Mulligan, Neil W.; Dew, Ilana T. Z.
The generation manipulation has been critical in delineating differences between implicit and explicit memory. In contrast to past research, the present experiments indicate that generating from a rhyme cue produces as much perceptual priming as does reading. This is demonstrated for 3 visual priming tasks: perceptual identification, word-fragment…
Schneider, Darryl W.
Transition effects in task-cuing experiments can be partitioned into task switching and cue repetition effects by using multiple cues per task. In the present study, the author shows that cue repetition effects can be partitioned into perceptual and conceptual priming effects. In 2 experiments, letters or numbers in their uppercase/lowercase or…
Lewandowsky, Stephan; Yang, Lee-Xieng; Newell, Ben R; Kalish, Michael L
Working memory is crucial for many higher level cognitive functions, ranging from mental arithmetic to reasoning and problem solving. Likewise, the ability to learn and categorize novel concepts forms an indispensable part of human cognition. However, very little is known about the relationship between working memory and categorization. This article reports 2 studies that related people's working memory capacity (WMC) to their learning performance on multiple rule-based and information-integration perceptual categorization tasks. In both studies, structural equation modeling revealed a strong relationship between WMC and category learning irrespective of the requirement to integrate information across multiple perceptual dimensions. WMC was also uniformly related to people's ability to focus on the most task-appropriate strategy, regardless of whether or not that strategy involved information integration. Contrary to the predictions of the multiple systems view of categorization, working memory thus appears to underpin performance in both major classes of perceptual category-learning tasks. 2012 APA, all rights reserved
De Niear, Matthew A; Koo, Bonhwang; Wallace, Mark T
There has been a growing interest in developing behavioral tasks to enhance temporal acuity as recent findings have demonstrated changes in temporal processing in a number of clinical conditions. Prior research has demonstrated that perceptual training can enhance temporal acuity both within and across different sensory modalities. Although certain forms of unisensory perceptual learning have been shown to be dependent upon task difficulty, this relationship has not been explored for multisensory learning. The present study sought to determine the effects of task difficulty on multisensory perceptual learning. Prior to and following a single training session, participants completed a simultaneity judgment (SJ) task, which required them to judge whether a visual stimulus (flash) and auditory stimulus (beep) presented in synchrony or at various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) occurred synchronously or asynchronously. During the training session, participants completed the same SJ task but received feedback regarding the accuracy of their responses. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three levels of difficulty during training: easy, moderate, and hard, which were distinguished based on the SOAs used during training. We report that only the most difficult (i.e., hard) training protocol enhanced temporal acuity. We conclude that perceptual training protocols for enhancing multisensory temporal acuity may be optimized by employing audiovisual stimuli for which it is difficult to discriminate temporal synchrony from asynchrony.
Hartmann, Martin; Lartillot, Olivier; Toiviainen, Petri
-linear fuzzy integration of basic and interaction descriptors of local musical novelty. We found that musicianship of listeners and segmentation task had an effect on model prediction rate, dimensionality and components. Changes in tonality and rhythm, as well as simultaneous change of these aspects were......The perceptual structure of music is a fundamental issue in music psychology that can be systematically addressed via computational models. This study estimated the contribution of spectral, rhythmic and tonal descriptors for prediction of perceptual segmentation across stimuli. In a real-time task......, 18 musicians and 18 non-musicians indicated perceived instants of significant change for six ongoing musical stimuli. In a second task, 18 musicians parsed the same stimuli using audio editing software to provide non-real-time segmentation annotations. We built computational models based on a non...
Benoni, Hanna; Zivony, Alon; Tsal, Yehoshua
Perceptual load theory [Lavie, N. (1995). Perceptual load as a necessary condition for selective attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 21, 451-468.; Lavie, N., & Tsal, Y. (1994) Perceptual load as a major determinant of the locus of selection in visual attention. Perception & Psychophysics, 56, 183-197.] proposes that interference from distractors can only be avoided in situations of high perceptual load. This theory has been supported by blocked design manipulations separating low load (when the target appears alone) and high load (when the target is embedded among neutral letters). Tsal and Benoni [(2010a). Diluting the burden of load: Perceptual load effects are simply dilution effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36, 1645-1656.; Benoni, H., & Tsal, Y. (2010). Where have we gone wrong? Perceptual load does not affect selective attention. Vision Research, 50, 1292-1298.] have recently shown that these manipulations confound perceptual load with "dilution" (the mere presence of additional heterogeneous items in high-load situations). Theeuwes, Kramer, and Belopolsky [(2004). Attentional set interacts with perceptual load in visual search. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11, 697-702.] independently questioned load theory by suggesting that attentional sets might also affect distractor interference. When high load and low load were intermixed, and participants could not prepare for the presentation that followed, both the low-load and high-load trials showed distractor interference. This result may also challenge the dilution account, which proposes a stimulus-driven mechanism. In the current study, we presented subjects with both fixed and mixed blocks, including a mix of dilution trials with low-load trials and with high-load trials. We thus separated the effect of dilution from load and tested the influence of attentional sets on each component. The results revealed that whereas
Full Text Available Saliency maps produced by different algorithms are often evaluated by comparing output to fixated image locations appearing in human eye tracking data. There are challenges in evaluation based on fixation data due to bias in the data. Properties of eye movement patterns that are independent of image content may limit the validity of evaluation results, including spatial bias in fixation data. To address this problem, we present modeling and evaluation results for data derived from different perceptual tasks related to the concept of saliency. We also present a novel approach to benchmarking to deal with some of the challenges posed by spatial bias. The results presented establish the value of alternatives to fixation data to drive improvement and development of models. We also demonstrate an approach to approximate the output of alternative perceptual tasks based on computational saliency and/or eye gaze data. As a whole, this work presents novel benchmarking results and methods, establishes a new performance baseline for perceptual tasks that provide an alternative window into visual saliency, and demonstrates the capacity for saliency to serve in approximating human behaviour for one visual task given data from another.
Erin M. Harvey
Full Text Available Purpose. To determine if spectacle corrected and uncorrected astigmats show reduced performance on visual motor and perceptual tasks. Methods. Third through 8th grade students were assigned to the low refractive error control group (astigmatism < 1.00 D, myopia < 0.75 D, hyperopia < 2.50 D, and anisometropia < 1.50 D or bilateral astigmatism group (right and left eye ≥ 1.00 D based on cycloplegic refraction. Students completed the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI and Visual Perception (VMIp. Astigmats were randomly assigned to testing with/without correction and control group was tested uncorrected. Analyses compared VMI and VMIp scores for corrected and uncorrected astigmats to the control group. Results. The sample included 333 students (control group 170, astigmats tested with correction 75, and astigmats tested uncorrected 88. Mean VMI score in corrected astigmats did not differ from the control group (p=0.829. Uncorrected astigmats had lower VMI scores than the control group (p=0.038 and corrected astigmats (p=0.007. Mean VMIp scores for uncorrected (p=0.209 and corrected astigmats (p=0.124 did not differ from the control group. Uncorrected astigmats had lower mean scores than the corrected astigmats (p=0.003. Conclusions. Uncorrected astigmatism influences visual motor and perceptual task performance. Previously spectacle treated astigmats do not show developmental deficits on visual motor or perceptual tasks when tested with correction.
Ginat-Frolich, Rivkah; Klein, Zohar; Katz, Omer; Shechner, Tomer
Generalization is an adaptive learning mechanism, but it can be maladaptive when it occurs in excess. A novel perceptual discrimination training task was therefore designed to moderate fear overgeneralization. We hypothesized that improvement in basic perceptual discrimination would translate into lower fear overgeneralization in affective cues. Seventy adults completed a fear-conditioning task prior to being allocated into training or placebo groups. Predesignated geometric shape pairs were constructed for the training task. A target shape from each pair was presented. Thereafter, participants in the training group were shown both shapes and asked to identify the image that differed from the target. Placebo task participants only indicated the location of each shape on the screen. All participants then viewed new geometric pairs and indicated whether they were identical or different. Finally, participants completed a fear generalization test consisting of perceptual morphs ranging from the CS + to the CS-. Fear-conditioning was observed through physiological and behavioural measures. Furthermore, the training group performed better than the placebo group on the assessment task and exhibited decreased fear generalization in response to threat/safety cues. The findings offer evidence for the effectiveness of the novel discrimination training task, setting the stage for future research with clinical populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Shalev, Nir; Humphreys, Glyn; Demeyere, Nele
Sustained attention (SA) is among the most studied faculties of human cognition, and thought to be crucial for many aspects of behavior. Measuring SA often relies on performance on a continuous, low-demanding task. Such continuous performance tasks (CPTs) have many variations, and sustained attention is typically estimated based on variability in reaction times. While relying on reaction times may be useful in some cases, it can pose a challenge when working with clinical populations. To increase interpersonal variability in task parameters that do not rely on speed, researchers have increased demands for memory and response inhibition. These approaches, however, may be confounded when used to assess populations that suffer from multiple cognitive deficits. In the current study, we propose a new approach for increasing task variability by increasing the attentional demands. In order to do so, we created a new variation of a CPT - a masked version, where inattention is more likely to cause misidentifying a target. After establishing that masking indeed decreases target detection, we further investigated which task parameter may influence response biases. To do so, we contrasted two versions of the CPT with different target/distractor ratio. We then established how perceptual parameters can be controlled independently in a CPT. Following the experimental manipulations, we tested the MCCPT with aging controls and chronic stroke patients to assure the task can be used with target populations. The results confirm the MCCPT as a task providing high sensitivity without relying on reaction speed, and feasible for patients.
Bijmolt, Tammo H. A.; van de Velden, Michel
This article proposes an extremely flexible procedure for perceptual mapping based on multiattribute ratings, such that the respondent freely generates sets of both brands and attributes. Therefore, the brands and attributes are known and relevant to each participant. Collecting and analyzing such
T.H.A. Bijmolt (Tammo); M. van de Velden (Michel)
textabstractThis article proposes an extremely flexible procedure for perceptual mapping based on multiattribute ratings, such that the respondent freely generates sets of both brands and attributes. Therefore, the brands and attributes are known and relevant to each participant. Collecting and
Cong, Lin-Juan; Wang, Ru-Jie; Yu, Cong; Zhang, Jun-Yun
Visual perceptual learning is known to be specific to the trained retinal location, feature, and task. However, location and feature specificity can be eliminated by double-training or TPE training protocols, in which observers receive additional exposure to the transfer location or feature dimension via an irrelevant task besides the primary learning task Here we tested whether these new training protocols could even make learning transfer across different tasks involving discrimination of basic visual features (e.g., orientation and contrast). Observers practiced a near-threshold orientation (or contrast) discrimination task. Following a TPE training protocol, they also received exposure to the transfer task via performing suprathreshold contrast (or orientation) discrimination in alternating blocks of trials in the same sessions. The results showed no evidence for significant learning transfer to the untrained near-threshold contrast (or orientation) discrimination task after discounting the pretest effects and the suprathreshold practice effects. These results thus do not support a hypothetical task-independent component in perceptual learning of basic visual features. They also set the boundary of the new training protocols in their capability to enable learning transfer.
Full Text Available Perceptual decision making in which decisions are reached primarily from extracting and evaluating sensory information requires close interactions between the sensory system and decision-related networks in the brain. Uncertainty pervades every aspect of this process and can be considered related to either the stimulus signal or decision criterion. Here, we investigated the learning-induced reduction of both the signal and criterion uncertainty in two perceptual decision tasks based on two Glass pattern stimulus sets. This was achieved by manipulating spiral angle and signal level of radial and concentric Glass patterns. The behavioral results showed that the participants trained with a task based on criterion comparison improved their categorization accuracy for both tasks, whereas the participants who were trained on a task based on signal detection improved their categorization accuracy only on their trained task. We fitted the behavioral data with a computational model that can dissociate the contribution of the signal and criterion uncertainties. The modeling results indicated that the participants trained on the criterion comparison task reduced both the criterion and signal uncertainty. By contrast, the participants who were trained on the signal detection task only reduced their signal uncertainty after training. Our results suggest that the signal uncertainty can be resolved by training participants to extract signals from noisy environments and to discriminate between clear signals, which are evidenced by reduced perception variance after both training procedures. Conversely, the criterion uncertainty can only be resolved by the training of fine discrimination. These findings demonstrate that uncertainty in perceptual decision-making can be reduced with training but that the reduction of different types of uncertainty is task-dependent.
Nora Alicia Herweg
Full Text Available Beneficial effects of noise on higher cognition have recently attracted attention. Hypothesizing an involvement of the mesolimbic dopamine system and its functional interactions with cortical areas, the current study aimed to demonstrate a facilitation of dopamine-dependent attentional and mnemonic functions by externally applying white noise in five behavioral experiments including a total sample of 167 healthy human subjects. During working memory, acoustic white noise impaired accuracy when presented during the maintenance period (experiment 1-3. In a reward based long-term memory task, white noise accelerated perceptual judgments for scene images during encoding but left subsequent recognition memory unaffected (experiment 4. In a modified Posner task (experiment 5, the benefit due to white noise in attentional orienting correlated weakly with reward dependence, a personality trait that has been associated with the dopaminergic system. These results suggest that white noise has no general effect on cognitive functions. Instead, they indicate differential effects on perception and cognition depending on a variety of factors such as task demands and timing of white noise presentation.
Herweg, Nora A; Bunzeck, Nico
Beneficial effects of noise on higher cognition have recently attracted attention. Hypothesizing an involvement of the mesolimbic dopamine system and its functional interactions with cortical areas, the current study aimed to demonstrate a facilitation of dopamine-dependent attentional and mnemonic functions by externally applying white noise in five behavioral experiments including a total sample of 167 healthy human subjects. During working memory, acoustic white noise impaired accuracy when presented during the maintenance period (Experiments 1-3). In a reward based long-term memory task, white noise accelerated perceptual judgments for scene images during encoding but left subsequent recognition memory unaffected (Experiment 4). In a modified Posner task (Experiment 5), the benefit due to white noise in attentional orienting correlated weakly with reward dependence, a personality trait that has been associated with the dopaminergic system. These results suggest that white noise has no general effect on cognitive functions. Instead, they indicate differential effects on perception and cognition depending on a variety of factors such as task demands and timing of white noise presentation.
Dalla Bella, Simone; Sowiński, Jakub
A set of behavioral tasks for assessing perceptual and sensorimotor timing abilities in the general population (i.e., non-musicians) is presented here with the goal of uncovering rhythm disorders, such as beat deafness. Beat deafness is characterized by poor performance in perceiving durations in auditory rhythmic patterns or poor synchronization of movement with auditory rhythms (e.g., with musical beats). These tasks include the synchronization of finger tapping to the beat of simple and complex auditory stimuli and the detection of rhythmic irregularities (anisochrony detection task) embedded in the same stimuli. These tests, which are easy to administer, include an assessment of both perceptual and sensorimotor timing abilities under different conditions (e.g., beat rates and types of auditory material) and are based on the same auditory stimuli, ranging from a simple metronome to a complex musical excerpt. The analysis of synchronized tapping data is performed with circular statistics, which provide reliable measures of synchronization accuracy (e.g., the difference between the timing of the taps and the timing of the pacing stimuli) and consistency. Circular statistics on tapping data are particularly well-suited for detecting individual differences in the general population. Synchronized tapping and anisochrony detection are sensitive measures for identifying profiles of rhythm disorders and have been used with success to uncover cases of poor synchronization with spared perceptual timing. This systematic assessment of perceptual and sensorimotor timing can be extended to populations of patients with brain damage, neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Parkinson's disease), and developmental disorders (e.g., Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Van Meel, Chayenne; Daniels, Nicky; de Beeck, Hans Op; Baeck, Annelies
During perceptual learning the visual representations in the brain are altered, but these changes' causal role has not yet been fully characterized. We used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to investigate the role of higher visual regions in lateral occipital cortex (LO) in perceptual learning with complex objects. We also investigated whether object learning is dependent on the relevance of the objects for the learning task. Participants were trained in two tasks: object recognition using a backward masking paradigm and an orientation judgment task. During both tasks, an object with a red line on top of it were presented in each trial. The crucial difference between both tasks was the relevance of the object: the object was relevant for the object recognition task, but not for the orientation judgment task. During training, half of the participants received anodal tDCS stimulation targeted at the lateral occipital cortex (LO). Afterwards, participants were tested on how well they recognized the trained objects, the irrelevant objects presented during the orientation judgment task and a set of completely new objects. Participants stimulated with tDCS during training showed larger improvements of performance compared to participants in the sham condition. No learning effect was found for the objects presented during the orientation judgment task. To conclude, this study suggests a causal role of LO in relevant object learning, but given the rather low spatial resolution of tDCS, more research on the specificity of this effect is needed. Further, mere exposure is not sufficient to train object recognition in our paradigm.
Antonelli, Karla B; Williams, Carrick C
Although Konkle, Brady, Alvarez, and Oliva (2010, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 139(3), 558) claim that visual long-term memory (VLTM) is organized on underlying conceptual, not perceptual, information, visual memory results from visual search tasks are not well explained by this theory. We hypothesized that when viewing an object, any task-relevant visual information is critical to the organizational structure of VLTM. In two experiments, we examined the organization of VLTM by measuring the amount of retroactive interference created by objects possessing different combinations of task-relevant features. Based on task instructions, only the conceptual category was task relevant or both the conceptual category and a perceptual object feature were task relevant. Findings indicated that when made task relevant, perceptual object feature information, along with conceptual category information, could affect memory organization for objects in VLTM. However, when perceptual object feature information was task irrelevant, it did not contribute to memory organization; instead, memory defaulted to being organized around conceptual category information. These findings support the theory that a task-defined organizational structure is created in VLTM based on the relevance of particular object features and information.
Gilbert, Sam J.
C. Oriet and P. Jolicoeur (see record 2003-08747-016) reported 2 experiments in which the perceptual contrast of stimuli was manipulated in a task-switching paradigm. They failed to observe an interaction in the reaction time data between task switching, perceptual contrast, and response-stimulus interval. Using the locus of slack logic, they…
van Ravenzwaaij, D.; Boekel, W.; Forstmann, B.U.; Ratcliff, R.; Wagenmakers, E.-J.
Previous research suggests that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks. For instance, Green, Pouget, and Bavelier (2010) used the diffusion model to decompose data from a motion detection task and estimate the contribution of several underlying
STEENKAMP, JBEM; VANTRIJP, HCM; TENBERGE, JMF
The authors describe a compositional perceptual mapping procedure, unrestricted attribute-elicitation mapping (UAM), which allows consumers to describe and rate the brands in their own terminology and thus relaxes the restrictive assumptions of traditional compositional mapping techniques regarding
Taya, Shuichiro; Adams, Wendy J; Graf, Erich W; Lavie, Nilli
We tested contrasting predictions derived from perceptual load theory and from recent feature-based selection accounts. Observers viewed moving, colored stimuli and performed low or high load tasks associated with one stimulus feature, either color or motion. The resultant motion aftereffect (MAE) was used to evaluate attentional allocation. We found that task-irrelevant visual features received less attention than co-localized task-relevant features of the same objects. Moreover, when color and motion features were co-localized yet perceived to belong to two distinct surfaces, feature-based selection was further increased at the expense of object-based co-selection. Load theory predicts that the MAE for task-irrelevant motion would be reduced with a higher load color task. However, this was not seen for co-localized features; perceptual load only modulated the MAE for task-irrelevant motion when this was spatially separated from the attended color location. Our results suggest that perceptual load effects are mediated by spatial selection and do not generalize to the feature domain. Feature-based selection operates to suppress processing of task-irrelevant, co-localized features, irrespective of perceptual load.
Full Text Available Task Irrelevant Perceptual Learning (TIPL shows that the brain's discriminative capacity can improve also for invisible and unattended visual stimuli. It has been hypothesized that this form of "unconscious" neural plasticity is mediated by an endogenous reward mechanism triggered by the correct task performance. Although this result has challenged the mandatory role of attention in perceptual learning, no direct evidence exists of the hypothesized link between target recognition, reward and TIPL. Here, we manipulated the reward value associated with a target to demonstrate the involvement of reinforcement mechanisms in sensory plasticity for invisible inputs. Participants were trained in a central task associated with either high or low monetary incentives, provided only at the end of the experiment, while subliminal stimuli were presented peripherally. Our results showed that high incentive-value targets induced a greater degree of perceptual improvement for the subliminal stimuli, supporting the role of reinforcement mechanisms in TIPL.
Pascucci, David; Mastropasqua, Tommaso; Turatto, Massimo
Task Irrelevant Perceptual Learning (TIPL) shows that the brain's discriminative capacity can improve also for invisible and unattended visual stimuli. It has been hypothesized that this form of "unconscious" neural plasticity is mediated by an endogenous reward mechanism triggered by the correct task performance. Although this result has challenged the mandatory role of attention in perceptual learning, no direct evidence exists of the hypothesized link between target recognition, reward and TIPL. Here, we manipulated the reward value associated with a target to demonstrate the involvement of reinforcement mechanisms in sensory plasticity for invisible inputs. Participants were trained in a central task associated with either high or low monetary incentives, provided only at the end of the experiment, while subliminal stimuli were presented peripherally. Our results showed that high incentive-value targets induced a greater degree of perceptual improvement for the subliminal stimuli, supporting the role of reinforcement mechanisms in TIPL.
Tallandini, Maria Anna; Roia, Anna
This study investigates how categorical organization functions in pre-school children, focusing on the dichotomy between living and nonliving things. The variables of familiarity, frequency of word use and perceptual complexity were controlled. Sixty children aged between 4 years and 5 years 10 months were investigated. Three tasks were used: a…
van Ravenzwaaij, Don; Boekel, Wouter; Forstmann, Birte U; Ratcliff, Roger; Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan
Previous research suggests that playing action video games improves performance on sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks. For instance, Green, Pouget, and Bavelier (2010) used the diffusion model to decompose data from a motion detection task and estimate the contribution of several underlying psychological processes. Their analysis indicated that playing action video games leads to faster information processing, reduced response caution, and no difference in motor responding. Because perceptual learning is generally thought to be highly context-specific, this transfer from gaming is surprising and warrants corroborative evidence from a large-scale training study. We conducted 2 experiments in which participants practiced either an action video game or a cognitive game in 5 separate, supervised sessions. Prior to each session and following the last session, participants performed a perceptual discrimination task. In the second experiment, we included a third condition in which no video games were played at all. Behavioral data and diffusion model parameters showed similar practice effects for the action gamers, the cognitive gamers, and the nongamers and suggest that, in contrast to earlier reports, playing action video games does not improve the speed of information processing in simple perceptual tasks.
Hindi Attar, Catherine; Müller, Matthias M
A number of studies have shown that emotionally arousing stimuli are preferentially processed in the human brain. Whether or not this preference persists under increased perceptual load associated with a task at hand remains an open question. Here we manipulated two possible determinants of the attentional selection process, perceptual load associated with a foreground task and the emotional valence of concurrently presented task-irrelevant distractors. As a direct measure of sustained attentional resource allocation in early visual cortex we used steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) elicited by distinct flicker frequencies of task and distractor stimuli. Subjects either performed a detection (low load) or discrimination (high load) task at a centrally presented symbol stream that flickered at 8.6 Hz while task-irrelevant neutral or unpleasant pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) flickered at a frequency of 12 Hz in the background of the stream. As reflected in target detection rates and SSVEP amplitudes to both task and distractor stimuli, unpleasant relative to neutral background pictures more strongly withdrew processing resources from the foreground task. Importantly, this finding was unaffected by the factor 'load' which turned out to be a weak modulator of attentional processing in human visual cortex.
Catherine Hindi Attar
Full Text Available A number of studies have shown that emotionally arousing stimuli are preferentially processed in the human brain. Whether or not this preference persists under increased perceptual load associated with a task at hand remains an open question. Here we manipulated two possible determinants of the attentional selection process, perceptual load associated with a foreground task and the emotional valence of concurrently presented task-irrelevant distractors. As a direct measure of sustained attentional resource allocation in early visual cortex we used steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs elicited by distinct flicker frequencies of task and distractor stimuli. Subjects either performed a detection (low load or discrimination (high load task at a centrally presented symbol stream that flickered at 8.6 Hz while task-irrelevant neutral or unpleasant pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS flickered at a frequency of 12 Hz in the background of the stream. As reflected in target detection rates and SSVEP amplitudes to both task and distractor stimuli, unpleasant relative to neutral background pictures more strongly withdrew processing resources from the foreground task. Importantly, this finding was unaffected by the factor 'load' which turned out to be a weak modulator of attentional processing in human visual cortex.
Carcagno, Samuele; Plack, Christopher J.
Practice can lead to dramatic improvements in the discrimination of auditory stimuli. In this study, we investigated changes of the frequency-following response (FFR), a subcortical component of the auditory evoked potentials, after a period of pitch discrimination training. Twenty-seven adult listeners were trained for 10 h on a pitch discrimination task using one of three different complex tone stimuli. One had a static pitch contour, one had a rising pitch contour, and one had a falling pi...
Reckless, G E; Bolstad, I; Nakstad, P H; Andreassen, O A; Jensen, J
Motivation has been demonstrated to affect individuals' response strategies in economic decision-making, however, little is known about how motivation influences perceptual decision-making behavior or its related neural activity. Given the important role motivation plays in shaping our behavior, a better understanding of this relationship is needed. A block-design, continuous performance, perceptual decision-making task where participants were asked to detect a picture of an animal among distractors was used during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The effect of positive and negative motivation on sustained activity within regions of the brain thought to underlie decision-making was examined by altering the monetary contingency associated with the task. In addition, signal detection theory was used to investigate the effect of motivation on detection sensitivity, response bias and response time. While both positive and negative motivation resulted in increased sustained activation in the ventral striatum, fusiform gyrus, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, only negative motivation resulted in the adoption of a more liberal, closer to optimal response bias. This shift toward a liberal response bias correlated with increased activation in the left DLPFC, but did not result in improved task performance. The present findings suggest that motivation alters aspects of the way perceptual decisions are made. Further, this altered response behavior is reflected in a change in left DLPFC activation, a region involved in the computation of perceptual decisions. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Vibrotactile discrimination tasks have been used to examine decision making processes in the presence of perceptual uncertainty, induced by barely discernible frequency differences between paired stimuli or by the presence of embedded noise. One lesser known property of such tasks is that decisions made on a single trial may be biased by information from prior trials. An example is the time-order effect whereby the presentation order of paired stimuli may introduce differences in accuracy. Subjects perform better when the first stimulus lies between the second stimulus and the global mean of all stimuli on the judged dimension ("preferred" time-orders compared to the alternative presentation order ("nonpreferred" time-orders. This has been conceptualised as a "drift" of the first stimulus representation towards the global mean of the stimulus-set (an internal standard. We describe the influence of prior information in relation to the more traditionally studied factors of interest in a classic discrimination task.Sixty subjects performed a vibrotactile discrimination task with different levels of uncertainty parametrically induced by increasing task difficulty, aperiodic stimulus noise, and changing the task instructions whilst maintaining identical stimulus properties (the "context".The time-order effect had a greater influence on task performance than two of the explicit factors-task difficulty and noise-but not context. The influence of prior information increased with the distance of the first stimulus from the global mean, suggesting that the "drift" velocity of the first stimulus towards the global mean representation was greater for these trials.Awareness of the time-order effect and prior information in general is essential when studying perceptual decision making tasks. Implicit mechanisms may have a greater influence than the explicit factors under study. It also affords valuable insights into basic mechanisms of information
Frank, Sebastian M; Reavis, Eric A; Greenlee, Mark W; Tse, Peter U
We report that preexisting individual differences in the cortical thickness of brain areas involved in a perceptual learning task predict the subsequent perceptual learning rate. Participants trained in a motion-discrimination task involving visual search for a "V"-shaped target motion trajectory among inverted "V"-shaped distractor trajectories. Motion-sensitive area MT+ (V5) was functionally identified as critical to the task: after 3 weeks of training, activity increased in MT+ during task performance, as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging. We computed the cortical thickness of MT+ from anatomical magnetic resonance imaging volumes collected before training started, and found that it significantly predicted subsequent perceptual learning rates in the visual search task. Participants with thicker neocortex in MT+ before training learned faster than those with thinner neocortex in that area. A similar association between cortical thickness and training success was also found in posterior parietal cortex (PPC). © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Crump, Matthew J C; Logan, Gordon D
Contextual cues signaling task likelihood or the likelihood of task repetition are known to modulate the size of switch costs. We follow up on the finding by Leboe, Wong, Crump, and Stobbe (2008) that location cues predictive of the proportion of switch or repeat trials modulate switch costs. Their design employed one cue per task, whereas our experiment employed two cues per task, which allowed separate assessment of modulations to the cue-repetition benefit, a measure of lower level cue-encoding processes, and to the task-alternation cost, a measure of higher level processes representing task-set information. We demonstrate that location information predictive of switch proportion modulates performance at the level of task-set representations. Furthermore, we demonstrate that contextual control occurs even when subjects are unaware of the associations between context and switch likelihood. We discuss the notion that contextual information provides rapid, unconscious control over the extent to which prior task-set representations are retrieved in the service of guiding online performance.
Carr, V J; Dewis, S A; Lewin, T J
This report describes part of a series of experiments, conducted within the framework of feature integration theory, to determine whether patients with schizophrenia show deficits in preattentive processing. Thirty subjects with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of schizophrenia and 30 age-, gender-, and education-matched normal control subjects completed two computerized experimental tasks, a visual search task assessing the frequency of illusory conjunctions (i.e. false perceptions) under conditions of divided attention (Experiment 3) and a task which examined the effects of perceptual grouping on illusory conjunctions (Experiment 4). We also assessed current symptomatology and its relationship to task performance. Contrary to our hypotheses, schizophrenia subjects did not show higher rates of illusory conjunctions, and the influence of perceptual grouping on the frequency of illusory conjunctions was similar for schizophrenia and control subjects. Nonetheless, specific predictions from feature integration theory about the impact of different target types (Experiment 3) and perceptual groups (Experiment 4) on the likelihood of forming an illusory conjunction were strongly supported, thereby confirming the integrity of the experimental procedures. Overall, these studies revealed no firm evidence that schizophrenia is associated with a preattentive abnormality in visual search using stimuli that differ on the basis of physical characteristics.
Carcagno, Samuele; Plack, Christopher J
Practice can lead to dramatic improvements in the discrimination of auditory stimuli. In this study, we investigated changes of the frequency-following response (FFR), a subcortical component of the auditory evoked potentials, after a period of pitch discrimination training. Twenty-seven adult listeners were trained for 10 h on a pitch discrimination task using one of three different complex tone stimuli. One had a static pitch contour, one had a rising pitch contour, and one had a falling pitch contour. Behavioral measures of pitch discrimination and FFRs for all the stimuli were measured before and after the training phase for these participants, as well as for an untrained control group (n = 12). Trained participants showed significant improvements in pitch discrimination compared to the control group for all three trained stimuli. These improvements were partly specific for stimuli with the same pitch modulation (dynamic vs. static) and with the same pitch trajectory (rising vs. falling) as the trained stimulus. Also, the robustness of FFR neural phase locking to the sound envelope increased significantly more in trained participants compared to the control group for the static and rising contour, but not for the falling contour. Changes in FFR strength were partly specific for stimuli with the same pitch modulation (dynamic vs. static) of the trained stimulus. Changes in FFR strength, however, were not specific for stimuli with the same pitch trajectory (rising vs. falling) as the trained stimulus. These findings indicate that even relatively low-level processes in the mature auditory system are subject to experience-related change.
Full Text Available This paper outlines a framework for task representation and discusses applications to interference tasks in individual and joint settings. The framework is derived from the Theory of Event Coding. This theory regards task sets as transient assemblies of event codes in which stimulus and response codes interact and shape each other in particular ways. On the one hand, stimulus and response codes compete with each other within their respective subsets (horizontal interactions. On the other hand, stimulus and response code cooperate with each other (vertical interactions. Code interactions instantiating competition and cooperation apply to two time scales: on-line performance (i.e., doing the task and off-line implementation (i.e., setting the task. Interference arises when stimulus and response codes overlap in features that are irrelevant for stimulus identification, but relevant for response selection. To resolve this dilemma, the feature profiles of event codes may become restructured in various ways. The framework is applied to three kinds of interference paradigms. Special emphasis is given to joint settings where tasks are shared between two participants. Major conclusions derived from these applications include: (1 Response competition is the chief driver of interference. Likewise, different modes of response competition give rise to different patterns of interference. (2 The type of features in which stimulus and response codes overlap is also a crucial factor. Different types of such features give likewise rise to different patterns of interference. (3 Task sets for joint settings conflate intraindividual conflicts between responses (what, with interindividual conflicts between responding agents (whom. Features of response codes may, therefore, not only address responses, but also responding agents (both physically and socially.
This paper outlines a framework for task representation and discusses applications to interference tasks in individual and joint settings. The framework is derived from the Theory of Event Coding (TEC). This theory regards task sets as transient assemblies of event codes in which stimulus and response codes interact and shape each other in particular ways. On the one hand, stimulus and response codes compete with each other within their respective subsets (horizontal interactions). On the other hand, stimulus and response code cooperate with each other (vertical interactions). Code interactions instantiating competition and cooperation apply to two time scales: on-line performance (i.e., doing the task) and off-line implementation (i.e., setting the task). Interference arises when stimulus and response codes overlap in features that are irrelevant for stimulus identification, but relevant for response selection. To resolve this dilemma, the feature profiles of event codes may become restructured in various ways. The framework is applied to three kinds of interference paradigms. Special emphasis is given to joint settings where tasks are shared between two participants. Major conclusions derived from these applications include: (1) Response competition is the chief driver of interference. Likewise, different modes of response competition give rise to different patterns of interference; (2) The type of features in which stimulus and response codes overlap is also a crucial factor. Different types of such features give likewise rise to different patterns of interference; and (3) Task sets for joint settings conflate intraindividual conflicts between responses (what), with interindividual conflicts between responding agents (whom). Features of response codes may, therefore, not only address responses, but also responding agents (both physically and socially). PMID:26029085
Evans, Lisa H; Herron, Jane E; Wilding, Edward L
One influential explanation for the costs incurred when switching between tasks is that they reflect interference arising from completing the previous task-known as task-set inertia. We report a novel approach for assessing task-set inertia in a memory experiment using event-related potentials (ERPs). After a study phase, participants completed a test block in which they switched between a memory task (retrieving information from the study phase) and a perceptual task. These tasks alternated every two trials. An ERP index of the retrieval of study information was evident in the memory task. It was also present on the first trial of the perceptual task but was markedly attenuated on the second. Moreover, this task-irrelevant ERP activity was positively correlated with a behavioral cost associated with switching between tasks. This real-time measure of neural activity thus provides direct evidence of task-set inertia, its duration, and the functional role it plays in switch costs. © The Author(s) 2015.
Pecher, Diane; Zeelenberg, René; Raaijmakers, Jeroen G W
Two experiments investigated the influence of automatic and strategic processes on associative priming effects in a perceptual identification task in which prime-target pairs are briefly presented and masked. In this paradigm, priming is defined as a higher percentage of correctly identified targets for related pairs than for unrelated pairs. In Experiment 1, priming was obtained for mediated word pairs. This mediated priming effect was affected neither by the presence of direct associations nor by the presentation time of the primes, indicating that automatic priming effects play a role in perceptual identification. Experiment 2 showed that the priming effect was not affected by the proportion (.90 vs. .10) of related pairs if primes were presented briefly to prevent their identification. However, a large proportion effect was found when primes were presented for 1000 ms so that they were clearly visible. These results indicate that priming in a masked perceptual identification task is the result of automatic processes and is not affected by strategies. The present paradigm provides a valuable alternative to more commonly used tasks such as lexical decision.
Green, C Shawn; Kattner, Florian; Siegel, Max H; Kersten, Daniel; Schrater, Paul R
A growing body of research--including results from behavioral psychology, human structural and functional imaging, single-cell recordings in nonhuman primates, and computational modeling--suggests that perceptual learning effects are best understood as a change in the ability of higher-level integration or association areas to read out sensory information in the service of particular decisions. Work in this vein has argued that, depending on the training experience, the "rules" for this read-out can either be applicable to new contexts (thus engendering learning generalization) or can apply only to the exact training context (thus resulting in learning specificity). Here we contrast learning tasks designed to promote either stimulus-specific or stimulus-general rules. Specifically, we compare learning transfer across visual orientation following training on three different tasks: an orientation categorization task (which permits an orientation-specific learning solution), an orientation estimation task (which requires an orientation-general learning solution), and an orientation categorization task in which the relevant category boundary shifts on every trial (which lies somewhere between the two tasks above). While the simple orientation-categorization training task resulted in orientation-specific learning, the estimation and moving categorization tasks resulted in significant orientation learning generalization. The general framework tested here--that task specificity or generality can be predicted via an examination of the optimal learning solution--may be useful in building future training paradigms with certain desired outcomes.
Kattner, Florian; Cochrane, Aaron; Green, C Shawn
The majority of theoretical models of learning consider learning to be a continuous function of experience. However, most perceptual learning studies use thresholds estimated by fitting psychometric functions to independent blocks, sometimes then fitting a parametric function to these block-wise estimated thresholds. Critically, such approaches tend to violate the basic principle that learning is continuous through time (e.g., by aggregating trials into large "blocks" for analysis that each assume stationarity, then fitting learning functions to these aggregated blocks). To address this discrepancy between base theory and analysis practice, here we instead propose fitting a parametric function to thresholds from each individual trial. In particular, we implemented a dynamic psychometric function whose parameters were allowed to change continuously with each trial, thus parameterizing nonstationarity. We fit the resulting continuous time parametric model to data from two different perceptual learning tasks. In nearly every case, the quality of the fits derived from the continuous time parametric model outperformed the fits derived from a nonparametric approach wherein separate psychometric functions were fit to blocks of trials. Because such a continuous trial-dependent model of perceptual learning also offers a number of additional advantages (e.g., the ability to extrapolate beyond the observed data; the ability to estimate performance on individual critical trials), we suggest that this technique would be a useful addition to each psychophysicist's analysis toolkit.
Full Text Available Decision making in sports has been extensively studied over the last two decades, with a particular focus on differences in visual search strategies and movement initiation times between experts and novices. The current study expands this paradigm by identifying situation, gender, and expertise specific gaze strategies in performing defensive actions in beach volleyball. Sixty-four beach volleyball players were confronted with 96 scenes displaying 3 attacking variations. The experimental set-up allowed participants to react as they would on court, while decision accuracy and movement initiation time were measured using a 10-camera-VICON-system. Furthermore, gaze behavior was recorded pursuing a novel integrated and automated approach with a high resolution eye tracker (EyeSeeCam, 220 Hz. First analyses show that elite players differ from near-elite players by having a higher percentage of correct decisions combined with a later movement initiation time. Apparently, elite players optimize the time available for information pick-up before initiating their defensive action.
Oei, Adam C.; Patterson, Michael D.
Despite increasing evidence that shows action video game play improves perceptual and cognitive skills, the mechanisms of transfer are not well-understood. In line with previous work, we suggest that transfer is dependent upon common demands between the game and transfer task. In the current study, participants played one of four action games with varying speed, visual, and attentional demands for 20 h. We examined whether training enhanced performance for attentional blink, selective attention, attending to multiple items, visual search and auditory detection. Non-gamers who played the game (Modern Combat) with the highest demands showed transfer to tasks of attentional blink and attending to multiple items. The game (MGS Touch) with fewer attentional demands also decreased attentional blink, but to a lesser degree. Other games failed to show transfer, despite having many action game characteristics but at a reduced intensity. The results support the common demands hypothesis. PMID:25713551
Oei, Adam C; Patterson, Michael D
Despite increasing evidence that shows action video game play improves perceptual and cognitive skills, the mechanisms of transfer are not well-understood. In line with previous work, we suggest that transfer is dependent upon common demands between the game and transfer task. In the current study, participants played one of four action games with varying speed, visual, and attentional demands for 20 h. We examined whether training enhanced performance for attentional blink, selective attention, attending to multiple items, visual search and auditory detection. Non-gamers who played the game (Modern Combat) with the highest demands showed transfer to tasks of attentional blink and attending to multiple items. The game (MGS Touch) with fewer attentional demands also decreased attentional blink, but to a lesser degree. Other games failed to show transfer, despite having many action game characteristics but at a reduced intensity. The results support the common demands hypothesis.
Adam C Oei
Full Text Available Despite increasing evidence that shows action video game play improves perceptual and cognitive skills, the mechanisms of transfer are not well understood. In line with previous work, we suggest that transfer is dependent upon common demands between the game and transfer task. In the current study, participants played one of four action games with varying speed, visual, and attentional demands for twenty hours. We examined whether training enhanced performance for attentional blink, selective attention, attending to multiple items, visual search and auditory detection. Non-gamers who played the game (Modern Combat with the highest demands showed transfer to tasks of attentional blink and attending to multiple items. The game (MGS Touch with fewer attentional demands also decreased attentional blink, but to a lesser degree. Other games failed to show transfer, despite having many action game characteristics but at a reduced intensity. The results support the common demands hypothesis
Nodine, Calvin F.; Kundel, Harold L.
Artist Al Hirschfeld has been hiding the word NINA (his daughter's name) in line drawings of theatrical scenes that have appeared in the New York Times for over 50 years. This paper shows how Hirschfeld's search task of finding the name NINA in his drawings illustrates basic perceptual principles of detection, discrimination and decision-making commonly encountered in radiology search tasks. Hirschfeld's hiding of NINA is typically accomplished by camouflaging the letters of the name and blending them into scenic background details such as wisps of hair and folds of clothing. In a similar way, pulmonary nodules and breast lesions are camouflaged by anatomic features of the chest or breast image. Hirschfeld's hidden NINAs are sometimes missed because they are integrated into a Gestalt overview rather than differentiated from background features during focal scanning. This may be similar to overlooking an obvious nodule behind the heart in a chest x-ray image. Because it is a search game, Hirschfeld assigns a number to each drawing to indicate how many NINAs he has hidden so as not to frustrate his viewers. In the radiologists' task, the number of targets detected in a medical image is determined by combining perceptual input with probabilities generated from clinical history and viewing experience. Thus, in the absence of truth, searching for abnormalities in x-ray images creates opportunities for recognition and decision errors (e.g. false positives and false negatives). We illustrate how camouflage decreases the conspicuity of both artistic and radiographic targets, compare detection performance of radiologists with lay persons searching for NINAs, and, show similarities and differences between scanning strategies of the two groups based on eye-position data.
Douglas A Ruff
Full Text Available Perceptual decision making is a multi-stage process where incoming sensory information is used to select one option from several alternatives. Researchers typically have adopted one of two conceptual frameworks to define the criteria for determining whether a brain region is involved in decision computations. One framework, building on single unite recordings in monkeys, posits that activity in a region involved in decision making reflects the accumulation of evidence toward a decision threshold, thus showing the lowest level of BOLD signal during the hardest decisions. The other framework instead posits that activity in a decision-making region reflects the difficulty of a decision, thus showing the highest level of BOLD signal during the hardest decisions. We had subjects perform a face detection task on degraded face images while we simultaneously recorded BOLD activity. We searched for brain regions where changes in BOLD activity during this task supported either of these frameworks by calculating the correlation of BOLD activity with reaction time - a measure of task difficulty. We found that the right supplementary eye field, right frontal eye field and right inferior frontal gyrus had increased activity relative to baseline that positively correlated with reaction time, while the left superior frontal sulcus and left middle temporal gyrus had decreased activity relative to baseline that negatively correlated with reaction time. We propose that a simple mechanism that scales a region’s activity based on task demands can explain our results.
Lambert, Anthony J; Wootton, Adrienne
Different patterns of high density EEG activity were elicited by the same peripheral stimuli, in the context of Landmark Cueing and Perceptual Discrimination tasks. The C1 component of the visual event-related potential (ERP) at parietal - occipital electrode sites was larger in the Landmark Cueing task, and source localisation suggested greater activation in the superior parietal lobule (SPL) in this task, compared to the Perceptual Discrimination task, indicating stronger early recruitment of the dorsal visual stream. In the Perceptual Discrimination task, source localisation suggested widespread activation of the inferior temporal gyrus (ITG) and fusiform gyrus (FFG), structures associated with the ventral visual stream, during the early phase of the P1 ERP component. Moreover, during a later epoch (171-270ms after stimulus onset) increased temporal-occipital negativity, and stronger recruitment of ITG and FFG were observed in the Perceptual Discrimination task. These findings illuminate the contrasting functions of the dorsal and ventral visual streams, to support rapid shifts of attention in response to contextual landmarks, and conscious discrimination, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bocanegra, Bruno R; Huijding, Jorg; Zeelenberg, René
Previous dot-probe studies indicate that threat-related face cues induce a bias in spatial attention. Independently of spatial attention, a recent psychophysical study suggests that a bilateral fearful face cue improves low spatial-frequency perception (LSF) and impairs high spatial-frequency perception (HSF). Here, we combine these separate lines of research within a single dot-probe paradigm. We found that a bilateral fearful face cue, compared with a bilateral neutral face cue, speeded up responses to LSF targets and slowed down responses to HSF targets. This finding is important, as it shows that emotional cues in dot-probe tasks not only bias where information is preferentially processed (i.e., an attentional bias in spatial location), but also bias what type of information is preferentially processed (i.e., a perceptual bias in spatial frequency). PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.
DeLoss, Denton J; Watanabe, Takeo; Andersen, George J
Previous research has shown a wide array of age-related declines in vision. The current study examined the effects of perceptual learning (PL), external noise, and task difficulty in fine orientation discrimination with older individuals (mean age 71.73, range 65-91). Thirty-two older subjects participated in seven 1.5-h sessions conducted on separate days over a three-week period. A two-alternative forced choice procedure was used in discriminating the orientation of Gabor patches. Four training groups were examined in which the standard orientations for training were either easy or difficult and included either external noise (additive Gaussian noise) or no external noise. In addition, the transfer to an untrained orientation and noise levels were examined. An analysis of the four groups prior to training indicated no significant differences between the groups. An analysis of the change in performance post-training indicated that the degree of learning was related to task difficulty and the presence of external noise during training. In addition, measurements of pupil diameter indicated that changes in orientation discrimination were not associated with changes in retinal illuminance. These results suggest that task difficulty and training in noise are factors important for optimizing the effects of training among older individuals. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Zhang, Jiaxiang; Kriegeskorte, Nikolaus; Carlin, Johan D; Rowe, James B
Behavior is governed by rules that associate stimuli with responses and outcomes. Human and monkey studies have shown that rule-specific information is widely represented in the frontoparietal cortex. However, it is not known how establishing a rule under different contexts affects its neural representation. Here, we use event-related functional MRI (fMRI) and multivoxel pattern classification methods to investigate the human brain's mechanisms of establishing and maintaining rules for multiple perceptual decision tasks. Rules were either chosen by participants or specifically instructed to them, and the fMRI activation patterns representing rule-specific information were compared between these contexts. We show that frontoparietal regions differ in the properties of their rule representations during active maintenance before execution. First, rule-specific information maintained in the dorsolateral and medial frontal cortex depends on the context in which it was established (chosen vs specified). Second, rule representations maintained in the ventrolateral frontal and parietal cortex are independent of the context in which they were established. Furthermore, we found that the rule-specific coding maintained in anticipation of stimuli may change with execution of the rule: representations in context-independent regions remain invariant from maintenance to execution stages, whereas rule representations in context-dependent regions do not generalize to execution stage. The identification of distinct frontoparietal systems with context-independent and context-dependent task rule representations, and the distinction between anticipatory and executive rule representations, provide new insights into the functional architecture of goal-directed behavior.
Scherer, Demian; Wentura, Dirk
Recent theories assume a mutual facilitation in case of semantic overlap for concepts being activated simultaneously. We provide evidence for this claim using a semantic priming paradigm. To test for mutual facilitation of related concepts, a perceptual identification task was employed, presenting prime-target pairs briefly and masked, with an SOA of 0 ms (i.e., prime and target were presented concurrently, one above the other). Participants were instructed to identify the target. In Experiment 1, a cue defining the target was presented at stimulus onset, whereas in Experiment 2 the cue was not presented before the offset of stimuli. Accordingly, in Experiment 2, a post-cue task was merged with the perceptual identification task. We obtained significant semantic priming effects in both experiments. This result is compatible with the view that two concepts can both be activated in parallel and can mutually facilitate each other if they are related.
Forrest, Charlotte L. D.; Monsell, Stephen; McLaren, Ian P. L.
Task-cuing experiments are usually intended to explore control of task set. But when small stimulus sets are used, they plausibly afford learning of the response associated with a combination of cue and stimulus, without reference to tasks. In 3 experiments we presented the typical trials of a task-cuing experiment: a cue (colored shape) followed,…
Mulder, M.J.; Keuken, M.C.; van Maanen, L.; Boekel, W.E.; Forstmann, B.U.; Wagenmakers, E.J.
Research in perceptual decision making is dominated by paradigms that tap the visual system, such as the random-dot motion (RDM) paradigm. In this study, we investigated whether the behavioral signature of perceptual decisions in the auditory domain is similar to those observed in the visual domain.
Kellman, Philip J; Garrigan, Patrick
We consider perceptual learning: experience-induced changes in the way perceivers extract information. Often neglected in scientific accounts of learning and in instruction, perceptual learning is a fundamental contributor to human expertise and is crucial in domains where humans show remarkable levels of attainment, such as language, chess, music, and mathematics. In Section 2, we give a brief history and discuss the relation of perceptual learning to other forms of learning. We consider in Section 3 several specific phenomena, illustrating the scope and characteristics of perceptual learning, including both discovery and fluency effects. We describe abstract perceptual learning, in which structural relationships are discovered and recognized in novel instances that do not share constituent elements or basic features. In Section 4, we consider primary concepts that have been used to explain and model perceptual learning, including receptive field change, selection, and relational recoding. In Section 5, we consider the scope of perceptual learning, contrasting recent research, focused on simple sensory discriminations, with earlier work that emphasized extraction of invariance from varied instances in more complex tasks. Contrary to some recent views, we argue that perceptual learning should not be confined to changes in early sensory analyzers. Phenomena at various levels, we suggest, can be unified by models that emphasize discovery and selection of relevant information. In a final section, we consider the potential role of perceptual learning in educational settings. Most instruction emphasizes facts and procedures that can be verbalized, whereas expertise depends heavily on implicit pattern recognition and selective extraction skills acquired through perceptual learning. We consider reasons why perceptual learning has not been systematically addressed in traditional instruction, and we describe recent successful efforts to create a technology of perceptual
Kellman, Philip J.; Garrigan, Patrick
We consider perceptual learning: experience-induced changes in the way perceivers extract information. Often neglected in scientific accounts of learning and in instruction, perceptual learning is a fundamental contributor to human expertise and is crucial in domains where humans show remarkable levels of attainment, such as language, chess, music, and mathematics. In Section 2, we give a brief history and discuss the relation of perceptual learning to other forms of learning. We consider in Section 3 several specific phenomena, illustrating the scope and characteristics of perceptual learning, including both discovery and fluency effects. We describe abstract perceptual learning, in which structural relationships are discovered and recognized in novel instances that do not share constituent elements or basic features. In Section 4, we consider primary concepts that have been used to explain and model perceptual learning, including receptive field change, selection, and relational recoding. In Section 5, we consider the scope of perceptual learning, contrasting recent research, focused on simple sensory discriminations, with earlier work that emphasized extraction of invariance from varied instances in more complex tasks. Contrary to some recent views, we argue that perceptual learning should not be confined to changes in early sensory analyzers. Phenomena at various levels, we suggest, can be unified by models that emphasize discovery and selection of relevant information. In a final section, we consider the potential role of perceptual learning in educational settings. Most instruction emphasizes facts and procedures that can be verbalized, whereas expertise depends heavily on implicit pattern recognition and selective extraction skills acquired through perceptual learning. We consider reasons why perceptual learning has not been systematically addressed in traditional instruction, and we describe recent successful efforts to create a technology of perceptual
Yi, Do-Joon; Olson, Ingrid R; Chun, Marvin M
What does perceptual experience contribute to figure-ground segregation? To study this question, we trained observers to search for symmetric dot patterns embedded in random dot backgrounds. Training improved shape segmentation, but learning did not completely transfer either to untrained locations or to untrained shapes. Such partial specificity persisted for a month after training. Interestingly, training on shapes in empty backgrounds did not help segmentation of the trained shapes in noisy backgrounds. Our results suggest that perceptual training increases the involvement of early sensory neurons in the segmentation of trained shapes, and that successful segmentation requires perceptual skills beyond shape recognition alone.
Elkhetali, Abdurahman S.; Vaden, Ryan J.; Pool, Sean M.
The human brain is able to process information flexibly, depending on a person's task. The mechanisms underlying this ability to initiate and maintain a task set are not well understood, but they are important for understanding the flexibility of human behavior and developing therapies for disorders involving attention. Here we investigate the differential roles of early visual cortical areas in initiating and maintaining a task set. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), we characterized three different components of task set-related, but trial-independent activity in retinotopically mapped areas of early visual cortex, while human participants performed attention demanding visual or auditory tasks. These trial-independent effects reflected: (1) maintenance of attention over a long duration, (2) orienting to a cue, and (3) initiation of a task set. Participants performed tasks that differed in the modality of stimulus to be attended (auditory or visual) and in whether there was a simultaneous distractor (auditory only, visual only, or simultaneous auditory and visual). We found that patterns of trial-independent activity in early visual areas (V1, V2, V3, hV4) depend on attended modality, but not on stimuli. Further, different early visual areas play distinct roles in the initiation of a task set. In addition, activity associated with maintaining a task set tracks with a participant's behavior. These results show that trial-independent activity in early visual cortex reflects initiation and maintenance of a person's task set. PMID:25485712
Deluca, Cristina; Golzar, Ashkan; Santandrea, Elisa; Lo Gerfo, Emanuele; Eštočinová, Jana; Moretto, Giuseppe; Fiaschi, Antonio; Panzeri, Marta; Mariotti, Caterina; Tinazzi, Michele; Chelazzi, Leonardo
Visual perceptual learning is widely assumed to reflect plastic changes occurring along the cerebro-cortical visual pathways, including at the earliest stages of processing, though increasing evidence indicates that higher-level brain areas are also involved. Here we addressed the possibility that the cerebellum plays an important role in visual perceptual learning. Within the realm of motor control, the cerebellum supports learning of new skills and recalibration of motor commands when movement execution is consistently perturbed (adaptation). Growing evidence indicates that the cerebellum is also involved in cognition and mediates forms of cognitive learning. Therefore, the obvious question arises whether the cerebellum might play a similar role in learning and adaptation within the perceptual domain. We explored a possible deficit in visual perceptual learning (and adaptation) in patients with cerebellar damage using variants of a novel motion extrapolation, psychophysical paradigm. Compared to their age- and gender-matched controls, patients with focal damage to the posterior (but not the anterior) cerebellum showed strongly diminished learning, in terms of both rate and amount of improvement over time. Consistent with a double-dissociation pattern, patients with focal damage to the anterior cerebellum instead showed more severe clinical motor deficits, indicative of a distinct role of the anterior cerebellum in the motor domain. The collected evidence demonstrates that a pure form of slow-incremental visual perceptual learning is crucially dependent on the intact cerebellum, bearing the notion that the human cerebellum acts as a learning device for motor, cognitive and perceptual functions. We interpret the deficit in terms of an inability to fine-tune predictive models of the incoming flow of visual perceptual input over time. Moreover, our results suggest a strong dissociation between the role of different portions of the cerebellum in motor versus
Koch, Iring; Rumiati, Raffaella I
Three dual-task experiments examined the influence of processing a briefly presented visual object for deferred verbal report on performance in an unrelated auditory-manual reaction time (RT) task. RT was increased at short stimulus-onset asynchronies (SOAs) relative to long SOAs, showing that memory consolidation processes can produce a functional processing bottleneck in dual-task performance. In addition, the experiments manipulated the spatial compatibility of the orientation of the visual object and the side of the speeded manual response. This cross-task compatibility produced relative RT benefits only when the instruction for the visual task emphasized overlap at the level of response codes across the task sets (Experiment 1). However, once the effective task set was in place, it continued to produce cross-task compatibility effects even in single-task situations ("ignore" trials in Experiment 2) and when instructions for the visual task did not explicitly require spatial coding of object orientation (Experiment 3). Taken together, the data suggest a considerable degree of task-set inertia in dual-task performance, which is also reinforced by finding costs of switching task sequences (e.g., AC --> BC vs. BC --> BC) in Experiment 3.
Afonso, José; Garganta, Jêlio; McRobert, Allistair; Williams, Andrew M; Mesquita, Isabel
An extensive body of work has focused on the processes underpinning perceptual-cognitive expertise. The majority of researchers have used film-based simulations to capture superior performance. We combined eye movement recording and verbal reports of thinking to explore the processes underpinning skilled performance in a complex, dynamic, and externally paced representative volleyball task involving in situ data collection. Altogether, 27 female volleyball players performed as centre backcourt defenders in simulated sessions while wearing an eye-tracking device. After each sequence, athletes were questioned concerning their perception of the situation. The visual search strategies employed by the highly-skilled players were more exploratory than those used by skilled players, involving more fixations to a greater number of locations. Highly-skilled participants spent more time fixating on functional spaces between two or more display areas, while the skilled participants fixated on the ball trajectory and specific players. Moreover, highly-skilled players generated more condition concepts with higher levels of sophistication than their skilled counterparts. Findings highlight the value of using representative task designs to capture performance in situ. Key pointsDecision-making in complex sports relies deeply on perceptual-cognitive expertise. In turn, the effect of expertise is highly dependent on the nature and complexity of the task.Nonetheless, most researchers use simple tasks in their research designs, risking not capturing performance in a meaningful way. We proposed to use a live action setting with a complex task design, representative of real world situations.We combined eye movement registration with collection of immediate retrospective verbal reports. Although the two data sets are not directly comparable, they may be used in a complementary manner, providing a deeper and fuller understanding of the processes underpinning superior performance
McRobert, Allistair P; Ward, Paul; Eccles, David W; Williams, A Mark
We manipulated contextual information in order to examine the perceptual-cognitive processes that support anticipation using a simulated cricket-batting task. Skilled (N= 10) and less skilled (N= 10) cricket batters responded to video simulations of opponents bowling a cricket ball under high and low contextual information conditions. Skilled batters were more accurate, demonstrated more effective search behaviours, and provided more detailed verbal reports of thinking. Moreover, when they viewed their opponent multiple times (high context), they reduced their mean fixation time. All batters improved performance and altered thought processes when in the high context, compared to when they responded to their opponent without previously seeing them bowl (low context). Findings illustrate how context influences performance and the search for relevant information when engaging in a dynamic, time-constrained task. ©2011 The British Psychological Society.
Hadi, Shamil M.; Siadat, Mohamad R.; Babajani-Feremi, Abbas
We investigated the effect of synaptic serotonin concentration on hemodynamic responses. The stimuli paradigm involved the presentation of fearful and threatening facial expressions to a set of 24 subjects who were either5HTTLPR long- or short-allele carriers (12 of each type in each group). The BOLD signals of the rACC from subjects of each group were averaged to increase the signal-to-noise ratio. We used a Bayesian approach to estimate the parameters of the underlying hemodynamic model. Our results, during this perceptual processing of emotional task, showed a negative BOLD signal in the rACC in the subjects with long-alleles. In contrast, the subjects with short-alleles showed positive BOLD signals in the rACC. These results suggest that high synaptic serotonin concentration in the rACC inhibits neuronal activity in a fashion similar to GABA, and a consequent negative BOLD signal ensues.
Kiefer, Markus; Liegel, Nathalie; Zovko, Monika; Wentura, Dirk
Research with the evaluative priming paradigm has shown that affective evaluation processes reliably influence cognition and behavior, even when triggered outside awareness. However, the precise mechanisms underlying such subliminal evaluative priming effects, response activation vs semantic processing, are matter of a debate. In this study, we determined the relative contribution of semantic processing and response activation to masked evaluative priming with pictures and words. To this end, we investigated the modulation of masked pictorial vs verbal priming by previously activated perceptual vs semantic task sets and assessed the electrophysiological correlates of priming using event-related potential (ERP) recordings. Behavioral and electrophysiological effects showed a differential modulation of pictorial and verbal subliminal priming by previously activated task sets: Pictorial priming was only observed during the perceptual but not during the semantic task set. Verbal priming, in contrast, was found when either task set was activated. Furthermore, only verbal priming was associated with a modulation of the N400 ERP component, an index of semantic processing, whereas a priming-related modulation of earlier ERPs, indexing visuo-motor S-R activation, was found for both picture and words. The results thus demonstrate that different neuro-cognitive processes contribute to unconscious evaluative priming depending on the stimulus format. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full Text Available Theories on visual change detection imply that attention is a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite for aware perception. Misguidance of attention due to salient irrelevant distractors can therefore lead to severe deficits in change detection. The present study investigates the mechanisms behind such perceptual errors and their relation to error processing on higher cognitive levels. Participants had to detect a luminance change that occasionally occurred simultaneously with an irrelevant orientation change in the opposite hemi-field (conflict condition. By analyzing event-related potentials in the EEG separately in those error prone conflict trials for correct and erroneous change detection, we demonstrate that only correct change detection was associated with the allocation of attention to the relevant luminance change. Erroneous change detection was associated with an initial capture of attention towards the irrelevant orientation change in the N1 time window and a lack of subsequent target selection processes (N2pc. Errors were additionally accompanied by an increase of the fronto-central N2 and a kind of error negativity (Ne or ERN, which, however, peaked prior to the response. These results suggest that a strong perceptual conflict by salient distractors can disrupt the further processing of relevant information and thus affect its aware perception. Yet, it does not impair higher cognitive processes for conflict and error detection, indicating that these processes are independent from awareness.
Hanks, Timothy D.; Mazurek, Mark E.; Kiani, Roozbeh; Hopp, Elizabeth; Shadlen, Michael N.
Decisions are often based on a combination of new evidence with prior knowledge of the probable best choice. Optimal combination requires knowledge about the reliability of evidence, but in many realistic situations, this is unknown. Here we propose and test a novel theory: the brain exploits elapsed time during decision formation to combine sensory evidence with prior probability. Elapsed time is useful because (i) decisions that linger tend to arise from less reliable evidence, and (ii) the expected accuracy at a given decision time depends on the reliability of the evidence gathered up to that point. These regularities allow the brain to combine prior information with sensory evidence by weighting the latter in accordance with reliability. To test this theory, we manipulated the prior probability of the rewarded choice while subjects performed a reaction-time discrimination of motion direction using a range of stimulus reliabilities that varied from trial to trial. The theory explains the effect of prior probability on choice and reaction time over a wide range of stimulus strengths. We found that prior probability was incorporated into the decision process as a dynamic bias signal that increases as a function of decision time. This bias signal depends on the speed-accuracy setting of human subjects, and it is reflected in the firing rates of neurons in the lateral intraparietal cortex (LIP) of rhesus monkeys performing this task. PMID:21525274
Bartko, Susan J.; Winters, Boyer D.; Cowell, Rosemary A.; Saksida, Lisa M.; Bussey, Timothy J.
The perirhinal cortex (PRh) has a well-established role in object recognition memory. More recent studies suggest that PRh is also important for two-choice visual discrimination tasks. Specifically, it has been suggested that PRh contains conjunctive representations that help resolve feature ambiguity, which occurs when a task cannot easily be…
Qiao-Tasserit, Emilie; Garcia Quesada, Maria; Antico, Lia; Bavelier, Daphne; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Pichon, Swann
Both affective states and personality traits shape how we perceive the social world and interpret emotions. The literature on affective priming has mostly focused on brief influences of emotional stimuli and emotional states on perceptual and cognitive processes. Yet this approach does not fully capture more dynamic processes at the root of emotional states, with such states lingering beyond the duration of the inducing external stimuli. Our goal was to put in perspective three different types of affective states (induced affective states, more sustained mood states and affective traits such as depression and anxiety) and investigate how they may interact and influence emotion perception. Here, we hypothesized that absorption into positive and negative emotional episodes generate sustained affective states that outlast the episode period and bias the interpretation of facial expressions in a perceptual decision-making task. We also investigated how such effects are influenced by more sustained mood states and by individual affect traits (depression and anxiety) and whether they interact. Transient emotional states were induced using movie-clips, after which participants performed a forced-choice emotion classification task with morphed facial expressions ranging from fear to happiness. Using a psychometric approach, we show that negative (vs. neutral) clips increased participants' propensity to classify ambiguous faces as fearful during several minutes. In contrast, positive movies biased classification toward happiness only for those clips perceived as most absorbing. Negative mood, anxiety and depression had a stronger effect than transient states and increased the propensity to classify ambiguous faces as fearful. These results provide the first evidence that absorption and different temporal dimensions of emotions have a significant effect on how we perceive facial expressions.
Garcia Quesada, Maria; Antico, Lia; Bavelier, Daphne; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Pichon, Swann
Both affective states and personality traits shape how we perceive the social world and interpret emotions. The literature on affective priming has mostly focused on brief influences of emotional stimuli and emotional states on perceptual and cognitive processes. Yet this approach does not fully capture more dynamic processes at the root of emotional states, with such states lingering beyond the duration of the inducing external stimuli. Our goal was to put in perspective three different types of affective states (induced affective states, more sustained mood states and affective traits such as depression and anxiety) and investigate how they may interact and influence emotion perception. Here, we hypothesized that absorption into positive and negative emotional episodes generate sustained affective states that outlast the episode period and bias the interpretation of facial expressions in a perceptual decision-making task. We also investigated how such effects are influenced by more sustained mood states and by individual affect traits (depression and anxiety) and whether they interact. Transient emotional states were induced using movie-clips, after which participants performed a forced-choice emotion classification task with morphed facial expressions ranging from fear to happiness. Using a psychometric approach, we show that negative (vs. neutral) clips increased participants’ propensity to classify ambiguous faces as fearful during several minutes. In contrast, positive movies biased classification toward happiness only for those clips perceived as most absorbing. Negative mood, anxiety and depression had a stronger effect than transient states and increased the propensity to classify ambiguous faces as fearful. These results provide the first evidence that absorption and different temporal dimensions of emotions have a significant effect on how we perceive facial expressions. PMID:28151976
Full Text Available The dorsal and ventral parts of the lateral prefrontal cortex have been thought to play distinct roles in decision making. Although its dorsal part such as the frontal eye field (FEF is shown to play roles in accumulation of sensory information during perceptual decision making, the role of the ventral prefrontal cortex (PFv is not well-documented. Previous studies have suggested that the PFv is involved in selective attention to the task-relevant information and is associated with accuracy of the behavioral performance. It is unknown, however, whether the accumulation and selection processes are anatomically dissociated between the FEF and PFv. Here we show that, by using concurrent TMS and EEG recording, the short-latency (20 – 40 ms TMS-evoked potentials after stimulation of the FEF change as a function of the time to behavioral response, whereas those after stimulation of the PFv change depending on whether the response is correct or not. The potentials after stimulation of either region did not show significant interaction between time to response and performance accuracy, suggesting dissociation between the processes subserved by the FEF and PFv networks. The results are consistent with the idea that the network involving the FEF plays a role in information accumulation, whereas the network involving the PFv plays a role in selecting task relevant information. In addition, stimulation of the FEF and PFv induced activation in common regions in the dorsolateral and medial frontal cortices, suggesting convergence of information processed in the two regions. Taken together, the results suggest dissociation between the FEF and PFv networks for their computational roles in perceptual decision making. The study also highlights the advantage of TMS-EEG technique in investigating the computational processes subserved by the neural network in the human brain with a high temporal resolution.
Akaishi, Rei; Ueda, Naoko; Sakai, Katsuyuki
The dorsal and ventral parts of the lateral prefrontal cortex have been thought to play distinct roles in decision making. Although its dorsal part such as the frontal eye field (FEF) is shown to play roles in accumulation of sensory information during perceptual decision making, the role of the ventral prefrontal cortex (PFv) is not well-documented. Previous studies have suggested that the PFv is involved in selective attention to the task-relevant information and is associated with accuracy of the behavioral performance. It is unknown, however, whether the accumulation and selection processes are anatomically dissociated between the FEF and PFv. Here we show that, by using concurrent TMS and EEG recording, the short-latency (20-40 ms) TMS-evoked potentials after stimulation of the FEF change as a function of the time to behavioral response, whereas those after stimulation of the PFv change depending on whether the response is correct or not. The potentials after stimulation of either region did not show significant interaction between time to response and performance accuracy, suggesting dissociation between the processes subserved by the FEF and PFv networks. The results are consistent with the idea that the network involving the FEF plays a role in information accumulation, whereas the network involving the PFv plays a role in selecting task relevant information. In addition, stimulation of the FEF and PFv induced activation in common regions in the dorsolateral and medial frontal cortices, suggesting convergence of information processed in the two regions. Taken together, the results suggest dissociation between the FEF and PFv networks for their computational roles in perceptual decision making. The study also highlights the advantage of TMS-EEG technique in investigating the computational processes subserved by the neural network in the human brain with a high temporal resolution.
Full Text Available Both affective states and personality traits shape how we perceive the social world and interpret emotions. The literature on affective priming has mostly focused on brief influences of emotional stimuli and emotional states on perceptual and cognitive processes. Yet this approach does not fully capture more dynamic processes at the root of emotional states, with such states lingering beyond the duration of the inducing external stimuli. Our goal was to put in perspective three different types of affective states (induced affective states, more sustained mood states and affective traits such as depression and anxiety and investigate how they may interact and influence emotion perception. Here, we hypothesized that absorption into positive and negative emotional episodes generate sustained affective states that outlast the episode period and bias the interpretation of facial expressions in a perceptual decision-making task. We also investigated how such effects are influenced by more sustained mood states and by individual affect traits (depression and anxiety and whether they interact. Transient emotional states were induced using movie-clips, after which participants performed a forced-choice emotion classification task with morphed facial expressions ranging from fear to happiness. Using a psychometric approach, we show that negative (vs. neutral clips increased participants' propensity to classify ambiguous faces as fearful during several minutes. In contrast, positive movies biased classification toward happiness only for those clips perceived as most absorbing. Negative mood, anxiety and depression had a stronger effect than transient states and increased the propensity to classify ambiguous faces as fearful. These results provide the first evidence that absorption and different temporal dimensions of emotions have a significant effect on how we perceive facial expressions.
Ferrer-Uris, Blai; Busquets, Albert; Angulo-Barroso, Rosa
We assessed the effect of an acute intense exercise bout on the adaptation and consolidation of a visuomotor adaptation task in children. We also sought to assess if exercise and learning task presentation order could affect task consolidation. Thirty-three children were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (a) exercise before the learning task, (b) exercise after the learning task, and (c) only learning task. Baseline performance was assessed by practicing the learning task in a 0° rotation condition. Afterward, a 60° rotation-adaptation set was applied followed by three rotated retention sets after 1 hr, 24 hr, and 7 days. For the exercise groups, exercise was presented before or after the motor adaptation. Results showed no group differences during the motor adaptation while exercise seemed to enhance motor consolidation. Greater consolidation enhancement was found in participants who exercised before the learning task. Our data support the importance of exercise to improve motor-memory consolidation in children.
Vakil, Eli; Lev-Ran Galon, Carmit
Existing literature presents a complex and inconsistent picture of the specific deficiencies involved in skill learning following traumatic brain injury (TBI). In an attempt to address this difficulty, individuals with moderate to severe TBI (n = 29) and a control group (n = 29) were tested with two different skill-learning tasks: conceptual (i.e., Tower of Hanoi Puzzle, TOHP) and perceptual (i.e., mirror reading, MR). Based on previous studies of the effect of divided attention on these tasks and findings regarding the effect of TBI on conceptual and perceptual priming tasks, it was predicted that the group with TBI would show impaired baseline performance compared to controls in the TOHP task though their learning rate would be maintained, while both baseline performance and learning rate on the MR task would be maintained. Consistent with our predictions, overall baseline performance of the group with TBI was impaired in the TOHP test, while the learning rate was not. The learning rate on the MR task was preserved but, contrary to our prediction, response time of the group with TBI was slower than that of controls. The pattern of results observed in the present study was interpreted to possibly reflect an impairment of both the frontal lobes as well as that of diffuse axonal injury, which is well documented as being affected by TBI. The former impairment affects baseline performance of the conceptual learning skill, while the latter affects the overall slower performance of the perceptual learning skill.
Sadeghi, Saeedeh; Ekhtiari, Hamed; Bahrami, Bahador; Ahmadabadi, Majid Nili
Drug addiction has been associated with lack of insight into one?s own abilities. However, the scope of metacognition impairment among drug users in general and opiate dependent individuals in particular is not fully understood. Investigating the impairments of metacognitive ability in Substance Dependent Individuals (SDIs) in different cognitive tasks could contribute to the ongoing debate over whether metacognition has domain-general or domain-specific neural substrates. We compared metacog...
of binaural synthesis in providing a realistic and/or convincing virtual sonic experience relies largely on technical and perceptual issues inherent to the HRTFs and their use, particularly on how well the spectral features of the HRTFs used match those of the listener. This PhD thesis focused on identifying...... the spectral features that cue sound localization in the mid-sagittal plane. Listening tests were conducted from which groups of individual and non-individual HRTFs that evoked the same direction were obtained. Analysis of these HRTFs suggested that the relevant spectral cues covered a broad range...
Kirsten Rebecca Panton
Full Text Available Current research on perceptual organization in schizophrenia frequently employs shapes with regularly sampled contours (fragmented stimuli, in noise fields composed of similar elements, to elicit visual abnormalities. However, perceptual organization is multi-factorial and, in earlier studies, continuous contours have also been employed in tasks assessing the ability to extract shapes from a background. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies using closed-contour stimuli, including the Embedded Figures Test (EFT and related tasks, both in people with schizophrenia and in healthy schizotypes and relatives, considered at increased risk for psychosis. Eleven studies met the selection criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis, including six that used a between-groups study design (i.e. perceptual organization abilities of schizophrenia/high-risk groups were compared to healthy or clinical controls, and five that treated schizophrenia symptoms or schizotypy traits and indices of perceptual organization as continuous variables. Effect sizes and heterogeneity statistics were calculated, and the risk of publication bias was explored. A significant, moderate effect for EFT performance was found with studies that compared performance of schizophrenia/high-risk groups to a healthy or patient comparison group (d = -.523, p<.001. However, significant heterogeneity was also found amongst the schizotypy, but not schizophrenia studies, as well as studies using accuracy, but not reaction time as a measure of performance. A non-significant correlation was found for the studies that examined schizophrenia symptoms or schizotypy traits as continuous variables (r = .012, p = .825. These results suggest that deficits in perceptual organization of non-fragmented stimuli are found when differences between schizophrenia/high-risk groups and comparison groups are maximized. These findings should motivate further investigation of perceptual
Reckless, Greg E; Ousdal, Olga T; Server, Andres; Walter, Henrik; Andreassen, Ole A; Jensen, Jimmy
Changing the way we make decisions from one environment to another allows us to maintain optimal decision-making. One way decision-making may change is how biased one is toward one option or another. Identifying the regions of the brain that underlie the change in bias will allow for a better understanding of flexible decision-making. An event-related, perceptual decision-making task where participants had to detect a picture of an animal amongst distractors was used during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Positive and negative financial motivation were used to affect a change in response bias, and changes in decision-making behavior were quantified using signal detection theory. Response bias became relatively more liberal during both positive and negative motivated trials compared to neutral trials. For both motivational conditions, the larger the liberal shift in bias, the greater the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) activity. There was no relationship between individuals' belief that they used a different strategy and their actual change in response bias. The present findings suggest that the left IFG plays a role in adjusting response bias across different decision environments. This suggests a potential role for the left IFG in flexible decision-making.
En col·laboració amb la Universitat de Barcelona (UB) i la Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) In the neuroscience field the scientists aim to understand how the brain works. In order to study the brain mechanisms underlying behaviour and cognition, they perform standardized laboratory experiments with animal models. The main goal of this Master Thesis is the development of an experimental set-up to run behavioral experiments using rats in the DeLaRocha Lab at IDIBAPS (Instit...
Sun, Peijian Paul; Teng, Lin Sophie
This study revisited Reid's (1987) perceptual learning style preference questionnaire (PLSPQ) in an attempt to answer whether the PLSPQ fits in the Chinese-as-a-second-language (CSL) context. If not, what are CSL learners' learning styles drawing on the PLSPQ? The PLSPQ was first re-examined through reliability analysis and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with 224 CSL learners. The results showed that Reid's six-factor PLSPQ could not satisfactorily explain the CSL learners' learning styles. Exploratory factor analyses were, therefore, performed to explore the dimensionality of the PLSPQ in the CSL context. A four-factor PLSPQ was successfully constructed including auditory/visual, kinaesthetic/tactile, group, and individual styles. Such a measurement model was cross-validated through CFAs with 118 CSL learners. The study not only lends evidence to the literature that Reid's PLSPQ lacks construct validity, but also provides CSL teachers and learners with insightful and practical guidance concerning learning styles. Implications and limitations of the present study are discussed.
Reckless, Greg E; Andreassen, Ole A; Server, Andres; Østefjells, Tiril; Jensen, Jimmy
Negative symptoms in schizophrenia have been associated with structural and functional changes in the prefrontal cortex. They often persist after treatment with antipsychotic medication which targets, in particular, the ventral striatum (VS). As schizophrenia has been suggested to arise from dysfunctional connectivity between neural networks, it is possible that residual aberrant striato-cortical connectivity in medicated patients plays a role in enduring negative symptomology. The present study examined the relationship between striato-cortical connectivity and negative symptoms in medicated schizophrenia patients. We manipulated motivation in a perceptual decision-making task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Comparing healthy controls (n = 21) and medicated patients with schizophrenia (n = 18) we investigated how motivation-mediated changes in VS activation affected functional connectivity with the frontal cortex, and how changes in connectivity strength from the neutral to motivated condition related to negative symptom severity. A pattern of aberrant striato-cortical connectivity was observed in the presence of intact VS, but altered left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) motivation-mediated activation in patients. The more severe the patient's negative symptoms, the less the connectivity strength between the right VS and left IFG changed from the neutral to the motivated condition. Despite aberrant striato-cortical connectivity and altered recruitment of the left IFG among patients, both patients and healthy controls adopted a more liberal response strategy in the motivated compared to the neutral condition. The present findings suggest that there is a link between dysfunctional striato-cortical connectivity and negative symptom severity, and offer a possible explanation as to why negative symptoms persist after treatment with antipsychotics.
Full Text Available The present study examined the use of foreknowledge in a task-cueing protocol while manipulating sensory updating and executive control in both, informatively and non-informatively pre-cued trials. Foreknowledge, sensory updating (cue switch effects and task-switching were orthogonally manipulated in order to address the question of whether, and to which extent, the sensory processing of cue changes can partly or totally explain the final task switch costs. Participants responded faster when they could prepare for the upcoming task and if no task-set updating was necessary. Sensory cue switches influenced cue-locked ERPs only when they contained conceptual information about the upcoming task: frontal P2 amplitudes were modulated by task-relevant cue changes, mid-parietal P3 amplitudes by the anticipatory updating of stimulus-response mappings, and P3 peak latencies were modulated by task switching. Task preparation was advantageous for efficient stimulus-response re-mapping at target-onset as mirrored in target N2 amplitudes. However, N2 peak latencies indicate that this process is faster for all repeat trials. The results provide evidence to support a very fast detection of task-relevance in sensory (cue changes and argue against the view of task repetition benefits as secondary to purely perceptual repetition priming. Advanced preparation may have a stronger influence on behavioral performance and target-locked brain activity than the local effect of repeating or switching the task-set in the current trial.
The aim of this article is to analyse and describe task-setting in game-like interactions. The task-setting is studied in two contexts: in everyday interaction and in speech and language therapy. The data comprises task interaction between mothers and 5-year-old typically developing children (6 pairs) and task interaction between speech and…
Chapman, Mark; Larumbe-Zabala, Eneko; Gosss-Sampson, Mark; Triplett, N Travis; Naclerio, Fernando
The present study analyzed the effectiveness of the OMNI-RES (0-10) and the electromyographic signal for monitoring changes in the movement velocity during a set to muscular failure performed with different relative loads in the bench press exercise (BP). Ten males (30.8 ± 5.7 years) were evaluated on eight separate days with 48 hours of rest between sessions. After determining the 1RM value, participants performed seven sets to failure with the following relative loads ranges: 3090%. The mean accelerative velocity (MAV), the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and the normalized root mean square (N-RMS) signal from the anterior deltoids were measured for every repetition of each set. The RPE expressed after the first repetition and when the maximum value of MAV was achieved over the sets was lower (p 0.80) than the RPE associated with a 10% drop in MAV and at failure. Furthermore, the initial RPE was useful to distinguish different loading zones between the light relative loads (3090%). Similar, but less clear, differences were observed for the N-RMS. In conclusion, apart from differentiating between relative loads, the RPE and in some cases N-RMS can both reflect changes associated with the initial, maximal, 10% drop in movement velocity and muscular failure during a continuous set in the BP.
van Dantzig, Saskia; Pecher, Diane; Zeelenberg, Rene; Barsalou, Lawrence W.
According to the Perceptual Symbols Theory of cognition (Barsalou, 1999), modality-specific simulations underlie the representation of concepts. A strong prediction of this view is that perceptual processing affects conceptual processing. In this study, participants performed a perceptual detection task and a conceptual property-verification task…
.... Attention may affect the perceived clarity of visual displays and improve performance. In this project, a powerful external noise method was developed to identify and characterize the effect of attention on perceptual performance in visual tasks...
.... Attention may affect the perceived clarity of visual displays and improve performance. In this project, a powerful external noise method was developed to identify and characterize the effect of attention on perceptual performance in visual tasks...
Jang, R; Karwowski, W; Quesada, P M; Rodrick, D; Sherehiy, B; Cronin, S N; Layer, J K
A field study was conducted to investigate spinal kinematics and loading in the nursing profession using objective and subjective measurements of selected nursing tasks observed in a hospital setting. Spinal loading was estimated using trunk motion dynamics measured by the lumbar motion monitor (LMM) and lower back compressive and shear forces were estimated using the three-dimensional (3D) Static Strength Prediction Program. Subjective measures included the rate of perceived physical effort and the perceived risk of low back pain. A multiple logistic regression model, reported in the literature for predicting low back injury based on defined risk groups, was tested. The study results concluded that the major risk factors for low back injury in nurses were the weight of patients handled, trunk moment, and trunk axial rotation. The activities that required long time exposure to awkward postures were perceived by nurses as a high physical effort. This study also concluded that self-reported perceived exertion could be used as a tool to identify nursing activities with a high risk of low-back injury.
Hutchinson, Jasmin C; Karageorghis, Costas I; Black, Jessica D
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of music and music-video on perceptual (attentional focus, rated perceived exertion), affective (affective valence and enjoyment) and psychophysiological (blood glucose, heart rate) variables in outpatients attending a diabetes exercise clinic. Participants were 24 females (age = 66.0 ± 8.5 years) enrolled in a supervised exercise program for people with diabetes. They engaged in mixed-modality exercise sessions that included a standardized combination of flexibility, aerobic and resistance activities under conditions of music, music-video and control. Analyses revealed a main effect of condition on attentional focus and affect during aerobic exercise only. The music-video condition elicited the highest level of attentional dissociation, while affective valence was more positive in the 2 experimental conditions when compared to control. Rated perceived exertion and heart rate did not differ across conditions. Measures of exercise enjoyment indicated a main effect of condition wherein scores were higher with the music-video condition when compared to control. There was an acute glucose-lowering effect of exercise in all conditions. Results lend support to the notion that auditory and visual stimuli can enhance affective responses to exercise in a clinical setting. This may have meaningful implications for adherence, given the link between affective judgements and future behaviour in an exercise context. Copyright © 2016 Canadian Diabetes Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dosher, Barbara; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Visual perceptual learning through practice or training can significantly improve performance on visual tasks. Originally seen as a manifestation of plasticity in the primary visual cortex, perceptual learning is more readily understood as improvements in the function of brain networks that integrate processes, including sensory representations, decision, attention, and reward, and balance plasticity with system stability. This review considers the primary phenomena of perceptual learning, theories of perceptual learning, and perceptual learning's effect on signal and noise in visual processing and decision. Models, especially computational models, play a key role in behavioral and physiological investigations of the mechanisms of perceptual learning and for understanding, predicting, and optimizing human perceptual processes, learning, and performance. Performance improvements resulting from reweighting or readout of sensory inputs to decision provide a strong theoretical framework for interpreting perceptual learning and transfer that may prove useful in optimizing learning in real-world applications.
Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching has received sustained attention from teachers and researchers for over thirty years. It is a well-established pedagogy that includes the following characteristics: major focus on authentic and real-world tasks, choice of linguistic resources by learners, and a clearly defined non-linguistic outcome. This…
Efeitos de vizinhança ortográfica no português brasileiro: um estudo com a tarefa de identificação perceptual Orthographic neighborhood effects in brazilian portuguese: a study on perceptual identification tasks
Francis Ricardo dos Reis Justi
Full Text Available Esse estudo investigou os efeitos do número de vizinhos ortográficos (N e do número de vizinhos ortográficos de maior frequência de ocorrência (NF na tarefa de identificação perceptual. Trinta e dois estudantes de psicologia falantes do português brasileiro participaram do estudo. Os estímulos experimentais consistiram em 64 palavras que atenderam a uma manipulação fatorial 2 x 2 de N e NF. Os participantes apresentaram uma maior porcentagem de erros nas palavras com vizinhos ortográficos de maior frequência e uma menor porcentagem de erros nas palavras com muitos vizinhos ortográficos. Argumentou-se que esses resultados refletem o efeito dessas variáveis no processo de acesso lexical e que os modelos de Dupla Rota e PPD têm dificuldades em acomodá-los.This study investigated the effects of Neighborhood Density (ND and Neighborhood Frequency (NF on visual word recognition in 32 Brazilian Portuguese speakers. Participants were given a standard perceptual identification task in which they had a 3-second time-limit for saying aloud what the target word was. Experimental stimuli consisted of 64 words according to an ND (2 x NF (2 factorial design. Higher percentages of errors were made for words with a higher frequency neighbor and lower percentages of errors were made for words with a high neighborhood density. It is argued that the results were due to ND and NF effects on lexical access and that they pose difficulties for Dual Route and PDP models of visual word recognition.
Dutilh, Gilles; Rieskamp, Jörg
Perceptual and preferential decision making have been studied largely in isolation. Perceptual decisions are considered to be at a non-deliberative cognitive level and have an outside criterion that defines the quality of decisions. Preferential decisions are considered to be at a higher cognitive level and the quality of decisions depend on the decision maker's subjective goals. Besides these crucial differences, both types of decisions also have in common that uncertain information about the choice situation has to be processed before a decision can be made. The present work aims to acknowledge the commonalities of both types of decision making to lay bare the crucial differences. For this aim we examine perceptual and preferential decisions with a novel choice paradigm that uses the identical stimulus material for both types of decisions. This paradigm allows us to model the decisions and response times of both types of decisions with the same sequential sampling model, the drift diffusion model. The results illustrate that the different incentive structure in both types of tasks changes people's behavior so that they process information more efficiently and respond more cautiously in the perceptual as compared to the preferential task. These findings set out a perspective for further integration of perceptual and preferential decision making in a single ramework.
Pedersen, Søren Nygaard
The research presented in this PhD thesis has focused on a perceptual approach to robust design. The results of the research and the original contribution to knowledge is a preliminary framework for understanding, positioning, and applying perceptual robust design. Product quality is a topic...... been presented. Therefore, this study set out to contribute to the understanding and application of perceptual robust design. To achieve this, a state-of-the-art and current practice review was performed. From the review two main research problems were identified. Firstly, a lack of tools...... for perceptual robustness was found to overlap with the optimum for functional robustness and at most approximately 2.2% out of the 14.74% could be ascribed solely to the perceptual robustness optimisation. In conclusion, the thesis have offered a new perspective on robust design by merging robust design...
Healey, Chris G.; St. Amant, Robert; Elhaddad, Mahmoud S.
This paper describes an automated visualized assistant called ViA. ViA is designed to help users construct perceptually optical visualizations to represent, explore, and analyze large, complex, multidimensional datasets. We have approached this problem by studying what is known about the control of human visual attention. By harnessing the low-level human visual system, we can support our dual goals of rapid and accurate visualization. Perceptual guidelines that we have built using psychophysical experiments form the basis for ViA. ViA uses modified mixed-initiative planning algorithms from artificial intelligence to search of perceptually optical data attribute to visual feature mappings. Our perceptual guidelines are integrated into evaluation engines that provide evaluation weights for a given data-feature mapping, and hints on how that mapping might be improved. ViA begins by asking users a set of simple questions about their dataset and the analysis tasks they want to perform. Answers to these questions are used in combination with the evaluation engines to identify and intelligently pursue promising data-feature mappings. The result is an automatically-generated set of mappings that are perceptually salient, but that also respect the context of the dataset and users' preferences about how they want to visualize their data.
Seitz, Aaron R
Perceptual learning refers to how experience can change the way we perceive sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch. Examples abound: music training improves our ability to discern tones; experience with food and wines can refine our pallet (and unfortunately more quickly empty our wallet), and with years of training radiologists learn to save lives by discerning subtle details of images that escape the notice of untrained viewers. We often take perceptual learning for granted, but it has a profound impact on how we perceive the world. In this Primer, I will explain how perceptual learning is transformative in guiding our perceptual processes, how research into perceptual learning provides insight into fundamental mechanisms of learning and brain processes, and how knowledge of perceptual learning can be used to develop more effective training approaches for those requiring expert perceptual skills or those in need of perceptual rehabilitation (such as individuals with poor vision). I will make a case that perceptual learning is ubiquitous, scientifically interesting, and has substantial practical utility to us all. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Solovey, Guillermo; Shalom, Diego; Pérez-Schuster, Verónica; Sigman, Mariano
Practice can enhance of perceptual sensitivity, a well-known phenomenon called perceptual learning. However, the effect of practice on subjective perception has received little attention. We approach this problem from a visual psychophysics and computational modeling perspective. In a sequence of visual search experiments, subjects significantly increased the ability to detect a "trained target". Before and after training, subjects performed two psychophysical protocols that parametrically vary the visibility of the "trained target": an attentional blink and a visual masking task. We found that confidence increased after learning only in the attentional blink task. Despite large differences in some observables and task settings, we identify common mechanisms for decision-making and confidence. Specifically, our behavioral results and computational model suggest that perceptual ability is independent of processing time, indicating that changes in early cortical representations are effective, and learning changes decision criteria to convey choice and confidence. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Parks, Colleen M.
Research examining the importance of surface-level information to familiarity in recognition memory tasks is mixed: Sometimes it affects recognition and sometimes it does not. One potential explanation of the inconsistent findings comes from the ideas of dual process theory of recognition and the transfer-appropriate processing framework, which…
Wan, Lulu; Crookes, Kate; Reynolds, Katherine J; Irons, Jessica L; McKone, Elinor
Competing approaches to the other-race effect (ORE) see its primary cause as either a lack of motivation to individuate social outgroup members, or a lack of perceptual experience with other-race faces. Here, we argue that the evidence supporting the social-motivational approach derives from a particular cultural setting: a high socio-economic status group (typically US Whites) looking at the faces of a lower status group (US Blacks) with whom observers typically have at least moderate perceptual experience. In contrast, we test motivation-to-individuate instructions across five studies covering an extremely wide range of perceptual experience, in a cultural setting of more equal socio-economic status, namely Asian and Caucasian participants (N = 480) tested on Asian and Caucasian faces. We find no social-motivational component at all to the ORE, specifically: no reduction in the ORE with motivation instructions, including for novel images of the faces, and at all experience levels; no increase in correlation between own- and other-race face recognition, implying no increase in shared processes; and greater (not the predicted less) effort applied to distinguishing other-race faces than own-race faces under normal ("no instructions") conditions. Instead, the ORE was predicted by level of contact with the other-race. Our results reject both pure social-motivational theories and also the recent Categorization-Individuation model of Hugenberg, Young, Bernstein, and Sacco (2010). We propose a new dual-route approach to the ORE, in which there are two causes of the ORE-lack of motivation, and lack of experience--that contribute differently across varying world locations and cultural settings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Freeman, Frederick G.
The increased use of automation in the cockpits of commercial planes has dramatically decreased the workload requirements of pilots, enabling them to function more efficiently and with a higher degree of safety. Unfortunately, advances in technology have led to an unexpected problem: the decreased demands on pilots have increased the probability of inducing 'hazardous states of awareness.' A hazardous state of awareness is defined as a decreased level of alertness or arousal which makes an individual less capable of reacting to unique or emergency types of situations. These states tend to be induced when an individual is not actively processing information. Under such conditions a person is likely to let his/her mind wander, either to internal states or to irrelevant external conditions. As a result, they are less capable of reacting quickly to emergency situations. Since emergencies are relatively rare, and since the high automated cockpit requires progressively decreasing levels of engagement, the probability of being seduced into a lowered state of awareness is increasing. This further decreases the readiness of the pilot to react to unique circumstances such as system failures. The HEM Lab at NASA-Langley Research Center has been studying how these states of awareness are induced and what the physiological correlates of these different states are. Specifically, they have been interested in studying electroencephalographic (EEG) measures of different states of alertness to determine if such states can be identified and, hopefully, avoided. The project worked on this summer involved analyzing the EEG and the event related potentials (ERP) data collected while subjects performed under two conditions. Each condition required subjects to perform a relatively boring vigilance task. The purpose of using these tasks was to induce a decreased state of awareness while still requiring the subject to process information. Each task involved identifying an infrequently
Jacobs, Robert A
New technologies and new ways of thinking have recently led to rapid expansions in the study of perceptual learning. We describe three themes shared by many of the nine articles included in this topic on Integrated Approaches to Perceptual Learning. First, perceptual learning cannot be studied on its own because it is closely linked to other aspects of cognition, such as attention, working memory, decision making, and conceptual knowledge. Second, perceptual learning is sensitive to both the stimulus properties of the environment in which an observer exists and to the properties of the tasks that the observer needs to perform. Moreover, the environmental and task properties can be characterized through their statistical regularities. Finally, the study of perceptual learning has important implications for society, including implications for science education and medical rehabilitation. Contributed articles relevant to each theme are summarized. Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Ceux, Tanja; Montagne, Gilles; Buekers, Martinus J
The present study examined whether the beneficial role of coherently grouped visual motion structures for performing complex (interlimb) coordination patterns can be generalized to synchronization behavior in a visuo-proprioceptive conflict situation. To achieve this goal, 17 participants had to synchronize a self-moved circle, representing the arm movement, with a visual target signal corresponding to five temporally shifted visual feedback conditions (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the target cycle duration) in three synchronization modes (in-phase, anti-phase, and intermediate). The results showed that the perception of a newly generated perceptual Gestalt between the visual feedback of the arm and the target signal facilitated the synchronization performance in the preferred in-phase synchronization mode in contrast to the less stable anti-phase and intermediate mode. Our findings suggest that the complexity of the synchronization mode defines to what extent the visual and/or proprioceptive information source affects the synchronization performance in the present unimanual synchronization task. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Dick, Anthony Steven
Two experiments examined processes underlying cognitive inflexibility in set-shifting tasks typically used to assess the development of executive function in children. Adult participants performed a Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST) that requires shifting from categorizing by one dimension (e.g., color) to categorizing by a second orthogonal dimension (e.g., shape). The experiments showed performance of the FIST involves suppression of the representation of the ignored dimension; response t...
Sofer, Imri; Crouzet, Sébastien M.; Serre, Thomas
Observers can rapidly perform a variety of visual tasks such as categorizing a scene as open, as outdoor, or as a beach. Although we know that different tasks are typically associated with systematic differences in behavioral responses, to date, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Here, we implemented a single integrated paradigm that links perceptual processes with categorization processes. Using a large image database of natural scenes, we trained machine-learning classifiers to derive quantitative measures of task-specific perceptual discriminability based on the distance between individual images and different categorization boundaries. We showed that the resulting discriminability measure accurately predicts variations in behavioral responses across categorization tasks and stimulus sets. We further used the model to design an experiment, which challenged previous interpretations of the so-called “superordinate advantage.” Overall, our study suggests that observed differences in behavioral responses across rapid categorization tasks reflect natural variations in perceptual discriminability. PMID:26335683
Full Text Available Inverse kinematics algorithms are commonly used in robotic systems to transform tasks to joint references, and several methods exist to ensure the achievement of several tasks simultaneously. The multiple task-priority inverse kinematicsframework allows tasks to be considered in a prioritized order by projecting task velocities through the nullspaces of higherpriority tasks. This paper extends this framework to handle setbased tasks, i.e. tasks with a range of valid values, in addition to equality tasks, which have a specific desired value. Examples of set-based tasks are joint limit and obstacle avoidance. The proposed method is proven to ensure asymptotic convergence of the equality task errors and the satisfaction of all high-priority set-based tasks. The practical implementation of the proposed algorithm is discussed, and experimental results are presented where a number of both set-based and equality tasks have been implemented on a 6 degree of freedom UR5 which is an industrial robotic arm from Universal Robots. The experiments validate thetheoretical results and confirm the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
Haarman, Juliet A.M.; Choi, Julia T.; Buurke, Jaap H.; Rietman, Johan S.; Reenalda, Jasper
Visual cues can be used to train walking patterns. Here, we studied the performance and learning capacities of healthy subjects executing a high-precision visuomotor walking task, in an augmented reality training set-up. A beamer was used to project visual stepping targets on the walking surface of
Da Silva, V L; Messias, F R; Zanchi, N E; Gerlinger-Romero, F; Duncan, M J; Guimarães-Ferreira, L
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of oral caffeine ingestion during repeated sets of resistance. Fourteen moderately resistance-trained men (20.9 ± 0.36 years and 77.62 ± 2.07 kg of body weight) ingested a dose of caffeine (5 mg.kg-1) or placebo prior to 3 sets of bench press and 3 sets of leg press exercises, respectively. The study used a double-blind, counterbalanced, crossover design. Repetitions completed and total weight lifted were recorded in each set. Readiness to invest in both physical (RTIPE) and mental (RTIME) effort were assessed prior each set, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was recorded after each set. Rest and peak heart rates were determined via telemetry. Caffeine ingestion result in increased number of repetitions to failure in bench press (F[1,13]=6.16, P=0.027) and leg press (F[1,13]=9.33, P=0.009) compared to placebo. The sum of repetitions performed in the 3 sets was 11.60% higher in bench press (26.86 ± 1.74; caffeine: 30.00 ± 1.87; P=0.027) and 19.10% in leg press (placebo: 40.0 ± 4.22; caffeine: 47.64 ± 4.69; P=0.009). Also, RTIME was increased in the caffeine condition both in bench press (F[1,13]=7.02, P=0.02) and in leg press (F[1,13]=5.41, P=0.03). There were no differences in RPE, RTIPE and HR (P>0.05) across conditions. Acute caffeine ingestion can improve performance in repeated sets to failure and increase RTIME in resistance-trained men.
Dick, Anthony Steven
Two experiments examined processes underlying cognitive inflexibility in set-shifting tasks typically used to assess the development of executive function in children. Adult participants performed a Flexible Item Selection Task (FIST) that requires shifting from categorizing by one dimension (e.g., color) to categorizing by a second orthogonal dimension (e.g., shape). The experiments showed performance of the FIST involves suppression of the representation of the ignored dimension; response times for selecting a target object in an immediately-following oddity task were slower when the oddity target was the previously-ignored stimulus of the FIST. However, proactive interference from the previously relevant stimulus dimension also impaired responding. The results are discussed with respect to two prominent theories of the source of difficulty for children and adults on dimensional shifting tasks: attentional inertia and negative priming . In contrast to prior work emphasizing one over the other process, the findings indicate that difficulty in the FIST, and by extension other set-shifting tasks, can be attributed to both the need to shift away from the previously attended representation ( attentional inertia ), and the need to shift to the previously ignored representation ( negative priming ). Results are discussed in relation to theoretical explanations for cognitive inflexibility in adults and children.
DeWolf, Melissa; Bassok, Miriam; Holyoak, Keith J
Recent work has identified correlations between early mastery of fractions and later math achievement, especially in algebra. However, causal connections between aspects of reasoning with fractions and improved algebra performance have yet to be established. The current study investigated whether relational reasoning with fractions facilitates subsequent algebraic reasoning using both pre-algebra students and adult college students. Participants were first given either a relational reasoning fractions task or a fraction algebra procedures control task. Then, all participants solved word problems and constructed algebraic equations in either multiplication or division format. The word problems and the equation construction tasks involved simple multiplicative comparison statements such as "There are 4 times as many students as teachers in a classroom." Performance on the algebraic equation construction task was enhanced for participants who had previously completed the relational fractions task compared with those who completed the fraction algebra procedures task. This finding suggests that relational reasoning with fractions can establish a relational set that promotes students' tendency to model relations using algebraic expressions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sheremata, Summer L; Shomstein, Sarah
Successful interaction with the environment requires the ability to flexibly allocate resources to different locations in the visual field. Recent evidence suggests that visual short-term memory (VSTM) resources are distributed asymmetrically across the visual field based upon task demands. Here, we propose that context, rather than the stimulus itself, determines asymmetrical distribution of VSTM resources. To test whether context modulates the reallocation of resources to the right visual field, task set, defined by memory-load, was manipulated to influence visual short-term memory performance. Performance was measured for single-feature objects embedded within predominantly single- or two-feature memory blocks. Therefore, context was varied to determine whether task set directly predicts changes in visual field biases. In accord with the dynamic reallocation of resources hypothesis, task set, rather than aspects of the physical stimulus, drove improvements in performance in the right- visual field. Our results show, for the first time, that preparation for upcoming memory demands directly determines how resources are allocated across the visual field.
Hastings, Justine F.; Bryant, Jennifer E.
Objective. To examine pharmacy students’ ownership of, use of, and preference for using a mobile device in a practice setting. Methods. Eighty-one pharmacy students were recruited and completed a pretest that collected information about their demographics and mobile devices and also had them rank the iPhone, iPad mini, and iPad for preferred use in a pharmacy practice setting. Students used the 3 devices to perform pharmacy practice-related tasks and then completed a posttest to again rank the devices for preferred use in a pharmacy practice setting. Results. The iPhone was the most commonly owned mobile device (59.3% of students), and the iPad mini was the least commonly owned (18.5%). About 70% of the students used their mobile devices at least once a week in a pharmacy practice setting. The iPhone was the most commonly used device in a practice setting (46.9% of students), and the iPod Touch was the least commonly used device (1.2%). The iPad mini was the most preferred device for use in a pharmacy practice setting prior to performing pharmacy practice-related tasks (49.4% of students), and was preferred by significantly more students after performing the tasks (70.4%). Conclusion. Pharmacy students commonly use their mobile devices in pharmacy practice settings and most selected the iPad mini as the preferred device for use in a practice setting even though it was the device owned by the fewest students. PMID:25861103
Richard, Craig A H; Hastings, Justine F; Bryant, Jennifer E
To examine pharmacy students' ownership of, use of, and preference for using a mobile device in a practice setting. Eighty-one pharmacy students were recruited and completed a pretest that collected information about their demographics and mobile devices and also had them rank the iPhone, iPad mini, and iPad for preferred use in a pharmacy practice setting. Students used the 3 devices to perform pharmacy practice-related tasks and then completed a posttest to again rank the devices for preferred use in a pharmacy practice setting. The iPhone was the most commonly owned mobile device (59.3% of students), and the iPad mini was the least commonly owned (18.5%). About 70% of the students used their mobile devices at least once a week in a pharmacy practice setting. The iPhone was the most commonly used device in a practice setting (46.9% of students), and the iPod Touch was the least commonly used device (1.2%). The iPad mini was the most preferred device for use in a pharmacy practice setting prior to performing pharmacy practice-related tasks (49.4% of students), and was preferred by significantly more students after performing the tasks (70.4%). Pharmacy students commonly use their mobile devices in pharmacy practice settings and most selected the iPad mini as the preferred device for use in a practice setting even though it was the device owned by the fewest students.
Booren, Leslie M; Downer, Jason T; Vitiello, Virginia E
This descriptive study examined classroom activity settings in relation to children's observed behavior during classroom interactions, child gender, and basic teacher behavior within the preschool classroom. 145 children were observed for an average of 80 minutes during 8 occasions across 2 days using the inCLASS, an observational measure that conceptualizes behavior into teacher, peer, task, and conflict interactions. Findings indicated that on average children's interactions with teachers were higher in teacher-structured settings, such as large group. On average, children's interactions with peers and tasks were more positive in child-directed settings, such as free choice. Children experienced more conflict during recess and routines/transitions. Finally, gender differences were observed within small group and meals. The implications of these findings might encourage teachers to be thoughtful and intentional about what types of support and resources are provided so children can successfully navigate the demands of particular settings. These findings are not meant to discourage certain teacher behaviors or imply value of certain classroom settings; instead, by providing an evidenced-based picture of the conditions under which children display the most positive interactions, teachers can be more aware of choices within these settings and have a powerful way to assist in professional development and interventions.
Booren, Leslie M.; Downer, Jason T.; Vitiello, Virginia E.
This descriptive study examined classroom activity settings in relation to children’s observed behavior during classroom interactions, child gender, and basic teacher behavior within the preschool classroom. 145 children were observed for an average of 80 minutes during 8 occasions across 2 days using the inCLASS, an observational measure that conceptualizes behavior into teacher, peer, task, and conflict interactions. Findings indicated that on average children’s interactions with teachers were higher in teacher-structured settings, such as large group. On average, children’s interactions with peers and tasks were more positive in child-directed settings, such as free choice. Children experienced more conflict during recess and routines/transitions. Finally, gender differences were observed within small group and meals. The implications of these findings might encourage teachers to be thoughtful and intentional about what types of support and resources are provided so children can successfully navigate the demands of particular settings. These findings are not meant to discourage certain teacher behaviors or imply value of certain classroom settings; instead, by providing an evidenced-based picture of the conditions under which children display the most positive interactions, teachers can be more aware of choices within these settings and have a powerful way to assist in professional development and interventions. PMID:25717282
This final report has been prepared by Honeywell Engines & Systems, Phoenix, Arizona, a unit of Honeywell International Inc., documenting work performed during the period June 1999 through December 1999 for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, under the Small Engine Technology (SET) Program, Contract No. NAS3-27483, Task Order 24, Business and Regional Aircraft System Studies. The work performed under SET Task 24 consisted of evaluating the noise reduction benefits compared to the baseline noise levels of representative 1992 technology aircraft, obtained by applying different combinations of noise reduction technologies to five business and regional aircraft configurations. This report focuses on the selection of the aircraft configurations and noise reduction technologies, the prediction of noise levels for those aircraft, and the comparison of the noise levels with those of the baseline aircraft.
Booren, Leslie M.; Downer, Jason T.; Vitiello, Virginia E.
This descriptive study examined classroom activity settings in relation to children’s observed behavior during classroom interactions, child gender, and basic teacher behavior within the preschool classroom. 145 children were observed for an average of 80 minutes during 8 occasions across 2 days using the inCLASS, an observational measure that conceptualizes behavior into teacher, peer, task, and conflict interactions. Findings indicated that on average children’s interactions with teachers w...
Aggelopoulos, Nikolaos C
Perceptual inference refers to the ability to infer sensory stimuli from predictions that result from internal neural representations built through prior experience. Methods of Bayesian statistical inference and decision theory model cognition adequately by using error sensing either in guiding action or in "generative" models that predict the sensory information. In this framework, perception can be seen as a process qualitatively distinct from sensation, a process of information evaluation using previously acquired and stored representations (memories) that is guided by sensory feedback. The stored representations can be utilised as internal models of sensory stimuli enabling long term associations, for example in operant conditioning. Evidence for perceptual inference is contributed by such phenomena as the cortical co-localisation of object perception with object memory, the response invariance in the responses of some neurons to variations in the stimulus, as well as from situations in which perception can be dissociated from sensation. In the context of perceptual inference, sensory areas of the cerebral cortex that have been facilitated by a priming signal may be regarded as comparators in a closed feedback loop, similar to the better known motor reflexes in the sensorimotor system. The adult cerebral cortex can be regarded as similar to a servomechanism, in using sensory feedback to correct internal models, producing predictions of the outside world on the basis of past experience. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Amitay, Sygal; Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Jones, Pete R; Moore, David R
Perceptual learning has traditionally been portrayed as a bottom-up phenomenon that improves encoding or decoding of the trained stimulus. Cognitive skills such as attention and memory are thought to drive, guide and modulate learning but are, with notable exceptions, not generally considered to undergo changes themselves as a result of training with simple perceptual tasks. Moreover, shifts in threshold are interpreted as shifts in perceptual sensitivity, with no consideration for non-sensory factors (such as response bias) that may contribute to these changes. Accumulating evidence from our own research and others shows that perceptual learning is a conglomeration of effects, with training-induced changes ranging from the lowest (noise reduction in the phase locking of auditory signals) to the highest (working memory capacity) level of processing, and includes contributions from non-sensory factors that affect decision making even on a "simple" auditory task such as frequency discrimination. We discuss our emerging view of learning as a process that increases the signal-to-noise ratio associated with perceptual tasks by tackling noise sources and inefficiencies that cause performance bottlenecks, and present some implications for training populations other than young, smart, attentive and highly-motivated college students. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Pontoppidan, Birgitte; Nielsen, Birgitte Lund
. The small groups gave the student teachers the opportunity to get on a level with the school students. They also refer to the iterative dimension and the importance of formative assessment. Based on the evaluative criteria it may be concluded that the two examples are successful models for authentic......Professional development schools (PDS) have been a source of inspiration for a new approach at the teacher education in Aarhus (DK). The importance of student teachers’ inquiries in authentic settings is in line with various research-based approaches to educating (science) teachers. The purpose...... for an authentic instructional task, are presented. Ten students were asked to describe their experiences of working with these tasks during repeated interviews. They refer to concrete examples of school students’ activities and/or learning when reflecting on their own learning and to dialogue with school students...
Grandison, Alexandra; Sowden, Paul T; Drivonikou, Vicky G; Notman, Leslie A; Alexander, Iona; Davies, Ian R L
Perceptual learning involves an improvement in perceptual judgment with practice, which is often specific to stimulus or task factors. Perceptual learning has been shown on a range of visual tasks but very little research has explored chromatic perceptual learning. Here, we use two low level perceptual threshold tasks and a supra-threshold target detection task to assess chromatic perceptual learning and category effects. Experiment 1 investigates whether chromatic thresholds reduce as a result of training and at what level of analysis learning effects occur. Experiment 2 explores the effect of category training on chromatic thresholds, whether training of this nature is category specific and whether it can induce categorical responding. Experiment 3 investigates the effect of category training on a higher level, lateralized target detection task, previously found to be sensitive to category effects. The findings indicate that performance on a perceptual threshold task improves following training but improvements do not transfer across retinal location or hue. Therefore, chromatic perceptual learning is category specific and can occur at relatively early stages of visual analysis. Additionally, category training does not induce category effects on a low level perceptual threshold task, as indicated by comparable discrimination thresholds at the newly learned hue boundary and adjacent test points. However, category training does induce emerging category effects on a supra-threshold target detection task. Whilst chromatic perceptual learning is possible, learnt category effects appear to be a product of left hemisphere processing, and may require the input of higher level linguistic coding processes in order to manifest.
Puffitsch, Wolfgang; Noulard, Eric; Pagetti, Claire
This paper presents an approach to execute safety-critical applications on multi- and many-core processors in a predictable manner. We investigate three concrete platforms: the Intel Single-chip Cloud Computer, the Texas Instruments TMS320C6678 and the Tilera TILEmpower-Gx36. We define an execution...... model to safely execute dependent periodic task sets on these platforms. The four rules of the execution model entail that an off-line mapping of the application to the platform must be computed. The paper details our approach to automatically compute a valid mapping. Furthermore, we evaluate our...
Adult age differences in task switching and advance preparation were examined by comparing cue-based and memory-based switching conditions. Task switching was assessed by determining two types of costs that occur at the general (mixing costs) and specific (switching costs) level of switching. Advance preparation was investigated by varying the time interval until the next task (short, middle, very long). Results indicated that the implementation of task sets was different for cue-based switching with random task sequences and memory-based switching with predictable task sequences. Switching costs were strongly reduced under cue-based switching conditions, indicating that task-set cues facilitate the retrieval of the next task. Age differences were found for mixing costs and for switching costs only under cue-based conditions in which older adults showed smaller switching costs than younger adults. It is suggested that older adults adopt a less extreme bias between two tasks than younger adults in situations associated with uncertainty. For cue-based switching with random task sequences, older adults are less engaged in a complete reconfiguration of task sets because of the probability of a further task change. Furthermore, the reduction of switching costs was more pronounced for cue- than memory-based switching for short preparation intervals, whereas the reduction of switch costs was more pronounced for memory- than cue-based switching for longer preparation intervals at least for older adults. Together these findings suggest that the implementation of task sets is functionally different for the two types of task-switching conditions.
Tang, Rixin; Zhu, Hong
There are many differences between the left hand and the right hand. But it is not clear if there is a difference in programming between left hand and right hand when the hands perform the same movement. In current study, we carried out two experiments to investigate whether the programming of two hands was equivalent or they exploited different strategies. In the first experiment, participants were required to use one hand to grasp an object with visual feedback or to point to the center of one object without visual feedback on alternate trials, or to grasp an object without visual feedback and to point the center of one object with visual feedback on alternating trials. They then performed the tasks with the other hand. The result was that previous pointing task affected current grasping when it was performed by the left hand, but not the right hand. In experiment 2, we studied if the programming of the left (or right) hand would be affected by the pointing task performed on the previous trial not only by the same hand, but also by the right (or left) hand. Participants pointed and grasped the objects alternately with two hands. The result was similar with Experiment 1, i.e., left-hand grasping was affected by right-hand pointing, whereas right-hand grasping was immune from the interference from left hand. Taken together, the results suggest that when open- and closed-loop trials are interleaved, motor programming of grasping with the right hand was affected by the nature of the online feedback on the previous trial only if it was a grasping trial, suggesting that the trial-to-trial transfer depends on sensorimotor memory and not on task set. In contrast, motor programming of grasping with the left hand can use information about the nature of the online feedback on the previous trial to specify the parameters of the movement, even when the type of movement that occurred was quite different (i.e., pointing) and was performed with the right hand. This suggests that
Haarman, Juliet A M; Choi, Julia T; Buurke, Jaap H; Rietman, Johan S; Reenalda, Jasper
Visual cues can be used to train walking patterns. Here, we studied the performance and learning capacities of healthy subjects executing a high-precision visuomotor walking task, in an augmented reality training set-up. A beamer was used to project visual stepping targets on the walking surface of an instrumented treadmill. Two speeds were used to manipulate task difficulty. All participants (n = 20) had to change their step length to hit visual stepping targets with a specific part of their foot, while walking on a treadmill over seven consecutive training blocks, each block composed of 100 stepping targets. Distance between stepping targets was varied between short, medium and long steps. Training blocks could either be composed of random stepping targets (no fixed sequence was present in the distance between the stepping targets) or sequenced stepping targets (repeating fixed sequence was present). Random training blocks were used to measure non-specific learning and sequenced training blocks were used to measure sequence-specific learning. Primary outcome measures were performance (% of correct hits), and learning effects (increase in performance over the training blocks: both sequence-specific and non-specific). Secondary outcome measures were the performance and stepping-error in relation to the step length (distance between stepping target). Subjects were able to score 76% and 54% at first try for lower speed (2.3 km/h) and higher speed (3.3 km/h) trials, respectively. Performance scores did not increase over the course of the trials, nor did the subjects show the ability to learn a sequenced walking task. Subjects were better able to hit targets while increasing their step length, compared to shortening it. In conclusion, augmented reality training by use of the current set-up was intuitive for the user. Suboptimal feedback presentation might have limited the learning effects of the subjects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Cosman, Joshua D; Vecera, Shaun P
Attentional capture by abrupt onsets can be modulated by several factors, including the complexity, or perceptual load, of a scene. We have recently demonstrated that observers are less likely to be captured by abruptly appearing, task-irrelevant stimuli when they perform a search that is high, as opposed to low, in perceptual load (Cosman & Vecera, 2009), consistent with perceptual load theory. However, recent results indicate that onset frequency can influence stimulus-driven capture, with infrequent onsets capturing attention more often than did frequent onsets. Importantly, in our previous task, an abrupt onset was present on every trial, and consequently, attentional capture might have been affected by both onset frequency and perceptual load. In the present experiment, we examined whether onset frequency influences attentional capture under conditions of high perceptual load. When onsets were presented frequently, we replicated our earlier results; attentional capture by onsets was modulated under conditions of high perceptual load. Importantly, however, when onsets were presented infrequently, we observed robust capture effects. These results conflict with a strong form of load theory and, instead, suggest that exposure to the elements of a task (e.g., abrupt onsets) combines with high perceptual load to modulate attentional capture by task-irrelevant information.
Khalid, Abdul Jabbar; Harris, Sujae Ian; Michael, Loke; Joseph, Hamill; Qu, Xingda
This study investigated whether neuromuscular fatigue affects the neuromuscular control of an athlete within a sports context setting and whether these effects were more pronounced in the females. Lower limb joint kinetics of 6 male and 6 female inter-varsity soccer players performing side-stepping tasks in non-fatigue versus fatigue and anticipated versus unanticipated conditions were quantified using 10 Motion Analysis Corporation cameras and a Kistler(™) force platform. The Yo-Yo intermittent recovery Level 1 fatigue protocol was employed. Stance foot initial contact and peak forces, and peak joint knee moments of the lower limb were submitted to a 3-way mixed-model repeated measure ANOVA. The results suggested that males tend to elicit significantly higher knee joint loadings when fatigued. In addition, males elicited significantly higher peak proximal tibia anterior/posterior shear force, vertical ground reaction force at initial contact and peak internal rotational moments than females. These findings suggested that males were at greater overall injury risk than females, especially in the sagittal plane. Neuromuscular control-based training programmes/interventions that are designed to reduce the risk of the non-contact ACL injury need to be customised for the different genders.
Meiran, Nachshon; Friedman, Gilad; Yehene, Eynat
Ten Parkinson's Disease (PD) patients and 10 control participants were tested using a task-switching paradigm in which there was a random task sequence, and the task was cued in every trial. Five PD patients showed a unique error profile. Their performance approximated guessing when accuracy was dependent on correct task identification, and was…
Murphy, Sandra; Spence, Charles; Dalton, Polly
Selective attention is a crucial mechanism in everyday life, allowing us to focus on a portion of incoming sensory information at the expense of other less relevant stimuli. The circumstances under which irrelevant stimuli are successfully ignored have been a topic of scientific interest for several decades now. Over the last 20 years, the perceptual load theory (e.g. Lavie, 1995) has provided one robust framework for understanding these effects within the visual modality. The suggestion is that successful selection depends on the perceptual demands imposed by the task-relevant information. However, less research has addressed the question of whether the same principles hold in audition and, to date, the existing literature provides a mixed picture. Here, we review the evidence for and against the applicability of perceptual load theory in hearing, concluding that this question still awaits resolution. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Normand, Alice; Autin, Frédérique; Croizet, Jean-Claude
Perceptual load has been found to be a powerful bottom-up determinant of distractibility, with high perceptual load preventing distraction by any irrelevant information. However, when under evaluative pressure, individuals exert top-down attentional control by giving greater weight to task-relevant features, making them more distractible from task-relevant distractors. One study tested whether the top-down modulation of attention under evaluative pressure overcomes the beneficial bottom-up effect of high perceptual load on distraction. Using a response-competition task, we replicated previous findings that high levels of perceptual load suppress task-relevant distractor response interference, but only for participants in a control condition. Participants under evaluative pressure (i.e., who believed their intelligence was assessed) showed interference from task-relevant distractor at all levels of perceptual load. This research challenges the assumptions of the perceptual load theory and sheds light on a neglected determinant of distractibility: the self-relevance of the performance situation in which attentional control is solicited.
Kambarami, Rukundo A; Mbuya, Mduduzi Nn; Pelletier, David; Fundira, Dadirai; Tavengwa, Naume V; Stoltzfus, Rebecca J
Zimbabwe, like most low-income countries, faces health worker shortages. Community health workers (CHWs) bridge this gap by delivering essential health services and nutrition interventions to communities. However, as workloads increase, CHWs' ability to provide quality services may be compromised. We studied influences upon CHWs' performance related to pregnancy surveillance and nutrition and hygiene education in rural Zimbabwe. In the context of a cluster-randomized trial conducted in 2 rural districts between November 2012 and March 2015, 342 government-employed CHWs identified and referred pregnant women for early antenatal care and delivered household-level behavior change lessons about infant feeding and hygiene to more than 5,000 women. In 2013, we conducted a survey among 322 of the CHWs to assess the association between demographic and work characteristics and task performance. Exploratory factor analyses of the Likert-type survey questions produced 8 distinct and reliable constructs of job satisfaction and motivation, supervision, peer support, and feedback (Cronbach α range, 0.68 to 0.92). Pregnancy surveillance performance was assessed from pregnancy referrals, and nutrition and hygiene education performance was assessed by taking the average summative score (range, 5 to 30) of lesson delivery observations completed by a nurse supervisor using a 6-item Likert-type checklist. Poisson and multiple linear regressions were used to test associations between CHW demographic and work characteristics and performance. CHWs who referred more pregnant women were female, unmarried, under 40 years old, from larger households, and of longer tenure. They also perceived work resources to be adequate and received positive feedback from supervisors and the community, but they were less satisfied with remuneration. CHWs with high scores on behavior change lesson delivery were from smaller households, and they received more supportive supervision but less operational
Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Schmid, Simone
In two experiments, we transferred perceptual load theory to the dynamic field of team sports and tested the predictions derived from the theory using a novel task and stimuli. We tested a group of college students (N = 33) and a group of expert team sport players (N = 32) on a general perceptual load task and a complex, soccer-specific perceptual load task in order to extend the understanding of the applicability of perceptual load theory and further investigate whether distractor interference may differ between the groups, as the sport-specific processing task may not exhaust the processing capacity of the expert participants. In both, the general and the specific task, the pattern of results supported perceptual load theory and demonstrates that the predictions of the theory also transfer to more complex, unstructured situations. Further, perceptual load was the only determinant of distractor processing, as we neither found expertise effects in the general perceptual load task nor the sport-specific task. We discuss the heuristic utility of using response-competition paradigms for studying both general and domain-specific perceptual-cognitive adaptations.
Gore, Brian Francis; Hooey, Becky Lee; Haan, Nancy; Socash, Connie; Mahlstedt, Eric; Foyle, David C.
The Closely Spaced Parallel Operations (CSPO) scenario is a complex, human performance model scenario that tested alternate operator roles and responsibilities to a series of off-nominal operations on approach and landing (see Gore, Hooey, Mahlstedt, Foyle, 2013). The model links together the procedures, equipment, crewstation, and external environment to produce predictions of operator performance in response to Next Generation system designs, like those expected in the National Airspaces NextGen concepts. The task analysis that is contained in the present report comes from the task analysis window in the MIDAS software. These tasks link definitions and states for equipment components, environmental features as well as operational contexts. The current task analysis culminated in 3300 tasks that included over 1000 Subject Matter Expert (SME)-vetted, re-usable procedural sets for three critical phases of flight; the Descent, Approach, and Land procedural sets (see Gore et al., 2011 for a description of the development of the tasks included in the model; Gore, Hooey, Mahlstedt, Foyle, 2013 for a description of the model, and its results; Hooey, Gore, Mahlstedt, Foyle, 2013 for a description of the guidelines that were generated from the models results; Gore, Hooey, Foyle, 2012 for a description of the models implementation and its settings). The rollout, after landing checks, taxi to gate and arrive at gate illustrated in Figure 1 were not used in the approach and divert scenarios exercised. The other networks in Figure 1 set up appropriate context settings for the flight deck.The current report presents the models task decomposition from the tophighest level and decomposes it to finer-grained levels. The first task that is completed by the model is to set all of the initial settings for the scenario runs included in the model (network 75 in Figure 1). This initialization process also resets the CAD graphic files contained with MIDAS, as well as the embedded
Cartwright-Finch, Ula; Lavie, Nilli
Perceptual load theory offers a resolution to the long-standing early vs. late selection debate over whether task-irrelevant stimuli are perceived, suggesting that irrelevant perception depends upon the perceptual load of task-relevant processing. However, previous evidence for this theory has relied on RTs and neuroimaging. Here we tested the…
Nikiforuk, Agnieszka; Gołembiowska, Krystyna; Popik, Piotr
Cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia await an effective treatment. In order to model schizophrenia-like cognitive deficits in rats, we evaluated the effects of ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic NMDA/glutamate receptor channel blocker in the attentional set-shifting task (ASST). Acute administration of ketamine (10 but not 3mg/kg) selectively impaired solving of the extradimensional (ED) set-shifting component. Next, we investigated whether the co-administration of mazindol, a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor would protect rats from ketamine-induced deficits. Mazindol dose-dependently and selectively alleviated ketamine-induced ED deficit with a minimal effective dose of 0.5mg/kg. The ED component improvement was noted primarily in ketamine - but not in vehicle co-treated rats, in which the drug facilitated ED shift solving at the dose as high as 5mg/kg. A "positive control", sertindole (2.5mg/kg) also ameliorated ketamine-induced ED deficit. Microdialysis of the prefrontal cortex in a separate group of animals revealed that 2-3h after the administration of 5mg/kg of mazindol and ketamine (i.e., at the time of ED component solving), the extracellular concentrations of dopamine were enhanced by ~300% as compared to the baseline and were intermediate between the mazindol- and ketamine-treated reference groups. However, at that time the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin and glutamate appeared unaffected. We conclude that ketamine may be useful in mimicking deficits specifically related to cognitive inflexibility observed in schizophrenia, and suggest that these anomalies could be ameliorated by mazindol. The beneficial effects of mazindol on ASST performance may have therapeutic implications for the treatment of schizophrenia.
Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush
This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the level of perceptual processing required to complete them. Adults and children demonstrated visual speech influence at all levels of perceptual processing. Whereas children demonstrated the same visual speech influence at each level of perceptual processing, adults demonstrated greater visual speech influence on tasks requiring higher levels of perceptual processing. These results support previous research demonstrating multiple mechanisms of AV speech processing (general perceptual and speech-specific mechanisms) with independent maturational time courses. The results suggest that adults rely on both general perceptual mechanisms that apply to all levels of perceptual processing and speech-specific mechanisms that apply when making phonetic decisions and/or accessing the lexicon. Six- to eight-year-old children seem to rely only on general perceptual mechanisms across levels. As expected, developmental differences in AV benefit on this and other recognition tasks likely reflect immature speech-specific mechanisms and phonetic processing in children.
Janssen, Christian P; Brumby, Duncan P
How do people interleave attention when multitasking? One dominant account is that the completion of a subtask serves as a cue to switch tasks. But what happens if switching solely at subtask boundaries led to poor performance? We report a study in which participants manually dialed a UK-style telephone number while driving a simulated vehicle. If the driver were to exclusively return his or her attention to driving after completing a subtask (i.e., using the single break in the xxxxx-xxxxxx representational structure of the number), then we would expect to see a relatively poor driving performance. In contrast, our results show that drivers choose to return attention to steering control before the natural subtask boundary. A computational modeling analysis shows that drivers had to adopt this strategy to meet the required performance objective of maintaining an acceptable lateral position in the road while dialing. Taken together these results support the idea that people can strategically control the allocation of attention in multitask settings to meet specific performance criteria. Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Deiber, Marie-Pierre; Missonnier, Pascal; Bertrand, Olivier; Gold, Gabriel; Fazio-Costa, Lara; Ibañez, Vicente; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon
Working memory involves the short-term storage and manipulation of information necessary for cognitive performance, including comprehension, learning, reasoning and planning. Although electroencephalogram (EEG) rhythms are modulated during working memory, the temporal relationship of EEG oscillations with the eliciting event has not been well studied. In particular, the dynamics of the neural network supporting memory processes may be best captured in induced oscillations, characterized by a loose temporal link with the stimulus. In order to differentiate induced from evoked functional processes, the present study proposes a time-frequency analysis of the 3 to 30 Hz EEG oscillatory activity in a verbal n-back working memory paradigm. Control tasks were designed to identify oscillatory activity related to stimulus presentation (passive task) and focused attention to the stimulus (detection task). Evoked theta activity (4-8 Hz) phase-locked to the visual stimulus was evidenced in the parieto-occipital region for all tasks. In parallel, induced theta activity was recorded in the frontal region for detection and n-back memory tasks, but not for the passive task, suggesting its dependency on focused attention to the stimulus. Sustained induced oscillatory activity was identified in relation to working memory in the theta and beta (15-25 Hz) frequency bands, larger for the highest memory load. Its late occurrence limited to nonmatched items suggests that it could be related to item retention and active maintenance for further task requirements. Induced theta and beta activities displayed respectively a frontal and parietal topographical distribution, providing further functional information on the fronto-posterior network supporting working memory.
Heath, Steve M.; Bishop, Dorothy V. M.; Hogben, John H.; Roach, Neil W.
An influential causal theory attributes dyslexia to visual and/or auditory perceptual deficits. This theory derives from group differences between individuals with dyslexia and controls on a range of psychophysical tasks, but there is substantial variation, both between individuals within a group and from task to task. We addressed two questions. First, do psychophysical measures have sufficient reliability to assess perceptual deficits in individuals? Second, do different psychophysical task...
McCann, Robert S.; Foyle, David C.; Johnston, James C.; Hart, Sandra G. (Technical Monitor)
Previous work using Head-Up Displays (HUDs) suggests that the visual system parses the HUD and the outside world into distinct perceptual groups, with attention deployed sequentially to first one group and then the other. New experiments show that both groups can be processed in parallel in a divided attention search task, even though subjects have just processed a stimulus in one perceptual group or the other. Implications for models of visual attention will be discussed.
Holtzer-Goor Kim M
Full Text Available Abstract Background Healthcare systems are challenged by a demand that exceeds available resources. One policy to meet this challenge is task substitution-transferring tasks to other professions and settings. Our study aimed to explore stakeholders’ perceived feasibility of transferring hospital-based monitoring of stable glaucoma patients to primary care optometrists. Methods A case study was undertaken in the Rotterdam Eye Hospital (REH using semi-structured interviews and document reviews. They were inductively analysed using three implementation related theoretical perspectives: sociological theories on professionalism, management theories, and applied political analysis. Results Currently it is not feasible to use primary care optometrists as substitutes for optometrists and ophthalmic technicians working in a hospital-based glaucoma follow-up unit (GFU. Respondents’ narratives revealed that: the glaucoma specialists’ sense of urgency for task substitution outside the hospital diminished after establishing a GFU that satisfied their professionalization needs; the return on investments were unclear; and reluctant key stakeholders with strong power positions blocked implementation. The window of opportunity that existed for task substitution in person and setting in 1999 closed with the institutionalization of the GFU. Conclusions Transferring the monitoring of stable glaucoma patients to primary care optometrists in Rotterdam did not seem feasible. The main reasons were the lack of agreement on professional boundaries and work domains, the institutionalization of the GFU in the REH, and the absence of an appropriate reimbursement system. Policy makers considering substituting tasks to other professionals should carefully think about the implementation process, especially in a two-step implementation process (substitution in person and in setting such as this case. Involving the substituting professionals early on to ensure all
Miyatani, Makoto; Sakata, Sumiko
This study investigated the effects of display set size and its variability on the event-related potentials (ERPs) during a visual search task. In Experiment 1, subjects were required to respond if a visual display, which consisted of two, four, or six alphabets, contained one of two members of memory set. In Experiment 2, subjects detected the change of the shape of a fixation stimulus, which was surrounded by the same alphabets as in Experiment 1. In the search task (Experiment 1), the incr...
Hoeft, Theresa J; Fortney, John C; Patel, Vikram; Unützer, Jürgen
Rural areas persistently face a shortage of mental health specialists. Task shifting, or task sharing, is an approach in global mental health that may help address unmet mental health needs in rural and other low-resource areas. This review focuses on task-shifting approaches and highlights future directions for research in this area. Systematic review on task sharing of mental health care in rural areas of high-income countries included: (1) PubMed, (2) gray literature for innovations not yet published in peer-reviewed journals, and (3) outreach to experts for additional articles. We included English language articles published before August 31, 2013, on interventions sharing mental health care tasks across a team in rural settings. We excluded literature: (1) from low- and middle-income countries, (2) involving direct transfer of care to another provider, and (3) describing clinical guidelines and shared decision-making tools. The review identified approaches to task sharing focused mainly on community health workers and primary care providers. Technology was identified as a way to leverage mental health specialists to support care across settings both within primary care and out in the community. The review also highlighted how provider education, supervision, and partnerships with local communities can support task sharing. Challenges, such as confidentiality, are often not addressed in the literature. Approaches to task sharing may improve reach and effectiveness of mental health care in rural and other low-resource settings, though important questions remain. We recommend promising research directions to address these questions. © 2017 National Rural Health Association.
Sy, Jocelyn L.; Guerin, Scott A.; Stegman, Anna; Giesbrecht, Barry
The load theory of visual attention proposes that efficient selective perceptual processing of task-relevant information during search is determined automatically by the perceptual demands of the display. If the perceptual demands required to process task-relevant information are not enough to consume all available capacity, then the remaining capacity automatically and exhaustively “spills-over” to task-irrelevant information. The spill-over of perceptual processing capacity increases the likelihood that task-irrelevant information will impair performance. In two visual search experiments, we tested the automaticity of the allocation of perceptual processing resources by measuring the extent to which the processing of task-irrelevant distracting stimuli was modulated by both perceptual load and top-down expectations using behavior, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and electrophysiology. Expectations were generated using a trial-by-trial cue that provided information about the likely load of the upcoming visual search task. When the cues were valid, behavioral interference was eliminated and the influence of load on frontoparietal and visual cortical responses was attenuated relative to when the cues were invalid. In conditions in which task-irrelevant information interfered with performance and modulated visual activity, individual differences in mean blood oxygenation level dependent responses measured from the left intraparietal sulcus were negatively correlated with individual differences in the severity of distraction. These results are consistent with the interpretation that a top-down biasing mechanism interacts with perceptual load to support filtering of task-irrelevant information. PMID:24904374
Jocelyn L Sy
Full Text Available The load theory of visual attention proposes that efficient selective perceptual processing of task-relevant information during search is determined automatically by the perceptual demands of the display. If the perceptual demands required to process task-relevant information are not enough to consume all available capacity, then the remaining capacity automatically and exhaustively spills-over to task-irrelevant information. The spill-over of perceptual processing capacity increases the likelihood that task-irrelevant information will impair performance. In two visual search experiments, we tested the automaticity of the allocation of perceptual processing resources by measuring the extent to which the processing of task-irrelevant distracting stimuli was modulated by both perceptual load and top-down expectations using behavior, fMRI, and electrophysiology. Expectations were generated by a trial-by-trial cue that provided information about the likely load of the upcoming visual search task. When the cues were valid, behavioral interference was eliminated and the influence of load on frontoparietal and visual cortical responses was attenuated relative to when the cues were invalid. In conditions in which task-irrelevant information interfered with performance and modulated visual activity, individual differences in mean BOLD responses measured from the left intraparietal sulcus were negatively correlated with individual differences in the severity of distraction. These results are consistent with the interpretation that a top-down biasing mechanism interacts with perceptual load to support filtering of task-irrelevant information.
Peters, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph; Rieder, Maria; Kaiser, Jochen
Processing of auditory spatial and non-spatial information in working memory has been shown to rely on separate cortical systems. While previous studies have demonstrated differences in spatial versus non-spatial processing from the encoding of to-be-remembered stimuli onwards, here we investigated whether such differences would be detectable already prior to presentation of the sample stimulus. We analyzed broad-band magnetoencephalography data from 15 healthy adults during an auditory working memory paradigm starting with a visual cue indicating the task-relevant stimulus feature for a given trial (lateralization or pitch) and a subsequent 1.5-s pre-encoding phase. This was followed by a sample sound (0.2s), the delay phase (0.8s) and a test stimulus (0.2s) after which participants made a match/non-match decision. Linear discriminant functions were trained to decode task-specific signal patterns throughout the task, and temporal generalization was used to assess whether the neural codes discriminating between the tasks during the pre-encoding phase would recur during later task periods. The spatial versus non-spatial tasks could indeed be discriminated after the onset of the cue onwards, and decoders trained during the pre-encoding phase successfully discriminated the tasks during both sample stimulus encoding and during the delay phase. This demonstrates that task-specific neural codes are established already before the memorandum is presented and that the same patterns are reestablished during stimulus encoding and maintenance. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Cady, Rhonda G; Finkelstein, Stanley M
Incorporating telehealth into outpatient care delivery supports management of consumer health between clinic visits. Task-technology fit is a framework for understanding how technology helps and/or hinders a person during work processes. Evaluating the task-technology fit of video telehealth for personnel working in a pediatric outpatient clinic and providing care between clinic visits ensures the information provided matches the information needed to support work processes. The workflow of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) care coordination provided via telephone and video telehealth was described and measured using a mixed-methods workflow analysis protocol that incorporated cognitive ethnography and time-motion study. Qualitative and quantitative results were merged and analyzed within the task-technology fit framework to determine the workflow fit of video telehealth for APRN care coordination. Incorporating video telehealth into APRN care coordination workflow provided visual information unavailable during telephone interactions. Despite additional tasks and interactions needed to obtain the visual information, APRN workflow efficiency, as measured by time, was not significantly changed. Analyzed within the task-technology fit framework, the increased visual information afforded by video telehealth supported the assessment and diagnostic information needs of the APRN. Telehealth must provide the right information to the right clinician at the right time. Evaluating task-technology fit using a mixed-methods protocol ensured rigorous analysis of fit within work processes and identified workflows that benefit most from the technology.
Tittelbach, Danielle; DeAngelis, Maureen; Sturmey, Peter; Alvero, Alicia M.
This study evaluated the effects of feedback, task clarification and goal-setting on office behaviors and customer service of ten undergraduate participants that served as university advisors. A multiple baseline design was implemented across three target behaviors: client greeting, front-desk behaviors, and punctuality. During intervention the…
Eimer, Martin; Kiss, Monika; Press, Clare; Sauter, Disa
We investigated the roles of top-down task set and bottom-up stimulus salience for feature-specific attentional capture. Spatially nonpredictive cues preceded search arrays that included a color-defined target. For target-color singleton cues, behavioral spatial cueing effects were accompanied by cue-induced N2pc components, indicative of…
Saha, Gouranga Chandra
Very often a number of factors, especially time, space and money, deter many science educators from using inquiry-based, hands-on, laboratory practical tasks as alternative assessment instruments in science. A shortage of valid inquiry-based laboratory tasks for high school biology has been cited. Driven by this need, this study addressed the following three research questions: (1) How can laboratory-based performance tasks be designed and developed that are doable by students for whom they are designed/written? (2) Do student responses to the laboratory-based performance tasks validly represent at least some of the intended process skills that new biology learning goals want students to acquire? (3) Are the laboratory-based performance tasks psychometrically consistent as individual tasks and as a set? To answer these questions, three tasks were used from the six biology tasks initially designed and developed by an iterative process of trial testing. Analyses of data from 224 students showed that performance-based laboratory tasks that are doable by all students require careful and iterative process of development. Although the students demonstrated more skill in performing than planning and reasoning, their performances at the item level were very poor for some items. Possible reasons for the poor performances have been discussed and suggestions on how to remediate the deficiencies have been made. Empirical evidences for validity and reliability of the instrument have been presented both from the classical and the modern validity criteria point of view. Limitations of the study have been identified. Finally implications of the study and directions for further research have been discussed.
Fleming, Stephen M; Whiteley, Louise Emma; Hulme, Oliver James
Perceptual judgments are often biased by prospective losses, leading to changes in decision criteria. Little is known about how and where sensory evidence and cost information interact in the brain to influence perceptual categorization. Here we show that prospective losses systematically bias...... functions enact a particular task set that is communicated to visual regions. Across subjects, greater shifts in decision criteria were associated with greater activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Our results support a hypothesis that costs bias an intermediate representation between...... perception and action, expressed via general effects on frontal cortex, and selective effects on extrastriate cortex. These findings indicate that asymmetric costs may affect a neural implementation of perceptual decision making in a similar manner to changes in category expectation, constituting a step...
Sun, Sai; Yu, Rongjun; Wang, Shuo
People often make perceptual decisions with ambiguous information, but it remains unclear whether the brain has a common neural substrate that encodes various forms of perceptual ambiguity. Here, we used three types of perceptually ambiguous stimuli as well as task instructions to examine the neural basis for both stimulus-driven and task-driven perceptual ambiguity. We identified a neural signature, the late positive potential (LPP), that encoded a general form of stimulus-driven perceptual ambiguity. In addition to stimulus-driven ambiguity, the LPP was also modulated by ambiguity in task instructions. To further specify the functional role of the LPP and elucidate the relationship between stimulus ambiguity, behavioral response, and the LPP, we employed regression models and found that the LPP was specifically associated with response latency and confidence rating, suggesting that the LPP encoded decisions under perceptual ambiguity. Finally, direct behavioral ratings of stimulus and task ambiguity confirmed our neurophysiological findings, which could not be attributed to differences in eye movements either. Together, our findings argue for a common neural signature that encodes decisions under perceptual ambiguity but is subject to the modulation of task ambiguity. Our results represent an essential first step toward a complete neural understanding of human perceptual decision making.
Gilbert, Charles D; Li, Wu; Piech, Valentin
The visual cortex retains the capacity for experience-dependent changes, or plasticity, of cortical function and cortical circuitry, throughout life. These changes constitute the mechanism of perceptual learning in normal visual experience and in recovery of function after CNS damage. Such plasticity can be seen at multiple stages in the visual pathway, including primary visual cortex. The manifestation of the functional changes associated with perceptual learning involve both long term modification of cortical circuits during the course of learning, and short term dynamics in the functional properties of cortical neurons. These dynamics are subject to top-down influences of attention, expectation and perceptual task. As a consequence, each cortical area is an adaptive processor, altering its function in accordance to immediate perceptual demands.
Calvillo, Dustin P; Jackson, Russell E
Inattentional blindness is the failure to notice unexpected objects in a visual scene while engaging in an attention-demanding task. We examined the effects of animacy and perceptual load on inattentional blindness. Participants searched for a category exemplar under low or high perceptual load. On the last trial, the participants were exposed to an unexpected object that was either animate or inanimate. Unexpected objects were detected more frequently when they were animate rather than inanimate, and more frequently with low than with high perceptual loads. We also measured working memory capacity and found that it predicted the detection of unexpected objects, but only with high perceptual loads. The results are consistent with the animate-monitoring hypothesis, which suggests that animate objects capture attention because of the importance of the detection of animate objects in ancestral hunter-gatherer environments.
Heuvel, van den M.M.H.P.; Bril, R.J.; Lukkien, J.J.; Isovic, D.; Sankar Ramachandran, G.
Many embedded systems have complex timing constraints and, at the same time, have flexibility requirements which prohibit offline planning of the entire system. To support a mixture of time-triggered and event-triggered tasks, some industrial systems deploy a real-time operating system (RTOS) with a
Kiefer, Markus; Martens, Ulla
According to classical theories, automatic processes are autonomous and independent of higher level cognitive influence. In contrast, the authors propose that automatic processing depends on attentional sensitization of task-congruent processing pathways. In 3 experiments, the authors tested this hypothesis with a modified masked semantic priming…
Rajaram, S; Srinivas, K; Travers, S
Reports on the effects of dividing attention at study on subsequent perceptual priming suggest that perceptual priming is generally unaffected by attentional manipulations as long as word identity is processed. We tested this hypothesis in three experiments by using the implicit word fragment completion and word stem completion tasks. Division of attention was instantiated with the Stroop task in order to ensure the processing of word identity even when the participant's attention was directed to a stimulus attribute other than the word itself. Under these conditions, we found that even though perceptual priming was significant, it was significantly reduced in magnitude. A stem cued recall test in Experiment 2 confirmed a more deleterious effect of divided attention on explicit memory. Taken together, our findings delineate the relative contributions of perceptual analysis and attentional processes in mediating perceptual priming on two ubiquitously used tasks of word fragment completion and word stem completion.
Locke, Edwin A; Latham, Gary P
The authors summarize 35 years of empirical research on goal-setting theory. They describe the core findings of the theory, the mechanisms by which goals operate, moderators of goal effects, the relation of goals and satisfaction, and the role of goals as mediators of incentives. The external validity and practical significance of goal-setting theory are explained, and new directions in goal-setting research are discussed. The relationships of goal setting to other theories are described as are the theory's limitations.
Lansford, Kaitlin L; Borrie, Stephanie A; Bystricky, Lukas
It has been documented in laboratory settings that familiarizing listeners with dysarthric speech improves intelligibility of that speech. If these findings can be replicated in real-world settings, the ability to improve communicative function by focusing on communication partners has major implications for extending clinical practice in dysarthria rehabilitation. An important step toward development of a listener-targeted treatment approach requires establishment of its ecological validity. To this end, the present study leveraged the mechanism of crowdsourcing to determine whether perceptual-training benefits achieved by listeners in the laboratory could be elicited in an at-home computer-based scenario. Perceptual-training data (i.e., intelligibility scores from a posttraining transcription task) were collected from listeners in 2 settings-the laboratory and the crowdsourcing website Amazon Mechanical Turk. Consistent with previous findings, results revealed a main effect of training condition (training vs. control) on intelligibility scores. There was, however, no effect of training setting (Mechanical Turk vs. laboratory). Thus, the perceptual benefit achieved via Mechanical Turk was comparable to that achieved in the laboratory. This study provides evidence regarding the ecological validity of perceptual-training paradigms designed to improve intelligibility of dysarthric speech, thereby supporting their continued advancement as a listener-targeted treatment option.
Locke, Edwin A.; Latham, Gary P.
Summarizes 35 years of empirical research on goal-setting theory, describing core findings of the theory, mechanisms by which goals operate, moderators of goal effects, the relation of goals and satisfaction, and the role of goals as mediators of incentives. Explains the external validity and practical significance of goal setting theory,…
Mann, D.L.; Ryu, D.; Abernethy, B.A.; Poolton, J.M.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether decision-making skill in perceptual-cognitive tasks could be enhanced using a training technique that impaired selective areas of the visual field. Recreational basketball players performed perceptual training over 3 days while viewing with a
Connell, Charlotte J W; Thompson, Benjamin; Green, Hayden; Sullivan, Rachel K; Gant, Nicholas
This study investigated the influence of five days of moderate intensity aerobic exercise on the acquisition and consolidation of visual perceptual learning using a motion direction discrimination (MDD) task. The timing of exercise relative to learning was manipulated by administering exercise either before or after perceptual training. Within a matched-subjects design, twenty-seven healthy participants (n = 9 per group) completed five consecutive days of perceptual training on a MDD task under one of three interventions: no exercise, exercise before the MDD task, or exercise after the MDD task. MDD task accuracy improved in all groups over the five-day period, but there was a trend for impaired learning when exercise was performed before visual perceptual training. MDD task accuracy (mean ± SD) increased in exercise before by 4.5 ± 6.5%; exercise after by 11.8 ± 6.4%; and no exercise by 11.3 ± 7.2%. All intervention groups displayed similar MDD threshold reductions for the trained and untrained motion axes after training. These findings suggest that moderate daily exercise does not enhance the rate of visual perceptual learning for an MDD task or the transfer of learning to an untrained motion axis. Furthermore, exercise performed immediately prior to a visual perceptual learning task may impair learning. Further research with larger groups is required in order to better understand these effects. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Andriessen, Iris; Phalet, Karen; Lens, Willy
Cross-cultural research on minority school achievement yields mixed findings on the motivational impact of future goal setting for students from disadvantaged minority groups. Relevant and recent motivational research, integrating Future Time Perspective Theory with Self-Determination Theory, has not yet been validated among minority students. To replicate across cultures the known motivational benefits of perceived instrumentality and internal regulation by distant future goals; to clarify when and how the future motivates minority students' educational performance. Participants in this study were 279 minority students (100 of Turkish and 179 of Moroccan origin) and 229 native Dutch students in Dutch secondary schools. Participants rated the importance of future goals, their perceptions of instrumentality, their task motivation and learning strategies. Dependent measures and their functional relations with future goal setting were simultaneously validated across minority and non-minority students, using structural equation modelling in multiple groups. As expected, Positive Perceived Instrumentality for the future increases task motivation and (indirectly) adaptive learning of both minority and non-minority students. But especially internally regulating future goals are strongly related to more task motivation and indirectly to more adaptive learning strategies. Our findings throw new light on the role of future goal setting in minority school careers: distant future goals enhance minority and non-minority students' motivation and learning, if students perceive positive instrumentality and if their schoolwork is internally regulated by future goals.
Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka
Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is long-term performance increase resulting from visual perceptual experience. Task-relevant VPL of a feature results from training of a task on the feature relevant to the task. Task-irrelevant VPL arises as a result of exposure to the feature irrelevant to the trained task. At least two serious problems exist. First, there is the controversy over which stage of information processing is changed in association with task-relevant VPL. Second, no model has ever explained both task-relevant and task-irrelevant VPL. Here we propose a dual plasticity model in which feature-based plasticity is a change in a representation of the learned feature, and task-based plasticity is a change in processing of the trained task. Although the two types of plasticity underlie task-relevant VPL, only feature-based plasticity underlies task-irrelevant VPL. This model provides a new comprehensive framework in which apparently contradictory results could be explained.
Brewin, Chris R
A number of autobiographical memory theories and clinical theories of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) make claims that are different from standard views of memory and have been the subject of controversy. These claims include the existence of a long-term perceptual memory system supporting conscious experience separate to episodic memory; greater involvement of perceptual memory in the response to emotion-laden and personally meaningful events; increased perceptual memory intrusions accompanied by impaired episodic memory for the traumatic event among PTSD patients; and a lack of association, or inverse association, between indices of voluntary recall and involuntary images relating to the same traumatic materials. In this article I review current research on perceptual memory, which supports the presence of long-term representations that are selective or incomplete reflections of sensory input. The functional independence of perceptual and episodic memory is illustrated by research on verbal overshadowing but is most clearly exemplified by the strong evidence in favor of enhanced perceptual memory and impaired episodic memory in PTSD. Theoretical predictions concerning the relation between perceptual priming and the development of intrusive images, the effect of verbal versus visuospatial secondary tasks on intrusive trauma images, and the independence of voluntary and involuntary memory for the same materials have garnered widespread support. Reasons for the continuing controversy over traumatic memory are discussed, and some implications of the review for general theories of recall and recognition, clinical theories of PTSD, and "special mechanism" views of memory are set out. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Looney, David P; Kraemer, William J; Joseph, Michael F; Comstock, Brett A; Denegar, Craig R; Flanagan, Shawn D; Newton, Robert U; Szivak, Tunde K; DuPont, William H; Hooper, David R; Häkkinen, Keijo; Maresh, Carl M
This investigation examined peak motor unit activity during sets that differed in resistance (50, 70, or 90% 1 repetition maximum [1RM]). Ten resistance-trained men (age, 23 ± 3 years; height, 187 ± 7 cm; body mass, 91.5 ± 6.9 kg; squat 1RM, 141 ± 28 kg) were assessed by electromyography (EMG) on the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscles in a randomized within-subject experiment consisting of 2 test visits: a drop-set day and a single-set day using only the 50% of 1RM intensity performed to failure. At the start of each day, subjects performed 2 submaximal repetition sets (50% 1RM × 10 repetitions and 70% 1RM × 7 repetitions). On the drop-set day, subjects performed 3 consecutive maximal repetition sets at 90%, 70%, and 50% 1RM to failure with no rest periods in between. On the single-set day, subjects performed a maximal repetition set at 50% 1RM to failure. Overall, the maximal repetition sets to failure at 50% and 70% 1RM resulted in higher peak EMG amplitude than during submaximal repetition sets with the same resistance. However, peak EMG amplitude was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) greater in the maximal 90% 1RM set than all other sets performed. When sets were performed to failure, ratings of perceived exertion (CR-10) did not differ over the intensity range of loads and suggests that perception is not capable of accurately detecting the actual amount of motor unit activation. The results of this investigation indicate that using higher external resistance is a more effective means of increasing motor unit activity than increasing the number of repetitions performed with lighter weights even when the end point is muscular failure. Accordingly, previous recommendations for the use of heavier loads during resistance training programs to stimulate the maximal development of strength and hypertrophy are further supported.
Klemen, J; Büchel, C; Rose, M
According to perceptual load theory, processing of task-irrelevant stimuli is limited by the perceptual load of a parallel attended task if both the task and the irrelevant stimuli are presented to the same sensory modality. However, it remains a matter of debate whether the same principles apply to cross-sensory perceptual load and, more generally, what form cross-sensory attentional modulation in early perceptual areas takes in humans. Here we addressed these questions using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants undertook an auditory one-back working memory task of low or high perceptual load, while concurrently viewing task-irrelevant images at one of three object visibility levels. The processing of the visual and auditory stimuli was measured in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) and auditory cortex (AC), respectively. Cross-sensory interference with sensory processing was observed in both the LOC and AC, in accordance with previous results of unisensory perceptual load studies. The present neuroimaging results therefore warrant the extension of perceptual load theory from a unisensory to a cross-sensory context: a validation of this cross-sensory interference effect through behavioural measures would consolidate the findings.
Roper, Zachary J J; Cosman, Joshua D; Vecera, Shaun P
One account of the early versus late selection debate in attention proposes that perceptual load determines the locus of selection. Attention selects stimuli at a late processing level under low-load conditions but selects stimuli at an early level under high-load conditions. Despite the successes of perceptual load theory, a noncircular definition of perceptual load remains elusive. We investigated the factors that influence perceptual load by using manipulations that have been studied extensively in visual search, namely target-distractor similarity and distractor-distractor similarity. Consistent with previous work, search was most efficient when targets and distractors were dissimilar and the displays contained homogeneous distractors; search became less efficient when target-distractor similarity increased irrespective of display heterogeneity. Importantly, we used these same stimuli in a typical perceptual load task that measured attentional spillover to a task-irrelevant flanker. We found a strong correspondence between search efficiency and perceptual load; stimuli that generated efficient searches produced flanker interference effects, suggesting that such displays involved low perceptual load. Flanker interference effects were reduced in displays that produced less efficient searches. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that search difficulty, as measured by search intercept, has little bearing on perceptual load. We conclude that rather than be arbitrarily defined, perceptual load might be defined by well-characterized, continuous factors that influence visual search. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Baumgarten, Thomas J; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim
Whether seeing a movie, listening to a song, or feeling a breeze on the skin, we coherently experience these stimuli as continuous, seamless percepts. However, there are rare perceptual phenomena that argue against continuous perception but, instead, suggest discrete processing of sensory input. Empirical evidence supporting such a discrete mechanism, however, remains scarce and comes entirely from the visual domain. Here, we demonstrate compelling evidence for discrete perceptual sampling in the somatosensory domain. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and a tactile temporal discrimination task in humans, we find that oscillatory alpha- and low beta-band (8-20 Hz) cycles in primary somatosensory cortex represent neurophysiological correlates of discrete perceptual cycles. Our results agree with several theoretical concepts of discrete perceptual sampling and empirical evidence of perceptual cycles in the visual domain. Critically, these results show that discrete perceptual cycles are not domain-specific, and thus restricted to the visual domain, but extend to the somatosensory domain.
Full Text Available This study investigated semantic and perceptual influences on false recognition in older and young adults in a variant on the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. In two experiments, participants encoded intermixed sets of semantically associated words, and sets of unrelated words. Each set was presented in a shared distinctive font. Older adults were no more likely to falsely recognize semantically associated lure words compared to unrelated lures also presented in studied fonts. However, they showed an increase in false recognition of lures which were related to studied items only by a shared font. This increased false recognition was associated with recollective experience. The data show that older adults do not always rely more on prior knowledge in episodic memory tasks. They converge with other findings suggesting that older adults may also be more prone to perceptually-driven errors.
Flores-Mendoza, Carmen; Widaman, Keith F.; Rindermann, Heiner; Primi, Ricardo; Mansur-Alves, Marcela; Pena, Carla Couto
Sex differences on the Attention Test (AC), the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM), and the Brazilian Cognitive Battery (BPR5), were investigated using four large samples (total N=6780), residing in the states of Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo. The majority of samples used, which were obtained from educational settings, could be considered a…
Eimer, Martin; Kiss, Monika; Nicholas, Susan
When target-defining features are specified in advance, attentional target selection in visual search is controlled by preparatory top-down task sets. We used ERP measures to study voluntary target selection in the absence of such feature-specific task sets, and to compare it to selection that is guided by advance knowledge about target features.…
The task of a keyword recognition system is to detect the presence of certain words in a conversation based on the linguistic information present in human speech. Such keyword spotting systems have applications in homeland security, telephone surveillance and human-computer interfacing. General procedure of a keyword spotting system involves feature generation and matching. In this work, new set of features that are based on the psycho-acoustic masking nature of human speech are proposed. After developing these features a time aligned pattern matching process was implemented to locate the words in a set of unknown words. A word boundary detection technique based on frame classification using the nonlinear characteristics of speech is also addressed in this work. Validation of this keyword spotting model was done using widely acclaimed Cepstral features. The experimental results indicate the viability of using these perceptually significant features as an augmented feature set in keyword spotting.
Murphy, Gillian; Greene, Ciara M.
Load Theory (Lavie, 1995, 2005) states that the level of perceptual load in a task (i.e., the amount of information involved in processing task-relevant stimuli) determines the efficiency of selective attention. There is evidence that perceptual load affects distractor processing, with increased inattentional blindness under high load. Given that high load can result in individuals failing to report seeing obvious objects, it is conceivable that load may also impair memory for the scene. The ...
Gillian Murphy; Ciara Mary Greene
Load Theory (Lavie, 1995; 2005) states that the level of perceptual load in a task (i.e. the amount of information involved in processing task-relevant stimuli) determines the efficiency of selective attention. There is evidence that perceptual load affects distractor processing, with increased inattentional blindness under high load. Given that high load can result in individuals failing to report seeing obvious objects, it is conceivable that load may also impair memory for the scene. The c...
Lalonde, Kaylah; Holt, Rachael Frush
This study used the auditory evaluation framework [Erber (1982). Auditory Training (Alexander Graham Bell Association, Washington, DC)] to characterize the influence of visual speech on audiovisual (AV) speech perception in adults and children at multiple levels of perceptual processing. Six- to eight-year-old children and adults completed auditory and AV speech perception tasks at three levels of perceptual processing (detection, discrimination, and recognition). The tasks differed in the le...
Lleras, Alejandro; Chu, Hengqing; Buetti, Simona
Perceptual Load theory states that the degree of perceptual load on a display determines the amount of leftover attentional resources that the system can use to process distracting information. An important corollary of this theory is that the amount of perceptual load determines the vulnerability of the attention system to being captured by completely irrelevant stimuli, predicting larger amounts of capture with low perceptual load than with high perceptual load. This prediction was first confirmed by Forster and Lavie (2008). Here, we report 6 experiments that followed up on those earlier results, where we find that in many cases, the opposite pattern is obtained: attentional capture increased with increasing perceptual load. Given the lack of generalizability of the theory to new experimental contexts with fairly minor methodological differences, we conclude that Perceptual Load may not be a useful framework for understanding attentional capture. The theoretical and applied importance of these findings is discussed. In particular, we caution against using this theory in applied tasks and settings because best-use recommendations stemming from this theory regarding strategies to decrease distractibility may in fact produce the opposite effect: an increase in distractibility (with distractibility being indexed by the magnitude of the capture effect). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Anguera, Joaquin A; Lyman, Kyle; Zanto, Theodore P; Bollinger, Jacob; Gazzaley, Adam
Executive response functions can be affected by preceding events, even if they are no longer associated with the current task at hand. For example, studies utilizing the stop signal task have reported slower response times to "GO" stimuli when the preceding trial involved the presentation of a "STOP" signal. However, the neural mechanisms that underlie this behavioral after-effect are unclear. To address this, behavioral and electroencephalography (EEG) measures were examined in 18 young adults (18-30 years) on "GO" trials following a previously "Successful Inhibition" trial (pSI), a previously "Failed Inhibition" trial (pFI), and a previous "GO" trial (pGO). Like previous research, slower response times were observed during both pSI and pFI trials (i.e., "GO" trials that were preceded by a successful and unsuccessful inhibition trial, respectively) compared to pGO trials (i.e., "GO" trials that were preceded by another "GO" trial). Interestingly, response time slowing was greater during pSI trials compared to pFI trials, suggesting executive control is influenced by both task set switching and persisting motor inhibition processes. Follow-up behavioral analyses indicated that these effects resulted from between-trial control adjustments rather than repetition priming effects. Analyses of inter-electrode coherence (IEC) and inter-trial coherence (ITC) indicated that both pSI and pFI trials showed greater phase synchrony during the inter-trial interval compared to pGO trials. Unlike the IEC findings, differential ITC was present within the beta and alpha frequency bands in line with the observed behavior (pSI > pFI > pGO), suggestive of more consistent phase synchrony involving motor inhibition processes during the ITI at a regional level. These findings suggest that between-trial control adjustments involved with task-set switching and motor inhibition processes influence subsequent performance, providing new insights into the dynamic nature of executive control.
Zuverza-Chavarria, Virginia; Tsanadis, John
The goal of this study was to explore the psychometric properties of the CLOX Executive Clock Drawing Task (Royall, Cordes, & Polk, 1998) in persons who had sustained a stroke and were receiving inpatient rehabilitation. Rasch modeling was utilized to examine the psychometric properties of the CLOX. Separate analyses were conducted for the free draw (CLOX 1) and copy (CLOX 2) portions of the measure to investigate each presentation mode independently. The sample consisted of 66 inpatient adults who had sustained a stroke. CLOX 1 met most Rasch model expectations for item fit, unidimensionality, test reliability, and sample targeting. CLOX 2 was less psychometrically sound and contained two items with significant misfit. CLOX 2 demonstrated a significant ceiling effect that resulted in poor sample targeting. CLOX 1 is a psychometrically sound screening instrument for assessing persons with stroke receiving inpatient rehabilitation. In addition to the psychometric weaknesses of CLOX 2, its interpretive yield is minimal and clinicians may consider omitting it. Recommendations are made for using the Rasch item-person maps in clinical practice.
Full Text Available Technology with its speedy great leaps forward has undeniable impact on every aspect of our life in the new millennium. It has supplied us with different affordances almost daily or more precisely in a matter of hours. Technology and Computer seems to be a break through as for their roles in the Twenty-First century educational system. Examples are numerous, among which CALL, CMC, and Virtual learning spaces come to mind instantly. Amongst the newly developed gadgets of today are the sophisticated smart Hand phones which are far more ahead of a communication tool once designed for. Development of Hand phone as a wide-spread multi-tasking gadget has urged researchers to investigate its effect on every aspect of learning process including language learning. This study attempts to explore the effects of using cell phone audio recording feature, by Iranian EFL learners, on the development of their speaking skills. Thirty-five sophomore students were enrolled in a pre-posttest designed study. Data on their English speaking experience using audio–recording features of their Hand phones were collected. At the end of the semester, the performance of both groups, treatment and control, were observed, evaluated, and analyzed; thereafter procured qualitatively at the next phase. The quantitative outcome lent support to integrating Hand phones as part of the language learning curriculum. Keywords:
Yakovenko, I A; Cheremushkin, E A; Kozlov, M K
The research of changes of a beta rhythm parameters on condition of working memory loading by extension of a interstimuli interval between the target and triggering stimuli to 16 sec is investigated on 70 healthy adults in two series of experiments with set to a facial expression. In the second series at the middle of this interval for strengthening of the load was entered the additional cognitive task in the form of conditioning stimuli like Go/NoGo--circles of blue or green color. Data analysis of the research was carried out by means of continuous wavelet-transformation on the basis of "mather" complex Morlet-wavelet in the range of 1-35 Hz. Beta rhythm power was characterized by the mean level, maxima of wavelet-transformation coefficient (WLC) and latent periods of maxima. Introduction of additional cognitive task to pause between the target and triggering stimuli led to essential increase in absolute values of the mean level of beta rhythm WLC and relative sizes of maxima of beta rhythm WLC. In the series of experiments without conditioning stimulus subjects with large number of mistakes (from 6 to 40), i.e. rigid set, in comparison with subjects with small number of mistakes (to 5), i.e. plastic set, at the forming stage were characterized by higher values of the mean level of beta rhythm WLC. Introduction of the conditioning stimuli led to smoothing of intergroup distinctions throughout the experiment.
Irons, Jessica L; Remington, Roger W
Previous investigations of the ability to maintain separate attentional control settings for different spatial locations have relied principally on a go/no-go spatial-cueing paradigm. The results have suggested that control of attention is accomplished only late in processing. However, the go/no-go task does not provide strong incentives to withhold attention from irrelevant color-location conjunctions. We used a modified version of the task in which failing to adopt multiple control settings would be detrimental to performance. Two RSVP streams of colored letters appeared to the left and right of fixation. Participants searched for targets that were a conjunction of color and location, so that the target color for one stream acted as a distractor when presented in the opposite stream. Distractors that did not match the target conjunctions nevertheless captured attention and interfered with performance. This was the case even when the target conjunctions were previewed early in the trial prior to the target (Exp. 2). However, distractor interference was reduced when the upcoming distractor was previewed early on in the trial (Exp. 3). Attentional selection of targets by color-location conjunctions may be effective if facilitative attentional sets are accompanied by the top-down inhibition of irrelevant items.
de Fockert, Jan W.
The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintena...
Audrey E. Parrish
Full Text Available The asymmetric dominance effect or decoy effect emerges when a third inferior option is introduced to a choice set. The decoy option, although typically not chosen, impacts relative preference for the original two options. This decisional bias stands in contrast with rational choice theory, which dictates that choice behavior should remain consistent for the original options with the addition of different alternatives to a choice set such as the decoy. In the current study, we assessed the decoy effect in rhesus monkeys using a computerized task battery that introduced two different computerized tasks, including a matching-to-sample task and a psychomotor task called PURSUIT. Decoy tasks were designed such that they were inferior versions of these original task options, requiring longer time to completion (via slowed cursor speeds and subsequently reduced reinforcement rates. Monkeys learned to associate unique icons for each task (including for decoy tasks, and used these icons to select their preferred task from a choice set of two to three task options. Monkeys learned to perform all tasks, but did not show evidence of the decoy effect using this task preference paradigm. We discuss the role of initial task preference (and task biases, task type (symbolic vs. perceptual, and decoy effect sizes in light of these findings. We contrast the current results to previous findings of the decoy effect in rhesus monkeys using a perceptual paradigm as well as to other evidence of the decoy effect in non-primate animal species.
A. V. Romanenko
Full Text Available The work is dedicated to the development of methodological approaches to the management of machine-building enterprise on the basis of cost reduction, optimization of the portfolio of orders and capacity utilization in the process of operational management. Evaluation of economic efficiency of such economic entities of the real sector of the economy is determined, including the timing of orders, which depend on the issues of building a production facility, maintenance of fixed assets and maintain them at a given level. Formulated key components of economic-mathematical model of industrial activity and is defined as the optimization criterion. As proposed formula accumulating profits due to production capacity and technology to produce products current direct variable costs, the amount of property tax and expenses appearing as a result of manifestations of variance when performing replacement of production tasks for a single period of time. The main component of the optimization of the production activity of the enterprise on the basis of this criterion is the vector of direct variable costs. It depends on the number of types of products in the current portfolio of orders, production schedules production, the normative time for the release of a particular product available Fund time efficient production positions, the current valuation for certain groups of technological operations and the current priority of operations for the degree of readiness performed internal orders. Modeling of industrial activity based on the proposed provisions would allow the enterprises of machine-building cluster, active innovation, improve the efficient use of available production resources by optimizing current operations at the high uncertainty of the magnitude of the demand planning and carrying out maintenance and routine repairs.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It is still unclear which observational learning mechanisms underlie the transmission of difficult problem-solving skills in chimpanzees. In particular, two different mechanisms have been proposed: imitation and emulation. Previous studies have largely failed to control for social factors when these mechanisms were targeted. METHODS: In an attempt to resolve the existing discrepancies, we adopted the 'floating peanut task', in which subjects need to spit water into a tube until it is sufficiently full for floating peanuts to be grasped. In a previous study only a few chimpanzees were able to invent the necessary solution (and they either did so in their first trials or never. Here we compared success levels in baseline tests with two experimental conditions that followed: 1 A full model condition to test whether social demonstrations would be effective, and 2 A social emulation control condition, in which a human experimenter poured water from a bottle into the tube, to test whether results information alone (present in both experimental conditions would also induce successes. Crucially, we controlled for social factors in both experimental conditions. Both types of demonstrations significantly increased successful spitting, with no differences between demonstration types. We also found that younger subjects were more likely to succeed than older ones. Our analysis showed that mere order effects could not explain our results. CONCLUSION: The full demonstration condition (which potentially offers additional information to observers, in the form of actions, induced no more successes than the emulation condition. Hence, emulation learning could explain the success in both conditions. This finding has broad implications for the interpretation of chimpanzee traditions, for which emulation learning may perhaps suffice.
Stotesbury, Hanne; Gaigg, Sebastian B; Kirhan, Saim; Haenschel, Corinna
Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SSD) are known to be characterised by abnormalities in attentional processes, but there are inconsistencies in the literature that remain unresolved. This article considers whether perceptual resource limitations play a role in moderating attentional abnormalities in SSD. According to perceptual load theory, perceptual resource limitations can lead to attenuated or superior performance on dual-task paradigms depending on whether participants are required to process, or attempt to ignore, secondary stimuli. If SSD is associated with perceptual resource limitations, and if it represents the extreme end of an otherwise normally distributed neuropsychological phenotype, schizotypal traits in the general population should lead to disproportionate performance costs on dual-task paradigms as a function of the perceptual task demands. To test this prediction, schizotypal traits were quantified via the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) in 74 healthy volunteers, who also completed a dual-task signal detection paradigm that required participants to detect central and peripheral stimuli across conditions that varied in the overall number of stimuli presented. The results confirmed decreasing performance as the perceptual load of the task increased. More importantly, significant correlations between SPQ scores and task performance confirmed that increased schizotypal traits, particularly in the cognitive-perceptual domain, are associated with greater performance decrements under increasing perceptual load. These results confirm that attentional difficulties associated with SSD extend sub-clinically into the general population and suggest that cognitive-perceptual schizotypal traits may represent a risk factor for difficulties in the regulation of attention under increasing perceptual load.
William P. Neace
Full Text Available Five experiments addressed a controversy in the probability judgment literature that centers on the efficacy of framing probabilities as frequencies. The natural frequency view predicts that frequency formats attenuate errors, while the nested-sets view predicts that highlighting the set-subset structure of the problem reduces error, regardless of problem format. This study tested these predictions using a conjunction task. Previous studies reporting that frequency formats reduced conjunction errors confounded reference class with problem format. After controlling this confound, the present study's findings show that conjunction errors can be reduced using either a probability or a frequency format, that frequency effects depend upon the presence of a reference class, and that frequency formats do not promote better statistical reasoning than probability formats.
Full Text Available The load theory of selective attention hypothesizes that distractor interference is suppressed after perceptual processing (i.e., in the later stage of central processing at low perceptual load of the central task, but in the early stage of perceptual processing at high perceptual load. Consistently, studies on the neural correlates of attention have found a smaller distractor-related activation in the sensory cortex at high relative to low perceptual load. However, it is not clear whether the distractor-related activation in brain regions linked to later stages of central processing (e.g., in the frontostriatal circuits is also smaller at high rather than low perceptual load, as might be predicted based on the load theory.We studied 24 healthy participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI during a visual target identification task with two perceptual loads (low vs. high. Participants showed distractor-related increases in activation in the midbrain, striatum, occipital and medial and lateral prefrontal cortices at low load, but distractor-related decreases in activation in the midbrain ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra (VTA/SN, striatum, thalamus, and extensive sensory cortices at high load.Multiple levels of central processing involving midbrain and frontostriatal circuits participate in suppressing distractor interference at either low or high perceptual load. For suppressing distractor interference, the processing of sensory inputs in both early and late stages of central processing are enhanced at low load but inhibited at high load.
Xu, Jiansong; Monterosso, John; Kober, Hedy; Balodis, Iris M; Potenza, Marc N
The load theory of selective attention hypothesizes that distractor interference is suppressed after perceptual processing (i.e., in the later stage of central processing) at low perceptual load of the central task, but in the early stage of perceptual processing at high perceptual load. Consistently, studies on the neural correlates of attention have found a smaller distractor-related activation in the sensory cortex at high relative to low perceptual load. However, it is not clear whether the distractor-related activation in brain regions linked to later stages of central processing (e.g., in the frontostriatal circuits) is also smaller at high rather than low perceptual load, as might be predicted based on the load theory. We studied 24 healthy participants using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a visual target identification task with two perceptual loads (low vs. high). Participants showed distractor-related increases in activation in the midbrain, striatum, occipital and medial and lateral prefrontal cortices at low load, but distractor-related decreases in activation in the midbrain ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra (VTA/SN), striatum, thalamus, and extensive sensory cortices at high load. Multiple levels of central processing involving midbrain and frontostriatal circuits participate in suppressing distractor interference at either low or high perceptual load. For suppressing distractor interference, the processing of sensory inputs in both early and late stages of central processing are enhanced at low load but inhibited at high load.
Louwerse, Max; Hutchinson, Sterling
There is increasing evidence from response time experiments that language statistics and perceptual simulations both play a role in conceptual processing. In an EEG experiment we compared neural activity in cortical regions commonly associated with linguistic processing and visual perceptual processing to determine to what extent symbolic and embodied accounts of cognition applied. Participants were asked to determine the semantic relationship of word pairs (e.g., sky - ground) or to determine their iconic relationship (i.e., if the presentation of the pair matched their expected physical relationship). A linguistic bias was found toward the semantic judgment task and a perceptual bias was found toward the iconicity judgment task. More importantly, conceptual processing involved activation in brain regions associated with both linguistic and perceptual processes. When comparing the relative activation of linguistic cortical regions with perceptual cortical regions, the effect sizes for linguistic cortical regions were larger than those for the perceptual cortical regions early in a trial with the reverse being true later in a trial. These results map upon findings from other experimental literature and provide further evidence that processing of concept words relies both on language statistics and on perceptual simulations, whereby linguistic processes precede perceptual simulation processes.
Aaron V Berard
Full Text Available Playing certain types of video games for a long time can improve a wide range of mental processes, from visual acuity to cognitive control. Frequent gamers have also displayed generalized improvements in perceptual learning. In the Texture Discrimination Task (TDT, a widely used perceptual learning paradigm, participants report the orientation of a target embedded in a field of lines and demonstrate robust over-night improvement. However, changing the orientation of the background lines midway through TDT training interferes with overnight improvements in overall performance on TDT. Interestingly, prior research has suggested that this effect will not occur if a one-hour break is allowed in between the changes. These results have suggested that after training is over, it may take some time for learning to become stabilized and resilient against interference. Here, we tested whether frequent gamers have faster stabilization of perceptual learning compared to non-gamers and examined the effect of daily video game playing on interference of training of TDT with one background orientation on perceptual learning of TDT with a different background orientation. As a result, we found that non-gamers showed overnight performance improvement only on one background orientation, replicating previous results with the interference in TDT. In contrast, frequent gamers demonstrated overnight improvements in performance with both background orientations, suggesting that they are better able to overcome interference in perceptual learning. This resistance to interference suggests that video game playing not only enhances the amplitude and speed of perceptual learning but also leads to faster and/or more robust stabilization of perceptual learning.
Berard, Aaron V; Cain, Matthew S; Watanabe, Takeo; Sasaki, Yuka
Playing certain types of video games for a long time can improve a wide range of mental processes, from visual acuity to cognitive control. Frequent gamers have also displayed generalized improvements in perceptual learning. In the Texture Discrimination Task (TDT), a widely used perceptual learning paradigm, participants report the orientation of a target embedded in a field of lines and demonstrate robust over-night improvement. However, changing the orientation of the background lines midway through TDT training interferes with overnight improvements in overall performance on TDT. Interestingly, prior research has suggested that this effect will not occur if a one-hour break is allowed in between the changes. These results have suggested that after training is over, it may take some time for learning to become stabilized and resilient against interference. Here, we tested whether frequent gamers have faster stabilization of perceptual learning compared to non-gamers and examined the effect of daily video game playing on interference of training of TDT with one background orientation on perceptual learning of TDT with a different background orientation. As a result, we found that non-gamers showed overnight performance improvement only on one background orientation, replicating previous results with the interference in TDT. In contrast, frequent gamers demonstrated overnight improvements in performance with both background orientations, suggesting that they are better able to overcome interference in perceptual learning. This resistance to interference suggests that video game playing not only enhances the amplitude and speed of perceptual learning but also leads to faster and/or more robust stabilization of perceptual learning.
Joaquin A. Anguera
Full Text Available Executive response functions can be affected by preceding events, even if they are no longer associated with the current task at hand. For example, studies utilizing the stop signal task have reported slower response times to ‘GO’ stimuli when the preceding trial involved the presentation of a ‘STOP’ signal. However, the neural mechanisms that underlie this behavioral after-effect are unclear. To address this, behavioral and electroencephalography (EEG measures were examined in 18 young adults (18-30yrs on 'GO' trials following a previously ‘Successful Inhibition’ trial (pSI, a previously ‘Failed Inhibition’ trial (pFI, and a previous ‘GO’ trial (pGO. Like previous research, slower response times were observed during both pSI and pFI trials (i.e., ‘GO’ trials that were preceded by a successful and unsuccessful inhibition trial, respectively compared to pGO trials (i.e., ‘GO’ trials that were preceded by another ‘GO’ trial. Interestingly, response time slowing was greater during pSI trials compared to pFI trials, suggesting executive control is influenced by both task set switching and persisting motor inhibition processes. Follow-up behavioral analyses indicated that these effects resulted from between-trial control adjustments rather than repetition priming effects. Analyses of inter-electrode coherence (IEC and inter-trial coherence (ITC indicated that both pSI and pFI trials showed greater phase synchrony during the inter-trial interval compared to pGO trials. Unlike the IEC findings, differential ITC was present within the beta and alpha frequency bands in line with the observed behavior (pSI > pFI > pGO, suggestive of more consistent phase synchrony involving motor inhibition processes during the ITI at a regional level. These findings suggest that between-trial control adjustments involved with task-set switching and motor inhibition processes influence subsequent performance, providing new insights into the
Hicks, J.L.; Starns, J.J.
We used implicit measures of memory to ascertain whether false memories for critical nonpresented items in the DRM paradigm (Deese, 1959; Roediger & McDermott, 1995) contain structural and perceptual detail. In Experiment 1, we manipulated presentation modality in a visual word-stem-completion task. Critical item priming was significant and…
Full Text Available Previous research suggests that high functioning children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD sometimes have problems learning categories, but often appear to perform normally in categorization tasks. The deficits that individuals with ASD show when learning categories have been attributed to executive dysfunction, general deficits in implicit learning, atypical cognitive strategies, or abnormal perceptual biases and abilities. Several of these psychological explanations for category learning deficits have been associated with neural abnormalities such as cortical underconnectivity. The present study evaluated how well existing neurally-based theories account for atypical perceptual category learning shown by high functioning children with ASD across multiple category learning tasks involving novel, abstract shapes. Consistent with earlier results, children’s performances revealed two distinct patterns of learning and generalization associated with ASD: one was indistinguishable from performance in typically developing children; the other revealed dramatic impairments. These two patterns were evident regardless of training regimen or stimulus set. Surprisingly, some children with ASD showed both patterns. Simulations of perceptual category learning could account for the two observed patterns in terms of differences in neural plasticity. However, no current psychological or neural theory adequately explains why a child with ASD might show such large fluctuations in category learning ability across training conditions or stimulus sets.
Mercado, Eduardo; Church, Barbara A; Coutinho, Mariana V C; Dovgopoly, Alexander; Lopata, Christopher J; Toomey, Jennifer A; Thomeer, Marcus L
Previous research suggests that high functioning (HF) children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) sometimes have problems learning categories, but often appear to perform normally in categorization tasks. The deficits that individuals with ASD show when learning categories have been attributed to executive dysfunction, general deficits in implicit learning, atypical cognitive strategies, or abnormal perceptual biases and abilities. Several of these psychological explanations for category learning deficits have been associated with neural abnormalities such as cortical underconnectivity. The present study evaluated how well existing neurally based theories account for atypical perceptual category learning shown by HF children with ASD across multiple category learning tasks involving novel, abstract shapes. Consistent with earlier results, children's performances revealed two distinct patterns of learning and generalization associated with ASD: one was indistinguishable from performance in typically developing children; the other revealed dramatic impairments. These two patterns were evident regardless of training regimen or stimulus set. Surprisingly, some children with ASD showed both patterns. Simulations of perceptual category learning could account for the two observed patterns in terms of differences in neural plasticity. However, no current psychological or neural theory adequately explains why a child with ASD might show such large fluctuations in category learning ability across training conditions or stimulus sets.
Kim, YouJin; Payant, Caroline; Pearson, Pamela
The extent to which individual differences in cognitive abilities affect the relationship among task complexity, attention to form, and second language development has been addressed only minimally in the cognition hypothesis literature. The present study explores how reasoning demands in tasks and working memory (WM) capacity predict learners'…
Khademi, Maryam; Hondori, Hossein Mousavi; Dodakian, Lucy; Cramer, Steve; Lopes, Cristina V
Introducing computer games to the rehabilitation market led to development of numerous Virtual Reality (VR) training applications. Although VR has provided tremendous benefit to the patients and caregivers, it has inherent limitations, some of which might be solved by replacing it with Augmented Reality (AR). The task of pick-and-place, which is part of many activities of daily living (ADL's), is one of the major affected functions stroke patients mainly expect to recover. We developed an exercise consisting of moving an object between various points, following a flash light that indicates the next target. The results show superior performance of subjects in spatial AR versus non-immersive VR setting. This could be due to the extraneous hand-eye coordination which exists in VR whereas it is eliminated in spatial AR.
Full Text Available Human sensory systems allow individuals to see, hear, touch, and interact with the surrounding physical environment. Understanding human perception and its limit enables us to better exploit the psychophysics of human perceptual systems to design more efficient, adaptive algorithms and develop perceptually-inspired computational models. In this talk, I will survey some of recent efforts on perceptually-inspired computing with applications to crowd simulation and multimodal interaction. In particular, I will present data-driven personality modeling based on the results of user studies, example-guided physics-based sound synthesis using auditory perception, as well as perceptually-inspired simplification for multimodal interaction. These perceptually guided principles can be used to accelerating multi-modal interaction and visual computing, thereby creating more natural human-computer interaction and providing more immersive experiences. I will also present their use in interactive applications for entertainment, such as video games, computer animation, and shared social experience. I will conclude by discussing possible future research directions.
Cavanaugh, Lisa A; MacInnis, Deborah J; Weiss, Allen M
Individuals often describe objects in their world in terms of perceptual dimensions that span a variety of modalities; the visual (e.g., brightness: dark-bright), the auditory (e.g., loudness: quiet-loud), the gustatory (e.g., taste: sour-sweet), the tactile (e.g., hardness: soft vs. hard) and the kinaesthetic (e.g., speed: slow-fast). We ask whether individuals use perceptual dimensions to differentiate emotions from one another. Participants in two studies (one where respondents reported on abstract emotion concepts and a second where they reported on specific emotion episodes) rated the extent to which features anchoring 29 perceptual dimensions (e.g., temperature, texture and taste) are associated with 8 emotions (anger, fear, sadness, guilt, contentment, gratitude, pride and excitement). Results revealed that in both studies perceptual dimensions differentiate positive from negative emotions and high arousal from low arousal emotions. They also differentiate among emotions that are similar in arousal and valence (e.g., high arousal negative emotions such as anger and fear). Specific features that anchor particular perceptual dimensions (e.g., hot vs. cold) are also differentially associated with emotions.
Forster, Sophie; Robertson, David J; Jennings, Alistair; Asherson, Philip; Lavie, Nilli
Increased vulnerability to extraneous distraction is a key symptom of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which may have particularly disruptive consequences. Here we apply Load Theory of attention to increase understanding of this symptom, and to explore a potential method for ameliorating it. Previous research in nonclinical populations has highlighted increased perceptual load as a means of improving the ability to focus attention and avoid distraction. The present study examines whether adults with ADHD can also benefit from conditions of high perceptual load to improve their focused attention abilities. We tested adults with ADHD and age- and IQ-matched controls on a novel measure of irrelevant distraction under load, designed to parallel the form of distraction that is symptomatic of ADHD. During a letter search task, in which perceptual load was varied through search set size, participants were required to ignore salient yet entirely irrelevant distractors (colorful images of cartoon characters) presented infrequently (10% of trials). The presence of these distractors produced a significantly greater interference effect on the search RTs for the adults with ADHD compared with controls, p = .005, ηp² = .231. Perceptual load, however, significantly reduced distractor interference for the ADHD group and was as effective in reducing the elevated distractor interference in ADHD as it was for controls. These findings clarify the nature of the attention deficit underlying increased distraction in ADHD, and demonstrate a tangible method for overcoming it.
Abrahamse, E.L.; Noordzij, Matthijs Leendert
Within various contexts, such as sports and the military, training programs are being designed to effectively and efficiently guide perceptual-motor skill acquisition. Even though this notion is often underestimated, the design of such training programs may greatly benefit from findings and theories
Perceptual grouping is the process through which the perceptual system combines local stimuli into a more global perceptual unit. Previous studies have shown attention to be a modulatory factor for perceptual grouping. However, these studies mainly used explicit measurements, and, thus, whether attention can modulate perceptual grouping without awareness is still relatively unexplored. To clarify the relationship between attention and perceptual grouping, the present study aims to explore how attention interacts with perceptual grouping without awareness. The task was to judge the relative lengths of two centrally presented horizontal bars while a railway-shaped pattern defined by color similarity was presented in the background. Although the observers were unaware of the railway-shaped pattern, their line-length judgment was biased by that pattern, which induced a Ponzo illusion, indicating grouping without awareness. More importantly, an attentional modulatory effect without awareness was manifested as evident by the observer's performance being more often biased when the railway-shaped pattern was formed by an attended color than when it was formed by an unattended one. Also, the attentional modulation effect was shown to be dynamic, being more pronounced with a short presentation time than a longer one. The results of the present study not only clarify the relationship between attention and perceptual grouping but also further contribute to our understanding of attention and awareness by corroborating the dissociation between attention and awareness.
Santamaría-García, Hernando; Pannunzi, Mario; Ayneto, Alba; Deco, Gustavo; Sebastián-Gallés, Nuria
So far, it was unclear if social hierarchy could influence sensory or perceptual cognitive processes. We evaluated the effects of social hierarchy on these processes using a basic visual perceptual decision task. We constructed a social hierarchy where participants performed the perceptual task separately with two covertly simulated players (superior, inferior). Participants were faster (better) when performing the discrimination task with the superior player. We studied the time course when ...
Mishra, Jyoti; Rolle, Camarin; Gazzaley, Adam
Healthy aging is associated with a decline in basic perceptual abilities, as well as higher-level cognitive functions such as working memory. In a recent perceptual training study using moving sweeps of Gabor stimuli, Berry et al. (2010) observed that older adults significantly improved discrimination abilities on the most challenging perceptual tasks that presented paired sweeps at rapid rates of 5 and 10 Hz. Berry et al. further showed that this perceptual training engendered transfer-of-benefit to an untrained working memory task. Here, we investigated the neural underpinnings of the improvements in these perceptual tasks, as assessed by event-related potential (ERP) recordings. Early visual ERP components time-locked to stimulus onset were compared pre- and post-training, as well as relative to a no-contact control group. The visual N1 and N2 components were significantly enhanced after training, and the N1 change correlated with improvements in perceptual discrimination on the task. Further, the change observed for the N1 and N2 was associated with the rapidity of the perceptual challenge; the visual N1 (120-150 ms) was enhanced post-training for 10 Hz sweep pairs, while the N2 (240-280 ms) was enhanced for the 5 Hz sweep pairs. We speculate that these observed post-training neural enhancements reflect improvements by older adults in the allocation of attention that is required to accurately dissociate perceptually overlapping stimuli when presented in rapid sequence. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Memory Å. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Tang, Thomas Li-Ping; Reynolds, David B.
Fifty-two subjects competed on a task against themselves, a difficult competitor, and an easy competitor. Certainty, ability attribution, and task satisfaction for those with low self-esteem were affected by perceived goal difficulty but not for those with high self-esteem. Low self-esteem groups had lower goals, certainty, and task performance.…
Webster, Michael A.; Yasuda, Maiko; Haber, Sara; Leonard, Deanne; Ballardini, Nicole
We used adaptation to examine the relationship between perceptual norms--the stimuli observers describe as psychologically neutral, and response norms--the stimulus levels that leave visual sensitivity in a neutral or balanced state. Adapting to stimuli on opposite sides of a neutral point (e.g. redder or greener than white) biases appearance in opposite ways. Thus the adapting stimulus can be titrated to find the unique adapting level that does not bias appearance. We compared these response norms to subjectively defined neutral points both within the same observer (at different retinal eccentricities) and between observers. These comparisons were made for visual judgments of color, image focus, and human faces, stimuli that are very different and may depend on very different levels of processing, yet which share the property that for each there is a well defined and perceptually salient norm. In each case the adaptation aftereffects were consistent with an underlying sensitivity basis for the perceptual norm. Specifically, response norms were similar to and thus covaried with the perceptual norm, and under common adaptation differences between subjectively defined norms were reduced. These results are consistent with models of norm-based codes and suggest that these codes underlie an important link between visual coding and visual experience.
Wilson, Donald A.; Fletcher, Max L.; Sullivan, Regina M.
Olfactory perceptual learning is a relatively long-term, learned increase in perceptual acuity, and has been described in both humans and animals. Data from recent electrophysiological studies have indicated that olfactory perceptual learning may be correlated with changes in odorant receptive fields of neurons in the olfactory bulb and piriform…
Byers, Anna; Serences, John T
Learning to better discriminate a specific visual feature (i.e., a specific orientation in a specific region of space) has been associated with plasticity in early visual areas (sensory modulation) and with improvements in the transmission of sensory information from early visual areas to downstream sensorimotor and decision regions (enhanced readout). However, in many real-world scenarios that require perceptual expertise, observers need to efficiently process numerous exemplars from a broad stimulus class as opposed to just a single stimulus feature. Some previous data suggest that perceptual learning leads to highly specific neural modulations that support the discrimination of specific trained features. However, the extent to which perceptual learning acts to improve the discriminability of a broad class of stimuli via the modulation of sensory responses in human visual cortex remains largely unknown. Here, we used functional MRI and a multivariate analysis method to reconstruct orientation-selective response profiles based on activation patterns in the early visual cortex before and after subjects learned to discriminate small offsets in a set of grating stimuli that were rendered in one of nine possible orientations. Behavioral performance improved across 10 training sessions, and there was a training-related increase in the amplitude of orientation-selective response profiles in V1, V2, and V3 when orientation was task relevant compared with when it was task irrelevant. These results suggest that generalized perceptual learning can lead to modified responses in the early visual cortex in a manner that is suitable for supporting improved discriminability of stimuli drawn from a large set of exemplars. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.
Paige E. Scalf
Full Text Available Both perceptual load theory and dilution theory purport to explain when and why task-irrelevant information, or so-called distractors are processed. Central to both explanations is the notion of limited resources, although the theories differ in the precise way in which those limitations affect distractor processing. We have recently proposed a neurally plausible explanation of limited resources in which neural competition among stimuli hinders their representation in the brain. This view of limited capacity can also explain distractor processing, whereby the competitive interactions and bias imposed to resolve the competition determine the extent to which a distractor is processed. This idea is compatible with aspects of both perceptual load and dilution models of distractor processing, but also serves to highlight their differences. Here we review the evidence in favor of a biased competition view of limited resources and relate these ideas to both classic perceptual load theory and dilution theory.
Scalf, Paige E; Torralbo, Ana; Tapia, Evelina; Beck, Diane M
Both perceptual load theory and dilution theory purport to explain when and why task-irrelevant information, or so-called distractors are processed. Central to both explanations is the notion of limited resources, although the theories differ in the precise way in which those limitations affect distractor processing. We have recently proposed a neurally plausible explanation of limited resources in which neural competition among stimuli hinders their representation in the brain. This view of limited capacity can also explain distractor processing, whereby the competitive interactions and bias imposed to resolve the competition determine the extent to which a distractor is processed. This idea is compatible with aspects of both perceptual load and dilution models of distractor processing, but also serves to highlight their differences. Here we review the evidence in favor of a biased competition view of limited resources and relate these ideas to both classic perceptual load theory and dilution theory.
Sherman, M T; Seth, A K; Barrett, A B; Kanai, R
The influential framework of 'predictive processing' suggests that prior probabilistic expectations influence, or even constitute, perceptual contents. This notion is evidenced by the facilitation of low-level perceptual processing by expectations. However, whether expectations can facilitate high-level components of perception remains unclear. We addressed this question by considering the influence of expectations on perceptual metacognition. To isolate the effects of expectation from those of attention we used a novel factorial design: expectation was manipulated by changing the probability that a Gabor target would be presented; attention was manipulated by instructing participants to perform or ignore a concurrent visual search task. We found that, independently of attention, metacognition improved when yes/no responses were congruent with expectations of target presence/absence. Results were modeled under a novel Bayesian signal detection theoretic framework which integrates bottom-up signal propagation with top-down influences, to provide a unified description of the mechanisms underlying perceptual decision and metacognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Clark, Torin K.; Lu, Yue M.; Karmali, Faisal
Perceptual decision making is fundamental to a broad range of fields including neurophysiology, economics, medicine, advertising, law, etc. Although recent findings have yielded major advances in our understanding of perceptual decision making, decision making as a function of time and frequency (i.e., decision-making dynamics) is not well understood. To limit the review length, we focus most of this review on human findings. Animal findings, which are extensively reviewed elsewhere, are included when beneficial or necessary. We attempt to put these various findings and data sets, which can appear to be unrelated in the absence of a formal dynamic analysis, into context using published models. Specifically, by adding appropriate dynamic mechanisms (e.g., high-pass filters) to existing models, it appears that a number of otherwise seemingly disparate findings from the literature might be explained. One hypothesis that arises through this dynamic analysis is that decision making includes phasic (high pass) neural mechanisms, an evidence accumulator and/or some sort of midtrial decision-making mechanism (e.g., peak detector and/or decision boundary). PMID:26467513
Walter, Scott R; Li, Ling; Dunsmuir, William T M; Westbrook, Johanna I
To provide a detailed characterisation of clinicians' work management strategies. 1002.3 h of observational data were derived from three previous studies conducted in a teaching hospital in Sydney, Australia, among emergency department (ED) doctors (n=40), ward doctors (n=57) and ward nurses (n=104). The rates of task-switching (pausing a task to handle an incoming task) and multitasking (adding a task in parallel to an existing task) were compared in each group. Random intercepts logistic regression was used to determine factors significantly associated with clinicians' use of task-switching over multitasking and to quantify variation between individual clinicians. Task-switching rates were higher among ED doctors (6.0 per hour) than ward staff (2.2 and 1.8 per hour for doctors and nurses, respectively) and vice versa for multitasking rates (9.2 vs 17.3 and 14.1 per hour). Clinicians' strategy use was significantly related to the nature and complexity of work and to the person they were working with. In some settings, time of day, day of the week or previous chosen strategy affected a clinician's strategy. Independent of these factors, there was significant variation between individual clinicians in their use of strategies in a given situation (ED doctors p=0.04, ward staff p=0.03). Despite differences in factors associated with work management strategy use among ED doctors, ward doctors and ward nurses, clinicians in all settings appeared to prioritise certain types of tasks over others. Documentation was generally given low priority in all groups, while the arrival of direct care tasks tended to be treated with high priority. These findings suggest that considerations of safety may be implicit in task-switching and multitasking decisions. Although these strategies have been cast in a negative light, future research should consider their role in optimising competing quality and efficiency demands.
Cain, W S; de Wijk, R; Lulejian, C; Schiet, F; See, L C
Five studies explored identification of odors as an aspect of semantic memory. All dealt in one way or another with the accessibility of acquired olfactory information. The first study examined stability and showed that, consistent with personal reports, people can fail to identify an odor one day yet succeed another. Failure turned more commonly to success than vice versa, and once success occurred it tended to recur. Confidence ratings implied that subjects generally knew the quality of their answers. Even incorrect names, though, often carried considerable information which sometimes reflected a semantic and sometimes a perceptual source of errors. The second study showed that profiling odors via the American Society of Testing and Materials list of attributes, an exercise in depth of processing, effected no increment in the identifiability/accessibility beyond an unelaborated second attempt at retrieval. The third study showed that subjects had only a weak ability to predict the relative recognizability of odors they had failed to identify. Whereas the strength of the feeling that they would 'know' an answer if offered choices did not associate significantly with performance for odors, it did for trivia questions. The fourth study demonstrated an association between ability to discriminate among one set of odors and to identify another, but this emerged only after subjects had received feedback about identity, which essentially changed the task to one of recognition and effectively stabilized access. The fifth study illustrated that feedback improves performance dramatically only for odors involved with it, but that mere retrieval leads to some improvement. The studies suggest a research agenda that could include supplemental use of confidence judgments both retrospectively and prospectively in the same subjects to indicate the amount of accessible semantic information; use of second and third guesses to examine subjects' simultaneously held hypotheses about
van Elk, Michiel
Previous studies have shown that one's prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing. The present study extends these findings by investigating how individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are related to perceptual and attentional biases. Two field studies were conducted in which visitors of a paranormal conducted a perceptual decision making task (i.e. the face/house categorization task; Experiment 1) or a visual attention task (i.e. the global/local processing task; Experiment 2). In the first experiment it was found that skeptics compared to believers more often incorrectly categorized ambiguous face stimuli as representing a house, indicating that disbelief rather than belief in the paranormal is driving the bias observed for the categorization of ambiguous stimuli. In the second experiment, it was found that skeptics showed a classical 'global-to-local' interference effect, whereas believers in conspiracy theories were characterized by a stronger 'local-to-global interference effect'. The present study shows that individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceptual and attentional biases, thereby extending the growing body of work in this field indicating effects of cultural learning on basic perceptual processes.
Michiel van Elk
Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that one's prior beliefs have a strong effect on perceptual decision-making and attentional processing. The present study extends these findings by investigating how individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are related to perceptual and attentional biases. Two field studies were conducted in which visitors of a paranormal conducted a perceptual decision making task (i.e. the face/house categorization task; Experiment 1 or a visual attention task (i.e. the global/local processing task; Experiment 2. In the first experiment it was found that skeptics compared to believers more often incorrectly categorized ambiguous face stimuli as representing a house, indicating that disbelief rather than belief in the paranormal is driving the bias observed for the categorization of ambiguous stimuli. In the second experiment, it was found that skeptics showed a classical 'global-to-local' interference effect, whereas believers in conspiracy theories were characterized by a stronger 'local-to-global interference effect'. The present study shows that individual differences in paranormal and conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceptual and attentional biases, thereby extending the growing body of work in this field indicating effects of cultural learning on basic perceptual processes.
Liang, Jiali; Wilkinson, Krista; Sainburg, Robert L
Previous studies proposed that selecting which hand to use for a reaching task appears to be modulated by a factor described as "task difficulty". However, what features of a task might contribute to greater or lesser "difficulty" in the context of hand selection decisions has yet to be determined. There has been evidence that biomechanical and kinematic factors such as movement smoothness and work can predict patterns of selection across the workspace, suggesting a role of predictive cost analysis in hand-selection. We hypothesize that this type of prediction for hand-selection should recruit substantial cognitive resources and thus should be influenced by cognitive-perceptual loading. We test this hypothesis by assessing the role of cognitive-perceptual loading on hand selection decisions, using a visual search task that presents different levels of difficulty (cognitive-perceptual load), as established in previous studies on overall response time and efficiency of visual search. Although the data are necessarily preliminary due to small sample size, our data suggested an influence of cognitive-perceptual load on hand selection, such that the dominant hand was selected more frequently as cognitive load increased. Interestingly, cognitive-perceptual loading also increased cross-midline reaches with both hands. Because crossing midline is more costly in terms of kinematic and kinetic factors, our findings suggest that cognitive processes are normally engaged to avoid costly actions, and that the choice not-to-cross midline requires cognitive resources. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Van Gulick, Ana E.; Gauthier, Isabel
In classic category learning studies, subjects typically learn to assign items to one of two categories, with no further distinction between how items on each side of the category boundary should be treated. In real life, however, we often learn categories that dictate further processing goals, for instance with objects in only one category requiring further individuation. Using methods from category learning and perceptual expertise, we studied the perceptual consequences of experience with objects in tasks that rely on attention to different dimensions in different parts of the space. In two experiments, subjects first learned to categorize complex objects from a single morphspace into two categories based on one morph dimension, and then learned to perform a different task, either naming or a local feature judgment, for each of the two categories. A same-different discrimination test before and after each training measured sensitivity to feature dimensions of the space. After initial categorization, sensitivity increased along the category-diagnostic dimension. After task association, sensitivity increased more for the category that was named, especially along the non-diagnostic dimension. The results demonstrate that local attentional weights, associated with individual exemplars as a function of task requirements, can have lasting effects on perceptual representations. PMID:24820671
Mackintosh, N J
Although most studies of perceptual learning in human participants have concentrated on the changes in perception assumed to be occurring, studies of nonhuman animals necessarily measure discrimination learning and generalization and remain agnostic on the question of whether changes in behavior reflect changes in perception. On the other hand, animal studies do make it easier to draw a distinction between supervised and unsupervised learning. Differential reinforcement will surely teach animals to attend to some features of a stimulus array rather than to others. But it is an open question as to whether such changes in attention underlie the enhanced discrimination seen after unreinforced exposure to such an array. I argue that most instances of unsupervised perceptual learning observed in animals (and at least some in human animals) are better explained by appeal to well-established principles and phenomena of associative learning theory: excitatory and inhibitory associations between stimulus elements, latent inhibition, and habituation.
Scheel, Matthew H; Ambrose, Aimee L
Participants ingested a sugar drink or a sugar-free drink and then engaged in a pair of dichotic listening tasks. Tasks presented category labels then played a series of word pairs, one in the left ear and one in the right. Participants attempted to identify pairs containing a target category member. Target category words were homonyms. For example, arms appeared as a target in the "body parts" category. Nontargets that played along with targets were related to a category-appropriate version of the target (e.g., sleeves), a category-inappropriate version (e.g., weapons), or were unrelated to either version of the target (e.g., plant). Hence, an effect of nontarget type on number of targets missed was evidence that participants processed nontargets for meaning. In the divided attention task, participants monitored both ears. In the focused attention task, participants monitored the left ear. Half the participants in each group had the divided attention task before the focused attention task; the other half had the focused attention task before the divided attention task. We set task lengths to about 12 min so working on the first task would give sufficient time for metabolizing sugar from the drink before the start of the second task. Nontarget word type significantly affected targets missed in both tasks. Drink type affected performance in the divided attention task only after sufficient time for converting sugar into blood glucose. The result supports an energy model for the effect of sugar ingestion on perceptual tasks rather than a motivational model.
Under task-based learning (TBL) framework, language learners engage in purposeful, problem-oriented, and outcome-driven tasks that are comparable to traditional teaching methods which focus only on the correctness of grammar. In this study, the author employs Jane Willis' TBL framework and examines its effects on the improvement of EFL learners'…
Amigo, Seth; Smith, Andrew; Ludwig, Timothy
The current study investigated the effects of task-clarification, and manager verbal and graphic feedback on employee busing times at a pizza restaurant. Using an ABC design, task-clarification was provided in a memo, which described the process, priority, and goal time of busing. The busing time decreased slightly, from an average of 315 seconds…
Full Text Available Load Theory (Lavie, 1995; 2005 states that the level of perceptual load in a task (i.e. the amount of information involved in processing task-relevant stimuli determines the efficiency of selective attention. There is evidence that perceptual load affects distractor processing, with increased inattentional blindness under high load. Given that high load can result in individuals failing to report seeing obvious objects, it is conceivable that load may also impair memory for the scene. The current study is the first to assess the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory. Across three experiments (two video-based and one in a driving simulator, the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory was assessed. The results showed that eyewitnesses were less accurate under high load, in particular for peripheral details. For example, memory for the central character in the video was not affected by load but memory for a witness who passed by the window at the edge of the scene was significantly worse under high load. High load memories were also more open to suggestion, showing increased susceptibility to leading questions. High visual perceptual load also affected recall for auditory information, illustrating a possible cross-modal perceptual load effect on memory accuracy. These results have implications for eyewitness memory researchers and forensic professionals.
Murphy, Gillian; Greene, Ciara M
Load Theory (Lavie, 1995, 2005) states that the level of perceptual load in a task (i.e., the amount of information involved in processing task-relevant stimuli) determines the efficiency of selective attention. There is evidence that perceptual load affects distractor processing, with increased inattentional blindness under high load. Given that high load can result in individuals failing to report seeing obvious objects, it is conceivable that load may also impair memory for the scene. The current study is the first to assess the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory. Across three experiments (two video-based and one in a driving simulator), the effect of perceptual load on eyewitness memory was assessed. The results showed that eyewitnesses were less accurate under high load, in particular for peripheral details. For example, memory for the central character in the video was not affected by load but memory for a witness who passed by the window at the edge of the scene was significantly worse under high load. High load memories were also more open to suggestion, showing increased susceptibility to leading questions. High visual perceptual load also affected recall for auditory information, illustrating a possible cross-modal perceptual load effect on memory accuracy. These results have implications for eyewitness memory researchers and forensic professionals.
Blank, H.; Guido, B.; Heekeren, H.R.; Philiastides, M.G.
Perceptual decision making is the process by which information from sensory systems is combined and used to influence our behavior. In addition to the sensory input, this process can be affected by other factors, such as reward and punishment for correct and incorrect responses. To investigate the temporal dynamics of how monetary punishment influences perceptual decision making in humans, we collected electroencephalography (EEG) data during a perceptual categorization task whereby the punis...
Chiu, Yu-Chin; Esterman, Michael; Han, Yuefeng; Rosen, Heather; Yantis, Steven
Attention is a neurocognitive mechanism that selects task-relevant sensory or mnemonic information to achieve current behavioral goals. Attentional modulation of cortical activity has been observed when attention is directed to specific locations, features, or objects. However, little is known about how high-level categorization task set modulates perceptual representations. In the current study, observers categorized faces by gender (male vs. female) or race (Asian vs. White). Each face was perceptually ambiguous in both dimensions, such that categorization of one dimension demanded selective attention to task-relevant information within the face. We used multivoxel pattern classification to show that task-specific modulations evoke reliably distinct spatial patterns of activity within three face-selective cortical regions (right fusiform face area and bilateral occipital face areas). This result suggests that patterns of activity in these regions reflect not only stimulus-specific (i.e., faces vs. houses) responses but also task-specific (i.e., race vs. gender) attentional modulation. Furthermore, exploratory whole-brain multivoxel pattern classification (using a searchlight procedure) revealed a network of dorsal fronto-parietal regions (left middle frontal gyrus and left inferior and superior parietal lobule) that also exhibit distinct patterns for the two task sets, suggesting that these regions may represent abstract goals during high-level categorization tasks.
Pannunzi, Mario; Ayneto, Alba; Deco, Gustavo; Sebastián-Gallés, Nuria
So far, it was unclear if social hierarchy could influence sensory or perceptual cognitive processes. We evaluated the effects of social hierarchy on these processes using a basic visual perceptual decision task. We constructed a social hierarchy where participants performed the perceptual task separately with two covertly simulated players (superior, inferior). Participants were faster (better) when performing the discrimination task with the superior player. We studied the time course when social hierarchy was processed using event-related potentials and observed hierarchical effects even in early stages of sensory-perceptual processing, suggesting early top–down modulation by social hierarchy. Moreover, in a parallel analysis, we fitted a drift-diffusion model (DDM) to the results to evaluate the decision making process of this perceptual task in the context of a social hierarchy. Consistently, the DDM pointed to nondecision time (probably perceptual encoding) as the principal period influenced by social hierarchy. PMID:23946003
Wei, P; Szameitat, A J; Müller, H J; Schubert, T; Zhou, X
The neural correlates of perceptual load induced attentional selection were investigated in an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment in which attentional selection was manipulated through the variation of perceptual load in target search. Participants searched for a vertically or horizontally oriented bar among heterogeneously (the high load condition) or homogeneously (the low load condition) oriented distractor bars in the central display, which was flanked by a vertical or horizontal bar presented at the left or the right periphery. The search reaction times were longer when the central display was of high load than of low load, and were longer when the flanker was incongruent than congruent with the target. Importantly, the flanker congruency effect was manifested only in the low load condition, not in the high load condition, indicating that the perceptual load in target search determined whether the task-irrelevant flanker was processed. Imaging analyses revealed a set of fronto-parietal regions having higher activations in the high than in the low load condition. Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was more activated for the incongruent than for the congruent trials. Moreover, ACC and bilateral anterior insula were sensitive to the interaction between perceptual load and flanker congruency such that the activation differences between the incongruent and congruent conditions were significant in the low, but not in the high load condition. These results are consistent with the claim that ACC and bilateral anterior insula may exert executive control by selectively biasing processing in favor of task-relevant information and this biasing depends on the resources currently available to the control system. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Finlayson, Nonie J; Papageorgiou, Andriani; Schwarzkopf, D Samuel
How we perceive the environment is not stable and seamless. Recent studies found that how a person qualitatively experiences even simple visual stimuli varies dramatically across different locations in the visual field. Here we use a method we developed recently that we call multiple alternatives perceptual search (MAPS) for efficiently mapping such perceptual biases across several locations. This procedure reliably quantifies the spatial pattern of perceptual biases and also of uncertainty and choice. We show that these measurements are strongly correlated with those from traditional psychophysical methods and that exogenous attention can skew biases without affecting overall task performance. Taken together, MAPS is an efficient method to measure how an individual's perceptual experience varies across space.
Agmon, Maayan; Belza, Basia; Nguyen, Huong Q; Logsdon, Rebecca G; Kelly, Valerie E
Injury due to falls is a major problem among older adults. Decrements in dual-task postural control performance (simultaneously performing two tasks, at least one of which requires postural control) have been associated with an increased risk of falling. Evidence-based interventions that can be used in clinical or community settings to improve dual-task postural control may help to reduce this risk. THE AIMS OF THIS SYSTEMATIC REVIEW ARE: 1) to identify clinical or community-based interventions that improved dual-task postural control among older adults; and 2) to identify the key elements of those interventions. Studies were obtained from a search conducted through October 2013 of the following electronic databases: PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Web of Science. Randomized and nonrandomized controlled studies examining the effects of interventions aimed at improving dual-task postural control among community-dwelling older adults were selected. All studies were evaluated based on methodological quality. Intervention characteristics including study purpose, study design, and sample size were identified, and effects of dual-task interventions on various postural control and cognitive outcomes were noted. Twenty-two studies fulfilled the selection criteria and were summarized in this review to identify characteristics of successful interventions. The ability to synthesize data was limited by the heterogeneity in participant characteristics, study designs, and outcome measures. Dual-task postural control can be modified by specific training. There was little evidence that single-task training transferred to dual-task postural control performance. Further investigation of dual-task training using standardized outcome measurements is needed.
Munga Michael A
Full Text Available Abstract Background Tanzania is experiencing acute shortages of Health Workers (HWs, a situation which has forced health managers, especially in the underserved districts, to hastily cope with health workers’ shortages by adopting task shifting. This has however been due to limited options for dealing with the crisis of health personnel. There are on-going discussions in the country on whether to scale up task shifting as one of the strategies for addressing health personnel crisis. However, these discussions are not backed up by rigorous scientific evidence. The aim of this paper is two-fold. Firstly, to describe the current situation of implementing task shifting in the context of acute shortages of health workers and, secondly, to provide a descriptive account of the potential opportunities or benefits and the likely challenges which might ensue as a result of implementing task shifting. Methods We employed in-depth interviews with informants at the district level and supplemented the information with additional interviews with informants at the national level. Interviews focussed on the informants’ practical experiences of implementing task shifting in their respective health facilities (district level and their opinions regarding opportunities and challenges which might be associated with implementation of task shifting practices. At the national level, the main focus was on policy issues related to management of health personnel in the context of implementation of task shifting, in addition to seeking their opinions and perceptions regarding opportunities and challenges of implementing task shifting if formally adopted. Results Task shifting has been in practice for many years in Tanzania and has been perceived as an inevitable coping mechanism due to limited options for addressing health personnel shortages in the country. Majority of informants had the concern that quality of services is likely to be affected if appropriate policy
Belka, D E
Multiple regression equations were generated to predict cognitive achievement for 40 children (ages 57 to 68 mo.) 1 yr. after administration of a battery of 6 perceptual and perceptual-motor tests to determine if previous results from Toledo could be replicated. Regression equations generated from maximum R2 improvement techniques indicated that performance at prekindergarten is useful for prediction of cognitive performance (total score and total score without the copying subtest on the Metropolitan Readiness Tests) 1 yr. later at the end of kindergarten. The optimal battery included scores on auditory perception, fine perceptual-motor, and gross perceptual-motor tasks. The moderate predictive power of the equations obtained was compared with high predictive power generated in the Toledo study.
Harvey, Roxann C; Jordan, Chloe J; Tassin, David H; Moody, Kayla R; Dwoskin, Linda P; Kantak, Kathleen M
Research examining medication effects on set shifting in teens with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is lacking. An animal model of ADHD may be useful for exploring this gap. The Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR) is a commonly used animal model of ADHD. SHR and two comparator strains, Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and Wistar (WIS), were evaluated during adolescence in a strategy set shifting task under conditions of a 0-sec or 15-sec delay to reinforcer delivery. The task had three phases: initial discrimination, set shift and reversal learning. Under 0-sec delays, SHR performed as well as or better than WKY and WIS. Treatment with 0.3 mg/kg/day atomoxetine had little effect, other than to modestly increase trials to criterion during set shifting in all strains. Under 15-sec delays, SHR had longer lever press reaction times, longer latencies to criterion and more trial omissions than WKY during set shifting and reversal learning. These deficits were not reduced systematically by 1.5 mg/kg/day methylphenidate or 0.3 mg/kg/day atomoxetine. Regarding learning in SHR, methylphenidate improved initial discrimination, whereas atomoxetine improved set shifting but disrupted initial discrimination. During reversal learning, both drugs were ineffective in SHR, and atomoxetine made reaction time and trial omissions greater in WKY. Overall, WIS performance differed from SHR or WKY, depending on phase. Collectively, a genetic model of ADHD in adolescent rats revealed that neither methylphenidate nor atomoxetine mitigated all deficits in SHR during the set shifting task. Thus, methylphenidate or atomoxetine monotherapy may not mitigate all set shift task-related deficits in teens with ADHD. PMID:23376704
Bele, Irene Velsvik
This study focuses on speaking voice quality in male teachers (n = 35) and male actors (n = 36), who represent untrained and trained voice users, because we wanted to investigate normal and supranormal voices. In this study, both substantial and methodologic aspects were considered. It includes a method for perceptual voice evaluation, and a basic issue was rater reliability. A listening group of 10 listeners, 7 experienced speech-language therapists, and 3 speech-language therapist students evaluated the voices by 15 vocal characteristics using VA scales. Two sets of voice signals were investigated: text reading (2 loudness levels) and sustained vowel (3 levels). The results indicated a high interrater reliability for most perceptual characteristics. Connected speech was evaluated more reliably, especially at the normal level, but both types of voice signals were evaluated reliably, although the reliability for connected speech was somewhat higher than for vowels. Experienced listeners tended to be more consistent in their ratings than did the student raters. Some vocal characteristics achieved acceptable reliability even with a smaller panel of listeners. The perceptual characteristics grouped in 4 factors reflected perceptual dimensions.
Sadeh, Naomi; Bredemeier, Keith
Attentional control theory (Eysenck et al., 2007) posits that taxing attentional resources impairs performance efficiency in anxious individuals. This theory, however, does not explicitly address if or how the relation between anxiety and attentional control depends upon the perceptual demands of the task at hand. Consequently, the present study examined the relation between trait anxiety and task performance using a perceptual load task (Maylor & Lavie, 1998). Sixty-eight male college students completed a visual search task that indexed processing of irrelevant distractors systematically across four levels of perceptual load. Results indicated that anxiety was related to difficulty suppressing the behavioural effects of irrelevant distractors (i.e., decreased reaction time efficiency) under high, but not low, perceptual loads. In contrast, anxiety was not associated with error rates on the task. These findings are consistent with the prediction that anxiety is associated with impairments in performance efficiency under conditions that tax attentional resources.
Kim, Sanga; Lee, Sang Ho; Cho, Yang Seok
The congruency sequence effect, one of the indices of cognitive control, refers to a smaller congruency effect after an incongruent than congruent trial. Although the effect has been found across a variety of conflict tasks, there is not yet agreement on the underlying mechanism. The present study investigated the mechanism underlying cognitive control by using a cross-task paradigm. In Experiments 1, 2, and 3, participants performed a modified Simon task and a spatial Stroop task alternately in a trial-by-trial manner. The task-irrelevant dimension of the two tasks was perceptually and conceptually identical in Experiment 1, whereas it was perceptually different but conceptually identical in Experiment 2. The response sets for both tasks were different in Experiment 3. In Experiment 4, participants performed two Simon tasks with different task-relevant dimensions. In all experiments in which the task-irrelevant dimension and response mode were shared, significant congruency sequence effects were found between the two different congruencies, indicating that Simon-type conflicts were resolved by a control mechanism, which is specific to an abstract task-irrelevant stimulus spatial dimension. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Perceptual organization--the processes structuring visual information into coherent units--and visual attention--the processes by which some visual information in a scene is selected--are crucial for the perception of our visual environment and to visuomotor behavior. Recent research points to important relations between attentional and organizational processes. Several studies demonstrated that perceptual organization constrains attentional selectivity, and other studies suggest that attention can also constrain perceptual organization. In this chapter I focus on two aspects of the relationship between perceptual organization and attention. The first addresses the question of whether or not perceptual organization can take place without attention. I present findings demonstrating that some forms of grouping and figure-ground segmentation can occur without attention, whereas others require controlled attentional processing, depending on the processes involved and the conditions prevailing for each process. These findings challenge the traditional view, which assumes that perceptual organization is a unitary entity that operates preattentively. The second issue addresses the question of whether perceptual organization can affect the automatic deployment of attention. I present findings showing that the mere organization of some elements in the visual field by Gestalt factors into a coherent perceptual unit (an "object"), with no abrupt onset or any other unique transient, can capture attention automatically in a stimulus-driven manner. Taken together, the findings discussed in this chapter demonstrate the multifaceted, interactive relations between perceptual organization and visual attention.
Full Text Available Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SSD are known to be characterised by abnormalities in attentional processes, but there are inconsistencies in the literature that remain unresolved. This article considers whether perceptual resource limitations play a role in moderating attentional abnormalities in SSD. According to perceptual load theory, perceptual resource limitations can lead to attenuated or superior performance on dual-task paradigms depending on whether participants are required to process, or attempt to ignore, secondary stimuli. If SSD is associated with perceptual resource limitations, and if it represents the extreme end of an otherwise normally distributed neuropsychological phenotype, schizotypal traits in the general population should lead to disproportionate performance costs on dual-task paradigms as a function of the perceptual task demands. To test this prediction, schizotypal traits were quantified via the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ in 74 healthy volunteers, who also completed a dual-task signal detection paradigm that required participants to detect central and peripheral stimuli across conditions that varied in the overall number of stimuli presented. The results confirmed decreasing performance as the perceptual load of the task increased. More importantly, significant correlations between SPQ scores and task performance confirmed that increased schizotypal traits, particularly in the cognitive-perceptual domain, are associated with greater performance decrements under increasing perceptual load. These results confirm that attentional difficulties associated with SSD extend sub-clinically into the general population and suggest that cognitive-perceptual schizotypal traits may represent a risk factor for difficulties in the regulation of attention under increasing perceptual load.
Rosalie, Simon M.; Muller, Sean
This paper presents a preliminary model that outlines the mechanisms underlying the transfer of perceptual-motor skill learning in sport and everyday tasks. Perceptual-motor behavior is motivated by performance demands and evolves over time to increase the probability of success through adaptation. Performance demands at the time of an event…
Bowd, Alan D.
Kindergarten children were administered tests of inductive reasoning and field dependence and a series of perceptual egocentrism tasks. Results confirm a positive relation between field dependence and perceptual egocentrism; they also question the validity of the field-dependence construct in early childhood. (GO)
Full Text Available Perceptual hash functions provide a tool for fast and reliable identification of content. We present new audio hash functions based on summarization of the time-frequency spectral characteristics of an audio document. The proposed hash functions are based on the periodicity series of the fundamental frequency and on singular-value description of the cepstral frequencies. They are found, on one hand, to perform very satisfactorily in identification and verification tests, and on the other hand, to be very resilient to a large variety of attacks. Moreover, we address the issue of security of hashes and propose a keying technique, and thereby a key-dependent hash function.
Hartmann, Martin; Lartillot, Olivier; Toiviainen, Petri
As music unfolds in time, structure is recognised and understood by listeners, regardless of their level of musical expertise. A number of studies have found spectral and tonal changes to quite successfully model boundaries between structural sections. However, the effects of musical expertise...... and experimental task on computational modelling of structure are not yet well understood. These issues need to be addressed to better understand how listeners perceive the structure of music and to improve automatic segmentation algorithms. In this study, computational prediction of segmentation by listeners...... was investigated for six musical stimuli via a real-time task and an annotation (non real-time) task. The proposed approach involved computation of novelty curve interaction features and a prediction model of perceptual segmentation boundary density. We found that, compared to non-musicians’, musicians...
Fleming, Stephen M; Whiteley, Louise; Hulme, Oliver J; Sahani, Maneesh; Dolan, Raymond J
Perceptual judgments are often biased by prospective losses, leading to changes in decision criteria. Little is known about how and where sensory evidence and cost information interact in the brain to influence perceptual categorization. Here we show that prospective losses systematically bias the perception of noisy face-house images. Asymmetries in category-specific cost were associated with enhanced blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal in a frontoparietal network. We observed selective activation of parahippocampal gyrus for changes in category-specific cost in keeping with the hypothesis that loss functions enact a particular task set that is communicated to visual regions. Across subjects, greater shifts in decision criteria were associated with greater activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Our results support a hypothesis that costs bias an intermediate representation between perception and action, expressed via general effects on frontal cortex, and selective effects on extrastriate cortex. These findings indicate that asymmetric costs may affect a neural implementation of perceptual decision making in a similar manner to changes in category expectation, constituting a step toward accounting for how prospective losses are flexibly integrated with sensory evidence in the brain.
Abiri, Ahmad; Tao, Anna; LaRocca, Meg; Guan, Xingmin; Askari, Syed J; Bisley, James W; Dutson, Erik P; Grundfest, Warren S
The principal objective of the experiment was to analyze the effects of the clutch operation of robotic surgical systems on the performance of the operator. The relative coordinate system introduced by the clutch operation can introduce a visual-perceptual mismatch which can potentially have negative impact on a surgeon's performance. We also assess the impact of the introduction of additional tactile sensory information on reducing the impact of visual-perceptual mismatch on the performance of the operator. We asked 45 novice subjects to complete peg transfers using the da Vinci IS 1200 system with grasper-mounted, normal force sensors. The task involves picking up a peg with one of the robotic arms, passing it to the other arm, and then placing it on the opposite side of the view. Subjects were divided into three groups: aligned group (no mismatch), the misaligned group (10 cm z axis mismatch), and the haptics-misaligned group (haptic feedback and z axis mismatch). Each subject performed the task five times, during which the grip force, time of completion, and number of faults were recorded. Compared to the subjects that performed the tasks using a properly aligned controller/arm configuration, subjects with a single-axis misalignment showed significantly more peg drops (p = 0.011) and longer time to completion (p sensors showed no difference between the different groups. The visual-perceptual mismatch created by the misalignment of the robotic controls relative to the robotic arms has a negative impact on the operator of a robotic surgical system. Introduction of other sensory information and haptic feedback systems can help in potentially reducing this effect.
Chen, Nihong; Cai, Peng; Zhou, Tiangang; Thompson, Benjamin; Fang, Fang
Training can improve performance of perceptual tasks. This phenomenon, known as perceptual learning, is strongest for the trained task and stimulus, leading to a widely accepted assumption that the associated neuronal plasticity is restricted to brain circuits that mediate performance of the trained task. Nevertheless, learning does transfer to other tasks and stimuli, implying the presence of more widespread plasticity. Here, we trained human subjects to discriminate the direction of coherent motion stimuli. The behavioral learning effect substantially transferred to noisy motion stimuli. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the transfer of learning. The TMS experiment revealed dissociable, causal contributions of V3A (one of the visual areas in the extrastriate visual cortex) and MT+ (middle temporal/medial superior temporal cortex) to coherent and noisy motion processing. Surprisingly, the contribution of MT+ to noisy motion processing was replaced by V3A after perceptual training. The fMRI experiment complemented and corroborated the TMS finding. Multivariate pattern analysis showed that, before training, among visual cortical areas, coherent and noisy motion was decoded most accurately in V3A and MT+, respectively. After training, both kinds of motion were decoded most accurately in V3A. Our findings demonstrate that the effects of perceptual learning extend far beyond the retuning of specific neural populations for the trained stimuli. Learning could dramatically modify the inherent functional specializations of visual cortical areas and dynamically reweight their contributions to perceptual decisions based on their representational qualities. These neural changes might serve as the neural substrate for the transfer of perceptual learning.
Parks, Nathan A; Hilimire, Matthew R; Corballis, Paul M
The perceptual load theory of attention posits that attentional selection occurs early in processing when a task is perceptually demanding but occurs late in processing otherwise. We used a frequency-tagged steady-state evoked potential paradigm to investigate the modality specificity of perceptual load-induced distractor filtering and the nature of neural-competitive interactions between task and distractor stimuli. EEG data were recorded while participants monitored a stream of stimuli occurring in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) for the appearance of previously assigned targets. Perceptual load was manipulated by assigning targets that were identifiable by color alone (low load) or by the conjunction of color and orientation (high load). The RSVP task was performed alone and in the presence of task-irrelevant visual and auditory distractors. The RSVP stimuli, visual distractors, and auditory distractors were "tagged" by modulating each at a unique frequency (2.5, 8.5, and 40.0 Hz, respectively), which allowed each to be analyzed separately in the frequency domain. We report three important findings regarding the neural mechanisms of perceptual load. First, we replicated previous findings of within-modality distractor filtering and demonstrated a reduction in visual distractor signals with high perceptual load. Second, auditory steady-state distractor signals were unaffected by manipulations of visual perceptual load, consistent with the idea that perceptual load-induced distractor filtering is modality specific. Third, analysis of task-related signals revealed that visual distractors competed with task stimuli for representation and that increased perceptual load appeared to resolve this competition in favor of the task stimulus.
Groenesteijn, L.; Eikhout, S.M.; Vink, P.
In installation work, the physical workload is high. Awkward postures, heavy lifting and repetitive movements are often seen. To improve aspects of the work situation, frequently used pliers were redesigned to make them suitable for more cutting tasks. In this study these multitask pliers are
Parks, Nathan A; Beck, Diane M; Kramer, Arthur F
The perceptual load theory of attention proposes that the degree to which visual distractors are processed is a function of the attentional demands of a task-greater demands increase filtering of irrelevant distractors. The spatial configuration of such filtering is unknown. Here, we used steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) in conjunction with time-domain event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the distribution of load-induced distractor suppression and task-relevant enhancement in the visual field. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded while subjects performed a foveal go/no-go task that varied in perceptual load. Load-dependent distractor suppression was assessed by presenting a contrast reversing ring at one of three eccentricities (2, 6, or 11°) during performance of the go/no-go task. Rings contrast reversed at 8.3 Hz, allowing load-dependent changes in distractor processing to be tracked in the frequency-domain. ERPs were calculated to the onset of stimuli in the load task to examine load-dependent modulation of task-relevant processing. Results showed that the amplitude of the distractor SSVEP (8.3 Hz) was attenuated under high perceptual load (relative to low load) at the most proximal (2°) eccentricity but not at more eccentric locations (6 or 11°). Task-relevant ERPs revealed a significant increase in N1 amplitude under high load. These results are consistent with a center-surround configuration of load-induced enhancement and suppression in the visual field.
Fahrenfort, Johannes J.; Van Leeuwen, Jonathan; Olivers, Christian N.L.; Hogendoorn, Hinze
The visual system has the remarkable ability to integrate fragmentary visual input into a perceptually organized collection of surfaces and objects, a process we refer to as perceptual integration. Despite a long tradition of perception research, it is not known whether access to consciousness is
Dartel, M. van; Sprinkhuizen-Kuyper, I.G.; Postma, E.O.; Herik, H.J. van den
Reactive agents are generally believed to be incapable of coping with perceptual ambiguity (i.e., identical sensory states that require different responses). However, a recent finding suggests that reactive agents can cope with perceptual ambiguity in a simple model (Nolfi, 2002). This paper
Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.
Practicing a visual task commonly results in improved performance. Often the improvement does not transfer well to a new retinal location, suggesting that it is mediated by changes occurring in early visual cortex, and indeed neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies both demonstrate that perceptual learning is associated with altered activity…
Calvo, Manuel G.; Fernandez-Martin, Andres; Nummenmaa, Lauri
Why is a face with a smile but non-happy eyes likely to be interpreted as happy? We used blended expressions in which a smiling mouth was incongruent with the eyes (e.g., angry eyes), as well as genuine expressions with congruent eyes and mouth (e.g., both happy or angry). Tasks involved detection of a smiling mouth (perceptual), categorization of…
Couperus, J W
This study explored effects of perceptual load on stimulus processing in the presence and absence of an attended stimulus. Participants were presented with a bilateral or unilateral display and asked to perform a discrimination task at either low or high perceptual load. Electrophysiological responses to stimuli were then compared at the P100 and N100. As in previous studies, perceptual load modified processing of attended and unattended stimuli seen at occipital scalp sites. Moreover, perceptual load modulated attention effects when the attended stimulus was presented at high perceptual load for unilateral displays. However, this was not true when the attended and unattended stimulus appeared simultaneously in bilateral displays. Instead, only a main effect of perceptual load was found. Reductions in processing contralateral to the unattended stimulus at the N100 provide support for Lavie's (1995) theory of selective attention. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mevorach, Carmel; Tsal, Yehoshua; Humphreys, Glyn W
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.
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.
Siuly; Li, Yan; Paul Wen, Peng
Motor imagery (MI) tasks classification provides an important basis for designing brain-computer interface (BCI) systems. If the MI tasks are reliably distinguished through identifying typical patterns in electroencephalography (EEG) data, a motor disabled people could communicate with a device by composing sequences of these mental states. In our earlier study, we developed a cross-correlation based logistic regression (CC-LR) algorithm for the classification of MI tasks for BCI applications, but its performance was not satisfactory. This study develops a modified version of the CC-LR algorithm exploring a suitable feature set that can improve the performance. The modified CC-LR algorithm uses the C3 electrode channel (in the international 10-20 system) as a reference channel for the cross-correlation (CC) technique and applies three diverse feature sets separately, as the input to the logistic regression (LR) classifier. The present algorithm investigates which feature set is the best to characterize the distribution of MI tasks based EEG data. This study also provides an insight into how to select a reference channel for the CC technique with EEG signals considering the anatomical structure of the human brain. The proposed algorithm is compared with eight of the most recently reported well-known methods including the BCI III Winner algorithm. The findings of this study indicate that the modified CC-LR algorithm has potential to improve the identification performance of MI tasks in BCI systems. The results demonstrate that the proposed technique provides a classification improvement over the existing methods tested. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Alsharji, Khaled E; Wade, Michael G
We examined the effectiveness of perceptual training on the performance of handball goalkeepers when anticipating the direction of both direct and deceptive 7-m throws. Skilled goalkeepers were assigned equally to three matched-ability groups based on their pre-test performance: a perceptual training group (n = 14) received video-based perceptual training, a placebo training group (n = 14) received video-based regular training and a control group received no training. Participants in the perceptual training group significantly improved their performance compared to both placebo and control groups; however, anticipation of deceptive throws improved less than for direct throws. The results confirm that although anticipating deception in handball is a challenging task for goalkeepers, task-specific perceptual training can minimise its effect and improve performance.
Zhu, Ziyun; Fan, Zhenzhi; Fang, Fang
When a target is presented with nearby flankers in the peripheral visual field, it becomes harder to identify, which is referred to as crowding. Crowding sets a fundamental limit of object recognition in peripheral vision, preventing us from fully appreciating cluttered visual scenes. We trained adult human subjects on a crowded orientation discrimination task and investigated whether crowding could be completely eliminated by training. We discovered a two-stage learning process with this training task. In the early stage, when the target and flankers were separated beyond a certain distance, subjects acquired a relatively general ability to break crowding, as evidenced by the fact that the breaking of crowding could transfer to another crowded orientation, even a crowded motion stimulus, although the transfer to the opposite visual hemi-field was weak. In the late stage, like many classical perceptual learning effects, subjects' performance gradually improved and showed specificity to the trained orientation. We also found that, when the target and flankers were spaced too finely, training could only reduce, rather than completely eliminate, the crowding effect. This two-stage learning process illustrates a learning strategy for our brain to deal with the notoriously difficult problem of identifying peripheral objects in clutter. The brain first learned to solve the "easy and general" part of the problem (i.e., improving the processing resolution and segmenting the target and flankers) and then tackle the "difficult and specific" part (i.e., refining the representation of the target).
Kennedy, Kristen M.; Rodrigue, Karen M.; Head, Denise; Gunning-Dixon, Faith; Raz, Naftali
Our objectives were to assess age differences in perceptual repetition priming and perceptual skill learning, and to determine whether they are mediated by cognitive resources and regional cerebral volume differences. Fragmented picture identification paradigm allows the study of both priming and learning within the same task. We presented this task to 169 adults (ages 18–80), assessed working memory and fluid intelligence, and measured brain volumes of regions that were deemed relevant to th...
Zhe Charles Zhou; Chunxiu Yu; Kristin K. Sellers; Flavio Fröhlich
Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contr...
Deroost, Natacha; Coomans, Daphné
We examined the role of sequence awareness in a pure perceptual sequence learning design. Participants had to react to the target's colour that changed according to a perceptual sequence. By varying the mapping of the target's colour onto the response keys, motor responses changed randomly. The effect of sequence awareness on perceptual sequence learning was determined by manipulating the learning instructions (explicit versus implicit) and assessing the amount of sequence awareness after the experiment. In the explicit instruction condition (n = 15), participants were instructed to intentionally search for the colour sequence, whereas in the implicit instruction condition (n = 15), they were left uninformed about the sequenced nature of the task. Sequence awareness after the sequence learning task was tested by means of a questionnaire and the process-dissociation-procedure. The results showed that the instruction manipulation had no effect on the amount of perceptual sequence learning. Based on their report to have actively applied their sequence knowledge during the experiment, participants were subsequently regrouped in a sequence strategy group (n = 14, of which 4 participants from the implicit instruction condition and 10 participants from the explicit instruction condition) and a no-sequence strategy group (n = 16, of which 11 participants from the implicit instruction condition and 5 participants from the explicit instruction condition). Only participants of the sequence strategy group showed reliable perceptual sequence learning and sequence awareness. These results indicate that perceptual sequence learning depends upon the continuous employment of strategic cognitive control processes on sequence knowledge. Sequence awareness is suggested to be a necessary but not sufficient condition for perceptual learning to take place. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Maayan Agmon,1 Basia Belza,2 Huong Q Nguyen,2,3 Rebecca G Logsdon,2 Valerie E Kelly41The Cheryl Spencer Department of Nursing, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies, University of Haifa, Israel; 2School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Department of Research and Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente, CA, USA; 4School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USABackground: Injury due to falls is a major problem among older adults. Decrements in dual-task postural control performance (simultaneously performing two tasks, at least one of which requires postural control have been associated with an increased risk of falling. Evidence-based interventions that can be used in clinical or community settings to improve dual-task postural control may help to reduce this risk.Purpose: The aims of this systematic review are: 1 to identify clinical or community-based interventions that improved dual-task postural control among older adults; and 2 to identify the key elements of those interventions.Data sources: Studies were obtained from a search conducted through October 2013 of the following electronic databases: PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Web of Science.Study selection: Randomized and nonrandomized controlled studies examining the effects of interventions aimed at improving dual-task postural control among community-dwelling older adults were selected.Data extraction: All studies were evaluated based on methodological quality. Intervention characteristics including study purpose, study design, and sample size were identified, and effects of dual-task interventions on various postural control and cognitive outcomes were noted.Data synthesis: Twenty-two studies fulfilled the selection criteria and were summarized in this review to identify characteristics of successful interventions.Limitations: The ability to synthesize data was limited by the heterogeneity in participant characteristics, study designs, and outcome
Riaan M. Olivier
Full Text Available Background: Thought disorder and visual-perceptual deficits have been well documented, but their relationships with clinical symptoms and cognitive function remain unclear. Cognitive-perceptual deficits may underscore clinical symptoms in schizophrenia patients. Aim: This study aimed to explore how thought disorder and form perception are related with clinical symptoms and cognitive dysfunction in first-episode schizophrenia. Setting: Forty-two patients with a first-episode of schizophrenia, schizophreniform or schizoaffective disorder were recruited from community clinics and state hospitals in the Cape Town area. Methods: Patients were assessed at baseline with the Rorschach Perceptual Thinking Index (PTI, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS and the MATRICS Cognitive Consensus Battery (MCCB. Spearman correlational analyses were conducted to investigate relationships between PTI scores, PANSS factor analysis-derived domain scores and MCCB composite and subscale scores. Multiple regression models explored these relationships further. Results: Unexpectedly, poor form perception (X- % was inversely correlated with the severity of PANSS positive symptoms (r = -0.42, p = 0.02. Good form perception (XA% correlated significantly with speed of processing (r = 0.59, p < 0.01, working memory (r = 0.48, p < 0.01 and visual learning (r = 0.55, p < 0.01. PTI measures of thought disorder did not correlate significantly with PANSS symptom scores or cognitive performance. Conclusions: Form perception is associated with positive symptoms and impairment in executive function during acute psychosis. These findings suggest that there may be clinical value in including sensory-perceptual processing tasks in cognitive remediation and social cognitive training programmes for schizophrenia patients.
Full Text Available The extent to which auditory experience can shape general auditory perceptual abilities is still under constant debate. Some studies show that specific auditory expertise may have a general effect on auditory perceptual abilities, while others show a more limited influence, exhibited only in a relatively narrow range associated with the area of expertise. The current study addresses this issue by examining experience-dependent enhancement in perceptual abilities in the auditory domain. Three experiments were performed. In the first experiment, 12 pop and rock musicians and 15 non-musicians were tested in frequency discrimination (DLF, intensity discrimination, spectrum discrimination (DLS, and time discrimination (DLT. Results showed significant superiority of the musician group only for the DLF and DLT tasks, illuminating enhanced perceptual skills in the key features of pop music, in which miniscule changes in amplitude and spectrum are not critical to performance. The next two experiments attempted to differentiate between generalization and specificity in the influence of auditory experience, by comparing subgroups of specialists. First, seven guitar players and eight percussionists were tested in the DLF and DLT tasks that were found superior for musicians. Results showed superior abilities on the DLF task for guitar players, though no difference between the groups in DLT, demonstrating some dependency of auditory learning on the specific area of expertise. Subsequently, a third experiment was conducted, testing a possible influence of vowel density in native language on auditory perceptual abilities. Ten native speakers of German (a language characterized by a dense vowel system of 14 vowels, and 10 native speakers of Hebrew (characterized by a sparse vowel system of five vowels, were tested in a formant discrimination task. This is the linguistic equivalent of a DLS task. Results showed that German speakers had superior formant
Andriessen, I.; Phalet, K.; Lens, W.
Background. Cross-cultural research on minority school achievement yields mixed findings on the motivational impact of future goal setting for students from disadvantaged minority groups. Relevant and recent motivational research, integrating Future Time Perspective Theory with Self-Determination
Cosman, Joshua D; Mordkoff, J Toby; Vecera, Shaun P
A dominant account of selective attention, perceptual load theory, proposes that when attentional resources are exhausted, task-irrelevant information receives little attention and goes unrecognized. However, the flanker effect-typically used to assay stimulus identification-requires an arbitrary mapping between a stimulus and a response. We looked for failures of flanker identification by using a more-sensitive measure that does not require arbitrary stimulus-response mappings: the correlated flankers effect. We found that flanking items that were task-irrelevant but that correlated with target identity produced a correlated flanker effect. Participants were faster on trials in which the irrelevant flanker had previously correlated with the target than when it did not. Of importance, this correlated flanker effect appeared regardless of perceptual load, occurring even in high-load displays that should have abolished flanker identification. Findings from a standard flanker task replicated the basic perceptual load effect, with flankers not affecting response times under high perceptual load. Our results indicate that task-irrelevant information can be processed to a high level (identification), even under high perceptual load. This challenges a strong account of high perceptual load effects that hypothesizes complete failures of stimulus identification under high perceptual load. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Green, C Shawn; Li, Renjie; Bavelier, Daphne
Action video games have been shown to enhance behavioral performance on a wide variety of perceptual tasks, from those that require effective allocation of attentional resources across the visual scene, to those that demand the successful identification of fleetingly presented stimuli. Importantly, these effects have not only been shown in expert action video game players, but a causative link has been established between action video game play and enhanced processing through training studies. Although an account based solely on attention fails to capture the variety of enhancements observed after action game playing, a number of models of perceptual learning are consistent with the observed results, with behavioral modeling favoring the hypothesis that avid video game players are better able to form templates for, or extract the relevant statistics of, the task at hand. This may suggest that the neural site of learning is in areas where information is integrated and actions are selected; yet changes in low-level sensory areas cannot be ruled out. Copyright © 2009 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Amitay, Sygal; Halliday, Lorna; Taylor, Jenny; Sohoglu, Ediz; Moore, David R
Although feedback on performance is generally thought to promote perceptual learning, the role and necessity of feedback remain unclear. We investigated the effect of providing varying amounts of positive feedback while listeners attempted to discriminate between three identical tones on learning frequency discrimination. Using this novel procedure, the feedback was meaningless and random in relation to the listeners' responses, but the amount of feedback provided (or lack thereof) affected learning. We found that a group of listeners who received positive feedback on 10% of the trials improved their performance on the task (learned), while other groups provided either with excess (90%) or with no feedback did not learn. Superimposed on these group data, however, individual listeners showed other systematic changes of performance. In particular, those with lower non-verbal IQ who trained in the no feedback condition performed more poorly after training. This pattern of results cannot be accounted for by learning models that ascribe an external teacher role to feedback. We suggest, instead, that feedback is used to monitor performance on the task in relation to its perceived difficulty, and that listeners who learn without the benefit of feedback are adept at self-monitoring of performance, a trait that also supports better performance on non-verbal IQ tests. These results show that 'perceptual' learning is strongly influenced by top-down processes of motivation and intelligence.
Kurylo, Daniel D; Waxman, Richard; Kidron, Rachel; Silverstein, Steven M
Training on visual tasks improves performance on basic and higher order visual capacities. Such improvement has been linked to changes in connectivity among mediating neurons. We investigated whether training effects occur for perceptual grouping. It was hypothesized that repeated engagement of integration mechanisms would enhance grouping processes. Thirty-six participants underwent 15 sessions of training on a visual discrimination task that required perceptual grouping. Participants viewed 20 × 20 arrays of dots or Gabor patches and indicated whether the array appeared grouped as vertical or horizontal lines. Across trials stimuli became progressively disorganized, contingent upon successful discrimination. Four visual dimensions were examined, in which grouping was based on similarity in luminance, color, orientation, and motion. Psychophysical thresholds of grouping were assessed before and after training. Results indicate that performance in all four dimensions improved with training. Training on a control condition, which paralleled the discrimination task but without a grouping component, produced no improvement. In addition, training on only the luminance and orientation dimensions improved performance for those conditions as well as for grouping by color, on which training had not occurred. However, improvement from partial training did not generalize to motion. Results demonstrate that a training protocol emphasizing stimulus integration enhanced perceptual grouping. Results suggest that neural mechanisms mediating grouping by common luminance and/or orientation contribute to those mediating grouping by color but do not share resources for grouping by common motion. Results are consistent with theories of perceptual learning emphasizing plasticity in early visual processing regions.
Bejjanki, Vikranth R.; Zhang, Ruyuan; Li, Renjie; Pouget, Alexandre; Green, C. Shawn; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Bavelier, Daphne
The field of perceptual learning has identified changes in perceptual templates as a powerful mechanism mediating the learning of statistical regularities in our environment. By measuring threshold-vs.-contrast curves using an orientation identification task under varying levels of external noise, the perceptual template model (PTM) allows one to disentangle various sources of signal-to-noise changes that can alter performance. We use the PTM approach to elucidate the mechanism that underlies the wide range of improvements noted after action video game play. We show that action video game players make use of improved perceptual templates compared with nonvideo game players, and we confirm a causal role for action video game play in inducing such improvements through a 50-h training study. Then, by adapting a recent neural model to this task, we demonstrate how such improved perceptual templates can arise from reweighting the connectivity between visual areas. Finally, we establish that action gamers do not enter the perceptual task with improved perceptual templates. Instead, although performance in action gamers is initially indistinguishable from that of nongamers, action gamers more rapidly learn the proper template as they experience the task. Taken together, our results establish for the first time to our knowledge the development of enhanced perceptual templates following action game play. Because such an improvement can facilitate the inference of the proper generative model for the task at hand, unlike perceptual learning that is quite specific, it thus elucidates a general learning mechanism that can account for the various behavioral benefits noted after action game play. PMID:25385590
Bejjanki, Vikranth R; Zhang, Ruyuan; Li, Renjie; Pouget, Alexandre; Green, C Shawn; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Bavelier, Daphne
The field of perceptual learning has identified changes in perceptual templates as a powerful mechanism mediating the learning of statistical regularities in our environment. By measuring threshold-vs.-contrast curves using an orientation identification task under varying levels of external noise, the perceptual template model (PTM) allows one to disentangle various sources of signal-to-noise changes that can alter performance. We use the PTM approach to elucidate the mechanism that underlies the wide range of improvements noted after action video game play. We show that action video game players make use of improved perceptual templates compared with nonvideo game players, and we confirm a causal role for action video game play in inducing such improvements through a 50-h training study. Then, by adapting a recent neural model to this task, we demonstrate how such improved perceptual templates can arise from reweighting the connectivity between visual areas. Finally, we establish that action gamers do not enter the perceptual task with improved perceptual templates. Instead, although performance in action gamers is initially indistinguishable from that of nongamers, action gamers more rapidly learn the proper template as they experience the task. Taken together, our results establish for the first time to our knowledge the development of enhanced perceptual templates following action game play. Because such an improvement can facilitate the inference of the proper generative model for the task at hand, unlike perceptual learning that is quite specific, it thus elucidates a general learning mechanism that can account for the various behavioral benefits noted after action game play.
Full Text Available Evolutionary technique differential evolution (DE is used for the evolutionary tuning of controller parameters for the stabilization of set of different chaotic systems. The novelty of the approach is that the selected controlled discrete dissipative chaotic system is used also as the chaotic pseudorandom number generator to drive the mutation and crossover process in the DE. The idea was to utilize the hidden chaotic dynamics in pseudorandom sequences given by chaotic map to help differential evolution algorithm search for the best controller settings for the very same chaotic system. The optimizations were performed for three different chaotic systems, two types of case studies and developed cost functions.
Amy J. Haufler
Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to explore the biobehavioral correlates of adaptive behavior in the context of a standardized laboratory-based mission-relevant challenge [the Soldier Performance and Effective, Adaptable Response (SPEAR task]. Participants were 26 healthy male volunteers (M = 34.85 years, SD = 4.12 with active military duty and leadership experience within the last 5 years (i.e., multiple leadership positions, operational deployments in combat, interactions with civilians and partner nation forces on the battlefield, experience making decisions under fire. The SPEAR task simultaneously engages perception, cognition, and action aspects of human performance demands similar to those encountered in the operational setting. Participants must engage with military-relevant text, visual, and auditory stimuli, interpret new information, and retain the commander’s intent in working memory to create a new plan of action for mission success. Time-domain measures of heart period and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA were quantified, and saliva was sampled [later assayed for cortisol and alpha-amylase (sAA] before-, during-, and post-SPEAR. Results revealed a predictable pattern of withdraw and recovery of the cardiac vagal tone during repeated presentation of battlefield challenges. Recovery of vagal inhibition following executive function challenge was strongly linked to better task-related performance. Rate of RSA recovery was also associated with better recall of the commander’s intent. Decreasing magnitude in the skin conductance response prior to the task was positively associated with better overall task-related performance. Lower levels of RSA were observed in participants who reported higher rates of combat deployments, and reduced RSA flexibility was associated with higher rates of casualty exposure. Greater RSA flexibility during SPEAR was associated with greater self-reported resilience. There was no consistent
Meilleur, Andrée-Anne S; Berthiaume, Claude; Bertone, Armando; Mottron, Laurent
Autistic perception is characterized by atypical and sometimes exceptional performance in several low- (e.g., discrimination) and mid-level (e.g., pattern matching) tasks in both visual and auditory domains. A factor that specifically affects perceptive abilities in autistic individuals should manifest as an autism-specific association between perceptual tasks. The first purpose of this study was to explore how perceptual performances are associated within or across processing levels and/or modalities. The second purpose was to determine if general intelligence, the major factor that accounts for covariation in task performances in non-autistic individuals, equally controls perceptual abilities in autistic individuals. We asked 46 autistic individuals and 46 typically developing controls to perform four tasks measuring low- or mid-level visual or auditory processing. Intelligence was measured with the Wechsler's Intelligence Scale (FSIQ) and Raven Progressive Matrices (RPM). We conducted linear regression models to compare task performances between groups and patterns of covariation between tasks. The addition of either Wechsler's FSIQ or RPM in the regression models controlled for the effects of intelligence. In typically developing individuals, most perceptual tasks were associated with intelligence measured either by RPM or Wechsler FSIQ. The residual covariation between unimodal tasks, i.e. covariation not explained by intelligence, could be explained by a modality-specific factor. In the autistic group, residual covariation revealed the presence of a plurimodal factor specific to autism. Autistic individuals show exceptional performance in some perceptual tasks. Here, we demonstrate the existence of specific, plurimodal covariation that does not dependent on general intelligence (or "g" factor). Instead, this residual covariation is accounted for by a common perceptual process (or "p" factor), which may drive perceptual abilities differently in autistic and
Meilleur, Andrée-Anne S.; Berthiaume, Claude; Bertone, Armando; Mottron, Laurent
Background Autistic perception is characterized by atypical and sometimes exceptional performance in several low- (e.g., discrimination) and mid-level (e.g., pattern matching) tasks in both visual and auditory domains. A factor that specifically affects perceptive abilities in autistic individuals should manifest as an autism-specific association between perceptual tasks. The first purpose of this study was to explore how perceptual performances are associated within or across processing levels and/or modalities. The second purpose was to determine if general intelligence, the major factor that accounts for covariation in task performances in non-autistic individuals, equally controls perceptual abilities in autistic individuals. Methods We asked 46 autistic individuals and 46 typically developing controls to perform four tasks measuring low- or mid-level visual or auditory processing. Intelligence was measured with the Wechsler's Intelligence Scale (FSIQ) and Raven Progressive Matrices (RPM). We conducted linear regression models to compare task performances between groups and patterns of covariation between tasks. The addition of either Wechsler's FSIQ or RPM in the regression models controlled for the effects of intelligence. Results In typically developing individuals, most perceptual tasks were associated with intelligence measured either by RPM or Wechsler FSIQ. The residual covariation between unimodal tasks, i.e. covariation not explained by intelligence, could be explained by a modality-specific factor. In the autistic group, residual covariation revealed the presence of a plurimodal factor specific to autism. Conclusions Autistic individuals show exceptional performance in some perceptual tasks. Here, we demonstrate the existence of specific, plurimodal covariation that does not dependent on general intelligence (or “g” factor). Instead, this residual covariation is accounted for by a common perceptual process (or “p” factor), which may drive
Andrée-Anne S Meilleur
Full Text Available Autistic perception is characterized by atypical and sometimes exceptional performance in several low- (e.g., discrimination and mid-level (e.g., pattern matching tasks in both visual and auditory domains. A factor that specifically affects perceptive abilities in autistic individuals should manifest as an autism-specific association between perceptual tasks. The first purpose of this study was to explore how perceptual performances are associated within or across processing levels and/or modalities. The second purpose was to determine if general intelligence, the major factor that accounts for covariation in task performances in non-autistic individuals, equally controls perceptual abilities in autistic individuals.We asked 46 autistic individuals and 46 typically developing controls to perform four tasks measuring low- or mid-level visual or auditory processing. Intelligence was measured with the Wechsler's Intelligence Scale (FSIQ and Raven Progressive Matrices (RPM. We conducted linear regression models to compare task performances between groups and patterns of covariation between tasks. The addition of either Wechsler's FSIQ or RPM in the regression models controlled for the effects of intelligence.In typically developing individuals, most perceptual tasks were associated with intelligence measured either by RPM or Wechsler FSIQ. The residual covariation between unimodal tasks, i.e. covariation not explained by intelligence, could be explained by a modality-specific factor. In the autistic group, residual covariation revealed the presence of a plurimodal factor specific to autism.Autistic individuals show exceptional performance in some perceptual tasks. Here, we demonstrate the existence of specific, plurimodal covariation that does not dependent on general intelligence (or "g" factor. Instead, this residual covariation is accounted for by a common perceptual process (or "p" factor, which may drive perceptual abilities differently in
De Loof, Esther; Van Opstal, Filip; Verguts, Tom
Theories on visual awareness claim that predicted stimuli reach awareness faster than unpredicted ones. In the current study, we disentangle whether prior information about the upcoming stimulus affects visual awareness of stimulus location (i.e., individuation) by modulating processing efficiency or threshold setting. Analogous research on stimulus identification revealed that prior information modulates threshold setting. However, as identification and individuation are two functionally and neurally distinct processes, the mechanisms underlying identification cannot simply be extrapolated directly to individuation. The goal of this study was therefore to investigate how individuation is influenced by prior information about the upcoming stimulus. To do so, a drift diffusion model was fitted to estimate the processing efficiency and threshold setting for predicted versus unpredicted stimuli in a cued individuation paradigm. Participants were asked to locate a picture, following a cue that was congruent, incongruent or neutral with respect to the picture's identity. Pictures were individuated faster in the congruent and neutral condition compared to the incongruent condition. In the diffusion model analysis, the processing efficiency was not significantly different across conditions. However, the threshold setting was significantly higher following an incongruent cue compared to both congruent and neutral cues. Our results indicate that predictive information about the upcoming stimulus influences visual awareness by shifting the threshold for individuation rather than by enhancing processing efficiency. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fahrenfort, Johannes J; van Leeuwen, Jonathan; Olivers, Christian N L; Hogendoorn, Hinze
The visual system has the remarkable ability to integrate fragmentary visual input into a perceptually organized collection of surfaces and objects, a process we refer to as perceptual integration. Despite a long tradition of perception research, it is not known whether access to consciousness is required to complete perceptual integration. To investigate this question, we manipulated access to consciousness using the attentional blink. We show that, behaviorally, the attentional blink impairs conscious decisions about the presence of integrated surface structure from fragmented input. However, despite conscious access being impaired, the ability to decode the presence of integrated percepts remains intact, as shown through multivariate classification analyses of electroencephalogram (EEG) data. In contrast, when disrupting perception through masking, decisions about integrated percepts and decoding of integrated percepts are impaired in tandem, while leaving feedforward representations intact. Together, these data show that access consciousness and perceptual integration can be dissociated.
Full Text Available The quiet eye is a perceptual skill associated with expertise and superior performance; however, little is known about the transfer of quiet eye across domains. We attempted to replicate previous skill-based differences in quiet eye and investigated whether transfer of motor and perceptual skills occurs between similar tasks. Throwing accuracy and quiet eye duration for skilled and less-skilled basketball players were examined in basketball free throw shooting and the transfer task of dart throwing. Skilled basketball players showed significantly higher throwing accuracy and longer quiet eye duration in the basketball free throw task compared to their less-skilled counterparts. Further, skilled basketball players showed positive transfer from basketball to dart throwing in accuracy but not in quiet eye duration. Our results raise interesting questions regarding the measurement of transfer between skills.
Liu, Ping; Forte, Jason; Sewell, David; Carter, Olivia
Contrast-based early visual processing has largely been considered to involve autonomous processes that do not need the support of cognitive resources. However, as spatial attention is known to modulate early visual perceptual processing, we explored whether cognitive load could similarly impact contrast-based perception. We used a dual-task paradigm to assess the impact of a concurrent working memory task on the performance of three different early visual tasks. The results from Experiment 1 suggest that cognitive load can modulate early visual processing. No effects of cognitive load were seen in Experiments 2 or 3. Together, the findings provide evidence that under some circumstances cognitive load effects can penetrate the early stages of visual processing and that higher cognitive function and early perceptual processing may not be as independent as was once thought.
Valdés-Conroy, Berenice; Hinojosa, José A; Román, Francisco J; Romero-Ferreiro, Verónica
Building on evidence for embodied representations, we investigated whether Spanish spatial terms map onto the NEAR/FAR perceptual division of space. Using a long horizontal display, we measured congruency effects during the processing of spatial terms presented in NEAR or FAR space. Across three experiments, we manipulated the task demands in order to investigate the role of endogenous attention in linguistic and perceptual space mapping. We predicted congruency effects only when spatial properties were relevant for the task (reaching estimation task, Experiment 1) but not when attention was allocated to other features (lexical decision, Experiment 2; and color, Experiment 3). Results showed faster responses for words presented in Near-space in all experiments. Consistent with our hypothesis, congruency effects were observed only when a reaching estimate was requested. Our results add important evidence for the role of top-down processing in congruency effects from embodied representations of spatial terms. Copyright © 2017 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Huurneman, Bianca; Boonstra, F Nienke; Cox, Ralf F A; van Rens, Ger; Cillessen, Antonius H N
This study investigated whether visual perceptual learning can improve near visual acuity and reduce foveal crowding effects in four- to nine-year-old children with visual impairment. Participants were 45 children with visual impairment and 29 children with normal vision. Children with visual impairment were divided into three groups: a magnifier group (n = 12), a crowded perceptual learning group (n = 18), and an uncrowded perceptual learning group (n = 15). Children with normal vision also were divided in three groups, but were measured only at baseline. Dependent variables were single near visual acuity (NVA), crowded NVA, LH line 50% crowding NVA, number of trials, accuracy, performance time, amount of small errors, and amount of large errors. Children with visual impairment trained during six weeks, two times per week, for 30 minutes (12 training sessions). After training, children showed significant improvement of NVA in addition to specific improvements on the training task. The crowded perceptual learning group showed the largest acuity improvements (1.7 logMAR lines on the crowded chart, P children in the crowded perceptual learning group showed improvements on all NVA charts. Children with visual impairment benefit from perceptual training. While task-specific improvements were observed in all training groups, transfer to crowded NVA was largest in the crowded perceptual learning group. To our knowledge, this is the first study to provide evidence for the improvement of NVA by perceptual learning in children with visual impairment. (http://www.trialregister.nl number, NTR2537.).
Bejjanki, Vikranth R; Beck, Jeffrey M; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Pouget, Alexandre
Extensive training on simple tasks such as fine orientation discrimination results in large improvements in performance, a form of learning known as perceptual learning. Previous models have argued that perceptual learning is due to either sharpening and amplification of tuning curves in early visual areas or to improved probabilistic inference in later visual areas (at the decision stage). However, early theories are inconsistent with the conclusions of psychophysical experiments manipulating external noise, whereas late theories cannot explain the changes in neural responses that have been reported in cortical areas V1 and V4. Here we show that we can capture both the neurophysiological and behavioral aspects of perceptual learning by altering only the feedforward connectivity in a recurrent network of spiking neurons so as to improve probabilistic inference in early visual areas. The resulting network shows modest changes in tuning curves, in line with neurophysiological reports, along with a marked reduction in the amplitude of pairwise noise correlations.
Bélanger, Nathalie N; Slattery, Timothy J; Mayberry, Rachel I; Rayner, Keith
Recent evidence suggests that, compared with hearing people, deaf people have enhanced visual attention to simple stimuli viewed in the parafovea and periphery. Although a large part of reading involves processing the fixated words in foveal vision, readers also utilize information in parafoveal vision to preprocess upcoming words and decide where to look next. In the study reported here, we investigated whether auditory deprivation affects low-level visual processing during reading by comparing the perceptual span of deaf signers who were skilled and less-skilled readers with the perceptual span of skilled hearing readers. Compared with hearing readers, the two groups of deaf readers had a larger perceptual span than would be expected given their reading ability. These results provide the first evidence that deaf readers' enhanced attentional allocation to the parafovea is used during complex cognitive tasks, such as reading.
Jabar, Syaheed B; Anderson, Britt
Probability is known to affect perceptual estimations, but an understanding of mechanisms is lacking. Moving beyond binary classification tasks, we had naive participants report the orientation of briefly viewed gratings where we systematically manipulated contingent probability. Participants rapidly developed faster and more precise estimations for high-probability tilts. The shapes of their error distributions, as indexed by a kurtosis measure, also showed a distortion from Gaussian. This kurtosis metric was robust, capturing probability effects that were graded, contextual, and varying as a function of stimulus orientation. Our data can be understood as a probability-induced reduction in the variability or "shape" of estimation errors, as would be expected if probability affects the perceptual representations. As probability manipulations are an implicit component of many endogenous cuing paradigms, changes at the perceptual level could account for changes in performance that might have traditionally been ascribed to "attention." (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Gipson, Christina L; Gorman, Jamie C; Hessler, Eric E
Coordination with others is such a fundamental part of human activity that it can happen unintentionally. This unintentional coordination can manifest as synchronization and is observed in physical and human systems alike. We investigated the role of top-down influences (prior knowledge of the perceptual modality their partner is using) and bottom-up factors (perceptual modality combination) on spontaneous interpersonal synchronization. We examine this phenomena with respect to two different theoretical perspectives that differently emphasize top-down and bottom-up factors in interpersonal synchronization: joint-action/shared cognition theories and ecological-interactive theories. In an empirical study twelve dyads performed a finger oscillation task while attending to each other's movements through either visual, auditory, or visual and auditory perceptual modalities. Half of the participants were given prior knowledge of their partner's perceptual capabilities for coordinating across these different perceptual modality combinations. We found that the effect of top-down influence depends on the perceptual modality combination between two individuals. When people used the same perceptual modalities, top-down influence resulted in less synchronization and when people used different perceptual modalities, top-down influence resulted in more synchronization. Furthermore, persistence in the change in behavior as a result of having perceptual information about each other ('social memory') was stronger when this top-down influence was present.
Full Text Available The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.
Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao
The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.
Dricu, Mihai; Ceravolo, Leonardo; Grandjean, Didier; Frühholz, Sascha
Perceptual decision-making on emotions involves gathering sensory information about the affective state of another person and forming a decision on the likelihood of a particular state. These perceptual decisions can be of varying complexity as determined by different contexts. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and a region of interest approach to investigate the brain activation and functional connectivity behind two forms of perceptual decision-making. More complex unbiased decisions on affective voices recruited an extended bilateral network consisting of the posterior inferior frontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, the amygdala, and voice-sensitive areas in the auditory cortex. Less complex biased decisions on affective voices distinctly recruited the right mid inferior frontal cortex, pointing to a functional distinction in this region following decisional requirements. Furthermore, task-induced neural connectivity revealed stronger connections between these frontal, auditory, and limbic regions during unbiased relative to biased decision-making on affective voices. Together, the data shows that different types of perceptual decision-making on auditory emotions have distinct patterns of activations and functional coupling that follow the decisional strategies and cognitive mechanisms involved during these perceptual decisions.
McAuliffe, Megan J; Kerr, Sarah E; Gibson, Elizabeth M R; Anderson, Tim; LaShell, Patrick J
To determine how increased vocal loudness and reduced speech rate affect listeners' cognitive-perceptual processing of hypokinetic dysarthric speech associated with Parkinson's disease. Fifty-one healthy listener participants completed a speech perception experiment. Listeners repeated phrases produced by 5 individuals with dysarthria across habitual, loud, and slow speaking modes. Listeners were allocated to habitual ( n = 17), loud ( n = 17), or slow ( n = 17) experimental conditions. Transcripts derived from the phrase repetition task were coded for overall accuracy (i.e., intelligibility), and perceptual error analyses examined how these conditions affected listeners' phonemic mapping (i.e., syllable resemblance) and lexical segmentation (i.e., lexical boundary error analysis). Both speech conditions provided obvious perceptual benefits to listeners. Overall, transcript accuracy was highest in the slow condition. In the loud condition, however, improvement was evidenced across the experiment. An error analysis suggested that listeners in the loud condition prioritized acoustic-phonetic cues in their attempts to resolve the degraded signal, whereas those in the slow condition appeared to preferentially weight lexical stress cues. Increased loudness and reduced rate exhibited differential effects on listeners' perceptual processing of dysarthric speech. The current study highlights the insights that may be gained from a cognitive-perceptual approach.
Full Text Available The main purpose of this study is to specify the basic perceptual dimensions underlying the judgments of the physical features which define the style in paintings (e.g. salient form, colorful surface, oval contours etc.. The other aim of the study is to correlate these dimensions with the subjective (affective dimensions of the experience of paintings. In the preliminary study a set of 25 pairs of elementary perceptual descriptors were empirically specified, and a set of 25 bipolar scales were made (e.g. uncolored-multicolored. In the experiment 30 subjects judged 24 paintings (paintings were taken from the study of Radonjić and Marković, 2004 on 25 scales. Factor analysis revealed the four factors: form (scales: precise, neat, salient form etc., color (color contrast, lightness contrast, vivid colors, space (voluminosity, depth and oval contours and complexity (multicolored, ornate, detailed. Obtained factors reflected the nature of the phenomenological and neural segregation of form, color, depth processing, and partially of complexity processing (e.g. spatial frequency processing within both the form and color subsystem. The aim of the next step of analysis was to specify the correlations between two groups of judgments: (a mean judgments of 24 paintings on perceptual factors and (b mean judgments of the same set of 24 paintings on subjective (affective experience factors, i.e. regularity, attraction, arousal and relaxation (judgments taken from Radonjić and Marković, 2005. The following significant correlations were obtained: regularity-form, regularity-space, attraction-form and arousal-complexity (negative correlation. The reasons for the unexpected negative correlation between arousal and complexity should be specified in further studies.
Beer, Anton L; Vartak, Devavrat; Greenlee, Mark W
Perceptual learning is a special type of non-declarative learning that involves experience-dependent plasticity in sensory cortices. The cholinergic system is known to modulate declarative learning. In particular, reduced levels or efficacy of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine were found to facilitate declarative memory consolidation. However, little is known about the role of the cholinergic system in memory consolidation of non-declarative learning. Here we compared two groups of non-smoking men who learned a visual texture discrimination task (TDT). One group received chewing tobacco containing nicotine for 1 h directly following the TDT training. The other group received a similar tasting control substance without nicotine. Electroencephalographic recordings during substance consumption showed reduced alpha activity and P300 latencies in the nicotine group compared to the control group. When re-tested on the TDT the following day, both groups responded more accurately and more rapidly than during training. These improvements were specific to the retinal location and orientation of the texture elements of the TDT suggesting that learning involved early visual cortex. A group comparison showed that learning effects were more pronounced in the nicotine group than in the control group. These findings suggest that oral consumption of nicotine enhances the efficacy of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Our findings further suggest that enhanced efficacy of the cholinergic system facilitates memory consolidation in perceptual learning (and possibly other types of non-declarative learning). In that regard acetylcholine seems to affect consolidation processes in perceptual learning in a different manner than in declarative learning. Alternatively, our findings might reflect dose-dependent cholinergic modulation of memory consolidation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The SLAROM code, performing fast reactor cell calculation based on a deterministic methodology, has been revised by adding the universal module PEACO of generating Ultra-fine group neutron spectra. The revised SLAROM, then, was utilized for evaluating reaction rate distributions in ZPPR-13A simulated by a 2-dim RZ homogeneous model, although actually ZPPR-13A composed of radially heterogeneous cells. The reaction rate distributions of ZPPR-13A were also calculated by the code MVP, that is a continuous energy Monte Carlo calculation code based on a probabilistic methodology. By comparing both results, it was concluded that the module PEACO has excellent capability for evaluating highly accurate effective cross sections. Also it was proved that the use of a new fine group cross section library set (next generation set), reflecting behavior of cross sections of structural materials, such as Fe and 0, in the fast neutron energy region, is indispensable for attaining a better agreement within 1% between both calculation methods. Also, for production of a next generation set of group cross sections, the code NJOY97.V107 was added to the group cross section production system and both front and end processing parts were prepared. This system was utilized to produce the new 70 group JFS-3 library using the evaluated nuclear data library JENDL-3.2. Furthermore, to confirm the capability of this new group cross section production system, the above new JFS-3 library was applied to core performance analysis of ZPPR-9 core with a 2-dim RZ homogeneous model and analysis of heterogeneous cells of ZPPR-9 core by using the deterministic method. Also the analysis using the code MVP was performed. By comparison of both results the following conclusion has been derived; the deterministic method, with the PEACO module for resonance cross sections, contributes to improve accuracy of predicting reaction rate distributions and Na void reactivity in fast reactor cores. And it becomes clear
The perceptual fluency hypothesis claims that items that are easy to perceive at encoding induce an illusion that they will be easier to remember, despite the finding that perception does not generally affect recall. The current set of studies tested the predictions of the perceptual fluency hypothesis with a picture generation manipulation.…
Xie, Jiushu; Wang, Ruiming; Sun, Xun; Chang, Song
The effect of color and shape load on conceptual processing was studied. Perceptual load effects have been found in visual and auditory conceptual processing, supporting the theory of embodied cognition. However, whether different types of visual concepts, such as color and shape, share the same perceptual load effects is unknown. In the current experiment, 32 participants were administered simultaneous perceptual and conceptual tasks to assess the relation between perceptual load and conceptual processing. Keeping color load in mind obstructed color conceptual processing. Hence, perceptual processing and conceptual load shared the same resources, suggesting embodied cognition. Color conceptual processing was not affected by shape pictures, indicating that different types of properties within vision were separate.
Mottron, Laurent; Dawson, Michelle; Soulières, Isabelle; Hubert, Benedicte; Burack, Jake
We propose an "Enhanced Perceptual Functioning" model encompassing the main differences between autistic and non-autistic social and non-social perceptual processing: locally oriented visual and auditory perception, enhanced low-level discrimination, use of a more posterior network in "complex" visual tasks, enhanced perception of first order static stimuli, diminished perception of complex movement, autonomy of low-level information processing toward higher-order operations, and differential relation between perception and general intelligence. Increased perceptual expertise may be implicated in the choice of special ability in savant autistics, and in the variability of apparent presentations within PDD (autism with and without typical speech, Asperger syndrome) in non-savant autistics. The overfunctioning of brain regions typically involved in primary perceptual functions may explain the autistic perceptual endophenotype.
Neistadt, M E
Treatment protocols derived from research literature can help therapists provide more rigorous treatment and more systematic assessment of client progress. This study applied research findings about the influence of task, subject, and feedback parameters on adult performance with block designs to an occupational therapy treatment protocol for parquetry block assembly--an activity occupational therapists use to remediate constructional deficits. Task parameter research suggests that parquetry tasks can be graded according to the features of the design cards, with cards having all block boundaries drawn in being easier than those with some block boundaries omitted. Subject parameter findings suggest that clients' lesions and initial constructional competence can influence their approaches to parquetry tasks. Feedback parameter research suggests that a combination of perceptual and planning cues is most effective for parquetry tasks. Methods to help clients transfer constructional skills from parquetry to functional tasks are also discussed.
The present research tested the generality of the "context effect" previously reported in experiments using temporal double bisection tasks [e.g., Arantes, J., Machado, A. Context effects in a temporal discrimination task: Further tests of the Scalar Expectancy Theory and Learning-to-Time models. J. Exp. Anal. Behav., in press]. Pigeons learned two temporal discriminations in which all the stimuli appear successively: 1s (red) vs. 4s (green) and 4s (blue) vs. 16s (yellow). Then, two tests were conducted to compare predictions of two timing models, Scalar Expectancy Theory (SET) and the Learning-to-Time (LeT) model. In one test, two psychometric functions were obtained by presenting pigeons with intermediate signal durations (1-4s and 4-16s). Results were mixed. In the critical test, pigeons were exposed to signals ranging from 1 to 16s and followed by the green or the blue key. Whereas SET predicted that the relative response rate to each of these keys should be independent of the signal duration, LeT predicted that the relative response rate to the green key (compared with the blue key) should increase with the signal duration. Results were consistent with LeT's predictions, showing that the context effect is obtained even when subjects do not need to make a choice between two keys presented simultaneously.
Gherri, Elena; Berreby, Fiona
To investigate whether tactile spatial attention is modulated by perceptual load, behavioural and electrophysiological measures were recorded during two spatial cuing tasks in which the difficulty of the target/non-target discrimination was varied (High and Low load tasks). Moreover, to study whether attentional modulations by load are sensitive to the availability of visual information, the High and Low load tasks were carried out under both illuminated and darkness conditions. ERPs to cued and uncued non-targets were compared as a function of task (High vs. Low load) and illumination condition (Light vs. Darkness). Results revealed that the locus of tactile spatial attention was determined by a complex interaction between perceptual load and illumination conditions during sensory-specific stages of processing. In the Darkness, earlier effects of attention were present in the High load than in the Low load task, while no difference between tasks emerged in the Light. By contrast, increased load was associated with stronger attention effects during later post-perceptual processing stages regardless of illumination conditions. These findings demonstrate that ERP correlates of tactile spatial attention are strongly affected by the perceptual load of the target/non-target discrimination. However, differences between illumination conditions show that the impact of load on tactile attention depends on the presence of visual information. Perceptual load is one of the many factors that contribute to determine the effects of spatial selectivity in touch. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Levison, W. H.; Junker, A. M.
Simulated target-following and disturbance-regulation tasks were explored with subjects using visual-only and combined visual and motion cues. The effects of motion cues on task performance and pilot response behavior were appreciably different for the two task configurations and were consistent with data reported in earlier studies for similar task configurations. The optimal-control model for pilot/vehicle systems provided a task-independent framework for accounting for the pilot's use of motion cues. Specifically, the availability of motion cues was modeled by augmenting the set of perceptual variables to include position, rate, acceleration, and accleration-rate of the motion simulator, and results were consistent with the hypothesis of attention-sharing between visual and motion variables. This straightforward informational model allowed accurate model predictions of the effects of motion cues on a variety of response measures for both the target-following and disturbance-regulation tasks.
Gerlach, Christian; Law, I; Gade, A
The purpose of the present PET study was (i) to investigate the neural correlates of object recognition, i.e. the matching of visual forms to memory, and (ii) to test the hypothesis that this process is more difficult for natural objects than for artefacts. This was done by using object decision...... tasks where subjects decided whether pictures represented real objects or non-objects. The object decision tasks differed in their difficulty (the degree of perceptual differentiation needed to perform them) and in the category of the real objects used (natural objects versus artefacts). A clear effect...... be the neural correlate of matching visual forms to memory, and the amount of activation in these regions may correspond to the degree of perceptual differentiation required for recognition to occur. With respect to behaviour, it took significantly longer to make object decisions on natural objects than...
Sand, Anders; Wiens, Stefan
As researchers debate whether emotional pictures can be processed irrespective of spatial attention and perceptual load, negative and neutral pictures of simple figure-ground composition were shown at fixation and were surrounded by one, two, or three letters. When participants performed a picture discrimination task, there was evidence for motivated attention; that is, an early posterior negativity (EPN) and late positive potential (LPP) to negative versus neutral pictures. When participants performed a letter discrimination task, the EPN was unaffected whereas the LPP was reduced. Although performance decreased substantially with the number of letters (one to three), the LPP did not decrease further. Therefore, attention to simple, negative pictures at fixation seems to resist manipulations of perceptual load.
Park, Hame; Lueckmann, Jan-Matthis; von Kriegstein, Katharina; Bitzer, Sebastian; Kiebel, Stefan J.
Decisions in everyday life are prone to error. Standard models typically assume that errors during perceptual decisions are due to noise. However, it is unclear how noise in the sensory input affects the decision. Here we show that there are experimental tasks for which one can analyse the exact spatio-temporal details of a dynamic sensory noise and better understand variability in human perceptual decisions. Using a new experimental visual tracking task and a novel Bayesian decision making model, we found that the spatio-temporal noise fluctuations in the input of single trials explain a significant part of the observed responses. Our results show that modelling the precise internal representations of human participants helps predict when perceptual decisions go wrong. Furthermore, by modelling precisely the stimuli at the single-trial level, we were able to identify the underlying mechanism of perceptual decision making in more detail than standard models. PMID:26752272
Volk, Christer Peter; Lavandier, Mathieu; Bech, Søren
The perceptual differences between the sound reproductions of headphones were investigated in a pair-wise comparison study. Two musical excerpts were reproduced over 21 headphones positioned on a mannequin and recorded. The recordings were then processed and reproduced over one set of headphones ...
Ostendorf, Florian; Liebermann, Daniela; Ploner, Christoph J
Internal monitoring of oculomotor commands may help to anticipate and keep track of changes in perceptual input imposed by our eye movements. Neurophysiological studies in non-human primates identified corollary discharge (CD) signals of oculomotor commands that are conveyed via thalamus to frontal cortices. We tested whether disruption of these monitoring pathways on the thalamic level impairs the perceptual matching of visual input before and after an eye movement in human subjects. Fourteen patients with focal thalamic stroke and 20 healthy control subjects performed a task requiring a perceptual judgment across eye movements. Subjects reported the apparent displacement of a target cue that jumped unpredictably in sync with a saccadic eye movement. In a critical condition of this task, six patients exhibited clearly asymmetric perceptual performance for rightward vs. leftward saccade direction. Furthermore, perceptual judgments in seven patients systematically depended on oculomotor targeting errors, with self-generated targeting errors erroneously attributed to external stimulus jumps. Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping identified an area in right central thalamus as critical for the perceptual matching of visual space across eye movements. Our findings suggest that trans-thalamic CD transmission decisively contributes to a correct prediction of the perceptual consequences of oculomotor actions.
Full Text Available Internal monitoring of oculomotor commands may help to anticipate and keep track of changes in perceptual input imposed by our eye movements. Neurophysiological studies in non-human primates identified corollary discharge signals of oculomotor commands that are conveyed via thalamus to frontal cortices. We tested whether disruption of these monitoring pathways on the thalamic level impairs the perceptual matching of visual input before and after an eye movement in human subjects. Fourteen patients with focal thalamic stroke and twenty healthy control subjects performed a task requiring a perceptual judgment across eye movements. Subjects reported the apparent displacement of a target cue that jumped unpredictably in sync with a saccadic eye movement. In a critical condition of this task, six patients exhibited clearly asymmetric perceptual performance for rightward versus leftward saccade direction. Furthermore, perceptual judgments in seven patients systematically depended on oculomotor targeting errors, with self-generated targeting errors erroneously attributed to external stimulus jumps. Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping identified an area in right central thalamus as critical for the perceptual matching of visual space across eye movements. Our findings suggest that trans-thalamic corollary discharge transmission decisively contributes to a correct prediction of the perceptual consequences of oculomotor actions.
Nathan A Parks
Full Text Available The perceptual load theory of attention proposes that the degree to which visual distractors are processed is a function of the attentional demands of a task – greater demands increase filtering of irrelevant distractors. The spatial configuration of such filtering is unknown. Here, we used steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs in conjunction with time-domain event-related potentials (ERPs to investigate the distribution of load-induced distractor suppression and task-relevant enhancement in the visual field. Electroencephalogram (EEG was recorded while subjects performed a foveal go/no-go task that varied in perceptual load. Load-dependent distractor suppression was assessed by presenting a contrast reversing ring at one of three eccentricities (2°, 6°, or 11° during performance of the go/no-go task. Rings contrast reversed at 8.3 Hz, allowing load-dependent changes in distractor processing to be tracked in the frequency-domain. ERPs were calculated to the onset of stimuli in the load task to examine load-dependent modulation of task-relevant processing. Results showed that the amplitude of the distractor SSVEP (8.3Hz was attenuated under high perceptual load (relative to low load at the most proximal (2° eccentricity but not at more eccentric locations (6˚ or 11˚. Task-relevant ERPs revealed a significant increase in N1 amplitude under high load. These results are consistent with a center-surround configuration of load-induced enhancement and suppression in the visual field.
Nunez, Michael D.; Srinivasan, Ramesh; Vandekerckhove, Joachim
© 2015 Nunez, Srinivasan and Vandekerckhove. Sequential sampling decision-making models have been successful in accounting for reaction time (RT) and accuracy data in two-alternative forced choice tasks. These models have been used to describe the behavior of populations of participants, and explanatory structures have been proposed to account for between individual variability in model parameters. In this study we show that individual differences in behavior from a novel perceptual decision ...
Gabriela Tavares; Pietro Perona; Antonio Rangel; Antonio Rangel
Perceptual decisions requiring the comparison of spatially distributed stimuli that are fixated sequentially might be influenced by fluctuations in visual attention. We used two psychophysical tasks with human subjects to investigate the extent to which visual attention influences simple perceptual choices, and to test the extent to which the attentional Drift Diffusion Model (aDDM) provides a good computational description of how attention affects the underlying decision processes. We find e...
Brouwer, G.J.; Tong, F.; Hagoort, P.; van Ee, R.
We employed a parametric psychophysical design in combination with functional imaging to examine the influence of metric changes in perceptual incongruence on perceptual alternation rates and cortical responses. Subjects viewed a bistable stimulus defined by incongruent depth cues; bistability
de Kok, I.A.; Poppe, Ronald Walter; Heylen, Dirk K.J.
We introduce Iterative Perceptual Learning (IPL), a novel approach to learn computational models for social behavior synthesis from corpora of human–human interactions. IPL combines perceptual evaluation with iterative model refinement. Human observers rate the appropriateness of synthesized
de Kok, I.A.; Poppe, Ronald Walter; Heylen, Dirk K.J.
We introduce Iterative Perceptual Learning (IPL), a novel approach for learning computational models for social behavior synthesis from corpora of human-human interactions. The IPL approach combines perceptual evaluation with iterative model refinement. Human observers rate the appropriateness of
Heindel, Patricia; Kose, Gary
Examined in three studies were the influence of perceptual organization on children's memory and the relationship between operational thought and memory performance. In the first study, 72 children at 5, 7, and 9 years of age were given a series of Piagetian tasks and a memory task. Subjects were presented with 10 color-shape pairs depicted in…
Cardoso-Junior, M M; Scarpel, R A
The main focus of risk management is technical and rational analysis about the operational risks and by those imposed by the occupational environment. In this work one seeks to contribute to the risk perception study and to better comprehend how a group of occupational safety students assesses a set of activities and environmental agents. In this way it was used theory sustained by psychometric paradigm and multivariate analysis tools, mainly multidimensional scaling, generalized Procrustes analysis and facets theory, in order to construct the perceptual map of occupational risks. The results obtained showed that the essential characteristics of risks, which were initially splited in 4 facets were detected and maintained in the perceptual map. It was not possible to reveal the cognitive structure of the group, because the variability of the students was too high. Differences among the risks analyzed could not be detected as well in the perceptual map of the group.
Habes, I; Rushton, S; Johnston, S J; Sokunbi, M O; Barawi, K; Brosnan, M; Daly, T; Ihssen, N; Linden, D E J
The self-regulation of brain activation via neurofeedback training offers a method to study the relationship between brain areas and perception in a more direct manner than the conventional mapping of brain responses to different types of stimuli. The current proof-of-concept study aimed to demonstrate that healthy volunteers can self-regulate activity in the parahippocampal place area (PPA) over the fusiform face area (FFA). Both areas are involved in higher order visual processing and are activated during the imagery of scenes and faces respectively. Participants (N=9) were required to upregulate PPA relative to FFA activity, and all succeeded at the task, with imagery of scenes being the most commonly reported mental strategy. A control group (N=8) underwent the same imagery and testing procedure, albeit without neurofeedback, in a mock MR scanner to account for any non-specific training effects. The upregulation of PPA activity occurred concurrently with activation of prefrontal and parietal areas, which have been associated with ideation and mental image generation. We tested whether successful upregulation of the PPA relative to FFA had consequences on perception by assessing bistable perception of faces and houses in a binocular rivalry task (before and after the scanning sessions) and categorisation of faces and scenes presented in transparent composite images (during scanning, interleaved with the self-regulation blocks). Contrary to our expectations, upregulation of the PPA did not alter the duration of face or house perception in the rivalry task and response speed and accuracy in the categorisation task. This conclusion was supported by the results of another control experiment (N=10 healthy participants) that involved intensive exposure to category-specific stimuli and did not show any behavioural or perceptual changes. We conclude that differential self-regulation of higher visual areas can be achieved, but that perceptual biases under conditions of
Szpiro, Sarit F. A.; Spering, Miriam; Carrasco, Marisa
Perceptual learning improves detection and discrimination of relevant visual information in mature humans, revealing sensory plasticity. Whether visual perceptual learning affects motor responses is unknown. Here we implemented a protocol that enabled us to address this question. We tested a perceptual response (motion direction estimation, in which observers overestimate motion direction away from a reference) and a motor response (voluntary smooth pursuit eye movements). Perceptual training...
Machado, Armando; Pata, Paulo
Two theories of timing, scalar expectancy theory (SET) and learning-to-time (LeT), make substantially different assumptions about what animals learn in temporal tasks. In a test of these assumptions, pigeons learned two temporal discriminations. On Type 1 trials, they learned to choose a red key after a 1-sec signal and a green key after a 4-sec signal; on Type 2 trials, they learned to choose a blue key after a 4-sec signal and a yellow key after either an 8-sec signal (Group 8) or a 16-sec signal (Group 16). Then, the birds were exposed to signals 1 sec, 4 sec, and 16 sec in length and given a choice between novel key combinations (red or green vs. blue or yellow). The choice between the green key and the blue key was of particular significance because both keys were associated with the same 4-sec signal. Whereas SET predicted no effect of the test signal duration on choice, LeT predicted that preference for green would increase monotonically with the length of the signal but would do so faster for Group 8 than for Group 16. The results were consistent with LeT, but not with SET.
Banai, Karen; Yifat, Rachel
Although the contribution of perceptual processes to language skills during infancy is well recognized, the role of perception in linguistic processing beyond infancy is not well understood. In the experiments reported here, we asked whether manipulating the perceptual context in which stimuli are presented across trials influences how preschool children perform visual (shape-size identification; Experiment 1) and auditory (syllable identification; Experiment 2) tasks. Another goal was to determine whether the sensitivity to perceptual context can explain part of the variance in oral language skills in typically developing preschool children. Perceptual context was manipulated by changing the relative frequency with which target visual (Experiment 1) and auditory (Experiment 2) stimuli were presented in arrays of fixed size, and identification of the target stimuli was tested. Oral language skills were assessed using vocabulary, word definition, and phonological awareness tasks. Changes in perceptual context influenced the performance of the majority of children on both identification tasks. Sensitivity to perceptual context accounted for 7% to 15% of the variance in language scores. We suggest that context effects are an outcome of a statistical learning process. Therefore, the current findings demonstrate that statistical learning can facilitate both visual and auditory identification processes in preschool children. Furthermore, consistent with previous findings in infants and in older children and adults, individual differences in statistical learning were found to be associated with individual differences in language skills of preschool children. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kawabe, Takahiro; Maruya, Kazushi; Nishida, Shin'ya
Human vision has a remarkable ability to perceive two layers at the same retinal locations, a transparent layer in front of a background surface. Critical image cues to perceptual transparency, studied extensively in the past, are changes in luminance or color that could be caused by light absorptions and reflections by the front layer, but such image changes may not be clearly visible when the front layer consists of a pure transparent material such as water. Our daily experiences with transparent materials of this kind suggest that an alternative potential cue of visual transparency is image deformations of a background pattern caused by light refraction. Although previous studies have indicated that these image deformations, at least static ones, play little role in perceptual transparency, here we show that dynamic image deformations of the background pattern, which could be produced by light refraction on a moving liquid's surface, can produce a vivid impression of a transparent liquid layer without the aid of any other visual cues as to the presence of a transparent layer. Furthermore, a transparent liquid layer perceptually emerges even from a randomly generated dynamic image deformation as long as it is similar to real liquid deformations in its spatiotemporal frequency profile. Our findings indicate that the brain can perceptually infer the presence of "invisible" transparent liquids by analyzing the spatiotemporal structure of dynamic image deformation, for which it uses a relatively simple computation that does not require high-level knowledge about the detailed physics of liquid deformation.
Eustache, Eddy; Gerbasi, Margaret E.; Severe, Jennifer; Fils-Aimé, J. Reginald; Smith Fawzi, Mary C.; Raviola, Giuseppe J.; Darghouth, Sarah; Boyd, Kate; Thérosmé, Tatiana; Legha, Rupinder; Pierre, Ermaze L.; Affricot, Emmeline; Alcindor, Yoldie; Grelotti, David J.; Becker, Anne E.
Background Task-sharing with teachers to promote youth mental health is a promising but underdeveloped strategy in improving care access in low-income countries. Aims To assess feasibility, acceptability, and utility of the teacher accompaniment phase of a school-based teacher accompagnateur pilot study (TAPS) in Haiti. Methods We assigned student participants, ages 18–22 (n=120) to a teacher participant (n=22) within four Haitian schools; we instructed participants to arrange meetings with their assigned counterparts to discuss mental health treatment, academic skills, and/or well-being. We measured student and teacher perceived feasibility, acceptability, and utility of meetings with self-report Likert-style questions. We examined overall program feasibility by the percentage of students with a documented meeting, acceptability by a composite measure of student satisfaction, and utility by the percentage with identified mental health need who discussed treatment with a teacher. Results Favorable ratings support feasibility, acceptability, and utility of teacher-accompagnateur meetings with students. The majority of students (54%) met with a teacher. Among students with an identified mental disorder, 43.2% discussed treatment during a meeting. Conclusions This accompaniment approach to mental health task-sharing with teachers provided a school-based opportunity for students with mental health need to discuss treatment and has potential relevance to other low-income settings. PMID:28367718
Eustache, Eddy; Gerbasi, Margaret E; Severe, Jennifer; Fils-Aimé, J Reginald; Smith Fawzi, Mary C; Raviola, Giuseppe J; Darghouth, Sarah; Boyd, Kate; Thérosmé, Tatiana; Legha, Rupinder; Pierre, Ermaze L; Affricot, Emmeline; Alcindor, Yoldie; Grelotti, David J; Becker, Anne E
Task-sharing with teachers to promote youth mental health is a promising but underdeveloped strategy in improving care access in low-income countries. To assess feasibility, acceptability and utility of the teacher accompaniment phase of a school-based Teacher- Accompagnateur Pilot Study (TAPS) in Haiti. We assigned student participants, aged 18-22 years ( n = 120), to teacher participants ( n = 22) within four Haitian schools; we instructed participants to arrange meetings with their assigned counterparts to discuss mental health treatment, academic skills, and/or well-being. We measured student and teacher perceived feasibility, acceptability and utility of meetings with self-report Likert-style questions. We examined overall program feasibility by the percentage of students with a documented meeting, acceptability by a composite measure of student satisfaction and utility by the percentage with identified mental health need who discussed treatment with a teacher. Favorable ratings support feasibility, acceptability and utility of teacher- accompagnateur meetings with students. The majority of students (54%) met with a teacher. Among students with an identified mental disorder, 43.2% discussed treatment during a meeting. This accompaniment approach to mental health task-sharing with teachers provided a school-based opportunity for students with mental health need to discuss treatment and has potential relevance to other low-income settings.
Abney, Drew; Dale, Rick; Yoshimi, Jeffrey
and spatial scales, using appropriate methodological tools. Explanatory pluralism has been often described abstractly, but has rarely been applied to concrete cases. We present a case study of explanatory pluralism. We discuss three separate ways of studying the same phenomenon: a perceptual decision- making...... task (Bahrami et al., 2010), where pairs of subjects share information to jointly individuate an oddball stimulus among a set of distractors. Each approach analyzed the same corpus but targeted different units of analysis at different levels of description: decision-making at the behavioral level......, confidence sharing at the linguistic level, and acoustic energy at the physical level. We discuss the utility of explanatory pluralism for describing this complex, multiscale phenomenon, show ways in which this case study sheds new light on the concept of pluralism, and highlight good practices to critically...
Miriam S. Rohe
Full Text Available In this paper, we bring together research on complex problem solving with that on motivational psychology about goal setting. Complex problems require motivational effort because of their inherent difficulties. Goal Setting Theory has shown with simple tasks that high, specific performance goals lead to better performance outcome than do-your-best goals. However, in complex tasks, learning goals have proven more effective than performance goals. Based on the Zurich Resource Model (Storch & Krause, 2014, so-called motto-goals (e.g., "I breathe happiness" should activate a person’s resources through positive affect. It was found that motto-goals are effective with unpleasant duties. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that motto-goals outperform learning and performance goals in the case of complex problems. A total of N = 123 subjects participated in the experiment. In dependence of their goal condition, subjects developed a personal motto, learning, or performance goal. This goal was adapted for the computer-simulated complex scenario Tailorshop, where subjects worked as managers in a small fictional company. Other than expected, there was no main effect of goal condition for the management performance. As hypothesized, motto goals led to higher positive and lower negative affect than the other two goal types. Even though positive affect decreased and negative affect increased in all three groups during Tailorshop completion, participants with motto goals reported the lowest rates of negative affect over time. Exploratory analyses investigated the role of affect in complex problem solving via mediational analyses and the influence of goal type on perceived goal attainment.
Ong, Aaron; Tan, Shu.; Gledhill, Samuel; Hennessy, Oliver; Lui, Belinda; Lee, Alan; Lemish, Wayne; Styles, Colin; Pun, Emma; Padmanabhan, Meenakshi; Pitman, Alexander G.; Tauro, Paul; Waugh, Paul
Full text: Picture archiving and communication systems images designed to be viewed on high-resolution medical-grade monitors are routinely viewed on office-grade monitors on the wards or at home. This study aimed to determine whether a statistically significant difference in diagnostic (cancer detection) and perceptual (microcalcification detection) performance exists between 3MP grade and 1MP office-grade monitors. 3MP Dome medical-grade liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors (Planar, Beaverton, OR, USA) were compared to 1MP Dell office-grade LCD monitors (Dell Inc, Round Rock, TX, USA). Eight radiologists (reader experi ence 8-30 years) read the same set of 100 mammograms (23/100 with proven cancers and 52/100 with microcalcifications) presented in random order on three occasions separated by two time intervals of 12 weeks. Reads 1 and 3 utilised 3MP monitors and formed the baseline read. Read 2 utilised 1MP monitors and constituted the experimental read. Reading conditions were standardised. Readers were aware of which monitors they were using. Mul tivariate logistic regression analysis (to account for reader variability and monitor impact) was performed to assess for statistical significance. At a = 5%, confidence intervals analysis comparing the measured parameters between 1MP to 3MP monitors demonstrated no statistically significant difference in diagnostic and perceptual performance for the reader group. In cancer detection (the diagnostic task), reader accuracy remained high irrespective of monitor type. Regression analysis comparing performance with 1MP against 3MP monitors found P values of 0.693 and 0.324 for diagnostic and perceptual performance, respectively. There were no statistically and clinically significant differences between 3MP and 1MP monitors in mammographic diagnostic and perceptual performance. Comparable performance may be due to compensatory behav iour by readers.
Andrew J. Oxenham
Full Text Available Recent physiological studies in several rodent species have revealed that permanent damage can occur to the auditory system after exposure to a noise that produces only a temporary shift in absolute thresholds. The damage has been found to occur in the synapses between the cochlea’s inner hair cells and the auditory nerve, effectively severing part of the connection between the ear and the brain. This synaptopathy has been termed hidden hearing loss because its effects are not thought to be revealed in standard clinical, behavioral, or physiological measures of absolute threshold. It is currently unknown whether humans suffer from similar deficits after noise exposure. Even if synaptopathy occurs in humans, it remains unclear what the perceptual consequences might be or how they should best be measured. Here, we apply a simple theoretical model, taken from signal detection theory, to provide some predictions for what perceptual effects could be expected for a given loss of synapses. Predictions are made for a number of basic perceptual tasks, including tone detection in quiet and in noise, frequency discrimination, level discrimination, and binaural lateralization. The model’s predictions are in line with the empirical observations that a 50% loss of synapses leads to changes in threshold that are too small to be reliably measured. Overall, the model provides a simple initial quantitative framework for understanding and predicting the perceptual effects of synaptopathy in humans.
Maniscalco, Brian; McCurdy, Li Yan; Odegaard, Brian; Lau, Hakwan
Why do experimenters give subjects short breaks in long behavioral experiments? Whereas previous studies suggest it is difficult to maintain attention and vigilance over long periods of time, it is unclear precisely what mechanisms benefit from rest after short experimental blocks. Here, we evaluate decline in both perceptual performance and metacognitive sensitivity (i.e., how well confidence ratings track perceptual decision accuracy) over time and investigate whether characteristics of prefrontal cortical areas correlate with these measures. Whereas a single-process signal detection model predicts that these two forms of fatigue should be strongly positively correlated, a dual-process model predicts that rates of decline may dissociate. Here, we show that these measures consistently exhibited negative or near-zero correlations, as if engaged in a trade-off relationship, suggesting that different mechanisms contribute to perceptual and metacognitive decisions. Despite this dissociation, the two mechanisms likely depend on common resources, which could explain their trade-off relationship. Based on structural MRI brain images of individual human subjects, we assessed gray matter volume in the frontal polar area, a region that has been linked to visual metacognition. Variability of frontal polar volume correlated with individual differences in behavior, indicating the region may play a role in supplying common resources for both perceptual and metacognitive vigilance. Additional experiments revealed that reduced metacognitive demand led to superior perceptual vigilance, providing further support for this hypothesis. Overall, results indicate that during breaks between short blocks, it is the higher-level perceptual decision mechanisms, rather than lower-level sensory machinery, that benefit most from rest. Perceptual task performance declines over time (the so-called vigilance decrement), but the relationship between vigilance in perception and metacognition has
Sündermann, Oliver; Hauschildt, Marit; Ehlers, Anke
Background Intrusive reexperiencing in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly triggered by stimuli with perceptual similarity to those present during the trauma. Information processing theories suggest that perceptual processing during the trauma and enhanced perceptual priming contribute to the easy triggering of intrusive memories by these cues. Methods Healthy volunteers (N = 51) watched neutral and trauma picture stories on a computer screen. Neutral objects that were unrelated to the content of the stories briefly appeared in the interval between the pictures. Dissociation and data-driven processing (as indicators of perceptual processing) and state anxiety during the stories were assessed with self-report questionnaires. After filler tasks, participants completed a blurred object identification task to assess priming and a recognition memory task. Intrusive memories were assessed with telephone interviews 2 weeks and 3 months later. Results Neutral objects were more strongly primed if they occurred in the context of trauma stories than if they occurred during neutral stories, although the effect size was only moderate (ηp2=.08) and only significant when trauma stories were presented first. Regardless of story order, enhanced perceptual priming predicted intrusive memories at 2-week follow-up (N = 51), but not at 3 months (n = 40). Data-driven processing, dissociation and anxiety increases during the trauma stories also predicted intrusive memories. Enhanced perceptual priming and data-driven processing were associated with lower verbal intelligence. Limitations It is unclear to what extent these findings generalize to real-life traumatic events and whether they are specific to negative emotional events. Conclusions The results provide some support for the role of perceptual processing and perceptual priming in reexperiencing symptoms. PMID:23207970
Shi, R; Werker, J F; Morgan, J L
In our study newborn infants were presented with lists of lexical and grammatical words prepared from natural maternal speech. The results show that newborns are able to categorically discriminate these sets of words based on a constellation of perceptual cues that distinguish them. This general ability to detect and categorically discriminate sets of words on the basis of multiple acoustic and phonological cues may provide a perceptual base that can help older infants bootstrap into the acquisition of grammatical categories and syntactic structure.
Choi, Lark Kwon; You, Jaehee; Bovik, Alan Conrad
We propose a referenceless perceptual fog density prediction model based on natural scene statistics (NSS) and fog aware statistical features. The proposed model, called Fog Aware Density Evaluator (FADE), predicts the visibility of a foggy scene from a single image without reference to a corresponding fog-free image, without dependence on salient objects in a scene, without side geographical camera information, without estimating a depth-dependent transmission map, and without training on human-rated judgments. FADE only makes use of measurable deviations from statistical regularities observed in natural foggy and fog-free images. Fog aware statistical features that define the perceptual fog density index derive from a space domain NSS model and the observed characteristics of foggy images. FADE not only predicts perceptual fog density for the entire image, but also provides a local fog density index for each patch. The predicted fog density using FADE correlates well with human judgments of fog density taken in a subjective study on a large foggy image database. As applications, FADE not only accurately assesses the performance of defogging algorithms designed to enhance the visibility of foggy images, but also is well suited for image defogging. A new FADE-based referenceless perceptual image defogging, dubbed DEnsity of Fog Assessment-based DEfogger (DEFADE) achieves better results for darker, denser foggy images as well as on standard foggy images than the state of the art defogging methods. A software release of FADE and DEFADE is available online for public use: http://live.ece.utexas.edu/research/fog/index.html.
Machado, Armando; Arantes, Joana
To contrast two models of timing, Scalar Expectancy Theory (SET) and Learning to Time (LeT), pigeons were exposed to a double temporal bisection procedure. On half of the trials, they learned to choose a red key after a 1s signal and a green key after a 4s signal; on the other half of the trials, they learned to choose a blue key after a 4-s signal and a yellow key after a 16-s signal. This was Phase A of an ABA design. On Phase B, the pigeons were divided into two groups and exposed to a new bisection task in which the signals ranged from 1 to 16s and the choice keys were blue and green. One group was reinforced for choosing blue after 1-s signals and green after 16-s signals and the other group was reinforced for the opposite mapping (green after 1-s signals and blue after 16-s signals). Whereas SET predicted no differences between the groups, LeT predicted that the former group would learn the new discrimination faster than the latter group. The results were consistent with LeT. Finally, the pigeons returned to Phase A. Only LeT made specific predictions regarding the reacquisition of the four temporal discriminations. These predictions were only partly consistent with the results.
Cohen, Yamit; Daikhin, Luba; Ahissar, Merav
What do we learn when we practice a simple perceptual task? Many studies have suggested that we learn to refine or better select the sensory representations of the task-relevant dimension. Here we show that learning is specific to the trained structural regularities. Specifically, when this structure is modified after training with a fixed temporal structure, performance regresses to pretraining levels, even when the trained stimuli and task are retained. This specificity raises key questions as to the importance of low-level sensory modifications in the learning process. We trained two groups of participants on a two-tone frequency discrimination task for several days. In one group, a fixed reference tone was consistently presented in the first interval (the second tone was higher or lower), and in the other group the same reference tone was consistently presented in the second interval. When following training, these temporal protocols were switched between groups, performance of both groups regressed to pretraining levels, and further training was needed to attain postlearning performance. ERP measures, taken before and after training, indicated that participants implicitly learned the temporal regularity of the protocol and formed an attentional template that matched the trained structure of information. These results are consistent with Reverse Hierarchy Theory, which posits that even the learning of simple perceptual tasks progresses in a top-down manner, hence can benefit from temporal regularities at the trial level, albeit at the potential cost that learning may be specific to these regularities.
Grange, James A; Kowalczyk, Agnieszka W; O'Loughlin, Rory
Inhibition in task switching is inferred from n-2 repetition costs: the observation that ABA task switching sequences are responded to slower than CBA sequences. This is thought to reflect the persisting inhibition of Task A, which slows reactivation attempts. Mayr (2002) reported an experiment testing a critical noninhibitory account of this effect, namely episodic retrieval: If the trial parameters for Task A match across an ABA sequence, responses should be facilitated because of priming from episodic retrieval; a cost would occur if trial parameters mismatch. In a rule-switching paradigm, Mayr reported no significant difference in n-2 repetition cost when the trial parameters repeated or switched across an ABA sequence, in clear contrast to the episodic retrieval account. What remains unclear is whether successful episodic retrieval modulates the n-2 repetition cost. Across 3 experiments-including a close replication of Mayr-we find clear evidence of reduced n-2 task repetition costs when episodic retrieval is controlled. We find that the effect of episodic retrieval on the n-2 task repetition cost is increased when the cue-task relationship is made more abstract, suggesting the effect is because of interference in establishing the relevant attentional set. We also demonstrate that the episodic retrieval effect is not influenced by retrieval of low-level, perceptual, elements. Together, the data suggest the n-2 task repetition cost-typically attributable to an inhibitory mechanism-also reflects episodic retrieval effects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Szpiro, Sarit F A; Spering, Miriam; Carrasco, Marisa
Perceptual learning improves detection and discrimination of relevant visual information in mature humans, revealing sensory plasticity. Whether visual perceptual learning affects motor responses is unknown. Here we implemented a protocol that enabled us to address this question. We tested a perceptual response (motion direction estimation, in which observers overestimate motion direction away from a reference) and a motor response (voluntary smooth pursuit eye movements). Perceptual training led to greater overestimation and, remarkably, it modified untrained smooth pursuit. In contrast, pursuit training did not affect overestimation in either pursuit or perception, even though observers in both training groups were exposed to the same stimuli for the same time period. A second experiment revealed that estimation training also improved discrimination, indicating that overestimation may optimize perceptual sensitivity. Hence, active perceptual training is necessary to alter perceptual responses, and an acquired change in perception suffices to modify pursuit, a motor response. © 2014 ARVO.
Dehaene, S; Kerszberg, M; Changeux, J P
A minimal hypothesis is proposed concerning the brain processes underlying effortful tasks. It distinguishes two main computational spaces: a unique global workspace composed of distributed and heavily interconnected neurons with long-range axons, and a set of specialized and modular perceptual, motor, memory, evaluative, and attentional processors. Workspace neurons are mobilized in effortful tasks for which the specialized processors do not suffice. They selectively mobilize or suppress, through descending connections, the contribution of specific processor neurons. In the course of task performance, workspace neurons become spontaneously coactivated, forming discrete though variable spatio-temporal patterns subject to modulation by vigilance signals and to selection by reward signals. A computer simulation of the Stroop task shows workspace activation to increase during acquisition of a novel task, effortful execution, and after errors. We outline predictions for spatio-temporal activation patterns during brain imaging, particularly about the contribution of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate to the workspace.
One of the most important issues concerning the foundations of conscious perception centers on the question of whether perceptual consciousness is rich or sparse. The overflow argument uses a form of 'iconic memory' to argue that perceptual consciousness is richer (i.e., has a higher capacity) than cognitive access: when observing a complex scene we are conscious of more than we can report or think about. Recently, the overflow argument has been challenged both empirically and conceptually. This paper reviews the controversy, arguing that proponents of sparse perception are committed to the postulation of (i) a peculiar kind of generic conscious representation that has no independent rationale and (ii) an unmotivated form of unconscious representation that in some cases conflicts with what we know about unconscious representation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Color camera characterization, mapping outputs from the camera sensors to an independent color space, such as \\(XYZ\\, is an important step in the camera processing pipeline. Until now, this procedure has been primarily solved by using a \\(3 \\times 3\\ matrix obtained via a least-squares optimization. In this paper, we propose to use the spherical sampling method, recently published by Finlayson al., to perform a perceptual color characterization. In particular, we search for the \\(3 \\times 3\\ matrix that minimizes three different perceptual errors, one pixel based and two spatially based. For the pixel-based case, we minimize the CIE \\(\\Delta E\\ error, while for the spatial-based case, we minimize both the S-CIELAB error and the CID error measure. Our results demonstrate an improvement of approximately 3for the \\(\\Delta E\\ error, 7& for the S-CIELAB error and 13% for the CID error measures.
Rahnev, Dobromir; Koizumi, Ai; McCurdy, Li Yan; D'Esposito, Mark; Lau, Hakwan
People live in a continuous environment in which the visual scene changes on a slow timescale. It has been shown that to exploit such environmental stability, the brain creates a continuity field in which objects seen seconds ago influence the perception of current objects. What is unknown is whether a similar mechanism exists at the level of metacognitive representations. In three experiments, we demonstrated a robust intertask confidence leak-that is, confidence in one's response on a given task or trial influencing confidence on the following task or trial. This confidence leak could not be explained by response priming or attentional fluctuations. Better ability to modulate confidence leak predicted higher capacity for metacognition as well as greater gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex. A model based on normative principles from Bayesian inference explained the results by postulating that observers subjectively estimate the perceptual signal strength in a stable environment. These results point to the existence of a novel metacognitive mechanism mediated by regions in the prefrontal cortex. © The Author(s) 2015.
Mostert, Pim; Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P
A key question within systems neuroscience is how the brain translates physical stimulation into a behavioral response: perceptual decision making. To answer this question, it is important to dissociate the neural activity underlying the encoding of sensory information from the activity underlying the subsequent temporal integration into a decision variable. Here, we adopted a decoding approach to empirically assess this dissociation in human magnetoencephalography recordings. We used a functional localizer to identify the neural signature that reflects sensory-specific processes, and subsequently traced this signature while subjects were engaged in a perceptual decision making task. Our results revealed a temporal dissociation in which sensory processing was limited to an early time window and consistent with occipital areas, whereas decision-related processing became increasingly pronounced over time, and involved parietal and frontal areas. We found that the sensory processing accurately reflected the physical stimulus, irrespective of the eventual decision. Moreover, the sensory representation was stable and maintained over time when it was required for a subsequent decision, but unstable and variable over time when it was task-irrelevant. In contrast, decision-related activity displayed long-lasting sustained components. Together, our approach dissects neuro-anatomically and functionally distinct contributions to perceptual decisions.
Mostert, Pim; Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P.
A key question within systems neuroscience is how the brain translates physical stimulation into a behavioral response: perceptual decision making. To answer this question, it is important to dissociate the neural activity underlying the encoding of sensory information from the activity underlying the subsequent temporal integration into a decision variable. Here, we adopted a decoding approach to empirically assess this dissociation in human magnetoencephalography recordings. We used a functional localizer to identify the neural signature that reflects sensory-specific processes, and subsequently traced this signature while subjects were engaged in a perceptual decision making task. Our results revealed a temporal dissociation in which sensory processing was limited to an early time window and consistent with occipital areas, whereas decision-related processing became increasingly pronounced over time, and involved parietal and frontal areas. We found that the sensory processing accurately reflected the physical stimulus, irrespective of the eventual decision. Moreover, the sensory representation was stable and maintained over time when it was required for a subsequent decision, but unstable and variable over time when it was task-irrelevant. In contrast, decision-related activity displayed long-lasting sustained components. Together, our approach dissects neuro-anatomically and functionally distinct contributions to perceptual decisions. PMID:26666393
Lenay, Charles; Stewart, John
WORK AIMED AT STUDYING SOCIAL COGNITION IN AN INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE OFTEN ENCOUNTERS SUBSTANTIAL THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL DIFFICULTIES: identifying the significant behavioral variables; recording them without disturbing the interaction; and distinguishing between: (a) the necessary and sufficient contributions of each individual partner for a collective dynamics to emerge; (b) features which derive from this collective dynamics and escape from the control of the individual partners; and (c) the phenomena arising from this collective dynamics which are subsequently appropriated and used by the partners. We propose a minimalist experimental paradigm as a basis for this conceptual discussion: by reducing the sensory inputs to a strict minimum, we force a spatial and temporal deployment of the perceptual activities, which makes it possible to obtain a complete recording and control of the dynamics of interaction. After presenting the principles of this minimalist approach to perception, we describe a series of experiments on two major questions in social cognition: recognizing the presence of another intentional subject; and phenomena of imitation. In both cases, we propose explanatory schema which render an interactionist approach to social cognition clear and explicit. Starting from our earlier work on perceptual crossing we present a new experiment on the mechanisms of reciprocal recognition of the perceptual intentionality of the other subject: the emergent collective dynamics of the perceptual crossing can be appropriated by each subject. We then present an experimental study of opaque imitation (when the subjects cannot see what they themselves are doing). This study makes it possible to characterize what a properly interactionist approach to imitation might be. In conclusion, we draw on these results, to show how an interactionist approach can contribute to a fully social approach to social cognition.
Li, Xuan; Allen, Philip A; Lien, Mei-Ching; Yamamoto, Naohide
Previous studies on perceptual learning, acquiring a new skill through practice, appear to stimulate brain plasticity and enhance performance (Fiorentini & Berardi, 1981). The present study aimed to determine (a) whether perceptual learning can be used to compensate for age-related declines in perceptual abilities, and (b) whether the effect of perceptual learning can be transferred to untrained stimuli and subsequently improve capacity of visual working memory (VWM). We tested both healthy younger and older adults in a 3-day training session using an orientation discrimination task. A matching-to-sample psychophysical method was used to measure improvements in orientation discrimination thresholds and reaction times (RTs). Results showed that both younger and older adults improved discrimination thresholds and RTs with similar learning rates and magnitudes. Furthermore, older adults exhibited a generalization of improvements to 3 untrained orientations that were close to the training orientation and benefited more compared with younger adults from the perceptual learning as they transferred learning effects to the VWM performance. We conclude that through perceptual learning, older adults can partially counteract age-related perceptual declines, generalize the learning effect to other stimulus conditions, and further overcome the limitation of using VWM capacity to perform a perceptual task. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Eisner, Frank; Melinger, Alissa; Weber, Andrea
The perception of speech sounds can be re-tuned through a mechanism of lexically driven perceptual learning after exposure to instances of atypical speech production. This study asked whether this re-tuning is sensitive to the position of the atypical sound within the word. We investigated perceptual learning using English voiced stop consonants, which are commonly devoiced in word-final position by Dutch learners of English. After exposure to a Dutch learner’s productions of devoiced stops in word-final position (but not in any other positions), British English (BE) listeners showed evidence of perceptual learning in a subsequent cross-modal priming task, where auditory primes with devoiced final stops (e.g., “seed”, pronounced [si:th]), facilitated recognition of visual targets with voiced final stops (e.g., SEED). In Experiment 1, this learning effect generalized to test pairs where the critical contrast was in word-initial position, e.g., auditory primes such as “town” facilitated recognition of visual targets like DOWN. Control listeners, who had not heard any stops by the speaker during exposure, showed no learning effects. The generalization to word-initial position did not occur when participants had also heard correctly voiced, word-initial stops during exposure (Experiment 2), and when the speaker was a native BE speaker who mimicked the word-final devoicing (Experiment 3). The readiness of the perceptual system to generalize a previously learned adjustment to other positions within the word thus appears to be modulated by distributional properties of the speech input, as well as by the perceived sociophonetic characteristics of the speaker. The results suggest that the transfer of pre-lexical perceptual adjustments that occur through lexically driven learning can be affected by a combination of acoustic, phonological, and sociophonetic factors. PMID:23554598
Lamichhane, Bidhan; Adhikari, Bhim M; Dhamala, Mukesh
Previous neuroimaging studies provide evidence for the involvement of the anterior insulae (INSs) in perceptual decision-making processes. However, how the insular cortex is involved in integration of degraded sensory information to create a conscious percept of environment and to drive our behaviors still remains a mystery. In this study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and four different perceptual categorization tasks in visual and audio-visual domains, we measured blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals and examined the roles of INSs in easy and difficult perceptual decision-making. We created a varying degree of degraded stimuli by manipulating the task-specific stimuli in these four experiments to examine the effects of task difficulty on insular cortex response. We hypothesized that significantly higher BOLD response would be associated with the ambiguity of the sensory information and decision-making difficulty. In all of our experimental tasks, we found the INS activity consistently increased with task difficulty and participants' behavioral performance changed with the ambiguity of the presented sensory information. These findings support the hypothesis that the anterior insulae are involved in sensory-guided, goal-directed behaviors and their activities can predict perceptual load and task difficulty. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rodriguez Zivic, Pablo H; Shifres, Favio; Cecchi, Guillermo A
The brain processes temporal statistics to predict future events and to categorize perceptual objects. These statistics, called expectancies, are found in music perception, and they span a variety of different features and time scales. Specifically, there is evidence that music perception involves strong expectancies regarding the distribution of a melodic interval, namely, the distance between two consecutive notes within the context of another. The recent availability of a large Western music dataset, consisting of the historical record condensed as melodic interval counts, has opened new possibilities for data-driven analysis of musical perception. In this context, we present an analytical approach that, based on cognitive theories of music expectation and machine learning techniques, recovers a set of factors that accurately identifies historical trends and stylistic transitions between the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Post-Romantic periods. We also offer a plausible musicological and cognitive interpretation of these factors, allowing us to propose them as data-driven principles of melodic expectation.
In 3 experiments, the effects of perceptual manipulations on recollective experience were tested. In Experiment 1, a picture-superiority effect was obtained for overall recognition and Remember judgements in a picture recognition task. In Experiment 2, size changes of pictorial stimuli across study and test reduced recognition memory and Remember judgements. In Experiment 3, deleterious effects of changes in left-right orientation of pictorial stimuli across study and test were obtained for Remember judgements. An alternate framework that emphasizes a distinctiveness-fluency processing distinction is proposed to account for these findings because they cannot easily be accommodated within the existing account of differences in conceptual and perceptual processing for the 2 categories of recollective experience: Remembering and Knowing, respectively (J. M. Gardiner, 1988; S. Rajaram, 1993).
Germar, Markus; Schlemmer, Alexander; Krug, Kristine; Voss, Andreas; Mojzisch, Andreas
Classic studies on social influence used simple perceptual decision-making tasks to examine how the opinions of others change individuals' judgments. Since then, one of the most fundamental questions in social psychology has been whether social influence can alter basic perceptual processes. To address this issue, we used a diffusion model analysis. Diffusion models provide a stochastic approach for separating the cognitive processes underlying speeded binary decisions. Following this approach, our study is the first to disentangle whether social influence on decision making is due to altering the uptake of available sensory information or due to shifting the decision criteria. In two experiments, we found consistent evidence for the idea that social influence alters the uptake of available sensory evidence. By contrast, participants did not adjust their decision criteria.
Remington, Anna M; Swettenham, John G; Lavie, Nilli
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research portrays a mixed picture of attentional abilities with demonstrations of enhancements (e.g., superior visual search) and deficits (e.g., higher distractibility). Here we test a potential resolution derived from the Load Theory of Attention (e.g., Lavie, 2005). In Load Theory, distractor processing depends on the perceptual load of the task and as such can only be eliminated under high load that engages full capacity. We hypothesize that ASD involves enhanced perceptual capacity, leading to the superior performance and increased distractor processing previously reported. Using a signal-detection paradigm, we test this directly and demonstrate that, under higher levels of load, perceptual sensitivity was reduced in typical adults but not in adults with ASD. These findings confirm our hypothesis and offer a promising solution to the previous discrepancies by suggesting that increased distractor processing in ASD results not from a filtering deficit but from enhanced perceptual capacity.
Herweg, Nora A.; Bunzeck, Nico
Beneficial effects of noise on higher cognition have recently attracted attention. Hypothesizing an involvement of the mesolimbic dopamine system and its functional interactions with cortical areas, the current study aimed to demonstrate a facilitation of dopamine-dependent attentional and mnemonic functions by externally applying white noise in five behavioral experiments including a total sample of 167 healthy human subjects. During working memory, acoustic white noise impaired accuracy whe...
Mattys, Sven L; Palmer, Shekeila D
Performing a secondary task while listening to speech has a detrimental effect on speech processing, but the locus of the disruption within the speech system is poorly understood. Recent research has shown that cognitive load imposed by a concurrent visual task increases dependency on lexical knowledge during speech processing, but it does not affect lexical activation per se. This suggests that "lexical drift" under cognitive load occurs either as a post-lexical bias at the decisional level or as a secondary consequence of reduced perceptual sensitivity. This study aimed to adjudicate between these alternatives using a forced-choice task that required listeners to identify noise-degraded spoken words with or without the addition of a concurrent visual task. Adding cognitive load increased the likelihood that listeners would select a word acoustically similar to the target even though its frequency was lower than that of the target. Thus, there was no evidence that cognitive load led to a high-frequency response bias. Rather, cognitive load seems to disrupt sublexical encoding, possibly by impairing perceptual acuity at the auditory periphery.
Full Text Available Previous ERP studies have shown that N2pc serves as an index for salient stimuli that capture attention, even if they are task irrelevant. This study aims to investigate whether nonsalient stimuli can capture attention automatically and unconsciously after perceptual learning. Adult subjects were trained with a visual search task for eight to ten sessions. The training task was to detect whether the target (triangle with one particular direction was present or not. After training, an ERP session was performed, in which subjects were required to detect the presence of either the trained triangle (i.e., the target triangle in the training sessions or an untrained triangle. Results showed that, while the untrained triangle did not elicit an N2pc effect, the trained triangle elicited a significant N2pc effect regardless of whether it was perceived correctly or not, even when it was task irrelevant. Moreover, the N2pc effect for the trained triangle was completely retained 3 months later. These results suggest that, after perceptual learning, previously unsalient stimuli become more salient and can capture attention automatically and unconsciously. Once the facilitating process of the unsalient stimulus has been built up in the brain, it can last for a long time.
Zhang, Manli; Xie, Weiyi; Xu, Yanzhi; Meng, Xiangzhi
Perceptual learning refers to the improvement of perceptual performance as a function of training. Recent studies found that auditory perceptual learning may improve phonological skills in individuals with developmental dyslexia in alphabetic writing system. However, whether auditory perceptual learning could also benefit the reading skills of those learning the Chinese logographic writing system is, as yet, unknown. The current study aimed to investigate the remediation effect of auditory temporal perceptual learning on Mandarin-speaking school children with developmental dyslexia. Thirty children with dyslexia were screened from a large pool of students in 3th-5th grades. They completed a series of pretests and then were assigned to either a non-training control group or a training group. The training group worked on a pure tone duration discrimination task for 7 sessions over 2 weeks with thirty minutes per session. Post-tests immediately after training and a follow-up test 2 months later were conducted. Analyses revealed a significant training effect in the training group relative to non-training group, as well as near transfer to the temporal interval discrimination task and far transfer to phonological awareness, character recognition and reading fluency. Importantly, the training effect and all the transfer effects were stable at the 2-month follow-up session. Further analyses found that a significant correlation between character recognition performance and learning rate mainly existed in the slow learning phase, the consolidation stage of perceptual learning, and this effect was modulated by an individuals' executive function. These findings indicate that adaptive auditory temporal perceptual learning can lead to learning and transfer effects on reading performance, and shed further light on the potential role of basic perceptual learning in the remediation and prevention of developmental dyslexia. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Parsing a mental operation into components, characterizing the parallel or serial nature of this flow, and understanding what each process ultimately contributes to response time are fundamental questions in cognitive neuroscience. Here we show how a simple theoretical model leads to an extended set of predictions concerning the distribution of response time and its alteration by simultaneous performance of another task. The model provides a synthesis of psychological refractory period and random-walk models of response time. It merely assumes that a task consists of three consecutive stages-perception, decision based on noisy integration of evidence, and response-and that the perceptual and motor stages can operate simultaneously with stages of another task, while the central decision process constitutes a bottleneck. We designed a number-comparison task that provided a thorough test of the model by allowing independent variations in number notation, numerical distance, response complexity, and temporal asynchrony relative to an interfering probe task of tone discrimination. The results revealed a parsing of the comparison task in which each variable affects only one stage. Numerical distance affects the integration process, which is the only step that cannot proceed in parallel and has a major contribution to response time variability. The other stages, mapping the numeral to an internal quantity and executing the motor response, can be carried out in parallel with another task. Changing the duration of these processes has no significant effect on the variance.
Meuwese, Julia D I; Post, Ruben A G; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F
It has been proposed that visual attention and consciousness are separate [Koch, C., & Tsuchiya, N. Attention and consciousness: Two distinct brain processes. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 16-22, 2007] and possibly even orthogonal processes [Lamme, V. A. F. Why visual attention and awareness are different. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 12-18, 2003]. Attention and consciousness converge when conscious visual percepts are attended and hence become available for conscious report. In such a view, a lack of reportability can have two causes: the absence of attention or the absence of a conscious percept. This raises an important question in the field of perceptual learning. It is known that learning can occur in the absence of reportability [Gutnisky, D. A., Hansen, B. J., Iliescu, B. F., & Dragoi, V. Attention alters visual plasticity during exposure-based learning. Current Biology, 19, 555-560, 2009; Seitz, A. R., Kim, D., & Watanabe, T. Rewards evoke learning of unconsciously processed visual stimuli in adult humans. Neuron, 61, 700-707, 2009; Seitz, A. R., & Watanabe, T. Is subliminal learning really passive? Nature, 422, 36, 2003; Watanabe, T., Náñez, J. E., & Sasaki, Y. Perceptual learning without perception. Nature, 413, 844-848, 2001], but it is unclear which of the two ingredients-consciousness or attention-is not necessary for learning. We presented textured figure-ground stimuli and manipulated reportability either by masking (which only interferes with consciousness) or with an inattention paradigm (which only interferes with attention). During the second session (24 hr later), learning was assessed neurally and behaviorally, via differences in figure-ground ERPs and via a detection task. Behavioral and neural learning effects were found for stimuli presented in the inattention paradigm and not for masked stimuli. Interestingly, the behavioral learning effect only became apparent when performance feedback was given on the task to measure learning
Bonebright, T.L.; Caudell, T.P.; Goldsmith, T.E.; Miner, N.E.
This paper describes a general methodological framework for evaluating the perceptual properties of auditory stimuli. The framework provides analysis techniques that can ensure the effective use of sound for a variety of applications including virtual reality and data sonification systems. Specifically, we discuss data collection techniques for the perceptual qualities of single auditory stimuli including identification tasks, context-based ratings, and attribute ratings. In addition, we present methods for comparing auditory stimuli, such as discrimination tasks, similarity ratings, and sorting tasks. Finally, we discuss statistical techniques that focus on the perceptual relations among stimuli, such as Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) and Pathfinder Analysis. These methods are presented as a starting point for an organized and systematic approach for non-experts in perceptual experimental methods, rather than as a complete manual for performing the statistical techniques and data collection methods. It is our hope that this paper will help foster further interdisciplinary collaboration among perceptual researchers, designers, engineers, and others in the development of effective auditory displays.
Gong, Liang; Wang, JiHua; Yang, XuDong; Feng, Lei; Li, Xiu; Gu, Cui; Wang, MeiHong; Hu, JiaYun; Cheng, Huaidong
The latest neuroimaging studies about implicit memory (IM) have revealed that different IM types may be processed by different parts of the brain. However, studies have rarely examined what subtypes of IM processes are affected in patients with various brain injuries. Twenty patients with frontal lobe injury, 25 patients with occipital lobe injury, and 29 healthy controls (HC) were recruited for the study. Two subtypes of IM were investigated by using structurally parallel perceptual (picture identification task) and conceptual (category exemplar generation task) IM tests in the three groups, as well as explicit memory (EM) tests. The results indicated that the priming of conceptual IM and EM tasks in patients with frontal lobe injury was poorer than that observed in HC, while perceptual IM was identical between the two groups. By contrast, the priming of perceptual IM in patients with occipital lobe injury was poorer than that in HC, whereas the priming of conceptual IM and EM was similar to that in HC. This double dissociation between perceptual and conceptual IM across the brain areas implies that occipital lobes may participate in perceptual IM, while frontal lobes may be involved in processing conceptual memory.
Protopapas, Athanassios; Mitsi, Anna; Koustoumbardis, Miltiadis; Tsitsopoulou, Sofia M; Leventi, Marianna; Seitz, Aaron R
Orthographic learning refers to the acquisition of knowledge about specific spelling patterns forming words and about general biases and constraints on letter sequences. It is thought to occur by strengthening simultaneously activated visual and phonological representations during reading. Here we demonstrate that a visual perceptual learning procedure that leaves no time for articulation can result in orthographic learning evidenced in improved reading and spelling performance. We employed task-irrelevant perceptual learning (TIPL), in which the stimuli to be learned are paired with an easy task target. Assorted line drawings and difficult-to-spell words were presented in red color among sequences of other black-colored words and images presented in rapid succession, constituting a fast-TIPL procedure with color detection being the explicit task. In five experiments, Greek children in Grades 4-5 showed increased recognition of words and images that had appeared in red, both during and after the training procedure, regardless of within-training testing, and also when targets appeared in blue instead of red. Significant transfer to reading and spelling emerged only after increased training intensity. In a sixth experiment, children in Grades 2-3 showed generalization to words not presented during training that carried the same derivational affixes as in the training set. We suggest that reinforcement signals related to detection of the target stimuli contribute to the strengthening of orthography-phonology connections beyond earlier levels of visually-based orthographic representation learning. These results highlight the potential of perceptual learning procedures for the reinforcement of higher-level orthographic representations. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
He, Xun; Witzel, Christoph; Forder, Lewis; Clifford, Alexandra; Franklin, Anna
Prior claims that color categories affect color perception are confounded by inequalities in the color space used to equate same- and different-category colors. Here, we equate same- and different-category colors in the number of just-noticeable differences, and measure event-related potentials (ERPs) to these colors on a visual oddball task to establish if color categories affect perceptual or post-perceptual stages of processing. Category effects were found from 200 ms after color presentation, only in ERP components that reflect post-perceptual processes (e.g., N2, P3). The findings suggest that color categories affect post-perceptual processing, but do not affect the perceptual representation of color.
Santamaría-García, Hernando; Pannunzi, Mario; Ayneto, Alba; Deco, Gustavo; Sebastián-Gallés, Nuria
So far, it was unclear if social hierarchy could influence sensory or perceptual cognitive processes. We evaluated the effects of social hierarchy on these processes using a basic visual perceptual decision task. We constructed a social hierarchy where participants performed the perceptual task separately with two covertly simulated players (superior, inferior). Participants were faster (better) when performing the discrimination task with the superior player. We studied the time course when social hierarchy was processed using event-related potentials and observed hierarchical effects even in early stages of sensory-perceptual processing, suggesting early top-down modulation by social hierarchy. Moreover, in a parallel analysis, we fitted a drift-diffusion model (DDM) to the results to evaluate the decision making process of this perceptual task in the context of a social hierarchy. Consistently, the DDM pointed to nondecision time (probably perceptual encoding) as the principal period influenced by social hierarchy. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Full Text Available Perceptual decisions vary in the speed at which we make them. Evidence suggests that translating sensory information into perceptual decisions relies on distributed interacting neural populations, with decision speed hinging on power modulations of the neural oscillations. Yet the dependence of perceptual decisions on the large-scale network organization of coupled neural oscillations has remained elusive. We measured magnetoencephalographic signals in human listeners who judged acoustic stimuli composed of carefully titrated clouds of tone sweeps. These stimuli were used in two task contexts, in which the participants judged the overall pitch or direction of the tone sweeps. We traced the large-scale network dynamics of the source-projected neural oscillations on a trial-by-trial basis using power-envelope correlations and graph-theoretical network discovery. In both tasks, faster decisions were predicted by higher segregation and lower integration of coupled beta-band (∼16–28 Hz oscillations. We also uncovered the brain network states that promoted faster decisions in either lower-order auditory or higher-order control brain areas. Specifically, decision speed in judging the tone sweep direction critically relied on the nodal network configurations of anterior temporal, cingulate, and middle frontal cortices. Our findings suggest that global network communication during perceptual decision-making is implemented in the human brain by large-scale couplings between beta-band neural oscillations. The speed at which we make perceptual decisions varies. This translation of sensory information into perceptual decisions hinges on dynamic changes in neural oscillatory activity. However, the large-scale neural-network embodiment supporting perceptual decision-making is unclear. We addressed this question by experimenting two auditory perceptual decision-making situations. Using graph-theoretical network discovery, we traced the large-scale network
Lametti, D.R.; Oostwoud Wijdenes, L.; Bonaiuto, J.; Bestmann, S.; Rothwell, J.C.
Neuroimaging studies suggest that the cerebellum might play a role in both speech perception and speech perceptual learning. However, it remains unclear what this role is: does the cerebellum directly contribute to the perceptual decision? Or does it contribute to the timing of perceptual decisions?
Collins, Heather R; Zhu, Xun; Bhatt, Ramesh S; Clark, Jonathan D; Joseph, Jane E
The degree to which face-specific brain regions are specialized for different kinds of perceptual processing is debated. This study parametrically varied demands on featural, first-order configural, or second-order configural processing of faces and houses in a perceptual matching task to determine the extent to which the process of perceptual differentiation was selective for faces regardless of processing type (domain-specific account), specialized for specific types of perceptual processing regardless of category (process-specific account), engaged in category-optimized processing (i.e., configural face processing or featural house processing), or reflected generalized perceptual differentiation (i.e., differentiation that crosses category and processing type boundaries). ROIs were identified in a separate localizer run or with a similarity regressor in the face-matching runs. The predominant principle accounting for fMRI signal modulation in most regions was generalized perceptual differentiation. Nearly all regions showed perceptual differentiation for both faces and houses for more than one processing type, even if the region was identified as face-preferential in the localizer run. Consistent with process specificity, some regions showed perceptual differentiation for first-order processing of faces and houses (right fusiform face area and occipito-temporal cortex and right lateral occipital complex), but not for featural or second-order processing. Somewhat consistent with domain specificity, the right inferior frontal gyrus showed perceptual differentiation only for faces in the featural matching task. The present findings demonstrate that the majority of regions involved in perceptual differentiation of faces are also involved in differentiation of other visually homogenous categories.
Collins, Heather R.; Zhu, Xun; Bhatt, Ramesh S.; Clark, Jonathan D.; Joseph, Jane E.
The degree to which face-specific brain regions are specialized for different kinds of perceptual processing is debated. The present study parametrically varied demands on featural, first-order configural or second-order configural processing of faces and houses in a perceptual matching task to determine the extent to which the process of perceptual differentiation was selective for faces regardless of processing type (domain-specific account), specialized for specific types of perceptual processing regardless of category (process-specific account), engaged in category-optimized processing (i.e., configural face processing or featural house processing) or reflected generalized perceptual differentiation (i.e. differentiation that crosses category and processing type boundaries). Regions of interest were identified in a separate localizer run or with a similarity regressor in the face-matching runs. The predominant principle accounting for fMRI signal modulation in most regions was generalized perceptual differentiation. Nearly all regions showed perceptual differentiation for both faces and houses for more than one processing type, even if the region was identified as face-preferential in the localizer run. Consistent with process-specificity, some regions showed perceptual differentiation for first-order processing of faces and houses (right fusiform face area and occipito-temporal cortex, and right lateral occipital complex), but not for featural or second-order processing. Somewhat consistent with domain-specificity, the right inferior frontal gyrus showed perceptual differentiation only for faces in the featural matching task. The present findings demonstrate that the majority of regions involved in perceptual differentiation of faces are also involved in differentiation of other visually homogenous categories. PMID:22849402
Williams, A Mark; Ericsson, K Anders
The number of researchers studying perceptual-cognitive expertise in sport is increasing. The intention in this paper is to review the currently accepted framework for studying expert performance and to consider implications for undertaking research work in the area of perceptual-cognitive expertise in sport. The expert performance approach presents a descriptive and inductive approach for the systematic study of expert performance. The nature of expert performance is initially captured in the laboratory using representative tasks that identify reliably superior performance. Process-tracing measures are employed to determine the mechanisms that mediate expert performance on the task. Finally, the specific types of activities that lead to the acquisition and development of these mediating mechanisms are identified. General principles and mechanisms may be discovered and then validated by more traditional experimental designs. The relevance of this approach to the study of perceptual-cognitive expertise in sport is discussed and suggestions for future work highlighted.
Khong, Jerrine Z. N.; Liem, Gregory Arief D.; Klassen, Robert M.
The present study extends the literature by investigating the relative salience of self- and collective efficacy in predicting group performance among early adolescents in Indonesia. A total of 435 early adolescents (mean age 11.70 years, 53% female) were randomly assigned to groups of three to four and completed three group tasks (task 1:…
Geovanna Gistha Wicita
Full Text Available The News Production Management Study Program (NPMSP in STMM “MMTC” Yogyakarta is a study program that has an English subject in the third semester. Due to the lack of time and materials for the students, English, which they will use a lot in journalism, becomes their barrier in learning. Therefore, this research attempted to develop a set of English instructional materials using task-based learning for the third semester students of the NPMSP STMM “MMTC” Yogyakarta. This research aimed to answer how the materials are developed and what the materials look like. To gather the information, the researcher adopted Borg & Gall’s (1986 Research and Development (R&D method which was combined with Kemp’s instructional design model (1977 covering eight flexible steps. Due to time and financial constraints, only five steps of R&D were conducted in designing the materials. To gather the information, the researcher conducted some interviews. After designing the materials, the interview was conducted. The interview results showed that the designed materials were good, appropriate, and applicable. Nine suggestions were obtained to revise the materials which covered the level of difficulty of the text, the content of the exercises, the overview of the learning materials, teaching media, lesson plans, instructions, layout, and material implementation. The materials consist of six units. Each unit contains five sessions, namely “What’s Up?”, “Entering the Newsroom”, “Journalists’ Project”, “Entering the News Editor Room”, and “Lesson Learned”. DOI: https://doi.org/10.24071/llt.2015.180107
Task-specific improvement in performance after training is well established. The finding that learning is stimulus-specific and does not transfer well between different stimuli, between stimulus locations in the visual field, or between the two eyes has been used to support the notion that neurons or assemblies of neurons are modified at the earliest stage of cortical processing. However, a debate regarding the proposed mechanism underlying perceptual learning is an ongoing issue. Nevertheless, generalization of a trained task to other functions is an important key, for both understanding the neural mechanisms and the practical value of the training. This manuscript describes a structured perceptual learning method that previously used (amblyopia, myopia) and a novel technique and results that were applied for presbyopia. In general, subjects were trained for contrast detection of Gabor targets under lateral masking conditions. Training improved contrast sensitivity and diminished the lateral suppression when it existed (amblyopia). The improvement was transferred to unrelated functions such as visual acuity. The new results of presbyopia show substantial improvement of the spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity, leading to improved processing speed of target detection as well as reaction time. Consequently, the subjects, who were able to eliminate the need for reading glasses, benefited. Thus, here we show that the transfer of functions indicates that the specificity of improvement in the trained task can be generalized by repetitive practice of target detection, covering a sufficient range of spatial frequencies and orientations, leading to an improvement in unrelated visual functions. Thus, perceptual learning can be a practical method to improve visual functions in people with impaired or blurred vision.
Chiang, I-Ping; Lin, Chih-Ying; Wang, Kaisheng M
Many companies have launched their products or services online as a new business focus, but only a few of them have survived the competition and made profits. The most important key to an online business's success is to create "brand value" for the customers. Although the concept of online brand has been discussed in previous studies, there is no empirical study on the measurement of online branding. As Web 2.0 emerges to be critical to online branding, the purpose of this study was to measure Taiwan's major Web sites with a number of personality traits to build a perceptual map for online brands. A pretest identified 10 most representative online brand perceptions. The results of the correspondence analysis showed five groups in the perceptual map. This study provided a practical view of the associations and similarities among online brands for potential alliance or branding strategies. The findings also suggested that brand perceptions can be used with identified consumer needs and behaviors to better position online services. The brand perception map in the study also contributed to a better understanding of the online brands in Taiwan.
Ghirardi, Gian Carlo; Romano, Raffaele
Theories including a collapse mechanism have been presented various years ago. They are based on a modification of standard quantum mechanics in which nonlinear and stochastic terms are added to the evolution equation. Their principal merits derive from the fact that they are mathematically precise schemes accounting, on the basis of a unique universal dynamical principle, both for the quantum behavior of microscopic systems as well as for the reduction associated to measurement processes and for the classical behavior of macroscopic objects. Since such theories qualify themselves not as new interpretations but as modifications of the standard theory they can be, in principle, tested against quantum mechanics. Recently, various investigations identifying possible crucial test have been discussed. In spite of the extreme difficulty to perform such tests it seems that recent technological developments allow at least to put precise limits on the parameters characterizing the modifications of the evolution equation. Here we will simply mention some of the recent investigations in this direction, while we will mainly concentrate our attention to the way in which collapse theories account for definite perceptual process. The differences between the case of reductions induced by perceptions and those related to measurement procedures by means of standard macroscopic devices will be discussed. On this basis, we suggest a precise experimental test of collapse theories involving conscious observers. We make plausible, by discussing in detail a toy model, that the modified dynamics can give rise to quite small but systematic errors in the visual perceptual process.
Friberg, Anders; Schoonderwaldt, Erwin; Hedblad, Anton; Fabiani, Marco; Elowsson, Anders
The notion of perceptual features is introduced for describing general music properties based on human perception. This is an attempt at rethinking the concept of features, aiming to approach the underlying human perception mechanisms. Instead of using concepts from music theory such as tones, pitches, and chords, a set of nine features describing overall properties of the music was selected. They were chosen from qualitative measures used in psychology studies and motivated from an ecological approach. The perceptual features were rated in two listening experiments using two different data sets. They were modeled both from symbolic and audio data using different sets of computational features. Ratings of emotional expression were predicted using the perceptual features. The results indicate that (1) at least some of the perceptual features are reliable estimates; (2) emotion ratings could be predicted by a small combination of perceptual features with an explained variance from 75% to 93% for the emotional dimensions activity and valence; (3) the perceptual features could only to a limited extent be modeled using existing audio features. Results clearly indicated that a small number of dedicated features were superior to a "brute force" model using a large number of general audio features.
Abrahamyan, Arman; Silva, Laura Luz; Dakin, Steven C; Carandini, Matteo; Gardner, Justin L
When making choices under conditions of perceptual uncertainty, past experience can play a vital role. However, it can also lead to biases that worsen decisions. Consistent with previous observations, we found that human choices are influenced by the success or failure of past choices even in a standard two-alternative detection task, where choice history is irrelevant. The typical bias was one that made the subject switch choices after a failure. These choice history biases led to poorer performance and were similar for observers in different countries. They were well captured by a simple logistic regression model that had been previously applied to describe psychophysical performance in mice. Such irrational biases seem at odds with the principles of reinforcement learning, which would predict exquisite adaptability to choice history. We therefore asked whether subjects could adapt their irrational biases following changes in trial order statistics. Adaptability was strong in the direction that confirmed a subject's default biases, but weaker in the opposite direction, so that existing biases could not be eradicated. We conclude that humans can adapt choice history biases, but cannot easily overcome existing biases even if irrational in the current context: adaptation is more sensitive to confirmatory than contradictory statistics.
Macdonald, James S P; Lavie, Nilli
In this article, we establish a new phenomenon of "inattentional deafness" and highlight the level of load on visual attention as a critical determinant of this phenomenon. In three experiments, we modified an inattentional blindness paradigm to assess inattentional deafness. Participants made either a low- or high-load visual discrimination concerning a cross shape (respectively, a discrimination of line color or of line length with a subtle length difference). A brief pure tone was presented simultaneously with the visual task display on a final trial. Failures to notice the presence of this tone (i.e., inattentional deafness) reached a rate of 79% in the high-visual-load condition, significantly more than in the low-load condition. These findings establish the phenomenon of inattentional deafness under visual load, thereby extending the load theory of attention (e.g., Lavie, Journal of Experimental Psychology. Human Perception and Performance, 25, 596-616, 1995) to address the cross-modal effects of visual perceptual load.
Haegens, Saskia; Vergara, José; Rossi-Pool, Román; Lemus, Luis; Romo, Ranulfo
Previous work on perceptual decision making in the sensorimotor system has shown population dynamics in the beta band, corresponding to the encoding of stimulus properties and the final decision outcome. Here, we asked how oscillatory dynamics in the medial premotor cortex (MPC) contribute to supramodal perceptual decision making. We recorded local field potentials (LFPs) and spikes in two monkeys trained to perform a tactile-acoustic frequency discrimination task, including both unimodal and crossmodal conditions. We studied the role of oscillatory activity as a function of stimulus properties (frequency and sensory modality), as well as decision outcome. We found that beta-band power correlated with relevant stimulus properties: there was a significant modulation by stimulus frequency during the working-memory (WM) retention interval, as well as modulation by stimulus modality-the latter was observed only in the case of a purely unimodal task, where modality information was relevant to prepare for the upcoming second stimulus. Furthermore, we found a significant modulation of beta power during the comparison and decision period, which was predictive of decision outcome. Finally, beta-band spike-field coherence (SFC) matched these LFP observations. In conclusion, we demonstrate that beta power in MPC is reflective of stimulus features in a supramodal, context-dependent manner, and additionally reflects the decision outcome. We propose that these beta modulations are a signature of the recruitment of functional neuronal ensembles, which encode task-relevant information.
Wang, Fang; Huang, Jing; Lv, Yaping; Ma, Xiaoli; Yang, Bin; Wang, Encong; Du, Boqi; Li, Wu; Song, Yan
Visual perceptual learning has been shown to be highly specific to the retinotopic location and attributes of the trained stimulus. Recent psychophysical studies suggest that these specificities, which have been associated with early retinotopic visual cortex, may in fact not be inherent in perceptual learning and could be related to higher-order brain functions. Here we provide direct electrophysiological evidence in support of this proposition. In a series of event-related potential (ERP) experiments, we recorded high-density electroencephalography (EEG) from human adults over the course of learning in a texture discrimination task (TDT). The results consistently showed that the earliest C1 component (68-84ms), known to reflect V1 activity driven by feedforward inputs, was not modulated by learning regardless of whether the behavioral improvement is location specific or not. In contrast, two later posterior ERP components (posterior P1 and P160-350) over the occipital cortex and one anterior ERP component (anterior P160-350) over the prefrontal cortex were progressively modified day by day. Moreover, the change of the anterior component was closely correlated with improved behavioral performance on a daily basis. Consistent with recent psychophysical and imaging observations, our results indicate that perceptual learning can mainly involve changes in higher-level visual cortex as well as in the neural networks responsible for cognitive functions such as attention and decision making. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Brunyé, Tad T; Gardony, Aaron L
Perceptual decision making involves gathering and interpreting sensory information to effectively categorize the world and inform behavior. For instance, a radiologist distinguishing the presence versus absence of a tumor, or a luggage screener categorizing objects as threatening or non-threatening. In many cases, sensory information is not sufficient to reliably disambiguate the nature of a stimulus, and resulting decisions are done under conditions of uncertainty. The present study asked whether several oculomotor metrics might prove sensitive to transient states of uncertainty during perceptual decision making. Participants viewed images with varying visual clarity and were asked to categorize them as faces or houses, and rate the certainty of their decisions, while we used eye tracking to monitor fixations, saccades, blinks, and pupil diameter. Results demonstrated that decision certainty influenced several oculomotor variables, including fixation frequency and duration, the frequency, peak velocity, and amplitude of saccades, and phasic pupil diameter. Whereas most measures tended to change linearly along with decision certainty, pupil diameter revealed more nuanced and dynamic information about the time course of perceptual decision making. Together, results demonstrate robust alterations in eye movement behavior as a function of decision certainty and attention demands, and suggest that monitoring oculomotor variables during applied task performance may prove valuable for identifying and remediating transient states of uncertainty. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Ryu, Donghyun; Mann, David L; Abernethy, Bruce; Poolton, Jamie M
The purpose of this study was to determine whether decision-making skill in perceptual-cognitive tasks could be enhanced using a training technique that impaired selective areas of the visual field. Recreational basketball players performed perceptual training over 3 days while viewing with a gaze-contingent manipulation that displayed either (a) a moving window (clear central and blurred peripheral vision), (b) a moving mask (blurred central and clear peripheral vision), or (c) full (unrestricted) vision. During the training, participants watched video clips of basketball play and at the conclusion of each clip made a decision about to which teammate the player in possession of the ball should pass. A further control group watched unrelated videos with full vision. The effects of training were assessed using separate tests of decision-making skill conducted in a pretest, posttest, and 2-week retention test. The accuracy of decision making was greater in the posttest than in the pretest for all three intervention groups when compared with the control group. Remarkably, training with blurred peripheral vision resulted in a further improvement in performance from posttest to retention test that was not apparent for the other groups. The type of training had no measurable impact on the visual search strategies of the participants, and so the training improvements appear to be grounded in changes in information pickup. The findings show that learning with impaired peripheral vision offers a promising form of training to support improvements in perceptual skill.
Toelch, Ulf; Panizza, Folco; Heekeren, Hauke R
Adaptive decisions in social contexts depend on both perceptual information and social expectations or norms. These are potentially in conflict when certain choices are beneficial for an individual, but societal rules mandate a different course of action. To resolve such a conflict, the reliability of information has to be balanced against potentially deleterious effects of non-compliance such as ostracism. In this study, we systematically investigated how interactions between perceptual and social influences affect decision-relevant cognitive processes. In a direction-of-motion discrimination task, participants received perceptual information alongside information on other players' choices. In addition, we created conflict scenarios where players' choices affected other participants' monetary rewards dependent on whether their choices were in line or against the opinion of the other players. Importantly, we altered the strength of this manipulation in two separate experiments by contrasting motivations of either preventing harm or providing a benefit to others. Behavioural analyses and computational models of perceptual decisions showed that participants successfully integrated perceptual with social information. Participants' reliance on social information was effectively modulated in conflict situations. Critically, these effects were augmented when the strength of social norms was increased, indexing conditions under which social norms effectively influence decisions. These results inform theories of social influence by providing an account of how higher order goals like social norm compliance affect perceptual decisions.
Lai, Mun Yee; Leung, Frederick Koon Shing
This paper reports an investigation of Chinese-speaking and English-speaking children's general visual perceptual abilities. The Developmental Test of Visual Perception was administered to 41 native Chinese-speaking children of mean age 5 yr. 4 mo. in Hong Kong and 35 English-speaking children of mean age 5 yr. 2 mo. in Melbourne. Of interest were the two interrelated components of visual perceptual abilities, namely, motor-reduced visual perceptual and visual-motor integration perceptual abilities, which require either verbal or motoric responses in completing visual tasks. Chinese-speaking children significantly outperformed the English-speaking children on general visual perceptual abilities. When comparing the results of each of the two different components, the Chinese-speaking students' performance on visual-motor integration was far better than that of their counterparts (ES = 2.70), while the two groups of students performed similarly on motor-reduced visual perceptual abilities. Cultural factors such as written language format may be contributing to the enhanced performance of Chinese-speaking children's visual-motor integration abilities, but there may be validity questions in the Chinese version.
van Maarseveen, Mariëtte J J; Oudejans, Raôul R D; Mann, David L; Savelsbergh, Geert J P
Many studies have shown that experts possess better perceptual-cognitive skills than novices (e.g., in anticipation, decision making, pattern recall), but it remains unclear whether a relationship exists between performance on those tests of perceptual-cognitive skill and actual on-field performance. In this study, we assessed the in situ performance of skilled soccer players and related the outcomes to measures of anticipation, decision making, and pattern recall. In addition, we examined gaze behaviour when performing the perceptual-cognitive tests to better understand whether the underlying processes were related when those perceptual-cognitive tasks were performed. The results revealed that on-field performance could not be predicted on the basis of performance on the perceptual-cognitive tests. Moreover, there were no strong correlations between the level of performance on the different tests. The analysis of gaze behaviour revealed differences in search rate, fixation duration, fixation order, gaze entropy, and percentage viewing time when performing the test of pattern recall, suggesting that it is driven by different processes to those used for anticipation and decision making. Altogether, the results suggest that the perceptual-cognitive tests may not be as strong determinants of actual performance as may have previously been assumed.
A.A. Salah (Albert Ali); O. Tanrı dağ
htmlabstractHumans perceive the world through different perceptual modalities, which are processed in the brain by modality-specific areas and structures. However, there also exist multimodal neurons and areas, specialized in integrating perceptual information to enhance or suppress brain response.
Olsen, Sune L.; Agerkvist, Finn T.; MacDonald, Ewen
While non-linear distortion in loudspeakers decreases audio quality, the perceptual consequences can vary substantially. This paper investigates the metric Rnonlin  which was developed to predict subjective measurements of sound quality in nonlinear systems. The generalisability of the metric...... the perceptual consequences of non-linear distortion....
Full Text Available Barsalou's (1999 perceptual theory of knowledge echoes the pre-20th century tradition of conceptualizing all knowledge as inherently perceptual. Hence conceptual space has an infinite number of dimensions and heavily relies on perceptual experience. Osgood's (1952 semantic differential technique was developed as a bridge between perception and semantics. We updated Osgood's methodology in order to investigate current issues in visual cognition by: (1 using a 2D rather than a 1D space to place the concepts, (2 having dimensions that were perceptual while the targets were conceptual, (3 coupling visual experience with another two perceptual domains (audition and touch, (4 analyzing the data using MDS (not factor analysis. In three experiments, subjects (N = 57 judged five concrete and five abstract words on seven bipolar scales in three perceptual modalities. The 2D space led to different patterns of response compared to the classic 1D space. MDS revealed that perceptual modalities are not equally informative for mapping word-meaning distances (Mantel min = −.23; Mantel max = .88. There was no reliable differences due to test administration modality (paper vs. computer, nor scale orientation. The present findings are consistent with multidimensionality of conceptual space, a perceptual basis for knowledge, and dynamic characteristics of concepts discussed in contemporary theories.
Bedford, Felice L.
Addresses two questions that may be unique to perceptual learning: What are the circumstances that produce learning? and What is the content of learning? Suggests a critical principle for each question. Provides a discussion of perceptual learning theory, how learning occurs, and what gets learned. Includes a 121-item bibliography. (DR)
Rachel A Searston
Full Text Available Perceptual expertise is notoriously specific and bound by familiarity; generalizing to novel or unfamiliar images, objects, identities, and categories often comes at some cost to performance. In forensic and security settings, however, examiners are faced with the task of discriminating unfamiliar images of unfamiliar objects within their general domain of expertise (e.g., fingerprints, faces, or firearms. The job of a fingerprint expert, for instance, is to decide whether two unfamiliar fingerprint images were left by the same unfamiliar finger (e.g., Smith's left thumb, or two different unfamiliar fingers (e.g., Smith and Jones's left thumb. Little is known about the limits of this kind of perceptual expertise. Here, we examine fingerprint experts' and novices' ability to distinguish fingerprints compared to inverted faces in two different tasks. Inverted face images serve as an ideal comparison because they vary naturally between and within identities, as do fingerprints, and people tend to be less accurate or more novice-like at distinguishing faces when they are presented in an inverted or unfamiliar orientation. In Experiment 1, fingerprint experts outperformed novices in locating categorical fingerprint outliers (i.e., a loop pattern in an array of whorls, but not inverted face outliers (i.e., an inverted male face in an array of inverted female faces. In Experiment 2, fingerprint experts were more accurate than novices at discriminating matching and mismatching fingerprints that were presented very briefly, but not so for inverted faces. Our data show that perceptual expertise with fingerprints can be flexible to changing task demands, but there can also be abrupt limits: fingerprint expertise did not generalize to an unfamiliar class of stimuli. We interpret these findings as evidence that perceptual expertise with unfamiliar objects is highly constrained by one's experience.
Shepard, Charlene R.; Reynolds, Ralph E.
Investigating the selective attention strategy, a study examined the type of attention allocated to important information by good and poor readers. Also tested was the methodological validity of using a conceptual (word recognition) perceptual (tachistoscopic word flash) task as a means of investigating the types of information processing that may…
Abernethy, Bruce; Schorer, Jorg; Jackson, Robin C.; Hagemann, Norbert
The comparative efficacy of different perceptual training approaches for the improvement of anticipation was examined using a goalkeeping task from European handball that required the rapid prediction of shot direction. Novice participants (N = 60) were assigned equally to four different training groups and two different control groups (a placebo…
D. Pecher (Diane); J.G.W. Raaijmakers (Jeroen)
textabstractInformation storage in semantic memory was investigated by looking at automatic priming effects for new associations in two experiments. In the study phase word pairs were presented in a paired-associate learning task. Lexical decision and perceptual identification were used to examine
Mann, D.L.; Dicks, M.; Canal Bruland, R.; van der Kamp, J.
Neurophysiological measurement techniques like fMRI and TMS are increasingly being used to examine the perceptual-motor processes underpinning the ability to anticipate the actions of others. Crucially, these techniques invariably restrict the experimental task that can be used and consequently
Fabbri, Marco; Cellini, Nicola; Martoni, Monica; Tonetti, Lorenzo; Natale, Vincenzo
The spatial-temporal association indicates that time is represented spatially along a left-to-right line. It is unclear whether the spatial-temporal association is mainly related to a perceptual or a motor component. In addition, the spatial-temporal association is not consistently found using a time reproduction task. Our rationale for this…
Curby, Kim M; Entenman, Robert J; Fleming, Justin T
What role do general-purpose, experience-sensitive perceptual mechanisms play in producing characteristic features of face perception? We previously demonstrated that different-colored, misaligned framing backgrounds, designed to disrupt perceptual grouping of face parts appearing upon them, disrupt holistic face perception. In the current experiments, a similar part-judgment task with composite faces was performed: face parts appeared in either misaligned, different-colored rectangles or aligned, same-colored rectangles. To investigate whether experience can shape impacts of perceptual grouping on holistic face perception, a pre-task fostered the perception of either (a) the misaligned, differently colored rectangle frames as parts of a single, multicolored polygon or (b) the aligned, same-colored rectangle frames as a single square shape. Faces appearing in the misaligned, differently colored rectangles were processed more holistically by those in the polygon-, compared with the square-, pre-task group. Holistic effects for faces appearing in aligned, same-colored rectangles showed the opposite pattern. Experiment 2, which included a pre-task condition fostering the perception of the aligned, same-colored frames as pairs of independent rectangles, provided converging evidence that experience can modulate impacts of perceptual grouping on holistic face perception. These results are surprising given the proposed impenetrability of holistic face perception and provide insights into the elusive mechanisms underlying holistic perception.
Pruden, Shannon M.; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Hennon, Elizabeth A.
A core task in language acquisition is mapping words onto objects, actions, and events. Two studies investigated how children learn to map novel labels onto novel objects. Study 1 investigated whether 10-month-olds use both perceptual and social cues to learn a word. Study 2, a control study, tested whether infants paired the label with a…
Oudejans, R.R.D.; Pijpers, J.R.
In two experiments, we examined whether training with anxiety can prevent choking in experts performing perceptual-motor tasks. In Experiment 1, 17 expert basketball players practised free throws over a 5-week period with or without induced anxiety. Only after training with anxiety did performance
Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Sy, Jocelyn L; Giesbrecht, Barry
. Here we present data from two partial report experiments where we varied the number and discriminability of the task-irrelevant stimuli (Experiment 1) and perceptual load (Experiment 2). The TVA fitted the data of the two experiments well thus favoring the simple explanation with a single step...
Sandra Cristina Soares
Full Text Available Previous studies in the social anxiety arena have shown an impaired attentional control system, similar to that found in trait anxiety. However, the effect of task demands on social anxiety in socially threatening stimuli, such as angry faces, remains unseen. In the present study, fifty-four university students scoring high and low in the Social Interaction and Performance Anxiety and Avoidance Scale (SIPAAS questionnaire, participated in a target letter discrimination task while task-irrelevant face stimuli (angry, disgust, happy, and neutral were simultaneously presented. The results showed that high (compared to low socially anxious individuals were more prone to distraction by task-irrelevant stimuli, particularly under high perceptual load conditions. More importantly, for such individuals, the accuracy proportions for angry faces significantly differed between the low and high perceptual load conditions, which is discussed in light of current evolutionary models of social anxiety.
Soares, Sandra C; Rocha, Marta; Neiva, Tiago; Rodrigues, Paulo; Silva, Carlos F
Previous studies in the social anxiety arena have shown an impaired attentional control system, similar to that found in trait anxiety. However, the effect of task demands on social anxiety in socially threatening stimuli, such as angry faces, remains unseen. In the present study, 54 university students scoring high and low in the Social Interaction and Performance Anxiety and Avoidance Scale (SIPAAS) questionnaire, participated in a target letter discrimination task while task-irrelevant face stimuli (angry, disgust, happy, and neutral) were simultaneously presented. The results showed that high (compared to low) socially anxious individuals were more prone to distraction by task-irrelevant stimuli, particularly under high perceptual load conditions. More importantly, for such individuals, the accuracy proportions for angry faces significantly differed between the low and high perceptual load conditions, which is discussed in light of current evolutionary models of social anxiety.
LaCrosse, Amber L.; Burrows, Brian T.; Angulo, Rachel M.; Conrad, Phoebe R.; Himes, Sarah M.; Mathews, Nordia; Wegner, Scott A.; Taylor, Sara B.; Olive, M. Foster
Rationale Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of type 5 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5) exert pro-cognitive effects in animal models of various neuropsychiatric diseases. However, few studies to date have examined ability of mGluR5 PAMs to reverse cognitive deficits in operant delayed matching/non-matching-to-sample (DMS/DNMS) tasks. Objectives To determine the ability of the mGluR5 PAM 3-cyano-N-1,3-diphenyl-1H-pyrazol-5-yl)benzamide (CDPPB) to reverse set-shifting deficits induced by the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801. Methods Male Sprague-Dawley rats were initially trained to lever press for sucrose reinforcement under either DMS or DNMS conditions. Following successful acquisition of the task, reinforcement conditions were reversed (DNMS→DMS or DMS→DNMS). In Experiment 1, rats were treated daily prior to each session with either vehicle/vehicle, vehicle/MK-801 (0.06 mg/kg) simultaneously, CDPPB (20 mg/kg)/MK-801 simultaneously, or CDPPB 30 min prior to MK-801. In Experiment 2, rats were treated with either vehicle/vehicle, vehicle/MK-801, or CDPPB 30 min prior to MK-801 only prior to sessions that followed task reversal. Results In Experiment 1, no group differences in initial task acquisition were observed. Rats treated with vehicle+MK−801 showed significant set-shifting impairments following task reversal, which were partially attenuated by simultaneous administration of CDPPB/MK-801, and completely precluded by administration of CDPPB 30 min prior to MK-801. In Experiment 2, MK-801 did not impair reversal learning and no other group differences were observed. Conclusions MK-801 induced deficits in operant set-shifting ability were prevented by pretreatment with CDPPB. MK-801 did not produce deficits in initial task learning or when treatment was initiated following task reversal. PMID:24973895
Dorneich, Michael C; Hamblin, Christopher J; Lancaster, Jeff A; Olofinboba, Olu
Two studies were conducted to develop an understanding of factors that drive user expectations when navigating between discrete elements on a display via a limited degree-of-freedom cursor control device. For the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle spacecraft, a free-floating cursor with a graphical user interface (GUI) would require an unachievable level of accuracy due to expected acceleration and vibration conditions during dynamic phases of flight. Therefore, Orion program proposed using a "caged" cursor to "jump" from one controllable element (node) on the GUI to another. However, nodes are not likely to be arranged on a rectilinear grid, and so movements between nodes are not obvious. Proximity between nodes, direction of nodes relative to each other, and context features may all contribute to user cursor movement expectations. In an initial study, we examined user expectations based on the nodes themselves. In a second study, we examined the effect of context features on user expectations. The studies established that perceptual grouping effects influence expectations to varying degrees. Based on these results, a simple rule set was developed to support users in building a straightforward mental model that closely matches their natural expectations for cursor movement. The results will help designers of display formats take advantage of the natural context-driven cursor movement expectations of users to reduce navigation errors, increase usability, and decrease access time. The rules set and guidelines tie theory to practice and can be applied in environments where vibration or acceleration are significant, including spacecraft, aircraft, and automobiles.
Vakil, E; Sigal, J
Twenty-four closed-head-injured (CHI) and 24 control participants studied two word lists under shallow (i.e., nonsemantic) and deep (i.e., semantic) encoding conditions. They were then tested on free recall, perceptual priming (i.e., perceptual partial word identification) and conceptual priming (i.e., category production) tasks. Previous findings have demonstrated that memory in CHI is characterized by inefficient conceptual processing of information. It was thus hypothesized that the CHI participants would perform more poorly than the control participants on the explicit and on the conceptual priming tasks. On these tasks the CHI group was expected to benefit to a lesser degree from prior deep encoding, as compared to controls. The groups were not expected to significantly differ from each other on the perceptual priming task. Prior deep encoding was not expected to improve the perceptual priming performance of either group. All findings were as predicted, with the exception that a significant effect was not found between groups for deep encoding in the conceptual priming task. The results are discussed (1) in terms of their theoretical contribution in further validating the dissociation between perceptual and conceptual priming; and (2) in terms of the contribution in differentiating between amnesic and CHI patients. Conceptual priming is preserved in amnesics but not in CHI patients.
Camilleri, Rebecca; Pavan, Andrea; Campana, Gianluca
It has recently been demonstrated how perceptual learning, that is an improvement in a sensory/perceptual task upon practice, can be boosted by concurrent high-frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS). It has also been shown that perceptual learning can generalize and produce an improvement of visual functions in participants with mild refractive defects. By using three different groups of participants (single-blind study), we tested the efficacy of a short training (8 sessions) using a single Gabor contrast-detection task with concurrent hf-tRNS in comparison with the same training with sham stimulation or hf-tRNS with no concurrent training, in improving visual acuity (VA) and contrast sensitivity (CS) of individuals with uncorrected mild myopia. A short training with a contrast detection task is able to improve VA and CS only if coupled with hf-tRNS, whereas no effect on VA and marginal effects on CS are seen with the sole administration of hf-tRNS. Our results support the idea that, by boosting the rate of perceptual learning via the modulation of neuronal plasticity, hf-tRNS can be successfully used to reduce the duration of the perceptual training and/or to increase its efficacy in producing perceptual learning and generalization to improved VA and CS in individuals with uncorrected mild myopia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mednick, Sara C.; Cai, Denise J.; Kanady, Jennifer; Drummond, Sean P.A.
Caffeine, the world’s most common psychoactive substance, is used by approximately 90% of North Americans everyday. Little is known, however, about its benefits for memory. Napping has been shown to increase alertness and promote learning on some memory tasks. We directly compared caffeine (200mg) with napping (60–90 minutes) and placebo on three distinct memory processes: declarative verbal memory, procedural motor skills, and perceptual learning. In the verbal task, recall and recognition f...
Nicolás Alejandro Serrano
Full Text Available The main objective of this paper is to show that perceptual conceptualism can be understood as an empirically meaningful position and, furthermore, that there is some degree of empirical support for its main theses. In order to do this, I will start by offering an empirical reading of the conceptualist position, and making three predictions from it. Then, I will consider recent experimental results from cognitive sciences that seem to point towards those predictions. I will conclude that, while the evidence offered by those experiments is far from decisive, it is enough not only to show that conceptualism is an empirically meaningful position but also that there is empirical support for it.
Karle, James W; Watter, Scott; Shedden, Judith M
Research into the perceptual and cognitive effects of playing video games is an area of increasing interest for many investigators. Over the past decade, expert video game players (VGPs) have been shown to display superior performance compared to non-video game players (nVGPs) on a range of visuospatial and attentional tasks. A benefit of video game expertise has recently been shown for task switching, suggesting that VGPs also have superior cognitive control abilities compared to nVGPs. In two experiments, we examined which aspects of task switching performance this VGP benefit may be localized to. With minimal trial-to-trial interference from minimally overlapping task set rules, VGPs demonstrated a task switching benefit compared to nVGPs. However, this benefit disappeared when proactive interference between tasks was increased, with substantial stimulus and response overlap in task set rules. We suggest that VGPs have no generalized benefit in task switching-related cognitive control processes compared to nVGPs, with switch cost reductions due instead to a specific benefit in controlling selective attention. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Chardenon, A; Montagne, G; Laurent, M; Bootsma, R J
Intercepting a moving object while locomoting is a highly complex and demanding ability. Notwithstanding the identification of several informational candidates, the role of perceptual variables in the control process underlying such skills remains an open question. In this study we used a virtual reality set-up for studying locomotor interception of a moving ball. The subject had to walk along a straight path and could freely modify forward velocity, if necessary, in order to intercept-with the head-a ball moving along a straight path that led it to cross the agent's displacement axis. In a series of experiments we manipulated a local (ball size) and a global (focus of expansion) component of the visual flow but also the egocentric orientation of the ball. The experimental observations are well captured by a dynamic model linking the locomotor acceleration to properties of both global flow and egocentric direction. More precisely the changes in locomotor velocity depend on a linear combination of the change in bearing angle and the change in egocentric orientation, allowing the emergence of adaptive behavior under a variety of circumstances. We conclude that the mechanisms underlying the control of different goal-directed locomotion tasks (i.e. steering and interceptive tasks) could share a common architecture.
Bocast, Christopher S.
A portfolio dissertation that began as acoustic ecology and matured into perceptual ecology, centered on ecomusicology, bioacoustics, and translational audio-based media works with environmental perspectives. The place of music in Western eco-cosmology through time provides a basis for structuring an environmental history of human sound perception. That history suggests that music may stabilize human mental activity, and that an increased musical practice may be essential for the human project. An overview of recent antecedents preceding the emergence of acoustic ecology reveals structural foundations from 20th century culture that underpin modern sound studies. The contextual role that Aldo Leopold, Jacob von Uexkull, John Cage, Marshall McLuhan, and others played in anticipating the development of acoustic ecology as an interdiscipline is detailed. This interdisciplinary aspect of acoustic ecology is defined and defended, while new developments like soundscape ecology are addressed, though ultimately sound studies will need to embrace a broader concept of full-spectrum "sensory" or "perceptual" ecology. The bioacoustic fieldwork done on spawning sturgeon emphasized this necessity. That study yielded scientific recordings and spectrographic analyses of spawning sounds produced by lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens, during reproduction in natural habitats in the Lake Winnebago watershed in Wisconsin. Recordings were made on the Wolf and Embarrass River during the 2011-2013 spawning seasons. Several specimens were dissected to investigate possible sound production mechanisms; no sonic musculature was found. Drumming sounds, ranging from 5 to 7 Hz fundamental frequency, verified the infrasonic nature of previously undocumented "sturgeon thunder". Other characteristic noises of sturgeon spawning including low-frequency rumbles and hydrodynamic sounds were identified. Intriguingly, high-frequency signals resembling electric organ discharges were discovered. These
Full Text Available According to the two-systems account of theory of mind (ToM, understanding mental states of others involves both fast social-perceptual processes, as well as slower, reflexive cognitive operations (Frith and Frith, 2008; Apperly and Butterfill, 2009. To test the respective roles of specific abilities in either of these processes we administered 15 experimental procedures to a large sample of 343 participants, testing ability in face recognition and holistic perception, language, and reasoning. ToM was measured by a set of tasks requiring ability to track and to infer complex emotional and mental states of others from faces, eyes, spoken language, and prosody. We used structural equation modeling to test the relative strengths of a social-perceptual (face processing related and reflexive-cognitive (language and reasoning related path in predicting ToM ability. The two paths accounted for 58% of ToM variance, thus validating a general two-systems framework. Testing specific predictor paths revealed language and face recognition as strong and significant predictors of ToM. For reasoning, there were neither direct nor mediated effects, albeit reasoning was strongly associated with language. Holistic face perception also failed to show a direct link with ToM ability, while there was a mediated effect via face recognition. These results highlight the respective roles of face recognition and language for the social brain, and contribute closer empirical specification of the general two-systems account.
Meinhardt-Injac, Bozana; Daum, Moritz M; Meinhardt, Günter; Persike, Malte
According to the two-systems account of theory of mind (ToM), understanding mental states of others involves both fast social-perceptual processes, as well as slower, reflexive cognitive operations (Frith and Frith, 2008; Apperly and Butterfill, 2009). To test the respective roles of specific abilities in either of these processes we administered 15 experimental procedures to a large sample of 343 participants, testing ability in face recognition and holistic perception, language, and reasoning. ToM was measured by a set of tasks requiring ability to track and to infer complex emotional and mental states of others from faces, eyes, spoken language, and prosody. We used structural equation modeling to test the relative strengths of a social-perceptual (face processing related) and reflexive-cognitive (language and reasoning related) path in predicting ToM ability. The two paths accounted for 58% of ToM variance, thus validating a general two-systems framework. Testing specific predictor paths revealed language and face recognition as strong and significant predictors of ToM. For reasoning, there were neither direct nor mediated effects, albeit reasoning was strongly associated with language. Holistic face perception also failed to show a direct link with ToM ability, while there was a mediated effect via face recognition. These results highlight the respective roles of face recognition and language for the social brain, and contribute closer empirical specification of the general two-systems account.
Jesteadt, Walt; Valente, Daniel L.; Joshi, Suyash Narendra
In a series of studies, 6 subjects with normal hearing (NH) and 3 with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) judged the overall loudness of 6-tone complexes comprised of octave frequencies from 0.25 to 8 kHz. In two tasks, tones were equated in level in dB SPL or in sensation level (SL) and a range....... In the “loudness” task there was no difference in mean level across the two intervals. In the “sample discrimination” task, the two complexes differed by an average of 5 dB. For both tasks, perceptual weights were derived by correlating the differences in level between matched-frequency tones in the complexes...... and the loudness decision on each trial. Weights derived from the loudness task (no mean level difference) were highly correlated with weights derived from the sample discrimination task (5-dB difference). For SPL conditions, both NH and SNHL subjects placed less weight on the lowest frequency and greater weight...
Hamamé, Carlos M; Cosmelli, Diego; Henriquez, Rodrigo; Aboitiz, Francisco
Humans and other animals change the way they perceive the world due to experience. This process has been labeled as perceptual learning, and implies that adult nervous systems can adaptively modify the way in which they process sensory stimulation. However, the mechanisms by which the brain modifies this capacity have not been sufficiently analyzed. We studied the neural mechanisms of human perceptual learning by combining electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of brain activity and the assessment of psychophysical performance during training in a visual search task. All participants improved their perceptual performance as reflected by an increase in sensitivity (d') and a decrease in reaction time. The EEG signal was acquired throughout the entire experiment revealing amplitude increments, specific and unspecific to the trained stimulus, in event-related potential (ERP) components N2pc and P3 respectively. P3 unspecific modification can be related to context or task-based learning, while N2pc may be reflecting a more specific attentional-related boosting of target detection. Moreover, bell and U-shaped profiles of oscillatory brain activity in gamma (30-60 Hz) and alpha (8-14 Hz) frequency bands may suggest the existence of two phases for learning acquisition, which can be understood as distinctive optimization mechanisms in stimulus processing. We conclude that there are reorganizations in several neural processes that contribute differently to perceptual learning in a visual search task. We propose an integrative model of neural activity reorganization, whereby perceptual learning takes place as a two-stage phenomenon including perceptual, attentional and contextual processes.
Full Text Available Amongst the most significant questions we are confronted with today include the integration of the brain's micro-circuitry, our ability to build the complex social networks that underpin society and how our society impacts on our ecological environment. In trying to unravel these issues one place to begin is at the level of the individual: to consider how we accumulate information about our environment, how this information leads to decisions and how our individual decisions in turn create our social environment. While this is an enormous task, we may already have at hand many of the tools we need. This article is intended to review some of the recent results in neuro-cognitive research and show how they can be extended to two very specific types of expertise: perceptual expertise and social cognition. These two cognitive skills span a vast range of our genetic heritage. Perceptual expertise developed very early in our evolutionary history and is likely a highly developed part of all mammals' cognitive ability. On the other hand social cognition is most highly developed in humans in that we are able to maintain larger and more stable long term social connections with more behaviourally diverse individuals than any other species. To illustrate these ideas I will discuss board games as a toy model of social interactions as they include many of the relevant concepts: perceptual learning, decision-making, long term planning and understanding the mental states of other people. Using techniques that have been developed in mathematical psychology, I show that we can represent some of the key features of expertise using stochastic differential equations. Such models demonstrate how an expert's long exposure to a particular context influences the information they accumulate in order to make a decision.These processes are not confined to board games, we are all experts in our daily lives through long exposure to the many regularities of daily tasks and
Voss, Joel L; Cohen, Neal J
The hippocampus is crucial for long-term memory; its involvement in short-term or immediate expressions of memory is more controversial. Rodent hippocampus has been implicated in an expression of memory that occurs on-line during exploration termed "vicarious trial-and-error" (VTE) behavior. VTE occurs when rodents iteratively explore options during perceptual discrimination or at choice points. It is strategic in that it accelerates learning and improves later memory. VTE has been associated with activity of rodent hippocampal neurons, and lesions of hippocampus disrupt VTE and associated learning and memory advantages. Analogous findings of VTE in humans would support the role of hippocampus in active use of short-term memory to guide strategic behavior. We therefore measured VTE using eye-movement tracking during perceptual discrimination and identified relevant neural correlates with functional magnetic resonance imaging. A difficult perceptual-discrimination task was used that required visual information to be maintained during a several second trial, but with no long-term memory component. VTE accelerated discrimination. Neural correlates of VTE included robust activity of hippocampus and activity of a network of medial prefrontal and lateral parietal regions involved in memory-guided behavior. This VTE-related activity was distinct from activity associated with simply viewing visual stimuli and making eye movements during the discrimination task, which occurred in regions frequently associated with visual processing and eye-movement control. Subjects were mostly unaware of performing VTE, thus further distancing VTE from explicit long-term memory processing. These findings bridge the rodent and human literatures on neural substrates of memory-guided behavior, and provide further support for the role of hippocampus and a hippocampal-centered network of cortical regions in the immediate use of memory in on-line processing and the guidance of behavior. © 2017
Giesbrecht, Barry; Sy, Jocelyn; Bundesen, Claus
The human attention system helps us cope with a complex environment by supporting the selective processing of information relevant to our current goals. Understanding the perceptual, cognitive, and neural mechanisms that mediate selective attention is a core issue in cognitive neuroscience. One...... prominent model of selective attention, known as load theory, offers an account of how task demands determine when information is selected and an account of the efficiency of the selection process. However, load theory has several critical weaknesses that suggest that it is time for a new perspective. Here...... is integrated to provide efficient attentional selection and allocation of perceptual processing resources....
Baldassarre, Antonello; Capotosto, Paolo; Committeri, Giorgia; Corbetta, Maurizio
The ability to learn and process visual stimuli more efficiently is important for survival. Previous neuroimaging studies have shown that perceptual learning on a shape identification task differently modulates activity in both frontal-parietal cortical regions and visual cortex (Sigman et al., 2005;Lewis et al., 2009). Specifically, fronto-parietal regions (i.e. intra parietal sulcus, pIPS) became less activated for trained as compared to untrained stimuli, while visual regions (i.e. V2d/V3 and LO) exhibited higher activation for familiar shape. Here, after the intensive training, we employed transcranial magnetic stimulation over both visual occipital and parietal regions, previously shown to be modulated, to investigate their causal role in learning the shape identification task. We report that interference with V2d/V3 and LO increased reaction times to learned stimuli as compared to pIPS and Sham control condition. Moreover, the impairment observed after stimulation over the two visual regions was positive correlated. These results strongly support the causal role of the visual network in the control of the perceptual learning. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Li, Roger W; Young, Karen G; Hoenig, Pia; Levi, Dennis M
To determine whether practicing a position-discrimination task improves visual performance in children with amblyopia and to determine the mechanism(s) of improvement. Five children (age range, 7-10 years) with amblyopia practiced a positional acuity task in which they had to judge which of three pairs of lines was misaligned. Positional noise was produced by distributing the individual patches of each line segment according to a Gaussian probability function. Observers were trained at three noise levels (including 0), with each observer performing between 3000 and 4000 responses in 7 to 10 sessions. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided. Four of the five observers showed significant improvement in positional acuity. In those four observers, on average, positional acuity with no noise improved by approximately 32% and with high noise by approximately 26%. A position-averaging model was used to parse the improvement into an increase in efficiency or a decrease in equivalent input noise. Two observers showed increased efficiency (51% and 117% improvements) with no significant change in equivalent input noise across sessions. The other two observers showed both a decrease in equivalent input noise (18% and 29%) and an increase in efficiency (17% and 71%). All five observers showed substantial improvement in Snellen acuity (approximately 26%) after practice. Perceptual learning can improve visual performance in amblyopic children. The improvement can be parsed into two important factors: decreased equivalent input noise and increased efficiency. Perceptual learning techniques may add an effective new method to the armamentarium of amblyopia treatments.
de Fockert, Jan W.
The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintenance of task-relevant processing depends on cognitive control mechanisms, including working memory. The key prediction is that working memory plays a role in keeping clear processing priorities in the face of potential distraction, and the evidence reviewed and evaluated in a meta-analysis here supports this claim, by showing that the processing of distracting information tends to be enhanced when load on a concurrent task of working memory is high. Low working memory capacity is similarly associated with greater distractor processing in selective attention, again suggesting that the unavailability of working memory during selective attention leads to an increase in distractibility. Together, these findings suggest that selective attention against distractors that are processed beyond perception depends on the availability of working memory. Possible mechanisms for the effects of working memory on selective attention are discussed. PMID:23734139
de Fockert, Jan W
The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintenance of task-relevant processing depends on cognitive control mechanisms, including working memory. The key prediction is that working memory plays a role in keeping clear processing priorities in the face of potential distraction, and the evidence reviewed and evaluated in a meta-analysis here supports this claim, by showing that the processing of distracting information tends to be enhanced when load on a concurrent task of working memory is high. Low working memory capacity is similarly associated with greater distractor processing in selective attention, again suggesting that the unavailability of working memory during selective attention leads to an increase in distractibility. Together, these findings suggest that selective attention against distractors that are processed beyond perception depends on the availability of working memory. Possible mechanisms for the effects of working memory on selective attention are discussed.
Jan W. De Fockert
Full Text Available The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintenance of task-relevant processing depends on cognitive control mechanisms, including working memory. The key prediction is that working memory plays a role in keeping clear processing priorities in the face of potential distraction, and the evidence reviewed and evaluated in a meta-analysis here supports this claim, by showing that the processing of distracting information tends to be enhanced when load on a concurrent task of working memory is high. Low working memory capacity is similarly associated with greater distractor processing in selective attention, again suggesting that the unavailability of working memory during selective attention leads to an increase in distractibility. Together, these findings suggest that selective attention against distractors that are processed beyond perception depends on the availability of working memory. Possible mechanisms for the effects of working memory on selective attention are discussed.
This slide presentation reviews the Functional Task Test (FTT), an interdisciplinary testing regimen that has been developed to evaluate astronaut postflight functional performance and related physiological changes. The objectives of the project are: (1) to develop a set of functional tasks that represent critical mission tasks for the Constellation Program, (2) determine the ability to perform these tasks after space flight, (3) Identify the key physiological factors that contribute to functional decrements and (4) Use this information to develop targeted countermeasures.
Wilson, Mark R; McGrath, John S; Vine, Samuel J; Brewer, James; Defriend, David; Masters, Richard S W
It is recognised that one of the major difficulties in performing laparoscopic surgery is the translation of two-dimensional video image information to a three-dimensional working area. However, research has tended to ignore the gaze and eye-hand coordination strategies employed by laparoscopic surgeons as they attempt to overcome these perceptual constraints. This study sought to examine if measures related to tool movements, gaze strategy, and eye-hand coordination (the quiet eye) differentiate between experienced and novice operators performing a two-handed manoeuvres task on a virtual reality laparoscopic surgical simulator (LAP Mentor™). Twenty-five right-handed surgeons were categorised as being either experienced (having led more than 60 laparoscopic procedures) or novice (having performed fewer than 10 procedures) operators. The 10 experienced and 15 novice surgeons completed the "two-hand manoeuvres" task from the LAP Mentor basic skills learning environment while wearing a gaze registration system. Performance, movement, gaze, and eye-hand coordination parameters were recorded and compared between groups. The experienced surgeons completed the task significantly more quickly than the novices, used significantly fewer movements, and displayed shorter tool paths. Gaze analyses revealed that experienced surgeons spent significantly more time fixating the target locations than novices, who split their time between focusing on the targets and tracking the tools. A more detailed analysis of a difficult subcomponent of the task revealed that experienced operators used a significantly longer aiming fixation (the quiet eye period) to guide precision grasping movements and hence needed fewer grasp attempts. The findings of the study provide further support for the utility of examining strategic gaze behaviour and eye-hand coordination measures to help further our understanding of how experienced surgeons attempt to overcome the perceptual difficulties inherent in
Victor, Jonathan D; Thengone, Daniel J; Rizvi, Syed M; Conte, Mary M
Local image statistics are important for visual analysis of textures, surfaces, and form. There are many kinds of local statistics, including those that capture luminance distributions, spatial contrast, oriented segments, and corners. While sensitivity to each of these kinds of statistics have been well-studied, much less is known about visual processing when multiple kinds of statistics are relevant, in large part because the dimensionality of the problem is high and different kinds of statistics interact. To approach this problem, we focused on binary images on a square lattice - a reduced set of stimuli which nevertheless taps many kinds of local statistics. In this 10-parameter space, we determined psychophysical thresholds to each kind of statistic (16 observers) and all of their pairwise combinations (4 observers). Sensitivities and isodiscrimination contours were consistent across observers. Isodiscrimination contours were elliptical, implying a quadratic interaction rule, which in turn determined ellipsoidal isodiscrimination surfaces in the full 10-dimensional space, and made predictions for sensitivities to complex combinations of statistics. These predictions, including the prediction of a combination of statistics that was metameric to random, were verified experimentally. Finally, check size had only a mild effect on sensitivities over the range from 2.8 to 14min, but sensitivities to second- and higher-order statistics was substantially lower at 1.4min. In sum, local image statistics form a perceptual space that is highly stereotyped across observers, in which different kinds of statistics interact according to simple rules. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Norton, Daniel J.; McBain, Ryan K.; Ongur, Dost; Chen, Yue
Schizophrenia patients exhibit perceptual and cognitive deficits, including in visual motion processing. Given that cognitive systems depend upon perceptual inputs, improving patients' perceptual abilities may be an effective means of cognitive intervention. In healthy people, motion perception can be enhanced through perceptual learning, but it…
Full Text Available The ability to optimize decisions and adapt them to changing environments is a crucial brain function that increase survivability. Although much has been learned about the neuronal activity in various brain regions that are associated with decision making, and about how the nervous systems may learn to achieve optimization, the underlying neuronal mechanisms of how the nervous systems optimize decision strategies with preference given to speed or accuracy, and how the systems adapt to changes in the environment, remain unclear. Based on extensive empirical observations, we addressed the question by extending a previously described cortico-basal ganglia circuit model of perceptual decisions with the inclusion of a dynamic dopamine (DA system that modulates spike-timing dependent plasticity. We found that, once an optimal model setting that maximized the reward rate was selected, the same setting automatically optimized decisions across different task environments through dynamic balancing between the facilitating and depressing components of the DA dynamics. Interestingly, other model parameters were also optimal if we considered the reward rate that was weighted by the subject’s preferences for speed or accuracy. Specifically, the circuit model favored speed if we increased the phasic DA response to the reward prediction error, whereas the model favored accuracy if we reduced the tonic DA activity or the phasic DA responses to the estimated reward probability. The proposed model provides insight into the roles of different components of DA responses in decision adaptation and optimization in a changing environment.
Full Text Available Many studies have shown that increasing the number of neutral stimuli in a display decreases distractor interference. This result has been interpreted within two different frameworks; a perceptual load account, based on a reduction in spare resources, and a dilution account, based on a degradation in distractor representation and/or an increase in crosstalk between the distractor and the neutral stimuli that contain visually similar features. In four experiments, we systematically manipulated the extent of attentional focus, stimulus category, and preknowledge of the target to examine how these factors would interact with the display set size to influence the degree of distractor processing. Display set size did not affect the degree of distractor processing in all situations. Increasing the number of neutral items decreased distractor processing only when a task induced a broad attentional focus that included the neutral stimuli, when the neutral stimuli were in the same category as the target and distractor, and when the preknowledge of the target was insufficient to guide attention to the target efficiently. These results suggest that the effect of neutral stimuli on the degree of distractor processing is more complex than previously assumed. They provide new insight into the competitive interactions between bottom-up and top-down processes that govern the efficiency of visual selective attention.
Chen, Zhe; Cave, Kyle R
Many studies have shown that increasing the number of neutral stimuli in a display decreases distractor interference. This result has been interpreted within two different frameworks; a perceptual load account, based on a reduction in spare resources, and a dilution account, based on a degradation in distractor representation and/or an increase in crosstalk between the distractor and the neutral stimuli that contain visually similar features. In four experiments, we systematically manipulated the extent of attentional focus, stimulus category, and preknowledge of the target to examine how these factors would interact with the display set size to influence the degree of distractor processing. Display set size did not affect the degree of distractor processing in all situations. Increasing the number of neutral items decreased distractor processing only when a task induced a broad attentional focus that included the neutral stimuli, when the neutral stimuli were in the same category as the target and distractor, and when the preknowledge of the target was insufficient to guide attention to the target efficiently. These results suggest that the effect of neutral stimuli on the degree of distractor processing is more complex than previously assumed. They provide new insight into the competitive interactions between bottom-up and top-down processes that govern the efficiency of visual selective attention.
Maher, Stephen; Ekstrom, Tor; Chen, Yue
Perception of subtle facial expressions is essential for social functioning; yet it is unclear if human perceptual sensitivities differ in detecting varying types of facial emotions. Evidence diverges as to whether salient negative versus positive emotions (such as sadness versus happiness) are preferentially processed. Here, we measured perceptual thresholds for the detection of four types of emotion in faces--happiness, fear, anger, and sadness--using psychophysical methods. We also evaluated the association of the perceptual performances with facial morphological changes between neutral and respective emotion types. Human observers were highly sensitive to happiness compared with the other emotional expressions. Further, this heightened perceptual sensitivity to happy expressions can be attributed largely to the emotion-induced morphological change of a particular facial feature (end-lip raise).
Gijs Joost Brouwer
Full Text Available We employed a parametric psychophysical design in combination with functional imaging to examine the influence of metric changes in perceptual incongruence on perceptual alternation rates and cortical responses. Subjects viewed a bistable stimulus defined by incongruent depth cues; bistability resulted from incongruence between binocular disparity and monocular perspective cues that specify different slants (slant rivalry. Psychophysical results revealed that perceptual alternation rates were positively correlated with the degree of perceived incongruence. Functional imaging revealed systematic increases in activity that paralleled the psychophysical results within anterior intraparietal sulcus, prior to the onset of perceptual alternations. We suggest that this cortical activity predicts the frequency of subsequent alternations, implying a putative causal role for these areas in initiating bistable perception. In contrast, areas implicated in form and depth processing (LOC and V3A were sensitive to the degree of slant, but failed to show increases in activity when these cues were in conflict.
Full Text Available Significant insights into visual cognition have come from studying real-world perceptual expertise. Many have previously reviewed empirical findings and theoretical developments from this work. Here we instead provide a brief perspective on approaches, considerations, and challenges to studying real-world perceptual expertise. We discuss factors like choosing to use real-world versus artificial object domains of expertise, selecting a target domain of real-world perceptual expertise, recruiting experts, evaluating their level of expertise, and experimentally testing experts in the lab and online. Throughout our perspective, we highlight expert birding (also called birdwatching as an example, as it has been used as a target domain for over two decades in the perceptual expertise literature.
Chang, Li-Hung; Shibata, Kazuhisa; Andersen, George J; Sasaki, Yuka; Watanabe, Takeo
One of the biggest questions in learning is how a system can resolve the plasticity and stability dilemma. Specifically, the learning system needs to have not only a high capability of learning new items (plasticity) but also a high stability to retain important items or processing in the system by preventing unimportant or irrelevant information from being learned. This dilemma should hold true for visual perceptual learning (VPL), which is defined as a long-term increase in performance on a visual task as a result of visual experience. Although it is well known that aging influences learning, the effect of aging on the stability and plasticity of the visual system is unclear. To address the question, we asked older and younger adults to perform a task while a task-irrelevant feature was merely exposed. We found that older individuals learned the task-irrelevant features that younger individuals did not learn, both the features that were sufficiently strong for younger individuals to suppress and the features that were too weak for younger individuals to learn. At the same time, there was no plasticity reduction in older individuals within the task tested. These results suggest that the older visual system is less stable to unimportant information than the younger visual system. A learning problem with older individuals may be due to a decrease in stability rather than a decrease in plasticity, at least in VPL. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wantz, Andrea L; Lobmaier, Janek S; Mast, Fred W; Senn, Walter
Recent research put forward the hypothesis that eye movements are integrated in memory representations and are reactivated when later recalled. However, "looking back to nothing" during recall might be a consequence of spatial memory retrieval. Here, we aimed at distinguishing between the effect of spatial and oculomotor information on perceptual memory. Participants' task was to judge whether a morph looked rather like the first or second previously presented face. Crucially, faces and morphs were presented in a way that the morph reactivated oculomotor and/or spatial information associated with one of the previously encoded faces. Perceptual face memory was largely influenced by these manipulations. We considered a simple computational model with an excellent match (4.3% error) that expresses these biases as a linear combination of recency, saccade, and location. Surprisingly, saccades did not play a role. The results suggest that spatial and temporal rather than oculomotor information biases perceptual face memory. Copyright © 2016 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Pan, Yi; Luo, Qianying; Cheng, Min
Previous research has indicated that attention can be biased toward those stimuli matching the contents of working memory and thereby facilitates visual processing at the location of the memory-matching stimuli. However, whether this working memory-driven attentional modulation takes place on early perceptual processes remains unclear. Our present results showed that working memory-driven attention improved identification of a brief Landolt target presented alone in the visual field. Because the suprathreshold target appeared without any external noise added (i.e., no distractors or masks), the results suggest that working memory-driven attention enhances the target signal at early perceptual stages of visual processing. Furthermore, given that performance in the Landolt target identification task indexes spatial resolution, this attentional facilitation indicates that working memory-driven attention can boost early perceptual processing via enhancement of spatial resolution at the attended location.
Nippold, M A; Sullivan, M P
In contrast to the common assumption that young children have little or no ability to reason by analogy or to comprehend proportional metaphors, the present study demonstrated that children as young as age 5 years have an emerging ability to solve both verbal and perceptual proportional analogy problems and to detect the meanings of proportional metaphoric sentences. These results were largely because the experimental tasks were designed to minimize the number of factors that would restrict the performance of young children. The results indicated that the years between 5 and 7 mark a steady improvement in analogical reasoning and proportional metaphor comprehension, but that children ages 5, 6, and 7 display a wide-ranging ability in these areas. It was also found that perceptual analogical reasoning was statistically related to verbal analogical reasoning and to proportional metaphor comprehension, and that perceptual analogical reasoning and proportional metaphor comprehension were both statistically related to receptive vocabulary development.
Kennedy, Kristen M; Partridge, Ty; Raz, Naftali
Aging is associated with reduced performance on information processing speed, memory, and executive functions tasks. Although older adults are also less apt in acquiring new perceptual-motor skills, it is unclear whether and how skill acquisition difficulties are associated with age-related general cognitive differences. We addressed this question by examining structural relations among measures of cognitive resources (working memory) and indices of perceptual-motor skill acquisition (pursuit rotor and mirror tracing) in 96 healthy adults aged 19-80 years of age. Three competing structural models were tested: a single (common) factor model, a dual correlated factors model, and a hierarchical dual-factor model. The third model provided the best fit to the data, indicating age differences in simple perceptual-motor skill are partially mediated by more complex abilities.
Clerkin, Elise M; Teachman, Bethany A
Given the extreme focus on perceived physical defects in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), we expected that perceptual and cognitive biases related to physical appearance would be associated with BDD symptomology. To examine these hypotheses, participants ( N = 70) high and low in BDD symptoms completed tasks assessing visual perception and cognition. As expected, there were significant group differences in self-, but not other-, relevant cognitive biases. Perceptual bias results were mixed, with some evidence indicating that individuals high (versus low) in BDD symptoms literally see themselves in a less positive light. Further, individuals high in BDD symptoms failed to demonstrate a normative self-enhancement bias. Overall, this research points to the importance of assessing both cognitive and perceptual biases associated with BDD symptoms, and suggests that visual perception may be influenced by non-visual factors.
Zhou, Zhe Charles; Yu, Chunxiu; Sellers, Kristin K; Fröhlich, Flavio
Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contrast visual input. About two-thirds of all recorded neurons in dl-FC were modulated by at least one of the two task variables, task difficulty and target location. More neurons in dl-FC preferred the hard trials; no such preference bias was found for target location. In individual neurons, this preference for specific task types was limited to brief epochs. Finally, optogenetic stimulation confirmed the functional role of the activity in dl-FC before target touch; suppression of activity in pyramidal neurons with the ArchT silencing opsin resulted in a decrease in reaction time to touch the target but not to retrieve reward. In conclusion, dl-FC activity is differentially recruited for high perceptual difficulty in the freely-moving ferret and the resulting signal may provide top-down behavioral inhibition.
Within attention studies, Lavie's load theory (Lavie & Tsal, 1994; Lavie, Hirst, de Fockert, & Viding, 2004) presented an account that could settle the question whether attention selects stimuli to be processed at an early or late stage of cognitive processing. This theory relied on the concepts of "perceptual load" and "attentional capacity", proposing that attentional resources are automatically allocated to stimuli, but when the perceptual load of the stimuli exceeds person's capacity, tas...
Perceptual dialectology is dedicated to the formal study of folk linguistic perceptions. Through an amalgamation of social psychology, ethnography, dialectology, sociolinguistics, cultural geography and myriad other fields, perceptual dialectology provides a methodology to gain insight to overt folk language attitudes, knowledge of regional distribution, and the importance of language variation and change (Preston 1989, 1999a). This study conducts the first investigation of folk percept...
Rasmussen, Hanne; Kent, Peter; Kjaer, Per
and patients with NP + NRI had experienced the largest improvements in pain intensity. Similar results were obtained for activity limitation. CONCLUSIONS: This study found baseline and outcome differences between neck pain subgroups classified using the Quebec Task Force Classification System. However......BACKGROUND: The component of the Quebec Task Force Classification System that subgroups patients based on the extent of their radiating pain and neurological signs has been demonstrated to have prognostic implications for patients with low back pain but has not been tested on patients with neck...... models. RESULTS: A total of 1,852 people were classified into subgroups (64 % females, mean age 49 years). Follow ups after 3, 6 and 12 months were available for 45 %, 32 % and 40 % of those invited to participate at each time point. A small improvement in pain was observed over time in all subgroups...
Chen, Zhe; Cave, Kyle R
Perceptual load theory (Lavie, 2005) claims that attentional capacity that is not used for the current task is allocated to irrelevant distractors. It predicts that if the attentional demands of the current task are high, distractor interference will be low. One particularly powerful demonstration of perceptual load effects on distractor processing relies on a go/no-go cue that is interpreted by either simple feature detection or feature conjunction (Lavie, 1995). However, a possible alternative interpretation of these effects is that the differential degree of distractor processing is caused by how broadly attention is allocated (attentional zoom) rather than to perceptual load. In 4 experiments, we show that when stimuli are arranged to equalize the extent of spatial attention across conditions, distractor interference varies little whether cues are defined by a simple feature or a conjunction, and that the typical perceptual load effect emerges only when attentional zoom can covary with perceptual load. These results suggest that attentional zoom can account for the differential degree of distractor processing traditionally attributed to perceptual load in the go/no-go paradigm. They also provide new insight into how different factors interact to control distractor interference. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Anderson, David E; Vogel, Edward K; Awh, Edward
Perceptual grouping can lead observers to perceive a multielement scene as a smaller number of hierarchical units. Past work has shown that grouping enables more elements to be stored in visual working memory (WM). Although this may appear to contradict so-called discrete resource models that argue for fixed item limits in WM storage, it is also possible that grouping reduces the effective number of "items" in the display. To test this hypothesis, we examined how mnemonic resolution declined as the number of items to be stored increased. Discrete resource models predict that precision will reach a stable plateau at relatively early set sizes, because no further items can be stored once putative item limits are exceeded. Thus, we examined whether the precision by set size function was bilinear when storage was enhanced via perceptual grouping. In line with the hypothesis that each perceptual group counted as a single "item," precision still reached a clear plateau at a set size determined by the number of stored groups. Moreover, the maximum number of elements stored was doubled, and electrophysiological measures showed that selection and storage-related neural responses were the same for a single element and a multielement perceptual group. Thus, perceptual grouping allows more elements to be held in working memory while storage is still constrained by a discrete item limit.
Jacoby, Oscar; Hall, Sarah E; Mattingley, Jason B
Mechanisms of attention are required to prioritise goal-relevant sensory events under conditions of stimulus competition. According to the perceptual load model of attention, the extent to which task-irrelevant inputs are processed is determined by the relative demands of discriminating the target: the more perceptually demanding the target task, the less unattended stimuli will be processed. Although much evidence supports the perceptual load model for competing stimuli within a single sensory modality, the effects of perceptual load in one modality on distractor processing in another is less clear. Here we used steady-state evoked potentials (SSEPs) to measure neural responses to irrelevant visual checkerboard stimuli while participants performed either a visual or auditory task that varied in perceptual load. Consistent with perceptual load theory, increasing visual task load suppressed SSEPs to the ignored visual checkerboards. In contrast, increasing auditory task load enhanced SSEPs to the ignored visual checkerboards. This enhanced neural response to irrelevant visual stimuli under auditory load suggests that exhausting capacity within one modality selectively compromises inhibitory processes required for filtering stimuli in another. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Toril, Pilar; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Ballesteros, Soledad
We investigated the effect of age and color in a computerized version of the jigsaw-puzzle task. In Experiment 1, young and older adults were presented with puzzles in color and black-and-white line drawings, varying in difficulty from 4 to 9 pieces. Older adults performed the task better with the black-and-white stimuli and younger adults performed better with the color ones. In Experiment 2, new older and young adults identified the same fragmented pictures as fast and accurately as possible. The older group identified the black-and-white stimuli faster than those presented in color, while the younger adults identified both similarly. In Experiment 3A, new older and young groups performed the puzzle task with the same color pictures and their monochrome versions. In Experiment 3B, participants performed a speeded identification task with the two sets. The findings of these experiments showed that older adults have a memory not a perceptual difficulty.
Trzcinski, Natalie K; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hsiao, Steven S
Continuous training enhances perceptual discrimination and promotes neural changes in areas encoding the experienced stimuli. This type of experience-dependent plasticity has been demonstrated in several sensory and motor systems. Particularly, non-human primates trained to detect consecutive tactile bar indentations across multiple digits showed expanded excitatory receptive fields (RFs) in somatosensory cortex. However, the perceptual implications of these anatomical changes remain undetermined. Here, we trained human participants for 9 days on a tactile task that promoted expansion of multi-digit RFs. Participants were required to detect consecutive indentations of bar stimuli spanning multiple digits. Throughout the training regime we tracked participants' discrimination thresholds on spatial (grating orientation) and temporal tasks on the trained and untrained hands in separate sessions. We hypothesized that training on the multi-digit task would decrease perceptual thresholds on tasks that require stimulus processing across multiple digits, while also increasing thresholds on tasks requiring discrimination on single digits. We observed an increase in orientation thresholds on a single digit. Importantly, this effect was selective for the stimulus orientation and hand used during multi-digit training. We also found that temporal acuity between digits improved across trained digits, suggesting that discriminating the temporal order of multi-digit stimuli can transfer to temporal discrimination of other tactile stimuli. These results suggest that experience-dependent plasticity following perceptual learning improves and interferes with tactile abilities in manners predictive of the task and stimulus features used during training. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available It is well established that auditory cueing improves gait in patients with Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease (IPD. Disease-related reductions in speed and step length can be improved by providing rhythmical auditory cues via a metronome or music. However, effects on cognitive aspects of motor control have yet to be thoroughly investigated. If synchronization of movement to an auditory cue relies on a supramodal timing system involved in perceptual, motor and sensorimotor integration, auditory cueing can be expected to affect both motor and perceptual timing. Here we tested this hypothesis by assessing perceptual and motor timing in 15 IPD patients before and after a four-week music training program with rhythmic auditory cueing. Long-term effects were assessed one month after the end of the training. Perceptual and motor timing was evaluated with the Battery for the Assessment of Auditory Sensorimotor and Timing Abilities (BAASTA and compared to that of age-, gender-, and education-matched healthy controls. Prior to training, IPD patients exhibited impaired perceptual and motor timing. Training improved patients’ performance in tasks requiring synchronization with isochronous sequences, and enhanced their ability to adapt to durational changes in a sequence in hand tapping tasks. Benefits of cueing extended to time perception (duration discrimination and detection of misaligned beats in musical excerpts. The current results demonstrate that auditory cueing leads to benefits beyond gait and support the idea that coupling gait to rhythmic auditory cues in IPD patients relies on a neuronal network engaged in both perceptual and motor timing.
Streb, Markus; Pfaltz, Monique; Michael, Tanja
Intrusive memories are a hallmark symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They reflect excessive and uncontrolled retrieval of the traumatic memory. Acute elevations of cortisol are known to impair the retrieval of already stored memory information. Thus, continuous cortisol administration might help in reducing intrusive memories in PTSD. Strong perceptual priming for neutral stimuli associated with a “traumatic” context has been shown to be one important learning mechanism that leads to intrusive memories. However, the memory modulating effects of cortisol have only been shown for explicit declarative memory processes. Thus, in our double blind, placebo controlled study we aimed to investigate whether cortisol influences perceptual priming of neutral stimuli that appeared in a “traumatic” context. Two groups of healthy volunteers (N = 160) watched either neutral or “traumatic” picture stories on a computer screen. Neutral objects were presented in between the pictures. Memory for these neutral objects was tested after 24 hours with a perceptual priming task and an explicit memory task. Prior to memory testing half of the participants in each group received 25 mg of cortisol, the other half received placebo. In the placebo group participants in the “traumatic” stories condition showed more perceptual priming for the neutral objects than participants in the neutral stories condition, indicating a strong perceptual priming effect for neutral stimuli presented in a “traumatic” context. In the cortisol group this effect was not present: Participants in the neutral stories and participants in the “traumatic” stories condition in the cortisol group showed comparable priming effects for the neutral objects. Our findings show that cortisol inhibits perceptual priming for neutral stimuli that appeared in a “traumatic” context. These findings indicate that cortisol influences PTSD-relevant memory processes and thus further support
Kuo, Michael C C; Liu, Karen P Y; Ting, Kin Hung; Chan, Chetwyn C H
This study aimed to differentiate perceptual and semantic encoding processes using subsequent memory effects (SMEs) elicited by the recognition of orthographs of single Chinese characters. Participants studied a series of Chinese characters perceptually (by inspecting orthographic components) or semantically (by determining the object making sounds), and then made studied or unstudied judgments during the recognition phase. Recognition performance in terms of d-prime measure in the semantic condition was higher, though not significant, than that of the perceptual condition. The between perceptual-semantic condition differences in SMEs at P550 and late positive component latencies (700-1000ms) were not significant in the frontal area. An additional analysis identified larger SME in the semantic condition during 600-1000ms in the frontal pole regions. These results indicate that coordination and incorporation of orthographic information into mental representation is essential to both task conditions. The differentiation was also revealed in earlier SMEs (perceptual>semantic) at N3 (240-360ms) latency, which is a novel finding. The left-distributed N3 was interpreted as more efficient processing of meaning with semantically learned characters. Frontal pole SMEs indicated strategic processing by executive functions, which would further enhance memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
van Andel, Steven; Cole, Michael H; Pepping, Gert-Jan
Perceptual-motor calibration has been described as a mapping between perception and action, which is relevant to distinguish possible from impossible opportunities for action. To avoid movement errors, it is relevant to rapidly calibrate to immediate changes in capabilities and therefore this study sought to explain in what conditions calibration is most efficient. A systematic search of seven databases was conducted to identify literature concerning changes in calibration in response to changes in action capabilities. Twenty-three papers satisfied the inclusion criteria. Data revealed that calibration occurs rapidly if there is a good match between the task that requires calibration and the sources of perceptual-motor information available for exploration (e.g. when exploring maximal braking capabilities by experiencing braking). Calibration can take more time when the perceptual-motor information that is available is less relevant. The current study identified a number of limitations in the field of perceptual-motor research. Most notably, the mean participant age in the included studies was between 18 and 33years of age, limiting the generalizability of the results to other age groups. Also, due to inconsistent terminology used in the field of perceptual-motor research, we argue that investigating calibration in older cohorts should be a focus of future research because of the possible implications of impaired calibration in an aging society. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Maniscalco, Brian; Peters, Megan A K; Lau, Hakwan
Zylberberg et al. [Zylberberg, Barttfeld, & Sigman (Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 6; 79, 2012), Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 6:79] found that confidence decisions, but not perceptual decisions, are insensitive to evidence against a selected perceptual choice. We present a signal detection theoretic model to formalize this insight, which gave rise to a counter-intuitive empirical prediction: that depending on the observer's perceptual choice, increasing task performance can be associated with decreasing metacognitive sensitivity (i.e., the trial-by-trial correspondence between confidence and accuracy). The model also provides an explanation as to why metacognitive sensitivity tends to be less than optimal in actual subjects. These predictions were confirmed robustly in a psychophysics experiment. In a second experiment we found that, in at least some subjects, the effects were replicated even under performance feedback designed to encourage optimal behavior. However, some subjects did show improvement under feedback, suggesting the tendency to ignore evidence against a selected perceptual choice may be a heuristic adopted by the perceptual decision-making system, rather than reflecting inherent biological limitations. We present a Bayesian modeling framework that explains why this heuristic strategy may be advantageous in real-world contexts.
Vladusich, Tony; McDonnell, Mark D
When we look at the world--or a graphical depiction of the world--we perceive surface materials (e.g. a ceramic black and white checkerboard) independently of variations in illumination (e.g. shading or shadow) and atmospheric media (e.g. clouds or smoke). Such percepts are partly based on the way physical surfaces and media reflect and transmit light and partly on the way the human visual system processes the complex patterns of light reaching the eye. One way to understand how these percepts arise is to assume that the visual system parses patterns of light into layered perceptual representations of surfaces, illumination and atmospheric media, one seen through another. Despite a great deal of previous experimental and modelling work on layered representation, however, a unified computational model of key perceptual demonstrations is still lacking. Here we present the first general computational model of perceptual layering and surface appearance--based on a boarder theoretical framework called gamut relativity--that is consistent with these demonstrations. The model (a) qualitatively explains striking effects of perceptual transparency, figure-ground separation and lightness, (b) quantitatively accounts for the role of stimulus- and task-driven constraints on perceptual matching performance, and (c) unifies two prominent theoretical frameworks for understanding surface appearance. The model thereby provides novel insights into the remarkable capacity of the human visual system to represent and identify surface materials, illumination and atmospheric media, which can be exploited in computer graphics applications.
Vladusich, Tony; McDonnell, Mark D.
When we look at the world—or a graphical depiction of the world—we perceive surface materials (e.g. a ceramic black and white checkerboard) independently of variations in illumination (e.g. shading or shadow) and atmospheric media (e.g. clouds or smoke). Such percepts are partly based on the way physical surfaces and media reflect and transmit light and partly on the way the human visual system processes the complex patterns of light reaching the eye. One way to understand how these percepts arise is to assume that the visual system parses patterns of light into layered perceptual representations of surfaces, illumination and atmospheric media, one seen through another. Despite a great deal of previous experimental and modelling work on layered representation, however, a unified computational model of key perceptual demonstrations is still lacking. Here we present the first general computational model of perceptual layering and surface appearance—based on a boarder theoretical framework called gamut relativity—that is consistent with these demonstrations. The model (a) qualitatively explains striking effects of perceptual transparency, figure-ground separation and lightness, (b) quantitatively accounts for the role of stimulus- and task-driven constraints on perceptual matching performance, and (c) unifies two prominent theoretical frameworks for understanding surface appearance. The model thereby provides novel insights into the remarkable capacity of the human visual system to represent and identify surface materials, illumination and atmospheric media, which can be exploited in computer graphics applications. PMID:25402466
Overbeek, Thérèse J M; van Boxtel, Anton; Westerink, Joyce H D M
Many studies show that respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) decreases while performing cognitive tasks. However, there is uncertainty about the role of contaminating factors such as physical activity and stress-inducing task variables. Different methods to quantify RSA may also contribute to variable results. In 83 healthy subjects, we studied RSA responses to a working memory task requiring varying levels of cognitive control and a perceptual attention task not requiring strong cognitive control. RSA responses were quantified in the time and frequency domain and were additionally corrected for differences in mean interbeat interval and respiration rate, resulting in eight different RSA indices. The two tasks were clearly differentiated by heart rate and facial EMG reference measures. Cognitive control induced inhibition of RSA whereas perceptual attention generally did not. However, the results show several differences between different RSA indices, emphasizing the importance of methodological variables. Age and sex did not influence the results. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Maylor, E A; Lavie, N
The effect of perceptual load on age differences in visual selective attention was examined in 2 studies. In Experiment 1, younger and older adults made speeded choice responses indicating which of 2 target letters was present in a relevant set of letters in the center of the display while they attempted to ignore an irrelevant distractor in the periphery. The perceptual load of relevant processing was manipulated by varying the central set size. When the relevant set size was small, the adverse effect of an incompatible distractor was much greater for the older participants than for the younger ones. However, with larger relevant set sizes, this was no longer the case, with the distractor effect decreasing for older participants at lower levels of perceptual load than for younger ones. In Experiment 2, older adults were tested with the empty locations in the central set either unmarked (as in Experiment 1) or marked by small circles to form a group of 6 items irrespective of set size; the 2 conditions did not differ markedly, ruling out an explanation based entirely on perceptual grouping.
Agmon M; Belza B; Nguyen HQ; Logsdon RG; Kelly VE
Maayan Agmon,1 Basia Belza,2 Huong Q Nguyen,2,3 Rebecca G Logsdon,2 Valerie E Kelly41The Cheryl Spencer Department of Nursing, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies, University of Haifa, Israel; 2School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA; 3Department of Research and Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente, CA, USA; 4School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USABackground: Injury due to falls is a major problem among older adults. Decrements in dual-task postu...
Espinosa, Irene; Cuthill, Innes C
Camouflage is the primary defence of many animals and includes multiple strategies that interfere with figure-ground segmentation and object recognition. While matching background colours and textures is widespread and conceptually straightforward, less well explored are the optical 'tricks', collectively called disruptive colouration, that exploit perceptual grouping mechanisms. Adjacent high contrast colours create false edges, but this is not sufficient for an object's shape to be broken up; some colours must blend with the background. We test the novel hypothesis that this will be particularly effective when the colour patches on the animal appear to belong to, not merely different background colours, but different background objects. We used computer-based experiments where human participants had to find cryptic targets on artificial backgrounds. Creating what appeared to be bi-coloured foreground objects on bi-coloured backgrounds, we generated colour boundaries that had identical local contrast but either lay within or between (illusory) objects. As predicted, error rates for targets matching what appeared to be different background objects were higher than for targets which had otherwise identical local contrast to the background but appeared to belong to single background objects. This provides evidence for disruptive colouration interfering with higher-level feature integration in addition to previously demonstrated low-level effects involving contour detection. In addition, detection was impeded in treatments where targets were on or in close proximity to multiple background colour or tone boundaries. This is consistent with other studies which show a deleterious influence of visual 'clutter' or background complexity on search.
Full Text Available Camouflage is the primary defence of many animals and includes multiple strategies that interfere with figure-ground segmentation and object recognition. While matching background colours and textures is widespread and conceptually straightforward, less well explored are the optical 'tricks', collectively called disruptive colouration, that exploit perceptual grouping mechanisms. Adjacent high contrast colours create false edges, but this is not sufficient for an object's shape to be broken up; some colours must blend with the background. We test the novel hypothesis that this will be particularly effective when the colour patches on the animal appear to belong to, not merely different background colours, but different background objects. We used computer-based experiments where human participants had to find cryptic targets on artificial backgrounds. Creating what appeared to be bi-coloured foreground objects on bi-coloured backgrounds, we generated colour boundaries that had identical local contrast but either lay within or between (illusory objects. As predicted, error rates for targets matching what appeared to be different background objects were higher than for targets which had otherwise identical local contrast to the background but appeared to belong to single background objects. This provides evidence for disruptive colouration interfering with higher-level feature integration in addition to previously demonstrated low-level effects involving contour detection. In addition, detection was impeded in treatments where targets were on or in close proximity to multiple background colour or tone boundaries. This is consistent with other studies which show a deleterious influence of visual 'clutter' or background complexity on search.
Watson, Andrew B.; Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Eckstein, Miguel; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)
The next era of space exploration, especially the "Mission to Planet Earth" will generate immense quantities of image data. For example, the Earth Observing System (EOS) is expected to generate in excess of one terabyte/day. NASA confronts a major technical challenge in managing this great flow of imagery: in collection, pre-processing, transmission to earth, archiving, and distribution to scientists at remote locations. Expected requirements in most of these areas clearly exceed current technology. Part of the solution to this problem lies in efficient image compression techniques. For much of this imagery, the ultimate consumer is the human eye. In this case image compression should be designed to match the visual capacities of the human observer. We have developed three techniques for optimizing image compression for the human viewer. The first consists of a formula, developed jointly with IBM and based on psychophysical measurements, that computes a DCT quantization matrix for any specified combination of viewing distance, display resolution, and display brightness. This DCT quantization matrix is used in most recent standards for digital image compression (JPEG, MPEG, CCITT H.261). The second technique optimizes the DCT quantization matrix for each individual image, based on the contents of the image. This is accomplished by means of a model of visual sensitivity to compression artifacts. The third technique extends the first two techniques to the realm of wavelet compression. Together these two techniques will allow systematic perceptual optimization of image compression in NASA imaging systems. Many of the image management challenges faced by NASA are mirrored in the field of telemedicine. Here too there are severe demands for transmission and archiving of large image databases, and the imagery is ultimately used primarily by human observers, such as radiologists. In this presentation I will describe some of our preliminary explorations of the applications
Painter, Ted; Spanias, Andreas
This paper presents a new method for the selection of sinusoidal components for use in compact representations of narrowband audio. The method consists of ranking and selecting the most perceptually relevant sinusoids. The idea behind the method is to maximize the matching between the auditory excitation pattern associated with the original signal and the corresponding auditory excitation pattern associated with the modeled signal that is being represented by a small set of sinusoidal parameters. The proposed component-selection methodology is shown to outperform the maximum signal-to-mask ratio selection strategy in terms of subjective quality.
Fuentes, Christina T.; Mostofsky, Stewart H.; Bastian, Amy J.
Background: We have previously shown that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have specific handwriting deficits consisting of poor form, and that these deficits are predicted by their motor abilities. It is not known whether the same handwriting impairments persist into adolescence and whether they remain linked to motor deficits. Methods: A case-control study of handwriting samples from adolescents with and without ASD was performed using the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment. Samples were scored on an individual letter basis in 5 categories: legibility, form, alignment, size, and spacing. Subjects were also administered an intelligence test and the Physical and Neurological Examination for Subtle (Motor) Signs (PANESS). Results: We found that adolescents with ASD, like children, show overall worse performance on a handwriting task than do age- and intelligence-matched controls. Also comparable to children, adolescents with ASD showed motor impairments relative to controls. However, adolescents with ASD differ from children in that Perceptual Reasoning Indices were significantly predictive of handwriting performance whereas measures of motor skills were not. Conclusions: Like children with ASD, adolescents with ASD have poor handwriting quality relative to controls. Despite still demonstrating motor impairments, in adolescents perceptual reasoning is the main predictor of handwriting performance, perhaps reflecting subjects' varied abilities to learn strategies to compensate for their motor impairments. GLOSSARY ASD = autism spectrum disorder; DSM-IV = Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition; PANESS = Physical and Neurological Examination for Subtle (Motor) Signs; PRI = Perceptual Reasoning Index; WASI = Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence; WISC = Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children IV. PMID:21079184
Kloosterman, Niels A; Meindertsma, Thomas; van Loon, Anouk M; Lamme, Victor A F; Bonneh, Yoram S; Donner, Tobias H
Changes in pupil size at constant light levels reflect the activity of neuromodulatory brainstem centers that control global brain state. These endogenously driven pupil dynamics can be synchronized with cognitive acts. For example, the pupil dilates during the spontaneous switches of perception of a constant sensory input in bistable perceptual illusions. It is unknown whether this pupil dilation only indicates the occurrence of perceptual switches, or also their content. Here, we measured pupil diameter in human subjects reporting the subjective disappearance and re-appearance of a physically constant visual target surrounded by a moving pattern ('motion-induced blindness' illusion). We show that the pupil dilates during the perceptual switches in the illusion and a stimulus-evoked 'replay' of that illusion. Critically, the switch-related pupil dilation encodes perceptual content, with larger amplitude for disappearance than re-appearance. This difference in pupil response amplitude enables prediction of the type of report (disappearance vs. re-appearance) on individual switches (receiver-operating characteristic: 61%). The amplitude difference is independent of the relative durations of target-visible and target-invisible intervals and subjects' overt behavioral report of the perceptual switches. Further, we show that pupil dilation during the replay also scales with the level of surprise about the timing of switches, but there is no evidence for an interaction between the effects of surprise and perceptual content on the pupil response. Taken together, our results suggest that pupil-linked brain systems track both the content of, and surprise about, perceptual events. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available The latest neuroimaging studies about implicit memory have revealed that different implicit memory types may be processed by different parts of the brain. However, studies have rarely examined what subtypes of implicit memory processes are affected in patients with various brain-injuries. Twenty patients with frontal lobe injury, 25 patients with occipital lobe injury, and 29 healthy controls were recruited for the study. Two subtypes of implicit memory were investigated by using structurally parallel perceptual (picture identification task and conceptual (category exemplar generation task implicit memory tests in the three groups, as well as explicit memory tests. The results indicated that the priming of conceptual implicit memory and explicit memory tasks in patients with frontal lobe injury was poorer than that observed in healthy controls, while perceptual implicit memory was identical between the two groups. In contrast, the priming of perceptual implicit memory in patients with occipital lobe injury was poorer than that in healthy controls, while the priming of conceptual implicit memory and explicit memory was similar to that in healthy controls. This double dissociation between perceptual and conceptual implicit memory across the brain areas implies that occipital lobes may participate in perceptual implicit memory, while frontal lobes may be involved in processing conceptual memory.
Meyerhoff, Hauke S; Gehrer, Nina A
In order to obtain a coherent representation of the outside world, auditory and visual information are integrated during human information processing. There is remarkable variance among observers in the capability to integrate auditory and visual information. Here, we propose that visuo-perceptual capabilities predict detection performance for audiovisually coinciding transients in multi-element displays due to severe capacity limitations in audiovisual integration. In the reported experiment, we employed an individual differences approach in order to investigate this hypothesis. Therefore, we measured performance in a useful-field-of-view task that captures detection performance for briefly presented stimuli across a large perceptual field. Furthermore, we measured sensitivity for visual direction changes that coincide with tones within the same participants. Our results show that individual differences in visuo-perceptual capabilities predicted sensitivity for the presence of audiovisually synchronous events among competing visual stimuli. To ensure that this correlation does not stem from superordinate factors, we also tested performance in an unrelated working memory task. Performance in this task was independent of sensitivity for the presence of audiovisually synchronous events. Our findings strengthen the proposed link between visuo-perceptual capabilities and audiovisual integration. The results also suggest that basic visuo-perceptual capabilities provide the basis for the subsequent integration of auditory and visual information.
Xie, Xin; Theodore, Rachel M; Myers, Emily B
The literature on perceptual learning for speech shows that listeners use lexical information to disambiguate phonetically ambiguous speech sounds and that they maintain this new mapping for later recognition of ambiguous sounds for a given talker. Evidence for this kind of perceptual reorganization has focused on phonetic category boundary shifts. Here, we asked whether listeners adjust both category boundaries and internal category structure in rapid adaptation to foreign accents. We investigated the perceptual learning of Mandarin-accented productions of word-final voiced stops in English. After exposure to a Mandarin speaker's productions, native-English listeners' adaptation to the talker was tested in 3 ways: a cross-modal priming task to assess spoken word recognition (Experiment 1), a category identification task to assess shifts in the phonetic boundary (Experiment 2), and a goodness rating task to assess internal category structure (Experiment 3). Following exposure, both category boundary and internal category structure were adjusted; moreover, these prelexical changes facilitated subsequent word recognition. Together, the results demonstrate that listeners' sensitivity to acoustic-phonetic detail in the accented input promoted a dynamic, comprehensive reorganization of their perceptual response as a consequence of exposure to the accented input. We suggest that an examination of internal category structure is important for a complete account of the mechanisms of perceptual learning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Full Text Available A fundamental trait of the human self is its continuum experience of space and time. Perceptual aberrations of this spatial and temporal continuity is a major characteristic of schizophrenia spectrum disturbances--including schizophrenia, schizotypal personality disorder and schizotypy. We have previously found the classical Perceptual Aberration Scale (PAS scores, related to body and space, to be positively correlated with both behavior and temporo-parietal activation in healthy participants performing a task involving self-projection in space. However, not much is known about the relationship between temporal perceptual aberration, behavior and brain activity. To this aim, we composed a temporal Perceptual Aberration Scale (tPAS similar to the traditional PAS. Testing on 170 participants suggested similar performance for PAS and tPAS. We then correlated tPAS and PAS scores to participants' performance and neural activity in a task of self-projection in time. tPAS scores correlated positively with reaction times across task conditions, as did PAS scores. Evoked potential mapping and electrical neuroimaging showed self-projection in time to recruit a network of brain regions at the left anterior temporal cortex, right temporo-parietal junction, and occipito-temporal cortex, and duration of activation in this network positively correlated with tPAS and PAS scores. These data demonstrate that schizotypal perceptual aberrations of both time and space, as reflected by tPAS and PAS scores, are positively correlated with performance and brain activation during self-projection in time in healthy individuals along the schizophrenia spectrum.
Levi, Dennis M.; Li, Roger W.
Amblyopia is a developmental abnormality that results from physiological alterations in the visual cortex and impairs form vision. It is a consequence of abnormal binocular visual experience during the “sensitive period” early in life. While amblyopia can often be reversed when treated early, conventional treatment is generally not undertaken in older children and adults. A number of studies over the last twelve years or so suggest that Perceptual Learning (PL) may provide an important new method for treating amblyopia. The aim of this mini-review is to provide a critical review and “meta-analysis” of perceptual learning in adults and children with amblyopia, with a view to extracting principles that might make PL more effective and efficient. Specifically we evaluate: What factors influence the outcome of perceptual learning?Specificity and generalization – two sides of the coin.Do the improvements last?How does PL improve visual function?Should PL be part of the treatment armamentarium? A review of the extant studies makes it clear that practicing a visual task results in a long-lasting improvement in performance in an amblyopic eye. The improvement is generally strongest for the trained eye, task, stimulus and orientation, but appears to have a broader spatial frequency bandwidth than in normal vision. Importantly, practicing on a variety of different tasks and stimuli seems to transfer to improved visual acuity. Perceptual learning operates via a reduction of internal neural noise and/or through more efficient use of the stimulus information by retuning the weighting of the information. The success of PL raises the question of whether it should become a standard part of the armamentarium for the clinical treatment of amblyopia, and suggests several important principles for effective perceptual learning in amblyopia. PMID:19250947
Stöttinger, Elisabeth; Filipowicz, Alex; Marandi, Elahe; Quehl, Nadine; Danckert, James; Anderson, Britt
It has been hypothesized that many of the cognitive impairments commonly seen after right brain damage (RBD) can be characterized as a failure to build or update mental models. We (Danckert et al. in Neglect as a disorder of representational updating. NOVA Open Access, New York, 2012a; Cereb Cortex 22:2745-2760, 2012b) were the first to directly assess the association between RBD and updating and found that RBD patients were unable to exploit a strongly biased play strategy in their opponent in the children's game rock, paper, scissors. Given that this game required many other cognitive capacities (i.e., working memory, sustained attention, reward processing), RBD patients could have failed this task for various reasons other than a failure to update. To assess the generality of updating deficits after RBD, we had RBD, left brain-damaged (LBD) patients and healthy controls (HCs) describe line drawings that evolved gradually from one figure (e.g., rabbit) to another (e.g., duck) in addition to the RPS updating task. RBD patients took significantly longer to alter their perceptual report from the initial object to the final object than did LBD patients and HCs. Although both patient groups performed poorly on the RPS task, only the RBD patients showed a significant correlation between the two, very different, updating tasks. We suggest these data indicate a general deficiency in the ability to update mental representations following RBD.
Haefner, Ralf M; Berkes, Pietro; Fiser, József
We address two main challenges facing systems neuroscience today: understanding the nature and function of cortical feedback between sensory areas and of correlated variability. Starting from the old idea of perception as probabilistic inference, we show how to use knowledge of the psychophysical task to make testable predictions for the influence of feedback signals on early sensory representations. Applying our framework to a two-alternative forced choice task paradigm, we can explain multiple empirical findings that have been hard to account for by the traditional feedforward model of sensory processing, including the task dependence of neural response correlations and the diverging time courses of choice probabilities and psychophysical kernels. Our model makes new predictions and characterizes a component of correlated variability that represents task-related information rather than performance-degrading noise. It demonstrates a normative way to integrate sensory and cognitive components into physiologically testable models of perceptual decision-making. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Attention and awareness are known to be linked (e.g. see Lavie, Beck, & Konstantinou, 2014, for a review. However the extent to which this link changes over development is not fully understood. Most research concerning the development of attention has investigated the effects of attention on distraction, visual search and spatial orienting, typically using reaction time measures which cannot directly support conclusions about conscious awareness. Here we used Lavie’s Load Theory of Attention and Cognitive Control to examine the development of attention effects on awareness. According to Load Theory awareness levels are determined by the availability of attentional capacity. We hypothesised that attentional capacity develops with age, and consequently that awareness rates should increase with development due to the enhanced capacity. Thus we predicted that greater rates of inattentional blindness (IB would be found at a younger age, and that lower levels of perceptual load will be sufficient to exhaust capacity and cause IB in children but not adults. We tested this hypothesis using an IB paradigm with adults and children aged 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13 years old. Participants performed a line-length judgment task (indicating which arm of a cross is longer and on the last trial were asked to report whether they noticed an unexpected task-irrelevant stimulus (a small square in the display. Perceptual load was varied by changing the line-length difference (with a smaller difference in the conditions of higher load. The results supported our hypothesis: levels of awareness increased with age, and a moderate increase in the perceptual load of the task led to greater IB for children but not adults. These results extended across both peripheral and central presentations of the task stimuli. Overall, these findings establish the development of capacity for awareness and demonstrate the critical role of the perceptual load in the attended task.
Full Text Available To intercept a moving object, one needs to be in the right place at the right time. In order to do this, it is necessary to pick up and use perceptual information that specifies the time to arrival of an object at an interception point. In the present study, we examined the ability to intercept a laterally moving virtual sound object by controlling the displacement of a sliding handle and tested whether and how the interaural time difference (ITD could be the main source of perceptual information for successfully intercepting the virtual object. The results revealed that in order to accomplish the task, one might need to vary the duration of the movement, control the hand velocity and time to reach the peak velocity (speed coupling, while the adjustment of movement initiation did not facilitate performance. Furthermore, the overall performance was more successful when subjects employed a time-to-contact (tau coupling strategy. This result shows that prospective information is available in sound for guiding goal-directed actions.
Petersen, Inge; Lund, Crick; Bhana, Arvin; Flisher, Alan J
BACKGROUND A recent situational analysis suggests that post-apartheid South Africa has made some gains with respect to the decentralization and integration of mental health into primary health care. However, service gaps within and between provinces remain, with rural areas particularly underserved. Aim This study aims to calculate and cost a hypothetical human resource mix required to populate a framework for district adult mental health services. This framework embraces the concept of task shifting, where dedicated low cost mental health workers at the community and clinic levels supplement integrated care. METHOD The expected number and cost of human resources was based on: (a) assumptions of service provision derived from existing services in a sub-district demonstration site and a literature review of evidence-based packages of care in low- and middle-income countries; and (b) assumptions of service needs derived from other studies. RESULTS For a nominal population of 100 000, minimal service coverage estimates of 50% for schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, major depressive disorder and 30% for post-traumatic stress disorder and maternal depression would require that the primary health care staffing package include one post for a mental health counsellor or equivalent and 7.2 community mental health worker posts. The cost of these personnel amounts to £28 457 per 100 000 population. This cost can be offset by a reduction in the number of other specialist and non-specialist health personnel required to close service gaps at primary care level. CONCLUSION The adoption of the concept of task shifting can substantially reduce the expected number of health care providers otherwise needed to close mental health service gaps at primary health care level in South Africa at minimal cost and may serve as a model for other middle-income countries.
There is great concern by teachers, school administrators and parents regarding the increase in the number of preschool-aged students who exhibit challenging behavior in early childhood settings (Benedict, Horner & Squires 2007), need for early intervention procedures that focus on young children who may be at risk for developing patterns of…
Bowen, Audrey; Knapp, Peter; Gillespie, David; Nicolson, Donald J; Vail, Andy
Stroke and other adult-acquired brain injury may impair perception leading to distress and increased dependence on others. Perceptual rehabilitation includes functional training, sensory stimulation, strategy training and task repetition. To examine the evidence for improvement in activities of daily living (ADL) six months post randomisation for active intervention versus placebo or no treatment. We searched the trials registers of the Cochrane Stroke Group and the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group (May 2009) but not the Injuries Group, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2009, Issue 3), MEDLINE (1950 to August 2009), EMBASE (1980 to August 2009), CINAHL (1982 to August 2009), PsycINFO (1974 to August 2009), REHABDATA and PsycBITE (May to June 2009). We also searched trials and research registers, handsearched journals, searched reference lists and contacted authors. Randomised controlled trials of adult stroke or acquired brain injury. Our definition of perception excluded visual field deficits, neglect/inattention and apraxia. One review author assessed titles, abstracts and keywords for eligibility. At least two review authors independently extracted data. We requested unclear or missing information from corresponding authors. We included six single-site trials in rehabilitation settings, involving 338 participants. Four trials included people with only stroke. All studies provided sensory stimulation, sometimes with another intervention. Sensory stimulation typically involved practising tasks that required visuo-perceptual processing with occupational therapist assistance. Repetition was never used and only one study included functional training. No trials provided data on longer term improvement in ADL scores. Only three trials provided any data suitable for analysis. Two of these trials compared active to placebo intervention. There was no evidence of a difference in ADL scores at the scheduled end of intervention: mean
Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Attention precues improve the performance of perceptual tasks in many but not all circumstances. These spatial attention effects may depend upon display set size or workload, and have been variously attributed to external noise filtering, stimulus enhancement, contrast gain, or response gain, or to uncertainty or other decision effects. In this study, we document systematically different effects of spatial attention in low- and high-precision judgments, with and without external noise, and in different set sizes in order to contribute to the development of a taxonomy of spatial attention. An elaborated perceptual template model (ePTM) provides an integrated account of a complex set of effects of spatial attention with just two attention factors: a set-size dependent exclusion or filtering of external noise and a narrowing of the perceptual template to focus on the signal stimulus. These results are related to the previous literature by classifying the judgment precision and presence of external noise masks in those experiments, suggesting a taxonomy of spatially cued attention in discrimination accuracy. PMID:24939234
Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Attention precues improve the performance of perceptual tasks in many but not all circumstances. These spatial attention effects may depend upon display set size or workload, and have been variously attributed to external noise filtering, stimulus enhancement, contrast gain, or response gain, or to uncertainty or other decision effects. In this study, we document systematically different effects of spatial attention in low- and high-precision judgments, with and without external noise, and in different set sizes in order to contribute to the development of a taxonomy of spatial attention. An elaborated perceptual template model (ePTM) provides an integrated account of a complex set of effects of spatial attention with just two attention factors: a set-size dependent exclusion or filtering of external noise and a narrowing of the perceptual template to focus on the signal stimulus. These results are related to the previous literature by classifying the judgment precision and presence of external noise masks in those experiments, suggesting a taxonomy of spatially cued attention in discrimination accuracy.
Drew Hamilton Abney
Full Text Available Traditionally different approaches to the study of cognition have been viewed as competing explanatory frameworks. An alternative view, explanatory pluralism, regards different approaches to the study of cognition as complementary ways of studying the same phenomenon, at specific temporal and spatial scales, using appropriate methodological tools. Explanatory pluralism has been often described abstractly, but has rarely been applied to concrete cases. We present a case study of explanatory pluralism. We discuss three separate ways of studying the same phenomenon: a perceptual decision- making task (Bahrami et al., 2010, where pairs of subjects share information to jointly individuate an oddball stimulus among a set of distractors. Each approach analyzed the same corpus but targeted different units of analysis at different levels of description: decision-making at the behavioral level, confidence sharing at the linguistic level, and acoustic energy at the physical level. We discuss the utility of explanatory pluralism for describing this complex, multiscale phenomenon, show ways in which this case study sheds new light on the concept of pluralism, and highlight good practices to critically assess and complement approaches.
Macken, Bill; Taylor, John C; Jones, Dylan M
The advantage for real words over nonwords in serial recall--the lexicality effect--is typically attributed to support for item-level phonology, either via redintegration, whereby partially degraded short-term traces are "cleaned up" via support from long-term representations of the phonological material or via the more robust temporary activation of long-term lexical phonological knowledge that derives from its combination with established lexical and semantic levels of representation. The much smaller effect of lexicality in serial recognition, where the items are re-presented in the recognition cue, is attributed either to the minimal role for redintegration from long-term memory or to the minimal role for item memory itself in such retrieval conditions. We show that the reduced lexicality effect in serial recognition is not a function of the retrieval conditions, but rather because previous demonstrations have used auditory presentation, and we demonstrate a robust lexicality effect for visual serial recognition in a setting where auditory presentation produces no such effect. Furthermore, this effect is abolished under conditions of articulatory suppression. We argue that linguistic knowledge affects the readiness with which verbal material is segmentally recoded via speech motor processes that support rehearsal and therefore affects tasks that involve recoding. On the other hand, auditory perceptual organization affords sequence matching in the absence of such a requirement for segmental recoding and therefore does not show such effects of linguistic knowledge.
Qi, Yonggang; Guo, Jun; Li, Yi
the importance of Gestalt rules by solving a learning to rank problem, and formulate a multi-label graph-cuts algo- rithm to group image primitives while taking into account the learned Gestalt confliction. Our experiment results confirm the existence of Gestalt confliction in perceptual grouping and demonstrate...... confliction, i.e., the relative importance of each rule compared with another, remains unsolved. In this paper, we investigate the problem of perceptual grouping by quantifying the confliction among three commonly used rules: similarity, continuity and proximity. More specifically, we propose to quantify...... an improved performance when such a conflic- tion is accounted for via the proposed grouping algorithm. Finally, a novel cross domain image classification method is proposed by exploiting perceptual grouping as representation....
Cheng, Qiang; Huang, Thomas S.
This paper presents a visible watermarking system using perceptual models. %how and why A watermark image is overlaid translucently onto a primary image, for the purposes of immediate claim of copyright, instantaneous recognition of owner or creator, or deterrence to piracy of digital images or video. %perceptual The watermark is modulated by exploiting combined DCT-domain and DWT-domain perceptual models. % so that the watermark is visually uniform. The resulting watermarked image is visually pleasing and unobtrusive. The location, size and strength of the watermark vary randomly with the underlying image. The randomization makes the automatic removal of the watermark difficult even though the algorithm is known publicly but the key to the random sequence generator. The experiments demonstrate that the watermarked images have pleasant visual effect and strong robustness. The watermarking system can be used in copyright notification and protection.
Swagman, April R; Province, Jordan M; Rouder, Jeffrey N
We contrast predictions from discrete-state models of all-or-none information loss with signal-detection models of graded strength for the identification of briefly flashed English words. Previous assessments have focused on whether ROC curves are straight or not, which is a test of a discrete-state model where detection leads to the highest confidence response with certainty. We along with many others argue this certainty assumption is too constraining, and, consequently, the straight-line ROC test is too stringent. Instead, we assess a core property of discrete-state models, conditional independence, where the pattern of responses depends only on which state is entered. The conditional independence property implies that confidence ratings are a mixture of detect and guess state responses, and that stimulus strength factors, the duration of the flashed word in this report, affect only the probability of entering a state and not responses conditional on a state. To assess this mixture property, 50 participants saw words presented briefly on a computer screen at three variable flash durations followed by either a two-alternative confidence ratings task or a yes-no confidence ratings task. Comparable discrete-state and signal-detection models were fit to the data for each participant and task. The discrete-state models outperformed the signal detection models for 90 % of participants in the two-alternative task and for 68 % of participants in the yes-no task. We conclude discrete-state models are viable for predicting performance across stimulus conditions in a perceptual word identification task.
Cox, Gregory E; Hemmer, Pernille; Aue, William R; Criss, Amy H
The development of memory theory has been constrained by a focus on isolated tasks rather than the processes and information that are common to situations in which memory is engaged. We present results from a study in which 453 participants took part in five different memory tasks: single-item recognition, associative recognition, cued recall, free recall, and lexical decision. Using hierarchical Bayesian techniques, we jointly analyzed the correlations between tasks within individuals-reflecting the degree to which tasks rely on shared cognitive processes-and within items-reflecting the degree to which tasks rely on the same information conveyed by the item. Among other things, we find that (a) the processes involved in lexical access and episodic memory are largely separate and rely on different kinds of information, (b) access to lexical memory is driven primarily by perceptual aspects of a word, (c) all episodic memory tasks rely to an extent on a set of shared processes which make use of semantic features to encode both single words and associations between words, and (d) recall involves additional processes likely related to contextual cuing and response production. These results provide a large-scale picture of memory across different tasks which can serve to drive the development of comprehensive theories of memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Silverman, E.B.; Horst, R.L.; Parris, H.L.; O'Brien, J.
The illumination in the control rooms of many operating nuclear plants falls below the levels specified in the NUREG-0700 guidelines. However, these guidelines are based on human perception and performance data which were acquired under laboratory conditions and with tasks very different from those typically found in control rooms. The objective of the present studies was to gather empirical data regarding the levels of illumination sufficient for performing tasks analogous to those performed in control rooms. Several tasks were designed to engage the perceptual and cognitive processes that are representative of actual control room performance. In a computerized laboratory test-bed, subjects scanned edgewise meters, examined hard-copy X-Y plots to discern the value of the displayed function at specific coordinates, and proofread hard-copy plant procedures. In a power plant control room simulator, data were likewise collected in a meter reading task and similar tasks representing elements of specific job-performance measures. For each task, response time and accuracy were measured under a range of illumination levels. Subjective comfort ratings were also obtained for each illumination level. The results from both settings indicated that with decreasing illumination, increased errors and/or longer response times occurred only for levels below ten footcandles, if at all. These data suggest that adequate performance in control room tasks can be achieved at illumination levels below those recommended in NUREG-0700
Steenbergen, Peter; Buitenweg, Jan R; Trojan, Jörg; Veltink, Peter H
Various studies have shown subjects to mislocalize cutaneous stimuli in an idiosyncratic manner. Spatial properties of individual localization behavior can be represented in the form of perceptual maps. Individual differences in these maps may reflect properties of internal body representations, and perceptual maps may therefore be a useful method for studying these representations. For this to be the case, individual perceptual maps need to be reproducible, which has not yet been demonstrated. We assessed the reproducibility of localizations measured twice on subsequent days. Ten subjects participated in the experiments. Non-painful electrocutaneous stimuli were applied at seven sites on the lower arm. Subjects localized the stimuli on a photograph of their own arm, which was presented on a tablet screen overlaying the real arm. Reproducibility was assessed by calculating intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) for the mean localizations of each electrode site and the slope and offset of regression models of the localizations, which represent scaling and displacement of perceptual maps relative to the stimulated sites. The ICCs of the mean localizations ranged from 0.68 to 0.93; the ICCs of the regression parameters were 0.88 for the intercept and 0.92 for the slope. These results indicate a high degree of reproducibility. We conclude that localization patterns of non-painful electrocutaneous stimuli on the arm are reproducible on subsequent days. Reproducibility is a necessary property of perceptual maps for these to reflect properties of a subject's internal body representations. Perceptual maps are therefore a promising method for studying body representations.
Harrar, Vanessa; Spence, Charles; Makin, Tamar R
Perceptual learning can improve our sensory abilities. Understanding its underlying mechanisms, in particular, when perceptual learning generalizes, has become a focus of research and controversy. Specifically, there is little consensus regarding the extent to which tactile perceptual learning generalizes across fingers. We measured tactile orientation discrimination abilities on 4 fingers (index and middle fingers of both hands), using psychophysical measures, before and after 4 training sessions on 1 finger. Given the somatotopic organization of the hand representation in the somatosensory cortex, the topography of the cortical areas underlying tactile perceptual learning can be inferred from the pattern of generalization across fingers; only fingers sharing cortical representation with the trained finger ought to improve with it. Following training, performance improved not only for the trained finger but also for its adjacent and homologous fingers. Although these fingers were not exposed to training, they nevertheless demonstrated similar levels of learning as the trained finger. Conversely, the performance of the finger that was neither adjacent nor homologous to the trained finger was unaffected by training, despite the fact that our procedure was designed to enhance generalization, as described in recent visual perceptual learning research. This pattern of improved performance is compatible with previous reports of neuronal receptive fields (RFs) in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) spanning adjacent and homologous digits. We conclude that perceptual learning rooted in low-level cortex can still generalize, and suggest potential applications for the neurorehabilitation of syndromes associated with maladaptive plasticity in SI. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
Dirk evan Moorselaar
Full Text Available Cueing a remembered item during the delay of a visual memory task leads to enhanced recall of the cued item compared to when an item is not cued. This cueing benefit has been proposed to reflect attention within visual memory being shifted from a distributed mode to a focused mode, thus protecting the cued item against perceptual interference. Here we investigated the dynamics of building up this mnemonic protection against visual interference by systematically varying the SOA between cue onset and a subsequent visual mask in an orientation memory task. Experiment 1 showed that a cue counteracted the deteriorating effect of pattern masks. Experiment 2 demonstrated that building up this protection is a continuous process that is completed in approximately half a second after cue onset. The similarities between shifting attention in perceptual and remembered space are discussed.
Hugo Cezar Palhares Ferreira
Full Text Available Abstract The binding of information in visual short-term memory may occur incidentally when irrelevant information for the task at hand is stored together with relevant information. We investigated the process of the incidental conjunction of color and shape (Exp1 and its potential association with the selection of relevant information to the memory task (Exp2. The results in Exp1 show that color and shape are incidentally and asymmetrically conjugated: color interferes with the recognition of shape; however, shape does not interfere with the recognition of color. In Exp2, we investigated whether an increase in perceptual load would eliminate the processing of irrelevant information. The results of this experiment show that even with a high perceptual load, the incidental conjunction is not affected, and color remains to interfere with shape recognition, suggesting that the incidental conjunction is an automatic process.
van Moorselaar, Dirk; Gunseli, Eren; Theeuwes, Jan; N. L. Olivers, Christian
Cueing a remembered item during the delay of a visual memory task leads to enhanced recall of the cued item compared to when an item is not cued. This cueing benefit has been proposed to reflect attention within visual memory being shifted from a distributed mode to a focused mode, thus protecting the cued item against perceptual interference. Here we investigated the dynamics of building up this mnemonic protection against visual interference by systematically varying the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between cue onset and a subsequent visual mask in an orientation memory task. Experiment 1 showed that a cue counteracted the deteriorating effect of pattern masks. Experiment 2 demonstrated that building up this protection is a continuous process that is completed in approximately half a second after cue onset. The similarities between shifting attention in perceptual and remembered space are discussed. PMID:25628555
Stereotype threat research revealed that negative stereotypes can disrupt the performance of persons targeted by such stereotypes. This paper contributes to stereotype threat research by providing evidence that domain identification and the difficulty level of test items moderate stereotype threat effects on female students' maths performance. The study was designed to test theoretical ideas derived from stereotype threat theory and assumptions outlined in the Yerkes-Dodson law proposing a nonlinear relationship between arousal, task difficulty and performance. Participants were 108 high school students attending secondary schools. Participants worked on a test comprising maths problems of different difficul