Zhang, Sheng; Hsu, Wei-Ting; Scheinost, Dustin; Finn, Emily S.; Shen, Xilin; Constable, R. Todd; Li, Chiang-Shan R.; Chun, Marvin M.
Recent work has demonstrated that human whole-brain functional connectivity patterns measured with fMRI contain information about cognitive abilities, including sustained attention. To derive behavioral predictions from connectivity patterns, our group developed a connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) approach (Finn et al., 2015; Rosenberg et al., 2016). Previously using CPM, we defined a high-attention network, comprising connections positively correlated with performance on a sustained attention task, and a low-attention network, comprising connections negatively correlated with performance. Validating the networks as generalizable biomarkers of attention, models based on network strength at rest predicted attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in an independent group of individuals (Rosenberg et al., 2016). To investigate whether these networks play a causal role in attention, here we examined their strength in healthy adults given methylphenidate (Ritalin), a common ADHD treatment, compared with unmedicated controls. As predicted, individuals given methylphenidate showed patterns of connectivity associated with better sustained attention: higher high-attention and lower low-attention network strength than controls. There was significant overlap between the high-attention network and a network with greater strength in the methylphenidate group, and between the low-attention network and a network with greater strength in the control group. Network strength also predicted behavior on a stop-signal task, such that participants with higher go response rates showed higher high-attention and lower low-attention network strength. These results suggest that methylphenidate acts by modulating functional brain networks related to sustained attention, and that changing whole-brain connectivity patterns may help improve attention. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Recent work identified a promising neuromarker of sustained attention based on whole
Schröger, Erich; Marzecová, Anna; SanMiguel, Iria
Attention is a hypothetical mechanism in the service of perception that facilitates the processing of relevant information and inhibits the processing of irrelevant information. Prediction is a hypothetical mechanism in the service of perception that considers prior information when interpreting the sensorial input. Although both (attention and prediction) aid perception, they are rarely considered together. Auditory attention typically yields enhanced brain activity, whereas auditory prediction often results in attenuated brain responses. However, when strongly predicted sounds are omitted, brain responses to silence resemble those elicited by sounds. Studies jointly investigating attention and prediction revealed that these different mechanisms may interact, e.g. attention may magnify the processing differences between predicted and unpredicted sounds. Following the predictive coding theory, we suggest that prediction relates to predictions sent down from predictive models housed in higher levels of the processing hierarchy to lower levels and attention refers to gain modulation of the prediction error signal sent up to the higher level. As predictions encode contents and confidence in the sensory data, and as gain can be modulated by the intention of the listener and by the predictability of the input, various possibilities for interactions between attention and prediction can be unfolded. From this perspective, the traditional distinction between bottom-up/exogenous and top-down/endogenous driven attention can be revisited and the classic concepts of attentional gain and attentional trace can be integrated. PMID:25728182
Tu, Shen; Qiu, Jiang; Martens, Ulla; Zhang, Qinglin
Many studies have revealed the top-down modulation (spatial attention, attentional load, etc.) on unconscious processing. However, there is little research about how category-selective attention could modulate the unconscious processing. In the present study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the results showed that category-selective attention modulated unconscious face/tool processing in the middle occipital gyrus (MOG). Interestingly, MOG effects were of opposed direction for face and tool processes. During unconscious face processing, activation in MOG decreased under the face-selective attention compared with tool-selective attention. This result was in line with the predictive coding theory. During unconscious tool processing, however, activation in MOG increased under the tool-selective attention compared with face-selective attention. The different effects might be ascribed to an interaction between top-down category-selective processes and bottom-up processes in the partial awareness level as proposed by Kouider, De Gardelle, Sackur, and Dupoux (2010). Specifically, we suppose an "excessive activation" hypothesis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sharma, Jitendra; Sugihara, Hiroki; Katz, Yarden; Schummers, James; Tenenbaum, Joshua; Sur, Mriganka
The brain uses attention and expectation as flexible devices for optimizing behavioral responses associated with expected but unpredictably timed events. The neural bases of attention and expectation are thought to engage higher cognitive loci; however, their influence at the level of primary visual cortex (V1) remains unknown. Here, we asked whether single-neuron responses in monkey V1 were influenced by an attention task of unpredictable duration. Monkeys covertly attended to a spot that remained unchanged for a fixed period and then abruptly disappeared at variable times, prompting a lever release for reward. We show that monkeys responded progressively faster and performed better as the trial duration increased. Neural responses also followed monkey's task engagement—there was an early, but short duration, response facilitation, followed by a late but sustained increase during the time monkeys expected the attention spot to disappear. This late attentional modulation was significantly and negatively correlated with the reaction time and was well explained by a modified hazard function. Such bimodal, time-dependent changes were, however, absent in a task that did not require explicit attentional engagement. Thus, V1 neurons carry reliable signals of attention and temporal expectation that correlate with predictable influences on monkeys' behavioral responses. PMID:24836689
Fitzroy, Ahren B; Sanders, Lisa D
Dynamic attending theory predicts that attention is allocated hierarchically across time during processing of hierarchical rhythmic structures such as musical meter. ERP research demonstrates that attention to a moment in time modulates early auditory processing as evidenced by the amplitude of the first negative peak (N1) approximately 100 msec after sound onset. ERPs elicited by tones presented at times of high and low metric strength in short melodies were compared to test the hypothesis that hierarchically structured rhythms direct attention in a manner that modulates early perceptual processing. A more negative N1 was observed for metrically strong beats compared with metrically weak beats; this result provides electrophysiological evidence that hierarchical rhythms direct attention to metrically strong times during engaged listening. The N1 effect was observed only on fast tempo trials, suggesting that listeners more consistently invoke selective processing based on hierarchical rhythms when sounds are presented rapidly. The N1 effect was not modulated by musical expertise, indicating that the allocation of attention to metrically strong times is not dependent on extensive training. Additionally, changes in P2 amplitude and a late negativity were associated with metric strength under some conditions, indicating that multiple cognitive processes are associated with metric perception.
Kreutzer, Sylvia; Fink, Gereon R; Weidner, Ralph
The current study determined in healthy subjects (n = 16) whether size adaptation occurs at early, i.e., preattentive, levels of processing or whether higher cognitive processes such as attention can modulate the illusion. To investigate this issue, bottom-up stimulation was kept constant across conditions by using a single adaptation display containing both small and large adapter stimuli. Subjects' attention was directed to either the large or small adapter stimulus by means of a luminance detection task. When attention was directed toward the small as compared to the large adapter, the perceived size of the subsequent target was significantly increased. Data suggest that different size adaptation effects can be induced by one and the same stimulus depending on the current allocation of attention. This indicates that size adaptation is subject to attentional modulation. These findings are in line with previous research showing that transient as well as sustained attention modulates visual features, such as contrast sensitivity and spatial frequency, and influences adaptation in other contexts, such as motion adaptation (Alais & Blake, 1999; Lankheet & Verstraten, 1995). Based on a recently suggested model (Pooresmaeili, Arrighi, Biagi, & Morrone, 2013), according to which perceptual adaptation is based on local excitation and inhibition in V1, we conclude that guiding attention can boost these local processes in one or the other direction by increasing the weight of the attended adapter. In sum, perceptual adaptation, although reflected in changes of neural activity at early levels (as shown in the aforementioned study), is nevertheless subject to higher-order modulation.
Ni, Amy M.; Ray, Supratim; Maunsell, John H. R.
SUMMARY The effect of attention on firing rates varies considerably within a single cortical area. The firing rate of some neurons is greatly modulated by attention while others are hardly affected. The reason for this variability across neurons is unknown. We found that the variability in attention modulation across neurons in area MT of macaques can be well explained by variability in the strength of tuned normalization across neurons. The presence of tuned normalization also explains a striking asymmetry in attention effects within neurons: when two stimuli are in a neuron’s receptive field, directing attention to the preferred stimulus modulates firing rates more than directing attention to the non-preferred stimulus. These findings show that much of the neuron-to-neuron variability in modulation of responses by attention depends on variability in the way the neurons process multiple stimuli, rather than differences in the influence of top-down signals related to attention. PMID:22365552
Ni, Amy M; Ray, Supratim; Maunsell, John H R
The effect of attention on firing rates varies considerably within a single cortical area. The firing rate of some neurons is greatly modulated by attention while others are hardly affected. The reason for this variability across neurons is unknown. We found that the variability in attention modulation across neurons in area MT of macaques can be well explained by variability in the strength of tuned normalization across neurons. The presence of tuned normalization also explains a striking asymmetry in attention effects within neurons: when two stimuli are in a neuron's receptive field, directing attention to the preferred stimulus modulates firing rates more than directing attention to the nonpreferred stimulus. These findings show that much of the neuron-to-neuron variability in modulation of responses by attention depends on variability in the way the neurons process multiple stimuli, rather than differences in the influence of top-down signals related to attention. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kuo, Bo-Cheng; Stokes, Mark G; Nobre, Anna Christina
Recent studies have shown that selective attention is of considerable importance for encoding task-relevant items into visual short-term memory (VSTM) according to our behavioral goals. However, it is not known whether top-down attentional biases can continue to operate during the maintenance period of VSTM. We used ERPs to investigate this question across two experiments. Specifically, we tested whether orienting attention to a given spatial location within a VSTM representation resulted in modulation of the contralateral delay activity (CDA), a lateralized ERP marker of VSTM maintenance generated when participants selectively encode memory items from one hemifield. In both experiments, retrospective cues during the maintenance period could predict a specific item (spatial retrocue) or multiple items (neutral retrocue) that would be probed at the end of the memory delay. Our results revealed that VSTM performance is significantly improved by orienting attention to the location of a task-relevant item. The behavioral benefit was accompanied by modulation of neural activity involved in VSTM maintenance. Spatial retrocues reduced the magnitude of the CDA, consistent with a reduction in memory load. Our results provide direct evidence that top-down control modulates neural activity associated with maintenance in VSTM, biasing competition in favor of the task-relevant information.
Janssens, Thomas; Silva, Mitchell; Davenport, Paul W; Van Diest, Ilse; Dupont, Lieven J; Van den Bergh, Omer
Reflex cough is a defensive response generated in the brainstem in response to chemical and mechanical stimulation of the airways. However, converging evidence shows that reflex cough is also influenced by central neural control processes. In this study, we investigate whether reflex cough can be modulated by attentional focus on either external stimuli or internal cough-related stimuli. Healthy volunteers (N = 24; seven men; age range, 18-25 years) completed four blocks of citric acid-induced cough challenges while, simultaneously, auditory stimuli were presented. Within each block, four concentrations were administered (30, 100, 300 and 1,000 mM, randomized). During two subsequent blocks, participants focused their attention externally (counting tones). During the other two blocks, participants focused their attention internally (counting coughs). The order of attentional focus was counterbalanced across participants. Ratings of the urge to cough were collected after each challenge. Cough frequency was determined by audio recording. Cough frequency was higher when participants focused their attention internally vs externally (P Reflex cough can be modulated by attentional focus. Internally focused attention may be a mechanism involved in excessive (idiopathic) cough, while an external focus may be introduced as part of treatments targeting excessive cough.
Vergara, Rodrigo C; Moënne-Loccoz, Cristóbal; Maldonado, Pedro E
Thermal stress has been shown to increase the chances of unsafe behavior during industrial and driving performances due to reductions in mental and attentional resources. Nonetheless, establishing appropriate safety standards regarding environmental temperature has been a major problem, as modulations are also be affected by the task type, complexity, workload, duration, and previous experience with the task. To bypass this attentional and thermoregulatory problem, we focused on the body rather than environmental temperature. Specifically, we measured tympanic, forehead, finger and environmental temperatures accompanied by a battery of attentional tasks. We considered a 10 min baseline period wherein subjects were instructed to sit and relax, followed by three attentional tasks: a continuous performance task (CPT), a flanker task (FT) and a counting task (CT). Using multiple linear regression models, we evaluated which variable(s) were the best predictors of performance. The results showed a decrement in finger temperature due to instruction and task engagement that was absent when the subject was instructed to relax. No changes were observed in tympanic or forehead temperatures, while the environmental temperature remained almost constant for each subject. Specifically, the magnitude of the change in finger temperature was the best predictor of performance in all three attentional tasks. The results presented here suggest that finger temperature can be used as a predictor of alertness, as it predicted performance in attentional tasks better than environmental temperature. These findings strongly support that peripheral temperature can be used as a tool to prevent unsafe behaviors and accidents.
Rodrigo C. Vergara
Full Text Available Thermal stress has been shown to increase the chances of unsafe behavior during industrial and driving performances due to reductions in mental and attentional resources. Nonetheless, establishing appropriate safety standards regarding environmental temperature has been a major problem, as modulations are also be affected by the task type, complexity, workload, duration, and previous experience with the task. To bypass this attentional and thermoregulatory problem, we focused on the body rather than environmental temperature. Specifically, we measured tympanic, forehead, finger and environmental temperatures accompanied by a battery of attentional tasks. We considered a 10 min baseline period wherein subjects were instructed to sit and relax, followed by three attentional tasks: a continuous performance task (CPT, a flanker task (FT and a counting task (CT. Using multiple linear regression models, we evaluated which variable(s were the best predictors of performance. The results showed a decrement in finger temperature due to instruction and task engagement that was absent when the subject was instructed to relax. No changes were observed in tympanic or forehead temperatures, while the environmental temperature remained almost constant for each subject. Specifically, the magnitude of the change in finger temperature was the best predictor of performance in all three attentional tasks. The results presented here suggest that finger temperature can be used as a predictor of alertness, as it predicted performance in attentional tasks better than environmental temperature. These findings strongly support that peripheral temperature can be used as a tool to prevent unsafe behaviors and accidents.
Torta, D M; Legrain, V; Mouraux, A; Valentini, E
Several studies have used neuroimaging techniques to investigate brain correlates of the attentional modulation of pain. Although these studies have advanced the knowledge in the field, important confounding factors such as imprecise theoretical definitions of attention, incomplete operationalization of the construct under exam, and limitations of techniques relying on measuring regional changes in cerebral blood flow have hampered the potential relevance of the conclusions. Here, we first provide an overview of the major theories of attention and of attention in the study of pain to bridge theory and experimental results. We conclude that load and motivational/affective theories are particularly relevant to study the attentional modulation of pain and should be carefully integrated in functional neuroimaging studies. Then, we summarize previous findings and discuss the possible neural correlates of the attentional modulation of pain. We discuss whether classical functional neuroimaging techniques are suitable to measure the effect of a fluctuating process like attention, and in which circumstances functional neuroimaging can be reliably used to measure the attentional modulation of pain. Finally, we argue that the analysis of brain networks and spontaneous oscillations may be a crucial future development in the study of attentional modulation of pain, and why the interplay between attention and pain, as examined so far, may rely on neural mechanisms shared with other sensory modalities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mahajan, Yatin; Davis, Chris; Kim, Jeesun
Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR). The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioral evidence). The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex.
Mahajan, Yatin; Davis, Chris; Kim, Jeesun
Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR). The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioral evidence). The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex. PMID:25334021
Full Text Available Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR. The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioral evidence. The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex.
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.
Herring, Jim D; Thut, Gregor; Jensen, Ole; Bergmann, Til O
Cortical oscillations, such as 8-12 Hz alpha-band activity, are thought to subserve gating of information processing in the human brain. While most of the supporting evidence is correlational, causal evidence comes from attempts to externally drive ("entrain") these oscillations by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Indeed, the frequency profile of TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) closely resembles that of oscillations spontaneously emerging in the same brain region. However, it is unclear whether TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are produced by the same neuronal mechanisms. If so, they should react in a similar manner to top-down modulation by endogenous attention. To test this prediction, we assessed the alpha-like EEG response to TMS of the visual cortex during periods of high and low visual attention while participants attended to either the visual or auditory modality in a cross-modal attention task. We observed a TMS-locked local oscillatory alpha response lasting several cycles after TMS (but not after sham stimulation). Importantly, TMS-locked alpha power was suppressed during deployment of visual relative to auditory attention, mirroring spontaneous alpha amplitudes. In addition, the early N40 TEP component, located at the stimulation site, was amplified by visual attention. The extent of attentional modulation for both TMS-locked alpha power and N40 amplitude did depend, with opposite sign, on the individual ability to modulate spontaneous alpha power at the stimulation site. We therefore argue that TMS-locked and spontaneous oscillations are of common neurophysiological origin, whereas the N40 TEP component may serve as an index of current cortical excitability at the time of stimulation. Copyright © 2015 Herring et al.
Landau, Ayelet Nina; Schreyer, Helene Marianne; van Pelt, Stan; Fries, Pascal
When subjects monitor a single location, visual target detection depends on the pre-target phase of an ∼8 Hz brain rhythm. When multiple locations are monitored, performance decrements suggest a division of the 8 Hz rhythm over the number of locations, indicating that different locations are sequentially sampled. Indeed, when subjects monitor two locations, performance benefits alternate at a 4 Hz rhythm. These performance alternations were revealed after a reset of attention to one location. Although resets are common and important events for attention, it is unknown whether, in the absence of resets, ongoing attention samples stimuli in alternation. Here, we examined whether spatially specific attentional sampling can be revealed by ongoing pre-target brain rhythms. Visually induced gamma-band activity plays a role in spatial attention. Therefore, we hypothesized that performance on two simultaneously monitored stimuli can be predicted by a 4 Hz modulation of gamma-band activity. Brain rhythms were assessed with magnetoencephalography (MEG) while subjects monitored bilateral grating stimuli for a unilateral target event. The corresponding contralateral gamma-band responses were subtracted from each other to isolate spatially selective, target-related fluctuations. The resulting lateralized gamma-band activity (LGA) showed opposite pre-target 4 Hz phases for detected versus missed targets. The 4 Hz phase of pre-target LGA accounted for a 14.5% modulation in performance. These findings suggest that spatial attention is a theta-rhythmic sampling process that is continuously ongoing, with each sampling cycle being implemented through gamma-band synchrony. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ter Huurne, N; Lozano-Soldevilla, D; Onnink, M; Kan, C; Buitelaar, J; Jensen, O
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by problems in regulating attention and in suppressing disruptive motor activity, i.e. hyperactivity and impulsivity. We recently found evidence that aberrant distribution of posterior α band oscillations (8-12 Hz) is associated with attentional problems in ADHD. The sensorimotor cortex also produces strong 8-12 Hz band oscillations, namely the μ rhythm, and is thought to have a similar inhibitory function. Here, we now investigate whether problems in distributing α band oscillations in ADHD generalize to the μ rhythm in the sensorimotor domain. In a group of adult ADHD (n = 17) and healthy control subjects (n = 18; aged 21-40 years) oscillatory brain activity was recorded using magnetoencephalography during a visuo-spatial attention task. Subjects had to anticipate a target with unpredictable timing and respond by pressing a button. Preparing a motor response, the ADHD group failed to increase hemispheric μ lateralization with relatively higher μ power in sensorimotor regions not engaged in the task, as the controls did (F 1,33 = 8.70, p = 0.006). Moreover, the ADHD group pre-response μ lateralization not only correlated positively with accuracy (r s = 0.64, p = 0.0052) and negatively with intra-individual reaction time variability (r s = -0.52, p = 0.033), but it also correlated negatively with the score on an ADHD rating scale (r s = -0.53, p = 0.028). We suggest that ADHD is associated with an inability to sufficiently inhibit task-irrelevant sensorimotor areas by means of modulating μ oscillatory activity. This could explain disruptive motor activity in ADHD. These results provide further evidence that impaired modulation of α band oscillations is involved in the pathogenesis of ADHD.
Nakamura, Koyo; Kawabata, Hideaki
Facial attractiveness is an important biological and social signal on social interaction. Recent research has demonstrated that an attractive face captures greater spatial attention than an unattractive face does. Little is known, however, about the temporal characteristics of visual attention for facial attractiveness. In this study, we investigated the temporal modulation of visual attention induced by facial attractiveness by using a rapid serial visual presentation. Fourteen male faces and two female faces were successively presented for 160 ms, respectively, and participants were asked to identify two female faces embedded among a series of multiple male distractor faces. Identification of a second female target (T2) was impaired when a first target (T1) was attractive compared to neutral or unattractive faces, at 320 ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA); identification was improved when T1 was attractive compared to unattractive faces at 640 ms SOA. These findings suggest that the spontaneous appraisal of facial attractiveness modulates temporal attention. PMID:24994994
Full Text Available Facial attractiveness is an important biological and social signal on social interaction. Recent research has demonstrated that an attractive face captures greater spatial attention than an unattractive face does. Little is known, however, about the temporal characteristics of visual attention for facial attractiveness. In this study, we investigated the temporal modulation of visual attention induced by facial attractiveness by using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP. Fourteen male faces and two female faces were successively presented for 160 ms respectively, and participants were asked to identify two female faces embedded among a series of multiple male distractor faces. Identification of a second female target (T2 was impaired when a first target (T1 was attractive compared to neutral or unattractive faces, at 320 ms SOA; identification was improved when T1 was attractive compared to unattractive faces at 640 ms SOA. These findings suggest that the spontaneous appraisal of facial attractiveness modulates temporal attention.
Full Text Available Selective visual attention enhances the processing of relevant stimuli and filters out irrelevant stimuli and/or distractors. However, irrelevant information is sometimes processed, as demonstrated by the Simon effect (Simon & Rudell, 1967. We examined whether fully irrelevant distractors (task and target-irrelevant produce interference (measured as the Simon effect, and whether endogenous orienting modulated this interference. Despite being fully irrelevant, distractors were attentionally coded (as reflected by the distractor-related N2pc component, and interfered with the processing of the target response (as reflected by the target-related LRP component. Distractor’s attentional capture depended on endogenous attention, and their interference with target responses was modulated by both endogenous attention and distractor location repetition. These results demonstrate both endogenous attentional and motor modulations over the Simon effect produced by fully irrelevant distractors.
Ni, Amy M.; Ray, Supratim; Maunsell, John H.R.
The effect of attention on firing rates varies considerably within a single cortical area. The firing rate of some neurons is greatly modulated by attention while others are hardly affected. The reason for this variability across neurons is unknown. We found that the variability in attention modulation across neurons in area MT of macaques can be well explained by variability in the strength of tuned normalization across neurons. The presence of tuned normalization also explains a striking as...
Ni, Amy M; Maunsell, John H R
Spatial attention improves perception of attended parts of a scene, a behavioral enhancement accompanied by modulations of neuronal firing rates. These modulations vary in size across neurons in the same brain area. Models of normalization explain much of this variance in attention modulation with differences in tuned normalization across neurons (Lee J, Maunsell JHR. PLoS One 4: e4651, 2009; Ni AM, Ray S, Maunsell JHR. Neuron 73: 803-813, 2012). However, recent studies suggest that normalization tuning varies with spatial location both across and within neurons (Ruff DA, Alberts JJ, Cohen MR. J Neurophysiol 116: 1375-1386, 2016; Verhoef BE, Maunsell JHR. eLife 5: e17256, 2016). Here we show directly that attention modulation and normalization tuning do in fact covary within individual neurons, in addition to across neurons as previously demonstrated. We recorded the activity of isolated neurons in the middle temporal area of two rhesus monkeys as they performed a change-detection task that controlled the focus of spatial attention. Using the same two drifting Gabor stimuli and the same two receptive field locations for each neuron, we found that switching which stimulus was presented at which location affected both attention modulation and normalization in a correlated way within neurons. We present an equal-maximum-suppression spatially tuned normalization model that explains this covariance both across and within neurons: each stimulus generates equally strong suppression of its own excitatory drive, but its suppression of distant stimuli is typically less. This new model specifies how the tuned normalization associated with each stimulus location varies across space both within and across neurons, changing our understanding of the normalization mechanism and how attention modulations depend on this mechanism. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Tuned normalization studies have demonstrated that the variance in attention modulation size seen across neurons from the same cortical
Wang, Wenguan; Shen, Jianbing
In this work, we aim to predict human eye fixation with view-free scenes based on an end-to-end deep learning architecture. Although Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have made substantial improvement on human attention prediction, it is still needed to improve CNN based attention models by efficiently leveraging multi-scale features. Our visual attention network is proposed to capture hierarchical saliency information from deep, coarse layers with global saliency information to shallow, fine layers with local saliency response. Our model is based on a skip-layer network structure, which predicts human attention from multiple convolutional layers with various reception fields. Final saliency prediction is achieved via the cooperation of those global and local predictions. Our model is learned in a deep supervision manner, where supervision is directly fed into multi-level layers, instead of previous approaches of providing supervision only at the output layer and propagating this supervision back to earlier layers. Our model thus incorporates multi-level saliency predictions within a single network, which significantly decreases the redundancy of previous approaches of learning multiple network streams with different input scales. Extensive experimental analysis on various challenging benchmark datasets demonstrate our method yields state-of-the-art performance with competitive inference time.
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.
Huang, Dan; Liang, Huilou; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Meijian; Hu, Qiyi; Chen, Yao
Uncertainty regarding the target location is an influential factor for spatial attention. Modulation in spatial uncertainty can lead to adjustments in attention scope and variations in attention effects. Hence, investigating spatial uncertainty modulation is important for understanding the underlying mechanism of spatial attention. However, the temporal dynamics of this modulation remains unclear. To evaluate the time course of spatial uncertainty modulation, we adopted a Posner-like attention orienting paradigm with central or peripheral cues. Different numbers of cues were used to indicate the potential locations of the target and thereby manipulate the spatial uncertainty level. The time interval between the onsets of the cue and the target (stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA) varied from 50 to 2000ms. We found that under central cueing, the effect of spatial uncertainty modulation could be detected from 200 to 2000ms after the presence of the cues. Under peripheral cueing, the effect of spatial uncertainty modulation was observed from 50 to 2000ms after cueing. Our results demonstrate that spatial uncertainty modulation produces robust and sustained effects on target detection speed. The time course of this modulation is influenced by the cueing method, which suggests that discrepant processing procedures are involved under different cueing conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Nielsen, Simon; Andersen, Tobias
When two targets (T1 & T2) are presented in rapid succession, observers often fail to report T2 if they attend to T1. Bottleneck theories propose that this attentional blink (AB) is due to T1 occupying a slow processing stage when T2 is presented. Accordingly, if increasing T1 difficulty increases...... T1 processing time, this should cause a greater AB. Attention capture hypotheses suggest that T1 captures attention, which cannot be reallocated to T2 in time. Accordingly, if increasing T1 difficulty, decreases saliency, this should cause a smaller AB. Studies examining how T1 difficulty affects...... with T1 contrast energy. Our results indicate that T1 capture modulates the AB. We suggest that this effect has confounded previous studies on the effect of T1 difficulty. In an electrophysiological version of the study we will further examine the implied relation between attention capture and the AB....
Li, Xiaoqing; Lu, Yong; Zhao, Haiyan
The present study used EEG to investigate how and when top-down prediction interacts with bottom-up acoustic signals in temporally selective attention during speech comprehension. Mandarin Chinese spoken sentences were used as stimuli. We systematically manipulated the predictability and de/accentuation of the critical words in the sentence context. Meanwhile, a linguistic attention probe 'ba' was presented concurrently with the critical words or not. The results showed that, first, words with a linguistic attention probe elicited a larger N1 than those without a probe. The latency of this N1 effect was shortened for accented or lowly predictable words, indicating more attentional resources allocated to these words. Importantly, prediction and accentuation showed a complementary interplay on the latency of this N1 effect, demonstrating that when the words had already attracted attention due to low predictability or due to the presence of pitch accent, the other factor did not modulate attention allocation anymore. Second, relative to the lowly predictable words, the highly predictable words elicited a reduced N400 and enhanced gamma-band power increases, especially under the accented conditions; moreover, under the accented conditions, shorter N1 peak-latency was found to correlate with larger gamma-band power enhancement, which indicates that a close relationship might exist between early selective attention and later semantic integration. Finally, the interaction between top-down selective attention (driven by prediction) and bottom-up selective attention (driven by accentuation) occurred before lexical-semantic processing, namely before the N400 effect evoked by predictability, which was discussed with regard to the language comprehension models. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Nah, Joseph C; Neppi-Modona, Marco; Strother, Lars; Behrmann, Marlene; Shomstein, Sarah
Visual input typically includes a myriad of objects, some of which are selected for further processing. While these objects vary in shape and size, most evidence supporting object-based guidance of attention is drawn from paradigms employing two identical objects. Importantly, object size is a readily perceived stimulus dimension, and whether it modulates the distribution of attention remains an open question. Across four experiments, the size of the objects in the display was manipulated in a modified version of the two-rectangle paradigm. In Experiment 1, two identical parallel rectangles of two sizes (thin or thick) were presented. Experiments 2-4 employed identical trapezoids (each having a thin and thick end), inverted in orientation. In the experiments, one end of an object was cued and participants performed either a T/L discrimination or a simple target-detection task. Combined results show that, in addition to the standard object-based attentional advantage, there was a further attentional benefit for processing information contained in the thick versus thin end of objects. Additionally, eye-tracking measures demonstrated increased saccade precision towards thick object ends, suggesting that Fitts's Law may play a role in object-based attentional shifts. Taken together, these results suggest that object-based attentional selection is modulated by object width.
Sharpe, Melissa J; Killcross, Simon
The prelimbic cortex is argued to promote conditioned fear expression, at odds with appetitive research implicating this region in attentional processing. Consistent with an attentional account, we report that the effect of prelimbic lesions on fear expression depends on the degree of competition between contextual and discrete cues. Further, when competition from contextual cues is low, we found that PL inactivation resulted in animals expressing fear toward irrelevant discrete cues; an effect selective to inactivation during the learning phase and not during retrieval. These data demonstrate that the prelimbic cortex modulates attention toward cues to preferentially direct fear responding on the basis of their predictive value. © 2015 Sharpe and Killcross; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
Catherine E Kerr
Full Text Available Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT use a common set of exercises to reduce distress in chronic pain and decrease risk of depression relapse. These standardized mindfulness (ST-Mindfulness practices predominantly require attending to breath and body sensations. Here, we offer a novel view of ST-Mindfulness’s somatic focus as a form of training for optimizing attentional modulation of 7-14 Hz alpha rhythms that play a key role in filtering inputs to primary sensory neocortex and organizing the flow of sensory information. In support of the framework, we describe our previous finding (Kerr et al, 2011 that ST-Mindfulness enhanced attentional regulation of alpha in primary somatosensory cortex (SI. The framework allows us to make several predictions. In chronic pain, we predict somatic attention in ST-Mindfulness de-biases alpha in SI, freeing up pain-focused attentional resources. In depression relapse, we predict ST-Mindfulness’s somatic attention competes with internally focused rumination, as internally focused cognitive processes (e.g., working and short term memory rely on alpha filtering of sensory input. Our computational model (Jones et al, 2009 predicts ST-Mindfulness enhances top-down modulation of alpha by facilitating precise alterations in timing and efficacy of SI thalamocortical inputs. We conclude by considering how the proposed framework aligns with Buddhist teachings that mindfulness starts with mindfulness of the body. Translating this theory into neurophysiology, we hypothesize that with its somatic focus, mindfulness’ top-down alpha rhythm modulation in SI enhances gain control which, in turn, sensitizes practitioners to better detect and regulate when the mind wanders from its somatic focus. This enhanced regulation of somatic mind-wandering may be an early stage of mindfulness training, leading to cognitive regulation and metacognition.
Chan, Sam C. C.; Chan, Chetwyn C. H.; Kwan, Anne S. K.; Ting, Kin-hung; Chui, Tak-yi
Introduction Research has shown that people with chronic pain have difficulty directing their attention away from pain. A mental strategy that incorporates focused attention and distraction has been found to modulate the perception of pain intensity. That strategy involves placing attention on the nociceptive stimulus felt and shifting attention to a self-generated sub-nociceptive image and rehearsing it. Event-related potential was used to study the possible processes associated with the focus-then-orient strategy. Methods Eighteen pain-free participants received different levels of 50-ms nociceptive stimulations elicited by electric shocks at the right lateral malleolus (ankle). In perception trials, participants maintained the perceived nociceptive stimulus in working memory for 3,000 ms. In imagery trials, participants mentally generated and maintained the corresponding sub-nociceptive image they had learned previously. After both types of trials, participants evaluated the pain intensity of the incoming stimulus by recalling the feeling of the nociceptive stimulation at the beginning of the trial. Results Shifting attention from the incoming nociceptive to a self-generated sub-nociceptive image elicited central P2 and centro-parietal P3 waves, which were found to correlate with proportional scores on the Stroop Test. They were followed by a frontal N400 and a parietal P600, denoting generation of sub-nociceptive images in working memory. The voltages elicited in these potentials correlated moderately with attenuation of the pain ratings of the recalled nociceptive stimulations. Conclusions Focus-and-orient attention across nociceptive and sub-nociceptive images appears to be related to response inhibition. Mental rehearsal of the sub-nociceptive images was found to modulate the perception of the nociceptive sensation felt prior to the imagery. Such modulation seems to be mediated by generating and maintaining sub-nociceptive images in working memory. Future
Sam C C Chan
Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Research has shown that people with chronic pain have difficulty directing their attention away from pain. A mental strategy that incorporates focused attention and distraction has been found to modulate the perception of pain intensity. That strategy involves placing attention on the nociceptive stimulus felt and shifting attention to a self-generated sub-nociceptive image and rehearsing it. Event-related potential was used to study the possible processes associated with the focus-then-orient strategy. METHODS: Eighteen pain-free participants received different levels of 50-ms nociceptive stimulations elicited by electric shocks at the right lateral malleolus (ankle. In perception trials, participants maintained the perceived nociceptive stimulus in working memory for 3,000 ms. In imagery trials, participants mentally generated and maintained the corresponding sub-nociceptive image they had learned previously. After both types of trials, participants evaluated the pain intensity of the incoming stimulus by recalling the feeling of the nociceptive stimulation at the beginning of the trial. RESULTS: Shifting attention from the incoming nociceptive to a self-generated sub-nociceptive image elicited central P2 and centro-parietal P3 waves, which were found to correlate with proportional scores on the Stroop Test. They were followed by a frontal N400 and a parietal P600, denoting generation of sub-nociceptive images in working memory. The voltages elicited in these potentials correlated moderately with attenuation of the pain ratings of the recalled nociceptive stimulations. CONCLUSIONS: Focus-and-orient attention across nociceptive and sub-nociceptive images appears to be related to response inhibition. Mental rehearsal of the sub-nociceptive images was found to modulate the perception of the nociceptive sensation felt prior to the imagery. Such modulation seems to be mediated by generating and maintaining sub-nociceptive images in
Boulougouris, Vasileios; Tsaltas, Eleftheria
Disturbances in attentional processes are a common feature of several psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Huntington's disease. The use of animal models has been useful in defining various candidate neural systems thus enabling us to translate basic laboratory science to the clinic and vice-versa. In this chapter, a comparative and integrated account is provided on the neuroanatomical and neurochemical modulation of basic behavioural operations such as selective attention, vigilance, set-shifting and executive control focusing on the comparative functions of the serotonin and dopamine systems in the cognitive control exerted by the prefrontal cortex. Specifically, we have reviewed evidence emerging from several behavioural paradigms in experimental animals and humans each of which centres on a different aspect of the attentional function. These paradigms offering both human and animal variants include the five-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT), attentional set-shifting and stop-signal reaction time task. In each case, the types of operation that are measured by the given paradigm and their neural correlates are defined. Then, the role of the ascending dopaminergic and serotonergic systems in the neurochemical modulation of its behavioural output are examined, and reference is made to clinical implications for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders which exhibit deficits in these cognitive tests.
Van Hulle, Lore; Juravle, Georgiana; Spence, Charles; Crombez, Geert; Van Damme, Stefaan
Tactile perception is often impaired during movement. The present study investigated whether such sensory suppression also occurs during back movements, and whether this would be modulated by attention. In two tactile detection experiments, participants simultaneously engaged in a movement task, in which they executed a back-bending movement, and a perceptual task, consisting of the detection of subtle tactile stimuli administered to their upper or lower back. The focus of participants' attention was manipulated by raising the probability that one of the back locations would be stimulated. The results revealed that tactile detection was suppressed during the execution of the back movements. Furthermore, the results of Experiment 2 revealed that when the stimulus was always presented to the attended location, tactile suppression was substantially reduced, suggesting that sensory suppression can be modulated by top-down attentional processes. The potential of this paradigm for studying tactile information processing in clinical populations is discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ulrich, Martin; Adams, Sarah C; Kiefer, Markus
In classical theories of attention, unconscious automatic processes are thought to be independent of higher-level attentional influences. Here, we propose that unconscious processing depends on attentional enhancement of task-congruent processing pathways implemented by a dynamic modulation of the functional communication between brain regions. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we tested our model with a subliminally primed lexical decision task preceded by an induction task preparing either a semantic or a perceptual task set. Subliminal semantic priming was significantly greater after semantic compared to perceptual induction in ventral occipito-temporal (vOT) and inferior frontal cortex, brain areas known to be involved in semantic processing. The functional connectivity pattern of vOT varied depending on the induction task and successfully predicted the magnitude of behavioral and neural priming. Together, these findings support the proposal that dynamic establishment of functional networks by task sets is an important mechanism in the attentional control of unconscious processing. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Bush, Hillary H; Eisenhower, Abbey; Briggs-Gowan, Margaret; Carter, Alice S
Rooted in the theory of attention put forth by Mirsky, Anthony, Duncan, Ahearn, and Kellam (1991), the Structured Attention Module (SAM) is a developmentally sensitive, computer-based performance task designed specifically to assess sustained selective attention among 3- to 6-year-old children. The current study addressed the feasibility and validity of the SAM among 64 economically disadvantaged preschool-age children (mean age = 58 months; 55% female); a population known to be at risk for attention problems and adverse math performance outcomes. Feasibility was demonstrated by high completion rates and strong associations between SAM performance and age. Principal Factor Analysis with rotation produced robust support for a three-factor model (Accuracy, Speed, and Endurance) of SAM performance, which largely corresponded with existing theorized models of selective and sustained attention. Construct validity was evidenced by positive correlations between SAM Composite scores and all three SAM factors and IQ, and between SAM Accuracy and sequential memory. Value-added predictive validity was not confirmed through main effects of SAM on math performance above and beyond age and IQ; however, significant interactions by child sex were observed: Accuracy and Endurance both interacted with child sex to predict math performance. In both cases, the SAM factors predicted math performance more strongly for girls than for boys. There were no overall sex differences in SAM performance. In sum, the current findings suggest that interindividual variation in sustained selective attention, and potentially other aspects of attention and executive function, among young, high-risk children can be captured validly with developmentally sensitive measures.
Larson, Christine L.; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R.; Stout, Daniel M.; Balderston, Nicholas L.; Curtin, John J.; Schultz, Douglas H.; Kiehl, Kent A.; Newman, Joseph P.
Psychopathic behavior has long been attributed to a fundamental deficit in fear that arises from impaired amygdala function. Growing evidence demonstrates that fear potentiated startle (FPS) and other psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by focus of attention but, to date, no work on adult psychopathy has examined attentional modulation of the amygdala, or concomitant recruitment of relevant attention-related circuitry. Consistent with previous FPS findings, here we report that psychopa...
Full Text Available We investigated psychophysically whether feature-based attention modulates the perception of figure–ground (F–G segregation and, based on the results, we investigated computationally the neural mechanisms underlying attention modulation. In the psychophysical experiments, the attention of participants was drawn to a specific motion direction and they were then asked to judge the side of figure in an ambiguous figure with surfaces consisting of distinct motion directions. The results of these experiments showed that the surface consisting of the attended direction of motion was more frequently observed as figure, with a degree comparable to that of spatial attention (Wagatsuma, Shimizu, and Sakai, 2008. These experiments also showed that perception was dependent on the distribution of feature contrast, specifically the motion direction differences. These results led us to hypothesize that feature-based attention functions in a framework similar to that of spatial attention. We proposed a V1–V2 model in which feature-based attention modulates the contrast of low-level feature in V1, and this modulation of contrast changes directly the surround modulation of border-ownership-selective cells in V2; thus, perception of F–G is biased. The model exhibited good agreement with human perception in the magnitude of attention modulation and its invariance among stimuli. These results indicate that early-level features that are modified by feature-based attention alter subsequent processing along afferent pathway, and that such modification could even change the perception of object.
Wagatsuma, Nobuhiko; Oki, Megumi; Sakai, Ko
We investigated psychophysically whether feature-based attention modulates the perception of figure–ground (F–G) segregation and, based on the results, we investigated computationally the neural mechanisms underlying attention modulation. In the psychophysical experiments, the attention of participants was drawn to a specific motion direction and they were then asked to judge the side of figure in an ambiguous figure with surfaces consisting of distinct motion directions. The results of these experiments showed that the surface consisting of the attended direction of motion was more frequently observed as figure, with a degree comparable to that of spatial attention (Wagatsuma et al., 2008). These experiments also showed that perception was dependent on the distribution of feature contrast, specifically the motion direction differences. These results led us to hypothesize that feature-based attention functions in a framework similar to that of spatial attention. We proposed a V1–V2 model in which feature-based attention modulates the contrast of low-level feature in V1, and this modulation of contrast changes directly the surround modulation of border-ownership-selective cells in V2; thus, perception of F–G is biased. The model exhibited good agreement with human perception in the magnitude of attention modulation and its invariance among stimuli. These results indicate that early-level features that are modified by feature-based attention alter subsequent processing along afferent pathway, and that such modification could even change the perception of object. PMID:23515841
Wagatsuma, Nobuhiko; Oki, Megumi; Sakai, Ko
We investigated psychophysically whether feature-based attention modulates the perception of figure-ground (F-G) segregation and, based on the results, we investigated computationally the neural mechanisms underlying attention modulation. In the psychophysical experiments, the attention of participants was drawn to a specific motion direction and they were then asked to judge the side of figure in an ambiguous figure with surfaces consisting of distinct motion directions. The results of these experiments showed that the surface consisting of the attended direction of motion was more frequently observed as figure, with a degree comparable to that of spatial attention (Wagatsuma et al., 2008). These experiments also showed that perception was dependent on the distribution of feature contrast, specifically the motion direction differences. These results led us to hypothesize that feature-based attention functions in a framework similar to that of spatial attention. We proposed a V1-V2 model in which feature-based attention modulates the contrast of low-level feature in V1, and this modulation of contrast changes directly the surround modulation of border-ownership-selective cells in V2; thus, perception of F-G is biased. The model exhibited good agreement with human perception in the magnitude of attention modulation and its invariance among stimuli. These results indicate that early-level features that are modified by feature-based attention alter subsequent processing along afferent pathway, and that such modification could even change the perception of object.
Hou, Chuan; Kim, Yee-Joon; Lai, Xin Jie; Verghese, Preeti
Behavioral studies have reported reduced spatial attention in amblyopia, a developmental disorder of spatial vision. However, the neural populations in the visual cortex linked with these behavioral spatial attention deficits have not been identified. Here, we use functional MRI-informed electroencephalography source imaging to measure the effect of attention on neural population activity in the visual cortex of human adult strabismic amblyopes who were stereoblind. We show that compared with controls, the modulatory effects of selective visual attention on the input from the amblyopic eye are substantially reduced in the primary visual cortex (V1) as well as in extrastriate visual areas hV4 and hMT+. Degraded attentional modulation is also found in the normal-acuity fellow eye in areas hV4 and hMT+ but not in V1. These results provide electrophysiological evidence that abnormal binocular input during a developmental critical period may impact cortical connections between the visual cortex and higher level cortices beyond the known amblyopic losses in V1 and V2, suggesting that a deficit of attentional modulation in the visual cortex is an important component of the functional impairment in amblyopia. Furthermore, we find that degraded attentional modulation in V1 is correlated with the magnitude of interocular suppression and the depth of amblyopia. These results support the view that the visual suppression often seen in strabismic amblyopia might be a form of attentional neglect of the visual input to the amblyopic eye.
Riecke, Lars; Peters, Judith C; Valente, Giancarlo; Poser, Benedikt A; Kemper, Valentin G; Formisano, Elia; Sorger, Bettina
Paying selective attention to an audio frequency selectively enhances activity within primary auditory cortex (PAC) at the tonotopic site (frequency channel) representing that frequency. Animal PAC neurons achieve this 'frequency-specific attentional spotlight' by adapting their frequency tuning, yet comparable evidence in humans is scarce. Moreover, whether the spotlight operates in human midbrain is unknown. To address these issues, we studied the spectral tuning of frequency channels in human PAC and inferior colliculus (IC), using 7-T functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) and frequency mapping, while participants focused on different frequency-specific sounds. We found that shifts in frequency-specific attention alter the response gain, but not tuning profile, of PAC frequency channels. The gain modulation was strongest in low-frequency channels and varied near-monotonically across the tonotopic axis, giving rise to the attentional spotlight. We observed less prominent, non-tonotopic spatial patterns of attentional modulation in IC. These results indicate that the frequency-specific attentional spotlight in human PAC as measured with FMRI arises primarily from tonotopic gain modulation, rather than adapted frequency tuning. Moreover, frequency-specific attentional modulation of afferent sound processing in human IC seems to be considerably weaker, suggesting that the spotlight diminishes toward this lower-order processing stage. Our study sheds light on how the human auditory pathway adapts to the different demands of selective hearing. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Image captioning is a challenging task. Meanwhile, it is important for the machine to understand the meaning of an image better. In recent years, the image captioning usually use the long-short-term-memory (LSTM as the decoder to generate the sentence, and these models show excellent performance. Although the LSTM can memorize dependencies, the LSTM structure has complicated and inherently sequential across time problems. To address these issues, recent works have shown benefits of the Transformer for machine translation. Inspired by their success, we develop a Captioning Transformer (CT model with stacked attention modules. We attempt to introduce the Transformer to the image captioning task. The CT model contains only attention modules without the dependencies of the time. It not only can memorize dependencies between the sequence but also can be trained in parallel. Moreover, we propose the multi-level supervision to make the Transformer achieve better performance. Extensive experiments are carried out on the challenging MSCOCO dataset and the proposed Captioning Transformer achieves competitive performance compared with some state-of-the-art methods.
Bach, Dominik R
In many species, rapid defensive reflexes are paramount to escaping acute danger. These reflexes are modulated by the state of the environment. This is exemplified in fear-potentiated startle, a more vigorous startle response during conditioned anticipation of an unrelated threatening event. Extant explanations of this phenomenon build on descriptive models of underlying psychological states, or neural processes. Yet, they fail to predict invigorated startle during reward anticipation and instructed attention, and do not explain why startle reflex modulation evolved. Here, we fill this lacuna by developing a normative cost minimisation model based on Bayesian optimality principles. This model predicts the observed pattern of startle modification by rewards, punishments, instructed attention, and several other states. Moreover, the mathematical formalism furnishes predictions that can be tested experimentally. Comparing the model with existing data suggests a specific neural implementation of the underlying computations which yields close approximations to the optimal solution under most circumstances. This analysis puts startle modification into the framework of Bayesian decision theory and predictive coding, and illustrates the importance of an adaptive perspective to interpret defensive behaviour across species. Copyright © 2015 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Self-concept is one of the major factors to explain the cultural differences between East Asians and Westerners. In the field of visual attention, most studies have focused on the modulation of visual spatial-based attention, whereas possible influences of culture or self-concept on other types of visual attention remain largely unexplored. The present study investigated the possible modulation of visual feature-based attention by self-concept, using a within-group self-construal priming design. The experiment paradigm employed visual stimuli consisted of two intermixing random dot clouds presented in the focal visual field with red and green colors. After primed with an interdependent, independent or neutral self-construal, the participants were instructed to attend to one of the focally presented dot cloud and respond to occasional luminance decrement events of the attended dot cloud. The detection of the focal events was found to be significantly faster when exogenously cued by a peripheral dot cloud of either the same or different colors as the attended focal dot cloud (congruent / incongruent, compared to the uncued condition. More importantly, the self-construal priming took effect only on the reaction time (RT differences between the congruent and incongruent cued conditions: the participants responded much slower to incongruent cued events than congruent cued events under interdependent self-construal priming, while the RT difference was significantly smaller under independent self-construal priming. A closer look on the results suggests that the attention scope is selectively modulated by self-construal priming, and the modulation is mainly reflected by varying the degree of suppression on the processing of the incongruent contextual stimuli that do not share visual features with the focal object. Our findings provide new evidences that could possibly extend the current understanding on the cultural influence on visual attention.
Stewart, Emma E M; Schütz, Alexander C
With every saccade, humans must reconcile the low resolution peripheral information available before a saccade, with the high resolution foveal information acquired after the saccade. While research has shown that we are able to integrate peripheral and foveal vision in a near-optimal manner, it is still unclear which mechanisms may underpin this important perceptual process. One potential mechanism that may moderate this integration process is visual attention. Pre-saccadic attention is a well documented phenomenon, whereby visual attention shifts to the location of an upcoming saccade before the saccade is executed. While it plays an important role in other peri-saccadic processes such as predictive remapping, the role of attention in the integration process is as yet unknown. This study aimed to determine whether the presentation of an attentional distractor during a saccade impaired trans-saccadic integration, and to measure the time-course of this impairment. Results showed that presenting an attentional distractor impaired integration performance both before saccade onset, and during the saccade, in selected subjects who showed integration in the absence of a distractor. This suggests that visual attention may be a mechanism that facilitates trans-saccadic integration. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Ikeda, Kazunari; Sekiguchi, Takahiro; Hayashi, Akiko
As determinants facilitating attention-related modulation of the auditory brainstem response (ABR), two experimental factors were examined: (i) auditory discrimination; and (ii) contralateral masking intensity. Tone pips at 80 dB sound pressure level were presented to the left ear via either single-tone exposures or oddball exposures, whereas white noise was delivered continuously to the right ear at variable intensities (none--80 dB sound pressure level). Participants each conducted two tasks during stimulation, either reading a book (ignoring task) or detecting target tones (attentive task). Task-related modulation within the ABR range was found only during oddball exposures at contralateral masking intensities greater than or equal to 60 dB. Attention-related modulation of ABR can thus be detected reliably during auditory discrimination under contralateral masking of sufficient intensity.
Rosenberg, Monica D.; Zhang, Sheng; Hsu, Wei-Ting; Scheinost, Dustin; Finn, Emily S.; Shen, Xilin; Constable, R. Todd; Li, Chiang-Shan R.; Chun, Marvin M.
Recent work has demonstrated that human whole-brain functional connectivity patterns measured with fMRI contain information about cognitive abilities, including sustained attention. To derive behavioral predictions from connectivity patterns, our group developed a connectome-based predictive modeling (CPM) approach (Finn et al., 2015; Rosenberg et al., 2016). Previously using CPM, we defined a high-attention network, comprising connections positively correlated with performance on a sustained...
Günther, Thomas; Herpertz-Dahlmann, Beate; Konrad, Kerstin
Still little is known about neuropsychological differences between boys and girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and whether there are sex-specific differences in the modulation of attentional performance by methylphenidate (MPH). In this study, 27 males and 27 females between 8-12 years old and with ADHD were investigated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on five computerized attention tests (0.25 vs. 0.5 mg/kg MPH as a single dose, versus placebo). Boys and girls with ADHD did not differ with respect to age, intelligence quotient (IQ), symptom severity, co-morbidity patterns, and ADHD subtype. However, ADHD boys were more impulsive on a sustained attention task, whereas girls with ADHD had more deficits on tasks measuring selective attention. Attentional performance increased differentially as a function of MPH dose, with some tasks showing linear improvement with higher dosage whereas more complex tasks in particular showed inverse U-shaped patterns of MPH effects. However, these effects were comparable between girls and boys. Our data suggest that there are some gender differences in attentional performance in subjects with ADHD in a clinical sample, even if symptom severity and co-morbidity are controlled; however, modulation of attention by MPH does not seem to differ between sexes.
Lenartowicz, Agatha; Mazaheri, Ali; Jensen, Ole; Loo, Sandra K
Electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography are noninvasive neuroimaging techniques that have been used extensively to study various resting-state and cognitive processes in the brain. The purpose of this review is to highlight a number of recent studies that have investigated the alpha band (8-12 Hz) oscillatory activity present in magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography, to provide new insights into the maladaptive network activity underlying attentional impairments in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Studies reviewed demonstrate that event-related decrease in alpha is attenuated during visual selective attention, primarily in ADHD inattentive type, and is often significantly associated with accuracy and reaction time during task performance. Furthermore, aberrant modulation of alpha activity has been reported across development and may have abnormal or atypical lateralization patterns in ADHD. Modulations in the alpha band thus represent a robust, relatively unexplored putative biomarker of attentional impairment and a strong prospect for future studies aimed at examining underlying neural mechanisms and treatment response among individuals with ADHD. Potential limitations of its use as a diagnostic biomarker and directions for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Selective attention is the mechanism that allows focusing one's attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, for instance, on a single conversation in a noisy room. Attending to one sound source rather than another changes activity in the human auditory cortex, but it is unclear whether attention to different acoustic features, such as voice pitch and speaker location, modulates subcortical activity. Studies using a dichotic listening paradigm indicated that auditory brainstem processing may be modulated by the direction of attention. We investigated whether endogenous selective attention to one of two speech signals affects amplitude and phase locking in auditory brainstem responses when the signals were either discriminable by frequency content alone, or by frequency content and spatial location. Frequency-following responses to the speech sounds were significantly modulated in both conditions. The modulation was specific to the task-relevant frequency band. The effect was stronger when both frequency and spatial information were available. Patterns of response were variable between participants, and were correlated with psychophysical discriminability of the stimuli, suggesting that the modulation was biologically relevant. Our results demonstrate that auditory brainstem responses are susceptible to efferent modulation related to behavioral goals. Furthermore they suggest that mechanisms of selective attention actively shape activity at early subcortical processing stages according to task relevance and based on frequency and spatial cues.
Wagatsuma, Nobuhiko; Oki, Megumi; Sakai, Ko
We investigated psychophysically whether feature-based attention modulates the perception of figure–ground (F–G) segregation and, based on the results, we investigated computationally the neural mechanisms underlying attention modulation. In the psychophysical experiments, the attention of participants was drawn to a specific motion direction and they were then asked to judge the side of figure in an ambiguous figure with surfaces consisting of distinct motion directions. The results of these...
Nobuhiko eWagatsuma; Nobuhiko eWagatsuma; Megumi eOki; Ko eSakai
We investigated psychophysically whether feature-based attention modulates the perception of figure–ground (F–G) segregation and, based on the results, we investigated computationally the neural mechanisms underlying attention modulation. In the psychophysical experiments, the attention of participants was drawn to a specific motion direction and they were then asked to judge the side of figure in an ambiguous figure with surfaces consisting of distinct motion directions. The results of these...
Giuliano, Ryan J; Karns, Christina M; Neville, Helen J; Hillyard, Steven A
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual's capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70-90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals.
Sally, Sharon L; Vidnyánsky, Zoltán; Papathomas, Thomas V
Attention modifies our visual experience by selecting certain aspects of a scene for further processing. It is therefore important to understand factors that govern the deployment of selective attention over the visual field. Both location and feature-specific mechanisms of attention have been identified and their modulatory effects can interact at a neural level (Treue and Martinez-Trujillo, 1999). The effects of spatial parameters on feature-based attentional modulation were examined for the feature dimensions of orientation, motion and color using three divided-attention tasks. Subjects performed concurrent discriminations of two briefly presented targets (Gabor patches) to the left and right of a central fixation point at eccentricities of +/-2.5 degrees , 5 degrees , 10 degrees and 15 degrees in the horizontal plane. Gabors were size-scaled to maintain consistent single-task performance across eccentricities. For all feature dimensions, the data show a linear increase in the attentional effects with target separation. In a control experiment, Gabors were presented on an isoeccentric viewing arc at 10 degrees and 15 degrees at the closest spatial separation (+/-2.5 degrees ) of the main experiment. Under these conditions, the effects of feature-based attentional effects were largely eliminated. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that feature-based attention prioritizes the processing of attended features. Feature-based attentional mechanisms may have helped direct the attentional focus to the appropriate target locations at greater separations, whereas similar assistance may not have been necessary at closer target spacings. The results of the present study specify conditions under which dual-task performance benefits from sharing similar target features and may therefore help elucidate the processes by which feature-based attention operates.
Stevenson, Scott B.; Mahadevan, Madhumitha S.; Mulligan, Jeffrey B.
Eye movements generally have both reflexive and voluntary aspects, but torsional eye movements are usually thought of as a reflexive response to image rotation around the line of sight (torsional OKN) or to head roll (torsional VOR). In this study we asked whether torsional responses could be modulated by attention in a case where two stimuli rotated independently, and whether attention would influence the latency of responses. The display consisted of rear-projected radial "pinwheel" gratings, with an inner annulus segment extending from the center to 22 degrees eccentricity, and an outer annulus segment extending from 22 degrees out to 45 degrees eccentricity. The two segments rotated around the center in independent random walks, stepping randomly 4 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise at 60 Hz. Subjects were asked to attend to one or the other while keeping fixation steady at the center of the display. To encourage attention on one or the other segment of the display, subjects were asked to move a joystick in synchrony with the back and forth rotations of one part of the image while ignoring the other. Eye torsion was recorded with the scleral search coil technique, sampled at 500 Hz. All four subjects showed roughly 50% stronger torsion responses to the attended compared to unattended segments. Latency varied from 100 to 150 msec across subjects and was unchanged by attention. These findings suggest that attention can influence eye movement responses that are not typically under voluntary control.
Xie, Yang; Nie, Chechang; Yang, Tianming
During value-based decision making, we often evaluate the value of each option sequentially by shifting our attention, even when the options are presented simultaneously. The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been suggested to encode value during value-based decision making. Yet it is not known how its activity is modulated by attention shifts. We investigated this question by employing a passive viewing task that allowed us to disentangle effects of attention, value, choice and eye movement. We found that the attention modulated OFC activity through a winner-take-all mechanism. When we attracted the monkeys' attention covertly, the OFC neuronal activity reflected the reward value of the newly attended cue. The shift of attention could be explained by a normalization model. Our results strongly argue for the hypothesis that the OFC neuronal activity represents the value of the attended item. They provide important insights toward understanding the OFC's role in value-based decision making. © 2018, Xie et al.
Plessen, Kerstin J; Lundervold, Arvid; Grüner, Renate
on the right ear stimulus in the dichotic listening situation is thought to involve the same prefrontal attentional and executive functions that are involved in the suppression of tics, whereas, performance when focusing attention on the left ear stimulus additionally involves a callosal transfer...... to shift attention normally when instructed to focus on the right ear stimulus. When instructed to focus attention on the left ear stimulus, however, performance deteriorated in the TS group. Correlations with CC area further supported the hypothesized presence of deviant callosal functioning in the TS......We tested the hypothesis that children with Tourette syndrome (TS) would exhibit aberrant brain lateralization compared to a healthy control (HC) group in an attention-modulation version of a verbal dichotic listening task using consonant-vowel syllables. The modulation of attention to focus...
Gulbinaite, Rasa; van Viegen, Tara; Wieling, Martijn; Cohen, Michael X; VanRullen, Rufin
Rhythmic visual stimulation ("flicker") is primarily used to "tag" processing of low-level visual and high-level cognitive phenomena. However, preliminary evidence suggests that flicker may also entrain endogenous brain oscillations, thereby modulating cognitive processes supported by those brain rhythms. Here we tested the interaction between 10 Hz flicker and endogenous alpha-band (∼10 Hz) oscillations during a selective visuospatial attention task. We recorded EEG from human participants (both genders) while they performed a modified Eriksen flanker task in which distractors and targets flickered within (10 Hz) or outside (7.5 or 15 Hz) the alpha band. By using a combination of EEG source separation, time-frequency, and single-trial linear mixed-effects modeling, we demonstrate that 10 Hz flicker interfered with stimulus processing more on incongruent than congruent trials (high vs low selective attention demands). Crucially, the effect of 10 Hz flicker on task performance was predicted by the distance between 10 Hz and individual alpha peak frequency (estimated during the task). Finally, the flicker effect on task performance was more strongly predicted by EEG flicker responses during stimulus processing than during preparation for the upcoming stimulus, suggesting that 10 Hz flicker interfered more with reactive than proactive selective attention. These findings are consistent with our hypothesis that visual flicker entrained endogenous alpha-band networks, which in turn impaired task performance. Our findings also provide novel evidence for frequency-dependent exogenous modulation of cognition that is determined by the correspondence between the exogenous flicker frequency and the endogenous brain rhythms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Here we provide novel evidence that the interaction between exogenous rhythmic visual stimulation and endogenous brain rhythms can have frequency-specific behavioral effects. We show that alpha-band (10 Hz) flicker impairs stimulus
Larson, Christine L; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle R; Stout, Daniel M; Balderston, Nicholas L; Curtin, John J; Schultz, Douglas H; Kiehl, Kent A; Newman, Joseph P
Psychopathic behavior has long been attributed to a fundamental deficit in fear that arises from impaired amygdala function. Growing evidence has demonstrated that fear-potentiated startle (FPS) and other psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by focus of attention, but to date, no work on adult psychopathy has examined attentional modulation of the amygdala or concomitant recruitment of relevant attention-related circuitry. Consistent with previous FPS findings, here we report that psychopathy-related differences in amygdala activation appear and disappear as a function of goal-directed attention. Specifically, decreased amygdala activity was observed in psychopathic offenders only when attention was engaged in an alternative goal-relevant task prior to presenting threat-relevant information. Under this condition, psychopaths also exhibited greater activation in selective-attention regions of the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) than did nonpsychopaths, and this increased LPFC activation mediated psychopathy's association with decreased amygdala activation. In contrast, when explicitly attending to threat, amygdala activation did not differ in psychopaths and nonpsychopaths. This pattern of amygdala activation highlights the potential role of LPFC in mediating the failure of psychopathic individuals to process fear and other important information when it is peripheral to the primary focus of goal-directed attention.
Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual’s capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70–90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals. PMID:25000526
Ester, Edward F.; Deering, Sean
Spatial attention has been postulated to facilitate perceptual processing via several different mechanisms. For instance, attention can amplify neural responses in sensory areas (sensory gain), mediate neural variability (noise modulation), or alter the manner in which sensory signals are selectively read out by postsensory decision mechanisms (efficient readout). Even in the context of simple behavioral tasks, it is unclear how well each of these mechanisms can account for the relationship between attention-modulated changes in behavior and neural activity because few studies have systematically mapped changes between stimulus intensity, attentional focus, neural activity, and behavioral performance. Here, we used a combination of psychophysics, event-related potentials (ERPs), and quantitative modeling to explicitly link attention-related changes in perceptual sensitivity with changes in the ERP amplitudes recorded from human observers. Spatial attention led to a multiplicative increase in the amplitude of an early sensory ERP component (the P1, peaking ∼80–130 ms poststimulus) and in the amplitude of the late positive deflection component (peaking ∼230–330 ms poststimulus). A simple model based on signal detection theory demonstrates that these multiplicative gain changes were sufficient to account for attention-related improvements in perceptual sensitivity, without a need to invoke noise modulation. Moreover, combining the observed multiplicative gain with a postsensory readout mechanism resulted in a significantly poorer description of the observed behavioral data. We conclude that, at least in the context of relatively simple visual discrimination tasks, spatial attention modulates perceptual sensitivity primarily by modulating the gain of neural responses during early sensory processing PMID:25274817
Hege, Maike A; Stingl, Krunoslav T; Veit, Ralf; Preissl, Hubert
The risk of weight gain is especially related to disinhibition, which indicates the responsiveness to external food stimuli with associated disruptions in eating control. We adapted a food-related version of the attention network task and used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the effects of disinhibition on attentional networks in 19 normal-weight participants. High disinhibition scores were associated with a rapid reorienting response to food pictures after invalid cueing and with an enhanced alerting effect of a warning cue signalizing the upcoming appearance of a food picture. Imaging data revealed activation of a right-lateralized ventral attention network during reorienting. The faster the reorienting and the higher the disinhibition score, the less activation of this network was observed. The alerting contrast showed activation in visual, temporo-parietal and anterior sites. These modulations of attentional networks by food-related disinhibition might be related to an attentional bias to energy dense and palatable food and increased intake of food in disinhibited individuals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available A series of computer simulations using variants of a formal model of attention (Melara & Algom, 2003 probed the role of rejection positivity (RP, a slow-wave electroencephalographic (EEG component, in the inhibitory control of distraction. Behavioral and EEG data were recorded as participants performed auditory selective attention tasks. Simulations that modulated processes of distractor inhibition accounted well for reaction-time (RT performance, whereas those that modulated target excitation did not. A model that incorporated RP from actual EEG recordings in estimating distractor inhibition was superior in predicting changes in RT as a function of distractor salience across conditions. A model that additionally incorporated momentary fluctuations in EEG as the source of trial-to-trial variation in performance precisely predicted individual RTs within each condition. The results lend support to the linking proposition that RP controls the speed of responding to targets through the inhibitory control of distractors.
Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander
Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control.
Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander
Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control. PMID:25259525
Appelbaum, L. Gregory; Boehler, Carsten N.; Won, Robert; Davis, Lauren; Woldorff, Marty G.
Humans are able to continuously monitor environmental situations and adjust their behavioral strategies to optimize performance. Here we investigate the behavioral and brain adjustments that occur when conflicting stimulus elements are, or are not, temporally predictable. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were collected while manual-response variants of the Stroop task were performed in which the stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) between the relevant-color and irrelevant-word stimulus components were either randomly intermixed, or held constant, within each experimental run. Results indicated that the size of both the neural and behavioral effects of stimulus incongruency varied with the temporal arrangement of the stimulus components, such that the random-SOA arrangements produced the greatest incongruency effects at the earliest irrelevant-first SOA (−200 ms) and the constant-SOA arrangements produced the greatest effects with simultaneous presentation. These differences in conflict processing were accompanied by rapid (~150 ms) modulations of the sensory ERPs to the irrelevant distracter components when they occurred consistently first. These effects suggest that individuals are able to strategically allocate attention in time to mitigate the influence of a temporally predictable distracter. As these adjustments are instantiated by the subjects without instruction, they reveal a form of rapid strategic learning for dealing with temporally predictable stimulus incongruency. PMID:22360623
Wang, Feng; Chen, Minggui; Yan, Yin; Zhaoping, Li; Li, Wu
Visual perception is influenced by attention deployed voluntarily or triggered involuntarily by salient stimuli. Modulation of visual cortical processing by voluntary or endogenous attention has been extensively studied, but much less is known about how involuntary or exogenous attention affects responses of visual cortical neurons. Using implanted microelectrode arrays, we examined the effects of exogenous attention on neuronal responses in the primary visual cortex (V1) of awake monkeys. A bright annular cue was flashed either around the receptive fields of recorded neurons or in the opposite visual field to capture attention. A subsequent grating stimulus probed the cue-induced effects. In a fixation task, when the cue-to-probe stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was visual fields weakened or diminished both the physiological and behavioral cueing effects. Our findings indicate that exogenous attention significantly modulates V1 responses and that the modulation strength depends on both novelty and task relevance of the stimulus. Significance statement: Visual attention can be involuntarily captured by a sudden appearance of a conspicuous object, allowing rapid reactions to unexpected events of significance. The current study discovered a correlate of this effect in monkey primary visual cortex. An abrupt, salient, flash enhanced neuronal responses, and shortened the animal's reaction time, to a subsequent visual probe stimulus at the same location. However, the enhancement of the neural responses diminished after repeated exposures to this flash if the animal was not required to react to the probe. Moreover, a second, simultaneous, flash at another location weakened the neuronal and behavioral effects of the first one. These findings revealed, beyond the observations reported so far, the effects of exogenous attention in the brain. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3513419-11$15.00/0.
Krusemark, Elizabeth A; Kiehl, Kent A; Newman, Joseph P
Psychopathic individuals are prone to act on urges without adequate consideration of future consequences or the rights of other individuals. One interpretation of this behavior is that it reflects abnormal selective attention (i.e., a failure to process information that is incongruent with their primary focus of attention; Hiatt, Schmitt, & Newman, Neuropsychology, 18, 50-59, 2004). Unfortunately, it is unclear whether this selective attention abnormality reflects top-down endogenous influences, such as the strength or specificity of attention focus (i.e., top-down set) apart from other, more exogenous (bottom-up), effects on attention. To explore this question, we used an early visual event-related potential (N2pc) in combination with a modified visual search task designed to assess the effect of early endogenous (i.e., top-down) attention on the processing of set-congruent information. The task was administered to a sample of 70 incarcerated adult males, who were assigned to high, intermediate, and low psychopathy groups using Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (Hare, 2003). Based on the assumption that their failure to process set-incongruent information reflects the exaggerated effects of endogenous attention, we predicted that participants with high psychopathy scores would show an exaggerated N2pc response to set-congruent information. The results supported the hypothesis and provide novel electrophysiological evidence that psychopathy is associated with exaggerated endogenous attention effects during early stages of processing. Further research is needed to examine the implications of this finding for the well-established failure of psychopathic individuals to process set-incongruent information and inhibit inappropriate responses.
Full Text Available Multicultural environments require learning multiple number notations wherein some are encountered more frequently than others. This leads to differences in exposure and consequently differences in usage between notations. We find that differential notational usage imposes a significant neurocognitive load on number processing. Despite simultaneous acquisition, forty-two adult binumerate populations, familiar with two positional writing systems namely Hindu Nagari digits and Hindu Arabic digits, reported significantly lower preference and usage for Nagari as compared to Arabic. Twenty-four participants showed significantly increased reaction times and reduced accuracy while performing magnitude comparison tasks in Nagari with respect to Arabic. Functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that processing Nagari elicited significantly greater activity in number processing and attention networks. A direct subtraction of networks for Nagari and Arabic notations revealed a neural circuit comprising of bilateral intra-parietal sulcus, inferior and mid frontal gyri, fusiform gyrus and the anterior cingulate cortex (FDR p<0.005. Additionally, whole brain correlation analysis showed that activity in the left inferior parietal region was modulated by task performance in Nagari. We attribute the increased activation in Ng to increased task difficulty due to infrequent exposure and usage. Our results reiterate the role of the left intra-parietal sulcus in modulating performance in numeric tasks and highlight that of the attention network for monitoring symbolic notation mode in binumerates.
Schwartz, Jean-Luc; Tiiippana, Kaisa; Andersen, Tobias
The McGurk effect has been shown to be modulated by attention. However, it remains unclear whether attentional effects are due to changes in unisensory processing or in the fusion mechanism. In this paper, we used published experimental data showing that distraction of visual attention weakens th...... Selection criterion. Our findings suggest that distraction of visual attention affects fusion by decreasing the weight of the visual input.......The McGurk effect has been shown to be modulated by attention. However, it remains unclear whether attentional effects are due to changes in unisensory processing or in the fusion mechanism. In this paper, we used published experimental data showing that distraction of visual attention weakens...... the McGurk effect, to fit either the Fuzzy Logical Model of Perception (FLMP) in which the fusion mechanism is fixed, or a variant of it in which the fusion mechanism could be varied depending on attention. The latter model was associated with a larger likelihood when assessed with a Bayesian Model...
Kumar, Neeraj; Manjaly, Jaison A; Sunny, Meera Mary
Many recent findings suggest that stimuli that are perceived to be the consequence of one's own actions are processed with priority. According to the preactivation account of intentional binding, predicted consequences are preactivated and hence receive a temporal advantage in processing. The implications of the preactivation account are important for theories of attention capture, as temporal advantage often translates to attention capture. Hence, action might modulate attention capture by feature singletons. Experiment 1 showed that a motion onset and color change captured attention only when it was preceded by an action. Experiment 2 showed that the capture occurs only with predictable, but not with unpredictable, consequences of action. Experiment 3 showed that even when half the display changed color at display transition, they were all prioritized. The results suggest that action modulates attentional control.
Griskova-Bulanova, Inga; Ruksenas, Osvaldas; Dapsys, Kastytis
To explore the modulation of auditory steady-state response (ASSR) by experimental tasks, differing in attentional focus and arousal level.......To explore the modulation of auditory steady-state response (ASSR) by experimental tasks, differing in attentional focus and arousal level....
Frey, Hans-Peter; Schmid, Anita M; Murphy, Jeremy W; Molholm, Sophie; Lalor, Edmund C; Foxe, John J
We often face the challenge of simultaneously attending to multiple non-contiguous regions of space. There is ongoing debate as to how spatial attention is divided under these situations. Whereas, for several years, the predominant view was that humans could divide the attentional spotlight, several recent studies argue in favor of a unitary spotlight that rhythmically samples relevant locations. Here, this issue was addressed by the use of high-density electrophysiology in concert with the multifocal m-sequence technique to examine visual evoked responses to multiple simultaneous streams of stimulation. Concurrently, we assayed the topographic distribution of alpha-band oscillatory mechanisms, a measure of attentional suppression. Participants performed a difficult detection task that required simultaneous attention to two stimuli in contiguous (undivided) or non-contiguous parts of space. In the undivided condition, the classic pattern of attentional modulation was observed, with increased amplitude of the early visual evoked response and increased alpha amplitude ipsilateral to the attended hemifield. For the divided condition, early visual responses to attended stimuli were also enhanced, and the observed multifocal topographic distribution of alpha suppression was in line with the divided attention hypothesis. These results support the existence of divided attentional spotlights, providing evidence that the corresponding modulation occurs during initial sensory processing time-frames in hierarchically early visual regions, and that suppressive mechanisms of visual attention selectively target distracter locations during divided spatial attention. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Jacob, Jane; Jacobs, Christianne; Silvanto, Juha
What is the role of top-down attentional modulation in consciously accessing working memory (WM) content? In influential WM models, information can exist in different states, determined by allocation of attention; placing the original memory representation in the center of focused attention gives rise to conscious access. Here we discuss various lines of evidence indicating that such attentional modulation is not sufficient for memory content to be phenomenally experienced. We propose that, in addition to attentional modulation of the memory representation, another type of top-down modulation is required: suppression of all incoming visual information, via inhibition of early visual cortex. In this view, there are three distinct memory levels, as a function of the top-down control associated with them: (1) Nonattended, nonconscious associated with no attentional modulation; (2) attended, phenomenally nonconscious memory, associated with attentional enhancement of the actual memory trace; (3) attended, phenomenally conscious memory content, associated with enhancement of the memory trace and top-down suppression of all incoming visual input.
Brosch, Tobias; Grandjean, Didier Maurice; Sander, David; Scherer, Klaus R.
Emotionally relevant stimuli are prioritized in human information processing. It has repeatedly been shown that selective spatial attention is modulated by the emotional content of a stimulus. Until now, studies investigating this phenomenon have only examined withinmodality effects, most frequently using pictures of emotional stimuli to modulate visual attention. In this study, we used simultaneously presented utterances with emotional and neutral prosody as cues for a visually presented tar...
Ruge, Diane; Muggleton, Neil; Hoad, Damon; Caronni, Antonio; Rothwell, John C
The link between basic physiology and its modulation by cognitive states, such as attention, is poorly understood. A significant association becomes apparent when patients with movement disorders describe experiences with changing their attention focus and the fundamental effect that this has on their motor symptoms. Moreover, frequently used mental strategies for treating such patients, e.g. with task-specific dystonia, widely lack laboratory-based knowledge about physiological mechanisms. In this largely unexplored field, we looked at how the locus of attention, when it changed between internal (locus hand) and external (visual target), influenced excitability in the primary motor cortex (M1) in healthy humans. Intriguingly, both internal and external attention had the capacity to change M1 excitability. Both led to a reduced stimulation-induced GABA-related inhibition and a change in motor evoked potential size, i.e. an overall increased M1 excitability. These previously unreported findings indicated: (i) that cognitive state differentially interacted with M1 physiology, (ii) that our view of distraction (attention locus shifted towards external or distant location), which is used as a prevention or management strategy for use-dependent motor disorders, is too simple and currently unsupported for clinical application, and (iii) the physiological state reached through attention modulation represents an alternative explanation for frequently reported electrophysiology findings in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as an aberrant inhibition. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Barry, Johanna G; Moore, David R; Amitay, Sygal
Attention modulates auditory perception, but there are currently no simple tests that specifically quantify this modulation. To fill the gap, we developed a new, easy-to-use test of attention in listening (TAIL) based on reaction time. On each trial, two clearly audible tones were presented sequentially, either at the same or different ears. The frequency of the tones was also either the same or different (by at least two critical bands). When the task required same/different frequency judgments, presentation at the same ear significantly speeded responses and reduced errors. A same/different ear (location) judgment was likewise facilitated by keeping tone frequency constant. Perception was thus influenced by involuntary orienting of attention along the task-irrelevant dimension. When information in the two stimulus dimensions were congruent (same-frequency same-ear, or different-frequency different-ear), response was faster and more accurate than when they were incongruent (same-frequency different-ear, or different-frequency same-ear), suggesting the involvement of executive control to resolve conflicts. In total, the TAIL yielded five independent outcome measures: (1) baseline reaction time, indicating information processing efficiency, (2) involuntary orienting of attention to frequency and (3) location, and (4) conflict resolution for frequency and (5) location. Processing efficiency and conflict resolution accounted for up to 45% of individual variances in the low- and high-threshold variants of three psychoacoustic tasks assessing temporal and spectral processing. Involuntary orientation of attention to the irrelevant dimension did not correlate with perceptual performance on these tasks. Given that TAIL measures are unlikely to be limited by perceptual sensitivity, we suggest that the correlations reflect modulation of perceptual performance by attention. The TAIL thus has the power to identify and separate contributions of different components of attention
Dragone, Alessio; Lasaponara, Stefano; Pinto, Mario; Rotondaro, Francesca; De Luca, Maria; Doricchi, Fabrizio
fMRI investigations in healthy humans have documented phasic changes in the level of activation of the right temporal-parietal junction (TPJ) during cued voluntary orienting of spatial attention. Cues that correctly predict the position of upcoming targets in the majority of trials, i.e., predictive cues, produce higher deactivation of the right TPJ as compared with non-predictive cues. Since the right TPJ is the recipient of noradrenergic (NE) innervation, it has been hypothesised that changes in the level of TPJ activity are matched with changes in the level of NE activity. Based on aforementioned fMRI findings, this might imply that orienting with predictive cues is matched with different levels of NE activity as compared with non-predictive cues. To test this hypothesis, we measured changes in pupil dilation, an indirect index of NE activity, during voluntary orienting of attention with highly predictive (80% validity) or non-predictive (50% validity) cues. In agreement with current interpretations of the tonic/phasic activity of the Locus Coeruleus-Norepinephrinic system (LC-NE), we found that the steady level of cue predictiveness that characterised both the predictive and non-predictive conditions caused, across consecutive blocks of trials, a progressive decrement in pupil dilation during the baseline-fixation period that anticipated the cue period. With predictive cues we observed increased pupil dilation as compared with non-predictive cues. In addition, the relative reduction in pupil size observed with non-predictive cues increased as a function of cue-duration. These results show that changes in the predictiveness of cues that guide voluntary orienting of spatial attention are matched with changes in pupil dilation and, putatively, with corresponding changes in LC-NE activity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It is well known that facial expressions represent important social cues. In humans expressing facial emotion, fear may be configured to maximize sensory exposure (e.g., increases visual input whereas disgust can reduce sensory exposure (e.g., decreases visual input. To investigate whether such effects also extend to the attentional system, we used the "attentional blink" (AB paradigm. Many studies have documented that the second target (T2 of a pair is typically missed when presented within a time window of about 200-500 ms from the first to-be-detected target (T1; i.e., the AB effect. It has recently been proposed that the AB effect depends on the efficiency of a gating system which facilitates the entrance of relevant input into working memory, while inhibiting irrelevant input. Following the inhibitory response on post T1 distractors, prolonged inhibition of the subsequent T2 is observed. In the present study, we hypothesized that processing facial expressions of emotion would influence this attentional gating. Fearful faces would increase but disgust faces would decrease inhibition of the second target. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We showed that processing fearful versus disgust faces has different effects on these attentional processes. We found that processing fear faces impaired the detection of T2 to a greater extent than did the processing disgust faces. This finding implies emotion-specific modulation of attention. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Based on the recent literature on attention, our finding suggests that processing fear-related stimuli exerts greater inhibitory responses on distractors relative to processing disgust-related stimuli. This finding is of particular interest for researchers examining the influence of emotional processing on attention and memory in both clinical and normal populations. For example, future research could extend upon the current study to examine whether inhibitory processes invoked by
Full Text Available Empathy motivates helping and cooperative behaviors and plays an important role in social interactions and personal communication. The present research examined the hypothesis that a state of empathy guides attention towards stimuli significant to others in a similar way as to stimuli relevant to the self. Sixteen couples in romantic partnerships were examined in a pain-related empathy paradigm including an anticipation phase and a stimulation phase. Abstract visual symbols (i.e., arrows and flashes signaled the delivery of a Pain or Nopain stimulus to the partner or the self while dense sensor event-related potentials (ERPs were simultaneously recorded from both persons. During the anticipation phase, stimuli predicting Pain compared to Nopain stimuli to the partner elicited a larger early posterior negativity (EPN and late positive potential (LPP, which were similar in topography and latency to the EPN and LPP modulations elicited by stimuli signaling pain for the self. Noteworthy, using abstract cue symbols to cue Pain and Nopain stimuli suggests that these effects are not driven by perceptual features. The findings demonstrate that symbolic stimuli relevant for the partner capture attention, which implies a state of empathy to the pain of the partner. From a broader perspective, states of empathy appear to regulate attention processing according to the perceived needs and goals of the partner.
Bentley, Paul; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Thiel, Christiane M; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Raymond J
Neocortical cholinergic afferents are proposed to influence both selective attention and emotional processing. In a study of healthy adults we used event-related fMRI while orthogonally manipulating attention and emotionality to examine regions showing effects of cholinergic modulation by the anticholinesterase physostigmine. Either face or house pictures appeared at task-relevant locations, with the alternative picture type at irrelevant locations. Faces had either neutral or fearful expressions. Physostigmine increased relative activity within the anterior fusiform gyrus for faces at attended, versus unattended, locations, but decreased relative activity within the posterolateral occipital cortex for houses in attended, versus unattended, locations. A similar pattern of regional differences in the effect of physostigmine on cue-evoked responses was also present in the absence of stimuli. Cholinergic enhancement augmented the relative neuronal response within the middle fusiform gyrus to fearful faces, whether at attended or unattended locations. By contrast, physostigmine influenced responses in the orbitofrontal, intraparietal and cingulate cortices to fearful faces when faces occupied task-irrelevant locations. These findings suggest that acetylcholine may modulate both selective attention and emotional processes through independent, region-specific effects within the extrastriate cortex. Furthermore, cholinergic inputs to the frontoparietal cortex may influence the allocation of attention to emotional information.
Carlile, Simon; Corkhill, Caitlin
To hear out a conversation against other talkers listeners overcome energetic and informational masking. Largely attributed to top-down processes, information masking has also been demonstrated using unintelligible speech and amplitude-modulated maskers suggesting bottom-up processes. We examined the role of speech-like amplitude modulations in information masking using a spatial masking release paradigm. Separating a target talker from two masker talkers produced a 20 dB improvement in speech reception threshold; 40% of which was attributed to a release from informational masking. When across frequency temporal modulations in the masker talkers are decorrelated the speech is unintelligible, although the within frequency modulation characteristics remains identical. Used as a masker as above, the information masking accounted for 37% of the spatial unmasking seen with this masker. This unintelligible and highly differentiable masker is unlikely to involve top-down processes. These data provides strong evidence of bottom-up masking involving speech-like, within-frequency modulations and that this, presumably low level process, can be modulated by selective spatial attention.
Riggs, Lily; McQuiggan, Douglas A; Farb, Norman; Anderson, Adam K; Ryan, Jennifer D
The presence of emotional stimuli results in a central/peripheral tradeoff effect in memory: memory for central details is enhanced at the cost of peripheral items. It has been assumed that emotion-modulated differences in memory are the result of differences in attention, but this has not been tested directly. The present experiment used eye movement monitoring as an index of overt attention allocation and mediation analysis to determine whether differences in attention were related to subsequent memory. Participants viewed negative and neutral scenes surrounded by three neutral objects and were then given a recognition memory test. The results revealed evidence in support of a central/peripheral tradeoff in both attention and memory. However, contrary with previous assumptions, whereas attention partially mediated emotion-enhanced memory for central pictures, it did not explain the entire relationship. Further, although centrally presented emotional stimuli led to decreased number of eye fixations toward the periphery, these differences in viewing did not contribute to emotion-impaired memory for specific details pertaining to the periphery. These findings suggest that the differential influence of negative emotion on central versus peripheral memory may result from other cognitive influences in addition to overt visual attention or on postencoding processes. 2011 APA, all rights reserved
Hao Tam Ho
Full Text Available Integrating emotional information from multiple sensory modalities is generally assumed to be a pre-attentive process (de Gelder et al., 1999. This assumption, however, presupposes that the integrative process occurs independent of attention. Using event-potentials (ERP the present study investigated whether the neural processes underlying the integration of dynamic facial expression and emotional prosody is indeed unaffected by attentional manipulations. To this end, participants were presented with congruent and incongruent face-voice combinations (eg, an angry face combined with a neutral voice and performed different two-choice tasks in four consecutive blocks. Three of the tasks directed the participants' attention to emotion expressions in the face, the voice or both. The fourth task required participants to attend to the synchronicity between voice and lip movements. The results show divergent modulations of early ERP components by the different attentional manipulations. For example, when attention was directed to the face (or the voice, incongruent stimuli elicited a reduced N1 as compared to congruent stimuli. This effect was absent, when attention was diverted away from the emotionality in both face and voice suggesting that the detection of emotional incongruence already requires attention. Based on these findings, we question whether multisensory integration of emotion occurs indeed pre-attentively.
Zhou, Pingyan; Yang, Guochun; Nan, Weizhi; Liu, Xun
Cognitive conflict resolution is critical to human survival in a rapidly changing environment. However, emotional conflict processing seems to be particularly important for human interactions. This study examined whether the time course of attentional modulation on emotional conflict processing was different from cognitive conflict processing during a flanker task. Results showed that emotional N200 and P300 effects, similar to colour conflict processing, appeared only during the relevant task. However, the emotional N200 effect preceded the colour N200 effect, indicating that emotional conflict can be identified earlier than cognitive conflict. Additionally, a significant emotional N100 effect revealed that emotional valence differences could be perceived during early processing based on rough aspects of input. The present data suggest that emotional conflict processing is modulated by top-down attention, similar to cognitive conflict processing (reflected by N200 and P300 effects). However, emotional conflict processing seems to have more time advantages during two different processing stages.
Herrmann, Björn; Johnsrude, Ingrid S
Covariations of acoustic features provide redundancy in rapidly changing soundscapes: Hearing one feature enables a listener to infer another if these 2 features normally covary. However, it is unknown whether situational demands affect the degree to which covariations influence perceptual inferences. We exploited a perceptual interdependency between modulation rate and frequency and examined, in 6 experiments, whether challenging situations would alter the degree to which people rely on frequency information to make decisions about modulation rate. Participants listened to amplitude-modulated (AM) sounds with modulation rates (∼5 Hz) either decreasing or increasing over time and identified the direction of the rate change. Participants were instructed to ignore carrier frequency, which either decreased or increased (∼1,300 Hz) over time. We observed that participants were more likely to perceive the modulation rate as slowing down when frequency decreased and as speeding up when frequency increased (AM-rate change illusion). The magnitude of the illusion increased when uninformative cues (compared with informative cues) prohibited regulation of attention to sounds, and under distraction introduced by a concurrent visual motion-tracking task. The evidence suggests that the attentional state affects how strongly people rely on featural covariations to make perceptual inferences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Field, Brent A.; Buck, Cara L.; McClure, Samuel M.; Nystrom, Leigh E.; Kahneman, Daniel; Cohen, Jonathan D.
Studies of subjective well-being have conventionally relied upon self-report, which directs subjects’ attention to their emotional experiences. This method presumes that attention itself does not influence emotional processes, which could bias sampling. We tested whether attention influences experienced utility (the moment-by-moment experience of pleasure) by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the activity of brain systems thought to represent hedonic value while manipulating attentional load. Subjects received appetitive or aversive solutions orally while alternatively executing a low or high attentional load task. Brain regions associated with hedonic processing, including the ventral striatum, showed a response to both juice and quinine. This response decreased during the high-load task relative to the low-load task. Thus, attentional allocation may influence experienced utility by modulating (either directly or indirectly) the activity of brain mechanisms thought to represent hedonic value. PMID:26158468
Brent A Field
Full Text Available Studies of subjective well-being have conventionally relied upon self-report, which directs subjects' attention to their emotional experiences. This method presumes that attention itself does not influence emotional processes, which could bias sampling. We tested whether attention influences experienced utility (the moment-by-moment experience of pleasure by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to measure the activity of brain systems thought to represent hedonic value while manipulating attentional load. Subjects received appetitive or aversive solutions orally while alternatively executing a low or high attentional load task. Brain regions associated with hedonic processing, including the ventral striatum, showed a response to both juice and quinine. This response decreased during the high-load task relative to the low-load task. Thus, attentional allocation may influence experienced utility by modulating (either directly or indirectly the activity of brain mechanisms thought to represent hedonic value.
Harrivel, Angela R.; Weissman, Daniel H.; Noll, Douglas C.; Huppert, Theodore; Peltier, Scott J.
Brain activity can predict a person's level of engagement in an attentional task. However, estimates of brain activity are often confounded by measurement artifacts and systemic physiological noise. The optimal method for filtering this noise - thereby increasing such state prediction accuracy - remains unclear. To investigate this, we asked study participants to perform an attentional task while we monitored their brain activity with functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). We observed higher state prediction accuracy when noise in the fNIRS hemoglobin [Hb] signals was filtered with a non-stationary (adaptive) model as compared to static regression (84% +/- 6% versus 72% +/- 15%).
Vaidya, Avinash R; Fellows, Lesley K
Adaptively interacting with our environment requires extracting information that will allow us to successfully predict reward. This can be a challenge, particularly when there are many candidate cues, and when rewards are probabilistic. Recent work has demonstrated that visual attention is allocated to stimulus features that have been associated with reward on previous trials. The ventromedial frontal lobe (VMF) has been implicated in learning in dynamic environments of this kind, but the mechanism by which this region influences this process is not clear. Here, we hypothesized that the VMF plays a critical role in guiding attention to reward-predictive stimulus features based on feedback. We tested the effects of VMF damage in human subjects on a visual search task in which subjects were primed to attend to task-irrelevant colors associated with different levels of reward, incidental to the search task. Consistent with previous work, we found that distractors had a greater influence on reaction time when they appeared in colors associated with high reward in the previous trial compared with colors associated with low reward in healthy control subjects and patients with prefrontal damage sparing the VMF. However, this reward modulation of attentional priming was absent in patients with VMF damage. Thus, an intact VMF is necessary for directing attention based on experience with cue-reward associations. We suggest that this region plays a role in selecting reward-predictive cues to facilitate future learning. There has been a swell of interest recently in the ventromedial frontal cortex (VMF), a brain region critical to associative learning. However, the underlying mechanism by which this region guides learning is not well understood. Here, we tested the effects of damage to this region in humans on a task in which rewards were linked incidentally to visual features, resulting in trial-by-trial attentional priming. Controls and subjects with prefrontal damage
Rochais, C.; Sébilleau, M.; Houdebine, M.; Bec, P.; Hausberger, M.; Henry, S.
Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: `overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and `fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P work situation (lunge working context). Our results revealed that (i) individual variations remained consistent across tests and (ii) the VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.
Marshall, Tom R; O'Shea, Jacinta; Jensen, Ole; Bergmann, Til O
Covertly directing visuospatial attention produces a frequency-specific modulation of neuronal oscillations in occipital and parietal cortices: anticipatory alpha (8-12 Hz) power decreases contralateral and increases ipsilateral to attention, whereas stimulus-induced gamma (>40 Hz) power is boosted contralaterally and attenuated ipsilaterally. These modulations must be under top-down control; however, the control mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Here we investigated the causal contribution of the human frontal eye field (FEF) by combining repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with subsequent magnetoencephalography. Following inhibitory theta burst stimulation to the left FEF, right FEF, or vertex, participants performed a visual discrimination task requiring covert attention to either visual hemifield. Both left and right FEF TMS caused marked attenuation of alpha modulation in the occipitoparietal cortex. Notably, alpha modulation was consistently reduced in the hemisphere contralateral to stimulation, leaving the ipsilateral hemisphere relatively unaffected. Additionally, right FEF TMS enhanced gamma modulation in left visual cortex. Behaviorally, TMS caused a relative slowing of response times to targets contralateral to stimulation during the early task period. Our results suggest that left and right FEF are causally involved in the attentional top-down control of anticipatory alpha power in the contralateral visual system, whereas a right-hemispheric dominance seems to exist for control of stimulus-induced gamma power. These findings contrast the assumption of primarily intrahemispheric connectivity between FEF and parietal cortex, emphasizing the relevance of interhemispheric interactions. The contralaterality of effects may result from a transient functional reorganization of the dorsal attention network after inhibition of either FEF. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/351638-10$15.00/0.
Lykins, Amy D; Ferris, Tamara; Graham, Cynthia A
The proliferation of "idealized" (i.e., very thin and attractive) women in the media has contributed to increasing rates of body dissatisfaction among women. However, it remains relatively unknown how women attend to these images: does dissatisfaction predict greater or lesser attention to these body regions on others? Fifty healthy women (mean age=21.8 years) viewed images of idealized and plus-size models; an eye-tracker recorded visual attention. Participants also completed measures of satisfaction for specific body regions, which were then used as predictors of visual attention to these regions on models. Consistent with an avoidance-type process, lower levels of satisfaction with the two regions of greatest reported concern (mid, lower torso) predicted less attention to these regions; greater satisfaction predicted more attention to these regions. While this visual attention bias may aid in preserving self-esteem when viewing idealized others, it may preclude the opportunity for comparisons that could improve self-esteem. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Maunsell, John H. R.
Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary “spotlight” of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused (“cued” vs “uncued”). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally
Mayo, J Patrick; Maunsell, John H R
Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary "spotlight" of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused ("cued" vs "uncued"). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally cued blocks of trials. Behavioral
Nyamsuren, Enkhbold; Taatgen, Niels A.
This paper introduces a new vision module, called PAAV, developed for the cognitive architecture ACT-R. Unlike ACT-R's default vision module that was originally developed for top-down perception only, PAAV was designed to model a wide range of tasks, such as visual search and scene viewing, where
Rochais, C; Sébilleau, M; Houdebine, M; Bec, P; Hausberger, M; Henry, S
Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: 'overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and 'fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P attentional skills was assessed by comparing the results, for the same horses, with those obtained in both a 'classical' experimental attention test the 'five-choice serial reaction time task' (5-CSRTT) and a work situation (lunge working context). Our results revealed that (i) individual variations remained consistent across tests and (ii) the VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.
Jones, Alexander; Forster, Bettina
Selective attention helps process the myriad of information constantly touching our body. Both endogenous and exogenous mechanisms are relied upon to effectively process this information; however, it is unclear how they relate in the sense of touch. In three tasks we contrasted endogenous and exogenous event-related potential (ERP) and behavioural effects. Unilateral tactile cues were followed by a tactile target at the same or opposite hand. Clear behavioural effects showed facilitation of expected targets both when the cue predicted targets at the same (endogenous predictive task) and opposite hand (endogenous counter-predictive task), and these effects also correlated with ERP effects of endogenous attention. In an exogenous task, where the cue was non-informative, inhibition of return (IOR) was observed. The electrophysiological results demonstrated early effects of exogenous attention followed by later endogenous attention modulations. These effects were independent in both the endogenous predictive and exogenous tasks. However, voluntarily directing attention away from a cued body part influenced the early exogenous marker (N80). This suggests that the two mechanisms are interdependent, at least when the task requires more demanding shifts of attention. The early marker of exogenous tactile attention, the N80, was not directly related to IOR, which may suggest that exogenous attention and IOR are not necessarily two sides of the same coin. This study adds valuable new insight into how we process and select information presented to our body, showing both independent and interdependent effects of endogenous and exogenous attention in touch. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Bombeke, Klaas; Duthoo, Wout; Mueller, Sven C; Hopf, Jens-Max; Boehler, C Nico
Controversy revolves around the question of whether psychological factors like attention and emotion can influence the initial feedforward response in primary visual cortex (V1). Although traditionally, the electrophysiological correlate of this response in humans (the C1 component) has been found to be unaltered by psychological influences, a number of recent studies have described attentional and emotional modulations. Yet, research into psychological effects on the feedforward V1 response has neglected possible direct contributions of concomitant pupil-size modulations, which are known to also occur under various conditions of attentional load and emotional state. Here we tested the hypothesis that such pupil-size differences themselves directly affect the feedforward V1 response. We report data from two complementary experiments, in which we used procedures that modulate pupil size without differences in attentional load or emotion while simultaneously recording pupil-size and EEG data. Our results confirm that pupil size indeed directly influences the feedforward V1 response, showing an inverse relationship between pupil size and early V1 activity. While it is unclear in how far this effect represents a functionally-relevant adaptation, it identifies pupil-size differences as an important modulating factor of the feedforward response of V1 and could hence represent a confounding variable in research investigating the neural influence of psychological factors on early visual processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kornrumpf, Benthe; Sommer, Werner
Due to capacity limitation, visual attention must be focused to a limited region of the visual field. Nevertheless, it is assumed that the size of that region may vary with task demands. We aimed to obtain direct evidence for the modulation of visuospatial attention as a function of foveal and parafoveal task load. Participants were required to fixate the center word of word triplets. In separate task blocks, either just the fixated word or both the fixated and the parafoveal word to the right should be semantically classified. The spatiotemporal distribution of attention was assessed with task-irrelevant probes flashed briefly at center or parafoveal positions, during or in between word presentation trials. The N1 component of the ERP elicited by intertrial probes at possible target positions increased with task demands within a block. These results suggest the recruitment of additional attentional resources rather than a redistribution of a fixed resource pool, which persists across trials. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Sekuler, Robert; Huang, Jie; Sekuler, Allison B; Bennett, Patrick J
Background/Study Context: Reduced processing speed pervades a great many aspects of human aging and cognition. However, little is known about one aspect of cognitive aging in which speed is of the essence, namely, the speed with which older adults can deploy attention in response to a cue. The authors compared rapid temporal modulation of cued visual attention in younger (M age = 22.3 years) and older (M age = 68.9 years) adults. On each trial of a short-term memory task, a cue identified which of two briefly presented stimuli was task relevant and which one should be ignored. After a short delay, subjects demonstrated recall by reproducing from memory the task-relevant stimulus. This produced estimates of (i) accuracy with which the task-relevant stimulus was recalled, (ii) the influence of stimuli encountered on previous trials (a prototype effect), and (iii) the influence of the trial's task-irrelevant stimulus. For both groups, errors in recall were considerably smaller when selective attention was cued before rather than after presentation of the stimuli. Both groups showed serial position effects to the same degree, and both seemed equally adept at exploiting the stimuli encountered on previous trials as a means of supplementing recall accuracy on the current trial. Younger and older subjects may not differ reliably in capacity for cue-directed temporal modulation of selective attention, or in ability to draw on previously seen stimuli as memory support.
Davidesco, Ido; Harel, Michal; Ramot, Michal; Kramer, Uri; Kipervasser, Svetlana; Andelman, Fani; Neufeld, Miri Y; Goelman, Gadi; Fried, Itzhak; Malach, Rafael
One of the puzzling aspects in the visual attention literature is the discrepancy between electrophysiological and fMRI findings: whereas fMRI studies reveal strong attentional modulation in the earliest visual areas, single-unit and local field potential studies yielded mixed results. In addition, it is not clear to what extent spatial attention effects extend from early to high-order visual areas. Here we addressed these issues using electrocorticography recordings in epileptic patients. The patients performed a task that allowed simultaneous manipulation of both spatial and object-based attention. They were presented with composite stimuli, consisting of a small object (face or house) superimposed on a large one, and in separate blocks, were instructed to attend one of the objects. We found a consistent increase in broadband high-frequency (30-90 Hz) power, but not in visual evoked potentials, associated with spatial attention starting with V1/V2 and continuing throughout the visual hierarchy. The magnitude of the attentional modulation was correlated with the spatial selectivity of each electrode and its distance from the occipital pole. Interestingly, the latency of the attentional modulation showed a significant decrease along the visual hierarchy. In addition, electrodes placed over high-order visual areas (e.g., fusiform gyrus) showed both effects of spatial and object-based attention. Overall, our results help to reconcile previous observations of discrepancy between fMRI and electrophysiology. They also imply that spatial attention effects can be found both in early and high-order visual cortical areas, in parallel with their stimulus tuning properties.
Lasaponara, Stefano; Chica, Ana B; Lecce, Francesca; Lupianez, Juan; Doricchi, Fabrizio
Several studies have proved that the reliability of endogenous spatial cues linearly modulates the reaction time advantage in the processing of targets at validly cued vs. invalidly cued locations, i.e. the "validity effect". This would imply that with non-predictive cues, no "validity effect" should be observed. However, contrary to this prediction, one could hypothesize that attentional benefits by valid cuing (i.e. the RT advantage for validly vs. neutrally cued targets) can still be maintained with non-predictive cues, if the brain were endowed with mechanisms allowing the selective reduction in costs of reorienting from invalidly cued locations (i.e. the reduction of the RT disadvantage for invalidly vs. neutrally cued targets). This separated modulation of attentional benefits and costs would be adaptive in uncertain contexts where cues predict at chance level the location of targets. Through the joint recording of manual reaction times and event-related cerebral potentials (ERPs), we have found that this is the case and that relying on non-predictive endogenous cues results in abatement of attentional costs and the difference in the amplitude of the P1 brain responses evoked by invalidly vs. neutrally cued targets. In contrast, the use of non-predictive cues leaves unaffected attentional benefits and the difference in the amplitude of the N1 responses evoked by validly vs. neutrally cued targets. At the individual level, the drop in costs with non-predictive cues was matched with equivalent lateral biases in RTs to neutrally and invalidly cued targets presented in the left and right visual field. During the cue period, the drop in costs with non-predictive cues was preceded by reduction of the Early Directing Attention Negativity (EDAN) on posterior occipital sites and by enhancement of the frontal Anterior Directing Attention Negativity (ADAN) correlated to preparatory voluntary orienting. These findings demonstrate, for the first time, that the segregation
Jacob, Jane; Jacobs, Christianne; Silvanto, Juha
What is the role of top-down attentional modulation in consciously accessing working memory (WM) content? In influential WM models, information can exist in different states, determined by allocation of attention; placing the original memory representation in the center of focused attention gives rise to conscious access. Here we discuss various lines of evidence indicating that such attentional modulation is not sufficient for memory content to be phenomenally experienced. We propose that, i...
Marshall, T.R.; O'Shea, J.; Jensen, O.; Bergmann, T.O.
Covertly directing visuospatial attention produces a frequency-specific modulation of neuronal oscillations in occipital and parietal cortices: anticipatory alpha (8-12 Hz) power decreases contralateral and increases ipsilateral to attention, whereas stimulus-induced gamma (>40 Hz) power is boosted
Chen, Jie; Shui, Qing; Zhong, Yiping
Previous studies have widely shown that self-esteem modulates the attention bias towards social rejection or emotion-related information. However, little is known about the influences of self-esteem on attention bias towards self-relevant stimuli. We aimed to investigate neural correlates that underlie the modulation effect of self-esteem on self-relevant processing. Event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded for subjects’ own names and close others’ names (the names of their friends) while...
Full Text Available Deviant stimuli, violating regularities in a sensory environment, elicit the Mismatch Negativity (MMN, largely described in the Event-Related Potential literature. While it is widely accepted that the MMN reflects more than basic change detection, a comprehensive description of mental processes modulating this response is still lacking. Within the framework of predictive coding, deviance processing is part of an inference process where prediction errors (the mismatch between incoming sensations and predictions established through experience are minimized. In this view, the MMN is a measure of prediction error, which yields specific expectations regarding its modulations by various experimental factors. In particular, it predicts that the MMN should decrease as the occurrence of a deviance becomes more predictable. We conducted a passive oddball EEG study and manipulated the predictability of sound sequences by means of different temporal structures. Importantly, our design allows comparing mismatch responses elicited by predictable and unpredictable violations of a simple repetition rule and therefore departs from previous studies that investigate violations of different time-scale regularities. We observed a decrease of the MMN with predictability and interestingly, a similar effect at earlier latencies, within 70 ms after deviance onset. Following these pre-attentive responses, a reduced P3a was measured in the case of predictable deviants. We conclude that early and late deviance responses reflect prediction errors, triggering belief updating within the auditory hierarchy. Beside, in this passive study, such perceptual inference appears to be modulated by higher-level implicit learning of sequence statistical structures. Our findings argue for a hierarchical model of auditory processing where predictive coding enables implicit extraction of environmental regularities.
Abstract Behaviorally, it is well established that human observers integrate signals near-optimally weighted in proportion to their reliabilities as predicted by maximum likelihood estimation. Yet, despite abundant behavioral evidence, it is unclear how the human brain accomplishes this feat. In a spatial ventriloquist paradigm, participants were presented with auditory, visual, and audiovisual signals and reported the location of the auditory or the visual signal. Combining psychophysics, multivariate functional MRI (fMRI) decoding, and models of maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), we characterized the computational operations underlying audiovisual integration at distinct cortical levels. We estimated observers’ behavioral weights by fitting psychometric functions to participants’ localization responses. Likewise, we estimated the neural weights by fitting neurometric functions to spatial locations decoded from regional fMRI activation patterns. Our results demonstrate that low-level auditory and visual areas encode predominantly the spatial location of the signal component of a region’s preferred auditory (or visual) modality. By contrast, intraparietal sulcus forms spatial representations by integrating auditory and visual signals weighted by their reliabilities. Critically, the neural and behavioral weights and the variance of the spatial representations depended not only on the sensory reliabilities as predicted by the MLE model but also on participants’ modality-specific attention and report (i.e., visual vs. auditory). These results suggest that audiovisual integration is not exclusively determined by bottom-up sensory reliabilities. Instead, modality-specific attention and report can flexibly modulate how intraparietal sulcus integrates sensory signals into spatial representations to guide behavioral responses (e.g., localization and orienting). PMID:29527567
Thoern, Hanna A; Grueschow, Marcus; Ehlert, Ulrike; Ruff, Christian C; Kleim, Birgit
There is extensive evidence for an association between an attentional bias towards emotionally negative stimuli and vulnerability to stress-related psychopathology. Less is known about whether selective attention towards emotionally positive stimuli relates to mental health and stress resilience. The current study used a modified Dot Probe task to investigate if individual differences in attentional biases towards either happy or angry emotional stimuli, or an interaction between these biases, are related to self-reported trait stress resilience. In a nonclinical sample (N = 43), we indexed attentional biases as individual differences in reaction time for stimuli preceded by either happy or angry (compared to neutral) face stimuli. Participants with greater attentional bias towards happy faces (but not angry faces) reported higher trait resilience. However, an attentional bias towards angry stimuli moderated this effect: The attentional bias towards happy faces was only predictive for resilience in those individuals who also endorsed an attentional bias towards angry stimuli. An attentional bias towards positive emotional stimuli may thus be a protective factor contributing to stress resilience, specifically in those individuals who also endorse an attentional bias towards negative emotional stimuli. Our findings therefore suggest a novel target for prevention and treatment interventions addressing stress-related psychopathology.
Hara, Yuko; Pestilli, Franco; Gardner, Justin L
Single-unit measurements have reported many different effects of attention on contrast-response (e.g., contrast-gain, response-gain, additive-offset dependent on visibility), while functional imaging measurements have more uniformly reported increases in response across all contrasts (additive-offset). The normalization model of attention elegantly predicts the diversity of effects of attention reported in single-units well-tuned to the stimulus, but what predictions does it make for more realistic populations of neurons with heterogeneous tuning? Are predictions in accordance with population-scale measurements? We used functional imaging data from humans to determine a realistic ratio of attention-field to stimulus-drive size (a key parameter for the model) and predicted effects of attention in a population of model neurons with heterogeneous tuning. We found that within the population, neurons well-tuned to the stimulus showed a response-gain effect, while less-well-tuned neurons showed a contrast-gain effect. Averaged across the population, these disparate effects of attention gave rise to additive-offsets in contrast-response, similar to reports in human functional imaging as well as population averages of single-units. Differences in predictions for single-units and populations were observed across a wide range of model parameters (ratios of attention-field to stimulus-drive size and the amount of baseline response modifiable by attention), offering an explanation for disparity in physiological reports. Thus, by accounting for heterogeneity in tuning of realistic neuronal populations, the normalization model of attention can not only predict responses of well-tuned neurons, but also the activity of large populations of neurons. More generally, computational models can unify physiological findings across different scales of measurement, and make links to behavior, but only if factors such as heterogeneous tuning within a population are properly accounted for.
Legerstee, Jeroen S; Tulen, Joke H M; Kallen, Victor L; Dieleman, Gwen C; Treffers, Philip D A; Verhulst, Frank C; Utens, Elisabeth M W J
The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. Participants consisted of 131 children with anxiety disorders (aged 8-16 years), who received standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy. At pretreatment, a pictorial dot-probe task was administered to assess selective attention. Both at pretreatment and posttreatment, diagnostic status of the children was evaluated with a semistructured clinical interview (the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children). Selective attention for severely threatening pictures at pretreatment assessment was predictive of treatment success. Examination of the specific components of selective attention revealed that nonresponders showed difficulties to disengage their attention away from severe threat. Treatment responders showed a tendency not to engage their attention toward severe threat. Age was not associated with selective attention and treatment success. Threat-related selective attention is a significant predictor of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders. Clinically anxious children with difficulties disengaging their attention away from severe threat profit less from cognitive-behavioral therapy. For these children, additional training focused on learning to disengage attention away from anxiety-arousing stimuli may be beneficial.
Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna C; Stokes, Mark G
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is limited in capacity. Therefore, it is important to encode only visual information that is most likely to be relevant to behaviour. Here we asked which aspects of selective biasing of VSTM encoding predict subsequent memory-based performance. We measured EEG during a selective VSTM encoding task, in which we varied parametrically the memory load and the precision of recall required to compare a remembered item to a subsequent probe item. On half the trials, a spatial cue indicated that participants only needed to encode items from one hemifield. We observed a typical sequence of markers of anticipatory spatial attention: early attention directing negativity (EDAN), anterior attention directing negativity (ADAN), late directing attention positivity (LDAP); as well as of VSTM maintenance: contralateral delay activity (CDA). We found that individual differences in preparatory brain activity (EDAN/ADAN) predicted cue-related changes in recall accuracy, indexed by memory-probe discrimination sensitivity (d'). Importantly, our parametric manipulation of memory-probe similarity also allowed us to model the behavioural data for each participant, providing estimates for the quality of the memory representation and the probability that an item could be retrieved. We found that selective encoding primarily increased the probability of accurate memory recall; that ERP markers of preparatory attention predicted the cue-related changes in recall probability. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Chen, Yi-Chuan; Spence, Charles
The extent to which attention modulates multisensory processing in a top-down fashion is still a subject of debate among researchers. Typically, cognitive psychologists interested in this question have manipulated the participants' attention in terms of single/dual tasking or focal/divided attention between sensory modalities. We suggest an alternative approach, one that builds on the extensive older literature highlighting hemispheric asymmetries in the distribution of spatial attention. Specifically, spatial attention in vision, audition, and touch is typically biased preferentially toward the right hemispace, especially under conditions of high perceptual load. We review the evidence demonstrating such an attentional bias toward the right in extinction patients and healthy adults, along with the evidence of such rightward-biased attention in multisensory experimental settings. We then evaluate those studies that have demonstrated either a more pronounced multisensory effect in right than in left hemispace, or else similar effects in the two hemispaces. The results suggest that the influence of rightward-biased attention is more likely to be observed when the crossmodal signals interact at later stages of information processing and under conditions of higher perceptual load-that is, conditions under which attention is perhaps a compulsory enhancer of information processing. We therefore suggest that the spatial asymmetry in attention may provide a useful signature of top-down attentional modulation in multisensory processing.
Plessen, Kerstin J; Lundervold, Arvid; Grüner, Renate
on the right ear stimulus in the dichotic listening situation is thought to involve the same prefrontal attentional and executive functions that are involved in the suppression of tics, whereas, performance when focusing attention on the left ear stimulus additionally involves a callosal transfer...... to shift attention normally when instructed to focus on the right ear stimulus. When instructed to focus attention on the left ear stimulus, however, performance deteriorated in the TS group. Correlations with CC area further supported the hypothesized presence of deviant callosal functioning in the TS...... of information. In light of presumed disturbances in transfer of information across the corpus callosum, we hypothesized that children with TS would, however, have difficulty modulating the functional lateralization that ensues through a shift of attention to the left side. This hypothesis was tested...
Le Pelley, Mike E.; Vadillo, Miguel; Luque, David
Attentional theories of associative learning and categorization propose that learning about the predictiveness of a stimulus influences the amount of attention that is paid to that stimulus. Three experiments tested this idea by looking at the extent to which stimuli that had previously been experienced as predictive or nonpredictive in a…
Bahrami, Bahador; Lavie, Nilli; Rees, Geraint
Visual neuroscience has long sought to determine the extent to which stimulus-evoked activity in visual cortex depends on attention and awareness. Some influential theories of consciousness maintain that the allocation of attention is restricted to conscious representations [1, 2]. However, in the load theory of attention , competition between task-relevant and task-irrelevant stimuli for limited-capacity attention does not depend on conscious perception of the irrelevant stimuli. The critical test is whether the level of attentional load in a relevant task would determine unconscious neural processing of invisible stimuli. Human participants were scanned with high-field fMRI while they performed a foveal task of low or high attentional load. Irrelevant, invisible monocular stimuli were simultaneously presented peripherally and were continuously suppressed by a flashing mask in the other eye . Attentional load in the foveal task strongly modulated retinotopic activity evoked in primary visual cortex (V1) by the invisible stimuli. Contrary to traditional views [1, 2, 5, 6], we found that availability of attentional capacity determines neural representations related to unconscious processing of continuously suppressed stimuli in human primary visual cortex. Spillover of attention to cortical representations of invisible stimuli (under low load) cannot be a sufficient condition for their awareness.
Naismith, Laura M; Lajoie, Susanne P
Students cannot learn from feedback unless they pay attention to it. This study investigated relationships between the personal factors of achievement goal orientations, achievement emotions, and attention to feedback in BioWorld, a computer environment for learning clinical reasoning. Novice medical students (N = 28) completed questionnaires to measure their achievement goal orientations and then thought aloud while solving three endocrinology patient cases and reviewing corresponding expert solutions. Questionnaires administered after each case measured participants' experiences of five feedback emotions: pride, relief, joy, shame, and anger. Attention to individual text segments of the expert solutions was modelled using logistic regression and the method of generalized estimating equations. Participants did not attend to all of the feedback that was available to them. Performance-avoidance goals and shame positively predicted attention to feedback, and performance-approach goals and relief negatively predicted attention to feedback. Aspects of how the feedback was displayed also influenced participants' attention. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for educational theory as well as the design and use of computer learning environments in medical education.
Zhang, Wenhai; Lu, Jiamei; Ni, Ziyin; Liu, Xia; Wang, Dahua; Shen, Jiliang
Research in adults has shown that individual differences in harm avoidance (HA) modulate electrophysiological responses to affective stimuli. To determine whether HA in adolescents modulates affective information processing, we collected event-related potentials from 70 adolescents while they viewed 90 pictures from the Chinese affective picture system. Multiple regressions revealed that HA negatively predicted late positive potential (LPP) for positive pictures and positively predicted for negative pictures; however, HA did not correlate with LPP for neutral pictures. The results suggest that at the late evaluative stage, high-HA adolescents display attentional bias to negative pictures while low-HA adolescents display attentional bias to negative pictures. Moreover, these dissociable attentional patterns imply that individual differences in adolescents' HA modulate the late selective attention mechanism of affective information. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Full Text Available Electroluminescence (EL is a powerful tool for the qualitative mapping of the electronic properties of solar modules, where electronic and electrical defects are easily detected. However, a direct quantitative prediction of electrical module performance purely based on electroluminescence images has yet to be accomplished. Our novel approach, called “EL power prediction of modules” (ELMO as presented here, used just two electroluminescence images to predict the electrical loss of mechanically damaged modules when compared to their original (data sheet power. First, using this method, two EL images taken at different excitation currents were converted into locally resolved (relative series resistance images. From the known, total applied voltage to the module, we were then able to calculate absolute series resistance values and the real distribution of voltages and currents. Then, we reconstructed the complete current/voltage curve of the damaged module. We experimentally validated and confirmed the simulation model via the characterization of a commercially available photovoltaic module containing 60 multicrystalline silicon cells, which were mechanically damaged by hail. Deviation between the directly measured and predicted current/voltage curve was less than 4.3% at the maximum power point. For multiple modules of the same type, the level of error dropped below 1% by calibrating the simulation. We approximated the ideality factor from a module with a known current/voltage curve and then expand the application to modules of the same type. In addition to yielding series resistance mapping, our new ELMO method was also capable of yielding parallel resistance mapping. We analyzed the electrical properties of a commercially available module, containing 72 monocrystalline high-efficiency back contact solar cells, which suffered from potential induced degradation. For this module, we predicted electrical performance with an accuracy of better
Giersch, Anne; Fahle, Manfred
We examined whether the processing of discontinuities involved in figure-ground segmentation, like line ends, can be modulated under selective attention conditions. Subjects decided whether a gap in collinear or parallel lines was located to the right or left. Two stimuli were displayed in immediate succession. When the gaps were on the same side, reaction times (RTs) for the second stimulus increased when collinear lines followed parallel lines, or the reverse, but only when the two stimuli shared the same orientation and location. The effect did not depend on the global form of the stimuli or on the relative orientation of the gaps. A frame drawn around collinear elements affected the results, suggesting a crucial role of the "amodal" orthogonal lines produced when line ends are aligned. Including several gaps in the first stimulus also eliminated RT variations. By contrast, RT variations remained stable across several experimental blocks and were significant for interstimulus intervals from 50 to 600 msec between the two stimuli. These results are interpreted in terms of a modulation of the processing of line ends or the production of amodal lines, arising when attention is selectively drawn to a gap.
J.S. Legerstee (Jeroen); J.H.M. Tulen (Joke); V.L. Kallen (Victor); G.C. Dieleman (Gwen); P.D.A. Treffers (Philip); F.C. Verhulst (Frank); E.M.W.J. Utens (Elisabeth)
textabstractAbstract OBJECTIVE: The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders
Legerstee, Jeroen S.; Tulen, Joke H. M.; Kallen, Victor L.; Dieleman, Gwen C.; Treffers, Philip D. A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Utens, Elisabeth M. W. J.
The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. Participants
Liu, Lei; Zhang, Guangnan; Zhou, Renlai; Wang, Zuowei
Previous studies have found that affective states with high motivational intensity narrow attentional scope, whereas affective states with low motivational intensity broaden attentional scope. This conclusion, however, is based on fragmented evidence based on several separate studies. The present study tests this conclusion within a single study using both behavioral (Experiment 1) and neurophysiological (Experiment 2) measures. Experiment 1 showed that individuals had the global precedence effect in the neutral affective state. However, the global precedence effect was reduced for affective states with high motivational intensity, whereas the global precedence effect was not significantly enhanced for those with low motivational intensity. Experiment 2 replicated these results with event-related potential (ERP) recording. ERP results showed that affective states with high motivational intensity induced smaller N2 and greater late positive potential (LPP) amplitudes than low motivational intensity and neutral affective states. However, no differences were found between the low motivational intensity and neutral affective states. Furthermore, smaller LPP predicted the tendency a global attentional focus in the frontal and central areas and larger LPP predicted a narrowed focus in the frontal area. The findings suggested that high motivational intensity of affective states can affect attentional scope.
Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Hu, Xiaoqing; Nusslock, Robin
Temperamental-traits (e.g. threat/reward-sensitivity) are found to modulate cognitive-control and attentional-processes. Yet, it is unclear exactly how these traits interact with emotional-stimuli in the modulation of cognitive-control, as reflected by the N2 event-related potential (ERP), and attentional-processes, as reflected by the P2 and P3 ERPs. Here in an ERP emotional-Go/NoGo task, 36 participants were instructed to inhibit their response to Fearful- and Happy-faces. Individual-differences in threat-sensitivity, reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality were assessed through self-report. Hypomanic-personality was assessed, given its relationship with reward-sensitivity and relevance to mood-disorder symptoms. Concerning cognitive-control, individuals with elevated threat-sensitivity displayed more-negative N2s to Happy-NoGo (relative to Fearful-NoGo) faces, whereas both individuals with elevated reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality displayed more-negative N2s to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. Accordingly, when cognitive-control is required (during Go/NoGo), a mismatch between one's temperament and the valence of the NoGo-stimulus elevates detection of the need for cognitive-control. Conversely, the modulation of attentional-processing was specific to threat-sensitivity, as there was no relationship between either reward-sensitivity or hypomanic-personality and attentional-processing. Elevated threat-sensitivity was associated with enhanced early (P2s) and later (P3s) attentional-processing to Fearful-NoGo (relative to Happy-NoGo) faces. These latter findings support the negative attentional-bias model relating elevated threat-sensitivity with attentional-biases toward negative-stimuli and away from positive-stimuli. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Seibold, Julia C; Nolden, Sophie; Oberem, Josefa; Fels, Janina; Koch, Iring
In an auditory attention-switching paradigm, participants heard two simultaneously spoken number-words, each presented to one ear, and decided whether the target number was smaller or larger than 5 by pressing a left or right key. An instructional cue in each trial indicated which feature had to be used to identify the target number (e.g., female voice). Auditory attention-switch costs were found when this feature changed compared to when it repeated in two consecutive trials. Earlier studies employing this paradigm showed mixed results when they examined whether such cued auditory attention-switches can be prepared actively during the cue-stimulus interval. This study systematically assessed which preconditions are necessary for the advance preparation of auditory attention-switches. Three experiments were conducted that controlled for cue-repetition benefits, modality switches between cue and stimuli, as well as for predictability of the switch-sequence. Only in the third experiment, in which predictability for an attention-switch was maximal due to a pre-instructed switch-sequence and predictable stimulus onsets, active switch-specific preparation was found. These results suggest that the cognitive system can prepare auditory attention-switches, and this preparation seems to be triggered primarily by the memorised switching-sequence and valid expectations about the time of target onset.
Furey, Maura L; Pietrini, Pietro; Haxby, James V; Drevets, Wayne C
The cholinergic neurotransmitter system is critically linked to cognitive functions including attention. The current studies were designed to evaluate the effect of a cholinergic agonist and an antagonist on performance during a selective visual attention task where the inherent salience of attended/unattended stimuli was modulated. Two randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover studies were performed, one (n=9) with the anticholinesterase physostigmine (1.0 mg/h), and the other (n=30) with the anticholinergic scopolamine (0.4 mc/kg). During the task, two double-exposure pictures of faces and houses were presented side by side. Subjects were cued to attend to either the face or the house component of the stimuli, and were instructed to perform a matching task with the two exemplars from the attended category. The cue changed every 4-7 trials to instruct subjects to shift attention from one stimulus component to the other. During placebo in both studies, reaction time (RT) associated with the first trial following a cued shift in attention was longer than RT associated with later trials (pattention to houses condition (pattention to faces. Scopolamine increased RT relative to placebo selectively during trials greater than one (pattention to faces condition (pselective attention (ie trials greater than 1). Moreover, effects of cholinergic manipulation depend on the selective attention condition (ie faces vs houses), which may suggest that cholinergic activity interacts with stimulus salience. The findings are discussed within the context of the role of acetylcholine both in stimulus processing and stimulus salience, and in establishing attention biases through top-down and bottom-up mechanisms of attention.
Sørensen, Thomas Alrik; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Bundesen, Claus
By varying the probabilities that a stimulus would appear at particular times after the presentation of a cue and modeling the data by the theory of visual attention (Bundesen, 1990), Vangkilde, Coull, and Bundesen (2012) provided evidence that the speed of encoding a singly presented stimulus...... letter into visual short-term memory (VSTM) is modulated by the observer’s temporal expectations. We extended the investigation from single-stimulus recognition to whole report (Experiment 1) and partial report (Experiment 2). Cue–stimulus foreperiods were distributed geometrically using time steps...... of 500 ms. In high expectancy conditions, the probability that the stimulus would appear on the next time step, given that it had not yet appeared, was high, whereas in low expectancy conditions, the probability was low. The speed of encoding the stimuli into VSTM was higher in the high expectancy...
Poch, Claudia; Campo, Pablo; Barnes, Gareth R
Selective attention mechanisms allow us to focus on information that is relevant to the current behavior and, equally important, ignore irrelevant information. An influential model proposes that oscillatory neural activity in the alpha band serves as an active functional inhibitory mechanism. Recent studies have shown that, in the same way that attention can be selectively oriented to bias sensory processing in favor of relevant stimuli in perceptual tasks, it is also possible to retrospectively orient attention to internal representations held in working memory. However, these studies have not explored the associated oscillatory phenomena. In the current study, we analysed the patterns of neural oscillatory activity recorded with magnetoencephalography while participants performed a change detection task, in which a spatial retro-cue was presented during the maintenance period, indicating which item or items were relevant for subsequent retrieval. Participants benefited from retro-cues in terms of accuracy and reaction time. Retro-cues also modulated oscillatory activity in the alpha and gamma frequency bands. We observed greater alpha activity in a ventral visual region ipsilateral to the attended hemifield, thus supporting its suppressive role, i.e., a functional disengagement of task-irrelevant regions. Accompanying this modulation, we found an increase in gamma activity contralateral to the attended hemifield, which could reflect attentional orienting and selective processing. These findings suggest that the oscillatory mechanisms underlying attentional orienting to representations held in working memory are similar to those engaged when attention is oriented in the perceptual space. © 2014 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Horschig, J.M.; Oosterheert, W.; Oostenveld, R.; Jensen, O.
Here we report that the modulation of alpha activity by covert attention can be used as a control signal in an online brain-computer interface, that it is reliable, and that it is robust. Subjects were instructed to orient covert visual attention to the left or right hemifield. We decoded the
Full Text Available The mechanisms of attention control have been extensively studied with a variety of methodologies in animals and in humans. Human studies using non-invasive imaging techniques highlighted a remarkable difference between the pattern of responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions vs. ventral fronto-parietal regions, primarily lateralized to the right hemisphere. Initially, this distinction at the neuro-physiological level has been related to the distinction between cognitive processes associated with strategic/endogenous vs. stimulus-driven/exogenous of attention control. Nonetheless, quite soon it has become evident that, in almost any situation, attention control entails a complex combination of factors related to both the current sensory input and endogenous aspects associated with the experimental context. Here, we review several of these aspects first discussing the joint contribution of endogenous and stimulus-driven factors during spatial orienting in complex environments and, then, turning to the role of expectations and predictions in spatial re-orienting. We emphasize that strategic factors play a pivotal role for the activation of the ventral system during stimulus-driven control, and that the dorsal system makes use of stimulus-driven signals for top-down control. We conclude that both the dorsal and the ventral fronto-parietal networks integrate endogenous and exogenous signals during spatial attention control and that future investigations should manipulate both these factors concurrently, so as to reveal to full extent of these interactions.
Macaluso, Emiliano; Doricchi, Fabrizio
The mechanisms of attention control have been extensively studied with a variety of methodologies in animals and in humans. Human studies using non-invasive imaging techniques highlighted a remarkable difference between the pattern of responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions vs. ventral fronto-parietal (vFP) regions, primarily lateralized to the right hemisphere. Initially, this distinction at the neuro-physiological level has been related to the distinction between cognitive processes associated with strategic/endogenous vs. stimulus-driven/exogenous of attention control. Nonetheless, quite soon it has become evident that, in almost any situation, attention control entails a complex combination of factors related to both the current sensory input and endogenous aspects associated with the experimental context. Here, we review several of these aspects first discussing the joint contribution of endogenous and stimulus-driven factors during spatial orienting in complex environments and, then, turning to the role of expectations and predictions in spatial re-orienting. We emphasize that strategic factors play a pivotal role for the activation of the ventral system during stimulus-driven control, and that the dorsal system makes use of stimulus-driven signals for top-down control. We conclude that both the dorsal and the vFP networks integrate endogenous and exogenous signals during spatial attention control and that future investigations should manipulate both these factors concurrently, so as to reveal to full extent of these interactions. PMID:24155707
Macaluso, Emiliano; Doricchi, Fabrizio
The mechanisms of attention control have been extensively studied with a variety of methodologies in animals and in humans. Human studies using non-invasive imaging techniques highlighted a remarkable difference between the pattern of responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions vs. ventral fronto-parietal (vFP) regions, primarily lateralized to the right hemisphere. Initially, this distinction at the neuro-physiological level has been related to the distinction between cognitive processes associated with strategic/endogenous vs. stimulus-driven/exogenous of attention control. Nonetheless, quite soon it has become evident that, in almost any situation, attention control entails a complex combination of factors related to both the current sensory input and endogenous aspects associated with the experimental context. Here, we review several of these aspects first discussing the joint contribution of endogenous and stimulus-driven factors during spatial orienting in complex environments and, then, turning to the role of expectations and predictions in spatial re-orienting. We emphasize that strategic factors play a pivotal role for the activation of the ventral system during stimulus-driven control, and that the dorsal system makes use of stimulus-driven signals for top-down control. We conclude that both the dorsal and the vFP networks integrate endogenous and exogenous signals during spatial attention control and that future investigations should manipulate both these factors concurrently, so as to reveal to full extent of these interactions.
Graf, Heiko; Abler, Birgit; Hartmann, Antonie; Metzger, Coraline D; Walter, Martin
While antidepressants are supposed to exert similar effects on mood and drive via various mechanisms of action, diverging effects are observed regarding side-effects and accordingly on neural correlates of motivation, emotion, reward and salient stimuli processing as a function of the drugs impact on neurotransmission. In the context of erotic stimulation, a unidirectional modulation of attentional functioning despite opposite effects on sexual arousal has been suggested for the selective serotonin reuptake-inhibitor (SSRI) paroxetine and the selective dopamine and noradrenaline reuptake-inhibitor (SDNRI) bupropion. To further elucidate the effects of antidepressant-related alterations of neural attention networks, we investigated 18 healthy males under subchronic administration (7 d) of paroxetine (20 mg), bupropion (150 mg) and placebo within a randomized placebo-controlled cross-over double-blind functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) design during an established preceding attention task. Neuropsychological effects beyond the fMRI-paradigm were assessed by measuring alertness and divided attention. Comparing preceding attention periods of salient vs. neutral pictures, we revealed congruent effects of both drugs vs. placebo within the anterior midcingulate cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior prefrontal cortex, superior temporal gyrus, anterior insula and the thalamus. Relatively decreased activation in this network was paralleled by slower reaction times in the divided attention task in both verum conditions compared to placebo. Our results suggest similar effects of antidepressant treatments on behavioural and neural attentional functioning by diverging neurochemical pathways. Concurrent alterations of brain regions within a fronto-parietal and cingulo-opercular attention network for top-down control could point to basic neural mechanisms of antidepressant action irrespective of receptor profiles.
Nobre, A C; Allison, T; McCarthy, G
The present study investigated the effect of visual selective attention upon neural processing within functionally specialized regions of the human extrastriate visual cortex. Field potentials were recorded directly from the inferior surface of the temporal lobes in subjects with epilepsy. The experimental task required subjects to focus attention on words from one of two competing texts. Words were presented individually and foveally. Texts were interleaved randomly and were distinguishable on the basis of word colour. Focal field potentials were evoked by words in the posterior part of the fusiform gyrus. Selective attention strongly modulated long-latency potentials evoked by words. The attention effect co-localized with word-related potentials in the posterior fusiform gyrus, and was independent of stimulus colour. The results demonstrated that stimuli receive differential processing within specialized regions of the extrastriate cortex as a function of attention. The late onset of the attention effect and its co-localization with letter string-related potentials but not with colour-related potentials recorded from nearby regions of the fusiform gyrus suggest that the attention effect is due to top-down influences from downstream regions involved in word processing.
Raymond, Jane E; O'Brien, Jennifer L
Learning to associate the probability and value of behavioral outcomes with specific stimuli (value learning) is essential for rational decision making. However, in demanding cognitive conditions, access to learned values might be constrained by limited attentional capacity. We measured recognition of briefly presented faces seen previously in a value-learning task involving monetary wins and losses; the recognition task was performed both with and without constraints on available attention. Regardless of available attention, recognition was substantially enhanced for motivationally salient stimuli (i.e., stimuli highly predictive of outcomes), compared with equally familiar stimuli that had weak or no motivational salience, and this effect was found regardless of valence (win or loss). However, when attention was constrained (because stimuli were presented during an attentional blink, AB), valence determined recognition; win-associated faces showed no AB, but all other faces showed large ABs. Motivational salience acts independently of attention to modulate simple perceptual decisions, but when attention is limited, visual processing is biased in favor of reward-associated stimuli.
Bluschke, A; Roessner, V; Beste, C
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders in childhood. Besides inattention and hyperactivity, impulsivity is the third core symptom leading to diverse and serious problems. However, the neuronal mechanisms underlying impulsivity in ADHD are still not fully understood. This is all the more the case when patients with the ADHD combined subtype (ADHD-C) are considered who are characterized by both symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity. Combining high-density electroencephalography (EEG) recordings with source localization analyses, we examined what information processing stages are dysfunctional in ADHD-C (n = 20) compared with controls (n = 18). Patients with ADHD-C made more impulsive errors in a Go/No-go task than healthy controls. Neurophysiologically, different subprocesses from perceptual gating to attentional selection, resource allocation and response selection processes are altered in this patient group. Perceptual gating, stimulus-driven attention selection and resource allocation processes were more pronounced in ADHD-C, are related to activation differences in parieto-occipital networks and suggest attentional filtering deficits. However, only response selection processes, associated with medial prefrontal networks, predicted impulsive errors in ADHD-C. Although the clinical picture of ADHD-C is complex and a multitude of processing steps are altered, only a subset of processes seems to directly modulate impulsive behaviour. The present findings improve the understanding of mechanisms underlying impulsivity in patients with ADHD-C and might help to refine treatment algorithms focusing on impulsivity.
Thomas A. Christensen
Full Text Available Attention is crucial for encoding information into memory, and current dual-process models seek to explain the roles of attention in both recollection memory and incidental-perceptual memory processes. The present study combined an incidental memory paradigm with event-related functional MRI to examine the effect of attention at encoding on the subsequent neural activation associated with unintended perceptual memory for spoken words. At encoding, we systematically varied attention levels as listeners heard a list of single English nouns. We then presented these words again in the context of a recognition task and assessed the effect of modulating attention at encoding on the BOLD responses to words that were either attended strongly, weakly, or not heard previously. MRI revealed activity in right-lateralized inferior parietal and prefrontal regions, and positive BOLD signals varied with the relative level of attention present at encoding. Temporal analysis of hemodynamic responses further showed that the time course of BOLD activity was modulated differentially by unintentionally encoded words compared to novel items. Our findings largely support current models of memory consolidation and retrieval, but they also provide fresh evidence for hemispheric differences and functional subdivisions in right frontoparietal attention networks that help shape auditory episodic recall.
Christensen, Thomas A; Almryde, Kyle R; Fidler, Lesley J; Lockwood, Julie L; Antonucci, Sharon M; Plante, Elena
Attention is crucial for encoding information into memory, and current dual-process models seek to explain the roles of attention in both recollection memory and incidental-perceptual memory processes. The present study combined an incidental memory paradigm with event-related functional MRI to examine the effect of attention at encoding on the subsequent neural activation associated with unintended perceptual memory for spoken words. At encoding, we systematically varied attention levels as listeners heard a list of single English nouns. We then presented these words again in the context of a recognition task and assessed the effect of modulating attention at encoding on the BOLD responses to words that were either attended strongly, weakly, or not heard previously. MRI revealed activity in right-lateralized inferior parietal and prefrontal regions, and positive BOLD signals varied with the relative level of attention present at encoding. Temporal analysis of hemodynamic responses further showed that the time course of BOLD activity was modulated differentially by unintentionally encoded words compared to novel items. Our findings largely support current models of memory consolidation and retrieval, but they also provide fresh evidence for hemispheric differences and functional subdivisions in right frontoparietal attention networks that help shape auditory episodic recall.
Robison, Matthew K; Unsworth, Nash
Although individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) typically predict susceptibility to attentional capture in various paradigms (e.g., Stroop, antisaccade, flankers), it sometimes fails to correlate with the magnitude of attentional capture effects in visual search (e.g., Stokes, 2016), which is 1 of the most frequently studied tasks to study capture (Theeuwes, 2010). But some studies have shown that search modes can mitigate the effects of attentional capture (Leber & Egeth, 2006). Therefore, the present study examined whether or not the relationship between WMC and attentional capture changes as a function of the search modes available. In Experiment 1, WMC was unrelated to attentional capture, but only 1 search mode (singleton-detection) could be employed. In Experiment 2, greater WMC predicted smaller attentional capture effects, but only when multiple search modes (feature-search and singleton-detection) could be employed. Importantly this relationship was entirely independent of variation in attention control, which suggests that this effect is driven by WMC-related long-term memory differences (Cosman & Vecera, 2013a, 2013b). The present set of findings help to further our understanding of the nuanced ways in which memory and attention interact. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Martin H van Vliet
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The availability of large collections of microarray datasets (compendia, or knowledge about grouping of genes into pathways (gene sets, is typically not exploited when training predictors of disease outcome. These can be useful since a compendium increases the number of samples, while gene sets reduce the size of the feature space. This should be favorable from a machine learning perspective and result in more robust predictors. METHODOLOGY: We extracted modules of regulated genes from gene sets, and compendia. Through supervised analysis, we constructed predictors which employ modules predictive of breast cancer outcome. To validate these predictors we applied them to independent data, from the same institution (intra-dataset, and other institutions (inter-dataset. CONCLUSIONS: We show that modules derived from single breast cancer datasets achieve better performance on the validation data compared to gene-based predictors. We also show that there is a trend in compendium specificity and predictive performance: modules derived from a single breast cancer dataset, and a breast cancer specific compendium perform better compared to those derived from a human cancer compendium. Additionally, the module-based predictor provides a much richer insight into the underlying biology. Frequently selected gene sets are associated with processes such as cell cycle, E2F regulation, DNA damage response, proteasome and glycolysis. We analyzed two modules related to cell cycle, and the OCT1 transcription factor, respectively. On an individual basis, these modules provide a significant separation in survival subgroups on the training and independent validation data.
Ciaramitaro, Vivian M; Chow, Hiu Mei; Eglington, Luke G
We used a cross-modal dual task to examine how changing visual-task demands influenced auditory processing, namely auditory thresholds for amplitude- and frequency-modulated sounds. Observers had to attend to two consecutive intervals of sounds and report which interval contained the auditory stimulus that was modulated in amplitude (Experiment 1) or frequency (Experiment 2). During auditory-stimulus presentation, observers simultaneously attended to a rapid sequential visual presentation-two consecutive intervals of streams of visual letters-and had to report which interval contained a particular color (low load, demanding less attentional resources) or, in separate blocks of trials, which interval contained more of a target letter (high load, demanding more attentional resources). We hypothesized that if attention is a shared resource across vision and audition, an easier visual task should free up more attentional resources for auditory processing on an unrelated task, hence improving auditory thresholds. Auditory detection thresholds were lower-that is, auditory sensitivity was improved-for both amplitude- and frequency-modulated sounds when observers engaged in a less demanding (compared to a more demanding) visual task. In accord with previous work, our findings suggest that visual-task demands can influence the processing of auditory information on an unrelated concurrent task, providing support for shared attentional resources. More importantly, our results suggest that attending to information in a different modality, cross-modal attention, can influence basic auditory contrast sensitivity functions, highlighting potential similarities between basic mechanisms for visual and auditory attention.
Wilaiprasitporn, Theerawit; Yagi, Tohru
This research demonstrates the orientation-modulated attention effect on visual evoked potential. We combined this finding with our previous findings about the motion-modulated attention effect and used the result to develop novel visual stimuli for a personal identification number (PIN) application based on a brain-computer interface (BCI) framework. An electroencephalography amplifier with a single electrode channel was sufficient for our application. A computationally inexpensive algorithm and small datasets were used in processing. Seven healthy volunteers participated in experiments to measure offline performance. Mean accuracy was 83.3% at 13.9 bits/min. Encouraged by these results, we plan to continue developing the BCI-based personal identification application toward real-time systems.
Feng, Chunliang; Tian, Tengxiang; Feng, Xue; Luo, Yue-Jia
Recent behavioral and neuroscientific studies have revealed the preferential processing of superior-hierarchy cues. However, it remains poorly understood whether top-down controlled mechanisms modulate temporal dynamics of neurocognitive substrates underlying the preferential processing of these biologically and socially relevant cues. This was investigated in the current study by recording event-related potentials from participants who were presented with superior or inferior social hierarchy. Participants performed a hierarchy-judgment task that required attention to hierarchy cues or a gender-judgment task that withdrew their attention from these cues. Superior-hierarchy cues evoked stronger neural responses than inferior-hierarchy cues at both early (N170/N200) and late (late positive potential, LPP) temporal stages. Notably, the modulations of top-down attention were identified on the LPP component, such that superior-hierarchy cues evoked larger LPP amplitudes than inferior-hierarchy cues only in the attended condition; whereas the modulations of the N170/N200 component by hierarchy cues were evident in both attended and unattended conditions. These findings suggest that the preferential perception of superior-hierarchy cues involves both relatively automatic attentional bias at the early temporal stage as well as flexible and voluntary cognitive evaluation at the late temporal stage. Finally, these hierarchy-related effects were absent when participants were shown the same stimuli which, however, were not associated with social-hierarchy information in a non-hierarchy task (Experiment 2), suggesting that effects of social hierarchy at early and late temporal stages could not be accounted for by differences in physical attributes between these social cues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bleckley, M Kathryn; Durso, Francis T; Crutchfield, Jerry M; Engle, Randall W; Khanna, Maya M
To the extent that individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) reflect differences in attention (Baddeley, 1993; Engle, Kane, & Tuholski, 1999), differences in WMC should predict performance on visual attention tasks. Individuals who scored in the upper and lower quartiles on the OSPAN working memory test performed a modification of Egly and Homa's (1984) selective attention task. In this task, the participants identified a central letter and localized a displaced letter flashed somewhere on one of three concentric rings. When the displaced letter occurred closer to fixation than the cue implied, high-WMC, but not low-WMC, individuals showed a cost in the letter localization task. This suggests that low-WMC participants allocated attention as a spotlight, whereas those with high WMC showed flexible allocation.
Miller, Lucy Jane; Nielsen, Darci M.; Schoen, Sarah A.
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are impulsive, inattentive and hyperactive, while children with sensory modulation disorder (SMD), one subtype of Sensory Processing Disorder, have difficulty responding adaptively to daily sensory experiences. ADHD and SMD are often difficult to distinguish. To differentiate these…
Paul, Brandon T; Bruce, Ian C; Bosnyak, Daniel J; Thompson, David C; Roberts, Larry E
Age and hearing-level matched tinnitus and control groups were presented with a 40 Hz AM sound using a carrier frequency of either 5 kHz (in the tinnitus frequency region of the tinnitus subjects) or 500 Hz (below this region). On attended blocks subjects pressed a button after each sound indicating whether a single 40 Hz AM pulse of variable increased amplitude (target, probability 0.67) had or had not occurred. On passive blocks subjects rested and ignored the sounds. The amplitude of the 40 Hz auditory steady-state response (ASSR) localizing to primary auditory cortex (A1) increased with attention in control groups probed at 500 Hz and 5 kHz and in the tinnitus group probed at 500 Hz, but not in the tinnitus group probed at 5 kHz (128 channel EEG). N1 amplitude (this response localizing to nonprimary cortex, A2) increased with attention at both sound frequencies in controls but at neither frequency in tinnitus. We suggest that tinnitus-related neural activity occurring in the 5 kHz but not the 500 Hz region of tonotopic A1 disrupted attentional modulation of the 5 kHz ASSR in tinnitus subjects, while tinnitus-related activity in A1 distributing nontonotopically in A2 impaired modulation of N1 at both sound frequencies.
McAdams, Carrie J; Reid, R Clay
Spatial attention has long been postulated to act as a spotlight that increases the salience of visual stimuli at the attended location. We examined the effects of attention on the receptive fields of simple cells in primary visual cortex (V1) by training macaque monkeys to perform a task with two modes. In the attended mode, the stimuli relevant to the animal's task overlay the receptive field of the neuron being recorded. In the unattended mode, the animal was cued to attend to stimuli outside the receptive field of that neuron. The relevant stimulus, a colored pixel, was briefly presented within a white-noise stimulus, a flickering grid of black and white pixels. The receptive fields of the neurons were mapped by correlating spikes with the white-noise stimulus in both attended and unattended modes. We found that attention could cause significant modulation of the visually evoked response despite an absence of significant effects on the overall firing rates. On further examination of the relationship between the strength of the visual stimulation and the firing rate, we found that attention appears to cause multiplicative scaling of the visually evoked responses of simple cells, demonstrating that attention reaches back to the initial stages of visual cortical processing.
Sharpe, Melissa; Killcross, Simon
Previous research suggests the prelimbic (PL) cortex is involved in expression of conditioned fear (Burgos-Robles, Vidal-Gonzalez, & Quirk, 2009; Corcoran & Quirk, 2007). However, there is a long history of research in the appetitive domain which implicates this region in using higher-order cues to modulate a behavioural response (Birrell & Brown, 2000; Floresco, Block, & Tse, 2008; Marquis, Killcross, & Haddon, 2007; Sharpe & Killcross, 2014). For example, the PL cortex is necessary to allow animals to use contextual cues to disambiguate response conflict in ambiguous circumstances (Marquis et al., 2007). Using an ABA fear renewal procedure, we assessed the role of the PL cortex in using contextual cues to modulate a response towards a conditioned stimulus (CS) in an aversive setting. We found that pre-training lesions of the PL cortex did not impact on the expression or extinction of conditioned fear. Rather, they selectively abolished renewal. Functional inactivation of the PL cortex during extinction did not disrupt the subsequent renewal of conditioned fear or the ability of animals to exhibit fear towards a CS during the extinction session. However, PL inactivation during the renewal test session disrupted the ability of animals to demonstrate a reinstatement of responding in the renewal context. An analysis of orienting responses showed that renewal deficits were accompanied by a lack of change in attentional responding towards the CS. These data suggest the PL cortex uses contextual cues to modulate both a behavioural and an attentional response during aversive procedures. We argue that the role of the PL cortex in the expression of conditioned fear is to use higher-order information to modulate responding towards predictive cues in ambiguous circumstance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pinheiro, Ana P; Barros, Carla; Dias, Marcelo; Kotz, Sonja A
In social interactions, emotionally salient and sudden changes in vocal expressions attract attention. However, only a few studies examined how emotion and attention interact in voice processing. We investigated neutral, happy (laughs) and angry (growls) vocalizations in a modified oddball task. Participants silently counted the targets in each block and rated the valence and arousal of the vocalizations. A combined event-related potential and time-frequency analysis focused on the P3 and pre-stimulus alpha power to capture attention effects in response to unexpected events. Whereas an early differentiation between emotionally salient and neutral vocalizations was reflected in the P3a response, the P3b was selectively enhanced for happy voices. The P3b modulation was predicted by pre-stimulus frontal alpha desynchronization, and by the perceived pleasantness of the targets. These findings indicate that vocal emotions may be differently processed based on task relevance and valence. Increased anticipation and attention to positive vocal cues (laughter) may reflect their high social relevance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Brosch, Tobias; Grandjean, Didier; Sander, David; Scherer, Klaus R.
Emotionally relevant stimuli are prioritized in human information processing. It has repeatedly been shown that selective spatial attention is modulated by the emotional content of a stimulus. Until now, studies investigating this phenomenon have only examined "within-modality" effects, most frequently using pictures of emotional stimuli to…
Jaber Alizadeh G
Full Text Available Objective: This study is aimed to predict substance abuse from child and adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms. Method: To this purpose 361 students were selected via stratified random sampling from different faculties of Tabriz University and completed Canners Adult ADHD Rating scale-self report Form & Subscale Questionnaire, Wender Utah Rating Scale, Addiction Acknowledgment Scale & Mac Andrew Alcoholism-Revised Scale. Findings: To analyze the data Pearson correlation and multiple regressions (step by step were used. Results indicated that there is significant relation between addiction acknowledgment and alcoholism via child and adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms. Also, results indicated that child and adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms predicted addiction acknowledgment and alcoholism. Conclusion: According to this results these can be explained that behavioral disorders, especially ADHD have effect in tendency to drug and therefore primary treatments of behavioral disorders can prevent drug abuse.
Full Text Available Differential diagnosis between sensory modulation disorder (SMD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is often challenging, since these disorders occur at a high rate of co-morbidity and share several clinical characteristics. Preliminary studies providing evidence that these are distinct disorders have focused solely on body functions, using sophisticated laboratory measurements. Moreover, no studies have compared participation profiles of these populations. This study is the first to compare the profiles of these populations regarding both ‘body functions’(attention and sensation and ‘participation,’ using measures applicable for clinical use. The study included 19 children with ADHD without SMD and 19 with SMD without ADHD (diagnosed by both pediatric neurologists and occupational therapists, aged 6 to 9, and matched by age and gender. All children underwent a broad battery of evaluations: The Evaluation of Sensory Processing, Fabric Prickliness Test and Von Frey Test to evaluate sensory processing, and Test of Everyday Attention to evaluate attention components. The Participation in Childhood Occupations Questionnaire was used to evaluate participation. Results support significant group differences in all sensory components, including pain intensity to suprathreshold stimuli and pain 'after sensation', as well as in tactile, vestibular, taste and olfactory processing. No differences were found in attention components and participation. This study has both theoretical and clinical importance, inter alia, providing further evidence of two distinct disorders as well as indications of specific clinical instruments that might enable clinicians to implement differential diagnoses. In addition, results accord with other previous statements, which indicate that the clinical diagnosis of children with disabilities may not be a major factor in determining their participation profile.
Taatgen, Niels A.; van Rijn, Hedderik; Anderson, John
A theory of prospective time perception is introduced and incorporated as a module in an integrated theory of cognition, thereby extending existing theories and allowing predictions about attention and learning. First, a time perception module is established by fitting existing datasets (interval
Markant, Julie; Worden, Michael S; Amso, Dima
Learning through visual exploration often requires orienting of attention to meaningful information in a cluttered world. Previous work has shown that attention modulates visual cortex activity, with enhanced activity for attended targets and suppressed activity for competing inputs, thus enhancing the visual experience. Here we examined the idea that learning may be engaged differentially with variations in attention orienting mechanisms that drive eye movements during visual search and exploration. We hypothesized that attention orienting mechanisms that engaged suppression of a previously attended location would boost memory encoding of the currently attended target objects to a greater extent than those that involve target enhancement alone. To test this hypothesis we capitalized on the classic spatial cueing task and the inhibition of return (IOR) mechanism (Posner, 1980; Posner, Rafal, & Choate, 1985) to demonstrate that object images encoded in the context of concurrent suppression at a previously attended location were encoded more effectively and remembered better than those encoded without concurrent suppression. Furthermore, fMRI analyses revealed that this memory benefit was driven by attention modulation of visual cortex activity, as increased suppression of the previously attended location in visual cortex during target object encoding predicted better subsequent recognition memory performance. These results suggest that not all attention orienting impacts learning and memory equally. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Spielberg, Jeffrey M; De Leon, Angeline A; Bredemeier, Keith; Heller, Wendy; Engels, Anna S; Warren, Stacie L; Crocker, Laura D; Sutton, Bradley P; Miller, Gregory A
Background Habituation of the fear response, critical for the treatment of anxiety, is inconsistently observed during exposure to threatening stimuli. One potential explanation for this inconsistency is differential attentional engagement with negatively valenced stimuli as a function of anxiety type. Methods The present study tested this hypothesis by examining patterns of neural habituation associated with anxious arousal, characterized by panic symptoms and immediate engagement with negatively valenced stimuli, versus anxious apprehension, characterized by engagement in worry to distract from negatively valenced stimuli. Results As predicted, the two anxiety types evidenced distinct patterns of attentional engagement. Anxious arousal was associated with immediate activation in attention-related brain regions that habituated over time, whereas anxious apprehension was associated with delayed activation in attention-related brain regions that occurred only after habituation in a worry-related brain region. Conclusions Results further elucidate mechanisms involved in attention to negatively valenced stimuli and indicate that anxiety is a heterogeneous construct with regard to attention to such stimuli.
Kinsey, Geoffrey S., E-mail: Geoffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org [U.S. Department of Energy, 950 L’Enfant Plaza, Washington, DC 20024 (United States)
Impact on module performance of spectral irradiance variation has been determined for III-V multijunctions compared against the four most common flat-plate module types (cadmium telluride, multicrystalline silicon, copper indium gallium selenide, and monocrystalline silicon. Hour-by-hour representative spectra were generated using atmospheric variables for Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Convolution with published values for external quantum efficiency gave the predicted current output. When combined with specifications of commercial PV modules, energy yield and revenue were predicted. This approach provides a means for optimizing PV module design based on various site-specific temporal variables.
Although successful visually guided action begins with sensory processes and ends with motor control, the intervening processes related to the appropriate selection of information for processing are especially critical because of the brain's limited capacity to handle information. Three important mechanisms--attention, emotion and motivation--contribute to the prioritization and selection of information. In this chapter, the interplay between these systems is discussed with emphasis placed on interactions between attention (or immediate task relevance of stimuli) and emotion (or affective evaluation of stimuli), and between attention and motivation (or the predicted value of stimuli). Although numerous studies have shown that emotional stimuli modulate mechanisms of selective attention in humans, little work has been directed at exploring whether such interactions can be reciprocal, that is, whether attention can influence emotional response. Recent work on this question (showing that distracting information is typically devalued upon later encounters) is reviewed in the first half of the chapter. In the second half, some recent experiments exploring how prior value-prediction learning (i.e., learning to associate potential outcomes, good or bad, with specific stimuli) plays a role in visual selection and conscious perception. The results indicate that some aspects of motivation act on selection independently of traditionally defined attention and other aspects interact with it.
Garcia-Burgos, David; Lao, Junpeng; Munsch, Simone; Caldara, Roberto
Although attentional biases towards food cues may play a critical role in food choices and eating behaviours, it remains largely unexplored which specific food attribute governs visual attentional deployment. The allocation of visual attention might be modulated by anticipatory postingestive consequences, from taste sensations derived from eating itself, or both. Therefore, in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the attentional mechanisms involved in the processing of food-related cues, we recorded the eye movements to five categories of well-standardised pictures: neutral non-food, high-calorie, good taste, distaste and dangerous food. In particular, forty-four healthy adults of both sexes were assessed with an antisaccade paradigm (which requires the generation of a voluntary saccade and the suppression of a reflex one) and a free viewing paradigm (which implies the free visual exploration of two images). The results showed that observers directed their initial fixations more often and faster on items with high survival relevance such as nutrient and possible dangers; although an increase in antisaccade error rates was only detected for high-calorie items. We also found longer prosaccade fixation duration and initial fixation duration bias score related to maintained attention towards high-calorie, good taste and danger categories; while shorter reaction times to correct an incorrect prosaccade related to less difficulties in inhibiting distasteful images. Altogether, these findings suggest that visual attention is differentially modulated by both the accepted and rejected food attributes, but also that normal-weight, non-eating disordered individuals exhibit enhanced approach to food's postingestive effects and avoidance of distasteful items (such as bitter vegetables or pungent products). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Sadeh, Avi; De Marcas, Gali; Guri, Yael; Berger, Andrea; Tikotzky, Liat; Bar-Haim, Yair
This longitudinal study assessed the role of early sleep patterns in predicting attention regulation and behavior problems. Sleep of 43 infants was assessed using actigraphy at 12 months of age and then reassessed when the children were 3-4 years old. During this follow-up, their attention regulation and behavior problems were also assessed using a computerized test and parental reports. Lower quality of sleep in infancy significantly predicted compromised attention regulation and behavior problems. These findings underscore the need to identify and treat early sleep problems.
Smith, Philip L; Lilburn, Simon D; Corbett, Elaine A; Sewell, David K; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
We investigated the capacity of visual short-term memory (VSTM) in a phase discrimination task that required judgments about the configural relations between pairs of black and white features. Sewell et al. (2014) previously showed that VSTM capacity in an orientation discrimination task was well described by a sample-size model, which views VSTM as a resource comprised of a finite number of noisy stimulus samples. The model predicts the invariance of [Formula: see text] , the sum of squared sensitivities across items, for displays of different sizes. For phase discrimination, the set-size effect significantly exceeded that predicted by the sample-size model for both simultaneously and sequentially presented stimuli. Instead, the set-size effect and the serial position curves with sequential presentation were predicted by an attention-weighted version of the sample-size model, which assumes that one of the items in the display captures attention and receives a disproportionate share of resources. The choice probabilities and response time distributions from the task were well described by a diffusion decision model in which the drift rates embodied the assumptions of the attention-weighted sample-size model. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Previous studies have widely shown that self-esteem modulates the attention bias towards social rejection or emotion-related information. However, little is known about the influences of self-esteem on attention bias towards self-relevant stimuli. We aimed to investigate neural correlates that underlie the modulation effect of self-esteem on self-relevant processing. Event-related potentials were recorded for subjects’ own names and close others’ names (the names of their friends while subjects performed a three-stimulus oddball task. The results showed larger P2 amplitudes for one’s own name than for close-other’s name in the low self-esteem group, whereas this P2 effect were not observed in the high self-esteem group. In addition, one’s own name elicited equivalent N250 amplitudes and larger P3 amplitudes compared with close-other’s name in both high and low self-esteem groups. However, no interaction effects were observed between self-esteem and self-relevant processing in the N250 and P3 components. Thus, we found that the modulation effects of self-esteem on self-relevant processing occurred at the early P2 stage, but not at the later N250 and P3 stages. These findings reflect that individuals with low self-esteem demonstrate automatic attention towards their own names.
Brandon T. Paul
Full Text Available Age and hearing-level matched tinnitus and control groups were presented with a 40 Hz AM sound using a carrier frequency of either 5 kHz (in the tinnitus frequency region of the tinnitus subjects or 500 Hz (below this region. On attended blocks subjects pressed a button after each sound indicating whether a single 40 Hz AM pulse of variable increased amplitude (target, probability 0.67 had or had not occurred. On passive blocks subjects rested and ignored the sounds. The amplitude of the 40 Hz auditory steady-state response (ASSR localizing to primary auditory cortex (A1 increased with attention in control groups probed at 500 Hz and 5 kHz and in the tinnitus group probed at 500 Hz, but not in the tinnitus group probed at 5 kHz (128 channel EEG. N1 amplitude (this response localizing to nonprimary cortex, A2 increased with attention at both sound frequencies in controls but at neither frequency in tinnitus. We suggest that tinnitus-related neural activity occurring in the 5 kHz but not the 500 Hz region of tonotopic A1 disrupted attentional modulation of the 5 kHz ASSR in tinnitus subjects, while tinnitus-related activity in A1 distributing nontonotopically in A2 impaired modulation of N1 at both sound frequencies.
Legerstee, Jeroen; Tulen, Joke; Kallen, Victor; Dieleman, Gwen; Treffers, Philip; Verhulst, Frank; Utens, Elisabeth
textabstractAbstract OBJECTIVE: The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. METHOD: Participants consisted of 131 children with anxiety disorders (aged 8-16 years), who received standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy. At pretreatment, a pictorial dot-pr...
La Tour, Arnaud de; Glachant, Matthieu; Ménière, Yann
Except in few locations, photovoltaic generated electricity remains considerably more expensive than conventional sources. It is however expected that innovation and learning-by-doing will lead to drastic cuts in production cost in the near future. The goal of this paper is to predict the cost of PV modules out to 2020 using experience curve models, and to draw implications about the cost of PV electricity. Using annual data on photovoltaic module prices, cumulative production, R and D knowledge stock and input prices for silicon and silver over the period 1990–2011, we identify a experience curve model which minimizes the difference between predicted and actual module prices. This model predicts a 67% decrease of module price from 2011 to 2020. This rate implies that the cost of PV generated electricity will reach that of conventional electricity by 2020 in the sunniest countries with annual solar irradiation of 2000 kWh/year or more, such as California, Italy, and Spain. - Highlights: • We predict the cost of PV modules out to 2020 using experience curve models. • The model predicts a 67% decrease of module price from 2011 to 2020. • We draw implications about the cost of PV electricity
Schwartz, Odelia; Coen-Cagli, Ruben
Attention to a spatial location or feature in a visual scene can modulate the responses of cortical neurons and affect perceptual biases in illusions. We add attention to a cortical model of spatial context based on a well-founded account of natural scene statistics. The cortical model amounts to a generalized form of divisive normalization, in which the surround is in the normalization pool of the center target only if they are considered statistically dependent. Here we propose that attention influences this computation by accentuating the neural unit activations at the attended location, and that the amount of attentional influence of the surround on the center thus depends on whether center and surround are deemed in the same normalization pool. The resulting form of model extends a recent divisive normalization model of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009). We simulate cortical surround orientation experiments with attention and show that the flexible model is suitable for capturing additional data and makes nontrivial testable predictions. PMID:23345413
Pan, Yi; Hou, Xiu
Recent research has shown that the contents of working memory can alter our perceptual experiences of visual matching stimuli. However, it is possible that different kinds of working memory representations may distort visual perception in different ways. In the present study, we associated working memory representations with different attentional tags and then examined their effects on perceived duration. The results showed that working memory representations prolonged apparent duration when they were tagged as a target and shortened perceived duration when they were tagged as a distractor. This is the first demonstration that attentional tags can modulate working memory effects on perceptual experience. We conclude that the influences of working memory on visual perception are determined not only by what information to be held in memory, but also by how the information is represented in memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Peck, Christopher J; Salzman, C Daniel
Visual stimuli associated with rewards attract spatial attention. Neurophysiological mechanisms that mediate this process must register both the motivational significance and location of visual stimuli. Recent neurophysiological evidence indicates that the amygdala encodes information about both of these parameters. Furthermore, the firing rate of amygdala neurons predicts the allocation of spatial attention. One neural pathway through which the amygdala might influence attention involves the intimate and bidirectional connections between the amygdala and basal forebrain (BF), a brain area long implicated in attention. Neurons in the rhesus monkey amygdala and BF were therefore recorded simultaneously while subjects performed a detection task in which the stimulus-reward associations of visual stimuli modulated spatial attention. Neurons in BF were spatially selective for reward-predictive stimuli, much like the amygdala. The onset of reward-predictive signals in each brain area suggested different routes of processing for reward-predictive stimuli appearing in the ipsilateral and contralateral fields. Moreover, neurons in the amygdala, but not BF, tracked trial-to-trial fluctuations in spatial attention. These results suggest that the amygdala and BF could play distinct yet inter-related roles in influencing attention elicited by reward-predictive stimuli. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3413757-11$15.00/0.
Jennifer T Coull
Full Text Available Accurate estimates of the time-to-contact (TTC of approaching objects are crucial for survival. We used an ecologically valid driving simulation to compare and contrast the neural substrates of egocentric (head-on approach and allocentric (lateral approach TTC tasks in a fully factorial, event-related fMRI design. Compared to colour control tasks, both egocentric and allocentric TTC tasks activated left ventral premotor cortex/frontal operculum and inferior parietal cortex, the same areas that have previously been implicated in temporal attentional orienting. Despite differences in visual and cognitive demands, both TTC and temporal orienting paradigms encourage the use of temporally predictive information to guide behaviour, suggesting these areas may form a core network for temporal prediction. We also demonstrated that the temporal derivative of the perceptual index tau (tau-dot held predictive value for making collision judgements and varied inversely with activity in primary visual cortex (V1. Specifically, V1 activity increased with the increasing likelihood of reporting a collision, suggesting top-down attentional modulation of early visual processing areas as a function of subjective collision. Finally, egocentric viewpoints provoked a response bias for reporting collisions, rather than no-collisions, reflecting increased caution for head-on approaches. Associated increases in SMA activity suggest motor preparation mechanisms were engaged, despite the perceptual nature of the task.
Full Text Available Emotional stimuli have evolutionary significance for the survival of organisms; therefore, they are attention-grabbing and are processed preferentially. The neural underpinnings of two principle emotional dimensions in affective space, valence (degree of pleasantness and arousal (intensity of evoked emotion, have been shown to be dissociable in the olfactory, gustatory and memory systems. However, the separable roles of valence and arousal in scene perception are poorly understood. In this study, we asked how these two emotional dimensions modulate overt visual attention. Twenty-two healthy volunteers freely viewed images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS that were graded for affective levels of valence and arousal (high, medium, and low. Subjects' heads were immobilized and eye movements were recorded by camera to track overt shifts of visual attention. Algebraic graph-based approaches were introduced to model scan paths as weighted undirected path graphs, generating global topology metrics that characterize the algebraic connectivity of scan paths. Our data suggest that human subjects show different scanning patterns to stimuli with different affective ratings. Valence salient stimuli (with neutral arousal elicited faster and larger shifts of attention, while arousal salient stimuli (with neutral valence elicited local scanning, dense attention allocation and deep processing. Furthermore, our model revealed that the modulatory effect of valence was linearly related to the valence level, whereas the relation between the modulatory effect and the level of arousal was nonlinear. Hence, visual attention seems to be modulated by mechanisms that are separate for valence and arousal.
Vossel, Simone; Mathys, Christoph; Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J
The deployment of visuospatial attention and the programming of saccades are governed by the inferred likelihood of events. In the present study, we combined computational modeling of psychophysical data with fMRI to characterize the computational and neural mechanisms underlying this flexible attentional control. Sixteen healthy human subjects performed a modified version of Posner's location-cueing paradigm in which the percentage of cue validity varied in time and the targets required saccadic responses. Trialwise estimates of the certainty (precision) of the prediction that the target would appear at the cued location were derived from a hierarchical Bayesian model fitted to individual trialwise saccadic response speeds. Trial-specific model parameters then entered analyses of fMRI data as parametric regressors. Moreover, dynamic causal modeling (DCM) was performed to identify the most likely functional architecture of the attentional reorienting network and its modulation by (Bayes-optimal) precision-dependent attention. While the frontal eye fields (FEFs), intraparietal sulcus, and temporoparietal junction (TPJ) of both hemispheres showed higher activity on invalid relative to valid trials, reorienting responses in right FEF, TPJ, and the putamen were significantly modulated by precision-dependent attention. Our DCM results suggested that the precision of predictability underlies the attentional modulation of the coupling of TPJ with FEF and the putamen. Our results shed new light on the computational architecture and neuronal network dynamics underlying the context-sensitive deployment of visuospatial attention. Spatial attention and its neural correlates in the human brain have been studied extensively with the help of fMRI and cueing paradigms in which the location of targets is pre-cued on a trial-by-trial basis. One aspect that has so far been neglected concerns the question of how the brain forms attentional expectancies when no a priori probability
Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J
The probability of inattentional blindness, the failure to notice an unexpected object when attention is engaged on some primary task, is influenced by contextual factors like task demands, features of the unexpected object, and the observer's attention set. However, predicting who will notice an unexpected object and who will remain inattentionally blind has proven difficult, and the evidence that individual differences in cognition affect noticing remains ambiguous. We hypothesized that greater working memory capacity might modulate the effect of attention sets on noticing because working memory is associated with the ability to focus attention selectively. People with greater working memory capacity might be better able to attend selectively to target items, thereby increasing the chances of noticing unexpected objects that were similar to the attended items while decreasing the odds of noticing unexpected objects that differed from the attended items. Our study (N = 120 participants) replicated evidence that task-induced attention sets modulate noticing but found no link between noticing and working memory capacity. Our results are largely consistent with the idea that individual differences in working memory capacity do not predict noticing of unexpected objects in an inattentional blindness task. © The Author(s) 2015.
San Martín, René; Appelbaum, Lawrence G; Huettel, Scott A; Woldorff, Marty G
Adaptive choice behavior depends critically on identifying and learning from outcome-predicting cues. We hypothesized that attention may be preferentially directed toward certain outcome-predicting cues. We studied this possibility by analyzing event-related potential (ERP) responses in humans during a probabilistic decision-making task. Participants viewed pairs of outcome-predicting visual cues and then chose to wager either a small (i.e., loss-minimizing) or large (i.e., gain-maximizing) amount of money. The cues were bilaterally presented, which allowed us to extract the relative neural responses to each cue by using a contralateral-versus-ipsilateral ERP contrast. We found an early lateralized ERP response, whose features matched the attention-shift-related N2pc component and whose amplitude scaled with the learned reward-predicting value of the cues as predicted by an attention-for-reward model. Consistently, we found a double dissociation involving the N2pc. Across participants, gain-maximization positively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable gain-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional bias toward such cues. Conversely, loss-minimization was negatively correlated with the N2pc amplitude to the most reliable loss-predicting cue, suggesting an attentional avoidance toward such stimuli. These results indicate that learned stimulus-reward associations can influence rapid attention allocation, and that differences in this process are associated with individual differences in economic decision-making performance. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Sreenivasan, Kartik K; Jha, Amishi P
Selective attention has been shown to bias sensory processing in favor of relevant stimuli and against irrelevant or distracting stimuli in perceptual tasks. Increasing evidence suggests that selective attention plays an important role during working memory maintenance, possibly by biasing sensory processing in favor of to-be-remembered items. In the current study, we investigated whether selective attention may also support working memory by biasing processing against irrelevant and potentially distracting information. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while subjects (n = 22) performed a delayed-recognition task for faces and shoes. The delay period was filled with face or shoe distractors. Behavioral performance was impaired when distractors were congruent with the working memory domain (e.g., face distractor during working memory for faces) relative to when distractors were incongruent with the working memory domain (e.g., face distractor during shoe working memory). If attentional biasing against distractor processing is indeed functionally relevant in supporting working memory maintenance, perceptual processing of distractors is predicted to be attenuated when distractors are more behaviorally intrusive relative to when they are nonintrusive. As such, we predicted that perceptual processing of distracting faces, as measured by the face-sensitive N170 ERP component, would be reduced in the context of congruent (face) working memory relative to incongruent (shoe) working memory. The N170 elicited by distracting faces demonstrated reduced amplitude during congruent versus incongruent working memory. These results suggest that perceptual processing of distracting faces may be attenuated due to attentional biasing against sensory processing of distractors that are most behaviorally intrusive during working memory maintenance.
Full Text Available Abstract Background In vertebrates, a large part of gene transcriptional regulation is operated by cis-regulatory modules. These modules are believed to be regulating much of the tissue-specificity of gene expression. Results We develop a Bayesian network approach for identifying cis-regulatory modules likely to regulate tissue-specific expression. The network integrates predicted transcription factor binding site information, transcription factor expression data, and target gene expression data. At its core is a regression tree modeling the effect of combinations of transcription factors bound to a module. A new unsupervised EM-like algorithm is developed to learn the parameters of the network, including the regression tree structure. Conclusion Our approach is shown to accurately identify known human liver and erythroid-specific modules. When applied to the prediction of tissue-specific modules in 10 different tissues, the network predicts a number of important transcription factor combinations whose concerted binding is associated to specific expression.
Zimmermann, Jacqueline F; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude
Long-term memory (LTM) has been shown to bias attention to a previously learned visual target location. Here, we examined whether memory-predicted spatial location can facilitate the detection of a faint pure tone target embedded in real world audio clips (e.g., soundtrack of a restaurant). During an initial familiarization task, participants heard audio clips, some of which included a lateralized target (p = 50%). On each trial participants indicated whether the target was presented from the left, right, or was absent. Following a 1 hr retention interval, participants were presented with the same audio clips, which now all included a target. In Experiment 1, participants showed memory-based gains in response time and d'. Experiment 2 showed that temporal expectations modulate attention, with greater memory-guided attention effects on performance when temporal context was reinstated from learning (i.e., when timing of the target within audio clips was not changed from initially learned timing). Experiment 3 showed that while conscious recall of target locations was modulated by exposure to target-context associations during learning (i.e., better recall with higher number of learning blocks), the influence of LTM associations on spatial attention was not reduced (i.e., number of learning blocks did not affect memory-guided attention). Both Experiments 2 and 3 showed gains in performance related to target-context associations, even for associations that were not explicitly remembered. Together, these findings indicate that memory for audio clips is acquired quickly and is surprisingly robust; both implicit and explicit LTM for the location of a faint target tone modulated auditory spatial attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Taatgen, Niels A.; van Rijn, Hedderik; Anderson, John
A theory of prospective time perception is introduced and incorporated as a module in an integrated theory of cognition, thereby extending existing theories and allowing predictions about attention and learning. First, a time perception module is established by fitting existing datasets (interval estimation and bisection and impact of secondary…
Hoffman, Lesa; McDowd, Joan M; Atchley, Paul; Dubinsky, Richard
This study evaluated the role of visual attention (as measured by the DriverScan change detection task and the Useful Field of View Test [UFOV]) in the prediction of driving impairment in 155 adults between the ages of 63 and 87. In contrast to previous research, participants were not oversampled for visual impairment or history of automobile accidents. Although a history of automobile accidents within the past 3 years could not be predicted using any variable, driving performance in a low-fidelity simulator could be significantly predicted by performance in the change detection task and by the divided and selection attention subtests of the UFOV in structural equation models. The sensitivity and specificity of each measure in identifying at-risk drivers were also evaluated with receiver operating characteristic curves.
Rummel, Jan; Kuhlmann, Beatrice G; Touron, Dayna R
To investigate whether making performance predictions affects prospective memory (PM) processing, we asked one group of participants to predict their performance in a PM task embedded in an ongoing task and compared their performance with a control group that made no predictions. A third group gave not only PM predictions but also ongoing-task predictions. Exclusive PM predictions resulted in slower ongoing-task responding both in a nonfocal (Experiment 1) and in a focal (Experiment 2) PM task. Only in the nonfocal task was the additional slowing accompanied by improved PM performance. Even in the nonfocal task, however, was the correlation between ongoing-task speed and PM performance reduced after predictions, suggesting that the slowing was not completely functional for PM. Prediction-induced changes could be avoided by asking participants to additionally predict their performance in the ongoing task. In sum, the present findings substantiate a role of metamemory for attention-allocation strategies of PM. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Taylor, Holly A.
The present work investigated the effects of caffeine (0 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg) on a flanker task designed to test Posner's three visual attention network functions: alerting, orienting, and executive control [Posner, M. I. (2004). "Cognitive neuroscience of attention". New York, NY: Guilford Press]. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind…
Yarnitsky, David; Granot, Michal; Nahman-Averbuch, Hadas; Khamaisi, Mogher; Granovsky, Yelena
This study aims to individualize the selection of drugs for neuropathic pain by examining the potential coupling of a given drug's mechanism of action with the patient's pain modulation pattern. The latter is assessed by the conditioned pain modulation (CPM) and temporal summation (TS) protocols. We hypothesized that patients with a malfunctioning pain modulation pattern, such as less efficient CPM, would benefit more from drugs augmenting descending inhibitory pain control than would patients with a normal modulation pattern of efficient CPM. Thirty patients with painful diabetic neuropathy received 1 week of placebo, 1 week of 30 mg/d duloxetine, and 4 weeks of 60 mg/d duloxetine. Pain modulation was assessed psychophysically, both before and at the end of treatment. Patient assessment of drug efficacy, assessed weekly, was the study's primary outcome. Baseline CPM was found to be correlated with duloxetine efficacy (r=0.628, P<.001, efficient CPM is marked negative), such that less efficient CPM predicted efficacious use of duloxetine. Regression analysis (R(2)=0.673; P=.012) showed that drug efficacy was predicted only by CPM (P=.001) and not by pretreatment pain levels, neuropathy severity, depression level, or patient assessment of improvement by placebo. Furthermore, beyond its predictive value, the treatment-induced improvement in CPM was correlated with drug efficacy (r=-0.411, P=.033). However, this improvement occurred only in patients with less efficient CPM (16.8±16.0 to -1.1±15.5, P<.050). No predictive role was found for TS. In conclusion, the coupling of CPM and duloxetine efficacy highlights the importance of pain pathophysiology in the clinical decision-making process. This evaluative approach promotes personalized pain therapy. Copyright © 2012 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Harrison, Neil R; Woodhouse, Rob
Previous research has demonstrated that threatening, compared to neutral pictures, can bias attention towards non-emotional auditory targets. Here we investigated which subcomponents of attention contributed to the influence of emotional visual stimuli on auditory spatial attention. Participants indicated the location of an auditory target, after brief (250 ms) presentation of a spatially non-predictive peripheral visual cue. Responses to targets were faster at the location of the preceding visual cue, compared to at the opposite location (cue validity effect). The cue validity effect was larger for targets following pleasant and unpleasant cues compared to neutral cues, for right-sided targets. For unpleasant cues, the crossmodal cue validity effect was driven by delayed attentional disengagement, and for pleasant cues, it was driven by enhanced engagement. We conclude that both pleasant and unpleasant visual cues influence the distribution of attention across modalities and that the associated attentional mechanisms depend on the valence of the visual cue.
Meule, Adrian; de Zwaan, Martina; Müller, Astrid
Impulsivity is a multifaceted construct and constitutes a common risk factor for a range of behaviors associated with poor self-control (e.g., substance use or binge eating). The short form of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-15) measures impulsive behaviors related to attentional (inability to focus attention or concentrate), motor (acting without thinking), and non-planning (lack of future orientation or forethought) impulsivity. Eating-related measures appear to be particularly related to attentional and motor impulsivity and recent findings suggest that interactive effects between these two facets may play a role in eating- and weight-regulation. One-hundred thirty-three obese individuals presenting for bariatric surgery (77.4% female) completed the BIS-15 and the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) 2.0, which measures addiction-like eating based on the eleven symptoms of substance use disorder outlined in the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Sixty-three participants (47.4%) were classified as being 'food addicted'. Scores on attentional and motor impulsivity interactively predicted 'food addiction' status: higher attentional impulsivity was associated with a higher likelihood of receiving a YFAS 2.0 diagnosis only at high (+1 SD), but not at low (-1 SD) levels of motor impulsivity. Results support previous findings showing that non-planning impulsivity does not appear to play a role in eating-related self-regulation. Furthermore, this is the first study that shows interactive effects between different impulsivity facets when predicting 'food addiction' in obese individuals. Self-regulatory failure in eating-regulation (e.g., addiction-like overeating) may particularly emerge when both attentional and motor impulsivity levels are elevated. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available In interocular suppression, a suprathreshold monocular target can be rendered invisible by a salient competitor stimulus presented in the other eye. Despite decades of research on interocular suppression and related phenomena (e.g., binocular rivalry, flash suppression, continuous flash suppression, the neural processing underlying interocular suppression is still unknown. We developed and tested a computational model of interocular suppression. The model included two processes that contributed to the strength of interocular suppression: divisive normalization and attentional modulation. According to the model, the salient competitor induced a stimulus-driven attentional modulation selective for the location and orientation of the competitor, thereby increasing the gain of neural responses to the competitor and reducing the gain of neural responses to the target. Additional suppression was induced by divisive normalization in the model, similar to other forms of visual masking. To test the model, we conducted psychophysics experiments in which both the size and the eye-of-origin of the competitor were manipulated. For small and medium competitors, behavioral performance was consonant with a change in the response gain of neurons that responded to the target. But large competitors induced a contrast-gain change, even when the competitor was split between the two eyes. The model correctly predicted these results and outperformed an alternative model in which the attentional modulation was eye specific. We conclude that both stimulus-driven attention (selective for location and feature and divisive normalization contribute to interocular suppression.
Li, Hsin-Hung; Carrasco, Marisa; Heeger, David J
In interocular suppression, a suprathreshold monocular target can be rendered invisible by a salient competitor stimulus presented in the other eye. Despite decades of research on interocular suppression and related phenomena (e.g., binocular rivalry, flash suppression, continuous flash suppression), the neural processing underlying interocular suppression is still unknown. We developed and tested a computational model of interocular suppression. The model included two processes that contributed to the strength of interocular suppression: divisive normalization and attentional modulation. According to the model, the salient competitor induced a stimulus-driven attentional modulation selective for the location and orientation of the competitor, thereby increasing the gain of neural responses to the competitor and reducing the gain of neural responses to the target. Additional suppression was induced by divisive normalization in the model, similar to other forms of visual masking. To test the model, we conducted psychophysics experiments in which both the size and the eye-of-origin of the competitor were manipulated. For small and medium competitors, behavioral performance was consonant with a change in the response gain of neurons that responded to the target. But large competitors induced a contrast-gain change, even when the competitor was split between the two eyes. The model correctly predicted these results and outperformed an alternative model in which the attentional modulation was eye specific. We conclude that both stimulus-driven attention (selective for location and feature) and divisive normalization contribute to interocular suppression.
Harriet R Brown
Full Text Available Recent formulations of attention – in terms of predictive coding – associate attentional gain with the expected precision of sensory information. Formal models of the Posner paradigm suggest that validity effects can be explained in a principled (Bayes optimal fashion in terms of a cue-dependent setting of precision or gain on the sensory channels reporting anticipated target locations, which is subsequently updated by invalid targets. This normative model is equipped with a biologically plausible process theory in the form of predictive coding, where precision is encoded by the gain of superficial pyramidal cells reporting prediction error. We used dynamic causal modelling to assess the evidence in magnetoencephalographic responses for cue-dependent and top-down updating of superficial pyramidal cell gain. Bayesian model comparison suggested that it is almost certain that differences in superficial pyramidal cells gain – and its top-down modulation – contribute to observed responses; and we could be more than 80% certain that anticipatory effects on postsynaptic gain are limited to visual (extrastriate sources. These empirical results speak to the role of attention in optimising perceptual inference and its formulation in terms of predictive coding.
Horschig, Jörn M; Oosterheert, Wouter; Oostenveld, Robert; Jensen, Ole
Here we report that the modulation of alpha activity by covert attention can be used as a control signal in an online brain-computer interface, that it is reliable, and that it is robust. Subjects were instructed to orient covert visual attention to the left or right hemifield. We decoded the direction of attention from the magnetoencephalogram by a template matching classifier and provided the classification outcome to the subject in real-time using a novel graphical user interface. Training data for the templates were obtained from a Posner-cueing task conducted just before the BCI task. Eleven subjects participated in four sessions each. Eight of the subjects achieved classification rates significantly above chance level. Subjects were able to significantly increase their performance from the first to the second session. Individual patterns of posterior alpha power remained stable throughout the four sessions and did not change with increased performance. We conclude that posterior alpha power can successfully be used as a control signal in brain-computer interfaces. We also discuss several ideas for further improving the setup and propose future research based on solid hypotheses about behavioral consequences of modulating neuronal oscillations by brain computer interfacing.
Jung H Lee
Full Text Available Cortical rhythms have been thought to play crucial roles in our cognitive abilities. Rhythmic activity in the beta frequency band, around 20 Hz, has been reported in recent studies that focused on neural correlates of attention, indicating that top-down beta rhythms, generated in higher cognitive areas and delivered to earlier sensory areas, can support attentional gain modulation. To elucidate functional roles of beta rhythms and underlying mechanisms, we built a computational model of sensory cortical areas. Our simulation results show that top-down beta rhythms can activate ascending synaptic projections from L5 to L4 and L2/3, responsible for biased competition in superficial layers. In the simulation, slow-inhibitory interneurons are shown to resonate to the 20 Hz input and modulate the activity in superficial layers in an attention-related manner. The predicted critical roles of these cells in attentional gain provide a potential mechanism by which cholinergic drive can support selective attention.
Full Text Available Attention is important for effectively comparing incoming perceptual information with the contents of visual short-term memory (VSTM, such that any differences can be detected. However, how attentional mechanisms operate upon these comparison processes remains largely unknown. Here we investigate the underlying neural mechanisms by which attention modulates the comparisons between VSTM and perceptual representations using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. Participants performed a cued change detection task. Spatial cues were presented to orient their attention either to the location of an item in VSTM prior to its comparison (retro-cues, or simultaneously (simultaneous-cues with the probe array. A no-cue condition was also included. When attention cannot be effectively deployed in advance (i.e. following the simultaneous-cues, we observed a distributed and extensive activation pattern in the prefrontal and parietal cortices in support of successful change detection. This was not the case when participants can deploy their attention in advance (i.e. following the retro-cues. The region-of-interest analyses confirmed that neural responses for successful change detection versus correct rejection in the visual and parietal regions were significantly different for simultaneous-cues compared to retro-cues. Importantly, we found enhanced functional connectivity between prefrontal and parietal cortices when detecting changes on the simultaneous-cue trials. Moreover, we demonstrated a close relationship between this functional connectivity and d' scores. Together, our findings elucidate the attentional and neural mechanisms by which items held in VSTM are compared with incoming perceptual information.
Kim, Young Mi; Kim, Hyeon Soo
As software based digital I and C (Instrumentation and Control) systems are used more prevalently in nuclear plants, enhancement of software dependability has become an important issue in the area of nuclear I and C systems. Critical attributes of software dependability are safety and reliability. These attributes are tightly related to software failures caused by faults. Software testing and V and V (Verification and Validation) activities are hence important for enhancing software dependability. If the risky modules of safety-critical software can be predicted, it will be possible to focus on testing and V and V activities more efficiently and effectively. It should also make it possible to better allocate resources for regulation activities. We propose a prediction technique to estimate risky software modules by adopting machine learning models based on software complexity metrics. An empirical study with various machine learning algorithms was executed for comparing the prediction performance. Experimental results show SVMs (Support Vector Machines) perform as well or better than the other methods.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Coloured-hearing (CH synesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon in which an acoustic stimulus (the inducer initiates a concurrent colour perception (the concurrent. Individuals with CH synesthesia "see" colours when hearing tones, words, or music; this specific phenomenon suggesting a close relationship between auditory and visual representations. To date, it is still unknown whether the perception of colours is associated with a modulation of brain functions in the inducing brain area, namely in the auditory-related cortex and associated brain areas. In addition, there is an on-going debate as to whether attention to the inducer is necessarily required for eliciting a visual concurrent, or whether the latter can emerge in a pre-attentive fashion. Results By using the EEG technique in the context of a pre-attentive mismatch negativity (MMN paradigm, we show that the binding of tones and colours in CH synesthetes is associated with increased MMN amplitudes in response to deviant tones supposed to induce novel concurrent colour perceptions. Most notably, the increased MMN amplitudes we revealed in the CH synesthetes were associated with stronger intracerebral current densities originating from the auditory cortex, parietal cortex, and ventral visual areas. Conclusions The automatic binding of tones and colours in CH synesthetes is accompanied by an early pre-attentive process recruiting the auditory cortex, inferior and superior parietal lobules, as well as ventral occipital areas.
Full Text Available Strong bottom-up impulses and weak top-down control may interactively lead to overeating and, consequently, weight gain. In the present study, female university freshmen were tested at the start of the first semester and again at the start of the second semester. Attentional bias toward high- or low-calorie food-cues was assessed using a dot-probe paradigm and participants completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale . Attentional bias and motor impulsivity interactively predicted change in body mass index: motor impulsivity positively predicted weight gain only when participants showed an attentional bias toward high-calorie food-cues. Attentional and non-planning impulsivity were unrelated to weight change. Results support findings showing that weight gain is prospectively predicted by a combination of weak top-down control (i.e. high impulsivity and strong bottom-up impulses (i.e. high automatic motivational drive toward high-calorie food stimuli. They also highlight the fact that only specific aspects of impulsivity are relevant in eating and weight regulation.
Swingler, Margaret M.; Perry, Nicole B.; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann
We apply a biopsychosocial conceptualization to attention development in the 1st year and examine the role of neurophysiological and social processes on the development of early attention processes. We tested whether maternal behavior measured during 2 mother-child interaction tasks when infants (N = 388) were 5 months predicted infant medial…
Sani, Susan Raouf Hadadi; Tabibi, Zahra; Fadardi, Javad Salehi; Stavrinos, Despina
The present study explored whether aggression, emotional regulation, cognitive inhibition, and attentional bias towards emotional stimuli were related to risky driving behavior (driving errors, and driving violations). A total of 117 applicants for taxi driver positions (89% male, M age=36.59years, SD=9.39, age range 24-62years) participated in the study. Measures included the Ahwaz Aggression Inventory, the Difficulties in emotion regulation Questionnaire, the emotional Stroop task, the Go/No-go task, and the Driving Behavior Questionnaire. Correlation and regression analyses showed that aggression and emotional regulation predicted risky driving behavior. Difficulties in emotion regulation, the obstinacy and revengeful component of aggression, attentional bias toward emotional stimuli, and cognitive inhibition predicted driving errors. Aggression was the only significant predictive factor for driving violations. In conclusion, aggression and difficulties in regulating emotions may exacerbate risky driving behaviors. Deficits in cognitive inhibition and attentional bias toward negative emotional stimuli can increase driving errors. Predisposition to aggression has strong effect on making one vulnerable to violation of traffic rules and crashes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jaeger, Manuela; Bleichner, Martin G; Bauer, Anna-Katharina R; Mirkovic, Bojana; Debener, Stefan
The acoustic envelope of human speech correlates with the syllabic rate (4-8 Hz) and carries important information for intelligibility, which is typically compromised in multi-talker, noisy environments. In order to better understand the dynamics of selective auditory attention to low frequency modulated sound sources, we conducted a two-stream auditory steady-state response (ASSR) selective attention electroencephalogram (EEG) study. The two streams consisted of 4 and 7 Hz amplitude and frequency modulated sounds presented from the left and right side. One of two streams had to be attended while the other had to be ignored. The attended stream always contained a target, allowing for the behavioral confirmation of the attention manipulation. EEG ASSR power analysis revealed a significant increase in 7 Hz power for the attend compared to the ignore conditions. There was no significant difference in 4 Hz power when the 4 Hz stream had to be attended compared to when it had to be ignored. This lack of 4 Hz attention modulation could be explained by a distracting effect of a third frequency at 3 Hz (beat frequency) perceivable when the 4 and 7 Hz streams are presented simultaneously. Taken together our results show that low frequency modulations at syllabic rate are modulated by selective spatial attention. Whether attention effects act as enhancement of the attended stream or suppression of to be ignored stream may depend on how well auditory streams can be segregated.
Fosco, Whitney D; Hawk, Larry W
A child's ability to sustain attention over time (AOT) is critical in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), yet no prior work has examined the extent to which a child's decrement in AOT on laboratory tasks relates to clinically-relevant behavior. The goal of this study is to provide initial evidence for the criterion validity of laboratory assessments of AOT. A total of 20 children with ADHD (7-12 years of age) who were enrolled in a summer treatment program completed two lab attention tasks (a continuous performance task and a self-paced choice discrimination task) and math seatwork. Analyses focused on relations between attention task parameters and math productivity. Individual differences in overall attention (OA) measures (averaged across time) accounted for 23% of the variance in math productivity, supporting the criterion validity of lab measures of attention. The criterion validity was enhanced by consideration of changes in AOT. Performance on all laboratory attention measures deteriorated as time-on-task increased, and individual differences in the decrement in AOT accounted for 40% of the variance in math productivity. The only variable to uniquely predict math productivity was from the self-paced choice discrimination task. This study suggests that attention tasks in the lab do predict a clinically-relevant target behavior in children with ADHD, supporting their use as a means to study attention processes in a controlled environment. Furthermore, this prediction is improved when attention is examined as a function of time-on-task and when the attentional demands are consistent between lab and life contexts.
Esterman, Michael; Poole, Victoria; Liu, Guanyu; DeGutis, Joseph
Reward and motivation have powerful effects on cognition and brain activity, yet it remains unclear how they affect sustained cognitive performance. We have recently shown that a variety of motivators improve accuracy and reduce variability during sustained attention. In the current study, we investigate how neural activity in task-positive networks supports these sustained attention improvements. Participants performed the gradual-onset continuous performance task with alternating motivated (rewarded) and unmotivated (unrewarded) blocks. During motivated blocks, we observed increased sustained neural recruitment of task-positive regions, which interacted with fluctuations in task performance. Specifically, during motivated blocks, participants recruited these regions in preparation for upcoming targets, and this activation predicted accuracy. In contrast, during unmotivated blocks, no such advanced preparation was observed. Furthermore, during motivated blocks, participants had similar activation levels during both optimal (in-the-zone) and suboptimal (out-of-the-zone) epochs of performance. In contrast, during unmotivated blocks, task-positive regions were only engaged to a similar degree as motivated blocks during suboptimal (out-of-the-zone) periods. These data support a framework in which motivated individuals act as "cognitive investors," engaging task-positive resources proactively and consistently during sustaining attention. When unmotivated, however, the same individuals act as "cognitive misers," engaging maximal task-positive resources only during periods of struggle. Published by Oxford University Press 2016.
Nielbo, Kristoffer Laigaard; Sørensen, Jesper
studies have tried to answer by focusing on ritualized behavior instead of ritual. Ritualized behavior (i.e., a set of behavioral features embedded in rituals) increases attention to detail and induces cognitive resource depletion, which together support distinct modes of action categorization. While......How do cultural and religious rituals influence human perception and cognition, and what separates the highly patterned behaviors of communal ceremonies from perceptually similar precautionary and compulsive behaviors? These are some of the questions that recent theoretical models and empirical...... patterns and the simulation data were subjected to linear and non-linear analysis. The results are used to exemplify how action perception of ritualized behavior a) might influence allocation of attentional resources; and b) can be modulated by cultural priors. Further explorations of the model show why...
Aktar, Evin; Mandell, Dorothy J; de Vente, Wieke; Majdandžić, Mirjana; Raijmakers, Maartje E J; Bögels, Susan M
Between 10 and 14 months, infants gain the ability to learn about unfamiliar stimuli by observing others' emotional reactions to those stimuli, so called social referencing (SR). Joint processing of emotion and head/gaze direction is essential for SR. This study tested emotion and head/gaze direction effects on infants' attention via pupillometry in the period following the emergence of SR. Pupil responses of 14-to-17-month-old infants (N = 57) were measured during computerized presentations of unfamiliar objects alone, before-and-after being paired with emotional (happy, sad, fearful vs. neutral) faces gazing towards (vs. away) from objects. Additionally, the associations of infants' temperament, and parents' negative affect/depression/anxiety with infants' pupil responses were explored. Both mothers and fathers of participating infants completed questionnaires about their negative affect, depression and anxiety symptoms and their infants' negative temperament. Infants allocated more attention (larger pupils) to negative vs. neutral faces when the faces were presented alone, while they allocated less attention to objects paired with emotional vs. neutral faces independent of head/gaze direction. Sad (but not fearful) temperament predicted more attention to emotional faces. Infants' sad temperament moderated the associations of mothers' depression (but not anxiety) with infants' attention to objects. Maternal depression predicted more attention to objects paired with emotional expressions in infants low in sad temperament, while it predicted less attention in infants high in sad temperament. Fathers' depression (but not anxiety) predicted more attention to objects paired with emotional expressions independent of infants' temperament. We conclude that infants' own temperamental dispositions for sadness, and their exposure to mothers' and fathers' depressed moods may influence infants' attention to emotion-object associations in social learning contexts.
Tokoro, Kazuhiko; Sato, Hironobu; Yamamoto, Mayumi; Nagai, Yoshiko
Attention is the process by which information and selection occurs, the thalamus plays an important role in the selective attention of visual and auditory information. Selective attention is a conscious effort; however, it occurs subconsciously, as well. The lateral geniculate body (LGB) filters visual information before it reaches the cortex (bottom-up attention). The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) provides a strong inhibitory input to both the LGB and pulvinar. This regulation involves focusing a spotlight on important information, as well as inhibiting unnecessary background information. Behavioral contexts more strongly modulate activity of the TRN and pulvinar influencing feedforward and feedback information transmission between the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital cortical areas (top-down attention). The medial geniculate body (MGB) filters auditory information the TRN inhibits the MGB. Attentional modulation occurring in the auditory pathway among the cochlea, cochlear nucleus, superior olivary complex, and inferior colliculus is more important than that of the MGB and TRN. We also discuss the attentional consequence of thalamic hemorrhage.
Models of visual attention have focused predominantly on bottom-up approaches that ignored structured contextual and scene information. I propose a model of contextual cueing for attention guidance based on the global scene configuration. It is shown that the statistics of low-level features across the whole image can be used to prime the presence or absence of objects in the scene and to predict their location, scale, and appearance before exploring the image. In this scheme, visual context information can become available early in the visual processing chain, which allows modulation of the saliency of image regions and provides an efficient shortcut for object detection and recognition. 2003 Optical Society of America
Behne, Patrick Alan [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
The modeling of the detectability of special nuclear material (SNM) at ports and border crossings requires accurate knowledge of the background radiation at those locations. Background radiation originates from two main sources, cosmic and terrestrial. Cosmic background is produced by high-energy galactic cosmic rays (GCR) entering the atmosphere and inducing a cascade of particles that eventually impact the earth’s surface. The solar modulation potential represents one of the primary inputs to modeling cosmic background radiation. Usosokin et al. formally define solar modulation potential as “the mean energy loss [per unit charge] of a cosmic ray particle inside the heliosphere…” Modulation potential, a function of elevation, location, and time, shares an inverse relationship with cosmic background radiation. As a result, radiation detector thresholds require adjustment to account for differing background levels, caused partly by differing solar modulations. Failure to do so can result in higher rates of false positives and failed detection of SNM for low and high levels of solar modulation potential, respectively. This study focuses on solar modulation’s time dependence, and seeks the best method to predict modulation for future dates using Python. To address the task of predicting future solar modulation, we utilize both non-linear least squares sinusoidal curve fitting and cubic spline interpolation. This material will be published in transactions of the ANS winter meeting of November, 2016.
Mason, Liam; Trujillo-Barreto, Nelson J; Bentall, Richard P; El-Deredy, Wael
There is amassing evidence that risky decision-making in bipolar disorder is related to reward-based differences in frontostriatal regions. However, the roles of early attentional and later cognitive processes remain unclear, limiting theoretical understanding and development of targeted interventions. Twenty euthymic bipolar disorder and 19 matched control participants played a Roulette task in which they won and lost money. Event-related potentials and source analysis were used to quantify predominantly sensory-attentional (N1), motivational salience (feedback-related negativities [FRN]), and cognitive appraisal (P300) stages of processing. We predicted that the bipolar disorder group would show increased N1, consistent with increased attentional orienting, and reduced FRN, consistent with a bias to perceive outcomes more favorably. As predicted, the bipolar disorder group showed increased N1 and reduced FRN but no differences in P300. N1 amplitude was additionally associated with real-life risk taking, and N1 source activity was reduced in visual cortex but increased activity in precuneus, frontopolar, and premotor cortex, compared to those of controls. These findings demonstrate an early attentional bias to reward that potentially drives risk taking by priming approach behavior and elevating reward salience in the frontostriatal pathway. Although later cognitive appraisals of these inputs may be relatively intact in remission, interventions targeting attention orienting may also be effective in long-term reduction of relapse. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Goto, Nobuhiko; Mushtaq, Faisal; Shee, Dexter; Lim, Xue Li; Mortazavi, Matin; Watabe, Motoki; Schaefer, Alexandre
We investigated whether well-known neural markers of selective attention to motivationally-relevant stimuli were modulated by variations in subjective preference towards consumer goods in a virtual shopping task. Specifically, participants viewed and rated pictures of various goods on the extent to which they wanted each item, which they could potentially purchase afterwards. Using the event-related potentials (ERP) method, we found that variations in subjective preferences for consumer goods strongly modulated positive slow waves (PSW) from 800 to 3000 milliseconds after stimulus onset. We also found that subjective preferences modulated the N200 and the late positive potential (LPP). In addition, we found that both PSW and LPP were modulated by subsequent buying decisions. Overall, these findings show that well-known brain event-related potentials reflecting selective attention processes can reliably index preferences to consumer goods in a shopping environment. Based on a large body of previous research, we suggest that early ERPs (e.g. the N200) to consumer goods could be indicative of preferences driven by unconditional and automatic processes, whereas later ERPs such as the LPP and the PSW could reflect preferences built upon more elaborative and conscious cognitive processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Koenig, Stephan; Uengoer, Metin; Lachnit, Harald
The attentional learning theory of Pearce and Hall () predicts more attention to uncertain cues that have caused a high prediction error in the past. We examined how the cue-elicited pupil dilation during associative learning was linked to such error-driven attentional processes. In three experiments, participants were trained to acquire associations between different cues and their appetitive (Experiment 1), motor (Experiment 2), or aversive (Experiment 3) outcomes. All experiments were designed to examine differences in the processing of continuously reinforced cues (consistently followed by the outcome) versus partially reinforced, uncertain cues (randomly followed by the outcome). We measured the pupil dilation elicited by the cues in anticipation of the outcome and analyzed how this conditioned pupil response changed over the course of learning. In all experiments, changes in pupil size complied with the same basic pattern: During early learning, consistently reinforced cues elicited greater pupil dilation than uncertain, randomly reinforced cues, but this effect gradually reversed to yield a greater pupil dilation for uncertain cues toward the end of learning. The pattern of data accords with the changes in prediction error and error-driven attention formalized by the Pearce-Hall theory. © 2017 The Authors. Psychophysiology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Montijn, Jorrit Steven; Klink, P Christaan; van Wezel, Richard J A
Divisive normalization models of covert attention commonly use spike rate modulations as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly in gamma-band frequencies (25-100 Hz). Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a multi-level hierarchical structure and a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas is shown to cause signal degradation and a loss of stimulus discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate a kind of oscillatory phase entrainment into our model that has previously been proposed as the "communication-through-coherence" (CTC) hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO) model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation and predicts a latency effect on neuronal responses as a result of cued attention.
Everaert, Jonas; Koster, Ernst H W
Emotional biases in attention modulate encoding of emotional material into long-term memory, but little is known about the role of such attentional biases during emotional memory retrieval. The present study investigated how emotional biases in memory are related to attentional allocation during retrieval. Forty-nine individuals encoded emotionally positive and negative meanings derived from ambiguous information and then searched their memory for encoded meanings in response to a set of retrieval cues. The remember/know/new procedure was used to classify memories as recollection-based or familiarity-based, and gaze behavior was monitored throughout the task to measure attentional allocation. We found that a bias in sustained attention during recollection-based, but not familiarity-based, retrieval predicted subsequent memory bias toward positive versus negative material following encoding. Thus, during emotional memory retrieval, attention affects controlled forms of retrieval (i.e., recollection) but does not modulate relatively automatic, familiarity-based retrieval. These findings enhance understanding of how distinct components of attention regulate the emotional content of memories. Implications for theoretical models and emotion regulation are discussed. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Li, Xiaoming; Tao, Qian; Fang, Ya; Cheng, Chen; Hao, Yangyang; Qi, Jianjun; Li, Yu; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Xiaochu
The cognitive mechanism underlying the association between individual differences in reward sensitivity and food craving is unknown. The present study explored the mechanism by examining the role of reward sensitivity in attentional bias toward ice cream cues. Forty-nine college students who displayed high level of ice cream craving (HICs) and 46 who displayed low level of ice cream craving (LICs) performed an inattentional blindness (IB) task which was used to assess attentional bias for ice cream. In addition, reward sensitivity and coping style were assessed by the Behavior Inhibition System/Behavior Activation System Scales and Simplified Coping Style Questionnaire. Results showed significant higher identification rate of the critical stimulus in the HICs than LICs, suggesting greater attentional bias for ice cream in the HICs. It was indicated that attentional bias for food cues persisted even under inattentional condition. Furthermore, a significant correlation was found between the attentional bias and reward sensitivity after controlling for coping style, and reward sensitivity predicted attentional bias for food cues. The mediation analyses showed that attentional bias mediated the relationship between reward sensitivity and food craving. Those findings suggest that the association between individual differences in reward sensitivity and food craving may be attributed to attentional bias for food-related cues. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bekisz, Marek; Bogdan, Wojciech; Ghazaryan, Anaida; Waleszczyk, Wioletta J.; Kublik, Ewa; Wróbel, Andrzej
Selective attention can be focused either volitionally, by top-down signals derived from task demands, or automatically, by bottom-up signals from salient stimuli. Because the brain mechanisms that underlie these two attention processes are poorly understood, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) from primary visual cortical areas of cats as they performed stimulus-driven and anticipatory discrimination tasks. Consistent with our previous observations, in both tasks, we found enhanced beta activity, which we have postulated may serve as an attention carrier. We characterized the functional organization of task-related beta activity by (i) cortical responses (EPs) evoked by electrical stimulation of the optic chiasm and (ii) intracortical LFP correlations. During the anticipatory task, peripheral stimulation that was preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations evoked large-amplitude EPs compared with EPs that followed low-amplitude beta. In contrast, during the stimulus-driven task, cortical EPs preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations were, on average, smaller than those preceded by low-amplitude beta. Analysis of the correlations between the different recording sites revealed that beta activation maps were heterogeneous during the bottom-up task and homogeneous for the top-down task. We conclude that bottom-up attention activates cortical visual areas in a mosaic-like pattern, whereas top-down attentional modulation results in spatially homogeneous excitation. PMID:26730705
Capilla, Almudena; Schoffelen, Jan-Mathijs; Paterson, Gavin; Thut, Gregor; Gross, Joachim
Modulations of occipito-parietal α-band (8-14 Hz) power that are opposite in direction (α-enhancement vs. α-suppression) and origin of generation (ipsilateral vs. contralateral to the locus of attention) are a robust correlate of anticipatory visuospatial attention. Yet, the neural generators of these α-band modulations, their interdependence across homotopic areas, and their respective contribution to subsequent perception remain unclear. To shed light on these questions, we employed magnetoencephalography, while human volunteers performed a spatially cued detection task. Replicating previous findings, we found α-power enhancement ipsilateral to the attended hemifield and contralateral α-suppression over occipito-parietal sensors. Source localization (beamforming) analysis showed that α-enhancement and suppression were generated in 2 distinct brain regions, located in the dorsal and ventral visual streams, respectively. Moreover, α-enhancement and suppression showed different dynamics and contribution to perception. In contrast to the initial and transient dorsal α-enhancement, α-suppression in ventro-lateral occipital cortex was sustained and influenced subsequent target detection. This anticipatory biasing of ventro-lateral extrastriate α-activity probably reflects increased receptivity in the brain region specialized in processing upcoming target features. Our results add to current models on the role of α-oscillations in attention orienting by showing that α-enhancement and suppression can be dissociated in time, space, and perceptual relevance.
Bolton, David A E; Staines, W Richard
Normal aging has been linked to impairments in gating of irrelevant sensory information and neural markers of diminished cognitive processing. Whilst much of the research in this area has focussed on visual and auditory modalities it is unclear to what degree these findings apply to somatosensation. Therefore we investigated how age impacts early event-related potentials (ERPs) arising from relevant or irrelevant vibrotactile stimuli to the fingertips. Specifically, we hypothesised that older adults would demonstrate reduced attention-based modulation of tactile ERPs generated at early stages of cortical somatosensory processing. In accord with previous research we also expected to observe diminished P300 responses to attended targets and behavioural deficits. Participants received vibrotactile stimulation to the second and fifth digit on the left hand and reported target stimuli on one digit only (as instructed) with comparisons between two age groups: (1) Young adults (age range 20-39) and (2) Older adults (age range 62-89). ERP amplitudes for the P50, N70, P100, N140 and long latency positivity (LLP) were quantified for attended and non-attended trials at several electrodes (C4, CP4, CP3 and FC4). The P300 in response to attended target stimuli was measured at CPZ. There was no effect of attention on the P50 and N70 however the P100, N140 and LLP were modulated with attention. In both age groups the P100 and LLP were more positive during trials where the stimuli were attended to, whilst the N140 was enhanced for non-attended stimuli. Comparisons between groups revealed a reduction in P100 attention-based modulation for the older adults versus the young adults. This effect was due to a loss of suppression of the non-attended stimuli in older subjects. Moreover, the P300 was both slower and reduced in peak amplitude for older subjects in response to attended targets. Finally, older adults demonstrated impaired performance in terms of both reduced target detection
Goodhew, Stephanie C; Shen, Elizabeth; Edwards, Mark
An important but often neglected aspect of attention is how changes in the attentional spotlight size impact perception. The zoom-lens model predicts that a small ("focal") attentional spotlight enhances all aspects of perception relative to a larger ("diffuse" spotlight). However, based on the physiological properties of the two major classes of visual cells (magnocellular and parvocellular neurons) we predicted trade-offs in spatial and temporal acuity as a function of spotlight size. Contrary to both of these accounts, however, across two experiments we found that attentional spotlight size affected spatial acuity, such that spatial acuity was enhanced for a focal relative to a diffuse spotlight, whereas the same modulations in spotlight size had no impact on temporal acuity. This likely reflects the function of attention: to induce the high spatial resolution of the fovea in periphery, where spatial resolution is poor but temporal resolution is good. It is adaptive, therefore, for the attentional spotlight to enhance spatial acuity, whereas enhancing temporal acuity does not confer the same benefit.
Liu, Ying; Hu, Huijing; Jones, Jeffery A; Guo, Zhiqiang; Li, Weifeng; Chen, Xi; Liu, Peng; Liu, Hanjun
Speakers rapidly adjust their ongoing vocal productions to compensate for errors they hear in their auditory feedback. It is currently unclear what role attention plays in these vocal compensations. This event-related potential (ERP) study examined the influence of selective and divided attention on the vocal and cortical responses to pitch errors heard in auditory feedback regarding ongoing vocalisations. During the production of a sustained vowel, participants briefly heard their vocal pitch shifted up two semitones while they actively attended to auditory or visual events (selective attention), or both auditory and visual events (divided attention), or were not told to attend to either modality (control condition). The behavioral results showed that attending to the pitch perturbations elicited larger vocal compensations than attending to the visual stimuli. Moreover, ERPs were likewise sensitive to the attentional manipulations: P2 responses to pitch perturbations were larger when participants attended to the auditory stimuli compared to when they attended to the visual stimuli, and compared to when they were not explicitly told to attend to either the visual or auditory stimuli. By contrast, dividing attention between the auditory and visual modalities caused suppressed P2 responses relative to all the other conditions and caused enhanced N1 responses relative to the control condition. These findings provide strong evidence for the influence of attention on the mechanisms underlying the auditory-vocal integration in the processing of pitch feedback errors. In addition, selective attention and divided attention appear to modulate the neurobehavioral processing of pitch feedback errors in different ways. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Christensen, M. G.; Jensen, Søren Holdt
A method for amplitude modulated sinusoidal audio coding is presented that has low complexity and low delay. This is based on a subband processing system, where, in each subband, the signal is modeled as an amplitude modulated sum of sinusoids. The envelopes are estimated using frequency......-domain linear prediction and the prediction coefficients are quantized. As a proof of concept, we evaluate different configurations in a subjective listening test, and this shows that the proposed method offers significant improvements in sinusoidal coding. Furthermore, the properties of the frequency...
Waithiru Charles Lawrence Kamuyu
Full Text Available Rapid reduction in the price of photovoltaic (solar PV cells and modules has resulted in a rapid increase in solar system deployments to an annual expected capacity of 200 GW by 2020. Achieving high PV cell and module efficiency is necessary for many solar manufacturers to break even. In addition, new innovative installation methods are emerging to complement the drive to lower $/W PV system price. The floating PV (FPV solar market space has emerged as a method for utilizing the cool ambient environment of the FPV system near the water surface based on successful FPV module (FPVM reliability studies that showed degradation rates below 0.5% p.a. with new encapsulation material. PV module temperature analysis is another critical area, governing the efficiency performance of solar cells and module. In this paper, data collected over five-minute intervals from a PV system over a year is analyzed. We use MATLAB to derived equation coefficients of predictable environmental variables to derive FPVM’s first module temperature operation models. When comparing the theoretical prediction to real field PV module operation temperature, the corresponding model errors range between 2% and 4% depending on number of equation coefficients incorporated. This study is useful in validation results of other studies that show FPV systems producing 10% more energy than other land based systems.
Legerstee, Jeroen S.; Tulen, Joke H. M.; Kallen, Victor L.; Dieleman, Gwen C.; Treffers, Philip D. A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Utens, Elisabeth M. W. J.
Threat-related selective attention was found to predict the success of the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders through administering a pictorial dot-probe task to 131 children with anxiety disorders prior to cognitive behavioral therapy. The diagnostic status of the subjects was evaluated with a semistructured clinical interview at both pre-…
Finley, Jason R; Benjamin, Aaron S; McCarley, Jason S
Risky multitasking, such as texting while driving, may occur because people misestimate the costs of divided attention. In two experiments, participants performed a computerized visual-manual tracking task in which they attempted to keep a mouse cursor within a small target that moved erratically around a circular track. They then separately performed an auditory n-back task. After practicing both tasks separately, participants received feedback on their single-task tracking performance and predicted their dual-task tracking performance before finally performing the 2 tasks simultaneously. Most participants correctly predicted reductions in tracking performance under dual-task conditions, with a majority overestimating the costs of dual-tasking. However, the between-subjects correlation between predicted and actual performance decrements was near 0. This combination of results suggests that people do anticipate costs of multitasking, but have little metacognitive insight on the extent to which they are personally vulnerable to the risks of divided attention, relative to other people. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
Yoncheva, Yuliya; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason D; McCandliss, Bruce D
Selective attention to phonology, i.e., the ability to attend to sub-syllabic units within spoken words, is a critical precursor to literacy acquisition. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence has demonstrated that a left-lateralized network of frontal, temporal, and posterior language regions, including the visual word form area, supports this skill. The current event-related potential (ERP) study investigated the temporal dynamics of selective attention to phonology during spoken word perception. We tested the hypothesis that selective attention to phonology dynamically modulates stimulus encoding by recruiting left-lateralized processes specifically while the information critical for performance is unfolding. Selective attention to phonology was captured by manipulating listening goals: skilled adult readers attended to either rhyme or melody within auditory stimulus pairs. Each pair superimposed rhyming and melodic information ensuring identical sensory stimulation. Selective attention to phonology produced distinct early and late topographic ERP effects during stimulus encoding. Data-driven source localization analyses revealed that selective attention to phonology led to significantly greater recruitment of left-lateralized posterior and extensive temporal regions, which was notably concurrent with the rhyme-relevant information within the word. Furthermore, selective attention effects were specific to auditory stimulus encoding and not observed in response to cues, arguing against the notion that they reflect sustained task setting. Collectively, these results demonstrate that selective attention to phonology dynamically engages a left-lateralized network during the critical time-period of perception for achieving phonological analysis goals. These findings suggest a key role for selective attention in on-line phonological computations. Furthermore, these findings motivate future research on the role that neural mechanisms of attention may
Pantic, Lana S.; Pavlović, Tomislav M.; Milosavljević, Dragana D.; Radonjic, Ivana S.; Radovic, Miodrag K.; Sazhko, Galina
Five different models for calculating solar module temperature, output power and efficiency for sunny days with different solar radiation intensities and ambient temperatures are assessed in this paper. Thereafter, modeled values are compared to the experimentally obtained values for the horizontal solar module in Nis, Serbia. The criterion for determining the best model was based on the statistical analysis and the agreement between the calculated and the experimental values. The calculated values of solar module temperature are in good agreement with the experimentally obtained ones, with some variations over and under the measured values. The best agreement between calculated and experimentally obtained values was for summer months with high solar radiation intensity. The nonlinear model for calculating the output power is much better than the linear model and at the same time predicts better the total electrical energy generated by the solar module during the day. The nonlinear model for calculating the solar module efficiency predicts the efficiency higher than the STC (Standard Test Conditions) value of solar module efficiency for all conditions, while the linear model predicts the solar module efficiency very well. This paper provides a simple and efficient guideline to estimate relevant parameters of a monocrystalline silicon solar module under the moderate-continental climate conditions. - Highlights: • Linear model for solar module temperature gives accurate predictions for August. • The nonlinear model better predicts the solar module power than the linear model. • For calculating solar module power for Nis we propose the nonlinear model. • For calculating solar model efficiency for Nis we propose adoption of linear model. • The adopted models can be used for calculations throughout the year.
Burnett, Katherine E; Close, Alex C; d'Avossa, Giovanni; Sapir, Ayelet
A commonly held view in both exogenous and endogenous orienting is that spatial attention is associated with enhanced processing of all stimuli at the attended location. However, we often search for a specific target at a particular location, so an observer should be able to jointly specify the target identity and expected location. Whether attention can bias dimension-specific processes at a particular location is not yet clear. We used a dual task to examine the effects of endogenous spatial cues on the accuracy of perceptual judgments of different dimensions. Participants responded to a motion target and a colour target, presented at the same or different locations. We manipulated a central cue to predict the location of the motion or colour target. While overall performance in the two tasks was comparable, cueing effects were larger for the target whose location was predicted by the cue, implying that when attending a particular location, processing of the likely dimension was preferentially enhanced. Additionally, an asymmetry between the motion and colour tasks was seen; motion was modulated by attention, and colour was not. We conclude that attention has some ability to select a dimension at a particular location, indicating integration of spatial and feature-based attention.
Wilder, Matthew H; Mozer, Michael C; Wickens, Christopher D
Although diverse, theories of visual attention generally share the notion that attention is controlled by some combination of three distinct strategies: (1) exogenous cuing from locally contrasting primitive visual features, such as abrupt onsets or color singletons (e.g., L. Itti, C. Koch, & E. Neiber, 1998), (2) endogenous gain modulation of exogenous activations, used to guide attention to task-relevant features (e.g., V. Navalpakkam & L. Itti, 2007; J. Wolfe, 1994, 2007), and (3) endogenous prediction of likely locations of interest, based on task and scene gist (e.g., A. Torralba, A. Oliva, M. Castelhano, & J. Henderson, 2006). However, little work has been done to synthesize these disparate theories. In this work, we propose a unifying conceptualization in which attention is controlled along two dimensions: the degree of task focus and the contextual scale of operation. Previously proposed strategies-and their combinations-can be viewed as instances of this one mechanism. Thus, this theory serves not as a replacement for existing models but as a means of bringing them into a coherent framework. We present an implementation of this theory and demonstrate its applicability to a wide range of attentional phenomena. The model accounts for key results in visual search with synthetic images and makes reasonable predictions for human eye movements in search tasks involving real-world images. In addition, the theory offers an unusual perspective on attention that places a fundamental emphasis on the role of experience and task-related knowledge.
van Hooff, Johanna C; van Buuringen, Melanie; El M'rabet, Ihsane; de Gier, Margot; van Zalingen, Lilian
Although threatening images are known to attract and keep our attention, little is known about the existence of emotion-specific attention effects. In this study (N=46), characteristics of an anticipated, disgust-specific effect were investigated by means of a covert orienting paradigm incorporating pictures that were either disgust-evoking, fear-evoking, happiness-evoking or neutral. Attention adhesion to these pictures was measured by the time necessary to identify a peripheral target, presented 100, 200, 500, or 800 ms after picture onset. Main results showed that reaction times were delayed for targets following the disgust-evoking pictures by 100 and 200 ms, suggesting that only these pictures temporarily grabbed hold of participants' attention. These delays were similar for ignore- and attend-instructions, and they were not affected by the participants' anxiety levels or disgust sensitivity. The disgust-specific influence on early attention processes thus appeared very robust, occurring in the majority of participants and without contribution of voluntary- and strategic-attention processes. In contrast, a smaller and less reliable effect of all emotional (arousing) pictures was present in the form of delayed responding in the 100 ms cue-target interval. This effect was more transitory and apparent only in participants with relatively high state-anxiety scores. Practical and theoretical consequences of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Crossmodal assimilation effect refers to the prominent phenomenon by which ensemble mean extracted from a sequence of task-irrelevant distractor events, such as auditory intervals, assimilates/biases the perception (such as visual interval of the subsequent task-relevant target events in another sensory modality. In current experiments, using visual Ternus display, we examined the roles of temporal reference, materialized as the time information accumulated before the onset of target event, as well as the attentional modulation in crossmodal temporal interaction. Specifically, we examined how the global time interval, the mean auditory inter-intervals and the last interval in the auditory sequence assimilate and bias the subsequent percept of visual Ternus motion (element motion vs. group motion. We demonstrated that both the ensemble (geometric mean and the last interval in the auditory sequence contribute to bias the percept of visual motion. Longer mean (or last interval elicited more reports of group motion, whereas the shorter mean (or last auditory intervals gave rise to more dominant percept of element motion. Importantly, observers have shown dynamic adaptation to the temporal reference of crossmodal assimilation: when the target visual Ternus stimuli were separated by a long gap interval after the preceding sound sequence, the assimilation effect by ensemble mean was reduced. Our findings suggested that crossmodal assimilation relies on a suitable temporal reference on adaptation level, and revealed a general temporal perceptual grouping principle underlying complex audio-visual interactions in everyday dynamic situations.
Bourgeois, A; Chelazzi, L; Vuilleumier, P
Motivational stimuli such as rewards elicit adaptive responses and influence various cognitive functions. Notably, increasing evidence suggests that stimuli with particular motivational values can strongly shape perception and attention. These effects resemble both selective top-down and stimulus-driven attentional orienting, as they depend on internal states but arise without conscious will, yet they seem to reflect attentional systems that are functionally and anatomically distinct from those classically associated with frontoparietal cortical networks in the brain. Recent research in human and nonhuman primates has begun to reveal how reward can bias attentional selection, and where within the cognitive system the signals providing attentional priority are generated. This review aims at describing the different mechanisms sustaining motivational attention, their impact on different behavioral tasks, and current knowledge concerning the neural networks governing the integration of motivational influences on attentional behavior. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Boksem, Maarten A. S.; Kostermans, Evelien; Tops, Mattie; De Cremer, David
Recent research has demonstrated that individual differences in approach motivation modulate attentional scope. In turn, approach and inhibition have been related to different neural systems that are associated with asymmetries in relative frontal activity (RFA). Here, we investigated whether such
Furey, Maura L; Tanskanen, Topi; Beauchamp, Michael S; Avikainen, Sari; Uutela, Kimmo; Hari, Riitta; Haxby, James V
We studied attentional modulation of cortical processing of faces and houses with functional MRI and magnetoencephalography (MEG). MEG detected an early, transient face-selective response. Directing attention to houses in "double-exposure" pictures of superimposed faces and houses strongly suppressed the characteristic, face-selective functional MRI response in the fusiform gyrus. By contrast, attention had no effect on the M170, the early, face-selective response detected with MEG. Late (>190 ms) category-related MEG responses elicited by faces and houses, however, were strongly modulated by attention. These results indicate that hemodynamic and electrophysiological measures of face-selective cortical processing complement each other. The hemodynamic signals reflect primarily late responses that can be modulated by feedback connections. By contrast, the early, face-specific M170 that was not modulated by attention likely reflects a rapid, feed-forward phase of face-selective processing.
Sörqvist, Patrik; Stenfelt, Stefan; Rönnberg, Jerker
Two fundamental research questions have driven attention research in the past: One concerns whether selection of relevant information among competing, irrelevant, information takes place at an early or at a late processing stage; the other concerns whether the capacity of attention is limited by a central, domain-general pool of resources or by independent, modality-specific pools. In this article, we contribute to these debates by showing that the auditory-evoked brainstem response (an early stage of auditory processing) to task-irrelevant sound decreases as a function of central working memory load (manipulated with a visual-verbal version of the n-back task). Furthermore, individual differences in central/domain-general working memory capacity modulated the magnitude of the auditory-evoked brainstem response, but only in the high working memory load condition. The results support a unified view of attention whereby the capacity of a late/central mechanism (working memory) modulates early precortical sensory processing.
van den Berg, Berry; Krebs, Ruth M; Lorist, Monicque M; Woldorff, Marty G
The prospect of gaining money is an incentive widely at play in the real world. Such monetary motivation might have particularly strong influence when the cognitive system is challenged, such as when needing to process conflicting stimulus inputs. Here, we employed manipulations of reward-prospect and attentional-preparation levels in a cued-Stroop stimulus conflict task, along with the high temporal resolution of electrical brain recordings, to provide insight into the mechanisms by which reward-prospect and attention interact and modulate cognitive task performance. In this task, the cue indicated whether or not the participant needed to prepare for an upcoming Stroop stimulus and, if so, whether there was the potential for monetary reward (dependent on performance on that trial). Both cued attention and cued reward-prospect enhanced preparatory neural activity, as reflected by increases in the hallmark attention-related negative-polarity ERP slow wave (contingent negative variation [CNV]) and reductions in oscillatory Alpha activity, which was followed by enhanced processing of the subsequent Stroop stimulus. In addition, similar modulations of preparatory neural activity (larger CNVs and reduced Alpha) predicted shorter versus longer response times (RTs) to the subsequent target stimulus, consistent with such modulations reflecting trial-to-trial variations in attention. Particularly striking were the individual differences in the utilization of reward-prospect information. In particular, the size of the reward effects on the preparatory neural activity correlated across participants with the degree to which reward-prospect both facilitated overall task performance (shorter RTs) and reduced conflict-related behavioral interference. Thus, the prospect of reward appears to recruit attentional preparation circuits to enhance processing of task-relevant target information.
Yoncheva; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason; McCandliss, Bruce
Selective attention to phonology, i.e., the ability to attend to sub-syllabic units within spoken words, is a critical precursor to literacy acquisition. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence has demonstrated that a left-lateralized network of frontal, temporal, and posterior language regions, including the visual word form area, supports this skill. The current event-related potential (ERP) study investigated the temporal dynamics of selective attention to phonology during spoken word perception. We tested the hypothesis that selective atten tion to phonology dynamically modulates stimulus encoding by recruiting left-lateralized processes specifically while the information critical for performance is unfolding. Selective attention to phonology was captured by ma nipulating listening goals: skilled adult readers attended to either rhyme or melody within auditory stimulus pairs. Each pair superimposed rhyming and melodic information ensuring identical sensory stimulation. Selective attention to phonology produced distinct early and late topographic ERP effects during stimulus encoding. Data- driven source localization analyses revealed that selective attention to phonology led to significantly greater re cruitment of left-lateralized posterior and extensive temporal regions, which was notably concurrent with the rhyme-relevant information within the word. Furthermore, selective attention effects were specific to auditory stimulus encoding and not observed in response to cues, arguing against the notion that they reflect sustained task setting. Collectively, these results demonstrate that selective attention to phonology dynamically engages a left-lateralized network during the critical time-period of perception for achieving phonological analysis goals. These findings support the key role of selective attention to phonology in the development of literacy and motivate future research on the neural bases of the interaction between phonological
Ersche, Karen D; Bullmore, Edward T; Craig, Kevin J; Shabbir, Shaila S; Abbott, Sanja; Müller, Ulrich; Ooi, Cinly; Suckling, John; Barnes, Anna; Sahakian, Barbara J; Merlo-Pich, Emilio V; Robbins, Trevor W
There are no effective pharmacotherapies for stimulant dependence but there are many plausible targets for development of novel therapeutics. We hypothesized that dopamine-related targets are relevant for treatment of stimulant dependence, and there will likely be individual differences in response to dopaminergic challenges. To measure behavioral and brain functional markers of drug-related attentional bias in stimulant-dependent individuals studied repeatedly after short-term dosing with dopamine D(2)/D(3) receptor antagonist and agonist challenges. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-groups, crossover design using pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging. Clinical research unit (GlaxoSmithKline) and local community in Cambridge, England. Stimulant-dependent individuals (n = 18) and healthy volunteers (n = 18). Amisulpride (400 mg), pramipexole dihydrochloride (0.5 mg), or placebo were administered in counterbalanced order at each of 3 repeated testing sessions. Attentional bias for stimulant-related words was measured during functional magnetic resonance imaging by a drug-word Stroop paradigm; trait impulsivity and compulsivity of dependence were assessed at baseline by questionnaire. Drug users demonstrated significant attentional bias for drug-related words, which was correlated with greater activation of the left prefrontal and right cerebellar cortex. Attentional bias was greater in people with highly compulsive patterns of stimulant abuse; the effects of dopaminergic challenges on attentional interference and related frontocerebellar activation were different between high- and low-compulsivity subgroups. Greater attentional bias for and greater prefrontal activation by stimulant-related words constitute a candidate neurocognitive marker for dependence. Individual differences in compulsivity of stimulant dependence had significant effects on attentional bias, its brain functional representation, and its short-term modulation
Kaufmann, Liane; Zieren, Nikola; Zotter, Sibylle; Karall, Daniela; Scholl-Burgi, Sabine; Haberlandt, Edda; Fimm, Bruno
Aim: The objective of this study was to investigate which attentional components are of predictive utility in differentiating children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, combined type (ADHD-C) from their peers without ADHD. Methods: Thirty-four children participated in the study: 17 males with ADHD-C (mean age 10y 4mo, SD 1y 9mo) and…
van Hooff, J.C.; van Buuringen, M.; El M’rabet, L.; de Gier, M.; van Zalingen, L.
Although threatening images are known to attract and keep our attention, little is known about the existence of emotion-specific attention effects. In this study (N. = 46), characteristics of an anticipated, disgust-specific effect were investigated by means of a covert orienting paradigm
Lindblom, Jallu; Peltola, Mikko J.; Vänskä, Mervi; Hietanen, Jari K.; Laakso, Anu; Tiitinen, Aila; Tulppala, Maija; Punamäki, Raija-Leena
The family environment shapes children's social information processing and emotion regulation. Yet, the long-term effects of early family systems have rarely been studied. This study investigated how family system types predict children's attentional biases toward facial expressions at the age of 10 years. The participants were 79 children from…
Demany, Laurent; Bayle, Yann; Puginier, Emilie; Semal, Catherine
Four experiments investigated change detection in acoustic scenes consisting of a sum of five amplitude-modulated pure tones. As the tones were about 0.7 octave apart and were amplitude-modulated with different frequencies (in the range 2-32 Hz), they were perceived as separate streams. Listeners had to detect a change in the frequency (experiments 1 and 2) or the shape (experiments 3 and 4) of the modulation of one of the five tones, in the presence of an informative cue orienting selective attention either before the scene (pre-cue) or after it (post-cue). The changes left intensity unchanged and were not detectable in the spectral (tonotopic) domain. Performance was much better with pre-cues than with post-cues. Thus, change deafness was manifest in the absence of an appropriate focusing of attention when the change occurred, even though the streams and the changes to be detected were acoustically very simple (in contrast to the conditions used in previous demonstrations of change deafness). In one case, the results were consistent with a model based on the assumption that change detection was possible if and only if attention was endogenously focused on a single tone. However, it was also found that changes resulting in a steepening of amplitude rises were to some extent able to draw attention exogenously. Change detection was not markedly facilitated when the change produced a discontinuity in the modulation domain, contrary to what could be expected from the perspective of predictive coding. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Attentional difficulties, both at home and in the classroom, are reported across a number of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, exactly how attention influences early socio-cognitive learning remains unclear. We addressed this question both concurrently and longitudinally in a cross-syndrome design, with respect to the communicative domain of vocabulary and to the cognitive domain of early literacy, and then extended the analysis to social behavior. Participants were young children (aged 4 to 9 years at Time 1 with either Williams syndrome (WS, N=26 or Down syndrome (DS, N=26 and typically developing controls (N=103. Children with WS displayed significantly greater attentional deficits (as indexed by teacher report of behavior typical of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD than children with DS, but both groups had greater attentional problems than the controls. Despite their attention differences, children with DS and those with WS were equivalent in their cognitive abilities of reading single words, both at Time 1 and 12 months later, at Time 2, although they differed in their early communicative abilities in terms of vocabulary. Greater ADHD-like behaviors predicted poorer subsequent literacy for children with DS, but not for children with WS, pointing to syndrome-specific attentional constraints on specific aspects of early development. Overall, our findings highlight the need to investigate more precisely whether and, if so, how, syndrome-specific profiles of behavioral difficulties constrain learning and socio-cognitive outcomes across different domains.
Luijten, M.; Field, M.; Franken, I.H.A.
Attentional bias in substance-dependent patients is the tendency to automatically direct attention to substance-related cues in the environment. Preclinical models suggest that attentional bias emerges as a consequence of dopaminergic activity evoked by substance-related cues. The aim of the current
Full Text Available Head and gaze directions are used during social interactions as essential cues to infer where someone attends. When head and gaze are oriented toward opposite directions, we need to extract socially meaningful information despite stimulus conflict. Recently, a cognitive and neural mechanism for filtering-out conflicting stimuli has been identified while performing non-social attention tasks. This mechanism is engaged proactively when conflict is anticipated in a high proportion of trials and reactively when conflict occurs infrequently. Here, we investigated whether a similar mechanism is at play for limiting distraction from conflicting social cues during gaze or head direction discrimination tasks in contexts with different probabilities of conflict. Results showed that, for the gaze direction task only (Experiment 1, inverse efficiency (IE scores for distractor-absent trials (i.e., faces with averted gaze and centrally oriented head were larger (indicating worse performance when these trials were intermixed with congruent/incongruent distractor-present trials (i.e., faces with averted gaze and tilted head in the same/opposite direction relative to when the same distractor-absent trials were shown in isolation. Moreover, on distractor-present trials, IE scores for congruent (vs. incongruent head-gaze pairs in blocks with rare conflict were larger than in blocks with frequent conflict, suggesting that adaptation to conflict was more efficient than adaptation to infrequent events. However, when the task required discrimination of head orientation while ignoring gaze direction, performance was not impacted by both block-level and current trial congruency (Experiment 2, unless the cognitive load of the task was increased by adding a concurrent task (Experiment 3. Overall, our study demonstrates that during attention to social cues proactive cognitive control mechanisms are modulated by the expectation of conflicting stimulus information at both
Walsh-Messinger, Julie; Ramirez, Paul Michael; Wong, Philip; Antonius, Daniel; Aujero, Nicole; McMahon, Kevin; Opler, Lewis A; Malaspina, Dolores
Emotion plays a critical role in cognition and goal-directed behavior via complex interconnections between the emotional and motivational systems. It has been hypothesized that the impairment in goal-directed behavior widely noted in schizophrenia may result from defects in the interaction between the neural (ventral) emotional system and (rostral) cortical processes. The present study examined the impact of emotion on attention and memory in schizophrenia. Twenty-five individuals with schizophrenia related psychosis and 25 healthy control subjects were administered a computerized task in which they were asked to search for target images during a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation of pictures. Target stimuli were either positive or negative, or neutral images presented at either 200ms or 700ms lag. Additionally, a visual hedonic task was used to assess differences between the schizophrenia group and controls on ratings of valence and arousal from the picture stimuli. Compared to controls, individuals with schizophrenia detected fewer emotional images under both the 200ms and 700ms lag conditions. Multivariate analyses showed that the schizophrenia group also detected fewer positive images under the 700ms lag condition and fewer negative images under the 200ms lag condition. Individuals with schizophrenia reported higher pleasantness and unpleasantness ratings than controls in response to neutral stimuli, while controls reported higher arousal ratings for neutral and positive stimuli compared to the schizophrenia group. These results highlight dysfunction in the neural modulation of emotion, attention, and cortical processing in schizophrenia, adding to the growing but mixed body of literature on emotion processing in the disorder. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Töllner, Thomas; Conci, Markus; Müller, Hermann J
It is well established that we can focally attend to a specific region in visual space without shifting our eyes, so as to extract action-relevant sensory information from covertly attended locations. The underlying mechanisms that determine how fast we engage our attentional spotlight in visual-search scenarios, however, remain controversial. One dominant view advocated by perceptual decision-making models holds that the times taken for focal-attentional selection are mediated by an internal template that biases perceptual coding and selection decisions exclusively through target-defining feature coding. This notion directly predicts that search times remain unaffected whether or not participants can anticipate the upcoming distractor context. Here we tested this hypothesis by employing an illusory-figure localization task that required participants to search for an invariant target amongst a variable distractor context, which gradually changed--either randomly or predictably--as a function of distractor-target similarity. We observed a graded decrease in internal focal-attentional selection times--correlated with external behavioral latencies--for distractor contexts of higher relative to lower similarity to the target. Critically, for low but not intermediate and high distractor-target similarity, these context-driven effects were cortically and behaviorally amplified when participants could reliably predict the type of distractors. This interactive pattern demonstrates that search guidance signals can integrate information about distractor, in addition to target, identities to optimize distractor-target competition for focal-attentional selection. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Churches, Owen; Wheelwright, Sally; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Ring, Howard
Face processing deficits are characteristic of autism spectrum conditions. However, event-related potential studies of autism spectrum conditions have found inconsistent results for the face selective N170 component. In this study, 15 adult males with autism spectrum conditions and 15 matched, typically developing controls completed a task in which pictures of faces were either attended to or ignored. In the control group, the N170 was larger when faces were attended to. However, there was no such modulation in the autism spectrum conditions group. This finding helps clarify the results from the earlier event-related potential studies of face processing in autism spectrum conditions and suggests that visual attention does not enhance face processing in autism spectrum conditions as it does in typical development.
Notebaert, L; Crombez, G.; van Damme, S; Durnez, W.; Theeuwes, J.
In line with most models of emotion, research has shown that threatening information receives attentional priority over neutral information. Recently, it has been suggested that the degree to which participants divide their attention across the visual field (the attentional window) may modulate the
Lim, Sung-Joo; Wöstmann, Malte; Obleser, Jonas
Selective attention to a task-relevant stimulus facilitates encoding of that stimulus into a working memory representation. It is less clear whether selective attention also improves the precision of a stimulus already represented in memory. Here, we investigate the behavioral and neural dynamics of selective attention to representations in auditory working memory (i.e., auditory objects) using psychophysical modeling and model-based analysis of electroencephalographic signals. Human listeners performed a syllable pitch discrimination task where two syllables served as to-be-encoded auditory objects. Valid (vs neutral) retroactive cues were presented during retention to allow listeners to selectively attend to the to-be-probed auditory object in memory. Behaviorally, listeners represented auditory objects in memory more precisely (expressed by steeper slopes of a psychometric curve) and made faster perceptual decisions when valid compared to neutral retrocues were presented. Neurally, valid compared to neutral retrocues elicited a larger frontocentral sustained negativity in the evoked potential as well as enhanced parietal alpha/low-beta oscillatory power (9-18 Hz) during memory retention. Critically, individual magnitudes of alpha oscillatory power (7-11 Hz) modulation predicted the degree to which valid retrocues benefitted individuals' behavior. Our results indicate that selective attention to a specific object in auditory memory does benefit human performance not by simply reducing memory load, but by actively engaging complementary neural resources to sharpen the precision of the task-relevant object in memory. Can selective attention improve the representational precision with which objects are held in memory? And if so, what are the neural mechanisms that support such improvement? These issues have been rarely examined within the auditory modality, in which acoustic signals change and vanish on a milliseconds time scale. Introducing a new auditory memory
Jaekel, J; Wolke, D; Bartmann, P
Very preterm (VP) children are at particular risk for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) of the inattentive subtype. It is unknown whether the neurodevelopmental pathways to academic underachievement are the same as in the general population. This study investigated whether middle childhood attention or hyperactivity/impulsivity problems are better predictors of VP adolescents' academic achievement. In a geographically defined prospective whole-population sample of VP (full-term control children (n = 286) in South Germany, ADHD subtypes were assessed at 6 years 3 months and 8 years 5 months using multiple data sources. Academic achievement was assessed at 13 years of age. Compared with full-term controls, VLBW/VP children were at higher risk for ADHD inattentive subtype [6 years 3 months: odds ratio (OR) 2.8, p attention measures predicted academic achievement in VLBW/VP and also full-term adolescents, whereas hyperactive/impulsive behaviour did not. Attention is an important prerequisite for learning and predicts long-term academic underachievement. As ADHD inattentive subtype and cognitive impairments are frequent in VLBW/VP children, their study may help to identify the neurofunctional pathways from early brain development and dysfunction to attention problems and academic underachievement.
Lay-Ekuakille, A; Arnesano, A; Vergallo, P
Photovoltaic characterization is a topic of major interest in the field of renewable energy. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline modules are mostly used and, hence characterized since many laboratories have data of them. Conversely, cadmium telluride (CdTe), as thin-film module are, in some circumstances, difficult to be used for energy prediction. This work covers outdoor testing of photovoltaic modules, in particular that regarding CdTe ones. The scope is to obtain temperature coefficients that best predict the energy production. A First Solar (K-275) module has been used for the purposes of this research. Outdoor characterizations were performed at Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy. The location of Lecce city represents a typical site in the South Italy. The module was exposed outdoor and tested under clear sky conditions as well as under cloudy sky ones. During testing, the global-inclined irradiance varied between 0 and 1500 W/m(2). About 37,000 I-V characteristics were acquired, allowing to process temperature coefficients as a function of irradiance and ambient temperature. The module was characterized by measuring the full temperature-irradiance matrix in the range from 50 to 1300 W/m(2) and from -1 to 40 W/m(2) from October 2011 to February 2012. Afterwards, the module energy output, under real conditions, was calculated with the "matrix method" of SUPSI-ISAAC and the results were compared with the five months energy output data of the same module measured with the outdoor energy yield facility in Lecce.
Talmi, Deborah; Anderson, Adam K; Riggs, Lily; Caplan, Jeremy B; Moscovitch, Morris
Emotionally arousing stimuli are at once both highly attention grabbing and memorable. We examined whether emotional enhancement of memory (EEM) reflects an indirect effect of emotion on memory, mediated by enhanced attention to emotional items during encoding. We tested a critical prediction of the mediation hypothesis-that regions conjointly activated by emotion and attention would correlate with subsequent EEM. Participants were scanned with fMRI while they watched emotional or neutral pictures under instructions to attend to them a lot or a little, and were then given an immediate recognition test. A region in the left fusiform gyrus was activated by emotion, voluntary attention, and subsequent EEM. A functional network, different for each attention condition, connected this region and the amygdala, which was associated with emotion and EEM, but not with voluntary attention. These findings support an indirect cortical mediation account of immediate EEM that may complement a direct modulation model.
Colas, Jaron T
In principle, formal dynamical models of decision making hold the potential to represent fundamental computations underpinning value-based (i.e., preferential) decisions in addition to perceptual decisions. Sequential-sampling models such as the race model and the drift-diffusion model that are grounded in simplicity, analytical tractability, and optimality remain popular, but some of their more recent counterparts have instead been designed with an aim for more feasibility as architectures to be implemented by actual neural systems. Connectionist models are proposed herein at an intermediate level of analysis that bridges mental phenomena and underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. Several such models drawing elements from the established race, drift-diffusion, feedforward-inhibition, divisive-normalization, and competing-accumulator models were tested with respect to fitting empirical data from human participants making choices between foods on the basis of hedonic value rather than a traditional perceptual attribute. Even when considering performance at emulating behavior alone, more neurally plausible models were set apart from more normative race or drift-diffusion models both quantitatively and qualitatively despite remaining parsimonious. To best capture the paradigm, a novel six-parameter computational model was formulated with features including hierarchical levels of competition via mutual inhibition as well as a static approximation of attentional modulation, which promotes "winner-take-all" processing. Moreover, a meta-analysis encompassing several related experiments validated the robustness of model-predicted trends in humans' value-based choices and concomitant reaction times. These findings have yet further implications for analysis of neurophysiological data in accordance with computational modeling, which is also discussed in this new light.
Jaron T Colas
Full Text Available In principle, formal dynamical models of decision making hold the potential to represent fundamental computations underpinning value-based (i.e., preferential decisions in addition to perceptual decisions. Sequential-sampling models such as the race model and the drift-diffusion model that are grounded in simplicity, analytical tractability, and optimality remain popular, but some of their more recent counterparts have instead been designed with an aim for more feasibility as architectures to be implemented by actual neural systems. Connectionist models are proposed herein at an intermediate level of analysis that bridges mental phenomena and underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. Several such models drawing elements from the established race, drift-diffusion, feedforward-inhibition, divisive-normalization, and competing-accumulator models were tested with respect to fitting empirical data from human participants making choices between foods on the basis of hedonic value rather than a traditional perceptual attribute. Even when considering performance at emulating behavior alone, more neurally plausible models were set apart from more normative race or drift-diffusion models both quantitatively and qualitatively despite remaining parsimonious. To best capture the paradigm, a novel six-parameter computational model was formulated with features including hierarchical levels of competition via mutual inhibition as well as a static approximation of attentional modulation, which promotes "winner-take-all" processing. Moreover, a meta-analysis encompassing several related experiments validated the robustness of model-predicted trends in humans' value-based choices and concomitant reaction times. These findings have yet further implications for analysis of neurophysiological data in accordance with computational modeling, which is also discussed in this new light.
In principle, formal dynamical models of decision making hold the potential to represent fundamental computations underpinning value-based (i.e., preferential) decisions in addition to perceptual decisions. Sequential-sampling models such as the race model and the drift-diffusion model that are grounded in simplicity, analytical tractability, and optimality remain popular, but some of their more recent counterparts have instead been designed with an aim for more feasibility as architectures to be implemented by actual neural systems. Connectionist models are proposed herein at an intermediate level of analysis that bridges mental phenomena and underlying neurophysiological mechanisms. Several such models drawing elements from the established race, drift-diffusion, feedforward-inhibition, divisive-normalization, and competing-accumulator models were tested with respect to fitting empirical data from human participants making choices between foods on the basis of hedonic value rather than a traditional perceptual attribute. Even when considering performance at emulating behavior alone, more neurally plausible models were set apart from more normative race or drift-diffusion models both quantitatively and qualitatively despite remaining parsimonious. To best capture the paradigm, a novel six-parameter computational model was formulated with features including hierarchical levels of competition via mutual inhibition as well as a static approximation of attentional modulation, which promotes “winner-take-all” processing. Moreover, a meta-analysis encompassing several related experiments validated the robustness of model-predicted trends in humans’ value-based choices and concomitant reaction times. These findings have yet further implications for analysis of neurophysiological data in accordance with computational modeling, which is also discussed in this new light. PMID:29077746
Full Text Available Increasing evidence suggests that ostensive-communicative signals in social learning situations enable observers to focus their attention on the intrinsic features of an object (e.g. color at the expense of ignoring transient object properties (e.g. location. Here we investigated whether off-line social cues, presented as social primes, have the same power to modulate attention allocation to stable and transient object properties as on-line ostensive-communicative cues. The first part of the experiment consisted of a pre-treatment phase, where adult male participants either received intensive social stimulation or were asked to perform non-social actions. Then, they participated in a change detection test, where they watched pairs of pictures depicting an array of five objects. On the second picture, a change occurred compared to the first picture. One object changed either its location (moving forward or backward or was replaced by another object, and participants were required to indicate where the change had happened. We found that participants detected the change more successfully if it had happened in the location of the object; however, this difference was reduced following a socially intense pre-treatment phase. The results are discussed in relation to the claims of the natural pedagogy theory.
Rolls, Edmund T
Cognition can influence emotion by biasing neural activity in the first cortical region in which the reward value and subjective pleasantness of stimuli is made explicit in the representation, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). The same effect occurs in a second cortical tier for emotion, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Similar effects are found for selective attention, to for example the pleasantness vs. the intensity of stimuli, which modulates representations of reward value and affect in the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. The mechanisms for the effects of cognition and attention on emotion are top-down biased competition and top-down biased activation. Affective and mood states can in turn influence memory and perception, by backprojected biasing influences. Emotion-related decision systems operate to choose between gene-specified rewards such as taste, touch, and beauty. Reasoning processes capable of planning ahead with multiple steps held in working memory in the explicit system can allow the gene-specified rewards not to be selected, or to be deferred. The stochastic, noisy, dynamics of decision-making systems in the brain may influence whether decisions are made by the selfish-gene-specified reward emotion system, or by the cognitive reasoning system that explicitly calculates reward values that are in the interests of the individual, the phenotype.
Full Text Available Cognition can influence emotion by biasing neural activity in the first cortical region in which the reward value and subjective pleasantness of stimuli is made explicit in the representation, the orbitofrontal cortex. The same effect occurs in a second cortical tier for emotion, the anterior cingulate cortex. Similar effects are found for selective attention, to for example the pleasantness vs the intensity of stimuli, which modulates representations of reward value and affect in the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. The mechanisms for the effects of cognition and attention on emotion are top-down biased competition and top-down biased activation. Affective and mood states can in turn influence memory and perception, by backprojected biasing influences. Emotion-related decision systems operate to choose between gene-specified rewards such as taste, touch, and beauty. Reasoning processes capable of planning ahead with multiple steps held in working memory in the explicit system can allow the gene-specified rewards not to be selected, or to be deferred. The stochastic, noisy, dynamics of decision-making systems in the brain may influence whether decisions are made by the selfish-gene-specified reward emotion system, or by the cognitive reasoning system that explicitly calculates reward values that are in the interests of the individual, the phenotype.
Verhoef, Bram-Ernst; Maunsell, John HR
Shifting attention among visual stimuli at different locations modulates neuronal responses in heterogeneous ways, depending on where those stimuli lie within the receptive fields of neurons. Yet how attention interacts with the receptive-field structure of cortical neurons remains unclear. We measured neuronal responses in area V4 while monkeys shifted their attention among stimuli placed in different locations within and around neuronal receptive fields. We found that attention interacts uniformly with the spatially-varying excitation and suppression associated with the receptive field. This interaction explained the large variability in attention modulation across neurons, and a non-additive relationship among stimulus selectivity, stimulus-induced suppression and attention modulation that has not been previously described. A spatially-tuned normalization model precisely accounted for all observed attention modulations and for the spatial summation properties of neurons. These results provide a unified account of spatial summation and attention-related modulation across both the classical receptive field and the surround. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17256.001 PMID:27547989
Hari M Bharadwaj
Full Text Available Frequency tagging of sensory inputs (presenting stimuli that fluctuate periodically at rates to which the cortex can phase lock has been used to study attentional modulation of neural responses to inputs in different sensory modalities. For visual inputs, the visual steady-state response (VSSR at the frequency modulating an attended object is enhanced, while the VSSR to a distracting object is suppressed. In contrast, the effect of attention on the auditory steady-state response (ASSR is inconsistent across studies. However, most auditory studies analyzed results at the sensor level or used only a small number of equivalent current dipoles to fit cortical responses. In addition, most studies of auditory spatial attention used dichotic stimuli (independent signals at the ears rather than more natural, binaural stimuli. Here, we asked whether these methodological choices help explain discrepant results. Listeners attended to one of two competing speech streams, one simulated from the left and one from the right, that were modulated at different frequencies. Using distributed source modeling of magnetoencephalography results, we estimate how spatially directed attention modulates the ASSR in neural regions across the whole brain. Attention enhances the ASSR power at the frequency of the attended stream in the contralateral auditory cortex. The attended-stream modulation frequency also drives phase-locked responses in the left (but not right precentral sulcus (lPCS, a region implicated in control of eye gaze and visual spatial attention. Importantly, this region shows no phase locking to the distracting stream suggesting that the lPCS in engaged in an attention-specific manner. Modeling results that take account of the geometry and phases of the cortical sources phase locked to the two streams (including hemispheric asymmetry of lPCS activity help partly explain why past ASSR studies of auditory spatial attention yield seemingly contradictory
Benitez, Viridiana L; Vales, Catarina; Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B
Stability and flexibility are fundamental to an intelligent cognitive system. Here, we examined the relationship between stability in selective attention and explicit control of flexible attention. Preschoolers were tested on the Dimension Preference (DP) task, which measures the stability of selective attention to an implicitly primed dimension, and the Dimension Change Card Sort (DCCS) task, which measures flexible attention switching between dimensions. Children who successfully switched on the DCCS task were more likely than those who perseverated to sustain attention to the primed dimension on the DP task across trials. We propose that perseverators have less stable attention and distribute their attention between dimensions, whereas switchers can successfully stabilize attention to individual dimensions and, thus, show more enduring priming effects. Flexible attention may emerge, in part, from implicit processes that stabilize attention even in tasks not requiring switching. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes than do ignored stimuli, the method has been used to investigate the neural mechanisms of spatial attention. However, up to now it has not been shown whether the amplitude of the SSVEP is sensitive to gradations of attention and there has been debate about whether attention effects on the SSVEP are dependent on the tagging frequency used. We thus compared attention effects on SSVEP across three attention conditions-focused, divided, and ignored-with six different tagging frequencies. Participants performed a visual detection task (respond to the digit 5 embedded in a stream of characters). Two stimulus streams, one to the left and one to the right of fixation, were displayed simultaneously, each with a background grey square whose hue was sine-modulated with one of the six tagging frequencies. At the beginning of each trial a cue indicated whether targets on the left, right, or both sides should be responded to. Accuracy was higher in the focused- than in the divided-attention condition. SSVEP amplitudes were greatest in the focused-attention condition, intermediate in the divided-attention condition, and smallest in the ignored-attention condition. The effect of attention on SSVEP amplitude did not depend on the tagging frequency used. Frequency tagging appears to be a flexible technique for studying attention.
Cohen, Marlene R.; Maunsell, John H.R.
Summary Visual attention affects both perception and neuronal responses. Whether the same neuronal mechanisms mediate spatial attention, which improves perception of attended locations, and non-spatial forms of attention has been a subject of considerable debate. Spatial and feature attention have similar effects on individual neurons. Because visual cortex is retinotopically organized, however, spatial attention can co-modulate local neuronal populations, while feature attention generally requires more selective modulation. We compared the effects of feature and spatial attention on local and spatially separated populations by recording simultaneously from dozens of neurons in both hemispheres of V4. Feature and spatial attention affect the activity of local populations similarly, modulating both firing rates and correlations between pairs of nearby neurons. However, while spatial attention appears to act on local populations, feature attention is coordinated across hemispheres. Our results are consistent with a unified attentional mechanism that can modulate the responses of arbitrary subgroups of neurons. PMID:21689604
Harvey, Elizabeth A.; Youngwirth, Sara D.; Thakar, Dhara A.; Errazuriz, Paula A.
The present study examined the power of measures of early preschool behavior to predict later diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)/conduct disorder (CD). Participants were 168 children with behavior problems at age 3 who underwent a multimethod assessment of ADHD and ODD symptoms and…
Lundwall, Rebecca A; Sgro, Jordan F; Fanger, Julia
Compared to sustained attention, only a small proportion of studies examine reflexive attention as a component of everyday attention. Understanding the significance of reflexive attention to everyday attention may inform better treatments for attentional disorders. Children from a general population (recruited when they were from 9-16 years old) completed an exogenously-cued task measuring the extent to which attention is captured by peripheral cue-target conditions. Parents completed a questionnaire reporting their child's day-to-day attention. A general linear model indicated that parent-rated inattention predicted the increase in response time over baseline when a bright cue preceded the target (whether it was valid or invalid) but not when a dim cue preceded the target. More attentive children had more pronounced response time increases from baseline. Our findings suggest a link between a basic measure of cognition (response time difference scores) and parent observations. The findings have implications for increased understanding of the role of reflexive attention in the everyday attention of children.
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.
Full Text Available The role of music on driving process had been discussed in the context of driver assistance as an element of security and comfort. Throughout this document, we present the development of an audio recommender system for the use by drivers, based on facial expression analysis. This recommendation system has the objective of increasing the attention of the driver by the election of specific music pieces. For this pilot study, we start presenting an introduction to audio recommender systems and a brief explanation of the function of our facial expression analysis system. During the driving course the subjects (seven participants between 19 and 25 years old are stimulated with a chosen group of audio compositions and their facial expressions are captured via a camera mounted in the car's dashboard. Once the videos were captured and recollected, we proceeded to analyse them using the FACET™ module of the biometric capture platform iMotions™. This software provides us with the expression analysis of the subjects. Analysed data is postprocessed and the data obtained were modelled on a quadratic surface that was optimized based on the known cestrum and tempo of the songs and the average evidence of emotion. The results showed very different optimal points for each subject, that indicates different type of music for optimizing driving attention. This work is a first step for obtaining a music recommendation system capable to modulate subject attention while driving.
Shen, John; Itti, Laurent
In conversation, women have a small advantage in decoding non-verbal communication compared to men. In light of these findings, we sought to determine whether sex differences also existed in visual attention during a related listening task, and if so, if the differences existed among attention to high-level aspects of the scene or to conspicuous visual features. Using eye-tracking and computational techniques, we present direct evidence that men and women orient attention differently during conversational listening. We tracked the eyes of 15 men and 19 women who watched and listened to 84 clips featuring 12 different speakers in various outdoor settings. At the fixation following each saccadic eye movement, we analyzed the type of object that was fixated. Men gazed more often at the mouth and women at the eyes of the speaker. Women more often exhibited "distracted" saccades directed away from the speaker and towards a background scene element. Examining the multi-scale center-surround variation in low-level visual features (static: color, intensity, orientation, and dynamic: motion energy), we found that men consistently selected regions which expressed more variation in dynamic features, which can be attributed to a male preference for motion and a female preference for areas that may contain nonverbal information about the speaker. In sum, significant differences were observed, which we speculate arise from different integration strategies of visual cues in selecting the final target of attention. Our findings have implications for studies of sex in nonverbal communication, as well as for more predictive models of visual attention. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and...
Valle, M T Costa; Couto-Pereira, N S; Lampert, C; Arcego, D M; Toniazzo, A P; Limberger, R P; Dallegrave, E; Dalmaz, C; Arbo, M D; Leal, M B
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the subchronic consumption of energy drinks and their constituents (caffeine and taurine) in male Wistar rats using behavioural and oxidative measures. Energy drinks (ED 5, 7.5, and 10 mL/kg) or their constituents, caffeine (3.2 mg/kg) and taurine (40 mg/kg), either separately or in combination, were administered orally to animals for 28 days. Attention was measured though the ox-maze apparatus and the object recognition memory test. Following behavioural analyses, markers of oxidative stress, including SOD, CAT, GPx, thiol content, and free radicals, were measured in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum. The latency time to find the first reward was lower in animals that received caffeine, taurine, or a combination of both (P = 0.003; ANOVA/Bonferroni). In addition, these animals took less time to complete the ox-maze task (P = 0.0001; ANOVA/Bonferroni), and had better short-term memory (P caffeine and taurine, there was a significant increase in the production of free radicals in the prefrontal cortex and in the hippocampus (P caffeine and taurine improved memory and attention, and led to an imbalance in the antioxidant defence system. These results differed from those of the group that was exposed to the energy drink. This might be related to other components contained in the energy drink, such as vitamins and minerals, which may have altered the ability of caffeine and taurine to modulate memory and attention.
Akyürek, Elkan G.; Abedian-Amiri, Ali; Ostermeier, Sonja M.
Three experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of working memory content on temporal attention in a rapid serial visual presentation attentional blink paradigm. It was shown that categorical similarity between working memory content and the target stimuli pertaining to the attentional
McVay, Jennifer C.; Kane, Michael J.
Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted by the executive-attention theory of WMC (e.g., Engle & Kane, 2004). We used a latent-variable, structural-equation-model approach, testing skilled adult readers on three WMC span tasks, seven varied reading comprehension tasks, and three attention-control tasks. Mind wandering was assessed using experimenter-scheduled thought probes during four different tasks (two reading, two attention-control tasks). The results support the executive-attention theory of WMC. Mind wandering across the four tasks loaded onto a single latent factor, reflecting a stable individual difference. Most importantly, mind wandering was a significant mediator in the relationship between WMC and reading comprehension, suggesting that the WMC-comprehension correlation is driven, in part, by attention control over intruding thoughts. We discuss implications for theories of WMC, attention control, and reading comprehension. PMID:21875246
McVay, Jennifer C; Kane, Michael J
Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind-wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted by the executive-attention theory of WMC (e.g., Engle & Kane, 2004). We used a latent-variable, structural-equation-model approach, testing skilled adult readers on 3 WMC span tasks, 7 varied reading-comprehension tasks, and 3 attention-control tasks. Mind wandering was assessed using experimenter-scheduled thought probes during 4 different tasks (2 reading, 2 attention-control). The results support the executive-attention theory of WMC. Mind wandering across the 4 tasks loaded onto a single latent factor, reflecting a stable individual difference. Most important, mind wandering was a significant mediator in the relationship between WMC and reading comprehension, suggesting that the WMC-comprehension correlation is driven, in part, by attention control over intruding thoughts. We discuss implications for theories of WMC, attention control, and reading comprehension.
Kuo, Bo-Cheng; Stokes, Mark G; Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna Christina
In the current study, we tested whether representations in visual STM (VSTM) can be biased via top-down attentional modulation of visual activity in retinotopically specific locations. We manipulated attention using retrospective cues presented during the retention interval of a VSTM task. Retrospective cues triggered activity in a large-scale network implicated in attentional control and led to retinotopically specific modulation of activity in early visual areas V1-V4. Importantly, shifts of attention during VSTM maintenance were associated with changes in functional connectivity between pFC and retinotopic regions within V4. Our findings provide new insights into top-down control mechanisms that modulate VSTM representations for flexible and goal-directed maintenance of the most relevant memoranda.
Meike Annika Schweisfurth
Full Text Available In a reaction time study of human tactile orientation detection the effects of spatial attention and feature-based attention were investigated. Subjects had to give speeded responses to target orientations (parallel and orthogonal to the finger axis in a random stream of oblique tactile distractor orientations presented to their index and ring fingers. Before each block of trials, subjects received a tactile cue at one finger. By manipulating the validity of this cue with respect to its location and orientation (feature, we provided an incentive to subjects to attend spatially to the cued location and only there to the cued orientation. Subjects showed quicker responses to parallel compared to orthogonal targets, pointing to an orientation anisotropy in sensory processing. Also, faster reaction times were observed in location-matched trials, i.e. when targets appeared on the cued finger, representing a perceptual benefit of spatial attention. Most importantly, reaction times were shorter to orientations matching the cue, both at the cued and at the uncued location, documenting a global enhancement of tactile sensation by feature-based attention. This is the first report of a perceptual benefit of feature-based attention outside the spatial focus of attention in somatosensory perception. The similarity to effects of feature-based attention in visual perception supports the notion of matching attentional mechanisms across sensory domains.
Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Mundhenk, T Nathan; Baldi, Pierre; Koch, Christof; Itti, Laurent
Humans demonstrate a peculiar ability to detect complex targets in rapidly presented natural scenes. Recent studies suggest that (nearly) no focal attention is required for overall performance in such tasks. Little is known, however, of how detection performance varies from trial to trial and which stages in the processing hierarchy limit performance: bottom-up visual processing (attentional selection and/or recognition) or top-down factors (e.g., decision-making, memory, or alertness fluctuations)? To investigate the relative contribution of these factors, eight human observers performed an animal detection task in natural scenes presented at 20 Hz. Trial-by-trial performance was highly consistent across observers, far exceeding the prediction of independent errors. This consistency demonstrates that performance is not primarily limited by idiosyncratic factors but by visual processing. Two statistical stimulus properties, contrast variation in the target image and the information-theoretical measure of "surprise" in adjacent images, predict performance on a trial-by-trial basis. These measures are tightly related to spatial attention, demonstrating that spatial attention and rapid target detection share common mechanisms. To isolate the causal contribution of the surprise measure, eight additional observers performed the animal detection task in sequences that were reordered versions of those all subjects had correctly recognized in the first experiment. Reordering increased surprise before and/or after the target while keeping the target and distractors themselves unchanged. Surprise enhancement impaired target detection in all observers. Consequently, and contrary to several previously published findings, our results demonstrate that attentional limitations, rather than target recognition alone, affect the detection of targets in rapidly presented visual sequences.
Crump, Matthew J C; Milliken, Bruce; Leboe-McGowan, Jason; Leboe-McGowan, Launa; Gao, Xiaoqing
There are several independent demonstrations that attentional phenomena can be controlled in a context-dependent manner by cues associated with differing attentional control demands. The present set of experiments provide converging evidence that attention-capture phenomena can be modulated in a context-dependent fashion. We determined whether methods from the proportion congruent literature (listwide and item- and context-specific proportion congruent designs) that are known to modulate distractor interference effects in Stroop and flanker tasks are capable of modulating attention capture by salient feature singletons. Across experiments we found evidence that attention capture can be modulated by listwide, item-specific, and context-specific manipulations of proportion congruent. We discuss challenges associated with interpreting results from proportion congruent studies but propose that our findings converge with existing work that has demonstrated context-dependent control of attention capture. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Müller, M M; Gruber, T; Keil, A
Here we present a series of four studies aimed to investigate the link between induced gamma band activity in the human EEG and visual information processing. We demonstrated and validated the modulation of spectral gamma band power by spatial selective visual attention. When subjects attended to a certain stimulus, spectral power was increased as compared to when the same stimulus was ignored. In addition, we showed a shift in spectral gamma band power increase to the contralateral hemisphere when subjects shifted their attention to one visual hemifield. The following study investigated induced gamma band activity and the perception of a Gestalt. Ambiguous rotating figures were used to operationalize the law of good figure (gute Gestalt). We found increased gamma band power at posterior electrode sites when subjects perceived an object. In the last experiment we demonstrated a differential hemispheric gamma band activation when subjects were confronted with emotional pictures. Results of the present experiments in combination with other studies presented in this volume are supportive for the notion that induced gamma band activity in the human EEG is closely related to visual information processing and attentional perceptual mechanisms.
Soler, Joaquim; Valdepérez, Ana; Feliu-Soler, Albert; Pascual, Juan C; Portella, Maria J; Martín-Blanco, Ana; Alvarez, Enrique; Pérez, Víctor
It is known that patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) show attention deficits and impulsivity. The main aim of this study was to explore the effects of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy-Mindfulness training (DBT-M), used as an adjunct to general psychiatric management (GPM), on attention variables in patients diagnosed with BPD. A second objective was to assess the relation of mindfulness formal practice on clinical variables. A sample of 60 patients with BPD was recruited. Forty of them were allocated to GPM + DBT-M treatment and the other 20 received GPM alone. At the termination of the mindfulness training, DBT-M + GPM group showed a significant improvement on commissions, hit reaction time, detectability scores from the CPT-II neuropsychological test, and also on the composite scores of inattention and impulsivity. Further, the more minutes of mindfulness practice were correlated to greater improvement in general psychiatric symptoms and affective symptomatology, but not in CPT-II measures. This is probably the first study so far assessing the effects of this single DBT module in patients with BPD. The results suggest a positive effect of such intervention on attention and impulsivity variables. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone
satisfaction models. Although most theories were confirmed with regard to certain predictions, none of the theories adequately accounted for the role of attention during decision making. Several observations emerged concerning the drivers and down-stream effects of attention on choice, suggesting......This paper reviews studies on eye movements in decision making, and compares their observations to theoretical predictions concerning the role of attention in decision making. Four decision theories are examined: rational models, bounded rationality, evidence accumulation, and parallel constraint...... that attention processes plays an active role in constructing decisions. So far, decision theories have largely ignored the constructive role of attention by assuming that it is entirely determined by heuristics, or that it consists of stochastic information sampling. The empirical observations reveal...
Li, Jiyong; Zhao, Zhendong; Li, Yisheng; Xiao, Jing; Tang, Yunfeng
Aiming at the non-linearity and large inertia of temperature control in PV/T system, short-term temperature prediction of PV/T module is proposed, to make the PV/T system controller run forward according to the short-term forecasting situation to optimize control effect. Based on the analysis of the correlation between PV/T module temperature and meteorological factors, and the temperature of adjacent time series, the principal component analysis (PCA) method is used to pre-process the original input sample data. Combined with the RBF neural network theory, the simulation results show that the PCA method makes the prediction accuracy of the network model higher and the generalization performance stronger than that of the RBF neural network without the main component extraction.
De Weerd, P; Smith, E; Greenberg, P
After few seconds, a figure steadily presented in peripheral vision becomes perceptually filled-in by its background, as if it "disappeared". We report that directing attention to the color, shape, or location of a figure increased the probability of perceiving filling-in compared to unattended figures, without modifying the time required for filling-in. This effect could be augmented by boosting attention. Furthermore, the frequency distribution of filling-in response times for attended figures could be predicted by multiplying the frequencies of response times for unattended figures with a constant. We propose that, after failure of figure-ground segregation, the neural interpolation processes that produce perceptual filling-in are enhanced in attended figure regions. As filling-in processes are involved in surface perception, the present study demonstrates that even very early visual processes are subject to modulation by cognitive factors.
Schubert, Ruth; Ritter, Petra; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Preuschhof, Claudia; Curio, Gabriel; Sommer, Werner; Villringer, Arno
Recent studies investigating the influence of spatial-selective attention on primary somatosensory processing have produced inconsistent results. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of tactile spatial-selective attention on spatiotemporal aspects of evoked neuronal activity in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). We employed simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG)-functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 14 right-handed subjects during bilateral index finger Braille stimulation to investigate the relationship between attentional effects on somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) components and the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal. The 1st reliable EEG response following left tactile stimulation (P50) was significantly enhanced by spatial-selective attention, which has not been reported before. FMRI analysis revealed increased activity in contralateral S1. Remarkably, the effect of attention on the P50 component as well as long-latency SEP components starting at 190 ms for left stimuli correlated with attentional effects on the BOLD signal in contralateral S1. The implications are 2-fold: First, the correlation between early and long-latency SEP components and the BOLD effect suggest that spatial-selective attention enhances processing in S1 at 2 time points: During an early passage of the signal and during a later passage, probably via re-entrant feedback from higher cortical areas. Second, attentional modulations of the fast electrophysiological signals and the slow hemodynamic response are linearly related in S1.
Dieterich, Raoul; Endrass, Tanja; Kathmann, Norbert
Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) experience abnormally high levels of uncertainty, and unpredictability is evaluated negatively and not well tolerated. The current study examined neural correlates of attentional processing in response to experimentally induced uncertainty in OCD. Twenty-four OCD patients and 24 healthy controls performed a task where neutral and negative pictures were preceded by a cue, either being predictive (certain condition) or nonpredictive (uncertain condition) of subsequent picture valence. We examined prepicture anticipatory attention through α (∼8-12 Hz) suppression, and attentional allocation during picture presentation with the P1, N1, P2, N2, and late positive potential (LPP) of the event-related potential. Additionally, we tested how clinical measures related to these attentional markers. Subjectively, patients overestimated the frequency of negative pictures after nonpredictive cues. Patients, but not controls, showed upper α(10-12 Hz) suppression after nonpredictive and predictive negative cues relative to predictive neutral cues. Only patients showed increased P2 and decreased N2 amplitudes for pictures after nonpredictive cues, and, whereas both groups showed increased LPP amplitudes for pictures after nonpredictive cues, this modulation was more pronounced in OCD during the early LPP (pictures were associated positively with anxiety and negatively with depression. These results suggest that OCD patients process anticipation of inevitable and potential threat similarly and highlight the substantial motivational impact of uncertain events to OCD patients. Finally, the correlation with anxiety implies that anxiety represents the source of hypervigilance during uncertainty resolution. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Zeier, Joshua D; Newman, Joseph P
As predicted by the response modulation model, psychopathic offenders are insensitive to potentially important inhibitory information when it is peripheral to their primary focus of attention. To date, the clearest tests of this hypothesis have manipulated spatial attention to cue the location of goal-relevant versus inhibitory information. However, the theory predicts a more general abnormality in selective attention. In the current study, male prisoners performed a conflict-monitoring task, which included a feature-based manipulation (i.e., color) that biased selective attention toward goal-relevant stimuli and away from inhibitory distracters on some trials but not others. Paralleling results for spatial cuing, feature-based cuing resulted in less distracter interference, particularly for participants with primary psychopathy (i.e., low anxiety). This study also investigated the moderating effect of externalizing on psychopathy. Participants high in psychopathy but low in externalizing performed similarly to primary psychopathic individuals. These results demonstrate that the abnormal selective attention associated with primary psychopathy is not limited to spatial attention but, instead, applies to diverse methods for establishing attentional focus. Furthermore, they demonstrate a novel method of investigating psychopathic subtypes using continuous analyses. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Anderson, Brian A.; Wampler, Emma K.; Laurent, Patryk A.
It has long been known that the control of attention in visual search depends both on voluntary, top-down deployment according to context-specific goals, and on involuntary, stimulus-driven capture based on the physical conspicuity of perceptual objects. Recent evidence suggests that pairing target stimuli with reward can modulate the voluntary deployment of attention, but there is little evidence that reward modulates the involuntary deployment of attention to task-irrelevant distractors. We report several experiments that investigate the role of reward learning on attentional control. Each experiment involved a training phase and a test phase. In the training phase, different colors were associated with different amounts of monetary reward. In the test phase, color was not task-relevant and participants searched for a shape singleton; in most experiments no reward was delivered in the test phase. We first show that attentional capture by physically salient distractors is magnified by a previous association with reward. In subsequent experiments we demonstrate that physically inconspicuous stimuli previously associated with reward capture attention persistently during extinction—even several days after training. Furthermore, vulnerability to attentional capture by high-value stimuli is negatively correlated across individuals with working memory capacity and positively correlated with trait impulsivity. An analysis of intertrial effects reveals that value-driven attentional capture is spatially specific. Finally, when reward is delivered at test contingent on the task-relevant shape feature, recent reward history modulates value-driven attentional capture by the irrelevant color feature. The influence of learned value on attention may provide a useful model of clinical syndromes characterized by similar failures of cognitive control, including addiction, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and obesity. PMID:23437631
Salley, Brenda; Sheinkopf, Stephen J.; Neal-Beevers, A. Rebecca; Tenenbaum, Elena J.; Miller-Loncar, Cynthia L.; Tronick, Ed; Lagasse, Linda L.; Shankaran, Seetha; Bada, Henrietta; Bauer, Charles; Whitaker, Toni; Hammond, Jane; Lester, Barry M.
This study examined infants’ early visual attention (at 1 month of age) and social engagement (4 months) as predictors of their later joint attention (12 and 18 months). The sample (n=325), drawn from the Maternal Lifestyle Study, a longitudinal multicenter project conducted at four centers of the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, included high-risk (cocaine exposed) and matched non-cocaine exposed infants. Hierarchical regressions revealed that infants’ attention orienting at 1 month significantly predicted more frequent initiating joint attention at 12 (but not 18) months of age. Social engagement at 4 months predicted initiating joint attention at 18 months. Results provide the first empirical evidence for the role of visual attention and social engagement behaviors as developmental precursors for later joint attention outcome. PMID:27786527
Harty, Seth C; Galanopoulos, Stavroula; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Halperin, Jeffrey M
To measure the degree to which childhood and adolescent ratings of aggression, attention, and delinquency are related to adolescent substance use outcomes in youth diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Childhood externalizing disorders have been shown to predict adolescent maladaptive substance use, but few studies have examined the differential predictive utility of two distinct dimensions of externalizing behavior: aggression and delinquency. Ninety-seven clinically referred children with ADHD initially took part in this research protocol when they were on average 9.05 years of age, and were seen again on average 9.30 years later. Participants' parents were administered the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) at baseline and follow-up, and youth completed the Youth Self Report (YSR) in adolescence. At follow-up, substance use severity and diagnosis were assessed using semi-structured psychiatric interviews administered separately to parents and adolescents. Linear and binary logistic regressions were used to determine the association of CBCL- and YSR-rated attention problems, aggression, and delinquency to adolescent substance use. Childhood and adolescent delinquency, but not aggression, as rated by parents and youths, predicted adolescent substance use disorders and substance use severity (all p delinquency and aggression with adolescent substance use, ratings of attention problems in childhood and adolescence were negatively associated with substance use outcome. Children with ADHD who exhibit high rates of delinquency are at risk for later substance use and may require targeted prevention, intervention, and follow-up services. Copyright © American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry.
Anderson, Brian A
There is growing consensus that reward plays an important role in the control of attention. Until recently, reward was thought to influence attention indirectly by modulating task-specific motivation and its effects on voluntary control over selection. Such an account was consistent with the goal-directed (endogenous) versus stimulus-driven (exogenous) framework that had long dominated the field of attention research. Now, a different perspective is emerging. Demonstrations that previously reward-associated stimuli can automatically capture attention even when physically inconspicuous and task-irrelevant challenge previously held assumptions about attentional control. The idea that attentional selection can be value driven, reflecting a distinct and previously unrecognized control mechanism, has gained traction. Since these early demonstrations, the influence of reward learning on attention has rapidly become an area of intense investigation, sparking many new insights. The result is an emerging picture of how the reward system of the brain automatically biases information processing. Here, I review the progress that has been made in this area, synthesizing a wealth of recent evidence to provide an integrated, up-to-date account of value-driven attention and some of its broader implications. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.
Tusche, Anita; Böckler, Anne; Kanske, Philipp; Trautwein, Fynn-Mathis; Singer, Tania
Altruistic behavior varies considerably across people and decision contexts. The relevant computational and motivational mechanisms that underlie its heterogeneity, however, are poorly understood. Using a charitable giving task together with multivariate decoding techniques, we identified three distinct psychological mechanisms underlying altruistic decision-making (empathy, perspective taking, and attentional reorienting) and linked them to dissociable neural computations. Neural responses in the anterior insula (AI) (but not temporoparietal junction [TPJ]) encoded trial-wise empathy for beneficiaries, whereas the TPJ (but not AI) predicted the degree of perspective taking. Importantly, the relative influence of both socio-cognitive processes differed across individuals: participants whose donation behavior was heavily influenced by affective empathy exhibited higher predictive accuracies for generosity in AI, whereas those who strongly relied on cognitive perspective taking showed improved predictions of generous donations in TPJ. Furthermore, subject-specific contributions of both processes for donations were reflected in participants' empathy and perspective taking responses in a separate fMRI task (EmpaToM), suggesting that process-specific inputs into altruistic choices may reflect participants' general propensity to either empathize or mentalize. Finally, using independent attention task data, we identified shared neural codes for attentional reorienting and generous donations in the posterior superior temporal sulcus, suggesting that domain-general attention shifts also contribute to generous behavior (but not in TPJ or AI). Overall, our findings demonstrate highly specific roles of AI for affective empathy and TPJ for cognitive perspective taking as precursors of prosocial behavior and suggest that these discrete routes of social cognition differentially drive intraindividual and interindividual differences in altruistic behavior. Human societies depend on
Martel, Adrien; Dähne, Sven; Blankertz, Benjamin
Objective. The present study addressed the question whether neurophysiological signals exhibit characteristic modulations preceding a miss in a covert vigilant attention task which mimics a natural environment in which critical stimuli may appear in the periphery of the visual field. Approach. Subjective, behavioural and encephalographic (EEG) data of 12 participants performing a modified Mackworth Clock task were obtained and analysed offline. The stimulus consisted of a pointer performing regular ticks in a clockwise sequence across 42 dots arranged in a circle. Participants were requested to covertly attend to the pointer and press a response button as quickly as possible in the event of a jump, a rare and random event. Main results. Significant increases in response latencies and decreases in the detection rates were found as a function of time-on-task, a characteristic effect of sustained attention tasks known as the vigilance decrement. Subjective sleepiness showed a significant increase over the duration of the experiment. Increased activity in the α-frequency range (8-14 Hz) was observed emerging and gradually accumulating 10 s before a missed target. Additionally, a significant gradual attenuation of the P3 event-related component was found to antecede misses by 5 s. Significance. The results corroborate recent findings that behavioural errors are presaged by specific neurophysiological activity and demonstrate that lapses of attention can be predicted in a covert setting up to 10 s in advance reinforcing the prospective use of brain-computer interface (BCI) technology for the detection of waning vigilance in real-world scenarios. Combining these findings with real-time single-trial analysis from BCI may pave the way for cognitive states monitoring systems able to determine the current, and predict the near-future development of the brain's attentional processes.
Huang, Yang-Ming; Baddeley, Alan; Young, Andrew W.
The attentional blink paradigm was used to examine whether emotional stimuli always capture attention. The processing requirement for emotional stimuli in a rapid sequential visual presentation stream was manipulated to investigate the circumstances under which emotional distractors capture attention, as reflected in an enhanced attentional blink…
Chiara F. Sambo
Full Text Available Sustained attention to a body location results in enhanced processing of tactile stimuli presented at that location compared to another unattended location. In this paper, we review studies investigating the neural correlates of sustained spatial attention in touch. These studies consistently show that activity within modality-specific somatosensory areas (SI and SII is modulated by sustained tactile-spatial attention. Recent evidence suggests that these somatosensory areas may be recruited as part of a larger cortical network,also including higher-level multimodal regions involved in spatial selection across modalities. We discuss, in turn, the following multimodal effects in sustained tactile-spatial attention tasks. First, cross-modal attentional links between touch and vision, reflected in enhanced processing of task-irrelevant visual stimuli at tactuallyattended locations, are mediated by common (multimodal representations of external space. Second, vision of the body modulates activity underlying sustained tactile-spatial attention, facilitating attentional modulation of tactile processing in between-hand (when hands are sufficiently far apart and impairing attentional modulation in within-hand selection tasks. Finally, body posture influences mechanisms of sustained tactile-spatial attention, relying, at least partly, on remapping of tactile stimuli in external, visuallydefined, spatial coordinates. Taken together, the findings reviewed in this paper indicate that sustained spatial attention in touch is subserved by both modality-specific and multimodal mechanisms. The interplay between these mechanisms allows flexible and efficient spatial selection within and across sensory modalities.
Sani, Ilaria; Santandrea, Elisa; Morrone, Maria Concetta; Chelazzi, Leonardo
Cognitive attention and perceptual saliency jointly govern our interaction with the environment. Yet, we still lack a universally accepted account of the interplay between attention and luminance contrast, a fundamental dimension of saliency. We measured the attentional modulation of V4 neurons' contrast response functions (CRFs) in awake, behaving macaque monkeys and applied a new approach that emphasizes the temporal dynamics of cell responses. We found that attention modulates CRFs via different gain mechanisms during subsequent epochs of visually driven activity: an early contrast-gain, strongly dependent on prestimulus activity changes (baseline shift); a time-limited stimulus-dependent multiplicative modulation, reaching its maximal expression around 150 ms after stimulus onset; and a late resurgence of contrast-gain modulation. Attention produced comparable time-dependent attentional gain changes on cells heterogeneously coding contrast, supporting the notion that the same circuits mediate attention mechanisms in V4 regardless of the form of contrast selectivity expressed by the given neuron. Surprisingly, attention was also sometimes capable of inducing radical transformations in the shape of CRFs. These findings offer important insights into the mechanisms that underlie contrast coding and attention in primate visual cortex and a new perspective on their interplay, one in which time becomes a fundamental factor. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We offer an innovative perspective on the interplay between attention and luminance contrast in macaque area V4, one in which time becomes a fundamental factor. We place emphasis on the temporal dynamics of attentional effects, pioneering the notion that attention modulates contrast response functions of V4 neurons via the sequential engagement of distinct gain mechanisms. These findings advance understanding of attentional influences on visual processing and help reconcile divergent results in the literature. Copyright © 2017 the
Grossberg, Stephen; Palma, Jesse; Versace, Massimiliano
Freely behaving organisms need to rapidly calibrate their perceptual, cognitive, and motor decisions based on continuously changing environmental conditions. These plastic changes include sharpening or broadening of cognitive and motor attention and learning to match the behavioral demands that are imposed by changing environmental statistics. This article proposes that a shared circuit design for such flexible decision-making is used in specific cognitive and motor circuits, and that both types of circuits use acetylcholine to modulate choice selectivity. Such task-sensitive control is proposed to control thalamocortical choice of the critical features that are cognitively attended and that are incorporated through learning into prototypes of visual recognition categories. A cholinergically-modulated process of vigilance control determines if a recognition category and its attended features are abstract (low vigilance) or concrete (high vigilance). Homologous neural mechanisms of cholinergic modulation are proposed to focus attention and learn a multimodal map within the deeper layers of superior colliculus. This map enables visual, auditory, and planned movement commands to compete for attention, leading to selection of a winning position that controls where the next saccadic eye movement will go. Such map learning may be viewed as a kind of attentive motor category learning. The article hereby explicates a link between attention, learning, and cholinergic modulation during decision making within both cognitive and motor systems. Homologs between the mammalian superior colliculus and the avian optic tectum lead to predictions about how multimodal map learning may occur in the mammalian and avian brain and how such learning may be modulated by acetycholine.
Full Text Available Freely behaving organisms need to rapidly calibrate their perceptual, cognitive, and motor decisions based on continuously changing environmental conditions. These plastic changes include sharpening or broadening of cognitive and motor attention and learning to match the behavioral demands that are imposed by changing environmental statistics. This article proposes that a shared circuit design for such flexible decision-making is used in specific cognitive and motor circuits, and that both types of circuits use acetylcholine to modulate choice selectivity. Such task-sensitive control is proposed to control thalamocortical choice of the critical features that are cognitively attended and that are incorporated through learning into prototypes of visual recognition categories. A cholinergically-modulated process of vigilance control determines if a recognition category and its attended features are abstract (low vigilance or concrete (high vigilance. Homologous neural mechanisms of cholinergic modulation are proposed to focus attention and learn a multimodal map within the deeper layers of superior colliculus. This map enables visual, auditory, and planned movement commands to compete for attention, leading to selection of a winning position that controls where the next saccadic eye movement will go. Such map learning may be viewed as a kind of attentive motor category learning. The article hereby explicates a link between attention, learning, and cholinergic modulation during decision making within both cognitive and motor systems. Homologs between the mammalian superior colliculus and the avian optic tectum lead to predictions about how multimodal map learning may occur in the avian brain and how such learning may be modulated by acetycholine.
Stange, Jonathan P; MacNamara, Annmarie; Barnas, Olga; Kennedy, Amy E; Hajcak, Greg; Phan, K Luan; Klumpp, Heide
Excessive attention toward aversive information may be a core mechanism underlying emotional disorders, but little is known about whether this is predictive of response to treatments. We evaluated whether enhanced attention toward aversive stimuli, as indexed by an event-related potential component, the late positive potential (LPP), would predict response to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in patients with social anxiety disorder and/or major depressive disorder. Thirty-two patients receiving 12 weeks of CBT responded to briefly-presented pairs of aversive and neutral pictures that served as targets or distracters while electroencephaolography was recorded. Patients with larger pre-treatment LPPs to aversive relative to neutral distracters (when targets were aversive) were more likely to respond to CBT, and demonstrated larger reductions in symptoms of depression and anxiety following treatment. Increased attention toward irrelevant aversive stimuli may signal attenuated top-down control, so treatments like CBT that improve this control could be beneficial for these individuals. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Henderson, Brenda S.
A Modern Design of Experiments (MDOE) analysis of data acquired for an offset stream technology was presented. The data acquisition and concept development were funded under a Supersonics NRA NNX07AC62A awarded to Dimitri Papamoschou at University of California, Irvine. The technology involved the introduction of airfoils in the fan stream of a bypass ratio (BPR) two nozzle system operated at transonic exhaust speeds. The vanes deflected the fan stream relative to the core stream and resulted in reduced sideline noise for polar angles in the peak jet noise direction. Noise prediction models were developed for a range of vane configurations. The models interface with an existing ANOPP module and can be used or future system level studies.
Eva Maria Hammer
Full Text Available Modulation of sensorimotor rhythms (SMR was suggested as a control signal for brain-computer interfaces (BCI. Yet, there is a population of users estimated between 10 to 50% not able to achieve reliable control and only about 20% of users achieve high (80-100% performance. Predicting performance prior to BCI use would facilitate selection of the most feasible system for an individual, thus constitute a practical benefit for the user, and increase our knowledge about the correlates of BCI control. In a recent study, we predicted SMR-BCI performance from psychological variables that were assessed prior to the BCI sessions and BCI control was supported with machine-learning techniques. We described two significant psychological predictors, namely the visuo-motor coordination ability and the ability to concentrate on the task. The purpose of the current study was to replicate these results thereby validating these predictors within a neurofeedback based SMR-BCI that involved no machine learning. Thirty-three healthy BCI novices participated in a calibration session and three further neurofeedback training sessions. Two variables were related with mean SMR-BCI performance: (1 A measure for the accuracy of fine motor skills, i.e. a trade for a person’s visuo-motor control ability and (2 subject’s attentional impulsivity. In a linear regression they accounted for almost 20% in variance of SMR-BCI performance, but predictor (1 failed significance. Nevertheless, on the basis of our prior regression model for sensorimotor control ability we could predict current SMR-BCI performance with an average prediction error of M = 12.07%. In more than 50% of the participants, the prediction error was smaller than 10%. Hence, psychological variables played a moderate role in predicting SMR-BCI performance in a neurofeedback approach that involved no machine learning. Future studies are needed to further consolidate (or reject the present predictors.
Ferretti, Vincent; Poitras, Christian; Bergeron, Dominique; Coulombe, Benoit; Robert, François; Blanchette, Mathieu
We describe PReMod, a new database of genome-wide cis-regulatory module (CRM) predictions for both the human and the mouse genomes. The prediction algorithm, described previously in Blanchette et al. (2006) Genome Res., 16, 656-668, exploits the fact that many known CRMs are made of clusters of phylogenetically conserved and repeated transcription factors (TF) binding sites. Contrary to other existing databases, PReMod is not restricted to modules located proximal to genes, but in fact mostly contains distal predicted CRMs (pCRMs). Through its web interface, PReMod allows users to (i) identify pCRMs around a gene of interest; (ii) identify pCRMs that have binding sites for a given TF (or a set of TFs) or (iii) download the entire dataset for local analyses. Queries can also be refined by filtering for specific chromosomal regions, for specific regions relative to genes or for the presence of CpG islands. The output includes information about the binding sites predicted within the selected pCRMs, and a graphical display of their distribution within the pCRMs. It also provides a visual depiction of the chromosomal context of the selected pCRMs in terms of neighboring pCRMs and genes, all of which are linked to the UCSC Genome Browser and the NCBI. PReMod: http://genomequebec.mcgill.ca/PReMod.
Bodenschatz, Charlott Maria; Skopinceva, Marija; Kersting, Anette; Quirin, Markus; Suslow, Thomas
Cognitive theories of depression assume biased attention towards mood-congruent information as a central vulnerability and maintaining factor. Among other symptoms, depression is characterized by excessive negative affect (NA). Yet, little is known about the impact of naturally occurring NA on the allocation of attention to emotional information. The study investigates how implicit and explicit NA as well as self-reported depressive symptoms predict attentional biases in a sample of healthy individuals (N = 104). Attentional biases were assessed using eye-tracking during a free viewing task in which images of sad, angry, happy and neutral faces were shown simultaneously. Participants' implicit affectivity was measured indirectly using the Implicit Positive and Negative Affect Test. Questionnaires were administered to assess actual and habitual explicit NA and presence of depressive symptoms. Higher levels of depressive symptoms were associated with sustained attention to sad faces and reduced attention to happy faces. Implicit but not explicit NA significantly predicted gaze behavior towards sad faces independently from depressive symptoms. The present study supports the idea that naturally occurring implicit NA is associated with attention allocation to dysphoric facial expression. The findings demonstrate the utility of implicit affectivity measures in studying individual differences in depression-relevant attentional biases and cognitive vulnerability. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Vollebregt, Madelon A; Zumer, Johanna M; Ter Huurne, Niels; Buitelaar, Jan K; Jensen, Ole
This study aimed to characterize alpha modulations in children with ADHD in relation to their attentional performance. The posterior alpha activity (8-12Hz) was measured in 30 typically developing children and 30 children with ADHD aged 7-10years, using EEG while they performed a visuospatial covert attention task. We focused the analyses on typically developing boys (N=9) and boys with ADHD (N=17). Alpha activity in typically developing boys was similar to previous results of healthy adults: it decreased in the hemisphere contralateral to the attended hemifield, whereas it relatively increased in the other hemisphere. However, in boys with ADHD this hemispheric lateralization in the alpha band was not obvious (group contrast, p=.018). A robust relation with behavioral performance was lacking in both groups. The ability to modulate alpha oscillations in visual regions with the allocation of spatial attention was clearly present in typically developing boys, but not in boys with ADHD. These results open up the possibility to further study the underlying mechanisms of ADHD by examining how differences in the fronto-striatal network might explain different abilities in modulating the alpha band activity. Copyright © 2016 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Coull, J T
Attention and arousal are multi-dimensional psychological processes, which interact closely with one another. The neural substrates of attention, as well as the interaction between arousal and attention, are discussed in this review. After a brief discussion of psychological and neuropsychological theories of attention, event-related potential correlates of attention are discussed. Essentially, attention acts to modulate stimulus-induced electrical potentials (N100/P100, P300, N400), rather than generating any unique potentials of its own. Functional neuroimaging studies of attentional orienting, selective attention, divided attention and sustained attention (and its inter-dependence on underlying levels of arousal) are then reviewed. A distinction is drawn between the brain areas which are crucially involved in the top-down modulation of attention (the 'sources' of attention) and those sensory-association areas whose activity is modulated by attention (the 'sites' of attentional expression). Frontal and parietal (usually right-lateralised) cortices and thalamus are most often associated with the source of attentional modulation. Also, the use of functional neuroimaging to test explicit hypotheses about psychological theories of attention is emphasised. These experimental paradigms form the basis for a 'new generation' of functional imaging studies which exploit the dynamic aspect of imaging and demonstrate how it can be used as more than just a 'brain mapping' device. Finally, a review of psychopharmacological studies in healthy human volunteers outlines the contributions of the noradrenergic, cholinergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems to the neurochemical modulation of human attention and arousal. While, noradrenergic and cholinergic systems are involved in 'low-level' aspects of attention (e.g. attentional orienting), the dopaminergic system is associated with more 'executive' aspects of attention such as attentional set-shifting or working memory.
Full Text Available Background Visuospatial processing requires wide distribution or narrow focusing of attention to certain regions in space. This mechanism is described by the zoom lens model and predicts an inverse correlation between the efficiency of processing and the size of the attentional scope. Little is known, however, about the exact timing of the effects of attentional scaling on visual searching and whether or not additional processing phases are involved in this process. Method Electroencephalographic recordings were made while participants performed a visual search task under different attentional scaling conditions. Two concentric circles of different sizes, presented to the participants at the center of a screen modulated the attentional scopes, and search arrays were distributed in the space areas indicated by these concentric circles. To ensure consistent eccentricity of the search arrays across different conditions, we limited our studies to the neural responses evoked by the search arrays distributed in the overlapping region of different attentional scopes. Results Consistent with the prediction of the zoom lens model, our behavioral data showed that reaction times for target discrimination of search arrays decreased and the associated error rates also significantly decreased, with narrowing the attentional scope. Results of the event-related potential analysis showed that the target-elicited amplitude of lateral occipital N1, rather than posterior P1, which reflects the earliest visuospatial attentional processing, was sensitive to changes in the scaling of visuospatial attention, indicating that the modulation of the effect of changes in the spatial scale of attention on visual processing occurred after the delay period of P1. The N1 generator exhibited higher activity as the attentional scope narrowed, reflecting more intensive processing resources within the attentional focus. In contrast to N1, the amplitude of N2pc increased with the
Nelson, Brady D; Hajcak, Greg
Predictability is an important characteristic of threat that impacts defensive motivation and attentional engagement. Supporting research has primarily focused on actual threat (e.g., shocks), and it is unclear whether the predictability of less intense threat (e.g., unpleasant pictures) similarly affects motivation and attention. The present study utilized a within-subject design and examined defensive motivation (startle reflex and self-reported anxiety) and attention (probe N100 and P300) in anticipation of shocks and unpleasant pictures during a no, predictable, and unpredictable threat task. This study also examined the impact of predictability on the P300 to shocks and late positive potential (LPP) to unpleasant pictures. The startle reflex and self-reported anxiety were increased in anticipation of both types of threat relative to no threat. Furthermore, startle potentiation in anticipation of unpredictable threat was greater for shocks compared to unpleasant pictures, but there was no difference for predictable threat. The probe N100 was enhanced in anticipation of unpredictable threat relative to predictable threat and no threat, and the probe P300 was suppressed in anticipation of predictable and unpredictable threat relative to no threat. These effects did not differ between the shock and unpleasant picture trials. Finally, the P300 and early LPP component were increased in response to unpredictable relative to predictable shocks and unpleasant pictures, respectively. The present study suggests that the unpredictability of unpleasant pictures increases defensive motivation, but to a lesser degree relative to actual threat. Moreover, unpredictability enhances attentional engagement in anticipation of, and in reaction to, both types of threat. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Barbot, Antoine; Carrasco, Marisa
The ability to swiftly detect and prioritize the processing of relevant information around us is critical for the way we interact with our environment. Selective attention is a key mechanism that serves this purpose, improving performance in numerous visual tasks. Reflexively attending to sudden information helps detect impeding threat or danger, a possible reason why emotion modulates the way selective attention affects perception. For instance, the sudden appearance of a fearful face potentiates the effects of exogenous (involuntary, stimulus-driven) attention on performance. Internal states such as trait anxiety can also modulate the impact of attention on early visual processing. However, attention does not only improve performance; it also alters the way visual information appears to us, e.g. by enhancing perceived contrast. Here we show that emotion potentiates the effects of exogenous attention on both performance and perceived contrast. Moreover, we found that trait anxiety mediates these effects, with stronger influences of attention and emotion in anxious observers. Finally, changes in performance and appearance correlated with each other, likely reflecting common attentional modulations. Altogether, our findings show that emotion and anxiety interact with selective attention to truly alter how we see.
Lin, Ping-I; Hsieh, Cheng-Da; Juan, Chi-Hung; Hossain, Md Monir; Erickson, Craig A; Lee, Yang-Han; Su, Mu-Chun
The goal of the current study is to clarify the relationship between social information processing (e.g., visual attention to cues of hostility, hostility attribution bias, and facial expression emotion labeling) and aggressive tendencies. Thirty adults were recruited in the eye-tracking study that measured various components in social information processing. Baseline aggressive tendencies were measured using the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire (AQ). Visual attention towards hostile objects was measured as the proportion of eye gaze fixation duration on cues of hostility. Hostility attribution bias was measured with the rating results for emotions of characters in the images. The results show that the eye gaze duration on hostile characters was significantly inversely correlated with the AQ score and less eye contact with an angry face. The eye gaze duration on hostile object was not significantly associated with hostility attribution bias, although hostility attribution bias was significantly positively associated with the AQ score. Our findings suggest that eye gaze fixation time towards non-hostile cues may predict aggressive tendencies.
Alberti, Concetta F; Horowitz, Todd; Bronstad, P Matthew; Bowers, Alex R
The ability of visually impaired people to deploy attention effectively to maximize use of their residual vision in dynamic situations is fundamental to safe mobility. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate whether tests of dynamic attention (multiple object tracking; MOT) and static attention (Useful Field of View; UFOV) were predictive of the ability of people with central field loss (CFL) to detect pedestrian hazards in simulated driving. 11 people with bilateral CFL (visual acuity 20/30-20/200) and 11 age-similar normally-sighted drivers participated. Dynamic and static attention were evaluated with brief, computer-based MOT and UFOV tasks, respectively. Dependent variables were the log speed threshold for 60% correct identification of targets (MOT) and the increase in the presentation duration for 75% correct identification of a central target when a concurrent peripheral task was added (UFOV divided and selective attention subtests). Participants drove in a simulator and pressed the horn whenever they detected pedestrians that walked or ran toward the road. The dependent variable was the proportion of timely reactions (could have stopped in time to avoid a collision). UFOV and MOT performance of CFL participants was poorer than that of controls, and the proportion of timely reactions was also lower (worse) (84% and 97%, respectively; p = 0.001). For CFL participants, higher proportions of timely reactions correlated significantly with higher (better) MOT speed thresholds (r = 0.73, p = 0.01), with better performance on the UFOV divided and selective attention subtests (r = -0.66 and -0.62, respectively, pattention may provide useful measures of functional visual ability of individuals with CFL relevant to more complex mobility tasks.
Nigbur, R; Schneider, J; Sommer, W; Dimigen, O; Stürmer, B
Cognitive conflict control in flanker tasks has often been described using the zoom-lens metaphor of selective attention. However, whether and how selective attention - in terms of suppression and enhancement - operates in this context has remained unclear. To examine the dynamic interplay of selective attention and cognitive control we used electrophysiological measures and presented task-irrelevant visual probe stimuli at foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral display positions. Target-flanker congruency varied either randomly from trial to trial (mixed-block) or block-wise (fixed-block) in order to induce reactive versus proactive control modes, respectively. Three EEG measures were used to capture ad-hoc adjustments within trials as well as effects of context-based predictions: the N1 component of the visual evoked potential (VEP) to probes, the VEP to targets, and the conflict-related midfrontal N2 component. Results from probe-VEPs indicate that enhanced processing of the foveal target rather than suppression of the peripheral flankers supports interference control. In incongruent mixed-block trials VEPs were larger to probes near the targets. In the fixed-blocks probe-VEPs were not modulated, but contrary to the mixed-block the preceding target-related VEP was affected by congruency. Results of the control-related N2 reveal largest amplitudes in the unpredictable context, which did not differentiate for stimulus and response incongruency. In contrast, in the predictable context, N2 amplitudes were reduced overall and differentiated between stimulus and response incongruency. Taken together these results imply that predictability alters interference control by a reconfiguration of stimulus processing. During unpredictable sequences participants adjust their attentional focus dynamically on a trial-by-trial basis as reflected in congruency-dependent probe-VEP-modulation. This reactive control mode also elicits larger N2 amplitudes. In contrast, when task demands
Theis, Corinna; Zirbel, Craig L; Zu Siederdissen, Christian Höner
. These modules can, for example, occur inside structural elements which in RNA 2D predictions appear as internal loops. Hence one question is if the use of such RNA 3D information can improve the prediction accuracy of RNA secondary structure at a genome-wide level. Here, we use RNAz in combination with 3D......Recent experimental and computational progress has revealed a large potential for RNA structure in the genome. This has been driven by computational strategies that exploit multiple genomes of related organisms to identify common sequences and secondary structures. However, these computational...... approaches have two main challenges: they are computationally expensive and they have a relatively high false discovery rate (FDR). Simultaneously, RNA 3D structure analysis has revealed modules composed of non-canonical base pairs which occur in non-homologous positions, apparently by independent evolution...
Full Text Available The number of solar photovoltaic (PV installations has been increasing worldwide but the high capital cost of installation continues to be the main challenge, particularly in many developing countries. The solar concentrator, a device that focuses the sunlight onto a small area, has the potential to minimize the use of expensive PV material while maintaining the system’s performance, ultimately bringing down its overall cost. This study aims to predict the annual electrical output of a specific concentrator design called the rotationally asymmetrical dielectric totally internally reflecting concentrator (RADTIRC. The aforementioned design is assumed to be installed in Berlin/Brandenburg, Germany. First, a short review of concentrators is provided. Next, a description of the RADTIRC and the previous research that revolved around it are provided. Afterwards, the key parameters that are needed to determine the annual electrical output of the RADTIRC are explained before presenting the results of the simulations. It was found that the yearly energy yield was increased by a factor of 2.29 when the RADTIRC-PV module was used when compared with the non-concentrating PV module.
Jääskeläinen, Iiro P.; Ahveninen, Jyrki
The ability to concentrate on relevant sounds in the acoustic environment is crucial for everyday function and communication. Converging lines of evidence suggests that transient functional changes in auditory-cortex neurons, “short-term plasticity”, might explain this fundamental function. Under conditions of strongly focused attention, enhanced processing of attended sounds can take place at very early latencies (~50 ms from sound onset) in primary auditory cortex and possibly even at earlier latencies in subcortical structures. More robust selective-attention short-term plasticity is manifested as modulation of responses peaking at ~100 ms from sound onset in functionally specialized nonprimary auditory-cortical areas by way of stimulus-specific reshaping of neuronal receptive fields that supports filtering of selectively attended sound features from task-irrelevant ones. Such effects have been shown to take effect in ~seconds following shifting of attentional focus. There are findings suggesting that the reshaping of neuronal receptive fields is even stronger at longer auditory-cortex response latencies (~300 ms from sound onset). These longer-latency short-term plasticity effects seem to build up more gradually, within tens of seconds after shifting the focus of attention. Importantly, some of the auditory-cortical short-term plasticity effects observed during selective attention predict enhancements in behaviorally measured sound discrimination performance. PMID:24551458
Full Text Available Sensory sensitivity is prevalent among young children with ASD, but its relation to social communication impairment is unclear. Recently, increased sensory hypersensitivity has been linked to greater activity of the neural salience network (Green et al., 2016. Increased neural sensitivity to stimuli, especially social stimuli, could provide greater opportunity for social learning and improved outcomes. Consistent with this framework, in Experiment 1 we found that parent report of greater sensory hypersensitivity at 2 years in toddlers with ASD (N = 27 was predictive of increased neural responsiveness to social stimuli (larger amplitude event-related potential/ERP responses to faces at P1, P400 and Nc at 4 years, and this in turn was related to parent report of increased social approach at 4 years. In Experiment 2, parent report of increased perceptual sensitivity at 6 months in infants at low and high familial risk for ASD (N = 35 predicted larger ERP P1 amplitude to faces at 18 months. Increased sensory hypersensitivity in early development thus predicted greater attention capture by faces in later development, and this related to more optimal social behavioral development. Sensory hypersensitivity may index a child's ability to benefit from supportive environments during development. Early sensory symptoms may not always be developmentally problematic for individuals with ASD. Keywords: Autism, Sensory hypersensitivity, Social attention, Salience network, Infant, EEG
Ordikhani-Seyedlar, Mehdi; Sørensen, Helge Bjarup Dissing; Kjaer, Troels W.
In this pilot study the effect of attention (covert and overt) on the signal detection and classification of steady-state visual-evoked potential (SSVEP) were investigated. Using the SSVEP-based paradigm, data were acquired from 4 subjects using 3 scalp electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes...... located on the visual area. Subjects were instructed to perform the attention task in which they attended covertly or overtly to either of the stimuli flickering with different frequencies (6, 7, 8 and 9Hz). We observed a decrease in signal power in covert compared to the overt attention. However...
Chabot-Leclerc, Alexandre; Jørgensen, Søren; Dau, Torsten
Speech intelligibility models typically consist of a preprocessing part that transforms stimuli into some internal (auditory) representation and a decision metric that relates the internal representation to speech intelligibility. The present study analyzed the role of modulation filtering...... in the preprocessing of different speech intelligibility models by comparing predictions from models that either assume a spectro-temporal (i.e., two-dimensional) or a temporal-only (i.e., one-dimensional) modulation filterbank. Furthermore, the role of the decision metric for speech intelligibility was investigated...... subtraction. The results suggested that a decision metric based on the SNRenv may provide a more general basis for predicting speech intelligibility than a metric based on the MTF. Moreover, the one-dimensional modulation filtering process was found to be sufficient to account for the data when combined...
Choi, Ui-Min; Ma, Ke; Blaabjerg, Frede
In this paper, the lifetime prediction of power device modules based on the linear damage accumulation is studied in conjunction with simple mission profiles of converters. Superimposed power cycling conditions, which are called simple mission profiles in this paper, are made based on a lifetime ...... prediction of IGBT modules under power converter applications.......In this paper, the lifetime prediction of power device modules based on the linear damage accumulation is studied in conjunction with simple mission profiles of converters. Superimposed power cycling conditions, which are called simple mission profiles in this paper, are made based on a lifetime...... model in respect to junction temperature swing duration. This model has been built based on 39 power cycling test results of 600-V 30-A three-phase-molded IGBT modules. Six tests are performed under three superimposed power cycling conditions using an advanced power cycling test setup. The experimental...
Dalhoff, Ernst; Zelle, Dennis; Gummer, Anthony W.
Efferent stimulation of outer hair cells is supposed to attenuate cochlear amplification of sound waves and is accompanied by reduced DPOAE amplitudes. Recently, a method using two subsequent f2 pulses during presentation of a longer f1 pulse was introduced to measure fast ipsilateral adaptation effects on separated DPOAE components. Compensating primary-tone onsets for their latencies at the f2-tonotopic place, the average adaptation measured in four normal-hearing subjects was 5.0 dB with a time constant below 5 ms. In the present study, two experiments were performed to determine the origin of this ultra-fast ipsilateral adaptation effect. The first experiment measured ultra-fast ipsilateral adaptation using a two-pulse paradigm at three frequencies in the four subjects, while controlling for visual attention of the subjects. The other experiment also controlled for visual attention, but utilized a sequence of f2 short pulses in the presence of a continuous f1 tone to sample ipsilateral adaptation effects with longer time constants in eight subjects. In the first experiment, no significant change in the ultra-fast adaptation between non-directed attention and visual attention could be detected. In contrast, the second experiment revealed significant changes in the magnitude of the slower ipsilateral adaptation in the visual-attention condition. In conclusion, the lack of an attentional influence indicates that the ultra-fast ipsilateral DPOAE adaptation is not solely mediated by the medial olivocochlear reflex.
Girardi, Giovanna; Antonucci, Gabriella; Nico, Daniele
Even when focused on an effortful task we retain the ability to detect salient environmental information, and even irrelevant visual stimuli can be automatically detected. However, to which extent unattended information affects attentional control is not fully understood. Here we provide evidences of how the brain spontaneously organizes its cognitive resources by shifting attention between a selective-attending and a stimulus-driven modality within a single task. Using a spatial cueing paradigm we investigated the effect of cue-target asynchronies as a function of their probabilities of occurrence (i.e., relative frequency). Results show that this accessory information modulates attentional shifts. A valid spatial cue improved participants' performance as compared to an invalid one only in trials in which target onset was highly predictable because of its more robust occurrence. Conversely, cuing proved ineffective when spatial cue and target were associated according to a less frequent asynchrony. These patterns of response depended on asynchronies' probability and not on their duration. Our findings clearly demonstrate that through a fine decision-making, performed trial-by-trial, the brain utilizes implicit information to decide whether or not voluntarily shifting spatial attention. As if according to a cost-planning strategy, the cognitive effort of shifting attention depending on the cue is performed only when the expected advantages are higher. In a trade-off competition for cognitive resources, voluntary/automatic attending may thus be a more complex process than expected. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Marx, Svenja; Einhäuser, Wolfgang
Our perception does not provide us with an exact imprint of the outside world, but is continuously adapted to our internal expectations, task sets, and behavioral goals. Although effects of reward-or value in general-on perception therefore seem likely, how valuation modulates perception and how such modulation relates to attention is largely unknown. We probed effects of reward on perception by using a binocular-rivalry paradigm. Distinct gratings drifting in opposite directions were presented to each observer's eyes. To objectify their subjective perceptual experience, the optokinetic nystagmus was used as measure of current perceptual dominance. In a first experiment, one of the percepts was either rewarded or attended. We found that reward and attention similarly biased perception. In a second experiment, observers performed an attentionally demanding task either on the rewarded stimulus, the other stimulus, or both. We found that-on top of an attentional effect on perception-at each level of attentional load, reward still modulated perception by increasing the dominance of the rewarded percept. Similarly, penalizing one percept increased dominance of the other at each level of attentional load. In turn, rewarding-and similarly nonpunishing-a percept yielded performance benefits that are typically associated with selective attention. In conclusion, our data show that value modulates perception in a similar way as the volitional deployment of attention, even though the relative effect of value is largely unaffected by an attention task. © 2015 ARVO.
Mulckhuyse, M.; Belopolsky, A.V.; Heslenfeld, D.J.; Talsma, D.; Theeuwes, J.
Previous research has shown that the extent to which people spread attention across the visual field plays a crucial role in visual selection and the occurrence of bottom-up driven attentional capture. Consistent with previous findings, we show that when attention was diffusely distributed across
Full Text Available The paper investigates predictive digital average current control (PDACC in dc/dc converters using trailing-edge modulation (TEM. The study is focused on the recurrence duty cycle equation and then stability analysis is performed. It is demonstrated that average current control using trailing-edge modulation is stable on the whole range of the duty cycle and thus design problems are highly reduced. The analysis is carried out in a general manner, independent of converter topology and therefore the results can then be easily applied for a certain converter (buck, boost, buck-boost, etc.. The theoretical considerations are confirmed for a boost converter first using the MATLAB program based on state-space equations and finally with the CASPOC circuit simulation package.
Jørgensen, Søren; Dau, Torsten
A model for predicting the intelligibility of processed noisy speech is proposed. The speech-based envelope power spectrum model has a similar structure as the model of Ewert and Dau [(2000). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1181-1196], developed to account for modulation detection and masking data. The ...... process provides a key measure of speech intelligibility. © 2011 Acoustical Society of America.......A model for predicting the intelligibility of processed noisy speech is proposed. The speech-based envelope power spectrum model has a similar structure as the model of Ewert and Dau [(2000). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1181-1196], developed to account for modulation detection and masking data....... The model estimates the speech-to-noise envelope power ratio, SNR env, at the output of a modulation filterbank and relates this metric to speech intelligibility using the concept of an ideal observer. Predictions were compared to data on the intelligibility of speech presented in stationary speech...
Nielsen, Simon; Andersen, Tobias
When two targets (T1 & T2) are presented in rapid succession, observers often fail to report T2 if they attend to T1. The bottleneck theory proposes that this attentional blink (AB) is due to T1 occupying a slow processing stage when T2 is presented. Accordingly, if increasing T1 difficulty...... increases T1 processing time, this should cause a greater AB. The attention capture hypothesis suggests that T1 captures attention, which cannot be reallocated to T2 in time. Accordingly, if increasing T1 difficulty decreases T1 saliency, this should cause a smaller AB. In two experiments we find support...... for an attention capture hypothesis. In Experiment 1 we find that AB magnitude increases with T1 contrast – but only when T1 is unmasked. In Experiment 2 we add Gaussian noise to targets and vary T1 contrast but keep T1 ‘s SNR constant. Again we find that AB magnitude increases with T1 contrast....
Nielsen, Simon; Andersen, Tobias S
When two targets (T1 & T2) are presented in rapid succession, observers often fail to report T2 if they attend to T1. The bottleneck theory proposes that this attentional blink (AB) is due to T1 occupying a slow processing stage when T2 is presented. Accordingly, if increasing T1 difficulty...... increases T1 processing time, this should cause a greater AB. The attention capture hypothesis suggests that T1 captures attention, which cannot be reallocated to T2 in time. Accordingly, if increasing T1 difficulty decreases T1 saliency, this should cause a smaller AB. In two experiments we find support...... for an attention capture hypothesis. In Experiment 1 we find that AB magnitude increases with T1 contrast – but only when T1 is unmasked. In Experiment 2 we add Gaussian noise to targets and vary T1 contrast but keep T1 ‘s SNR constant. Again we find that AB magnitude increases with T1 contrast....
Hahn, Britta; Ross, Thomas J; Wolkenberg, Frank A; Shakleya, Diaa M; Huestis, Marilyn A; Stein, Elliot A
Attention-enhancing effects of nicotine appear to depend on the nature of the attentional function. Underlying neuroanatomical mechanisms, too, may vary depending on the function modulated. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study recorded blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity in minimally deprived smokers during tasks of simple stimulus detection, selective attention, or divided attention after single-blind application of a transdermal nicotine (21 mg) or placebo patch. Smokers' performance in the placebo condition was unimpaired as compared with matched nonsmokers. Nicotine reduced reaction time (RT) in the stimulus detection and selective attention but not divided attention condition. Across all task conditions, nicotine reduced activation in frontal, temporal, thalamic, and visual regions and enhanced deactivation in so-called "default" regions. Thalamic effects correlated with RT reduction selectively during stimulus detection. An interaction with task condition was observed in middle and superior frontal gyri, where nicotine reduced activation only during stimulus detection. A visuomotor control experiment provided evidence against nonspecific effects of nicotine. In conclusion, although prefrontal activity partly displayed differential modulation by nicotine, most BOLD effects were identical across tasks, despite differential performance effects, suggesting that common neuronal mechanisms can selectively benefit different attentional functions. Overall, the effects of nicotine may be explained by increased functional efficiency and downregulated task-independent "default" functions.
Sneve, Markus H; Sreenivasan, Kartik K; Alnæs, Dag; Endestad, Tor; Magnussen, Svein
Retention of features in visual short-term memory (VSTM) involves maintenance of sensory traces in early visual cortex. However, the mechanism through which this is accomplished is not known. Here, we formulate specific hypotheses derived from studies on feature-based attention to test the prediction that visual cortex is recruited by attentional mechanisms during VSTM of low-level features. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of human visual areas revealed that neural populations coding for task-irrelevant feature information are suppressed during maintenance of detailed spatial frequency memory representations. The narrow spectral extent of this suppression agrees well with known effects of feature-based attention. Additionally, analyses of effective connectivity during maintenance between retinotopic areas in visual cortex show that the observed highlighting of task-relevant parts of the feature spectrum originates in V4, a visual area strongly connected with higher-level control regions and known to convey top-down influence to earlier visual areas during attentional tasks. In line with this property of V4 during attentional operations, we demonstrate that modulations of earlier visual areas during memory maintenance have behavioral consequences, and that these modulations are a result of influences from V4. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available BackgroundAttentional dysfunctions constitute core cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia, but the precise underlying neurocognitive mechanisms remain to be elucidated.MethodsIn this randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled study, we applied, for the first time, a theoretically grounded modeling approach based on Bundesen’s Theory of Visual Attention (TVA to (i identify specific visual attentional parameters affected in schizophrenia and (ii assess, as a proof of concept, the potential of single-dose anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS; 20 min, 2 mA to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to modulate these attentional parameters. To that end, attentional parameters were measured before (baseline, immediately after, and 24 h after the tDCS intervention in 20 schizophrenia patients and 20 healthy controls.ResultsAt baseline, analyses revealed significantly reduced visual processing speed and visual short-term memory storage capacity in schizophrenia. A significant stimulation condition × time point interaction in the schizophrenia patient group indicated improved processing speed at the follow-up session only in the sham condition (a practice effect, whereas performance remained stable across the three time points in patients receiving verum stimulation. In healthy controls, anodal tDCS did not result in a significant change in attentional performance.ConclusionWith regard to question (i above, these findings are indicative of a processing speed and short-term memory deficit as primary sources of attentional deficits in schizophrenia. With regard to question (ii, the efficacy of single-dose anodal tDCS for improving (speed aspects of visual cognition, it appears that prefrontal tDCS (at the settings used in the present study, rather than ameliorating the processing speed deficit in schizophrenia, actually may interfere with practice-dependent improvements in the rate of visual information uptake. Such potentially
Poole, Bradley J; Kane, Michael J
Variation in working-memory capacity (WMC) predicts individual differences in only some attention-control capabilities. Whereas higher WMC subjects outperform lower WMC subjects in tasks requiring the restraint of prepotent but inappropriate responses, and the constraint of attentional focus to target stimuli against distractors, they do not differ in prototypical visual-search tasks, even those that yield steep search slopes and engender top-down control. The present three experiments tested whether WMC, as measured by complex memory span tasks, would predict search latencies when the 1-8 target locations to be searched appeared alone, versus appearing among distractor locations to be ignored, with the latter requiring selective attentional focus. Subjects viewed target-location cues and then fixated on those locations over either long (1,500-1,550 ms) or short (300 ms) delays. Higher WMC subjects identified targets faster than did lower WMC subjects only in the presence of distractors and only over long fixation delays. WMC thus appears to affect subjects' ability to maintain a constrained attentional focus over time.
Concetta F Alberti
Full Text Available The ability of visually impaired people to deploy attention effectively to maximize use of their residual vision in dynamic situations is fundamental to safe mobility. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate whether tests of dynamic attention (multiple object tracking; MOT and static attention (Useful Field of View; UFOV were predictive of the ability of people with central field loss (CFL to detect pedestrian hazards in simulated driving.11 people with bilateral CFL (visual acuity 20/30-20/200 and 11 age-similar normally-sighted drivers participated. Dynamic and static attention were evaluated with brief, computer-based MOT and UFOV tasks, respectively. Dependent variables were the log speed threshold for 60% correct identification of targets (MOT and the increase in the presentation duration for 75% correct identification of a central target when a concurrent peripheral task was added (UFOV divided and selective attention subtests. Participants drove in a simulator and pressed the horn whenever they detected pedestrians that walked or ran toward the road. The dependent variable was the proportion of timely reactions (could have stopped in time to avoid a collision.UFOV and MOT performance of CFL participants was poorer than that of controls, and the proportion of timely reactions was also lower (worse (84% and 97%, respectively; p = 0.001. For CFL participants, higher proportions of timely reactions correlated significantly with higher (better MOT speed thresholds (r = 0.73, p = 0.01, with better performance on the UFOV divided and selective attention subtests (r = -0.66 and -0.62, respectively, p<0.04, with better contrast sensitivity scores (r = 0.54, p = 0.08 and smaller scotomas (r = -0.60, p = 0.05.Our results suggest that brief laboratory-based tests of visual attention may provide useful measures of functional visual ability of individuals with CFL relevant to more complex mobility tasks.
Jiang, Yuhong V; Sha, Li Z; Remington, Roger W
This study documented the relative strength of task goals, visual statistical learning, and monetary reward in guiding spatial attention. Using a difficult T-among-L search task, we cued spatial attention to one visual quadrant by (i) instructing people to prioritize it (goal-driven attention), (ii) placing the target frequently there (location probability learning), or (iii) associating that quadrant with greater monetary gain (reward-based attention). Results showed that successful goal-driven attention exerted the strongest influence on search RT. Incidental location probability learning yielded a smaller though still robust effect. Incidental reward learning produced negligible guidance for spatial attention. The 95 % confidence intervals of the three effects were largely nonoverlapping. To understand these results, we simulated the role of location repetition priming in probability cuing and reward learning. Repetition priming underestimated the strength of location probability cuing, suggesting that probability cuing involved long-term statistical learning of how to shift attention. Repetition priming provided a reasonable account for the negligible effect of reward on spatial attention. We propose a multiple-systems view of spatial attention that includes task goals, search habit, and priming as primary drivers of top-down attention.
Göschl, Florian; Engel, Andreas K.; Friese, Uwe
Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a) focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b) pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c) to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an ‘all-or-nothing’ manner. PMID:25203102
Full Text Available Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an 'all-or-nothing' manner.
Makovski, Tal; Pertzov, Yoni
Visual working memory (VWM) and attention have a number of features in common, but despite extensive research it is still unclear how the two interact. Can focused attention improve VWM precision? Can it protect VWM from interference? Here we used a partial-report, continuous-response orientation memory task to examine how attention and interference affect different aspects of VWM and how they interact with one another. Both attention and interference were orthogonally manipulated during the retention interval. Attention was manipulated by presenting informative retro-cues, whereas interference was manipulated by introducing a secondary interfering task. Mixture-model analyses revealed that retro-cues, compared to uninformative cues, improved all aspects of performance: Attention increased recall precision and decreased guessing rate and swap-errors (reporting a wrong item in memory). Similarly, performing a secondary task impaired all aspects of the VWM task. In particular, an interaction between retro-cue and secondary task interference was found primarily for swap-errors. Together these results suggest that both the quantity and quality of VWM representations are sensitive to attention cueing and interference modulations, and they highlight the role of attention in protecting the feature-location associations needed to access the correct items in memory.
Hugues, Etienne; Jose, Jorge V.
Visual scenes have enormous spatial and temporal information that are transduced into neural spike trains. Psychophysical experiments indicate that only a small portion of a spatial image is consciously accessible. Electrophysiological experiments in behaving monkeys have revealed a number of modulations of the neural activity in special visual area known as V4, when the animal is paying attention directly towards a particular stimulus location. The nature of the attentional input to V4, however, remains unknown as well as to the mechanisms responsible for these modulations. We use a biophysical neural network model of V4 to address these issues. We first constrain our model to reproduce the experimental results obtained for different external stimulus configurations and without paying attention. To reproduce the known neuronal response variability, we found that the neurons should receive about equal, or balanced, levels of excitatory and inhibitory inputs and whose levels are high as they are in in vivo conditions. Next we consider attentional inputs that can induce and reproduce the observed spiking modulations. We also elucidate the role played by the neural network to generate these modulations
Virginie evan Wassenhove
Full Text Available Active sensing has important consequences on multisensory processing (Schroeder et al. 2010. Here, we asked whether in the absence of saccades, the position of the eyes and the timing of transient colour changes of visual stimuli could selectively affect the excitability of auditory cortex by predicting the where and the when of a sound, respectively. Human participants were recorded with magnetoencephalography (MEG while maintaining the position of their eyes on the left, right, or centre of the screen. Participants counted colour changes of the fixation cross while neglecting sounds which could be presented to the left, right or both ears. First, clear alpha power increases were observed in auditory cortices, consistent with participants’ attention directed to visual inputs. Second, colour changes elicited robust modulations of auditory cortex responses (when prediction seen as ramping activity, early alpha phase-locked responses, and enhanced high-gamma band responses in the contralateral side of sound presentation. Third, no modulations of auditory evoked or oscillatory activity were found to be specific to eye position. Altogether, our results suggest that visual transience can automatically elicit a prediction of when a sound will occur by changing the excitability of auditory cortices irrespective of the attended modality, eye position or spatial congruency of auditory and visual events. To the contrary, auditory cortical responses were not significantly affected by eye position suggesting that where predictions may require active sensing or saccadic reset to modulate auditory cortex responses, notably in the absence of spatial orientation to sounds.
Carpenter, Gail A; Gaddam, Sai Chaitanya
Memories in Adaptive Resonance Theory (ART) networks are based on matched patterns that focus attention on those portions of bottom-up inputs that match active top-down expectations. While this learning strategy has proved successful for both brain models and applications, computational examples show that attention to early critical features may later distort memory representations during online fast learning. For supervised learning, biased ARTMAP (bARTMAP) solves the problem of over-emphasis on early critical features by directing attention away from previously attended features after the system makes a predictive error. Small-scale, hand-computed analog and binary examples illustrate key model dynamics. Two-dimensional simulation examples demonstrate the evolution of bARTMAP memories as they are learned online. Benchmark simulations show that featural biasing also improves performance on large-scale examples. One example, which predicts movie genres and is based, in part, on the Netflix Prize database, was developed for this project. Both first principles and consistent performance improvements on all simulation studies suggest that featural biasing should be incorporated by default in all ARTMAP systems. Benchmark datasets and bARTMAP code are available from the CNS Technology Lab Website: http://techlab.bu.edu/bART/. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Yu, C.X.; Jaffray, David; Martinez, A.A.; Wong, J.W.
Purpose: Computer-optimized treatment plans, aimed to enhance tumor control and reduce normal tissue complication, generally require non-uniform beam intensities. One of the techniques for delivering intensity-modulated beams is the use of dynamic multileaf collimation, where the beam aperture and field shape change during irradiation. When intensity-modulated beams are delivered with dynamic collimation, intra-treatment organ motion may not only cause geometric misses at the field boundaries but also create hot and cold spots in the target. The mechanism for producing such effects has not been well understood. This study analyzes the dosimetric effects of intra-treatment organ motion on dynamic intensity modulation. A numerical method is developed for predicting the intensity distributions in a moving target before dose is delivered with dynamic intensity modulation. Material and Methods: In the numerical algorithm, the change in position and shape of the beam aperture with time were modeled as a three-dimensional 'tunnel', with the shape of the field aperture described in the x-y plane and its temporal position shown in the z-dimension. A point in the target had to be in the tunnel in order to receive irradiation and the dose to the point was proportional to the amount of time that this point stayed in the tunnel. Since each point in the target were analyzed separately, non-rigid body variations could easily be handled. The dependency of the dose variations on all parameters involved, including the speed of collimator motion, the frequency and amplitude of the target motion, and the size of the field segments, was analyzed. The algorithm was verified by irradiating moving phantoms with beams of dynamically modulated intensities. Predictions were also made for a treatment of a thoracic tumor using a dynamic wedge. The changes of target position with time were based on the MRI images of the chest region acquired using fast MRI scans in a cine fashion for a duration
Evans, Karla K; Horowitz, Todd S; Howe, Piers; Pedersini, Roccardo; Reijnen, Ester; Pinto, Yair; Kuzmova, Yoana; Wolfe, Jeremy M
A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, 'visual attention' describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act upon. They allow for concurrent selection of some (preferably, relevant) information and inhibition of other information. This selection permits the reduction of complexity and informational overload. Selection can be determined both by the 'bottom-up' saliency of information from the environment and by the 'top-down' state and goals of the perceiver. Attentional effects can take the form of modulating or enhancing the selected information. A central role for selective attention is to enable the 'binding' of selected information into unified and coherent representations of objects in the outside world. In the overview on visual attention presented here we review the mechanisms and consequences of selection and inhibition over space and time. We examine theoretical, behavioral and neurophysiologic work done on visual attention. We also discuss the relations between attention and other cognitive processes such as automaticity and awareness. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 503-514 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.127 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Sanayei, M; Herrero, J L; Distler, C; Thiele, A
Attention affects neuronal processing and improves behavioural performance. In extrastriate visual cortex these effects have been explained by normalization models, which assume that attention influences the circuit that mediates surround suppression. While normalization models have been able to explain attentional effects, their validity has rarely been tested against alternative models. Here we investigate how attention and surround/mask stimuli affect neuronal firing rates and orientation tuning in macaque V1. Surround/mask stimuli provide an estimate to what extent V1 neurons are affected by normalization, which was compared against effects of spatial top down attention. For some attention/surround effect comparisons, the strength of attentional modulation was correlated with the strength of surround modulation, suggesting that attention and surround/mask stimulation (i.e. normalization) might use a common mechanism. To explore this in detail, we fitted multiplicative and additive models of attention to our data. In one class of models, attention contributed to normalization mechanisms, whereas in a different class of models it did not. Model selection based on Akaike's and on Bayesian information criteria demonstrated that in most cells the effects of attention were best described by models where attention did not contribute to normalization mechanisms. This demonstrates that attentional influences on neuronal responses in primary visual cortex often bypass normalization mechanisms. PMID:25757941
Klein, Barrie P; Paffen, Chris L E; Pas, Susan F Te; Dumoulin, Serge O
Attention is the mechanism through which we select relevant information from our visual environment. We have recently demonstrated that attention attracts receptive fields across the visual hierarchy (Klein, Harvey, & Dumoulin, 2014). We captured this receptive field attraction using an attention
Colzato, Lorenza S; Sellaro, Roberta; Samara, Iliana; Baas, Matthijs; Hommel, Bernhard
Meditation is becoming an increasingly popular topic for scientific research and various effects of extensive meditation practice (ranging from weeks to several years) on cognitive processes have been demonstrated. Here we show that extensive practice may not be necessary to achieve those effects. Healthy adult non-meditators underwent a brief single session of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing an Attentional Blink (AB) task - which assesses the efficiency of allocating attention over time. The size of the AB was considerably smaller after OMM than after FAM, which suggests that engaging in meditation immediately creates a cognitive-control state that has a specific impact on how people allocate their attention over time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention. I explain how in the last 25 years research on attention has characterized the effects of covert attention on spatial filters and how attention influences the selection of stimuli of interest. This review includes the effects of spatial attention on discriminability and appearance in tasks mediated by contrast sensitivity and spatial resolution; the effects of feature-based attention on basic visual processes, and a comparison of the effects of spatial and feature-based attention. The emphasis of this review is on psychophysical studies, but relevant electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies and models regarding how and where neuronal responses are modulated are also discussed. PMID:21549742
Casagrande, Maria; Martella, Diana; Ruggiero, Maria Cleonice; Maccari, Lisa; Paloscia, Claudio; Rosa, Caterina; Pasini, Augusto
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency and interactions of attentional systems in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by considering the effects of reinforcement and auditory warning on each component of attention. Thirty-six drug-naïve children (18 children with ADHD/18 typically developing children) performed two revised versions of the Attentional Network Test, which assess the efficiency of alerting, orienting, and executive systems. In feedback trials, children received feedback about their accuracy, whereas in the no-feedback trials, feedback was not given. In both conditions, children with ADHD performed more slowly than did typically developing children. They also showed impairments in the ability to disengage attention and in executive functioning, which improved when alertness was increased by administering the auditory warning. The performance of the attentional networks appeared to be modulated by the absence or the presence of reinforcement. We suggest that the observed executive system deficit in children with ADHD could depend on their low level of arousal rather than being an independent disorder. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Pecchinenda, Anna; Ferlazzo, Fabio; Lavidor, Michal
Selective attention relies on working memory to maintain an attention set of task priorities. Consequently, selective attention is more efficient when working memory resources are not depleted. However, there is some evidence that distractors are processed even when working memory load is low. We used tDCS to assess whether boosting the activity of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC), involved in selective attention and working memory, would reduce interference from emotional distractors. Findings showed that anodal tDCS over the DLPFC was not sufficient to reduce interference from angry distractors. In contrast, cathodal tDCS over the DLPFC reduced interference from happy distractors. These findings show that altering the DLPFC activity is not sufficient to establish top-down control and increase selective attention efficiency. Although, when the neural signal in the DLPFC is altered by cathodal tDCS, interference from emotional distractors is reduced, leading to an improved performance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Knight, Helen C; Smith, Daniel T; Knight, David C; Ellison, Amanda
Attentional control settings have an important role in guiding visual behaviour. Previous work within cognitive psychology has found that the deployment of general attentional control settings can be modulated by training. However, research has not yet established whether long-term modifications of one particular type of attentional control setting can be induced. To address this, we investigated persistent alterations to feature search mode, also known as an attentional bias, towards an arbitrary stimulus in healthy participants. Subjects were biased towards the colour green by an information sheet. Attentional bias was assessed using a change detection task. After an interval of either 1 or 2 weeks, participants were then retested on the same change detection task, tested on a different change detection task where colour was irrelevant, or were biased towards an alternative colour. One experiment included trials in which the distractor stimuli (but never the target stimuli) were green. The key finding was that green stimuli in the second task attracted attention, despite this impairing task performance. Furthermore, inducing a second attentional bias did not override the initial bias toward green objects. The attentional bias also persisted for at least two weeks. It is argued that this persistent attentional bias is mediated by a chronic change to participants' attentional control settings, which is aided by long-term representations involving contextual cueing. We speculate that similar changes to attentional control settings and continuous cueing may relate to attentional biases observed in psychopathologies. Targeting these biases may be a productive approach to treatment.
Van Dillen, Lotte F; van der Wal, Reine C; van den Bos, Kees
The emotion of disgust can influence people's moral judgments, even if this emotion objectively is unrelated to the moral judgment in question. The present work demonstrates that attentional control regulates this effect. In three studies, disgust was induced. In an unrelated part of the studies, participants then judged a moral transgression. Disgust resulted in more severe moral judgments when attentional control (either measured by means of individual predisposition or manipulated with experimental control) was weak as opposed to strong (Studies 1-3). Findings further showed that attentional control mediated the positive relation between the intensity of participants' disgust responses and the severity of their moral judgments (Study 2). Moreover, attentional control has its effects through the regulation of affective processing (Study 3). Taken together, the findings suggest that unrelated influences of disgust on moral judgments are contingent on the attention system.
Dai, Lengshi; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G
Listeners with normal hearing thresholds (NHTs) differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in the cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding), onset event-related potentials (ERPs) from the scalp (reflecting cortical responses to sound) and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones); however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance), inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with NHTs can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on stimulus characteristics
Full Text Available Listeners with normal hearing thresholds differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding, onset event-related potentials from the scalp (ERPs, reflecting cortical responses to sound, and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones; however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance, inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with normal hearing thresholds can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on
Navajas, Joaquin; Nitka, Aleksander W; Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo
Given the higher chance to recognize attended compared to unattended stimuli, the specific neural correlates of these two processes, attention and awareness, tend to be intermingled in experimental designs. In this study, we dissociated the neural correlates of conscious face perception from the effects of visual attention. To do this, we presented faces at the threshold of awareness and manipulated attention through the use of exogenous prestimulus cues. We show that the N170 component, a scalp EEG marker of face perception, was modulated independently by attention and by awareness. An earlier P1 component was not modulated by either of the two effects and a later P3 component was indicative of awareness but not of attention. These claims are supported by converging evidence from (a) modulations observed in the average evoked potentials, (b) correlations between neural and behavioral data at the single-subject level, and (c) single-trial analyses. Overall, our results show a clear dissociation between the neural substrates of attention and awareness. Based on these results, we argue that conscious face perception is triggered by a boost in face-selective cortical ensembles that can be modulated by, but are still independent from, visual attention. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Akyürek, Elkan G; Leszczyński, Marcin; Schubö, Anna
An increase in concurrent working memory load has been shown to amplify the attentional blink. The present study investigated the temporal locus of this phenomenon, by using a dual rapid serial visual presentation paradigm that enabled the measurement of lateralized event-related potentials. The P3 component was shown to be affected by both working memory load and the lag between the target stimuli, consistent with current models of temporal attention and a functional explanation of the P3 in terms of memory consolidation. P3 amplitude was reduced for short target lags and high memory loads. The P2 component was affected by lag only, and not memory load. Importantly, the N2pc component was modulated also by both lag and memory load. The results showed that early attentional processing (as marked by the N2pc) was suppressed by increased involvement of working memory, a phenomenon not well predicted by many current theories of temporal attention. Copyright © 2010 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Faris Haroon Rasheed Awadh
Full Text Available In delineating the amount of orthographic information that can be processed in parallel during a single fixation, the visual attention (VA span acts as a key component of the reading system. Previous studies focused on the contribution of VA span to normal and pathological reading in monolingual and bilingual children from different European languages, without direct cross-language comparison. In the current paper, we explored modulations of VA span abilities in three languages --French, Spanish and Arabic-- that differ in transparency, reading direction and writing systems. The participants were adult skilled readers who were native speakers of French, Spanish or Arabic. They were administered tasks of global and partial letter report, single letter identification and text reading. Their VA span abilities were assessed using tasks that require the processing of briefly presented 5 consonant strings (e.g., R S H F T. All five consonants had to be reported in global report but a single cued letter in partial report. Results showed that the VA span was reduced in Arabic readers as compared to French or Spanish readers who otherwise show a similar high performance in the two report tasks. The analysis of VA span response patterns in global report showed a left-right asymmetry in all three languages. A leftward letter advantage was found in French and Spanish but a rightward advantage in Arabic. The response patterns were symmetric in partial report, regardless of the language. Last, a significant relationship was found between visual attention span abilities and reading speed but only for French. The overall findings suggest that the size of VA span, the shape of VA span response patterns and the VA Span-reading relationship are modulated by language-specific features.
Ma, Ili; Mies, Gabry W; Lambregts-Rommelse, Nanda N J; Buitelaar, Jan K; Cillessen, Antonius H N; Scheres, Anouk
Interference control refers to the ability to selectively attend to certain information while ignoring distracting information. This ability can vary as a function of distractor relevance. Distractors that are particularly relevant to an individual may attract more attention than less relevant distractors. This is referred to as attention bias. Weak interference control and altered reward sensitivity are both important features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, interference control is typically studied in isolation. This study integrates both. Youths (aged 9 to 17 years) with ADHD (n = 37, 25 boys) and typically-developing controls (n = 38, 20 boys) completed a Stroop task using appetitive words and matched neutral words to assess whether appetitive distractors diminished interference control more in youths with ADHD than controls. In order to test for specificity, aversive words were also included. As expected, appetitive words disrupted interference control but this effect was not stronger for youths with ADHD than the controls. Aversive words, on the other hand, facilitated interference control. Dimensional analyses revealed that this facilitation effect increased substantially as a function of ADHD symptom severity. Possible mechanisms for this effect include up-regulation of interference control as a function of induced negative mood, or as a function of increased effort. In conclusion, appetitive words do not lead to worse interference control in youths with ADHD compared with controls. Interference control was modulated in a valence-specific manner, concurrent with mood-induced effects on cognitive control.
Yagi, Yoshihiko; Ikoma, Shinobu; Kikuchi, Tadashi
The "mere exposure effect" refers to the phenomenon where previous exposures to stimuli increase participants' subsequent affective preference for those stimuli. This study explored the effect of selective attention on the mere exposure effect. The experiments manipulated the to-be-attended drawings in the exposure period (either red or green…
Johnston, Blair A; Coghill, David; Matthews, Keith; Steele, J Douglas
Methylphenidate (MPH) is established as the main pharmacological treatment for patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Whilst MPH is generally a highly effective treatment, not all patients respond, and some experience adverse reactions. Currently, there is no reliable method to predict how patients will respond, other than by exposure to a trial of medication. In this preliminary study, we sought to investigate whether an accurate predictor of clinical response to methylphenidate could be developed for individual patients, using sociodemographic, clinical and neuropsychological measures. Of the 43 boys with ADHD included in this proof-of-concept study, 30 were classed as responders and 13 as non-responders to MPH, with no significant differences in age nor verbal intelligence quotient (IQ) between the groups. Here we report the application of a multivariate analysis approach to the prediction of clinical response to MPH, which achieved an accuracy of 77% (p = 0.005). The most important variables to the classifier were performance on a 'go/no go' task and comorbid conduct disorder. This preliminary study suggested that further investigation is merited. Achieving a highly significant accuracy of 77% for the prediction of MPH response is an encouraging step towards finding a reliable and clinically useful method that could minimise the number of children needlessly being exposed to MPH. © The Author(s) 2014.
Clark, Kelsey; Squire, Ryan Fox; Merrikhi, Yaser; Noudoost, Behrad
Attention is a means of flexibly selecting and enhancing a subset of sensory input based on the current behavioral goals. Numerous signatures of attention have been identified throughout the brain, and now experimenters are seeking to determine which of these signatures are causally related to the behavioral benefits of attention, and the source of these modulations within the brain. Here, we review the neural signatures of attention throughout the brain, their theoretical benefits for visual processing, and their experimental correlations with behavioral performance. We discuss the importance of measuring cue benefits as a way to distinguish between impairments on an attention task, which may instead be visual or motor impairments, and true attentional deficits. We examine evidence for various areas proposed as sources of attentional modulation within the brain, with a focus on the prefrontal cortex. Lastly, we look at studies that aim to link sources of attention to its neuronal signatures elsewhere in the brain. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Schupp, Harald T; Flaisch, Tobias; Stockburger, Jessica; Junghöfer, Markus
Emotional pictures guide selective visual attention. A series of event-related brain potential (ERP) studies is reviewed demonstrating the consistent and robust modulation of specific ERP components by emotional images. Specifically, pictures depicting natural pleasant and unpleasant scenes are associated with an increased early posterior negativity, late positive potential, and sustained positive slow wave compared with neutral contents. These modulations are considered to index different stages of stimulus processing including perceptual encoding, stimulus representation in working memory, and elaborate stimulus evaluation. Furthermore, the review includes a discussion of studies exploring the interaction of motivated attention with passive and active forms of attentional control. Recent research is reviewed exploring the selective processing of emotional cues as a function of stimulus novelty, emotional prime pictures, learned stimulus significance, and in the context of explicit attention tasks. It is concluded that ERP measures are useful to assess the emotion-attention interface at the level of distinct processing stages. Results are discussed within the context of two-stage models of stimulus perception brought out by studies of attention, orienting, and learning.
Sanayei, M; Herrero, J L; Distler, C; Thiele, A
Attention affects neuronal processing and improves behavioural performance. In extrastriate visual cortex these effects have been explained by normalization models, which assume that attention influences the circuit that mediates surround suppression. While normalization models have been able to explain attentional effects, their validity has rarely been tested against alternative models. Here we investigate how attention and surround/mask stimuli affect neuronal firing rates and orientation tuning in macaque V1. Surround/mask stimuli provide an estimate to what extent V1 neurons are affected by normalization, which was compared against effects of spatial top down attention. For some attention/surround effect comparisons, the strength of attentional modulation was correlated with the strength of surround modulation, suggesting that attention and surround/mask stimulation (i.e. normalization) might use a common mechanism. To explore this in detail, we fitted multiplicative and additive models of attention to our data. In one class of models, attention contributed to normalization mechanisms, whereas in a different class of models it did not. Model selection based on Akaike's and on Bayesian information criteria demonstrated that in most cells the effects of attention were best described by models where attention did not contribute to normalization mechanisms. This demonstrates that attentional influences on neuronal responses in primary visual cortex often bypass normalization mechanisms. © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
de Waal, Luc; Lewis, Timothy A.; Rees, Matthew G.; Tsherniak, Aviad; Wu, Xiaoyun; Choi, Peter S.; Gechijian, Lara; Hartigan, Christina; Faloon, Patrick W.; Hickey, Mark J.; Tolliday, Nicola; Carr, Steven A.; Clemons, Paul A.; Munoz, Benito; Wagner, Bridget K.; Shamji, Alykhan F.; Koehler, Angela N.; Schenone, Monica; Burgin, Alex B.; Schreiber, Stuart L.; Greulich, Heidi; Meyerson, Matthew
High cancer death rates indicate the need for new anti-cancer therapeutic agents. Approaches to discover new cancer drugs include target-based drug discovery and phenotypic screening. Here, we identified phosphodiesterase 3A modulators as cell-selective cancer cytotoxic compounds by phenotypic compound library screening and target deconvolution by predictive chemogenomics. We found that sensitivity to 6-(4-(diethylamino)-3-nitrophenyl)-5-methyl-4,5-dihydropyridazin-3(2H)-one, or DNMDP, across 766 cancer cell lines correlates with expression of the phosphodiesterase 3A gene, PDE3A. Like DNMDP, a subset of known PDE3A inhibitors kill selected cancer cells while others do not. Furthermore, PDE3A depletion leads to DNMDP resistance. We demonstrated that DNMDP binding to PDE3A promotes an interaction between PDE3A and Schlafen 12 (SLFN12), suggesting a neomorphic activity. Co-expression of SLFN12 with PDE3A correlates with DNMDP sensitivity, while depletion of SLFN12 results in decreased DNMDP sensitivity. Our results implicate PDE3A modulators as candidate cancer therapeutic agents and demonstrate the power of predictive chemogenomics in small-molecule discovery. PMID:26656089
Chawarska, Katarzyna; Macari, Suzanne; Shic, Frederick
Background In typical development, the unfolding of social and communicative skills hinges upon the ability to allocate and sustain attention towards people, a skill present moments after birth. Deficits in social attention have been well documented in autism, though the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Methods In order to parse the factors that are responsible for limited social attention in toddlers with autism, we manipulated the context in which a person appeared in their visual field with regard to the presence of salient social (child-directed speech and eye contact) and nonsocial (distractor toys) cues for attention. Participants included 13- to 25-month-old toddlers with autism (AUT; n=54), developmental delay (DD; n=22), and typical development (TD; n=48). Their visual responses were recorded with an eye-tracker. Results In conditions devoid of eye contact and speech, the distribution of attention between key features of the social scene in toddlers with autism was comparable to that in DD and TD controls. However, when explicit dyadic cues were introduced, toddlers with autism showed decreased attention to the entire scene and, when they looked at the scene, they spent less time looking at the speaker’s face and monitoring her lip movements than the control groups. In toddlers with autism, decreased time spent exploring the entire scene was associated with increased symptom severity and lower nonverbal functioning; atypical language profiles were associated with decreased monitoring of the speaker’s face and her mouth. Conclusions While in certain contexts toddlers with autism attend to people and objects in a typical manner, they show decreased attentional response to dyadic cues for attention. Given that mechanisms supporting responsivity to dyadic cues are present shortly after birth and are highly consequential for development of social cognition and communication, these findings have important implications for the understanding of the
Rohr, Christiane S; Vinette, Sarah A; Parsons, Kari A L; Cho, Ivy Y K; Dimond, Dennis; Benischek, Alina; Lebel, Catherine; Dewey, Deborah; Bray, Signe
Early childhood is a period of profound neural development and remodeling during which attention skills undergo rapid maturation. Attention networks have been extensively studied in the adult brain, yet relatively little is known about changes in early childhood, and their relation to cognitive development. We investigated the association between age and functional connectivity (FC) within the dorsal attention network (DAN) and the association between FC and attention skills in early childhood. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data was collected during passive viewing in 44 typically developing female children between 4 and 7 years whose sustained, selective, and executive attention skills were assessed. FC of the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and the frontal eye fields (FEF) was computed across the entire brain and regressed against age. Age was positively associated with FC between core nodes of the DAN, the IPS and the FEF, and negatively associated with FC between the DAN and regions of the default-mode network. Further, controlling for age, FC between the IPS and FEF was significantly associated with selective attention. These findings add to our understanding of early childhood development of attention networks and suggest that greater FC within the DAN is associated with better selective attention skills. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beaver, John D; Mogg, Karin; Bradley, Brendan P
Two studies investigated the effects of conditioning to masked stimuli on visuospatial attention. During the conditioning phase, masked snakes and spiders were paired with a burst of white noise, or paired with an innocuous tone, in the conditioned stimulus (CS)+ and CS- conditions, respectively. Attentional allocation to the CSs was then assessed with a visual probe task, in which the CSs were presented unmasked (Experiment 1) or both unmasked and masked (Experiment 2), together with fear-irrelevant control stimuli (flowers and mushrooms). In Experiment 1, participants preferentially allocated attention to CS+ relative to control stimuli. Experiment 2 suggested that this attentional bias depended on the perceived aversiveness of the unconditioned stimulus and did not require conscious recognition of the CSs during both acquisition and expression. Copyright 2005 APA, all rights reserved.
Sørensen, Thomas Alrik; Vangkilde, Signe; Bundesen, Claus
By varying the probabilities that a stimulus would appear at particular times after the presentation of a cue and modeling the data by the theory of visual attention (Bundesen, 1990), Vangkilde, Coull, and Bundesen (2012) provided evidence that the speed of encoding a singly presented stimulus letter into visual short-term memory (VSTM) is…
Baghdadi, G.; Jafari, S.; Sprott, J. C.; Towhidkhah, F.; Hashemi Golpayegani, M. R.
The problem of keeping an attention level is one of the common symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Dopamine deficiency is introduced as one of the causes of this disorder. Based on some physiological facts about the attention control mechanism and chaos intermittency, a behavioral model is presented in this paper. This model represents the problem of undesired alternation of attention level, and can also suggest different valuable predictions about a possible cause of attention deficit disorder. The proposed model reveals that there is a possible interaction between different neurotransmitters which help the individual to adaptively inhibit the attention switching over time. The result of this study can be used to examine and develop a new practical and more appropriate treatment for the problem of sustaining attention.
Montani, Veronica; Facoetti, Andrea; Zorzi, Marco
The role of attention in visual word recognition and reading aloud is a long debated issue. Studies of both developmental and acquired reading disorders provide growing evidence that spatial attention is critically involved in word reading, in particular for the phonological decoding of unfamiliar letter strings. However, studies on healthy participants have produced contrasting results. The aim of this study was to investigate how the allocation of spatial attention may influence the perception of letter strings in skilled readers. High frequency words (HFWs), low frequency words and pseudowords were briefly and parafoveally presented either in the left or the right visual field. Attentional allocation was modulated by the presentation of a spatial cue before the target string. Accuracy in reporting the target string was modulated by the spatial cue but this effect varied with the type of string. For unfamiliar strings, processing was facilitated when attention was focused on the string location and hindered when it was diverted from the target. This finding is consistent the assumptions of the CDP+ model of reading aloud, as well as with familiarity sensitivity models that argue for a flexible use of attention according with the specific requirements of the string. Moreover, we found that processing of HFWs was facilitated by an extra-large focus of attention. The latter result is consistent with the hypothesis that a broad distribution of attention is the default mode during reading of familiar words because it might optimally engage the broad receptive fields of the highest detectors in the hierarchical system for visual word recognition.
Full Text Available The role of attention in visual word recognition and reading aloud is a long debated issue. Studies of both developmental and acquired reading disorders provide growing evidence that spatial attention is critically involved in word reading, in particular for the phonological decoding of unfamiliar letter strings. However, studies on healthy participants have produced contrasting results. The aim of this study was to investigate how the allocation of spatial attention may influence the perception of letter strings in skilled readers. High frequency words, low frequency words and pseudowords were briefly and parafoveally presented either in the left or the right visual field. Attentional allocation was modulated by the presentation of a spatial cue before the target string. Accuracy in reporting the target string was modulated by the spatial cue but this effect varied with the type of string. For unfamiliar strings, processing was facilitated when attention was focused on the string location and hindered when it was diverted from the target. This finding is consistent the assumptions of the CDP+ model of reading aloud, as well as with familiarity sensitivity models that argue for a flexible use of attention according with the specific requirements of the string. Moreover, we found that processing of high-frequency words was facilitated by an extra-large focus of attention. The latter result is consistent with the hypothesis that a broad distribution of attention is the default mode during reading of familiar words because it might optimally engage the broad receptive fields of the highest detectors in the hierarchical system for visual word recognition.
Quigley, Cliodhna; Müller, Matthias M
Deficient selection against irrelevant information has been proposed to underlie age-related cognitive decline. We recently reported evidence for maintained early sensory selection when older and younger adults used spatial selective attention to perform a challenging task. Here we explored age-related differences when spatial selection is not possible and feature-selective attention must be deployed. We additionally compared the integrity of feedforward processing by exploiting the well established phenomenon of suppression of visual cortical responses attributable to interstimulus competition. Electroencephalogram was measured while older and younger human adults responded to brief occurrences of coherent motion in an attended stimulus composed of randomly moving, orientation-defined, flickering bars. Attention was directed to horizontal or vertical bars by a pretrial cue, after which two orthogonally oriented, overlapping stimuli or a single stimulus were presented. Horizontal and vertical bars flickered at different frequencies and thereby elicited separable steady-state visual-evoked potentials, which were used to examine the effect of feature-based selection and the competitive influence of a second stimulus on ongoing visual processing. Age differences were found in feature-selective attentional modulation of visual responses: older adults did not show consistent modulation of magnitude or phase. In contrast, the suppressive effect of a second stimulus was robust and comparable in magnitude across age groups, suggesting that bottom-up processing of the current stimuli is essentially unchanged in healthy old age. Thus, it seems that visual processing per se is unchanged, but top-down attentional control is compromised in older adults when space cannot be used to guide selection.
Barker, David H; Quittner, Alexandra L; Fink, Nancy E; Eisenberg, Laurie S; Tobey, Emily A; Niparko, John K
The development of language and communication may play an important role in the emergence of behavioral problems in young children, but they are rarely included in predictive models of behavioral development. In this study, cross-sectional relationships between language, attention, and behavior problems were examined using parent report, videotaped observations, and performance measures in a sample of 116 severely and profoundly deaf and 69 normally hearing children ages 1.5 to 5 years. Secondary analyses were performed on data collected as part of the Childhood Development After Cochlear Implantation Study, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Hearing-impaired children showed more language, attention, and behavioral difficulties, and spent less time communicating with their parents than normally hearing children. Structural equation modeling indicated there were significant relationships between language, attention, and child behavior problems. Language was associated with behavior problems both directly and indirectly through effects on attention. Amount of parent-child communication was not related to behavior problems.
Skosnik, P D; Chatterton, R T; Swisher, T; Park, S
Two of the most salient physiological responses to stress are increased norepinephrine (NE) and cortisol (CORT) activities. However, it is unclear how these neurochemical events affect cognition, especially attention. We examined the effects of mild psychological stress on selective attention, as assessed by the negative priming (NP) paradigm. Salivary measures of the stress hormone CORT and alpha-amylase (a correlate of NE) were assayed to probe the relationship between the stress response and attentional inhibition. Healthy subjects (N = 20) engaged in the attention task, which was then followed by 15 min of a stressful video game before a return to the attentional task. Baseline saliva samples were obtained before the experiment began, 1 min after the video-game stressor, and 20 min post-stress. Subjects showed a significant reduction in NP and a decrease in reaction time (RT) after the video game. Moreover, alpha-amylase levels increased significantly after the stressor, indicating the role of NE in the acute stress response. While CORT levels remained unchanged after stress, CORT correlated significantly with both NP scores and RT after the stressor. These results imply that mild psychological stress can significantly alter attentional processes. Given the increase in alpha-amylase and the correlation between attention and CORT after stress, it seems likely that attentional processes are under tight control by brain systems which mediate the fight-or-flight response.
Tiitinen, H; May, P; Reinikainen, K; Näätänen, R
Being able to detect unusual, possibly dangerous events in the environment is a fundamental ability that helps ensure the survival of biological organisms. Novelty detection requires a memory system that models (builds neural representations of) events in the environment, so that changes are detected because they violate the predictions of the model. The earliest physiologically measurable brain response to novel auditory stimuli is the mismatch negativity, MMN, a component of the event-related potential. It is elicited when a predictable series of unvarying stimuli is unexpectedly followed by a deviating stimulus. As the occurrence of MMN is not usually affected by the direction of attention, MMN reflects the operation of automatic sensory (echoic) memory, the earliest memory system that builds traces of the acoustic environment against which new stimuli can be compared. The dependence of attentive novelty detection on earlier, pre-attentive processes, however, has remained elusive. Previous, related studies seem to suggest a relationship between MMN and attentive processes, although no conclusive evidence has so far been shown. Here we address novelty detection in humans both on a physiological and behavioural level, and show how attentive novelty detection is governed by a pre-attentive sensory memory mechanism.
Kiel, Elizabeth J.; Buss, Kristin A.
Although individual differences in reactions to novelty in the toddler years have been consistently linked to risk for developing anxious behavior, toddlers’ attention towards a novel, putatively threatening stimulus while in the presence of other enjoyable activities has rarely been examined as a precursor to such risk. The current study examined how attention towards an angry-looking gorilla mask in a room with alternative opportunities for play in 24-month-old toddlers predicted social inhibition when children entered kindergarten. Analyses examined attention to threat above and beyond and in interaction with both proximity to the mask and fear of novelty observed in other situations. Attention to threat interacted with proximity to the mask to predict social inhibition, such that attention to threat most strongly predicted social inhibition when toddlers stayed furthest from the mask. This relation occurred above and beyond the predictive relation between fear of novelty and social inhibition. Results are discussed within the broader literature of anxiety development and attentional processes in young children. PMID:21373365
Munneke, J.; Hoppenbrouwers, S.S.; Theeuwes, J.
The traditional distinction between exogenous and endogenous attentional control has recently been enriched with an additional mode of control, termed “selection history.” Recent findings have indicated, for instance, that previously rewarded or punished stimuli capture more attention than their
Meindertsma, Thomas; Hillebrand, Arjan; van Dijk, Bob W.; Lamme, Victor A. F.; Donner, Tobias H.
Conscious perception sometimes fluctuates strongly, even when the sensory input is constant. For example, in motion-induced blindness (MIB), a salient visual target surrounded by a moving pattern suddenly disappears from perception, only to reappear after some variable time. Whereas such changes of perception result from fluctuations of neural activity, mounting evidence suggests that the perceptual changes, in turn, may also cause modulations of activity in several brain areas, including visual cortex. In this study, we asked whether these latter modulations might affect the subsequent dynamics of perception. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure modulations in cortical population activity during MIB. We observed a transient, retinotopically widespread modulation of beta (12–30 Hz)-frequency power over visual cortex that was closely linked to the time of subjects' behavioral report of the target disappearance. This beta modulation was a top-down signal, decoupled from both the physical stimulus properties and the motor response but contingent on the behavioral relevance of the perceptual change. Critically, the modulation amplitude predicted the duration of the subsequent target disappearance. We propose that the transformation of the perceptual change into a report triggers a top-down mechanism that stabilizes the newly selected perceptual interpretation. PMID:25411458
Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes
Walther, Dirk; Itti, Laurent; Riesenhuber, Maximilian; Poggio, Tomaso; Koch, Christof
...% at a high level is sufficient to recognize multiple objects. To determine the size and shape of the region to be modulated, a rough segmentation is performed, based on pre-attentive features already computed to guide attention. Testing with synthetic and natural stimuli demonstrates that our new approach to attentional selection for recognition yields encouraging results in addition to being biologically plausible.
Müller, Jana Annina; Kollmeier, Birger; Debener, Stefan; Brand, Thomas
The aim of this study was to investigate whether attentional influences on speech recognition are reflected in the neural phase entrained by an external modulator. Sentences were presented in 7 Hz sinusoidally modulated noise while the neural response to that modulation frequency was monitored by electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings in 21 participants. We implemented a selective attention paradigm including three different attention conditions while keeping physical stimulus parameters constant. The participants' task was either to repeat the sentence as accurately as possible (speech recognition task), to count the number of decrements implemented in modulated noise (decrement detection task), or to do both (dual task), while the EEG was recorded. Behavioural analysis revealed reduced performance in the dual task condition for decrement detection, possibly reflecting limited cognitive resources. EEG analysis revealed no significant differences in power for the 7 Hz modulation frequency, but an attention-dependent phase difference between tasks. Further phase analysis revealed a significant difference 500 ms after sentence onset between trials with correct and incorrect responses for speech recognition, indicating that speech recognition performance and the neural phase are linked via selective attention mechanisms, at least shortly after sentence onset. However, the neural phase effects identified were small and await further investigation. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Fleming, Andrew P; McMahon, Robert J; King, Kevin M
Structured observations of parent-child interactions are commonly used in research and clinical settings, but require additional empirical support. The current study examined the capacity of child-directed play, parent-directed play, and parent-directed chore interaction analogs to uniquely predict the development of conduct problems across a 6-year follow-up period. Parent-child observations were collected from 338 families from high-risk neighborhoods during the summer following the child's first-grade year. Participating children were 49.2 % female, 54.4 % white, and 45.6 % black, and had an average age of 7.52 years at the first assessment. Conduct problems were assessed via parent report and teacher report at five assessment points between first grade and seventh grade. Latent growth curve modeling was used to analyze predictors of conduct problem trajectory across this 6-year follow-up period. When race, sex, socioeconomic status, and maternal depressive symptoms were controlled, parental negative attention during child-directed play predicted higher levels of parent-reported conduct problems concurrently and after a 6-year follow-up period. Parental negative attention during child-directed play also predicted higher teacher-reported conduct problems 6 years later. Findings support the use of child-directed play and parent-directed chore analogs in predicting longitudinal development of conduct problems. The presence of parental negative attention during child-directed play appears to be an especially important predictor of greater conduct problems over time and across multiple domains. Additionally, the potential importance of task-incongruent behavior is proposed for further study.
Federico, Francesca; Marotta, Andrea; Martella, Diana; Casagrande, Maria
According to the attention network approach, attention is best understood in terms of three functionally and neuroanatomically distinct networks - alerting, orienting, and executive attention. Recent findings showed that social information influences the efficiency of these networks in adults. Using some social and non-social variants of the Attentional Network Test (ANT), this study was aimed to evaluate the development of the three attention networks in childhood, also assessing the development of the ability to manage social or non-social conflicting information. Sixty-six children (three groups of 6, 8, and 10 years of age) performed three variants of the original ANT, using fish, schematic, or real faces looking to the left or right as target and flanker stimuli. Results showed an improvement from 6 to 8 and 10 years of age in reaction time (RT) and accuracy, together with an improvement of executive control and a decrement in alerting. These developmental changes were not unique to social stimuli, and no differences were observed between social and no-social variants of the ANT. However, independently from the age of the children, a real face positively affected the executive control (as indexed by RTs) as compared to both a schematic face and a fish. Findings of this study suggest that attentional networks are still developing from 6 to 10 years of age and underline the importance of face information in modulating the efficiency of executive control. Statement of contribution What is already known? Younger children made more errors and slower reaction times (RTs) than older children, in line with the majority of the past selective attention studies. Younger children showed both greater conflict and alerting effect than older children. The prediction that younger children would display larger interference effects than older children was supported. What does this study add? Extending the findings observed in adults and children, independently from their age
Wegbreit, Ezra; Suzuki, Satoru; Grabowecky, Marcia; Kounios, John; Beeman, Mark
Behavioral and neuroimaging findings indicate that distinct cognitive and neural processes underlie solving problems with sudden insight. Moreover, people with less focused attention sometimes perform better on tests of insight and creative problem solving. However, it remains unclear whether different states of attention, within individuals,…
Gomez-Pilar, Javier; de Luis-García, Rodrigo; Lubeiro, Alba; de Uribe, Nieves; Poza, Jesús; Núñez, Pablo; Ayuso, Marta; Hornero, Roberto; Molina, Vicente
Spectral entropy (SE) allows comparing task-related modulation of electroencephalogram (EEG) between patients and controls, i.e. spectral changes of the EEG associated to task performance. A SE modulation deficit has been replicated in different schizophrenia samples. To investigate the underpinnings of SE modulation deficits in schizophrenia, we applied graph-theory to EEG recordings during a P300 task and fractional anisotropy (FA) data from diffusion tensor imaging in 48 patients (23 first episodes) and 87 healthy controls. Functional connectivity was assessed from phase-locking values among sensors in the theta band, and structural connectivity was based on FA values for the tracts connecting pairs of regions. From those data, averaged clustering coefficient (CLC), characteristic path-length (PL) and connectivity strength (CS, also known as density) were calculated for both functional and structural networks. The corresponding functional modulation values were calculated as the difference in SE and CLC, PL and CS between the pre-stimulus and response windows during the task. The results revealed a higher functional CS in the pre-stimulus window in patients, predictive of smaller modulation of SE in this group. The amount of increase in theta CS from pre-stimulus to response related to SE modulation in patients and controls. Structural CLC was associated with SE modulation in the patients. SE modulation was predictive of negative symptoms, whereas CLC and PL modulation was associated with cognitive performance in the patients. These results support that a hyperactive functional connectivity and/or structural connective deficits in the patients hamper the dynamical modulation of connectivity underlying cognition.
Yao, Tao; Treue, Stefan; Krishna, B Suresh
While making saccadic eye-movements to scan a visual scene, humans and monkeys are able to keep track of relevant visual stimuli by maintaining spatial attention on them. This ability requires a shift of attentional modulation from the neuronal population representing the relevant stimulus pre-saccadically to the one representing it post-saccadically. For optimal performance, this trans-saccadic attention shift should be rapid and saccade-synchronized. Whether this is so is not known. We trained two rhesus monkeys to make saccades while maintaining covert attention at a fixed spatial location. We show that the trans-saccadic attention shift in cortical visual medial temporal (MT) area is well synchronized to saccades. Attentional modulation crosses over from the pre-saccadic to the post-saccadic neuronal representation by about 50 ms after a saccade. Taking response latency into account, the trans-saccadic attention shift is well timed to maintain spatial attention on relevant stimuli, so that they can be optimally tracked and processed across saccades.
Chawarska, Katarzyna; Macari, Suzanne; Shic, Frederick
Background: In typical development, the unfolding of social and communicative skills hinges upon the ability to allocate and sustain attention toward people, a skill present moments after birth. Deficits in social attention have been well documented in autism, though the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Methods: In order to parse the…
Kwon, Soyoung; Watanabe, Masataka; Fischer, Elvira
Attention allows our brain to focus its limited resources on a given task. It does so by selective modulation of neural activity and of functional connectivity (FC) across brain-wide networks. While there is extensive literature on activity changes, surprisingly few studies examined brain-wide FC...... modulations that can be cleanly attributed to attention compared to matched visual processing. In contrast to prior approaches, we used an ultra-long trial design that avoided transients from trial onsets, included slow fluctuations (...-segregated analyses. We found that FC derived from long blocks had a nearly two-fold higher gain compared to FC derived from traditional (short) block designs. Second, attention enhanced intrinsic (negative or positive) correlations across networks, such as between the default-mode network (DMN), the dorsal attention...
Montijn, Jorrit Steven; Klink, P. Christaan; van Wezel, Richard J. A.
Divisive normalization models of covert attention commonly use spike rate modulations as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly in gamma-band frequencies (25–100 Hz). Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to inte...
Shalev, Nir; De Wandel, Linde; Dockree, Paul; Demeyere, Nele; Chechlacz, Magdalena
The Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) provides a mathematical formalisation of the "biased competition" account of visual attention. Applying this model to individual performance in a free recall task allows the estimation of 5 independent attentional parameters: visual short-term memory (VSTM) capacity, speed of information processing, perceptual threshold of visual detection; attentional weights representing spatial distribution of attention (spatial bias), and the top-down selectivity index. While the TVA focuses on selection in space, complementary accounts of attention describe how attention is maintained over time, and how temporal processes interact with selection. A growing body of evidence indicates that different facets of attention interact and share common neural substrates. The aim of the current study was to modulate a spatial attentional bias via transfer effects, based on a mechanistic understanding of the interplay between spatial, selective and temporal aspects of attention. Specifically, we examined here: (i) whether a single administration of a lateralized sustained attention task could prime spatial orienting and lead to transferable changes in attentional weights (assigned to the left vs right hemi-field) and/or other attentional parameters assessed within the framework of TVA (Experiment 1); (ii) whether the effects of such spatial-priming on TVA parameters could be further enhanced by bi-parietal high frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) (Experiment 2). Our results demonstrate that spatial attentional bias, as assessed within the TVA framework, was primed by sustaining attention towards the right hemi-field, but this spatial-priming effect did not occur when sustaining attention towards the left. Furthermore, we show that bi-parietal high-frequency tRNS combined with the rightward spatial-priming resulted in an increased attentional selectivity. To conclude, we present a novel, theory-driven method for attentional modulation
Vollebregt, M.A.; Zumer, J.; Huurne, N.P. ter; Buitelaar, J.K.; Jensen, O.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to characterize alpha modulations in children with ADHD in relation to their attentional performance. METHODS: The posterior alpha activity (8-12Hz) was measured in 30 typically developing children and 30 children with ADHD aged 7-10years, using EEG while they performed a
Zhao, Shuo; Li, Chunlin; Uono, Shota; Yoshimura, Sayaka; Toichi, Motomi
The ability to assess another person's direction of attention is paramount in social communication, many studies have reported a similar pattern between gaze and arrow cues in attention orienting. Neuroimaging research has also demonstrated no qualitative differences in attention to gaze and arrow cues. However, these studies were implemented under simple experiment conditions. Researchers have highlighted the importance of contextual processing (i.e., the semantic congruence between cue and target) in attentional orienting, showing that attentional orienting by social gaze or arrow cues could be modulated through contextual processing. Here, we examine the neural activity of attentional orienting by gaze and arrow cues in response to contextual processing using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results demonstrated that the influence of neural activity through contextual processing to attentional orienting occurred under invalid conditions (when the cue and target were incongruent versus congruent) in the ventral frontoparietal network, although we did not identify any differences in the neural substrates of attentional orienting in contextual processing between gaze and arrow cues. These results support behavioural data of attentional orienting modulated by contextual processing based on the neurocognitive architecture.
Gluth, Sebastian; Hotaling, Jared M; Rieskamp, Jörg
Classical economic theory contends that the utility of a choice option should be independent of other options. This view is challenged by the attraction effect, in which the relative preference between two options is altered by the addition of a third, asymmetrically dominated option. Here, we leveraged the attraction effect in the context of intertemporal choices to test whether both decisions and reward prediction errors (RPE) in the absence of choice violate the independence of irrelevant alternatives principle. We first demonstrate that intertemporal decision making is prone to the attraction effect in humans. In an independent group of participants, we then investigated how this affects the neural and behavioral valuation of outcomes using a novel intertemporal lottery task and fMRI. Participants' behavioral responses (i.e., satisfaction ratings) were modulated systematically by the attraction effect and this modulation was correlated across participants with the respective change of the RPE signal in the nucleus accumbens. Furthermore, we show that, because exponential and hyperbolic discounting models are unable to account for the attraction effect, recently proposed sequential sampling models might be more appropriate to describe intertemporal choices. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that the attraction effect modulates subjective valuation even in the absence of choice. The findings also challenge the prospect of using neuroscientific methods to measure utility in a context-free manner and have important implications for theories of reinforcement learning and delay discounting. Many theories of value-based decision making assume that people first assess the attractiveness of each option independently of each other and then pick the option with the highest subjective value. The attraction effect, however, shows that adding a new option to a choice set can change the relative value of the existing options, which is a violation of the independence
Ki, Jason J; Kelly, Simon P; Parra, Lucas C
Attentional engagement is a major determinant of how effectively we gather information through our senses. Alongside the sheer growth in the amount and variety of information content that we are presented with through modern media, there is increased variability in the degree to which we "absorb" that information. Traditional research on attention has illuminated the basic principles of sensory selection to isolated features or locations, but it provides little insight into the neural underpinnings of our attentional engagement with modern naturalistic content. Here, we show in human subjects that the reliability of an individual's neural responses with respect to a larger group provides a highly robust index of the level of attentional engagement with a naturalistic narrative stimulus. Specifically, fast electroencephalographic evoked responses were more strongly correlated across subjects when naturally attending to auditory or audiovisual narratives than when attention was directed inward to a mental arithmetic task during stimulus presentation. This effect was strongest for audiovisual stimuli with a cohesive narrative and greatly reduced for speech stimuli lacking meaning. For compelling audiovisual narratives, the effect is remarkably strong, allowing perfect discrimination between attentional state across individuals. Control experiments rule out possible confounds related to altered eye movement trajectories or order of presentation. We conclude that reliability of evoked activity reproduced across subjects viewing the same movie is highly sensitive to the attentional state of the viewer and listener, which is aided by a cohesive narrative. Copyright © 2016 Ki et al.
Roy E Crist
Full Text Available Human perception of faces is widely believed to rely on automatic processing by a domain-specifi c, modular component of the visual system. Scalp-recorded event-related potential (ERP recordings indicate that faces receive special stimulus processing at around 170 ms poststimulus onset, in that faces evoke an enhanced occipital negative wave, known as the N170, relative to the activity elicited by other visual objects. As predicted by modular accounts of face processing, this early face-specifi c N170 enhancement has been reported to be largely immune to the infl uence of endogenous processes such as task strategy or attention. However, most studies examining the infl uence of attention on face processing have focused on non-spatial attention, such as object-based attention, which tend to have longer-latency effects. In contrast, numerous studies have demonstrated that visual spatial attention can modulate the processing of visual stimuli as early as 80 ms poststimulus – substantially earlier than the N170. These temporal characteristics raise the question of whether this initial face-specifi c processing is immune to the infl uence of spatial attention. This question was addressed in a dual-visualstream ERP study in which the infl uence of spatial attention on the face-specifi c N170 could be directly examined. As expected, early visual sensory responses to all stimuli presented in an attended location were larger than responses evoked by those same stimuli when presented in an unattended location. More importantly, a signifi cant face-specifi c N170 effect was elicited by faces that appeared in an attended location, but not in an unattended one. In summary, early face-specifi c processing is not automatic, but rather, like other objects, strongly depends on endogenous factors such as the allocation of spatial attention. Moreover, these fi ndings underscore the extensive infl uence that top-down attention exercises over the processing of
Dye, Matthew W. G.; Hauser, Peter C.
Deaf children have been characterized as being impulsive, distractible, and unable to sustain attention. However, past research has tested deaf children born to hearing parents who are likely to have experienced language delays. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an absence of auditory input modulates attentional problems in deaf children with no delayed exposure to language. Two versions of a continuous performance test were administered to 37 deaf children born to Deaf parents and 60 hearing children, all aged 6–13 years. A vigilance task was used to measure sustained attention over the course of several minutes, and a distractibility test provided a measure of the ability to ignore task irrelevant information – selective attention. Both tasks provided assessments of cognitive control through analysis of commission errors. The deaf and hearing children did not differ on measures of sustained attention. However, younger deaf children were more distracted by task-irrelevant information in their peripheral visual field, and deaf children produced a higher number of commission errors in the selective attention task. It is argued that this is not likely to be an effect of audition on cognitive processing, but may rather reflect difficulty in endogenous control of reallocated visual attention resources stemming from early profound deafness. PMID:24355653
Okon-Singer, Hadas; Mehnert, Jan; Hoyer, Jana; Hellrung, Lydia; Schaare, Herma Lina; Dukart, Juergen; Villringer, Arno
This study investigated the neural regions involved in blood pressure reactions to negative stimuli and their possible modulation by attention. Twenty-four healthy human subjects (11 females; age = 24.75 ± 2.49 years) participated in an affective perceptual load task that manipulated attention to negative/neutral distractor pictures. fMRI data were collected simultaneously with continuous recording of peripheral arterial blood pressure. A parametric modulation analysis examined the impact of attention and emotion on the relation between neural activation and blood pressure reactivity during the task. When attention was available for processing the distractor pictures, negative pictures resulted in behavioral interference, neural activation in brain regions previously related to emotion, a transient decrease of blood pressure, and a positive correlation between blood pressure response and activation in a network including prefrontal and parietal regions, the amygdala, caudate, and mid-brain. These effects were modulated by attention; behavioral and neural responses to highly negative distractor pictures (compared with neutral pictures) were smaller or diminished, as was the negative blood pressure response when the central task involved high perceptual load. Furthermore, comparing high and low load revealed enhanced activation in frontoparietal regions implicated in attention control. Our results fit theories emphasizing the role of attention in the control of behavioral and neural reactions to irrelevant emotional distracting information. Our findings furthermore extend the function of attention to the control of autonomous reactions associated with negative emotions by showing altered blood pressure reactions to emotional stimuli, the latter being of potential clinical relevance.
de Oca, Beatrice M; Villa, Marie; Cervantes, Miguel; Welbourne, Tyler
When shown a rapid series of images, attention to a second target that follows in short proximity to a first is diminished--a phenomenon sometimes called an "attentional blink." Three experiments compared detection of motivationally relevant pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral pictures when they appeared as the second target following a neutral (Experiment 1), unpleasant (Experiment 2) and pleasant (Experiment 3) picture target. The second target followed at lags of 2, 3 or 8 pictures. In all three experiments, detection of neutral pictures was reduced at lags 2 and 3, indicative of an attentional blink. In contrast, unpleasant pictures were detected more than neutral pictures at lags 2 and 3. Unexpectedly, pleasant pictures not only resisted the attentional blink, but they were detected substantially more than other pictures at all lags in all three experiments. Overall, the experiments support the idea that motivationally relevant stimuli preferentially capture attention more than motivationally neutral stimuli.
Leite, Jorge; Carvalho, Sandra; Galdo-Alvarez, Santiago; Alves, Jorge; Sampaio, Adriana; Gonçalves, Oscar F
The present study analyses the modulatory effects of affective pictures in the early posterior negativity (EPN), the late positive potential (LPP) and the human startle response on both the peripheral (eye blink EMG) and central neurophysiological levels (Probe P3), during passive affective pictures viewing. The affective pictures categories were balanced in terms of valence (pleasant; unpleasant) and arousal (high; low). The data shows that EPN may be sensitive to specific stimulus characteristics (affective relevant pictures versus neutral pictures) associated with early stages of attentional processing. In later stages, the heightened attentional resource allocation as well as the motivated significance of the affective stimuli was found to elicit enhanced amplitudes of slow wave processes thought to be related to enhanced encoding, namely LPP,. Although pleasant low arousing pictures were effective in engaging the resources involved in the slow wave processes, the highly arousing affective stimuli (pleasant and unpleasant) were found to produce the largest enhancement of the LPP, suggesting that high arousing stimuli may are associated with increased motivational significance. Additionally the response to high arousing stimuli may be suggestive of increased motivational attention, given the heightened attentional allocation, as expressed in the P3 probe, especially for the pleasant pictures. The hedonic valence may then serve as a mediator of the attentional inhibition to the affective priming, potentiating or inhibiting a shift towards defensive activation, as measured by the startle reflex. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ikumi, Nara; Soto-Faraco, Salvador
Temporal recalibration of cross-modal synchrony has been proposed as a mechanism to compensate for timing differences between sensory modalities. However, far from the rich complexity of everyday life sensory environments, most studies to date have examined recalibration on isolated cross-modal pairings. Here, we hypothesize that selective attention might provide an effective filter to help resolve which stimuli are selected when multiple events compete for recalibration. We addressed this question by testing audio-visual recalibration following an adaptation phase where two opposing audio-visual asynchronies were present. The direction of voluntary visual attention, and therefore to one of the two possible asynchronies (flash leading or flash lagging), was manipulated using colour as a selection criterion. We found a shift in the point of subjective audio-visual simultaneity as a function of whether the observer had focused attention to audio-then-flash or to flash-then-audio groupings during the adaptation phase. A baseline adaptation condition revealed that this effect of endogenous attention was only effective toward the lagging flash. This hints at the role of exogenous capture and/or additional endogenous effects producing an asymmetry toward the leading flash. We conclude that selective attention helps promote selected audio-visual pairings to be combined and subsequently adjusted in time but, stimulus organization exerts a strong impact on recalibration. We tentatively hypothesize that the resolution of recalibration in complex scenarios involves the orchestration of top-down selection mechanisms and stimulus-driven processes.
Full Text Available Temporal recalibration of cross-modal synchrony has been proposed as a mechanism to compensate for timing differences between sensory modalities. However, far from the rich complexity of everyday life sensory environments, most studies to date have examined recalibration on isolated cross-modal pairings. Here, we hypothesize that selective attention might provide an effective filter to help resolve which stimuli are selected when multiple events compete for recalibration. We addressed this question by testing audio-visual recalibration following an adaptation phase where two opposing audio-visual asynchronies were present. The direction of voluntary visual attention, and therefore to one of the two possible asynchronies (flash leading or flash lagging, was manipulated using colour as a selection criterion. We found a shift in the point of subjective audio-visual simultaneity as a function of whether the observer had focused attention to audio-then-flash or to flash-then-audio groupings during the adaptation phase. A baseline adaptation condition revealed that this effect of endogenous attention was only effective toward the lagging flash. This hints at the role of exogenous capture and/or additional endogenous effects producing an asymmetry toward the leading flash. We conclude that selective attention helps promote selected audio-visual pairings to be combined and subsequently adjusted in time but, stimulus organization exerts a strong impact on recalibration. We tentatively hypothesize that the resolution of recalibration in complex scenarios involves the orchestration of top-down selection mechanisms and stimulus-driven processes.
Kasper, Ryan W; Grafton, Scott T; Eckstein, Miguel P; Giesbrecht, Barry
Visual search can be facilitated by the learning of spatial configurations that predict the location of a target among distractors. Neuropsychological and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evidence implicates the medial temporal lobe (MTL) memory system in this contextual cueing effect, and electroencephalography (EEG) studies have identified the involvement of visual cortical regions related to attention. This work investigated two questions: (1) how memory and attention systems are related in contextual cueing; and (2) how these systems are involved in both short- and long-term contextual learning. In one session, EEG and fMRI data were acquired simultaneously in a contextual cueing task. In a second session conducted 1 week later, EEG data were recorded in isolation. The fMRI results revealed MTL contextual modulations that were correlated with short- and long-term behavioral context enhancements and attention-related effects measured with EEG. An fMRI-seeded EEG source analysis revealed that the MTL contributed the most variance to the variability in the attention enhancements measured with EEG. These results support the notion that memory and attention systems interact to facilitate search when spatial context is implicitly learned. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.
Jørgensen, Søren H; Fitzpatrick, Ciarán Martin; Gether, Ulrik
Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs). The DREADD technology is an emerging and transformative method that allows selective manipulation of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling, and its broad-ranging usefulness in attention research is now beginning to emerge. We first describe......Attention is a fundamental cognitive process involved in nearly all aspects of life. Abnormal attentional control is a symptom of many neurological disorders, most notably recognized in ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Although attentional performance and its malfunction has been...... the different DREADDs available and explain how unprecedented specificity of neuronal signalling can be achieved using DREADDs. We next discuss various studies performed in animal models of visual attention, where different brain regions and neuronal populations have been probed by DREADDs. We highlight...
Hakun, Jonathan G; Johnson, Nathan F
Older adults tend to over-activate regions throughout frontoparietal cortices and exhibit a reduced range of functional modulation during WM task performance compared to younger adults. While recent evidence suggests that reduced functional modulation is associated with poorer task performance, it remains unclear whether reduced range of modulation is indicative of general WM capacity-limitations. In the current study, we examined whether the range of functional modulation observed over multiple levels of WM task difficulty (N-Back) predicts in-scanner task performance and out-of-scanner psychometric estimates of WM capacity. Within our sample (60-77years of age), age was negatively associated with frontoparietal modulation range. Individuals with greater modulation range exhibited more accurate N-Back performance. In addition, despite a lack of significant relationships between N-Back and complex span task performance, range of frontoparietal modulation during the N-Back significantly predicted domain-general estimates of WM capacity. Consistent with previous cross-sectional findings, older individuals with less modulation range exhibited greater activation at the lowest level of task difficulty but less activation at the highest levels of task difficulty. Our results are largely consistent with existing theories of neurocognitive aging (e.g. CRUNCH) but focus attention on dynamic range of functional modulation asa novel marker of WM capacity-limitations in older adults. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Zhang, Guanguan; Yang, Jian; Sun, Yao
To increase the voltage transfer ratio of the matrix converter and improve the input/output current performance simultaneously, an over-modulation method based on predictive control is proposed in this paper, where the weighting factor is selected by an automatic adjusting mechanism, which is able...... to further enhance the system performance promptly. This method has advantages like the maximum voltage transfer ratio can reach 0.987 in the experiments; the total harmonic distortion of the input and output current are reduced, and the losses in the matrix converter are decreased. Moreover, the specific...
Smith, Daniel T; Schenk, Thomas
Spatial attention and eye-movements are tightly coupled, but the precise nature of this coupling is controversial. The influential but controversial Premotor theory of attention makes four specific predictions about the relationship between motor preparation and spatial attention. Firstly, spatial attention and motor preparation use the same neural substrates. Secondly, spatial attention is functionally equivalent to planning goal directed actions such as eye-movements (i.e. planning an action is both necessary and sufficient for a shift of spatial attention). Thirdly, planning a goal directed action with any effector system is sufficient to trigger a shift of spatial attention. Fourthly, the eye-movement system has a privileged role in orienting visual spatial attention. This article reviews empirical studies that have tested these predictions. Contrary to predictions one and two there is evidence of anatomical and functional dissociations between endogenous spatial attention and motor preparation. However, there is compelling evidence that exogenous attention is reliant on activation of the oculomotor system. With respect to the third prediction, there is correlational evidence that spatial attention is directed to the endpoint of goal-directed actions but no direct evidence that this attention shift is dependent on motor preparation. The few studies to have directly tested the fourth prediction have produced conflicting results, so the extent to which the oculomotor system has a privileged role in spatial attention remains unclear. Overall, the evidence is not consistent with the view that spatial attention is functionally equivalent to motor preparation so the Premotor theory should be rejected, although a limited version of the Premotor theory in which only exogenous attention is dependent on motor preparation may still be tenable. A plausible alternative account is that activity in the motor system contributes to biased competition between different sensory
Full Text Available Curcumin, the medically active component from Curcuma longa (Turmeric, is widely used to treat inflammatory diseases. Protein interaction network (PIN analysis was used to predict its mechanisms of molecular action. Targets of curcumin were obtained based on ChEMBL and STITCH databases. Protein–protein interactions (PPIs were extracted from the String database. The PIN of curcumin was constructed by Cytoscape and the function modules identified by gene ontology (GO enrichment analysis based on molecular complex detection (MCODE. A PIN of curcumin with 482 nodes and 1688 interactions was constructed, which has scale-free, small world and modular properties. Based on analysis of these function modules, the mechanism of curcumin is proposed. Two modules were found to be intimately associated with inflammation. With function modules analysis, the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin were related to SMAD, ERG and mediation by the TLR family. TLR9 may be a potential target of curcumin to treat inflammation.
Aristizabal, José A; Ramos-Álvarez, Manuel M; Callejas-Aguilera, José E; Rosas, Juan M
One experiment in human predictive learning explored the impact of a context change on attention to contexts and predictive ratings controlled by the cue. In Context A: cue X was paired with an outcome four times, while cue Y was presented without an outcome four times in Context B:. In both contexts filler cues were presented without the outcome. During the test, target cues X and Y were presented either in the context where they were trained, or in the alternative context. With the context change expectation of the outcome X, expressed as predictive ratings, decreased in the presence of X and increased in the presence of Y. Looking at the contexts, expressed as a percentage of the overall gaze dwell time on a trial, was high across the four training trials, and increased with the context change. Results suggest that the presentation of unexpected information leads to increases in attention to contextual cues. Implications for contextual control of behavior are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Zion Golumbic, Elana M.; Poeppel, David; Schroeder, Charles E.
The human capacity for processing speech is remarkable, especially given that information in speech unfolds over multiple time scales concurrently. Similarly notable is our ability to filter out of extraneous sounds and focus our attention on one conversation, epitomized by the ‘Cocktail Party’ effect. Yet, the neural mechanisms underlying on-line speech decoding and attentional stream selection are not well understood. We review findings from behavioral and neurophysiological investigations that underscore the importance of the temporal structure of speech for achieving these perceptual feats. We discuss the hypothesis that entrainment of ambient neuronal oscillations to speech’s temporal structure, across multiple time-scales, serves to facilitate its decoding and underlies the selection of an attended speech stream over other competing input. In this regard, speech decoding and attentional stream selection are examples of ‘active sensing’, emphasizing an interaction between proactive and predictive top-down modulation of neuronal dynamics and bottom-up sensory input. PMID:22285024
Mirdamadi, J L; Suzuki, L Y; Meehan, S K
Skilled performance and acquisition is dependent upon afferent input to motor cortex. The present study used short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) to probe how manipulation of sensory afference by attention affects different circuits projecting to pyramidal tract neurons in motor cortex. SAI was assessed in the first dorsal interosseous muscle while participants performed a low or high attention-demanding visual detection task. SAI was evoked by preceding a suprathreshold transcranial magnetic stimulus with electrical stimulation of the median nerve at the wrist. To isolate different afferent intracortical circuits in motor cortex SAI was evoked using either posterior-anterior (PA) or anterior-posterior (PA) monophasic current. In an independent sample, somatosensory processing during the same attention-demanding visual detection tasks was assessed using somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEP) elicited by median nerve stimulation. SAI elicited by AP TMS was reduced under high compared to low visual attention demands. SAI elicited by PA TMS was not affected by visual attention demands. SEPs revealed that the high visual attention load reduced the fronto-central P20-N30 but not the contralateral parietal N20-P25 SEP component. P20-N30 reduction confirmed that the visual attention task altered sensory afference. The current results offer further support that PA and AP TMS recruit different neuronal circuits. AP circuits may be one substrate by which cognitive strategies shape sensorimotor processing during skilled movement by altering sensory processing in premotor areas. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Moore, Katherine Sledge; Weissman, Daniel H
In the present study, we investigated whether involuntarily directing attention to a target-colored distractor causes the corresponding attentional set to enter a limited-capacity focus of attention, thereby facilitating the identification of a subsequent target whose color matches the same attentional set. As predicted, in Experiment 1, contingent attentional capture effects from a target-colored distractor were only one half to one third as large when subsequent target identification relied on the same (vs. a different) attentional set. In Experiment 2, this effect was eliminated when all of the target colors matched the same attentional set, arguing against bottom-up perceptual priming of the distractor's color as an alternative account of our findings. In Experiment 3, this effect was reversed when a target-colored distractor appeared after the target, ruling out a feature-based interference account of our findings. We conclude that capacity limitations in working memory strongly influence contingent attentional capture when multiple attentional sets guide selection.
Yagi, Yoshihiko; Ikoma, Shinobu; Kikuchi, Tadashi
The mere exposure effect refers to the phenomenon where previous exposures to stimuli increase participants’ subsequent affective preference for those stimuli. This study explored the effect of selective attention on the mere exposure effect. The experiments manipulated the to-be-attended drawings in the exposure period (either red or green polygons in Experiments 1 and 2; both red and green polygons in Experiments 3 and 4) and black to-be-evaluated drawings in the affective judgment period (...
Squire, Ryan F; Noudoost, Behrad; Schafer, Robert J; Moore, Tirin
The faculty of attention endows us with the capacity to process important sensory information selectively while disregarding information that is potentially distracting. Much of our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this fundamental cognitive function comes from neurophysiological studies within the visual modality. Past evidence suggests that a principal function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is selective attention and that this function involves the modulation of sensory signals within posterior cortices. In this review, we discuss recent progress in identifying the specific prefrontal circuits controlling visual attention and its neural correlates within the primate visual system. In addition, we examine the persisting challenge of precisely defining how behavior should be affected when attentional function is lost.
Full Text Available Neurophysiological findings in the typical population demonstrate that spatial scrutiny for visual selection determines a center-surround profile of the attentional focus, which is the result of recurrent processing in the visual system. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD manifest several anomalies in their visual selection, with strengths in detail-oriented tasks, but also difficulties in distractor inhibition tasks. Here, we asked whether contradictory aspects of perception in ASD might be due to a different center-surround profile of their attentional focus. In two experiments, we tested two independent samples of children with ASD, comparing them with typically developing (TD peers. In Experiment 1, we used a psychophysical task that mapped the entire spatial profile of the attentional focus. In Experiment 2, we used dense-array electroencephalography (EEG to explore its neurophysiological underpinnings. Experiment 1 results showed that the suppression, surrounding the attentional focus, was markedly reduced in children with ASD. Experiment 2 showed that the center-surround profile in TD children resulted in a modulation of the posterior N2 ERP component, with cortical sources in the lateral-occipital and medial/inferior temporal areas. In contrast, children with ASD did not show modulation of the N2 and related activations in the ventral visual stream. Furthermore, behavioural and neurophysiological measures of weaker suppression predicted more severe autistic symptomatology. The present findings, showing an altered center-surround profile during attentional selection, give an important insight to understand superior visual processing in autism as well as the experiencing of sensory overload. Keywords: EEG, Source analysis, Ventral visual stream, Perception, Rehabilitation
Pauli, Wolfgang M; O'Reilly, Randall C
How does attention interact with learning? Kruschke [Kruschke, J.K. (2001). Toward a unified Model of Attention in Associative Learning. J. Math. Psychol. 45, 812-863.] proposed a model (EXIT) that captures Mackintosh's [Mackintosh, N.J. (1975). A theory of attention: Variations in the associability of stimuli with reinforcement. Psychological Review, 82(4), 276-298.] framework for attentional modulation of associative learning. We developed a computational model that showed analogous interactions between selective attention and associative learning, but is significantly simplified and, in contrast to EXIT, is motivated by neurophysiological findings. Competition among input representations in the internal representation layer, which increases the contrast between stimuli, is critical for simulating these interactions in human behavior. Furthermore, this competition is modulated in a way that might be consistent with the phasic activation of the central cholinergic system, which modulates activity in sensory cortices. Specifically, phasic increases in acetylcholine can cause increased excitability of both pyramidal excitatory neurons in cortical layers II/III and cortical GABAergic inhibitory interneurons targeting the same pyramidal neurons. These effects result in increased attentional contrast in our model. This model thus represents an initial attempt to link human attentional learning data with underlying neural substrates.
Carlile, Simon; Corkhill, Caitlin
To hear out a conversation against other talkers listeners overcome energetic and informational masking. Largely attributed to top-down processes, information masking has also been demonstrated using unintelligible speech and amplitude-modulated maskers suggesting bottom-up processes. We examined the role of speech-like amplitude modulations in information masking using a spatial masking release paradigm. Separating a target talker from two masker talkers produced a 20?dB improvement in speec...
Ronconi, Luca; Facoetti, Andrea; Bulf, Hermann; Franchin, Laura; Bettoni, Roberta; Valenza, Eloisa
Since subthreshold autistic social impairments aggregate in family members, and since attentional dysfunctions appear to be one of the earliest cognitive markers of children with autism, we investigated in the general population the relationship between infants' attentional functioning and the autistic traits measured in their parents.…
Layton, Oliver W.; Browning, N. Andrew
Navigation in a static environment along straight paths without eye movements produces radial optic flow fields. A singularity called the focus of expansion (FoE) specifies the direction of travel (heading) of the observer. Cells in primate dorsal medial superior temporal area (MSTd) respond to radial fields and are therefore thought to be heading-sensitive. Humans frequently shift their focus of attention while navigating, for example, depending on the favorable or threatening context of approaching independently moving objects. Recent neurophysiological studies show that the spatial tuning curves of primate MSTd neurons change based on the difference in visual angle between an attentional prime and the FoE. Moreover, the peak mean population activity in MSTd retreats linearly in time as the distance between the attentional prime and FoE increases. We present a dynamical neural circuit model that demonstrates the same linear temporal peak shift observed electrophysiologically. The model qualitatively matches the neuron tuning curves and population activation profiles. After model MT dynamically pools short-range motion, model MSTd incorporates recurrent competition between units tuned to different radial optic flow templates, and integrates attentional signals from model area frontal eye fields (FEF). In the model, population activity peaks occur when the recurrent competition is most active and uncertainty is greatest about the relative position of the FoE. The nature of attention, multiplicative or non-multiplicative, is largely irrelevant, so long as attention has a Gaussian-like profile. Using an appropriately tuned sigmoidal signal function to modulate recurrent feedback affords qualitative fits of deflections in the population activity that otherwise appear to be low-frequency noise. We predict that these deflections mark changes in the balance of attention between the priming and FoE locations. PMID:23060788
Karns, Christina M.; Isbell, Elif; Giuliano, Ryan J.; Neville, Helen J.
Auditory selective attention is a critical skill for goal-directed behavior, especially where noisy distractions may impede focusing attention. To better understand the developmental trajectory of auditory spatial selective attention in an acoustically complex environment, in the current study we measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) in human children across five age groups: 3–5 years; 10 years; 13 years; 16 years; and young adults using a naturalistic dichotic listening paradigm, characterizing the ERP morphology for nonlinguistic and linguistic auditory probes embedded in attended and unattended stories. We documented robust maturational changes in auditory evoked potentials that were specific to the types of probes. Furthermore, we found a remarkable interplay between age and attention-modulation of auditory evoked potentials in terms of morphology and latency from the early years of childhood through young adulthood. The results are consistent with the view that attention can operate across age groups by modulating the amplitude of maturing auditory early-latency evoked potentials or by invoking later endogenous attention processes. Development of these processes is not uniform for probes with different acoustic properties within our acoustically dense speech-based dichotic listening task. In light of the developmental differences we demonstrate, researchers conducting future attention studies of children and adolescents should be wary of combining analyses across diverse ages. PMID:26002721
Karns, Christina M; Isbell, Elif; Giuliano, Ryan J; Neville, Helen J
Auditory selective attention is a critical skill for goal-directed behavior, especially where noisy distractions may impede focusing attention. To better understand the developmental trajectory of auditory spatial selective attention in an acoustically complex environment, in the current study we measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) across five age groups: 3-5 years; 10 years; 13 years; 16 years; and young adults. Using a naturalistic dichotic listening paradigm, we characterized the ERP morphology for nonlinguistic and linguistic auditory probes embedded in attended and unattended stories. We documented robust maturational changes in auditory evoked potentials that were specific to the types of probes. Furthermore, we found a remarkable interplay between age and attention-modulation of auditory evoked potentials in terms of morphology and latency from the early years of childhood through young adulthood. The results are consistent with the view that attention can operate across age groups by modulating the amplitude of maturing auditory early-latency evoked potentials or by invoking later endogenous attention processes. Development of these processes is not uniform for probes with different acoustic properties within our acoustically dense speech-based dichotic listening task. In light of the developmental differences we demonstrate, researchers conducting future attention studies of children and adolescents should be wary of combining analyses across diverse ages. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Muers, Ross S.; Salo, Emma; Slater, Heather; Petkov, Christopher I.
Abstract The cross-species correspondences and differences in how attention modulates brain responses in humans and animal models are poorly understood. We trained 2 monkeys to perform an audio–visual selective attention task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), rewarding them to attend to stimuli in one modality while ignoring those in the other. Monkey fMRI identified regions strongly modulated by auditory or visual attention. Surprisingly, auditory attention-related modulations were much more restricted in monkeys than humans performing the same tasks during fMRI. Further analyses ruled out trivial explanations, suggesting that labile selective-attention performance was associated with inhomogeneous modulations in wide cortical regions in the monkeys. The findings provide initial insights into how audio–visual selective attention modulates the primate brain, identify sources for “lost” attention effects in monkeys, and carry implications for modeling the neurobiology of human cognition with nonhuman animals. PMID:28419201
Luis Augusto Teixeira
Full Text Available Daily life activities of humans are characterized by dual tasks, in which a manual task is performed concomitantly with a postural task. Based on the assumption that both manual and postural tasks require attentional resources, no consensus exists as to how the central nervous system modulates postural adjustments in dual tasks. The aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of a manual task requiring attentional resources on shoulder and ankle adjustments as a function of the direction and predictability of postural perturbation. The participants (n=6 were evaluated during the performance of a simple and a complex manual task, while the base of support was moved backward or forward. Latency of activation of the tibialis anterior and gastroc-nemius muscles and angular acceleration of the shoulder were analyzed. The results showed that execution of the complex manual task delayed postural adjustment. Moreover, this delay occurred differently depending on the direction of postural perturbation. The delay in postural adjustment occurred proximally in the case of anterior displacement of the platform, and distally in the case of posterior displacement. Postural adjustments were more affected by the attentional task than by the predictability of platform displacement. These results are consistent with the concept of an integrated control between manual actions and the maintenance of static posture.
Bach, Dominik R
In many species, rapid defensive reflexes are paramount to escaping acute danger. These reflexes are modulated by the state of the environment. This is exemplified in fear-potentiated startle, a more vigorous startle response during conditioned anticipation of an unrelated threatening event. Extant explanations of this phenomenon build on descriptive models of underlying psychological states, or neural processes. Yet, they fail to predict invigorated startle during reward anticipation and ins...
Polly V Peers
Full Text Available Attentional control refers to the regulatory processes that ensure that our actions are in accordance with our goals. Dual-system accounts view temperament as consisting of both individual variation in emotionality (e.g. trait anxiety and variation in regulatory attentional mechanisms that act to modulate emotionality. Increasing evidence links trait variation in attentional control to clinical mood and anxiety disorder symptoms, independent of trait emotionality. Attentional biases to threat have been robustly linked to mood and anxiety disorders. However, the role of variation in attentional control in influencing such biases, and the neural underpinnings of trait variation in attentional control, are unknown. Here, we show, that individual differences in trait attentional control, even when accounting for trait and state anxiety, are related to the magnitude of an attentional blink following threat-related targets. Moreover, we demonstrate that activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, is observed specifically in relation to control of attention over threatening stimuli, in line with neural theories of attentional control, such as guided activation theory. These results have key implications for neurocognitive theories of attentional bias and emotional resilience.
Riecke, Lars; Peters, Judith C; Valente, Giancarlo; Poser, Benedikt A; Kemper, Valentin G; Formisano, Elia; Sorger, Bettina
Paying selective attention to an audio frequency selectively enhances activity within primary auditory cortex (PAC) at the tonotopic site (frequency channel) representing that frequency. Animal PAC neurons achieve this 'frequency-specific attentional spotlight' by adapting their frequency tuning,
Dye, Matthew W G; Hauser, Peter C
Deaf children have been characterized as being impulsive, distractible, and unable to sustain attention. However, past research has tested deaf children born to hearing parents who are likely to have experienced language delays. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an absence of auditory input modulates attentional problems in deaf children with no delayed exposure to language. Two versions of a continuous performance test were administered to 37 deaf children born to Deaf parents and 60 hearing children, all aged 6-13 years. A vigilance task was used to measure sustained attention over the course of several minutes, and a distractibility test provided a measure of the ability to ignore task irrelevant information - selective attention. Both tasks provided assessments of cognitive control through analysis of commission errors. The deaf and hearing children did not differ on measures of sustained attention. However, younger deaf children were more distracted by task-irrelevant information in their peripheral visual field, and deaf children produced a higher number of commission errors in the selective attention task. It is argued that this is not likely to be an effect of audition on cognitive processing, but may rather reflect difficulty in endogenous control of reallocated visual attention resources stemming from early profound deafness. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Associative learning refers to our ability to learn about regularities in our environment. When a stimulus is repeatedly followed by a specific outcome, we learn to expect the outcome in the presence of the stimulus. We are also able to modify established expectations in the face of disconfirming information (the stimulus is no longer followed by the outcome. Both the change of environmental regularities and the related processes of adaptation are referred to as extinction. However, extinction does not erase the initially acquired expectations. For instance, following successful extinction, the initially learned expectations can recover when there is a context change – a phenomenon called the renewal effect, which is considered as a model for relapse after exposure therapy. Renewal was found to be modulated by reminder cues of acquisition and extinction. However, the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of reminder cues are not well understood. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of reminder cues on renewal in the field of human predictive learning. Experiment I demonstrated that renewal in human predictive learning is modulated by cues related to acquisition or extinction. Initially, participants received pairings of a stimulus and an outcome in one context. These stimulus-outcome pairings were preceded by presentations of a reminder cue (acquisition cue. Then, participants received extinction in a different context in which presentations of the stimulus were no longer followed by the outcome. These extinction trials were preceded by a second reminder cue (extinction cue. During a final phase conducted in a third context, participants showed stronger expectations of the outcome in the presence of the stimulus when testing was accompanied by the acquisition cue compared to the extinction cue. Experiment II tested an explanation of the reminder cue effect in terms of simple cue-outcome associations. Therefore
Wang, Encong; Sun, Li; Sun, Meirong; Huang, Jing; Tao, Ye; Zhao, Xixi; Wu, Zhanliang; Ding, Yulong; Newman, Daniel P; Bellgrove, Mark A; Wang, Yufeng; Song, Yan
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder with prominent impairments in directing and sustaining attention. The aim of this study was to identify the neurophysiologic bases of attention deficits in ADHD, focusing on electroencephalography markers of attentional selection (posterior contralateral N2 [N2pc]) and suppression (distractor positivity [P D ]). The electroencephalography data were collected from 135 children 9-15 years old with and without ADHD while they searched for a shape target in either the absence (experiment 1) or the presence (experiment 2) of a salient but irrelevant color distractor. In experiment 1, the shape target elicited a smaller N2pc in children with ADHD (n = 38) compared with typically developing children (n = 36). The smaller N2pc amplitude predicted higher levels of inattentive symptoms in children with ADHD. Moreover, the target-elicited N2pc was followed by a positivity in typically developing children but not in children with ADHD. In experiment 2, the salient but irrelevant color distractor elicited a smaller P D component in children with ADHD (n = 32) compared with typically developing children (n = 29). The smaller P D predicted higher inattentive symptom severity as well as lower behavioral accuracy in children with ADHD. The correlation between N2pc/P D amplitudes and ADHD symptom severity suggests that these signals of attentional selection and suppression may serve as potential candidates for neurophysiologic markers of ADHD. Our findings provide a neurophysiologic basis for the subjective reports of attention deficits in children with ADHD and highlight the importance of spatial attention impairments in ADHD. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Arilson F. M. de Sousa
Full Text Available This study aimed to: (1 investigate the influence of a 2-weeks sprint interval training (SIT program on aerobic capacity, cardiac autonomic control, and components of attention in young healthy university students; and (2 to ascertain whether training fidelity would influence these adaptations. One hundred and nine participants were divided into an experimental (EG and control (CG groups. The EG performed a SIT program that consisted of 6 sessions of 4 × 30 s “all-out” efforts on a cycle ergometer, interspersed with active rests of 4 min. The criterion for fidelity was achieving >90% of estimated maximum heart rate (HR during sprint bouts. After analyses, the EG was divided into HIGH (n = 26 and LOW (n = 46 fidelity groups. Components of attention were assessed using the Attention Network Test (ANT. Aerobic capacity (VO2max was estimated while the sum of skinfolds was determined. Autonomic control of HR was assessed by means of HR variability (HRV and HR complexity at rest and during ANT. Both HIGH and LOW significantly increased aerobic capacity, vagal modulation before and during ANT, and executive control, and decreased body fatness after SIT (p < 0.05. However, only participants from HIGH showed an increase in HR complexity and accuracy in ANT when compared to LOW (p < 0.05. Two weeks of SIT improved executive control, body fatness, aerobic fitness, and autonomic control in university students with better results reported in those individuals who exhibited high fidelity.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Very little is known about attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia, hence, this study was designed to provide the missing information. We examined attention abilities of participants suffering from developmental dyscalculia using the attention networks test - interactions. This test was designed to examine three different attention networks--executive function, orienting and alerting--and the interactions between them. Methods Fourteen university students that were diagnosed as suffering from developmental dyscalculia--intelligence and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder--and 14 matched controls were tested using the attention networks test - interactions. All participants were given preliminary tests to measure mathematical abilities, reading, attention and intelligence. Results The results revealed deficits in the alerting network--a larger alerting effect--and in the executive function networks--a larger congruity effect in developmental dyscalculia participants. The interaction between the alerting and executive function networks was also modulated by group. In addition, developmental dyscalculia participants were slower to respond in the non-cued conditions. Conclusions These results imply specific attentional deficits in pure developmental dyscalculia. Namely, those with developmental dyscalculia seem to be deficient in the executive function and alertness networks. They suffer from difficulty in recruiting attention, in addition to the deficits in numerical processing.
Askenazi, Sarit; Henik, Avishai
Very little is known about attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia, hence, this study was designed to provide the missing information. We examined attention abilities of participants suffering from developmental dyscalculia using the attention networks test - interactions. This test was designed to examine three different attention networks--executive function, orienting and alerting--and the interactions between them. Fourteen university students that were diagnosed as suffering from developmental dyscalculia--intelligence and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder--and 14 matched controls were tested using the attention networks test-interactions. All participants were given preliminary tests to measure mathematical abilities, reading, attention and intelligence. The results revealed deficits in the alerting network--a larger alerting effect--and in the executive function networks--a larger congruity effect in developmental dyscalculia participants. The interaction between the alerting and executive function networks was also modulated by group. In addition, developmental dyscalculia participants were slower to respond in the non-cued conditions. These results imply specific attentional deficits in pure developmental dyscalculia. Namely, those with developmental dyscalculia seem to be deficient in the executive function and alertness networks. They suffer from difficulty in recruiting attention, in addition to the deficits in numerical processing.
Pritchett, Dominique L; Siegle, Joshua H; Deister, Christopher A; Moore, Christopher I
Two general classes of hypotheses for the role for gamma oscillations in sensation are those that predict gamma facilitates signal amplification through local synchronization of a distinct ensemble, and those that predict gamma modulates fine temporal relationships between neurons to represent information. Correlative evidence has been offered for and against these hypotheses. A recent study in which gamma was optogenetically entrained by driving fast-spiking interneurons showed enhanced sensory detection of harder-to-perceive stimuli, those that benefit most from attention, in agreement with the amplification hypotheses. These findings are supported by similar studies employing less specific optogenetic patterns or single neuron stimulation, but contrast with findings based on direct optogenetic stimulation of pyramidal neurons. Key next steps for this topic are described. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Rinne, Teemu; Muers, Ross S; Salo, Emma; Slater, Heather; Petkov, Christopher I
The cross-species correspondences and differences in how attention modulates brain responses in humans and animal models are poorly understood. We trained 2 monkeys to perform an audio-visual selective attention task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), rewarding them to attend to stimuli in one modality while ignoring those in the other. Monkey fMRI identified regions strongly modulated by auditory or visual attention. Surprisingly, auditory attention-related modulations were much more restricted in monkeys than humans performing the same tasks during fMRI. Further analyses ruled out trivial explanations, suggesting that labile selective-attention performance was associated with inhomogeneous modulations in wide cortical regions in the monkeys. The findings provide initial insights into how audio-visual selective attention modulates the primate brain, identify sources for "lost" attention effects in monkeys, and carry implications for modeling the neurobiology of human cognition with nonhuman animals. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.
Sarapas, Casey; Weinberg, Anna; Langenecker, Scott A.
Although researchers have long hypothesized a relationship between attention and anxiety, theoretical and empirical accounts of this relationship have conflicted. We attempted to resolve these conflicts by examining relationships of attentional abilities with responding to predictable and unpredictable threat, related but distinct motivational process implicated in a number of anxiety disorders. Eighty-one individuals completed a behavioral task assessing efficiency of three components of attention – alerting, orienting, and executive control (Attention Network Test - Revised). We also assessed startle responding during anticipation of both predictable, imminent threat (of mild electric shock) and unpredictable contextual threat. Faster alerting and slower disengaging from non-emotional attention cues were related to heightened responding to unpredictable threat, whereas poorer executive control of attention was related to heightened responding to predictable threat. This double dissociation helps to integrate models of attention and anxiety and may be informative for treatment development. PMID:27816781
Jeong, Su Keun; Xu, Yaoda
The human parietal cortex exhibits a preference to contralaterally presented visual stimuli (i.e., laterality) as well as an asymmetry between the two hemispheres with the left parietal cortex showing greater laterality than the right. Using visual short-term memory and perceptual tasks and varying target location predictability, this study examined whether hemispheric laterality and asymmetry are fixed characteristics of the human parietal cortex or whether they are dynamic and modulated by the deployment of top-down attention to the target present hemifield. Two parietal regions were examined here that have previously been shown to be involved in visual object individuation and identification and are located in the inferior and superior intraparietal sulcus (IPS), respectively. Across three experiments, significant laterality was found in both parietal regions regardless of attentional modulation with laterality being greater in the inferior than superior IPS, consistent with their roles in object individuation and identification, respectively. Although the deployment of top-down attention had no effect on the superior IPS, it significantly increased laterality in the inferior IPS. The deployment of top-down spatial attention can thus amplify the strength of laterality in the inferior IPS. Hemispheric asymmetry, on the other hand, was absent in both brain regions and only emerged in the inferior but not the superior IPS with the deployment of top-down attention. Interestingly, the strength of hemispheric asymmetry significantly correlated with the strength of laterality in the inferior IPS. Hemispheric asymmetry thus seems to only emerge when there is a sufficient amount of laterality present in a brain region.
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.
Kwon, Andrew T.; Chou, Alice Yi; Arenillas, David J.; Wasserman, Wyeth W.
We performed a genome-wide scan for muscle-specific cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) using three computational prediction programs. Based on the predictions, 339 candidate CRMs were tested in cell culture with NIH3T3 fibroblasts and C2C12 myoblasts for capacity to direct selective reporter gene expression to differentiated C2C12 myotubes. A subset of 19 CRMs validated as functional in the assay. The rate of predictive success reveals striking limitations of computational regulatory sequence analysis methods for CRM discovery. Motif-based methods performed no better than predictions based only on sequence conservation. Analysis of the properties of the functional sequences relative to inactive sequences identifies nucleotide sequence composition can be an important characteristic to incorporate in future methods for improved predictive specificity. Muscle-related TFBSs predicted within the functional sequences display greater sequence conservation than non-TFBS flanking regions. Comparison with recent MyoD and histone modification ChIP-Seq data supports the validity of the functional regions. PMID:22144875
Andrew T Kwon
Full Text Available We performed a genome-wide scan for muscle-specific cis-regulatory modules (CRMs using three computational prediction programs. Based on the predictions, 339 candidate CRMs were tested in cell culture with NIH3T3 fibroblasts and C2C12 myoblasts for capacity to direct selective reporter gene expression to differentiated C2C12 myotubes. A subset of 19 CRMs validated as functional in the assay. The rate of predictive success reveals striking limitations of computational regulatory sequence analysis methods for CRM discovery. Motif-based methods performed no better than predictions based only on sequence conservation. Analysis of the properties of the functional sequences relative to inactive sequences identifies nucleotide sequence composition can be an important characteristic to incorporate in future methods for improved predictive specificity. Muscle-related TFBSs predicted within the functional sequences display greater sequence conservation than non-TFBS flanking regions. Comparison with recent MyoD and histone modification ChIP-Seq data supports the validity of the functional regions.
A novel neural model for emotional modulation of word reading is proposed. This model has four principal hypotheses: the dominant activation region hypothesis, the emotional modulation hypothesis, the attentional level hypothesis, and the interaction hypothesis. Four lines of research were reviewed to provide evidence for these hypotheses: (1) neuro-cognitive studies on the mechanisms of word reading (i.e., neural networks for reading); (2) studies on the influence of words' emotional valence on word reading; (3) studies of the effect of attention on word reading; and (4) studies on emotional modulation of word reading under different attentional levels.
Chen, X.; Hoffmann, K.-P.; Albright, T. D.
Attention influences visual processing in striate and extrastriate cortex, which has been extensively studied for spatial-, object-, and feature-based attention. Most studies exploring neural signatures of feature-based attention have trained animals to attend to an object identified by a certain feature and ignore objects/displays identified by a different feature. Little is known about the effects of feature-selective attention, where subjects attend to one stimulus feature domain (e.g., color) of an object while features from different domains (e.g., direction of motion) of the same object are ignored. To study this type of feature-selective attention in area MT in the middle temporal sulcus, we trained macaque monkeys to either attend to and report the direction of motion of a moving sine wave grating (a feature for which MT neurons display strong selectivity) or attend to and report its color (a feature for which MT neurons have very limited selectivity). We hypothesized that neurons would upregulate their firing rate during attend-direction conditions compared with attend-color conditions. We found that feature-selective attention significantly affected 22% of MT neurons. Contrary to our hypothesis, these neurons did not necessarily increase firing rate when animals attended to direction of motion but fell into one of two classes. In one class, attention to color increased the gain of stimulus-induced responses compared with attend-direction conditions. The other class displayed the opposite effects. Feature-selective activity modulations occurred earlier in neurons modulated by attention to color compared with neurons modulated by attention to motion direction. Thus feature-selective attention influences neuronal processing in macaque area MT but often exhibited a mismatch between the preferred stimulus dimension (direction of motion) and the preferred attention dimension (attention to color). PMID:22170961
Klein, Anke M; van Niekerk, Rianne; Ten Brink, Giovanni; Rapee, Ronald M; Hudson, Jennifer L; Bögels, Susan M; Becker, Eni S; Rinck, Mike
Cognitive theories suggest that cognitive biases may be related and together influence the anxiety response. However, little is known about the interrelations of cognitive bias tasks and whether they allow for an improved prediction of fear-related behavior in addition to self-reports. This study simultaneously addressed several types of cognitive biases in children, to investigate attention bias, interpretation bias, memory bias and fear-related associations, their interrelations and the prediction of behavior. Eighty-one children varying in their levels of spider fear completed the Spider Anxiety and Disgust Screening for Children and performed two Emotional Stroop tasks, a Free Recall task, an interpretation task including size and distance indication, an Affective Priming Task, and a Behavioral Assessment Test. We found an attention bias, interpretation bias, and fear-related associations, but no evidence for a memory bias. The biases showed little overlap. Attention bias, interpretation bias, and fear-related associations predicted unique variance in avoidance of spiders. Interpretation bias and fear-related associations remained significant predictors, even when self-reported fear was included as a predictor. Children were not seeking help for their spider fear and were not tested on clinical levels of spider phobia. This is the first study to find evidence that different cognitive biases each predict unique variance in avoidance behavior. Furthermore, it is also the first study in which we found evidence for a relation between fear of spiders and size and distance indication. We showed that this bias is distinct from other cognitive biases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wainstein, G; Rojas-Líbano, D; Crossley, N A; Carrasco, X; Aboitiz, F; Ossandón, T
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis is based on reported symptoms, which carries the potential risk of over- or under-diagnosis. A biological marker that helps to objectively define the disorder, providing information about its pathophysiology, is needed. A promising marker of cognitive states in humans is pupil size, which reflects the activity of an 'arousal' network, related to the norepinephrine system. We monitored pupil size from ADHD and control subjects, during a visuo-spatial working memory task. A sub group of ADHD children performed the task twice, with and without methylphenidate, a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Off-medication patients showed a decreased pupil diameter during the task. This difference was no longer present when patients were on-medication. Pupil size correlated with the subjects' performance and reaction time variability, two vastly studied indicators of attention. Furthermore, this effect was modulated by medication. Through pupil size, we provide evidence of an involvement of the noradrenergic system during an attentional task. Our results suggest that pupil size could serve as a biomarker in ADHD.
Arnold, Jennifer E.; Lao, Shin-Yi C.
Pronoun comprehension is facilitated for referents that are focused in the discourse context. Discourse focus has been described as a function of attention, especially shared attention, but few studies have explicitly tested this idea. Two experiments used an exogenous capture cue paradigm to demonstrate that listeners’ visual attention at the onset of a story influences their preferences during pronoun resolution later in the story. In both experiments trial-initial attention modulated listeners’ transitory biases while considering referents for the pronoun, whether it was in response to the capture cue or not. These biases even had a small influence on listeners’ final interpretation of the pronoun. These results provide independently-motivated evidence that the listener’s attention influences the on-line processes of pronoun comprehension. Trial-initial attentional shifts were made on the basis of non-shared, private information, demonstrating that attentional effects on pronoun comprehension are not restricted to shared attention among interlocutors. PMID:26191533
Albertella, L.; Copeland, J.; Pearson, D.; Watson, P.; Wiers, R.W.; Le Pelley, M.E.
BACKGROUND: The current study examined whether cognitive control moderates the association between (non-drug) reward-modulated attentional capture and use of alcohol and other drugs (AOD). METHODS: Participants were 66 university students who completed an assessment including questions about AOD
Loeber, Sabine; Grosshans, Martin; Herpertz, Stephan; Kiefer, Falk; Herpertz, Sabine C
Overeating, weight gain and obesity are considered as a major health problem in Western societies. At present, an impairment of response inhibition and a biased salience attribution to food-associated stimuli are considered as important factors associated with weight gain. However, recent findings suggest that the association between an impaired response inhibition and salience attribution and weight gain might be modulated by other factors. Thus, hunger might cause food-associated cues to be perceived as more salient and rewarding and might be associated with an impairment of response inhibition. However, at present, little is known how hunger interacts with these processes. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate whether hunger modulates response inhibition and attention allocation towards food-associated stimuli in normal-weight controls. A go-/nogo task with food-associated and control words and a visual dot-probe task with food-associated and control pictures were administered to 48 normal-weight participants (mean age 24.5 years, range 19-40; mean BMI 21.6, range 18.5-25.4). Hunger was assessed twofold using a self-reported measure of hunger and a measurement of the blood glucose level. Our results indicated that self-reported hunger affected behavioral response inhibition in the go-/nogo task. Thus, hungry participants committed significantly more commission errors when food-associated stimuli served as distractors compared to when control stimuli were the distractors. This effect was not observed in sated participants. In addition, we found that self-reported hunger was associated with a lower number of omission errors in response to food-associated stimuli indicating a higher salience of these stimuli. Low blood glucose level was not associated with an impairment of response inhibition. However, our results indicated that the blood glucose level was associated with an attentional bias towards food-associated cues in the visual dot probe task
Casarotti, Marco; Lisi, Matteo; Umiltà, Carlo; Zorzi, Marco
Growing evidence indicates that planning eye movements and orienting visuospatial attention share overlapping brain mechanisms. A tight link between endogenous attention and eye movements is maintained by the premotor theory, in contrast to other accounts that postulate the existence of specific attention mechanisms that modulate the activity of information processing systems. The strong assumption of equivalence between attention and eye movements, however, is challenged by demonstrations that human observers are able to keep attention on a specific location while moving the eyes elsewhere. Here we investigate whether a recurrent model of saccadic planning can account for attentional effects without requiring additional or specific mechanisms separate from the circuits that perform sensorimotor transformations for eye movements. The model builds on the basis function approach and includes a circuit that performs spatial remapping using an "internal forward model" of how visual inputs are modified as a result of saccadic movements. Simulations show that the latter circuit is crucial to account for dissociations between attention and eye movements that may be invoked to disprove the premotor theory. The model provides new insights into how spatial remapping may be implemented in parietal cortex and offers a computational framework for recent proposals that link visual stability with remapping of attention pointers.
Chapman, Michael; Lindenberger, Ulman
To test predictions regarding the attentional capacity requirements of Piaget's stage of concrete operations, a battery of concrete operational tasks and two measures of attentional capacity were administered to 120 first-, second-, and third-graders. Findings concern class inclusion, transitivity of length and weight, and multiplication of…
Menning, Hans; Ackermann, Hermann; Hertrich, Ingo; Mathiak, Klaus
Previous studies have shown that cross-modal processing affects perception at a variety of neuronal levels. In this study, event-related brain responses were recorded via whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG). Spatial auditory attention was directed via tactile pre-cues (primes) to one of four locations in the peripersonal space (left and right hand versus face). Auditory stimuli were white noise bursts, convoluted with head-related transfer functions, which ensured spatial perception of the four locations. Tactile primes (200-300 ms prior to acoustic onset) were applied randomly to one of these locations. Attentional load was controlled by three different visual distraction tasks. The auditory P50m (about 50 ms after stimulus onset) showed a significant "proximity" effect (larger responses to face stimulation as well as a "contralaterality" effect between side of stimulation and hemisphere). The tactile primes essentially reduced both the P50m and N100m components. However, facial tactile pre-stimulation yielded an enhanced ipsilateral N100m. These results show that earlier responses are mainly governed by exogenous stimulus properties whereas cross-sensory interaction is spatially selective at a later (endogenous) processing stage.
Jorrit Steven Montijn
Full Text Available In divisive normalization models of covert attention, spike rate modulations are commonly used as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly those in gamma-band frequencies (25 to 100 Hz. Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple hierarchical cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas however leads to signal degradation and a loss of discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate oscillatory phase entrainment into our model, a mechanism previously proposed as the communication-through-coherence (CTC hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation.
Goddard, John; Kita, Arben; Wang, Qingwei
We study the relationship between investors’ active attention, measured by a Google search volume index (SVI), and the dynamics of currency prices. Investor attention is correlated with the trading activities of large FX market participants. Investor attention comoves with comtemporaneous FX market volatility and predicts subsequent FX market volatility, after controlling for macroeconomic fundamentals. In addition, investor attention is related to the currency risk premium. Our results sugge...
van Schouwenburg, Martine R; den Ouden, Hanneke E M; Cools, Roshan
The prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia interact to selectively gate a desired action. Recent studies have shown that this selective gating mechanism of the basal ganglia extends to the domain of attention. Here, we investigate the nature of this action-like gating mechanism for attention using a spatial attention-switching paradigm in combination with functional neuroimaging and dynamic causal modeling. We show that the basal ganglia guide attention by focally releasing inhibition of task-relevant representations, while simultaneously inhibiting task-irrelevant representations by selectively modulating prefrontal top-down connections. These results strengthen and specify the role of the basal ganglia in attention. Moreover, our findings have implications for psychological theorizing by suggesting that inhibition of unattended sensory regions is not only a consequence of mutual suppression, but is an active process, subserved by the basal ganglia. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Gullberg, Marianne; Holmqvist, Kenneth
This study investigates whether addressees visually attend to speakers’ gestures in interaction and whether attention is modulated by changes in social setting and display size. We compare a live face-to-face setting to two video conditions. In all conditions, the face dominates as a fixation target and only a minority of gestures draw fixations. The social and size parameters affect gaze mainly when combined and in the opposite direction from the predicted with fewer gestures fixated on vide...
Full Text Available Background. The study of the attentional system remains a challenge for current neuroscience. The Attention Network Test (ANT was designed to study simultaneously three different attentional networks (alerting, orienting and executive based in subtraction of different experimental conditions. However, some studies recommend caution with these calculations due to the interactions between the attentional networks. In particular, it is highly relevant that several interpretations about attentional impairment have arisen from these calculations in diverse pathologies. Event Related Potentials (ERPs and neural source analysis can be applied to disentangle the relationships between these attentional networks not specifically shown by behavioural measures. Results. This study shows that there is a basic level of alerting (tonic alerting in the no cue condition, represented by a slow negative trend in the ERP trace prior to the onset of the target stimuli. A progressive increase in the CNV amplitude related to the amount of information provided by the cue conditions is also shown. Neural source analysis reveals specific modulations of the CNV related to a task-related expectancy presented in the no cue condition; a late modulation triggered by the central cue condition and probably representing a generic motor preparation; and an early and late modulation for spatial cue condition suggesting specific motor and sensory preactivation. Finally, the first component in the information processing of the target stimuli modulated by the interaction between orienting network and the executive system can be represented by N1. Conclusions. The ANT is useful as a paradigm to study specific attentional mechanisms and their interactions. However, calculation of network effects is based in subtractions with non-comparable experimental conditions, as evidenced by the present data, which can induce misinterpretations in the study of the attentional capacity in human
Elliot D Freeman
Full Text Available Theories of object-based attention often make two assumptions: that attentional resources are facilitatory, and that they spread automatically within grouped objects. Consistent with this, ignored visual stimuli can be easier to process, or more distracting, when perceptually grouped with an attended target stimulus. But in past studies, the ignored stimuli often shared potentially relevant features or locations with the target. In this fMRI study, we measured the effects of attention and grouping on Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD responses in the human brain to entirely task-irrelevant events.Two checkerboards were displayed each in opposite hemifields, while participants responded to check-size changes in one pre-cued hemifield, which varied between blocks. Grouping (or segmentation between hemifields was manipulated between blocks, using common (versus distinct motion cues. Task-irrelevant transient events were introduced by randomly changing the colour of either checkerboard, attended or ignored, at unpredictable intervals. The above assumptions predict heightened BOLD signals for irrelevant events in attended versus ignored hemifields for ungrouped contexts, but less such attentional modulation under grouping, due to automatic spreading of facilitation across hemifields. We found the opposite pattern, in primary visual cortex. For ungrouped stimuli, BOLD signals associated with task-irrelevant changes were lower, not higher, in the attended versus ignored hemifield; furthermore, attentional modulation was not reduced but actually inverted under grouping, with higher signals for events in the attended versus ignored hemifield.
Yeshurun, Yaffa; Carrasco, Marisa
It has been shown that transient attention enhances spatial resolution, but is the effect of transient attention on spatial resolution modulated by the size of the attentional cue? Would a gradual increase in the size of the cue lead to a gradual decrement in spatial resolution? To test these hypotheses, we used a texture segmentation task in which performance depends on spatial resolution, and systematically manipulated the size of the attentional cue: A bar of different lengths (Experiment 1) or a frame of different sizes (Experiments 2-3) indicated the target region in a texture segmentation display. Observers indicated whether a target patch region (oriented line elements in a background of an orthogonal orientation), appearing at a range of eccentricities, was present in the first or the second interval. We replicated the attentional enhancement of spatial resolution found with small cues; attention improved performance at peripheral locations but impaired performance at central locations. However, there was no evidence of gradual resolution decrement with large cues. Transient attention enhanced spatial resolution at the attended location when it was attracted to that location by a small cue but did not affect resolution when it was attracted by a large cue. These results indicate that transient attention cannot adapt its operation on spatial resolution on the basis of the size of the attentional cue.
Ashkenazi, Sarit; Henik, Avishai
Recently, a deficit in attention was found in those with pure developmental dyscalculia (DD). Accordingly, the present study aimed to examine the influence of attentional training on attention abilities, basic numerical abilities, and arithmetic in participants who were diagnosed as having DD. Nine university students diagnosed as having DD (IQ and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and nine matched controls participated in attentional training (i.e., video game training). First, training modulated the orienting system; after training, the size of the validity effect (i.e., effect of valid vs. invalid) decreased. This effect was comparable in the two groups. Training modulated abnormalities in the attention systems of those with DD, that is, it reduced their enlarged congruity effect (i.e., faster responding when flanking arrows pointed to the same location as a center arrow). Second, in relation to the enumeration task, training reduced the reaction time of the DD group in the subitizing range but did not change their smaller-than-normal subitizing range. Finally, training improved performance in addition problems in both the DD and control groups. These results imply that attentional training does improve most of the attentional deficits of those with DD. In contrast, training did not improve the abnormalities of the DD group in arithmetic or basic numerical processing. Thus, in contrast to the domain-general hypothesis, the deficits in attention among those with DD and the deficits in numerical processing appear to originate from different sources.
Lin, Szu-Hung; Yeh, Yei-Yu
Previous research has shown that loading information on working memory affects selective attention. However, whether the load effect on selective attention is domain-general or domain-specific remains unresolved. The domain-general effect refers to the findings that load in one content (e.g. phonological) domain in working memory influences processing in another content (e.g., visuospatial) domain. Attentional control supervises selection regardless of information domain. The domain-specific effect refers to the constraint of influence only when maintenance and processing operate in the same domain. Selective attention operates in a specific content domain. This study is designed to resolve this controversy. Across three experiments, we manipulated the type of representation maintained in working memory and the type of representation upon which the participants must exert control to resolve conflict and select a target into the focus of attention. In Experiments 1a and 1b, participants maintained digits and nonverbalized objects, respectively, in working memory while selecting a target in a letter array. In Experiment 2, we presented auditory digits with a letter flanker task to exclude the involvement of resource competition within the same input modality. In Experiments 3a and 3b, we replaced the letter flanker task with an object flanker task while manipulating the memory load on object and digit representation, respectively. The results consistently showed that memory load modulated distractibility only when the stimuli of the two tasks were represented in the same domain. The magnitude of distractor interference was larger under high load than under low load, reflecting a lower efficacy of information prioritization. When the stimuli of the two tasks were represented in different domains, memory load did not modulate distractibility. Control of processing priority in selective attention demands domain-specific resources. PMID:24866977
John K Tsotsos
Full Text Available What are the computational tasks that an executive controller for visual attention must solve? This question is posed in the context of the Selective Tuning model of attention. The range of required computations go beyond top-down bias signals or region-of-interest determinations, and must deal with overt and covert fixations, process timing and synchronization, information routing, memory, matching control to task, spatial localization, priming, and coordination of bottom-up with top-down information. During task execution, results must be monitored to ensure the expected results. This description includes the kinds of elements that are common in the control of any kind of complex machine or system. We seek a mechanistic integration of the above, in other words, algorithms that accomplish control. Such algorithms operate on representations, transforming a representation of one kind into another, which then forms the input to yet another algorithm. Cognitive Programs (CPs are hypothesized to capture exactly such representational transformations via stepwise sequences of operations. CPs, an updated and modernized offspring of Ullman's Visual Routines, impose an algorithmic structure to the set of attentional functions and play a role in the overall shaping of attentional modulation of the visual system so that it provides its best performance. This requires that we consider the visual system as a dynamic, yet general-purpose processor tuned to the task and input of the moment. This differs dramatically from the almost universal cognitive and computational views, which regard vision as a passively observing module to which simple questions about percepts can be posed, regardless of task. Differing from Visual Routines, CPs explicitly involve the critical elements of Visual Task Executive, Visual Attention Executive, and Visual Working Memory. Cognitive Programs provide the software that directs the actions of the Selective Tuning model of visual