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Sample records for preparatory attentional processes

  1. Preparatory attention in visual cortex.

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    Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius V

    2017-05-01

    Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a preparatory phase before stimulus onset in which the attended dimension is internally represented. Here, we review neurophysiological, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies investigating the neural basis of preparatory attention, both when attention is directed to a location in space and when it is directed to nonspatial stimulus attributes (content-based attention) ranging from low-level features to object categories. Results show that both spatial and content-based attention lead to increased baseline activity in neural populations that selectively code for the attended attribute. TMS studies provide evidence that this preparatory activity is causally related to subsequent attentional selection and behavioral performance. Attention thus acts by preactivating selective neurons in the visual cortex before stimulus onset. This appears to be a general mechanism that can operate on multiple levels of representation. We discuss the functional relevance of this mechanism, its limitations, and its relation to working memory, imagery, and expectation. We conclude by outlining open questions and future directions. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  2. Differential hemispheric modulation of preparatory attention.

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    Fernández, Laura Gabriela; Siéroff, Eric

    2014-06-01

    Preparatory attention (PA) is the ability to allocate attention to a stimulus prior to its occurrence and is a crucial component of attentional control. We investigated the role of brain hemispheres in PA using an experimental test in which normal participants responded to a target that could appear in the right or the left visual fields, thus projecting to the left or the right hemispheres, while ignoring a central distractor that could appear in the preparatory phase preceding the target. This experimental test measures the ability of participants to modulate PA directed to a target location when the probability of a distractor occurrence varies across three blocks of trials (0%, 33%, 67%). The competition between distractors and target for PA should produce slower response times when the probability of distractors is high. Three experiments were conducted varying the temporal predictability of the target occurrence within a trial (high predictability in Experiments 1 and 3, and low predictability in Experiment 2), and the task used (location in Experiments 1 and 2, and detection in Experiment 3). We found that the modulation of PA by the expected probability of events was different in each visual field/hemisphere. Whereas the left hemisphere PA was influenced by the mere probability of events in each block of trials, the right hemisphere PA was mainly influenced by events with high temporal predictability. These results suggest that each hemisphere uses a different strategy to modulate PA when directed to a target location at the perceptual level of visual processing.

  3. Improving the training process of highly skilled bodybuilders in the preparatory period, general preparatory phase

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    Olexandr Tyhorskyy

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: to improve the method of training highly skilled bodybuilders during the general preparatory phase. Material and Methods: the study involved eight highly skilled athletes, members of the team of Ukraine on bodybuilding. Results: comparative characteristics of the most commonly used methods of training process in bodybuilding. Developed and substantiated the optimal method of training highly skilled bodybuilders during the general preparatory phase of the preparatory period, which can increase body weight through muscle athletes component. Conclusions: based on studies, recommended the optimum method of training highly skilled bodybuilders depending on mezotsykles and microcycles general preparatory phase

  4. Improving the training process of skilled bodybuilders in specially-preparatory phase of the preparatory period

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    Viktor Dzhym

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: to study methods of improving the training process of skilled bodybuilders in a specially-preparatory phase of the preparatory period. Materials and Methods: the study involved 18 skilled bodybuilders are included in the team of the Kharkiv region of bodybuilding. Results: a comparative characteristic of the most commonly used methods of training process in bodybuilding. Developed and justified the optimal technique for skilled bodybuilders, depending on the initial form of the athlete at the beginning of a specially-preparatory phase of training. Shows the dependence of changes in body weight bodybuilder from the training process. Conclusions: on the basis of the research the author proposes an optimal method of training depending on the training microcycle in the run specially-preparatory stage.

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

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

    2014-06-01

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

  6. Improving the training process of highly skilled bodybuilders in the preparatory period, general preparatory phase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olexandr Tyhorskyy

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: to improve the method of training highly skilled bodybuilders. Material and Methods: the study involved eight highly skilled athletes, members of the team of Ukraine on bodybuilding. Results: comparative characteristics of the most commonly used methods of training process in bodybuilding. Developed and substantiated the optimal method of training highly skilled bodybuilders during the general preparatory phase of the preparatory period, which can increase body weight through muscle athletes component. Conclusions: dynamic load factor to raise the intensity of training loads allows orientation help to increase volumes shoulder muscles

  7. Electrophysiological evidence for abnormal preparatory states and inhibitory processing in adult ADHD

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    Brandeis Daniel

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that starts in childhood and frequently persists in adults. Several theories postulate deficits in ADHD that have effects across many executive functions or in more narrowly defined aspects, such as response inhibition. Electrophysiological studies on children, however, indicate that ADHD is not associated with a core deficit of response inhibition, as abnormal inhibitory processing is typically preceded or accompanied by other processing deficits. It is not yet known if this pattern of abnormal processing is evident in adult ADHD. Methods The objective of this paper was to investigate event-related potential indices of preparatory states and subsequent response inhibition processing in adults with ADHD. Two cued continuous performance tasks were presented to 21 adults meeting current criteria for adult ADHD and combined type ADHD in childhood, and 20 controls. Results The ADHD group exhibited significantly weaker orienting attention to cues, cognitive preparation processes and inhibitory processing. In addition, we observed a strong correlation between the resources allocated to orienting to cues and the strength of the subsequent response strength control processes, suggesting that orienting deficits partly predict and determine response control deficits in ADHD. Conclusions These findings closely resemble those previously found in children with ADHD, which indicate that there is not a core response inhibition deficit in ADHD. These findings therefore suggest the possibility of developmental stability into adulthood of the underlying abnormal processes in ADHD.

  8. Functional Roles of Neural Preparatory Processes in a Cued Stroop Task Revealed by Linking Electrophysiology with Behavioral Performance.

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    Chao Wang

    Full Text Available It is well established that cuing facilitates behavioral performance and that different aspects of instructional cues evoke specific neural preparatory processes in cued task-switching paradigms. To deduce the functional role of these neural preparatory processes the majority of studies vary aspects of the experimental paradigm and describe how these variations alter markers of neural preparatory processes. Although these studies provide important insights, they also have notable limitations, particularly in terms of understanding the causal or functional relationship of neural markers to cognitive and behavioral processes. In this study, we sought to address these limitations and uncover the functional roles of neural processes by examining how variability in the amplitude of neural preparatory processes predicts behavioral performance to subsequent stimuli. To achieve this objective 16 young adults were recruited to perform a cued Stroop task while their brain activity was measured using high-density electroencephalography. Four temporally overlapping but functionally and topographically distinct cue-triggered event related potentials (ERPs were identified: 1 A left-frontotemporal negativity (250-700 ms that was positively associated with word-reading performance; 2 a midline-frontal negativity (450-800 ms that was positively associated with color-naming and incongruent performance; 3 a left-frontal negativity (450-800 ms that was positively associated with switch trial performance; and 4 a centroparietal positivity (450-800 ms that was positively associated with performance for almost all trial types. These results suggest that at least four dissociable cognitive processes are evoked by instructional cues in the present task, including: 1 domain-specific task facilitation; 2 switch-specific task-set reconfiguration; 3 preparation for response conflict; and 4 proactive attentional control. Examining the relationship between ERPs and behavioral

  9. Attentional Processes in Autism.

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    Goldstein, Gerald; Johnson, Cynthia R.; Minshew, Nancy J.

    2001-01-01

    Attention processes in 103 children and adults with high functioning autism were compared with a matched control group using a battery of attention measures. Differences were found only on tasks which placed demands on cognitive flexibility or psychomotor speed, suggesting that purported attention deficits in autism may actually be primary…

  10. Effect of Cotton Fibers and Their Trash Characteristics on the Performance of Spinning Preparatory Processes

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    Dr. (Mrs. Tasnim N. Shaikh

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Technological revolution in the age old cotton textile industry has made spinning preparatory section as a control centre for quality and economy of the outgoing product. Spinners have to chase these goals by cleaning the cotton mix without detoriating feed cotton characteristics and undue increase in the waste levels at higher productivity level. The successful efforts demand through investigation of the cotton fibers and their trash characteristics as well as identification of their best fit interrelationship with process parameters. Set of experimentations done in this direction are described in this paper as case study.

  11. Pupil size reveals preparatory processes in the generation of pro-saccades and anti-saccades.

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    Wang, Chin-An; Brien, Donald C; Munoz, Douglas P

    2015-04-01

    The ability to generate flexible behaviors to accommodate changing goals in response to identical sensory stimuli is a signature that is inherited in humans and higher-level animals. In the oculomotor system, this function has often been examined with the anti-saccade task, in which subjects are instructed, prior to stimulus appearance, to either automatically look at the peripheral stimulus (pro-saccade) or to suppress the automatic response and voluntarily look in the opposite direction from the stimulus (anti-saccade). Distinct neural preparatory activity between the pro-saccade and anti-saccade conditions has been well documented, particularly in the superior colliculus (SC) and the frontal eye field (FEF), and this has shown higher inhibition-related fixation activity in preparation for anti-saccades than in preparation for pro-saccades. Moreover, the level of preparatory activity related to motor preparation is negatively correlated with reaction times. We hypothesised that preparatory signals may be reflected in pupil size through a link between the SC and the pupil control circuitry. Here, we examined human pupil dynamics during saccade preparation prior to the execution of pro-saccades and anti-saccades. Pupil size was larger in preparation for correct anti-saccades than in preparation for correct pro-saccades and erroneous pro-saccades made in the anti-saccade condition. Furthermore, larger pupil dilation prior to stimulus appearance accompanied saccades with faster reaction times, with a trial-by-trial correlation between dilation size and anti-saccade reaction times. Overall, our results demonstrate that pupil size is modulated by saccade preparation, and neural activity in the SC, together with the FEF, supports these findings, providing unique insights into the neural substrate coordinating cognitive processing and pupil diameter.

  12. Local muscular fatigue and attentional processes in a fencing task.

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    Devienne, M F; Audiffren, M; Ripoll, H; Stein, J F

    2000-02-01

    Study of the effects of brief exercise on mental processes by Tomporowski and Ellis (1986) has shown that moderate muscular tension improves cognitive performance while low or high tension does not. Improvements in performance induced by exercise are commonly associated with increase in arousal, while impairments are generally attributed to the effects of muscular or central fatigue. To test two hypotheses, that (1) submaximal muscular exercise would decrease premotor time and increase would increase the attentional and preparatory effects observed in premotor time 9 men, aged 20 to 30 years, performed an isometric test at 50% of their maximum voluntary contraction between blocks of a 3-choice reaction-time fencing task. Analysis showed (1) physical exercise did not improve postexercise premotor time, (2) muscular fatigue induced by isometric contractions did not increase motor time, (3) there was no effect of exercise on attentional and preparatory processes involved in the postexercise choice-RT task. The invalidation of hypotheses was mainly explained by disparity in directional effects across subjects and by use of an exercise that was not really fatiguing.

  13. Self-efficacy, planning, and preparatory behaviours as joint predictors of physical activity: A conditional process analysis.

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    Barz, Milena; Lange, Daniela; Parschau, Linda; Lonsdale, Chris; Knoll, Nina; Schwarzer, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    Planning can bridge the gap between intentions and action, but what bridges the gap between planning and action? This study helps to answer the question by disentangling the interrelationships between self-efficacy, planning and preparatory behaviours in predicting physical activity. Preparatory behaviours are tested as a working mechanism of planning. Moreover, it is tested whether the utility of preparatory behaviours depends on an individual's level of self-efficacy. A survey assessed planning, self-efficacy and preparatory behaviours for physical activity. Adults (N = 166) provided data at two measurement points. In a longitudinal model, preparatory behaviours were specified as a mediator between planning and physical activity. Self-efficacy was specified as a possible moderator at two points in the model. Preparatory behaviours mediated the relationship between planning and physical activity. An interaction between self-efficacy and preparatory behaviours on physical activity was found, indicating that individuals with low self-efficacy beliefs were more active if they engaged more frequently in preparatory behaviours. Planning seems to stimulate preparatory behaviours, which in turn make future physical activity more likely. Furthermore, as performing preparatory behaviours represent a step forward towards the enactment of behavioural goals, preparatory behaviours may be particular beneficial for individuals afflicted by self-doubts regarding physical activity.

  14. Neural correlates of attentional and mnemonic processing in event-based prospective memory

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    Justin B Knight

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Prospective memory, or memory for realizing delayed intentions, was examined with an event-based paradigm while simultaneously measuring neural activity with high-density EEG recordings. Specifically, the neural substrates of monitoring for an event-based cue were examined, as well as those perhaps associated with the cognitive processes supporting detection of cues and fulfillment of intentions. Participants engaged in a baseline lexical decision task (LDT, followed by a LDT with an embedded prospective memory (PM component. Event-based cues were constituted by color and lexicality (red words. Behavioral data provided evidence that monitoring, or preparatory attentional processes, were used to detect cues. Analysis of the event-related potentials (ERP revealed visual attentional modulations at 140 and 220 ms post-stimulus associated with preparatory attentional processes. In addition, ERP components at 220, 350, and 400 ms post-stimulus were enhanced for intention-related items. Our results suggest preparatory attention may operate by selectively modulating processing of features related to a previously formed event-based intention, as well as provide further evidence for the proposal that dissociable component processes support the fulfillment of delayed intentions.

  15. Preparatory selection of sterilization regime for canned Natural Atlantic Mackerel with oil based on developed mathematical models of the process

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    Maslov A. A.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Definition of preparatory parameters for sterilization regime of canned "Natural Atlantic Mackerel with Oil" is the aim of current study. PRSC software developed at the department of automation and computer engineering is used for preparatory selection. To determine the parameters of process model, in laboratory autoclave AVK-30M the pre-trial process of sterilization and cooling in water with backpressure of canned "Natural Atlantic Mackerel with Oil" in can N 3 has been performed. Gathering information about the temperature in the autoclave sterilization chamber and the can with product has been carried out using Ellab TrackSense PRO loggers. Due to the obtained information three transfer functions for the product model have been identified: in the least heated area of autoclave, the average heated and the most heated. In PRSC programme temporary temperature dependences in the sterilization chamber have been built using this information. The model of sterilization process of canned "Natural Atlantic Mackerel with Oil" has been received after the pre-trial process. Then in the automatic mode the sterilization regime of canned "Natural Atlantic Mackerel with Oil" has been selected using the value of actual effect close to normative sterilizing effect (5.9 conditional minutes. Furthermore, in this study step-mode sterilization of canned "Natural Atlantic Mackerel with Oil" has been selected. Utilization of step-mode sterilization with the maximum temperature equal to 125 °C in the sterilization chamber allows reduce process duration by 10 %. However, the application of this regime in practice requires additional research. Using the described approach based on the developed mathematical models of the process allows receive optimal step and variable canned food sterilization regimes with high energy efficiency and product quality.

  16. Modeling the Innovation-Decision Process: Dissemination and Adoption of a Motivational Interviewing Preparatory Procedure In Addiction Outpatient Clinics.

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    Walitzer, Kimberly S; Dermen, Kurt H; Barrick, Christopher; Shyhalla, Kathleen

    2015-10-01

    Widespread adoption of empirically-supported treatment innovations has the potential to improve effectiveness of treatment received by individuals with substance use disorders. However, the process of disseminating such innovations has been complex, slow, and difficult. We empirically describe the dissemination and adoption of a treatment innovation--an alcohol-treatment preparatory therapeutic procedure based on motivational interviewing (MI)--in the context of Rogers' (2003) five stages of innovation-decision process (knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation and confirmation). To this end, 145 randomly-chosen outpatient addiction treatment clinics in New York State received an onsite visit from a project trainer delivering one of three randomly-assigned dissemination intensities: a 15-minute, a half-day or a full-day presentation. Across these clinics, 141 primary administrators and 837 clinicians completed questionnaires assessing aspects of five innovation-decision stages. At each clinic, questionnaire administration occurred immediately pre- and post-dissemination, as well as 1 and 6 months after dissemination. Consistent with Rogers' theory, earlier stages of the innovation-decision process predicted later stages. As hypothesized, dissemination intensity predicted clinicians' post-dissemination knowledge. Clinician baseline characteristics (including gender, pre-dissemination knowledge regarding the MI preparatory technique, education, case load, beliefs regarding the nature of alcohol problems, and beliefs and behavior with regard to therapeutic style) predicted knowledge and persuasion stage variables. One baseline clinic characteristic (i.e., clinic mean beliefs and behavior regarding an MI-consistent therapeutic style) predicted implementation stage variables. Findings suggest that dissemination strategies should accommodate clinician and clinic characteristics.

  17. Sleep deprivation influences some but not all processes of supervisory attention

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    Jennings, J. R.; Monk, T. H.; van der Molen, M. W.

    2003-01-01

    Does one night of sleep deprivation alter processes of supervisory attention in general or only a specific subset of such processes? Twenty college-aged volunteers, half female, performed a choice reaction time task. A cue indicated that compatible (e.g., right button, right-pointing arrow) or incompatible (e.g., left button, right-pointing arrow) responses were to be given to a stimulus that followed 50 or 500 ms later. The paradigm assessed response inhibition, task-shifting skill, and task strategy-processes inherent in supervisory attention. Performance, along with heart rate, was assessed for 12 hr following normal sleep or a night of complete sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation altered neither preparation for task shifting nor response inhibition. The ability to use preparatory bias to speed performance did decrease with sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation appears to selectively affect this supervisory attention process, which is perceived as an active effort to cope with a challenging task.

  18. Sleep deprivation influences some but not all processes of supervisory attention

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    Jennings, J. R.; Monk, T. H.; van der Molen, M. W.

    2003-01-01

    Does one night of sleep deprivation alter processes of supervisory attention in general or only a specific subset of such processes? Twenty college-aged volunteers, half female, performed a choice reaction time task. A cue indicated that compatible (e.g., right button, right-pointing arrow) or incompatible (e.g., left button, right-pointing arrow) responses were to be given to a stimulus that followed 50 or 500 ms later. The paradigm assessed response inhibition, task-shifting skill, and task strategy-processes inherent in supervisory attention. Performance, along with heart rate, was assessed for 12 hr following normal sleep or a night of complete sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation altered neither preparation for task shifting nor response inhibition. The ability to use preparatory bias to speed performance did decrease with sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation appears to selectively affect this supervisory attention process, which is perceived as an active effort to cope with a challenging task.

  19. Early attention processes and anxiety in children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kallen, V. L.; Ferdinand, R. F.; Tulen, J. H. M.

    2007-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that anxiety in children is associated with attentional bias in the early stages of information processing. Bias towards threat indicates the tendency of an individual to direct attention towards threatening information. The airn of the present study was to investigate wheth

  20. Temporal Processing, Attention, and Learning Disorders

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    Landerl, Karin; Willburger, Edith

    2010-01-01

    In a large sample (N = 439) of literacy impaired and unimpaired elementary school children the predictions of the temporal processing theory of dyslexia were tested while controlling for (sub)clininal attentional deficits. Visual and Auditory Temporal Order Judgement were administered as well as three subtests of a standardized attention test. The…

  1. Attention to individual identities modulates face processing.

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    Ruz, María; Aranda, Clara; Sarmiento, Beatriz R; Sanabria, Daniel

    2015-05-01

    The ability of attention to apply in a flexible manner to several types of information at various stages of processing has been studied extensively. However, the susceptibility of these effects to the nature of the idiosyncratic items being attended is less understood. In the current study, we used symbolic cues to orient the attention of participants to the subsequent appearance of the face of a famous person (the former king of Spain) or an unfamiliar face. These were matched in perceptual characteristics. Behavioral effects showed that face-specific attention optimized response speed in an orthogonal task when the target matched the cue (valid trials) compared to when it did not (invalid trials). According to topographical analyses of the electrophysiological data, the famous and unfamiliar faces engaged dissociable brain circuits in two different temporal windows, from 144 to 300 ms after target processing, and at a later 456-492 ms epoch. In addition, orienting attention to specific faces modulated the perceptual stages reflected in the P1 and N170 potentials but with a different laterality pattern that depended on the familiarity of the faces. Whereas only attention to the famous face enhanced the P1 potential at left posterior electrodes, with no corresponding effect for the unfamiliar face at this stage, the N170 was modulated at left posterior sites for the famous item and at right homologous electrodes for the unfamiliar face. Intermediate processing stages, previously linked to facial identity processing indexed by the P2 and N2 potentials, reflected item familiarity but were not affected by the cueing manipulation. At the P3 level, attention influenced again item processing but did so in an equivalent manner for the famous and unfamiliar face. Our results, showing that identity-specific attention modulates perceptual stages of facial processing at different locations depending on idiosyncratic stimulus familiarity, may inform comparison of studies

  2. Selective effects of nicotine on attentional processes.

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    Mancuso, G; Warburton, D M; Mélen, M; Sherwood, N; Tirelli, E

    1999-09-01

    It is now well established from electrophysiological and behavioural evidence that nicotine has effects on information processing. The results are usually explained either by a primary effect of nicotine or by a reversal effect of a nicotine-induced, abstinence deficit. In addition, there is dispute about the cognitive processes underlying the changes in performance. This study has approached the first question by using the nicotine patch, in order to administer nicotine chronically. In addition, we examined the effects of nicotine on attention with a selection of tests which assessed the intensity and selectivity features of attention, using the Random Letter Generation test, the Flexibility of Attention test and the Stroop test. Nicotine enhanced the speed of number generation and the speed of processing in both the control and interference conditions of the Stroop test. There were no effects on attentional switching of the Flexibility of Attention test. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that nicotine mainly improves the intensity feature of attention, rather than the selectivity feature.

  3. Attentional Processing of Letter Strings by Children.

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    Leclercq, Virginie; Siéroff, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Reading a letter string requires attentional orienting toward the beginning of the string (left-dominant orientation), followed by orienting along the string. These attentional-orienting processes differ according to the lexicality of the letter string: Sequential processes apply when reading nonwords or pseudowords, while words can be processed more globally. The aim of this study was to evaluate the development of these attentional processes involved in reading. We conducted two experiments in 6- (first grade), 7- (second grade), and 9-year-old (fourth grade) children, using a procedure that required the detection of a letter (Experiment 1) or a nonletter (Experiment 2) target in a string of five characters. The target character could occur in the second (left) or fourth (right) position in the string. Results showed an advantage for left nonletter targets as early as age 6 and of left letter targets as early as age 7. In 6-year-olds, only good readers detected a left letter target faster than a right letter target; others detected a right letter target faster. Thus, dominant orienting toward the beginning of the letter string is not fully developed in children before the second year of reading. A possibility is that beginning readers have difficulties inhibiting an attention-orienting bias toward the right visual field in linguistic tasks. The results also showed that the lexicality effect on these attentional processes develops gradually until the fourth year of reading. We believe that the procedure used in this study will be very valuable for evaluating attentional difficulties during reading acquisition.

  4. Attention as a Bayesian inference process

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    Chikkerur, Sharat; Serre, Thomas; Tan, Cheston; Poggio, Tomaso

    2011-03-01

    David Marr famously defined vision as "knowing what is where by seeing". In the framework described here, attention is the inference process that solves the visual recognition problem of what is where. The theory proposes a computational role for attention and leads to a model that performs well in recognition tasks and that predicts some of the main properties of attention at the level of psychophysics and physiology. We propose an algorithmic implementation a Bayesian network that can be mapped into the basic functional anatomy of attention involving the ventral stream and the dorsal stream. This description integrates bottom-up, feature-based as well as spatial (context based) attentional mechanisms. We show that the Bayesian model predicts well human eye fixations (considered as a proxy for shifts of attention) in natural scenes, and can improve accuracy in object recognition tasks involving cluttered real world images. In both cases, we found that the proposed model can predict human performance better than existing bottom-up and top-down computational models.

  5. Attention and stimulus processing in the rat.

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    Muir, J L

    1996-06-01

    There is little doubt that rats are an essential species in laboratory testing. Given the substantial amount of anatomical and pharmacological information which is available for this species, rats are the animal of choice for many initial neurobiological investigations of the basic mechanisms of learning and memory as well as for pharmacological screening. Indeed, the study of brain-behaviour interactions is greatly facilitated in the rat given the ease with which brain transmitter systems and structures can be selectively manipulated, in contrast to the technical difficulties involved in undertaking such techniques in non-human primates. However, when considering the processing of information that occurs during cognitive processes such as learning and memory it is important to remember that fundamental to such processes are mechanisms of attention. When considering the concept of attentional functioning, it is important to keep in mind that attention is not a unitary construct but consists of several distinct mechanisms: vigilance, divided attention and selective attention, not all of which have been adequately modelled in the rat. Furthermore, attentional processes are also involved in learning operant discrimination tasks and appear to be quite different from those involved in maintaining high levels of trained performance. Consideration of discrimination learning is important given that firstly, during such learning the animal must select from the environment those stimuli which are relevant and secondly, that this type of learning is obviously inherent in many other tests used to assess cognitive function, such as delayed matching-to-sample procedures. Such issues will therefore form the basis of the following discussion.

  6. Preparatory effects of distractor suppression: evidence from visual cortex.

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    Jaap Munneke

    Full Text Available Spatial selective attention is the mechanism that facilitates the selection of relevant information over irrelevant information in the visual field. The current study investigated whether foreknowledge of the presence or absence of distractors surrounding an impending target stimulus results in preparatory changes in visual cortex. We cued the location of the target and the presence or absence of distractors surrounding the target while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD signals were measured. In line with prior work, we found that top-down spatial attention resulted in an increased contralateral BOLD response, evoked by the cue throughout early visual cortex (areas V1, V2 and V3. In addition, cues indicating distractor presence evoked a substantial increase in the magnitude of the BOLD signal in visual area V3, but not in V2 or V1. This study shows that prior knowledge concerning the presence of a distractor results in enhanced attentional modulation of visual cortex, in visual areas where neuronal receptive fields are large enough to encompass both targets and distractors. We interpret these findings as evidence that top-down attentional control processes include active preparatory suppression mechanisms for irrelevant, distracting information in the visual scene.

  7. Preparatory effects of distractor suppression: evidence from visual cortex.

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    Munneke, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk J; Usrey, W Martin; Theeuwes, Jan; Mangun, George R

    2011-01-01

    Spatial selective attention is the mechanism that facilitates the selection of relevant information over irrelevant information in the visual field. The current study investigated whether foreknowledge of the presence or absence of distractors surrounding an impending target stimulus results in preparatory changes in visual cortex. We cued the location of the target and the presence or absence of distractors surrounding the target while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals were measured. In line with prior work, we found that top-down spatial attention resulted in an increased contralateral BOLD response, evoked by the cue throughout early visual cortex (areas V1, V2 and V3). In addition, cues indicating distractor presence evoked a substantial increase in the magnitude of the BOLD signal in visual area V3, but not in V2 or V1. This study shows that prior knowledge concerning the presence of a distractor results in enhanced attentional modulation of visual cortex, in visual areas where neuronal receptive fields are large enough to encompass both targets and distractors. We interpret these findings as evidence that top-down attentional control processes include active preparatory suppression mechanisms for irrelevant, distracting information in the visual scene.

  8. Selective visual attention in object detection processes

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    Paletta, Lucas; Goyal, Anurag; Greindl, Christian

    2003-03-01

    Object detection is an enabling technology that plays a key role in many application areas, such as content based media retrieval. Attentive cognitive vision systems are here proposed where the focus of attention is directed towards the most relevant target. The most promising information is interpreted in a sequential process that dynamically makes use of knowledge and that enables spatial reasoning on the local object information. The presented work proposes an innovative application of attention mechanisms for object detection which is most general in its understanding of information and action selection. The attentive detection system uses a cascade of increasingly complex classifiers for the stepwise identification of regions of interest (ROIs) and recursively refined object hypotheses. While the most coarse classifiers are used to determine first approximations on a region of interest in the input image, more complex classifiers are used for more refined ROIs to give more confident estimates. Objects are modelled by local appearance based representations and in terms of posterior distributions of the object samples in eigenspace. The discrimination function to discern between objects is modeled by a radial basis functions (RBF) network that has been compared with alternative networks and been proved consistent and superior to other artifical neural networks for appearance based object recognition. The experiments were led for the automatic detection of brand objects in Formula One broadcasts within the European Commission's cognitive vision project DETECT.

  9. Greater efficiency in attentional processing related to mindfulness meditation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hurk, P.A.M. van den; Giommi, F.; Gielen, S.C.A.M.; Speckens, A.E.M.; Barendregt, H.P.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, attentional processing in relation to mindfulness meditation was investigated. Since recent studies have suggested that mindfulness meditation may induce improvements in attentional processing, we have tested 20 expert mindfulness meditators in the attention network test. Their perfor

  10. Greater efficiency in attentional processing related to mindfulness meditation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hurk, P.A.M. van den; Giommi, F.; Gielen, S.C.A.M.; Speckens, A.E.M.; Barendregt, H.P.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, attentional processing in relation to mindfulness meditation was investigated. Since recent studies have suggested that mindfulness meditation may induce improvements in attentional processing, we have tested 20 expert mindfulness meditators in the attention network test. Their perfor

  11. Greater efficiency in attentional processing related to mindfulness meditation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hurk, P.A.M. van den; Giommi, F.; Gielen, S.C.A.M.; Speckens, A.E.M.; Barendregt, H.P.

    2010-01-01

    In this study, attentional processing in relation to mindfulness meditation was investigated. Since recent studies have suggested that mindfulness meditation may induce improvements in attentional processing, we have tested 20 expert mindfulness meditators in the attention network test. Their

  12. Attentional processing of multiple targets and distractors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munneke, Jaap; Fait, Elisa; Mazza, Veronica

    2013-11-01

    We assessed the functioning of attention when multiple relevant objects are intermingled with multiple distractors, measuring two electrophysiological subcomponents of the N2pc that have been associated, respectively, with target selection and distractor suppression: the target negativity (Nt) and the distractor positivity (Pd). To this aim, we orthogonally manipulated the number of targets and distractors in an enumeration task. The Nt was modulated by target, but not distractor numerosity, suggesting that an increase in target numerosity leads to an increase in attentional resources needed to form individual representations of the targets. In contrast, the number of distractors did not differentially alter the Pd. We hypothesize that distractors sharing similar visual features can be processed (and possibly suppressed) as a set, without the need for individuation.

  13. Cognitive-electrophysiological indices of attentional and inhibitory processing in adults with ADHD: familial effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McLoughlin Gráinne

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that starts in childhood and frequently persists in adults. In a comparison of adults with ADHD and a matched control sample, we previously showed that abnormal inhibitory processing is typically preceded or accompanied by other processing deficits in adult ADHD. We now compare these data further to additional data from first-degree relatives (fathers of children with ADHD to identify whether this pattern of abnormal processing shares familial influences with ADHD in adults. Methods Using a family design, we compared 20 fathers of children with the combined subtype of ADHD with 21 adults with ADHD combined subtype and 20 controls in event-related potential indices of preparatory states and subsequent response inhibition processing as elicited by a cued continuous performance task. Results Fathers of children with ADHD exhibited significantly weaker orienting attention to cues and inhibitory processing than the controls but not the ADHD sample. Conclusions These findings provide evidence for the familial association of attentional orienting and response inhibition processes with ADHD in adults and indicate a familial and neurobiological link between ADHD in children and adults.

  14. Spatial attention modulates early face processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Wenfeng; Martinez, Antigona; Pitts, Michael; Luo, Yue-Jia; Hillyard, Steven A

    2012-12-01

    It is widely reported that inverting a face dramatically affects its recognition. Previous studies have shown that face inversion increases the amplitude and delays the latency of the face-specific N170 component of the event-related potential (ERP) and also enhances the amplitude of the occipital P1 component (latency 100-132 ms). The present study investigates whether these effects of face inversion can be modulated by visual spatial attention. Participants viewed two streams of visual stimuli, one to the left and one to the right of fixation. One stream consisted of a sequence of alphanumeric characters at 6.67 Hz, and the other stream consisted of a series of upright and inverted images of faces and houses presented in randomized order. The participants' task was to attend selectively to one or the other of the streams (during different blocks) in order to detect infrequent target stimuli. ERPs elicited by inverted faces showed larger P1 amplitudes compared to upright faces, but only when the faces were attended. In contrast, the N170 amplitude was larger to inverted than to upright faces only when the faces were not attended. The N170 peak latency was delayed to inverted faces regardless of attention condition. These inversion effects were face specific, as similar effects were absent for houses. These results suggest that early stages of face-specific processing can be enhanced by attention, but when faces are not attended the onset of face-specific processing is delayed until the latency range of the N170.

  15. Xavier Preparatory Academy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Students of Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans watch clouds shift across the globe in near-real time on 'Science on a Sphere' during a recent visit to StenniSphere, the visitor center at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center. Four projectors work in sync with the suspended sphere to create a revolving display of a planet's atmosphere, oceans and land; to show documentary movies; or to project models of climate change using satellite data. Pictured are students (l to r) Ashante Snowton, Robriane Larry, Zhane Farbe and Ebony Johnson.

  16. Xavier Preparatory Academy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Students of Xavier University Preparatory School in New Orleans watch clouds shift across the globe in near-real time on 'Science on a Sphere' during a recent visit to StenniSphere, the visitor center at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center. Four projectors work in sync with the suspended sphere to create a revolving display of a planet's atmosphere, oceans and land; to show documentary movies; or to project models of climate change using satellite data. Pictured are students (l to r) Ashante Snowton, Robriane Larry, Zhane Farbe and Ebony Johnson.

  17. Comparative Aspects of Multiple Processes of Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-05-01

    who were " overtrained " on the valid task, because observers who were initially started with 20% invalid trials showed the same effect. Although the...a Posner, M. I., Walker, J. A., Friedrich, F. J., & Rafal, R. D. (1984). Effects of parietal injury on covert orienting of attention. Journal of

  18. [Prefrontal cortex in memory and attention processes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allegri, R F; Harris, P

    The role of the prefrontal cortex still remains poorly understood. Only after 1970, the functions of the frontal lobes have been conceptualized from different points of view (behaviorism, cognitivism). Recently,different parallel circuits connecting discrete cortical and subcortical regions of the frontal lobes have been described. Three of these circuits are the most relevant to understanding of behavior: the dorsolateral prefrontal circuit, that mediates executive behavior; the orbitofrontal prefrontal circuit, mediating social behavior, and the medial frontal circuit, involved in motivation. Damage to the frontal cortex impairs planning, problem solving, reasoning, concept formation, temporal ordering of stimuli, estimation, attention, memory search, maintaining information in working memory, associative learning,certain forms of skilled motor activities, image generation and manipulation of the spatial properties of a stimulus, metacognitive thinking, and social cognition. Several theories have been proposed to explain the functions of the prefrontal cortex. Currently,the most influential cognitive models are: the Norman and Shallice supervisory attentional system, involved in non-routine selection; the Baddeley working memory model with the central executive as a supervisory controlling system, in which impairment leads to a 'dysexecutive syndrome'; and the Grafman's model of managerial knowledge units, stored as macrostructured information in the frontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is essential for attentional control, manipulation of stored knowledge and modulation of complex actions, cognition, emotion and behavior.

  19. Attention and Visuospatial Working Memory Share the Same Processing Resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing eFeng

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Attention and visuospatial working memory (VWM share very similar characteristics; both have the same upper bound of about four items in capacity and they recruit overlapping brain regions. We examined whether both attention and visuospatial working memory share the same processing resources using a novel dual-task-costs approach based on a load-varying dual-task technique. With sufficiently large loads on attention and VWM, considerable interference between the two processes was observed. A further load increase on either process produced reciprocal increases in interference on both processes, indicating that attention and VWM share common resources. More critically, comparison among four experiments on the reciprocal interference effects, as measured by the dual-task costs, demonstrates no significant contribution from additional processing other than the shared processes. These results support the notion that attention and VWM share the same processing resources.

  20. Attentional modulation of emotional conflict processing with flanker tasks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pingyan Zhou

    Full Text Available Emotion processing has been shown to acquire priority by biasing allocation of attentional resources. Aversive images or fearful expressions are processed quickly and automatically. Many existing findings suggested that processing of emotional information was pre-attentive, largely immune from attentional control. Other studies argued that attention gated the processing of emotion. To tackle this controversy, the current study examined whether and to what degrees attention modulated processing of emotion using a stimulus-response-compatibility (SRC paradigm. We conducted two flanker experiments using color scale faces in neutral expressions or gray scale faces in emotional expressions. We found SRC effects for all three dimensions (color, gender, and emotion and SRC effects were larger when the conflicts were task relevant than when they were task irrelevant, suggesting that conflict processing of emotion was modulated by attention, similar to those of color and face identity (gender. However, task modulation on color SRC effect was significantly greater than that on gender or emotion SRC effect, indicating that processing of salient information was modulated by attention to a lesser degree than processing of non-emotional stimuli. We proposed that emotion processing can be influenced by attentional control, but at the same time salience of emotional information may bias toward bottom-up processing, rendering less top-down modulation than that on non-emotional stimuli.

  1. Attentional modulation of emotional conflict processing with flanker tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Pingyan; Liu, Xun

    2013-01-01

    Emotion processing has been shown to acquire priority by biasing allocation of attentional resources. Aversive images or fearful expressions are processed quickly and automatically. Many existing findings suggested that processing of emotional information was pre-attentive, largely immune from attentional control. Other studies argued that attention gated the processing of emotion. To tackle this controversy, the current study examined whether and to what degrees attention modulated processing of emotion using a stimulus-response-compatibility (SRC) paradigm. We conducted two flanker experiments using color scale faces in neutral expressions or gray scale faces in emotional expressions. We found SRC effects for all three dimensions (color, gender, and emotion) and SRC effects were larger when the conflicts were task relevant than when they were task irrelevant, suggesting that conflict processing of emotion was modulated by attention, similar to those of color and face identity (gender). However, task modulation on color SRC effect was significantly greater than that on gender or emotion SRC effect, indicating that processing of salient information was modulated by attention to a lesser degree than processing of non-emotional stimuli. We proposed that emotion processing can be influenced by attentional control, but at the same time salience of emotional information may bias toward bottom-up processing, rendering less top-down modulation than that on non-emotional stimuli.

  2. How spatial attention and attentional resources influence the processing of emotional visual scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez, Aida; Calvo, Manuel G

    2010-08-01

    Pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant pictures appeared for 150 ms in either peripheral or foveal vision, with or without a concurrent foveal load task. Participants indicated whether the visual scene in the picture was or was not pleasant, or was or was not unpleasant. The manipulation of picture location (foveal vs. peripheral) aimed to tap spatial attention, while the perceptual load task was used to manipulate the availability of attentional resources. Results showed that emotional valence was discriminated above the chance level even in the attentionally-constrained conditions (peripheral presentation combined with perceptual load). Nevertheless, valence encoding depended on both attentional mechanisms, as indicated by reductions in accuracy and by slowed reaction times in valence identification when attention was allocated elsewhere, relative to when the scene appeared at fixation and when there was no concurrent task. This indicates that emotional processing requires attention.

  3. Directed and motivated attention during processing of natural scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Vera; Codispoti, Maurizio; Cardinale, Rossella; Bradley, Margaret M

    2008-10-01

    Visual attention can be voluntarily oriented to detect target stimuli in order to facilitate goal-directed behaviors. Other visual stimuli capture attention because of motivational significance. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between directed and motivated attention using event-related potentials. Affectively engaging pictures were presented either as target stimuli or as nontargets in a categorization task. Results indicated that both task relevance and emotional significance modulated the late positive potential (LPP) over centro-parietal sensors. Effects of directed and motivated attention on the LPP were additive, with the largest centro-parietal positivity found for emotional pictures that were targets of directed attention, and the least for neutral pictures that were nontargets. Taken together, the data provide new information regarding the relationship between motivated and directed attention, and suggest that the LPP reflects the operation of attentional neural circuits that are utilized by both top-down and bottom-up processes.

  4. Automatic/Control Processing and Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-04-01

    experiments. American Scientist, 1969, 57, 421-457. (a) Sternberg, S. The discovery of processing stages: Extensions of Donder’s method . In W. G. Koster...Research Institute, Alexandria, VA H. O’Neil, Army Research Institute, Alexandria, VA R. Sasmor, Army Reseach Institute, Alexandria, VA J. Ward, U.S...DARPA, Arlington, VA P. Chapin, Linguistics Program, NSF, Washington, DC S. Chipman, National Institute of Education, Washington, DC W. McLaurin, Camp

  5. Effects of valence and divided attention on cognitive reappraisal processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, John A; Leclerc, Christina M; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2014-12-01

    Numerous studies have investigated the neural substrates supporting cognitive reappraisal, identifying the importance of cognitive control processes implemented by prefrontal cortex (PFC). This study examined how valence and attention affect the processes used for cognitive reappraisal by asking participants to passively view or to cognitively reappraise positive and negative images with full or divided attention. When participants simply viewed these images, results revealed few effects of valence or attention. However, when participants engaged in reappraisal, there was a robust effect of valence, with the reappraisal of negative relative to positive images associated with more widespread activation, including within regions of medial and lateral PFC. There also was an effect of attention, with more lateral PFC recruitment when regulating with full attention and more medial PFC recruitment when regulating with divided attention. Within two regions of medial PFC and one region of ventrolateral PFC, there was an interaction between valence and attention: in these regions, divided attention reduced activity during reappraisal of positive but not negative images. Critically, participants continued to report reappraisal success even during the Divided Attention condition. These results suggest multiple routes to successful cognitive reappraisal, depending upon image valence and the availability of attentional resources.

  6. Attention Modulates the Neural Processes Underlying Multisensory Integration of Emotion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Tam Ho

    2011-10-01

    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.

  7. Latencies in BOLD response during visual attention processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellermann, Thilo; Reske, Martina; Jansen, Andreas; Satrapi, Peyman; Shah, N Jon; Schneider, Frank; Habel, Ute

    2011-04-22

    One well-investigated division of attentional processes focuses on alerting, orienting and executive control, which can be assessed applying the attentional network test (ANT). The goal of the present study was to add further knowledge about the temporal dynamics of relevant neural correlates. As a right hemispheric dominance for alerting and orienting has previously been reported for intrinsic but not for phasic alertness, we additionally addressed a potential impact of this lateralization of attention by employing a lateralized version of the ANT, capturing phasic alertness processes. Sixteen healthy subjects underwent event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing the ANT. Analyses of BOLD magnitude replicated the engagement of a fronto-parietal network in the attentional subsystems. The amplitudes of the attentional contrasts interacted with visual field presentation in the sense that the thalamus revealed a greater involvement for spatially cued items presented in the left visual field. Comparisons of BOLD latencies in visual cortices, first, verified faster BOLD responses following contra-lateral stimulus presentation. Second and more importantly, we identified attention-modulated activation in secondary visual and anterior cingulate cortices. Results are discussed in terms of bottom-up and lateralization processes. Although intrinsic and phasic alertness are distinct cognitive processes, we propose that neural substrates of intrinsic alertness may be accessed by phasic alertness provided that the attention-dominant (i.e., the right) hemisphere is activated directly by a warning stimulus.

  8. Self-Referenced Processing, Neurodevelopment and Joint Attention in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundy, Peter; Gwaltney, Mary; Henderson, Heather

    2010-01-01

    This article describes a parallel and distributed processing model (PDPM) of joint attention, self-referenced processing and autism. According to this model, autism involves early impairments in the capacity for rapid, integrated processing of self-referenced (proprioceptive and interoceptive) and other-referenced (exteroceptive) information.…

  9. The effect of attention to distractor on inhibitory processes in selective attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GENG Haiyan; SONG Qianlan; LI Yunfeng; ZHU Ying

    2005-01-01

    Selective attention has been viewed as a dualprocess mechanism, that is, exciting targets and inhibiting distractors. Most early studies concentrated mainly on the target-excitation, whereas recent investigations began to pay more attention to the inhibitory selective attention mechanism. A measure named negative priming (NP) was extensively employed to probe into the inhibitory processes. The Houghton and Tipper Model put forward a notion: the inhibition that feeds back to the distractor is reactive. That means, the level of inhibition is determined by the activation state of the distractor. Distractors that are more salient and intrude into the control of action receive greater inhibitory feedbacks than less salient distractors. Because increasing attention to an object would enhance the early processing of this object, we thus hypothesized that augmenting the level of attention to a distractor might lead to a higher level of inhibition, revealed as a corresponding augmentation in the magnitude of NP effect. To test this assumption, an object- based identification task was then applied, and participants were asked to make the animate/inanimate categorization. Attention level was manipulated by varying the relative spatial locations of target and distractor (overlapped or separated). A reliable greater NP effect was found in the overlapped than separated condition, indicating that distractors under the high-level attention condition (overlapped) got greater initial excitation, and then evoked greater subsequent inhibitory feedbacks, therefore resulting in a larger NP effect. These results provide direct evidence for the reactive inhibition suggested by the Houghton and Tipper model. Meanwhile a coincident greater positive priming (PP) effect was obtained under the overlapped than separated condition, which could be attributed to the higher level of target activation in the overlapped condition. The covariation of NP and PP effects further confirmed that the way of

  10. Thalamic circuit mechanisms link sensory processing in sleep and attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhe eChen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The correlation between sleep integrity and attentional performance is normally interpreted as poor sleep causing impaired attention. Here, we provide an alternative explanation for this correlation: common thalamic circuits regulate sensory processing across sleep and attention, and their disruption may lead to correlated dysfunction. Using multi-electrode recordings in mice, we find that rate and rhythmicity of thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN neurons are predictive of their functional organization in sleep and suggestive of their participation in sensory processing across states. Surprisingly, TRN neurons associated with spindles in sleep are also associated with alpha oscillations during attention. As such, we propose that common thalamic circuit principles regulate sensory processing in a state-invariant manner and that in certain disorders, targeting these circuits may be a more viable therapeutic strategy than considering individual states in isolation.

  11. Face processing is gated by visual spatial attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy E Crist

    2008-03-01

    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

  12. Children's Attentional Processing of Mother and Proximity Seeking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guy Bosmans

    Full Text Available Attachment expectations regarding the availability of mother as a source for support are supposed to influence distressed children's support seeking behavior. Because research is needed to better understand the mechanisms related to support seeking behavior, this study tested the hypothesis that the cognitive processing of mother-related information is linked to proximity and support seeking behavior. Uncertainty in maternal support has been shown to be characterized by a biased attentional encoding of mother, reducing the breadth of children's attentional field around her. We investigated whether this attentional bias is related to how long distressed children wait before seeking their mother's proximity. Thirty-three children (9-11 years participated in this study that consisted of experimental tasks to measure attentional breadth and to observe proximity seeking behavior and of questionnaires to measure confidence in maternal support and experienced distress. Results suggested that distressed children with a more narrow attentional field around their mother wait longer to seek her proximity. Key Message: These findings provide a first support for the hypothesis that the attentional processing of mother is related to children's attachment behavior.

  13. Attentive and pre-attentive processes in change detection and identification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard C Hughes

    Full Text Available In studies of change blindness, observers often have the phenomenological impression that the blindness is overcome all at once, so that change detection, localization and identification apparently occur together. Three experiments are described that explore dissociations between these processes using a discrete trial procedure in which 2 visual frames are presented sequentially with no intervening inter-frame-interval. The results reveal that change detection and localization are essentially perfect under these conditions regardless of the number of elements in the display, which is consistent with the idea that change detection and localization are mediated by pre-attentive parallel processes.In contrast, identification accuracy for an item before it changes is generally poor, and is heavily dependent on the number of items displayed. Identification accuracy after a change is substantially better, but depends on the new item's duration. This suggests that the change captures attention, which substantially enhances the likelihood of correctly identifying the new item. However, the results also reveal a limited capacity to identify unattended items. Specifically, we provide evidence that strongly suggests that, at least under these conditions, observers were able to identify two items without focused attention. Our results further suggest that spatial pre-cues that attract attention to an item before the change occurs simply ensure that the cued item is one of the two whose identity is encoded.

  14. A preparatory interview for the neophyte group therapist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloch, S; Knox, J

    1982-12-01

    On the premiss that an important aim of the initial phase of supervision of the neophyte group psychotherapist is to convert a new and threatening situation into an old and familiar one, the function of a preparatory interview--whose focus was the therapist's set of expectations about his impending experience of leading a group--was examined. The findings of a series of 26 interviews point to the need for a systematic controlled study to test the effects of a preparatory interview of the trainee therapist on group process and leadership behaviour.

  15. Preparatory Effects of Distractor Suppression: Evidence from Visual Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    Jaap Munneke; Heslenfeld, Dirk J; W Martin Usrey; Jan Theeuwes; Mangun, George R.

    2011-01-01

    Spatial selective attention is the mechanism that facilitates the selection of relevant information over irrelevant information in the visual field. The current study investigated whether foreknowledge of the presence or absence of distractors surrounding an impending target stimulus results in preparatory changes in visual cortex. We cued the location of the target and the presence or absence of distractors surrounding the target while changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signals w...

  16. Unintentionality of affective attention across visual processing stages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uusberg, Andero; Uibo, Helen; Kreegipuu, Kairi; Tamm, Maria; Raidvee, Aire; Allik, Jüri

    2013-01-01

    Affective attention involves bottom-up perceptual selection that prioritizes motivationally significant stimuli. To clarify the extent to which this process is automatic, we investigated the dependence of affective attention on the intention to process emotional meaning. Affective attention was manipulated by presenting affective images with variable arousal and intentionality by requiring participants to make affective and non-affective evaluations. Polytomous rather than binary decisions were required from the participants in order to elicit relatively deep emotional processing. The temporal dynamics of prioritized processing were assessed using early posterior negativity (EPN, 175-300 ms) as well as P3-like (P3, 300-500 ms) and slow wave (SW, 500-1500 ms) portions of the late positive potential. All analyzed components were differentially sensitive to stimulus categories suggesting that they indeed reflect distinct stages of motivational significance encoding. The intention to perceive emotional meaning had no effect on EPN, an additive effect on P3, and an interactive effect on SW. We concluded that affective attention went from completely unintentional during the EPN to partially unintentional during P3 and SW where top-down signals, respectively, complemented and modulated bottom-up differences in stimulus prioritization. The findings were interpreted in light of two-stage models of visual perception by associating the EPN with large-capacity initial relevance detection and the P3 as well as SW with capacity-limited consolidation and elaboration of affective stimuli.

  17. Unintentionality of affective attention across visual processing stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andero eUusberg

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Affective attention involves bottom-up perceptual selection that prioritizes motivationally significant stimuli. To clarify the extent to which this process is automatic, we investigated the dependence of affective attention on the intention to process emotional meaning. Affective attention was manipulated by presenting IAPS images with variable arousal and intentionality by requiring participants to make affective and non-affective evaluations. Polytomous rather than binary decisions were required from the participants in order to elicit relatively deep emotional processing. The temporal dynamics of prioritized processing were assessed using Early Posterior Negativity (EPN, 175-300 ms as well as P3-like (P3, 300 – 500 ms and Slow Wave (SW, 500 – 1500 ms portions of the Late Positive Potential. All analysed components were differentially sensitive to stimulus categories suggesting that they indeed reflect distinct stages of motivational significance encoding. The intention to perceive emotional meaning had no effect on EPN, an additive effect on P3, and an interactive effect on SW. We concluded that affective attention went from completely unintentional during the EPN to partially unintentional during P3 and SW where top-down signals, respectively, complemented and modulated bottom-up differences in stimulus prioritization. The findings were interpreted in light of two-stage models of visual perception by associating the EPN with large-capacity initial relevance detection and the P3 as well as SW with capacity-limited consolidation and elaboration of affective stimuli.

  18. Components of attention in synaesthesia‐congruent grapheme processing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ásgeirsson, Árni Gunnar; Nordfang, Maria; Overgaard, Morten

    durations and target‐to‐distractor ratios and fitted the resulting data to a generic TVA‐based model (Bundesen, 1990). This model enabled us to estimate if the stimulus congruence affected discrete attentional parameters; namely the threshold for letter recognition, processing speed, selectivity and visual......The relationship between attention and colour‐grapheme synaesthesia has been investigated in numerous studies and from multiple viewpoints. One aspect, largely neglected in the literature, is how synaesthetes attend to stimuli, congruent with their experiences. Here we investigated whether...... the colours of briefly presented alphanumeric characters would differentially affect attentional parameters, dependent on congruence with the observers’ synaesthesia. Colour‐grapheme associations were mapped for 9 synaesthetes and psychophysical data collected in a mixed whole and partial report paradigm...

  19. Components of attention in synaesthesia‐congruent grapheme processing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ásgeirsson, Árni Gunnar; Nordfang, Maria; Overgaard, Morten

    The relationship between attention and colour‐grapheme synaesthesia has been investigated in numerous studies and from multiple viewpoints. One aspect, largely neglected in the literature, is how synaesthetes attend to stimuli, congruent with their experiences. Here we investigated whether...... the colours of briefly presented alphanumeric characters would differentially affect attentional parameters, dependent on congruence with the observers’ synaesthesia. Colour‐grapheme associations were mapped for 9 synaesthetes and psychophysical data collected in a mixed whole and partial report paradigm...... durations and target‐to‐distractor ratios and fitted the resulting data to a generic TVA‐based model (Bundesen, 1990). This model enabled us to estimate if the stimulus congruence affected discrete attentional parameters; namely the threshold for letter recognition, processing speed, selectivity and visual...

  20. Evolution of attention mechanisms for early visual processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Thomas; Knoll, Alois

    2011-03-01

    Early visual processing as a method to speed up computations on visual input data has long been discussed in the computer vision community. The general target of a such approaches is to filter nonrelevant information from the costly higher-level visual processing algorithms. By insertion of this additional filter layer the overall approach can be speeded up without actually changing the visual processing methodology. Being inspired by the layered architecture of the human visual processing apparatus, several approaches for early visual processing have been recently proposed. Most promising in this field is the extraction of a saliency map to determine regions of current attention in the visual field. Such saliency can be computed in a bottom-up manner, i.e. the theory claims that static regions of attention emerge from a certain color footprint, and dynamic regions of attention emerge from connected blobs of textures moving in a uniform way in the visual field. Top-down saliency effects are either unconscious through inherent mechanisms like inhibition-of-return, i.e. within a period of time the attention level paid to a certain region automatically decreases if the properties of that region do not change, or volitional through cognitive feedback, e.g. if an object moves consistently in the visual field. These bottom-up and top-down saliency effects have been implemented and evaluated in a previous computer vision system for the project JAST. In this paper an extension applying evolutionary processes is proposed. The prior vision system utilized multiple threads to analyze the regions of attention delivered from the early processing mechanism. Here, in addition, multiple saliency units are used to produce these regions of attention. All of these saliency units have different parameter-sets. The idea is to let the population of saliency units create regions of attention, then evaluate the results with cognitive feedback and finally apply the genetic mechanism

  1. Mental fatigue impairs pre-attentive processing: a MMN study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Bo; Xiao, Wei; Liu, Xufeng; Wu, Shengjun; Miao, Danmin

    2013-01-04

    Individuals frequently experience mental fatigue during or after prolonged periods of cognitive activity. We investigated the effects of mental fatigue on the ability to detect minor changes in the pre-attentive stage of information processing by recoding MMN of ERP components. The equal probable paradigm was employed to elicit pure memory-comparison-based MMN component. Mental fatigue was induced by the continuous performance for 2h of mental arithmetic tasks. MMN amplitudes at fronto-central electrode sites were significantly decreased in subjects with mental fatigue than in subjects under control conditions, whereas temporal MMN was not affected by mental fatigue. These results suggest that mental fatigue impairs pre-attentive processing.

  2. (De)Motivation in Preparatory EFL Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vefali, Gülsen Musayeva; Ayan, Hatice Ç.

    2015-01-01

    This survey study aimed to explore EFL learners' (de)motivation in the preparatory classes at a tertiary institution in Northern Cyprus. It administered questionnaires to 105 preparatory learners and 30 language teachers. The statistical analysis revealed the Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficient of 0.88 for the Learners' version, and 0.89 for…

  3. Nicotine self-medication of cognitive-attentional processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, David E; Drobes, David J

    2009-01-01

    This article selectively reviews research concerning nicotine's effects on cognition, including the neurobiological mechanism for these effects, task and experimental features that may be important for elucidating these effects, and why these effects may have amplified motivational significance among smokers with cognitive deficit. Nicotine has effects on various cognitive processes, though most studies in humans have focused on the amelioration of cognitive deficits experienced during drug withdrawal. The direct cognitive-enhancing effect of nicotine remains a controversial topic. The relationship between attentional and non-attentional cognitive effects of nicotine is discussed in the context of cognitive self-medication. Further research should include theory-driven examination of cognitive effects of nicotine, and develop targeted smoking cessation programs based on an improved understanding of the role of cognitive self-medication in high-risk individuals.

  4. Function of attention in learning process in the olfactory bulb

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马宝生; 王顺鹏; 李岩; 冯春华; 郭爱克

    2003-01-01

    It has been suggested that in the olfactory bulb, odor information is processed through parallel channels and learning depends on the cognitive environment. The synapse's spike effective time is defined as the effective time for a spike from pre-synapse to post-synapse, which varies with the type of synapse. A learning model of the olfactory bulb was constructed for synapses with varying spike effective times. The simulation results showed that such a model can realize the multi-channel processing of information in the bulb. Furthermore, the effect of the cognitive environment on the learning process was also studied. Different feedback frequencies were used to express different attention states. Considering the information's multi-channel processing requirement for learning, a learning rule considering both spike timing and average spike frequency is proposed. Simulation results showed that habituation and anti-habituation of an odor in the olfactory bulb might be the result of learning guided by a common local learning rule but at different attention states.

  5. [Posner's theory of attention: right hemisphere processing advantage in extended attention].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, J; Beauducel, A; Brocke, B

    2000-01-01

    Posner proposed a theory of attention based on target detection, visual orienting, and alertness. The latter is supposed to use brain structures mainly located in the right hemisphere. Whitehead found a right hemisphere processing superiority during sustained attention. An additional auditory stimulus is thought to produce a change of alertness and should interfere with this asymmetry, which Whitehead was able to show, too. It remains unclear how the left hemisphere is activated by right hemisphere pathways. Therefore we tried to replicate Whitehead's findings. In our first experiment the expected interaction between visual field, foreperiod duration, and tone was obtained. Probably the tone used in our experiment was not intense enough to produce a sufficient change in alertness. We used a more intense tone in a second experiment. This time a three-way interaction was present but could not be interpreted in terms of Whitehead's assumptions. Instead, the additional alerting stimulus seems to influence the state of alertness in a much more general and long-lasting way.

  6. Frontoparietal traffic signals: a fast optical imaging study of preparatory dynamics in response mode switching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baniqued, Pauline L; Low, Kathy A; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele

    2013-06-01

    Coordination between networks of brain regions is important for optimal cognitive performance, especially in attention demanding tasks. With the event-related optical signal (a measure of changes in optical scattering because of neuronal activity) we can characterize rapidly evolving network processes by examining the millisecond-scale temporal correlation of activity in distinct regions during the preparatory period of a response mode switching task. Participants received a precue indicating whether to respond vocally or manually. They then saw or heard the letter "L" or "R," indicating a "left" or "right" response to be implemented with the appropriate response modality. We employed lagged cross-correlations to characterize the dynamic connectivity of preparatory processes. Our results confirmed coupling of frontal and parietal cortices and the trial-dependent relationship of the right frontal cortex with response preparation areas. The frontal-to-modality-specific cortex cross-correlations revealed a pattern in which first irrelevant regions were deactivated, and then relevant regions were activated. These results provide a window into the subsecond scale network interactions that flexibly tune to task demands.

  7. Divided Attention and Processes Underlying Sense of Agency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen eWen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Sense of agency refers to the subjective feeling of controlling events through one’s behavior or will. Sense of agency results from matching predictions of one’s own actions with actual feedback regarding the action. Furthermore, when an action involves a cued goal, performance-based inference contributes to sense of agency. That is, if people achieve their goal, they would believe themselves to be in control. Previous studies have shown that both action-effect comparison and performance-based inference contribute to sense of agency; however, the dominance of one process over the other may shift based on task conditions such as the presence or absence of specific goals. In this study, we examined the influence of divided attention on these two processes underlying sense of agency in two conditions. In the experimental task, participants continuously controlled a moving dot for 10 s while maintaining a string of three or seven digits in working memory. We found that when there was no cued goal (no-cued-goal condition, sense of agency was impaired by high cognitive load. Contrastingly, when participants controlled the dot based on a cued goal (cued-goal-directed condition, their sense of agency was lower than in the no-cued-goal condition and was not affected by cognitive load. The results suggest that the action-effect comparison process underlying sense of agency requires attention. On the other hand, the weaker influence of divided attention in the cued-goal-directed condition could be attributed to the dominance of performance-based inference, which is probably automatic.

  8. Interdisciplinarity in work process at a Psychosocial Attention Center

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Salete Bessa Jorge

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To analyze the work process of mental health professionals from a Psychosocial Attention Center (CAPS, from the knowledge and the practices applied in the production of care and its interface with user’s demands and the service offering. Methods: A case study with qualitative approach. Twenty-eight subjects joined in and were divided into three groups: I (eleven mental health workers, II (eleven users e III (six family members. The semistructured interview was used besides systematic observation, in the search for data about the work process of the professionals of the Psychosocial Attention Center, the relationship between team and user, offering and demand, access, technologies of care, knowledge and practices and interdisciplinarity. The investigation was based upon critical content analysis and was oriented by the flowchart analyzer. Results: The service organization and its work process are directed to the immediate supply of the population’s demands, which depicts a care based on prescriptive practices. Thus, the flow of assistance and the service offering complement each other in the need of a procedure and in its exhaustive offering by the service, dissolving interdisciplinary conductions of intervention shared with the user.Conclusion: Mental health care is still surrounded by biomedical hegemony centered in procedures directed to pharmacological prescription. Despite this reality, the work centered on the user and the utilization of soft technologies – communication, link, welcoming – begin to take part of the daily CAPS service offering, although it is only present in specific activities of certain procedures.

  9. Word semantics is processed even without attentional effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Relander, Kristiina; Rämä, Pia; Kujala, Teija

    2009-08-01

    We examined the attentional modulation of semantic priming and the N400 effect for spoken words. The aim was to find out how the semantics of spoken language is processed when attention is directed to another modality (passive task), to the phonetics of spoken words (phonological task), or to the semantics of spoken words (word task). Equally strong behavioral priming effects were obtained in the phonological and the word tasks. A significant N400 effect was found in all tasks. The effect was stronger in the word and the phonological tasks than in the passive task, but there was no difference in the magnitude of the effect between the phonological and the word tasks. The latency of the N400 effect did not differ between the tasks. Although the N400 effect had a centroparietal maximum in the phonological and the word tasks, it was largest at the parietal recording sites in the passive task. The effect was more pronounced at the left than right recording sites in the phonological task, but there was no laterality effect in the other tasks. The N400 effect in the passive task indicates that semantic priming occurs even when spoken words are not actively attended. However, stronger N400 effect in the phonological and the word tasks than in the passive task suggests that controlled processes modulate the N400 effect. The finding that there were no differences in the N400 effect between the phonological and the word tasks indicates that the semantics of attended spoken words is processed regardless of whether semantic processing is relevant for task performance.

  10. [Third preparatory committee for the International Conference on Population and Development. Peru presentation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, C

    1994-01-01

    This address by the Peruvian delegation to the Third Preparatory Committee Meeting for the International Conference on Population and Development focuses on four points in the proposed Plan of Action that might require further development. First, the link between drug trafficking and environmental degradation should be recognized. Cultivation of narcotic plants contributes to deforestation of the tropical forest and contamination of rivers, and along with terrorism has caused considerable population movement in Peru. The second point is that widespread poverty, limited investment in human capital, insufficient institutional capacity, and the external debt burden of the developing countries are clearly interrelated with sociodemographic processes and decisively affect the capacity of the nation to implement population policies and programs as a function of current and future international commitments. The third point is that, in the area of information, education, and communication, attention should be given to the entire life cycle and the entirety of themes related to population. Finally, coordinated programs between public and private institutions and nongovernmental organizations at the national level, and between the U.N. Population Fund, the Population Commission, and the Commission on Sustainable Development at the international level, should be organized to assure effective follow-up on Plan of Action proposals and agreements. Peru has participated in a wide variety of international conferences and activities related to population, and was a major participant in the subregional preparatory conference of the Andean nations.

  11. Irrelevant stimulus processing in ADHD: catecholamine dynamics and attentional networks

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Aboitiz, Francisco; Ossandón, Tomás; Zamorano, Francisco; Palma, Bárbara; Carrasco, Ximena

    2014-01-01

    A cardinal symptom of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a general distractibility where children and adults shift their attentional focus to stimuli that are irrelevant to the ongoing behavior...

  12. Preparatory activity in visual cortex indexes distractor suppression during covert spatial orienting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serences, John T; Yantis, Steven; Culberson, Andrew; Awh, Edward

    2004-12-01

    The deployment of spatial attention induces retinotopically specific increases in neural activity that occur even before a target stimulus is presented. Although this preparatory activity is thought to prime the attended regions, thereby improving perception and recognition, it is not yet clear whether this activity is a manifestation of signal enhancement at the attended locations or suppression of interference from distracting stimuli (or both). We investigated the functional role of these preparatory shifts by isolating a distractor suppression component of selection. Behavioral data have shown that manipulating the probability that visual distractors will appear modulates distractor suppression without concurrent changes in signal enhancement. In 2 experiments, functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed increased cue-evoked activity in retinotopically specific regions of visual cortex when increased distractor suppression was elicited by a high probability of distractors. This finding directly links cue-evoked preparatory activity in visual cortex with a distractor suppression component of visual selective attention.

  13. Auditory pre-attentive processing of Chinese tones

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANG Li-jun; CAO Ke-li; WEI Chao-gang; LIU Yong-zhi

    2008-01-01

    Background Chinese tones are considered important in Chinese discrimination.However,the relevant reports on auditory central mechanisms concerning Chinese tones are limited.In this study,mismatch negativity (MMN),one of the event related potentials (ERP),was used to investigate pre-attentive processing of Chinese tones,and the differences between the function of oddball MMN and that of control MMN are discussed.Methods Ten subjects (six men and four women) with normal hearing participated in the study.A sequence was presented to these subjects through a loudspeaker,the sequence included four blocks,a control block and three oddball blocks.The control block was made up of five components (one pure tone and four Chinese tones) with equiprobability.The oddball blocks were made up of two components,one was a standard stimulus (tone 1) and the other was a deviant stimulus (tone 2 or tone 3 or tone 4).Electroencephalogram (EEG) data were recorded when the sequence was presented and MMNs were obtained from the analysis of the EEG data.Results Two kinds of MMNs were obtained,oddball MMN and control MMN.Oddball MMN was obtained by subtracting the ERP elicited by standard stimulation (tone 1) from that elicited by deviant stimulation (tone 2 or tone 3 or tone 4) in the oddball block; control MMN was obtained by subtracting the ERP elicited by the tone in control block,which was the same tone as the deviant stimulation in the oddball block,from the ERP elicited by deviant stimulation (tone 2 or tone 3 or tone 4)in the oddball block.There were two negative waves in oddball MMN,one appeared around 150 ms (oddball MMN 1),the other around 300 ms (oddball MMN 2).Only one negative wave appeared around 300 ms in control MMN,which was corresponding to the oddball MMN 2.We performed the statistical analyses in each paradigm for latencies and amplitudes for oddball MMN 2 in discriminating the three Chinese tones and reported no significant differences.But the latencies and amplitudes

  14. Attentional resource allocation in visuotactile processing depends on the task, but optimal visuotactile integration does not depend on attentional resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basil eWahn

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Humans constantly process and integrate sensory input from multiple sensory modalities. However, the amount of input that can be processed is constrained by limited attentional resources. A matter of ongoing debate is whether attentional resources are shared across sensory modalities, and whether multisensory integration is dependent on attentional resources. Previous research suggested that the distribution of attentional resources across sensory modalities depends on the the type of tasks. Here, we tested a novel task combination in a dual task paradigm: Participants performed a self-terminated visual search task and a localization task in either separate sensory modalities (i.e., haptics and vision or both within the visual modality. Tasks considerably interfered. However, participants performed the visual search task faster when the localization task was performed in the tactile modality in comparison to performing both tasks within the visual modality. This finding indicates that tasks performed in separate sensory modalities rely in part on distinct attentional resources. Nevertheless, participants integrated visuotactile information optimally in the localization task even when attentional resources were diverted to the visual search task. Overall, our findings suggest that visual search and tactile localization partly rely on distinct attentional resources, and that optimal visuotactile integration is not dependent on attentional resources.

  15. Supraspinal pain processing: distinct roles of emotion and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villemure, Chantal; Schweinhardt, Petra

    2010-06-01

    Attentional and emotional states alter the way we perceive pain. Recent findings suggest that the mechanisms underlying these two forms of pain modulation are at least partially separable. This concept is supported by the observation that attention and emotions differentially alter the sensory and affective dimensions of pain perception and apparently implicate different brain circuits. In this review, we will examine those recent findings within the broader cognitive neuroscience conceptualization of human attention and emotion and the corresponding functional neuroanatomy.

  16. Topography of somatosensory processing: cerebral lateralization and focused attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meador, K J; Allison, J D; Loring, D W; Lavin, T B; Pillai, J J

    2002-03-01

    Healthy dextrals underwent fMRI during a task of graphesthesia requiring detection of any number written consecutively from an otherwise random number sequence. Test conditions included (1) focus on unilateral right hand stimuli, (2) focus on unilateral left hand stimuli, (3) focus on right hand only during bilateral hand stimulation, (4) focus on left hand only during bilateral hand stimulation, and (5) rest. Attention to unilateral hand stimulation produced bihemispheric activation with minimal or no activation of ipsilateral primary sensorimotor region. Attention to unilateral left hand stimuli resulted in more activation than attention to unilateral right hand stimuli. Stimulation of the nonattended hand activated the contralateral somatosensory area, but to a lesser spatial extent than attended stimuli. Comparing focused attention to the left versus right side during identical sensory inputs (i.e., bilateral hand stimulation), focused attention to the right hand increased activation in the left somatosensory region, but focused attention to the left hand increased activation in both cerebral hemispheres. Thus, focused attention to unilateral somatosensory stimuli produces bilateral cerebral activation, but the increase in blood flow is greater in the contralateral hemisphere. Unattended stimuli activate the contralateral primary somatosensory area. Left/right asymmetries were demonstrated consistent with cerebral lateralization.

  17. Dissecting patterns of preparatory activity in the frontal eye fields during pursuit target selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghavan, Ramanujan T; Joshua, Mati

    2017-07-19

    We investigated the composition of preparatory activity of frontal eye field (FEF) neurons in monkeys performing a pursuit target selection task. In response to the orthogonal motion of a large and a small reward target, monkeys initiated pursuit biased towards the direction of large reward target motion. FEF neurons exhibited robust preparatory activity preceding movement initiation in this task. Preparatory activity consisted of two components, ramping activity that was constant across target selection conditions and a flat offset in firing rates that signaled the target selection condition. Ramping activity accounted for 50% of the variance in the preparatory activity and was linked most strongly, on a trial-by-trial basis, to pursuit eye movement latency rather than to its direction or gain. The offset in firing rates that discriminated target selection conditions accounted for 25% of the variance in the preparatory activity, and was commensurate with a winner-take-all representation signaling the direction of large reward target motion rather than a representation that matched the parameters of the upcoming movement. These offer new insights into the role the frontal eye fields play in target selection and pursuit control. They show that preparatory activity in the FEF signals more strongly when to move rather than where or how to move, and suggest that structures outside the FEF augment its contributions to the target selection process. Copyright © 2017, Journal of Neurophysiology.

  18. Less Efficient Neural Processing Related to Irregular Sleep and Less Sustained Attention in Toddlers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoyniak, Caroline P; Petersen, Isaac T; McQuillan, Maureen E; Staples, Angela D; Bates, John E

    2015-01-01

    The current study used event-related potentials to examine a candidate process through which sleep difficulties affect attentional processing in toddlers. Fifteen toddlers participated in an auditory Oddball task while neurophysiological data were collected. Sleep deficits were assessed using actigraphs, and attention was examined with a sustained attention task. A P3-like component was elicited from the toddlers, and longer target P3 latencies were associated with poorer sustained attention and irregular sleep. Findings suggest that irregular sleep is associated with less efficient attentional processing as reflected by the P3 component, and that longer target P3 latencies are associated with poorer sustained attention.

  19. Irrelevant stimulus processing in ADHD: catecholamine dynamics and attentional networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aboitiz, Francisco; Ossandón, Tomás; Zamorano, Francisco; Palma, Bárbara; Carrasco, Ximena

    2014-01-01

    A cardinal symptom of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a general distractibility where children and adults shift their attentional focus to stimuli that are irrelevant to the ongoing behavior. This has been attributed to a deficit in dopaminergic signaling in cortico-striatal networks that regulate goal-directed behavior. Furthermore, recent imaging evidence points to an impairment of large scale, antagonistic brain networks that normally contribute to attentional engagement and disengagement, such as the task-positive networks and the default mode network (DMN). Related networks are the ventral attentional network (VAN) involved in attentional shifting, and the salience network (SN) related to task expectancy. Here we discuss the tonic–phasic dynamics of catecholaminergic signaling in the brain, and attempt to provide a link between this and the activities of the large-scale cortical networks that regulate behavior. More specifically, we propose that a disbalance of tonic catecholamine levels during task performance produces an emphasis of phasic signaling and increased excitability of the VAN, yielding distractibility symptoms. Likewise, immaturity of the SN may relate to abnormal tonic signaling and an incapacity to build up a proper executive system during task performance. We discuss different lines of evidence including pharmacology, brain imaging and electrophysiology, that are consistent with our proposal. Finally, restoring the pharmacodynamics of catecholaminergic signaling seems crucial to alleviate ADHD symptoms; however, the possibility is open to explore cognitive rehabilitation strategies to top-down modulate network dynamics compensating the pharmacological deficits. PMID:24723897

  20. 42 CFR 136.320 - Preparatory scholarship grants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Preparatory scholarship grants. 136.320 Section 136... J-3-Health Professions Preparatory Scholarship Program for Indians § 136.320 Preparatory scholarship grants. Scholarship grants may be awarded under this subdivision and section 103 of the act for...

  1. Amphetamines modulate prefrontal γ oscillations during attention processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franzen, John D; Wilson, Tony W

    2012-08-22

    Amphetamine-based medications robustly suppress symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but their exact mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent hemodynamic imaging studies have suggested that amphetamines may modulate the prefrontal and anterior cingulate brain regions, although few studies have been published and the results have not been entirely consistent. Meanwhile, several electrophysiological studies have shown that abnormal fast oscillations (in the γ range) may be closely linked to inattention and other cardinal symptoms of ADHD. In this study, we utilized magnetoencephalography to examine how amphetamines modulate high-frequency brain activity in adults with ADHD. Participants performed an auditory attention task, which required sustained attention in one block and passive listening in a separate block. Participants completed the task twice in the on-medication and off-medication states. All data were analyzed using beamforming techniques to resolve cortical regions showing event-related synchronizations and desynchronizations. Our primary findings indicated that oral administration of amphetamine decreased γ-band event-related desynchronization activity significantly in the medial prefrontal area and decreased event-related synchronization in bilateral superior parietal areas, left inferior parietal, and the left inferior frontal gyrus. These results suggest that psychostimulants strongly modulate γ activity in frontal and parietal cortical areas, which are known to be central to the brain's core attentional networks.

  2. Attentional focus in social anxiety disorder: potential for interactive processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Luke T; Heimberg, Richard G

    2008-10-01

    The two preeminent cognitive behavioral models of social anxiety [Clark, D.M., & Wells, A., (1995). A cognitive model of social phobia. In Heimberg, R.G., Liebowitz, M., Hope, D.A., and Schneier, F.R. (Eds.), Social phobia: Diagnosis, assessment and treatment (pp. 69-93). New York: Guilford Press.; Rapee, R.M., & Heimberg, R.G., (1997). A cognitive behavioral model of anxiety in social phobia. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 35, 741-756.] suggest that attention to threat stimuli is critical in the maintenance of social fear. However, Clark and Wells assert that socially anxious persons attend almost exclusively to negative thoughts and self-imagery during social situations, whereas Rapee and Heimberg contend that socially anxious persons simultaneously attend to these internal cues and external stimuli potentially indicative of negative evaluation, such as an audience member's facial expressions. Rapee and Heimberg further suggest that attention to external and internal cues during social situations should be interdependent, such that focus on one has causal implications for the experience of the other. The current review examines the nature of the literature as it supports the assertions of each of these models of social anxiety, with particular attention to differing predictions regarding attentional focus. We conclude that socially anxious persons engage in both internal and external focus throughout the course of a social situation; however, there are a number of significant limitations to the literature. Accordingly, directions for future research are considered.

  3. Cultural Influence on Selective Attention Processes among Nigerian Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uba, Anselm

    Three experiments in auditory selective attention form the basis of this investigation of cross-cultural differences among the ethnic groups of the Ibo and Yoruba adolescents of Nigeria. A sample of 200 16-year-olds were randomly drawn from four secondary schools. Yoruba adolescents showed superior performance in a task-involving the repetition of…

  4. Irrelevant stimulus processing in ADHD: catecholamine dynamics and attentional networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco eAboitiz

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available A cardinal symptom of Attenion Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD is a general distractibility where children and adults shift their attentional focus to stimuli that are irrelevant to the ongoing behavior. This has been attributed to a deficit in dopaminergic signaling in cortico-striatal networks that regulate goal-directed behavior. Furthermore, recent imaging evidence points to an impairment of large scale, antagonistic brain networks that normally contribute to attentional engagement and disengagement, such as the task-positive networks and the Default Mode Network (DMN. Related networks are the ventral attentional network (VAN involved in attentional shifting, and the salience network (SN related to task expectancy. Here we discuss the tonic-phasic dynamics of catecholaminergic signaling in the brain, and attempt to provide a link between this and the activities of the large-scale cortical networks that regulate behavior. More specifically, we propose that a disbalance of tonic catecholamine levels during task performance produce an emphasis of phasic signaling and increased excitability of the VAN, yielding distractibility symptoms. Likewise, immaturity of the SN may relate to abnormal tonic signaling and an incapacity to build up a proper executive system during task performance. We discuss different lines of evidence including pharmacology, brain imaging and electrophysiology, that are consistent with our proposal. Finally, restoring the pharmacodynamics of catecholaminergic signaling seems crucial to alleviate ADHD symptoms; however, the possibility is open to explore cognitive rehabilitation strategies to top-down modulate network dynamics compensating the pharmacological deficits.

  5. The Role of Polyperspective Representations in Joint Attention Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zotov M.V.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of our work was to test the hypothesis that one's identification of objects of attention in an observed individual depends on his/her understanding of the context of a communicative situation based on the comparison of the participants' points of view. In the first experimental study the subjects (N=74 carried out visual search for objects of attention of participants of non-verbal communication scenes with/without information on the communication context provided, and with short/prolonged display of information for assessing gaze direction of the participants. Understanding the context resulted in a higher efficiency of identification and saccadic detection of the participants' objects of attention in the subjects, regardless of their access to the information on gaze direction. In the second experiment the subjects (N=32, after watching videos of communication episodes, were asked to search for changes of different objects in the scenes. Those subjects who had a clear understanding of the context of communication first of all noticed the changes in the future objects of attention of the participants, in spite of the absence of any 'hints' like head or eye orientation. The outcomes of the research are discussed within the framework of concepts focusing on the significance of polyperspective representations for the understanding of communicative signals

  6. Pre-attentive information processing and impulsivity in bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, Alan C; Lijffijt, Marijn; Lane, Scott D; Steinberg, Joel L; Acas, Michelle D; Cox, Blake; Moeller, F Gerard

    2013-12-01

    Early responses to stimuli can be measured by sensory evoked potentials (EP) using repeated identical stimuli, S1 and S2. Response to S1 may represent efficient stimulus detection, while suppression of response to S2 may represent inhibition. Early responses to stimuli may be related to impulsivity. We compared EP reflecting stimulus detection and inhibition in bipolar disorder and healthy controls, and investigated relationships to impulsivity. Subjects were 48 healthy controls without family histories of mood disorder and 48 with bipolar disorder. EP were measured as latencies and amplitudes for auditory P50 (pre-attentional), N100 (initial direction of attention) and P200 (initial conscious awareness), using a paired-click paradigm, with identical stimuli 0.5 s apart. Impulsivity was measured by questionnaire and by laboratory tests for inability to suppress responses to stimuli or to delay response for a reward. Analyses used general linear models. S1 amplitudes for P50, N100, and P200, and gating of N100 and P200, were lower in bipolar disorder than in controls. P50 S1 amplitude correlated with accurate laboratory-task responding, and S2 amplitude correlated with impulsive task performance and fast reaction times, in bipolar disorder. N100 and P200 EP did not correlate with impulsivity. These findings were independent of symptoms, treatment, or substance-use history. EPs were not related to questionnaire-measured or reward-based impulsivity. Bipolar I disorder is characterized by reduced pre-attentional and early attentional stimulus registration relative to controls. Within bipolar disorder, rapid-response impulsivity correlates with impaired pre-attentional response suppression. These results imply specific relationships between ERP-measured response inhibition and rapid-response impulsivity.

  7. Attentive processes, blood lactate and CrossFit(®).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perciavalle, Valentina; Marchetta, Nunzio Salvatore; Giustiniani, Salvatore; Borbone, Carlo; Perciavalle, Vincenzo; Petralia, Maria Cristina; Buscemi, Andrea; Coco, Marinella

    2016-11-01

    To analyze the influences of blood lactate produced during a specific session of CrossFit® on intensity and selectivity of attention. The first was evaluated by measuring the reaction time and the second by analyzing divided attention with a dual task. Fifteen male professionals of CrossFit® volunteered in the study. The training session was the Workout Of the Day (WOD) called 15.5, marked as: 27-21-15-9 repetitions (without recovery) in term of calories measured by using a rowing ergometer (e.g. 27 rowed calories) and in term of barbell full squats (raising a weight of 43 kg for men and of 29.5 kg for women). Blood lactate, blood glucose, reaction time, execution time of a dual task, number of errors and number of omissions were measured at rest, at the conclusion of the session and 15 minutes after its end. The levels of the blood lactate before the start of the session were considerably higher than those which normally occur at rest (CrossFit®, with high levels of blood lactate even at rest, should consequently have attentional performances somewhat limited.

  8. Role of parietal regions in episodic memory retrieval: The dual attentional processes hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    Cabeza, Roberto

    2008-01-01

    Although parietal cortex is frequently activated during episodic memory retrieval, damage to this region does not markedly impair episodic memory. To account for these and other findings, a new dual attentional processes (DAP) hypothesis is proposed. According to this hypothesis, dorsal parietal cortex (DPC) contributes top-down attentional processes guided by retrieval goals, whereas ventral parietal cortex (VPC) contributes bottom-up attentional processes captured by the retrieval output. C...

  9. Automatic and Controlled Attention Processes in Auditory Detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-02-01

    Research (Code 458) ...WKo. PAGE Arlington, Virginia 22217 _1 14 MONITORING AGENCY NAME 6 AODRESS(if dlN.UI be. C6w.lbojf Oee) IS. SECURITY CLASS. (of...o Ig aemep ad *sN I0p WoolF USI .. ) attention, dichotic listening, individual diff*erences, time-sharing, memory search, visual search, auditory...Charles V. Hutchins Code N-711 Naval Air Systems Command Hq NAVTRAEQUIPCEN A IR-34OF Orlando , FL 32813 Navy Department Washington, DC 20361 Chief of Naval

  10. Not so different after all: The same oscillatory processes support different types of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Julia Natascha; Ruhnau, Philipp; Weisz, Nathan

    2015-11-11

    Scientific research from the last two decades has provided a vast amount of evidence that brain oscillations reflect physiological activity enabling diverse cognitive processes. The goal of this review is to give a broad empirical and conceptual overview of how ongoing oscillatory activity may support attention processes. Keeping in mind that definitions of cognitive constructs like attention are prone to being blurry and ambiguous, the present review focuses mainly on the neural correlates of 'top-down' attention deployment. In particular, we will discuss modulations of (ongoing) oscillatory activity during spatial, temporal, selective, and internal attention. Across these seemingly distinct attentional domains, we will summarize studies showing the involvement of two oscillatory processes observed during attention deployment: power modulations mainly in the alpha band, and phase modulations in lower frequency bands. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Prediction and Attention.

  11. Pre-attentive processing and schizophrenia: animal studies.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ellenbroek, B.A.

    2004-01-01

    RATIONALE: Schizophrenia is characterized by a large variety of cognitive symptoms, among which information processing deficits have been extensively studied. So far, these aspects have been found to be remarkably stable and effective treatment is still lacking. Traditionally, information processing

  12. European Strategy Preparatory Group - CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

    CERN Multimedia

    2012-01-01

    As part of the Update of the European Strategy for Particle Physics, the European Strategy Preparatory Group (ESPG) welcomes submissions on issues related to the strategy from individual physicists, from groups of scientists representing a community (an experiment, a topic of theoretical research, etc.) as well as from Institutions and Organizations (funding agencies, ministries, etc).   These contributions will be discussed at the meetings of the Preparatory Group and during the Open Symposium to be held on 10-12 September 2012 in Cracow, and will be made available to the Strategy Group for drafting the Update of the Strategy. How to submit a contribution? Send your contribution on the scientific issues below using the form under http://indico.cern.ch/event/espg_input (preferably as an attached PDF file): - Accelerator Physics - Astroparticle Physics, Gravitation and Cosmology - Flavour Physics and Symmetries - Physics at High Energy Frontier - Physics of Neutrinos - Strong Interaction Physics...

  13. Executive control over unconscious cognition: Attentional sensitization of unconscious information processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus eKiefer

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Unconscious priming is a prototypical example of an automatic process, which is initiated without deliberate intention. Classical theories of automaticity assume that such unconscious automatic processes occur in a purely bottom-up driven fashion independent of attentional control mechanisms. In contrast to these classical theories, our attentional sensitization model of unconscious information processing proposes that unconscious processing is susceptible to attentional top-down control and is only elicited if the cognitive system is configured accordingly. It is assumed that unconscious processing depends on attentional amplification of task-congruent processing pathways. This article provides an overview of the latest research on executive control influences on unconscious information processing. I introduce refined theories of automaticity with a particular focus on the attentional sensitization model of unconscious cognition which is specifically developed to account for various attentional influences on different types of unconscious information processing. In support of the attentional sensitization model, empirical evidence is reviewed demonstrating attentional top-down influences on unconscious cognition in the domains of visuo-motor, semantic and emotional processing: Subliminal priming depends on attentional resources, is susceptible to stimulus expectations and is influenced by action intentions and task sets. This suggests that even unconscious processing is flexible and context-dependent as a function of higher-level executive control settings. It is discussed that the assumption of attentional sensitization of unconscious information processing can accommodate conflicting findings regarding the automaticity of processes in many areas. This theoretical view has the potential to stimulate future research on the cognitive control of unconscious processing in healthy and clinical populations.

  14. Maternal Behavior Predicts Infant Neurophysiological and Behavioral Attention Processes in the First Year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swingler, Margaret M.; Perry, Nicole B.; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2017-01-01

    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…

  15. Category-selective attention modulates unconscious processes in the middle occipital gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Shen; Qiu, Jiang; Martens, Ulla; Zhang, Qinglin

    2013-06-01

    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.

  16. Maternal Behavior Predicts Infant Neurophysiological and Behavioral Attention Processes in the First Year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swingler, Margaret M.; Perry, Nicole B.; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2017-01-01

    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…

  17. Directed attention reduces processing of emotional distracters irrespective of valence and arousal level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, Stefan; Syrjänen, Elmeri

    2013-09-01

    Emotional stimuli tend to capture attention, and this so-called motivated attention is commonly measured using the early posterior negativity (EPN) and the late positive potential (LPP). We hypothesized that voluntary, directed attention reduces motivated attention more strongly for highly than moderately arousing pleasant or unpleasant pictures. Participants were instructed to direct their attention to either a picture at fixation or the letters flanking the picture. Pictures varied substantially in arousal and valence. When the pictures were attended to, EPN and LPP increased linearly with arousal. When the letters were attended to, these linear effects decreased in the EPN for pleasant and unpleasant pictures and in the LPP for pleasant pictures. Thus, directed attention decreases processing of emotional distracters more strongly for highly than moderately arousing pleasant and unpleasant pictures. These results are consistent with the view that directed attention decreases emotion effects on sensory gain. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Electroencephalograph (EEG) signal processing method of motor imaginary potential for attention level classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, Dong; Xi, Youyuan; Zhang, Mingming; Qi, Hongzhi; Cheng, Longlong; Wan, Baikun; Li, Liyong

    2009-01-01

    Research of visual attention is one of the important domains of psychology and neurophysiology. In this study, an attention related electroencephalograph (EEG) signal processing method was proposed to distinguish the different levels of people's attention during the imaginary limbs motor. There were two EEG feedback experiments (playing tennis and walking) to measure the different levels of visual attention. Three imaginary motor tasks (attention, inattention, and rest task) were performed with the flash stimulus displayed on the screen in the experiments. A nonlinear dynamics parameter of multi-scale entropy (MSE) was extracted from those EEG data recorded. According to the statistics analysis of 14 subjects, there was an obvious declining tendency of MSE with the level of attention declining, which validated the effectiveness of the proposed method to classify the visual attention level.

  19. The role of attention in subliminal semantic processing: A mouse tracking study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Kunchen; Yamauchi, Takashi

    2017-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that top-down attention facilitates unconscious semantic processing. To clarify the role of attention in unconscious semantic processing, we traced trajectories of the computer mouse in a semantic priming task and scrutinized the extent to which top-down attention enhances unconscious semantic processing in four different stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA: 50, 200, 500, or 1000ms) conditions. Participants judged whether a target digit (e.g., "6") was larger or smaller than five, preceded by a masked priming digit (e.g., "9"). The pre-prime duration changed randomly from trial to trial to disrupt participants' top-down attention in an uncued condition (in a cued condition, a green square cue was presented to facilitate participants' top-down attention). The results show that top-down attention modifies the time course of subliminal semantic processing, and the temporal attention window lasts more than 1000ms; attention facilitated by the cue may amplify semantic priming to some extent, yet the amplification effect of attention is relatively minor.

  20. Signal enhancement and suppression during visual-spatial selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couperus, J W; Mangun, G R

    2010-11-04

    Selective attention involves the relative enhancement of relevant versus irrelevant stimuli. However, whether this relative enhancement involves primarily enhancement of attended stimuli, or suppression of irrelevant stimuli, remains controversial. Moreover, if both enhancement and suppression are involved, whether they result from a single mechanism or separate mechanisms during attentional control or selection is not known. In two experiments using a spatial cuing paradigm with task-relevant targets and irrelevant distractors, target, and distractor processing was examined as a function of distractor expectancy. Additionally, in the second study the interaction of perceptual load and distractor expectancy was explored. In both experiments, distractors were either validly cued (70%) or invalidly cued (30%) in order to examine the effects of distractor expectancy on attentional control as well as target and distractor processing. The effects of distractor expectancy were assessed using event-related potentials recorded during the cue-to-target period (preparatory attention) and in response to the task-relevant target stimuli (selective stimulus processing). Analyses of distractor-present displays (anticipated versus unanticipated), showed modulations in brain activity during both the preparatory period and during target processing. The pattern of brain responses suggest both facilitation of attended targets and suppression of unattended distractors. These findings provide evidence for a two-process model of visual-spatial selective attention, where one mechanism (facilitation) influences relevant stimuli and another (suppression) acts to filter distracting stimuli.

  1. Attention - Control in the Frequentistic Processing of Multidimensional Event Streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-07-01

    at the time of encoding has been found to affect recall (e. g. Eysenck & Eysenck , 1979) and the magnitude of subsequent FES (e. g. Goldman...Pellegrino, 1977; Rowe, 1974). Eysenck and Eysenck (1979) have equated depth of processing with the extent to which semantic content and "meaningfulness" are...generally semantic vs. non-semantic) involved in encoding determines the like- lihood that the stimulus will be retrieved subsequently ( Eysenck & Eysench

  2. Visual processing in rapid-chase systems: Image processing, attention, and awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eSchmidt

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Visual stimuli can be classified so rapidly that their analysis may be based on a single sweep of feedforward processing through the visuomotor system. Behavioral criteria for feedforward processing can be evaluated in response priming tasks where speeded pointing or keypress responses are performed towards target stimuli which are preceded by prime stimuli. We apply this method to several classes of complex stimuli. 1 When participants classify natural images into animals or non-animals, the time course of their pointing responses indicates that prime and target signals remain strictly sequential throughout all processing stages, meeting stringent behavioral criteria for feedforward processing (rapid-chase criteria. 2 Such priming effects are boosted by selective visual attention for positions, shapes, and colors, in a way consistent with bottom-up enhancement of visuomotor processing, even when primes cannot be consciously identified. 3 Speeded processing of phobic images is observed in participants specifically fearful of spiders or snakes, suggesting enhancement of feedforward processing by long-term perceptual learning. 4 When the perceived brightness of primes in complex displays is altered by means of illumination or transparency illusions, priming effects in speeded keypress responses can systematically contradict subjective brightness judgments, such that one prime appears brighter than the other but activates motor responses as if it was darker. We propose that response priming captures the output of the first feedforward pass of visual signals through the visuomotor system, and that this output lacks some characteristic features of more elaborate, recurrent processing. This way, visuomotor measures may become dissociated from several aspects of conscious vision. We argue that "fast" visuomotor measures predominantly driven by feedforward processing should supplement "slow" psychophysical measures predominantly based on visual

  3. The ESA Space Situational Awareness Preparatory Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobrinsky, Nicolas

    A new ESA Programme on Space Situational Awareness (SSA) has been approved during the ESA Council at Ministerial level in November 2008. A preparatory phase is in progress, covering the timeframe 2009 -2012. It concentrates on the architectural design of the SSA System, its governance and data policy, as well as on the provision of precursor services based on the federation of existing National and European assets. A continuation of the SSA programme will be proposed at the next Ministerial Council for the years 2012 and onwards. The SSA Preparatory Programme covers three distinct segments, namely: -Space Surveillance and Tracking of artificial objects orbiting the Earth -Space Weather -Near Earth Objects Each of the above segments has a strong relation with Science and is supported by specific RD Programmes at National, EC and ESA levels. In this paper, the scientific aspects of the three SSA Segments are outlined and the following main topics developed: • Space Surveillance: statistical models of the evolution of the space debris population in Earth-bound orbits, study of active mitigation measures, impact analysis, tracking and char-acterisation principles based on radar and optical techniques. • Space Weather: awareness of the natural space environment, detection and forecasting of space weather effects and interferences, analysis of appropriate ground and space-based sensors for the monitoring of the Sun, the solar wind, the radiation belts, the magnetosphere and the ionosphere. • Near Earth Objects (NEOs): methods for determination of physical characteristics of newly discovered objects, study of appropriate sensors based on radar and optical techniques, iden-tification and ranking of collision risks of NEOs with the Earth, study of possible mitigation measures (e.g. Don Quichotes project). The research topics undertaken during the preparatory programme, as well as those foreseen during the next phase, possibly with a strong international cooperation

  4. THE PROBLEM OF HOT-SPOTS IN MICROWAVE EQUIPMENT USED FOR PREPARATORY TECHNIQUES - THEORY AND PRACTICE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    KOK, LP; BOON, ME; SMID, HM

    1993-01-01

    Electron microscopists who wants to use a microwave (MW) oven to stimulate preparatory processes are sooner or later confronted with the problem of hot spots. It soon becomes clear to the user of any MW oven that the energy distribution-thus the speed of absorbing energy, and hence warming up-varies

  5. Towards a knowledge-rich learning environment in preparatory secondary education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schaik, van M.; Oers, van B.; Terwel, J.

    2011-01-01

    In this case study a novel educational programme for students in preparatory vocational education was studied. The research questions were: (1) Which teaching/learning processes occur in a simulated workplace using the concept of a knowledge-rich workplace? (2) What is the role of models and modelli

  6. THE PROBLEM OF HOT-SPOTS IN MICROWAVE EQUIPMENT USED FOR PREPARATORY TECHNIQUES - THEORY AND PRACTICE

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    KOK, LP; BOON, ME; SMID, HM

    1993-01-01

    Electron microscopists who wants to use a microwave (MW) oven to stimulate preparatory processes are sooner or later confronted with the problem of hot spots. It soon becomes clear to the user of any MW oven that the energy distribution-thus the speed of absorbing energy, and hence warming up-varies

  7. The impact of negative attentional set upon target processing in RSVP : An ERP study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, Dexuan; Zhou, Xiaolin; Martens, Sander

    2009-01-01

    This study investigates whether the negative attentional set, a form of top-down attentional bias, can be set up on a trial-by-trial basis and impair online target processing in an RSVP (Rapid Serial Visual Presentation) task in which two targets are to be identified. Using the N2pc (N2 posterior

  8. The impact of negative attentional set upon target processing in RSVP : An ERP study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, Dexuan; Zhou, Xiaolin; Martens, Sander

    2009-01-01

    This study investigates whether the negative attentional set, a form of top-down attentional bias, can be set up on a trial-by-trial basis and impair online target processing in an RSVP (Rapid Serial Visual Presentation) task in which two targets are to be identified. Using the N2pc (N2 posterior co

  9. Processing of masked and unmasked emotional faces under different attentional conditions: an electrophysiological investigation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marzia eDel Zotto

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available In order to investigate the interactions between non-spatial selective attention, awareness and emotion processing, we carried out an ERP study using a backward masking paradigm, in which angry, fearful, happy and neutral facial expressions were presented, while participants attempted to detect the presence of one or the other category of facial expressions in the different experimental blocks. ERP results showed that negative emotions enhanced an early N170 response over temporal-occipital leads in both masked and unmasked conditions, independently of selective attention. A later effect arising at the P2 was linked to awareness. Finally, selective attention was found to affect the N2 and N3 components over occipito-parietal leads. Our findings reveal that i the initial processing of facial expressions arises prior to attention and awareness; ii attention and awareness give rise to temporally distinct periods of activation independently of the type of emotion with only a partial degree of overlap; and iii selective attention appears to be influenced by the emotional nature of the stimuli, which in turn impinges on unconscious processing at a very early stage. This study confirms previous reports that negative facial expressions can be processed rapidly, in absence of visual awareness and independently of selective attention. On the other hand, attention and awareness may operate in a synergistic way, depending on task demand.

  10. Independent Sampling vs Interitem Dependencies in Whole Report Processing: Contributions of Processing Architecture and Variable Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busey, Thomas A.; Townsend, James T.

    2001-04-01

    All current models of visual whole report processing assume perceptual independence among the displayed items in which the perceptual processing of individual items is not affected by other items in the display. However, models proposed by Townsend (1981, Acta Psychologica 47, 149-173), Shibuya and Bundesen (1988, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 14, 591-600), and Bundesen (1990, Psychological Review 97, 523-547) contain postperceptual buffers that must predict negative dependencies. The perceptual-independence assumption forms what we term the modal model class. A recent example of a model that assumes perceptual independence is the Independent Sampling Model of Loftus, Busey, and Senders (1993, Perception and Psychophysics 54, 535-554). The fundamental independence assumption has only been directly tested once before, where tests revealed no dependencies except those produced by guessing. The present study tests the independence assumption using several different statistics and, contrary to most extant models of whole report, finds significant positive dependence. Poisson models do predict a positive dependence and we develop a succinctly parameterized version, the Weighted Path Poisson Model, which allows the finishing order to be a weighted probabilistic mechanism. However, it does not predict the data quite as well as a new model, the Variable Attention Model, which allows independence within trials (unlike the Poisson models). This model assumes that attention (or, potentially, other aspects such as signal quality) varies widely across trials, thus predicting an overall positive dependence. Intuitions for and against the competing models are discussed. In addition, we show, through mimicking formulae, that models which contain the proper qualitative type of dependence structure can be cast in either serial or parallel form. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  11. Executive control over unconscious cognition: attentional sensitization of unconscious information processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, Markus

    2012-01-01

    Unconscious priming is a prototypical example of an automatic process, which is initiated without deliberate intention. Classical theories of automaticity assume that such unconscious automatic processes occur in a purely bottom-up driven fashion independent of executive control mechanisms. In contrast to these classical theories, our attentional sensitization model of unconscious information processing proposes that unconscious processing is susceptible to executive control and is only elicited if the cognitive system is configured accordingly. It is assumed that unconscious processing depends on attentional amplification of task-congruent processing pathways as a function of task sets. This article provides an overview of the latest research on executive control influences on unconscious information processing. I introduce refined theories of automaticity with a particular focus on the attentional sensitization model of unconscious cognition which is specifically developed to account for various attentional influences on different types of unconscious information processing. In support of the attentional sensitization model, empirical evidence is reviewed demonstrating executive control influences on unconscious cognition in the domains of visuo-motor and semantic processing: subliminal priming depends on attentional resources, is susceptible to stimulus expectations and is influenced by action intentions and task sets. This suggests that even unconscious processing is flexible and context-dependent as a function of higher-level executive control settings. I discuss that the assumption of attentional sensitization of unconscious information processing can accommodate conflicting findings regarding the automaticity of processes in many areas of cognition and emotion. This theoretical view has the potential to stimulate future research on executive control of unconscious processing in healthy and clinical populations.

  12. Selective and divided attention modulates auditory-vocal integration in the processing of pitch feedback errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ying; Hu, Huijing; Jones, Jeffery A; Guo, Zhiqiang; Li, Weifeng; Chen, Xi; Liu, Peng; Liu, Hanjun

    2015-08-01

    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.

  13. Questioning the preparatory function of counterfactual thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercier, Hugo; Rolison, Jonathan J; Stragà, Marta; Ferrante, Donatella; Walsh, Clare R; Girotto, Vittorio

    2017-02-01

    Why do individuals mentally modify reality (e.g., "If it hadn't rained, we would have won the game")? According to the dominant view, counterfactuals primarily serve to prepare future performance. In fact, individuals who have just failed a task tend to modify the uncontrollable features of their attempt (e.g., "If the rules of the game were different, I would have won it"), generating counterfactuals that are unlikely to play any preparatory role. By contrast, they generate prefactuals that focus on the controllable features of their ensuing behavior (e.g., "If I concentrate more, I will win the next game"). Here, we test whether this tendency is robust and general. Studies 1a and 1b replicate this tendency and show that it occurs regardless of whether individuals think about their failures or their successes. Study 2 shows that individuals generate relatively few controllable counterfactuals, unless explicitly prompted to do so. These results raise some questions regarding the generality of the dominant view according to which counterfactuals mainly serve a preparatory function.

  14. ATTENTION IN ADVERTISERS BRAND PROCESSING: An analysis of explicit and implicit memories of individuals receptors in the light of directed attention level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taís Pasquotto Andreoli

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The most of exposure of individuals to brand ads happens on mere exposure condition, when the stimuli are available in the context, but aren´t necessarily actively processed, but yet unconsiously, at the preattentive level. Despite the lack of individual intention and conscious, it emphasizes the ability of preattentive processing on influencing memory and judgement on stimuli receiving. In the light of the above, the study has with aim to analize the influency diferences in the individual receiver according with the level of attention used on the brand ad processing. To that, the study adopted a concepctual base with the attention process under a complex perspective, subdivided into preattention and attention, and the influency of attention in the memory of individual receiver. Using a hipothteical-dedutivo method, the explicit and implicit memory and the brand valuation were analysed and compared between three different attention levels (preattention, divided attention and drived attention. As contribution, the study support three of the four traced hypotheses: implicit memory independent of the level of attention; explicit memory in larger levels of attention; brand valuation on preattetinve processing higher than those expected by chance, but without diferences between the three attention levels.

  15. Temporally selective attention supports speech processing in 3- to 5-year-old children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astheimer, Lori B; Sanders, Lisa D

    2012-01-01

    Recent event-related potential (ERP) evidence demonstrates that adults employ temporally selective attention to preferentially process the initial portions of words in continuous speech. Doing so is an effective listening strategy since word-initial segments are highly informative. Although the development of this process remains unexplored, directing attention to word onsets may be important for speech processing in young children who would otherwise be overwhelmed by the rapidly changing acoustic signals that constitute speech. We examined the use of temporally selective attention in 3- to 5-year-old children listening to stories by comparing ERPs elicited by attention probes presented at four acoustically matched times relative to word onsets: concurrently with a word onset, 100 ms before, 100 ms after, and at random control times. By 80 ms, probes presented at and after word onsets elicited a larger negativity than probes presented before word onsets or at control times. The latency and distribution of this effect is similar to temporally and spatially selective attention effects measured in adults and, despite differences in polarity, spatially selective attention effects measured in children. These results indicate that, like adults, preschool aged children modulate temporally selective attention to preferentially process the initial portions of words in continuous speech.

  16. Intermodal auditory, visual, and tactile attention modulates early stages of neural processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karns, Christina M; Knight, Robert T

    2009-04-01

    We used event-related potentials (ERPs) and gamma band oscillatory responses (GBRs) to examine whether intermodal attention operates early in the auditory, visual, and tactile modalities. To control for the effects of spatial attention, we spatially coregistered all stimuli and varied the attended modality across counterbalanced blocks in an intermodal selection task. In each block, participants selectively responded to either auditory, visual, or vibrotactile stimuli from the stream of intermodal events. Auditory and visual ERPs were modulated at the latencies of early cortical processing, but attention manifested later for tactile ERPs. For ERPs, auditory processing was modulated at the latency of the Na (29 msec), which indexes early cortical or thalamocortical processing and the subsequent P1 (90 msec) ERP components. Visual processing was modulated at the latency of the early phase of the C1 (62-72 msec) thought to be generated in the primary visual cortex and the subsequent P1 and N1 (176 msec). Tactile processing was modulated at the latency of the N160 (165 msec) likely generated in the secondary association cortex. Intermodal attention enhanced early sensory GBRs for all three modalities: auditory (onset 57 msec), visual (onset 47 msec), and tactile (onset 27 msec). Together, these results suggest that intermodal attention enhances neural processing relatively early in the sensory stream independent from differential effects of spatial and intramodal selective attention.

  17. Effects of a Preparatory Singing Pattern on Melodic Dictation Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buonviri, Nathan O.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate effects of a preparatory contextual singing pattern on melodic dictation test scores. Forty-nine undergraduate music education majors took melodic dictations under three conditions. After hearing an orienting chord sequence, they (1) sang a preparatory solfége pattern in the key, meter, and tempo of the…

  18. Effects of Methylphenidate (Ritalin) on Auditory Performance in Children with Attention and Auditory Processing Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillery, Kim L.; Katz, Jack; Keller, Warren D.

    2000-01-01

    A double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined effects of methylphenidate (Ritalin) on auditory processing in 32 children with both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and central auditory processing (CAP) disorder. Analyses revealed that Ritalin did not have a significant effect on any of the central auditory processing measures, although…

  19. The Role of Attention in Somatosensory Processing: A Multi-trait, Multi-method Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puts, Nicolaas A. J.; Mahone, E. Mark; Edden, Richard A. E.; Tommerdahl, Mark; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2016-01-01

    Sensory processing abnormalities in autism have largely been described by parent report. This study used a multi-method (parent-report and measurement), multi-trait (tactile sensitivity and attention) design to evaluate somatosensory processing in ASD. Results showed multiple significant within-method (e.g., parent report of different traits)/cross-trait (e.g., attention and tactile sensitivity) correlations, suggesting that parent-reported tactile sensory dysfunction and performance-based tactile sensitivity describe different behavioral phenomena. Additionally, both parent-reported tactile functioning and performance-based tactile sensitivity measures were significantly associated with measures of attention. Findings suggest that sensory (tactile) processing abnormalities in ASD are multifaceted, and may partially reflect a more global deficit in behavioral regulation (including attention). Challenges of relying solely on parent-report to describe sensory difficulties faced by children/families with ASD are also highlighted. PMID:27448580

  20. Attention to language: novel MEG paradigm for registering involuntary language processing in the brain.

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    Shtyrov, Yury; Smith, Marie L; Horner, Aidan J; Henson, Richard; Nathan, Pradeep J; Bullmore, Edward T; Pulvermüller, Friedemann

    2012-09-01

    Previous research indicates that, under explicit instructions to listen to spoken stimuli or in speech-oriented behavioural tasks, the brain's responses to senseless pseudowords are larger than those to meaningful words; the reverse is true in non-attended conditions. These differential responses could be used as a tool to trace linguistic processes in the brain and their interaction with attention. However, as previous studies relied on explicit instructions to attend or ignore the stimuli, a technique for automatic attention modulation (i.e., not dependent on explicit instruction) would be more advantageous, especially when cooperation with instructions may not be guaranteed (e.g., neurological patients, children etc). Here we present a novel paradigm in which the stimulus context automatically draws attention to speech. In a non-attend passive auditory oddball sequence, rare words and pseudowords were presented among frequent non-speech tones of variable frequency and length. The low percentage of spoken stimuli guarantees an involuntary attention switch to them. The speech stimuli, in turn, could be disambiguated as words or pseudowords only in their end, at the last phoneme, after the attention switch would have already occurred. Our results confirmed that this paradigm can indeed be used to induce automatic shifts of attention to spoken input. At ~250ms after the stimulus onset, a P3a-like neuromagnetic deflection was registered to spoken (but not tone) stimuli indicating an involuntary attention shift. Later, after the word-pseudoword divergence point, we found a larger oddball response to pseudowords than words, best explained by neural processes of lexical search facilitated through increased attention. Furthermore, we demonstrate a breakdown of this orderly pattern of neurocognitive processes as a result of sleep deprivation. The new paradigm may thus be an efficient way to assess language comprehension processes and their dynamic interaction with those

  1. Reflecting on Language from ‘Sideways-on’: Preparatory and Non-Preparatory Aspects-Seeing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reshef Agam-Segal

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Aspect-seeing, I claim, involves reflection on concepts. It involves letting oneself feel how it would be like to conceptualize something with a certain concept, without committing oneself to this conceptualization. I distinguish between two kinds of aspect-perception: 1. Preparatory: allows us to develop, criticize, and shape concepts. It involves bringing a concept to an object for the purpose of examining what would be the best way to conceptualize it. 2. Non-Preparatory: allows us to express the ingraspability of certain experiences. It involves bringing a concept to an object for the purpose of showing—per impossible—what it would take to properly capture one’s experience. I demonstrate the usefulness of the two kinds of aspect perception in making conceptual judgments, and in making moral and aesthetic judgments.

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

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    Junghöfer Markus

    2007-02-01

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

  3. Changes in attentional processing and affective reactivity in pregnancy and postpartum

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    Gollan JK

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Jackie K Gollan, Laina Rosebrock, Denada Hoxha, Katherine L Wisner Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA Abstract: The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the research in attentional processing and affective reactivity in pregnancy and postpartum to inform future research. Numerous changes occur in attentional processing and affective reactivity across the childbearing period. This review focuses on the definition and methods of measuring attentional processing and affective reactivity. We discuss research studies that have examined the changes in these two processes during the perinatal phases of pregnancy and postpartum, with and without depression and anxiety. We evaluate the importance of using multiple levels of measurement, including physiological and neuroimaging techniques, to study these processes via implicit and explicit tasks. Research that has identified regions of brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging as well as other physiological assessments is integrated into the discussion. The importance of using sophisticated methodological techniques in future studies, such as multiple mediation models, for the purpose of elucidating mechanisms of change during these processes in pregnancy and postpartum is emphasized. We conclude with a discussion of the effect of these processes on maternal psychological functioning and infant outcomes. These processes support a strategy for individualizing treatment for pregnant and postpartum women suffering from depression and anxiety. Keywords: attentional processing, emotion, affective reactivity, depression, pregnancy, postpartum

  4. The time course of temporal attention effects on nonconscious prime processing.

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    Schubert, Torsten; Palazova, Marina; Hutt, Axel

    2013-11-01

    We presented a masked prime at various prime-target intervals (PTIs) before a target that required a speeded motor response and investigated the impact of temporal attention on the nonconscious prime processing. The allocation of temporal attention to the target was manipulated by presenting an accessory tone and comparing that condition with a no-tone condition. The results showed that, independently of the visibility of the prime, temporal attention led to an enhanced effect of prime-target congruency on the reaction times, and that the amount of the enhancement increased with increasing PTIs. This effect pattern is consistent with the assumption of increasing influences of temporal attention and of the increasing PTI on nonconscious prime processing; it argues against the hypothesis that temporal attention narrows the time period in which the prime may affect target processing. An accumulator model is proposed assuming that target-related temporal attention increases the accumulation rate for masked primes and, thus, enhances the impact of the prime on the speed of choice decisions.

  5. Action video games and improved attentional control: Disentangling selection- and response-based processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Joseph D; Kingstone, Alan

    2015-10-01

    Research has demonstrated that experience with action video games is associated with improvements in a host of cognitive tasks. Evidence from paradigms that assess aspects of attention has suggested that action video game players (AVGPs) possess greater control over the allocation of attentional resources than do non-video-game players (NVGPs). Using a compound search task that teased apart selection- and response-based processes (Duncan, 1985), we required participants to perform an oculomotor capture task in which they made saccades to a uniquely colored target (selection-based process) and then produced a manual directional response based on information within the target (response-based process). We replicated the finding that AVGPs are less susceptible to attentional distraction and, critically, revealed that AVGPs outperform NVGPs on both selection-based and response-based processes. These results not only are consistent with the improved-attentional-control account of AVGP benefits, but they suggest that the benefit of action video game playing extends across the full breadth of attention-mediated stimulus-response processes that impact human performance.

  6. The Role of Attention in Somatosensory Processing: A Multi-Trait, Multi-Method Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wodka, Ericka L.; Puts, Nicolaas A. J.; Mahone, E. Mark; Edden, Richard A. E.; Tommerdahl, Mark; Mostofsky, Stewart H.

    2016-01-01

    Sensory processing abnormalities in autism have largely been described by parent report. This study used a multi-method (parent-report and measurement), multi-trait (tactile sensitivity and attention) design to evaluate somatosensory processing in ASD. Results showed multiple significant within-method (e.g., parent report of different…

  7. Acute effects of caffeine on selective attention and visual search processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lorist, M.M.; Snel, J.; Kok, A; Mulder, G.

    1996-01-01

    The influence of a single dose of caffeine was evaluated in focused and divided attention conditions of a visual selective search task in which subjects had to perform controlled search processes to locate a target item. Search processes were manipulated by varying display load. A dose of 3 mg/kg bo

  8. Acute effects of caffeine on selective attention and visual search processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lorist, M.M.; Snel, J.; Kok, A; Mulder, G.

    The influence of a single dose of caffeine was evaluated in focused and divided attention conditions of a visual selective search task in which subjects had to perform controlled search processes to locate a target item. Search processes were manipulated by varying display load. A dose of 3 mg/kg

  9. Reaction time, processing speed and sustained attention in schizophrenia: impact on social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahera, Guillermo; Ruiz, Alicia; Brañas, Antía; Vicens, María; Orozco, Arantxa

    2017-06-05

    Previous studies have linked processing speed with social cognition and functioning of patients with schizophrenia. A discriminant analysis is needed to determine the different components of this neuropsychological construct. This paper analyzes the impact of processing speed, reaction time and sustained attention on social functioning. 98 outpatients between 18 and 65 with DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia, with a period of 3 months of clinical stability, were recruited. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected, and the following variables were measured: processing speed (Trail Making Test [TMT], symbol coding [BACS], verbal fluency), simple and elective reaction time, sustained attention, recognition of facial emotions and global functioning. Processing speed (measured only through the BACS), sustained attention (CPT) and elective reaction time (but not simple) were associated with functioning. Recognizing facial emotions (FEIT) correlated significantly with scores on measures of processing speed (BACS, Animals, TMT), sustained attention (CPT) and reaction time. The linear regression model showed a significant relationship between functioning, emotion recognition (P=.015) and processing speed (P=.029). A deficit in processing speed and facial emotion recognition are associated with worse global functioning in patients with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017 SEP y SEPB. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  10. Transdermal nicotine modulates strategy-based attentional semantic processing in non-smokers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Anna D; Chenery, Helen J; Copland, David A

    2008-05-01

    Nicotine has been shown to improve various aspects of cognitive processing such as attention and memory, however, its effects on lexical-semantic processing are relatively uncharted. Recent investigations of mnemonic processing in minimally deprived smokers suggest that nicotine might selectively modulate processes concerned with associative memory. This study investigated the effects of nicotine on lexical-semantic processing in non-smokers using a strategy-based lexical-decision priming paradigm. Transdermal nicotine patches (7 mg/24 h) were administered within a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Participants were trained to expect target words to come from a specified semantic category based on the prime word, although in some instances trained expectations were not met. Participants were presented with the stimuli at either a short or long stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) to target automatic and attentional processing, respectively (n=12 and 17 for the short and long SOAs, respectively). Nicotine was found to selectively affect priming condition reaction times at the long SOA, indicating a nicotinic modulation of attentional mechanisms. Specifically, facilitation effects were dominant under placebo compared to a dominance of inhibition effects under nicotine. These results suggest that nicotine supports inhibitory attentional mechanisms in cognitively demanding semantic processing paradigms.

  11. Role of parietal regions in episodic memory retrieval: the dual attentional processes hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabeza, Roberto

    2008-01-01

    Although parietal cortex is frequently activated during episodic memory retrieval, damage to this region does not markedly impair episodic memory. To account for these and other findings, a new dual attentional processes (DAP) hypothesis is proposed. According to this hypothesis, dorsal parietal cortex (DPC) contributes top-down attentional processes guided by retrieval goals, whereas ventral parietal cortex (VPC) contributes bottom-up attentional processes captured by the retrieval output. Consistent with this hypothesis, DPC activity increases with retrieval effort whereas VPC activity increases with confidence in old and new responses. The DAP hypothesis can also account for the overlap of parietal activations across different cognitive domains and for opposing effects of parietal activity on encoding vs. retrieval. Finally, the DAP hypothesis explains why VPC lesions yield a memory neglect syndrome: a deficit in spontaneously reporting relevant memory details but not in accessing the same details when guided by specific questions.

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

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    Steffen Katzner

    2009-10-01

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

  13. The Automatic Conservative: Ideology-Based Attentional Asymmetries in the Processing of Valenced Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carraro, Luciana; Castelli, Luigi; Macchiella, Claudia

    2011-01-01

    Research has widely explored the differences between conservatives and liberals, and it has been also recently demonstrated that conservatives display different reactions toward valenced stimuli. However, previous studies have not yet fully illuminated the cognitive underpinnings of these differences. In the current work, we argued that political ideology is related to selective attention processes, so that negative stimuli are more likely to automatically grab the attention of conservatives as compared to liberals. In Experiment 1, we demonstrated that negative (vs. positive) information impaired the performance of conservatives, more than liberals, in an Emotional Stroop Task. This finding was confirmed in Experiment 2 and in Experiment 3 employing a Dot-Probe Task, demonstrating that threatening stimuli were more likely to attract the attention of conservatives. Overall, results support the conclusion that people embracing conservative views of the world display an automatic selective attention for negative stimuli. PMID:22096486

  14. Do I have my attention? Speed of processing advantages for the self-face are not driven by automatic attention capture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen Keyes

    Full Text Available We respond more quickly to our own face than to other faces, but there is debate over whether this is connected to attention-grabbing properties of the self-face. In two experiments, we investigate whether the self-face selectively captures attention, and the attentional conditions under which this might occur. In both experiments, we examined whether different types of face (self, friend, stranger provide differential levels of distraction when processing self, friend and stranger names. In Experiment 1, an image of a distractor face appeared centrally - inside the focus of attention - behind a target name, with the faces either upright or inverted. In Experiment 2, distractor faces appeared peripherally - outside the focus of attention - in the left or right visual field, or bilaterally. In both experiments, self-name recognition was faster than other name recognition, suggesting a self-referential processing advantage. The presence of the self-face did not cause more distraction in the naming task compared to other types of face, either when presented inside (Experiment 1 or outside (Experiment 2 the focus of attention. Distractor faces had different effects across the two experiments: when presented inside the focus of attention (Experiment 1, self and friend images facilitated self and friend naming, respectively. This was not true for stranger stimuli, suggesting that faces must be robustly represented to facilitate name recognition. When presented outside the focus of attention (Experiment 2, no facilitation occurred. Instead, we report an interesting distraction effect caused by friend faces when processing strangers' names. We interpret this as a "social importance" effect, whereby we may be tuned to pick out and pay attention to familiar friend faces in a crowd. We conclude that any speed of processing advantages observed in the self-face processing literature are not driven by automatic attention capture.

  15. Attention fine-tunes auditory-motor processing of speech sounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Möttönen, Riikka; van de Ven, Gido M; Watkins, Kate E

    2014-03-12

    The earliest stages of cortical processing of speech sounds take place in the auditory cortex. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have provided evidence that the human articulatory motor cortex contributes also to speech processing. For example, stimulation of the motor lip representation influences specifically discrimination of lip-articulated speech sounds. However, the timing of the neural mechanisms underlying these articulator-specific motor contributions to speech processing is unknown. Furthermore, it is unclear whether they depend on attention. Here, we used magnetoencephalography and TMS to investigate the effect of attention on specificity and timing of interactions between the auditory and motor cortex during processing of speech sounds. We found that TMS-induced disruption of the motor lip representation modulated specifically the early auditory-cortex responses to lip-articulated speech sounds when they were attended. These articulator-specific modulations were left-lateralized and remarkably early, occurring 60-100 ms after sound onset. When speech sounds were ignored, the effect of this motor disruption on auditory-cortex responses was nonspecific and bilateral, and it started later, 170 ms after sound onset. The findings indicate that articulatory motor cortex can contribute to auditory processing of speech sounds even in the absence of behavioral tasks and when the sounds are not in the focus of attention. Importantly, the findings also show that attention can selectively facilitate the interaction of the auditory cortex with specific articulator representations during speech processing.

  16. Eye movements in pedophiles: automatic and controlled attentional processes while viewing prepubescent stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fromberger, Peter; Jordan, Kirsten; Steinkrauss, Henrike; von Herder, Jakob; Stolpmann, Georg; Kröner-Herwig, Birgit; Müller, Jürgen Leo

    2013-05-01

    Recent theories in sexuality highlight the importance of automatic and controlled attentional processes in viewing sexually relevant stimuli. The model of Spiering and Everaerd (2007) assumes that sexually relevant features of a stimulus are preattentively selected and automatically induce focal attention to these sexually relevant aspects. Whether this assumption proves true for pedophiles is unknown. It is aim of this study to test this assumption empirically for people suffering from pedophilic interests. Twenty-two pedophiles, 8 nonpedophilic forensic controls, and 52 healthy controls simultaneously viewed the picture of a child and the picture of an adult while eye movements were measured. Entry time was assessed as a measure of automatic attentional processes and relative fixation time in order to assess controlled attentional processes. Pedophiles demonstrated significantly shorter entry time to child stimuli than to adult stimuli. The opposite was the case for nonpedophiles, as they showed longer relative fixation time for adult stimuli, and, against all expectations, pedophiles also demonstrated longer relative fixation time for adult stimuli. The results confirmed the hypothesis that pedophiles automatically selected sexually relevant stimuli (children). Contrary to all expectations, this automatic selection did not trigger the focal attention to these sexually relevant pictures. Furthermore, pedophiles were first and longest attracted by faces and pubic regions of children; nonpedophiles were first and longest attracted by faces and breasts of adults. The results demonstrated, for the first time, that the face and pubic region are the most attracting regions in children for pedophiles.

  17. Attentional spreading to task-irrelevant object features: experimental support and a 3-step model of attention for object-based selection and feature-based processing modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegener, Detlef; Galashan, Fingal Orlando; Aurich, Maike Kathrin; Kreiter, Andreas Kurt

    2014-01-01

    Directing attention to a specific feature of an object has been linked to different forms of attentional modulation. Object-based attention theory founds on the finding that even task-irrelevant features at the selected object are subject to attentional modulation, while feature-based attention theory proposes a global processing benefit for the selected feature even at other objects. Most studies investigated either the one or the other form of attention, leaving open the possibility that both object- and feature-specific attentional effects do occur at the same time and may just represent two sides of a single attention system. We here investigate this issue by testing attentional spreading within and across objects, using reaction time (RT) measurements to changes of attended and unattended features on both attended and unattended objects. We asked subjects to report color and speed changes occurring on one of two overlapping random dot patterns (RDPs), presented at the center of gaze. The key property of the stimulation was that only one of the features (e.g., motion direction) was unique for each object, whereas the other feature (e.g., color) was shared by both. The results of two experiments show that co-selection of unattended features even occurs when those features have no means for selecting the object. At the same time, they demonstrate that this processing benefit is not restricted to the selected object but spreads to the task-irrelevant one. We conceptualize these findings by a 3-step model of attention that assumes a task-dependent top-down gain, object-specific feature selection based on task- and binding characteristics, and a global feature-specific processing enhancement. The model allows for the unification of a vast amount of experimental results into a single model, and makes various experimentally testable predictions for the interaction of object- and feature-specific processes.

  18. Attentional spreading to task-irrelevant object features: Experimental support and a 3-step model of attention for object-based selection and feature-based processing modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Detlef eWegener

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Directing attention to a specific feature of an object has been linked to different forms of attentional modulation. Object-based attention theory founds on the finding that even task-irrelevant features at the selected object are subject to attentional modulation, while feature-based attention theory proposes a global processing benefit for the selected feature even at other objects. Most studies investigated either the one or the other form of attention, leaving open the possibility that both object- and feature-specific attentional effects do occur at the same time and may just represent two sides of a single attention system. We here investigate this issue by testing attentional spreading within and across objects, using reaction time measurements to changes of attended and unattended features on both attended and unattended objects. We asked subjects to report color and speed changes occurring on one of two overlapping random dot patterns, presented at the center of gaze. The key property of the stimulation was that only one of the features (e.g. motion direction was unique for each object, whereas the other feature (e.g. color was shared by both. The results of two experiments show that co-selection of unattended features even occurs when those features have no means for selecting the object. At the same time, they demonstrate that this processing benefit is not restricted to the selected object but spreads to the task-irrelevant one. We conceptualize these findings by a 3-step model of attention that assumes a task-dependent top-down gain, object-specific feature selection based on task- and binding characteristics, and a global feature-specific processing enhancement. The model allows for the unification of a vast amount of experimental results into a single model, and makes various experimentally testable predictions for the interaction of object- and feature-specific processes.

  19. Reward processing in the value-driven attention network: reward signals tracking cue identity and location.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Brian A

    2017-03-01

    Through associative reward learning, arbitrary cues acquire the ability to automatically capture visual attention. Previous studies have examined the neural correlates of value-driven attentional orienting, revealing elevated activity within a network of brain regions encompassing the visual corticostriatal loop [caudate tail, lateral occipital complex (LOC) and early visual cortex] and intraparietal sulcus (IPS). Such attentional priority signals raise a broader question concerning how visual signals are combined with reward signals during learning to create a representation that is sensitive to the confluence of the two. This study examines reward signals during the cued reward training phase commonly used to generate value-driven attentional biases. High, compared with low, reward feedback preferentially activated the value-driven attention network, in addition to regions typically implicated in reward processing. Further examination of these reward signals within the visual system revealed information about the identity of the preceding cue in the caudate tail and LOC, and information about the location of the preceding cue in IPS, while early visual cortex represented both location and identity. The results reveal teaching signals within the value-driven attention network during associative reward learning, and further suggest functional specialization within different regions of this network during the acquisition of an integrated representation of stimulus value. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Acoustic noise alters selective attention processes as indicated by direct current (DC) brain potential changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimmel, Karin; Schätzer, Julia; Trimmel, Michael

    2014-09-26

    Acoustic environmental noise, even of low to moderate intensity, is known to adversely affect information processing in animals and humans via attention mechanisms. In particular, facilitation and inhibition of information processing are basic functions of selective attention. Such mechanisms can be investigated by analyzing brain potentials under conditions of externally directed attention (intake of environmental information) versus internally directed attention (rejection of environmental stimuli and focusing on memory/planning processes). This study investigated brain direct current (DC) potential shifts-which are discussed to represent different states of cortical activation-of tasks that require intake and rejection of environmental information under noise. It was hypothesized that without background noise rejection tasks would show more positive DC potential changes compared to intake tasks and that under noise both kinds of tasks would show positive DC shifts as an expression of cortical inhibition caused by noise. DC potential shifts during intake and rejection tasks were analyzed at 16 standard locations in 45 persons during irrelevant speech or white noise vs. control condition. Without noise, rejection tasks were associated with more positive DC potential changes compared to intake tasks. During background noise, however, this difference disappeared and both kinds of tasks led to positive DC shifts. Results suggest-besides some limitations-that noise modulates selective attention mechanisms by switching to an environmental information processing and noise rejection mode, which could represent a suggested "attention shift". Implications for fMRI studies as well as for public health in learning and performance environments including susceptible persons are discussed.

  1. Acoustic Noise Alters Selective Attention Processes as Indicated by Direct Current (DC Brain Potential Changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Trimmel

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Acoustic environmental noise, even of low to moderate intensity, is known to adversely affect information processing in animals and humans via attention mechanisms. In particular, facilitation and inhibition of information processing are basic functions of selective attention. Such mechanisms can be investigated by analyzing brain potentials under conditions of externally directed attention (intake of environmental information versus internally directed attention (rejection of environmental stimuli and focusing on memory/planning processes. This study investigated brain direct current (DC potential shifts—which are discussed to represent different states of cortical activation—of tasks that require intake and rejection of environmental information under noise. It was hypothesized that without background noise rejection tasks would show more positive DC potential changes compared to intake tasks and that under noise both kinds of tasks would show positive DC shifts as an expression of cortical inhibition caused by noise. DC potential shifts during intake and rejection tasks were analyzed at 16 standard locations in 45 persons during irrelevant speech or white noise vs. control condition. Without noise, rejection tasks were associated with more positive DC potential changes compared to intake tasks. During background noise, however, this difference disappeared and both kinds of tasks led to positive DC shifts. Results suggest—besides some limitations—that noise modulates selective attention mechanisms by switching to an environmental information processing and noise rejection mode, which could represent a suggested “attention shift”. Implications for fMRI studies as well as for public health in learning and performance environments including susceptible persons are discussed.

  2. LS1 Report: Preparatory phase complete

    CERN Multimedia

    Katy Foraz

    2013-01-01

    The preparatory phase in the LHC which includes electrical and leak test is now completed. The field is now free for consolidation, upgrade and maintenance activities.   Three magnets have been replaced in sector 7-8 and a special intervention team is now connecting new magnets that have been installed. Two magnets of sector 1-2 will be exchanged this week. The R2E project is progressing well: the power converters are being removed at points 1 and 7, while the protection works required prior to any civil engineering works commencing are almost finished at point 5. Moreover, many other activities are taking place in LHC, including the consolidation of the cryo line, and the maintenance of radio-frequency systems and cabling. The activities in the injector complex are also in full gear. Sixteen magnets at the SPS are being exchanged, and the pick-up tank of AD is now back in place. Meanwhile, the PS cranes are being exchanged and the old PS ventilation system is being replaced. The interconnecti...

  3. Interests shape how adolescents pay attention: the interaction of motivation and top-down attentional processes in biasing sensory activations to anticipated events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Snigdha; Frey, Hans-Peter; Molholm, Sophie; Foxe, John J

    2015-03-01

    The voluntary allocation of attention to environmental inputs is a crucial mechanism of healthy cognitive functioning, and is probably influenced by an observer's level of interest in a stimulus. For example, an individual who is passionate about soccer but bored by botany will obviously be more attentive at a soccer match than an orchid show. The influence of monetary rewards on attention has been examined, but the impact of more common motivating factors (i.e. the level of interest in the materials under observation) remains unclear, especially during development. Here, stimulus sets were designed based on survey measures of the level of interest of adolescent participants in several item classes. High-density electroencephalography was recorded during a cued spatial attention task in which stimuli of high or low interest were presented in separate blocks. The motivational impact on performance of a spatial attention task was assessed, along with event-related potential measures of anticipatory top-down attention. As predicted, performance was improved for the spatial target detection of high interest items. Further, the impact of motivation was observed in parieto-occipital processes associated with anticipatory top-down spatial attention. The anticipatory activity over these regions was also increased for high vs. low interest stimuli, irrespective of the direction of spatial attention. The results also showed stronger anticipatory attentional and motivational modulations over the right vs. left parieto-occipital cortex. These data suggest that motivation enhances top-down attentional processes, and can independently shape activations in sensory regions in anticipation of events. They also suggest that attentional functions across hemispheres may not fully mature until late adolescence. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Components and sequential changes in event-related potential induced by gaze orientation processing under a reflective attention cue paradigm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yingdi Li; Xuemin Zhang; Yan Song; Qing Feng

    2010-01-01

    Gaze orientation induces activation of relevant brain regions,presents differences in specificity and time course,and is exhibited in patients with brain injury.However,the components of activated event-related potential remain controversial.Previous studies of behavior and cognitive neuroscience related to gaze orientation investigated conscious attention of visual orientation.The present study explored gaze orientation processing-induced event-related potential components and changes with time using reflective orientation of visual attention under a reflective attention cue paradigm.Visual attention processing of gaze orientation was recorded using event-related potential and electroencephalographic recording.Results demonstrated that the reflective attention cue task evoked early directing attention negativity and anterior directing attention negativity,but did not trigger late directing attention positivity.These results suggest that reflective attention occurs over a short time of visual stimulus presentation.During the early stage of attention processing,early directing attention negativity and anterior directing attention negativity were detected,but late directing attention positivity did not occur.These results confirmed reflectivity and time-course superiority of gaze orientation attention processing.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casper H. van Heck

    2017-05-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Executive Processes in Appearance-Reality Tasks: The Role of Inhibition of Attention and Symbolic Representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bialystok, Ellen; Senman, Lili

    2004-01-01

    Two studies addressed the role of representation ability and control of attention on solutions to an appearance-reality task based on two types of objects, real and representational. In Study 1, 67 preschool children (3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds) solved appearancereality problems and executive processing tasks. There was an interaction between object…

  8. Striatal Sensitivity during Reward Processing in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paloyelis, Yannis; Mehta, Mitul A.; Faraone, Stephen V.; Asherson, Philip; Kuntsi, Jonna

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been linked to deficits in the dopaminergic reward-processing circuitry; yet, existing evidence is limited, and the influence of genetic variation affecting dopamine signaling remains unknown. We investigated striatal responsivity to rewards in ADHD combined type (ADHD-CT) using…

  9. Brief Report: Joint Attention and Information Processing in Children with Higher Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundy, Peter; Kim, Kwanguk; McIntyre, Nancy; Lerro, Lindsay; Jarrold, William

    2016-01-01

    Theory suggests that information processing during joint attention may be atypical in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This hypothesis was tested in a study of school-aged children with higher functioning ASD and groups of children with symptoms of ADHD or typical development. The results indicated that the control groups displayed…

  10. Intermodal attention affects the processing of the temporal alignment of audiovisual stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Talsma, Durk; Senkowski, Daniel; Woldorff, Marty G.

    2009-01-01

    The temporal asynchrony between inputs to different sensory modalities has been shown to be a critical factor influencing the interaction between such inputs. We used scalp-recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the effects of attention on the processing of audiovisual multisensory

  11. Emotional communication in the context of joint attention for food stimuli: effects on attentional and affective processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soussignan, Robert; Schaal, Benoist; Boulanger, Véronique; Garcia, Samuel; Jiang, Tao

    2015-01-01

    Guided by distinct theoretical frameworks (the embodiment theories, shared-signal hypothesis, and appraisal theories), we examined the effects of gaze direction and emotional expressions (joy, disgust, and neutral) of virtual characters on attention orienting and affective reactivity of participants while they were engaged in joint attention for food stimuli contrasted by preference (disliked, moderately liked, and liked). The participants were exposed to videos of avatars looking at food and displaying facial expressions with their gaze directed either toward the food only or toward the food and participants consecutively. We recorded eye-tracking responses, heart rate, facial electromyography (zygomatic, corrugator, and levator labii regions), and food wanting/liking. The avatars' joy faces increased the participants' zygomatic reactions and food liking, with mutual eye contact boosting attentional responses. Eye contact also fostered disgust reactions to disliked food, regardless of the avatars' expressions. The findings show that joint attention for food accompanied by face-to-face emotional communication elicits differential attentional and affective responses. The findings appear consistent with the appraisal theories of emotion.

  12. Meditation increases the depth of information processing and improves the allocation of attention in space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara evan Leeuwen

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available During meditation, practitioners are required to center their attention on a specific object for extended periods of time. When their thoughts get diverted, they learn to quickly disengage from the distracter. We hypothesized that learning to respond to the dual demand of engaging attention on specific objects and disengaging quickly from distracters enhances the efficiency by which meditation practitioners can allocate attention. We tested this hypothesis in a global-to-local task while measuring electroencephalographic activity from a group of eight highly trained Buddhist monks and nuns and a group of eight age and education matched controls with no previous meditation experience. Specifically, we investigated the effect of attentional training on the global precedence effect, i.e., faster detection of targets on a global than on a local level. We expected to find a reduced global precedence effect in meditation practitioners but not in controls, reflecting that meditators can more quickly disengage their attention from the dominant global level. Analysis of reaction times confirmed this prediction. To investigate the underlying changes in brain activity and their time course, we analyzed event-related potentials. Meditators showed an enhanced ability to select the respective target level, as reflected by enhanced processing of target level information. In contrast with control group, which showed a local target selection effect only in the P1 and a global target selection effect in the P3 component, meditators showed effects of local information processing in the P1, N2 and P3 and of global processing for the N1, N2 and P3. Thus, meditators seem to display enhanced depth of processing. In addition, meditation altered the uptake of information such that meditators selected target level information earlier in the processing sequence than controls. In a longitudinal experiment, we could replicate the behavioral effects, suggesting that

  13. Nicotine modulation of information processing is not limited to input (attention) but extends to output (intention).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Emma J; Ross, Thomas J; Kurup, Pradeep K; Stein, Elliot A

    2010-05-01

    Nicotine influences many cognitive processes, especially those requiring high attentional loads, yet the impact of nicotine on all aspects of information processing has not been well delineated. The aim of the study was to determine the relative behavioral and functional effects of nicotine on dissociable aspects of information processing (i.e., selective attention and motor intention). Adult smokers (N = 25) and healthy controls (N = 23) performed the intention/attention task (IAT) twice, during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The IAT assesses the relative differences in performance evoked by prime stimuli that provide information regarding either the correct hand with which to respond (i.e., intentional primes) or the likely location of a target stimulus (i.e., attentional primes). Smokers were scanned 2 h after nicotine (21 mg) or placebo patch placement. The order of nicotine and placebo sessions was randomized and counter-balanced. Controls were also scanned twice, with no patch placement in either session. While drug condition had no significant effect on reaction time, smokers were overall more accurate than controls. Moreover, nicotine significantly increased the response to intentional primes in brain regions known to mediate response readiness, e.g., inferior parietal lobe, supramarginal gyrus, and striatum. While limited to participant accuracy, these data suggest that the behavioral effects of nicotine in smokers are not only limited to information processing input (i.e., selective attention) but are also generalizable to output functions (i.e., motor intention). Moreover, nicotine's effects on intention appear to be mediated by a facilitation of function in brain regions associated with information processing output.

  14. Cognitive-electrophysiological indices of attentional and inhibitory processing in adults with ADHD: familial effects

    OpenAIRE

    McLoughlin, G; Asherson, P.; Albrecht, B.; Banaschewski, T.; Rothenberger, A.; Brandeis, D; Kuntsi, J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that starts in childhood and frequently persists in adults. In a comparison of adults with ADHD and a matched control sample, we previously showed that abnormal inhibitory processing is typically preceded or accompanied by other processing deficits in adult ADHD. We now compare these data further to additional data from first-degree relatives (fathers) of children with ADHD to identify whether t...

  15. Cognitive-electrophysiological indices of attentional and inhibitory processing in adults with ADHD: familial effects

    OpenAIRE

    McLoughlin Gráinne; Asherson Philip; Albrecht Bjoern; Banaschewski Tobias; Rothenberger Aribert; Brandeis Daniel; Kuntsi Jonna

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that starts in childhood and frequently persists in adults. In a comparison of adults with ADHD and a matched control sample, we previously showed that abnormal inhibitory processing is typically preceded or accompanied by other processing deficits in adult ADHD. We now compare these data further to additional data from first-degree relatives (fathers) of children with ADHD to identify ...

  16. Meditation increases the depth of information processing and improves the allocation of attention in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Leeuwen, Sara; Singer, Wolf; Melloni, Lucia

    2012-01-01

    During meditation, practitioners are required to center their attention on a specific object for extended periods of time. When their thoughts get diverted, they learn to quickly disengage from the distracter. We hypothesized that learning to respond to the dual demand of engaging attention on specific objects and disengaging quickly from distracters enhances the efficiency by which meditation practitioners can allocate attention. We tested this hypothesis in a global-to-local task while measuring electroencephalographic activity from a group of eight highly trained Buddhist monks and nuns and a group of eight age and education matched controls with no previous meditation experience. Specifically, we investigated the effect of attentional training on the global precedence effect, i.e., faster detection of targets on a global than on a local level. We expected to find a reduced global precedence effect in meditation practitioners but not in controls, reflecting that meditators can more quickly disengage their attention from the dominant global level. Analysis of reaction times confirmed this prediction. To investigate the underlying changes in brain activity and their time course, we analyzed event-related potentials. Meditators showed an enhanced ability to select the respective target level, as reflected by enhanced processing of target level information. In contrast with control group, which showed a local target selection effect only in the P1 and a global target selection effect in the P3 component, meditators showed effects of local information processing in the P1, N2, and P3 and of global processing for the N1, N2, and P3. Thus, meditators seem to display enhanced depth of processing. In addition, meditation altered the uptake of information such that meditators selected target level information earlier in the processing sequence than controls. In a longitudinal experiment, we could replicate the behavioral effects, suggesting that meditation modulates

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Multiple Electrophysiological Markers of Visual-Attentional Processing in a Novel Task Directed toward Clinical Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Bolduc-Teasdale

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Individuals who have sustained a mild brain injury (e.g., mild traumatic brain injury or mild cerebrovascular stroke are at risk to show persistent cognitive symptoms (attention and memory after the acute postinjury phase. Although studies have shown that those patients perform normally on neuropsychological tests, cognitive symptoms remain present, and there is a need for more precise diagnostic tools. The aim of this study was to develop precise and sensitive markers for the diagnosis of post brain injury deficits in visual and attentional functions which could be easily translated in a clinical setting. Using electrophysiology, we have developed a task that allows the tracking of the processes involved in the deployment of visual spatial attention from early stages of visual treatment (N1, P1, N2, and P2 to higher levels of cognitive processing (no-go N2, P3a, P3b, N2pc, SPCN. This study presents a description of this protocol and its validation in 19 normal participants. Results indicated the statistically significant presence of all ERPs aimed to be elicited by this novel task. This task could allow clinicians to track the recovery of the mechanisms involved in the deployment of visual-attentional processing, contributing to better diagnosis and treatment management for persons who suffer a brain injury.

  19. Audio-visual synchrony and feature-selective attention co-amplify early visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M

    2016-05-01

    Our brain relies on neural mechanisms of selective attention and converging sensory processing to efficiently cope with rich and unceasing multisensory inputs. One prominent assumption holds that audio-visual synchrony can act as a strong attractor for spatial attention. Here, we tested for a similar effect of audio-visual synchrony on feature-selective attention. We presented two superimposed Gabor patches that differed in colour and orientation. On each trial, participants were cued to selectively attend to one of the two patches. Over time, spatial frequencies of both patches varied sinusoidally at distinct rates (3.14 and 3.63 Hz), giving rise to pulse-like percepts. A simultaneously presented pure tone carried a frequency modulation at the pulse rate of one of the two visual stimuli to introduce audio-visual synchrony. Pulsed stimulation elicited distinct time-locked oscillatory electrophysiological brain responses. These steady-state responses were quantified in the spectral domain to examine individual stimulus processing under conditions of synchronous versus asynchronous tone presentation and when respective stimuli were attended versus unattended. We found that both, attending to the colour of a stimulus and its synchrony with the tone, enhanced its processing. Moreover, both gain effects combined linearly for attended in-sync stimuli. Our results suggest that audio-visual synchrony can attract attention to specific stimulus features when stimuli overlap in space.

  20. Motivational influences on impression formation: outcome dependency, accuracy-driven attention, and individuating processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuberg, S L; Fiske, S T

    1987-09-01

    How might being outcome dependent on another person influence the processes that one uses to form impressions of that person? We designed three experiments to investigate this question with respect to short-term, task-oriented outcome dependency. In all three experiments, subjects expected to interact with a young man formerly hospitalized as a schizophrenic, and they received information about the person's attributes in either written profiles or videotapes. In Experiment 1, short-term, task-oriented outcome dependency led subjects to use relatively individuating processes (i.e., to base their impressions of the patient on his particular attributes), even under conditions that typically lead subjects to use relatively category-based processes (i.e., to base their impressions on the patient's schizophrenic label). Moreover, in the conditions that elicited individuating processes, subjects spent more time attending to the patient's particular attribute information. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the attention effects in Experiment 1 were not merely a function of impression positivity and that outcome dependency did not influence the impression formation process when attribute information in addition to category-level information was unavailable. Finally, Experiment 3 manipulated not outcome dependency but the attentional goal of forming an accurate impression. We found that accuracy-driven attention to attribute information also led to individuating processes. The results of the three experiments indicate that there are important influences of outcome dependency on impression formation. These results are consistent with a model in which the tendency for short-term, task-oriented outcome dependency to facilitate individuating impression formation processes is mediated by an increase in accuracy-driven attention to attribute information.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Introzzi

    2015-07-01

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

  2. Unraveling the sub-processes of selective attention: insights from dynamic modeling and continuous behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisch, Simon; Dshemuchadse, Maja; Görner, Max; Goschke, Thomas; Scherbaum, Stefan

    2015-11-01

    Selective attention biases information processing toward stimuli that are relevant for achieving our goals. However, the nature of this bias is under debate: Does it solely rely on the amplification of goal-relevant information or is there a need for additional inhibitory processes that selectively suppress currently distracting information? Here, we explored the processes underlying selective attention with a dynamic, modeling-based approach that focuses on the continuous evolution of behavior over time. We present two dynamic neural field models incorporating the diverging theoretical assumptions. Simulations with both models showed that they make similar predictions with regard to response times but differ markedly with regard to their continuous behavior. Human data observed via mouse tracking as a continuous measure of performance revealed evidence for the model solely based on amplification but no indication of persisting selective distracter inhibition.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Vandevivere

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

  4. Identifying and managing preparatory grief and depression at the end of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Periyakoil, Vyjeyanthi S; Hallenbeck, James

    2002-03-01

    Grief and depression present similarly in patients who are dying. Conventional symptoms (e.g., frequent crying, weight loss, thoughts of death) used to assess for depression in these patients may be imprecise because these symptoms are also present in preparatory grief and as a part of the normal dying process. Preparatory grief is experienced by virtually all patients who are dying and can be facilitated with psychosocial support and counseling. Ongoing pharmacotherapy is generally not beneficial and may even be harmful to patients who are grieving. Evidence of disturbed self-esteem, hopelessness, an active desire to die and ruminative thoughts about death and suicide are indicative of depression in patients who are dying. Physicians should have a low threshold for treating depression in patients nearing the end of life because depression is associated with tremendous suffering and poor quality of life.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. I Can Read It in Your Eyes: What Eye Movements Tell Us about Visuo-Attentional Processes in Developmental Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellocchi, Stephanie; Muneaux, Mathilde; Bastien-Toniazzo, Mireille; Ducrot, Stephanie

    2013-01-01

    Most studies today agree about the link between visual-attention and oculomotor control during reading: attention seems to affect saccadic programming, that is, the position where the eyes land in a word. Moreover, recent studies show that visuo-attentional processes are strictly linked to normal and impaired reading. In particular, a large body…

  8. Sustained multifocal attentional enhancement of stimulus processing in early visual areas predicts tracking performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola S; Winther, Gesche N; Li, Shu-Chen; Andersen, Søren K

    2013-03-20

    Keeping track of multiple moving objects is an essential ability of visual perception. However, the mechanisms underlying this ability are not well understood. We instructed human observers to track five or seven independent randomly moving target objects amid identical nontargets and recorded steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) elicited by these stimuli. Visual processing of moving targets, as assessed by SSVEP amplitudes, was continuously facilitated relative to the processing of identical but irrelevant nontargets. The cortical sources of this enhancement were located to areas including early visual cortex V1-V3 and motion-sensitive area MT, suggesting that the sustained multifocal attentional enhancement during multiple object tracking already operates at hierarchically early stages of visual processing. Consistent with this interpretation, the magnitude of attentional facilitation during tracking in a single trial predicted the speed of target identification at the end of the trial. Together, these findings demonstrate that attention can flexibly and dynamically facilitate the processing of multiple independent object locations in early visual areas and thereby allow for tracking of these objects.

  9. Peripheral Visual Cues: Their Fate in Processing and Effects on Attention and Temporal-Order Perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tünnermann, Jan; Scharlau, Ingrid

    2016-01-01

    Peripheral visual cues lead to large shifts in psychometric distributions of temporal-order judgments. In one view, such shifts are attributed to attention speeding up processing of the cued stimulus, so-called prior entry. However, sometimes these shifts are so large that it is unlikely that they are caused by attention alone. Here we tested the prevalent alternative explanation that the cue is sometimes confused with the target on a perceptual level, bolstering the shift of the psychometric function. We applied a novel model of cued temporal-order judgments, derived from Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention. We found that cue–target confusions indeed contribute to shifting psychometric functions. However, cue-induced changes in the processing rates of the target stimuli play an important role, too. At smaller cueing intervals, the cue increased the processing speed of the target. At larger intervals, inhibition of return was predominant. Earlier studies of cued TOJs were insensitive to these effects because in psychometric distributions they are concealed by the conjoint effects of cue–target confusions and processing rate changes.

  10. Cognitive function predicts neural activity associated with pre-attentive temporal processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Shannon M; Kisley, Michael A; Davis, Hasker P; Diede, Nathaniel T; Campbell, Alana M; Davalos, Deana B

    2013-01-01

    Temporal processing, or processing time-related information, appears to play a significant role in a variety of vital psychological functions. One of the main confounds to assessing the neural underpinnings and cognitive correlates of temporal processing is that behavioral measures of timing are generally confounded by other supporting cognitive processes, such as attention. Further, much theorizing in this field has relied on findings from clinical populations (e.g., individuals with schizophrenia) known to have temporal processing deficits. In this study, we attempted to avoid these difficulties by comparing temporal processing assessed by a pre-attentive event-related brain potential (ERP) waveform, the mismatch negativity (MMN) elicited by time-based stimulus features, to a number of cognitive functions within a non-clinical sample. We studied healthy older adults (without dementia), as this population inherently ensures more prominent variability in cognitive function than a younger adult sample, allowing for the detection of significant relationships between variables. Using hierarchical regression analyses, we found that verbal memory and executive functions (i.e., planning and conditional inhibition, but not set-shifting) uniquely predicted variance in temporal processing beyond that predicted by the demographic variables of age, gender, and hearing loss. These findings are consistent with a frontotemporal model of MMN waveform generation in response to changes in the temporal features of auditory stimuli.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. The role of automaticity and attention in neural processes underlying empathy for happiness, sadness, and anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Morelli, Sylvia A.; Lieberman, Matthew D.

    2013-01-01

    Although many studies have examined the neural basis of empathy, relatively little is known about how empathic processes are affected by different attentional conditions. Thus, we examined whether instructions to empathize might amplify responses in empathy-related regions and whether cognitive load would diminish the involvement of these regions. Thirty-two participants completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging session assessing empathic responses to individuals experiencing happy, s...

  13. Beat processing is pre-attentive for metrically simple rhythms with clear accents: an ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwer, Fleur L; Van Zuijen, Titia L; Honing, Henkjan

    2014-01-01

    The perception of a regular beat is fundamental to music processing. Here we examine whether the detection of a regular beat is pre-attentive for metrically simple, acoustically varying stimuli using the mismatch negativity (MMN), an ERP response elicited by violations of acoustic regularity irrespective of whether subjects are attending to the stimuli. Both musicians and non-musicians were presented with a varying rhythm with a clear accent structure in which occasionally a sound was omitted. We compared the MMN response to the omission of identical sounds in different metrical positions. Most importantly, we found that omissions in strong metrical positions, on the beat, elicited higher amplitude MMN responses than omissions in weak metrical positions, not on the beat. This suggests that the detection of a beat is pre-attentive when highly beat inducing stimuli are used. No effects of musical expertise were found. Our results suggest that for metrically simple rhythms with clear accents beat processing does not require attention or musical expertise. In addition, we discuss how the use of acoustically varying stimuli may influence ERP results when studying beat processing.

  14. Impaired Early Attentional Processes in Parkinson's Disease: A High-Resolution Event-Related Potentials Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perrine Bocquillon

    Full Text Available The selection of task-relevant information requires both the focalization of attention on the task and resistance to interference from irrelevant stimuli. A previous study using the P3 component of the event-related potentials suggested that a reduced ability to resist interference could be responsible for attention disorders at early stages of Parkinson's disease (PD, with a possible role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC.Our objective was to better determine the origin of this impairment, by studying an earlier ERP component, the N2, and its subcomponents, as they reflect early inhibition processes and as they are known to have sources in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC, which is involved together with the DLPFC in inhibition processes. Fifteen early-stage PD patients and 15 healthy controls (HCs performed a three-stimulus visual oddball paradigm, consisting in detecting target inputs amongst standard stimuli, while resisting interference from distracter ones. A 128-channel electroencephalogram was recorded during this task and the generators of the N2 subcomponents were identified using standardized weighted low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (swLORETA.PD patients displayed fewer N2 generators than HCs in both the DLPFC and the ACC, for all types of stimuli. In contrast to controls, PD patients did not show any differences between their generators for different N2 subcomponents.Our data suggest that impaired inhibition in PD results from dysfunction of the DLPFC and the ACC during the early stages of attentional processes.

  15. Beyond pleasure and arousal: appetitive erotic stimuli modulate electrophysiological brain correlates of early attentional processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhr, Benjamin; Schomberg, Jessica; Gruber, Thomas; Quirin, Markus

    2013-03-27

    Previous studies investigating affective reactions to pictures that elicit a specific effect have mainly focused on the dimensions valence and arousal. Using an event-related picture-viewing paradigm in electroencephalography, we investigated whether erotica - that is appetitive, evolutionarily relevant stimuli - have effects on early stages of attentional processing that are distinct from those of other positive and arousing stimuli. Seventeen male students viewed arousing photos of erotic, nude women or pictures of extreme sport scenes, as well as control pictures of attractive, dressed women or daily activities. Erotic pictures differed from extreme sport pictures not only in late but also in early attentional processes, as indicated by event-related potentials appearing from 130 ms after stimulus onset (P1). The findings suggest (a) that the dimension of appetence should be considered in addition to valence and arousal when investigating psychophysiological reactions to affective-motivational stimuli and (b) that early attentional processing as mirrored by the P1 can be influenced by motivational systems.

  16. Beat processing is pre-attentive for metrically simple rhythms with clear accents: an ERP study.

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    Fleur L Bouwer

    Full Text Available The perception of a regular beat is fundamental to music processing. Here we examine whether the detection of a regular beat is pre-attentive for metrically simple, acoustically varying stimuli using the mismatch negativity (MMN, an ERP response elicited by violations of acoustic regularity irrespective of whether subjects are attending to the stimuli. Both musicians and non-musicians were presented with a varying rhythm with a clear accent structure in which occasionally a sound was omitted. We compared the MMN response to the omission of identical sounds in different metrical positions. Most importantly, we found that omissions in strong metrical positions, on the beat, elicited higher amplitude MMN responses than omissions in weak metrical positions, not on the beat. This suggests that the detection of a beat is pre-attentive when highly beat inducing stimuli are used. No effects of musical expertise were found. Our results suggest that for metrically simple rhythms with clear accents beat processing does not require attention or musical expertise. In addition, we discuss how the use of acoustically varying stimuli may influence ERP results when studying beat processing.

  17. Effects of selective attention on syntax processing in music and language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maidhof, Clemens; Koelsch, Stefan

    2011-09-01

    The present study investigated the effects of auditory selective attention on the processing of syntactic information in music and speech using event-related potentials. Spoken sentences or musical chord sequences were either presented in isolation, or simultaneously. When presented simultaneously, participants had to focus their attention either on speech, or on music. Final words of sentences and final harmonies of chord sequences were syntactically either correct or incorrect. Irregular chords elicited an early right anterior negativity (ERAN), whose amplitude was decreased when music was simultaneously presented with speech, compared to when only music was presented. However, the amplitude of the ERAN-like waveform elicited when music was ignored did not differ from the conditions in which participants attended the chord sequences. Irregular sentences elicited an early left anterior negativity (ELAN), regardless of whether speech was presented in isolation, was attended, or was to be ignored. These findings suggest that the neural mechanisms underlying the processing of syntactic structure of music and speech operate partially automatically, and, in the case of music, are influenced by different attentional conditions. Moreover, the ERAN was slightly reduced when irregular sentences were presented, but only when music was ignored. Therefore, these findings provide no clear support for an interaction of neural resources for syntactic processing already at these early stages.

  18. The role of automaticity and attention in neural processes underlying empathy for happiness, sadness, and anxiety.

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    Morelli, Sylvia A; Lieberman, Matthew D

    2013-01-01

    Although many studies have examined the neural basis of empathy, relatively little is known about how empathic processes are affected by different attentional conditions. Thus, we examined whether instructions to empathize might amplify responses in empathy-related regions and whether cognitive load would diminish the involvement of these regions. Thirty-two participants completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging session assessing empathic responses to individuals experiencing happy, sad, and anxious events. Stimuli were presented under three conditions: watching naturally, actively empathizing, and under cognitive load. Across analyses, we found evidence for a core set of neural regions that support empathic processes (dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, DMPFC; medial prefrontal cortex, MPFC; temporoparietal junction, TPJ; amygdala; ventral anterior insula, AI; and septal area, SA). Two key regions-the ventral AI and SA-were consistently active across all attentional conditions, suggesting that they are automatically engaged during empathy. In addition, watching vs. empathizing with targets was not markedly different and instead led to similar subjective and neural responses to others' emotional experiences. In contrast, cognitive load reduced the subjective experience of empathy and diminished neural responses in several regions related to empathy and social cognition (DMPFC, MPFC, TPJ, and amygdala). The results reveal how attention impacts empathic processes and provides insight into how empathy may unfold in everyday interactions.

  19. The role of automaticity and attention in neural processes underlying empathy for happiness, sadness, and anxiety

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    Sylvia A. Morelli

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Although many studies have examined the neural basis of experiencing empathy, relatively little is known about how empathic processes are affected by different attentional conditions. Thus, we examined whether instructions to empathize might amplify responses in empathy-related regions and whether cognitive load would diminish the involvement of these regions. 32 participants completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging session assessing empathic responses to individuals experiencing happy, sad, and anxious events. Stimuli were presented under three conditions: watching naturally, while instructed to empathize, and under cognitive load. Across analyses, we found evidence for a core set of neural regions that support empathic processes (dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, DMPFC; medial prefrontal cortex, MPFC; temporoparietal junction, TPJ; amygdala; ventral anterior insula, AI; septal area, SA. Two key regions – the ventral AI and SA – were consistently active across all attentional conditions, suggesting that they are automatically engaged during empathy. In addition, watching versus empathizing with targets was not markedly different and instead led to similar subjective and neural responses to others’ emotional experiences. In contrast, cognitive load reduced the subjective experience of empathy and diminished neural responses in several regions related to empathy (DMPFC, MPFC, TPJ, amygdala and social cognition. The current results reveal how attention impacts empathic processes and provides insight into how empathy may unfold in everyday interactions.

  20. Memory as a function of attention, level of processing, and automatization.

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    Fisk, A D; Schneider, W

    1984-04-01

    The relationships between long-term memory (LTM) modification, attentional allocation, and type of processing are examined. Automatic/controlled processing theory (Schneider & Shiffrin, 1977) predicts that the nature and amount of controlled processing determines LTM storage and that stimuli can be automatically processed with no lasting LTM effect. Subjects performed the following: (a) an intentional learning, (b) a semantic categorization, (c) a graphic categorization, (d) a distracting digit-search while intentionally learning words, and (e) a distracting digit-search while ignoring words. Frequency judgments were more accurate in the semantic and intentional conditions than the graphic condition. Frequency judgments in the digit-search conditions were near chance. Experiment 2 extensively trained subjects to develop automatic categorization. Automatic categorization produced no frequency learning and little recognition. These results also disconfirm the Hasher and Zacks (1979) "automatic encoding" proposal regarding the nature of processing.

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

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

    2017-09-25

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

  2. Asymmetry in infants’ selective attention to facial features during visual processing of infant-directed speech

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    Nicholas A Smith

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Two experiments used eye tracking to examine how infant and adult observers distribute their eye gaze on videos of a mother producing infant- and adult-directed speech. Both groups showed greater attention to the eyes than to the nose and mouth, as well as an asymmetrical focus on the talker’s right eye for infant-directed speech stimuli. Observers continued to look more at the talker’s apparent right eye when the video stimuli were mirror flipped, suggesting that the asymmetry reflects a perceptual processing bias rather than a stimulus artifact, which may be related to cerebral lateralization of emotion processing.

  3. Individual differences in speech-in-noise perception parallel neural speech processing and attention in preschoolers.

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    Thompson, Elaine C; Woodruff Carr, Kali; White-Schwoch, Travis; Otto-Meyer, Sebastian; Kraus, Nina

    2017-02-01

    From bustling classrooms to unruly lunchrooms, school settings are noisy. To learn effectively in the unwelcome company of numerous distractions, children must clearly perceive speech in noise. In older children and adults, speech-in-noise perception is supported by sensory and cognitive processes, but the correlates underlying this critical listening skill in young children (3-5 year olds) remain undetermined. Employing a longitudinal design (two evaluations separated by ∼12 months), we followed a cohort of 59 preschoolers, ages 3.0-4.9, assessing word-in-noise perception, cognitive abilities (intelligence, short-term memory, attention), and neural responses to speech. Results reveal changes in word-in-noise perception parallel changes in processing of the fundamental frequency (F0), an acoustic cue known for playing a role central to speaker identification and auditory scene analysis. Four unique developmental trajectories (speech-in-noise perception groups) confirm this relationship, in that improvements and declines in word-in-noise perception couple with enhancements and diminishments of F0 encoding, respectively. Improvements in word-in-noise perception also pair with gains in attention. Word-in-noise perception does not relate to strength of neural harmonic representation or short-term memory. These findings reinforce previously-reported roles of F0 and attention in hearing speech in noise in older children and adults, and extend this relationship to preschool children. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  5. Original article Functioning of memory and attention processes in children with intelligence below average

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    Aneta Rita Borkowska

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND The aim of the research was to assess memorization and recall of logically connected and unconnected material, coded graphically and linguistically, and the ability to focus attention, in a group of children with intelligence below average, compared to children with average intelligence. PARTICIPANTS AND PROCEDURE The study group included 27 children with intelligence below average. The control group consisted of 29 individuals. All of them were examined using the authors’ experimental trials and the TUS test (Attention and Perceptiveness Test. RESULTS Children with intelligence below average memorized significantly less information contained in the logical material, demonstrated lower ability to memorize the visual material, memorized significantly fewer words in the verbal material learning task, achieved lower results in such indicators of the visual attention process pace as the number of omissions and mistakes, and had a lower pace of perceptual work, compared to children with average intelligence. CONCLUSIONS The results confirm that children with intelligence below average have difficulties with memorizing new material, both logically connected and unconnected. The significantly lower capacity of direct memory is independent of modality. The results of the study on the memory process confirm the hypothesis about lower abilities of children with intelligence below average, in terms of concentration, work pace, efficiency and perception.

  6. Negative attention bias and processing deficits during the cognitive reappraisal of unpleasant emotions in HIV+ women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Roger C; Tartar, Jaime L; Widmayer, Susan; Rosselli, Monica

    2015-01-01

    Deficits in emotional processing may be attributed to HIV disease or comorbid psychiatric disorders. Electrocortical markers of emotional attention, i.e., amplitude of the P2 and late positive potential (LPP), were compared between 26 HIV+ women and 25 healthy controls during an emotional regulation paradigm. HIV+ women showed early attention bias to negative stimuli indexed by greater P2 amplitude. In contrast, compared with the passive viewing of unpleasant images, HIV+ women demonstrated attenuation of the early and late LPP during positive reappraisal. This interaction remained significant after adjusting for individual differences in apathy, anxiety, and depression. Post hoc analyses implicated time since HIV diagnosis with LPP attenuation during positive reappraisal. Advancing HIV disease may disrupt neural generators associated with the cognitive reappraisal of emotions independent of psychiatric function.

  7. Pre-Processing of Brands Versus Attentional: A Test of the Differences in the Registry of Stimulus by Individuals

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    Tais Pasquotto Andreoli

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to limited capacity of cognitive resources and to the saturation context of stimuli, becomes probably that a lot of available stimulus in the ambient don´t be actively processed, in a conscious manner, but yes unconsciously, at the preattentive level. Despite of the importance of preattentive processing, are few the studies that address and discuss its implications and function on stimuli reception. In the light of the above, the study has with aim to compare the preattentive and attentive processing in terms of advertiser brand registry, testing, for that, the implicit and explicit memory of individuals and their brand valuation. Methodologically, the study proceeded, initially, to the bibliographic survey, focusing on the follow conceptual bases: the attention process under a complex perspective, subdivided into preattention and attention, and the information registry in light of the processing level. Supported by the bibliographic survey, the study adopted the hypothetical-deduvito method, with the development of a experiment 2 (preattention x attention x 2 (magazine show in slide x impress.As contribution, the study support the traced hypotheses: large incidence of explicit memory of advertiser brands in attentive processing; implicit memory found in both processing; brand valuation effects higher when the preattentive processing happened, instead of when did attentive processing. The results find reinforce the theory about the registry differences according with the attention used on processing, highlighting, yet, the superiority of impress media and preattentive processing in the individual influence capacity.      

  8. Information processing and aspects of visual attention in children with the DSM-III-R diagnosis ''pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified'' (PDDNOS) .1. Focused and divided attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Althaus, M; deSonneville, LMJ; Minderaa, RB; Hensen, LGN; Til, RB

    1996-01-01

    A sample of 8-to 12-year-old nonhyperactive children of normal intelligence with the DSM-III-R diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDDNOS) completed two selective attention tasks. Following a linear stage model of information processing, it was demonstrated that th

  9. Age-related differences in the automatic processing of single letters: implications for selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daffner, Kirk R; Alperin, Brittany R; Mott, Katherine K; Holcomb, Phillip J

    2014-01-22

    Older adults exhibit diminished ability to inhibit the processing of visual stimuli that are supposed to be ignored. The extent to which age-related changes in early visual processing contribute to impairments in selective attention remains to be determined. Here, 103 adults, 18-85 years of age, completed a color selective attention task in which they were asked to attend to a specified color and respond to designated target letters. An optimal approach would be to initially filter according to color and then process letter forms in the attend color to identify targets. An asymmetric N170 ERP component (larger amplitude over left posterior hemisphere sites) was used as a marker of the early automatic processing of letter forms. Young and middle-aged adults did not generate an asymmetric N170 component. In contrast, young-old and old-old adults produced a larger N170 over the left hemisphere. Furthermore, older adults generated a larger N170 to letter than nonletter stimuli over the left, but not right hemisphere. More asymmetric N170 responses predicted greater allocation of late selection resources to target letters in the ignore color, as indexed by P3b amplitude. These results suggest that unlike their younger counterparts, older adults automatically process stimuli as letters early in the selection process, when it would be more efficient to attend to color only. The inability to ignore letters early in the processing stream helps explain the age-related increase in subsequent processing of target letter forms presented in the ignore color.

  10. Abnormal distracter processing in adults with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

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    Frank Marzinzik

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Subjects with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD are overdistractible by stimuli out of the intended focus of attention. This control deficit could be due to primarily reduced attentional capacities or, e. g., to overshooting orienting to unexpected events. Here, we aimed at identifying disease-related abnormalities of novelty processing and, therefore, studied event-related potentials (ERP to respective stimuli in adult ADHD patients compared to healthy subjects. METHODS: Fifteen unmedicated subjects with ADHD and fifteen matched controls engaged in a visual oddball task (OT under simultaneous EEG recordings. A target stimulus, upon which a motor response was required, and non-target stimuli, which did not demand a specific reaction, were presented in random order. Target and most non-target stimuli were presented repeatedly, but some non-target stimuli occurred only once ('novels'. These unique stimuli were either 'relative novels' with which a meaning could be associated, or 'complete novels', if no association was available. RESULTS: In frontal recordings, a positive component with a peak latency of some 400 ms became maximal after novels. In healthy subjects, this novelty-P3 (or 'orienting response' was of higher magnitude after complete than after relative novels, in contrast to the patients with an undifferentially high frontal responsivity. Instead, ADHD patients tended to smaller centro-parietal P3 responses after target signals and, on a behavioural level, responded slower than controls. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate abnormal novelty processing in adult subjects with ADHD. In controls, the ERP pattern indicates that allocation of meaning modulates the processing of new stimuli. However, in ADHD such a modulation was not prevalent. Instead, also familiar, only context-wise new stimuli were treated as complete novels. We propose that disturbed semantic processing of new stimuli resembles a mechanism for

  11. Neural Correlates of Attentional Flexibility during Approach and Avoidance Motivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcott, Rebecca D.; Berkman, Elliot T.

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic, momentary approach or avoidance motivational states have downstream effects on eventual goal success and overall well being, but there is still uncertainty about how those states affect the proximal neurocognitive processes (e.g., attention) that mediate the longer-term effects. Attentional flexibility, or the ability to switch between different attentional foci, is one such neurocognitive process that influences outcomes in the long run. The present study examined how approach and avoidance motivational states affect the neural processes involved in attentional flexibility using fMRI with the aim of determining whether flexibility operates via different neural mechanisms under these different states. Attentional flexibility was operationalized as subjects’ ability to switch between global and local stimulus features. In addition to subjects’ motivational state, the task context was manipulated by varying the ratio of global to local trials in a block in light of recent findings about the moderating role of context on motivation-related differences in attentional flexibility. The neural processes involved in attentional flexibility differ under approach versus avoidance states. First, differences in the preparatory activity in key brain regions suggested that subjects’ preparedness to switch was influenced by motivational state (anterior insula) and the interaction between motivation and context (superior temporal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule). Additionally, we observed motivation-related differences the anterior cingulate cortex during switching. These results provide initial evidence that motivation-induced behavioral changes may arise via different mechanisms in approach versus avoidance motivational states. PMID:26000735

  12. Neural Correlates of Attentional Flexibility during Approach and Avoidance Motivation.

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    Rebecca D Calcott

    Full Text Available Dynamic, momentary approach or avoidance motivational states have downstream effects on eventual goal success and overall well being, but there is still uncertainty about how those states affect the proximal neurocognitive processes (e.g., attention that mediate the longer-term effects. Attentional flexibility, or the ability to switch between different attentional foci, is one such neurocognitive process that influences outcomes in the long run. The present study examined how approach and avoidance motivational states affect the neural processes involved in attentional flexibility using fMRI with the aim of determining whether flexibility operates via different neural mechanisms under these different states. Attentional flexibility was operationalized as subjects' ability to switch between global and local stimulus features. In addition to subjects' motivational state, the task context was manipulated by varying the ratio of global to local trials in a block in light of recent findings about the moderating role of context on motivation-related differences in attentional flexibility. The neural processes involved in attentional flexibility differ under approach versus avoidance states. First, differences in the preparatory activity in key brain regions suggested that subjects' preparedness to switch was influenced by motivational state (anterior insula and the interaction between motivation and context (superior temporal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule. Additionally, we observed motivation-related differences the anterior cingulate cortex during switching. These results provide initial evidence that motivation-induced behavioral changes may arise via different mechanisms in approach versus avoidance motivational states.

  13. Neural Correlates of Attentional Flexibility during Approach and Avoidance Motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcott, Rebecca D; Berkman, Elliot T

    2015-01-01

    Dynamic, momentary approach or avoidance motivational states have downstream effects on eventual goal success and overall well being, but there is still uncertainty about how those states affect the proximal neurocognitive processes (e.g., attention) that mediate the longer-term effects. Attentional flexibility, or the ability to switch between different attentional foci, is one such neurocognitive process that influences outcomes in the long run. The present study examined how approach and avoidance motivational states affect the neural processes involved in attentional flexibility using fMRI with the aim of determining whether flexibility operates via different neural mechanisms under these different states. Attentional flexibility was operationalized as subjects' ability to switch between global and local stimulus features. In addition to subjects' motivational state, the task context was manipulated by varying the ratio of global to local trials in a block in light of recent findings about the moderating role of context on motivation-related differences in attentional flexibility. The neural processes involved in attentional flexibility differ under approach versus avoidance states. First, differences in the preparatory activity in key brain regions suggested that subjects' preparedness to switch was influenced by motivational state (anterior insula) and the interaction between motivation and context (superior temporal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule). Additionally, we observed motivation-related differences the anterior cingulate cortex during switching. These results provide initial evidence that motivation-induced behavioral changes may arise via different mechanisms in approach versus avoidance motivational states.

  14. [Motivational processes in addiction: the role of craving, salience and attention].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franken, I H A; Wiers, R W

    2013-01-01

    Motivational processes play an important role in addictive behaviours. Craving is mainly an explicit or conscious process that can motivate individuals to continue alcohol, take drugs or smoke cigarettes. Craving also plays a role in relapse; self-reported craving has often been associated with relapse. However, craving cannot explain all addictive behaviours. In addition to craving, implicit cognitive processes play an important part in motivating individuals to become involved in substance use. To describe some of these implicit cognitive processes, namely the role of salience, attention bias, automatic memory associations and action tendencies. A description is given of recent research results and the implications of these implicit processes for clinical practice. Oversensitive/hypersensitive motivational processes and a lack of control over these processes both play an important role in addiction. This can be expressed by an uncontrollable urge to inject the drug or substance again, in spite of the fact that it is unwise for the person in question to do so. Recent research has shown that there are various very promising methods for dealing with these two problems (oversensitive/hypersensitive motivational processes and a lack of control over these processes), either separately or together. The methods involve behavioural training programmes, medication and neural stimulation. The research results are very promising, but more research is needed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Interplay of Multisensory Processing, Attention, and Consciousness as Revealed by Bistable Figures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su-Ling Yeh

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We examined the novel crossmodal semantic congruency effect on bistable figures in which a static stimulus gives rise to two competing percepts that alternate over time. Participants viewed the bistable figure “my wife or my mother-in-law” while listening to the voice of an old woman or a young lady speaking in an unfamiliar language. They had to report whether they saw the old woman, the young lady, or a mixed percept. Robust crossmodal semantic congruency effects in the measures of the first percept and the predominance duration were observed. The possibilities that the participants simply responded to, and/or that they fixed at the location in favor of, the percept congruent with the sound that they happened to hear were ruled out. When the participants were instructed to maintain their attention to a specific view, a strong top-down modulation on the perception of bistable figure was observed, although the audiovisual semantic congruency effect still remained. These results thus demonstrate that top-down attention (ie,, selection and/or voluntary control modulates the audiovisual semantic congruency effect. As the alternating percepts in bistable figures indicate competition for conscious perception, this study has important implications for the multifaceted interactions between multisensory processing, attention, and consciousness.

  17. [A Role of the Basal Ganglia in Processing of Complex Sounds and Auditory Attention].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silkis, I G

    2015-01-01

    A hypothetical mechanism is suggested for processing of complex sounds and auditory attention in parallel neuronal loops including various auditory cortical areas connected with parts of the medial geniculate body, inferior colliculus and basal ganglia. Release of dopamine in the striatum promotes bidirectional modulation of strong and weak inputs from the neocortex to striatal neurons giving rise to direct and indirect pathways through the basal ganglia. Subsequent synergistic disinhibition of one and inhibition of other groups of thalamic neurons by the basal ganglia result in the creation of contrasted neuronal representations of properties of auditory stimuli in related cortical areas. Contrasting is strengthened due to a simultaneous disinhibition of pedunculopontine nucleus and action at muscarine receptors on neurons in the medial geniculate body. It follows from this mechanism that involuntary attention to sound tone can enhance an early component of the responses of neurons in the primary auditory cortical area (50 msec) in the absence of dopamine due to a disinhibition of thalamic neurons via the direct pathway through the basal ganglia, whereas voluntary attention to complex sounds can enhance only those components of responses of neurones in secondary auditory cortical areas which latencies exceeds latencies of dopaminergic cells (i.e. after 100 msec). Various consequences of proposed mechanism are in agreement with known experimental data.

  18. Salience and Attention in Surprisal-Based Accounts of Language Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarcone, Alessandra; van Schijndel, Marten; Vogels, Jorrig; Demberg, Vera

    2016-01-01

    The notion of salience has been singled out as the explanatory factor for a diverse range of linguistic phenomena. In particular, perceptual salience (e.g., visual salience of objects in the world, acoustic prominence of linguistic sounds) and semantic-pragmatic salience (e.g., prominence of recently mentioned or topical referents) have been shown to influence language comprehension and production. A different line of research has sought to account for behavioral correlates of cognitive load during comprehension as well as for certain patterns in language usage using information-theoretic notions, such as surprisal. Surprisal and salience both affect language processing at different levels, but the relationship between the two has not been adequately elucidated, and the question of whether salience can be reduced to surprisal / predictability is still open. Our review identifies two main challenges in addressing this question: terminological inconsistency and lack of integration between high and low levels of representations in salience-based accounts and surprisal-based accounts. We capitalize upon work in visual cognition in order to orient ourselves in surveying the different facets of the notion of salience in linguistics and their relation with models of surprisal. We find that work on salience highlights aspects of linguistic communication that models of surprisal tend to overlook, namely the role of attention and relevance to current goals, and we argue that the Predictive Coding framework provides a unified view which can account for the role played by attention and predictability at different levels of processing and which can clarify the interplay between low and high levels of processes and between predictability-driven expectation and attention-driven focus. PMID:27375525

  19. Word frequency and the attentional blink: the effects of target difficulty on retrieval and consolidation processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan M Wierda

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: When a second target (T2 is presented in close succession of a first target (T1 within a stream of non-targets, people often fail to detect T2-a deficit known as the attentional blink (AB. Two types of theories can be distinguished that have tried to account for this phenomenon. Whereas attentional-control theories suggest that protection of consolidation processes induces the AB, limited-resource theories claim that the AB is caused by a lack of resources. According to the latter type of theories, increasing difficulty of one or both targets should increase the magnitude of the AB. Similarly, attentional-control theories predict that a difficult T1 increases the AB due to prolonged processing. However, the prediction for T2 is not as straightforward. Prolonged processing of T2 could cause conflicts and increase the AB. However, if consolidation of T2 is postponed without loss of identity, the AB might be attenuated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants performed an AB task that consisted of a stream of distractor non-words and two target words. Difficulty of T1 and T2 was manipulated by varying word-frequency. Overall performance for high-frequency words was better than for low-frequency words. When T1 was highly frequent, the AB was reduced. The opposite effect was found for T2. When T2 was highly frequent, performance during the AB period was relatively worse than for a low-frequency T2. A threaded-cognition model of the AB was presented that simulated the observed pattern of behavior by taking changes in the time-course of retrieval and consolidation processes into account. Our results were replicated in a subsequent ERP study. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The finding that a difficult low-frequency T2 reduces the magnitude of the AB is at odds with limited-resource accounts of the AB. However, it was successfully accounted for by the threaded-cognition model, thus providing an explanation in terms of attentional control.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martine Wilhelmina Francina Teresia Verhees

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Object-based attentional modulation of biological motion processing: spatiotemporal dynamics using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safford, Ashley S; Hussey, Elizabeth A; Parasuraman, Raja; Thompson, James C

    2010-07-07

    Although it is well documented that the ability to perceive biological motion is mediated by the lateral temporal cortex, whether and when neural activity in this brain region is modulated by attention is unknown. In particular, it is unclear whether the processing of biological motion requires attention or whether such stimuli are processed preattentively. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging, high-density electroencephalography, and cortically constrained source estimation methods to investigate the spatiotemporal effects of attention on the processing of biological motion. Directing attention to tool motion in overlapping movies of biological motion and tool motion suppressed the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response of the right superior temporal sulcus (STS)/middle temporal gyrus (MTG), while directing attention to biological motion suppressed the BOLD response of the left inferior temporal sulcus (ITS)/MTG. Similarly, category-based modulation of the cortical current source density estimates from the right STS/MTG and left ITS was observed beginning at approximately 450 ms following stimulus onset. Our results indicate that the cortical processing of biological motion is strongly modulated by attention. These findings argue against preattentive processing of biological motion in the presence of stimuli that compete for attention. Our findings also suggest that the attention-based segregation of motion category-specific responses only emerges relatively late (several hundred milliseconds) in processing.

  2. Preparatory steps for a robust dynamic model for organically bound tritium dynamics in agricultural crops

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Melintescu, A.; Galeriu, D. [' Horia Hulubei' National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering, Bucharest-Magurele (Romania); Diabate, S.; Strack, S. [Institute of Toxicology and Genetics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - KIT, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen (Germany)

    2015-03-15

    The processes involved in tritium transfer in crops are complex and regulated by many feedback mechanisms. A full mechanistic model is difficult to develop due to the complexity of the processes involved in tritium transfer and environmental conditions. First, a review of existing models (ORYZA2000, CROPTRIT and WOFOST) presenting their features and limits, is made. Secondly, the preparatory steps for a robust model are discussed, considering the role of dry matter and photosynthesis contribution to the OBT (Organically Bound Tritium) dynamics in crops.

  3. 29 CFR 776.28 - Covered preparatory activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... company which was engaged in preliminary oil well drilling, even though the holes were drilled to a... drilling operations even though no oil was discovered. 27 Laborers employed in erecting drilling rigs would also be covered. 28 Other preparatory work before drilling begins in an oil field, such as staking...

  4. A Needs Analysis Study for Preparatory Class ELT Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulum, Ömer Gökhan

    2015-01-01

    With this study, to have a general understanding of academic needs for the development of speaking skill, the needs of preparatory class university students at an English Language Teaching Department were assessed. Based upon a descriptive research design, an adapted questionnaire with open-ended questions was administered to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th…

  5. 9 CFR 77.13 - Accreditation preparatory States or zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... TUBERCULOSIS Cattle and Bison § 77.13 Accreditation preparatory States or zones. (a) The following are... livestock other than cattle or bison are included in a newly assembled herd on a premises where a... the “Uniform Methods and Rules—Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication” (January 22, 1999 edition), which...

  6. Study of Educational Aspirations of Preparatory School Students in Yemen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edington, Everett D.

    To identify causes for low enrollment in secondary agricultural schools in Yemen, the United States Agency for International Development and the Yemen Ministry of Education surveyed 990 preparatory (junior high) students, examining their educational aspirations, differences between rural and urban youth, major influences on student aspirations,…

  7. GAUDI: A Preparatory Archive for the COROT Mission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aerts, C.C.

    2005-01-01

    The GAUDI database (Ground-based Asteroseismology Uniform Database Interface) is a preparatory archive for the COROT (Convection, Rotation, and Planetary Transits) mission developed at the Laboratorio de Astrofísica Espacial y Física Fundamental (Laboratory for Space Astrophysics and Theoretical

  8. Investigation of Burnout among Instructors Working at ESOGU Preparatory School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özkanal, Ümit; Arikan, Nadire

    2010-01-01

    Burnout is an issue to be taken seriously in the workplaces where human interaction is salient and very important. The aim of the research is to investigate burnout among the instructors working at ESOGU preparatory school and find out what factors affect their levels of burnout. 28 instructors working in this institution participated in the…

  9. 5 CFR 551.412 - Preparatory or concluding activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Preparatory or concluding activities. 551.412 Section 551.412 Administrative Personnel OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS PAY ADMINISTRATION UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT Hours of Work Application of Principles...

  10. Anxiety-linked attentional bias and its modification: Illustrating the importance of distinguishing processes and procedures in experimental psychopathology research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLeod, Colin; Grafton, Ben

    2016-11-01

    In this review of research concerning anxiety-linked attentional bias, we seek to illustrate a general principle that we contend applies across the breadth of experimental psychopathology. Specifically, we highlight how maintenance of a clear distinction between process and procedure serves to enhance the advancement of knowledge and understanding, while failure to maintain this distinction can foster confusion and misconception. We show how such clear differentiation has permitted the continuous refinement of assessment procedures, in ways that have led to growing confidence in the existence of the putative attentional bias process of interest, and also increasing understanding of its nature. In contrast, we show how a failure to consistently differentiate between process and procedure has contributed to confusion concerning whether or not attentional bias modification reliably alters anxiety vulnerability and dysfunction. As we demonstrate, such confusion can be avoided by distinguishing the process of attentional bias modification from the procedures that have been employed with the intention of evoking this target process. Such an approach reveals that procedures adopted with the intention of eliciting the attentional bias modification process do not always do so, but that successful evocation of the attentional bias modification process quite reliably alters anxiety symptomatology. We consider some of the specific implications for future research concerning attentional bias modification, while also pointing to the broader implications for experimental psychopathology research in general. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Selective attention modulates the effect of target location probability on redundant signal processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Ting-Yun; Little, Daniel R; Yang, Cheng-Ta

    2016-08-01

    We investigated the decision process underlying the detection of targets at multiple locations. In three experiments using the same observers, target location probability and attentional instructions were manipulated. A redundant-target detection task was conducted in which participants were required to detect a dot presented at one of two locations. When the dot appeared at the two locations with equal frequency (Experiment 1), those participants who were found to have limited to unlimited capacity were shown to adopt a parallel, self-terminating strategy. By contrast, those participants who had supercapacity were shown to process redundant targets in a coactive manner. When targets were presented with unequal probability, two participants adopted a parallel, self-terminating strategy regardless of whether they were informed the target location probability (Experiment 3) or not (Experiment 2). For the remaining two participants, the strategy changed from parallel, self-terminating to serial, self-terminating as a result of the probability instructions. In Experiments 2 and 3, all the participants were of unlimited to limited capacity. Taken together, these results suggest that target location probability differently affects the selection of a decision strategy and highlight the role of controlled attention in selecting a decision strategy.

  12. Processing speed training increases the efficiency of attentional resource allocation in young adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wesley K Burge

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive training has been shown to improve performance on a range of tasks. However, the mechanisms underlying these improvements are still unclear. Given the wide range of transfer effects, it is likely that these effects are due to a factor common to a wide range of tasks. One such factor is a participant’s efficiency in allocating limited cognitive resources. The impact of a cognitive training program, Processing Speed Training (PST, on the allocation of resources to a set of visual tasks was measured using pupillometry in 10 young adults as compared to a control group of a 10 young adults (n = 20. PST is a well-studied computerized training program that involves identifying simultaneously presented central and peripheral stimuli. As training progresses, the task becomes increasingly more difficult, by including peripheral distracting stimuli and decreasing the duration of stimulus presentation. Analysis of baseline data confirmed that pupil diameter reflected cognitive effort. After training, participants randomized to PST used fewer attentional resources to perform complex visual tasks as compared to the control group. These pupil diameter data indicated that PST appears to increase the efficiency of attentional resource allocation. Increases in cognitive efficiency have been hypothesized to underlie improvements following experience with action video games, and improved cognitive efficiency has been hypothesized to underlie the benefits of processing speed training in older adults. These data reveal that these training schemes may share a common underlying mechanism of increasing cognitive efficiency in younger adults.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  14. Strengthening Inclusion of Learners With Attention Difficulties Through Interventions With Digital Technology In Processes of Production

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sorensen, Elsebeth Korsgaard; Voldborg, Hanne

    2017-01-01

    This paper investigates the potential of digital technologies for strengthening the participation and inclusion of learners with developmental and attention deficits (focus learners) into the mainstream classroom. The paper describes the authors’ approach to the challenge of researching the extent......, to which digital technologies may support the learning process of focus learners – in particular in those aspects of the learning process that deal with the construction of learning products and the communication and dissemination of knowledge to peers, teachers or others. On the basis of the actual...... analysis and a succeeding discussion, the paper concludes that in order to create ownership, pedagogic strategies and interventions with digital technologies (whether viewed from the perspective of teaching or the perspective of learning) should incorporate opportunities for developing digital multimodal...

  15. The effects of preparatory sensory information on ICU patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Shu-Feng; Munjas, Barbara A; Wan, Thomas T H; Cowling, W Richard; Grap, Mary Jo; Wang, Bill B L

    2003-04-01

    Preparatory sensory information (PSI) has been found to have significant effects in reducing distress, tension, restlessness, negative moods, and anxiety, and also in reducing length of postoperative hospitalization during various threatening medical events, but no evidence has demonstrated the effect of PSI on a patient during ICU hospitalization. On the basis of Lazarus' theory, a structural equation model was developed to examine the role of the nursing intervention, PSI, as a significant factor influencing patients' processes of cognitive appraisals and coping, adaptational responses, and patient care outcomes during ICU hospitalization. The analytical model examined the net effect of PSI on outcomes, controlling for the effects of mastery, interpersonal trust, social support, socioeconomic status, severity of illness, age, and gender. A quasi-experiment was executed in four large acute care hospitals. Data were collected from 41 subjects in the control group and from 42 in the treatment group receiving PSI before ICU admission. Structural equation modeling was employed to test the proposed analytic model. The initial tests of model fit indicate that the original model did not fit the data well with GFI = 0.85, AGFI = 0.76, RMSEA = 0.059, p_close = 0.28, and critical N = 78. A revised model was developed, and the fit indices suggested an adequate fit with GFI = 0.90, AGFI = 0.84, RMSEA = 0.00, p_close = 0.89, and critical N = 109. These findings provide empirical support for Lazarus' theory on stress, appraisal, and coping. The findings also verify the beneficial effects of the nursing intervention of PSI on ICU patients.

  16. Attention Modulates the Auditory Cortical Processing of Spatial and Category Cues in Naturalistic Auditory Scenes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renvall, Hanna; Staeren, Noël; Barz, Claudia S.; Ley, Anke; Formisano, Elia

    2016-01-01

    This combined fMRI and MEG study investigated brain activations during listening and attending to natural auditory scenes. We first recorded, using in-ear microphones, vocal non-speech sounds, and environmental sounds that were mixed to construct auditory scenes containing two concurrent sound streams. During the brain measurements, subjects attended to one of the streams while spatial acoustic information of the scene was either preserved (stereophonic sounds) or removed (monophonic sounds). Compared to monophonic sounds, stereophonic sounds evoked larger blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI responses in the bilateral posterior superior temporal areas, independent of which stimulus attribute the subject was attending to. This finding is consistent with the functional role of these regions in the (automatic) processing of auditory spatial cues. Additionally, significant differences in the cortical activation patterns depending on the target of attention were observed. Bilateral planum temporale and inferior frontal gyrus were preferentially activated when attending to stereophonic environmental sounds, whereas when subjects attended to stereophonic voice sounds, the BOLD responses were larger at the bilateral middle superior temporal gyrus and sulcus, previously reported to show voice sensitivity. In contrast, the time-resolved MEG responses were stronger for mono- than stereophonic sounds in the bilateral auditory cortices at ~360 ms after the stimulus onset when attending to the voice excerpts within the combined sounds. The observed effects suggest that during the segregation of auditory objects from the auditory background, spatial sound cues together with other relevant temporal and spectral cues are processed in an attention-dependent manner at the cortical locations generally involved in sound recognition. More synchronous neuronal activation during monophonic than stereophonic sound processing, as well as (local) neuronal inhibitory mechanisms in

  17. Episodic memory, concentrated attention and processing speed in aging: A comparative study of Brazilian age groups

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rochele Paz Fonseca

    Full Text Available Abstract Neuropsychological studies on the processing of some specific cognitive functions throughout aging are essential for the understanding of human cognitive development from ages 19 to 89. Objectives: This study aimed to verify the occurrence of differences in the processing of episodic memory, concentrated attention and speed of attentional processing among four age groups of adults. Methods: A total of 136 neurologically healthy adults, aged 19-89, with 9 or more years of schooling, took part in the study. Participants were divided according to four age groups: young, middle-aged, elderly and oldest old adults. Subtests of the Brief Neuropsychological Evaluation Instrument (NEUPSILIN were applied for the cognitive assessment. Mean score of corrected answers and of response times were compared between groups by means of a one-way ANOVA test with post-hoc Scheffe procedures and ANCOVA including the co-variables of years of schooling and socio-economical scores. Results: In general, differences in performance were observed from 60 years old on. Only the episodic memory task of delayed recall reflected differences from the age of around 40 onwards and processing speed from around the age of 70 onwards. Thus, differences were found between the age groups regarding their cognitive performance, particularly between young adults and elderly adults, and young adults and oldest old adults. Conclusions: Our research indicates that the middle-aged group should be better analyzed and that comparative cross-sectional studies including only extreme groups such as young and elderly adults are not sufficient.

  18. Attentional processes of high-skilled soccer players with congenital hemiparesis: Differences related to the side of the hemisperic lesion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steenbergen, B.; Kamp, J. van der

    2008-01-01

    We investigated attentional processes that support the performance of high-skilled soccer players with hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Participants (N = 10) dribbled a slalom course as quickly and accurately as possible under two attentional-focus manipulation conditions. In the task-relevant focus cond

  19. Attentional processes of high-skilled soccer players with congenital hemiparesis: Differences related to the side of the hemisperic lesion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steenbergen, B.; Kamp, J. van der

    2008-01-01

    We investigated attentional processes that support the performance of high-skilled soccer players with hemiparetic cerebral palsy. Participants (N = 10) dribbled a slalom course as quickly and accurately as possible under two attentional-focus manipulation conditions. In the task-relevant focus

  20. Attentional gain and processing capacity limits predict the propensity to neglect unexpected visual stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papera, Massimiliano; Richards, Anne

    2016-05-01

    Exogenous allocation of attentional resources allows the visual system to encode and maintain representations of stimuli in visual working memory (VWM). However, limits in the processing capacity to allocate resources can prevent unexpected visual stimuli from gaining access to VWM and thereby to consciousness. Using a novel approach to create unbiased stimuli of increasing saliency, we investigated visual processing during a visual search task in individuals who show a high or low propensity to neglect unexpected stimuli. When propensity to inattention is high, ERP recordings show a diminished amplification concomitantly with a decrease in theta band power during the N1 latency, followed by a poor target enhancement during the N2 latency. Furthermore, a later modulation in the P3 latency was also found in individuals showing propensity to visual neglect, suggesting that more effort is required for conscious maintenance of visual information in VWM. Effects during early stages of processing (N80 and P1) were also observed suggesting that sensitivity to contrasts and medium-to-high spatial frequencies may be modulated by low-level saliency (albeit no statistical group differences were found). In accordance with the Global Workplace Model, our data indicate that a lack of resources in low-level processors and visual attention may be responsible for the failure to "ignite" a state of high-level activity spread across several brain areas that is necessary for stimuli to access awareness. These findings may aid in the development of diagnostic tests and intervention to detect/reduce inattention propensity to visual neglect of unexpected stimuli.

  1. Processing speed training increases the efficiency of attentional resource allocation in young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burge, Wesley K; Ross, Lesley A; Amthor, Franklin R; Mitchell, William G; Zotov, Alexander; Visscher, Kristina M

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive training has been shown to improve performance on a range of tasks. However, the mechanisms underlying these improvements are still unclear. Given the wide range of transfer effects, it is likely that these effects are due to a factor common to a wide range of tasks. One such factor is a participant's efficiency in allocating limited cognitive resources. The impact of a cognitive training program, Processing Speed Training (PST), on the allocation of resources to a set of visual tasks was measured using pupillometry in 10 young adults as compared to a control group of a 10 young adults (n = 20). PST is a well-studied computerized training program that involves identifying simultaneously presented central and peripheral stimuli. As training progresses, the task becomes increasingly more difficult, by including peripheral distracting stimuli and decreasing the duration of stimulus presentation. Analysis of baseline data confirmed that pupil diameter reflected cognitive effort. After training, participants randomized to PST used fewer attentional resources to perform complex visual tasks as compared to the control group. These pupil diameter data indicated that PST appears to increase the efficiency of attentional resource allocation. Increases in cognitive efficiency have been hypothesized to underlie improvements following experience with action video games, and improved cognitive efficiency has been hypothesized to underlie the benefits of PST in older adults. These data reveal that these training schemes may share a common underlying mechanism of increasing cognitive efficiency in younger adults.

  2. Neuronal correlates of three attentional strategies during affective picture processing: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schienle, Anne; Wabnegger, Albert; Schoengassner, Florian; Scharmüller, Wilfried

    2014-12-01

    This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study directly compared the neurocircuitry involved in three different attentional strategies during affective picture processing. We exposed 40 participants (20 men, 20 women) to images depicting dental treatment, as well as neutral scenes. They were asked to do one of three tasks while watching the same pictures: directing their attention toward a foreground object within the picture (distraction), classifying whether the image showed dental treatment, or deciding whether the scene elicited fear of pain (introspection). The participants performed the distraction and classification task with high accuracy and rated only 11 % of the dental treatment pictures as pain relevant. Introspection was associated with increased activation of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC), relative to the two other conditions. Since the dental, relative to the neutral, pictures elicited enhanced DMPFC activation across all conditions, this underlines the role of this brain region for the assignment, as well as self-reference, of affective meaning. Moreover, self-reported dental anxiety was positively correlated with activation of a pain modulatory network (DMPFC, basal ganglia) when the participants focused on the pain relevance of the dental treatment cues. For future studies, it seems promising to study a high-anxious group or even patients afflicted with dental phobia.

  3. Transfer of Training between Music and Speech: Common Processing, Attention, and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besson, Mireille; Chobert, Julie; Marie, Céline

    2011-01-01

    After a brief historical perspective of the relationship between language and music, we review our work on transfer of training from music to speech that aimed at testing the general hypothesis that musicians should be more sensitive than non-musicians to speech sounds. In light of recent results in the literature, we argue that when long-term experience in one domain influences acoustic processing in the other domain, results can be interpreted as common acoustic processing. But when long-term experience in one domain influences the building-up of abstract and specific percepts in another domain, results are taken as evidence for transfer of training effects. Moreover, we also discuss the influence of attention and working memory on transfer effects and we highlight the usefulness of the event-related potentials method to disentangle the different processes that unfold in the course of music and speech perception. Finally, we give an overview of an on-going longitudinal project with children aimed at testing transfer effects from music to different levels and aspects of speech processing. PMID:21738519

  4. Transfer of Training between Music and Speech: Common Processing, Attention, and Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besson, Mireille; Chobert, Julie; Marie, Céline

    2011-01-01

    After a brief historical perspective of the relationship between language and music, we review our work on transfer of training from music to speech that aimed at testing the general hypothesis that musicians should be more sensitive than non-musicians to speech sounds. In light of recent results in the literature, we argue that when long-term experience in one domain influences acoustic processing in the other domain, results can be interpreted as common acoustic processing. But when long-term experience in one domain influences the building-up of abstract and specific percepts in another domain, results are taken as evidence for transfer of training effects. Moreover, we also discuss the influence of attention and working memory on transfer effects and we highlight the usefulness of the event-related potentials method to disentangle the different processes that unfold in the course of music and speech perception. Finally, we give an overview of an on-going longitudinal project with children aimed at testing transfer effects from music to different levels and aspects of speech processing.

  5. Transfer of training between music and speech: common processing, attention and memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mireille eBesson

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available After a brief historical perspective of the relationship between language and music, we review our work on transfer of training from music to speech that aimed at testing the general hypothesis that musicians should be more sensitive than nonmusicians to speech sounds. In light of recent results in the literature, we argue that when long-term experience in one domain influences acoustic processing in the other domain, results can be interpreted as common acoustic processing. But when long-term experience in one domain influences the building-up of abstract and specific percepts in another domain, results are taken as evidence for transfer of training effects. Moreover, we also discuss the influence of attention and working memory on transfer effects and we highlight the usefulness of the Event-Related Potentials method to disentangle the different processes that unfold in the course of music and speech perception. Finally, we give an overview of an on-going longitudinal project with children aimed at testing transfer effects from music to different levels and aspects of speech processing.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. [Effectiveness of neuropsychological rehabilitation in acquired brain injury (I): attention, processing speed, memory and language].

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Noreña, David; Ríos-Lago, Marcos; Bombín-González, Igor; Sánchez-Cubillo, Ignacio; García-Molina, Alberto; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier

    2010-12-01

    The consequences of acquired brain injury include impairments in cognition, emotion, and behaviour. Neuro-psychology provides techniques for treating these disorders, but it is still important to establish which of all the available tools are most effective for this purpose. This article reviews existing studies on the effectiveness of neuropsychological rehabilitation, focusing on those areas more often impaired due to acquired brain injury. The purpose of the article is to guide and orient neuro-psychological rehabilitation of these patients based on the strongest evidence available in the literature. This paper focuses on cognitive domains such as attention and neglect, memory and language. There is enough evidence to recommend the neuropsychological rehabilitation of the above processes in patients with acquired brain injury.

  8. Comparative Study of Sustained Attentional Bias on Emotional Processing in ADHD Children to Pictures with Eye-Tracking

    OpenAIRE

    Pishyareh, Ebrahim; Mehdi EHRANI-DOOST; MAHMOODI-GHARAIE, Javad; Anahita KHORRAMI; Saeid Reza RAHMDAR

    2015-01-01

    How to Cite This Article: Pishyareh E, Tehrani-doost M, Mahmoodi-gharaie J, Khorrami A, Rahmdar SR. A Comparative Study of SustainedAttentional Bias on Emotional Processing in ADHD Children to Pictures with Eye-Tracking. Iran J Child Neurol. 2015 Winter;9(1):64-70.AbstractObjectiveADHD children have anomalous and negative behavior especially in emotionally related fields when compared to other. Evidence indicates that attention has an impact on emotional processing. The present study evaluate...

  9. Attentional modulations of somatosensory alpha, beta and gamma oscillations dissociate between anticipation and stimulus processing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ede, F.L. van; Szebenyi, S.; Maris, E.G.G.

    2014-01-01

    What are the spectral signatures of somatosensory attention? Here we show that the answer to this question depends critically on the sensory context in which attention is deployed. We recorded magnetoencephalography (MEG) in humans and investigated tactile spatial attention in two different sensory

  10. Salience and attention in surprisal-based accounts of language processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra eZarcone

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The notion of salience has been singled out as the explanatory factor for a diverse range oflinguistic phenomena. In particular, perceptual salience (e.g. visual salience of objects in the world,acoustic prominence of linguistic sounds and semantic-pragmatic salience (e.g. prominence ofrecently mentioned or topical referents have been shown to influence language comprehensionand production. A different line of research has sought to account for behavioral correlates ofcognitive load during comprehension as well as for certain patterns in language usage usinginformation-theoretic notions, such as surprisal. Surprisal and salience both affect languageprocessing at different levels, but the relationship between the two has not been adequatelyelucidated, and the question of whether salience can be reduced to surprisal / predictability isstill open. Our review identifies two main challenges in addressing this question: terminologicalinconsistency and lack of integration between high and low levels of representations in salience-based accounts and surprisal-based accounts. We capitalise upon work in visual cognition inorder to orient ourselves in surveying the different facets of the notion of salience in linguisticsand their relation with models of surprisal. We find that work on salience highlights aspects oflinguistic communication that models of surprisal tend to overlook, namely the role of attentionand relevance to current goals, and we argue that the Predictive Coding framework provides aunified view which can account for the role played by attention and predictability at different levelsof processing and which can clarify the interplay between low and high levels of processes andbetween predictability-driven expectation and attention-driven focus.

  11. Reflexive and preparatory selection and suppression of salient information in the right and left posterior parietal cortex.

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    Mevorach, Carmel; Humphreys, Glyn W; Shalev, Lilach

    2009-06-01

    Attentional cues can trigger activity in the parietal cortex in anticipation of visual displays, and this activity may, in turn, induce changes in other areas of the visual cortex, hence, implementing attentional selection. In a recent TMS study [Mevorach, C., Humphreys, G. W., & Shalev, L. Opposite biases in salience-based selection for the left and right posterior parietal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 9, 740-742, 2006b], it was shown that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) can utilize the relative saliency (a nonspatial property) of a target and a distractor to bias visual selection. Furthermore, selection was lateralized so that the right PPC is engaged when salient information must be selected and the left PPC when the salient information must be ignored. However, it is not clear how the PPC implements these complementary forms of selection. Here we used on-line triple-pulse TMS over the right or left PPC prior to or after the onset of global/local displays. When delivered after the onset of the display, TMS to the right PPC disrupted the selection of the more salient aspect of the hierarchical letter. In contrast, left PPC TMS delivered prior to the onset of the stimulus disrupted responses to the lower saliency stimulus. These findings suggest that selection and suppression of saliency, rather than being "two sides of the same coin," are fundamentally different processes. Selection of saliency seems to operate reflexively, whereas suppression of saliency relies on a preparatory phase that "sets up" the system in order to effectively ignore saliency.

  12. Affective processing bias in youth with primary bipolar disorder or primary attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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    Seymour, Karen E; Kim, Kerri L; Cushman, Grace K; Puzia, Megan E; Weissman, Alexandra B; Galvan, Thania; Dickstein, Daniel P

    2015-11-01

    High rates of comorbidity and overlapping diagnostic criteria between pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) contribute to diagnostic and treatment confusion. To advance what is known about both disorders, we compared effect of emotional stimuli on response control in children with primary BD, primary ADHD and typically developing controls (TDC). Participants included 7-17 year olds with either "narrow-phenotype" pediatric BD (n = 25), ADHD (n = 25) or TDC (n = 25). Groups were matched on participant age and FSIQ. The effect of emotional stimuli on response control was assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery Affective Go/No-Go task (CANTAB AGN). We found a group by target valence interaction on commission errors [F(2,71) = 5.34, p children with ADHD. Our results suggesting a positive affective processing bias in children with ADHD compliment emerging literature show that difficulties with emotional processing and regulation may be core features of ADHD. Further, given the observed pattern of results in children with ADHD compared to BD children, our behavioral results suggest the importance of examining differences in the brain-behavior mechanisms involved in affective processing in children with ADHD compared to BD children.

  13. Methylphenidate normalizes frontocingulate underactivation during error processing in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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    Rubia, Katya; Halari, Rozmin; Mohammad, Abdul-Majeed; Taylor, Eric; Brammer, Michael

    2011-08-01

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have deficits in performance monitoring often improved with the indirect catecholamine agonist methylphenidate (MPH). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the effects of single-dose MPH on activation of error processing brain areas in medication-naive boys with ADHD during a stop task that elicits 50% error rates. Twelve medication-naive boys with ADHD were scanned twice, under either a single clinical dose of MPH or placebo, in a randomized, double-blind design while they performed an individually adjusted tracking stop task, designed to elicit 50% failures. Brain activation was compared within patients under either drug condition. To test for potential normalization effects of MPH, brain activation in ADHD patients under either drug condition was compared with that of 13 healthy age-matched boys. During failed inhibition, boys with ADHD under placebo relative to control subjects showed reduced brain activation in performance monitoring areas of dorsomedial and left ventrolateral prefrontal cortices, thalamus, cingulate, and parietal regions. MPH, relative to placebo, upregulated activation in these brain regions within patients and normalized all activation differences between patients and control subjects. During successful inhibition, MPH normalized reduced activation observed in patients under placebo compared with control subjects in parietotemporal and cerebellar regions. MPH normalized brain dysfunction in medication-naive ADHD boys relative to control subjects in typical brain areas of performance monitoring, comprising left ventrolateral and dorsomedial frontal and parietal cortices. This could underlie the amelioration of MPH of attention and academic performance in ADHD. Copyright © 2011 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Methylphenidate Normalizes Frontocingulate Underactivation During Error Processing in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubia, Katya; Halari, Rozmin; Mohammad, Abdul-Majeed; Taylor, Eric; Brammer, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Background Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have deficits in performance monitoring often improved with the indirect catecholamine agonist methylphenidate (MPH). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the effects of single-dose MPH on activation of error processing brain areas in medication-naive boys with ADHD during a stop task that elicits 50% error rates. Methods Twelve medication-naive boys with ADHD were scanned twice, under either a single clinical dose of MPH or placebo, in a randomized, double-blind design while they performed an individually adjusted tracking stop task, designed to elicit 50% failures. Brain activation was compared within patients under either drug condition. To test for potential normalization effects of MPH, brain activation in ADHD patients under either drug condition was compared with that of 13 healthy age-matched boys. Results During failed inhibition, boys with ADHD under placebo relative to control subjects showed reduced brain activation in performance monitoring areas of dorsomedial and left ventrolateral prefrontal cortices, thalamus, cingulate, and parietal regions. MPH, relative to placebo, upregulated activation in these brain regions within patients and normalized all activation differences between patients and control subjects. During successful inhibition, MPH normalized reduced activation observed in patients under placebo compared with control subjects in parietotemporal and cerebellar regions. Conclusions MPH normalized brain dysfunction in medication-naive ADHD boys relative to control subjects in typical brain areas of performance monitoring, comprising left ventrolateral and dorsomedial frontal and parietal cortices. This could underlie the amelioration of MPH of attention and academic performance in ADHD. PMID:21664605

  15. Attentional processing in C57BL/6J mice exposed to developmental vitamin D deficiency.

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    Lauren R Harms

    Full Text Available Epidemiological evidence suggests that Developmental Vitamin D (DVD deficiency is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia. DVD deficiency in mice is associated with altered behaviour, however there has been no detailed investigation of cognitive behaviours in DVD-deficient mice. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of DVD deficiency on a range of cognitive tasks assessing attentional processing in C57BL/6J mice. DVD deficiency was established by feeding female C57BL/6J mice a vitamin D-deficient diet from four weeks of age. After six weeks on the diet, vitamin D-deficient and control females were mated with vitamin D-normal males and upon birth of the pups, all dams were returned to a diet containing vitamin D. The adult offspring were tested on a range of cognitive behavioural tests, including the five-choice serial reaction task (5C-SRT and five-choice continuous performance test (5C-CPT, as well as latent inhibition using a fear conditioning paradigm. DVD deficiency was not associated with altered attentional performance on the 5C-SRT. In the 5C-CPT DVD-deficient male mice exhibited an impairment in inhibiting repetitive responses by making more perseverative responses, with no changes in premature or false alarm responding. DVD deficiency did not affect the acquisition or retention of cued fear conditioning, nor did it affect the expression of latent inhibition using a fear conditioning paradigm. DVD-deficient mice exhibited no major impairments in any of the cognitive domains tested. However, impairments in perseverative responding in DVD-deficient mice may indicate that these animals have specific alterations in systems governing compulsive or reward-seeking behaviour.

  16. Methylphenidate normalizes emotional processing in adult patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: preliminary findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conzelmann, Annette; Woidich, Eva; Mucha, Ronald F; Weyers, Peter; Jacob, Christian P; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Pauli, Paul

    2011-03-24

    Emotional-motivational dysfunctions may significantly contribute to symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Hyperactive-impulsive symptoms and sensation seeking could be the result of a search for reinforcers, and cognitive dysfunctions might be due to a low motivational drive. Emotional-motivational dysfunctions could also explain social dysfunctions in ADHD patients because they may lead to misinterpretations of emotional and social clues. Since methylphenidate (MPH) is the first choice as a pharmacological treatment in ADHD, we examined its influence on dysfunctional emotional processes. 13 adult ADHD patients were examined twice, without and after intake of MPH according to their personal medication regimen. The affect-modulated startle paradigm was used to assess physiological (affect-modulated startle response) and subjective (valence and arousal ratings) responses to pleasant, neutral and unpleasant visual stimuli. Healthy controls displayed affective startle modulation as expected, with startle attenuation and potentiation while watching pleasant and unpleasant pictures, respectively. In contrast, unmedicated ADHD patients displayed deficient responses to pleasant stimuli; no startle attenuation during the exposure to pleasant pictures was observed. However, MPH reinstated a normal affective startle modulation, as indicated by attenuation and potentiation associated with pleasant and unpleasant pictures, respectively. Valence and arousal ratings of patients were not affected by MPH. The data suggest that MPH as first choice treatment in ADHD has a positive impact on emotional processes in adult ADHD patients and points to the clinical relevance of emotional-dysfunctions in ADHD.

  17. [Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), inhibition processes and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - an overview].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoegl, Thomas; Bender, Stephan; Buchmann, Johannes; Kratz, Oliver; Moll, Gunther H; Heinrich, Hartmut

    2014-11-01

    Motor system excitability can be tested by transcranial magnetic stimulation CFMS). In this article, an overview of recent methodological developments and research findings related to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is provided. Different TMS parameters that reflect the function of interneurons in the motor cortex may represent neurophysiological markers of inhibition in ADHD, particularly the so-called intracortical inhibition. In children with a high level of hyperactivity and impulsivity, intracortical inhibition was comparably low at rest as shortly before the execution of a movement. TMS-evoked potentials can also be measured in the EEG so that investigating processes of excitability is not restricted to motor areas in future studies. The effects of methylphenidate on motor system excitability may be interpreted in the sense of a 'fine-tuning' with these mainly dopaminergic effects also depending on genetic parameters (DAT1 transporter). A differentiated view on the organization of motor control can be achieved by a combined analysis of TMS parameters and event-related potentials. Applying this bimodal approach, strong evidence for a deviant implementation of motor control in children with ADHD and probably compensatory mechanisms (with involvement of the prefrontal cortex) was obtained. These findings, which contribute to a better understanding of hyperactivity/impulsivity, inhibitory processes and motor control in ADHD as well as the mechanisms of medication, underline the relevance of TMS as a neurophysiological method in ADHD research.

  18. A comparative study of sustained attentional bias on emotional processing in ADHD children to pictures with eye-tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pishyareh, Ebrahim; Tehrani-Doost, Mehdi; Mahmoodi-Gharaie, Javad; Khorrami, Anahita; Rahmdar, Saeid Reza

    2015-01-01

    ADHD children have anomalous and negative behavior especially in emotionally related fields when compared to other. Evidence indicates that attention has an impact on emotional processing. The present study evaluates the effect of emotional processing on the sustained attention of children with ADHD type C. Sixty participants form two equal groups (each with 30 children) of normal and ADHD children) and each subject met the required selected criterion as either a normal or an ADHD child. Both groups were aged from 6-11-years-old. All pictures were chosen from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) and presented paired emotional and neutral scenes in the following categories: pleasant-neutral; pleasant-unpleasant; unpleasant-neutral; and neutral-neutral. Sustained attention was evaluated based on the number and duration of total fixation and was compared between the groups with MANOVA analysis. The duration of sustained attention on pleasant in the pleasant-unpleasant pair was significant. Bias in duration of sustained attention on pleasant scenes in pleasant-neutral pairs is significantly different between the groups. Such significant differences might be indicative of ADHD children deficiencies in emotional processing. It seems that the highly deep effect of emotionally unpleasant scenes to gain the focus of ADHD children's attention is responsible for impulsiveness and abnormal processing of emotional stimuli.

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

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    Carmel eMevorach

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-10

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

  1. Selective attention and the three-process memory model for the interpretation of verbal free recall in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christidi, Foteini; Zalonis, Ioannis; Smyrnis, Nikolaos; Evdokimidis, Ioannis

    2012-09-01

    The present study investigates selective attention and verbal free recall in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and examines the contribution of selective attention, encoding, consolidation, and retrieval memory processes to patients' verbal free recall. We examined 22 non-demented patients with sporadic ALS and 22 demographically related controls using Stroop Neuropsychological Screening Test (SNST; selective attention) and Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT; immediate & delayed verbal free recall). The item-specific deficit approach (ISDA) was applied to RAVLT to evaluate encoding, consolidation, and retrieval difficulties. ALS patients performed worse than controls on SNST (p recall (p recall, with encoding (p = .016), consolidation (p recall, with consolidation (p recall. Concluding, selective attention and the memory processes of encoding, consolidation, and retrieval should be considered while interpreting patients' impaired free recall. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1-10).

  2. Attention is a process of selection, perception is a process of representation, and phenomenal experience is the result of perception being modulated by a dedicated consciousness mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Talis eBachmann

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Equivalence of attention and consciousness is disputed and necessity of attentional effects for conscious experience has become questioned. However, the conceptual landscape and interpretations of empirical evidence as related to this issue have remained controversial. Here I present some conceptual distinctions and research strategies potentially useful for moving forward. Specifically, we should differentiate between processes and the results of the processes, move the emphasis from studying the effects of attention on the modality-specific and feature-specific perception to studying attentional effects on panmodal universal attributes of whatever conscious experience there is, and acknowledge that there is a specialized autonomous mechanism for leading to conscious experience of the preconsciously represented contents apart from the mechanisms of perception, attention, memory and cognitive control.

  3. Shifting Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Jenni

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Shifting Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingram, Jenni

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Attention and sentence processing deficits in Parkinson's disease: the role of anterior cingulate cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossman, M; Crino, P; Reivich, M; Stern, M B; Hurtig, H I

    1992-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a complex neurodegenerative condition involving a motor disorder that is related to reduced dopaminergic input to the striatum. Intellectual deficits are also seen in PD, but the pathophysiology of these difficulties is poorly understood. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was studied in neurologically intact subjects during the performance of attention-demanding, sentence processing tasks using positron emission tomography (PET). The results demonstrated significantly increased rCBF in a distributed set of cerebral regions during the detection of an adjective or a particular agent in a sentence, including anterior cingulate cortex, left inferior and middle frontal cortex, left inferior temporo-occipital cortex, posterolateral temporal cortex, left caudate, and left thalamus. We identified defects in this cerebral network by studying PD patients with two PET techniques. Resting PET studies revealed a significant correlation between regional cerebral glucose metabolism in anterior cingulate cortex and deficits in attending to subtle grammatical aspects of sentences. Studies of PD patients with the PET activation technique revealed little change in anterior cingulate and left frontal CBF during performance of the adjective detection or agent detection tasks. These data suggest that a defect in anterior cingulate cortex contributes to the cognitive impairments observed in PD.

  7. The process of assisting behavior modification in a child with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Hsin-Hsin; Chang, Ching-Sheng; Shih, Ying-Ling

    2007-06-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common psychological disease among children. The purpose of this study was to describe the process of assisting with behavior modification in a child with ADHD. The patient had undergone medical treatment for a year with no obvious effect. With the guidance of other professional people, the child's teachers and nursing instructors, the researchers proceeded with behavioral modification in conjunction with medication for another year. The medication treatment followed doctors' prescriptions, and, as regards the behavioral treatment, doctors and experts drafted and decided the content of the behavioral contract. The main basic techniques were skillful reinforcement and punishment. Then, via interviews with his parents and teachers, information was obtained that provided an understanding of the patient's condition and progress. It was found that the improvements were very significant. On the basis of the research results, the researchers submit that: (1) drug treatment combined with behavioral treatment apparently improves the daily behaviors of hyperactive children; (2) good communication with parents and psychological preparation are the most critical keys to the success of substantial behavioral improvement among hyperactive children; (3) establishment and integration of social resources, including provision of transitional parenting education solutions, and cooperation and sound interaction from school teachers, which fosters consolidated team work, are the critical factors to behavioral improvement among hyperactive children.

  8. Innovative public management process: The situation of Personalized Attention Modules for Baja California’s migrants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Ascención Moreno Mena

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Two examples that allow surmising the possibilities and obstacles of strategic alliances between the civil society and local governments seeking to develop programs that help solve the problems the community demands are featured in this research. The studies that were analyzed take place in the State of Baja California, and are based on documentary information and on interviews with key informants, which in this case, are the program leaders. The first of them has to do with the experience of a migrant support office in Mexicali, which is under the exclusive direction of a civil organization; while the second entails a program for the attention of migrants that were deported from the United States, whereby such program has been used by the federal government to spearhead a more encompassing public policy in the regional sphere. The two examples portray innovative public stewardship cases. The breakthroughs and obstacles to carry out such types of processes are presented. Furthermore, it is concluded that these two examples may be the seed of a new governance.

  9. Threat/reward-sensitivity and hypomanic-personality modulate cognitive-control and attentional neural processes to emotional stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Hu, Xiaoqing; Nusslock, Robin

    2015-11-01

    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: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Hatha Yoga Practice Improves Attention and Processing Speed in Older Adults: Results from an 8-Week Randomized Control Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gothe, Neha P; Kramer, Arthur F; McAuley, Edward

    2017-01-01

    Age-related cognitive decline is well documented across various aspects of cognitive function, including attention and processing speed, and lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity play an important role in preventing cognitive decline and maintaining or even improving cognitive function. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of an 8-week Hatha yoga intervention on attention and processing speed among older adults. Participants (n = 118; mean age, 62 ± 5.59) were randomly assigned to an 8-week Hatha yoga group or a stretching control group and completed cognitive assessments-Attention Network Task, Trail Making Test parts A and B, and Pattern Comparison Test-at baseline and after the 8-week intervention. Analyses of covariance revealed significantly faster reaction times for the yoga group on the Attention Network Task's neutral, congruent, and incongruent conditions (p ≤ 0.04). The yoga intervention also improved participants' visuospatial and perceptual processing on the Trail Making Test part B (p = 0.002) and pattern comparison (p yoga practice that includes postures, breathing, and meditative exercises lead to improved attentional and information processing abilities. Although the underlying mechanisms remain largely speculative, more systematic trials are needed to explore the extent of cognitive benefits and their neurobiological mechanisms.

  11. A Connectionist Simulation of Attention and Vector Comparison: The Need for Serial Processing in Parallel Hardware

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    NJ: Erlbaum. Gupta, P. & Schneider, W. (1991). Attention, automaicity, and Shiffrin , R. M. (1988). Attention. In R_ C. Atkinson , R. J. priority...Behavioral data show that in perceptual 7’iatchin’ tasks (such as memory scanning and visual search) performance is systematically affected by stimulus...Pittsburgh, PA 15260 \\ Dlst Abstract memory to one or more items on visual display, looking for Given the massively parallel nature of the brain an

  12. Investigating attentional processes in depressive-like domestic horses (Equus caballus).

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    Rochais, C; Henry, S; Fureix, C; Hausberger, M

    2016-03-01

    Some captive/domestic animals respond to confinement by becoming inactive and unresponsive to external stimuli. Human inactivity is one of the behavioural markers of clinical depression, a mental disorder diagnosed by the co-occurrence of symptoms including deficit in selective attention. Some riding horses display 'withdrawn' states of inactivity and low responsiveness to stimuli that resemble the reduced engagement with their environment of some depressed patients. We hypothesized that 'withdrawn' horses experience a depressive-like state and evaluated their level of attention by confronting them with auditory stimuli. Five novel auditory stimuli were broadcasted to 27 horses, including 12 'withdrawn' horses, for 5 days. The horses' reactions and durations of attention were recorded. Non-withdrawn horses reacted more and their attention lasted longer than that of withdrawn horses on the first day, but their durations of attention decreased over days, but those of withdrawn horses remained stable. These results suggest that the withdrawn horses' selective attention is altered, adding to already evidenced common features between this horses' state and human depression.

  13. A NEEDS ANALYSIS STUDY FOR PREPARATORY CLASS ELT STUDENTS

    OpenAIRE

    Ömer Gökhan Ulum

    2016-01-01

    With this study, the needs of preparatory class university students at an English Language Teaching Department to have a general understanding of their academic needs for the development of their speaking skill were assessed. Based upon a descriptive research design, an adapted questionnaire with open-ended questions was administered to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th class ELT students as well as ELT graduates to define their academic needs in speaking courses. The data were analysed by using SPSS, a S...

  14. Hyperactivity in boys with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): the association between deficient behavioral inhibition, attentional processes, and objectively measured activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alderson, R Matt; Rapport, Mark D; Kasper, Lisa J; Sarver, Dustin E; Kofler, Michael J

    2012-01-01

    Contemporary models of ADHD hypothesize that hyperactivity reflects a byproduct of inhibition deficits. The current study investigated the relationship between children's motor activity and behavioral inhibition by experimentally manipulating demands placed on the limited-resource inhibition system. Twenty-two boys (ADHD = 11, TD = 11) between the ages of 8 and 12 years completed a conventional stop-signal task, two choice-task variants (no-tone, ignore-tone), and control tasks while their motor activity was measured objectively by actigraphs placed on their nondominant wrist and ankles. All children exhibited significantly higher activity rates under all three experimental tasks relative to control conditions, and children with ADHD moved significantly more than typically developing children across conditions. No differences in activity level were observed between the inhibition and noninhibition experimental tasks for either group, indicating that activity level was primarily associated with basic attentional rather than behavioral inhibition processes.

  15. ListeningTime; participatory development of a web-based preparatory communication tool for elderly cancer patients and their healthcare providers.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordman, J.; Driesenaar, J.A.; Bruinessen, I.R. van; Dulmen, S. van

    2017-01-01

    Objective: This paper outlines the participatory development process of a web-based preparatory communication tool for elderly cancer patients and their oncological healthcare providers (HCPs). This tool aims to support them to (better) prepare their encounters. An overarching aim of the project is

  16. Selective attention deficits in obsessive-compulsive disorder: the role of metacognitive processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Julia; Exner, Cornelia

    2015-02-28

    While initial studies supported the hypothesis that cognitive characteristics that capture cognitive resources act as underlying mechanisms in memory deficits in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the influence of those characteristics on selective attention has not been studied, yet. In this study, we examined the influence of cognitive self-consciousness (CSC), rumination and worrying on performance in selective attention in OCD and compared the results to a depressive and a healthy control group. We found that 36 OCD and 36 depressive participants were impaired in selective attention in comparison to 36 healthy controls. In all groups, hierarchical regression analyses demonstrated that age, intelligence and years in school significantly predicted performance in selective attention. But only in OCD, the predictive power of the regression model was improved when CSC, rumination and worrying were implemented as predictor variables. In contrast, in none of the three groups the predictive power improved when indicators of severity of obsessive-compulsive (OC) and depressive symptoms and trait anxiety were introduced as predictor variables. Thus, our results support the assumption that mental characteristics that bind cognitive resources play an important role in the understanding of selective attention deficits in OCD and that this mechanism is especially relevant for OCD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Neuroscience of attentional processes for addiction medicine: from brain mechanisms to practical considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fadardi, Javad Salehi; Cox, W Miles; Rahmani, Arash

    2016-01-01

    The present chapter first argues how having a goal for procuring alcohol or other substances leads to the development of a time-binding, dynamic, and goal oriented motivational state termed current concern, as the origin of substance-related attentional bias. Next, it discusses the importance of attentional bias in the development, continuation of, and relapsing to substance abuse. It further proceeds with a review of selective evidence from cognitive psychology that helps account for making decisions about using an addictive substance or refraining from using it. A discussion on the various brain loci that are involved in attentional bias and other kinds of cue reactivity is followed by presenting findings from neurocognitive research. Finally, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the chapter presents new trends and ideas that can be applied to addiction-related cognitive measurement and training. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-22

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

  19. Auditory and visual cortical activity during selective attention in fragile X syndrome: A cascade of processing deficiencies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.J.W. van der Molen; M.W. van der Molen; K.R. Ridderinkhof; B.C.J. Hamel; L.M.G. Curfs; G.J.A. Ramakers

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study examined whether attention deficits in fragile X syndrome (FXS) can be traced back to abnormalities in basic information processing. METHOD: Sixteen males with FXS and 22 age-matched control participants (mean age 29 years) performed a standard oddball task to examine selective

  20. The impact of simulated MRI scanner background noise on visual attention processes as measured by the EEG.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobald, S Oliver; Getzmann, Stephan; Beste, Christian; Wascher, Edmund

    2016-06-21

    Environmental noise is known to affect personal well-being as well as cognitive processes. Besides daily life, environmental noise can also occur in experimental research settings, e.g. when being in a magnetic resonance scanner. Scanner background noise (SBN) might pose serious confounds for experimental findings, even when non-auditory settings are examined. In the current experiment we tested if SBN alters bottom-up and top-down related processes of selective visual attention mechanisms. Participants completed two blocks of a visual change detection task, one block in silence and one block under SBN exposure. SBN was found to decrease accuracy in measures of visual attention. This effect was modulated by the temporal occurrence of SBN. When SBN was encountered in the first block, it prevented a significant improvement of accuracy in the second block. When SBN appeared in the second block, it significantly decreased accuracy. Neurophysiological findings showed a strong frontal positivity shift only when SBN was present in the first block, suggesting an inhibitory process to counteract the interfering SBN. Common correlates of both top-down and bottom-up processes of selective visual attention were not specifically affected by SBN exposure. Further research appears necessary to entirely rule out confounds of SBN in assessing visual attention.

  1. Coupling technology and pedagogy to support the process of inclusion of kids with attention difficulties in mainstream schools

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sorensen, Elsebeth Korsgaard; Voldborg, Hanne

    2017-01-01

    This study addresses the challenge of inclusion in mainstream schools of learners with developmental and attention deficits and examines the potential of a digital structuring tool, MobilizeMe, to scaffold this process, including the impact and implications associated with the implementation. The...

  2. The impact of simulated MRI scanner background noise on visual attention processes as measured by the EEG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobald, S. Oliver; Getzmann, Stephan; Beste, Christian; Wascher, Edmund

    2016-01-01

    Environmental noise is known to affect personal well-being as well as cognitive processes. Besides daily life, environmental noise can also occur in experimental research settings, e.g. when being in a magnetic resonance scanner. Scanner background noise (SBN) might pose serious confounds for experimental findings, even when non-auditory settings are examined. In the current experiment we tested if SBN alters bottom-up and top-down related processes of selective visual attention mechanisms. Participants completed two blocks of a visual change detection task, one block in silence and one block under SBN exposure. SBN was found to decrease accuracy in measures of visual attention. This effect was modulated by the temporal occurrence of SBN. When SBN was encountered in the first block, it prevented a significant improvement of accuracy in the second block. When SBN appeared in the second block, it significantly decreased accuracy. Neurophysiological findings showed a strong frontal positivity shift only when SBN was present in the first block, suggesting an inhibitory process to counteract the interfering SBN. Common correlates of both top-down and bottom-up processes of selective visual attention were not specifically affected by SBN exposure. Further research appears necessary to entirely rule out confounds of SBN in assessing visual attention. PMID:27324456

  3. Comparing the effects of sustained and transient spatial attention on the orienting towards and the processing of electrical nociceptive stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lubbe, van der Rob H.J.; Blom, Jorian H.G.; Kleine, de Elian; Bohlmeijer, Ernst T.

    2017-01-01

    We examined whether sustained vs. transient spatial attention differentially affect the processing of electrical nociceptive stimuli. Cued nociceptive stimuli of a relevant intensity (low or high) on the left or right forearm required a foot pedal press. The cued side varied trial wise in the transi

  4. Predictive Power of Attention and Reading Readiness Variables on Auditory Reasoning and Processing Skills of Six-Year-Old Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erbay, Filiz

    2013-01-01

    The aim of present research was to describe the relation of six-year-old children's attention and reading readiness skills (general knowledge, word comprehension, sentences, and matching) with their auditory reasoning and processing skills. This was a quantitative study based on scanning model. Research sampling consisted of 204 kindergarten…

  5. Indices of slowness of information processing in head injury patients : Tests for selective attention related to ERP latencies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spikman, Jacoba M.; Naalt, van der Joukje; Weerden , van Tiemen; Zomeren , van Adriaan H.

    2004-01-01

    We explored the relation between neuropsychological (attention tests involving time constraints) and neurophysiological (N2 and P3 event-related potential (ERP) latencies) indices of slowness of information processing after closed head injury (CHI). A group of 44 CHI patients performed worse than he

  6. Indices of slowness of information processing in head injury patients: Tests for selective attention related to ERP latencies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Naalt, Joukje; Spikman, Jacoba; van Weerden, Tiemen; van Zomeren, Adriaan

    2004-01-01

    We explored the relation between neuropsychological (attention tests involving time constraints) and neurophysiological (N2 and P3 event-related potential (ERP) latencies) indices of slowness of information processing after closed head injury (CHI). A group of 44 CHI patients performed worse than he

  7. Preparatory power posing affects nonverbal presence and job interview performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuddy, Amy J C; Wilmuth, Caroline A; Yap, Andy J; Carney, Dana R

    2015-07-01

    The authors tested whether engaging in expansive (vs. contractive) "power poses" before a stressful job interview--preparatory power posing--would enhance performance during the interview. Participants adopted high-power (i.e., expansive, open) poses or low-power (i.e., contractive, closed) poses, and then prepared and delivered a speech to 2 evaluators as part of a mock job interview. All interview speeches were videotaped and coded for overall performance and hireability and for 2 potential mediators: verbal content (e.g., structure, content) and nonverbal presence (e.g., captivating, enthusiastic). As predicted, those who prepared for the job interview with high- (vs. low-) power poses performed better and were more likely to be chosen for hire; this relation was mediated by nonverbal presence, but not by verbal content. Although previous research has focused on how a nonverbal behavior that is enacted during interactions and observed by perceivers affects how those perceivers evaluate and respond to the actor, this experiment focused on how a nonverbal behavior that is enacted before the interaction and unobserved by perceivers affects the actor's performance, which, in turn, affects how perceivers evaluate and respond to the actor. This experiment reveals a theoretically novel and practically informative result that demonstrates the causal relation between preparatory nonverbal behavior and subsequent performance and outcomes.

  8. Testing models of the attentional blink : Does masking increase processing duration in RSVP?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wyble, Brad; Sense, Florian; Nieuwenstein, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Theories of the attentional blink (AB) – an impairment in perceiving the second of two targets shown within less than 500 ms of each other – generally assume that this effect reflects the time required to consolidate the first target in memory. In this view, the fact that the AB is strongly increase

  9. Translating Head Motion into Attention - Towards Processing of Student's Body-Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raca, Mirko; Kidzinski, Lukasz; Dillenbourg, Pierre

    2015-01-01

    Evidence has shown that student's attention is a crucial factor for engagement and learning gain. Although it can be accurately assessed ad-hoc by an experienced teacher, continuous contact with all students in a large class is difficult to maintain and requires training for novice practitioners. We continue our previous work on investigating…

  10. The moderating role of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the work engagement-performance process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halbesleben, Jonathon R B; Wheeler, Anthony R; Shanine, Kristen K

    2013-04-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a cognitive disability that affects millions. Although individuals with ADHD are employed throughout many organizations and there is evidence that their performance is lower, scant research exists describing how ADHD impacts an individual's performance. In this article, we extend attentional control theory to examine how ADHD impacts both the effectiveness and efficiency of employee performance. Across 3 samples, 2 of general working adults (n = 257 and 170) and 1 of nurses (n = 243), we found that ADHD was associated with lower performance (rated via self-, coworker, and supervisor ratings) and that the relationship was strongest for in-role performance, suggesting that employees with ADHD may be diverting attention away from task-relevant behaviors. Furthermore, although work engagement was associated with higher performance, that relationship was diminished among those who experienced higher levels of ADHD, suggesting lower performance efficiency. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on attentional control and the management of those with ADHD at work.

  11. Word Frequency and the Attentional Blink : The Effects of Target Difficulty on Retrieval and Consolidation Processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wierda, Stefan M.; Taatgen, Niels A.; van Rijn, Hedderik; Martens, Sander

    2013-01-01

    Background: When a second target (T2) is presented in close succession of a first target (T1) within a stream of non-targets, people often fail to detect T2-a deficit known as the attentional blink (AB). Two types of theories can be distinguished that have tried to account for this phenomenon. Where

  12. Students with Learning Disabilities and Attention Disorders: Stories of the College Choice Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Kerri A.

    2012-01-01

    Although there has been legislation that has improved access for students with disabilities, many students are choosing not to pursue postsecondary education. The rate of postsecondary attendance for students with learning disabilities and attention disorders has increased, but they are still enrolling in postsecondary education less frequently…

  13. The modulation of pain by attention and emotion: a dissociation of perceptual and spinal nociceptive processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Mathieu; Lebuis, Ariane; Peretz, Isabelle; Rainville, Pierre

    2011-07-01

    Emotions and attention have been shown to influence the perception of pain and several psychophysiological studies have suggested an implication of descending modulatory mechanisms to explain these effects. However, the specificity of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the emotional and attentional modulation of pain still remains unclear. In order to differentiate the supra-spinal and spinal mechanisms involved in emotional and attentional modulation of pain, we measured pain perception (self-ratings) and the RIII reflex in healthy volunteers during the presentation of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral pictures, as well as during a baseline condition with no visual distractor (Experiment 1). In a second experiment, we manipulated the emotional arousal induced by pleasant and unpleasant pictures in order to compare more directly the effects of distraction and arousal. Whereas emotional valence influenced pain and the amplitude of the RIII reflex in the same direction (negative > positive), distraction by neutral pictures reduced pain but increased the RIII reflex relative to baseline. Increased arousal further potentiated the effects of negative valence on both pain and the RIII reflex and the effects of positive emotions on pain, as previously reported. However, arousal did not potentiate the inhibitory effect of positive pictures on the RIII and seems insufficient to account for the effect of distraction on the RIII. Overall, these data provide further evidence that attention and emotion modulate pain through partially dissociable neurophysiological mechanisms.

  14. The Process of Auditory Distraction: Disrupted Attention and Impaired Recall in a Simulated Lecture Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeamer, Charlotte; Fox Tree, Jean E.

    2013-01-01

    Literature on auditory distraction has generally focused on the effects of particular kinds of sounds on attention to target stimuli. In support of extensive previous findings that have demonstrated the special role of language as an auditory distractor, we found that a concurrent speech stream impaired recall of a short lecture, especially for…

  15. Electrophysiological Indices of Abnormal Error-Processing in Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groom, Madeleine J.; Cahill, John D.; Bates, Alan T.; Jackson, Georgina M.; Calton, Timothy G.; Liddle, Peter F.; Hollis, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Background: Impaired cognitive control has been frequently observed in children and young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and might underlie the excessive hyperactivity and impulsivity in this population. We investigated behavioural and electrophysiological indices relevant to one domain of cognitive control; namely…

  16. Comparative Study of Sustained Attentional Bias on Emotional Processing in ADHD Children to Pictures with Eye-Tracking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebrahim PISHYAREH

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available How to Cite This Article: Pishyareh E, Tehrani-doost M, Mahmoodi-gharaie J, Khorrami A, Rahmdar SR. A Comparative Study of SustainedAttentional Bias on Emotional Processing in ADHD Children to Pictures with Eye-Tracking. Iran J Child Neurol. 2015 Winter;9(1:64-70.AbstractObjectiveADHD children have anomalous and negative behavior especially in emotionally related fields when compared to other. Evidence indicates that attention has an impact on emotional processing. The present study evaluates the effect of emotional processing on the sustained attention of children with ADHD type C.Materials & Methods Sixty participants form two equal groups (each with 30 children of normal and ADHD children and each subject met the required selected criterion as either a normal or an ADHD child. Both groups were aged from 6–11-years-old. All pictures were chosen from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS and presented paired emotional and neutral scenes in the following categories: pleasant-neutral; pleasant-unpleasant; unpleasant-neutral; and neutral–neutral. Sustained attention was evaluated based on the number and duration of total fixation and was compared between the groups with MANOVA analysis.ResultsThe duration of sustained attention on pleasant in the pleasant-unpleasant pair was significant. Bias in duration of sustained attention on pleasant scenes in pleasant-neutral pairs is significantly different between the groups.ConclusionSuch significant differences might be indicative of ADHD children deficiencies in emotional processing. It seems that the highly deep effect of emotionally unpleasant scenes to gain the focus of ADHD children’s attention is responsible for impulsiveness and abnormal processing of emotional stimuli. References1. Sadock, B.J., H.I. Kaplan, and V.A. Sadock, Kaplan & Sadcok’s Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences, Clinical Psychiatry. Lippincott; Williams & Wilkins. 2003.2. Cormier, E., Attention deficit

  17. Effects of prosody on spoken Thai word perception in pre-attentive brain processing: a pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kittipun Arunphalungsanti

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate the effect of the unfamiliar stressed prosody on spoken Thai word perception in the pre-attentive processing of the brain evaluated by the N2a and brain wave oscillatory activity. EEG recording was obtained from eleven participants, who were instructed to ignore the sound stimuli while watching silent movies. Results showed that prosody of unfamiliar stress word perception elicited N2a component and the quantitative EEG analysis found that theta and delta wave powers were principally generated in the frontal area. It was possible that the unfamiliar prosody with different frequencies, duration and intensity of the sound of Thai words induced highly selective attention and retrieval of information from the episodic memory of the pre-attentive stage of speech perception. This brain electrical activity evidence could be used for further study in the development of valuable clinical tests to evaluate the frontal lobe function in speech perception.

  18. Motivation by potential gains and losses affects control processes via different mechanisms in the attentional network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paschke, Lena M; Walter, Henrik; Steimke, Rosa; Ludwig, Vera U; Gaschler, Robert; Schubert, Torsten; Stelzel, Christine

    2015-05-01

    Attentional control in demanding cognitive tasks can be improved by manipulating the motivational state. Motivation to obtain gains and motivation to avoid losses both usually result in faster reaction times and stronger activation in relevant brain areas such as the prefrontal cortex, but little is known about differences in the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of these types of motivation in an attentional control context. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we tested whether potential gain and loss as motivating incentives lead to overlapping or distinct neural effects in the attentional network, and whether one of these conditions is more effective than the other. A Flanker task with word stimuli as targets and distracters was performed by 115 healthy participants. Using a mixed blocked and event-related design allowed us to investigate transient and sustained motivation-related effects. Participants could either gain money (potential gain) or avoid losing money (potential loss) in different task blocks. Participants showed a congruency effect with increased reaction times for incongruent compared to congruent trials. Potential gain led to generally faster responses compared to the neutral condition and to stronger improvements than potential loss. Potential loss also led to shorter response times compared to the neutral condition, but participants improved mainly during incongruent and not during congruent trials. The event-related fMRI data revealed a main effect of congruency with increased activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and inferior frontal junction area (IFJ), the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA), bilateral insula, intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and visual word form area (VWFA). While potential gain led to increased activity in a cluster of the IFJ and the VWFA only during incongruent trials, potential loss was linked to activity increases in these regions during incongruent and congruent trials. The

  19. Regular college preparatory students' perceptions of the student teams achievement divisions approach in an academic college preparatory biology class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Aarti P.

    Cooperative learning allows individuals with varying abilities to work alongside their peers. Students are placed into achievement levels based on placement test scores. The Regular College Preparatory (RCP) level is a score of 59% or lower and Academic College Preparatory (ACP) level is a score of 60-92% on the placement test. The purpose of this study was to obtain 9th grade RCP students' perceptions of the student teams achievement divisions (STAD) approach which allows each member of a team to have a defined role in group work. The research questions addressed 9 th grade RCP students' perceptions of integrated STAD teams. Qualitative data from 6 RCP participants were collected from interviews and observations. Data were analyzed using typological analysis by creating codes and categories. Findings indicated that RCP students retained more content and enhanced their skills in communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. Teachers need to serve as guides to monitor motivation and enhance peer interaction. School administrators are advised to provide professional development opportunities allowing educators to learn how to incorporate cooperation for optimal student learning communication, negotiation, and problem solving.

  20. Using Reading Circles Strategy for Developing Preparatory Students' Critical Reading Skills and Social Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelrasoul, Mohamed Mahmoud Ibrahim

    2014-01-01

    The present study aimed at developing the necessary critical reading skills and social skills of the Egyptian EFL second year preparatory school students, through a proposed program based on using reading circles strategy. The study participants were 44 students from Sohag Experimental Preparatory School in Sohag Governorate. Instruments of the…

  1. 48 CFR 252.236-7003 - Payment for mobilization and preparatory work.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Payment for mobilization... CLAUSES Text of Provisions And Clauses 252.236-7003 Payment for mobilization and preparatory work. As prescribed in 236.570(b)(2), use the following clause: Payment for Mobilization and Preparatory Work...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hubert eTruckenbrodt

    2014-11-01

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

  3. Processing deficits in monitoring analog and digital displays: Implications for attentional theory and mental-state estimation research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, David G.; Gunther, Virginia A. L.

    1988-01-01

    Subjects performed short term memory tasks, involving both spatial and verbal components, and a visual monitoring task involving either analog or digital display formats. These two tasks (memory vs. monitoring) were performed both singly and in conjunction. Contrary to expectations derived from multiple resource theories of attentional processes, there was no evidence that when the two tasks involved the same cognitive codes (i.e., either both spatial or both verbal/linguistics) there was more of a dual task performance decrement than when the two tasks employed different cognitive codes/processes. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for theories of attentional processes and also for research in mental state estimation.

  4. Searching and fixating: scale-invariance vs. characteristic timescales in attentional processes

    CERN Document Server

    Shinde, D P; Mishra, R K

    2011-01-01

    In an experiment involving semantic search, the visual movements of sample populations subjected to visual and aural input were tracked in a taskless paradigm. The probability distributions of saccades and fixations were obtained and analyzed. Scale-invariance was observed in the saccadic distributions, while the fixation distributions revealed the presence of a characteristic (attentional) time scale for literate subjects. A detailed analysis of our results suggests that saccadic eye motions are an example of Levy, rather than Brownian, dynamics.

  5. The Role of Attention in Information Processing Implications for the Design of Displays

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-12-01

    effectiveness in applying human factors principles "continues to depend upon his own experience and intuition" (Meister, 1984; Kantowitz , 1985). On the other...terms of practical implications and then extrapolate to design decisions that would otherwise be completely ad hoc. Kantowitz (1985) asserts that the...intuition (Meister, 1984; Kantowitz , 1985), it is important to provide system designers with better theories and models of human attention mechanisms

  6. Casual Video Games as Training Tools for Attentional Processes in Everyday Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroud, Michael J; Whitbourne, Susan Krauss

    2015-11-01

    Three experiments examined the attentional components of the popular match-3 casual video game, Bejeweled Blitz (BJB). Attentionally demanding, BJB is highly popular among adults, particularly those in middle and later adulthood. In experiment 1, 54 older adults (Mage = 70.57) and 33 younger adults (Mage = 19.82) played 20 rounds of BJB, and completed online tasks measuring reaction time, simple visual search, and conjunction visual search. Prior experience significantly predicted BJB scores for younger adults, but for older adults, both prior experience and simple visual search task scores predicted BJB performance. Experiment 2 tested whether BJB practice alone would result in a carryover benefit to a visual search task in a sample of 58 young adults (Mage = 19.57) who completed 0, 10, or 30 rounds of BJB followed by a BJB-like visual search task with targets present or absent. Reaction times were significantly faster for participants who completed 30 but not 10 rounds of BJB compared with the search task only. This benefit was evident when targets were both present and absent, suggesting that playing BJB improves not only target detection, but also the ability to quit search effectively. Experiment 3 tested whether the attentional benefit in experiment 2 would apply to non-BJB stimuli. The results revealed a similar numerical but not significant trend. Taken together, the findings suggest there are benefits of casual video game playing to attention and relevant everyday skills, and that these games may have potential value as training tools.

  7. The Impact of Smartboard on Preparatory Year EFL Learners’ Motivation at a Saudi University

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waqar Ahmad

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Smartboards, which are now widely used in the teaching and learning process in Saudi Arabia, have turned the traditional environments of the classrooms, especially the EFL classrooms to be more interesting and encouraging. Literature reviews suggest that Saudi students usually lack motivation for studying English as a foreign language. This study tends to investigate the impact of Smartboards on preparatory year EFL learners motivation at a Saudi university. Two intact groups were selected, in which one was termed as experimental and the second as control group. The experimental group was taught using the Smartboard while the control group was taught with the traditional whiteboard, pen and book method. The treatment was given for seven weeks. A questionnaire was administered to both the groups at the beginning and the end of the study. The data was analysed using the SPSS and the results showed that there was significant difference between the experimental and control groups in terms of motivation.

  8. Pre-Orthographic Character String Processing and Parietal Cortex: A Role for Visual Attention in Reading?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobier, Muriel; Peyrin, Carole; Le Bas, Jean-Francois; Valdois, Sylviane

    2012-01-01

    The visual front-end of reading is most often associated with orthographic processing. The left ventral occipito-temporal cortex seems to be preferentially tuned for letter string and word processing. In contrast, little is known of the mechanisms responsible for pre-orthographic processing: the processing of character strings regardless of…

  9. Pre-Orthographic Character String Processing and Parietal Cortex: A Role for Visual Attention in Reading?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobier, Muriel; Peyrin, Carole; Le Bas, Jean-Francois; Valdois, Sylviane

    2012-01-01

    The visual front-end of reading is most often associated with orthographic processing. The left ventral occipito-temporal cortex seems to be preferentially tuned for letter string and word processing. In contrast, little is known of the mechanisms responsible for pre-orthographic processing: the processing of character strings regardless of…

  10. GAUDI: a preparatory archive for the COROT mission

    CERN Document Server

    Solano, E; Garrido, R; Poretti, E; Janot-Pacheco, E; Gutíerrez, R; González, R; Mantegazza, L; Neiner, C; Frémat, Y; Charpinet, S; Weiss, W; Amado, P J; Rainer, M; Tsymbal, V V; Lyashko, D; Ballereau, D; Bouret, J C; Hua, T; Katz, D; Lignières, F; Lüftinger, T; Mittermayer, P; Nesvacil, N; Soubiran, C; Veer-Menneret, C V; Goupil, M J; Costa, V; Rolland, A; Antonello, E; Bossi, M; Buzzoni, A; Rodrigo, C; Aerts, C; Butler, C J; Günther, E; Hatzes, A

    2004-01-01

    The GAUDI database (Ground-based Asteroseismology Uniform Database Interface, http://sdc.laeff.esa.es/gaudi/) is a preparatory archive for the COROT (COnvection, ROtation and planetary Transits, http://www.astrsp-mrs.fr/projets/corot/) mission developed at LAEFF (Laboratory for Space Astrophysics and Theoretical Physics, http://www.laeff.esa.es). Its intention is to make the ground-based observations obtained in the preparation of the asteroseismology programme available in a simple and efficient way. It contains spectroscopic and photometric data together with inferred physical parameters for more than 1500 objects gathered since January 1998 in 6 years of observational campaigns. In this paper, the main functionalities and characteristics of the system are described. The observations have been collected at ESO-La Silla, Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, Observatoire de Haute-Provence, South African Astronomical Observatory, Tautenberg Observatory and Sierra Nevada Observatory.

  11. GAUDI: A Preparatory Archive for the COROT Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solano, E.; Catala, C.; Garrido, R.; Poretti, E.; Janot-Pacheco, E.; Gutiérrez, R.; González, R.; Mantegazza, L.; Neiner, C.; Fremat, Y.; Charpinet, S.; Weiss, W.; Amado, P. J.; Rainer, M.; Tsymbal, V.; Lyashko, D.; Ballereau, D.; Bouret, J. C.; Hua, T.; Katz, D.; Lignières, F.; Lüftinger, T.; Mittermayer, P.; Nesvacil, N.; Soubiran, C.; van't Veer-Menneret, C.; Goupil, M. J.; Costa, V.; Rolland, A.; Antonello, E.; Bossi, M.; Buzzoni, A.; Rodrigo, C.; Aerts, C.; Butler, C. J.; Guenther, E.; Hatzes, A.

    2005-01-01

    The GAUDI database (Ground-based Asteroseismology Uniform Database Interface) is a preparatory archive for the COROT (Convection, Rotation, and Planetary Transits) mission developed at the Laboratorio de Astrofísica Espacial y Física Fundamental (Laboratory for Space Astrophysics and Theoretical Physics, Spain). Its intention is to make the ground-based observations obtained in preparation of the asteroseismology program available in a simple and efficient way. It contains spectroscopic and photometric data together with inferred physical parameters for more than 1500 objects gathered since 1998 January 1998 in 6 years of observational campaigns. In this paper, the main functions and characteristics of the system are described. Based on observations collected at La Silla (ESO proposals 67.D-0169, 69.D-0166, and 70.D-0110), Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (proposal 6-20-068), Observatoire de Haute-Provence, the South African Astronomical Observatory, Tautenburg Observatory, and Sierra Nevada Observatory.

  12. Metabolic imprinting of choline by its availability during gestation: implications for memory and attentional processing across the lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meck, Warren H; Williams, Christina L

    2003-09-01

    A growing body of research supports the view that choline is an essential nutrient during early development that has long-lasting effects on memory and attentional processes throughout the lifespan. This review describes the known effects of alterations in dietary choline availability both in adulthood and during early development. Although modest effects of choline on cognitive processes have been reported when choline is administered to adult animals, we have found that the perinatal period is a critical time for cholinergic organization of brain function. Choline supplementation during this period increases memory capacity and precision of the young adult and appears to prevent age-related memory and attentional decline. Deprivation of choline during early development leads to compromised cognitive function and increased decline with age. We propose that this organizational effect of choline availability may be due to relatively permanent alterations in the functioning of the cholinergic synapse, which we have called 'metabolic imprinting'.

  13. Processing of affective prosody in boys suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köchel, Angelika; Schöngaßner, Florian; Feierl-Gsodam, Silke; Schienle, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Neurobiological studies on facial affect recognition have demonstrated reduced response amplitudes to anger cues in patients suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is still unclear whether a similar deficit exists in the auditory domain. Therefore, this near-infrared spectroscopy study focused on neuronal correlates of affective prosody processing. Fourteen boys suffering from ADHD and fourteen healthy boys were exposed to emotionally intoned, standardized sentences of the categories anger, sadness, happiness, and to affectively neutral sentences. Relative to controls, the patients displayed a diminished activation of the right superior temporal gyrus (STG) when processing anger prosody, which was correlated with aggressive behavior. There were no group differences for the other emotions. Additionally, the ADHD group showed increased supramarginal gyrus (SMG) activation in the anger condition. This might mirror compensatory attention allocation. In summary, we identified a selectively lowered STG activation to auditory anger cues in ADHD patients. Consequently, STG recruitment during anger exposure might be used for evaluation of psychotherapy effects.

  14. Prepulse Inhibition is Associated with Attention, Processing Speed, and 123I-FP-CIT SPECT in Parkinson's Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zoetmulder, Marielle; Biernat, Heidi B; Nikolic, Miki;

    2014-01-01

    cognitive information processing deficits such as slowed processing speed. Parkinson's disease is characterised by the degeneration of the midbrain dopaminergic system and is associated with cognitive dysfunction, including slowed information processing. Although sensorimotor processes in Parkinson......'s disease have been extensively studied in relation to motor function, less is known about the potential role of sensorimotor processes in cognitive function. Objective: We investigated the relationship between prepulse inhibition, cognition and nigrostriatal dysfunction, as measured with 123I...... performed better on cognitive measures tapping attention and processing speed than patients with a lower level of prepulse inhibition group. Furthermore, there were significant correlations between prepulse inhibition and 123I-FP-CIT uptake in the striatum. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the level...

  15. Altered intrinsic organisation of brain networks implicated in attentional processes in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a resting-state study of attention, default mode and salience network connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidlauskaite, Justina; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund; Roeyers, Herbert; Wiersema, Jan R

    2016-06-01

    Deficits in task-related attentional engagement in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been hypothesised to be due to altered interrelationships between attention, default mode and salience networks. We examined the intrinsic connectivity during rest within and between these networks. Six-minute resting-state scans were obtained. Using a network-based approach, connectivity within and between the dorsal and ventral attention, the default mode and the salience networks was compared between the ADHD and control group. The ADHD group displayed hyperconnectivity between the two attention networks and within the default mode and ventral attention network. The salience network was hypoconnected to the dorsal attention network. There were trends towards hyperconnectivity within the dorsal attention network and between the salience and ventral attention network in ADHD. Connectivity within and between other networks was unrelated to ADHD. Our findings highlight the altered connectivity within and between attention networks, and between them and the salience network in ADHD. One hypothesis to be tested in future studies is that individuals with ADHD are affected by an imbalance between ventral and dorsal attention systems with the former playing a dominant role during task engagement, making individuals with ADHD highly susceptible to distraction by salient task-irrelevant stimuli.

  16. The neural substrates associated with attentional resources and difficulty of concurrent processing of the two verbal tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuno, Kei; Tanaka, Masaaki; Tanabe, Hiroki C; Sadato, Norihiro; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi

    2012-07-01

    The kana pick-out test has been widely used in Japan to evaluate the ability to divide attention in both adult and pediatric patients. However, the neural substrates underlying the ability to divide attention using the kana pick-out test, which requires participants to pick out individual letters (vowels) in a story while also reading for comprehension, thus requiring simultaneous allocation of attention to both activities, are still unclear. Moreover, outside of the clinical area, neuroimaging studies focused on the mechanisms of divided attention during complex story comprehension are rare. Thus, the purpose of the present study, to clarify the neural substrates of kana pick-out test, improves our current understanding of the basic neural mechanisms of dual task performance in verbal memory function. We compared patterns of activation in the brain obtained during performance of the individual tasks of vowel identification and story comprehension, to levels of activation when participants performed the two tasks simultaneously during the kana pick-out test. We found that activations of the left dorsal inferior frontal gyrus and superior parietal lobule increase in functional connectivity to a greater extent during the dual task condition compared to the two single task conditions. In contrast, activations of the left fusiform gyrus and middle temporal gyrus, which are significantly involved in picking out letters and complex sentences during story comprehension, respectively, were reduced in the dual task condition compared to during the two single task conditions. These results suggest that increased activations of the dorsal inferior frontal gyrus and superior parietal lobule during dual task performance may be associated with the capacity for attentional resources, and reduced activations of the left fusiform gyrus and middle temporal gyrus may reflect the difficulty of concurrent processing of the two tasks. In addition, the increase in synchronization between

  17. Facilitation or disengagement? Attention bias in facial affect processing after short-term violent video game exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanling; Lan, Haiying; Teng, Zhaojun; Guo, Cheng; Yao, Dezhong

    2017-01-01

    Previous research has been inconsistent on whether violent video games exert positive and/or negative effects on cognition. In particular, attentional bias in facial affect processing after violent video game exposure continues to be controversial. The aim of the present study was to investigate attentional bias in facial recognition after short term exposure to violent video games and to characterize the neural correlates of this effect. In order to accomplish this, participants were exposed to either neutral or violent video games for 25 min and then event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during two emotional search tasks. The first search task assessed attentional facilitation, in which participants were required to identify an emotional face from a crowd of neutral faces. In contrast, the second task measured disengagement, in which participants were required to identify a neutral face from a crowd of emotional faces. Our results found a significant presence of the ERP component, N2pc, during the facilitation task; however, no differences were observed between the two video game groups. This finding does not support a link between attentional facilitation and violent video game exposure. Comparatively, during the disengagement task, N2pc responses were not observed when participants viewed happy faces following violent video game exposure; however, a weak N2pc response was observed after neutral video game exposure. These results provided only inconsistent support for the disengagement hypothesis, suggesting that participants found it difficult to separate a neutral face from a crowd of emotional faces. PMID:28249033

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken eKihara

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  1. The Effects of Changing Attention and Context in an Awake Offline Processing Period on Visual Long-Term Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Michael Ellmore

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There is accumulating evidence that sleep as well as awake offline processing is important for the transformation of new experiences into long-term memory. Yet much remains to be understood about how various cognitive factors influence the efficiency of awake offline processing. In the present study we investigated how changes in attention and context in the immediate period after exposure to new visual information influences long-term memory consolidation. After presentation of multiple naturalistic scenes within a working memory paradigm, recognition was assessed 30 minutes and 24 hours later in three groups of subjects. One group of subjects engaged in a focused attention task (the Revised Attentional Network Task (R-ANT in the 30 minutes after exposure to the scenes. Another group of subjects remained in the testing room during the 30 minutes after scene exposure and engaged in no goal- or task-directed activities. A third group of subjects left the testing room and returned 30 minutes later. A signal detection analysis revealed no significant differences among the three groups in hits, false alarms, or sensitivity on the 30-minute recognition task. At the 24-hour recognition test, the group that performed the R-ANT made significantly fewer hits compared to the group that left the testing room and didn’t perform the attention ask. The group that performed the R-ANT and the group that remained in the testing room during the 30-minute post-exposure interval made significantly fewer false alarms on the 24-hour recognition test compared to the group that left the testing room. The group that stayed in the testing room and engaged in no goal- or task-directed activities exhibited significantly higher sensitivity (d’ compared to the group that left the testing room and the group that performed the R-ANT task. Staying in the same context after exposure to new information and resting quietly with minimal engagement of attention results in the

  2. Linking attentional processes and conceptual problem solving: Visual cues facilitate the automaticity of extracting relevant information from diagrams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy eRouinfar

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated links between lower-level visual attention processes and higher-level problem solving. This was done by overlaying visual cues on conceptual physics problem diagrams to direct participants’ attention to relevant areas to facilitate problem solving. Participants (N = 80 individually worked through four problem sets, each containing a diagram, while their eye movements were recorded. Each diagram contained regions that were relevant to solving the problem correctly and separate regions related to common incorrect responses. Problem sets contained an initial problem, six isomorphic training problems, and a transfer problem. The cued condition saw visual cues overlaid on the training problems. Participants’ verbal responses were used to determine their accuracy. The study produced two major findings. First, short duration visual cues can improve problem solving performance on a variety of insight physics problems, including transfer problems not sharing the surface features of the training problems, but instead sharing the underlying solution path. Thus, visual cues can facilitate re-representing a problem and overcoming impasse, enabling a correct solution. Importantly, these cueing effects on problem solving did not involve the solvers’ attention necessarily embodying the solution to the problem. Instead, the cueing effects were caused by solvers attending to and integrating relevant information in the problems into a solution path. Second, these short duration visual cues when administered repeatedly over multiple training problems resulted in participants becoming more efficient at extracting the relevant information on the transfer problem, showing that such cues can improve the automaticity with which solvers extract relevant information from a problem. Both of these results converge on the conclusion that lower-order visual processes driven by attentional cues can influence higher-order cognitive processes

  3. Attention effects on the processing of task-relevant and task-irrelevant speech sounds and letters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria eMittag

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs to study effects of selective attention on the processing of attended and unattended spoken syllables and letters. Participants were presented with syllables randomly occurring in the left or right ear and spoken by different voices and with a concurrent foveal stream of consonant letters written in darker or lighter fonts. During auditory phonological and non-phonological tasks, they responded to syllables in a designated ear starting with a vowel and spoken by female voices, respectively. These syllables occurred infrequently among standard syllables starting with a consonant and spoken by male voices. During visual phonological and non-phonological tasks, they responded to consonant letters with names starting with a vowel and to letters written in dark fonts, respectively. These letters occurred infrequently among standard letters with names starting with a consonant and written in light fonts. To examine genuine effects of attention and task on ERPs not overlapped by ERPs associated with target processing or deviance detection, these effects were studied only in ERPs to auditory and visual standards. During selective listening to syllables in a designated ear, ERPs to the attended syllables were negatively displaced during both phonological and non-phonological auditory tasks. Selective attention to letters elicited an early negative displacement and a subsequent positive displacement of ERPs to attended letters being larger during the visual phonological than non-phonological task suggesting a higher demand for attention during the visual phonological task. Active suppression of unattended speech during the auditory phonological and non-phonological tasks and during the visual phonological tasks was suggested by a rejection positivity to unattended syllables. We also found evidence for suppression of the processing of task-irrelevant visual stimuli in visual ERPs during auditory tasks involving

  4. Attention effects on the processing of task-relevant and task-irrelevant speech sounds and letters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittag, Maria; Inauri, Karina; Huovilainen, Tatu; Leminen, Miika; Salo, Emma; Rinne, Teemu; Kujala, Teija; Alho, Kimmo

    2013-01-01

    We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to study effects of selective attention on the processing of attended and unattended spoken syllables and letters. Participants were presented with syllables randomly occurring in the left or right ear and spoken by different voices and with a concurrent foveal stream of consonant letters written in darker or lighter fonts. During auditory phonological (AP) and non-phonological tasks, they responded to syllables in a designated ear starting with a vowel and spoken by female voices, respectively. These syllables occurred infrequently among standard syllables starting with a consonant and spoken by male voices. During visual phonological and non-phonological tasks, they responded to consonant letters with names starting with a vowel and to letters written in dark fonts, respectively. These letters occurred infrequently among standard letters with names starting with a consonant and written in light fonts. To examine genuine effects of attention and task on ERPs not overlapped by ERPs associated with target processing or deviance detection, these effects were studied only in ERPs to auditory and visual standards. During selective listening to syllables in a designated ear, ERPs to the attended syllables were negatively displaced during both phonological and non-phonological auditory tasks. Selective attention to letters elicited an early negative displacement and a subsequent positive displacement (Pd) of ERPs to attended letters being larger during the visual phonological than non-phonological task suggesting a higher demand for attention during the visual phonological task. Active suppression of unattended speech during the AP and non-phonological tasks and during the visual phonological tasks was suggested by a rejection positivity (RP) to unattended syllables. We also found evidence for suppression of the processing of task-irrelevant visual stimuli in visual ERPs during auditory tasks involving left-ear syllables.

  5. Low visual information-processing speed and attention are predictors of fatigue in elementary and junior high school students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yamano Emi

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Fatigue is a common complaint among elementary and junior high school students, and is known to be associated with reduced academic performance. Recently, we demonstrated that fatigue was correlated with decreased cognitive function in these students. However, no studies have identified cognitive predictors of fatigue. Therefore, we attempted to determine independent cognitive predictors of fatigue in these students. Methods We performed a prospective cohort study. One hundred and forty-two elementary and junior high school students without fatigue participated. They completed a variety of paper-and-pencil tests, including list learning and list recall tests, kana pick-out test, semantic fluency test, figure copying test, digit span forward test, and symbol digit modalities test. The participants also completed computerized cognitive tests (tasks A to E on the modified advanced trail making test. These cognitive tests were used to evaluate motor- and information-processing speed, immediate and delayed memory function, auditory and visual attention, divided and switching attention, retrieval of learned material, and spatial construction. One year after the tests, a questionnaire about fatigue (Japanese version of the Chalder Fatigue Scale was administered to all the participants. Results After the follow-up period, we confirmed 40 cases of fatigue among 118 students. In multivariate logistic regression analyses adjusted for grades and gender, poorer performance on visual information-processing speed and attention tasks was associated with increased risk of fatigue. Conclusions Reduced visual information-processing speed and poor attention are independent predictors of fatigue in elementary and junior high school students.

  6. Visual Attention Allocation Between Robotic Arm and Environmental Process Control: Validating the STOM Task Switching Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher; Vieanne, Alex; Clegg, Benjamin; Sebok, Angelia; Janes, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    Fifty six participants time shared a spacecraft environmental control system task with a realistic space robotic arm control task in either a manual or highly automated version. The former could suffer minor failures, whose diagnosis and repair were supported by a decision aid. At the end of the experiment this decision aid unexpectedly failed. We measured visual attention allocation and switching between the two tasks, in each of the eight conditions formed by manual-automated arm X expected-unexpected failure X monitoring- failure management. We also used our multi-attribute task switching model, based on task attributes of priority interest, difficulty and salience that were self-rated by participants, to predict allocation. An un-weighted model based on attributes of difficulty, interest and salience accounted for 96 percent of the task allocation variance across the 8 different conditions. Task difficulty served as an attractor, with more difficult tasks increasing the tendency to stay on task.

  7. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

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

  8. Is that a belt or a snake? object attentional selection affects the early stages of visual sensory processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zani Alberto

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is at present crescent empirical evidence deriving from different lines of ERPs research that, unlike previously observed, the earliest sensory visual response, known as C1 component or P/N80, generated within the striate cortex, might be modulated by selective attention to visual stimulus features. Up to now, evidence of this modulation has been related to space location, and simple features such as spatial frequency, luminance, and texture. Additionally, neurophysiological conditions, such as emotion, vigilance, the reflexive or voluntary nature of input attentional selection, and workload have also been related to C1 modulations, although at least the workload status has received controversial indications. No information is instead available, at present, for objects attentional selection. Methods In this study object- and space-based attention mechanisms were conjointly investigated by presenting complex, familiar shapes of artefacts and animals, intermixed with distracters, in different tasks requiring the selection of a relevant target-category within a relevant spatial location, while ignoring the other shape categories within this location, and, overall, all the categories at an irrelevant location. EEG was recorded from 30 scalp electrode sites in 21 right-handed participants. Results and Conclusions ERP findings showed that visual processing was modulated by both shape- and location-relevance per se, beginning separately at the latency of the early phase of a precocious negativity (60-80 ms at mesial scalp sites consistent with the C1 component, and a positivity at more lateral sites. The data also showed that the attentional modulation progressed conjointly at the latency of the subsequent P1 (100-120 ms and N1 (120-180 ms, as well as later-latency components. These findings support the views that (1 V1 may be precociously modulated by direct top-down influences, and participates to object, besides simple

  9. Anticipatory Processing, Maladaptive Attentional Focus, and Postevent Processing for Interactional and Performance Situations: Treatment Response and Relationships With Symptom Change for Individuals With Social Anxiety Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Quincy J J; Gregory, Bree; McLellan, Lauren F; Kangas, Maria; Abbott, Maree J; Carpenter, Leigh; McEvoy, Peter M; Peters, Lorna; Rapee, Ronald M

    2017-09-01

    Anticipatory processing, maladaptive attentional focus, and postevent processing are key cognitive constructs implicated in the maintenance of social anxiety disorder (SAD). The current study examined how treatment for SAD concurrently affects these three cognitive maintaining processes and how these processes are associated with each other as well as with symptom change from pre- to posttreatment. The sample consisted of 116 participants with SAD receiving group cognitive behavioral therapy. All three cognitive maintaining processes were measured relative to a speech task and again relative to a conversation task. Across both tasks, the three cognitive process variables demonstrated decreases from pre- to posttreatment. Within the same task, a slower rate of decrease in a specific cognitive process variable from pre- to posttreatment was predicted from higher pretreatment levels of either one or both of the other cognitive process variables. Additionally, higher levels of pretreatment conversation-related anticipatory processing and maladaptive attentional focus predicted a slower rate of decrease in social anxiety symptoms from pre- to posttreatment. Results are consistent with cognitive models of SAD and have important implications for enhancing existing treatments. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. The preparatory set: A novel approach to understanding "stress", trauma, and the bodymind therapies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter ePayne

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Basic to all motile life is a differential approach/avoid response to perceived features of environment. The stages of response are initial reflexive noticing and orienting to the stimulus, preparation, and execution of response. Preparation involves a coordination of many aspects of the organism: muscle tone, posture, breathing, autonomic functions, motivational/emotional state, attentional orientation and expectations. The organism organizes itself in relation to the challenge. We propose to call this the preparatory set (PS. We suggest that the concept of the PS can offer a more nuanced and flexible perspective on the stress response than do current theories. We also hypothesize that the mechanisms of bodymind therapeutic and educational systems (BTES can be understood through the PS framework. We suggest that the BTES, including meditative movement, meditation, somatic education, and the body-oriented psychotherapies, are approaches that use interventions on the PS to remedy stress and trauma. We discuss how the PS can be adaptive or maladaptive, how BTES interventions may restore adaptive PS, and how these concepts offer a broader and more flexible view of the phenomena of stress and trauma. We offer supportive evidence for our hypotheses, and suggest directions for future research. We believe that the PS framework will point to ways of improving the management of stress and trauma, and that it will suggest directions of research into the mechanisms of action of BTES.

  11. Into the pressure cooker: Student stress in college preparatory high schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feld, Lauren D; Shusterman, Anna

    2015-06-01

    The goals of this study were to (1) measure psychological, physiological, and behavioral indicators of stress, (2) assess the relationship between stress and student attitudes, and (3) explore coping behaviors in response to stress, among a sample of students in two academically high-achieving environments. Three hundred thirty-three students in grades 9 through 12 from two college-preparatory high schools completed a cross-sectional online survey that included the Students' Life Satisfaction Scale, School Attitude Assessment Questionnaire-Revised, and assessments for stress-related indicators, including eating, sleeping and exercise, and strategies they utilized for coping with stress. Students reported a high prevalence of physical and psychological correlates of stress, and related unhealthy behaviors such as widespread and chronic sleep deprivation and rushed meals. The results suggest areas to focus attention for identifying and addressing maladaptive responses to stress among high-achieving student populations. Copyright © 2015 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. White matter fiber compromise contributes differentially to attention and emotion processing impairment in alcoholism, HIV-infection, and their comorbidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, T; Müller-Oehring, E M; Sullivan, E V; Pfefferbaum, A

    2012-10-01

    Alcoholism (ALC) and HIV-1 infection (HIV) each affects emotional and attentional processes and integrity of brain white matter fibers likely contributing to functional compromise. The highly prevalent ALC+HIV comorbidity may exacerbate compromise. We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and an emotional Stroop Match-to-Sample task in 19 ALC, 16 HIV, 15 ALC+HIV, and 15 control participants to investigate whether disruption of fiber system integrity accounts for compromised attentional and emotional processing. The task required matching a cue color to that of an emotional word with faces appearing between the color cue and the Stroop word in half of the trials. Nonmatched cue-word color pairs assessed selective attention, and face-word pairs assessed emotion. Relative to controls, DTI-based fiber tracking revealed lower inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ilf) integrity in HIV and ALC+HIV and lower uncinate fasciculus (uf) integrity in all three patient groups. Controls exhibited Stroop effects to positive face-word emotion, and greater interference was related to greater callosal, cingulum and ilf integrity. By contrast, HIV showed greater interference from negative Stroop words during color-nonmatch trials, correlating with greater uf compromise. For face trials, ALC and ALC+HIV showed greater Stroop-word interference, correlating with lower cingulate and callosal integrity. Thus, in HIV, conflict resolution was diminished when challenging conditions usurped resources needed to manage interference from negative emotion and to disengage attention from wrongly cued colors (nonmatch). In ALC and ALC+HIV, poorer callosal integrity was related to enhanced emotional interference suggesting curtailed interhemispheric exchange needed between preferentially right-hemispheric emotion and left-hemispheric Stroop-word functions.

  13. How and When Accentuation Influences Temporally Selective Attention and Subsequent Semantic Processing during On-Line Spoken Language Comprehension: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-qing; Ren, Gui-qin

    2012-01-01

    An event-related brain potentials (ERP) experiment was carried out to investigate how and when accentuation influences temporally selective attention and subsequent semantic processing during on-line spoken language comprehension, and how the effect of accentuation on attention allocation and semantic processing changed with the degree of…

  14. Double dissociation of working memory and attentional processes in smokers and non-smokers with and without nicotine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundey, Jessica; Amu, Rosa; Ambrus, Géza Gergely; Batsikadze, Georgi; Paulus, Walter; Nitsche, Michael A

    2015-07-01

    Nicotine has been shown to affect cortical excitability measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation in smoking and non-smoking subjects in different ways. In tobacco-deprived smokers, administration of nicotine restores compromised cortical facilitation while in non-smokers, it enhances cortical inhibition. As cortical excitability and activity are closely linked to cognitive processes, we aimed to explore whether nicotine-induced physiological alterations in non-smokers and smokers are associated with cognitive changes. Specifically, we assessed the impact of nicotine on working memory performance (n-back letter task) and on attentional processes (Stroop interference test) in healthy smokers and non-smokers. Both tasks have been shown to rely on prefrontal areas, and nicotinic receptors are relevantly involved in prefrontal function. Sixteen smoking and 16 non-smoking subjects participated in the 3-back letter task and 21 smoking and 21 non-smoking subjects in the Stroop test after the respective application of placebo or nicotine patches. The results show that working memory and attentional processes are compromised in nicotine-deprived smokers compared to non-smoking individuals. After administration of nicotine, working memory performance in smokers improved, while non-smoking subjects displayed decreased accuracy with increased number of errors. The effects have been shown to be more apparent for working memory performance than attentional processes. In summary, cognitive functions can be restored by nicotine in deprived smokers, whereas non-smokers do not gain additional benefit. The respective changes are in accordance with related effects of nicotine on cortical excitability in both groups.

  15. Transfer of Training between Music and Speech: Common Processing, Attention, and Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Mireille eBesson; Julie eChobert; Céline eMarie

    2011-01-01

    After a brief historical perspective of the relationship between language and music, we review our work on transfer of training from music to speech that aimed at testing the general hypothesis that musicians should be more sensitive than non-musicians to speech sounds. In light of recent results in the literature, we argue that when long-term experience in one domain influences acoustic processing in the other domain, results can be interpreted as common acoustic processing. But when long-te...

  16. Slow biasing of processing resources in early visual cortex is preceded by emotional cue extraction in emotion-attention competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönwald, Liane I; Müller, Matthias M

    2014-04-01

    In our previous studies on competition for attentional processing resources in early visual cortex between a foreground task and distracting emotional background images we found that emotional background images withdraw attentional resources from the foreground task after about 400 ms. Costs in behavioral data and a significant reduction of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) amplitude that was elicited by the foreground task lasted for several hundred milliseconds. We speculated that the differential effect in SSVEP amplitudes is preceded by the extraction of the emotional cue. Event related potential (ERP) studies to emotional and neutral complex images identified an early posterior negativity (EPN) as a robust neural signature of emotional cue extraction. The late positive potential (LPP) was related to in-depth processing of the emotional image. We extracted ERPs that were evoked by the onset of background images concurrently with the SSVEP that was elicited by the foreground task. Emotional compared to neutral background pictures evoked a more negative EPN at about 190 ms and a more positive LPP at about 700 ms after image onset. SSVEP amplitudes became significantly smaller with emotional background images after about 400 ms lasting for several hundred ms. Interestingly, we found no significant correlations between the three components, indicating that they act independently. Source localizations resulted in nonoverlapping cortical generators. Results suggest a cascade of perceptual processes: Extraction of the emotional cue preceded biasing of attentional resources away from the foreground task towards the emotional image for an evaluation of the picture content. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Student Guidance and Attention to Diversity in the Processes of Quality Assurance in Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Camino; Vidal, Javier; Vieira, María José

    2014-01-01

    The main objective of this article is to analyse the importance given to student guidance and diversity in the standards and criteria used in the quality accreditation and evaluation processes in Europe and the US. Agencies selected in this study are the members of ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education), EQAR…

  18. Foveal vs. Parafoveal Processing in Anxiety: Broadened Spatial Attention for Threat Words

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, Aida; Calvo, Manuel G.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the processing of threat-related, positive, and neutral words in parafoveal and in foveal vision as a function of individual differences in trait anxiety. In a lexical-decision task, word primes were presented for 150 ms either parafoveally (2.2[degrees] away from fixation; Experiment 1) or foveally (at fixation; Experiment 3)…

  19. Facilitation and Inhibition Effects in Visual Selective Attention Processes of Individuals with and without Mental Retardation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Kyeong-Ho; Merrill, Edward C.

    1993-01-01

    Adolescents identified letters presented to them on the basis of color. Subjects (n=20) with mental retardation exhibited facilitation when the target was identical to the target on the preceding trial but did not exhibit inhibition when it had been a distractor on the preceding trial. Inefficient suppression processes may result in performance…

  20. Relationships among Linguistic Processing Speed, Phonological Working Memory, and Attention in Children Who Stutter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Julie D.; Wagovich, Stacy A.

    2010-01-01

    Relatively recently, experimental studies of linguistic processing speed in children who stutter (CWS) have emerged, some of which suggest differences in performance among CWS compared to children who do not stutter (CWNS). What is not yet well understood is the extent to which underlying cognitive skills may impact performance on timed tasks of…

  1. Selective processing of threatening information: effects of attachment representation and anxiety disorder on attention and memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeijlmans van Emmichhoven, I.A.; van IJzendoorn, M.H.; de Ruiter, C.; Brosschot, J.F.

    2003-01-01

    To investigate the effect of the mental representation of attachment on information processing, 28 anxiety disorder outpatients, as diagnosed by the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule?Revised, were administered the Adult Attachment Interview and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. They also complet

  2. The Effects of Reinvestment of Conscious Processing on Switching Focus of Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Stephen M.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of switching focusing strategies on complex motor skill learning were investigated using a dart-throwing task. Participants were screened for reinvestment of conscious processing by completing the Reinvestment Scale (RS) of Masters, Polman, and Hammond (1993). After an initial baseline phase, two focusing strategies were described. Low…

  3. Selective processing of threatening information: effects of attachment representation and anxiety disorder on attention and memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeijlmans van Emmichhoven, I.A.; van IJzendoorn, M.H.; de Ruiter, C.; Brosschot, J.F.

    2003-01-01

    To investigate the effect of the mental representation of attachment on information processing, 28 anxiety disorder outpatients, as diagnosed by the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule?Revised, were administered the Adult Attachment Interview and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. They also

  4. Positive Affect Processing and Joint Attention in Infants at High Risk for Autism: An Exploratory Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Key, Alexandra P.; Ibanez, Lisa V.; Henderson, Heather A.; Warren, Zachary; Messinger, Daniel S.; Stone, Wendy L.

    2015-01-01

    Few behavioral indices of risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are present before 12 months, and potential biomarkers remain largely unexamined. This prospective study of infant siblings of children with ASD (n = 16) and low-risk comparison infants (n = 15) examined group differences in event-related potentials (ERPs) indexing processing of…

  5. Interdisciplinarity in work process at a Psychosocial Attention Center - doi:10.5020/18061230.2010.p221

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Salete Bessa Jorge

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To analyze the work process of mental health professionals from a Psychosocial Attention Center (CAPS, from the knowledge and the practices applied in the production of care and its interface with user’s demands and the service offering. Methods: A case study with qualitative approach. Twenty-eight subjects joined in and were divided into three groups: I (eleven mental health workers, II (eleven users e III (six family members. The semistructured interview was used besides systematic observation, in the search for data about the work process of the professionals of the Psychosocial Attention Center, the relationship between team and user, offering and demand, access, technologies of care, knowledge and practices and interdisciplinarity. The investigation was based upon critical content analysis and was oriented by the flowchart analyzer. Results: The service organization and its work process are directed to the immediate supply of the population’s demands, which depicts a care based on prescriptive practices. Thus, the flow of assistance and the service offering complement each other in the need of a procedure and in its exhaustive offering by the service, dissolving interdisciplinary conductions of intervention shared with the user. Conclusion: Mental health care is still surrounded by biomedical hegemony centered in procedures directed to pharmacological prescription. Despite this reality, the work centered on the user and the utilization of soft technologies – communication, link, welcoming – begin to take part of the daily CAPS service offering, although it is only present in specific activities of certain procedures.

  6. Frontal EEG/ERP correlates of attentional processes, cortisol and motivational states in adolescents from lower and higher socioeconomic status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amedeo eD'angiulli

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Event-related potentials (ERPs and other electroencephalographic (EEG evidence show that frontal brain areas of higher and lower socioeconomic status (SES children are recruited differently during selective attention tasks. We assessed whether multiple variables related to self-regulation (perceived mental effort emotional states (e.g., anxiety, stress, etc. and motivational states (e.g., boredom, engagement, etc. may co-occur or interact with frontal attentional processing probed in two matched-samples of fourteen lower-SES and higher-SES adolescents. ERP and EEG activation were measured during a task probing selective attention to sequences of tones. Pre- and post-task salivary cortisol and self-reported emotional states were also measured. At similar performance level, the higher-SES group showed a greater ERP differentiation between attended (relevant and unattended (irrelevant tones than the lower-SES group. EEG power analysis revealed a cross-over interaction, specifically, lower-SES adolescents showed significantly higher theta power when ignoring rather than attending to tones, whereas, higher-SES adolescents showed the opposite pattern. Significant theta asymmetry differences were also found at midfrontal electrodes indicating left hypo-activity in lower-SES adolescents. The attended vs. unattended difference in right midfrontal theta increased with individual SES rank, and (independently from SES with lower cortisol task reactivity and higher boredom. Results suggest lower-SES children used additional compensatory resources to monitor/control response inhibition to distracters, perceiving also more mental effort, as compared to higher-SES counterparts. Nevertheless, stress, boredom and other task-related perceived states were unrelated to SES. Ruling out presumed confounds, this study confirms the midfrontal mechanisms responsible for the SES effects on selective attention reported previously and here reflect genuine cognitive

  7. Stroop effects in Alzheimer's disease: selective attention speed of processing, or color-naming? A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-David, Boaz M; Tewari, Anita; Shakuf, Vered; Van Lieshout, Pascal H H M

    2014-01-01

    Selective attention, an essential part of daily activity, is often impaired in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Usually, it is measured by the color-word Stroop test. However, there is no universal agreement whether performance on the Stroop task changes significantly in AD patients; or if so, whether an increase in Stroop effects reflects a decrease in selective attention, a slowing in generalized speed of processing (SOP), or is the result of degraded color-vision. The current study investigated the impact of AD on Stroop performance and its potential sources in a meta-analysis and mathematical modeling of 18 studies, comparing 637 AD patients with 977 healthy age-matched participants. We found a significant increase in Stroop effects for AD patients, across studies. This AD-related change was associated with a slowing in SOP. However, after correcting for a bias in the distribution of latencies, SOP could only explain a moderate portion of the total variance (25%). Moreover, we found strong evidence for an AD-related increase in the latency difference between naming the font-color and reading color-neutral stimuli (r2 = 0.98). This increase in the dimensional imbalance between color-naming and word-reading was found to explain a significant portion of the AD-related increase in Stroop effects (r2 = 0.87), hinting on a possible sensory source. In conclusion, our analysis highlights the importance of controlling for sensory degradation and SOP when testing cognitive performance and, specifically, selective attention in AD patients. We also suggest possible measures and tools to better test for selective attention in AD.

  8. Effects of acute subcutaneous nicotine on attention, information processing and short-term memory in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, G M; Sahakian, B J; Levy, R; Warburton, D M; Gray, J A

    1992-01-01

    This single-blind, placebo controlled study reports on the effects of administering three acute doses of nicotine (0.4, 0.6 and 0.8 mg) subcutaneously to a group of Alzheimer's disease (DAT) patients (n = 22), young adult controls (n = 24), and normal aged controls (n = 24). The study extends our previous findings obtained using smaller groups of subjects. Drug effects were examined on three computerised tests: the first measuring rapid visual information processing, sustained visual attention and reaction time (RVIP task); a delayed response matching to location-order task measuring sustained visual attention and visual short-term memory (DRMLO task); and a finger tapping test measuring simple reaction time (FT task). The critical flicker fusion test (CFF) was used as a measure of perception and the WAIS digit span forwards (DS), of auditory short-term memory. Tests were graded in difficulty, titrated to avoid floor and ceiling effects so that meaningful, direct comparisons between groups could be made. Nicotine significantly improved sustained visual attention (in both RVIP and DRMLO tasks), reaction time (in both FT and RVIP tasks), and perception (CFF task--both ascending and descending thresholds). Nicotine administration did not improve auditory and visual short-term memory. There were no consistent, overall patterns of difference in performance between smokers and non-smokers in the control groups, or between males and females in any group. Despite the absence of change in memory functioning, these results demonstrate that DAT patients have significant perceptual and visual attentional deficits which are improved by nicotine administration.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  9. Slow cortical potential and theta/beta neurofeedback training in adults: effects on attentional processes, and motor system excitability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra eStuder

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Neurofeedback (NF is being successfully applied, among others, in children with ADHD and as a peak performance training in healthy subjects. However, the neuronal mechanisms mediating a successful NF training have not yet been sufficiently uncovered for both theta/beta (T/B, and slow cortical potential (SCP training, two protocols established in NF in ADHD. In the present randomized controlled investigation in adults without a clinical diagnosis (n = 59, the specificity of the effects of these two NF protocols on attentional processes, and motor system excitability were to be examined, focusing on the underlying neuronal mechanisms. NF training consisted of 10 double sessions, and self-regulation skills were analyzed. Pre- and post-training assessments encompassed performance and event-related potential measures during an attention task, and motor system excitability assessed by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Some NF protocol specific effects have been obtained. However, due to the limited sample size medium effects didn’t reach the level of significance. Self-regulation abilities during negativity trials of the SCP training were associated with increased contingent negative variation amplitudes, indicating improved resource allocation during cognitive preparation. Theta/beta training was associated with increased response speed and decreased target-P3 amplitudes after successful theta/beta regulation suggested reduced attentional resources necessary for stimulus evaluation. Motor system excitability effects after theta/beta training paralleled the effects of methylphenidate. Overall, our results are limited by the non-sufficiently acquired self-regulation skills, but some specific effects between good and poor learners could be described. Future studies with larger sample sizes and sufficient acquisition of self-regulation skills are needed to further evaluate the protocol specific effects on attention and motor system excitability

  10. [Surgical crown lengthening procedures. Preparatory step for fixed prosthesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parashis, A O; Tripodakis, A P

    1990-04-01

    Necessary restorative requirements for full coverage are adequate axial wall height of the preparation for retention as well as sufficient vertical width of sound tooth structure cervically for the crown margins. In cases where adequate healthy tooth structure does not exist coronally to the epithelial attachment due to various crown damages, the margins of the crown might traumatize the periodontal attachment and the periodontium will be jeopardized iatrogenically. Teeth with inadequate axial Reight of the clinical crown, subgingival caries, vertical or horizontal fractures will require surgical crown lengthening procedures before prosthetic treatment is performed. These procedures may either involve only the soft tissues or bone remodeling as well. Irrespective of the procedure, crown lengthening must be performed with the objective of at least 3 mm. of healthy tooth structure coronally to the bone. This width will permit the formation of a new dentinogingival junction and the existence of 1-2 m.m. of sound tooth structure coronally to the new attachment line for the construction of a biologically acceptable crown margin. The purpose of this article is to discuss the clinical problem and underline the importance of crown lengthening procedures as a preparatory step for prosthetic treatment in fixed partial dentures.

  11. Processing speed can monitor stimulant-medication effects in adults with attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Niels Peter; Wiig, Elisabeth H; Bäck, Svante; Gustafsson, Jan

    2017-05-01

    Treatment responses to methylphenidate by adults with ADHD are generally monitored against DSM-IV/DSM-V symptomatology, rating scales or interviews during reviews. To evaluate the use of single- and dual-dimension processing-speed and efficiency measures to monitor the effects of pharmacological treatment with methylphenidate after a short period off medication. A Quick Test of Cognitive Speed (AQT) monitored the effects of immediate-release methylphenidate in 40 previously diagnosed and medicated adults with ADHD. Processing speed was evaluated with prior prescription medication, without medication after a 2-day period off ADHD medication, and with low-dose (10/20 mg) and high-dose (20/40 mg) methylphenidate hydrochloride (Medikinet IR). Thirty-three participants responded to the experimental treatments. One-way ANOVA with post-hoc analysis (Scheffe) indicated significant main effects for single dimension colour and form and dual-dimension colour-form naming. Post-hoc analysis indicated statistical differences between the no- and high-dose medication conditions for colour and form, measures of perceptual speed. For colour-form naming, a measure of cognitive speed, there was a significant difference between no- and low-dose medication and between no- and high-dose medications, but not between low- and high-dose medications. Results indicated that the AQT tests effectively monitored incremental effects of the methylphenidate dose on processing speed after a 2-day period off medication. Thus, perceptual (colour and form) and cognitive speed (two-dimensional colour-form naming) and processing efficiency (lowered shift costs) increased measurably with high-dose medication. These preliminary findings warrant validation with added measures of associated behavioural and cognitive changes.

  12. Differential reward processing in subtypes of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edel, Marc-Andreas; Enzi, Björn; Witthaus, Henning; Tegenthoff, Martin; Peters, Sören; Juckel, Georg; Lissek, Silke

    2013-03-01

    Abnormalities in reward processing have been found in adolescents and adults with ADHD using the 'Monetary Incentive Delay' (MID) task. However, ADHD groups in previous studies were heterogeneous regarding ADHD subtype, gender and, in part, drug treatment status. This study sought to compare neural activations in the ventral striatum (VS) and prefrontal regions during reward processing in homogenous ADHD subtype groups and healthy adults, using the MID task. In total, 24 drug-naïve, right-handed male adults with ADHD (12 subjects with combined type (ADHD-ct) and 12 subjects with predominantly inattentive (ADHD-it) type ADHD), and twelve healthy right-handed male control subjects were included. Compared to ADHD-ct and healthy subjects, ADHD-it subjects showed a bilateral ventral striatal deficit during reward anticipation. In contrast, ADHD-ct subjects showed orbitofrontal hyporesponsiveness to reward feedback when compared with ADHD-it and healthy subjects. This is the first fMRI study that delineates dysfunctional and subtype-divergent neural and behavioural reward processing in adults with ADHD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Internet resources as means of forming auditory skills of Ukrainian in foreign participants in preparatory department

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Надія Іванівна Луцан

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The article covers and analyzes the possible use of specific Internet resources of Ukrainian content for the formation and development of auditory skills. Special auditory skills that are important and should be formed at the preparatory department of the university during the teaching of Ukrainian are selected. The structure of language training at the preparatory department for foreign citizen are briefly described

  14. Paying attention to gender and poverty in health research: content and process issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostlin, Piroska; Sen, Gita; George, Asha

    2004-10-01

    Despite the magnitude of the problem of health inequity within and between countries, little systematic research has been done on the social causes of ill-health. Health researchers have overwhelmingly focused on biomedical research at the level of individuals. Investigations into the health of groups and the determinants of health inequities that lie outside the control of the individual have received a much smaller share of research resources. Ignoring factors such as socioeconomic class, race and gender leads to biases in both the content and process of research. We use two such factors--poverty and gender--to illustrate how this occurs. There is a systematic imbalance in medical journals: research into diseases that predominate in the poorest regions of the world is less likely to be published. In addition, the slow recognition of women's health problems, misdirected and partial approaches to understanding women's and men's health, and the dearth of information on how gender interacts with other social determinants continue to limit the content of health research. In the research community these imbalances in content are linked to biases against researchers from poorer regions and women. Researchers from high-income countries benefit from better funding and infrastructure. Their publications dominate journals and citations, and these researchers also dominate advisory boards. The way to move forward is to correct biases against poverty and gender in research content and processes and provide increased funding and better career incentives to support equity-linked research. Journals need to address equity concerns in their published content and in the publishing process. Efforts to broaden access to research information need to be well resourced, publicized and expanded.

  15. Implicit and Explicit Attention to Pictures and Words: An fMRI-Study of Concurrent Emotional Stimulus Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flaisch, Tobias; Imhof, Martin; Schmälzle, Ralf; Wentz, Klaus-Ulrich; Ibach, Bernd; Schupp, Harald T.

    2015-01-01

    The present study utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the neural processing of concurrently presented emotional stimuli under varying explicit and implicit attention demands. Specifically, in separate trials, participants indicated the category of either pictures or words. The words were placed over the center of the pictures and the picture-word compound-stimuli were presented for 1500 ms in a rapid event-related design. The results reveal pronounced main effects of task and emotion: the picture categorization task prompted strong activations in visual, parietal, temporal, frontal, and subcortical regions; the word categorization task evoked increased activation only in left extrastriate cortex. Furthermore, beyond replicating key findings regarding emotional picture and word processing, the results point to a dissociation of semantic-affective and sensory-perceptual processes for words: while emotional words engaged semantic-affective networks of the left hemisphere regardless of task, the increased activity in left extrastriate cortex associated with explicitly attending to words was diminished when the word was overlaid over an erotic image. Finally, we observed a significant interaction between Picture Category and Task within dorsal visual-associative regions, inferior parietal, and dorsolateral, and medial prefrontal cortices: during the word categorization task, activation was increased in these regions when the words were overlaid over erotic as compared to romantic pictures. During the picture categorization task, activity in these areas was relatively decreased when categorizing erotic as compared to romantic pictures. Thus, the emotional intensity of the pictures strongly affected brain regions devoted to the control of task-related word or picture processing. These findings are discussed with respect to the interplay of obligatory stimulus processing with task-related attentional control mechanisms. PMID:26733895

  16. Implicit and explicit attention to pictures and words: An fMRI-study of concurrent emotional stimulus processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias eFlaisch

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The present study utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to examine the neural processing of concurrently presented emotional stimuli under varying explicit and implicit attention demands. Specifically, in separate trials, participants indicated the category of either pictures or words. The words were placed over the center of the pictures and the picture-word compound-stimuli were presented for 1500 ms in a rapid event-related design. The results reveal pronounced main effects of task and emotion: the picture categorization task prompted strong activations in visual, parietal, temporal, frontal, and subcortical regions; the word categorization task evoked increased activation only in left extrastriate cortex. Furthermore, beyond replicating key findings regarding emotional picture and word processing, the results point to a dissociation of semantic-affective and sensory-perceptual processes for words: while emotional words engaged semantic-affective networks of the left hemisphere regardless of task, the increased activity in left extrastriate cortex associated with explicitly attending to words was diminished when the word was overlaid over an erotic image. Finally, we observed a significant interaction between Picture Category and Task within dorsal visual-associative regions, inferior parietal, and dorsolateral and medial prefrontal cortices: during the word categorization task, activation was increased in these regions when the words were overlaid over erotic as compared to romantic pictures. During the picture categorization task, activity in these areas was relatively decreased when categorizing erotic as compared to romantic pictures. Thus, the emotional intensity of the pictures strongly affected brain regions devoted to the control of task-related word or picture processing. These findings are discussed with respect to the interplay of obligatory stimulus processing with task-related attentional control mechanisms.

  17. Impaired information processing speed and attention allocation in multiple sclerosis patients versus controls: a high-density EEG study.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Whelan, R

    2012-02-01

    BACKGROUND: The no-go P3a is a variant of the P300 event-related potential (ERP) that indexes speed of information processing and attention allocation. The aim of this study was to compare ERP findings with results from the paced auditory serial addition test (PASAT) and to quantify latency, amplitude and topographical differences in P3a ERP components between multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and controls. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Seventy-four subjects (20 relapsing remitting (RRMS) patients, 20 secondary progressive (SPMS) patients and 34 controls) completed a three-stimulus oddball paradigm (target, standard, and non-target). Subjects participated in separate visual and auditory tasks while data were recorded from 134 EEG channels. Latency differences were tested using an ANCOVA. Topographical differences were tested using statistical parametric mapping. RESULTS: Visual P3a amplitude correlated with PASAT score in all MS patients over frontal and parietal areas. There were significant differences in latency, amplitude, and topography between MS patients and controls in the visual condition. RRMS and SPMS patients differed in visual P3a latency and amplitude at frontal and parietal scalp regions. In the auditory condition, there were latency differences between MS patients and controls only over the parietal region. CONCLUSION: The present results demonstrate that information processing speed and attention allocation are impaired in MS.

  18. SmartCanvas: Context-inferred Interpretation of Sketches for Preparatory Design Studies

    KAUST Repository

    Zheng, Youyi

    2016-05-27

    In early or preparatory design stages, an architect or designer sketches out rough ideas, not only about the object or structure being considered, but its relation to its spatial context. This is an iterative process, where the sketches are not only the primary means for testing and refining ideas, but also for communicating among a design team and to clients. Hence, sketching is the preferred media for artists and designers during the early stages of design, albeit with a major drawback: sketches are 2D and effects such as view perturbations or object movement are not supported, thereby inhibiting the design process. We present an interactive system that allows for the creation of a 3D abstraction of a designed space, built primarily by sketching in 2D within the context of an anchoring design or photograph. The system is progressive in the sense that the interpretations are refined as the user continues sketching. As a key technical enabler, we reformulate the sketch interpretation process as a selection optimization from a set of context-generated canvas planes in order to retrieve a regular arrangement of planes. We demonstrate our system (available at http:/geometry.cs.ucl.ac.uk/projects/2016/smartcanvas/) with a wide range of sketches and design studies. © 2016 The Author(s) Computer Graphics Forum © 2016 The Eurographics Association and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Executive and motivational processes in adolescents with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jain Umesh

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The objective of the current study was to examine performance and correlates of performance on a decision-making card task involving risky choices (Iowa Gambling Task in adolescents with ADHD and comparison controls. Forty-four participants with ADHD and 34 controls were administered measures of estimated intellectual ability, working memory, and the card task. Also, behavioural ratings were obtained from parents and teachers. Results Adolescents with ADHD scored lower on the measures of intellectual ability, working memory, and made less advantageous selections on the card task compared to controls. Performance on measures of intellectual ability and working memory were unrelated to card task performance in both the ADHD and control samples. Parent ratings of hyperactivity/impulsivity were significantly associated with card task performance in the adolescents with ADHD, but not in controls. Conclusion These findings demonstrate impaired decision-making in adolescents with ADHD, and the separability of motivational and executive function processes, supporting current dual pathway models of ADHD.

  20. Attention to Change: A Multilevel Theory on the Process of Emergent Continuous Organizational Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wee, Elijah X M; Taylor, M Susan

    2017-09-21

    Increasingly, continuous organizational change is viewed as the new reality for organizations and their members. However, this model of organizational change, which is usually characterized by ongoing, cumulative, and substantive change from the bottom up, remains underexplored in the literature. Taking a multilevel approach, the authors develop a theoretical model to explain the mechanisms behind the amplification and accumulation of valuable, ongoing work-unit level changes over time, which then become substantial changes at the organizational level. Drawing on the concept of emergence, they first focus on the cognitive search mechanisms of work-unit members and managers to illustrate how work-unit level routine changes may be amplified to the organization through 2 unique processes: composition and compilation emergence. The authors then discuss the managers' role in creating a sense of coherence and meaning for the accumulation of these emergent changes over time. They conclude this research by discussing the theoretical implications of their model for the existing literature of organizational change. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Response inhibition and attention processing in 5-to 7-year-old children with and without symptoms of ADHD : An ERP study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spronk, M.; Jonkman, L. M.; Kemner, C.

    2008-01-01

    Objective: Response inhibition and attention processing in 5- to 7-year-old children with or without symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were examined. Methods: Twelve children with ADHD symptoms and 15 control children performed a CPT-AX task. Behavioral Measures of inattent

  2. Article Errors in the English Writing of Saudi EFL Preparatory Year Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eid Alhaisoni

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This study aims at providing a comprehensive account of the types of errors produced by Saudi EFL students enrolled in the preparatory year programe in their use of articles, based on the Surface Structure Taxonomies (SST of errors. The study describes the types, frequency and sources of the definite and indefinite article errors in writing compositions. Data were collected from written samples of 150 students. They were given one-and-a-half hours to write on one of four different descriptive topics. Analysis of  inter-lingual and intra-lingual sources of article errors revealed that the frequency of eliminating both the indefinite articles and the definite article was higher than the frequency of inserting and substituting one article with the other. The study also shows that errors of using ‘a’ were more common than errors of using ‘an’ and ‘the’ in the writing texts.  This result also indicates that L1 interference strongly influences the process of second language acquisition of the articles, having a negative effect on the learning process Pedagogical practices including comparison of article use in learners’ both language systems may improve learners’ ability to use the articles correctly in writing and the other language skills.

  3. Neural hyporesponsiveness and hyperresponsiveness during immediate and delayed reward processing in adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plichta, Michael M; Vasic, Nenad; Wolf, Robert Christian; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Brummer, Dagmar; Jacob, Christian; Fallgatter, Andreas J; Grön, Georg

    2009-01-01

    Dysfunctional reward processing, accompanied by a limited ability to tolerate reward delays, has been proposed as an important feature in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brain activation in adult patients with ADHD (n=14) and healthy control subjects (n=12) was examined during a series of choices between two monetary reward options that varied by delay to delivery. Compared with healthy control subjects, hyporesponsiveness of the ventral-striatal reward system was replicated in patients with ADHD and was evident for both immediate and delayed rewards. In contrast, delayed rewards evoked hyperactivation in dorsal caudate nucleus and amygdala of ADHD patients. In both structures, neural activity toward delayed rewards was significantly correlated with self-rated ADHD symptom severity. The finding of ventral-striatal hyporesponsiveness during immediate and delayed reward processing in patients with ADHD further strengthens the concept of a diminished neural processing of rewards in ADHD. Hyperactivation during delayed reward processing, gradually increasing along the ventral-to-dorsal extension of the caudate nucleus, and especially the concomitant hyperactivation of the amygdala are in accordance with predictions of the delay aversion hypothesis.

  4. Placebo-induced decrease in fatigue: evidence for a central action on the preparatory phase of movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piedimonte, Alessandro; Benedetti, Fabrizio; Carlino, Elisa

    2015-02-01

    Placebos have been found to affect a number of pathological processes and physiological functions through expectations of clinical improvement. Recently, the study of the placebo effect has moved from the clinical to the physical performance setting, wherein placebos can boost performance by increasing muscle work and by decreasing perceived exertion. However, nothing is known about the neurobiological underpinnings of this phenomenon. Here we show for the first time that a placebo, which subjects believed to be endurance-increasing caffeine, reduces fatigue by acting at the central level on the preparatory phase of movement. In fact, we recorded the readiness potential, which is the expression of the preparatory phase of movement at the level of the supplementary motor area, during repeated flexions of the index finger in a control group that did not receive any treatment and in a placebo group that received placebo caffeine. In the control group, as the number of flexions increased, both fatigue and readiness potential amplitude increased. By contrast, in the placebo group, as the number of flexions increased we found a decrease in perceived exertion along with no increase in readiness potential amplitude. This placebo-induced modulation of the readiness potential suggests that placebos reduce fatigue by acting centrally during the anticipatory phase of movement, thus emphasizing the important role of the central nervous system in the generation of fatigue.

  5. JUSTIFICATION OF THE EXISTENCE OF PREPARATORY GROUPS IN SPECIAL SCOOLS FOR CHILDREN LIGHTLY HANDICAPPED

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aneta ANDONAKIS

    1997-03-01

    Full Text Available Researches about child’s intellectual development in the psychology has started in the 19th century and the first step has been made by Tiedemann in “ Observation of the development of the mental abilities of the children”. His work caused a great interest in the circles of doctors and psychologists. Their interpretation of intelligence was different, but the most acceptable is the performance of complicated activities for getting knowledge and skills and getting over the obstacles in the development of the person”.The social ability do not correspond with the intelligence. The two aspects are tested and a complete picture of their functioning can be seen. The developmental principle is determined from general to the separate as functionally connected.In the period when a child does not accept the higher level of intelligence and thinking , in relation to which are effectuated by sense-motor activities, than we say that a child is mentally handicapped. The widest approach of the educational system should be treated as a functional, institutional and organizational, that takes part in the realization of the social aims and tasks.Not getting into viewing of the curriculum's and programs for preparatory groups in the preeducational period, we may say that the justification for the existence of these group in the regular schools, is maturation of the perceptive motor coordination and learning. With the maturing the function of the "ego" is increasing.As a child adapts better he can learn better, and the maturity comes sooner. In this way these groups are justified.Mentally handicapped child has not the opportunity to attend an organized prepared education which provides:-forming of the speech, self-control, which can be achieved in the process of learning through a direct contact with other children;· regulation of the lateralization through re-education of the psycho-motor abilities, and in general neuro-motor experienced maturation

  6. Inefficient preparatory fMRI-BOLD network activations predict working memory dysfunctions in patients with schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja eBaenninger

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Patients with schizophrenia show abnormal dynamics and structure of temporally coherent networks (TCNs assessed using fMRI, which undergo adaptive shifts in preparation for a cognitively demanding task. During working memory (WM tasks, patients with schizophrenia show persistent deficits in TCNs as well as EEG indices of WM. Studying their temporal relationship during WM tasks might provide novel insights into WM performance deficits seen in schizophrenia.Simultaneous EEG-fMRI data were acquired during the performance of a verbal Sternberg WM task with two load levels (load 2 & load 5 in 17 patients with schizophrenia and 17 matched healthy controls. Using covariance mapping, we investigated the relationship of the activity in the TCNs before the memoranda were encoded and EEG spectral power during the retention interval. We assessed four TCNs – default mode network (DMN, dorsal attention network (dAN, left and right working memory networks (WMNs – and three EEG bands – theta, alpha, and beta.In healthy controls, there was a load dependent inverse relation between DMN and frontal-midline theta power and an anti-correlation between DMN and dAN. Both effects were not significantly detectable in patients. In addition, healthy controls showed a left-lateralized load-dependent recruitment of the WMNs. Activation of the WMNs was bilateral in patients, suggesting more resources were recruited for successful performance on the WM task.Our findings support the notion of schizophrenia patients showing deviations in their neurophysiological responses before the retention of relevant information in a verbal WM task. Thus, treatment strategies as neurofeedback targeting pre-states could be beneficial as task performance relies on the preparatory state of the brain.

  7. Visuospatial information processing load and the ratio between parietal cue and target P3 amplitudes in the Attentional Network Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramov, Dimitri M; Pontes, Monique; Pontes, Adailton T; Mourao-Junior, Carlos A; Vieira, Juliana; Quero Cunha, Carla; Tamborino, Tiago; Galhanone, Paulo R; deAzevedo, Leonardo C; Lazarev, Vladimir V

    2017-04-24

    In ERP studies of cognitive processes during attentional tasks, the cue signals containing information about the target can increase the amplitude of the parietal cue P3 in relation to the 'neutral' temporal cue, and reduce the subsequent target P3 when this information is valid, i.e. corresponds to the target's attributes. The present study compared the cue-to-target P3 ratios in neutral and visuospatial cueing, in order to estimate the contribution of valid visuospatial information from the cue to target stages of the task performance, in terms of cognitive load. The P3 characteristics were also correlated with the results of individuals' performance of the visuospatial tasks, in order to estimate the relationship of the observed ERP with spatial reasoning. In 20 typically developing boys, aged 10-13 years (11.3±0.86), the intelligence quotient (I.Q.) was estimated by the Block Design and Vocabulary subtests from the WISC-III. The subjects performed the Attentional Network Test (ANT) accompanied by EEG recording. The cued two-choice task had three equiprobable cue conditions: No cue, with no information about the target; Neutral (temporal) cue, with an asterisk in the center of the visual field, predicting the target onset; and Spatial cues, with an asterisk in the upper or lower hemifield, predicting the onset and corresponding location of the target. The ERPs were estimated for the mid-frontal (Fz) and mid-parietal (Pz) scalp derivations. In the Pz, the Neutral cue P3 had a lower amplitude than the Spatial cue P3; whereas for the target ERPs, the P3 of the Neutral cue condition was larger than that of the Spatial cue condition. However, the sums of the magnitudes of the cue and target P3 were equal in the spatial and neutral cueing, probably indicating that in both cases the equivalent information processing load is included in either the cue or the target reaction, respectively. Meantime, in the Fz, the analog ERP components for both the cue and target

  8. The Relevance of the Functional 5-HT1A Receptor Polymorphism for Attention and Working Memory Processes during Mental Rotation of Characters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beste, Christian; Heil, Martin; Domschke, Katharina; Konrad, Carsten

    2010-01-01

    Numerous lines of research indicate that attentional processes, working memory and saccadic processes are highly interrelated. In the current study, we examine the relation between these processes with respect to their cognitive-neurophysiological and neurobiological background by means of event-related potentials (ERPs) in a sample of N = 72…

  9. Anticipatory anxiety in children visiting the dentist: lack of effect of preparatory information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olumide, Funmi; Newton, J Tim; Dunne, Stephen; Gilbert, David B

    2009-09-01

    This study sought to explore whether viewing a leaflet explaining the benefits of dental treatment would have a significant impact on children's anticipatory anxiety. Fifty children aged 8-12, attending the paediatric dental clinic of King's College Hospital, London, took part in this triple-masked, randomized control study. The participants were randomly allocated to one of two groups and either shown an intervention leaflet containing child-friendly dental information (the experimental group) or a leaflet with child-friendly information on the benefits of healthy eating (the control group). Using the Facial Image Scale, anxiety was measured when the children arrived for their dental appointment, once before reading the leaflet and again after reading the leaflet. There was no statistically significant effect of the experimental leaflet on self-reported anxiety levels in this study, although anxiety levels did drop slightly in both groups after reading a leaflet. Providing paediatric patients with preparatory information about what to expect from a visit to the dentist had no effect on anticipatory anxiety in comparison to reading a leaflet about healthy eating. We speculate that reading, or cognitive processing, may have some beneficial effect. Future work should investigate this possibility.

  10. Intragroup Conflicts during Collaborative Writing in an ESL/EFL Preparatory Programme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santini Pathinathan

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available This paper seeks to investigate the types of conflicts that occur during collaborative writing among a group of ESL/EFL upper intermediate students in a preparatory programme. It also examines how these conflicts are resolved among the group members. A group consisting of four students was chosen for this study. Audio and video-recordings of collaborative sessions, semi-structured interviews and students’ journal were used in the data collection process. The results of this qualitative study showed that there were two prominent types of conflicts that occurred during the collaboration, namely, substantive conflict and affective conflict. Substantive conflict was found to be useful as the group was able to voice disagreements and consider alternative ideas. However, there was more evidence of affective conflict where the group had misunderstandings and differences due to personal views about group members. The study shows that the success of collaborative writing depends very much on how conflict is handled and resolved among the members.Keywords: collaborative writing, substantive conflict, affective conflict, argumentative essay, ESL/EFL learners

  11. Integrating the context-appropriate balanced attention model and reinforcement sensitivity theory: Towards a domain-general personality process model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Michael D; Jackson, Chris J; Walker, Benjamin R; O'Connor, Peter J; Gardiner, Elliroma

    2017-01-01

    Over the last 40 years or more the personality literature has been dominated by trait models based on the Big Five (B5). Trait-based models describe personality at the between-person level but cannot explain the within-person mental mechanisms responsible for personality. Nor can they adequately account for variations in emotion and behavior experienced by individuals across different situations and over time. An alternative, yet understated, approach to personality architecture can be found in neurobiological theories of personality, most notably reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST). In contrast to static trait-based personality models like the B5, RST provides a more plausible basis for a personality process model, namely, one that explains how emotions and behavior arise from the dynamic interaction between contextual factors and within-person mental mechanisms. In this article, the authors review the evolution of a neurobiologically based personality process model based on RST, the response modulation model and the context-appropriate balanced attention model. They argue that by integrating this complex literature, and by incorporating evidence from personality neuroscience, one can meaningfully explain personality at both the within- and between-person levels. This approach achieves a domain-general architecture based on RST and self-regulation that can be used to align within-person mental mechanisms, neurobiological systems and between-person measurement models. (PsycINFO Database Record

  12. Health status of male preparatory school students lodging at a dormitory in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurada, I; Kido, T; Suwazono, Y; Kobayashi, E; Kinouchi, N; Nogawa, K

    1999-04-01

    An investigation on the health status of 79 male preparatory school students lodging at a dormitory in Japan was carried out by questionnaire on lifestyles, subjective symptoms and mental status, as compared with two control groups: 73 medical students and 36 new employees. About 83 % of them slept less than 6 hours and 70 % of them did not exercise. Many students are troubled with back pain or lumbago(47%), sensation of incomplete bladder emptying(l6%), loss of visual acuity(55%) and eye fatigue(65%). Self-rating depression scale score of preparatory school students was not significantly higher than those of the control groups. The lifestyles of preparatory school students found to be very restricted and strained. However, no significant differences on mental adverse health effects was found among three groups.

  13. Investigating new process-focused treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder: attentional bias modification and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

    OpenAIRE

    Schoorl, Stephanie Maartje Desiree (Maartje)

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effects of two novel treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The first treatment is Attentional Bias Modification (ABM). This treatment for anxiety disorders has become quite popular in a relatively short time and was featured in recent articles in the New York Times and The Economist. ABM is a brief, computerized treatment in which patients are trained to keep their attention away from the threatening stimuli from which they automatically attend. Since attent...

  14. Visual attention: The past 25 years

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Carrasco, Marisa

    2011-01-01

    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...

  15. Repair or Violation Detection? Pre-Attentive Processing Strategies of Phonotactic Illegality Demonstrated on the Constraint of g-Deletion in German

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinberg, Johanna; Jacobsen, Thomas Konstantin; Jacobsen, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Effects of categorical phonotactic knowledge on pre-attentive speech processing were investigated by presenting illegal speech input that violated a phonotactic constraint in German called "g-deletion." The present study aimed to extend previous findings of automatic processing of phonotactic violations and to investigate the…

  16. A neurodevelopmental approach to understanding memory processes among intellectually gifted youth with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitaker, Ashley M; Bell, Terece S; Houskamp, Beth M; O'Callaghan, Erin T

    2015-01-01

    Intellectual giftedness is associated with strong strategic verbal memory while attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with strategic verbal memory deficits; however, no previous research has explored how this contradiction manifests in gifted populations with diagnoses of ADHD. The purpose of this study was to explore strategic verbal memory processes among intellectually gifted youth with and without ADHD to provide clarification regarding this specific aspect of neuropsychological functioning within this population. One hundred twenty-five youth completed neuropsychological evaluations including the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition and California Verbal Learning Test-Children's Version (CVLT-C). Results revealed significant differences between groups, with intellectually gifted youth with ADHD achieving lower T scores on CVLT-C Trials 1 through 5 compared with intellectually gifted youth without ADHD, and intellectually gifted youth with ADHD achieving higher T scores than youth of average intellectual abilities with ADHD. Additionally, repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed a main effect improvement among gifted youth with ADHD in short-delay recall when provided with organizational cues. Findings revealed new evidence about the role of twice exceptionality (specifically intellectual giftedness and ADHD) in strategic verbal memory and have important implications for parents, educators, psychologists and neuropsychologists, and other mental health professionals working with this population.

  17. The Role of Alpha Activity in Spatial and Feature-Based Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Lee M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Modulations in alpha oscillations (∼10 Hz) are typically studied in the context of anticipating upcoming stimuli. Alpha power decreases in sensory regions processing upcoming targets compared to regions processing distracting input, thereby likely facilitating processing of relevant information while suppressing irrelevant. In this electroencephalography study using healthy human volunteers, we examined whether modulations in alpha power also occur after the onset of a bilaterally presented target and distractor. Spatial attention was manipulated through spatial cues and feature-based attention through adjusting the color-similarity of distractors to the target. Consistent with previous studies, we found that informative spatial cues induced a relative decrease of pretarget alpha power at occipital electrodes contralateral to the expected target location. Interestingly, this pattern reemerged relatively late (300–750 ms) after stimulus onset, suggesting that lateralized alpha reflects not only preparatory attention, but also ongoing attentive stimulus processing. Uninformative cues (i.e., conveying no information about the spatial location of the target) resulted in an interaction between spatial attention and feature-based attention in post-target alpha lateralization. When the target was paired with a low-similarity distractor, post-target alpha was lateralized (500–900 ms). Crucially, the lateralization was absent when target selection was ambiguous because the distractor was highly similar to the target. Instead, during this condition, midfrontal theta was increased, indicative of reactive conflict resolution. Behaviorally, the degree of alpha lateralization was negatively correlated with the reaction time distraction cost induced by target–distractor similarity. These results suggest a pivotal role for poststimulus alpha lateralization in protecting sensory processing of target information. PMID:27822505

  18. Visual Attentional Engagement Deficits in Children with Specific Language Impairment and Their Role in Real-Time Language Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dispaldro, Marco; Leonard, Laurence B.; Corradi, Nicola; Ruffino, Milena; Bronte, Tiziana; Facoetti, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    In order to become a proficient user of language, infants must detect temporal cues embedded within the noisy acoustic spectra of ongoing speech by efficient attentional engagement. According to the neuro-constructivist approach, a multi-sensory dysfunction of attentional engagement – hampering the temporal sampling of stimuli – might be responsible for language deficits typically shown in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). In the present study, the efficiency of visual attentional engagement was investigated in 22 children with SLI and 22 typically developing (TD) children by measuring attentional masking (AM). AM refers to impaired identification of the first of two sequentially presented masked objects (O1 and O2) in which the O1-O2 interval was manipulated. Lexical and grammatical comprehension abilities were also tested in both groups. Children with SLI showed a sluggish engagement of temporal attention, and individual differences in AM accounted for a significant percentage of unique variance in grammatical performance. Our results suggest that an attentional engagement deficit – probably linked to a dysfunction of the right fronto-parietal attentional network – might be a contributing factor in these children’s language impairments. PMID:23154040

  19. Influence of five-month preparatory period on changes of morphological and performance parameters in the Czech junior representatives in whitewater slalom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sigmund Martin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Reaching the highest levels of performance in top-level sport relates to an assumption of optimal development of somatic parameters that form an important part of the sport performance. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to capture the dynamics of the morphological changes and performance parameters of the current Czech junior representatives in whitewater slalom with regard to a five-month preparatory period. METHODS: The survey was carried out at the beginning of the preparatory period and after its termination (5 months. 21 representatives of the Czech Republic from the Junior Slalom category on whitewater participated in this research. Of the total studied probands were 14 men with a mean age of 16.03 ±0.56 years. There were 7 women with a mean age of 16.20 ±1.12 years. The anthropometric methods and bioelectrical impedance method (BIA were used. Performance indicators evaluated the development of muscle power capabilities of the upper extremities, abdominal muscle development and aerobic ability. The research data was processed by the appropriate procedures in the program Antrop vers. 2000.1. Statistical analysis was performed in Statistica vers.10.0. RESULTS: Changes in morphological parameters with respect to a fivemonth preparatory period are reflected especially at the level of body composition and individual fractions. In a group of male and female athletes in slalom there was a reduction in the absolute values of body fat with simultaneous increase in muscle fraction and the total increase in lean body mass. In both groups there was an overall segmental reduction in the percentage of body fat, however changes are not significant. Changes in somatotype with regard to a five-month preparatory period are insignificant in both groups. Changes in selected performance parameters typically show a significant and positive difference in both monitored groups. CONCLUSION: The observed changes of morphological and performance

  20. Attention Economies

    OpenAIRE

    Falkinger, Josef

    2003-01-01

    Attracting attention is a basic feature of economic life but no standard economic problem. A new theoretical model is developed which describes the general structure of competition for attention and characterizes equilibria. The exogenous fundamentals of an attention economy are the space of receiving subjects with their attention capacity, and the potential set of competing companies (senders) with their radiation technologies. The endogenous variables explained by the theory are equilibrium...

  1. A process for developing community consensus regarding the diagnosis and management of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foy, Jane Meschan; Earls, Marian F

    2005-01-01

    There remain large discrepancies between pediatricians' practice patterns and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for the assessment and treatment of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Several studies raise additional concerns about access to ADHD treatment for girls, blacks, and poorer individuals. Barriers may occur at multiple levels, including identification and referral by school personnel, parents' help-seeking behavior, diagnosis by the medical provider, treatment decisions, and acceptance of treatment. Such findings confirm the importance of establishing appropriate mechanisms to ensure that children of both genders and all socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups receive appropriate assessment and treatment. Publication of the AAP ADHD toolkit provides resources to assist with implementing the ADHD guidelines in clinical practice. These resources address a number of the barriers to office implementation, including unfamiliarity with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria, difficulty identifying comorbidities, and inadequate knowledge of effective coding practices. Also crucial to the success of improved processes within clinical practice is community collaboration in care, particularly collaboration with the educational system. Such collaboration addresses other barriers to good care, such as pressures from parents and schools to prescribe stimulants, cultural biases that may prevent schools from assessing children for ADHD or may prevent families from seeking health care, and inconsistencies in recognition and referral among schools in the same system. Collaboration may also create efficiencies in collection of data and school-physician communications, thereby decreasing physicians' non-face-to-face (and thus nonreimbursable) elements of care. This article describes a process used in Guilford County, North Carolina, to develop a consensus among health care providers, educators, and child

  2. Article Errors in the English Writing of Saudi EFL Preparatory Year Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhaisoni, Eid; Gaudel, Daya Ram; Al-Zuoud, Khalid M.

    2017-01-01

    This study aims at providing a comprehensive account of the types of errors produced by Saudi EFL students enrolled in the preparatory year programe in their use of articles, based on the Surface Structure Taxonomies (SST) of errors. The study describes the types, frequency and sources of the definite and indefinite article errors in writing…

  3. The Value and Attributes of an Effective Preparatory English Program: Perceptions of Saudi University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMullen, Maram George

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the effects of gender and geographical location on the perceptions of Saudi university students regarding the value of preparatory English programs and their attributes. Data was collected during the fall of 2013 from three sample universities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) using an online survey as the instrument.…

  4. Assessment Practices of Preparatory Year English Program (PYEP): Investigating Student Advancement through Third and Fourth Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obaid, Rana

    2016-01-01

    This small-scale mixed method research focuses on investigating the way Preparatory Year English Program (PYEP) female students in a Saudi tertiary level institution context are assessed and how they are advanced from level three (Pre-intermediate) and level four (Intermediate). A four-point agreement scale survey was conducted with fifteen…

  5. Motivators for Demotivators Affecting English Language Acquisition of Saudi Preparatory Year Program Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daif-Allah, Ayman Sabry; Alsamani, Abdulaziz Saleh

    2014-01-01

    This study aims at investigating the demotivating factors that discourage Preparatory Year Program (PYP) students from learning the English language. It also proposes and tests the effectiveness of a set of academic and administrative approaches on enhancing English language acquisition of 102 Saudi PYP Students taking an EFL summer course in the…

  6. 77 FR 21568 - Indian Health Professions Preparatory, Indian Health Professions Pregraduate and Indian Health...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-10

    ... Preparatory Scholarships A. Pre-Clinical Psychology (Jr. and Sr. undergraduate years). B. Pre-Nursing. C. Pre... Counseling--Master's Degrees. D. Clinical Psychology--Ph.D. or Psy.D. E. Dentistry: DDS or DMD degrees F... (Direct Practice and Clinical concentrations). U. Ultrasonography (Prerequisite: Diagnostic...

  7. Errors Analysis of Solving Linear Inequalities among the Preparatory Year Students at King Saud University

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-khateeb, Mahmoud M. A.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study aims to investigate the errors classes occurred by the Preparatory year students at King Saud University, through analysis student responses to the items of the study test, and to identify the varieties of the common errors and ratios of common errors that occurred in solving inequalities. In the collection of the data,…

  8. Studies on National Preparatory Students’English Oral Errors and Corrections

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李媛媛

    2014-01-01

    This paper, based on the theory and teaching practice, presents a tentative analysis about English oral errors commonly made by university’s national preparatory students. At first, I analyze the causes of oral errors, then review teachers ’different atti-tude towards oral errors and finally propose some main principles and factors and possible strategies of oral error corrections.

  9. Development of Preparatory Activity Indexed by the Contingent Negative Variation in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Angelica B.; Digiacomo, Marcia R.; Meneres, Susana; Trigo, Eva; Gomez, Carlos M.

    2009-01-01

    Objectives: The present study investigated the effect of age on task-specific preparatory activation induced by a spatial cue using the central cue Posner's paradigm. The behavioral responses and the contingent negative variation (CNV) generated between S1 (the warning stimulus) and S2 (the imperative stimulus) were compared between 16 healthy…

  10. Analysis the Competences and Contents of "Mathematics and Environmental Exploration" Subject Syllabus for Preparatory Grade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dulama, Maria Eliza; Magda?, Ioana

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we analyze some aspects related to "Mathematics and Environmental Exploration" subject syllabus for preparatory grade approved by Minister of National Education of Romania. The analysis aim the place of the subject syllabus into the Framework Plan; the syllabus structure and the argumentation of studying this subject; the…

  11. The Preparatory Year in a Queensland Non-Government School: Exploring Parents' Views

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Gorman, Lyndal

    2008-01-01

    This paper reports the findings of a research project investigating parents' conceptions of an early childhood program in Queensland. During 2007, early childhood education and care (ECEC) in Queensland underwent significant reform associated with the introduction of a full-time Preparatory Year program in all schools throughout the state. The…

  12. Development of Preparatory Activity Indexed by the Contingent Negative Variation in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Angelica B.; Digiacomo, Marcia R.; Meneres, Susana; Trigo, Eva; Gomez, Carlos M.

    2009-01-01

    Objectives: The present study investigated the effect of age on task-specific preparatory activation induced by a spatial cue using the central cue Posner's paradigm. The behavioral responses and the contingent negative variation (CNV) generated between S1 (the warning stimulus) and S2 (the imperative stimulus) were compared between 16 healthy…

  13. Gender Disparity Analysis in Academic Achievement at Higher Education Preparatory Schools: Case of South Wollo, Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eshetu, Amogne Asfaw

    2015-01-01

    Gender is among the determinant factors affecting students' academic achievement. This paper tried to investigate the impact of gender on academic performance of preparatory secondary school students based on 2014 EHEECE result. Ex post facto research design was used. To that end, data were collected from 3243 students from eight purposively…

  14. Graphic Communications--Preparatory Area. Book I--Typography and Modern Typesetting. Student Manual.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Andrew

    Designed to develop in the student skills in all of the preparatory functions of the graphic communications industry, this student guide covers copy preparation, art preparation, typography, camera, stripping, production management, and forms design, preparation, and analysis. In addition to the skills areas, material is included on the history of…

  15. Graphic Communications--Preparatory Area. Book I--Typography and Modern Typesetting. Teacher's Manual.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Andrew

    Intended for use with a companion student manual, this teacher's guide lists procedures and teaching tips for each unit of a secondary or postsecondary course of study in typography and modern typesetting. Course objectives are listed for developing student skills in the following preparatory functions of the graphic communications industry: copy…

  16. Graphic Communications--Preparatory Area. Book I--Typography and Modern Typesetting. Teacher's Manual.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Andrew

    Intended for use with a companion student manual, this teacher's guide lists procedures and teaching tips for each unit of a secondary or postsecondary course of study in typography and modern typesetting. Course objectives are listed for developing student skills in the following preparatory functions of the graphic communications industry: copy…

  17. Graphic Communications--Preparatory Area. Book I--Typography and Modern Typesetting. Student Manual.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertz, Andrew

    Designed to develop in the student skills in all of the preparatory functions of the graphic communications industry, this student guide covers copy preparation, art preparation, typography, camera, stripping, production management, and forms design, preparation, and analysis. In addition to the skills areas, material is included on the history of…

  18. Saudi EFL Preparatory Year Students' Perception about Corrective Feedback in Oral Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhaysony, Maha

    2016-01-01

    This study sought to investigate the attitudes of Saudi EFL students towards corrective feedback (henceforth CF) on classroom oral errors. The subjects were 3200 (1223 male and 1977 female) students enrolled in an intensive English language programme in the preparatory year at the University of Ha'il. A questionnaire was the main instrument. This…

  19. Visual attention to dynamic faces and objects is linked to face processing skills: a combined study of children with autism and controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parish-Morris, Julia; Chevallier, Coralie; Tonge, Natasha; Letzen, Janelle; Pandey, Juhi; Schultz, Robert T

    2013-01-01

    Although the extant literature on face recognition skills in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) shows clear impairments compared to typically developing controls (TDC) at the group level, the distribution of scores within ASD is broad. In the present research, we take a dimensional approach and explore how differences in social attention during an eye tracking experiment correlate with face recognition skills across ASD and TDC. Emotional discrimination and person identity perception face processing skills were assessed using the Let's Face It! Skills Battery in 110 children with and without ASD. Social attention was assessed using infrared eye gaze tracking during passive viewing of movies of facial expressions and objects displayed together on a computer screen. Face processing skills were significantly correlated with measures of attention to faces and with social skills as measured by the Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ). Consistent with prior research, children with ASD scored significantly lower on face processing skills tests but, unexpectedly, group differences in amount of attention to faces (vs. objects) were not found. We discuss possible methodological contributions to this null finding. We also highlight the importance of a dimensional approach for understanding the developmental origins of reduced face perception skills, and emphasize the need for longitudinal research to truly understand how social motivation and social attention influence the development of social perceptual skills.

  20. Visual attention to dynamic faces and objects is linked to face processing skills: A combined study of children with autism and controls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia eParish-Morris

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the extant literature on face recognition skills in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD shows clear impairments compared to typically developing controls (TDC at the group level, the distribution of scores within ASD is broad. In the present research, we take a dimensional approach and explore how differences in social attention during an eye tracking experiment correlate with face recognition skills across ASD and TDC. Emotional discrimination and person identity perception face processing skills were assessed using the Let’s Face It! Skills Battery in 110 children with and without ASD. Social attention was assessed using infrared eye gaze tracking during passive viewing of movies of facial expressions and objects displayed together on a computer screen. Face processing skills were significantly correlated with measures of attention to faces and with social skills as measured by the Social Communication Questionnaire. Consistent with prior research, children with ASD scored significantly lower on face processing skills tests but, unexpectedly, group differences in amount of attention to faces (versus objects were not found. We discuss possible methodological contributions to this null finding. We also highlight the importance of a dimensional approach for understanding the developmental origins of reduced face perception skills, and emphasize the need for longitudinal research to truly understand how social motivation and social attention influence the development of social perceptual skills.

  1. Assessment of Knowledge, Attitude and Practice among Regular Female Preparatory School Students towards Emergency Contraceptives in Mekelle, Northern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solomon Abrha

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Emergency Contraceptive (EC is a type of modern contraception that is indicated after unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure. Use of EC with in a defined time period could prevent unwanted pregnancy and its damaging consequences like unintended child birth and unsafe abortion. The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of emergency contraceptives among female preparatory students in Mekelle, North Ethiopia. Method: A cross sectional study was conducted among 366 female students at Atse Yohanesse preparatory school from January to May 2013. A stratified random sampling technique was used to select study participants. Data processing and analyzing was done using statistical package for social sciences version 20. Result: In this study, about 90.7% of the respondents had heard about emergency contraceptives. The major sources of information were mass media, club in school and friends. About 277 (75.7% of the students had good knowledge about EC. The older age was significantly associated with the students’ awareness (AOR = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.23-4.37. The majority (229(64.9% of respondents had a positive attitude towards EC. Age and ethnic group were significantly associated with the students’ attitude towards EC. Among those respondents who used contraceptives, 60.5% of them responded to use EC. About two-third (67.4% of ever users of EC had good knowledge of the correct time of taking EC after unprotected sexual intercourse. Conclusion: Although the findings of this study showed high prevalence of knowledge and attitude towards EC among respondents, the improvement of female students’ knowledge about specific details of the method and timely utilization of emergency contraception is still required.

  2. Can an auditory multi-feature optimal paradigm be used for the study of processes associated with attention capture in passive listeners?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavakoli, Paniz; Campbell, Kenneth

    2016-10-01

    A rarely occurring and highly relevant auditory stimulus occurring outside of the current focus of attention can cause a switching of attention. Such attention capture is often studied in oddball paradigms consisting of a frequently occurring "standard" stimulus which is changed at odd times to form a "deviant". The deviant may result in the capturing of attention. An auditory ERP, the P3a, is often associated with this process. To collect a sufficient amount of data is however very time-consuming. A more multi-feature "optimal" paradigm has been proposed but it is not known if it is appropriate for the study of attention capture. An optimal paradigm was run in which 6 different rare deviants (p=.08) were separated by a standard stimulus (p=.50) and compared to results when 4 oddball paradigms were also run. A large P3a was elicited by some of the deviants in the optimal paradigm but not by others. However, very similar results were observed when separate oddball paradigms were run. The present study indicates that the optimal paradigm provides a very time-saving method to study attention capture and the P3a. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Attentional and evaluative biases for smoking cues in nicotine dependence: component processes of biases in visual orienting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, B; Field, M; Mogg, K; De Houwer, J

    2004-02-01

    The present study investigated attentional and evaluative biases for smoking-related cues in cigarette smokers and non-smokers. Using a visual probe task, we manipulated the presentation conditions of the stimuli to examine: (1). whether smokers have a bias to allocate attention towards smoking-related pictures that appear below the threshold of conscious awareness; and (2). whether attentional biases for smoking-related pictures that appear above the threshold of awareness operate both in initial orienting and in the maintenance of attention. We also obtained explicit and implicit measures of the valence of the smoking-related pictures from pleasantness ratings and from behavioural responses on a stimulus-response compatibility (SRC) task. Results showed that smokers, but not non-smokers, had an attentional bias for smoking-related pictures which had been presented at two exposure durations (200 and 2000 ms). The bias was not found in a brief (17 ms) masked exposure condition, so there was no evidence that it operated preconsciously. Smokers also showed greater preferences for smoking-related than control cues, compared with non-smokers, on both the explicit and implicit indices of stimulus valence. Results are discussed with reference to incentive and cognitive models of addiction.

  4. Unraveling the anxious mind: anxiety, worry, and frontal engagement in sustained attention versus off-task processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Sophie; Nunez Elizalde, Anwar O; Castle, Elizabeth; Bishop, Sonia J

    2015-03-01

    Much remains unknown regarding the relationship between anxiety, worry, sustained attention, and frontal function. Here, we addressed this using a sustained attention task adapted for functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants responded to presentation of simple stimuli, withholding responses to an infrequent "No Go" stimulus. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) activity to "Go" trials, and dorsal anterior cingulate (dACC) activity to "No Go" trials were associated with faster error-free performance; consistent with DLPFC and dACC facilitating proactive and reactive control, respectively. Trait anxiety was linked to reduced recruitment of these regions, slower error-free performance, and decreased frontal-thalamo-striatal connectivity. This indicates an association between trait anxiety and impoverished frontal control of attention, even when external distractors are absent. In task blocks where commission errors were made, greater DLPFC-precuneus and DLPFC-posterior cingulate connectivity were associated with both trait anxiety and worry, indicative of increased off-task thought. Notably, unlike trait anxiety, worry was not linked to reduced frontal-striatal-thalamo connectivity, impoverished frontal recruitment, or slowed responding during blocks without commission errors, contrary to accounts proposing a direct causal link between worry and impoverished attentional control. This leads us to propose a new model of the relationship between anxiety, worry and frontal engagement in attentional control versus off-task thought.

  5. Atypical Processing of Gaze Cues and Faces Explains Comorbidity between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groom, Madeleine J.; Kochhar, Puja; Hamilton, Antonia; Liddle, Elizabeth B.; Simeou, Marina; Hollis, Chris

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the neurobiological basis of comorbidity between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We compared children with ASD, ADHD or ADHD+ASD and typically developing controls (CTRL) on behavioural and electrophysiological correlates of gaze cue and face processing. We measured effects…

  6. Distinguishing between attentional and amnestic effects in information processing: the separate and combined effects of scopolamine and nicotine on verbal free recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusted, J; Eaton-Williams, P

    1991-01-01

    An important issue in our understanding of cholinergic modulation of information processing is the extent to which drug-induced changes affect memory processes per se or simply the attentional processes required for effective acquisition of information. In this study, we examined the separate and combined effects of scopolamine and nicotine on verbal free recall. A single dose of nicotine improved recall performance on supraspan lists (30 words), but not on short lists (10 words). The same dose of nicotine had no effect on the scopolamine-induced recall deficits observed for both 30 and 10 word lists. The results are discussed in terms of the independence of attention and memory processes and the specificity of action of these two cholinergic compounds.

  7. Attention Alters Perceived Attractiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola S; Alvarez, George A

    2016-04-01

    Can attention alter the impression of a face? Previous studies showed that attention modulates the appearance of lower-level visual features. For instance, attention can make a simple stimulus appear to have higher contrast than it actually does. We tested whether attention can also alter the perception of a higher-order property-namely, facial attractiveness. We asked participants to judge the relative attractiveness of two faces after summoning their attention to one of the faces using a briefly presented visual cue. Across trials, participants judged the attended face to be more attractive than the same face when it was unattended. This effect was not due to decision or response biases, but rather was due to changes in perceptual processing of the faces. These results show that attention alters perceived facial attractiveness, and broadly demonstrate that attention can influence higher-level perception and may affect people's initial impressions of one another.

  8. Forest, Trees, Dynamics: Results from a novel Wisconsin Card Sorting Test variant Protocol for Studying Global-Local Attention and Complex Cognitive Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin eCowley

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundRecognition of objects and their context relies heavily on the integrated functioning of global and local visual processing. In a realistic setting such as work, this processing becomes a sustained activity, implying a consequent interaction with executive functions.MotivationThere have been many studies of either global-local attention or executive functions; however it is relatively novel to combine these processes to study a more ecological form of attention. We aim to explore the phenomenon of global-local processing during a task requiring sustained attention and working memory.MethodsWe develop and test a novel protocol for global-local dissociation, with task structure including phases of divided ('rule search' and selective ('rule found' attention, based on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task.We test it in a laboratory study with 25 participants, and report on behaviour measures (physiological data was also gathered, but not reported here. We develop novel stimuli with more naturalistic levels of information and noise, based primarily on face photographs, with consequently more ecological validity.ResultsWe report behavioural results indicating that sustained difficulty when participants test their hypotheses impacts matching-task performance, and diminishes the global precedence effect. Results also show a dissociation between subjectively experienced difficulty and objective dimension of performance, and establish the internal validity of the protocol.ContributionWe contribute an advance in the state of the art for testing global-local attention processes in concert with complex cognition. With three results we establish a connection between global-local dissociation and aspects of complex cognition. Our protocol also improves ecological validity and opens options for testing additional interactions in future work.

  9. Investigating new process-focused treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder : attentional bias modification and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schoorl, Stephanie Maartje Desiree (Maartje)

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effects of two novel treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The first treatment is Attentional Bias Modification (ABM). This treatment for anxiety disorders has become quite popular in a relatively short time and was featured in recent articles in the New York Times

  10. Slow Perceptual Processing at the Core of Developmental Dyslexia: A Parameter-Based Assessment of Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenneken, Prisca; Egetemeir, Johanna; Schulte-Korne, Gerd; Muller, Hermann J.; Schneider, Werner X.; Finke, Kathrin

    2011-01-01

    The cognitive causes as well as the neurological and genetic basis of developmental dyslexia, a complex disorder of written language acquisition, are intensely discussed with regard to multiple-deficit models. Accumulating evidence has revealed dyslexics' impairments in a variety of tasks requiring visual attention. The heterogeneity of these…

  11. Altered attentional and perceptual processes as indexed by N170 during gaze perception in schizophrenia: Relationship with perceived threat and paranoid delusions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tso, Ivy F; Calwas, Anita M; Chun, Jinsoo; Mueller, Savanna A; Taylor, Stephan F; Deldin, Patricia J

    2015-08-01

    Using gaze information to orient attention and guide behavior is critical to social adaptation. Previous studies have suggested that abnormal gaze perception in schizophrenia (SCZ) may originate in abnormal early attentional and perceptual processes and may be related to paranoid symptoms. Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), this study investigated altered early attentional and perceptual processes during gaze perception and their relationship to paranoid delusions in SCZ. Twenty-eight individuals with SCZ or schizoaffective disorder and 32 demographically matched healthy controls (HCs) completed a gaze-discrimination task with face stimuli varying in gaze direction (direct, averted), head orientation (forward, deviated), and emotion (neutral, fearful). ERPs were recorded during the task. Participants rated experienced threat from each face after the task. Participants with SCZ were as accurate as, though slower than, HCs on the task. Participants with SCZ displayed enlarged N170 responses over the left hemisphere to averted gaze presented in fearful relative to neutral faces, indicating a heightened encoding sensitivity to faces signaling external threat. This abnormality was correlated with increased perceived threat and paranoid delusions. Participants with SCZ also showed a reduction of N170 modulation by head orientation (normally increased amplitude to deviated faces relative to forward faces), suggesting less integration of contextual cues of head orientation in gaze perception. The psychophysiological deviations observed during gaze discrimination in SCZ underscore the role of early attentional and perceptual abnormalities in social information processing and paranoid symptoms of SCZ.

  12. Lowered performance in working memory and attentional sub-processes are most prominent in multi-domain amnestic mild cognitive impairment subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klekociuk, Shannon Z; Summers, Mathew J

    2014-03-01

    Research suggests that working memory and attention deficits may be present in mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, the functional status of these domains within revised MCI subtypes remains unclear, particularly because previous studies have examined these cognitive domains with the same tests that were used to classify MCI subtypes. The aim of this study was to examine working memory and attention function in MCI subtypes on a battery of neuropsychological tests that were distinct from those used to classify MCI subtypes A total of 122 adults aged 60-90 years were classified at baseline as amnestic MCI, non-amnestic MCI, and multi-domain amnestic (a-MCI+). The attentional and working memory capacity of participants was examined using a battery of tests distinct from those used to classify MCI at screening. The a-MCI+ group demonstrated the poorest performance on all working memory tasks and specific sub-processes of attention. The non-amnestic MCI group had lowered performance on visual span and complex sustained attention only. There was no evidence of either attentional or working memory impairment in the amnestic MCI participants. When MCI cohorts are assessed on measures distinct from those used at classification, a-MCI+ subjects had the most compromised working memory and attention function. These results support previous findings that suggest a-MCI+ more closely resembles early stage Alzheimer's disease and those with a-MCI+ may be at increased rate of future cognitive decline compared to those with other MCI subtypes. © 2014 The Authors. Psychogeriatrics © 2014 Japanese Psychogeriatric Society.

  13. Powerlessness or Omnipotence – the Impact of Structuring Technologies in Learning Processes for Children with Attention and Developmental Deficits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Voldborg, Hanne; Sorensen, Elsebeth Korsgaard

    2017-01-01

    Schoolwork of learners with developmental and attention deficits is often characterized by low productivity, many errors due to carelessness or inattention and poor organizational ability. Focus learners have difficulties performing at the same level as their peers. This paper addresses the chall...... the challenges and investigates the potential of technologies for creating and facilitating environments, where learners are well-supported with respect to overviewing, structuring and planning tasks, evaluating and adjusting participation and management of time...

  14. [Efficiency assessment of preoperative preparatory programs in pediatric patients in dentistry].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milenin, V V; Tolasov, K R; Ostreikov, I F

    2013-01-01

    Research objective was to compare the efficiency of different preoperative preparatory programs which had been used for anxiety decrease in Pediatric patients before oral cavity sanation with general anaesthesia. Two preparatory programs were used. In the first program patients were informed about the treatment they were undergoing. Patients visited the operating unit and watched the videos about forthcoming procedure (group of Information Technologies (IT), n = 82). The second program included the tutorials (face mask use, acquaintance with equipment alarms etc.) in addition to Information Technologies (group of lnformation Technologies and tutorials (ITT) n = 83). Information Technologies and tutorials were not used in the control group (n = 86). Both used programs were effective. ITT program was the most effective.

  15. Visual attention: The past 25 years

    OpenAIRE

    Carrasco, Marisa

    2011-01-01

    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 discrim...

  16. Morphological functional and psychological indicators of 11-12 yrs age boys’ (members of preparatory special health groups of urban and countryside schools development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamozhanskaya G.V.

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: determination of anthropometrical and somatic indicators and factors of school anxiety of 11-12 yrs age boys - members of special health groups at urban and countryside schools. Material: in researches 50 boys of 11-12 years age participated. Results: the author determined difference between morphological-functional indicators and kinds of boys’ diseases. Besides, attendance of physical culture classes in respect to other subjects was analyzed. Comparative factors of children’s school anxiety were outlined. Schoolboys from countryside are more anxious about opinion of peers about themselves. Conclusions: boys’ morphological-functional indicators shall be considered as factor of determination and revelation of defects in harmonious development in system of physical education. Attention should be paid to different kinds of diseases and anxiety among boys of preparatory group.

  17. United States Army Command and General Staff Officers Course Preparatory Curriculum Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-06-12

    retained because of tradition or “institutional lore .”7 7 This is quote from a conversation with Dr...to think that the preparatory course presented to the student body is something created long ago and maintained purely out of institutional lore . Lore ...course, however, are elusive and the course seems to continue based more on lore than necessity. This does not mean that the courses were not or are not

  18. [The preparatory education of electronic patient record for nursing students before practical nursing training].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagamatsu, Yuki; Kanayama, Masako; Yoshioka, Makoto; Anan, Ayumi; Takeyama, Yumiko; Kubo, Yoko; Shibata, Hiroko; Kawamoto, Rieko

    2006-12-01

    Preparatory education has been provided for both nursing students and teachers to understand the electronic patient record (EPR) since 2004 when EPR was introduced to the hospitals where students are allocated to undertake their work experience. First, the training and management board contacted our medical information department for an appointment and sent us a working group. They taught the nursing training staff how to use EPR and how to assign students to the proper patient record in the EPR system. Second, as preparatory education for the students, they explained the procedure for the use of EPR and the protection of personal information. Students practiced with training in the EPR system, focusing on the functions which are used frequently in practical tasks. As a result of this preparatory education, students understood the protection of personal information very well, although their understanding of the operation and management of the equipment was relatively poor and adversely affected their practice. We need to review our education contents more often. We also need to examine the present state of understanding of EPR and the problems of teaching in practical nursing training.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  20. Shared Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shteynberg, Garriy

    2015-09-01

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

  1. Cognitive aging on latent constructs for visual processing capacity: a novel structural equation modeling framework with causal assumptions based on a theory of visual attention

    OpenAIRE

    Nielsen, Simon; Wilms, L. Inge

    2015-01-01

    We examined the effects of normal aging on visual cognition in a sample of 112 healthy adults aged 60–75. A testbattery was designed to capture high-level measures of visual working memory and low-level measures of visuospatial attention and memory. To answer questions of how cognitive aging affects specific aspects of visual processing capacity, we used confirmatory factor analyses in Structural Equation Modeling (SEM; Model 2), informed by functional structures that were modeled with path a...

  2. Boot cAMP: educational outcomes after 4 successive years of preparatory simulation-based training at onset of internship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Gladys L; Page, David W; Coe, Nicholas P; Lee, Patrick C; Patterson, Lisa A; Skylizard, Loki; St Louis, Myron; Amaral, Marisa H; Wait, Richard B; Seymour, Neal E

    2012-01-01

    Preparatory training for new trainees beginning residency has been used by a variety of programs across the country. To improve the clinical orientation process for our new postgraduate year (PGY)-1 residents, we developed an intensive preparatory training curriculum inclusive of cognitive and procedural skills, training activities considered essential for early PGY-1 clinical management. We define our surgical PGY-1 Boot Camp as preparatory simulation-based training implemented at the onset of internship for introduction of skills necessary for basic surgical patient problem assessment and management. This orientation process includes exposure to simulated patient care encounters and technical skills training essential to new resident education. We report educational results of 4 successive years of Boot Camp training. Results were analyzed to determine if performance evidenced at onset of training was predictive of later educational outcomes. Learners were PGY-1 residents, in both categorical and preliminary positions, at our medium-sized surgical residency program. Over a 4-year period, from July 2007 to July 2010, all 30 PGY-1 residents starting surgical residency at our institution underwent specific preparatory didactic and skills training over a 9-week period. This consisted of mandatory weekly 1-hour and 3-hour sessions in the Simulation Center, representing a 4-fold increase in time in simulation laboratory training compared with the remainder of the year. Training occurred in 8 procedural skills areas (instrument use, knot-tying, suturing, laparoscopic skills, airway management, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, central venous catheter, and chest tube insertion) and in simulated patient care (shock, surgical emergencies, and respiratory, cardiac, and trauma management) using a variety of high- and low-tech simulation platforms. Faculty and senior residents served as instructors. All educational activities were structured to include preparatory materials

  3. Electrochemical techniques in analytical, preparatory and industrial chemistry of actinides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kosyakov, Valentin N.; Yakovlev, Nikolay G. [RRC ' Kurchatov Institute' , Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2002-11-01

    A new electrochemical technique for studying and performing redox reactions of uranium and transuranium elements as well as for their determination in flow-through conditions is described. The technique is based on the application of flow through electrolyzer with space porous working electrode made from carbon fiber material. The following aspects of the application of the electrochemical techniques were investigated and discussed: derivative coulography for analytical purposes and for determination of parameters of electrochemical processes, coulometric determination of U and Pu in nitric acid solutions in flow through conditions, electrochemical stabilization of oxidation states of U, Np and Pu in flow through conditions both in water solutions and in extraction chromatography separating systems, chemically modified column electrode and electrodeposition of insoluble compounds. The techniques are applicable in industrial scales as well. (author)

  4. Functional imaging reveals movement preparatory activity in the vegetative state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tristan A Bekinschtein

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The Vegetative State (VS is characterized by the absence of awareness of self or the environment and preserved autonomic functions. The diagnosis relies critically on the lack of consistent signs of purposeful behavior in response to external stimulation. Yet, given that patients with disorders of consciousness often exhibit fragmented movement patterns, voluntary actions may go unnoticed. Here we designed a simple motor paradigm that could potentially detect residual conscious awareness in VS patients with mild to severe brain damage by examining the neural correlates of motor preparation in response to verbal commands. Twenty-four patients who met the diagnostic criteria for VS were recruited for this study. Eleven of these patients showing preserved auditory evoked potentials underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to test for basic speech processing. Five of these patients, who showed word related activity, were included in a second fMRI study aimed at detecting functional changes in premotor cortex elicited by specific verbal instructions to move either their left or their right hand. Despite the lack of overt muscle activity, two patients out of five activated the dorsal premotor cortex contralateral to the instructed hand, consistent with movement preparation. Given that movement preparation in response to a motor command is a sign of purposeful behavior, our results are consistent with residual conscious awareness in these patients. We believe that the identification of positive results with fMRI using this simple task, may complement the clinical assessment by helping attain a more precise diagnosis in patients with disorders of consciousness.

  5. Comparison of hemispheric asymmetry in global and local information processing and interference in divided and selective attention using spatial frequency filters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, Takeshi; Yoshino, Aihide; Takahashi, Yoshitomo; Nomura, Soichiro

    2007-08-01

    To elucidate hemispheric asymmetry in the neurophysiologic mechanisms of global and local information processing, we investigate high-density event-related potentials (ERPs) during divided and selective attention tasks based on detection of hierarchical letters whose spatial frequency is controlled. Twelve healthy male subjects performed divided and selective attention tasks based on the detection of hierarchical letters. Spatial frequencies of hierarchical letters were controlled by high- and low-pass spatial filters. ERP modulations corresponding to the target level (global versus local) effect and the interference effect caused by similarity (similar versus dissimilar letters) were explored. In both tasks, the global and local target effects were associated with late negative modulation (300 ms) over the right and left hemispheres, respectively. The interference effect was associated with negative modulation over the contralateral hemisphere. The latency of the interference effect was greater than that of the target level effect. Early modulations (150 ms) of the target level effect showed hemispheric asymmetry during selective but not divided attention tasks. Global and local information is processed within different hemispheres while interference between global and local information arises in the contralateral hemisphere asymmetrically.

  6. Functional connectivity in cortico-subcortical brain networks underlying reward processing in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianne Oldehinkel

    2016-01-01

    Conclusions: The present study does not corroborate previous childhood evidence for functional connectivity alterations between key reward processing regions in adolescents and young adults with ADHD. Our findings could point to developmental normalization or indicate that reward-processing deficits result from functional connectivity alterations in general task-related networks.

  7. Attention Sensor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Börner, Dirk; Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Attention Sensor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Börner, Dirk; Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Attention and choice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Dynamics of Media Attention

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Event-related Potential Patterns Reflect Reversed Hemispheric Activity during Visual Attention Processing in Children with Dyslexia: A Preliminary Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Joong-Gu; Lee, Seung-Hwan; Park, Eun-Jin; Leem, Hyun-Sung

    2016-02-29

    Individuals with dyslexia experience reading difficulties, whereas their other cognitive abilities seem normal. The purpose of this study was to investigate the event-related potential (ERP) patterns of children with dyslexia during a target-detection task. Seventeen children with dyslexia and 18 children without this disorder participated in this study. We evaluated their writing and reading ability, symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and intelligence quotient. ERPs were recorded while participants performed a target-detection task, and the peak amplitude and latency of P100 and P300 were analyzed. The lateral asymmetry index (LAI) was calculated for each ERP component. The dyslexic group exhibited longer reaction times and larger P100 amplitudes than the non-dyslexic group in the right hemisphere. The P100 latency was also significantly delayed in the right hemisphere of those in the dyslexic group compared with those in the non-dyslexic group. The P300 amplitude was larger in the right hemisphere compared with left hemisphere in the dyslexic group, whereas no interhemispheric differences were observed with respect to the P300 latency. The LAI for P100 showed a significant right hemispheric dominance, whereas the LAI for P100 was significantly correlated with the accuracy of target detection in children with dyslexia. Our results suggest that right hemispheric dominance acts as an ancillary system that compensates for poor reading in children with dyslexia.

  12. Impaired reward processing in the human prefrontal cortex distinguishes between persistent and remittent attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wetterling, Friedrich; McCarthy, Hazel; Tozzi, Leonardo; Skokauskas, Norbert; O'Doherty, John P; Mulligan, Aisling; Meaney, James; Fagan, Andrew J; Gill, Michael; Frodl, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children often persist into adulthood and can lead to severe antisocial behavior. However, to-date it remains unclear whether neuro-functional abnormalities cause ADHD, which in turn can then provide a marker of persistent ADHD. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal changes in subjects during a reversal learning task in which choice of the correct stimulus led to a probabilistically determined 'monetary' reward or punishment. Participants were diagnosed with ADHD during their childhood (N=32) and were paired with age, gender, and education matched healthy controls (N=32). Reassessment of the ADHD group as adults resulted in a split between either persistent (persisters, N=17) or remitted ADHDs (remitters, N=15). All three groups showed significantly decreased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the left striatum during punished correct responses, however only remitters and controls presented significant psycho-physiological interaction between these fronto-striatal reward and outcome valence networks. Comparing persisters to remitters and controls showed significantly inverted responses to punishment (PADHD symptoms. Thus, fMRI helps understanding the neuro-functional basis of ADHD related behavior differences and differentiates between persistent and remittent ADHD. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Mathematical learning disabilities and attention deficit and/or hyperactivity disorder: A study of the cognitive processes involved in arithmetic problem solving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iglesias-Sarmiento, Valentín; Deaño, Manuel; Alfonso, Sonia; Conde, Ángeles

    2017-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the contribution of cognitive functioning to arithmetic problem solving and to explore the cognitive profiles of children with attention deficit and/or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and with mathematical learning disabilities (MLD). The sample was made up of a total of 90 students of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade organized in three: ADHD (n=30), MLD (n=30) and typically achieving control (TA; n=30) group. Assessment was conducted in two sessions in which the PASS processes and arithmetic problem solving were evaluated. The ADHD group's performance in planning and attention was worse than that of the control group. Children with MLD obtained poorer results than the control group in planning and simultaneous and successive processing. Executive processes predicted arithmetic problem solving in the ADHD group whereas simultaneous processing was the unique predictor in the MLD sample. Children with ADHD and with MLD showed characteristic cognitive profiles. Groups' problem-solving performance can be predicted from their cognitive functioning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Assessment of Nutritional Status among Preparatory School Girls in Talkha City

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    Abd El-Rahman, S. I. & Aly Hassan S. A. & EL-Bastawesy S.I

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Adolescence is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood, and it occupies a crucial position in the human life. Nutrition for adolescents is important in which there was found changes in growth and hormones, activity, and food intake. The objective of the work: was to assess the nutritional status of preparatory school girls in Talkha city. Patients and methods: a descriptive cross- sectional study on a group of 500 students from the second and third year of the preparatory school girls at Talkha City in Dakahlia governorate , the tools used : 1- A self-administered questionnaire for assessing socio-demographic characteristics of students, anthropometric measurements included weight and height, nutritional health problems, assessing dietary knowledge, and eating habits.2 - An observational checklist to observe signs of malnutrition for the students. Results: majority of students, girls aged from 13- 14 years old and their mothers were house wife (69.6% &77.3% , Only less than half studied sample has correct knowledge about the balanced diet, the components of healthy diet, and the effect of healthy balanced diet on individual’s health (34.6 %&20%&78.4% respectively. Majority of students prefer eating food during watching TV., eating spices and salty food, and eating much candies (76.2% &74.6%& 73.6% respectively. The most common health problems were headache, GIT problems and dental decay respectively. Conclusion: only one quarter of the studied sample had correct and complete answers about balanced diet. The present study recommended that, health education for nutrition and healthy balanced diet should be integrated in the curriculum of preparatory school girls. Nurses and medical staff must play a significant role in screening, teaching, and guiding of adolescents about healthy balanced diet.

  15. Visual processing in reading disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and its contribution to basic reading ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kibby, Michelle Y; Dyer, Sarah M; Vadnais, Sarah A; Jagger, Audreyana C; Casher, Gabriel A; Stacy, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Whether visual processing deficits are common in reading disorders (RD), and related to reading ability in general, has been debated for decades. The type of visual processing affected also is debated, although visual discrimination and short-term memory (STM) may be more commonly related to reading ability. Reading disorders are frequently comorbid with ADHD, and children with ADHD often have subclinical reading problems. Hence, children with ADHD were used as a comparison group in this study. ADHD and RD may be dissociated in terms of visual processing. Whereas RD may be associated with deficits in visual discrimination and STM for order, ADHD is associated with deficits in visual-spatial processing. Thus, we hypothesized that children with RD would perform worse than controls and children with ADHD only on a measure of visual discrimination and a measure of visual STM that requires memory for order. We expected all groups would perform comparably on the measure of visual STM that does not require sequential processing. We found children with RD or ADHD were commensurate to controls on measures of visual discrimination and visual STM that do not require sequential processing. In contrast, both RD groups (RD, RD/ADHD) performed worse than controls on the measure of visual STM that requires memory for order, and children with comorbid RD/ADHD performed worse than those with ADHD. In addition, of the three visual measures, only sequential visual STM predicted reading ability. Hence, our findings suggest there is a deficit in visual sequential STM that is specific to RD and is related to basic reading ability. The source of this deficit is worthy of further research, but it may include both reduced memory for order and poorer verbal mediation.

  16. Strengthening moral reasoning through dedicated ethics training in dietetic preparatory programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewko, Sarah J; Cooper, Sarah L; Cummings, Greta G

    2015-01-01

    Moral reasoning skills, associated with the ability to make ethical decisions effectively, must be purposively fostered. Among health professionals, enhanced moral reasoning is linked to superior clinical performance. Research demonstrates that moral reasoning is enhanced through dedicated, discussion-based ethics education offered over a period of 3-12 weeks. Current dietetic students and practicing dietitians seeking to strengthen their moral reasoning skills can undertake elective ethics education. Further research within dietetic preparatory programs is warranted to better inform the development and implementation of ethics courses.

  17. Effects of long-term blindness on preparatory emg modulation in humans performing landing movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magalhães, Fernando Henrique; Goroso, Daniel Gustavo

    2011-10-01

    To investigate the long-term effect of blindness on the task of leaping down to a lower landing surface, five blind individuals were compared with 10 sighted individuals who performed landing movements with and without sight. Participants performed six consecutive drop-landings from four different heights, during which the prelanding modulation of EMG timing and amplitude in four lower-limb muscles were recorded. Analysis showed that blind individuals showed specific prelanding EMG modulation, suggesting that long-term dependence on somesthetic and vestibular cues leads to different preparatory measures for vertical falls.

  18. The preparatory state of ground reaction forces in defending against a dribbler in a basketball 1-on-1 dribble subphase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Keisuke; Yoshioka, Shinsuke; Isaka, Tadao; Kouzaki, Motoki

    2015-03-01

    We previously demonstrated the relationship between sidestepping performance and the preparatory state of ground reaction forces (GRFs). The present study investigated the effect of the preparatory state of GRFs on defensive performance in 1-on-1 subphase of basketball. Ten basketball players participated in 1-on-1 dribble game of basketball. The outcomes (penetrating and guarding) and the preparatory state of GRFs (non-weighted and weighted states, i.e. vertical GRFs below and above 120% of body weight, respectively) were assessed by separating the phases. In the non-weighted state and the weighted state to determine the outcome, the probability of successful guarding was 78.8% and 29.6%, respectively. The non-weighted state prevented delay of the defensive step in the determination phase. Both the non-weighted and weighted states, immediately before the determination phase, were likely to change to the weighted state in the determination phase; during this time, the defender's preparatory state would be destabilised, presumably by the dribbler's movement. These results revealed that the preparatory GRFs before the defensive step help to explain the outcome of the 1-on-1 subphase, and suggest a better way to prevent delaying initiation of the defensive step and thereby to guard more effectively against a dribbler.

  19. L[subscript 1] and L[subscript 2] Spoken Word Processing: Evidence from Divided Attention Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The present study aims to reveal some facts concerning first language (L[subscript 1]) and second language (L[subscript 2]) spoken-word processing in unbalanced proficient bilinguals using behavioral measures. The intention here is to examine the effects of auditory repetition word priming and semantic priming in first and second languages of…

  20. The moderating influence of heart rate variability on stressor-elicited change in pupillary and attentional indices of emotional processing: An eye-Tracking study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macatee, Richard J; Albanese, Brian J; Schmidt, Norman B; Cougle, Jesse R

    2017-02-01

    Low resting heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with a broad array of negative psychosocial outcomes. Recent theoretical explications of HRV suggest it is an autonomic marker of emotion regulation capacity, but limited research has examined its relationship with emotional information processing indices. The present study utilized eye-tracking methodology to test HRV's theorized role as a marker of emotion regulation capacity in a non-clinical sample. Attentional biases towards threatening, dysphoric, and positive emotional information as well as affective modulation of pupil size were assessed before and after a stress induction. Low resting HRV marginally predicted larger increases in attentional bias towards positive emotional stimuli from pre to post-stress induction and significantly predicted decreased pupil dilation to positive stimuli after the stress induction only; exploratory analyses suggested that this pattern might reflect an unsuccessful attempt at anxious mood repair. HRV was unrelated to negative emotional information processing. Findings are consistent with existing theories of HRV's psychological significance and suggest a specific association with altered positive emotional processing under acute stress. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Personality and Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-03-28

    1977) have integrated information processing models of attention with social learning theory in order to conoeptualize the behavior change process...consistency at these loci. ’M Nielsen & Sarason 35 References Bandura, A. Social learning theory . Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice- Hall, Inc

  2. Cognitive processes and attitudes in bipolar disorder: a study into personality, dysfunctional attitudes and attention bias in patients with bipolar disorder and their relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabben, Nienke; Arts, Baer; Jongen, Ellen M M; Smulders, Fren T Y; van Os, Jim; Krabbendam, Lydia

    2012-12-20

    Research in cognitive processes and attitudes in bipolar disorder is scarce and has provided mixed findings, possibly due to differences in current mood state. It is unclear whether alterations in cognitive processes and attitudes are only related to the depressive mood states of bipolar patients or also represent a vulnerability marker for the development of future (depressive) episodes. This was investigated in the current study. Both implicit (attentional bias for emotional words) and explicit (dysfunctional attitudes and personality characteristics) measures of cognitive processes and attitudes were assessed in 77 bipolar patients with varying levels of depressive symptoms (depressed=17, euthymic n=60), their healthy first-degree relatives (n=39) and a healthy control group (n=61). Analyses of variance were used to investigate differences between groups. Mildly depressed patients with bipolar disorder demonstrated an attentional bias away from positive emotional words and showed increased dysfunctional attitudes and higher levels of neuroticism. Euthymic patients were largely comparable to healthy controls and only differed from controls in higher levels of neuroticism. Relatives were similar to controls on all measures, although they significantly differed from bipolar patients in displaying less neuroticism and more extraversion. No firm conclusions regarding causality can be drawn from the associations that were found between cognitive processes and attitudes and the evolution of mood symptoms in bipolar disorder. Alterations in cognitive processes and attitudes in bipolar patients appear to be mostly related to the expression of mood symptomatology rather than to the vulnerability for bipolar disorder. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Features of high-speed and strength qualities development in young biathlonists aged 14–15 in the preparatory period

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    Artem Burla

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: to substantiate a methodology of high-speed and strength qualities development of young biathlonists aged 14–15 during the preparatory period. Material and Methods: young biathlonists aged 14–15 from control and experimental groups took part in the research. There were 12 athletes in each group. Pedagogical methods and methods of mathematical statistics were used in the work. Pedagogical methods of researches were used for level definition of high-speed and strength qualities development of young biathlonists. Results: reliable increase of motive qualities and polydynamometry results testing of young biathlonists from the experimental group due to implementation of the experimental methodology in the preparatory period is established. Conclusions: application of the developed complexes in the preparatory period in the experimental group of young biathlonists aged 14–15 allows to raise indices of motive qualities and polydynamometry testing statistically significantly.

  4. Tests of the mediational role of preparatory safer sexual behavior in the context of the theory of planned behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Angela; Fisher, Jeffrey D; Fisher, William A

    2002-01-01

    The present research details 2 empirical tests within the context of the theory of planned behavior (I. Ajzen & T. Madden, 1986) of the assumption that preparatory behaviors (e.g., discussing safer sex, obtaining condoms) play a mediational role in the relation between psychological variables (e.g., attitudes toward safer sex, social norms about safer sex) and condom use. The assumption of the mediational role of preparatory behaviors is examined in sexually experienced samples from 2 different populations: inner-city high school students (N = 226) and college students (N = 160). The results suggest that the mediational role of preparatory behaviors is a highly significant one. Results indicate no gender differences with regard to the main mediational hypotheses. The methodological, theoretical, and practical implications and importance of these findings are discussed.

  5. The relation between actual exposure to political violence and preparatory intervention for exposure to media coverage of terrorism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slone, Michelle; Shoshani, Anat; Baumgarten-Katz, Inbar

    2008-07-01

    This laboratory study examined differential effects of television broadcasts of terrorism on viewers' anxiety according to their actual exposure history, and differential efficacy of a preparatory intervention in moderating elevated anxiety for high or low actual exposure. Participants were 80 young Israeli adults, randomly allocated to a terrorism or non-terrorism media broadcast, and for each type of exposure, to a preparatory or control intervention. Actual political violence and terrorism exposure history was assessed, and anxiety measured explicitly and indirectly prior and subsequent to the intervention and media exposure manipulation. Results showed that in the terrorism media exposure, participants with high more than low actual political life events (PLE) exposure showed higher post-test levels of indirectly measured anxiety. Clinical intervention before the terrorism media exposure moderated indirectly measured anxiety among participants with high PLE exposure, but increased anxiety for low PLE. Findings outline preparatory measures that could maximize coping for the high PLE actual exposure at-risk sector.

  6. Increase the level of preparedness of qualified basketball players in the preparatory period

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volodymyr Gradusov

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: to study the adaptation of basketball players of student teams to training loads during the preparatory period of the annual cycle of training on the parameters of motor qualities and functional readiness. Material & Methods: conducted a survey of 12 basketball players on the team (Sumy, the highest league of the Ukrainian Basketball Championship. The following research methods were used: theoretical analysis of literary sources, methods of mathematical statistics, anthropometry and pedagogical control. Result: dynamics of changes at the stage of preparation for the season is shown. It is established and observed that under the influence of training sessions in the examined basketball players, not only the optimization of the functional systems of their organism, but also the level of the functional state of the organism as a whole. Conclusion: assessment of the functional condition of the athlete's body should play an important role in the overall system of medical and biological control in connection with significant additional information on the state of their body and the possibility of timely correction of physical activity and the provision of preventive measures. It is determined that during the preparatory period the level of motor qualities and functional readiness of the basketball players increased.

  7. Rhythmic neural activity indicates the contribution of attention and memory to the processing of occluded movements in 10-month-old infants.

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    Bache, Cathleen; Kopp, Franziska; Springer, Anne; Stadler, Waltraud; Lindenberger, Ulman; Werkle-Bergner, Markus

    2015-11-01

    Infants possess the remarkable capacity to perceive occluded movements as ongoing and coherent. Little is known about the neural mechanisms that enable internal representation of conspecifics' and inanimate objects' movements during visual occlusion. In this study, 10-month-old infants watched briefly occluded human and object movements. Prior to occlusion, continuous and distorted versions of the movement were shown. EEG recordings were used to assess neural activity assumed to relate to processes of attention (occipital alpha), memory (frontal theta), and sensorimotor simulation (central alpha) before, during, and after occlusion. Oscillatory activity was analyzed using an individualized data approach taking idiosyncrasies into account. Results for occipital alpha were consistent with infants' preference for attending to social stimuli. Furthermore, frontal theta activity was more pronounced when tracking distorted as opposed to continuous movement, and when maintaining object as opposed to human movement. Central alpha did not discriminate between experimental conditions. In sum, we conclude that observing occluded movements recruits processes of attention and memory which are modulated by stimulus and movement properties.

  8. Selective Attention in the Learning Disabled Child.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooten, Ann M.

    The paper reviews literature relating to selective attention in the learning disabled child. Three processes related to the concept of selective attention (as proposed by D. Berlyne) are discussed: attention in learning, attention in remembering, and attention in performance. It is pointed out that verbal mediation, the use of verbal labels to…

  9. Electrophysiological correlates of fearful and sad distraction on target processing in adolescents with attention deficit-hyperactivity symptoms and affective disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony eSinghal

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study we used event-related brain potentials (ERP as neural markers of cognitive operations to examine emotion and attentional processing in a population of high-risk adolescents with mental health problems that included ADHD, anxiety, and depression. We included a healthy control group for comparison purposes, and employed a modified version of the emotional oddball paradigm, consisting of frequent distracters (scrambled pictures, infrequent distracters (sad, fearful, and neutral pictures and infrequent targets (circles. Participants were instructed to make a right hand button press to targets and a left hand button press to all other stimuli. EEG/ERP recordings were taken using a high-density 256-channel recording system. Behavioral data showed that for both clinical and non-clinical adolescents, reaction time was slowest in response to the fearful images. Electrophysiological data differentiated emotion and target processing between clinical and non-clinical adolescents. In the clinical group we observed a larger P100 and Late Positive Potential (LPP in response to fearful compared to sad or neutral pictures. There were no differences in these ERPs in the healthy sample. Emotional modulation of target processing was also identified in the clinical sample, where we observed an increase in P300 amplitude, and a larger sustained LPP in response to targets that followed emotional pictures (fear & sad compared to targets that followed neutral pictures or other targets. There were no differences in these target ERPs for the healthy participants. Taken together, we suggest that these data provide important and novel evidence of affective and attention dysfunction in this clinical population of adolescents, and offer an example of the disruptive effects of emotional reactivity on basic cognition.

  10. Attention in Urban Foraging

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    Malcolm McCullough

    2013-05-01

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

  11. Loss of attentional inhibition in older adults--Does it really exist? An experimental dissociation of inhibitory and memory retrieval processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giesen, Carina; Eberhard, Maike; Rothermund, Klaus

    2015-06-01

    It is commonly assumed that attentional inhibitory functioning decreases with age, even though empirical evidence is mixed. These inconsistencies possibly stem from methodological artifacts: distractor inhibition is typically assessed with the negative priming paradigm, which confounds inhibition and episodic retrieval. In the present study, we investigated age differences in a sequential distractor repetition paradigm (Giesen, Frings, & Rothermund, 2012) that provides independent estimates of distractor inhibition and episodic retrieval processes. Older (60+ yrs) and younger (below 30 years) adults identified target letters that were flanked by distractors (JKJ). Inhibitory processes were preserved in older adults, who showed reliable distractor repetition benefits resulting from persistent distractor inhibition; however, a significant loss of inhibition was apparent for the older subgroup of participants (65+ yrs) compared with a subgroup of young-old participants (60 to 64 years). No age differences were found for episodic retrieval processes of stimulus-response bindings that were indexed by an interaction of distractor repetition and response relation. Findings highlight the importance of dissociating between distractor inhibition and retrieval processes that are differently implicated in age-related cognitive change.

  12. Visual Processing of Biological Motion in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: An Event Related Potential-Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kröger, Anne; Hof, Katharina; Krick, Christoph; Siniatchkin, Michael; Jarczok, Tomasz; Freitag, Christine M.; Bender, Stephan

    2014-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is often accompanied by problems in social behaviour, which are sometimes similar to some symptoms of autism-spectrum disorders (ASD). However, neuronal mechanisms of ASD-like deficits in ADHD have rarely been studied. The processing of biological motion–recently discussed as a marker of social cognition–was found to be disrupted in ASD in several studies. Thus in the present study we tested if biological motion processing is disrupted in ADHD. We used 64-channel EEG and spatio-temporal source analysis to assess event-related potentials associated with human motion processing in 21 children and adolescents with ADHD and 21 matched typically developing controls. On the behavioural level, all subjects were able to differentiate between human and scrambled motion. But in response to both scrambled and biological motion, the N200 amplitude was decreased in subjects with ADHD. After a spatio-temporal dipole analysis, a human motion specific activation was observable in occipital-temporal regions with a reduced and more diffuse activation in ADHD subjects. These results point towards neuronal determined alterations in the processing of biological motion in ADHD. PMID:24520402

  13. Visual processing of biological motion in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: an event related potential-study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Kröger

    Full Text Available Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is often accompanied by problems in social behaviour, which are sometimes similar to some symptoms of autism-spectrum disorders (ASD. However, neuronal mechanisms of ASD-like deficits in ADHD have rarely been studied. The processing of biological motion-recently discussed as a marker of social cognition-was found to be disrupted in ASD in several studies. Thus in the present study we tested if biological motion processing is disrupted in ADHD. We used 64-channel EEG and spatio-temporal source analysis to assess event-related potentials associated with human motion processing in 21 children and adolescents with ADHD and 21 matched typically developing controls. On the behavioural level, all subjects were able to differentiate between human and scrambled motion. But in response to both scrambled and biological motion, the N200 amplitude was decreased in subjects with ADHD. After a spatio-temporal dipole analysis, a human motion specific activation was observable in occipital-temporal regions with a reduced and more diffuse activation in ADHD subjects. These results point towards neuronal determined alterations in the processing of biological motion in ADHD.

  14. Cognitive aging on latent constructs for visual processing capacity: a novel structural equation modeling framework with causal assumptions based on a theory of visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Simon; Wilms, L Inge

    2014-01-01

    We examined the effects of normal aging on visual cognition in a sample of 112 healthy adults aged 60-75. A testbattery was designed to capture high-level measures of visual working memory and low-level measures of visuospatial attention and memory. To answer questions of how cognitive aging affects specific aspects of visual processing capacity, we used confirmatory factor analyses in Structural Equation Modeling (SEM; Model 2), informed by functional structures that were modeled with path analyses in SEM (Model 1). The results show that aging effects were selective to measures of visual processing speed compared to visual short-term memory (VSTM) capacity (Model 2). These results are consistent with some studies reporting selective aging effects on processing speed, and inconsistent with other studies reporting aging effects on both processing speed and VSTM capacity. In the discussion we argue that this discrepancy may be mediated by differences in age ranges, and variables of demography. The study demonstrates that SEM is a sensitive method to detect cognitive aging effects even within a narrow age-range, and a useful approach to structure the relationships between measured variables, and the cognitive functional foundation they supposedly represent.

  15. Cognitive ageing on latent constructs for visual processing capacity: A novel Structural Equation Modelling framework with causal assumptions based on A Theory of Visual Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon eNielsen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We examined the effects of normal ageing on visual cognition in a sample of 112 healthy adults aged 60-75. A testbattery was designed to capture high-level measures of visual working memory and low-level measures of visuospatial attention and memory. To answer questions of how cognitive ageing affects specific aspects of visual processing capacity, we used confirmatory factor analyses in Structural Equation Modelling (SEM; Model 2, informed by functional structures that were modelled with path analyses in SEM (Model 1. The results show that ageing effects were selective to measures of visual processing speed compared to visual short-term memory (VSTM capacity (Model 2. These results are consistent with some studies reporting selective ageing effects on processing speed, and inconsistent with other studies reporting ageing effects on both processing speed and VSTM capacity. In the discussion we argue that this discrepancy may be mediated by differences in age ranges, and variables of demography. The study demonstrates that SEM is a sensitive method to detect cognitive ageing effects even within a narrow age-range, and a useful approach to structure the relationships between measured variables, and the cognitive functional foundation they supposedly represent.

  16. Attention allocation before antisaccades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klapetek, Anna; Jonikaitis, Donatas; Deubel, Heiner

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, we investigated the distribution of attention before antisaccades. We used a dual task paradigm, in which participants made prosaccades or antisaccades and discriminated the orientation of a visual probe shown at the saccade goal, the visual cue location (antisaccade condition), or a neutral location. Moreover, participants indicated whether they had made a correct antisaccade or an erroneous prosaccade. We observed that, while spatial attention in the prosaccade task was allocated only to the saccade goal, attention in the antisaccade task was allocated both to the cued location and to the antisaccade goal. This suggests parallel attentional selection of the cued and antisaccade locations. We further observed that in error trials--in which participants made an incorrect prosaccade instead of an antisaccade--spatial attention was biased towards the prosaccade goal. These erroneous prosaccades were mostly unnoticed and were often followed by corrective antisaccades with very short latencies (parallel programming of the reflexive prosaccade to the cue and the antisaccade to the intended location. Taken together, our results suggest that attention allocation and saccade goal selection in the antisaccade task are mediated by a common competitive process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  18. 7-OH-DPAT effects on latent inhibition: low dose facilitation but high dose blockade: implications for dopamine receptor involvement in attentional processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chagas-Martinich, Ligia; Carey, Robert J; Carrera, Marinete Pinheiro

    2007-03-01

    7-OH-DPAT is a dopamine D2/D3 agonist, which at low doses acts preferentially on D3 receptors but at high doses it acts on D2 and D3 receptors. The present study investigated the contribution of D3 and D2 receptors on latent inhibition (LI) by using two dose levels of 7-OH-DPAT: a low dose, 0.1 mg/kg (D3 receptor activation) and a high dose, 1.0 mg/kg, (D2/D3 receptor activation) in a conditioned emotional response (CER) paradigm. The LI Protocols included CS pre-exposure (10 or 40 CS alone trials), CER induction and a non-drug CER test phase. Additionally, the drug effects upon CER acquisition without LI were assessed using the same treatments and test environment pre-exposure protocols but without the tone CS. The effects of 7-OH-DPAT on crossing, rearing and grooming were also measured in an open field 1 day after the CER test phase. The results showed that the low dose 7-OH-DPAT treatment potentiated LI at 10 but not at 40 CS pre-exposures. The high dose 7-OH-DPAT treatment blocked LI at both the 10 and 40 stimulus pre-exposures; and it also induced hyperactivity. Thus, D3 stimulation induced by a low dose of 7-OH-DPAT can facilitate LI but these effects are contingent upon and are specific to the number of stimulus presentations. Altogether, these findings indicate that D3 stimulation can enhance attentional processes, but D2 stimulation can impair attentional processes.

  19. English language proficiency and academic performance: A study of a medical preparatory year program in Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaliyadan, Feroze; Thalamkandathil, Nazer; Parupalli, Srinivas Rao; Amin, Tarek Tawfik; Balaha, Magdy Hassan; Al Bu Ali, Waleed Hamad

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: All medical schools in Saudi Arabia have English as the primary official medium of instruction. Most of the high school education, however, is delivered in Arabic and hence the transition to an English based learning environment tends to be difficult for some students. Our study aims to correlate English language proficiency with academic performance among medical students in their preparatory year. Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used. Test scores of 103 preparatory year students (54 female and 49 male) were analyzed after the students completed an English language course and medical introductory course in their preparatory year. The total score obtained in the English course assessment was compared to each component of the medical content assessment. Results: A significantly positive correlation (Spearman's Rho, at 0.01 levels) was seen between the scores of the English exam and the written exam (P English exam score was not obtained for the other components of the medical assessment, namely; student assignments, presentations and portfolios. Conclusion: English language proficiency is an important factor in determining academic proficiency of medical students in our college at the preparatory year level. PMID:26629471

  20. The Effectiveness of Student Extracurricular Activities in Evaluating Violent Behavior among Students in the Preparatory Year at Hail University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleid, Alkhamsah Saleh

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of student extracurricular activities in evaluating violent behavior among students in the preparatory year at Hail University. The researcher used the descriptive analytical method, and used two tools for the purpose of the study, the study sample consisted of 104 (violent) female students from the…

  1. Relationships between stress, coping and depressive symptoms among overseas university preparatory Chinese students: a cross-sectional study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeh Gwo-Liang

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mental health problems in young people are an important public health issue. Students leaving their hometown and family at a young age to pursue better educational opportunities overseas are confronted with life adjustment stress, which in turn affects their mental health and academic performance. This study aimed to examine the relationships among stress, coping strategies, and depressive symptoms using the stress coping framework in overseas Chinese university preparatory students in Taiwan. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted at an overseas Chinese university preparatory institute in Taiwan. Of enrolled overseas Chinese university preparatory students at 2009, 756 completed a structured questionnaire measuring stress, strategies for coping with it, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Results High levels of stress significantly predicted the adoption of active, problem-focused coping strategies (R2 = 0.13, p R2 = 0.24, p z = 8.06, p Conclusion Our study results suggested that stress is associated with coping strategies and depressive symptoms and passive strategies mediate the relation between stress and depressive symptoms in overseas Chinese university preparatory students.

  2. The Use of Discourse Markers in Paragraph Writings: The Case of Preparatory Year Program Students in Qassim University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daif-Allah, Ayman Sabry; Albesher, Khaled

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to identify the discourse markers used by Saudi EFL learners in their paragraph writing. The study was conducted on fifty students of the Preparatory Year Program at Qassim University. Data were collected from one hundred paragraphs written by the students at the end of the first and second semesters of the academic…

  3. A Program Based on English Digital Stories to Develop the Writing Performance and Reflective Thinking of Preparatory School Pupils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassan Seifeddin, Ahmed; Zakareya Ahmed, Samah; Yahia Mohammed Ebrahim, Eman

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effect of a program based on English digital stories on second-year preparatory pupils' writing performance and reflective thinking. Two writing performance tests (pretest and posttest) as well as a reflective thinking test were prepared by the researchers. Two 2nd-year intact classes from El Sadat Prep School…

  4. A Reciprocal Model of Psychographic Attributes Related to Their Learning among Preparatory Year of Undergraduate Students in West Saudi Arabia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talafha, Feras

    2015-01-01

    This study examines the level of psychographic attributes among the preparatory year students enrolled at the University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. The study sample consists of 209 students chosen with the help of random sampling and questionnaire survey was employed for data collection. Based on the findings, the entire study variables, which are…

  5. English language proficiency and academic performance: A study of a medical preparatory year program in Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaliyadan, Feroze; Thalamkandathil, Nazer; Parupalli, Srinivas Rao; Amin, Tarek Tawfik; Balaha, Magdy Hassan; Al Bu Ali, Waleed Hamad

    2015-01-01

    All medical schools in Saudi Arabia have English as the primary official medium of instruction. Most of the high school education, however, is delivered in Arabic and hence the transition to an English based learning environment tends to be difficult for some students. Our study aims to correlate English language proficiency with academic performance among medical students in their preparatory year. A cross-sectional study design was used. Test scores of 103 preparatory year students (54 female and 49 male) were analyzed after the students completed an English language course and medical introductory course in their preparatory year. The total score obtained in the English course assessment was compared to each component of the medical content assessment. A significantly positive correlation (Spearman's Rho, at 0.01 levels) was seen between the scores of the English exam and the written exam (P correlation with the English exam score was not obtained for the other components of the medical assessment, namely; student assignments, presentations and portfolios. English language proficiency is an important factor in determining academic proficiency of medical students in our college at the preparatory year level.

  6. The Silence about Oral Presentation Skills in Distance and Online Education: New Perspectives from an Australian University Preparatory Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDougall, Jenny; Holden, Helen

    2017-01-01

    Oral presentation skills are considered essential workplace skills and are therefore highly valued in higher education. However, research into this aspect of adult learning is limited, especially in the context of distance and online education. This paper reports on an innovative approach used in a university preparatory program in Australia.…

  7. George W. Wingate High School, Bilingual Demonstration College Preparatory Program. O.E.E. Evaluation Report, 1982-1983.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjostrom, Barbara R.; Sica, Michael

    The Bilingual Demonstration College Preparatory Program, in its second year of funding, provided English as a second language (ESL) and native language instruction, in addition to bilingual instruction in mathematics, social studies, and science, to 120 Spanish-speaking students in grades 9-12 at George W. Wingate High School (Brooklyn, New York).…

  8. Delta, theta, and alpha event-related oscillations in alcoholics during Go/NoGo task: Neurocognitive deficits in execution, inhibition, and attention processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ashwini K; Kamarajan, Chella; Manz, Niklas; Chorlian, David B; Stimus, Arthur; Porjesz, Bernice

    2016-02-01

    attentional processing with respect to the stimulus related aspects/semantic memory processes, which may be reflected in lower posterio-temporal evoked fast alpha power. It can thus be concluded that alcoholics show neurocognitive deficits in both execution and suppression of a motor response and inadequate early attentional processing with respect to the semantic memory/stimulus related aspects while suppressing a motor response.

  9. BARRIERS TO CALL PRACTICES IN AN EFL CONTEXT: A CASE STUDY OF PREPARATORY YEAR ENGLISH COURSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taj Mohammad

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study attempts to find out the practical barriers to technology integration in an Arab EFL scenario, particularly in the context of Preparatory Year English courses. The practical barriers to CALL practices are multifaceted and vary according to contexts. In this mixed method study, 50 ESL teachers were surveyed using a 5-point Likert-scale questionnaire. The questionnaire focused on the pedagogical, technological, personal and administrative barriers to CALL integration in an EFL context. In addition, 21 teachers participated in the focus group discussion. Overall, the survey results found that the barriers influencing CALL integration in the study context were moderate. However, lack of administrative support, inadequate training, and absence of suitable materials were found as significant barriers to CALL integration. The focus group discussion reiterated the issues and suggested practical solutions for maximization of CALL practices. The study suggests a holistic administrative approach to solve the barriers to CALL integration.

  10. Investigating Reading Strategy Use in EFL Environment: Instructors and Preparatory Class Students’ Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tolga KOÇER

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated if receiving cognitive and metacognitive reading strategy training explicitly would make a difference in the University preparatory class students’ reading comprehension. From the instructors’ aspect, the instructors’ views about and approaches to teaching reading strategies were investigated and compared with each other. 83 students and 4 instructors particapated to this mix-method study. Following the Solomon-four-group design the participants were divided into 2 research and 2 comparison groups. Data collection methods were pre-post reading comprehension test, CRSUS, MRSUS, TRSUS, self-evaluation checklists, interviews and classroom observations. The results of the study show that there is no significant difference in the reading comprehension of the comparison and research group students at the end of the term. For the instructors, the results indicate that the research group instructors had tendency to use more reading strategies. The paper concluded with implications and suggestions for the future research.

  11. A CASE STUDY: WORKSHEETS USED IN A LANGUAGE PREPARATORY SCHOOL IN HIGHER EDUCATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buket KASAP

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this case study is to analyze the supplementary instructional materials, namely worksheets, used in an English preparatory school in one of the Turkish universities. The data were gathered from the materials development unit of the school. Using the content analysis method, worksheets from 2015 spring and 2016 spring terms were analyzed. The findings revealed that most worksheets included decontextualized, repetitive grammar activities though the theme-based course book included integrated skills activities, appealing various learning styles. It was also observed that students were evaluated based on their proficiency in basic four skills while they studied mostly grammar based worksheets. As a result, a shift to a more eclectic method which caters for all learning styles and equally includes all skills is suggested to the school board.

  12. Research on the Implementation of Preparatory Behavior%预备行为实行化问题研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郑伟

    2016-01-01

    刑法对犯罪预备没有规定独立的法定刑,只是可以比照既遂犯从轻、减轻或者免除处罚。但当刑法分则将犯罪预备行为规定为独立的罪名时,此时行为已是一种实行状态而非预备。预备行为实行化将一罪的预备行为规定为独立的预备罪,虽然对法益的保护提前了,但扩大了刑法的处罚范围,因此有必要对其进行合理的限定。犯罪预备是一种非实行行为,预备行为实行化之后,准备工具、制造条件的预备行为提升为实行行为,其就存在未遂的可能,也即独立预备罪的未遂。预备行为同时触犯独立预备罪与其他犯罪时,应依照处罚较重的规定定罪处罚。%The Criminal Code does not provide a separate offense preparatory legal punishment , but it can be compared to the completed crime to be punished lighter, reduced or waived. When the criminal law provisions take the preparatory acts as separate offenses, the acts at this time are a state of practice rather than a ready status. The implementation of the preparatory acts is defined as an independent preparatory crime. It’s a kind of protection of the legal interests, but it expands the scope of criminal law penalties, and therefore it is necessary to enunciate the clear limitations. The preparatory acts are non-implementation of crime. After the implementation of preparatory acts , tools preparation and other conditions for making the crime become acts of perpetrating which may be attempted , that is the crime of attempted independent preparation. Preparatory acts while committing the crime and other crimes independent preparation, they should be punished in accordance with the provisions for a heavier convicted and punished.

  13. Attention in a bayesian framework

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Whiteley, Louise Emma; Sahani, Maneesh

    2012-01-01

    , and include both selective phenomena, where attention is invoked by cues that point to particular stimuli, and integrative phenomena, where attention is invoked dynamically by endogenous processing. However, most previous Bayesian accounts of attention have focused on describing relatively simple experimental......The behavioral phenomena of sensory attention are thought to reflect the allocation of a limited processing resource, but there is little consensus on the nature of the resource or why it should be limited. Here we argue that a fundamental bottleneck emerges naturally within Bayesian models...

  14. Limited Attention and Discourse Structure

    CERN Document Server

    Walker, M A

    1995-01-01

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

  15. Nonretinotopic exogenous attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boi, Marco; Vergeer, Mark; Ogmen, Haluk; Herzog, Michael H

    2011-10-25

    Attention is crucial for visual perception because it allows the visual system to effectively use its limited resources by selecting behaviorally and cognitively relevant stimuli from the large amount of information impinging on the eyes. Reflexive, stimulus-driven attention is essential for successful interactions with the environment because it can, for example, speed up responses to life-threatening events. It is commonly believed that exogenous attention operates in the retinotopic coordinates of the early visual system. Here, using a novel experimental paradigm [1], we show that a nonretinotopic cue improves both accuracy and reaction times in a visual search task. Furthermore, the influence of the cue is limited both in space and time, a characteristic typical of exogenous cueing. These and other recent findings show that many more aspects of vision are processed nonretinotopically than previously thought.

  16. Two-stage processing of sounds explains behavioral performance variations due to changes in stimulus contrast and selective attention: an MEG study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaakko Kauramäki

    Full Text Available Selectively attending to task-relevant sounds whilst ignoring background noise is one of the most amazing feats performed by the human brain. Here, we studied the underlying neural mechanisms by recording magnetoencephalographic (MEG responses of 14 healthy human subjects while they performed a near-threshold auditory discrimination task vs. a visual control task of similar difficulty. The auditory stimuli consisted of notch-filtered continuous noise masker sounds, and of 1020-Hz target tones occasionally (p = 0.1 replacing 1000-Hz standard tones of 300-ms duration that were embedded at the center of the notches, the widths of which were parametrically varied. As a control for masker effects, tone-evoked responses were additionally recorded without masker sound. Selective attention to tones significantly increased the amplitude of the onset M100 response at ~100 ms to the standard tones during presence of the masker sounds especially with notches narrower than the critical band. Further, attention modulated sustained response most clearly at 300-400 ms time range from sound onset, with narrower notches than in case of the M100, thus selectively reducing the masker-induced suppression of the tone-evoked response. Our results show evidence of a multiple-stage filtering mechanism of sensory input in the human auditory cortex: 1 one at early (~100 ms latencies bilaterally in posterior parts of the secondary auditory areas, and 2 adaptive filtering of attended sounds from task-irrelevant background masker at longer latency (~300 ms in more medial auditory cortical regions, predominantly in the left hemisphere, enhancing processing of near-threshold sounds.

  17. Modulation of the default-mode network and the attentional network by self-referential processes in patients with disorder of consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mäki-Marttunen, Verónica; Castro, Mariana; Olmos, Lisandro; Leiguarda, Ramón; Villarreal, Mirta

    2016-02-01

    Disorders of consciousness (DOC) are related to an altered capacity of the brain to successfully integrate and segregate information. Alterations in brain functional networks structure have been found in fMRI studies, which could account for the incapability of the brain to efficiently manage internally and externally generated information. Here we assess the modulation of neural activity in areas of the networks related to active introspective or extrospective processing in 9 patients with DOC and 17 controls using fMRI. In addition, we assess the functional connectivity between those areas in resting state. Patients were experimentally studied in an early phase after the event of brain injury (3±1 months after the event) and subsequently in a second session 4±1 months after the first session. The results showed that the concerted modulation of the default mode network (DMN) and attentional network (AN) in response to the active involvement in the task improved with the level of consciousness, reflecting an integral recovery of the brain in its ability to be engaged in cognitive processes. In addition, functional connectivity decreased between the DMN and AN with recovery. Our results help to further understand the neural underpins of the disorders of consciousness.

  18. The Integrity of the Corpus Callosum Mitigates the Impact of Blood Pressure on the Ventral Attention Network and Information Processing Speed in Healthy Adults

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    Tatia M. C. Lee

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Hypertension is a risk factor for cognitive impairment in older age. However, evidence of the neural basis of the relationship between the deterioration of cognitive function and elevated blood pressure is sparse. Based on previous research, we speculate that variations in brain connectivity are closely related to elevated blood pressure even before the onset of clinical conditions and apparent cognitive decline in individuals over 60 years of age. Forty cognitively healthy adults were recruited. Each received a blood pressure test before and after the cognitive assessment in various domains. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI data were collected. Our findings confirm that elevated blood pressure is associated with brain connectivity variations in cognitively healthy individuals. The integrity of the splenium of the corpus callosum is closely related to individual differences in systolic blood pressure. In particular, elevated systolic blood pressure is related to resting-state ventral attention network (VAN and information processing speed. Serial mediation analyses have further revealed that lower integrity of the splenium statistically predicts elevated systolic blood pressure, which in turn predicts weakened functional connectivity (FC within the VAN and eventually poorer processing speed. The current study sheds light on how neural correlates are involved in the impact of elevated blood pressure on cognitive functioning.

  19. Capture of exogenous attention modulates the attentional blink

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Simon; Andersen, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    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...

  20. Visual attention: The past 25 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    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

  1. Processamento da linguagem no Transtorno do Déficit de Atenção e Hiperatividade (TDAH Language processing in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guiomar Albuquerque

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available O Transtorno do Déficit de Atenção/Hiperatividade (TDAH é o diagnóstico psiquiátrico mais frequente entre crianças com problemas de aprendizagem. Os sujeitos com TDAH apresentam problemas de memória operacional, portanto, levantamos a hipótese de que o grupo com TDAH não apresentaria o mesmo desempenho em tarefas de leitura que o grupo controle. Realizamos cinco experimentos psicolinguísticos, utilizando metodologia on-line, com o objetivo de diferenciar o processamento da leitura do processamento metalinguístico e, desta forma, especificar a natureza da dificuldade dos portadores de TDAH. Ambos os grupos obtiveram índices de acertos similares, porém as latências foram significativamente maiores para o grupo de sujeitos com TDAH, demonstrando que eles têm a capacidade de chegar a um mesmo resultado, porém necessitam de mais tempo do que o grupo controle. Este resultado sugere que pode haver um problema de processamento da linguagem intrínseco ao TDAH.Attention-Deficits/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD is the most frequent psychiatric diagnosis in children with learning disorders. Individuals with ADHD usually present working memory difficulties. We raise the hypothesis that people with ADHD wouldn't have the same performance in reading tasks, compared to a control group. Five psycholinguistic experiments using on-line methodology were applied. The aim was to distinguish between the processing of reading and metalinguistic processing, in order to identify the nature of the linguistic impairments in ADHD volunteers. Both groups obtained similar accuracy rates, but latencies were significantly higher for the ADHD group than for the controls, demonstrating that ADHD subjects are able to achieve the same results, but that they need more time than the control group. This result suggests that there is a language processing problem intrinsic to ADHD individuals.

  2. Guiding Attention by Cooperative Cues

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    KangWoo Lee

    2008-01-01

    A common assumption in visual attention is based on the rationale of "limited capacity of information pro-ceasing". From this view point there is little consideration of how different information channels or modules are cooperating because cells in processing stages are forced to compete for the limited resource. To examine the mechanism behind the cooperative behavior of information channels, a computational model of selective attention is implemented based on two hypotheses. Unlike the traditional view of visual attention, the cooperative behavior is assumed to be a dynamic integration process between the bottom-up and top-down information. Furthermore, top-down information is assumed to provide a contextual cue during selection process and to guide the attentional allocation among many bottom-up candidates. The result from a series of simulation with still and video images showed some interesting properties that could not be explained by the competitive aspect of selective attention alone.

  3. Reward favours the prepared: incentive and task-informative cues interact to enhance attentional control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiew, Kimberly S.; Braver, Todd S.

    2015-01-01

    The dual mechanisms of control account suggests that cognitive control may be implemented through relatively proactive mechanisms in anticipation of stimulus onset, or through reactive mechanisms, triggered in response to changing stimulus demands. Reward incentives and task-informative cues (signaling the presence/absence of upcoming cognitive demand) have both been found to influence cognitive control in a proactive or preparatory fashion; yet, it is currently unclear whether and how such cue effects interact. We investigated this in two experiments using an adapted flanker paradigm, where task-informative and reward incentive cues were orthogonally manipulated on a trial-by-trial basis. In Experiment 1, results indicated that incentives not only speed RTs, but specifically reduce both interference and facilitation effects when combined with task-informative cues, suggesting enhanced proactive attentional control. Experiment 2 manipulated the timing of incentive cue information, demonstrating that such proactive control effects were only replicated with sufficient time to process the incentive cue (Early Incentive); when incentive signals were presented close to target onset (Late Incentive) the primary effect was a speed-accuracy tradeoff. Together, results suggest that advance cueing may trigger differing control strategies, and that these strategies may critically depend on both the timing – and the motivational incentive – to use such cues. PMID:26322689

  4. The Occupational Transition Process to Upper Secondary School, Further Education and/or Work in Sweden: As Described by Young Adults with Asperger Syndrome and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baric, Vedrana Bolic; Hemmingsson, Helena; Hellberg, Kristina; Kjellberg, Anette

    2017-01-01

    The aim was to describe the occupational transition process to upper secondary school, further education and/or work, and to discover what support influences the process from the perspectives of young adults with Asperger syndrome or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This qualitative study was performed in Sweden and comprised interviews…

  5. An Autistic Endophenotype and Testosterone Are Involved in an Atypical Decline in Selective Attention and Visuospatial Processing in Middle-Aged Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ángel, Romero-Martínez; Luis, Moya-Albiol

    2015-12-15

    Mothers of offspring with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) could present mild forms of their children's cognitive characteristics, resulting from prenatal brain exposure and sensitivity to testosterone (T). Indeed, their cognition is frequently characterized by hyper-systemizing, outperforming in tests that assess cognitive domains such as selective attention, and fine motor and visuospatial skills. In the general population, all these start to decline around the mid-forties. This study aimed to characterize whether middle-aged women who are biological mothers of individuals with ASD had better performance in the aforementioned cognitive skills than mothers of normative children (in both groups n = 22; mean age = 45), using the standardized Stroop and mirror-drawing tests. We also examined the role of T in their performance in the aforementioned tests. ASD mothers outperformed controls in both tests, giving more correct answers and making fewer mistakes. In addition, they presented higher T levels, which have been associated with better cognitive performance. Cognitive decline in specific skills with aging could be delayed in these middle-aged women, corresponding to a cognitive endophenotype, T playing an important role in this process.

  6. Impaired pre-attentive auditory processing in opioid dependence with and without benzodiazepine co-dependence revealed by combined magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kivisaari, Reetta; Lehtinen, Reia; Autti, Taina; Puuskari, Varpu; Jokela, Olga; Ahveninen, Jyrki; Rapeli, Pekka; Kähkönen, Seppo

    2007-10-01

    Cognitive dysfunctions may be a significant factor in drug-seeking behavior, reducing the efficiency of rehabilitation in opioid dependence. Neurophysiological basis of these dysfunctions is poorly understood. 21 opioid-dependent patients and 15 healthy controls with no experience of illicit drugs were studied with simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). Among opioid dependents 15 were benzodiazepine co-dependent. In a passive oddball paradigm, a train of 700-Hz standard tones (80%), presented to the left ear, was occasionally interrupted by infrequent deviants, which were either 600-Hz or 400-Hz pure tones or complex novel sounds. The auditory evoked potentials (AEP) and fields (AEF) were analyzed. The strength of the N1m dipoles was enhanced in patients with benzodiazepine co-dependence, but the latency of the response or the source location was not changed. A delay of mismatch negativity (MMN) response of novel tones in EEG, and delay of P3am response on the contralateral hemisphere to stimulated ear in MEG in opioid-dependent patients were observed. There were no differences in source locations or strengths of the dipoles for P1m, MMNm, and P3am determined using equivalent current dipoles. There were no group differences in EEG amplitude measures. In conclusion, our results suggest delayed pre-attentive auditory processing of novel information in opioid dependence. Benzodiazepine co-dependence modulated N1m response.

  7. An Autistic Endophenotype and Testosterone Are Involved in an Atypical Decline in Selective Attention and Visuospatial Processing in Middle-Aged Women

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romero-Martínez Ángel

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Mothers of offspring with autism spectrum disorders (ASD could present mild forms of their children’s cognitive characteristics, resulting from prenatal brain exposure and sensitivity to testosterone (T. Indeed, their cognition is frequently characterized by hyper-systemizing, outperforming in tests that assess cognitive domains such as selective attention, and fine motor and visuospatial skills. In the general population, all these start to decline around the mid-forties. This study aimed to characterize whether middle-aged women who are biological mothers of individuals with ASD had better performance in the aforementioned cognitive skills than mothers of normative children (in both groups n = 22; mean age = 45, using the standardized Stroop and mirror-drawing tests. We also examined the role of T in their performance in the aforementioned tests. ASD mothers outperformed controls in both tests, giving more correct answers and making fewer mistakes. In addition, they presented higher T levels, which have been associated with better cognitive performance. Cognitive decline in specific skills with aging could be delayed in these middle-aged women, corresponding to a cognitive endophenotype, T playing an important role in this process.

  8. Comparative analysis of methods of training and dietary habits of skilled bodybuilders in the run-general preparatory stage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dzhym V.Y.

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Purpose : comparative analysis of the characteristics of methods of training and nutrition bodybuilders in the run-general of the preparatory phase (duration 4 - 5 months or 20 microcycles. Analyzed the characteristics of different methods of training bodybuilders to increase muscle mass. Material : the study involved 8 skilled bodybuilders, are included in the team of the Kharkiv region. Results : a comparative characteristic of the most commonly used methods of exercise and nutrition in bodybuilding. Discovered and proved the optimal technique for athletes depending on the original form at the beginning of general-preparatory phase of training. Driven changes in body weight, depending on the amount used Athlete of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Conclusions : throughout the training period was characterized by severe protein diet orientation. The proportion of the nutrient was 40% in the first quarter, 50% - in the second, 60% in the third. Only in the last two microcycle decreased to 50%.

  9. Magnitude-frequency characteristics and preparatory factors for spatial debris-slide distribution in the northern Faroe Islands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dahl, Mads-Peter Jakob; Jensen, Niels H.; Veihe, Anita

    2013-01-01

    the magnitude and frequency of their debris-slide origins as well as identifying which preparatory factors are responsible for the spatial debris-slide distribution in the landscape. For that purpose a debris-slide inventory was generated from aerial photo interpretation (API), fieldwork and anecdotal sources......, covering a 159 km(2) study area in the northern Faroe Islands. A magnitude-cumulative frequency (MCF) curve was derived to predict magnitude dependant debris-slide frequencies, while preparatory factors responsible for spatial debris-slide distribution were quantified through GIS-supported discriminant...... function analysis (DFA). Nine factors containing geological (lithology, dip), geomorphological (slope angle, altitude, aspect; plan and profile curvature) and land use (infield/outfield, sheep density) information were included in the multivariate analysis. Debris-slides larger than 100 m(2) with magnitude...

  10. A multiple case study comparison of normal private preparatory school and substance abusing/mood disordered adolescents and their families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, L S; Hedgespeth, J

    1995-01-01

    This multiple case study of ten families of normal private preparatory school adolescents and five families of substance abusing/mood disordered adolescents was an effort to identify factors that may suggest a relationship between the abuse of substances in adolescents who also have mood disorders and the following family factors: parental marital discord, degree of family satisfaction, and family problem-solving styles. The fifteen families completed four assessment instruments and participated in a videotaped problem-solving exercise. The results of this study showed that all members of the substance abusing/mood disordered adolescents' families rated themselves as dysfunctional in all major areas of family life. In contrast, the normal private preparatory school families reported satisfaction with most areas of family functioning. Communication styles also differed considerably between the two small groups of families. These results appear to support the importance of family evaluation and treatment when addressing the issue of adolescent substance abusers with mood disorders.

  11. The Impact of a Modified Cooperative Learning Technique on the Grade Frequencies Observed in a Preparatory Chemistry Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes Russell, Bridget J.

    This dissertation explored the impact of a modified cooperative learning technique on the final grade frequencies observed in a large preparatory chemistry course designed for pre-science majors. Although the use of cooperative learning at all educational levels is well researched and validated in the literature, traditional lectures still dominate as the primary methodology of teaching. This study modified cooperative learning techniques by addressing commonly cited reasons for not using the methodology. Preparatory chemistry students were asked to meet in cooperative groups outside of class time to complete homework assignments. A chi-square goodness-of-fit revealed that the final grade frequency distributions observed were different than expected. Although the distribution was significantly different, the resource investment using this particular design challenged the practical significance of the findings. Further, responses from a survey revealed that the students did not use the suggested group functioning methods that empirically are known to lead to more practically significant results.

  12. Effects of preparatory and action planning instructions on situation-specific and general fruit and snack intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bruijn, Gert-Jan; Nguyen, Minh Hao; Rhodes, Ryan E; van Osch, Liesbeth

    2017-01-01

    Evidence to date suggests heterogeneity in the effects of implementation intentions on health behaviour, including diet. Additional variables and study designs may impact on their effectiveness. Preparatory action, such as making sure fruits are available for consumption, may be an important additional variable. Likewise, most implementation intention research has focused on changes in general intake, yet implementation intention instructions typically require participants to consider behaviour in specific situations. Little is known on how implementation intentions impact situation-specific intake. The present study sought to add to the evidence base by comparing (1) the effects of action planning instructions versus preparatory planning instructions on (2) both situation-specific (as formulated in the implementation intention instruction) and general intake of fruits and in-between meal snack intake frequency. Fruit intake was assessed in average pieces per day, whereas snacking intake was assessed as average frequency in days per week. Using non-probability sampling, 243 undergraduate students who intended to have a healthy diet were randomized to either a standard information control condition, an action planning condition, or a preparatory planning condition. Planning manipulations were based on previous work. Two weeks later, general and situation-specific intake was assessed again in 181 participants. Data were analysed using 2 (time) x 3 (conditions) analyses of variance. Results showed that both planning manipulations were successful in decreasing snack intake frequency in the specified situation, with larger effect sizes for the action planning condition than for the preparatory planning condition. No effects were found on general snack intake frequency or fruit intake. Future planning interventions should more explicitly compare changes in situational and general intake, as well as simultaneously assessed decreases in unhealthy intake and increases in

  13. Remote sensing of phytoplankton functional types in the coastal ocean from the HyspIRI Preparatory Flight Campaign

    OpenAIRE

    Palacios, SL; Kudela, RM; Guild, LS; Negrey, KH; Torres-Perez, J; Broughton, J

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 Elsevier Inc. The 2013-2015 Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) Preparatory Flight Campaign, using the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) and MODIS/ASTER Airborne Simulator (MASTER), seeks to demonstrate appropriate sensor signal, spatial and spectral resolution, and orbital pass geometry for a global mission to reveal ecological and climatic gradients expressed in the selected California, USA study area. One of the awarded projects focused on the flight transe...

  14. Tracking chemistry self-efficacy and achievement in a preparatory chemistry course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Carmen Alicia

    Self-efficacy is a person's own perception about performing a task with a certain level of proficiency (Bandura, 1986). An important affective aspect of learning chemistry is chemistry self-efficacy (CSE). Several researchers have found chemistry self-efficacy to be a fair predictor of achievement in chemistry. This study was done in a college preparatory chemistry class for science majors exploring chemistry self-efficacy and its change as it relates to achievement. A subscale of CAEQ, Chemistry Attitudes and Experiences Questionnaire (developed by Dalgety et al, 2003) as well as student interviews were used to determine student chemistry self-efficacy as it changed during the course. The questionnaire was given to the students five times during the semester: in the first class and the class before each the four tests taken through the semester. Twenty-six students, both men and women, of the four major races/ethnicities were interviewed three times during the semester and events that triggered changes in CSE were followed through the interviews. HLM (hierarchical linear modeling) was used to model the results of the CSE surveys. Among the findings, women who started at significantly lower CSE than men accomplished a significant gain by the end of the semester. Blacks' CSE trends through the semester were found to be significantly different from the rest of the ethnicities.

  15. State university preparatory class EFL instructors' attitudes towards assessment methods used at their institutions and portfolios as a method of alternative assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Oğuz, Şebnem

    2003-01-01

    Cataloged from PDF version of article. The purpose of this study was to investigate preparatory class instructors’ attitudes towards the methods of assessment they are currently using at their institutions, and their knowledge about and attitudes towards portfolios as an alternative method of assessment. The study was conducted with 386 English instructors from the preparatory class programs of 14 Turkish state universities. Data were collected through a fourpart questio...

  16. The neural basis of decision-making and reward processing in adults with euthymic bipolar disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibanez, Agustin; Cetkovich, Marcelo; Petroni, Agustin; Urquina, Hugo; Baez, Sandra; Gonzalez-Gadea, Maria Luz; Kamienkowski, Juan Esteban; Torralva, Teresa; Torrente, Fernando; Strejilevich, Sergio; Teitelbaum, Julia; Hurtado, Esteban; Guex, Raphael; Melloni, Margherita; Lischinsky, Alicia; Sigman, Mariano; Manes, Facundo

    2012-01-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder (BD) share DSM-IV criteria in adults and cause problems in decision-making. Nevertheless, no previous report has assessed a decision-making task that includes the examination of the neural correlates of reward and gambling in adults with ADHD and those with BD. We used the Iowa gambling task (IGT), a task of rational decision-making under risk (RDMUR) and a rapid-decision gambling task (RDGT) which elicits behavioral measures as well as event-related potentials (ERPs: fERN and P3) in connection to the motivational impact of events. We did not observe between-group differences for decision-making under risk or ambiguity (RDMUR and IGT); however, there were significant differences for the ERP-assessed RDGT. Compared to controls, the ADHD group showed a pattern of impaired learning by feedback (fERN) and insensitivity to reward magnitude (P3). This ERP pattern (fERN and P3) was associated with impulsivity, hyperactivity, executive function and working memory. Compared to controls, the BD group showed fERN- and P3-enhanced responses to reward magnitude regardless of valence. This ERP pattern (fERN and P3) was associated with mood and inhibitory control. Consistent with the ERP findings, an analysis of source location revealed reduced responses of the cingulate cortex to the valence and magnitude of rewards in patients with ADHD and BD. Our data suggest that neurophysiological (ERPs) paradigms such as the RDGT are well suited to assess subclinical decision-making processes in patients with ADHD and BD as well as for linking the cingulate cortex with action monitoring systems.

  17. The neural basis of decision-making and reward processing in adults with euthymic bipolar disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agustin Ibanez

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and bipolar disorder (BD share DSM-IV criteria in adults and cause problems in decision-making. Nevertheless, no previous report has assessed a decision-making task that includes the examination of the neural correlates of reward and gambling in adults with ADHD and those with BD. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used the Iowa gambling task (IGT, a task of rational decision-making under risk (RDMUR and a rapid-decision gambling task (RDGT which elicits behavioral measures as well as event-related potentials (ERPs: fERN and P3 in connection to the motivational impact of events. We did not observe between-group differences for decision-making under risk or ambiguity (RDMUR and IGT; however, there were significant differences for the ERP-assessed RDGT. Compared to controls, the ADHD group showed a pattern of impaired learning by feedback (fERN and insensitivity to reward magnitude (P3. This ERP pattern (fERN and P3 was associated with impulsivity, hyperactivity, executive function and working memory. Compared to controls, the BD group showed fERN- and P3-enhanced responses to reward magnitude regardless of valence. This ERP pattern (fERN and P3 was associated with mood and inhibitory control. Consistent with the ERP findings, an analysis of source location revealed reduced responses of the cingulate cortex to the valence and magnitude of rewards in patients with ADHD and BD. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data suggest that neurophysiological (ERPs paradigms such as the RDGT are well suited to assess subclinical decision-making processes in patients with ADHD and BD as well as for linking the cingulate cortex with action monitoring systems.

  18. The Neural Basis of Decision-Making and Reward Processing in Adults with Euthymic Bipolar Disorder or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibanez, Agustin; Cetkovich, Marcelo; Petroni, Agustin; Urquina, Hugo; Baez, Sandra; Gonzalez-Gadea, Maria Luz; Kamienkowski, Juan Esteban; Torralva, Teresa; Torrente, Fernando; Strejilevich, Sergio; Teitelbaum, Julia; Hurtado, Esteban; Guex, Raphael; Melloni, Margherita; Lischinsky, Alicia; Sigman, Mariano; Manes, Facundo

    2012-01-01

    Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder (BD) share DSM-IV criteria in adults and cause problems in decision-making. Nevertheless, no previous report has assessed a decision-making task that includes the examination of the neural correlates of reward and gambling in adults with ADHD and those with BD. Methodology/Principal Findings We used the Iowa gambling task (IGT), a task of rational decision-making under risk (RDMUR) and a rapid-decision gambling task (RDGT) which elicits behavioral measures as well as event-related potentials (ERPs: fERN and P3) in connection to the motivational impact of events. We did not observe between-group differences for decision-making under risk or ambiguity (RDMUR and IGT); however, there were significant differences for the ERP-assessed RDGT. Compared to controls, the ADHD group showed a pattern of impaired learning by feedback (fERN) and insensitivity to reward magnitude (P3). This ERP pattern (fERN and P3) was associated with impulsivity, hyperactivity, executive function and working memory. Compared to controls, the BD group showed fERN- and P3-enhanced responses to reward magnitude regardless of valence. This ERP pattern (fERN and P3) was associated with mood and inhibitory control. Consistent with the ERP findings, an analysis of source location revealed reduced responses of the cingulate cortex to the valence and magnitude of rewards in patients with ADHD and BD. Conclusions/Significance Our data suggest that neurophysiological (ERPs) paradigms such as the RDGT are well suited to assess subclinical decision-making processes in patients with ADHD and BD as well as for linking the cingulate cortex with action monitoring systems. PMID:22624011

  19. Bilingualism and Enhanced Attention in Early Adulthood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stafford, Catherine A.

    2011-01-01

    This exploratory study investigated executive attention during nonverbal and verbal processing among adults with a range of bilingual experience. Previous research has found that bilingual children control their attention better than their monolingual peers and that superior attentional control in some processing contexts persists into adulthood…

  20. Preparatory Body State before Reacting to an Opponent: Short-Term Joint Torque Fluctuation in Real-Time Competitive Sports.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keisuke Fujii

    Full Text Available In a competitive sport, the outcome of a game is determined by an athlete's relationship with an unpredictable and uncontrolled opponent. We have previously analyzed the preparatory state of ground reaction forces (GRFs dividing non-weighted and weighted states (i.e., vertical GRFs below and above 120% of body weight, respectively in a competitive ballgame task and demonstrated that the non-weighted state prevented delay of the defensive step and promoted successful guarding. However, the associated kinetics of lower extremity joints during a competitive sports task remains unknown. The present study aims to investigate the kinetic characteristics of a real-time competitive sport before movement initiation. As a first kinetic study on a competitive sport, we initially compared the successful defensive kinetics with a relatively stable preparatory state and the choice-reaction sidestep as a control movement. Then, we investigated the kinetic cause of the outcome in a 1-on-1 dribble in terms of the preparatory states according to our previous study. The results demonstrated that in successful defensive motions in the non-weighted state guarding trial, the times required for the generation of hip abduction and three extension torques for the hip, knee, and ankle joints were significantly shortened compared with the choice-reaction sidestep, and hip abduction and hip extension torques were produced almost simultaneously. The sport-specific movement kinetics emerges only in a more-realistic interactive experimental setting. A comparison of the outcomes in the 1-on-1 dribble and preparatory GRF states showed that, in the non-weighted state, the defenders guarded successfully in 68.0% of the trials, and the defender's initiation time was earlier than that in the weighted state (39.1%. In terms of kinetics, the root mean squares of the derivative of hip abduction and three extension torques in the non-weighted state were smaller than those in the

  1. Attentional networks in developmental dyscalculia

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    Henik Avishai

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Very little is known about attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia, hence, this study was designed to provide the missing information. We examined attention abilities of participants suffering from developmental dyscalculia using the attention networks test - interactions. This test was designed to examine three different attention networks--executive function, orienting and alerting--and the interactions between them. Methods Fourteen university students that were diagnosed as suffering from developmental dyscalculia--intelligence and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder--and 14 matched controls were tested using the attention networks test - interactions. All participants were given preliminary tests to measure mathematical abilities, reading, attention and intelligence. Results The results revealed deficits in the alerting network--a larger alerting effect--and in the executive function networks--a larger congruity effect in developmental dyscalculia participants. The interaction between the alerting and executive function networks was also modulated by group. In addition, developmental dyscalculia participants were slower to respond in the non-cued conditions. Conclusions These results imply specific attentional deficits in pure developmental dyscalculia. Namely, those with developmental dyscalculia seem to be deficient in the executive function and alertness networks. They suffer from difficulty in recruiting attention, in addition to the deficits in numerical processing.

  2. Early processing variations in selective attention to the color and direction of moving stimuli during 30 days head-down bed rest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lin-Jie; He, Si-Yang; Niu, Dong-Bin; Guo, Jian-Ping; Xu, Yun-Long; Wang, De-Sheng; Cao, Yi; Zhao, Qi; Tan, Cheng; Li, Zhi-Li; Tang, Guo-Hua; Li, Yin-Hui; Bai, Yan-Qiang

    2013-11-01

    Dynamic variations in early selective attention to the color and direction of moving stimuli were explored during a 30 days period of head-down bed rest. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded at F5, F6, P5, P6 scalp locations in seven male subjects who attended to pairs of bicolored light emitting diodes that flashed sequentially to produce a perception of movement. Subjects were required to attend selectively to a critical feature of the moving target, e.g., color or direction. The tasks included: a no response task, a color selective response task, a moving direction selective response task, and a combined color-direction selective response task. Subjects were asked to perform these four tasks on: the 3rd day before bed rest; the 3rd, 15th and 30th day during the bed rest; and the 5th day after bed rest. Subjects responded quickly to the color than moving direction and combined color-direction response. And they had a longer reaction time during bed rest on the 15th and 30th day during bed rest after a relatively quicker response on the 3rd day. Using brain event-related potentials technique, we found that in the color selective response task, the mean amplitudes of P1 and N1 for target ERPs decreased in the 3rd day during bed rest and 5th day after bed rest in comparison with pre-bed rest, 15th day and 30th day during bed rest. In the combined color-direction selective response task, the P1 latencies for target ERPs on the 3rd and 30th day during bed rest were longer than on the 15th day during bed rest. As 3rd day during bed rest was in the acute adaptation period and 30th day during bed rest was in the relatively adaptation stage of head-down bed rest, the results help to clarify the effects of bed rest on different task loads and patterns of attention. It was suggested that subjects expended more time to give correct decision in the head-down tilt bed rest state. A difficulty in the recruitment of brain resources was found in feature selection task

  3. Rewards teach visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelazzi, Leonardo; Perlato, Andrea; Santandrea, Elisa; Della Libera, Chiara

    2013-06-07

    Visual selective attention is the brain function that modulates ongoing processing of retinal input in order for selected representations to gain privileged access to perceptual awareness and guide behavior. Enhanced analysis of currently relevant or otherwise salient information is often accompanied by suppressed processing of the less relevant or salient input. Recent findings indicate that rewards exert a powerful influence on the deployment of visual selective attention. Such influence takes different forms depending on the specific protocol adopted in the given study. In some cases, the prospect of earning a larger reward in relation to a specific stimulus or location biases attention accordingly in order to maximize overall gain. This is mediated by an effect of reward acting as a type of incentive motivation for the strategic control of attention. In contrast, reward delivery can directly alter the processing of specific stimuli by increasing their attentional priority, and this can be measured even when rewards are no longer involved, reflecting a form of reward-mediated attentional learning. As a further development, recent work demonstrates that rewards can affect attentional learning in dissociable ways depending on whether rewards are perceived as feedback on performance or instead are registered as random-like events occurring during task performance. Specifically, it appears that visual selective attention is shaped by two distinct reward-related learning mechanisms: one requiring active monitoring of performance and outcome, and a second one detecting the sheer association between objects in the environment (whether attended or ignored) and the more-or-less rewarding events that accompany them. Overall this emerging literature demonstrates unequivocally that rewards "teach" visual selective attention so that processing resources will be allocated to objects, features and locations which are likely to optimize the organism's interaction with the

  4. Histological staining methods preparatory to laser capture microdissection significantly affect the integrity of the cellular RNA

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    Li Ming-Chung

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene expression profiling by microarray analysis of cells enriched by laser capture microdissection (LCM faces several technical challenges. Frozen sections yield higher quality RNA than paraffin-imbedded sections, but even with frozen sections, the staining methods used for histological identification of cells of interest could still damage the mRNA in the cells. To study the contribution of staining methods to degradation of results from gene expression profiling of LCM samples, we subjected pellets of the mouse plasma cell tumor cell line TEPC 1165 to direct RNA extraction and to parallel frozen sectioning for LCM and subsequent RNA extraction. We used microarray hybridization analysis to compare gene expression profiles of RNA from cell pellets with gene expression profiles of RNA from frozen sections that had been stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E, Nissl Stain (NS, and for immunofluorescence (IF as well as with the plasma cell-revealing methyl green pyronin (MGP stain. All RNAs were amplified with two rounds of T7-based in vitro transcription and analyzed by two-color expression analysis on 10-K cDNA microarrays. Results The MGP-stained samples showed the least introduction of mRNA loss, followed by H&E and immunofluorescence. Nissl staining was significantly more detrimental to gene expression profiles, presumably owing to an aqueous step in which RNA may have been damaged by endogenous or exogenous RNAases. Conclusion RNA damage can occur during the staining steps preparatory to laser capture microdissection, with the consequence of loss of representation of certain genes in microarray hybridization analysis. Inclusion of RNAase inhibitor in aqueous staining solutions appears to be important in protecting RNA from loss of gene transcripts.

  5. Combining segmentation and attention: a new foveal attention model

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    Rebeca eMarfil

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Artificial vision systems cannot process all the information that they receive from the world in real time because it is highly expensive and inefficient in terms of computational cost. Inspired by biological perception systems, articial attention models pursuit to select only the relevant part of the scene. Besides, it is well established that the units of attention on human vision are not merely spatial but closely related to perceptual objects (proto-objects. This implies a strong bidirectional relationship between segmentation and attention processes. Therefore, while the segmentation process is the responsible to extract the proto-objects from the scene, attention can guide segmentation, arising the concept of foveal attention. When the focus of attention is deployed from one visual unit to another, the rest of the scene is perceived but at a lower resolution that the focused object. The result is a multi-resolution visual perception in which the fovea, a dimple on the central retina, provides the highest resolution vision. In this paper, a bottom-up foveal attention model is presented. In this model the input image is a foveal image represented using a Cartesian Foveal Geometry (CFG, which encodes the field of view of the sensor as a fovea (placed in the focus of attention surrounded by a set of concentric rings with decreasing resolution. Then multirresolution perceptual segmentation is performed by building a foveal polygon using the Bounded Irregular Pyramid (BIP. Bottom-up attention is enclosed in the same structure, allowing to set the fovea over the most salient image proto-object. Saliency is computed as a linear combination of multiple low level features such us colour and intensity contrast, symmetry, orientation and roundness. Obtained results from natural images show that the performance of the combination of hierarchical foveal segmentation and saliency estimation is good in terms of accuracy and speed.

  6. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Andreas eKeller

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eKeller

    2011-12-01

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

  8. Visuospatial selective attention in chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sridharan, Devarajan; Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Schwarz, Jason S; Knudsen, Eric I

    2014-05-13

    Voluntary control of attention promotes intelligent, adaptive behaviors by enabling the selective processing of information that is most relevant for making decisions. Despite extensive research on attention in primates, the capacity for selective attention in nonprimate species has never been quantified. Here we demonstrate selective attention in chickens by applying protocols that have been used to characterize visual spatial attention in primates. Chickens were trained to localize and report the vertical position of a target in the presence of task-relevant distracters. A spatial cue, the location of which varied across individual trials, indicated the horizontal, but not vertical, position of the upcoming target. Spatial cueing improved localization performance: accuracy (d') increased and reaction times decreased in a space-specific manner. Distracters severely impaired perceptual performance, and this impairment was greatly reduced by spatial cueing. Signal detection analysis with an "indecision" model demonstrated that spatial cueing significantly increased choice certainty in localizing targets. By contrast, error-aversion certainty (certainty of not making an error) remained essentially constant across cueing protocols, target contrasts, and individuals. The results show that chickens shift spatial attention rapidly and dynamically, following principles of stimulus selection that closely parallel those documented in primates. The findings suggest that the mechanisms that control attention have been conserved through evolution, and establish chickens--a highly visual species that is easily trained and amenable to cutting-edge experimental technologies--as an attractive model for linking behavior to neural mechanisms of selective attention.

  9. Pre- and Peri-Natal Environmental Risks for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): The Potential Role of Epigenetic Processes in Mediating Susceptibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mill, Jonathan; Petronis, Arturas

    2008-01-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood neurobehavioural disorder defined by symptoms of developmentally inappropriate inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. As is the norm for most psychiatric phenotypes, traditional aetiological studies have focused primarily on the interplay between genetic and environmental…

  10. "SLC2A3" Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism and Duplication Influence Cognitive Processing and Population-Specific Risk for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merker, Sören; Reif, Andreas; Ziegler, Georg C.; Weber, Heike; Mayer, Ute; Ehlis, Ann-Christine; Conzelmann, Annette; Johansson, Stefan; Müller-Reible, Clemens; Nanda, Indrajit; Haaf, Thomas; Ullmann, Reinhard; Romanos, Marcel; Fallgatter, Andreas J.; Pauli, Paul; Strekalova, Tatyana; Jansch, Charline; Vasquez, Alejandro Arias; Haavik, Jan; Ribasés, Marta; Ramos-Quiroga, Josep Antoni; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Franke, Barbara; Lesch, Klaus-Peter

    2017-01-01

    Background: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder with profound cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial impairments with persistence across the life cycle. Our initial genome-wide screening approach for copy number variants (CNVs) in ADHD implicated a duplication of…

  11. Early vision and visual attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gvozdenović Vasilije P.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available The question whether visual perception is spontaneous, sudden or is running through several phases, mediated by higher cognitive processes, was raised ever since the early work of Gestalt psychologists. In the early 1980s, Treisman proposed the feature integration theory of attention (FIT, based on the findings of neuroscience. Soon after publishing her theory a new scientific approach appeared investigating several visual perception phenomena. The most widely researched were the key constructs of FIT, like types of visual search and the role of the attention. The following review describes the main studies of early vision and visual attention.

  12. 浅谈预科生学风建设%Discussion about the construction of the study style of the preparatory students

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王俊垒

    2014-01-01

    The style of study is in a certain view of life,view of learning and the pursuit of the goal of domination,in learning attitude, learning objective,learning discipline,learning methods and will quality and other aspects of the comprehensive performance. The style of study is the concentrated reflection of the class,is the fundamental construction of class collective,a good class should have a strong learn-ing atmosphere,a strong sense of competition and cooperation,autonomous,inquiry learning thinking. Foundation for the future lay the foundation for the study of the University,pays special attention to the construction of style of study of preparatory college students,is the focus of our work.%学风是指我们在一定的人生观、学习观和追求目标的支配下,在学习态度、学习目的、学习纪律、学习方法和意志品质等方面的综合表现。学风是班风的集中反映,是班集体建设的根本,一个良好的班集体应具有浓厚的学习氛围、强烈的竞争意识以及合作、自主、探究的学习思维。预科是为将来的大学学习打基础的,抓好预科生的学风建设,是我们辅导员工作的重心。

  13. Effects of preparatory period on anticipatory postural control and contingent negative variation associated with rapid arm movement in standing posture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maeda, Kaoru; Fujiwara, Katsuo

    2007-01-01

    We investigated CNS motor preparation state and anticipatory postural muscle activation while subjects performed bilateral rapid arm movement at various intervals between warning and response stimulus (preparatory period) during standing. Motor preparation state was evaluated by integrated values of the late components of the contingent negative variation (late CNV), obtained by averaging electroencephalograms during the last 100ms of the preparatory period. For quantifying anticipatory postural muscle activation, we measured the onset of burst activity in postural muscles (lumbar paraspinal, biceps femoris, and gastrocnemius) with respect to anterior deltoid activity and integrated values of preceding activation. Subjects performed the arm movement with minimal delay in the warning stimulus-response stimulus-motor response paradigm under preparatory periods of 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5s. Late CNV did not differ between the 2.0-s and 3.0-s period, but was significantly smaller in the 3.5-s period than in the 2.0-s period, suggesting difficulty in predicting response timing in the 3.5-s period. No change was found on integrated values of preceding activations of postural muscles. Burst onset of all postural muscles significantly preceded anterior deltoid activation in all periods. Burst activity for gastrocnemius only occurred earlier in the 3.5-s period than in the 2.0-s and 3.0-s periods. Weak correlations were observed between late CNV and onset time of gastrocnemius activity. It is suggested that earlier activation of gastrocnemius is a strategy adopted when response stimulus timing is relatively difficult to predict.

  14. The NPOESS Preparatory Project Science Data Segment (SDS) Data Depository and Distribution Element (SD3E) System Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Evelyn L.; Schweiss, Robert J.

    2008-01-01

    The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) Science Data Segment (SDS) will make daily data requests for approximately six terabytes of NPP science products for each of its six environmental assessment elements from the operational data providers. As a result, issues associated with duplicate data requests, data transfers of large volumes of diverse products, and data transfer failures raised concerns with respect to the network traffic and bandwidth consumption. The NPP SDS Data Depository and Distribution Element (SD3E) was developed to provide a mechanism for efficient data exchange, alleviate duplicate network traffic, and reduce operational costs.

  15. Culture, attention, and emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  16. Exogenous spatial attention decreases audiovisual integration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    Multisensory integration (MSI) and spatial attention are both mechanisms through which the processing of sensory information can be facilitated. Studies on the interaction between spatial attention and MSI have mainly focused on the interaction between endogenous spatial attention and MSI. Most of t

  17. Motivational and emotional processes in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and the influence of methylphenidate treatment during childhood- three functional magnetic resonance studies

    OpenAIRE

    Stoy, Meline

    2012-01-01

    In the last decade, there has been growing interest in dysfunctions of the reward system and deficits in emotion regulation in the research on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). On the neuronal level, dysfunctions in the mesolimbic reward system have been discussed, as they might be responsible for the diminished responsiveness to behavioral reinforcers. These deficits could also explain ADHD symptoms as compensatory behavior, as well as the increased risk of substance use disor...

  18. The influence of application of complexes of power exercises on indicators of special force of muscles of a shoulder-girdle of sportsmen of the Paralympic national team of Ukraine on cross-country skiing and biathlon during the preparatory period

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V’yacheslav Mulik

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: the analysis of dynamics of power indicators of Paralympic sportsmen in the preparatory period of a year macrocycle when using complexes of power exercises in the training process which are aimed at the development of muscles of a shoulder-girdle. Material and Methods: members of the national Paralympic team of Ukraine on cross-country skiing and biathlon of two nosology (musculoskeletal device and visual impairment in number of 12 sportsmen (6 men, 6 women took part in the research. The age of sportsmen is 17–29 years old, the sports qualification is CMS (2, MS (4, MSIC (3, and MMS (3. Results: the technique of application of complexes of power exercises of high-speed and power character for muscles of a shoulder-girdle depending on stages of the preparatory period is developed and proved. The results of testing testify to the positive dynamics of indicators, especially at the end of the preparatory period. Conclusions: authors offer the technique of power training of Paralympic sportsmen on the basis of the conducted research, which is based on the use of complexes of special power exercises.

  19. Prefrontal control of attention to threat

    OpenAIRE

    Polly V Peers; Simons, Jon S; Andrew David Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    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 threa...

  20. Is empathy necessary to comprehend the emotional faces? The empathic effect on attentional mechanisms (eye movements), cortical correlates (N200 event-related potentials) and facial behaviour (electromyography) in face processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balconi, Michela; Canavesio, Ylenia

    2016-01-01

    The present research explored the effect of social empathy on processing emotional facial expressions. Previous evidence suggested a close relationship between emotional empathy and both the ability to detect facial emotions and the attentional mechanisms involved. A multi-measure approach was adopted: we investigated the association between trait empathy (Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale) and individuals' performance (response times; RTs), attentional mechanisms (eye movements; number and duration of fixations), correlates of cortical activation (event-related potential (ERP) N200 component), and facial responsiveness (facial zygomatic and corrugator activity). Trait empathy was found to affect face detection performance (reduced RTs), attentional processes (more scanning eye movements in specific areas of interest), ERP salience effect (increased N200 amplitude), and electromyographic activity (more facial responses). A second important result was the demonstration of strong, direct correlations among these measures. We suggest that empathy may function as a social facilitator of the processes underlying the detection of facial emotion, and a general "facial response effect" is proposed to explain these results. We assumed that empathy influences cognitive and the facial responsiveness, such that empathic individuals are more skilful in processing facial emotion.