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Sample records for define attentional enhancement

  1. Defining Human Enhancement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nordberg, Ana

    2017-01-01

    -matter definitions are vital legal tools to determine what is currently regulated in established fields of law and whether there is room for a new legal field – Enhancement Law. This paper provides a reflection on the relevance of establishing a legal definition of human enhancement and to what extent different...... legal fields and jurisdictions may warrant different understandings of such concept. It reviews a number of different and often divergent concepts and taxonomies of human enhancement and concludes with the proposal and analysis of a definition: Use of technological means with the intention to improve......Emerging technologies open the prospect of extraordinary interventions on the human body. These may go beyond what is strictly necessary to sustain health and well-being. While responding to social and ethical challenges of such advances, the Law simultaneously faces the challenge of reflecting...

  2. Enhanced attention amplifies face adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, Gillian; Jeffery, Linda; Evangelista, Emma; Ewing, Louise; Peters, Marianne; Taylor, Libby

    2011-08-15

    Perceptual adaptation not only produces striking perceptual aftereffects, but also enhances coding efficiency and discrimination by calibrating coding mechanisms to prevailing inputs. Attention to simple stimuli increases adaptation, potentially enhancing its functional benefits. Here we show that attention also increases adaptation to faces. In Experiment 1, face identity aftereffects increased when attention to adapting faces was increased using a change detection task. In Experiment 2, figural (distortion) face aftereffects increased when attention was increased using a snap game (detecting immediate repeats) during adaptation. Both were large effects. Contributions of low-level adaptation were reduced using free viewing (both experiments) and a size change between adapt and test faces (Experiment 2). We suggest that attention may enhance adaptation throughout the entire cortical visual pathway, with functional benefits well beyond the immediate advantages of selective processing of potentially important stimuli. These results highlight the potential to facilitate adaptive updating of face-coding mechanisms by strategic deployment of attentional resources. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The Unengaged Mind: Defining Boredom in Terms of Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwood, John D; Frischen, Alexandra; Fenske, Mark J; Smilek, Daniel

    2012-09-01

    Our central goal is to provide a definition of boredom in terms of the underlying mental processes that occur during an instance of boredom. Through the synthesis of psychodynamic, existential, arousal, and cognitive theories of boredom, we argue that boredom is universally conceptualized as "the aversive experience of wanting, but being unable, to engage in satisfying activity." We propose to map this conceptualization onto underlying mental processes. Specifically, we propose that boredom be defined in terms of attention. That is, boredom is the aversive state that occurs when we (a) are not able to successfully engage attention with internal (e.g., thoughts or feelings) or external (e.g., environmental stimuli) information required for participating in satisfying activity, (b) are focused on the fact that we are not able to engage attention and participate in satisfying activity, and (c) attribute the cause of our aversive state to the environment. We believe that our definition of boredom fully accounts for the phenomenal experience of boredom, brings existing theories of boredom into dialogue with one another, and suggests specific directions for future research on boredom and attention. © The Author(s) 2012.

  4. The lasting memory enhancements of retrospective attention

    OpenAIRE

    Reaves, Sarah; Strunk, Jonathan; Phillips, Shekinah; Verhaeghen, Paul; Duarte, Audrey

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral research has shown that spatial cues that orient attention toward task relevant items being maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM) enhance item memory accuracy. However, it is unknown if these retrospective attentional cues (?retro-cues?) enhance memory beyond typical short-term memory delays. It is also unknown whether retro-cues affect the spatial information associated with VSTM representations. Emerging evidence suggests that processes that affect short-term memory maint...

  5. Enhanced facilitation of spatial attention in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, Kevin M; Nestor, Paul G; Valdman, Olga; Niznikiewicz, Margaret A; Shenton, Martha E; McCarley, Robert W

    2011-01-01

    While attentional functions are usually found to be impaired in schizophrenia, a review of the literature on the orienting of spatial attention in schizophrenia suggested that voluntary attentional orienting in response to a valid cue might be paradoxically enhanced. We tested this hypothesis with orienting tasks involving the cued detection of a laterally presented target stimulus. Subjects were chronic schizophrenia patients (SZ) and matched healthy control subjects (HC). In Experiment 1 (15 SZ, 16 HC), cues were endogenous (arrows) and could be valid (100% predictive) or neutral with respect to the subsequent target position. In Experiment 2 (16 SZ, 16 HC), subjects performed a standard orienting task with unpredictive exogenous cues (brightening of the target boxes). In Experiment 1, SZ showed a larger attentional facilitation effect on reaction time than HC. In Experiment 2, no clear sign of enhanced attentional facilitation was found in SZ. The voluntary, facilitatory shifting of spatial attention may be relatively enhanced in individuals with schizophrenia in comparison to healthy individuals. This effect bears resemblance to other relative enhancements of information processing in schizophrenia such as saccade speed and semantic priming. (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

  6. The lasting memory enhancements of retrospective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reaves, Sarah; Strunk, Jonathan; Phillips, Shekinah; Verhaeghen, Paul; Duarte, Audrey

    2016-07-01

    Behavioral research has shown that spatial cues that orient attention toward task relevant items being maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM) enhance item memory accuracy. However, it is unknown if these retrospective attentional cues ("retro-cues") enhance memory beyond typical short-term memory delays. It is also unknown whether retro-cues affect the spatial information associated with VSTM representations. Emerging evidence suggests that processes that affect short-term memory maintenance may also affect long-term memory (LTM) but little work has investigated the role of attention in LTM. In the current event-related potential (ERP) study, we investigated the duration of retrospective attention effects and the impact of retrospective attention manipulations on VSTM representations. Results revealed that retro-cueing improved both VSTM and LTM memory accuracy and that posterior maximal ERPs observed during VSTM maintenance predicted subsequent LTM performance. N2pc ERPs associated with attentional selection were attenuated by retro-cueing suggesting that retrospective attention may disrupt maintenance of spatial configural information in VSTM. Collectively, these findings suggest that retrospective attention can alter the structure of memory representations, which impacts memory performance beyond short-term memory delays. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. The lasting memory enhancements of retrospective attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reaves, Sarah; Strunk, Jonathan; Phillips, Shekinah; Verhaeghen, Paul; Duarte, Audrey

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral research has shown that spatial cues that orient attention toward task relevant items being maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM) enhance item memory accuracy. However, it is unknown if these retrospective attentional cues (“retro-cues”) enhance memory beyond typical short-term memory delays. It is also unknown whether retro-cues affect the spatial information associated with VSTM representations. Emerging evidence suggests that processes that affect short-term memory maintenance may also affect long-term memory (LTM) but little work has investigated the role of attention in LTM. In the current event-related potential (ERP) study, we investigated the duration of retrospective attention effects and the impact of retrospective attention manipulations on VSTM representations. Results revealed that retro-cueing improved both VSTM and LTM memory accuracy and that posterior maximal ERPs observed during VSTM maintenance predicted subsequent LTM performance. N2pc ERPs associated with attentional selection were attenuated by retro-cueing suggesting that retrospective attention may disrupt maintenance of spatial configural information in VSTM. Collectively, these findings suggest that retrospective attention can alter the structure of memory representations, which impacts memory performance beyond short-term memory delays. PMID:27038756

  8. Exogenous attention enhances 2nd-order contrast sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbot, Antoine; Landy, Michael S.; Carrasco, Marisa

    2011-01-01

    Natural scenes contain a rich variety of contours that the visual system extracts to segregrate the retinal image into perceptually coherent regions. Covert spatial attention helps extract contours by enhancing contrast sensitivity for 1st-order, luminance-defined patterns at attended locations, while reducing sensitivity at unattended locations, relative to neutral attention allocation. However, humans are also sensitive to 2nd-order patterns such as spatial variations of texture, which are predominant in natural scenes and cannot be detected by linear mechanisms. We assess whether and how exogenous attention—the involuntary and transient capture of spatial attention—affects the contrast sensitivity of channels sensitive to 2nd-order, texture-defined patterns. Using 2nd-order, texture-defined stimuli, we demonstrate that exogenous attention increases 2nd-order contrast sensitivity at the attended location, while decreasing it at unattended locations, relative to a neutral condition. By manipulating both 1st- and 2nd-order spatial frequency, we find that the effects of attention depend both on 2nd-order spatial frequency of the stimulus and the observer’s 2nd-order spatial resolution at the target location. At parafoveal locations, attention enhances 2nd-order contrast sensitivity to high, but not to low 2nd-order spatial frequencies; at peripheral locations attention also enhances sensitivity to low 2nd-order spatial frequencies. Control experiments rule out the possibility that these effects might be due to an increase in contrast sensitivity at the 1st-order stage of visual processing. Thus, exogenous attention affects 2nd-order contrast sensitivity at both attended and unattended locations. PMID:21356228

  9. Clinical test for Attention Enhancement System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Baek-Hwan; Ku, Jeonghun; Jang, Dongpyo; Lee, Jaemin; Oh, Myungjin; Kim, Hun; Lee, Janghan; Kim, Jaeseok; Kim, Inyoung; Kim, Sunill

    2002-01-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a childhood syndrome characterized by short attention span, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity, which often leads to learning disabilities and various behavioral problems. The prevalence rates for ADHD varied from a low of 2.0% to a high of 6.3% in 1992 statistics, and it may be higher now. Using Virtual Environments and Neurofeedback, we have developed an Attention Enhancement System for treating ADHD. And we made a clinical test. Classroom-based virtual environments are constructed for intimacy and intensive attention enhancement. In this basic virtual environment, subjects performed some training sessions. There are two kinds of training sessions. One is Virtual Reality Cognitive Training (VRCT) and the other is Virtual Reality Neurofeedback Training (VRNT). In VRNT, we made a change in the virtual environment by Neurofeedback. Namely, if the Beta ratio is greater than the specified threshold level, the change as positive reinforce is created in the virtual environment. 50 subjects, aged 14 to 18, who had committed crimes and had been isolated in a reformatory took part in this study. They were randomly assigned to one of five 10-subject groups: a control Group, two placebo groups, and two experimental groups. The experimental groups and the placebo groups underwent 10 sessions over two weeks. The control group underwent no training session during the same period of time. While the experimental groups used HMD and Head Tracker in each session, the placebo groups used only a computer monitor. Consequently, only the experimental Groups could look around the virtual classroom. Besides that, Placebo Group 1 and Experimental Group 1 performed the same task(Neurofeedback Training), and Placebo Group 2 and Experimental Group 2 also performed the same task(Cognitive Training). All subjects Continuous Performance Task(CPT) before and after all training sessions. In the number of correct answers, omission errors and signal

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith eLohse

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available This manuscript presents two experiments designed to explore the effects of attention on perceived exertion and time to failure in a fatiguing athletic task. There were two major motivating factors for these experiments. First, there are few studies evaluating attentional focus effects in endurance tasks and, second, there is a lack of integration between studies of attentional focus as external/internal (e.g., Wulf, 2007 compared to associative/dissociative (e.g., Stevenson & Biddle, 1998. In Experiment 1, we used a fatiguing wall-sit posture (essentially a complex, isometric task to compare two different types of external attention with an internal focus on the position of the legs. An external focus (regardless of type increased the time taken to failure and reduced perceived exertion. In Experiment 2, we manipulated subjects’ expectancy of fatigue to test the interaction of attention and expectancy (both top-down factors in this highly fatiguing task. Previous theories of attention during endurance tasks have suggested that as fatigue/pain increase, bottom-up factors begin to dominate subjects’ attention. While this may be true, Experiment 2 showed that even in a highly fatiguing task, attentional strategies and expectancies affected the time to failure and perceived exertion.

  11. Attention during memory retrieval enhances future remembering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudukovic, Nicole M; Dubrow, Sarah; Wagner, Anthony D

    2009-10-01

    Memory retrieval is a powerful learning event that influences whether an experience will be remembered in the future. Although retrieval can succeed in the presence of distraction, dividing attention during retrieval may reduce the power of remembering as an encoding event. In the present experiments, participants studied pictures of objects under full attention and then engaged in item recognition and source memory retrieval under full or divided attention. Two days later, a second recognition and source recollection test assessed the impact of attention during initial retrieval on long-term retention. On this latter test, performance was superior for items that had been tested initially under full versus divided attention. More importantly, even when items were correctly recognized on the first test, divided attention reduced the likelihood of subsequent recognition on the second test. The same held true for source recollection. Additionally, foils presented during the first test were also less likely to be later recognized if they had been encountered initially under divided attention. These findings demonstrate that attentive retrieval is critical for learning through remembering.

  12. Joint Attention Enhances Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Samantha E. A.; Jackson, Margaret C.

    2017-01-01

    Joint attention--the mutual focus of 2 individuals on an item--speeds detection and discrimination of target information. However, what happens to that information beyond the initial perceptual episode? To fully comprehend and engage with our immediate environment also requires working memory (WM), which integrates information from second to…

  13. Methylphenidate Modulates Functional Network Connectivity to Enhance Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Sheng; Hsu, Wei-Ting; Scheinost, Dustin; Finn, Emily S.; Shen, Xilin; Constable, R. Todd; Li, Chiang-Shan R.; Chun, Marvin M.

    2016-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that human whole-brain functional connectivity patterns measured with fMRI contain information about cognitive abilities, including sustained attention. To derive behavioral predictions from connectivity patterns, our group developed a connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) approach (Finn et al., 2015; Rosenberg et al., 2016). Previously using CPM, we defined a high-attention network, comprising connections positively correlated with performance on a sustained attention task, and a low-attention network, comprising connections negatively correlated with performance. Validating the networks as generalizable biomarkers of attention, models based on network strength at rest predicted attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in an independent group of individuals (Rosenberg et al., 2016). To investigate whether these networks play a causal role in attention, here we examined their strength in healthy adults given methylphenidate (Ritalin), a common ADHD treatment, compared with unmedicated controls. As predicted, individuals given methylphenidate showed patterns of connectivity associated with better sustained attention: higher high-attention and lower low-attention network strength than controls. There was significant overlap between the high-attention network and a network with greater strength in the methylphenidate group, and between the low-attention network and a network with greater strength in the control group. Network strength also predicted behavior on a stop-signal task, such that participants with higher go response rates showed higher high-attention and lower low-attention network strength. These results suggest that methylphenidate acts by modulating functional brain networks related to sustained attention, and that changing whole-brain connectivity patterns may help improve attention. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Recent work identified a promising neuromarker of sustained attention based on whole

  14. The role of attention and relatedness in emotionally enhanced memory

    OpenAIRE

    Talmi, Deborah; Schimmack, Ulrich; Paterson, Theone; Moscovitch, Morris

    2007-01-01

    Examining the positive and negative pictures separately revealed that emotionally enhanced memory (EEM) for positive pictures was mediated by attention, with no significant influence of emotional arousal, whereas the reverse was true of negative pictures. Consistent with this finding, in Experiment 2 EEM for negative pictures was found even when task emphasis was manipulated so that equivalent attention was allocated to negative and neutral pictures. The results show that attention and semant...

  15. Contour junctions defined by dynamic image deformations enhance perceptual transparency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawabe, Takahiro; Nishida, Shin'ya

    2017-11-01

    The majority of work on the perception of transparency has focused on static images with luminance-defined contour junctions, but recent work has shown that dynamic image sequences with dynamic image deformations also provide information about transparency. The present study demonstrates that when part of a static image is dynamically deformed, contour junctions at which deforming and nondeforming contours are connected facilitate the deformation-based perception of a transparent layer. We found that the impression of a transparent layer was stronger when a dynamically deforming area was adjacent to static nondeforming areas than when presented alone. When contour junctions were not formed at the dynamic-static boundaries, however, the impression of a transparent layer was not facilitated by the presence of static surrounding areas. The effect of the deformation-defined junctions was attenuated when the spatial pattern of luminance contrast at the junctions was inconsistent with the perceived transparency related to luminance contrast, while the effect did not change when the spatial luminance pattern was consistent with it. In addition, the results showed that contour completions across the junctions were required for the perception of a transparent layer. These results indicate that deformation-defined junctions that involve contour completion between deforming and nondeforming regions enhance the perception of a transparent layer, and that the deformation-based perceptual transparency can be promoted by the simultaneous presence of appropriately configured luminance and contrast-other features that can also by themselves produce the sensation of perceiving transparency.

  16. Methylphenidate Modulates Functional Network Connectivity to Enhance Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Rosenberg, Monica D.; Zhang, Sheng; Hsu, Wei-Ting; Scheinost, Dustin; Finn, Emily S.; Shen, Xilin; Constable, R. Todd; Li, Chiang-Shan R.; Chun, Marvin M.

    2016-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that human whole-brain functional connectivity patterns measured with fMRI contain information about cognitive abilities, including sustained attention. To derive behavioral predictions from connectivity patterns, our group developed a connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) approach (Finn et al., 2015; Rosenberg et al., 2016). Previously using CPM, we defined a high-attention network, comprising connections positively correlated with performance on a sustained...

  17. Enhancing attention in neurodegenerative diseases: current therapies and future directions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharma Kanchan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We all experience at least occasional lapses in attention but in some neurological conditions, loss of attention is pervasive and debilitating. Treating deficits in attention first requires an understanding of the neurobiology of attention, which we now understand to be a set of different cognitive processes. Cholinesterase inhibitors are already established as effective attentional enhancers used in the treatment of certain dementias. Other stimulant agents such as modafanil, amphetamine and methylphenidate have demonstrated limited success in healthy individuals where attention is already optimal and clinical trials in patients with neurological disease are sparse. Dietary and lifestyle changes are gaining increasing prominence, as are experimental treatments such as deep brain stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation. As the therapeutic arsenal widens, clinicians will be able to match specific treatments to selective deficits in attention, giving patients a tailored management plan. Here we review common diseases that impair attention and emphasise how an understanding of attentional processing within the brain might lead to improved therapeutic strategies.

  18. The role of attention and relatedness in emotionally enhanced memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talmi, Deborah; Schimmack, Ulrich; Paterson, Theone; Moscovitch, Morris

    2007-02-01

    Examining the positive and negative pictures separately revealed that emotionally enhanced memory (EEM) for positive pictures was mediated by attention, with no significant influence of emotional arousal, whereas the reverse was true of negative pictures. Consistent with this finding, in Experiment 2 EEM for negative pictures was found even when task emphasis was manipulated so that equivalent attention was allocated to negative and neutral pictures. The results show that attention and semantic relatedness contribute to EEM, with the extent varying with emotional valence. Negative emotion can influence memory independently of these 2 factors. (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved.

  19. Naps Enhance Executive Attention in Preschool-Aged Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremone, Amanda; McDermott, Jennifer M; Spencer, Rebecca M C

    2017-09-01

    Executive attention is impaired following sleep loss in school-aged children, adolescents, and adults. Whether naps improve attention relative to nap deprivation in preschool-aged children is unknown. The aim of this study was to compare executive attention in preschool children following a nap and an interval of wake. Sixty-nine children, 35-70 months of age, completed a Flanker task to assess executive attention following a nap and an equivalent interval of wake. Overall, accuracy was greater after the nap compared with the wake interval. Reaction time(s) did not differ between the nap and wake intervals. Results did not differ between children who napped consistently and those who napped inconsistently, suggesting that naps benefit executive attention of preschoolers regardless of nap habituality. These results indicate that naps enhance attention in preschool children. As executive attention supports executive functioning and learning, nap promotion may improve early education outcomes. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  20. Divided attention enhances the recognition of emotional stimuli: evidence from the attentional boost effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia; Spataro, Pietro; Costanzi, Marco; Saraulli, Daniele; Cestari, Vincenzo

    2018-01-01

    The present study examined predictions of the early-phase-elevated-attention hypothesis of the attentional boost effect (ABE), which suggests that transient increases in attention at encoding, as instantiated in the ABE paradigm, should enhance the recognition of neutral and positive items (whose encoding is mostly based on controlled processes), while having small or null effects on the recognition of negative items (whose encoding is primarily based on automatic processes). Participants were presented a sequence of negative, neutral and positive stimuli (pictures in Experiment 1, words in Experiment 2) associated to target (red) squares, distractor (green) squares or no squares (baseline condition). They were told to attend to the pictures/words and simultaneously press the spacebar of the computer when a red square appeared. In a later recognition task, stimuli associated to target squares were recognised better than stimuli associated to distractor squares, replicating the standard ABE. More importantly, we also found that: (a) the memory enhancement following target detection occurred with all types of stimuli (neutral, negative and positive) and (b) the advantage of negative stimuli over neutral stimuli was intact in the DA condition. These findings suggest that the encoding of negative stimuli depends on both controlled (attention-dependent) and automatic (attention-independent) processes.

  1. Enhancing voluntary imitation through attention and motor imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bek, Judith; Poliakoff, Ellen; Marshall, Hannah; Trueman, Sophie; Gowen, Emma

    2016-07-01

    Action observation activates brain areas involved in performing the same action and has been shown to increase motor learning, with potential implications for neurorehabilitation. Recent work indicates that the effects of action observation on movement can be increased by motor imagery or by directing attention to observed actions. In voluntary imitation, activation of the motor system during action observation is already increased. We therefore explored whether imitation could be further enhanced by imagery or attention. Healthy participants observed and then immediately imitated videos of human hand movement sequences, while movement kinematics were recorded. Two blocks of trials were completed, and after the first block participants were instructed to imagine performing the observed movement (Imagery group, N = 18) or attend closely to the characteristics of the movement (Attention group, N = 15), or received no further instructions (Control group, N = 17). Kinematics of the imitated movements were modulated by instructions, with both Imagery and Attention groups being closer in duration, peak velocity and amplitude to the observed model compared with controls. These findings show that both attention and motor imagery can increase the accuracy of imitation and have implications for motor learning and rehabilitation. Future work is required to understand the mechanisms by which these two strategies influence imitation accuracy.

  2. Cognitive Training Enhances Auditory Attention Efficiency in Older Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L. O’Brien

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Auditory cognitive training (ACT improves attention in older adults; however, the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms are still unknown. The present study examined the effects of ACT on the P3b event-related potential reflecting attention allocation (amplitude and speed of processing (latency during stimulus categorization and the P1-N1-P2 complex reflecting perceptual processing (amplitude and latency. Participants completed an auditory oddball task before and after 10 weeks of ACT (n = 9 or a no contact control period (n = 15. Parietal P3b amplitudes to oddball stimuli decreased at post-test in the trained group as compared to those in the control group, and frontal P3b amplitudes show a similar trend, potentially reflecting more efficient attentional allocation after ACT. No advantages for the ACT group were evident for auditory perceptual processing or speed of processing in this small sample. Our results provide preliminary evidence that ACT may enhance the efficiency of attention allocation, which may account for the positive impact of ACT on the everyday functioning of older adults.

  3. Selective Attention to Auditory Memory Neurally Enhances Perceptual Precision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Sung-Joo; Wöstmann, Malte; Obleser, Jonas

    2015-12-09

    Selective attention to a task-relevant stimulus facilitates encoding of that stimulus into a working memory representation. It is less clear whether selective attention also improves the precision of a stimulus already represented in memory. Here, we investigate the behavioral and neural dynamics of selective attention to representations in auditory working memory (i.e., auditory objects) using psychophysical modeling and model-based analysis of electroencephalographic signals. Human listeners performed a syllable pitch discrimination task where two syllables served as to-be-encoded auditory objects. Valid (vs neutral) retroactive cues were presented during retention to allow listeners to selectively attend to the to-be-probed auditory object in memory. Behaviorally, listeners represented auditory objects in memory more precisely (expressed by steeper slopes of a psychometric curve) and made faster perceptual decisions when valid compared to neutral retrocues were presented. Neurally, valid compared to neutral retrocues elicited a larger frontocentral sustained negativity in the evoked potential as well as enhanced parietal alpha/low-beta oscillatory power (9-18 Hz) during memory retention. Critically, individual magnitudes of alpha oscillatory power (7-11 Hz) modulation predicted the degree to which valid retrocues benefitted individuals' behavior. Our results indicate that selective attention to a specific object in auditory memory does benefit human performance not by simply reducing memory load, but by actively engaging complementary neural resources to sharpen the precision of the task-relevant object in memory. Can selective attention improve the representational precision with which objects are held in memory? And if so, what are the neural mechanisms that support such improvement? These issues have been rarely examined within the auditory modality, in which acoustic signals change and vanish on a milliseconds time scale. Introducing a new auditory memory

  4. Enhancing Auditory Selective Attention Using a Visually Guided Hearing Aid

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Listeners with hearing loss, as well as many listeners with clinically normal hearing, often experience great difficulty segregating talkers in a multiple-talker sound field and selectively attending to the desired “target” talker while ignoring the speech from unwanted “masker” talkers and other sources of sound. This listening situation forms the classic “cocktail party problem” described by Cherry (1953) that has received a great deal of study over the past few decades. In this article, a new approach to improving sound source segregation and enhancing auditory selective attention is described. The conceptual design, current implementation, and results obtained to date are reviewed and discussed in this article. Method This approach, embodied in a prototype “visually guided hearing aid” (VGHA) currently used for research, employs acoustic beamforming steered by eye gaze as a means for improving the ability of listeners to segregate and attend to one sound source in the presence of competing sound sources. Results The results from several studies demonstrate that listeners with normal hearing are able to use an attention-based “spatial filter” operating primarily on binaural cues to selectively attend to one source among competing spatially distributed sources. Furthermore, listeners with sensorineural hearing loss generally are less able to use this spatial filter as effectively as are listeners with normal hearing especially in conditions high in “informational masking.” The VGHA enhances auditory spatial attention for speech-on-speech masking and improves signal-to-noise ratio for conditions high in “energetic masking.” Visual steering of the beamformer supports the coordinated actions of vision and audition in selective attention and facilitates following sound source transitions in complex listening situations. Conclusions Both listeners with normal hearing and with sensorineural hearing loss may benefit from the acoustic

  5. The detection of temporally defined objects does not require focused attention.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pinto, Y.; Olivers, C.N.L.; Theeuwes, J.

    2008-01-01

    Perceptual grouping is crucial to distinguish objects from their background. Recent studies have shown that observers can detect an object that does not have any unique qualities other than unique temporal properties. A crucial question is whether focused attention is needed for this type of

  6. Defining DSL design principles for enhancing the requirements elicitation process

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    Gustavo Arroyo

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available La Elicitación de Requisitos propicia el entendimiento de las necesidades de los usuarios con respecto a un desarrollo de software. Los métodos que se emplean provienen de las ciencias sociales por lo que se carece de una retroalimentación ejecutable. Consecuentemente, la primera versión del software podría no cumplir con las expectativas. El uso de DSLs como herramientas para el descubrimiento de requisitos es una idea aceptada, desafortunadamente, muy pocos trabajos en la literatura se enfocan en la definición de principios de diseño de DSLs. En este trabajo planteamos principios de diseño de DSLs orientados a la elicitación de requisitos, enseguida, generamos casos de prueba en ANTLR, Ruby y Curry. También, enunciamos el perfil que debe tener el nuevo analista de software. Con ello, se incrementa la retroalimentación entre los involucrados en el desarrollo de software y se mejora el producto.Requirements elicitation is concerned with learning and understanding the needs of users w.r.t. a new software development. Frequently the methods employed for requirements elicitation are adapted from areas like social sciences that do not include executable (prototype based on feedback. As a consequence, it is relatively common to discover that the first release does not fit the requirements defined at the beginning of the project. Using domain-specific languages (DSLs as an auxiliary tool for requirements elicitation is a commonly well accepted idea. Unfortunately, there are few works in the literature devoted to the definition of design principles for DSLs to be experienced in the frameworks for DSL developing such as ANTLR, Ruby, and Curry. We propose design principles for the DSL development (regardless of paradigm which are sufficient to model the domain in a requirements phase. Further more we enunciate a new profile for the requirements analyst and a set of elicitation steps. The use of DSLs not only giveus an immediate feedback with

  7. Habitual coffee consumption enhances attention and vigilance in hemodialysis patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikić, Petar M; Andrić, Branislav R; Stojimirović, Biljana B; Trbojevic-Stanković, Jasna; Bukumirić, Zoran

    2014-01-01

    Coffee drinking is the main source of caffeine intake among adult population in the western world. It has been reported that low to moderate caffeine intake has beneficial effect on alertness and cognitive functions in healthy subjects. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of habitual coffee consumption on cognitive function in hemodialysis patients. In a cross-sectional study, 86 patients from a single-dialysis centre underwent assessment by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment tool and evaluation for symptoms of fatigue, mood, and sleep disorders by well-validated questionnaires. The habitual coffee use and the average daily caffeine intake were estimated by participants' response to a dietary questionnaire. Sixty-seven subjects (78%) consumed black coffee daily, mostly in low to moderate dose. Cognitive impairment was found in three-quarters of tested patients. Normal mental performance was more often in habitual coffee users (25% versus 16%). Regular coffee drinkers achieved higher mean scores on all tested cognitive domains, but a significant positive correlation was found only for items that measure attention and concentration (P = 0.024). Moderate caffeine intake by habitual coffee consumption could have beneficial impact on cognitive function in hemodialysis patients due to selective enhancement of attention and vigilance.

  8. Habitual Coffee Consumption Enhances Attention and Vigilance in Hemodialysis Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petar M. Nikić

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Coffee drinking is the main source of caffeine intake among adult population in the western world. It has been reported that low to moderate caffeine intake has beneficial effect on alertness and cognitive functions in healthy subjects. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of habitual coffee consumption on cognitive function in hemodialysis patients. Methods. In a cross-sectional study, 86 patients from a single-dialysis centre underwent assessment by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment tool and evaluation for symptoms of fatigue, mood, and sleep disorders by well-validated questionnaires. The habitual coffee use and the average daily caffeine intake were estimated by participants’ response to a dietary questionnaire. Results. Sixty-seven subjects (78% consumed black coffee daily, mostly in low to moderate dose. Cognitive impairment was found in three-quarters of tested patients. Normal mental performance was more often in habitual coffee users (25% versus 16%. Regular coffee drinkers achieved higher mean scores on all tested cognitive domains, but a significant positive correlation was found only for items that measure attention and concentration (P=0.024. Conclusions. Moderate caffeine intake by habitual coffee consumption could have beneficial impact on cognitive function in hemodialysis patients due to selective enhancement of attention and vigilance.

  9. Emotional cues enhance the attentional effects on spatial and temporal resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocanegra, Bruno R; Zeelenberg, René

    2011-12-01

    In the present study, we demonstrated that the emotional significance of a spatial cue enhances the effect of covert attention on spatial and temporal resolution (i.e., our ability to discriminate small spatial details and fast temporal flicker). Our results indicated that fearful face cues, as compared with neutral face cues, enhanced the attentional benefits in spatial resolution but also enhanced the attentional deficits in temporal resolution. Furthermore, we observed that the overall magnitudes of individuals' attentional effects correlated strongly with the magnitude of the emotion × attention interaction effect. Combined, these findings provide strong support for the idea that emotion enhances the strength of a cue's attentional response.

  10. Software-Defined Ground Stations - Enhancing Multi-Mission Support, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This SBIR Phase 1 proposal to NASA requests $99,055.69 to enhance multiple mission support in ground stations through the use of software defined radios and virtual...

  11. Not all attention orienting is created equal: recognition memory is enhanced when attention orienting involves distractor suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markant, Julie; Worden, Michael S; Amso, Dima

    2015-04-01

    Learning through visual exploration often requires orienting of attention to meaningful information in a cluttered world. Previous work has shown that attention modulates visual cortex activity, with enhanced activity for attended targets and suppressed activity for competing inputs, thus enhancing the visual experience. Here we examined the idea that learning may be engaged differentially with variations in attention orienting mechanisms that drive eye movements during visual search and exploration. We hypothesized that attention orienting mechanisms that engaged suppression of a previously attended location would boost memory encoding of the currently attended target objects to a greater extent than those that involve target enhancement alone. To test this hypothesis we capitalized on the classic spatial cueing task and the inhibition of return (IOR) mechanism (Posner, 1980; Posner, Rafal, & Choate, 1985) to demonstrate that object images encoded in the context of concurrent suppression at a previously attended location were encoded more effectively and remembered better than those encoded without concurrent suppression. Furthermore, fMRI analyses revealed that this memory benefit was driven by attention modulation of visual cortex activity, as increased suppression of the previously attended location in visual cortex during target object encoding predicted better subsequent recognition memory performance. These results suggest that not all attention orienting impacts learning and memory equally. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Patrick M; Terry, Alvin V

    2015-01-01

    The ability to focus one's attention on important environmental stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli is fundamental to human cognition and intellectual function. Attention is inextricably linked to perception, learning and memory, and executive function; however, it is often impaired in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Accordingly, attention is considered as an important therapeutic target in these disorders. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the most common behavioral paradigms of attention that have been used in animals (particularly rodents) and to review the literature where these tasks have been employed to elucidate neurobiological substrates of attention as well as to evaluate novel pharmacological agents for their potential as treatments for disorders of attention. These paradigms include two tasks of sustained attention that were developed as rodent analogues of the human Continuous Performance Task (CPT), the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRTT) and the more recently introduced Five-Choice Continuous Performance Task (5C-CPT), and the Signal Detection Task (SDT) which was designed to emphasize temporal components of attention.

  13. Divided Attention Can Enhance Memory Encoding: The Attentional Boost Effect in Implicit Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spataro, Pietro; Mulligan, Neil W.; Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia

    2013-01-01

    Distraction during encoding has long been known to disrupt later memory performance. Contrary to this long-standing result, we show that detecting an infrequent target in a dual-task paradigm actually improves memory encoding for a concurrently presented word, above and beyond the performance reached in the full-attention condition. This absolute…

  14. Eliminating the Attentional Blink through Binaural Beats: A Case for Tailored Cognitive Enhancement

    OpenAIRE

    Reedijk, Susan A.; Bolders, Anne; Colzato, Lorenza S.; Hommel, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    Enhancing human cognitive performance is a topic that continues to spark scientific interest. Studies into cognitive-enhancement techniques often fail to take inter-individual differences into account, however, which leads to underestimation of the effectiveness of these techniques. The current study investigated the effect of binaural beats, a cognitive-enhancement technique, on attentional control in an attentional blink (AB) task. As predicted from a neurocognitive approach to cognitive co...

  15. Divided attention enhances explicit but not implicit conceptual memory: an item-specific account of the attentional boost effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spataro, Pietro; Mulligan, Neil W; Bechi Gabrielli, Giulia; Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia

    2017-02-01

    The Attentional Boost Effect (ABE) refers to the counterintuitive finding that words encoded with to-be-responded targets in a divided-attention condition are remembered better than words encoded with distractors. Previous studies suggested that the ABE-related enhancement of verbal memory depends upon the activation of abstract lexical representations. In the present study, we extend this hypothesis by embedding it in the context of a broader perspective, which proposes that divided attention in the ABE paradigm affects item-specific, but not relational, processing. To this purpose, we examined the ABE in the matched tasks of category-cued recall (CCRT: explicit memory) and category exemplar generation (CEGT: implicit memory). In addition, study time was varied (500, 1500 or 4000 ms), to further determine whether the attentional boost manipulation could influence late-phase elaborative processing. In agreement with the predictions of the item-specific account, the results showed that exemplars encoded with targets were recalled better than exemplars encoded with distractors in the CCRT, but not in the CEGT. Moreover, performance in the CCRT increased with study time, whereas the size of the ABE-related enhancement tended to decrease, further confirming that this effect hinges upon early phase encoding processes.

  16. A matter of attention: Crossmodal congruence enhances and impairs performance in a novel trimodal matching paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misselhorn, Jonas; Daume, Jonathan; Engel, Andreas K; Friese, Uwe

    2016-07-29

    A novel crossmodal matching paradigm including vision, audition, and somatosensation was developed in order to investigate the interaction between attention and crossmodal congruence in multisensory integration. To that end, all three modalities were stimulated concurrently while a bimodal focus was defined blockwise. Congruence between stimulus intensity changes in the attended modalities had to be evaluated. We found that crossmodal congruence improved performance if both, the attended modalities and the task-irrelevant distractor were congruent. If the attended modalities were incongruent, the distractor impaired performance due to its congruence relation to one of the attended modalities. Between attentional conditions, magnitudes of crossmodal enhancement or impairment differed. Largest crossmodal effects were seen in visual-tactile matching, intermediate effects for audio-visual and smallest effects for audio-tactile matching. We conclude that differences in crossmodal matching likely reflect characteristics of multisensory neural network architecture. We discuss our results with respect to the timing of perceptual processing and state hypotheses for future physiological studies. Finally, etiological questions are addressed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Working memory-driven attention improves spatial resolution: Support for perceptual enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yi; Luo, Qianying; Cheng, Min

    2016-08-01

    Previous research has indicated that attention can be biased toward those stimuli matching the contents of working memory and thereby facilitates visual processing at the location of the memory-matching stimuli. However, whether this working memory-driven attentional modulation takes place on early perceptual processes remains unclear. Our present results showed that working memory-driven attention improved identification of a brief Landolt target presented alone in the visual field. Because the suprathreshold target appeared without any external noise added (i.e., no distractors or masks), the results suggest that working memory-driven attention enhances the target signal at early perceptual stages of visual processing. Furthermore, given that performance in the Landolt target identification task indexes spatial resolution, this attentional facilitation indicates that working memory-driven attention can boost early perceptual processing via enhancement of spatial resolution at the attended location.

  18. Attention enhances contrast appearance via increased input baseline of neural responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutrone, Elizabeth K; Heeger, David J; Carrasco, Marisa

    2014-12-30

    Covert spatial attention increases the perceived contrast of stimuli at attended locations, presumably via enhancement of visual neural responses. However, the relation between perceived contrast and the underlying neural responses has not been characterized. In this study, we systematically varied stimulus contrast, using a two-alternative, forced-choice comparison task to probe the effect of attention on appearance across the contrast range. We modeled performance in the task as a function of underlying neural contrast-response functions. Fitting this model to the observed data revealed that an increased input baseline in the neural responses accounted for the enhancement of apparent contrast with spatial attention. © 2014 ARVO.

  19. Low dose gamma irradiation enhances defined signaling components of intercellular reactive oxygen-mediated apoptosis induction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bauer, G

    2011-01-01

    Transformed cells are selectively removed by intercellular ROS-mediated induction of apoptosis. Signaling is based on the HOCl and the NO/peroxynitrite pathway (major pathways) and the nitryl chloride and the metal-catalyzed Haber-Weiss pathway (minor pathways). During tumor progression, resistance against intercellular induction of apoptosis is acquired through expression of membrane-associated catalase. Low dose radiation of nontransformed cells has been shown to enhance intercellular induction of apoptosis. The present study was performed to define the signaling components which are modulated by low dose gamma irradiation. Low dose radiation induced the release of peroxidase from nontransformed, transformed and tumor cells. Extracellular superoxide anion generation was strongly enhanced in the case of transformed cells and tumor cells, but not in nontransformed cells. Enhancement of peroxidase release and superoxide anion generation either increased intercellular induction of apoptosis of transformed cells, or caused a partial protection under specific signaling conditions. In tumor cells, low dose radiation enhanced the production of major signaling components, but this had no effect on apoptosis induction, due to the strong resistance mechanism of tumor cells. Our data specify the nature of low dose radiation-induced effects on specific signaling components of intercellular induction of apoptosis at defined stages of multistep carcinogenesis.

  20. Enhancing Spatial Attention and Working Memory in Younger and Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolle, Camarin E; Anguera, Joaquin A; Skinner, Sasha N; Voytek, Bradley; Gazzaley, Adam

    2017-09-01

    Daily experiences demand both focused and broad allocation of attention for us to interact efficiently with our complex environments. Many types of attention have shown age-related decline, although there is also evidence that such deficits may be remediated with cognitive training. However, spatial attention abilities have shown inconsistent age-related differences, and the extent of potential enhancement of these abilities remains unknown. Here, we assessed spatial attention in both healthy younger and older adults and trained this ability in both age groups for 5 hr over the course of 2 weeks using a custom-made, computerized mobile training application. We compared training-related gains on a spatial attention assessment and spatial working memory task to age-matched controls who engaged in expectancy-matched, active placebo computerized training. Age-related declines in spatial attention abilities were observed regardless of task difficulty. Spatial attention training led to improved focused and distributed attention abilities as well as improved spatial working memory in both younger and older participants. No such improvements were observed in either of the age-matched control groups. Note that these findings were not a function of improvements in simple response time, as basic motoric function did not change after training. Furthermore, when using change in simple response time as a covariate, all findings remained significant. These results suggest that spatial attention training can lead to enhancements in spatial working memory regardless of age.

  1. Enhancing Spatial Attention and Working Memory in Younger and Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolle, Camarin E.; Anguera, Joaquin A.; Skinner, Sasha N.; Voytek, Bradley; Gazzaley, Adam

    2018-01-01

    Daily experiences demand both focused and broad allocation of attention for us to interact efficiently with our complex environments. Many types of attention have shown age-related decline, although there is also evidence that such deficits may be remediated with cognitive training. However, spatial attention abilities have shown inconsistent age-related differences, and the extent of potential enhancement of these abilities remains unknown. Here, we assessed spatial attention in both healthy younger and older adults and trained this ability in both age groups for 5 hr over the course of 2 weeks using a custom-made, computerized mobile training application. We compared training-related gains on a spatial attention assessment and spatial working memory task to age-matched controls who engaged in expectancy-matched, active placebo computerized training. Age-related declines in spatial attention abilities were observed regardless of task difficulty. Spatial attention training led to improved focused and distributed attention abilities as well as improved spatial working memory in both younger and older participants. No such improvements were observed in either of the age-matched control groups. Note that these findings were not a function of improvements in simple response time, as basic motoric function did not change after training. Furthermore, when using change in simple response time as a covariate, all findings remained significant. These results suggest that spatial attention training can lead to enhancements in spatial working memory regardless of age. PMID:28654361

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Adam C.; Patterson, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that shows action video game play improves perceptual and cognitive skills, the mechanisms of transfer are not well-understood. In line with previous work, we suggest that transfer is dependent upon common demands between the game and transfer task. In the current study, participants played one of four action games with varying speed, visual, and attentional demands for 20 h. We examined whether training enhanced performance for attentional blink, selective attention, attending to multiple items, visual search and auditory detection. Non-gamers who played the game (Modern Combat) with the highest demands showed transfer to tasks of attentional blink and attending to multiple items. The game (MGS Touch) with fewer attentional demands also decreased attentional blink, but to a lesser degree. Other games failed to show transfer, despite having many action game characteristics but at a reduced intensity. The results support the common demands hypothesis. PMID:25713551

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Adam C; Patterson, Michael D

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam C Oei

    2015-02-01

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

  5. Eliminating the attentional blink through binaural beats: A case for tailored cognitive enhancement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan A. Reedijk

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Enhancing human cognitive performance is a topic that continues to spark scientific interest. Studies into cognitive enhancement techniques often fail to take inter-individual differences into account, however, which leads to underestimation of the effectiveness of these techniques. The current study investigated the effect of binaural beats, a cognitive enhancement technique, on attentional control in an attentional blink task. As predicted from a neurocognitive approach to cognitive control, high-frequency binaural beats eliminated the attentional blink, but only in individuals with low spontaneous eye-blink rates (indicating low striatal dopamine levels. This suggests that the way in which cognitive enhancement techniques, such as binaural beats, affect cognitive performance depends on inter-individual differences.

  6. Different Signal Enhancement Pathways of Attention and Consciousness Underlie Perception in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Boxtel, Jeroen J A

    2017-06-14

    It is not yet known whether attention and consciousness operate through similar or largely different mechanisms. Visual processing mechanisms are routinely characterized by measuring contrast response functions (CRFs). In this report, behavioral CRFs were obtained in humans (both males and females) by measuring afterimage durations over the entire range of inducer stimulus contrasts to reveal visual mechanisms behind attention and consciousness. Deviations relative to the standard CRF, i.e., gain functions, describe the strength of signal enhancement, which were assessed for both changes due to attentional task and conscious perception. It was found that attention displayed a response-gain function, whereas consciousness displayed a contrast-gain function. Through model comparisons, which only included contrast-gain modulations, both contrast-gain and response-gain effects can be explained with a two-level normalization model, in which consciousness affects only the first level and attention affects only the second level. These results demonstrate that attention and consciousness can effectively show different gain functions because they operate through different signal enhancement mechanisms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The relationship between attention and consciousness is still debated. Mapping contrast response functions (CRFs) has allowed (neuro)scientists to gain important insights into the mechanistic underpinnings of visual processing. Here, the influence of both attention and consciousness on these functions were measured and they displayed a strong dissociation. First, attention lowered CRFs, whereas consciousness raised them. Second, attention manifests itself as a response-gain function, whereas consciousness manifests itself as a contrast-gain function. Extensive model comparisons show that these results are best explained in a two-level normalization model in which consciousness affects only the first level, whereas attention affects only the second level

  7. Selective spatial enhancement: Attentional spotlight size impacts spatial but not temporal perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodhew, Stephanie C; Shen, Elizabeth; Edwards, Mark

    2016-08-01

    An important but often neglected aspect of attention is how changes in the attentional spotlight size impact perception. The zoom-lens model predicts that a small ("focal") attentional spotlight enhances all aspects of perception relative to a larger ("diffuse" spotlight). However, based on the physiological properties of the two major classes of visual cells (magnocellular and parvocellular neurons) we predicted trade-offs in spatial and temporal acuity as a function of spotlight size. Contrary to both of these accounts, however, across two experiments we found that attentional spotlight size affected spatial acuity, such that spatial acuity was enhanced for a focal relative to a diffuse spotlight, whereas the same modulations in spotlight size had no impact on temporal acuity. This likely reflects the function of attention: to induce the high spatial resolution of the fovea in periphery, where spatial resolution is poor but temporal resolution is good. It is adaptive, therefore, for the attentional spotlight to enhance spatial acuity, whereas enhancing temporal acuity does not confer the same benefit.

  8. Glucocorticoids enhance muscle endurance and ameliorate Duchenne muscular dystrophy through a defined metabolic program

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morrison-Nozik, Alexander; Anand, Priti; Zhu, Han

    2015-01-01

    in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a genetic muscle-wasting disease. A defined molecular basis underlying these performance-enhancing properties of GCs in skeletal muscle remains obscure. Here, we demonstrate that ergogenic effects of GCs are mediated by direct induction of the metabolic transcription......Classic physiology studies dating to the 1930s demonstrate that moderate or transient glucocorticoid (GC) exposure improves muscle performance. The ergogenic properties of GCs are further evidenced by their surreptitious use as doping agents by endurance athletes and poorly understood efficacy...... factor KLF15, defining a downstream pathway distinct from that resulting in GC-related muscle atrophy. Furthermore, we establish that KLF15 deficiency exacerbates dystrophic severity and muscle GC-KLF15 signaling mediates salutary therapeutic effects in the mdx mouse model of DMD. Thus, although...

  9. Glucose enhancement of event-related potentials associated with episodic memory and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Louise A; Riby, Leigh M

    2013-04-30

    Previous studies have reported that increasing glycaemia by a glucose-containing drink enhances memory functioning. The aim of the present study was to extend this literature by examining the effects of glucose on episodic memory as well as attention processes, and to investigate associated event-related potential (ERP) markers. Fifteen minutes after treatment (25 g glucose or placebo drink), 35 participants performed an old/new recognition memory task and a Stroop colour naming task. Consistent with previous research, when controlling for glucose regulation, cognitive facilitation was observed behaviourally for verbal memory, but there was also a trend towards attentional facilitation. Furthermore, across both domains, it was the most demanding task conditions that exhibited glucose sensitivity. In support of the behavioural results, the analysis of ERPs across treatment groups revealed an enhanced left-parietal old/new effect related to recollection, and also suggested modulation of attentional processes. The results suggest that glucose may facilitate attention as well as memory.

  10. Cholinergic enhancement of visual attention and neural oscillations in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Markus; Kluge, Christian; Bach, Dominik; Bradbury, David; Heinze, Hans Jochen; Dolan, Raymond J; Driver, Jon

    2012-03-06

    Cognitive processes such as visual perception and selective attention induce specific patterns of brain oscillations. The neurochemical bases of these spectral changes in neural activity are largely unknown, but neuromodulators are thought to regulate processing. The cholinergic system is linked to attentional function in vivo, whereas separate in vitro studies show that cholinergic agonists induce high-frequency oscillations in slice preparations. This has led to theoretical proposals that cholinergic enhancement of visual attention might operate via gamma oscillations in visual cortex, although low-frequency alpha/beta modulation may also play a key role. Here we used MEG to record cortical oscillations in the context of administration of a cholinergic agonist (physostigmine) during a spatial visual attention task in humans. This cholinergic agonist enhanced spatial attention effects on low-frequency alpha/beta oscillations in visual cortex, an effect correlating with a drug-induced speeding of performance. By contrast, the cholinergic agonist did not alter high-frequency gamma oscillations in visual cortex. Thus, our findings show that cholinergic neuromodulation enhances attentional selection via an impact on oscillatory synchrony in visual cortex, for low rather than high frequencies. We discuss this dissociation between high- and low-frequency oscillations in relation to proposals that lower-frequency oscillations are generated by feedback pathways within visual cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Glucocorticoids enhance muscle endurance and ameliorate Duchenne muscular dystrophy through a defined metabolic program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison-Nozik, Alexander; Anand, Priti; Zhu, Han; Duan, Qiming; Sabeh, Mohamad; Prosdocimo, Domenick A; Lemieux, Madeleine E; Nordsborg, Nikolai; Russell, Aaron P; MacRae, Calum A; Gerber, Anthony N; Jain, Mukesh K; Haldar, Saptarsi M

    2015-12-08

    Classic physiology studies dating to the 1930s demonstrate that moderate or transient glucocorticoid (GC) exposure improves muscle performance. The ergogenic properties of GCs are further evidenced by their surreptitious use as doping agents by endurance athletes and poorly understood efficacy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a genetic muscle-wasting disease. A defined molecular basis underlying these performance-enhancing properties of GCs in skeletal muscle remains obscure. Here, we demonstrate that ergogenic effects of GCs are mediated by direct induction of the metabolic transcription factor KLF15, defining a downstream pathway distinct from that resulting in GC-related muscle atrophy. Furthermore, we establish that KLF15 deficiency exacerbates dystrophic severity and muscle GC-KLF15 signaling mediates salutary therapeutic effects in the mdx mouse model of DMD. Thus, although glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-mediated transactivation is often associated with muscle atrophy and other adverse effects of pharmacologic GC administration, our data define a distinct GR-induced gene regulatory pathway that contributes to therapeutic effects of GCs in DMD through proergogenic metabolic programming.

  12. Ultrasound-enhanced thrombolysis using Definity as a cavitation nucleation agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, Saurabh; Coussios, Constantin-C; Ammi, Azzdine Y; Mast, T Douglas; de Courten-Myers, Gabrielle M; Holland, Christy K

    2008-09-01

    Ultrasound has been shown previously to act synergistically with a thrombolytic agent, such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) to accelerate thrombolysis. In this in vitro study, a commercial contrast agent, Definity, was used to promote and sustain the nucleation of cavitation during pulsed ultrasound exposure at 120 kHz. Ultraharmonic signals, broadband emissions and harmonics of the fundamental were measured acoustically by using a focused hydrophone as a passive cavitation detector and used to quantify the level of cavitation activity. Human whole blood clots suspended in human plasma were exposed to a combination of rt-PA, Definity and ultrasound at a range of ultrasound peak-to-peak pressure amplitudes, which were selected to expose clots to various degrees of cavitation activity. Thrombolytic efficacy was determined by measuring clot mass loss before and after the treatment and correlated with the degree of cavitation activity. The penetration depth of rt-PA and plasminogen was also evaluated in the presence of cavitating microbubbles using a dual-antibody fluorescence imaging technique. The largest mass loss (26.2%) was observed for clots treated with 120-kHz ultrasound (0.32-MPa peak-to-peak pressure amplitude), rt-PA and stable cavitation nucleated by Definity. A significant correlation was observed between mass loss and ultraharmonic signals (r = 0.85, p cavitation activity. Stable cavitation activity plays an important role in enhancement of thrombolysis and can be monitored to evaluate the efficacy of thrombolytic treatment.

  13. Attention Determines Contextual Enhancement versus Suppression in Human Primary Visual Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flevaris, Anastasia V; Murray, Scott O

    2015-09-02

    Neural responses in primary visual cortex (V1) depend on stimulus context in seemingly complex ways. For example, responses to an oriented stimulus can be suppressed when it is flanked by iso-oriented versus orthogonally oriented stimuli but can also be enhanced when attention is directed to iso-oriented versus orthogonal flanking stimuli. Thus the exact same contextual stimulus arrangement can have completely opposite effects on neural responses-in some cases leading to orientation-tuned suppression and in other cases leading to orientation-tuned enhancement. Here we show that stimulus-based suppression and enhancement of fMRI responses in humans depends on small changes in the focus of attention and can be explained by a model that combines feature-based attention with response normalization. Neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) respond to stimuli within a restricted portion of the visual field, termed their "receptive field." However, neuronal responses can also be influenced by stimuli that surround a receptive field, although the nature of these contextual interactions and underlying neural mechanisms are debated. Here we show that the response in V1 to a stimulus in the same context can either be suppressed or enhanced depending on the focus of attention. We are able to explain the results using a simple computational model that combines two well established properties of visual cortical responses: response normalization and feature-based enhancement. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3512273-08$15.00/0.

  14. Eliminating the Attentional Blink through Binaural Beats: A Case for Tailored Cognitive Enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reedijk, Susan A; Bolders, Anne; Colzato, Lorenza S; Hommel, Bernhard

    2015-01-01

    Enhancing human cognitive performance is a topic that continues to spark scientific interest. Studies into cognitive-enhancement techniques often fail to take inter-individual differences into account, however, which leads to underestimation of the effectiveness of these techniques. The current study investigated the effect of binaural beats, a cognitive-enhancement technique, on attentional control in an attentional blink (AB) task. As predicted from a neurocognitive approach to cognitive control, high-frequency binaural beats eliminated the AB, but only in individuals with low spontaneous eye-blink rates (indicating low striatal dopamine levels). This suggests that the way in which cognitive-enhancement techniques, such as binaural beats, affect cognitive performance depends on inter-individual differences.

  15. Cholinergic enhancement reduces functional connectivity and BOLD variability in visual extrastriate cortex during selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricciardi, Emiliano; Handjaras, Giacomo; Bernardi, Giulio; Pietrini, Pietro; Furey, Maura L

    2013-01-01

    Enhancing cholinergic function improves performance on various cognitive tasks and alters neural responses in task specific brain regions. We have hypothesized that the changes in neural activity observed during increased cholinergic function reflect an increase in neural efficiency that leads to improved task performance. The current study tested this hypothesis by assessing neural efficiency based on cholinergically-mediated effects on regional brain connectivity and BOLD signal variability. Nine subjects participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover fMRI study. Following an infusion of physostigmine (1 mg/h) or placebo, echo-planar imaging (EPI) was conducted as participants performed a selective attention task. During the task, two images comprised of superimposed pictures of faces and houses were presented. Subjects were instructed periodically to shift their attention from one stimulus component to the other and to perform a matching task using hand held response buttons. A control condition included phase-scrambled images of superimposed faces and houses that were presented in the same temporal and spatial manner as the attention task; participants were instructed to perform a matching task. Cholinergic enhancement improved performance during the selective attention task, with no change during the control task. Functional connectivity analyses showed that the strength of connectivity between ventral visual processing areas and task-related occipital, parietal and prefrontal regions reduced significantly during cholinergic enhancement, exclusively during the selective attention task. Physostigmine administration also reduced BOLD signal temporal variability relative to placebo throughout temporal and occipital visual processing areas, again during the selective attention task only. Together with the observed behavioral improvement, the decreases in connectivity strength throughout task-relevant regions and BOLD variability within stimulus

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Acute Caffeine Consumption Enhances the Executive Control of Visual Attention in Habitual Consumers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    Recent work suggests that a dose of 200-400mg caffeine can enhance both vigilance and the executive control of visual attention in individuals with low caffeine consumption profiles. The present study seeks to determine whether individuals with relatively high caffeine consumption profiles would show similar advantages. To this end, we examined…

  18. Selective Attention Enhances Beta-Band Cortical Oscillation to Speech under "Cocktail-Party" Listening Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yayue; Wang, Qian; Ding, Yu; Wang, Changming; Li, Haifeng; Wu, Xihong; Qu, Tianshu; Li, Liang

    2017-01-01

    Human listeners are able to selectively attend to target speech in a noisy environment with multiple-people talking. Using recordings of scalp electroencephalogram (EEG), this study investigated how selective attention facilitates the cortical representation of target speech under a simulated "cocktail-party" listening condition with speech-on-speech masking. The result shows that the cortical representation of target-speech signals under the multiple-people talking condition was specifically improved by selective attention relative to the non-selective-attention listening condition, and the beta-band activity was most strongly modulated by selective attention. Moreover, measured with the Granger Causality value, selective attention to the single target speech in the mixed-speech complex enhanced the following four causal connectivities for the beta-band oscillation: the ones (1) from site FT7 to the right motor area, (2) from the left frontal area to the right motor area, (3) from the central frontal area to the right motor area, and (4) from the central frontal area to the right frontal area. However, the selective-attention-induced change in beta-band causal connectivity from the central frontal area to the right motor area, but not other beta-band causal connectivities, was significantly correlated with the selective-attention-induced change in the cortical beta-band representation of target speech. These findings suggest that under the "cocktail-party" listening condition, the beta-band oscillation in EEGs to target speech is specifically facilitated by selective attention to the target speech that is embedded in the mixed-speech complex. The selective attention-induced unmasking of target speech may be associated with the improved beta-band functional connectivity from the central frontal area to the right motor area, suggesting a top-down attentional modulation of the speech-motor process.

  19. Retrospective attention enhances visual working memory in the young but not the old: an ERP study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Audrey; Hearons, Patricia; Jiang, Yashu; Delvin, Mary Courtney; Newsome, Rachel N.; Verhaeghen, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral evidence from the young suggests spatial cues that orient attention toward task relevant items in visual working memory (VWM) enhance memory capacity. Whether older adults can also use retrospective cues (“retro-cues”) to enhance VWM capacity is unknown. In the current event-related potential (ERP) study, young and old adults performed a VWM task in which spatially informative retro-cues were presented during maintenance. Young but not older adults’ VWM capacity benefitted from retro-cueing. The contralateral delay activity (CDA) ERP index of VWM maintenance was attenuated after the retro-cue, which effectively reduced the impact of memory load. CDA amplitudes were reduced prior to retro-cue onset in the old only. Despite a preserved ability to delete items from VWM, older adults may be less able to use retrospective attention to enhance memory capacity when expectancy of impending spatial cues disrupts effective VWM maintenance. PMID:23445536

  20. Defining the `negative emission' capacity of global agriculture deployed for enhanced rock weathering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerling, D. J.; Taylor, L.; Banwart, S. A.; Kantzas, E. P.; Lomas, M.; Mueller, C.; Ridgwell, A.; Quegan, S.

    2016-12-01

    Enhanced rock weathering involves application of crushed silicates (e.g. basalt) to the landscape to accelerate their chemical breakdown to release base cations and form bicarbonate that ultimate sequester CO2 in the oceans. Global croplands cover an area of 12 million km2 and might be deployed for long-term removal of anthropogenic CO2 through enhanced rock weathering with a number of co-benefits for food security. This presentation assesses the potential of this strategy to contribute to `negative emissions' as defined by a suite of simulations coupling a detailed model of rock grain weathering by crop root-microbial processes with a managed land dynamic global vegetation model driven by the `business as usual' future climate change scenarios. We calculate potential atmospheric CO2 drawdown over the next century by introducing a strengthened C-sink term into the global carbon cycle model within an intermediate complexity Earth system model. Our simulations indicate agricultural lands deployed in this way constitute a `low tech' biological negative emissions strategy. As part of a wider portfolio of options, this strategy might contribute to limiting future warming to 2oC, subject to economic costs and energy requirements.

  1. Sustained attention to the owner is enhanced in dogs trained for animal assisted interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mongillo, Paolo; Pitteri, Elisa; Marinelli, Lieta

    2017-07-01

    Adaptation in human societies requires dogs to pay attention to socially relevant human beings, in contexts that may greatly vary in social complexity. In turn, such selective attention may depend on the dog's training and involvement in specific activities. Therefore, we recruited untrained pet dogs (N=32), dogs trained for agility (N=32) and for animal assisted interventions (N=32) to investigate differences in attention to the owner in relation to the dogs' training/working experience. Average gaze length and frequency of gaze shifting towards the owner were measured in a 'baseline attention test', where dogs were exposed to the owner walking in and out of the experimental room and in a 'selective attention test', where the owner's movements were mirrored by an unfamiliar figurant. In baseline, gazes to the owner by assistance dogs were longer than gazes by untrained dogs, which were longer than gazes by agility dogs. The latter shifted gaze to the owner more frequently than assistance and untrained dogs. In the selective attention test, assistance dogs showed longer and less frequent gazes towards the owner than untrained dogs, with intermediate values for agility dogs. Correlations were found for gaze length between the baseline and selective attention test for untrained and assistance dogs, but not for agility dogs. Therefore, dogs trained for Animal Assisted Interventions express enhanced sustained attention to their owners, and the lack of similar effects in agility dogs suggests that involvement in specific activities is associated with large differences in the patterns of attention paid by dogs to their handler/owner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Enhanced attentional bias towards sexually explicit cues in individuals with and without compulsive sexual behaviours.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisy J Mechelmans

    Full Text Available Compulsive sexual behaviour (CSB is relatively common and has been associated with significant distress and psychosocial impairments. CSB has been conceptualized as either an impulse control disorder or a non-substance 'behavioural' addiction. Substance use disorders are commonly associated with attentional biases to drug cues which are believed to reflect processes of incentive salience. Here we assess male CSB subjects compared to age-matched male healthy controls using a dot probe task to assess attentional bias to sexually explicit cues. We show that compared to healthy volunteers, CSB subjects have enhanced attentional bias to explicit cues but not neutral cues particularly for early stimuli latency. Our findings suggest enhanced attentional bias to explicit cues possibly related to an early orienting attentional response. This finding dovetails with our recent observation that sexually explicit videos were associated with greater activity in a neural network similar to that observed in drug-cue-reactivity studies. Greater desire or wanting rather than liking was further associated with activity in this neural network. These studies together provide support for an incentive motivation theory of addiction underlying the aberrant response towards sexual cues in CSB.

  3. Enhanced attention to context: An intervention that increases perceived control in mild depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Msetfi, R M; Brosnan, L; Cavus, H A

    2016-01-01

    People perceive that they have control over events to the extent that the same events do not occur outside of their control, randomly, in the environment or context. Therefore, perceived control should be enhanced if there is a large contrast between one's own control and the control that the context itself seems to exert over events. Given that depression is associated with low perceived control, we tested the hypothesis that enhanced attentional focus to context will increase perceived control in people with and without depression. A total of 106 non-depressed and mildly depressed participants completed a no control zero-contingency task with low and high outcome probability conditions. In the experimental context-focus group, participants were instructed to attend to the context, whereas in the control group, participants were instructed to attend to their thoughts. Irrespective of attentional focus, non-depressed participants displayed illusory control. However, people with mild depression responded strongly to the attention focus manipulation. In the control group, they evidenced low perceived control with classic depressive realism effects. In the experimental group, when asked to focus on the context in which events took place, participants with mild depression displayed enhanced perceived control or illusory control, similar to non-depressed participants. Findings are discussed in relation to whether depression effects on perceived control represent tendencies towards realism or attentional aspects of depressive thoughts.

  4. The role of attention in emotional memory enhancement in pathological and healthy aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sava, Alina-Alexandra; Paquet, Claire; Dumurgier, Julien; Hugon, Jacques; Chainay, Hanna

    2016-01-01

    After short delays between encoding and retrieval, healthy young participants have better memory performance for emotional stimuli than for neutral stimuli. Divided-attention paradigms suggest that this emotional enhancement of memory (EEM) is due to different attention mechanisms involved during encoding: automatic processing for negative stimuli, and controlled processing for positive stimuli. As far as we know, no study on the influence of these factors on EEM in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, as compared to healthy young and older controls, has been conducted. Thus, the goal of our study was to ascertain whether the EEM in these populations depends on the attention resources available at encoding. Participants completed two encoding phases: full attention (FA) and divided attention (DA), followed by two retrieval phases (recognition tasks). There was no EEM on the discrimination accuracy, independently of group and encoding condition. Nevertheless, all participants used a more liberal response criterion for the negative and positive stimuli than for neutral ones. In AD patients, larger numbers of false recognitions for negative and positive stimuli than for neutral ones were observed after both encoding conditions. In MCI patients and in healthy older and younger controls this effect was observed only for negative stimuli, and it depended on the encoding condition. Thus, this effect was observed in young controls after both encoding conditions, in older controls after the DA encoding, and in MCI patients after the FA encoding. In conclusion, our results suggest that emotional valence does not always enhance discrimination accuracy. Nevertheless, in certain conditions related to the attention resources available at encoding, emotional valence, especially the negative one, enhances the subjective feeling of familiarity and, consequently, engenders changes in response bias. This effect seems to be sensitive to the age and

  5. Utilization of reward-prospect enhances preparatory attention and reduces stimulus conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Berg, Berry; Krebs, Ruth M; Lorist, Monicque M; Woldorff, Marty G

    2014-06-01

    The prospect of gaining money is an incentive widely at play in the real world. Such monetary motivation might have particularly strong influence when the cognitive system is challenged, such as when needing to process conflicting stimulus inputs. Here, we employed manipulations of reward-prospect and attentional-preparation levels in a cued-Stroop stimulus conflict task, along with the high temporal resolution of electrical brain recordings, to provide insight into the mechanisms by which reward-prospect and attention interact and modulate cognitive task performance. In this task, the cue indicated whether or not the participant needed to prepare for an upcoming Stroop stimulus and, if so, whether there was the potential for monetary reward (dependent on performance on that trial). Both cued attention and cued reward-prospect enhanced preparatory neural activity, as reflected by increases in the hallmark attention-related negative-polarity ERP slow wave (contingent negative variation [CNV]) and reductions in oscillatory Alpha activity, which was followed by enhanced processing of the subsequent Stroop stimulus. In addition, similar modulations of preparatory neural activity (larger CNVs and reduced Alpha) predicted shorter versus longer response times (RTs) to the subsequent target stimulus, consistent with such modulations reflecting trial-to-trial variations in attention. Particularly striking were the individual differences in the utilization of reward-prospect information. In particular, the size of the reward effects on the preparatory neural activity correlated across participants with the degree to which reward-prospect both facilitated overall task performance (shorter RTs) and reduced conflict-related behavioral interference. Thus, the prospect of reward appears to recruit attentional preparation circuits to enhance processing of task-relevant target information.

  6. Conformal flight path symbology for head-up displays: Defining the distribution of visual attention in three-dimensional space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ververs, Patricia May

    An extensive investigation of the format for head-up display (HUD) instrumentation was conducted in a two-part experiment. First, a pilot's information requirements for the tasks of approach, landing, and taxi were determined through a survey administered to professional commercial pilots via the world wide web. The results of the survey were applied in the development of two symbology sets, one set for flight navigation and the second for ground navigation. Second, twenty pilots from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were recruited to participate in a 3-day experiment. The study was designed to investigate the format for symbology on HUDs and the performance effects of using conformal and partially conformal symbology to support the pilots' tasks. In addition, two different methods were investigated for supporting the pilots' transition between the task of flying and the task of landing. A seamless transition used visual momentum techniques to smoothly guide the pilots' cognitive transition between the serial displays and the associated tasks. A seamed approach employed an abrupt change between the displays to alert the pilots of the task switch. The results indicate that incorporating a virtually conformal, tunnel-in-the-sky symbology into a complete HUD instrumentation set offers promising pilot performance effects. Pilots easily navigated the complex curved approaches with little to no deviation from the flight path (approximately 10 feet), while performing the secondary tasks of the scanning their instruments and the environment. The seamless transition between the flight and ground symbology offered the pilots a preview of the upcoming landing task, thereby preparing them for the task switch. On the ground, the perspective (scene-linked) symbology set supported landing and taxi navigation tasks with the equal efficiency to the plan view display but with much greater precision. Theories of allocation of attention were used to interpret the

  7. Enhancing reading performance through action video games: the role of visual attention span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antzaka, A; Lallier, M; Meyer, S; Diard, J; Carreiras, M; Valdois, S

    2017-11-06

    Recent studies reported that Action Video Game-AVG training improves not only certain attentional components, but also reading fluency in children with dyslexia. We aimed to investigate the shared attentional components of AVG playing and reading, by studying whether the Visual Attention (VA) span, a component of visual attention that has previously been linked to both reading development and dyslexia, is improved in frequent players of AVGs. Thirty-six French fluent adult readers, matched on chronological age and text reading proficiency, composed two groups: frequent AVG players and non-players. Participants performed behavioural tasks measuring the VA span, and a challenging reading task (reading of briefly presented pseudo-words). AVG players performed better on both tasks and performance on these tasks was correlated. These results further support the transfer of the attentional benefits of playing AVGs to reading, and indicate that the VA span could be a core component mediating this transfer. The correlation between VA span and pseudo-word reading also supports the involvement of VA span even in adult reading. Future studies could combine VA span training with defining features of AVGs, in order to build a new generation of remediation software.

  8. Novel elastic protection against DDF failures in an enhanced software-defined SIEPON

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pakpahan, Andrew Fernando; Hwang, I.-Shyan; Yu, Yu-Ming; Hsu, Wu-Hsiao; Liem, Andrew Tanny; Nikoukar, AliAkbar

    2017-07-01

    Ever-increasing bandwidth demands on passive optical networks (PONs) are pushing the utilization of every fiber strand to its limit. This is mandating comprehensive protection until the end of the distribution drop fiber (DDF). Hence, it is important to provide refined protection with an advanced fault-protection architecture and recovery mechanism that is able to cope with various DDF failures. We propose a novel elastic protection against DDF failures that incorporates a software-defined networking (SDN) capability and a bus protection line to enhance the resiliency of the existing Service Interoperability in Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (SIEPON) system. We propose the addition of an integrated SDN controller and flow tables to the optical line terminal and optical network units (ONUs) in order to deliver various DDF protection scenarios. The proposed architecture enables flexible assignment of backup ONU(s) in pre/post-fault conditions depending on the PON traffic load. A transient backup ONU and multiple backup ONUs can be deployed in the pre-fault and post-fault scenarios, respectively. Our extensively discussed simulation results show that our proposed architecture provides better overall throughput and drop probability compared to the architecture with a fixed DDF protection mechanism. It does so while still maintaining overall QoS performance in terms of packet delay, mean jitter, packet loss, and throughput under various fault conditions.

  9. Social exclusion impairs distractor suppression but not target enhancement in selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Mengsi; Li, Zhiai; Diao, Liuting; Fan, Lingxia; Zhang, Lijie; Yuan, Shuge; Yang, Dong

    2017-11-01

    Social exclusion has been thought to weaken one's ability to exert inhibitory control. Existing studies have primarily focused on the relationship between exclusion and behavioral inhibition, and have reported that exclusion impairs behavioral inhibition. However, whether exclusion also affects selective attention, another important aspect of inhibitory control, remains unknown. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore whether social exclusion impairs selective attention, and to specifically examine its effect on two hypothesized mechanisms of selective attention: target enhancement and distractor suppression. The Cyberball game was used to manipulate social exclusion. Participants then performed a visual search task while event-related potentials were recorded. In the visual search task, target and salient distractor were either both presented laterally or one was presented on the vertical midline and the other laterally. Results showed that social exclusion differentially affected target and distractor processing. While exclusion impaired distractor suppression, reflected as smaller distractor-positivity (Pd) amplitudes for the exclusion group compared to the inclusion group, it did not affect target enhancement, reflected as similar target-negativity (Nt) amplitudes for both the exclusion and inclusion groups. Together, these results extend our understanding of the relationship between exclusion and inhibitory control, and suggest that social exclusion affects selective attention in a more complex manner than previously thought. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Glucose enhancement of event-related potentials associated with episodic memory and attention

    OpenAIRE

    Brown, Louise; Riby, Leigh

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have reported that increasing glycaemia by a glucose-containing drink enhances memory functioning. The aim of the present study was to extend this literature by examining the effects of glucose on episodic memory as well as attention processes, and to investigate associated event-related potential (ERP) markers. Fifteen minutes after treatment (25 g glucose or placebo drink), 35 participants performed an old/new recognition memory task and a Stroop colour naming task. Consist...

  11. An external focus of attention enhances motor learning in children with intellectual disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiviacowsky, S; Wulf, G; Avila, L T G

    2013-07-01

    The present study examined whether the learning benefits of an external focus of attention (i.e., on the movement effect) relative to an internal focus (i.e. on the movement), found previously in non-disabled children and adults would also be found in children with intellectual disabilities (IDs). Participants (n = 24; average age: 12.2 years) with mild intellectual deficiency (IQ = 51-69) practiced throwing beanbags at a target. In the external focus group, participants were instructed to direct their attention to the movement of the beanbag, while in the internal focus group, participants were asked to direct their attention to the movement of their hand. The practice phase consisted of 40 trials, and attentional focus reminders were given after every third trial. Learning was assessed 1 day later by retention and transfer (greater target distance) tests, each consisting of 10 trials. No focus reminders were given on that day. The external focus group demonstrated more effective learning than the internal focus group, as evidenced by more accurate tosses on the transfer test. The present findings show that instructions that induce an external focus of attention can enhance motor learning in children with IDs. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd, MENCAP & IASSID.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Neil W.; Spataro, Pietro

    2015-01-01

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

  13. On the relative contributions of multisensory integration and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention to multisensory response enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    Two processes that can give rise to multisensory response enhancement (MRE) are multisensory integration (MSI) and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention. It is, however, currently unclear what the relative contribution of each of these is to MRE. We investigated this issue using two tasks that are generally assumed to measure MSI (a redundant target effect task) and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention (a spatial cueing task). One block of trials consisted of unimodal auditory and visual targets designed to provide a unimodal baseline. In two other blocks of trials, the participants were presented with spatially and temporally aligned and misaligned audiovisual (AV) targets (0, 50, 100, and 200ms SOA). In the integration block, the participants were instructed to respond to the onset of the first target stimulus that they detected (A or V). The instruction for the cueing block was to respond only to the onset of the visual targets. The targets could appear at one of three locations: left, center, and right. The participants were instructed to respond only to lateral targets. The results indicated that MRE was caused by MSI at 0ms SOA. At 50ms SOA, both crossmodal exogenous spatial attention and MSI contributed to the observed MRE, whereas the MRE observed at the 100 and 200ms SOAs was attributable to crossmodal exogenous spatial attention, alerting, and temporal preparation. These results therefore suggest that there may be a temporal window in which both MSI and exogenous crossmodal spatial attention can contribute to multisensory response enhancement. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Signal enhancement, not active suppression, follows the contingent capture of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livingstone, Ashley C; Christie, Gregory J; Wright, Richard D; McDonald, John J

    2017-02-01

    Irrelevant visual cues capture attention when they possess a task-relevant feature. Electrophysiologically, this contingent capture of attention is evidenced by the N2pc component of the visual event-related potential (ERP) and an enlarged ERP positivity over the occipital hemisphere contralateral to the cued location. The N2pc reflects an early stage of attentional selection, but presently it is unclear what the contralateral ERP positivity reflects. One hypothesis is that it reflects the perceptual enhancement of the cued search-array item; another hypothesis is that it is time-locked to the preceding cue display and reflects active suppression of the cue itself. Here, we varied the time interval between a cue display and a subsequent target display to evaluate these competing hypotheses. The results demonstrated that the contralateral ERP positivity is tightly time-locked to the appearance of the search display rather than the cue display, thereby supporting the perceptual enhancement hypothesis and disconfirming the cue-suppression hypothesis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  15. Cholinergic enhancement modulates neural correlates of selective attention and emotional processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, Paul; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Thiel, Christiane M; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Raymond J

    2003-09-01

    Neocortical cholinergic afferents are proposed to influence both selective attention and emotional processing. In a study of healthy adults we used event-related fMRI while orthogonally manipulating attention and emotionality to examine regions showing effects of cholinergic modulation by the anticholinesterase physostigmine. Either face or house pictures appeared at task-relevant locations, with the alternative picture type at irrelevant locations. Faces had either neutral or fearful expressions. Physostigmine increased relative activity within the anterior fusiform gyrus for faces at attended, versus unattended, locations, but decreased relative activity within the posterolateral occipital cortex for houses in attended, versus unattended, locations. A similar pattern of regional differences in the effect of physostigmine on cue-evoked responses was also present in the absence of stimuli. Cholinergic enhancement augmented the relative neuronal response within the middle fusiform gyrus to fearful faces, whether at attended or unattended locations. By contrast, physostigmine influenced responses in the orbitofrontal, intraparietal and cingulate cortices to fearful faces when faces occupied task-irrelevant locations. These findings suggest that acetylcholine may modulate both selective attention and emotional processes through independent, region-specific effects within the extrastriate cortex. Furthermore, cholinergic inputs to the frontoparietal cortex may influence the allocation of attention to emotional information.

  16. Affective significance enhances covert attention: roles of anxiety and word familiarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, Manuel G; Eysenck, Michael W

    2008-11-01

    To investigate the processing of emotional words by covert attention, threat-related, positive, and neutral word primes were presented parafoveally (2.2 degrees away from fixation) for 150 ms, under gaze-contingent foveal masking, to prevent eye fixations. The primes were followed by a probe word in a lexical-decision task. In Experiment 1, results showed a parafoveal threat-anxiety superiority: Parafoveal prime threat words facilitated responses to probe threat words for high-anxiety individuals, in comparison with neutral and positive words, and relative to low-anxiety individuals. This reveals an advantage in threat processing by covert attention, without differences in overt attention. However, anxiety was also associated with greater familiarity with threat words, and the parafoveal priming effects were significantly reduced when familiarity was covaried out. To further examine the role of word knowledge, in Experiment 2, vocabulary and word familiarity were equated for low- and high-anxiety groups. In these conditions, the parafoveal threat-anxiety advantage disappeared. This suggests that the enhanced covert-attention effect depends on familiarity with words.

  17. Divided attention can enhance early-phase memory encoding: the attentional boost effect and study trial duration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Neil W; Spataro, Pietro

    2015-07-01

    Divided attention during encoding typically produces marked reductions in later memory. The attentional boost effect (ABE) is a surprising variation on this phenomenon. In this paradigm, each study stimulus (e.g., a word) is presented along with a target or a distractor (e.g., different colored circles) in a detection task. Later memory is better for stimuli co-occurring with targets. The present experiments indicate that the ABE arises during an early phase of memory encoding that involves initial stimulus perception and comprehension rather than at a later phase entailing controlled, elaborative rehearsal. Experiment 1 demonstrated that the ABE was robust at a short study duration (700 ms) and did not increase with increasing study trial durations (1,500 ms and 4,000 ms). Furthermore, the target condition is boosted to the level of memory performance in a full-attention condition for the short duration but not the long duration. Both results followed from the early-phase account. This account also predicts that for very short study times (limiting the influence of late-phase controlled encoding and thus minimizing the usual negative effect of divided attention), the target condition will produce better memory than will the full-attention condition. Experiment 2 used a study time of 400 ms and found that words presented with targets lead to greater recognition accuracy than do either words presented with distractors or words in the full-attention condition. Consistent with the early-phase account, a divided attention condition actually produced superior memory than did the full-attention condition, a very unusual but theoretically predicted result. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

  18. Attention enhances multi-voxel representation of novel objects in frontal, parietal and visual cortices.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Selective attention is fundamental for human activity, but the details of its neural implementation remain elusive. One influential theory, the adaptive coding hypothesis (Duncan, 2001, An adaptive coding model of neural function in prefrontal cortex, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2:820-829), proposes that single neurons in certain frontal and parietal regions dynamically adjust their responses to selectively encode relevant information. This selective representation may in turn support selective processing in more specialized brain regions such as the visual cortices. Here, we use multi-voxel decoding of functional magnetic resonance images to demonstrate selective representation of attended--and not distractor--objects in frontal, parietal, and visual cortices. In addition, we highlight a critical role for task demands in determining which brain regions exhibit selective coding. Strikingly, representation of attended objects in frontoparietal cortex was highest under conditions of high perceptual demand, when stimuli were hard to perceive and coding in early visual cortex was weak. Coding in early visual cortex varied as a function of attention and perceptual demand, while coding in higher visual areas was sensitive to the allocation of attention but robust to changes in perceptual difficulty. Consistent with high-profile reports, peripherally presented objects could also be decoded from activity at the occipital pole, a region which corresponds to the fovea. Our results emphasize the flexibility of frontoparietal and visual systems. They support the hypothesis that attention enhances the multi-voxel representation of information in the brain, and suggest that the engagement of this attentional mechanism depends critically on current task demands. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Selective attentional enhancement and inhibition of fronto-posterior connectivity by the basal ganglia during attention switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schouwenburg, Martine R; den Ouden, Hanneke E M; Cools, Roshan

    2015-06-01

    The prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia interact to selectively gate a desired action. Recent studies have shown that this selective gating mechanism of the basal ganglia extends to the domain of attention. Here, we investigate the nature of this action-like gating mechanism for attention using a spatial attention-switching paradigm in combination with functional neuroimaging and dynamic causal modeling. We show that the basal ganglia guide attention by focally releasing inhibition of task-relevant representations, while simultaneously inhibiting task-irrelevant representations by selectively modulating prefrontal top-down connections. These results strengthen and specify the role of the basal ganglia in attention. Moreover, our findings have implications for psychological theorizing by suggesting that inhibition of unattended sensory regions is not only a consequence of mutual suppression, but is an active process, subserved by the basal ganglia. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Enhancing Perception in Ethical Decision Making: A Method to Address Ill-Defined Training Domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-01

    Development Ethical Decision Making Qualitative Methods Applications of Gestalt Theory Decision Making Experiences Mixed-Method...U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Report 1932 Enhancing Perception in Ethical...TYPE Final 3. DATES COVERED (from. . . to) April 2009 to May 2010 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Enhancing Perception in Ethical Decision Making: A

  1. Acute ingestion of different macronutrients differentially enhances aspects of memory and attention in healthy young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Emma K; Sünram-Lea, Sandra I; Wesnes, Keith A

    2012-02-01

    The role of carbohydrates on mood and cognition is fairly well established, however research examining the behavioural effects of the other macronutrients is limited. The current study compared the effects of a 25 g glucose drink to energetically matched protein and fat drinks and an inert placebo. Following a blind, placebo-controlled, randomised crossover design, 18 healthy young adults consumed drinks containing fat, glucose, protein and placebo. Cognitive performance was examined at baseline and again 15- and 60 min post drink. Mood was assessed at baseline and then 10-, 35- and 80 min post drink. Attention and speed were enhanced 15 min following fat or glucose ingestion and working memory was enhanced 15 min following protein ingestion. Sixty minutes post drink memory enhancements were observed after protein and memory impairment was observed following glucose. All drinks increased ratings of alertness. The findings suggest that macronutrients: (i) have different windows of opportunity for effects (ii) target different cognitive domains. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Attention directed by expectations enhances receptive fields in cortical area MT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghose, Geoffrey M; Bearl, David W

    2010-02-22

    Expectations, especially those formed on the basis of extensive training, can substantially enhance visual performance. However, it is not clear that the physiological mechanisms underlying this enhancement are identical to those examined by experiments in which attention is directed by explicit instructions rather than strong expectations. To study the changes in visual representations associated with strong expectations, we trained animals to detect a brief motion pulse that was embedded in noise. Because the nature of the pulse and the statistics of its appearance were well known to the animals, they formed strong expectations which determined their behavioral performance. We used white-noise methods to infer the receptive field structure of single neurons in area MT while they were performing this task. Incorporating non-linearities, we compared receptive fields during periods of time when the animals were expecting the motion pulse with periods of time when they were not. We found receptive field changes consistent with an increased reliability in signaling pulse occurrence. Moreover, these changes were not consistent with a simple gain modulation. The results suggest that strong expectations can create very specific changes in the visual representations at a cellular level to enhance performance. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The Attentional Boost Effect: Transient increases in attention to one task enhance performance in a second task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swallow, Khena M; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2010-04-01

    Recent work on event perception suggests that perceptual processing increases when events change. An important question is how such changes influence the way other information is processed, particularly during dual-task performance. In this study, participants monitored a long series of distractor items for an occasional target as they simultaneously encoded unrelated background scenes. The appearance of an occasional target could have two opposite effects on the secondary task: It could draw attention away from the second task, or, as a change in the ongoing event, it could improve secondary task performance. Results were consistent with the second possibility. Memory for scenes presented simultaneously with the targets was better than memory for scenes that preceded or followed the targets. This effect was observed when the primary detection task involved visual feature oddball detection, auditory oddball detection, and visual color-shape conjunction detection. It was eliminated when the detection task was omitted, and when it required an arbitrary response mapping. The appearance of occasional, task-relevant events appears to trigger a temporal orienting response that facilitates processing of concurrently attended information (Attentional Boost Effect). Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. The Effect of Repetitive Saccade Execution on the Attention Network Test: Enhancing Executive Function with a Flick of the Eyes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edlin, James M.; Lyle, Keith B.

    2013-01-01

    The simple act of repeatedly looking left and right can enhance subsequent cognition, including divergent thinking, detection of matching letters from visual arrays, and memory retrieval. One hypothesis is that saccade execution enhances subsequent cognition by altering attentional control. To test this hypothesis, we compared performance…

  5. Enhanced jump performance when providing augmented feedback compared to an external or internal focus of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Martin; Lauber, Benedikt; Gottschalk, Marius; Taube, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Factors such as an external focus of attention (EF) and augmented feedback (AF) have been shown to improve performance. However, the efficacy of providing AF to enhance motor performance has never been compared with the effects of an EF or an internal focus of attention (IF). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to identify which of the three conditions (AF, EF or IF) leads to the highest performance in a countermovement jump (CMJ). Nineteen volunteers performed 12 series of 8 maximum CMJs. Changes in jump height between conditions and within the series were analysed. Jump heights differed between conditions (P jump heights at the end of the series in AF (+1.60%) and lower jump heights at the end of the series in EF (-1.79%) and IF (-1.68%) were observed. Muscle activity did not differ between conditions. The differences between conditions and within the series provide evidence that AF leads to higher performance and better progression within one series than EF and IF. Consequently, AF seems to outperform EF and IF when maximising jump height.

  6. Microarray Gene Expression Analysis of Murine Tumor Heterogeneity Defined by Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MRI

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick G. Costouros

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available Current methods of studying angiogenesis are limited in their ability to serially evaluate in vivo function throughout a target tissue. Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI and pharmacokinetic modeling provide a useful method for evaluating tissue vasculature based on contrast accumulation and washout. While it is often assumed that areas of high contrast enhancement and washout comprise areas of increased angiogenesis and tumor activity, the actual molecular pathways that are active in such areas are poorly understood. Using DCE-MRI in a murine subcutaneous tumor model, we were able to perform pharmacokinetic functional analysis of a tumor, coregistration of MRI images with histological cross-sections, immunohistochemistry, laser capture microdissection, and genetic profiling of tumor heterogeneity based on pharmacokinetic parameters. Using imaging as a template for biologic investigation, we have not found evidence of increased expression of proangiogenic modulators at the transcriptional level in either distinct pharmacokinetic region. Furthermore, these regions show no difference on histology and CD31 immunohistochemistry. However, the expression of ribosomal proteins was greatly increased in high enhancement and washout regions, implying increased protein translation and consequent increased cellular activity. Together, these findings point to the potential importance of posttranscriptional regulation in angiogenesis and the need for the development of angiogenesis-specific contrast agents to evaluate in vivo angiogenesis at a molecular level.

  7. Oxytocin increases attention to the eyes and selectively enhances self-reported affective empathy for fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubble, Kelly; Daughters, Katie; Manstead, Antony S R; Rees, Aled; Thapar, Anita; van Goozen, Stephanie H M

    2017-11-01

    Oxytocin (OXT) has previously been implicated in a range of prosocial behaviors such as trust and emotion recognition. Nevertheless, recent studies have questioned the evidence for this link. In addition, there has been relatively little conclusive research on the effect of OXT on empathic ability and such studies as there are have not examined the mechanisms through which OXT might affect empathy, or whether OXT selectively facilitates empathy for specific emotions. In the current study, we used eye-tracking to assess attention to socially relevant information while participants viewed dynamic, empathy-inducing video clips, in which protagonists expressed sadness, happiness, pain or fear. In a double-blind, within-subjects, randomized control trial, 40 healthy male participants received 24 IU intranasal OXT or placebo in two identical experimental sessions, separated by a 2-week interval. OXT led to an increase in time spent fixating upon the eye-region of the protagonist's face across emotions. OXT also selectively enhanced self-reported affective empathy for fear, but did not affect cognitive or affective empathy for other emotions. Nevertheless, there was no positive relationship between eye-gaze patterns and affective empathy, suggesting that although OXT influences eye-gaze and may enhance affective empathy for fear, these two systems are independent. Future studies need to further examine the effect of OXT on eye-gaze to fully ascertain whether this can explain the improvements in emotional behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Guanfacine enhances inhibitory control and attentional shifting in early abstinent cocaine-dependent individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Helen; Sofuoglu, Mehmet; Sinha, Rajita

    2015-03-01

    Attenuation of adrenergic drive and cognitive enhancement, via stimulation of alpha2 pre- and post-synaptic receptors, may selectively enhance executive performance in early abstinent cocaine-dependent individuals. As these cognitive processes underpin important treatment-related behaviors, the alpha2 agonist, guanfacine HCl, may represent an effective pharmaco-therapeutic intervention. Twenty-five early abstinent cocaine-dependent individuals were administered a battery of neurocognitive tasks on entry into treatment (baseline) and again following 3 weeks of either placebo or guanfacine treatment (up to 3 mg). Tasks included: Stop Signal, Stroop, 3-Dimentional Intra-dimensional/Extra-dimensional (IDED) task, Spatial Working Memory (SWM), Paired Associates Learning (PAL), Verbal Fluency and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). Compared with placebo, the guanfacine group demonstrated attenuated anxiety and negative affect as well as improved performance on selective executive tests. This included fewer directional errors on the stop signal task, fewer errors on the extra-dimensional shift component of the IDED task and better attentional switching during verbal fluency. Guanfacine did not improve strategic working memory or peripheral memory. Guanfacine improves selective cognitive processes which may underlie salient treatment-related regulatory behaviors. Alpha2 agonists may therefore represent important agents for cocaine dependence. © The Author(s) 2015.

  9. Laminin enhances the growth of human neural stem cells in defined culture media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lathia Justin D

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human neural stem cells (hNSC have the potential to provide novel cell-based therapies for neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. In order to realise this goal, protocols need to be developed that allow for large quantities of hNSC to be cultured efficiently. As such, it is important to identify factors which enhance the growth of hNSC. In vivo, stem cells reside in distinct microenvironments or niches that are responsible for the maintenance of stem cell populations. A common feature of niches is the presence of the extracellular matrix molecule, laminin. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of exogenous laminin on hNSC growth. Results To measure hNSC growth, we established culture conditions using B27-supplemented medium that enable neurospheres to grow from human neural cells plated at clonal densities. Limiting dilution assays confirmed that neurospheres were derived from single cells at these densities. Laminin was found to increase hNSC numbers as measured by this neurosphere formation. The effect of laminin was to augment the proliferation/survival of the hNSC, rather than promoting the undifferentiated state. In agreement, apoptosis was reduced in dissociated neurospheres by laminin in an integrin β1-dependent manner. Conclusion The addition of laminin to the culture medium enhances the growth of hNSC, and may therefore aid their large-scale production.

  10. Modified chemically defined medium for enhanced respiratory growth of Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricciardi, A; Ianniello, R G; Parente, E; Zotta, T

    2015-09-01

    Members of the Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum groups are capable of aerobic and respiratory growth. However, they grow poorly in aerobiosis in the currently available chemically defined media, suggesting that aerobic and respiratory growth require further supplementation. The effect of Tween 80, L-alanine, L-asparagine, L-aspartate, L-proline and L-serine on anaerobic and respiratory growth of Lact. casei N87 was investigated using a 2(5) factorial design. The effectiveness of modified CDM (mCDM) was validated on 21 strains of Lact. casei and Lact. plantarum groups. Tween 80 supplementation did not affect anaerobic growth, but improved respiratory growth. L-asparagine, L-proline and L-serine were stimulatory for respiring cells, while the presence of L-aspartate, generally, impaired biomass production. mCDM promoted the growth of Lact. casei and Lact. plantarum, with best results for strains showing a respiratory phenotype. The nutritional requirements of anaerobic and respiratory cultures of members of the Lact. casei and Lact. plantarum groups differ. Tween 80 and selected amino acids derived from pathways related to TCA cycle, pyruvate conversion and NADH recycling are required for respiration. The availability of mCDM will facilitate the study of aerobic metabolism of lactobacilli under controlled conditions. © 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  11. Enhanced method of fast re-routing with load balancing in software-defined networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemeshko, Oleksandr; Yeremenko, Oleksandra

    2017-11-01

    A two-level method of fast re-routing with load balancing in a software-defined network (SDN) is proposed. The novelty of the method consists, firstly, in the introduction of a two-level hierarchy of calculating the routing variables responsible for the formation of the primary and backup paths, and secondly, in ensuring a balanced load of the communication links of the network, which meets the requirements of the traffic engineering concept. The method provides implementation of link, node, path, and bandwidth protection schemes for fast re-routing in SDN. The separation in accordance with the interaction prediction principle along two hierarchical levels of the calculation functions of the primary (lower level) and backup (upper level) routes allowed to abandon the initial sufficiently large and nonlinear optimization problem by transiting to the iterative solution of linear optimization problems of half the dimension. The analysis of the proposed method confirmed its efficiency and effectiveness in terms of obtaining optimal solutions for ensuring balanced load of communication links and implementing the required network element protection schemes for fast re-routing in SDN.

  12. Defining New Therapeutics Using a More Immunocompetent Mouse Model of Antibody-Enhanced Dengue Virus Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Amelia K; Brien, James D; Lam, Chia-Ying Kao; Johnson, Syd; Chiang, Cindy; Hiscott, John; Sarathy, Vanessa V; Barrett, Alan D; Shresta, Sujan; Diamond, Michael S

    2015-09-15

    With over 3.5 billion people at risk and approximately 390 million human infections per year, dengue virus (DENV) disease strains health care resources worldwide. Previously, we and others established models for DENV pathogenesis in mice that completely lack subunits of the receptors (Ifnar and Ifngr) for type I and type II interferon (IFN) signaling; however, the utility of these models is limited by the pleotropic effect of these cytokines on innate and adaptive immune system development and function. Here, we demonstrate that the specific deletion of Ifnar expression on subsets of murine myeloid cells (LysM Cre(+) Ifnar(flox/flox) [denoted as Ifnar(f/f) herein]) resulted in enhanced DENV replication in vivo. The administration of subneutralizing amounts of cross-reactive anti-DENV monoclonal antibodies to LysM Cre(+) Ifnar(f/f) mice prior to infection with DENV serotype 2 or 3 resulted in antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of infection with many of the characteristics associated with severe DENV disease in humans, including plasma leakage, hypercytokinemia, liver injury, hemoconcentration, and thrombocytopenia. Notably, the pathogenesis of severe DENV-2 or DENV-3 infection in LysM Cre(+) Ifnar(f/f) mice was blocked by pre- or postexposure administration of a bispecific dual-affinity retargeting molecule (DART) or an optimized RIG-I receptor agonist that stimulates innate immune responses. Our findings establish a more immunocompetent animal model of ADE of infection with multiple DENV serotypes in which disease is inhibited by treatment with broad-spectrum antibody derivatives or innate immune stimulatory agents. Although dengue virus (DENV) infects hundreds of millions of people annually and results in morbidity and mortality on a global scale, there are no approved antiviral treatments or vaccines. Part of the difficulty in evaluating therapeutic candidates is the lack of small animal models that are permissive to DENV and recapitulate the clinical features

  13. Vascular Platform to Define Hematopoietic Stem Cell Factors and Enhance Regenerative Hematopoiesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael G. Poulos

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs inhabit distinct microenvironments within the adult bone marrow (BM, which govern the delicate balance between HSC quiescence, self-renewal, and differentiation. Previous reports have proposed that HSCs localize to the vascular niche, comprised of endothelium and tightly associated perivascular cells. Herein, we examine the capacity of BM endothelial cells (BMECs to support ex vivo and in vivo hematopoiesis. We demonstrate that AKT1-activated BMECs (BMEC-Akt1 have a unique transcription factor/cytokine profile that supports functional HSCs in lieu of complex serum and cytokine supplementation. Additionally, transplantation of BMEC-Akt1 cells enhanced regenerative hematopoiesis following myeloablative irradiation. These data demonstrate that BMEC-Akt1 cultures can be used as a platform for the discovery of pro-HSC factors and justify the utility of BMECs as a cellular therapy. This technical advance may lead to the development of therapies designed to decrease pancytopenias associated with myeloablative regimens used to treat a wide array of disease states.

  14. Treatment of Schistosoma mansoni with miltefosine in vitro enhances serological recognition of defined worm surface antigens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marwa H El-Faham

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Miltefosine, an anti-cancer drug that has been successfully repositioned for treatment of Leishmania infections, has recently also shown promising effects against Schistosoma spp targeting all life cycle stages of the parasite. The current study examined the effect of treating Schistosoma mansoni adult worms with miltefosine on exposure of worm surface antigens in vitro.In an indirect immunofluorescence assay, rabbit anti-S.mansoni adult worm homogenate and anti-S. mansoni infection antisera gave strong immunofluorescence of the S. mansoni adult worm surface after treatment with miltefosine, the latter antiserum having previously been shown to synergistically enhance the schistosomicidal activity of praziquantel. Rabbit antibodies that recognised surface antigens exposed on miltefosine-treated worms were recovered by elution off the worm surface in low pH buffer and were used in a western immunoblotting assay to identify antigenic targets in a homogenate extract of adult worms (SmWH. Four proteins reacting with the antibodies in immunoblots were purified and proteomic analysis (MS/MS combined with specific immunoblotting indicated they were the S. mansoni proteins: fructose-1,6 bisphosphate aldolase (SmFBPA, Sm22.6, alkaline phosphatase and malate dehydrogenase. These antibodies were also found to bind to the surface of 3-hour schistosomula and induce immune agglutination of the parasites, suggesting they may have a role in immune protection.This study reveals a novel mode of action of miltefosine as an anti-schistosome agent. The immune-dependent hypothesis we investigated has previously been lent credence with praziquantel (PZQ, whereby treatment unmasks parasite surface antigens not normally exposed to the host during infection. Antigens involved in this molecular mechanism could have potential as intervention targets and antibodies against these antigens may act to increase the drug's anti-parasite efficacy and be involved in the development

  15. Is Visual Selective Attention in Deaf Individuals Enhanced or Deficient? The Case of the Useful Field of View

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, Matthew W. G.; Hauser, Peter C.; Bavelier, Daphne

    2009-01-01

    Background Early deafness leads to enhanced attention in the visual periphery. Yet, whether this enhancement confers advantages in everyday life remains unknown, as deaf individuals have been shown to be more distracted by irrelevant information in the periphery than their hearing peers. Here, we show that, in a complex attentional task, a performance advantage results for deaf individuals. Methodology/Principal Findings We employed the Useful Field of View (UFOV) which requires central target identification concurrent with peripheral target localization in the presence of distractors – a divided, selective attention task. First, the comparison of deaf and hearing adults with or without sign language skills establishes that deafness and not sign language use drives UFOV enhancement. Second, UFOV performance was enhanced in deaf children, but only after 11 years of age. Conclusions/Significance This work demonstrates that, following early auditory deprivation, visual attention resources toward the periphery slowly get augmented to eventually result in a clear behavioral advantage by pre-adolescence on a selective visual attention task. PMID:19462009

  16. Enhancing long-term memory with stimulation tunes visual attention in one trial

    OpenAIRE

    Reinhart, Robert M. G.; Woodman, Geoffrey F.

    2014-01-01

    Theories of attention propose that we rely on working memory to control attention by maintaining target presentations in this active store as our visual systems are used to search for certain objects. Here, we show that the tuning of perceptual attention can be sharply accelerated by noninvasive brain stimulation. Our electrophysiological measurements showed that these improvements in attentional tuning were preceded by changes in event-related potentials thought to index long-term memory, bu...

  17. Attenuated Tonic and Enhanced Phasic Release of Dopamine in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajendra D Badgaiyan

    Full Text Available It is unclear whether attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD is a hypodopaminergic or hyperdopaminergic condition. Different sets of data suggest either hyperactive or hypoactive dopamine system. Since indirect methods used in earlier studies have arrived at contradictory conclusions, we directly measured the tonic and phasic release of dopamine in ADHD volunteers. The tonic release in ADHD and healthy control volunteers was measured and compared using dynamic molecular imaging technique. The phasic release during performance of Eriksen's flanker task was measured in the two groups using single scan dynamic molecular imaging technique. In these experiments volunteers were positioned in a positron emission tomography (PET camera and administered a dopamine receptor ligand (11C-raclopride intravenously. After the injection PET data were acquired dynamically while volunteers either stayed still (tonic release experiments or performed the flanker task (phasic release experiments. PET data were analyzed to measure dynamic changes in ligand binding potential (BP and other receptor kinetic parameters. The analysis revealed that at rest the ligand BP was significantly higher in the right caudate of ADHD volunteers suggesting reduced tonic release. During task performance significantly lower ligand BP was observed in the same area, indicating increased phasic release. In ADHD tonic release of dopamine is attenuated and the phasic release is enhanced in the right caudate. By characterizing the nature of dysregulated dopamine neurotransmission in ADHD, the results explain earlier findings of reduced or increased dopaminergic activity.

  18. Neurofeedback therapy for enhancing visual attention: state-of-the-art and challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Ordikhani-Seyedlar

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We have witnessed a rapid development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs linking the brain to external devices. BCIs can be utilized to treat neurological conditions and even to augment brain functions. BCIs offer a promising treatment for mental disorders, including disorders of attention. Here we review the current state of the art and challenges of attention-based BCIs, with a focus on visual attention. Attention-based BCIs utilize electroencephalograms (EEGs or other recording techniques to generate neurofeedback, which patients use to improve their attention, a complex cognitive function. Although progress has been made in the studies of neural mechanisms of attention, extraction of attention-related neural signals needed for BCI operations is a difficult problem. To attain good BCI performance, it is important to select the features of neural activity that represent attentional signals. BCI decoding of attention-related activity may be hindered by the presence of different neural signals. Therefore, BCI accuracy can be improved by signal processing algorithms that dissociate signals of interest from irrelevant activities. Notwithstanding recent progress, optimal processing of attentional neural signals remains a fundamental challenge for the development of efficient therapies for disorders of attention.

  19. Enhanced Attention to Speaking Faces Versus Other Event Types Emerges Gradually Across Infancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrick, Lorraine E.; Todd, James Torrence; Castellanos, Irina; Sorondo, Barbara M.

    2017-01-01

    The development of attention to dynamic faces vs. objects providing synchronous audiovisual vs. silent visual stimulation was assessed in a large sample of infants. Maintaining attention to the faces and voices of people speaking is critical for perceptual, cognitive, social, and language development. However, no studies have systematically assessed when, if, or how attention to speaking faces emerges and changes across infancy. Two measures of attention maintenance, habituation time (HT) and look-away rate (LAR), were derived from cross-sectional data of 2- to 8-month-old infants (N = 801). Results indicated that attention to audiovisual faces and voices was maintained across age, whereas attention to each of the other event types (audiovisual objects, silent dynamic faces, silent dynamic objects) declined across age. This reveals a gradually emerging advantage in attention maintenance (longer habituation times, lower look-away rates) for audiovisual speaking faces compared with the other three event types. At 2 months, infants showed no attentional advantage for faces (with greater attention to audiovisual than to visual events), at 3 months, they attended more to dynamic faces than objects (in the presence or absence of voices), and by 4 to 5 and 6 to 8 months significantly greater attention emerged to temporally coordinated faces and voices of people speaking compared with all other event types. Our results indicate that selective attention to coordinated faces and voices over other event types emerges gradually across infancy, likely as a function of experience with multimodal, redundant stimulation from person and object events. PMID:27786526

  20. Selective Attention Enhances Beta-Band Cortical Oscillation to Speech under “Cocktail-Party” Listening Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yayue; Wang, Qian; Ding, Yu; Wang, Changming; Li, Haifeng; Wu, Xihong; Qu, Tianshu; Li, Liang

    2017-01-01

    Human listeners are able to selectively attend to target speech in a noisy environment with multiple-people talking. Using recordings of scalp electroencephalogram (EEG), this study investigated how selective attention facilitates the cortical representation of target speech under a simulated “cocktail-party” listening condition with speech-on-speech masking. The result shows that the cortical representation of target-speech signals under the multiple-people talking condition was specifically improved by selective attention relative to the non-selective-attention listening condition, and the beta-band activity was most strongly modulated by selective attention. Moreover, measured with the Granger Causality value, selective attention to the single target speech in the mixed-speech complex enhanced the following four causal connectivities for the beta-band oscillation: the ones (1) from site FT7 to the right motor area, (2) from the left frontal area to the right motor area, (3) from the central frontal area to the right motor area, and (4) from the central frontal area to the right frontal area. However, the selective-attention-induced change in beta-band causal connectivity from the central frontal area to the right motor area, but not other beta-band causal connectivities, was significantly correlated with the selective-attention-induced change in the cortical beta-band representation of target speech. These findings suggest that under the “cocktail-party” listening condition, the beta-band oscillation in EEGs to target speech is specifically facilitated by selective attention to the target speech that is embedded in the mixed-speech complex. The selective attention-induced unmasking of target speech may be associated with the improved beta-band functional connectivity from the central frontal area to the right motor area, suggesting a top-down attentional modulation of the speech-motor process. PMID:28239344

  1. Enhanced Attention to Speaking Faces versus Other Event Types Emerges Gradually across Infancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrick, Lorraine E.; Todd, James Torrence; Castellanos, Irina; Sorondo, Barbara M.

    2016-01-01

    The development of attention to dynamic faces versus objects providing synchronous audiovisual versus silent visual stimulation was assessed in a large sample of infants. Maintaining attention to the faces and voices of people speaking is critical for perceptual, cognitive, social, and language development. However, no studies have systematically…

  2. The influence of banner advertisements on attention and memory: human faces with averted gaze can enhance advertising effectiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajjacholapunt, Pitch; Ball, Linden J

    2014-01-01

    Research suggests that banner advertisements used in online marketing are often overlooked, especially when positioned horizontally on webpages. Such inattention invariably gives rise to an inability to remember advertising brands and messages, undermining the effectiveness of this marketing method. Recent interest has focused on whether human faces within banner advertisements can increase attention to the information they contain, since the gaze cues conveyed by faces can influence where observers look. We report an experiment that investigated the efficacy of faces located in banner advertisements to enhance the attentional processing and memorability of banner contents. We tracked participants' eye movements when they examined webpages containing either bottom-right vertical banners or bottom-center horizontal banners. We also manipulated facial information such that banners either contained no face, a face with mutual gaze or a face with averted gaze. We additionally assessed people's memories for brands and advertising messages. Results indicated that relative to other conditions, the condition involving faces with averted gaze increased attention to the banner overall, as well as to the advertising text and product. Memorability of the brand and advertising message was also enhanced. Conversely, in the condition involving faces with mutual gaze, the focus of attention was localized more on the face region rather than on the text or product, weakening any memory benefits for the brand and advertising message. This detrimental impact of mutual gaze on attention to advertised products was especially marked for vertical banners. These results demonstrate that the inclusion of human faces with averted gaze in banner advertisements provides a promising means for marketers to increase the attention paid to such adverts, thereby enhancing memory for advertising information.

  3. The influence of banner advertisements on attention and memory: Human faces with averted gaze can enhance advertising effectiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pitch eSajjacholapunt

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Research suggests that banner advertisements used in online marketing are often overlooked, especially when positioned horizontally on webpages. Such inattention invariably gives rise to an inability to remember advertising brands and messages, undermining the effectiveness of this marketing method. Recent interest has focused on whether human faces within banner advertisements can increase attention to the information they contain, since the gaze cues conveyed by faces can influence where observers look. We report an experiment that investigated the efficacy of faces located in banner advertisements to enhance the attentional processing and memorability of banner contents. We tracked participants’ eye movements when they examined webpages containing either bottom-right vertical banners or bottom-centre horizontal banners. We also manipulated facial information such that banners either contained no face, a face with mutual gaze or a face with averted gaze. We additionally assessed people’s memories for brands and advertising messages. Results indicated that relative to other conditions, the condition involving faces with averted gaze increased attention to the banner overall, as well as to the advertising text and product. Memorability of the brand and advertising message was also enhanced. Conversely, in the condition involving faces with mutual gaze, the focus of attention was localised more on the face region rather than on the text or product, weakening any memory benefits for the brand and advertising message. This detrimental impact of mutual gaze on attention to advertised products was especially marked for vertical banners. These results demonstrate that the inclusion of human faces with averted gaze in banner advertisements provides a promising means for marketers to increase the attention paid to such adverts, thereby enhancing memory for advertising information.

  4. Spatial attention enhances the selective integration of activity from area MT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masse, Nicolas Y; Herrington, Todd M; Cook, Erik P

    2012-09-01

    Distinguishing which of the many proposed neural mechanisms of spatial attention actually underlies behavioral improvements in visually guided tasks has been difficult. One attractive hypothesis is that attention allows downstream neural circuits to selectively integrate responses from the most informative sensory neurons. This would allow behavioral performance to be based on the highest-quality signals available in visual cortex. We examined this hypothesis by asking how spatial attention affects both the stimulus sensitivity of middle temporal (MT) neurons and their corresponding correlation with behavior. Analyzing a data set pooled from two experiments involving four monkeys, we found that spatial attention did not appreciably affect either the stimulus sensitivity of the neurons or the correlation between their activity and behavior. However, for those sessions in which there was a robust behavioral effect of attention, focusing attention inside the neuron's receptive field significantly increased the correlation between these two metrics, an indication of selective integration. These results suggest that, similar to mechanisms proposed for the neural basis of perceptual learning, the behavioral benefits of focusing spatial attention are attributable to selective integration of neural activity from visual cortical areas by their downstream targets.

  5. Enhancing long-term memory with stimulation tunes visual attention in one trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhart, Robert M G; Woodman, Geoffrey F

    2015-01-13

    Scientists have long proposed that memory representations control the mechanisms of attention that focus processing on the task-relevant objects in our visual field. Modern theories specifically propose that we rely on working memory to store the object representations that provide top-down control over attentional selection. Here, we show that the tuning of perceptual attention can be sharply accelerated after 20 min of noninvasive brain stimulation over medial-frontal cortex. Contrary to prevailing theories of attention, these improvements did not appear to be caused by changes in the nature of the working memory representations of the search targets. Instead, improvements in attentional tuning were accompanied by changes in an electrophysiological signal hypothesized to index long-term memory. We found that this pattern of effects was reliably observed when we stimulated medial-frontal cortex, but when we stimulated posterior parietal cortex, we found that stimulation directly affected the perceptual processing of the search array elements, not the memory representations providing top-down control. Our findings appear to challenge dominant theories of attention by demonstrating that changes in the storage of target representations in long-term memory may underlie rapid changes in the efficiency with which humans can find targets in arrays of objects.

  6. Front of Pack Labels Enhance Attention to Nutrition Information in Novel & Commercial Brands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Mark W; Bello, Nora M; Sundar, Raghav P; Peltier, Chad; Bix, Laura

    2015-10-01

    1) To assess whether Front-of-Pack (FOP) nutrition labels garner attention more readily than more complete, mandated nutrition information (the Nutrition Facts Panel (NFP), required in the US), and 2) To determine whether label design characteristics, specifically, color coding and/or coding with facial icons, increase attention to the FOP label. In two experiments, we tracked the allocation of attention while participants (n=125) viewed novel and commercial packages with varied FOP designs using a change detection methodology. We found empirical evidence that FOP labels are attended more often, and earlier, than the currently mandated NFP, and that this benefit is due both to its placement on the front of the package and to the design characteristics of the FOP. Specifically, the use of color in FOPs increased attention to the label, but there was no evidence that coding information via facial icons impacted attention. Our work supports a growing body of evidence supporting the use of FOP labels to attract attention to nutritional information. Findings may be relevant to inform policy decisions on labeling standards.

  7. Rehabilitation of executive functioning with training in attention regulation applied to individually defined goals: a pilot study bridging theory, assessment, and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novakovic-Agopian, Tatjana; Chen, Anthony J-W; Rome, Scott; Abrams, Gary; Castelli, Holli; Rossi, Annemarie; McKim, Ryan; Hills, Nancy; D'Esposito, Mark

    2011-01-01

    To assess feasibility and effects of training in goal-oriented attentional self-regulation for patients with brain injury and chronic executive dysfunction. Sixteen individuals with chronic brain injury and mild to moderate executive dysfunction. Participants were divided into 2 groups: one group completed goal-oriented attentional self-regulation training during the first 5 weeks, followed by a brief (2-hour) educational instruction session as a control midway through the second 5 weeks; the other group participated in reverse order. Neuropsychological and functional performance assessed at baseline and at weeks 5 and 10. Participants found training in goal-oriented attentional self-regulation engaging, incorporated some trained strategies into daily life, and reported subjective improvements in personal functioning. At week 5, participants who completed goals training significantly improved on tests of attention and executive function and had fewer functional task failures, while performance did not change after educational instruction. At week 10, participants who crossed over from educational instruction to goals training also significantly improved on attention and executive function tests. Participants who crossed from goals training to educational instruction maintained their week 5 gains. Training in goal-oriented attentional self-regulation is theoretically driven and feasible in a research setting. Pilot results suggest improvements in cognitive and functional domains targeted by the intervention.

  8. Auditory attention enhances processing of positive and negative words in inferior and superior prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegrzyn, Martin; Herbert, Cornelia; Ethofer, Thomas; Flaisch, Tobias; Kissler, Johanna

    2017-11-01

    Visually presented emotional words are processed preferentially and effects of emotional content are similar to those of explicit attention deployment in that both amplify visual processing. However, auditory processing of emotional words is less well characterized and interactions between emotional content and task-induced attention have not been fully understood. Here, we investigate auditory processing of emotional words, focussing on how auditory attention to positive and negative words impacts their cerebral processing. A Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study manipulating word valence and attention allocation was performed. Participants heard negative, positive and neutral words to which they either listened passively or attended by counting negative or positive words, respectively. Regardless of valence, active processing compared to passive listening increased activity in primary auditory cortex, left intraparietal sulcus, and right superior frontal gyrus (SFG). The attended valence elicited stronger activity in left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and left SFG, in line with these regions' role in semantic retrieval and evaluative processing. No evidence for valence-specific attentional modulation in auditory regions or distinct valence-specific regional activations (i.e., negative > positive or positive > negative) was obtained. Thus, allocation of auditory attention to positive and negative words can substantially increase their processing in higher-order language and evaluative brain areas without modulating early stages of auditory processing. Inferior and superior frontal brain structures mediate interactions between emotional content, attention, and working memory when prosodically neutral speech is processed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Glucose administration prior to a divided attention task improves tracking performance but not word recognition: evidence against differential memory enhancement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholey, Andrew B; Sünram-Lea, Sandra I; Greer, Joanna; Elliott, Jade; Kennedy, David O

    2009-01-01

    The cognition-enhancing effects of glucose administration to humans have been well-documented; however, it remains unclear whether this effect preferentially targets episodic memory or other cognitive domains. The effect of glucose on the allocation of attentional resources during memory encoding was assessed using a sensitive dual-attention paradigm. One hundred and twenty volunteers (mean age 21.60, SD 4.89, 77 females) took part in this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel groups study where each consumed a 25-g glucose drink or a placebo. Half of the participants in each drink condition attempted to track a moving on-screen target during auditory word presentation. The distance between the cursor and the tracking target was used as an index of attentional cost during encoding. Effects of drink and tracking on recognition memory and drink on tracking performance were assessed. Self-rated appetite and mood were co-monitored. Co-performing the tracking task significantly impaired memory performance irrespective of drink condition. In the placebo-tracking condition, there was a cost to tracking manifest as greater deviation from target during and immediately following word presentation. Compared with placebo, the glucose drink significantly improved tracking performance during encoding. There were significant time-related changes in thirst and alertness ratings but these were not differentially affected by drink or tracking conditions. Tracking but not memory was enhanced by glucose. This finding suggests that, under certain task conditions, glucose administrations does not preferentially enhance memory performance. One mechanism through which glucose acts as a cognition enhancer is through allowing greater allocation of attentional resources.

  10. High Stakes Trigger the Use of Multiple Memories to Enhance the Control of Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhart, Robert M.G.; Woodman, Geoffrey F.

    2014-01-01

    We can more precisely tune attention to highly rewarding objects than other objects in our environment, but how our brains do this is unknown. After a few trials of searching for the same object, subjects' electrical brain activity indicated that they handed off the memory representations used to control attention from working memory to long-term memory. However, when a large reward was possible, the neural signature of working memory returned as subjects recruited working memory to supplement the cognitive control afforded by the representations accumulated in long-term memory. The amplitude of this neural signature of working memory predicted the magnitude of the subsequent behavioral reward-based attention effects across tasks and individuals, showing the ubiquity of this cognitive reaction to high-stakes situations. PMID:23448876

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-07-01

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

  12. Can Driving-Simulator Training Enhance Visual Attention, Cognition, and Physical Functioning in Older Adults?

    OpenAIRE

    Mathias Haeger; Otmar Bock; Daniel Memmert; Stefanie Hüttermann

    2018-01-01

    Virtual reality offers a good possibility for the implementation of real-life tasks in a laboratory-based training or testing scenario. Thus, a computerized training in a driving simulator offers an ecological valid training approach. Visual attention had an influence on driving performance, so we used the reverse approach to test the influence of a driving training on visual attention and executive functions. Thirty-seven healthy older participants (mean age: 71.46 ± 4.09; gender: 17 men and...

  13. Response bias reveals enhanced attention to inferior visual field in signers of American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, Matthew W G; Seymour, Jenessa L; Hauser, Peter C

    2016-04-01

    Deafness results in cross-modal plasticity, whereby visual functions are altered as a consequence of a lack of hearing. Here, we present a reanalysis of data originally reported by Dye et al. (PLoS One 4(5):e5640, 2009) with the aim of testing additional hypotheses concerning the spatial redistribution of visual attention due to deafness and the use of a visuogestural language (American Sign Language). By looking at the spatial distribution of errors made by deaf and hearing participants performing a visuospatial selective attention task, we sought to determine whether there was evidence for (1) a shift in the hemispheric lateralization of visual selective function as a result of deafness, and (2) a shift toward attending to the inferior visual field in users of a signed language. While no evidence was found for or against a shift in lateralization of visual selective attention as a result of deafness, a shift in the allocation of attention from the superior toward the inferior visual field was inferred in native signers of American Sign Language, possibly reflecting an adaptation to the perceptual demands imposed by a visuogestural language.

  14. Can Driving-Simulator Training Enhance Visual Attention, Cognition, and Physical Functioning in Older Adults?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haeger, Mathias; Bock, Otmar; Memmert, Daniel; Hüttermann, Stefanie

    2018-01-01

    Virtual reality offers a good possibility for the implementation of real-life tasks in a laboratory-based training or testing scenario. Thus, a computerized training in a driving simulator offers an ecological valid training approach. Visual attention had an influence on driving performance, so we used the reverse approach to test the influence of a driving training on visual attention and executive functions. Thirty-seven healthy older participants (mean age: 71.46 ± 4.09; gender: 17 men and 20 women) took part in our controlled experimental study. We examined transfer effects from a four-week driving training (three times per week) on visual attention, executive function, and motor skill. Effects were analyzed using an analysis of variance with repeated measurements. Therefore, main factors were group and time to show training-related benefits of our intervention. Results revealed improvements for the intervention group in divided visual attention; however, there were benefits neither in the other cognitive domains nor in the additional motor task. Thus, there are no broad training-induced transfer effects from such an ecologically valid training regime. This lack of findings could be addressed to insufficient training intensities or a participant-induced bias following the cancelled randomization process.

  15. Neurofeedback Therapy for Enhancing Visual Attention: State-of-the-Art and Challenges

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ordikhani-Seyedlar, Mehdi; Lebedev, Mikhail A; Sørensen, Helge Bjarup Dissing

    2016-01-01

    We have witnessed a rapid development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) linking the brain to external devices. BCIs can be utilized to treat neurological conditions and even to augment brain functions. BCIs offer a promising treatment for mental disorders, including disorders of attention. Here...

  16. Can Driving-Simulator Training Enhance Visual Attention, Cognition, and Physical Functioning in Older Adults?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Haeger

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Virtual reality offers a good possibility for the implementation of real-life tasks in a laboratory-based training or testing scenario. Thus, a computerized training in a driving simulator offers an ecological valid training approach. Visual attention had an influence on driving performance, so we used the reverse approach to test the influence of a driving training on visual attention and executive functions. Thirty-seven healthy older participants (mean age: 71.46 ± 4.09; gender: 17 men and 20 women took part in our controlled experimental study. We examined transfer effects from a four-week driving training (three times per week on visual attention, executive function, and motor skill. Effects were analyzed using an analysis of variance with repeated measurements. Therefore, main factors were group and time to show training-related benefits of our intervention. Results revealed improvements for the intervention group in divided visual attention; however, there were benefits neither in the other cognitive domains nor in the additional motor task. Thus, there are no broad training-induced transfer effects from such an ecologically valid training regime. This lack of findings could be addressed to insufficient training intensities or a participant-induced bias following the cancelled randomization process.

  17. Cholinergic stimulation enhances Bayesian belief updating in the deployment of spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vossel, Simone; Bauer, Markus; Mathys, Christoph; Adams, Rick A; Dolan, Raymond J; Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J

    2014-11-19

    The exact mechanisms whereby the cholinergic neurotransmitter system contributes to attentional processing remain poorly understood. Here, we applied computational modeling to psychophysical data (obtained from a spatial attention task) under a psychopharmacological challenge with the cholinesterase inhibitor galantamine (Reminyl). This allowed us to characterize the cholinergic modulation of selective attention formally, in terms of hierarchical Bayesian inference. In a placebo-controlled, within-subject, crossover design, 16 healthy human subjects performed a modified version of Posner's location-cueing task in which the proportion of validly and invalidly cued targets (percentage of cue validity, % CV) changed over time. Saccadic response speeds were used to estimate the parameters of a hierarchical Bayesian model to test whether cholinergic stimulation affected the trial-wise updating of probabilistic beliefs that underlie the allocation of attention or whether galantamine changed the mapping from those beliefs to subsequent eye movements. Behaviorally, galantamine led to a greater influence of probabilistic context (% CV) on response speed than placebo. Crucially, computational modeling suggested this effect was due to an increase in the rate of belief updating about cue validity (as opposed to the increased sensitivity of behavioral responses to those beliefs). We discuss these findings with respect to cholinergic effects on hierarchical cortical processing and in relation to the encoding of expected uncertainty or precision. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3415735-08$15.00/0.

  18. Humor in print health advertisements: enhanced attention, privileged recognition, and persuasiveness of preventive messages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc, Nathalie; Brigaud, Emmanuelle

    2014-01-01

    This study tested the effect of humor in one particular type of print advertisement: the preventive health ads for three topics (alcohol, tobacco, obesity). Previous research using commercial ads demonstrated that individuals' attention is spontaneously attracted by humor, leading to a memory advantage for humorous information over nonhumorous information. Two experiments investigated whether the positive effect of humor can occur with preventive health ads. In Experiment 1, participants observed humorous and nonhumorous health ads while their viewing times were recorded. In Experiment 2, to compare humorous and nonhumorous ads, the memory of health messages was assessed through a recognition task and a convincing score was collected. The results confirmed that, compared to nonhumorous health ads, those using humor received prolonged attention, were judged more convincing, and their messages were better recognized. Overall, these findings suggest that humor can be of use in preventive health communication.

  19. Battery powered thought: enhancement of attention, learning, and memory in healthy adults using transcranial direct current stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coffman, Brian A; Clark, Vincent P; Parasuraman, Raja

    2014-01-15

    This article reviews studies demonstrating enhancement with transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) of attention, learning, and memory processes in healthy adults. Given that these are fundamental cognitive functions, they may also mediate stimulation effects on other higher-order processes such as decision-making and problem solving. Although tDCS research is still young, there have been a variety of methods used and cognitive processes tested. While these different methods have resulted in seemingly contradictory results among studies, many consistent and noteworthy effects of tDCS on attention, learning, and memory have been reported. The literature suggests that although tDCS as typically applied may not be as useful for localization of function in the brain as some other methods of brain stimulation, tDCS may be particularly well-suited for practical applications involving the enhancement of attention, learning, and memory, in both healthy subjects and in clinical populations. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. An external focus of attention enhances balance learning in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiviacowsky, Suzete; Wulf, Gabriele; Wally, Raquel

    2010-10-01

    Studies with young adults have shown that an external focus of attention (i.e., on the movement effect) results in more effective motor learning and greater automaticity than an internal focus (i.e., on one's own body movements). The present study examined whether instructions inducing an external versus internal attentional focus would differentially affect the learning of a balance task in 32 older adults (24 females and 8 males, mean age: 69.4 years), divided equally, by number and gender, into two groups. The task required participants to stand on a balance platform (stabilometer) tilting to the left and right, and to try to keep the platform as close to horizontal as possible during each 30-s trial. The external focus group was instructed to concentrate on keeping markers on the platform horizontal, while the internal focus group was instructed to concentrate on keeping their feet horizontal. The dependent variable was time in balance (i.e., platform movements within ± 5°). Participants performed 10 practice trials on day 1, with focus reminders given before each trial. Learning was assessed by a retention test, consisting of five trials without instructions, performed 1 day later. The external focus group outperformed the internal focus group in retention [F(4, 120)=3.46, p=.01]. The results demonstrate that the learning benefits of an external attentional focus are generalizable to older learners. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Sensory hypersensitivity predicts enhanced attention capture by faces in the early development of ASD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.J.H Jones

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Sensory sensitivity is prevalent among young children with ASD, but its relation to social communication impairment is unclear. Recently, increased sensory hypersensitivity has been linked to greater activity of the neural salience network (Green et al., 2016. Increased neural sensitivity to stimuli, especially social stimuli, could provide greater opportunity for social learning and improved outcomes. Consistent with this framework, in Experiment 1 we found that parent report of greater sensory hypersensitivity at 2 years in toddlers with ASD (N = 27 was predictive of increased neural responsiveness to social stimuli (larger amplitude event-related potential/ERP responses to faces at P1, P400 and Nc at 4 years, and this in turn was related to parent report of increased social approach at 4 years. In Experiment 2, parent report of increased perceptual sensitivity at 6 months in infants at low and high familial risk for ASD (N = 35 predicted larger ERP P1 amplitude to faces at 18 months. Increased sensory hypersensitivity in early development thus predicted greater attention capture by faces in later development, and this related to more optimal social behavioral development. Sensory hypersensitivity may index a child's ability to benefit from supportive environments during development. Early sensory symptoms may not always be developmentally problematic for individuals with ASD. Keywords: Autism, Sensory hypersensitivity, Social attention, Salience network, Infant, EEG

  2. Theta Burst Stimulation Enhances Connectivity of the Dorsal Attention Network in Young Healthy Subjects: An Exploratory Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lubomira Anderkova

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We examined effects of theta burst stimulation (TBS applied over two distinct cortical areas (the right inferior frontal gyrus and the left superior parietal lobule on the Stroop task performance in 20 young healthy subjects. Neural underpinnings of the behavioral effect were tested using fMRI. A single session of intermittent TBS of the left superior parietal lobule induced certain cognitive speed enhancement and significantly increased resting-state connectivity of the dorsal attention network. This is an exploratory study that prompts further research with multiple-session TBS in subjects with cognitive impairment.

  3. Methylphenidate enhances cognitive performance in adults with poor baseline capacities regardless of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agay, Nirit; Yechiam, Eldad; Carmel, Ziv; Levkovitz, Yechiel

    2014-04-01

    We compare the view that the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) is selective to individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with an alternative approach suggesting that its effect is more prominent for individuals with weak baseline capacities in relevant cognitive tasks. To evaluate theses 2 approaches, we administered sustained attention, working memory, and decision-making tasks to 20 ADHD adults and 19 control subjects, using a within-subject placebo-controlled design. The results demonstrated no main effects of MPH in the decision-making tasks. In the sustained attention and working-memory tasks, MPH enhanced performance of both ADHD and non-ADHD adults to a similar extent compared with placebo. Hence, the effect of MPH was not selective to ADHD adults. In addition, those benefitting most from MPH in all 3 task domains tended to be individuals with poor task performance. However, in most tasks, individuals whose performance was impaired by MPH were not necessarily better (or worse) performers. The findings suggest that the administration of MPH to adults with ADHD should consider not only clinical diagnosis but also their functional (performance-based) profile.

  4. The winner takes it all: Event-related brain potentials reveal enhanced motivated attention toward athletes' nonverbal signals of leading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furley, Philip; Schnuerch, Robert; Gibbons, Henning

    2017-08-01

    Observers of sports can reliably estimate who is leading or trailing based on nonverbal cues. Most likely, this is due to an adaptive mechanism of detecting motivationally relevant signals such as high status, superiority, and dominance. We reasoned that the relevance of leading athletes should lead to a sustained attentional prioritization. To test this idea, we recorded electroencephalography while 45 participants saw brief stills of athletes and estimated whether they were leading or trailing. Based on these recordings, we assessed event-related potentials and focused on the late positive complex (LPC), a well-established signature of controlled attention to motivationally relevant visual stimuli. Confirming our expectation, we found that LPC amplitude was significantly enhanced for leading as compared to trailing athletes. Moreover, this modulation was significantly related to behavioral performance on the score-estimation task. The present data suggest that subtle cues related to athletic supremacy are reliably differentiated in the human brain, involving a strong attentional orienting toward leading athletes. This mechanism might be part of an adaptive cognitive strategy that guides human social behavior.

  5. Virtual reality training to enhance behavior and cognitive function among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: brief report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shema-Shiratzky, Shirley; Brozgol, Marina; Cornejo-Thumm, Pablo; Geva-Dayan, Karen; Rotstein, Michael; Leitner, Yael; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M; Mirelman, Anat

    2018-05-17

    To examine the feasibility and efficacy of a combined motor-cognitive training using virtual reality to enhance behavior, cognitive function and dual-tasking in children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Fourteen non-medicated school-aged children with ADHD, received 18 training sessions during 6 weeks. Training included walking on a treadmill while negotiating virtual obstacles. Behavioral symptoms, cognition and gait were tested before and after the training and at 6-weeks follow-up. Based on parental report, there was a significant improvement in children's social problems and psychosomatic behavior after the training. Executive function and memory were improved post-training while attention was unchanged. Gait regularity significantly increased during dual-task walking. Long-term training effects were maintained in memory and executive function. Treadmill-training augmented with virtual-reality is feasible and may be an effective treatment to enhance behavior, cognitive function and dual-tasking in children with ADHD.

  6. Selective attention modulates neural substrates of repetition priming and "implicit" visual memory: suppressions and enhancements revealed by FMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuilleumier, Patrik; Schwartz, Sophie; Duhoux, Stéphanie; Dolan, Raymond J; Driver, Jon

    2005-08-01

    Attention can enhance processing for relevant information and suppress this for ignored stimuli. However, some residual processing may still arise without attention. Here we presented overlapping outline objects at study, with subjects attending to those in one color but not the other. Attended objects were subsequently recognized on a surprise memory test, whereas there was complete amnesia for ignored items on such direct explicit testing; yet reliable behavioral priming effects were found on indirect testing. Event-related fMRI examined neural responses to previously attended or ignored objects, now shown alone in the same or mirror-reversed orientation as before, intermixed with new items. Repetition-related decreases in fMRI responses for objects previously attended and repeated in the same orientation were found in the right posterior fusiform, lateral occipital, and left inferior frontal cortex. More anterior fusiform regions also showed some repetition decreases for ignored objects, irrespective of orientation. View-specific repetition decreases were found in the striate cortex, particularly for previously attended items. In addition, previously ignored objects produced some fMRI response increases in the bilateral lingual gyri, relative to new objects. Selective attention at exposure can thus produce several distinct long-term effects on processing of stimuli repeated later, with neural response suppression stronger for previously attended objects, and some response enhancement for previously ignored objects, with these effects arising in different brain areas. Although repetition decreases may relate to positive priming phenomena, the repetition increases for ignored objects shown here for the first time might relate to processes that can produce "negative priming" in some behavioral studies. These results reveal quantitative and qualitative differences between neural substrates of long-term repetition effects for attended versus unattended objects.

  7. Reward reduces conflict by enhancing attentional control and biasing visual cortical processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padmala, Srikanth; Pessoa, Luiz

    2011-11-01

    How does motivation interact with cognitive control during challenging behavioral conditions? Here, we investigated the interactions between motivation and cognition during a response conflict task and tested a specific model of the effect of reward on cognitive processing. Behaviorally, participants exhibited reduced conflict during the reward versus no-reward condition. Brain imaging results revealed that a group of subcortical and fronto-parietal regions was robustly influenced by reward at cue processing and, importantly, that cue-related responses in fronto-parietal attentional regions were predictive of reduced conflict-related signals in the medial pFC (MPFC)/ACC during the upcoming target phase. Path analysis revealed that the relationship between cue responses in the right intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and interference-related responses in the MPFC during the subsequent target phase was mediated via signals in the left fusiform gyrus, which we linked to distractor-related processing. Finally, reward increased functional connectivity between the right IPS and both bilateral putamen and bilateral nucleus accumbens during the cue phase, a relationship that covaried with across-individual sensitivity to reward in the case of the right nucleus accumbens. Taken together, our findings are consistent with a model in which motivationally salient cues are employed to upregulate top-down control processes that bias the selection of visual information, thereby leading to more efficient stimulus processing during conflict conditions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

    This study was to investigate the potential enhancing effect of heat stress on mental fatigue progression during sustained attention task using arterial spin labeling (ASL) imaging. Twenty participants underwent two thermal exposures in an environmental chamber: normothermic (NT) condition (25°C, 1h) and hyperthermic (HT) condition (50°C, 1h). After thermal exposure, they performed a twenty-minute psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) in the scanner. Behavioral analysis revealed progressively increasing subjective fatigue ratings and reaction time as PVT progressed. Moreover, heat stress caused worse performance. Perfusion imaging analyses showed significant resting-state cerebral blood flow (CBF) alterations after heat exposure. Specifically, increased CBF mainly gathered in thalamic-brainstem area while decreased CBF predominantly located in fronto-parietal areas, anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and medial frontal cortex. More importantly, diverse CBF distributions and trend of changes between both conditions were observed as the fatigue level progressed during subsequent PVT task. Specifically, higher CBF and enhanced rising trend were presented in superior parietal lobe, precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, while lower CBF or inhibited rising trend was found in dorsolateral frontal cortex, medial frontal cortex, inferior parietal lobe and thalamic-brainstem areas. Furthermore, the decrease of post-heat resting-state CBF in fronto-parietal cortex was correlated with subsequent slower reaction time, suggesting prior disturbed resting-state CBF might be indicator of performance potential and fatigue level in following task. These findings may provide proof for such a view: heat stress has a potential fatigue-enhancing effect when individual is performing highly cognition-demanding attention task. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Enhancing links between visual short term memory, visual attention and cognitive control processes through practice: An electrophysiological insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuggetta, Giorgio; Duke, Philip A

    2017-05-01

    The operation of attention on visible objects involves a sequence of cognitive processes. The current study firstly aimed to elucidate the effects of practice on neural mechanisms underlying attentional processes as measured with both behavioural and electrophysiological measures. Secondly, it aimed to identify any pattern in the relationship between Event-Related Potential (ERP) components which play a role in the operation of attention in vision. Twenty-seven participants took part in two recording sessions one week apart, performing an experimental paradigm which combined a match-to-sample task with a memory-guided efficient visual-search task within one trial sequence. Overall, practice decreased behavioural response times, increased accuracy, and modulated several ERP components that represent cognitive and neural processing stages. This neuromodulation through practice was also associated with an enhanced link between behavioural measures and ERP components and with an enhanced cortico-cortical interaction of functionally interconnected ERP components. Principal component analysis (PCA) of the ERP amplitude data revealed three components, having different rostro-caudal topographic representations. The first component included both the centro-parietal and parieto-occipital mismatch triggered negativity - involved in integration of visual representations of the target with current task-relevant representations stored in visual working memory - loaded with second negative posterior-bilateral (N2pb) component, involved in categorising specific pop-out target features. The second component comprised the amplitude of bilateral anterior P2 - related to detection of a specific pop-out feature - loaded with bilateral anterior N2, related to detection of conflicting features, and fronto-central mismatch triggered negativity. The third component included the parieto-occipital N1 - related to early neural responses to the stimulus array - which loaded with the second

  10. Enhancing effects of lithium on memory are not by-products of learning or attentional deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsaltas, Eleftheria; Kyriazi, Theodora; Poulopoulou, Cornelia; Kontis, Dimitrios; Maillis, Antonios

    2007-06-18

    We recently reported that chronic lithium (LiCl), at therapeutic plasma levels, enhanced spatial working memory and retention of an aversive contingency. Here we examine the possibility that these effects be secondary to LiCl effects on the ability to ignore irrelevant stimuli or on fear conditioning. In Experiment 1, rats subjected to >30 daily intraperitoneal injections of LiCl (2mmol/kg) or saline underwent conditioned emotional response training (CER: 2 CS pairings with 1-s, 1-mA shock) after 40 pre-exposures either to the CS (latent inhibition-LiCl/latent inhibition-saline, n=8) or to another stimulus (control-LiCl/control-saline, n=8). In Experiment 2, eight LiCl and eight saline animals were trained in on-the-baseline (VI-60s) CER (1-s, 0.15-mA shock in CS-signalled periods) in the Skinner box. In Experiment 1, LiCl animals showed normal latent inhibition. In both experiments, their fear conditioning was unimpaired. Therefore, the previously reported memory improvement under chronic lithium cannot be attributed to changes in the ability to ignore irrelevant stimuli or in fear conditioning.

  11. Enhanced attentional gain as a mechanism for generalized perceptual learning in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Anna; Serences, John T

    2014-09-01

    Learning to better discriminate a specific visual feature (i.e., a specific orientation in a specific region of space) has been associated with plasticity in early visual areas (sensory modulation) and with improvements in the transmission of sensory information from early visual areas to downstream sensorimotor and decision regions (enhanced readout). However, in many real-world scenarios that require perceptual expertise, observers need to efficiently process numerous exemplars from a broad stimulus class as opposed to just a single stimulus feature. Some previous data suggest that perceptual learning leads to highly specific neural modulations that support the discrimination of specific trained features. However, the extent to which perceptual learning acts to improve the discriminability of a broad class of stimuli via the modulation of sensory responses in human visual cortex remains largely unknown. Here, we used functional MRI and a multivariate analysis method to reconstruct orientation-selective response profiles based on activation patterns in the early visual cortex before and after subjects learned to discriminate small offsets in a set of grating stimuli that were rendered in one of nine possible orientations. Behavioral performance improved across 10 training sessions, and there was a training-related increase in the amplitude of orientation-selective response profiles in V1, V2, and V3 when orientation was task relevant compared with when it was task irrelevant. These results suggest that generalized perceptual learning can lead to modified responses in the early visual cortex in a manner that is suitable for supporting improved discriminability of stimuli drawn from a large set of exemplars. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  12. Nanoscale resonant-cavity-enhanced germanium photodetectors with lithographically defined spectral response for improved performance at telecommunications wavelengths.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balram, Krishna C; Audet, Ross M; Miller, David A B

    2013-04-22

    We demonstrate the use of a subwavelength planar metal-dielectric resonant cavity to enhance the absorption of germanium photodetectors at wavelengths beyond the material's direct absorption edge, enabling high responsivity across the entire telecommunications C and L bands. The resonant wavelength of the detectors can be tuned linearly by varying the width of the Ge fin, allowing multiple detectors, each resonant at a different wavelength, to be fabricated in a single-step process. This approach is promising for the development of CMOS-compatible devices suitable for integrated, high-speed, and energy-efficient photodetection at telecommunications wavelengths.

  13. Visual spatial attention enhances the amplitude of positive and negative fMRI responses to visual stimulation in an eccentricity-dependent manner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressler, David W.; Fortenbaugh, Francesca C.; Robertson, Lynn C.; Silver, Michael A.

    2013-01-01

    Endogenous visual spatial attention improves perception and enhances neural responses to visual stimuli at attended locations. Although many aspects of visual processing differ significantly between central and peripheral vision, little is known regarding the neural substrates of the eccentricity dependence of spatial attention effects. We measured amplitudes of positive and negative fMRI responses to visual stimuli as a function of eccentricity in a large number of topographically-organized cortical areas. Responses to each stimulus were obtained when the stimulus was attended and when spatial attention was directed to a stimulus in the opposite visual hemifield. Attending to the stimulus increased both positive and negative response amplitudes in all cortical areas we studied: V1, V2, V3, hV4, VO1, LO1, LO2, V3A/B, IPS0, TO1, and TO2. However, the eccentricity dependence of these effects differed considerably across cortical areas. In early visual, ventral, and lateral occipital cortex, attentional enhancement of positive responses was greater for central compared to peripheral eccentricities. The opposite pattern was observed in dorsal stream areas IPS0 and putative MT homolog TO1, where attentional enhancement of positive responses was greater in the periphery. Both the magnitude and the eccentricity dependence of attentional modulation of negative fMRI responses closely mirrored that of positive responses across cortical areas. PMID:23562388

  14. Visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Karla K; Horowitz, Todd S; Howe, Piers; Pedersini, Roccardo; Reijnen, Ester; Pinto, Yair; Kuzmova, Yoana; Wolfe, Jeremy M

    2011-09-01

    A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, 'visual attention' describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act upon. They allow for concurrent selection of some (preferably, relevant) information and inhibition of other information. This selection permits the reduction of complexity and informational overload. Selection can be determined both by the 'bottom-up' saliency of information from the environment and by the 'top-down' state and goals of the perceiver. Attentional effects can take the form of modulating or enhancing the selected information. A central role for selective attention is to enable the 'binding' of selected information into unified and coherent representations of objects in the outside world. In the overview on visual attention presented here we review the mechanisms and consequences of selection and inhibition over space and time. We examine theoretical, behavioral and neurophysiologic work done on visual attention. We also discuss the relations between attention and other cognitive processes such as automaticity and awareness. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 503-514 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.127 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Attention and Emotion-Enhanced Memory: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Behavioural and Neuroimaging Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Kohler, Mark; Cross, Zachariah; Santamaria, Amanda

    2018-01-01

    The interaction between attention and emotion is posited to influence long-term memory consolidation. We systematically reviewed experiments investigating the influence of attention on emotional memory to determine: (i) the reported effect of attention on memory for emotional stimuli, and (ii) whether there is homogeneity between behavioural and neuroimaging based effects. Over half of the 47 included experiments found a moderate-to-large effect of attention on emotional memory as measured be...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jutta eKray

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Well-defined flake-like polypyrrole grafted graphene nanosheets composites as electrode materials for supercapacitors with enhanced cycling stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xue; Wang, Tingmei; Yang, Chao; Li, Haidong; Liu, Peng

    2013-12-01

    Well-defined flake-like polypyrrole grafted graphene nanosheets composites (PPy-g-GNS) were fabricated by the in-situ chemical oxidative grafting polymerization of pyrrole in the presence of the 4-aminophenyl modified graphene nanosheets (AP-GNS), which were prepared via the coupling reaction of the graphene nanosheets (GNS) with diazonium salt. The flake-like PPy-g-GNS composite showed the high conductivity at room temperature. A maximum discharge capacitance of 191.2 F/g at the scan rate of 10 mV/s could be achieved in the three-electrode cell electrochemical testing in 1.0 mol/L NaNO3 electrolyte solution. It is higher than those of the AP-GNS, pure PPy, and the GNS/PPy composite prepared with the unmodified graphene nanosheets (GNS). The flake-like PPy-g-GNS composites also exhibited the excellent electrochemical stability even after 1000 cycles. It revealed the synergistic effect between the conducting polymer and the carbon-based support.

  19. Facial expression movement enhances the measurement of temporal dynamics of attentional bias in the dot-probe task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caudek, Corrado; Ceccarini, Francesco; Sica, Claudio

    2017-08-01

    The facial dot-probe task is one of the most common experimental paradigms used to assess attentional bias toward emotional information. In recent years, however, the psychometric properties of this paradigm have been questioned. In the present study, attentional bias to emotional face stimuli was measured with dynamic and static images of realistic human faces in 97 college students (63 women) who underwent either a positive or a negative mood-induction prior to the experiment. We controlled the bottom-up salience of the stimuli in order to dissociate the top-down orienting of attention from the effects of the bottom-up physical properties of the stimuli. A Bayesian analysis of our results indicates that 1) the traditional global attentional bias index shows a low reliability, 2) reliability increases dramatically when biased attention is analyzed by extracting a series of bias estimations from trial-to-trial (Zvielli, Bernstein, & Koster, 2015), 3) dynamic expression of emotions strengthens biased attention to emotional information, and 4) mood-congruency facilitates the measurement of biased attention to emotional stimuli. These results highlight the importance of using ecologically valid stimuli in attentional bias research, together with the importance of estimating biased attention at the trial level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A genetic variant within STS previously associated with inattention in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is associated with enhanced cognition in healthy adult males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humby, Trevor; Fisher, Amelia; Allen, Christopher; Reynolds, Meghann; Hartman, Annette; Giegling, Ina; Rujescu, Dan; Davies, William

    2017-03-01

    The enzyme steroid sulfatase (STS) converts sulfated steroids to their non-sulfated forms. Deficiency for this enzyme is associated with inattention but preserved response control. The polymorphism rs17268988 within the X-linked STS gene is associated with inattentive, but not other, symptoms in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We initially tested whether rs17268988 genotype was associated with attention, response control, and underlying aspects of cognition, using questionnaires and neuropsychological tasks, in two independent cohorts of healthy adult males. In an additional analysis based upon existing data, the performance of mice with genetic or pharmacological manipulations of the STS axis under attentionally demanding conditions was investigated. G-allele carriers at rs17268988 exhibited reduced reaction time, enhanced attention, and reduced reaction time variability relative to C-allele carriers. Mice with genetic or pharmacological manipulations of the STS axis were shown to have perturbed reaction time variability. Our findings provide additional support for an association between rs17268988 genotype and attention, which may be partially mediated by reaction time variability; they also indicate that, in contrast to the situation in boys with ADHD, in healthy men, the G-allele at rs17268988 is associated with enhanced cognition. As reaction time variability is a predictor of well-being, rs17268988 genotype may represent a biomarker for long-term health.

  1. Differentiated Technology-based Interventions for Enhancing Understanding, Flow and Self-efficacy by Learners with Developmental and Attention Deficits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Voldborg, Hanne; Sorensen, Elsebeth Korsgaard

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates the potential of digital technologies for strengthening the participation and inclusion of learners with developmental and attention Deficits (focus learners) into the mainstream classroom. The paper describes the authors’ approach to the challenge of researching the extent...

  2. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

    In these years digital media and wireless networks are introduced in upper secondary schools in Denmark. This implies new “attentional objects” like updates on Facebook or tweets on Twitter within instant reach of the pupils and teachers. Also it implies new kinds of attention (awareness) like when...... pupils try to listen to the teacher and simultaneously participate in online games. To this new social setting the teachers has reacted with either prohibition or unconcern. What has not been realised is that the introduction of new media profoundly challenges the way attention hitherto has functioned...... as a psychic prerequisite for the social interaction between pupils and teachers. New kinds of “split attention” arise and new kinds of social mediation (regulation and “use”) of psychic attention become necessary if teaching in the new digital medium milieu shall be beneficial. In this paper we qualify...

  3. Social familiarity relaxes the constraints of limited attention and enhances reproduction of group-living predatory mites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strodl, Markus A; Schausberger, Peter

    2013-01-01

    In many group-living animals, within-group associations are determined by familiarity, i.e. familiar individuals, independent of genetic relatedness, preferentially associate with each other. The ultimate causes of this behaviour are poorly understood and rigorous documentation of its adaptive significance is scarce. Limited attention theory states that focusing on a given task has interrelated cognitive, behavioural and physiological costs with respect to the attention paid to other tasks. In multiple signal environments attention has thus to be shared among signals. Assuming that familiar neighbours require less attention than unfamiliar ones, associating with familiar individuals should increase the efficiency in other tasks and ultimately increase fitness. We tested this prediction in adult females of the group-living, plant-inhabiting predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. We evaluated the influence of social familiarity on within-group association behaviour, activity, predation and reproduction. In mixed groups (familiar and unfamiliar), familiar predator females preferentially associated with each other. In pure groups (either familiar or unfamiliar), familiar predator females produced more eggs than unfamiliar females at similar predation rates. Higher egg production was correlated with lower activity levels, indicating decreased restlessness. In light of limited attention theory, we argue that the ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar individuals and preferential association with familiar individuals confers a selective advantage because familiar social environments are cognitively and physiologically less taxing than unfamiliar social environments. PMID:24273345

  4. Defined PEG smears as an alternative approach to enhance the search for crystallization conditions and crystal-quality improvement in reduced screens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaikuad, Apirat, E-mail: apirat.chaikuad@sgc.ox.ac.uk [University of Oxford, Old Road Campus Research Building, Roosevelt Drive, Headington, Oxford OX3 7DQ (United Kingdom); Knapp, Stefan [University of Oxford, Old Road Campus Research Building, Roosevelt Drive, Headington, Oxford OX3 7DQ (United Kingdom); Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Building N240 Room 3.03, Max-von-Laue-Strasse 9, 60438 Frankfurt am Main (Germany); Delft, Frank von, E-mail: apirat.chaikuad@sgc.ox.ac.uk [University of Oxford, Old Road Campus Research Building, Roosevelt Drive, Headington, Oxford OX3 7DQ (United Kingdom)

    2015-07-28

    An alternative strategy for PEG sampling is suggested through the use of four newly defined PEG smears to enhance chemical space in reduced screens with a benefit towards protein crystallization. The quest for an optimal limited set of effective crystallization conditions remains a challenge in macromolecular crystallography, an issue that is complicated by the large number of chemicals which have been deemed to be suitable for promoting crystal growth. The lack of rational approaches towards the selection of successful chemical space and representative combinations has led to significant overlapping conditions, which are currently present in a multitude of commercially available crystallization screens. Here, an alternative approach to the sampling of widely used PEG precipitants is suggested through the use of PEG smears, which are mixtures of different PEGs with a requirement of either neutral or cooperatively positive effects of each component on crystal growth. Four newly defined smears were classified by molecular-weight groups and enabled the preservation of specific properties related to different polymer sizes. These smears not only allowed a wide coverage of properties of these polymers, but also reduced PEG variables, enabling greater sampling of other parameters such as buffers and additives. The efficiency of the smear-based screens was evaluated on more than 220 diverse recombinant human proteins, which overall revealed a good initial crystallization success rate of nearly 50%. In addition, in several cases successful crystallizations were only obtained using PEG smears, while various commercial screens failed to yield crystals. The defined smears therefore offer an alternative approach towards PEG sampling, which will benefit the design of crystallization screens sampling a wide chemical space of this key precipitant.

  5. Define Project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munk-Madsen, Andreas

    2005-01-01

    "Project" is a key concept in IS management. The word is frequently used in textbooks and standards. Yet we seldom find a precise definition of the concept. This paper discusses how to define the concept of a project. The proposed definition covers both heavily formalized projects and informally...... organized, agile projects. Based on the proposed definition popular existing definitions are discussed....

  6. "Dermatitis" defined.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Suzanne M; Nedorost, Susan T

    2010-01-01

    The term "dermatitis" can be defined narrowly or broadly, clinically or histologically. A common and costly condition, dermatitis is underresourced compared to other chronic skin conditions. The lack of a collectively understood definition of dermatitis and its subcategories could be the primary barrier. To investigate how dermatologists define the term "dermatitis" and determine if a consensus on the definition of this term and other related terms exists. A seven-question survey of dermatologists nationwide was conducted. Of respondents (n  =  122), half consider dermatitis to be any inflammation of the skin. Nearly half (47.5%) use the term interchangeably with "eczema." Virtually all (> 96%) endorse the subcategory "atopic" under the terms "dermatitis" and "eczema," but the subcategories "contact," "drug hypersensitivity," and "occupational" are more highly endorsed under the term "dermatitis" than under the term "eczema." Over half (55.7%) personally consider "dermatitis" to have a broad meaning, and even more (62.3%) believe that dermatologists as a whole define the term broadly. There is a lack of consensus among experts in defining dermatitis, eczema, and their related subcategories.

  7. Well-defined copolymers synthesized by RAFT polymerization as effective modifiers to enhance the photocatalytic performance of TiO{sub 2}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vasilaki, E., E-mail: euavasilakh@gmail.com [Department of Chemistry, University of Crete, 710 03, Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Center of Materials Technology and Photonics, School of Applied Technology, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, 710 04 Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Kaliva, M. [Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research & Technology-Hellas, P.O. Box 1385, Vassilika Vouton, 711 10 Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Department of Materials Science and Technology, University of Crete, 710 03, Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Katsarakis, N. [Center of Materials Technology and Photonics, School of Applied Technology, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, 710 04 Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research & Technology-Hellas, P.O. Box 1385, Vassilika Vouton, 711 10 Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Vamvakaki, M. [Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research & Technology-Hellas, P.O. Box 1385, Vassilika Vouton, 711 10 Heraklion, Crete (Greece); Department of Materials Science and Technology, University of Crete, 710 03, Heraklion, Crete (Greece)

    2017-03-31

    Highlights: • Well-defined, random functional copolymers were synthesized by RAFT polymerization. • Novel TiO{sub 2} particles in-situ modified with copolymers were synthesized. • The hybrid catalysts exhibited reduced aggregation and particle size. • The photocatalytic removal of methylene blue was higher for the hybrid catalysts. - Αbstract: The enhancement of the photocatalytic performance of anatase TiO{sub 2} nanoparticles is demonstrated by a facile route, involving their in-situ surface modification with preformed polymer chains. Random copolymers of poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate-co-methacrylic acid (PEGA-co-MAA) or poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate-co-dopamine methacrylamide (PEGA-co-DMA) were synthesized by reversible addition−fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization and were bound onto the surface of anatase titania nanoparticles via the “grafting to” method. The hybrid nanocatalysts were characterized by fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, zeta-potential measurements, X-ray powder diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis and transmission electron microscopy. Their photocatalytic performance was evaluated by the decoloration of methylene blue (MB) dye in aqueous media under UV–vis light irradiation. The enhanced photoactivity and reusability of the polymer modified photocatalysts compared to that of bare TiO{sub 2} nanoparticles was attributed to their improved dispersability and colloidal stability, the smaller particle size that leads to a larger surface area and the increased adsorption capacity of the dye onto the polymer modified nanoparticles.

  8. Well-defined copolymers synthesized by RAFT polymerization as effective modifiers to enhance the photocatalytic performance of TiO_2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vasilaki, E.; Kaliva, M.; Katsarakis, N.; Vamvakaki, M.

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Well-defined, random functional copolymers were synthesized by RAFT polymerization. • Novel TiO_2 particles in-situ modified with copolymers were synthesized. • The hybrid catalysts exhibited reduced aggregation and particle size. • The photocatalytic removal of methylene blue was higher for the hybrid catalysts. - Αbstract: The enhancement of the photocatalytic performance of anatase TiO_2 nanoparticles is demonstrated by a facile route, involving their in-situ surface modification with preformed polymer chains. Random copolymers of poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate-co-methacrylic acid (PEGA-co-MAA) or poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether acrylate-co-dopamine methacrylamide (PEGA-co-DMA) were synthesized by reversible addition−fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization and were bound onto the surface of anatase titania nanoparticles via the “grafting to” method. The hybrid nanocatalysts were characterized by fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, zeta-potential measurements, X-ray powder diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis and transmission electron microscopy. Their photocatalytic performance was evaluated by the decoloration of methylene blue (MB) dye in aqueous media under UV–vis light irradiation. The enhanced photoactivity and reusability of the polymer modified photocatalysts compared to that of bare TiO_2 nanoparticles was attributed to their improved dispersability and colloidal stability, the smaller particle size that leads to a larger surface area and the increased adsorption capacity of the dye onto the polymer modified nanoparticles.

  9. Defining chaos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Brian R; Ott, Edward

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, we propose, discuss, and illustrate a computationally feasible definition of chaos which can be applied very generally to situations that are commonly encountered, including attractors, repellers, and non-periodically forced systems. This definition is based on an entropy-like quantity, which we call "expansion entropy," and we define chaos as occurring when this quantity is positive. We relate and compare expansion entropy to the well-known concept of topological entropy to which it is equivalent under appropriate conditions. We also present example illustrations, discuss computational implementations, and point out issues arising from attempts at giving definitions of chaos that are not entropy-based.

  10. How acute stress may enhance subsequent memory for threat stimuli outside the focus of attention: DLPFC-amygdala decoupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yu; Fernández, Guillén; Hermans, Erno; Vogel, Susanne; Zhang, Yu; Li, Hong; Klumpers, Floris

    2018-05-01

    Stress-related disorders, e.g., anxiety and depression, are characterized by decreased top-down control for distracting information, as well as a memory bias for threatening information. However, it is unclear how acute stress biases mnemonic encoding and leads to prioritized storage of threat-related information even if outside the focus of attention. In the current study, healthy adults (N = 53, all male) were randomly assigned to stress induction using the socially evaluated cold-pressor test (SECPT) or a control condition. Participants performed a task in which they were required to identify a target letter within a string of letters that were either identical to the target and thereby facilitating detection (low distractor load) or mixed with other letters to complicate the search (high load). Either a fearful or neutral face was presented on the background, outside the focus of attention. Twenty-four hours later, participants were asked to perform a surprise recognition memory test for those background faces. Stress induction resulted in increased cortisol and negative subjective mood ratings. Stress did not affect visual search performance, however, participants in the stress group showed stronger memory compared to the control group for fearful faces in the low attentional load condition. Critically, the stress induced memory bias was accompanied by decoupling between amygdala and DLFPC during encoding, which may represent a mechanism for decreased ability to filter task-irrelevant threatening background information. The current study provides a potential neural account for how stress can produce a negative memory bias for threatening information even if presented outside the focus of attention. Despite of an adaptive advantage for survival, such tendencies may ultimately also lead to generalized fear, a possibility requiring additional investigation. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  11. Prevention by Methionine of Enhancement of Hepatocarcinogenesis by Coadministration of a Choline‐deficient L‐Amino Acid‐defined Diet and Ethionine in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsujiuchi, Toshifumi; Kobayashi, Eisaku; Nakae, Dai; Mizumoto, Yasushi; Andoh, Nobuaki; Kitada, Hiromichi; Ohashi, Kazuo; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Kido, Akira; Tsutsumi, Masahiro; Denda, Ayumi

    1995-01-01

    The effects of methionine on hepatocarcinogenesis induced by Coadministration of a choline‐deflcient L‐amino acid‐defined (CDAA) diet and ethionine were examined. F344 male rats were divided into 4 experimental groups. Groups 1 and 2 received the CDAA diet and a choline‐supplemented L‐amino acid‐defined (CSAA) diet, respectively. Group 3 received the CDAA diet containing 0.05% ethionine, and group 4 the CDAA diet containing 0.05% ethionine and 0.47% methionine. Animals were killed after 12 weeks of treatment. Histologically, the CDAA diet induced intracellular fat accumulation and foci. In contrast, ethionine caused not only foci, but also hyperplastic nodules, cholangiofibrosis and the proliferation of oval cells without such fat accumulation. Methionine abolished the development of all of the liver lesions induced by Coadministration of the CDAA diet and ethionine. To investigate the effects of methionine on induction of c‐myc and c‐Ha‐ras expression, as well as generation of 8‐hydroxyguanine (8‐OHGua) and 2‐thiobarbituric acid‐reacting substances (TBARS), by Coadministration of the CDAA diet and ethionine, subgroups of 3 to 5 animals were killed at 2, 4, 8 or 11 days after the beginning of the experiment. Coadministration of the CDAA diet and ethionine markedly enhanced the level of expression of c‐myc and c‐Ha‐ras, 8‐OHGua formation and TBARS generation as compared with the CDAA or CSAA diet within 11 days, and methionine blocked these actions. These results indicate that addition of methionine prevents the induction of c‐myc and c‐Ha‐ras expression, 8‐OHGua formation and TBARS generation, as well as hepatocellular lesions, by Coadministration of the CDAA diet and ethionine in rats, and suggest a possible involvement of oxidative stress and gene expression in hepatocarcinogenesis by these agents. PMID:8636001

  12. Feasibility of using a humanoid robot for enhancing attention and social skills in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Kimberlee; King, Marcus; Hellersteth, Sophia; Wirén, Anna; Mulligan, Hilda

    2013-09-01

    This study investigated the use of robotic technology for promoting attention, communication and social skills in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Attention, communication and social skills were measured while participants played a memory card matching game (Face Match) using (a) a humanoid robot, (b) a Smart Board and (c) playing cards. Three participants with ASD and three with other cognitive impairments were recruited from a secondary school with a special needs unit. Participants were paired such that one of each pair had a diagnosis of ASD and Face Match was played in these pairs for ∼15 min, with a game organizer present. On 3 separate days, video recordings were made as the participants played Face Match; a different game mode (robot, Smart Board, playing cards) was used each day. A system for categorizing attention, communication and social skills was developed that described 16 subcategories of interactions and intra-actions. In general, participants with ASD showed highly individualized patterns of behaviour in the three different modes. However, repetitive behaviour was reduced in participants with ASD when using both the robot and the Smart Board compared with playing cards. We show that it is feasible to use a robot to assist teaching of social skills to adolescents with ASD, but suggest that the robot features could be further explored and utilized.

  13. EnViSoRS: Enhanced Vision System for Robotic Surgery. A User-Defined Safety Volume Tracking to Minimize the Risk of Intraoperative Bleeding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica Penza

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In abdominal surgery, intraoperative bleeding is one of the major complications that affect the outcome of minimally invasive surgical procedures. One of the causes is attributed to accidental damages to arteries or veins, and one of the possible risk factors falls on the surgeon’s skills. This paper presents the development and application of an Enhanced Vision System for Robotic Surgery (EnViSoRS, based on a user-defined Safety Volume (SV tracking to minimize the risk of intraoperative bleeding. It aims at enhancing the surgeon’s capabilities by providing Augmented Reality (AR assistance toward the protection of vessels from injury during the execution of surgical procedures with a robot. The core of the framework consists in (i a hybrid tracking algorithm (LT-SAT tracker that robustly follows a user-defined Safety Area (SA in long term; (ii a dense soft tissue 3D reconstruction algorithm, necessary for the computation of the SV; (iii AR features for visualization of the SV to be protected and of a graphical gage indicating the current distance between the instruments and the reconstructed surface. EnViSoRS was integrated with a commercial robotic surgical system (the dVRK system for testing and validation. The experiments aimed at demonstrating the accuracy, robustness, performance, and usability of EnViSoRS during the execution of a simulated surgical task on a liver phantom. Results show an overall accuracy in accordance with surgical requirements (<5 mm, and high robustness in the computation of the SV in terms of precision and recall of its identification. The optimization strategy implemented to speed up the computational time is also described and evaluated, providing AR features update rate up to 4 fps, without impacting the real-time visualization of the stereo endoscopic video. Finally, qualitative results regarding the system usability indicate that the proposed system integrates well with the commercial surgical robot and

  14. Defining Cyberbullying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Englander, Elizabeth; Donnerstein, Edward; Kowalski, Robin; Lin, Carolyn A; Parti, Katalin

    2017-11-01

    Is cyberbullying essentially the same as bullying, or is it a qualitatively different activity? The lack of a consensual, nuanced definition has limited the field's ability to examine these issues. Evidence suggests that being a perpetrator of one is related to being a perpetrator of the other; furthermore, strong relationships can also be noted between being a victim of either type of attack. It also seems that both types of social cruelty have a psychological impact, although the effects of being cyberbullied may be worse than those of being bullied in a traditional sense (evidence here is by no means definitive). A complicating factor is that the 3 characteristics that define bullying (intent, repetition, and power imbalance) do not always translate well into digital behaviors. Qualities specific to digital environments often render cyberbullying and bullying different in circumstances, motivations, and outcomes. To make significant progress in addressing cyberbullying, certain key research questions need to be addressed. These are as follows: How can we define, distinguish between, and understand the nature of cyberbullying and other forms of digital conflict and cruelty, including online harassment and sexual harassment? Once we have a functional taxonomy of the different types of digital cruelty, what are the short- and long-term effects of exposure to or participation in these social behaviors? What are the idiosyncratic characteristics of digital communication that users can be taught? Finally, how can we apply this information to develop and evaluate effective prevention programs? Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  15. Meaning in meaninglessness: The propensity to perceive meaningful patterns in coincident events and randomly arranged stimuli is linked to enhanced attention in early sensory processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rominger, Christian; Schulter, Günter; Fink, Andreas; Weiss, Elisabeth M; Papousek, Ilona

    2018-05-01

    Perception of objectively independent events or stimuli as being significantly connected and the associated proneness to perceive meaningful patterns constitute part of the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, which are associated with altered attentional processes in lateralized speech perception. Since perceiving meaningful patterns is to some extent already prevalent in the general population, the aim of the study was to investigate whether the propensity to experience meaningful patterns in co-occurring events and random stimuli may be associated with similar altered attentional processes in lateralized speech perception. Self-reported and behavioral indicators of the perception of meaningful patterns were assessed in non-clinical individuals, along with EEG auditory evoked potentials during the performance of an attention related lateralized speech perception task (Dichotic Listening Test). A greater propensity to perceive meaningful patterns was associated with higher N1 amplitudes of the evoked potentials to the onset of the dichotically presented consonant-vowel syllables, indicating enhanced automatic attention in early sensory processing. The study suggests that more basic mechanisms in how people associate events may play a greater role in the cognitive biases that are manifest in personality expressions such as positive schizotypy, rather than that positive schizotypy moderates these cognitive biases directly. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. The use of stable xenon-enhanced computed tomographic studies of cerebral blood flow to define changes in cerebral carbon dioxide vasoresponsivity caused by a severe head injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marion, D W; Bouma, G J

    1991-12-01

    Previous studies using the xenon-133 cerebral blood flow (CBF) method have documented the impairment of CO2 vasoresponsivity after a severe head injury, but only global values can be obtained reliably with this technique. We studied CO2 vasoresponsivity using the stable xenon-enhanced computed tomographic CBF method, which provided information about well-defined cortical regions and deep brain structures not available with the xenon-133 method. In 17 patients with admission Glasgow Coma Scale scores of 8 or less, hemispheric CO2 vasoresponsivity ranged from 1.3 to 8.5% per mm Hg change in partial CO2 pressure. Lobar, cerebellar, basal ganglia, and brain stem CO2 vasoresponsivity frequently varied from the mean global value by more than 25%. In all but one patient, local CO2 vasoresponsivity in one or more of these areas differed from the mean global value by more than 50%. The greatest variability occurred in patients with acute subdural hematomas and diffuse (bihemispheric) injuries. This variability in CO2 vasoresponsivity has important implications for the effective and safe management of intracranial hypertension that frequently accompanies severe head injury.

  17. Enhancing understanding, Flow and Self-Efficacy in Learners with Developmental and Attention Difficulties through ICT-based Interventions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Voldborg, Hanne; Sorensen, Elsebeth Korsgaard

    2017-01-01

    is an outcome of a wider study on ICT facilitated inclusion and this current piece of research addresses the challenges of enhancing focus learners’ comprehension when working with the curriculum. Several technologies have been tried out in a real school context and seven types of interventions are uncovered...

  18. Specific Language Impairment, Nonverbal IQ, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cochlear Implants, Bilingualism, and Dialectal Variants: Defining the Boundaries, Clarifying Clinical Conditions, and Sorting out Causes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Mabel L.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this research forum article is to provide an overview of a collection of invited articles on the topic "specific language impairment (SLI) in children with concomitant health conditions or nonmainstream language backgrounds." Topics include SLI, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder,…

  19. Reward Contingencies Improve Goal-Directed Behavior by Enhancing Posterior Brain Attentional Regions and Increasing Corticostriatal Connectivity in Cocaine Addicts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Costumero, Víctor; Llopis-Llacer, Juan-José; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    The dopaminergic system provides the basis for the interaction between motivation and cognition. It is triggered by the possibility of obtaining rewards to initiate the neurobehavioral adaptations necessary to achieve them by directing the information from motivational circuits to cognitive and action circuits. In drug addiction, the altered dopamine (DA) modulation of the meso-cortico-limbic reward circuitry, such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC), underlies the disproportionate motivational value of drug use at the expense of other non-drug reinforcers and the user's loss of control over his/her drug intake. We examine how the magnitude of the reward affects goal-directed processes in healthy control (HC) subjects and abstinent cocaine dependent (ACD) patients by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a counting Stroop task with blocked levels of monetary incentives of different magnitudes (€0, €0.01, €0.5, €1 or €1.5). Our results showed that increasing reward magnitude enhances (1) performance facilitation in both groups; (2) left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity in HC and left superior occipital cortex activity in ACD; and (3) left DLPFC and left putamen connectivity in ACD compared to HC. Moreover, we observed that (4) dorsal striatal and pallidum activity was associated with craving and addiction severity during the parametric increases in the monetary reward. In conclusion, the brain response to gradients in monetary value was different in HC and ACD, but both groups showed improved task performance due to the possibility of obtaining greater monetary rewards.

  20. Reward Contingencies Improve Goal-Directed Behavior by Enhancing Posterior Brain Attentional Regions and Increasing Corticostriatal Connectivity in Cocaine Addicts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosell-Negre, Patricia; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Costumero, Víctor; Llopis-Llacer, Juan-José; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    The dopaminergic system provides the basis for the interaction between motivation and cognition. It is triggered by the possibility of obtaining rewards to initiate the neurobehavioral adaptations necessary to achieve them by directing the information from motivational circuits to cognitive and action circuits. In drug addiction, the altered dopamine (DA) modulation of the meso-cortico-limbic reward circuitry, such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC), underlies the disproportionate motivational value of drug use at the expense of other non-drug reinforcers and the user’s loss of control over his/her drug intake. We examine how the magnitude of the reward affects goal-directed processes in healthy control (HC) subjects and abstinent cocaine dependent (ACD) patients by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a counting Stroop task with blocked levels of monetary incentives of different magnitudes (€0, €0.01, €0.5, €1 or €1.5). Our results showed that increasing reward magnitude enhances (1) performance facilitation in both groups; (2) left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity in HC and left superior occipital cortex activity in ACD; and (3) left DLPFC and left putamen connectivity in ACD compared to HC. Moreover, we observed that (4) dorsal striatal and pallidum activity was associated with craving and addiction severity during the parametric increases in the monetary reward. In conclusion, the brain response to gradients in monetary value was different in HC and ACD, but both groups showed improved task performance due to the possibility of obtaining greater monetary rewards. PMID:27907134

  1. Reward Contingencies Improve Goal-Directed Behavior by Enhancing Posterior Brain Attentional Regions and Increasing Corticostriatal Connectivity in Cocaine Addicts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Rosell-Negre

    Full Text Available The dopaminergic system provides the basis for the interaction between motivation and cognition. It is triggered by the possibility of obtaining rewards to initiate the neurobehavioral adaptations necessary to achieve them by directing the information from motivational circuits to cognitive and action circuits. In drug addiction, the altered dopamine (DA modulation of the meso-cortico-limbic reward circuitry, such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC, underlies the disproportionate motivational value of drug use at the expense of other non-drug reinforcers and the user's loss of control over his/her drug intake. We examine how the magnitude of the reward affects goal-directed processes in healthy control (HC subjects and abstinent cocaine dependent (ACD patients by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI during a counting Stroop task with blocked levels of monetary incentives of different magnitudes (€0, €0.01, €0.5, €1 or €1.5. Our results showed that increasing reward magnitude enhances (1 performance facilitation in both groups; (2 left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC activity in HC and left superior occipital cortex activity in ACD; and (3 left DLPFC and left putamen connectivity in ACD compared to HC. Moreover, we observed that (4 dorsal striatal and pallidum activity was associated with craving and addiction severity during the parametric increases in the monetary reward. In conclusion, the brain response to gradients in monetary value was different in HC and ACD, but both groups showed improved task performance due to the possibility of obtaining greater monetary rewards.

  2. Enhanced visual responses in the superior colliculus in an animal model of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and their suppression by D-amphetamine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, K M; Devonshire, I M; Reynolds, J N J; Overton, P G

    2014-08-22

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by overactivity, impulsiveness and attentional problems, including an increase in distractibility. A structure that is intimately linked with distractibility is the superior colliculus (SC), a midbrain sensory structure which plays a particular role in the production of eye and head movements. Although others have proposed the involvement of such diverse elements as the frontal cortex and forebrain noradrenaline in ADHD, given the role of the colliculus in distractibility and the increased distractibility in ADHD, we have proposed that distractibility in ADHD arises due to collicular sensory hyper-responsiveness. To further investigate this possibility, we recorded the extracellular activity (multi-unit (MUA) and local field potential (LFP)) in the superficial visual layers of the SC in an animal model of ADHD, the New Zealand genetically hypertensive (GH) rat, in response to wholefield light flashes. The MUA and LFP peak amplitude and summed activity within a one-second time window post-stimulus were both significantly greater in GH rats than in Wistar controls, across the full range of stimulus intensities. Given that baseline firing rate did not differ between the strains, this suggests that the signal-to-noise ratio is elevated in GH animals. D-Amphetamine reduced the peak amplitude and summed activity of the multi-unit response in Wistar animals. It also reduced the peak amplitude and summed activity of the multi-unit response in GH animals, at higher doses bringing it down to levels that were equivalent to those of Wistar animals at baseline. The present results provide convergent evidence that a collicular dysfunction (sensory hyper-responsiveness) is present in ADHD, and that it may underlie the enhanced distractibility. In addition, D-amphetamine - a widely used treatment in ADHD - may have one of its loci of therapeutic action at the level of the

  3. Representing Space through the Interplay between Attention and Multisensory Integration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emiliano Macaluso

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Multisensory integration has been traditionally thought to rely on a restricted set of multisensory brain areas, and to occur automatically and pre-attentively. More recently, it has become evident that multisensory interactions can be found almost everywhere in the brain, including areas involved in attention control and areas modulated by attention. In a series of fMRI experiments, we manipulated concurrently the position of multisensory stimuli and the distribution of spatial attention. This enabled us to highlight the role of high-order fronto-parietal areas, as well as sensory-specific occipital cortex, for multisensory processing and spatial attention control. We found that specific task constraints regarding the nature of attentional deployment (endogenous vs. exogenous, the spatial relationship between stimulus position and attended location, and attentional load shape the interplay between attention and multisensory processing. We suggest that multisensory integration acts as a saliency-defining process that can interact with attentional control beyond any within-modality mechanism. We propose that an anatomically-distributed, but functionally-integrated, representation of space makes use of multisensory interactions to help attention selecting relevant spatial locations. Stimuli at the attended location undergo enhanced processing, including boosting of multisensory signals there. In this perspective, attention and multisensory integration operate in an interactive manner jointly determining the activity of a wide-spread network that includes high-order fronto-parietal regions and sensory-specific areas.

  4. Specific Language Impairment, Nonverbal IQ, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cochlear Implants, Bilingualism, and Dialectal Variants: Defining the Boundaries, Clarifying Clinical Conditions, and Sorting Out Causes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Mabel L

    2016-02-01

    The purpose of this research forum article is to provide an overview of a collection of invited articles on the topic "specific language impairment (SLI) in children with concomitant health conditions or nonmainstream language backgrounds." Topics include SLI, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, cochlear implants, bilingualism, and dialectal language learning contexts. The topic is timely due to current debates about the diagnosis of SLI. An overarching comparative conceptual framework is provided for comparisons of SLI with other clinical conditions. Comparisons of SLI in children with low-normal or normal nonverbal IQ illustrate the unexpected outcomes of 2 × 2 comparison designs. Comparative studies reveal unexpected relationships among speech, language, cognitive, and social dimensions of children's development as well as precise ways to identify children with SLI who are bilingual or dialect speakers. The diagnosis of SLI is essential for elucidating possible causal pathways of language impairments, risks for language impairments, assessments for identification of language impairments, linguistic dimensions of language impairments, and long-term outcomes. Although children's language acquisition is robust under high levels of risk, unexplained individual variations in language acquisition lead to persistent language impairments.

  5. Shifting Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Jenni

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Capturing Attention When Attention "Blinks"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wee, Serena; Chua, Fook K.

    2004-01-01

    Four experiments addressed the question of whether attention may be captured when the visual system is in the midst of an attentional blink (AB). Participants identified 2 target letters embedded among distractor letters in a rapid serial visual presentation sequence. In some trials, a square frame was inserted between the targets; as the only…

  7. Attention and Implicit Memory: Priming-Induced Benefits and Costs Have Distinct Attentional Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, Margaret M.; Cruz, Matt E.; Verfaellie, Mieke

    2014-01-01

    Attention at encoding plays a critical and ubiquitous role in explicit memory performance, but its role in implicit memory performance (i.e., priming) is more variable: Some, but not all, priming effects are reduced by division of attention at encoding. A wealth of empirical and theoretical work has aimed to define the critical features of priming effects that do or do not require attention at encoding. This work, however, has focused exclusively on priming effects that are beneficial in nature (wherein performance is enhanced by prior exposure to task stimuli), and has overlooked priming effects that are costly in nature (wherein performance is harmed by prior exposure to task stimuli). The present study takes up this question by examining the effect of divided attention on priming-induced costs and benefits in a speeded picture-naming task. Experiment 1 shows that the costs, but not the benefits, are eliminated by division of attention at encoding. Experiment 2 shows that the costs (as well as the benefits) in this task are intact in amnesic participants, demonstrating that the elimination of the cost in the divided attention condition in Experiment 1 was not an artifact of the reduced availability of explicit memory in that condition. We suggest that the differential role of attention in priming-induced performance costs and benefits is linked to differences in response competition associated with these effects. This interpretation situates the present findings within a theoretical framework that has been applied to a broad range of facilitatory priming effects. PMID:25257650

  8. Attention and implicit memory: priming-induced benefits and costs have distinct attentional requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, Margaret M; Cruz, Matt E; Verfaellie, Mieke

    2015-02-01

    Attention at encoding plays a critical and ubiquitous role in explicit memory performance, but its role in implicit memory performance (i.e., priming) is more variable: some, but not all, priming effects are reduced by division of attention at encoding. A wealth of empirical and theoretical work has aimed to define the critical features of priming effects that do or do not require attention at encoding. This work, however, has focused exclusively on priming effects that are beneficial in nature (wherein performance is enhanced by prior exposure to task stimuli), and has overlooked priming effects that are costly in nature (wherein performance is harmed by prior exposure to task stimuli). The present study takes up this question by examining the effect of divided attention on priming-induced costs and benefits in a speeded picture-naming task. Experiment 1 shows that the costs, but not the benefits, are eliminated by division of attention at encoding. Experiment 2 shows that the costs (as well as the benefits) in this task are intact in amnesic participants, demonstrating that the elimination of the cost in the divided attention condition in Experiment 1 was not an artifact of the reduced availability of explicit memory in that condition. We suggest that the differential role of attention in priming-induced performance costs and benefits is linked to differences in response competition associated with these effects. This interpretation situates the present findings within a theoretical framework that has been applied to a broad range of facilitatory priming effects.

  9. Defining Optimized Properties of Modified mRNA to Enhance Virus- and DNA- Independent Protein Expression in Adult Stem Cells and Fibroblasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frauke Hausburg

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: By far, most strategies for cell reprogramming and gene therapy are based on the introduction of DNA after viral delivery. To avoid the high risks accompanying these goals, non-viral and DNA-free delivery methods for various cell types are required. Methods: Relying on an initially established PCR-based protocol for convenient template DNA production, we synthesized five differently modified EGFP mRNA (mmRNA species, incorporating various degrees of 5-methylcytidine-5'-triphosphate (5mC and pseudouridine-5'-triphosphate (Ψ. We then investigated their effect on i protein expression efficiencies and ii cell viability for human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs and fibroblasts from different origins. Results: Our protocol allows highly efficient mmRNA production in vitro, enabling rapid and stable protein expression after cell transfection. However, our results also demonstrate that the terminally optimal modification needs to be defined in pilot experiments for each particular cell type. Transferring our approach to the conversion of fibroblasts into skeletal myoblasts using mmRNA encoding MyoD, we confirm the huge potential of mmRNA based protein expression for virus- and DNA-free reprogramming strategies. Conclusion: The achieved high protein expression levels combined with good cell viability not only in fibroblasts but also in hMSCs provides a promising option for mmRNA based modification of various cell types including slowly proliferating adult stem cells. Therefore, we are confident that our findings will substantially contribute to the improvement of efficient cell reprogramming and gene therapy approaches.

  10. Cognition, emotion, and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Oehring, Eva M; Schulte, Tilman

    2014-01-01

    Deficits of attention, emotion, and cognition occur in individuals with alcohol abuse and addiction. This review elucidates the concepts of attention, emotion, and cognition and references research on the underlying neural networks and their compromise in alcohol use disorder. Neuroimaging research on adolescents with family history of alcoholism contributes to the understanding of pre-existing brain structural conditions and characterization of cognition and attention processes in high-risk individuals. Attention and cognition interact with other brain functions, including perceptual selection, salience, emotion, reward, and memory, through interconnected neural networks. Recent research reports compromised microstructural and functional network connectivity in alcoholism, which can have an effect on the dynamic tuning between brain systems, e.g., the frontally based executive control system, the limbic emotion system, and the midbrain-striatal reward system, thereby impeding cognitive flexibility and behavioral adaptation to changing environments. Finally, we introduce concepts of functional compensation, the capacity to generate attentional resources for performance enhancement, and brain structure recovery with abstinence. An understanding of the neural mechanisms of attention, emotion, and cognition will likely provide the basis for better treatment strategies for developing skills that enhance alcoholism therapy adherence and quality of life, and reduce the propensity for relapse. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Differential effects of exogenous and endogenous attention on second-order texture contrast sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbot, Antoine; Landy, Michael S; Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-08-15

    The visual system can use a rich variety of contours to segment visual scenes into distinct perceptually coherent regions. However, successfully segmenting an image is a computationally expensive process. Previously we have shown that exogenous attention--the more automatic, stimulus-driven component of spatial attention--helps extract contours by enhancing contrast sensitivity for second-order, texture-defined patterns at the attended location, while reducing sensitivity at unattended locations, relative to a neutral condition. Interestingly, the effects of exogenous attention depended on the second-order spatial frequency of the stimulus. At parafoveal locations, attention enhanced second-order contrast sensitivity to relatively high, but not to low second-order spatial frequencies. In the present study we investigated whether endogenous attention-the more voluntary, conceptually-driven component of spatial attention--affects second-order contrast sensitivity, and if so, whether its effects are similar to those of exogenous attention. To that end, we compared the effects of exogenous and endogenous attention on the sensitivity to second-order, orientation-defined, texture patterns of either high or low second-order spatial frequencies. The results show that, like exogenous attention, endogenous attention enhances second-order contrast sensitivity at the attended location and reduces it at unattended locations. However, whereas the effects of exogenous attention are a function of the second-order spatial frequency content, endogenous attention affected second-order contrast sensitivity independent of the second-order spatial frequency content. This finding supports the notion that both exogenous and endogenous attention can affect second-order contrast sensitivity, but that endogenous attention is more flexible, benefitting performance under different conditions.

  12. Defining safety culture and the nexus between safety goals and safety culture. 4. Enhancing Safety Culture Through the Establishment of Safety Goals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tateiwa, Kenji; Miyata, Koichi; Yahagi, Kimitoshi

    2001-01-01

    Safety culture is the perception of each individual and organization of a nuclear power plant that safety is the first priority, and at Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), we have been practicing it in everyday activities. On the other hand, with the demand for competitiveness of nuclear power becoming even more intense these days, we need to pursue efficient management while maintaining the safety level at the same time. Below, we discuss how to achieve compatibility between safety culture and efficient management as well as enhance safety culture. Discussion at Tepco: safety culture-nurturing activities such as the following are being implemented: 1. informing the employees of the 'Declaration of Safety Promotion' by handing out brochures and posting it on the intranet home page; 2. publishing safety culture reports covering stories on safety culture of other industry sectors, recent movements on safety culture, etc.; 3. conducting periodic questionnaires to employees to grasp how deeply safety culture is being established; 4. carrying out educational programs to learn from past cases inside and outside the nuclear industry; 5. committing to common ownership of information with the public. The current status of safety culture in Japan sometimes seems to be biased to the quest of ultimate safety; rephrasing it, there have been few discussions regarding the sufficiency of the quantitative safety level in conjunction with the safety culture. Safety culture is one of the most crucial foundations guaranteeing the plant's safety, and for example, the plant safety level evaluated by probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) could be said to be valid only on the ground that a sound and sufficient safety culture exists. Although there is no doubt that the safety culture is a fundamental and important attitude of an individual and organization that keeps safety the first priority, the safety culture in itself should not be considered an obstruction to efforts to implement

  13. Visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Evans, K.K.; Horowitz, T.S.; Howe, P.; Pedersini, R.; Reijnen, E.; Pinto, Y.; Wolfe, J.M.

    2011-01-01

    A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, ‘visual attention’ describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act

  14. Attention Sensor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Börner, Dirk; Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Paying More Attention to Attention: Improving the Performance of Convolutional Neural Networks via Attention Transfer

    OpenAIRE

    Zagoruyko, Sergey; Komodakis, Nikos

    2016-01-01

    Attention plays a critical role in human visual experience. Furthermore, it has recently been demonstrated that attention can also play an important role in the context of applying artificial neural networks to a variety of tasks from fields such as computer vision and NLP. In this work we show that, by properly defining attention for convolutional neural networks, we can actually use this type of information in order to significantly improve the performance of a student CNN network by forcin...

  16. WWC Review of the Report "Enhancing the Effectiveness of Special Education Programming for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Using a Daily Report Card"

    Science.gov (United States)

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2012

    2012-01-01

    The study described in this report examined whether the use of "daily report cards" ("DRCs") in elementary school classrooms improved behavior and academic achievement among students diagnosed with combined inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and comorbid oppositional defiant…

  17. Attention Retention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kravchenko, Mariia; Cass, Andrew Knox

    2017-01-01

    As teachers look for ways to improve practice and enhance student engagement, referral to the literature leads to a dichotomy between specific activity and heavy academic research on metadata and learning analytics. This paper is intended to tread the pathway between the two so that teachers can,...

  18. Network Coded Software Defined Networking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krigslund, Jeppe; Hansen, Jonas; Roetter, Daniel Enrique Lucani

    2015-01-01

    Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Coding (NC) are two key concepts in networking that have garnered a large attention in recent years. On the one hand, SDN's potential to virtualize services in the Internet allows a large flexibility not only for routing data, but also to manage....... This paper advocates for the use of SDN to bring about future Internet and 5G network services by incorporating network coding (NC) functionalities. The inherent flexibility of both SDN and NC provides a fertile ground to envision more efficient, robust, and secure networking designs, that may also...

  19. Network Coded Software Defined Networking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Jonas; Roetter, Daniel Enrique Lucani; Krigslund, Jeppe

    2015-01-01

    Software defined networking has garnered large attention due to its potential to virtualize services in the Internet, introducing flexibility in the buffering, scheduling, processing, and routing of data in network routers. SDN breaks the deadlock that has kept Internet network protocols stagnant...... for decades, while applications and physical links have evolved. This article advocates for the use of SDN to bring about 5G network services by incorporating network coding (NC) functionalities. The latter constitutes a major leap forward compared to the state-of-the- art store and forward Internet paradigm...

  20. (Re)Defining Salesperson Motivation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Khusainova, Rushana; de Jong, Ad; Lee, Nick

    2018-01-01

    The construct of motivation is one of the central themes in selling and sales management research. Yet, to-date no review article exists that surveys the construct (both from an extrinsic and intrinsic motivation context), critically evaluates its current status, examines various key challenges...... apparent from the extant research, and suggests new research opportunities based on a thorough review of past work. The authors explore how motivation is defined, major theories underpinning motivation, how motivation has historically been measured, and key methodologies used over time. In addition......, attention is given to principal drivers and outcomes of salesperson motivation. A summarizing appendix of key articles in salesperson motivation is provided....

  1. Selective attention within the foveola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poletti, Martina; Rucci, Michele; Carrasco, Marisa

    2017-10-01

    Efficient control of attentional resources and high-acuity vision are both fundamental for survival. Shifts in visual attention are known to covertly enhance processing at locations away from the center of gaze, where visual resolution is low. It is unknown, however, whether selective spatial attention operates where the observer is already looking-that is, within the high-acuity foveola, the small yet disproportionally important rod-free region of the retina. Using new methods for precisely controlling retinal stimulation, here we show that covert attention flexibly improves and speeds up both detection and discrimination at loci only a fraction of a degree apart within the foveola. These findings reveal a surprisingly precise control of attention and its involvement in fine spatial vision. They show that the commonly studied covert shifts of attention away from the fovea are the expression of a global mechanism that exerts its action across the entire visual field.

  2. Attentional capture and engagement during the attentional blink: A "camera" metaphor of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zivony, Alon; Lamy, Dominique

    2016-11-01

    Identification of a target is impaired when it follows a previous target within 500 ms, suggesting that our attentional system suffers from severe temporal limitations. Although control-disruption theories posit that such impairment, known as the attentional blink (AB), reflects a difficulty in matching incoming information with the current attentional set, disrupted-engagement theories propose that it reflects a delay in later processes leading to transient enhancement of potential targets. Here, we used a variant of the contingent-capture rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm (Folk, Ester, & Troemel, 2009) to adjudicate these competing accounts. Our results show that a salient distractor that shares the target color captures attention to the same extent whether it appears within or outside the blink, thereby invalidating the notion that control over the attentional set is compromised during the blink. In addition, our results show that during the blink, not the attention-capturing object itself but the item immediately following it, is selected, indicating that the AB manifests as a delay between attentional capture and attentional engagement. We therefore conclude that attentional capture and attentional engagement can be dissociated as separate stages of attentional selection. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Enhanced

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin I. Bayala

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Land Surface Temperature (LST is a key parameter in the energy balance model. However, the spatial resolution of the retrieved LST from sensors with high temporal resolution is not accurate enough to be used in local-scale studies. To explore the LST–Normalised Difference Vegetation Index relationship potential and obtain thermal images with high spatial resolution, six enhanced image sharpening techniques were assessed: the disaggregation procedure for radiometric surface temperatures (TsHARP, the Dry Edge Quadratic Function, the Difference of Edges (Ts∗DL and three models supported by the relationship of surface temperature and water stress of vegetation (Normalised Difference Water Index, Normalised Difference Infrared Index and Soil wetness index. Energy Balance Station data and in situ measurements were used to validate the enhanced LST images over a mixed agricultural landscape in the sub-humid Pampean Region of Argentina (PRA, during 2006–2010. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (EOS-MODIS thermal datasets were assessed for different spatial resolutions (e.g., 960, 720 and 240 m and the performances were compared with global and local TsHARP procedures. Results suggest that the Ts∗DL technique is the most adequate for simulating LST to high spatial resolution over the heterogeneous landscape of a sub-humid region, showing an average root mean square error of less than 1 K.

  4. Attention without awareness: Attentional modulation of perceptual grouping without awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Shih-Yu

    2018-04-01

    Perceptual grouping is the process through which the perceptual system combines local stimuli into a more global perceptual unit. Previous studies have shown attention to be a modulatory factor for perceptual grouping. However, these studies mainly used explicit measurements, and, thus, whether attention can modulate perceptual grouping without awareness is still relatively unexplored. To clarify the relationship between attention and perceptual grouping, the present study aims to explore how attention interacts with perceptual grouping without awareness. The task was to judge the relative lengths of two centrally presented horizontal bars while a railway-shaped pattern defined by color similarity was presented in the background. Although the observers were unaware of the railway-shaped pattern, their line-length judgment was biased by that pattern, which induced a Ponzo illusion, indicating grouping without awareness. More importantly, an attentional modulatory effect without awareness was manifested as evident by the observer's performance being more often biased when the railway-shaped pattern was formed by an attended color than when it was formed by an unattended one. Also, the attentional modulation effect was shown to be dynamic, being more pronounced with a short presentation time than a longer one. The results of the present study not only clarify the relationship between attention and perceptual grouping but also further contribute to our understanding of attention and awareness by corroborating the dissociation between attention and awareness.

  5. Defining the Blue economy

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smith-Godfrey, S

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Oceans are increasingly gaining in importance in terms of enabling international trade via linking sellers and buyers. The behaviour patterns of such linking enablers on the oceans are receiving more attention from a regulatory and economic...

  6. Attention processes in chronic fatigue syndrome: attentional bias for health-related threat and the role of attentional control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Ruihua; Moss-Morris, Rona; Risdale, Anna; Lynch, Jeannette; Jeevaratnam, Preshan; Bradley, Brendan P; Mogg, Karin

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive behavioural models of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) propose that attention processes, specifically, enhanced selective attention to health-threat related cues, may play an important role in symptom maintenance. The current study investigated attentional bias towards health-threat stimuli in CFS. It also examined whether individuals with CFS have impaired executive attention, and whether this was related to attentional bias. 27 participants with CFS and 35 healthy controls completed a Visual Probe Task measuring attentional bias, and an Attention Network Test measuring executive attention, alerting and orienting. Participants also completed self-report measures of CFS and mood symptoms. Compared to the control group, the CFS group showed greater attentional bias for health-threat words than pictures; and the CFS group was significantly impaired in executive attention. Furthermore, CFS individuals with poor executive attention showed greater attentional bias to health-threat related words, compared not only to controls but also to CFS individuals with good executive attention. Thus, this study revealed a significant relationship between attentional bias and executive attention in CFS: attentional bias to threat was primarily evident in those with impaired executive attention control. Taking account of individual differences in executive attention control in current intervention models may be beneficial for CFS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Defining Quantum Control Flow

    OpenAIRE

    Ying, Mingsheng; Yu, Nengkun; Feng, Yuan

    2012-01-01

    A remarkable difference between quantum and classical programs is that the control flow of the former can be either classical or quantum. One of the key issues in the theory of quantum programming languages is defining and understanding quantum control flow. A functional language with quantum control flow was defined by Altenkirch and Grattage [\\textit{Proc. LICS'05}, pp. 249-258]. This paper extends their work, and we introduce a general quantum control structure by defining three new quantu...

  8. Can play be defined?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eichberg, Henning

    2015-01-01

    Can play be defined? There is reason to raise critical questions about the established academic demand that at phenomenon – also in humanist studies – should first of all be defined, i.e. de-lineated and by neat lines limited to a “little box” that can be handled. The following chapter develops....... Human beings can very well understand play – or whatever phenomenon in human life – without defining it....

  9. Laughter catches attention!

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    In social interactions, emotionally salient and sudden changes in vocal expressions attract attention. However, only a few studies examined how emotion and attention interact in voice processing. We investigated neutral, happy (laughs) and angry (growls) vocalizations in a modified oddball task. Participants silently counted the targets in each block and rated the valence and arousal of the vocalizations. A combined event-related potential and time-frequency analysis focused on the P3 and pre-stimulus alpha power to capture attention effects in response to unexpected events. Whereas an early differentiation between emotionally salient and neutral vocalizations was reflected in the P3a response, the P3b was selectively enhanced for happy voices. The P3b modulation was predicted by pre-stimulus frontal alpha desynchronization, and by the perceived pleasantness of the targets. These findings indicate that vocal emotions may be differently processed based on task relevance and valence. Increased anticipation and attention to positive vocal cues (laughter) may reflect their high social relevance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Attention: oscillations and neuropharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deco, Gustavo; Thiele, Alexander

    2009-08-01

    Attention is a rich psychological and neurobiological construct that influences almost all aspects of cognitive behaviour. It enables enhanced processing of behaviourally relevant stimuli at the expense of irrelevant stimuli. At the cellular level, rhythmic synchronization at local and long-range spatial scales complements the attention-induced firing rate changes of neurons. The former is hypothesized to enable efficient communication between neuronal ensembles tuned to spatial and featural aspects of the attended stimulus. Recent modelling studies suggest that the rhythmic synchronization in the gamma range may be mediated by a fine balance between N-methyl-D-aspartate and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate postsynaptic currents, whereas other studies have highlighted the possible contribution of the neuromodulator acetylcholine. This review summarizes some recent modelling and experimental studies investigating mechanisms of attention in sensory areas and discusses possibilities of how glutamatergic and cholinergic systems could contribute to increased processing abilities at the cellular and network level during states of top-down attention.

  11. Differential effects of exogenous and endogenous attention on second-order texture contrast sensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbot, Antoine; Landy, Michael S.; Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    The visual system can use a rich variety of contours to segment visual scenes into distinct perceptually coherent regions. However, successfully segmenting an image is a computationally expensive process. Previously we have shown that exogenous attention—the more automatic, stimulus-driven component of spatial attention—helps extract contours by enhancing contrast sensitivity for second-order, texture-defined patterns at the attended location, while reducing sensitivity at unattended locations, relative to a neutral condition. Interestingly, the effects of exogenous attention depended on the second-order spatial frequency of the stimulus. At parafoveal locations, attention enhanced second-order contrast sensitivity to relatively high, but not to low second-order spatial frequencies. In the present study we investigated whether endogenous attention—the more voluntary, conceptually-driven component of spatial attention—affects second-order contrast sensitivity, and if so, whether its effects are similar to those of exogenous attention. To that end, we compared the effects of exogenous and endogenous attention on the sensitivity to second-order, orientation-defined, texture patterns of either high or low second-order spatial frequencies. The results show that, like exogenous attention, endogenous attention enhances second-order contrast sensitivity at the attended location and reduces it at unattended locations. However, whereas the effects of exogenous attention are a function of the second-order spatial frequency content, endogenous attention affected second-order contrast sensitivity independent of the second-order spatial frequency content. This finding supports the notion that both exogenous and endogenous attention can affect second-order contrast sensitivity, but that endogenous attention is more flexible, benefitting performance under different conditions. PMID:22895879

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Phobic spider fear is associated with enhanced attentional capture by spider pictures: a rapid serial presentation event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Strien, Jan W; Franken, Ingmar H A; Huijding, Jorg

    2009-03-04

    The early posterior negativity (EPN) reflects early selective visual processing of emotionally significant information. This study explored the association between fear of spiders and the EPN for spider pictures. Fifty women completed a Spider Phobia Questionnaire and watched the random rapid serial presentation of 600 neutral, 600 negatively valenced emotional, and 600 spider pictures (three pictures per second). The EPN was scored as the mean activity in the 225-300-ms time window at lateral occipital electrodes. Participants with higher scores on the phobia questionnaire showed larger (i.e. more negative) EPN amplitudes in response to spider pictures. The results suggest that the attentional capture of spider-related stimuli is an automatic response, which is modulated by the extent of spider fear.

  14. Attention, Joint Attention, and Social Cognition

    OpenAIRE

    Mundy, Peter; Newell, Lisa

    2007-01-01

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

  15. Saikosaponin A Alleviates Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder through Downregulation of DAT and Enhancing BDNF Expression in Spontaneous Hypertensive Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sun Jichao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The disturbed dopamine availability and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF expression are due in part to be associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. In this study, we investigated the therapeutical effect of saikosaponin a (SSa isolated from Bupleurum Chinese DC, against spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR model of ADHD. Methylphenidate and SSa were orally administered for 3 weeks. Activity was assessed by open-field test and Morris water maze test. Dopamine (DA and BDNF were determined in specific brain regions. The mRNA or protein expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, dopamine transporter (DAT, and vesicles monoamine transporter (VMAT was also studied. Both MPH and SSa reduced hyperactivity and improved the spatial learning memory deficit in SHRs. An increased DA concentration in the prefrontal cortex (PFC and striatum was also observed after treating with the SSa. The increased DA concentration may partially be attributed to the decreased mRNA and protein expression of DAT in PFC while SSa exhibited no significant effects on the mRNA expression of TH and VMAT in PFC of SHRs. In addition, BDNF expression in SHRs was also increased after treating with SSa or MPH. The obtained result suggested that SSa may be a potential drug for treating ADHD.

  16. Interocular Shift of Visual Attention Enhances Stereopsis and Visual Acuities of Anisometropic Amblyopes beyond the Critical Period of Visual Development: A Novel Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liwen Huang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Aims. Increasing evidence shows that imbalanced suppressive drive prior to binocular combination may be the key factor in amblyopia. We described a novel binocular approach, interocular shift of visual attention (ISVA, for treatment of amblyopia in adult patients. Methods. Visual stimuli were presented anaglyphically on a computer screen. A square target resembling Landolt C had 2 openings, one in red and one in cyan color. Through blue-red goggles, each eye could only see one of the two openings. The patient was required to report the location of the opening presented to the amblyopic eye. It started at an opening size of 800 sec of arc, went up and down in 160 sec of arc step, and stopped when reaching the 5th reversals. Ten patients with anisometropic amblyopia older than age 14 (average age: 26.7 were recruited and received ISVA treatment for 6 weeks, with 2 training sessions per day. Results. Both Titmus stereopsis (z=-2.809, P=0.005 and Random-dot stereopsis (z=-2.317, P=0.018 were significantly improved. Average improvement in best corrected visual acuity (BCVA was 0.74 line (t=5.842, P<0.001. Conclusions. The ISVA treatment may be effective in treating amblyopia and restoring stereoscopic function.

  17. Defining Overweight and Obesity

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Micronutrient Malnutrition State and Local Programs Defining Adult Overweight and Obesity Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir ... weight for a given height is described as overweight or obese. Body Mass Index, or BMI, is ...

  18. Drinking Levels Defined

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... of Alcohol Consumption Alcohol's Effects on the Body Alcohol Use Disorder Fetal Alcohol Exposure Support & Treatment Alcohol Policy Special ... Definition of Drinking at Low Risk for Developing Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD): For women, low-risk drinking is defined ...

  19. Defining Documentary Film

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juel, Henrik

    2006-01-01

    A discussion of various attemts at defining documentary film regarding form, content, truth, stile, genre or reception - and a propoposal of a positive list of essential, but non-exclusive characteristica of documentary film......A discussion of various attemts at defining documentary film regarding form, content, truth, stile, genre or reception - and a propoposal of a positive list of essential, but non-exclusive characteristica of documentary film...

  20. Definably compact groups definable in real closed fields. I

    OpenAIRE

    Barriga, Eliana

    2017-01-01

    We study definably compact definably connected groups definable in a sufficiently saturated real closed field $R$. We introduce the notion of group-generic point for $\\bigvee$-definable groups and show the existence of group-generic points for definably compact groups definable in a sufficiently saturated o-minimal expansion of a real closed field. We use this notion along with some properties of generic sets to prove that for every definably compact definably connected group $G$ definable in...

  1. External noise distinguishes attention mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Z L; Dosher, B A

    1998-05-01

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

  2. The attentional boost effect and context memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    Stimuli co-occurring with targets in a detection task are better remembered than stimuli co-occurring with distractors-the attentional boost effect (ABE). The ABE is of interest because it is an exception to the usual finding that divided attention during encoding impairs memory. The effect has been demonstrated in tests of item memory but it is unclear if context memory is likewise affected. Some accounts suggest enhanced perceptual encoding or associative binding, predicting an ABE on context memory, whereas other evidence suggests a more abstract, amodal basis of the effect. In Experiment 1, context memory was assessed in terms of an intramodal perceptual detail, the font and color of the study word. Experiment 2 examined context memory cross-modally, assessing memory for the modality (visual or auditory) of the study word. Experiments 3 and 4 assessed context memory with list discrimination, in which 2 study lists are presented and participants must later remember which list (if either) a test word came from. In all experiments, item (recognition) memory was also assessed and consistently displayed a robust ABE. In contrast, the attentional-boost manipulation did not enhance context memory, whether defined in terms of visual details, study modality, or list membership. There was some evidence that the mode of responding on the detection task (motoric response as opposed to covert counting of targets) may impact context memory but there was no evidence of an effect of target detection, per se. In sum, the ABE did not occur in context memory with verbal materials. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bueno, Viviane Freire; Kozasa, Elisa H; da Silva, Maria Aparecida; Alves, Tânia Maria; Louzã, Mario Rodrigues; Pompéia, Sabine

    2015-01-01

    Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) display affective problems and impaired attention. Mood in ADHD can be improved by mindful awareness practices (MAP), but results are mixed regarding the enhancement of attentional performance. Here we evaluated MAP-induced changes in quality of life (QoL), mood, and attention in adult ADHD patients and controls using more measures of attention than prior studies. Twenty-one ADHD patients and 8 healthy controls underwent 8 weekly MAP sessions; 22 similar patients and 9 controls did not undergo the intervention. Mood and QoL were assessed using validated questionnaires, and attention was evaluated using the Attentional Network Test (ANT) and the Conners Continuous Performance Test (CPT II), before and after intervention. MAP enhanced sustained attention (ANT) and detectability (CPT II) and improved mood and QoL of patients and controls. MAP is a complementary intervention that improves affect and attention of adults with ADHD and controls.

  4. Brain Connectivity and Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Emily L.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Emerging hypotheses suggest that efficient cognitive functioning requires the integration of separate, but interconnected cortical networks in the brain. Although task-related measures of brain activity suggest that a frontoparietal network is associated with the control of attention, little is known regarding how components within this distributed network act together or with other networks to achieve various attentional functions. This review considers both functional and structural studies of brain connectivity, as complemented by behavioral and task-related neuroimaging data. These studies show converging results: The frontal and parietal cortical regions are active together, over time, and identifiable frontoparietal networks are active in relation to specific task demands. However, the spontaneous, low-frequency fluctuations of brain activity that occur in the resting state, without specific task demands, also exhibit patterns of connectivity that closely resemble the task-related, frontoparietal attention networks. Both task-related and resting-state networks exhibit consistent relations to behavioral measures of attention. Further, anatomical structure, particularly white matter pathways as defined by diffusion tensor imaging, places constraints on intrinsic functional connectivity. Lastly, connectivity analyses applied to investigate cognitive differences across individuals in both healthy and diseased states suggest that disconnection of attentional networks is linked to deficits in cognitive functioning, and in extreme cases, to disorders of attention. Thus, comprehensive theories of visual attention and their clinical translation depend on the continued integration of behavioral, task-related neuroimaging, and brain connectivity measures. PMID:23597177

  5. Defining Game Mechanics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sicart (Vila), Miguel Angel

    2008-01-01

    This article defins game mechanics in relation to rules and challenges. Game mechanics are methods invoked by agents for interacting with the game world. I apply this definition to a comparative analysis of the games Rez, Every Extend Extra and Shadow of the Colossus that will show the relevance...... of a formal definition of game mechanics. Udgivelsesdato: Dec 2008...

  6. Modal Logics and Definability

    OpenAIRE

    Kuusisto, Antti

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, research into the mathematical foundations of modal logic has become increasingly popular. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that modal logic seems to adapt well to the requirements of a wide range of different fields of application. This paper is a summary of some of the author’s contributions to the understanding of modal definability theory.

  7. Software Defined Cyberinfrastructure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foster, Ian; Blaiszik, Ben; Chard, Kyle; Chard, Ryan

    2017-07-17

    Within and across thousands of science labs, researchers and students struggle to manage data produced in experiments, simulations, and analyses. Largely manual research data lifecycle management processes mean that much time is wasted, research results are often irreproducible, and data sharing and reuse remain rare. In response, we propose a new approach to data lifecycle management in which researchers are empowered to define the actions to be performed at individual storage systems when data are created or modified: actions such as analysis, transformation, copying, and publication. We term this approach software-defined cyberinfrastructure because users can implement powerful data management policies by deploying rules to local storage systems, much as software-defined networking allows users to configure networks by deploying rules to switches.We argue that this approach can enable a new class of responsive distributed storage infrastructure that will accelerate research innovation by allowing any researcher to associate data workflows with data sources, whether local or remote, for such purposes as data ingest, characterization, indexing, and sharing. We report on early experiments with this approach in the context of experimental science, in which a simple if-trigger-then-action (IFTA) notation is used to define rules.

  8. Defining Abnormally Low Tenders

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ølykke, Grith Skovgaard; Nyström, Johan

    2017-01-01

    The concept of an abnormally low tender is not defined in EU public procurement law. This article takes an interdisciplinary law and economics approach to examine a dataset consisting of Swedish and Danish judgments and verdicts concerning the concept of an abnormally low tender. The purpose...

  9. Software Defined Coded Networking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Di Paola, Carla; Roetter, Daniel Enrique Lucani; Palazzo, Sergio

    2017-01-01

    the quality of each link and even across neighbouring links and using simulations to show that an additional reduction of packet transmission in the order of 40% is possible. Second, to advocate for the use of network coding (NC) jointly with software defined networking (SDN) providing an implementation...

  10. Defining depth of anesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafer, S L; Stanski, D R

    2008-01-01

    In this chapter, drawn largely from the synthesis of material that we first presented in the sixth edition of Miller's Anesthesia, Chap 31 (Stanski and Shafer 2005; used by permission of the publisher), we have defined anesthetic depth as the probability of non-response to stimulation, calibrated against the strength of the stimulus, the difficulty of suppressing the response, and the drug-induced probability of non-responsiveness at defined effect site concentrations. This definition requires measurement of multiple different stimuli and responses at well-defined drug concentrations. There is no one stimulus and response measurement that will capture depth of anesthesia in a clinically or scientifically meaningful manner. The "clinical art" of anesthesia requires calibration of these observations of stimuli and responses (verbal responses, movement, tachycardia) against the dose and concentration of anesthetic drugs used to reduce the probability of response, constantly adjusting the administered dose to achieve the desired anesthetic depth. In our definition of "depth of anesthesia" we define the need for two components to create the anesthetic state: hypnosis created with drugs such as propofol or the inhalational anesthetics and analgesia created with the opioids or nitrous oxide. We demonstrate the scientific evidence that profound degrees of hypnosis in the absence of analgesia will not prevent the hemodynamic responses to profoundly noxious stimuli. Also, profound degrees of analgesia do not guarantee unconsciousness. However, the combination of hypnosis and analgesia suppresses hemodynamic response to noxious stimuli and guarantees unconsciousness.

  11. Defining and classifying syncope

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thijs, Roland D.; Wieling, Wouter; Kaufmann, Horacio; van Dijk, Gert

    2004-01-01

    There is no widely adopted definition or classification of syncope and related disorders. This lack of uniformity harms patient care, research, and medical education. In this article, syncope is defined as a form of transient loss of consciousness (TLOC) due to cerebral hypoperfusion. Differences

  12. The Attention Cascade Model and Attentional Blink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Shui-I

    2008-01-01

    An attention cascade model is proposed to account for attentional blinks in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) of stimuli. Data were collected using single characters in a single RSVP stream at 10 Hz [Shih, S., & Reeves, A. (2007). "Attentional capture in rapid serial visual presentation." "Spatial Vision", 20(4), 301-315], and single words,…

  13. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Marguerite; Nigg, Joel T.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last two decades, there have been numerous technical and methodological advances available to clinicians and researchers to better understand attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its etiology. Despite the growing body of literature investigating the disorder’s pathophysiology, ADHD remains a complex psychiatric disorder to characterize. This chapter will briefly review the literature on ADHD, with a focus on its history, the current genetic insights, neurophysiologic theories, and the use of neuroimaging to further understand the etiology. We address some of the major concerns that remain unclear about ADHD, including subtype instability, heterogeneity, and the underlying neural correlates that define the disorder. We highlight that the field of ADHD is rapidly evolving; the descriptions provided here will hopefully provide a sturdy foundation for which to build and improve our understanding of the disorder. PMID:24214656

  14. Defining Legal Moralism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thaysen, Jens Damgaard

    2015-01-01

    This paper discusses how legal moralism should be defined. It is argued that legal moralism should be defined as the position that “For any X, it is always a pro tanto reason for justifiably imposing legal regulation on X that X is morally wrong (where “morally wrong” is not conceptually equivalent...... to “harmful”)”. Furthermore, a distinction between six types of legal moralism is made. The six types are grouped according to whether they are concerned with the enforcement of positive or critical morality, and whether they are concerned with criminalising, legally restricting, or refraining from legally...... protecting morally wrong behaviour. This is interesting because not all types of legal moralism are equally vulnerable to the different critiques of legal moralism that have been put forth. Indeed, I show that some interesting types of legal moralism have not been criticised at all....

  15. Defining local food

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eriksen, Safania Normann

    2013-01-01

    Despite evolving local food research, there is no consistent definition of “local food.” Various understandings are utilized, which have resulted in a diverse landscape of meaning. The main purpose of this paper is to examine how researchers within the local food systems literature define local...... food, and how these definitions can be used as a starting point to identify a new taxonomy of local food based on three domains of proximity....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  17. The costs of switching attentional sets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dombrowe, I.C.; Donk, M.; Olivers, C.N.L.

    2012-01-01

    People prioritize those aspects of the visual environment that match their attentional set. In the present study, we investigated whether switching from one attentional set to another is associated with a cost. We asked observers to sequentially saccade toward two color-defined targets, one on the

  18. The costs of switching attentional sets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dombrowe, I.C.; Donk, M.; Olivers, C.N.L.

    2011-01-01

    People prioritize those aspects of the visual environment that match their attentional set. In the present study, we investigated whether switching from one attentional set to another is associated with a cost. We asked observers to sequentially saccade toward two color-defined targets, one on the

  19. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Keller, Andreas

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Defining product service systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McAloone, Timothy Charles; Andreasen, Mogens Myrup

    2002-01-01

    , company and society benefit from the service systems related to each one of these dimensions, rather than simply one of the above. There are existing examples of the enhancement of business and market share by focusing on PSS, but this is often not a result of upfront strategy and ambitious goals. We...... attempt to identify the nature of such a multiple definition of PSS, the link to proper understanding of value and utility and innovative approaches for PSS-oriented product development. This paper will expand on the phenomenon of PSS in the belief that a proper understanding of PSS will give us...

  1. Defined contribution health benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fronstin, P

    2001-03-01

    This Issue Brief discusses the emerging issue of "defined contribution" (DC) health benefits. The term "defined contribution" is used to describe a wide variety of approaches to the provision of health benefits, all of which have in common a shift in the responsibility for payment and selection of health care services from employers to employees. DC health benefits often are mentioned in the context of enabling employers to control their outlay for health benefits by avoiding increases in health care costs. DC health benefits may also shift responsibility for choosing a health plan and the associated risks of choosing a plan from employers to employees. There are three primary reasons why some employers currently are considering some sort of DC approach. First, they are once again looking for ways to keep their health care cost increases in line with overall inflation. Second, some employers are concerned that the public "backlash" against managed care will result in new legislation, regulations, and litigation that will further increase their health care costs if they do not distance themselves from health care decisions. Third, employers have modified not only most employee benefit plans, but labor market practices in general, by giving workers more choice, control, and flexibility. DC-type health benefits have existed as cafeteria plans since the 1980s. A cafeteria plan gives each employee the opportunity to determine the allocation of his or her total compensation (within employer-defined limits) among various employee benefits (primarily retirement or health). Most types of DC health benefits currently being discussed could be provided within the existing employment-based health insurance system, with or without the use of cafeteria plans. They could also allow employees to purchase health insurance directly from insurers, or they could drive new technologies and new forms of risk pooling through which health care services are provided and financed. DC health

  2. Mindful movement and skilled attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Dav; Schumann, Frank; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Mindful Movement and Skilled Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dav eClark

    2015-06-01

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

  4. Defining and Distinguishing Traditional and Religious Terrorism

    OpenAIRE

    Gregg, Heather S.

    2014-01-01

    The article of record may be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23296151.2016.1239978 thus offering few if any policy options for counterterrorism measures. This assumption about religious terrorism stems from two challenges in the literature: disproportionate attention to apocalyptic terrorism, and a lack of distinction between religious terrorism and its secular counterpart. This article, therefore, aims to do four things: define and differentiate religiously motivated terrorism from tr...

  5. On Defining Mass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Eugene

    2011-01-01

    Though central to any pedagogical development of physics, the concept of mass is still not well understood. Properly defining mass has proven to be far more daunting than contemporary textbooks would have us believe. And yet today the origin of mass is one of the most aggressively pursued areas of research in all of physics. Much of the excitement surrounding the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is associated with discovering the mechanism responsible for the masses of the elementary particles. This paper will first briefly examine the leading definitions, pointing out their shortcomings. Then, utilizing relativity theory, it will propose—for consideration by the community of physicists—a conceptual definition of mass predicated on the more fundamental concept of energy, more fundamental in that everything that has mass has energy, yet not everything that has energy has mass.

  6. Implementing Software Defined Radio

    CERN Document Server

    Grayver, Eugene

    2013-01-01

    Software Defined Radio makes wireless communications easier, more efficient, and more reliable. This book bridges the gap between academic research and practical implementation. When beginning a project, practicing engineers, technical managers, and graduate students can save countless hours by considering the concepts presented in these pages. The author covers the myriad options and trade-offs available when selecting an appropriate hardware architecture. As demonstrated here, the choice between hardware- and software-centric architecture can mean the difference between meeting an aggressive schedule and bogging down in endless design iterations. Because of the author’s experience overseeing dozens of failed and successful developments, he is able to present many real-life examples. Some of the key concepts covered are: Choosing the right architecture for the market – laboratory, military, or commercial Hardware platforms – FPGAs, GPPs, specialized and hybrid devices Standardization efforts to ens...

  7. Defining cyber warfare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dragan D. Mladenović

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Cyber conflicts represent a new kind of warfare that is technologically developing very rapidly. Such development results in more frequent and more intensive cyber attacks undertaken by states against adversary targets, with a wide range of diverse operations, from information operations to physical destruction of targets. Nevertheless, cyber warfare is waged through the application of the same means, techniques and methods as those used in cyber criminal, terrorism and intelligence activities. Moreover, it has a very specific nature that enables states to covertly initiate attacks against their adversaries. The starting point in defining doctrines, procedures and standards in the area of cyber warfare is determining its true nature. In this paper, a contribution to this effort was made through the analysis of the existing state doctrines and international practice in the area of cyber warfare towards the determination of its nationally acceptable definition.

  8. Defining the mobilome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siefert, Janet L

    2009-01-01

    This chapter defines the agents that provide for the movement of genetic material which fuels the adaptive potential of life on our planet. The chapter has been structured to be broadly comprehensive, arbitrarily categorizing the mobilome into four classes: (1) transposons, (2) plasmids, (3) bacteriophage, and (4) self-splicing molecular parasites.Our increasing understanding of the mobilome is as dynamic as the mobilome itself. With continuing discovery, it is clear that nature has not confined these genomic agents of change to neat categories, but rather the classification categories overlap and intertwine. Massive sequencing efforts and their published analyses are continuing to refine our understanding of the extent of the mobilome. This chapter provides a framework to describe our current understanding of the mobilome and a foundation on which appreciation of its impact on genome evolution can be understood.

  9. Software Defined Networking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caba, Cosmin Marius

    Network Service Providers (NSP) often choose to overprovision their networks instead of deploying proper Quality of Services (QoS) mechanisms that allow for traffic differentiation and predictable quality. This tendency of overprovisioning is not sustainable for the simple reason that network...... resources are limited. Hence, to counteract this trend, current QoS mechanisms must become simpler to deploy and operate, in order to motivate NSPs to employ QoS techniques instead of overprovisioning. Software Defined Networking (SDN) represents a paradigm shift in the way telecommunication and data...... generic perspective (e.g. service provisioning speed, resources availability). As a result, new mechanisms for providing QoS are proposed, solutions for SDN-specific QoS challenges are designed and tested, and new network management concepts are prototyped, all aiming to improve QoS for network services...

  10. Attentional Capture by Emotional Stimuli Is Modulated by Semantic Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yang-Ming; Baddeley, Alan; Young, Andrew W.

    2008-01-01

    The attentional blink paradigm was used to examine whether emotional stimuli always capture attention. The processing requirement for emotional stimuli in a rapid sequential visual presentation stream was manipulated to investigate the circumstances under which emotional distractors capture attention, as reflected in an enhanced attentional blink…

  11. [Attentional impairment in children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbes, Zeineb; Bouden, Asma; Amado, Isabelle; Chantal Bourdel, Marie; Tabbane, Karim; Béchir Halayem, Mohamed

    2009-10-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a heterogeneous disorder currently defined by clinical history and behavioral report of impairment. The Attention Network test (ANT) gives measures of different aspects of the complex process of attention. We ask if children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) will show a characteristic pattern of deficits on this test. The sample included 40 children (M=9 years) who performed the "Attention network test". Children with an ADHD diagnosis (N=20) were compared to a control group (N=20). The group of children with ADHD showed slower reaction times in all conditions (mean RT=866 ms; SD=234,063). Children with ADHD showed a significant impairment in their executive control system compared to healthy subjects, with slower reaction times in incongruent conditions and lower accuracy scores (RT=1064 ms; F(1.38) p=0.02). Our results showed that spatial orienting and alerting in ADHD was no different than controls (p=0,68). ADHD group showed a greater variable response (p=0,0001). The present study showed that impairment in executive control system and variability measures are the characteristic pattern of deficits in children with ADHD.

  12. Online Attention Training for Older Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Wennberg, Alexandra; Kueider, Alexandra; Spira, Adam; Adams, Gregory; Rager, Robert; Rebok, George

    2014-01-01

    Evidence suggests that cognitive training interventions can improve older adults' cognitive performance. Successful training programs are adaptable and train multiple cognitive domains to target individual strengths and weaknesses. Computerized training programs are useful because they allow older adults to easily access training. This pilot study used an online attention training program, ATTENTION WORKOUT™, to enhance three aspects of attention– coordination, allocation, and selective focus...

  13. Visual attention shifting in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, Annette E; Lajiness-O'Neill, Renee

    2015-01-01

    Abnormal visual attention has been frequently observed in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Abnormal shifting of visual attention is related to abnormal development of social cognition and has been identified as a key neuropsychological finding in ASD. Better characterizing attention shifting in ASD and its relationship with social functioning may help to identify new targets for intervention and improving social communication in these disorders. Thus, the current study investigated deficits in attention shifting in ASD as well as relationships between attention shifting and social communication in ASD and neurotypicals (NT). To investigate deficits in visual attention shifting in ASD, 20 ASD and 20 age- and gender-matched NT completed visual search (VS) and Navon tasks with attention-shifting demands as well as a set-shifting task. VS was a feature search task with targets defined in one of two dimensions; Navon required identification of a target letter presented at the global or local level. Psychomotor and processing speed were entered as covariates. Relationships between visual attention shifting, set shifting, and social functioning were also examined. ASD and NT showed comparable costs of shifting attention. However, psychomotor and processing speed were slower in ASD than in NT, and psychomotor and processing speed were positively correlated with attention-shifting costs on Navon and VS, respectively, for both groups. Attention shifting on VS and Navon were correlated among NT, while attention shifting on Navon was correlated with set shifting among ASD. Attention-shifting costs on Navon were positively correlated with restricted and repetitive behaviors among ASD. Relationships between attention shifting and psychomotor and processing speed, as well as relationships between measures of different aspects of visual attention shifting, suggest inefficient top-down influences over preattentive visual processing in ASD. Inefficient attention shifting may be

  14. Defining the Anthropocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Simon; Maslin, Mark

    2016-04-01

    Time is divided by geologists according to marked shifts in Earth's state. Recent global environmental changes suggest that Earth may have entered a new human-dominated geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Should the Anthropocene - the idea that human activity is a force acting upon the Earth system in ways that mean that Earth will be altered for millions of years - be defined as a geological time-unit at the level of an Epoch? Here we appraise the data to assess such claims, first in terms of changes to the Earth system, with particular focus on very long-lived impacts, as Epochs typically last millions of years. Can Earth really be said to be in transition from one state to another? Secondly, we then consider the formal criteria used to define geological time-units and move forward through time examining whether currently available evidence passes typical geological time-unit evidence thresholds. We suggest two time periods likely fit the criteria (1) the aftermath of the interlinking of the Old and New Worlds, which moved species across continents and ocean basins worldwide, a geologically unprecedented and permanent change, which is also the globally synchronous coolest part of the Little Ice Age (in Earth system terms), and the beginning of global trade and a new socio-economic "world system" (in historical terms), marked as a golden spike by a temporary drop in atmospheric CO2, centred on 1610 CE; and (2) the aftermath of the Second World War, when many global environmental changes accelerated and novel long-lived materials were increasingly manufactured, known as the Great Acceleration (in Earth system terms) and the beginning of the Cold War (in historical terms), marked as a golden spike by the peak in radionuclide fallout in 1964. We finish by noting that the Anthropocene debate is politically loaded, thus transparency in the presentation of evidence is essential if a formal definition of the Anthropocene is to avoid becoming a debate about bias. The

  15. Teleology and Defining Sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamble, Nathan K; Pruski, Michal

    2018-07-01

    Disorders of sexual differentiation lead to what is often referred to as an intersex state. This state has medical, as well as some legal, recognition. Nevertheless, the question remains whether intersex persons occupy a state in between maleness and femaleness or whether they are truly men or women. To answer this question, another important conundrum needs to be first solved: what defines sex? The answer seems rather simple to most people, yet when morphology does not coincide with haplotypes, and genetics might not correlate with physiology the issue becomes more complex. This paper tackles both issues by establishing where the essence of sex is located and by superimposing that framework onto the issue of the intersex. This is achieved through giving due consideration to the biology of sexual development, as well as through the use of a teleological framework of the meaning of sex. Using a range of examples, the paper establishes that sex cannot be pinpointed to one biological variable but is rather determined by how the totality of one's biology is oriented towards biological reproduction. A brief consideration is also given to the way this situation could be comprehended from a Christian understanding of sex and suffering.

  16. Attentional load and attentional boost: A review of data and theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khena M Swallow

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Both perceptual and cognitive processes are limited in capacity. As a result, attention is selective, prioritizing items and tasks that are important for adaptive behavior. However, a number of recent behavioral and neuroimaging studies suggest that, at least under some circumstances, increasing attention to one task can enhance performance in a second task (e.g., the attentional boost effect. Here we review these findings and suggest a new theoretical framework, the dual-task interaction model, that integrates these findings with current views of attentional selection. To reconcile the attentional boost effect with the effects of attentional load, we suggest that temporal selection results in a temporally specific enhancement across modalities, tasks, and spatial locations. Moreover, the effects of temporal selection may be best observed when the attentional system is optimally tuned to the temporal dynamics of incoming stimuli. Several avenues of research motivated by the dual-task interaction model are then discussed.

  17. Attentional load and attentional boost: a review of data and theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swallow, Khena M; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2013-01-01

    Both perceptual and cognitive processes are limited in capacity. As a result, attention is selective, prioritizing items and tasks that are important for adaptive behavior. However, a number of recent behavioral and neuroimaging studies suggest that, at least under some circumstances, increasing attention to one task can enhance performance in a second task (e.g., the attentional boost effect). Here we review these findings and suggest a new theoretical framework, the dual-task interaction model, that integrates these findings with current views of attentional selection. To reconcile the attentional boost effect with the effects of attentional load, we suggest that temporal selection results in a temporally specific enhancement across modalities, tasks, and spatial locations. Moreover, the effects of temporal selection may be best observed when the attentional system is optimally tuned to the temporal dynamics of incoming stimuli. Several avenues of research motivated by the dual-task interaction model are then discussed.

  18. Attentional Load and Attentional Boost: A Review of Data and Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swallow, Khena M.; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2013-01-01

    Both perceptual and cognitive processes are limited in capacity. As a result, attention is selective, prioritizing items and tasks that are important for adaptive behavior. However, a number of recent behavioral and neuroimaging studies suggest that, at least under some circumstances, increasing attention to one task can enhance performance in a second task (e.g., the attentional boost effect). Here we review these findings and suggest a new theoretical framework, the dual-task interaction model, that integrates these findings with current views of attentional selection. To reconcile the attentional boost effect with the effects of attentional load, we suggest that temporal selection results in a temporally specific enhancement across modalities, tasks, and spatial locations. Moreover, the effects of temporal selection may be best observed when the attentional system is optimally tuned to the temporal dynamics of incoming stimuli. Several avenues of research motivated by the dual-task interaction model are then discussed. PMID:23730294

  19. The time course of natural scene perception with reduced attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, I.I.A.; Ghebreab, S.; Lamme, V.A.F.; Scholte, H.S.

    Attention is thought to impose an informational bottleneck on vision by selecting particular information from visual scenes for enhanced processing. Behavioral evidence suggests, however, that some scene information is extracted even when attention is directed elsewhere. Here, we investigated the

  20. Timing divided attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogendoorn, Hinze; Carlson, Thomas A; VanRullen, Rufin; Verstraten, Frans A J

    2010-11-01

    Visual attention can be divided over multiple objects or locations. However, there is no single theoretical framework within which the effects of dividing attention can be interpreted. In order to develop such a model, here we manipulated the stage of visual processing at which attention was divided, while simultaneously probing the costs of dividing attention on two dimensions. We show that dividing attention incurs dissociable time and precision costs, which depend on whether attention is divided during monitoring or during access. Dividing attention during monitoring resulted in progressively delayed access to attended locations as additional locations were monitored, as well as a one-off precision cost. When dividing attention during access, time costs were systematically lower at one of the accessed locations than at the other, indicating that divided attention during access, in fact, involves rapid sequential allocation of undivided attention. We propose a model in which divided attention is understood as the simultaneous parallel preparation and subsequent sequential execution of multiple shifts of undivided attention. This interpretation has the potential to bring together diverse findings from both the divided-attention and saccade preparation literature and provides a framework within which to integrate the broad spectrum of divided-attention methodologies.

  1. Defining an emerging disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P-P

    2015-04-01

    Defining an emerging disease is not straightforward, as there are several different types of disease emergence. For example, there can be a 'real' emergence of a brand new disease, such as the emergence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the 1980s, or a geographic emergence in an area not previously affected, such as the emergence of bluetongue in northern Europe in 2006. In addition, disease can emerge in species formerly not considered affected, e.g. the emergence of bovine tuberculosis in wildlife species since 2000 in France. There can also be an unexpected increase of disease incidence in a known area and a known species, or there may simply be an increase in our knowledge or awareness of a particular disease. What all these emerging diseases have in common is that human activity frequently has a role to play in their emergence. For example, bovine spongiform encephalopathy very probably emerged as a result of changes in the manufacturing of meat-and-bone meal, bluetongue was able to spread to cooler climes as a result of uncontrolled trade in animals, and a relaxation of screening and surveillance for bovine tuberculosis enabled the disease to re-emerge in areas that had been able to drastically reduce the number of cases. Globalisation and population growth will continue to affect the epidemiology of diseases in years to come and ecosystems will continue to evolve. Furthermore, new technologies such as metagenomics and high-throughput sequencing are identifying new microorganisms all the time. Change is the one constant, and diseases will continue to emerge, and we must consider the causes and different types of emergence as we deal with these diseases in the future.

  2. Characterizing the effects of feature salience and top-down attention in the early visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poltoratski, Sonia; Ling, Sam; McCormack, Devin; Tong, Frank

    2017-07-01

    The visual system employs a sophisticated balance of attentional mechanisms: salient stimuli are prioritized for visual processing, yet observers can also ignore such stimuli when their goals require directing attention elsewhere. A powerful determinant of visual salience is local feature contrast: if a local region differs from its immediate surround along one or more feature dimensions, it will appear more salient. We used high-resolution functional MRI (fMRI) at 7T to characterize the modulatory effects of bottom-up salience and top-down voluntary attention within multiple sites along the early visual pathway, including visual areas V1-V4 and the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN). Observers viewed arrays of spatially distributed gratings, where one of the gratings immediately to the left or right of fixation differed from all other items in orientation or motion direction, making it salient. To investigate the effects of directed attention, observers were cued to attend to the grating to the left or right of fixation, which was either salient or nonsalient. Results revealed reliable additive effects of top-down attention and stimulus-driven salience throughout visual areas V1-hV4. In comparison, the LGN exhibited significant attentional enhancement but was not reliably modulated by orientation- or motion-defined salience. Our findings indicate that top-down effects of spatial attention can influence visual processing at the earliest possible site along the visual pathway, including the LGN, whereas the processing of orientation- and motion-driven salience primarily involves feature-selective interactions that take place in early cortical visual areas. NEW & NOTEWORTHY While spatial attention allows for specific, goal-driven enhancement of stimuli, salient items outside of the current focus of attention must also be prioritized. We used 7T fMRI to compare salience and spatial attentional enhancement along the early visual hierarchy. We report additive effects of

  3. Neural bases of selective attention in action video game players

    OpenAIRE

    Bavelier, D; Achtman, RL; Mani, M; Föcker, J

    2011-01-01

    Over the past few years, the very act of playing action video games has been shown to enhance several different aspects of visual selective attention. Yet little is known about the neural mechanisms that mediate such attentional benefits. A review of the aspects of attention enhanced in action game players suggests there are changes in the mechanisms that control attention allocation and its efficiency (Hubert-Wallander et al., 2010). The present study used brain imaging to test this hypothes...

  4. Attention Networks and Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael ePosner

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The term consciousness is an important one in the vernacular of the western literature in many fields. It is no wonder that scientists have assumed that consciousness will be found as a component of the human brain and that we will come to understand its neural basis. However, there is rather little in common between consciousness as the neurologist would use it to diagnose the vegetative state, how the feminist would use it to support raising male consciousness of the economic plight of women and as the philosopher would use it when defining the really hard question of the subjective state of awareness induced by sensory qualities. When faced with this kind of problem it is usual to subdivide the term into more manageable perhaps partly operational definitions. Three meanings that capture aspects of consciousness are: (1 the neurology of the state of mind allowing coherent orientation to time and place (2 the selection of sensory or memorial information for awareness and (3 the voluntary control over overt responses. In each of these cases the mechanisms of consciousness overlap with one or more of the attentional networks that have been studied with the methods of cognitive neuroscience. In this paper we explore t

  5. Mechanism of Perceptual Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2000-01-01

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

  6. Mechanisms of Perceptual Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dosher, Barbara

    2000-01-01

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

  7. Attention and Implicit Memory: Priming-Induced Benefits and Costs Have Distinct Attentional Requirements

    OpenAIRE

    Keane, Margaret M.; Cruz, Matt E.; Verfaellie, Mieke

    2015-01-01

    Attention at encoding plays a critical and ubiquitous role in explicit memory performance, but its role in implicit memory performance (i.e., priming) is more variable: Some, but not all, priming effects are reduced by division of attention at encoding. A wealth of empirical and theoretical work has aimed to define the critical features of priming effects that do or do not require attention at encoding. This work, however, has focused exclusively on priming effects that are beneficial in natu...

  8. Do social utility judgments influence attentional processing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shore, Danielle M; Heerey, Erin A

    2013-10-01

    Research shows that social judgments influence decision-making in social environments. For example, judgments about an interaction partners' trustworthiness affect a variety of social behaviors and decisions. One mechanism by which social judgments may influence social decisions is by biasing the automatic allocation of attention toward certain social partners, thereby shaping the information people acquire. Using an attentional blink paradigm, we investigate how trustworthiness judgments alter the allocation of attention to social stimuli in a set of two experiments. The first experiment investigates trustworthiness judgments based solely on a social partner's facial appearance. The second experiment examines the effect of trustworthiness judgments based on experienced behavior. In the first, strong appearance-based judgments (positive and negative) enhanced stimulus recognizability but did not alter the size of the attentional blink, suggesting that appearance-based social judgments enhance face memory but do not affect pre-attentive processing. However, in the second experiment, in which judgments were based on behavioral experience rather than appearance, positive judgments enhanced pre-attentive processing of trustworthy faces. This suggests that a stimulus's potential benefits, rather than its disadvantages, shape the automatic distribution of attentional resources. These results have implications for understanding how appearance- and behavior-based social cues shape attention distribution in social environments. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Your Divided Attention, Please! The Maintenance of Multiple Attentional Control Sets over Distinct Regions in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamo, Maha; Pun, Carson; Pratt, Jay; Ferber, Susanne

    2008-01-01

    When non-informative peripheral cues precede a target defined by a specific feature, cues that share the critical feature will capture attention while cues that do not will be effectively ignored. We tested whether different attentional control sets can be simultaneously maintained over distinct regions of space. Participants were instructed to…

  10. Is trait resilience characterized by specific patterns of attentional bias to emotional stimuli and attentional control?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Judith; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Höfler, Michael; Heinrich, Anke; Zimmermann, Peter; Siegel, Stefan; Schönfeld, Sabine

    2015-09-01

    Attentional processes have been suggested to play a crucial role in resilience defined as positive adaptation facing adversity. However, research is lacking on associations between attentional biases to positive and threat-related stimuli, attentional control and trait resilience. Data stem from the follow-up assessment of a longitudinal study investigating mental health and related factors among German soldiers. Trait resilience was assessed with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and attentional control with the Attentional Control Scale. A subset of n = 198 soldiers also completed a dot probe task with happy, neutral and threatening faces. Attentional control was positively related to trait resilience. Results revealed no associations between both attentional biases and trait resilience. However, there was a negative association between attentional bias to threat and trait resilience when attentional control was low and a positive association between attentional bias to threat and trait resilience when attentional control was high. No such associations were found for attentional bias to positive stimuli. Generalizability to other populations may be limited since we exclusively focused on male soldiers. Also, the cross-sectional design does not allow for causal conclusions. Findings suggest that attentional processing may promote trait resilience. Future research on preventive interventions should consider these findings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Dynamics of Media Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Traag, V.A.; Reinanda, R.; Hicks, J.; van Klinken, G.; Aziz-Alaoui, M.A.; Bertelle, C.; Liu, X.; Olivier, D.

    2014-01-01

    Studies of human attention dynamics analyses how attention is focused on specific topics, issues or people. In online social media, there are clear signs of exogenous shocks, bursty dynamics, and an exponential or powerlaw lifetime distribution. We here analyse the attention dynamics of traditional

  12. Attention and Representational Momentum

    OpenAIRE

    Hayes, Amy; Freyd, Jennifer J

    1995-01-01

    Representational momentum, the tendency for memory to be distorted in the direction of an implied transformation, suggests that dynamics are an intrinsic part of perceptual representations. We examined the effect of attention on dynamic representation by testing for representational momentum under conditions of distraction. Forward memory shifts increase when attention is divided. Attention may be involved in halting but not in maintaining dynamic representations.

  13. Definably compact groups definable in real closed fields.II

    OpenAIRE

    Barriga, Eliana

    2017-01-01

    We continue the analysis of definably compact groups definable in a real closed field $\\mathcal{R}$. In [3], we proved that for every definably compact definably connected semialgebraic group $G$ over $\\mathcal{R}$ there are a connected $R$-algebraic group $H$, a definable injective map $\\phi$ from a generic definable neighborhood of the identity of $G$ into the group $H\\left(R\\right)$ of $R$-points of $H$ such that $\\phi$ acts as a group homomorphism inside its domain. The above result and o...

  14. Attention competition with advertisement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cetin, Uzay; Bingol, Haluk O.

    2014-09-01

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

  15. Principles of visual attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas

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

  16. Contingent attentional capture across multiple feature dimensions in a temporal search task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Motohiro; Kawahara, Jun I

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined whether attention can be flexibly controlled to monitor two different feature dimensions (shape and color) in a temporal search task. Specifically, we investigated the occurrence of contingent attentional capture (i.e., interference from task-relevant distractors) and resulting set reconfiguration (i.e., enhancement of single task-relevant set). If observers can restrict searches to a specific value for each relevant feature dimension independently, the capture and reconfiguration effect should only occur when the single relevant distractor in each dimension appears. Participants identified a target letter surrounded by a non-green square or a non-square green frame. The results revealed contingent attentional capture, as target identification accuracy was lower when the distractor contained a target-defining feature than when it contained a nontarget feature. Resulting set reconfiguration was also obtained in that accuracy was superior when the current target's feature (e.g., shape) corresponded to the defining feature of the present distractor (shape) than when the current target's feature did not match the distractor's feature (color). This enhancement was not due to perceptual priming. The present study demonstrated that the principles of contingent attentional capture and resulting set reconfiguration held even when multiple target feature dimensions were monitored. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Effects of attention manipulations on motivated attention to feared and nonfeared negative distracters in spider fear

    OpenAIRE

    Norberg, Joakim; Wiens, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Background When people view emotional and neutral pictures, the emotional pictures capture more attention than do neutral pictures. In support, studies with event-related potentials have shown that the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP) to emotional versus neutral pictures are enhanced when pictures are attended. However, this motivated attention decreases when voluntary attention is directed away from the pictures. Most previous studies included only gener...

  18. Attention Mosaics: Studies of Organizational Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Carvalho de Mesquita Ferreira (Luciana)

    2010-01-01

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

  19. The effects of transient attention on spatial resolution and the size of the attentional cue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeshurun, Yaffa; Carrasco, Marisa

    2008-01-01

    It has been shown that transient attention enhances spatial resolution, but is the effect of transient attention on spatial resolution modulated by the size of the attentional cue? Would a gradual increase in the size of the cue lead to a gradual decrement in spatial resolution? To test these hypotheses, we used a texture segmentation task in which performance depends on spatial resolution, and systematically manipulated the size of the attentional cue: A bar of different lengths (Experiment 1) or a frame of different sizes (Experiments 2-3) indicated the target region in a texture segmentation display. Observers indicated whether a target patch region (oriented line elements in a background of an orthogonal orientation), appearing at a range of eccentricities, was present in the first or the second interval. We replicated the attentional enhancement of spatial resolution found with small cues; attention improved performance at peripheral locations but impaired performance at central locations. However, there was no evidence of gradual resolution decrement with large cues. Transient attention enhanced spatial resolution at the attended location when it was attracted to that location by a small cue but did not affect resolution when it was attracted by a large cue. These results indicate that transient attention cannot adapt its operation on spatial resolution on the basis of the size of the attentional cue.

  20. A Componential Analysis of Visual Attention in Children With ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

    Inattentive behaviour is a defining characteristic of ADHD. Researchers have wondered about the nature of the attentional deficit underlying these symptoms. The primary purpose of the current study was to examine this attentional deficit using a novel paradigm based upon the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The TVA paradigm enabled a componential analysis of visual attention through the use of a mathematical model to estimate parameters relating to attentional selectivity and capacity. Children's ability to sustain attention was also assessed using the Sustained Attention to Response Task. The sample included a comparison between 25 children with ADHD and 25 control children aged 9-13. Children with ADHD had significantly impaired sustained attention and visual processing speed but intact attentional selectivity, perceptual threshold and visual short-term memory capacity. The results of this study lend support to the notion of differential impairment of attentional functions in children with ADHD. © 2012 SAGE Publications.

  1. Auto-SCT induces a phenotypic shift from CMP to GMP progenitors, reduces clonogenic potential and enhances in vitro and in vivo cycling activity defined by (18)F-FLT PET scanning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolthuis, C; Agool, A; Olthof, S; Slart, R H J A; Huls, G; Smid, W M; Schuringa, J J; Vellenga, E

    2011-01-01

    Autologous SCT (auto-SCT) introduces a reduced tolerance to chemotherapy even in patients with adequate engraftment, suggesting long-term effects of the transplantation procedure on the BM capacity. To study the hematopoietic cell compartment after auto-SCT, CD34(+) BM cells (n = 16) from patients at 6-9 months after auto-SCT were studied with regard to the progenitor subsets, colony frequency and cell cycle status. The BM compartments were studied in vivo using PET tracer 3-fluoro-3-deoxy-L-thymidine (¹⁸F-FLT PET). BM CD34(+) cells after auto-SCT were compared with normal CD34(+) cells and showed a phenotypic shift from common myeloid progenitor (CMP mean percentage 3.7 vs 19.4%, P=0.001) to granulocyte-macrophage progenitor (GMP mean percentage 51.8 vs 27.6%, P=0.01). In addition, a reduced clonogenic potential and higher cycling activity especially of the GMP fraction (41% ± 4 in G2/S phase vs 19% ± 2, P = 0.03) were observed in BM after auto-SCT compared with normal. The enhanced cycling activity was confirmed in vivo by showing a significantly higher uptake of the ¹⁸F-FLT PET tracer by the BM compartment. This study shows that auto-SCT results in defects of the hematopoietic compartment at least 6 months after auto-SCT, characterized by changes in the composition of progenitor subsets and enhanced in vitro and in vivo cycling activity.

  2. Announcements to Attentive Agents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    -based announcement can also be described as an action model. We extend our logic by integrating attention change. Finally, we add the notion of common belief to the language, we exploit this to formalize the concept of joint attention, that has been widely discussed in the philosophical and cognitive science...... literature, and we provide a corresponding axiomatization. This axiomatization also employs the auxiliary notion of attention-based relativized common belief....

  3. Attentional Selection of Feature Conjunctions Is Accomplished by Parallel and Independent Selection of Single Features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M; Hillyard, Steven A

    2015-07-08

    Experiments that study feature-based attention have often examined situations in which selection is based on a single feature (e.g., the color red). However, in more complex situations relevant stimuli may not be set apart from other stimuli by a single defining property but by a specific combination of features. Here, we examined sustained attentional selection of stimuli defined by conjunctions of color and orientation. Human observers attended to one out of four concurrently presented superimposed fields of randomly moving horizontal or vertical bars of red or blue color to detect brief intervals of coherent motion. Selective stimulus processing in early visual cortex was assessed by recordings of steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) elicited by each of the flickering fields of stimuli. We directly contrasted attentional selection of single features and feature conjunctions and found that SSVEP amplitudes on conditions in which selection was based on a single feature only (color or orientation) exactly predicted the magnitude of attentional enhancement of SSVEPs when attending to a conjunction of both features. Furthermore, enhanced SSVEP amplitudes elicited by attended stimuli were accompanied by equivalent reductions of SSVEP amplitudes elicited by unattended stimuli in all cases. We conclude that attentional selection of a feature-conjunction stimulus is accomplished by the parallel and independent facilitation of its constituent feature dimensions in early visual cortex. The ability to perceive the world is limited by the brain's processing capacity. Attention affords adaptive behavior by selectively prioritizing processing of relevant stimuli based on their features (location, color, orientation, etc.). We found that attentional mechanisms for selection of different features belonging to the same object operate independently and in parallel: concurrent attentional selection of two stimulus features is simply the sum of attending to each of those

  4. Attention to Facial Emotion Expressions in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begeer, Sander; Rieffe, Carolien; Terwogt, Mark Meerum; Stockmann, Lex

    2006-01-01

    High-functioning children in the autism spectrum are frequently noted for their impaired attention to facial expressions of emotions. In this study, we examined whether attention to emotion cues in others could be enhanced in children with autism, by varying the relevance of children's attention to emotion expressions. Twenty-eight…

  5. Overexpression of O-polysaccharide chain length regulators in Gram-negative bacteria using the Wzx-/Wzy-dependent pathway enhances production of defined modal length O-polysaccharide polymers for use as haptens in glycoconjugate vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegerle, N; Bose, J; Ramachandran, G; Galen, J E; Levine, M M; Simon, R; Tennant, S M

    2018-03-30

    O-polysaccharide (OPS) molecules are protective antigens for several bacterial pathogens, and have broad utility as components of glycoconjugate vaccines. Variability in the OPS chain length is one obstacle towards further development of these vaccines. Introduction of sizing steps during purification of OPS molecules of suboptimal or of mixed lengths introduces additional costs and complexity while decreasing the final yield. The overall goal of this study was to demonstrate the utility of engineering Gram-negative bacteria to produce homogenous O-polysaccharide populations that can be used as the basis of carbohydrate vaccines by overexpressing O-polysaccharide chain length regulators of the Wzx-/Wzy-dependent pathway. The O-polysaccharide chain length regulators wzzB and fepE from Salmonella Typhimurium I77 and wzz2 from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 were cloned and expressed in the homologous organism or in other Gram-negative bacteria. Overexpression of these Wzz proteins in the homologous organism significantly increased the proportion of long or very long chain O-polysaccharides. The same observation was made when wzzB was overexpressed in Salmonella Paratyphi A and Shigella flexneri, and wzz2 was overexpressed in two other strains of P. aeruginosa. Overexpression of Wzz proteins in Gram-negative bacteria using the Wzx/Wzy-dependant pathway for lipopolysaccharide synthesis provides a genetic method to increase the production of an O-polysaccharide population of a defined size. The methods presented herein represent a cost-effective and improved strategy for isolating preferred OPS vaccine haptens, and could facilitate the further use of O-polysaccharides in glycoconjugate vaccine development. © 2018 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  6. Defining net zero energy buildings

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Jonker Klunne, W

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Worldwide increasing attention to energy consumption and associated environmental impacts thereof has resulted in a critical attitude towards energy usage of building. Increasing costs of energy and dependence on energy service providers add...

  7. Attention and choice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Effects of attention manipulations on motivated attention to feared and nonfeared negative distracters in spider fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norberg, Joakim; Wiens, Stefan

    2013-11-09

    When people view emotional and neutral pictures, the emotional pictures capture more attention than do neutral pictures. In support, studies with event-related potentials have shown that the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP) to emotional versus neutral pictures are enhanced when pictures are attended. However, this motivated attention decreases when voluntary attention is directed away from the pictures. Most previous studies included only generally emotional pictures of either negative or positive valence. Because people with spider fear report intense fear of spiders, we examined whether directing attention away from emotional pictures at fixation decreases motivated attention less strongly for spiders than for generally negative distracters. We recorded event-related potentials from 128 channels to study whether manipulations of attention (i.e., spatial attention and perceptual load) decrease the EPN and the LPP to emotional distracters less strongly for spiders than for fear-irrelevant negative pictures in people with spider fear. Results confirmed that the EPN and the LPP to spiders (vs. neutral pictures) were particularly enhanced in participants with spider fear compared to participants without spider fear. When attention was directed away from the pictures, the EPN and the LPP to spiders (vs. neutral pictures) decreased similarly in fearful and nonfearful participants. Further, in fearful participants, the decrease in the EPN and the LPP was similar for spiders and for fear-irrelevant negative pictures. Our findings suggest that for people with spider fear, directing attention away from emotional pictures at fixation decreases motivated attention to these distracters similarly for spiders as for fear-irrelevant negative pictures. These findings imply that attention to spiders in spider fear does not exceed the level of attention expected from the spider pictures' high arousal and negative valence (i.e., their intrinsic

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviane Freire Bueno

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD display affective problems and impaired attention. Mood in ADHD can be improved by mindful awareness practices (MAP, but results are mixed regarding the enhancement of attentional performance. Here we evaluated MAP-induced changes in quality of life (QoL, mood, and attention in adult ADHD patients and controls using more measures of attention than prior studies. Methods. Twenty-one ADHD patients and 8 healthy controls underwent 8 weekly MAP sessions; 22 similar patients and 9 controls did not undergo the intervention. Mood and QoL were assessed using validated questionnaires, and attention was evaluated using the Attentional Network Test (ANT and the Conners Continuous Performance Test (CPT II, before and after intervention. Results. MAP enhanced sustained attention (ANT and detectability (CPT II and improved mood and QoL of patients and controls. Conclusion. MAP is a complementary intervention that improves affect and attention of adults with ADHD and controls.

  10. [Thalamus and Attention].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokoro, Kazuhiko; Sato, Hironobu; Yamamoto, Mayumi; Nagai, Yoshiko

    2015-12-01

    Attention is the process by which information and selection occurs, the thalamus plays an important role in the selective attention of visual and auditory information. Selective attention is a conscious effort; however, it occurs subconsciously, as well. The lateral geniculate body (LGB) filters visual information before it reaches the cortex (bottom-up attention). The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) provides a strong inhibitory input to both the LGB and pulvinar. This regulation involves focusing a spotlight on important information, as well as inhibiting unnecessary background information. Behavioral contexts more strongly modulate activity of the TRN and pulvinar influencing feedforward and feedback information transmission between the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital cortical areas (top-down attention). The medial geniculate body (MGB) filters auditory information the TRN inhibits the MGB. Attentional modulation occurring in the auditory pathway among the cochlea, cochlear nucleus, superior olivary complex, and inferior colliculus is more important than that of the MGB and TRN. We also discuss the attentional consequence of thalamic hemorrhage.

  11. Defining asthma in genetic studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koppelman, GH; Postma, DS; Meijer, G.

    1999-01-01

    Genetic studies have been hampered by the lack of a gold standard to diagnose asthma. The complex nature of asthma makes it more difficult to identify asthma genes. Therefore, approaches to define phenotypes, which have been successful in other genetically complex diseases, may be applied to define

  12. Endogenous attention modulates attentional and motor interference from distractors: Evidence from behavioral and electrophysiological results.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisa eMartín-Arévalo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Selective visual attention enhances the processing of relevant stimuli and filters out irrelevant stimuli and/or distractors. However, irrelevant information is sometimes processed, as demonstrated by the Simon effect (Simon & Rudell, 1967. We examined whether fully irrelevant distractors (task and target-irrelevant produce interference (measured as the Simon effect, and whether endogenous orienting modulated this interference. Despite being fully irrelevant, distractors were attentionally coded (as reflected by the distractor-related N2pc component, and interfered with the processing of the target response (as reflected by the target-related LRP component. Distractor’s attentional capture depended on endogenous attention, and their interference with target responses was modulated by both endogenous attention and distractor location repetition. These results demonstrate both endogenous attentional and motor modulations over the Simon effect produced by fully irrelevant distractors.

  13. Iconic memory requires attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persuh, Marjan; Genzer, Boris; Melara, Robert D

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments investigated whether attention plays a role in iconic memory, employing either a change detection paradigm (Experiment 1) or a partial-report paradigm (Experiment 2). In each experiment, attention was taxed during initial display presentation, focusing the manipulation on consolidation of information into iconic memory, prior to transfer into working memory. Observers were able to maintain high levels of performance (accuracy of change detection or categorization) even when concurrently performing an easy visual search task (low load). However, when the concurrent search was made difficult (high load), observers' performance dropped to almost chance levels, while search accuracy held at single-task levels. The effects of attentional load remained the same across paradigms. The results suggest that, without attention, participants consolidate in iconic memory only gross representations of the visual scene, information too impoverished for successful detection of perceptual change or categorization of features.

  14. Iconic memory requires attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjan ePersuh

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Two experiments investigated whether attention plays a role in iconic memory, employing either a change-detection paradigm (Experiment 1 or a partial-report paradigm (Experiment 2. In each experiment, attention was taxed during initial display presentation, focusing the manipulation on consolidation of information into iconic memory, prior to transfer into working memory. Observers were able to maintain high levels of performance (accuracy of change detection or categorization even when concurrently performing an easy visual search task (low load. However, when the concurrent search was made difficult (high load, observers’ performance dropped to almost chance levels, while search accuracy held at single-task levels. The effects of attentional load remained the same across paradigms. The results suggest that, without attention, participants consolidate in iconic memory only gross representations of the visual scene, information too impoverished for successful detection of perceptual change or categorization of features.

  15. Iconic memory requires attention

    OpenAIRE

    Persuh, Marjan; Genzer, Boris; Melara, Robert D.

    2012-01-01

    Two experiments investigated whether attention plays a role in iconic memory, employing either a change detection paradigm (Experiment 1) or a partial-report paradigm (Experiment 2). In each experiment, attention was taxed during initial display presentation, focusing the manipulation on consolidation of information into iconic memory, prior to transfer into working memory. Observers were able to maintain high levels of performance (accuracy of change detection or categorization) even when co...

  16. Prefrontal contributions to visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squire, Ryan F; Noudoost, Behrad; Schafer, Robert J; Moore, Tirin

    2013-07-08

    The faculty of attention endows us with the capacity to process important sensory information selectively while disregarding information that is potentially distracting. Much of our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this fundamental cognitive function comes from neurophysiological studies within the visual modality. Past evidence suggests that a principal function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is selective attention and that this function involves the modulation of sensory signals within posterior cortices. In this review, we discuss recent progress in identifying the specific prefrontal circuits controlling visual attention and its neural correlates within the primate visual system. In addition, we examine the persisting challenge of precisely defining how behavior should be affected when attentional function is lost.

  17. Attention deficits and divorce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard, Geneviève; Saint-Aubin, Jean

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita D. Barber

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Theoretical approaches to elections defining

    OpenAIRE

    Natalya V. Lebedeva

    2011-01-01

    Theoretical approaches to elections defining develop the nature, essence and content of elections, help to determine their place and a role as one of the major national law institutions in democratic system.

  1. Theoretical approaches to elections defining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalya V. Lebedeva

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Theoretical approaches to elections defining develop the nature, essence and content of elections, help to determine their place and a role as one of the major national law institutions in democratic system.

  2. Defining Modules, Modularity and Modularization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miller, Thomas Dedenroth; Pedersen, Per Erik Elgård

    The paper describes the evolution of the concept of modularity in a historical perspective. The main reasons for modularity are: create variety, utilize similarities, and reduce complexity. The paper defines the terms: Module, modularity, and modularization.......The paper describes the evolution of the concept of modularity in a historical perspective. The main reasons for modularity are: create variety, utilize similarities, and reduce complexity. The paper defines the terms: Module, modularity, and modularization....

  3. Improving patient care for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children by organizational redesign (Tornado program) and enhanced collaboration between psychiatry and general practice: a controlled before and after study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, M.; Wensing, M.; Gaag, R.J. van der; Cornelissen, I.; Deurzen, P.A. van; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2014-01-01

    BackgroundImplementation of clinical guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents is a challenge in practice due to insufficient availability of mental health specialists and lack of effective cooperation with primary care

  4. Video game play, attention, and learning: how to shape the development of attention and influence learning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso-Leite, Pedro; Bavelier, Daphne

    2014-04-01

    The notion that play may facilitate learning has long been touted. Here, we review how video game play may be leveraged for enhancing attentional control, allowing greater cognitive flexibility and learning and in turn new routes to better address developmental disorders. Video games, initially developed for entertainment, appear to enhance the behavior in domains as varied as perception, attention, task switching, or mental rotation. This surprisingly wide transfer may be mediated by enhanced attentional control, allowing increased signal-to-noise ratio and thus more informed decisions. The possibility of enhancing attentional control through targeted interventions, be it computerized training or self-regulation techniques, is now well established. Embedding such training in video game play is appealing, given the astounding amount of time spent by children and adults worldwide with this media. It holds the promise of increasing compliance in patients and motivation in school children, and of enhancing the use of positive impact games. Yet for all the promises, existing research indicates that not all games are created equal: a better understanding of the game play elements that foster attention and learning as well as of the strategies developed by the players is needed. Computational models from machine learning or developmental robotics provide a rich theoretical framework to develop this work further and address its impact on developmental disorders.

  5. FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING QUALITY AND ITS DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andra M. ACHIM

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The importance ofhigh-quality financial statements is highlighted by the main standard-setting institutions activating in the field of accounting and reporting. These have issued Conceptual Frameworks which state and describe the qualitative characteristics of accounting information. In this qualitative study, the research methodology consists of reviewing the literature related to the definition of accounting quality and striving for understanding how it can be explained. The main objective of the study is to identify the characteristics information should possess in order to be of high quality. These characteristics also contribute to the way of defining financial accounting quality. The main conclusions that arise from this research are represented by the facts that indeed financial accounting quality cannot be uniquely defined and that financial information is of good quality when it enhances the characteristics incorporated in the conceptual frameworks issued by both International Accounting Standards Board and Financial Accounting Standards Board.

  6. Visual attention spreads broadly but selects information locally.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shioiri, Satoshi; Honjyo, Hajime; Kashiwase, Yoshiyuki; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Kuriki, Ichiro

    2016-10-19

    Visual attention spreads over a range around the focus as the spotlight metaphor describes. Spatial spread of attentional enhancement and local selection/inhibition are crucial factors determining the profile of the spatial attention. Enhancement and ignorance/suppression are opposite effects of attention, and appeared to be mutually exclusive. Yet, no unified view of the factors has been provided despite their necessity for understanding the functions of spatial attention. This report provides electroencephalographic and behavioral evidence for the attentional spread at an early stage and selection/inhibition at a later stage of visual processing. Steady state visual evoked potential showed broad spatial tuning whereas the P3 component of the event related potential showed local selection or inhibition of the adjacent areas. Based on these results, we propose a two-stage model of spatial attention with broad spread at an early stage and local selection at a later stage.

  7. The Testing Effect under Divided Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchin, Zachary L.; Mulligan, Neil W.

    2017-01-01

    Memory retrieval often enhances later memory compared with restudying (i.e., the testing effect), indicating that retrieval does not simply reveal but also modifies memory representations. Dividing attention (DA) during encoding greatly disrupts later memory performance while DA during retrieval typically has modest effects--but what of the…

  8. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Parent's Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Anna M.

    1996-01-01

    A parent and educator who has spent the past 10 years struggling to help her own ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder) child offers suggestions for managing the challenges facing such children and enhancing the quality of their lives. Since drug regimens have limitations, parents need to read appropriate literature and receive…

  9. Sequential sampling of visual objects during sustained attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianrong Jia

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In a crowded visual scene, attention must be distributed efficiently and flexibly over time and space to accommodate different contexts. It is well established that selective attention enhances the corresponding neural responses, presumably implying that attention would persistently dwell on the task-relevant item. Meanwhile, recent studies, mostly in divided attentional contexts, suggest that attention does not remain stationary but samples objects alternately over time, suggesting a rhythmic view of attention. However, it remains unknown whether the dynamic mechanism essentially mediates attentional processes at a general level. Importantly, there is also a complete lack of direct neural evidence reflecting whether and how the brain rhythmically samples multiple visual objects during stimulus processing. To address these issues, in this study, we employed electroencephalography (EEG and a temporal response function (TRF approach, which can dissociate responses that exclusively represent a single object from the overall neuronal activity, to examine the spatiotemporal characteristics of attention in various attentional contexts. First, attention, which is characterized by inhibitory alpha-band (approximately 10 Hz activity in TRFs, switches between attended and unattended objects every approximately 200 ms, suggesting a sequential sampling even when attention is required to mostly stay on the attended object. Second, the attentional spatiotemporal pattern is modulated by the task context, such that alpha-mediated switching becomes increasingly prominent as the task requires a more uniform distribution of attention. Finally, the switching pattern correlates with attentional behavioral performance. Our work provides direct neural evidence supporting a generally central role of temporal organization mechanism in attention, such that multiple objects are sequentially sorted according to their priority in attentional contexts. The results suggest

  10. Self-reflection Orients Visual Attention Downward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi; Tong, Yu; Li, Hong

    2017-01-01

    Previous research has demonstrated abstract concepts associated with spatial location (e.g., God in the Heavens) could direct visual attention upward or downward, because thinking about the abstract concepts activates the corresponding vertical perceptual symbols. For self-concept, there are similar metaphors (e.g., "I am above others"). However, whether thinking about the self can induce visual attention orientation is still unknown. Therefore, the current study tested whether self-reflection can direct visual attention. Individuals often display the tendency of self-enhancement in social comparison, which reminds the individual of the higher position one possesses relative to others within the social environment. As the individual is the agent of the attention orientation, and high status tends to make an individual look down upon others to obtain a sense of pride, it was hypothesized that thinking about the self would lead to a downward attention orientation. Using reflection of personality traits and a target discrimination task, Study 1 found that, after self-reflection, visual attention was directed downward. Similar effects were also found after friend-reflection, with the level of downward attention being correlated with the likability rating scores of the friend. Thus, in Study 2, a disliked other was used as a control and the positive self-view was measured with above-average judgment task. We found downward attention orientation after self-reflection, but not after reflection upon the disliked other. Moreover, the attentional bias after self-reflection was correlated with above-average self-view. The current findings provide the first evidence that thinking about the self could direct visual-spatial attention downward, and suggest that this effect is probably derived from a positive self-view within the social context.

  11. Methylphenidate alters selective attention by amplifying salience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ter Huurne, Niels; Fallon, Sean James; van Schouwenburg, Martine; van der Schaaf, Marieke; Buitelaar, Jan; Jensen, Ole; Cools, Roshan

    2015-12-01

    Methylphenidate, the most common treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is increasingly used by healthy individuals as a "smart drug" to enhance cognitive abilities like attention. A key feature of (selective) attention is the ability to ignore irrelevant but salient information in the environment (distractors). Although crucial for cognitive performance, until now, it is not known how the use of methylphenidate affects resistance to attentional capture by distractors. The present study aims to clarify how methylphenidate affects distractor suppression in healthy individuals. The effect of methylphenidate (20 mg) on distractor suppression was assessed in healthy subjects (N = 20), in a within-subject double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design. We used a visuospatial attention task with target faces flanked by strong (faces) or weak distractors (scrambled faces). Methylphenidate increased accuracy on trials that required gender identification of target face stimuli (methylphenidate 88.9 ± 1.4 [mean ± SEM], placebo 86.0 ± 1.2 %; p = .003), suggesting increased processing of the faces. At the same time, however, methylphenidate increased reaction time when the target face was flanked by a face distractor relative to a scrambled face distractor (methylphenidate 34.9 ± 3.73, placebo 26.7 ± 2.84 ms; p = .027), suggesting enhanced attentional capture by distractors with task-relevant features. We conclude that methylphenidate amplifies salience of task-relevant information at the level of the stimulus category. This leads to enhanced processing of the target (faces) but also increased attentional capture by distractors drawn from the same category as the target.

  12. Defining and Distinguishing Secular and Religious Terrorism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather S. Gregg

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Religious terrorism is typically characterised as acts of unrestrained, irrational and indiscriminant violence, thus offering few if any policy options for counterterrorism measures. This assumption about religious terrorism stems from two challenges in the literature: disproportionate attention to apocalyptic terrorism, and a lack of distinction between religious terrorism and its secular counterpart. This article, therefore, aims to do four things: define and differentiate religiously motivated terrorism from traditional terrorism; investigate three goals of religious terrorism (fomenting the apocalypse, creating a religious government, and establishing a religiously pure state; consider the role of leadership and target selection of religious terrorists; and, finally, suggest a range of counterterrorism strategies based on these observations.

  13. Serotonergic and dopaminergic modulation of attentional processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulougouris, Vasileios; Tsaltas, Eleftheria

    2008-01-01

    Disturbances in attentional processes are a common feature of several psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Huntington's disease. The use of animal models has been useful in defining various candidate neural systems thus enabling us to translate basic laboratory science to the clinic and vice-versa. In this chapter, a comparative and integrated account is provided on the neuroanatomical and neurochemical modulation of basic behavioural operations such as selective attention, vigilance, set-shifting and executive control focusing on the comparative functions of the serotonin and dopamine systems in the cognitive control exerted by the prefrontal cortex. Specifically, we have reviewed evidence emerging from several behavioural paradigms in experimental animals and humans each of which centres on a different aspect of the attentional function. These paradigms offering both human and animal variants include the five-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT), attentional set-shifting and stop-signal reaction time task. In each case, the types of operation that are measured by the given paradigm and their neural correlates are defined. Then, the role of the ascending dopaminergic and serotonergic systems in the neurochemical modulation of its behavioural output are examined, and reference is made to clinical implications for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders which exhibit deficits in these cognitive tests.

  14. Defining response capacity to enhance climate change policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tompkins, Emma L.; Neil Adger, W.

    2005-01-01

    Climate change adaptation and mitigation decisions made by governments are usually taken in different policy domains. At the individual level however, adaptation and mitigation activities are undertaken together as part of the management of risk and resources. We propose that a useful starting point to develop a national climate policy is to understand what societal response might mean in practice. First we frame the set of responses at the national policy level as a trade off between investment in the development and diffusion of new technology, and investment in encouraging and enabling society to change its behaviour and or adopt the new technology. We argue that these are the pertinent trade-offs, rather than those usually posited between climate change mitigation and adaptation. The preference for a policy response that focuses more on technological innovation rather than one that focuses on changing social behaviour will be influenced by the capacity of different societies to change their greenhouse gas emissions; by perceived vulnerability to climate impacts; and by capacity to modify social behaviour and physical environment. Starting with this complete vision of response options should enable policy makers to re-evaluate the risk environment and the set of response options available to them. From here, policy makers should consider who is responsible for making climate response decisions and when actions should be taken. Institutional arrangements dictate social and political acceptability of different policies, they structure worldviews, and they determine the provision of resources for investment in technological innovation and social change. The importance of focussing on the timing of the response is emphasised to maximise the potential for adjustments through social learning and institutional change at different policy scales. We argue that the ability to respond to climate change is both enabled and constrained by social and technological conditions. The ability of society to respond to climate change and the need for technological change for both decarbonisation and for dealing with surprise in general, are central to concepts of sustainable development

  15. Attention in Urban Foraging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malcolm McCullough

    2013-05-01

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

  16. Online Attention Training for Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wennberg, Alexandra; Kueider, Alexandra; Spira, Adam; Adams, Gregory; Rager, Robert; Rebok, George

    Evidence suggests that cognitive training interventions can improve older adults' cognitive performance. Successful training programs are adaptable and train multiple cognitive domains to target individual strengths and weaknesses. Computerized training programs are useful because they allow older adults to easily access training. This pilot study used an online attention training program, ATTENTION WORKOUT™, to enhance three aspects of attention- coordination , allocation , and selective focus -in community-dwelling older adults randomized to either an abbreviated (n=13) or an extended (n=17) practice training program over a 6-week period. Participants in the extended practice group significantly improved on selective focus reading distraction tasks with unrelated words (U=39.5; Z=-2.34; p =.02) and blanks (U=26.5; Z=-3.05; p =.002) as well as a matching attributes task (U=49.5; Z=-2.33; p =.02). The extended practice group significantly improved on three tasks of coordinating attention - radio-tuning (U=30; Z=-2.73; p =.01), circuit-breaker resetting (U=46; Z=-2.24; p =.03), and the combination of the two tasks (U=15; Z=-3.51; p attention training programs, like ATTENTION WORKOUT, can improve attention-related skills in community-dwelling older adults.

  17. Attention lapses in children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De la Torre, Gabriel G; Martin, Alba; Cervantes, Elizabeth; Guil, Rocio; Mestre, Jose M

    2017-08-01

    Attentional lapses are usually defined as temporary and often brief shifts of attention away from some primary task to unrelated internal information processing. This study addressed the incidence of attention lapses and differences in attentional functioning in 30 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 26 healthy children, and 29 children with spina bifida myelomeningocele and hydrocephalus (SBH). Assessments were conducted using computerized tonic and phasic attention tests, the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), and the Trail Making Test Form B (TMT-B). The group with SBH differed from normal controls on cognitive measures of attention and executive functions. The ADHD group obtained lower scores than the SBH group and healthy children. ANOVA results showed that there was an effect of shunt revisions and shunt-related infections on neuropsychological performance. Lapses of attention together with reaction time may thus represent important factors for the understanding of cognitive deficits in SBH.

  18. Measuring Auditory Selective Attention using Frequency Tagging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hari M Bharadwaj

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Frequency tagging of sensory inputs (presenting stimuli that fluctuate periodically at rates to which the cortex can phase lock has been used to study attentional modulation of neural responses to inputs in different sensory modalities. For visual inputs, the visual steady-state response (VSSR at the frequency modulating an attended object is enhanced, while the VSSR to a distracting object is suppressed. In contrast, the effect of attention on the auditory steady-state response (ASSR is inconsistent across studies. However, most auditory studies analyzed results at the sensor level or used only a small number of equivalent current dipoles to fit cortical responses. In addition, most studies of auditory spatial attention used dichotic stimuli (independent signals at the ears rather than more natural, binaural stimuli. Here, we asked whether these methodological choices help explain discrepant results. Listeners attended to one of two competing speech streams, one simulated from the left and one from the right, that were modulated at different frequencies. Using distributed source modeling of magnetoencephalography results, we estimate how spatially directed attention modulates the ASSR in neural regions across the whole brain. Attention enhances the ASSR power at the frequency of the attended stream in the contralateral auditory cortex. The attended-stream modulation frequency also drives phase-locked responses in the left (but not right precentral sulcus (lPCS, a region implicated in control of eye gaze and visual spatial attention. Importantly, this region shows no phase locking to the distracting stream suggesting that the lPCS in engaged in an attention-specific manner. Modeling results that take account of the geometry and phases of the cortical sources phase locked to the two streams (including hemispheric asymmetry of lPCS activity help partly explain why past ASSR studies of auditory spatial attention yield seemingly contradictory

  19. Defining Plagiarism: A Literature Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akbar Akbar

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Plagiarism has repeatedly occurred in Indonesia, resulting in focusing on such academic misbehavior as a “central issue” in Indonesian higher education. One of the issues of addressing plagiarism in higher education is that there is a confusion of defining plagiarism. It seems that Indonesian academics had different perception when defining plagiarism. This article aims at exploring the issue of plagiarism by helping define plagiarism to address confusion among Indonesian academics. This article applies literature review by firs finding relevant articles after identifying databases for literature searching. After the collection of required articles for review, the articles were synthesized before presenting the findings. This study has explored the definition of plagiarism in the context of higher education. This research found that plagiarism is defined in the relation of criminal acts. The huge numbers of discursive features used position plagiaristic acts as an illegal deed. This study also found that cultural backgrounds and exposure to plagiarism were influential in defining plagiarism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-03

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

  1. Evaluating the Role of Attention in the Context of Unconscious Thought Theory: Differential Impact of Attentional Scope and Load on Preference and Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Srinivasan, Narayanan; Mukherjee, Sumitava; Mishra, Maruti V.; Kesarwani, Smriti

    2013-01-01

    Attention is a key process used to conceptualize and define modes of thought, but we lack information about the role of specific attentional processes on preferential choice and memory in multi-attribute decision making. In this study, we examine the role of attention based on two dimensions, attentional scope and load on choice preference strength and memory using a paradigm that arguably elicits unconscious thought. Scope of attention was manipulated by using global or local processing duri...

  2. Modular Software-Defined Radio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhiemeier Arnd-Ragnar

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In view of the technical and commercial boundary conditions for software-defined radio (SDR, it is suggestive to reconsider the concept anew from an unconventional point of view. The organizational principles of signal processing (rather than the signal processing algorithms themselves are the main focus of this work on modular software-defined radio. Modularity and flexibility are just two key characteristics of the SDR environment which extend smoothly into the modeling of hardware and software. In particular, the proposed model of signal processing software includes irregular, connected, directed, acyclic graphs with random node weights and random edges. Several approaches for mapping such software to a given hardware are discussed. Taking into account previous findings as well as new results from system simulations presented here, the paper finally concludes with the utility of pipelining as a general design guideline for modular software-defined radio.

  3. Defining and Selecting Independent Directors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Pichet

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Drawing from the Enlightened Shareholder Theory that the author first developed in 2011, this theoretical paper with practical and normative ambitions achieves a better definition of independent director, while improving the understanding of the roles he fulfils on boards of directors. The first part defines constructs like firms, Governance system and Corporate governance, offering a clear distinction between the latter two concepts before explaining the four main missions of a board. The second part defines the ideal independent director by outlining the objective qualities that are necessary and adding those subjective aspects that have turned this into a veritable profession. The third part defines the ideal process for selecting independent directors, based on nominating committees that should themselves be independent. It also includes ways of assessing directors who are currently in function, as well as modalities for renewing their mandates. The paper’s conclusion presents the Paradox of the Independent Director.

  4. Defining and Classifying Interest Groups

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baroni, Laura; Carroll, Brendan; Chalmers, Adam

    2014-01-01

    The interest group concept is defined in many different ways in the existing literature and a range of different classification schemes are employed. This complicates comparisons between different studies and their findings. One of the important tasks faced by interest group scholars engaged...... in large-N studies is therefore to define the concept of an interest group and to determine which classification scheme to use for different group types. After reviewing the existing literature, this article sets out to compare different approaches to defining and classifying interest groups with a sample...... in the organizational attributes of specific interest group types. As expected, our comparison of coding schemes reveals a closer link between group attributes and group type in narrower classification schemes based on group organizational characteristics than those based on a behavioral definition of lobbying....

  5. Managerial Attention in International SMEs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fan, Jiasi

    2017-01-01

    Managerial attention affects organizational strategies and the resulting consequences. In the international business context, it is noted that how much attention managers give to the international marketplace, i.e., international attention, has profound implications for large global companies’

  6. Attention: Moral-Cognitive Geography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuan, Yi-Fu

    1987-01-01

    This article is an essay on the importance of attention as a personal trait. Offers a definition of attention, reviews symptoms of inattention, and identifies the categories of objects which typically hold a person's attention. (JDH)

  7. ON DEFINING S-SPACES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Strati

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The present work is intended to be an introduction to the Superposition Theory of David Carfì. In particular I shall depict the meaning of his brand new theory, on the one hand in an informal fashion and on the other hand by giving a formal approach of the algebraic structure of the theory: the S-linear algebra. This kind of structure underpins the notion of S-spaces (or Carfì-spaces by defining both its properties and its nature. Thus I shall define the S-triple as the fundamental principle upon which the S-linear algebra is built up.

  8. Are You Paying Attention?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørmen, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    and sustained. To study such attention practices, 16 semi-structured interviews with adult Danes are carried out. Through a thematic analysis of these interviews, the chapter explores how ways of attending relate to individual media and how patterns of daily life enable some practices and constrain others...

  9. Visual attention and stability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mathot, Sebastiaan; Theeuwes, Jan

    2011-01-01

    In the present review, we address the relationship between attention and visual stability. Even though with each eye, head and body movement the retinal image changes dramatically, we perceive the world as stable and are able to perform visually guided actions. However, visual stability is not as

  10. Deep Visual Attention Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wenguan; Shen, Jianbing

    2018-05-01

    In this work, we aim to predict human eye fixation with view-free scenes based on an end-to-end deep learning architecture. Although Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have made substantial improvement on human attention prediction, it is still needed to improve CNN based attention models by efficiently leveraging multi-scale features. Our visual attention network is proposed to capture hierarchical saliency information from deep, coarse layers with global saliency information to shallow, fine layers with local saliency response. Our model is based on a skip-layer network structure, which predicts human attention from multiple convolutional layers with various reception fields. Final saliency prediction is achieved via the cooperation of those global and local predictions. Our model is learned in a deep supervision manner, where supervision is directly fed into multi-level layers, instead of previous approaches of providing supervision only at the output layer and propagating this supervision back to earlier layers. Our model thus incorporates multi-level saliency predictions within a single network, which significantly decreases the redundancy of previous approaches of learning multiple network streams with different input scales. Extensive experimental analysis on various challenging benchmark datasets demonstrate our method yields state-of-the-art performance with competitive inference time.

  11. Automated visual attention manipulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

    In this paper a system for visual attention manipulation is introduced and formally described. This system is part of the design of a software agent that supports naval crew in her task to compile a tactical picture of the situation in the field. A case study is described in hich the system is used

  12. Attention Capture by Faces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langton, Stephen R. H.; Law, Anna S.; Burton, A. Mike; Schweinberger, Stefan R.

    2008-01-01

    We report three experiments that investigate whether faces are capable of capturing attention when in competition with other non-face objects. In Experiment 1a participants took longer to decide that an array of objects contained a butterfly target when a face appeared as one of the distracting items than when the face did not appear in the array.…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

    Attention is a means of flexibly selecting and enhancing a subset of sensory input based on the current behavioral goals. Numerous signatures of attention have been identified throughout the brain, and now experimenters are seeking to determine which of these signatures are causally related to the behavioral benefits of attention, and the source of these modulations within the brain. Here, we review the neural signatures of attention throughout the brain, their theoretical benefits for visual processing, and their experimental correlations with behavioral performance. We discuss the importance of measuring cue benefits as a way to distinguish between impairments on an attention task, which may instead be visual or motor impairments, and true attentional deficits. We examine evidence for various areas proposed as sources of attentional modulation within the brain, with a focus on the prefrontal cortex. Lastly, we look at studies that aim to link sources of attention to its neuronal signatures elsewhere in the brain. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Interactions of attention, emotion and motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Jane

    2009-01-01

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

  15. Defining and Differentiating the Makerspace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dousay, Tonia A.

    2017-01-01

    Many resources now punctuate the maker movement landscape. However, some schools and communities still struggle to understand this burgeoning movement. How do we define these spaces and differentiate them from previous labs and shops? Through a multidimensional framework, stakeholders should consider how the structure, access, staffing, and tools…

  16. Indico CONFERENCE: Define the Programme

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva; Ferreira, Pedro

    2017-01-01

    In this tutorial you are going to learn how to define the programme of a conference in Indico. The program of your conference is divided in different “tracks”. Tracks represent the subject matter of the conference, such as “Online Computing”, “Offline Computing”, and so on.

  17. Defining functional distances over Gene Ontology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    del Pozo Angela

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A fundamental problem when trying to define the functional relationships between proteins is the difficulty in quantifying functional similarities, even when well-structured ontologies exist regarding the activity of proteins (i.e. 'gene ontology' -GO-. However, functional metrics can overcome the problems in the comparing and evaluating functional assignments and predictions. As a reference of proximity, previous approaches to compare GO terms considered linkage in terms of ontology weighted by a probability distribution that balances the non-uniform 'richness' of different parts of the Direct Acyclic Graph. Here, we have followed a different approach to quantify functional similarities between GO terms. Results We propose a new method to derive 'functional distances' between GO terms that is based on the simultaneous occurrence of terms in the same set of Interpro entries, instead of relying on the structure of the GO. The coincidence of GO terms reveals natural biological links between the GO functions and defines a distance model Df which fulfils the properties of a Metric Space. The distances obtained in this way can be represented as a hierarchical 'Functional Tree'. Conclusion The method proposed provides a new definition of distance that enables the similarity between GO terms to be quantified. Additionally, the 'Functional Tree' defines groups with biological meaning enhancing its utility for protein function comparison and prediction. Finally, this approach could be for function-based protein searches in databases, and for analysing the gene clusters produced by DNA array experiments.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Visual attention capacity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi

    2009-01-01

    Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity......, and measurements are highly reliable. As the method is theoretically founded, it also has high validity. TVA-based assessment has recently been used to investigate a broad range of neuropsychological and neurological conditions. We present the method, including the experimental paradigm and practical guidelines...... to patient testing, and review existing TVA-based patient studies organized by lesion anatomy. Lesions in three anatomical regions affect visual capacity: The parietal lobes, frontal cortex and basal ganglia, and extrastriate cortex. Visual capacity thus depends on large, bilaterally distributed anatomical...

  20. Scene incongruity and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Arien; Clarke, Jason; Erol, Muge; Bert, John

    2017-02-01

    Does scene incongruity, (a mismatch between scene gist and a semantically incongruent object), capture attention and lead to conscious perception? We explored this question using 4 different procedures: Inattention (Experiment 1), Scene description (Experiment 2), Change detection (Experiment 3), and Iconic Memory (Experiment 4). We found no differences between scene incongruity and scene congruity in Experiments 1, 2, and 4, although in Experiment 3 change detection was faster for scenes containing an incongruent object. We offer an explanation for why the change detection results differ from the results of the other three experiments. In all four experiments, participants invariably failed to report the incongruity and routinely mis-described it by normalizing the incongruent object. None of the results supports the claim that semantic incongruity within a scene invariably captures attention and provide strong evidence of the dominant role of scene gist in determining what is perceived. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Jaime O. Oliver

    2017-01-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is considered as among the most common yet serious brain disorders significant number of children are subjected to; the seriousness of which manifests in the ability of the disorder to continue to show up even after the childhood years, during the period of adolescence as well as adulthood. Considering the findings delivered by Brain Imaging Studies conducted on youth, it is revealed that people suffering from ADHD experiences del...

  2. Attention and Distraction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anne Ring

    2010-01-01

    This article aims to examine the interrelationship between attention and distraction in the reception of video installation art, a genre which is commonly associated with "immersion" and an intensified feeling of presence in the discourses on new media art and installation art. This tends to veil......, on the other hand, the cultural formations of television, film and computers have fundamentally re-configured "aesthetic experience."...

  3. Gaming the Attention Economy

    OpenAIRE

    Estrada, Daniel; Lawhead, Jonathan

    2013-01-01

    The future of human computation (HC) benefits from examining tasks that agents already perform and designing environments to give those tasks computational significance. We call this natural human computation (NHC). We consider the possible future of NHC through the lens of Swarm!, an application under development for Google Glass. Swarm! motivates users to compute the solutions to a class of economic optimization problems by engaging the attention dynamics of crowds. We argue that anticipati...

  4. AIDS defining disease: Disseminated cryptococcosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roshan Anupama

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Disseminated cryptococcosis is one of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome defining criteria and the most common cause of life threatening meningitis. Disseminated lesions in the skin manifest as papules or nodules that mimic molluscum contagiosum (MC. We report here a human immunodeficiency virus positive patient who presented with MC like lesions. Disseminated cryptococcosis was confirmed by India ink preparation and histopathology. The condition of the patient improved with amphotercin B.

  5. How do people define moderation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    vanDellen, Michelle R; Isherwood, Jennifer C; Delose, Julie E

    2016-06-01

    Eating in moderation is considered to be sound and practical advice for weight maintenance or prevention of weight gain. However, the concept of moderation is ambiguous, and the effect of moderation messages on consumption has yet to be empirically examined. The present manuscript examines how people define moderate consumption. We expected that people would define moderate consumption in ways that justified their current or desired consumption rather than view moderation as an objective standard. In Studies 1 and 2, moderate consumption was perceived to involve greater quantities of an unhealthy food (chocolate chip cookies, gummy candies) than perceptions of how much one should consume. In Study 3, participants generally perceived themselves to eat in moderation and defined moderate consumption as greater than their personal consumption. Furthermore, definitions of moderate consumption were related to personal consumption behaviors. Results suggest that the endorsement of moderation messages allows for a wide range of interpretations of moderate consumption. Thus, we conclude that moderation messages are unlikely to be effective messages for helping people maintain or lose weight. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Network-targeted cerebellar transcranial magnetic stimulation improves attentional control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esterman, Michael; Thai, Michelle; Okabe, Hidefusa; DeGutis, Joseph; Saad, Elyana; Laganiere, Simon E.; Halko, Mark A.

    2018-01-01

    Developing non-invasive brain stimulation interventions to improve attentional control is extremely relevant to a variety of neurologic and psychiatric populations, yet few studies have identified reliable biomarkers that can be readily modified to improve attentional control. One potential biomarker of attention is functional connectivity in the core cortical network supporting attention - the dorsal attention network (DAN). We used a network-targeted cerebellar transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) procedure, intended to enhance cortical functional connectivity in the DAN. Specifically, in healthy young adults we administered intermittent theta burst TMS (iTBS) to the midline cerebellar node of the DAN and, as a control, the right cerebellar node of the default mode network (DMN). These cerebellar targets were localized using individual resting-state fMRI scans. Participants completed assessments of both sustained (gradual onset continuous performance task, gradCPT) and transient attentional control (attentional blink) immediately before and after stimulation, in two sessions (cerebellar DAN and DMN). Following cerebellar DAN stimulation, participants had significantly fewer attentional lapses (lower commission error rates) on the gradCPT. In contrast, stimulation to the cerebellar DMN did not affect gradCPT performance. Further, in the DAN condition, individuals with worse baseline gradCPT performance showed the greatest enhancement in gradCPT performance. These results suggest that temporarily increasing functional connectivity in the DAN via network-targeted cerebellar stimulation can enhance sustained attention, particularly in those with poor baseline performance. With regard to transient attention, TMS stimulation improved attentional blink performance across both stimulation sites, suggesting increasing functional connectivity in both networks can enhance this aspect of attention. These findings have important implications for intervention applications

  7. Exogenous (automatic) attention to emotional stimuli: a review

    OpenAIRE

    Carretié, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Current knowledge on the architecture of exogenous attention (also called automatic, bottom-up, or stimulus-driven attention, among other terms) has been mainly obtained from studies employing neutral, anodyne stimuli. Since, from an evolutionary perspective, exogenous attention can be understood as an adaptive tool for rapidly detecting salient events, reorienting processing resources to them, and enhancing processing mechanisms, emotional events (which are, by definition, salient for the in...

  8. Maternal DHA levels and Toddler Free-Play Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Kannass, Kathleen N.; Colombo, John; Carlson, Susan E.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between maternal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels at birth and toddler free-play attention in the second year. Toddler free-play attention was assessed at 12 and 18 months, and maternal erythrocyte (red-blood cell; RBC) phospholipid DHA (percentage of total fatty acids) was measured from mothers at delivery. Overall, higher maternal DHA status at birth was associated with enhanced attentional functioning during the second year. Toddlers whose mothers had high...

  9. Terminology, the importance of defining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Mil, J W Foppe; Henman, Martin

    2016-06-01

    Multiple terms and definitions exist to describe specific aspects of pharmacy practice and service provision. This commentary explores the reasons for different interpretations of words and concepts in pharmaceutical care and pharmacy practice research. Reasons for this variation can be found in language, culture, profession and may also depend on developments over time. A list of words is provided where the authors think that currently multiple interpretations are possible. To make sure that the reader understands the essence, it seems imperative that authors include a definition of the topics that they actually study in their papers, and that they clearly cite existing definitions or refer to collections of definitions such as existing glossaries. It is important that presenters, authors and reviewers of pharmacy practice papers pay more attention to this aspect of describing studies.

  10. Defining Usability of PN Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nicolajsen, Hanne Westh; Ahola, Titta; Fleury, Alexandre

    In this deliverable usability and user experience are defined in relation to MAGNET Beyond technologies, and it is described how the main MAGNET Beyond concepts can be evaluated through the involvement of users. The concepts include the new "Activity based communication approach" for interacting...... with the MAGNET Beyond system, as well as the core concepts: Personal Network, Personal Network-Federation, Service Discovery, User Profile Management, Personal Network Management, Privacy and Security and Context Awareness. The overall plans for the final usability evaluation are documented based on the present...

  11. Assessing the heritability of attentional networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fossella John A

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Current efforts to study the genetics of higher functions have been lacking appropriate phenotypes to describe cognition. One of the problems is that many cognitive concepts for which there is a single word (e.g. attention have been shown to be related to several anatomical networks. Recently we have developed an Attention Network Test (ANT that provides a separate measure for each of three anatomically defined attention networks. In this small scale study, we ran 26 pairs of MZ and DZ twins in an effort to determine if any of these networks show sufficient evidence of heritability to warrant further exploration of their genetic basis. Results The efficiency of the executive attention network, that mediates stimulus and response conflict, shows sufficient heritability to warrant further study. Alerting and overall reaction time show some evidence for heritability and in our study the orienting network shows no evidence of heritability. Conclusions These results suggest that genetic variation contributes to normal individual differences in higher order executive attention involving dopamine rich frontal areas including the anterior cingulate. At least the executive portion of the ANT may serve as a valid endophenotype for larger twin studies and subsequent molecular genetic analysis in normal subject populations.

  12. Visual attention to features by associative learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gozli, Davood G; Moskowitz, Joshua B; Pratt, Jay

    2014-11-01

    Expecting a particular stimulus can facilitate processing of that stimulus over others, but what is the fate of other stimuli that are known to co-occur with the expected stimulus? This study examined the impact of learned association on feature-based attention. The findings show that the effectiveness of an uninformative color transient in orienting attention can change by learned associations between colors and the expected target shape. In an initial acquisition phase, participants learned two distinct sequences of stimulus-response-outcome, where stimuli were defined by shape ('S' vs. 'H'), responses were localized key-presses (left vs. right), and outcomes were colors (red vs. green). Next, in a test phase, while expecting a target shape (80% probable), participants showed reliable attentional orienting to the color transient associated with the target shape, and showed no attentional orienting with the color associated with the alternative target shape. This bias seemed to be driven by learned association between shapes and colors, and not modulated by the response. In addition, the bias seemed to depend on observing target-color conjunctions, since encountering the two features disjunctively (without spatiotemporal overlap) did not replicate the findings. We conclude that associative learning - likely mediated by mechanisms underlying visual object representation - can extend the impact of goal-driven attention to features associated with a target stimulus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Attention, Predation, Counterintuition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clasen, Mathias

    2012-01-01

    Bram Stoker’s seminal horror novel Dracula (1897) has been subjected to a vast number of different critical readings, many of which are deeply flawed, e.g. by proceeding from defunct psychological theories. Incorporating recent advances in evolutionary social science, I offer a biocultural reading...... of Dracula to account for the novel’s impact and resilience. Dracula connected squarely with late-Victorian anxieties, but the novel also appeals to trans-historical adaptive dispositions. I analyze Stoker’s use of narrative strategies to grab and sustain attention, and Count Dracula as a supercharged...

  14. Attention: the claustrum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goll, Yael; Atlan, Gal; Citri, Ami

    2015-08-01

    The claustrum is a mysterious thin sheet of neurons lying between the insular cortex and the striatum. It is reciprocally connected with almost all cortical areas, including motor, somatosensory, visual, auditory, limbic, associative, and prefrontal cortices. In addition, it receives neuromodulatory input from subcortical structures. A decade ago, Sir Francis Crick and Christof Koch published an influential review proposing the claustrum as the 'seat of consciousness', spurring a revival of interest in the claustrum. We review the literature on the claustrum, emphasizing recent discoveries, and develop a detailed hypothesis describing a role for the claustrum in the segregation of attention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Attention to memory: orienting attention to sound object representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backer, Kristina C; Alain, Claude

    2014-01-01

    Despite a growing acceptance that attention and memory interact, and that attention can be focused on an active internal mental representation (i.e., reflective attention), there has been a paucity of work focusing on reflective attention to 'sound objects' (i.e., mental representations of actual sound sources in the environment). Further research on the dynamic interactions between auditory attention and memory, as well as its degree of neuroplasticity, is important for understanding how sound objects are represented, maintained, and accessed in the brain. This knowledge can then guide the development of training programs to help individuals with attention and memory problems. This review article focuses on attention to memory with an emphasis on behavioral and neuroimaging studies that have begun to explore the mechanisms that mediate reflective attentional orienting in vision and more recently, in audition. Reflective attention refers to situations in which attention is oriented toward internal representations rather than focused on external stimuli. We propose four general principles underlying attention to short-term memory. Furthermore, we suggest that mechanisms involved in orienting attention to visual object representations may also apply for orienting attention to sound object representations.

  16. Motivation, Interest, and Attention: Re-Defining Learning in the Autism Spectrum?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lequia, Jenna

    2011-01-01

    In "The Passionate Mind: How People with Autism Learn", Wendy Lawson presents readers with various cognitive theories of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this book, Lawson makes reference to the medical and social models of disability, urging readers to consider disability from a social rather than a medical or deficit-driven perspective. Each…

  17. Neural bases of selective attention in action video game players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bavelier, D; Achtman, R L; Mani, M; Föcker, J

    2012-05-15

    Over the past few years, the very act of playing action video games has been shown to enhance several different aspects of visual selective attention, yet little is known about the neural mechanisms that mediate such attentional benefits. A review of the aspects of attention enhanced in action game players suggests there are changes in the mechanisms that control attention allocation and its efficiency (Hubert-Wallander, Green, & Bavelier, 2010). The present study used brain imaging to test this hypothesis by comparing attentional network recruitment and distractor processing in action gamers versus non-gamers as attentional demands increased. Moving distractors were found to elicit lesser activation of the visual motion-sensitive area (MT/MST) in gamers as compared to non-gamers, suggestive of a better early filtering of irrelevant information in gamers. As expected, a fronto-parietal network of areas showed greater recruitment as attentional demands increased in non-gamers. In contrast, gamers barely engaged this network as attentional demands increased. This reduced activity in the fronto-parietal network that is hypothesized to control the flexible allocation of top-down attention is compatible with the proposal that action game players may allocate attentional resources more automatically, possibly allowing more efficient early filtering of irrelevant information. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Frequency-specific attentional modulation in human primary auditory cortex and midbrain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riecke, Lars; Peters, Judith C; Valente, Giancarlo; Poser, Benedikt A; Kemper, Valentin G; Formisano, Elia; Sorger, Bettina

    2018-01-01

    Paying selective attention to an audio frequency selectively enhances activity within primary auditory cortex (PAC) at the tonotopic site (frequency channel) representing that frequency. Animal PAC neurons achieve this 'frequency-specific attentional spotlight' by adapting their frequency tuning,

  19. Expressiveness and definability in circumscription

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francicleber Martins Ferreira

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available We investigate expressiveness and definability issues with respect to minimal models, particularly in the scope of Circumscription. First, we give a proof of the failure of the Löwenheim-Skolem Theorem for Circumscription. Then we show that, if the class of P; Z-minimal models of a first-order sentence is Δ-elementary, then it is elementary. That is, whenever the circumscription of a first-order sentence is equivalent to a first-order theory, then it is equivalent to a finitely axiomatizable one. This means that classes of models of circumscribed theories are either elementary or not Δ-elementary. Finally, using the previous result, we prove that, whenever a relation Pi is defined in the class of P; Z-minimal models of a first-order sentence Φ and whenever such class of P; Z-minimal models is Δ-elementary, then there is an explicit definition ψ for Pi such that the class of P; Z-minimal models of Φ is the class of models of Φ ∧ ψ. In order words, the circumscription of P in Φ with Z varied can be replaced by Φ plus this explicit definition ψ for Pi.

  20. Defining Quality in Undergraduate Education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison W. Bowers

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: This research brief explores the literature addressing quality in undergraduate education to identify what previous research has said about quality and to offer future directions for research on quality in undergraduate education. Method: We conducted a scoping review to provide a broad overview of existing research. Using targeted search terms in academic databases, we identified and reviewed relevant academic literature to develop emergent themes and implications for future research. Results: The exploratory review of the literature revealed a range of thoughtful discussions and empirical studies attempting to define quality in undergraduate education. Many publications highlighted the importance of including different stakeholder perspectives and presented some of the varying perceptions of quality among different stakeholders. Conclusions: While a number of researchers have explored and written about how to define quality in undergraduate education, there is not a general consensus regarding a definition of quality in undergraduate education. Past research offers a range of insights, models, and data to inform future research. Implication for Theory and/or Practice: We provide four recommendations for future research to contribute to a high quality undergraduate educational experience. We suggest more comprehensive systematic reviews of the literature as a next step.

  1. Exploring BOLD changes during spatial attention in non-stimulated visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Heinemann

    Full Text Available Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD responses were measured in parts of primary visual cortex that represented unstimulated visual field regions at different distances from a stimulated central target location. The composition of the visual scene varied by the presence or absence of additional peripheral distracter stimuli. Bottom-up effects were assessed by comparing peripheral activity during central stimulation vs. no stimulation. Top-down effects were assessed by comparing active vs. passive conditions. In passive conditions subjects simply watched the central letter stimuli and in active conditions they had to report occurrence of pre-defined targets in a rapid serial letter stream. Onset of the central letter stream enhanced activity in V1 representations of the stimulated region. Within representations of the periphery activation decreased and finally turned into deactivation with increasing distance from the stimulated location. This pattern was most pronounced in the active conditions and during the presence of peripheral stimuli. Active search for a target did not lead to additional enhancement at areas representing the attentional focus but to a stronger deactivation in the vicinity. Suppressed neuronal activity was also found in the non distracter condition suggesting a top-down attention driven effect. Our observations suggest that BOLD signal decreases in primary visual cortex are modulated by bottom-up sensory-driven factors such as the presence of distracters in the visual field as well as by top-down attentional processes.

  2. Software Defined Networking Demands on Software Technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Galinac Grbac, T.; Caba, Cosmin Marius; Soler, José

    2015-01-01

    Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a networking approach based on a centralized control plane architecture with standardised interfaces between control and data planes. SDN enables fast configuration and reconfiguration of the network to enhance resource utilization and service performances....... This new approach enables a more dynamic and flexible network, which may adapt to user needs and application requirements. To this end, systemized solutions must be implemented in network software, aiming to provide secure network services that meet the required service performance levels. In this paper......, we review this new approach to networking from an architectural point of view, and identify and discuss some critical quality issues that require new developments in software technologies. These issues we discuss along with use case scenarios. Here in this paper we aim to identify challenges...

  3. An Attentional Goldilocks Effect: An Optimal Amount of Social Interactivity Promotes Word Learning from Video.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nussenbaum, Kate; Amso, Dima

    2016-01-01

    Television can be a powerful education tool; however, content-makers must understand the factors that engage attention and promote learning from screen media. Prior research suggests that social engagement is critical for learning and that interactivity may enhance the educational quality of children's media. The present study examined the effects of increasing the social interactivity of television on children's visual attention and word learning. Three- to 5-year-old ( M Age = 4;5 years, SD = 9 months) children completed a task in which they viewed videos of an actress teaching them the Swahili label for an on-screen image. Each child viewed these video clips in four conditions that parametrically manipulated social engagement and interactivity. We then tested whether each child had successfully learned the Swahili labels. Though 5-year-old children were able to learn words in all conditions, we found that there was an optimal level of social engagement that best supported learning for all participants, defined by engaging the child but not distracting from word labeling. Our eye-tracking data indicated that children in this condition spent more time looking at the target image and less time looking at the actress's face as compared to the most interactive condition. These findings suggest that social interactivity is critical to engaging attention and promoting learning from screen media up until a certain point, after which social stimuli may draw attention away from target images and impair children's word learning.

  4. Basic technical parameters of magnetometers with ferromagnetic transducers and a method to define them

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagiello, Z.

    1980-01-01

    The basic technical parameters of magnetometers with ferromagnetic transducers and measuring methods to define these parameters have been discussed. Special attention was paid to factors which essentially affect the inaccuracy of these measuring instruments. (author)

  5. Selective visual attention and motivation: the consequences of value learning in an attentional blink task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Jane E; O'Brien, Jennifer L

    2009-08-01

    Learning to associate the probability and value of behavioral outcomes with specific stimuli (value learning) is essential for rational decision making. However, in demanding cognitive conditions, access to learned values might be constrained by limited attentional capacity. We measured recognition of briefly presented faces seen previously in a value-learning task involving monetary wins and losses; the recognition task was performed both with and without constraints on available attention. Regardless of available attention, recognition was substantially enhanced for motivationally salient stimuli (i.e., stimuli highly predictive of outcomes), compared with equally familiar stimuli that had weak or no motivational salience, and this effect was found regardless of valence (win or loss). However, when attention was constrained (because stimuli were presented during an attentional blink, AB), valence determined recognition; win-associated faces showed no AB, but all other faces showed large ABs. Motivational salience acts independently of attention to modulate simple perceptual decisions, but when attention is limited, visual processing is biased in favor of reward-associated stimuli.

  6. What does Attention in Neural Machine Translation Pay Attention to?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ghader, H.; Monz, C.; Kondrak, G.; Watanabe, T.

    2017-01-01

    Attention in neural machine translation provides the possibility to encode relevant parts of the source sentence at each translation step. As a result, attention is considered to be an alignment model as well. However, there is no work that specifically studies attention and provides analysis of

  7. Altering attentional control settings causes persistent biases of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Helen C; Smith, Daniel T; Knight, David C; Ellison, Amanda

    2016-01-01

    Attentional control settings have an important role in guiding visual behaviour. Previous work within cognitive psychology has found that the deployment of general attentional control settings can be modulated by training. However, research has not yet established whether long-term modifications of one particular type of attentional control setting can be induced. To address this, we investigated persistent alterations to feature search mode, also known as an attentional bias, towards an arbitrary stimulus in healthy participants. Subjects were biased towards the colour green by an information sheet. Attentional bias was assessed using a change detection task. After an interval of either 1 or 2 weeks, participants were then retested on the same change detection task, tested on a different change detection task where colour was irrelevant, or were biased towards an alternative colour. One experiment included trials in which the distractor stimuli (but never the target stimuli) were green. The key finding was that green stimuli in the second task attracted attention, despite this impairing task performance. Furthermore, inducing a second attentional bias did not override the initial bias toward green objects. The attentional bias also persisted for at least two weeks. It is argued that this persistent attentional bias is mediated by a chronic change to participants' attentional control settings, which is aided by long-term representations involving contextual cueing. We speculate that similar changes to attentional control settings and continuous cueing may relate to attentional biases observed in psychopathologies. Targeting these biases may be a productive approach to treatment.

  8. Defining the "normal" postejaculate urinalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Akanksha; Jarow, Jonathan P; Maples, Pat; Sigman, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Although sperm have been shown to be present in the postejaculate urinalysis (PEU) of both fertile and infertile men, the number of sperm present in the PEU of the general population has never been well defined. The objective of this study was to describe the semen and PEU findings in both the general and infertile population, in order to develop a better appreciation for "normal." Infertile men (n = 77) and control subjects (n = 71) were prospectively recruited. Exclusion criteria included azoospermia and medications known to affect ejaculation. All men underwent a history, physical examination, semen analysis, and PEU. The urine was split into 2 containers: PEU1, the initial voided urine, and PEU2, the remaining voided urine. Parametric statistical methods were applied for data analysis to compare sperm concentrations in each sample of semen and urine between the 2 groups of men. Controls had higher average semen volume (3.3 ± 1.6 vs 2.0 ± 1.4 mL, P sperm concentrations (112 million vs 56.2 million, P = .011), compared with infertile men. The presence of sperm in urine was common in both groups, but more prevalent among infertile men (98.7% vs 88.7%, P = .012), in whom it comprised a greater proportion of the total sperm count (46% vs 24%, P = .022). The majority of sperm present in PEU were seen in PEU1 of both controls (69%) and infertile men (88%). An association was noted between severe oligospermia (sperm counts in PEU (sperm in the urine compared with control, there is a large degree of overlap between the 2 populations, making it difficult to identify a specific threshold to define a positive test. Interpretation of a PEU should be directed by whether the number of sperm in the urine could affect subsequent management.

  9. Miniature EVA Software Defined Radio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozhidaev, Aleksey

    2012-01-01

    As NASA embarks upon developing the Next-Generation Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Radio for deep space exploration, the demands on EVA battery life will substantially increase. The number of modes and frequency bands required will continue to grow in order to enable efficient and complex multi-mode operations including communications, navigation, and tracking applications. Whether conducting astronaut excursions, communicating to soldiers, or first responders responding to emergency hazards, NASA has developed an innovative, affordable, miniaturized, power-efficient software defined radio that offers unprecedented power-efficient flexibility. This lightweight, programmable, S-band, multi-service, frequency- agile EVA software defined radio (SDR) supports data, telemetry, voice, and both standard and high-definition video. Features include a modular design, an easily scalable architecture, and the EVA SDR allows for both stationary and mobile battery powered handheld operations. Currently, the radio is equipped with an S-band RF section. However, its scalable architecture can accommodate multiple RF sections simultaneously to cover multiple frequency bands. The EVA SDR also supports multiple network protocols. It currently implements a Hybrid Mesh Network based on the 802.11s open standard protocol. The radio targets RF channel data rates up to 20 Mbps and can be equipped with a real-time operating system (RTOS) that can be switched off for power-aware applications. The EVA SDR's modular design permits implementation of the same hardware at all Network Nodes concept. This approach assures the portability of the same software into any radio in the system. It also brings several benefits to the entire system including reducing system maintenance, system complexity, and development cost.

  10. Quantifying collective attention from tweet stream.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazutoshi Sasahara

    Full Text Available Online social media are increasingly facilitating our social interactions, thereby making available a massive "digital fossil" of human behavior. Discovering and quantifying distinct patterns using these data is important for studying social behavior, although the rapid time-variant nature and large volumes of these data make this task difficult and challenging. In this study, we focused on the emergence of "collective attention" on Twitter, a popular social networking service. We propose a simple method for detecting and measuring the collective attention evoked by various types of events. This method exploits the fact that tweeting activity exhibits a burst-like increase and an irregular oscillation when a particular real-world event occurs; otherwise, it follows regular circadian rhythms. The difference between regular and irregular states in the tweet stream was measured using the Jensen-Shannon divergence, which corresponds to the intensity of collective attention. We then associated irregular incidents with their corresponding events that attracted the attention and elicited responses from large numbers of people, based on the popularity and the enhancement of key terms in posted messages or "tweets." Next, we demonstrate the effectiveness of this method using a large dataset that contained approximately 490 million Japanese tweets by over 400,000 users, in which we identified 60 cases of collective attentions, including one related to the Tohoku-oki earthquake. "Retweet" networks were also investigated to understand collective attention in terms of social interactions. This simple method provides a retrospective summary of collective attention, thereby contributing to the fundamental understanding of social behavior in the digital era.

  11. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001551.htm Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a problem caused by ...

  12. Culture, attention, and emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossmann, Igor; Ellsworth, Phoebe C; Hong, Ying-yi

    2012-02-01

    This research provides experimental evidence for cultural influence on one of the most basic elements of emotional processing: attention to positive versus negative stimuli. To this end, we focused on Russian culture, which is characterized by brooding and melancholy. In Study 1, Russians spent significantly more time looking at negative than positive pictures, whereas Americans did not show this tendency. In Study 2, Russian Latvians were randomly primed with symbols of each culture, after which we measured the speed of recognition for positive versus negative trait words. Biculturals were significantly faster in recognizing negative words (as compared with baseline) when primed with Russian versus Latvian cultural symbols. Greater identification with Russian culture facilitated this effect. We provide a theoretical discussion of mental processes underlying cultural differences in emotion research.

  13. Attention and apparent motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horowitz, T; Treisman, A

    1994-01-01

    Two dissociations between short- and long-range motion in visual search are reported. Previous research has shown parallel processing for short-range motion and apparently serial processing for long-range motion. This finding has been replicated and it has also been found that search for short-range targets can be impaired both by using bicontrast stimuli, and by prior adaptation to the target direction of motion. Neither factor impaired search in long-range motion displays. Adaptation actually facilitated search with long-range displays, which is attributed to response-level effects. A feature-integration account of apparent motion is proposed. In this theory, short-range motion depends on specialized motion feature detectors operating in parallel across the display, but subject to selective adaptation, whereas attention is needed to link successive elements when they appear at greater separations, or across opposite contrasts.

  14. Attentional Push: Augmenting Salience with Shared Attention Modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Gorji, Siavash; Clark, James J.

    2016-01-01

    We present a novel visual attention tracking technique based on Shared Attention modeling. Our proposed method models the viewer as a participant in the activity occurring in the scene. We go beyond image salience and instead of only computing the power of an image region to pull attention to it, we also consider the strength with which other regions of the image push attention to the region in question. We use the term Attentional Push to refer to the power of image regions to direct and man...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onozuka, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We inspected the attributes of effects on attention in studies investigating the effects of chewing on attention or alertness conducted with pre-post design in healthy subjects, except elderly. We identified 151 references, 22 of which were included: 14 (64%) showed positive attributes of effects on attention, 1 (5%) showed negative attributes of effects on attention, 5 (23%) showed both positive and negative attributes of effects on attention, and 2 (9%) showed no significant attributes of effects on attention. Thus, positive attributes of effects of chewing on attention, especially on sustained attention, were shown in over half of the reports. These effects also appeared with improvement in mood and stress relief and were influenced by time-on-task effect. Further studies are needed, but chewing could be useful for modifying cognitive function. PMID:26075234

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiyuki Hirano

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Onozuka, Minoru

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Leiquan; Chu, Xiaoliang; Zhang, Weishan; Wei, Yiwei; Sun, Weichen; Wu, Chunlei

    2018-02-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leiquan Wang

    2018-02-01

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

  20. Preparatory attention in visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Battistoni, E.; Stein, T.; Peelen, M.V.

    Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a

  1. Memory-Guided Attention: Independent Contributions of the Hippocampus and Striatum

    OpenAIRE

    Goldfarb, Elizabeth V.; Chun, Marvin M.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.

    2016-01-01

    Memory can strongly influence how attention is deployed in future encounters. Though memory dependent on the medial temporal lobes has been shown to drive attention, how other memory systems could concurrently and comparably enhance attention is less clear. Here, we demonstrate that both reinforcement learning and context memory facilitate attention in a visual search task. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we dissociate the mechanisms by which these memories guide attention: trial...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Anita D; Jacobson, Lisa A; Wexler, Joanna L; Nebel, Mary Beth; Caffo, Brian S; Pekar, James J; Mostofsky, Stewart H

    2015-01-01

    Intra-subject variability (ISV) is the most consistent behavioral deficit in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ISV may be associated with networks involved in sustaining task control (cingulo-opercular network: CON) and self-reflective lapses of attention (default mode network: DMN). The current study examined whether connectivity supporting attentional control is atypical in children with ADHD. Group differences in full-brain connection strength and brain-behavior associations with attentional control measures were examined for the late-developing CON and DMN in 50 children with ADHD and 50 typically-developing (TD) controls (ages 8-12 years). Children with ADHD had hyper-connectivity both within the CON and within the DMN. Full-brain behavioral associations were found for a number of between-network connections. Across both groups, more anti-correlation between DMN and occipital cortex supported better attentional control. However, in the TD group, this brain-behavior association was stronger and occurred for a more extensive set of DMN-occipital connections. Differential support for attentional control between the two groups occurred with a number of CON-DMN connections. For all CON-DMN connections identified, increased between-network anti-correlation was associated with better attentional control for the ADHD group, but worse attentional control in the TD group. A number of between-network connections with the medial frontal cortex, in particular, showed this relationship. Follow-up analyses revealed that these associations were specific to attentional control and were not due to individual differences in working memory, IQ, motor control, age, or scan motion. While CON-DMN anti-correlation is associated with improved attention in ADHD, other circuitry supports improved attention in TD children. Greater CON-DMN anti-correlation supported better attentional control in children with ADHD, but worse attentional control in TD children. On the other

  3. The benefits of defining "snacks".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, Julie M; Slavin, Joanne L

    2018-04-18

    Whether eating a "snack" is considered a beneficial or detrimental behavior is largely based on how "snack" is defined. The term "snack food" tends to connote energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods high in nutrients to limit (sugar, sodium, and/or saturated fat) like cakes, cookies, chips and other salty snacks, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Eating a "snack food" is often conflated with eating a "snack," however, leading to an overall perception of snacks as a dietary negative. Yet the term "snack" can also refer simply to an eating occasion outside of breakfast, lunch, or dinner. With this definition, the evidence to support health benefits or detriments to eating a "snack" remains unclear, in part because relatively few well-designed studies that specifically focus on the impact of eating frequency on health have been conducted. Despite these inconsistencies and research gaps, in much of the nutrition literature, "snacking" is still referred to as detrimental to health. As discussed in this review, however, there are multiple factors that influence the health impacts of snacking, including the definition of "snack" itself, the motivation to snack, body mass index of snack eaters, and the food selected as a snack. Without a definition of "snack" and a body of research using methodologically rigorous protocols, determining the health impact of eating a "snack" will continue to elude the nutrition research community and prevent the development of evidence-based policies about snacking that support public health. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  5. Defining safety goals. 2. Basic Consideration on Defining Safety Goals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hakata, T.

    2001-01-01

    cancer and severe hereditary effects are 10 x 10 -2 /Sv and 1.3 x10 -2 /Sv, respectively. The basic safety goals can be expressed by the complementary accumulative distribution function (CCDF) of dose versus frequencies of events: Pc(C > Cp) 5 (Cp/Co) -α . The aversion factor a is here expressed by the following arbitrary equation, which gives a polynomial curve of the order of m on a logarithmic plane: α = a+b(log(Cp/Co)) m , where: Pc = CCDF frequency for Cp (/yr), Cp = dose (mSv), Co = Cp for Pc =1, a, b, m = constants. Figure 1 shows a typical tolerable risk profile (risk limit curve), which is drawn so that all the points obtained in the previous discussions are above the curve (Co=1, a=1, b=0.0772, and m = 2). Safety criteria by ANS (Ref. 2) and SHE (Ref. 3) are shown in Fig. 1 for comparison. An aversion of a factor of 2 is resulted between 1 mSv and 1 Sv. No ALARA is included, which must be considered in defining specific safety goals. The frequency of a single class of events must be lower than the CCDF profile, and a curve lower by a factor of 10 is drawn in Fig. 1. The doses referenced in the current Japanese safety guidelines and site criteria are shown in Fig. 1. The referenced doses seem reasonable, considering the conservatism in the analysis of design-basis accidents. Specific safety goals for each sort of facility can be defined based on the basic safety goals, reflecting the characteristics of the facilities and considering ALARA. The indexes of engineering terms, such as CMF and LERF, are preferable for nuclear power plants, although interpretation from dose to the engineering terms is needed. Other indexes may be used (such as frequency of criticality accidents, etc.) for facilities except for power plants. The applicability of safety goals will thus be improved. Figure 2 shows the relative risk factors (1, 1%, and 0.1%) versus the severity of radiation effects. This might indicate the adequacy of the risk factors. The absolute risk limits, which

  6. Attention, media and fuel efficiency

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thoenes, Stefan [Koeln Univ. (Germany). Energiewirtschaftliches Inst.; Koeln Univ. (Germany). Cologne Graduate School; Gores, Timo [Koeln Univ. (Germany). Cologne Graduate School

    2012-08-15

    This study examines attention effects in the market for hybrid vehicles. We show that local media coverage, gasoline price changes and unprecedented record gasoline prices have a significant causal impact on the consumers' attention. As attention is not directly observable, we analyze online search behavior as a proxy for the revealed consumer attention. Our study is based on weekly panel data of local newspaper coverage, gasoline prices and Google search trends for 19 metropolitan areas in the US. Additionally, we use monthly state-level panel data to show that the adoption rate of the hybrid vehicle technology is robustly related to our measure of attention.

  7. Partial agonism at the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor improves attention, impulsive action and vigilance in low attentive rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, Andrew; Adamson, Lisa; Neill, Joanna C

    2017-04-01

    Inattention is a disabling symptom in conditions such as schizophrenia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Nicotine can improve attention and vigilance, but is unsuitable for clinical use due to abuse liability. Genetic knockout of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) induces attention deficits therefore selective agonism may improve attention, without the abuse liability associated with nicotine. The α7 nAChR partial agonist encenicline (formerly EVP-6124) enhances memory in rodents and humans. Here we investigate, for the first time, efficacy of encenicline to improve attention and vigilance in animals behaviourally grouped for low attentive traits in the 5 choice-continuous performance task (5C-CPT). Female Lister Hooded rats were trained to perform the 5C-CPT with a variable stimulus duration (SD). Animals were then grouped based on performance into upper and lower quartiles of d' (vigilance) and accuracy (selective attention), producing high-attentive (HA) and low-attentive (LA) groups. LA animals showed an increase in selective attention and vigilance at 0.3mg/kg encenicline, a reduction in impulsive action (probability of false alarms) and increase in vigilance following 1mg/kg at 0.75sSD. At 1mg/kg, HA animals had reduced selective attention at 0.75sSD and reduced vigilance at 0.75 and 1.25sSD. Improvement of attention, vigilance and impulsive action in LA animals demonstrates that encenicline has pro-attentive properties dependent on baseline levels of performance. Our work suggests that α7 nAChR partial agonism may improve attention particularly in conditions with low attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  8. Emotional attention for erotic stimuli: Cognitive and brain mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sennwald, Vanessa; Pool, Eva; Brosch, Tobias; Delplanque, Sylvain; Bianchi-Demicheli, Francesco; Sander, David

    2016-06-01

    It has long been posited that among emotional stimuli, only negative threatening information modulates early shifts of attention. However, in the last few decades there has been an increase in research showing that attention is also involuntarily oriented toward positive rewarding stimuli such as babies, food, and erotic information. Because reproduction-related stimuli have some of the largest effects among positive stimuli on emotional attention, the present work reviews recent literature and proposes that the cognitive and cerebral mechanisms underlying the involuntarily attentional orientation toward threat-related information are also sensitive to erotic information. More specifically, the recent research suggests that both types of information involuntarily orient attention due to their concern relevance and that the amygdala plays an important role in detecting concern-relevant stimuli, thereby enhancing perceptual processing and influencing emotional attentional processes. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Figure-ground mechanisms provide structure for selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Fangtu T; Sugihara, Tadashi; von der Heydt, Rüdiger

    2007-11-01

    Attention depends on figure-ground organization: figures draw attention, whereas shapes of the ground tend to be ignored. Recent research has revealed mechanisms for figure-ground organization in the visual cortex, but how these mechanisms relate to the attention process remains unclear. Here we show that the influences of figure-ground organization and volitional (top-down) attention converge in single neurons of area V2 in Macaca mulatta. Although we found assignment of border ownership for attended and for ignored figures, attentional modulation was stronger when the attended figure was located on the neuron's preferred side of border ownership. When the border between two overlapping figures was placed in the receptive field, responses depended on the side of attention, and enhancement was generally found on the neuron's preferred side of border ownership. This correlation suggests that the neural network that creates figure-ground organization also provides the interface for the top-down selection process.

  10. Assessment of Attention in Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    In the past two decades, there has been an increased interest in the assessment and treatment of preschool children presenting with concerns about attention problems. This article reviews the research and clinical literature involving assessment of attention and related skills in the preschool years. While inattention among preschoolers is common, symptoms alone do not necessarily indicate a disorder, and most often represent a normal variation in typical preschool child development. Thus, accurate identification of “disordered” attention in preschoolers can be challenging, and development of appropriate, norm-referenced tests of attention for preschoolers is also difficult. The current review suggests that comprehensive assessment of attention and related functions in the preschool child should include thorough review of the child’s history, planned observations, and formal psychometric testing. The three primary methods of psychometric assessment that have been used to characterize attentional functioning in preschool children include performance-based tests, structured caregiver interviews, and rating scales (parent, teacher, and clinician). Among performance-based methods for measurement of attention in the preschool years, tests have been developed to assess sustained attention, selective (focused) attention, span of attention (encoding/manipulation), and (top-down) controlled attention—including freedom from distractibility and set shifting. Many of these tests remain experimental in nature, and review of published methods yields relatively few commercially available, nationally normed tests of attention for preschoolers, and an overall dearth of reliability and validity studies on the available measures. PMID:23090646

  11. Perceptual organization and visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimchi, Ruth

    2009-01-01

    Perceptual organization--the processes structuring visual information into coherent units--and visual attention--the processes by which some visual information in a scene is selected--are crucial for the perception of our visual environment and to visuomotor behavior. Recent research points to important relations between attentional and organizational processes. Several studies demonstrated that perceptual organization constrains attentional selectivity, and other studies suggest that attention can also constrain perceptual organization. In this chapter I focus on two aspects of the relationship between perceptual organization and attention. The first addresses the question of whether or not perceptual organization can take place without attention. I present findings demonstrating that some forms of grouping and figure-ground segmentation can occur without attention, whereas others require controlled attentional processing, depending on the processes involved and the conditions prevailing for each process. These findings challenge the traditional view, which assumes that perceptual organization is a unitary entity that operates preattentively. The second issue addresses the question of whether perceptual organization can affect the automatic deployment of attention. I present findings showing that the mere organization of some elements in the visual field by Gestalt factors into a coherent perceptual unit (an "object"), with no abrupt onset or any other unique transient, can capture attention automatically in a stimulus-driven manner. Taken together, the findings discussed in this chapter demonstrate the multifaceted, interactive relations between perceptual organization and visual attention.

  12. What Does "Apple" Mean? Learning To Define Words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marinellie, Sally A.

    2001-01-01

    This article discusses the importance of learning to define a word. It provides a brief background on the contribution of the definitional skills to communication and school success, information on children's development of definitions, and teacher and family strategies for enhancing young children's definitions in relation to other skills.…

  13. Defining Tobacco Regulatory Science Competencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wipfli, Heather L; Berman, Micah; Hanson, Kacey; Kelder, Steven; Solis, Amy; Villanti, Andrea C; Ribeiro, Carla M P; Meissner, Helen I; Anderson, Roger

    2017-02-01

    In 2013, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration funded a network of 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) with a mission that included research and training. A cross-TCORS Panel was established to define tobacco regulatory science (TRS) competencies to help harmonize and guide their emerging educational programs. The purpose of this paper is to describe the Panel's work to develop core TRS domains and competencies. The Panel developed the list of domains and competencies using a semistructured Delphi method divided into four phases occurring between November 2013 and August 2015. The final proposed list included a total of 51 competencies across six core domains and 28 competencies across five specialized domains. There is a need for continued discussion to establish the utility of the proposed set of competencies for emerging TRS curricula and to identify the best strategies for incorporating these competencies into TRS training programs. Given the field's broad multidisciplinary nature, further experience is needed to refine the core domains that should be covered in TRS training programs versus knowledge obtained in more specialized programs. Regulatory science to inform the regulation of tobacco products is an emerging field. The paper provides an initial list of core and specialized domains and competencies to be used in developing curricula for new and emerging training programs aimed at preparing a new cohort of scientists to conduct critical TRS research. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. [How to define Alzheimer's disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poncet, Michel

    2011-09-01

    Alzheimer's disease, which was considered to be a rare disease in subjects aged under 65 until the seventies/eighties, has become a very common disease affecting mostly older subjects. Many consider that it is important to review the meaning of the eponym "Alzheimer's disease", and a revolution, quite literally, is likely to occur. The role of vascular lesions in the onset of dementias among older subjects is widely acknowledged; considering those dementias as Alzheimer's disease may have negative consequences for patient management. Indeed, vascular lesions can be prevented and treated, while Alzheimer's lesions cannot. It may be justified to use "Alzheimer syndrome" instead of "Alzheimer's disease" when vascular risk factors and, all the more so, vascular lesions are present. Significant progress has been made in the understanding of the pathological proteins involved in Alzheimer's disease, as well as their effects on neurons and synapses. However, the etiology of the disease is still unknown, except in the rare hereditary cases, and there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease at present. Clinical research is progressing, and diagnostic criteria for the pre-dementia stage of Alzheimer's disease were suggested. In France, the outstanding Alzheimer plan 2008-2012 should play an important role in enhancing the understanding of Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer's syndromes and related disorders.

  15. Cognitive maps and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardt, Oliver; Nadel, Lynn

    2009-01-01

    Cognitive map theory suggested that exploring an environment and attending to a stimulus should lead to its integration into an allocentric environmental representation. We here report that directed attention in the form of exploration serves to gather information needed to determine an optimal spatial strategy, given task demands and characteristics of the environment. Attended environmental features may integrate into spatial representations if they meet the requirements of the optimal spatial strategy: when learning involves a cognitive mapping strategy, cues with high codability (e.g., concrete objects) will be incorporated into a map, but cues with low codability (e.g., abstract paintings) will not. However, instructions encouraging map learning can lead to the incorporation of cues with low codability. On the other hand, if spatial learning is not map-based, abstract cues can and will be used to encode locations. Since exploration appears to determine what strategy to apply and whether or not to encode a cue, recognition memory for environmental features is independent of whether or not a cue is part of a spatial representation. In fact, when abstract cues were used in a way that was not map-based, or when they were not used for spatial navigation at all, they were nevertheless recognized as familiar. Thus, the relation between exploratory activity on the one hand and spatial strategy and memory on the other appears more complex than initially suggested by cognitive map theory.

  16. Fearful, but not angry, expressions diffuse attention to peripheral targets in an attentional blink paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, James M; Whalen, Paul J

    2014-06-01

    We previously demonstrated that fearful facial expressions implicitly facilitate memory for contextual events whereas angry facial expressions do not. The current study sought to more directly address the implicit effect of fearful expressions on attention for contextual events within a classic attentional paradigm (i.e., the attentional blink) in which memory is tested on a trial-by-trial basis, thereby providing subjects with a clear, explicit attentional strategy. Neutral faces of a single gender were presented via rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) while bordered by four gray pound signs. Participants were told to watch for a gender change within the sequence (T1). It is critical to note that the T1 face displayed a neutral, fearful, or angry expression. Subjects were then told to detect a color change (i.e., gray to green; T2) at one of the four peripheral pound sign locations appearing after T1. This T2 color change could appear at one of six temporal positions. Complementing previous attentional blink paradigms, participants were told to respond via button press immediately when a T2 target was detected. We found that, compared with the neutral T1 faces, fearful faces significantly increased target detection ability at four of the six temporal locations (all ps enhance environmental monitoring above and beyond explicit attentional effects related to task instructions.

  17. Infant joint attention, neural networks and social cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundy, Peter; Jarrold, William

    2010-01-01

    Neural network models of attention can provide a unifying approach to the study of human cognitive and emotional development (Posner & Rothbart, 2007). In this paper we argue that a neural network approach to the infant development of joint attention can inform our understanding of the nature of human social learning, symbolic thought process and social cognition. At its most basic, joint attention involves the capacity to coordinate one's own visual attention with that of another person. We propose that joint attention development involves increments in the capacity to engage in simultaneous or parallel processing of information about one's own attention and the attention of other people. Infant practice with joint attention is both a consequence and an organizer of the development of a distributed and integrated brain network involving frontal and parietal cortical systems. This executive distributed network first serves to regulate the capacity of infants to respond to and direct the overt behavior of other people in order to share experience with others through the social coordination of visual attention. In this paper we describe this parallel and distributed neural network model of joint attention development and discuss two hypotheses that stem from this model. One is that activation of this distributed network during coordinated attention enhances the depth of information processing and encoding beginning in the first year of life. We also propose that with development, joint attention becomes internalized as the capacity to socially coordinate mental attention to internal representations. As this occurs the executive joint attention network makes vital contributions to the development of human symbolic thinking and social cognition. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Object-based target templates guide attention during visual search

    OpenAIRE

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2018-01-01

    During visual search, attention is believed to be controlled in a strictly feature-based fashion, without any guidance by object-based target representations. To challenge this received view, we measured electrophysiological markers of attentional selection (N2pc component) and working memory (SPCN) in search tasks where two possible targets were defined by feature conjunctions (e.g., blue circles and green squares). Critically, some search displays also contained nontargets with two target f...

  19. Contingent capture of involuntary visual attention interferes with detection of auditory stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Kamke, Marc R.; Harris, Jill

    2014-01-01

    The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for...

  20. Attentional blink in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Amador-Campos,Juan A.; Aznar-Casanova,J. Antonio; Bezerra,Izabela; Torro-Alves,Nelson; Sánchez,Manuel M.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To explore the temporal mechanism of attention in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and controls using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task in which two letters (T1 and T2) were presented in close temporal proximity among distractors (attentional blink [AB]). Method: Thirty children aged between 9 and 13 years (12 with ADHD combined type and 18 controls) took part in the study. Both groups performed two kinds of RSVP task. In the single task, p...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Onozuka, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We ...

  2. No Effect of Featural Attention on Body Size Aftereffects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian David Stephen

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Prolonged exposure to images of narrow bodies has been shown to induce a perceptual aftereffect, such that observers’ point of subjective normality (PSN for bodies shifts towards narrower bodies. The converse effect is shown for adaptation to wide bodies. In low-level stimuli, object attention (attention directed to the object and spatial attention (attention directed to the location of the object have been shown to increase the magnitude of visual aftereffects, while object-based attention enhances the adaptation effect in faces. It is not known whether featural attention (attention directed to a specific aspect of the object affects the magnitude of adaptation effects in body stimuli. Here, we manipulate the attention of Caucasian observers to different featural information in body images, by asking them to rate the fatness or sex typicality of male and female bodies manipulated to appear fatter or thinner than average. PSNs for body fatness were taken at baseline and after adaptation, and a change in PSN (ΔPSN was calculated. A body size adaptation effect was found, with observers who viewed fat bodies showing an increased PSN, and those exposed to thin bodies showing a reduced PSN. However, manipulations of featural attention to body fatness or sex typicality produced equivalent results, suggesting that featural attention may not affect the strength of the body size aftereffect.

  3. No Effect of Featural Attention on Body Size Aftereffects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen, Ian D; Bickersteth, Chloe; Mond, Jonathan; Stevenson, Richard J; Brooks, Kevin R

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged exposure to images of narrow bodies has been shown to induce a perceptual aftereffect, such that observers' point of subjective normality (PSN) for bodies shifts toward narrower bodies. The converse effect is shown for adaptation to wide bodies. In low-level stimuli, object attention (attention directed to the object) and spatial attention (attention directed to the location of the object) have been shown to increase the magnitude of visual aftereffects, while object-based attention enhances the adaptation effect in faces. It is not known whether featural attention (attention directed to a specific aspect of the object) affects the magnitude of adaptation effects in body stimuli. Here, we manipulate the attention of Caucasian observers to different featural information in body images, by asking them to rate the fatness or sex typicality of male and female bodies manipulated to appear fatter or thinner than average. PSNs for body fatness were taken at baseline and after adaptation, and a change in PSN (ΔPSN) was calculated. A body size adaptation effect was found, with observers who viewed fat bodies showing an increased PSN, and those exposed to thin bodies showing a reduced PSN. However, manipulations of featural attention to body fatness or sex typicality produced equivalent results, suggesting that featural attention may not affect the strength of the body size aftereffect.

  4. Dynamic crossmodal links revealed by steady-state responses in auditory-visual divided attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, Ritske; Toffanin, Paolo; Harbers, Marten

    2010-01-01

    Frequency tagging has been often used to study intramodal attention but not intermodal attention. We used EEG and simultaneous frequency tagging of auditory and visual sources to study intermodal focused and divided attention in detection and discrimination performance. Divided-attention costs were smaller, but still significant, in detection than in discrimination. The auditory steady-state response (SSR) showed no effects of attention at frontocentral locations, but did so at occipital locations where it was evident only when attention was divided between audition and vision. Similarly, the visual SSR at occipital locations was substantially enhanced when attention was divided across modalities. Both effects were equally present in detection and discrimination. We suggest that both effects reflect a common cause: An attention-dependent influence of auditory information processing on early cortical stages of visual information processing, mediated by enhanced effective connectivity between the two modalities under conditions of divided attention. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. The history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichl, Susanne; Lange, Katharina M.; Tucha, Lara; Tucha, Oliver

    2010-01-01

    The contemporary concept of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as defined in the DSM-IV-TR (American Psychiatric Association 2000) is relatively new. Excessive hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive children have been described in the literature since the nineteenth century. Some of the early depictions and etiological theories of hyperactivity were similar to current descriptions of ADHD. Detailed studies of the behavior of hyperactive children and increasing knowledge of brain function have changed the concepts of the fundamental behavioral and neuropathological deficits underlying the disorder. This article presents an overview of the conceptual history of modern-day ADHD. PMID:21258430

  6. Auditory attention activates peripheral visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony D Cate

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent neuroimaging studies have revealed that putatively unimodal regions of visual cortex can be activated during auditory tasks in sighted as well as in blind subjects. However, the task determinants and functional significance of auditory occipital activations (AOAs remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined AOAs in an intermodal selective attention task to distinguish whether they were stimulus-bound or recruited by higher-level cognitive operations associated with auditory attention. Cortical surface mapping showed that auditory occipital activations were localized to retinotopic visual cortex subserving the far peripheral visual field. AOAs depended strictly on the sustained engagement of auditory attention and were enhanced in more difficult listening conditions. In contrast, unattended sounds produced no AOAs regardless of their intensity, spatial location, or frequency. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Auditory attention, but not passive exposure to sounds, routinely activated peripheral regions of visual cortex when subjects attended to sound sources outside the visual field. Functional connections between auditory cortex and visual cortex subserving the peripheral visual field appear to underlie the generation of AOAs, which may reflect the priming of visual regions to process soon-to-appear objects associated with unseen sound sources.

  7. Towards defining restlessness in individuals with dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regier, Natalie G; Gitlin, Laura N

    2017-05-01

    Most individuals with dementia develop significant behavioral problems. Restlessness is a behavioral symptom frequently endorsed by caregivers as distressing, yet is variably defined and measured. Lack of conceptual and operational clarity hinders an understanding of this common behavioral type, its prevalence, and development of effective interventions. We advance a systematic definition and understanding of restlessness from which to enhance reporting and intervention development. We reviewed the literature for existing definitions and measures of restlessness, identified common elements across existing definitions, assessed fit with relevant theoretical frameworks, and explored the relationship between restlessness and other behavioral symptoms in a data set of 272 community-dwelling persons with dementia. Twenty-five scales assessing restlessness were identified. Shared components included motor/neurological, psychiatric, and needs-based features. Exploratory analyses suggest that restlessness may co-occur primarily with argumentation, anxiety, waking the caregiver, delusions/hallucinations, and wandering. We propose that restlessness consists of three key attributes: diffuse motor activity or motion subject to limited control, non-productive or disorganized behavior, and subjective distress. Restlessness should be differentiated from and not confused with wandering or elopement, pharmacological side effects, a (non-dementia) mental or movement disorder, or behaviors occurring in the context of a delirium or at end-of-life. Restlessness appears to denote a distinct set of behaviors that have overlapping but non-equivalent features with other behavioral symptoms. We propose that it reflects a complex behavior involving three key characteristics. Understanding its specific manifestations and which components are present can enhance tailoring interventions to specific contexts of this multicomponent behavioral type.

  8. Attention in a bayesian framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Whiteley, Louise Emma; Sahani, Maneesh

    2012-01-01

    , and include both selective phenomena, where attention is invoked by cues that point to particular stimuli, and integrative phenomena, where attention is invoked dynamically by endogenous processing. However, most previous Bayesian accounts of attention have focused on describing relatively simple experimental...... selective and integrative roles, and thus cannot be easily extended to complex environments. We suggest that the resource bottleneck stems from the computational intractability of exact perceptual inference in complex settings, and that attention reflects an evolved mechanism for approximate inference which...... can be shaped to refine the local accuracy of perception. We show that this approach extends the simple picture of attention as prior, so as to provide a unified and computationally driven account of both selective and integrative attentional phenomena....

  9. Tunnel vision: sharper gradient of spatial attention in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Caroline E; Kravitz, Dwight J; Freyberg, Jan; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Baker, Chris I

    2013-04-17

    Enhanced perception of detail has long been regarded a hallmark of autism spectrum conditions (ASC), but its origins are unknown. Normal sensitivity on all fundamental perceptual measures-visual acuity, contrast discrimination, and flicker detection-is strongly established in the literature. If individuals with ASC do not have superior low-level vision, how is perception of detail enhanced? We argue that this apparent paradox can be resolved by considering visual attention, which is known to enhance basic visual sensitivity, resulting in greater acuity and lower contrast thresholds. Here, we demonstrate that the focus of attention and concomitant enhancement of perception are sharper in human individuals with ASC than in matched controls. Using a simple visual acuity task embedded in a standard cueing paradigm, we mapped the spatial and temporal gradients of attentional enhancement by varying the distance and onset time of visual targets relative to an exogenous cue, which obligatorily captures attention. Individuals with ASC demonstrated a greater fall-off in performance with distance from the cue than controls, indicating a sharper spatial gradient of attention. Further, this sharpness was highly correlated with the severity of autistic symptoms in ASC, as well as autistic traits across both ASC and control groups. These findings establish the presence of a form of "tunnel vision" in ASC, with far-reaching implications for our understanding of the social and neurobiological aspects of autism.

  10. Object onset and parvocellular guidance of attentional allocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Geoff G; Kentridge, Robert W; Heywood, Charles A

    2005-04-01

    The parvocellular visual pathway in the primate brain is known to be involved with the processing of color. However, a subject of debate is whether an abrupt change in color, conveyed via this pathway, is capable of automatically attracting attention. It has been shown that the appearance of new objects defined solely by color is indeed capable of modulating attention. However, given evidence suggesting that the visual system is particularly sensitive to new onsets, it is unclear to what extent such results reflect effects of color change per se, rather than effects of object onset. We assessed attentional capture by color change that occurred as a result of either new objects appearing or already-present "old" objects changing color. Results showed that although new object onsets accrued attention, changing the color of old objects did not. We conclude that abrupt color change per se is not sufficient to capture attention.

  11. Advertising, Attention, and Financial Markets

    OpenAIRE

    Focke, Florens; Ruenzi, Stefan; Ungeheuer, Michael

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the impact of product market advertising on investor attention and financial market outcomes. Using daily advertising data allows us to identify short-term effects of advertising. We measure daily investor attention based the company's number of Wikipedia page views. We show that TV and newspaper advertising positively impacts short-term investor attention. It also positively impacts turnover and liquidity, but the effects are not economically significant. Most importantly, ass...

  12. Measuring the amplification of attention

    OpenAIRE

    Blaser, Erik; Sperling, George; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    1999-01-01

    An ambiguous motion paradigm, in which the direction of apparent motion is determined by salience (i.e., the extent to which an area is perceived as figure versus ground), is used to assay the amplification of color by attention to color. In the red–green colored gratings used in these experiments, without attention instructions, salience depends on the chromaticity difference between colored stripes embedded in the motion sequence and the yellow background. Selective attention to red (or to ...

  13. Preparatory attention in visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius V

    2017-05-01

    Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a preparatory phase before stimulus onset in which the attended dimension is internally represented. Here, we review neurophysiological, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies investigating the neural basis of preparatory attention, both when attention is directed to a location in space and when it is directed to nonspatial stimulus attributes (content-based attention) ranging from low-level features to object categories. Results show that both spatial and content-based attention lead to increased baseline activity in neural populations that selectively code for the attended attribute. TMS studies provide evidence that this preparatory activity is causally related to subsequent attentional selection and behavioral performance. Attention thus acts by preactivating selective neurons in the visual cortex before stimulus onset. This appears to be a general mechanism that can operate on multiple levels of representation. We discuss the functional relevance of this mechanism, its limitations, and its relation to working memory, imagery, and expectation. We conclude by outlining open questions and future directions. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  14. Attentional networks in developmental dyscalculia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henik Avishai

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Very little is known about attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia, hence, this study was designed to provide the missing information. We examined attention abilities of participants suffering from developmental dyscalculia using the attention networks test - interactions. This test was designed to examine three different attention networks--executive function, orienting and alerting--and the interactions between them. Methods Fourteen university students that were diagnosed as suffering from developmental dyscalculia--intelligence and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder--and 14 matched controls were tested using the attention networks test - interactions. All participants were given preliminary tests to measure mathematical abilities, reading, attention and intelligence. Results The results revealed deficits in the alerting network--a larger alerting effect--and in the executive function networks--a larger congruity effect in developmental dyscalculia participants. The interaction between the alerting and executive function networks was also modulated by group. In addition, developmental dyscalculia participants were slower to respond in the non-cued conditions. Conclusions These results imply specific attentional deficits in pure developmental dyscalculia. Namely, those with developmental dyscalculia seem to be deficient in the executive function and alertness networks. They suffer from difficulty in recruiting attention, in addition to the deficits in numerical processing.

  15. Attentional networks in developmental dyscalculia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askenazi, Sarit; Henik, Avishai

    2010-01-07

    Very little is known about attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia, hence, this study was designed to provide the missing information. We examined attention abilities of participants suffering from developmental dyscalculia using the attention networks test - interactions. This test was designed to examine three different attention networks--executive function, orienting and alerting--and the interactions between them. Fourteen university students that were diagnosed as suffering from developmental dyscalculia--intelligence and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder--and 14 matched controls were tested using the attention networks test-interactions. All participants were given preliminary tests to measure mathematical abilities, reading, attention and intelligence. The results revealed deficits in the alerting network--a larger alerting effect--and in the executive function networks--a larger congruity effect in developmental dyscalculia participants. The interaction between the alerting and executive function networks was also modulated by group. In addition, developmental dyscalculia participants were slower to respond in the non-cued conditions. These results imply specific attentional deficits in pure developmental dyscalculia. Namely, those with developmental dyscalculia seem to be deficient in the executive function and alertness networks. They suffer from difficulty in recruiting attention, in addition to the deficits in numerical processing.

  16. The attention habit: how reward learning shapes attentional selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Brian A

    2016-04-01

    There is growing consensus that reward plays an important role in the control of attention. Until recently, reward was thought to influence attention indirectly by modulating task-specific motivation and its effects on voluntary control over selection. Such an account was consistent with the goal-directed (endogenous) versus stimulus-driven (exogenous) framework that had long dominated the field of attention research. Now, a different perspective is emerging. Demonstrations that previously reward-associated stimuli can automatically capture attention even when physically inconspicuous and task-irrelevant challenge previously held assumptions about attentional control. The idea that attentional selection can be value driven, reflecting a distinct and previously unrecognized control mechanism, has gained traction. Since these early demonstrations, the influence of reward learning on attention has rapidly become an area of intense investigation, sparking many new insights. The result is an emerging picture of how the reward system of the brain automatically biases information processing. Here, I review the progress that has been made in this area, synthesizing a wealth of recent evidence to provide an integrated, up-to-date account of value-driven attention and some of its broader implications. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.

  17. Attentional Capture with Rapidly Changing Attentional Control Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lien, Mei-Ching; Ruthruff, Eric; Johnston, James C.

    2010-01-01

    The classic theory of spatial attention hypothesized 2 modes, voluntary and involuntary. Folk, Remington, and Johnston (1992) reported that even involuntary attention capture by stimuli requires a match between stimulus properties and what the observer is looking for. This surprising conclusion has been confirmed by many subsequent studies. In…

  18. The time course of natural scene perception with reduced attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groen, Iris I A; Ghebreab, Sennay; Lamme, Victor A F; Scholte, H Steven

    2016-02-01

    Attention is thought to impose an informational bottleneck on vision by selecting particular information from visual scenes for enhanced processing. Behavioral evidence suggests, however, that some scene information is extracted even when attention is directed elsewhere. Here, we investigated the neural correlates of this ability by examining how attention affects electrophysiological markers of scene perception. In two electro-encephalography (EEG) experiments, human subjects categorized real-world scenes as manmade or natural (full attention condition) or performed tasks on unrelated stimuli in the center or periphery of the scenes (reduced attention conditions). Scene processing was examined in two ways: traditional trial averaging was used to assess the presence of a categorical manmade/natural distinction in event-related potentials, whereas single-trial analyses assessed whether EEG activity was modulated by scene statistics that are diagnostic of naturalness of individual scenes. The results indicated that evoked activity up to 250 ms was unaffected by reduced attention, showing intact categorical differences between manmade and natural scenes and strong modulations of single-trial activity by scene statistics in all conditions. Thus initial processing of both categorical and individual scene information remained intact with reduced attention. Importantly, however, attention did have profound effects on later evoked activity; full attention on the scene resulted in prolonged manmade/natural differences, increased neural sensitivity to scene statistics, and enhanced scene memory. These results show that initial processing of real-world scene information is intact with diminished attention but that the depth of processing of this information does depend on attention. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  19. Divided attention: an undesirable difficulty in memory retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspelin, Nicholas; Ruthruff, Eric; Pashler, Harold

    2013-10-01

    How can we improve memory retention? A large body of research has suggested that difficulty encountered during learning, such as when practice sessions are distributed rather than massed, can enhance later memory performance (see R. A. Bjork & E. L. Bjork, 1992). Here, we investigated whether divided attention during retrieval practice can also constitute a desirable difficulty. Following two initial study phases and one test phase with Swahili-English word pairs (e.g., vuvi-snake), we manipulated whether items were tested again under full or divided attention. Two days later, participants were brought back for a final cued-recall test (e.g., vuvi-?). Across three experiments (combined N = 122), we found no evidence that dividing attention while practicing retrieval enhances memory retention. This finding raises the question of why many types of difficulty during practice do improve long-term retention, but dividing attention does not.

  20. Effect of Action Video Games on the Spatial Distribution of Visuospatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, C. Shawn; Bavelier, Daphne

    2006-01-01

    The authors investigated the effect of action gaming on the spatial distribution of attention. The authors used the flanker compatibility effect to separately assess center and peripheral attentional resources in gamers versus nongamers. Gamers exhibited an enhancement in attentional resources compared with nongamers, not only in the periphery but…

  1. Automatic spread of attentional response modulation along Gestalt criteria in primary visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wannig, Aurel; Stanisor, Liviu; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2011-01-01

    Visual attention can select spatial locations, features and objects. Theories of object-based attention claim that attention enhances the representation of all parts of an object, even parts that are not task relevant. We recorded neuronal activity in area V1 of macaque monkeys and observed an

  2. Emotion and anxiety potentiate the way attention alters visual appearance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa

    2018-04-12

    The ability to swiftly detect and prioritize the processing of relevant information around us is critical for the way we interact with our environment. Selective attention is a key mechanism that serves this purpose, improving performance in numerous visual tasks. Reflexively attending to sudden information helps detect impeding threat or danger, a possible reason why emotion modulates the way selective attention affects perception. For instance, the sudden appearance of a fearful face potentiates the effects of exogenous (involuntary, stimulus-driven) attention on performance. Internal states such as trait anxiety can also modulate the impact of attention on early visual processing. However, attention does not only improve performance; it also alters the way visual information appears to us, e.g. by enhancing perceived contrast. Here we show that emotion potentiates the effects of exogenous attention on both performance and perceived contrast. Moreover, we found that trait anxiety mediates these effects, with stronger influences of attention and emotion in anxious observers. Finally, changes in performance and appearance correlated with each other, likely reflecting common attentional modulations. Altogether, our findings show that emotion and anxiety interact with selective attention to truly alter how we see.

  3. Gender differences associated with orienting attentional networks in healthy subjects

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Gang; HU Pan-pan; FAN Jin; WANG Kai

    2013-01-01

    Background Selective attention is considered one of the main components of cognitive functioning.A number of studies have demonstrated gender differences in cognition.This study aimed to investigate the gender differences in selective attention in healthy subjects.Methods The present experiment examined the gender differences associated with the efficiency of three attentional networks:alerting,orienting,and executive control attention in 73 healthy subjects (38 males).All participants performed a modified version of the Attention Network Test (ANT).Results Females had higher orienting scores than males (t=2.172,P <0.05).Specifically,females were faster at covert orienting of attention to a spatially cued location.There were no gender differences between males and females in alerting (t=0.813,P >0.05) and executive control (t=0.945,P >0.05) attention networks.Conclusions There was a significant gender difference between males and females associated with the orienting network.Enhanced orienting attention in females may function to motivate females to direct their attention to a spatially cued location.

  4. Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Visuospatial selective attention in chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-13

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

  6. Concrete Operations and Attentional Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Michael; Lindenberger, Ulman

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Kai eChang

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Motor Performance in Relation with Sustained Attention in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solmaz Solouki

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Present study compares relationship between motor performance, sustained attention and impulse control in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and normal children. Materials & Methods: In this descriptive-analytic study, 21 boys with ADHD and 21 normal boys in the age range of 7- 10 years old were participated. Motor performance by using Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency and sustained attention and impulse control by using Continuous Performance Test were evaluated. Results: Analysis by T-Test and Mann-Whitney revealed significant difference between ADHD group and normal group in gross, fine and battery motor performance also sustained attention and impulse control (P<0.0001. Analysis by Z-Fisher test indicated no significant difference between Correlation Coefficient of inattention and gross motor performance in two groups (P=0.276 but significant difference between Correlation Coefficient of inattention and fine (P<0.0001 and battery (P<0.0001 motor performance were shown. Correlation Coefficient impulsivity and gross (P=0.379, fine (P=0.92 and battery (P=0.562 motor performance shown no significant difference between two groups. Conclusion: According to study results there was a positive relation between sustained attention and impulse control and most of motor performance in both groups. Therefore these findings help Occupational Therapist to determine rehabilitation priorities and to use exact strategies in order to enhance motor performance in children.

  9. Emotional modulation of attention: fear increases but disgust reduces the attentional blink.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Vermeulen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It is well known that facial expressions represent important social cues. In humans expressing facial emotion, fear may be configured to maximize sensory exposure (e.g., increases visual input whereas disgust can reduce sensory exposure (e.g., decreases visual input. To investigate whether such effects also extend to the attentional system, we used the "attentional blink" (AB paradigm. Many studies have documented that the second target (T2 of a pair is typically missed when presented within a time window of about 200-500 ms from the first to-be-detected target (T1; i.e., the AB effect. It has recently been proposed that the AB effect depends on the efficiency of a gating system which facilitates the entrance of relevant input into working memory, while inhibiting irrelevant input. Following the inhibitory response on post T1 distractors, prolonged inhibition of the subsequent T2 is observed. In the present study, we hypothesized that processing facial expressions of emotion would influence this attentional gating. Fearful faces would increase but disgust faces would decrease inhibition of the second target. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We showed that processing fearful versus disgust faces has different effects on these attentional processes. We found that processing fear faces impaired the detection of T2 to a greater extent than did the processing disgust faces. This finding implies emotion-specific modulation of attention. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Based on the recent literature on attention, our finding suggests that processing fear-related stimuli exerts greater inhibitory responses on distractors relative to processing disgust-related stimuli. This finding is of particular interest for researchers examining the influence of emotional processing on attention and memory in both clinical and normal populations. For example, future research could extend upon the current study to examine whether inhibitory processes invoked by

  10. Practicing the Attentional Dwell Away?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Bundesen, Claus

    2007-01-01

    Studies of the time course of visual attention have identified a temporary functional blindness to the second of two spatially separated targets: attending to one visual stimulus may lead to impairments in identifying a second stimulus presented about 200-500 ms later than the first. The phenomenon...... is known as the attentional dwell time (e.g. Duncan, Ward, Shapiro, 1994). Previous studies of attentional dwell time have all used naive subjects running few (.... The results suggest that the majority of subjects may learn to optimize their performance reducing the attentional dwell time effect substantially. Further, the reduction in the attentional dwell time effect seems to be closely linked to the ability of the subject to inhibit eye movements while performing...

  11. What Attracts Decision Makers' Attention?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bentzen, Eric; Christiansen, John K.; Varnes, Claus J.

    2011-01-01

    portfolio meetings. The study seeks to investigate how managers allocate their attention and the role of different factors for their attention. Observations also make it possible to compare prior research and expectations with the actual observed behavior of decision makers. Design....../methodology/approach – The present analysis draws on insights from previous research into decision making in product and portfolio management and studies on organizational decision making. The authors frame why the attention of decision makers is so critical in complex situations. Data for this study were collected through direct......Purpose – Managers' attention is a scarce resource in complex innovation settings. Prior research on the factors to which managers pay attention is mostly based on surveys. The present study aims to address the need for knowledge about the behavior of decision makers based on observations from...

  12. Social reward shapes attentional biases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Brian A

    2016-01-01

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

  13. The development of attention skills in action video game players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, M W G; Green, C S; Bavelier, D

    2009-07-01

    Previous research suggests that action video game play improves attentional resources, allowing gamers to better allocate their attention across both space and time. In order to further characterize the plastic changes resulting from playing these video games, we administered the Attentional Network Test (ANT) to action game players and non-playing controls aged between 7 and 22 years. By employing a mixture of cues and flankers, the ANT provides measures of how well attention is allocated to targets as a function of alerting and orienting cues, and to what extent observers are able to filter out the influence of task irrelevant information flanking those targets. The data suggest that action video game players of all ages have enhanced attentional skills that allow them to make faster correct responses to targets, and leaves additional processing resources that spill over to process distractors flanking the targets.

  14. Tracking the allocation of attention using human pupillary oscillations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marnix eNaber

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The muscles that control the pupil are richly innervated by the autonomic nervous system. While there are central pathways that drive pupil dilations in relation to arousal, there is no anatomical evidence that cortical centers involved with visual selective attention innervate the pupil. In this study, we show that such connections must exist. Specifically, we demonstrate a novel Pupil Frequency Tagging (PFT method, where oscillatory changes in stimulus brightness over time are mirrored by pupil constrictions and dilations. We find that the luminance induced pupil oscillations are enhanced when covert attention is directed to the flicker stimulus and when targets are correctly detected in an attentional tracking task. These results suggest that the amplitudes of pupil responses closely follow the allocation of focal visual attention and the encoding of stimuli. PFT provides a new opportunity to study top down visual attention itself as well as identifying the pathways and mechanisms that support this unexpected phenomenon.

  15. Combining segmentation and attention: a new foveal attention model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebeca eMarfil

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Artificial vision systems cannot process all the information that they receive from the world in real time because it is highly expensive and inefficient in terms of computational cost. Inspired by biological perception systems, articial attention models pursuit to select only the relevant part of the scene. Besides, it is well established that the units of attention on human vision are not merely spatial but closely related to perceptual objects (proto-objects. This implies a strong bidirectional relationship between segmentation and attention processes. Therefore, while the segmentation process is the responsible to extract the proto-objects from the scene, attention can guide segmentation, arising the concept of foveal attention. When the focus of attention is deployed from one visual unit to another, the rest of the scene is perceived but at a lower resolution that the focused object. The result is a multi-resolution visual perception in which the fovea, a dimple on the central retina, provides the highest resolution vision. In this paper, a bottom-up foveal attention model is presented. In this model the input image is a foveal image represented using a Cartesian Foveal Geometry (CFG, which encodes the field of view of the sensor as a fovea (placed in the focus of attention surrounded by a set of concentric rings with decreasing resolution. Then multirresolution perceptual segmentation is performed by building a foveal polygon using the Bounded Irregular Pyramid (BIP. Bottom-up attention is enclosed in the same structure, allowing to set the fovea over the most salient image proto-object. Saliency is computed as a linear combination of multiple low level features such us colour and intensity contrast, symmetry, orientation and roundness. Obtained results from natural images show that the performance of the combination of hierarchical foveal segmentation and saliency estimation is good in terms of accuracy and speed.

  16. Attentional Modulation of Auditory Steady-State Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahajan, Yatin; Davis, Chris; Kim, Jeesun

    2014-01-01

    Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR). The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioral evidence). The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex. PMID:25334021

  17. Attentional modulation of auditory steady-state responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahajan, Yatin; Davis, Chris; Kim, Jeesun

    2014-01-01

    Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR). The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioral evidence). The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex.

  18. Attentional modulation of auditory steady-state responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yatin Mahajan

    Full Text Available Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR. The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioral evidence. The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex.

  19. From behavior to neural dynamics: An integrated theory of attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buschman, Timothy J.; Kastner, Sabine

    2015-01-01

    The brain has a limited capacity and therefore needs mechanisms to selectively enhance the information most relevant to one’s current behavior. We refer to these mechanisms as ‘attention’. Attention acts by increasing the strength of selected neural representations and preferentially routing them through the brain’s large-scale network. This is a critical component of cognition and therefore has been a central topic in cognitive neuroscience. Here we review a diverse literature that has studied attention at the level of behavior, networks, circuits and neurons. We then integrate these disparate results into a unified theory of attention. PMID:26447577

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

    Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show attentional dysfunction such as distractibility and mind-wandering, especially in lengthy tasks. However, fundamentals of dysfunction are ambiguous and relationships of neuropsychological test parameters with self-report measures of ADHD symptoms are marginal. We hypothesize that basic deficits in sustaining attention explain more complex attentional dysfunction in persons with ADHD and relate to ADHD symptoms. Attentional function was analyzed by computing ex-Gaussian parameters for 3 time Blocks in a 20 min test of sustained alertness. Changes in performance across these blocks were analyzed by comparing adult persons with ADHD (n = 24) with healthy matched controls (n = 24) and correlated with neuropsychological measures of selective and divided attention as well as self-report measures of ADHD symptoms. We found a significantly steeper increase in the number of slow responses (ex-Gaussian parameter τ) in persons with ADHD with time on task in basic sustained alertness. They also performed significantly worse in tasks of sustained selective and divided attention. However, after controlling for an increase in τ during the alertness task, significant differences between groups disappeared for divided and partly selective attention. Increases in τ in the sustained alertness task correlated significantly with self-report measures of ADHD symptoms. Our results provide evidence that very basic deficits in sustaining attention in adults with ADHD are related to infrequent slow responses (=attentional lapses), with changes over time being relevant for more complex attentional function and experienced ADHD symptoms in everyday life. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Ocularity Feature Contrast Attracts Attention Exogenously

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhaoping

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available An eye-of-origin singleton, e.g., a bar shown to the left eye among many other bars shown to the right eye, can capture attention and gaze exogenously or reflexively, even when it appears identical to other visual input items in the scene and when the eye-of-origin feature is irrelevant to the observer’s task. Defining saliency as the strength of exogenous attraction to attention, we say that this eye-of-origin singleton, or its visual location, is salient. Defining the ocularity of a visual input item as the relative difference between its left-eye input and its right-eye input, this paper shows the general case that an ocularity singleton is also salient. For example, a binocular input item among monocular input items is salient, so is a left-eye-dominant input item (e.g., a bar with a higher input contrast to the left eye than to the right eye among right-eye-dominant items. Saliency by unique input ocularity is analogous to saliency by unique input colour (e.g., a red item among green ones, as colour is determined by the relative difference(s between visual inputs to different photoreceptor cones. Just as a smaller colour difference between a colour singleton and background items makes this singleton less salient, so does a smaller ocularity difference between an ocularity singleton and background items. While a salient colour difference is highly visible, a salient ocularity difference is often perceptually invisible in some cases and discouraging gaze shifts towards it in other cases, making its behavioural manifestation not as apparent. Saliency by ocularity contrast provides another support to the idea that the primary visual cortex creates a bottom-up saliency map to guide attention exogenously.

  2. Indico CONFERENCE: Define the Call for Abstracts

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva; Ferreira, Pedro

    2017-01-01

    In this tutorial, you will learn how to define and open a call for abstracts. When defining a call for abstracts, you will be able to define settings related to the type of questions asked during a review of an abstract, select the users who will review the abstracts, decide when to open the call for abstracts, and more.

  3. On defining semantics of extended attribute grammars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Ole Lehrmann

    1980-01-01

    Knuth has introduced attribute grammars (AGs) as a tool to define the semanitcs of context-free languages. The use of AGs in connection with programming language definitions has mostly been to define the context-sensitive syntax of the language and to define a translation in code for a hypothetic...

  4. Languages for Software-Defined Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-01

    switches, firewalls, and middleboxes) with closed and proprietary configuration inter- faces. Software - Defined Networks ( SDN ) are poised to change...how- ever, have seen growing interest in software - defined networks ( SDNs ), in which a logically-centralized controller manages the packet-processing...switches, firewalls, and middleboxes) with closed and proprietary configuration interfaces. Software - Defined Networks ( SDN ) are poised to change this

  5. Action Planning Mediates Guidance of Visual Attention from Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Feldmann-Wüstefeld

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles, thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences.

  6. Action Planning Mediates Guidance of Visual Attention from Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Schubö, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Visual search is impaired when a salient task-irrelevant stimulus is presented together with the target. Recent research has shown that this attentional capture effect is enhanced when the salient stimulus matches working memory (WM) content, arguing in favor of attention guidance from WM. Visual attention was also shown to be closely coupled with action planning. Preparing a movement renders action-relevant perceptual dimensions more salient and thus increases search efficiency for stimuli sharing that dimension. The present study aimed at revealing common underlying mechanisms for selective attention, WM, and action planning. Participants both prepared a specific movement (grasping or pointing) and memorized a color hue. Before the movement was executed towards an object of the memorized color, a visual search task (additional singleton) was performed. Results showed that distraction from target was more pronounced when the additional singleton had a memorized color. This WM-guided attention deployment was more pronounced when participants prepared a grasping movement. We argue that preparing a grasping movement mediates attention guidance from WM content by enhancing representations of memory content that matches the distractor shape (i.e., circles), thus encouraging attentional capture by circle distractors of the memorized color. We conclude that templates for visual search, action planning, and WM compete for resources and thus cause interferences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pottage, Claire L; Schaefer, Alexandre

    2012-02-01

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

  8. Capture of exogenous attention modulates the attentional blink

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Simon; Andersen, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    When two targets (T1 & T2) are presented in rapid succession, observers often fail to report T2 if they attend to T1. Bottleneck theories propose that this attentional blink (AB) is due to T1 occupying a slow processing stage when T2 is presented. Accordingly, if increasing T1 difficulty increases...... T1 processing time, this should cause a greater AB. Attention capture hypotheses suggest that T1 captures attention, which cannot be reallocated to T2 in time. Accordingly, if increasing T1 difficulty, decreases saliency, this should cause a smaller AB. Studies examining how T1 difficulty affects...... with T1 contrast energy. Our results indicate that T1 capture modulates the AB. We suggest that this effect has confounded previous studies on the effect of T1 difficulty. In an electrophysiological version of the study we will further examine the implied relation between attention capture and the AB....

  9. On the neural mechanisms subserving consciousness and attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine eTallon-Baudry

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Consciousness, as described in the experimental literature, is a multi-faceted phenomenon, that impinges on other well-studied concepts such as attention and control. Do consciousness and attention refer to different aspects of the same core phenomenon, or do they correspond to distinct functions? One possibility to address this question is to examine the neural mechanisms underlying consciousness and attention. If consciousness and attention pertain to the same concept, they should rely on shared neural mechanisms. Conversely, if their underlying mechanisms are distinct, then consciousness and attention should be considered as distinct entities. This paper therefore reviews neurophysiological facts arguing in favor or against a tight relationship between consciousness and attention. Three neural mechanisms that have been associated with both attention and consciousness are examined (neural amplification, involvement of the fronto-parietal network, and oscillatory synchrony, to conclude that the commonalities between attention and consciousness at the neural level may have been overestimated. Last but not least, experiments in which both attention and consciousness were probed at the neural level point toward a dissociation between the two concepts. It therefore appears from this review that consciousness and attention rely on distinct neural properties, although they can interact at the behavioral level. It is proposed that a "cumulative influence model", in which attention and consciousness correspond to distinct neural mechanisms feeding a single decisional process leading to behavior, fits best with available neural and behavioral data. In this view, consciousness should not be considered as a top-level executive function but should rather be defined by its experiential properties.

  10. Developmental Dyslexia: The Visual Attention Span Deficit Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosse, Marie-Line; Tainturier, Marie Josephe; Valdois, Sylviane

    2007-01-01

    The visual attention (VA) span is defined as the amount of distinct visual elements which can be processed in parallel in a multi-element array. Both recent empirical data and theoretical accounts suggest that a VA span deficit might contribute to developmental dyslexia, independently of a phonological disorder. In this study, this hypothesis was…

  11. Parents Psychopathology of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margari, Francesco; Craig, Francesco; Petruzzelli, Maria Giuseppina; Lamanna, Annalinda; Matera, Emilia; Margari, Lucia

    2013-01-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder with extremely complex etiology, not yet well defined but certainly multi-factorial. This study investigated the possible etiopathogenetic role of ADHD symptoms and psychopathology disorders in parents of children with ADHD. We present a case-control study of parents of 50 children…

  12. Distinguishing Different Strategies of Across-Dimension Attentional Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liqiang; Pashler, Harold

    2012-01-01

    Selective attention in multidimensional displays has usually been examined using search tasks requiring the detection of a single target. We examined the ability to perceive a spatial structure in multi-item subsets of a display that were defined either conjunctively or disjunctively. Observers saw two adjacent displays and indicated whether the…

  13. Auditory Attentional Capture: Effects of Singleton Distractor Sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, Polly; Lavie, Nilli

    2004-01-01

    The phenomenon of attentional capture by a unique yet irrelevant singleton distractor has typically been studied in visual search. In this article, the authors examine whether a similar phenomenon occurs in the auditory domain. Participants searched sequences of sounds for targets defined by frequency, intensity, or duration. The presence of a…

  14. Selective attention without a neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauzlis, Richard J; Bogadhi, Amarender R; Herman, James P; Bollimunta, Anil

    2018-05-01

    Selective attention refers to the ability to restrict neural processing and behavioral responses to a relevant subset of available stimuli, while simultaneously excluding other valid stimuli from consideration. In primates and other mammals, descriptions of this ability typically emphasize the neural processing that takes place in the cerebral neocortex. However, non-mammals such as birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, which completely lack a neocortex, also have the ability to selectively attend. In this article, we survey the behavioral evidence for selective attention in non-mammals, and review the midbrain and forebrain structures that are responsible. The ancestral forms of selective attention are presumably selective orienting behaviors, such as prey-catching and predator avoidance. These behaviors depend critically on a set of subcortical structures, including the optic tectum (OT), thalamus and striatum, that are highly conserved across vertebrate evolution. In contrast, the contributions of different pallial regions in the forebrain to selective attention have been subject to more substantial changes and reorganization. This evolutionary perspective makes plain that selective attention is not a function achieved de novo with the emergence of the neocortex, but instead is implemented by circuits accrued and modified over hundreds of millions of years, beginning well before the forebrain contained a neocortex. Determining how older subcortical circuits interact with the more recently evolved components in the neocortex will likely be crucial for understanding the complex properties of selective attention in primates and other mammals, and for identifying the etiology of attention disorders. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Extended attention span training system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Alan T.; Bogart, Edward H.

    1991-01-01

    Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a behavioral disorder characterized by the inability to sustain attention long enough to perform activities such as schoolwork or organized play. Treatments for this disorder include medication and brainwave biofeedback training. Brainwave biofeedback training systems feed back information to the trainee showing him how well he is producing the brainwave pattern that indicates attention. The Extended Attention Span Training (EAST) system takes the concept a step further by making a video game more difficult as the player's brainwaves indicate that attention is waning. The trainee can succeed at the game only by maintaining an adequate level of attention. The EAST system is a modification of a biocybernetic system that is currently being used to assess the extent to which automated flight management systems maintain pilot engagement. This biocybernetic system is a product of a program aimed at developing methods to evaluate automated flight deck designs for compatibility with human capabilities. The EAST technology can make a contribution in the fields of medical neuropsychology and neurology, where the emphasis is on cautious, conservative treatment of youngsters with attention disorders.

  16. Attentional modulation of reflex cough.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssens, Thomas; Silva, Mitchell; Davenport, Paul W; Van Diest, Ilse; Dupont, Lieven J; Van den Bergh, Omer

    2014-07-01

    Reflex cough is a defensive response generated in the brainstem in response to chemical and mechanical stimulation of the airways. However, converging evidence shows that reflex cough is also influenced by central neural control processes. In this study, we investigate whether reflex cough can be modulated by attentional focus on either external stimuli or internal cough-related stimuli. Healthy volunteers (N = 24; seven men; age range, 18-25 years) completed four blocks of citric acid-induced cough challenges while, simultaneously, auditory stimuli were presented. Within each block, four concentrations were administered (30, 100, 300 and 1,000 mM, randomized). During two subsequent blocks, participants focused their attention externally (counting tones). During the other two blocks, participants focused their attention internally (counting coughs). The order of attentional focus was counterbalanced across participants. Ratings of the urge to cough were collected after each challenge. Cough frequency was determined by audio recording. Cough frequency was higher when participants focused their attention internally vs externally (P Reflex cough can be modulated by attentional focus. Internally focused attention may be a mechanism involved in excessive (idiopathic) cough, while an external focus may be introduced as part of treatments targeting excessive cough.

  17. Attention modulates visual size adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreutzer, Sylvia; Fink, Gereon R; Weidner, Ralph

    2015-01-01

    The current study determined in healthy subjects (n = 16) whether size adaptation occurs at early, i.e., preattentive, levels of processing or whether higher cognitive processes such as attention can modulate the illusion. To investigate this issue, bottom-up stimulation was kept constant across conditions by using a single adaptation display containing both small and large adapter stimuli. Subjects' attention was directed to either the large or small adapter stimulus by means of a luminance detection task. When attention was directed toward the small as compared to the large adapter, the perceived size of the subsequent target was significantly increased. Data suggest that different size adaptation effects can be induced by one and the same stimulus depending on the current allocation of attention. This indicates that size adaptation is subject to attentional modulation. These findings are in line with previous research showing that transient as well as sustained attention modulates visual features, such as contrast sensitivity and spatial frequency, and influences adaptation in other contexts, such as motion adaptation (Alais & Blake, 1999; Lankheet & Verstraten, 1995). Based on a recently suggested model (Pooresmaeili, Arrighi, Biagi, & Morrone, 2013), according to which perceptual adaptation is based on local excitation and inhibition in V1, we conclude that guiding attention can boost these local processes in one or the other direction by increasing the weight of the attended adapter. In sum, perceptual adaptation, although reflected in changes of neural activity at early levels (as shown in the aforementioned study), is nevertheless subject to higher-order modulation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergara, Rodrigo C; Moënne-Loccoz, Cristóbal; Maldonado, Pedro E

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo C. Vergara

    2017-09-01

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

  20. Assessing attentional systems in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casagrande, Maria; Martella, Diana; Ruggiero, Maria Cleonice; Maccari, Lisa; Paloscia, Claudio; Rosa, Caterina; Pasini, Augusto

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency and interactions of attentional systems in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by considering the effects of reinforcement and auditory warning on each component of attention. Thirty-six drug-naïve children (18 children with ADHD/18 typically developing children) performed two revised versions of the Attentional Network Test, which assess the efficiency of alerting, orienting, and executive systems. In feedback trials, children received feedback about their accuracy, whereas in the no-feedback trials, feedback was not given. In both conditions, children with ADHD performed more slowly than did typically developing children. They also showed impairments in the ability to disengage attention and in executive functioning, which improved when alertness was increased by administering the auditory warning. The performance of the attentional networks appeared to be modulated by the absence or the presence of reinforcement. We suggest that the observed executive system deficit in children with ADHD could depend on their low level of arousal rather than being an independent disorder. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  1. Performance effects of nicotine during selective attention, divided attention, and simple stimulus detection: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Britta; Ross, Thomas J; Wolkenberg, Frank A; Shakleya, Diaa M; Huestis, Marilyn A; Stein, Elliot A

    2009-09-01

    Attention-enhancing effects of nicotine appear to depend on the nature of the attentional function. Underlying neuroanatomical mechanisms, too, may vary depending on the function modulated. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study recorded blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity in minimally deprived smokers during tasks of simple stimulus detection, selective attention, or divided attention after single-blind application of a transdermal nicotine (21 mg) or placebo patch. Smokers' performance in the placebo condition was unimpaired as compared with matched nonsmokers. Nicotine reduced reaction time (RT) in the stimulus detection and selective attention but not divided attention condition. Across all task conditions, nicotine reduced activation in frontal, temporal, thalamic, and visual regions and enhanced deactivation in so-called "default" regions. Thalamic effects correlated with RT reduction selectively during stimulus detection. An interaction with task condition was observed in middle and superior frontal gyri, where nicotine reduced activation only during stimulus detection. A visuomotor control experiment provided evidence against nonspecific effects of nicotine. In conclusion, although prefrontal activity partly displayed differential modulation by nicotine, most BOLD effects were identical across tasks, despite differential performance effects, suggesting that common neuronal mechanisms can selectively benefit different attentional functions. Overall, the effects of nicotine may be explained by increased functional efficiency and downregulated task-independent "default" functions.

  2. Early vision and visual attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gvozdenović Vasilije P.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The question whether visual perception is spontaneous, sudden or is running through several phases, mediated by higher cognitive processes, was raised ever since the early work of Gestalt psychologists. In the early 1980s, Treisman proposed the feature integration theory of attention (FIT, based on the findings of neuroscience. Soon after publishing her theory a new scientific approach appeared investigating several visual perception phenomena. The most widely researched were the key constructs of FIT, like types of visual search and the role of the attention. The following review describes the main studies of early vision and visual attention.

  3. Emotional stimuli exert parallel effects on attention and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talmi, Deborah; Ziegler, Marilyne; Hawksworth, Jade; Lalani, Safina; Herman, C Peter; Moscovitch, Morris

    2013-01-01

    Because emotional and neutral stimuli typically differ on non-emotional dimensions, it has been difficult to determine conclusively which factors underlie the ability of emotional stimuli to enhance immediate long-term memory. Here we induced arousal by varying participants' goals, a method that removes many potential confounds between emotional and non-emotional items. Hungry and sated participants encoded food and clothing images under divided attention conditions. Sated participants attended to and recalled food and clothing images equivalently. Hungry participants performed worse on the concurrent tone-discrimination task when they viewed food relative to clothing images, suggesting enhanced attention to food images, and they recalled more food than clothing images. A follow-up regression analysis of the factors predicting memory for individual pictures revealed that food images had parallel effects on attention and memory in hungry participants, so that enhanced attention to food images did not predict their enhanced memory. We suggest that immediate long-term memory for food is enhanced in the hungry state because hunger leads to more distinctive processing of food images rendering them more accessible during retrieval.

  4. Enhancing Auditory Selective Attention Using a Visually Guided Hearing Aid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidd, Gerald, Jr.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Listeners with hearing loss, as well as many listeners with clinically normal hearing, often experience great difficulty segregating talkers in a multiple-talker sound field and selectively attending to the desired "target" talker while ignoring the speech from unwanted "masker" talkers and other sources of sound. This…

  5. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Polygenic Risk Scores Predict Attention Problems in a Population-Based Sample of Children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blokhuis, M.M.; Middeldorp, C.M.; Kan, K.J.; Abdellaoui, A.; van Beijsterveldt, C.E.M.; Ehli, E.A.; Davies, G.E.; Scheet, P.; Xiao, X.; Hudziak, J.J.; Hottenga, J.J.; Neale, B.M.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Clinically, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention and is among the most common childhood disorders. These same traits that define ADHD are variable in the general population, and the clinical diagnosis may represent

  6. Feature-based attentional modulation of orientation perception in somatosensation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meike Annika Schweisfurth

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In a reaction time study of human tactile orientation detection the effects of spatial attention and feature-based attention were investigated. Subjects had to give speeded responses to target orientations (parallel and orthogonal to the finger axis in a random stream of oblique tactile distractor orientations presented to their index and ring fingers. Before each block of trials, subjects received a tactile cue at one finger. By manipulating the validity of this cue with respect to its location and orientation (feature, we provided an incentive to subjects to attend spatially to the cued location and only there to the cued orientation. Subjects showed quicker responses to parallel compared to orthogonal targets, pointing to an orientation anisotropy in sensory processing. Also, faster reaction times were observed in location-matched trials, i.e. when targets appeared on the cued finger, representing a perceptual benefit of spatial attention. Most importantly, reaction times were shorter to orientations matching the cue, both at the cued and at the uncued location, documenting a global enhancement of tactile sensation by feature-based attention. This is the first report of a perceptual benefit of feature-based attention outside the spatial focus of attention in somatosensory perception. The similarity to effects of feature-based attention in visual perception supports the notion of matching attentional mechanisms across sensory domains.

  7. Temporal attention for visual food stimuli in restrained eaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neimeijer, Renate A M; de Jong, Peter J; Roefs, Anne

    2013-05-01

    Although restrained eaters try to limit their food intake, they often fail and indulge in exactly those foods that they want to avoid. A possible explanation is a temporal attentional bias for food cues. It could be that for these people food stimuli are processed relatively efficiently and require less attentional resources to enter awareness. Once a food stimulus has captured attention, it may be preferentially processed and granted prioritized access to limited cognitive resources. This might help explain why restrained eaters often fail in their attempts to restrict their food intake. A Rapid Serial Visual Presentation task consisting of dual and single target trials with food and neutral pictures as targets and/or distractors was administered to restrained (n=40) and unrestrained (n=40) eaters to study temporal attentional bias. Results indicated that (1) food cues did not diminish the attentional blink in restrained eaters when presented as second target; (2) specifically restrained eaters showed an interference effect of identifying food targets on the identification of preceding neutral targets; (3) for both restrained and unrestrained eaters, food cues enhanced the attentional blink; (4) specifically in restrained eaters, food distractors elicited an attention blink in the single target trials. In restrained eaters, food cues get prioritized access to limited cognitive resources, even if this processing priority interferes with their current goals. This temporal attentional bias for food stimuli might help explain why restrained eaters typically have difficulties maintaining their diet rules. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Behavioral performance follows the time course of neural facilitation and suppression during cued shifts of feature-selective attention

    OpenAIRE

    Andersen, S. K.; Müller, M. M.

    2010-01-01

    A central question in the field of attention is whether visual processing is a strictly limited resource, which must be allocated by selective attention. If this were the case, attentional enhancement of one stimulus should invariably lead to suppression of unattended distracter stimuli. Here we examine voluntary cued shifts of feature-selective attention to either one of two superimposed red or blue random dot kinematograms (RDKs) to test whether such a reciprocal relationship between enhanc...

  9. Measuring the amplification of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaser, E; Sperling, G; Lu, Z L

    1999-09-28

    An ambiguous motion paradigm, in which the direction of apparent motion is determined by salience (i.e., the extent to which an area is perceived as figure versus ground), is used to assay the amplification of color by attention to color. In the red-green colored gratings used in these experiments, without attention instructions, salience depends on the chromaticity difference between colored stripes embedded in the motion sequence and the yellow background. Selective attention to red (or to green) alters the perceived direction of motion and is found to be equivalent to increasing the physical redness (or greenness) by 25-117%, depending on the observer and color. Whereas attention to a color drastically alters the salience of that color, it leaves color appearance unchanged. A computational model, which embodies separate, parallel pathways for object perception and for salience, accounts for 99% of the variance of the experimental data.

  10. Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... as methylphenidate (Ritalin) or dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), which are stimulants that decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity and increase attention. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the generic versions ...

  11. Visual attention in posterior stroke

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabricius, Charlotte; Petersen, Anders; Iversen, Helle K

    Objective: Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere. However, attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed...... and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. We also relate these attentional parameters to visual word recognition, as previous studies have suggested that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Methods: Nine patients with MR-verified focal lesions in the PCA......-territory (four left PCA; four right PCA; one bilateral, all >1 year post stroke) were compared to 25 controls using single case statistics. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm allowing for hemifield-specific speed and span measurements. We also characterized visual field defects...

  12. Research Network of Tehran Defined Population: Methodology and Establishment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali-Asghar Kolahi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: We need a defined population for determining prevalence and incidence of diseases, as well as conducting interventional, cohort and longitudinal studies, calculating correct and timely public health indicators, assessing actual health needs of community, performing educational programs and interventions to promote healthy lifestyle, and enhancing quality of primary health services.The objective of this project was to determine a defined population which is representative of Tehran, the Capital of Iran. This article reports the methodology and establishment of the research network of Tehran defined population.Methods: This project started by selecting two urban health centers from each of the five district health centers affiliated to Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in 2012. Inside each selected urban health center, one defined population research station was established. Two new centers have been added during 2013 and 2014. For the time being, the number of the covered population of the network has reached 40000 individuals. The most important criterion for the defined population has been to be representative of the population of Tehran. For this, we selected two urban health centers from 12 of 22 municipality districts and from each of the five different socioeconomic of Greater Tehran. Merely 80000 individuals in neighborhoods of each defined population research station were considered as control group of the project.Findings: Totally we selected 12 defined population research stations and their under-covered population developed a defined population which is representative of Tehran population.Conclusion: a population lab is ready now in metropolitan of Tehran.

  13. Dividing Attention Increases Operational Momentum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koleen McCrink

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available When adding or subtracting two quantities, adults often compute an estimated outcome that is larger or smaller, respectively, than the actual outcome, a bias referred to as “operational momentum”. The effects of attention on operational momentum were investigated. Participants viewed a display in which two arrays of objects were added, or one array was subtracted from another array, and judged whether a subsequent outcome (probe array contained the correct or incorrect number of objects. In a baseline condition, only the arrays to be added or subtracted were viewed. In divided attention conditions, participants simultaneously viewed a sequence of colors or shapes, and judged which color (a non-spatial judgment or shape (a spatial judgment was repeated. Operational momentum occurred in all conditions, but was higher in divided attention conditions than in the baseline condition, primarily for addition problems. This pattern suggests that dividing attention, rather than decreasing operational momentum by decreasing attentional shifts, actually increased operational momentum. These results are consistent with a heightened use of arithmetic heuristics under conditions of divided attention.

  14. Attentional Networks and Biological Motion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandramouli Chandrasekaran

    2010-03-01

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

  15. Selective Attention, Diffused Attention, and the Development of Categorization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Wei (Sophia); Sloutsky, Vladimir M.

    2016-01-01

    How do people learn categories and what changes with development? The current study attempts to address these questions by focusing on the role of attention in the development of categorization. In Experiment 1, participants (adults, 7-year-olds, and 4-year-olds) were trained with novel categories consisting of deterministic and probabilistic features, and their categorization and memory for features were tested. In Experiment 2, participants’ attention was directed to the deterministic feature, and in Experiment 3 it was directed to the probabilistic features. Attentional cuing affected categorization and memory in adults and 7-year-olds: these participants relied on the cued features in their categorization and exhibited better memory of cued than of non-cued features. In contrast, in 4-year-olds attentional cueing affected only categorization, but not memory: these participants exhibited equally good memory for both cued and non-cued features. Furthermore, across the experiments, 4-year-olds remembered non-cued features better than adults. These results coupled with computational simulations provide novel evidence (1) pointing to differences in category representation and mechanisms of categorization across development, (2) elucidating the role of attention in the development of categorization, and (3) suggesting an important distinction between representation and decision factors in categorization early in development. These issues are discussed with respect to theories of categorization and its development. PMID:27721103

  16. Selective attention, diffused attention, and the development of categorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Wei Sophia; Sloutsky, Vladimir M

    2016-12-01

    How do people learn categories and what changes with development? The current study attempts to address these questions by focusing on the role of attention in the development of categorization. In Experiment 1, participants (adults, 7-year-olds, and 4-year-olds) were trained with novel categories consisting of deterministic and probabilistic features, and their categorization and memory for features were tested. In Experiment 2, participants' attention was directed to the deterministic feature, and in Experiment 3 it was directed to the probabilistic features. Attentional cueing affected categorization and memory in adults and 7-year-olds: these participants relied on the cued features in their categorization and exhibited better memory of cued than of non-cued features. In contrast, in 4-year-olds attentional cueing affected only categorization, but not memory: these participants exhibited equally good memory for both cued and non-cued features. Furthermore, across the experiments, 4-year-olds remembered non-cued features better than adults. These results coupled with computational simulations provide novel evidence (1) pointing to differences in category representation and mechanisms of categorization across development, (2) elucidating the role of attention in the development of categorization, and (3) suggesting an important distinction between representation and decision factors in categorization early in development. These issues are discussed with respect to theories of categorization and its development. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Affective picture modulation: valence, arousal, attention allocation and motivational significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leite, Jorge; Carvalho, Sandra; Galdo-Alvarez, Santiago; Alves, Jorge; Sampaio, Adriana; Gonçalves, Oscar F

    2012-03-01

    The present study analyses the modulatory effects of affective pictures in the early posterior negativity (EPN), the late positive potential (LPP) and the human startle response on both the peripheral (eye blink EMG) and central neurophysiological levels (Probe P3), during passive affective pictures viewing. The affective pictures categories were balanced in terms of valence (pleasant; unpleasant) and arousal (high; low). The data shows that EPN may be sensitive to specific stimulus characteristics (affective relevant pictures versus neutral pictures) associated with early stages of attentional processing. In later stages, the heightened attentional resource allocation as well as the motivated significance of the affective stimuli was found to elicit enhanced amplitudes of slow wave processes thought to be related to enhanced encoding, namely LPP,. Although pleasant low arousing pictures were effective in engaging the resources involved in the slow wave processes, the highly arousing affective stimuli (pleasant and unpleasant) were found to produce the largest enhancement of the LPP, suggesting that high arousing stimuli may are associated with increased motivational significance. Additionally the response to high arousing stimuli may be suggestive of increased motivational attention, given the heightened attentional allocation, as expressed in the P3 probe, especially for the pleasant pictures. The hedonic valence may then serve as a mediator of the attentional inhibition to the affective priming, potentiating or inhibiting a shift towards defensive activation, as measured by the startle reflex. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. The role of overt attention in emotion-modulated memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, Lily; McQuiggan, Douglas A; Farb, Norman; Anderson, Adam K; Ryan, Jennifer D

    2011-08-01

    The presence of emotional stimuli results in a central/peripheral tradeoff effect in memory: memory for central details is enhanced at the cost of peripheral items. It has been assumed that emotion-modulated differences in memory are the result of differences in attention, but this has not been tested directly. The present experiment used eye movement monitoring as an index of overt attention allocation and mediation analysis to determine whether differences in attention were related to subsequent memory. Participants viewed negative and neutral scenes surrounded by three neutral objects and were then given a recognition memory test. The results revealed evidence in support of a central/peripheral tradeoff in both attention and memory. However, contrary with previous assumptions, whereas attention partially mediated emotion-enhanced memory for central pictures, it did not explain the entire relationship. Further, although centrally presented emotional stimuli led to decreased number of eye fixations toward the periphery, these differences in viewing did not contribute to emotion-impaired memory for specific details pertaining to the periphery. These findings suggest that the differential influence of negative emotion on central versus peripheral memory may result from other cognitive influences in addition to overt visual attention or on postencoding processes. 2011 APA, all rights reserved

  19. Motion-guided attention promotes adaptive communications during social navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemasson, B H; Anderson, J J; Goodwin, R A

    2013-03-07

    Animals are capable of enhanced decision making through cooperation, whereby accurate decisions can occur quickly through decentralized consensus. These interactions often depend upon reliable social cues, which can result in highly coordinated activities in uncertain environments. Yet information within a crowd may be lost in translation, generating confusion and enhancing individual risk. As quantitative data detailing animal social interactions accumulate, the mechanisms enabling individuals to rapidly and accurately process competing social cues remain unresolved. Here, we model how motion-guided attention influences the exchange of visual information during social navigation. We also compare the performance of this mechanism to the hypothesis that robust social coordination requires individuals to numerically limit their attention to a set of n-nearest neighbours. While we find that such numerically limited attention does not generate robust social navigation across ecological contexts, several notable qualities arise from selective attention to motion cues. First, individuals can instantly become a local information hub when startled into action, without requiring changes in neighbour attention level. Second, individuals can circumvent speed-accuracy trade-offs by tuning their motion thresholds. In turn, these properties enable groups to collectively dampen or amplify social information. Lastly, the minority required to sway a group's short-term directional decisions can change substantially with social context. Our findings suggest that motion-guided attention is a fundamental and efficient mechanism underlying collaborative decision making during social navigation.

  20. Matching cue size and task properties in exogenous attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnett, Katherine E; d'Avossa, Giovanni; Sapir, Ayelet

    2013-01-01

    Exogenous attention is an involuntary, reflexive orienting response that results in enhanced processing at the attended location. The standard view is that this enhancement generalizes across visual properties of a stimulus. We test whether the size of an exogenous cue sets the attentional field and whether this leads to different effects on stimuli with different visual properties. In a dual task with a random-dot kinematogram (RDK) in each quadrant of the screen, participants discriminated the direction of moving dots in one RDK and localized one red dot. Precues were uninformative and consisted of either a large or a small luminance-change frame. The motion discrimination task showed attentional effects following both large and small exogenous cues. The red dot probe localization task showed attentional effects following a small cue, but not a large cue. Two additional experiments showed that the different effects on localization were not due to reduced spatial uncertainty or suppression of RDK dots in the surround. These results indicate that the effects of exogenous attention depend on the size of the cue and the properties of the task, suggesting the involvement of receptive fields with different sizes in different tasks. These attentional effects are likely to be driven by bottom-up mechanisms in early visual areas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-22

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

  2. Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montessori, Maria

    2016-01-01

    "The Advanced Montessori Method, Volume 1" was published in 1918 in English and is considered a seminal work along with "The Montessori Method." In the foreword to this book, Mario Montessori writes: "...the refulgent figure of the child, Dr. Montessori pointed out, who had found his own path to mental health, who…

  3. Feature-selective attention in healthy old age: a selective decline in selective attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quigley, Cliodhna; Müller, Matthias M

    2014-02-12

    Deficient selection against irrelevant information has been proposed to underlie age-related cognitive decline. We recently reported evidence for maintained early sensory selection when older and younger adults used spatial selective attention to perform a challenging task. Here we explored age-related differences when spatial selection is not possible and feature-selective attention must be deployed. We additionally compared the integrity of feedforward processing by exploiting the well established phenomenon of suppression of visual cortical responses attributable to interstimulus competition. Electroencephalogram was measured while older and younger human adults responded to brief occurrences of coherent motion in an attended stimulus composed of randomly moving, orientation-defined, flickering bars. Attention was directed to horizontal or vertical bars by a pretrial cue, after which two orthogonally oriented, overlapping stimuli or a single stimulus were presented. Horizontal and vertical bars flickered at different frequencies and thereby elicited separable steady-state visual-evoked potentials, which were used to examine the effect of feature-based selection and the competitive influence of a second stimulus on ongoing visual processing. Age differences were found in feature-selective attentional modulation of visual responses: older adults did not show consistent modulation of magnitude or phase. In contrast, the suppressive effect of a second stimulus was robust and comparable in magnitude across age groups, suggesting that bottom-up processing of the current stimuli is essentially unchanged in healthy old age. Thus, it seems that visual processing per se is unchanged, but top-down attentional control is compromised in older adults when space cannot be used to guide selection.

  4. Evaluating the role of attention in the context of unconscious thought theory: differential impact of attentional scope and load on preference and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Narayanan; Mukherjee, Sumitava; Mishra, Maruti V; Kesarwani, Smriti

    2013-01-01

    Attention is a key process used to conceptualize and define modes of thought, but we lack information about the role of specific attentional processes on preferential choice and memory in multi-attribute decision making. In this study, we examine the role of attention based on two dimensions, attentional scope and load on choice preference strength and memory using a paradigm that arguably elicits unconscious thought. Scope of attention was manipulated by using global or local processing during distraction (Experiment 1) and before the information-encoding stage (Experiment 2). Load was manipulated by using the n-back task in Experiment 1. Results from Experiment 1 show that global processing or distributed attention during distraction results in stronger preference irrespective of load but better memory only at low cognitive load. Task difficulty or load did not have any effect on preference or memory. In Experiment 2, distributed attention before attribute encoding facilitated only memory but did not influence preference. Results show that attentional processes at different stages of processing like distraction and information-encoding influence decision making processes. Scope of attention not only influences preference and memory but the manner in which attentional scope influences them depends on both load and stage of information processing. The results indicate the important role of attention in processes critical for decision making and calls for a re-evaluation of the unconscious thought theory (UTT) and the need for reconceptualizing the role of attention.

  5. Evaluating the role of attention in the context of unconscious thought theory: Differential impact of attentional scope and load on preference and memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narayanan eSrinivasan

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Attention is a key process used to conceptualize and define modes of thought, but we lack information on the role of specific attentional processes on preferential choice and memory in multi-attribute decision making. In this study, we examine the role of attention based on two dimensions, attentional scope and load on choice preference strength and memory using a paradigm that arguably elicits unconscious thought. Scope of attention was manipulated by using global or local processing during distraction (Experiment 1 and before the information encoding stage (Experiment 2. Load was manipulated by using the n-back task in Experiment 1. Results from Experiment 1 show that global processing or distributed attention during distraction results in stronger preference irrespective of load but better memory only at low cognitive load. Task difficulty or load did not have any effect on preference or memory. In Experiment 2, distributed attention before attribute encoding facilitated only memory but did not influence preference. Results show that attentional processes at different stages of processing like distraction and information-encoding influence decision making processes. Scope of attention not only influences preference and memory but the manner in which attentional scope influences them depends on both load and stage of information processing. The results indicate the important role of attention in processes critical for decision making and calls for a re-evaluation of the unconscious thought theory (UTT and the need for reconceptualizing the role of attention.

  6. Emotional Intelligence in Learners with Attention Deficit Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wootton, Carol Anne; Roets, H. E.

    2013-01-01

    This study was undertaken to analyse and evaluate the nature and quality of emotional intelligence in learners with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and to investigate whether their emotional intelligence was enhanced, and whether the symptoms and behaviour of these learners improved, after exposure to a programme on emotional intelligence.…

  7. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults: diagnostic imperatives

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    At present, no biological or psychological tests with sufficient sensitivity or specificity can replace the meticulous process of distilling the clinical characteristics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD) in adulthood. The level of diagnostic confidence can be enhanced via a semi-structured interview, confirming the ...

  8. 22 CFR 92.36 - Authentication defined.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 22 Foreign Relations 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Authentication defined. 92.36 Section 92.36... Notarial Acts § 92.36 Authentication defined. An authentication is a certification of the genuineness of... recognized in another jurisdiction. Documents which may require authentication include legal instruments...

  9. A definability theorem for first order logic

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Butz, C.; Moerdijk, I.

    1997-01-01

    In this paper we will present a definability theorem for first order logic This theorem is very easy to state and its proof only uses elementary tools To explain the theorem let us first observe that if M is a model of a theory T in a language L then clearly any definable subset S M ie a subset S

  10. Dilution Confusion: Conventions for Defining a Dilution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishel, Laurence A.

    2010-01-01

    Two conventions for preparing dilutions are used in clinical laboratories. The first convention defines an "a:b" dilution as "a" volumes of solution A plus "b" volumes of solution B. The second convention defines an "a:b" dilution as "a" volumes of solution A diluted into a final volume of "b". Use of the incorrect dilution convention could affect…

  11. Defining Hardwood Veneer Log Quality Attributes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jan Wiedenbeck; Michael Wiemann; Delton Alderman; John Baumgras; William Luppold

    2004-01-01

    This publication provides a broad spectrum of information on the hardwood veneer industry in North America. Veneer manufacturers and their customers impose guidelines in specifying wood quality attributes that are very discriminating but poorly defined (e.g., exceptional color, texture, and/or figure characteristics). To better understand and begin to define the most...

  12. Current issues in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frick, Paul J; Nigg, Joel T

    2012-01-01

    This review evaluates the diagnostic criteria for three of the most common disorders for which children and adolescents are referred for mental health treatment: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD). Although research supports the validity and clinical utility of these disorders, several issues are highlighted that could enhance the current diagnostic criteria. For ADHD, defining the core features of the disorder and its fit with other disorders, enhancing the validity of the criteria through the lifespan, considering alternative ways to form subtypes of the disorder, and modifying the age-of-onset criterion are discussed relative to the current diagnostic criteria. For ODD, eliminating the exclusionary criteria of CD, recognizing important symptom domains within the disorder, and using the cross-situational pervasiveness of the disorder as an index of severity are highlighted as important issues for improving classification. Finally, for CD, enhancing the current subtypes related to age of onset and integrating callous-unemotional traits into the diagnostic criteria are identified as key issues for improving classification.

  13. Current Issues in the Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Conduct Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frick, Paul J.; Nigg, Joel T.

    2015-01-01

    This review evaluates the diagnostic criteria for three of the most common disorders for which children and adolescents are referred for mental health treatment: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD). Although research supports the validity and clinical utility of these disorders, several issues are highlighted that could enhance the current diagnostic criteria. For ADHD, defining the core features of the disorder and its fit with other disorders, enhancing the validity of the criteria through the lifespan, considering alternative ways to form subtypes of the disorder, and modifying the age-of-onset criterion are discussed relative to the current diagnostic criteria. For ODD, eliminating the exclusionary criteria of CD, recognizing important symptom domains within the disorder, and using the cross-situational pervasiveness of the disorder as an index of severity are highlighted as important issues for improving classification. Finally, for CD, enhancing the current subtypes related to age of onset and integrating callous-unemotional traits into the diagnostic criteria are identified as key issues for improving classification. PMID:22035245

  14. Emotionally negative pictures increase attention to a subsequent auditory stimulus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartar, Jaime L; de Almeida, Kristen; McIntosh, Roger C; Rosselli, Monica; Nash, Allan J

    2012-01-01

    Emotionally negative stimuli serve as a mechanism of biological preparedness to enhance attention. We hypothesized that emotionally negative stimuli would also serve as motivational priming to increase attention resources for subsequent stimuli. To that end, we tested 11 participants in a dual sensory modality task, wherein emotionally negative pictures were contrasted with emotionally neutral pictures and each picture was followed 600 ms later by a tone in an auditory oddball paradigm. Each trial began with a picture displayed for 200 ms; half of the trials began with an emotionally negative picture and half of the trials began with an emotionally neutral picture; 600 ms following picture presentation, the participants heard either an oddball tone or a standard tone. At the end of each trial (picture followed by tone), the participants categorized, with a button press, the picture and tone combination. As expected, and consistent with previous studies, we found an enhanced visual late positive potential (latency range=300-700 ms) to the negative picture stimuli. We further found that compared to neutral pictures, negative pictures resulted in early attention and orienting effects to subsequent tones (measured through an enhanced N1 and N2) and sustained attention effects only to the subsequent oddball tones (measured through late processing negativity, latency range=400-700 ms). Number pad responses to both the picture and tone category showed the shortest response latencies and greatest percentage of correct picture-tone categorization on the negative picture followed by oddball tone trials. Consistent with previous work on natural selective attention, our results support the idea that emotional stimuli can alter attention resource allocation. This finding has broad implications for human attention and performance as it specifically shows the conditions in which an emotionally negative stimulus can result in extended stimulus evaluation. Copyright © 2011

  15. Attention reorganizes connectivity across networks in a frequency specific manner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kwon, Soyoung; Watanabe, Masataka; Fischer, Elvira

    2017-01-01

    Attention allows our brain to focus its limited resources on a given task. It does so by selective modulation of neural activity and of functional connectivity (FC) across brain-wide networks. While there is extensive literature on activity changes, surprisingly few studies examined brain-wide FC...... modulations that can be cleanly attributed to attention compared to matched visual processing. In contrast to prior approaches, we used an ultra-long trial design that avoided transients from trial onsets, included slow fluctuations (...-segregated analyses. We found that FC derived from long blocks had a nearly two-fold higher gain compared to FC derived from traditional (short) block designs. Second, attention enhanced intrinsic (negative or positive) correlations across networks, such as between the default-mode network (DMN), the dorsal attention...

  16. Maternal DHA levels and toddler free-play attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kannass, Kathleen N; Colombo, John; Carlson, Susan E

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the relationship between maternal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) levels at birth and toddler free-play attention in the second year. Toddler free-play attention was assessed at 12 and 18 months, and maternal erythrocyte (red-blood cell; RBC) phospholipid DHA (percentage of total fatty acids) was measured from mothers at delivery. Overall, higher maternal DHA status at birth was associated with enhanced attentional functioning during the second year. Toddlers whose mothers had high DHA at birth exhibited more total looking and fewer episodes of inattention during free-play than did toddlers whose mothers had low DHA at birth. Analyses also provided further information on changes in attention during toddlerhood. These findings are consistent with evidence suggesting a link between DHA and cognitive development in infancy and early childhood.

  17. Examining Age-Related Differences in Auditory Attention Control Using a Task-Switching Procedure

    OpenAIRE

    Vera Lawo; Iring Koch

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. Using a novel task-switching variant of dichotic selective listening, we examined age-related differences in the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention between 2 speakers defined by their sex.

  18. Object-based attention: strength of object representation and attentional guidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shomstein, Sarah; Behrmann, Marlene

    2008-01-01

    Two or more features belonging to a single object are identified more quickly and more accurately than are features belonging to different objects--a finding attributed to sensory enhancement of all features belonging to an attended or selected object. However, several recent studies have suggested that this "single-object advantage" may be a product of probabilistic and configural strategic prioritizations rather than of object-based perceptual enhancement per se, challenging the underlying mechanism that is thought to give rise to object-based attention. In the present article, we further explore constraints on the mechanisms of object-based selection by examining the contribution of the strength of object representations to the single-object advantage. We manipulated factors such as exposure duration (i.e., preview time) and salience of configuration (i.e., objects). Varying preview time changes the magnitude of the object-based effect, so that if there is ample time to establish an object representation (i.e., preview time of 1,000 msec), then both probability and configuration (i.e., objects) guide attentional selection. If, however, insufficient time is provided to establish a robust object-based representation, then only probabilities guide attentional selection. Interestingly, at a short preview time of 200 msec, when the two objects were sufficiently different from each other (i.e., different colors), both configuration and probability guided attention selection. These results suggest that object-based effects can be explained both in terms of strength of object representations (established at longer exposure durations and by pictorial cues) and probabilistic contingencies in the visual environment.

  19. Sustained selective attention to competing amplitude-modulations in human auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control.

  20. Sustained Selective Attention to Competing Amplitude-Modulations in Human Auditory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control. PMID:25259525

  1. Obesity as a Socially Defined Disease: Philosophical Considerations and Implications for Policy and Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Bjørn

    2016-03-01

    Obesity has generated significant worries amongst health policy makers and has obtained increased attention in health care. Obesity is unanimously defined as a disease in the health care and health policy literature. However, there are pragmatic and not principled reasons for this. This warrants an analysis of obesity according to standard conceptions of disease in the literature of philosophy of medicine. According to theories and definitions of disease referring to (abnormal functioning of) internal processes, obesity is not a disease. Obesity undoubtedly can result in disease, making it a risk factor for disease, but not a disease per se. According to several social conceptions of disease, however, obesity clearly is a disease. Obesity can conflict with aesthetic, moral, or other social norms. Making obesity a "social disease" may very well be a wise health policy, assuring and improving population health, especially if we address the social determinants of obesity, such as the food supply and marketing system. However, applying biomedical solutions to social problems may also have severe side effects. It can result in medicalization and enhance stigmatization and discrimination of persons based on appearance or behavior. Approaching social problems with biomedical means may also serve commercial and professionals' interests more than the health and welfare of individuals; it may make quick fix medical solutions halt more sustainable structural solutions. This urges health insurers, health care professionals, and health policy makers to be cautious. Especially if we want to help and respect persons that we classify and treat as obese.

  2. Supramodal Executive Control of Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALFREDO eSPAGNA

    2015-02-01

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

  3. Grasp cueing and joint attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschentscher, Nadja; Fischer, Martin H

    2008-10-01

    We studied how two different hand posture cues affect joint attention in normal observers. Visual targets appeared over lateralized objects, with different delays after centrally presented hand postures. Attention was cued by either hand direction or the congruency between hand aperture and object size. Participants pressed a button when they detected a target. Direction cues alone facilitated target detection following short delays but aperture cues alone were ineffective. In contrast, when hand postures combined direction and aperture cues, aperture congruency effects without directional congruency effects emerged and persisted, but only for power grips. These results suggest that parallel parameter specification makes joint attention mechanisms exquisitely sensitive to the timing and content of contextual cues.

  4. No iconic memory without attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Arien; Erol, Muge; Clarke, Jason; Bert, John

    2016-02-01

    The experiments reported extend the findings of our earlier paper, (Mack, Erol, & Clarke, 2015) and allow us to reject Bachmann and Aru's critique of our conclusion (2015) that IM requires attention. They suggested our manipulations, which diverted attention from a letter reporting task in a dual task procedure where the task-cue occurred after the array disappeared, might only have affected access to IM and not the "existence of the phenomenal experience". By further decreasing the probability of reporting letters to only 10% and adding a final trial in which the letter matrix was either completely absent or distorted, we found more than half our subjects were unaware of its absence, or distortion i.e., were inattentionally blind. We take this as powerful evidence against the existence of any phenomenal experience component of iconic memory and consistent with the view that iconic memory demands attention and that conscious perception does as well. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Timing attention : Cuing target onset interval attenuates the attentional blink

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martens, S; Johnson, A

    Three experiments tested whether the attentional blink (AB; a deficit in reporting the second of two targets when it occurs 200-500 msec after the first) can be attenuated by providing information about the target onset asynchrony (TOA) of the second target relative to the first. Blocking the TOA

  6. Attentional blink in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador-Campos, Juan A; Aznar-Casanova, J Antonio; Bezerra, Izabela; Torro-Alves, Nelson; Sánchez, Manuel M

    2015-01-01

    To explore the temporal mechanism of attention in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and controls using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task in which two letters (T1 and T2) were presented in close temporal proximity among distractors (attentional blink [AB]). Thirty children aged between 9 and 13 years (12 with ADHD combined type and 18 controls) took part in the study. Both groups performed two kinds of RSVP task. In the single task, participants simply had to identify a target letter (T1), whereas in the dual task, they had to identify a target letter (T1) and a probe letter (T2). The ADHD and control groups were equivalent in their single-task performance. However, in the dual-task condition, there were significant between-group differences in the rate of detection of the probe letter (T2) at lag + 1 and lag + 4. The ADHD group exhibited a larger overall AB compared with controls. Our findings provide support for a link between ADHD and attentional blink.

  7. Attentional blink in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan A. Amador-Campos

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective:To explore the temporal mechanism of attention in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and controls using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP task in which two letters (T1 and T2 were presented in close temporal proximity among distractors (attentional blink [AB].Method:Thirty children aged between 9 and 13 years (12 with ADHD combined type and 18 controls took part in the study. Both groups performed two kinds of RSVP task. In the single task, participants simply had to identify a target letter (T1, whereas in the dual task, they had to identify a target letter (T1 and a probe letter (T2.Results:The ADHD and control groups were equivalent in their single-task performance. However, in the dual-task condition, there were significant between-group differences in the rate of detection of the probe letter (T2 at lag + 1 and lag + 4. The ADHD group exhibited a larger overall AB compared with controls.Conclusion:Our findings provide support for a link between ADHD and attentional blink.

  8. When attention wanders: Pupillometric signatures of fluctuations in external attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konishi, Mahiko; Brown, Kevin; Battaglini, Luca; Smallwood, Jonathan

    2017-11-01

    Attention is not always directed to events in the external environment. On occasion our thoughts wander to people and places distant from the here and now. Sometimes, this lack of external attention can compromise ongoing task performance. In the current study we set out to understand the extent to which states of internal and external attention can be determined using pupillometry as an index of ongoing cognition. In two experiments we found that periods of slow responding were associated with elevations in the baseline pupil signal over three and a half seconds prior to a behavioural response. In the second experiment we found that unlike behavioural lapses, states of off-task thought, particularly those associated with a focus on the past and with an intrusive quality, were associated with reductions in the size of the pupil over the same window prior to the probe. These data show that both states of large and small baseline pupil size are linked to states when attention is not effectively focused on the external environment, although these states have different qualities. More generally, these findings illustrate that subjective and objective markers of task performance may not be equivalent and underscore the importance of developing objective indicators that can allow these different states to be understood. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Visual working memory as visual attention sustained internally over time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Marvin M

    2011-05-01

    Visual working memory and visual attention are intimately related, such that working memory encoding and maintenance reflects actively sustained attention to a limited number of visual objects and events important for ongoing cognition and action. Although attention is typically considered to operate over perceptual input, a recent taxonomy proposes to additionally consider how attention can be directed to internal perceptual representations in the absence of sensory input, as well as other internal memories, choices, and thoughts (Chun, Golomb, & Turk-Browne, 2011). Such internal attention enables prolonged binding of features into integrated objects, along with enhancement of relevant sensory mechanisms. These processes are all limited in capacity, although different types of working memory and attention, such as spatial vs. object processing, operate independently with separate capacity. Overall, the success of maintenance depends on the ability to inhibit both external (perceptual) and internal (cognitive) distraction. Working memory is the interface by which attentional mechanisms select and actively maintain relevant perceptual information from the external world as internal representations within the mind. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Moving out of the laboratory: does nicotine improve everyday attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusted, J M; Caulfield, D; King, L; Goode, A

    2000-11-01

    The most robust demonstrations of the nicotine-related performance effects on human cognitive processes are seen in tasks that measure attention. If nicotine does have some potential for enhancing attention, the obvious question to ask is whether the effects demonstrated in the laboratory hold any significance for real-life performance. This paper describes three studies that compare the effects in smokers of a single own brand cigarette on laboratory tests of attention and on everyday analogues of these laboratory tasks. In the laboratory measures of sustained attention and in the everyday analogue, performance advantages were registered in the smoking condition. These benefits were observed in smokers who abstained for a self-determined period of not less than 2 h. The studies were unable to replicate previous research reporting positive effects of smoking on a laboratory task of selective attention, the Stroop task. Small but significant improvements in performance were registered in the everyday analogues, which involved sustaining attention in a dual task situation, a telephone directory search task and a map search task. In addition, smokers showed a significant colour-naming decrement for smoking-related stimuli in the Stroop task. This attentional bias towards smoking-related words occurred independent of whether they had abstained or recently smoked an own brand cigarette. The effect is discussed in terms of the two-component model of processing bias for emotionally valenced stimuli.

  11. Exogenous (automatic) attention to emotional stimuli: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretié, Luis

    2014-12-01

    Current knowledge on the architecture of exogenous attention (also called automatic, bottom-up, or stimulus-driven attention, among other terms) has been mainly obtained from studies employing neutral, anodyne stimuli. Since, from an evolutionary perspective, exogenous attention can be understood as an adaptive tool for rapidly detecting salient events, reorienting processing resources to them, and enhancing processing mechanisms, emotional events (which are, by definition, salient for the individual) would seem crucial to a comprehensive understanding of this process. This review, focusing on the visual modality, describes 55 experiments in which both emotional and neutral irrelevant distractors are presented at the same time as ongoing task targets. Qualitative and, when possible, meta-analytic descriptions of results are provided. The most conspicuous result is that, as confirmed by behavioral and/or neural indices, emotional distractors capture exogenous attention to a significantly greater extent than do neutral distractors. The modulatory effects of the nature of distractors capturing attention, of the ongoing task characteristics, and of individual differences, previously proposed as mediating factors, are also described. Additionally, studies reviewed here provide temporal and spatial information-partially absent in traditional cognitive models-on the neural basis of preattention/evaluation, reorienting, and sensory amplification, the main subprocesses involved in exogenous attention. A model integrating these different levels of information is proposed. The present review, which reveals that there are several key issues for which experimental data are surprisingly scarce, confirms the relevance of including emotional distractors in studies on exogenous attention.

  12. Neural mechanisms of attentional control in mindfulness meditation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter eMalinowski

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The scientific interest in meditation and mindfulness practice has recently seen an unprecedented surge. After an initial phase of presenting beneficial effects of mindfulness practice in various domains, research is now seeking to unravel the underlying psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms. Advances in understanding these processes are required for improving and fine-tuning mindfulness-based interventions that target specific conditions such as eating disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. This review presents a theoretical framework that emphasizes the central role of attentional control mechanisms in the development of mindfulness skills. It discusses the phenomenological level of experience during meditation, the different attentional functions that are involved, and relates these to the brain networks that subserve these functions. On the basis of currently available empirical evidence specific processes as to how attention exerts its positive influence are considered and it is concluded that meditation practice appears to positively impact attentional functions by improving resource allocation processes. As a result, attentional resources are allocated more fully during early processing phases which subsequently enhance further processing. Neural changes resulting from a pure form of mindfulness practice that is central to most mindfulness programs are considered from the perspective that they constitute a useful reference point for future research. Furthermore, possible interrelations between the improvement of attentional control and emotion regulation skills are discussed.

  13. Reliable and Fault-Tolerant Software-Defined Network Operations Scheme for Remote 3D Printing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dongkyun; Gil, Joon-Min

    2015-03-01

    The recent wide expansion of applicable three-dimensional (3D) printing and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies has led to a great deal of attention being focused on efficient remote control of manufacturing processes. SDN is a renowned paradigm for network softwarization, which has helped facilitate remote manufacturing in association with high network performance, since SDN is designed to control network paths and traffic flows, guaranteeing improved quality of services by obtaining network requests from end-applications on demand through the separated SDN controller or control plane. However, current SDN approaches are generally focused on the controls and automation of the networks, which indicates that there is a lack of management plane development designed for a reliable and fault-tolerant SDN environment. Therefore, in addition to the inherent advantage of SDN, this paper proposes a new software-defined network operations center (SD-NOC) architecture to strengthen the reliability and fault-tolerance of SDN in terms of network operations and management in particular. The cooperation and orchestration between SDN and SD-NOC are also introduced for the SDN failover processes based on four principal SDN breakdown scenarios derived from the failures of the controller, SDN nodes, and connected links. The abovementioned SDN troubles significantly reduce the network reachability to remote devices (e.g., 3D printers, super high-definition cameras, etc.) and the reliability of relevant control processes. Our performance consideration and analysis results show that the proposed scheme can shrink operations and management overheads of SDN, which leads to the enhancement of responsiveness and reliability of SDN for remote 3D printing and control processes.

  14. The control of attentional target selection in a colour/colour conjunction task

    OpenAIRE

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the time course of attentional object selection processes in visual search tasks where targets are defined by a combination of features from the same dimension, we measured the N2pc component as an electrophysiological marker of attentional object selection during colour/colour conjunction search. In Experiment 1, participants searched for targets defined by a combination of two colours, while ignoring distractor objects that matched only one of these colours. Reliable N2pc com...

  15. The guidance of spatial attention during visual search for colour combinations and colour configurations

    OpenAIRE

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Representations of target-defining features (attentional templates) guide the selection of target objects in visual search. We used behavioural and electrophysiological measures to investigate how such search templates control the allocation of attention in search tasks where targets are defined by the combination of two colours or by a specific spatial configuration of these colours. Target displays were preceded by spatially uninformative cue displays that contained items in one or both tar...

  16. Adult Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Overview Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty paying attention, ...

  17. Bilayer graphene quantum dot defined by topgates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Müller, André; Kaestner, Bernd; Hohls, Frank; Weimann, Thomas; Pierz, Klaus; Schumacher, Hans W., E-mail: hans.w.schumacher@ptb.de [Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Bundesallee 100, 38116 Braunschweig (Germany)

    2014-06-21

    We investigate the application of nanoscale topgates on exfoliated bilayer graphene to define quantum dot devices. At temperatures below 500 mK, the conductance underneath the grounded gates is suppressed, which we attribute to nearest neighbour hopping and strain-induced piezoelectric fields. The gate-layout can thus be used to define resistive regions by tuning into the corresponding temperature range. We use this method to define a quantum dot structure in bilayer graphene showing Coulomb blockade oscillations consistent with the gate layout.

  18. Perceptual and response-dependent profiles of attention in children with ADHD

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caspersen, Ida Dyhr; Petersen, Anders; Vangkilde, Signe

    2017-01-01

    -dependent variables of attention, the present study demonstrates a specific cognitive profile in children with ADHD. This profile distinguishes the disorder at a basic level of attentional functioning, and may define subgroups of children with ADHD in a way that is more sensitive than clinical rating scales. (Psyc...

  19. Generating a taxonomy of spatially cued attention for visual discrimination: Effects of judgment precision and set size on attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2014-01-01

    Attention precues improve the performance of perceptual tasks in many but not all circumstances. These spatial attention effects may depend upon display set size or workload, and have been variously attributed to external noise filtering, stimulus enhancement, contrast gain, or response gain, or to uncertainty or other decision effects. In this study, we document systematically different effects of spatial attention in low- and high-precision judgments, with and without external noise, and in different set sizes in order to contribute to the development of a taxonomy of spatial attention. An elaborated perceptual template model (ePTM) provides an integrated account of a complex set of effects of spatial attention with just two attention factors: a set-size dependent exclusion or filtering of external noise and a narrowing of the perceptual template to focus on the signal stimulus. These results are related to the previous literature by classifying the judgment precision and presence of external noise masks in those experiments, suggesting a taxonomy of spatially cued attention in discrimination accuracy. PMID:24939234

  20. Generating a taxonomy of spatially cued attention for visual discrimination: effects of judgment precision and set size on attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2014-11-01

    Attention precues improve the performance of perceptual tasks in many but not all circumstances. These spatial attention effects may depend upon display set size or workload, and have been variously attributed to external noise filtering, stimulus enhancement, contrast gain, or response gain, or to uncertainty or other decision effects. In this study, we document systematically different effects of spatial attention in low- and high-precision judgments, with and without external noise, and in different set sizes in order to contribute to the development of a taxonomy of spatial attention. An elaborated perceptual template model (ePTM) provides an integrated account of a complex set of effects of spatial attention with just two attention factors: a set-size dependent exclusion or filtering of external noise and a narrowing of the perceptual template to focus on the signal stimulus. These results are related to the previous literature by classifying the judgment precision and presence of external noise masks in those experiments, suggesting a taxonomy of spatially cued attention in discrimination accuracy.