WorldWideScience

Sample records for human attention evidence

  1. Attentional Bias for Uncertain Cues of Shock in Human Fear Conditioning: Evidence for Attentional Learning Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan Koenig

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a human fear conditioning experiment in which three different color cues were followed by an aversive electric shock on 0, 50, and 100% of the trials, and thus induced low (L, partial (P, and high (H shock expectancy, respectively. The cues differed with respect to the strength of their shock association (L < P < H and the uncertainty of their prediction (L < P > H. During conditioning we measured pupil dilation and ocular fixations to index differences in the attentional processing of the cues. After conditioning, the shock-associated colors were introduced as irrelevant distracters during visual search for a shape target while shocks were no longer administered and we analyzed the cues’ potential to capture and hold overt attention automatically. Our findings suggest that fear conditioning creates an automatic attention bias for the conditioned cues that depends on their correlation with the aversive outcome. This bias was exclusively linked to the strength of the cues’ shock association for the early attentional processing of cues in the visual periphery, but additionally was influenced by the uncertainty of the shock prediction after participants fixated on the cues. These findings are in accord with attentional learning theories that formalize how associative learning shapes automatic attention.

  2. Attentional Bias for Uncertain Cues of Shock in Human Fear Conditioning: Evidence for Attentional Learning Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Stephan; Uengoer, Metin; Lachnit, Harald

    2017-01-01

    We conducted a human fear conditioning experiment in which three different color cues were followed by an aversive electric shock on 0, 50, and 100% of the trials, and thus induced low (L), partial (P), and high (H) shock expectancy, respectively. The cues differed with respect to the strength of their shock association (L H). During conditioning we measured pupil dilation and ocular fixations to index differences in the attentional processing of the cues. After conditioning, the shock-associated colors were introduced as irrelevant distracters during visual search for a shape target while shocks were no longer administered and we analyzed the cues' potential to capture and hold overt attention automatically. Our findings suggest that fear conditioning creates an automatic attention bias for the conditioned cues that depends on their correlation with the aversive outcome. This bias was exclusively linked to the strength of the cues' shock association for the early attentional processing of cues in the visual periphery, but additionally was influenced by the uncertainty of the shock prediction after participants fixated on the cues. These findings are in accord with attentional learning theories that formalize how associative learning shapes automatic attention.

  3. Attentional Bias for Uncertain Cues of Shock in Human Fear Conditioning: Evidence for Attentional Learning Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Stephan; Uengoer, Metin; Lachnit, Harald

    2017-01-01

    We conducted a human fear conditioning experiment in which three different color cues were followed by an aversive electric shock on 0, 50, and 100% of the trials, and thus induced low (L), partial (P), and high (H) shock expectancy, respectively. The cues differed with respect to the strength of their shock association (L H). During conditioning we measured pupil dilation and ocular fixations to index differences in the attentional processing of the cues. After conditioning, the shock-associated colors were introduced as irrelevant distracters during visual search for a shape target while shocks were no longer administered and we analyzed the cues’ potential to capture and hold overt attention automatically. Our findings suggest that fear conditioning creates an automatic attention bias for the conditioned cues that depends on their correlation with the aversive outcome. This bias was exclusively linked to the strength of the cues’ shock association for the early attentional processing of cues in the visual periphery, but additionally was influenced by the uncertainty of the shock prediction after participants fixated on the cues. These findings are in accord with attentional learning theories that formalize how associative learning shapes automatic attention. PMID:28588466

  4. Evidence against global attention filters selective for absolute bar-orientation in human vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The finding that an item of type A pops out from an array of distractors of type B typically is taken to support the inference that human vision contains a neural mechanism that is activated by items of type A but not by items of type B. Such a mechanism might be expected to yield a neural image in which items of type A produce high activation and items of type B low (or zero) activation. Access to such a neural image might further be expected to enable accurate estimation of the centroid of an ensemble of items of type A intermixed with to-be-ignored items of type B. Here, it is shown that as the number of items in stimulus displays is increased, performance in estimating the centroids of horizontal (vertical) items amid vertical (horizontal) distractors degrades much more quickly and dramatically than does performance in estimating the centroids of white (black) items among black (white) distractors. Together with previous findings, these results suggest that, although human vision does possess bottom-up neural mechanisms sensitive to abrupt local changes in bar-orientation, and although human vision does possess and utilize top-down global attention filters capable of selecting multiple items of one brightness or of one color from among others, it cannot use a top-down global attention filter capable of selecting multiple bars of a given absolute orientation and filtering bars of the opposite orientation in a centroid task.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  6. The attentional blink reveals serial working memory encoding: evidence from virtual and human event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craston, Patrick; Wyble, Brad; Chennu, Srivas; Bowman, Howard

    2009-03-01

    Observers often miss a second target (T2) if it follows an identified first target item (T1) within half a second in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), a finding termed the attentional blink. If two targets are presented in immediate succession, however, accuracy is excellent (Lag 1 sparing). The resource sharing hypothesis proposes a dynamic distribution of resources over a time span of up to 600 msec during the attentional blink. In contrast, the ST(2) model argues that working memory encoding is serial during the attentional blink and that, due to joint consolidation, Lag 1 is the only case where resources are shared. Experiment 1 investigates the P3 ERP component evoked by targets in RSVP. The results suggest that, in this context, P3 amplitude is an indication of bottom-up strength rather than a measure of cognitive resource allocation. Experiment 2, employing a two-target paradigm, suggests that T1 consolidation is not affected by the presentation of T2 during the attentional blink. However, if targets are presented in immediate succession (Lag 1 sparing), they are jointly encoded into working memory. We use the ST(2) model's neural network implementation, which replicates a range of behavioral results related to the attentional blink, to generate "virtual ERPs" by summing across activation traces. We compare virtual to human ERPs and show how the results suggest a serial nature of working memory encoding as implied by the ST(2) model.

  7. Attentional and anatomical considerations for the representation of simple stimuli in visual short-term memory: evidence from human electrophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perron, Rosalie; Lefebvre, Christine; Robitaille, Nicolas; Brisson, Benoit; Gosselin, Frédéric; Arguin, Martin; Jolicoeur, Pierre

    2009-03-01

    Observers encoded the spatial arrangement of two or three horizontal line segments relative to a square frame presented for 150 ms either in left or right visual field and either above or below the horizontal midline. The target pattern was selected on the basis of colour (red vs. green) from an equivalent distractor pattern in the opposite left-right visual hemifield. After a retention interval of 450 or 650 ms a test pattern was presented at fixation. The task was to decide whether the test was the same as the encoded pattern or different. Selection of the to-be-memorized pattern produced an N2pc response that was not influenced by the number of line segments nor by the length of the retention interval, but that was smaller in amplitude for patterns presented in the upper visual field compared with patterns presented in the lower visual field. A sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN) followed the N2pc. The SPCN was larger for patterns with three line segments than for two, was larger for patterns encoded from lower visual field than from upper visual field, and returned to baseline sooner for the shorter retention interval than for the longer interval. These results, and others, provide an interesting and complex pattern of similarities and differences between the N2pc and SPCN, consistent with the view that N2pc reflects mechanisms of attentional selection whereas the SPCN reflects maintenance in visual short-term memory.

  8. Human treadmill walking needs attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Olivier

    2006-08-01

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

  9. The dynamic pattern of human attention

    CERN Document Server

    Zhao, Zhi-Dan; Cai, Shi-Min

    2013-01-01

    A mass of traces of human activities show diverse dynamic patterns. In this paper, we comprehensively investigate the dynamic pattern of human attention defined by the quantity of interests on subdisciplines in an online academic communication forum. Both the expansion and exploration of human attention have a power-law scaling relation with browsing actions, of which the exponent is close to that in one-dimension random walk. Furthermore, the memory effect of human attention is characterized by the power-law distributions of both the return interval time and return interval steps, which is reinforced by studying the attention shift that monotonically increase with the interval order between pairs of continuously segmental sequences of expansion. At last, the observing dynamic pattern of human attention in the browsing process is analytically described by a dynamic model whose generic mechanism is analogy to that of human spatial mobility. Thus, our work not only enlarges the research scope of human dynamics,...

  10. Paying attention to attention: evidence for an attentional contribution to the size congruity effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risko, Evan F; Maloney, Erin A; Fugelsang, Jonathan A

    2013-08-01

    Understanding the mechanisms supporting our comprehension of magnitude information represents a key goal in cognitive psychology. A major phenomenon employed in the pursuit of this goal has been the physical size congruity effect-namely, the observation that comparing the relative numerical sizes of two numbers is influenced by their relative physical sizes. The standard account of the physical size congruity effect attributes it to the automatic influence of the comparison of irrelevant physical magnitudes on numerical judgments. Here we develop an alternative account of this effect on the basis of the operation of attention in the typical size congruity display and the temporal dynamics of number comparison. We also provide a test of a number of predictions derived from this alternative account by combining a physical size congruity manipulation with a manipulation designed to alter the operation of attention within the typical size congruity display (i.e., a manipulation of the relative onsets of the digits). This test provides evidence consistent with an attentional contribution to the size congruity effect. Implications for our understanding of magnitude and the interactions between attention and magnitude are discussed.

  11. Evidence that emotion mediates social attention in rhesus macaques.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily J Bethell

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent work on non-human primates indicates that the allocation of social attention is mediated by characteristics of the attending animal, such as social status and genotype, as well as by the value of the target to which attention is directed. Studies of humans indicate that an individual's emotion state also plays a crucial role in mediating their social attention; for example, individuals look for longer towards aggressive faces when they are feeling more anxious, and this bias leads to increased negative arousal and distraction from other ongoing tasks. To our knowledge, no studies have tested for an effect of emotion state on allocation of social attention in any non-human species. METHODOLOGY: We presented captive adult male rhesus macaques with pairs of adult male conspecific face images - one with an aggressive expression, one with a neutral expression - and recorded gaze towards these images. Each animal was tested twice, once during a putatively stressful condition (i.e. following a veterinary health check, and once during a neutral (or potentially positive condition (i.e. a period of environmental enrichment. Initial analyses revealed that behavioural indicators of anxiety and stress were significantly higher after the health check than during enrichment, indicating that the former caused a negative shift in emotional state. PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: The macaques showed initial vigilance for aggressive faces across both conditions, but subsequent responses differed between conditions. Following the health check, initial vigilance was followed by rapid and sustained avoidance of aggressive faces. By contrast, during the period of enrichment, the macaques showed sustained attention towards the same aggressive faces. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence that shifts in emotion state mediate social attention towards and away from facial cues of emotion in a non-human animal. This work

  12. Attention Stabilizes Representations in the Human Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aly, Mariam; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B

    2016-02-01

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

  13. Functional evolution of new and expanded attention networks in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Gaurav H; Yang, Danica; Jamerson, Emery C; Snyder, Lawrence H; Corbetta, Maurizio; Ferrera, Vincent P

    2015-07-28

    Macaques are often used as a model system for invasive investigations of the neural substrates of cognition. However, 25 million years of evolution separate humans and macaques from their last common ancestor, and this has likely substantially impacted the function of the cortical networks underlying cognitive processes, such as attention. We examined the homology of frontoparietal networks underlying attention by comparing functional MRI data from macaques and humans performing the same visual search task. Although there are broad similarities, we found fundamental differences between the species. First, humans have more dorsal attention network areas than macaques, indicating that in the course of evolution the human attention system has expanded compared with macaques. Second, potentially homologous areas in the dorsal attention network have markedly different biases toward representing the contralateral hemifield, indicating that the underlying neural architecture of these areas may differ in the most basic of properties, such as receptive field distribution. Third, despite clear evidence of the temporoparietal junction node of the ventral attention network in humans as elicited by this visual search task, we did not find functional evidence of a temporoparietal junction in macaques. None of these differences were the result of differences in training, experimental power, or anatomical variability between the two species. The results of this study indicate that macaque data should be applied to human models of cognition cautiously, and demonstrate how evolution may shape cortical networks.

  14. Neuroticism focuses attention: evidence from SSVEPs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhinakaran, Janani; De Vos, Maarten; Thorne, Jeremy D; Kranczioch, Cornelia

    2014-06-01

    Neuroticism and negative affect have been associated with an increase in attentional investment and the greater processing of irrelevant stimuli. Previous research proposes the overinvestment of attention and a focused mental state as the mechanism of this effect. We investigated the neural correlates of this idea using a dual-stream rapid serial visual presentation paradigm with centrally presented, overlapping streams of letters that changed at different frequencies. Participants attended one stream at a time. We predicted that the more focused cognitive style associated with higher neuroticism would be reflected in the overinvestment of attention in the irrelevant stream of to-be-ignored letters, in particular, when the ignored stream was the more salient one. This was expected to lead to a smaller difference in power between the attended and unattended frequencies. Results showed that power differences between attended and unattended streams were negatively correlated with neuroticism scores in direct support of our hypothesis. Exploratory correlations also showed that extraversion was positively related to the attention difference. As extraversion has been contrasted to neuroticism and linked to increased cognitive flexibility and control in previous studies, it is possible that this trait may help in disengagement from salient stimuli. Together, these results provide the first neural correlates of the focused cognitive style idea. That the effect of extraversion is seen in the centro-parietal region and the effect of neuroticism is seen in the occipital region, indicate that these personality traits may affect the hierarchy of visual information processing. These findings provide new insight into the influence of personality traits on attention mechanisms and open up questions regarding the relationship between neuroticism, extraversion and information processing.

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

    OpenAIRE

    James C. Elliott; Barry Giesbrecht

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Moving attention - Evidence for time-invariant shifts of visual selective attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remington, R.; Pierce, L.

    1984-01-01

    Two experiments measured the time to shift spatial selective attention across the visual field to targets 2 or 10 deg from central fixation. A central arrow cued the most likely target location. The direction of attention was inferred from reaction times to expected, unexpected, and neutral locations. The development of a spatial attentional set with time was examined by presenting target probes at varying times after the cue. There were no effects of distance on the time course of the attentional set. Reaction times for far locations were slower than for near, but the effects of attention were evident by 150 msec in both cases. Spatial attention does not shift with a characteristic, fixed velocity. Rather, velocity is proportional to distance, resulting in a movement time that is invariant over the distances tested.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, James C; Giesbrecht, Barry

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Attentive novelty detection in humans is governed by pre-attentive sensory memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiitinen, H; May, P; Reinikainen, K; Näätänen, R

    1994-11-03

    Being able to detect unusual, possibly dangerous events in the environment is a fundamental ability that helps ensure the survival of biological organisms. Novelty detection requires a memory system that models (builds neural representations of) events in the environment, so that changes are detected because they violate the predictions of the model. The earliest physiologically measurable brain response to novel auditory stimuli is the mismatch negativity, MMN, a component of the event-related potential. It is elicited when a predictable series of unvarying stimuli is unexpectedly followed by a deviating stimulus. As the occurrence of MMN is not usually affected by the direction of attention, MMN reflects the operation of automatic sensory (echoic) memory, the earliest memory system that builds traces of the acoustic environment against which new stimuli can be compared. The dependence of attentive novelty detection on earlier, pre-attentive processes, however, has remained elusive. Previous, related studies seem to suggest a relationship between MMN and attentive processes, although no conclusive evidence has so far been shown. Here we address novelty detection in humans both on a physiological and behavioural level, and show how attentive novelty detection is governed by a pre-attentive sensory memory mechanism.

  19. Visual attentional load influences plasticity in the human motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Hall, Michelle G; Lye, Hayley F; Sale, Martin V; Fenlon, Laura R; Carroll, Timothy J; Riek, Stephan; Mattingley, Jason B

    2012-05-16

    Neural plasticity plays a critical role in learning, memory, and recovery from injury to the nervous system. Although much is known about the physical and physiological determinants of plasticity, little is known about the influence of cognitive factors. In this study, we investigated whether selective attention plays a role in modifying changes in neural excitability reflecting long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity. We induced LTP-like effects in the hand area of the human motor cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). During the induction of plasticity, participants engaged in a visual detection task with either low or high attentional demands. Changes in neural excitability were assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials in a small hand muscle before and after the TMS procedures. In separate experiments plasticity was induced either by paired associative stimulation (PAS) or intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Because these procedures induce different forms of LTP-like effects, they allowed us to investigate the generality of any attentional influence on plasticity. In both experiments reliable changes in motor cortex excitability were evident under low-load conditions, but this effect was eliminated under high-attentional load. In a third experiment we investigated whether the attentional task was associated with ongoing changes in the excitability of motor cortex, but found no difference in evoked potentials across the levels of attentional load. Our findings indicate that in addition to their role in modifying sensory processing, mechanisms of attention can also be a potent modulator of cortical plasticity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Elliott

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

  1. Economic principles motivating social attention in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, Benjamin Y; Parikh, Purak C; Deaner, Robert O; Platt, Michael L

    2007-07-22

    We know little about the processes by which we evaluate the opportunity to look at another person. We propose that behavioural economics provides a powerful approach to understanding this basic aspect of social attention. We hypothesized that the decision process culminating in attention to another person follows the same economic principles that govern choices about rewards such as food, drinks and money. Specifically, such rewards are discounted as a function of time, are tradable for other rewards, and reinforce work. Behavioural and neurobiological evidence suggests that looking at other people can also be described as rewarding, but to what extent these economic principles apply to social orienting remains unknown. Here, we show that the opportunity to view pictures of the opposite sex is discounted by delay to viewing, substitutes for money and reinforces work. The reward value of photos of the opposite sex varied with physical attractiveness and was greater in men, suggesting differential utility of acquiring visual information about the opposite sex in men and women. Together, these results demonstrate that choosing whom to look at follows a general set of economic principles, implicating shared neural mechanisms in both social and non-social decision making.

  2. Electrophysiological Evidence for Hyperfocusing of Spatial Attention in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreither, Johanna; Lopez-Calderon, Javier; Leonard, Carly J; Robinson, Benjamin M; Ruffle, Abigail; Hahn, Britta; Gold, James M; Luck, Steven J

    2017-04-05

    A recently proposed hyperfocusing hypothesis of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia proposes that people with schizophrenia (PSZ) tend to concentrate processing resources more narrowly but more intensely than healthy control subjects (HCS). The present study tests a key prediction of this hypothesis, namely, that PSZ will hyperfocus on information presented at the center of gaze. This should lead to greater filtering of peripheral stimuli when the task requires focusing centrally but reduced filtering of central stimuli when the task requires attending broadly in the periphery. These predictions were tested in a double oddball paradigm, in which frequent standard stimuli and rare oddball stimuli were presented at central and peripheral locations while event-related potentials were recorded. Participants were instructed to discriminate between the standard and oddball stimuli at either the central location or at the peripheral locations. PSZ and HCS showed opposite patterns of spatial bias at the level of early sensory processing, as assessed with the P1 component: PSZ exhibited stronger sensory suppression of peripheral stimuli when the task required attending narrowly to the central location, whereas HCS exhibited stronger sensory suppression of central stimuli when the task required attending broadly to the peripheral locations. Moreover, PSZ exhibited a stronger stimulus categorization response than HCS, as assessed with the P3b component, for central stimuli when the task required attending to the peripheral region. These results provide strong evidence of hyperfocusing in PSZ, which may provide a unified mechanistic account of multiple aspects of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Schizophrenia clearly involves impaired attention, but attention is complex, and delineating the precise nature of attentional dysfunction in schizophrenia has been difficult. The present study tests a new hyperfocusing hypothesis, which proposes that

  3. Feature-Selective Attentional Modulations in Human Frontoparietal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ester, Edward F; Sutterer, David W; Serences, John T; Awh, Edward

    2016-08-03

    Control over visual selection has long been framed in terms of a dichotomy between "source" and "site," where top-down feedback signals originating in frontoparietal cortical areas modulate or bias sensory processing in posterior visual areas. This distinction is motivated in part by observations that frontoparietal cortical areas encode task-level variables (e.g., what stimulus is currently relevant or what motor outputs are appropriate), while posterior sensory areas encode continuous or analog feature representations. Here, we present evidence that challenges this distinction. We used fMRI, a roving searchlight analysis, and an inverted encoding model to examine representations of an elementary feature property (orientation) across the entire human cortical sheet while participants attended either the orientation or luminance of a peripheral grating. Orientation-selective representations were present in a multitude of visual, parietal, and prefrontal cortical areas, including portions of the medial occipital cortex, the lateral parietal cortex, and the superior precentral sulcus (thought to contain the human homolog of the macaque frontal eye fields). Additionally, representations in many-but not all-of these regions were stronger when participants were instructed to attend orientation relative to luminance. Collectively, these findings challenge models that posit a strict segregation between sources and sites of attentional control on the basis of representational properties by demonstrating that simple feature values are encoded by cortical regions throughout the visual processing hierarchy, and that representations in many of these areas are modulated by attention. Influential models of visual attention posit a distinction between top-down control and bottom-up sensory processing networks. These models are motivated in part by demonstrations showing that frontoparietal cortical areas associated with top-down control represent abstract or categorical stimulus

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-21

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lutz, A.; Slagter, H.A.; Rawlings, N.B.; Francis, A.D.; Greischar, L.L.; Davidson, R.J.

    2009-01-01

    The capacity to stabilize the content of attention over time varies among individuals, and its impairment is a hallmark of several mental illnesses. Impairments in sustained attention in patients with attention disorders have been associated with increased trial-to-trial variability in reaction time

  6. Sustained attention performance during sleep deprivation: evidence of state instability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doran, S. M.; Van Dongen, H. P.; Dinges, D. F.

    2001-01-01

    Nathaniel Kleitman was the first to observe that sleep deprivation in humans did not eliminate the ability to perform neurobehavioral functions, but it did make it difficult to maintain stable performance for more than a few minutes. To investigate variability in performance as a function of sleep deprivation, n = 13 subjects were tested every 2 hours on a 10-minute, sustained-attention, psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) throughout 88 hours of total sleep deprivation (TSD condition), and compared to a control group of n = 15 subjects who were permitted a 2-hour nap every 12 hours (NAP condition) throughout the 88-hour period. PVT reaction time means and standard deviations increased markedly among subjects and within each individual subject in the TSD condition relative to the NAP condition. TSD subjects also had increasingly greater performance variability as a function of time on task after 18 hours of wakefulness. During sleep deprivation, variability in PVT performance reflected a combination of normal timely responses, errors of omission (i.e., lapses), and errors of commission (i.e., responding when no stimulus was present). Errors of omission and errors of commission were highly intercorrelated across deprivation in the TSD condition (r = 0.85, p = 0.0001), suggesting that performance instability is more likely to include compensatory effort than a lack of motivation. The marked increases in PVT performance variability as sleep loss continued supports the "state instability" hypothesis, which posits that performance during sleep deprivation is increasingly variable due to the influence of sleep initiating mechanisms on the endogenous capacity to maintain attention and alertness, thereby creating an unstable state that fluctuates within seconds and that cannot be characterized as either fully awake or asleep.

  7. Covert spatial attention is functionally intact in amblyopic human adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Mariel; Cymerman, Rachel; Smith, R Theodore; Kiorpes, Lynne; Carrasco, Marisa

    2016-12-01

    Certain abnormalities in behavioral performance and neural signaling have been attributed to a deficit of visual attention in amblyopia, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a diverse array of visual deficits following abnormal binocular childhood experience. Critically, most have inferred attention's role in their task without explicitly manipulating and measuring its effects against a baseline condition. Here, we directly investigate whether human amblyopic adults benefit from covert spatial attention-the selective processing of visual information in the absence of eye movements-to the same degree as neurotypical observers. We manipulated both involuntary (Experiment 1) and voluntary (Experiment 2) attention during an orientation discrimination task for which the effects of covert spatial attention have been well established in neurotypical and special populations. In both experiments, attention significantly improved accuracy and decreased reaction times to a similar extent (a) between the eyes of the amblyopic adults and (b) between the amblyopes and their age- and gender-matched controls. Moreover, deployment of voluntary attention away from the target location significantly impaired task performance (Experiment 2). The magnitudes of the involuntary and voluntary attention benefits did not correlate with amblyopic depth or severity. Both groups of observers showed canonical performance fields (better performance along the horizontal than vertical meridian and at the lower than upper vertical meridian) and similar effects of attention across locations. Despite their characteristic low-level vision impairments, covert spatial attention remains functionally intact in human amblyopic adults.

  8. Diverting attention suppresses human amygdala responses to faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen eMorawetz

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies disagree as to whether the processing of emotion-laden visual stimuli is dependent upon the availability of attentional resources or entirely capacity-free. Two main factors have been proposed to be responsible for the discrepancies: the differences in the perceptual attentional demands of the tasks used to divert attentional resources from emotional stimuli and the spatial location of the affective stimuli in the visual field. To date, no neuroimaging report addressed these two issues in the same set of subjects. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the effects of high and low attentional load as well as different stimulus locations on face processing in the amygdala using fMRI to provide further evidence for one of the two opposing theories. We were able for the first time to directly test the interaction of attentional load and spatial location. The results revealed a strong attenuation of amygdala activity when the attentional load was high. The eccentricity of the emotional stimuli did not affect responses in the amygdala and no interaction effect between attentional load and spatial location was found. We conclude that the processing of emotional stimuli in the amygdala is strongly dependent on the availability of attentional resources without a preferred processing of stimuli presented in the periphery and provide firm evidence for the concept of the attentional load theory of emotional processing in the amygdala.

  9. Selective Attention in Cross-Situational Statistical Learning: Evidence from Eye Tracking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen eYu

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available A growing set of data show that adults are quite good at accumulating statistical evidence across individually ambiguous learning contexts with multiple novel words and multiple novel objects (Fitneva & Christiansen, 2011; Kachergis, Yu, & Shiffrin, 2012; Yu & Smith, 2007; Yurovsky, Fricker, Yu, & Smith, under resubmission; experimental studies also indicate that infants and young children do this kind of learning as well (Smith & Yu, 2008; Vouloumanos & Werker, 2009. The present study provides evidence for the operation of selective attention in the course of cross-situational learning with two main goals. The first was to show that selective attention is critical for the underlying mechanisms that support successful cross-situational learning. The second one was to test whether an associative mechanism with selective attention can explain momentary gaze data in cross-situational learning. Toward these goals, we collected eye movement data from participants when they engaged in a cross-situational statistical learning task. Various gaze patterns were extracted, analyzed and compared between strong learners who acquired more word-referent pairs through training, and average and weak learners who learned fewer pairs. Fine-grained behavioural patterns from gaze data reveal how learners control their attention after hearing a word, how they selectively attend to individual objects which compete for attention within a learning trial, and how statistical evidence is accumulated trial by trial, and integrated across words, across objects, and across word-object mappings. Taken together, those findings from eye movements provide new evidence on the real-time statistical learning mechanisms operating in the human cognitive system.

  10. Evidence for selective attention in the insect brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bivort, Benjamin L; van Swinderen, Bruno

    2016-06-01

    The capacity for selective attention appears to be required by any animal responding to an environment containing multiple objects, although this has been difficult to study in smaller animals such as insects. Clear operational characteristics of attention however make study of this crucial brain function accessible to any animal model. Whereas earlier approaches have relied on freely behaving paradigms placed in an ecologically relevant context, recent tethered preparations have focused on brain imaging and electrophysiology in virtual reality environments. Insight into brain activity during attention-like behavior has revealed key elements of attention in the insect brain. Surprisingly, a variety of brain structures appear to be involved, suggesting that even in the smallest brains attention might involve widespread coordination of neural activity.

  11. 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.

  12. The attentive homunculus: ERP evidence for somatotopic allocation of attention in tactile search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Bettina; Tziraki, Maria; Jones, Alexander

    2016-04-01

    Our brain constantly receives tactile information from the body's surface. We often only become aware of this information when directing our attention towards the body. Here, we report a study investigating the behavioural and neural response when selecting a target amongst distractor vibrations presented simultaneously to several locations either across the hands or body. Comparable visual search studies have revealed the N2pc as the neural correlate of visual selective attention. Analogously, we describe an enhanced negativity contralateral to the tactile target side. This effect is strongest over somatosensory areas and lasts approximately 200ms from the onset of the somatosensory N140 ERP component. Based on these characteristics we named this electrophysiological signature of attentional tactile target selection during tactile search the N140-central-contralateral (N140cc). Furthermore, we present supporting evince that the N140cc reflects attentional enhancement of target rather than suppression of distractor locations; the component was not reliably altered by distractor but rather by target location changes. Taken together, our findings present a novel electrophysiological marker of tactile search and show how attentional selection of touch operates by mainly enhancing task relevant locations within the somatosensory homunculus.

  13. On the role of attention in binocular rivalry: electrophysiological evidence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Urte Roeber

    Full Text Available During binocular rivalry visual consciousness fluctuates between two dissimilar monocular images. We investigated the role of attention in this phenomenon by comparing event-related potentials (ERPs when binocular-rivalry stimuli were attended with when they were unattended. Stimuli were dichoptic, orthogonal gratings that yielded binocular rivalry and dioptic, identically oriented gratings that yielded binocular fusion. Events were all possible orthogonal changes in orientation of one or both gratings. We had two attention conditions: In the attend-to-grating condition, participants had to report changes in perceived orientation, focussing their attention on the gratings. In the attend-to-fixation condition participants had to report changes in a central fixation target, taking attention away from the gratings. We found, surprisingly, that attending to rival gratings yielded a smaller ERP component (the N1, from 160-210 ms than attending to the fixation target. To explain this paradoxical effect of attention, we propose that rivalry occurs in the attend-to-fixation condition (we found an ERP signature of rivalry in the form of a sustained negativity from 210-300 ms but that the mechanism processing the stimulus changes is more adapted in the attend-to-grating condition than in the attend-to-fixation condition. This is consistent with the theory that adaptation gives rise to changes of visual consciousness during binocular rivalry.

  14. Bilingual Advantage in Attentional Control: Evidence from the Forced-Attention Dichotic Listening Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soveri, Anna; Laine, Matti; Hamalainen, Heikki; Hugdahl, Kenneth

    2011-01-01

    It has been claimed that due to their experience in controlling two languages, bilinguals exceed monolinguals in certain executive functions, especially inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli. Here we investigated the effects of bilingualism on an executive phonological task, namely the forced-attention dichotic listening task with syllabic…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Phonological awareness intervention and attention efficiency in children at risk: evidence of effectiveness on visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porta, María Elsa; Carrada, Mariana Andrea; Ison, Mirta Susana

    2016-05-31

    Using a pretest and posttest comparison group design, this 20 weeks study investigated the effects of a phonological awareness training program (PATP) on attention efficiency (AE) in 57 children (age = 5 to 6 years) at risk. The experimental group received the PATP (EG; n=30). We obtained pretest and posttest measures of phonological awareness and AE. The ANOVA showed significant interaction effects of the PATP and time on phonological awareness and AE. For both groups, posttest AE score means were higher than pretest score means. Pretest measures showed that the AE score mean for the EG was lower than that for the Control Group (CG; n=31); whereas posttest data showed no between group differences. Contrast analysis showed that the EG gained a greater level of phonological awareness ability and AE over CG. Our results indicate that children's attention efficiency not only improved as they developed, but also increased by means of a PATP.

  18. Human head orientation and eye visibility as indicators of attention for goats (Capra hircus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawroth, Christian; McElligott, Alan G

    2017-01-01

    Animals domesticated for working closely with humans (e.g. dogs) have been shown to be remarkable in adjusting their behaviour to human attentional stance. However, there is little evidence for this form of information perception in species domesticated for production rather than companionship. We tested domestic ungulates (goats) for their ability to differentiate attentional states of humans. In the first experiment, we investigated the effect of body and head orientation of one human experimenter on approach behaviour by goats. Test subjects (N = 24) significantly changed their behaviour when the experimenter turned its back to the subjects, but did not take into account head orientation alone. In the second experiment, goats (N = 24) could choose to approach one of two experimenters, while only one was paying attention to them. Goats preferred to approach humans that oriented their body and head towards the subject, whereas head orientation alone had no effect on choice behaviour. In the third experiment, goats (N = 32) were transferred to a separate test arena and were rewarded for approaching two experimenters providing a food reward during training trials. In subsequent probe test trials, goats had to choose between the two experimenters differing in their attentional states. Like in Experiments 1 and 2, goats did not show a preference for the attentive person when the inattentive person turned her head away from the subject. In this last experiment, goats preferred to approach the attentive person compared to a person who closed their eyes or covered the whole face with a blind. However, goats showed no preference when one person covered only the eyes. Our results show that animals bred for production rather than companionship show differences in their approach and choice behaviour depending on human attentive state. However, our results contrast with previous findings regarding the use of the head orientation to attribute attention and show the importance

  19. Lesion evidence for the critical role of the intraparietal sulcus in spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillebert, Céline R; Mantini, Dante; Thijs, Vincent; Sunaert, Stefan; Dupont, Patrick; Vandenberghe, Rik

    2011-06-01

    Based on lesion mapping studies, the inferior parietal lobule and temporoparietal junction are considered the critical parietal regions for spatial-attentional deficits. Lesion evidence for a key role of the intraparietal sulcus, a region featuring prominently in non-human primate studies and human functional imaging studies of the intact brain, is still lacking, probably due to the exceptional nature of isolated intraparietal sulcus lesions. We combined behavioural testing and functional imaging in two patients with a focal intraparietal sulcus lesion sparing the inferior parietal lobule and temporoparietal junction to examine the critical contribution of the intraparietal sulcus to spatial attention. Case H.H. had a focal ischaemic lesion (1.8 cm3) that was confined to the posterior segment of the left intraparietal sulcus, whereas Case N.V. had a partially reversible lesion of the middle segment of the right intraparietal sulcus extending into the superior parietal lobule (13.8 cm3). The performance of these cases was contrasted with five cases with a classical inferior parietal lesion, as well as with a group of 31 age-matched controls. In the behavioural study, the patients performed an orientation discrimination task on a peripheral target (eccentricity 7.6°) that was preceded by a central spatial cue. We manipulated both the cue validity (17% trials with an invalid spatial cue) and the presence of a competing distracter in the visual field contralateral to the target (17% double stimulation trials). The ability of the patients with an intraparietal sulcus lesion to reorient their spatial focus of attention and to select between competing stimuli was impaired for contralesional targets compared with controls, similarly to what we saw in the inferior parietal group. Furthermore, we could observe that the deficit in Case N.V. resolved with regression of the lesion. To further evaluate the correspondence between spatial-attentional deficits and the

  20. Attention to odor modulates thalamocortical connectivity in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plailly, Jane; Howard, James D; Gitelman, Darren R; Gottfried, Jay A

    2008-05-14

    It is widely assumed that the thalamus is functionally irrelevant for the sense of smell. Although animal studies suggest that the mediodorsal (MD) thalamus links primary olfactory (piriform) cortex to olfactory neocortical projection sites in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), this transthalamic route is regarded to be inconsequential, particularly compared with a direct monosynaptic pathway linking piriform cortex and OFC. In this study, we combined functional magnetic resonance imaging with novel effective connectivity techniques to measure attention-dependent network coherence within direct (nonthalamic) and indirect (transthalamic) olfactory pathways. Human subjects were presented with (or without) an odor and with (or without) a tone, while selectively attending to either modality. Attention to odor significantly modulated neural coupling within the indirect pathway, strengthening MD thalamus-OFC connectivity. Critically, these effects were modality specific (odor > tone attention), directionally sensitive (forward > backward connections), and selective to route (indirect > direct pathway). Our findings support the idea that the human transthalamic pathway is an active modulatory target of olfactory attention. The results imply that olfaction, like all other sensory modalities, requires a thalamic relay, if only to consciously analyze a smell.

  1. Independent effects of motivation and spatial attention in the human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayer, Mareike; Rossi, Valentina; Vanlessen, Naomi; Grass, Annika; Schacht, Annekathrin; Pourtois, Gilles

    2016-12-28

    Motivation and attention constitute major determinants of human perception and action. Nonetheless, it remains a matter of debate whether motivation effects on the visual cortex depend on the spatial attention system, or rely on independent pathways. This study investigated the impact of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human primary and extrastriate visual cortex by employing a factorial manipulation of the two factors in a cued pattern discrimination task. During stimulus presentation, we recorded event-related potentials and pupillary responses. Motivational relevance increased the amplitudes of the C1 component at ∼70 ms after stimulus onset. This modulation occurred independently of spatial attention effects, which were evident at the P1 level. Furthermore, motivation and spatial attention had independent effects on preparatory activation as measured by the contingent negative variation; and pupil data showed increased activation in response to incentive targets. Taken together, these findings suggest independent pathways for the influence of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human visual cortex.

  2. Exploring the modulation of attentional capture by spatial attentional control settings: converging evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishigami, Yoko; Hamm, Jeff P; Satel, Jason; Klein, Raymond M

    2012-12-01

    Automatic attentional capture by a salient distractor can be prevented by spatial attentional control settings (ACSs) (e.g., Yantis and Jonides in J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 16:121-134, 1990). Earlier, converging evidence for a spatial ACS (Eason et al. 1969) was found in event-related potentials (ERPs). In these studies, the ACS was defined by a single target-relevant location. In an extension, Ishigami et al. (Vis Cogn 17:431-456, 2009) demonstrated a successful ACS in performance that was based on multiple (two) target-relevant locations. The purpose of the current study is to seek converging evidence from ERPs for a spatial ACS defined by multiple (two) target-relevant locations, using the methods in Ishigami et al. (Vis Cogn 17:431-456, 2009). Any one of four figure-8s brightened uninformatively (cue) before presentation of a digit target calling for a speeded identification (2 or 5). A spatial ACS was encouraged because in different blocks, the digit targets appeared only on the horizontal or vertical axis. Performance was more impaired following the invalid-attended cues than following invalid-unattended cues, consistent with Ishigami et al. (Vis Cogn 17:431-456, 2009) and verifying a successful spatial ACS. The direction of attention significantly affected the visual evoked potentials (VEPs) elicited by otherwise identical cues: the amplitudes of early VEPs were greater when the location the cue was presented in was target-relevant than when the location was target-irrelevant. These results re-affirm that attentional capture by irrelevant salient stimuli can be modulated by spatial ACSs defined by multiple target locations in performance and provide converging evidence from ERPs for the previously established behavioral findings.

  3. In vivo functional neurochemistry of human cortical cholinergic function during visuospatial attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindner, Michael; Bell, Tiffany; Iqbal, Somya; Mullins, Paul Gerald

    2017-01-01

    Cortical acetylcholine is involved in key cognitive processes such as visuospatial attention. Dysfunction in the cholinergic system has been described in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders. Levels of brain acetylcholine can be pharmacologically manipulated, but it is not possible to directly measure it in vivo in humans. However, key parts of its biochemical cascade in neural tissue, such as choline, can be measured using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). There is evidence that levels of choline may be an indirect but proportional measure of acetylcholine availability in brain tissue. In this study, we measured relative choline levels in the parietal cortex using functional (event-related) MRS (fMRS) during performance of a visuospatial attention task, with a modelling approach verified using simulated data. We describe a task-driven interaction effect on choline concentration, specifically driven by contralateral attention shifts. Our results suggest that choline MRS has the potential to serve as a proxy of brain acetylcholine function in humans. PMID:28192451

  4. Concurrent Working Memory Load Can Facilitate Selective Attention: Evidence for Specialized Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Soojin; Kim, Min-Shik; Chun, Marvin M.

    2007-01-01

    Load theory predicts that concurrent working memory load impairs selective attention and increases distractor interference (N. Lavie, A. Hirst, J. W. de Fockert, & E. Viding, see record 2004-17825-003). Here, the authors present new evidence that the type of concurrent working memory load determines whether load impairs selective attention or not.…

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. A review of current evidence for the causal impact of attentional bias on fear and anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bockstaele, Bram; Verschuere, Bruno; Tibboel, Helen; De Houwer, Jan; Crombez, Geert; Koster, Ernst H W

    2014-05-01

    Prominent cognitive theories postulate that an attentional bias toward threatening information contributes to the etiology, maintenance, or exacerbation of fear and anxiety. In this review, we investigate to what extent these causal claims are supported by sound empirical evidence. Although differences in attentional bias are associated with differences in fear and anxiety, this association does not emerge consistently. Moreover, there is only limited evidence that individual differences in attentional bias are related to individual differences in fear or anxiety. In line with a causal relation, some studies show that attentional bias precedes fear or anxiety in time. However, other studies show that fear and anxiety can precede the onset of attentional bias, suggesting circular or reciprocal causality. Importantly, a recent line of experimental research shows that changes in attentional bias can lead to changes in anxiety. Yet changes in fear and anxiety also lead to changes in attentional bias, which confirms that the relation between attentional bias and fear and anxiety is unlikely to be unidirectional. Finally, a similar causal relation between interpretation bias and anxiety has been documented. In sum, there is evidence in favor of causality, yet a strict unidirectional cause-effect model is unlikely to hold. The relation between attentional bias and fear and anxiety is best described as a bidirectional, maintaining, or mutually reinforcing relation.

  7. Interaction of streaming and attention in human auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutschalk, Alexander; Rupp, André; Dykstra, Andrew R

    2015-01-01

    Serially presented tones are sometimes segregated into two perceptually distinct streams. An ongoing debate is whether this basic streaming phenomenon reflects automatic processes or requires attention focused to the stimuli. Here, we examined the influence of focused attention on streaming-related activity in human auditory cortex using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Listeners were presented with a dichotic paradigm in which left-ear stimuli consisted of canonical streaming stimuli (ABA_ or ABAA) and right-ear stimuli consisted of a classical oddball paradigm. In phase one, listeners were instructed to attend the right-ear oddball sequence and detect rare deviants. In phase two, they were instructed to attend the left ear streaming stimulus and report whether they heard one or two streams. The frequency difference (ΔF) of the sequences was set such that the smallest and largest ΔF conditions generally induced one- and two-stream percepts, respectively. Two intermediate ΔF conditions were chosen to elicit bistable percepts (i.e., either one or two streams). Attention enhanced the peak-to-peak amplitude of the P1-N1 complex, but only for ambiguous ΔF conditions, consistent with the notion that automatic mechanisms for streaming tightly interact with attention and that the latter is of particular importance for ambiguous sound sequences.

  8. New approaches to the study of human brain networks underlying spatial attention and related processes

    OpenAIRE

    Driver, Jon; Blankenburg, Felix; Bestmann, Sven; Ruff, Christian C.

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive processes, such as spatial attention, are thought to rely on extended networks in the human brain. Both clinical data from lesioned patients and fMRI data acquired when healthy subjects perform particular cognitive tasks typically implicate a wide expanse of potentially contributing areas, rather than just a single brain area. Conversely, evidence from more targeted interventions, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or invasive microstimulation of the brain, or selective...

  9. New beginnings: evidence that the meditational regimen can lead to optimization of perception, attention, cognition, and other functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bushell, William C

    2009-08-01

    A "framework" is presented for understanding empirically confirmed and unconfirmed phenomena in the Indo-Tibetan meditation system, from an integrative perspective, and providing evidence that certain meditative practices enable meditators to realize the innate human potential to perceive light "at the limits imposed by quantum mechanics," on the level of individual photons. This is part of a larger Buddhist agenda to meditatitively develop perceptual/attentional capacities to achieve penetrating insight into the nature of phenomena. Such capacities may also allow advanced meditators to perceive changes in natural scenes that are "hidden" from persons with "normal" attentional capacities, according to research on "change blindness," and to enhance their visual system functioning akin to high-speed and time-lapse photography, in toto allowing for the perception, as well as sophisticated understanding, of the "moment to moment change or impermanence" universally characteristic of the phenomenal world but normally outside untrained attention and perception according to Buddhist doctrine.

  10. Sensing, assessing, and augmenting threat detection: behavioral, neuroimaging, and brain stimulation evidence for the critical role of attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raja eParasuraman

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly identifying the potentially threatening movements of other people and objects—biological motion perception and action understanding—is critical to maintaining security in many civilian and military settings. A key approach to improving threat detection in these environments is to sense when less than ideal conditions exist for the human observer, assess that condition relative to an expected standard, and if necessary use tools to augment human performance. Action perception is typically viewed as a relatively primitive, automatic function immune to top-down effects. However, recent research shows that attention is a top-down factor that has a critical influence on the identification of threat-related targets. In this paper we show that detection of motion-based threats is attention sensitive when surveillance images are obscured by other movements, when they are visually degraded, when other stimuli or tasks compete for attention, or when low-probability threats must be watched for over long periods of time—all features typical of operational security settings. Neuroimaging studies reveal that action understanding recruits a distributed network of brain regions, including the superior temporal cortex, intraparietal cortex, and inferior frontal cortex. Within this network, attention modulates activation of the superior temporal sulcus and middle temporal gyrus. The dorsal frontoparietal network may provide the source of attention-modulation signals to action representation areas. Stimulation of this attention network should therefore enhance threat detection. We show that transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS at 2 mA accelerates perceptual learning of participants performing a challenging threat-detection task. Together, cognitive, neuroimaging, and brain stimulation studies provide converging evidence for the critical role of attention in the detection and understanding of threat-related intentional actions.

  11. Timing deficits in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) : Evidence from neurocognitive and neuroimaging studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noreika, Valdas; Falter, Christine M.; Rubia, Katya

    Relatively recently, neurocognitive and neuroimaging studies have indicated that individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have deficits in a range of timing functions and their underlying neural networks. Despite this evidence, timing deficits in ADHD are still somewhat

  12. Timing deficits in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) : Evidence from neurocognitive and neuroimaging studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noreika, Valdas; Falter, Christine M.; Rubia, Katya

    2013-01-01

    Relatively recently, neurocognitive and neuroimaging studies have indicated that individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have deficits in a range of timing functions and their underlying neural networks. Despite this evidence, timing deficits in ADHD are still somewhat n

  13. A review of current evidence for the causal impact of attentional bias on fear and anxiety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Bockstaele, B.; Verschuere, B.; Tibboel, H.; de Houwer, J.; Crombez, G.; Koster, E.H.W.

    2014-01-01

    Prominent cognitive theories postulate that an attentional bias toward threatening information contributes to the etiology, maintenance, or exacerbation of fear and anxiety. In this review, we investigate to what extent these causal claims are supported by sound empirical evidence. Although differen

  14. The Association of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with Socioeconomic Disadvantage: Alternative Explanations and Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Ginny; Ford, Tamsin; Rosenberg, Rachel; Kelly, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Background: Studies throughout Northern Europe, the United States and Australia have found an association between childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and family socioeconomic disadvantage. We report further evidence for the association and review potential causal pathways that might explain the link. Methods: Secondary…

  15. Distractor Devaluation Effect in the Attentional Blink: Direct Evidence for Distractor Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kihara, Ken; Yagi, Yoshihiko; Takeda, Yuji; Kawahara, Jun I.

    2011-01-01

    When two targets (T1 and T2) are embedded in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), T2 is often missed (attentional blink, AB) if T2 follows T1 by less than 500 ms. Some have proposed that inhibition of a distractor following T1 contributes to the AB, but no direct evidence supports this proposal. This study examined distractor inhibition by…

  16. The whole is faster than its parts: evidence for temporally independent attention to distinct spatial locations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Andrew; Matthews, Nestor

    2016-02-01

    Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence suggests that visual attention operates in parallel at distinct spatial locations and samples the environment in periodic episodes. This combination of spatial and temporal characteristics raises the question of whether attention samples locations in a phase-locked or temporally independent manner. If attentional sampling rates were phase locked, attention would be limited by a global sampling rate. However, if attentional sampling rates were temporally independent, they could operate additively to sample higher rates of information. We tested these predictions by requiring participants to identify targets in 2 or 4 rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) streams, synchronized or asynchronized to manipulate the rate of new information globally (across streams). Identification accuracy exhibited little or no change when the global rate of new information doubled from 7.5 to 15 Hz (Experiment 1) or quadrupled to 30 Hz (Experiment 2). This relatively stable identification accuracy occurred even though participants reliably discriminated 7.5 Hz synchronous displays from displays globally asynchronized at 15 and 30 Hz (Metamer Control Experiment). Identification accuracy in the left visual field also significantly exceeded that in the right visual field. Overall, our results are consistent with temporally independent attention across distinct spatial locations and support previous reports of a right parietal "when" pathway specialized for temporal attention.

  17. The Role of Human Parietal Cortex in Attention Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Shihui; Jiang, Yi; Gu, Hua; Rao, Hengyi; Mao, Lihua; Cui, Yong; Zhai, Renyou

    2004-01-01

    The parietal cortex has been proposed as part of the neural network for guiding spatial attention. However, it is unclear to what degree the parietal cortex contributes to the attentional modulations of activities of the visual cortex and the engagement of the frontal cortex in the attention network. We recorded behavioural performance and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-08-01

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

  19. Neural evidence reveals the rapid effects of reward history on selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Mary H; Giesbrecht, Barry

    2015-05-05

    Selective attention is often framed as being primarily driven by two factors: task-relevance and physical salience. However, factors like selection and reward history, which are neither currently task-relevant nor physically salient, can reliably and persistently influence visual selective attention. The current study investigated the nature of the persistent effects of irrelevant, physically non-salient, reward-associated features. These features affected one of the earliest reliable neural indicators of visual selective attention in humans, the P1 event-related potential, measured one week after the reward associations were learned. However, the effects of reward history were moderated by current task demands. The modulation of visually evoked activity supports the hypothesis that reward history influences the innate salience of reward associated features, such that even when no longer relevant, nor physically salient, these features have a rapid, persistent, and robust effect on early visual selective attention.

  20. Spatiotopic coding of BOLD signal in human visual cortex depends on spatial attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia Crespi

    Full Text Available The neural substrate of the phenomenological experience of a stable visual world remains obscure. One possible mechanism would be to construct spatiotopic neural maps where the response is selective to the position of the stimulus in external space, rather than to retinal eccentricities, but evidence for these maps has been inconsistent. Here we show, with fMRI, that when human subjects perform concomitantly a demanding attentive task on stimuli displayed at the fovea, BOLD responses evoked by moving stimuli irrelevant to the task were mostly tuned in retinotopic coordinates. However, under more unconstrained conditions, where subjects could attend easily to the motion stimuli, BOLD responses were tuned not in retinal but in external coordinates (spatiotopic selectivity in many visual areas, including MT, MST, LO and V6, agreeing with our previous fMRI study. These results indicate that spatial attention may play an important role in mediating spatiotopic selectivity.

  1. Preferential access to emotion under attentional blink: evidence for threshold phenomenon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szczepanowski Remigiusz

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study provides evidence that the activation strength produced by emotional stimuli must pass a threshold level in order to be consciously perceived, contrary to the assumption of continuous quality of representation. An analysis of receiver operating characteristics (ROC for attentional blink performance was used to distinguish between two (continuous vs. threshold models of emotion perception by inspecting two different ROC’s shapes. Across all conditions, the results showed that performance in the attentional blink task was better described by the two-limbs ROC predicted by the Krantz threshold model than by the curvilinear ROC implied by the signal-detection theory.

  2. Neurophysiological evidence for selective auditory attention deficits in children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Courtney; Sanders, Lisa; Neville, Helen

    2006-09-21

    Recent behavioral studies suggest that children with poor language abilities have difficulty with attentional filtering, or noise exclusion. However, as behavioral performance represents the summed activity of multiple stages of processing, the temporal locus of the filtering deficit remains unclear. Here, we used an event-related potential (ERP) paradigm to compare the earliest mechanisms of selective auditory attention in 12 children with specific language impairment (SLI) and 12 matched control children. Participants were cued to attend selectively to one of two simultaneously presented narrative stories. The stories differed in location (left/right speaker), narration voice (male/female), and content. ERPs were recorded to linguistic and nonlinguistic probe stimuli embedded in the attended and unattended story. By 100 ms, typically developing children showed an amplification of the sensorineural response to attended as compared to unattended stimuli. In contrast, children with SLI showed no evidence of sensorineural modulation with attention, despite behavioral performance indicating that they were performing the task as directed. These data are the first to show that SLI children have marked and specific deficits in the neural mechanisms of attention and, further, localize the timing of the attentional deficit to the earliest stages of sensory processing. Deficits in the effects of selective attention on early sensorineural processing may give rise to the diverse set of sensory and linguistic impairments in SLI children.

  3. Attentional dynamics during free picture viewing: Evidence from oculomotor behavior and electrocortical activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eFischer

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Most empirical evidence on attentional control is based on brief presentations of rather abstract stimuli. Results revealed indications for a dynamic interplay between bottom-up and top-down attentional mechanisms. Here we used a more naturalistic task to examine temporal signatures of attentional mechanisms on fine and coarse time scales. Subjects had to inspect digitized copies of sixty paintings, each shown for 40 seconds. We measured simultaneously oculomotor behavior and electrophysiological correlates of brain activity to compare early and late intervals (1 of inspection time of each picture (picture viewing and (2 of the full experiment (time on task. For picture viewing, we found an increase in fixation duration and a decrease of saccadic amplitude while these parameters did not change with time on task. Furthermore, early in picture viewing we observed higher spatial and temporal similarity of gaze behavior. Analyzing electrical brain activity revealed for components of the eye fixation-related potential (EFRP; C1, N1 and P2 changes during picture viewing; no variation was obtained for the power in the frontal beta- and in the theta activity. Time on task analyses demonstrated no effects on the EFRP amplitudes but an increase of power in the frontal theta and beta band activity. Thus, behavioral and electrophysiological measures similarly show characteristic changes during picture viewing, indicating a shifting balance of its underlying (bottom-up and top-down attentional mechanisms. Time on task also modulated top-down attention but probably represent a different attentional mechanism.

  4. Watch out! Magnetoencephalographic evidence for early modulation of attention orienting by fearful gaze cueing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fanny Lachat

    Full Text Available Others' gaze and emotional facial expression are important cues for the process of attention orienting. Here, we investigated with magnetoencephalography (MEG whether the combination of averted gaze and fearful expression may elicit a selectively early effect of attention orienting on the brain responses to targets. We used the direction of gaze of centrally presented fearful and happy faces as the spatial attention orienting cue in a Posner-like paradigm where the subjects had to detect a target checkerboard presented at gazed-at (valid trials or non gazed-at (invalid trials locations of the screen. We showed that the combination of averted gaze and fearful expression resulted in a very early attention orienting effect in the form of additional parietal activity between 55 and 70 ms for the valid versus invalid targets following fearful gaze cues. No such effect was obtained for the targets following happy gaze cues. This early cue-target validity effect selective of fearful gaze cues involved the left superior parietal region and the left lateral middle occipital region. These findings provide the first evidence for an effect of attention orienting induced by fearful gaze in the time range of C1. In doing so, they demonstrate the selective impact of combined gaze and fearful expression cues in the process of attention orienting.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamers, Martijn J M; Roelofs, Ardi

    2007-11-01

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

  6. No Evidence for a Food-Related Attention Bias after Thought Suppression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Soetens

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate whether food-related thought suppression results in an attention bias for food cues. Fifty-nine female students took part in the experiment. All completed a modified exogenous cueing task containing pictures of foods and toys with a similar valence (presentation duration: 250 ms and 1050 ms. Half of the participants were instructed to suppress thoughts about food and the other half was given control instructions, prior to completing the exogenous cueing task. No evidence was found for an enhanced cue validity effect for food cues after food-related thought suppression. Hence, the preliminary results do not provide support for the hypothesis that thought suppression is sufficient to yield an attention bias. Since the study was the first to employ an exogenous cueing task to study the attentional processing of food cues, replication is warranted.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    /central-intralaminar (oculomotor thalamus), caudal intralaminar/parafascicular, suprageniculate/limitans, and medial pulvinar/lateral posterior. Hence, the cortical network generating a top-down control signal for relocating attention acts in concert with a spatially selective thalamic apparatus-the set of active nuclei mirroring...... the thalamic territory of cortical "eye-field" areas, thus supporting theories which propose the visuomotor origins of covert attentional selection.......Spatial attention modulates signal processing within visual nuclei of the thalamus--but do other nuclei govern the locus of attention in top-down mode? We examined functional MRI (fMRI) data from three subjects performing a task requiring covert attention to 1 of 16 positions in a circular array...

  9. Transient human auditory cortex activation during volitional attention shifting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhlig, Christian Harm; Gutschalk, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    While strong activation of auditory cortex is generally found for exogenous orienting of attention, endogenous, intra-modal shifting of auditory attention has not yet been demonstrated to evoke transient activation of the auditory cortex. Here, we used fMRI to test if endogenous shifting of attention is also associated with transient activation of the auditory cortex. In contrast to previous studies, attention shifts were completely self-initiated and not cued by transient auditory or visual stimuli. Stimuli were two dichotic, continuous streams of tones, whose perceptual grouping was not ambiguous. Participants were instructed to continuously focus on one of the streams and switch between the two after a while, indicating the time and direction of each attentional shift by pressing one of two response buttons. The BOLD response around the time of the button presses revealed robust activation of the auditory cortex, along with activation of a distributed task network. To test if the transient auditory cortex activation was specifically related to auditory orienting, a self-paced motor task was added, where participants were instructed to ignore the auditory stimulation while they pressed the response buttons in alternation and at a similar pace. Results showed that attentional orienting produced stronger activity in auditory cortex, but auditory cortex activation was also observed for button presses without focused attention to the auditory stimulus. The response related to attention shifting was stronger contralateral to the side where attention was shifted to. Contralateral-dominant activation was also observed in dorsal parietal cortex areas, confirming previous observations for auditory attention shifting in studies that used auditory cues.

  10. Direct evidence for attention-dependent influences of the frontal eye-fields on feature-responsive visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinen, Klaartje; Feredoes, Eva; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Ruff, Christian C; Driver, Jon

    2014-11-01

    Voluntary selective attention can prioritize different features in a visual scene. The frontal eye-fields (FEF) are one potential source of such feature-specific top-down signals, but causal evidence for influences on visual cortex (as was shown for "spatial" attention) has remained elusive. Here, we show that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applied to right FEF increased the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals in visual areas processing "target feature" but not in "distracter feature"-processing regions. TMS-induced BOLD signals increase in motion-responsive visual cortex (MT+) when motion was attended in a display with moving dots superimposed on face stimuli, but in face-responsive fusiform area (FFA) when faces were attended to. These TMS effects on BOLD signal in both regions were negatively related to performance (on the motion task), supporting the behavioral relevance of this pathway. Our findings provide new causal evidence for the human FEF in the control of nonspatial "feature"-based attention, mediated by dynamic influences on feature-specific visual cortex that vary with the currently attended property.

  11. Attention Performance Measured by Attention Network Test is Correlated with Global and Regional Efficiency of Structural Human Brain Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Xiao

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Functional neuroimaging studies have indicated the involvement of separate brain areas in three distinct attention systems: alerting, orienting and executive control (EC. However, the structural correlates underlying attention remains unexplored. Here, we utilized graph theory to examine the neuroanatomical substrates of the three attention systems measured by attention network test (ANT in 65 healthy subjects. White matter connectivity, assessed with DTI deterministic tractography was modeled as a structural network comprising 90 nodes defined by the Automated Anatomical Labeling (AAL template. Linear regression analyses were conducted to explore the relationship between topological parameters and the three attentional effects. We found a significant positive correlation between EC function and global efficiency of the whole brain network. At the regional level, node-specific correlations were discovered between regional efficiency and all three ANT components, including dorsolateral superior frontal gyrus, thalamus and parahippocampal gyrus for EC, thalamus and inferior parietal gyrus for alerting, and paracentral lobule and inferior occipital gyrus for orienting. Our findings highlight the fundamental architecture of interregional structural connectivity involved in attention and could provide new insights into the anatomical basis underlying human behavior.

  12. [Pay attention to the human health risk of drinking low mineral water].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Weiqun

    2015-10-01

    The consumption of low mineral drinking water has been increasing around the world with the shortage of water resources and the development of advanced water treatment technologies. Evidences from systematic document reviews, ecological epidemiological observations, and experimental drinking water intervention studies indicate that lack of minerals in drinking water may cause direct or indirect harm to human health, among which, the associations of magnesium in water with cardiovascular disease, as well as calcium in water with osteoporosis, are well proved by sufficient evidence. This article points out that it is urgent to pay more attention to the issues about establishment of health risk evaluation system on susceptible consuming population, establishment of lab evaluation system on water quality and health effect for non-traditional drinking water, and program of safety mineralization for demineralized or desalinated water and so on.

  13. Dissociating location-specific inhibition and attention shifts: evidence against the disengagement account of contingent capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Brian A; Folk, Charles L

    2012-08-01

    The study of attentional capture has provided a rich context for assessing the relative influence of top-down and bottom-up factors in visual perception. Some have argued that attentional capture by a salient, irrelevant stimulus is contingent on top-down attentional set (e.g., Folk, Remington, & Johnston, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 18:1030-1044, 1992). Others, however, have argued that capture is driven entirely by bottom-up salience and that top-down factors influence the postallocation speed of disengagement from the irrelevant stimulus (e.g., Theeuwes, Acta Psychologica 135:77-99, 2010a). In support of this speed-of-disengagement hypothesis, recent findings from the modified spatial-cuing paradigm show that cues carrying a no-go target property produce reverse, or negative, cuing effects, consistent with inhibition of the cue location from which attention has been very quickly disengaged (Belopolsky, Schreij, & Theeuwes, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72, 326-341, 2010). Across six experiments, we show that this inhibitory process can be dissociated from shifts of spatial attention and is, thus, not a reliable marker of capture. We conclude that the data are inconsistent with the predictions of the disengagement hypothesis.

  14. Attentional modulation of temporal contrast sensitivity in human vision.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isamu Motoyoshi

    Full Text Available Recent psychophysical studies have shown that attention can alter contrast sensitivities for temporally broadband stimuli such as flashed gratings. The present study examined the effect of attention on the contrast sensitivity for temporally narrowband stimuli with various temporal frequencies. Observers were asked to detect a drifting grating of 0-40 Hz presented gradually in the peripheral visual field with or without a concurrent letter identification task in the fovea. We found that removal of attention by the concurrent task reduced the contrast sensitivity for gratings with low temporal frequencies much more profoundly than for gratings with high temporal frequencies and for flashed gratings. The analysis revealed that the temporal contrast sensitivity function had a more band-pass shape with poor attention. Additional experiments showed that this was also true when the target was presented in various levels of luminance noise. These results suggest that regardless of the presence of external noise, attention extensively modulates visual sensitivity for sustained retinal inputs.

  15. Lifespan development of attentiveness in domestic dogs: drawing parallels with humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Jessica Wallis

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Attention is pivotal to consciousness, perception, cognition, and working memory in all mammals, and therefore changes in attention over the lifespan are likely to influence development and aging of all of these functions. Due to their evolutionary and developmental history, the dog is being recognised as an important species for modelling human healthspan, aging and associated diseases. In this study, we investigated the normal lifespan development of attentiveness of pet dogs in naturalistic situations, and compared the resulting cross-sectional developmental trajectories with data from previous studies in humans. We tested a sample of 145 Border collies (six months to 14 years with humans and objects or food as attention attractors, in order to assess their attentional capture, sustained and selective attention and sensorimotor abilities. Our results reveal differences in task relevance in sustained attentional performance when watching a human or a moving object, which may be explained by life-long learning processes involving such stimuli. During task-switching we found that dogs’ selective attention and sensorimotor abilities showed differences between age groups, with performance peaking at middle age. Dogs’ sensorimotor abilities showed a quadratic distribution with age and were correlated with selective attention performance. Our results support the hypothesis that the development and senescence of sensorimotor and attentional control may be fundamentally interrelated. Additionally, attentional capture, sustained attention and sensorimotor control developmental trajectories paralleled those found in humans. Given that the development of attention is similar across humans and dogs, we propose that the same regulatory mechanisms are likely to be present in both species. Finally, this cross-sectional study provides the first description of age group changes in attention over the lifespan of pet dogs.

  16. Lifespan development of attentiveness in domestic dogs: drawing parallels with humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, Lisa J; Range, Friederike; Müller, Corsin A; Serisier, Samuel; Huber, Ludwig; Zsó, Virányi

    2014-01-01

    Attention is pivotal to consciousness, perception, cognition, and working memory in all mammals, and therefore changes in attention over the lifespan are likely to influence development and aging of all of these functions. Due to their evolutionary and developmental history, the dog is being recognized as an important species for modeling human healthspan, aging and associated diseases. In this study, we investigated the normal lifespan development of attentiveness of pet dogs in naturalistic situations, and compared the resulting cross-sectional developmental trajectories with data from previous studies in humans. We tested a sample of 145 Border collies (6 months to 14 years) with humans and objects or food as attention attractors, in order to assess their attentional capture, sustained and selective attention, and sensorimotor abilities. Our results reveal differences in task relevance in sustained attentional performance when watching a human or a moving object, which may be explained by life-long learning processes involving such stimuli. During task switching we found that dogs' selective attention and sensorimotor abilities showed differences between age groups, with performance peaking at middle age. Dogs' sensorimotor abilities showed a quadratic distribution with age and were correlated with selective attention performance. Our results support the hypothesis that the development and senescence of sensorimotor and attentional control may be fundamentally interrelated. Additionally, attentional capture, sustained attention, and sensorimotor control developmental trajectories paralleled those found in humans. Given that the development of attention is similar across humans and dogs, we propose that the same regulatory mechanisms are likely to be present in both species. Finally, this cross-sectional study provides the first description of age group changes in attention over the lifespan of pet dogs.

  17. Neural mechanisms underlying pain's ability to reorient attention: evidence for sensitization of somatic threat detectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowman, Robert

    2014-06-01

    Pain typically signals damage to the body, and as such can be perceived as threatening and can elicit a strong emotional response. This ecological significance undoubtedly underlies pain's well-known ability to demand attention. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this ability are poorly understood. Previous work from the author's laboratory has reported behavioral evidence suggesting that participants disengage their attention from an incorrectly cued visual target stimulus and reorient it toward a somatic target more rapidly when the somatic target is painful than when it is nonpainful. Furthermore, electrophysiological data suggest that this effect is mediated by a stimulus-driven process, in which somatic threat detectors located in the dorsal posterior insula activate the medial and lateral prefrontal cortex areas involved in reorienting attention toward the painful target. In these previous studies, the painful and nonpainful somatic targets were given in separate experiments involving different participants. Here, the nonpainful and painful somatic targets were presented in random order within the same block of trials. Unlike in the previous studies, both the nonpainful and painful somatic targets activated the somatic threat detectors, and the times taken to disengage and reorient attention were the same for both. These electrophysiological and behavioral data suggest that somatic threat detectors can become sensitized to nonpainful somatic stimuli that are presented in a context that includes painful stimuli.

  18. Emotional modulation of attention affects time perception: evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Maria; Uusberg, Andero; Allik, Jüri; Kreegipuu, Kairi

    2014-06-01

    Emotional effects on human time perception are generally attributed to arousal speeding up or slowing down the internal clock. The aim of the present study is to investigate the less frequently considered role of attention as an alternative mediator of these effects with the help of event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants produced short intervals (0.9, 1.5, 2.7, and 3.3s) while viewing high arousal images with pleasant and unpleasant contents in comparison to neutral images. Behavioral results revealed that durations were overproduced for the 0.9s interval whereas, for 2.7 and 3.3s intervals, underproduction was observed. The effect of affective valence was present for the shorter durations and decreased as the target intervals became longer. More specifically, the durations for unpleasant images were less overproduced in the 0.9s intervals, and for the 1.5s trials, durations for unpleasant images were slightly underproduced, compared to pleasant images, which were overproduced. The analysis of different ERP components suggests possible attention processes related to the timing of affective images in addition to changes in pacemaker speed. Early Posterior Negativity (EPN) was larger for positive than for negative images, indicating valence-specific differences in activation of early attention mechanisms. Within the early P1 and the Late Positive Potential (LPP) components, both pleasant and unpleasant stimuli exhibited equal affective modulation. Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) remained independent of both timing performance and affective modulation. This pattern suggests that both pleasant and unpleasant stimuli enhanced arousal and captured attention, but the latter effect was more pronounced for pleasant stimuli. The valence-specificity of affective attention revealed by ERPs combined with behavioral timing results suggests that attention processes indeed contribute to emotion-induced temporal distortions, especially for longer target intervals

  19. Timing deficits in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): evidence from neurocognitive and neuroimaging studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreika, Valdas; Falter, Christine M; Rubia, Katya

    2013-01-01

    Relatively recently, neurocognitive and neuroimaging studies have indicated that individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have deficits in a range of timing functions and their underlying neural networks. Despite this evidence, timing deficits in ADHD are still somewhat neglected in the literature and mostly omitted from reviews on ADHD. There is therefore a lack of integrative reviews on the up-to-date evidence on neurocognitive and neurofunctional deficits of timing in ADHD and their significance with respect to other behavioural and cognitive deficits. The present review provides a synthetic overview of the evidence for neurocognitive and neurofunctional deficits in ADHD in timing functions, and integrates this evidence with the cognitive neuroscience literature of the neural substrates of timing. The review demonstrates that ADHD patients are consistently impaired in three major timing domains, in motor timing, perceptual timing and temporal foresight, comprising several timeframes spanning milliseconds, seconds, minutes and longer intervals up to years. The most consistent impairments in ADHD are found in sensorimotor synchronisation, duration discrimination, reproduction and delay discounting. These neurocognitive findings of timing deficits in ADHD are furthermore supported by functional neuroimaging studies that show dysfunctions in the key inferior fronto-striato-cerebellar and fronto-parietal networks that mediate the timing functions. Although there is evidence that these timing functions are inter-correlated with other executive functions that are well established to be impaired in the disorder, in particular working memory, attention, and to a lesser degree inhibitory control, the key timing deficits appear to survive when these functions are controlled for, suggesting independent cognitive deficits in the temporal domain. There is furthermore strong evidence for an association between timing deficits and behavioural

  20. Visuospatial attention deficits in developmental dyslexia: evidence from visual and mental number line bisection tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabay, Yafit; Gabay, Shai; Schiff, Rachel; Ashkenazi, Sarit; Henik, Avishai

    2013-12-01

    Previous research has shown that individuals with DD (developmental dyslexia) demonstrated a left mini neglect on visual line (VL) bisection tasks, which has been commonly referred to as right parietal dysfunction. However, insufficient reading experience characterizes dyslexia and may call into question the validity of this interpretation, since the VL bisection task has been found to be influenced by reading habits. The current study investigated whether altered performance of individuals with DD on bisection tasks may be attributed to impaired attentional mechanisms or to insufficient reading exposure. DD and control groups performed visual and mental number line bisection tasks, which have been shown to be modulated differently by reading habits. In both tasks, the magnitude of left bisection errors was significantly larger in the DD group compared with controls. This finding suggests attentional mechanisms act differently in dyslexia and supports evidence linking dyslexia to decreased function of the left hemisphere.

  1. Inhibitory processes and cognitive flexibility: evidence for the theory of attentional inertia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Introzzi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to discriminate the differential contribution of different inhibitory processes -perceptual, cognitive and behavioral inhibition- to switching cost effect associated with alternation cognitive tasks. A correlational design was used. Several experimental paradigms (e.g., Stop signal, visual search, Stemberg´s experimental and Simon paradigm were adapted and included in a computerized program called TAC (Introzzi & Canet Juric, 2014 to the assessment of the different cognitive processes. The final sample consisted of 45 adults (18-50 years. Perceptual and behavioral inhibition shows moderate and low correlations with attentional cost, cognitive inhibition shows no relation with flexibility and only perceptual inhibition predicts switching costs effects, suggesting that different inhibitory processes contribute differentially to switch cost. This could be interpreted as evidence to Attentional Inertia Theory main argument which postulates that inhibition plays an essential role in the ability to flexibly switch between tasks and/or representations.

  2. Bilingualism and increased attention to speech: Evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuipers, Jan Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume

    2015-10-01

    A number of studies have shown that from an early age, bilinguals outperform their monolingual peers on executive control tasks. We previously found that bilingual children and adults also display greater attention to unexpected language switches within speech. Here, we investigated the effect of a bilingual upbringing on speech perception in one language. We recorded monolingual and bilingual toddlers' event-related potentials (ERPs) to spoken words preceded by pictures. Words matching the picture prime elicited an early frontal positivity in bilingual participants only, whereas later ERP amplitudes associated with semantic processing did not differ between groups. These results add to the growing body of evidence that bilingualism increases overall attention during speech perception whilst semantic integration is unaffected.

  3. Deficits in Human Visual Spatial Attention Following Thalamic Lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-07-20

    on Event Related Potentials, Stanford, CA. June. 11. Downing, C.J. & Pinker , S. (1985) in Attention and Performance XI ed. Posner, M.I. & Marin, O.S.M...Avenue La Jolla, CA 92093 Alexandria, VA 22333 - Dr. Steven Zornetzer Dr. Michael J. Zyda Office of Naval Research Naval Postgraduate School Code 1140 Code

  4. Usability of a theory of visual attention (TVA) for parameter-based measurement of attention I: evidence from normal subjects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen's (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes f...... clinical tests measuring similar constructs. The empirical independence of the four TVA parameters is suggested by nonsignificant or, in the case of processing speed and working memory storage capacity, only modest correlations between the parameter values.......The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen's (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes...... of these parameters. The present study was designed to examine whether (a) a shortened procedure bears sufficient accuracy and reliability, (b) whether the procedures reveal attentional constructs with clinical relevance, and (c) whether the mathematically independent parameters are also empirically independent...

  5. Influence of worry on sustained attention to emotional stimuli: evidence from the late positive potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhouse, Katie L; Woody, Mary L; Owens, Max; Gibb, Brandon E

    2015-02-19

    There is preliminary evidence to suggest that worry is associated with dysregulated emotion processing resulting from sustained attention to emotional versus neutral stimuli; however, this hypothesis has not been directly tested in prior research. Therefore, the current study used the event-related late positive potential (LPP) to directly examine if high levels of trait worry moderate sustained attention to emotional versus neutral stimuli. Electroencephalogram data was recorded while twenty-two women passively viewed neutral, positive, dysphoric, and threatening emotional images. Consistent with our hypotheses, higher levels of worry were associated with larger LPP amplitudes for emotional images but not neutral images. Importantly, the positive correlations between trait worry and LPP responses to threatening and positive images were maintained even when controlling for the influence of current anxiety symptoms, suggesting that worry may influence emotion processing whether or not the person is currently anxious. This sustained attention to emotional information may be one mechanism underlying how trait worry increases risk for anxiety disorders.

  6. Sentence-based attention mechanisms in word learning: Evidence from a computational model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afra eAlishahi

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available When looking for the referents of nouns, adults and young children are sensitive to cross- situational statistics (Yu & Smith, 2007; Smith & Yu, 2008. In addition, the linguistic context that a word appears in has been shown to act as a powerful attention mechanism for guiding sentence processing and word learning (Landau & Gleitman, 1985; Altmann & Kamide, 1999; Kako & Trueswell, 2000. Koehne & Crocker (2010, 2011 investigate the interaction between cross-situational evidence and guidance from the sentential context in an adult language learning scenario. Their studies reveal that these learning mechanisms interact in a complex manner: they can be used in a complementary way when context helps reduce referential uncertainty; they influence word learning about equally strongly when cross-situational and contextual evidence are in conflict; and contextual cues block aspects of cross-situational learning when both mechanisms are independently applicable. To address this complex pattern of findings, we present a probabilistic computational model of word learning which extends a previous cross-situational model (Fazly et al., 2010 with an attention mechanism based on sentential cues. Our model uses a framework that seamlessly combines the two sources of evidence in order to study their emerging pattern of interaction during the process of word learning. Simulations of the experiments of Koehne & Crocker (2010, 2011 reveal an overall patterns of results that are in line with their findings. Importantly, we demonstrate that our model does not need to explicitly assign priority to either source of evidence in order to produce these results: learning patterns emerge as a result of a probabilistic interaction between the two types of cues. Moreover, using a computational model allows us to examine the developmental trajectory of the differential roles of cross-situational and sentential cues in word learning.

  7. The Social Origins of Sustained Attention in One-Year-Old Human Infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B

    2016-05-09

    The ability to sustain attention is a major achievement in human development and is generally believed to be the developmental product of increasing self-regulatory and endogenous (i.e., internal, top-down, voluntary) control over one's attention and cognitive systems [1-5]. Because sustained attention in late infancy is predictive of future development, and because early deficits in sustained attention are markers for later diagnoses of attentional disorders [6], sustained attention is often viewed as a constitutional and individual property of the infant [6-9]. However, humans are social animals; developmental pathways for seemingly non-social competencies evolved within the social group and therefore may be dependent on social experience [10-13]. Here, we show that social context matters for the duration of sustained attention episodes in one-year-old infants during toy play. Using head-mounted eye tracking to record moment-by-moment gaze data from both parents and infants, we found that when the social partner (parent) visually attended to the object to which infant attention was directed, infants, after the parent's look, extended their duration of visual attention to the object. Looks to the same object by two social partners is a well-studied phenomenon known as joint attention, which has been shown to be critical to early learning and to the development of social skills [14, 15]. The present findings implicate joint attention in the development of the child's own sustained attention and thus challenge the current understanding of the origins of individual differences in sustained attention, providing a new and potentially malleable developmental pathway to the self-regulation of attention.

  8. Attraction of position preference by spatial attention throughout human visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, Barrie P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/36939755X; Harvey, Ben M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/318755319; Dumoulin, Serge O.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314406514

    2014-01-01

    Voluntary spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Here, we examined the effects of spatial attention on spatial position selectivity in humans. We measured population receptive fields (pRFs) using high-field functional MRI (fMRI) (7T) while subjects performed an

  9. Attraction of position preference by spatial attention throughout human visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, Barrie P.; Harvey, Ben M.; Dumoulin, Serge O.

    2014-01-01

    Voluntary spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Here, we examined the effects of spatial attention on spatial position selectivity in humans. We measured population receptive fields (pRFs) using high-field functional MRI (fMRI) (7T) while subjects performed an att

  10. Focus-of-attention for human activity recognition from UAVs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burghouts, G.J.; Eekeren, A.W.M. van; Dijk, J.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a system to extract metadata about human activities from full-motion video recorded from a UAV. The pipeline consists of these components: tracking, motion features, representation of the tracks in terms of their motion features, and classification of each track as one of the hum

  11. Focus-of-attention for human activity recognition from UAVs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burghouts, G.J.; Eekeren, A.W.M. van; Dijk, J.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a system to extract metadata about human activities from full-motion video recorded from a UAV. The pipeline consists of these components: tracking, motion features, representation of the tracks in terms of their motion features, and classification of each track as one of the hum

  12. Attentional switching in humans and flies: rivalry in large and miniature brains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Mark Miller

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Human perception, and consequently behaviour, is driven by attention dynamics. In the special case of rivalry, where attention alternates between competing percepts, such dynamics can be measured and their determinants investigated. A recent study in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, now shows that the origins of attentional rivalry may be quite ancient. Furthermore, individual variation exists in the rate of attentional rivalry in both humans and flies, and in humans this is under substantial genetic influence. In the pathophysiological realm, slowing of rivalry rate is associated with the heritable psychiatric condition, bipolar disorder. Fly rivalry may therefore prove a powerful model to examine genetic and molecular influences on rivalry rate, and may even shed light on human cognitive and behavioural dysfunction.

  13. Spatial Attention Changes Excitability of Human Visual Cortex to Direct Stimulation

    OpenAIRE

    Bestmann, Sven; Ruff, Christian C; Blakemore, Colin; Driver, Jon; Thilo, Kai V.

    2007-01-01

    Summary Conscious perception depends not only on sensory input, but also on attention [1, 2]. Recent studies in monkeys [3–6] and humans [7–12] suggest that influences of spatial attention on visual awareness may reflect top-down influences on excitability of visual cortex. Here we tested this specifically, by providing direct input into human visual cortex via cortical transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to produce illusory visual percepts, called phosphenes. We found that a lower TMS in...

  14. Attentional load modulates responses of human primary visual cortex to invisible stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint

    2007-03-20

    Visual neuroscience has long sought to determine the extent to which stimulus-evoked activity in visual cortex depends on attention and awareness. Some influential theories of consciousness maintain that the allocation of attention is restricted to conscious representations [1, 2]. However, in the load theory of attention [3], competition between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli for limited-capacity attention does not depend on conscious perception of the irrelevant stimuli. The critical test is whether the level of attentional load in a relevant task would determine unconscious neural processing of invisible stimuli. Human participants were scanned with high-field fMRI while they performed a foveal task of low or high attentional load. Irrelevant, invisible monocular stimuli were simultaneously presented peripherally and were continuously suppressed by a flashing mask in the other eye [4]. Attentional load in the foveal task strongly modulated retinotopic activity evoked in primary visual cortex (V1) by the invisible stimuli. Contrary to traditional views [1, 2, 5, 6], we found that availability of attentional capacity determines neural representations related to unconscious processing of continuously suppressed stimuli in human primary visual cortex. Spillover of attention to cortical representations of invisible stimuli (under low load) cannot be a sufficient condition for their awareness.

  15. Endogenous attention signals evoked by threshold contrast detection in human superior colliculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katyal, Sucharit; Ress, David

    2014-01-15

    Human superior colliculus (SC) responds in a retinotopically selective manner when attention is deployed on a high-contrast visual stimulus using a discrimination task. To further elucidate the role of SC in endogenous visual attention, high-resolution fMRI was used to demonstrate that SC also exhibits a retinotopically selective response for covert attention in the absence of significant visual stimulation using a threshold-contrast detection task. SC neurons have a laminar organization according to their function, with visually responsive neurons present in the superficial layers and visuomotor neurons in the intermediate layers. The results show that the response evoked by the threshold-contrast detection task is significantly deeper than the response evoked by the high-contrast speed discrimination task, reflecting a functional dissociation of the attentional enhancement of visuomotor and visual neurons, respectively. Such a functional dissociation of attention within SC laminae provides a subcortical basis for the oculomotor theory of attention.

  16. Visual attention, an indicator of human-animal relationships? A study of domestic horses (Equus caballus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochais, C; Henry, S; Sankey, C; Nassur, F; Góracka-Bruzda, A; Hausberger, M

    2014-01-01

    As visual attention is an intrinsic part of social relationships, and because relationships are built on a succession of interactions, their establishment involves learning and attention. The emotional, rewarding or punishing, content can modulate selective attention. In horses, the use of positive/negative reinforcement during training determines short and long-term human-horse relationships. In a recent study in horses, where either food or withers' grooming were used as a reward, it appeared that only the food-rewarded horses learned the task and show better relationship with humans. In the present study, we hypothesized that this differential effect of grooming/food rewards on learning performances could be due to attentional processes. Monitoring, gazes and behaviors directed towards the trainer revealed that the use of a food reward (FR) as positive reinforcement increased horses' selective attention towards their trainer. Conversely, horses trained with grooming reward (GR) expressed more inattentive responses and did not show a decrease of "agitated" behavior. However, individual plotting of attention vs. rate of learning performances revealed a complex pattern. Thus, while all FR horses showed a "window" of attention related to faster learning performances, GR horses' pattern followed an almost normal curve where the extreme animals (i.e., highest and lowest attention) had the slowest learning performances. On the other hand, learning was influenced by attention: at the end of training, the more attentive horses had also better learning performances. This study, based on horses, contributes to the general debate on the place of attentional processes at the interface of emotion and cognition and opens new lines of thought about individual sensitivities (only individuals can tell what an appropriate reward is), attentional processes and learning.

  17. Visual attention, an indicator of human-animal relationships? A study of domestic horses (Equus caballus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Céline eRochais

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available As visual attention is an intrinsic part of social relationships, and because relationships are built on a succession of interactions, their establishment involves learning and attention. The emotional, rewarding or punishing, content can modulate selective attention. In horses, the use of positive/negative reinforcement during training determines short and long-term human-horse relationships. In a recent study in horses, where either food or withers’ grooming were used as a reward, it appeared that only the food-rewarded horses learned the task and show better relationship with humans. In the present study, we hypothesized that this differential effect of grooming/food rewards on learning performances could be due to attentional processes. Monitoring, gazes and behaviors directed towards the trainer revealed that the use of a food reward (FR as positive reinforcement increased horses’ selective attention towards their trainer. Conversely, horses trained with grooming reward (GR expressed more inattentive responses and did not show a decrease of agitated behavior. However, individual plotting of attention versus rate of learning performances revealed a complex pattern. Thus, while all FR horses showed a window of attention related to faster learning performances, GR horses’ pattern followed an almost normal curve where the extreme animals (i.e. highest and lowest attention had the slowest learning performances. On the other hand, learning was influenced by attention: at the end of training, the more attentive horses had also better learning performances. This study, based on horses, contributes to the general debates on the place of attentional processes at the interface of emotion and cognition and open new lines of thought about individual sensitivities (only individuals can tell what an appropriate reward is, attentional processes and learning.

  18. Pupillometric Evidence for the Decoupling of Attention from Perceptual Input during Offline Thought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smallwood, Jonathan; Brown, Kevin S.; Tipper, Christine; Giesbrecht, Barry; Franklin, Michael S.; Mrazek, Michael D.; Carlson, Jean M.; Schooler, Jonathan W.

    2011-01-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that the brain can efficiently process both external and internal information. The processing of internal information is a distinct “offline” cognitive mode that requires not only spontaneously generated mental activity; it has also been hypothesized to require a decoupling of attention from perception in order to separate competing streams of internal and external information. This process of decoupling is potentially adaptive because it could prevent unimportant external events from disrupting an internal train of thought. Here, we use measurements of pupil diameter (PD) to provide concrete evidence for the role of decoupling during spontaneous cognitive activity. First, during periods conducive to offline thought but not during periods of task focus, PD exhibited spontaneous activity decoupled from task events. Second, periods requiring external task focus were characterized by large task evoked changes in PD; in contrast, encoding failures were preceded by episodes of high spontaneous baseline PD activity. Finally, high spontaneous PD activity also occurred prior to only the slowest 20% of correct responses, suggesting high baseline PD indexes a distinct mode of cognitive functioning. Together, these data are consistent with the decoupling hypothesis, which suggests that the capacity for spontaneous cognitive activity depends upon minimizing disruptions from the external world. PMID:21464969

  19. Pupillometric evidence for the decoupling of attention from perceptual input during offline thought.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Smallwood

    Full Text Available Accumulating evidence suggests that the brain can efficiently process both external and internal information. The processing of internal information is a distinct "offline" cognitive mode that requires not only spontaneously generated mental activity; it has also been hypothesized to require a decoupling of attention from perception in order to separate competing streams of internal and external information. This process of decoupling is potentially adaptive because it could prevent unimportant external events from disrupting an internal train of thought. Here, we use measurements of pupil diameter (PD to provide concrete evidence for the role of decoupling during spontaneous cognitive activity. First, during periods conducive to offline thought but not during periods of task focus, PD exhibited spontaneous activity decoupled from task events. Second, periods requiring external task focus were characterized by large task evoked changes in PD; in contrast, encoding failures were preceded by episodes of high spontaneous baseline PD activity. Finally, high spontaneous PD activity also occurred prior to only the slowest 20% of correct responses, suggesting high baseline PD indexes a distinct mode of cognitive functioning. Together, these data are consistent with the decoupling hypothesis, which suggests that the capacity for spontaneous cognitive activity depends upon minimizing disruptions from the external world.

  20. Evidence for widespread convergent evolution around human microsatellites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J Vowles

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Microsatellites are a major component of the human genome, and their evolution has been much studied. However, the evolution of microsatellite flanking sequences has received less attention, with reports of both high and low mutation rates and of a tendency for microsatellites to cluster. From the human genome we generated a database of many thousands of (AC(n flanking sequences within which we searched for common characteristics. Sequences flanking microsatellites of similar length show remarkable levels of convergent evolution, indicating shared mutational biases. These biases extend 25-50 bases either side of the microsatellite and may therefore affect more than 30% of the entire genome. To explore the extent and absolute strength of these effects, we quantified the observed convergence. We also compared homologous human and chimpanzee loci to look for evidence of changes in mutation rate around microsatellites. Most models of DNA sequence evolution assume that mutations are independent and occur randomly. Allowances may be made for sites mutating at different rates and for general mutation biases such as the faster rate of transitions over transversions. Our analysis suggests that these models may be inadequate, in that proximity to even very short microsatellites may alter the rate and distribution of mutations that occur. The elevated local mutation rate combined with sequence convergence, both of which we find evidence for, also provide a possible resolution for the apparently contradictory inferences of mutation rates in microsatellite flanking sequences.

  1. Electrophysiological evidence for impaired attentional engagement with phonologically-acceptable misspellings in developmental dyslexia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola eSavill

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Event-related potential (ERP studies of word recognition have provided fundamental insights into the time-course and stages of visual and auditory word form processing in reading. Here, we used ERPs to track the time-course of phonological processing in dyslexic adults and matched controls. Participants engaged in semantic judgments of visually presented high-cloze probability sentences ending either with (a their best completion word, (b a homophone of the best completion, (c a pseudohomophone of the best completion, or (d an unrelated word, to examine the interplay of phonological and orthographic processing in reading and the stage(s of processing affected in developmental dyslexia. Early ERP peaks (N1, P2, N2 were modulated in amplitude similarly in the two groups of participants. However, dyslexic readers failed to show the P3a modulation seen in control participants for unexpected homophones and pseudohomophones (i.e., sentence completions that are acceptable phonologically but are misspelt. Furthermore, P3a amplitudes significantly correlated with reaction times in each experimental condition. Our results showed no sign of a deficit in accessing phonological representations during reading, since sentence primes yielded phonological priming effects that did not differ between participant groups in the early phases of processing. On the other hand, we report new evidence for a deficient attentional engagement with orthographically unexpected but phonologically expected words in dyslexia, irrespective of task focus on orthography or phonology. In our view, this result is consistent with deficiency in reading occurring from the point at which attention is oriented to phonological analysis, which may underlie broader difficulties in sublexical decoding.

  2. Bilingualism increases neural response consistency and attentional control: evidence for sensory and cognitive coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krizman, Jennifer; Skoe, Erika; Marian, Viorica; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Auditory processing is presumed to be influenced by cognitive processes - including attentional control - in a top-down manner. In bilinguals, activation of both languages during daily communication hones inhibitory skills, which subsequently bolster attentional control. We hypothesize that the heightened attentional demands of bilingual communication strengthens connections between cognitive (i.e., attentional control) and auditory processing, leading to greater across-trial consistency in the auditory evoked response (i.e., neural consistency) in bilinguals. To assess this, we collected passively-elicited auditory evoked responses to the syllable [da] in adolescent Spanish-English bilinguals and English monolinguals and separately obtained measures of attentional control and language ability. Bilinguals demonstrated enhanced attentional control and more consistent brainstem and cortical responses. In bilinguals, but not monolinguals, brainstem consistency tracked with language proficiency and attentional control. We interpret these enhancements in neural consistency as the outcome of strengthened attentional control that emerged from experience communicating in two languages.

  3. 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

  4. Overlapping Parietal Activity in Memory and Perception: Evidence for the Attention to Memory Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabeza, Roberto; Mazuz, Yonatan S.; Stokes, Jared; Kragel, James E.; Woldorff, Marty G.; Ciaramelli, Elisa; Olson, Ingrid R.; Moscovitch, Morris

    2011-01-01

    The specific role of different parietal regions to episodic retrieval is a topic of intense debate. According to the Attention to Memory (AtoM) model, dorsal parietal cortex (DPC) mediates top-down attention processes guided by retrieval goals, whereas ventral parietal cortex (VPC) mediates bottom-up attention processes captured by the retrieval…

  5. Attentional enhancement via selection and pooling of early sensory responses in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pestilli, Franco; Carrasco, Marisa; Heeger, David J; Gardner, Justin L

    2011-12-08

    The computational processes by which attention improves behavioral performance were characterized by measuring visual cortical activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging as humans performed a contrast-discrimination task with focal and distributed attention. Focal attention yielded robust improvements in behavioral performance accompanied by increases in cortical responses. Quantitative analysis revealed that if performance were limited only by the sensitivity of the measured sensory signals, the improvements in behavioral performance would have corresponded to an unrealistically large reduction in response variability. Instead, behavioral performance was well characterized by a pooling and selection process for which the largest sensory responses, those most strongly modulated by attention, dominated the perceptual decision. This characterization predicts that high-contrast distracters that evoke large responses should negatively impact behavioral performance. We tested and confirmed this prediction. We conclude that attention enhanced behavioral performance predominantly by enabling efficient selection of the behaviorally relevant sensory signals.

  6. Attentional inhibition in bilingual naming performance: Evidence from delta-plot analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ardi eRoelofs

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available It has been argued that inhibition is a mechanism of attentional control in bilingual language performance. Evidence suggests that effects of inhibition are largest in the tail of a response time (RT distribution in non-linguistic and monolingual performance domains. We examined this for bilingual performance by conducting delta-plot analyses of naming RTs. Dutch-English bilingual speakers named pictures using English while trying to ignore superimposed neutral Xs or Dutch distractor words that were semantically related, unrelated, or translations. The mean RTs revealed semantic, translation, and lexicality effects. The delta plots leveled off with increasing RT, more so when the mean distractor effect was smaller as compared with larger. This suggests that the influence of inhibition is largest towards the distribution tail, corresponding to what is observed in other performance domains. Moreover, the delta plots suggested that more inhibition was applied by high- than low-proficiency individuals in the unrelated than the other distractor conditions. These results support the view that inhibition is a domain-general mechanism that may be optionally engaged depending on the prevailing circumstances.

  7. Functional size of human visual area V1: a neural correlate of top-down attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verghese, Ashika; Kolbe, Scott C; Anderson, Andrew J; Egan, Gary F; Vidyasagar, Trichur R

    2014-06-01

    Heavy demands are placed on the brain's attentional capacity when selecting a target item in a cluttered visual scene, or when reading. It is widely accepted that such attentional selection is mediated by top-down signals from higher cortical areas to early visual areas such as the primary visual cortex (V1). Further, it has also been reported that there is considerable variation in the surface area of V1. This variation may impact on either the number or specificity of attentional feedback signals and, thereby, the efficiency of attentional mechanisms. In this study, we investigated whether individual differences between humans performing attention-demanding tasks can be related to the functional area of V1. We found that those with a larger representation in V1 of the central 12° of the visual field as measured using BOLD signals from fMRI were able to perform a serial search task at a faster rate. In line with recent suggestions of the vital role of visuo-spatial attention in reading, the speed of reading showed a strong positive correlation with the speed of visual search, although it showed little correlation with the size of V1. The results support the idea that the functional size of the primary visual cortex is an important determinant of the efficiency of selective spatial attention for simple tasks, and that the attentional processing required for complex tasks like reading are to a large extent determined by other brain areas and inter-areal connections.

  8. Asymmetric development of dorsal and ventral attention networks in the human brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristafor Farrant

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Two neural systems for goal-directed and stimulus-driven attention have been described in the adult human brain; the dorsal attention network (DAN centered in the frontal eye fields (FEF and intraparietal sulcus (IPS, and the ventral attention network (VAN anchored in the temporoparietal junction (TPJ and ventral frontal cortex (VFC. Little is known regarding the processes governing typical development of these attention networks in the brain. Here we use resting state functional MRI data collected from thirty 7 to 12 year-old children and thirty 18 to 31 year-old adults to examine two key regions of interest from the dorsal and ventral attention networks. We found that for the DAN nodes (IPS and FEF, children showed greater functional connectivity with regions within the network compared with adults, whereas adults showed greater functional connectivity between the FEF and extra-network regions including the posterior cingulate cortex. For the VAN nodes (TPJ and VFC, adults showed greater functional connectivity with regions within the network compared with children. Children showed greater functional connectivity between VFC and nodes of the salience network. This asymmetric pattern of development of attention networks may be a neural signature of the shift from over-representation of bottom-up attention mechanisms to greater top-down attentional capacities with development.

  9. Evidence of inbreeding depression on human height.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth McQuillan

    Full Text Available Stature is a classical and highly heritable complex trait, with 80%-90% of variation explained by genetic factors. In recent years, genome-wide association studies (GWAS have successfully identified many common additive variants influencing human height; however, little attention has been given to the potential role of recessive genetic effects. Here, we investigated genome-wide recessive effects by an analysis of inbreeding depression on adult height in over 35,000 people from 21 different population samples. We found a highly significant inverse association between height and genome-wide homozygosity, equivalent to a height reduction of up to 3 cm in the offspring of first cousins compared with the offspring of unrelated individuals, an effect which remained after controlling for the effects of socio-economic status, an important confounder (χ(2 = 83.89, df = 1; p = 5.2 × 10(-20. There was, however, a high degree of heterogeneity among populations: whereas the direction of the effect was consistent across most population samples, the effect size differed significantly among populations. It is likely that this reflects true biological heterogeneity: whether or not an effect can be observed will depend on both the variance in homozygosity in the population and the chance inheritance of individual recessive genotypes. These results predict that multiple, rare, recessive variants influence human height. Although this exploratory work focuses on height alone, the methodology developed is generally applicable to heritable quantitative traits (QT, paving the way for an investigation into inbreeding effects, and therefore genetic architecture, on a range of QT of biomedical importance.

  10. Multisensory integration and attention in autism spectrum disorder: evidence from event-related potentials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurice J C M Magnée

    Full Text Available Successful integration of various simultaneously perceived perceptual signals is crucial for social behavior. Recent findings indicate that this multisensory integration (MSI can be modulated by attention. Theories of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs suggest that MSI is affected in this population while it remains unclear to what extent this is related to impairments in attentional capacity. In the present study Event-related potentials (ERPs following emotionally congruent and incongruent face-voice pairs were measured in 23 high-functioning, adult ASD individuals and 24 age- and IQ-matched controls. MSI was studied while the attention of the participants was manipulated. ERPs were measured at typical auditory and visual processing peaks, namely, P2 and N170. While controls showed MSI during divided attention and easy selective attention tasks, individuals with ASD showed MSI during easy selective attention tasks only. It was concluded that individuals with ASD are able to process multisensory emotional stimuli, but this is differently modulated by attention mechanisms in these participants, especially those associated with divided attention. This atypical interaction between attention and MSI is also relevant to treatment strategies, with training of multisensory attentional control possibly being more beneficial than conventional sensory integration therapy.

  11. Working memory load can both improve and impair selective attention: evidence from the Navon paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan W

    2012-10-01

    Selective attention to relevant targets has been shown to depend on the availability of working memory (WM). Under conditions of high WM load, processing of irrelevant distractors is enhanced. Here we showed that this detrimental effect of WM load on selective attention efficiency is reversed when the task requires global- rather than local-level processing. Participants were asked to attend to either the local or the global level of a hierarchical Navon stimulus while keeping either a low or a high load in WM. In line with previous findings, during attention to the local level, distractors at the global level produced more interference under high than under low WM load. By contrast, loading WM had the opposite effect of improving selective attention during attention to the global level. The findings demonstrate that the impact of WM load on selective attention is not invariant, but rather is dependent on the level of the to-be-attended information.

  12. Neural evidence for a distinction between short-term memory and the focus of attention

    OpenAIRE

    Lewis-Peacock, Jarrod A.; Drysdale, Andrew T.; Oberauer, Klaus; Postle, Bradley R.

    2012-01-01

    It is widely assumed that the short-term retention of information is accomplished via maintenance of an active neural trace. However, we demonstrate that memory can be preserved across a brief delay despite the apparent loss of sustained representations. Delay-period activity may in fact reflect the focus of attention, rather than short-term memory. We unconfounded attention and memory by causing external and internal shifts of attention away from items that were being actively retained. Mult...

  13. Creating Joint Attentional Frames and Pointing to Evidence in the Reading and Writing Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unger, John A.; Liu, Rong; Scullion, Vicki A.

    2015-01-01

    This theory-into-practice paper integrates Tomasello's concept of Joint Attentional Frames and well-known ideas related to the work of Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky, with more recent ideas from social semiotics. Classroom procedures for incorporating student-created Joint Attentional Frames into literacy lessons are explained by links to…

  14. Effect of attentional load on audiovisual speech perception: Evidence from ERPs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnès eAlsius

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Seeing articulatory movements influences perception of auditory speech. This is often reflected in a shortened latency of auditory event-related potentials (ERPs generated in the auditory cortex. The present study addressed whether this early neural correlate of audiovisual interaction is modulated by attention. We recorded ERPs in 15 subjects while they were presented with auditory, visual and audiovisual spoken syllables. Audiovisual stimuli consisted of incongruent auditory and visual components known to elicit a McGurk effect, i.e. a visually driven alteration in the auditory speech percept. In a Dual task condition, participants were asked to identify spoken syllables whilst monitoring a rapid visual stream of pictures for targets, i.e., they had to divide their attention. In a Single task condition, participants identified the syllables without any other tasks, i.e., they were asked to ignore the pictures and focus their attention fully on the spoken syllables. The McGurk effect was weaker in the Dual task than in the Single task condition, indicating an effect of attentional load on audiovisual speech perception. Early auditory ERP components, N1 and P2, peaked earlier to audiovisual stimuli than to auditory stimuli when attention was fully focused on syllables, indicating neurophysiological audiovisual interaction. This latency decrement was reduced when attention was loaded, suggesting that attention influences early neural processing of audiovisual speech. We conclude that reduced attention weakens the interaction between vision and audition in speech.

  15. Direct evidence for a role of working memory in the attentional blink

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Akyürek, Elkan G; Hommel, Bernhard; Jolicœur, Pierre

    2007-01-01

    Theories of selective attention often have a central memory component, which is commonly thought to be limited in some way and is thereby a potential bottleneck in the attentional process. There have been only a few attempts to validate this assertion, and they have produced mixed results. This stud

  16. Genetic and environmental stability in attention problems across the lifespan: evidence from the Netherlands Twin Register

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kan, K.J.; Dolan, C.V.; Nivard, M.G.; Middeldorp, C.M.; van Beijsterveldt, C.E.M.; Willemsen, G.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To review findings on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and attention problems (AP) in children, adolescents, and adults, as established in the database of the Netherlands Twin Register and increase the understanding of stability in AP across the lifespan as a function of genetic a

  17. Top-down attention and selection history in psychopathy: Evidence from a community sample.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoppenbrouwers, Sylco S; Van der Stigchel, Stefan; Sergiou, Carmen S; Theeuwes, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Psychopathy is a severe personality disorder, the core of which pertains to callousness, an entitled and grandiose interpersonal style often accompanied by impulsive and reckless endangerment of oneself and others. The response modulation theory of psychopathy states that psychopathic individuals have difficulty modulating top-down attention to incorporate bottom-up stimuli that may signal important information but are irrelevant to current goals. However, it remains unclear which particular aspects of attention are impaired in psychopathy. Here, we used 2 visual search tasks that selectively tap into bottom-up and top-down attention. In addition, we also looked at intertrial priming, which reflects a separate class of processes that influence attention (i.e., selection history). The research group consisted of 65 participants that were recruited from the community. Psychopathic traits were measured with the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI; Uzieblo, Verschuere, & Crombez, 2007). We found that bottom-up attention was unrelated to psychopathic traits, whereas elevated psychopathic traits were related to deficits in the use of cues to facilitate top-down attention. Further, participants with elevated psychopathic traits were more strongly influenced by their previous response to the target. These results show that attentional deficits in psychopathy are largely confined to top-down attention and selection history.

  18. Effect of attentional load on audiovisual speech perception: evidence from ERPs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alsius, Agnès; Möttönen, Riikka; Sams, Mikko E; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; Tiippana, Kaisa

    2014-01-01

    Seeing articulatory movements influences perception of auditory speech. This is often reflected in a shortened latency of auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) generated in the auditory cortex. The present study addressed whether this early neural correlate of audiovisual interaction is modulated by attention. We recorded ERPs in 15 subjects while they were presented with auditory, visual, and audiovisual spoken syllables. Audiovisual stimuli consisted of incongruent auditory and visual components known to elicit a McGurk effect, i.e., a visually driven alteration in the auditory speech percept. In a Dual task condition, participants were asked to identify spoken syllables whilst monitoring a rapid visual stream of pictures for targets, i.e., they had to divide their attention. In a Single task condition, participants identified the syllables without any other tasks, i.e., they were asked to ignore the pictures and focus their attention fully on the spoken syllables. The McGurk effect was weaker in the Dual task than in the Single task condition, indicating an effect of attentional load on audiovisual speech perception. Early auditory ERP components, N1 and P2, peaked earlier to audiovisual stimuli than to auditory stimuli when attention was fully focused on syllables, indicating neurophysiological audiovisual interaction. This latency decrement was reduced when attention was loaded, suggesting that attention influences early neural processing of audiovisual speech. We conclude that reduced attention weakens the interaction between vision and audition in speech.

  19. Genetic and Environmental Stability in Attention Problems across the Lifespan: Evidence from the Netherlands Twin Register

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kan, Kees-Jan; Dolan, Conor V.; Nivard, Michel G.; Middeldorp, Christel M.; van Beijsterveldt, Catharina E. M.; Willemsen, Gonneke; Boomsma, Dorret I.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To review findings on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and attention problems (AP) in children, adolescents, and adults, as established in the database of the Netherlands Twin Register and increase the understanding of stability in AP across the lifespan as a function of genetic and environmental influences. Method: A…

  20. Evidence for Intact Memory-Guided Attention in School-Aged Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Matthew L.; Zelazo, Philip David; De Rosa, Eve

    2010-01-01

    Visual scenes contain many statistical regularities such as the likely identity and location of objects that are present; with experience, such regularities can be encoded and can ultimately facilitate the deployment of spatial attention to important locations. Memory-guided attention has been extensively examined in adults with the "contextual…

  1. Underpricing, underperformance and overreaction in initial public offerings: Evidence from investor attention using online searches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakrman, Tomas; Kristoufek, Ladislav

    2015-01-01

    Online activity of Internet users has proven very useful in modeling various phenomena across a wide range of scientific disciplines. In our study, we focus on two stylized facts or puzzles surrounding the initial public offerings (IPOs) - the underpricing and the long-term underperformance. Using the Internet searches on Google, we proxy the investor attention before and during the day of the offering to show that the high attention IPOs have different characteristics than the low attention ones. After controlling for various effects, we show that investor attention still remains a strong component of the high initial returns (the underpricing), primarily for the high sentiment periods. Moreover, we demonstrate that the investor attention partially explains the overoptimistic market reaction and thus also a part of the long-term underperformance.

  2. Covert attention in touch: behavioral and ERP evidence for costs and benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Bettina; Eimer, Martin

    2005-03-01

    To investigate the mechanism underlying tactile spatial attention, reaction times (RTs) and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded in response to mechanical stimuli delivered to the hands. At the start of each trial cues indicated either the correct (valid) or incorrect (invalid) tactile stimulus location or were uninformative (neutral). RT costs (suppression of invalid compared to neutral trials) were found to be larger than benefits (enhancement of valid compared to neutral trials). ERPs showed that costs and benefits contribute equally to attentional modulations of the somatosensory N140 component, whereas these were largely due to costs at longer latencies. These results differ from the pattern of attentional ERP modulations previously found for vision and audition, where costs precede benefits, and therefore suggest that the mechanisms of attentional selectivity in touch might be different from attentional processes in other modalities.

  3. Threat but not arousal narrows attention: Evidence from pupil dilation and saccade control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henk eVan Steenbergen

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available It has been shown that negative affect causes attentional narrowing. According to Easterbrook’s (1959 influential hypothesis this effect is driven by the withdrawal motivation inherent to negative emotions and might be related to increases in arousal. We investigated whether valence-unspecific increases in physiological arousal, as measured by pupil dilation, could account for attentional narrowing effects in a cognitive control task. Following the presentation of a negative, positive, or neutral picture, participants performed a saccade task with a prosaccade versus an antisaccade instruction. The reaction time difference between pro- and antisaccades was used to index attentional selectivity, and while pupil diameter was used as an index of physiological arousal. Pupil dilation was observed for both negative and positive pictures, which indicates increased physiological arousal. However, increased attentional selectivity was only observed following negative pictures. Our data show that motivational intensity effects on attentional narrowing can occur independently of physiological arousal effects.

  4. ERP evidence for spatial attention being directed away from disgusting locations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmer, Ulrike; Keppel, Marie-Theres; Poglitsch, Christian; Ischebeck, Anja

    2015-01-01

    When we change sidewalks because we see vomit or dog feces, we are avoiding disgusting stimuli. However, it is unclear how we shift spatial attention itself away from disgusting stimuli. In the present study, we used a multisensory spatial-cuing paradigm as a tool to test if a disgusting sound is avoided by redirecting visual attention to the opposite side. Our results show that behavioral responses as well as the P3 component indicated an inverse validity effect when cued by disgust. Validity differences on the P3 were increased ipsilaterally instead of contralaterally over visual electrode sites. In contrast, the N1 component, time-locked to sound cues, indicated the typical contralateral attentional arousal effect. Thus, disgusting sound cues first attract attention toward their location and later, after the processing of their emotional content, direct spatial attention away from the location of their origin to the opposite location. PMID:26085080

  5. Veterans Health Administration: Management Attention Is Needed to Address Systemic, Long standing Human Capital Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-12-01

    required by the Choice Act: the Independent Assessment of the Health Care Delivery Systems and Management Processes of the Department of Veterans...VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION Management Attention Is Needed to Address Systemic, Long-standing Human Capital...Government Accountability Office Highlights of GAO-17-30, a report to congressional requesters December 2016 VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION

  6. Contextual control over selective attention: evidence from a two-target method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLellan, Ellen; Shore, David I; Milliken, Bruce

    2015-07-01

    Selective attention is generally studied with conflict tasks, using response time as the dependent measure. Here, we study the impact of selective attention to a first target, T1, presented simultaneously with a distractor, on the accuracy of subsequent encoding of a second target item, T2. This procedure produces an "attentional blink" (AB) effect much like that reported in other studies, and allowed us to study the influence of context on cognitive control with a novel method. In particular, we examined whether preparation to attend selectively to T1 had an impact on the selective encoding of T1 that would translate to report of T2. Preparation to attend selectively was manipulated by varying whether difficult selective attention T1 trials were presented in the context of other difficult selective attention T1 trials. The results revealed strong context effects of this nature, with smaller AB effects when difficult selective attention T1 trials were embedded in a context with many, rather than few, other difficult selective attention T1 trials. Further, the results suggest that both the trial-to-trial local context and the block-wide global context modulate performance in this task.

  7. A resource-control account of sustained attention: evidence from mind-wandering and vigilance paradigms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, David R; Besner, Derek; Smilek, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Staying attentive is challenging enough when carrying out everyday tasks, such as reading or sitting through a lecture, and failures to do so can be frustrating and inconvenient. However, such lapses may even be life threatening, for example, if a pilot fails to monitor an oil-pressure gauge or if a long-haul truck driver fails to notice a car in his or her blind spot. Here, we explore two explanations of sustained-attention lapses. By one account, task monotony leads to an increasing preoccupation with internal thought (i.e., mind wandering). By another, task demands result in the depletion of information-processing resources that are needed to perform the task. A review of the sustained-attention literature suggests that neither theory, on its own, adequately explains the full range of findings. We propose a novel framework to explain why attention lapses as a function of time-on-task by combining aspects of two different theories of mind wandering: attentional resource (Smallwood & Schooler, 2006) and control failure (McVay & Kane, 2010). We then use our "resource-control" theory to explain performance decrements in sustained-attention tasks. We end by making some explicit predictions regarding mind wandering in general and sustained-attention performance in particular.

  8. Attention in schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Evidence from P300

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vissers, C.T.W.M.; Koolen, S.; Chwilla, D.J.; Egger, J.I.M.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia show phenomenological overlap and have been proposed to share a common underlying pathogenesis. We investigate whether both psychopathological conditions can be conceptualized as disorders of attention. Participants and Methods: To examine

  9. Oculomotor Anomalies in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence for Deficits in Response Preparation and Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahone, E. Mark; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Lasker, Adrian G.; Zee, David; Denckla, Martha B.

    2009-01-01

    Girls, but not boys, with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have significantly longer visually guided saccades latencies. It is found that sex differences in children with ADHD extend beyond symptom presentation to the development of oculomotor control.

  10. Statistical Evidence Suggests that Inattention Drives Hyperactivity/Impulsivity in Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sokolova, E; Groot, P.; Claassen, T.; Hulzen, K.J.E. van; Glennon, J.C.; Franke, B.; Heskes, T.; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Numerous factor analytic studies consistently support a distinction between two symptom domains of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Both dimensions show high internal consistency and moderate to strong correlations with each othe

  11. Oculomotor Anomalies in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence for Deficits in Response Preparation and Inhibition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahone, E. Mark; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Lasker, Adrian G.; Zee, David; Denckla, Martha B.

    2009-01-01

    Girls, but not boys, with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have significantly longer visually guided saccades latencies. It is found that sex differences in children with ADHD extend beyond symptom presentation to the development of oculomotor control.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. Consumer Attention, Engagement, and Market Shares: Evidence from the Carbonated Soft Drinks Market

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Yizao; Rui, Huaxia

    2014-01-01

    among consumers and between consumers and brands. Social media users can now interact with brands directly through Facebook and Twitter. These new features make social media a very distinctive class of online WOM. In this paper, we formulate a random coefficient discrete choice model of consumer demand to study whether and how consumer engagement and attention on the Internet affect the consumption of carbonated soft drinks (CSDs). We model consumer attention and engagement on social media as...

  14. Intact motivated attention in schizophrenia: evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horan, William P; Foti, Dan; Hajcak, Greg; Wynn, Jonathan K; Green, Michael F

    2012-03-01

    Emotionally significant stimuli typically capture attention (called motivated attention) even when they are irrelevant to tasks where attention is directed. Previous studies indicate that several components of emotional processing are intact in schizophrenia when subjects are instructed to attend to emotionally-evocative stimuli. However, few studies have examined whether emotional stimuli capture attention to a normal degree in people with schizophrenia when attention is directed elsewhere. The current event-related potential study examined motivated attention to task-irrelevant emotional stimuli in 35 stabilized outpatients and 26 healthy controls with a modified visual P300 oddball detection task. Participants viewed images of rare target and commonly occurring standard letter stimuli, as well as intermixed emotional (unpleasant, pleasant, neutral) pictures. Subjects were instructed to count the number of rare targets; the emotional valence of the picture stimuli was, therefore, task-irrelevant. We separately evaluated the Early Posterior Negativity (EPN) and Late Positive Potential (LPP) to emotional pictures and the P300 to target stimuli. Patients and controls showed similar patterns of EPN and LPP amplitude to the emotional stimuli, such that the EPN and LPP were larger for both pleasant and unpleasant versus neutral pictures. Although patients performed worse than controls on the target counting task, both groups showed comparable P300 differentiation between target versus non-target stimuli. Emotional stimuli captured attentional resources in people with schizophrenia even when the emotional stimuli were task-irrelevant, suggesting intact motivated attention at the level of early electrophysiological responding. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Biased towards food: Electrophysiological evidence for biased attention to food stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sanjay; Higgs, Suzanne; Rutters, Femke; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2016-12-01

    We investigated the neural mechanisms involved in bias for food stimuli in our visual environment using event related lateralized (ERL) responses. The participants were presented with a cue (food or non-food item) to either identify or hold in working memory. Subsequently, they had to search for a target in a 2-item display where target and distractor stimuli were each flanked by a picture of a food or a non-food item. The behavioural data showed that performance was strongly affected by food cues, especially when food was held in WM compared to when the cues were merely identified. The temporal dynamics of electrophysiological measures of attention (the N1pc and N2pc) showed that the orienting of attention towards food stimuli was associated with two different mechanisms; an early stage of attentional suppression followed by a later stage of attentional orienting towards food stimuli. In contrast, non-food cues were associated only with the guidance of attention to or away from cued stimuli on valid and invalid trials. The results demonstrate that food items, perhaps due to their motivational significance modulate the early orienting of attention, including an initial suppressive response to food items. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Priming of Visual Search Facilitates Attention Shifts: Evidence From Object-Substitution Masking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristjánsson, Árni

    2016-03-01

    Priming of visual search strongly affects visual function, releasing items from crowding and during free-choice primed targets are chosen over unprimed ones. Two accounts of priming have been proposed: attentional facilitation of primed features and postperceptual episodic memory retrieval that involves mapping responses to visual events. Here, well-known masking effects were used to assess the two accounts. Object-substitution masking has been considered to reflect attentional processing: It does not occur when a target is precued and is strengthened when distractors are present. Conversely, metacontrast masking has been connected to lower level processing where attention exerts little effect. If priming facilitates attention shifts, it should mitigate object-substitution masking, while lower level masking might not be similarly influenced. Observers searched for an odd-colored target among distractors. Unpredictably (on 20% of trials), object-substitution masks or metacontrast masks appeared around the target. Object-substitution masking was strongly mitigated for primed target colors, while metacontrast masking was mostly unaffected. This argues against episodic retrieval accounts of priming, placing the priming locus firmly within the realm of attentional processing. The results suggest that priming of visual search facilitates attention shifts to the target, which allows better spatiotemporal resolution that overcomes object-substitution masking.

  17. 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.

  18. Selective attention modulates human auditory brainstem responses: relative contributions of frequency and spatial cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmann, Alexandre; Schönwiesner, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Selective attention is the mechanism that allows focusing one's attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, for instance, on a single conversation in a noisy room. Attending to one sound source rather than another changes activity in the human auditory cortex, but it is unclear whether attention to different acoustic features, such as voice pitch and speaker location, modulates subcortical activity. Studies using a dichotic listening paradigm indicated that auditory brainstem processing may be modulated by the direction of attention. We investigated whether endogenous selective attention to one of two speech signals affects amplitude and phase locking in auditory brainstem responses when the signals were either discriminable by frequency content alone, or by frequency content and spatial location. Frequency-following responses to the speech sounds were significantly modulated in both conditions. The modulation was specific to the task-relevant frequency band. The effect was stronger when both frequency and spatial information were available. Patterns of response were variable between participants, and were correlated with psychophysical discriminability of the stimuli, suggesting that the modulation was biologically relevant. Our results demonstrate that auditory brainstem responses are susceptible to efferent modulation related to behavioral goals. Furthermore they suggest that mechanisms of selective attention actively shape activity at early subcortical processing stages according to task relevance and based on frequency and spatial cues.

  19. Selective attention modulates human auditory brainstem responses: relative contributions of frequency and spatial cues.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Lehmann

    Full Text Available Selective attention is the mechanism that allows focusing one's attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, for instance, on a single conversation in a noisy room. Attending to one sound source rather than another changes activity in the human auditory cortex, but it is unclear whether attention to different acoustic features, such as voice pitch and speaker location, modulates subcortical activity. Studies using a dichotic listening paradigm indicated that auditory brainstem processing may be modulated by the direction of attention. We investigated whether endogenous selective attention to one of two speech signals affects amplitude and phase locking in auditory brainstem responses when the signals were either discriminable by frequency content alone, or by frequency content and spatial location. Frequency-following responses to the speech sounds were significantly modulated in both conditions. The modulation was specific to the task-relevant frequency band. The effect was stronger when both frequency and spatial information were available. Patterns of response were variable between participants, and were correlated with psychophysical discriminability of the stimuli, suggesting that the modulation was biologically relevant. Our results demonstrate that auditory brainstem responses are susceptible to efferent modulation related to behavioral goals. Furthermore they suggest that mechanisms of selective attention actively shape activity at early subcortical processing stages according to task relevance and based on frequency and spatial cues.

  20. The Effects of Context and Attention on Spiking Activity in Human Early Visual Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2016-01-01

    Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons’ receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex. PMID:27015604

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jussi Tallus

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

  2. How a face may affect object-based attention: Evidence from adults and 8-month-old infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eloisa eValenza

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Object-based attention operates on perceptual objects, opening the possibility that the costs and benefits humans have to pay to move attention between objects might be affected by the nature of the stimuli. The current study reported two experiments with adults and 8-month-old infants investigating whether object-based-attention is affected by the stimulus social salience (faces vs. non-faces stimuli. Using the well-known cueing task developed by Egly et al. (1994 to study the object-based component of attention, in Experiment 1 adult participants were presented with two upright, inverted or scrambled faces and an eye-tracker measured their saccadic latencies to find a target that could appear on the same object that was just cued or on the other object that was uncued. Data showed that an object-based effect (a minor cost to shift attention within- compared to between-objects occurred only with scrambled face, but not with upright or inverted faces. In Experiment 2 the same task was performed with 8-month-old infants, using upright and inverted faces. Data revealed that an object-based effect only emerges for inverted faces but not for upright faces. Overall, these findings suggest that object-based attention is modulated by the stimulus social salience and by the experience acquired by the viewer with different objects.

  3. The Speed of Serial Attention Shifts in Visual Search: Evidence from the N2pc Component.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubert, Anna; Eimer, Martin

    2016-02-01

    Finding target objects among distractors in visual search display is often assumed to be based on sequential movements of attention between different objects. However, the speed of such serial attention shifts is still under dispute. We employed a search task that encouraged the successive allocation of attention to two target objects in the same search display and measured N2pc components to determine how fast attention moved between these objects. Each display contained one digit in a known color (fixed-color target) and another digit whose color changed unpredictably across trials (variable-color target) together with two gray distractor digits. Participants' task was to find the fixed-color digit and compare its numerical value with that of the variable-color digit. N2pc components to fixed-color targets preceded N2pc components to variable-color digits, demonstrating that these two targets were indeed selected in a fixed serial order. The N2pc to variable-color digits emerged approximately 60 msec after the N2pc to fixed-color digits, which shows that attention can be reallocated very rapidly between different target objects in the visual field. When search display durations were increased, thereby relaxing the temporal demands on serial selection, the two N2pc components to fixed-color and variable-color targets were elicited within 90 msec of each other. Results demonstrate that sequential shifts of attention between different target locations can operate very rapidly at speeds that are in line with the assumptions of serial selection models of visual search.

  4. Evidence for deficits in the temporal attention span of poor readers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy A W Visser

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: While poor reading is often associated with phonological deficits, many studies suggest that visual processing might also be impaired. In particular, recent research has indicated that poor readers show impaired spatial visual attention spans in partial and whole report tasks. Given the similarities between competition-based accounts for reduced visual attention span and similar explanations for impairments in sequential object processing, the present work examined whether poor readers show deficits in their "temporal attention span"--that is, their ability to rapidly and accurately process sequences of consecutive target items. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Poor and normal readers monitored a sequential stream of visual items for two (TT condition or three (TTT condition consecutive target digits. Target identification was examined using both unconditional and conditional measures of accuracy in order to gauge the overall likelihood of identifying a target and the likelihood of identifying a target given successful identification of previous items. Compared to normal readers, poor readers showed small but consistent deficits in identification across targets whether unconditional or conditional accuracy was used. Additionally, in the TTT condition, final-target conditional accuracy was poorer than unconditional accuracy, particularly for poor readers, suggesting a substantial cost arising from processing the previous two targets that was not present in normal readers. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Mirroring the differences found between poor and normal readers in spatial visual attention span, the present findings suggest two principal differences between the temporal attention spans of poor and normal readers. First, the consistent pattern of reduced performance across targets suggests increased competition amongst items within the same span for poor readers. Second, the steeper decline in final target performance amongst poor readers

  5. Retinotopy and attention to the face and house images in the human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Yan, Tianyi; Ohno, Seiichiro; Kanazawa, Susumu; Wu, Jinglong

    2016-06-01

    Attentional modulation of the neural activities in human visual areas has been well demonstrated. However, the retinotopic activities that are driven by face and house images and attention to face and house images remain unknown. In the present study, we used images of faces and houses to estimate the retinotopic activities that were driven by both the images and attention to the images, driven by attention to the images, and driven by the images. Generally, our results show that both face and house images produced similar retinotopic activities in visual areas, which were only observed in the attention + stimulus and the attention conditions, but not in the stimulus condition. The fusiform face area (FFA) responded to faces that were presented on the horizontal meridian, whereas parahippocampal place area (PPA) rarely responded to house at any visual field. We further analyzed the amplitudes of the neural responses to the target wedge. In V1, V2, V3, V3A, lateral occipital area 1 (LO-1), and hV4, the neural responses to the attended target wedge were significantly greater than those to the unattended target wedge. However, in LO-2, ventral occipital areas 1 and 2 (VO-1 and VO-2) and FFA and PPA, the differences were not significant. We proposed that these areas likely have large fields of attentional modulation for face and house images and exhibit responses to both the target wedge and the background stimuli. In addition, we proposed that the absence of retinotopic activity in the stimulus condition might imply no perceived difference between the target wedge and the background stimuli.

  6. Visual spatial attention has opposite effects on bidirectional plasticity in the human motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Ryan, Alexander E; Sale, Martin V; Campbell, Megan E J; Riek, Stephan; Carroll, Timothy J; Mattingley, Jason B

    2014-01-22

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) are key mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that are thought to act in concert to shape neural connections. Here we investigated the influence of visual spatial attention on LTP-like and LTD-like plasticity in the human motor cortex. Plasticity was induced using paired associative stimulation (PAS), which involves repeated pairing of peripheral nerve stimulation and transcranial magnetic stimulation to alter functional responses in the thumb area of the primary motor cortex. PAS-induced changes in cortical excitability were assessed using motor-evoked potentials. During plasticity induction, participants directed their attention to one of two visual stimulus streams located adjacent to each hand. When participants attended to visual stimuli located near the left thumb, which was targeted by PAS, LTP-like increases in excitability were significantly enhanced, and LTD-like decreases in excitability reduced, relative to when they attended instead to stimuli located near the right thumb. These differential effects on (bidirectional) LTP-like and LTD-like plasticity suggest that voluntary visual attention can exert an important influence on the functional organization of the motor cortex. Specifically, attention acts to both enhance the strengthening and suppress the weakening of neural connections representing events that fall within the focus of attention.

  7. Electrophysiological evidence for endogenous control of attention in switching between languages in overt picture naming

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhoef, K.M.W.; Roelofs, A.P.A.; Chwilla, D.J.

    2010-01-01

    Language switching in bilingual speakers requires attentional control to select the appropriate language, for example, in picture naming. Previous language-switch studies used the color of pictures to indicate the required language thereby confounding endogenous and exogenous control. To investigate

  8. Evidence for a priori existence of attentional bias subgroups in emotional processing of aversive stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heck, C.H. van; Oosterman, J.M.; Kleijn, K.M.A. de; Jongsma, M.L.A.; Rijn, C.M. van

    2017-01-01

    Little is known regarding inter-individual differences in attentional biases for pain-related information; more knowledge is crucial, since these biases have been associated with differences in pain processing as well as in predicting the risk of postoperative pain. The present study investigated

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialystok, Ellen; Martin, Michelle M.

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Newly-formed emotional memories guide selective attention processes: Evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schupp, Harald T; Kirmse, Ursula; Schmälzle, Ralf; Flaisch, Tobias; Renner, Britta

    2016-06-20

    Emotional cues can guide selective attention processes. However, emotional stimuli can both activate long-term memory representations reflecting general world knowledge and engage newly formed memory representations representing specific knowledge from the immediate past. Here, the self-completion feature of associative memory was utilized to assess the regulation of attention processes by newly-formed emotional memory. First, new memory representations were formed by presenting pictures depicting a person either in an erotic pose or as a portrait. Afterwards, to activate newly-built memory traces, edited pictures were presented showing only the head region of the person. ERP recordings revealed the emotional regulation of attention by newly-formed memories. Specifically, edited pictures from the erotic compared to the portrait category elicited an early posterior negativity and late positive potential, similar to the findings observed for the original pictures. A control condition showed that the effect was dependent on newly-formed memory traces. Given the large number of new memories formed each day, they presumably make an important contribution to the regulation of attention in everyday life.

  11. Age differences in the Attention Network Test: Evidence from behavior and event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Ryan S; Biel, Anna Lena; Wegier, Pete; Lapp, Leann K; Dyson, Benjamin J; Spaniol, Julia

    2016-02-01

    The Attention Network Test (ANT) is widely used to capture group and individual differences in selective attention. Prior behavioral studies with younger and older adults have yielded mixed findings with respect to age differences in three putative attention networks (alerting, orienting, and executive control). To overcome the limitations of behavioral data, the current study combined behavioral and electrophysiological measures. Twenty-four healthy younger adults (aged 18-29years) and 24 healthy older adults (aged 60-76years) completed the ANT while EEG data were recorded. Behaviorally, older adults showed reduced alerting, but did not differ from younger adults in orienting or executive control. Electrophysiological components related to alerting and orienting (P1, N1, and CNV) were similar in both age groups, whereas components related to executive control (N2 and P3) showed age-related differences. Together these results suggest that comparisons of network effects between age groups using behavioral data alone may not offer a complete picture of age differences in selective attention, especially for alerting and executive control networks.

  12. Speech Perception Engages a General Timer: Evidence from a Divided Attention Word Identification Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casini, Laurence; Burle, Boris; Nguyen, Noel

    2009-01-01

    Time is essential to speech. The duration of speech segments plays a critical role in the perceptual identification of these segments, and therefore in that of spoken words. Here, using a French word identification task, we show that vowels are perceived as shorter when attention is divided between two tasks, as compared to a single task control…

  13. Mighty metaphors: behavioral and ERP evidence that power shifts attention on a vertical dimension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zanolie, K.; van Dantzig, S.; Boot, I.; Wijnen, J.; Schubert, T.W.; Giessner, S.R.; Pecher, D.

    2012-01-01

    Thinking about the abstract concept power may automatically activate the spatial up-down image schema (powerful up; powerless down) and consequently direct spatial attention to the image schema-congruent location. Participants indicated whether a word represented a powerful or powerless person (e.g.

  14. Mighty Metaphors: Behavioral and ERP Evidence that Power Shifts Attention on a Vertical Dimension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanolie, Kiki; van Dantzig, Saskia; Boot, Inge; Wijnen, Jasper; Schubert, Thomas W.; Giessner, Steffen R.; Pecher, Diane

    2012-01-01

    Thinking about the abstract concept power may automatically activate the spatial up-down image schema ("powerful up"; "powerless down") and consequently direct spatial attention to the image schema-congruent location. Participants indicated whether a word represented a powerful or powerless person (e.g. "king" or "servant"). Following each…

  15. Neural evidence for enhanced attention to mistakes among school-aged children with a growth mindset

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans S. Schroder

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Individuals who believe intelligence is malleable (a growth mindset are better able to bounce back from failures than those who believe intelligence is immutable. Event-related potential (ERP studies among adults suggest this resilience is related to increased attention allocation to errors. Whether this mechanism is present among young children remains unknown, however. We therefore evaluated error-monitoring ERPs among 123 school-aged children while they completed a child-friendly go/no-go task. As expected, higher attention allocation to errors (indexed by larger error positivity, Pe predicted higher post-error accuracy. Moreover, replicating adult work, growth mindset was related to greater attention to mistakes (larger Pe and higher post-error accuracy. Exploratory moderation analyses revealed that growth mindset increased post-error accuracy for children who did not attend to their errors. Together, these results demonstrate the combined role of growth mindset and neural mechanisms of attention allocation in bouncing back after failure among young children.

  16. Neural evidence for enhanced attention to mistakes among school-aged children with a growth mindset.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroder, Hans S; Fisher, Megan E; Lin, Yanli; Lo, Sharon L; Danovitch, Judith H; Moser, Jason S

    2017-04-01

    Individuals who believe intelligence is malleable (a growth mindset) are better able to bounce back from failures than those who believe intelligence is immutable. Event-related potential (ERP) studies among adults suggest this resilience is related to increased attention allocation to errors. Whether this mechanism is present among young children remains unknown, however. We therefore evaluated error-monitoring ERPs among 123 school-aged children while they completed a child-friendly go/no-go task. As expected, higher attention allocation to errors (indexed by larger error positivity, Pe) predicted higher post-error accuracy. Moreover, replicating adult work, growth mindset was related to greater attention to mistakes (larger Pe) and higher post-error accuracy. Exploratory moderation analyses revealed that growth mindset increased post-error accuracy for children who did not attend to their errors. Together, these results demonstrate the combined role of growth mindset and neural mechanisms of attention allocation in bouncing back after failure among young children. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Newly-formed emotional memories guide selective attention processes: Evidence from event-related potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schupp, Harald T.; Kirmse, Ursula; Schmälzle, Ralf; Flaisch, Tobias; Renner, Britta

    2016-01-01

    Emotional cues can guide selective attention processes. However, emotional stimuli can both activate long-term memory representations reflecting general world knowledge and engage newly formed memory representations representing specific knowledge from the immediate past. Here, the self-completion feature of associative memory was utilized to assess the regulation of attention processes by newly-formed emotional memory. First, new memory representations were formed by presenting pictures depicting a person either in an erotic pose or as a portrait. Afterwards, to activate newly-built memory traces, edited pictures were presented showing only the head region of the person. ERP recordings revealed the emotional regulation of attention by newly-formed memories. Specifically, edited pictures from the erotic compared to the portrait category elicited an early posterior negativity and late positive potential, similar to the findings observed for the original pictures. A control condition showed that the effect was dependent on newly-formed memory traces. Given the large number of new memories formed each day, they presumably make an important contribution to the regulation of attention in everyday life. PMID:27321471

  18. Mighty Metaphors: Behavioral and ERP Evidence that Power Shifts Attention on a Vertical Dimension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zanolie, Kiki; van Dantzig, Saskia; Boot, Inge; Wijnen, Jasper; Schubert, Thomas W.; Giessner, Steffen R.; Pecher, Diane

    2012-01-01

    Thinking about the abstract concept power may automatically activate the spatial up-down image schema ("powerful up"; "powerless down") and consequently direct spatial attention to the image schema-congruent location. Participants indicated whether a word represented a powerful or powerless person (e.g. "king" or "servant"). Following each…

  19. Mighty metaphors: behavioral and ERP evidence that power shifts attention on a vertical dimension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zanolie, K.; van Dantzig, S.; Boot, I.; Wijnen, J.; Schubert, T.W.; Giessner, S.R.; Pecher, D.

    2012-01-01

    Thinking about the abstract concept power may automatically activate the spatial up-down image schema (powerful up; powerless down) and consequently direct spatial attention to the image schema-congruent location. Participants indicated whether a word represented a powerful or powerless person (e.g.

  20. Musical experience shapes top-down auditory mechanisms: evidence from masking and auditory attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strait, Dana L; Kraus, Nina; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Ashley, Richard

    2010-03-01

    A growing body of research suggests that cognitive functions, such as attention and memory, drive perception by tuning sensory mechanisms to relevant acoustic features. Long-term musical experience also modulates lower-level auditory function, although the mechanisms by which this occurs remain uncertain. In order to tease apart the mechanisms that drive perceptual enhancements in musicians, we posed the question: do well-developed cognitive abilities fine-tune auditory perception in a top-down fashion? We administered a standardized battery of perceptual and cognitive tests to adult musicians and non-musicians, including tasks either more or less susceptible to cognitive control (e.g., backward versus simultaneous masking) and more or less dependent on auditory or visual processing (e.g., auditory versus visual attention). Outcomes indicate lower perceptual thresholds in musicians specifically for auditory tasks that relate with cognitive abilities, such as backward masking and auditory attention. These enhancements were observed in the absence of group differences for the simultaneous masking and visual attention tasks. Our results suggest that long-term musical practice strengthens cognitive functions and that these functions benefit auditory skills. Musical training bolsters higher-level mechanisms that, when impaired, relate to language and literacy deficits. Thus, musical training may serve to lessen the impact of these deficits by strengthening the corticofugal system for hearing. 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MACARENA eSUÁREZ PELLICIONI

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Gestalt Perceptual Organization of Visual Stimuli Captures Attention Automatically: Electrophysiological Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3.

  4. Differential role of dopamine in emotional attention and memory: evidence from Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hälbig, Thomas D; Assuras, Stephanie; Creighton, Judy; Borod, Joan C; Tse, Winona; Frisina, Pasquale G; Voustianiouk, Andrei; Gracies, Jean-Michel; Olanow, C Warren

    2011-08-01

    Consistent with the hypothesis that dopamine is implicated in the processing of salient stimuli relevant to the modification of various behavioral responses, Parkinson's disease is associated with emotional blunting. To address the hypothesis that emotional attention and memory are modulated by dopaminergic neurotransmission in Parkinson's disease, we assessed 15 nondemented patients with Parkinson's disease while on and off dopaminergic medication and 15 age-matched healthy controls. Visual stimuli were presented, and recognition was used to assess emotional memory. Response latency was used as a measure of emotional attention modulation. Stimuli were varied based on valence (pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant) and arousal (high and low) dimensions. Controls had significantly better memory for positive than negative stimuli, whereas patients with Parkinson's disease tested off medication had significantly better memory for negative than positive items. This negativity bias was lost when they were tested while on dopaminergic medication. Reaction times in patients with Parkinson's disease off medication were longer than in healthy controls and, paradoxically, were even longer when on medication. Further, although both healthy controls and patients with Parkinson's disease in the "off" state had arousal-induced prolongation of reaction time, this effect was not seen in patients with Parkinson's disease on medication. These data indicate that dopaminergic neurotransmission is implicated in emotional memory and attention and suggest that dopamine mediates emotional memory via the valence dimension and emotional attention via arousal. Furthermore, our findings suggest that emotional changes in Parkinson's disease result from the effects of both the disease process and dopaminergic treatment.

  5. Early scale effect and hemisphere superiority on the visual spatial attention:From the electrophysiological evidence of ERP

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SONG Weiqun; GAO Yuan; LUO Yuejia

    2004-01-01

    The visual attention mechanism in the brain was studied among 16 young subjects through the precue-target visual search paradigm using the event-related potentials (ERPs) technique, with the attentive ranges cued with different scales of Chinese words. The results showed that the response time was shortened as the cue scale was reduced, while the amplitudes of the P1 and N1 components of the ERPs increased. These results not only provided the electrophysiological evidence supporting the spotlight theory, but also indicated that the spotlight effect occurred during the early period of the selected attention. Two kinds of separation in the P2 effect were observed. One separation was between the P1 effect and P2 effect, which meant that additional computation was needed when the spatial scale of attention was enlarged; the other was between the left and right hemisphere of the P2 effect, which indicates that the attentive processing of the cue range mainly occurred in the left hemisphere.

  6. Memantine Improves Attentional Processes in Fragile X-Associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome: Electrophysiological Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jin-Chen; Rodriguez, Annette; Royston, Ashley; Niu, Yu-Qiong; Avar, Merve; Brill, Ryan; Simon, Christa; Grigsby, Jim; Hagerman, Randi J; Olichney, John M

    2016-02-22

    Progressive cognitive deficits are common in patients with fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), with no targeted treatment yet established. In this substudy of the first randomized controlled trial for FXTAS, we examined the effects of NMDA antagonist memantine on attention and working memory. Data were analyzed for patients (24 in each arm) who completed both the primary memantine trial and two EEG recordings (at baseline and follow-up) using an auditory "oddball" task. Results demonstrated significantly improved attention/working memory performance after one year only for the memantine group. The event-related potential P2 amplitude elicited by non-targets was significantly enhanced in the treated group, indicating memantine-associated improvement in attentional processes at the stimulus identification/discrimination level. P2 amplitude increase was positively correlated with improvement on the behavioral measure of attention/working memory during target detection. Analysis also revealed that memantine treatment normalized the P2 habituation effect at the follow-up visit. These findings indicate that memantine may benefit attentional processes that represent fundamental components of executive function/dysfunction, thought to comprise the core cognitive deficit in FXTAS. The results provide evidence of target engagement of memantine, as well as therapeutically relevant information that could further the development of specific cognitive or disease-modifying therapies for FXTAS.

  7. Evidence for a Priori Existence of Attentional Bias Subgroups in Emotional Processing of Aversive Stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casper H. van Heck

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Little is known regarding inter-individual differences in attentional biases for pain-related information; more knowledge is crucial, since these biases have been associated with differences in pain processing as well as in predicting the risk of postoperative pain. The present study investigated EEG correlates of attentional bias patterns for pain-related information, with specific focus on avoidance- and vigilance-like behavior. Forty-one participants performed a dot-probe task, where neutral and pain-related words were used to create neutral, congruent, incongruent, and double (two pain-related words trials. EEG was recorded, which was used to generate ERP's of the word-processing phase and the post-dot phase. Participants were placed in two subgroups based on the direction of their attentional bias (either positive; toward the pain-related words, or negative; away from pain-related words. Using t-profiles, four latency windows were identified on which the two subgroups differed significantly. These latency windows yield areas which correspond with the P1-N1 domain and the P3b for the word-processing phase, while the post-dot phase latency windows cover the areas of the P200 and the P3b. The two subgroups show differences on congruent, incongruent, and the double trials, but interestingly also on the neutral trials. Most notably, the area in the word-phase associated with the P3b is diminished in the subgroup showing a negative bias. The deflections associated with both early and late attentional components, including the P3B, as well as a positive deflection in the timeframe of proposed response evaluation processes differ significantly between subgroups. In this study we demonstrated that different attentional biases exist in the healthy population, by showing differences in ERP's. We also show differences in processing neutral trials, which suggests there are fundamental differences between these groups in processing words in general.

  8. Effects of working memory load on visual selective attention: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikki ePratt

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Working memory and attention interact in a way that enables us to focus on relevant items and maintain current goals. The influence of working memory on attention has been noted in several studies using dual task designs. Multitasking increases the demands on working memory and reduces the amount of resources available for cognitive control functions such as resolving stimulus conflict. However, few studies have investigated the temporal activation of the cortex while multitasking. The present study addresses the extent to which working memory load influences early (P1 and late (P300 attention-sensitive event-related potential (ERP components using a dual task paradigm. Participants performed an arrow flanker task alone (single task condition or concurrently with a Sternberg memory task (dual task condition. In the flanker task, participants responded to the direction of a central arrow surrounded by congruent or incongruent arrows. In the dual task condition, participants were presented with a Sternberg task that consisted of either 4 or 7 consonants to remember prior to a short block of flanker trials. Participants were slower and less accurate on incongruent versus congruent trials. Furthermore, accuracy on incongruent trials was reduced in both dual task conditions. Likewise, P300 amplitude to incongruent flanker stimuli decreased when working memory load increased. These findings suggest that interference from incongruent flankers was more difficult to suppress when working memory was taxed. In addition, P1 amplitude was diminished on all flanker trials in the dual task condition. This result indicates that top-down attentional control over early visual processing is diminished by increasing demands on working memory. Both the behavioral and electrophysiological results suggest that working memory is critical in maintaining attentional focus and resolving conflict.

  9. Explicit attention interferes with selective emotion processing in human extrastriate cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junghöfer Markus

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brain imaging and event-related potential studies provide strong evidence that emotional stimuli guide selective attention in visual processing. A reflection of the emotional attention capture is the increased Early Posterior Negativity (EPN for pleasant and unpleasant compared to neutral images (~150–300 ms poststimulus. The present study explored whether this early emotion discrimination reflects an automatic phenomenon or is subject to interference by competing processing demands. Thus, emotional processing was assessed while participants performed a concurrent feature-based attention task varying in processing demands. Results Participants successfully performed the primary visual attention task as revealed by behavioral performance and selected event-related potential components (Selection Negativity and P3b. Replicating previous results, emotional modulation of the EPN was observed in a task condition with low processing demands. In contrast, pleasant and unpleasant pictures failed to elicit increased EPN amplitudes compared to neutral images in more difficult explicit attention task conditions. Further analyses determined that even the processing of pleasant and unpleasant pictures high in emotional arousal is subject to interference in experimental conditions with high task demand. Taken together, performing demanding feature-based counting tasks interfered with differential emotion processing indexed by the EPN. Conclusion The present findings demonstrate that taxing processing resources by a competing primary visual attention task markedly attenuated the early discrimination of emotional from neutral picture contents. Thus, these results provide further empirical support for an interference account of the emotion-attention interaction under conditions of competition. Previous studies revealed the interference of selective emotion processing when attentional resources were directed to locations of explicitly task

  10. Context heterogeneity has a sustained impact on attention deployment: behavioral and electrophysiological evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Wykowska, Agnieszka; Schubö, Anna

    2013-08-01

    In visual search, similar nearby stimuli can be grouped and thus enhance processing of an embedded target. The aim of the present study was to examine the time course of attention deployment after a brief presentation of stimulus arrays of different heterogeneity. Targets in less heterogeneous, grouped contexts yielded higher accuracy and larger N2pc amplitudes than targets in more heterogeneous, random contexts, indicating more efficient selection in the former. Subsequently presented probes yielded shorter reaction times and a larger posterior positivity when presented at the target location. This advantage was more pronounced after grouped compared to random contexts at the shorter compared to the longer interstimulus interval. The results show that less heterogeneous contexts that allow for grouping not only enhance processing of stimuli within that context, but have a sustained effect on visual attention.

  11. Personality dominance and preferential use of the vertical dimension of space: evidence from spatial attention paradigms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, Sara K; Robinson, Michael D; Zabelina, Darya L

    2008-04-01

    Previous research has shown that dominant individuals frequently think in terms of dominance hierarchies, which typically invoke vertical metaphor (e.g., "upper" vs. "lower" class). Accordingly, we predicted that in spatial attention paradigms, such individuals would systematically favor the vertical dimension of space more than individuals low in dominance. This prediction was supported by two studies (total N= 96), which provided three tests involving two different spatial attention paradigms. In all cases, analyses controlling for speed of response to horizontal spatial probes revealed that more dominant individuals were faster than less dominant individuals to respond to probes along the vertical dimension of space. Such data support the metaphor-representation perspective, according to which people think in metaphoric terms, even in on-line processing tasks. These results have implications for understanding dominance and also indicate that conceptual metaphor is relevant to understanding the cognitive-processing basis of personality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  13. Terror mismanagement: evidence that mortality salience exacerbates attentional bias in social anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch, Emma C; Iverach, Lisa; Menzies, Ross G; Jones, Mark

    2016-11-01

    Death anxiety is a basic fear underlying a range of psychological conditions, and has been found to increase avoidance in social anxiety. Given that attentional bias is a core feature of social anxiety, the aim of the present study was to examine the impact of mortality salience (MS) on attentional bias in social anxiety. Participants were 36 socially anxious and 37 non-socially anxious individuals, randomly allocated to a MS or control condition. An eye-tracking procedure assessed initial bias towards, and late-stage avoidance of, socially threatening facial expressions. As predicted, socially anxious participants in the MS condition demonstrated significantly more initial bias to social threat than non-socially anxious participants in the MS condition and socially anxious participants in the control condition. However, this effect was not found for late-stage avoidance of social threat. These findings suggest that reminders of death may heighten initial vigilance towards social threat.

  14. Focusing and shifting attention in human children (Homo sapiens) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Esther; Tomasello, Michael

    2015-08-01

    Humans often must coordinate co-occurring activities, and their flexible skills for doing so would seem to be uniquely powerful. In 2 studies, we compared 4- and 5-year-old children and one of humans' nearest relatives, chimpanzees, in their ability to focus and shift their attention when necessary. The results of Study 1 showed that 4-year-old children and chimpanzees were very similar in their ability to monitor two identical devices and to sequentially switch between the two to collect a reward, and that they were less successful at doing so than 5-year-old children. In Study 2, which required subjects to alternate between two different tasks, one of which had rewards continuously available whereas the other one only occasionally released rewards, no species differences were found. These results suggest that chimpanzees and human children share some fundamental attentional control skills, but that such abilities continue to develop during human ontogeny, resulting in the uniquely human capacity to succeed at complex multitasking.

  15. Exploring visual attention functions of the human extrageniculate pathways through behavioral cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizzi, Raphaël; Michael, George A

    2016-11-01

    Over the past few decades, evidence has accumulated showing that, at subcortical levels, visual attention depends partly on the extrageniculate neural pathways, that is, those pathways that bypass the lateral geniculate nucleus and circumvent the primary visual cortex. Working in concert with neuroscience, experimental psychology has contributed considerably to the understanding of the role these pathways play through the use of 3 behavioral cues: nasal-temporal asymmetries, responses to S-cone stimuli, and responses to perceptually suppressed stimuli. In this article, after presenting the extrageniculate pathways and the role of each of the component structures in visual attention, we review findings from studies that have used these behavioral cues, as well as what they tell us about the role of the extrageniculate pathways in visual attention. We conclude that nasal-temporal asymmetries and responses to S-cone stimuli are plausible probes of extrageniculate functions, because they are consistent with neurophysiological, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging findings. By contrast, despite promising perspectives, the literature is yet too scarce for responses to perceptually suppressed stimuli to be considered as a plausible probe of extrageniculate-dependent attention functions. (PsycINFO Database Record

  16. Gestalt perceptual organization of visual stimuli captures attention automatically: Electrophysiological evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Francesco Marini; Carlo Alberto Marzi

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the ps...

  17. Gestalt Perceptual Organization of Visual Stimuli Captures Attention Automatically: Electrophysiological Evidence

    OpenAIRE

    Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A.

    2016-01-01

    The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the ps...

  18. Electrophysiological evidence for attentional capture by irrelevant angry facial expressions: Naturalistic faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burra, Nicolas; Coll, Sélim Yahia; Barras, Caroline; Kerzel, Dirk

    2017-01-10

    Recently, research on lateralized event related potentials (ERPs) in response to irrelevant distractors has revealed that angry but not happy schematic distractors capture spatial attention. Whether this effect occurs in the context of the natural expression of emotions is unknown. To fill this gap, observers were asked to judge the gender of a natural face surrounded by a color singleton among five other face identities. In contrast to previous studies, the similarity between the task-relevant feature (color) and the distractor features was low. On some trials, the target was displayed concurrently with an irrelevant angry or happy face. The lateralized ERPs to these distractors were measured as a marker of spatial attention. Our results revealed that angry face distractors, but not happy face distractors, triggered a PD, which is a marker of distractor suppression. Subsequent to the PD, angry distractors elicited a larger N450 component, which is associated with conflict detection. We conclude that threatening expressions have a high attentional priority because of their emotional value, resulting in early suppression and late conflict detection.

  19. [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] Spoken Word Processing: Evidence from Divided Attention Paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shafiee Nahrkhalaji, Saeedeh; Lotfi, Ahmad Reza; Koosha, Mansour

    2016-10-01

    The present study aims to reveal some facts concerning first language ([Formula: see text] and second language ([Formula: see text] spoken-word processing in unbalanced proficient bilinguals using behavioral measures. The intention here is to examine the effects of auditory repetition word priming and semantic priming in first and second languages of these bilinguals. The other goal is to explore the effects of attention manipulation on implicit retrieval of perceptual and conceptual properties of spoken [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] words. In so doing, the participants performed auditory word priming and semantic priming as memory tests in their [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text]. In a half of the trials of each experiment, they carried out the memory test while simultaneously performing a secondary task in visual modality. The results revealed that effects of auditory word priming and semantic priming were present when participants processed [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] words in full attention condition. Attention manipulation could reduce priming magnitude in both experiments in [Formula: see text]. Moreover, [Formula: see text] word retrieval increases the reaction times and reduces accuracy on the simultaneous secondary task to protect its own accuracy and speed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Cristy; Mason, Oliver; Spence, Charles

    2007-05-01

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

  1. Attachment and children's biased attentional processing: evidence for the exclusion of attachment-related information.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Vandevivere

    Full Text Available Research in both infants and adults demonstrated that attachment expectations are associated with the attentional processing of attachment-related information. However, this research suffered from methodological issues and has not been validated across ages. Employing a more ecologically valid paradigm to measure attentional processes by virtue of eye tracking, the current study tested the defensive exclusion hypothesis in late childhood. According to this hypothesis, insecurely attached children are assumed to defensively exclude attachment-related information. We hypothesized that securely attached children process attachment- related neutral and emotional information in a more open manner compared to insecurely attached children. Sixty-two children (59.7% girls, 8-12 years completed two different tasks, while eye movements were recorded: task one presented an array of neutral faces including mother and unfamiliar women and task two presented the same with happy and angry faces. Results indicated that more securely attached children looked longer at mother's face regardless of the emotional expression. Also, they tend to have more maintained attention to mother's neutral face. Furthermore, more attachment avoidance was related to a reduced total viewing time of mother's neutral, happy, and angry face. Attachment anxiety was not consistently related to the processing of mother's face. Findings support the theoretical assumption that securely attached children have an open manner of processing all attachment-related information.

  2. Attention to color sharpens neural population tuning via feedback processing in the human visual cortex hierarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartsch, Mandy V; Loewe, Kristian; Merkel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Tsotsos, John K; Hopf, Jens-Max

    2017-09-25

    Attention can facilitate the selection of elementary object features like color, orientation, or motion. This is referred to as feature-based attention and commonly attributed to a modulation of the gain and tuning of feature-selective units in visual cortex. While gain mechanisms are well characterized, little is known about the cortical processes underlying the sharpening of feature selectivity. Here, we show with high-resolution magnetoencephalography in human observers (men and women) that sharpened selectivity for a particular color arises from feedback processing in the human visual cortex hierarchy. To assess color selectivity, we analyze the response to a color probe that varies in color-distance from an attended color target. We find that attention causes an initial gain enhancement in anterior ventral extrastriate cortex that is coarsely selective for the target color and transitions within ∼100 ms into a sharper tuned profile in more posterior ventral occipital cortex (VO-1/hV4). We conclude that attention sharpens selectivity over time by attenuating the response at lower levels of the cortical hierarchy to color values neighboring the target in color space. These observations support computational models proposing that attention tunes feature selectivity in visual cortex through backward-propagating attenuation of units less tuned to the target.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTWhether searching for your car, a particular item of clothing, or just obeying traffic lights, in everyday life we must select items based on color. But how does attention allow us to select a specific color? Here, we use high spatiotemporal resolution neuromagnetic recordings to examine how color selectivity emerges in the human brain. We find that color selectivity evolves as a coarse-to-fine process from higher to lower levels within the visual cortex hierarchy. Our observations support computational models proposing that feature selectivity increases over time, by attenuating the

  3. Pupil size directly modulates the feedforward response in human primary visual cortex independently of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombeke, Klaas; Duthoo, Wout; Mueller, Sven C; Hopf, Jens-Max; Boehler, C Nico

    2016-02-15

    Controversy revolves around the question of whether psychological factors like attention and emotion can influence the initial feedforward response in primary visual cortex (V1). Although traditionally, the electrophysiological correlate of this response in humans (the C1 component) has been found to be unaltered by psychological influences, a number of recent studies have described attentional and emotional modulations. Yet, research into psychological effects on the feedforward V1 response has neglected possible direct contributions of concomitant pupil-size modulations, which are known to also occur under various conditions of attentional load and emotional state. Here we tested the hypothesis that such pupil-size differences themselves directly affect the feedforward V1 response. We report data from two complementary experiments, in which we used procedures that modulate pupil size without differences in attentional load or emotion while simultaneously recording pupil-size and EEG data. Our results confirm that pupil size indeed directly influences the feedforward V1 response, showing an inverse relationship between pupil size and early V1 activity. While it is unclear in how far this effect represents a functionally-relevant adaptation, it identifies pupil-size differences as an important modulating factor of the feedforward response of V1 and could hence represent a confounding variable in research investigating the neural influence of psychological factors on early visual processing.

  4. Intrinsic architecture underlying the relations among the default, dorsal attention, and frontoparietal control networks of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spreng, R Nathan; Sepulcre, Jorge; Turner, Gary R; Stevens, W Dale; Schacter, Daniel L

    2013-01-01

    Human cognition is increasingly characterized as an emergent property of interactions among distributed, functionally specialized brain networks. We recently demonstrated that the antagonistic "default" and "dorsal attention" networks--subserving internally and externally directed cognition, respectively--are modulated by a third "frontoparietal control" network that flexibly couples with either network depending on task domain. However, little is known about the intrinsic functional architecture underlying this relationship. We used graph theory to analyze network properties of intrinsic functional connectivity within and between these three large-scale networks. Task-based activation from three independent studies were used to identify reliable brain regions ("nodes") of each network. We then examined pairwise connections ("edges") between nodes, as defined by resting-state functional connectivity MRI. Importantly, we used a novel bootstrap resampling procedure to determine the reliability of graph edges. Furthermore, we examined both full and partial correlations. As predicted, there was a higher degree of integration within each network than between networks. Critically, whereas the default and dorsal attention networks shared little positive connectivity with one another, the frontoparietal control network showed a high degree of between-network interconnectivity with each of these networks. Furthermore, we identified nodes within the frontoparietal control network of three different types--default-aligned, dorsal attention-aligned, and dual-aligned--that we propose play dissociable roles in mediating internetwork communication. The results provide evidence consistent with the idea that the frontoparietal control network plays a pivotal gate-keeping role in goal-directed cognition, mediating the dynamic balance between default and dorsal attention networks.

  5. Cross-Modal Decoding of Neural Patterns Associated with Working Memory: Evidence for Attention-Based Accounts of Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majerus, Steve; Cowan, Nelson; Péters, Frédéric; Van Calster, Laurens; Phillips, Christophe; Schrouff, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest common neural substrates involved in verbal and visual working memory (WM), interpreted as reflecting shared attention-based, short-term retention mechanisms. We used a machine-learning approach to determine more directly the extent to which common neural patterns characterize retention in verbal WM and visual WM. Verbal WM was assessed via a standard delayed probe recognition task for letter sequences of variable length. Visual WM was assessed via a visual array WM task involving the maintenance of variable amounts of visual information in the focus of attention. We trained a classifier to distinguish neural activation patterns associated with high- and low-visual WM load and tested the ability of this classifier to predict verbal WM load (high-low) from their associated neural activation patterns, and vice versa. We observed significant between-task prediction of load effects during WM maintenance, in posterior parietal and superior frontal regions of the dorsal attention network; in contrast, between-task prediction in sensory processing cortices was restricted to the encoding stage. Furthermore, between-task prediction of load effects was strongest in those participants presenting the highest capacity for the visual WM task. This study provides novel evidence for common, attention-based neural patterns supporting verbal and visual WM. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Influence of auditory spatial attention on cross-modal semantic priming effect: evidence from N400 effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongyan; Zhang, Gaoyan; Liu, Baolin

    2017-01-01

    Semantic priming is an important research topic in the field of cognitive neuroscience. Previous studies have shown that the uni-modal semantic priming effect can be modulated by attention. However, the influence of attention on cross-modal semantic priming is unclear. To investigate this issue, the present study combined a cross-modal semantic priming paradigm with an auditory spatial attention paradigm, presenting the visual pictures as the prime stimuli and the semantically related or unrelated sounds as the target stimuli. Event-related potentials results showed that when the target sound was attended to, the N400 effect was evoked. The N400 effect was also observed when the target sound was not attended to, demonstrating that the cross-modal semantic priming effect persists even though the target stimulus is not focused on. Further analyses revealed that the N400 effect evoked by the unattended sound was significantly lower than the effect evoked by the attended sound. This contrast provides new evidence that the cross-modal semantic priming effect can be modulated by attention.

  7. Embodied niche construction in the hominin lineage: semiotic structure and sustained attention in human embodied cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stutz, Aaron J

    2014-01-01

    Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC) hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuo Kida

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kida, Tetsuo; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2013-01-01

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

  10. To beg, or not to beg? That is the question: mangabeys modify their production of requesting gestures in response to human's attentional states.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Audrey Maille

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although gestural communication is widespread in primates, few studies focused on the cognitive processes underlying gestures produced by monkeys. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The present study asked whether red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus trained to produce visually based requesting gestures modify their gestural behavior in response to human's attentional states. The experimenter held a food item and displayed five different attentional states that differed on the basis of body, head and gaze orientation; mangabeys had to request food by extending an arm toward the food item (begging gesture. Mangabeys were sensitive, at least to some extent, to the human's attentional state. They reacted to some postural cues of a human recipient: they gestured more and faster when both the body and the head of the experimenter were oriented toward them than when they were oriented away. However, they did not seem to use gaze cues to recognize an attentive human: monkeys begged at similar levels regardless of the experimenter's eyes state. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results indicate that mangabeys lowered their production of begging gestures when these could not be perceived by the human who had to respond to it. This finding provides important evidence that acquired begging gestures of monkeys might be used intentionally.

  11. Attachment Avoidance Is Significantly Related to Attentional Preference for Infant Faces: Evidence from Eye Movement Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Yuncheng; Cheng, Gang; Zhang, Dajun; Ta, Na; Xia, Mu; Ding, Fangyuan

    2017-01-01

    Objective: To determine the influence of adult attachment orientations on infant preference. Methods: We adopted eye-tracking technology to monitor childless college women’s eye movements when looking at pairs of faces, including one adult face (man or woman) and one infant face, with three different expressions (happy, sadness, and neutral). The participants (N = 150; 84% Han ethnicity) were aged 18–29 years (M = 19.22, SD = 1.72). A random intercepts multilevel linear regression analysis was used to assess the unique contribution of attachment avoidance, determined using the Experiences in Close Relationships scale, to preference for infant faces. Results: Women with higher attachment avoidance showed less infant preference, as shown by less sustained overt attentional bias to the infant face than the adult face based on fixation time and count. Conclusion: Adult attachment might be related to infant preference according to eye movement indices. Women with higher attachment avoidance may lack attentional preference for infant faces. The findings may aid the treatment and remediation of the interactions between children and mothers with insecure attachment. PMID:28184210

  12. Electrophysiological evidence of personal experiences in the great Sichuan earthquake impacting on selective attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Event-related brain potentials(ERPs) were measured when 24 Chinese subjects performed the earthquake color-matching Stroop task.All of them have experienced the great Sichuan earthquake(5.12),with 12 subjects in each of Chengdu city and Chongqing city(different earthquake experiences) groups.The behavioral data showed that the earthquake Stroop task yielded robust the earthquake interference effect as indexed by longer RT for earthquake-related(Related) words than earthquake-unrelated(Unrelated) words only in the Chengdu group.Scalp ERP analysis also revealed the neurophysiological substrate of the interference effect:a greater positivity(P350-450) in Related words as compared to Unrelated words was found between 350 and 450 ms post-stimulus over fronto-central scalp regions in the Chengdu group,while the interference effect was not found in the Chongqing group.The P350-450 might reflect an earthquake experience interference,but also attention enhancing,effect of earthquake-related words.Dipole source analysis of the difference wave(Related-Unrelated) showed that a generator was localized in the parahippocampal gyrus,which was possibly associated with flashbulb memory(personal earthquake experience).The results indicated that different personal earthquake experiences might be critical in engaging the neural mechanisms that underlie the modulation of selective attention.

  13. Evidence inhibition responds reactively to the salience of distracting information during focused attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalie Wyatt

    Full Text Available Along with target amplification, distractor inhibition is regarded as a major contributor to selective attention. Some theories suggest that the strength of inhibitory processing is proportional to the salience of the distractor (i.e., inhibition reacts to the distractor intensity. Other theories suggest that the strength of inhibitory processing does not depend on the salience of the distractor (i.e., inhibition does not react to the distractor intensity. The present study aimed to elucidate the relationship between the intensity of a distractor and its subsequent inhibition during focused attention. A flanker task with a variable distractor-target stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA was used to measure both distractor interference and distractor inhibition. We manipulated the intensity of the distractor in two separate ways, by varying its distance from the target (Experiment 1 and by varying its brightness (Experiment 2. The results indicate that more intense distractors were associated with both increased interference and stronger distractor inhibition. The latter outcome provides novel support for the reactive inhibition hypothesis, which posits that inhibition reacts to the strength of distractor input, such that more salient distractors elicit stronger inhibition.

  14. Electrophysiological evidence of personal experiences in the great Sichuan earthquake impacting on selective attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QIU Jiang; LI Hong; ZHANG QingLin; HUANG LiHui; GUO YaQiao; TU Shen; WANG Ting; WEI DongTao

    2009-01-01

    Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured when 24 Chinese subjects performed the earth quake color-matching Stroop task. All of them have experienced the great Sichuan earthquake (5.12),with 12 subjects in each of Chengdu city and Chongqing city (different earthquake experiences) groups.The behavioral data showed that the earthquake Stroop task yielded robust the earthquake interference effect as indexed by longer RT for earthquake-related (Related) words than earthquake-unrelated (Unrelated) words only in the Chengdu group. Scalp ERP analysis also revealed the neurophysiological substrate of the interference effect: a greater positivity (P350--450) in Related words as compared to Unrelated words was found between 350 and 450 ms post-stimulus over fronto-central scalp regions in the Chengdu group, while the interference effect was not found in the Chongqing group. The P35H50 might reflect an earthquake experience interference, but also attention enhancing, effect of earthquake-related words. Dipole source analysis of the difference wave (Related-Unrelated) showed that a generator was localized in the parahippocampsl gyrus, which was possibly associated with flashbulb memory (personal earthquake experience). The results indicated that different personal earthquake experiences might be critical in engaging the neural mechanisms that underlie the modulation of selective attention.

  15. Collective attention and stock prices: evidence from Google Trends data on Standard and Poor's 100.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raphael H Heiberger

    Full Text Available Today´s connected world allows people to gather information in shorter intervals than ever before, widely monitored by massive online data sources. As a dramatic economic event, recent financial crisis increased public interest for large companies considerably. In this paper, we exploit this change in information gathering behavior by utilizing Google query volumes as a "bad news" indicator for each corporation listed in the Standard and Poor´s 100 index. Our results provide not only an investment strategy that gains particularly in times of financial turmoil and extensive losses by other market participants, but reveal new sectoral patterns between mass online behavior and (bearish stock market movements. Based on collective attention shifts in search queries for individual companies, hence, these findings can help to identify early warning signs of financial systemic risk. However, our disaggregated data also illustrate the need for further efforts to understand the influence of collective attention shifts on financial behavior in times of regular market activities with less tremendous changes in search volumes.

  16. Collective attention and stock prices: evidence from Google Trends data on Standard and Poor's 100.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiberger, Raphael H

    2015-01-01

    Today´s connected world allows people to gather information in shorter intervals than ever before, widely monitored by massive online data sources. As a dramatic economic event, recent financial crisis increased public interest for large companies considerably. In this paper, we exploit this change in information gathering behavior by utilizing Google query volumes as a "bad news" indicator for each corporation listed in the Standard and Poor´s 100 index. Our results provide not only an investment strategy that gains particularly in times of financial turmoil and extensive losses by other market participants, but reveal new sectoral patterns between mass online behavior and (bearish) stock market movements. Based on collective attention shifts in search queries for individual companies, hence, these findings can help to identify early warning signs of financial systemic risk. However, our disaggregated data also illustrate the need for further efforts to understand the influence of collective attention shifts on financial behavior in times of regular market activities with less tremendous changes in search volumes.

  17. Electrophysiological evidence for adult age-related sparing and decrements in emotion perception and attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, Joshua W.; Khoja, Nadia; Kaut, Kevin P.; Lien, Mei-Ching; Allen, Philip A.

    2012-01-01

    The present study examined adult age differences in processing emotional faces using a psychological refractory period paradigm. We used both behavioral and event-related potential (P1 component) measures. Task 1 was tone discrimination (fuzzy vs. pure tones) and Task 2 was emotional facial discrimination (“happy” vs. “angry” faces). The stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between the two tasks was 100, 300, and 900 ms. Earlier research observed larger age deficits in emotional facial discrimination for negative (angry) than for positive (happy) faces (Baena et al., 2010). Thus, we predicted that older adults would show decreased attentional efficiency in carrying out dual-task processing on the P1 (a component linked to amygdalar modulation of visual perception; Rotshtein et al., 2010). Both younger and older groups showed significantly higher P1 amplitudes at 100- and 300-ms SOAs than at the 900-ms SOA, and this suggests that both age groups could process Task 2 faces without central attention. Also, younger adults showed significantly higher P1 activations for angry than for happy faces, but older adults showed no difference. These results are consistent with the idea that younger adults exhibited amygdalar modulation of visual perception, but that older adults did not. PMID:22936901

  18. Electrophysiological Evidence for Adult Age-Related Sparing and Decrements in Emotion Perception and Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua W. Pollock

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The present study examined adult age differences in processing emotional faces using a psychological refractory period (PRP paradigm. We used both behavioral and event-related potential (P1 component measures. Task 1 was tone discrimination (fuzzy vs. pure tones and Task 2 was emotional facial discrimination (happy vs. angry faces. The stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA between the two tasks was 100 ms, 300 ms, and 900 ms. Earlier research observed age deficits in emotional facial discrimination for negative (angry than for positive (happy faces (Baena et al., 2010. Thus, we predicted that older adults would show decreased attentional efficiency in carrying out dual-task processing on the P1 (a component linked to amygdalar modulation of visual perception; Rotshtein et al., 2010. Both younger and older groups showed significantly higher P1 amplitudes at 100- and 300-ms SOAs than at the 900-ms SOA, and this suggests that both age groups could process Task 2 emotions without central attention. Also, younger adults showed significantly higher P1 activations for angry than for happy faces, but older adults showed no difference. These results are consistent with the idea that younger adults exhibited amygdalar modulation of visual perception, but that older adults did not.

  19. Evidence for Attentional Gradient in the Serial Position Memory Curve from Event-related Potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azizian, Allen; Polich, John

    2009-01-01

    The occurrence of primacy versus recency effects in free recall is suggested to reflect either two distinct memory systems, or the operation of a single system that is modulated by allocation of attention and less vulnerable to interference. Behavioral and event-related brain potential (ERPs) measures were used to investigate the encoding substrates of the serial position curve and subsequent recall in young adults. Participants were instructed to remember lists of words consisting of 12 common nouns each presented once every 1.5 sec, with a recall signal following the last word to indicate that all remembered items should be written on paper. This procedure was repeated for 20 different word lists. Both performance and late ERP amplitudes reflected classic recall serial position effects. Greater recall and larger late positive component amplitudes were obtained for the primacy and recency items, with less recall and smaller amplitudes for the middle words. The late positive component was larger for recalled compared to unrecalled primacy items, but it did not differ between memory performance outcomes for the recency items. The close relationship between the enhanced amplitude and primacy retrieval supports the view that this positive component reflects one of a process series related to attentional gradient and encoding of events for storage in memory. Recency effects appear to index operations determined by the anticipation of the last stimulus presentation, which occurred for both recalled and unrecalled memory items. Theoretical implications are discussed. PMID:17892393

  20. Enhancing academic achievement for children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: evidence from school-based intervention research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jitendra, Asha K; Dupaul, George J; Someki, Fumio; Tresco, Katy E

    2008-01-01

    Although children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) exhibit significant academic difficulties in school settings, considerably less attention is devoted to remediating their academic problems when compared to behavioral and social difficulties. The purpose of this article is to review empirically supported academic interventions for children with ADHD. Specific evidence-based academic interventions are described under the categories of reading and mathematics, with examples that illustrate teacher-mediated interventions focusing on basic skills (e.g., phonological awareness in reading, mathematics computation) and higher-level cognitive skills (e.g., collaborative strategic reading, CSR; schema-based instruction, SBI). Finally, implications for educational practice and directions for future research on school-based academic interventions for students with ADHD are discussed.

  1. Pupillometric evidence for the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline system facilitating attentional processing of action-triggered visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kihara, Ken; Takeuchi, Tatsuto; Yoshimoto, Sanae; Kondo, Hirohito M; Kawahara, Jun I

    2015-01-01

    It has been argued that attentional processing of visual stimuli is facilitated by a voluntary action that triggers the stimulus onset. However, the relationship between action-induced facilitation of attention and the neural substrates has not been well established. The present study investigated whether the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline (LC-NA) system is involved in this facilitation effect. A rapid serial visual presentation paradigm was used to assess the dynamics of transient attention in humans. Participants were instructed to change a digit stream to a letter stream by pressing a button and specifying successive targets of four letters. Pupil dilation was measured as an index of LC-NA function. Accuracy of target identification was better when the temporal delay between participants' key press and target onset was 800 ms than when targets appeared just after the key press or when targets appeared without key press. Accuracy of target identification was positively correlated with both the peak amplitude of pupil dilation and the pupil size at the time of the key press. These results indicate that target identification in the visual task is closely linked to pupil dilation. We conclude that the LC-NA system plays an important role in the facilitation of transient attention driven by voluntary action.

  2. Pupillometric evidence for the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline system facilitating attentional processing of action-triggered visual stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken eKihara

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available It has been argued that attentional processing of visual stimuli is facilitated by a voluntary action that triggers the stimulus onset. However, the relationship between action-induced facilitation of attention and the neural substrates has not been well established. The present study investigated whether the locus coeruleus-noradrenaline (LC-NA system is involved in this facilitation effect. A rapid serial visual presentation paradigm was used to assess the dynamics of transient attention in humans. Participants were instructed to change a digit stream to a letter stream by pressing a button and specifying successive targets of four letters. Pupil dilation was measured as an index of LC-NA function. Accuracy of target identification was better when the temporal delay between participants' key press and target onset was 800 ms than when targets appeared just after the key press or when targets appeared without key press. Accuracy of target identification was positively correlated with both the peak amplitude of pupil dilation and the pupil size at the time of the key press. These results indicate that target identification in the visual task is closely linked to pupil dilation. We conclude that the LC-NA system plays an important role in the facilitation of transient attention driven by voluntary action.

  3. Attention to the color of a moving stimulus modulates motion-signal processing in macaque area MT: evidence for a unified attentional system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steffen Katzner

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Directing visual attention to spatial locations or to non-spatial stimulus features can strongly modulate responses of individual cortical sensory neurons. Effects of attention typically vary in magnitude, not only between visual cortical areas but also between individual neurons from the same area. Here, we investigate whether the size of attentional effects depends on the match between the tuning properties of the recorded neuron and the perceptual task at hand. We recorded extracellular responses from individual direction-selective neurons in area MT of rhesus monkeys trained to attend either to the color or the motion signal of a moving stimulus. We found that effects of spatial and feature-based attention in MT, which are typically observed in tasks allocating attention to motion, were very similar even when attention was directed to the color of the stimulus. We conclude that attentional modulation can occur in extrastriate cortex, even under conditions without a match between the tuning properties of the recorded neuron and the perceptual task at hand. Our data are consistent with theories of object-based attention describing a transfer of attention from relevant to irrelevant features, within the attended object and across the visual field. These results argue for a unified attentional system that modulates responses to a stimulus across cortical areas, even if a given area is specialized for processing task-irrelevant aspects of that stimulus.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Jia; LI Chang; HE ChunHong; CHEN AnTao

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Two kinds of attention in Pavlovian conditioning: evidence for a hybrid model of learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haselgrove, Mark; Esber, Guillem R; Pearce, John M; Jones, Peter M

    2010-10-01

    Four appetitive Pavlovian conditioning experiments with rats examined the rate at which the discrimination between compounds AY and AX was solved relative to the discrimination between compounds AY and BY. In Experiments 1 and 2, these discriminations were preceded by training in which A and B were continuously reinforced and X and Y were partially reinforced. Consistent with the Pearce and Hall (1980) model, the results showed that the AY/AX discrimination was solved more readily than the AY/BY discrimination. In Experiments 3 and 4, the discriminations were preceded by feature-positive training in which trials with AX and BY signaled food but trials with X and Y did not. Consistent with the Mackintosh (1975) model, the results showed that the AY/BY discrimination was solved more readily than the AY/AX discrimination. These results are discussed with respect to a hybrid model of conditioning and attention.

  6. Explosive vocal activity for attracting human attention is related to domestication in silver fox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogoleva, Svetlana S; Volodin, Ilya A; Volodina, Elena V; Kharlamova, Anastasia V; Trut, Lyudmila N

    2011-02-01

    Domestication affects behavioral and vocal responses, involved in communication with humans; in particular, those that attract human attention. In this study, we found that silver foxes of Tame strain, experimentally domesticated for a few tenses of generation, displayed bursts of vocal activity during the first minute after appearance of an unfamiliar human, that faded quickly during the remaining time of the test, when the experimenter stayed passively before the cage. Distinctively, foxes of Aggressive strain, artificially selected for tenses of generation for aggressive behavior toward humans, and the control group of Unselected for behavior silver foxes kept steady levels of vocal activity for the duration of the tests. We found also that Aggressive foxes vocalized for a larger proportion of time than Unselected foxes for all 5 min of the test. We discuss the obtained data in relation to proposal effects of domestication on mechanisms directed to involving people into human-animal interactions and structural similarity between human laughter and vocalization of Tame foxes.

  7. Addressing the threat of evidence-based practice to qualitative inquiry through increasing attention to quality: a discussion paper.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Antonia M

    2008-02-01

    The current evidence-based practice (EBP) movement in healthcare emphasizes that clinical decision making should be based on the "best evidence" available, preferably the findings of randomized clinical trials. Within this context qualitative research findings are considered to have little value and the old debate in nursing has been re-ignited related to whether qualitative versus quantitative research findings provides the best empirical evidence for nursing practice. In response to this crisis qualitative scholars have been called upon by leaders in the field to clarify for outsiders what qualitative research is and to be more explicit in pointing out the utility of qualitative research findings. In addition, attention to "quality" in qualitative research has been identified as an area worthy of renewed focus. Within this paper two key problems related to addressing these issues are reviewed: disagreement not only among "outsiders" but also some nursing scholars related to the definition of "qualitative research", and a lack of consensus related how to best address "rigor" in this type of inquiry. Based on this review a set of standard requirements for qualitative research published in nursing journals is proposed that reflects a uniform definition of qualitative research and an enlarged yet clearly articulated conceptualization of quality. The approach suggested provides a framework for developing and evaluating qualitative research that would have both defensible scholarly merit and heuristic value. This will help solidify the argument in favor of incorporating qualitative research findings as part of the empirical "evidence" upon which evidence-based nursing is founded.

  8. Functional maps of human auditory cortex: effects of acoustic features and attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David L Woods

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: While human auditory cortex is known to contain tonotopically organized auditory cortical fields (ACFs, little is known about how processing in these fields is modulated by other acoustic features or by attention. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI and population-based cortical surface analysis to characterize the tonotopic organization of human auditory cortex and analyze the influence of tone intensity, ear of delivery, scanner background noise, and intermodal selective attention on auditory cortex activations. Medial auditory cortex surrounding Heschl's gyrus showed large sensory (unattended activations with two mirror-symmetric tonotopic fields similar to those observed in non-human primates. Sensory responses in medial regions had symmetrical distributions with respect to the left and right hemispheres, were enlarged for tones of increased intensity, and were enhanced when sparse image acquisition reduced scanner acoustic noise. Spatial distribution analysis suggested that changes in tone intensity shifted activation within isofrequency bands. Activations to monaural tones were enhanced over the hemisphere contralateral to stimulation, where they produced activations similar to those produced by binaural sounds. Lateral regions of auditory cortex showed small sensory responses that were larger in the right than left hemisphere, lacked tonotopic organization, and were uninfluenced by acoustic parameters. Sensory responses in both medial and lateral auditory cortex decreased in magnitude throughout stimulus blocks. Attention-related modulations (ARMs were larger in lateral than medial regions of auditory cortex and appeared to arise primarily in belt and parabelt auditory fields. ARMs lacked tonotopic organization, were unaffected by acoustic parameters, and had distributions that were distinct from those of sensory responses. Unlike the gradual adaptation seen for sensory responses

  9. A neuroanatomically grounded Hebbian-learning model of attention-language interactions in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garagnani, Max; Wennekers, Thomas; Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2008-01-01

    Meaningful familiar stimuli and senseless unknown materials lead to different patterns of brain activation. A late major neurophysiological response indexing 'sense' is the negative component of event-related potential peaking at around 400 ms (N400), an event-related potential that emerges in attention-demanding tasks and is larger for senseless materials (e.g. meaningless pseudowords) than for matched meaningful stimuli (words). However, the mismatch negativity (latency 100-250 ms), an early automatic brain response elicited under distraction, is larger to words than to pseudowords, thus exhibiting the opposite pattern to that seen for the N400. So far, no theoretical account has been able to reconcile and explain these findings by means of a single, mechanistic neural model. We implemented a neuroanatomically grounded neural network model of the left perisylvian language cortex and simulated: (i) brain processes of early language acquisition and (ii) cortical responses to familiar word and senseless pseudoword stimuli. We found that variation of the area-specific inhibition (the model correlate of attention) modulated the simulated brain response to words and pseudowords, producing either an N400- or a mismatch negativity-like response depending on the amount of inhibition (i.e. available attentional resources). Our model: (i) provides a unifying explanatory account, at cortical level, of experimental observations that, so far, had not been given a coherent interpretation within a single framework; (ii) demonstrates the viability of purely Hebbian, associative learning in a multilayered neural network architecture; and (iii) makes clear predictions on the effects of attention on latency and magnitude of event-related potentials to lexical items. Such predictions have been confirmed by recent experimental evidence.

  10. Evidence for Cardiomyocyte Renewal in Humans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergmann, O; Bhardwaj, R D; Bernard, S; Zdunek, S; Barnabe-Heider, F; Walsh, S; Zupicich, J; Alkass, K; Buchholz, B A; Druid, H; Jovinge, S; Frisen, J

    2008-10-14

    It has been difficult to establish whether we are limited to the heart muscle cells we are born with or if cardiomyocytes are generated also later in life. We have taken advantage of the integration of {sup 14}C, generated by nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War, into DNA to establish the age of cardiomyocytes in humans. We report that cardiomyocytes renew, with a gradual decrease from 1% turning over annually at the age of 20 to 0.3% at the age of 75. Less than 50% of cardiomyocytes are exchanged during a normal lifespan. The capacity to generate cardiomyocytes in the adult human heart suggests that it may be rational to work towards the development of therapeutic strategies aiming to stimulate this process in cardiac pathologies.

  11. Dynamics of Media Attention

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Worry or craving? A selective review of evidence for food-related attention biases in obese individuals, eating-disorder patients, restrained eaters and healthy samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werthmann, Jessica; Jansen, Anita; Roefs, Anne

    2015-05-01

    Living in an 'obesogenic' environment poses a serious challenge for weight maintenance. However, many people are able to maintain a healthy weight indicating that not everybody is equally susceptible to the temptations of this food environment. The way in which someone perceives and reacts to food cues, that is, cognitive processes, could underlie differences in susceptibility. An attention bias for food could be such a cognitive factor that contributes to overeating. However, an attention bias for food has also been implicated with restrained eating and eating-disorder symptomatology. The primary aim of the present review was to determine whether an attention bias for food is specifically related to obesity while also reviewing evidence for attention biases in eating-disorder patients, restrained eaters and healthy-weight individuals. Another aim was to systematically examine how selective attention for food relates (causally) to eating behaviour. Current empirical evidence on attention bias for food within obese samples, eating-disorder patients, and, even though to a lesser extent, in restrained eaters is contradictory. However, present experimental studies provide relatively consistent evidence that an attention bias for food contributes to subsequent food intake. This review highlights the need to distinguish not only between different (temporal) attention bias components, but also to take different motivations (craving v. worry) and their impact on attentional processing into account. Overall, the current state of research suggests that biased attention could be one important cognitive mechanism by which the food environment tempts us into overeating.

  13. Attention and inhibition in bilingual children: evidence from the dimensional change card sort task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialystok, Ellen; Martin, Michelle M

    2004-06-01

    In a previous study, a bilingual advantage for preschool children in solving the dimensional change card sort task was attributed to superiority in inhibition of attention (Bialystok, 1999). However, the task includes difficult representational demands to encode and interpret the task stimuli, and bilinguals may also have profited from superior representational abilities. This possibility is examined in three studies. In Study 1, bilinguals outperformed monolinguals on versions of the problem containing moderate representational demands but not on a more demanding condition. Studies 2 and 3 demonstrated that bilingual children were more skilled than monolinguals when the target dimensions were perceptual features of the stimulus and that the two groups were equivalent when the target dimensions were semantic features. The conclusions are that bilinguals have better inhibitory control for ignoring perceptual information than monolinguals do but are not more skilled in representation, confirming the results of the original study. The results also identify the ability to ignore an obsolete display feature as the critical difficulty in solving this task.

  14. Three key regions for supervisory attentional control: Evidence from neuroimaging meta-analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cieslik, Edna C.; Mueller, Veronika I.; Eickhoff, Claudia R.; Langner, Robert; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2014-01-01

    The supervisory attentional system has been proposed to mediate non-routine, goal-oriented behaviour by guiding the selection and maintenance of the goal-relevant task schema. Here, we aimed to delineate the brain regions that mediate these high-level control processes via neuroimaging meta-analysis. In particular, we investigated the core neural correlates of a wide range of tasks requiring supervisory control for the suppression of a routine action in favour of another, non-routine one. Our sample comprised n = 173 experiments employing go/no-go, stop-signal, Stroop or spatial interference tasks. Consistent convergence across all four paradigm classes was restricted to right anterior insula and inferior frontal junction, with anterior midcingulate cortex and pre-supplementary motor area being consistently involved in all but the go/no-go task. Taken together with lesion studies in patients, our findings suggest that the controlled activation and maintenance of adequate task schemata relies, across paradigms, on a right-dominant midcingulo-insular-inferior frontal core network. This also implies that the role of other prefrontal and parietal regions may be less domain-general than previously thought. PMID:25446951

  15. ERP evidence of a meaningfulness impact on visual global/local processing: when meaning captures attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaucousin, Virginie; Cassotti, Mathieu; Simon, Grégory; Pineau, Arlette; Kostova, Milena; Houdé, Olivier; Poirel, Nicolas

    2011-04-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded to investigate whether the meaningfulness of experimental stimuli impacted performances during global/local visual tasks. Participants were presented with compound stimuli, based on either meaningful letters, meaningful objects, or meaningless non-objects. The ERP recordings displayed typical early components, P1 and N1, evoked by task-related processes that affected global and local processes differently according to the meaningfulness of the stimuli. The effect of meaningfulness of the stimuli during global processing showed that P1 amplitudes were larger in response to objects and non-objects compared to letters, while letters and objects elicited larger N1 amplitudes than non-objects. Second, during local processing, the mean amplitudes of the ERPs recorded for object and letter stimuli were systematically smaller than the amplitudes recorded for non-object stimuli for both P1 and N1 components. In addition, object and letter stimuli elicited comparable mean ERP responses during local processing. These results are discussed in terms of the influences of both attentional and top-down identification processes. Taken together, these findings suggested that looking for meaning is crucial in the perception of visual scenes and that the meaningfulness nature of the stimuli should be taken into account in future studies.

  16. Validity evidence of the brazilian version of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víviam Vargas de Barros

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Mindfulness is a skill that allows the practitioner to expand an existing space between stimulus and response, so he/she may make more conscious choices which in turn prevents the perpetuation of dysfunctional patterns of behaviors, contributing to the improvement of his/her well-being. The goal of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Brazilian version of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS in a sample with 395 participants divided into smokers, people from the general population, college students and meditators. They answered the MAAS and the Psychological Well-Being Scale (PWBS. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to test the factor structure of the MAAS. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability and split half were respectively assessed with Cronbach's α and correlation coefficients. Construct validity was examined by correlating the MAAS with psychological well-being. Criterion validity was assessed by comparing the meditators' scores on the MAAS with the scores of other participants. After the exploratory factor analysis, the Brazilian MAAS remained a unidimensional scale. Reliability [α = .83; split half = .67 and test-retest = .80 (p < .001] and validity measures were adequate, except the criterion validity which was not confirmed in the mentioned sample.

  17. Strategies for implementing evidence-based psychosocial interventions for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eiraldi, Ricardo B; Mautone, Jennifer A; Power, Thomas J

    2012-01-01

    An extensive amount of research has demonstrated the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for children with ADHD. Historically, the research has focused on interventions targeting problems in the home or school setting, but more recent research has highlighted the importance of family – school partnerships and conjoint approaches to intervention involving family and school. Effective approaches to psychosocial intervention consist of strategies to address performance deficits, promote adaptive behavior, and improve children’s self-control and academic and social skills. Considerable evidence exists to indicate that combined approaches are more effective in reducing ADHD symptoms and related academic and social impairments than separate treatments.

  18. Effects of nicotine on emotional distraction of attentional orienting: evidence of possible moderation by dopamine type 2 receptor genotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammersley, Jonathan J; Rzetelny, Adam; Gilbert, David G; Rabinovich, Norka E; Small, Stacey L; Huggenvik, Jodi I

    2013-04-01

    Growing evidence suggests that attentional bias to, and distraction by, emotional stimuli may moderate affective states and motivation for nicotine and other drug use. The present study assessed the effects of nicotine and dopamine receptor genotype on distraction by emotional pictures, during a modified spatial attention task, in 46 overnight-deprived smokers. Relative to placebo, 14mg nicotine patch produced shorter overall reaction times (RTs) and individuals with two dopamine type 2 receptor (DRD2) A2 alleles exhibited the greatest RT benefit from nicotine following emotionally negative pictures after the longest cue-target delay (800ms), but benefitted least from nicotine following positive pictures after the shortest delay (400ms). In contrast, at the shortest delay, A1 carriers did not benefit from nicotine following emotionally negative pictures but did following positive ones. These genetic differences in the effects of nicotine on attention immediately following emotionally positive versus negative stimuli may reflect differential excitatory and inhibitory transmitter processes related to approach (reward) and avoidance (punishment) sensitivities of dopamine-related neural networks that support positive and negative affect. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Understanding of visual attention by adult humans (Homo sapiens): a partial replication of Povinelli, Bierschwale, and Cech (1999).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Emily; Murphy, Mary; Pitt, Rebecca; Rivers, Angela; Leavens, David A

    2008-11-01

    Povinelli, Bierschwale, and Cech (1999) reported that when tested on a visual attention task, the behavior of juvenile chimpanzees did not support a high-level understanding of visual attention. This study replicates their research using adult humans and aims to investigate the validity of their experimental design. Participants were trained to respond to pointing cues given by an experimenter, and then tested on their ability to locate hidden objects from visual cues. Povinelli et al.'s assertion that the generalization of pointing to gaze is indicative of a high-level framework was not supported by our findings: Training improved performance only on initial probe trials when the experimenter's gaze was not directed at the baited cup. Furthermore, participants performed above chance on such trials, the same result exhibited by chimpanzees and used as evidence by Povinelli et al. to support a low-level framework. These findings, together with the high performance of participants in an incongruent condition, in which the experimenter pointed to or gazed at an unbaited container, challenge the validity of their experimental design. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Exploring the Cognitive Foundations of the Shared Attention Mechanism: Evidence for a Relationship between Self-Categorization and Shared Attention across the Autism Spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skorich, Daniel P.; Gash, Tahlia B.; Stalker, Katie L.; Zheng, Lidan; Haslam, S. Alexander

    2017-01-01

    The social difficulties of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are typically explained as a disruption in the Shared Attention Mechanism (SAM) sub-component of the theory of mind (ToM) system. In the current paper, we explore the hypothesis that SAM's capacity to construct the self-other-object relations necessary for shared-attention arises from a…

  1. The mind-writing pupil : A human-computer interface based on decoding of covert attention through pupillometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mathôt, Sebastiaan; Melmi, Jean Baptiste; Van Der Linden, Lotje; Van Der Stigchel, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    We present a new human-computer interface that is based on decoding of attention through pupillometry. Our method builds on the recent finding that covert visual attention affects the pupillary light response: Your pupil constricts when you covertly (without looking at it) attend to a bright, compar

  2. The Mind-Writing Pupil : A Human-Computer Interface Based on Decoding of Covert Attention through Pupillometry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mathot, Sebastiaan; Melmi, Jean-Baptiste; van der Linden, Lotje; van der Stigchel, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    We present a new human-computer interface that is based on decoding of attention through pupillometry. Our method builds on the recent finding that covert visual attention affects the pupillary light response: Your pupil constricts when you covertly (without looking at it) attend to a bright, compar

  3. A methodology for coupling a visual enhancement device to human visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todorovic, Aleksandar; Black, John A., Jr.; Panchanathan, Sethuraman

    2009-02-01

    The Human Variation Model views disability as simply "an extension of the natural physical, social, and cultural variability of mankind." Given this human variation, it can be difficult to distinguish between a prosthetic device such as a pair of glasses (which extends limited visual abilities into the "normal" range) and a visual enhancement device such as a pair of binoculars (which extends visual abilities beyond the "normal" range). Indeed, there is no inherent reason why the design of visual prosthetic devices should be limited to just providing "normal" vision. One obvious enhancement to human vision would be the ability to visually "zoom" in on objects that are of particular interest to the viewer. Indeed, it could be argued that humans already have a limited zoom capability, which is provided by their highresolution foveal vision. However, humans still find additional zooming useful, as evidenced by their purchases of binoculars equipped with mechanized zoom features. The fact that these zoom features are manually controlled raises two questions: (1) Could a visual enhancement device be developed to monitor attention and control visual zoom automatically? (2) If such a device were developed, would its use be experienced by users as a simple extension of their natural vision? This paper details the results of work with two research platforms called the Remote Visual Explorer (ReVEx) and the Interactive Visual Explorer (InVEx) that were developed specifically to answer these two questions.

  4. Active glass-type human augmented cognition system considering attention and intention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Bumhwi; Ojha, Amitash; Lee, Minho

    2015-10-01

    Human cognition is the result of an interaction of several complex cognitive processes with limited capabilities. Therefore, the primary objective of human cognitive augmentation is to assist and expand these limited human cognitive capabilities independently or together. In this study, we propose a glass-type human augmented cognition system, which attempts to actively assist human memory functions by providing relevant, necessary and intended information by constantly assessing intention of the user. To achieve this, we exploit selective attention and intention processes. Although the system can be used in various real-life scenarios, we test the performance of the system in a person identity scenario. To detect the intended face, the system analyses the gaze points and change in pupil size to determine the intention of the user. An assessment of the gaze points and change in pupil size together indicates that the user intends to know the identity and information about the person in question. Then, the system retrieves several clues through speech recognition system and retrieves relevant information about the face, which is finally displayed through head-mounted display. We present the performance of several components of the system. Our results show that the active and relevant assistance based on users' intention significantly helps the enhancement of memory functions.

  5. Top 10 Lines of Evidence for Human Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickels, Martin

    2001-01-01

    Provides 10 lines of evidence that support the theory of human evolution. The evidence relates to hierarchical taxonomic classification, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology and development, comparative biochemistry, adaptive compromises, vestigial structures, biogeography, the fossil sequence, ecological coherence of fossil assemblages,…

  6. Sustained attention in context conditioning: Evidence from steady-state VEPs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kastner, Anna K; Pauli, Paul; Wieser, Matthias J

    2015-12-01

    In classical fear conditioning an aversive event is paired repeatedly with a predictive stimulus, which later elicits fear. Repeated presentation of an aversive event in the absence of a predictive cue however may induce anxiety, and the context may gain a threatening value. As such conditioned anxiety can be considered a sustained reaction compared to phasic fear, it would be interesting to track continuous cortical responses during context conditioning. The present study realized a differential context conditioning paradigm and assessed sustained cortical activations to the threatening and the safe context and how neutral cues are processed within both contexts. Two pictures of different office rooms presented for 20s served as contexts. One room became associated with an unpleasant noise that was presented unpredictably (CTX+) while the other office (CTX-) was never associated with this unpleasant noise. After acquisition, a social agent or an object was presented as a distractor in both contexts. Cortical activations in response to contexts and distractors were assessed separately by steady-state visually evoked potentials (ssVEPs) using frequency tagging. Results revealed enhanced ssVEP-amplitudes for CTX+ compared to CTX- in a lateral occipital cluster during acquisition. Similarly, CTX+ elicited higher ssVEP-amplitudes during the test phase, and these context conditioning effects were not reduced by the simultaneous presentation of novel distractors. These results indicate that context conditioning was successfully implemented and that the anxiety context received facilitated cortical processing across the whole viewing time. We conclude that threatening contexts capture attention over a longer period of time, and are immune to distraction by new objects.

  7. Written threat: Electrophysiological evidence for an attention bias to affective words in social anxiety disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wabnitz, Pascal; Martens, Ulla; Neuner, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is associated with heightened sensitivity to threat cues, typically represented by emotional facial expressions. To examine if this bias can be transferred to a general hypersensitivity or whether it is specific to disorder relevant cues, we investigated electrophysiological correlates of emotional word processing (alpha activity and event-related potentials) in 20 healthy participants and 20 participants with SAD. The experimental task was a silent reading of neutral, positive, physically threatening and socially threatening words (the latter were abusive swear words) while responding to a randomly presented dot. Subsequently, all participants were asked to recall as many words as possible during an unexpected recall test. Participants with SAD showed blunted sensory processing followed by a rapid processing of emotional words during early stages (early posterior negativity - EPN). At later stages, all participants showed enhanced processing of negative (physically and socially threatening) compared to neutral and positive words (N400). Moreover, at later processing stages alpha activity was increased specifically for negative words in participants with SAD but not in healthy controls. Recall of emotional words for all subjects was best for socially threatening words, followed by negative and positive words irrespective of social anxiety. The present findings indicate that SAD is associated with abnormalities in emotional word processing characterised by early hypervigilance to emotional cues followed by cognitive avoidance at later processing stages. Most importantly, the specificity of these attentional biases seems to change as a function of time with a general emotional bias at early and a more specific bias at later processing stages.

  8. An attentional-adaptation account of spatial negative priming: evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaonan L; Walsh, Matthew M; Reder, Lynne M

    2014-03-01

    Negative priming (NP) refers to a slower response to a target stimulus if it has been previously ignored. To examine theoretical accounts of spatial NP, we recorded behavioral measures and event-related potentials (ERPs) in a target localization task. A target and distractor briefly appeared, and the participant pressed a key corresponding to the target's location. The probability of the distractor appearing in each of four locations varied, whereas the target appeared with equal probabilities in all locations. We found that response times (RTs) were fastest when the prime distractor appeared in its most probable (frequent) location and when the prime target appeared in the location that never contained a distractor. Moreover, NP effects varied as a function of location: They were smallest when targets followed distractors in the frequent distractor location-a finding not predicted by episodic-retrieval or suppression accounts of NP. The ERP results showed that the P2, an ERP component associated with attentional orientation, was smaller in prime displays when the distractor appeared in its frequent location. Moreover, no differences were apparent between negative-prime and control trials in the N2, which is associated with suppression processes, nor in the P3, which is associated with episodic retrieval processes. These results indicate that the spatial NP effect is caused by both short- and long-term adaptation in preferences based on the history of inspecting unsuccessful locations. This article is dedicated to the memory of Edward E. Smith, and we indicate how this study was inspired by his research career.

  9. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms and Low Educational Achievement: Evidence Supporting A Causal Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Zeeuw, Eveline L; van Beijsterveldt, Catharina E M; Ehli, Erik A; de Geus, Eco J C; Boomsma, Dorret I

    2017-02-13

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and educational achievement are negatively associated in children. Here we test the hypothesis that there is a direct causal effect of ADHD on educational achievement. The causal effect is tested in a genetically sensitive design to exclude the possibility of confounding by a third factor (e.g. genetic pleiotropy) and by comparing educational achievement and secondary school career in children with ADHD who take or do not take methylphenidate. Data on ADHD symptoms, educational achievement and methylphenidate usage were available in a primary school sample of ~10,000 12-year-old twins from the Netherlands Twin Register. A substantial group also had longitudinal data at ages 7-12 years. ADHD symptoms were cross-sectionally and longitudinally, associated with lower educational achievement at age 12. More ADHD symptoms predicted a lower-level future secondary school career at age 14-16. In both the cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, testing the direct causal effect of ADHD on educational achievement, while controlling for genetic and environmental factors, revealed an association between ADHD symptoms and educational achievement independent of genetic and environmental pleiotropy. These findings were confirmed in MZ twin intra-pair differences models, twins with more ADHD symptoms scored lower on educational achievement than their co-twins. Furthermore, children with ADHD medication, scored significantly higher on the educational achievement test than children with ADHD who did not use medication. Taken together, the results are consistent with a direct causal effect of ADHD on educational achievement.

  10. Embodied Niche Construction in the Hominin Lineage: Semiotic Structure and Sustained Attention in Human Embodied Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Jonas Stutz

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment.

  11. A Combination Cocktail Improves Spatial Attention in a Canine Model of Human Aging and Alzheimer's disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, Elizabeth; Murphey, Heather L.; Dowling, Amy L.S.; McCarty, Katie L.; Bethel, Samuel R.; Nitz, Jonathan A.; Pleiss, Melanie; Vanrooyen, Jenna; Grossheim, Mike; Smiley, Jeffery R.; Murphy, M. Paul; Beckett, Tina L.; Pagani, Dieter; Bresch, Frederick; Hendrix, Curt

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) involves multiple pathological processes in the brain, including increased inflammation and oxidative damage, as well as the accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) plaques. We hypothesized that a combinatorial therapeutic approach to target these multiple pathways may provide cognitive and neuropathological benefits for AD patients. To test this hypothesis, we used a canine model of human aging and AD. Aged dogs naturally develop learning and memory impairments, human-type Aβ deposits and oxidative damage in the brain. Thus, 9 aged beagles (98-115 months) were treated with a medical food cocktail containing (1) an extract of turmeric containing 95% curcuminoids; (2) an extract of green tea containing 50% epigallocatechingallate; (3) N-acetyl cysteine; (4) R-alpha lipoic acid; and (5) an extract of black pepper containing 95% piperine. Nine similarly aged dogs served as placebo-treated controls. After 3 months of treatment, 13 dogs completed a variable distance landmark task used as a measure of spatial attention. As compared to placebo-treated animals, dogs receiving the medical food cocktail had significantly lower error scores (t(11)=4.3, p=0.001) and were more accurate across all distances (F(1,9)=20.7, p=0.001), suggesting an overall improvement in spatial attention. Measures of visual discrimination learning, executive function and spatial memory, and levels of brain and CSF Aβ were unaffected by the cocktail. Our results indicate that this medical food cocktail may be beneficial for improving spatial attention and motivation deficits associated with impaired cognition in aging and AD. PMID:22886019

  12. Attentional Drift: An Exploratory Study into the Development of an Attention Level Monitoring System Based on Human Eye Fixation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    based on the Multiple Resource Theory ( MRT ) of Human Cognitive Performance (Wickens, 2002). MRT pertains to our ability to effectively perform multiple...processing: encoding, central processing, and responding. All three stages tap an individuals’ mental workload capacity. Wickens (1992) also stated that MRT ...that the mind sacrifices the peripheral visual data to allow for increased cognitive capacity. And secondly, an individual can become pre-occupied

  13. The brain's silent messenger: using selective attention to decode human thought for brain-based communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naci, Lorina; Cusack, Rhodri; Jia, Vivian Z; Owen, Adrian M

    2013-05-29

    The interpretation of human thought from brain activity, without recourse to speech or action, is one of the most provoking and challenging frontiers of modern neuroscience. In particular, patients who are fully conscious and awake, yet, due to brain damage, are unable to show any behavioral responsivity, expose the limits of the neuromuscular system and the necessity for alternate forms of communication. Although it is well established that selective attention can significantly enhance the neural representation of attended sounds, it remains, thus far, untested as a response modality for brain-based communication. We asked whether its effect could be reliably used to decode answers to binary (yes/no) questions. Fifteen healthy volunteers answered questions (e.g., "Do you have brothers or sisters?") in the fMRI scanner, by selectively attending to the appropriate word ("yes" or "no"). Ninety percent of the answers were decoded correctly based on activity changes within the attention network. The majority of volunteers conveyed their answers with less than 3 min of scanning, suggesting that this technique is suited for communication in a reasonable amount of time. Formal comparison with the current best-established fMRI technique for binary communication revealed improved individual success rates and scanning times required to detect responses. This novel fMRI technique is intuitive, easy to use in untrained participants, and reliably robust within brief scanning times. Possible applications include communication with behaviorally nonresponsive patients.

  14. Visual attention to plain and ornamented human bodies: an eye-tracking study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlrab, Silke; Fink, Bernhard; Pyritz, Lennart W; Rahlfs, Moritz; Kappeler, Peter M

    2007-06-01

    Signaling mate quality through visual adornments is a common phenomenon in animals and humans. However, humans are probably the only species who applies artificial ornaments. Such deliberate alterations of the skin, e.g., tattoos and scarring patterns, have been discussed by researchers as potential handicap signals, but there is still very little information about a potential biological signaling value of body modification. In this study eye-tracking was employed to investigate the signaling value of tattoos and other body modification. Measurement of gaze duration of 50 individuals while watching plain, scarred, accessorized, and tattooed bodies of artificial human images indicated that participants looked significantly longer at tattooed than at scarred, accessorized, and plain bodies. Generally, male participants paid more attention to tattooed stimuli of both sexes. More detailed analyses showed that particularly female tattooed stimuli were looked at longer. These findings are discussed within an evolutionary framework by suggesting that tattoos might have some signaling value which influences the perception of both male and female conspecifics and may hence also affect mating decisions.

  15. Natural Tendency towards Beauty in Humans: Evidence from Binocular Rivalry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Ce; Xia, Tiansheng; Qin, Kaixin; Mo, Lei

    2016-01-01

    Although human preference for beauty is common and compelling in daily life, it remains unknown whether such preference is essentially subserved by social cognitive demands or natural tendency towards beauty encoded in the human mind intrinsically. Here we demonstrate experimentally that humans automatically exhibit preference for visual and moral beauty without explicit cognitive efforts. Using a binocular rivalry paradigm, we identified enhanced gender-independent perceptual dominance for physically attractive persons, and the results suggested universal preference for visual beauty based on perceivable forms. Moreover, we also identified perceptual dominance enhancement for characters associated with virtuous descriptions after controlling for facial attractiveness and vigilance-related attention effects, which suggested a similar implicit preference for moral beauty conveyed in prosocial behaviours. Our findings show that behavioural preference for beauty is driven by an inherent natural tendency towards beauty in humans rather than explicit social cognitive processes.

  16. Natural Tendency towards Beauty in Humans: Evidence from Binocular Rivalry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ce Mo

    Full Text Available Although human preference for beauty is common and compelling in daily life, it remains unknown whether such preference is essentially subserved by social cognitive demands or natural tendency towards beauty encoded in the human mind intrinsically. Here we demonstrate experimentally that humans automatically exhibit preference for visual and moral beauty without explicit cognitive efforts. Using a binocular rivalry paradigm, we identified enhanced gender-independent perceptual dominance for physically attractive persons, and the results suggested universal preference for visual beauty based on perceivable forms. Moreover, we also identified perceptual dominance enhancement for characters associated with virtuous descriptions after controlling for facial attractiveness and vigilance-related attention effects, which suggested a similar implicit preference for moral beauty conveyed in prosocial behaviours. Our findings show that behavioural preference for beauty is driven by an inherent natural tendency towards beauty in humans rather than explicit social cognitive processes.

  17. Limited Attention and Discourse Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Walker, M A

    1995-01-01

    This squib examines the role of limited attention in a theory of discourse structure and proposes a model of attentional state that relates current hierarchical theories of discourse structure to empirical evidence about human discourse processing capabilities. First, I present examples that are not predicted by Grosz and Sidner's stack model of attentional state. Then I consider an alternative model of attentional state, the cache model, which accounts for the examples, and which makes particular processing predictions. Finally I suggest a number of ways that future research could distinguish the predictions of the cache model and the stack model.

  18. Lines of evidence for environmentally driven human migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, K. F.; D'Odorico, P.

    2012-12-01

    International human migration is an important mechanism that affects, and is affected by, various human and natural systems. With the number of people living outside their countries of origin currently estimated at 214 million people and projected to potentially reach more than 400 million people by mid-century, the topic of international human movements presents possible advantages and pitfalls for both sending and receiving countries on multiple fronts (e.g. economic, environmental, political and cultural). Understanding how human migration interacts with human and natural systems is therefore essential in realizing a sustainable and balanced future. While the study of international migration has historically been motivated largely by economic and political interests, the issue of environmentally induced migration has become increasingly important in light of a rapidly changing climate in conjunction with increasing population pressure on many important resources. Particularly in terms of theoretical and conceptual discussions, environmentally induced human migration has been receiving increased attention in the literature. To date, few studies - many of which focus on internal (intra-national) or regional migration - have attempted to quantify the interactions of human migration and the environment, with little attention paid to the global scale as a result of varying regional factors and lack of sufficient data. Recently available global bilateral migration datasets have been developed that allow for a more comprehensive understanding of human movements between all countries. With these datasets, we seek to elucidate environmental drivers of human migration over the past half-century using a multi-pronged approach. First, using a recently developed universal radiation model, we examine human movements based solely on global population distribution. Next, by comparison of migration movements with selected economic, environmental and human welfare indicators, we

  19. Review of current evidence on the impact of pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls and selected metals on attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder in children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kinga Polańska

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this review was to investigate the association between attention defi cit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADHD- related symptoms and industrial chemicals, such as organophosphates and organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, lead, mercury and manganese. Medline, PubMed and EBSCO searches were performed to identify the studies that analyzed the association of prenatal and postnatal child exposure to such toxicants and ADHD or ADHD-related symptoms. The review is restricted to human studies published in English in peer-reviewed journals since 2000. Most of the presented studies focused on pesticides, PCB and lead. The impact of mercury and manganese was investigated less frequently. The fi ndings indicate that children’s exposure to organophosphate pesticides may cause symptoms consistent with pervasive developmental disorder, ADHD or attention problems. Exposures to organochlorine pesticides and PCBs were associated with ADHD-like behaviors such as alertness, quality of alert response, and cost of attention. The studies provided evidence that blood lead level below 10 μg/dl was associated with ADHD or ADHD-related symptoms. Information on the association between exposure to mercury and neurotoxicity is limited, and requires further confi rmation in future research. Two studies indicated that exposure to manganese is related to ADHD; such exposure and its impact on children neurodevelopment need to be further investigated. Future studies should use a prospective design with multiple biological samples collected over time for better assessment of exposure and its critical windows. Additionally, inclusion of potential confounding factors and co-exposures is crucial.

  20. ERP evidence for selective drop in attentional costs in uncertain environments: challenging a purely premotor account of covert orienting of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasaponara, Stefano; Chica, Ana B; Lecce, Francesca; Lupianez, Juan; Doricchi, Fabrizio

    2011-07-01

    Several studies have proved that the reliability of endogenous spatial cues linearly modulates the reaction time advantage in the processing of targets at validly cued vs. invalidly cued locations, i.e. the "validity effect". This would imply that with non-predictive cues, no "validity effect" should be observed. However, contrary to this prediction, one could hypothesize that attentional benefits by valid cuing (i.e. the RT advantage for validly vs. neutrally cued targets) can still be maintained with non-predictive cues, if the brain were endowed with mechanisms allowing the selective reduction in costs of reorienting from invalidly cued locations (i.e. the reduction of the RT disadvantage for invalidly vs. neutrally cued targets). This separated modulation of attentional benefits and costs would be adaptive in uncertain contexts where cues predict at chance level the location of targets. Through the joint recording of manual reaction times and event-related cerebral potentials (ERPs), we have found that this is the case and that relying on non-predictive endogenous cues results in abatement of attentional costs and the difference in the amplitude of the P1 brain responses evoked by invalidly vs. neutrally cued targets. In contrast, the use of non-predictive cues leaves unaffected attentional benefits and the difference in the amplitude of the N1 responses evoked by validly vs. neutrally cued targets. At the individual level, the drop in costs with non-predictive cues was matched with equivalent lateral biases in RTs to neutrally and invalidly cued targets presented in the left and right visual field. During the cue period, the drop in costs with non-predictive cues was preceded by reduction of the Early Directing Attention Negativity (EDAN) on posterior occipital sites and by enhancement of the frontal Anterior Directing Attention Negativity (ADAN) correlated to preparatory voluntary orienting. These findings demonstrate, for the first time, that the segregation

  1. A computer vision system for rapid search inspired by surface-based attention mechanisms from human perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohr, Johannes; Park, Jong-Han; Obermayer, Klaus

    2014-12-01

    Humans are highly efficient at visual search tasks by focusing selective attention on a small but relevant region of a visual scene. Recent results from biological vision suggest that surfaces of distinct physical objects form the basic units of this attentional process. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how such surface-based attention mechanisms can speed up a computer vision system for visual search. The system uses fast perceptual grouping of depth cues to represent the visual world at the level of surfaces. This representation is stored in short-term memory and updated over time. A top-down guided attention mechanism sequentially selects one of the surfaces for detailed inspection by a recognition module. We show that the proposed attention framework requires little computational overhead (about 11 ms), but enables the system to operate in real-time and leads to a substantial increase in search efficiency.

  2. "Shifts in attention during mental fatigue: Evidence from subjective, behavioral, physiological, and eye-tracking data": Correction to Hopstaken et al. (2016).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

    Reports an error in "Shifts in attention during mental fatigue: Evidence from subjective, behavioral, physiological, and eye-tracking data" by Jesper F. Hopstaken, Dimitri van der Linden, Arnold B. Bakker, Michiel A. J. Kompier and Yik Kiu Leung (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 2016[Jun], Vol 42[6], 878-889). In the article, there were formatting errors in columns 1 through 8 of Table 2. The correct table is present in the erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2016-01220-001.) There is an increasing amount of evidence that during mental fatigue, shifts in motivation drive performance rather than reductions in finite mental energy. So far, studies that investigated such an approach have mainly focused on cognitive indicators of task engagement that were measured during controlled tasks, offering limited to no alternative stimuli. Therefore it remained unclear whether during fatigue, attention is diverted to stimuli that are unrelated to the task, or whether fatigued individuals still focused on the task but were unable to use their cognitive resources efficiently. With a combination of subjective, EEG, pupil, eye-tracking, and performance measures the present study investigated the influence of mental fatigue on a cognitive task which also contained alternative task-unrelated stimuli. With increasing time-on-task, task engagement and performance decreased, but there was no significant decrease in gaze toward the task-related stimuli. After increasing the task rewards, irrelevant rewarding stimuli where largely ignored, and task engagement and performance were restored, even though participants still reported to be highly fatigued. Overall, these findings support an explanation of less efficient processing of the task that is influenced by motivational cost/reward tradeoffs, rather than a depletion of a finite mental energy resource. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved

  3. Face Scanning in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Human Versus Dog Face Scanning

    OpenAIRE

    Mauro eMuszkat; Claudia Berlim De Melo; Patricia de Oliveira Lima Muñoz; Tania Kiehl Lucci; Vinicius Frayze David; José de Oliveira Siqueira; Emma eOtta

    2015-01-01

    This study used eye tracking to explore attention allocation to human and dog faces in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and typical development (TD). Significant differences were found among the three groups. TD participants looked longer at the eyes than ASD and ADHD ones, irrespective of the faces presented. In spite of this difference, groups were similar in that they looked more to the eyes than to the mouth are...

  4. Recognizing the Degree of Human Attention Using EEG Signals from Mobile Sensors

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    During the learning process, whether students remain attentive throughout instruction generally influences their learning efficacy. If teachers can instantly identify whether students are attentive they can be suitably reminded to remain focused, thereby improving their learning effects. Traditional teaching methods generally require that teachers observe students’ expressions to determine whether they are attentively learning. However, this method is often inaccurate and increases the burden...

  5. Acute stress alters auditory selective attention in humans independent of HPA: a study of evoked potentials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludger Elling

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Acute stress is a stereotypical, but multimodal response to a present or imminent challenge overcharging an organism. Among the different branches of this multimodal response, the consequences of glucocorticoid secretion have been extensively investigated, mostly in connection with long-term memory (LTM. However, stress responses comprise other endocrine signaling and altered neuronal activity wholly independent of pituitary regulation. To date, knowledge of the impact of such "paracorticoidal" stress responses on higher cognitive functions is scarce. We investigated the impact of an ecological stressor on the ability to direct selective attention using event-related potentials in humans. Based on research in rodents, we assumed that a stress-induced imbalance of catecholaminergic transmission would impair this ability. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The stressor consisted of a single cold pressor test. Auditory negative difference (Nd and mismatch negativity (MMN were recorded in a tonal dichotic listening task. A time series of such tasks confirmed an increased distractibility occurring 4-7 minutes after onset of the stressor as reflected by an attenuated Nd. Salivary cortisol began to rise 8-11 minutes after onset when no further modulations in the event-related potentials (ERP occurred, thus precluding a causal relationship. This effect may be attributed to a stress-induced activation of mesofrontal dopaminergic projections. It may also be attributed to an activation of noradrenergic projections. Known characteristics of the modulation of ERP by different stress-related ligands were used for further disambiguation of causality. The conjuncture of an attenuated Nd and an increased MMN might be interpreted as indicating a dopaminergic influence. The selective effect on the late portion of the Nd provides another tentative clue for this. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Prior studies have deliberately tracked the adrenocortical influence

  6. Evidence of mirror neurons in human inferior frontal gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilner, James M; Neal, Alice; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Friston, Karl J; Frith, Chris D

    2009-08-12

    There is much current debate about the existence of mirror neurons in humans. To identify mirror neurons in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) of humans, we used a repetition suppression paradigm while measuring neural activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects either executed or observed a series of actions. Here we show that in the IFG, responses were suppressed both when an executed action was followed by the same rather than a different observed action and when an observed action was followed by the same rather than a different executed action. This pattern of responses is consistent with that predicted by mirror neurons and is evidence of mirror neurons in the human IFG.

  7. No evidence of a Neanderthal contribution to modern human diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Hodgson, Jason A.; Disotell, Todd R

    2008-01-01

    The relationship between Neanderthals and modern humans is contentious, but recent advances in Neanderthal genomics have shed new light on their evolutionary history. Here we review the available evidence and find no indication of any Neanderthal contribution to modern genetic diversity.

  8. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, C.; Hendy, J.; Speller, C.

    2014-01-01

    directly to individuals and their dairy livestock. Here we report the first direct evidence of milk consumption, the whey protein β-lactoglobulin (BLG), preserved in human dental calculus from the Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BCE) to the present day. Using protein tandem mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that BLG...

  9. Growing evidence for human health benefits of boron

    Science.gov (United States)

    Growing evidence from numerous laboratories using a variety of experimental models shows that boron is a bioactive beneficial, perhaps essential, element for humans. Reported beneficial actions of boron include arthritis alleviation or risk reduction; bone growth and maintenance; central nervous sys...

  10. Behavioral and genetic evidence for a novel animal model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Predominantly Inattentive Subtype

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang-James Y

    2008-12-01

    genomic differences between the WKY/NCrl and WKY/NHsd rats for eight short tandem repeat loci and 2625 SNPs. About 33.5 percent of the genome differs between the two WKY rat substrains, with large stretches of divergence on each chromosome. Discussion These data provide solid behavioral and genetic evidence that the WKY/NCrl and WKY/NHsd rats should be considered as separate substrains. Moreover, the behavioral features of the WKY/NCrl rat indicate that it should be a useful model for ADHD-PI, the primarily inattentive subtype of ADHD. The SD/NTac and the WH/HanTac rats show significant genetic and/or behavioral differences from WKY/NHsd rats and appear not to be appropriate controls in studies using the SHR/NCrl. The present results support the conclusion that SHR/NCrl is the best validated animal model of ADHD-C. The overactivity, impulsiveness and deficient sustained attention of the SHR/NCrl strain are independent behaviors. Thus, overactivity does not account for this strain's impulsiveness and deficient sustained attention. Finally, the present study shows that great care has to be exercised to select the model and comparison groups.

  11. Family-genetic study of executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Evidence for an endophenotype?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slaats-Willemse, D.I.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.; Sonneville, L.M. de; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2007-01-01

    This study examined familiality of attentional control and mental flexibility in multiplex attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) families. The authors hypothesized that siblings of ADHD probands, although not behaviorally expressing ADHD, have deficits in these executive functions and that

  12. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, C.; Hendy, J.; Speller, C.;

    2014-01-01

    is a species-specific biomarker of dairy consumption, and we identify individuals consuming cattle, sheep, and goat milk products in the archaeological record. We then apply this method to human dental calculus from Greenland's medieval Norse colonies, and report a decline of this biomarker leading up......Milk is a major food of global economic importance, and its consumption is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Humans have exploited animal milk as a food resource for at least 8500 years, but the origins, spread, and scale of dairying remain poorly understood. Indirect lines...... of evidence, such as lipid isotopic ratios of pottery residues, faunal mortality profiles, and lactase persistence allele frequencies, provide a partial picture of this process; however, in order to understand how, where, and when humans consumed milk products, it is necessary to link evidence of consumption...

  13. Object-Based Visual Attention in 8-Month-Old Infants: Evidence from an Eye-Tracking Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulf, Hermann; Valenza, Eloisa

    2013-01-01

    Visual attention is one of the infant's primary tools for gathering relevant information from the environment for further processing and learning. The space-based component of visual attention in infants has been widely investigated; however, the object-based component of visual attention has received scarce interest. This scarcity is…

  14. Competitive interactions of attentional resources in early visual cortex during sustained visuospatial attention within or between visual hemifields: evidence for the different-hemifield advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Sabrina; Quigley, Cliodhna; Mueller, Matthias M

    2014-05-01

    Performing a task across the left and right visual hemifields results in better performance than in a within-hemifield version of the task, termed the different-hemifield advantage. Although recent studies used transient stimuli that were presented with long ISIs, here we used a continuous objective electrophysiological (EEG) measure of competitive interactions for attentional processing resources in early visual cortex, the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP). We frequency-tagged locations in each visual quadrant and at central fixation by flickering light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at different frequencies to elicit distinguishable SSVEPs. Stimuli were presented for several seconds, and participants were cued to attend to two LEDs either in one (Within) or distributed across left and right visual hemifields (Across). In addition, we introduced two reference measures: one for suppressive interactions between the peripheral LEDs by using a task at fixation where attention was withdrawn from the periphery and another estimating the upper bound of SSVEP amplitude by cueing participants to attend to only one of the peripheral LEDs. We found significantly greater SSVEP amplitude modulations in Across compared with Within hemifield conditions. No differences were found between SSVEP amplitudes elicited by the peripheral LEDs when participants attended to the centrally located LEDs compared with when peripheral LEDs had to be ignored in Across and Within trials. Attending to only one LED elicited the same SSVEP amplitude as Across conditions. Although behavioral data displayed a more complex pattern, SSVEP amplitudes were well in line with the predictions of the different-hemifield advantage account during sustained visuospatial attention.

  15. Attention and prediction in human audition: a lesson from cognitive psychophysiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröger, Erich; Marzecová, Anna; SanMiguel, Iria

    2015-01-01

    Attention is a hypothetical mechanism in the service of perception that facilitates the processing of relevant information and inhibits the processing of irrelevant information. Prediction is a hypothetical mechanism in the service of perception that considers prior information when interpreting the sensorial input. Although both (attention and prediction) aid perception, they are rarely considered together. Auditory attention typically yields enhanced brain activity, whereas auditory prediction often results in attenuated brain responses. However, when strongly predicted sounds are omitted, brain responses to silence resemble those elicited by sounds. Studies jointly investigating attention and prediction revealed that these different mechanisms may interact, e.g. attention may magnify the processing differences between predicted and unpredicted sounds. Following the predictive coding theory, we suggest that prediction relates to predictions sent down from predictive models housed in higher levels of the processing hierarchy to lower levels and attention refers to gain modulation of the prediction error signal sent up to the higher level. As predictions encode contents and confidence in the sensory data, and as gain can be modulated by the intention of the listener and by the predictability of the input, various possibilities for interactions between attention and prediction can be unfolded. From this perspective, the traditional distinction between bottom-up/exogenous and top-down/endogenous driven attention can be revisited and the classic concepts of attentional gain and attentional trace can be integrated. PMID:25728182

  16. Problems and problem attention in the construction sector – understanding the influence of human factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Sunding

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Problems concerning quality and productivity in the construction sector have been a recurrent issue for many years and seem to remain in spite of various initiatives for resolving them. This situation is a result of human action. From social sciences we know that psychological factors crucially influence action design. Knowledge of this influence seems however to be underestimated in the construction sector, and could represent a missing link between strategies, plans and instructions, and the actions carried out. In order to prospect for new problem solving approaches we undertook a questionnaire-based survey to investigate how individuals in the sector perceive the importance and occurrence of, and attention directed to, different proposed causes of inadequate performance. The design of the questionnaire enabled comparisons of different answers to look beyond the respondents’ overt answers.       The result suggests that (1 the whole problem solving situation, including individual, relational and contextual problem components should be addressed as ‘the problem’; (2 the workforce has the ambition and courage to do what is expected but does not always have adequate information and the ability or resources to do it; (3 mental information distortion might be responsible for affecting the way the world is understood.

  17. Problems and problem attention in the construction sector – understanding the influence of human factors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lars Sunding

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Problems concerning quality and productivity in the construction sector have been a recurrent issue for many years and seem to remain in spite of various initiatives for resolving them. This situation is a result of human action. From social sciences we know that psychological factors crucially influence action design. Knowledge of this influence seems however to be underestimated in the construction sector, and could represent a missing link between strategies, plans and instructions, and the actions carried out.In order to prospect for new problem solving approaches we undertook a questionnaire-based survey to investigate how individuals in the sector perceive the importance and occurrence of, and attention directed to, different proposed causes of inadequate performance. The design of the questionnaire enabled comparisons of different answers to look beyond the respondents’ overt answers.      The result suggests that (1 the whole problem solving situation, including individual, relational and contextual problem components should be addressed as ‘the problem’; (2 the workforce has the ambition and courage to do what is expected but does not always have adequate information and the ability or resources to do it; (3 mental information distortion might be responsible for affecting the way the world is understood.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. How early is infants’ attention to objects and actions shaped by culture? New evidence from 24-month-olds raised in the US and China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra R Waxman

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Researchers have proposed that the culture in which we are raised shapes the way that we attend to the objects and events that surround us. What remains unclear, however, is how early any such culturally-inflected differences emerge in development. Here, we address this issue directly, asking how 24-month-old infants from the US and China deploy their attention to objects and actions in dynamic scenes. By analyzing infants’ eye movements while they observed dynamic scenes, the current experiment revealed striking convergences, overall, in infants’ patterns of visual attention in the two communities, but also pinpointed a brief period during which their attention reliably diverged. This divergence, though modest, suggested that infants from the US devoted relatively more attention to the objects and those from China devoted relatively more attention to the actions in which they were engaged. This provides the earliest evidence for strong overlap in infants’ attention to objects and events in dynamic scenes, but also raises the possibility that by 24 months, infants’ attention may also be shaped subtly by the culturally-inflected attentional proclivities characteristic of adults in their cultural communities.

  20. How Early is Infants' Attention to Objects and Actions Shaped by Culture? New Evidence from 24-Month-Olds Raised in the US and China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waxman, Sandra R; Fu, Xiaolan; Ferguson, Brock; Geraghty, Kathleen; Leddon, Erin; Liang, Jing; Zhao, Min-Fang

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have proposed that the culture in which we are raised shapes the way that we attend to the objects and events that surround us. What remains unclear, however, is how early any such culturally-inflected differences emerge in development. Here, we address this issue directly, asking how 24-month-old infants from the US and China deploy their attention to objects and actions in dynamic scenes. By analyzing infants' eye movements while they observed dynamic scenes, the current experiment revealed striking convergences, overall, in infants' patterns of visual attention in the two communities, but also pinpointed a brief period during which their attention reliably diverged. This divergence, though modest, suggested that infants from the US devoted relatively more attention to the objects and those from China devoted relatively more attention to the actions in which they were engaged. This provides the earliest evidence for strong overlap in infants' attention to objects and events in dynamic scenes, but also raises the possibility that by 24 months, infants' attention may also be shaped subtly by the culturally-inflected attentional proclivities characteristic of adults in their cultural communities.

  1. Double attention bias for positive and negative emotional faces in clinical depression: evidence from an eye-tracking study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duque, Almudena; Vázquez, Carmelo

    2015-03-01

    According to cognitive models, attentional biases in depression play key roles in the onset and subsequent maintenance of the disorder. The present study examines the processing of emotional facial expressions (happy, angry, and sad) in depressed and non-depressed adults. Sixteen unmedicated patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and 34 never-depressed controls (ND) completed an eye-tracking task to assess different components of visual attention (orienting attention and maintenance of attention) in the processing of emotional faces. Compared to ND, participants with MDD showed a negative attentional bias in attentional maintenance indices (i.e. first fixation duration and total fixation time) for sad faces. This attentional bias was positively associated with the severity of depressive symptoms. Furthermore, the MDD group spent a marginally less amount of time viewing happy faces compared with the ND group. No differences were found between the groups with respect to angry faces and orienting attention indices. The current study is limited by its cross-sectional design. These results support the notion that attentional biases in depression are specific to depression-related information and that they operate in later stages in the deployment of attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Characterization of Evidence for Human System Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, S. L.; Van Baalen, M.; Rossi, M.; Riccio, G.; Romero, E.; Francisco, D.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the kinds of evidence available and using the best evidence to answer a question is critical to evidenced-based decision-making, and it requires synthesis of evidence from a variety of sources. Categorization of human system risks in spaceflight, in particular, focuses on how well the integration and interpretation of all available evidence informs the risk statement that describes the relationship between spaceflight hazards and an outcome of interest. A mature understanding and categorization of these risks requires: 1) sufficient characterization of risk, 2) sufficient knowledge to determine an acceptable level of risk (i.e., a standard), 3) development of mitigations to meet the acceptable level of risk, and 4) identification of factors affecting generalizability of the evidence to different design reference missions. In the medical research community, evidence is often ranked by increasing confidence in findings gleaned from observational and experimental research (e.g., "levels of evidence"). However, an approach based solely on aspects of experimental design is problematic in assessing human system risks for spaceflight. For spaceflight, the unique challenges and opportunities include: (1) The independent variables in most evidence are the hazards of spaceflight, such as space radiation or low gravity, which cannot be entirely duplicated in terrestrial (Earth-based) analogs, (2) Evidence is drawn from multiple sources including medical and mission operations, Lifetime Surveillance of Astronaut Health (LSAH), spaceflight research (LSDA), and relevant environmental & terrestrial databases, (3) Risk metrics based primarily on LSAH data are typically derived from available prevalence or incidence data, which may limit rigorous interpretation, (4) The timeframe for obtaining adequate spaceflight sample size (n) is very long, given the small population, (5) Randomized controlled trials are unattainable in spaceflight, (6) Collection of personal and

  3. The Processing of Human Emotional Faces by Pet and Lab Dogs: Evidence for Lateralization and Experience Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Anjuli L A; Randi, Dania; Müller, Corsin A; Huber, Ludwig

    2016-01-01

    From all non-human animals dogs are very likely the best decoders of human behavior. In addition to a high sensitivity to human attentive status and to ostensive cues, they are able to distinguish between individual human faces and even between human facial expressions. However, so far little is known about how they process human faces and to what extent this is influenced by experience. Here we present an eye-tracking study with dogs emanating from two different living environments and varying experience with humans: pet and lab dogs. The dogs were shown pictures of familiar and unfamiliar human faces expressing four different emotions. The results, extracted from several different eye-tracking measurements, revealed pronounced differences in the face processing of pet and lab dogs, thus indicating an influence of the amount of exposure to humans. In addition, there was some evidence for the influences of both, the familiarity and the emotional expression of the face, and strong evidence for a left gaze bias. These findings, together with recent evidence for the dog's ability to discriminate human facial expressions, indicate that dogs are sensitive to some emotions expressed in human faces.

  4. Policy and evidence in Canadian health human resources planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, C Ruth

    2013-01-01

    The health human resources supply in Canada swings reactively between over- and under-supply. There are numerous policy actors in this arena, each of whom could contribute to good data collection and an agreed-on process for decision-making. This could form the basis for evidence-informed policy. Absent these tools for pan-Canadian health human resources policy development, smaller health jurisdictions are experimenting with quality improvement initiatives which, when properly evaluated, can discover useful methods of aligning patient and community needs with healthcare resources.

  5. Focused and divided attention in a simulated cocktail-party situation: ERP evidence from younger and older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getzmann, Stephan; Golob, Edward J; Wascher, Edmund

    2016-05-01

    Speech perception under complex listening conditions usually decreases in aging. This is especially true for listening conditions requiring divided attention among 2 and more relevant speakers. Using a speech perception task and event-related potential measures, we studied the ability of younger and older adults to attend to speech information from a single-target speaker (focused attention) or from 2 different (alternative) target speakers (divided attention). The focused and divided attention conditions were presented either in silence or in the presence of 3 concurrent speakers. In the presence of concurrent speakers, older participants showed worse performance with divided versus focused attention. In contrast, there was no effect of attention condition for the younger adults. Relative to the young, event-related potential analysis in older subjects indicated a decline in preparatory activity for the critical speech information (a delayed and smaller contingent negative variation), and delayed attentional control (indicated by a longer P2 latency). Standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography revealed that the age-related decline in preparatory activity was associated with reduced activation of medial and superior frontal gyrus and anterior cingulate gyrus. The results suggest that age-related differences in these prefrontal brain areas reflect declines in preparatory attention and gating of subsequent task-related speech information, especially under conditions of divided attention. These findings may reflect mechanisms relating to impaired speech perception by older people in "cocktail-party" listening situations.

  6. The earliest evidence for anatomically modern humans in northwestern Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higham, Tom; Compton, Tim; Stringer, Chris; Jacobi, Roger; Shapiro, Beth; Trinkaus, Erik; Chandler, Barry; Gröning, Flora; Collins, Chris; Hillson, Simon; O'Higgins, Paul; FitzGerald, Charles; Fagan, Michael

    2011-11-02

    The earliest anatomically modern humans in Europe are thought to have appeared around 43,000-42,000 calendar years before present (43-42 kyr cal BP), by association with Aurignacian sites and lithic assemblages assumed to have been made by modern humans rather than by Neanderthals. However, the actual physical evidence for modern humans is extremely rare, and direct dates reach no farther back than about 41-39 kyr cal BP, leaving a gap. Here we show, using stratigraphic, chronological and archaeological data, that a fragment of human maxilla from the Kent's Cavern site, UK, dates to the earlier period. The maxilla (KC4), which was excavated in 1927, was initially diagnosed as Upper Palaeolithic modern human. In 1989, it was directly radiocarbon dated by accelerator mass spectrometry to 36.4-34.7 kyr cal BP. Using a Bayesian analysis of new ultrafiltered bone collagen dates in an ordered stratigraphic sequence at the site, we show that this date is a considerable underestimate. Instead, KC4 dates to 44.2-41.5 kyr cal BP. This makes it older than any other equivalently dated modern human specimen and directly contemporary with the latest European Neanderthals, thus making its taxonomic attribution crucial. We also show that in 13 dental traits KC4 possesses modern human rather than Neanderthal characteristics; three other traits show Neanderthal affinities and a further seven are ambiguous. KC4 therefore represents the oldest known anatomically modern human fossil in northwestern Europe, fills a key gap between the earliest dated Aurignacian remains and the earliest human skeletal remains, and demonstrates the wide and rapid dispersal of early modern humans across Europe more than 40 kyr ago. ©2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

  7. Shared Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shteynberg, Garriy

    2015-09-01

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

  8. The own-age bias in face memory is unrelated to differences in attention--evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Markus F; End, Albert; Luttmann, Stefanie; Schweinberger, Stefan R; Wiese, Holger

    2015-03-01

    Participants are more accurate at remembering faces from their own relative to a different age group (the own-age bias, or OAB). A recent socio-cognitive account has suggested that differential allocation of attention to old versus young faces underlies this phenomenon. Critically, empirical evidence for a direct relationship between attention to own- versus other-age faces and the OAB in memory is lacking. To fill this gap, we tested the roles of attention in three different experimental paradigms, and additionally analyzed event-related brain potentials (ERPs). In Experiment 1, we compared the learning of old and young faces during focused versus divided attention, but revealed similar OABs in subsequent memory for both attention conditions. Similarly, manipulating attention during learning did not differentially affect the ERPs elicited by young versus old faces. In Experiment 2, we examined the repetition effects from task-irrelevant old and young faces presented under varying attentional loads on the N250r ERP component as an index of face recognition. Independent of load, the N250r effects were comparable for both age categories. Finally, in Experiment 3 we measured the N2pc as an index of attentional selection of old versus young target faces in a visual search task. The N2pc was not significantly different for the young versus the old target search conditions, suggesting similar orientations of attention to either face age group. Overall, we propose that the OAB in memory is largely unrelated to early attentional processes. Our findings therefore contrast with the predictions from socio-cognitive accounts on own-group biases in recognition memory, and are more easily reconciled with expertise-based models.

  9. 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.

  10. Recognizing the Degree of Human Attention Using EEG Signals from Mobile Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsuan-Chin Chu

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available During the learning process, whether students remain attentive throughout instruction generally influences their learning efficacy. If teachers can instantly identify whether students are attentive they can be suitably reminded to remain focused, thereby improving their learning effects. Traditional teaching methods generally require that teachers observe students’ expressions to determine whether they are attentively learning. However, this method is often inaccurate and increases the burden on teachers. With the development of electroencephalography (EEG detection tools, mobile brainwave sensors have become mature and affordable equipment. Therefore, in this study, whether students are attentive or inattentive during instruction is determined by observing their EEG signals. Because distinguishing between attentiveness and inattentiveness is challenging, two scenarios were developed for this study to measure the subjects’ EEG signals when attentive and inattentive. After collecting EEG data using mobile sensors, various common features were extracted from the raw data. A support vector machine (SVM classifier was used to calculate and analyze these features to identify the combination of features that best indicates whether students are attentive. Based on the experiment results, the method proposed in this study provides a classification accuracy of up to 76.82%. The study results can be used as a reference for learning system designs in the future.

  11. Increased risk for age-related impairment in visual attention associated with mild traumatic brain injury: Evidence from saccadic response times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, David M.; Ettenhofer, Mark L.

    2017-01-01

    It was hypothesized that risk for age-related impairment in attention would be greater among those with remote history of mild TBI than individuals without history of head injury. Twenty-seven adults with remote history of mild TBI and a well-matched comparison group of 54 uninjured controls completed a computerized test of visual attention while saccadic and manual response times were recorded. Within the mild TBI group only, older age was associated with slower saccadic responses and poorer saccadic inhibition. Saccadic slowing was mitigated in situations where the timing and location of attention targets was fully predictable. Mild TBI was not associated with age-related increases in risk for neuropsychological impairment or neurobehavioral symptoms. These results provide preliminary evidence that risk for age-related impairment in visual attention may be higher among those with a history of mild TBI. Saccadic measures may provide enhanced sensitivity to this subtle form of cognitive impairment. PMID:28166259

  12. You see what you have learned. Evidence for an interrelation of associative learning and visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldmann-Wüstefeld, Tobias; Uengoer, Metin; Schubö, Anna

    2015-11-01

    Besides visual salience and observers' current intention, prior learning experience may influence deployment of visual attention. Associative learning models postulate that observers pay more attention to stimuli previously experienced as reliable predictors of specific outcomes. To investigate the impact of learning experience on deployment of attention, we combined an associative learning task with a visual search task and measured event-related potentials of the EEG as neural markers of attention deployment. In the learning task, participants categorized stimuli varying in color/shape with only one dimension being predictive of category membership. In the search task, participants searched a shape target while disregarding irrelevant color distractors. Behavioral results showed that color distractors impaired performance to a greater degree when color rather than shape was predictive in the learning task. Neurophysiological results show that the amplified distraction was due to differential attention deployment (N2pc). Experiment 2 showed that when color was predictive for learning, color distractors captured more attention in the search task (ND component) and more suppression of color distractor was required (PD component). The present results thus demonstrate that priority in visual attention is biased toward predictive stimuli, which allows learning experience to shape selection. We also show that learning experience can overrule strong top-down control (blocked tasks, Experiment 3) and that learning experience has a longer-term effect on attention deployment (tasks on two successive days, Experiment 4).

  13. Classroom Displays--Attraction or Distraction? Evidence of Impact on Attention and Learning from Children with and without Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanley, Mary; Khairat, Mariam; Taylor, Korey; Wilson, Rachel; Cole-Fletcher, Rachel; Riby, Deborah M.

    2017-01-01

    Paying attention is a critical first step toward learning. For children in primary school classrooms there can be many things to attend to other than the focus of a lesson, such as visual displays on classroom walls. The aim of this study was to use eye-tracking techniques to explore the impact of visual displays on attention and learning for…

  14. Electrophysiological evidence of the time course of attentional bias in nonpatients reporting symptoms of depression with and without co-occurring anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah M. Sass

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Anxiety is characterized by attentional biases to threat, but findings are inconsistent for depression. To address this inconsistency, the present study systematically assessed the role of co-occurring anxiety in attentional bias in depression. In addition, the role of emotional valence, arousal, and gender was explored. Ninety-two nonpatients completed the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ; Meyer et al., 1990; Molina & Borkovec, 1994 and portions of the Mood and Anxiety Symptom Questionnaire (MASQ; Watson, Clark, et al., 1995; Watson, Weber, et al., 1995. Individuals reporting high levels of depression and low levels of anxiety (depression only, high levels of depression and anxiety (combined, or low levels of both (control completed an emotion-word Stroop task during event-related brain potential (ERP recording. Pleasant and unpleasant words were matched on emotional arousal level. An attentional bias was not evident in the depression-only group. Women in the combined group had larger N200 amplitude for pleasant than unpleasant stimuli, and the combined group as a whole had larger right-lateralized P300 amplitude for pleasant than unpleasant stimuli, consistent with an early and later attentional bias that is specific to unpleasant valence in the combined group. Men in the control group had larger N200 amplitude for pleasant than unpleasant stimuli, consistent with an early attentional bias that is specific to pleasant valence. The present study indicates that the nature and time course of attention prompted by emotional valence and not arousal differentiates depression with and without anxiety, with some evidence of gender moderating early effects. Overall, results suggest that co-occurring anxiety is more important than previously acknowledged in demonstrating evidence of attentional biases in depression.

  15. Evidence for two types of brown adipose tissue in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lidell, Martin E; Betz, Matthias J; Dahlqvist Leinhard, Olof; Heglind, Mikael; Elander, Louise; Slawik, Marc; Mussack, Thomas; Nilsson, Daniel; Romu, Thobias; Nuutila, Pirjo; Virtanen, Kirsi A; Beuschlein, Felix; Persson, Anders; Borga, Magnus; Enerbäck, Sven

    2013-05-01

    The previously observed supraclavicular depot of brown adipose tissue (BAT) in adult humans was commonly believed to be the equivalent of the interscapular thermogenic organ of small mammals. This view was recently disputed on the basis of the demonstration that this depot consists of beige (also called brite) brown adipocytes, a newly identified type of brown adipocyte that is distinct from the classical brown adipocytes that make up the interscapular thermogenic organs of other mammals. A combination of high-resolution imaging techniques and histological and biochemical analyses showed evidence for an anatomically distinguishable interscapular BAT (iBAT) depot in human infants that consists of classical brown adipocytes, a cell type that has so far not been shown to exist in humans. On the basis of these findings, we conclude that infants, similarly to rodents, have the bona fide iBAT thermogenic organ consisting of classical brown adipocytes that is essential for the survival of small mammals in a cold environment.

  16. Contributions of emotional state and attention to the processing of syntactic agreement errors: evidence from P600.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhees, Martine W F T; Chwilla, Dorothee J; Tromp, Johanne; Vissers, Constance T W M

    2015-01-01

    The classic account of language is that language processing occurs in isolation from other cognitive systems, like perception, motor action, and emotion. The central theme of this paper is the relationship between a participant's emotional state and language comprehension. Does emotional context affect how we process neutral words? Recent studies showed that processing of word meaning - traditionally conceived as an automatic process - is affected by emotional state. The influence of emotional state on syntactic processing is less clear. One study reported a mood-related P600 modulation, while another study did not observe an effect of mood on syntactic processing. The goals of this study were: First, to clarify whether and if so how mood affects syntactic processing. Second, to shed light on the underlying mechanisms by separating possible effects of mood from those of attention on syntactic processing. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants read syntactically correct or incorrect sentences. Mood (happy vs. sad) was manipulated by presenting film clips. Attention was manipulated by directing attention to syntactic features vs. physical features. The mood induction was effective. Interactions between mood, attention and syntactic correctness were obtained, showing that mood and attention modulated P600. The mood manipulation led to a reduction in P600 for sad as compared to happy mood when attention was directed at syntactic features. The attention manipulation led to a reduction in P600 when attention was directed at physical features compared to syntactic features for happy mood. From this we draw two conclusions: First, emotional state does affect syntactic processing. We propose mood-related differences in the reliance on heuristics as the underlying mechanism. Second, attention can contribute to emotion-related ERP effects in syntactic language processing. Therefore, future studies on the relation between language and emotion will

  17. Contributions of emotional state and attention to the processing of syntactic agreement errors: evidence from P600

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martine Wilhelmina Francina Teresia Verhees

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The classic account of language is that language processing occurs in isolation from other cognitive systems, like perception, motor action and emotion. The theme of this paper is the relationship between a participant’s emotional state and language comprehension. Does emotional context affect how we process neutral words? Recent studies showed that processing of word meaning –traditionally conceived as an automatic process– is affected by emotional state. The influence of emotional state on syntactic processing is less clear. One study reported a mood-related P600 modulation, while another study did not observe an effect of mood on syntactic processing. The goals of this study were: First, to clarify whether and if so how mood affects syntactic processing. Second, to shed light on the underlying mechanisms by separating possible effects of mood from those of attention on syntactic processing.ERPs were recorded while participants read syntactically correct or incorrect sentences. Mood (happy vs. sad was manipulated by presenting film clips. Attention was manipulated by directing attention to syntactic features vs. physical features. The mood induction was effective. Interactions between mood, attention and syntactic correctness were obtained, showing that mood and attention modulated P600. The mood manipulation led to a reduction in P600 for sad as compared to happy mood when attention was directed at syntactic features. The attention manipulation led to a reduction in P600 when attention was directed at physical features compared to syntactic features for happy mood. From this we draw two conclusions: First, emotional state does affect syntactic processing. We propose mood-related differences in the reliance on heuristics as the underlying mechanism. Second, attention can contribute to emotion-related ERP effects in syntactic language processing. Therefore, future studies on the relation between language and emotion will have to control

  18. Attention and expectation in human predictive learning: the role of uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogarth, Lee; Dickinson, Anthony; Austin, Alison; Brown, Craig; Duka, Theodora

    2008-11-01

    Three localized, visual pattern stimuli were trained as predictive signals of auditory outcomes. One signal partially predicted an aversive noise in Experiment 1 and a neutral tone in Experiment 2, whereas the other signals consistently predicted either the occurrence or absence of the noise. The expectation of the noise was measured during each signal presentation, and only participants for whom this expectation demonstrated contingency knowledge showed differential attention to the signals. Importantly, when attention was measured by visual fixations, the contingency-aware group attended more to the partially predictive signal than to the consistent predictors in both experiments. This profile of visual attention supports the Pearce and Hall (1980) theory of the role of attention in associative learning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  20. An Evaluation of a Human Machine Interface based on Attentional-resources Effectiveness

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ha, Jun Su; Seong, Poong Hyun [KAIST, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2008-05-15

    Measures of attentional-resource effectiveness during monitoring and detection tasks in nuclear power plants (NPPs) have been developed based on cost-benefit principle and validated with experimental studies. The underlying principle of the measures is that information sources should be selectively attended according to their informational importance. One of two measures is Fixation to Importance Ratio (FIR) which represents attentional-resources (eye fixations) spent on an information source compared to importance of the information source.

  1. Evidence for a bimodal distribution in human communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ye; Zhou, Changsong; Xiao, Jinghua; Kurths, Jürgen; Schellnhuber, Hans Joachim

    2010-11-02

    Interacting human activities underlie the patterns of many social, technological, and economic phenomena. Here we present clear empirical evidence from Short Message correspondence that observed human actions are the result of the interplay of three basic ingredients: Poisson initiation of tasks and decision making for task execution in individual humans as well as interaction among individuals. This interplay leads to new types of interevent time distribution, neither completely Poisson nor power-law, but a bimodal combination of them. We show that the events can be separated into independent bursts which are generated by frequent mutual interactions in short times following random initiations of communications in longer times by the individuals. We introduce a minimal model of two interacting priority queues incorporating the three basic ingredients which fits well the distributions using the parameters extracted from the empirical data. The model can also embrace a range of realistic social interacting systems such as e-mail and letter communications when taking the time scale of processing into account. Our findings provide insight into various human activities both at the individual and network level. Our analysis and modeling of bimodal activity in human communication from the viewpoint of the interplay between processes of different time scales is likely to shed light on bimodal phenomena in other complex systems, such as interevent times in earthquakes, rainfall, forest fire, and economic systems, etc.

  2. Serologic evidence for human hantavirus infection in Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo Oré, Roger M; Forshey, Brett M; Huaman, Alfredo; Villaran, Manuel V; Long, Kanya C; Kochel, Tadeusz J; Guevara, Carolina; Montgomery, Joel M; Alvarez, Carlos A; Vilcarromero, Stalin; Morrison, Amy C; Halsey, Eric S

    2012-08-01

    While human illness associated with hantavirus infection has been documented in many countries of South America, evidence for hantavirus transmission in Peru has been limited to the isolation of Rio Mamore virus from a pigmy mouse rat (Oligoryzomys microtis) in the Amazon city of Iquitos. To address the possibility of human hantavirus exposure in the region, we screened febrile patients reporting to health clinics in Iquitos from 2007 to 2010 for serological evidence of recent hantavirus infection. In addition, we conducted a serological survey for hantavirus-reactive IgG among healthy participants residing in Iquitos and rural areas surrounding the city. Through the febrile surveillance study, we identified 15 participants (0.3%; 15/5174) with IgM reactive to hantavirus (Andes virus) antigen, all with relatively mild, self-limited illness. From the cross-sectional serosurvey we found that 1.7% (36/2063) of residents of the Iquitos area had serum IgG reactive to one or more hantaviruses, with a higher prevalence in the urban population (2.2%, compared to 1.1% in rural areas). These results suggest that human infection with hantavirus has occurred in Peru.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The attention network changes in breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy: Evidence from an arterial spin labeling perfusion study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xingui; He, Xiaoxuan; Tao, Longxiang; Cheng, Huaidong; Li, Jingjing; Zhang, Jingjie; Qiu, Bensheng; Yu, Yongqiang; Wang, Kai

    2017-01-01

    To investigate the neural mechanisms underlying attention deficits that are related to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in combination with cerebral perfusion. Thirty one patients with breast cancer who were scheduled to receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 34 healthy control subjects were included. The patients completed two assessments of the attention network tasks (ANT), neuropsychological background tests, and the arterial spin labeling scan, which were performed before neoadjuvant chemotherapy and after completing chemotherapy. After neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the patients exhibited reduced performance in the alerting and executive control attention networks but not the orienting network (p breast cancer. The results demonstrated that neoadjuvant chemotherapy influences hemodynamic activity in different brain areas through increasing cerebral perfusion, which reduces the attention abilities in breast cancer patients. PMID:28209975

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Classroom displays - attraction or distraction? evidence of impact on attention and learning from children with and without autism.

    OpenAIRE

    Hanley, Mary; Khairat, Mariam; Taylor, Korey; Wilson, Rachel; Cole-Fletcher, Rachel; Riby, Debbie

    2016-01-01

    Paying attention is a critical first step towards learning. For children in primary school classrooms there can be many things to attend to other than the focus of a lesson, such as visual displays on classroom walls. The aim of this study was to use eye-tracking techniques to explore the impact of visual displays on attention and learning for children. Critically, we explored these issues for children developing typically and for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both groups of c...

  8. Self-esteem modulates automatic attentional responses to self-relevant stimuli: Evidence from event-related brain potentials

    OpenAIRE

    Jie eChen; Qing eShui; Yiping eZhong

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have widely shown that self-esteem modulates the attention bias towards social rejection or emotion-related information. However, little is known about the influences of self-esteem on attention bias towards self-relevant stimuli. We aimed to investigate neural correlates that underlie the modulation effect of self-esteem on self-relevant processing. Event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded for subjects’ own names and close others’ names (the names of their friends) while...

  9. The effect of body orientation on judgments of human visual attention in western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bania, Amanda E; Stromberg, Erin E

    2013-02-01

    The ability to appreciate the attentional states of others is an important element used in discerning the presence of Theory of Mind in an individual. Whether primates are able to recognize attention, and further, use such information to predict behavior, remains contentious. In this study, six western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) were tested under different conditions that aimed to investigate not only their understanding of what a human experimenter sees, but also what information they use to make these judgments. In all experiments the gorillas selected between two human experimenters, one who could see them and one who could not. In Experiment 1 the gorillas' performance was significantly above chance in conditions where they judged body orientation, head orientation, and eyes. Experiment 2 showed that the gorillas' initial judgments of attention may be based on body orientation rather than facial cues. Experiment 3 demonstrated that the gorillas were better able to utilize facial cues in some conditions, when these cues were paired with a more neutral body orientation. These findings suggest that the gorillas are using a hierarchical approach to determining visual attention, by making an immediate decision based on the most salient cue-body orientation. However, when body orientation is more ambiguous their ability to judge the less prominent cues of the face and eyes does improve.

  10. Face Scanning in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Human Versus Dog Face Scanning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muszkat, Mauro; de Mello, Claudia Berlim; Muñoz, Patricia de Oliveira Lima; Lucci, Tania Kiehl; David, Vinicius Frayze; Siqueira, José de Oliveira; Otta, Emma

    2015-01-01

    This study used eye tracking to explore attention allocation to human and dog faces in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and typical development (TD). Significant differences were found among the three groups. TD participants looked longer at the eyes than ASD and ADHD ones, irrespective of the faces presented. In spite of this difference, groups were similar in that they looked more to the eyes than to the mouth areas of interest. The ADHD group gazed longer at the mouth region than the other groups. Furthermore, groups were also similar in that they looked more to the dog than to the human faces. The eye-tracking technology proved to be useful for behavioral investigation in different neurodevelopmental disorders. PMID:26557097

  11. Face Scanning in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Human Versus Dog Face Scanning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muszkat, Mauro; de Mello, Claudia Berlim; Muñoz, Patricia de Oliveira Lima; Lucci, Tania Kiehl; David, Vinicius Frayze; Siqueira, José de Oliveira; Otta, Emma

    2015-01-01

    This study used eye tracking to explore attention allocation to human and dog faces in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and typical development (TD). Significant differences were found among the three groups. TD participants looked longer at the eyes than ASD and ADHD ones, irrespective of the faces presented. In spite of this difference, groups were similar in that they looked more to the eyes than to the mouth areas of interest. The ADHD group gazed longer at the mouth region than the other groups. Furthermore, groups were also similar in that they looked more to the dog than to the human faces. The eye-tracking technology proved to be useful for behavioral investigation in different neurodevelopmental disorders.

  12. Face scanning in autism spectrum disorder (ASD and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD: human versus dog face scanning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro eMuszkat

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available This study used eye-tracking to explore attention allocation to human and dog faces in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, and typical development (TD. Significant differences were found among the three groups. TD participants looked longer at the eyes than ASD and ADHD ones, irrespective of the faces presented. In spite of this difference, groups were similar in that they looked more to the eyes than to the mouth areas of interest. The ADHD group gazed longer at the mouth region than the other groups. Furthermore, groups were also similar in that they looked more to the dog than to the human faces. The eye tracking technology proved to be useful for behavioral investigation in different neurodevelopmental disorders.

  13. Specialised structural descriptions for human body parts: Evidence from autotopagnosia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxbaum, L J; Coslett, H B

    2001-06-01

    Previous accounts of autotopagnosia (e.g., Ogden, 1985; Pick, 1908; Semenza, 1988) propose that the disorder is attributable to deficits in "mental images," visual body schema, or semantic representations. A recent account (Sirigu, Grafman, Bressler, & Sunderland, 1991b) posits deficits in visual structural descriptions of the human body and its parts, in the context of spared semantic and proprioceptivespatio-motor body representations, but provides no evidence bearing on the nature or format of the putatively damaged representation. We report data from a man with autotopagnosia consequent to lefthemisphere brain damage which bear directly on the nature of the representation impaired in the disorder. The subject, GL, is unable to localise body parts on himself or others, whether cued by verbal or visual input. In contrast, he uses body parts precisely in reaching and grasping tasks, correctly matches items of clothing to body parts, and localises the parts of animals and man-made objects without error. We also demonstrate that GL is unable to match pictured or real human body parts across shifts in orientation or changes in visual appearance, but can perform analogous matching tasks with animal body parts and man-made object parts. The data extend the account of Sirigu et al. (1991b) in suggesting that human body part localisation depends upon structural descriptions of human (but not animal) bodies that enable viewpoint-independent body part recognition and participate in the calculation of equivalence between the body parts of self and others across transformations in orientation.

  14. Capture versus suppression of attention by salient singletons: electrophysiological evidence for an automatic attend-to-me signal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawaki, Risa; Luck, Steven J

    2010-08-01

    There is considerable controversy about whether salient singletons capture attention in a bottom-up fashion, irrespective of top-down control settings. One possibility is that salient singletons always generate an attention capture signal, but this signal can be actively suppressed to avoid capture. In the present study, we investigated this issue by using event-related potential recordings, focusing on N2pc (N2-posterior-contralateral; a measure of attentional deployment) and Pd (distractor positivity; a measure of attentional suppression). Participants searched for a specific letter within one of two regions, and irrelevant color singletons were sometimes present. We found that the irrelevant singletons did not elicit N2pc but instead elicited Pd; this occurred equally within the attended and unattended regions. These findings suggest that salient singletons may automatically produce an attend-to-me signal, irrespective of top-down control settings, but this signal can be overridden by an active suppression process to prevent the actual capture of attention.

  15. Low level perceptual, not attentional, processes modulate distractor interference in high perceptual Load displays: evidence from neglect/extinction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel eMevorach

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available According to perceptual load theory (Lavie, 2005 distractor interference is determined by the availability of attentional resources. If target processing does not exhaust resources (with low perceptual load distractor processing will take place resulting in interference with a primary task; however when target processing uses-up attentional capacity (with high perceptual load interference can be avoided. An alternative account (Tsal & Benoni, 2010 suggests that perceptual load effects can be based on distractor dilution by the mere presence of additional neutral items in high load displays so that the effect is not driven by the amount of attention resources required for target processing. Here we tested whether patients with unilateral neglect or extinction would show dilution effects from neutral items in their contralesional (neglected/extinguished field, even though these items do not impose increased perceptual load on the target and at the same time attract reduced attentional resources compared to stimuli in the ipsilesional field. Thus, such items do not affect the amount of attention resources available for distractor processing. We found that contralesional neutral elements can eliminate distractor interference as strongly as centrally presented ones in neglect/extinction patients, despite contralesional items being less well attended. The data are consistent with an account in terms of perceptual dilution of distracters rather than available resources for distractor processing. We conclude that distractor dilution can underlie the elimination of distractor interference in visual displays.

  16. Low level perceptual, not attentional, processes modulate distractor interference in high perceptual load displays: evidence from neglect/extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mevorach, Carmel; Tsal, Yehoshua; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2014-01-10

    According to perceptual load theory (Lavie, 2005) distractor interference is determined by the availability of attentional resources. If target processing does not exhaust resources (with low perceptual load) distractor processing will take place resulting in interference with a primary task; however, when target processing uses-up attentional capacity (with high perceptual load) interference can be avoided. An alternative account (Tsal and Benoni, 2010a) suggests that perceptual load effects can be based on distractor dilution by the mere presence of additional neutral items in high-load displays so that the effect is not driven by the amount of attention resources required for target processing. Here we tested whether patients with unilateral neglect or extinction would show dilution effects from neutral items in their contralesional (neglected/extinguished) field, even though these items do not impose increased perceptual load on the target and at the same time attract reduced attentional resources compared to stimuli in the ipsilesional field. Thus, such items do not affect the amount of attention resources available for distractor processing. We found that contralesional neutral elements can eliminate distractor interference as strongly as centrally presented ones in neglect/extinction patients, despite contralesional items being less well attended. The data are consistent with an account in terms of perceptual dilution of distracters rather than available resources for distractor processing. We conclude that distractor dilution can underlie the elimination of distractor interference in visual displays.

  17. Mechanisms of attention: Psychophysics, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2008-01-01

    Sensory physiologists and psychologists have recognized the importance of attention on human performance for more than 100 years. Since the 1970s, controlled and extensive experiments have examined effects of selective attention to a location in space or to an object. In addition to behavioral studies, cognitive neuroscientists have investigated the neural bases of attention. In this paper, I briefly review some classical attention paradigms, recent advances on the theory of attention, and some new insights from psychophysics and cognitive neuroscience. The focus is on the mechanisms of attention, that is, how attention improves human performance. Situations in which the perception of objects is unchanged, but performance may differ due to different decision structures, are distinguished from those in which attention changes the perceptual processes. The perceptual template model is introduced as a theoretical framework for analyzing mechanisms of attention. I also present empirical evidence for two attention mechanisms, stimulus enhancement and external noise exclusion, from psychophysics, neurophysiology and brain imaging.

  18. Human acellular dermal wound matrix: evidence and experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirsner, Robert S; Bohn, Greg; Driver, Vickie R; Mills, Joseph L; Nanney, Lillian B; Williams, Marie L; Wu, Stephanie C

    2015-12-01

    A chronic wound fails to complete an orderly and timely reparative process and places patients at increased risk for wound complications that negatively impact quality of life and require greater health care expenditure. The role of extracellular matrix (ECM) is critical in normal and chronic wound repair. Not only is ECM the largest component of the dermal skin layer, but also ECM proteins provide structure and cell signalling that are necessary for successful tissue repair. Chronic wounds are characterised by their inflammatory and proteolytic environment, which degrades the ECM. Human acellular dermal matrices, which provide an ECM scaffold, therefore, are being used to treat chronic wounds. The ideal human acellular dermal wound matrix (HADWM) would support regenerative healing, providing a structure that could be repopulated by the body's cells. Experienced wound care investigators and clinicians discussed the function of ECM, the evidence related to a specific HADWM (Graftjacket(®) regenerative tissue matrix, Wright Medical Technology, Inc., licensed by KCI USA, Inc., San Antonio, TX), and their clinical experience with this scaffold. This article distills these discussions into an evidence-based and practical overview for treating chronic lower extremity wounds with this HADWM. © 2013 The Authors. International Wound Journal © 2013 Medicalhelplines.com Inc and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Evidence for Alpha Receptors in the Human Ureter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madeb, Ralph; Knopf, Joy; Golijanin, Dragan; Bourne, Patricia; Erturk, Erdal

    2007-04-01

    An immunohistochemical and western blot expression analysis of human ureters was performed in order to characterize the alpha-1-adrenergic receptor distribution along the length of the human ureteral wall. Mapping the distribution will assist in understanding the potential role alpha -1-adrenergic receptors and their subtype density might have in the pathophysiology of ureteral colic and stone passage. Patients diagnosed with renal cancer or bladder cancer undergoing nephrectomy, nephroureterectomy, or cystectomy had ureteral specimens taken from the proximal, mid, distal and tunneled ureter. Tissues were processed for fresh frozen examination and fixed in formalin. None of the ureteral specimens were involved with cancer. Serial histologic sections and immunohistochemical studies were performed using antibodies specific for alpha-1-adrenergic receptor subtypes (alpha 1a, alpha 1b, alpha 1d). The sections were examined under a light microscope and scored as positive or negative. In order to validate and quantify the alpha receptor subtypes along the human ureter. Western blotting techniques were applied. Human ureter stained positively for alpha -1-adrenergic receptors. Immunostaining appeared red, with intense reaction in the smooth muscle of the ureter and endothelium of the neighboring blood vessels. There was differential expression between all the receptors with the highest staining for alpha-1D subtype. The highest protein expression for all three subtypes was in the renal pelvis and decreased with advancement along the ureter to the distal ureter. At the distal ureter, there was marked increase in expression as one progressed towards the ureteral orifice. The same pattern of protein expression was exhibited for all three alpha -1-adrenergic receptor subtypes. We provide preliminary evidence for the ability to detect and quantify the alpha-1-receptor subtypes along the human ureter which to the best of our knowledge has never been done with

  1. Selective and integrated rehabilitation programs for disturbances of visual/spatial attention and executive function after brain damage: a neuropsychological evidence-based review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoccolotti, P; Cantagallo, A; De Luca, M; Guariglia, C; Serino, A; Trojano, L

    2011-03-01

    The present evidence-based review systematically examines the literature on the neuropsychological rehabilitation of attentional and executive dysfunctions in patients with acquired brain lesions. Four areas are considered: 1) neuropsychological rehabilitation of attentional disorders; 2) neuropsychological rehabilitation of neglect disorders; 3) neuropsychological rehabilitation of dysexecutive disorders and 4) rehabilitation trainings for patients with mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). In each area, search and selection of papers were performed on several databases and integrated by crosschecking references from relevant and recent reviews. The literature up to 2007 was examined (in some areas the search was limited from 2000 to 2007). Class of evidence for each selected study was evaluated according to the SPREAD (2010) criteria. Based on this analysis, recommendations on the effectiveness of rehabilitation trainings are proposed separately for each rehabilitation method in each of the four areas considered. Information on follow-up data and impact on activities of daily living is provided whenever available.

  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. Age-Related Changes in Temporal Allocation of Visual Attention: Evidence from the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Carole; Valdois, Sylviane; Lallier, Marie; Donnadieu, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    The present study explored the temporal allocation of attention in groups of 8-year-old children, 10-year-old children, and adults performing a rapid serial visual presentation task. In a dual-condition task, participants had to detect a briefly presented target (T2) after identifying an initial target (T1) embedded in a random series of…

  4. Attention mediates the effect of nutrition label information on consumers' choice. Evidence from a choice experiment involving eye-tracking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bialkova, S.; Grunert, K.G.; Juhl, H.J.; Wasowicz-Kirylo, G.; Stysko-Kunkowska, M.; Trijp, van J.C.M.

    2014-01-01

    In two eye-tracking studies, we explored whether and how attention to nutrition information mediates consumers' choice. Consumers had to select either the healthiest option or a product of their preference within an assortment. On each product a particular label (Choices logo, monochrome GDA label,

  5. Attention mediates the effect of nutrition label information on consumers’ choice. Evidence from a choice experiment involving eye-tracking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bialkova, Svetlana; Bialkova, Svetlana; Grunert, Klaus G.; Juhl, Hans Jørn; Wasowicz-Kirylo, Grazyna; Stysko-Kunkowska, Malgorzata; van Trijp, Hans C.M.

    2014-01-01

    In two eye-tracking studies, we explored whether and how attention to nutrition information mediates consumers’ choice. Consumers had to select either the healthiest option or a product of their preference within an assortment. On each product a particular label (Choices logo, monochrome GDA label,

  6. Eye movements as a gatekeeper for memorization: evidence for the persistence of attentional sets in visual memory search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huestegge, Lynn; Koch, Iring

    2012-05-01

    Attention is known to serve multiple goals, including the selection of information for further perceptual analysis (selection for perception) and for goal-directed behavior (selection for action). Here, we study the role of overt attention (i.e., eye movements) as a gatekeeper for memorization processes (selection for memorization). Subjects memorized complex multidimensional stimulus displays and subsequently indicated whether a specific (probe) item was present. In Experiment 1 we utilized an incidental learning setting where in the beginning only a subset of display stimuli was relevant, whereas in a transfer block all stimuli were possible probe items. In Experiment 2, we used an explicit learning setting within a between-group design. Response times and gaze patterns indicated that subjects learned to ignore irrelevant stimuli while forming memory representations. The findings suggest that complex feature binding processes in peripheral vision may serve to guide overt selective attention, which eventually contributes to filtering out irrelevant information even in highly complex environments. Gaze patterns suggested that attentional control settings persisted even when they were no longer required.

  7. Assessing Selective Sustained Attention in 3- to 5-Year-Old Children: Evidence from a New Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Anna; Thiessen, Erik; Godwin, Karrie; Kloos, Heidi; Dickerson, John

    2013-01-01

    Selective sustained attention (SSA) is crucial for higher order cognition. Factors promoting SSA are described as exogenous or endogenous. However, there is little research specifying how these factors interact during development, due largely to the paucity of developmentally appropriate paradigms. We report findings from a novel paradigm designed…

  8. Infant Attention and Visual Preferences: Converging Evidence from Behavior, Event-Related Potentials, and Cortical Source Localization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Greg D.; Courage, Mary L.; Richards, John E.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, we had 3 major goals. The 1st goal was to establish a link between behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures of infant attention and recognition memory. To assess the distribution of infant visual preferences throughout ERP testing, we designed a new experimental procedure that embeds a behavioral measure (paired…

  9. Is There a Female Protective Effect Against Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder? Evidence From Two Representative Twin Samples

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Taylor, M.J.; Lichtenstein, P.; Larsson, H.; Anckarsater, H.; Greven, C.U.; Ronald, A.

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is more frequent in males than in females. The "female protective effect" posits that females undergo greater exposure to etiological factors than males in order to develop ADHD, leading to the prediction that relatives of females with ADHD

  10. Enhancing Learning Performance, Attention, and Meditation Using a Speech-to-Text Recognition Application: Evidence from Multiple Data Sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shadiev, Rustam; Wu, Ting-Ting; Huang, Yueh-Min

    2017-01-01

    In this study, we provide STR-texts to non-native English speaking students during English lectures to facilitate learning, attention, and meditation. We carry out an experiment to test the feasibility of our approach. Our results show that the participants in the experimental group both outperform those in the control group on the post-tests and…

  11. Neural Dissociation of Phonological and Visual Attention Span Disorders in Developmental Dyslexia: fMRI Evidence from Two Case Reports

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyrin, C.; Lallier, M.; Demonet, J. F.; Pernet, C.; Baciu, M.; Le Bas, J. F.; Valdois, S.

    2012-01-01

    A dissociation between phonological and visual attention (VA) span disorders has been reported in dyslexic children. This study investigates whether this cognitively-based dissociation has a neurobiological counterpart through the investigation of two cases of developmental dyslexia. LL showed a phonological disorder but preserved VA span whereas…

  12. Attentional control underlies the perceptual load effect: Evidence from voxel-wise degree centrality and resting-state functional connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Shouhang; Liu, Lu; Tan, Jinfeng; Ding, Cody; Yao, Dezhong; Chen, Antao

    2017-10-24

    The fact that interference from peripheral distracting information can be reduced in high perceptual load tasks has been widely demonstrated in previous research. The modulation from the perceptual load is known as perceptual load effect (PLE). Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies on perceptual load have reported the brain areas implicated in attentional control. To date, the contribution of attentional control to PLE and the relationship between the organization of functional connectivity and PLE are still poorly understood. In the present study, we used resting-state fMRI to explore the association between the voxel-wise degree centrality (DC) and PLE in an individual differences design and further investigated the potential resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) contributing to individual's PLE. DC-PLE correlation analysis revealed that PLE was positively associated with the right middle temporal visual area (MT)-one of dorsal attention network (DAN) nodes. Furthermore, the right MT functionally connected to the conventional DAN and the RSFCs between right MT and DAN nodes were also positively associated with individual difference in PLE. The results suggest an important role of attentional control in perceptual load tasks and provide novel insights into the understanding of the neural correlates underlying PLE. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Attention mediates the effect of nutrition label information on consumers' choice. Evidence from a choice experiment involving eye-tracking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bialkova, S.; Grunert, K.G.; Juhl, H.J.; Wasowicz-Kirylo, G.; Stysko-Kunkowska, M.; Trijp, van J.C.M.

    2014-01-01

    In two eye-tracking studies, we explored whether and how attention to nutrition information mediates consumers' choice. Consumers had to select either the healthiest option or a product of their preference within an assortment. On each product a particular label (Choices logo, monochrome GDA label,

  14. Attention mediates the effect of nutrition label information on consumers’ choice. Evidence from a choice experiment involving eye-tracking

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bialkova, Svetlana; Grunert, Klaus G.; Juhl, Hans Jørn; Wasowicz-Kirylo, Grazyna; Stysko-Kunkowska, Malgorzata; Trijp, van Hans C.M.

    2014-01-01

    In two eye-tracking studies, we explored whether and how attention to nutrition information mediates consumers’ choice. Consumers had to select either the healthiest option or a product of their preference within an assortment. On each product a particular label (Choices logo, monochrome GDA label,

  15. Evidence from intrinsic activity that asymmetry of the human brain is controlled by multiple factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hesheng; Stufflebeam, Steven M; Sepulcre, Jorge; Hedden, Trey; Buckner, Randy L

    2009-12-01

    Cerebral lateralization is a fundamental property of the human brain and a marker of successful development. Here we provide evidence that multiple mechanisms control asymmetry for distinct brain systems. Using intrinsic activity to measure asymmetry in 300 adults, we mapped the most strongly lateralized brain regions. Both men and women showed strong asymmetries with a significant, but small, group difference. Factor analysis on the asymmetric regions revealed 4 separate factors that each accounted for significant variation across subjects. The factors were associated with brain systems involved in vision, internal thought (the default network), attention, and language. An independent sample of right- and left-handed individuals showed that hand dominance affects brain asymmetry but differentially across the 4 factors supporting their independence. These findings show the feasibility of measuring brain asymmetry using intrinsic activity fluctuations and suggest that multiple genetic or environmental mechanisms control cerebral lateralization.

  16. The Mind-Writing Pupil: A Human-Computer Interface Based on Decoding of Covert Attention through Pupillometry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastiaan Mathôt

    Full Text Available We present a new human-computer interface that is based on decoding of attention through pupillometry. Our method builds on the recent finding that covert visual attention affects the pupillary light response: Your pupil constricts when you covertly (without looking at it attend to a bright, compared to a dark, stimulus. In our method, participants covertly attend to one of several letters with oscillating brightness. Pupil size reflects the brightness of the selected letter, which allows us-with high accuracy and in real time-to determine which letter the participant intends to select. The performance of our method is comparable to the best covert-attention brain-computer interfaces to date, and has several advantages: no movement other than pupil-size change is required; no physical contact is required (i.e. no electrodes; it is easy to use; and it is reliable. Potential applications include: communication with totally locked-in patients, training of sustained attention, and ultra-secure password input.

  17. The Mind-Writing Pupil: A Human-Computer Interface Based on Decoding of Covert Attention through Pupillometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathôt, Sebastiaan; Melmi, Jean-Baptiste; van der Linden, Lotje; Van der Stigchel, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    We present a new human-computer interface that is based on decoding of attention through pupillometry. Our method builds on the recent finding that covert visual attention affects the pupillary light response: Your pupil constricts when you covertly (without looking at it) attend to a bright, compared to a dark, stimulus. In our method, participants covertly attend to one of several letters with oscillating brightness. Pupil size reflects the brightness of the selected letter, which allows us-with high accuracy and in real time-to determine which letter the participant intends to select. The performance of our method is comparable to the best covert-attention brain-computer interfaces to date, and has several advantages: no movement other than pupil-size change is required; no physical contact is required (i.e. no electrodes); it is easy to use; and it is reliable. Potential applications include: communication with totally locked-in patients, training of sustained attention, and ultra-secure password input.

  18. Fear of evaluation in social anxiety: mediation of attentional bias to human faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sluis, Rachel A; Boschen, Mark J

    2014-12-01

    Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a debilitating psychological disorder characterised by excessive fears of one or more social or performance situations, where there is potential for evaluation by others. A recently expanded cognitive-behavioural model of SAD emphasizes that both the fear of negative evaluation (FNE) and the fear of positive evaluation (FPE) contribute to enduring symptoms of SAD. Research also suggests that socially anxious individuals may show biases toward threat relevant stimuli, such as angry faces. The current study utilised a modified version of the pictorial dot-probe task in order to examine whether FNE and FPE mediate the relationship between social anxiety and an attentional bias. A group of 38 participants with moderate to high levels of self-reported social anxiety were tested in groups of two to four people and were advised that they would be required to deliver an impromptu speech. All participants then completed an assessment of attentional bias using angry-neutral, happy-neutral, and angry-happy face pairs. Conditions were satisfied for only one mediation model, indicating that the relationship between social anxiety and attentional avoidance of angry faces was mediated by FPE. These findings have important clinical implications for types of treatment concerning cognitive symptoms of SAD, along with advancing models of social anxiety. Limitations and ideas for future research from the current study were also discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Extinction arouses attention to the context in a behavioral suppression method with humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, James Byron; Lamoureux, Jeffrey A; León, Samuel P

    2013-01-01

    One experiment assessed predictions from the attentional theory of context processing (ATCP, J. M. Rosas, J. E. Callejas-Aguilera, M. M. Ramos-Álvarez, & M. J. F. Abad, 2006, Revision of retrieval theory of forgetting: What does make information context-specific? International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, Vol. 6, pp. 147-166) that extinction arouses attention to contextual stimuli. In a video-game method, participants learned a biconditional discrimination (RG+/BG-/RY-/BY+) either after extinction of another stimulus had occurred, or not. When contextual stimuli were relevant to solving the discrimination (i.e., all RG+/BG- trials occurred in one context and all RY-/BY+ in another), prior extinction of another stimulus facilitated the discrimination, as if extinction enhanced attention to the contexts. Results are discussed briefly in terms of ATCP and the model of N. A. Schmajuk, Y. W. Lam, & J. A. Gray (1996, Latent inhibition: A neural network approach, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, Vol. 22, pp. 321-349).

  20. Effects of the hallucinogen psilocybin on covert orienting of visual attention in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E; Thelen, B; Maier, S; Heekeren, K; Kovar, K-A; Sass, H; Spitzer, M

    2002-01-01

    Hallucinogenic drug-induced states are considered as models for acute schizophrenic disorders (experimental psychoses). In a double-blind study with healthy volunteers we investigated the influence of the serotonergic hallucinogen psilocybin, the ecstasy-like drug 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDE), the stimulant d- methamphetamine and placebo on covert orienting of spatial attention (n = 8 in each group). Reaction times were prolonged after ingestion of psilocybin > MDE, but not after d-methamphetamine. In addition, subjects on psilocybin exhibited particularly slow reaction times in invalid trials at short cue target intervals and failure of response inhibition in valid trials at long cue target intervals for right visual field targets. Despite some methodological limitations, these results are in line with both bilateral impairment of disengagement of attention and a lateralized impairment of inhibition of return (IOR) in productive psychotic states. Additional investigations with larger samples, different hallucinogenic substances (serotonergic agonists vs. NMDA antagonists) and different dose regimens are needed in order to further explore the suggested relationship between visuospatial attentional dysfunction and acute psychotic conditions.

  1. A review of fronto-striatal and fronto-cortical brain abnormalities in children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and new evidence for dysfunction in adults with ADHD during motivation and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubillo, Ana; Halari, Rozmin; Smith, Anna; Taylor, Eric; Rubia, Katya

    2012-02-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has long been associated with abnormalities in frontal brain regions. In this paper we review the current structural and functional imaging evidence for abnormalities in children and adults with ADHD in fronto-striatal, fronto-parieto-temporal, fronto-cerebellar and fronto-limbic regions and networks. While the imaging studies in children with ADHD are more numerous and consistent, an increasing number of studies suggests that these structural and functional abnormalities in fronto-cortical and fronto-subcortical networks persist into adulthood, despite a relative symptomatic improvement in the adult form of the disorder. We furthermore present new data that support the notion of a persistence of neurofunctional deficits in adults with ADHD during attention and motivation functions. We show that a group of medication-naïve young adults with ADHD behaviours who were followed up 20 years from a childhood ADHD diagnosis show dysfunctions in lateral fronto-striato-parietal regions relative to controls during sustained attention, as well as in ventromedial orbitofrontal regions during reward, suggesting dysfunctions in cognitive-attentional as well as motivational neural networks. The lateral fronto-striatal deficit findings, furthermore, were strikingly similar to those we have previously observed in children with ADHD during the same task, reinforcing the notion of persistence of fronto-striatal dysfunctions in adult ADHD. The ventromedial orbitofrontal deficits, however, were associated with comorbid conduct disorder (CD), highlighting the potential confound of comorbid antisocial conditions on paralimbic brain deficits in ADHD. Our review supported by the new data therefore suggest that both adult and childhood ADHD are associated with brain abnormalities in fronto-cortical and fronto-subcortical systems that mediate the control of cognition and motivation. The brain deficits in ADHD therefore appear to be multi

  2. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eKeller

    2011-12-01

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

  3. Peaches Preceded Humans: Fossil Evidence from SW China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Tao; Wilf, Peter; Huang, Yongjiang; Zhang, Shitao; Zhou, Zhekun

    2015-11-01

    Peach (Prunus persica, Rosaceae) is an extremely popular tree fruit worldwide, with an annual production near 20 million tons. Peach is widely thought to have origins in China, but its evolutionary history is largely unknown. The oldest evidence for the peach has been Chinese archaeological records dating to 8000-7000 BP. Here, we report eight fossil peach endocarps from late Pliocene strata of Kunming City, Yunnan, southwestern China. The fossils are identical to modern peach endocarps, including size comparable to smaller modern varieties, a single seed, a deep dorsal groove, and presence of deep pits and furrows. These fossils show that China has been a critical region for peach evolution since long before human presence, much less agriculture. Peaches evolved their modern morphology under natural selection, presumably involving large, frugivorous mammals such as primates. Much later, peach size and variety increased through domestication and breeding.

  4. Attentional capture during visual search is attenuated by target predictability: evidence from the N2pc, Pd, and topographic segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burra, Nicolas; Kerzel, Dirk

    2013-05-01

    Attentional capture by salient distractors has been confirmed by the occurrence of an N2pc to the salient distractor. To clarify some failures to replicate this finding, we varied target predictability to induce different search modes. In the unpredictable target condition, the target shape varied randomly from trial to trial, favoring singleton detection mode. In the predictable target condition, the target shape remained the same in a block of trials, favoring feature search mode. With unpredictable targets, we observed an N2pc toward the salient color distractor, confirming attentional capture in singleton search mode. With predictable targets, there was no N2pc to the salient distractor, but a distractor positivity (Pd), suggesting distractor suppression. Also, differences emerged in the topographic segmentation of N2pc and Pd. Further, the amplitude of the N2pc toward the target was larger with predictable than with unpredictable targets.

  5. The Effect of Medical Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on Foster Care Caseloads: Evidence from Danish Registry Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fallesen, Peter; Wildeman, Christopher

    2015-09-01

    Since the early 2000s, foster care caseloads have decreased in many wealthy democracies, yet the causes of these declines remain, for the most part, a mystery. This article uses administrative data on all Danish municipalities (N = 277) and a 10% randomly drawn sample of all Danish children (N = 157,938) in the period from 1998 to 2010 to show that increasing medical treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) accounts for a substantial share of the decrease in foster care caseloads. According to our estimates, the decline in foster care caseloads during this period would have been 45% smaller absent increases in medical treatment of ADHD. These findings are especially provocative in light of recent research showing ambiguous effects of medical treatment of ADHD. Future research should be attentive to how medical treatment aimed at addressing children's acute behavioral problems could also have a powerful effect on foster care caseloads. © American Sociological Association 2015.

  6. Evidence for the role of German final devoicing in pre-attentive speech processing: a Mismatch Negativity study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hubert eTruckenbrodt

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Results of a mismatch negativity experiment are reported in which the pre-attentive relevance of the German phonological alternation of final devoicing is shown in two ways. The experiment employs pseudowords. (1 A deviant [vus] paired with standard /vuzə/ did not show a mismatch effect for the voicing change in /z/ versus [s] because the two can be related by final devoicing. When standard and deviant were reversed, the two could not be related by final devoicing and a mismatch effect for the voicing difference occurred. (2 An ill-formed deviant that violates final devoicing, *[vuz], triggered mismatch effects that were plausibly attributed to its ill-formedness. The results show that a syllable-related process like final devoicing is already taken into account by the processing system in early pre-attentive processing.

  7. Arousal and attention re-orienting in autism spectrum disorders: evidence from auditory event-related potentials

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The extended phenotype of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) includes a combination of arousal regulation problems, sensory modulation difficulties, and attention re-orienting deficit. A slow and inefficient re-orienting to stimuli that appear outside of the attended sensory stream is thought to be especially detrimental for social functioning. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and magnetic fields (ERFs) may help to reveal which processing stages underlying brain response to unattended but salient...

  8. Arousal and attention re-orienting in autism spectrum disorders: evidence from auditory event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orekhova, Elena V; Stroganova, Tatiana A

    2014-01-01

    The extended phenotype of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) includes a combination of arousal regulation problems, sensory modulation difficulties, and attention re-orienting deficit. A slow and inefficient re-orienting to stimuli that appear outside of the attended sensory stream is thought to be especially detrimental for social functioning. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and magnetic fields (ERFs) may help to reveal which processing stages underlying brain response to unattended but salient sensory event are affected in individuals with ASD. Previous research focusing on two sequential stages of the brain response-automatic detection of physical changes in auditory stream, indexed by mismatch negativity (MMN), and evaluation of stimulus novelty, indexed by P3a component,-found in individuals with ASD either increased, decreased, or normal processing of deviance and novelty. The review examines these apparently conflicting results, notes gaps in previous findings, and suggests a potentially unifying hypothesis relating the dampened responses to unattended sensory events to the deficit in rapid arousal process. Specifically, "sensory gating" studies focused on pre-attentive arousal consistently demonstrated that brain response to unattended and temporally novel sound in ASD is already affected at around 100 ms after stimulus onset. We hypothesize that abnormalities in nicotinic cholinergic arousal pathways, previously reported in individuals with ASD, may contribute to these ERP/ERF aberrations and result in attention re-orienting deficit. Such cholinergic dysfunction may be present in individuals with ASD early in life and can influence both sensory processing and attention re-orienting behavior. Identification of early neurophysiological biomarkers for cholinergic deficit would help to detect infants "at risk" who can potentially benefit from particular types of therapies or interventions.

  9. Arousal and attention re-orienting in autism spectrum disorders: evidence from auditory event-related potentials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena V Orekhova

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The extended phenotype of autism spectrum disorders (ASD includes a combination of arousal regulation problems, sensory modulation difficulties, and attention re-orienting deficit. A slow and inefficient re-orienting to stimuli that appear outside of the attended sensory stream is thought to be especially detrimental for social functioning. Event-related potentials (ERPs and magnetic fields (ERFs may help to reveal which processing stages underlying brain response to unattended but salient sensory event are affected in individuals with ASD. Previous research focusing on two sequential stages of the brain response - automatic detection of physical changes in auditory stream, indexed by mismatch negativity (MMN, and evaluation of stimulus novelty, indexed by P3a component, - found in individuals with ASD either increased, decreased or normal processing of deviance and novelty. The review examines these apparently conflicting results, notes gaps in previous findings, and suggests a potentially unifying hypothesis relating the dampened responses to unattended sensory events to the deficit in rapid arousal process. Specifically, ‘sensory gating’ studies focused on pre-attentive arousal consistently demonstrated that brain response to unattended and temporally novel sound in ASD is already affected at around 100 ms after stimulus onset. We hypothesize that abnormalities in nicotinic cholinergic arousal pathways, previously reported in individuals with ASD, may contribute to these ERP/ERF aberrations and result in attention re-orienting deficit. Such cholinergic dysfunction may be present in individuals with ASD early in life and can influence both sensory processing and attention re-orienting behavior. Identification of early neurophysiological biomarkers for cholinergic deficit would help to detect infants at risk who can potentially benefit from particular types of therapies or interventions.

  10. Arousal and attention re-orienting in autism spectrum disorders: evidence from auditory event-related potentials

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    The extended phenotype of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) includes a combination of arousal regulation problems, sensory modulation difficulties, and attention re-orienting deficit. A slow and inefficient re-orienting to stimuli that appear outside of the attended sensory stream is thought to be especially detrimental for social functioning. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and magnetic fields (ERFs) may help to reveal which processing stages underlying brain response to unattended but salien...

  11. Classroom displays-Attraction or distraction? Evidence of impact on attention and learning from children with and without autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanley, Mary; Khairat, Mariam; Taylor, Korey; Wilson, Rachel; Cole-Fletcher, Rachel; Riby, Deborah M

    2017-07-01

    Paying attention is a critical first step toward learning. For children in primary school classrooms there can be many things to attend to other than the focus of a lesson, such as visual displays on classroom walls. The aim of this study was to use eye-tracking techniques to explore the impact of visual displays on attention and learning for children. Critically, we explored these issues for children developing typically and for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both groups of children watched videos of a teacher delivering classroom activities-2 of "story-time" and 2 mini lessons. Half of the videos each child saw contained high levels of classroom visual displays in the background (high visual display [HVD]) and half had none (no visual display [NVD]). Children completed worksheets after the mini lessons to measure learning. During viewing of all videos children's eye movements were recorded. The presence of visual displays had a significant impact on attention for all children, but to a greater extent for children with ASD. Visual displays also had an impact on learning from the mini lessons, whereby children had poorer learning scores in the HVD compared with the NVD lesson. Individual differences in age, verbal, nonverbal, and attention abilities were important predictors of learning, but time spent attending the visual displays in HVD was the most important predictor. This novel and timely investigation has implications for the use of classroom visual displays for all children, but particularly for children with ASD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Serologic evidence of human metapneumovirus circulation in Uruguay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santiago Mirazo

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available First identified in 2001, the human metapneumovirus (hMPV, is a respiratory tract pathogen that affects young children, elderly, and immunocompromised patients. The present work represents the first serologic study carried out in Uruguay. It was performed with the purpose of obtaining serological evidence of hMPV circulation in Uruguay and to contribute to the few serologic reports described until now. Sixty nine serum samples collected between 1998 and 2001 by vein puncture from patients without respiratory symptoms or underlying pathology aged 6 days to 60 years were examined using an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA. The global seropositivity rate of the samples was 80% (55/69. Rates of 60% (15/25 and 91% (40/44 were observed for the pediatric and adult cohorts, respectively. Results obtained from a longitudinal analysis of 6 children aged 6 days to 18 months are discussed. These results are a clear evidence of hMPV circulation in Uruguay, at least since 1998, and reinforce the previous data on worldwide circulation of this virus.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  14. Neuropsychological Functioning of Girls with Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Followed Prospectively into Adolescence: Evidence for Continuing Deficits?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinshaw, Stephen P.; Carte, Estol T.; Fan, Catherine; Jassy, Jonathan S.; Owens, Elizabeth B.

    2010-01-01

    Prospectively followed girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), along with a matched comparison sample, five years after childhood neuropsychological assessments. Follow-up neuropsychological measures emphasized attentional skills, executive functions, and language abilities. Paralleling childhood findings, the childhood-diagnosed ADHD group displayed moderate to large deficits in executive/attentional performance as well as rapid naming, relative to the comparison group, at follow-up (M age = 14.2 years). ADHD-Inattentive vs. ADHD-Combined contrasts were nonsignificant and of negligible effect size, even when a refined, “sluggish cognitive tempo” subgroup of the Inattentive type was examined. Although ADHD vs. comparison differences largely withstood statistical control of baseline demographics and comorbidities, control of childhood IQ reduced EF differences to nonsignificance. Yet when the subset of girls meeting diagnostic criteria for ADHD in adolescence were compared to the remainder of the participants, neuropsychological deficits emerged even with full statistical control. Overall, childhood ADHD in girls portends neuropsychological and executive deficits that persist for at least 5 years. PMID:17402826

  15. Social attention, affective arousal and empathy in men with Klinefelter syndrome (47,XXY: evidence from eyetracking and skin conductance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie van Rijn

    Full Text Available Individuals with an extra X chromosome (Klinefelter syndrome are at risk for problems in social functioning and have an increased vulnerability for autism traits. In the search for underlying mechanisms driving this increased risk, this study focused on social attention, affective arousal and empathy. Seventeen adults with XXY and 20 non-clinical controls participated in this study. Eyetracking was used to investigate social attention, as expressed in visual scanning patterns in response to the viewing of empathy evoking video clips. Skin conductance levels, reflecting affective arousal, were recorded continuously during the clips as well. Empathic skills, i.e. participants' understanding of own and others' emotions in response to the clips was also assessed. Results showed reduced empathic understanding, decreased visual fixation to the eye region, but increased affective arousal in individuals with Klinefelter syndrome. We conclude that individuals with XXY tend to avoid the eye region. Considering the increased affective arousal, we speculate that this attentional deployment strategy may not be sufficient to successfully downregulate affective hyper-responsivity. As increased affective arousal was related to reduced empathic ability, we hypothesize that own affective responses to social cues play an important role in difficulties in understanding the feelings and intentions of others. This knowledge may help in the identification of risk factors for psychopathology and targets for treatment.

  16. Top-down dimensional weight set determines the capture of visual attention: evidence from the PCN component.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Töllner, Thomas; Müller, Hermann J; Zehetleitner, Michael

    2012-07-01

    Visual search for feature singletons is slowed when a task-irrelevant, but more salient distracter singleton is concurrently presented. While there is a consensus that this distracter interference effect can be influenced by internal system settings, it remains controversial at what stage of processing this influence starts to affect visual coding. Advocates of the "stimulus-driven" view maintain that the initial sweep of visual processing is entirely driven by physical stimulus attributes and that top-down settings can bias visual processing only after selection of the most salient item. By contrast, opponents argue that top-down expectancies can alter the initial selection priority, so that focal attention is "not automatically" shifted to the location exhibiting the highest feature contrast. To precisely trace the allocation of focal attention, we analyzed the Posterior-Contralateral-Negativity (PCN) in a task in which the likelihood (expectancy) with which a distracter occurred was systematically varied. Our results show that both high (vs. low) distracter expectancy and experiencing a distracter on the previous trial speed up the timing of the target-elicited PCN. Importantly, there was no distracter-elicited PCN, indicating that participants did not shift attention to the distracter before selecting the target. This pattern unambiguously demonstrates that preattentive vision is top-down modifiable.

  17. Attention mediates the effect of nutrition label information on consumers' choice. Evidence from a choice experiment involving eye-tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialkova, Svetlana; Grunert, Klaus G; Juhl, Hans Jørn; Wasowicz-Kirylo, Grazyna; Stysko-Kunkowska, Malgorzata; van Trijp, Hans C M

    2014-05-01

    In two eye-tracking studies, we explored whether and how attention to nutrition information mediates consumers' choice. Consumers had to select either the healthiest option or a product of their preference within an assortment. On each product a particular label (Choices logo, monochrome GDA label, or color-coded GDA label) communicated the product's nutrient profile. In study 1, participants had to select from 4 products differentiated, in addition to the nutrition information, by flavor (strawberry, muesli, apple, chocolate; varied within participants) and brand (local vs. global, varied between participants). Study 2 further explored brand effect within-participants, and thus only 2 flavors (strawberry, chocolate) were presented within an assortment. Actual choice made, response time and eye movements were recorded. Respondents fixated longer and more often on products with color-coded GDAs label than on products with monochrome GDAs or Choices logo. A health goal resulted in longer and more frequent fixations in comparison to a preference goal. Products with color-coded and monochrome GDAs had the highest likelihood of being chosen, and this effect was related to the attention-getting property of the label (irrespective of brand and flavor effects). The product fixated most had the highest likelihood of being chosen. These results suggest that attention mediates the effect of nutrition labels on choice. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Self-esteem modulates automatic attentional responses to self-relevant stimuli: Evidence from event-related brain potentials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie eChen

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have widely shown that self-esteem modulates the attention bias towards social rejection or emotion-related information. However, little is known about the influences of self-esteem on attention bias towards self-relevant stimuli. We aimed to investigate neural correlates that underlie the modulation effect of self-esteem on self-relevant processing. Event-related potentials were recorded for subjects’ own names and close others’ names (the names of their friends while subjects performed a three-stimulus oddball task. The results showed larger P2 amplitudes for one’s own name than for close-other’s name in the low self-esteem group, whereas this P2 effect were not observed in the high self-esteem group. In addition, one’s own name elicited equivalent N250 amplitudes and larger P3 amplitudes compared with close-other’s name in both high and low self-esteem groups. However, no interaction effects were observed between self-esteem and self-relevant processing in the N250 and P3 components. Thus, we found that the modulation effects of self-esteem on self-relevant processing occurred at the early P2 stage, but not at the later N250 and P3 stages. These findings reflect that individuals with low self-esteem demonstrate automatic attention towards their own names.

  19. Association of maternal and paternal IQ with offspring conduct, emotional and attention problem scores: trans-generational evidence from the 1958 British birth cohort study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitley, Elise; Gale, Catharine R.; Deary, Ian J.; Kivimaki, Mika; Batty, G. David

    2014-01-01

    Context Lower IQ individuals have an increased risk of psychological disorders, mental health problems, and suicide; similarly, children with low IQ scores are more likely to have behavioural, emotional and anxiety disorders. However, very little is known about the impact of parental IQ on the mental health outcomes of their children. Objective To determine whether maternal and paternal IQ score is associated with offspring conduct, emotional and attention scores. Design Cohort. Setting General population. Participants Members of 1958 National Child Development Study and their offspring. Of 2,984 parent-offspring pairs, with non-adopted children aged 4+ years, 2,202 pairs had complete data on all variables of interest and were included in the analyses. Outcome measure Offspring conduct, emotional and attention scores based on Behavioural Problems Index for children aged 4-6 years or the Rutter A scale for children aged 7 and over. Results There was little evidence of any association of parental IQ with conduct or emotional problems in younger (aged 4-6) children. However, among children aged 7+, there was strong evidence from age- and sex-adjusted models to support a decrease in conduct, emotional and attention problems in those whose parents had higher IQ scores. These associations were linear across the full IQ range. Individual adjustments for socioeconomic status and child’s own IQ had limited impact while adjustments for Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) scores and parental malaise attenuated associations with mother’s IQ but, again, had little impact on associations with father’s IQ. Strong associations were no longer evident in models that simultaneously adjusted for all four potential mediating variables. Conclusions Children whose parents score poorly on IQ tests may have an increased risk of conduct, emotional and attention problems. Home environment, parental malaise, and child’s own IQ may have a role in explaining these

  20. Human endogenous retroviruses and cancer prevention: evidence and prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cegolon Luca

    2013-01-01

    as other tumors like sarcoma, lymphoma, bladder and breast cancer. An amino acid sequence similar to HERV-K-MEL, recognized to cause a significant protective effect against melanoma, is shared by the antigenic determinants expressed by some vaccines such as BCG, vaccinia virus and the yellow fever virus. HERV-K are also reactivated in the majority of human breast cancers. Monoclonal and single-chain antibodies against the HERV-K Env protein recently proved capable of blocking the proliferation of human breast cancer cells in vitro, inhibiting tumor growth in mice bearing xenograft tumors. Summary A recent epidemiological study provided provisional evidence of how melanoma risk could possibly be reduced if the yellow fever virus vaccine (YFV were received at least 10 years before, possibly preventing tumor initiation rather than culling melanoma cells already compromised. Further research is recommended to confirm the temporal pattern of this protection and eliminate/attenuate the potential role of relevant confounders as socio-economic status and other vaccinations. It appears also appropriate to examine the potential protective effect of YFV against other malignancies expressing high levels of HERV-K antigens, namely breast cancer, sarcoma, lymphoma and bladder cancer. Tumor immune-therapy, as described for the monoclonal antibodies against breast cancer, is indeed considered more complex and less advantageous than immune-prevention. Cellular immunity possibly triggered by vaccines as for YFV might also be involved in anti-cancer response, in addition to humoral immunity.

  1. Visuospatial integration and human evolution: the fossil evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, Emiliano; Lozano, Marina; Lorenzo, Carlos

    2016-06-20

    Visuospatial integration concerns the ability to coordinate the inner and outer environments, namely the central nervous system and the outer spatial elements, through the interface of the body. This integration is essential for every basic human activity, from locomotion and grasping to speech or tooling. Visuospatial integration is even more fundamental when dealing with theories on extended mind, embodiment, and material engagement. According to the hypotheses on extended cognition, the nervous system, the body and the external objects work as a single integrated unit, and what we call "mind" is the process resulting from such interaction. Because of the relevance of culture and material culture in humans, important changes in such processes were probably crucial for the evolution of Homo sapiens. Much information in this sense can be supplied by considering issues in neuroarchaeology and cognitive sciences. Nonetheless, fossils and their anatomy can also provide evidence according to changes involving physical and body aspects. In this article, we review three sources of morphological information concerning visuospatial management and fossils: evolutionary neuroanatomy, manipulative behaviors, and hand evolution.

  2. Dietary copper and human health: Current evidence and unresolved issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bost, Muriel; Houdart, Sabine; Oberli, Marion; Kalonji, Esther; Huneau, Jean-François; Margaritis, Irène

    2016-05-01

    Although copper (Cu) is recognized as an essential trace element, uncertainties remain regarding Cu reference values for humans, as illustrated by discrepancies between recommendations issued by different national authorities. This review examines human studies published since 1990 on relationships between Cu intake, Cu balance, biomarkers of Cu status, and health. It points out several gaps and unresolved issues which make it difficult to assess Cu requirements. Results from balance studies suggest that daily intakes below 0.8 mg/day lead to net Cu losses, while net gains are consistently observed above 2.4 mg/day. However, because of an incomplete collection of losses in all studies, a precise estimation of Cu requirements cannot be derived from available data. Data regarding the relationship between Cu intake and potential biomarkers are either too preliminary or inconclusive because of low specificity or low sensitivity to change in dietary Cu over a wide range of intakes. Results from observation and intervention studies do not support a link between Cu and a risk of cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, arthritis or cancer for intakes ranging from 0.6 to 3mg/day, and limited evidence exists for impaired immune function in healthy subjects with a very low (0.38 mg/day) Cu intake. However, data from observation studies should be regarded with caution because of uncertainties regarding Cu concentration in various foods and water. Further studies that accurately evaluate Cu exposure based on reliable biomarkers of Cu status are needed.

  3. Corporate philanthropic responses to emergent human needs: the role of organizational attention focus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muller, A.; Whiteman, G.

    2015-01-01

    Research on corporate philanthropy typically focuses on organization-external pressures and aggregated donation behavior. Hence, our understanding of the organization-internal structures that determine whether a given organization will respond philanthropically to a specific human need remains under

  4. Corporate philanthropic responses to emergent human needs: the role of organizational attention focus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muller, A.; Whiteman, G.

    2015-01-01

    Research on corporate philanthropy typically focuses on organization-external pressures and aggregated donation behavior. Hence, our understanding of the organization-internal structures that determine whether a given organization will respond philanthropically to a specific human need remains

  5. Are numbers, size and brightness equally efficient in orienting visual attention? Evidence from an eye-tracking study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulf, Hermann; Macchi Cassia, Viola; de Hevia, Maria Dolores

    2014-01-01

    A number of studies have shown strong relations between numbers and oriented spatial codes. For example, perceiving numbers causes spatial shifts of attention depending upon numbers' magnitude, in a way suggestive of a spatially oriented, mental representation of numbers. Here, we investigated whether this phenomenon extends to non-symbolic numbers, as well as to the processing of the continuous dimensions of size and brightness, exploring whether different quantitative dimensions are equally mapped onto space. After a numerical (symbolic Arabic digits or non-symbolic arrays of dots; Experiment 1) or a non-numerical cue (shapes of different size or brightness level; Experiment 2) was presented, participants' saccadic response to a target that could appear either on the left or the right side of the screen was registered using an automated eye-tracker system. Experiment 1 showed that, both in the case of Arabic digits and dot arrays, right targets were detected faster when preceded by large numbers, and left targets were detected faster when preceded by small numbers. Participants in Experiment 2 were faster at detecting right targets when cued by large-sized shapes and left targets when cued by small-sized shapes, whereas brightness cues did not modulate the detection of peripheral targets. These findings indicate that looking at a symbolic or a non-symbolic number induces attentional shifts to a peripheral region of space that is congruent with the numbers' relative position on a mental number line, and that a similar shift in visual attention is induced by looking at shapes of different size. More specifically, results suggest that, while the dimensions of number and size spontaneously map onto an oriented space, the dimension of brightness seems to be independent at a certain level of magnitude elaboration from the dimensions of spatial extent and number, indicating that not all continuous dimensions are equally mapped onto space.

  6. Are numbers, size and brightness equally efficient in orienting visual attention? Evidence from an eye-tracking study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hermann Bulf

    Full Text Available A number of studies have shown strong relations between numbers and oriented spatial codes. For example, perceiving numbers causes spatial shifts of attention depending upon numbers' magnitude, in a way suggestive of a spatially oriented, mental representation of numbers. Here, we investigated whether this phenomenon extends to non-symbolic numbers, as well as to the processing of the continuous dimensions of size and brightness, exploring whether different quantitative dimensions are equally mapped onto space. After a numerical (symbolic Arabic digits or non-symbolic arrays of dots; Experiment 1 or a non-numerical cue (shapes of different size or brightness level; Experiment 2 was presented, participants' saccadic response to a target that could appear either on the left or the right side of the screen was registered using an automated eye-tracker system. Experiment 1 showed that, both in the case of Arabic digits and dot arrays, right targets were detected faster when preceded by large numbers, and left targets were detected faster when preceded by small numbers. Participants in Experiment 2 were faster at detecting right targets when cued by large-sized shapes and left targets when cued by small-sized shapes, whereas brightness cues did not modulate the detection of peripheral targets. These findings indicate that looking at a symbolic or a non-symbolic number induces attentional shifts to a peripheral region of space that is congruent with the numbers' relative position on a mental number line, and that a similar shift in visual attention is induced by looking at shapes of different size. More specifically, results suggest that, while the dimensions of number and size spontaneously map onto an oriented space, the dimension of brightness seems to be independent at a certain level of magnitude elaboration from the dimensions of spatial extent and number, indicating that not all continuous dimensions are equally mapped onto space.

  7. Impact of climate change on human infectious diseases: Empirical evidence and human adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoxu; Lu, Yongmei; Zhou, Sen; Chen, Lifan; Xu, Bing

    2016-01-01

    Climate change refers to long-term shifts in weather conditions and patterns of extreme weather events. It may lead to changes in health threat to human beings, multiplying existing health problems. This review examines the scientific evidences on the impact of climate change on human infectious diseases. It identifies research progress and gaps on how human society may respond to, adapt to, and prepare for the related changes. Based on a survey of related publications between 1990 and 2015, the terms used for literature selection reflect three aspects--the components of infectious diseases, climate variables, and selected infectious diseases. Humans' vulnerability to the potential health impacts by climate change is evident in literature. As an active agent, human beings may control the related health effects that may be effectively controlled through adopting proactive measures, including better understanding of the climate change patterns and of the compound disease-specific health effects, and effective allocation of technologies and resources to promote healthy lifestyles and public awareness. The following adaptation measures are recommended: 1) to go beyond empirical observations of the association between climate change and infectious diseases and develop more scientific explanations, 2) to improve the prediction of spatial-temporal process of climate change and the associated shifts in infectious diseases at various spatial and temporal scales, and 3) to establish locally effective early warning systems for the health effects of predicated climate change.

  8. Serological evidence for human cystic echinococcosis in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kotar Tadeja

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cystic echinococcosis (CE is caused by the larva of tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. Dogs and other canids are the primary definitive hosts for this parasite. CE may develop after accidental ingestion of tapeworm eggs, excreted with the feces of these animals. In the intestine, the larvae released from the eggs are nested in the liver, lungs or other organs of livestock as intermediate hosts and humans as aberrant hosts. The aim of this study was to examine serologically whether some of the patients in Slovenia, suspected of CE by imaging findings in the liver or lungs had been infected with the larva of Echinococcus granulosus. Methods Between January 1, 2002 and the end of December 2006, 1323 patients suspected of having echinococcosis were screened serologically by indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA. For confirmation and differentiation of Echinococcus spp. infection, the sera of IHA-positive patients were then retested by western blot (WB. Results Out of 127 IHA-positive sera, 34 sera were confirmed by WB and considered specific for CE. Of 34 sera of CE-positive patients sera, 32 corresponded to the characteristic imaging findings of a liver cysts and 2 to those of lung cysts. The mean age of CE-positive patients was 58.3 years. No significant differences were found between the CE-positive patients in regard to their sex. Conclusion In the study, it was found out that CE was mostly spread in the same area of Slovenia as in the past, but its prevalence decreased from 4.8 per 105 inhabitants in the period 1956–1968 to 1.7 per 105 inhabitants in the period 2002–2006. In spite of the decreased prevalence of CE in the last years, it is suggested that clinicians and public health authorities, especially in the eastern parts of Slovenia where the most CE patients come from, should pay greater attention to this disease in the future.

  9. Attentional capture by emotional scenes across episodes in bipolar disorder: Evidence from a free-viewing task.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

    We examined whether the initial orienting, subsequent engagement, and overall allocation of attention are determined exogenously (i.e. by the affective valence of the stimulus) or endogenously (i.e. by the participant's mood) in the manic, depressive and euthymic episodes of bipolar disorder (BD). Participants were asked to compare the affective valence of two pictures (happy/threatening/neutral [emotional] vs. neutral [control]) while their eye movements were recorded in a free-viewing task. Results revealed that the initial orienting was exogenously captured by emotional images relative to control images. Importantly, engagement and overall allocation were endogenously captured by threatening images relative to neutral images in BD patients, regardless of their episode--this effect did not occur in a group of healthy controls. The threat-related bias in BD, which occurs even at the early stages of information processing (i.e. attentional engagement), may reflect a vulnerability marker. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getzmann, Stephan; Wascher, Edmund

    2017-02-01

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

  11. Human Genome Project: an attentive reading of the book of life?

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    The idea to sequence all 3 billion bases of the humane genome started in the late 80s and the project began in the early 90s. In June 2000, the first "draft" was announced and in February, 2001 the final sequence was published by Science and Nature. Many debates about the ethical, legal and social issues originated from the Human Genome Project. The main questions are? "who should have access to an individual's genetic information?"; "will the genetic information be used as a discrimination t...

  12. Sensitive periods in human development: evidence from musical training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penhune, Virginia B

    2011-10-01

    One of the primary goals of cognitive neuroscience is to understand the interaction between genes, development and specific experience. A particularly fascinating example of this interaction is a sensitive period - a time during development when experience has a differential effect on behavior and the brain. Behavioral and brain imaging studies in musicians have provided suggestive evidence for a possible sensitive period for musical training; showing that musicians who began training early show better task performance and greater changes in auditory and motor regions of the brain. However, these studies have not controlled for likely differences between early- (ET) and late-trained (LT) musicians in the number of years of musical experience. This review presents behavioral work from our laboratory comparing the performance of ET (before age seven) and LT musicians who were matched for years of experience on the ability to tap in synchrony with auditory and visual rhythms. The results demonstrate the existence of a possible sensitive period for musical training that has its greatest impact on measures of sensorimotor integration. Work on motor learning in children and how this might relate to the observed sensitive period effect is also reviewed. These studies are described in the context of what is currently known about sensitive periods in animals and humans; drawing on evidence from anatomy and physiology, studies of deafness, as well as structural and functional neuroimaging studies in trained musicians. The possible mechanisms underlying sensitive periods for musical training are discussed based on current theories describing the influence of both low-level features of sensory experience and higher-level cognitive processing. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.

  13. Behavioural, modeling, and electrophysiological evidence for supramodality in human metacognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faivre, Nathan; Filevich, Elisa; Solovey, Guillermo; Kühn, Simone; Blanke, Olaf

    2017-09-15

    Human metacognition, or the capacity to introspect on one's own mental states, has been mostly characterized through confidence reports in visual tasks. A pressing question is to what extent results from visual studies generalize to other domains. Answering this question allows determining whether metacognition operates through shared, supramodal mechanisms, or through idiosyncratic, modality-specific mechanisms. Here, we report three new lines of evidence for decisional and post-decisional mechanisms arguing for the supramodality of metacognition. First, metacognitive efficiency correlated between auditory, tactile, visual, and audiovisual tasks. Second, confidence in an audiovisual task was best modeled using supramodal formats based on integrated representations of auditory and visual signals. Third, confidence in correct responses involved similar electrophysiological markers for visual and audiovisual tasks that are associated with motor preparation preceding the perceptual judgment. We conclude that the supramodality of metacognition relies on supramodal confidence estimates and decisional signals that are shared across sensory modalities.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTMetacognitive monitoring is the capacity to access, report and regulate one's own mental states. In perception, this allows rating our confidence in what we have seen, heard or touched. While metacognitive monitoring can operate on different cognitive domains, we ignore whether it involves a single supramodal mechanism common to multiple cognitive domains, or modality-specific mechanisms idiosyncratic to each domain. Here, we bring evidence in favor of the supramodality hypothesis by showing that participants with high metacognitive performance in one modality are likely to perform well in other modalities. Based on computational modeling and electrophysiology, we propose that supramodality can be explained by the existence of supramodal confidence estimates, and by the influence of decisional cues on

  14. Evidence of recombination within human alpha-papillomavirus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carvajal-Rodríguez Antonio

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human papillomavirus (HPV has a causal role in cervical cancer with almost half a million new cases occurring each year. Presence of the carcinogenic HPV is necessary for the development of the invasive carcinoma of the genital tract. Therefore, persistent infection with carcinogenic HPV causes virtually all cervical cancers. Some aspects of the molecular evolution of this virus, as the putative importance of recombination in its evolutionary history, are an opened current question. In addition, recombination could also be a significant issue nowadays since the frequency of co-infection with more than one HPV type is not a rare event and, thus, new recombinant types could be currently being generated. Results We have used human alpha-PV sequences from the public database at Los Alamos National Laboratory to report evidence that recombination may exist in this virus. A model-based population genetic approach was used to infer the recombination signal from the HPV DNA sequences grouped attending to phylogenetic and epidemiological information, as well as to clinical manifestations. Our results agree with recently published ones that use a different methodology to detect recombination associated to the gene L2. In addition, we have detected significant recombination signal in the genes E6, E7, L2 and L1 at different groups, and importantly within the high-risk type HPV16. The method used has recently been shown to be one of the most powerful and reliable procedures to detect the recombination signal. Conclusion We provide new support to the recent evidence of recombination in HPV. Additionally, we performed the recombination estimation assuming the best-fit model of nucleotide substitution and rate variation among sites, of the HPV DNA sequence sets. We found that the gene with recombination in most of the groups is L2 but the highest values were detected in L1 and E6. Gene E7 was recombinant only within the HPV16 type. The

  15. Age-Dependent Effects of Methylphenidate on the Human Dopaminergic System in Young vs Adult Patients With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized Clincal Trial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schrantee, A.; Tamminga, H.G.H.; Bouziane, C.; Bottelier, M.A.; Bron, E.E.; Mutsaerts, H.J.M.M.; Zwinderman, A.H.; Groote, I.R.; Rombouts, S.A.R.B.; Lindauer, R.J.L.; Klein, S.; Niessen, W.J.; Opmeer, B.C.; Boer, F.; Lucassen, P.J.; Andersen, S.L.; Geurts, H.M.; Reneman, L.

    2016-01-01

    Importance: Although numerous children receive methylphenidate hydrochloride for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), little is known about age-dependent and possibly lasting effects of methylphenidate on the human dopaminergic system. Objectives: To determine whether th

  16. Chinese Public Attention to the Outbreak of Ebola in West Africa: Evidence from the Online Big Data Platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kui; Li, Li; Jiang, Tao; Chen, Bin; Jiang, Zhenggang; Wang, Zhengting; Chen, Yongdi; Jiang, Jianmin; Gu, Hua

    2016-01-01

    Objective: The outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014 exerted enormous global public reaction via the Internet and social media. This study aimed to investigate and evaluate the public reaction to Ebola in China and identify the primitive correlation between possible influence factors caused by the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and Chinese public attention via Internet surveillance. Methods: Baidu Index (BDI) and Sina Micro Index (SMI) were collected from their official websites, and the disease-related data were recorded from the websites of the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and U.S. National Ministries of Health. The average BDI of Internet users in different regions were calculated to identify the public reaction to the Ebola outbreak. Spearman’s rank correlation was used to check the relationship of epidemic trends with BDI and SMI. Additionally, spatio-temporal analysis and autocorrelation analysis were performed to detect the clustered areas with the high attention to the topic of “Ebola”. The related news reports were collected from authoritative websites to identify potential patterns. Results: The BDI and the SMI for “Ebola” showed a similar fluctuating trend with a correlation coefficient = 0.9 (p < 0.05). The average BDI in Beijing, Tibet, and Shanghai was higher than other cities. However, the disease-related indicators did not identify potential correlation with both indices above. A hotspot area was detected in Tibet by local autocorrelation analysis. The most likely cluster identified by spatiotemporal cluster analysis was in the northeast regions of China with the relative risk (RR) of 2.26 (p ≤ 0.01) from 30 July to 14 August in 2014. Qualitative analysis indicated that negative news could lead to a continuous increase of the public’s attention until the appearance of a positive news report. Conclusions: Confronted with the risk of cross-border transmission of

  17. Chinese Public Attention to the Outbreak of Ebola in West Africa: Evidence from the Online Big Data Platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kui; Li, Li; Jiang, Tao; Chen, Bin; Jiang, Zhenggang; Wang, Zhengting; Chen, Yongdi; Jiang, Jianmin; Gu, Hua

    2016-08-04

    The outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014 exerted enormous global public reaction via the Internet and social media. This study aimed to investigate and evaluate the public reaction to Ebola in China and identify the primitive correlation between possible influence factors caused by the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and Chinese public attention via Internet surveillance. Baidu Index (BDI) and Sina Micro Index (SMI) were collected from their official websites, and the disease-related data were recorded from the websites of the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and U.S. National Ministries of Health. The average BDI of Internet users in different regions were calculated to identify the public reaction to the Ebola outbreak. Spearman's rank correlation was used to check the relationship of epidemic trends with BDI and SMI. Additionally, spatio-temporal analysis and autocorrelation analysis were performed to detect the clustered areas with the high attention to the topic of "Ebola". The related news reports were collected from authoritative websites to identify potential patterns. The BDI and the SMI for "Ebola" showed a similar fluctuating trend with a correlation coefficient = 0.9 (p < 0.05). The average BDI in Beijing, Tibet, and Shanghai was higher than other cities. However, the disease-related indicators did not identify potential correlation with both indices above. A hotspot area was detected in Tibet by local autocorrelation analysis. The most likely cluster identified by spatiotemporal cluster analysis was in the northeast regions of China with the relative risk (RR) of 2.26 (p ≤ 0.01) from 30 July to 14 August in 2014. Qualitative analysis indicated that negative news could lead to a continuous increase of the public's attention until the appearance of a positive news report. Confronted with the risk of cross-border transmission of the infectious disease, online surveillance might be

  18. No effect of an UMTS mobile phone-like electromagnetic field of 1.97 GHz on human attention and reaction time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unterlechner, Manuela; Sauter, Cornelia; Schmid, Gernot; Zeitlhofer, Josef

    2008-02-01

    Several studies in the past reported influences of electromagnetic emissions of GSM phones on reaction time in humans. However, there are currently only a few studies available dealing with possible effects of the electromagnetic fields emitted by UMTS mobile phones. In our study, 40 healthy volunteers (20 female, 20 male), aged 26.0 years (range 21-30 years) underwent four different computer tests measuring reaction time and attention under three different UMTS mobile phone-like exposure conditions (two exposure levels plus sham exposure). Exposure of the subjects was accomplished by small helical antennas operated close to the head and fed by a generic signal representing the emissions of a UMTS mobile phone under constant receiving conditions as well as under a condition of strongly varying transmit power. In the high exposure condition the resulting peak spatial average exposure of the test subjects in the cortex of the left temporal lobe of the brain was 0.63 W/kg (min. 0.25 W/kg, max. 1.49 W/kg) in terms of 1 g averaged SAR and 0.37 W/kg (min. 0.16 W/kg, max. 0.84 W/kg) in terms of 10 g averaged SAR, respectively. Low exposure condition was one-tenth of high exposure and sham was at least 50 dB below low exposure. Statistical analysis of the obtained test parameters showed that exposure to the generic UMTS signal had no statistically significant immediate effect on attention or reaction. Therefore, this study does not provide any evidence that exposure of UMTS mobiles interferes with attention under short-term exposure conditions.

  19. Switching of auditory attention in "cocktail-party" listening: ERP evidence of cueing effects in younger and older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getzmann, Stephan; Jasny, Julian; Falkenstein, Michael

    2017-02-01

    Verbal communication in a "cocktail-party situation" is a major challenge for the auditory system. In particular, changes in target speaker usually result in declined speech perception. Here, we investigated whether speech cues indicating a subsequent change in target speaker reduce the costs of switching in younger and older adults. We employed event-related potential (ERP) measures and a speech perception task, in which sequences of short words were simultaneously presented by four speakers. Changes in target speaker were either unpredictable or semantically cued by a word within the target stream. Cued changes resulted in a less decreased performance than uncued changes in both age groups. The ERP analysis revealed shorter latencies in the change-related N400 and late positive complex (LPC) after cued changes, suggesting an acceleration in context updating and attention switching. Thus, both younger and older listeners used semantic cues to prepare changes in speaker setting.

  20. 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.

  1. Evidence for a Homodimeric Structure of Human Monocarboxylate Transporter 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, W. Edward; Philp, Nancy J.; van Dijk, Thamar B.; Klootwijk, Wim; Friesema, Edith C. H.; Jansen, Jurgen; Beesley, Philip W.; Ianculescu, Alexandra G.; Visser, Theo J.

    2009-01-01

    The human monocarboxylate transporter 8 (hMCT8) protein mediates transport of thyroid hormone across the plasma membrane. Association of hMCT8 mutations with severe psychomotor retardation and disturbed thyroid hormone levels has established its physiological relevance, but little is still known about the basic properties of hMCT8. In this study we present evidence that hMCT8 does not form heterodimers with the ancillary proteins basigin, embigin, or neuroplastin, unlike other MCTs. In contrast, it is suggested that MCT8 exists as monomer and homodimer in transiently and stably transfected cells. Apparently hMCT8 forms stable dimers because the complex is resistant to denaturing conditions and dithiothreitol. Cotransfection of wild-type hMCT8 with a mutant lacking amino acids 267–360 resulted in formation of homo-and heterodimers of the variants, indicating that transmembrane domains 4–6 are not involved in the dimerization process. Furthermore, we explored the structural and functional role of the 10 Cys residues in hMCT8. All possible Cys>Ala mutants did not behave differently from wild-type hMCT8 in protein expression, cross-linking experiments with HgCl2 and transport function. Our findings indicate that individual Cys residues are not important for the function of hMCT8 or suggest that hMCT8 has other yet-undiscovered functions in which cysteines play an essential role. PMID:19797118

  2. Attentional influences on functional mapping of speech sounds in human auditory cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elbert Thomas

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The speech signal contains both information about phonological features such as place of articulation and non-phonological features such as speaker identity. These are different aspects of the 'what'-processing stream (speaker vs. speech content, and here we show that they can be further segregated as they may occur in parallel but within different neural substrates. Subjects listened to two different vowels, each spoken by two different speakers. During one block, they were asked to identify a given vowel irrespectively of the speaker (phonological categorization, while during the other block the speaker had to be identified irrespectively of the vowel (speaker categorization. Auditory evoked fields were recorded using 148-channel magnetoencephalography (MEG, and magnetic source imaging was obtained for 17 subjects. Results During phonological categorization, a vowel-dependent difference of N100m source location perpendicular to the main tonotopic gradient replicated previous findings. In speaker categorization, the relative mapping of vowels remained unchanged but sources were shifted towards more posterior and more superior locations. Conclusions These results imply that the N100m reflects the extraction of abstract invariants from the speech signal. This part of the processing is accomplished in auditory areas anterior to AI, which are part of the auditory 'what' system. This network seems to include spatially separable modules for identifying the phonological information and for associating it with a particular speaker that are activated in synchrony but within different regions, suggesting that the 'what' processing can be more adequately modeled by a stream of parallel stages. The relative activation of the parallel processing stages can be modulated by attentional or task demands.

  3. FCJ-201 Visual Evidence from Above: Assessing the Value of Earth Observation Satellites for Supporting Human Rights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanya Notley

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Public access to data collected by remote sensing Earth Observation Satellites has, until recently, been very limited. Now, citizens and rights advocacy groups are increasingly utilising satellite-collected images to interrogate justice issues; to document, prevent and verify rights abuses; and to imagine and propose social change. Yet while other communication technologies have received substantial critical analysis regarding their value as tools of social justice, activism and resistance, satellites have received comparatively scant attention. This article examines the uses of satellite-collected images in human rights contexts including the opportunities, challenges and risks they pose. We conclude this examination by arguing that if satellites are to be used effectively to collect evidence from above by rights advocates, greater attention to and capacity for ensuring accountability from below is required.

  4. The Effect of Medical Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on Foster Care Caseloads: Evidence from Danish Registry Data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fallesen, Peter; Wildeman, Christopher

    Since the early 2000s, foster care caseloads have decreased in many wealthy democracies, yet the causes of these declines remain, for the most part, a mystery. This paper uses administrative data from one country that experienced a sharp decline in foster care caseloads, Denmark, to show that inc...... rate all shape foster care caseloads, future research should be attentive to how medical treatment aimed at addressing children’s acute behavioral problems could also have a powerful effect on foster care caseloads.......Since the early 2000s, foster care caseloads have decreased in many wealthy democracies, yet the causes of these declines remain, for the most part, a mystery. This paper uses administrative data from one country that experienced a sharp decline in foster care caseloads, Denmark, to show...... that increasing medical treatment of ADHD (primarily through the use of Ritalin) accounts for a substantial share of the decrease in foster care caseloads. According to our estimates, the decline in foster care caseloads over this period would have been 45% smaller absent increases in medical treatment of ADHD...

  5. Developmental evidence for obstetric adaptation of the human female pelvis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huseynov, Alik; Zollikofer, Christoph P E; Coudyzer, Walter; Gascho, Dominic; Kellenberger, Christian; Hinzpeter, Ricarda; Ponce de León, Marcia S

    2016-05-10

    The bony pelvis of adult humans exhibits marked sexual dimorphism, which is traditionally interpreted in the framework of the "obstetrical dilemma" hypothesis: Giving birth to large-brained/large-bodied babies requires a wide pelvis, whereas efficient bipedal locomotion requires a narrow pelvis. This hypothesis has been challenged recently on biomechanical, metabolic, and biocultural grounds, so that it remains unclear which factors are responsible for sex-specific differences in adult pelvic morphology. Here we address this issue from a developmental perspective. We use methods of biomedical imaging and geometric morphometrics to analyze changes in pelvic morphology from late fetal stages to adulthood in a known-age/known-sex forensic/clinical sample. Results show that, until puberty, female and male pelves exhibit only moderate sexual dimorphism and follow largely similar developmental trajectories. With the onset of puberty, however, the female trajectory diverges substantially from the common course, resulting in rapid expansion of obstetrically relevant pelvic dimensions up to the age of 25-30 y. From 40 y onward females resume a mode of pelvic development similar to males, resulting in significant reduction of obstetric dimensions. This complex developmental trajectory is likely linked to the pubertal rise and premenopausal fall of estradiol levels and results in the obstetrically most adequate pelvic morphology during the time of maximum female fertility. The evidence that hormones mediate female pelvic development and morphology supports the view that solutions of the obstetrical dilemma depend not only on selection and adaptation but also on developmental plasticity as a response to ecological/nutritional factors during a female's lifetime.

  6. Co-transmission of conduct problems with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: familial evidence for a distinct disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, H; Chen, W; Oades, R D; Asherson, P; Taylor, E A; Lasky-Su, J; Zhou, K; Banaschewski, T; Buschgens, C; Franke, B; Gabriels, I; Manor, I; Marco, R; Müller, U C; Mulligan, A; Psychogiou, L; Rommelse, N N J; Uebel, H; Buitelaar, J; Ebstein, R P; Eisenberg, J; Gill, M; Miranda, A; Mulas, F; Roeyers, H; Rothenberger, A; Sergeant, J A; Sonuga-Barke, E J S; Steinhausen, H-C; Thompson, M; Faraone, S V

    2008-01-01

    Common disorders of childhood and adolescence are attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). For one to two cases in three diagnosed with ADHD the disorders may be comorbid. However, whether comorbid conduct problems (CP) represents a separate disorder or a severe form of ADHD remains controversial. We investigated familial recurrence patterns of the pure or comorbid condition in families with at least two children and one definite case of DSM-IV ADHDct (combined-type) as part of the International Multicentre ADHD Genetics Study (IMAGE). Using case diagnoses (PACS, parental account) and symptom ratings (Parent/Teacher Strengths and Difficulties [SDQ], and Conners Questionnaires [CPTRS]) we studied 1009 cases (241 with ADHDonly and 768 with ADHD + CP), and their 1591 siblings. CP was defined as > or =4 on the SDQ conduct-subscale, and T > or = 65, on Conners' oppositional-score. Multinomial logistic regression was used to ascertain recurrence risks of the pure and comorbid conditions in the siblings as predicted by the status of the cases. There was a higher relative risk to develop ADHD + CP for siblings of cases with ADHD + CP (RRR = 4.9; 95%CI: 2.59-9.41); p < 0.001) than with ADHDonly. Rates of ADHDonly in siblings of cases with ADHD + CP were lower but significant (RRR = 2.9; 95%CI: 1.6-5.3, p < 0.001). Children with ADHD + CP scored higher on the Conners ADHDct symptom-scales than those with ADHDonly. Our finding that ADHD + CP can represent a familial distinct subtype possibly with a distinct genetic etiology is consistent with a high risk for cosegregation. Further, ADHD + CP can be a more severe disorder than ADHDonly with symptoms stable from childhood through adolescence. The findings provide partial support for the ICD-10 distinction between hyperkinetic disorder (F90.0) and hyperkinetic conduct disorder (F90.1).

  7. Resveratrol and Clinical Trials: The Crossroad from In Vitro Studies to Human Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomé-Carneiro, Joao; Larrosa, Mar; González-Sarrías, Antonio; Tomás-Barberán, Francisco A.; García-Conesa, María Teresa; Espín, Juan Carlos

    2013-01-01

    Resveratrol (3,5,4’-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a non-flavonoid polyphenol that may be present in a limited number of food-stuffs such as grapes and red wine. Resveratrol has been reported to exert a plethora of health benefits through many different mechanisms of action. This versatility and presence in the human diet have drawn the worldwide attention of many research groups over the past twenty years, which has resulted in a huge output of in vitro and animal (preclinical) studies. In line with this expectation, many resveratrol-based nutraceuticals are consumed all over the world with questionable clinical/scientific support. In fact, the confirmation of these benefits in humans through randomized clinical trials is still very limited. The vast majority of preclinical studies have been performed using assay conditions with a questionable extrapolation to humans, i.e. too high concentrations with potential safety concerns (adverse effects and drug interactions), short-term exposures, in vitro tests carried out with non-physiological metabolites and/or concentrations, etc. Unfortunately, all these hypothesis-generating studies have contributed to increased the number of ‘potential’ benefits and mechanisms of resveratrol but confirmation in humans is very limited. Therefore, there are many issues that should be addressed to avoid an apparent endless loop in resveratrol research. The so-called ‘Resveratrol Paradox’, i.e., low bioavailability but high bioactivity, is a conundrum not yet solved in which the final responsible actor (if any) for the exerted effects has not yet been unequivocally identified. It is becoming evident that resveratrol exerts cardioprotective benefits through the improvement of inflammatory markers, atherogenic profile, glucose metabolism and endothelial function. However, safety concerns remain unsolved regarding chronic consumption of high RES doses, specially in medicated people. This review will focus on the currently

  8. Pain and attention

    OpenAIRE

    Blom, J.H.G.

    2017-01-01

    The ability to sense pain may be considered as a prerequisite for human survival. The experience of pain helps humans to avoid the execution of actions that can seriously endanger their lives; pain is therefore evolutionarily predisposed to interrupt and capture attention. However, this supposed interconnectedness between pain and attention is still sparsely examined. The aim of this dissertation was to gain further insight in this relation between pain and attention, and more specifically th...

  9. Nanotechnology and human health: Scientific evidence and risk governance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    . As complexity and uncertainty are large, risk assessment is challenging, and formulation of evidence-based policies and regulations elusive. Innovative models and frameworks for risk assessment and risk governance are being developed and applied to organize the available evidence on biological and health...

  10. Deficits in implicit attention to social signals in schizophrenia and high risk groups: behavioural evidence from a new illusion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mascha van 't Wout

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: An increasing body of evidence suggests that the apparent social impairments observed in schizophrenia may arise from deficits in social cognitive processing capacities. The ability to process basic social cues, such as gaze direction and biological motion, effortlessly and implicitly is thought to be a prerequisite for establishing successful social interactions and for construing a sense of "social intuition." However, studies that address the ability to effortlessly process basic social cues in schizophrenia are lacking. Because social cognitive processing deficits may be part of the genetic vulnerability for schizophrenia, we also investigated two groups that have been shown to be at increased risk of developing schizophrenia-spectrum pathology: first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients and men with Klinefelter syndrome (47,XXY. RESULTS: We compared 28 patients with schizophrenia, 29 siblings of patients with schizophrenia, and 29 individuals with Klinefelter syndrome with 46 matched healthy control subjects on a new paradigm. This paradigm measures one's susceptibility for a bias in distance estimation between two agents that is induced by the implicit processing of gaze direction and biological motion conveyed by these agents. Compared to control subjects, patients with schizophrenia, as well as siblings of patients and Klinefelter men, showed a lack of influence of social cues on their distance judgments. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that the insensitivity for social cues is a cognitive aspect of schizophrenia that may be seen as an endophenotype as it appears to be present both in relatives who are at increased genetic risk and in a genetic disorder at risk for schizophrenia-spectrum psychopathology. These social cue-processing deficits could contribute, in part, to the difficulties in higher order social cognitive tasks and, hence, to decreased social competence that has been observed in these groups.

  11. Strong evidence for pattern separation in human dentate gyrus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berron, David; Schütze, Hartmut; Maass, Anne; Cardenas-Blanco, Arturo; Kuijf, Hugo J.; Kumaran, Dharshan; Düzel, Emrah

    2016-01-01

    The hippocampus is proposed to be critical in distinguishing between similar experiences by performing pattern separation computations that create orthogonalized representations for related episodes. Previous neuroimaging studies have provided indirect evidence that the dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 hi

  12. Evidence for evolutionary specialization in human limbic structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barger, Nicole; Hanson, Kari L; Teffer, Kate; Schenker-Ahmed, Natalie M; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2014-01-01

    Increasingly, functional and evolutionary research has highlighted the important contribution emotion processing makes to complex human social cognition. As such, it may be asked whether neural structures involved in emotion processing, commonly referred to as limbic structures, have been impacted in human brain evolution. To address this question, we performed an extensive evolutionary analysis of multiple limbic structures using modern phylogenetic tools. For this analysis, we combined new volumetric data for the hominoid (human and ape) amygdala and 4 amygdaloid nuclei, hippocampus, and striatum, collected using stereological methods in complete histological series, with previously published datasets on the amygdala, orbital and medial frontal cortex, and insula, as well as a non-limbic structure, the dorsal frontal cortex, for contrast. We performed a parallel analysis using large published datasets including many anthropoid species (human, ape, and monkey), but fewer hominoids, for the amygdala and 2 amygdaloid subdivisions, hippocampus, schizocortex, striatum, and septal nuclei. To address evolutionary change, we compared observed human values to values predicted from regressions run through (a) non-human hominoids and (b) non-human anthropoids, assessing phylogenetic influence using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression. Compared with other hominoids, the volumes of the hippocampus, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, and the orbital frontal cortex were, respectively, 50, 37, and 11% greater in humans than predicted for an ape of human hemisphere volume, while the medial and dorsal frontal cortex were, respectively, 26 and 29% significantly smaller. Compared with other anthropoids, only human values for the striatum fell significantly below predicted values. Overall, the data present support for the idea that regions involved in emotion processing are not necessarily conserved or regressive, but may even be enhanced in recent human evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Martina Foerster

    2014-05-01

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

  15. Birth order and human capital development: evidence from Ecuador

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Haan, M.; Plug, E.; Rosero, J.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we examine the effect of birth order on human capital development in Ecuador. Using family fixed effects models we find positive and persistent birth order effects; earlier-born children stay behind in their human capital development from infancy to adolescence. Turning to potential me

  16. Plant intelligence and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marder, Michael

    2013-05-01

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

  17. No evidence for ape Plasmodium infections in humans in Gabon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Délicat-Loembet, Lucresse; Rougeron, Virginie; Ollomo, Benjamin; Arnathau, Céline; Roche, Benjamin; Elguero, Eric; Moukodoum, Nancy Diamella; Okougha, Alain-Prince; Mve Ondo, Bertrand; Boundenga, Larson; Houzé, Sandrine; Galan, Maxime; Nkoghé, Dieudonné; Leroy, Eric M; Durand, Patrick; Paupy, Christophe; Renaud, François; Prugnolle, Franck

    2015-01-01

    African great apes are naturally infected by a multitude of Plasmodium species most of them recently discovered, among which several are closely related to human malaria agents. However, it is still unknown whether these animals can serve as source of infections for humans living in their vicinity. To evaluate this possibility, we analysed the nature of Plasmodium infections from a bank of 4281 human blood samples collected in 210 villages of Gabon, Central Africa. Among them, 2255 were detected positive to Plasmodium using molecular methods (Plasmodium Cytochrome b amplification). A high throughput sequencing technology (454 GS-FLX Titanium technology, Roche) was then used to identify the Plasmodium species present within each positive sample. Overall, we identified with confidence only three species infecting humans in Gabon: P. falciparum, P. malariae and P. ovale. None of the species known to infect non-human primates in Central Africa was found. Our study shows that ape Plasmodium parasites of the subgenus Laverania do not constitute a frequent source of infection for humans. It also suggests that some strong host genetic barriers must exist to prevent the cross species transmission of ape Plasmodium in a context of ever increasing contacts between humans and wildlife.

  18. Evidence for evolutionary specialization in human limbic structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole eBarger

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Increasingly, functional and evolutionary research has highlighted the important contribution emotion processing makes to complex human social cognition. As such, it may be asked whether neural structures involved in emotion processing, commonly referred to as limbic structures, have been impacted in human brain evolution. To address this question, we performed an extensive evolutionary analysis of multiple limbic structures using modern phylogenetic tools. For this analysis, we combined new volumetric data for the hominoid (human and ape amygdala and 4 amygdaloid nuclei, hippocampus, and striatum, collected using stereological methods in complete histological series, with previously published datasets on the amygdala, orbital and medial frontal cortex, and insula, as well as a non-limbic structure, the dorsal frontal cortex, for contrast. We performed a parallel analysis using large published datasets including many anthropoid species (human, ape, and monkey, but fewer hominoids, for the amygdala and 2 amygdaloid subdivisions, hippocampus, schizocortex, striatum, and septal nuclei. To address evolutionary change, we compared observed human values to values predicted from regressions run through a nonhuman hominoids and b nonhuman anthropoids, assessing phylogenetic influence using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression.Compared with other hominoids, the volumes of the hippocampus, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, and the orbital frontal cortex were, respectively, 50%, 37%, and 11% greater in humans than predicted for an ape of human hemisphere volume, while the medial and dorsal frontal cortex were, respectively, 26% and 29% significantly smaller. Compared with other anthropoids, only human values for the striatum fell significantly below predicted values. Overall, the data present support for the idea that regions involved in emotion processing are not necessarily conserved or regressive, but may even be enhanced in recent human

  19. Recent Clinical History and Cognitive Dysfunction for Attention and Executive Function among Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, David F.; DeLong, Allison; McCaffrey, Daniel E.; Kertesz, Kinga; Paul, Robert H.; Conley, Jared; Russell, Troy; Coop, Kathleen; Gillani, Fizza; Flanigan, Timothy; Tashima, Karen; Hogan, Joseph W.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the association between recent trends in CD4 and viral loads and cognitive test performance with the expectation that recent history could predict cognitive performance. Eighty-three human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with a mean CD4 count of 428 copies/ml were examined in this study (62% with undetectable plasma viral load [PVL]). We investigated the relationships between nadir CD4 cell count, 1-year trends in immunologic function/PVLs, and cognitive performance across several domains using linear regression models. Nadir CD4 cell count was predictive of current executive function (p = .004). One year clinical history for CD4 cell counts and/or PVLs were predictive of executive function, attention/working memory, and learning/memory measures (p < .05). Models that combined recent clinical history trends and nadir CD4 cell counts suggested that recent clinical trends were more important in predicting current cognitive performance for all domains except executive function. This research suggests that recent CD4 and viral load history is an important predictor of current cognitive function across several cognitive domains. If validated, clinical variables and cognitive dysfunction models may improve our understanding of the dynamic relationships between disease evolution and progression and CNS involvement. PMID:21873325

  20. Attention Economies

    OpenAIRE

    Falkinger, Josef

    2003-01-01

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

  1. Evidence for a histaminergic system in the human testis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Martin; Frungieri, Monica B; Gonzalez-Calvar, Silvia; Meineke, Viktor; Köhn, Frank M; Mayerhofer, Artur

    2005-04-01

    The complete lack of information about mast cells as a source of histamine and potential target cells for histamine in human testes prompted us to investigate these issues in testes of fertile and infertile patients using a combination of laser microdissection, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and immunohistochemistry. We show for the first time the expression of the rate-limiting enzyme in histamine synthesis-histidine decarboxylase-by human testicular mast cells and the expression of the histamine (H) receptors 1 (H1) and 2 (H2) by germinal, interstitial, and peritubular cells in the testes of fertile and infertile patients.

  2. HUMAN CAPITAL GROWTH AND POVERTY: EVIDENCE FROM ETHIOPIA AND PERU.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attanasio, Orazio; Meghir, Costas; Nix, Emily; Salvati, Francesca

    2017-04-01

    In this paper we use high quality data from two developing countries, Ethiopia and Peru, to estimate the production functions of human capital from age 1 to age 15. We characterize the nature of persistence and dynamic complementarities between two components of human capital: health and cognition. We also explore the implications of different functional form assumptions for the production functions. We find that more able and higher income parents invest more, particularly at younger ages when investments have the greatest impacts. These differences in investments by parental income lead to large gaps in inequality by age 8 that persist through age 15.

  3. Pesticides and human chronic diseases: evidences, mechanisms, and perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostafalou, Sara; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2013-04-15

    Along with the wide use of pesticides in the world, the concerns over their health impacts are rapidly growing. There is a huge body of evidence on the relation between exposure to pesticides and elevated rate of chronic diseases such as different types of cancers, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson, Alzheimer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), birth defects, and reproductive disorders. There is also circumstantial evidence on the association of exposure to pesticides with some other chronic diseases like respiratory problems, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, chronic nephropathies, autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematous and rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging. The common feature of chronic disorders is a disturbance in cellular homeostasis, which can be induced via pesticides' primary action like perturbation of ion channels, enzymes, receptors, etc., or can as well be mediated via pathways other than the main mechanism. In this review, we present the highlighted evidence on the association of pesticide's exposure with the incidence of chronic diseases and introduce genetic damages, epigenetic modifications, endocrine disruption, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response (UPR), impairment of ubiquitin proteasome system, and defective autophagy as the effective mechanisms of action. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Evident?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plant, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind......Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind...

  5. Direct evidence of milk consumption from ancient human dental calculus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warinner, C.; Hendy, J.; Speller, C.

    2015-01-01

    Milk is a major food of global economic importance, and its consumption is regarded as a classic example of gene-culture evolution. Humans have exploited animal milk as a food resource for at least 8500 years, but the origins, spread, and scale of dairying remain poorly understood. Indirect lines...

  6. Repair pathways evident in human liver organ slices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vickers, Alison E. M.; Fisher, Robyn; Olinga, Peter; Dial, Sharon

    2011-01-01

    The extension of human liver slice culture viability for several days broadens the potential of this ex vivo model for characterizing pathways of organ injury and repair, and allows for the multiple dosing of compounds. Extended viability is demonstrated by continued synthesis of GSH and ATP, and ma

  7. How Does Educational Technology Benefit Humanity? Five Years of Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Ramos, Pedro

    2006-01-01

    This article presents a review of the 25 finalists (Laureates) in the Education category of the Technology Benefiting Humanity Awards, which started in 2001. Most of the applicants can be considered social entrepreneurs working to improve educational systems and the learning opportunities and experiences of their intended beneficiaries. While the…

  8. Geological activity of humans represented in the world heritage sites of India, Italy, and Russia: Evidence of the anthropocene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ansari M K.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The idea of the Anthropocene attracts attention of scientists, policy-makers, and broad public to the geological activity of humans and poses new important questions for the modern stratigraphy. The growth of the Anthropocene-related knowledge and its promotion can be based potentially on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites (WHS. On the one hand, many of these sites provide spectacular evidence of the human activity. On the other hand, these are remarkable tourist attractions. The WHSs of three heritage-rich countries, namely India, Italy, and Russia, have been assessed with regard to how these reflect the geological activity of humans. It is established that 65-90% of all WHSs in each country provide direct and indirect evidence of such an activity (artificial caves, terrace building, etc., which appears to be enough for the general discussion of the idea of the Anthropocene. However, the distribution of the WHSs by their age allows focusing only on the “early” (before 1800 AD start of the Anthropocene, which is not enough for full discussion of the lower limit of this unit. The examples considered in the present study imply that some WHSs alone provide very important pieces of the Anthropocene-related knowledge.

  9. A SIMPLE COLORIMETRIC METHOD TO DETECT BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE OF HUMAN EXPOSURE TO MICROCYSTINS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toxic cyanobacteria are contaminants of surface waters worldwide. Microcystins are some of the most commonly detected toxins. Biological evidence of human exposure may be difficult to obtain due to limitations associated with cost, laboratory capacity, analytic support, and exp...

  10. Pesticides and human chronic diseases: Evidences, mechanisms, and perspectives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mostafalou, Sara; Abdollahi, Mohammad, E-mail: Mohammad.Abdollahi@UToronto.Ca

    2013-04-15

    Along with the wide use of pesticides in the world, the concerns over their health impacts are rapidly growing. There is a huge body of evidence on the relation between exposure to pesticides and elevated rate of chronic diseases such as different types of cancers, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson, Alzheimer, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), birth defects, and reproductive disorders. There is also circumstantial evidence on the association of exposure to pesticides with some other chronic diseases like respiratory problems, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, chronic nephropathies, autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematous and rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and aging. The common feature of chronic disorders is a disturbance in cellular homeostasis, which can be induced via pesticides' primary action like perturbation of ion channels, enzymes, receptors, etc., or can as well be mediated via pathways other than the main mechanism. In this review, we present the highlighted evidence on the association of pesticide's exposure with the incidence of chronic diseases and introduce genetic damages, epigenetic modifications, endocrine disruption, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress and unfolded protein response (UPR), impairment of ubiquitin proteasome system, and defective autophagy as the effective mechanisms of action. - Highlights: ► There is a link between exposure to pesticides and incidence of chronic diseases. ► Genotoxicity and proteotoxicity are two main involved mechanisms. ► Epigenetic knowledge may help diagnose the relationships. ► Efficient policies on safe use of pesticides should be set up.

  11. Evidence for a Conserved Quantity in Human Mobility

    CERN Document Server

    Alessandretti, Laura; Lehmann, Sune; Baronchelli, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Faced with effectively unlimited choices of how to spend their time, humans are constantly balancing a trade-off between exploitation of familiar places and exploration of new locations. Previous analyses have shown that at the daily and weekly timescales individuals are well characterized by an activity space of repeatedly visited locations. How this activity space evolves in time, however, remains unexplored. Here we analyse high-resolution spatio-temporal traces from 850 individuals participating in a 24-month experiment. We find that, although activity spaces undergo considerable changes, the number of familiar locations an individual visits at any point in time is a conserved quantity. We show that this number is similar for different individuals, revealing a substantial homogeneity of the observed population. We point out that the observed fixed size of the activity space cannot be explained in terms of time constraints, and is therefore a distinctive property of human behavior.

  12. Education on human rights and healthcare: evidence from Serbia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vranes, Aleksandra Jovic; Mikanovic, Vesna Bjegovic; Vukovic, Dejana; Djikanovic, Bosiljka; Babic, Momcilo

    2015-03-01

    Ensuring and enforcing human rights in patient care are important to promote health and to provide quality and appropriate healthcare services. Therefore, continued medical education (CME) is essential for healthcare professionals to utilize their sphere of influence to affect change in healthcare practice. A total of 123 participants attended three CME courses. Course topics covered: (i) the areas of human rights and healthcare, (ii) rights, obligations and responsibilities of healthcare professionals in relation to human rights and the rights of patients, (iii) healthcare of vulnerable groups and (iv) access to essential medical services. Evaluation of the CME courses involved two components: evaluation of participants' performance and the participants' evaluation of the teaching process. The participants were assessed at the beginning and end of each course. Each of the courses was evaluated by the participants through a questionnaire distributed at the end of each course. Descriptive statistics was used for data interpretation. Knowledge of the healthcare professionals improved at the end of all the three courses. The participants assessed several aspects of the courses, including the course topics, educational methods, the course methods, organization, duration and dynamics as well as the physical environment and the technical facilities of the course, and rated each very highly. Our results corroborate the importance and necessity of courses to heighten awareness of the state of current healthcare and human rights issues to increase the involvement of healthcare professionals both locally and globally. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Income Shocks, Consumption, Wealth, and Human Capital: Evidence from Russia

    OpenAIRE

    Mu, Ren

    2006-01-01

    Using the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, this article investigates how Russian households' consumption responds to income shocks and, in particular, how household wealth and human capital affect the households' ability to smooth consumption. An instrumental variable estimation method with household fixed effects is implemented. After correcting for potential problems of sample attrition using the inverse probability weighting method, the article finds that household consumption in Rus...

  14. Human resource management and organizational performance: Evidence from retail banking.

    OpenAIRE

    Ann P. Bartel

    2004-01-01

    Studies of the relationship between human resource management and establishment performance have heretofore focused on the manufacturing sector. Using a unique longitudinal dataset collected through site visits to branch operations of a large bank, the author extends that research to the service sector. Because branch managers had considerable discretion in managing their operations and employees, the HRM environment could vary greatly across branches and over time. Site visits provided speci...

  15. Evidence for thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase activity in human saliva.

    OpenAIRE

    Cowman, R A; Baron, S S; Obenauf, S D; Byrnes, J J

    1983-01-01

    A procedure was developed for determining the relative levels of lactoperoxidase, leukocyte myeloperoxidase, and thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase in human saliva. With this procedure, most of the peroxidase activity in whole saliva from normal (those without cancer) subjects was found to be associated with lactoperoxidase and thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase, with only a minor contribution from leukocyte myeloperoxidase. In contrast, thiocyanate-sensitive peroxidase and leukocyte myeloperoxid...

  16. In silico evidence for gluconeogenesis from fatty acids in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Kaleta

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The question whether fatty acids can be converted into glucose in humans has a long standing tradition in biochemistry, and the expected answer is "No". Using recent advances in Systems Biology in the form of large-scale metabolic reconstructions, we reassessed this question by performing a global investigation of a genome-scale human metabolic network, which had been reconstructed on the basis of experimental results. By elementary flux pattern analysis, we found numerous pathways on which gluconeogenesis from fatty acids is feasible in humans. On these pathways, four moles of acetyl-CoA are converted into one mole of glucose and two moles of CO₂. Analyzing the detected pathways in detail we found that their energetic requirements potentially limit their capacity. This study has many other biochemical implications: effect of starvation, sports physiology, practically carbohydrate-free diets of inuit, as well as survival of hibernating animals and embryos of egg-laying animals. Moreover, the energetic loss associated to the usage of gluconeogenesis from fatty acids can help explain the efficiency of carbohydrate reduced and ketogenic diets such as the Atkins diet.

  17. Evidence for a human-specific Escherichia coli clone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clermont, Olivier; Lescat, Mathilde; O'Brien, Claire L; Gordon, David M; Tenaillon, Olivier; Denamur, Erick

    2008-04-01

    Escherichia coli is a widespread commensal of the vertebrate intestinal tract. Until recently, no strong association between a particular clone and a given host species has been found. However, members of the B2 subgroup VIII clone with an O81 serotype appear to be human host specific. To determine the degree of host specificity exhibited by this clone, a PCR-based assay was used to screen 723 faecal and clinical isolates from humans, and 904 faecal isolates from animals. This clone was not detected among the animal isolates, but was discovered in people living in Africa, Europe and South America. The clone is rarely isolated from people suffering from intestinal or extraintestinal disease and is avirulent in a mouse model of extraintestinal infection. Fine-scale epidemiological analysis suggests that this clone is competitively dominant relative to other members of the B2 phylogenetic group and that it has increased in frequency over the past 20 years. This clone appears to be a good candidate for use as a probiotic, and may be suitable as an indicator of human faecal contamination in microbial source tracking studies.

  18. Evidence of Metacognitive Control by Humans and Monkeys in a Perceptual Categorization Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redford, Joshua S.

    2010-01-01

    Metacognition research has focused on the degree to which nonhuman primates share humans' capacity to monitor their cognitive processes. Convincing evidence now exists that monkeys can engage in metacognitive monitoring. By contrast, few studies have explored metacognitive control in monkeys, and the available evidence of metacognitive control…

  19. Spirulina in clinical practice: evidence-based human applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karkos, P D; Leong, S C; Karkos, C D; Sivaji, N; Assimakopoulos, D A

    2011-01-01

    Spirulina or Arthrospira is a blue-green alga that became famous after it was successfully used by NASA as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions. It has the ability to modulate immune functions and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the release of histamine by mast cells. Multiple studies investigating the efficacy and the potential clinical applications of Spirulina in treating several diseases have been performed and a few randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews suggest that this alga may improve several symptoms and may even have an anticancer, antiviral and antiallergic effects. Current and potential clinical applications, issues of safety, indications, side-effects and levels of evidence are addressed in this review. Areas of ongoing and future research are also discussed.

  20. Spirulina in Clinical Practice: Evidence-Based Human Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. D. Karkos

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Spirulina or Arthrospira is a blue-green alga that became famous after it was successfully used by NASA as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions. It has the ability to modulate immune functions and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the release of histamine by mast cells. Multiple studies investigating the efficacy and the potential clinical applications of Spirulina in treating several diseases have been performed and a few randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews suggest that this alga may improve several symptoms and may even have an anticancer, antiviral and antiallergic effects. Current and potential clinical applications, issues of safety, indications, side-effects and levels of evidence are addressed in this review. Areas of ongoing and future research are also discussed.

  1. Drug interactions at the human placenta: what is the evidence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam eRubinchik-Stern

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Pregnant women (and their fetuses are treated with a significant number of prescription and nonprescription medications. Interactions among those drugs may affect their efficacy and toxicity in both mother and fetus. Whereas interactions that result in altered drug concentrations in maternal plasma are detectable, those involving modulation of placental transfer mechanisms are rarely reflected by altered drug concentrations in maternal plasma. Therefore, they are often overlooked. Placental-mediated interactions are possible because the placenta is not only a passive diffusional barrier, but also expresses a variety of influx and efflux transporters and drug metabolizing enzymes. Current data on placental-mediated drug interactions are limited. In rodents, pharmacological or genetic manipulations of placental transporters significantly affect fetal drug exposure. In contrast, studies in human placentae suggest that the magnitude of such interactions is modest in most cases. Nevertheless, under certain circumstances, such interactions may be of clinical significance. This review describes currently known mechanisms of placental-mediated drug interactions and the potential implications of such interactions in humans. Better understanding of those mechanisms is important for minimizing fetal toxicity from drugs while improving their efficacy when directed to treat the fetus.

  2. Methylphenidate treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in young people with learning disability and difficult-to-treat epilepsy: Evidence of clinical benefit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fosi, Tangunu; Lax-Pericall, Maria T; Scott, Rod C; Neville, Brian G; Aylett, Sarah E

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To establish the efficacy and safety of methylphenidate (MPH) treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a group of children and young people with learning disability and severe epilepsy. Methods This retrospective study systematically reviewed the case notes of all patients treated with methylphenidate (MPH) for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) ADHD at a specialist epilepsy center between 1998 and 2005. Treatment efficacy was ascertained using clinical global impressions (CGI) scores, and safety was indexed by instances of >25% increase in monthly seizure count within 3 months of starting MPH. Key Findings Eighteen (18) patients were identified with refractory epilepsies (14 generalized, 4 focal), IQ epilepsy variables, and psychiatric comorbidity did not relate to treatment response across the sample. MPH adverse effects led to treatment cessation in three patients (dysphoria in two, anxiety in one). There was no statistical evidence for a deterioration of seizure control in this group with the use of MPH. Significance Methylphenidate with behavioral management was associated with benefit in the management of ADHD in more than half of a group of children with severe epilepsy and additional cognitive impairments. Eighteen percent had significant side effects but no attributable increase in seizures. Methylphenidate is useful in this group and is likely to be under employed. PMID:24304474

  3. Drugs associated with teratogenic mechanisms. Part II : a literature review of the evidence on human risks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Gelder, Marleen M. H. J.; de Jong-van den Berg, Lolkje T. W.; Roeleveld, Nel

    2014-01-01

    What is the current state of knowledge on the human risks of drugs suspected to be associated with teratogenic mechanisms? Evidence for the presence or absence of human risks of birth defects is scarce or non-existent for the majority of drugs associated with teratogenic mechanisms. Medical drugs su

  4. New evidence of similarity between human and plant steroid metabolism: 5alpha-reductase activity in Solanum malacoxylon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosati, Fabiana; Danza, Giovanna; Guarna, Antonio; Cini, Nicoletta; Racchi, Milvia Luisa; Serio, Mario

    2003-01-01

    The physiological role of steroid hormones in humans is well known, and the metabolic pathway and mechanisms of action are almost completely elucidated. The role of plant steroid hormones, brassinosteroids, is less known, but an increasing amount of data on brassinosteroid biosynthesis is showing unexpected similarities between human and plant steroid metabolic pathways. Here we focus our attention on the enzyme 5alpha-reductase (5alphaR) for which a plant ortholog of the mammalian system, DET2, was recently described in Arabidopsis thaliana. We demonstrate that campestenone, the natural substrate of DET2, is reduced to 5alpha-campestanone by both human 5alphaR isozymes but with different affinities. Solanum malacoxylon, which is a calcinogenic plant very active in the biosynthesis of vitamin D-like molecules and sterols, was used to study 5alphaR activity. Leaves and calli were chosen as examples of differentiated and undifferentiated tissues, respectively. Two separate 5alphaR activities were found in calli and leaves of Solanum using campestenone as substrate. The use of progesterone allowed the detection of both activities in calli. Support for the existence of two 5alphaR isozymes in S. malacoxylon was provided by the differential actions of inhibitors of the human 5alphaR in calli and leaves. The evidence for the presence of two isozymes in different plant tissues extends the analogies between plant and mammalian steroid metabolic pathways.

  5. Evidence that neomycin inhibits human cytomegalovirus infection of fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobert, P E; Hober, D; Delannoy, A S; Wattré, P

    1996-01-01

    The effect of phosphoinositide-binding aminoglycosides, such as neomycin, gentamicin and streptomycin, on human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection of human fibroblasts MRC-5 was studied. The inhibition of HCMV infection was obtained with all of these molecules but neomycin was more effective than the others. We showed that the inoculation of the cells with cell-free viral suspension in presence of neomycin concentrations above 5 mM at 37 degrees C, inhibited more than 98% the HCMV infection. However, the preincubation of the fibroblasts with neomycin at 4 degrees C, before the removal of the drug and the inoculation of the cells, induced only a 30% decrease in the number of infected cells. Addition of neomycin after the HCMV-binding at 4 degrees C or the infection of the cells was less efficient to inhibit HCMV infection than the standard incubation of neomycin during inoculation of the fibroblasts. Indeed, 1 hour after the inoculation of the cells at 37 degrees C, neomycin still inhibited HCMV infection, but 4 hours after the inoculation, this drug had no effect on HCMV infection. Our findings demonstrated that neomycin must be present at the time of infection in order to exert a full inhibiting effect. The effect of neomycin on the HCMV infection was almost immediate upon the addition of the drug (binding and/or internalization) and after the virus internalization (inhibition of immediate-early events). We suggest that neomycin and other aminoglycoside antibiotics may interact with HCMV glycoproteins for binding to similar structural features of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans and may inhibit HCMV infection in fibroblasts by disrupting phosphoinositide-mediated events in the cells.

  6. Evidence for developmental programming of cerebral laterality in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Alexander; Osmond, Clive; Godfrey, Keith M; Phillips, David I W

    2011-02-16

    Adverse fetal environments are associated with depression, reduced cognitive ability and increased stress responsiveness in later life, but underlying mechanisms are unknown. Environmental pressures on the fetus, resulting from variations in placental function and maternal nutrition, health and stress might alter neurodevelopment, promoting the development of some brain regions over others. As asymmetry of cerebral activity, with greater right hemisphere activity, has been associated with psychopathology, we hypothesized that regional specialization during fetal life might be reflected persistently in the relative activity of the cerebral hemispheres. We tested this hypothesis in 140 healthy 8-9 year-old children, using tympanic membrane temperature to assess relative blood flow to the cerebral hemispheres at rest and following psychosocial stress (Trier Social Stress Test for Children). Their birth weight and placental weight had already been measured when their mothers took part in a previous study of pregnancy outcomes. We found that children who had a smaller weight at birth had evidence of greater blood flow to the right hemisphere than to the left hemisphere (r = -.09, P = .29 at rest; r = -.18, P = .04 following stress). This finding was strengthened if the children had a relatively low birth weight for their placental weight (r = -.17, P = .05 at rest; r = -.31, P = .0005 following stress). Our findings suggest that lateralization of cerebral activity is influenced persistently by early developmental experiences, with possible consequences for long-term neurocognitive function.

  7. On the evidence for human use and control of fire at Schöningen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahlschmidt, Mareike C; Miller, Christopher E; Ligouis, Bertrand; Hambach, Ulrich; Goldberg, Paul; Berna, Francesco; Richter, Daniel; Urban, Brigitte; Serangeli, Jordi; Conard, Nicholas J

    2015-12-01

    When and how humans began to control fire has been a central debate in Paleolithic archaeology for decades. Fire plays an important role in technology, social organization, subsistence, and manipulation of the environment and is widely seen as a necessary adaptation for the colonization of northern latitudes. Many researchers view purported hearths, burnt wooden implements, and heated flints from Schöningen as providing the best evidence for the control of fire in the Lower Paleolithic of Northern Europe. Here we present results of a multianalytical study of the purported hearths along with a critical examination of other possible evidence of human use or control of fire at Schöningen. We conclude that the analyzed features and artifacts present no convincing evidence for human use or control of fire. Our study also shows that a multianalytical, micro-contextual approach is the best methodology for evaluating claims of early evidence of human-controlled fire. We advise caution with macroscopic, qualitative identification of combustion features, burnt flint, and burnt wood without the application of such techniques as micromorphology, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, organic petrology, luminescence, and analysis of mineral magnetic parameters. The lack of evidence for the human control of fire at Schöningen raises the possibility that fire control was not a necessary adaptation for the human settlement of northern latitudes in the Lower Paleolithic.

  8. Evidence for developmental programming of cerebral laterality in humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Jones

    Full Text Available Adverse fetal environments are associated with depression, reduced cognitive ability and increased stress responsiveness in later life, but underlying mechanisms are unknown. Environmental pressures on the fetus, resulting from variations in placental function and maternal nutrition, health and stress might alter neurodevelopment, promoting the development of some brain regions over others. As asymmetry of cerebral activity, with greater right hemisphere activity, has been associated with psychopathology, we hypothesized that regional specialization during fetal life might be reflected persistently in the relative activity of the cerebral hemispheres. We tested this hypothesis in 140 healthy 8-9 year-old children, using tympanic membrane temperature to assess relative blood flow to the cerebral hemispheres at rest and following psychosocial stress (Trier Social Stress Test for Children. Their birth weight and placental weight had already been measured when their mothers took part in a previous study of pregnancy outcomes. We found that children who had a smaller weight at birth had evidence of greater blood flow to the right hemisphere than to the left hemisphere (r = -.09, P = .29 at rest; r = -.18, P = .04 following stress. This finding was strengthened if the children had a relatively low birth weight for their placental weight (r = -.17, P = .05 at rest; r = -.31, P = .0005 following stress. Our findings suggest that lateralization of cerebral activity is influenced persistently by early developmental experiences, with possible consequences for long-term neurocognitive function.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder comorbid oppositional defiant disorder and its predominately inattentive type: evidence for an association with COMT but not MAOA in a Chinese sample

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Yu-Feng

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There are three childhood disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD, and conduct disorder (CD. The most common comorbid disorder in ADHD is ODD. DSM-IV describes three ADHD subtypes: predominantly inattentive type (ADHD-IA, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type (ADHD-HI, and combined type (ADHD-C. Prior work suggests that specific candidate genes are associated with specific subtypes of ADHD in China. Our previous association studies between ADHD and functional polymorphisms of COMT and MAOA, consistently showed the low transcriptional activity alleles were preferentially transmitted to ADHD-IA boys. Thus, the goal of the present study is to test the hypothesis that COMT Val158Met and MAOA-uVNTR jointly contribute to the ODD phenotype among Chinese ADHD boys. Methods 171 Chinese boys between 6 and 17.5 years old (mean = 10.3, SD = 2.6 with complete COMT val158met and MAOA-uVNTR genotyping information were studied. We used logistic regression with genotypes as independent variables and the binary phenotype as the dependent variable. We used p Results Our results highlight the potential etiologic role of COMT in the ADHD with comorbid ODD and its predominately inattentive type in male Chinese subjects. ADHD with comorbid ODD was associated with homozygosity of the high-activity Val allele, while the predominantly inattentive ADHD subtype was associated with the low-activity Met allele. We found no evidence of association between the MAOA-uVNTR variant and ADHD with comorbid ODD or the ADHD-IA subtype. Conclusion Our study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder comorbid oppositional defiant disorder and its predominately inattentive type highlights the potential etiologic role of COMT for ADHD children in China. But we failed to observe an interaction between COMT and MAOA, which suggests that epistasis between COMT and MAOA genes does not

  12. The Relationship between Humanness and Knowledge Sharing in Malaysia Empirical Evidence from Malaysian Managers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona H. Boom

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores whether there is a relationship between humanness and the willingness to share knowledge in Malaysia. Furthermore, the differences between the Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicities are researched for the presence of humanness and the willingness to share knowledge. Two hundred and fourteen respondents from privately owned companies participated in this research showing that there is a strong relationship between humanness and knowledge sharing. However, the differences between the three ethnicities are small, which is a surprising finding. It can be concluded that people-oriented managers (one of the ways to express humanness are more willing to share knowledge, and differences between ethnicities have no influence in this matter. From these results, it can be recommended to managers and organizations in Malaysia that they pay more attention and be aware of their management style.Stressing the humanness aspects more as they are described could improve the knowledge transfer within companies.

  13. Evidence of heterospecific referential communication from domestic horses (Equus caballus) to humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malavasi, Rachele; Huber, Ludwig

    2016-09-01

    Referential communication occurs when a sender elaborates its gestures to direct the attention of a recipient to its role in pursuit of the desired goal, e.g. by pointing or showing an object, thereby informing the recipient what it wants. If the gesture is successful, the sender and the recipient focus their attention simultaneously on a third entity, the target. Here we investigated the ability of domestic horses (Equus caballus) to communicate referentially with a human observer about the location of a desired target, a bucket of food out of reach. In order to test six operational criteria of referential communication, we manipulated the recipient's (experimenter) attentional state in four experimental conditions: frontally oriented, backward oriented, walking away from the arena and frontally oriented with other helpers present in the arena. The rate of gaze alternation was higher in the frontally oriented condition than in all the others. The horses appeared to use both indicative (pointing) and non-indicative (nods and shakes) head gestures in the relevant test conditions. Horses also elaborated their communication by switching from a visual to a tactile signal and demonstrated perseverance in their communication. The results of the tests revealed that horses used referential gestures to manipulate the attention of a human recipient so to obtain an unreachable resource. These are the first such findings in an ungulate species.

  14. Evidence that human papillomavirus causes inverted papilloma is sparse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justice, Jeb M; Davis, Kern M; Saenz, Daniel A; Lanza, Donald C

    2014-12-01

    Controversy exists regarding the pathogenesis of inverted papilloma as it relates to the involvement of human papillomavirus (HPV). The purpose of this report is to describe the prevalence of HPV in nondysplastic, "early inverted papilloma" and to summarize HPV detection rates in the general population and in other HPV related neoplasia. This case series report characterizes consecutive inverted papilloma patients from January 2005 to August 2012 with regard to smoking history, dysplasia, and HPV detection rates. Presence or absence of low/high risk HPV was determined by standardized in situ hybridization DNA probes. Medline literature review was performed to determine the prevalence of HPV in inverted papilloma without moderate or severe dysplasia. Thirty-six consecutive patients were identified with an average age of 63.6 (range, 40-84) years; gender: 23 men, 13 women. More than half (55%) were active or former smokers (14% active and 41% former). High/low risk HPV was present in 1 in 36 (2.7%) patients and 1 in 36 (2.7%) had mild dysplasia. In the literature review: (1) HPV was detected in 16.4% of inverted papilloma without dysplasia; (2) oral cavity HPV detection was 4.2% to 11.4% in the normal population; and (3) HPV was normally detected in 85% to 95% of HPV-related neoplasia. Given histological features of inverted papilloma and comparatively low detection rates of HPV in inverted papilloma without dysplasia (2.7%), as well as the summary of the world literature, HPV is not related to the initial pathogenesis of inverted papilloma or inverted papilloma's tendency to persist or recur. It is postulated that since inverted papilloma is more an inflammatory polyp, it is susceptible to secondary HPV infection because of its metaplasia. Tobacco and other causes of respiratory epithelium remodeling are more plausible explanations for the initial tissue transformation to inverted papilloma. © 2014 ARS-AAOA, LLC.

  15. Pay attention to the human health risk of drinking low mineral water%关注饮用低矿物质水人群的健康风险

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    舒为群

    2015-01-01

    随着水资源的短缺以及水深度处理技术的发展,世界范围内饮用低矿物质水的消费群体不断增加.文献系统分析、生态学流行病学观察以及实验性饮水干预研究都显示,饮水中缺乏矿物质会对人群健康产生直接或间接的影响,其中证据较为充分的是水镁与心血管疾病发生,以及水钙与骨质疏松发生的相关性.敏感消费人群健康危险性评估体系、非传统饮用水水质安全性及健康效应的实验室评估体系以及脱矿物质水的安全矿化方案研究等,是目前亟待关注的课题.%The consumption of low mineral drinking water has been increasing around the world with the shortage of water resources and the development of advanced water treatment technologies. Evidences from systematic document reviews, ecological epidemiological observations, and experimental drinking water intervention studies indicate that lack of minerals in drinking water may cause direct or indirect harm to human health, among which, the associations of magnesium in water with cardiovascular disease, as well as calcium in water with osteoporosis, are well proved by sufficient evidence. This article points out that it is urgent to pay more attention to the issues about establishment of health risk evaluation system on susceptible consuming population, establishment of lab evaluation system on water quality and health effect for non-traditional drinking water, and program of safety mineralization for demineralized or desalinated water and so on.

  16. Attention and choice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

    2013-01-01

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

  17. The Sero-epidemiology of Coxiella burnetii in Humans and Cattle, Western Kenya: Evidence from a Cross-Sectional Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola A Wardrop

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Evidence suggests that the intracellular bacterial pathogen Coxiella burnetii (which causes Q fever is widespread, with a near global distribution. While there has been increasing attention to Q fever epidemiology in high-income settings, a recent systematic review highlighted significant gaps in our understanding of the prevalence, spatial distribution and risk factors for Q fever infection across Africa. This research aimed to provide a One Health assessment of Q fever epidemiology in parts of Western and Nyanza Provinces, Western Kenya, in cattle and humans. A cross-sectional survey was conducted: serum samples from 2049 humans and 955 cattle in 416 homesteads were analysed for C. burnetii antibodies. Questionnaires covering demographic, socio-economic and husbandry information were also administered. These data were linked to environmental datasets based on geographical locations (e.g., land cover. Correlation and spatial-cross correlation analyses were applied to assess the potential link between cattle and human seroprevalence. Multilevel regression analysis was used to assess the relationships between a range of socio-economic, demographic and environmental factors and sero-positivity in both humans and animals. The overall sero-prevalence of C. burnetii was 2.5% in humans and 10.5% in cattle, but we found no evidence of correlation between cattle and human seroprevalence either within households, or when incorporating spatial proximity to other households in the survey. Multilevel modelling indicated the importance of several factors for exposure to the organism. Cattle obtained from market (as opposed to those bred in their homestead and those residing in areas with lower precipitation levels had the highest sero-prevalence. For humans, the youngest age group had the highest odds of seropositivity, variations were observed between ethnic groups, and frequent livestock contact (specifically grazing and dealing with abortion material was

  18. The Sero-epidemiology of Coxiella burnetii in Humans and Cattle, Western Kenya: Evidence from a Cross-Sectional Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wardrop, Nicola A; Thomas, Lian F; Cook, Elizabeth A J; de Glanville, William A; Atkinson, Peter M; Wamae, Claire N; Fèvre, Eric M

    2016-10-01

    Evidence suggests that the intracellular bacterial pathogen Coxiella burnetii (which causes Q fever) is widespread, with a near global distribution. While there has been increasing attention to Q fever epidemiology in high-income settings, a recent systematic review highlighted significant gaps in our understanding of the prevalence, spatial distribution and risk factors for Q fever infection across Africa. This research aimed to provide a One Health assessment of Q fever epidemiology in parts of Western and Nyanza Provinces, Western Kenya, in cattle and humans. A cross-sectional survey was conducted: serum samples from 2049 humans and 955 cattle in 416 homesteads were analysed for C. burnetii antibodies. Questionnaires covering demographic, socio-economic and husbandry information were also administered. These data were linked to environmental datasets based on geographical locations (e.g., land cover). Correlation and spatial-cross correlation analyses were applied to assess the potential link between cattle and human seroprevalence. Multilevel regression analysis was used to assess the relationships between a range of socio-economic, demographic and environmental factors and sero-positivity in both humans and animals. The overall sero-prevalence of C. burnetii was 2.5% in humans and 10.5% in cattle, but we found no evidence of correlation between cattle and human seroprevalence either within households, or when incorporating spatial proximity to other households in the survey. Multilevel modelling indicated the importance of several factors for exposure to the organism. Cattle obtained from market (as opposed to those bred in their homestead) and those residing in areas with lower precipitation levels had the highest sero-prevalence. For humans, the youngest age group had the highest odds of seropositivity, variations were observed between ethnic groups, and frequent livestock contact (specifically grazing and dealing with abortion material) was also a risk

  19. The Sero-epidemiology of Coxiella burnetii in Humans and Cattle, Western Kenya: Evidence from a Cross-Sectional Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Lian F.; Cook, Elizabeth A. J.; de Glanville, William A.; Atkinson, Peter M.; Wamae, Claire N.; Fèvre, Eric M.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence suggests that the intracellular bacterial pathogen Coxiella burnetii (which causes Q fever) is widespread, with a near global distribution. While there has been increasing attention to Q fever epidemiology in high-income settings, a recent systematic review highlighted significant gaps in our understanding of the prevalence, spatial distribution and risk factors for Q fever infection across Africa. This research aimed to provide a One Health assessment of Q fever epidemiology in parts of Western and Nyanza Provinces, Western Kenya, in cattle and humans. A cross-sectional survey was conducted: serum samples from 2049 humans and 955 cattle in 416 homesteads were analysed for C. burnetii antibodies. Questionnaires covering demographic, socio-economic and husbandry information were also administered. These data were linked to environmental datasets based on geographical locations (e.g., land cover). Correlation and spatial-cross correlation analyses were applied to assess the potential link between cattle and human seroprevalence. Multilevel regression analysis was used to assess the relationships between a range of socio-economic, demographic and environmental factors and sero-positivity in both humans and animals. The overall sero-prevalence of C. burnetii was 2.5% in humans and 10.5% in cattle, but we found no evidence of correlation between cattle and human seroprevalence either within households, or when incorporating spatial proximity to other households in the survey. Multilevel modelling indicated the importance of several factors for exposure to the organism. Cattle obtained from market (as opposed to those bred in their homestead) and those residing in areas with lower precipitation levels had the highest sero-prevalence. For humans, the youngest age group had the highest odds of seropositivity, variations were observed between ethnic groups, and frequent livestock contact (specifically grazing and dealing with abortion material) was also a risk

  20. Pain and attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blom, Jorian Hendry Gerwin

    2017-01-01

    The ability to sense pain may be considered as a prerequisite for human survival. The experience of pain helps humans to avoid the execution of actions that can seriously endanger their lives; pain is therefore evolutionarily predisposed to interrupt and capture attention. However, this supposed int

  1. Pain and attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blom, J.H.G.

    2017-01-01

    The ability to sense pain may be considered as a prerequisite for human survival. The experience of pain helps humans to avoid the execution of actions that can seriously endanger their lives; pain is therefore evolutionarily predisposed to interrupt and capture attention. However, this supposed

  2. Tracking target and distractor processing in fixed-feature visual search: evidence from human electrophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jannati, Ali; Gaspar, John M; McDonald, John J

    2013-12-01

    Salient distractors delay visual search for less salient targets in additional-singleton tasks, even when the features of the stimuli are fixed across trials. According to the salience-driven selection hypothesis, this delay is due to an initial attentional deployment to the distractor. Recent event-related potential (ERP) studies found no evidence for salience-driven selection in fixed-feature search, but the methods employed were not optimized to isolate distractor ERP components such as the N2pc and distractor positivity (PD; indices of selection and suppression, respectively). Here, we isolated target and distractor ERPs in two fixed-feature search experiments. Participants searched for a shape singleton in the presence of a more-salient color singleton (Experiment 1) or for a color singleton in the presence of a less-salient shape singleton (Experiment 2). The salient distractor did not elicit an N2pc, but it did elicit a PD on fast-response trials. Furthermore, distractors had no effect on the timing of the target N2pc. These results indicate that (a) the distractor was prevented from engaging the attentional mechanism associated with N2pc, (b) the distractor did not interrupt the deployment of attention to the target, and (c) competition for attention can be resolved by suppressing locations of irrelevant items on a salience-based priority map.

  3. Prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex and its attentional modulation in the human S-ketamine and N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) models of psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heekeren, K; Neukirch, A; Daumann, J; Stoll, M; Obradovic, M; Kovar, K-A; Geyer, M A; Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, E

    2007-05-01

    Patients with schizophrenia exhibit diminished prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle reflex and deficits in the attentional modulation of PPI. Pharmacological challenges with hallucinogens are used as models for psychosis in both humans and animals. Remarkably, in contrast to the findings in schizophrenic patients and in animal hallucinogen models of psychosis, previous studies with healthy volunteers demonstrated increased levels of PPI after administration of low to moderate doses of either the antiglutamatergic hallucinogen ketamine or the serotonergic hallucinogen psilocybin. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of moderate and high doses of the serotonergic hallucinogen N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and the N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist S-ketamine on PPI and its attentional modulation in humans. Fifteen healthy volunteers were included in a double-blind cross-over study with two doses of DMT and S-ketamine. Effects on PPI and its attentional modulation were investigated. Nine subjects completed both experimental days with the two doses of both drugs. S-ketamine increased PPI in both dosages, whereas DMT had no significant effects on PPI. S-ketamine decreased and DMT tended to decrease startle magnitude. There were no significant effects of either drug on the attentional modulation of PPI. In human experimental hallucinogen psychoses, and even with high, clearly psychotogenic doses of DMT or S-ketamine, healthy subjects failed to exhibit the predicted attenuation of PPI. In contrast, PPI was augmented and the startle magnitude was decreased after S-ketamine. These data point to important differences between human hallucinogen models and both animal hallucinogen models of psychosis and naturally occurring schizophrenia.

  4. Human capital and career success: Evidence from linked employer-employee data

    OpenAIRE

    Frederiksen, Anders; Kato, Takao

    2011-01-01

    Denmark's registry data provide accurate and complete career history data along with detailed personal characteristics (e.g., education, gender, work experience, tenure and others) for the population of Danish workers longitudinally. By using such data from 1992 to 2002, we provide rigorous evidence for the first time for the population of workers in an entire economy (as opposed to case study evidence) on the effects of the nature and scope of human capital on career success (measured by app...

  5. Attention Deficit Disorder--A New Age Yuppie Disorder or an Age Old Human Characteristic Essential for Our Survival?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgill, Anna A.

    This brief paper suggests that Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) may result from a specific "novelty seeking" gene which has been associated over the history of man's evolution with a biological advantage in situations where energy, risk taking, and creativity are essentials. It reviews research on the genetics of ADD which suggest that novelty…

  6. Do dyslexic individuals present a reduced visual attention span? Evidence from visual recognition tasks of non-verbal multi-character arrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeari, Menahem; Isser, Michal; Schiff, Rachel

    2016-06-21

    A controversy has recently developed regarding the hypothesis that developmental dyslexia may be caused, in some cases, by a reduced visual attention span (VAS). To examine this hypothesis, independent of phonological abilities, researchers tested the ability of dyslexic participants to recognize arrays of unfamiliar visual characters. Employing this test, findings were rather equivocal: dyslexic participants exhibited poor performance in some studies but normal performance in others. The present study explored four methodological differences revealed between the two sets of studies that might underlie their conflicting results. Specifically, in two experiments we examined whether a VAS deficit is (a) specific to recognition of multi-character arrays as wholes rather than of individual characters within arrays, (b) specific to characters' position within arrays rather than to characters' identity, or revealed only under a higher attention load due to (c) low-discriminable characters, and/or (d) characters' short exposure. Furthermore, in this study we examined whether pure dyslexic participants who do not have attention disorder exhibit a reduced VAS. Although comorbidity of dyslexia and attention disorder is common and the ability to sustain attention for a long time plays a major rule in the visual recognition task, the presence of attention disorder was neither evaluated nor ruled out in previous studies. Findings did not reveal any differences between the performance of dyslexic and control participants on eight versions of the visual recognition task. These findings suggest that pure dyslexic individuals do not present a reduced visual attention span.

  7. Bridging the Gap between Physiology and Behavior: Evidence from the sSoTS Model of Human Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mavritsaki, Eirini; Heinke, Dietmar; Allen, Harriet; Deco, Gustavo; Humphreys, Glyn W.

    2011-01-01

    We present the case for a role of biologically plausible neural network modeling in bridging the gap between physiology and behavior. We argue that spiking-level networks can allow "vertical" translation between physiological properties of neural systems and emergent "whole-system" performance--enabling psychological results to be simulated from…

  8. The southern route "out of Africa": evidence for an early expansion of modern humans into Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, Simon J; Jasim, Sabah A; Marks, Anthony E; Parker, Adrian G; Usik, Vitaly I; Uerpmann, Hans-Peter

    2011-01-28

    The timing of the dispersal of anatomically modern humans (AMH) out of Africa is a fundamental question in human evolutionary studies. Existing data suggest a rapid coastal exodus via the Indian Ocean rim around 60,000 years ago. We present evidence from Jebel Faya, United Arab Emirates, demonstrating human presence in eastern Arabia during the last interglacial. The tool kit found at Jebel Faya has affinities to the late Middle Stone Age in northeast Africa, indicating that technological innovation was not necessary to facilitate migration into Arabia. Instead, we propose that low eustatic sea level and increased rainfall during the transition between marine isotope stages 6 and 5 allowed humans to populate Arabia. This evidence implies that AMH may have been present in South Asia before the Toba eruption.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-22

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

  10. Human Origins: Problems in the Interpretation of New Evidence. Third Edition. AAAS Study Guides on Contemporary Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almquist, Alan J.; Cronin, John E.

    This Chautauqua-type short course in human evolution is divided into two parts: The Biochemical Evidence for Human Evolution, and the Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution. The first part covers the comparison of macromolecular differences between species. This includes comparison of DNA base-ratios and amino acid substitution in enzymes and other…

  11. Phylogenetic evidence that two distinct Trichuris genotypes infect both humans and non-human primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damiana F Ravasi

    Full Text Available Although there has been extensive debate about whether Trichuris suis and Trichuris trichiura are separate species, only one species of the whipworm T. trichiura has been considered to infect humans and non-human primates. In order to investigate potential cross infection of Trichuris sp. between baboons and humans in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, we sequenced the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of adult Trichuris sp. worms isolated from five baboons from three different troops, namely the Cape Peninsula troop, Groot Olifantsbos troop and Da Gama Park troop. This region was also sequenced from T. trichiura isolated from a human patient from central Africa (Cameroon for comparison. By combining this dataset with Genbank records for Trichuris isolated from other humans, non-human primates and pigs from several different countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, we confirmed the identification of two distinct Trichuris genotypes that infect primates. Trichuris sp. isolated from the Peninsula baboons fell into two distinct clades that were found to also infect human patients from Cameroon, Uganda and Jamaica (named the CP-GOB clade and China, Thailand, the Czech Republic, and Uganda (named the DG clade, respectively. The divergence of these Trichuris clades is ancient and precedes the diversification of T. suis which clustered closely to the CP-GOB clade. The identification of two distinct Trichuris genotypes infecting both humans and non-human primates is important for the ongoing treatment of Trichuris which is estimated to infect 600 million people worldwide. Currently baboons in the Cape Peninsula, which visit urban areas, provide a constant risk of infection to local communities. A reduction in spatial overlap between humans and baboons is thus an important measure to reduce both cross-transmission and zoonoses of helminthes in Southern Africa.

  12. Phylogenetic evidence that two distinct Trichuris genotypes infect both humans and non-human primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravasi, Damiana F; O'Riain, Mannus J; Davids, Faezah; Illing, Nicola

    2012-01-01

    Although there has been extensive debate about whether Trichuris suis and Trichuris trichiura are separate species, only one species of the whipworm T. trichiura has been considered to infect humans and non-human primates. In order to investigate potential cross infection of Trichuris sp. between baboons and humans in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, we sequenced the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of adult Trichuris sp. worms isolated from five baboons from three different troops, namely the Cape Peninsula troop, Groot Olifantsbos troop and Da Gama Park troop. This region was also sequenced from T. trichiura isolated from a human patient from central Africa (Cameroon) for comparison. By combining this dataset with Genbank records for Trichuris isolated from other humans, non-human primates and pigs from several different countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, we confirmed the identification of two distinct Trichuris genotypes that infect primates. Trichuris sp. isolated from the Peninsula baboons fell into two distinct clades that were found to also infect human patients from Cameroon, Uganda and Jamaica (named the CP-GOB clade) and China, Thailand, the Czech Republic, and Uganda (named the DG clade), respectively. The divergence of these Trichuris clades is ancient and precedes the diversification of T. suis which clustered closely to the CP-GOB clade. The identification of two distinct Trichuris genotypes infecting both humans and non-human primates is important for the ongoing treatment of Trichuris which is estimated to infect 600 million people worldwide. Currently baboons in the Cape Peninsula, which visit urban areas, provide a constant risk of infection to local communities. A reduction in spatial overlap between humans and baboons is thus an important measure to reduce both cross-transmission and zoonoses of helminthes in Southern Africa.

  13. Switching from neurostimulant therapy to atomoxetine in children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder : clinical approaches and review of current available evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Suyash; Steer, Chris

    2008-01-01

    This review provides practical information on and clinical reasons for switching children and young people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) from neurostimulants to atomoxetine, detailing currently available evidence, and switching options. The issue is of particular relevance following recent guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and European ADHD guidelines endorsing the use of atomoxetine, along with the stimulants methylphenidate and dexamphetamine, in the management of ADHD in children and adolescents in the UK. The selective norepinephrine (noradrenaline) reuptake inhibitor, atomoxetine, is a non-stimulant drug licensed for the treatment of ADHD in children and adolescents, and in adults who have shown a response in childhood. Following the once-daily morning dose, its therapeutic effects extend through the waking hours, into late evening, and in some patients, through to early the next morning. Atomoxetine may be considered for patients who are unresponsive or incompletely responsive to stimulant treatment, have co-morbid conditions (e.g. tics, anxiety, depression), and have sleep disturbances or eating problems, for patients in whom stimulants are poorly tolerated, and for situations where there is potential for drug abuse or diversion. Atomoxetine has been shown to be effective in relapse prevention and there is suggestion that atomoxetine may have a positive effect on global functioning; specifically health-related quality of life, self-esteem, and social and family functioning. According to one study, approximately 50% of non-responders to methylphenidate will respond to atomoxetine therapy and approximately 75% of responders to methylphenidate will also respond to atomoxetine. Atomoxetine may be initiated by a schedule of dose increases and cross-tapering with methylphenidate. A slow titration schedule with divided doses minimizes the impact of adverse events within the first several weeks of

  14. Nicotine, Auditory Sensory Memory, and sustained Attention in a Human Ketamine Model of Schizophrenia: Moderating Influence of a Hallucinatory Trait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knott, Verner; Shah, Dhrasti; Millar, Anne; McIntosh, Judy; Fisher, Derek; Blais, Crystal; Ilivitsky, Vadim

    2012-01-01

    Background: The procognitive actions of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist nicotine are believed, in part, to motivate the excessive cigarette smoking in schizophrenia, a disorder associated with deficits in multiple cognitive domains, including low-level auditory sensory processes and higher-order attention-dependent operations. Objectives: As N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) hypofunction has been shown to contribute to these cognitive impairments, the primary aims of this healthy volunteer study were to: (a) to shed light on the separate and interactive roles of nAChR and NMDAR systems in the modulation of auditory sensory memory (and sustained attention), as indexed by the auditory event-related brain potential – mismatch negativity (MMN), and (b) to examine how these effects are moderated by a predisposition to auditory hallucinations/delusions (HD). Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design involving a low intravenous dose of ketamine (0.04 mg/kg) and a 4 mg dose of nicotine gum, MMN, and performance on a rapid visual information processing (RVIP) task of sustained attention were examined in 24 healthy controls psychometrically stratified as being lower (L-HD, n = 12) or higher (H-HD) for HD propensity. Results: Ketamine significantly slowed MMN, and reduced MMN in H-HD, with amplitude attenuation being blocked by the co-administration of nicotine. Nicotine significantly enhanced response speed [reaction time (RT)] and accuracy (increased % hits and d′ and reduced false alarms) on the RVIP, with improved performance accuracy being prevented when nicotine was administered with ketamine. Both % hits and d′, as well as RT were poorer in H-HD (vs. L-HD) and while hit rate and d′ was increased by nicotine in H-HD, RT was slowed by ketamine in L-HD. Conclusions: Nicotine alleviated ketamine-induced sensory memory impairment and improved attention, particularly in individuals prone to HD. PMID:23060793

  15. Nicotine, auditory sensory memory and attention in a human ketamine model of schizophrenia: moderating influence of a hallucinatory trait

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verner eKnott

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The procognitive actions of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR agonist nicotine are believed, in part, to motivate the excessive cigarette smoking in schizophrenia, a disorder associated with deficits in multiple cognitive domains, including low level auditory sensory processes and higher order attention-dependent operations. Objectives: As N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR hypofunction has been shown to contribute to these cognitive impairments, the primary aims of this healthy volunteer study were to: a to shed light on the separate and interactive roles of nAChR and NMDAR systems in the modulation of auditory sensory memory (and sustained attention, as indexed by the auditory event-related brain potential (ERP – mismatch negativity (MMN, and b to examine how these effects are moderated by a predisposition to auditory hallucinations/delusions (HD. Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled design involving a low intravenous dose of ketamine (.04 mg/kg and a 4 mg dose of nicotine gum, MMN and performance on a rapid visual information processing (RVIP task of sustained attention were examined in 24 healthy controls psychometrically stratified as being lower (L-HD, n = 12 or higher (H-HD for HD propensity. Results: Ketamine significantly slowed MMN, and reduced MMN in H-HD, with amplitude attenuation being blocked by the co-administration of nicotine. Nicotine significantly enhanced response speed (reaction time and accuracy (increased % hits and d΄ and reduced false alarms on the RIVIP, with improved performance accuracy being prevented when nicotine was administered with ketamine. Both % hits and d΄, as well as reaction time were poorer in H-HD (vs. L-HD and while hit rate and d΄ was increased by nicotine in H-HD, reaction time was slowed by ketamine in L-HD. Conclusions: Nicotine alleviated ketamine-induced sensory memory impairments and improved attention, particularly in individuals prone to HD.

  16. 情绪性注意瞬脱的认知机制:来自行为与ERP的证据%Cognitive mechanisms of the emotional attentional blink: Evidence from behavior and ERPs

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    贾磊; 张常洁; 张庆林

    2016-01-01

    从过度投入理论与激活反弹理论对瓶颈理论的质疑出发, 采用 ERP 技术检验了情绪性注意瞬脱的加工过程及其神经机制.行为结果显示, 以恐惧面孔为T1, 中性场景图片为T2, 则恐惧面孔T1相对中性面孔 T1 显著降低了中性 T2 的识别正确率, 进而诱发了情绪性注意瞬脱.ERP 结果进一步显示, 相较于中性面孔 T1, 恐惧面孔 T1 诱发的情绪加工影响了代表中枢加工资源的两阶段 P3 波幅, 使得其始终高于代表标准注意瞬脱的中性面孔T1条件和代表非注意瞬脱的单任务基线条件.以上结果证明, 情绪性注意瞬脱形成自情绪性T1加工所诱发的中枢资源过度投入, 而非源自中枢资源瓶颈.%The emotional attentional blink (EAB) refers to a specific limitation of humans' attention system that consciously perception ability of target stimuli distributed across time is reduced by emotional/affective processes. Under conditions of rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), participants usually display a significant reduced ability to report the second of two targets (T2) in a stream of distractors if it appears within 200-500 msec following the first target (T1). This effect is known as attentional blink (AB). However, when emotional/ affective stimulus is used as T1 and T2 is neutral, the AB effect can be strengthened. This specific effect of attentional blink is emotional attentional blink (EAB). Compared with the standard AB effect, the EAB has its unique characteristics. For example, the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between T1 and T2 in EAB could be less than that in standard attentional blink (e.g.,≤134 msec; Stein et al., 2009). Nevertheless, the task of T1 recognition should be aimed at the dimension of emotional process. Although recent behavior studies have provided much evidence about the process of EAB, details about the cognitive neural mechanisms of EAB are still unknown. Therefore, this research aimed to

  17. Animate and Inanimate Objects in Human Visual Cortex: Evidence for Task-Independent Category Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiggett, Alison J.; Pritchard, Iwan C.; Downing, Paul E.

    2009-01-01

    Evidence from neuropsychology suggests that the distinction between animate and inanimate kinds is fundamental to human cognition. Previous neuroimaging studies have reported that viewing animate objects activates ventrolateral visual brain regions, whereas inanimate objects activate ventromedial regions. However, these studies have typically…

  18. Evidence for the existence of mammalian acetoacetate decarboxylase: with special reference to human blood serum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stekelenburg, Gerard J. van; Koorevaar, Gerrit

    In this article evidence is presented for the existence of mammalian acetoacetate decarboxylase (acetoacetate carboxy-lyase: E.G. 4.1.1.4). From experiments with human blood serum the presence of a non-ultrafiltrable activator, accelerating the decomposition of acetoacetate into acetone and carbon

  19. Evidence for Human Adaptation and Foodborne Transmission of Livestock-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jesper; Stegger, Marc; Andersen, Paal S.;

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the evolution and epidemiology of a novel live-stock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strain, which colonizes and infects urban-dwelling Danes even without a Danish animal reservoir. Genetic evidence suggests both poultry and human adaptation, with poultry meat...

  20. Two independent killing mechanisms of Candida albicans by human neutrophils: evidence from innate immunity defects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gazendam, R.P.; Hamme, J.L. van; Tool, A.T.; Houdt, M. van; Verkuijlen, P.J.; Herbst, M.; Liese, J.G.; Veerdonk, F.L. van de; Roos, D.; Berg, T.K. van den; Kuijpers, T.W.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive fungal infections, accompanied by high rates of mortality, represent an increasing problem in medicine. Neutrophils are the major effector immune cells in fungal killing. Based on studies with neutrophils from patients with defined genetic defects, we provide evidence that human neutrophils

  1. Evidence for the existence of mammalian acetoacetate decarboxylase: with special reference to human blood serum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stekelenburg, Gerard J. van; Koorevaar, Gerrit

    1972-01-01

    In this article evidence is presented for the existence of mammalian acetoacetate decarboxylase (acetoacetate carboxy-lyase: E.G. 4.1.1.4). From experiments with human blood serum the presence of a non-ultrafiltrable activator, accelerating the decomposition of acetoacetate into acetone and carbon d

  2. Epidemiological evidence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia without the presence of human papillomavirus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burger, MPM; Hollema, H; Pieters, WJLM; Schroder, FP; Quint, WGV

    1996-01-01

    The aim of this paper was to provide epidemiological evidence to support the notion that cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (GIN) without human papillomavirus (HPV) is a true entity. If a diagnosis of HPV-negative cervical neoplasia is erroneous, one would not expect there to be any differences in r

  3. Aflatoxin is not a probably human carcinogen: the published evidence is sufficient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoloff, L

    1989-12-01

    Since the early 1960s, when aflatoxin, the mold-produced contaminant of a number of important food commodities, was found to be a potent hepatocarcinogen for laboratory rats, there has been a sustained search for evidence to support the regulatory presumption that aflatoxin is a probable human carcinogen. The developing laboratory evidence of differences between species in metabolism of aflatoxin and susceptibility to its oncogenic effects indicated that humans were probably refractory to aflatoxin carcinogenesis, but the early epidemiological evidence indicated otherwise. That epidemiological evidence, however, contained flaws so that Working Groups of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) meeting in 1970, 1976, and 1982, although ignoring the biochemical evidence, did consider the available epidemiological evidence insufficient for a conclusion of human carcinogenicity. During the 1970s and 1980s, studies on the connection between chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and primary liver cell cancer (PLC), the expected lesion from aflatoxin exposure, had established a very strong etiological relationship between HBV and PLC. Since all the epidemiological studies of aflatoxin and PLC conducted prior to 1982 had been of populations with endemic HBV infection, and, in addition to other flaws, had not been controlled for this confounding factor, there was a solid basis for their rejection. Most epidemiological studies in the 1980s of aflatoxin and PLC were either in the United States, where HBV-infected groups could be excluded from the study, or, when in areas of chronic HBV infection, attempts were made to include that factor. The study of U.S. populations showed no difference in mortality rates from PLC that could be attributed to aflatoxin exposure. The studies of populations with endemic HBV infection produced no convincing evidence to support a primary role for aflatoxin in the induction of human PLC, although an accessory role to HBV

  4. Human cranial diversity and evidence for an ancient lineage of modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schillaci, Michael A

    2008-06-01

    This study examines the genetic affinities of various modern human groupings using a multivariate analysis of morphometric data. Phylogenetic relationships among these groupings are also explored using neighbor-joining analysis of the metric data. Results indicate that the terminal Pleistocene/early Holocene fossils from Australasia exhibit a close genetic affinity with early modern humans from the Levant. Furthermore, recent human populations and Upper Paleolithic Europeans share a most recent common ancestor not shared with either the early Australasians or the early Levantine humans. This pattern of genetic and phylogenetic relationships suggests that the early modern humans from the Levant either contributed directly to the ancestry of an early lineage of Australasians, or that they share a recent common ancestor with them. The principal findings of the study, therefore, lend support to the notion of an early dispersal from Africa by a more ancient lineage of modern human prior to 50 ka, perhaps as early as OIS 5 times (76-100 ka).

  5. Possibilities of collecting evidences about crime act of sexual exploitation in human beings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mijalković Saša

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Collecting evidences about organized crime act of sexual exploitation in human begins often is very difficult because of high level of organization, secrecy ant precaution taken during committing prostitution, pornography, sex tourism and human trafficking. On the other side, high illegal profit enable criminals to engage "expensive" and experienced lawyers, whose often make values and reliability of collected evidences questionable, appealing to irregularities during police collecting procedure. Among traditional criminalities methods and proofing activities, in the study, modern tendencies in special investigative measures and techniques are considered. After that, there is pointing at specificity, meaning and value of material tracks and objects, which are essential for proofing crime act or perpetrator’s guiltiness. On the end, there is pointing at importance of victims’ cooperation in collecting evidences about their sexual exploitation.

  6. Attention Sensor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Börner, Dirk; Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Attention Sensor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Börner, Dirk; Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Visuospatial attention deficit in patients with frontoparietal network lesions: Evidence from the attention network test%脑额顶网络损害患者视空间注意功能障碍的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐光青; 兰月; 陈少贞; 裴中; 陈玲; 黄东锋

    2011-01-01

    Objective To probe deficits in visuospatial attention using an attention network test (ANT) in patients with frontoparietal network lesions. Methods The ANT was used to measure the alertness, orienting and executive control abilities of 25 patients with local brain lesions, including 13 with frontal and 12 with parietal damage. Their results were compared with those of health adults. Results During ANT tasks, the patients' responses were significantly slower on each cue and target condition than controls', and showed deficits in their alerting and orienting networks. The efficiency of executive control was impaired in patients with frontal lesions, but increased with parietal lesions. Conclusions These findings suggest that the frontoparietal network is involved in alerting and orienting, but the executive control function may be selectively associated with the frontal lobe. ANT is an efficienttool for studying visual attention and cognition.%目的 探讨额顶网络损害患者视空间注意网络的解剖和功能定位及其相互影响.方法 采用注意网络测试任务,对13例局灶性额叶损害和12例顶叶损害患者进行网络效率测试,并与30例正常对照组的注意网络测试结果相比较.结果 额顶网络损害患者不同提示和刺激类型的平均反应时间均明显比正常对照组慢(P<0.05);警觉和定向网络效率及其比率也均明显受损(P<0.01).额叶损害患者执行网络效率及其比率与正常对照组比较明显受损(P<0.01),而顶叶损害患者没有受损,反而网络效率比率还增强(P<0.01).结论 额顶网络与警觉和定向网络功能有关,而执行控制网络主要与额叶活动有关,并且注意网络测试是研究视觉注意认知过程的有效任务和工具.

  9. Weighing serological evidence of human exposure to animal influenza viruses - a literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikkema, Reina Saapke; Freidl, Gudrun Stephanie; de Bruin, Erwin; Koopmans, Marion

    2016-11-03

    Assessing influenza A virus strains circulating in animals and their potential to cross the species barrier and cause human infections is important to improve human influenza surveillance and preparedness. We reviewed studies describing serological evidence of human exposure to animal influenza viruses. Comparing serological data is difficult due to a lack of standardisation in study designs and in laboratory methods used in published reports. Therefore, we designed a scoring system to assess and weigh specificity of obtained serology results in the selected articles. Many studies report reliable evidence of antibodies to swine influenza viruses among persons occupationally exposed to pigs. Most avian influenza studies target H5, H7 and H9 subtypes and most serological evidence of human exposure to avian influenza viruses is reported for these subtypes. Avian influenza studies receiving a low grade in this review often reported higher seroprevalences in humans compared with studies with a high grade. Official surveillance systems mainly focus on avian H5 and H7 viruses. Swine influenza viruses and avian subtypes other than H5 and H7 (emphasising H9) should be additionally included in official surveillance systems. Surveillance efforts should also be directed towards understudied geographical areas, such as Africa and South America. This article is copyright of The Authors, 2016.

  10. New Archaeological Evidence for an Early Human Presence at Monte Verde, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dillehay, Tom D.; Ocampo, Carlos; Saavedra, José; Sawakuchi, Andre Oliveira; Vega, Rodrigo M.; Pino, Mario; Collins, Michael B.; Scott Cummings, Linda; Arregui, Iván; Villagran, Ximena S.; Hartmann, Gelvam A.; Mella, Mauricio; González, Andrea; Dix, George

    2015-01-01

    Questions surrounding the chronology, place, and character of the initial human colonization of the Americas are a long-standing focus of debate. Interdisciplinary debate continues over the timing of entry, the rapidity and direction of dispersion, the variety of human responses to diverse habitats, the criteria for evaluating the validity of early sites, and the differences and similarities between colonization in North and South America. Despite recent advances in our understanding of these issues, archaeology still faces challenges in defining interdisciplinary research problems, assessing the reliability of the data, and applying new interpretative models. As the debates and challenges continue, new studies take place and previous research reexamined. Here we discuss recent exploratory excavation at and interdisciplinary data from the Monte Verde area in Chile to further our understanding of the first peopling of the Americas. New evidence of stone artifacts, faunal remains, and burned areas suggests discrete horizons of ephemeral human activity in a sandur plain setting radiocarbon and luminescence dated between at least ~18,500 and 14,500 cal BP. Based on multiple lines of evidence, including sedimentary proxies and artifact analysis, we present the probable anthropogenic origins and wider implications of this evidence. In a non-glacial cold climate environment of the south-central Andes, which is challenging for human occupation and for the preservation of hunter-gatherer sites, these horizons provide insight into an earlier context of late Pleistocene human behavior in northern Patagonia. PMID:26580202

  11. Evidence of fire use of late Pleistocene humans from the Huanglong Cave, Hubei Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Wu; WU XianZhu; LI YiYin; DENG ChengLong; WU XiuJie; PEI ShuWen

    2009-01-01

    Since 2004, three excavations have been carried out at a late Pleistocene human fossil site of Huan-glong Cave in Yunxi County, Hubei Province of China, which unearthed seven human teeth, dozens of stone tools, mammal fossils and other evidence indicating human activities. During the third excava-tion in 2006, in the same layer as the human teeth, we found some patches of black materials embed-ded in the deposit. We doubted that this black deposit layer is the remains of burning or even human use of fire at the cave. To further explore the possibility of human fire use at the Huanglong Cave, we examined samples directly taken from the black deposit layer and compared them with samples taken from several places in the cave using three methods: micromorphology, element content determination and deposit temperature analysis. Our results indicate that the contents of carbon element in the black deposit reach 64.59%-73.29%. In contrast, contents of carbon element of the comparative samples from other parts in the cave are only 5.82%-9.49%. The micromorphology analysis of the black de-posit samples reveals a plant structure like axial parenchyma, fibrocyte, uniseriate ray and vessel.High-temperature magnetic susceptibility measurements suggest that the stratum possibly underwent a high temperature in the nature. Based on these lab analyses, we are sure that the black layer in the Huanglong Cave is the remains of fire and combustion did occur in the cave 100000 years ago. Taking other evidence of human activities found in the Huanglong Cave into consideration, we believe that the evidence of fire from the Huanglong Cave was caused by the human activities of controlled use of fire.

  12. Atypical auditory refractory periods in children from lower socio-economic status backgrounds: ERP evidence for a role of selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Courtney; Paulsen, David; Yasen, Alia; Neville, Helen

    2015-02-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies indicate that lower socio-economic status (SES) is associated with reduced effects of selective attention on auditory processing. Here, we investigated whether lower SES is also associated with differences in a stimulus-driven aspect of auditory processing: the neural refractory period, or reduced amplitude response at faster rates of stimulus presentation. Thirty-two children aged 3 to 8 years participated, and were divided into two SES groups based on maternal education. Event-related brain potentials were recorded to probe stimuli presented at interstimulus intervals (ISIs) of 200, 500, or 1000 ms. These probes were superimposed on story narratives when attended and ignored, permitting a simultaneous experimental manipulation of selective attention. Results indicated that group differences in refractory periods differed as a function of attention condition. Children from higher SES backgrounds showed full neural recovery by 500 ms for attended stimuli, but required at least 1000 ms for unattended stimuli. In contrast, children from lower SES backgrounds showed similar refractory effects to attended and unattended stimuli, with full neural recovery by 500 ms. Thus, in higher SES children only, one functional consequence of selective attention is attenuation of the response to unattended stimuli, particularly at rapid ISIs, altering basic properties of the auditory refractory period. Together, these data indicate that differences in selective attention impact basic aspects of auditory processing in children from lower SES backgrounds.

  13. Object detection in natural scenes: Independent effects of spatial and category-based attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stein, T.; Peelen, M.V.

    2017-01-01

    Humans are remarkably efficient in detecting highly familiar object categories in natural scenes, with evidence suggesting that such object detection can be performed in the (near) absence of attention. Here we systematically explored the influences of both spatial attention and category-based

  14. Evidence of connections between cerebrospinal fluid and nasal lymphatic vessels in humans, non-human primates and other mammalian species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Armstrong Dianna

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The parenchyma of the brain does not contain lymphatics. Consequently, it has been assumed that arachnoid projections into the cranial venous system are responsible for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF absorption. However, recent quantitative and qualitative evidence in sheep suggest that nasal lymphatics have the major role in CSF transport. Nonetheless, the applicability of this concept to other species, especially to humans has never been clarified. The purpose of this study was to compare the CSF and nasal lymph associations in human and non-human primates with those observed in other mammalian species. Methods Studies were performed in sheep, pigs, rabbits, rats, mice, monkeys and humans. Immediately after sacrifice (or up to 7 hours after death in humans, yellow Microfil was injected into the CSF compartment. The heads were cut in a sagittal plane. Results In the seven species examined, Microfil was observed primarily in the subarachnoid space around the olfactory bulbs and cribriform plate. The contrast agent followed the olfactory nerves and entered extensive lymphatic networks in the submucosa associated with the olfactory and respiratory epithelium. This is the first direct evidence of the association between the CSF and nasal lymph compartments in humans. Conclusions The fact that the pattern of Microfil distribution was similar in all species tested, suggested that CSF absorption into nasal lymphatics is a characteristic feature of all mammals including humans. It is tempting to speculate that some disorders of the CSF system (hydrocephalus and idiopathic intracranial hypertension for example may relate either directly or indirectly to a lymphatic CSF absorption deficit.

  15. Evidence Report, Risk of Inadequate Design of Human and Automation/Robotic Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zumbado, Jennifer Rochlis; Billman, Dorrit; Feary, Mike; Green, Collin

    2011-01-01

    The success of future exploration missions depends, even more than today, on effective integration of humans and technology (automation and robotics). This will not emerge by chance, but by design. Both crew and ground personnel will need to do more demanding tasks in more difficult conditions, amplifying the costs of poor design and the benefits of good design. This report has looked at the importance of good design and the risks from poor design from several perspectives: 1) If the relevant functions needed for a mission are not identified, then designs of technology and its use by humans are unlikely to be effective: critical functions will be missing and irrelevant functions will mislead or drain attention. 2) If functions are not distributed effectively among the (multiple) participating humans and automation/robotic systems, later design choices can do little to repair this: additional unnecessary coordination work may be introduced, workload may be redistributed to create problems, limited human attentional resources may be wasted, and the capabilities of both humans and technology underused. 3) If the design does not promote accurate understanding of the capabilities of the technology, the operators will not use the technology effectively: the system may be switched off in conditions where it would be effective, or used for tasks or in contexts where its effectiveness may be very limited. 4) If an ineffective interaction design is implemented and put into use, a wide range of problems can ensue. Many involve lack of transparency into the system: operators may be unable or find it very difficult to determine a) the current state and changes of state of the automation or robot, b) the current state and changes in state of the system being controlled or acted on, and c) what actions by human or by system had what effects. 5) If the human interfaces for operation and control of robotic agents are not designed to accommodate the unique points of view and

  16. The Effect of Chronic Alprazolam Intake on Memory, Attention, and Psychomotor Performance in Healthy Human Male Volunteers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zahid Sadek Chowdhury

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Alprazolam is used as an anxiolytic drug for generalized anxiety disorder and it has been reported to produce sedation and anterograde amnesia. In the current study, we randomly divided 26 healthy male volunteers into two groups: one group taking alprazolam 0.5 mg and the other taking placebo daily for two weeks. We utilized the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB software to assess the chronic effect of alprazolam. We selected Paired Associates Learning (PAL and Delayed Matching to Sample (DMS tests for memory, Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP for attention, and Choice Reaction Time (CRT for psychomotor performance twice: before starting the treatment and after the completion of the treatment. We found statistically significant impairment of visual memory in one parameter of PAL and three parameters of DMS in alprazolam group. The PAL mean trial to success and total correct matching in 0-second delay, 4-second delay, and all delay situation of DMS were impaired in alprazolam group. RVP total hits after two weeks of alprazolam treatment were improved in alprazolam group. But such differences were not observed in placebo group. In our study, we found that chronic administration of alprazolam affects memory but attentive and psychomotor performance remained unaffected.

  17. The potentiation of geometry by features in human children: Evidence against modularity in the domain of navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lourenco, Stella F; Cabrera, Janine

    2015-12-01

    Accumulating evidence demonstrates that humans and other animals use geometric information, such as the shape of a surrounding space, to recover from disorientation. Less clear is to what extent human children integrate geometry with featural cues, such as the color of walls within an enclosed space, for this purpose. One view holds that reorientation relies on a cognitive module that processes geometric information independently of features. Here we provide evidence against this position by demonstrating that prior exposure to features within a kite-shaped space facilitated the use of geometry in 3- and 4-year-old children, as has been shown with nonhuman animals. Children were tasked with localizing a hidden object within a kite space following disorientation. Their performance was compared across two blocks of trials. We found that children first exposed to features (two black walls and two white walls) within the kite space (first block) were subsequently better at relying on the space's geometry to localize the target object (second block) than children not previously exposed to features. Follow-up experiments ruled out nonspecific effects of practice and attention. Not only did featural cues interact with the processing of geometry, but also features specifically enhanced children's representations of the space's geometry, which they used for reorientation. We suggest that this potentiation of geometry was possible because the placement of wall colors highlighted the major axis of the kite space, which may be critical for aiding the encoding of global shape or for maintaining the representation of a complex geometry in memory.

  18. Losing the big picture: How religion may control visual attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colzato, L.S.; van den Wildenberg, W.P.M.; Hommel, B.

    2008-01-01

    Despite the abundance of evidence that human perception is penetrated by beliefs and expectations, scientific research so far has entirely neglected the possible impact of religious background on attention. Here we show that Dutch Calvinists and atheists, brought up in the same country and culture

  19. A whole-genome scan in 164 Dutch sib pairs with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: suggestive evidence for linkage on chromosomes 7p and 15q.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, S.C.; Meulen, E.M. van der; Sandkuijl, L.A.; Pauls, D.L.; Monsuur, A.J.; Slot, R. van 't; Minderaa, R.B.; Gunning, W.B.; Pearson, P.L.; Sinke, R.J.

    2003-01-01

    A genome scan was performed on 164 Dutch affected sib pairs (ASPs) with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). All subjects were white and of Dutch descent and were phenotyped according to criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, 4th edition. Initially

  20. A whole-genome scan in 164 Dutch sib pairs with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder : Suggestive evidence for linkage on chromosomes 7p and 15q

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, SC; van der Meulen, EM; Buitelaar, JK; Sandkuijl, LA; Pauls, DL; Monsuur, AJ; van't Slot, R; Minderaa, RB; Gunning, WB; Pearson, PL; Sinke, RJ

    2003-01-01

    A genome scan was performed on 164 Dutch affected sib pairs (ASPs) with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). All subjects were white and of Dutch descent and were phenotyped according to criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, 4th edition. Initially

  1. Snake pictures draw more early attention than spider pictures in non-phobic women: evidence from event-related brain potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Strien, J W; Eijlers, R; Franken, I H A; Huijding, J

    2014-02-01

    Snakes were probably the first predators of mammals and may have been important agents of evolutionary changes in the primate visual system allowing rapid visual detection of fearful stimuli (Isbell, 2006). By means of early and late attention-related brain potentials, we examined the hypothesis that more early visual attention is automatically allocated to snakes than to spiders. To measure the early posterior negativity (EPN), 24 healthy, non-phobic women watched the random rapid serial presentation of 600 snake pictures, 600 spider pictures, and 600 bird pictures (three pictures per second). To measure the late positive potential (LPP), they also watched similar pictures (30 pictures per stimulus category) in a non-speeded presentation. The EPN amplitude was largest for snake pictures, intermediate for spider pictures and smallest for bird pictures. The LPP was significantly larger for both snake and spider pictures when compared to bird pictures. Interestingly, spider fear (as measured by a questionnaire) was associated with EPN amplitude for spider pictures, whereas snake fear was not associated with EPN amplitude for snake pictures. The results suggest that ancestral priorities modulate the early capture of visual attention and that early attention to snakes is more innate and independent of reported fear. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Snake pictures draw more early attention than spider pictures in non-phobic women : Evidence from event-related brain potentials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Strien, J. W.; Eijlers, R.; Franken, I. H A; Huijding, J.

    2014-01-01

    Snakes were probably the first predators of mammals and may have been important agents of evolutionary changes in the primate visual system allowing rapid visual detection of fearful stimuli (Isbell, 2006). By means of early and late attention-related brain potentials, we examined the hypothesis tha

  3. Snake pictures draw more early attention than spider pictures in non-phobic women: Evidence from event-related brain potentials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.W. van Strien (Jan); R. Eijlers (R.); I.H.A. Franken (Ingmar); J. Huijding (Jorg)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractSnakes were probably the first predators of mammals and may have been important agents of evolutionary changes in the primate visual system allowing rapid visual detection of fearful stimuli (Isbell, 2006). By means of early and late attention-related brain potentials, we examined the hy

  4. Time Course of Visual Attention in Infant Categorization of Cats versus Dogs: Evidence for a Head Bias as Revealed through Eye Tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Paul C.; Doran, Matthew M.; Reiss, Jason E.; Hoffman, James E.

    2009-01-01

    Previous looking time studies have shown that infants use the heads of cat and dog images to form category representations for these animal classes. The present research used an eye-tracking procedure to determine the time course of attention to the head and whether it reflects a preexisting bias or online learning. Six- to 7-month-olds were…

  5. Snake pictures draw more early attention than spider pictures in non-phobic women : Evidence from event-related brain potentials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Strien, J. W.; Eijlers, R.; Franken, I. H A; Huijding, J.

    2014-01-01

    Snakes were probably the first predators of mammals and may have been important agents of evolutionary changes in the primate visual system allowing rapid visual detection of fearful stimuli (Isbell, 2006). By means of early and late attention-related brain potentials, we examined the hypothesis tha

  6. Snake pictures draw more early attention than spider pictures in non-phobic women: Evidence from event-related brain potentials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.W. van Strien (Jan); R. Eijlers (R.); I.H.A. Franken (Ingmar); J. Huijding (Jorg)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractSnakes were probably the first predators of mammals and may have been important agents of evolutionary changes in the primate visual system allowing rapid visual detection of fearful stimuli (Isbell, 2006). By means of early and late attention-related brain potentials, we examined the hy

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  8. Time Course of Visual Attention in Infant Categorization of Cats versus Dogs: Evidence for a Head Bias as Revealed through Eye Tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Paul C.; Doran, Matthew M.; Reiss, Jason E.; Hoffman, James E.

    2009-01-01

    Previous looking time studies have shown that infants use the heads of cat and dog images to form category representations for these animal classes. The present research used an eye-tracking procedure to determine the time course of attention to the head and whether it reflects a preexisting bias or online learning. Six- to 7-month-olds were…

  9. Early modern humans and morphological variation in Southeast Asia: fossil evidence from Tam Pa Ling, Laos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrice Demeter

    Full Text Available Little is known about the timing of modern human emergence and occupation in Eastern Eurasia. However a rapid migration out of Africa into Southeast Asia by at least 60 ka is supported by archaeological, paleogenetic and paleoanthropological data. Recent discoveries in Laos, a modern human cranium (TPL1 from Tam Pa Ling's cave, provided the first evidence for the presence of early modern humans in mainland Southeast Asia by 63-46 ka. In the current study, a complete human mandible representing a second individual, TPL 2, is described using discrete traits and geometric morphometrics with an emphasis on determining its population affinity. The TPL2 mandible has a chin and other discrete traits consistent with early modern humans, but it retains a robust lateral corpus and internal corporal morphology typical of archaic humans across the Old World. The mosaic morphology of TPL2 and the fully modern human morphology of TPL1 suggest that a large range of morphological variation was present in early modern human populations residing in the eastern Eurasia by MIS 3.

  10. Relevance of the glutathione system in temporal lobe epilepsy: evidence in human and experimental models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cárdenas-Rodríguez, Noemí; Coballase-Urrutia, Elvia; Pérez-Cruz, Claudia; Montesinos-Correa, Hortencia; Rivera-Espinosa, Liliana; Sampieri, Aristides; Carmona-Aparicio, Liliana

    2014-01-01

    Oxidative stress, which is a state of imbalance in the production of reactive oxygen species and nitrogen, is induced by a wide variety of factors. This biochemical state is associated with diseases that are systemic as well as diseases that affect the central nervous system. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder, and temporal lobe epilepsy represents an estimated 40% of all epilepsy cases. Currently, evidence from human and experimental models supports the involvement of oxidative stress during seizures and in the epileptogenesis process. Hence, the aim of this review was to provide information that facilitates the processing of this evidence and investigate the therapeutic impact of the biochemical status for this specific pathology.

  11. Developmental origins of health and disease: experimental and human evidence of fetal programming for metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gusmão Correia, M L; Volpato, A M; Águila, M B; Mandarim-de-Lacerda, C A

    2012-07-01

    The concept of developmental origins of health and disease has been defined as the process through which the environment encountered before birth, or in infancy, shapes the long-term control of tissue physiology and homeostasis. The evidence for programming derives from a large number of experimental and epidemiological observations. Several nutritional interventions during diverse phases of pregnancy and lactation in rodents are associated with fetal and neonatal programming for metabolic syndrome. In this paper, recent experimental models and human epidemiological studies providing evidence for the fetal programming associated with the development of metabolic syndrome and related diseases are revisited.

  12. Patterns of Visual Attention and Gaze to Human and Animal Faces in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Servet Bayram

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study is to investigate the patterns of visual attention and gaze to familiar female/male faces and animal faces in high-functioning children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD. Seven children with ASD and ten (10 typically developing (TD children participated in this study. To collect data, an eye-tracking system was used while participants looked at visual stimuli. According to the results of the study, high-functioning children with ASD have deficiency in getting relevant social information from the eyes though faces familiar to them, but they use information from the eye region in face exploration more than from the other parts of the faces. In addition, children with ASD seem to present gaze patterns similar to those of TD children during face exploration.

  13. Human Research Program Human Health Countermeasures Element: Evidence Report - Artificial Gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Gilles

    2015-01-01

    The most serious risks of long-duration flight involve radiation, behavioral stresses, and physiological deconditioning. Artificial gravity (AG), by substituting for the missing gravitational cues and loading in space, has the potential to mitigate the last of these risks by preventing the adaptive responses from occurring. The rotation of a Mars-bound spacecraft or an embarked human centrifuge offers significant promise as an effective, efficient multi-system countermeasure against the physiological deconditioning associated with prolonged weightlessness. Virtually all of the identified risks associated with bone loss, muscle weakening, cardiovascular deconditioning, and sensorimotor disturbances might be alleviated by the appropriate application of AG. However, experience with AG in space has been limited and a human-rated centrifuge is currently not available on board the ISS. A complete R&D program aimed at determining the requirements for gravity level, gravity gradient, rotation rate, frequency, and duration of AG exposure is warranted before making a decision for implementing AG in a human spacecraft.

  14. The functional neuroanatomy of the human orbitofrontal cortex: evidence from neuroimaging and neuropsychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kringelbach, Morten L; Rolls, Edmund T

    2004-04-01

    The human orbitofrontal cortex is an important brain region for the processing of rewards and punishments, which is a prerequisite for the complex and flexible emotional and social behaviour which contributes to the evolutionary success of humans. Yet much remains to be discovered about the functions of this key brain region, and new evidence from functional neuroimaging and clinical neuropsychology is affording new insights into the different functions of the human orbitofrontal cortex. We review the neuroanatomical and neuropsychological literature on the human orbitofrontal cortex, and propose two distinct trends of neural activity based on a meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies. One is a mediolateral distinction, whereby medial orbitofrontal cortex activity is related to monitoring the reward value of many different reinforcers, whereas lateral orbitofrontal cortex activity is related to the evaluation of punishers which may lead to a change in ongoing behaviour. The second is a posterior-anterior distinction with more complex or abstract reinforcers (such as monetary gain and loss) represented more anteriorly in the orbitofrontal cortex than simpler reinforcers such as taste or pain. Finally, we propose new neuroimaging methods for obtaining further evidence on the localisation of function in the human orbitofrontal cortex.

  15. Laetoli footprints preserve earliest direct evidence of human-like bipedal biomechanics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A Raichlen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Debates over the evolution of hominin bipedalism, a defining human characteristic, revolve around whether early bipeds walked more like humans, with energetically efficient extended hind limbs, or more like apes with flexed hind limbs. The 3.6 million year old hominin footprints at Laetoli, Tanzania represent the earliest direct evidence of hominin bipedalism. Determining the kinematics of Laetoli hominins will allow us to understand whether selection acted to decrease energy costs of bipedalism by 3.6 Ma. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using an experimental design, we show that the Laetoli hominins walked with weight transfer most similar to the economical extended limb bipedalism of humans. Humans walked through a sand trackway using both extended limb bipedalism, and more flexed limb bipedalism. Footprint morphology from extended limb trials matches weight distribution patterns found in the Laetoli footprints. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide us with the earliest direct evidence of kinematically human-like bipedalism currently known, and show that extended limb bipedalism evolved long before the appearance of the genus Homo. Since extended-limb bipedalism is more energetically economical than ape-like bipedalism, energy expenditure was likely an important selection pressure on hominin bipeds by 3.6 Ma.

  16. A butchered bone from Norfolk: evidence for very early human presence in Britain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Parfitt

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Before the Anglian glaciation some 450,000 years ago, much of England was drained by large rivers that deposited sediments - known as the Cromer Forest-bed Formation - now exposed along the coast of East Anglia. The Forest-bed has yielded a great variety of fossils but until now no definite evidence of human activity. The recent discovery of cut marks on a bison bone collected from it in the nineteenth century demonstrates conclusively that humans were present in this part of East Anglia over half a million years ago.

  17. Selective attention, working memory, and animal intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matzel, Louis D; Kolata, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that the storage and processing capabilities of the human working memory system co-vary with individuals' performance on a wide range of cognitive tasks. The ubiquitous nature of this relationship suggests that variations in these processes may underlie individual differences in intelligence. Here we briefly review relevant data which supports this view. Furthermore, we emphasize an emerging literature describing a trait in genetically heterogeneous mice that is quantitatively and qualitatively analogous to general intelligence (g) in humans. As in humans, this animal analog of g co-varies with individual differences in both storage and processing components of the working memory system. Absent some of the complications associated with work with human subjects (e.g., phonological processing), this work with laboratory animals has provided an opportunity to assess otherwise intractable hypotheses. For instance, it has been possible in animals to manipulate individual aspects of the working memory system (e.g., selective attention), and to observe causal relationships between these variables and the expression of general cognitive abilities. This work with laboratory animals has coincided with human imaging studies (briefly reviewed here) which suggest that common brain structures (e.g., prefrontal cortex) mediate the efficacy of selective attention and the performance of individuals on intelligence test batteries. In total, this evidence suggests an evolutionary conservation of the processes that co-vary with and/or regulate "intelligence" and provides a framework for promoting these abilities in both young and old animals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Rebecca M

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Martina Foerster

    2016-11-01

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

  20. [11C]Doxepin binding to histamine H1 receptors in living human brain: reproducibility during attentive waking and circadian rhythm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibuya, Katsuhiko; Funaki, Yoshihito; Hiraoka, Kotaro; Yoshikawa, Takeo; Naganuma, Fumito; Miyake, Masayasu; Watanuki, Shoichi; Sato, Hirotoshi; Tashiro, Manabu; Yanai, Kazuhiko

    2012-01-01

    Molecular imaging in neuroscience is a new research field that enables visualization of the impact of molecular events on brain structure and function in humans. While magnetic resonance-based imaging techniques can provide complex information at the level of system, positron emission tomography (PET) enables determination of the distribution and density of receptor and enzyme in the human brain. Previous studies using [11C]raclopride and [11C]FLB457 revealed that the release of neuronal dopamine was increased in human brain by psychostimulants or reward stimuli. Following on from these previous [11C]raclopride studies, we examined whether the levels of neuronal release of histamine might change [11C]doxepin binding to the H1 receptors under the influence of physiological stimuli. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the test–retest reliability of quantitative measurement of [11C]doxepin binding between morning and afternoon and between resting and attentive waking conditions in healthy human subjects. There was a trend for a decrease in [11C]doxepin binding during attentive calculation tasks compared with that in resting conditions, but the difference (less than 10%) was not significant. Similarly, the binding potential of [11C]doxepin in the cerebral cortex was slightly higher in the morning than that in the afternoon, but it was also insignificant. These data suggest that higher histamine release during wakefulness could not decrease the [11C]doxepin binding in the brain. This study confirmed the reproducibility and reliability of [11C]doxepin in the previous imaging studies to measure the H1 receptor. PMID:22701403

  1. Bilingualism and the increased attentional blink effect: evidence that the difference between bilinguals and monolinguals generalizes to different levels of second language proficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khare, Vatsala; Verma, Ark; Kar, Bhoomika; Srinivasan, Narayanan; Brysbaert, Marc

    2013-11-01

    The attentional blink task involves rapid serial presentation of visual stimuli, two of which the participants have to report. The usual finding is that participants are impaired at reporting the second target if it appears in close temporal proximity to the first target. Previous research has shown that the effect is stronger in bilinguals than monolinguals. We investigated whether the difference between monolinguals and proficient bilinguals can be extended to bilinguals of different proficiency levels. Therefore, we replicated the paradigm in a large sample of Hindi-English bilinguals with different proficiency levels of English, as measured with a validated vocabulary test. We additionally measured the participants' intelligence with the raven progressive matrices. We found that the size of the attentional blink effect correlates with the degree of second language proficiency and not with the degree of intelligence. This indicates that research on executive control functions can be done with bilinguals of different proficiency levels. Our results are also in line with recent findings showing that the attentional blink effect is not primarily due to limited processing resources.

  2. Y-chromosome evidence for no independent origin of mod-ern human in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    East Asia is one of the few regions in the world where a large number of human fossils have been unearthed. The continuity of hominid fossils in East Asia, particularly in China has been presented as strong evidence supporting an independent origin of modern humans in this area. To search for such evidence of a possible independent origin of modern humans in China, a total of 9988 male individuals were sam-pled across China. Three Y-chromosome biallelic markers (M89, M130 and YAP), which were located at the non-re- combinant region of Y-chromosome, were typed among the samples. Our result showed that all the individuals carry a mutation at one of the three loci. The three mutations (M89T, M130T, YAP+) coalesce to another mutation (M168T), which was originally derived from Africa about 31000 to 79000 years ago. In other words, all Y-chromosome samples from China, with no exception, were originally derived from a lineage of African origin. Hence, we conclude that even a very minor contribution of in situ hominid origin in China cannot be supported by the Y-chromosome evidence.

  3. Exploring Visual Evidence of Human Impact on the Environment with Planetary-Scale Zoomable Timelapse Video

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargent, R.; Egge, M.; Dille, P. S.; O'Donnell, G. D.; Herwig, C.

    2016-12-01

    Visual evidence ignites curiosity and inspires advocacy. Zoomable imagery and video on a planetary scale provides compelling evidence of human impact on the environment. Earth Timelapse places the observable impact of 30+ years of human activity into the hands of policy makers, scientists, and advocates, with fluidity and speed that supports inquiry and exploration. Zoomability enables compelling narratives and ready apprehension of environmental changes, connecting human-scale evidence to regional and ecosystem-wide trends and changes. Leveraging the power of Google Earth Engine, join us to explore 30+ years of Landset 30m RGB imagery showing glacial retreat, agricultural deforestation, irrigation expansion, and the disappearance of lakes. These narratives are enriched with datasets showing planetary forest gain/loss, annual cycles of agricultural fires, global changes in the health of coral reefs, trends in resource extraction, and of renewable energy development. We demonstrate the intuitive and inquiry-enabling power of these planetary visualizations, and provide instruction on how scientists and advocates can create and share or contribute visualizations of their own research or topics of interest.

  4. Dietary Fiber and the Human Gut Microbiota: Application of Evidence Mapping Methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caleigh M. Sawicki

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Interest is rapidly growing around the role of the human gut microbiota in facilitating beneficial health effects associated with consumption of dietary fiber. An evidence map of current research activity in this area was created using a newly developed database of dietary fiber intervention studies in humans to identify studies with the following broad outcomes: (1 modulation of colonic microflora; and/or (2 colonic fermentation/short-chain fatty acid concentration. Study design characteristics, fiber exposures, and outcome categories were summarized. A sub-analysis described oligosaccharides and bacterial composition in greater detail. One hundred eighty-eight relevant studies were identified. The fiber categories represented by the most studies were oligosaccharides (20%, resistant starch (16%, and chemically synthesized fibers (15%. Short-chain fatty acid concentration (47% and bacterial composition (88% were the most frequently studied outcomes. Whole-diet interventions, measures of bacterial activity, and studies in metabolically at-risk subjects were identified as potential gaps in the evidence. This evidence map efficiently captured the variability in characteristics of expanding research on dietary fiber, gut microbiota, and physiological health benefits, and identified areas that may benefit from further research. We hope that this evidence map will provide a resource for researchers to direct new intervention studies and meta-analyses.

  5. Dietary Fiber and the Human Gut Microbiota: Application of Evidence Mapping Methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawicki, Caleigh M; Livingston, Kara A; Obin, Martin; Roberts, Susan B; Chung, Mei; McKeown, Nicola M

    2017-02-10

    Interest is rapidly growing around the role of the human gut microbiota in facilitating beneficial health effects associated with consumption of dietary fiber. An evidence map of current research activity in this area was created using a newly developed database of dietary fiber intervention studies in humans to identify studies with the following broad outcomes: (1) modulation of colonic microflora; and/or (2) colonic fermentation/short-chain fatty acid concentration. Study design characteristics, fiber exposures, and outcome categories were summarized. A sub-analysis described oligosaccharides and bacterial composition in greater detail. One hundred eighty-eight relevant studies were identified. The fiber categories represented by the most studies were oligosaccharides (20%), resistant starch (16%), and chemically synthesized fibers (15%). Short-chain fatty acid concentration (47%) and bacterial composition (88%) were the most frequently studied outcomes. Whole-diet interventions, measures of bacterial activity, and studies in metabolically at-risk subjects were identified as potential gaps in the evidence. This evidence map efficiently captured the variability in characteristics of expanding research on dietary fiber, gut microbiota, and physiological health benefits, and identified areas that may benefit from further research. We hope that this evidence map will provide a resource for researchers to direct new intervention studies and meta-analyses.

  6. Dietary Fiber and the Human Gut Microbiota: Application of Evidence Mapping Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawicki, Caleigh M.; Livingston, Kara A.; Obin, Martin; Roberts, Susan B.; Chung, Mei; McKeown, Nicola M.

    2017-01-01

    Interest is rapidly growing around the role of the human gut microbiota in facilitating beneficial health effects associated with consumption of dietary fiber. An evidence map of current research activity in this area was created using a newly developed database of dietary fiber intervention studies in humans to identify studies with the following broad outcomes: (1) modulation of colonic microflora; and/or (2) colonic fermentation/short-chain fatty acid concentration. Study design characteristics, fiber exposures, and outcome categories were summarized. A sub-analysis described oligosaccharides and bacterial composition in greater detail. One hundred eighty-eight relevant studies were identified. The fiber categories represented by the most studies were oligosaccharides (20%), resistant starch (16%), and chemically synthesized fibers (15%). Short-chain fatty acid concentration (47%) and bacterial composition (88%) were the most frequently studied outcomes. Whole-diet interventions, measures of bacterial activity, and studies in metabolically at-risk subjects were identified as potential gaps in the evidence. This evidence map efficiently captured the variability in characteristics of expanding research on dietary fiber, gut microbiota, and physiological health benefits, and identified areas that may benefit from further research. We hope that this evidence map will provide a resource for researchers to direct new intervention studies and meta-analyses. PMID:28208609

  7. Impaired reward processing in the human prefrontal cortex distinguishes between persistent and remittent attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterling, Friedrich; McCarthy, Hazel; Tozzi, Leonardo; Skokauskas, Norbert; O'Doherty, John P; Mulligan, Aisling; Meaney, James; Fagan, Andrew J; Gill, Michael; Frodl, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children often persist into adulthood and can lead to severe antisocial behavior. However, to-date it remains unclear whether neuro-functional abnormalities cause ADHD, which in turn can then provide a marker of persistent ADHD. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal changes in subjects during a reversal learning task in which choice of the correct stimulus led to a probabilistically determined 'monetary' reward or punishment. Participants were diagnosed with ADHD during their childhood (N=32) and were paired with age, gender, and education matched healthy controls (N=32). Reassessment of the ADHD group as adults resulted in a split between either persistent (persisters, N=17) or remitted ADHDs (remitters, N=15). All three groups showed significantly decreased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the left striatum during punished correct responses, however only remitters and controls presented significant psycho-physiological interaction between these fronto-striatal reward and outcome valence networks. Comparing persisters to remitters and controls showed significantly inverted responses to punishment (PADHD symptoms. Thus, fMRI helps understanding the neuro-functional basis of ADHD related behavior differences and differentiates between persistent and remittent ADHD. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. 考虑用户视觉注意机制的人机交互界面设计%Human-Computer Interface Design Considering Visual Attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王宁; 余隋怀; 肖琳臻; 周宪

    2016-01-01

    为了有效提高人机交互界面的设计质量和效率,将视觉注意的计算方法引入到人机交互界面设计过程中,提出了一种考虑用户视觉注意机制的人机交互界面设计方法。利用视觉注意计算模型分析了人机交互界面中各元件的视觉注意程度,构建了视觉注意焦点图;采用配对比较法确定各元件的重要度和使用频率,以灰度图的形式建立了人机交互界面重要性分布图。通过比对视觉注意焦点图和重要性分布图,以用户的视觉特性为评价指标对人机交互界面设计方案进行了评估。以智能手机的人机交互界面设计为例,对所提出方法进行验证。结果表明:该方法优化了用户的视觉特性,与传统方法相比,人机交互界面设计质量和效率得以提升;所设计的人机交互界面增强了用户的交互体验。%In order to improve the design efficiency and quality,a new method for human-computer interface design,which considers human visual attention and ergonomics,is proposed.The visual attention of human-computer interface is analyzed and calculated by a context-aware saliency detection algorithm and the visual attention map is established.Meantime,the importance and frequency of use of each component is obtained by the users’investigation.And the significance distribution map of human-computer interface is drawn.By comparing the two maps,the designer can estimate if the component with high significance has high visual attention or not.Studying the design of human computer interaction interface of intelligent mobile phone,the proposed method is validated.The results show that the proposed method optimizes the user’s visual characteristics.Compared with the traditional method, the quality and efficiency of the human-computer interaction interface design is improved.The designed human-computer interaction interface enhances the user’s interactive experience.

  9. A dual comparative approach: integrating lines of evidence from human evolutionary neuroanatomy and neurodevelopmental disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Kari L; Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of the human brain has been marked by a nearly 3-fold increase in size since our divergence from the last common ancestor shared with chimpanzees and bonobos. Despite increased interest in comparative neuroanatomy and phylogenetic methods, relatively little is known regarding the effects that this enlargement has had on its internal organization, and how certain areas of the brain have differentially expanded over evolutionary time. Analyses of the microstructure of several regions of the human cortex and subcortical structures have demonstrated subtle changes at the cellular and molecular level, suggesting that the human brain is more than simply a 'scaled-up' primate brain. Ongoing research in comparative neuroanatomy has much to offer regarding our understanding of human brain evolution. Through analysis of the neuroanatomical phenotype at the level of reorganization in cytoarchitecture and cellular morphology, new data continue to highlight changes in cell density and organization associated with volumetric changes in discrete regions. An understanding of the functional significance of variation in neural circuitry can further be approached through studies of atypical human development. Many neurodevelopmental disorders cause disruption in systems associated with uniquely human features of cognition, including language and social cognition. Understanding the genetic and developmental mechanisms that underlie variation in the human cognitive phenotype can help to clarify the functional significance of interspecific variation. By uniting approaches from comparative neuroanatomy and neuropathology, insights can be gained that clarify trends in human evolution. Here, we explore these lines of evidence and their significance for understanding functional variation between species as well as within neuropathological variation in the human brain.

  10. Serologic evidence of human influenza virus infections in swine populations, Cambodia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rith, Sareth; Netrabukkana, Punnaporn; Sorn, San; Mumford, Elizabeth; Mey, Channa; Holl, Davun; Goutard, Flavie; Y, Bunthin; Fenwick, Stan; Robertson, Ian; Roger, François; Buchy, Philippe

    2013-05-01

    This study was conducted from 2006 to 2010 and investigated the seroprevalence of influenza A viruses in Cambodian pigs, including human H1N1, H3N2, 2009 pandemic H1N1 (A(H1N1)pdm09), and highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza A viruses. A total of 1147 sera obtained from pigs in Cambodia were tested by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) assays for antibody to human influenza A viruses along with both HI and microneutralization (MN) tests to assess immunological responses to H5N1 virus. The results were compared by year, age, and province. Antibodies against a human influenza A virus were detected in 14·9% of samples. A(H1N1)pdm09 virus were dominant over the study period (23·1%), followed by those to human H1N1 (17·3%) and H3N2 subtypes (9·9%). No pigs were serologically positive for avian H5 influenza viruses. The seroprevalence of human H1N1 and H3N2 influenza viruses peaked in 2008, while that of A(H1N1)pdm09 reached a peak in 2010. No significant differences in seroprevalence to human influenza subtypes were observed in different age groups. Cambodian pigs were exposed to human strains of influenza A viruses either prior to or during this study. The implications of these high prevalence rates imply human-to-swine influenza virus transmission in Cambodia. Although pigs are mostly raised in small non-commercial farms, our preliminary results provide evidence of sustained human influenza virus circulation in pig populations in Cambodia. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Vocational intervention based on the Model of Human Occupation: a review of evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jenica; Kielhofner, Gary

    2010-09-01

    Work is a growing concern in disability and rehabilitation fields. Specific evidence related to occupational therapy in the area of vocational rehabilitation is somewhat limited. With increased demands for occupation-focused, evidence-based, and theory-informed practice, this review aims to use clinically relevant questions to organize and synthesize evidence regarding work-related interventions specifically related to an occupation-focused theory, the Model of Human Occupation. A total of 45 published works related to both the MOHO and vocational issues were identified and included in the review. The review demonstrates that there is a range of evidence that supports the use of the MOHO and its tools as a basis for work-based clinical interventions. Evidence supports the conclusion that MOHO-based work assessments have good psychometric properties and are useful in evaluating vocational potential and needs. MOHO-based work programs have been shown to have a positive impact in improving vocational outcomes to a range of clients.

  12. Evidence for a physiological role of intracellularly occurring photolabile nitrogen oxides in human skin fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opländer, Christian; Wetzel, Wiebke; Cortese, Miriam M; Pallua, Norbert; Suschek, Christoph V

    2008-05-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) plays a pivotal role in human skin biology. Cutaneous NO can be produced enzymatically by NO synthases (NOS) as well as enzyme independently via photodecomposition of photolabile nitrogen oxides (PNOs) such as nitrite or nitroso compounds, both found in human skin tissue in comparably high concentrations. Although the physiological role of NOS-produced NO in human skin is well defined, nothing is known about the biological relevance or the chemical origin of intracellularly occurring PNOs. We here, for the first time, give evidence that in human skin fibroblasts (FB) PNOs represent the oxidation products of NOS-produced NO and that in human skin fibroblasts intracellularly occurring PNOs effectively protect against the injurious effects of UVA radiation by a NO-dependent mechanism. In contrast, in PNO-depleted FB cultures an increased susceptibility to UVA-induced lipid peroxidation and cell death is observed, whereas supplementation of PNO-depleted FB cultures with physiological nitrite concentrations (10 microM) or with exogenously applied NO completely restores UVA-increased injuries. Thus, intracellular PNOs are biologically relevant and represent an important initial shield functioning in human skin physiology against UVA radiation. Consequently, nonphysiological low PNO concentrations might promote known UVA-related skin injuries such as premature aging and carcinogenesis.

  13. Docosahexaenoic acid and human brain development: evidence that a dietary supply is needed for optimal development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenna, J Thomas; Carlson, Susan E

    2014-12-01

    Humans evolved a uniquely large brain among terrestrial mammals. Brain and nervous tissue is rich in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Docosahexaenoic acid is required for lower and high order functions in humans because of understood and emerging molecular mechanisms. Among brain components that depend on dietary components, DHA is limiting because its synthesis from terrestrial plant food precursors is low but its utilization when consumed in diet is very efficient. Negligible DHA is found in terrestrial plants, but in contrast, DHA is plentiful at the shoreline where it is made by single-celled organisms and plants, and in the seas supports development of very large marine mammal brains. Modern human brains accumulate DHA up to age 18, most aggressively from about half-way through gestation to about two years of age. Studies in modern humans and non-human primates show that modern infants consuming infant formulas that include only DHA precursors have lower DHA levels than for those with a source of preformed DHA. Functional measures show that infants consuming preformed DHA have improved visual and cognitive function. Dietary preformed DHA in the breast milk of modern mothers supports many-fold greater breast milk DHA than is found in the breast milk of vegans, a phenomenon linked to consumption of shore-based foods. Most current evidence suggests that the DHA-rich human brain required an ample and sustained source of dietary DHA to reach its full potential.

  14. The cognitive impact of the ANK3 risk variant for bipolar disorder: initial evidence of selectivity to signal detection during sustained attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaia Ruberto

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Abnormalities in cognition have been reported in patients with Bipolar Disorder (BD and their first degree relatives, suggesting that susceptibility genes for BD may impact on cognitive processes. Recent genome-wide genetic studies have reported a strong association with BD in a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP (rs10994336 within ANK3, which codes for Ankyrin 3. This protein is involved in facilitating the propagation of action potentials by regulating the assembly of sodium gated ion channels. Since ANK3 influences the efficiency of transmission of neuronal impulses, allelic variation in this gene may have widespread cognitive effects. Preclinical data suggest that this may principally apply to sequential signal detection, a core process of sustained attention. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: One hundred and eighty-nine individuals of white British descent were genotyped for the ANK3 rs10994336 polymorphism and received diagnostic interviews and comprehensive neurocognitive assessment of their general intellectual ability, memory, decision making, response inhibition and sustained attention. Participants comprised euthymic BD patients (n = 47, their unaffected first-degree relatives (n = 75 and healthy controls (n = 67. The risk allele T was associated with reduced sensitivity in target detection (p = 0.0004 and increased errors of commission (p = 0.0018 during sustained attention regardless of diagnosis. We found no effect of the ANK3 genotype on general intellectual ability, memory, decision making and response inhibition. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that allelic variation in ANK3 impacts cognitive processes associated with signal detection and this mechanism may relate to risk for BD. However, our results require independent replication and confirmation that ANK3 (rs10994336 is a direct functional variant.

  15. No evidence of murine leukemia virus-related viruses in live attenuated human vaccines.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William M Switzer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The association of xenotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV-related virus (XMRV in prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome reported in previous studies remains controversial as these results have been questioned by recent data. Nonetheless, concerns have been raised regarding contamination of human vaccines as a possible source of introduction of XMRV and MLV into human populations. To address this possibility, we tested eight live attenuated human vaccines using generic PCR for XMRV and MLV sequences. Viral metagenomics using deep sequencing was also done to identify the possibility of other adventitious agents. RESULTS: All eight live attenuated vaccines, including Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV (SA-14-14-2, varicella (Varivax, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR-II, measles (Attenuvax, rubella (Meruvax-II, rotavirus (Rotateq and Rotarix, and yellow fever virus were negative for XMRV and highly related MLV sequences. However, residual hamster DNA, but not RNA, containing novel endogenous gammaretrovirus sequences was detected in the JEV vaccine using PCR. Metagenomics analysis did not detect any adventitious viral sequences of public health concern. Intracisternal A particle sequences closest to those present in Syrian hamsters and not mice were also detected in the JEV SA-14-14-2 vaccine. Combined, these results are consistent with the production of the JEV vaccine in Syrian hamster cells. CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence of XMRV and MLV in eight live attenuated human vaccines further supporting the safety of these vaccines. Our findings suggest that vaccines are an unlikely source of XMRV and MLV exposure in humans and are consistent with the mounting evidence on the absence of these viruses in humans.

  16. Effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on human brain morphology and function: What is the evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bos, Dienke J; van Montfort, Simone J T; Oranje, Bob; Durston, Sarah; Smeets, Paul A M

    2016-03-01

    Public opinion and media coverage suggest that there are benefits of long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) intake on brain functioning. However, it is an open question whether this is indeed the case. Therefore, we reviewed the evidence for effects of ω-3 LC-PUFA on human brain morphology and function. We included studies on (1) naturalistic long-term ω-3 LC-PUFA intake during life (2) the effects of short-term ω-3 LC-PUFA supplementation in healthy subjects and (3) the effects of ω-3 LC-PUFA supplementation as alternative or add-on treatment for psychiatric or neurological disorders. To date, 24 studies have been published on the effect of ω-3 LC-PUFA on brain function and structure. Findings from naturalistic studies and clinical trials in healthy individuals indicate that ω-3 LC-PUFA intake may be associated with increased functional activation of the prefrontal cortex in children, and greater gray matter volume and white matter integrity during aging. However, most naturalistic studies were cross-sectional or did not find any effect on cognition. As such, it is hard to estimate the magnitude of any beneficial effects. Furthermore, there is only limited evidence to support that ω-3 LC-PUFA supplementation is beneficial in brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's Disease, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder and schizophrenia. Overall, the literature suggests that sensitivity to supplementation may vary over development, and as a consequence of brain disorders. The biological mechanisms underlying any (beneficial) effects ω-3 LC-PUFAs on the brain are currently unknown and need to be investigated.

  17. The information infrastructure that supports evidence-based veterinary medicine: a comparison with human medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toews, Lorraine

    2011-01-01

    In human medicine, the information infrastructure that supports the knowledge translation processes of exchange, synthesis, dissemination, and application of the best clinical intervention research has developed significantly in the past 15 years, facilitating the uptake of research evidence by clinicians as well as the practice of evidence-based medicine. Seven of the key elements of this improved information infrastructure are clinical trial registries, research reporting standards, systematic reviews, organizations that support the production of systematic reviews, the indexing of clinical intervention research in MEDLINE, clinical search filters for MEDLINE, and point-of-care decision support information resources. The objective of this paper is to describe why these elements are important for evidence-based medicine, the key developments and issues related to these seven information infrastructure elements in human medicine, how these 7 elements compare with the corresponding infrastructure elements in veterinary medicine, and how all of these factors affect the translation of clinical intervention research into clinical practice. A focused search of the Ovid MEDLINE database was conducted for English language journal literature published between 2000 and 2010. Two bibliographies were consulted and selected national and international Web sites were searched using Google. The literature reviewed indicates that the information infrastructure supporting evidence-based veterinary medicine practice in all of the 7 elements reviewed is significantly underdeveloped in relation to the corresponding information infrastructure in human medicine. This lac