistent attention and memory difficulties following a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) often go undetected on standard neuropsychological tests, despite complaints by mild TBI individuals. We conducted a visual Repetition Detection working memory task to digits, in which we manipulated task difficulty by increasing cognitive load, to identify subtle deficits long after a mild TBI. Twenty-six undergraduate students with a self-report of one mild TBI, which occurred at least 6 months prior, and 31 non-head-injured controls took part in the study. Participants were not informed until study completion that the study's purpose was to examine cognitive changes following a mild TBI, to reduce the influence of "diagnosis threat" on performance. Neuropsychological tasks did not differentiate the groups, though mild TBI participants reported higher state anxiety levels. On our working memory task, the mild TBI group took significantly longer to accurately detect repeated targets on our task, suggesting that slowed information processing is a long-term consequence of mild TBI. Accuracy was comparable in the low-load condition and, unexpectedly, mild TBI performance surpassed that of controls in the high-load condition. Temporal analysis of target identification suggested a strategy difference between groups: mild TBI participants made a significantly greater number of accurate responses following the target's offset, and significantly fewer erroneous distracter responses prior to target onset, compared with controls. Results suggest that long after a mild TBI, high-functioning young adults invoke a strategy of delaying their identification of targets in order to maintain, and facilitate, accuracy on cognitively demanding tasks. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  15. Comparing Cognitive Models of Domain Mastery and Task Performance in Algebra: Validity Evidence for a State Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Zachary B.

    2013-01-01

    This study compared an expert-based cognitive model of domain mastery with student-based cognitive models of task performance for Integrated Algebra. Interpretations of student test results are limited by experts' hypotheses of how students interact with the items. In reality, the cognitive processes that students use to solve each item may be…

  16. Expectancy of Stress-Reducing Aromatherapy Effect and Performance on a Stress-Sensitive Cognitive Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Chamine

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Stress-reducing therapies help maintain cognitive performance during stress. Aromatherapy is popular for stress reduction, but its effectiveness and mechanism are unclear. This study examined stress-reducing effects of aromatherapy on cognitive function using the go/no-go (GNG task performance and event related potentials (ERP components sensitive to stress. The study also assessed the importance of expectancy in aromatherapy actions. Methods. 81 adults were randomized to 3 aroma groups (active experimental, detectable, and undetectable placebo and 2 prime subgroups (prime suggesting stress-reducing aroma effects or no-prime. GNG performance, ERPs, subjective expected aroma effects, and stress ratings were assessed at baseline and poststress. Results. No specific aroma effects on stress or cognition were observed. However, regardless of experienced aroma, people receiving a prime displayed faster poststress median reaction times than those receiving no prime. A significant interaction for N200 amplitude indicated divergent ERP patterns between baseline and poststress for go and no-go stimuli depending on the prime subgroup. Furthermore, trends for beneficial prime effects were shown on poststress no-go N200/P300 latencies and N200 amplitude. Conclusion. While there were no aroma-specific effects on stress or cognition, these results highlight the role of expectancy for poststress response inhibition and attention.

  17. Expectancy of Stress-Reducing Aromatherapy Effect and Performance on a Stress-Sensitive Cognitive Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamine, Irina; Oken, Barry S.

    2015-01-01

    Objective. Stress-reducing therapies help maintain cognitive performance during stress. Aromatherapy is popular for stress reduction, but its effectiveness and mechanism are unclear. This study examined stress-reducing effects of aromatherapy on cognitive function using the go/no-go (GNG) task performance and event related potentials (ERP) components sensitive to stress. The study also assessed the importance of expectancy in aromatherapy actions. Methods. 81 adults were randomized to 3 aroma groups (active experimental, detectable, and undetectable placebo) and 2 prime subgroups (prime suggesting stress-reducing aroma effects or no-prime). GNG performance, ERPs, subjective expected aroma effects, and stress ratings were assessed at baseline and poststress. Results. No specific aroma effects on stress or cognition were observed. However, regardless of experienced aroma, people receiving a prime displayed faster poststress median reaction times than those receiving no prime. A significant interaction for N200 amplitude indicated divergent ERP patterns between baseline and poststress for go and no-go stimuli depending on the prime subgroup. Furthermore, trends for beneficial prime effects were shown on poststress no-go N200/P300 latencies and N200 amplitude. Conclusion. While there were no aroma-specific effects on stress or cognition, these results highlight the role of expectancy for poststress response inhibition and attention. PMID:25802539

  18. Cognitive function predicts listening effort performance during complex tasks in normally aging adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennine Harvey

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: This study examines whether cognitive function, as measured by the subtests of the Woodcock–Johnson III (WCJ-III assessment, predicts listening-effort performance during dual tasks across the adults of varying ages. Materials and Methods: Participants were divided into two groups. Group 1 consisted of 14 listeners (number of females = 11 who were 41–61 years old [mean = 53.18; standard deviation (SD = 5.97]. Group 2 consisted of 15 listeners (number of females = 9 who were 63–81 years old (mean = 72.07; SD = 5.11. Participants were administered the WCJ-III Memory for Words, Auditory Working Memory, Visual Matching, and Decision Speed subtests. All participants were tested in each of the following three dual-task experimental conditions, which were varying in complexity: (1 auditory word recognition + visual processing, (2 auditory working memory (word + visual processing, and (3 auditory working memory (sentence + visual processing in noise. Results: A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that task complexity significantly affected the performance measures of auditory accuracy, visual accuracy, and processing speed. Linear regression revealed that the cognitive subtests of the WCJ-III test significantly predicted performance across dependent variable measures. Conclusion: Listening effort is significantly affected by task complexity, regardless of age. Performance on the WCJ-III test may predict listening effort in adults and may assist speech-language pathologist (SLPs to understand challenges faced by participants when subjected to noise.

  19. Humans Integrate Monetary and Liquid Incentives to Motivate Cognitive Task Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debbie Marianne Yee

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available It is unequivocal that a wide variety of incentives can motivate behavior. However, few studies have explicitly examined whether and how different incentives are integrated in terms of their motivational influence. The current study examines the combined effects of monetary and liquid incentives on cognitive processing, and whether appetitive and aversive incentives have distinct influences. We introduce a novel task paradigm, in which participants perform cued task-switching for monetary rewards that vary parametrically across trials, with liquid incentives serving as post-trial performance feedback. Critically, the symbolic meaning of the liquid was held constant (indicating successful reward attainment, while liquid valence was blocked. In the first experiment, monetary rewards combined additively with appetitive liquid feedback to improve subject task performance. Aversive liquid feedback counteracted monetary reward effects in low monetary reward trials, particularly in a subset of participants who tended to avoid responding under these conditions. Self-report motivation ratings predicted behavioral performance above and beyond experimental effects. A follow-up experiment replicated the predictive power of motivation ratings even when only appetitive liquids were used, suggesting that ratings reflect idiosyncratic subjective values of, rather than categorical differences between, the liquid incentives. Together, the findings indicate an integrative relationship between primary and secondary incentives and potentially dissociable influences in modulating motivational value, while informing hypotheses regarding candidate neural mechanisms.

  20. Humans Integrate Monetary and Liquid Incentives to Motivate Cognitive Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yee, Debbie M.; Krug, Marie K.; Allen, Ariel Z.; Braver, Todd S.

    2016-01-01

    It is unequivocal that a wide variety of incentives can motivate behavior. However, few studies have explicitly examined whether and how different incentives are integrated in terms of their motivational influence. The current study examines the combined effects of monetary and liquid incentives on cognitive processing, and whether appetitive and aversive incentives have distinct influences. We introduce a novel task paradigm, in which participants perform cued task-switching for monetary rewards that vary parametrically across trials, with liquid incentives serving as post-trial performance feedback. Critically, the symbolic meaning of the liquid was held constant (indicating successful reward attainment), while liquid valence was blocked. In the first experiment, monetary rewards combined additively with appetitive liquid feedback to improve subject task performance. Aversive liquid feedback counteracted monetary reward effects in low monetary reward trials, particularly in a subset of participants who tended to avoid responding under these conditions. Self-report motivation ratings predicted behavioral performance above and beyond experimental effects. A follow-up experiment replicated the predictive power of motivation ratings even when only appetitive liquids were used, suggesting that ratings reflect idiosyncratic subjective values of, rather than categorical differences between, the liquid incentives. Together, the findings indicate an integrative relationship between primary and secondary incentives and potentially dissociable influences in modulating motivational value, while informing hypotheses regarding candidate neural mechanisms. PMID:26834668

  1. Investigating the Effects of Concurrent Performance of Physical and Cognitive Demanding Task in Paced Assembly Lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shakil Ahmed Shaikh

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The study was undertaken to investigate the effects of pacing on aspects of performance at an assembly task and on the operators' responses related to work behaviour, perceived workload and perceived stress. A particular objective of the study was to investigate whether physical and cognitive demands may interact in their influences on these effects. An assembly task was simulated in the laboratory and the level of pacing imposed, work height and memory load within the task were all varied. The results showed that the type of pacing commonly imposed (as is common with a lean manufacturing Takt time system in industry can significantly affect both performance and perceived workload and stress. Physical demands (through work height affecting posture and mental demand (through memory load were also found to have significant effects, as would be expected from the many studies of these in the literature. More importantly, some interactions were found between pacing and work height in their effects on quality of assembly and the operator's own rating of performance, and between work height and memory load in their effects on errors. These findings will need to be taken into account by companies when implementing Takt time systems.

  2. Board Task Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minichilli, Alessandro; Zattoni, Alessandro; Nielsen, Sabina

    2012-01-01

    identify three board processes as micro-level determinants of board effectiveness. Specifically, we focus on effort norms, cognitive conflicts and the use of knowledge and skills as determinants of board control and advisory task performance. Further, we consider how two different institutional settings....... The findings show that: (i) Board processes have a larger potential than demographic variables to explain board task performance; (ii) board task performance differs significantly between boards operating in different contexts; and (iii) national context moderates the relationships between board processes...... and board task performance....

  3. Electrophysiological indices of anterior cingulate cortex function reveal changing levels of cognitive effort and reward valuation that sustain task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umemoto, Akina; Inzlicht, Michael; Holroyd, Clay B

    2018-06-14

    Successful execution of goal-directed behaviors often requires the deployment of cognitive control, which is thought to require cognitive effort. Recent theories have proposed that anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) regulates control levels by weighing the reward-related benefits of control against its effort-related costs. However, given that the sensations of cognitive effort and reward valuation are available only to introspection, this hypothesis is difficult to investigate empirically. We have proposed that two electrophysiological indices of ACC function, frontal midline theta and the reward positivity (RewP), provide objective measures of these functions. To explore this issue, we recorded the electroencephalogram (EEG) from participants engaged in an extended, cognitively-demanding task. Participants performed a time estimation task for 2hours in which they received reward and error feedback according to their task performance. We observed that the amplitude of the RewP, a feedback-locked component of the event related brain potential associated with reward processing, decreased with time-on-task. Conversely, frontal midline theta power, which consists of 4-8Hz EEG oscillations associated with cognitive effort, increased with time-on-task. We also explored how these phenomena changed over time by conducting within-participant multi-level modeling analyses. Our results suggest that extended execution of a cognitively-demanding task is characterized by an early phase in which high control levels foster rapid improvements in task performance, and a later phase in which high control levels were necessary to maintain stable task performance, perhaps counteracting waning reward valuation. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Motor-cognitive dual-task performance: effects of a concurrent motor task on distinct components of visual processing capacity

    OpenAIRE

    Künstler, E. C. S.; Finke, K.; Günther, A.; Klingner, C.; Witte, O.; Bublak, P.

    2017-01-01

    Dual tasking, or the simultaneous execution of two continuous tasks, is frequently associated with a performance decline that can be explained within a capacity sharing framework. In this study, we assessed the effects of a concurrent motor task on the efficiency of visual information uptake based on the ‘theory of visual attention’ (TVA). TVA provides parameter estimates reflecting distinct components of visual processing capacity: perceptual threshold, visual processing speed, and visual sh...

  5. A Randomized Controlled ERP Study on the Effects of Multi-Domain Cognitive Training and Task Difficulty on Task Switching Performance in Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küper, Kristina; Gajewski, Patrick D.; Frieg, Claudia; Falkenstein, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Executive functions are subject to a marked age-related decline, but have been shown to benefit from cognitive training interventions. As of yet, it is, however, still relatively unclear which neural mechanism can mediate training-related performance gains. In the present electrophysiological study, we examined the effects of multi-domain cognitive training on performance in an untrained cue-based task switch paradigm featuring Stroop color words: participants either had to indicate the word meaning of Stroop stimuli (word task) or perform the more difficult task of color naming (color task). One-hundred and three older adults (>65 years old) were randomly assigned to a training group receiving a 4-month multi-domain cognitive training, a passive no-contact control group or an active (social) control group receiving a 4-month relaxation training. For all groups, we recorded performance and EEG measures before and after the intervention. For the cognitive training group, but not for the two control groups, we observed an increase in response accuracy at posttest, irrespective of task and trial type. No training-related effects on reaction times were found. Cognitive training was also associated with an overall increase in N2 amplitude and a decrease of P2 latency on single trials. Training-related performance gains were thus likely mediated by an enhancement of response selection and improved access to relevant stimulus-response mappings. Additionally, cognitive training was associated with an amplitude decrease in the time window of the target-locked P3 at fronto-central electrodes. An increase in the switch positivity during advance task preparation emerged after both cognitive and relaxation training. Training-related behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) effects were not modulated by task difficulty. The data suggest that cognitive training increased slow negative potentials during target processing which enhanced the N2 and reduced a subsequent P3-like

  6. Individual personality differences in goats predict their performance in visual learning and non-associative cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawroth, Christian; Prentice, Pamela M; McElligott, Alan G

    2017-01-01

    Variation in common personality traits, such as boldness or exploration, is often associated with risk-reward trade-offs and behavioural flexibility. To date, only a few studies have examined the effects of consistent behavioural traits on both learning and cognition. We investigated whether certain personality traits ('exploration' and 'sociability') of individuals were related to cognitive performance, learning flexibility and learning style in a social ungulate species, the goat (Capra hircus). We also investigated whether a preference for feature cues rather than impaired learning abilities can explain performance variation in a visual discrimination task. We found that personality scores were consistent across time and context. Less explorative goats performed better in a non-associative cognitive task, in which subjects had to follow the trajectory of a hidden object (i.e. testing their ability for object permanence). We also found that less sociable subjects performed better compared to more sociable goats in a visual discrimination task. Good visual learning performance was associated with a preference for feature cues, indicating personality-dependent learning strategies in goats. Our results suggest that personality traits predict the outcome in visual discrimination and non-associative cognitive tasks in goats and that impaired performance in a visual discrimination tasks does not necessarily imply impaired learning capacities, but rather can be explained by a varying preference for feature cues. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Performance on naturalistic virtual reality tasks depends on global cognitive functioning as assessed via traditional neurocognitive tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Jorge; Gamito, Pedro; Alghazzawi, Daniyal M; Fardoun, Habib M; Rosa, Pedro J; Sousa, Tatiana; Picareli, Luís Felipe; Morais, Diogo; Lopes, Paulo

    2017-08-14

    This investigation sought to understand whether performance in naturalistic virtual reality tasks for cognitive assessment relates to the cognitive domains that are supposed to be measured. The Shoe Closet Test (SCT) was developed based on a simple visual search task involving attention skills, in which participants have to match each pair of shoes with the colors of the compartments in a virtual shoe closet. The interaction within the virtual environment was made using the Microsoft Kinect. The measures consisted of concurrent paper-and-pencil neurocognitive tests for global cognitive functioning, executive functions, attention, psychomotor ability, and the outcomes of the SCT. The results showed that the SCT correlated with global cognitive performance as measured with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). The SCT explained one third of the total variance of this test and revealed good sensitivity and specificity in discriminating scores below one standard deviation in this screening tool. These findings suggest that performance of such functional tasks involves a broad range of cognitive processes that are associated with global cognitive functioning and that may be difficult to isolate through paper-and-pencil neurocognitive tests.

  8. Dexamphetamine and alcohol effects in simulated driving and cognitive task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martens, Marieke Hendrikje; Simons, Ries; Ramaekers, Jan

    2011-01-01

    This study assessed the effects of dexamphetamine with and without alcohol on simulated driving and cognitive tasks. 18 subjects participated in all 4 conditions: 10 mg dexamphetamine and 0.8g/kg alcohol, 10 mg dexamphetamine only, 0.8g/kg alcohol only, and a placebo control condition. A driving

  9. Cognitive Task Complexity Effects on L2 Writing Performance: An Application of Mixed-Methods Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdi Tabari, Mahmoud; Ivey, Toni A.

    2015-01-01

    This paper provides a methodological review of previous research on cognitive task complexity, since the term emerged in 1995, and investigates why much research was more quantitative rather than qualitative. Moreover, it sheds light onto the studies which used the mixed-methods approach and determines which version of the mixed-methods designs…

  10. Overweight and Cognitive Performance: High Body Mass Index Is Associated with Impairment in Reactive Control during Task Switching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Steenbergen

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The prevalence of weight problems is increasing worldwide. There is growing evidence that high body mass index (BMI is associated with frontal lobe dysfunction and deficits in cognitive control. The present study aims to clarify the association between weight status and the degree of impairment in cognitive flexibility, i.e., the ability to efficiently switch from one task to another, by disentangling the preparatory and residual domains of task switching. Twenty-six normal weight (BMI < 25, five males and twenty-six overweight (BMI ≥ 25, seven males university students performed a task-switching paradigm that provides a relatively well-established diagnostic measure of proactive vs. reactive control with regard to cognitive flexibility. Compared to individuals with a BMI lower than 25, overweight (i.e., ≥25 was associated with increased switching costs in the reactive switching condition (i.e., when preparation time is short, representing reduced cognitive flexibility in the preparatory domain. In addition, the overweight group reported significantly more depression and binge eating symptoms, although still indicating minimal depression. No between-group differences were found with regard to self-reported autism spectrum symptoms, impulsiveness, state- and trait anxiety, and cognitive reactivity to depression. The present findings are consistent with and extend previous literature showing that elevated BMI in young, otherwise healthy individuals is associated with significantly more switching costs due to inefficiency in the retrieval, implementation, and maintenance of task sets, indicating less efficient cognitive control functioning.

  11. Identifying optimum performance trade-offs using a cognitively bounded rational analysis model of discretionary task interleaving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssen, Christian P; Brumby, Duncan P; Dowell, John; Chater, Nick; Howes, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    We report the results of a dual-task study in which participants performed a tracking and typing task under various experimental conditions. An objective payoff function was used to provide explicit feedback on how participants should trade off performance between the tasks. Results show that participants' dual-task interleaving strategy was sensitive to changes in the difficulty of the tracking task and resulted in differences in overall task performance. To test the hypothesis that people select strategies that maximize payoff, a Cognitively Bounded Rational Analysis model was developed. This analysis evaluated a variety of dual-task interleaving strategies to identify the optimal strategy for maximizing payoff in each condition. The model predicts that the region of optimum performance is different between experimental conditions. The correspondence between human data and the prediction of the optimal strategy is found to be remarkably high across a number of performance measures. This suggests that participants were honing their behavior to maximize payoff. Limitations are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  12. Motivation to comply with task rules and multitasking performance: The role of need for cognitive closure and goal importance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szumowska, Ewa; Kossowska, Małgorzata; Roets, Arne

    2018-01-01

    In three studies, we examined the role task rules play in multitasking performance. We postulated that rules should be especially important for individuals highly motivated to have structure and clear answers, i.e., those high on need for cognitive closure (NFC). High NFC should thus be related to greater compliance with task rules. Specifically, given high goal importance, NFC should be more strongly related to a multitasking strategy when multitasking is imposed by the rules, and to a mono-tasking strategy when monotasking is imposed by the rules. This should translate into better multitasking or mono-tasking performance, depending on condition. Overall, the results were supportive as NFC was related to a more mono-tasking strategy in the mono-tasking condition (Studies 1 and 2 only) and more dual-tasking strategy in the dual-tasking condition (Studies 1-3). This translated into respective differences in performance. The effects were significant only when goal importance was high (Study 1) and held when cognitive ability was controlled for (Study 2).

  13. Effects of anxiety, a cognitive secondary task, and expertise on gaze behavior and performance in a far aiming task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nibbeling, N.; Oudejans, R.R.D.; Daanen, H.A.M.

    2012-01-01

    Objective : Previous studies focused on investigating the separate effects of anxiety, cognitive load, and expertise on perceptual-motor performance, but the combined effects of these factors have not been studied yet. The objective of the current study was to investigate these factors in

  14. Inefficient cognitive control in adult ADHD: evidence from trial-by-trial Stroop test and cued task switching performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heuser Isabella

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Contemporary neuropsychological models of ADHD implicate impaired cognitive control as contributing to disorder characteristic behavioral deficiencies and excesses; albeit to varying degrees. While the traditional view of ADHD postulates a core deficiency in cognitive control processes, alternative dual-process models emphasize the dynamic interplay of bottom-up driven factors such as activation, arousal, alerting, motivation, reward and temporal processing with top-down cognitive control. However, neuropsychological models of ADHD are child-based and have yet to undergo extensive empirical scrutiny with respect to their application to individuals with persistent symptoms in adulthood. Furthermore, few studies of adult ADHD samples have investigated two central cognitive control processes: interference control and task-set coordination. The current study employed experimental chronometric Stroop and task switching paradigms to investigate the efficiency of processes involved in interference control and task-set coordination in ADHD adults. Methods 22 adults diagnosed with persistent ADHD (17 males and 22 matched healthy control subjects performed a manual trial-by-trial Stroop color-word test and a blocked explicitly cued task switching paradigm. Performance differences between neutral and incongruent trials of the Stroop task measured interference control. Task switching paradigm manipulations allowed for measurement of transient task-set updating, sustained task-set maintenance, preparatory mechanisms and interference control. Control analyses tested for the specificity of group × condition interactions. Results Abnormal processing of task-irrelevant stimulus features was evident in ADHD group performance on both tasks. ADHD group interference effects on the task switching paradigm were found to be dependent on the time allotted to prepare for an upcoming task. Group differences in sustained task-set maintenance and

  15. Social cognition and African American men: The roles of perceived discrimination and experimenter race on task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagendra, Arundati; Twery, Benjamin L; Neblett, Enrique W; Mustafic, Hasan; Jones, Tevin S; Gatewood, D'Angelo; Penn, David L

    2018-01-01

    The Social Cognition Psychometric Evaluation (SCOPE) study consists of a battery of eight tasks selected to measure social-cognitive deficits in individuals with schizophrenia. The battery is currently in a multisite validation process. While the SCOPE study collects basic demographic data, more nuanced race-related factors might artificially inflate cross-cultural differences in social cognition. As an initial step, we investigated whether race, independent of mental illness status, affects performance on the SCOPE battery. Thus, we examined the effects of perceived discrimination and experimenter race on the performance of 51 non-clinical African American men on the SCOPE battery. Results revealed that these factors impacted social cognitive task performance. Specifically, participants performed better on a skills-based task factor in the presence of Black experimenters, and frequency of perceived racism predicted increased perception of hostility in negative interpersonal situations with accidental causes. Thus, race-related factors are important to identify and explore in the measurement of social cognition in African Americans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. The effect of simultaneously performed cognitive task and physical exercise on pressure pain threshold and tolerance in athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliye GÜNDOĞDU

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study was to investigate the alterations of the pain threshold and tolerance after single, or dual task in athletes. Twenty male athletes and twenty non - athletic, recreationally active college students were participated in the study. Subjects w ere asked to perform Harvard step test (single task, and cognitive task was concurrent performance of an arithmetic task while performing Harvard step test. Pressure pain threshold (PPT and pressure pain tolerance (PPTO were assessed from muscle, tendon , bone and myofascial region from the dominant thigh by using a digital algometer. All measurements were repeated at rest, or following single and dual task. Results are presented as mean + standart deviation. Data were analyzed by using repeated measures of ANOVA test. A level of p<0.05 was accepted statistical significant. Athletes had higher PPT and PPTO measurements from muscle and myofascial region of thigh at rest. PPT and PPTO values were increased after single, or dual task in sedentary subjects, w hile athletic subjects had increased muscle and myofascial PPT and PPTO values after dual task. In conclusion, our results supports the notion that cognitive functions may interact the pain processing at rest, or following exercise in athletes.

  17. General intelligence in another primate: individual differences across cognitive task performance in a New World monkey (Saguinus oedipus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konika Banerjee

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Individual differences in human cognitive abilities show consistently positive correlations across diverse domains, providing the basis for the trait of "general intelligence" (g. At present, little is known about the evolution of g, in part because most comparative studies focus on rodents or on differences across higher-level taxa. What is needed, therefore, are experiments targeting nonhuman primates, focusing on individual differences within a single species, using a broad battery of tasks. To this end, we administered a large battery of tasks, representing a broad range of cognitive domains, to a population of captive cotton-top tamarin monkeys (Saguinus oedipus. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: Using a Bayesian latent variable model, we show that the pattern of correlations among tasks is consistent with the existence of a general factor accounting for a small but significant proportion of the variance in each task (the lower bounds of 95% Bayesian credibility intervals for correlations between g and task performance all exceed 0.12. CONCLUSION: Individual differences in cognitive abilities within at least one other primate species can be characterized by a general intelligence factor, supporting the hypothesis that important aspects of human cognitive function most likely evolved from ancient neural substrates.

  18. The Effect of Two-dimensional and Stereoscopic Presentation on Middle School Students' Performance of Spatial Cognition Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Aaron; Lee, Hee-Sun

    2010-02-01

    We investigated whether and how student performance on three types of spatial cognition tasks differs when worked with two-dimensional or stereoscopic representations. We recruited nineteen middle school students visiting a planetarium in a large Midwestern American city and analyzed their performance on a series of spatial cognition tasks in terms of response accuracy and task completion time. Results show that response accuracy did not differ between the two types of representations while task completion time was significantly greater with the stereoscopic representations. The completion time increased as the number of mental manipulations of 3D objects increased in the tasks. Post-interviews provide evidence that some students continued to think of stereoscopic representations as two-dimensional. Based on cognitive load and cue theories, we interpret that, in the absence of pictorial depth cues, students may need more time to be familiar with stereoscopic representations for optimal performance. In light of these results, we discuss potential uses of stereoscopic representations for science learning.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Cognitive Styles, Demographic Attributes, Task Performance and Affective Experiences: An Empirical Investigation into Astrophysics Data System (ADS) Core Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Rong

    As a primary digital library portal for astrophysics researchers, SAO/NASA ADS (Astrophysics Data System) 2.0 interface features several visualization tools such as Author Network and Metrics. This research study involves 20 ADS long term users who participated in a usability and eye tracking research session. Participants first completed a cognitive test, and then performed five tasks in ADS 2.0 where they explored its multiple visualization tools. Results show that over half of the participants were Imagers and half of the participants were Analytic. Cognitive styles were found to have significant impacts on several efficiency-based measures. Analytic-oriented participants were observed to spent shorter time on web pages and apps, made fewer web page changes than less-Analytic-driving participants in performing common tasks, whereas AI (Analytic-Imagery) participants also completed their five tasks faster than non-AI participants. Meanwhile, self-identified Imagery participants were found to be more efficient in their task completion through multiple measures including total time on task, number of mouse clicks, and number of query revisions made. Imagery scores were negatively associated with frequency of confusion and the observed counts of being surprised. Compared to those who did not claimed to be a visual person, self-identified Imagery participants were observed to have significantly less frequency in frustration and hesitation during their task performance. Both demographic variables and past user experiences were found to correlate with task performance; query revision also correlated with multiple time-based measurements. Considered as an indicator of efficiency, query revisions were found to correlate negatively with the rate of complete with ease, and positively with several time-based efficiency measures, rate of complete with some difficulty, and the frequency of frustration. These results provide rich insights into the cognitive styles of ADS' core

  1. The role of cognitive versus emotional intelligence in Iowa Gambling Task performance: What's emotion got to do with it?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Christian A; DelDonno, Sophie; Killgore, William D S

    2014-01-01

    Debate persists regarding the relative role of cognitive versus emotional processes in driving successful performance on the widely used Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). From the time of its initial development, patterns of IGT performance were commonly interpreted as primarily reflecting implicit, emotion-based processes. Surprisingly, little research has tried to directly compare the extent to which measures tapping relevant cognitive versus emotional competencies predict IGT performance in the same study. The current investigation attempts to address this question by comparing patterns of associations between IGT performance, cognitive intelligence (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence; WASI) and three commonly employed measures of emotional intelligence (EI; Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, MSCEIT; Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory, EQ-i; Self-Rated Emotional Intelligence Scale, SREIS). Results indicated that IGT performance was more strongly associated with cognitive, than emotional, intelligence. To the extent that the IGT indeed mimics "real-world" decision-making, our findings, coupled with the results of existing research, may highlight the role of deliberate, cognitive capacities over implicit, emotional processes in contributing to at least some domains of decision-making relevant to everyday life.

  2. Social Cognition in Williams Syndrome: Relations Between Performance on the Social Attribution Task and Cognitive and Behavioral Characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faye eVan der Fluit

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Williams syndrome (WS is a developmental disorder of genetic origin, with characteristic cognitive and personality profiles. Studies of WS point to an outgoing and gregarious personality style, often contrasted with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs; however, recent research has uncovered underlying social reciprocity difficulties in people with WS. Participants in the current study included 24 children with WS ages 8 through 15. A lab-based measure of social perception and social cognition was administered (Social Attribution Test, as well as an intellectual functioning measure (KBIT-II and parent reports of communication and reciprocal social skills (Social Communication Questionnaire, Social Responsiveness Scale. Relations between social cognition, cognitive abilities, and social-communication were examined. Results demonstrated relations between parent-reported social reciprocity and the typicality of the responses provided in the lab-based measure, even once variability in intellectual functioning was taken into account. In addition, a significant improvement in performance was seen with the added scaffolding particularly for participants with stronger intellectual functioning.

  3. Task performance in virtual environments used for cognitive rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, C; Abreu, B; Ottenbacher, K; Huffman, K; Masel, B; Culpepper, R

    1998-08-01

    This report describes a reliability study using a prototype computer-simulated virtual environment to assess basic daily living skills in a sample of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The benefits of using virtual reality in training for situations where safety is a factor have been established in defense and industry, but have not been demonstrated in rehabilitation. Thirty subjects with TBI receiving comprehensive rehabilitation services at a residential facility. An immersive virtual kitchen was developed in which a meal preparation task involving multiple steps could be performed. The prototype was tested using subjects who completed the task twice within 7 days. The stability of performance was estimated using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). The ICC value for total performance based on all steps involved in the meal preparation task was .73. When three items with low variance were removed the ICC improved to .81. Little evidence of vestibular optical side-effects was noted in the subjects tested. Adequate initial reliability exists to continue development of the environment as an assessment and training prototype for persons with brain injury.

  4. Decision-making and cognitive abilities: A review of associations between Iowa Gambling Task performance, executive functions, and intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toplak, Maggie E; Sorge, Geoff B; Benoit, André; West, Richard F; Stanovich, Keith E

    2010-07-01

    The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) has been used to study decision-making differences in many different clinical and developmental samples. It has been suggested that IGT performance captures abilities that are separable from cognitive abilities, including executive functions and intelligence. The purpose of the current review was to examine studies that have explicitly examined the relationship between IGT performance and these cognitive abilities. We included 43 studies that reported correlational analyses with IGT performance, including measures of inhibition, working memory, and set-shifting as indices of executive functions, as well as measures of verbal, nonverbal, and full-scale IQ as indices of intelligence. Overall, only a small proportion of the studies reported a statistically significant relationship between IGT performance and these cognitive abilities. The majority of studies reported a non-significant relationship. Of the minority of studies that reported statistically significant effects, effect sizes were, at best, small to modest, and confidence intervals were large, indicating that considerable variability in performance on the IGT is not captured by current measures of executive function and intelligence. These findings highlight the separability between decision-making on the IGT and cognitive abilities, which is consistent with recent conceptualizations that differentiate rationality from intelligence. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Motivation and performance within a collaborative computer-based modeling task: Relations between students' achievement goal orientation, self-efficacy, cognitive processing and achievement

    OpenAIRE

    Sins, P.H.M.; van Joolingen, W.R.; Savelsbergh, E.R.; van Hout-Wolters, B.H.A.M.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose of the present study was to test a conceptual model of relations among achievement goal orientation, self-efficacy, cognitive processing, and achievement of students working within a particular collaborative task context. The task involved a collaborative computer-based modeling task. In order to test the model, group measures of mastery-approach goal orientation, performance-avoidance goal orientation, self-efficacy, and achievement were employed. Students’ cognitive processing was a...

  6. Increased alertness, better than posture prioritization, explains dual-task performance in prosthesis users and controls under increasing postural and cognitive challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Charla L; Perry, Bonnie; Chow, John W; Wallace, Chris; Stokic, Dobrivoje S

    2017-11-01

    Sensorimotor impairments after limb amputation impose a threat to stability. Commonly described strategies for maintaining stability are the posture first strategy (prioritization of balance) and posture second strategy (prioritization of concurrent tasks). The existence of these strategies was examined in 13 below-knee prosthesis users and 15 controls during dual-task standing under increasing postural and cognitive challenge by evaluating path length, 95% sway area, and anterior-posterior and medial-lateral amplitudes of the center of pressure. The subjects stood on two force platforms under usual (hard surface/eyes open) and difficult (soft surface/eyes closed) conditions, first alone and while performing a cognitive task without and then with instruction on cognitive prioritization. During standing alone, sway was not significantly different between groups. After adding the cognitive task without prioritization instruction, prosthesis users increased sway more under the dual-task than single-task standing (p ≤ 0.028) during both usual and difficult conditions, favoring the posture second strategy. Controls, however, reduced dual-task sway under a greater postural challenge (p ≤ 0.017), suggesting the posture first strategy. With prioritization of the cognitive task, sway was unchanged or reduced in prosthesis users, suggesting departure from the posture second strategy, whereas controls maintained the posture first strategy. Individual analysis of dual tasking revealed that greater postural demand in controls and greater cognitive challenge in prosthesis users led to both reduced sway and improved cognitive performance, suggesting cognitive-motor facilitation. Thus, activation of additional resources through increased alertness, rather than posture prioritization, may explain dual-task performance in both prosthesis users and controls under increasing postural and cognitive challenge.

  7. Stereotype threat and lift effects in motor task performance: the mediating role of somatic and cognitive anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurin, Raphael

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this investigation was to replicate the stereotype threat and lift effects in a motor task in a neutral sex-typed activity, using somatic and cognitive anxiety as key mediators of these phenomena. It was hypothesized that an ingroup/outgroup social categorization based on gender would have distinctive effects for female and male participants. A total of 161 French physical education students were randomly assigned to three threat conditions--no threat, female threat, and male threat--thus leading to a 3 x 2 (threat by gender) design. The analyses revealed a stereotype lift effect on the performances for both male and female participants, as well as a stereotype threat effect only for female participants. They also indicated that somatic anxiety had a mediating effect on the performance of female participants targeted by a negative stereotype, but that it had a facilitating effect on their performance. The stereotype threat and lift effects on motor tasks were replicated in a neutral sex-typed activity and somatic anxiety seems to have a facilitating mediating effect of the relationships between the gender-conditions (control or female threat) interaction and free-throw performance. The model used to distinguish somatic and cognitive anxiety appeared to be a relevant means of explaining the stereotype threat and lift mechanisms.

  8. Use of Perceive, Recall, Plan, Perform Stage Two Cognitive Task Analysis for Students with Autism and Intellectual Disability: The Impact of a Sensory Activity Schedule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Caroline; Chapparo, Christine

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the impact of a classroom sensory activity schedule (SAS) on cognitive strategy use during task performance. This work studies a single-system AB research design with seven students with autism and intellectual disability. Repeated measures using the Perceive, Recall, Plan and Perform (PRPP) Cognitive Task…

  9. Toward a Model of Expert Knowledge Structure and Their Role in Cognitive Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-11-01

    memory load. Grammars, specifically Task Action Grammar (TAG) (Payne and Green , 1986), and production rules (Newell and Simon, 1972) attempt to...Categorization, 259-303. Hillsdale, NJ: Earlbaum. Payne, S. J. and Green , T. R. G. (1986). Task-action grammars: a model of mental representation of task...PA 43235 lour,’Ar, IADr. Waich Creseas52242 Dr. Aliei Maimo Mail Sloe 23941 Behavoral Techaclopy NASA Are.s Anrirob Cenvnr Vcrr. M. Mile

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olfers, Kerwin J F; Band, Guido P H

    2018-01-01

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

  11. Multi-domain computerized cognitive training program improves performance of bookkeeping tasks: a matched-sampling active-controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampit, Amit; Ebster, Claus; Valenzuela, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive skills are important predictors of job performance, but the extent to which computerized cognitive training (CCT) can improve job performance in healthy adults is unclear. We report, for the first time, that a CCT program aimed at attention, memory, reasoning and visuo-spatial abilities can enhance productivity in healthy younger adults on bookkeeping tasks with high relevance to real-world job performance. 44 business students (77.3% female, mean age 21.4 ± 2.6 years) were assigned to either (a) 20 h of CCT, or (b) 20 h of computerized arithmetic training (active control) by a matched sampling procedure. Both interventions were conducted over a period of 6 weeks, 3-4 1-h sessions per week. Transfer of skills to performance on a 60-min paper-based bookkeeping task was measured at three time points-baseline, after 10 h and after 20 h of training. Repeated measures ANOVA found a significant Group X Time effect on productivity (F = 7.033, df = 1.745; 73.273, p = 0.003) with a significant interaction at both the 10-h (Relative Cohen's effect size = 0.38, p = 0.014) and 20-h time points (Relative Cohen's effect size = 0.40, p = 0.003). No significant effects were found on accuracy or on Conners' Continuous Performance Test, a measure of sustained attention. The results are discussed in reference to previous findings on the relationship between brain plasticity and job performance. Generalization of results requires further study.

  12. Multi-domain computerized cognitive training program improves performance of bookkeeping tasks: a matched-sampling active-controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit eLampit

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive skills are important predictors of job performance, but the extent to which Computerized Cognitive Training (CCT can improve job performance in healthy adults is unclear. We report, for the first time, that a CCT program aimed at attention, memory, reasoning and visuo-spatial abilities can enhance productivity in healthy younger adults on bookkeeping tasks with high relevance to real-world job performance. 44 business students (77.3% female, mean age 21.4 ± 2.6 years were assigned to either (a 20 hours of CCT, or (b 20 hours of computerized arithmetic training (active control by a matched sampling procedure. Both interventions were conducted over a period of six weeks, 3-4 one-hour sessions per week. Transfer of skills to performance on a 60-minute paper-based bookkeeping task was measured at three time points – baseline, after 10 hours and after 20 hours of training. Repeated measures ANOVA found a significant Group X Time effect on productivity (F=7.033, df=1.745; 73.273, p=0.003 with a significant interaction at both the 10-hour (Relative Cohen’s effect size = 0.38, p=0.014 and 20-hour time points (Relative Cohen’s effect size = 0.40, p=0.003. No significant effects were found on accuracy or on Conners’ Continuous Performance Test, a measure of sustained attention. The results are discussed in reference to previous findings on the relationship between brain plasticity and job performance. Generalization of results requires further study.

  13. Measuring Cognitive Load during Simulation-Based Psychomotor Skills Training: Sensitivity of Secondary-Task Performance and Subjective Ratings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haji, Faizal A.; Khan, Rabia; Regehr, Glenn; Drake, James; de Ribaupierre, Sandrine; Dubrowski, Adam

    2015-01-01

    As interest in applying cognitive load theory (CLT) to the study and design of pedagogic and technological approaches in healthcare simulation grows, suitable measures of cognitive load (CL) are needed. Here, we report a two-phased study investigating the sensitivity of subjective ratings of mental effort (SRME) and secondary-task performance…

  14. Effects of Physical-Cognitive Dual Task Training on Executive Function and Gait Performance in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falbo, S; Condello, G; Capranica, L; Forte, R; Pesce, C

    2016-01-01

    Physical and cognitive training seem to counteract age-related decline in physical and mental function. Recently, the possibility of integrating cognitive demands into physical training has attracted attention. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of twelve weeks of designed physical-cognitive training on executive cognitive function and gait performance in older adults. Thirty-six healthy, active individuals aged 72.30 ± 5.84 years were assigned to two types of physical training with major focus on physical single task (ST) training ( n = 16) and physical-cognitive dual task (DT) training ( n = 20), respectively. They were tested before and after the intervention for executive function (inhibition, working memory) through Random Number Generation and for gait (walking with/without negotiating hurdles) under both single and dual task (ST, DT) conditions. Gait performance improved in both groups, while inhibitory performance decreased after exercise training with ST focus but tended to increase after training with physical-cognitive DT focus. Changes in inhibition performance were correlated with changes in DT walking performance with group differences as a function of motor task complexity (with/without hurdling). The study supports the effectiveness of group exercise classes for older individuals to improve gait performance, with physical-cognitive DT training selectively counteracting the age-related decline in a core executive function essential for daily living.

  15. Postural control and cognitive task performance in healthy participants while balancing on different support-surface configurations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dault, MC; Mulder, TW; Duysens, J

    2001-01-01

    Postural control during normal upright stance in humans is a well-learned task. Hence, it has often been argued that it requires very little attention. However, many studies have recently shown that postural control is modified when a cognitive task is executed simultaneously especially in the

  16. Does participation in art classes influence performance on two different cognitive tasks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Manuel; Maihöfner, Christian; Bolwerk, Anne; Lang, Frieder R

    2017-04-01

    Effects of two mentally stimulating art interventions on processing speed and visuo-spatial cognition were compared in three samples. In a randomized 10-week art intervention study with a pre-post follow-up design, 113 adults (27 healthy older adults with subjective memory complaints, 50 healthy older adults and 36 healthy younger adults) were randomly assigned to one of two groups: visual art production or cognitive art evaluation, where the participants either produced or evaluated art. ANOVAs with repeated measures were computed to observe effects on the Symbol-Digit Test, and the Stick Test. Significant Time effects were found with regard to processing speed and visuo-spatial cognition. Additionally, there was found a significant Time × Sample interaction for processing speed. The effects proved robust after testing for education and adding sex as additional factor. Mental stimulation by participation in art classes leads to an improvement of processing speed and visuo-spatial cognition. Further investigation is required to improve understanding of the potential impact of art intervention on cognitive abilities across adulthood.

  17. Transcranial direct current stimulation facilitates cognitive multi-task performance differentially depending on anode location and subtask.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa eScheldrup

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available There is a need to facilitate acquisition of real world cognitive multi-tasks that require long periods of training (e.g., air traffic control, intelligence analysis, medicine. Non-invasive brain stimulation – specifically transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS – has promise as a method to speed multi-task training. We hypothesized that during acquisition of the complex multi-task Space Fortress, subtasks that require focused attention on ship control would benefit from tDCS aimed at the dorsal attention network while subtasks that require redirection of attention would benefit from tDCS aimed at the right hemisphere ventral attention network. We compared effects of 30 min prefrontal and parietal stimulation to right and left hemispheres on subtask performance during the first 45 min of training. The strongest effects both overall and for ship flying (control and velocity subtasks were seen with a right parietal (C4 to left shoulder montage, shown by modeling to induce an electric field that includes nodes in both dorsal and ventral attention networks. This is consistent with the re-orienting hypothesis that the ventral attention network is activated along with the dorsal attention network if a new, task-relevant event occurs while visuospatial attention is focused (Corbetta et al., 2008. No effects were seen with anodes over sites that stimulated only dorsal (C3 or only ventral (F10 attention networks. The speed subtask (update memory for symbols benefited from an F9 anode over left prefrontal cortex. These results argue for development of tDCS as a training aid in real world settings where multi-tasking is critical.

  18. Transcranial direct current stimulation facilitates cognitive multi-task performance differentially depending on anode location and subtask.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheldrup, Melissa; Greenwood, Pamela M; McKendrick, Ryan; Strohl, Jon; Bikson, Marom; Alam, Mahtab; McKinley, R Andy; Parasuraman, Raja

    2014-01-01

    There is a need to facilitate acquisition of real world cognitive multi-tasks that require long periods of training (e.g., air traffic control, intelligence analysis, medicine). Non-invasive brain stimulation-specifically transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)-has promise as a method to speed multi-task training. We hypothesized that during acquisition of the complex multi-task Space Fortress, subtasks that require focused attention on ship control would benefit from tDCS aimed at the dorsal attention network while subtasks that require redirection of attention would benefit from tDCS aimed at the right hemisphere ventral attention network. We compared effects of 30 min prefrontal and parietal stimulation to right and left hemispheres on subtask performance during the first 45 min of training. The strongest effects both overall and for ship flying (control and velocity subtasks) were seen with a right parietal (C4, reference to left shoulder) montage, shown by modeling to induce an electric field that includes nodes in both dorsal and ventral attention networks. This is consistent with the re-orienting hypothesis that the ventral attention network is activated along with the dorsal attention network if a new, task-relevant event occurs while visuospatial attention is focused (Corbetta et al., 2008). No effects were seen with anodes over sites that stimulated only dorsal (C3) or only ventral (F10) attention networks. The speed subtask (update memory for symbols) benefited from an F9 anode over left prefrontal cortex. These results argue for development of tDCS as a training aid in real world settings where multi-tasking is critical.

  19. The modulation of EEG variability between internally- and externally-driven cognitive states varies with maturation and task performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessie M H Szostakiwskyj

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence suggests that brain signal variability is an important measure of brain function reflecting information processing capacity and functional integrity. In this study, we examined how maturation from childhood to adulthood affects the magnitude and spatial extent of state-to-state transitions in brain signal variability, and how this relates to cognitive performance. We looked at variability changes between resting-state and task (a symbol-matching task with three levels of difficulty, and within trial (fixation, post-stimulus, and post-response. We calculated variability with multiscale entropy (MSE, and additionally examined spectral power density (SPD from electroencephalography (EEG in children aged 8-14, and in adults aged 18-33. Our results suggest that maturation is characterized by increased local information processing (higher MSE at fine temporal scales and decreased long-range interactions with other neural populations (lower MSE at coarse temporal scales. Children show MSE changes that are similar in magnitude, but greater in spatial extent when transitioning between internally- and externally-driven brain states. Additionally, we found that in children, greater changes in task difficulty were associated with greater magnitude of modulation in MSE. Our results suggest that the interplay between maturational and state-to-state changes in brain signal variability manifest across different spatial and temporal scales, and influence information processing capacity in the brain.

  20. Eysenck's Theory of Personality and the Role of Background Music in Cognitive Task Performance: A Mini-Review of Conflicting Findings and a New Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küssner, Mats B

    2017-01-01

    The question of whether background music is able to enhance cognitive task performance is of interest to scholars, educators, and stakeholders in business alike. Studies have shown that background music can have beneficial, detrimental or no effects on cognitive task performance. Extraversion-and its postulated underlying cause, cortical arousal-is regarded as an important factor influencing the outcome of such studies. According to Eysenck's theory of personality, extraverts' cortical arousal at rest is lower compared to that of introverts. Scholars have thus hypothesized that extraverts should benefit from background music in cognitive tasks, whereas introverts' performance should decline with music in the background. Reviewing studies that have considered extraversion as a mediator of the effect of background music on cognitive task performance, it is demonstrated that there is as much evidence in favor as there is against Eysenck's theory of personality. Further, revisiting Eysenck's concept of cortical arousal-which has traditionally been assessed by activity in the EEG alpha band-and reviewing literature on the link between extraversion and cortical arousal, it is revealed that there is conflicting evidence. Due to Eysenck's focus on alpha power, scholars have largely neglected higher frequency bands in the EEG signal as indicators of cortical arousal. Based on recent findings, it is suggested that beta power might not only be an indicator of alertness and attention but also a predictor of cognitive task performance. In conclusion, it is proposed that focused music listening prior to cognitive tasks might be a more efficient way to boost performance than listening to background music during cognitive tasks.

  1. Eysenck's Theory of Personality and the Role of Background Music in Cognitive Task Performance: A Mini-Review of Conflicting Findings and a New Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mats B. Küssner

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The question of whether background music is able to enhance cognitive task performance is of interest to scholars, educators, and stakeholders in business alike. Studies have shown that background music can have beneficial, detrimental or no effects on cognitive task performance. Extraversion—and its postulated underlying cause, cortical arousal—is regarded as an important factor influencing the outcome of such studies. According to Eysenck's theory of personality, extraverts' cortical arousal at rest is lower compared to that of introverts. Scholars have thus hypothesized that extraverts should benefit from background music in cognitive tasks, whereas introverts' performance should decline with music in the background. Reviewing studies that have considered extraversion as a mediator of the effect of background music on cognitive task performance, it is demonstrated that there is as much evidence in favor as there is against Eysenck's theory of personality. Further, revisiting Eysenck's concept of cortical arousal—which has traditionally been assessed by activity in the EEG alpha band—and reviewing literature on the link between extraversion and cortical arousal, it is revealed that there is conflicting evidence. Due to Eysenck's focus on alpha power, scholars have largely neglected higher frequency bands in the EEG signal as indicators of cortical arousal. Based on recent findings, it is suggested that beta power might not only be an indicator of alertness and attention but also a predictor of cognitive task performance. In conclusion, it is proposed that focused music listening prior to cognitive tasks might be a more efficient way to boost performance than listening to background music during cognitive tasks.

  2. A Combined Cognitive Stimulation and Physical Exercise Programme (MINDVital) in Early Dementia: Differential Effects on Single- and Dual-Task Gait Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tay, Laura; Lim, Wee Shiong; Chan, Mark; Ali, Noorhazlina; Chong, Mei Sian

    2016-01-01

    Gait disorders are common in early dementia, with particularly pronounced dual-task deficits, contributing to the increased fall risk and mobility decline associated with cognitive impairment. This study examines the effects of a combined cognitive stimulation and physical exercise programme (MINDVital) on gait performance under single- and dual-task conditions in older adults with mild dementia. Thirty-nine patients with early dementia participated in a multi-disciplinary rehabilitation programme comprising both physical exercise and cognitive stimulation. The programme was conducted in 8-week cycles with participants attending once weekly, and all participants completed 2 successive cycles. Cognitive, functional performance and behavioural symptoms were assessed at baseline and at the end of each 8-week cycle. Gait speed was examined under both single- (Timed Up and Go and 6-metre walk tests) and dual-task (animal category and serial counting) conditions. A random effects model was performed for the independent effect of MINDVital on the primary outcome variable of gait speed under dual-task conditions. The mean age of patients enroled in the rehabilitation programme was 79 ± 6.2 years; 25 (64.1%) had a diagnosis of Alzheimer's dementia, and 26 (66.7%) were receiving a cognitive enhancer therapy. There was a significant improvement in cognitive performance [random effects coefficient (standard error) = 0.90 (0.31), p = 0.003] and gait speed under both dual-task situations [animal category: random effects coefficient = 0.04 (0.02), p = 0.039; serial counting: random effects coefficient = 0.05 (0.02), p = 0.013], with reduced dual-task cost for gait speed [serial counting: random effects coefficient = -4.05 (2.35), p = 0.086] following successive MINDVital cycles. No significant improvement in single-task gait speed was observed. Improved cognitive performance over time was a significant determinant of changes in dual-task gait speed [random effects coefficients

  3. Effects of Gait and Cognitive Task Difficulty on Cognitive-Motor Interference in Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prudence Plummer-D'Amato

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although gait-related dual-task interference in aging is well established, the effect of gait and cognitive task difficulty on dual-task interference is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of gait and cognitive task difficulty on cognitive-motor interference in aging. Fifteen older adults (72.1 years, SD 5.2 and 20 young adults (21.7 years, SD 1.6 performed three walking tasks of varying difficulty (self-selected speed, fast speed, and fast speed with obstacle crossing under single- and dual-task conditions. The cognitive tasks were the auditory Stroop task and the clock task. There was a significant Group × Gait Task × Cognitive Task interaction for the dual-task effect on gait speed. After adjusting for education, there were no significant effects of gait or cognitive task difficulty on the dual-task effects on cognitive task performance. The results of this study provide evidence that gait task difficulty influences dual-task effects on gait speed, especially in older adults. Moreover, the effects of gait task difficulty on dual-task interference appear to be influenced by the difficulty of the cognitive task. Education is an important factor influencing cognitive-motor interference effects on cognition, but not gait.

  4. Individual Differences in Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities and Team Performance in Dynamic Task Environments

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Doane, Stephanie

    2004-01-01

    .... We completed an experiment that required administration of multiple ability tests, developing teams based on ability, and development of computer software to measure individual and team performance...

  5. Work content influences on cognitive task load, emotional state and performance during a simulated 520-days' Mars mission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cohen, I.; Braber, N. den; Smets, N.J.J.M.; Diggelen, J. van; Brinkman, W.P.; Neerincx, M.A.

    2016-01-01

    In high-risk domains such as human space flight, cognitive performances can be negatively affected by emotional responses to events and conditions in their working environment (e.g., isolation and health incidents). The COgnitive Performance and Error (COPE) model distinguishes effects of work

  6. Prefrontal hemodynamic responses and the degree of flow experience among occupational therapy students during their performance of a cognitive task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuki Hirao

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Although flow experience is positively associated with motivation to learn, the biological basis of flow experience is poorly understood. Accumulation of evidence on the underlying brain mechanisms related to flow is necessary for a deeper understanding of the motivation to learn. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between flow experience and brain function using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS during the performance of a cognitive task. Methods: Sixty right-handed occupational therapy (OT students participated in this study. These students performed a verbal fluency test (VFT while 2-channel NIRS was used to assess changes in oxygenated hemoglobin concentration (oxygenated hemoglobin [oxy-Hb] in the prefrontal cortex. Soon after that, the OT students answered the flow questionnaire (FQ to assess the degree of flow experience during the VFT. Results: Average oxy-Hb in the prefrontal cortex had a significant negative correlation with the satisfaction scores on the FQ. Conclusion: Satisfaction during the flow experience correlated with prefrontal hemodynamic suppression. This finding may assist in understanding motivation to learn and related flow experience.

  7. An Improved Cognitive Model of the Iowa and Soochow Gambling Tasks With Regard to Model Fitting Performance and Tests of Parameter Consistency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junyi eDai

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT and the Soochow Gambling Task (SGT are two experience-based risky decision-making tasks for examining decision-making deficits in clinical populations. Several cognitive models, including the expectancy-valence learning model (EVL and the prospect valence learning model (PVL, have been developed to disentangle the motivational, cognitive, and response processes underlying the explicit choices in these tasks. The purpose of the current study was to develop an improved model that can fit empirical data better than the EVL and PVL models and, in addition, produce more consistent parameter estimates across the IGT and SGT. Twenty-six opiate users (mean age 34.23; SD 8.79 and 27 control participants (mean age 35; SD 10.44 completed both tasks. Eighteen cognitive models varying in evaluation, updating, and choice rules were fit to individual data and their performances were compared to that of a statistical baseline model to find a best fitting model. The results showed that the model combining the prospect utility function treating gains and losses separately, the decay-reinforcement updating rule, and the trial-independent choice rule performed the best in both tasks. Furthermore, the winning model produced more consistent individual parameter estimates across the two tasks than any of the other models.

  8. Cognitive task load analysis : Allocating tasks and designing support

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neerincx, M.A.

    2003-01-01

    We present a method for Cognitive Task Analysis that guides the early stages of software development, aiming at an optimal cognitive load for operators of process control systems. The method is based on a practical theory of cognitive task load and support. In addition to the classical measure

  9. Workshift and Antihistamine Effects on Task Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gilliland, Kirby

    1997-01-01

    Sixteen male subjects, well trained on a battery of cognitive performance assessment tasks, participated in a study to Investigate the effects on human operator performance of work shift (Day Shift vs. Mid shift...

  10. Effects of Panax ginseng, consumed with and without glucose, on blood glucose levels and cognitive performance during sustained 'mentally demanding' tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reay, Jonathon L; Kennedy, David O; Scholey, Andrew B

    2006-11-01

    Single doses of the traditional herbal treatment Panax ginseng have recently been shown to lower blood glucose levels and elicit cognitive improvements in healthy, overnight-fasted volunteers. The specific mechanisms responsible for these effects are not known. However, cognitive improvements may be related to the glycaemic properties of Panax ginseng. Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, balanced-crossover design, 27 healthy young adults completed a 10 minute "cognitive demand" test battery at baseline. They then consumed capsules containing either ginseng (extract G115) or a placebo and 30 minutes later a drink containing glucose or placebo. A further 30 minutes later (i.e. 60 minutes post-baseline/capsules) they completed the "cognitive demand" battery six times in immediate succession. Depending on the condition to which the participant was allocated on that particular day, the combination of capsules/drink treatments corresponded to a dose of: 0mg G115/0 mg glucose (placebo); 200mg G115/0 mg glucose (ginseng); 0 mg G115/25 g glucose (glucose) or 200 mg G115/25 g glucose (ginseng/glucose combination). The 10 minute "cognitive demand" battery comprised a Serial Threes subtraction task (2 min); a Serial Sevens subtraction task (2 min); a Rapid Visual Information Processing task (5 min); and a "mental fatigue" visual analogue scale. Blood glucose levels were measured prior to the day's treatment, and before and after the post-dose completions of the battery. The results showed that both Panax ginseng and glucose enhanced performance of a mental arithmetic task and ameliorated the increase in subjective feelings of mental fatigue experienced by participants during the later stages of the sustained, cognitively demanding task performance. Accuracy of performing the Rapid Visual Information Processing task (RVIP) was also improved following the glucose load. There was no evidence of a synergistic relationship between Panax ginseng and exogenous glucose ingestion

  11. Sexual orientation differences in cerebral asymmetry and in the performance of sexually dimorphic cognitive and motor tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, G; Wright, M

    1997-10-01

    With each of the tasks in the present studies we expected to find the reported sex difference between heterosexual women and heterosexual men and we predicted a sexual orientation effect with the performance of homosexual men being similar to that of heterosexual women and different from that of heterosexual men. Study 1 aimed to replicate earlier findings by recording the performance of a group of homosexual men on a visuospatial task, the Vincent Mechanical Diagrams Test (VMDT), a dot detection divided visual field measure of functional cerebral asymmetry, and on five subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). For each task the profile of scores obtained for the homosexual men was similar to that of heterosexual women in that they scored lower than heterosexual men on the VMDT, they showed less asymmetry, and they recorded a higher Verbal than Performance IQ on the WAIS. In Study 2, a male-biased targeted throwing task favored heterosexual men while, in contrast, on the female-biased Purdue Pegboard single peg condition heterosexual men were outperformed by heterosexual women and homosexual men. On neither of these two tasks did the performances of homosexual men and heterosexual women differ. One task, manual speed, yielded neither sex nor sexual orientation differences. Another, the Purdue Pegboard assemblies condition, revealed a sex difference but no sexual orientation difference. Failure to obtain a sexual orientation difference in the presence of a sex difference suggests that the sexual orientation effect may be restricted to a subset of sexually dimorphic tasks.

  12. An Integrated Model of Cognitive Control in Task Switching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altmann, Erik M.; Gray, Wayne D.

    2008-01-01

    A model of cognitive control in task switching is developed in which controlled performance depends on the system maintaining access to a code in episodic memory representing the most recently cued task. The main constraint on access to the current task code is proactive interference from old task codes. This interference and the mechanisms that…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Göran B W Söderlund

    2016-09-01

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

  15. Aerobic Fitness and Cognitive Development: Event-Related Brain Potential and Task Performance Indices of Executive Control in Preadolescent Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillman, Charles H.; Buck, Sarah M.; Themanson, Jason R.; Pontifex, Matthew B.; Castelli, Darla M.

    2009-01-01

    The relationship between aerobic fitness and executive control was assessed in 38 higher- and lower-fit children (M[subscript age] = 9.4 years), grouped according to their performance on a field test of aerobic capacity. Participants performed a flanker task requiring variable amounts of executive control while event-related brain potential…

  16. Prefrontal Activity and Connectivity with the Basal Ganglia during Performance of Complex Cognitive Tasks Is Associated with Apathy in Healthy Subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fazio, Leonardo; Logroscino, Giancarlo; Taurisano, Paolo; Amico, Graziella; Quarto, Tiziana; Antonucci, Linda Antonella; Barulli, Maria Rosaria; Mancini, Marina; Gelao, Barbara; Ferranti, Laura; Popolizio, Teresa; Bertolino, Alessandro; Blasi, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Convergent evidence indicates that apathy affects cognitive behavior in different neurological and psychiatric conditions. Studies of clinical populations have also suggested the primary involvement of the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia in apathy. These brain regions are interconnected at both the structural and functional levels and are deeply involved in cognitive processes, such as working memory and attention. However, it is unclear how apathy modulates brain processing during cognition and whether such a modulation occurs in healthy young subjects. To address this issue, we investigated the link between apathy and prefrontal and basal ganglia function in healthy young individuals. We hypothesized that apathy may be related to sub-optimal activity and connectivity in these brain regions. Three hundred eleven healthy subjects completed an apathy assessment using the Starkstein's Apathy Scale and underwent fMRI during working memory and attentional performance tasks. Using an ROI approach, we investigated the association of apathy with activity and connectivity in the DLPFC and the basal ganglia. Apathy scores correlated positively with prefrontal activity and negatively with prefrontal-basal ganglia connectivity during both working memory and attention tasks. Furthermore, prefrontal activity was inversely related to attentional behavior. These results suggest that in healthy young subjects, apathy is a trait associated with inefficient cognitive-related prefrontal activity, i.e., it increases the need for prefrontal resources to process cognitive stimuli. Furthermore, apathy may alter the functional relationship between the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia during cognition.

  17. Prefrontal Activity and Connectivity with the Basal Ganglia during Performance of Complex Cognitive Tasks Is Associated with Apathy in Healthy Subjects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Fazio

    Full Text Available Convergent evidence indicates that apathy affects cognitive behavior in different neurological and psychiatric conditions. Studies of clinical populations have also suggested the primary involvement of the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia in apathy. These brain regions are interconnected at both the structural and functional levels and are deeply involved in cognitive processes, such as working memory and attention. However, it is unclear how apathy modulates brain processing during cognition and whether such a modulation occurs in healthy young subjects. To address this issue, we investigated the link between apathy and prefrontal and basal ganglia function in healthy young individuals. We hypothesized that apathy may be related to sub-optimal activity and connectivity in these brain regions.Three hundred eleven healthy subjects completed an apathy assessment using the Starkstein's Apathy Scale and underwent fMRI during working memory and attentional performance tasks. Using an ROI approach, we investigated the association of apathy with activity and connectivity in the DLPFC and the basal ganglia.Apathy scores correlated positively with prefrontal activity and negatively with prefrontal-basal ganglia connectivity during both working memory and attention tasks. Furthermore, prefrontal activity was inversely related to attentional behavior.These results suggest that in healthy young subjects, apathy is a trait associated with inefficient cognitive-related prefrontal activity, i.e., it increases the need for prefrontal resources to process cognitive stimuli. Furthermore, apathy may alter the functional relationship between the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia during cognition.

  18. Background music and cognitive performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angel, Leslie A; Polzella, Donald J; Elvers, Greg C

    2010-06-01

    The present experiment employed standardized test batteries to assess the effects of fast-tempo music on cognitive performance among 56 male and female university students. A linguistic processing task and a spatial processing task were selected from the Criterion Task Set developed to assess verbal and nonverbal performance. Ten excerpts from Mozart's music matched for tempo were selected. Background music increased the speed of spatial processing and the accuracy of linguistic processing. The findings suggest that background music can have predictable effects on cognitive performance.

  19. The role of cognitive versus emotional intelligence in Iowa Gambling Task performance: What’s emotion got to do with it?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Christian A.; DelDonno, Sophie; Killgore, William D.S.

    2014-01-01

    Debate persists regarding the relative role of cognitive versus emotional processes in driving successful performance on the widely used Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). From the time of its initial development, patterns of IGT performance were commonly interpreted as primarily reflecting implicit, emotion-based processes. Surprisingly, little research has tried to directly compare the extent to which measures tapping relevant cognitive versus emotional competencies predict IGT performance in the same study. The current investigation attempts to address this question by comparing patterns of associations between IGT performance, cognitive intelligence (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence; WASI) and three commonly employed measures of emotional intelligence (EI; Mayer–Salovey–Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, MSCEIT; Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory, EQ-i; Self-Rated Emotional Intelligence Scale, SREIS). Results indicated that IGT performance was more strongly associated with cognitive, than emotional, intelligence. To the extent that the IGT indeed mimics “real-world” decision-making, our findings, coupled with the results of existing research, may highlight the role of deliberate, cognitive capacities over implicit, emotional processes in contributing to at least some domains of decision-making relevant to everyday life. PMID:25635149

  20. Changes in Elementary Mathematics Teachers' Understanding of Cognitive Demand: When Adapting, Creating, and Using Mathematical Performance Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamieson, Thad Spencer

    2015-01-01

    The use of mathematics performance tasks can provide a window into how a student is applying mathematics to various situations, how they are reasoning mathematically and how they are applying conceptual knowledge through problem solving and critical thinking. The purpose of this study was to investigate, according to the elementary mathematics…

  1. Resting State Default Mode Network Connectivity, Dual Task Performance, Gait Speed, and Postural Sway in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crockett, Rachel A; Hsu, Chun Liang; Best, John R; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa

    2017-01-01

    Aging is associated with an increased risk of falling. In particular, older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are more vulnerable to falling compared with their healthy counterparts. Major contributors to this increased falls risk include a decline in dual task performance, gait speed, and postural sway. Recent evidence highlights the potential influence of the default mode network (DMN), the frontoparietal network (FPN), and the supplementary motor area (SMA) on dual task performance, gait speed, and postural sway. The DMN is active during rest and deactivates during task-oriented processes, to maintain attention and stay on task. The FPN and SMA are involved in top-down attentional control, motor planning, and motor execution. The DMN shows less deactivation during task in older adults with MCI. This lack of deactivation is theorized to increase competition for resources between the DMN and task-related brain regions (e.g., the FPN and SMA), increasing distraction from the task and reducing task performance. However, no study has yet investigated the relationship between the between-network connectivity of the DMN with these regions and dual task walking, gait speed or postural sway. We hypothesized that greater functional connectivity both within the DMN and between DMN-FPN and DMN-SMA, will be associated with poorer performance during dual task walking, slower gait speed, and greater postural sway in older adults with MCI. Forty older adults with MCI were measured on a dual task-walking paradigm, gait speed over a 4-m walk, and postural sway using a sway-meter. Greater within-DMN connectivity was significantly correlated with poorer dual task performance. Furthermore, greater inter-network connectivity between the DMN and SMA was significantly correlated with slower gait speed and greater postural sway on the eyes open floor sway task. Thus, greater resting state DMN functional connectivity may be an underlying neural mechanism for reduced dual task

  2. A cognitive task analysis of the SGTR scenario

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hollnagel, E.; Edland, A.; Svenson, O.

    1996-04-01

    This report constitutes a contribution to the NKS/RAK-1:3 project on Integrated Sequence Analysis. Following the meeting at Ringhals, the work was proposed to be performed by the following three steps: Task 1. Cognitive Task Analysis of the E-3 procedure. Task 2. Evaluation and revision of task analysis with Ringhals/KSU experts. Task 3. Integration with simulator data. The Cognitive Task Analysis (CTA) of Task 1 uses the Goals-Means Task Analysis (GMTA) method to identify the sequence of tasks and task steps necessary to achieve the goals of the procedure. It is based on material supplied by Ringhals, which describes the E-3 procedure, including the relevant ES and ECA procedures. The analysis further outlines the cognitive demands profile associated with individual task steps as well as with the task as a whole, as an indication of the nominal task load. The outcome of the cognitive task analysis provides a basis for proposing an adequate event tree. This report describes the results from Task 1. The work has included a two-day meeting between the three contributors, as well as the exchange of intermediate results and comments throughout the period. After the initial draft of the report was prepared, an opportunity was given to observe the SGTR scenario in a full-scope training simulator, and to discuss the details with the instructors. This led to several improvements from the initial draft. (EG)

  3. Brain signal analysis using EEG and Entropy to study the effect of physical and mental tasks on cognitive performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dineshen Chuckravanen

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Some theoretical control models posit that the fatigue which is developed during physical activity is not always peripheral and it is the brain which causes this feeling of fatigue. This fatigue develops due to a decrease of metabolic resources to and from the brain that modulates physical performance. Therefore, this research was conducted to find out if there was finite level ofmetabolic energy resources in the brain, by performing both mental and physical activities to exhaustion. It was found that there was an overflow of information during the exercise-involved experiment. The circular relationship between fatigue, cognitive performance and arousal state insinuates that one should apply more effort to maintain performance levels which would require more energy resources that eventually accelerates the development of fatigue. Thus, there appeared to be a limited amount of energy resources in the brain as shown by the cognitive performance of the participants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Frederick G.

    1993-01-01

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

  5. The effect of breakfast versus no breakfast on brain activity in adolescents when performing cognitive tasks, as assessed by fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulford, Jonathan; Varley-Campbell, Joanna L; Williams, Craig A

    2016-01-01

    The study examined the feasibility of utilizing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a group of adolescent boys and girls to assess modifications in cognitive function, dependent upon the nutritional state of the participants. Twenty children aged 12-14 years completed two cognitive trials, in a randomized counterbalanced order, one under fasting condition, one after consuming breakfast, during which continuous fMRI data were acquired. Although no statistically significant (P > 0.05) improvement in task performance was determined, significantly higher activation was recorded in the frontal, premotor, and primary visual cortex areas in the breakfast trial relative to the fasting condition. Such a finding may have important implications in the examination of the role of diet, and specifically breakfast, in determining children's performance within the school environment.

  6. Prevalence of at-risk drinking among Brazilian truck drivers and its interference on the performance of executive cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira, Lucio Garcia; Leopoldo, Kae; Gouvea, Marcela Julio Cesar; Barroso, Lucia Pereira; Gouveia, Paula Adriana Rodrigues; Muñoz, Daniel Romero; Leyton, Vilma

    2016-09-01

    Binge drinking (BD) has been associated with an increase in the risk of alcohol-related injuries. Alcohol continues to be the main substance consumed by truck drivers, a population of special concern, since they are often involved in traffic accidents. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of BD and its interference in the executive functioning among truck drivers in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A non-probabilistic sample of 684 truck drivers was requested to answer a structured research instrument on their demographic data and alcohol use. They performed cognitive tests to assess their executive functioning and inventories about confounding variables. The participants were then divided according to their involvement in BD. 17.5% of the interviewees have reported being engaged in BD. Binge drinkers showed a better performance on one test, despite having done so at the expense of more mistakes and lower accuracy. More interestingly, binge drinkers took three seconds longer than non-binge drinkers to inhibit an inadequate response, which is worrisome in the context of traffic. Overall, the deleterious effect of BD on performance remained after controlling for the effects of confounding variables in regression logistic models. As the use of alcohol among truck drivers may be as a way to get by with their work conditions, we believe that a negotiation between their work organization and public authorities would reduce such use, preventing negative interferences on truck drivers' cognitive functioning, which by its turn may also prevent traffic accidents. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Valence, arousal and cognitive control: A voluntary task switching study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jelle eDemanet

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The present study focused on the interplay between arousal, valence and cognitive control. To this end, we investigated how arousal and valence associated with affective stimuli influenced cognitive flexibility when switching between tasks voluntarily. Three hypotheses were tested. First, a valence hypothesis that states that the positive valence of affective stimuli will facilitate both global and task-switching performance because of increased cognitive flexibility. Second, an arousal hypothesis that states that arousal, and not valence, will specifically impair task-switching performance by strengthening the previously executed task-set. Third, an attention hypothesis that states that both cognitive and emotional control ask for limited attentional resources, and predicts that arousal will impair both global and task-switching performance. The results showed that arousal affected task-switching but not global performance, possibly by phasic modulations of the noradrenergic system that reinforces the previously executed task. In addition, positive valence only affected global performance but not task-switching performance, possibly by phasic modulations of dopamine that stimulates the general ability to perform in a multitasking environment.

  8. Motivation and performance within a collaborative computer-based modeling task: Relations between student's achievement goal orientation, self-efficiacy, cognitive processing and achievement.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sins, Patrick H.M.; van Joolingen, Wouter; Savelsbergh, Elwin R.; van Hout-Wolters, Bernadette

    2008-01-01

    Purpose of the present study was to test a conceptual model of relations among achievement goal orientation, self-efficacy, cognitive processing, and achievement of students working within a particular collaborative task context. The task involved a collaborative computer-based modeling task. In

  9. Motivation and performance within a collaborative computer-based modeling task: Relations between students' achievement goal orientation, self-efficacy, cognitive processing and achievement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sins, P.H.M.; van Joolingen, W.R.; Savelsbergh, E.R.; van Hout-Wolters, B.H.A.M.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose of the present study was to test a conceptual model of relations among achievement goal orientation, self-efficacy, cognitive processing, and achievement of students working within a particular collaborative task context. The task involved a collaborative computer-based modeling task. In

  10. The perceptual cognitive processes underpinning skilled performance in volleyball: evidence from eye-movements and verbal reports of thinking involving an in situ representative task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, José; Garganta, Jêlio; McRobert, Allistair; Williams, Andrew M; Mesquita, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    An extensive body of work has focused on the processes underpinning perceptual-cognitive expertise. The majority of researchers have used film-based simulations to capture superior performance. We combined eye movement recording and verbal reports of thinking to explore the processes underpinning skilled performance in a complex, dynamic, and externally paced representative volleyball task involving in situ data collection. Altogether, 27 female volleyball players performed as centre backcourt defenders in simulated sessions while wearing an eye-tracking device. After each sequence, athletes were questioned concerning their perception of the situation. The visual search strategies employed by the highly-skilled players were more exploratory than those used by skilled players, involving more fixations to a greater number of locations. Highly-skilled participants spent more time fixating on functional spaces between two or more display areas, while the skilled participants fixated on the ball trajectory and specific players. Moreover, highly-skilled players generated more condition concepts with higher levels of sophistication than their skilled counterparts. Findings highlight the value of using representative task designs to capture performance in situ. Key pointsDecision-making in complex sports relies deeply on perceptual-cognitive expertise. In turn, the effect of expertise is highly dependent on the nature and complexity of the task.Nonetheless, most researchers use simple tasks in their research designs, risking not capturing performance in a meaningful way. We proposed to use a live action setting with a complex task design, representative of real world situations.We combined eye movement registration with collection of immediate retrospective verbal reports. Although the two data sets are not directly comparable, they may be used in a complementary manner, providing a deeper and fuller understanding of the processes underpinning superior performance

  11. The influence of individual and team cognitive ability on operators' task and safety performance: a multilevel field study in nuclear power plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingyu Zhang

    Full Text Available While much research has investigated the predictors of operators' performance such as personality, attitudes and motivation in high-risk industries, its cognitive antecedents and boundary conditions have not been fully investigated. Based on a multilevel investigation of 312 nuclear power plant main control room operators from 50 shift teams, the present study investigated how general mental ability (GMA at both individual and team level can influence task and safety performance. At the individual level, operators' GMA was predictive of their task and safety performance and this trend became more significant as they accumulated more experience. At the team level, we found team GMA had positive influences on all three performance criteria. However, we also found a "big-fish-little-pond" effect insofar as team GMA had a relatively smaller effect and inhibited the contribution of individual GMA to workers' extra-role behaviors (safety participation compared to its clear beneficial influence on in-role behaviors (task performance and safety compliance. The possible mechanisms related to learning and social comparison processes are discussed.

  12. The influence of individual and team cognitive ability on operators' task and safety performance: a multilevel field study in nuclear power plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jingyu; Li, Yongjuan; Wu, Changxu

    2013-01-01

    While much research has investigated the predictors of operators' performance such as personality, attitudes and motivation in high-risk industries, its cognitive antecedents and boundary conditions have not been fully investigated. Based on a multilevel investigation of 312 nuclear power plant main control room operators from 50 shift teams, the present study investigated how general mental ability (GMA) at both individual and team level can influence task and safety performance. At the individual level, operators' GMA was predictive of their task and safety performance and this trend became more significant as they accumulated more experience. At the team level, we found team GMA had positive influences on all three performance criteria. However, we also found a "big-fish-little-pond" effect insofar as team GMA had a relatively smaller effect and inhibited the contribution of individual GMA to workers' extra-role behaviors (safety participation) compared to its clear beneficial influence on in-role behaviors (task performance and safety compliance). The possible mechanisms related to learning and social comparison processes are discussed.

  13. Analysis of operators' diagnosis tasks based on cognitive process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou Yong; Zhang Li

    2012-01-01

    Diagnosis tasks in nuclear power plants characterized as high-dynamic uncertainties are complex reasoning tasks. Diagnosis errors are the main causes for the error of commission. Firstly, based on mental model theory and perception/action cycle theory, a cognitive model for analyzing operators' diagnosis tasks is proposed. Then, the model is used to investigate a trip event which occurred at crystal river nuclear power plant. The application demonstrates typical cognitive bias and mistakes which operators may make when performing diagnosis tasks. They mainly include the strong confirmation tendency, difficulty to produce complete hypothesis sets, group mindset, non-systematic errors in hypothesis testing, and etc. (authors)

  14. Cognitive Task Analysis of Prioritization in Air Traffic Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redding, Richard E.; And Others

    A cognitive task analysis was performed to analyze the key cognitive components of the en route air traffic controllers' jobs. The goals were to ascertain expert mental models and decision-making strategies and to identify important differences in controller knowledge, skills, and mental models as a function of expertise. Four groups of…

  15. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia responses to cognitive tasks: effects of task factors and RSA indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overbeek, Thérèse J M; van Boxtel, Anton; Westerink, Joyce H D M

    2014-05-01

    Many studies show that respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) decreases while performing cognitive tasks. However, there is uncertainty about the role of contaminating factors such as physical activity and stress-inducing task variables. Different methods to quantify RSA may also contribute to variable results. In 83 healthy subjects, we studied RSA responses to a working memory task requiring varying levels of cognitive control and a perceptual attention task not requiring strong cognitive control. RSA responses were quantified in the time and frequency domain and were additionally corrected for differences in mean interbeat interval and respiration rate, resulting in eight different RSA indices. The two tasks were clearly differentiated by heart rate and facial EMG reference measures. Cognitive control induced inhibition of RSA whereas perceptual attention generally did not. However, the results show several differences between different RSA indices, emphasizing the importance of methodological variables. Age and sex did not influence the results. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE LABORATORY

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — This laboratory conducts basic and applied human research studies to characterize cognitive performance as influenced by militarily-relevant contextual and physical...

  17. Response of the medial temporal lobe network in amnestic mild cognitive impairment to therapeutic intervention assessed by fMRI and memory task performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arnold Bakker

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies of individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI have detected hyperactivity in the hippocampus during task-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. Such elevated activation has been localized to the hippocampal dentate gyrus/CA3 (DG/CA3 during performance of a task designed to detect the computational contributions of those hippocampal circuits to episodic memory. The current investigation was conducted to test the hypothesis that greater hippocampal activation in aMCI represents a dysfunctional shift in the normal computational balance of the DG/CA3 regions, augmenting CA3-driven pattern completion at the expense of pattern separation mediated by the dentate gyrus. We tested this hypothesis using an intervention based on animal research demonstrating a beneficial effect on cognition by reducing excess hippocampal neural activity with low doses of the atypical anti-epileptic levetiracetam. In a within-subject design we assessed the effects of levetiracetam in three cohorts of aMCI participants, each receiving a different dose of levetiracetam. Elevated activation in the DG/CA3 region, together with impaired task performance, was detected in each aMCI cohort relative to an aged control group. We observed significant improvement in memory task performance under drug treatment relative to placebo in the aMCI cohorts at the 62.5 and 125 mg BID doses of levetiracetam. Drug treatment in those cohorts increased accuracy dependent on pattern separation processes and reduced errors attributable to an over-riding effect of pattern completion while normalizing fMRI activation in the DG/CA3 and entorhinal cortex. Similar to findings in animal studies, higher dosing at 250 mg BID had no significant benefit on either task performance or fMRI activation. Consistent with predictions based on the computational functions of the DG/CA3 elucidated in basic animal research, these data support a dysfunctional encoding mechanism

  18. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia responses to cognitive tasks : effects of task factors and RSA indices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overbeek, T.; Boxtel, van Anton; Westerink, J.H.D.M.

    2014-01-01

    Many studies show that respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) decreases while performing cognitive tasks. However, there is uncertainty about the role of contaminating factors such as physical activity and stress-inducing task variables. Different methods to quantify RSA may also contribute to variable

  19. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia responses to cognitive tasks: Effects of task factors and RSA indices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overbeek, T.J.M.; van Boxtel, A.; Westerink, J.H.D.M.

    2014-01-01

    Many studies show that respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) decreases while performing cognitive tasks. However, there is uncertainty about the role of contaminating factors such as physical activity and stress-inducing task variables. Different methods to quantify RSA may also contribute to variable

  20. Estimating functional cognition in older adults using observational assessments of task performance in complex everyday activities: A systematic review and evaluation of measurement properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wesson, Jacqueline; Clemson, Lindy; Brodaty, Henry; Reppermund, Simone

    2016-09-01

    Functional cognition is a relatively new concept in assessment of older adults with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. Instruments need to be reliable and valid, hence we conducted a systematic review of observational assessments of task performance used to estimate functional cognition in this population. Two separate database searches were conducted: firstly to identify instruments; and secondly to identify studies reporting on the psychometric properties of the instruments. Studies were analysed using a published checklist and their quality reviewed according to specific published criteria. Clinical utility was reviewed and the information formulated into a best evidence synthesis. We found 21 instruments and included 58 studies reporting on measurement properties. The majority of studies were rated as being of fair methodological quality and the range of properties investigated was restricted. Most instruments had studies reporting on construct validity (hypothesis testing), none on content validity and there were few studies reporting on reliability. Overall the evidence on psychometric properties is lacking and there is an urgent need for further evaluation of instruments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Faster on Easy Items, More Accurate on Difficult Ones: Cognitive Ability and Performance on a Task of Varying Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodonova, Yulia A.; Dodonov, Yury S.

    2013-01-01

    Using more complex items than those commonly employed within the information-processing approach, but still easier than those used in intelligence tests, this study analyzed how the association between processing speed and accuracy level changes as the difficulty of the items increases. The study involved measuring cognitive ability using Raven's…

  2. Performing Task Integration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Elkjaer, Bente; Nickelsen, Niels Christian Mossfeldt

    by shared goals and knowledge as well as mutual respect and frequent, timely, accurate and problem-solving ways of communication with the purpose of dealing with the tasks at hand in an integrated way. We introduce and discuss relational coordination theory through a case-study within public healthcare....... Here cross-professional coordination of work was done by scheduled communication twice a day. When we proposed a way for further integration of tasks through an all-inclusive team organization, we were met with resistance. We use the study to discuss whether relational coordination theory is able to do...... away with differences regarding task definitions and working conditions as well as professional knowledge hierarchies and responsibilities for parts and wholes....

  3. Contrasting effects of self-schema priming on lexical decisions and interpersonal stroop task performance: evidence for a cognitive/interactionist model of interpersonal dependency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bornstein, Robert F; Ng, H Mei; Gallagher, Heather A; Kloss, Deanna M; Regier, Natalie G

    2005-06-01

    Four experiments tested a key tenet of Bornstein's (1992, 1993) cognitive/interactionist (C/I) model of interpersonal dependency: that priming the helpless self-schema (HSS) alters processing of dependency-related information in dependent--but not nondependent--individuals. Experiments 1 and 2 assessed the effects of subliminal lexical priming and an emotional priming manipulation on lexical decision (LD) judgments for dependency-related words and control words. Experiments 3 and 4 assessed the effects of these same priming procedures on Interpersonal Stroop Task (IST) performance. As predicted, priming the HSS produced contrasting effects on different outcome measures, decreasing LD latencies, but increasing IST response times. Results are discussed in the context of the C/I model, and suggestions for future studies are offered.

  4. The Use of Conjunctions in Cognitively Simple versus Complex Oral L2 Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Marije C.

    2013-01-01

    The present study explores the use of conjunctions in simple versus complex argumentative tasks performed by second language (L2) learners as a specific measure for the amount of reasoning involved in task performance. The Cognition Hypothesis (Robinson, 2005) states that an increase in cognitive task complexity promotes improvements in L2…

  5. Males and females differ in brain activation during cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Emily C; Willson, Morgan C; Wilman, Alan H; Dave, Sanjay; Silverstone, Peter H

    2006-04-01

    To examine the effect of gender on regional brain activity, we utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a motor task and three cognitive tasks; a word generation task, a spatial attention task, and a working memory task in healthy male (n = 23) and female (n = 10) volunteers. Functional data were examined for group differences both in the number of pixels activated, and the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) magnitude during each task. Males had a significantly greater mean activation than females in the working memory task with a greater number of pixels being activated in the right superior parietal gyrus and right inferior occipital gyrus, and a greater BOLD magnitude occurring in the left inferior parietal lobe. However, despite these fMRI changes, there were no significant differences between males and females on cognitive performance of the task. In contrast, in the spatial attention task, men performed better at this task than women, but there were no significant functional differences between the two groups. In the word generation task, there were no external measures of performance, but in the functional measurements, males had a significantly greater mean activation than females, where males had a significantly greater BOLD signal magnitude in the left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the right inferior parietal lobe, and the cingulate. In neither of the motor tasks (right or left hand) did males and females perform differently. Our fMRI findings during the motor tasks were a greater mean BOLD signal magnitude in males in the right hand motor task, compared to females where males had an increased BOLD signal magnitude in the right inferior parietal gyrus and in the left inferior frontal gyrus. In conclusion, these results demonstrate differential patterns of activation in males and females during a variety of cognitive tasks, even though performance in these tasks may not vary, and also that variability in performance may not

  6. The Relationship of Cognitive Performance and the Theta-Alpha Power Ratio Is Age-Dependent: An EEG Study of Short Term Memory and Reasoning during Task and Resting-State in Healthy Young and Old Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janet P. Trammell

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The Theta-Alpha ratio (TAR is known to differ based upon age and cognitive ability, with pathological electroencephalography (EEG patterns routinely found within neurodegenerative disorders of older adults. We hypothesized that cognitive ability would predict EEG metrics differently within healthy young and old adults, and that healthy old adults not showing age-expected EEG activity may be more likely to demonstrate cognitive deficits relative to old adults showing these expected changes.Methods: In 216 EEG blocks collected in 16 young and 20 old adults during rest (eyes open, eyes closed and cognitive tasks (short-term memory [STM]; matrix reasoning [RM; Raven's matrices], models assessed the contributing roles of cognitive ability, age, and task in predicting the TAR. A general linear mixed-effects regression model was used to model this relationship, including interaction effects to test whether increased cognitive ability predicted TAR differently for young and old adults at rest and during cognitive tasks.Results: The relationship between cognitive ability and the TAR across all blocks showed age-dependency, and cognitive performance at the CZ midline location predicted the TAR measure when accounting for the effect of age (p < 0.05, chi-square test of nested models. Age significantly interacted with STM performance in predicting the TAR (p < 0.05; increases in STM were associated with increased TAR in young adults, but not in old adults. RM showed similar interaction effects with aging and TAR (p < 0.10.Conclusion: EEG correlates of cognitive ability are age-dependent. Adults who did not show age-related EEG changes were more likely to exhibit cognitive deficits than those who showed age-related changes. This suggests that healthy aging should produce moderate changes in Alpha and TAR measures, and the absence of such changes signals impaired cognitive functioning.

  7. Cognitive therapy for performance anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodebaugh, Thomas L; Chambless, Dianne L

    2004-08-01

    We present and illustrate the major components of cognitive therapy for performance anxiety, focusing on the performance fears of a client treated with a protocol designed for social phobia. The basic supposition of cognitive theory is that a client's thoughts and beliefs about situations maintain distressing feelings, such as anxiety. Changing these beliefs involves detection and disputation of anxiety-provoking thoughts, as well as testing of these thoughts through exposure to feared situations. Through a process of identifying existing beliefs about performance situations and challenging these beliefs, clients can gain a more realistic and less anxiety-producing perspective on performance tasks. Specific techniques, along with common difficulties and potential solutions, are presented in a detailed case study. Copyright 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Dual-Task Walking in Challenging Environments in People with Stroke: Cognitive-Motor Interference and Task Prioritization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celine Timmermans

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive-motor interference may contribute to the risk of falling in people with stroke, as may be the associated phenomenon of inappropriate task prioritization. Examining dual-task walking could provide valuable insights as to how to best evaluate and treat walking in people with stroke. This study aimed to examine the effect of different walking environments on cognitive-motor interference and task prioritization in dual-task walking in people with stroke. Using a repeated-measures design, cognitive-motor interference and task prioritization were assessed in 30 stroke survivors, while walking in a plain environment and in two challenging environments that were enriched with either stationary physical context or suddenly appearing projector-augmented context. All three walking environment conditions were performed with and without a concurrent serial-3 subtraction task. We found stronger cognitive-motor interference for the two challenging environments than for the plain walking environment. Cognitive-motor interference did not differ between challenging walking environments, but task prioritization did: motor performance was prioritized more in the environment with physical context than in the environment with projector-augmented context and vice versa for cognitive-task performance. In conclusion, walking environment strongly influenced cognitive-motor interference and task prioritization during dual-task walking in people with stroke.

  9. Using cognitive architectures to study issues in team cognition in a complex task environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, Paul R.; Sycara, Katia; Tang, Yuqing

    2014-05-01

    Cognitive social simulation is a computer simulation technique that aims to improve our understanding of the dynamics of socially-situated and socially-distributed cognition. This makes cognitive social simulation techniques particularly appealing as a means to undertake experiments into team cognition. The current paper reports on the results of an ongoing effort to develop a cognitive social simulation capability that can be used to undertake studies into team cognition using the ACT-R cognitive architecture. This capability is intended to support simulation experiments using a team-based problem solving task, which has been used to explore the effect of different organizational environments on collective problem solving performance. The functionality of the ACT-R-based cognitive social simulation capability is presented and a number of areas of future development work are outlined. The paper also describes the motivation for adopting cognitive architectures in the context of social simulation experiments and presents a number of research areas where cognitive social simulation may be useful in developing a better understanding of the dynamics of team cognition. These include the use of cognitive social simulation to study the role of cognitive processes in determining aspects of communicative behavior, as well as the impact of communicative behavior on the shaping of task-relevant cognitive processes (e.g., the social shaping of individual and collective memory as a result of communicative exchanges). We suggest that the ability to perform cognitive social simulation experiments in these areas will help to elucidate some of the complex interactions that exist between cognitive, social, technological and informational factors in the context of team-based problem-solving activities.

  10. Improving Sensitivity to Detect Mild Cognitive Impairment: Cognitive Load Dual-Task Gait Speed Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacAulay, Rebecca K; Wagner, Mark T; Szeles, Dana; Milano, Nicholas J

    2017-07-01

    Longitudinal research indicates that cognitive load dual-task gait assessment is predictive of cognitive decline and thus might provide a sensitive measure to screen for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, research among older adults being clinically evaluated for cognitive concerns, a defining feature of MCI, is lacking. The present study investigated the effect of performing a cognitive task on normal walking speed in patients presenting to a memory clinic with cognitive complaints. Sixty-one patients with a mean age of 68 years underwent comprehensive neuropsychological testing, clinical interview, and gait speed (simple- and dual-task conditions) assessments. Thirty-four of the 61 patients met criteria for MCI. Repeated measure analyses of covariance revealed that greater age and MCI both significantly associated with slower gait speed, pscognitive dual task within a clinically representative population. Cognitive load dual-task gait assessment may provide a cost efficient and sensitive measure to detect older adults at high risk of a dementia disorder. (JINS, 2017, 23, 493-501).

  11. Cognitive performance modeling based on general systems performance theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondraske, George V

    2010-01-01

    General Systems Performance Theory (GSPT) was initially motivated by problems associated with quantifying different aspects of human performance. It has proved to be invaluable for measurement development and understanding quantitative relationships between human subsystem capacities and performance in complex tasks. It is now desired to bring focus to the application of GSPT to modeling of cognitive system performance. Previous studies involving two complex tasks (i.e., driving and performing laparoscopic surgery) and incorporating measures that are clearly related to cognitive performance (information processing speed and short-term memory capacity) were revisited. A GSPT-derived method of task analysis and performance prediction termed Nonlinear Causal Resource Analysis (NCRA) was employed to determine the demand on basic cognitive performance resources required to support different levels of complex task performance. This approach is presented as a means to determine a cognitive workload profile and the subsequent computation of a single number measure of cognitive workload (CW). Computation of CW may be a viable alternative to measuring it. Various possible "more basic" performance resources that contribute to cognitive system performance are discussed. It is concluded from this preliminary exploration that a GSPT-based approach can contribute to defining cognitive performance models that are useful for both individual subjects and specific groups (e.g., military pilots).

  12. Predictive performance models and multiple task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher D.; Larish, Inge; Contorer, Aaron

    1989-01-01

    Five models that predict how performance of multiple tasks will interact in complex task scenarios are discussed. The models are shown in terms of the assumptions they make about human operator divided attention. The different assumptions about attention are then empirically validated in a multitask helicopter flight simulation. It is concluded from this simulation that the most important assumption relates to the coding of demand level of different component tasks.

  13. Computer-Related Task Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Longstreet, Phil; Xiao, Xiao; Sarker, Saonee

    2016-01-01

    The existing information system (IS) literature has acknowledged computer self-efficacy (CSE) as an important factor contributing to enhancements in computer-related task performance. However, the empirical results of CSE on performance have not always been consistent, and increasing an individual......'s CSE is often a cumbersome process. Thus, we introduce the theoretical concept of self-prophecy (SP) and examine how this social influence strategy can be used to improve computer-related task performance. Two experiments are conducted to examine the influence of SP on task performance. Results show...... that SP and CSE interact to influence performance. Implications are then discussed in terms of organizations’ ability to increase performance....

  14. A framework for cognitive task analysis in systems design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasmussen, J.

    1985-08-01

    The present rapid development if advanced information technology and its use for support of operators of complex technical systems are changing the content of task analysis towards the analysis of mental activities in decision making. Automation removes the humans from routine tasks, and operators are left with disturbance control and critical diagnostic tasks, for which computers are suitable for support, if it is possible to match the computer strategies and interface formats dynamically to the requirements of the current task by means of an analysis of the cognitive task. Such a cognitive task analysis will not aim at a description of the information processes suited for particular control situations. It will rather aim at an analysis in order to identify the requirements to be considered along various dimensions of the decision tasks, in order to give the user - i.e. a decision maker - the freedom to adapt his performance to system requirements in a way which matches his process resources and subjective preferences. To serve this purpose, a number of analyses at various levels are needed to relate the control requirements of the system to the information processes and to the processing resources offered by computers and humans. The paper discusses the cognitive task analysis in terms of the following domains: The problem domain, which is a representation of the functional properties of the system giving a consistent framework for identification of the control requirements of the system; the decision sequences required for typical situations; the mental strategies and heuristics which are effective and acceptable for the different decision functions; and the cognitive control mechanisms used, depending upon the level of skill which can/will be applied. Finally, the end-users' criteria for choice of mental strategies in the actual situation are considered, and the need for development of criteria for judging the ultimate user acceptance of computer support is

  15. New social tasks for cognitive psychology; or, new cognitive tasks for social psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wettersten, John

    2014-01-01

    To elucidate how differing theories of rationality lead to differing practices, their social rules must be analyzed. This is true not merely in science but also in society at large. This analysis of social thinking requires both the identification of innate cognitive social psychological processes and explanations of their relations with differing rules of rational practice. These new tasks can enable social psychologists to contribute to the study of how social situations facilitate or inhibit rational practice and enable cognitive psychologists to improve social psychological theory. In contrast to dominant current research strategies, social and cognitive psychologists can integrate social studies of rational practices and their consequences with studies of underlying cognitive psychological processes. In this article I do not attempt to carry out these tasks but rather point to both their lack of recognition and their importance.

  16. Increased cognitive control after task conflict? Investigating the N-3 effect in task switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuch, Stefanie; Grange, James A

    2018-05-25

    Task inhibition is considered to facilitate switching to a new task and is assumed to decay slowly over time. Hence, more persisting inhibition needs to be overcome when returning to a task after one intermediary trial (ABA task sequence) than when returning after two or more intermediary trials (CBA task sequence). Schuch and Grange (J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 41:760-767, 2015) put forward the hypothesis that there is higher task conflict in ABA than CBA sequences, leading to increased cognitive control in the subsequent trial. They provided evidence that performance is better in trials following ABA than following CBA task sequences. Here, this effect of the previous task sequence ("N-3 effect") is further investigated by varying the cue-stimulus interval (CSI), allowing for short (100 ms) or long (900 ms) preparation time for the upcoming task. If increased cognitive control after ABA involves a better preparation for the upcoming task, the N-3 effect should be larger with long than short CSI. The results clearly show that this is not the case. In Experiment 1, the N-3 effect was smaller with long than short CSI; in Experiment 2, the N-3 effect was not affected by CSI. Diffusion model analysis confirmed previous results in the literature (regarding the effect of CSI and of the ABA-CBA difference); however, the N-3 effect was not unequivocally associated with any of the diffusion model parameters. In exploratory analysis, we also tested the alternative hypothesis that the N-3 effect involves more effective task shielding, which would be reflected in reduced congruency effects in trials following ABA, relative to trials following CBA; congruency effects did not differ between these conditions. Taken together, we can rule out two potential explanations of the N-3 effect: Neither is this effect due to enhanced task preparation, nor to more effective task shielding.

  17. Gait, dual task and history of falls in elderly with preserved cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and mild Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ansai, Juliana H; Andrade, Larissa P; Rossi, Paulo G; Takahashi, Anielle C M; Vale, Francisco A C; Rebelatto, José R

    Studies with functional and applicable methods and new cognitive demands involving executive function are needed to improve screening, prevention and rehabilitation of cognitive impairment and falls. to identify differences in gait, dual task performances, and history of falls between elderly people with preserved cognition, mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease. A cross-sectional study was conducted. The sample consisted of 40 community-dwelling older adults with preserved cognition, 40 older adults with mild cognitive impairment, and 38 older adults with mild Alzheimer's disease. The assessment consisted of anamneses, gait (measured by the 10-meter walk test), dual task (measured by the Timed Up and Go Test associated with the motor-cognitive task of calling a phone number), and history of falls in the past year. There were no differences among all groups for all variables. However, the Alzheimer's disease Group performed significantly worse in the dual task than the other groups. No item of dual task could distinguish people with preserved cognition from those with mild cognitive impairment. The groups with cognitive impairment included more fallers, and specific characteristics in history of falls between groups were identified. Dual task could distinguish Alzheimer's disease patients specifically from other cognitive profiles. Copyright © 2017 Associação Brasileira de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação em Fisioterapia. Publicado por Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  18. Influence of Cognitive Variables in the Iowa Gambling Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marino D., Julián C.

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to analyze the influence of cognitive and personality variables in the Decision Making (DM construct, evaluated by the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT. For this propose, a battery of neuropsychological tests was applied to 116 individuals of both genders between 18 and 35 years olds. The results showed that the IGT performance was not associated to the cognitive variables evaluated, only it has been found moderated relationship between working memory and DM. These outcomes suggest that DM seems to be an independent construct of the “cool” cognitive functions and could be influenced for the emotional or motivational aspects related to “hot” cognitive process. Finally, the DM process seems to be more associated to the ability to avoid punishment than the capacity of evaluate long term benefits.

  19. Mood states determine the degree of task shielding in dual-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwosta, Katharina; Hommel, Bernhard; Goschke, Thomas; Fischer, Rico

    2013-01-01

    Current models of multitasking assume that dual-task performance and the degree of multitasking are affected by cognitive control strategies. In particular, cognitive control is assumed to regulate the amount of shielding of the prioritised task from crosstalk from the secondary task. We investigated whether and how task shielding is influenced by mood states. Participants were exposed to two short film clips, one inducing high and one inducing low arousal, of either negative or positive content. Negative mood led to stronger shielding of the prioritised task (i.e., less crosstalk) than positive mood, irrespective of arousal. These findings support the assumption that emotional states determine the parameters of cognitive control and play an important role in regulating dual-task performance.

  20. The Role of Task Complexity, Modality, and Aptitude in Narrative Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kormos, Judit; Trebits, Anna

    2012-01-01

    The study reported in this paper investigated the relationship between components of aptitude and the fluency, lexical variety, syntactic complexity, and accuracy of performance in two types of written and spoken narrative tasks. We also addressed the question of how narrative performance varies in tasks of different cognitive complexity in the…

  1. Sustained and transient attention in the Continuous Performance Task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  2. Generic cognitive adaptations to task interference in task switching

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poljac, E.; Bekkering, H.

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated how the activation of previous tasks interferes with the execution of future tasks as a result of temporal manipulations. Color and shape matching tasks were organized in runs of two trials each. The tasks were specified by a cue presented before a task run, cueing

  3. The effect of different cognitive domains on dual-task cost of gait in cognitive impaired elderly

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamoth, Claudine; Appels, Bregje; Van Campen, Jos

    2013-01-01

    Objective: For persons with dementia performance of a cognitive task during a motor task is associated with impaired gait stability and increased fall risk. While gait with and without dual tasking has often been the object studies, few studies have investigated the relationship between different

  4. Augmented Cognition - Phase 4 Cognitive Assessment and Task Management (CAT-M)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Bingham, Richard; Kineses, Wilhelm E

    2008-01-01

    .... Initially, the Augmented Cognition program has focused on cognitive overload situations. Looking towards a complete solution for Augmented Cognition, another situation required the understanding of the concept of task underload...

  5. Cognitive Modeling for Closed-Loop Task Mitigation, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — As flightdeck equipment becomes more sophisticated and complex, operations become significantly more cognitively demanding. When tasks demands exceed the operator's...

  6. Comparing the effects of balance training with and without cognitive tasks on the quality of life and balance performance in community-dwelling older adults: a single-blind randomized clinical trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehsan Sinaei

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Aging process can deteriorate the ability to maintain balance, specifically under dual-task conditions. Thus far, different methods of exercises therapy have been applied to improve balance performance of older adults. The present study was designed to compare the effects of two protocols of balance training on the quality of life (QoL and balance performance in older adults with mild balance impairments. Methods: Twenty-four older adults over 60 years old were allocated randomly into single-task (n=12 and dual-task (n=12 exercise groups. Single-task group received routine balance exercises, over a four-week period and dual-task group was treated by the same exercise program plus a cognitive task. QoL and balance status were assessed by the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36 and Fullerton Advanced Balance scale (FAB questionnaires, before and after the interventions. Results: After four weeks of training, balance performance and some factors of QoL improved significantly in both groups (P<0.05. However, there were no significant differences in any of the variables between the two groups. Conclusion: Balance exercises, under both single- and dual-task conditions can improve the balance level and some aspects of QoL in older adults with mild balance impairments, with no priority of one group over another.

  7. Physical and cognitive task analysis in interventional radiology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, S [School of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool (United Kingdom); Healey, A [Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool (United Kingdom); Evans, J [Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool (United Kingdom); Murphy, M [Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool (United Kingdom); Crawshaw, M [Department of Psychology, University of Hull, Hull (United Kingdom); Gould, D [Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool (United Kingdom)

    2006-01-15

    AIM: To identify, describe and detail the cognitive thought processes, decision-making, and physical actions involved in the preparation and successful performance of core interventional radiology procedures. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Five commonly performed core interventional radiology procedures were selected for cognitive task analysis. Several examples of each procedure being performed by consultant interventional radiologists were videoed. The videos of those procedures, and the steps required for successful outcome, were analysed by a psychologist and an interventional radiologist. Once a skeleton algorithm of the procedures was defined, further refinement was achieved using individual interview techniques with consultant interventional radiologists. Additionally a critique of each iteration of the established algorithm was sought from non-participating independent consultant interventional radiologists. RESULTS: Detailed task descriptions and decision protocols were developed for five interventional radiology procedures (arterial puncture, nephrostomy, venous access, biopsy-using both ultrasound and computed tomography, and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram). Identical tasks performed within these procedures were identified and standardized within the protocols. CONCLUSIONS: Complex procedures were broken down and their constituent processes identified. This might be suitable for use as a training protocol to provide a universally acceptable safe practice at the most fundamental level. It is envisaged that data collected in this way can be used as an educational resource for trainees and could provide the basis for a training curriculum in interventional radiology. It will direct trainees towards safe practice of the highest standard. It will also provide performance objectives of a simulator model.

  8. Physical and cognitive task analysis in interventional radiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, S.; Healey, A.; Evans, J.; Murphy, M.; Crawshaw, M.; Gould, D.

    2006-01-01

    AIM: To identify, describe and detail the cognitive thought processes, decision-making, and physical actions involved in the preparation and successful performance of core interventional radiology procedures. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Five commonly performed core interventional radiology procedures were selected for cognitive task analysis. Several examples of each procedure being performed by consultant interventional radiologists were videoed. The videos of those procedures, and the steps required for successful outcome, were analysed by a psychologist and an interventional radiologist. Once a skeleton algorithm of the procedures was defined, further refinement was achieved using individual interview techniques with consultant interventional radiologists. Additionally a critique of each iteration of the established algorithm was sought from non-participating independent consultant interventional radiologists. RESULTS: Detailed task descriptions and decision protocols were developed for five interventional radiology procedures (arterial puncture, nephrostomy, venous access, biopsy-using both ultrasound and computed tomography, and percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram). Identical tasks performed within these procedures were identified and standardized within the protocols. CONCLUSIONS: Complex procedures were broken down and their constituent processes identified. This might be suitable for use as a training protocol to provide a universally acceptable safe practice at the most fundamental level. It is envisaged that data collected in this way can be used as an educational resource for trainees and could provide the basis for a training curriculum in interventional radiology. It will direct trainees towards safe practice of the highest standard. It will also provide performance objectives of a simulator model

  9. Gait, dual task and history of falls in elderly with preserved cognition, mild cognitive impairment, and mild Alzheimer's disease

    OpenAIRE

    Ansai, Juliana H.; Andrade, Larissa P.; Rossi, Paulo G.; Takahashi, Anielle C.M.; Vale, Francisco A.C.; Rebelatto, Jos? R.

    2017-01-01

    Background Studies with functional and applicable methods and new cognitive demands involving executive function are needed to improve screening, prevention and rehabilitation of cognitive impairment and falls. Objective to identify differences in gait, dual task performances, and history of falls between elderly people with preserved cognition, mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted. The sample consisted of 40 community-dwelling o...

  10. Parsing a cognitive task: a characterization of the mind's bottleneck.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariano Sigman

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Parsing a mental operation into components, characterizing the parallel or serial nature of this flow, and understanding what each process ultimately contributes to response time are fundamental questions in cognitive neuroscience. Here we show how a simple theoretical model leads to an extended set of predictions concerning the distribution of response time and its alteration by simultaneous performance of another task. The model provides a synthesis of psychological refractory period and random-walk models of response time. It merely assumes that a task consists of three consecutive stages-perception, decision based on noisy integration of evidence, and response-and that the perceptual and motor stages can operate simultaneously with stages of another task, while the central decision process constitutes a bottleneck. We designed a number-comparison task that provided a thorough test of the model by allowing independent variations in number notation, numerical distance, response complexity, and temporal asynchrony relative to an interfering probe task of tone discrimination. The results revealed a parsing of the comparison task in which each variable affects only one stage. Numerical distance affects the integration process, which is the only step that cannot proceed in parallel and has a major contribution to response time variability. The other stages, mapping the numeral to an internal quantity and executing the motor response, can be carried out in parallel with another task. Changing the duration of these processes has no significant effect on the variance.

  11. Cognitive performance and aphasia recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, José; Raposo, Ana; Martins, Isabel Pavão

    2018-03-01

    Objectives This study assessed cognitive performance of subjects with aphasia during the acute stage of stroke and evaluated how such performance relates to recovery at 3 months. Materials & methods Patients with aphasia following a left hemisphere stroke were evaluated during the first (baseline) and the fourth-month post onset. Assessment comprised non-verbal tests of attention/processing speed (Symbol Search, Cancelation Task), executive functioning (Matrix Reasoning, Tower of Hanoi, Clock Drawing, Motor Initiative), semantic (Camel and Cactus Test), episodic and immediate memory (Memory for Faces Test, 5 Objects Memory Test, and Spatial Span. Recovery was measured by the Token Test score at 3 months. The impact of baseline performance on recovery was evaluated by logistic regression adjusting for age, education, severity of aphasia and the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT (ASPECT) score. Results Thirty-nine subjects (with a mean of 66.5 ± 10.6 years of age, 17 men) were included. Average baseline cognitive performance was within normal range in all tests except in memory tests (semantic, episodic and immediate memory) for which scores were ≤-1.5sd. Subjects with poor aphasia recovery (N = 27) were older and had fewer years of formal education but had identical ASPECT score compared to those with favorable recovery. Considering each test individually, the score obtained on the Matrix Reasoning test was the only one to predict aphasia recovery (Exp(B)=24.085 p = 0.038). Conclusions The Matrix Reasoning Test may contribute to predict aphasia recovery. Cognitive performance is a measure of network disruption but may also indicate the availability of recovery strategies.

  12. Influence of malnutrition on cognitive development assessed by Piagetian tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, D K; Upadhyay, S K; Agarwal, K N

    1989-01-01

    Cognitive development of 1336 children (6-8 yr) was studied in relation to their nutritional status. Seven Piagetian tasks covering the mental process of a concrete operational period were given to each child to assess the cognitive development. Weschler intelligence scale for Indian Children was used to assess the IQ of each child. The percentage of malnourished children in stage I of development (preoperational) was significantly higher as that of wellnourished children. A higher percentage of children in the latter group was in stage III of development (concrete operation). In boys performance on all the tasks was influenced by undernutrition except for class inclusion. In girls this was true only for conservation of liquid, substance and ordinal relation. The results of the regression analysis showed that nutrition was the only factor weakly associated with the poor performance of the children in various tasks. Further, the effect of nutrition was more pronounced in conservation tasks indicating poor verbal reasoning and comprehension in malnourished children. Information was also collected regarding the parental education and occupation, socio-economic status, caste, economic sufficiency, psychosocial stimulation and home environment. However, these environmental factors did not influence the development of rural children. This might be due to the fact that the population in the present study did not vary much with regard to these variables.

  13. Rules and more rules: the effects of multiple tasks, extensive training, and aging on task-switching performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchler, Norbou G; Hoyer, William J; Cerella, John

    2008-06-01

    Task-switching performance was assessed in young and older adults as a function of the number of task sets to be actively maintained in memory (varied from 1 to 4) over the course of extended training (5 days). Each of the four tasks required the execution of a simple computational algorithm, which was instantaneously cued by the color of the two-digit stimulus. Tasks were presented in pure (task set size 1) and mixed blocks (task set sizes 2, 3, 4), and the task sequence was unpredictable. By considering task switching beyond two tasks, we found evidence for a cognitive control system that is not overwhelmed by task set size load manipulations. Extended training eliminated age effects in task-switching performance, even when the participants had to manage the execution of up to four tasks. The results are discussed in terms of current theories of cognitive control, including task set inertia and production system postulates.

  14. Performance Enhancements Under Dual-task Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, A. F.; Wickens, C. D.; Donchin, E.

    1984-01-01

    Research on dual-task performance has been concerned with delineating the antecedent conditions which lead to dual-task decrements. Capacity models of attention, which propose that a hypothetical resource structure underlies performance, have been employed as predictive devices. These models predict that tasks which require different processing resources can be more successfully time shared than tasks which require common resources. The conditions under which such dual-task integrality can be fostered were assessed in a study in which three factors likely to influence the integrality between tasks were manipulated: inter-task redundancy, the physical proximity of tasks and the task relevant objects. Twelve subjects participated in three experimental sessions in which they performed both single and dual-tasks. The primary task was a pursuit step tracking task. The secondary tasks required the discrimination between different intensities or different spatial positions of a stimulus. The results are discussed in terms of a model of dual-task integrality.

  15. Walking and talking: an investigation of cognitive-motor dual tasking in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, F; Rochester, L; Paul, L; Rafferty, D; O'Leary, C P; Evans, J J

    2009-10-01

    Deficits in motor functioning, including walking, and in cognitive functions, including attention, are known to be prevalent in multiple sclerosis (MS), though little attention has been paid to how impairments in these areas of functioning interact. This study investigated the effects of performing a concurrent cognitive task when walking in people with MS. Level of task demand was manipulated to investigate whether this affected level of dual-task decrement. Eighteen participants with MS and 18 healthy controls took part. Participants completed walking and cognitive tasks under single- and dual-task conditions. Compared to healthy controls, MS participants showed greater decrements in performance under dual-task conditions in cognitive task performance, walking speed and swing time variability. In the MS group, the degree of decrement under dual-task conditions was related to levels of fatigue, a measure of general cognitive functioning and self-reported everyday cognitive errors, but not to measures of disease severity or duration. Difficulty with walking and talking in MS may be a result of a divided attention deficit or of overloading of the working memory system, and further investigation is needed. We suggest that difficulty with walking and talking in MS may lead to practical problems in everyday life, including potentially increasing the risk of falls. Clinical tools to assess cognitive-motor dual-tasking ability are needed.

  16. Effects of two doses of glucose and a caffeine–glucose combination on cognitive performance and mood during multi-tasking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholey, Andrew; Savage, Karen; O'Neill, Barry V; Owen, Lauren; Stough, Con; Priestley, Caroline; Wetherell, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Background This study assessed the effects of two doses of glucose and a caffeine–glucose combination on mood and performance of an ecologically valid, computerised multi-tasking platform. Materials and methods Following a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, parallel-groups design, 150 healthy adults (mean age 34.78 years) consumed drinks containing placebo, 25 g glucose, 60 g glucose or 60 g glucose with 40 mg caffeine. They completed a multi-tasking framework at baseline and then 30 min following drink consumption with mood assessments immediately before and after the multi-tasking framework. Blood glucose and salivary caffeine were co-monitored. Results The caffeine–glucose group had significantly better total multi-tasking scores than the placebo or 60 g glucose groups and were significantly faster at mental arithmetic tasks than either glucose drink group. There were no significant treatment effects on mood. Caffeine and glucose levels confirmed compliance with overnight abstinence/fasting, respectively, and followed the predicted post-drink patterns. Conclusion These data suggest that co-administration of glucose and caffeine allows greater allocation of attentional resources than placebo or glucose alone. At present, we cannot rule out the possibility that the effects are due to caffeine alone Future studies should aim at disentangling caffeine and glucose effects. PMID:25196040

  17. Effects of two doses of glucose and a caffeine-glucose combination on cognitive performance and mood during multi-tasking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholey, Andrew; Savage, Karen; O'Neill, Barry V; Owen, Lauren; Stough, Con; Priestley, Caroline; Wetherell, Mark

    2014-09-01

    This study assessed the effects of two doses of glucose and a caffeine-glucose combination on mood and performance of an ecologically valid, computerised multi-tasking platform. Following a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, parallel-groups design, 150 healthy adults (mean age 34.78 years) consumed drinks containing placebo, 25 g glucose, 60 g glucose or 60 g glucose with 40 mg caffeine. They completed a multi-tasking framework at baseline and then 30 min following drink consumption with mood assessments immediately before and after the multi-tasking framework. Blood glucose and salivary caffeine were co-monitored. The caffeine-glucose group had significantly better total multi-tasking scores than the placebo or 60 g glucose groups and were significantly faster at mental arithmetic tasks than either glucose drink group. There were no significant treatment effects on mood. Caffeine and glucose levels confirmed compliance with overnight abstinence/fasting, respectively, and followed the predicted post-drink patterns. These data suggest that co-administration of glucose and caffeine allows greater allocation of attentional resources than placebo or glucose alone. At present, we cannot rule out the possibility that the effects are due to caffeine alone Future studies should aim at disentangling caffeine and glucose effects. © 2014 The Authors. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Long-Term Safety of Repeated Blood-Brain Barrier Opening via Focused Ultrasound with Microbubbles in Non-Human Primates Performing a Cognitive Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downs, Matthew E; Buch, Amanda; Sierra, Carlos; Karakatsani, Maria Eleni; Teichert, Tobias; Chen, Shangshang; Konofagou, Elisa E; Ferrera, Vincent P

    2015-01-01

    Focused Ultrasound (FUS) coupled with intravenous administration of microbubbles (MB) is a non-invasive technique that has been shown to reliably open (increase the permeability of) the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in multiple in vivo models including non-human primates (NHP). This procedure has shown promise for clinical and basic science applications, yet the safety and potential neurological effects of long term application in NHP requires further investigation under parameters shown to be efficacious in that species (500 kHz, 200-400 kPa, 4-5 μm MB, 2 minute sonication). In this study, we repeatedly opened the BBB in the caudate and putamen regions of the basal ganglia of 4 NHP using FUS with systemically-administered MB over 4-20 months. We assessed the safety of the FUS with MB procedure using MRI to detect edema or hemorrhaging in the brain. Contrast enhanced T1-weighted MRI sequences showed a 98% success rate for openings in the targeted regions. T2-weighted and SWI sequences indicated a lack edema in the majority of the cases. We investigated potential neurological effects of the FUS with MB procedure through quantitative cognitive testing of' visual, cognitive, motivational, and motor function using a random dot motion task with reward magnitude bias presented on a touchpanel display. Reaction times during the task significantly increased on the day of the FUS with MB procedure. This increase returned to baseline within 4-5 days after the procedure. Visual motion discrimination thresholds were unaffected. Our results indicate FUS with MB can be a safe method for repeated opening of the BBB at the basal ganglia in NHP for up to 20 months without any long-term negative physiological or neurological effects with the parameters used.

  19. Cognitive and Physical Fatigue Tasks Enhance Pain, Cognitive Fatigue and Physical Fatigue in People with Fibromyalgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dailey, Dana L; Keffala, Valerie J; Sluka, Kathleen A

    2014-01-01

    Objective Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic widespread muscle pain and fatigue. The primary objective of this study was to determine if pain, perceived cognitive fatigue, and perceived physical fatigue were enhanced in participants with fibromyalgia compared to healthy controls during a cognitive fatigue task, a physical fatigue task and a dual fatigue task. Methods Twenty four people with fibromyalgia and 33 healthy controls completed pain, fatigue and function measures. A cognitive fatigue task (Controlled Oral Word Association Test) and physical fatigue task (Valpar peg test) were done individually and combined for a dual fatigue task. Resting pain, perceived cognitive fatigue and perceived physical fatigue were assessed during each task using visual analogue scales. Function was assessed with shoulder range of motion and grip. Results People with fibromyalgia had significantly higher increases in pain, cognitive fatigue and physical fatigue when compared to healthy controls after completion of a cognitive fatigue task, a physical fatigue task, or a dual fatigue task (pfatigue tasks, respectively. Conclusions These data show that people with fibromyalgia show larger increases in pain, perceived cognitive fatigue and perceived physical fatigue to both cognitive and physical fatigue tasks compared to healthy controls. The increases in pain and fatigue during cognitive and physical fatigue tasks could influence subject participation in daily activities and rehabilitation. PMID:25074583

  20. How do task characteristics affect learning and performance? The roles of variably mapped and dynamic tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macnamara, Brooke N; Frank, David J

    2018-05-01

    For well over a century, scientists have investigated individual differences in performance. The majority of studies have focused on either differences in practice, or differences in cognitive resources. However, the predictive ability of either practice or cognitive resources varies considerably across tasks. We are the first to examine task characteristics' impact on learning and performance in a complex task while controlling for other task characteristics. In 2 experiments we test key theoretical task characteristic thought to moderate the relationship between practice, cognitive resources, and performance. We devised a task where each of several key task characteristics can be manipulated independently. Participants played 5 rounds of a game similar to the popular tower defense videogame Plants vs. Zombies where both cognitive load and game characteristics were manipulated. In Experiment 1, participants either played a consistently mapped version-the stimuli and the associated meaning of their properties were constant across the 5 rounds-or played a variably mapped version-the stimuli and the associated meaning of their properties changed every few minutes. In Experiment 2, participants either played a static version-that is, turn taking with no time pressure-or played a dynamic version-that is, the stimuli moved regardless of participants' response rates. In Experiment 1, participants' accuracy and efficiency were substantially hindered in the variably mapped conditions. In Experiment 2, learning and performance accuracy were hindered in the dynamic conditions, especially when under cognitive load. Our results suggest that task characteristics impact the relative importance of cognitive resources and practice on predicting learning and performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Test-retest reliability and task order effects of emotional cognitive tests in healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Thomas; Pounder, Zoe; Preston, Sally; Hanson, Andy; Gallagher, Peter; Harmer, Catherine J; McAllister-Williams, R Hamish

    2016-11-01

    Little is known of the retest reliability of emotional cognitive tasks or the impact of using different tasks employing similar emotional stimuli within a battery. We investigated this in healthy subjects. We found improved overall performance in an emotional attentional blink task (EABT) with repeat testing at one hour and one week compared to baseline, but the impact of an emotional stimulus on performance was unchanged. Similarly, performance on a facial expression recognition task (FERT) was better one week after a baseline test, though the relative effect of specific emotions was unaltered. There was no effect of repeat testing on an emotional word categorising, recall and recognition task. We found no difference in performance in the FERT and EABT irrespective of task order. We concluded that it is possible to use emotional cognitive tasks in longitudinal studies and combine tasks using emotional facial stimuli in a single battery.

  2. Is a "Complex" Task Really Complex? Validating the Assumption of Cognitive Task Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasayama, Shoko

    2016-01-01

    In research on task-based learning and teaching, it has traditionally been assumed that differing degrees of cognitive task complexity can be inferred through task design and/or observations of differing qualities in linguistic production elicited by second language (L2) communication tasks. Without validating this assumption, however, it is…

  3. Influence of Sequential vs. Simultaneous Dual-Task Exercise Training on Cognitive Function in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tait, Jamie L; Duckham, Rachel L; Milte, Catherine M; Main, Luana C; Daly, Robin M

    2017-01-01

    Emerging research indicates that exercise combined with cognitive training may improve cognitive function in older adults. Typically these programs have incorporated sequential training, where exercise and cognitive training are undertaken separately. However, simultaneous or dual-task training, where cognitive and/or motor training are performed simultaneously with exercise, may offer greater benefits. This review summary provides an overview of the effects of combined simultaneous vs. sequential training on cognitive function in older adults. Based on the available evidence, there are inconsistent findings with regard to the cognitive benefits of sequential training in comparison to cognitive or exercise training alone. In contrast, simultaneous training interventions, particularly multimodal exercise programs in combination with secondary tasks regulated by sensory cues, have significantly improved cognition in both healthy older and clinical populations. However, further research is needed to determine the optimal characteristics of a successful simultaneous training program for optimizing cognitive function in older people.

  4. Game elements improve performance in a working memory training task

    OpenAIRE

    Manuel Ninaus; Gonçalo Pereira; René Stefitz; Rui Prada; Ana Paiva; Christa Neuper; Guilherme Wood

    2015-01-01

    The utilization of game elements in a non-game context is currently used in a vast range of different domains. However, research on game elements’ effects in cognitive tasks is still sparse. Thus, in this study we implemented three game elements, namely, progress bar, level indicator, and a thematic setting, in a working memory training task. We evaluated the impact of game elements on user performance and perceived state of flow when compared to a conventional version of the task. Participan...

  5. The Effect of Movement on Cognitive Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raed Mualem

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The study examines the relationship between walking, cognitive, and academic skills. Students from elementary, middle, high school, and college were required to walk for 10 min prior to completing feature detection, Simon-type memory, and mathematical problem-solving tasks. Participants were counterbalanced to remove a time bias. Ten minutes of walking had a significant positive effect on Simon-type memory and critical feature-detection tasks among all age groups. Separately, with mathematical problem-solving ability, higher performing high-school students demonstrated significant positive effects on mathematical reasoning tasks based on the Bloom Taxonomy. However, poorly achieving high-school students performed significantly better than those with higher grades in mathematics on tests of mathematical problem-solving ability based on the Bloom’s Taxonomy. The study indicates that there is justification to employ relatively simple means to effect lifestyle, academic, and cognitive performance.

  6. E-learning, dual-task, and cognitive load: The anatomy of a failed experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Nuland, Sonya E; Rogers, Kem A

    2016-01-01

    The rising popularity of commercial anatomy e-learning tools has been sustained, in part, due to increased annual enrollment and a reduction in laboratory hours across educational institutions. While e-learning tools continue to gain popularity, the research methodologies used to investigate their impact on learning remain imprecise. As new user interfaces are introduced, it is critical to understand how functionality can influence the load placed on a student's memory resources, also known as cognitive load. To study cognitive load, a dual-task paradigm wherein a learner performs two tasks simultaneously is often used, however, its application within educational research remains uncommon. Using previous paradigms as a guide, a dual-task methodology was developed to assess the cognitive load imposed by two commercial anatomical e-learning tools. Results indicate that the standard dual-task paradigm, as described in the literature, is insensitive to the cognitive load disparities across e-learning tool interfaces. Confounding variables included automation of responses, task performance tradeoff, and poor understanding of primary task cognitive load requirements, leading to unreliable quantitative results. By modifying the secondary task from a basic visual response to a more cognitively demanding task, such as a modified Stroop test, the automation of secondary task responses can be reduced. Furthermore, by recording baseline measures for the primary task as well as the secondary task, it is possible for task performance tradeoff to be detected. Lastly, it is imperative that the cognitive load of the primary task be designed such that it does not overwhelm the individual's ability to learn new material. © 2015 American Association of Anatomists.

  7. Cognitive and collaborative demands of freight conductor activities: results and implications of a cognitive task analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-31

    This report presents the results of a cognitive task analysis (CTA) that examined the cognitive and collaborative demands placed on conductors, as well as the knowledge and skills that experienced conductors have developed that enable them to operate...

  8. Profiles of Cognitive-Motor Interference During Walking in Children: Does the Motor or the Cognitive Task Matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadja Schott

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The evidence supporting the effects of age on the ability to coordinate a motor and a cognitive task show inconsistent results in children and adolescents, where the Dual-Task Effects (DTE – if computed at all – range from either being lower or comparable or higher in younger children than in older children, adolescents and adults. A feasible reason for the variability in such findings is the wide range of cognitive tasks (and to some extend of motor tasks used to study Cognitive-Motor Interference (CMI. Our study aims at determining the differences in CMI when performing cognitive tasks targeting different cognitive functions at varying walking pathways. 69 children and adolescents (boys, n = 45; girls, n = 24; mean age, 11.5 ± 1.50 years completed higher-level executive function tasks (2-Back, Serial Subtraction, Auditory Stroop, Clock Task, TMT-B in comparison to non-executive distracter tasks [Motor Response Task (MRT, TMT-A] to assess relative effects on gait during straight vs. repeated Change of Direction (COD walking. DT during COD walking was assessed using the Trail-Walking-Test (TWT. The motor and cognitive DTE were calculated for each task. There were significant differences between 5th and 8th graders on single gait speed on the straight (p = 0.016 and the COD pathway (p = 0.023, but not on any of the DT conditions. The calculation of DTEs revealed that motor DTEs were lowest for the MRT and highest for the TWT in the numbers/letters condition (p < 0.05 for all comparisons. In contrast, there were cognitive benefits for the higher-order cognitive tasks on the straight pathways, but cognitive costs for both DT conditions on the COD pathway (p < 0.01 for all comparisons. Our findings demonstrate that DT changes in walking when completing a secondary task that involve higher-level cognition are attributable to more than low-level divided attention or motor response processes. These results specifically show the direct competition

  9. Disengagement from tasks as a function of cognitive load and depressive symptom severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowie, Christopher R; Milanovic, Melissa; Tran, Tanya; Cassidy, Sarah

    2017-01-01

    Depression is associated with impairment in cognition and everyday functioning. Mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in depression and the factors that influence strategic deployment of cognitive abilities in complex environments remain elusive. In this study we investigated whether depression symptom severity is associated with disengagement from a working memory task (Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task; PASAT) with parametric adjustment of task difficulty. 235 participants completed the Beck Depression Inventory, low and high cognitive load conditions of the PASAT, and quality of life. Cognitive disengagement was the sum of consecutive items in which participants did not proffer a response to the trial. Individuals with higher depression severity showed more cognitive disengagement on the high but not low cognitive load trial of the PASAT; they did not differ in number of correct responses. Increased disengagement from the low to high cognitive load was associated with more impaired quality of life. Depression severity is associated with increased disengagement from tasks as difficulty increases. These findings suggest the importance of measuring how cognitive skills are avoided in complex environments in addition to considering performance accuracy. Individuals with depressive symptoms might preferentially avoid cognitive tasks that are perceived as more complex in spite of intact ability.

  10. Embedded interruptions and task complexity influence schema-related cognitive load progression in an abstract learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirzberger, Maria; Esmaeili Bijarsari, Shirin; Rey, Günter Daniel

    2017-09-01

    Cognitive processes related to schema acquisition comprise an essential source of demands in learning situations. Since the related amount of cognitive load is supposed to change over time, plausible temporal models of load progression based on different theoretical backgrounds are inspected in this study. A total of 116 student participants completed a basal symbol sequence learning task, which provided insights into underlying cognitive dynamics. Two levels of task complexity were determined by the amount of elements within the symbol sequence. In addition, interruptions due to an embedded secondary task occurred at five predefined stages over the task. Within the resulting 2x5-factorial mixed between-within design, the continuous monitoring of efficiency in learning performance enabled assumptions on relevant resource investment. From the obtained results, a nonlinear change of learning efficiency over time seems most plausible in terms of cognitive load progression. Moreover, different effects of the induced interruptions show up in conditions of task complexity, which indicate the activation of distinct cognitive mechanisms related to structural aspects of the task. Findings are discussed in the light of evidence from research on memory and information processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Cognitive Task Analysis of the Battalion Level Visualization Process

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Leedom, Dennis K; McElroy, William; Shadrick, Scott B; Lickteig, Carl; Pokorny, Robet A; Haynes, Jacqueline A; Bell, James

    2007-01-01

    ... position or as a battalion Operations Officer or Executive Officer. Bases on findings from the cognitive task analysis, 11 skill areas were identified as potential focal points for future training development...

  12. Cognitive tasks promote automatization of postural control in young and older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potvin-Desrochers, Alexandra; Richer, Natalie; Lajoie, Yves

    2017-09-01

    Researchers looking at the effects of performing a concurrent cognitive task on postural control in young and older adults using traditional center-of-pressure measures and complexity measures found discordant results. Results of experiments showing improvements of stability have suggested the use of strategies such as automatization of postural control or stiffening strategy. This experiment aimed to confirm in healthy young and older adults that performing a cognitive task while standing leads to improvements that are due to automaticity of sway by using sample entropy. Twenty-one young adults and twenty-five older adults were asked to stand on a force platform while performing a cognitive task. There were four cognitive tasks: simple reaction time, go/no-go reaction time, equation and occurrence of a digit in a number sequence. Results demonstrated decreased sway area and variability as well as increased sample entropy for both groups when performing a cognitive task. Results suggest that performing a concurrent cognitive task promotes the adoption of an automatic postural control in young and older adults as evidenced by an increased postural stability and postural sway complexity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Pre-task music improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Cognitive Task Analysis Based Training for Cyber Situation Awareness

    OpenAIRE

    Huang , Zequn; Shen , Chien-Chung; Doshi , Sheetal; Thomas , Nimmi; Duong , Ha

    2015-01-01

    Part 1: Innovative Methods; International audience; Cyber attacks have been increasing significantly in both number and complexity, prompting the need for better training of cyber defense analysts. To conduct effective training for cyber situation awareness, it becomes essential to design realistic training scenarios. In this paper, we present a Cognitive Task Analysis based approach to address this training need. The technique of Cognitive Task Analysis is to capture and represent knowledge ...

  15. Deconstructing and Reconstructing Cognitive Performance in Sleep Deprivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Melinda L.; Gunzelmann, Glenn; Whitney, Paul; Hinson, John M.; Belenky, Gregory; Rabat, Arnaud; Van Dongen, Hans P. A.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Mitigation of cognitive impairment due to sleep deprivation in operational settings is critical for safety and productivity. Achievements in this area are hampered by limited knowledge about the effects of sleep loss on actual job tasks. Sleep deprivation has different effects on different cognitive performance tasks, but the mechanisms behind this task-specificity are poorly understood. In this context it is important to recognize that cognitive performance is not a unitary process, but involves a number of component processes. There is emerging evidence that these component processes are differentially affected by sleep loss. Experiments have been conducted to decompose sleep-deprived performance into underlying cognitive processes using cognitive-behavioral, neuroimaging and cognitive modeling techniques. Furthermore, computational modeling in cognitive architectures has been employed to simulate sleep-deprived cognitive performance on the basis of the constituent cognitive processes. These efforts are beginning to enable quantitative prediction of the effects of sleep deprivation across different task contexts. This paper reviews a rapidly evolving area of research, and outlines a theoretical framework in which the effects of sleep loss on cognition may be understood from the deficits in the underlying neurobiology to the applied consequences in real-world job tasks. PMID:22884948

  16. Monitoring cognitive and emotional processes through pupil and cardiac response during dynamic versus logical task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Causse, Mickaël; Sénard, Jean-Michel; Démonet, Jean François; Pastor, Josette

    2010-06-01

    The paper deals with the links between physiological measurements and cognitive and emotional functioning. As long as the operator is a key agent in charge of complex systems, the definition of metrics able to predict his performance is a great challenge. The measurement of the physiological state is a very promising way but a very acute comprehension is required; in particular few studies compare autonomous nervous system reactivity according to specific cognitive processes during task performance and task related psychological stress is often ignored. We compared physiological parameters recorded on 24 healthy subjects facing two neuropsychological tasks: a dynamic task that require problem solving in a world that continually evolves over time and a logical task representative of cognitive processes performed by operators facing everyday problem solving. Results showed that the mean pupil diameter change was higher during the dynamic task; conversely, the heart rate was more elevated during the logical task. Finally, the systolic blood pressure seemed to be strongly sensitive to psychological stress. A better taking into account of the precise influence of a given cognitive activity and both workload and related task-induced psychological stress during task performance is a promising way to better monitor operators in complex working situations to detect mental overload or pejorative stress factor of error.

  17. Cognitive performance after ischaemic stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Gabriela R. Ferreira

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairment after stroke affects the patient recovery process. Therefore, the identification of factors associated with cognitive outcomes is important since it allows risk profiles of stroke survivors to be determined. OBJECTIVE: To assess cognitive outcome of stroke outpatients and investigate associations among clinical and demographic variables, vascular risk factors, depression symptoms and functional ability; and to describe the neuropsychological profile of these patients. METHODS: A cross-sectional design study was conducted. Subjects who suffered a first-ever ischaemic stroke 6 to 10 months prior to data collection underwent neuropsychological assessment and screening for depressive symptoms and functional ability. The outcome "cognitive performance" was analyzed considering two groups: "cognitive impairment" and "no cognitive impairment". RESULTS: There was a statistically significant association between cognitive impairment and female gender, age, stroke severity and functional ability. Regarding neuropsychological profile, the cognitive impairment group exhibited more generalized deficits in attention, visuospatial organization, verbal functions and verbal memory domains compared to the community control group. CONCLUSION: The occurrence of cognitive impairment among patients was high, especially in women, older participants, individuals with more severe stroke, and greater impairment in functional ability. Multiple cognitive domains are affected and this may hamper recovery and negatively impact independence and quality of life after stroke.

  18. Motor-cognitive dual-task deficits in individuals with early-mid stage Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritz, Nora E; Hamana, Katy; Kelson, Mark; Rosser, Anne; Busse, Monica; Quinn, Lori

    2016-09-01

    Huntington disease (HD) results in a range of cognitive and motor impairments that progress throughout the disease stages; however, little research has evaluated specific dual-task abilities in this population, and the degree to which they may be related to functional ability. The purpose of this study was to a) examine simple and complex motor-cognitive dual-task performance in individuals with HD, b) determine relationships between dual-task walking ability and disease-specific measures of motor, cognitive and functional ability, and c) examine the relationship of dual-task measures to falls in individuals with HD. Thirty-two individuals with HD were evaluated for simple and complex dual-task ability using the Walking While Talking Test. Demographics and disease-specific measures of motor, cognitive and functional ability were also obtained. Individuals with HD had impairments in simple and complex dual-task ability. Simple dual-task walking was correlated to disease-specific motor scores as well as cognitive performance, but complex dual-task walking was correlated with total functional capacity, as well as a range of cognitive measures. Number of prospective falls was moderately-strongly correlated to dual-task measures. Our results suggest that individuals with HD have impairments in cognitive-motor dual-task ability that are related to disease progression and specifically functional ability. Dual-task measures appear to evaluate a unique construct in individuals with early to mid-stage HD, and may have value in improving the prediction of falls risk in this population. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Cognitive Task Analysis for Instruction in Single-Injection Ultrasound Guided-Regional Anesthesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gucev, Gligor V.

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive task analysis (CTA) is methodology for eliciting knowledge from subject matter experts. CTA has been used to capture the cognitive processes, decision-making, and judgments that underlie expert behaviors. A review of the literature revealed that CTA has not yet been used to capture the knowledge required to perform ultrasound guided…

  20. Subjective cognitive impairment: functional MRI during a divided attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodda, J; Dannhauser, T; Cutinha, D J; Shergill, S S; Walker, Z

    2011-10-01

    Individuals with subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) have persistent memory complaints but normal neurocognitive performance. For some, this may represent a pre-mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Given that attentional deficits and associated brain activation changes are present early in the course of AD, we aimed to determine whether SCI is associated with brain activation changes during attentional processing. Eleven SCI subjects and 10 controls completed a divided attention task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. SCI and control groups did not differ in sociodemographic, neurocognitive or behavioural measures. When group activation during the divided attention task was compared, the SCI group demonstrated increased activation in left medial temporal lobe, bilateral thalamus, posterior cingulate and caudate. This pattern of increased activation is similar to the pattern of decreased activation reported during divided attention in AD and may indicate compensatory changes. These findings suggest the presence of early functional changes in SCI; longitudinal studies will help to further elucidate the relationship between SCI and AD. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Preferential processing of task-irrelevant beloved-related information and task performance: Two event-related potential studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeslag, Sandra J E; van Strien, Jan W

    2017-09-18

    People who are in love have better attention for beloved-related information, but report having trouble focusing on other tasks, such as (home)work. So, romantic love can both improve and hurt cognition. Emotional information is preferentially processed, which improves task performance when the information is task-relevant, but hurts task performance when it is task-irrelevant. Because beloved-related information is highly emotional, the effects of romantic love on cognition may resemble these effects of emotion on cognition. We examined whether beloved-related information is preferentially processed even when it is task-irrelevant and whether this hurts task performance. In two event-related potential studies, participants who had recently fallen in love performed a visuospatial short-term memory task. Task-irrelevant beloved, friend, and stranger faces were presented during maintenance (Study 1), or encoding (Study 2). The Early Posterior Negativity (EPN) reflecting early automatic attentional capturing and the Late Positive Potential (LPP) reflecting sustained motivated attention were largest for beloved pictures. Thus, beloved pictures are preferentially processed even when they are task-irrelevant. Task performance and reaction times did not differ between beloved, friend, and stranger conditions. Nevertheless, self-reported obsessive thinking about the beloved tended to correlate negatively with task performance, and positively with reaction times, across conditions. So, although task-irrelevant beloved-related information does not impact task performance, more obsessive thinking about the beloved might relate to poorer and slower overall task performance. More research is needed to clarify why people experience trouble focusing on beloved-unrelated tasks and how this negative effect of love on cognition could be reduced. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A Framework for the Cognitive Task Analysis in Systems Design

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jens

    he present rapid development of advanced information technology and its use for support of operators of complex technical systems are changing the content of task analysis towards the analysis of mental activities in decision making. Automation removes the humans from routine tasks, and operators...... are left with disturbance control and critical diagnostic tasks, for which computers are suitable for support, if it is possible to match the computer strategies and interface formats dynamically to the requirements of the current task by means of an analysis of the cognitive task....

  3. The Regulation of Task Performance: A Trans-Disciplinary Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Ian; Dumas, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    Definitions of meta-cognition typically have two components: (1) knowledge about one's own cognitive functioning; and, (2) control over one's own cognitive activities. Since Flavell and his colleagues provided the empirical foundation on which to build studies of meta-cognition and the autonoetic (self) knowledge required for effective learning, the intervening years have seen the extensive dissemination of theoretical and empirical research on meta-cognition, which now encompasses a variety of issues and domains including educational psychology and neuroscience. Nevertheless, the psychological and neural underpinnings of meta-cognitive predictions and reflections that determine subsequent regulation of task performance remain ill understood. This article provides an outline of meta-cognition in the science of education with evidence drawn from neuroimaging, psycho-physiological, and psychological literature. We will rigorously explore research that addresses the pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in controlling the meta-cognitive processes that underpin the self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies learners employ to regulate task performance. The article delineates what those strategies are, and how the learning environment can facilitate or frustrate strategy use by influencing learners' self-efficacy. PMID:26779050

  4. Validation of auditory detection response task method for assessing the attentional effects of cognitive load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stojmenova, Kristina; Sodnik, Jaka

    2018-07-04

    There are 3 standardized versions of the Detection Response Task (DRT), 2 using visual stimuli (remote DRT and head-mounted DRT) and one using tactile stimuli. In this article, we present a study that proposes and validates a type of auditory signal to be used as DRT stimulus and evaluate the proposed auditory version of this method by comparing it with the standardized visual and tactile version. This was a within-subject design study performed in a driving simulator with 24 participants. Each participant performed 8 2-min-long driving sessions in which they had to perform 3 different tasks: driving, answering to DRT stimuli, and performing a cognitive task (n-back task). Presence of additional cognitive load and type of DRT stimuli were defined as independent variables. DRT response times and hit rates, n-back task performance, and pupil size were observed as dependent variables. Significant changes in pupil size for trials with a cognitive task compared to trials without showed that cognitive load was induced properly. Each DRT version showed a significant increase in response times and a decrease in hit rates for trials with a secondary cognitive task compared to trials without. Similar and significantly better results in differences in response times and hit rates were obtained for the auditory and tactile version compared to the visual version. There were no significant differences in performance rate between the trials without DRT stimuli compared to trials with and among the trials with different DRT stimuli modalities. The results from this study show that the auditory DRT version, using the signal implementation suggested in this article, is sensitive to the effects of cognitive load on driver's attention and is significantly better than the remote visual and tactile version for auditory-vocal cognitive (n-back) secondary tasks.

  5. Cognitive Activities in Solving Mathematical Tasks: The Role of a Cognitive Obstacle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonijevic, Radovan

    2016-01-01

    In the process of learning mathematics, students practice various forms of thinking activities aimed to substantially contribute to the development of their different cognitive structures. In this paper, the subject matter is a "cognitive obstacle", a phenomenon that occurs in the procedures of solving mathematical tasks. Each task in…

  6. Are factors related to dual-task performance in people with Parkinson's disease dependent on the type of dual task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strouwen, Carolien; Molenaar, Esther A L M; Keus, Samyra H J; Münks, Liesbeth; Heremans, Elke; Vandenberghe, Wim; Bloem, Bastiaan R; Nieuwboer, Alice

    2016-02-01

    Impaired dual-task performance significantly impacts upon functional mobility in people with Parkinson's disease (PD). The aim of this study was to identify determinants of dual-task performance in people with PD in three different dual tasks to assess their possible task-dependency. We recruited 121 home-dwelling patients with PD (mean age 65.93 years; mean disease duration 8.67 years) whom we subjected to regular walking (control condition) and to three dual-task conditions: walking combined with a backwards Digit Span task, an auditory Stroop task and a Mobile Phone task. We measured dual-task gait velocity using the GAITRite mat and dual-task reaction times and errors on the concurrent tasks as outcomes. Motor, cognitive and descriptive variables which correlated to dual-task performance (p task gait velocity and executive function, tested by the alternating intake test, was significantly associated with gait velocity during the Digit Span (R(2) = 0.65; p task (R(2) = 0.62; p task. Age was a surplus determinant of gait velocity while using a mobile phone. Single-task gait velocity and executive function as measured by a verbal fluency switching task were independent determinants of dual-task gait performance in people with PD. In contrast to expectation, these factors were the same across different tasks, supporting the robustness of the findings. Future study needs to determine whether these factors predict dual-task abnormalities prospectively. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Monitoring supports performance in a dual-task paradigm involving a risky decision-making task and a working memory task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina eGathmann

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Performing two cognitively demanding tasks at the same time is known to decrease performance. The current study investigates the underlying executive functions of a dual-tasking situation involving the simultaneous performance of decision making under explicit risk and a working memory task. It is suggested that making a decision and performing a working memory task at the same time should particularly require monitoring - an executive control process supervising behavior and the state of processing on two tasks. To test the role of a supervisory/monitoring function in such a dual-tasking situation we investigated 122 participants with the Game of Dice Task plus 2-back task (GDT plus 2-back task. This dual task requires participants to make decisions under risk and to perform a 2-back working memory task at the same time. Furthermore, a task measuring a set of several executive functions gathered in the term concept formation (Modified Card Sorting Test, MCST and the newly developed Balanced Switching Task (BST, measuring monitoring in particular, were used. The results demonstrate that concept formation and monitoring are involved in the simultaneous performance of decision making under risk and a working memory task. In particular, the mediation analysis revealed that BST performance partially mediates the influence of MCST performance on the GDT plus 2-back task. These findings suggest that monitoring is one important subfunction for superior performance in a dual-tasking situation including decision making under risk and a working memory task.

  8. Monitoring supports performance in a dual-task paradigm involving a risky decision-making task and a working memory task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gathmann, Bettina; Schiebener, Johannes; Wolf, Oliver T.; Brand, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    Performing two cognitively demanding tasks at the same time is known to decrease performance. The current study investigates the underlying executive functions of a dual-tasking situation involving the simultaneous performance of decision making under explicit risk and a working memory task. It is suggested that making a decision and performing a working memory task at the same time should particularly require monitoring—an executive control process supervising behavior and the state of processing on two tasks. To test the role of a supervisory/monitoring function in such a dual-tasking situation we investigated 122 participants with the Game of Dice Task plus 2-back task (GDT plus 2-back task). This dual task requires participants to make decisions under risk and to perform a 2-back working memory task at the same time. Furthermore, a task measuring a set of several executive functions gathered in the term concept formation (Modified Card Sorting Test, MCST) and the newly developed Balanced Switching Task (BST), measuring monitoring in particular, were used. The results demonstrate that concept formation and monitoring are involved in the simultaneous performance of decision making under risk and a working memory task. In particular, the mediation analysis revealed that BST performance partially mediates the influence of MCST performance on the GDT plus 2-back task. These findings suggest that monitoring is one important subfunction for superior performance in a dual-tasking situation including decision making under risk and a working memory task. PMID:25741308

  9. Effects of Cognitive Load on Driving Performance: The Cognitive Control Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engström, Johan; Markkula, Gustav; Victor, Trent; Merat, Natasha

    2017-08-01

    The objective of this paper was to outline an explanatory framework for understanding effects of cognitive load on driving performance and to review the existing experimental literature in the light of this framework. Although there is general consensus that taking the eyes off the forward roadway significantly impairs most aspects of driving, the effects of primarily cognitively loading tasks on driving performance are not well understood. Based on existing models of driver attention, an explanatory framework was outlined. This framework can be summarized in terms of the cognitive control hypothesis: Cognitive load selectively impairs driving subtasks that rely on cognitive control but leaves automatic performance unaffected. An extensive literature review was conducted wherein existing results were reinterpreted based on the proposed framework. It was demonstrated that the general pattern of experimental results reported in the literature aligns well with the cognitive control hypothesis and that several apparent discrepancies between studies can be reconciled based on the proposed framework. More specifically, performance on nonpracticed or inherently variable tasks, relying on cognitive control, is consistently impaired by cognitive load, whereas the performance on automatized (well-practiced and consistently mapped) tasks is unaffected and sometimes even improved. Effects of cognitive load on driving are strongly selective and task dependent. The present results have important implications for the generalization of results obtained from experimental studies to real-world driving. The proposed framework can also serve to guide future research on the potential causal role of cognitive load in real-world crashes.

  10. Brain wave concomitants of cross-cultural differences in scores on simple cognitive tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sonke, C.J.; Boxtel, van G.J.M.; Griesel, R.D.; Poortinga, Y.H.

    2008-01-01

    Interpretations of cross-cultural differences in performance on cognitive tasks tend to rely on broad concepts, such as general intelligence or cultural modes of thinking. In this study, the authors examine two proximate parameters, stimulus complexity and task exposure, using reaction time (RT) and

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Chen

    2016-11-01

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

  12. A Cognition Analysis of QUASAR's Mathematics Performance Assessment Tasks and Their Sensitivity to Measuring Changes in Middle School Students' Thinking and Reasoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Jinfa, And Others

    1996-01-01

    Presents a conceptual framework for analyzing students' mathematical understanding, reasoning, problem solving, and communication. Analyses of student responses indicated that the tasks appear to measure the complex thinking and reasoning processes that they were designed to assess. Concludes that the QUASAR assessment tasks can capture changes in…

  13. A Cognitive Task Analysis for Dental Hygiene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Cheryl A.; Beemsterboer, Phyllis L.; Johnson, Lynn A.; Mislevy, Robert J.; Steinberg, Linda S.; Breyer, F. Jay

    2000-01-01

    As part of the development of a scoring algorithm for a simulation-based dental hygiene initial licensure examination, this effort conducted a task analysis of the dental hygiene domain. Broad classes of behaviors that distinguish along the dental hygiene expert-novice continuum were identified and applied to the design of nine paper-based cases…

  14. The Effect of Colour on Children's Cognitive Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Alice; Franklin, Anna

    2016-01-01

    Background: The presence of red appears to hamper adults' cognitive performance relative to other colours (see Elliot & Maier, 2014, "Ann. Rev. Psychol." 65, 95). Aims and sample: Here, we investigate whether colour affects cognitive performance in 8- and 9-year-olds. Method: Children completed a battery of tasks once in the presence…

  15. Emotional and cognitive influences in air traffic controller tasks: An investigation using a virtual environment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truschzinski, Martina; Betella, Alberto; Brunnett, Guido; Verschure, Paul F M J

    2018-05-01

    Air traffic controllers are required to perform complex tasks which require attention and high precision. This study investigates how the difficulty of such tasks influences emotional states, cognitive workload and task performance. We use quantitative and qualitative measurements, including the recording of pupil dilation and changes in affect using questionnaires. Participants were required to perform a number of air traffic control tasks using the immersive human accessible Virtual Reality space in the "eXperience Induction Machine". Based on the data collected, we developed and validated a model which integrates personality, workload and affective theories. Our results indicate that the difficulty of an air traffic control task has a direct influence on cognitive workload as well as on the self-reported mood; whereas both mood and workload seem to change independently. In addition, we show that personality, in particular neuroticism, affects both mood and performance of the participants. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Dual-Task Interference: The Effects of Verbal Cognitive Tasks on Upright Postural Stability in Parkinson's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. D. Holmes

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Although dual-task interference has previously been demonstrated to have a significant effect on postural control among individuals with Parkinson's disease, the impact of speech complexity on postural control has not been demonstrated using quantitative biomechanical measures. The postural stability of twelve participants with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and twelve healthy age-matched controls was evaluated under three conditions: (1 without a secondary task, (2 performing a rote repetition task and (3 generating a monologue. Results suggested a significant effect of cognitive load on biomechanical parameters of postural stability. Although both groups increased their postural excursion, individuals with Parkinson's disease demonstrated significantly reduced excursion as compared with that of healthy age-matched controls. This suggests that participants with Parkinson's disease may be overconstraining their postural adjustments in order to focus attention on the cognitive tasks without losing their balance. Ironically, this overconstraint may place the participant at greater risk for a fall.

  17. Cognitive Performance in Operational Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Michael; McGhee, James; Friedler, Edna; Thomas, Maria

    2005-01-01

    Optimal cognition during complex and sustained operations is a critical component for success in current and future military operations. "Cognitive Performance, Judgment, and Decision-making" (CPJD) is a newly organized U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command research program focused on sustaining operational effectiveness of Future Force Warriors by developing paradigms through which militarily-relevant, higher-order cognitive performance, judgment, and decision-making can be assessed and sustained in individuals, small teams, and leaders of network-centric fighting units. CPJD evaluates the impact of stressors intrinsic to military operational environments (e.g., sleep deprivation, workload, fatigue, temperature extremes, altitude, environmental/physiological disruption) on military performance, evaluates noninvasive automated methods for monitoring and predicting cognitive performance, and investigates pharmaceutical strategies (e.g., stimulant countermeasures, hypnotics) to mitigate performance decrements. This manuscript describes the CPJD program, discusses the metrics utilized to relate militarily applied research findings to academic research, and discusses how the simulated combat capabilities of a synthetic battle laboratory may facilitate future cognitive performance research.

  18. Social priming improves cognitive control in elderly adults--evidence from the Simon task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Aisenberg

    Full Text Available We examined whether social priming of cognitive states affects the inhibitory process in elderly adults, as aging is related to deficits in inhibitory control. Forty-eight elderly adults and 45 young adults were assigned to three groups and performed a cognitive control task (Simon task, which was followed by 3 different manipulations of social priming (i.e., thinking about an 82 year-old person: 1 negative--characterized by poor cognitive abilities, 2 neutral--characterized by acts irrelevant to cognitive abilities, and 3 positive--excellent cognitive abilities. After the manipulation, the Simon task was performed again. Results showed improvement in cognitive control effects in seniors after the positive manipulation, indicated by a significant decrease in the magnitude of the Simon and interference effects, but not after the neutral and negative manipulations. Furthermore, a healthy pattern of sequential effect (Gratton that was absent before the manipulation in all 3 groups appeared after the positive manipulation. Namely, the Simon effect was only present after congruent but not after incongruent trials for the positive manipulation group. No influence of manipulations was found in young adults. These meaningful results were replicated in a second experiment and suggest a decrease in conflict interference resulting from positive cognitive state priming. Our study provides evidence that an implicit social concept of a positive cognitive condition in old age can affect the control process of the elderly and improve cognitive abilities.

  19. Social priming improves cognitive control in elderly adults--evidence from the Simon task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aisenberg, Daniela; Cohen, Noga; Pick, Hadas; Tressman, Iris; Rappaport, Michal; Shenberg, Tal; Henik, Avishai

    2015-01-01

    We examined whether social priming of cognitive states affects the inhibitory process in elderly adults, as aging is related to deficits in inhibitory control. Forty-eight elderly adults and 45 young adults were assigned to three groups and performed a cognitive control task (Simon task), which was followed by 3 different manipulations of social priming (i.e., thinking about an 82 year-old person): 1) negative--characterized by poor cognitive abilities, 2) neutral--characterized by acts irrelevant to cognitive abilities, and 3) positive--excellent cognitive abilities. After the manipulation, the Simon task was performed again. Results showed improvement in cognitive control effects in seniors after the positive manipulation, indicated by a significant decrease in the magnitude of the Simon and interference effects, but not after the neutral and negative manipulations. Furthermore, a healthy pattern of sequential effect (Gratton) that was absent before the manipulation in all 3 groups appeared after the positive manipulation. Namely, the Simon effect was only present after congruent but not after incongruent trials for the positive manipulation group. No influence of manipulations was found in young adults. These meaningful results were replicated in a second experiment and suggest a decrease in conflict interference resulting from positive cognitive state priming. Our study provides evidence that an implicit social concept of a positive cognitive condition in old age can affect the control process of the elderly and improve cognitive abilities.

  20. Is a Responsive Default Mode Network Required for Successful Working Memory Task Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čeko, Marta; Gracely, John L.; Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann; Seminowicz, David A.; Schweinhardt, Petra

    2015-01-01

    In studies of cognitive processing using tasks with externally directed attention, regions showing increased (external-task-positive) and decreased or “negative” [default-mode network (DMN)] fMRI responses during task performance are dynamically responsive to increasing task difficulty. Responsiveness (modulation of fMRI signal by increasing load) has been linked directly to successful cognitive task performance in external-task-positive regions but not in DMN regions. To investigate whether a responsive DMN is required for successful cognitive performance, we compared healthy human subjects (n = 23) with individuals shown to have decreased DMN engagement (chronic pain patients, n = 28). Subjects performed a multilevel working-memory task (N-back) during fMRI. If a responsive DMN is required for successful performance, patients having reduced DMN responsiveness should show worsened performance; if performance is not reduced, their brains should show compensatory activation in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. All subjects showed decreased accuracy and increased reaction times with increasing task level, with no significant group differences on either measure at any level. Patients had significantly reduced negative fMRI response (deactivation) of DMN regions (posterior cingulate/precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex). Controls showed expected modulation of DMN deactivation with increasing task difficulty. Patients showed significantly reduced modulation of DMN deactivation by task difficulty, despite their successful task performance. We found no evidence of compensatory neural recruitment in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. Individual responsiveness of the external-task-positive ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, but not of DMN regions, correlated with task accuracy. These findings suggest that a responsive DMN may not be required for successful cognitive performance; a responsive external-task-positive network may be sufficient

  1. Is a Responsive Default Mode Network Required for Successful Working Memory Task Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čeko, Marta; Gracely, John L; Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann; Seminowicz, David A; Schweinhardt, Petra; Bushnell, M Catherine

    2015-08-19

    In studies of cognitive processing using tasks with externally directed attention, regions showing increased (external-task-positive) and decreased or "negative" [default-mode network (DMN)] fMRI responses during task performance are dynamically responsive to increasing task difficulty. Responsiveness (modulation of fMRI signal by increasing load) has been linked directly to successful cognitive task performance in external-task-positive regions but not in DMN regions. To investigate whether a responsive DMN is required for successful cognitive performance, we compared healthy human subjects (n = 23) with individuals shown to have decreased DMN engagement (chronic pain patients, n = 28). Subjects performed a multilevel working-memory task (N-back) during fMRI. If a responsive DMN is required for successful performance, patients having reduced DMN responsiveness should show worsened performance; if performance is not reduced, their brains should show compensatory activation in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. All subjects showed decreased accuracy and increased reaction times with increasing task level, with no significant group differences on either measure at any level. Patients had significantly reduced negative fMRI response (deactivation) of DMN regions (posterior cingulate/precuneus, medial prefrontal cortex). Controls showed expected modulation of DMN deactivation with increasing task difficulty. Patients showed significantly reduced modulation of DMN deactivation by task difficulty, despite their successful task performance. We found no evidence of compensatory neural recruitment in external-task-positive regions or elsewhere. Individual responsiveness of the external-task-positive ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, but not of DMN regions, correlated with task accuracy. These findings suggest that a responsive DMN may not be required for successful cognitive performance; a responsive external-task-positive network may be sufficient. We studied the

  2. Pleasantness of Creative Tasks and Creative Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenasni, Franck; Lubart, Todd

    2011-01-01

    To examine the impact of emotion on creative potential, experimental studies have typically focused on the impact of induced or spontaneous mood states on creative performance. In this report the relationship between the perceived pleasantness of tasks (using divergent thinking and story writing tasks) and creative performance was examined.…

  3. Combining principles of Cognitive Load Theory and diagnostic error analysis for designing job aids : Effects on motivation and diagnostic performance in a process control task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kluge, Annette; Grauel, Britta; Burkolter, Dina

    Two studies are presented in which the design of a procedural aid and the impact of an additional decision aid for process control were assessed. In Study 1, a procedural aid was developed that avoids imposing unnecessary extraneous cognitive load on novices when controlling a complex technical

  4. Manipulating perceptual parameters in a continuous performance task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shalev, Nir; Humphreys, Glyn; Demeyere, Nele

    2018-02-01

    Sustained attention (SA) is among the most studied faculties of human cognition, and thought to be crucial for many aspects of behavior. Measuring SA often relies on performance on a continuous, low-demanding task. Such continuous performance tasks (CPTs) have many variations, and sustained attention is typically estimated based on variability in reaction times. While relying on reaction times may be useful in some cases, it can pose a challenge when working with clinical populations. To increase interpersonal variability in task parameters that do not rely on speed, researchers have increased demands for memory and response inhibition. These approaches, however, may be confounded when used to assess populations that suffer from multiple cognitive deficits. In the current study, we propose a new approach for increasing task variability by increasing the attentional demands. In order to do so, we created a new variation of a CPT - a masked version, where inattention is more likely to cause misidentifying a target. After establishing that masking indeed decreases target detection, we further investigated which task parameter may influence response biases. To do so, we contrasted two versions of the CPT with different target/distractor ratio. We then established how perceptual parameters can be controlled independently in a CPT. Following the experimental manipulations, we tested the MCCPT with aging controls and chronic stroke patients to assure the task can be used with target populations. The results confirm the MCCPT as a task providing high sensitivity without relying on reaction speed, and feasible for patients.

  5. Task complexity, student perceptions of vocabulary learning in EFL, and task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoli; Lowyck, Joost; Sercu, Lies; Elen, Jan

    2013-03-01

    The study deepened our understanding of how students' self-efficacy beliefs contribute to the context of teaching English as a foreign language in the framework of cognitive mediational paradigm at a fine-tuned task-specific level. The aim was to examine the relationship among task complexity, self-efficacy beliefs, domain-related prior knowledge, learning strategy use, and task performance as they were applied to English vocabulary learning from reading tasks. Participants were 120 second-year university students (mean age 21) from a Chinese university. This experiment had two conditions (simple/complex). A vocabulary level test was first conducted to measure participants' prior knowledge of English vocabulary. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of the learning tasks. Participants were administered task booklets together with the self-efficacy scales, measures of learning strategy use, and post-tests. Data obtained were submitted to multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and path analysis. Results from the MANOVA model showed a significant effect of vocabulary level on self-efficacy beliefs, learning strategy use, and task performance. Task complexity showed no significant effect; however, an interaction effect between vocabulary level and task complexity emerged. Results from the path analysis showed self-efficacy beliefs had an indirect effect on performance. Our results highlighted the mediating role of self-efficacy beliefs and learning strategy use. Our findings indicate that students' prior knowledge plays a crucial role on both self-efficacy beliefs and task performance, and the predictive power of self-efficacy on task performance may lie in its association with learning strategy use. © 2011 The British Psychological Society.

  6. Investigating the Neural Correlates of Emotion–Cognition Interaction Using an Affective Stroop Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora M. Raschle

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The human brain has the capacity to integrate various sources of information and continuously adapts our behavior according to situational needs in order to allow a healthy functioning. Emotion–cognition interactions are a key example for such integrative processing. However, the neuronal correlates investigating the effects of emotion on cognition remain to be explored and replication studies are needed. Previous neuroimaging studies have indicated an involvement of emotion and cognition related brain structures including parietal and prefrontal cortices and limbic brain regions. Here, we employed whole brain event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI during an affective number Stroop task and aimed at replicating previous findings using an adaptation of an existing task design in 30 healthy young adults. The Stroop task is an indicator of cognitive control and enables the quantification of interference in relation to variations in cognitive load. By the use of emotional primes (negative/neutral prior to Stroop task performance, an emotional variation is added as well. Behavioral in-scanner data showed that negative primes delayed and disrupted cognitive processing. Trials with high cognitive demand furthermore negatively influenced cognitive control mechanisms. Neuronally, the emotional primes consistently activated emotion-related brain regions (e.g., amygdala, insula, and prefrontal brain regions while Stroop task performance lead to activations in cognition networks of the brain (prefrontal cortices, superior temporal lobe, and insula. When assessing the effect of emotion on cognition, increased cognitive demand led to decreases in neural activation in response to emotional stimuli (negative > neutral within prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and insular cortex. Overall, these results suggest that emotional primes significantly impact cognitive performance and increasing cognitive demand leads to reduced neuronal activation in

  7. Implicit Behavioral Change in Response to Cognitive Tasks in Alzheimer Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bomilcar, Iris; Morris, Robin G; Brown, Richard G; Mograbi, Daniel C

    2018-03-01

    Lack of awareness about impairments is commonly found in Alzheimer disease (AD), but recent evidence suggests that patients may respond to the experience of illness despite limited awareness. In this study, we explored whether implicit emotional responses to experiences of failure in cognitive tasks would result in longer-term change in behavior. Twenty-two patients with AD were seen 1 week after a previous session in which they performed computer tasks that had been manipulated to be either too difficult (failure condition) or very easy (success condition) for them. At the second session, both types of tasks were set to have medium difficulty and were administered so that the participants decided how long to persist on each task. Task persistence was determined by relative time spent doing the tasks, considering that participants would be more likely to stop performing tasks in which they had experienced failure during the first session. Task persistence in the second session was not affected by performance in the first session. However, when participants' awareness of performance in the first session was taken into account, differences were found in persistence between tasks in the second session. During the second session, participants stopped performing tasks after a sequence of errors. There were no self-reported changes in motivation or enjoyment in response to task failure. These findings suggest that implicit learning of task valence may be compromised in AD, but that initial moments of awareness of performance may influence long-term adaptation in unaware patients.

  8. The Multidimensional Card Selection Task: A new way to measure concurrent cognitive flexibility in preschoolers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podjarny, Gal; Kamawar, Deepthi; Andrews, Katherine

    2017-07-01

    Most executive function research examining preschoolers' cognitive flexibility, the ability to think about something in more than one way, has focused on preschoolers' facility for sequentially switching their attention from one dimension to another (e.g., sorting bivalent cards first by color and then by shape). We know very little about preschoolers' ability to coordinate more than one dimension simultaneously (concurrent cognitive flexibility). Here we report on a new task, the Multidimensional Card Selection Task, which was designed to measure children's ability to consider two dimensions, and then three dimensions, concurrently (e.g., shape and size, and then shape, size, and color). More than half of the preschoolers in our sample of 107 (50 3-year-olds and 57 4-year-olds) could coordinate three dimensions simultaneously and consistently across three test trials. Furthermore, performance on the Multidimensional Card Selection Task was related, but not identical, to performance on other cognitive tasks, including a widely used measure of switching cognitive flexibility (the Dimensional Change Card Sort). The Multidimensional Card Selection Task provides a new way to measure concurrent cognitive flexibility in preschoolers, and opens another avenue for exploring the emergence of early cognitive flexibility development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Performance on Auditory and Visual Tasks of Inhibition in English Monolingual and Spanish-English Bilingual Adults: Do Bilinguals Have a Cognitive Advantage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desjardins, Jamie L.; Fernandez, Francisco

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: Bilingual individuals have been shown to be more proficient on visual tasks of inhibition compared with their monolingual counterparts. However, the bilingual advantage has not been evidenced in all studies, and very little is known regarding how bilingualism influences inhibitory control in the perception of auditory information. The…

  10. Involuntary autobiographical memories are relatively more often reported during high cognitive load tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barzykowski, Krystian; Niedźwieńska, Agnieszka

    2018-01-01

    Recent studies on involuntary autobiographical memories (IAMs) in daily life have shown that they are most frequently reported during daily routines (e.g. while ironing). Such studies have suggested that reporting IAMs may be influenced by the level of the ongoing task demands and availability of cognitive resources. In two studies, we investigated the effects of cognitive load on reporting IAMs. To examine the presumed cognitive load dependency of IAMs, we utilised an often-employed experimental paradigm (Schlagman & Kvavilashvili, 2008) to elicit IAMs under conditions that differed in cognitive load. When performing a vigilance task, participants had to interrupt the task each time they experienced any spontaneous mental contents and write them down. We manipulated the level of cognitive load by either instructing (cognitive load group) or not instructing (control group) participants to perform an additional demanding task. We compared the groups on the number of IAMs and other mental contents (non-IAM contents) recorded, as well as on the frequency of IAMs that was calculated as a proportion of IAMs in all mental contents reported by the participant. We expected that if reporting IAMs depends on the level of cognitive demands, then we should observe lower frequency of IAMs in the cognitive load group compared to the control group. Consistently across studies, we observed a lower number of IAMs and non-IAM contents in the cognitive load group. However, IAMs unexpectedly constituted a higher percentage of all mental contents when participants were cognitively loaded. Further implications of the cognitive load effects for IAMs research and experimental methodology are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Cognitive conflict increases processing of negative, task-irrelevant stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligeza, Tomasz S; Wyczesany, Miroslaw

    2017-10-01

    The detection of cognitive conflict is thought to trigger adjustments in executive control. It has been recently shown that cognitive conflict increases processing of stimuli that are relevant to the ongoing task and that these modulations are exerted by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). However, it is still unclear whether such control influences are unspecific and might also affect the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli. The aim of the study was to examine if cognitive conflict affects processing of neutral and negative, task-irrelevant pictures. Participants responded to congruent (non-conflict) or to incongruent (conflict-eliciting) trials of a modified flanker task. Each response was followed by a presentation of a neutral or negative picture. The late positive potential (LPP) in response to picture presentation was used to assess the level of picture processing after conflict vs non-conflict trials. Connectivity between the DLPFC and attentional and perceptual areas during picture presentation was analysed to check if the DLPFC might be a source of these modulations. ERP results showed an effect of cognitive conflict only on processing of negative pictures: LPP in response to negative pictures was increased after conflict trials, whereas LPP in response to neutral pictures remained unchanged. Cortical connectivity analysis showed that conflict trials intensified information flow from the DLPFC towards attentional and perceptual regions. Results suggest that cognitive conflict increases processing of task-irrelevant stimuli; however, they must display high biological salience. Increase in cognitive control exerted by the DLPFC over attentional and perceptual regions is a probable mechanism of the effect. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Cognitive correlates of performance in advanced mathematics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Wei; Yuan, Hongbo; Chen, Chuansheng; Zhou, Xinlin

    2012-03-01

    Much research has been devoted to understanding cognitive correlates of elementary mathematics performance, but little such research has been done for advanced mathematics (e.g., modern algebra, statistics, and mathematical logic). To promote mathematical knowledge among college students, it is necessary to understand what factors (including cognitive factors) are important for acquiring advanced mathematics. We recruited 80 undergraduates from four universities in Beijing. The current study investigated the associations between students' performance on a test of advanced mathematics and a battery of 17 cognitive tasks on basic numerical processing, complex numerical processing, spatial abilities, language abilities, and general cognitive processing. The results showed that spatial abilities were significantly correlated with performance in advanced mathematics after controlling for other factors. In addition, certain language abilities (i.e., comprehension of words and sentences) also made unique contributions. In contrast, basic numerical processing and computation were generally not correlated with performance in advanced mathematics. Results suggest that spatial abilities and language comprehension, but not basic numerical processing, may play an important role in advanced mathematics. These results are discussed in terms of their theoretical significance and practical implications. ©2011 The British Psychological Society.

  13. Cognitive flexibility in young children: General or task-specific capacity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deák, Gedeon O; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-10-01

    Cognitive flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing tasks or problems. To test whether cognitive flexibility is a coherent cognitive capacity in young children, we tested 3- to 5-year-olds' performance on two forms of task switching, rule-based (Three Dimension Changes Card Sorting, 3DCCS) and inductive (Flexible Induction of Meaning-Animates and Objects, FIM-Ob and FIM-An), as well as tests of response speed, verbal working memory, inhibition, and reasoning. Results suggest that cognitive flexibility is not a globally coherent trait; only the two inductive word-meaning (FIM) tests showed high inter-test coherence. Task- and knowledge-specific factors also determine children's flexibility in a given test. Response speed, vocabulary size, and causal reasoning skills further predicted individual and age differences in flexibility, although they did not have the same predictive relation with all three flexibility tests. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Cognitive factors affecting free recall, cued recall, and recognition tasks in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagishi, Takashi; Sato, Takuya; Sato, Atsushi; Imamura, Toru

    2012-01-01

    Our aim was to identify cognitive factors affecting free recall, cued recall, and recognition tasks in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). We recruited 349 consecutive AD patients who attended a memory clinic. Each patient was assessed using the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS) and the extended 3-word recall test. In this task, each patient was asked to freely recall 3 previously presented words. If patients could not recall 1 or more of the target words, the examiner cued their recall by providing the category of the target word and then provided a forced-choice recognition of the target word with 2 distracters. The patients were divided into groups according to the results of the free recall, cued recall, and recognition tasks. Multivariate logistic regression analysis for repeated measures was carried out to evaluate the net effects of cognitive factors on the free recall, cued recall, and recognition tasks after controlling for the effects of age and recent memory deficit. Performance on the ADAS Orientation task was found to be related to performance on the free and cued recall tasks, performance on the ADAS Following Commands task was found to be related to performance on the cued recall task, and performance on the ADAS Ideational Praxis task was found to be related to performance on the free recall, cued recall, and recognition tasks. The extended 3-word recall test reflects deficits in a wider range of memory and other cognitive processes, including memory retention after interference, divided attention, and executive functions, compared with word-list recall tasks. The characteristics of the extended 3-word recall test may be advantageous for evaluating patients' memory impairments in daily living.

  15. Cognitive Factors Affecting Free Recall, Cued Recall, and Recognition Tasks in Alzheimer’s Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takashi Yamagishi

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Our aim was to identify cognitive factors affecting free recall, cued recall, and recognition tasks in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Subjects: We recruited 349 consecutive AD patients who attended a memory clinic. Methods: Each patient was assessed using the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS and the extended 3-word recall test. In this task, each patient was asked to freely recall 3 previously presented words. If patients could not recall 1 or more of the target words, the examiner cued their recall by providing the category of the target word and then provided a forced-choice recognition of the target word with 2 distracters. The patients were divided into groups according to the results of the free recall, cued recall, and recognition tasks. Multivariate logistic regression analysis for repeated measures was carried out to evaluate the net effects of cognitive factors on the free recall, cued recall, and recognition tasks after controlling for the effects of age and recent memory deficit. Results: Performance on the ADAS Orientation task was found to be related to performance on the free and cued recall tasks, performance on the ADAS Following Commands task was found to be related to performance on the cued recall task, and performance on the ADAS Ideational Praxis task was found to be related to performance on the free recall, cued recall, and recognition tasks. Conclusion: The extended 3-word recall test reflects deficits in a wider range of memory and other cognitive processes, including memory retention after interference, divided attention, and executive functions, compared with word-list recall tasks. The characteristics of the extended 3-word recall test may be advantageous for evaluating patients’ memory impairments in daily living.

  16. Effect of cognitive and motor tasks on postural stability in Parkinson's disease: a posturographic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchese, Roberta; Bove, Marco; Abbruzzese, Giovanni

    2003-06-01

    To analyse the effect of concomitant cognitive or motor task performance on balance control in Parkinson's disease (PD), we performed a posturographic study in 24 PD patients and in 20 sex- and age-matched control subjects. Postural sway was measured with eyes open (EO) and eyes closed (EC) during quiet stance and during performance of calculation or motor sequence of thumb opposition to the other fingers. No difference of centre of foot pressure (COP) parameters was observed during quiet standing (either EO or EC) between patients and controls, but visual deprivation induced in both groups a worsening of postural stability. COP area was significantly increased in PD patients during dual task performance, whereas no difference of COP path and x-y axes was observed. The effects induced by the performance of cognitive or motor task were significantly more evident in PD patients with clinical evidence of postural instability (presence of prior falls in the history). This study demonstrates that dual task interference on postural control can be observed in PD patients during performance of cognitive as well as motor tasks. The balance deterioration during dual task performance was significantly enhanced in patients with history of prior falls. These findings have some implications for the strategies to be used in reducing the risk of fall in PD. Copyright 2003 Movement Disorder Society

  17. Brain biomarkers based assessment of cognitive workload in pilots under various task demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentili, Rodolphe J; Rietschel, Jeremy C; Jaquess, Kyle J; Lo, Li-Chuan; Prevost, Michael; Miller, Matt W; Mohler, Jessica M; Oh, Hyuk; Tan, Ying Ying; Hatfield, Bradley D

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive workload is an important element of cognitive-motor performance such as that exhibited during the piloting of an aircraft. Namely, an increase in task demands on the pilot can elevate cognitive information processing and, thus, the risk of human error. As such, there is a need to develop methods that reliably assess mental workload in pilots within operational settings. The present study contributes to this research goal by identifying physiological and brain biomarkers of cognitive workload and attentional reserve during a simulated aircraft piloting task under three progressive levels of challenge. A newly developed experimental method was employed by which electroencephalography (EEG) was acquired via a dry (i.e., gel-free sensors) system using few scalp sites. Self-reported responses to surveys and piloting performance indicators were analyzed. The findings revealed that as the challenge (task demands) increased, the perceived mental load increased, attentional reserve was attenuated, and task performance decreased. Such an increase in task demands was also reflected by changes in heart rate variability (HRV), as well as in the amplitude of the P300 component of event-related potentials to auditory probes, and in the spectral power of specific EEG frequency bands. This work provides a first step towards a long-term goal to develop a composite system of biomarkers for real-time cognitive workload assessment and state assessment of pilots in operational settings.

  18. Evidence that communication impairment in schizophrenia is associated with generalized poor task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Anne M; Karcher, Nicole R; Cicero, David C; Becker, Theresa M; Docherty, Anna R; Kerns, John G

    2017-03-01

    People with schizophrenia exhibit wide-ranging cognitive deficits, including slower processing speed and decreased cognitive control. Disorganized speech symptoms, such as communication impairment, have been associated with poor cognitive control task performance (e.g., goal maintenance and working memory). Whether communication impairment is associated with poorer performance on a broader range of non-cognitive control measures is unclear. In the current study, people with schizophrenia (n =51) and non-psychiatric controls (n =26) completed speech interviews allowing for reliable quantitative assessment of communication impairment. Participants also completed multiple goal maintenance and working memory tasks. In addition, we also examined (a) simple measures of processing speed involving highly automatic prepotent responses and (b) a non-cognitive control measure of general task performance. Schizophrenia communication impairment was significantly associated with poor performance in all cognitive domains, with the largest association found with processing speed (r s =-0.52). Further, communication impairment was also associated with the non-cognitive control measure of poor general task performance (r s =-0.43). In contrast, alogia, a negative speech symptom, and positive symptoms were less if at all related to cognitive task performance. Overall, this study suggests that communication impairment in schizophrenia may be associated with relatively generalized poor cognitive task performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Sources of Cognitive Inflexibility in Set-Shifting Tasks: Insights Into Developmental Theories From Adult Data

    OpenAIRE

    Dick, Anthony Steven

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments examined processes underlying cognitive inflexibility in set-shifting tasks typically used to assess the development of executive function in children. Adult participants performed a Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST) that requires shifting from categorizing by one dimension (e.g., color) to categorizing by a second orthogonal dimension (e.g., shape). The experiments showed performance of the FIST involves suppression of the representation of the ignored dimension; response t...

  20. Partial Derivative Games in Thermodynamics: A Cognitive Task Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kustusch, Mary Bridget; Roundy, David; Dray, Tevian; Manogue, Corinne A.

    2014-01-01

    Several studies in recent years have demonstrated that upper-division students struggle with the mathematics of thermodynamics. This paper presents a task analysis based on several expert attempts to solve a challenging mathematics problem in thermodynamics. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, we highlight the importance of cognitive task…

  1. Workplace for analysis of task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bos, J; Mulder, LJM; van Ouwerkerk, RJ; Maarse, FJ; Akkerman, AE; Brand, AN; Mulder, LJM

    2003-01-01

    In current research on mental workload and task performance a large gap exists between laboratory based studies and research projects in real life working practice. Tasks conducted within a laboratory environment often lack a strong resemblance with real life working situations. This paper presents

  2. Performance of Male and Female C57BL/6J Mice on Motor and Cognitive Tasks Commonly Used in Pre-Clinical Traumatic Brain Injury Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Laura B.; Fu, Amanda H.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract To date, clinical trials have failed to find an effective therapy for victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI) who live with motor, cognitive, and psychiatric complaints. Pre-clinical investigators are now encouraged to include male and female subjects in all translational research, which is of particular interest in the field of neurotrauma given that circulating female hormones (progesterone and estrogen) have been demonstrated to exert neuroprotective effects. To determine whether behavior of male and female C57BL6/J mice is differentially impaired by TBI, male and cycling female mice were injured by controlled cortical impact and tested for several weeks with functional assessments commonly employed in pre-clinical research. We found that cognitive and motor impairments post-TBI, as measured by the Morris water maze (MWM) and rotarod, respectively, were largely equivalent in male and female animals. However, spatial working memory, assessed by the y-maze, was poorer in female mice. Female mice were generally more active, as evidenced by greater distance traveled in the first exposure to the open field, greater distance in the y-maze, and faster swimming speeds in the MWM. Statistical analysis showed that variability in all behavioral data was no greater in cycling female mice than it was in male mice. These data all suggest that with careful selection of tests, procedures, and measurements, both sexes can be included in translational TBI research without concern for effect of hormones on functional impairments or behavioral variability. PMID:25951234

  3. Predicting Subsequent Task Performance From Goal Motivation and Goal Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Catherine Healy

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent research has demonstrated that the cognitive processes associated with goal pursuit can continue to interfere with unrelated tasks when a goal is unfulfilled. Drawing from the self-regulation and goal-striving literatures, the present study explored the impact of goal failure on subsequent cognitive and physical task performance. Furthermore, we examined if the autonomous or controlled motivation underpinning goal striving moderates the responses to goal failure. Athletes (75 male, 59 female, Mage = 19.90 years, SDage = 3.50 completed a cycling trial with the goal of covering a given distance in 8 minutes. Prior to the trial, their motivation was primed using a video. During the trial they were provided with manipulated performance feedback, thus creating conditions of goal success or failure. No differences emerged in the responses to goal failure between the primed motivation or performance feedback conditions. We make recommendations for future research into how individuals can deal with failure in goal striving.

  4. Co-Constructional Task Analysis: Moving beyond Adult-Based Models to Assess Young Children's Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Scott Weng Fai

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of young children's thinking competence in task performances has typically followed the novice-to-expert regimen involving models of strategies that adults use when engaged in cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making. Socio-constructivists argue for a balanced pedagogical approach between the adult and child that…

  5. A statistical approach for segregating cognitive task stages from multivariate fMRI BOLD time series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charmaine eDemanuele

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Multivariate pattern analysis can reveal new information from neuroimaging data to illuminate human cognition and its disturbances. Here, we develop a methodological approach, based on multivariate statistical/machine learning and time series analysis, to discern cognitive processing stages from fMRI blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD time series. We apply this method to data recorded from a group of healthy adults whilst performing a virtual reality version of the delayed win-shift radial arm maze task. This task has been frequently used to study working memory and decision making in rodents. Using linear classifiers and multivariate test statistics in conjunction with time series bootstraps, we show that different cognitive stages of the task, as defined by the experimenter, namely, the encoding/retrieval, choice, reward and delay stages, can be statistically discriminated from the BOLD time series in brain areas relevant for decision making and working memory. Discrimination of these task stages was significantly reduced during poor behavioral performance in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, but not in the primary visual cortex (V1. Experimenter-defined dissection of time series into class labels based on task structure was confirmed by an unsupervised, bottom-up approach based on Hidden Markov Models. Furthermore, we show that different groupings of recorded time points into cognitive event classes can be used to test hypotheses about the specific cognitive role of a given brain region during task execution. We found that whilst the DLPFC strongly differentiated between task stages associated with different memory loads, but not between different visual-spatial aspects, the reverse was true for V1. Our methodology illustrates how different aspects of cognitive information processing during one and the same task can be separated and attributed to specific brain regions based on information contained in multivariate patterns of voxel

  6. The Effect of Background Music and Background Noise on the Task Performance of Introverts and Extraverts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, Gianna; MacDonald, Raymond A. R.

    2007-01-01

    The study investigated the effects of music with high arousal potential and negative affect (HA), music with low arousal potential and positive affect (LA), and everyday noise, on the cognitive task performance of introverts and extraverts. Forty participants completed five cognitive tasks: immediate recall, free recall, numerical and delayed…

  7. Dual-Tasking in Multiple Sclerosis - Implications for a Cognitive Screening Instrument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beste, Christian; Mückschel, Moritz; Paucke, Madlen; Ziemssen, Tjalf

    2018-01-01

    The monitoring of cognitive functions is central to the assessment and consecutive management of multiple sclerosis (MS). Though, especially cognitive processes that are central to everyday behavior like dual-tasking are often neglected. We examined dual-task performance using a psychological-refractory period (PRP) task in N = 21 patients and healthy controls and conducted standard neuropsychological tests. In dual-tasking, MS patients committed more erroneous responses when dual-tasking was difficult. In easier conditions, performance of MS patients did not differ to controls. Interestingly, the response times were generally not affected by the difficulty of the dual task, showing that the deficits observed do not reflect simple motor deficits or deficits in information processing speed but point out deficits in executive control functions and response selection in particular. Effect sizes were considerably large with d ∼0.80 in mild affected patients and the achieved power was above 99%. There are cognitive control and dual tasking deficits in MS that are not attributable to simple motor speed deficits. Scaling of the difficulty of dual-tasking makes the test applied suitable for a wide variety of MS-patients and may complement neuropsychological assessments in clinical care and research setting.

  8. Combining principles of Cognitive Load Theory and diagnostic error analysis for designing job aids: Effects on motivation and diagnostic performance in a process control task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kluge, Annette; Grauel, Britta; Burkolter, Dina

    2013-03-01

    Two studies are presented in which the design of a procedural aid and the impact of an additional decision aid for process control were assessed. In Study 1, a procedural aid was developed that avoids imposing unnecessary extraneous cognitive load on novices when controlling a complex technical system. This newly designed procedural aid positively affected germane load, attention, satisfaction, motivation, knowledge acquisition and diagnostic speed for novel faults. In Study 2, the effect of a decision aid for use before the procedural aid was investigated, which was developed based on an analysis of diagnostic errors committed in Study 1. Results showed that novices were able to diagnose both novel faults and practised faults, and were even faster at diagnosing novel faults. This research contributes to the question of how to optimally support novices in dealing with technical faults in process control. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

  9. Dual-tasking and gait in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment. The effect of working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillips Natalie A

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cognition and mobility in older adults are closely associated and they decline together with aging. Studies evaluating associations between cognitive factors and gait performance in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI are scarce. In this study, our aim was to determine whether specific cognitive factors have a more identifiable effect on gait velocity during dual-tasking in people with MCI. Methods Fifty-five participants, mean age 77.7 (SD = 5.9, 45% women, with MCI were evaluated for global cognition, working memory, executive function, and attention. Gait Velocity (GV was measured under a single-task condition (single GV and under two dual-task conditions: 1 while counting backwards (counting GV, 2 while naming animals (verbal GV. Multivariable linear regression analysis was used to examine associations with an alpha-level of 0.05. Results Participants experienced a reduction in GV while engaging in dual-task challenges (p Conclusion In older adults with MCI, low working memory performance was associated with slow GV. Dual-task conditions showed the strongest associations with gait slowing. Our findings suggest that cortical control of gait is associated with decline in working memory in people with MCI.

  10. Emotion, working memory task demands and individual differences predict behavior, cognitive effort and negative affect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storbeck, Justin; Davidson, Nicole A; Dahl, Chelsea F; Blass, Sara; Yung, Edwin

    2015-01-01

    We examined whether positive and negative affect motivates verbal and spatial working memory processes, respectively, which have implications for the expenditure of mental effort. We argue that when emotion promotes cognitive tendencies that are goal incompatible with task demands, greater cognitive effort is required to perform well. We sought to investigate whether this increase in cognitive effort impairs behavioural control over a broad domain of self-control tasks. Moreover, we predicted that individuals with higher behavioural inhibition system (BIS) sensitivities would report more negative affect within the goal incompatible conditions because such individuals report higher negative affect during cognitive challenge. Positive or negative affective states were induced followed by completing a verbal or spatial 2-back working memory task. All participants then completed one of three self-control tasks. Overall, we observed that conditions of emotion and working memory incompatibility (positive/spatial and negative/verbal) performed worse on the self-control tasks, and within the incompatible conditions individuals with higher BIS sensitivities reported more negative affect at the end of the study. The combination of findings suggests that emotion and working memory compatibility reduces cognitive effort and impairs behavioural control.

  11. The effect of cognitive aging on implicit sequence learning and dual tasking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochen eVandenbossche

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the influence of attentional demands on sequence-specific learning by means of the serial reaction time (SRT task (Nissen & Bullemer, 1987 in young (age 18-25 and aged (age 55-75 adults. Participants had to respond as fast as possible to a stimulus presented in one of four horizontal locations by pressing a key corresponding to the spatial position of the stimulus. During the training phase sequential blocks were accompanied by (1 no secondary task (single, (2 a secondary tone counting task (dual tone, or (3 a secondary shape counting task (dual shape. Both secondary tasks were administered to investigate whether low and high interference tasks interact with implicit learning and age. The testing phase, under baseline single condition, was implemented to assess differences in sequence-specific learning between young and aged adults. Results indicate that (1 aged subjects show less sequence learning compared to young adults, (2 young participants show similar implicit learning effects under both single and dual task conditions when we account for explicit awareness, and (3 aged adults demonstrate reduced learning when the primary task is accompanied with a secondary task, even when explicit awareness is included as a covariate in the analysis. These findings point to implicit learning deficits under dual task conditions that can be related to cognitive aging, demonstrating the need for sufficient cognitive resources while performing a sequence learning task.

  12. Intraindividual variability across cognitive tasks as a potential marker for prodromal Alzheimer’s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Maria Kälin

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have shown that increased cognitive intraindividual variability (IIV across accuracy scores from tests representing different cognitive domains (across-domain IIV might indicate prodromal Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Although IIV has been proposed to index cognitive control processes, IIV across accuracy scores from cognitive control tasks (within-domain IIV has not been examined in healthy controls subjects (HCS, mild cognitive impairment (MCI and AD patients in a single comparative study. This study examines the discriminative properties of within-domain IIV, and across-domain IIV in 149 HCS, 31 MCI and 26 AD. Three tasks representing different cognitive domains were identified to calculate across-domain IIV. Three other tasks representing cognitive control were identified to calculate within-domain IIV. The intraindividual standard deviation (ISD was calculated across accuracy scores. To compare IIV between groups, ANCOVAs with the covariates age, gender, education, and mean performance were computed. IIV scores in general were higher in AD vs. HCS (p< 0.01. Only across-domain IIV was higher in AD vs. MCI (p=0.001, and only within-domain IIV was higher in MCI vs. HCS (p=0.05. Within-domain IIV may constitute a cognitive marker for the detection of prodromal AD at the MCI stage, whereas across-domain IIV may detect beginning AD at the MCI stage.

  13. Changes in regional cerebral blood flow during auditory cognitive tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohyama, Masashi; Kitamura, Shin; Terashi, Akiro; Senda, Michio.

    1993-01-01

    In order to investigate the relation between auditory cognitive function and regional brain activation, we measured the changes in the regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) using positron emission tomography (PET) during the 'odd-ball' paradigm in ten normal healthy volunteers. The subjects underwent 3 tasks, twice for each, while the evoked potential was recorded. In these tasks, the auditory stimulus was a series of pure tones delivered every 1.5 sec binaurally at 75 dB from the earphones. Task A: the stimulus was a series of tones with 1000 Hz only, and the subject was instructed to only hear. Task B: the stimulus was a series of tones with 1000 Hz only, and the subject was instructed to push the button on detecting a tone. Task C: the stimulus was a series of pure tones delivered every 1.5 sec binaurally at 75 dB with a frequency of 1000 Hz (non-target) in 80% and 2000 Hz (target) in 20% at random, and the subject was instructed to push the button on detecting a target tone. The event related potential (P300) was observed in task C (Pz: 334.3±19.6 msec). At each task, the CBF was measured using PET with i.v. injection of 1.5 GBq of O-15 water. The changes in CBF associated with auditory cognition was evaluated by the difference between the CBF images in task C and B. Localized increase was observed in the anterior cingulate cortex (in all subjects), the bilateral associate auditory cortex, the prefrontal cortex and the parietal cortex. The latter three areas had a large individual variation in the location of foci. These results suggested the role of those cortical areas in auditory cognition. The anterior cingulate was most activated (15.0±2.24% of global CBF). This region was not activated in the condition of task B minus task A. The anterior cingulate is a part of Papez's circuit that is related to memory and other higher cortical function. These results suggested that this area may play an important role in cognition as well as in attention. (author)

  14. Task performance in astronomical adaptive optics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Harrison H.; Myers, Kyle J.; Devaney, Nicholas; Dainty, J. C.; Caucci, Luca

    2006-06-01

    In objective or task-based assessment of image quality, figures of merit are defined by the performance of some specific observer on some task of scientific interest. This methodology is well established in medical imaging but is just beginning to be applied in astronomy. In this paper we survey the theory needed to understand the performance of ideal or ideal-linear (Hotelling) observers on detection tasks with adaptive-optical data. The theory is illustrated by discussing its application to detection of exoplanets from a sequence of short-exposure images.

  15. Oral methylphenidate normalizes cingulate activity in cocaine addiction during a salient cognitive task

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldstein, R.Z.; Woicik, P.A.; Maloney, T.; Tomasi, D.; Alia-Klein, N.; Shan, J.; Honorario, J.; Samaras, D.; Wang, R.; Telang, F.; Wang, G.-J.; Volkow, N.D.

    2010-01-01

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivations during cognitive demand are a hallmark deficit in drug addiction. Methylphenidate (MPH) normalizes cortical function, enhancing task salience and improving associated cognitive abilities, in other frontal lobe pathologies; however, in clinical trials, MPH did not improve treatment outcome in cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that oral MPH will attenuate ACC hypoactivations and improve associated performance during a salient cognitive task in individuals with cocaine-use disorders (CUD). In the current functional MRI study, we used a rewarded drug cue-reactivity task previously shown to be associated with hypoactivations in both major ACC subdivisions (implicated in default brain function) in CUD compared with healthy controls. The task was performed by 13 CUD and 14 matched healthy controls on 2 d: after ingesting a single dose of oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (lactose) in a counterbalanced fashion. Results show that oral MPH increased responses to this salient cognitive task in both major ACC subdivisions (including the caudal-dorsal ACC and rostroventromedial ACC extending to the medial orbitofrontal cortex) in the CUD. These functional MRI results were associated with reduced errors of commission (a common impulsivity measure) and improved task accuracy, especially during the drug (vs. neutral) cue-reactivity condition in all subjects. The clinical application of such MPH-induced brain-behavior enhancements remains to be tested.

  16. Oral methylphenidate normalizes cingulate activity in cocaine addiction during a salient cognitive task

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldstein, R.Z.; Goldstein, R.Z.; Woicik, P.A.; Maloney, T.; Tomasi, D.; Alia-Klein, N.; Shan, J.; Honorario, J.; Samaras, d.; Wang, R.; Telang, F.; Wang, G.-J.; Volkow, N.D.

    2010-09-21

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) hypoactivations during cognitive demand are a hallmark deficit in drug addiction. Methylphenidate (MPH) normalizes cortical function, enhancing task salience and improving associated cognitive abilities, in other frontal lobe pathologies; however, in clinical trials, MPH did not improve treatment outcome in cocaine addiction. We hypothesized that oral MPH will attenuate ACC hypoactivations and improve associated performance during a salient cognitive task in individuals with cocaine-use disorders (CUD). In the current functional MRI study, we used a rewarded drug cue-reactivity task previously shown to be associated with hypoactivations in both major ACC subdivisions (implicated in default brain function) in CUD compared with healthy controls. The task was performed by 13 CUD and 14 matched healthy controls on 2 d: after ingesting a single dose of oral MPH (20 mg) or placebo (lactose) in a counterbalanced fashion. Results show that oral MPH increased responses to this salient cognitive task in both major ACC subdivisions (including the caudal-dorsal ACC and rostroventromedial ACC extending to the medial orbitofrontal cortex) in the CUD. These functional MRI results were associated with reduced errors of commission (a common impulsivity measure) and improved task accuracy, especially during the drug (vs. neutral) cue-reactivity condition in all subjects. The clinical application of such MPH-induced brain-behavior enhancements remains to be tested.

  17. The Effect of Prior Task Success on Older Adults' Memory Performance: Examining the Influence of Different Types of Task Success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geraci, Lisa; Hughes, Matthew L; Miller, Tyler M; De Forrest, Ross L

    2016-01-01

    Negative aging stereotypes can lead older adults to perform poorly on memory tests. Yet, memory performance can be improved if older adults have a single successful experience on a cognitive test prior to participating in a memory experiment (Geraci & Miller, 2013, Psychology and Aging, 28, 340-345). The current study examined the effects of different types of prior task experience on subsequent memory performance. Before participating in a verbal free recall experiment, older adults in Experiment 1 successfully completed either a verbal or a visual cognitive task or no task. In Experiment 2, they successfully completed either a motor task or no task before participating in the free recall experiment. Results from Experiment 1 showed that relative to control (no prior task), participants who had prior success, either on a verbal or a visual task, had better subsequent recall performance. Experiment 2 showed that prior success on a motor task, however, did not lead to a later memory advantage relative to control. These findings demonstrate that older adults' memory can be improved by a successful prior task experience so long as that experience is in a cognitive domain.

  18. Cognitive Demands Influence Lower Extremity Mechanics During a Drop Vertical Jump Task in Female Athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almonroeder, Thomas Gus; Kernozek, Thomas; Cobb, Stephen; Slavens, Brooke; Wang, Jinsung; Huddleston, Wendy

    2018-05-01

    Study Design Cross-sectional study. Background The drop vertical jump task is commonly used to screen for anterior cruciate ligament injury risk; however, its predictive validity is limited. The limited predictive validity of the drop vertical jump task may be due to not imposing the cognitive demands that reflect sports participation. Objectives To investigate the influence of additional cognitive demands on lower extremity mechanics during execution of the drop vertical jump task. Methods Twenty uninjured women (age range, 18-25 years) were required to perform the standard drop vertical jump task, as well as drop vertical jumps that included additional cognitive demands. The additional cognitive demands were related to attending to an overhead goal (ball suspended overhead) and/or temporal constraints on movement selection (decision making). Three-dimensional ground reaction forces and lower extremity mechanics were compared between conditions. Results The inclusion of the overhead goal resulted in higher peak vertical ground reaction forces and lower peak knee flexion angles in comparison to the standard drop vertical jump task. In addition, participants demonstrated greater peak knee abduction angles when trials incorporated temporal constraints on decision making and/or required participants to attend to an overhead goal, in comparison to the standard drop vertical jump task. Conclusion Imposing additional cognitive demands during execution of the drop vertical jump task influenced lower extremity mechanics in a manner that suggested increased loading of the anterior cruciate ligament. Tasks utilized in anterior cruciate ligament injury risk screening may benefit from more closely reflecting the cognitive demands of the sports environment. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2018;48(5):381-387. Epub 10 Jan 2018. doi:10.2519/jospt.2018.7739.

  19. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faragó, Kinga Bettina; Lőrincz, András

    2018-01-01

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

  20. Game elements improve performance in a working memory training task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Ninaus

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The utilization of game elements in a non-game context is currently used in a vast range of different domains. However, research on game elements’ effects in cognitive tasks is still sparse. Thus, in this study we implemented three game elements, namely, progress bar, level indicator, and a thematic setting, in a working memory training task. We evaluated the impact of game elements on user performance and perceived state of flow when compared to a conventional version of the task. Participants interacting with game elements showed higher scores in the working memory training task than participants from a control group who completed the working memory training task without the game elements. Moreover, game elements facilitated the individuals’ performance closer to their maximum working memory capacity. Finally, the perceived flow did not differ between the two groups, which indicates that game elements can induce better performance without changing the perception of being “in the zone”, that is without an increase in anxiety or boredom. This empirical study indicates that certain game elements can improve the performance and efficiency in a working memory task by increasing users’ ability and willingness to train at their optimal performance level. 

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Róbert Adrian Rill

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanilon, Jenny

    2011-01-01

    This thesis is about the development and validation of a performance-based test, labeled as Performance Samples on academic tasks in Education and Child Studies (PSEd). PSEd is designed to identify students who are most able to perform the academic tasks involved in an Education and Child Studies

  4. Cognitive-motor interference during fine and gross motor tasks in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schott, Nadja; El-Rajab, Inaam; Klotzbier, Thomas

    2016-10-01

    While typically developing children produce relatively automatized postural control processes, children with DCD seem to exhibit an automatization deficit. Dual tasks with various cognitive loads seem to be an effective way to assess the automatic deficit hypothesis. The aims of the study were: (1) to examine the effect of a concurrent cognitive task on fine and gross motor tasks in children with DCD, and (2) to determine whether the effect varied with different difficulty levels of the concurrent task. We examined dual-task performance (Trail-Making-Test, Trail-Walking-Test) in 20 children with DCD and 39 typically developing children. Based on the idea of the Trail-Making-Test, participants walked along a fixed pathway, following a prescribed path, delineated by target markers of (1) increasing sequential numbers, and (2) increasing sequential numbers and letters. The motor and cognitive dual-task effects (DTE) were calculated for each task. Regardless of the cognitive task, children with DCD performed equally well in fine and gross motor tasks, and were slower in the dual task conditions than under single task-conditions, compared with children without DCD. Increased cognitive task complexity resulted in slow trail walking as well as slower trail tracing. The motor interference for the gross motor tasks was least for the simplest conditions and greatest for the complex conditions and was more pronounced in children with DCD. Cognitive interference was low irrespective of the motor task. Children with DCD show a different approach to allocation of cognitive resources, and have difficulties making motor skills automatic. The latter notion is consistent with impaired cerebellar function and the "automatization deficit hypothesis", suggesting that any deficit in the automatization process will appear if conscious monitoring of the motor skill is made more difficult by integrating another task requiring attentional resources. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All

  5. Effects of prenatal dexamethasone treatment on physical growth, pituitary-adrenal hormones, and performance of motor, motivational, and cognitive tasks in juvenile and adolescent common marmoset monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Jonas; Knapman, Alana; Zürcher, Nicole R; Pilloud, Sonia; Maier, Claudia; Diaz-Heijtz, Rochellys; Forssberg, Hans; Dettling, Andrea; Feldon, Joram; Pryce, Christopher R

    2008-12-01

    Synthetic glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone (DEX) are commonly used to prevent respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants, but there is emerging evidence of subsequent neurobehavioral abnormalities (e.g. problems with inattention/hyperactivity). In the present study, we exposed pregnant common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus, primates) to daily repeated DEX (5 mg/kg by mouth) during either early (d 42-48) or late (d 90-96) pregnancy (gestation period of 144 days). Relative to control, and with a longitudinal design, we investigated DEX effects in offspring in terms of physical growth, plasma ACTH and cortisol titers, social and maintenance behaviors, skilled motor reaching, motivation for palatable reward, and learning between infancy and adolescence. Early DEX resulted in reduced sociability in infants and increased motivation for palatable reward in adolescents. Late DEX resulted in a mild transient increase in knee-heel length in infants and enhanced reversal learning of stimulus-reward association in adolescents. There was no effect of either early or late DEX on basal plasma ACTH or cortisol titers. Both treatments resulted in impaired skilled motor reaching in juveniles, which attenuated in early DEX but persisted in late DEX across test sessions. The increased palatable-reward motivation and decreased social motivation observed in early DEX subjects provide experimental support for the clinical reports that prenatal glucocorticoid treatment impairs social development and predisposes to metabolic syndrome. These novel primate findings indicate that fetal glucocorticoid overexposure can lead to abnormal development of motor, affective, and cognitive behaviors. Importantly, the outcome is highly dependent upon the timing of glucocorticoid overexposure.

  6. Rational adaptation under task and processing constraints: implications for testing theories of cognition and action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howes, Andrew; Lewis, Richard L; Vera, Alonso

    2009-10-01

    The authors assume that individuals adapt rationally to a utility function given constraints imposed by their cognitive architecture and the local task environment. This assumption underlies a new approach to modeling and understanding cognition-cognitively bounded rational analysis-that sharpens the predictive acuity of general, integrated theories of cognition and action. Such theories provide the necessary computational means to explain the flexible nature of human behavior but in doing so introduce extreme degrees of freedom in accounting for data. The new approach narrows the space of predicted behaviors through analysis of the payoff achieved by alternative strategies, rather than through fitting strategies and theoretical parameters to data. It extends and complements established approaches, including computational cognitive architectures, rational analysis, optimal motor control, bounded rationality, and signal detection theory. The authors illustrate the approach with a reanalysis of an existing account of psychological refractory period (PRP) dual-task performance and the development and analysis of a new theory of ordered dual-task responses. These analyses yield several novel results, including a new understanding of the role of strategic variation in existing accounts of PRP and the first predictive, quantitative account showing how the details of ordered dual-task phenomena emerge from the rational control of a cognitive system subject to the combined constraints of internal variance, motor interference, and a response selection bottleneck.

  7. Auditory and cognitive performance in elderly musicians and nonmusicians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Grassi

    Full Text Available Musicians represent a model for examining brain and behavioral plasticity in terms of cognitive and auditory profile, but few studies have investigated whether elderly musicians have better auditory and cognitive abilities than nonmusicians. The aim of the present study was to examine whether being a professional musician attenuates the normal age-related changes in hearing and cognition. Elderly musicians still active in their profession were compared with nonmusicians on auditory performance (absolute threshold, frequency intensity, duration and spectral shape discrimination, gap and sinusoidal amplitude-modulation detection, and on simple (short-term memory and more complex and higher-order (working memory [WM] and visuospatial abilities cognitive tasks. The sample consisted of adults at least 65 years of age. The results showed that older musicians had similar absolute thresholds but better supra-threshold discrimination abilities than nonmusicians in four of the six auditory tasks administered. They also had a better WM performance, and stronger visuospatial abilities than nonmusicians. No differences were found between the two groups' short-term memory. Frequency discrimination and gap detection for the auditory measures, and WM complex span tasks and one of the visuospatial tasks for the cognitive ones proved to be very good classifiers of the musicians. These findings suggest that life-long music training may be associated with enhanced auditory and cognitive performance, including complex cognitive skills, in advanced age. However, whether this music training represents a protective factor or not needs further investigation.

  8. The effects of self-report cognitive failures and cognitive load on antisaccade performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick eBerggren

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Individuals reporting high levels of distractibility in everyday life show impaired performance in standard laboratory tasks measuring selective attention and inhibitory processes. Similarly, increasing cognitive load leads to more errors/distraction in a variety of cognitive tasks. How these two factors interact is currently unclear; highly distractible individuals may be affected more when their cognitive resources are taxed, or load may linearly affect performance for all individuals. We investigated the relationship between self-reported levels of cognitive failuresin daily life and performance in the antisaccade task, a widely used tool examining attentional control. Levels of concurrent cognitive demand were manipulated using a secondary auditory discrimination task. We found that both levels of self-reported cognitive failures and task load increased antisaccade latencies while having no effect on prosaccade eye-movements. However individuals rating themselves as suffering few daily life distractions showed a comparable load cost to those who experience many. These findings suggest that the likelihood of distraction is governed by the addition of both internal susceptibility and the external current load placed on working memory.

  9. Working memory capacity predicts conflict-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; Johnson, Addie

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between the ability to maintain task goals and working memory capacity (WMC) is firmly established, but evidence for WMC-related differences in conflict processing is mixed. We investigated whether WMC (measured using two complex-span tasks) mediates differences in adjustments of cognitive control in response to conflict. Participants performed a Simon task in which congruent and incongruent trials were equiprobable, but in which the proportion of congruency repetitions (congruent trials followed by congruent trials or incongruent trials followed by incongruent trials) and thus the need for trial-by-trial adjustments in cognitive control varied by block. The overall Simon effect did not depend on WMC capacity. However, for the low-WMC participants the Simon effect decreased as the proportion of congruency repetitions decreased, whereas for the high- and average-WMC participants it was relatively constant across conditions. Distribution analysis of the Simon effect showed more evidence for the inhibition of stimulus location in the low- than in the high-WMC participants, especially when the proportion of congruency repetitions was low. We hypothesize that low-WMC individuals exhibit more interference from task-irrelevant information due to weaker preparatory control prior to stimulus presentation and, thus, stronger reliance on reactive recruitment of cognitive control.

  10. Cognitive strategies in the mental rotation task revealed by EEG spectral power.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardony, Aaron L; Eddy, Marianna D; Brunyé, Tad T; Taylor, Holly A

    2017-11-01

    The classic mental rotation task (MRT; Shepard & Metzler, 1971) is commonly thought to measure mental rotation, a cognitive process involving covert simulation of motor rotation. Yet much research suggests that the MRT recruits both motor simulation and other analytic cognitive strategies that depend on visuospatial representation and visual working memory (WM). In the present study, we investigated cognitive strategies in the MRT using time-frequency analysis of EEG and independent component analysis. We scrutinized sensorimotor mu (µ) power reduction, associated with motor simulation, parietal alpha (pα) power reduction, associated with visuospatial representation, and frontal midline theta (fmθ) power enhancement, associated with WM maintenance and manipulation. µ power increased concomitant with increasing task difficulty, suggesting reduced use of motor simulation, while pα decreased and fmθ power increased, suggesting heightened use of visuospatial representation processing and WM, respectively. These findings suggest that MRT performance involves flexibly trading off between cognitive strategies, namely a motor simulation-based mental rotation strategy and WM-intensive analytic strategies based on task difficulty. Flexible cognitive strategy use may be a domain-general cognitive principle that underlies aptitude and spatial intelligence in a variety of cognitive domains. We close with discussion of the present study's implications as well as future directions. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Development of a Cognitive Robotic System for Simple Surgical Tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riccardo Muradore

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The introduction of robotic surgery within the operating rooms has significantly improved the quality of many surgical procedures. Recently, the research on medical robotic systems focused on increasing the level of autonomy in order to give them the possibility to carry out simple surgical actions autonomously. This paper reports on the development of technologies for introducing automation within the surgical workflow. The results have been obtained during the ongoing FP7 European funded project Intelligent Surgical Robotics (I-SUR. The main goal of the project is to demonstrate that autonomous robotic surgical systems can carry out simple surgical tasks effectively and without major intervention by surgeons. To fulfil this goal, we have developed innovative solutions (both in terms of technologies and algorithms for the following aspects: fabrication of soft organ models starting from CT images, surgical planning and execution of movement of robot arms in contact with a deformable environment, designing a surgical interface minimizing the cognitive load of the surgeon supervising the actions, intra-operative sensing and reasoning to detect normal transitions and unexpected events. All these technologies have been integrated using a component-based software architecture to control a novel robot designed to perform the surgical actions under study. In this work we provide an overview of our system and report on preliminary results of the automatic execution of needle insertion for the cryoablation of kidney tumours.

  12. Cognitive load and task condition in event- and time-based prospective memory: an experimental investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Azizuddin; Sharma, Narendra K; Dixit, Shikha

    2008-09-01

    Prospective memory is memory for the realization of delayed intention. Researchers distinguish 2 kinds of prospective memory: event- and time-based (G. O. Einstein & M. A. McDaniel, 1990). Taking that distinction into account, the present authors explored participants' comparative performance under event- and time-based tasks. In an experimental study of 80 participants, the authors investigated the roles of cognitive load and task condition in prospective memory. Cognitive load (low vs. high) and task condition (event- vs. time-based task) were the independent variables. Accuracy in prospective memory was the dependent variable. Results showed significant differential effects under event- and time-based tasks. However, the effect of cognitive load was more detrimental in time-based prospective memory. Results also revealed that time monitoring is critical in successful performance of time estimation and so in time-based prospective memory. Similarly, participants' better performance on the event-based prospective memory task showed that they acted on the basis of environment cues. Event-based prospective memory was environmentally cued; time-based prospective memory required self-initiation.

  13. Single-task and dual-task tandem gait test performance after concussion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, David R; Osternig, Louis R; Chou, Li-Shan

    2017-07-01

    To compare single-task and dual-task tandem gait test performance between athletes after concussion with controls on observer-timed, spatio-temporal, and center-of-mass (COM) balance control measurements. Ten participants (19.0±5.5years) were prospectively identified and completed a tandem gait test protocol within 72h of concussion and again 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, and 2 months post-injury. Seven uninjured controls (20.0±4.5years) completed the same protocol in similar time increments. Tandem gait test trials were performed with (dual-task) and without (single-task) concurrently performing a cognitive test as whole-body motion analysis was performed. Outcome variables included test completion time, average tandem gait velocity, cadence, and whole-body COM frontal plane displacement. Concussion participants took significantly longer to complete the dual-task tandem gait test than controls throughout the first 2 weeks post-injury (mean time=16.4 [95% CI: 13.4-19.4] vs. 10.1 [95% CI: 6.4-13.7] seconds; p=0.03). Single-task tandem gait times were significantly lower 72h post-injury (p=0.04). Dual-task cadence was significantly lower for concussion participants than controls (89.5 [95% CI: 68.6-110.4] vs. 127.0 [95% CI: 97.4-156.6] steps/minute; p=0.04). Moderately-high to high correlations between tandem gait test time and whole-body COM medial-lateral displacement were detected at each time point during dual-task gait (r s =0.70-0.93; p=0.03-0.001). Adding a cognitive task during the tandem gait test resulted in longer detectable deficits post-concussion compared to the traditional single-task tandem gait test. As a clinical tool to assess dynamic motor function, tandem gait may assist with return to sport decisions after concussion. Copyright © 2017 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

    Two well-accepted ideas among educators are (a) performance assessment is an effective means of assessing higher-order thinking skills and (b) data-driven instruction planning is a valuable tool for optimizing student learning. This article describes a locally developed performance task (LDPT) designed to measure critical thinking, problem…

  15. Cognitive Developmental Level Gender, and the Development of Learned Helplessness on Mathematical Calculation and Reasoning Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monaco, Nanci M.; Gentile, J. Ronald

    1987-01-01

    This study was designed to test whether a learned helplessness treatment would decrease performance on mathematical tasks and to extend learned helplessness findings to include the cognitive development dimension. Results showed no differential advantages to either sex in resisting effects of learned helplessness or in benefiting from strategy…

  16. Investigating IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 : Relationships between cognitive writing processes, text quality, and working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Révész, Andrea; Michel, Marije; Lee, MinJin

    2017-01-01

    This project examined the cognitive processes and online behaviours of second language writers while performing IELTS Academic Writing Test Task 2, and the ways in which the online behaviours of test-takers relate to the quality of the text produced. An additional aim was to assess whether writing

  17. Cerebellar tDCS does not affect performance in the N-back task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Wessel, Brenda W V; Claire Verhage, M; Holland, Peter; Frens, Maarten A; van der Geest, Jos N

    2016-01-01

    The N-back task is widely used in cognitive research. Furthermore, the cerebellum's role in cognitive processes is becoming more widely recognized. Studies using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have demonstrated effects of cerebellar stimulation on several cognitive tasks. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of cerebellar tDCS on cognitive performance by using the N-back task. The cerebellum of 12 participants was stimulated during the task. Moreover, the cognitive load was manipulated in N = 2, N = 3, and N = 4. Every participant received three tDCS conditions (anodal, cathodal, and sham) divided over three separated days. It was expected that anodal stimulation would improve performance on the task. Each participant performed 6 repetitions of every load in which correct responses, false alarms, and reaction times were recorded. We found significant differences between the three levels of load in the rate of correct responses and false alarms, indicating that subjects followed the expected pattern of performance for the N-back task. However, no significant differences between the three tDCS conditions were found. Therefore, it was concluded that in this study cognitive performance on the N-back task was not readily influenced by cerebellar tDCS, and any true effects are likely to be small. We discuss several limitations in task design and suggest future experiments to address such issues.

  18. Differential effects of white noise in cognitive and perceptual tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora Alicia Herweg

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Beneficial effects of noise on higher cognition have recently attracted attention. Hypothesizing an involvement of the mesolimbic dopamine system and its functional interactions with cortical areas, the current study aimed to demonstrate a facilitation of dopamine-dependent attentional and mnemonic functions by externally applying white noise in five behavioral experiments including a total sample of 167 healthy human subjects. During working memory, acoustic white noise impaired accuracy when presented during the maintenance period (experiment 1-3. In a reward based long-term memory task, white noise accelerated perceptual judgments for scene images during encoding but left subsequent recognition memory unaffected (experiment 4. In a modified Posner task (experiment 5, the benefit due to white noise in attentional orienting correlated weakly with reward dependence, a personality trait that has been associated with the dopaminergic system. These results suggest that white noise has no general effect on cognitive functions. Instead, they indicate differential effects on perception and cognition depending on a variety of factors such as task demands and timing of white noise presentation.

  19. Differential effects of white noise in cognitive and perceptual tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herweg, Nora A; Bunzeck, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Beneficial effects of noise on higher cognition have recently attracted attention. Hypothesizing an involvement of the mesolimbic dopamine system and its functional interactions with cortical areas, the current study aimed to demonstrate a facilitation of dopamine-dependent attentional and mnemonic functions by externally applying white noise in five behavioral experiments including a total sample of 167 healthy human subjects. During working memory, acoustic white noise impaired accuracy when presented during the maintenance period (Experiments 1-3). In a reward based long-term memory task, white noise accelerated perceptual judgments for scene images during encoding but left subsequent recognition memory unaffected (Experiment 4). In a modified Posner task (Experiment 5), the benefit due to white noise in attentional orienting correlated weakly with reward dependence, a personality trait that has been associated with the dopaminergic system. These results suggest that white noise has no general effect on cognitive functions. Instead, they indicate differential effects on perception and cognition depending on a variety of factors such as task demands and timing of white noise presentation.

  20. Cognitive performance in patients with COPD

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liesker, JJW; Postma, DS; Beukema, RJ; ten Hacken, NHT; van der Molen, T; Riemersma, RA; van Zomeren, EH; Kerstjens, HAM

    Background: Hypoxemic patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have impaired cognitive performance. These neuropsychological impairments are related to the degree of hypoxemia. So far, cognitive performance has not been tested in non-hypoxemic patients with COPD. Methods: We

  1. Cognitive-motor dual-task ability of athletes with and without intellectual impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Biesen, Debbie; Jacobs, Lore; McCulloch, Katina; Janssens, Luc; Vanlandewijck, Yves C

    2018-03-01

    Cognition is important in many sports, for example, making split-second-decisions under pressure, or memorising complex movement sequences. The dual-task (DT) paradigm is an ecologically valid approach for the assessment of cognitive function in conjunction with motor demands. This study aimed to determine the impact of impaired intelligence on DT performance. The motor task required balancing on one leg on a beam, and the cognitive task was a multiple-object-tracking (MOT) task assessing dynamic visual-search capacity. The sample included 206 well-trained athletes with and without intellectual impairment (II), matched for sport, age and training volume (140 males, 66 females, M age = 23.2 ± 4.1 years, M training experience = 12.3 ± 5.7 years). In the single-task condition, II-athletes showed reduced balance control (F = 55.9, P balance and the MOT task between both groups. The DT costs were significantly larger for the II-athletes (-8.28% versus -1.34% for MOT and -33.13% versus -12.89% for balance). The assessment of MOT in a DT paradigm provided insight in how impaired intelligence constrains the ability of II-athletes to successfully perform at the highest levels in the complex and dynamical sport-environment.

  2. Dissociable effects of game elements on motivation and cognition in a task-switching training in middle childhood

    OpenAIRE

    Dörrenbächer, Sandra; Müller, Philipp M.; Tröger, Johannes; Kray, Jutta

    2014-01-01

    Although motivational reinforcers are often used to enhance the attractiveness of trainings of cognitive control in children, little is known about how such motivational manipulations of the setting contribute to separate gains in motivation and cognitive-control performance. Here we provide a framework for systematically investigating the impact of a motivational video-game setting on the training motivation, the task performance, and the transfer success in a task-switching training in midd...

  3. The Effect of Two Different Cognitive Tests on Gait Parameters during Dual Tasks in Healthy Postmenopausal Women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magdalena Hagner-Derengowska

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. The paper aims to evaluate the influence of two different demanding cognitive tasks on gait parameters using BTS SMART system analysis. Patients and Methods. The study comprised 53 postmenopausal women aged 64.5 ± 6.7 years (range: 47–79. For every subject, gait analysis using a BTS SMART system was performed in a dual-task study design under three conditions: (I while walking only (single task, (II walking while performing a simultaneous simple cognitive task (SCT (dual task, and (III walking while performing a simultaneous complex cognitive task (CCT (dual task. Time-space parameters of gait pertaining to the length of a single support phase, double support phase, gait speed, step length, step width, and leg swing speed were analyzed. Results. Performance of cognitive tests during gait resulted in a statistically significant prolongation of the left (by 7% and right (by 7% foot gait cycle, shortening of the length of steps made with the right extremity (by 4%, reduction of speed of swings made with the left (by 11% and right (by 8% extremity, and reduction in gait speed (by 6%. Conclusions. Performance of cognitive tests during gait changes its individual pattern in relation to the level of the difficulty of the task.

  4. High-Frequency Binaural Beats Increase Cognitive Flexibility: Evidence from Dual-Task Crosstalk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hommel, Bernhard; Sellaro, Roberta; Fischer, Rico; Borg, Saskia; Colzato, Lorenza S

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that cognitive-control processes can be configured to optimize either persistence of information processing (by amplifying competition between decision-making alternatives and top-down biasing of this competition) or flexibility (by dampening competition and biasing). We investigated whether high-frequency binaural beats, an auditory illusion suspected to act as a cognitive enhancer, have an impact on cognitive-control configuration. We hypothesized that binaural beats in the gamma range bias the cognitive-control style toward flexibility, which in turn should increase the crosstalk between tasks in a dual-task paradigm. We replicated earlier findings that the reaction time in the first-performed task is sensitive to the compatibility between the responses in the first and the second task-an indication of crosstalk. As predicted, exposing participants to binaural beats in the gamma range increased this effect as compared to a control condition in which participants were exposed to a continuous tone of 340 Hz. These findings provide converging evidence that the cognitive-control style can be systematically biased by inducing particular internal states; that high-frequency binaural beats bias the control style toward more flexibility; and that different styles are implemented by changing the strength of local competition and top-down bias.

  5. A functional approach for research on cognitive control: Analysing cognitive control tasks and their effects in terms of operant conditioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liefooghe, Baptist; De Houwer, Jan

    2016-02-01

    Cognitive control is an important mental ability that is examined using a multitude of cognitive control tasks and effects. The present paper presents the first steps in the elaboration of a functional approach, which aims to uncover the communalities and differences between different cognitive control tasks and their effects. Based on the idea that responses in cognitive control tasks qualify as operant behaviour, we propose to reinterpret cognitive control tasks in terms of operant contingencies and cognitive control effects as instances of moderated stimulus control. We illustrate how our approach can be used to uncover communalities between topographically different cognitive control tasks and can lead to novel questions about the processes underlying cognitive control. © 2015 International Union of Psychological Science.

  6. Strategies of modeling the cognitive tasks of human operators for accident scenarios in nuclear power plant control rooms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheon, Se Woo; Sur, Sang Moon; Lee, Yong Hee; Lee, Jeong Wun

    1993-01-01

    This paper presents the development strategies of cognitive task network modeling for accident scenarios in nuclear power plant control rooms. Task network modeling is used to provide useful predictions of operator's performance times and error rates, based upon plant procedures and/or control room changes. Two accident scenarios, small-break loss of coolant accident (LOCA) and steam generator tube rupture (SGTR), are selected for task simulation. To obtain the input data for the model, task elements are extracted by the task analysis of emergency operating procedures. The input data include task performance time, communication ink, panel location, component operating mode, and data for performance shaping factors (PSFs). Operator's verbs are categorized according to the elements of cognitive behavior. The simulation of the task network for the small-break LOCA scenario is presented in this paper. (Author)

  7. Catastrophe models for cognitive workload and fatigue in N-back tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guastello, Stephen J; Reiter, Katherine; Malon, Matthew; Timm, Paul; Shircel, Anton; Shaline, James

    2015-04-01

    N-back tasks place a heavy load on working memory, and thus make good candidates for studying cognitive workload and fatigue (CWLF). This study extended previous work on CWLF which separated the two phenomena with two cusp catastrophe models. Participants were 113 undergraduates who completed 2-back and 3-back tasks with both auditory and visual stimuli simultaneously. Task data were complemented by several measures hypothesized to be related to cognitive elasticity and compensatory abilities and the NASA TLX ratings of subjective workload. The adjusted R2 was .980 for the workload model, which indicated a highly accurate prediction with six bifurcation (elasticity versus rigidity) effects: algebra flexibility, TLX performance, effort, and frustration; and psychosocial measures of inflexibility and monitoring. There were also two cognitive load effects (asymmetry): 2 vs. 3-back and TLX temporal demands. The adjusted R2 was .454 for the fatigue model, which contained two bifurcation variables indicating the amount of work done, and algebra flexibility as the compensatory ability variable. Both cusp models were stronger than the next best linear alternative model. The study makes an important step forward by uncovering an apparently complete model for workload, finding the role of subjective workload in the context of performance dynamics, and finding CWLF dynamics in yet another type of memory-intensive task. The results were also consistent with the developing notion that performance deficits induced by workload and deficits induced by fatigue result from the impact of the task on the workspace and executive functions of working memory respectively.

  8. The Effects of Aerobic Exercise and Gaming on Cognitive Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douris Peter C.

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of our study was to investigate the effects of video gaming, aerobic exercise (biking, and the combination of these two activities on the domains of cognitive performance: selective attention, processing speed, and executive functioning. The study was a randomized clinical trial with 40 subjects (mean age 23.7 ± 1.8 years randomized to one of four thirty-minute conditions: video gaming, biking, simultaneous gaming and biking, and a control condition. Cognitive performance was measured pre and post condition using the Stroop test and Trails B test. A mixed design was utilized. While video gaming, biking, simultaneous gaming and biking conditions improved selective attention and processing speed (p < 0.05, only the bike condition improved the highest order of cognitive performance, executive function (p < 0.01. There were no changes in cognitive performance for the control condition. Previous studies have shown that if tasks approach the limits of attentional capacity there is an increase in the overall chance for errors, known as the dual-task deficit. Simultaneous biking and gaming may have surpassed attentional capacity limits, ultimately increasing errors during the executive function tests of our cognitive performance battery. The results suggest that the fatiguing effects of a combined physically and mentally challenging task that extends after the exercise cessation may overcome the eventual beneficial cognitive effects derived from the physical exercise.

  9. Developmental change in cognitive organization underlying stroop tasks of Japanese orthographies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toma, C; Toshima, T

    1989-01-01

    Cognitive processes underlying Stroop interference tasks of two Japanese orthographies, hiragana (a phonetic orthography) and kanji (a logographic orthography) were studied from the developmental point of view. Four age groups (first, second, third graders, and university students) were employed as subjects. Significant interference was yielded both in the hiragana and in the kanji version. Performance time on interference task decreased with age. For elementary school children, the error frequency on the interference task was higher than that on the task of naming patch colors or on the task of reading words printed in black ink, but the error frequencies did not differ among tasks for university students. In the interference task more word reading errors were yielded in the kanji version than in the hiragana version during and after third grade. The findings suggested that (1) the recognition system of hiragana and of kanji becomes qualitatively different during and after third grade, (2) the integrative system, which organizes cognitive processes underlying Stroop task, develops with age, and (3) efficiency of the organization increases with age.

  10. Reduced Dual-Task Performance in MS Patients Is Further Decreased by Muscle Fatigue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkorte, Ria; Heersema, Dorothea J; Zijdewind, Inge

    2015-06-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be accompanied by motor, cognitive, and sensory impairments. Additionally, MS patients often report fatigue as one of their most debilitating symptoms. It is, therefore, expected that MS patients will have difficulties in performing cognitive-motor dual tasks (DTs), especially in a fatiguing condition. To determine whether MS patients are more challenged by a DT than controls in a fatiguing and less-fatiguing condition and whether DT performance is associated with perceived fatigue. A group of 19 MS patients and 19 age-, sex-, and education-matched controls performed a cognitive task (2-choice reaction time task) separately or concurrent with a low-force or a high-force motor task (index finger abduction at 10% or 30% maximal voluntary contraction). MS patients performed less well on a cognitive task than controls. Cognitive task performance under DT conditions decreased more for MS patients. Moreover, under high-force DT conditions, cognitive performance declined in both groups but to a larger degree for MS patients. Besides a decline in cognitive task performance, MS patients also showed a stronger decrease in motor performance under high-force DT conditions. DT costs were positively related to perceived fatigue as measured by questionnaires. Compared with controls, MS patients performed less well on DTs as demonstrated by a reduction in both cognitive and motor performances. This performance decrease was stronger under fatiguing conditions and was related to the sense of fatigue of MS patients. These data illustrate problems that MS patients may encounter in daily life because of their fatigue. © The Author(s) 2014.

  11. Dual-task and electrophysiological markers of executive cognitive processing in older adult gait and fall-risk.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A Walshe

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The role of cognition is becoming increasingly central to our understanding of the complexity of walking gait. Here, we report two experiments which investigated the cognitive and neural processes underlying older adult gait and fall-risk. Experiment 1 employed a dual-task paradigm in young and older adults, to assess the relative effects of higher-level executive function tasks (n-Back, Serial Subtraction and visuo-spatial Clock task in comparison to non-executive distracter tasks (motor response task and alphabet recitation on gait. All dual-tasks elicited changes in gait for both young and older adults, relative to baseline walking. Significantly greater dual-task costs were observed for the executive tasks in the older adult group, as hypothesized. Experiment 2 compared normal walking gait, seated cognitive performances and concurrent event-related brain potentials (ERPs in healthy young and older adults, to older adult fallers. No significant differences in cognitive performances were found between fallers and non-fallers. However, a clear P3a peak was evident on the Stroop task for older non-fallers, which was notably absent in older fallers. This may be indicative of the presence of some cortically-based compensatory process in this group, contributing to their reduced risk of falling. We argue that executive functions play a prominent role in walking and gait, but the role of higher cognition as a predictor of fall-risk needs further investigation.

  12. Effects of Cogmed working memory training on cognitive performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etherton, Joseph L; Oberle, Crystal D; Rhoton, Jayson; Ney, Ashley

    2018-04-16

    Research on the cognitive benefits of working memory training programs has produced inconsistent results. Such research has frequently used laboratory-specific training tasks, or dual-task n-back training. The current study used the commercial Cogmed Working Memory (WM) Training program, involving several different training tasks involving visual and auditory input. Healthy college undergraduates were assigned to either the full Cogmed training program of 25, 40-min training sessions; an abbreviated Cogmed program of 25, 20-min training sessions; or a no-contact control group. Pretest and posttest measures included multiple measures of attention, working memory, fluid intelligence, and executive functions. Although improvement was observed for the full training group for a digit span task, no training-related improvement was observed for any of the other measures. Results of the study suggest that WM training does not improve performance on unrelated tasks or enhance other cognitive abilities.

  13. Frontal subregions mediating Elevator Counting task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacPherson, Sarah E; Turner, Martha S; Bozzali, Marco; Cipolotti, Lisa; Shallice, Tim

    2010-10-01

    Deficits in sustained attention may lead to action slips in everyday life as irrelevant action sequences are inappropriately triggered internally or by the environment. While deficits in sustained attention have been associated with damage to the frontal lobes of the brain, little is known about the role of the frontal lobes in the Elevator Counting subtest of the Test of Everyday Attention. In the current study, 55 frontal patients subdivided into medial, orbital and lateral subgroups, 18 patients with posterior lesions and 82 healthy controls performed the Elevator Counting task. The results revealed that patients with medial and left lateral prefrontal lesions were significantly impaired on the task compared to healthy controls. Research suggests that patients with medial lesions are susceptible to competition from task irrelevant schema; whereas the left lateral group in the current study may fail to keep track of the tones already presented. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Pointing Device Performance in Steering Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senanayake, Ransalu; Goonetilleke, Ravindra S

    2016-06-01

    Use of touch-screen-based interactions is growing rapidly. Hence, knowing the maneuvering efficacy of touch screens relative to other pointing devices is of great importance in the context of graphical user interfaces. Movement time, accuracy, and user preferences of four pointing device settings were evaluated on a computer with 14 participants aged 20.1 ± 3.13 years. It was found that, depending on the difficulty of the task, the optimal settings differ for ballistic and visual control tasks. With a touch screen, resting the arm increased movement time for steering tasks. When both performance and comfort are considered, whether to use a mouse or a touch screen for person-computer interaction depends on the steering difficulty. Hence, a input device should be chosen based on the application, and should be optimized to match the graphical user interface. © The Author(s) 2016.

  15. Cognitive performance as a zeitgeber: cognitive oscillators and cholinergic modulation of the SCN entrain circadian rhythms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard J Gritton

    Full Text Available The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN is the primary circadian pacemaker in mammals that can synchronize or entrain to environmental cues. Although light exerts powerful influences on SCN output, other non-photic stimuli can modulate the SCN as well. We recently demonstrated that daily performance of a cognitive task requiring sustained periods of attentional effort that relies upon basal forebrain (BF cholinergic activity dramatically alters circadian rhythms in rats. In particular, normally nocturnal rats adopt a robust diurnal activity pattern that persists for several days in the absence of cognitive training. Although anatomical and pharmacological data from non-performing animals support a relationship between cholinergic signaling and circadian rhythms, little is known about how endogenous cholinergic signaling influences SCN function in behaving animals. Here we report that BF cholinergic projections to the SCN provide the principal signal allowing for the expression of cognitive entrainment in light-phase trained animals. We also reveal that oscillator(s outside of the SCN drive cognitive entrainment as daily timed cognitive training robustly entrains SCN-lesioned arrhythmic animals. Ablation of the SCN, however, resulted in significant impairments in task acquisition, indicating that SCN-mediated timekeeping benefits new learning and cognitive performance. Taken together, we conclude that cognition entrains non-photic oscillators, and cholinergic signaling to the SCN serves as a temporal timestamp attenuating SCN photic-driven rhythms, thereby permitting cognitive demands to modulate behavior.

  16. Cognitive performance in elderly women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Togsverd, Mads; Werge, Thomas M; Tankó, Laszlo B

    2007-01-01

    Genetic and environmental factors influence cognitive aging. The gene encoding dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) could be one such factor since this hydroxylase converts dopamine to norepinephrine both of which are involved in cognition regulation....

  17. Age-related differences in dual task performance: A cross-sectional study on women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brustio, Paolo R; Magistro, Daniele; Rabaglietti, Emanuela; Liubicich, Monica E

    2017-02-01

    Simultaneous performances of motor and attention-demanding tasks are common in activities of everyday life. The present cross-sectional study examined the changes and age-related differences on mobility performance with an additional cognitive or motor task, and evaluated the relative dual-task cost (DTC) on the motor performance in young, middle-aged and older women. A total of 30 young (mean age 25.12 ± 3.00 years), 30 middle-aged (mean age 47.82 ± 5.06 years) and 30 older women (mean age 72.74 ± 5.95 years) were recruited. Participants carried out: (i) single task: Timed Up & Go Test; (ii) cognitive dual-task: Timed Up & Go Test while counting backwards by three; (iii) manual dual-task: Timed Up & Go Test while carrying a glass of water. A repeated measures anova with between-factor as age groups and within-factor as tasks was carried out to assess the effect of aging on the performance of mobility tasks. DTC was calculated as ([performance in single-task - performance in dual-task] / performance in single task) × 100%. One-way ancova were carried out to compare the DTC among the three age groups. A significant interaction between age groups and task (F 4,172  = 6.716, P performance under dual-task condition compared with young and middle-aged groups. Furthermore, DTC differences in cognitive task were observed in older women compared with younger and middle-aged women (F 2,86  = 7.649, P task. Dual-task conditions might affect mobility performance differently across the lifespan, and could be particularly challenging in older women. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2017; 17: 315-321. © 2015 Japan Geriatrics Society.

  18. Demographic Variables and Selective, Sustained Attention and Planning through Cognitive Tasks among Healthy Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afsaneh Zarghi

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Cognitive tasks are considered to be applicable and appropriate in assessing cognitive domains. The purpose of our study is to determine the relationship existence between variables of age, sex and education with selective, sustained attention and planning abilities by means of computerized cognitive tasks among healthy adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study was implemented during 6 months from June to November, 2010 on 84 healthy adults (42 male and 42 female. The whole participants performed computerized CPT, STROOP and TOL tests after being content and trained. Results: The obtained data indicate that there is a significant correlation coefficient between age, sex and education variables (p<0.05. Discussion: The above-mentioned tests can be used to assess selective, sustained attention and planning.

  19. Cognitive performance in elderly women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Togsverd, Mads; Werge, Thomas M; Tankó, Laszlo B

    2007-01-01

    Genetic and environmental factors influence cognitive aging. The gene encoding dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) could be one such factor since this hydroxylase converts dopamine to norepinephrine both of which are involved in cognition regulation.......Genetic and environmental factors influence cognitive aging. The gene encoding dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) could be one such factor since this hydroxylase converts dopamine to norepinephrine both of which are involved in cognition regulation....

  20. No Effect of Commercial Cognitive Training on Brain Activity, Choice Behavior, or Cognitive Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kable, Joseph W; Caulfield, M Kathleen; Falcone, Mary; McConnell, Mairead; Bernardo, Leah; Parthasarathi, Trishala; Cooper, Nicole; Ashare, Rebecca; Audrain-McGovern, Janet; Hornik, Robert; Diefenbach, Paul; Lee, Frank J; Lerman, Caryn

    2017-08-02

    Increased preference for immediate over delayed rewards and for risky over certain rewards has been associated with unhealthy behavioral choices. Motivated by evidence that enhanced cognitive control can shift choice behavior away from immediate and risky rewards, we tested whether training executive cognitive function could influence choice behavior and brain responses. In this randomized controlled trial, 128 young adults (71 male, 57 female) participated in 10 weeks of training with either a commercial web-based cognitive training program or web-based video games that do not specifically target executive function or adapt the level of difficulty throughout training. Pretraining and post-training, participants completed cognitive assessments and functional magnetic resonance imaging during performance of the following validated decision-making tasks: delay discounting (choices between smaller rewards now vs larger rewards in the future) and risk sensitivity (choices between larger riskier rewards vs smaller certain rewards). Contrary to our hypothesis, we found no evidence that cognitive training influences neural activity during decision-making; nor did we find effects of cognitive training on measures of delay discounting or risk sensitivity. Participants in the commercial training condition improved with practice on the specific tasks they performed during training, but participants in both conditions showed similar improvement on standardized cognitive measures over time. Moreover, the degree of improvement was comparable to that observed in individuals who were reassessed without any training whatsoever. Commercial adaptive cognitive training appears to have no benefits in healthy young adults above those of standard video games for measures of brain activity, choice behavior, or cognitive performance. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Engagement of neural regions and circuits important in executive cognitive function can bias behavioral choices away from immediate

  1. The Regulation of Task Performance: A Trans-disciplinary Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian eClark

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Definitions of meta-cognition typically have two components: (1 knowledge about one’s own cognitive functioning; and, (2 control over one’s own cognitive activities. Since Flavell and his colleagues provided the empirical foundation on which to build studies of metacognition and the autonoetic (self knowledge required for effective learning, the intervening years have seen the extensive dissemination of theoretical and empirical research on metacognition, which now encompasses a variety of issues and domains including educational psychology and neuroscience. Nevertheless, the psychological and neural underpinnings of metacognitive predictions and reflections that determine subsequent regulation of task performance remain ill understood. This article provides an outline of metacognition in the science of education with evidence drawn from neuroimaging, psycho-physiological, and psychological literature. We will rigorously explore research that addresses the pivotal role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC in controlling the metacognitive processes that underpin the self-regulated learning (SRL strategies learners employ to regulate task performance. The article delineates what those strategies are, and how the learning environment can facilitate or frustrate strategy use by influencing learners’ self-efficacy.

  2. Cognitive Performance in College Women Throughout the Menstrual Cycle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fred Gustavo Manrique-Abril

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available To determine whether fluctuations of estrogen levels across the menstrual cycle influence cognitive performance, 13 university women between 20 and 23 years old were tested in four cognitive tasks; verbal memory, visuospatial ability, short term memory and visuo-motor coordination, three times across a menstrual cycle. Radioimmunoassay tests were performed in order to determine the hormonal state. Significant differences were not found in visuo-spatial ability and visuo-motor coordination performance, but results suggest a better verbal memory performance associated with high estrogen levels; short term memory performance didn’t show to be sensitive to fluctuations in estrogen levels.

  3. Mental workload and cognitive task automaticity: an evaluation of subjective and time estimation metrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Y; Wickens, C D

    1994-11-01

    The evaluation of mental workload is becoming increasingly important in system design and analysis. The present study examined the structure and assessment of mental workload in performing decision and monitoring tasks by focusing on two mental workload measurements: subjective assessment and time estimation. The task required the assignment of a series of incoming customers to the shortest of three parallel service lines displayed on a computer monitor. The subject was either in charge of the customer assignment (manual mode) or was monitoring an automated system performing the same task (automatic mode). In both cases, the subjects were required to detect the non-optimal assignments that they or the computer had made. Time pressure was manipulated by the experimenter to create fast and slow conditions. The results revealed a multi-dimensional structure of mental workload and a multi-step process of subjective workload assessment. The results also indicated that subjective workload was more influenced by the subject's participatory mode than by the factor of task speed. The time estimation intervals produced while performing the decision and monitoring tasks had significantly greater length and larger variability than those produced while either performing no other tasks or performing a well practised customer assignment task. This result seemed to indicate that time estimation was sensitive to the presence of perceptual/cognitive demands, but not to response related activities to which behavioural automaticity has developed.

  4. Effects on automatic attention due to exposure to pictures of emotional faces while performing Chinese word judgment tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junhong, Huang; Renlai, Zhou; Senqi, Hu

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to investigate the automatic processing of emotional facial expressions while performing low or high demand cognitive tasks under unattended conditions. In Experiment 1, 35 subjects performed low (judging the structure of Chinese words) and high (judging the tone of Chinese words) cognitive load tasks while exposed to unattended pictures of fearful, neutral, or happy faces. The results revealed that the reaction time was slower and the performance accuracy was higher while performing the low cognitive load task than while performing the high cognitive load task. Exposure to fearful faces resulted in significantly longer reaction times and lower accuracy than exposure to neutral faces on the low cognitive load task. In Experiment 2, 26 subjects performed the same word judgment tasks and their brain event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured for a period of 800 ms after the onset of the task stimulus. The amplitudes of the early component of ERP around 176 ms (P2) elicited by unattended fearful faces over frontal-central-parietal recording sites was significantly larger than those elicited by unattended neutral faces while performing the word structure judgment task. Together, the findings of the two experiments indicated that unattended fearful faces captured significantly more attention resources than unattended neutral faces on a low cognitive load task, but not on a high cognitive load task. It was concluded that fearful faces could automatically capture attention if residues of attention resources were available under the unattended condition.

  5. Acute exercise improves cognition in the depressed elderly: the effect of dual-tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulo Eduardo Vasques

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to assess the acute effect of physical exercise on the cognitive function of depressed elderly patients in a dual-task experiment. INTRODUCTION: Physical exercise has a positive effect on the brain and may even act as a treatment for major depressive disorder. However, the effects of acute cardiovascular exercise on cognitive function during and after one session of aerobic training in elderly depressive patients are not known. METHODS: Ten elderly subjects diagnosed with major depressive disorder performed neuropsychological tests during and after a moderate physical exercise session (65-75%HRmax. A Digit Span Test (Forward and Backward and a Stroop Color-Word Test were used to assess cognitive function. The elderly participants walked on an electric treadmill for 30 minutes and underwent the same cognitive testing before, during, immediately after, and 15 minutes after the exercise session. In the control session, the same cognitive testing was conducted, but without exercise training. RESULTS: The results of the Digit Span Test did not change between the control and the exercise sessions. The results of the Stroop Color-Word Test improved after physical exercise, indicating a positive effect of exercise on cognition. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that the cognitive functions of depressed elderly persons, especially attention and inhibitory control, are not impaired during and after an acute session of physical exercise. In contrast, the effect of dual-tasks showed beneficial results for these subjects, mainly after exercise. The dual-task may be a safe and useful tool for assessing cognitive function.

  6. High-frequency binaural beats increase cognitive flexibility: evidence from dual-task crosstalk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Hommel

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Increasing evidence suggests that cognitive-control processes can be configured to optimize either persistence of information processing (by amplifying competition between decision-making alternatives and top-down biasing of this competition or flexibility (by dampening competition and biasing. We investigated whether high-frequency binaural beats, an auditory illusion suspected to act as a cognitive enhancer, have an impact on cognitive-control configuration. We hypothesized that binaural beats in the gamma range bias the cognitive-control style towards flexibility, which in turn should increase the crosstalk between tasks in a dual-task paradigm. We replicated earlier findings that the reaction time in the first-performed task is sensitive to the compatibility between the responses in the first and the second task—an indication of crosstalk. As predicted, exposing participants to binaural beats in the gamma range increased this effect as compared to a control condition in which participants were exposed to a continuous tone of 340 Hz. These findings provide converging evidence that the cognitive-control style can be systematically biased by inducing particular internal states; that high-frequency binaural beats bias the control style towards more flexibility; and that different styles are implemented by changing the strength of local competition and top-down bias.

  7. Promising high monetary rewards for future task performance increases intermediate task performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire M Zedelius

    Full Text Available In everyday life contexts and work settings, monetary rewards are often contingent on future performance. Based on research showing that the anticipation of rewards causes improved task performance through enhanced task preparation, the present study tested the hypothesis that the promise of monetary rewards for future performance would not only increase future performance, but also performance on an unrewarded intermediate task. Participants performed an auditory Simon task in which they responded to two consecutive tones. While participants could earn high vs. low monetary rewards for fast responses to every second tone, their responses to the first tone were not rewarded. Moreover, we compared performance under conditions in which reward information could prompt strategic performance adjustments (i.e., when reward information was presented for a relatively long duration to conditions preventing strategic performance adjustments (i.e., when reward information was presented very briefly. Results showed that high (vs. low rewards sped up both rewarded and intermediate, unrewarded responses, and the effect was independent of the duration of reward presentation. Moreover, long presentation led to a speed-accuracy trade-off for both rewarded and unrewarded tones, whereas short presentation sped up responses to rewarded and unrewarded tones without this trade-off. These results suggest that high rewards for future performance boost intermediate performance due to enhanced task preparation, and they do so regardless whether people respond to rewards in a strategic or non-strategic manner.

  8. Promising high monetary rewards for future task performance increases intermediate task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zedelius, Claire M; Veling, Harm; Bijleveld, Erik; Aarts, Henk

    2012-01-01

    In everyday life contexts and work settings, monetary rewards are often contingent on future performance. Based on research showing that the anticipation of rewards causes improved task performance through enhanced task preparation, the present study tested the hypothesis that the promise of monetary rewards for future performance would not only increase future performance, but also performance on an unrewarded intermediate task. Participants performed an auditory Simon task in which they responded to two consecutive tones. While participants could earn high vs. low monetary rewards for fast responses to every second tone, their responses to the first tone were not rewarded. Moreover, we compared performance under conditions in which reward information could prompt strategic performance adjustments (i.e., when reward information was presented for a relatively long duration) to conditions preventing strategic performance adjustments (i.e., when reward information was presented very briefly). Results showed that high (vs. low) rewards sped up both rewarded and intermediate, unrewarded responses, and the effect was independent of the duration of reward presentation. Moreover, long presentation led to a speed-accuracy trade-off for both rewarded and unrewarded tones, whereas short presentation sped up responses to rewarded and unrewarded tones without this trade-off. These results suggest that high rewards for future performance boost intermediate performance due to enhanced task preparation, and they do so regardless whether people respond to rewards in a strategic or non-strategic manner.

  9. Measuring cognitive task demands using dual task methodology, subjective self-ratings, and expert judgments : A Validation Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Révész, Andrea; Michel, Marije; Gilabert, Roger

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the usefulness of dual-task methodology, self-ratings, and expert judgements in assessing task-generated cognitive demands as a way to provide validity evidence for manipulations of task complexity. The participants were 96 students and 61 ESL teachers. The students, 48 English

  10. Measuring Cognitive Task Demands Using Dual-Task Methodology, Subjective Self-Ratings, and Expert Judgments: A Validation Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revesz, Andrea; Michel, Marije; Gilabert, Roger

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the usefulness of dual-task methodology, self-ratings, and expert judgments in assessing task-generated cognitive demands as a way to provide validity evidence for manipulations of task complexity. The participants were 96 students and 61 English as a second language (ESL) teachers. The students, 48 English native speakers and…

  11. Neural Correlates of Changes in a Visual Search Task due to Cognitive Training in Seniors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nele Wild-Wall

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to elucidate the underlying neural sources of near transfer after a multidomain cognitive training in older participants in a visual search task. Participants were randomly assigned to a social control, a no-contact control and a training group, receiving a 4-month paper-pencil and PC-based trainer guided cognitive intervention. All participants were tested in a before and after session with a conjunction visual search task. Performance and event-related potentials (ERPs suggest that the cognitive training improved feature processing of the stimuli which was expressed in an increased rate of target detection compared to the control groups. This was paralleled by enhanced amplitudes of the frontal P2 in the ERP and by higher activation in lingual and parahippocampal brain areas which are discussed to support visual feature processing. Enhanced N1 and N2 potentials in the ERP for nontarget stimuli after cognitive training additionally suggest improved attention and subsequent processing of arrays which were not immediately recognized as targets. Possible test repetition effects were confined to processes of stimulus categorisation as suggested by the P3b potential. The results show neurocognitive plasticity in aging after a broad cognitive training and allow pinpointing the functional loci of effects induced by cognitive training.

  12. Chew on this: No support for facilitating effects of gum on spatial task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nader, Ingo W; Gittler, Georg; Waldherr, Karin; Pietschnig, Jakob

    2010-09-01

    To determine whether chewing of gum facilitates spatial task performance in healthy participants, two behavioral experiments were performed. In the first experiment, spatial task performance of 349 men and women preceding and after treatment administration (saccharated chewing gum, sugar-free chewing gum, no chewing gum) was assessed using effect modeling by means of Item Response Theory. In the second experiment, another 100 participants were either administered sugar-free chewing gum or no chewing gum during spatial task performance. Effects of gum in the second study were assessed by standard means of data analysis. Results indicated no significant effects of either chewing gum or sugar on spatial task performance in either experiment. Our findings are consistent with recent studies investigating the influences of chewing gum on various memory functions, extending them by another measure of cognitive ability. Thus, further doubt is cast on enhancing effects of chewing gum on cognitive task performance. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Analyses of User Rationality and System Learnability: Performing Task Variants in User Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Effie Lai-Chong; Blazic, Borka Jerman; Pipan, Matic

    2007-01-01

    No systematic empirical study on investigating the effects of performing task variants on user cognitive strategy and behaviour in usability tests and on learnability of the system being tested has been documented in the literature. The current use-inspired basic research work aims to identify the underlying cognitive mechanisms and the practical…

  14. Female and male pigs' performance in a spatial holeboard and judgment bias task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, Sanne; Nordquist, Rebecca E.; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2017-01-01

    Studies of the cognitive abilities of pigs are increasing in number, due to their relevance for the fields of animal welfare and biomedical research. While both female and male pigs have been used in cognitive tasks, possible sex differences in performance have not yet received extensive attention.

  15. Cognitive task load in a naval ship control centre: from identification to prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grootjen, M; Neerincx, M A; Veltman, J A

    Deployment of information and communication technology will lead to further automation of control centre tasks and an increasing amount of information to be processed. A method for establishing adequate levels of cognitive task load for the operators in such complex environments has been developed. It is based on a model distinguishing three load factors: time occupied, task-set switching, and level of information processing. Application of the method resulted in eight scenarios for eight extremes of task load (i.e. low and high values for each load factor). These scenarios were performed by 13 teams in a high-fidelity control centre simulator of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The results show that the method provides good prediction of the task load that will actually appear in the simulator. The model allowed identification of under- and overload situations showing negative effects on operator performance corresponding to controlled experiments in a less realistic task environment. Tools proposed to keep the operator at an optimum task load are (adaptive) task allocation and interface support.

  16. Cognitive structure, flexibility, and plasticity in human multitasking-An integrative review of dual-task and task-switching research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Iring; Poljac, Edita; Müller, Hermann; Kiesel, Andrea

    2018-06-01

    Numerous studies showed decreased performance in situations that require multiple tasks or actions relative to appropriate control conditions. Because humans often engage in such multitasking activities, it is important to understand how multitasking affects performance. In the present article, we argue that research on dual-task interference and sequential task switching has proceeded largely separately using different experimental paradigms and methodology. In our article we aim at organizing this complex set of research in terms of three complementary research perspectives on human multitasking. One perspective refers to structural accounts in terms of cognitive bottlenecks (i.e., critical processing stages). A second perspective refers to cognitive flexibility in terms of the underlying cognitive control processes. A third perspective emphasizes cognitive plasticity in terms of the influence of practice on human multitasking abilities. With our review article we aimed at highlighting the value of an integrative position that goes beyond isolated consideration of a single theoretical research perspective and that broadens the focus from single experimental paradigms (dual task and task switching) to favor instead a view that emphasizes the fundamental similarity of the underlying cognitive mechanisms across multitasking paradigms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. An account of cognitive flexibility and inflexibility for a complex dynamic task

    OpenAIRE

    De Obeso Orendain, Alberto; Wood, Sharon

    2012-01-01

    Problem solving involves adapting known problem solving methods and strategies to the task at hand (Schunn & Reder, 2001) and cognitive flexibility is considered to be “the human ability to adapt the cognitive processing strategies to face new and unexpected conditions of the environment” (Cañas et al., 2005, p. 95). This work presents an ACT-R 6.0 model of complex problem solving behavior for the dynamic microworld game FireChief (Omodei & Wearing, 1995) that models the performance of partic...

  18. Dissociable effects of game elements on motivation and cognition in a task-switching training in middle childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dörrenbächer, Sandra; Müller, Philipp M; Tröger, Johannes; Kray, Jutta

    2014-01-01

    Although motivational reinforcers are often used to enhance the attractiveness of trainings of cognitive control in children, little is known about how such motivational manipulations of the setting contribute to separate gains in motivation and cognitive-control performance. Here we provide a framework for systematically investigating the impact of a motivational video-game setting on the training motivation, the task performance, and the transfer success in a task-switching training in middle-aged children (8-11 years of age). We manipulated both the type of training (low-demanding/single-task training vs. high-demanding/task-switching training) as well as the motivational setting (low-motivational/without video-game elements vs. high-motivational/with video-game elements) separately from another. The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type. In the task-switching group, the high-motivational training setting led to an additional enhancement of task and switching performance during the training phase right from the outset. These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement). However, in structurally dissimilar cognitive tasks (far-transfer measurement), the motivational gains only transferred to the response dynamics (speed of processing). Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes. These findings shed new light on the conflation of motivation and cognition in childhood and may help to refine guidelines for designing adequate training interventions.

  19. Dissociable effects of game elements on motivation and cognition in a task-switching training in middle childhood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra eDörrenbächer

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Although motivational reinforcers are often used to enhance the attractiveness of trainings of cognitive control in children, little is known about how such motivational manipulations of the setting contribute to separate gains in motivation and cognitive-control performance. Here we provide a framework for systematically investigating the impact of a motivational video-game setting on the training motivation, the task performance, and the transfer success in a task-switching training in middle-aged children (8 to 11 years of age. We manipulated both the type of training (low-demanding/ single-task training vs high-demanding/ task-switching training as well as the motivational setting (low-motivational/ without video-game elements vs high-motivational/ with video-game elements separately from another. The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type. In the task-switching group, the high-motivational training setting led to an additional enhancement of task and switching performance during the training phase right from the outset. These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement. However, in structurally dissimilar cognitive tasks (far-transfer measurement, the motivational gains only transferred to the response dynamics (speed of processing. Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes. These findings shed new light on the conflation of motivation and cognition in childhood and may help to refine guidelines for designing adequate training interventions.

  20. Dissociable effects of game elements on motivation and cognition in a task-switching training in middle childhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dörrenbächer, Sandra; Müller, Philipp M.; Tröger, Johannes; Kray, Jutta

    2014-01-01

    Although motivational reinforcers are often used to enhance the attractiveness of trainings of cognitive control in children, little is known about how such motivational manipulations of the setting contribute to separate gains in motivation and cognitive-control performance. Here we provide a framework for systematically investigating the impact of a motivational video-game setting on the training motivation, the task performance, and the transfer success in a task-switching training in middle-aged children (8–11 years of age). We manipulated both the type of training (low-demanding/single-task training vs. high-demanding/task-switching training) as well as the motivational setting (low-motivational/without video-game elements vs. high-motivational/with video-game elements) separately from another. The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type. In the task-switching group, the high-motivational training setting led to an additional enhancement of task and switching performance during the training phase right from the outset. These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement). However, in structurally dissimilar cognitive tasks (far-transfer measurement), the motivational gains only transferred to the response dynamics (speed of processing). Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes. These findings shed new light on the conflation of motivation and cognition in childhood and may help to refine guidelines for designing adequate training interventions. PMID:25431564

  1. Musical training, bilingualism, and executive function: a closer look at task switching and dual-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moradzadeh, Linda; Blumenthal, Galit; Wiseheart, Melody

    2015-07-01

    This study investigated whether musical training and bilingualism are associated with enhancements in specific components of executive function, namely, task switching and dual-task performance. Participants (n = 153) belonging to one of four groups (monolingual musician, bilingual musician, bilingual non-musician, or monolingual non-musician) were matched on age and socioeconomic status and administered task switching and dual-task paradigms. Results demonstrated reduced global and local switch costs in musicians compared with non-musicians, suggesting that musical training can contribute to increased efficiency in the ability to shift flexibly between mental sets. On dual-task performance, musicians also outperformed non-musicians. There was neither a cognitive advantage for bilinguals relative to monolinguals, nor an interaction between music and language to suggest additive effects of both types of experience. These findings demonstrate that long-term musical training is associated with improvements in task switching and dual-task performance. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  2. Cognitive-motor dual-task interference modulates mediolateral dynamic stability during gait in post-stroke individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tisserand, R; Armand, S; Allali, G; Schnider, A; Baillieul, S

    2018-04-01

    Gait asymmetry and dynamic balance impairments observed in post-stroke individuals increase their risk of fall. Moreover, walking while performing a cognitive task (i.e. dual-task) disturbs the control of balance in post-stroke individuals. Here we investigated the mediolateral dynamic stability in twenty-two community-dwelling participants (12 post-strokes and 10 healthy controls) while walking in single-task (normal gait) and four different dual-tasks (cognitive-motor interference). Positions of the extrapolated center of mass and mediolateral widths of both margin of stability and base of support were extracted from 35 marker trajectories. Post-stroke participants presented larger margin of stability and base of support than controls during single-task (both p dual-task was found between groups. In post-stroke participants, dual-task induced slight modification of the mediolateral stability strategy, as the margin of stability was not different between the two limbs at foot-strike, and significantly reduced the performance in every cognitive task. Post-stroke participants increased their dynamic stability in the frontal plane in single-task by extending their base of support and mainly relying on their non-paretic limb. Under cognitive-motor interference (dual-task), post-stroke participants prioritized dynamic stability over cognitive performance to ensure a safe locomotion. Thus, rehabilitation programs should consider both dynamic balance and dual-task training, even at a chronic delay following stroke, to reduce the risk of fall in post-stroke individuals. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Investigating Perfect Timesharing: The Relationship between IM-Compatible Tasks and Dual-Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halvorson, Kimberly M.; Ebner, Herschel; Hazeltine, Eliot

    2013-01-01

    Why are dual-task costs reduced with ideomotor (IM) compatible tasks (Greenwald & Shulman, 1973; Lien, Proctor & Allen, 2002)? In the present experiments, we first examine three different measures of single-task performance (pure single-task blocks, mixed blocks, and long stimulus onset asynchrony [SOA] trials in dual-task blocks) and two…

  4. Changes in Predictive Task Switching with Age and with Cognitive Load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy-Tzedek, Shelly

    2017-01-01

    Predictive control of movement is more efficient than feedback-based control, and is an important skill in everyday life. We tested whether the ability to predictively control movements of the upper arm is affected by age and by cognitive load. A total of 63 participants were tested in two experiments. In both experiments participants were seated, and controlled a cursor on a computer screen by flexing and extending their dominant arm. In Experiment 1, 20 young adults and 20 older adults were asked to continuously change the frequency of their horizontal arm movements, with the goal of inducing an abrupt switch between discrete movements (at low frequencies) and rhythmic movements (at high frequencies). We tested whether that change was performed based on a feed-forward (predictive) or on a feedback (reactive) control. In Experiment 2, 23 young adults performed the same task, while being exposed to a cognitive load half of the time via a serial subtraction task. We found that both aging and cognitive load diminished, on average, the ability of participants to predictively control their movements. Five older adults and one young adult under a cognitive load were not able to perform the switch between rhythmic and discrete movement (or vice versa). In Experiment 1, 40% of the older participants were able to predictively control their movements, compared with 70% in the young group. In Experiment 2, 48% of the participants were able to predictively control their movements with a cognitively loading task, compared with 70% in the no-load condition. The ability to predictively change a motor plan in anticipation of upcoming changes may be an important component in performing everyday functions, such as safe driving and avoiding falls.

  5. Inharmonic music elicits more negative affect and interferes more with a concurrent cognitive task than does harmonic music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonin, Tanor; Smilek, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    We evaluated whether task-irrelevant inharmonic music produces greater interference with cognitive performance than task-irrelevant harmonic music. Participants completed either an auditory (Experiment 1) or a visual (Experiment 2) version of the cognitively demanding 2-back task in which they were required to categorize each digit in a sequence of digits as either being a target (a digit also presented two positions earlier in the sequence) or a distractor (all other items). They were concurrently exposed to either task-irrelevant harmonic music (judged to be consonant), task-irrelevant inharmonic music (judged to be dissonant), or no music at all as a distraction. The main finding across both experiments was that performance on the 2-back task was worse when participants were exposed to inharmonic music than when they were exposed to harmonic music. Interestingly, performance on the 2-back task was generally the same regardless of whether harmonic music or no music was played. We suggest that inharmonic, dissonant music interferes with cognitive performance by requiring greater cognitive processing than harmonic, consonant music, and speculate about why this might be.

  6. Sources of Cognitive Inflexibility in Set-Shifting Tasks: Insights Into Developmental Theories From Adult Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Anthony Steven

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments examined processes underlying cognitive inflexibility in set-shifting tasks typically used to assess the development of executive function in children. Adult participants performed a Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST) that requires shifting from categorizing by one dimension (e.g., color) to categorizing by a second orthogonal dimension (e.g., shape). The experiments showed performance of the FIST involves suppression of the representation of the ignored dimension; response times for selecting a target object in an immediately-following oddity task were slower when the oddity target was the previously-ignored stimulus of the FIST. However, proactive interference from the previously relevant stimulus dimension also impaired responding. The results are discussed with respect to two prominent theories of the source of difficulty for children and adults on dimensional shifting tasks: attentional inertia and negative priming . In contrast to prior work emphasizing one over the other process, the findings indicate that difficulty in the FIST, and by extension other set-shifting tasks, can be attributed to both the need to shift away from the previously attended representation ( attentional inertia ), and the need to shift to the previously ignored representation ( negative priming ). Results are discussed in relation to theoretical explanations for cognitive inflexibility in adults and children.

  7. Effect of music tempo on task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayfield, C; Moss, S

    1989-12-01

    Two studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of music tempo on task performance. In Study 1, 44 undergraduate business students were asked to be "workers" in a stock market project by collecting closing stock prices and calculating the percentage of change in the price from week to week. Subjects were randomly divided into groups such that they either listened to fast-paced music while they worked, to slow-paced music, or to no music. Analyses of variance and covariance were conducted on both the quantity and quality of the subjects' work, using music listening habits as a covariate. There were no differences in either the quantity or quality of the work produced by the groups. There were some methodological concerns regarding Study 1, so a second study was conducted. The 70 undergraduate business students in Study 2 completed the same task under the same music conditions as in Study 1. Analyses of variance indicated women performed significantly better than men, performance was significantly higher in the rock condition than in the heartbeat condition, and subjects in the rock condition had a significantly higher perceived level of distraction by the music.

  8. Effect of Passive Hyperthermia on Working Memory Resources during Simple and Complex Cognitive Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaoua, Nadia; Herrera, Christopher P; Périard, Julien D; El Massioui, Farid; Racinais, Sebastien

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to verify the hypothesis that hyperthermia represents a cognitive load limiting available resources for executing concurrent cognitive tasks. Electroencephalographic activity (EEG: alpha and theta power) was obtained in 10 hyperthermic participants in HOT (50°C, 50% RH) conditions and in a normothermic state in CON (25°C, 50% RH) conditions in counterbalanced order. In each trial, EEG was measured over the frontal lobe prior to task engagement (PRE) in each condition and during simple (One Touch Stockings of Cambridge, OTS-4) and complex (OTS-6) cognitive tasks. Core (39.5 ± 0.5 vs. 36.9 ± 0.2°C) and mean skin (39.06 ± 0.3 vs. 31.6 ± 0.6°C) temperatures were significantly higher in HOT than CON ( p cognitive load. However, this load disappeared during OTS-6 together with an impaired performance, suggesting a potential saturation of the available resources.

  9. Cognitive-motor dual-task interference: A systematic review of neural correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leone, Carmela; Feys, Peter; Moumdjian, Lousin; D'Amico, Emanuele; Zappia, Mario; Patti, Francesco

    2017-04-01

    Cognitive-motor interference refers to dual-tasking (DT) interference (DTi) occurring when the simultaneous performance of a cognitive and a motor task leads to a percentage change in one or both tasks. Several theories exist to explain DTi in humans: the capacity-sharing, the bottleneck and the cross-talk theories. Numerous studies investigating whether a specific brain locus is associated with cognitive-motor DTi have been conducted, but not systematically reviewed. We aimed to review the evidences on brain activity associated with the cognitive-motor DT, in order to better understand the neurological basis of the CMi. Results were reported according to the technique used to assess brain activity. Twenty-three articles met the inclusion criteria. Out of them, nine studies used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show an additive, under-additive, over- additive, or a mixed activation pattern of the brain. Seven studies used near-infrared spectroscopy, and seven neurophysiological instruments. Yet a specific DT locus in the brain cannot be concluded from the overall current literature. Future studies are warranted to overcome the shortcomings identified. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Plant operator performance evaluation based on cognitive process analysis experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ujita, H.; Fukuda, M.

    1990-01-01

    This paper reports on an experiment to clarify plant operators' cognitive processes that has been performed, to improve the man-machine interface which supports their diagnoses and decisions. The cognitive processes under abnormal conditions were evaluated by protocol analyses interviews, etc. in the experiment using a plant training simulator. A cognitive process model is represented by a stochastic network, based on Rasmussen's decision making model. Each node of the network corresponds to an element of the cognitive process, such as observation, interpretation, execution, etc. Some observations were obtained as follows, by comparison of Monte Carlo simulation results with the experiment results: A process to reconfirm the plant parameters after execution of a task and feedback paths from this process to the observation and the task definition of next task were observed. The feedback probability average and standard deviation should be determined for each incident type to explain correctly the individual differences in the cognitive processes. The tendency for the operator's cognitive level to change from skill-based to knowledge-based via rule-based behavior was observed during the feedback process

  11. Mind-wandering, cognition, and performance: a theory-driven meta-analysis of attention regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, Jason G; Oswald, Frederick L; Beier, Margaret E

    2014-11-01

    The current meta-analysis accumulates empirical findings on the phenomenon of mind-wandering, integrating and interpreting findings in light of psychological theories of cognitive resource allocation. Cognitive resource theory emphasizes both individual differences in attentional resources and task demands together to predict variance in task performance. This theory motivated our conceptual and meta-analysis framework by introducing moderators indicative of task-demand to predict who is more likely to mind-wander under what conditions, and to predict when mind-wandering and task-related thought are more (or less) predictive of task performance. Predictions were tested via a random-effects meta-analysis of correlations obtained from normal adult samples (k = 88) based on measurement of specified episodes of off-task and/or on-task thought frequency and task performance. Results demonstrated that people with fewer cognitive resources tend to engage in more mind-wandering, whereas those with more cognitive resources are more likely to engage in task-related thought. Addressing predictions of resource theory, we found that greater time-on-task-although not greater task complexity-tended to strengthen the negative relation between cognitive resources and mind-wandering. Additionally, increases in mind-wandering were generally associated with decreases in task performance, whereas increases in task-related thought were associated with increased performance. Further supporting resource theory, the negative relation between mind-wandering and performance was more pronounced for more complex tasks, though not longer tasks. Complementarily, the positive association between task-related thought and performance was stronger for more complex tasks and for longer tasks. We conclude by discussing implications and future research directions for mind-wandering as a construct of interest in psychological research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Orbitofrontal cortex as a cognitive map of task space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Robert C; Takahashi, Yuji K; Schoenbaum, G; Niv, Yael

    2014-01-22

    Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has long been known to play an important role in decision making. However, the exact nature of that role has remained elusive. Here, we propose a unifying theory of OFC function. We hypothesize that OFC provides an abstraction of currently available information in the form of a labeling of the current task state, which is used for reinforcement learning (RL) elsewhere in the brain. This function is especially critical when task states include unobservable information, for instance, from working memory. We use this framework to explain classic findings in reversal learning, delayed alternation, extinction, and devaluation as well as more recent findings showing the effect of OFC lesions on the firing of dopaminergic neurons in ventral tegmental area (VTA) in rodents performing an RL task. In addition, we generate a number of testable experimental predictions that can distinguish our theory from other accounts of OFC function. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Measuring working memory in aphasia: Comparing performance on complex span and N-back tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Ivanova

    2014-04-01

    No significant correlations were observed between performance on complex span task and N-back tasks.Furthermore, performance on the modified listening span was related to performance on the comprehension subtest of the QASA, while no relationship was found for 2-back and 0-back tasks.Our results mirror studies in healthy controls that demonstrated no relationship between performance on the two tasks(Jaeggi et al., 2010; Kane et al., 2007. Thus although N-back tasks seem similar to traditional complex span measures and may also index abilities related to cognitive processing, the evidence to date does not warrant their direct association with the construct of WM. Implications for future investigation of cognitive deficits in aphasia will be discussed.

  14. Social cognition and prefrontal hemodynamic responses during a working memory task in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pu, Shenghong; Nakagome, Kazuyuki; Yamada, Takeshi; Itakura, Masashi; Yamanashi, Takehiko; Yamada, Sayaka; Masai, Mieko; Miura, Akihiko; Yamauchi, Takahira; Satake, Takahiro; Iwata, Masaaki; Nagata, Izumi; Roberts, David L; Kaneko, Koichi

    2016-03-01

    Social cognition is an important determinant of functional impairment in schizophrenia, but its relationship with the prefrontal functional abnormalities associated with the condition is still unclear. The present study aimed to explore the relationship between social cognition and prefrontal function in patients with schizophrenia using 52-channel near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Twenty-six patients with schizophrenia and 26 age-, gender-, and intelligence quotient-matched healthy controls (HCs) participated in the study. Hemodynamic responses in the prefrontal and superior temporal cortical regions were assessed during a working memory task using NIRS. Social cognition was assessed using the Social Cognition Screening Questionnaire (SCSQ). The observed hemodynamic responses were significantly reduced in the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC), the frontopolar cortex, and temporal regions in subjects with schizophrenia compared to HCs. Additionally, lateral PFC hemodynamic responses assessed during the working memory task demonstrated a strong positive correlation with the SCSQ theory of mind (ToM) subscale score even after controlling for working memory performance. These results suggest that ToM integrity is closely related to lateral PFC functional abnormalities found in patients with schizophrenia. In addition, this study provides evidence to suggest that NIRS could be used to identify biomarkers of social cognition function in subjects with schizophrenia.

  15. Task Complexity, Student Perceptions of Vocabulary Learning in EFL, and Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoli; Lowyck, Joost; Sercu, Lies; Elen, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Background: The study deepened our understanding of how students' self-ef?cacy beliefs contribute to the context of teaching English as a foreign language in the framework of cognitive mediational paradigm at a ?ne-tuned task-speci?c level. Aim: The aim was to examine the relationship among task complexity, self-ef?cacy beliefs, domain-related…

  16. A Cognitive Task Analysis for an Emergency Management Serious Game.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dass, Susan; Barnieu, Joanne; Cummings, Paul; Cid, Victor

    2016-01-01

    The Bethesda Hospitals' Emergency Preparedness Partnership identified a need to design training systems for hospital emergency management scenarios that included incident command situations. As part of this partnership, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) was challenged to develop an engaging, learner-centered simulation to specifically address hospital procedures for highly infectious diseases (HIDs) for multiple hospital roles. A serious game approach was selected for the simulation because collaborative (multiplayer) immersive, game-based simulations have been proven to generate realistic and engaging learning experiences and, when properly designed, can enhance training while minimizing cost compared to full-scale disaster exercises (Spain et al., 2013). Although substantial research effort has been put into design and evaluation of serious games, less time has been spent on developing sound instructional design methodologies to support serious game development. So how does one collect the appropriate, relevant, contextualized content and then align with serious game design elements? This paper describes how a cognitive task approach supported by a live demonstration with a think-aloud protocol was used to collect the rich psychomotor, procedural, and cognitive data necessary for the design of a serious game for handling HIDs. Furthermore, the paper presents a process to translate the collected data into meaningful content to support rapid prototyping. Recommendations for data collection and translation for a serious game close the paper.

  17. The developmental dynamics of task-avoidant behavior and math performance in kindergarten and elementary school

    OpenAIRE

    Hirvonen, Riikka; Tolvanen, Asko; Aunola, Kaisa; Nurmi, Jari-Erik

    2012-01-01

    Besides cognitive factors, children's learning at school may be influenced by more dynamic phenomena, such as motivation and achievement-related task-avoidant behavior. The present study examined the developmental dynamics of task-avoidant behavior and math performance from kindergarten to Grade 4. A total of 225 children were tested for their arithmetic skills in kindergarten and in Grades 1, 2, and 4 of elementary school. Children's task-avoidant behavior in learning situations was rated by...

  18. Working Memory Training Improves Dual-Task Performance on Motor Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Takehide; Kaneko, Fuminari; Nagahata, Keita; Shibata, Eriko; Aoki, Nobuhiro

    2017-01-01

    The authors investigated whether working memory training improves motor-motor dual-task performance consisted of upper and lower limb tasks. The upper limb task was a simple reaction task and the lower limb task was an isometric knee extension task. 45 participants (age = 21.8 ± 1.6 years) were classified into a working memory training group (WM-TRG), dual-task training group, or control group. The training duration was 2 weeks (15 min, 4 times/week). Our results indicated that working memory capacity increased significantly only in the WM-TRG. Dual-task performance improved in the WM-TRG and dual-task training group. Our study provides the novel insight that working memory training improves dual-task performance without specific training on the target motor task.

  19. Electroencephalogram complexity analysis in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder during a visual cognitive task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarafshan, Hadi; Khaleghi, Ali; Mohammadi, Mohammad Reza; Moeini, Mahdi; Malmir, Nastaran

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate electroencephalogram (EEG) dynamics using complexity analysis in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared with healthy control children when performing a cognitive task. Thirty 7-12-year-old children meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria for ADHD and 30 healthy control children underwent an EEG evaluation during a cognitive task, and Lempel-Ziv complexity (LZC) values were computed. There were no significant differences between ADHD and control groups on age and gender. The mean LZC of the ADHD children was significantly larger than healthy children over the right anterior and right posterior regions during the cognitive performance. In the ADHD group, complexity of the right hemisphere was higher than that of the left hemisphere, but the complexity of the left hemisphere was higher than that of the right hemisphere in the normal group. Although fronto-striatal dysfunction is considered conclusive evidence for the pathophysiology of ADHD, our arithmetic mental task has provided evidence of structural and functional changes in the posterior regions and probably cerebellum in ADHD.

  20. Pupillary response to complex interdependent tasks: A cognitive-load theory perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitra, Ritayan; McNeal, Karen S; Bondell, Howard D

    2017-10-01

    Pupil dilation is known to indicate cognitive load. In this study, we looked at the average pupillary responses of a cohort of 29 undergraduate students during graphical problem solving. Three questions were asked, based on the same graphical input. The questions were interdependent and comprised multiple steps. We propose a novel way of analyzing pupillometry data for such tasks on the basis of eye fixations, a commonly used eyetracking parameter. We found that pupil diameter increased during the solution process. However, pupil diameter did not always reflect the expected cognitive load. This result was studied within a cognitive-load theory model. Higher-performing students showed evidence of germane load and schema creation, indicating use of the interdependent nature of the tasks to inform their problem-solving process. However, lower-performing students did not recognize the interdependent nature of the tasks and solved each problem independently, which was expressed in a markedly different pupillary response pattern. We discuss the import of our findings for instructional design.

  1. An empirically derived figure of merit for the quality of overall task performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemay, Moira

    1989-01-01

    The need to develop an operationally relevant figure of merit for the quality of performance of a complex system such as an aircraft cockpit stems from a hypothesized dissociation between measures of performance and those of workload. Performance can be measured in terms of time, errors, or a combination of these. In most tasks performed by expert operators, errors are relatively rare and often corrected in time to avoid consequences. Moreover, perfect performance is seldom necessary to accomplish a particular task. Moreover, how well an expert performs a complex task consisting of a series of discrete cognitive tasks superimposed on a continuous task, such as flying an aircraft, does not depend on how well each discrete task is performed, but on their smooth sequencing. This makes the amount of time spent on each subtask of paramount importance in measuring overall performance, since smooth sequencing requires a minimum amount of time spent on each task. Quality consists in getting tasks done within a crucial time interval while maintaining acceptable continuous task performance. Thus, a figure of merit for overall quality of performance should be primarily a measure of time to perform discrete subtasks combined with a measure of basic vehicle control. Thus, the proposed figure of merit requires doing a task analysis on a series of performance, or runs, of a particular task, listing each discrete task and its associated time, and calculating the mean and standard deviation of these times, along with the mean and standard deviation of tracking error for the whole task. A set of simulator data on 30 runs of a landing task was obtained and a figure of merit will be calculated for each run. The figure of merit will be compared for voice and data link, so that the impact of this technology on total crew performance (not just communication performance) can be assessed. The effect of data link communication on other cockpit tasks will also be considered.

  2. Cognitive load predicts point-of-care ultrasound simulator performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldekhyl, Sara; Cavalcanti, Rodrigo B; Naismith, Laura M

    2018-02-01

    The ability to maintain good performance with low cognitive load is an important marker of expertise. Incorporating cognitive load measurements in the context of simulation training may help to inform judgements of competence. This exploratory study investigated relationships between demographic markers of expertise, cognitive load measures, and simulator performance in the context of point-of-care ultrasonography. Twenty-nine medical trainees and clinicians at the University of Toronto with a range of clinical ultrasound experience were recruited. Participants answered a demographic questionnaire then used an ultrasound simulator to perform targeted scanning tasks based on clinical vignettes. Participants were scored on their ability to both acquire and interpret ultrasound images. Cognitive load measures included participant self-report, eye-based physiological indices, and behavioural measures. Data were analyzed using a multilevel linear modelling approach, wherein observations were clustered by participants. Experienced participants outperformed novice participants on ultrasound image acquisition. Ultrasound image interpretation was comparable between the two groups. Ultrasound image acquisition performance was predicted by level of training, prior ultrasound training, and cognitive load. There was significant convergence between cognitive load measurement techniques. A marginal model of ultrasound image acquisition performance including prior ultrasound training and cognitive load as fixed effects provided the best overall fit for the observed data. In this proof-of-principle study, the combination of demographic and cognitive load measures provided more sensitive metrics to predict ultrasound simulator performance. Performance assessments which include cognitive load can help differentiate between levels of expertise in simulation environments, and may serve as better predictors of skill transfer to clinical practice.

  3. Methadone disrupts performance on the working memory version of the Morris water task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepner, Ilana J; Homewood, Judi; Taylor, Alan J

    2002-05-01

    The aim of the study was to examine if administration of the mu-opiate agonist methadone hydrochloride resulted in deficits in performance on the Morris water tank task, a widely used test of spatial cognition. To this end, after initial training on the task, Long-Evans rats were administered saline or methadone at either 1.25, 2.5 or 5 mg/kg ip 15 min prior to testing. The performance of the highest-dose methadone group was inferior to that of the controls on the working memory version of the Morris task. There were also differences between the groups on the reference memory version of the task, but this result cannot be considered reliable. These data show that methadone has its most profound effect on cognition in rats when efficient performance on the task requires attention to and retention of new information, in this case, the relationship between platform location and the extramaze cues.

  4. Mild cognitive impairment: loss of linguistic task-induced changes in motor cortex excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracco, L; Giovannelli, F; Bessi, V; Borgheresi, A; Di Tullio, A; Sorbi, S; Zaccara, G; Cincotta, M

    2009-03-10

    In amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), functional neuronal connectivity may be altered, as suggested by quantitative EEG and neuroimaging data. In young healthy humans, the execution of linguistic tasks modifies the excitability of the hand area of the dominant primary motor cortex (M1(hand)), as tested by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We used TMS to investigate functional connectivity between language-related cortical areas and M1(hand) in aMCI. Ten elderly women with aMCI and 10 age-matched women were recruited. All participants were right handed and underwent a neuropsychological evaluation. In the first TMS experiment, participants performed three different tasks: reading aloud, viewing of non-letter strings (baseline), and nonverbal oral movements. The second experiment included the baseline condition and three visual searching/matching tasks using letters, geometric shapes, or digits as target stimuli. In controls, motor evoked potentials (MEP) elicited by suprathreshold TMS of the left M1(hand) were significantly larger during reading aloud (170% baseline) than during nonverbal oral movements, whereas no difference was seen for right M1(hand) stimulation. Similarly, MEP elicited by left M1(hand) stimulation during letter and shape searching/matching tasks were significantly larger compared to digit task. In contrast, linguistic task performance did not produce any significant MEP modulation in patients with aMCI, although neuropsychological evaluation showed normal language abilities. Findings suggest that functional connectivity between the language-related brain regions and the dominant M1(hand) may be altered in amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Follow-up studies will reveal whether transcranial magnetic stimulation application during linguistic tasks may contribute to characterize the risk of conversion to Alzheimer disease.

  5. Cold acclimation and cognitive performance: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Douglas M; Bailey, Stephen P; Roelands, Bart; Buono, Michael J; Meeusen, Romain

    2017-12-01

    Athletes, occupational workers, and military personnel experience cold temperatures through cold air exposure or cold water immersion, both of which impair cognitive performance. Prior work has shown that neurophysiological pathways may be sensitive to the effects of temperature acclimation and, therefore, cold acclimation may be a potential strategy to attenuate cold-induced cognitive impairments for populations that are frequently exposed to cold environments. This review provides an overview of studies that examine repeated cold stress, cold acclimation, and measurements of cognitive performance to determine whether or not cold acclimation provides beneficial protection against cold-induced cognitive performance decrements. Studies included in this review assessed cognitive measures of reaction time, attention, logical reasoning, information processing, and memory. Repeated cold stress, with or without evidence of cold acclimation, appears to offer no added benefit of improving cognitive performance. However, research in this area is greatly lacking and, therefore, it is difficult to draw any definitive conclusions regarding the use of cold acclimation to improve cognitive performance during subsequent cold exposures. Given the current state of minimal knowledge on this topic, athletes, occupational workers, and military commands looking to specifically enhance cognitive performance in cold environments would likely not be advised to spend the time and effort required to become acclimated to cold. However, as more knowledge becomes available in this area, recommendations may change. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Action video gaming and the brain: fMRI effects without behavioral effects in visual and verbal cognitive tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richlan, Fabio; Schubert, Juliane; Mayer, Rebecca; Hutzler, Florian; Kronbichler, Martin

    2018-01-01

    In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we compared task performance together with brain activation in a visuospatial task (VST) and a letter detection task (LDT) between longtime action video gamers ( N  =   14) and nongamers ( N  =   14) in order to investigate possible effects of gaming on cognitive and brain abilities. Based on previous research, we expected advantages in performance for experienced action video gamers accompanied by less activation (due to higher efficiency) as measured by fMRI in the frontoparietal attention network. Contrary to these expectations, we did not find differences in overall task performance, nor in brain activation during the VST. We identified, however, a significantly different increase in the BOLD signal from a baseline task to the LDT in action video gamers compared with nongamers. This increased activation was evident in a number of frontoparietal regions including the left middle paracingulate cortex, the left superior frontal sulcus, the opercular part of the left inferior frontal gyrus, and the left and right posterior parietal cortex. Furthermore, we found increased activation in the triangular part of the left inferior frontal gyrus in gamers relative to nongamers when activation during the LDT was compared with activation during the VST. In sum, the expected positive relation between action video game experience and cognitive performance could not be confirmed. Despite their comparable task performance, however, gamers and nongamers exhibited clear-cut differences in brain activation patterns presumably reflecting differences in neural engagement, especially during verbal cognitive tasks.

  7. Study on the utilization of the cognitive architecture EPIC to the task analysis of a nuclear power plant operator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soares, Herculano Vieira

    2003-02-01

    This work presents a study of the use of the integrative cognitive architecture EPIC - Executive-Process - Interactive-Control, designed to evaluate the performance of a person performing tasks in parallel in a man-machine interface, as a methodology for Cognitive Task Analysis of a nuclear power plant operator. A comparison of the results obtained by the simulation by EPIC and the results obtained by application of the MHP model to the tasks performed by a shift operator during the execution of the procedure PO-E-3 - Steam Generator Tube Rupture of Angra 1 Nuclear Power Plant is done. To subsidize that comparison, an experiment was performed at the Angra 2 Nuclear Power Plant Full Scope Simulator in which three operator tasks were executed, its completion time measured and compared with the results of MHP and EPIC modeling. (author)

  8. The Impact of Motion Induced Interruptions on Cognitive Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-07-23

    found that even participants presenting with minor physiological effects of motion experienced a decline in multitasking performance. Further, Yu...literature has investigated the impact of task based interruptions such as being inter- rupted by a phone call or writing an email . In these...Engineers Journal. 102 (2) 65-72. Matsangas, P. (2013). The Effect of Mild Motion Sickness and Sopite Syndrome on Multitasking Cognitive Performance

  9. Number line estimation and complex mental calculation: Is there a shared cognitive process driving the two tasks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montefinese, Maria; Semenza, Carlo

    2018-05-17

    It is widely accepted that different number-related tasks, including solving simple addition and subtraction, may induce attentional shifts on the so-called mental number line, which represents larger numbers on the right and smaller numbers on the left. Recently, it has been shown that different number-related tasks also employ spatial attention shifts along with general cognitive processes. Here we investigated for the first time whether number line estimation and complex mental arithmetic recruit a common mechanism in healthy adults. Participants' performance in two-digit mental additions and subtractions using visual stimuli was compared with their performance in a mental bisection task using auditory numerical intervals. Results showed significant correlations between participants' performance in number line bisection and that in two-digit mental arithmetic operations, especially in additions, providing a first proof of a shared cognitive mechanism (or multiple shared cognitive mechanisms) between auditory number bisection and complex mental calculation.

  10. Balancing the Demands of Two Tasks: An Investigation of Cognitive-Motor Dual-Tasking in Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butchard-MacDonald, Emma; Paul, Lorna; Evans, Jonathan J

    2018-03-01

    People with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (PwRRMS) suffer disproportionate decrements in gait under dual-task conditions, when walking and a cognitive task are combined. There has been much less investigation of the impact of cognitive demands on balance. This study investigated whether: (1) PwRRMS show disproportionate decrements in postural stability under dual-task conditions compared to healthy controls, and (2) dual-task decrements are associated with everyday dual-tasking difficulties. The impact of mood, fatigue, and disease severity on dual-tasking was also examined. A total of 34 PwRRMS and 34 matched controls completed cognitive (digit span) and balance (movement of center of pressure on Biosway on stable and unstable surfaces) tasks under single- and dual-task conditions. Everyday dual-tasking was measured using the Dual-Tasking Questionnaire. Mood was measured by the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale. Fatigue was measured via the Modified Fatigue Index Scale. No differences in age, gender, years of education, estimated pre-morbid IQ, or baseline digit span between groups. Compared with controls, PwRRMS showed significantly greater decrement in postural stability under dual-task conditions on an unstable surface (p=.007), but not a stable surface (p=.679). Balance decrement scores were not correlated with everyday dual-tasking difficulties or fatigue. Stable surface balance decrement scores were significantly associated with levels of anxiety (rho=0.527; p=.001) and depression (rho=0.451; p=.007). RRMS causes dual-tasking difficulties, impacting balance under challenging conditions, which may contribute to increased risk of gait difficulties and falls. The relationship between anxiety/depression and dual-task decrement suggests that emotional factors may be contributing to dual-task difficulties. (JINS, 2018, 24, 247-258).

  11. Comparing the effects of balance training with and without cognitive tasks on the quality of life and balance performance in community-dwelling older adults: a single-blind randomized clinical trial

    OpenAIRE

    Ehsan Sinaei; Fahimeh Kamali; Ahmadreza Nematollahi; Zahra Etminan

    2016-01-01

    Background: Aging process can deteriorate the ability to maintain balance, specifically under dual-task conditions. Thus far, different methods of exercises therapy have been applied to improve balance performance of older adults. The present study was designed to compare the effects of two protocols of balance training on the quality of life (QoL) and balance performance in older adults with mild balance impairments. Methods: Twenty-four older adults over 60 years old were ...

  12. The performance of cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, in a reversal learning task varies across experimental paradigms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Gingins

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Testing performance in controlled laboratory experiments is a powerful tool for understanding the extent and evolution of cognitive abilities in non-human animals. However, cognitive testing is prone to a number of potential biases, which, if unnoticed or unaccounted for, may affect the conclusions drawn. We examined whether slight modifications to the experimental procedure and apparatus used in a spatial task and reversal learning task affected performance outcomes in the bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus (hereafter “cleaners”. Using two-alternative forced-choice tests, fish had to learn to associate a food reward with a side (left or right in their holding aquarium. Individuals were tested in one of four experimental treatments that differed slightly in procedure and/or physical set-up. Cleaners from all four treatment groups were equally able to solve the initial spatial task. However, groups differed in their ability to solve the reversal learning task: no individuals solved the reversal task when tested in small tanks with a transparent partition separating the two options, whereas over 50% of individuals solved the task when performed in a larger tank, or with an opaque partition. These results clearly show that seemingly insignificant details to the experimental set-up matter when testing performance in a spatial task and might significantly influence the outcome of experiments. These results echo previous calls for researchers to exercise caution when designing methodologies for cognition tasks to avoid misinterpretations.

  13. The performance of cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, in a reversal learning task varies across experimental paradigms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingins, Simon; Marcadier, Fanny; Wismer, Sharon; Krattinger, Océane; Quattrini, Fausto; Bshary, Redouan; Binning, Sandra A

    2018-01-01

    Testing performance in controlled laboratory experiments is a powerful tool for understanding the extent and evolution of cognitive abilities in non-human animals. However, cognitive testing is prone to a number of potential biases, which, if unnoticed or unaccounted for, may affect the conclusions drawn. We examined whether slight modifications to the experimental procedure and apparatus used in a spatial task and reversal learning task affected performance outcomes in the bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus (hereafter "cleaners"). Using two-alternative forced-choice tests, fish had to learn to associate a food reward with a side (left or right) in their holding aquarium. Individuals were tested in one of four experimental treatments that differed slightly in procedure and/or physical set-up. Cleaners from all four treatment groups were equally able to solve the initial spatial task. However, groups differed in their ability to solve the reversal learning task: no individuals solved the reversal task when tested in small tanks with a transparent partition separating the two options, whereas over 50% of individuals solved the task when performed in a larger tank, or with an opaque partition. These results clearly show that seemingly insignificant details to the experimental set-up matter when testing performance in a spatial task and might significantly influence the outcome of experiments. These results echo previous calls for researchers to exercise caution when designing methodologies for cognition tasks to avoid misinterpretations.

  14. Circadian rhythms in cognitive performance: implications for neuropsychological assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valdez P

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Pablo Valdez, Candelaria Ramírez, Aída GarcíaLaboratory of Psychophysiology, School of Psychology, University of Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León, MéxicoAbstract: Circadian variations have been found in human performance, including the efficiency to execute many tasks, such as sensory, motor, reaction time, time estimation, memory, verbal, arithmetic calculations, and simulated driving tasks. Performance increases during the day and decreases during the night. Circadian rhythms have been found in three basic neuropsychological processes (attention, working memory, and executive functions, which may explain oscillations in the performance of many tasks. The time course of circadian rhythms in cognitive performance may be modified significantly in patients with brain disorders, due to chronotype, age, alterations of the circadian rhythm, sleep deprivation, type of disorder, and medication. This review analyzes the recent results on circadian rhythms in cognitive performance, as well as the implications of these rhythms for the neuropsychological assessment of patients with brain disorders such as traumatic head injury, stroke, dementia, developmental disorders, and psychiatric disorders.Keywords: human circadian rhythms, cognitive performance, neuropsychological assessment, attention, working memory, executive functions

  15. Dividing attention between tasks : Testing whether explicit payoff functions elicit optimal dual-task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farmer, George D.; Janssen, C.P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/412781654; Nguyen, Anh T; Brumby, Duncan P.

    2018-01-01

    We test people's ability to optimize performance across two concurrent tasks. Participants performed a number entry task while controlling a randomly moving cursor with a joystick. Participants received explicit feedback on their performance on these tasks in the form of a single combined score.

  16. Performance monitoring and response conflict resolution associated with choice stepping reaction tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Tatsunori; Tsutou, Kotaro; Saito, Kotaro; Ishida, Kazuto; Tanabe, Shigeo; Nojima, Ippei

    2016-11-01

    Choice reaction requires response conflict resolution, and the resolution processes that occur during a choice stepping reaction task undertaken in a standing position, which requires maintenance of balance, may be different to those processes occurring during a choice reaction task performed in a seated position. The study purpose was to investigate the resolution processes during a choice stepping reaction task at the cortical level using electroencephalography and compare the results with a control task involving ankle dorsiflexion responses. Twelve young adults either stepped forward or dorsiflexed the ankle in response to a visual imperative stimulus presented on a computer screen. We used the Simon task and examined the error-related negativity (ERN) that follows an incorrect response and the correct-response negativity (CRN) that follows a correct response. Error was defined as an incorrect initial weight transfer for the stepping task and as an incorrect initial tibialis anterior activation for the control task. Results revealed that ERN and CRN amplitudes were similar in size for the stepping task, whereas the amplitude of ERN was larger than that of CRN for the control task. The ERN amplitude was also larger in the stepping task than the control task. These observations suggest that a choice stepping reaction task involves a strategy emphasizing post-response conflict and general performance monitoring of actual and required responses and also requires greater cognitive load than a choice dorsiflexion reaction. The response conflict resolution processes appear to be different for stepping tasks and reaction tasks performed in a seated position.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Salehi

    2014-07-01

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

  18. Computational Modeling of Human Multiple-Task Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kieras, David E; Meyer, David

    2005-01-01

    This is the final report for a project that was a continuation of an earlier, long-term project on the development and validation of the EPIC cognitive architecture for modeling human cognition and performance...

  19. Dual-task study of cognitive and postural interference: a preliminary investigation of the automatization deficit hypothesis of developmental co-ordination disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, C-L; Pan, C-Y; Cherng, R-J; Wu, S-K

    2009-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether children with developmental co-ordination disorder and balance problem (DCD-BP) had greater problems than controls in performing a primary balance task while concurrently completing different cognitive tasks varying in oral or listening cognitive complexity, as well as to investigate the automatization deficit hypothesis of DCD-BP. Children with DCD-BP (n= 39), along with age-matched control counterparts (n= 39), were placed on automatic processing situation under dual-task conditions. All children were required to perform a primary task, five dual-task paradigms (oral counting task, auditory-verbal reaction task, auditory-choice reaction task, auditory-memory task and articulation alone) and an eyes-closed balancing task. In the primary task condition, the differences were not statistically significant (P= 0.393) between children with and without DCD-BP. However, children with DCD-BP were significantly more impaired on three of five dual-task conditions (oral counting task: P= 0.003; auditory-verbal reaction task: P= 0.011; auditory-memory task: P= 0.041) compared with the single-task situation, with the exception of the auditory-choice reaction task (P= 0.471) and articulation alone (P= 0.067). These results suggest that children with DCD-BP were more cognitively dependant and may have an automatization deficit.

  20. Effects of the cognitive tasks in the postural control of elderly: A systematic revision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa Pires de Andrade

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Demanding attention in order to keep postural balance increases with aging and with the presence of concurrent tasks that require information processing. Several studies have demonstrated that motor performance can be related to the complexity of the task and aging process, presenting a possible interaction between these factors. The aim of this review was to identify and analyze published papers about the effects of cognitive tasks on the postural control of elderly individuals. A systematic search in the Web of Science, SportDiscus, CINAHL, Science Direct on line, Biological Abstracts, PsycINFO, and Medline databases was made and 444 articles were found. Eight were selected that studied the variables of interest. These studies showed that postural control seems to be influenced by the individual's attention processes and that deficits in such ability may be associated to an increased risk of falls.

  1. Effects of the cognitive tasks in the postural control of elderly: A systematic revision

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.P. Andrade

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Demanding attention in order to keep postural balance increases with aging and with the presence of concurrent tasks that require information processing. Several studies have demonstrated that motor performance can be related to the complexity of the task and aging process, presenting a possible interaction between these factors. The aim of this review was to identify and analyze published papers about the effects of cognitive tasks on the postural control of elderly individuals. A systematic search in the Web of Science, SportDiscus, CINAHL, Science Direct on line, Biological Abstracts, PsycINFO, and Medline databases was made and 444 articles were found. Eight were selected that studied the variables of interest. These studies showed that postural control seems to be influenced by the individual's attention processes and that deficits in such ability may be associated to an increased risk of falls.

  2. Effect of Passive Hyperthermia on Working Memory Resources during Simple and Complex Cognitive Tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadia Gaoua

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to verify the hypothesis that hyperthermia represents a cognitive load limiting available resources for executing concurrent cognitive tasks. Electroencephalographic activity (EEG: alpha and theta power was obtained in 10 hyperthermic participants in HOT (50°C, 50% RH conditions and in a normothermic state in CON (25°C, 50% RH conditions in counterbalanced order. In each trial, EEG was measured over the frontal lobe prior to task engagement (PRE in each condition and during simple (One Touch Stockings of Cambridge, OTS-4 and complex (OTS-6 cognitive tasks. Core (39.5 ± 0.5 vs. 36.9 ± 0.2°C and mean skin (39.06 ± 0.3 vs. 31.6 ± 0.6°C temperatures were significantly higher in HOT than CON (p < 0.005. Theta power significantly increased with task demand (p = 0.017, η2 = 0.36 and was significantly higher in HOT than CON (p = 0.041, η2 = 0.39. The difference between HOT and CON was large (η2 = 0.40 and significant (p = 0.036 PRE, large (η2 = 0.20 but not significant (p = 0.17 during OTS-4, and disappeared during OTS-6 (p = 0.87, η2 = 0.00. Those changes in theta power suggest that hyperthermia may act as an additional cognitive load. However, this load disappeared during OTS-6 together with an impaired performance, suggesting a potential saturation of the available resources.

  3. Children's Behaviour and Cognitions across Different Balance Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messer, David J.; Pine, Karen J.; Butler, Cathal

    2008-01-01

    Children's understanding of the way objects balance has provided important insights about cognitive development [e.g., Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1992). "Beyond modularity: A developmental perspective on cognitive science." Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; Siegler, R. S. (1976). Three aspects of cognitive development. "Cognitive Psychology," 8, 481-520]. We…

  4. Musical expertise has minimal impact on dual task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cocchini, Gianna; Filardi, Maria Serena; Crhonkova, Marcela; Halpern, Andrea R

    2017-05-01

    Studies investigating effect of practice on dual task performance have yielded conflicting findings, thus supporting different theoretical accounts about the organisation of attentional resources when tasks are performed simultaneously. Because practice has been proven to reduce the demand of attention for the trained task, the impact of long-lasting training on one task is an ideal way to better understand the mechanisms underlying dual task decline in performance. Our study compared performance during dual task execution in expert musicians compared to controls with little if any musical experience. Participants performed a music recognition task and a visuo-spatial task separately (single task) or simultaneously (dual task). Both groups showed a significant but similar performance decline during dual tasks. In addition, the two groups showed a similar decline of dual task performance during encoding and retrieval of the musical information, mainly attributed to a decline in sensitivity. Our results suggest that attention during dual tasks is similarly distributed by expert and non-experts. These findings are in line with previous studies showing a lack of sensitivity to difficulty and lack of practice effect during dual tasks, supporting the idea that different tasks may rely on different and not-sharable attentional resources.

  5. Classification of cognitive performance in bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparding, Timea; Silander, Katja; Pålsson, Erik; Östlind, Josefin; Ekman, Carl Johan; Sellgren, Carl M; Joas, Erik; Hansen, Stefan; Landén, Mikael

    2017-09-01

    To understand the etiology of cognitive impairment associated with bipolar disorder, we need to clarify potential heterogeneity in cognitive functioning. To this end, we used multivariate techniques to study if the correlation structure of cognitive abilities differs between persons with bipolar disorder and controls. Clinically stable patients with bipolar disorder (type I: n = 64; type II: n = 44) and healthy controls (n = 86) were assessed with a wide range of cognitive tests measuring executive function, speed, memory, and verbal skills. Data were analysed with multivariate techniques. A distinct subgroup (∼30%) could be identified that performed significantly poorer on tests concerning memory function. This cognitive phenotype subgroup did not differ from the majority of bipolar disorder patients with respect to other demographic or clinical characteristics. Whereas the majority of patients performed similar to controls, a subgroup of patients with bipolar disorder differed substantially from healthy controls in the correlation pattern of low-level cognitive abilities. This suggests that cognitive impairment is not a general trait in bipolar disorder but characteristic of a cognitive subgroup. This has important clinical implications for cognitive rehabilitation and remediation.

  6. Changes in Standing and Walking Performance Under Dual-Task Conditions Across the Lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffieux, Jan; Keller, Martin; Lauber, Benedikt; Taube, Wolfgang

    2015-12-01

    Simultaneous performance of a postural and a concurrent task is rather unproblematic as long as the postural task is executed in an automatic way. However, in situations where postural control requires more central processing, cognitive resources may be exceeded by the addition of an attentionally demanding task. This may lead to interference between the two tasks, manifested in a decreased performance in one or both tasks (dual-task costs). Owing to changes in attentional demands of postural tasks as well as processing capacities across the lifespan, it might be assumed that dual-task costs are particularly pronounced in children and older adults probably leading to a U-shaped pattern for dual-task costs as a function of age. However, these changes in the ability of dual-tasking posture from childhood to old age have not yet been systematically reviewed. Therefore, Web of Science and PubMed databases were searched for studies comparing dual-task performance with one task being standing or walking in healthy groups of young adults and either children or older adults. Seventy-nine studies met inclusion criteria. For older adults, the expected increase in dual-task costs could be confirmed. In contrast, in children there was only feeble evidence for a trend towards enlarged dual-task costs. More good-quality studies comparing dual-task ability in children, young, and, ideally, also older adults within the same paradigm are needed to draw unambiguous conclusions about lifespan development of dual-task performance in postural tasks. There is evidence that, in older adults, dual-task performance can be improved by training. For the other age groups, these effects have yet to be investigated.

  7. Cognitive Mentorship: Mediating Protege Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-01

    and a child or adolescent, which is important for personal, emotional , cognitive, and psychological growth (Rhodes, 2002). Academic mentoring...Using mentoring and storytelling to transfer knowledge in the workplace. Journal of management information systems, 18(1), 95-114. Uecker, M. E...Air Force Base, OH. Wyatt, J. C. (2001). Management of explicit and tacit knowledge. JRSM, 94(1), 6-9. Zey, M. G. (1984). The mentor connection

  8. Performance on the Hamilton search task, and the influence of lateralization, in captive orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cussen, Victoria A; Mench, Joy A

    2014-07-01

    Psittacines are generally considered to possess cognitive abilities comparable to those of primates. Most psittacine research has evaluated performance on standardized complex cognition tasks, but studies of basic cognitive processes are limited. We tested orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica) on a spatial foraging assessment, the Hamilton search task. This task is a standardized test used in human and non-human primate studies. It has multiple phases, which require trial and error learning, learning set breaking, and spatial memory. We investigated search strategies used to complete the task, cognitive flexibility, and long-term memory for the task. We also assessed the effects of individual strength of motor lateralization (foot preference) and sex on task performance. Almost all (92%) of the parrots acquired the task. All had significant foot preferences, with 69% preferring their left foot, and showed side preferences contralateral to their preferred limb during location selection. The parrots were able to alter their search strategies when reward contingencies changed, demonstrating cognitive flexibility. They were also able to remember the task over a 6-month period. Lateralization had a significant influence on learning set acquisition but no effect on cognitive flexibility. There were no sex differences. To our knowledge, this is the first cognitive study using this particular species and one of the few studies of cognitive abilities in any Neotropical parrot species.

  9. Performance on verbal and low-verbal false belief tasks: evidence from children with Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Herwegen, Jo; Dimitriou, Dagmara; Rundblad, Gabriella

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies that have investigated the relationship between performance on theory of mind (ToM) tasks and verbal abilities in individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) have reported contradictory findings with some showing that language abilities aid performance on ToM tasks while others have found that participants with WS fail these tasks because of their verbal demands. The current study investigated this relationship again comparing performance on a classical change-location task to two newly developed low-verbal tasks, one change-location task and one unexpected content task. Thirty children with WS (aged 5-17;01 years) and 30 typically developing (TD) children (aged between 2;10 years and 9;09 years), who were matched for vocabulary comprehension scores were included in the study. Although performance in the WS group was significantly poorer compared to the TD group on all three tasks, performance was not predicted by their receptive vocabulary or grammatical ability scores. In addition, ToM abilities in both groups depended on the cognitive demands of the task at hand. This finding shows that performance on ToM tasks in WS is not necessarily hindered by their delayed language abilities but rather by the task administered. This could potentially affect the diagnosis of developmental disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, and comparison of ToM abilities across developmental disorders. Readers of this article should be able to (1) describe the current state of theory of mind research in Williams syndrome, (2) identify which cognitive abilities might explain performance on theory of mind tasks in both typically developing children and in children with Williams syndrome, and (3) interpret the importance of task demands when assessing children's theory of mind abilities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Performance assessment task team progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, D.E.; Curl, R.U.; Armstrong, D.R.; Cook, J.R.; Dolenc, M.R.; Kocher, D.C.; Owens, K.W.; Regnier, E.P.; Roles, G.W.; Seitz, R.R.

    1994-05-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Headquarters EM-35, established a Performance Assessment Task Team (referred to as the Team) to integrate the activities of the sites that are preparing performance assessments (PAs) for disposal of new low-level waste, as required by Chapter III of DOE Order 5820.2A, open-quotes Low-Level Waste Managementclose quotes. The intent of the Team is to achieve a degree of consistency among these PAs as the analyses proceed at the disposal sites. The Team's purpose is to recommend policy and guidance to the DOE on issues that impact the PAs, including release scenarios and parameters, so that the approaches are as consistent as possible across the DOE complex. The Team has identified issues requiring attention and developed discussion papers for those issues. Some issues have been completed, and the recommendations are provided in this document. Other issues are still being discussed, and the status summaries are provided in this document. A major initiative was to establish a subteam to develop a set of test scenarios and parameters for benchmarking codes in use at the various sites. The activities of the Team are reported here through December 1993

  11. Task Performance induced Work Load in Nursing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirazeh Arghami

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background & objective: High workload may lead to increase human errors, compromise quality and safety of care, and reduce the nurses’ quality of working life. The aim of this study is to determine the task-induced workload in nursing. Methods: This is a descriptive analytical study. All of 214 nurses of one of the educational hospital took part in. After obtaining informed consent from participants, data were collected based on NASA-TLX questionnaire and the desired level assumed less than 50%. Analysis of data was performed by descriptive statistics and Anova in SPSS software (version 11. 0 at significant level of 0.05. Results: The results showed that perceived mental pressure for nurses is more than other NASA-TLX subscales (P< .001. Also, the mean perceived workload was more than 50%. However, mean workload score of NASA-TLX showed significant correlation with age (P< .001, work experience (P< .001, shift work (P< .02, and department (P< .001. Conclusion: The results show that effective programs will be required to reduce the work load, and to enhance nurses' performance

  12. The use of a cognitive task analysis-based multimedia program to teach surgical decision making in flexor tendon repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luker, Kali R; Sullivan, Maura E; Peyre, Sarah E; Sherman, Randy; Grunwald, Tiffany

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the surgical knowledge of residents before and after receiving a cognitive task analysis-based multimedia teaching module. Ten plastic surgery residents were evaluated performing flexor tendon repair on 3 occasions. Traditional learning occurred between the first and second trial and served as the control. A teaching module was introduced as an intervention between the second and third trial using cognitive task analysis to illustrate decision-making skills. All residents showed improvement in their decision-making ability when performing flexor tendon repair after each surgical procedure. The group improved through traditional methods as well as exposure to our talk-aloud protocol (P > .01). After being trained using the cognitive task analysis curriculum the group displayed a statistically significant knowledge expansion (P multimedia surgical curriculum instruction achieved greater command of problem solving and are better equipped to make correct decisions in flexor tendon repair.

  13. Gait stability and variability measures show effects of impaired cognition and dual tasking in frail people

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Vries Oscar J

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Falls in frail elderly are a common problem with a rising incidence. Gait and postural instability are major risk factors for falling, particularly in geriatric patients. As walking requires attention, cognitive impairments are likely to contribute to an increased fall risk. An objective quantification of gait and balance ability is required to identify persons with a high tendency to fall. Recent studies have shown that stride variability is increased in elderly and under dual task condition and might be more sensitive to detect fall risk than walking speed. In the present study we complemented stride related measures with measures that quantify trunk movement patterns as indicators of dynamic balance ability during walking. The aim of the study was to quantify the effect of impaired cognition and dual tasking on gait variability and stability in geriatric patients. Methods Thirteen elderly with dementia (mean age: 82.6 ± 4.3 years and thirteen without dementia (79.4 ± 5.55 recruited from a geriatric day clinic, walked at self-selected speed with and without performing a verbal dual task. The Mini Mental State Examination and the Seven Minute Screen were administered. Trunk accelerations were measured with an accelerometer. In addition to walking speed, mean, and variability of stride times, gait stability was quantified using stochastic dynamical measures, namely regularity (sample entropy, long range correlations and local stability exponents of trunk accelerations. Results Dual tasking significantly (p Conclusions The observed trunk adaptations were a consistent instability factor. These results support the concept that changes in cognitive functions contribute to changes in the variability and stability of the gait pattern. Walking under dual task conditions and quantifying gait using dynamical parameters can improve detecting walking disorders and might help to identify those elderly who are able to adapt walking

  14. Planning and task management in Parkinson's disease: differential emphasis in dual-task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialystok, Ellen; Craik, Fergus I M; Stefurak, Taresa

    2008-03-01

    Seventeen patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease completed a complex computer-based task that involved planning and management while also performing an attention-demanding secondary task. The tasks were performed concurrently, but it was necessary to switch from one to the other. Performance was compared to a group of healthy age-matched control participants and a group of young participants. Parkinson's patients performed better than the age-matched controls on almost all measures and as well as the young controls in many cases. However, the Parkinson's patients achieved this by paying relatively less attention to the secondary task and focusing attention more on the primary task. Thus, Parkinson's patients can apparently improve their performance on some aspects of a multidimensional task by simplifying task demands. This benefit may occur as a consequence of their inflexible exaggerated attention to some aspects of a complex task to the relative neglect of other aspects.

  15. Paw Preference Correlates to Task Performance in Dogs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alphen, A. van; Bosse, T.; Frank, I.; Jonker, C.M.; Koeman, F.; Bara, B.G.; Barsalou, L.; Bucciarelli, M.

    2005-01-01

    A study involving 36 domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) in a simple search task provides evidence of a correlation between paw use and performance. The study was carried out to determine whether or not paw use is related to task performance. Different aspects of task performance were taken into

  16. Association of Dual-Task Gait With Incident Dementia in Mild Cognitive Impairment: Results From the Gait and Brain Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montero-Odasso, Manuel M; Sarquis-Adamson, Yanina; Speechley, Mark; Borrie, Michael J; Hachinski, Vladimir C; Wells, Jennie; Riccio, Patricia M; Schapira, Marcelo; Sejdic, Ervin; Camicioli, Richard M; Bartha, Robert; McIlroy, William E; Muir-Hunter, Susan

    2017-07-01

    Gait performance is affected by neurodegeneration in aging and has the potential to be used as a clinical marker for progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. A dual-task gait test evaluating the cognitive-motor interface may predict dementia progression in older adults with MCI. To determine whether a dual-task gait test is associated with incident dementia in MCI. The Gait and Brain Study is an ongoing prospective cohort study of community-dwelling older adults that enrolled 112 older adults with MCI. Participants were followed up for 6 years, with biannual visits including neurologic, cognitive, and gait assessments. Data were collected from July 2007 to March 2016. Incident all-cause dementia was the main outcome measure, and single- and dual-task gait velocity and dual-task gait costs were the independent variables. A neuropsychological test battery was used to assess cognition. Gait velocity was recorded under single-task and 3 separate dual-task conditions using an electronic walkway. Dual-task gait cost was defined as the percentage change between single- and dual-task gait velocities: ([single-task gait velocity - dual-task gait velocity]/ single-task gait velocity) × 100. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the association between risk of progression to dementia and the independent variables, adjusted for age, sex, education, comorbidities, and cognition. Among 112 study participants with MCI, mean (SD) age was 76.6 (6.9) years, 55 were women (49.1%), and 27 progressed to dementia (24.1%), with an incidence rate of 121 per 1000 person-years. Slow single-task gait velocity (gait cost while counting backward (HR, 3.79; 95% CI, 1.57-9.15; P = .003) and naming animals (HR, 2.41; 95% CI, 1.04-5.59; P = .04) were associated with dementia progression (incidence rate, 155 per 1000 person-years). The models remained robust after adjusting by baseline cognition except for dual-task gait cost when dichotomized. Dual-task

  17. Activity flow over resting-state networks shapes cognitive task activations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Michael W; Ito, Takuya; Bassett, Danielle S; Schultz, Douglas H

    2016-12-01

    Resting-state functional connectivity (FC) has helped reveal the intrinsic network organization of the human brain, yet its relevance to cognitive task activations has been unclear. Uncertainty remains despite evidence that resting-state FC patterns are highly similar to cognitive task activation patterns. Identifying the distributed processes that shape localized cognitive task activations may help reveal why resting-state FC is so strongly related to cognitive task activations. We found that estimating task-evoked activity flow (the spread of activation amplitudes) over resting-state FC networks allowed prediction of cognitive task activations in a large-scale neural network model. Applying this insight to empirical functional MRI data, we found that cognitive task activations can be predicted in held-out brain regions (and held-out individuals) via estimated activity flow over resting-state FC networks. This suggests that task-evoked activity flow over intrinsic networks is a large-scale mechanism explaining the relevance of resting-state FC to cognitive task activations.

  18. Investigating long-range correlation properties in EEG during complex cognitive tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karkare, Siddharth; Saha, Goutam; Bhattacharya, Joydeep

    2009-01-01

    Previous work shows the presence of scale invariance and long-range correlations in ongoing and spontaneous activity of large scale brain responses (i.e. EEG), and such scaling behavior can also be modulated by simple sensory stimulus. However, little is known whether such alteration but not destruction in scaling properties also occurs during complex cognitive processing and if neuroplasticity plays any role in mediating such changes. In this study, we addressed these issues by investigating scaling properties of multivariate EEG signals obtained from two broad groups - artists and non-artists - while they performed complex tasks of perception and mental imagery of visual art objects. We found that brain regions showing increased correlation properties from rest were similar for both tasks, suggesting that brain networks responsible for visual perception are reactivated for mental imagery. Further, we observed that the two groups could be differentiated by scaling exponents and an artificial neural network based classifier achieved a classification efficiency of over 80%. These results altogether suggest that specific complex cognitive task demands and task-specific expertise can modify the temporal scale-free dynamics of brain responses.

  19. Investigating long-range correlation properties in EEG during complex cognitive tasks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karkare, Siddharth [Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (India); Saha, Goutam [Department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (India); Bhattacharya, Joydeep [Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths College, University of London, New Cross, London SE14 6NW (United Kingdom); Commission for Scientific Visualization, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna A1220 (Austria)], E-mail: j.bhattacharya@gold.ac.uk

    2009-11-30

    Previous work shows the presence of scale invariance and long-range correlations in ongoing and spontaneous activity of large scale brain responses (i.e. EEG), and such scaling behavior can also be modulated by simple sensory stimulus. However, little is known whether such alteration but not destruction in scaling properties also occurs during complex cognitive processing and if neuroplasticity plays any role in mediating such changes. In this study, we addressed these issues by investigating scaling properties of multivariate EEG signals obtained from two broad groups - artists and non-artists - while they performed complex tasks of perception and mental imagery of visual art objects. We found that brain regions showing increased correlation properties from rest were similar for both tasks, suggesting that brain networks responsible for visual perception are reactivated for mental imagery. Further, we observed that the two groups could be differentiated by scaling exponents and an artificial neural network based classifier achieved a classification efficiency of over 80%. These results altogether suggest that specific complex cognitive task demands and task-specific expertise can modify the temporal scale-free dynamics of brain responses.

  20. Distributed Schemes for Crowdsourcing-Based Sensing Task Assignment in Cognitive Radio Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linbo Zhai

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Spectrum sensing is an important issue in cognitive radio networks. The unlicensed users can access the licensed wireless spectrum only when the licensed wireless spectrum is sensed to be idle. Since mobile terminals such as smartphones and tablets are popular among people, spectrum sensing can be assigned to these mobile intelligent terminals, which is called crowdsourcing method. Based on the crowdsourcing method, this paper studies the distributed scheme to assign spectrum sensing task to mobile terminals such as smartphones and tablets. Considering the fact that mobile terminals’ positions may influence the sensing results, a precise sensing effect function is designed for the crowdsourcing-based sensing task assignment. We aim to maximize the sensing effect function and cast this optimization problem to address crowdsensing task assignment in cognitive radio networks. This problem is difficult to be solved because the complexity of this problem increases exponentially with the growth in mobile terminals. To assign crowdsensing task, we propose four distributed algorithms with different transition probabilities and use a Markov chain to analyze the approximation gap of our proposed schemes. Simulation results evaluate the average performance of our proposed algorithms and validate the algorithm’s convergence.

  1. On the importance of Task 1 and error performance measures in PRP dual-task studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobach, Tilo; Schütz, Anja; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-01-01

    The psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm is a dominant research tool in the literature on dual-task performance. In this paradigm a first and second component task (i.e., Task 1 and Task 2) are presented with variable stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and priority to perform Task 1. The main indicator of dual-task impairment in PRP situations is an increasing Task 2-RT with decreasing SOAs. This impairment is typically explained with some task components being processed strictly sequentially in the context of the prominent central bottleneck theory. This assumption could implicitly suggest that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing, i.e., decreasing SOAs do not increase reaction times (RTs) and error rates of the first task. The aim of the present review is to assess whether PRP dual-task studies included both RT and error data presentations and statistical analyses and whether studies including both data types (i.e., RTs and error rates) show data consistent with this assumption (i.e., decreasing SOAs and unaffected RTs and/or error rates in Task 1). This review demonstrates that, in contrast to RT presentations and analyses, error data is underrepresented in a substantial number of studies. Furthermore, a substantial number of studies with RT and error data showed a statistically significant impairment of Task 1 performance with decreasing SOA. Thus, these studies produced data that is not primarily consistent with the strong assumption that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing in the context of PRP dual-task situations; this calls for a more careful report and analysis of Task 1 performance in PRP studies and for a more careful consideration of theories proposing additions to the bottleneck assumption, which are sufficiently general to explain Task 1 and Task 2 effects. PMID:25904890

  2. On the importance of Task 1 and error performance measures in PRP dual-task studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobach, Tilo; Schütz, Anja; Schubert, Torsten

    2015-01-01

    The psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm is a dominant research tool in the literature on dual-task performance. In this paradigm a first and second component task (i.e., Task 1 and Task 2) are presented with variable stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and priority to perform Task 1. The main indicator of dual-task impairment in PRP situations is an increasing Task 2-RT with decreasing SOAs. This impairment is typically explained with some task components being processed strictly sequentially in the context of the prominent central bottleneck theory. This assumption could implicitly suggest that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing, i.e., decreasing SOAs do not increase reaction times (RTs) and error rates of the first task. The aim of the present review is to assess whether PRP dual-task studies included both RT and error data presentations and statistical analyses and whether studies including both data types (i.e., RTs and error rates) show data consistent with this assumption (i.e., decreasing SOAs and unaffected RTs and/or error rates in Task 1). This review demonstrates that, in contrast to RT presentations and analyses, error data is underrepresented in a substantial number of studies. Furthermore, a substantial number of studies with RT and error data showed a statistically significant impairment of Task 1 performance with decreasing SOA. Thus, these studies produced data that is not primarily consistent with the strong assumption that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing in the context of PRP dual-task situations; this calls for a more careful report and analysis of Task 1 performance in PRP studies and for a more careful consideration of theories proposing additions to the bottleneck assumption, which are sufficiently general to explain Task 1 and Task 2 effects.

  3. Daytime Sleep Aids and Nighttime Cognitive Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Eddy, Douglas; Barton, Emily; Cardenas, Rebecca; French, Jonathan; Gibbons, John; Hickey, Patrick; Miller, James; Ramsey, Carol; Storm, William

    2005-01-01

    .... This study compared two doses of the hypnotic zolpidem, two doses of melatonin and placebo for their effects on daytime sleep, on nighttime cognitive performance and on mood in an operationally...

  4. The Task Is Not Enough: Processing Approaches to Task-Based Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skehan, Peter; Xiaoyue, Bei; Qian, Li; Wang, Zhan

    2012-01-01

    This article reports on three research studies, all of which concern second language task performance. The first focuses on planning, and compares on-line and strategic planning as well as task repetition. The second study examines the role of familiarity on task performance, and compares this with conventional strategic planning. The third study…

  5. The effects of stimulus modality and task integrality: Predicting dual-task performance and workload from single-task levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, S. G.; Shively, R. J.; Vidulich, M. A.; Miller, R. C.

    1986-01-01

    The influence of stimulus modality and task difficulty on workload and performance was investigated. The goal was to quantify the cost (in terms of response time and experienced workload) incurred when essentially serial task components shared common elements (e.g., the response to one initiated the other) which could be accomplished in parallel. The experimental tasks were based on the Fittsberg paradigm; the solution to a SternBERG-type memory task determines which of two identical FITTS targets are acquired. Previous research suggested that such functionally integrated dual tasks are performed with substantially less workload and faster response times than would be predicted by suming single-task components when both are presented in the same stimulus modality (visual). The physical integration of task elements was varied (although their functional relationship remained the same) to determine whether dual-task facilitation would persist if task components were presented in different sensory modalities. Again, it was found that the cost of performing the two-stage task was considerably less than the sum of component single-task levels when both were presented visually. Less facilitation was found when task elements were presented in different sensory modalities. These results suggest the importance of distinguishing between concurrent tasks that complete for limited resources from those that beneficially share common resources when selecting the stimulus modalities for information displays.

  6. A proper metaphysics for cognitive performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Orden, Guy C; Moreno, Miguel A; Holden, John G

    2003-01-01

    The general failure to individuate component causes in cognitive performance suggests the need for an alternative metaphysics. The metaphysics of control hierarchy theory accommodates the fact of self-organization in nature and the possibility that intentional actions are self-organized. One key assumption is that interactions among processes dominate their intrinsic dynamics. Scaling relations in response time variability motivate this assumption in cognitive performance.

  7. Acquiring a cognitive skill with a new repeating version of the Tower of London task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouellet, Marie-Christine; Beauchamp, Miriam H; Owen, Adrian M; Doyon, Julien

    2004-12-01

    A computerized version of the Tower of London task was used to investigate cognitive skill learning. Thirty-six healthy volunteers were assigned to either a random condition (nonrecurring problems), or to a sequence condition in which, unbeknownst to the subjects, a repeating sequence of three problems was presented. Indices of execution, planning, and total time, as well as number of moves performed, were used to measure behavioural change. Subjects' performance improved in both conditions across blocks of practice. A distinct learning effect related to the repeating sequence was also observed. This suggests that a specific skill that reflects procedural learning of the strategies, rules, and procedures pertaining to repeating problems can develop over and above a more general skill at solving cognitive planning problems with practice.

  8. Rational Adaptation under Task and Processing Constraints: Implications for Testing Theories of Cognition and Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howes, Andrew; Lewis, Richard L.; Vera, Alonso

    2009-01-01

    The authors assume that individuals adapt rationally to a utility function given constraints imposed by their cognitive architecture and the local task environment. This assumption underlies a new approach to modeling and understanding cognition--cognitively bounded rational analysis--that sharpens the predictive acuity of general, integrated…

  9. Methodological recommendations for cognition trials in bipolar disorder by the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Targeting Cognition Task Force

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miskowiak, K W; Burdick, K E; Martinez-Aran, A

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To aid the development of treatment for cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder, the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) convened a task force to create a consensus-based guidance paper for the methodology and design of cognition trials in bipolar disorder. METHODS...... symptoms and concomitant medication. Task force recommendations are to: (i) enrich trials with objectively measured cognitively impaired patients; (ii) generally select a broad cognitive composite score as the primary outcome and a functional measure as a key secondary outcome; and (iii) include remitted...... of treatments to illness stage and using a multimodal approach. CONCLUSIONS: This ISBD task force guidance paper provides the first consensus-based recommendations for cognition trials in bipolar disorder. Adherence to these recommendations will likely improve the sensitivity in detecting treatment efficacy...

  10. Planning, Implementing, and Assessing an Authentic Performance Task in Middle Grades Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Nicole C.; Urbankowski, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    As young adolescents, middle grades students experience a wide variety of changes related to their cognitive capabilities, social and emotional well-being, and use of self-regulation strategies. Authentic performance tasks challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to realistic problems to create products or performances--consistent…

  11. Limitations in dual-task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pannebakker, Merel Mathilde

    2009-01-01

    In this thesis, the effect of information-processing overload on working-memory dependent information processing was examined using dual-task paradigms. The experiments described strengthen the importance of a functional explanation for dual-task limitations. First, it showed evidence for a unified

  12. Demographic Variables and Selective, Sustained Attention and Planning through Cognitive Tasks among Healthy Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Afsaneh Zarghi; Zali; A; Tehranidost; M; Mohammad Reza Zarindast; Ashrafi; F; Doroodgar; Khodadadi

    2011-01-01

    Introduction: Cognitive tasks are considered to be applicable and appropriate in assessing cognitive domains. The purpose of our study is to determine the relationship existence between variables of age, sex and education with selective, sustained attention and planning abilities by means of computerized cognitive tasks among healthy adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study was implemented during 6 months from June to November, 2010 on 84 healthy adults (42 male and 42 female). The whole part...

  13. Cognitive evaluation by tasks in a virtual reality environment in multiple sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamargue-Hamel, Delphine; Deloire, Mathilde; Saubusse, Aurore; Ruet, Aurélie; Taillard, Jacques; Philip, Pierre; Brochet, Bruno

    2015-12-15

    The assessment of cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS) requires large neuropsychological batteries that assess numerous domains. The relevance of these assessments to daily cognitive functioning is not well established. Cognitive ecological evaluation has not been frequently studied in MS. The aim of this study was to determine the interest of cognitive evaluation in a virtual reality environment in a sample of persons with MS with cognitive deficits. Thirty persons with MS with at least moderate cognitive impairment were assessed with two ecological evaluations, an in-house developed task in a virtual reality environment (Urban DailyCog®) and a divided attention task in a driving simulator. Classical neuropsychological testing was also used. Fifty-two percent of the persons with MS failed the driving simulator task and 80% failed the Urban DailyCog®. Virtual reality assessments are promising in identifying cognitive impairment in MS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Task complexity and task, goal, and reward interdependence in group performance management : A prescriptive model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Vijfeijken, H.; Kleingeld, A.; van Tuijl, H.; Algera, J.A.; Thierry, Hk.

    2002-01-01

    A prescriptive model on how to design effective combinations of goal setting and contingent rewards for group performance management is presented. The model incorporates the constructs task complexity, task interdependence, goal interdependence, and reward interdependence and specifies optimal fit

  15. Task complexity and task, goal, and reward interdependence in group performance : a prescriptive model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vijfeijken, van H.T.G.A.; Kleingeld, P.A.M.; Tuijl, van H.F.J.M.; Algera, J.A.; Thierry, H.

    2002-01-01

    A prescriptive model on how to design effective combinations of goal setting and contingent rewards for group performance management is presented. The model incorporates the constructs task complexity, task interdependence, goal interdependence, and reward interdependence and specifies optimal fit

  16. Increased engagement of the cognitive control network associated with music training in children during an fMRI Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sachs, Matthew; Kaplan, Jonas; Der Sarkissian, Alissa; Habibi, Assal

    2017-01-01

    Playing a musical instrument engages various sensorimotor processes and draws on cognitive capacities collectively termed executive functions. However, while music training is believed to associated with enhancements in certain cognitive and language abilities, studies that have explored the specific relationship between music and executive function have yielded conflicting results. As part of an ongoing longitudinal study, we investigated the effects of music training on executive function using fMRI and several behavioral tasks, including the Color-Word Stroop task. Children involved in ongoing music training (N = 14, mean age = 8.67) were compared with two groups of comparable general cognitive abilities and socioeconomic status, one involved in sports ("sports" group, N = 13, mean age = 8.85) and another not involved in music or sports ("control" group, N = 17, mean age = 9.05). During the Color-Word Stroop task, children with music training showed significantly greater bilateral activation in the pre-SMA/SMA, ACC, IFG, and insula in trials that required cognitive control compared to the control group, despite no differences in performance on behavioral measures of executive function. No significant differences in brain activation or in task performance were found between the music and sports groups. The results suggest that systematic extracurricular training, particularly music-based training, is associated with changes in the cognitive control network in the brain even in the absence of changes in behavioral performance.

  17. Increased engagement of the cognitive control network associated with music training in children during an fMRI Stroop task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Sachs

    Full Text Available Playing a musical instrument engages various sensorimotor processes and draws on cognitive capacities collectively termed executive functions. However, while music training is believed to associated with enhancements in certain cognitive and language abilities, studies that have explored the specific relationship between music and executive function have yielded conflicting results. As part of an ongoing longitudinal study, we investigated the effects of music training on executive function using fMRI and several behavioral tasks, including the Color-Word Stroop task. Children involved in ongoing music training (N = 14, mean age = 8.67 were compared with two groups of comparable general cognitive abilities and socioeconomic status, one involved in sports ("sports" group, N = 13, mean age = 8.85 and another not involved in music or sports ("control" group, N = 17, mean age = 9.05. During the Color-Word Stroop task, children with music training showed significantly greater bilateral activation in the pre-SMA/SMA, ACC, IFG, and insula in trials that required cognitive control compared to the control group, despite no differences in performance on behavioral measures of executive function. No significant differences in brain activation or in task performance were found between the music and sports groups. The results suggest that systematic extracurricular training, particularly music-based training, is associated with changes in the cognitive control network in the brain even in the absence of changes in behavioral performance.

  18. On the importance of Task 1 and error performance measures in PRP dual-task studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tilo eStrobach

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Psychological Refractory Period (PRP paradigm is a dominant research tool in the literature on dual-task performance. In this paradigm a first and second component task (i.e., Task 1 and 2 are presented with variable stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs and priority to perform Task 1. The main indicator of dual-task impairment in PRP situations is an increasing Task 2-RT with decreasing SOAs. This impairment is typically explained with some task components being processed strictly sequentially in the context of the prominent central bottleneck theory. This assumption could implicitly suggest that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing, i.e. decreasing SOAs do not increase RTs and error rates of the first task. The aim of the present review is to assess whether PRP dual-task studies included both RT and error data presentations and statistical analyses and whether studies including both data types (i.e., RTs and error rates show data consistent with this assumption (i.e., decreasing SOAs and unaffected RTs and/ or error rates in Task 1. This review demonstrates that, in contrast to RT presentations and analyses, error data is underrepresented in a substantial number of studies. Furthermore, a substantial number of studies with RT and error data showed a statistically significant impairment of Task 1 performance with decreasing SOA. Thus, these studies produced data that is not primarily consistent with the strong assumption that processes of Task 1 are unaffected by Task 2 and bottleneck processing in the context of PRP dual-task situations; this calls for a more careful report and analysis of Task 1 performance in PRP studies and for a more careful consideration of theories proposing additions to the bottleneck assumption, which are sufficiently general to explain Task 1 and Task 2 effects.

  19. Performance analysis of Cognitive Pilot Channel in wireless Heterogeneous networks

    OpenAIRE

    Hussein, Tahseen Ali

    2009-01-01

    This thesis aims to investigate and analyze the performance of the Cognitive Pilot Channel (CPC) in heterogeneous network. The thesis uses simulation to simulate the environment and the scenarios and by using this simulation, the analysis is done. First task this thesis carrying is the validation the simulation results with the numerical results. This is done by introducing a single cell scenario and validates the results out of this scenario with the numerical calculation. Ana...

  20. Performance Monitoring Techniques Supporting Cognitive Optical Networking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caballero Jambrina, Antonio; Borkowski, Robert; Zibar, Darko

    2013-01-01

    High degree of heterogeneity of future optical networks, such as services with different quality-of-transmission requirements, modulation formats and switching techniques, will pose a challenge for the control and optimization of different parameters. Incorporation of cognitive techniques can help...... to solve this issue by realizing a network that can observe, act, learn and optimize its performance, taking into account end-to-end goals. In this letter we present the approach of cognition applied to heterogeneous optical networks developed in the framework of the EU project CHRON: Cognitive...... Heterogeneous Reconfigurable Optical Network. We focus on the approaches developed in the project for optical performance monitoring, which enable the feedback from the physical layer to the cognitive decision system by providing accurate description of the performance of the established lightpaths....

  1. Automated Cognitive Health Assessment Using Smart Home Monitoring of Complex Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawadi, Prafulla N; Cook, Diane J; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen

    2013-11-01

    One of the many services that intelligent systems can provide is the automated assessment of resident well-being. We hypothesize that the functional health of individuals, or ability of individuals to perform activities independently without assistance, can be estimated by tracking their activities using smart home technologies. In this paper, we introduce a machine learning-based method for assessing activity quality in smart homes. To validate our approach we quantify activity quality for 179 volunteer participants who performed a complex, interweaved set of activities in our smart home apartment. We observed a statistically significant correlation (r=0.79) between automated assessment of task quality and direct observation scores. Using machine learning techniques to predict the cognitive health of the participants based on task quality is accomplished with an AUC value of 0.64. We believe that this capability is an important step in understanding everyday functional health of individuals in their home environments.

  2. The Impact of Cognitive Load on Operatic Singers’ Timing Performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muzaffer eCorlu

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper, we report the results of an empirical study on the effects of cognitive load on operatic singing. The main aim of the study was to investigate to what extent a working memory task affected the timing of operatic singers’ performance. Thereby, we focused on singers’ tendency to speed up, or slow down their performance of musical phrases and pauses. Twelve professional operatic singers were asked to perform an operatic aria three times; once without an additional working memory task, once with a concurrent working memory task (counting shapes on a computer screen, and once with a relatively more difficult working memory task (more shapes to be counted appearing one after another. The results show that, in general, singers speeded up their performance under heightened cognitive load. Interestingly, this effect was more pronounced in pauses – more in particular longer pauses – compared to musical phrases. We discuss the role of sensorimotor control and feedback processes in musical timing to explain these findings.

  3. Quantitative gait analysis under dual-task in older people with mild cognitive impairment: a reliability study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gutmanis Iris

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Reliability of quantitative gait assessment while dual-tasking (walking while doing a secondary task such as talking in people with cognitive impairment is unknown. Dual-tasking gait assessment is becoming highly important for mobility research with older adults since better reflects their performance in the basic activities of daily living. Our purpose was to establish the test-retest reliability of assessing quantitative gait variables using an electronic walkway in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI under single and dual-task conditions. Methods The gait performance of 11 elderly individuals with MCI was evaluated using an electronic walkway (GAITRite® System in two sessions, one week apart. Six gait parameters (gait velocity, step length, stride length, step time, stride time, and double support time were assessed under two conditions: single-task (sG: usual walking and dual-task (dG: counting backwards from 100 while walking. Test-retest reliability was determined using intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC. Gait variability was measured using coefficient of variation (CoV. Results Eleven participants (average age = 76.6 years, SD = 7.3 were assessed. They were high functioning (Clinical Dementia Rating Score = 0.5 with a mean Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMSE score of 28 (SD = 1.56, and a mean Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA score of 22.8 (SD = 1.23. Under dual-task conditions, mean gait velocity (GV decreased significantly (sGV = 119.11 ± 20.20 cm/s; dGV = 110.88 ± 19.76 cm/s; p = 0.005. Additionally, under dual-task conditions, higher gait variability was found on stride time, step time, and double support time. Test-retest reliability was high (ICC>0.85 for the six parameters evaluated under both conditions. Conclusion In older people with MCI, variability of time-related gait parameters increased with dual-tasking suggesting cognitive control of gait performance. Assessment of quantitative gait

  4. Psychological biases affecting human cognitive performance in dynamic operational environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takano, Kenichi; Reason, J.

    1999-01-01

    In order to identify cognitive error mechanisms observed in the dynamic operational environment, the following materials were analyzed giving special attention to psychological biases, together with possible cognitive tasks and these location, and internal and external performance shaping factors: (a) 13 human factors analyses of US nuclear power plant accidents, (b) 14 cases of Japanese nuclear power plant incidents, and (c) 23 cases collected in simulator experiments. In the resulting analysis, the most frequently identified cognitive process associated with error productions was situation assessment, and following varieties were KB processes and response planning, all of that were the higher cognitive activities. Over 70% of human error cases, psychological bias was affecting to cognitive errors, especially those to higher cognitive activities. In addition, several error occurrence patterns, including relations between cognitive process, biases, and PSFs were identified by the multivariate analysis. According to the identified error patterns, functions that an operator support system have to equip were discussed and specified for design base considerations. (author)

  5. A problem with problem solving: motivational traits, but not cognition, predict success on novel operant foraging tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Horik, Jayden O; Madden, Joah R

    2016-04-01

    Rates of innovative foraging behaviours and success on problem-solving tasks are often used to assay differences in cognition, both within and across species. Yet the cognitive features of some problem-solving tasks can be unclear. As such, explanations that attribute cognitive mechanisms to individual variation in problem-solving performance have revealed conflicting results. We investigated individual consistency in problem-solving performances in captive-reared pheasant chicks, Phasianus colchicus , and addressed whether success depends on cognitive processes, such as trial-and-error associative learning, or whether performances may be driven solely via noncognitive motivational mechanisms, revealed through subjects' willingness to approach, engage with and persist in their interactions with an apparatus, or via physiological traits such as body condition. While subjects' participation and success were consistent within the same problems and across similar tasks, their performances were inconsistent across different types of task. Moreover, subjects' latencies to approach each test apparatus and their attempts to access the reward were not repeatable across trials. Successful individuals did not improve their performances with experience, nor were they consistent in their techniques in repeated presentations of a task. However, individuals that were highly motivated to enter the experimental chamber were more likely to participate. Successful individuals were also faster to approach each test apparatus and more persistent in their attempts to solve the tasks than unsuccessful individuals. Our findings therefore suggest that individual differences in problem-solving success can arise from inherent motivational differences alone and hence be achieved without inferring more complex cognitive processes.

  6. Age- and sex-related disturbance in a battery of sensorimotor and cognitive tasks in Kunming mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Gui-Hai; Wang, Yue-Ju; Zhang, Li-Qun; Zhou, Jiang-Ning

    2004-12-15

    A battery of tasks, i.e. beam walking, open field, tightrope, radial six-arm water maze (RAWM), novel-object recognition and olfactory discrimination, was used to determine whether there was age- and sex-related memory deterioration in Kunming (KM) mice, and whether these tasks are independent or correlated with each other. Two age groups of KM mice were used: a younger group (7-8 months old, 12 males and 11 females) and an older group (17-18 months old, 12 males and 12 females). The results showed that the spatial learning ability and memory in the RAWM were lower in older female KM mice relative to younger female mice and older male mice. Consistent with this, in the novel-object recognition task, a non-spatial cognitive task, older female mice but not older male mice had impairment of short-term memory. In olfactory discrimination, another non-spatial task, the older mice retained this ability. Interestingly, female mice performed better than males, especially in the younger group. The older females exhibited sensorimotor impairment in the tightrope task and low locomotor activity in the open-field task. Moreover, older mice spent a longer time in the peripheral squares of the open-field than younger ones. The non-spatial cognitive performance in the novel-object recognition and olfactory discrimination tasks was related to performance in the open-field, whereas the spatial cognitive performance in the RAWM was not related to performance in any of the three sensorimotor tasks. These results suggest that disturbance of spatial learning and memory, as well as selective impairment of non-spatial learning and memory, existed in older female KM mice.

  7. Comparative evaluation of three cognitive error analysis methods through an application to accident management tasks in NPPs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, Won Dea; Kim, Jae Whan; Ha, Jae Joo; Yoon, Wan C.

    1999-01-01

    This study was performed to comparatively evaluate selected Human Reliability Analysis (HRA) methods which mainly focus on cognitive error analysis, and to derive the requirement of a new human error analysis (HEA) framework for Accident Management (AM) in nuclear power plants(NPPs). In order to achieve this goal, we carried out a case study of human error analysis on an AM task in NPPs. In the study we evaluated three cognitive HEA methods, HRMS, CREAM and PHECA, which were selected through the review of the currently available seven cognitive HEA methods. The task of reactor cavity flooding was chosen for the application study as one of typical tasks of AM in NPPs. From the study, we derived seven requirement items for a new HEA method of AM in NPPs. We could also evaluate the applicability of three cognitive HEA methods to AM tasks. CREAM is considered to be more appropriate than others for the analysis of AM tasks. But, PHECA is regarded less appropriate for the predictive HEA technique as well as for the analysis of AM tasks. In addition to these, the advantages and disadvantages of each method are described. (author)

  8. Need for cognition and cognitive performance from a cross-cultural perspective: examples of academic success and solving anagrams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gülgöz, S

    2001-01-01

    The cross-cultural validity of the Need for Cognition Scale and its relationship with cognitive performance were investigated in two studies. In the first study, the relationships between the scale and university entrance scores, course grades, study skills, and social desirability were examined. Using the short form of the Turkish version of the Need for Cognition Scale (S. Gülöz & C. J. Sadowski, 1995) no correlation with academic performance was found but there was significant correlation with a study skills scale and a social desirability scale created for this study. When regression analysis was used to predict grade point average, the Need for Cognition Scale was a significant predictor. In the second study, participants low or high in need for cognition solved multiple-solution anagrams. The instructions preceding the task set the participants' expectations regarding task difficulty. An interaction between expectation and need for cognition indicated that participants with low need for cognition performed worse when they expected difficult problems. Results of the two studies showed that need for cognition has cross-cultural validity and that its effect on cognitive performance was mediated by other variables.

  9. Limitations in dual-task performance

    OpenAIRE

    Pannebakker, Merel Mathilde

    2009-01-01

    In this thesis, the effect of information-processing overload on working-memory dependent information processing was examined using dual-task paradigms. The experiments described strengthen the importance of a functional explanation for dual-task limitations. First, it showed evidence for a unified coding medium (as put forward in the theory of event coding; Hommel, Müsseler, Aschersleben, & Prinz, 2001) in which features, operations and responses are available and can influence each other. A...

  10. The Effects of Aerobic Exercise and Gaming on Cognitive Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douris, Peter C; Handrakis, John P; Apergis, Demitra; Mangus, Robert B; Patel, Rima; Limtao, Jessica; Platonova, Svetlana; Gregorio, Aladino; Luty, Elliot

    2018-03-01

    The purpose of our study was to investigate the effects of video gaming, aerobic exercise (biking), and the combination of these two activities on the domains of cognitive performance: selective attention, processing speed, and executive functioning. The study was a randomized clinical trial with 40 subjects (mean age 23.7 ± 1.8 years) randomized to one of four thirty-minute conditions: video gaming, biking, simultaneous gaming and biking, and a control condition. Cognitive performance was measured pre and post condition using the Stroop test and Trails B test. A mixed design was utilized. While video gaming, biking, simultaneous gaming and biking conditions improved selective attention and processing speed (p bike condition improved the highest order of cognitive performance, executive function (p biking and gaming may have surpassed attentional capacity limits, ultimately increasing errors during the executive function tests of our cognitive performance battery. The results suggest that the fatiguing effects of a combined physically and mentally challenging task that extends after the exercise cessation may overcome the eventual beneficial cognitive effects derived from the physical exercise.

  11. Alterations in Resting-State Activity Relate to Performance in a Verbal Recognition Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Zunini, Rocío A.; Thivierge, Jean-Philippe; Kousaie, Shanna; Sheppard, Christine; Taler, Vanessa

    2013-01-01

    In the brain, resting-state activity refers to non-random patterns of intrinsic activity occurring when participants are not actively engaged in a task. We monitored resting-state activity using electroencephalogram (EEG) both before and after a verbal recognition task. We show a strong positive correlation between accuracy in verbal recognition and pre-task resting-state alpha power at posterior sites. We further characterized this effect by examining resting-state post-task activity. We found marked alterations in resting-state alpha power when comparing pre- and post-task periods, with more pronounced alterations in participants that attained higher task accuracy. These findings support a dynamical view of cognitive processes where patterns of ongoing brain activity can facilitate –or interfere– with optimal task performance. PMID:23785436

  12. Effective Team Support: From Task and Cognitive Modeling to Software Agents for Time-Critical Complex Work Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remington, Roger W. (Technical Monitor); John, Bonnie E.; Sycara, Katia

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this research contract was to perform multidisciplinary research between CMU psychologists, computer scientists and NASA researchers to design a next generation collaborative system to support a team of human experts and intelligent agents. To achieve robust performance enhancement of such a system, we had proposed to perform task and cognitive modeling to thoroughly understand the impact technology makes on the organization and on key individual personnel. Guided by cognitively-inspired requirements, we would then develop software agents that support the human team in decision making, information filtering, information distribution and integration to enhance team situational awareness. During the period covered by this final report, we made substantial progress in completing a system for empirical data collection, cognitive modeling, and the building of software agents to support a team's tasks, and in running experiments for the collection of baseline data.

  13. Emotion recognition and cognitive empathy deficits in adolescent offenders revealed by context-sensitive tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Luz eGonzalez-Gadea

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Emotion recognition and empathy abilities require the integration of contextual information in real-life scenarios. Previous reports have explored these domains in adolescent offenders (AOs but have not used tasks that replicate everyday situations. In this study we included ecological measures with different levels of contextual dependence to evaluate emotion recognition and empathy in AOs relative to non-offenders, controlling for the effect of demographic variables. We also explored the influence of fluid intelligence (FI and executive functions (EFs in the prediction of relevant deficits in these domains. Our results showed that AOs exhibit deficits in context-sensitive measures of emotion recognition and cognitive empathy. Difficulties in these tasks were neither explained by demographic variables nor predicted by FI or EFs. However, performance on measures that included simpler stimuli or could be solved by explicit knowledge was either only partially affected by demographic variables or preserved in AOs. These findings indicate that AOs show contextual social-cognition impairments which are relatively independent of basic cognitive functioning and demographic variables.

  14. Re-thinking stages of cognitive development: an appraisal of connectionist models on the balance scale task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quinlan, P.T.; van der Maas, H.L.J.; Jansen, B.R.J.; Booij, O.; Rendell, M.

    2007-01-01

    The present paper re-appraises connectionist attempts to explain how human cognitive development appears to progress through a series of sequential stages. Models of performance on the Piagetian balance scale task are the focus of attention. Limitations of these models are discussed and replications

  15. Specific Interference between a Cognitive Task and Sensory Organization for Stance Balance Control in Healthy Young Adults: Visuospatial Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Raymond K. Y.; Mills, Bradley; Dailey, Leanna; Lane, Elizabeth; Smith, Sarah; Lee, Kyoung-Hyun

    2010-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that a computational overload results when two activities, one motor and the other cognitive that draw on the same neural processing pathways, are performed concurrently. Healthy young adult subjects carried out two seemingly distinct tasks of maintaining standing balance control under conditions of low (eyes closed),…

  16. Designing simulator-based training: An approach integrating cognitive task analysis and four-component instructional design

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tjiam, I.M.; Schout, B.M.; Hendrikx, A.J.M.; Scherpbier, A.J.J.A.; Witjes, J.A.; Van Merrienboer, J.J.

    2012-01-01

    Most studies of simulator-based surgical skills training have focused on the acquisition of psychomotor skills, but surgical procedures are complex tasks requiring both psychomotor and cognitive skills. As skills training is modelled on expert performance consisting partly of unconscious automatic

  17. Methodological recommendations for cognition trials in bipolar disorder by the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Targeting Cognition Task Force

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miskowiak, K W; Burdick, K E; Martinez-Aran, A

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To aid the development of treatment for cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder, the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) convened a task force to create a consensus-based guidance paper for the methodology and design of cognition trials in bipolar disorder. METHODS...... of treatments to illness stage and using a multimodal approach. CONCLUSIONS: This ISBD task force guidance paper provides the first consensus-based recommendations for cognition trials in bipolar disorder. Adherence to these recommendations will likely improve the sensitivity in detecting treatment efficacy...

  18. Error framing effects on performance: cognitive, motivational, and affective pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele-Johnson, Debra; Kalinoski, Zachary T

    2014-01-01

    Our purpose was to examine whether positive error framing, that is, making errors salient and cuing individuals to see errors as useful, can benefit learning when task exploration is constrained. Recent research has demonstrated the benefits of a newer approach to training, that is, error management training, that includes the opportunity to actively explore the task and framing errors as beneficial to learning complex tasks (Keith & Frese, 2008). Other research has highlighted the important role of errors in on-the-job learning in complex domains (Hutchins, 1995). Participants (N = 168) from a large undergraduate university performed a class scheduling task. Results provided support for a hypothesized path model in which error framing influenced cognitive, motivational, and affective factors which in turn differentially affected performance quantity and quality. Within this model, error framing had significant direct effects on metacognition and self-efficacy. Our results suggest that positive error framing can have beneficial effects even when tasks cannot be structured to support extensive exploration. Whereas future research can expand our understanding of error framing effects on outcomes, results from the current study suggest that positive error framing can facilitate learning from errors in real-time performance of tasks.

  19. Cognitive Modeling and Task Analysis: Basic Processes and Individual Differences

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ackerman, Phillip

    1999-01-01

    ... in a complex-skill environment. The subset of task conditions selected were those that involve basic processes of working memory, task monitoring, and differential loads on spatial reasoning and speed of perceiving...

  20. The Effect of Focus on Form and Task Complexity on L2 Learners' Oral Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salimi, Asghar

    2015-01-01

    Second Language learners' oral task performance has been one of interesting and research generating areas of investigations in the field of second language acquisition specially, task-based language teaching and learning. The main purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of focus on form and task complexity on L2 learners' oral…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Executive functioning in preschool children: performance on A-not-B and other delayed response format tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espy, K A; Kaufmann, P M; McDiarmid, M D; Glisky, M L

    1999-11-01

    The A-not-B (AB) task has been hypothesized to measure executive/frontal lobe function; however, the developmental and measurement characteristics of this task have not been investigated. Performances on AB and comparison tasks adapted from developmental and neuroscience literature was examined in 117 preschool children (ages 23-66 months). Age significantly predicted performance on AB, Delayed Alternation, Spatial Reversal, Color Reversal, and Self-Control tasks. A four-factor analytic model best fit task performance data. AB task indices loaded on two factors with measures from the Self-Control and Delayed Alternation tasks, respectively. AB indices did not load with those from the reversal tasks despite similarities in task administration and presumed cognitive demand (working memory). These results indicate that AB is sensitive to individual differences in age-related performance in preschool children and suggest that AB performance is related to both working memory and inhibition processes in this age range.

  3. The Role of Cognitive Load in Intentional Forgetting Using the Think/No-Think Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen, Saima; de Fockert, Jan W

    2017-01-01

    We investigated the role of cognitive control in intentional forgetting by manipulating working memory load during the think/no-think task. In two experiments, participants learned a series of cue-target word pairs and were asked to recall the target words associated with some cues or to avoid thinking about the target associated with other cues. In addition to this, participants also performed a modified version of the n-back task which required them to respond to the identity of a single target letter present in the currently presented cue word (n = 0 condition, low working memory load), and in either the previous cue word (n = 1 condition, high working memory load, Experiment 1) or the cue word presented two trials previously (n = 2 condition, high working memory load, Experiment 2). Participants' memory for the target words was subsequently tested using same and novel independent probes. In both experiments it was found that although participants were successful at forgetting on both the same and independent-probe tests in the low working memory load condition, they were only successful at forgetting on the same-probe test in the high working memory load condition. We argue that our findings suggest that the high load working memory task diverted attention from direct suppression and acted as an interference-based strategy. Thus, when cognitive resources are limited participants can switch between the strategies they use to prevent unwanted memories from coming to mind.

  4. Heart rate variability and cognitive processing: The autonomic response to task demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque-Casado, Antonio; Perales, José C; Cárdenas, David; Sanabria, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated variations in heart rate variability (HRV) as a function of cognitive demands. Participants completed an execution condition including the psychomotor vigilance task, a working memory task and a duration discrimination task. The control condition consisted of oddball versions (participants had to detect the rare event) of the tasks from the execution condition, designed to control for the effect of the task parameters (stimulus duration and stimulus rate) on HRV. The NASA-TLX questionnaire was used as a subjective measure of cognitive workload across tasks and conditions. Three major findings emerged from this study. First, HRV varied as a function of task demands (with the lowest values in the working memory task). Second, and crucially, we found similar HRV values when comparing each of the tasks with its oddball control equivalent, and a significant decrement in HRV as a function of time-on-task. Finally, the NASA-TLX results showed larger cognitive workload in the execution condition than in the oddball control condition, and scores variations as a function of task. Taken together, our results suggest that HRV is highly sensitive to overall demands of sustained attention over and above the influence of other cognitive processes suggested by previous literature. In addition, our study highlights a potential dissociation between objective and subjective measures of mental workload, with important implications in applied settings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Virtual street-crossing performance in persons with multiple sclerosis: Feasibility and task performance characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stratton, M E; Pilutti, L A; Crowell, J A; Kaczmarski, H; Motl, R W

    2017-01-02

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that commonly results in physical and cognitive dysfunction. Accordingly, MS might impact the ability to safely cross the street. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of a simulated street-crossing task in persons with MS and to determine differences in street-crossing performance between persons with MS and non-MS controls. 26 participants with MS (median Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS] score = 3.5) and 19 controls completed 40 trials of a virtual street-crossing task. There were 2 crossing conditions (i.e., no distraction and phone conversation), and participants performed 20 trials per condition. Participants were instructed that the goal of the task was to cross the street successfully (i.e., without being hit be a vehicle). The primary outcome was task feasibility, assessed as completion and adverse events. Secondary outcomes were measures of street-crossing performance. Overall, the simulated street-crossing task was feasible (i.e., 90% completion, no adverse events) in participants with MS. Participants with MS waited longer and were less attentive to traffic before entering the street compared with controls (all P .05). A virtual street-crossing task is feasible for studying street-crossing behavior in persons with mild MS and most individuals with moderate MS. Virtual street-crossing performance is impaired in persons with MS compared to controls; however, persons with MS do not appear to be more vulnerable to a distracting condition. The virtual reality environment presents a safe and useful setting for understanding pedestrian behavior in persons with MS.

  6. The Neurocognitive Basis for Impaired Dual-Task Performance in Senior Fallers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagamatsu, Lindsay S; Hsu, C Liang; Voss, Michelle W; Chan, Alison; Bolandzadeh, Niousha; Handy, Todd C; Graf, Peter; Beattie, B Lynn; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa

    2016-01-01

    Falls are a major health-care concern, and while dual-task performance is widely recognized as being impaired in those at-risk for falls, the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms remain unknown. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms could lead to the refinement and development of behavioral, cognitive, or neuropharmacological interventions for falls prevention. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional study with community-dwelling older adults aged 70-80 years with a history of falls (i.e., two or more falls in the past 12 months) or no history of falls (i.e., zero falls in the past 12 months); n = 28 per group. We compared functional activation during cognitive-based dual-task performance between fallers and non-fallers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Executive cognitive functioning was assessed via Stroop, Trail Making, and Digit Span. Mobility was assessed via the Timed Up and Go test (TUG). We found that non-fallers exhibited significantly greater functional activation compared with fallers during dual-task performance in key regions responsible for resolving dual-task interference, including precentral, postcentral, and lingual gyri. Further, we report slower reaction times during dual-task performance in fallers and significant correlations between level of functional activation and independent measures of executive cognitive functioning and mobility. Our study is the first neuroimaging study to examine dual-task performance in fallers, and supports the notion that fallers have reduced functional brain activation compared with non-fallers. Given that dual-task performance-and the underlying neural concomitants-appears to be malleable with relevant training, our study serves as a launching point for promising strategies to reduce falls in the future.

  7. How age affects memory task performance in clinically normal hearing persons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vercammen, Charlotte; Goossens, Tine; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid

    2017-05-01

    The main objective of this study is to investigate memory task performance in different age groups, irrespective of hearing status. Data are collected on a short-term memory task (WAIS-III Digit Span forward) and two working memory tasks (WAIS-III Digit Span backward and the Reading Span Test). The tasks are administered to young (20-30 years, n = 56), middle-aged (50-60 years, n = 47), and older participants (70-80 years, n = 16) with normal hearing thresholds. All participants have passed a cognitive screening task (Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)). Young participants perform significantly better than middle-aged participants, while middle-aged and older participants perform similarly on the three memory tasks. Our data show that older clinically normal hearing persons perform equally well on the memory tasks as middle-aged persons. However, even under optimal conditions of preserved sensory processing, changes in memory performance occur. Based on our data, these changes set in before middle age.

  8. Implicit and Explicit Knowledge Both Improve Dual Task Performance in a Continuous Pursuit Tracking Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewolds, Harald E; Bröker, Laura; de Oliveira, Rita F; Raab, Markus; Künzell, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of predictability on dual-task performance in a continuous tracking task. Participants practiced either informed (explicit group) or uninformed (implicit group) about a repeated segment in the curves they had to track. In Experiment 1 participants practices the tracking task only, dual-task performance was assessed after by combining the tracking task with an auditory reaction time task. Results showed both groups learned equally well and tracking performance on a predictable segment in the dual-task condition was better than on random segments. However, reaction times did not benefit from a predictable tracking segment. To investigate the effect of learning under dual-task situation participants in Experiment 2 practiced the tracking task while simultaneously performing the auditory reaction time task. No learning of the repeated segment could be demonstrated for either group during the training blocks, in contrast to the test-block and retention test, where participants performed better on the repeated segment in both dual-task and single-task conditions. Only the explicit group improved from test-block to retention test. As in Experiment 1, reaction times while tracking a predictable segment were no better than reaction times while tracking a random segment. We concluded that predictability has a positive effect only on the predictable task itself possibly because of a task-shielding mechanism. For dual-task training there seems to be an initial negative effect of explicit instructions, possibly because of fatigue, but the advantage of explicit instructions was demonstrated in a retention test. This might be due to the explicit memory system informing or aiding the implicit memory system.

  9. The right look for the job: decoding cognitive processes involved in the task from spatial eye-movement patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Król, Magdalena Ewa; Król, Michał

    2018-02-20

    The aim of the study was not only to demonstrate whether eye-movement-based task decoding was possible but also to investigate whether eye-movement patterns can be used to identify cognitive processes behind the tasks. We compared eye-movement patterns elicited under different task conditions, with tasks differing systematically with regard to the types of cognitive processes involved in solving them. We used four tasks, differing along two dimensions: spatial (global vs. local) processing (Navon, Cognit Psychol, 9(3):353-383 1977) and semantic (deep vs. shallow) processing (Craik and Lockhart, J Verbal Learn Verbal Behav, 11(6):671-684 1972). We used eye-movement patterns obtained from two time periods: fixation cross preceding the target stimulus and the target stimulus. We found significant effects of both spatial and semantic processing, but in case of the latter, the effect might be an artefact of insufficient task control. We found above chance task classification accuracy for both time periods: 51.4% for the period of stimulus presentation and 34.8% for the period of fixation cross presentation. Therefore, we show that task can be to some extent decoded from the preparatory eye-movements before the stimulus is displayed. This suggests that anticipatory eye-movements reflect the visual scanning strategy employed for the task at hand. Finally, this study also demonstrates that decoding is possible even from very scant eye-movement data similar to Coco and Keller, J Vis 14(3):11-11 (2014). This means that task decoding is not limited to tasks that naturally take longer to perform and yield multi-second eye-movement recordings.

  10. Group social rank is associated with performance on a spatial learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langley, Ellis J G; van Horik, Jayden O; Whiteside, Mark A; Madden, Joah R

    2018-02-01

    Dominant individuals differ from subordinates in their performances on cognitive tasks across a suite of taxa. Previous studies often only consider dyadic relationships, rather than the more ecologically relevant social hierarchies or networks, hence failing to account for how dyadic relationships may be adjusted within larger social groups. We used a novel statistical method: randomized Elo-ratings, to infer the social hierarchy of 18 male pheasants, Phasianus colchicus , while in a captive, mixed-sex group with a linear hierarchy. We assayed individual learning performance of these males on a binary spatial discrimination task to investigate whether inter-individual variation in performance is associated with group social rank. Task performance improved with increasing trial number and was positively related to social rank, with higher ranking males showing greater levels of success. Motivation to participate in the task was not related to social rank or task performance, thus indicating that these rank-related differences are not a consequence of differences in motivation to complete the task. Our results provide important information about how variation in cognitive performance relates to an individual's social rank within a group. Whether the social environment causes differences in learning performance or instead, inherent differences in learning ability predetermine rank remains to be tested.

  11. Children exhibit different performance patterns in explicit and implicit theory of mind tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oktay-Gür, Nese; Schulz, Alexandra; Rakoczy, Hannes

    2018-04-01

    Three studies tested scope and limits of children's implicit and explicit theory of mind. In Studies 1 and 2, three- to six-year-olds (N = 84) were presented with closely matched explicit false belief tasks that differed in whether or not they required an understanding of aspectuality. Results revealed that children performed equally well in the different tasks, and performance was strongly correlated. Study 3 tested two-year-olds (N = 81) in implicit interactive versions of these tasks and found evidence for dis-unity: children performed competently only in those tasks that did not require an understanding of aspectuality. Taken together, the present findings suggest that early implicit and later explicit theory of mind tasks may tap different forms of cognitive capacities. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Performance in complex motor tasks deteriorates in hyperthermic humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Piil, Jacob Feder; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper; Trangmar, Steven J

    2017-01-01

    -motor tracking performance was reduced by 10.7 ± 6.5% following exercise-induced hyperthermia when integrated in the multipart protocol and 4.4 ± 5.7% when tested separately (bothP 1.3% (P math tasks...... of information or decision-making prior to responding. We hypothesized that divergences could relate to task complexity and developed a protocol consisting of 1) simple motor task [TARGET_pinch], 2) complex motor task [Visuo-motor tracking], 3) simple math task [MATH_type], 4) combined motor-math task [MATH...

  13. Evaluation of Cognitive Complexity of Tasks for the Topic Hydrogen Exponent in the Solutions of Acids and Bases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saša Horvat

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was evaluation of cognitive complexity of tasks for the topic hydrogen exponent in the solutions of acids and bases and its validation. The created procedure included an assessment of the difficulty of concepts and an assessment of their interactivity. There were 48 freshmen students enrolled in the study program Basic academic studies in chemistry. As a research instrument for assessing performance, test of knowledge was specifically constructed for this research. Each task in the test was followed by a seven-point Likert scale for the evaluation of invested mental effort. The evaluation of cognitive complexity was confirmed by a series of linear regression analysis where high values of correlation coefficients are obtained among the examined variables: student’s performance and invested mental effort (dependent variables and cognitive complexity (independent variable.

  14. Developmental Progression of Looking and Reaching Performance on the A-Not-B Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2010-01-01

    From a neuropsychological perspective, the cognitive skills of working memory, inhibition, and attention and the maturation of the frontal lobe are requisites for successful A-not-B performance on both the looking and reaching versions of the task. This study used a longitudinal design to examine the developmental progression of infants'…

  15. How Are Task Reflexivity and Intercultural Sensitivity Related to the Academic Performance of MBA Students?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyubovnikova, Joanne; Napiersky, Uwe; Vlachopoulos, Panos

    2015-01-01

    Higher education in business school environments is increasingly focused on how to best equip students with the skills necessary for leadership in the global workplace. This paper examines the impact of two particularly important cognitive capabilities--task reflexivity and intercultural sensitivity, on academic performance in an MBA programme. It…

  16. The Impact of Feedback Frequency on Learning and Task Performance: Challenging the "More Is Better" Assumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Chak Fu; DeRue, D. Scott; Karam, Elizabeth P.; Hollenbeck, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Previous research on feedback frequency suggests that more frequent feedback improves learning and task performance (Salmoni, Schmidt, & Walter, 1984). Drawing from resource allocation theory (Kanfer & Ackerman, 1989), we challenge the "more is better" assumption and propose that frequent feedback can overwhelm an individual's cognitive resource…

  17. Tower of Hanoi disk-transfer task: Influences of strategy knowledge and learning on performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Welsh, M.C.; Huizinga, M.

    2005-01-01

    Tower of Hanoi has become a popular tool in cognitive and neuropsychology to assess a set of behaviors collectively referred to as executive functions. Substantial variability in performance on the Tower of Hanoi (TOH) disk-transfer task among normally functioning young adults, and potential

  18. Functional relationship between cognitive representations of movement directions and visuomotor adaptation performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lex, Heiko; Weigelt, Matthias; Knoblauch, Andreas; Schack, Thomas

    2012-12-01

    The aim of our study was to explore whether or not different types of learners in a sensorimotor task possess characteristically different cognitive representations. Participants' sensorimotor adaptation performance was measured with a pointing paradigm which used a distortion of the visual feedback in terms of a left-right reversal. The structure of cognitive representations was assessed using a newly established experimental method, the Cognitive Measurement of Represented Directions. A post hoc analysis revealed inter-individual differences in participants' adaptation performance, and three different skill levels (skilled, average, and poor adapters) have been defined. These differences in performance were correlated with the structure of participants' cognitive representations of movement directions. Analysis of these cognitive representations revealed performance advantages for participants possessing a global cognitive representation of movement directions (aligned to cardinal movement axes), rather than a local representation (aligned to each neighboring direction). Our findings are evidence that cognitive representation structures play a functional role in adaptation performance.

  19. Effects on Task Performance and Psychophysiological Measures of Performance During Normobaric Hypoxia Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Chad; Kennedy, Kellie; Napoli, Nicholas; Demas, Matthew; Barnes, Laura; Crook, Brenda; Williams, Ralph; Last, Mary Carolyn; Schutte, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Human-autonomous systems have the potential to mitigate pilot cognitive impairment and improve aviation safety. A research team at NASA Langley conducted an experiment to study the impact of mild normobaric hypoxia induction on aircraft pilot performance and psychophysiological state. A within-subjects design involved non-hypoxic and hypoxic exposures while performing three 10-minute tasks. Results indicated the effect of 15,000 feet simulated altitude did not induce significant performance decrement but did produce increase in perceived workload. Analyses of psychophysiological responses evince the potential of biomarkers for hypoxia onset. This study represents on-going work at NASA intending to add to the current knowledge of psychophysiologically-based input to automation to increase aviation safety. Analyses involving coupling across physiological systems and wavelet transforms of cortical activity revealed patterns that can discern between the simulated altitude conditions. Specifically, multivariate entropy of ECG/Respiration components were found to be significant predictors (pTask performance was not appreciably impacted by the effect of 15,000 feet simulated altitude. Analyses of psychophysiological responses evince the potential of biomarkers for mild hypoxia onset.The potential for identifying shifts in underlying cortical and physiological systems could serve as a means to identify the onset of deteriorated cognitive state. Enabling such assessment in future flightdecks could permit increasingly autonomous systems-supported operations. Augmenting human operator through assessment of cognitive impairment has the potential to further improve operator performance and mitigate human error in safety critical contexts. This study represents ongoing work at NASA intending to add to the current knowledge of psychophysiologically-based input to automation to increase aviation safety.

  20. Continuous Performance Tasks: Not Just about Sustaining Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Improving our understanding of multi-tasking in healthcare: Drawing together the cognitive psychology and healthcare literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, Heather E; Raban, Magdalena Z; Walter, Scott R; Westbrook, Johanna I

    2017-03-01

    Multi-tasking is an important skill for clinical work which has received limited research attention. Its impacts on clinical work are poorly understood. In contrast, there is substantial multi-tasking research in cognitive psychology, driver distraction, and human-computer interaction. This review synthesises evidence of the extent and impacts of multi-tasking on efficiency and task performance from health and non-healthcare literature, to compare and contrast approaches, identify implications for clinical work, and to develop an evidence-informed framework for guiding the measurement of multi-tasking in future healthcare studies. The results showed healthcare studies using direct observation have focused on descriptive studies to quantify concurrent multi-tasking and its frequency in different contexts, with limited study of impact. In comparison, non-healthcare studies have applied predominantly experimental and simulation designs, focusing on interleaved and concurrent multi-tasking, and testing theories of the mechanisms by which multi-tasking impacts task efficiency and performance. We propose a framework to guide the measurement of multi-tasking in clinical settings that draws together lessons from these siloed research efforts. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. Lexical selection in the semantically blocked cyclic naming task: The role of cognitive control and learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason E. Crowther

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies of semantic interference in language production have provided evidence for a role of cognitive control mechanisms in regulating the activation of semantic competitors during naming. The present study investigated the relationship between individual differences in cognitive control abilities, for both younger and older adults, and the degree of semantic interference in a blocked cyclic naming task. We predicted that individuals with lower working memory capacity (as measured by word span, lesser ability to inhibit distracting responses (as measured by Stroop interference, and a lesser ability to resolve proactive interference (as measured by a recent negatives task would show a greater increase in semantic interference in naming, with effects being larger for older adults. Instead, measures of cognitive control were found to relate to specific indices of semantic interference in the naming task, rather than overall degree of semantic interference, and few interactions with age were found, with younger and older adults performing similarly. The increase in naming latencies across naming trials within a cycle were negatively correlated with word span for both related and unrelated conditions, suggesting a strategy of narrowing response alternatives based upon memory for the set of item names. Evidence for a role of inhibition in response selection was obtained, as Stroop interference correlated positively with the change in naming latencies across cycles for the related, but not unrelated, condition. In contrast, recent negatives interference correlated negatively with the change in naming latencies across unrelated cycles, suggesting that individual differences in this tap the degree of strengthening of links in a lexical network based upon prior exposure. Results are discussed in terms of current models of lexical selection and consequences for word retrieval in more naturalistic production.

  3. Rapid Authoring of Task Knowledge for Training and Performance Support

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mohammed, John L; Sorensen, Barbara; Ong, James C; Li, Jian

    2005-01-01

    .... These systems use hierarchical, object-oriented task representations that enable rapid authoring by non-programmers while supporting sophisticated job aiding and student performance evaluation...

  4. Reverse translated and gold standard continuous performance tests predict global cognitive performance in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bismark, Andrew W; Thomas, Michael L; Tarasenko, Melissa; Shiluk, Alexandra L; Rackelmann, Sonia Y; Young, Jared W; Light, Gregory A

    2018-04-12

    Attentional dysfunction contributes to functional impairments in schizophrenia (SZ). Sustained attention is typically assessed via continuous performance tasks (CPTs), though many CPTs have limited cross-species translational validity and place demands on additional cognitive domains. A reverse-translated 5-Choice Continuous Performance Task (5C-CPT) for human testing-originally developed for use in rodents-was designed to minimize demands on perceptual, visual learning, processing speed, or working memory functions. To-date, no studies have validated the 5C-CPT against gold standard attentional measures nor evaluated how 5C-CPT scores relate to cognition in SZ. Here we examined the relationship between the 5C-CPT and the CPT-Identical Pairs (CPT-IP), an established and psychometrically robust measure of vigilance from the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) in a sample of SZ patients (n = 35). Relationships to global and individual subdomains of cognition were also assessed. 5C-CPT and CPT-IP measures of performance (d-prime) were strongly correlated (r = 0.60). In a regression model, the 5C-CPT and CPT-IP collectively accounted for 54% of the total variance in MCCB total scores, and 27.6% of overall cognitive variance was shared between the 5C-CPT and CPT-IP. These results indicate that the reverse translated 5C-CPT and the gold standard CPT-IP index a common attentional construct that also significantly overlaps with variance in general cognitive performance. The use of simple, cross-species validated behavioral indices of attentional/cognitive functioning such as the 5C-CPT could accelerate the development of novel generalized pro-cognitive therapeutics for SZ and related neuropsychiatric disorders.

  5. Disadvantageous Deck Selection in the Iowa Gambling Task: The Effect of Cognitive Load

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa J. Hawthorne

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Research has shown that cognitive load affects overall Iowa Gambling Task (IGT performance, but it is unknown whether such load impacts the selection of the individual decks that correspond to gains or losses. Here, participants performed the IGT either in a full attention condition or while engaged in a number monitoring task to divide attention. Results showed that the full attention group was more aware of the magnitude of gains or losses for each draw (i.e., payoff awareness than was the divided attention group. However, the divided attention group was more sensitive to the frequency of the losses (i.e., frequency awareness, as evidenced by their increased preference for Deck B, which is the large but infrequent loss deck. An analysis across blocks showed that the number monitoring group was consistently more aware of loss frequency, whereas the full attention group shifted between awareness of loss frequency and awareness of payoff amount. Furthermore, the full attention group was better able to weigh loss frequency and payoff amount when making deck selections. These findings support the notion that diminished cognitive resources may result in greater selection of Deck B, otherwise known as the prominent Deck B phenomenon.

  6. Do absorption and realistic distraction influence performance of component task surgical procedure?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pluyter, Jon R; Buzink, Sonja N; Rutkowski, Anne-F; Jakimowicz, Jack J

    2010-04-01

    Surgeons perform complex tasks while exposed to multiple distracting sources that may increase stress in the operating room (e.g., music, conversation, and unadapted use of sophisticated technologies). This study aimed to examine whether such realistic social and technological distracting conditions may influence surgical performance. Twelve medical interns performed a laparoscopic cholecystectomy task with the Xitact LC 3.0 virtual reality simulator under distracting conditions (exposure to music, conversation, and nonoptimal handling of the laparoscope) versus nondistracting conditions (control condition) as part of a 2 x 2 within-subject experimental design. Under distracting conditions, the medical interns showed a significant decline in task performance (overall task score, task errors, and operating time) and significantly increased levels of irritation toward both the assistant handling the laparoscope in a nonoptimal way and the sources of social distraction. Furthermore, individual differences in cognitive style (i.e., cognitive absorption and need for cognition) significantly influenced the levels of irritation experienced by the medical interns. The results suggest careful evaluation of the social and technological sources of distraction in the operation room to reduce irritation for the surgeon and provision of proper preclinical laparoscope navigation training to increase security for the patient.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Appraisal, Coping, Task Performance, and Cardiovascular Responses during the Evaluated Speaking Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggett, H. Lane; And Others

    1996-01-01

    Appraisal, coping, task performance, and cardiovascular responses were examined among men high and low in speech anxiety who prepared and performed a speech under evaluative conditions. Speech-anxious men saw the task as more threatening. They were more stressed, anxious, distracted, and aware of their emotions, focused on the passage of time, and…

  9. Listen to the noise: noise is beneficial for cognitive performance in ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Söderlund, Göran; Sikström, Sverker; Smart, Andrew

    2007-08-01

    Noise is typically conceived of as being detrimental to cognitive performance. However, given the mechanism of stochastic resonance, a certain amount of noise can benefit performance. We investigate cognitive performance in noisy environments in relation to a neurocomputational model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dopamine. The Moderate Brain Arousal model (MBA; Sikström & Söderlund, 2007) suggests that dopamine levels modulate how much noise is required for optimal cognitive performance. We experimentally examine how ADHD and control children respond to different encoding conditions, providing different levels of environmental stimulation. Participants carried out self-performed mini tasks (SPT), as a high memory performance task, and a verbal task (VT), as a low memory task. These tasks were performed in the presence, or absence, of auditory white noise. Noise exerted a positive effect on cognitive performance for the ADHD group and deteriorated performance for the control group, indicating that ADHD subjects need more noise than controls for optimal cognitive performance. The positive effect of white noise is explained by the phenomenon of stochastic resonance (SR), i.e., the phenomenon that moderate noise facilitates cognitive performance. The MBA model suggests that noise in the environment, introduces internal noise into the neural system through the perceptual system. This noise induces SR in the neurotransmitter systems and makes this noise beneficial for cognitive performance. In particular, the peak of the SR curve depends on the dopamine level, so that participants with low dopamine levels (ADHD) require more noise for optimal cognitive performance compared to controls.

  10. Does Task-Set Reconfiguration Create Cognitive Slack?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Sam J.

    2005-01-01

    C. Oriet and P. Jolicoeur (see record 2003-08747-016) reported 2 experiments in which the perceptual contrast of stimuli was manipulated in a task-switching paradigm. They failed to observe an interaction in the reaction time data between task switching, perceptual contrast, and response-stimulus interval. Using the locus of slack logic, they…

  11. Self-Efficacy, Task Complexity and Task Performance: Exploring Interactions in Two Versions of Vocabulary Learning Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoli; Lowyck, Joost; Sercu, Lies; Elen, Jan

    2012-01-01

    The present study aimed for better understanding of the interactions between task complexity and students' self-efficacy beliefs and students' use of learning strategies, and finally their interacting effects on task performance. This investigation was carried out in the context of Chinese students learning English as a foreign language in a…

  12. FAST COGNITIVE AND TASK ORIENTED, ITERATIVE DATA DISPLAY (FACTOID)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-01

    rational thinking styles.," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , vol. 71, pp. 390-405., 1996. [3] S. Frederick, " Cognitive reflection and...2011. [7] D. Webster and A. Kruglanski, "Individual differences in need for cognitive closure," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , vol. 67...34The development of the Game Engagement Questionnaire: A measure of engagement in video game-playing," Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

  13. Correlating behavioral responses to FMRI signals from human prefrontal cortex: examining cognitive processes using task analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSouza, Joseph F X; Ovaysikia, Shima; Pynn, Laura

    2012-06-20

    The aim of this methods paper is to describe how to implement a neuroimaging technique to examine complementary brain processes engaged by two similar tasks. Participants' behavior during task performance in an fMRI scanner can then be correlated to the brain activity using the blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal. We measure behavior to be able to sort correct trials, where the subject performed the task correctly and then be able to examine the brain signals related to correct performance. Conversely, if subjects do not perform the task correctly, and these trials are included in the same analysis with the correct trials we would introduce trials that were not only for correct performance. Thus, in many cases these errors can be used themselves to then correlate brain activity to them. We describe two complementary tasks that are used in our lab to examine the brain during suppression of an automatic responses: the stroop(1) and anti-saccade tasks. The emotional stroop paradigm instructs participants to either report the superimposed emotional 'word' across the affective faces or the facial 'expressions' of the face stimuli(1,2). When the word and the facial expression refer to different emotions, a conflict between what must be said and what is automatically read occurs. The participant has to resolve the conflict between two simultaneously competing processes of word reading and facial expression. Our urge to read out a word leads to strong 'stimulus-response (SR)' associations; hence inhibiting these strong SR's is difficult and participants are prone to making errors. Overcoming this conflict and directing attention away from the face or the word requires the subject to inhibit bottom up processes which typically directs attention to the more salient stimulus. Similarly, in the anti-saccade task(3,4,5,6), where an instruction cue is used to direct only attention to a peripheral stimulus location but then the eye movement is made to the mirror opposite position

  14. Performance pressure and caffeine both affect cognitive performance, but likely through independent mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boere, Julia J; Fellinger, Lizz; Huizinga, Duncan J H; Wong, Sebastiaan F; Bijleveld, Erik

    2016-02-01

    A prevalent combination in daily life, performance pressure and caffeine intake have both been shown to impact people's cognitive performance. Here, we examined the possibility that pressure and caffeine affect cognitive performance via a shared pathway. In an experiment, participants performed a modular arithmetic task. Performance pressure and caffeine intake were orthogonally manipulated. Findings indicated that pressure and caffeine both negatively impacted performance. However, (a) pressure vs. caffeine affected performance on different trial types, and (b) there was no hint of an interactive effect. So, though the evidence is indirect, findings suggest that pressure and caffeine shape performance via distinct mechanisms, rather than a shared one. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The disruptive effects of pain on complex cognitive performance and executive control.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edmund Keogh

    Full Text Available Pain interferes and disrupts attention. What is less clear is how pain affects performance on complex tasks, and the strategies used to ensure optimal outcomes. The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of pain on higher-order executive control processes involved in managing complex tasks. Sixty-two adult volunteers (40 female completed two computer-based tasks: a breakfast making task and a word generation puzzle. Both were complex, involving executive control functions, including goal-directed planning and switching. Half of those recruited performed the tasks under conditions of thermal heat pain, and half with no accompanying pain. Whilst pain did not affect central performance on either task, it did have indirect effects. For the breakfast task, pain resulted in a decreased ability to multitask, with performance decrements found on the secondary task. However, no effects of pain were found on the processes thought to underpin this task. For the word generation puzzle, pain did not affect task performance, but did alter subjective accounts of the processes used to complete the task; pain affected the perceived allocation of time to the task, as well as switching perceptions. Sex differences were also found. When studying higher-order cognitive processes, pain-related interference effects are varied, and may result in subtle or indirect changes in cognition.

  16. The disruptive effects of pain on complex cognitive performance and executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keogh, Edmund; Moore, David J; Duggan, Geoffrey B; Payne, Stephen J; Eccleston, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    Pain interferes and disrupts attention. What is less clear is how pain affects performance on complex tasks, and the strategies used to ensure optimal outcomes. The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of pain on higher-order executive control processes involved in managing complex tasks. Sixty-two adult volunteers (40 female) completed two computer-based tasks: a breakfast making task and a word generation puzzle. Both were complex, involving executive control functions, including goal-directed planning and switching. Half of those recruited performed the tasks under conditions of thermal heat pain, and half with no accompanying pain. Whilst pain did not affect central performance on either task, it did have indirect effects. For the breakfast task, pain resulted in a decreased ability to multitask, with performance decrements found on the secondary task. However, no effects of pain were found on the processes thought to underpin this task. For the word generation puzzle, pain did not affect task performance, but did alter subjective accounts of the processes used to complete the task; pain affected the perceived allocation of time to the task, as well as switching perceptions. Sex differences were also found. When studying higher-order cognitive processes, pain-related interference effects are varied, and may result in subtle or indirect changes in cognition.

  17. Performance of children with autism spectrum disorder on advanced theory of mind tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brent, Ella; Rios, Patricia; Happé, Francesca; Charman, Tony

    2004-09-01

    Although a number of advanced theory of mind tasks have been developed, there is sparse information on whether performance on different tasks is associated. The study examined the performance of 20 high-functioning 6- to 12-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder and 20 controls on three high-level theory of mind tasks: Strange Stories, Cartoons and the children's version of the Eyes task. The pattern of findings suggests that the three tasks may share differing, non-specific, information-processing requirements in addition to tapping any putative mentalizing ability. They may also indicate a degree of dissociation between social-cognitive and social-perceptual or affective components of the mentalizing system.

  18. Effects of age and auditory and visual dual tasks on closed-road driving performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaparro, Alex; Wood, Joanne M; Carberry, Trent

    2005-08-01

    This study investigated how driving performance of young and old participants is affected by visual and auditory secondary tasks on a closed driving course. Twenty-eight participants comprising two age groups (younger, mean age = 27.3 years; older, mean age = 69.2 years) drove around a 5.1-km closed-road circuit under both single and dual task conditions. Measures of driving performance included detection and identification of road signs, detection and avoidance of large low-contrast road hazards, gap judgment, lane keeping, and time to complete the course. The dual task required participants to verbally report the sums of pairs of single-digit numbers presented through either a computer speaker (auditorily) or a dashboard-mounted monitor (visually) while driving. Participants also completed a vision and cognitive screening battery, including LogMAR visual acuity, Pelli-Robson letter contrast sensitivity, the Trails test, and the Digit Symbol Substitution (DSS) test. Drivers reported significantly fewer signs, hit more road hazards, misjudged more gaps, and increased their time to complete the course under the dual task (visual and auditory) conditions compared with the single task condition. The older participants also reported significantly fewer road signs and drove significantly more slowly than the younger participants, and this was exacerbated for the visual dual task condition. The results of the regression analysis revealed that cognitive aging (measured by the DSS and Trails test) rather than chronologic age was a better predictor of the declines seen in driving performance under dual task conditions. An overall z score was calculated, which took into account both driving and the secondary task (summing) performance under the two dual task conditions. Performance was significantly worse for the auditory dual task compared with the visual dual task, and the older participants performed significantly worse than the young subjects. These findings demonstrate

  19. Lessons from a pilot project in cognitive task analysis: the potential role of intermediates in preclinical teaching in dental education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Judith; von Bergmann, HsingChi

    2015-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the use of cognitive task analysis to inform the teaching of psychomotor skills and cognitive strategies in clinical tasks in dental education. Methods used were observing and videotaping an expert at one dental school thinking aloud while performing a specific preclinical task (in a simulated environment), interviewing the expert to probe deeper into his thinking processes, and applying the same procedures to analyze the performance of three second-year dental students who had recently learned the analyzed task and who represented a spectrum of their cohort's ability to undertake the procedure. The investigators sought to understand how experts (clinical educators) and intermediates (trained students) overlapped and differed at points in the procedure that represented the highest cognitive load, known as "critical incidents." Findings from this study and previous research identified possible limitations of current clinical teaching as a result of expert blind spots. These findings coupled with the growing evidence of the effectiveness of peer teaching suggest the potential role of intermediates in helping novices learn preclinical dentistry tasks.

  20. The Role of Learning Tasks on Attitude Change Using Cognitive Flexibility Hypertext Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godshalk, Veronica M.; Harvey, Douglas M.; Moller, Leslie

    2004-01-01

    In this study, the authors examined the impact of task assignment on the effectiveness of a Web-based experiential exercise based on cognitive flexibility theory to enlighten learner attitudes toward the ill-structured topic of sexual harassment. In the research study, we sought to shed light on the use of a cognitive flexibility approach when…

  1. Computer task performance by subjects with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malheiros, Silvia Regina Pinheiro; da Silva, Talita Dias; Favero, Francis Meire; de Abreu, Luiz Carlos; Fregni, Felipe; Ribeiro, Denise Cardoso; de Mello Monteiro, Carlos Bandeira

    2016-01-01

    Two specific objectives were established to quantify computer task performance among people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). First, we compared simple computational task performance between subjects with DMD and age-matched typically developing (TD) subjects. Second, we examined correlations between the ability of subjects with DMD to learn the computational task and their motor functionality, age, and initial task performance. The study included 84 individuals (42 with DMD, mean age of 18±5.5 years, and 42 age-matched controls). They executed a computer maze task; all participants performed the acquisition (20 attempts) and retention (five attempts) phases, repeating the same maze. A different maze was used to verify transfer performance (five attempts). The Motor Function Measure Scale was applied, and the results were compared with maze task performance. In the acquisition phase, a significant decrease was found in movement time (MT) between the first and last acquisition block, but only for the DMD group. For the DMD group, MT during transfer was shorter than during the first acquisition block, indicating improvement from the first acquisition block to transfer. In addition, the TD group showed shorter MT than the DMD group across the study. DMD participants improved their performance after practicing a computational task; however, the difference in MT was present in all attempts among DMD and control subjects. Computational task improvement was positively influenced by the initial performance of individuals with DMD. In turn, the initial performance was influenced by their distal functionality but not their age or overall functionality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

    Attentional control fluctuates in the presence of internal and external distractors, wandering on and off a given task. The current study investigated individual differences in attentional fluctuations in 250 preschoolers. Attentional fluctuations were assessed via intra-individual variability in response time in a Go/No-Go task. Greater fluctuations in attentional control were linked to lower task accuracy. In addition, greater attentional fluctuations predicted lower performance in a task of cognitive flexibility, the Dimensional Change Card Sort task. Attentional fluctuations were also associated with laboratory measures of academic readiness in preschool, as assessed by the Applied Problems and Letter-Word Identification subscales of the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement, which in turn predicted teacher reports of academic performance in first grade. Attentional fluctuations also had indirect associations with emergent math skills in preschool, via cog