WorldWideScience

Sample records for selective attention skills

  1. Behavior Problems in Relation to Sustained Selective Attention Skills of Moderately Preterm Children

    OpenAIRE

    Bul, Kim C. M.; van Baar, Anneloes L.

    2011-01-01

    Attention skills may form an important developmental mechanism. A mediation model was examined in which behavioral problems of moderately preterm and term children at school age are explained by attention performance. Parents and teachers completed behavioral assessments of 348 moderately preterm children and 182 term children at 8 years of age. Children were administered a test of sustained selective attention. Preterm birth was associated with more behavioral and attention difficulties. Ges...

  2. Behavior Problems in Relation to Sustained Selective Attention Skills of Moderately Preterm Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bul, Kim C M; van Baar, Anneloes L

    2012-04-01

    Attention skills may form an important developmental mechanism. A mediation model was examined in which behavioral problems of moderately preterm and term children at school age are explained by attention performance. Parents and teachers completed behavioral assessments of 348 moderately preterm children and 182 term children at 8 years of age. Children were administered a test of sustained selective attention. Preterm birth was associated with more behavioral and attention difficulties. Gestational age, prenatal maternal smoking, and gender were associated with mothers', fathers', and teachers' reports of children's problem behavior. Sustained selective attention partially mediated the relationship between birth status and problem behavior. Development of attention skills should be an important focus for future research in moderately preterm children.

  3. Development of Selective Auditory Attention Skills in Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherry, Rochelle Silberzweig

    1981-01-01

    Fifty-three children (ages 5-9) were individually tested on their ability to select pictures of monosyllabic words presented diotically via headphones. Tasks were presented in quiet and under three noise (distractor) conditions: white noise, speech backwards, and speech forward. Age and type of distractor significantly influenced test scores.…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. Selective attention to the mouth is associated with expressive language skills in monolingual and bilingual infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, Tawny; Atagi, Natsuki; Johnson, Scott P

    2018-05-01

    Infants increasingly attend to the mouths of others during the latter half of the first postnatal year, and individual differences in selective attention to talking mouths during infancy predict verbal skills during toddlerhood. There is some evidence suggesting that trajectories in mouth-looking vary by early language environment, in particular monolingual or bilingual language exposure, which may have differential consequences in developing sensitivity to the communicative and social affordances of the face. Here, we evaluated whether 6- to 12-month-olds' mouth-looking is related to skills associated with concurrent social communicative development-including early language functioning and emotion discriminability. We found that attention to the mouth of a talking face increased with age but that mouth-looking was more strongly associated with concurrent expressive language skills than chronological age for both monolingual and bilingual infants. Mouth-looking was not related to emotion discrimination. These data suggest that selective attention to a talking mouth may be one important mechanism by which infants learn language regardless of home language environment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Mindful movement and skilled attention

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Mindful Movement and Skilled Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dav eClark

    2015-06-01

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

  8. A protocol for a three-arm cluster randomized controlled superiority trial investigating the effects of two pedagogical methodologies in Swedish preschool settings on language and communication, executive functions, auditive selective attention, socioemotional skills and early maths skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerholm, Tove; Hörberg, Thomas; Tonér, Signe; Kallioinen, Petter; Frankenberg, Sofia; Kjällander, Susanne; Palmer, Anna; Taguchi, Hillevi Lenz

    2018-06-19

    During the preschool years, children develop abilities and skills in areas crucial for later success in life. These abilities include language, executive functions, attention, and socioemotional skills. The pedagogical methods used in preschools hold the potential to enhance these abilities, but our knowledge of which pedagogical practices aid which abilities, and for which children, is limited. The aim of this paper is to describe an intervention study designed to evaluate and compare two pedagogical methodologies in terms of their effect on the above-mentioned skills in Swedish preschool children. The study is a randomized control trial (RCT) where two pedagogical methodologies were tested to evaluate how they enhanced children's language, executive functions and attention, socioemotional skills, and early maths skills during an intensive 6-week intervention. Eighteen preschools including 28 units and 432 children were enrolled in a municipality close to Stockholm, Sweden. The children were between 4;0 and 6;0 years old and each preschool unit was randomly assigned to either of the interventions or to the control group. Background information on all children was collected via questionnaires completed by parents and preschools. Pre- and post-intervention testing consisted of a test battery including tests on language, executive functions, selective auditive attention, socioemotional skills and early maths skills. The interventions consisted of 6 weeks of intensive practice of either a socioemotional and material learning paradigm (SEMLA), for which group-based activities and interactional structures were the main focus, or an individual, digitally implemented attention and math training paradigm, which also included a set of self-regulation practices (DIL). All preschools were evaluated with the ECERS-3. If this intervention study shows evidence of a difference between group-based learning paradigms and individual training of specific skills in terms of

  9. Selective attention without a neocortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauzlis, Richard J; Bogadhi, Amarender R; Herman, James P; Bollimunta, Anil

    2018-05-01

    Selective attention refers to the ability to restrict neural processing and behavioral responses to a relevant subset of available stimuli, while simultaneously excluding other valid stimuli from consideration. In primates and other mammals, descriptions of this ability typically emphasize the neural processing that takes place in the cerebral neocortex. However, non-mammals such as birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, which completely lack a neocortex, also have the ability to selectively attend. In this article, we survey the behavioral evidence for selective attention in non-mammals, and review the midbrain and forebrain structures that are responsible. The ancestral forms of selective attention are presumably selective orienting behaviors, such as prey-catching and predator avoidance. These behaviors depend critically on a set of subcortical structures, including the optic tectum (OT), thalamus and striatum, that are highly conserved across vertebrate evolution. In contrast, the contributions of different pallial regions in the forebrain to selective attention have been subject to more substantial changes and reorganization. This evolutionary perspective makes plain that selective attention is not a function achieved de novo with the emergence of the neocortex, but instead is implemented by circuits accrued and modified over hundreds of millions of years, beginning well before the forebrain contained a neocortex. Determining how older subcortical circuits interact with the more recently evolved components in the neocortex will likely be crucial for understanding the complex properties of selective attention in primates and other mammals, and for identifying the etiology of attention disorders. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. Selective attention within the foveola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poletti, Martina; Rucci, Michele; Carrasco, Marisa

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Selective attention in normal and impaired hearing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G; Best, Virginia

    2008-12-01

    A common complaint among listeners with hearing loss (HL) is that they have difficulty communicating in common social settings. This article reviews how normal-hearing listeners cope in such settings, especially how they focus attention on a source of interest. Results of experiments with normal-hearing listeners suggest that the ability to selectively attend depends on the ability to analyze the acoustic scene and to form perceptual auditory objects properly. Unfortunately, sound features important for auditory object formation may not be robustly encoded in the auditory periphery of HL listeners. In turn, impaired auditory object formation may interfere with the ability to filter out competing sound sources. Peripheral degradations are also likely to reduce the salience of higher-order auditory cues such as location, pitch, and timbre, which enable normal-hearing listeners to select a desired sound source out of a sound mixture. Degraded peripheral processing is also likely to increase the time required to form auditory objects and focus selective attention so that listeners with HL lose the ability to switch attention rapidly (a skill that is particularly important when trying to participate in a lively conversation). Finally, peripheral deficits may interfere with strategies that normal-hearing listeners employ in complex acoustic settings, including the use of memory to fill in bits of the conversation that are missed. Thus, peripheral hearing deficits are likely to cause a number of interrelated problems that challenge the ability of HL listeners to communicate in social settings requiring selective attention.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.

    2010-01-01

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

  15. The role of selective attention on academic foundations: A cognitive neuroscience perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Stevens, Courtney; Bavelier, Daphné

    2012-01-01

    To the extent that selective attention skills are relevant for academic foundations and amenable to training, they represent an important focus for the field of education. Here, drawing on research on the neurobiology of attention, we review hypothesized links between selective attention and processing across three domains important to early academic skills. First, we provide a brief review of the neural bases of selective attention, emphasizing the effects of selective attention on neural pr...

  16. Modality-specificity of Selective Attention Networks

    OpenAIRE

    Stewart, Hannah J.; Amitay, Sygal

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To establish the modality specificity and generality of selective attention networks. Method: Forty-eight young adults completed a battery of four auditory and visual selective attention tests based upon the Attention Network framework: the visual and auditory Attention Network Tests (vANT, aANT), the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA), and the Test of Attention in Listening (TAiL). These provided independent measures for auditory and visual alerting, orienting, and conflict resoluti...

  17. Perceptual Load Influences Selective Attention across Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couperus, Jane W.

    2011-01-01

    Research suggests that visual selective attention develops across childhood. However, there is relatively little understanding of the neurological changes that accompany this development, particularly in the context of adult theories of selective attention, such as N. Lavie's (1995) perceptual load theory of attention. This study examined visual…

  18. The attention habit: how reward learning shapes attentional selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Brian A

    2016-04-01

    There is growing consensus that reward plays an important role in the control of attention. Until recently, reward was thought to influence attention indirectly by modulating task-specific motivation and its effects on voluntary control over selection. Such an account was consistent with the goal-directed (endogenous) versus stimulus-driven (exogenous) framework that had long dominated the field of attention research. Now, a different perspective is emerging. Demonstrations that previously reward-associated stimuli can automatically capture attention even when physically inconspicuous and task-irrelevant challenge previously held assumptions about attentional control. The idea that attentional selection can be value driven, reflecting a distinct and previously unrecognized control mechanism, has gained traction. Since these early demonstrations, the influence of reward learning on attention has rapidly become an area of intense investigation, sparking many new insights. The result is an emerging picture of how the reward system of the brain automatically biases information processing. Here, I review the progress that has been made in this area, synthesizing a wealth of recent evidence to provide an integrated, up-to-date account of value-driven attention and some of its broader implications. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.

  19. Interactions between working memory and selective attention

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Event-related potential (ERP) was used to examine the interactions between working memory and selective attention. We combined two unrelated tasks, one requiring working memory and the other selective attention, which were performed by some undergraduates. The ERP results revealed that both congruent and incongruent stimuli in the selective attention task evoked an N400 component, reaching the peak point at around 500 ms. The N400 evoked by incongruent stimuli was more negative than that of congruent, which indicated the difference of semantic N400. Furthermore, working memory load had a significant influence on the N400 evoked by selective attention task in parietal region. And working memory load showed difference in the ERPs of working memory retrieval in central and parietal regions. The ERPs of probe under high working memory load were more positive from 350 to 550 ms post-stimulus; however, stimulus type of selective attention had no influence on working memory retrieval. The present study shows that working memory does not play a major role in the selective attention, especially in ignoring distracter, but it influences the performance of the selective attention as the background. The congruency of target and distracter in the selective attention task does not influence the working memory retrieval.

  20. Modality-specificity of Selective Attention Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Hannah J; Amitay, Sygal

    2015-01-01

    To establish the modality specificity and generality of selective attention networks. Forty-eight young adults completed a battery of four auditory and visual selective attention tests based upon the Attention Network framework: the visual and auditory Attention Network Tests (vANT, aANT), the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA), and the Test of Attention in Listening (TAiL). These provided independent measures for auditory and visual alerting, orienting, and conflict resolution networks. The measures were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis to assess underlying attention constructs. The analysis yielded a four-component solution. The first component comprised of a range of measures from the TEA and was labeled "general attention." The third component was labeled "auditory attention," as it only contained measures from the TAiL using pitch as the attended stimulus feature. The second and fourth components were labeled as "spatial orienting" and "spatial conflict," respectively-they were comprised of orienting and conflict resolution measures from the vANT, aANT, and TAiL attend-location task-all tasks based upon spatial judgments (e.g., the direction of a target arrow or sound location). These results do not support our a-priori hypothesis that attention networks are either modality specific or supramodal. Auditory attention separated into selectively attending to spatial and non-spatial features, with the auditory spatial attention loading onto the same factor as visual spatial attention, suggesting spatial attention is supramodal. However, since our study did not include a non-spatial measure of visual attention, further research will be required to ascertain whether non-spatial attention is modality-specific.

  1. Repetition priming in selective attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ásgeirsson, Árni Gunnar; Kristjánsson, Árni; Bundesen, Claus

    2015-01-01

    . Repeating target colors enhanced performance for all 12 observers. As predicted, this was only true under conditions that required selection of a target among distractors, but not when a target was presented alone. Model fits by TVA were obtained with a trial-by-trial maximum likelihood estimation procedure...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  3. Selective Impairment of Auditory Selective Attention under Concurrent Cognitive Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittrich, Kerstin; Stahl, Christoph

    2012-01-01

    Load theory predicts that concurrent cognitive load impairs selective attention. For visual stimuli, it has been shown that this impairment can be selective: Distraction was specifically increased when the stimulus material used in the cognitive load task matches that of the selective attention task. Here, we report four experiments that…

  4. Modality-specificity of selective attention networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah Jamieson Stewart

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To establish the modality specificity and generality of selective attention networks. Method: Forty-eight young adults completed a battery of four auditory and visual selective attention tests based upon the Attention Network framework: the visual and auditory Attention Network Tests (vANT, aANT, the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA, and the Test of Attention in Listening (TAiL. These provided independent measures for auditory and visual alerting, orienting, and conflict resolution networks. The measures were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis to assess underlying attention constructs. Results: The analysis yielded a four-component solution. The first component comprised of a range of measures from the TEA and was labeled ‘general attention’. The third component was labeled ‘auditory attention’, as it only contained measures from the TAiL using pitch as the attended stimulus feature. The second and fourth components were labeled as ‘spatial orienting’ and ‘spatial conflict’, respectively – they were comprised of orienting and conflict resolution measures from the vANT, aANT and TAiL attend-location task – all tasks based upon spatial judgments (e.g., the direction of a target arrow or sound location. Conclusions: These results do not support our a-priori hypothesis that attention networks are either modality specific or supramodal. Auditory attention separated into selectively attending to spatial and non-spatial features, with the auditory spatial attention loading onto the same factor as visual spatial attention, suggesting spatial attention is supramodal. However, since our study did not include a non-spatial measure of visual attention, further research will be required to ascertain whether non-spatial attention is modality-specific.

  5. Feature-selective attention in healthy old age: a selective decline in selective attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quigley, Cliodhna; Müller, Matthias M

    2014-02-12

    Deficient selection against irrelevant information has been proposed to underlie age-related cognitive decline. We recently reported evidence for maintained early sensory selection when older and younger adults used spatial selective attention to perform a challenging task. Here we explored age-related differences when spatial selection is not possible and feature-selective attention must be deployed. We additionally compared the integrity of feedforward processing by exploiting the well established phenomenon of suppression of visual cortical responses attributable to interstimulus competition. Electroencephalogram was measured while older and younger human adults responded to brief occurrences of coherent motion in an attended stimulus composed of randomly moving, orientation-defined, flickering bars. Attention was directed to horizontal or vertical bars by a pretrial cue, after which two orthogonally oriented, overlapping stimuli or a single stimulus were presented. Horizontal and vertical bars flickered at different frequencies and thereby elicited separable steady-state visual-evoked potentials, which were used to examine the effect of feature-based selection and the competitive influence of a second stimulus on ongoing visual processing. Age differences were found in feature-selective attentional modulation of visual responses: older adults did not show consistent modulation of magnitude or phase. In contrast, the suppressive effect of a second stimulus was robust and comparable in magnitude across age groups, suggesting that bottom-up processing of the current stimuli is essentially unchanged in healthy old age. Thus, it seems that visual processing per se is unchanged, but top-down attentional control is compromised in older adults when space cannot be used to guide selection.

  6. Neural Mechanisms of Selective Visual Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Tirin; Zirnsak, Marc

    2017-01-03

    Selective visual attention describes the tendency of visual processing to be confined largely to stimuli that are relevant to behavior. It is among the most fundamental of cognitive functions, particularly in humans and other primates for whom vision is the dominant sense. We review recent progress in identifying the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. We discuss evidence from studies of different varieties of selective attention and examine how these varieties alter the processing of stimuli by neurons within the visual system, current knowledge of their causal basis, and methods for assessing attentional dysfunctions. In addition, we identify some key questions that remain in identifying the neural mechanisms that give rise to the selective processing of visual information.

  7. Growth hormone and selective attention : A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Quik, Elise H.; van Dam, P. Sytze; Kenemans, J. Leon

    Introduction: The relation between growth hormone (GH) secretion and general cognitive function has been established. General cognitive functioning depends on core functions including selective attention, which have not been addressed specifically in relation to GH. The present review addresses

  8. The role of selective attention on academic foundations: A cognitive neuroscience perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Courtney; Bavelier, Daphne

    2011-01-01

    To the extent that selective attention skills are relevant for academic foundations and amenable to training, they represent an important focus for the field of education. Here, drawing on research on the neurobiology of attention, we review hypothesized links between selective attention and processing across three domains important to early academic skills. First, we provide a brief review of the neural bases of selective attention, emphasizing the effects of selective attention on neural processing, as well as the neural systems important to deploying selective attention and managing response conflict. Second, we examine the developmental time course of selective attention. It is argued that developmental differences in selective attention are related to the neural systems important for deploying selective attention and managing response conflict. In contrast, once effectively deployed, selective attention acts through very similar neural mechanisms across ages. In the third section, we relate the processes of selective attention to three domains important to academic foundations: language, literacy, and mathematics. Fourth, drawing on recent literatures on the effects of video-game play and mind-brain training on selective attention, we discuss the possibility of training selective attention. The final section examines the application of these principles to educationally-focused attention-training programs for children. PMID:22682909

  9. The role of selective attention on academic foundations: a cognitive neuroscience perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Courtney; Bavelier, Daphne

    2012-02-15

    To the extent that selective attention skills are relevant for academic foundations and amenable to training, they represent an important focus for the field of education. Here, drawing on research on the neurobiology of attention, we review hypothesized links between selective attention and processing across three domains important to early academic skills. First, we provide a brief review of the neural bases of selective attention, emphasizing the effects of selective attention on neural processing, as well as the neural systems important to deploying selective attention and managing response conflict. Second, we examine the developmental time course of selective attention. It is argued that developmental differences in selective attention are related to the neural systems important for deploying selective attention and managing response conflict. In contrast, once effectively deployed, selective attention acts through very similar neural mechanisms across ages. In the third section, we relate the processes of selective attention to three domains important to academic foundations: language, literacy, and mathematics. Fourth, drawing on recent literatures on the effects of video-game play and mind-brain training on selective attention, we discuss the possibility of training selective attention. The final section examines the application of these principles to educationally-focused attention-training programs for children. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Prefrontal contributions to visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-08

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

  11. Domain-Specific Control of Selective Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Szu-Hung; Yeh, Yei-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has shown that loading information on working memory affects selective attention. However, whether the load effect on selective attention is domain-general or domain-specific remains unresolved. The domain-general effect refers to the findings that load in one content (e.g. phonological) domain in working memory influences processing in another content (e.g., visuospatial) domain. Attentional control supervises selection regardless of information domain. The domain-specific effect refers to the constraint of influence only when maintenance and processing operate in the same domain. Selective attention operates in a specific content domain. This study is designed to resolve this controversy. Across three experiments, we manipulated the type of representation maintained in working memory and the type of representation upon which the participants must exert control to resolve conflict and select a target into the focus of attention. In Experiments 1a and 1b, participants maintained digits and nonverbalized objects, respectively, in working memory while selecting a target in a letter array. In Experiment 2, we presented auditory digits with a letter flanker task to exclude the involvement of resource competition within the same input modality. In Experiments 3a and 3b, we replaced the letter flanker task with an object flanker task while manipulating the memory load on object and digit representation, respectively. The results consistently showed that memory load modulated distractibility only when the stimuli of the two tasks were represented in the same domain. The magnitude of distractor interference was larger under high load than under low load, reflecting a lower efficacy of information prioritization. When the stimuli of the two tasks were represented in different domains, memory load did not modulate distractibility. Control of processing priority in selective attention demands domain-specific resources. PMID:24866977

  12. The effect of musical attention control training (MACT) on attention skills of adolescents with neurodevelopmental delays: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasiali, Varvara; LaGasse, A Blythe; Penn, Saundra L

    2014-01-01

    Given the effect of musical training on the rate and accuracy of processing auditory information, therapeutic uses of music may potentially have remedial benefits for individuals with neurodevelopmental deficits. However, additional studies are needed to establish efficacy of music therapy interventions for attention skills in children/adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities including those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). To establish feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a group music therapy protocol to improve attention skills (sustained, selective, attentional control/switching) in adolescents diagnosed with autism and/or developmental delays. This single group pretest/posttest study took place in a private school for high functioning adolescents with neurodevelopmental delays. Nine students (4 males, 5 females), ages 13 to 20, participated in the study. Autism severity was assessed using the CARS2-HF and indicated the following distribution for study participants: severe (n = 3), mild (n = 4), or minimal/no (n = 2) symptoms. We assessed feasibility of implementing a 45-min Musical Attention Control Training (MACT) intervention delivered by a board-certified music therapist eight times over 6 weeks in a school setting. We also examined preliminary efficacy of the MACT to improve attention skills using the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch). Parental consent rate was 100%. All nine participants successfully completed testing measures and 6 weeks of the intervention. Average participation rate was 97%. Data analysis showed positive trends and improvements on measures of attentional control/switching and selective attention. The results showed that the intervention and testing measures were feasible to implement and acceptable to the participants who all completed the protocol. Data analysis demonstrated positive trends indicating that more research on the use of music therapy attention training in high-functioning adolescents with

  13. Functional Connectivity of the Dorsal Attention Network Predicts Selective Attention in 4-7 year-old Girls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Christiane S; Vinette, Sarah A; Parsons, Kari A L; Cho, Ivy Y K; Dimond, Dennis; Benischek, Alina; Lebel, Catherine; Dewey, Deborah; Bray, Signe

    2017-09-01

    Early childhood is a period of profound neural development and remodeling during which attention skills undergo rapid maturation. Attention networks have been extensively studied in the adult brain, yet relatively little is known about changes in early childhood, and their relation to cognitive development. We investigated the association between age and functional connectivity (FC) within the dorsal attention network (DAN) and the association between FC and attention skills in early childhood. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data was collected during passive viewing in 44 typically developing female children between 4 and 7 years whose sustained, selective, and executive attention skills were assessed. FC of the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and the frontal eye fields (FEF) was computed across the entire brain and regressed against age. Age was positively associated with FC between core nodes of the DAN, the IPS and the FEF, and negatively associated with FC between the DAN and regions of the default-mode network. Further, controlling for age, FC between the IPS and FEF was significantly associated with selective attention. These findings add to our understanding of early childhood development of attention networks and suggest that greater FC within the DAN is associated with better selective attention skills. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Stroop interference and disorders of selective attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kingma, A.; LaHeij, W.; Fasotti, L.; Eling, P.

    1996-01-01

    Fourteen patients with a right-hemisphere CVA and 8 patients with a left-hemisphere CVA were examined for selective attention deficits using a variant of the Stroop color-word task: the picture-word interference task. Experiments 1 and 2 first compared the performance of the two patient groups and a

  15. Selecting pilots with crew resource management skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedge, J W; Bruskiewicz, K T; Borman, W C; Hanson, M A; Logan, K K; Siem, F M

    2000-10-01

    For years, pilot selection has focused primarily on the identification of individuals with superior flying skills and abilities. More recently, the aviation community has become increasingly aware that successful completion of a flight or mission requires not only flying skills but the ability to work well in a crew situation. This project involved development and validation of a crew resource management (CRM) skills test for Air Force transport pilots. A significant relation was found between the CRM skills test and behavior-based ratings of aircraft commander CRM performance, and the implications of these findings for CRM-based selection and training are discussed.

  16. The development of attention skills in action video game players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, M W G; Green, C S; Bavelier, D

    2009-07-01

    Previous research suggests that action video game play improves attentional resources, allowing gamers to better allocate their attention across both space and time. In order to further characterize the plastic changes resulting from playing these video games, we administered the Attentional Network Test (ANT) to action game players and non-playing controls aged between 7 and 22 years. By employing a mixture of cues and flankers, the ANT provides measures of how well attention is allocated to targets as a function of alerting and orienting cues, and to what extent observers are able to filter out the influence of task irrelevant information flanking those targets. The data suggest that action video game players of all ages have enhanced attentional skills that allow them to make faster correct responses to targets, and leaves additional processing resources that spill over to process distractors flanking the targets.

  17. The Relationship Between Perceptual Motor Skills and Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa de Sousa

    Full Text Available Abstract: Although the relationship between perceptual motor skills and attention is reported in the literature, few studies have empirically explored this association. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between these constructs, using the Bender-Gestalt Test: Gradual Scoring System (B-SPG and the Psychological Battery for Attention Assessment (BPA. The participants were 320 children from four public schools in a city located in the South of the state of Minas Gerais, with ages ranging from seven to 10 years (M = 8.39, SD = 1.10 and 196 (55.9 % female. The results showed negative, moderate and significant correlations between the total scores of the instruments, indicating the relationship between the constructs. Although the data has confirmed the existence of a relationship between perceptual motor skills and attention, further studies with samples from other regions are necessary.

  18. Examining the relationship between skilled music training and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao; Ossher, Lynn; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A

    2015-11-01

    While many aspects of cognition have been investigated in relation to skilled music training, surprisingly little work has examined the connection between music training and attentional abilities. The present study investigated the performance of skilled musicians on cognitively demanding sustained attention tasks, measuring both temporal and visual discrimination over a prolonged duration. Participants with extensive formal music training were found to have superior performance on a temporal discrimination task, but not a visual discrimination task, compared to participants with no music training. In addition, no differences were found between groups in vigilance decrement in either type of task. Although no differences were evident in vigilance per se, the results indicate that performance in an attention-demanding temporal discrimination task was superior in individuals with extensive music training. We speculate that this basic cognitive ability may contribute to advantages that musicians show in other cognitive measures. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Aging, selective attention, and feature integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plude, D J; Doussard-Roosevelt, J A

    1989-03-01

    This study used feature-integration theory as a means of determining the point in processing at which selective attention deficits originate. The theory posits an initial stage of processing in which features are registered in parallel and then a serial process in which features are conjoined to form complex stimuli. Performance of young and older adults on feature versus conjunction search is compared. Analyses of reaction times and error rates suggest that elderly adults in addition to young adults, can capitalize on the early parallel processing stage of visual information processing, and that age decrements in visual search arise as a result of the later, serial stage of processing. Analyses of a third, unconfounded, conjunction search condition reveal qualitatively similar modes of conjunction search in young and older adults. The contribution of age-related data limitations is found to be secondary to the contribution of age decrements in selective attention.

  20. Methylphenidate alters selective attention by amplifying salience.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. Selective Audiovisual Semantic Integration Enabled by Feature-Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuanqing; Long, Jinyi; Huang, Biao; Yu, Tianyou; Wu, Wei; Li, Peijun; Fang, Fang; Sun, Pei

    2016-01-13

    An audiovisual object may contain multiple semantic features, such as the gender and emotional features of the speaker. Feature-selective attention and audiovisual semantic integration are two brain functions involved in the recognition of audiovisual objects. Humans often selectively attend to one or several features while ignoring the other features of an audiovisual object. Meanwhile, the human brain integrates semantic information from the visual and auditory modalities. However, how these two brain functions correlate with each other remains to be elucidated. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we explored the neural mechanism by which feature-selective attention modulates audiovisual semantic integration. During the fMRI experiment, the subjects were presented with visual-only, auditory-only, or audiovisual dynamical facial stimuli and performed several feature-selective attention tasks. Our results revealed that a distribution of areas, including heteromodal areas and brain areas encoding attended features, may be involved in audiovisual semantic integration. Through feature-selective attention, the human brain may selectively integrate audiovisual semantic information from attended features by enhancing functional connectivity and thus regulating information flows from heteromodal areas to brain areas encoding the attended features.

  2. Response terminated displays unload selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roper, Zachary J J; Vecera, Shaun P

    2013-01-01

    Perceptual load theory successfully replaced the early vs. late selection debate by appealing to adaptive control over the efficiency of selective attention. Early selection is observed unless perceptual load (p-Load) is sufficiently low to grant attentional "spill-over" to task-irrelevant stimuli. Many studies exploring load theory have used limited display durations that perhaps impose artificial limits on encoding processes. We extended the exposure duration in a classic p-Load task to alleviate temporal encoding demands that may otherwise tax mnemonic consolidation processes. If the load effect arises from perceptual demands alone, then freeing-up available mnemonic resources by extending the exposure duration should have little effect. The results of Experiment 1 falsify this prediction. We observed a reliable flanker effect under high p-Load, response-terminated displays. Next, we orthogonally manipulated exposure duration and task-relevance. Counter-intuitively, we found that the likelihood of observing the flanker effect under high p-Load resides with the duration of the task-relevant array, not the flanker itself. We propose that stimulus and encoding demands interact to produce the load effect. Our account clarifies how task parameters differentially impinge upon cognitive processes to produce attentional "spill-over" by appealing to visual short-term memory as an additional processing bottleneck when stimuli are briefly presented.

  3. Response terminated displays unload selective attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary Joseph Jackson Roper

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Perceptual load theory successfully replaced the early versus late selection debate by appealing to adaptive control over the efficiency of selective attention. Early selection is observed unless perceptual load (p-Load is sufficiently low to grant attentional ‘spill-over‘ to task-irrelevant stimuli. Many studies exploring load theory have used limited display durations that perhaps impose artificial limits on encoding processes. We extended the exposure duration in a classic p-Load task to alleviate temporal encoding demands that may otherwise tax mnemonic consolidation processes. If the load effect arises from perceptual demands alone, then freeing-up available mnemonic resources by extending the exposure duration should have little effect. The results of Experiment 1 falsify this prediction. We observed a reliable flanker effect under high p-Load, response-terminated displays. Next, we orthogonally manipulated exposure duration and task-relevance. Counter-intuitively, we found that the likelihood of observing the flanker effect under high p-Load resides with the duration of the task-relevant array, not the flanker itself. We propose that stimulus and encoding demands interact to produce the load effect. Our account clarifies how task parameters differentially impinge upon cognitive processes to produce attentional ‘spill-over’ by appealing to visual short-term memory as an additional processing bottleneck when stimuli are briefly presented.

  4. Incorporating Interpersonal Skills into Otolaryngology Resident Selection and Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu-Myers, Yemeng; Myers, Christopher G

    2018-01-01

    Increasing attention has been paid to the selection of otolaryngology residents, a highly competitive process but one with room for improvement. A recent commentary in this journal recommended that residency programs more thoroughly incorporate theory and evidence from personnel psychology (part of the broader field of organizational science) in the resident selection process. However, the focus of this recommendation was limited to applicants' cognitive abilities and independent work-oriented traits (eg, conscientiousness). We broaden this perspective to consider critical interpersonal skills and traits that enhance resident effectiveness in interdependent health care organizations and we expand beyond the emphasis on selection to consider how these skills can be honed during residency. We advocate for greater use of standardized team-based care simulations, which can aid in assessing and developing the key interpersonal leadership skills necessary for success as an otolaryngology resident.

  5. Distracted and confused?: selective attention under load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavie, Nilli

    2005-02-01

    The ability to remain focused on goal-relevant stimuli in the presence of potentially interfering distractors is crucial for any coherent cognitive function. However, simply instructing people to ignore goal-irrelevant stimuli is not sufficient for preventing their processing. Recent research reveals that distractor processing depends critically on the level and type of load involved in the processing of goal-relevant information. Whereas high perceptual load can eliminate distractor processing, high load on "frontal" cognitive control processes increases distractor processing. These findings provide a resolution to the long-standing early and late selection debate within a load theory of attention that accommodates behavioural and neuroimaging data within a framework that integrates attention research with executive function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Adam C.; Patterson, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Adam C; Patterson, Michael D

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam C Oei

    2015-02-01

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

  9. Visual selective attention with virtual barriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Darryl W

    2017-07-01

    Previous studies have shown that interference effects in the flanker task are reduced when physical barriers (e.g., hands) are placed around rather than below a target flanked by distractors. One explanation of this finding is the referential coding hypothesis, whereby the barriers serve as reference objects for allocating attention. In five experiments, the generality of the referential coding hypothesis was tested by investigating whether interference effects are modulated by the placement of virtual barriers (e.g., parentheses). Modulation of flanker interference was found only when target and distractors differed in size and the virtual barriers were beveled wood-grain objects. Under these conditions and those of previous studies, the author conjectures that an impression of depth was produced when the barriers were around the target, such that the target was perceived to be on a different depth plane than the distractors. Perception of depth in the stimulus display might have led to referential coding of the stimuli in three-dimensional (3-D) space, influencing the allocation of attention beyond the horizontal and vertical dimensions. This 3-D referential coding hypothesis is consistent with research on selective attention in 3-D space that shows flanker interference is reduced when target and distractors are separated in depth.

  10. Selective attention, working memory, and animal intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matzel, Louis D; Kolata, Stefan

    2010-01-01

    Accumulating evidence indicates that the storage and processing capabilities of the human working memory system co-vary with individuals' performance on a wide range of cognitive tasks. The ubiquitous nature of this relationship suggests that variations in these processes may underlie individual differences in intelligence. Here we briefly review relevant data which supports this view. Furthermore, we emphasize an emerging literature describing a trait in genetically heterogeneous mice that is quantitatively and qualitatively analogous to general intelligence (g) in humans. As in humans, this animal analog of g co-varies with individual differences in both storage and processing components of the working memory system. Absent some of the complications associated with work with human subjects (e.g., phonological processing), this work with laboratory animals has provided an opportunity to assess otherwise intractable hypotheses. For instance, it has been possible in animals to manipulate individual aspects of the working memory system (e.g., selective attention), and to observe causal relationships between these variables and the expression of general cognitive abilities. This work with laboratory animals has coincided with human imaging studies (briefly reviewed here) which suggest that common brain structures (e.g., prefrontal cortex) mediate the efficacy of selective attention and the performance of individuals on intelligence test batteries. In total, this evidence suggests an evolutionary conservation of the processes that co-vary with and/or regulate "intelligence" and provides a framework for promoting these abilities in both young and old animals.

  11. Selective attention in peacocks during predator detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yorzinski, Jessica L; Platt, Michael L

    2014-05-01

    Predation can exert strong selective pressure on the evolution of behavioral and morphological traits in birds. Because predator avoidance is key to survival and birds rely heavily on visual perception, predation may have shaped avian visual systems as well. To address this question, we examined the role of visual attention in antipredator behavior in peacocks (Pavo cristatus). Peacocks were exposed to a model predator while their gaze was continuously recorded with a telemetric eye-tracker. We found that peacocks spent more time looking at and made more fixations on the predator compared to the same spatial location before the predator was revealed. The duration of fixations they directed toward conspecifics and environmental features decreased after the predator was revealed, indicating that the peacocks were rapidly scanning their environment with their eyes. Maximum eye movement amplitudes and amplitudes of consecutive saccades were similar before and after the predator was revealed. In cases where conspecifics detected the predator first, peacocks appeared to learn that danger was present by observing conspecifics' antipredator behavior. Peacocks were faster to detect the predator when they were fixating closer to the area where the predator would eventually appear. In addition, pupil size increased after predator exposure, consistent with increased physiological arousal. These findings demonstrate that peacocks selectively direct their attention toward predatory threats and suggest that predation has influenced the evolution of visual orienting systems.

  12. Training, executive, attention and motor skills (TEAMS) training versus standard treatment for preschool children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vibholm, Helle Annette; Pedersen, Jesper; Faltinsen, Erlend

    2018-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study compared the effectiveness of manualised training, executive, attention, and motor skills (TEAMS) training versus standard treatment in preschool children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We conducted a randomised parallel group, single...

  13. Selective Attention, Diffused Attention, and the Development of Categorization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Wei (Sophia); Sloutsky, Vladimir M.

    2016-01-01

    How do people learn categories and what changes with development? The current study attempts to address these questions by focusing on the role of attention in the development of categorization. In Experiment 1, participants (adults, 7-year-olds, and 4-year-olds) were trained with novel categories consisting of deterministic and probabilistic features, and their categorization and memory for features were tested. In Experiment 2, participants’ attention was directed to the deterministic feature, and in Experiment 3 it was directed to the probabilistic features. Attentional cuing affected categorization and memory in adults and 7-year-olds: these participants relied on the cued features in their categorization and exhibited better memory of cued than of non-cued features. In contrast, in 4-year-olds attentional cueing affected only categorization, but not memory: these participants exhibited equally good memory for both cued and non-cued features. Furthermore, across the experiments, 4-year-olds remembered non-cued features better than adults. These results coupled with computational simulations provide novel evidence (1) pointing to differences in category representation and mechanisms of categorization across development, (2) elucidating the role of attention in the development of categorization, and (3) suggesting an important distinction between representation and decision factors in categorization early in development. These issues are discussed with respect to theories of categorization and its development. PMID:27721103

  14. Selective attention, diffused attention, and the development of categorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Wei Sophia; Sloutsky, Vladimir M

    2016-12-01

    How do people learn categories and what changes with development? The current study attempts to address these questions by focusing on the role of attention in the development of categorization. In Experiment 1, participants (adults, 7-year-olds, and 4-year-olds) were trained with novel categories consisting of deterministic and probabilistic features, and their categorization and memory for features were tested. In Experiment 2, participants' attention was directed to the deterministic feature, and in Experiment 3 it was directed to the probabilistic features. Attentional cueing affected categorization and memory in adults and 7-year-olds: these participants relied on the cued features in their categorization and exhibited better memory of cued than of non-cued features. In contrast, in 4-year-olds attentional cueing affected only categorization, but not memory: these participants exhibited equally good memory for both cued and non-cued features. Furthermore, across the experiments, 4-year-olds remembered non-cued features better than adults. These results coupled with computational simulations provide novel evidence (1) pointing to differences in category representation and mechanisms of categorization across development, (2) elucidating the role of attention in the development of categorization, and (3) suggesting an important distinction between representation and decision factors in categorization early in development. These issues are discussed with respect to theories of categorization and its development. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Deficient attention is hard to find: applying the perceptual load model of selective attention to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang-Pollock, Cynthia L; Nigg, Joel T; Carr, Thomas H

    2005-11-01

    Whether selective attention is a primary deficit in childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) remains in active debate. We used the perceptual load paradigm to examine both early and late selective attention in children with the Primarily Inattentive (ADHD-I) and Combined subtypes (ADHD-C) of ADHD. No evidence emerged for selective attention deficits in either of the subtypes, but sluggish cognitive tempo was associated with abnormal early selection. At least some, and possibly most, children with DSM-IV ADHD have normal selective attention. Results support the move away from theories of attention dysfunction as primary in ADHD-C. In ADHD-I, this was one of the first formal tests of posterior attention network dysfunction, and results did not support that theory. However, ADHD children with sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) warrant more study for possible early selective attention deficits.

  16. Relations among student attention behaviors, teacher practices, and beginning word reading skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez, Leilani; Folsom, Jessica Sidler; Al Otaiba, Stephanie; Schatschneider, Christopher

    2012-01-01

    The role of student attention for predicting kindergarten word reading was investigated among 432 students. Using Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD Symptoms and Normal Behavior Rating Scale behavior rating scores, the authors conducted an exploratory factor analysis, which yielded three distinct factors that reflected selective attention. In this study, the authors focused on the role of one of these factors, which they labeled attention-memory, for predicting reading performance. Teacher ratings of attention-memory predicted word reading above and beyond the contribution of phonological awareness and vocabulary knowledge. In addition, the relations between four teacher practices and attention ratings for predicting reading performance were examined. Using hierarchical linear modeling, the authors found significant interactions between student attention and teacher practices observed during literacy instruction. In general, as ratings of attention improved, better kindergarten word reading performance was associated with high levels of classroom behavior management. However, better word reading performance was not associated with high levels of teacher task orienting. A significant three-way interaction was also found among attention, individualized instruction, and teacher task redirections. The role of regulating kindergarten student attention to support beginning word reading skill development is discussed.

  17. ATTENTIONAL NETWORKS AND SELECTIVE VISUAL SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALEJANDRO CASTILLO MORENO

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we checked the principal researches and theories to explain the attention system functioning.We are going to start reviewing along time about the concept of attention, from filter theories andresources distributor theories, to the current theories in which attention is conceived as a control system.From this last point of view, we will emphasize on the attentional networks theory of Posner, thatproposes different systems to explain diverse aspects of attention, but they are related to each other. Atlast in this paper, we will mention experimental results that have been important to characterize theselective attentional mechanisms of the human visual system, using the attentional spotlight model forthis aim.

  18. Electrophysiological measures of attention during speech perception predict metalinguistic skills in children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori Astheimer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Event-related potential (ERP evidence demonstrates that preschool-aged children selectively attend to informative moments such as word onsets during speech perception. Although this observation indicates a role for attention in language processing, it is unclear whether this type of attention is part of basic speech perception mechanisms, higher-level language skills, or general cognitive abilities. The current study examined these possibilities by measuring ERPs from 5-year-old children listening to a narrative containing attention probes presented before, during, and after word onsets as well as at random control times. Children also completed behavioral tests assessing verbal and nonverbal skills. Probes presented after word onsets elicited a more negative ERP response beginning around 100 ms after probe onset than control probes, indicating increased attention to word-initial segments. Crucially, the magnitude of this difference was correlated with performance on verbal tasks, but showed no relationship to nonverbal measures. More specifically, ERP attention effects were most strongly correlated with performance on a complex metalinguistic task involving grammaticality judgments. These results demonstrate that effective allocation of attention during speech perception supports higher-level, controlled language processing in children by allowing them to focus on relevant information at individual word and complex sentence levels.

  19. Deficient Attention Is Hard to Find: Applying the Perceptual Load Model of Selective Attention to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Subtypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang-Pollock, Cynthia L.; Nigg, Joel T.; Carr, Thomas H.

    2005-01-01

    Background: Whether selective attention is a primary deficit in childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) remains in active debate. Methods: We used the "perceptual load" paradigm to examine both early and late selective attention in children with the Primarily Inattentive (ADHD-I) and Combined subtypes (ADHD-C) of ADHD. Results:…

  20. Attention to Hierarchical Level Influences Attentional Selection of Spatial Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flevaris, Anastasia V.; Bentin, Shlomo; Robertson, Lynn C.

    2011-01-01

    Ample evidence suggests that global perception may involve low spatial frequency (LSF) processing and that local perception may involve high spatial frequency (HSF) processing (Shulman, Sullivan, Gish, & Sakoda, 1986; Shulman & Wilson, 1987; Robertson, 1996). It is debated whether SF selection is a low-level mechanism associating global…

  1. Space-based visual attention: a marker of immature selective attention in toddlers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivière, James; Brisson, Julie

    2014-11-01

    Various studies suggested that attentional difficulties cause toddlers' failure in some spatial search tasks. However, attention is not a unitary construct and this study investigated two attentional mechanisms: location selection (space-based attention) and object selection (object-based attention). We investigated how toddlers' attention is distributed in the visual field during a manual search task for objects moving out of sight, namely the moving boxes task. Results show that 2.5-year-olds who failed this task allocated more attention to the location of the relevant object than to the object itself. These findings suggest that in some manual search tasks the primacy of space-based attention over object-based attention could be a marker of immature selective attention in toddlers. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Abnormal Spatial Asymmetry of Selective Attention in ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Edgar; Mattingley, Jason B.; Huang-Pollock, Cynthia; English, Therese; Hester, Robert; Vance, Alasdair; Bellgrove, Mark A.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Evidence for a selective attention abnormality in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been hard to identify using conventional methods from cognitive science. This study tested whether the presence of selective attention abnormalities in ADHD may vary as a function of perceptual load and target…

  3. Selective Attention to Perceptual Dimensions and Switching between Dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiran, Nachshon; Dimov, Eduard; Ganel, Tzvi

    2013-01-01

    In the present experiments, the question being addressed was whether switching attention between perceptual dimensions and selective attention to dimensions are processes that compete over a common resource? Attention to perceptual dimensions is usually studied by requiring participants to ignore a never-relevant dimension. Selection failure…

  4. Prospect theory reflects selective allocation of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pachur, Thorsten; Schulte-Mecklenbeck, Michael; Murphy, Ryan O; Hertwig, Ralph

    2018-02-01

    There is a disconnect in the literature between analyses of risky choice based on cumulative prospect theory (CPT) and work on predecisional information processing. One likely reason is that for expectation models (e.g., CPT), it is often assumed that people behaved only as if they conducted the computations leading to the predicted choice and that the models are thus mute regarding information processing. We suggest that key psychological constructs in CPT, such as loss aversion and outcome and probability sensitivity, can be interpreted in terms of attention allocation. In two experiments, we tested hypotheses about specific links between CPT parameters and attentional regularities. Experiment 1 used process tracing to monitor participants' predecisional attention allocation to outcome and probability information. As hypothesized, individual differences in CPT's loss-aversion, outcome-sensitivity, and probability-sensitivity parameters (estimated from participants' choices) were systematically associated with individual differences in attention allocation to outcome and probability information. For instance, loss aversion was associated with the relative attention allocated to loss and gain outcomes, and a more strongly curved weighting function was associated with less attention allocated to probabilities. Experiment 2 manipulated participants' attention to losses or gains, causing systematic differences in CPT's loss-aversion parameter. This result indicates that attention allocation can to some extent cause choice regularities that are captured by CPT. Our findings demonstrate an as-if model's capacity to reflect characteristics of information processing. We suggest that the observed CPT-attention links can be harnessed to inform the development of process models of risky choice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. Sustained selective attention predicts flexible switching in preschoolers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benitez, Viridiana L; Vales, Catarina; Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B

    2017-04-01

    Stability and flexibility are fundamental to an intelligent cognitive system. Here, we examined the relationship between stability in selective attention and explicit control of flexible attention. Preschoolers were tested on the Dimension Preference (DP) task, which measures the stability of selective attention to an implicitly primed dimension, and the Dimension Change Card Sort (DCCS) task, which measures flexible attention switching between dimensions. Children who successfully switched on the DCCS task were more likely than those who perseverated to sustain attention to the primed dimension on the DP task across trials. We propose that perseverators have less stable attention and distribute their attention between dimensions, whereas switchers can successfully stabilize attention to individual dimensions and, thus, show more enduring priming effects. Flexible attention may emerge, in part, from implicit processes that stabilize attention even in tasks not requiring switching. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Measuring Auditory Selective Attention using Frequency Tagging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hari M Bharadwaj

    2014-02-01

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

  7. Selective attention to phonology dynamically modulates initial encoding of auditory words within the left hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoncheva, Yuliya; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason D; McCandliss, Bruce D

    2014-08-15

    Selective attention to phonology, i.e., the ability to attend to sub-syllabic units within spoken words, is a critical precursor to literacy acquisition. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence has demonstrated that a left-lateralized network of frontal, temporal, and posterior language regions, including the visual word form area, supports this skill. The current event-related potential (ERP) study investigated the temporal dynamics of selective attention to phonology during spoken word perception. We tested the hypothesis that selective attention to phonology dynamically modulates stimulus encoding by recruiting left-lateralized processes specifically while the information critical for performance is unfolding. Selective attention to phonology was captured by manipulating listening goals: skilled adult readers attended to either rhyme or melody within auditory stimulus pairs. Each pair superimposed rhyming and melodic information ensuring identical sensory stimulation. Selective attention to phonology produced distinct early and late topographic ERP effects during stimulus encoding. Data-driven source localization analyses revealed that selective attention to phonology led to significantly greater recruitment of left-lateralized posterior and extensive temporal regions, which was notably concurrent with the rhyme-relevant information within the word. Furthermore, selective attention effects were specific to auditory stimulus encoding and not observed in response to cues, arguing against the notion that they reflect sustained task setting. Collectively, these results demonstrate that selective attention to phonology dynamically engages a left-lateralized network during the critical time-period of perception for achieving phonological analysis goals. These findings suggest a key role for selective attention in on-line phonological computations. Furthermore, these findings motivate future research on the role that neural mechanisms of attention may

  8. The effect of spiritual intelligence on quality of sleep and attention of skilled volleyball players

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    sodabeh ghadami

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Spiritual intelligence is something more than mental ability and connects an individual to beyond. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of spiritual intelligence on sleep quality and attention of skilled volleyball players.  Therefore 116 (76 female, 40 male volleyball players of Mobarakeh county in Isfahan who had participated in regional competitions were selected. Abdollazadeh’s Spiritual Intelligence Questionnaire, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality, and Mari shook Test were used to measure the data.  Results of path analysis showed that spiritual intelligence affects both sleep quality and attention. Moreover, the quality of sleep mediated the effect of spiritual intelligence on attention, and the results showed the appropriateness of structural equation model fit.

  9. Visual attention spreads broadly but selects information locally.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-19

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

  10. Mental Fatigue Affects Visual Selective Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faber, Leon G.; Maurits, Natasha M.; Lorist, Monicque M.

    2012-01-01

    Mental fatigue is a form of fatigue, induced by continuous task performance. Mentally fatigued people often report having a hard time keeping their attention focussed and being easily distracted. In this study, we examined the relation between mental fatigue, as induced by time on task, and

  11. Selective attention of students suffering from primary headaches in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Headache patients frequently complain about difficulties in attention and concentration, even when they are headache-free and psychometric studies concerning attentional deficits in headache patients between attacks are scarce. Objective: To evaluate selective attention of headache patients in a pain free ...

  12. Attentional Selection for Object Recognition - A Gentle Way

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Walther, Dirk; Itti, Laurent; Riesenhuber, Maximilian; Poggio, Tomaso; Koch, Christof

    2002-01-01

    ...% at a high level is sufficient to recognize multiple objects. To determine the size and shape of the region to be modulated, a rough segmentation is performed, based on pre-attentive features already computed to guide attention. Testing with synthetic and natural stimuli demonstrates that our new approach to attentional selection for recognition yields encouraging results in addition to being biologically plausible.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Distractor Inhibition: Principles of Operation during Selective Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, Natalie; Machado, Liana

    2013-01-01

    Research suggests that although target amplification acts as the main determinant of the efficacy of selective attention, distractor inhibition contributes under some circumstances. Here we aimed to gain insight into the operating principles that regulate the use of distractor inhibition during selective attention. The results suggest that, in…

  15. Selective attention to phonology dynamically modulates initial encoding of auditory words within the left hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoncheva; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason; McCandliss, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Selective attention to phonology, i.e., the ability to attend to sub-syllabic units within spoken words, is a critical precursor to literacy acquisition. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence has demonstrated that a left-lateralized network of frontal, temporal, and posterior language regions, including the visual word form area, supports this skill. The current event-related potential (ERP) study investigated the temporal dynamics of selective attention to phonology during spoken word perception. We tested the hypothesis that selective atten tion to phonology dynamically modulates stimulus encoding by recruiting left-lateralized processes specifically while the information critical for performance is unfolding. Selective attention to phonology was captured by ma nipulating listening goals: skilled adult readers attended to either rhyme or melody within auditory stimulus pairs. Each pair superimposed rhyming and melodic information ensuring identical sensory stimulation. Selective attention to phonology produced distinct early and late topographic ERP effects during stimulus encoding. Data- driven source localization analyses revealed that selective attention to phonology led to significantly greater re cruitment of left-lateralized posterior and extensive temporal regions, which was notably concurrent with the rhyme-relevant information within the word. Furthermore, selective attention effects were specific to auditory stimulus encoding and not observed in response to cues, arguing against the notion that they reflect sustained task setting. Collectively, these results demonstrate that selective attention to phonology dynamically engages a left-lateralized network during the critical time-period of perception for achieving phonological analysis goals. These findings support the key role of selective attention to phonology in the development of literacy and motivate future research on the neural bases of the interaction between phonological

  16. Dissociation of face-selective cortical responses by attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furey, Maura L; Tanskanen, Topi; Beauchamp, Michael S; Avikainen, Sari; Uutela, Kimmo; Hari, Riitta; Haxby, James V

    2006-01-24

    We studied attentional modulation of cortical processing of faces and houses with functional MRI and magnetoencephalography (MEG). MEG detected an early, transient face-selective response. Directing attention to houses in "double-exposure" pictures of superimposed faces and houses strongly suppressed the characteristic, face-selective functional MRI response in the fusiform gyrus. By contrast, attention had no effect on the M170, the early, face-selective response detected with MEG. Late (>190 ms) category-related MEG responses elicited by faces and houses, however, were strongly modulated by attention. These results indicate that hemodynamic and electrophysiological measures of face-selective cortical processing complement each other. The hemodynamic signals reflect primarily late responses that can be modulated by feedback connections. By contrast, the early, face-specific M170 that was not modulated by attention likely reflects a rapid, feed-forward phase of face-selective processing.

  17. The effects of advertisement location and familiarity on selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessen, Tanja Lund; Rodway, Paul

    2010-06-01

    This study comprised two experiments to examine the distracting effects of advertisement familiarity, location, and onset on the performance of a selective attention task. In Exp. 1, familiar advertisements presented in peripheral vision disrupted selective attention when the attention task was more demanding, suggesting that the distracting effect of advertisements is a product of task demands and advertisement familiarity and location. In Exp. 2, the onset of the advertisement shortly before, or after, the attention task captured attention and disrupted attentional performance. The onset of the advertisement before the attention task reduced target response time without an increase in errors and therefore facilitated performance. Despite being instructed to ignore the advertisements, the participants were able to recall a substantial proportion of the familiar advertisements. Implications for the presentation of advertisements during human-computer interaction were discussed.

  18. How motivation and reward learning modulate selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeois, A; Chelazzi, L; Vuilleumier, P

    2016-01-01

    Motivational stimuli such as rewards elicit adaptive responses and influence various cognitive functions. Notably, increasing evidence suggests that stimuli with particular motivational values can strongly shape perception and attention. These effects resemble both selective top-down and stimulus-driven attentional orienting, as they depend on internal states but arise without conscious will, yet they seem to reflect attentional systems that are functionally and anatomically distinct from those classically associated with frontoparietal cortical networks in the brain. Recent research in human and nonhuman primates has begun to reveal how reward can bias attentional selection, and where within the cognitive system the signals providing attentional priority are generated. This review aims at describing the different mechanisms sustaining motivational attention, their impact on different behavioral tasks, and current knowledge concerning the neural networks governing the integration of motivational influences on attentional behavior. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Individual differences in temporal selective attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willems, Charlotte

    2016-01-01

    Every waking moment we are bombarded with large amounts of information. Given the limited ability to process this information at a conscious level, some sort of selection for further processing is required to identify the most relevant information (e.g., other road users) while ignoring irrelevant

  20. Retraining moderately impaired stroke survivors in driving-related visual attention skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akinwuntan, Abiodun E; Devos, Hannes; Verheyden, Geert; Baten, Guido; Kiekens, Carlotte; Feys, Hilde; De Weerdt, Willy

    2010-01-01

    Visual inattention is a major cause of road accidents and is a problem commonly experienced after stroke. This study investigated the effects of 2 training programs on performance in the Useful Field of View (UFOV), a validated test of driving-related visual attention skills. Data from 69 first-ever, moderately impaired stroke survivors who participated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine the effects of simulator training on driving after stroke were analyzed. In addition to regular interventions at a rehabilitation center, participants received 15 hours of either simulator-based driving-related training or non-computer-based cognitive training over 5 weeks. Total percentage reduction in UFOV and performance in divided and selective attention and speed of processing subtests were documented at 6 to 9 weeks (pretraining), 11 to 15 weeks (posttraining), and 6 months post stroke (follow-up). Generalized estimating equation (GEE) model revealed neither group effects nor significant interaction effects of group with time in the UFOV total score and the 3 subtests. However, there were significant within-group improvements from pre- through posttraining to follow-up for all the UFOV parameters. Post-hoc GEE analysis revealed that most improvement in both groups occurred from pre- to posttraining. Both training programs significantly improved visual attention skills of moderately impaired stroke survivors after 15 hours of training and retention of benefit lasted up to 6 months after stroke. Neither of the training programs was better than the other.

  1. Simultaneous attentional guidance by working-memory and selection history reveals two distinct sources of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwark, Jeremy D; Dolgov, Igor; Sandry, Joshua; Volkman, C Brooks

    2013-10-01

    Recent theories of attention have proposed that selection history is a separate, dissociable source of information that influences attention. The current study sought to investigate the simultaneous involvement of selection history and working-memory on attention during visual search. Experiments 1 and 2 used target feature probability to manipulate selection history and found significant effects of both working-memory and selection history, although working-memory dominated selection history when they cued different locations. Experiment 3 eliminated the contribution of voluntary refreshing of working-memory and replicated the main effects, although selection history became dominant. Using the same methodology, but with reduced probability cue validity, both effects were present in Experiment 4 and did not significantly differ in their contribution to attention. Effects of selection history and working-memory never interacted. These results suggest that selection history and working-memory are separate influences on attention and have little impact on each other. Theoretical implications for models of attention are discussed. © 2013.

  2. Attention and perceptual implicit memory: effects of selective versus divided attention and number of visual objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Neil W

    2002-08-01

    Extant research presents conflicting results on whether manipulations of attention during encoding affect perceptual priming. Two suggested mediating factors are type of manipulation (selective vs divided) and whether attention is manipulated across multiple objects or within a single object. Words printed in different colors (Experiment 1) or flanked by colored blocks (Experiment 2) were presented at encoding. In the full-attention condition, participants always read the word, in the unattended condition they always identified the color, and in the divided-attention conditions, participants attended to both word identity and color. Perceptual priming was assessed with perceptual identification and explicit memory with recognition. Relative to the full-attention condition, attending to color always reduced priming. Dividing attention between word identity and color, however, only disrupted priming when these attributes were presented as multiple objects (Experiment 2) but not when they were dimensions of a common object (Experiment 1). On the explicit test, manipulations of attention always affected recognition accuracy.

  3. Sex Role Learning: A Test of the Selective Attention Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, Janice Westlund; Luria, Zella

    This paper reports three studies designed to determine whether children show selective attention and/or differential memory to slide pictures of same-sex vs. opposite-sex models and activities. Attention was measured using a feedback EEG procedure, which measured the presence or absence of alpha rhythms in the subjects' brains during presentation…

  4. Components of working memory and visual selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnham, Bryan R; Sabia, Matthew; Langan, Catherine

    2014-02-01

    Load theory (Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E. [2004]. Load theory of selective attention and cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 339-354.) proposes that control of attention depends on the amount and type of load that is imposed by current processing. Specifically, perceptual load should lead to efficient distractor rejection, whereas working memory load (dual-task coordination) should hinder distractor rejection. Studies support load theory's prediction that working memory load will lead to larger distractor effects; however, these studies used secondary tasks that required only verbal working memory and the central executive. The present study examined which other working memory components (visual, spatial, and phonological) influence visual selective attention. Subjects completed an attentional capture task alone (single-task) or while engaged in a working memory task (dual-task). Results showed that along with the central executive, visual and spatial working memory influenced selective attention, but phonological working memory did not. Specifically, attentional capture was larger when visual or spatial working memory was loaded, but phonological working memory load did not affect attentional capture. The results are consistent with load theory and suggest specific components of working memory influence visual selective attention. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  5. Selectively Distracted: Divided Attention and Memory for Important Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middlebrooks, Catherine D; Kerr, Tyson; Castel, Alan D

    2017-08-01

    Distractions and multitasking are generally detrimental to learning and memory. Nevertheless, people often study while listening to music, sitting in noisy coffee shops, or intermittently checking their e-mail. The current experiments examined how distractions and divided attention influence one's ability to selectively remember valuable information. Participants studied lists of words that ranged in value from 1 to 10 points while completing a digit-detection task, while listening to music, or without distractions. Though participants recalled fewer words following digit detection than in the other conditions, there were no significant differences between conditions in terms of selectively remembering the most valuable words. Similar results were obtained across a variety of divided-attention tasks that stressed attention and working memory to different degrees, which suggests that people may compensate for divided-attention costs by selectively attending to the most valuable items and that factors that worsen memory do not necessarily impair the ability to selectively remember important information.

  6. Neural mechanisms of selective attention in the somatosensory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hysaj, Kristjana; Niebur, Ernst

    2016-09-01

    Selective attention allows organisms to extract behaviorally relevant information while ignoring distracting stimuli that compete for the limited resources of their central nervous systems. Attention is highly flexible, and it can be harnessed to select information based on sensory modality, within-modality feature(s), spatial location, object identity, and/or temporal properties. In this review, we discuss the body of work devoted to understanding mechanisms of selective attention in the somatosensory system. In particular, we describe the effects of attention on tactile behavior and corresponding neural activity in somatosensory cortex. Our focus is on neural mechanisms that select tactile stimuli based on their location on the body (somatotopic-based attention) or their sensory feature (feature-based attention). We highlight parallels between selection mechanisms in touch and other sensory systems and discuss several putative neural coding schemes employed by cortical populations to signal the behavioral relevance of sensory inputs. Specifically, we contrast the advantages and disadvantages of using a gain vs. spike-spike correlation code for representing attended sensory stimuli. We favor a neural network model of tactile attention that is composed of frontal, parietal, and subcortical areas that controls somatosensory cells encoding the relevant stimulus features to enable preferential processing throughout the somatosensory hierarchy. Our review is based on data from noninvasive electrophysiological and imaging data in humans as well as single-unit recordings in nonhuman primates. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  7. Focusing on Attention: The Effects of Working Memory Capacity and Load on Selective Attention.

    OpenAIRE

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Background\\ud \\ud Working memory (WM) is imperative for effective selective attention. Distractibility is greater under conditions of high (vs. low) concurrent working memory load (WML), and in individuals with low (vs. high) working memory capacity (WMC). In the current experiments, we recorded the flanker task performance of individuals with high and low WMC during low and high WML, to investigate the combined effect of WML and WMC on selective attention.\\ud \\ud Methodology/Principal Findin...

  8. Effects of a novel mental skills curriculum on surgical novices' attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton, Nicholas E; Mulji, Neelam; Howley, Lisa D; Yurco, Ashley M; Tobben, Daniel; Bean, Eric; Stefanidis, Dimitrios

    2017-11-01

    Surgery is very cognitively demanding, particularly for novices. Novices are required to direct full attention on the procedure at hand, and additional demands can lead to cognitive overload. Through extensive practice, experts develop spare attentional capacity (SAC) for simultaneous tasks. However, little effort has been made to enhance novices' SAC. Mental skills may enhance attention management and increase SAC. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a novel mental skills curriculum (MSC) to enhance novices' attention management. Sixty novice volunteers were randomly stratified to a control or MSC group based on baseline laparoscopic skill and mental skill use (assessed with the Test of Performance Strategies version 2 [TOPS-2]). All participants received laparoscopic training, whereas the MSC group received additional mental skills training. At all sessions, participants completed a secondary task during laparoscopy, which assessed SAC. Participants also completed the D2 Test of Attention and the TOPS-2 attention control subscale, which are valid attention measures. Fifty-five novices completed the study. Both groups displayed significantly improved laparoscopic suturing ability (P attention control scores. However, only the MSC group displayed significantly improved hit rate on the secondary task (P attentional capacity is currently underway. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Vegetarianism and food perception. Selective visual attention to meat pictures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stockburger, Jessica; Renner, Britta; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O; Schupp, Harald T

    2009-04-01

    Vegetarianism provides a model system to examine the impact of negative affect towards meat, based on ideational reasoning. It was hypothesized that meat stimuli are efficient attention catchers in vegetarians. Event-related brain potential recordings served to index selective attention processes at the level of initial stimulus perception. Consistent with the hypothesis, late positive potentials to meat pictures were enlarged in vegetarians compared to omnivores. This effect was specific for meat pictures and obtained during passive viewing and an explicit attention task condition. These findings demonstrate the attention capture of food stimuli, deriving affective salience from ideational reasoning and symbolic meaning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remington, R.; Pierce, L.

    1984-01-01

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

  11. Selective and sustained attention in children with spina bifida myelomeningocele

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caspersen, Ida Dyhr; Habekost, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    distinguish perceptual from response-related components of attention. We used a verbal-report paradigm based on the Theory of Visual Attention (Bundesen, 1990) and a new continuous performance test, the Dual Attention to Response Task (Dockree et al., 2006), for measuring parameters of selective and sustained......Spina bifida myelomeningocele (SBM) is a neural tube defect that has been related to deficits in several cognitive domains including attention. Attention function in children with SBM has often been studied using tasks that are confounded by complex motor demands or tasks that do not clearly...... attention in 6 children with SBM and 18 healthy control children. The two tasks had minimal motor demands, were functionally specific and were sensitive to minor deficits. As a group, the children with SBM were significantly less efficient at filtering out irrelevant stimuli. Moreover, they exhibited...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-15

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

  14. Handwriting Skills: Attention Co-varies with Graphic Pattern Stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kostrubiec V.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Attentional cost of graphic patterns generation was investigated using the classic dual-task procedure, in which a concurrent reaction time (RT task was used as an index of the attentional cost incurred by the motor task. Participants had to trace graphic patterns characterized by 0°, 45°, 90°, 135° and 180° relative phase, while responding by a keypress as fast as possible to an auditory signal. The results evidenced a strong and significant correlation between the stability of the produced pattern and the associated attentional cost measures. The size of minor and major axes of the ellipsoids, capturing the amplitude of graphic patterns, decreased as movement frequency increased, as expected by nonlinear models of pattern generation. In cursive writing, this decrease in amplitude with increasing movement frequency is at origin of most frequent letter malformation.

  15. Changes in otoacoustic emissions during selective auditory and visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kyle P; Pasanen, Edward G; McFadden, Dennis

    2015-05-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) measured during behavioral tasks can have different magnitudes when subjects are attending selectively or not attending. The implication is that the cognitive and perceptual demands of a task can affect the first neural stage of auditory processing-the sensory receptors themselves. However, the directions of the reported attentional effects have been inconsistent, the magnitudes of the observed differences typically have been small, and comparisons across studies have been made difficult by significant procedural differences. In this study, a nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency OAE (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was used to measure cochlear responses from human subjects while they simultaneously performed behavioral tasks requiring selective auditory attention (dichotic or diotic listening), selective visual attention, or relative inattention. Within subjects, the differences in nSFOAE magnitude between inattention and attention conditions were about 2-3 dB for both auditory and visual modalities, and the effect sizes for the differences typically were large for both nSFOAE magnitude and phase. These results reveal that the cochlear efferent reflex is differentially active during selective attention and inattention, for both auditory and visual tasks, although they do not reveal how attention is improved when efferent activity is greater.

  16. Changes in otoacoustic emissions during selective auditory and visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) measured during behavioral tasks can have different magnitudes when subjects are attending selectively or not attending. The implication is that the cognitive and perceptual demands of a task can affect the first neural stage of auditory processing—the sensory receptors themselves. However, the directions of the reported attentional effects have been inconsistent, the magnitudes of the observed differences typically have been small, and comparisons across studies have been made difficult by significant procedural differences. In this study, a nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency OAE (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was used to measure cochlear responses from human subjects while they simultaneously performed behavioral tasks requiring selective auditory attention (dichotic or diotic listening), selective visual attention, or relative inattention. Within subjects, the differences in nSFOAE magnitude between inattention and attention conditions were about 2–3 dB for both auditory and visual modalities, and the effect sizes for the differences typically were large for both nSFOAE magnitude and phase. These results reveal that the cochlear efferent reflex is differentially active during selective attention and inattention, for both auditory and visual tasks, although they do not reveal how attention is improved when efferent activity is greater. PMID:25994703

  17. Fundamental Movement Skills and Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Peer Comparisons and Stimulant Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, William J.; Reid, Greg; Grizenko, Natalie; Mbekou, Valentin; Ter-Stepanian, Marina; Joober, Ridha

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the fundamental movement skills of 22 children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), from 6 to 12 years of age, to gender- and age-matched peers without ADHD and assess the effects of stimulant medication on the movement skill performance of the children with ADHD. Repeated measures analyses…

  18. Effects of spatial and selective attention on basic multisensory integration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gondan, Matthias; Blurton, Steven Paul; Hughes, F.

    2011-01-01

    underlying the RSE. We investigated the role of spatial and selective attention on the RSE in audiovisual redundant signals tasks. In Experiment 1, stimuli were presented either centrally (narrow attentional focus) or at 1 of 3 unpredictable locations (wide focus). The RSE was accurately described...... task) or to central stimuli only (selective attention task). The RSE was consistent with task-specific coactivation models; accumulation of evidence, however, differed between the 2 tasks....... by a coactivation model assuming linear superposition of modality-specific activation. Effects of spatial attention were explained by a shift of the evidence criterion. In Experiment 2, stimuli were presented at 3 locations; participants had to respond either to all signals regardless of location (simple response...

  19. Seeing People, Seeing Things: Individual Differences in Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntyre, Miranda M; Graziano, William G

    2016-09-01

    Individuals differ in how they deploy attention to their physical and social environments. These differences have been recognized in various forms as orientations, interests, and preferences, but empirical work examining these differences at a cognitive level is scarce. To address this gap, we conducted two studies to explore the links among attentional processes and interests in people and things. The first study measured selective visual attention toward person- and thing-related image content. In the second study, participants were randomly assigned to describe visually presented scenes using either an observational or narrative story format. Linguistic analyses were conducted to assess attentional bias toward interest-congruent content. Outcomes from both studies suggest that attention and motivational processes are linked to differential interests in physical and social environments. © 2016 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

  20. Vegetarianism and food perception : selective visual attention to meat pictures

    OpenAIRE

    Stockburger, Jessica; Renner, Britta; Weike, Almut I.; Hamm, Alfons O.; Schupp, Harald Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Vegetarianism provides a model system to examine the impact of negative affect towards meat, based on ideational reasoning. It was hypothesized that meat stimuli are efficient attention catchers in vegetarians. Event-related brain potential recordings served to index selective attention processes at the level of initial stimulus perception. Consistent with the hypothesis, late positive potentials to meat pictures were enlarged in vegetarians compared to omnivores. This effect was specific fo...

  1. Sustained attention, selective attention and cognitive control in deaf and hearing children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, Matthew W G; Hauser, Peter C

    2014-03-01

    Deaf children have been characterized as being impulsive, distractible, and unable to sustain attention. However, past research has tested deaf children born to hearing parents who are likely to have experienced language delays. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an absence of auditory input modulates attentional problems in deaf children with no delayed exposure to language. Two versions of a continuous performance test were administered to 37 deaf children born to Deaf parents and 60 hearing children, all aged 6-13 years. A vigilance task was used to measure sustained attention over the course of several minutes, and a distractibility test provided a measure of the ability to ignore task irrelevant information - selective attention. Both tasks provided assessments of cognitive control through analysis of commission errors. The deaf and hearing children did not differ on measures of sustained attention. However, younger deaf children were more distracted by task-irrelevant information in their peripheral visual field, and deaf children produced a higher number of commission errors in the selective attention task. It is argued that this is not likely to be an effect of audition on cognitive processing, but may rather reflect difficulty in endogenous control of reallocated visual attention resources stemming from early profound deafness. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Sustained attention, selective attention and cognitive control in deaf and hearing children

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Deaf children have been characterized as being impulsive, distractible, and unable to sustain attention. However, past research has tested deaf children born to hearing parents who are likely to have experienced language delays. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an absence of auditory input modulates attentional problems in deaf children with no delayed exposure to language. Two versions of a continuous performance test were administered to 37 deaf children born to Deaf parents and 60 hearing children, all aged 6–13 years. A vigilance task was used to measure sustained attention over the course of several minutes, and a distractibility test provided a measure of the ability to ignore task irrelevant information – selective attention. Both tasks provided assessments of cognitive control through analysis of commission errors. The deaf and hearing children did not differ on measures of sustained attention. However, younger deaf children were more distracted by task-irrelevant information in their peripheral visual field, and deaf children produced a higher number of commission errors in the selective attention task. It is argued that this is not likely to be an effect of audition on cognitive processing, but may rather reflect difficulty in endogenous control of reallocated visual attention resources stemming from early profound deafness. PMID:24355653

  3. Divided versus selective attention: evidence for common processing mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Britta; Wolkenberg, Frank A; Ross, Thomas J; Myers, Carol S; Heishman, Stephen J; Stein, Dan J; Kurup, Pradeep K; Stein, Elliot A

    2008-06-18

    The current study revisited the question of whether there are brain mechanisms specific to divided attention that differ from those used in selective attention. Increased neuronal activity required to simultaneously process two stimulus dimensions as compared with each separate dimension has often been observed, but rarely has activity induced by a divided attention condition exceeded the sum of activity induced by the component tasks. Healthy participants performed a selective-divided attention paradigm while undergoing functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). The task required participants to make a same-different judgment about either one of two simultaneously presented stimulus dimensions, or about both dimensions. Performance accuracy was equated between tasks by dynamically adjusting the stimulus display time. Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal differences between tasks were identified by whole-brain voxel-wise comparisons and by region-specific analyses of all areas modulated by the divided attention task (DIV). No region displayed greater activation or deactivation by DIV than the sum of signal change by the two selective attention tasks. Instead, regional activity followed the tasks' processing demands as reflected by reaction time. Only a left cerebellar region displayed a correlation between participants' BOLD signal intensity and reaction time that was selective for DIV. The correlation was positive, reflecting slower responding with greater activation. Overall, the findings do not support the existence of functional brain activity specific to DIV. Increased activity appears to reflect additional processing demands by introducing a secondary task, but those demands do not appear to qualitatively differ from processes of selective attention.

  4. The role of working memory in auditory selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalton, Polly; Santangelo, Valerio; Spence, Charles

    2009-11-01

    A growing body of research now demonstrates that working memory plays an important role in controlling the extent to which irrelevant visual distractors are processed during visual selective attention tasks (e.g., Lavie, Hirst, De Fockert, & Viding, 2004). Recently, it has been shown that the successful selection of tactile information also depends on the availability of working memory (Dalton, Lavie, & Spence, 2009). Here, we investigate whether working memory plays a role in auditory selective attention. Participants focused their attention on short continuous bursts of white noise (targets) while attempting to ignore pulsed bursts of noise (distractors). Distractor interference in this auditory task, as measured in terms of the difference in performance between congruent and incongruent distractor trials, increased significantly under high (vs. low) load in a concurrent working-memory task. These results provide the first evidence demonstrating a causal role for working memory in reducing interference by irrelevant auditory distractors.

  5. Selective Attention in Multi-Chip Address-Event Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giacomo Indiveri

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Selective attention is the strategy used by biological systems to cope with the inherent limits in their available computational resources, in order to efficiently process sensory information. The same strategy can be used in artificial systems that have to process vast amounts of sensory data with limited resources. In this paper we present a neuromorphic VLSI device, the “Selective Attention Chip” (SAC, which can be used to implement these models in multi-chip address-event systems. We also describe a real-time sensory-motor system, which integrates the SAC with a dynamic vision sensor and a robotic actuator. We present experimental results from each component in the system, and demonstrate how the complete system implements a real-time stimulus-driven selective attention model.

  6. Selective attention in multi-chip address-event systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartolozzi, Chiara; Indiveri, Giacomo

    2009-01-01

    Selective attention is the strategy used by biological systems to cope with the inherent limits in their available computational resources, in order to efficiently process sensory information. The same strategy can be used in artificial systems that have to process vast amounts of sensory data with limited resources. In this paper we present a neuromorphic VLSI device, the "Selective Attention Chip" (SAC), which can be used to implement these models in multi-chip address-event systems. We also describe a real-time sensory-motor system, which integrates the SAC with a dynamic vision sensor and a robotic actuator. We present experimental results from each component in the system, and demonstrate how the complete system implements a real-time stimulus-driven selective attention model.

  7. Exploring the Nature of Joint Attention Impairments in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Associated Social and Cognitive Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schietecatte, Inge; Roeyers, Herbert; Warreyn, Petra

    2012-01-01

    It is generally accepted that joint attention skills are impaired in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this study, social preference, attention disengagement and intention understanding, assumed to be associated with the development of joint attention, are explored in relation to joint attention skills in children with ASD at the…

  8. Focusing on attention: the effects of working memory capacity and load on selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan W

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) is imperative for effective selective attention. Distractibility is greater under conditions of high (vs. low) concurrent working memory load (WML), and in individuals with low (vs. high) working memory capacity (WMC). In the current experiments, we recorded the flanker task performance of individuals with high and low WMC during low and high WML, to investigate the combined effect of WML and WMC on selective attention. In Experiment 1, distractibility from a distractor at a fixed distance from the target was greater when either WML was high or WMC was low, but surprisingly smaller when both WML was high and WMC low. Thus we observed an inverted-U relationship between reductions in WM resources and distractibility. In Experiment 2, we mapped the distribution of spatial attention as a function of WMC and WML, by recording distractibility across several target-to-distractor distances. The pattern of distractor effects across the target-to-distractor distances demonstrated that the distribution of the attentional window becomes dispersed as WM resources are limited. The attentional window was more spread out under high compared to low WML, and for low compared to high WMC individuals, and even more so when the two factors co-occurred (i.e., under high WML in low WMC individuals). The inverted-U pattern of distractibility effects in Experiment 1, replicated in Experiment 2, can thus be explained by differences in the spread of the attentional window as a function of WM resource availability. The current findings show that limitations in WM resources, due to either WML or individual differences in WMC, affect the spatial distribution of attention. The difference in attentional constraining between high and low WMC individuals demonstrated in the current experiments helps characterise the nature of previously established associations between WMC and controlled attention.

  9. Focusing on attention: the effects of working memory capacity and load on selective attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lubna Ahmed

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Working memory (WM is imperative for effective selective attention. Distractibility is greater under conditions of high (vs. low concurrent working memory load (WML, and in individuals with low (vs. high working memory capacity (WMC. In the current experiments, we recorded the flanker task performance of individuals with high and low WMC during low and high WML, to investigate the combined effect of WML and WMC on selective attention. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In Experiment 1, distractibility from a distractor at a fixed distance from the target was greater when either WML was high or WMC was low, but surprisingly smaller when both WML was high and WMC low. Thus we observed an inverted-U relationship between reductions in WM resources and distractibility. In Experiment 2, we mapped the distribution of spatial attention as a function of WMC and WML, by recording distractibility across several target-to-distractor distances. The pattern of distractor effects across the target-to-distractor distances demonstrated that the distribution of the attentional window becomes dispersed as WM resources are limited. The attentional window was more spread out under high compared to low WML, and for low compared to high WMC individuals, and even more so when the two factors co-occurred (i.e., under high WML in low WMC individuals. The inverted-U pattern of distractibility effects in Experiment 1, replicated in Experiment 2, can thus be explained by differences in the spread of the attentional window as a function of WM resource availability. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The current findings show that limitations in WM resources, due to either WML or individual differences in WMC, affect the spatial distribution of attention. The difference in attentional constraining between high and low WMC individuals demonstrated in the current experiments helps characterise the nature of previously established associations between WMC and controlled

  10. Through their eyes: selective attention in peahens during courtship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yorzinski, Jessica L; Patricelli, Gail L; Babcock, Jason S; Pearson, John M; Platt, Michael L

    2013-08-15

    Conspicuous, multicomponent ornamentation in male animals can be favored by female mate choice but we know little about the cognitive processes females use to evaluate these traits. Sexual selection may favor attention mechanisms allowing the choosing females to selectively and efficiently acquire relevant information from complex male display traits and, in turn, may favor male display traits that effectively capture and hold female attention. Using a miniaturized telemetric gaze-tracker, we show that peahens (Pavo cristatus) selectively attend to specific components of peacock courtship displays and virtually ignore other, highly conspicuous components. Females gazed at the lower train but largely ignored the head, crest and upper train. When the lower train was obscured, however, females spent more time gazing at the upper train and approached the upper train from a distance. Our results suggest that peahens mainly evaluate the lower train during close-up courtship but use the upper train as a long-distance attraction signal. Furthermore, we found that behavioral display components (train rattling and wing shaking) captured and maintained female attention, indicating that interactions between display components may promote the evolution of multicomponent displays. Taken together, these findings suggest that selective attention plays a crucial role in sexual selection and likely influences the evolution of male display traits.

  11. Visuospatial attention and motor skills in kung fu athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muiños, Mónica; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2013-01-01

    The present study compared the performance of a group of sixteen kung fu athletes with that of a control group of fourteen nonathletes on a speeded visuospatial task and a hand-tapping motor task. In the visuospatial task the results showed that athletes were faster than the control participants when stimuli were presented at the periphery of the visual field at a middle and high presentation speed with short interstimulus intervals. Athletes were also significantly faster than nonathlete participants when performing motor actions such as hand-tapping with their dominant hand but groups did not differ with the nondominant hand. These results support the view that athletes perform some speeded visuospatial and motor tasks faster than nonathletes under certain conditions. The findings suggest that, after several years of practice, kung fu athletes develop certain skills that allow them to perform motor speed maneuvers under time pressure conditions.

  12. Interhemispheric interaction expands attentional capacity in an auditory selective attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalf, Paige E; Banich, Marie T; Erickson, Andrew B

    2009-04-01

    Previous work from our laboratory indicates that interhemispheric interaction (IHI) functionally increases the attentional capacity available to support performance on visual tasks (Banich in The asymmetrical brain, pp 261-302, 2003). Because manipulations of both computational complexity and selection demand alter the benefits of IHI to task performance, we argue that IHI may be a general strategy for meeting increases in attentional demand. Other researchers, however, have suggested that the apparent benefits of IHI to attentional capacity are an epiphenomenon of the organization of the visual system (Fecteau and Enns in Neuropsychologia 43:1412-1428, 2005; Marsolek et al. in Neuropsychologia 40:1983-1999, 2002). In the current experiment, we investigate whether IHI increases attentional capacity outside the visual system by manipulating the selection demands of an auditory temporal pattern-matching task. We find that IHI expands attentional capacity in the auditory system. This suggests that the benefits of requiring IHI derive from a functional increase in attentional capacity rather than the organization of a specific sensory modality.

  13. Selective attention reduces physiological noise in the external ear canals of humans. I: Auditory attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency OAE (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was used to measure cochlear responses from human subjects while they simultaneously performed behavioral tasks requiring, or not requiring, selective auditory attention. Appended to each stimulus presentation, and included in the calculation of each nSFOAE response, was a 30-ms silent period that was used to estimate the level of the inherent physiological noise in the ear canals of our subjects during each behavioral condition. Physiological-noise magnitudes were higher (noisier) for all subjects in the inattention task, and lower (quieter) in the selective auditory-attention tasks. These noise measures initially were made at the frequency of our nSFOAE probe tone (4.0 kHz), but the same attention effects also were observed across a wide range of frequencies. We attribute the observed differences in physiological-noise magnitudes between the inattention and attention conditions to different levels of efferent activation associated with the differing attentional demands of the behavioral tasks. One hypothesis is that when the attentional demand is relatively great, efferent activation is relatively high, and a decrease in the gain of the cochlear amplifier leads to lower-amplitude cochlear activity, and thus a smaller measure of noise from the ear. PMID:24732069

  14. Object width modulates object-based attentional selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nah, Joseph C; Neppi-Modona, Marco; Strother, Lars; Behrmann, Marlene; Shomstein, Sarah

    2018-04-24

    Visual input typically includes a myriad of objects, some of which are selected for further processing. While these objects vary in shape and size, most evidence supporting object-based guidance of attention is drawn from paradigms employing two identical objects. Importantly, object size is a readily perceived stimulus dimension, and whether it modulates the distribution of attention remains an open question. Across four experiments, the size of the objects in the display was manipulated in a modified version of the two-rectangle paradigm. In Experiment 1, two identical parallel rectangles of two sizes (thin or thick) were presented. Experiments 2-4 employed identical trapezoids (each having a thin and thick end), inverted in orientation. In the experiments, one end of an object was cued and participants performed either a T/L discrimination or a simple target-detection task. Combined results show that, in addition to the standard object-based attentional advantage, there was a further attentional benefit for processing information contained in the thick versus thin end of objects. Additionally, eye-tracking measures demonstrated increased saccade precision towards thick object ends, suggesting that Fitts's Law may play a role in object-based attentional shifts. Taken together, these results suggest that object-based attentional selection is modulated by object width.

  15. Visual short-term memory load strengthens selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roper, Zachary J J; Vecera, Shaun P

    2014-04-01

    Perceptual load theory accounts for many attentional phenomena; however, its mechanism remains elusive because it invokes underspecified attentional resources. Recent dual-task evidence has revealed that a concurrent visual short-term memory (VSTM) load slows visual search and reduces contrast sensitivity, but it is unknown whether a VSTM load also constricts attention in a canonical perceptual load task. If attentional selection draws upon VSTM resources, then distraction effects-which measure attentional "spill-over"-will be reduced as competition for resources increases. Observers performed a low perceptual load flanker task during the delay period of a VSTM change detection task. We observed a reduction of the flanker effect in the perceptual load task as a function of increasing concurrent VSTM load. These findings were not due to perceptual-level interactions between the physical displays of the two tasks. Our findings suggest that perceptual representations of distractor stimuli compete with the maintenance of visual representations held in memory. We conclude that access to VSTM determines the degree of attentional selectivity; when VSTM is not completely taxed, it is more likely for task-irrelevant items to be consolidated and, consequently, affect responses. The "resources" hypothesized by load theory are at least partly mnemonic in nature, due to the strong correspondence they share with VSTM capacity.

  16. Neuronal effects of nicotine during auditory selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smucny, Jason; Olincy, Ann; Eichman, Lindsay S; Tregellas, Jason R

    2015-06-01

    Although the attention-enhancing effects of nicotine have been behaviorally and neurophysiologically well-documented, its localized functional effects during selective attention are poorly understood. In this study, we examined the neuronal effects of nicotine during auditory selective attention in healthy human nonsmokers. We hypothesized to observe significant effects of nicotine in attention-associated brain areas, driven by nicotine-induced increases in activity as a function of increasing task demands. A single-blind, prospective, randomized crossover design was used to examine neuronal response associated with a go/no-go task after 7 mg nicotine or placebo patch administration in 20 individuals who underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3T. The task design included two levels of difficulty (ordered vs. random stimuli) and two levels of auditory distraction (silence vs. noise). Significant treatment × difficulty × distraction interaction effects on neuronal response were observed in the hippocampus, ventral parietal cortex, and anterior cingulate. In contrast to our hypothesis, U and inverted U-shaped dependencies were observed between the effects of nicotine on response and task demands, depending on the brain area. These results suggest that nicotine may differentially affect neuronal response depending on task conditions. These results have important theoretical implications for understanding how cholinergic tone may influence the neurobiology of selective attention.

  17. Sustained and selective attention deficits as vulnerability markers to psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulet, B; Valero, J; Gutiérrez-Zotes, A; Montserrat, C; Cortés, M J; Jariod, M; Martorell, L; Vilella, E; Labad, A

    2007-04-01

    The first descriptions of schizophrenia emphasized attention problems patients with schizophrenia have but recent results evidence that other psychotic disorders share them. We compared the performance in sustained and selective attention between psychotic patients (P), their healthy first degree relatives (R) and healthy volunteers (C) to prove whether these alterations could be an endophenotype of vulnerability to psychosis. We also compared the performance of schizophrenic patients (SZP) and that of patients with other functional psychoses (OP) in order to prove whether these alterations are specific of any psychotic disorder. Seventy-six P, 70 R and 39 C were included in the study. A selective attention index, comprising TMT A and B and Stroop Test, and a sustained attention index comprising the Continuous Performance Test were calculated. We conducted an univariant general linear model to compare three group performances in these indexes, with age, sex and years of education as a covariables. We found significant differences between the indexes when we compared P, R and C. No differences in performance were found between SZP and OP. Our data showed that sustained and selective attention alterations could be a vulnerability factor to psychotic disorders in general, but they were not specific of schizophrenia.

  18. Neural effects of cognitive control load on auditory selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabri, Merav; Humphries, Colin; Verber, Matthew; Liebenthal, Einat; Binder, Jeffrey R; Mangalathu, Jain; Desai, Anjali

    2014-08-01

    Whether and how working memory disrupts or alters auditory selective attention is unclear. We compared simultaneous event-related potentials (ERP) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) responses associated with task-irrelevant sounds across high and low working memory load in a dichotic-listening paradigm. Participants performed n-back tasks (1-back, 2-back) in one ear (Attend ear) while ignoring task-irrelevant speech sounds in the other ear (Ignore ear). The effects of working memory load on selective attention were observed at 130-210ms, with higher load resulting in greater irrelevant syllable-related activation in localizer-defined regions in auditory cortex. The interaction between memory load and presence of irrelevant information revealed stronger activations primarily in frontal and parietal areas due to presence of irrelevant information in the higher memory load. Joint independent component analysis of ERP and fMRI data revealed that the ERP component in the N1 time-range is associated with activity in superior temporal gyrus and medial prefrontal cortex. These results demonstrate a dynamic relationship between working memory load and auditory selective attention, in agreement with the load model of attention and the idea of common neural resources for memory and attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Development of selective attention in preschool-age children from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Hampton Wray

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Although differences in selective attention skills have been identified in children from lower compared to higher socioeconomic status (SES backgrounds, little is known about these differences in early childhood, a time of rapid attention development. The current study evaluated the development of neural systems for selective attention in children from lower SES backgrounds. Event-related potentials (ERPs were acquired from 33 children from lower SES and 14 children from higher SES backgrounds during a dichotic listening task. The lower SES group was followed longitudinally for one year. At age four, the higher SES group exhibited a significant attention effect (larger ERP response to attended compared to unattended condition, an effect not observed in the lower SES group. At age five, the lower SES group exhibited a significant attention effect comparable in overall magnitude to that observed in the 4-year-old higher SES group, but with poorer distractor suppression (larger response to the unattended condition. Together, these findings suggest both a maturational delay and divergent developmental pattern in neural mechanisms for selective attention in young children from lower compared to higher SES backgrounds. Furthermore, these findings highlight the importance of studying neurodevelopment within narrow age ranges and in children from diverse backgrounds.

  20. Development of selective attention in preschool-age children from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampton Wray, Amanda; Stevens, Courtney; Pakulak, Eric; Isbell, Elif; Bell, Theodore; Neville, Helen

    2017-08-01

    Although differences in selective attention skills have been identified in children from lower compared to higher socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds, little is known about these differences in early childhood, a time of rapid attention development. The current study evaluated the development of neural systems for selective attention in children from lower SES backgrounds. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were acquired from 33 children from lower SES and 14 children from higher SES backgrounds during a dichotic listening task. The lower SES group was followed longitudinally for one year. At age four, the higher SES group exhibited a significant attention effect (larger ERP response to attended compared to unattended condition), an effect not observed in the lower SES group. At age five, the lower SES group exhibited a significant attention effect comparable in overall magnitude to that observed in the 4-year-old higher SES group, but with poorer distractor suppression (larger response to the unattended condition). Together, these findings suggest both a maturational delay and divergent developmental pattern in neural mechanisms for selective attention in young children from lower compared to higher SES backgrounds. Furthermore, these findings highlight the importance of studying neurodevelopment within narrow age ranges and in children from diverse backgrounds. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Sex differences in sensorimotor mu rhythms during selective attentional processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popovich, C; Dockstader, C; Cheyne, D; Tannock, R

    2010-12-01

    We used magnetoencephalography to investigate the effect of directed attention on sensorimotor mu (8-12 Hz) response (mu reactivity) to non-painful electrical stimulation of the median nerve in healthy adults. Mu desynchronization in the 10-12 Hz bandwidth is typically observed during higher-order cognitive functions including selective attentional processing of sensorimotor information (Pfurtscheller, Neuper, & Krauz, 2000). We found attention-related sex differences in mu reactivity, with females showing (i) prolonged mu desynchrony when attending to somatosensory stimuli, (ii) attentional modulation of the mu response based on whether attention was directed towards or away from somatosensory stimuli, which was absent in males, and (iii) a trend for greater neuronal excitability of the primary somatosensory region suggesting greater physiological responsiveness to sensory stimulation overall. Our findings suggest sex differences in attentional control strategies when processing somatosensory stimuli, whose salience may be greater for females. These sex differences in attention to somatosensory stimuli may help elucidate the well-documented sex biases in pain processing wherein females typically report greater sensitivity to experimental and clinical pain. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Modeling selective attention using a neuromorphic analog VLSI device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indiveri, G

    2000-12-01

    Attentional mechanisms are required to overcome the problem of flooding a limited processing capacity system with information. They are present in biological sensory systems and can be a useful engineering tool for artificial visual systems. In this article we present a hardware model of a selective attention mechanism implemented on a very large-scale integration (VLSI) chip, using analog neuromorphic circuits. The chip exploits a spike-based representation to receive, process, and transmit signals. It can be used as a transceiver module for building multichip neuromorphic vision systems. We describe the circuits that carry out the main processing stages of the selective attention mechanism and provide experimental data for each circuit. We demonstrate the expected behavior of the model at the system level by stimulating the chip with both artificially generated control signals and signals obtained from a saliency map, computed from an image containing several salient features.

  3. Endogenous attention modulates early selective attention in psychopathy: An ERP investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krusemark, Elizabeth A; Kiehl, Kent A; Newman, Joseph P

    2016-10-01

    Psychopathic individuals are prone to act on urges without adequate consideration of future consequences or the rights of other individuals. One interpretation of this behavior is that it reflects abnormal selective attention (i.e., a failure to process information that is incongruent with their primary focus of attention; Hiatt, Schmitt, & Newman, Neuropsychology, 18, 50-59, 2004). Unfortunately, it is unclear whether this selective attention abnormality reflects top-down endogenous influences, such as the strength or specificity of attention focus (i.e., top-down set) apart from other, more exogenous (bottom-up), effects on attention. To explore this question, we used an early visual event-related potential (N2pc) in combination with a modified visual search task designed to assess the effect of early endogenous (i.e., top-down) attention on the processing of set-congruent information. The task was administered to a sample of 70 incarcerated adult males, who were assigned to high, intermediate, and low psychopathy groups using Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (Hare, 2003). Based on the assumption that their failure to process set-incongruent information reflects the exaggerated effects of endogenous attention, we predicted that participants with high psychopathy scores would show an exaggerated N2pc response to set-congruent information. The results supported the hypothesis and provide novel electrophysiological evidence that psychopathy is associated with exaggerated endogenous attention effects during early stages of processing. Further research is needed to examine the implications of this finding for the well-established failure of psychopathic individuals to process set-incongruent information and inhibit inappropriate responses.

  4. Neuroelectrical signs of selective attention to color in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Stelt, O.; van der Molen, M.W.; Gunning, W.B.; Kok, A.

    2001-01-01

    In order to gain insight into the functional and macroanatornical loci of visual selective processing deficits that may be basic to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), multi-channel event related potentials recorded from 24 7-11-yr-old boys clinically diagnosed as having ADHD and 24

  5. Selective control of attention supports the positivity effect in aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura K Sasse

    Full Text Available There is emerging evidence for a positivity effect in healthy aging, which describes an age-specific increased focus on positive compared to negative information. Life-span researchers have attributed this effect to the selective allocation of cognitive resources in the service of prioritized emotional goals. We explored the basic principles of this assumption by assessing selective attention and memory for visual stimuli, differing in emotional content and self-relevance, in young and old participants. To specifically address the impact of cognitive control, voluntary attentional selection during the presentation of multiple-item displays was analyzed and linked to participants' general ability of cognitive control. Results revealed a positivity effect in older adults' selective attention and memory, which was particularly pronounced for self-relevant stimuli. Focusing on positive and ignoring negative information was most evident in older participants with a generally higher ability to exert top-down control during visual search. Our findings highlight the role of controlled selectivity in the occurrence of a positivity effect in aging. Since the effect has been related to well-being in later life, we suggest that the ability to selectively allocate top-down control might represent a resilience factor for emotional health in aging.

  6. Selective control of attention supports the positivity effect in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasse, Laura K; Gamer, Matthias; Büchel, Christian; Brassen, Stefanie

    2014-01-01

    There is emerging evidence for a positivity effect in healthy aging, which describes an age-specific increased focus on positive compared to negative information. Life-span researchers have attributed this effect to the selective allocation of cognitive resources in the service of prioritized emotional goals. We explored the basic principles of this assumption by assessing selective attention and memory for visual stimuli, differing in emotional content and self-relevance, in young and old participants. To specifically address the impact of cognitive control, voluntary attentional selection during the presentation of multiple-item displays was analyzed and linked to participants' general ability of cognitive control. Results revealed a positivity effect in older adults' selective attention and memory, which was particularly pronounced for self-relevant stimuli. Focusing on positive and ignoring negative information was most evident in older participants with a generally higher ability to exert top-down control during visual search. Our findings highlight the role of controlled selectivity in the occurrence of a positivity effect in aging. Since the effect has been related to well-being in later life, we suggest that the ability to selectively allocate top-down control might represent a resilience factor for emotional health in aging.

  7. Development of Selective Attention in Reflective and Impulsive Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiner, Alan S.; Berzonsky, Michael D.

    Selective attention was assessed in second, fourth, and sixth grade reflective and impulsive children with an incidental learning task using pictures (animal-household object pairs) or shapes (colored forms) as stimuli. By the sixth grade, reflective children displayed less incidental learning and greater central learning than impulsive children…

  8. Auditory Selective Attention in Cerebral-Palsied Individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laraway, Lee Ann

    1985-01-01

    To examine differences between auditory selective attention abilities of normal and cerebral-palsied individuals, 23 cerebral-palsied and 23 normal subjects (5-21) were asked to repeat a series of 30 items in presence of intermittent white noise. Results indicated that cerebral-palsied individuals perform significantly more poorly when the…

  9. Nonstrategic Contributions to Putatively Strategic Effects in Selective Attention Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risko, Evan F.; Blais, Chris; Stolz, Jennifer A.; Besner, Derek

    2008-01-01

    Proportion compatible manipulations are often used to index strategic processes in selective attention tasks. Here, a subtle confound in proportion compatible manipulations is considered. Specifically, as the proportion of compatible trials increases, the ratio of complete repetitions and complete alternations to partial repetitions increases on…

  10. Distinguishing Different Strategies of Across-Dimension Attentional Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liqiang; Pashler, Harold

    2012-01-01

    Selective attention in multidimensional displays has usually been examined using search tasks requiring the detection of a single target. We examined the ability to perceive a spatial structure in multi-item subsets of a display that were defined either conjunctively or disjunctively. Observers saw two adjacent displays and indicated whether the…

  11. Stress improves selective attention towards emotionally neutral left ear stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoskin, Robert; Hunter, M D; Woodruff, P W R

    2014-09-01

    Research concerning the impact of psychological stress on visual selective attention has produced mixed results. The current paper describes two experiments which utilise a novel auditory oddball paradigm to test the impact of psychological stress on auditory selective attention. Participants had to report the location of emotionally-neutral auditory stimuli, while ignoring task-irrelevant changes in their content. The results of the first experiment, in which speech stimuli were presented, suggested that stress improves the ability to selectively attend to left, but not right ear stimuli. When this experiment was repeated using tonal stimuli the same result was evident, but only for female participants. Females were also found to experience greater levels of distraction in general across the two experiments. These findings support the goal-shielding theory which suggests that stress improves selective attention by reducing the attentional resources available to process task-irrelevant information. The study also demonstrates, for the first time, that this goal-shielding effect extends to auditory perception. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Abnormal Selective Attention Normalizes P3 Amplitudes in PDD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoeksma, Marco R.; Kemner, Chantal; Kenemans, J. Leon; van Engeland, Herman

    2006-01-01

    This paper studied whether abnormal P3 amplitudes in PDD are a corollary of abnormalities in ERP components related to selective attention in visual and auditory tasks. Furthermore, this study sought to clarify possible age differences in such abnormalities. Children with PDD showed smaller P3 amplitudes than controls, but no abnormalities in…

  13. Selective Attention in Early Dementia of Alzheimer Type

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Duque, Diego; Black, Sandra E.

    2008-01-01

    This study explored possible deficits in selective attention brought about by Dementia of Alzheimer Type (DAT). In three experiments, we tested patients with early DAT, healthy elderly, and young adults under low memory demands to assess perceptual filtering, conflict resolution, and set switching abilities. We found no evidence of impaired…

  14. Selective attention and recognition: effects of congruency on episodic learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosner, Tamara M; D'Angelo, Maria C; MacLellan, Ellen; Milliken, Bruce

    2015-05-01

    Recent research on cognitive control has focused on the learning consequences of high selective attention demands in selective attention tasks (e.g., Botvinick, Cognit Affect Behav Neurosci 7(4):356-366, 2007; Verguts and Notebaert, Psychol Rev 115(2):518-525, 2008). The current study extends these ideas by examining the influence of selective attention demands on remembering. In Experiment 1, participants read aloud the red word in a pair of red and green spatially interleaved words. Half of the items were congruent (the interleaved words had the same identity), and the other half were incongruent (the interleaved words had different identities). Following the naming phase, participants completed a surprise recognition memory test. In this test phase, recognition memory was better for incongruent than for congruent items. In Experiment 2, context was only partially reinstated at test, and again recognition memory was better for incongruent than for congruent items. In Experiment 3, all of the items contained two different words, but in one condition the words were presented close together and interleaved, while in the other condition the two words were spatially separated. Recognition memory was better for the interleaved than for the separated items. This result rules out an interpretation of the congruency effects on recognition in Experiments 1 and 2 that hinges on stronger relational encoding for items that have two different words. Together, the results support the view that selective attention demands for incongruent items lead to encoding that improves recognition.

  15. [Selective attention and schizophrenia before the administration of neuroleptics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lussier, I; Stip, E

    1999-01-01

    In recent years, the presence of attention deficits has been recognized as a key feature of schizophrenia. Past studies reveal that selective attention, or the ability to select relevant information while ignoring simultaneously irrelevant information, is disturbed in schizophrenic patients. According to Treisman feature-integration theory of selective attention, visual search for conjunctive targets (e.g., shape and color) requires controlled processes, that necessitate attention and operate in a serial manner. Reaction times (RTs) are therefore function of the number of stimuli in the display. When subjects are asked to detect the presence or absence of a target in an array of a variable number of stimuli, different performance patterns are expected for positive (present target) and negative trials (absent target). For positive trials, a self-terminating search is triggered, that is, the search is ended when the target is encountered. For negative trials, an exhaustive search strategy is displayed, where each stimulus is examined before the search can end; the RT slope pattern is thus double that of the positive trials. To assess the integrity of these processes, thirteen drug naive schizophrenic patients were compared to twenty normal control subjects. Neuroleptic naive patients were chosen as subjects to avoid the potential influence of medication and chronicity-related factors on performance. The subjects had to specify as fast as possible the presence or absence of the target in an array of a variable number of stimuli presented in a circular display, and comprising or not the target. Results showed that the patients can use self-terminating search strategies as well as normal control subjects. However, their ability to trigger exhaustive search strategies is impaired. Not only were patients slower than controls, but their pattern of RT results was different. These results argue in favor of an early impairment in selective attention capacities in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-09

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

  17. Selective attention to smoking cues in former smokers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehme, Anne K; Bey, Katharina; Frommann, Ingo; Mogg, Karin; Bradley, Brendan P; Bludau, Julia; Block, Verena; Sträter, Birgitta; Schütz, Christian G; Wagner, Michael

    2018-02-01

    Repeated drug use modifies the emotional and cognitive processing of drug-associated cues. These changes are supposed to persist even after prolonged abstinence. Several studies demonstrated that smoking cues selectively attract the attention of smokers, but empirical evidence for such an attentional bias among successful quitters is inconclusive. Here, we investigated whether attentional biases persist after smoking cessation. Thirty-eight former smokers, 34 current smokers, and 29 non-smokers participated in a single experimental session. We used three measures of attentional bias for smoking stimuli: A visual probe task with short (500ms) and long (2000ms) picture stimulus durations, and a modified Stroop task with smoking-related and neutral words. Former smokers and current smokers, as compared to non-smokers, showed an attentional bias in visual orienting to smoking pictures in the 500ms condition of the visual probe task. The Stroop interference index of smoking words was negatively related to nicotine dependence in current smokers. Former smokers and mildly dependent smokers, as compared to non-smokers, showed increased interference by smoking words in the Stroop task. Neither current nor former smokers showed an attentional bias in maintained attention (2000ms visual probe task). In conclusion, even after prolonged abstinence smoking cues retain incentive salience in former smokers, who differed from non-smokers on two attentional bias indices. Attentional biases in former smokers operate mainly in early involuntary rather than in controlled processing, and may represent a vulnerability factor for relapse. Therefore, smoking cessation programs should strengthen self-control abilities to prevent relapses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  18. Attention skills and executive functioning in children with Noonan syndrome and their unaffected siblings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierpont, Elizabeth I; Tworog-Dube, Erica; Roberts, Amy E

    2015-04-01

    Emerging research indicates that gene mutations within the RAS-MAPK signaling cascade, which cause Noonan syndrome and related disorders, affect neurophysiologic activity in brain regions underlying attention and executive functions. The present study examined whether children with Noonan syndrome are at heightened risk for symptoms of attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and executive dysfunction relative to an unaffected sibling comparison group, and investigated three key aspects of behavioral attention: auditory attention, sustained attention, and response inhibition. Children and adolescents with Noonan syndrome (n=32, 17 males, 15 females, mean age 11y 3mo, SD 3y) and their unaffected siblings (n=16, eight males, eight females, mean age 11y, SD 3y 6mo) were administered standardized tests of intellectual functioning and clinic-based measures of behavioral attention. Parent ratings of ADHD symptoms, executive functioning, and behavior were also obtained. Children with Noonan syndrome demonstrated higher rates of past ADHD diagnosis, as well as reduced performance compared with unaffected siblings on behavioral attention measures. Parent-rated functional impairments in attention, social skills, working memory, and self-monitoring were more prevalent in the Noonan syndrome group. The relationship between attention regulation skills (sustained attention and inhibitory control) and intellectual test performance was significantly stronger in the Noonan syndrome group than the comparison group. Clinical screening/evaluation for ADHD and executive dysfunction in Noonan syndrome is recommended to facilitate appropriate intervention and to address functional impact on daily life activities. © 2014 Mac Keith Press.

  19. Indicators of Simulated Driving Skills in Adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sherrilene Classen PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD have an increased risk for committing traffic violations, and they are four times more likely than neurotypical peers to be crash involved, making them a potentially high risk group for driving. We used a two-group design to measure differences in demographics, clinical off-road tests, and fitness to drive abilities in a driving simulator with nine adolescents with ADHD (mean age = 15.00, SD ± 1.00 compared to 22 healthy controls (HC (mean age = 14.32, SD ±..716, as evaluated by an Occupational Therapist Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (OT-CDRS. Despite few demographic differences, the adolescents with ADHD performed worse than the HC on tests of right visual acuity (F = 5.92, p = .036, right peripheral field (F = 6.85, p = .019, selective attention (U = 53.00, p = .046, and motor coordination (U = 53.00, p = .046. The ADHD group made more visual scanning (U = 52.50, p = .041, speed regulation (U = 28.00, p = .001, and total driving errors (U = 32.50, p = .003 on the simulator. Adolescents with ADHD performed worse on tests measuring visual, cognitive, motor, and pre-driving skills, and on a driving simulator. They may require the services of an OT-CDRS to determine their fitness to drive abilities prior to referring them for driver’s education.

  20. Emotion disrupts neural activity during selective attention in psychopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeh, Naomi; Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Heller, Wendy; Herrington, John D; Engels, Anna S; Warren, Stacie L; Crocker, Laura D; Sutton, Bradley P; Miller, Gregory A

    2013-03-01

    Dimensions of psychopathy are theorized to be associated with distinct cognitive and emotional abnormalities that may represent unique neurobiological risk factors for the disorder. This hypothesis was investigated by examining whether the psychopathic personality dimensions of fearless-dominance and impulsive-antisociality moderated neural activity and behavioral responses associated with selective attention and emotional processing during an emotion-word Stroop task in 49 adults. As predicted, the dimensions evidenced divergent selective-attention deficits and sensitivity to emotional distraction. Fearless-dominance was associated with disrupted attentional control to positive words, and activation in right superior frontal gyrus mediated the relationship between fearless-dominance and errors to positive words. In contrast, impulsive-antisociality evidenced increased behavioral interference to both positive and negative words and correlated positively with recruitment of regions associated with motivational salience (amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, insula), emotion regulation (temporal cortex, superior frontal gyrus) and attentional control (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex). Individuals high on both dimensions had increased recruitment of regions related to attentional control (temporal cortex, rostral anterior cingulate cortex), response preparation (pre-/post-central gyri) and motivational value (orbitofrontal cortex) in response to negative words. These findings provide evidence that the psychopathy dimensions represent dual sets of risk factors characterized by divergent dysfunction in cognitive and affective processes.

  1. Attentional Selection and Suppression in Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Encong; Sun, Li; Sun, Meirong; Huang, Jing; Tao, Ye; Zhao, Xixi; Wu, Zhanliang; Ding, Yulong; Newman, Daniel P; Bellgrove, Mark A; Wang, Yufeng; Song, Yan

    2016-07-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder with prominent impairments in directing and sustaining attention. The aim of this study was to identify the neurophysiologic bases of attention deficits in ADHD, focusing on electroencephalography markers of attentional selection (posterior contralateral N2 [N2pc]) and suppression (distractor positivity [P D ]). The electroencephalography data were collected from 135 children 9-15 years old with and without ADHD while they searched for a shape target in either the absence (experiment 1) or the presence (experiment 2) of a salient but irrelevant color distractor. In experiment 1, the shape target elicited a smaller N2pc in children with ADHD (n = 38) compared with typically developing children (n = 36). The smaller N2pc amplitude predicted higher levels of inattentive symptoms in children with ADHD. Moreover, the target-elicited N2pc was followed by a positivity in typically developing children but not in children with ADHD. In experiment 2, the salient but irrelevant color distractor elicited a smaller P D component in children with ADHD (n = 32) compared with typically developing children (n = 29). The smaller P D predicted higher inattentive symptom severity as well as lower behavioral accuracy in children with ADHD. The correlation between N2pc/P D amplitudes and ADHD symptom severity suggests that these signals of attentional selection and suppression may serve as potential candidates for neurophysiologic markers of ADHD. Our findings provide a neurophysiologic basis for the subjective reports of attention deficits in children with ADHD and highlight the importance of spatial attention impairments in ADHD. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Selective attention reduces physiological noise in the external ear canals of humans. II: Visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis

    2014-01-01

    Human subjects performed in several behavioral conditions requiring, or not requiring, selective attention to visual stimuli. Specifically, the attentional task was to recognize strings of digits that had been presented visually. A nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emission (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was collected during the visual presentation of the digits. The segment of the physiological response discussed here occurred during brief silent periods immediately following the SFOAE-evoking stimuli. For all subjects tested, the physiological-noise magnitudes were substantially weaker (less noisy) during the tasks requiring the most visual attention. Effect sizes for the differences were >2.0. Our interpretation is that cortico-olivo influences adjusted the magnitude of efferent activation during the SFOAE-evoking stimulation depending upon the attention task in effect, and then that magnitude of efferent activation persisted throughout the silent period where it also modulated the physiological noise present. Because the results were highly similar to those obtained when the behavioral conditions involved auditory attention, similar mechanisms appear to operate both across modalities and within modalities. Supplementary measurements revealed that the efferent activation was spectrally global, as it was for auditory attention. PMID:24732070

  3. Selective attentional deficit in essential tremor: Evidence from the attention network test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauletti, Caterina; Mannarelli, Daniela; De Lucia, Maria Caterina; Locuratolo, Nicoletta; Currà, Antonio; Missori, Paolo; Marinelli, Lucio; Fattapposta, Francesco

    2015-11-01

    The traditional view of essential tremor (ET) as a monosymptomatic and benign disorder has been reconsidered after patients with ET have been shown to experience cognitive deficits that are also related to attention. The Attention Network Test (ANT) is a rapid, widely used test to measure the efficiency of three attentional networks, i.e. alerting, orienting and executive, by evaluating reaction times (RTs) in response to visual stimuli. The aim of this study was to investigate attentional functioning in ET patients by means of the ANT. 21 non-demented patients with ET and 21 age- and sex-matched healthy controls performed the ANT. RT was significantly longer in ET patients than in controls (p attention in ET patients, probably owing to a dysfunction in the cerebello-thalamo-cortical loop. These selective attentional deficits are not related to clinical motor symptoms, contributing to shed further light on the clinical picture of ET. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Effects of smoking history on selective attention in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Constanze; Hahn, Eric; Dettling, Michael; Güntürkün, Onur; Ta, Thi Minh Tam; Neuhaus, Andres H

    2012-03-01

    Smoking prevalence is highly elevated in schizophrenia compared to the general population and to other psychiatric populations. Evidence suggests that smoking may lead to improvements of schizophrenia-associated attention deficits; however, large-scale studies on this important issue are scarce. We examined whether sustained, selective, and executive attention processes are differentially modulated by long-term nicotine consumption in 104 schizophrenia patients and 104 carefully matched healthy controls. A significant interaction of 'smoking status' × 'diagnostic group' was obtained for the domain of selective attention. Smoking was significantly associated with a detrimental conflict effect in controls, while the opposite effect was revealed for schizophrenia patients. Likewise, a positive correlation between a cumulative measure of nicotine consumption and conflict effect in controls and a negative correlation in patients were found. These results provide evidence for specific directional effects of smoking on conflict processing that critically dissociate with diagnosis. The data supports the self-medication hypothesis of smoking in schizophrenia and suggests selective attention as a specific cognitive domain targeted by nicotine consumption. A potential mechanistic model explaining these findings is discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Symbiosis of Executive and Selective Attention in Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André eVandierendonck

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The notion of working memory was introduced to account for the usage of short-term memory resources by other cognitive tasks such as reasoning, mental arithmetic, language comprehension, and many others. This collaboration between memory and other cognitive tasks can only be achieved by a dedicated working memory system that controls task coordination. To that end, working memory models include executive control. Nevertheless, other attention control systems may be involved in coordination of memory and cognitive tasks calling on memory resources. The present paper briefly reviews the evidence concerning the role of selective attention in working memory activities. A model is proposed in which selective attention control is directly linked to the executive control part of the working memory system. The model assumes that apart from storage of declarative information, the system also includes an executive working memory module that represents the current task set. Control processes are automatically triggered when particular conditions in these modules are met.. As each task set represents the parameter settings and the actions needed to achieve the task goal, it will depend on the specific settings and actions whether selective attention control will have to be shared among the active tasks. Only when such sharing is required, task performance will be affected by the capacity limits of the control system involved.

  6. Thalamic control of sensory selection in divided attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimmer, Ralf D; Schmitt, L Ian; Davidson, Thomas J; Nakajima, Miho; Deisseroth, Karl; Halassa, Michael M

    2015-10-29

    How the brain selects appropriate sensory inputs and suppresses distractors is unknown. Given the well-established role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in executive function, its interactions with sensory cortical areas during attention have been hypothesized to control sensory selection. To test this idea and, more generally, dissect the circuits underlying sensory selection, we developed a cross-modal divided-attention task in mice that allowed genetic access to this cognitive process. By optogenetically perturbing PFC function in a temporally precise window, the ability of mice to select appropriately between conflicting visual and auditory stimuli was diminished. Equivalent sensory thalamocortical manipulations showed that behaviour was causally dependent on PFC interactions with the sensory thalamus, not sensory cortex. Consistent with this notion, we found neurons of the visual thalamic reticular nucleus (visTRN) to exhibit PFC-dependent changes in firing rate predictive of the modality selected. visTRN activity was causal to performance as confirmed by bidirectional optogenetic manipulations of this subnetwork. Using a combination of electrophysiology and intracellular chloride photometry, we demonstrated that visTRN dynamically controls visual thalamic gain through feedforward inhibition. Our experiments introduce a new subcortical model of sensory selection, in which the PFC biases thalamic reticular subnetworks to control thalamic sensory gain, selecting appropriate inputs for further processing.

  7. Attentional selection and suppression in children and adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Meirong; Wang, Encong; Huang, Jing; Zhao, Chenguang; Guo, Jialiang; Li, Dongwei; Sun, Li; Du, Boqi; Ding, Yulong; Song, Yan

    2018-05-15

    The fundamental role of covert spatial attention is to enhance the processing of attended items while simultaneously ignoring irrelevant items. However, relatively little is known about how brain electrophysiological activities associated with target selection and distractor suppression are involved as they develop and become fully functional. The current study aimed to identify the neurophysiological bases of the development of covert spatial attention, focusing on electroencephalographic (EEG) markers of attentional selection (N2pc) and suppression (P D ). EEG data were collected from healthy young adults and typically developing children (9-15 years old) as they searched for a shape singleton target in either the absence or the presence of a salient-but-irrelevant color singleton distractor. The ERP results showed that a lateral shape target elicited a smaller N2pc in children compared with adults regardless of whether a distractor was present or not. Moreover, the target-elicited N2pc was always followed by a similar positivity in both age groups. Counterintuitively, a lateral salient-but-irrelevant distractor elicited a large P D in children with low behavioral accuracy, whereas high-accuracy children exhibited a small and "adult-like" P D . More importantly, we found no evidence for a correlation between the target-elicited N2pc and the distractor-elicited P D in either age group. Our results provide neurophysiological evidence for the developmental differences between target selection and distractor suppression. Compared with adults, 9-15-year-old children deploy insufficient attentional selection resources to targets but use "adult-like" or even more attentional suppression resources to resist irrelevant distractors. A video abstract of this article can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhWapx0d75I. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Selective attention in peacocks during assessment of rival males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yorzinski, Jessica L; Patricelli, Gail L; Bykau, Siarhei; Platt, Michael L

    2017-03-15

    Males in many species compete intensely for access to females. In order to minimize costly interactions, they can assess their rivals' competitive abilities by evaluating traits and behaviors. We know little about how males selectively direct their attention to make these assessments. Using Indian peafowl ( Pavo cristatus ) as a model system, we examined how males visually assess their competitors by continuously tracking the gaze of freely moving peacocks during the mating season. When assessing rivals, peacocks selectively gazed toward the lower display regions of their rivals, including the lower eyespot and fishtail feathers, dense feathers, body and wings. Their attention was modified based on the rivals' behavior such that they spent more time looking at rivals when rivals were shaking their wings and moving. The results indicate that peacocks selectively allocate their attention during rival assessment. The gaze patterns of males assessing rivals were largely similar to those of females evaluating mates, suggesting that some male traits serve a dual function in both intra- and intersexual selection. However, males spent more time than females looking at the upper eyespots and this could indicate that the upper eyespots function more in close-up rival assessment than mate choice. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Evaluation of selective attention in patients with misophonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Fúlvia Eduarda da; Sanchez, Tanit Ganz

    2018-03-21

    Misophonia is characterized by the aversion to very selective sounds, which evoke a strong emotional reaction. It has been inferred that misophonia, as well as tinnitus, is associated with hyperconnectivity between auditory and limbic systems. Individuals with bothersome tinnitus may have selective attention impairment, but it has not been demonstrated in case of misophonia yet. To characterize a sample of misophonic subjects and compare it with two control groups, one with tinnitus individuals (without misophonia) and the other with asymptomatic individuals (without misophonia and without tinnitus), regarding the selective attention. We evaluated 40 normal-hearing participants: 10 with misophonia, 10 with tinnitus (without misophonia) and 20 without tinnitus and without misophonia. In order to evaluate the selective attention, the dichotic sentence identification test was applied in three situations: firstly, the Brazilian Portuguese test was applied. Then, the same test was applied, combined with two competitive sounds: chewing sound (representing a sound that commonly triggers misophonia), and white noise (representing a common type of tinnitus which causes discomfort to patients). The dichotic sentence identification test with chewing sound, showed that the average of correct responses differed between misophonia and without tinnitus and without misophonia (p=0.027) and between misophonia and tinnitus (without misophonia) (p=0.002), in both cases lower in misophonia. Both, the dichotic sentence identification test alone, and with white noise, failed to show differences in the average of correct responses among the three groups (p≥0.452). The misophonia participants presented a lower percentage of correct responses in the dichotic sentence identification test with chewing sound; suggesting that individuals with misophonia may have selective attention impairment when they are exposed to sounds that trigger this condition. Copyright © 2018 Associa

  10. Stroop tasks reveal abnormal selective attention among psychopathic offenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiatt, Kristina D; Schmitt, William A; Newman, Joseph P

    2004-01-01

    Selective attention among offenders with psychopathy was investigated using 3 Stroop paradigms: a standard color-word (CW) Stroop, a picture-word (PW) Stroop, and a color-word Stroop in which the word and color were spatially separated (separated CW). Consistent with "overselective" attention, offenders with psychopathy displayed reduced Stroop interference on the separated CW and PW tasks relative to offenders who were not psychopathic. However, offenders with psychopathy displayed normal Stroop interference on the standard CW Stroop. Further, the reduced interference of offenders with psychopathy on the separated CW Stroop was accompanied by normal facilitation. These findings suggest a circumscribed attentional deficit in psychopathy that hinders the use of unattended information that is (a) not integrated with deliberately attended information and (b) not compatible with current goal-directed behavior. ((c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)

  11. Selective attention increases choice certainty in human decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zizlsperger, Leopold; Sauvigny, Thomas; Haarmeier, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Choice certainty is a probabilistic estimate of past performance and expected outcome. In perceptual decisions the degree of confidence correlates closely with choice accuracy and reaction times, suggesting an intimate relationship to objective performance. Here we show that spatial and feature-based attention increase human subjects' certainty more than accuracy in visual motion discrimination tasks. Our findings demonstrate for the first time a dissociation of choice accuracy and certainty with a significantly stronger influence of voluntary top-down attention on subjective performance measures than on objective performance. These results reveal a so far unknown mechanism of the selection process implemented by attention and suggest a unique biological valence of choice certainty beyond a faithful reflection of the decision process.

  12. Visual evoked potentials and selective attention to points in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Voorhis, S.; Hillyard, S. A.

    1977-01-01

    Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were recorded to sequences of flashes delivered to the right and left visual fields while subjects responded promptly to designated stimuli in one field at a time (focused attention), in both fields at once (divided attention), or to neither field (passive). Three stimulus schedules were used: the first was a replication of a previous study (Eason, Harter, and White, 1969) where left- and right-field flashes were delivered quasi-independently, while in the other two the flashes were delivered to the two fields in random order (Bernoulli sequence). VEPs to attended-field stimuli were enhanced at both occipital (O2) and central (Cz) recording sites under all stimulus sequences, but different components were affected at the two scalp sites. It was suggested that the VEP at O2 may reflect modality-specific processing events, while the response at Cz, like its auditory homologue, may index more general aspects of selective attention.

  13. Executive function in children with high and low attentional skills: correspondences between behavioural and cognitive profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scope, Alison; Empson, Janet; McHale, Sue

    2010-06-01

    Cognitive performance was compared between two groups of typically developing children, who had been observed and rated as differing significantly in their attentional skills at school. The participants were 24 8- and 9-year-old children scoring poorly relative to peers, on a classroom observation scale and teacher rating scale for attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity [low-attentional skills (LAS) group] and 24 sex- and age-matched children scoring at a high level compared to peers [high-attentional skills (HAS) group]. The two groups were compared on a series of cognitive tasks to assess executive function (EF). The LAS group performed within the typical range yetat a significantly lower level than the HAS group on the majority of the EF tasks administered, namely working memory and inhibition measures, even though there were no significant differences between the groups on a measure of intellectual ability. Working memory measures followed by measures of inhibition emerged as the best predictors of group membership. These findings provide empirical evidence that there are individual differences in attentional skills. Specifically, that there is a relationship between behavioural inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity and cognitive performance on working memory and inhibitory control tasks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-03

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

  15. Visual selective attention in amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, Paula M; Anderson, Nicole D; Rich, Jill B; Chertkow, Howard; Murtha, Susan J E

    2014-11-01

    Subtle deficits in visual selective attention have been found in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). However, few studies have explored performance on visual search paradigms or the Simon task, which are known to be sensitive to disease severity in Alzheimer's patients. Furthermore, there is limited research investigating how deficiencies can be ameliorated with exogenous support (auditory cues). Sixteen individuals with aMCI and 14 control participants completed 3 experimental tasks that varied in demand and cue availability: visual search-alerting, visual search-orienting, and Simon task. Visual selective attention was influenced by aMCI, auditory cues, and task characteristics. Visual search abilities were relatively consistent across groups. The aMCI participants were impaired on the Simon task when working memory was required, but conflict resolution was similar to controls. Spatially informative orienting cues improved response times, whereas spatially neutral alerting cues did not influence performance. Finally, spatially informative auditory cues benefited the aMCI group more than controls in the visual search task, specifically at the largest array size where orienting demands were greatest. These findings suggest that individuals with aMCI have working memory deficits and subtle deficiencies in orienting attention and rely on exogenous information to guide attention. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. Effects of selective attention on continuous opinions and discrete decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Xia-Meng; Liu, Yun; Xiong, Fei; Zhang, Yan-Chao; Ding, Fei; Cheng, Hui

    2010-09-01

    Selective attention describes that individuals have a preference on information according to their involving motivation. Based on achievements of social psychology, we propose an opinion interacting model to improve the modeling of individuals’ interacting behaviors. There are two parameters governing the probability of agents interacting with opponents, i.e. individual relevance and time-openness. It is found that, large individual relevance and large time-openness advance the appearance of large clusters, but large individual relevance and small time-openness favor the lessening of extremism. We also put this new model into application to work out some factor leading to a successful product. Numerical simulations show that selective attention, especially individual relevance, cannot be ignored by launcher firms and information spreaders so as to attain the most successful promotion.

  17. Selective Attention to Emotion in the Aging Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R.; Robertson, Elaine R.; Mikels, Joseph A.; Carstensen, Laura L.; Gotlib, Ian H.

    2009-01-01

    A growing body of research suggests that the ability to regulate emotion remains stable or improves across the adult life span. Socioemotional selectivity theory maintains that this pattern of findings reflects the prioritization of emotional goals. Given that goal-directed behavior requires attentional control, the present study was designed to investigate age differences in selective attention to emotional lexical stimuli under conditions of emotional interference. Both neural and behavioral measures were obtained during an experiment in which participants completed a flanker task that required them to make categorical judgments about emotional and non-emotional stimuli. Older adults showed interference in both the behavioral and neural measures on control trials, but not on emotion trials. Although older adults typically show relatively high levels of interference and reduced cognitive control during non-emotional tasks, they appear to be able successfully to reduce interference during emotional tasks. PMID:19739908

  18. Attention-based Memory Selection Recurrent Network for Language Modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Da-Rong; Chuang, Shun-Po; Lee, Hung-yi

    2016-01-01

    Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) have achieved great success in language modeling. However, since the RNNs have fixed size of memory, their memory cannot store all the information about the words it have seen before in the sentence, and thus the useful long-term information may be ignored when predicting the next words. In this paper, we propose Attention-based Memory Selection Recurrent Network (AMSRN), in which the model can review the information stored in the memory at each previous time ...

  19. Benefit salience and consumers' selective attention to product features

    OpenAIRE

    Ratneshwar, S; Warlop, Luk; Mick, DG; Seeger, G

    1997-01-01

    Although attention is a key construct in models of marketing communication and consumer choice, its selective nature has rarely been examined in common time-pressured conditions. We focus on the role of benefit salience, that is, the readiness with which particular benefits are brought to mind by consumers in relation to a given product category. Study I demonstrated that when product feature information was presented rapidly, individuals for whom the benefit of personalised customer service ...

  20. 5-HTTLPR polymorphism is linked to neural mechanisms of selective attention in preschoolers from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elif Isbell

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available While a growing body of research has identified experiential factors associated with differences in selective attention, relatively little is known about the contribution of genetic factors to the skill of sustained selective attention, especially in early childhood. Here, we assessed the association between the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR genotypes and the neural mechanisms of selective attention in young children from lower socioeconomic status (SES backgrounds. Event-related potentials (ERPs were recorded during a dichotic listening task from 121 children (76 females, aged 40–67 months, who were also genotyped for the short and long allele of 5-HTTLPR. The effect of selective attention was measured as the difference in ERP mean amplitudes elicited by identical probe stimuli embedded in stories when they were attended versus unattended. Compared to children homozygous for the long allele, children who carried at least one copy of the short allele showed larger effects of selective attention on neural processing. These findings link the short allele of the 5-HTTLPR to enhanced neural mechanisms of selective attention and lay the groundwork for future studies of gene-by-environment interactions in the context of key cognitive skills.

  1. 5-HTTLPR polymorphism is linked to neural mechanisms of selective attention in preschoolers from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Elif; Stevens, Courtney; Hampton Wray, Amanda; Bell, Theodore; Neville, Helen J

    2016-12-01

    While a growing body of research has identified experiential factors associated with differences in selective attention, relatively little is known about the contribution of genetic factors to the skill of sustained selective attention, especially in early childhood. Here, we assessed the association between the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) genotypes and the neural mechanisms of selective attention in young children from lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a dichotic listening task from 121 children (76 females, aged 40-67 months), who were also genotyped for the short and long allele of 5-HTTLPR. The effect of selective attention was measured as the difference in ERP mean amplitudes elicited by identical probe stimuli embedded in stories when they were attended versus unattended. Compared to children homozygous for the long allele, children who carried at least one copy of the short allele showed larger effects of selective attention on neural processing. These findings link the short allele of the 5-HTTLPR to enhanced neural mechanisms of selective attention and lay the groundwork for future studies of gene-by-environment interactions in the context of key cognitive skills. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. OECD migration, welfare and skill selectivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Peder; Pytlikova, Mariola; Smith, Nina

    into 27 OECD countries over the period of 12 years, 1989-2000. Using a fixed effects panel data model, we analyze the determinants of the migration flows during the latest decade. We study whether there are significant selectivity effects in international migration flows, i.e. whether the countries...

  3. Functional connectivity of parietal cortex during temporal selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, Sarah C; Dasgupta, Samhita; Agosta, Sara; Battelli, Lorella; Grossman, Emily D

    2015-04-01

    Perception of natural experiences requires allocation of attention towards features, objects, and events that are moving and changing over time. This allocation of attention is controlled by large-scale brain networks that, when damaged, cause widespread cognitive deficits. In particular, damage to ventral parietal cortex (right lateralized TPJ, STS, supramarginal and angular gyri) is associated with failures to selectively attend to and isolate features embedded within rapidly changing visual sequences (Battelli, Pascual-Leone, & Cavanagh, 2007; Husain, Shapiro, Martin, & Kennard, 1997). In this study, we used fMRI to investigate the neural activity and functional connectivity of intact parietal cortex while typical subjects judged the relative onsets and offsets of rapidly flickering tokens (a phase discrimination task in which right parietal patients are impaired). We found two regions in parietal cortex correlated with task performance: a bilateral posterior TPJ (pTPJ) and an anterior right-lateralized TPJ (R aTPJ). Both regions were deactivated when subjects engaged in the task but showed different patterns of functional connectivity. The bilateral pTPJ was strongly connected to nodes within the default mode network (DMN) and the R aTPJ was connected to the attention network. Accurate phase discriminations were associated with increased functional correlations between sensory cortex (hMT+) and the bilateral pTPJ, whereas accuracy on a control task was associated with yoked activity in the hMT+ and the R aTPJ. We conclude that temporal selective attention is particularly sensitive for revealing information pathways between sensory and core cognitive control networks that, when damaged, can lead to nonspatial attention impairments in right parietal stroke patients. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Fundamental Movement Skills in Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Chien-Yu; Tsai, Chia-Liang; Chu, Chia-Hua

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the movement skills of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and those without disabilities. Ninety-one children (ASD, n = 28; ADHD, n = 29; control, n = 34), ages 6-10 years, were of average IQ participated. After controlling for age, both ASD and…

  5. Visual-Attentional Span and Lexical ­Decision in Skilled Adult Readers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Virginia M.; Dawson, Georgia

    2014-01-01

    The goal of the study was to examine the association between visual-attentional span and lexical decision in skilled adult readers. In the span tasks, an array of letters was presented briefly and recognition or production of a single cued letter (partial span) or production of all letters (whole span) was required. Independently of letter…

  6. The Effect of Fine Motor Skill Activities on Kindergarten Student Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Roger A.; Rule, Audrey C.; Giordano, Debra A.

    2007-01-01

    This study explored the effect of fine motor skill activities on the development of attention in kindergarteners (n = 68) in five classes at a suburban public school in the Intermountain West through a pretest/posttest experimental group (n = 36) control group (n = 32) design. All children received the regular curriculum which included typical…

  7. Drawing students' attention to relevant assessment criteria: effects on self-assessment skills and performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fastré, Greet; Van der Klink, Marcel; Sluijsmans, Dominique; Van Merriënboer, Jeroen

    2012-01-01

    Fastré, G. M. J., Van der Klink, M. R., Sluijsmans, D., & Van Merriënboer, J. J. G. (2012). Drawing students’ attention to relevant assessment criteria: effects on self-assessment skills and performance. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 64(2), 185-198. doi:10.1080/13636820.2011.630537

  8. A genetic study on attention problems and academic skills: results of a longitudinal study in twins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polderman, T.J.C.; Huizink, A.C.; Verhulst, F.C.; van Beijsterveldt, C.E.M.; Boomsma, D.I.; Bartels, M.

    2011-01-01

    Objective Several studies reported a negative association between ADHD symptoms and academic achievement. We investigated the etiology of the association between Attention Problems (AP, one of the core symptoms in ADHD) in early childhood and four academic skills across childhood in a genetically

  9. Conditioning attentional skills: examining the effects of the pace of television editing on children's attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, N R; Uller, C; Pettifer, J; Stolc, F C

    2009-10-01

    There is increasing concern about the behavioural and cognitive effects of watching television in childhood. Numerous studies have examined the effects of the amount of viewing time; however, to our knowledge, only one study has investigated whether the speed of editing of a programme may have an effect on behaviour. The purpose of the present study was to examine this question using a novel experimental paradigm. School children (aged 4-7 years) were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Each group was presented with either a fast- or slow-edit 3.5-min film of a narrator reading a children's story. Immediately following film presentation, both groups were presented with a continuous test of attention. Performance varied according to experimental group and age. In particular, we found that children's orienting networks and error rates can be affected by a very short exposure to television. Just 3.5 min of watching television can have a differential effect on the viewer depending on the pacing of the film editing. These findings highlight the potential of experimentally manipulating television exposure in children and emphasize the need for more research in this previously under-explored topic.

  10. Bayesian accounts of covert selective attention: A tutorial review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Benjamin T

    2015-05-01

    Decision making and optimal observer models offer an important theoretical approach to the study of covert selective attention. While their probabilistic formulation allows quantitative comparison to human performance, the models can be complex and their insights are not always immediately apparent. Part 1 establishes the theoretical appeal of the Bayesian approach, and introduces the way in which probabilistic approaches can be applied to covert search paradigms. Part 2 presents novel formulations of Bayesian models of 4 important covert attention paradigms, illustrating optimal observer predictions over a range of experimental manipulations. Graphical model notation is used to present models in an accessible way and Supplementary Code is provided to help bridge the gap between model theory and practical implementation. Part 3 reviews a large body of empirical and modelling evidence showing that many experimental phenomena in the domain of covert selective attention are a set of by-products. These effects emerge as the result of observers conducting Bayesian inference with noisy sensory observations, prior expectations, and knowledge of the generative structure of the stimulus environment.

  11. Attention alters appearances and solves the’many-many problem’: implications for research in skill acquisition and execution

    OpenAIRE

    Sánchez García, Raúl; Sebastián, Miguel Ángel

    2015-01-01

    This article states that research in skill acquisition and execution has underestimated the relevance of some features of attention. We present and theoretically discuss two essential features of attention that have been systematically overlooked in the research of skill acquisition and execution. First, attention alters the appearance of the perceived stimuli in an essential way; and second, attention plays a fundamental role in action, being crucial for solving the so called ’ma...

  12. The spectrotemporal filter mechanism of auditory selective attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakatos, Peter; Musacchia, Gabriella; O’Connell, Monica N.; Falchier, Arnaud Y.; Javitt, Daniel C.; Schroeder, Charles E.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY While we have convincing evidence that attention to auditory stimuli modulates neuronal responses at or before the level of primary auditory cortex (A1), the underlying physiological mechanisms are unknown. We found that attending to rhythmic auditory streams resulted in the entrainment of ongoing oscillatory activity reflecting rhythmic excitability fluctuations in A1. Strikingly, while the rhythm of the entrained oscillations in A1 neuronal ensembles reflected the temporal structure of the attended stream, the phase depended on the attended frequency content. Counter-phase entrainment across differently tuned A1 regions resulted in both the amplification and sharpening of responses at attended time points, in essence acting as a spectrotemporal filter mechanism. Our data suggest that selective attention generates a dynamically evolving model of attended auditory stimulus streams in the form of modulatory subthreshold oscillations across tonotopically organized neuronal ensembles in A1 that enhances the representation of attended stimuli. PMID:23439126

  13. Selecting for memory? The influence of selective attention on the mnemonic binding of contextual information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uncapher, Melina R; Rugg, Michael D

    2009-06-24

    Not all of what is experienced is remembered later. Behavioral evidence suggests that the manner in which an event is processed influences which aspects of the event will later be remembered. The present experiment investigated the neural correlates of "selective encoding," or the mechanisms that support the encoding of some elements of an event in preference to others. Event-related MRI data were acquired while volunteers selectively attended to one of two different contextual features of study items (color or location). A surprise memory test for the items and both contextual features was subsequently administered to determine the influence of selective attention on the neural correlates of contextual encoding. Activity in several cortical regions indexed later memory success selectively for color or location information, and this encoding-related activity was enhanced by selective attention to the relevant feature. Critically, a region in the hippocampus responded selectively to attended source information (whether color or location), demonstrating encoding-related activity for attended but not for nonattended source features. Together, the findings suggest that selective attention modulates the magnitude of activity in cortical regions engaged by different aspects of an event, and hippocampal encoding mechanisms seem to be sensitive to this modulation. Thus, the information that is encoded into a memory representation is biased by selective attention, and this bias is mediated by cortical-hippocampal interactions.

  14. Selecting for memory? The influence of selective attention on the mnemonic binding of contextual information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uncapher, Melina R.; Rugg, Michael D.

    2009-01-01

    Not all of what is experienced is remembered later. Behavioral evidence suggests that the manner in which an event is processed influences which aspects of the event will later be remembered. The present experiment investigated the neural correlates of ‘selective encoding’, or the mechanisms that support the encoding of some elements of an event in preference to others. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were acquired while volunteers selectively attended to one of two different contextual features of study items (color or location). A surprise memory test for the items and both contextual features was subsequently administered to determine the influence of selective attention on the neural correlates of contextual encoding. Activity in several cortical regions indexed later memory success selectively for color or location information, and this encoding-related activity was enhanced by selective attention to the relevant feature. Critically, a region in the hippocampus responded selectively to attended source information (whether color or location), demonstrating encoding-related activity for attended but not for nonattended source features. Together, the findings suggest that selective attention modulates the magnitude of activity in cortical regions engaged by different aspects of an event, and hippocampal encoding mechanisms seem to be sensitive to this modulation. Thus, the information that is encoded into a memory representation is biased by selective attention, and this bias is mediated by cortico-hippocampal interactions. PMID:19553466

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Can you hear me now? Musical training shapes functional brain networks for selective auditory attention and hearing speech in noise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dana L Strait

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Even in the quietest of rooms, our senses are perpetually inundated by a barrage of sounds, requiring the auditory system to adapt to a variety of listening conditions in order to extract signals of interest (e.g., one speaker’s voice amidst others. Brain networks that promote selective attention are thought to sharpen the neural encoding of a target signal, suppressing competing sounds and enhancing perceptual performance. Here, we ask: does musical training benefit cortical mechanisms that underlie selective attention to speech? To answer this question, we assessed the impact of selective auditory attention on cortical auditory-evoked response variability in musicians and nonmusicians. Outcomes indicate strengthened brain networks for selective auditory attention in musicians in that musicians but not nonmusicians demonstrate decreased prefrontal response variability with auditory attention. Results are interpreted in the context of previous work from our laboratory documenting perceptual and subcortical advantages in musicians for the hearing and neural encoding of speech in background noise. Musicians’ neural proficiency for selectively engaging and sustaining auditory attention to language indicates a potential benefit of music for auditory training. Given the importance of auditory attention for the development of language-related skills, musical training may aid in the prevention, habilitation and remediation of children with a wide range of attention-based language and learning impairments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-08

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

  18. Selective and Sustained Attention as Predictors of Social Problems in Children with Typical and Disordered Attention Abilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, Brendan F.; Brodeur, Darlene A.; Waschbusch, Daniel A.; Stewart, Sherry H.; McGee, Robin

    2009-01-01

    Objective: Investigated the relationship between selective and sustained attention and social behavior in children with different degrees of attentional disturbance. Method: Participants were 101 6- to 12-year-old children, including 18 who were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), 61 who were clinically referred for…

  19. Auditory attention in childhood and adolescence: An event-related potential study of spatial selective attention to one of two simultaneous stories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karns, Christina M; Isbell, Elif; Giuliano, Ryan J; Neville, Helen J

    2015-06-01

    Auditory selective attention is a critical skill for goal-directed behavior, especially where noisy distractions may impede focusing attention. To better understand the developmental trajectory of auditory spatial selective attention in an acoustically complex environment, in the current study we measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) across five age groups: 3-5 years; 10 years; 13 years; 16 years; and young adults. Using a naturalistic dichotic listening paradigm, we characterized the ERP morphology for nonlinguistic and linguistic auditory probes embedded in attended and unattended stories. We documented robust maturational changes in auditory evoked potentials that were specific to the types of probes. Furthermore, we found a remarkable interplay between age and attention-modulation of auditory evoked potentials in terms of morphology and latency from the early years of childhood through young adulthood. The results are consistent with the view that attention can operate across age groups by modulating the amplitude of maturing auditory early-latency evoked potentials or by invoking later endogenous attention processes. Development of these processes is not uniform for probes with different acoustic properties within our acoustically dense speech-based dichotic listening task. In light of the developmental differences we demonstrate, researchers conducting future attention studies of children and adolescents should be wary of combining analyses across diverse ages. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  20. Auditory attention in childhood and adolescence: An event-related potential study of spatial selective attention to one of two simultaneous stories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karns, Christina M.; Isbell, Elif; Giuliano, Ryan J.; Neville, Helen J.

    2015-01-01

    Auditory selective attention is a critical skill for goal-directed behavior, especially where noisy distractions may impede focusing attention. To better understand the developmental trajectory of auditory spatial selective attention in an acoustically complex environment, in the current study we measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) in human children across five age groups: 3–5 years; 10 years; 13 years; 16 years; and young adults using a naturalistic dichotic listening paradigm, characterizing the ERP morphology for nonlinguistic and linguistic auditory probes embedded in attended and unattended stories. We documented robust maturational changes in auditory evoked potentials that were specific to the types of probes. Furthermore, we found a remarkable interplay between age and attention-modulation of auditory evoked potentials in terms of morphology and latency from the early years of childhood through young adulthood. The results are consistent with the view that attention can operate across age groups by modulating the amplitude of maturing auditory early-latency evoked potentials or by invoking later endogenous attention processes. Development of these processes is not uniform for probes with different acoustic properties within our acoustically dense speech-based dichotic listening task. In light of the developmental differences we demonstrate, researchers conducting future attention studies of children and adolescents should be wary of combining analyses across diverse ages. PMID:26002721

  1. Some considerations of two alleged kinds of selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keren, G

    1976-12-01

    The present article deals with selective attention phenomena and elaborates on a stimulus material classification, "stimulus set" versus "response set," proposed by Broadbent (1970, 1971)9 Stimulus set is defined by some distinct and conspicuous physical properties that are inherent in the stimulus. Response set is characterized by the meaning it conveys, and thus its properties are determined by cognitive processing on the part of the organism. Broadbent's framework is related to Neisser's (1967) distinction between two perceptual-cognitive processes, namely, preattentive control and focal attention. Three experiments are reported. A before-after paradigm was employed in Experiment 1, together with a sptial arrangement manipulation of relevant versus irrelevant stimuli (being grouped or mixed). The results indicated that before-after instruction had a stronger effect under stimulus set than under response set conditions. Spatial arrangement, on the other hand, affected performances under response set but not under stimulus set conditions. These results were interpreted as supporting the idea that stimulus set material, which is handled by preattentive mechanisms, may be processed in parallel, while response set material requires focal attention that is probably serial in nature. Experiment 2 used a search task with different levels of noise elements. Although subjects were not able to avoid completely the processing of noise elements, they had much more control under stimulus set than under response set conditions. Experiment 3 dealt with memory functions and suggests differential levels of perceptual processing depending on the nature of the stimulus material. This extends the memory framework suggested by Craik and Lockhart (1972). The results of these experiments, together with evidence from other behavioral and physiological studies, lend strong support to the proposed theory. At the theoretical level, it is suggested that the distinction between stimulus and

  2. Interactive versus passive distraction for acute pain management in young children: the role of selective attention and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlheiter, Karen A; Dahlquist, Lynnda M

    2013-03-01

    To examine whether age and developmental differences in selective attention influence young children's differential responses to interactive and passive distraction. 65 3- to 6-year-old children underwent three cold-pressor trials while receiving no intervention, playing a video game (interactive distraction), or watching a video game (passive distraction). In addition, children completed a test of selective attention, and parents completed ratings of attention. Consistent with neurocognitive models of pain, children benefited more from interactive distraction than from passive distraction. Although older children demonstrated superior pain tolerance overall, age and selective attention skills did not moderate children's responses to the distraction intervention. These findings suggest that younger preschoolers can benefit from interactive distraction to manage acute pain, provided that the distraction activity is developmentally appropriate. Research is needed to determine whether developmental issues are more important moderators of children's responses to distraction when faced with more challenging task demands.

  3. The Speed of Feature-Based Attention: Attentional Advantage Is Slow, but Selection Is Fast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liqiang

    2010-01-01

    When paying attention to a feature (e.g., red), no attentional advantage is gained in perceiving items with this feature in very brief displays. Therefore, feature-based attention seems to be slow. In previous feature-based attention studies, attention has often been measured as the difference in performance in a secondary task. In our recent work…

  4. Selective Attention in Inattentional Blindness: Selection is Specific but Suppression is Not

    OpenAIRE

    Wood, Katherine; Simons, Daniel J.

    2017-01-01

    When we selectively attend to one set of objects and ignore another, we often fail to notice unexpected events. The likelihood of noticing varies depending on the similarity of an unexpected object to other items in the display, a process thought to be controlled by the attention set that we create for the attended and ignored objects. It remains unclear, though, how attention sets are formed and structured. Do they enhance features of attended objects (“white”) and suppress features of ignor...

  5. The Influence of Selective and Divided Attention on Audiovisual Integration in Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Weiping; Ren, Yanna; Yang, Dan Ou; Yuan, Xue; Wu, Jinglong

    2016-01-24

    This article aims to investigate whether there is a difference in audiovisual integration in school-aged children (aged 6 to 13 years; mean age = 9.9 years) between the selective attention condition and divided attention condition. We designed a visual and/or auditory detection task that included three blocks (divided attention, visual-selective attention, and auditory-selective attention). The results showed that the response to bimodal audiovisual stimuli was faster than to unimodal auditory or visual stimuli under both divided attention and auditory-selective attention conditions. However, in the visual-selective attention condition, no significant difference was found between the unimodal visual and bimodal audiovisual stimuli in response speed. Moreover, audiovisual behavioral facilitation effects were compared between divided attention and selective attention (auditory or visual attention). In doing so, we found that audiovisual behavioral facilitation was significantly difference between divided attention and selective attention. The results indicated that audiovisual integration was stronger in the divided attention condition than that in the selective attention condition in children. Our findings objectively support the notion that attention can modulate audiovisual integration in school-aged children. Our study might offer a new perspective for identifying children with conditions that are associated with sustained attention deficit, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. © The Author(s) 2016.

  6. Spatial working memory and attention skills are predicted by maternal stress during pregnancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plamondon, André; Akbari, Emis; Atkinson, Leslie; Steiner, Meir; Meaney, Michael J; Fleming, Alison S

    2015-01-01

    Experimental evidence in rodents shows that maternal stress during pregnancy (MSDP) negatively impacts spatial learning and memory in the offspring. We aim to investigate the association between MSDP (i.e., life events) and spatial working memory, as well as attention skills (attention shifting and attention focusing), in humans. The moderating roles of child sex, maternal anxiety during pregnancy and postnatal care are also investigated. Participants were 236 mother-child dyads that were followed from the second trimester of pregnancy until 4 years postpartum. Measurements included questionnaires and independent observations. MSDP was negatively associated with attention shifting at 18 months when concurrent maternal anxiety was low. MSDP was associated with poorer spatial working memory at 4 years of age, but only for boys who experienced poorer postnatal care. Consistent with results observed in rodents, MSDP was found to be associated with spatial working memory and attention skills. These results point to postnatal care and maternal anxiety during pregnancy as potential targets for interventions that aim to buffer children from the detrimental effects of MSDP. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Simulating the role of visual selective attention during the development of perceptual completion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P

    2012-11-01

    We recently proposed a multi-channel, image-filtering model for simulating the development of visual selective attention in young infants (Schlesinger, Amso & Johnson, 2007). The model not only captures the performance of 3-month-olds on a visual search task, but also implicates two cortical regions that may play a role in the development of visual selective attention. In the current simulation study, we used the same model to simulate 3-month-olds' performance on a second measure, the perceptual unity task. Two parameters in the model - corresponding to areas in the occipital and parietal cortices - were systematically varied while the gaze patterns produced by the model were recorded and subsequently analyzed. Three key findings emerged from the simulation study. First, the model successfully replicated the performance of 3-month-olds on the unity perception task. Second, the model also helps to explain the improved performance of 2-month-olds when the size of the occluder in the unity perception task is reduced. Third, in contrast to our previous simulation results, variation in only one of the two cortical regions simulated (i.e. recurrent activity in posterior parietal cortex) resulted in a performance pattern that matched 3-month-olds. These findings provide additional support for our hypothesis that the development of perceptual completion in early infancy is promoted by progressive improvements in visual selective attention and oculomotor skill. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Organizational skills training for a student with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Ganc, Anja

    2012-01-01

    Implementation functions are skills that include organisation, planning, maintenance of attention, working memory, metacognition and time control. These processes have a significant impact on student’s school performance, since problems in the field of metacognition disable a student to choose appropriate strategies for learning. Troubles in the field of organisation consequently lead to problems with planning of learning time, forgetting of school timetable and relevant accessories for work ...

  9. Selective effects of cholinergic modulation on task performance during selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furey, Maura L; Pietrini, Pietro; Haxby, James V; Drevets, Wayne C

    2008-03-01

    The cholinergic neurotransmitter system is critically linked to cognitive functions including attention. The current studies were designed to evaluate the effect of a cholinergic agonist and an antagonist on performance during a selective visual attention task where the inherent salience of attended/unattended stimuli was modulated. Two randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover studies were performed, one (n=9) with the anticholinesterase physostigmine (1.0 mg/h), and the other (n=30) with the anticholinergic scopolamine (0.4 mc/kg). During the task, two double-exposure pictures of faces and houses were presented side by side. Subjects were cued to attend to either the face or the house component of the stimuli, and were instructed to perform a matching task with the two exemplars from the attended category. The cue changed every 4-7 trials to instruct subjects to shift attention from one stimulus component to the other. During placebo in both studies, reaction time (RT) associated with the first trial following a cued shift in attention was longer than RT associated with later trials (pattention to houses condition (pattention to faces. Scopolamine increased RT relative to placebo selectively during trials greater than one (pattention to faces condition (pselective attention (ie trials greater than 1). Moreover, effects of cholinergic manipulation depend on the selective attention condition (ie faces vs houses), which may suggest that cholinergic activity interacts with stimulus salience. The findings are discussed within the context of the role of acetylcholine both in stimulus processing and stimulus salience, and in establishing attention biases through top-down and bottom-up mechanisms of attention.

  10. Effects of selection for cooperation and attention in dogs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miklósi Ádám

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been suggested that the functional similarities in the socio-cognitive behaviour of dogs and humans emerged as a consequence of comparable environmental selection pressures. Here we use a novel approach to account for the facilitating effect of domestication in dogs and reveal that selection for two factors under genetic influence (visual cooperation and focused attention may have led independently to increased comprehension of human communicational cues. Method In Study 1, we observed the performance of three groups of dogs in utilizing the human pointing gesture in a two-way object choice test. We compared breeds selected to work while visually separated from human partners (N = 30, 21 breeds, clustered as independent worker group, with those selected to work in close cooperation and continuous visual contact with human partners (N = 30, 22 breeds, clustered as cooperative worker group, and with a group of mongrels (N = 30. Secondly, it has been reported that, in dogs, selective breeding to produce an abnormal shortening of the skull is associated with a more pronounced area centralis (location of greatest visual acuity. In Study 2, breeds with high cephalic index and more frontally placed eyes (brachycephalic breeds, N = 25, 14 breeds were compared with breeds with low cephalic index and laterally placed eyes (dolichocephalic breeds, N = 25, 14 breeds. Results In Study 1, cooperative workers were significantly more successful in utilizing the human pointing gesture than both the independent workers and the mongrels. In study 2, we found that brachycephalic dogs performed significantly better than dolichocephalic breeds. Discussion After controlling for environmental factors, we have provided evidence that at least two independent phenotypic traits with certain genetic variability affect the ability of dogs to rely on human visual cues. This finding should caution researchers against making simple generalizations

  11. Alcoholics' selective attention to alcohol stimuli: automated processing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stormark, K M; Laberg, J C; Nordby, H; Hugdahl, K

    2000-01-01

    This study investigated alcoholics' selective attention to alcohol words in a version of the Stroop color-naming task. Alcoholic subjects (n = 23) and nonalcoholic control subjects (n = 23) identified the color of Stroop versions of alcohol, emotional, neutral and color words. Manual reaction times (RTs), skin conductance responses (SCRs) and heart rate (HR) were recorded. Alcoholics showed overall longer RTs than controls while both groups were slower in responding to the incongruent color words than to the other words. Alcoholics showed longer RTs to both alcohol (1522.7 milliseconds [ms]) and emotional words (1523.7 ms) than to neutral words (1450.8 ms) which suggests that the content of these words interfered with the ability to attend to the color of the words. There was also a negative correlation (r = -.41) between RT and response accuracy to alcohol words for the alcoholics, reflecting that the longer time the alcoholics used to respond to the color of the alcohol words, the more incorrect their responses were. The alcoholics also showed significantly greater SCRs to alcohol words (0.16 microSiemens) than to any of the other words (ranging from 0.04-0.08 microSiemens), probably reflecting the emotional significance of the alcohol words. Finally, the alcoholics evidenced smaller HR acceleration to alcohol (1.9 delta bpm) compared to neutral (2.8 delta bpm), which could be related to difficulties alcoholics experience in terminating their attention to the alcohol words. These findings indicate that it is difficult for alcoholics to regulate their attention to alcohol stimuli, suggesting that alcoholics' processing of alcohol information is automated.

  12. Training Self-Regulated Learning Skills with Video Modeling Examples: Do Task-Selection Skills Transfer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raaijmakers, Steven F.; Baars, Martine; Schaap, Lydia; Paas, Fred; van Merriënboer, Jeroen; van Gog, Tamara

    2018-01-01

    Self-assessment and task-selection skills are crucial in self-regulated learning situations in which students can choose their own tasks. Prior research suggested that training with video modeling examples, in which another person (the model) demonstrates and explains the cyclical process of problem-solving task performance, self-assessment, and…

  13. Neuropsychology of selective attention and magnetic cortical stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabatino, M; Di Nuovo, S; Sardo, P; Abbate, C S; La Grutta, V

    1996-01-01

    Informed volunteers were asked to perform different neuropsychological tests involving selective attention under control conditions and during transcranial magnetic cortical stimulation. The tests chosen involved the recognition of a specific letter among different letters (verbal test) and the search for three different spatial orientations of an appendage to a square (visuo-spatial test). For each test the total time taken and the error rate were calculated. Results showed that cortical stimulation did not cause a worsening in performance. Moreover, magnetic stimulation of the temporal lobe neither modified completion time in both verbal and visuo-spatial tests nor changed error rate. In contrast, magnetic stimulation of the pre-frontal area induced a significant reduction in the performance time of both the verbal and visuo-spatial tests always without an increase in the number of errors. The experimental findings underline the importance of the pre-frontal area in performing tasks requiring a high level of controlled attention and suggest the need to adopt an interdisciplinary approach towards the study of neurone/mind interface mechanisms.

  14. Selectivity Skills of Mutual Fund Managers in India: An Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilal Ahmad Pandow

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Stock selection is the nucleus in the investment management process. It involves identifying and selecting undervalued securities which among other things requires the successful forecasting of the company specific events or an ability to predict the general behavior of security prices in the future. If the fund manager is able to identify and select the undervalued securities for the portfolio, then it will be possible for the fund manager to increase the returns of the schemes and vice versa. In practice fund managers are expected to earn superior returns for unit holders consistently as being professionals therefore possess superior skills to collect and analyze the data with the purpose to select the right type of securities for the portfolio. The present work is based on the review of tens of studies both foreign and Indian studies relating to mutual funds. The mutual fund industry in India consists of public sector, private sector and foreign funds. All the three sectors were studied to compare the selectivity and timing performance on the basis of sponsorship of funds. However, from these only active funds belongings to Growth, Income, Balanced and Tax-Saving Schemes were selected for the study. In this paper stock selectivity skills of sample fund managers were tested by using Jensen’s Alpha and Fama’s net selectivity measure.

  15. The role of selective attention in perceptual and affective priming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, M.; Ladd, S. L.; Gabrieli, J. D.

    2000-01-01

    Two kinds of perceptual priming (word identification and word fragment completion), as well as preference priming (that may rely on special affective mechanisms) were examined after participants either read or named the colors of words and nonwords at study. Participants named the colors of words more slowly than the colors of nonwords, indicating that lexical processing of the words occurred at study. Nonetheless, priming on all three tests was lower after color naming than after reading, despite evidence of lexical processing during color naming shown by slower responses to words than to nonwords. These results indicate that selective attention to (rather than the mere processing of) letter string identity at study is important for subsequent repetition priming.

  16. Mechanisms of selective attention and space motion sickness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, R. L.

    1987-01-01

    The neural mismatch theory of space motion sickness asserts that the central and peripheral autonomic sequelae of discordant sensory input arise from central integrative processes falling to reconcile patterns of incoming sensory information with existing memory. Stated differently, perceived novelty reaches a stress level as integrative mechanisms fail to return a sense of control to the individual in the new environment. Based on evidence summarized here, the severity of the neural mismatch may be dependent upon the relative amount of attention selectively afforded to each sensory input competing for control of behavior. Components of the limbic system may play important roles in match-mismatch operations, be therapeutically modulated by antimotion sickness drugs, and be optimally positioned to control autonomic output.

  17. Size and synchronization of auditory cortex promotes musical, literacy, and attentional skills in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seither-Preisler, Annemarie; Parncutt, Richard; Schneider, Peter

    2014-08-13

    Playing a musical instrument is associated with numerous neural processes that continuously modify the human brain and may facilitate characteristic auditory skills. In a longitudinal study, we investigated the auditory and neural plasticity of musical learning in 111 young children (aged 7-9 y) as a function of the intensity of instrumental practice and musical aptitude. Because of the frequent co-occurrence of central auditory processing disorders and attentional deficits, we also tested 21 children with attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder [AD(H)D]. Magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography revealed enlarged Heschl's gyri and enhanced right-left hemispheric synchronization of the primary evoked response (P1) to harmonic complex sounds in children who spent more time practicing a musical instrument. The anatomical characteristics were positively correlated with frequency discrimination, reading, and spelling skills. Conversely, AD(H)D children showed reduced volumes of Heschl's gyri and enhanced volumes of the plana temporalia that were associated with a distinct bilateral P1 asynchrony. This may indicate a risk for central auditory processing disorders that are often associated with attentional and literacy problems. The longitudinal comparisons revealed a very high stability of auditory cortex morphology and gray matter volumes, suggesting that the combined anatomical and functional parameters are neural markers of musicality and attention deficits. Educational and clinical implications are considered. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3410937-13$15.00/0.

  18. Threat-Related Selective Attention Predicts Treatment Success in Childhood Anxiety Disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.S. Legerstee (Jeroen); J.H.M. Tulen (Joke); V.L. Kallen (Victor); G.C. Dieleman (Gwen); P.D.A. Treffers (Philip); F.C. Verhulst (Frank); E.M.W.J. Utens (Elisabeth)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractAbstract OBJECTIVE: The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders

  19. Threat-related selective attention predicts treatment success in childhood anxiety disorders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Legerstee, Jeroen S.; Tulen, Joke H. M.; Kallen, Victor L.; Dieleman, Gwen C.; Treffers, Philip D. A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Utens, Elisabeth M. W. J.

    2009-01-01

    The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. Participants

  20. Selective attention in vision: recognition memory for superimposed line drawings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, E B; Fink, S I

    1981-10-01

    These experiments show that observers can selectively attend to one of two stationary superimposed pictures. If superimposed line drawings are presented to observers who are told to attend to one line drawing in the pair and to ignore the other line drawing in the pair, then a subsequent recognition test in which the pictures are presently singly, the attended picture in each pair is recognized much more frequently than the unattended picture in each pair. This selective recognition occurs both with large (11 degrees-22 degrees) displays in which observers are free to make eye movements during a 3-sec exposure and with small (1 degree) displays in which observers are instructed to fixate steadily on a point during a 1-sec exposure. The results of the steady fixation experiments show that in the absence of eye movements, attention to one of two superimposed stimuli can cause an observer to remember the attended image and not to remember the other, clearly visible, unattended image in a superimposed pair.

  1. Figure-ground mechanisms provide structure for selective attention

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

    Attention depends on figure-ground organization: figures draw attention, while shapes of the ground tend to be ignored. Recent research has demonstrated mechanisms of figure-ground organization in the visual cortex, but how they relate to the attention process remains unclear. Here we show that the influences of figure-ground organization and volitional (top-down) attention converge in single neurons of area V2. While assignment of border ownership was found for attended as well as for ignore...

  2. Social skills training for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children aged 5 to 18 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storebø, Ole Jakob; Skoog, Maria; Damm, Dorte; Thomsen, Per Hove; Simonsen, Erik; Gluud, Christian

    2011-12-07

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children is associated with hyperactivity and impulsitivity, attention problems, and difficulties with social interactions. Pharmacological treatment may alleviate symptoms of ADHD but seldom solves difficulties with social interactions. Social skills training may benefit ADHD children in their social interactions. We examined the effects of social skills training on children's social competences, general behaviour, ADHD symptoms, and performance in school. To assess the effects of social skills training in children and adolescents with ADHD. We searched the following electronic databases: CENTRAL (2011, Issue1), MEDLINE (1948 to March 2011), EMBASE (1980 to March 2011), ERIC (1966 to March 2011 ), AMED (1985 to June 2011), PsycINFO (1806 to March 2011), CINAHL (1980 to March 2011), and Sociological Abstracts (1952 to March 2011). We also searched the metaRegister of Controlled Trials on 15 October 2010. We did not apply any language or date restrictions to the searches. We searched online conference abstracts and contacted 176 experts in the field for possible information about unpublished or ongoing RCTs. Randomised trials investigating social skills training for children with ADHD as a stand alone treatment or as an adjunct to pharmacological treatment. We conducted the review according to the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Intervention. Two authors (OJS, MS) extracted data independently using an appropriate data collection form. We performed the analyses using Review Manager 5 software. We included 11 randomised trials described in 26 records (all full text articles) in the review. The trials included a total of 747 participants. All participants were between five and 12 years of age. No trials assessed adolescents. In 10 of the trials the participants suffered from different comorbidities.The duration of the interventions ranged from eight to 10 weeks (eight trials) up to two years. The types of

  3. Comparison of working memory, divided and selective attention in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction: Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity are among the most common behavioral disorders in children which include three subgroups including inattention, hyperactivity - impulsivity (disinhibition) and mixed form. Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder might be along with basic symptoms in memory and attention ...

  4. Extremely Selective Attention: Eye-Tracking Studies of the Dynamic Allocation of Attention to Stimulus Features in Categorization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Mark R.; Watson, Marcus R.; Walshe, R. Calen; Maj, Fillip

    2009-01-01

    Humans have an extremely flexible ability to categorize regularities in their environment, in part because of attentional systems that allow them to focus on important perceptual information. In formal theories of categorization, attention is typically modeled with weights that selectively bias the processing of stimulus features. These theories…

  5. The effects of selective and divided attention on sensory precision and integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odegaard, Brian; Wozny, David R; Shams, Ladan

    2016-02-12

    In our daily lives, our capacity to selectively attend to stimuli within or across sensory modalities enables enhanced perception of the surrounding world. While previous research on selective attention has studied this phenomenon extensively, two important questions still remain unanswered: (1) how selective attention to a single modality impacts sensory integration processes, and (2) the mechanism by which selective attention improves perception. We explored how selective attention impacts performance in both a spatial task and a temporal numerosity judgment task, and employed a Bayesian Causal Inference model to investigate the computational mechanism(s) impacted by selective attention. We report three findings: (1) in the spatial domain, selective attention improves precision of the visual sensory representations (which were relatively precise), but not the auditory sensory representations (which were fairly noisy); (2) in the temporal domain, selective attention improves the sensory precision in both modalities (both of which were fairly reliable to begin with); (3) in both tasks, selective attention did not exert a significant influence over the tendency to integrate sensory stimuli. Therefore, it may be postulated that a sensory modality must possess a certain inherent degree of encoding precision in order to benefit from selective attention. It also appears that in certain basic perceptual tasks, the tendency to integrate crossmodal signals does not depend significantly on selective attention. We conclude with a discussion of how these results relate to recent theoretical considerations of selective attention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Meta-analysis of organizational skills interventions for children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bikic, Aida; Reichow, Brian; McCauley, Spencer A; Ibrahim, Karim; Sukhodolsky, Denis G

    2017-03-01

    In addition to problems with attention and hyperactivity, children with ADHD present with poor organizational skills required for managing time and materials in academic projects. Organizational skills training (OST) has been increasingly used to address these deficits. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of OST in children with ADHD. The objective of this study was to systematically review the evidence of the effects of OST for children with ADHD for organizational skills, attention, and academic performance. We searched 3 electronic databases to locate randomized controlled trials published in English in peer-reviewed journals comparing OST with parent education, treatment-as-usual, or waitlist control conditions. Standardized mean difference effect sizes from the studies were statistically combined using a random-effects meta-analyses across six outcomes: teacher- and parent-rated organizational skills, teacher- and parent-rated inattention, teacher-rated academic performance, and Grade Point Average (GPA). Risk of bias was assessed for randomization, allocation concealment, blinding of participants and treatment personnel, blinding of outcome assessors, incomplete outcome data, and selective outcome reporting. Twelve studies involving 1054 children (576 treatment, 478 control) were included in the meta-analyses. Weighted mean effect sizes for teacher- and parent-rated outcome measures of organizational skills were g=0.54 (95% CI 0.17 to 0.91) and g=0.83 (95% CI 0.32 to 1.34), respectively. Weighted mean effect sizes of teacher- and parent-rated symptoms of inattention were g=0.26 (95% CI 0.01 to 0.52) and g=0.56 (95% CI 0.38 to 0.74), respectively. Weighted standardized mean effect size for teacher-rated academic performance and GPA were g=0.33 (95% CI 0.14 to 0.51) and g=0.29 (95% CI 0.07 to 0.51), respectively. OST leads to moderate improvements in organizational skills of children with ADHD as rated by teachers and large improvements as rated

  7. An impaired attentional dwell time after parietal and frontal lesions related to impaired selective attention not unilateral neglect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correani, Alessia; Humphreys, Glyn W

    2011-07-01

    The attentional blink, a measure of the temporal dynamics of visual processing, has been documented to be more pronounced following brain lesions that are associated with visual neglect. This suggests that, in addition to their spatial bias in attention, neglect patients may have a prolonged dwell time for attention. Here the attentional dwell time was examined in patients with damage focused on either posterior parietal or frontal cortices. In three experiments, we show that there is an abnormally pronounced attentional dwell time, which does not differ in patients with posterior parietal and with frontal lobe lesions, and this is associated with a measure of selective attention but not with measures of spatial bias in selection. These data occurred both when we attempted to match patients and controls for overall differences in performance and when a single set stimulus exposure was used across participants. In Experiments 1 and 2, requiring report of colour-form conjunctions, there was evidence that the patients were also impaired at temporal binding, showing errors in feature combination across stimuli and in reporting in the correct temporal order. In Experiment 3, requiring only the report of features but introducing task switching led to similar results. The data suggest that damage to a frontoparietal network can compromise temporal selection of visual stimuli; however, this is not necessarily related to a deficit in hemispatial visual attention but it is to impaired target selection. We discuss the implications for understanding visual selection.

  8. Motor skills in Czech children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and their neurotypical counterparts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharoun, S M; Bryden, P J; Otipkova, Z; Musalek, M; Lejcarova, A

    2013-11-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioural disorder. Characterized by recurring problems with impulsiveness and inattention in combination with hyperactivity, motor impairments have also been well documented in the literature. The aim of this study was to compare the fine and gross motor skills of male and female children with ADHD and their neurotypical counterparts within seven skill assessments. This included three fine motor tasks: (1) spiral tracing, (2) dot filling, (3) tweezers and beads; and four gross motor tasks: (1) twistbox, (2) foot tapping, (3) small plate finger tapping, and (4) large plate finger tapping. It was hypothesized that children with ADHD would display poorer motor skills in comparison to neurotypical controls in both fine and gross motor assessments. However, statistically significant differences between the groups only emerged in four of the seven tasks (spiral tracing, dot filling, tweezers and beads and foot tapping). In line with previous findings, the complexity underlying upper limb tasks solidified the divide in performance between children with ADHD and their neurotypical counterparts. In light of similar research, impairments in lower limb motor skill were also observed. Future research is required to further delineate trends in motor difficulties in ADHD, while further investigating the underlying mechanisms of impairment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Selective population rate coding: a possible computational role of gamma oscillations in selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masuda, Naoki

    2009-12-01

    Selective attention is often accompanied by gamma oscillations in local field potentials and spike field coherence in brain areas related to visual, motor, and cognitive information processing. Gamma oscillations are implicated to play an important role in, for example, visual tasks including object search, shape perception, and speed detection. However, the mechanism by which gamma oscillations enhance cognitive and behavioral performance of attentive subjects is still elusive. Using feedforward fan-in networks composed of spiking neurons, we examine a possible role for gamma oscillations in selective attention and population rate coding of external stimuli. We implement the concept proposed by Fries ( 2005 ) that under dynamic stimuli, neural populations effectively communicate with each other only when there is a good phase relationship among associated gamma oscillations. We show that the downstream neural population selects a specific dynamic stimulus received by an upstream population and represents it by population rate coding. The encoded stimulus is the one for which gamma rhythm in the corresponding upstream population is resonant with the downstream gamma rhythm. The proposed role for gamma oscillations in stimulus selection is to enable top-down control, a neural version of time division multiple access used in communication engineering.

  10. Time perception, attention, and memory: a selective review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, Richard A; Gruber, Ronald P

    2014-06-01

    This article provides a selective review of time perception research, mainly focusing on the authors' research. Aspects of psychological time include simultaneity, successiveness, temporal order, and duration judgments. In contrast to findings at interstimulus intervals or durations less than 3.0-5.0 s, there is little evidence for an "across-senses" effect of perceptual modality (visual vs. auditory) at longer intervals or durations. In addition, the flow of time (events) is a pervasive perceptual illusion, and we review evidence on that. Some temporal information is encoded All rights reserved. relatively automatically into memory: People can judge time-related attributes such as recency, frequency, temporal order, and duration of events. Duration judgments in prospective and retrospective paradigms reveal differences between them, as well as variables that moderate the processes involved. An attentional-gate model is needed to account for prospective judgments, and a contextual-change model is needed to account for retrospective judgments. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Attachment and selective attention: disorganization and emotional Stroop reaction time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Leslie; Leung, Eman; Goldberg, Susan; Benoit, Diane; Poulton, Lori; Myhal, Natalie; Blokland, Kirsten; Kerr, Sheila

    2009-01-01

    Although central to attachment theory, internal working models remain a useful heuristic in need of concretization. We compared the selective attention of organized and disorganized mothers using the emotional Stroop task. Both disorganized attachment and emotional Stroop response involve the coordination of strongly conflicting motivations under conditions of emotional arousal. Furthermore, much is known about the cognitive and neuromodulatory correlates of the Stroop that may inform attempts to substantiate the internal working model construct. We assessed 47 community mothers with the Adult Attachment Interview and the Working Model of the Child Interview in the third trimester of pregnancy. At 6 and 12 months postpartum, we assessed mothers with emotional Stroop tasks involving neutral, attachment, and emotion conditions. At 12 months, we observed their infants in the Strange Situation. Results showed that: disorganized attachment is related to relative Stroop reaction time, that is, unlike organized mothers, disorganized mothers respond to negative attachment/emotion stimuli more slowly than to neutral stimuli; relative speed of response is positively related to number of times the dyad was classified disorganized, and change in relative Stroop response time from 6 to 12 months is related to the match-mismatch status of mother and infant attachment classifications. We discuss implications in terms of automatic and controlled processing and, more specifically, cognitive threat tags, parallel distributed processing, and neuromodulation through norepinephrine and dopamine.

  12. Dissociable effects of a single dose of ecstasy (MDMA) on psychomotor skills and attentional performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamers, C T J; Ramaekers, J G; Muntjewerff, N D; Sikkema, K L; Samyn, N; Read, N L; Brookhuis, K A; Riedel, W J

    2003-12-01

    Ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA) is a psychoactive recreational drug widely used by young people visiting dance parties, and has been associated with poor cognitive function. The current study assessed the influence of a single dose of MDMA 75 mg and alcohol 0.5 g/kg on cognition, psychomotor performance and driving-related task performance. Twelve healthy recreational ecstasy users participated in an experimental study conducted according to a double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled three-way cross-over design. MDMA improved psychomotor performance, such as movement speed and tracking performance in a single task, as well as in a divided attention task. MDMA impaired the ability to predict object movement under divided attention. However, the inability to accurately predict object movement after MDMA may indicate impairment of particular performance skills relevant to driving. There was no effect of MDMA on visual search, planning or retrieval from semantic memory.

  13. Performance effects of nicotine during selective attention, divided attention, and simple stimulus detection: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Britta; Ross, Thomas J; Wolkenberg, Frank A; Shakleya, Diaa M; Huestis, Marilyn A; Stein, Elliot A

    2009-09-01

    Attention-enhancing effects of nicotine appear to depend on the nature of the attentional function. Underlying neuroanatomical mechanisms, too, may vary depending on the function modulated. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study recorded blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity in minimally deprived smokers during tasks of simple stimulus detection, selective attention, or divided attention after single-blind application of a transdermal nicotine (21 mg) or placebo patch. Smokers' performance in the placebo condition was unimpaired as compared with matched nonsmokers. Nicotine reduced reaction time (RT) in the stimulus detection and selective attention but not divided attention condition. Across all task conditions, nicotine reduced activation in frontal, temporal, thalamic, and visual regions and enhanced deactivation in so-called "default" regions. Thalamic effects correlated with RT reduction selectively during stimulus detection. An interaction with task condition was observed in middle and superior frontal gyri, where nicotine reduced activation only during stimulus detection. A visuomotor control experiment provided evidence against nonspecific effects of nicotine. In conclusion, although prefrontal activity partly displayed differential modulation by nicotine, most BOLD effects were identical across tasks, despite differential performance effects, suggesting that common neuronal mechanisms can selectively benefit different attentional functions. Overall, the effects of nicotine may be explained by increased functional efficiency and downregulated task-independent "default" functions.

  14. The Effect of Physical Exercise on the Development of Gross Motor Skills in Children with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saeed Kosari

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: The study is about to examine the effect of the selective physical exercises on gross motor activities of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Materials and Methods: In this quasi-experimental study out of 120 students with ADHD who were studying under supervision of Tehran Department of Education of Exceptional Children, a number of 20 children (8.8±0.7 years old with ADHD were selected randomly and based on pre-test. The measuring tool was the Bruininks-Oseretsky test of motor proficiency. The selected motor program (SPARK physical education program including reinforcement activities, playing and sporting for children was repeated for 18 sessions by our subjects. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test (KS-test was used to check normal data distribution and the correlative t-test and independent t-test were used to compare mean values. Results: Eighteen sessions of the selected motor activities for the experiment group made significant differences in all variables of the study, but it was not the case for the control group. The experiment group’s differences were running speed and agility (p=0.001, balance (p=0.001, bilateral coordination (p=0.001 and strength (p=0.001.Conclusion: With regard to results of the study, it can be claimed that the selected physical education program which has been inspired by Spark physical education program is able to improve gross motor skills in children with ADHD.

  15. A new perspective on the perceptual selectivity of attention under load

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Giesbrecht, Barry; Sy, Jocelyn; Bundesen, Claus

    2014-01-01

    The human attention system helps us cope with a complex environment by supporting the selective processing of information relevant to our current goals. Understanding the perceptual, cognitive, and neural mechanisms that mediate selective attention is a core issue in cognitive neuroscience. One...... prominent model of selective attention, known as load theory, offers an account of how task demands determine when information is selected and an account of the efficiency of the selection process. However, load theory has several critical weaknesses that suggest that it is time for a new perspective. Here...... is integrated to provide efficient attentional selection and allocation of perceptual processing resources....

  16. Attention-getting skills of deaf children using American Sign Language in a preschool classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Amy M

    2015-07-01

    Visual attention is a necessary prerequisite to successful communication in sign language. The current study investigated the development of attention-getting skills in deaf native-signing children during interactions with peers and teachers. Seven deaf children (aged 21-39 months) and five adults were videotaped during classroom activities for approximately 30 hr. Interactions were analyzed in depth to determine how children obtained and maintained attention. Contrary to previous reports, children were found to possess a high level of communicative competence from an early age. Analysis of peer interactions revealed that children used a range of behaviors to obtain attention with peers, including taps, waves, objects, and signs. Initiations were successful approximately 65% of the time. Children followed up failed initiation attempts by repeating the initiation, using a new initiation, or terminating the interaction. Older children engaged in longer and more complex interactions than younger children. Children's early exposure to and proficiency in American Sign Language is proposed as a likely mechanism that facilitated their communicative competence.

  17. A selective review of selective attention research from the past century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Driver, J

    2001-02-01

    Research on attention is concerned with selective processing of incoming sensory information. To some extent, our awareness of the world depends on what we choose to attend, not merely on the stimulation entering our senses. British psychologists have made substantial contributions to this topic in the past century. Celebrated examples include Donald Broadbent's filter theory of attention, which set the agenda for most subsequent work; and Anne Treisman's revisions of this account, and her later feature-integration theory. More recent contributions include Alan Allport's prescient emphasis on the relevance of neuroscience data, and John Duncan's integration of such data with psychological theory. An idiosyncratic but roughly chronological review of developments is presented, some practical and clinical implications are briefly sketched, and future directions suggested. One of the biggest changes in the field has been the increasing interplay between psychology and neuroscience, which promises much for the future. A related change has been the realization that selection attention is best thought of as a broad topic, encompassing a range of selective issues, rather than as a single explanatory process.

  18. 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…

  19. Does Varying Attentional Focus Affect Skill Acquisition in Children? A Comparison of Internal and External Focus Instructions and Feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agar, Charles; Humphries, Charlotte A.; Naquin, Millie; Hebert, Edward; Wood, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Recently, researchers have concluded that motor skill performance is enhanced when learners adopt an external attentional focus, compared to adopting an internal focus. We extended the line of inquiry to children and examined if skill learning in children was differentially affected by providing instructions and feedback that direct attentional…

  20. Gender Differences in the Relationship between Attention Problems and Expressive Language and Emerging Academic Skills in Preschool-Aged Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zevenbergen, Andrea A.; Ryan, Meghan M.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between attention problems and expressive language and academic readiness skills in preschool-aged children from middle-class families. Forty-three children (44% female) were assessed individually for expressive language skills and knowledge of basic academic concepts (e.g. colours, letters and numbers). The…

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

    OpenAIRE

    Trimmel, Karin; Schätzer, Julia; Trimmel, Michael

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  2. Selective Attention and Inhibitory Deficits in ADHD: Does Subtype or Comorbidity Modulate Negative Priming Effects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritchard, Verena E.; Neumann, Ewald; Rucklidge, Julia J.

    2008-01-01

    Selective attention has durable consequences for behavior and neural activation. Negative priming (NP) effects are assumed to reflect a critical inhibitory component of selective attention. The performance of adolescents with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was assessed across two conceptually based NP tasks within a selective…

  3. Anger and selective attention to reward and punishment in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Jie; Jin, Xinyi; Zhang, Meng; Huang, Xiang; Shui, Rende; Shen, Mowei

    2013-07-01

    Anger is a negative emotion associated with approach motivation and may influence children's attention preference. Three experiments examined the effect of anger on the attentional biases accompanying reward versus punishment cues in Chinese 5- and 6-year-olds. Experiment 1 tested children who were prone to report angry feelings in an unfair game. Experiment 2 measured children who were rated by parents and teachers for temperamental anger. Experiment 3 explored children who reported angry feelings in a frustrating attention task with rigged and noncontingent feedback after controlling for temperament anger. Results suggested that both the angry and anger-prone children were faster to engage attention toward the reward cues than toward the punishment cues in the three experiments. Furthermore, the angry children in the frustrating attention task (and those with poor attention focusing by parental report) were slower in disengaging attention away from the reward versus punishment cues (especially after negative feedback). Results support the approach motivation of anger, which can facilitate children's attention toward the appetitive approach-related information. The findings are discussed in terms of the adaptive and maladaptive function of anger. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Frontal and parietal cortical interactions with distributed visual representations during selective attention and action selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelissen, Natalie; Stokes, Mark; Nobre, Anna C; Rushworth, Matthew F S

    2013-10-16

    Using multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA), we studied how distributed visual representations in human occipitotemporal cortex are modulated by attention and link their modulation to concurrent activity in frontal and parietal cortex. We detected similar occipitotemporal patterns during a simple visuoperceptual task and an attention-to-working-memory task in which one or two stimuli were cued before being presented among other pictures. Pattern strength varied from highest to lowest when the stimulus was the exclusive focus of attention, a conjoint focus, and when it was potentially distracting. Although qualitatively similar effects were seen inside regions relatively specialized for the stimulus category and outside, the former were quantitatively stronger. By regressing occipitotemporal pattern strength against activity elsewhere in the brain, we identified frontal and parietal areas exerting top-down control over, or reading information out from, distributed patterns in occipitotemporal cortex. Their interactions with patterns inside regions relatively specialized for that stimulus category were higher than those with patterns outside those regions and varied in strength as a function of the attentional condition. One area, the frontal operculum, was distinguished by selectively interacting with occipitotemporal patterns only when they were the focus of attention. There was no evidence that any frontal or parietal area actively inhibited occipitotemporal representations even when they should be ignored and were suppressed. Using MVPA to decode information within these frontal and parietal areas showed that they contained information about attentional context and/or readout information from occipitotemporal cortex to guide behavior but that frontal regions lacked information about category identity.

  5. Frontal and Parietal Cortical Interactions with Distributed Visual Representations during Selective Attention and Action Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokes, Mark; Nobre, Anna C.; Rushworth, Matthew F. S.

    2013-01-01

    Using multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA), we studied how distributed visual representations in human occipitotemporal cortex are modulated by attention and link their modulation to concurrent activity in frontal and parietal cortex. We detected similar occipitotemporal patterns during a simple visuoperceptual task and an attention-to-working-memory task in which one or two stimuli were cued before being presented among other pictures. Pattern strength varied from highest to lowest when the stimulus was the exclusive focus of attention, a conjoint focus, and when it was potentially distracting. Although qualitatively similar effects were seen inside regions relatively specialized for the stimulus category and outside, the former were quantitatively stronger. By regressing occipitotemporal pattern strength against activity elsewhere in the brain, we identified frontal and parietal areas exerting top-down control over, or reading information out from, distributed patterns in occipitotemporal cortex. Their interactions with patterns inside regions relatively specialized for that stimulus category were higher than those with patterns outside those regions and varied in strength as a function of the attentional condition. One area, the frontal operculum, was distinguished by selectively interacting with occipitotemporal patterns only when they were the focus of attention. There was no evidence that any frontal or parietal area actively inhibited occipitotemporal representations even when they should be ignored and were suppressed. Using MVPA to decode information within these frontal and parietal areas showed that they contained information about attentional context and/or readout information from occipitotemporal cortex to guide behavior but that frontal regions lacked information about category identity. PMID:24133250

  6. 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

  7. The Effectiveness of a Joint Attention Training Program on Improving Communication Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eissa, Mourad Ali

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of a joint attention intervention program on improving joint attention and communication skills in children with autism disorder. Participants were ten children between the ages of five and seven who attended a school for children with developmental disabilities (Tarbya Fekrya ). A pre-post…

  8. Use of the "Intervention Selection Profile-Social Skills" to Identify Social Skill Acquisition Deficits: A Preliminary Validation Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilgus, Stephen P.; von der Embse, Nathaniel P.; Scott, Katherine; Paxton, Sara

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to develop and initially validate the "Intervention Selection Profile-Social Skills" (ISP-SS), a novel brief social skills assessment method intended for use at Tier 2. Participants included 54 elementary school teachers and their 243 randomly selected students. Teachers rated students on two rating…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Jane E; O'Brien, Jennifer L

    2009-08-01

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

  10. Divided attention selectively impairs memory for self-relevant information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turk, David J; Brady-van den Bos, Mirjam; Collard, Philip; Gillespie-Smith, Karri; Conway, Martin A; Cunningham, Sheila J

    2013-05-01

    Information that is relevant to oneself tends to be remembered more than information that relates to other people, but the role of attention in eliciting this "self-reference effect" is unclear. In the present study, we assessed the importance of attention in self-referential encoding using an ownership paradigm, which required participants to encode items under conditions of imagined ownership by themselves or by another person. Previous work has established that this paradigm elicits a robust self-reference effect, with more "self-owned" items being remembered than "other-owned" items. Access to attentional resources was manipulated using divided-attention tasks at encoding. A significant self-reference effect emerged under full-attention conditions and was related to an increase in episodic recollection for self-owned items, but dividing attention eliminated this memory advantage. These findings are discussed in relation to the nature of self-referential cognition and the importance of attentional resources at encoding in the manifestation of the self-reference effect in memory.

  11. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms and cognitive skills of preschool children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomaidis, L; Choleva, A; Janikian, M; Bertou, G; Tsitsika, A; Giannakopoulos, G; Anagnostopoulos, D C

    2017-01-01

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) constitutes a neurobehavioral disorder which may potentially adversely affect children's wellbeing and academic achievement. The onset of symptoms is present prior to 12 years of age, and often the symptoms are evident in the preschool years. In fact, it has been suggested that screening for ADHD symptoms may be initiated as early as four years of age. Preschool children with ADHD have been shown to present with poor pre-academic skills and might be at increased risk for numerous school-related problems, including functional impairment during elementary school years and persistent poor academic performance thereafter. Although preschool years are characterized by rapid cognitive growth, preschoolers with ADHD may present with poorer cognitive and neuropsychological functioning. Due to the early onset of ADHD symptoms, exploring the cognitive correlates of this condition among preschool children is thought to be of notable importance. The aim of the present study was to evaluate any association between ADHD symptoms and cognitive skills among preschool children. A cross-sectional study was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 4,480 preschool children. ADHD symptoms were assessed though interviews with parents and teachers based on DSM-IV-TR criteria. Cognitive skills were assessed through a standardized school readiness test (A' TEST). Among participants, the occurrence of ADHD symptoms was 4.6% (boys/girls: 3.4/1). The presence of ADHD symptoms among children was inversely associated with non-verbal and verbal cognitive skills; specifically, with abstract thinking (aOR 1.97, 95% CI 1.30-3.00), language (2.36, 1.55-3.59), critical reasoning (2.58, 1.84-3.62), visual perception (2.42, 1.38- 4.24), and visual motor skills (2.61, 1.91-3.55). Children with ADHD symptoms were five times as likely to have compromised organizational skills (4.92, 3.04-7.97). Abstract thinking was the least affected domain

  12. Processing Consequences of Perceptual Grouping in Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farkas, Mitchell S.; Hoyer, William J.

    1980-01-01

    Examined adult age differences in the effects of perceptual grouping on attentional performance. All three age groups were slowed by the presence of similar irrelevant information, but the elderly were slowed more than were the young adults. (Author)

  13. Threat-related selective attention predicts treatment success in childhood anxiety disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legerstee, Jeroen S; Tulen, Joke H M; Kallen, Victor L; Dieleman, Gwen C; Treffers, Philip D A; Verhulst, Frank C; Utens, Elisabeth M W J

    2009-02-01

    The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. Participants consisted of 131 children with anxiety disorders (aged 8-16 years), who received standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy. At pretreatment, a pictorial dot-probe task was administered to assess selective attention. Both at pretreatment and posttreatment, diagnostic status of the children was evaluated with a semistructured clinical interview (the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children). Selective attention for severely threatening pictures at pretreatment assessment was predictive of treatment success. Examination of the specific components of selective attention revealed that nonresponders showed difficulties to disengage their attention away from severe threat. Treatment responders showed a tendency not to engage their attention toward severe threat. Age was not associated with selective attention and treatment success. Threat-related selective attention is a significant predictor of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders. Clinically anxious children with difficulties disengaging their attention away from severe threat profit less from cognitive-behavioral therapy. For these children, additional training focused on learning to disengage attention away from anxiety-arousing stimuli may be beneficial.

  14. Dynamic stereoscopic selective visual attention (dssva): integrating motion and shape with depth in video segmentation

    OpenAIRE

    López Bonal, María Teresa; Fernández Caballero, Antonio; Saiz Valverde, Sergio

    2008-01-01

    Depth inclusion as an important parameter for dynamic selective visual attention is presented in this article. The model introduced in this paper is based on two previously developed models, dynamic selective visual attention and visual stereoscopy, giving rise to the so-called dynamic stereoscopic selective visual attention method. The three models are based on the accumulative computation problem-solving method. This paper shows how software reusability enables enhancing results in vision r...

  15. Neuroplasticity of selective attention: Research foundations and preliminary evidence for a gene by intervention interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Courtney; Pakulak, Eric; Hampton Wray, Amanda; Bell, Theodore A.; Neville, Helen J.

    2017-01-01

    This article reviews the trajectory of our research program on selective attention, which has moved from basic research on the neural processes underlying selective attention to translational studies using selective attention as a neurobiological target for evidence-based interventions. We use this background to present a promising preliminary investigation of how genetic and experiential factors interact during development (i.e., gene × intervention interactions). Our findings provide evidence on how exposure to a family-based training can modify the associations between genotype (5-HTTLPR) and the neural mechanisms of selective attention in preschool children from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds. PMID:28819066

  16. Neuroplasticity of selective attention: Research foundations and preliminary evidence for a gene by intervention interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Elif; Stevens, Courtney; Pakulak, Eric; Hampton Wray, Amanda; Bell, Theodore A; Neville, Helen J

    2017-08-29

    This article reviews the trajectory of our research program on selective attention, which has moved from basic research on the neural processes underlying selective attention to translational studies using selective attention as a neurobiological target for evidence-based interventions. We use this background to present a promising preliminary investigation of how genetic and experiential factors interact during development (i.e., gene × intervention interactions). Our findings provide evidence on how exposure to a family-based training can modify the associations between genotype (5-HTTLPR) and the neural mechanisms of selective attention in preschool children from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds.

  17. Interaction of hypertension and age in visual selective attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madden, D J; Blumenthal, J A

    1998-01-01

    Previous research suggests that some aspects of cognitive performance decline as a joint function of age and hypertension. In this experiment, 51 unmedicated individuals with mild essential hypertension and 48 normotensive individuals, 18-78 years of age, performed a visual search task. The estimated time required to identify a display character and shift attention between display positions increased with age. This attention shift time did not differ significantly between hypertensive and normotensive participants, but regression analyses indicated some mediation of the age effect by blood pressure. For individuals less than 60 years of age, the error rate was greater for hypertensive than for normotensive participants. Although the present design could detect effects of only moderate to large size, the results suggest that effects of hypertension may be more evident in a relatively general measure of performance (mean error rate) than in the speed of shifting visual attention.

  18. Attention to the hands disrupts skilled typewriting: the role of vision in producing the disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapp, Kristy M; Logan, Gordon D

    2011-11-01

    Drawing typists' attention to their hands by asking them to type only letters assigned to the left or the right hand disrupts their performance, slowing the rate of typing and increasing errors. In this article we test the hypothesis that slowing occurs because typists watch their hands to determine which hand types which letter. Skilled typists were cued to type letters of one hand or of both hands while they could view their hands on the keyboard and while their vision was blocked by a box placed over the keyboard. Typing was slower when letters of one hand were typed than when letters of both hands were typed, and the slowing was greater when the hands were covered than when they were not. This supports the hypothesis that slowing occurs because typists watch their hands. However, typists were able to type letters of one hand when the keyboard was covered, so typists must have monitored kinesthetic information as well.

  19. Load Theory of Selective Attention and Cognitive Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavie, Nilli; Hirst, Aleksandra; de Fockert, Jan W.; Viding, Essi

    2004-01-01

    A load theory of attention in which distractor rejection depends on the level and type of load involved in current processing was tested. A series of experiments demonstrates that whereas high perceptual load reduces distractor interference, working memory load or dual-task coordination load increases distractor interference. These findings…

  20. Pitch perception and retention: two cumulative benefits of selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demany, Laurent; Montandon, Gaspard; Semal, Catherine

    2004-05-01

    By presenting, before a "chord" of three pure tones with remote frequencies, a tone relatively close in frequency to one component (T1) of the chord, one can direct the listener's attention onto T1 within the chord. In the first part of the present study, it was found that this increases the accuracy with which the pitch of T1 is perceived. The attentional cue improved the discrimination between the frequency of T1 and that of another tone (T2) presented immediately after the chord or very shortly (300 msec) after it. No improvement was found when T1 was presented alone instead of within a chord. A subsequent experiment, in which the chord and T2 were separated by either 300 msec or 4 sec, indicated that the attentional cue improved not only the perception, but also the memorization of the pitch of T1 (especially when T1 was the intermediate component of the chord). It is argued that the positive effect of attention on memory took place when the pitch percept was encoded into memory, rather than after the formation of the pitch memory trace.

  1. Selective Attention, Anxiety, Depressive Symptomatology and Academic Performance in Adolescents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Castillo, Antonio; Gutierrez-Rojas, Maria Esperanza

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: In this cross-sectional, descriptive research we studied the relation between three psychological variables (anxiety, depression and attention) in order to analyze their possible association with and predictive power for academic achievement (as expressed in school grades) in a sample of secondary students. Method: For this purpose…

  2. A Dual-Stage Two-Phase Model of Selective Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubner, Ronald; Steinhauser, Marco; Lehle, Carola

    2010-01-01

    The dual-stage two-phase (DSTP) model is introduced as a formal and general model of selective attention that includes both an early and a late stage of stimulus selection. Whereas at the early stage information is selected by perceptual filters whose selectivity is relatively limited, at the late stage stimuli are selected more efficiently on a…

  3. Selective Attention in Inattentional Blindness: Selection is Specific but Suppression is Not

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine Wood

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available When we selectively attend to one set of objects and ignore another, we often fail to notice unexpected events. The likelihood of noticing varies depending on the similarity of an unexpected object to other items in the display, a process thought to be controlled by the attention set that we create for the attended and ignored objects. It remains unclear, though, how attention sets are formed and structured. Do they enhance features of attended objects (“white” and suppress features of ignored objects (“black”, or do they distinguish objects based on relations or categories (“darker” versus “lighter,” or “dark objects” versus “light objects”? In previous work, these explanations are confounded; the objects would be partitioned into the same groups regardless the structure of the attention set. In the present three experiments, the attended or ignored set of objects was a constant color while the other set was variable. When people attended white and ignored a multicolored set of objects (Experiment 1, novel colors were suppressed just as much as display colors, suggesting nonselective filtering of nonwhite objects. When the color of one set of objects varied across displays but was constant within them (Experiments 2 and 3, we again found as much suppression for task-irrelevant and novel colors as for actively ignored ones. Whenever people ignored a set of objects that varied in color, they suppressed unexpected objects that matched the ignored colors and that differed from the actively ignored items on the critical trial. In contrast, when people attended a varying set, noticing was enhanced only for unexpected objects that matched the currently attended color. In this task, attentional filtering is category-based and did not depend on the features of the individual objects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  5. Individual Differences in Temporal Selective Attention as Reflected in Pupil Dilation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willems, Charlotte; Herdzin, Johannes; Martens, Sander

    2015-01-01

    Background Attention is restricted for the second of two targets when it is presented within 200-500 ms of the first target. This attentional blink (AB) phenomenon allows one to study the dynamics of temporal selective attention by varying the interval between the two targets (T1 and T2). Whereas

  6. Selective Attention and Fear of Cancer Recurrence in Breast Cancer Survivors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Custers, J. A. E.; Becker, E. S.; Gielissen, M. F. M.; van Laarhoven, H. W. M.; Rinck, M.; Prins, J. B.

    2015-01-01

    Anxious people show an attentional bias towards threatening information. It was investigated whether an attentional bias exists for cancer-related stimuli in breast cancer survivors and if different levels of fear of cancer recurrence would lead to different patterns of selective attention. Breast

  7. Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Patrick M; Terry, Alvin V

    2015-01-01

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

  8. A new perspective on the perceptual selectivity of attention under load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giesbrecht, Barry; Sy, Jocelyn; Bundesen, Claus; Kyllingsbaek, Søren

    2014-05-01

    The human attention system helps us cope with a complex environment by supporting the selective processing of information relevant to our current goals. Understanding the perceptual, cognitive, and neural mechanisms that mediate selective attention is a core issue in cognitive neuroscience. One prominent model of selective attention, known as load theory, offers an account of how task demands determine when information is selected and an account of the efficiency of the selection process. However, load theory has several critical weaknesses that suggest that it is time for a new perspective. Here we review the strengths and weaknesses of load theory and offer an alternative biologically plausible computational account that is based on the neural theory of visual attention. We argue that this new perspective provides a detailed computational account of how bottom-up and top-down information is integrated to provide efficient attentional selection and allocation of perceptual processing resources. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

  9. [Interpersonal attention management inventory: a new instrument to capture different self- and external perception skills].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaser, Klaus; Zlabinger, Milena; Hinterberger, Thilo

    2014-01-01

    The Interpersonal Attention Management Inventory (IAMI) represents a new instrument to capture self- and external perception skills. The underlying theoretical model assumes 3 mental locations of attention (the intrapersonal space, the extrapersonal space, and the external intrapersonal space) of the other. The IAMI was studied regarding its factor structure; it was shortened and statistical values as well as first reference values were calculated based on a larger sample (n = 1089). By factor analysis, the superordinate scales could be widely validated. The shortened version with 31 items and 3 superordinate scales shows a high reliability of the global value (Cronbach's α = 0.81) and, regarding the convergent validity, a modest correlation (r = 0.41) of the global value and mindfulness, measured with the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI). Further validation studies are invited so that the IAMI can be used as an instrument for (course) diagnosis in the therapy of psychiatric disorders as well as for research in social neuroscience, e.g., in investigations on mindfulness, compassion, empathy, theory of mind, and self-boundaries.

  10. Eye movement assessment of selective attentional capture by emotional pictures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nummenmaa, Lauri; Hyönä, Jukka; Calvo, Manuel G

    2006-05-01

    The eye-tracking method was used to assess attentional orienting to and engagement on emotional visual scenes. In Experiment 1, unpleasant, neutral, or pleasant target pictures were presented simultaneously with neutral control pictures in peripheral vision under instruction to compare pleasantness of the pictures. The probability of first fixating an emotional picture, and the frequency of subsequent fixations, were greater than those for neutral pictures. In Experiment 2, participants were instructed to avoid looking at the emotional pictures, but these were still more likely to be fixated first and gazed longer during the first-pass viewing than neutral pictures. Low-level visual features cannot explain the results. It is concluded that overt visual attention is captured by both unpleasant and pleasant emotional content. 2006 APA, all rights reserved

  11. Effects of selective attention on perceptual filling-in.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Weerd, P; Smith, E; Greenberg, P

    2006-03-01

    After few seconds, a figure steadily presented in peripheral vision becomes perceptually filled-in by its background, as if it "disappeared". We report that directing attention to the color, shape, or location of a figure increased the probability of perceiving filling-in compared to unattended figures, without modifying the time required for filling-in. This effect could be augmented by boosting attention. Furthermore, the frequency distribution of filling-in response times for attended figures could be predicted by multiplying the frequencies of response times for unattended figures with a constant. We propose that, after failure of figure-ground segregation, the neural interpolation processes that produce perceptual filling-in are enhanced in attended figure regions. As filling-in processes are involved in surface perception, the present study demonstrates that even very early visual processes are subject to modulation by cognitive factors.

  12. Meta-analysis of organizational skills interventions for children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bikic, Aida; Reichow, Brian; A. McCauley, Spencer

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background: In addition to problems with attention and hyperactivity, children with ADHD present with poor organizational skills required for managing time and materials in academic projects. Organizational skills training (OST) has been increasingly used to address these deficits. We...... conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of OST in children with ADHD. Objectives: The objective of this study was to systematically review the evidence of the effects of OST for children with ADHD for organizational skills, attention, and academic performance. Methods: We searched 3 electronic......-analyses across six outcomes: teacher- and parent-rated organizational skills, teacher- and parent-rated inattention, teacher-rated academic performance, and grade point average (GPA). Risk of bias was assessed for randomization, allocation concealment, blinding of participants and treatment personnel, blinding...

  13. Selective Attention in Vision: Recognition Memory for Superimposed Line Drawings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, E. Bruce; Fink, Susan I.

    1981-01-01

    Four experiments show that observers can selectively attend to one of two stationary superimposed pictures. Selective recognition occurred with large displays in which observers were free to make eye movements during a 3-sec exposure and with small displays in which observers were instructed to fixate steadily on a point. (Author/RD)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan W

    2012-10-01

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

  15. Individual Differences in Neural Mechanisms of Selective Auditory Attention in Preschoolers from Lower Socioeconomic Status Backgrounds: An Event-Related Potentials Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Elif; Wray, Amanda Hampton; Neville, Helen J.

    2016-01-01

    Selective attention, the ability to enhance the processing of particular input while suppressing the information from other concurrent sources, has been postulated to be a foundational skill for learning and academic achievement. The neural mechanisms of this foundational ability are both vulnerable and enhanceable in children from lower…

  16. Exploring the function of selective attention and hypervigilance for threat in anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Richards, Helen J.; Benson, Valerie; Donnelly, Nick; Hadwin, Julie A.

    2014-01-01

    Theoretical frameworks of anxiety propose that attentional biases to threat-related stimuli cause or maintain anxious states. The current paper draws on theoretical frameworks and key empirical studies to outline the distinctive attentional processes highlighted as being important in understanding anxiety. We develop a conceptual framework to make a distinction between two attentional biases: selective attention to threat and hypervigilance for threat. We suggest that these biases each have a...

  17. The role of selective attention in short-term memory and goal-directed behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vissers, M.E.

    2018-01-01

    Selective attention enables the prioritization of goal-relevant aspects of our sensory environment in order to guide our actions, or to store goal-relevant information in short-term memory. Yet, it remains largely unclear how attention prioritizes goal-relevant information. For example, selective

  18. Which Behavioral and Personality Characteristics Are Associated with Difficulties in Selective Attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avisar, Alon

    2011-01-01

    Objective: The present study investigated the behavioral and personality profile associated with difficulties in selective attention. Method: A group of participants with ADHD were assessed for ADHD behaviors. Adults with ADHD (n = 22) and without ADHD (n = 84) were tested on the conjunctive visual-search task for selective attention and…

  19. Endogenously- and Exogenously-Driven Selective Sustained Attention: Contributions to Learning in Kindergarten Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Lucy C.; Thiessen, Erik D.; Godwin, Karrie E.; Dickerson, John P.; Fisher, Anna V.

    2015-01-01

    Selective sustained attention is vital for higher order cognition. Although endogenous and exogenous factors influence selective sustained attention, assessment of the degree to which these factors influence performance and learning is often challenging. We report findings from the Track-It task, a paradigm that aims to assess the contribution of…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. Selective Attention and Control of Action: Comparative Psychology of an Artificial, Evolved Agent and People

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Robert; Ward, Ronnie

    2008-01-01

    This study examined the selective attention abilities of a simple, artificial, evolved agent and considered implications of the agent's performance for theories of selective attention and action. The agent processed two targets in continuous time, catching one and then the other. This task required many cognitive operations, including prioritizing…

  2. Comparison of Selective Attention and Intelligence Profile in Bilingual and Monolingual Adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahim Yousefi

    2018-01-01

    Conclusion Learning a foreign language (e.g. English may be an effective factor in selective attention and intelligence profile of adolescents. Therefore, the role of learning a foreign language should be considered in selective attention and intelligence profile of adolescents.

  3. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnove; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dua...

  4. The role of selective attention in short-term memory and goal-directed behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Vissers, M.E.

    2018-01-01

    Selective attention enables the prioritization of goal-relevant aspects of our sensory environment in order to guide our actions, or to store goal-relevant information in short-term memory. Yet, it remains largely unclear how attention prioritizes goal-relevant information. For example, selective attention may enhance processing of goal-relevant information, suppress processing of distracting information, or both. The research presented in this dissertation examined the neurophysiological mec...

  5. Neuromorphic VLSI Models of Selective Attention: From Single Chip Vision Sensors to Multi-chip Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Giacomo Indiveri

    2008-01-01

    Biological organisms perform complex selective attention operations continuously and effortlessly. These operations allow them to quickly determine the motor actions to take in response to combinations of external stimuli and internal states, and to pay attention to subsets of sensory inputs suppressing non salient ones. Selective attention strategies are extremely effective in both natural and artificial systems which have to cope with large amounts of input data and have limited computation...

  6. Spatial Scaling of the Profile of Selective Attention in the Visual Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gannon, Matthew A; Knapp, Ashley A; Adams, Thomas G; Long, Stephanie M; Parks, Nathan A

    2016-01-01

    Neural mechanisms of selective attention must be capable of adapting to variation in the absolute size of an attended stimulus in the ever-changing visual environment. To date, little is known regarding how attentional selection interacts with fluctuations in the spatial expanse of an attended object. Here, we use event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the scaling of attentional enhancement and suppression across the visual field. We measured ERPs while participants performed a task at fixation that varied in its attentional demands (attentional load) and visual angle (1.0° or 2.5°). Observers were presented with a stream of task-relevant stimuli while foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral visual locations were probed by irrelevant distractor stimuli. We found two important effects in the N1 component of visual ERPs. First, N1 modulations to task-relevant stimuli indexed attentional selection of stimuli during the load task and further correlated with task performance. Second, with increased task size, attentional modulation of the N1 to distractor stimuli showed a differential pattern that was consistent with a scaling of attentional selection. Together, these results demonstrate that the size of an attended stimulus scales the profile of attentional selection across the visual field and provides insights into the attentional mechanisms associated with such spatial scaling.

  7. Spatial Scaling of the Profile of Selective Attention in the Visual Field.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew A Gannon

    Full Text Available Neural mechanisms of selective attention must be capable of adapting to variation in the absolute size of an attended stimulus in the ever-changing visual environment. To date, little is known regarding how attentional selection interacts with fluctuations in the spatial expanse of an attended object. Here, we use event-related potentials (ERPs to investigate the scaling of attentional enhancement and suppression across the visual field. We measured ERPs while participants performed a task at fixation that varied in its attentional demands (attentional load and visual angle (1.0° or 2.5°. Observers were presented with a stream of task-relevant stimuli while foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral visual locations were probed by irrelevant distractor stimuli. We found two important effects in the N1 component of visual ERPs. First, N1 modulations to task-relevant stimuli indexed attentional selection of stimuli during the load task and further correlated with task performance. Second, with increased task size, attentional modulation of the N1 to distractor stimuli showed a differential pattern that was consistent with a scaling of attentional selection. Together, these results demonstrate that the size of an attended stimulus scales the profile of attentional selection across the visual field and provides insights into the attentional mechanisms associated with such spatial scaling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  10. Slippage theory and the flanker paradigm: an early-selection account of selective attention failures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaspelin, Nicholas; Ruthruff, Eric; Jung, Kyunghun

    2014-06-01

    In the flanker paradigm, participants identify a target letter while attempting to ignore an irrelevant flanker. When the identity of this flanker mismatches the target, target identification is slowed (called the flanker compatibility effect). Interestingly, reducing the array set size greatly increases flanker compatibility effects. This finding inspired 2 prominent explanations: perceptual load (mandatory capacity spillover) and dilution (visual interference). However, an alternative explanation, based on early selection theory and attention capture research, can also explain the data pattern. According to this "slippage" account, observers sometimes accidentally allocate spatial attention to the flanker (see Lachter, Forster, & Ruthruff, 2004), especially when the flanker has the property used to find the target (cf. contingent capture). In Experiments 1 through 4, deterring slippage to the flanker nearly eliminated flanker compatibility effects, even at the low set size. In Experiment 5, promoting slippage to the flanker dramatically enhanced compatibility effects, even at the high set size. Thus, slippage strongly modulates flanker effects and can, by itself, readily explain the impact of set size. The perceptual load and dilution accounts are, at best, incomplete, and, at worst, not needed. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  11. Electrophysiological evidence for altered visual, but not auditory, selective attention in adolescent cochlear implant users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Jill; Kamke, Marc R

    2014-11-01

    Selective attention fundamentally alters sensory perception, but little is known about the functioning of attention in individuals who use a cochlear implant. This study aimed to investigate visual and auditory attention in adolescent cochlear implant users. Event related potentials were used to investigate the influence of attention on visual and auditory evoked potentials in six cochlear implant users and age-matched normally-hearing children. Participants were presented with streams of alternating visual and auditory stimuli in an oddball paradigm: each modality contained frequently presented 'standard' and infrequent 'deviant' stimuli. Across different blocks attention was directed to either the visual or auditory modality. For the visual stimuli attention boosted the early N1 potential, but this effect was larger for cochlear implant users. Attention was also associated with a later P3 component for the visual deviant stimulus, but there was no difference between groups in the later attention effects. For the auditory stimuli, attention was associated with a decrease in N1 latency as well as a robust P3 for the deviant tone. Importantly, there was no difference between groups in these auditory attention effects. The results suggest that basic mechanisms of auditory attention are largely normal in children who are proficient cochlear implant users, but that visual attention may be altered. Ultimately, a better understanding of how selective attention influences sensory perception in cochlear implant users will be important for optimising habilitation strategies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Effect of feature-selective attention on neuronal responses in macaque area MT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, X.; Hoffmann, K.-P.; Albright, T. D.

    2012-01-01

    Attention influences visual processing in striate and extrastriate cortex, which has been extensively studied for spatial-, object-, and feature-based attention. Most studies exploring neural signatures of feature-based attention have trained animals to attend to an object identified by a certain feature and ignore objects/displays identified by a different feature. Little is known about the effects of feature-selective attention, where subjects attend to one stimulus feature domain (e.g., color) of an object while features from different domains (e.g., direction of motion) of the same object are ignored. To study this type of feature-selective attention in area MT in the middle temporal sulcus, we trained macaque monkeys to either attend to and report the direction of motion of a moving sine wave grating (a feature for which MT neurons display strong selectivity) or attend to and report its color (a feature for which MT neurons have very limited selectivity). We hypothesized that neurons would upregulate their firing rate during attend-direction conditions compared with attend-color conditions. We found that feature-selective attention significantly affected 22% of MT neurons. Contrary to our hypothesis, these neurons did not necessarily increase firing rate when animals attended to direction of motion but fell into one of two classes. In one class, attention to color increased the gain of stimulus-induced responses compared with attend-direction conditions. The other class displayed the opposite effects. Feature-selective activity modulations occurred earlier in neurons modulated by attention to color compared with neurons modulated by attention to motion direction. Thus feature-selective attention influences neuronal processing in macaque area MT but often exhibited a mismatch between the preferred stimulus dimension (direction of motion) and the preferred attention dimension (attention to color). PMID:22170961

  15. Context Modulates Congruency Effects in Selective Attention to Social Cues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Ravagli

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Head and gaze directions are used during social interactions as essential cues to infer where someone attends. When head and gaze are oriented toward opposite directions, we need to extract socially meaningful information despite stimulus conflict. Recently, a cognitive and neural mechanism for filtering-out conflicting stimuli has been identified while performing non-social attention tasks. This mechanism is engaged proactively when conflict is anticipated in a high proportion of trials and reactively when conflict occurs infrequently. Here, we investigated whether a similar mechanism is at play for limiting distraction from conflicting social cues during gaze or head direction discrimination tasks in contexts with different probabilities of conflict. Results showed that, for the gaze direction task only (Experiment 1, inverse efficiency (IE scores for distractor-absent trials (i.e., faces with averted gaze and centrally oriented head were larger (indicating worse performance when these trials were intermixed with congruent/incongruent distractor-present trials (i.e., faces with averted gaze and tilted head in the same/opposite direction relative to when the same distractor-absent trials were shown in isolation. Moreover, on distractor-present trials, IE scores for congruent (vs. incongruent head-gaze pairs in blocks with rare conflict were larger than in blocks with frequent conflict, suggesting that adaptation to conflict was more efficient than adaptation to infrequent events. However, when the task required discrimination of head orientation while ignoring gaze direction, performance was not impacted by both block-level and current trial congruency (Experiment 2, unless the cognitive load of the task was increased by adding a concurrent task (Experiment 3. Overall, our study demonstrates that during attention to social cues proactive cognitive control mechanisms are modulated by the expectation of conflicting stimulus information at both

  16. On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access : Parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wyble, Brad; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark

    On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access: parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'

  17. Working memory as internal attention: toward an integrative account of internal and external selection processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Egner, Tobias

    2013-04-01

    Working memory (WM) and attention have been studied as separate cognitive constructs, although it has long been acknowledged that attention plays an important role in controlling the activation, maintenance, and manipulation of representations in WM. WM has, conversely, been thought of as a means of maintaining representations to voluntarily guide perceptual selective attention. It has more recently been observed, however, that the contents of WM can capture visual attention, even when such internally maintained representations are irrelevant, and often disruptive, to the immediate external task. Thus, the precise relationship between WM and attention remains unclear, but it appears that they may bidirectionally impact one another, whether or not internal representations are consistent with the external perceptual goals. This reciprocal relationship seems, further, to be constrained by limited cognitive resources to handle demands in either maintenance or selection. We propose here that the close relationship between WM and attention may be best described as a give-and-take interdependence between attention directed toward either actively maintained internal representations (traditionally considered WM) or external perceptual stimuli (traditionally considered selective attention), underpinned by their shared reliance on a common cognitive resource. Put simply, we argue that WM and attention should no longer be considered as separate systems or concepts, but as competing and influencing one another because they rely on the same limited resource. This framework can offer an explanation for the capture of visual attention by irrelevant WM contents, as well as a straightforward account of the underspecified relationship between WM and attention.

  18. Working Memory as Internal Attention: Toward an Integrative Account of Internal and External Selection Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Egner, Tobias

    2012-01-01

    Working memory (WM) and attention have been studied as separate cognitive constructs, although it has long been acknowledged that attention plays an important role in controlling the activation, maintenance, and manipulation of representations in WM. WM has, conversely, been thought of as a means of maintaining representations to voluntarily guide perceptual selective attention. It has more recently been observed, however, that the contents of WM can capture visual attention, even when such internally maintained representations are irrelevant, and often disruptive, to the immediate external task. Thus the precise relationship between WM and attention remains unclear, but it appears that they may bi-directionally impact one another, whether or not internal representations are consistent with external perceptual goals. This reciprocal relationship seems, further, to be constrained by limited cognitive resources to handle demands in either maintenance or selection. We propose here that the close relationship between WM and attention may be best described as a give-and-take interdependence between attention directed toward actively maintained internal representations (traditionally considered WM) versus external perceptual stimuli (traditionally considered selective attention), underpinned by their shared reliance on a common cognitive resource. Put simply, we argue that WM and attention should no longer be considered as separate systems or concepts, but as competing and impacting one another because they rely on the same limited resource. This framework can offer an explanation for the capture of visual attention by irrelevant WM contents, as well as a straightforward account of the underspecified relationship between WM and attention. PMID:23233157

  19. An Attentional Application of Socioemotional Selectivity Theory in College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruzan, Katherine; Isaacowitz, Derek M.

    2006-01-01

    Socioemotional selectivity theory posits that emotions become increasingly salient as individuals approach endings. Recent findings have linked the theory with biases in information processing in the context of aging. However, these studies all confounded advancing age and the motivational impact of endings. This study represented an attempt to…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidd, Gerald, Jr.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Listeners with hearing loss, as well as many listeners with clinically normal hearing, often experience great difficulty segregating talkers in a multiple-talker sound field and selectively attending to the desired "target" talker while ignoring the speech from unwanted "masker" talkers and other sources of sound. This…

  1. Modulation of selective attention by polarity-specific tDCS effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecchinenda, Anna; Ferlazzo, Fabio; Lavidor, Michal

    2015-02-01

    Selective attention relies on working memory to maintain an attention set of task priorities. Consequently, selective attention is more efficient when working memory resources are not depleted. However, there is some evidence that distractors are processed even when working memory load is low. We used tDCS to assess whether boosting the activity of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (DLPFC), involved in selective attention and working memory, would reduce interference from emotional distractors. Findings showed that anodal tDCS over the DLPFC was not sufficient to reduce interference from angry distractors. In contrast, cathodal tDCS over the DLPFC reduced interference from happy distractors. These findings show that altering the DLPFC activity is not sufficient to establish top-down control and increase selective attention efficiency. Although, when the neural signal in the DLPFC is altered by cathodal tDCS, interference from emotional distractors is reduced, leading to an improved performance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The influence of executive capacity on selective attention and subsequent processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirk R. Daffner

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent investigations that suggest selective attention is dependent on top-down control mechanisms lead to the expectation that individuals with high executive capacity would exhibit more robust neural indices of selective attention. This prediction was tested by using event-related potentials (ERPs to examine differences in markers of information processing across 25 subjects divided into 2 groups based on high vs. average executive capacity, as defined by neuropsychological test scores. Subjects performed an experimental task requiring selective attention to a specified color. In contrast to expectation, individuals with high and average executive capacity did not differ in the size of ERP indices of selective attention: the anterior Selection Positivity (SP and posterior Selection Negativity (SN. However, there were substantial differences between groups in markers of subsequent processing, including the anterior N2 (a measure of attentional control and the P3a (an index of the orienting of attention. Executive capacity predicted speed of processing at both early and late attentional stages. Individuals with lower executive capacity exhibited prolonged SN, P3a, and P3b latencies. However, the delays in carrying out selective attention operations did not account for subsequent delays in decision making, or explain excessive orienting and reduced attentional control mechanisms in response to stimuli that should have been ignored. SN latency, P3 latency, and the size of the anterior N2 made independent contributions to the variance of executive capacity. In summary, our findings suggest that current views regarding the relationship between top-down control mechanisms and selective attention may need refinement.

  3. Motor Skills of Children Newly Diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Prior to and Following Treatment with Stimulant Medication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brossard-Racine, Marie; Shevell, Michael; Snider, Laurie; Belanger, Stacey Ageranioti; Majnemer, Annette

    2012-01-01

    Motor difficulties are common in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Although preliminary evidence has suggested that methylphenidate can improve the motor skills in children with ADHD and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), the effect of stimulant medication on motor performance in children newly diagnosed with…

  4. Contributions of Sensory Coding and Attentional Control to Individual Differences in Performance in Spatial Auditory Selective Attention Tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Lengshi; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G

    2016-01-01

    Listeners with normal hearing thresholds (NHTs) differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in the cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding), onset event-related potentials (ERPs) from the scalp (reflecting cortical responses to sound) and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones); however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance), inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with NHTs can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on stimulus characteristics

  5. Contributions of sensory coding and attentional control to individual differences in performance in spatial auditory selective attention tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lengshi Dai

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Listeners with normal hearing thresholds differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding, onset event-related potentials from the scalp (ERPs, reflecting cortical responses to sound, and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones; however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance, inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with normal hearing thresholds can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on

  6. Endogenously and exogenously driven selective sustained attention: Contributions to learning in kindergarten children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Lucy C; Thiessen, Erik D; Godwin, Karrie E; Dickerson, John P; Fisher, Anna V

    2015-10-01

    Selective sustained attention is vital for higher order cognition. Although endogenous and exogenous factors influence selective sustained attention, assessment of the degree to which these factors influence performance and learning is often challenging. We report findings from the Track-It task, a paradigm that aims to assess the contribution of endogenous and exogenous factors to selective sustained attention within the same task. Behavioral accuracy and eye-tracking data on the Track-It task were correlated with performance on an explicit learning task. Behavioral accuracy and fixations to distractors during the Track-It task did not predict learning when exogenous factors supported selective sustained attention. In contrast, when endogenous factors supported selective sustained attention, fixations to distractors were negatively correlated with learning. Similarly, when endogenous factors supported selective sustained attention, higher behavioral accuracy was correlated with greater learning. These findings suggest that endogenously and exogenously driven selective sustained attention, as measured through different conditions of the Track-It task, may support different kinds of learning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Two different mechanisms support selective attention at different phases of training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itthipuripat, Sirawaj; Cha, Kexin; Byers, Anna; Serences, John T

    2017-06-01

    Selective attention supports the prioritized processing of relevant sensory information to facilitate goal-directed behavior. Studies in human subjects demonstrate that attentional gain of cortical responses can sufficiently account for attention-related improvements in behavior. On the other hand, studies using highly trained nonhuman primates suggest that reductions in neural noise can better explain attentional facilitation of behavior. Given the importance of selective information processing in nearly all domains of cognition, we sought to reconcile these competing accounts by testing the hypothesis that extensive behavioral training alters the neural mechanisms that support selective attention. We tested this hypothesis using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure stimulus-evoked visual responses from human subjects while they performed a selective spatial attention task over the course of ~1 month. Early in training, spatial attention led to an increase in the gain of stimulus-evoked visual responses. Gain was apparent within ~100 ms of stimulus onset, and a quantitative model based on signal detection theory (SDT) successfully linked the magnitude of this gain modulation to attention-related improvements in behavior. However, after extensive training, this early attentional gain was eliminated even though there were still substantial attention-related improvements in behavior. Accordingly, the SDT-based model required noise reduction to account for the link between the stimulus-evoked visual responses and attentional modulations of behavior. These findings suggest that training can lead to fundamental changes in the way attention alters the early cortical responses that support selective information processing. Moreover, these data facilitate the translation of results across different species and across experimental procedures that employ different behavioral training regimes.

  8. Two different mechanisms support selective attention at different phases of training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Kexin; Byers, Anna; Serences, John T.

    2017-01-01

    Selective attention supports the prioritized processing of relevant sensory information to facilitate goal-directed behavior. Studies in human subjects demonstrate that attentional gain of cortical responses can sufficiently account for attention-related improvements in behavior. On the other hand, studies using highly trained nonhuman primates suggest that reductions in neural noise can better explain attentional facilitation of behavior. Given the importance of selective information processing in nearly all domains of cognition, we sought to reconcile these competing accounts by testing the hypothesis that extensive behavioral training alters the neural mechanisms that support selective attention. We tested this hypothesis using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure stimulus-evoked visual responses from human subjects while they performed a selective spatial attention task over the course of ~1 month. Early in training, spatial attention led to an increase in the gain of stimulus-evoked visual responses. Gain was apparent within ~100 ms of stimulus onset, and a quantitative model based on signal detection theory (SDT) successfully linked the magnitude of this gain modulation to attention-related improvements in behavior. However, after extensive training, this early attentional gain was eliminated even though there were still substantial attention-related improvements in behavior. Accordingly, the SDT-based model required noise reduction to account for the link between the stimulus-evoked visual responses and attentional modulations of behavior. These findings suggest that training can lead to fundamental changes in the way attention alters the early cortical responses that support selective information processing. Moreover, these data facilitate the translation of results across different species and across experimental procedures that employ different behavioral training regimes. PMID:28654635

  9. Selective attention on representations in working memory: cognitive and neural mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ku, Yixuan

    2018-01-01

    Selective attention and working memory are inter-dependent core cognitive functions. It is critical to allocate attention on selected targets during the capacity-limited working memory processes to fulfill the goal-directed behavior. The trends of research on both topics are increasing exponentially in recent years, and it is considered that selective attention and working memory share similar underlying neural mechanisms. Different types of attention orientation in working memory are introduced by distinctive cues, and the means using retrospective cues are strengthened currently as it is manipulating the representation in memory, instead of the perceptual representation. The cognitive and neural mechanisms of the retro-cue effects are further reviewed, as well as the potential molecular mechanism. The frontal-parietal network that is involved in both attention and working memory is also the neural candidate for attention orientation during working memory. Neural oscillations in the gamma and alpha/beta oscillations may respectively be employed for the feedforward and feedback information transfer between the sensory cortices and the association cortices. Dopamine and serotonin systems might interact with each other subserving the communication between memory and attention. In conclusion, representations which attention shifts towards are strengthened, while representations which attention moves away from are degraded. Studies on attention orientation during working memory indicates the flexibility of the processes of working memory, and the beneficial way that overcome the limited capacity of working memory.

  10. Selective attention on representations in working memory: cognitive and neural mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yixuan Ku

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Selective attention and working memory are inter-dependent core cognitive functions. It is critical to allocate attention on selected targets during the capacity-limited working memory processes to fulfill the goal-directed behavior. The trends of research on both topics are increasing exponentially in recent years, and it is considered that selective attention and working memory share similar underlying neural mechanisms. Different types of attention orientation in working memory are introduced by distinctive cues, and the means using retrospective cues are strengthened currently as it is manipulating the representation in memory, instead of the perceptual representation. The cognitive and neural mechanisms of the retro-cue effects are further reviewed, as well as the potential molecular mechanism. The frontal-parietal network that is involved in both attention and working memory is also the neural candidate for attention orientation during working memory. Neural oscillations in the gamma and alpha/beta oscillations may respectively be employed for the feedforward and feedback information transfer between the sensory cortices and the association cortices. Dopamine and serotonin systems might interact with each other subserving the communication between memory and attention. In conclusion, representations which attention shifts towards are strengthened, while representations which attention moves away from are degraded. Studies on attention orientation during working memory indicates the flexibility of the processes of working memory, and the beneficial way that overcome the limited capacity of working memory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Mary H; Giesbrecht, Barry

    2015-05-05

    Selective attention is often framed as being primarily driven by two factors: task-relevance and physical salience. However, factors like selection and reward history, which are neither currently task-relevant nor physically salient, can reliably and persistently influence visual selective attention. The current study investigated the nature of the persistent effects of irrelevant, physically non-salient, reward-associated features. These features affected one of the earliest reliable neural indicators of visual selective attention in humans, the P1 event-related potential, measured one week after the reward associations were learned. However, the effects of reward history were moderated by current task demands. The modulation of visually evoked activity supports the hypothesis that reward history influences the innate salience of reward associated features, such that even when no longer relevant, nor physically salient, these features have a rapid, persistent, and robust effect on early visual selective attention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Sustained attention in skilled and novice martial arts athletes: a study of event-related potentials and current sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Lopez, Javier; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Fernandez, Thalia

    2016-01-01

    Background. Research on sports has revealed that behavioral responses and event-related brain potentials (ERP) are better in expert than in novice athletes for sport-related tasks. Focused attention is essential for optimal athletic performance across different sports but mainly in combat disciplines. During combat, long periods of focused attention (i.e., sustained attention) are required for a good performance. Few investigations have reported effects of expertise on brain electrical activity and its neural generators during sport-unrelated attention tasks. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of expertise (i.e., skilled and novice martial arts athletes) analyzing the ERP during a sustained attention task (Continuous Performance Task; CPT) and the cortical three-dimensional distribution of current density, using the sLORETA technique. Methods. CPT consisted in an oddball-type paradigm presentation of five stimuli (different pointing arrows) where only one of them (an arrow pointing up right) required a motor response (i.e., target). CPT was administered to skilled and novice martial arts athletes while EEG were recorded. Amplitude ERP data from target and non-target stimuli were compared between groups. Subsequently, current source analysis for each ERP component was performed on each subject. sLORETA images were compared by condition and group using Statistical Non-Parametric Mapping analysis. Results. Skilled athletes showed significant amplitude differences between target and non-target conditions in early ERP components (P100 and P200) as opposed to the novice group; however, skilled athletes showed no significant effect of condition in N200 but novices did show a significant effect. Current source analysis showed greater differences in activations in skilled compared with novice athletes between conditions in the frontal (mainly in the Superior Frontal Gyrus and Medial Frontal Gyrus) and limbic (mainly in the Anterior Cingulate Gyrus) lobes

  13. Music training relates to the development of neural mechanisms of selective auditory attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strait, Dana L; Slater, Jessica; O'Connell, Samantha; Kraus, Nina

    2015-04-01

    Selective attention decreases trial-to-trial variability in cortical auditory-evoked activity. This effect increases over the course of maturation, potentially reflecting the gradual development of selective attention and inhibitory control. Work in adults indicates that music training may alter the development of this neural response characteristic, especially over brain regions associated with executive control: in adult musicians, attention decreases variability in auditory-evoked responses recorded over prefrontal cortex to a greater extent than in nonmusicians. We aimed to determine whether this musician-associated effect emerges during childhood, when selective attention and inhibitory control are under development. We compared cortical auditory-evoked variability to attended and ignored speech streams in musicians and nonmusicians across three age groups: preschoolers, school-aged children and young adults. Results reveal that childhood music training is associated with reduced auditory-evoked response variability recorded over prefrontal cortex during selective auditory attention in school-aged child and adult musicians. Preschoolers, on the other hand, demonstrate no impact of selective attention on cortical response variability and no musician distinctions. This finding is consistent with the gradual emergence of attention during this period and may suggest no pre-existing differences in this attention-related cortical metric between children who undergo music training and those who do not. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Neuromorphic VLSI Models of Selective Attention: From Single Chip Vision Sensors to Multi-chip Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indiveri, Giacomo

    2008-09-03

    Biological organisms perform complex selective attention operations continuously and effortlessly. These operations allow them to quickly determine the motor actions to take in response to combinations of external stimuli and internal states, and to pay attention to subsets of sensory inputs suppressing non salient ones. Selective attention strategies are extremely effective in both natural and artificial systems which have to cope with large amounts of input data and have limited computational resources. One of the main computational primitives used to perform these selection operations is the Winner-Take-All (WTA) network. These types of networks are formed by arrays of coupled computational nodes that selectively amplify the strongest input signals, and suppress the weaker ones. Neuromorphic circuits are an optimal medium for constructing WTA networks and for implementing efficient hardware models of selective attention systems. In this paper we present an overview of selective attention systems based on neuromorphic WTA circuits ranging from single-chip vision sensors for selecting and tracking the position of salient features, to multi-chip systems implement saliency-map based models of selective attention.

  15. Neuromorphic VLSI Models of Selective Attention: From Single Chip Vision Sensors to Multi-chip Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giacomo Indiveri

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Biological organisms perform complex selective attention operations continuously and effortlessly. These operations allow them to quickly determine the motor actions to take in response to combinations of external stimuli and internal states, and to pay attention to subsets of sensory inputs suppressing non salient ones. Selective attention strategies are extremely effective in both natural and artificial systems which have to cope with large amounts of input data and have limited computational resources. One of the main computational primitives used to perform these selection operations is the Winner-Take-All (WTA network. These types of networks are formed by arrays of coupled computational nodes that selectively amplify the strongest input signals, and suppress the weaker ones. Neuromorphic circuits are an optimal medium for constructing WTA networks and for implementing efficient hardware models of selective attention systems. In this paper we present an overview of selective attention systems based on neuromorphic WTA circuits ranging from single-chip vision sensors for selecting and tracking the position of salient features, to multi-chip systems implement saliency-map based models of selective attention.

  16. When feeling skillful impairs coordination in a lottery selection task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Dorfman

    Full Text Available Choosing a major field of study to secure a good job after graduation is a tacit coordination problem that requires considering others' choices. We examine how feeling skillful, either induced (Experiment 1 or measured (Experiment 2, affects coordination in this type of task. In both experiments participants chose between two lotteries, one offering a larger prize than the other. Participants' entry into the chosen lottery was either related or unrelated to their skill, with the final prize allocated randomly to one of the entrants in each lottery. Importantly, across conditions skill was irrelevant to choosing between lotteries. Notwithstanding, when skill was related to determining lottery entrants, participants who felt highly skillful chose the high prize lottery excessively. Results further suggest that this stems from high confidence in self skill, rather than incorrect expectations regarding others.

  17. Sustained selective attention to competing amplitude-modulations in human auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control.

  18. Sustained Selective Attention to Competing Amplitude-Modulations in Human Auditory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander

    2014-01-01

    Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control. PMID:25259525

  19. Selective attention meets spontaneous recognition memory: Evidence for effects at retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Katherine C; Miller, Jeremy K; Lloyd, Marianne E

    2017-03-01

    Previous research on the effects of Divided Attention on recognition memory have shown consistent impairments during encoding but more variable effects at retrieval. The present study explored whether effects of Selective Attention at retrieval and subsequent testing were parallel to those of Divided Attention. Participants studied a list of pictures and then had a recognition memory test that included both full attention and selective attention (the to be responded to object was overlaid atop a blue outlined object) trials. All participants then completed a second recognition memory test. The results of 2 experiments suggest that subsequent tests consistently show impacts of the status of the ignored stimulus, and that having an initial test changes performance on a later test. The results are discussed in relation to effect of attention on memory more generally as well as spontaneous recognition memory research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Switching in the Cocktail Party: Exploring Intentional Control of Auditory Selective Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Iring; Lawo, Vera; Fels, Janina; Vorlander, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Using a novel variant of dichotic selective listening, we examined the control of auditory selective attention. In our task, subjects had to respond selectively to one of two simultaneously presented auditory stimuli (number words), always spoken by a female and a male speaker, by performing a numerical size categorization. The gender of the…

  1. Multiple bottlenecks in hierarchical control of action sequences: what does "response selection" select in skilled typewriting?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Motonori; Logan, Gordon D; Li, Vanessa

    2013-08-01

    Does response selection select words or letters in skilled typewriting? Typing performance involves hierarchically organized control processes: an outer loop that controls word level processing, and an inner loop that controls letter (or keystroke) level processing. The present study addressed whether response selection occurs in the outer loop or the inner loop by using the psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm in which Task1 required typing single words and Task2 required vocal responses to tones. The number of letters (string length) in the words was manipulated to discriminate selection of words from selection of keystrokes. In Experiment 1, the PRP effect depended on string length of words in Task1, suggesting that response selection occurs in the inner loop. To assess contributions of the outer loop, the influence of string length was examined in a lexical-decision task that also involves word encoding and lexical access (Experiment 2), or to-be-typed words were preexposed so outer-loop processing could finish before typing started (Experiment 3). Response time for Task2 (RT2) did not depend on string length with lexical decision, and RT2 still depended on string length with typing preexposed strings. These results support the inner-loop locus of the PRP effect. In Experiment 4, typing was performed as Task2, and the effect of string length on typing RT interacted with stimulus onset asynchrony superadditively, implying that another bottleneck also exists in the outer loop. We conclude that there are at least two bottleneck processes in skilled typewriting. 2013 APA, all rights reserved

  2. The precision of spatial selection into the focus of attention in working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Alessandra S; Thalmann, Mirko; Oberauer, Klaus

    2018-04-23

    Attention helps manage the information held in visual working memory (vWM). Perceptual attention selects the stimuli to be represented in vWM, whereas internal attention prioritizes information already in vWM. In the present study we assessed the spatial precision of perceptual and internal attention in vWM. Participants encoded eight colored dots for a local-recognition test. To manipulate attention, a cue indicated the item most likely to be tested (~65% validity). The cue appeared either before the onset of the memory array (precue) or during the retention interval (retrocue). The precue guides perceptual attention to gate encoding into vWM, whereas the retrocue guides internal attention to prioritize the cued item within vWM. If attentional selection is spatially imprecise, attention should be preferentially allocated to the cued location, with a gradual drop-off of attention over space to nearby uncued locations. In this case, memory for uncued locations should vary as a function of their distance from the cued location. As compared to a no-cue condition, memory was better for validly cued items but worse for uncued items. The spatial distance between the uncued and cued locations modulated the cuing costs: Items close in space to the cued location were insulated from cuing costs. The extension of this spatial proximity effect was larger for precues than for retrocues, mostly because the benefits of attention were larger for precues. These results point to similar selection principles between perceptual and internal attention and to a critical role of spatial distance in the selection of visual representations.

  3. Individual Differences in Temporal Selective Attention as Reflected in Pupil Dilation

    OpenAIRE

    Willems, Charlotte; Herdzin, Johannes; Martens, Sander

    2015-01-01

    Background Attention is restricted for the second of two targets when it is presented within 200-500 ms of the first target. This attentional blink (AB) phenomenon allows one to study the dynamics of temporal selective attention by varying the interval between the two targets (T1 and T2). Whereas the AB has long been considered as a robust and universal cognitive limitation, several studies have demonstrated that AB task performance greatly differs between individuals, with some individuals s...

  4. Different cortical mechanisms for spatial vs. feature-based attentional selection in visual working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Heuer

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The limited capacity of visual working memory necessitates attentional mechanisms that selectively update and maintain only the most task-relevant content. Psychophysical experiments have shown that the retroactive selection of memory content can be based on visual properties such as location or shape, but the neural basis for such differential selection is unknown. For example, it is not known if there are different cortical modules specialized for spatial versus feature-based mnemonic attention, in the same way that has been demonstrated for attention to perceptual input. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS to identify areas in human parietal and occipital cortex involved in the selection of objects from memory based on cues to their location (spatial information or their shape (featural information. We found that TMS over the supramarginal gyrus (SMG selectively facilitated spatial selection, whereas TMS over the lateral occipital cortex selectively enhanced feature-based selection for remembered objects in the contralateral visual field. Thus, different cortical regions are responsible for spatial vs. feature-based selection of working memory representations. Since the same regions are involved in attention to external events, these new findings indicate overlapping mechanisms for attentional control over perceptual input and mnemonic representations.

  5. Attention in selective mutism--an exploratory case-control study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oerbeck, Beate; Kristensen, Hanne

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the study was to explore the association between selective mutism (SM) and attention. In SM social anxiety seems central but language impairment and motor problems are also reported. Attention problems have been described in parental behavioral ratings, while neuropsychological studies are lacking. A neuropsychological test (the Trail Making Test) and parental ratings of attention- and anxiety problems were administered to a clinical sample of 23 children with SM (aged 7-16 years, 12 boys and 11 girls) and 46 non-referred matched controls. The SM group differed from controls on the Trail Making Test, but the group difference disappeared, when controlling for motor function and IQ. Parental ratings of attention problems were not significantly associated with the neuropsychological attention measure. Neuropsychological studies of attention controlled for IQ and motor function are needed as well as tests that measure different aspects of attention.

  6. Time course of spatial and feature selective attention for partly-occluded objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasai, Tetsuko; Takeya, Ryuji

    2012-07-01

    Attention selects objects/groups as the most fundamental units, and this may be achieved by an attention-spreading mechanism. Previous event-related potential (ERP) studies have found that attention-spreading is reflected by a decrease in the N1 spatial attention effect. The present study tested whether the electrophysiological attention effect is associated with the perception of object unity or amodal completion through the use of partly-occluded objects. ERPs were recorded in 14 participants who were required to pay attention to their left or right visual field and to press a button for a target shape in the attended field. Bilateral stimuli were presented rapidly, and were separated, connected, or connected behind an occluder. Behavioral performance in the connected and occluded conditions was worse than that in the separated condition, indicating that attention spread over perceptual object representations after amodal completion. Consistently, the late N1 spatial attention effect (180-220 ms post-stimulus) and the early phase (230-280 ms) of feature selection effects (target N2) at contralateral sites decreased, equally for the occluded and connected conditions, while the attention effect in the early N1 latency (140-180 ms) shifted most positively for the occluded condition. These results suggest that perceptual organization processes for object recognition transiently modulate spatial and feature selection processes in the visual cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Detecting effects of donepezil on visual selective attention using signal detection parameters in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foldi, Nancy S; White, Richard E C; Schaefer, Lynn A

    2005-05-01

    Attentional function is impaired in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Moreover, attention is mediated by acetylcholine. But, despite the widespread use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChE-I) to augment available acetylcholine in AD, measures of attentional function have not been used to assess the drug response. We hypothesized that as cholinergic augmentation impacts directly on the attentional system, higher-order measures of visual selective attention would be sensitive to effects of treatment using an AChE-I (donepezil hydrochloride). We also sought to determine whether these attentional measures were more sensitive to treatment than other measures of cognitive function. Seventeen patients with AD (8 untreated, 9 treated with donepezil) were contrasted on performance of a selective cancellation task. Two signal detection parameters were used as outcome measures: decision strategy (beta, beta) and discriminability (d-prime, d'). Standard screening and cognitive domain measures of vigilance, language, memory, and executive function were also contrasted. Treated patients judged stimuli more conservatively (p = 0.29) by correctly endorsing targets and rejecting false alarms. They also discriminated targets from distractors more easily (p = 0.58). The screening and neuropsychological measures failed to differentiate the groups. Higher-order attentional measures captured the effects of donepezil treatment in small groups of patients with AD. The results suggest that cholinergic availability may directly affect the attentional system, and that these selective attention measures are sensitive markers to detect treatment response. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  8. What Is the Unit of Visual Attention? Object for Selection, but Boolean Map for Access

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Liqiang

    2010-01-01

    In the past 20 years, numerous theories and findings have suggested that the unit of visual attention is the object. In this study, I first clarify 2 different meanings of unit of visual attention, namely the unit of access in the sense of measurement and the unit of selection in the sense of division. In accordance with this distinction, I argue…

  9. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking) did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention.

  10. Selective Attentional Effects of Textbook Study Questions on Student Learning in Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holliday, William G.

    1981-01-01

    Reports results of a study testing a selective attentional model which predicted that textbook study questions adjunct to a flow diagram will focus students' attention more upon questioned information and less upon nonquestioned information. A picture-word diagram describing biogeochemical cycles to high school biology students (N=176) was used.…

  11. The Role of Executive Control of Attention and Selective Encoding for Preschoolers' Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roderer, Thomas; Krebs, Saskia; Schmid, Corinne; Roebers, Claudia M.

    2012-01-01

    Selectivity in encoding, aspects of attentional control and their contribution to learning performance were explored in a sample of preschoolers. While the children are performing a learning task, their encoding of relevant and attention towards irrelevant information was recorded through an eye-tracking device. Recognition of target items was…

  12. Impact of Auditory Selective Attention on Verbal Short-Term Memory and Vocabulary Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majerus, Steve; Heiligenstein, Lucie; Gautherot, Nathalie; Poncelet, Martine; Van der Linden, Martial

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the role of auditory selective attention capacities as a possible mediator of the well-established association between verbal short-term memory (STM) and vocabulary development. A total of 47 6- and 7-year-olds were administered verbal immediate serial recall and auditory attention tasks. Both task types probed processing…

  13. Assessment of Selective Attention with CSCWT (Computerized Stroop Color-Word Test) among Children and Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afsaneh, Zarghi; Alireza, Zali; Mehdi, Tehranidost; Farzad, Ashrafi; Reza, Zarindast Mohammad; Mehdi, Moazzezi; Mojtaba, Khodadadi Seyed

    2012-01-01

    The SCWT (Stroop Color-Word Test) is a quick and frequently used measure for assessing selective attention and cognitive flexibility. This study determines age, sex and education level influence on attention and cognitive flexibility by CSCWT (Computerized Stroop Color-Word Test) among healthy Iranian children and adults. There were 78 healthy…

  14. Cognitive training and selective attention in the aging brain: an electrophysiological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Jennifer L; Edwards, Jerri D; Maxfield, Nathan D; Peronto, Carol L; Williams, Victoria A; Lister, Jennifer J

    2013-11-01

    Age-related deficits in selective attention are hypothesized to result from decrements in inhibition of task-irrelevant information. Speed of processing (SOP) training is an adaptive cognitive intervention designed to enhance processing speed for attention tasks. The effectiveness of SOP training to improve cognitive and everyday functional performance is well documented. However, underlying mechanisms of these training benefits are unknown. Participants completed a visual search task evaluated using event-related potentials (ERPs) before and after 10 weeks of SOP training or no contact. N2pc and P3b components were evaluated to determine SOP training effects on attentional resource allocation and capacity. Selective attention to a target was enhanced after SOP training compared to no training. N2pc and P3b amplitudes increased after training, reflecting attentional allocation and capacity enhancement, consistent with previous studies demonstrating behavioral improvements in selective attention following SOP training. Changes in ERPs related to attention allocation and capacity following SOP training support the idea that training leads to cognitive enhancement. Specifically, we provide electrophysiological evidence that SOP training may be successful in counteracting age-related declines in selective attention. This study provides important evidence of the underlying mechanisms by which SOP training improves cognitive function in older adults. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  15. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking) did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention. PMID:25745395

  16. The Relationship between Preschoolers' Selective Attention and Memory for Location Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumberg, F.C.; Torenberg, M.; Randall, J.D.

    2005-01-01

    Late and early preschoolers' attention and spatial strategies were examined in response to instructions to recall relevant objects [Blumberg, F. C. & Torenberg, M. (2003). The impact of spatial cues on preschoolers' selective attention. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 164, 42-53] and irrelevant objects [Blumberg, F. C. & Torenberg, M. (in press).…

  17. Sensation seeking and visual selective attention in adults with HIV/AIDS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, David J; Castellon, Steven A; Hinkin, Charles H; Levine, Andrew J; Lam, Mona N

    2008-11-01

    The association between sensation seeking and visual selective attention was examined in 31 adults with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Sensation seeking was measured with Zuckerman's Sensation Seeking Scale Form V (SSS-V). Selective attention was assessed with a perceptual span task, where a target letter-character must be identified in a quickly presented array of nontarget letter-characters. As predicted, sensation seeking was strongly associated (R(2) = .229) with perceptual span performance in the array size 12 condition, where selective attention demands were greatest, but not in the easier conditions. The Disinhibition, Boredom Susceptibility, and Experience Seeking subscales of the SSS-V were associated with span performance. It is argued that personality factors such as sensation seeking may play a significant role in selective attention and related cognitive abilities in HIV positive adults. Furthermore, sensation seeking differences might explain certain inconsistencies in the HIV neuropsychology literature.

  18. Social skills deficits and their association with Internet addiction and activities in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Wen-Jiun; Huang, Mei-Feng; Chang, Yu-Ping; Chen, Yu-Min; Hu, Huei-Fan; Yen, Cheng-Fang

    2017-03-01

    Background and aims The aims of this study were to examine the association between social skills deficits and Internet addiction and activities in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as the moderators for this association. Methods A total of 300 adolescents, aged between 11 and 18 years, who had been diagnosed with ADHD participated in this study. Their Internet addiction levels, social skills deficits, ADHD, parental characteristics, and comorbidities were assessed. The various Internet activities that the participants engaged in were also examined. Results The associations between social skills deficits and Internet addiction and activities and the moderators of these associations were examined using logistic regression analyses. Social skills deficits were significantly associated with an increased risk of Internet addiction after adjustment for the effects of other factors [odds ratio (OR) = 1.049, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.030-1.070]. Social skills deficits were also significantly associated with Internet gaming and watching movies. The maternal occupational socioeconomic levels of the participants moderated the association between social skills deficits and Internet addiction. Conclusions Social skills deficits should be considered targets in prevention and intervention programs for treating Internet addiction among adolescents with ADHD.

  19. Selective attention to sound location or pitch studied with fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Degerman, Alexander; Rinne, Teemu; Salmi, Juha; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2006-03-10

    We used 3-T functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare the brain mechanisms underlying selective attention to sound location and pitch. In different tasks, the subjects (N = 10) attended to a designated sound location or pitch or to pictures presented on the screen. In the Attend Location conditions, the sound location varied randomly (left or right), while the pitch was kept constant (high or low). In the Attend Pitch conditions, sounds of randomly varying pitch (high or low) were presented at a constant location (left or right). Both attention to location and attention to pitch produced enhanced activity (in comparison with activation caused by the same sounds when attention was focused on the pictures) in widespread areas of the superior temporal cortex. Attention to either sound feature also activated prefrontal and inferior parietal cortical regions. These activations were stronger during attention to location than during attention to pitch. Attention to location but not to pitch produced a significant increase of activation in the premotor/supplementary motor cortices of both hemispheres and in the right prefrontal cortex, while no area showed activity specifically related to attention to pitch. The present results suggest some differences in the attentional selection of sounds on the basis of their location and pitch consistent with the suggested auditory "what" and "where" processing streams.

  20. Exploring the function of selective attention and hypervigilance for threat in anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Helen J; Benson, Valerie; Donnelly, Nick; Hadwin, Julie A

    2014-02-01

    Theoretical frameworks of anxiety propose that attentional biases to threat-related stimuli cause or maintain anxious states. The current paper draws on theoretical frameworks and key empirical studies to outline the distinctive attentional processes highlighted as being important in understanding anxiety. We develop a conceptual framework to make a distinction between two attentional biases: selective attention to threat and hypervigilance for threat. We suggest that these biases each have a different purpose and can account for the typical patterns of facilitated and impaired attention evident in anxious individuals. The framework is novel in its specification of the eye movement behavior associated with these attentional biases. We highlight that selective attention involves narrowing overt attention onto threat to ensure that these stimuli receive processing priority, leading to rapid engagement with task-relevant threat and delayed disengagement from task-irrelevant threat. We show that hypervigilance operates in the presence and absence of threat and involves monitoring for potential dangers via attentional broadening or excessive scanning of the environment with numerous eye movements, leading to improved threat detection and increased distraction from task-irrelevant threat. We conclude that future research could usefully employ eye movement measures to more clearly understand the diverse roles of attention in anxiety. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  3. Threat-Related Selective Attention Predicts Treatment Success in Childhood Anxiety Disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Legerstee, Jeroen; Tulen, Joke; Kallen, Victor; Dieleman, Gwen; Treffers, Philip; Verhulst, Frank; Utens, Elisabeth

    2009-01-01

    textabstractAbstract OBJECTIVE: The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. METHOD: Participants consisted of 131 children with anxiety disorders (aged 8-16 years), who received standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy. At pretreatment, a pictorial dot-pr...

  4. The control of attentional target selection in a colour/colour conjunction task

    OpenAIRE

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the time course of attentional object selection processes in visual search tasks where targets are defined by a combination of features from the same dimension, we measured the N2pc component as an electrophysiological marker of attentional object selection during colour/colour conjunction search. In Experiment 1, participants searched for targets defined by a combination of two colours, while ignoring distractor objects that matched only one of these colours. Reliable N2pc com...

  5. Mixed signals: The effect of conflicting reward- and goal-driven biases on selective attention

    OpenAIRE

    Preciado, Daniel; Munneke, Jaap; Theeuwes, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Attentional selection depends on the interaction between exogenous (stimulus-driven), endogenous (goal-driven), and selection history (experience-driven) factors. While endogenous and exogenous biases have been widely investigated, less is known about their interplay with value-driven attention. The present study investigated the interaction between reward-history and goal-driven biases on perceptual sensitivity (d?) and response time (RT) in a modified cueing paradigm presenting two coloured...

  6. Exploring Visual Selective Attention towards Novel Stimuli in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

    OpenAIRE

    Sarah A. Chau; Nathan Herrmann; Moshe Eizenman; Jonathan Chung; Krista L. Lanctôt

    2015-01-01

    Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with selective attention impairments, which could contribute to cognitive and functional deficits. Selective attention can be explored through examination of novelty preference. Aims: In this study, we quantified novelty preference in AD patients by measuring visual scanning behaviour using an eye tracking paradigm. Methods: Mild-to-moderate AD patients and elderly controls viewed slides containing novel and repeated images simultaneously. Th...

  7. Effects of selective attention on the electrophysiological representation of concurrent sounds in the human auditory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidet-Caulet, Aurélie; Fischer, Catherine; Besle, Julien; Aguera, Pierre-Emmanuel; Giard, Marie-Helene; Bertrand, Olivier

    2007-08-29

    In noisy environments, we use auditory selective attention to actively ignore distracting sounds and select relevant information, as during a cocktail party to follow one particular conversation. The present electrophysiological study aims at deciphering the spatiotemporal organization of the effect of selective attention on the representation of concurrent sounds in the human auditory cortex. Sound onset asynchrony was manipulated to induce the segregation of two concurrent auditory streams. Each stream consisted of amplitude modulated tones at different carrier and modulation frequencies. Electrophysiological recordings were performed in epileptic patients with pharmacologically resistant partial epilepsy, implanted with depth electrodes in the temporal cortex. Patients were presented with the stimuli while they either performed an auditory distracting task or actively selected one of the two concurrent streams. Selective attention was found to affect steady-state responses in the primary auditory cortex, and transient and sustained evoked responses in secondary auditory areas. The results provide new insights on the neural mechanisms of auditory selective attention: stream selection during sound rivalry would be facilitated not only by enhancing the neural representation of relevant sounds, but also by reducing the representation of irrelevant information in the auditory cortex. Finally, they suggest a specialization of the left hemisphere in the attentional selection of fine-grained acoustic information.

  8. Selective attention to imagined facial ugliness is specific to body dysmorphic disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grocholewski, Anja; Kliem, Sören; Heinrichs, Nina

    2012-03-01

    Cognitive-behavioral models postulate that biases in selective attention are key factors contributing to susceptibility to and maintenance of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Visual attention in particular toward the imagined defect in appearance may be a crucial element. The present study therefore examined whether individuals with BDD showed increased visual attention to flaws in their own and in unfamiliar faces. Twenty individuals with BDD, 20 individuals with social phobia, and 20 mentally healthy individuals participated in an eye-tracking experiment. Participants were instructed to gaze at the photographs of 15 pictures of themselves and several unfamiliar faces. Only patients with BDD showed heightened selective visual attention to the imagined defect in their own face, as well to corresponding regions in other, unfamiliar faces. The results support the assumption that there is a specific attentional bias in BDD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Separable sustained and selective attention factors are apparent in 5-year-old children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Underbjerg, Mette; George, Melanie S; Thorsen, Poul

    2013-01-01

    In adults and older children, evidence consistent with relative separation between selective and sustained attention, superimposed upon generally positive inter-test correlations, has been reported. Here we examine whether this pattern is detectable in 5-year-old children from the healthy...... and auditory stimuli were good. In a factor analysis, the two TEA-Ch(J) selective attention tasks (one visual, one auditory) loaded onto a common factor and diverged from the two sustained attention tasks (one auditory, one motor), which shared a common loading on the second factor. This pattern, which...... suggests that the tests are indeed sensitive to underlying attentional capacities, was supported by the relationships between the TEA-Ch(J) factors and Test of Everyday Attention for Children subtests in the older children in the sample. It is possible to gain convincing performance-based estimates...

  10. Sensorineural hearing loss degrades behavioral and physiological measures of human spatial selective auditory attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Lengshi; Best, Virginia; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.

    2018-01-01

    Listeners with sensorineural hearing loss often have trouble understanding speech amid other voices. While poor spatial hearing is often implicated, direct evidence is weak; moreover, studies suggest that reduced audibility and degraded spectrotemporal coding may explain such problems. We hypothesized that poor spatial acuity leads to difficulty deploying selective attention, which normally filters out distracting sounds. In listeners with normal hearing, selective attention causes changes in the neural responses evoked by competing sounds, which can be used to quantify the effectiveness of attentional control. Here, we used behavior and electroencephalography to explore whether control of selective auditory attention is degraded in hearing-impaired (HI) listeners. Normal-hearing (NH) and HI listeners identified a simple melody presented simultaneously with two competing melodies, each simulated from different lateral angles. We quantified performance and attentional modulation of cortical responses evoked by these competing streams. Compared with NH listeners, HI listeners had poorer sensitivity to spatial cues, performed more poorly on the selective attention task, and showed less robust attentional modulation of cortical responses. Moreover, across NH and HI individuals, these measures were correlated. While both groups showed cortical suppression of distracting streams, this modulation was weaker in HI listeners, especially when attending to a target at midline, surrounded by competing streams. These findings suggest that hearing loss interferes with the ability to filter out sound sources based on location, contributing to communication difficulties in social situations. These findings also have implications for technologies aiming to use neural signals to guide hearing aid processing. PMID:29555752

  11. The control of attentional target selection in a colour/colour conjunction task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2016-11-01

    To investigate the time course of attentional object selection processes in visual search tasks where targets are defined by a combination of features from the same dimension, we measured the N2pc component as an electrophysiological marker of attentional object selection during colour/colour conjunction search. In Experiment 1, participants searched for targets defined by a combination of two colours, while ignoring distractor objects that matched only one of these colours. Reliable N2pc components were triggered by targets and also by partially matching distractors, even when these distractors were accompanied by a target in the same display. The target N2pc was initially equal in size to the sum of the two N2pc components to the two different types of partially matching distractors and became superadditive from approximately 250 ms after search display onset. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the superadditivity of the target N2pc was not due to a selective disengagement of attention from task-irrelevant partially matching distractors. These results indicate that attention was initially deployed separately and in parallel to all target-matching colours, before attentional allocation processes became sensitive to the presence of both matching colours within the same object. They suggest that attention can be controlled simultaneously and independently by multiple features from the same dimension and that feature-guided attentional selection processes operate in parallel for different target-matching objects in the visual field.

  12. A competitive interaction theory of attentional selection and decision making in brief, multielement displays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Philip L; Sewell, David K

    2013-07-01

    We generalize the integrated system model of Smith and Ratcliff (2009) to obtain a new theory of attentional selection in brief, multielement visual displays. The theory proposes that attentional selection occurs via competitive interactions among detectors that signal the presence of task-relevant features at particular display locations. The outcome of the competition, together with attention, determines which stimuli are selected into visual short-term memory (VSTM). Decisions about the contents of VSTM are made by a diffusion-process decision stage. The selection process is modeled by coupled systems of shunting equations, which perform gated where-on-what pathway VSTM selection. The theory provides a computational account of key findings from attention tasks with near-threshold stimuli. These are (a) the success of the MAX model of visual search and spatial cuing, (b) the distractor homogeneity effect, (c) the double-target detection deficit, (d) redundancy costs in the post-stimulus probe task, (e) the joint item and information capacity limits of VSTM, and (f) the object-based nature of attentional selection. We argue that these phenomena are all manifestations of an underlying competitive VSTM selection process, which arise as a natural consequence of our theory. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  13. Social skills training for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children aged 5 to 18 years

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Storebø, Ole Jakob; Skoog, Maria; Damm, Dorte

    2011-01-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children is associated with hyperactivity and impulsitivity, attention problems, and difficulties with social interactions. Pharmacological treatment may alleviate symptoms of ADHD but seldom solves difficulties with social interactions. Social...

  14. Selective attention modulates visual and haptic repetition priming: effects in aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Reales, José M; Mayas, Julia; Heller, Morton A

    2008-08-01

    In two experiments, we examined the effect of selective attention at encoding on repetition priming in normal aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients for objects presented visually (experiment 1) or haptically (experiment 2). We used a repetition priming paradigm combined with a selective attention procedure at encoding. Reliable priming was found for both young adults and healthy older participants for visually presented pictures (experiment 1) as well as for haptically presented objects (experiment 2). However, this was only found for attended and not for unattended stimuli. The results suggest that independently of the perceptual modality, repetition priming requires attention at encoding and that perceptual facilitation is maintained in normal aging. However, AD patients did not show priming for attended stimuli, or for unattended visual or haptic objects. These findings suggest an early deficit of selective attention in AD. Results are discussed from a cognitive neuroscience approach.

  15. Individual differences in selective attention predict speech identification at a cocktail party.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberfeld, Daniel; Klöckner-Nowotny, Felicitas

    2016-08-31

    Listeners with normal hearing show considerable individual differences in speech understanding when competing speakers are present, as in a crowded restaurant. Here, we show that one source of this variance are individual differences in the ability to focus selective attention on a target stimulus in the presence of distractors. In 50 young normal-hearing listeners, the performance in tasks measuring auditory and visual selective attention was associated with sentence identification in the presence of spatially separated competing speakers. Together, the measures of selective attention explained a similar proportion of variance as the binaural sensitivity for the acoustic temporal fine structure. Working memory span, age, and audiometric thresholds showed no significant association with speech understanding. These results suggest that a reduced ability to focus attention on a target is one reason why some listeners with normal hearing sensitivity have difficulty communicating in situations with background noise.

  16. Individual differences in selective attention predict speech identification at a cocktail party

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberfeld, Daniel; Klöckner-Nowotny, Felicitas

    2016-01-01

    Listeners with normal hearing show considerable individual differences in speech understanding when competing speakers are present, as in a crowded restaurant. Here, we show that one source of this variance are individual differences in the ability to focus selective attention on a target stimulus in the presence of distractors. In 50 young normal-hearing listeners, the performance in tasks measuring auditory and visual selective attention was associated with sentence identification in the presence of spatially separated competing speakers. Together, the measures of selective attention explained a similar proportion of variance as the binaural sensitivity for the acoustic temporal fine structure. Working memory span, age, and audiometric thresholds showed no significant association with speech understanding. These results suggest that a reduced ability to focus attention on a target is one reason why some listeners with normal hearing sensitivity have difficulty communicating in situations with background noise. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16747.001 PMID:27580272

  17. Across the continuum of attention skills: a twin study of the SWAN ADHD rating scale

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polderman, Tinca J. C.; Derks, Eske M.; Hudziak, Jim J.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Posthuma, Daniëlle; Boomsma, Dorret I.

    2007-01-01

    Most behavior checklists for attention problems or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) such as the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) have a narrow range of scores, focusing on the extent to which problems are present. It has been proposed that measuring attention on a continuum, from

  18. Across the continuum of attention skills: A twin study of the SWAN ADHD rating scale.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polderman, T.J.C.; Derks, E.M.; Hudziak, J.; Verhulst, F.C.; Posthuma, D.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction: Most behavior checklists for attention problems or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) such as the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) have a narrow range of scores, focusing on the extent to which problems are present. It has been proposed that measuring attention on a

  19. Divisive normalization and neuronal oscillations in a single hierarchical framework of selective visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montijn, Jorrit Steven; Klink, P Christaan; van Wezel, Richard J A

    2012-01-01

    Divisive normalization models of covert attention commonly use spike rate modulations as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly in gamma-band frequencies (25-100 Hz). Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a multi-level hierarchical structure and a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas is shown to cause signal degradation and a loss of stimulus discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate a kind of oscillatory phase entrainment into our model that has previously been proposed as the "communication-through-coherence" (CTC) hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO) model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation and predicts a latency effect on neuronal responses as a result of cued attention.

  20. ERP Correlates of Encoding Success and Encoding Selectivity in Attention Switching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, Nick

    2016-01-01

    Long-term memory encoding depends critically on effective processing of incoming information. The degree to which participants engage in effective encoding can be indexed in electroencephalographic (EEG) data by studying event-related potential (ERP) subsequent memory effects. The current study investigated ERP correlates of memory success operationalised with two different measures—memory selectivity and global memory—to assess whether previously observed ERP subsequent memory effects reflect focused encoding of task-relevant information (memory selectivity), general encoding success (global memory), or both. Building on previous work, the present study combined an attention switching paradigm—in which participants were presented with compound object-word stimuli and switched between attending to the object or the word across trials—with a later recognition memory test for those stimuli, while recording their EEG. Our results provided clear evidence that subsequent memory effects resulted from selective attentional focusing and effective top-down control (memory selectivity) in contrast to more general encoding success effects (global memory). Further analyses addressed the question of whether successful encoding depended on similar control mechanisms to those involved in attention switching. Interestingly, differences in the ERP correlates of attention switching and successful encoding, particularly during the poststimulus period, indicated that variability in encoding success occurred independently of prestimulus demands for top-down cognitive control. These results suggest that while effects of selective attention and selective encoding co-occur behaviourally their ERP correlates are at least partly dissociable. PMID:27907075

  1. Selective attention modulates the direction of audio-visual temporal recalibration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikumi, Nara; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2014-01-01

    Temporal recalibration of cross-modal synchrony has been proposed as a mechanism to compensate for timing differences between sensory modalities. However, far from the rich complexity of everyday life sensory environments, most studies to date have examined recalibration on isolated cross-modal pairings. Here, we hypothesize that selective attention might provide an effective filter to help resolve which stimuli are selected when multiple events compete for recalibration. We addressed this question by testing audio-visual recalibration following an adaptation phase where two opposing audio-visual asynchronies were present. The direction of voluntary visual attention, and therefore to one of the two possible asynchronies (flash leading or flash lagging), was manipulated using colour as a selection criterion. We found a shift in the point of subjective audio-visual simultaneity as a function of whether the observer had focused attention to audio-then-flash or to flash-then-audio groupings during the adaptation phase. A baseline adaptation condition revealed that this effect of endogenous attention was only effective toward the lagging flash. This hints at the role of exogenous capture and/or additional endogenous effects producing an asymmetry toward the leading flash. We conclude that selective attention helps promote selected audio-visual pairings to be combined and subsequently adjusted in time but, stimulus organization exerts a strong impact on recalibration. We tentatively hypothesize that the resolution of recalibration in complex scenarios involves the orchestration of top-down selection mechanisms and stimulus-driven processes.

  2. Selective attention modulates the direction of audio-visual temporal recalibration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nara Ikumi

    Full Text Available Temporal recalibration of cross-modal synchrony has been proposed as a mechanism to compensate for timing differences between sensory modalities. However, far from the rich complexity of everyday life sensory environments, most studies to date have examined recalibration on isolated cross-modal pairings. Here, we hypothesize that selective attention might provide an effective filter to help resolve which stimuli are selected when multiple events compete for recalibration. We addressed this question by testing audio-visual recalibration following an adaptation phase where two opposing audio-visual asynchronies were present. The direction of voluntary visual attention, and therefore to one of the two possible asynchronies (flash leading or flash lagging, was manipulated using colour as a selection criterion. We found a shift in the point of subjective audio-visual simultaneity as a function of whether the observer had focused attention to audio-then-flash or to flash-then-audio groupings during the adaptation phase. A baseline adaptation condition revealed that this effect of endogenous attention was only effective toward the lagging flash. This hints at the role of exogenous capture and/or additional endogenous effects producing an asymmetry toward the leading flash. We conclude that selective attention helps promote selected audio-visual pairings to be combined and subsequently adjusted in time but, stimulus organization exerts a strong impact on recalibration. We tentatively hypothesize that the resolution of recalibration in complex scenarios involves the orchestration of top-down selection mechanisms and stimulus-driven processes.

  3. Seeing the World through Another Person's Eyes: Simulating Selective Attention via Action Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frischen, Alexandra; Loach, Daniel; Tipper, Steven P.

    2009-01-01

    Selective attention is usually considered an egocentric mechanism, biasing sensory information based on its behavioural relevance to oneself. This study provides evidence for an equivalent allocentric mechanism that allows passive observers to selectively attend to information from the perspective of another person. In a negative priming task,…

  4. Event-related potentials during visual selective attention in children of alcoholics.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Stelt, O.; Gunning, W.B.; Snel, J.; Kok, A.

    1998-01-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 50 7-18 yr old children of alcoholics (COAs) and 50 age- and sex-matched control children while they performed a visual selective attention task. The task was to attend selectively to stimuli with a specified color (red or blue) in an attempt to

  5. Selective Attentional Effects of Adjunct Study Questions on Achievement in Nigerian Secondary School Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okoye, Nnamdi S.

    2008-01-01

    The study investigated the selective attentional effects of adjunct study questions inserted before or after the presentation of science flow diagrams. The basic design for the study was a post-test only control group design involving a total of 252 students randomly selected from six secondary schools in Ile-Ife, Oshun State Nigeria. These were…

  6. The Relationship between Types of Attention and Auditory Processing Skills: Reconsidering Auditory Processing Disorder Diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavrinos, Georgios; Iliadou, Vassiliki-Maria; Edwards, Lindsey; Sirimanna, Tony; Bamiou, Doris-Eva

    2018-01-01

    Measures of attention have been found to correlate with specific auditory processing tests in samples of children suspected of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), but these relationships have not been adequately investigated. Despite evidence linking auditory attention and deficits/symptoms of APD, measures of attention are not routinely used in APD diagnostic protocols. The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between auditory and visual attention tests and auditory processing tests in children with APD and to assess whether a proposed diagnostic protocol for APD, including measures of attention, could provide useful information for APD management. A pilot study including 27 children, aged 7–11 years, referred for APD assessment was conducted. The validated test of everyday attention for children, with visual and auditory attention tasks, the listening in spatialized noise sentences test, the children's communication checklist questionnaire and tests from a standard APD diagnostic test battery were administered. Pearson's partial correlation analysis examining the relationship between these tests and Cochrane's Q test analysis comparing proportions of diagnosis under each proposed battery were conducted. Divided auditory and divided auditory-visual attention strongly correlated with the dichotic digits test, r = 0.68, p attention battery identified as having Attention Deficits (ADs). The proposed APD battery excluding AD cases did not have a significantly different diagnosis proportion than the standard APD battery. Finally, the newly proposed diagnostic battery, identifying an inattentive subtype of APD, identified five children who would have otherwise been considered not having ADs. The findings show that a subgroup of children with APD demonstrates underlying sustained and divided attention deficits. Attention deficits in children with APD appear to be centred around the auditory modality but further examination of types of attention in both

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  8. Perceptual load manipulation reveals sensitivity of the face-selective N170 to attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Tarik N; Neumann, Markus F; Schweinberger, Stefan R

    2009-05-27

    It has been controversial whether the face-sensitive N170 is affected by selective attention. We manipulated attention sensu Lavie's perceptual load theory to short (200 ms) presentations of task-irrelevant unfamiliar faces or houses, while participants identified superimposed target letters 'X' versus 'N'. These targets were strings of either six identical (low load) or six different letters (high load). Under low load, we found a prominent face-selective N170 response. Under high load, however, we not only observed a dramatic reduction of the face N170 but also an unexpected enhancement of the house N170, such that face selectivity was almost completely lost. We conclude that the early stages of face processing indexed by the N170 strongly depend on selective attention.

  9. How and when predictability interacts with accentuation in temporally selective attention during speech comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoqing; Lu, Yong; Zhao, Haiyan

    2014-11-01

    The present study used EEG to investigate how and when top-down prediction interacts with bottom-up acoustic signals in temporally selective attention during speech comprehension. Mandarin Chinese spoken sentences were used as stimuli. We systematically manipulated the predictability and de/accentuation of the critical words in the sentence context. Meanwhile, a linguistic attention probe 'ba' was presented concurrently with the critical words or not. The results showed that, first, words with a linguistic attention probe elicited a larger N1 than those without a probe. The latency of this N1 effect was shortened for accented or lowly predictable words, indicating more attentional resources allocated to these words. Importantly, prediction and accentuation showed a complementary interplay on the latency of this N1 effect, demonstrating that when the words had already attracted attention due to low predictability or due to the presence of pitch accent, the other factor did not modulate attention allocation anymore. Second, relative to the lowly predictable words, the highly predictable words elicited a reduced N400 and enhanced gamma-band power increases, especially under the accented conditions; moreover, under the accented conditions, shorter N1 peak-latency was found to correlate with larger gamma-band power enhancement, which indicates that a close relationship might exist between early selective attention and later semantic integration. Finally, the interaction between top-down selective attention (driven by prediction) and bottom-up selective attention (driven by accentuation) occurred before lexical-semantic processing, namely before the N400 effect evoked by predictability, which was discussed with regard to the language comprehension models. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Focal Suppression of Distractor Sounds by Selective Attention in Auditory Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Zachary P; David, Stephen V

    2018-01-01

    Auditory selective attention is required for parsing crowded acoustic environments, but cortical systems mediating the influence of behavioral state on auditory perception are not well characterized. Previous neurophysiological studies suggest that attention produces a general enhancement of neural responses to important target sounds versus irrelevant distractors. However, behavioral studies suggest that in the presence of masking noise, attention provides a focal suppression of distractors that compete with targets. Here, we compared effects of attention on cortical responses to masking versus non-masking distractors, controlling for effects of listening effort and general task engagement. We recorded single-unit activity from primary auditory cortex (A1) of ferrets during behavior and found that selective attention decreased responses to distractors masking targets in the same spectral band, compared with spectrally distinct distractors. This suppression enhanced neural target detection thresholds, suggesting that limited attention resources serve to focally suppress responses to distractors that interfere with target detection. Changing effort by manipulating target salience consistently modulated spontaneous but not evoked activity. Task engagement and changing effort tended to affect the same neurons, while attention affected an independent population, suggesting that distinct feedback circuits mediate effects of attention and effort in A1. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  11. Bottom-up influences of voice continuity in focusing selective auditory attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressler, Scott; Masud, Salwa; Bharadwaj, Hari; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    Selective auditory attention causes a relative enhancement of the neural representation of important information and suppression of the neural representation of distracting sound, which enables a listener to analyze and interpret information of interest. Some studies suggest that in both vision and in audition, the "unit" on which attention operates is an object: an estimate of the information coming from a particular external source out in the world. In this view, which object ends up in the attentional foreground depends on the interplay of top-down, volitional attention and stimulus-driven, involuntary attention. Here, we test the idea that auditory attention is object based by exploring whether continuity of a non-spatial feature (talker identity, a feature that helps acoustic elements bind into one perceptual object) also influences selective attention performance. In Experiment 1, we show that perceptual continuity of target talker voice helps listeners report a sequence of spoken target digits embedded in competing reversed digits spoken by different talkers. In Experiment 2, we provide evidence that this benefit of voice continuity is obligatory and automatic, as if voice continuity biases listeners by making it easier to focus on a subsequent target digit when it is perceptually linked to what was already in the attentional foreground. Our results support the idea that feature continuity enhances streaming automatically, thereby influencing the dynamic processes that allow listeners to successfully attend to objects through time in the cacophony that assails our ears in many everyday settings.

  12. Attentional selection in visual perception, memory and action: a quest for cross-domain integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Werner X.; Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Horstmann, Gernot

    2013-01-01

    For decades, the cognitive and neural sciences have benefitted greatly from a separation of mind and brain into distinct functional domains. The tremendous success of this approach notwithstanding, it is self-evident that such a view is incomplete. Goal-directed behaviour of an organism requires the joint functioning of perception, memory and sensorimotor control. A prime candidate for achieving integration across these functional domains are attentional processes. Consequently, this Theme Issue brings together studies of attentional selection from many fields, both experimental and theoretical, that are united in their quest to find overreaching integrative principles of attention between perception, memory and action. In all domains, attention is understood as combination of competition and priority control (‘bias’), with the task as a decisive driving factor to ensure coherent goal-directed behaviour and cognition. Using vision as the predominant model system for attentional selection, many studies of this Theme Issue focus special emphasis on eye movements as a selection process that is both a fundamental action and serves a key function in perception. The Theme Issue spans a wide range of methods, from measuring human behaviour in the real word to recordings of single neurons in the non-human primate brain. We firmly believe that combining such a breadth in approaches is necessary not only for attentional selection, but also to take the next decisive step in all of the cognitive and neural sciences: to understand cognition and behaviour beyond isolated domains. PMID:24018715

  13. Attentional selection in visual perception, memory and action: a quest for cross-domain integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Werner X; Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Horstmann, Gernot

    2013-10-19

    For decades, the cognitive and neural sciences have benefitted greatly from a separation of mind and brain into distinct functional domains. The tremendous success of this approach notwithstanding, it is self-evident that such a view is incomplete. Goal-directed behaviour of an organism requires the joint functioning of perception, memory and sensorimotor control. A prime candidate for achieving integration across these functional domains are attentional processes. Consequently, this Theme Issue brings together studies of attentional selection from many fields, both experimental and theoretical, that are united in their quest to find overreaching integrative principles of attention between perception, memory and action. In all domains, attention is understood as combination of competition and priority control ('bias'), with the task as a decisive driving factor to ensure coherent goal-directed behaviour and cognition. Using vision as the predominant model system for attentional selection, many studies of this Theme Issue focus special emphasis on eye movements as a selection process that is both a fundamental action and serves a key function in perception. The Theme Issue spans a wide range of methods, from measuring human behaviour in the real word to recordings of single neurons in the non-human primate brain. We firmly believe that combining such a breadth in approaches is necessary not only for attentional selection, but also to take the next decisive step in all of the cognitive and neural sciences: to understand cognition and behaviour beyond isolated domains.

  14. The Competitive Influences of Perceptual Load and Working Memory Guidance on Selective Attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinfeng Tan

    Full Text Available The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.

  15. The Competitive Influences of Perceptual Load and Working Memory Guidance on Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Jinfeng; Zhao, Yuanfang; Wang, Lijun; Tian, Xia; Cui, Yan; Yang, Qian; Pan, Weigang; Zhao, Xiaoyue; Chen, Antao

    2015-01-01

    The perceptual load theory in selective attention literature proposes that the interference from task-irrelevant distractor is eliminated when perceptual capacity is fully consumed by task-relevant information. However, the biased competition model suggests that the contents of working memory (WM) can guide attentional selection automatically, even when this guidance is detrimental to visual search. An intriguing but unsolved question is what will happen when selective attention is influenced by both perceptual load and WM guidance. To study this issue, behavioral performances and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded when participants were presented with a cue to either identify or hold in memory and had to perform a visual search task subsequently, under conditions of low or high perceptual load. Behavioural data showed that high perceptual load eliminated the attentional capture by WM. The ERP results revealed an obvious WM guidance effect in P1 component with invalid trials eliciting larger P1 than neutral trials, regardless of the level of perceptual load. The interaction between perceptual load and WM guidance was significant for the posterior N1 component. The memory guidance effect on N1 was eliminated by high perceptual load. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA) showed that the WM guidance effect and the perceptual load effect on attention can be localized into the occipital area and parietal lobe, respectively. Merely identifying the cue produced no effect on the P1 or N1 component. These results suggest that in selective attention, the information held in WM could capture attention at the early stage of visual processing in the occipital cortex. Interestingly, this initial capture of attention by WM could be modulated by the level of perceptual load and the parietal lobe mediates target selection at the discrimination stage.

  16. Auditory selective attention in adolescents with major depression: An event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greimel, E; Trinkl, M; Bartling, J; Bakos, S; Grossheinrich, N; Schulte-Körne, G

    2015-02-01

    Major depression (MD) is associated with deficits in selective attention. Previous studies in adults with MD using event-related potentials (ERPs) reported abnormalities in the neurophysiological correlates of auditory selective attention. However, it is yet unclear whether these findings can be generalized to MD in adolescence. Thus, the aim of the present ERP study was to explore the neural mechanisms of auditory selective attention in adolescents with MD. 24 male and female unmedicated adolescents with MD and 21 control subjects were included in the study. ERPs were collected during an auditory oddball paradigm. Depressive adolescents tended to show a longer N100 latency to target and non-target tones. Moreover, MD subjects showed a prolonged latency of the P200 component to targets. Across groups, longer P200 latency was associated with a decreased tendency of disinhibited behavior as assessed by a behavioral questionnaire. To be able to draw more precise conclusions about differences between the neural bases of selective attention in adolescents vs. adults with MD, future studies should include both age groups and apply the same experimental setting across all subjects. The study provides strong support for abnormalities in the neurophysiolgical bases of selective attention in adolecents with MD at early stages of auditory information processing. Absent group differences in later ERP components reflecting voluntary attentional processes stand in contrast to results reported in adults with MD and may suggest that adolescents with MD possess mechanisms to compensate for abnormalities in the early stages of selective attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Genetic and developmental factors in spontaneous selective attention: a study of normal twins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myles-Worsley, M; Coon, H

    1997-08-08

    The Spontaneous Selective Attention Task (SSAT) is a visual word identification task designed to measure the type of selective attention that occurs spontaneously when there are multiple stimuli, all potentially relevant, and insufficient time to process each of them fully. These are conditions which are common in everyday life. SSAT performance is measured by word identification accuracy, first under a baseline divided attention condition with no predictability, then under a selective attention condition with partial predictability introduced via word repetition. Accuracy to identify novel words in the upper location which becomes partially predictable (P words) vs. the lower location which remains non-predictable (N words) can be used to calculate a baseline performance index and a P/N ratio measure of selective attention. The SSAT has been shown to identify an attentional abnormality that may be useful in the development of an attentional endophenotype for family-genetic studies of schizophrenia. This study examined age and genetic effects on SSAT performance in normal children in order to evaluate whether the SSAT has the potential to qualify as a candidate endophenotype for schizophrenia in studies of at-risk children. A total of 59 monozygotic twin pairs and 33 same-sex dizygotic twin pairs ranging from 10 to 18 years of age were tested on the SSAT, a Continuous Performance Test. (CPT), a Span of Apprehension Test (SPAN) and a full-scale IQ test. Baseline performance on the SSAT, which was correlated with verbal IQ and SPAN performance, improved with age but showed no significant heritability. The P/N selectivity ratio was stable over the 10-18-year age range, was not significantly correlated with IQ, CPT, or SPAN performance, and its heritability was estimated to be 0.41. These findings suggest that the P/N selectivity ratio measured by the SSAT may be useful as a vulnerability marker in studies of children born into families segregating schizophrenia.

  18. Selection in spatial working memory is independent of perceptual selective attention, but they interact in a shared spatial priority map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedge, Craig; Oberauer, Klaus; Leonards, Ute

    2015-11-01

    We examined the relationship between the attentional selection of perceptual information and of information in working memory (WM) through four experiments, using a spatial WM-updating task. Participants remembered the locations of two objects in a matrix and worked through a sequence of updating operations, each mentally shifting one dot to a new location according to an arrow cue. Repeatedly updating the same object in two successive steps is typically faster than switching to the other object; this object switch cost reflects the shifting of attention in WM. In Experiment 1, the arrows were presented in random peripheral locations, drawing perceptual attention away from the selected object in WM. This manipulation did not eliminate the object switch cost, indicating that the mechanisms of perceptual selection do not underlie selection in WM. Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM. Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations. Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.

  19. Divisive normalization and neuronal oscillations in a single hierarchical framework of selective visual attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorrit Steven Montijn

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available In divisive normalization models of covert attention, spike rate modulations are commonly used as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly those in gamma-band frequencies (25 to 100 Hz. Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple hierarchical cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas however leads to signal degradation and a loss of discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate oscillatory phase entrainment into our model, a mechanism previously proposed as the communication-through-coherence (CTC hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation.

  20. Beyond perceptual load and dilution: a review of the role of working memory in selective attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Fockert, Jan W.

    2013-01-01

    The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintenance of task-relevant processing depends on cognitive control mechanisms, including working memory. The key prediction is that working memory plays a role in keeping clear processing priorities in the face of potential distraction, and the evidence reviewed and evaluated in a meta-analysis here supports this claim, by showing that the processing of distracting information tends to be enhanced when load on a concurrent task of working memory is high. Low working memory capacity is similarly associated with greater distractor processing in selective attention, again suggesting that the unavailability of working memory during selective attention leads to an increase in distractibility. Together, these findings suggest that selective attention against distractors that are processed beyond perception depends on the availability of working memory. Possible mechanisms for the effects of working memory on selective attention are discussed. PMID:23734139

  1. 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.

  2. The cost of selective attention in category learning: developmental differences between adults and infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, Catherine A; Yim, Hyungwook; Sloutsky, Vladimir M

    2013-10-01

    Selective attention plays an important role in category learning. However, immaturities of top-down attentional control during infancy coupled with successful category learning suggest that early category learning is achieved without attending selectively. Research presented here examines this possibility by focusing on category learning in infants (6-8months old) and adults. Participants were trained on a novel visual category. Halfway through the experiment, unbeknownst to participants, the to-be-learned category switched to another category, where previously relevant features became irrelevant and previously irrelevant features became relevant. If participants attend selectively to the relevant features of the first category, they should incur a cost of selective attention immediately after the unknown category switch. Results revealed that adults demonstrated a cost, as evidenced by a decrease in accuracy and response time on test trials as well as a decrease in visual attention to newly relevant features. In contrast, infants did not demonstrate a similar cost of selective attention as adults despite evidence of learning both to-be-learned categories. Findings are discussed as supporting multiple systems of category learning and as suggesting that learning mechanisms engaged by adults may be different from those engaged by infants. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Beyond perceptual load and dilution: a review of the role of working memory in selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Fockert, Jan W

    2013-01-01

    The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintenance of task-relevant processing depends on cognitive control mechanisms, including working memory. The key prediction is that working memory plays a role in keeping clear processing priorities in the face of potential distraction, and the evidence reviewed and evaluated in a meta-analysis here supports this claim, by showing that the processing of distracting information tends to be enhanced when load on a concurrent task of working memory is high. Low working memory capacity is similarly associated with greater distractor processing in selective attention, again suggesting that the unavailability of working memory during selective attention leads to an increase in distractibility. Together, these findings suggest that selective attention against distractors that are processed beyond perception depends on the availability of working memory. Possible mechanisms for the effects of working memory on selective attention are discussed.

  4. Beyond perceptual load and dilution: a review of the role of working memory in selective attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan W. De Fockert

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The perceptual load and dilution models differ fundamentally in terms of the proposed mechanism underlying variation in distractibility during different perceptual conditions. However, both models predict that distracting information can be processed beyond perceptual processing under certain conditions, a prediction that is well-supported by the literature. Load theory proposes that in such cases, where perceptual task aspects do not allow for sufficient attentional selectivity, the maintenance of task-relevant processing depends on cognitive control mechanisms, including working memory. The key prediction is that working memory plays a role in keeping clear processing priorities in the face of potential distraction, and the evidence reviewed and evaluated in a meta-analysis here supports this claim, by showing that the processing of distracting information tends to be enhanced when load on a concurrent task of working memory is high. Low working memory capacity is similarly associated with greater distractor processing in selective attention, again suggesting that the unavailability of working memory during selective attention leads to an increase in distractibility. Together, these findings suggest that selective attention against distractors that are processed beyond perception depends on the availability of working memory. Possible mechanisms for the effects of working memory on selective attention are discussed.

  5. The cost of selective attention in category learning: Developmental differences between adults and infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Best, Catherine A.; Yim, Hyungwook; Sloutsky, Vladimir M.

    2013-01-01

    Selective attention plays an important role in category learning. However, immaturities of top-down attentional control during infancy coupled with successful category learning suggest that early category learning is achieved without attending selectively. Research presented here examines this possibility by focusing on category learning in infants (6–8 months old) and adults. Participants were trained on a novel visual category. Halfway through the experiment, unbeknownst to participants, the to-be-learned category switched to another category, where previously relevant features became irrelevant and previously irrelevant features became relevant. If participants attend selectively to the relevant features of the first category, they should incur a cost of selective attention immediately after the unknown category switch. Results revealed that adults demonstrated a cost, as evidenced by a decrease in accuracy and response time on test trials as well as a decrease in visual attention to newly relevant features. In contrast, infants did not demonstrate a similar cost of selective attention as adults despite evidence of learning both to-be-learned categories. Findings are discussed as supporting multiple systems of category learning and as suggesting that learning mechanisms engaged by adults may be different from those engaged by infants. PMID:23773914

  6. Body image concern and selective attention to disgusting and non-self appearance-related stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onden-Lim, Melissa; Wu, Ray; Grisham, Jessica R

    2012-09-01

    Although selective attention to one's own appearance has been widely documented in studies of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), little is known about attentional bias toward non-self appearance-related stimuli in BDD. Furthermore, despite reports of heightened experience of disgust in BDD, it is unknown whether these individuals differentially attend to disgusting stimuli and whether disgust is important in processing of unattractive stimuli. We used a dot probe procedure to investigate the relationship between dysmorphic concern, a defining feature of BDD, and selective attention to faces, attractive, unattractive and disgusting images in a female heterosexual student population (N=92). At the long stimulus presentation (1000 ms), dysmorphic concern was positively associated with attention to faces in general and attractive appearance-related images. In contrast, at the short stimulus presentation (200 ms), there was a positive association between dysmorphic concern and disgusting images. Implications for theoretical models of BDD are discussed. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. The human auditory brainstem response to running speech reveals a subcortical mechanism for selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forte, Antonio Elia; Etard, Octave; Reichenbach, Tobias

    2017-10-10

    Humans excel at selectively listening to a target speaker in background noise such as competing voices. While the encoding of speech in the auditory cortex is modulated by selective attention, it remains debated whether such modulation occurs already in subcortical auditory structures. Investigating the contribution of the human brainstem to attention has, in particular, been hindered by the tiny amplitude of the brainstem response. Its measurement normally requires a large number of repetitions of the same short sound stimuli, which may lead to a loss of attention and to neural adaptation. Here we develop a mathematical method to measure the auditory brainstem response to running speech, an acoustic stimulus that does not repeat and that has a high ecological validity. We employ this method to assess the brainstem's activity when a subject listens to one of two competing speakers, and show that the brainstem response is consistently modulated by attention.

  8. A model of selective visual attention for a stereo pair of images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Min Chul; Kim, Sung Kyu; Son, Jung-Young

    2005-11-01

    Human visual attention system has a remarkable ability to interpret complex scenes with the ease and simplicity by selecting or focusing on a small region of visual field without scanning the whole images. In this paper, a novel selective visual attention model by using 3D image display system for a stereo pair of images is proposed. It is based on the feature integration theory and locates ROI(region of interest) or FOA(focus of attention). The disparity map obtained from a stereo pair of images is exploited as one of spatial visual features to form a set of topographic feature maps in our approach. Though the true human cognitive mechanism on the analysis and integration process might be different from our assumption the proposed attention system matches well with the results found by human observers.

  9. Perception of parents about the auditory attention skills of his kid with cleft lip and palate: retrospective study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mondelli, Maria Fernanda Capoani Garcia

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: To process and decode the acoustic stimulation are necessary cognitive and neurophysiological mechanisms. The hearing stimulation is influenced by cognitive factor from the highest levels, such as the memory, attention and learning. The sensory deprivation caused by hearing loss from the conductive type, frequently in population with cleft lip and palate, can affect many cognitive functions - among them the attention, besides harm the school performance, linguistic and interpersonal. Objective: Verify the perception of the parents of children with cleft lip and palate about the hearing attention of their kids. Method: Retrospective study of infants with any type of cleft lip and palate, without any genetic syndrome associate which parents answered a relevant questionnaire about the auditory attention skills. Results: 44 are from the male kind and 26 from the female kind, 35,71% of the answers were affirmative for the hearing loss and 71,43% to otologic infections. Conclusion: Most of the interviewed parents pointed at least one of the behaviors related to attention contained in the questionnaire, indicating that the presence of cleft lip and palate can be related to difficulties in hearing attention.

  10. Dynamics of excitatory and inhibitory networks are differentially altered by selective attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Adam C.; Morais, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Inhibition and excitation form two fundamental modes of neuronal interaction, yet we understand relatively little about their distinct roles in service of perceptual and cognitive processes. We developed a multidimensional waveform analysis to identify fast-spiking (putative inhibitory) and regular-spiking (putative excitatory) neurons in vivo and used this method to analyze how attention affects these two cell classes in visual area V4 of the extrastriate cortex of rhesus macaques. We found that putative inhibitory neurons had both greater increases in firing rate and decreases in correlated variability with attention compared with putative excitatory neurons. Moreover, the time course of attention effects for putative inhibitory neurons more closely tracked the temporal statistics of target probability in our task. Finally, the session-to-session variability in a behavioral measure of attention covaried with the magnitude of this effect. Together, these results suggest that selective targeting of inhibitory neurons and networks is a critical mechanism for attentional modulation. PMID:27466133

  11. Skills among Teachers in Selected Public Secondary School ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study examined the availability of ICT facilities and skills of secondary school teachers in Zaria Metropolis in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Two objectives were developed to guide the study. Five schools were surveyed. Two separate questionnaires was developed, one for ICT facilities and are administered to head of ICTs in ...

  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. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 depi...

  14. Bottom-up influences of voice continuity in focusing selective auditory attention

    OpenAIRE

    Bressler, Scott; Masud, Salwa; Bharadwaj, Hari; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    Selective auditory attention causes a relative enhancement of the neural representation of important information and suppression of the neural representation of distracting sound, which enables a listener to analyze and interpret information of interest. Some studies suggest that in both vision and in audition, the “unit” on which attention operates is an object: an estimate of the information coming from a particular external source out in the world. In this view, which object ends up in the...

  15. The Influence of Selective Attention and Inattention to Products on Subsequent Choice

    OpenAIRE

    Chris Janiszewski; Andrew Kuo; Nader T. Tavassoli

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental assumption of choice models is that products are valued for the benefits they provide. The only non-benefit-based source of preference is the processing fluency (e.g., ease of perceiving, encoding, comprehending, or retrieving information) that results from prior exposure to the product. This research documents an additional source of non-benefit-based "preference formation." Repeatedly allocating attention to a product (selective attention) and away from other products (inatten...

  16. Evoked potential correlates of selective attention with multi-channel auditory inputs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwent, V. L.; Hillyard, S. A.

    1975-01-01

    Ten subjects were presented with random, rapid sequences of four auditory tones which were separated in pitch and apparent spatial position. The N1 component of the auditory vertex evoked potential (EP) measured relative to a baseline was observed to increase with attention. It was concluded that the N1 enhancement reflects a finely tuned selective attention to one stimulus channel among several concurrent, competing channels. This EP enhancement probably increases with increased information load on the subject.

  17. 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.

  18. Auditory Selective Attention: an introduction and evidence for distinct facilitation and inhibition mechanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Mikyska, Constanze Elisabeth Anna

    2012-01-01

    Objective Auditory selective attention is a complex brain function that is still not completely understood. The classic example is the so-called “cocktail party effect” (Cherry, 1953), which describes the impressive ability to focus one’s attention on a single voice from a multitude of voices. This means that particular stimuli in the environment are enhanced in contrast to other ones of lower priority that are ignored. To be able to understand how attention can influence the perception and p...

  19. Attention to gender in communication skills assessment instruments in medical education: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dielissen, Patrick; Bottema, Ben; Verdonk, Petra; Lagro-Janssen, Toine

    2011-03-01

    Gender is increasingly regarded as an important factor in doctor-patient communication education. This review aims to assess if and how gender is addressed by current assessment instruments for communication skills in medical education. In 2009 at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, an online search was conducted in the bibliographic databases PubMed, PsycINFO and ERIC for references about communication skills assessment instruments designed to be completed by trained faculty staff and used in medical education. The search strategy used the following search terms: 'consultation skills'; 'doctor-patient communication'; 'physician-patient relations'; 'medical education'; 'instruments'; 'measurement', and 'assessment'. Papers published between January 1999 and June 2009 were included. The assessment instruments identified were analysed for gender-specific content. The search yielded 21 communication skills assessment instruments. Only two of the 17 checklists obtained explicitly considered gender as a communication-related issue. Only six of 21 manuals considered gender in any way and none gave specific details to explain which aspects of communication behaviour should be assessed with regard to gender. Very few communication assessment instruments in medical education focus on gender. Nevertheless, interest exists in using gender in communication skills assessment. The criteria for and purpose of assessing gender in communication skills in medical education are yet to be clarified. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2011.

  20. U.S. Army War College Library Communicative Skills: A Selected Bibliography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-10-01

    D-Ai87 489 US ARMY MAR COLLEGE LIBRARY COMMUNICATIVE SKILLS: A i/l SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY(U) ARMY WAR COIL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA OCT 87 UNCLASSIFIED F...PERIOD COVERED U.S. Army War College Library Bibliography Communicative Skills A Seecte Bibiogrphy6. PERFORMING ORG. REPORT NUMBER 7. AUTHOR(&) S...BIBLIOGRAPHY as an invitation for you to enjoy the wealth of materials readily available in our library that will help you improve your communicative skills. It

  1. Visual selective attention is impaired in children prenatally exposed to opioid agonist medication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konijnenberg, Carolien; Melinder, Annika

    2015-01-01

    To examine whether prenatal exposure to opioid agonist medication is associated with visual selective attention and general attention problems in early childhood. Twenty-two children (mean age = 52.17 months, SD = 1.81) prenatally exposed to methadone, 9 children (mean age = 52.41 months, SD = 1.42) prenatally exposed to buprenorphine and 25 nonexposed comparison children (mean age = 51.44 months, SD = 1.31) were tested. Visual selective attention was measured with a Tobii 1750 Eye Tracker using a spatial negative priming paradigm. Attention problems were measured using the Child Behavior Checklist. The comparison group demonstrated a larger spatial negative priming effect (mean = 23.50, SD = 45.50) than the exposed group [mean = -6.84, SD = 86.39, F(1,50) = 5.91, p = 0.019, η(2) = 0.11]. No difference in reported attention problems was found [F(1,51) = 1.63, p = 0.21, η(2) = 0.03]. Neonatal abstinence syndrome and prenatal exposure to marijuana were found to predict slower saccade latencies in the exposed group (b = 54.55, SE = 23.56, p = 0.03 and b = 88.86, SE = 32.07, p = 0.01, respectively). Although exposed children did not appear to have attention deficits in daily life, lower performance on the SNP task indicates subtle alteration in the attention system. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  2. Modulation of human extrastriate visual processing by selective attention to colours and words.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobre, A C; Allison, T; McCarthy, G

    1998-07-01

    The present study investigated the effect of visual selective attention upon neural processing within functionally specialized regions of the human extrastriate visual cortex. Field potentials were recorded directly from the inferior surface of the temporal lobes in subjects with epilepsy. The experimental task required subjects to focus attention on words from one of two competing texts. Words were presented individually and foveally. Texts were interleaved randomly and were distinguishable on the basis of word colour. Focal field potentials were evoked by words in the posterior part of the fusiform gyrus. Selective attention strongly modulated long-latency potentials evoked by words. The attention effect co-localized with word-related potentials in the posterior fusiform gyrus, and was independent of stimulus colour. The results demonstrated that stimuli receive differential processing within specialized regions of the extrastriate cortex as a function of attention. The late onset of the attention effect and its co-localization with letter string-related potentials but not with colour-related potentials recorded from nearby regions of the fusiform gyrus suggest that the attention effect is due to top-down influences from downstream regions involved in word processing.

  3. Visual selective attention in body dysmorphic disorder, bulimia nervosa and healthy controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kollei, Ines; Horndasch, Stefanie; Erim, Yesim; Martin, Alexandra

    2017-01-01

    Cognitive behavioral models postulate that selective attention plays an important role in the maintenance of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). It is suggested that individuals with BDD overfocus on perceived defects in their appearance, which may contribute to the excessive preoccupation with their appearance. The present study used eye tracking to examine visual selective attention in individuals with BDD (n=19), as compared to individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) (n=21) and healthy controls (HCs) (n=21). Participants completed interviews, questionnaires, rating scales and an eye tracking task: Eye movements were recorded while participants viewed photographs of their own face and attractive as well as unattractive other faces. Eye tracking data showed that BDD and BN participants focused less on their self-rated most attractive facial part than HCs. Scanning patterns in own and other faces showed that BDD and BN participants paid as much attention to attractive as to unattractive features in their own face, whereas they focused more on attractive features in attractive other faces. HCs paid more attention to attractive features in their own face and did the same in attractive other faces. Results indicate an attentional bias in BDD and BN participants manifesting itself in a neglect of positive features compared to HCs. Perceptual retraining may be an important aspect to focus on in therapy in order to overcome the neglect of positive facial aspects. Future research should aim to disentangle attentional processes in BDD by examining the time course of attentional processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Lehmann

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

  5. Deficits of spatial and task-related attentional selection in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redel, P; Bublak, P; Sorg, C; Kurz, A; Förstl, H; Müller, H J; Schneider, W X; Perneczky, R; Finke, K

    2012-01-01

    Visual selective attention was assessed with a partial-report task in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and healthy elderly controls. Based on Bundesen's "theory of visual attention" (TVA), two parameters were derived: top-down control of attentional selection, representing task-related attentional weighting for prioritizing relevant visual objects, and spatial distribution of attentional weights across the left and the right hemifield. Compared with controls, MCI patients showed significantly reduced top-down controlled selection, which was further deteriorated in AD subjects. Moreover, attentional weighting was significantly unbalanced across hemifields in MCI and tended to be more lateralized in AD. Across MCI and AD patients, carriers of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (ApoE4) displayed a leftward spatial bias, which was the more pronounced the younger the ApoE4-positive patients and the earlier disease onset. These results indicate that impaired top-down control may be linked to early dysfunction of fronto-parietal networks. An early temporo-parietal interhemispheric asymmetry might cause a pathological spatial bias which is associated with ApoE4 genotype and may therefore function as early cognitive marker of upcoming AD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The effects of different focus of attention on throwing skills among ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this study was to examine the effects of external focus (EF) of attention compared to internal focus (IF) of attention instructions on throwing boules in a modified-petanque game among the ASD children. Ten ASD children aged from seven to 10 participated in this study. They were randomly divided into two groups ...

  7. A Cognitive Dimensional Approach to Understanding Shared and Unique Contributions to Reading, Math, and Attention Skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Child, Amanda E; Cirino, Paul T; Fletcher, Jack M; Willcutt, Erik G; Fuchs, Lynn S

    2018-05-01

    Disorders of reading, math, and attention frequently co-occur in children. However, it is not yet clear which cognitive factors contribute to comorbidities among multiple disorders and which uniquely relate to one, especially because they have rarely been studied as a triad. Thus, the present study considers how reading, math, and attention relate to phonological awareness, numerosity, working memory, and processing speed, all implicated as either unique or shared correlates of these disorders. In response to findings that the attributes of all three disorders exist on a continuum rather than representing qualitatively different groups, this study employed a dimensional approach. Furthermore, we used both timed and untimed academic variables in addition to attention and activity level variables. The results supported the role of working memory and phonological awareness in the overlap among reading, math, and attention, with a limited role of processing speed. Numerosity was related to the comorbidity between math and attention. The results from timed variables and activity level were similar to those from untimed and attention variables, although activity level was less strongly related to cognitive and academic/attention variables. These findings have implications for understanding cognitive deficits that contribute to comorbid reading disability, math disability, and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

  8. Visual Short-Term Memory Activity in Parietal Lobe Reflects Cognitive Processes beyond Attentional Selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheremata, Summer L; Somers, David C; Shomstein, Sarah

    2018-02-07

    Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and attention are distinct yet interrelated processes. While both require selection of information across the visual field, memory additionally requires the maintenance of information across time and distraction. VSTM recruits areas within human (male and female) dorsal and ventral parietal cortex that are also implicated in spatial selection; therefore, it is important to determine whether overlapping activation might reflect shared attentional demands. Here, identical stimuli and controlled sustained attention across both tasks were used to ask whether fMRI signal amplitude, functional connectivity, and contralateral visual field bias reflect memory-specific task demands. While attention and VSTM activated similar cortical areas, BOLD amplitude and functional connectivity in parietal cortex differentiated the two tasks. Relative to attention, VSTM increased BOLD amplitude in dorsal parietal cortex and decreased BOLD amplitude in the angular gyrus. Additionally, the tasks differentially modulated parietal functional connectivity. Contrasting VSTM and attention, intraparietal sulcus (IPS) 1-2 were more strongly connected with anterior frontoparietal areas and more weakly connected with posterior regions. This divergence between tasks demonstrates that parietal activation reflects memory-specific functions and consequently modulates functional connectivity across the cortex. In contrast, both tasks demonstrated hemispheric asymmetries for spatial processing, exhibiting a stronger contralateral visual field bias in the left versus the right hemisphere across tasks, suggesting that asymmetries are characteristic of a shared selection process in IPS. These results demonstrate that parietal activity and patterns of functional connectivity distinguish VSTM from more general attention processes, establishing a central role of the parietal cortex in maintaining visual information. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and

  9. Crossmodal effects of Guqin and piano music on selective attention: an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Weina; Zhang, Junjun; Ding, Xiaojun; Zhou, Changle; Ma, Yuanye; Xu, Dan

    2009-11-27

    To compare the effects of music from different cultural environments (Guqin: Chinese music; piano: Western music) on crossmodal selective attention, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) data in a standard two-stimulus visual oddball task were recorded from Chinese subjects in three conditions: silence, Guqin music or piano music background. Visual task data were then compared with auditory task data collected previously. In contrast with the results of the auditory task, the early (N1) and late (P300) stages exhibited no differences between Guqin and piano backgrounds during the visual task. Taking our previous study and this study together, we can conclude that: although the cultural-familiar music influenced selective attention both in the early and late stages, these effects appeared only within a sensory modality (auditory) but not in cross-sensory modalities (visual). Thus, the musical cultural factor is more obvious in intramodal than in crossmodal selective attention.

  10. The influence of caffeine on spatial-selective attention: an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruijter, J; de Ruiter, M B; Snel, J; Lorist, M M

    2000-12-01

    Following the indications of previous studies that caffeine might have a specific effect on the processing of spatial information compared with other types of information, the present study investigated the influence of caffeine on an often used spatial-selective attention task. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 11 participants under conditions of caffeine (250 mg) and placebo. Spatial-selective attention effects were reflected in the ERPs as more positive going occipital P1 and broadly distributed P2 components, and more negative going occipital-temporal N1 and broadly distributed N2 components. A treatment effect was found as a more positive going frontal P2 component in the caffeine condition, whereas interactions between treatment and attention were observed for P2 and N2 components, but not for P1 and N1 components. This pattern of results suggests that caffeine has no specific influence on spatial-selective attention, but rather, has a more general facilitating effect on perceptual processing, as well as a possible effect on the frontal control mechanisms, i.e. focusing attention and increasing selectivity.

  11. Frequency-Selective Attention in Auditory Scenes Recruits Frequency Representations Throughout Human Superior Temporal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

    A sound of interest may be tracked amid other salient sounds by focusing attention on its characteristic features including its frequency. Functional magnetic resonance imaging findings have indicated that frequency representations in human primary auditory cortex (AC) contribute to this feat. However, attentional modulations were examined at relatively low spatial and spectral resolutions, and frequency-selective contributions outside the primary AC could not be established. To address these issues, we compared blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) responses in the superior temporal cortex of human listeners while they identified single frequencies versus listened selectively for various frequencies within a multifrequency scene. Using best-frequency mapping, we observed that the detailed spatial layout of attention-induced BOLD response enhancements in primary AC follows the tonotopy of stimulus-driven frequency representations-analogous to the "spotlight" of attention enhancing visuospatial representations in retinotopic visual cortex. Moreover, using an algorithm trained to discriminate stimulus-driven frequency representations, we could successfully decode the focus of frequency-selective attention from listeners' BOLD response patterns in nonprimary AC. Our results indicate that the human brain facilitates selective listening to a frequency of interest in a scene by reinforcing the fine-grained activity pattern throughout the entire superior temporal cortex that would be evoked if that frequency was present alone. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Adaptive attunement of selective covert attention to evolutionary-relevant emotional visual scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Martín, Andrés; Gutiérrez-García, Aída; Capafons, Juan; Calvo, Manuel G

    2017-05-01

    We investigated selective attention to emotional scenes in peripheral vision, as a function of adaptive relevance of scene affective content for male and female observers. Pairs of emotional-neutral images appeared peripherally-with perceptual stimulus differences controlled-while viewers were fixating on a different stimulus in central vision. Early selective orienting was assessed by the probability of directing the first fixation towards either scene, and the time until first fixation. Emotional scenes selectively captured covert attention even when they were task-irrelevant, thus revealing involuntary, automatic processing. Sex of observers and specific emotional scene content (e.g., male-to-female-aggression, families and babies, etc.) interactively modulated covert attention, depending on adaptive priorities and goals for each sex, both for pleasant and unpleasant content. The attentional system exhibits domain-specific and sex-specific biases and attunements, probably rooted in evolutionary pressures to enhance reproductive and protective success. Emotional cues selectively capture covert attention based on their bio-social significance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Individual Differences in Temporal Selective Attention as Reflected in Pupil Dilation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Willems

    Full Text Available Attention is restricted for the second of two targets when it is presented within 200-500 ms of the first target. This attentional blink (AB phenomenon allows one to study the dynamics of temporal selective attention by varying the interval between the two targets (T1 and T2. Whereas the AB has long been considered as a robust and universal cognitive limitation, several studies have demonstrated that AB task performance greatly differs between individuals, with some individuals showing no AB whatsoever.Here, we studied these individual differences in AB task performance in relation to differences in attentional timing. Furthermore, we investigated whether AB magnitude is predictive for the amount of attention allocated to T1. For both these purposes pupil dilation was measured, and analyzed with our recently developed deconvolution method. We found that the dynamics of temporal attention in small versus large blinkers differ in a number of ways. Individuals with a relatively small AB magnitude seem better able to preserve temporal order information. In addition, they are quicker to allocate attention to both T1 and T2 than large blinkers. Although a popular explanation of the AB is that it is caused by an unnecessary overinvestment of attention allocated to T1, a more complex picture emerged from our data, suggesting that this may depend on whether one is a small or a large blinker.The use of pupil dilation deconvolution seems to be a powerful approach to study the temporal dynamics of attention, bringing us a step closer to understanding the elusive nature of the AB. We conclude that the timing of attention to targets may be more important than the amount of allocated attention in accounting for individual differences.

  14. Individual Differences in Temporal Selective Attention as Reflected in Pupil Dilation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willems, Charlotte; Herdzin, Johannes; Martens, Sander

    2015-01-01

    Attention is restricted for the second of two targets when it is presented within 200-500 ms of the first target. This attentional blink (AB) phenomenon allows one to study the dynamics of temporal selective attention by varying the interval between the two targets (T1 and T2). Whereas the AB has long been considered as a robust and universal cognitive limitation, several studies have demonstrated that AB task performance greatly differs between individuals, with some individuals showing no AB whatsoever. Here, we studied these individual differences in AB task performance in relation to differences in attentional timing. Furthermore, we investigated whether AB magnitude is predictive for the amount of attention allocated to T1. For both these purposes pupil dilation was measured, and analyzed with our recently developed deconvolution method. We found that the dynamics of temporal attention in small versus large blinkers differ in a number of ways. Individuals with a relatively small AB magnitude seem better able to preserve temporal order information. In addition, they are quicker to allocate attention to both T1 and T2 than large blinkers. Although a popular explanation of the AB is that it is caused by an unnecessary overinvestment of attention allocated to T1, a more complex picture emerged from our data, suggesting that this may depend on whether one is a small or a large blinker. The use of pupil dilation deconvolution seems to be a powerful approach to study the temporal dynamics of attention, bringing us a step closer to understanding the elusive nature of the AB. We conclude that the timing of attention to targets may be more important than the amount of allocated attention in accounting for individual differences.

  15. Simulating the role of visual selective attention during the development of perceptual completion

    OpenAIRE

    Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P.

    2012-01-01

    We recently proposed a multi-channel, image-filtering model for simulating the development of visual selective attention in young infants (Schlesinger, Amso & Johnson, 2007). The model not only captures the performance of 3-month-olds on a visual search task, but also implicates two cortical regions that may play a role in the development of visual selective attention. In the current simulation study, we used the same model to simulate 3-month-olds’ performance on a second measure, the percep...

  16. Feature-Selective Attention Adaptively Shifts Noise Correlations in Primary Auditory Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downer, Joshua D; Rapone, Brittany; Verhein, Jessica; O'Connor, Kevin N; Sutter, Mitchell L

    2017-05-24

    Sensory environments often contain an overwhelming amount of information, with both relevant and irrelevant information competing for neural resources. Feature attention mediates this competition by selecting the sensory features needed to form a coherent percept. How attention affects the activity of populations of neurons to support this process is poorly understood because population coding is typically studied through simulations in which one sensory feature is encoded without competition. Therefore, to study the effects of feature attention on population-based neural coding, investigations must be extended to include stimuli with both relevant and irrelevant features. We measured noise correlations ( r noise ) within small neural populations in primary auditory cortex while rhesus macaques performed a novel feature-selective attention task. We found that the effect of feature-selective attention on r noise depended not only on the population tuning to the attended feature, but also on the tuning to the distractor feature. To attempt to explain how these observed effects might support enhanced perceptual performance, we propose an extension of a simple and influential model in which shifts in r noise can simultaneously enhance the representation of the attended feature while suppressing the distractor. These findings present a novel mechanism by which attention modulates neural populations to support sensory processing in cluttered environments. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Although feature-selective attention constitutes one of the building blocks of listening in natural environments, its neural bases remain obscure. To address this, we developed a novel auditory feature-selective attention task and measured noise correlations ( r noise ) in rhesus macaque A1 during task performance. Unlike previous studies showing that the effect of attention on r noise depends on population tuning to the attended feature, we show that the effect of attention depends on the tuning

  17. Role of the right inferior parietal cortex in auditory selective attention: An rTMS study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bareham, Corinne A; Georgieva, Stanimira D; Kamke, Marc R; Lloyd, David; Bekinschtein, Tristan A; Mattingley, Jason B

    2018-02-01

    Selective attention is the process of directing limited capacity resources to behaviourally relevant stimuli while ignoring competing stimuli that are currently irrelevant. Studies in healthy human participants and in individuals with focal brain lesions have suggested that the right parietal cortex is crucial for resolving competition for attention. Following right-hemisphere damage, for example, patients may have difficulty reporting a brief, left-sided stimulus if it occurs with a competitor on the right, even though the same left stimulus is reported normally when it occurs alone. Such "extinction" of contralesional stimuli has been documented for all the major sense modalities, but it remains unclear whether its occurrence reflects involvement of one or more specific subregions of the temporo-parietal cortex. Here we employed repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the right hemisphere to examine the effect of disruption of two candidate regions - the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) and the superior temporal gyrus (STG) - on auditory selective attention. Eighteen neurologically normal, right-handed participants performed an auditory task, in which they had to detect target digits presented within simultaneous dichotic streams of spoken distractor letters in the left and right channels, both before and after 20 min of 1 Hz rTMS over the SMG, STG or a somatosensory control site (S1). Across blocks, participants were asked to report on auditory streams in the left, right, or both channels, which yielded focused and divided attention conditions. Performance was unchanged for the two focused attention conditions, regardless of stimulation site, but was selectively impaired for contralateral left-sided targets in the divided attention condition following stimulation of the right SMG, but not the STG or S1. Our findings suggest a causal role for the right inferior parietal cortex in auditory selective attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  18. Training self-assessment and task-selection skills to foster self-regulated learning: Do trained skills transfer across domains?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raaijmakers, Steven F; Baars, Martine; Paas, Fred; van Merriënboer, Jeroen J G; van Gog, Tamara

    2018-01-01

    Students' ability to accurately self-assess their performance and select a suitable subsequent learning task in response is imperative for effective self-regulated learning. Video modeling examples have proven effective for training self-assessment and task-selection skills, and-importantly-such training fostered self-regulated learning outcomes. It is unclear, however, whether trained skills would transfer across domains. We investigated whether skills acquired from training with either a specific, algorithmic task-selection rule or a more general heuristic task-selection rule in biology would transfer to self-regulated learning in math. A manipulation check performed after the training confirmed that both algorithmic and heuristic training improved task-selection skills on the biology problems compared with the control condition. However, we found no evidence that students subsequently applied the acquired skills during self-regulated learning in math. Future research should investigate how to support transfer of task-selection skills across domains.

  19. An iPad-Based Tool for Improving the Skills of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    Wrońska, Natalia; Garcia-Zapirain, Begonya; Mendez-Zorrilla, Amaia

    2015-01-01

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with a worldwide prevalence of 5.29%–7.1%, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. Apart from typical symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, patients also evidence attention deficit problems with reading comprehension. This in turn causes poor school performance and widens the gap with peers without ADHD. This paper presents a novel and interactive tool based on Serious Games...

  20. Object-Based Attention on Social Units: Visual Selection of Hands Performing a Social Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Jun; Xu, Haokui; Duan, Jipeng; Shen, Mowei

    2018-05-01

    Traditionally, objects of attention are characterized either as full-fledged entities or either as elements grouped by Gestalt principles. Because humans appear to use social groups as units to explain social activities, we proposed that a socially defined group, according to social interaction information, would also be a possible object of attentional selection. This hypothesis was examined using displays with and without handshaking interactions. Results demonstrated that object-based attention, which was measured by an object-specific attentional advantage (i.e., shorter response times to targets on a single object), was extended to two hands performing a handshake but not to hands that did not perform meaningful social interactions, even when they did perform handshake-like actions. This finding cannot be attributed to the familiarity of the frequent co-occurrence of two handshaking hands. Hence, object-based attention can select a grouped object whose parts are connected within a meaningful social interaction. This finding implies that object-based attention is constrained by top-down information.

  1. State test-anxiety, selective attention and concentration in university students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Castillo, Antonio; Caurcel, María J

    2015-08-01

    The principal aim of this study was to assess the level of selective attention and mental concentration before exams in a sample of university students and to determine a possible relationship between anxiety and reduction of levels of attention in this circumstance. A total of 403 university students, 176 men and 227 women, aged from 18 to 46 years, participated in the study. Of them, 169 were first-year undergraduates, 118 were second to fourth-year undergraduates and 116 were postgraduate Master's degree students. All of them completed the Spanish version of the Spielberger State-Anxiety Inventory and the D2 Attention Test just before taking an exam. Our results showed that participants with lower levels of anxiety had higher levels of selective attention and mental concentration before the exam. These results specifically indicate that when anxiety levels are very high, this could over-activate the orientating and alerting functions and to reduce the capacity of attentional control. These processes could have a negative impact on specific attentional processes and become a negative influence on performance in exams. © 2014 International Union of Psychological Science.

  2. [Quality of sleep and selective attention in university students: descriptive cross-sectional study].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontana, Silvia Alicia; Raimondi, Waldina; Rizzo, María Laura

    2014-09-05

    Sleep quality not only refers to sleeping well at night, but also includes appropriate daytime functioning. Poor quality of sleep can affect a variety of attention processes. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the relationship between the perceived quality of sleep and selective focus in a group of college students. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in a group of 52 Argentinian college students of the Universidad Adventista del Plata. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Continuous Performance Test and the Trail Making Test were applied. The main results indicate that students sleep an average of 6.48 hours. Generally half of the population tested had a good quality of sleep. However, the dispersion seen in some components demonstrates the heterogeneity of the sample in these variables. It was observed that the evaluated attention processes yielded different levels of alteration in the total sample: major variability in the process of process and in the divided-attention processes were detected. A lower percentage of alteration was observed in the process of attention support. Poor quality of sleep has more impact in the sub processes with greater participation of corticocortical circuits (selective and divided attention) and greater involvement of the prefrontal cortex. Fewer difficulties were found in the attention-support processes that rely on subcortical regions and have less frontal involvement.

  3. Quality of sleep and selective attention in university students: descriptive cross-sectional study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Alicia Fontana

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION Sleep quality not only refers to sleeping well at night, but also includes appropriate daytime functioning. Poor quality of sleep can affect a variety of attention processes. PURPOSE The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the relationship between the perceived quality of sleep and selective focus in a group of college students. METHODS A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in a group of 52 Argentinian college students of the Universidad Adventista del Plata. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Continuous Performance Test and the Trail Making Test were applied. RESULTS The main results indicate that students sleep an average of 6.48 hours. Generally half of the population tested had a good quality of sleep. However, the dispersion seen in some components demonstrates the heterogeneity of the sample in these variables. It was observed that the evaluated attention processes yielded different levels of alteration in the total sample: major variability in the process of process and in the divided-attention processes were detected. A lower percentage of alteration was observed in the process of attention support. CONCLUSION Poor quality of sleep has more impact in the sub processes with greater participation of corticocortical circuits (selective and divided attention and greater involvement of the prefrontal cortex. Fewer difficulties were found in the attention-support processes that rely on subcortical regions and have less frontal involvement.

  4. Resource-sharing between internal maintenance and external selection modulates attentional capture by working memory content

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anastasia eKiyonaga

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available It is unclear why and under what circumstances working memory (WM and attention interact. Here, we apply the logic of the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS model of WM (e.g., Barrouillet, Bernardin, & Camos, 2004 to explore the mixed findings of a separate, but related, literature that studies the guidance of visual attention by WM contents. Specifically, we hypothesize that the linkage between WM representations and visual attention is governed by a time-shared cognitive resource that alternately refreshes internal (WM and selects external (visual attention information. If this were the case, WM content should guide visual attention (involuntarily, but only when there is time for it to be refreshed in an internal focus of attention. To provide an initial test for this hypothesis, we examined whether the amount of unoccupied time during a WM delay could impact the magnitude of attentional capture by WM contents. Participants were presented with a series of visual search trials while they maintained a WM cue for a delayed-recognition test. WM cues could coincide with the search target, a distracter, or neither. We varied both the number of searches to be performed, and the amount of available time to perform them. Slowing of visual search by a WM matching distracter—and facilitation by a matching target—were curtailed when the delay was filled with fast-paced (refreshing-preventing search trials, as was subsequent memory probe accuracy. WM content may, therefore, only capture visual attention when it can be refreshed, suggesting that internal (WM and external attention demands reciprocally impact one another because they share a limited resource. The TBRS rationale can thus be applied in a novel context to explain why WM contents capture attention, and under what conditions that effect should be observed.

  5. 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.

  6. Narcissism dimensions differentially moderate selective attention to evaluative stimuli in incarcerated offenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krusemark, Elizabeth A; Lee, Christopher; Newman, Joseph P

    2015-01-01

    Narcissistic personality disorder is associated with distinguishing traits including self-enhancement, arrogance, and intense reactivity to ego threat. Theoretical accounts of narcissism suggest these heterogeneous behaviors reflect a defensive motivational style that functions to both uphold and protect the self-concept. However, the notion that narcissism can be characterized by grandiose and vulnerable dimensions raises the possibility that these diverse behaviors represent distinct expressions of narcissistic defensiveness. The present study examined whether both dimensions exhibit a general defensive style marked by selective attention to evaluative stimuli or are differentially associated with selective attention to positive and negative information, respectively. Using a dot probe task consisting of valenced and neutral trait adjectives, we evaluated these hypotheses in a group of male offenders. Results indicated that vulnerable narcissism was associated with attention biases for both positive and negative stimuli, though the dimension was further distinguished by disengagement difficulties and a greater recognition memory bias in response to negative words. Conversely, grandiose narcissism was associated with increased accuracy when attending to positive stimuli and directing attention away from negative stimuli. Overall, these findings suggest narcissistic individuals share motivated selective attention in response to evaluative stimuli, while simultaneously highlighting important phenotypic differences between grandiose and vulnerable dimensions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. 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.

  8. Tuning In to Sound: Frequency-Selective Attentional Filter in Human Primary Auditory Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Costa, Sandra; van der Zwaag, Wietske; Miller, Lee M.; Clarke, Stephanie

    2013-01-01

    Cocktail parties, busy streets, and other noisy environments pose a difficult challenge to the auditory system: how to focus attention on selected sounds while ignoring others? Neurons of primary auditory cortex, many of which are sharply tuned to sound frequency, could help solve this problem by filtering selected sound information based on frequency-content. To investigate whether this occurs, we used high-resolution fMRI at 7 tesla to map the fine-scale frequency-tuning (1.5 mm isotropic resolution) of primary auditory areas A1 and R in six human participants. Then, in a selective attention experiment, participants heard low (250 Hz)- and high (4000 Hz)-frequency streams of tones presented at the same time (dual-stream) and were instructed to focus attention onto one stream versus the other, switching back and forth every 30 s. Attention to low-frequency tones enhanced neural responses within low-frequency-tuned voxels relative to high, and when attention switched the pattern quickly reversed. Thus, like a radio, human primary auditory cortex is able to tune into attended frequency channels and can switch channels on demand. PMID:23365225

  9. Auditory-Cortex Short-Term Plasticity Induced by Selective Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jääskeläinen, Iiro P.; Ahveninen, Jyrki

    2014-01-01

    The ability to concentrate on relevant sounds in the acoustic environment is crucial for everyday function and communication. Converging lines of evidence suggests that transient functional changes in auditory-cortex neurons, “short-term plasticity”, might explain this fundamental function. Under conditions of strongly focused attention, enhanced processing of attended sounds can take place at very early latencies (~50 ms from sound onset) in primary auditory cortex and possibly even at earlier latencies in subcortical structures. More robust selective-attention short-term plasticity is manifested as modulation of responses peaking at ~100 ms from sound onset in functionally specialized nonprimary auditory-cortical areas by way of stimulus-specific reshaping of neuronal receptive fields that supports filtering of selectively attended sound features from task-irrelevant ones. Such effects have been shown to take effect in ~seconds following shifting of attentional focus. There are findings suggesting that the reshaping of neuronal receptive fields is even stronger at longer auditory-cortex response latencies (~300 ms from sound onset). These longer-latency short-term plasticity effects seem to build up more gradually, within tens of seconds after shifting the focus of attention. Importantly, some of the auditory-cortical short-term plasticity effects observed during selective attention predict enhancements in behaviorally measured sound discrimination performance. PMID:24551458

  10. A dissociation between selective attention and conscious awareness in the representation of temporal order information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eimer, Martin; Grubert, Anna

    2015-09-01

    Previous electrophysiological studies have shown that attentional selection processes are highly sensitive to the temporal order of task-relevant visual events. When two successively presented colour-defined target stimuli are separated by a stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) of only 10 ms, the onset latencies of N2pc components to these stimuli (which reflect their attentional selection) precisely match their objective temporal separation. We tested whether such small onset differences are accessible to conscious awareness by instructing participants to report the category (letter or digit) of the first of two target-colour items that were separated by an SOA of 10, 20, or 30 ms. Performance was at chance level for the 10 ms SOA, demonstrating that temporal order information which is available to attentional control processes cannot be utilized for conscious temporal order judgments. These results provide new evidence that selective attention and conscious awareness are functionally separable, and support the hypothesis that attention and awareness operate at different stages of cognitive processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. [Comparing Two Editions of Wechsler Intelligence Scales and Assessing Reading Skills in Children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Çelik, Cihat; Erden, Gülsen; Özmen, Sevim; Tural Hesapçıoğlu, Selma

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to examine the cognitive profiles of children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children-Revised (WISC-R) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children-Fourth Edition (WISC-IV), the latter of which was recently standardized in Turkey. In addition, the reading abilities and intelligence scores of these children were also investigated. A total of 48 children with ADHD between the ages of 6 and 16 years who were outpatients in Muş State Hospital were included in this study. The children were administered the WISC-R, the WISC-IV, and the Oral Reading Skills and Reading Comprehension Test (ORCT). There were no significant differences between the WISC-R IQ scores and WISC-IV index scores. Moreover, reading comprehension skills (derived from ORCT scores) were predicted with significant accuracy by both the WISC-R Verbal IQ and the WISC-IV WMI (Working Memory Index). Results of this study suggest that the WISC-R and the WISC-IV scale are not sufficient for obtaining a specific cognitive profile for ADHD - there is no significant difference between them. However, the four-factor structure of the WISC-IV is believed to provide more specific information. In addition, results of this study related to reading skills indicate that the importance of reading skills should not be overlooked when assessing children with ADHD.

  12. Selective Attention Modulates the Direction of Audio-Visual Temporal Recalibration

    OpenAIRE

    Ikumi, Nara; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2014-01-01

    Temporal recalibration of cross-modal synchrony has been proposed as a mechanism to compensate for timing differences between sensory modalities. However, far from the rich complexity of everyday life sensory environments, most studies to date have examined recalibration on isolated cross-modal pairings. Here, we hypothesize that selective attention might provide an effective filter to help resolve which stimuli are selected when multiple events compete for recalibration. We addressed this qu...

  13. Adaptive attunement of selective covert attention to evolutionary-relevant emotional visual scenes

    OpenAIRE

    Fernández-Martín, Andrés (UNIR); Gutiérrez-García, Aida; Capafons, Juan; Calvo, Manuel G

    2017-01-01

    We investigated selective attention to emotional scenes in peripheral vision, as a function of adaptive relevance of scene affective content for male and female observers. Pairs of emotional neutral images appeared peripherally with perceptual stimulus differences controlled while viewers were fixating on a different stimulus in central vision. Early selective orienting was assessed by the probability of directing the first fixation towards either scene, and the time until first fixation. Emo...

  14. Effect of Music Tempo on Attentional Focus and Perceived Exertion during Self-selected Paced Walking

    OpenAIRE

    SILVA, ALDO COELHO; DOS SANTOS FERREIRA, SANDRO; ALVES, RAGAMI CHAVES; FOLLADOR, LUCIO; DA SILVA, SERGIO GREGORIO

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the influence of music on the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and attentional focus during walking at a self-selected pace. Fifteen overweight and obese women volunteered to participate in the study. They underwent four sessions: the first for incremental maximal test and anthropometric measurement followed by three experimental sessions. After the first session, they were exposed to three 30-minute walking sessions at a self-selected pace in a counterbalanced order...

  15. Readout from iconic memory and selective spatial attention involve similar neural processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, Christian C; Kristjánsson, Arni; Driver, Jon

    2007-10-01

    Iconic memory and spatial attention are often considered separately, but they may have functional similarities. Here we provide functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence for some common underlying neural effects. Subjects judged three visual stimuli in one hemifield of a bilateral array comprising six stimuli. The relevant hemifield for partial report was indicated by an auditory cue, administered either before the visual array (precue, spatial attention) or shortly after the array (postcue, iconic memory). Pre- and postcues led to similar activity modulations in lateral occipital cortex contralateral to the cued side. This finding indicates that readout from iconic memory can have some neural effects similar to those of spatial attention. We also found common bilateral activation of a fronto-parietal network for postcue and precue trials. These neuroimaging data suggest that some common neural mechanisms underlie selective spatial attention and readout from iconic memory. Some differences were also found; compared with precues, postcues led to higher activity in the right middle frontal gyrus.

  16. From shunting inhibition to dynamic normalization: Attentional selection and decision-making in brief visual displays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Philip L; Sewell, David K; Lilburn, Simon D

    2015-11-01

    Normalization models of visual sensitivity assume that the response of a visual mechanism is scaled divisively by the sum of the activity in the excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms in its neighborhood. Normalization models of attention assume that the weighting of excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms is modulated by attention. Such models have provided explanations of the effects of attention in both behavioral and single-cell recording studies. We show how normalization models can be obtained as the asymptotic solutions of shunting differential equations, in which stimulus inputs and the activity in the mechanism control growth rates multiplicatively rather than additively. The value of the shunting equation approach is that it characterizes the entire time course of the response, not just its asymptotic strength. We describe two models of attention based on shunting dynamics, the integrated system model of Smith and Ratcliff (2009) and the competitive interaction theory of Smith and Sewell (2013). These models assume that attention, stimulus salience, and the observer's strategy for the task jointly determine the selection of stimuli into visual short-term memory (VSTM) and the way in which stimulus representations are weighted. The quality of the VSTM representation determines the speed and accuracy of the decision. The models provide a unified account of a variety of attentional phenomena found in psychophysical tasks using single-element and multi-element displays. Our results show the generality and utility of the normalization approach to modeling attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Attention to gender in communication skills assessment instruments in medical education: a review.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dielissen, P.W.; Bottema, B.J.A.M.; Verdonk, P.; Lagro-Janssen, T.

    2011-01-01

    CONTEXT: Gender is increasingly regarded as an important factor in doctor-patient communication education. This review aims to assess if and how gender is addressed by current assessment instruments for communication skills in medical education. METHODS: In 2009 at Radboud University Nijmegen

  18. Effect of Caraway Extract on the Performance of Selective Attention and Cognitive Flexibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziba Barghi-Irani

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: This trial study is conducted in the field of psychopharmacology aiming to examine psychological effects of caraway. Materials and Methods: The sample under study consists of two groups including experimental (N=22 and control (N=28; both groups were identical in terms of demographic characteristics. The subjects participated voluntarily in the study; they were placed into experimental and control groups by random selection. The evaluation of attention function test was carried out by computerized Stroop effect test. Results: The results from analysis of covariance statistical test (ANCOVA showed that taking caraway with an effective dose may increase functions of selective attention, response inhibition ability as well as cognitive flexibility and change (p<0.005. Conclusion: Taking advantage of positive effects of caraway extract, it may be used as one of the herbal medicine in treating stress and increasing different attention functions

  19. Age-related decline in bottom-up processing and selective attention in the very old.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuravleva, Tatyana Y; Alperin, Brittany R; Haring, Anna E; Rentz, Dorene M; Holcomb, Philip J; Daffner, Kirk R

    2014-06-01

    Previous research demonstrating age-related deficits in selective attention have not included old-old adults, an increasingly important group to study. The current investigation compared event-related potentials in 15 young-old (65-79 years old) and 23 old-old (80-99 years old) subjects during a color-selective attention task. Subjects responded to target letters in a specified color (Attend) while ignoring letters in a different color (Ignore) under both low and high loads. There were no group differences in visual acuity, accuracy, reaction time, or latency of early event-related potential components. The old-old group showed a disruption in bottom-up processing, indexed by a substantially diminished posterior N1 (smaller amplitude). They also demonstrated markedly decreased modulation of bottom-up processing based on selected visual features, indexed by the posterior selection negativity (SN), with similar attenuation under both loads. In contrast, there were no group differences in frontally mediated attentional selection, measured by the anterior selection positivity (SP). There was a robust inverse relationship between the size of the SN and SP (the smaller the SN, the larger the SP), which may represent an anteriorly supported compensatory mechanism. In the absence of a decline in top-down modulation indexed by the SP, the diminished SN may reflect age-related degradation of early bottom-up visual processing in old-old adults.

  20. Event-related potentials during visual selective attention in children of alcoholics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Stelt, O; Gunning, W B; Snel, J; Kok, A

    1998-12-01

    Event-related potentials were recorded from 7- to 18-year-old children of alcoholics (COAs, n = 50) and age- and sex-matched control children (n = 50) while they performed a visual selective attention task. The task was to attend selectively to stimuli with a specified color (red or blue) in an attempt to detect the occurrence of target stimuli. COAs manifested a smaller P3b amplitude to attended-target stimuli over the parietal and occipital scalp than did the controls. A more specific analysis indicated that both the attentional relevance and the target properties of the eliciting stimulus determined the observed P3b amplitude differences between COAs and controls. In contrast, no significant group differences were observed in attention-related earlier occurring event-related potential components, referred to as frontal selection positivity, selection negativity, and N2b. These results represent neurophysiological evidence that COAs suffer from deficits at a late (semantic) level of visual selective information processing that are unlikely a consequence of deficits at earlier (sensory) levels of selective processing. The findings support the notion that a reduced visual P3b amplitude in COAs represents a high-level processing dysfunction indicating their increased vulnerability to alcoholism.

  1. Attentional selection of relative SF mediates global versus local processing: evidence from EEG.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flevaris, Anastasia V; Bentin, Shlomo; Robertson, Lynn C

    2011-06-13

    Previous research on functional hemispheric differences in visual processing has associated global perception with low spatial frequency (LSF) processing biases of the right hemisphere (RH) and local perception with high spatial frequency (HSF) processing biases of the left hemisphere (LH). The Double Filtering by Frequency (DFF) theory expanded this hypothesis by proposing that visual attention selects and is directed to relatively LSFs by the RH and relatively HSFs by the LH, suggesting a direct causal relationship between SF selection and global versus local perception. We tested this idea in the current experiment by comparing activity in the EEG recorded at posterior right and posterior left hemisphere sites while participants' attention was directed to global or local levels of processing after selection of relatively LSFs versus HSFs in a previous stimulus. Hemispheric asymmetry in the alpha band (8-12 Hz) during preparation for global versus local processing was modulated by the selected SF. In contrast, preparatory activity associated with selection of SF was not modulated by the previously attended level (global/local). These results support the DFF theory that top-down attentional selection of SF mediates global and local processing.

  2. Selective attention relates to the development of executive functions in 2,5- to 3-year-olds : A longitudinal study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veer, Ilona M.; Luyten, Hans; Mulder, Hanna; van Tuijl, Cathy; Sleegers, Peter J.C.

    2017-01-01

    To study the central role of selective attention in the early development of executive functions (EFs), longitudinal relationships between selective attention, working memory, and simple response inhibition were explored. Selective attention, working memory, and simple response inhibition were

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Automatic selective attention as a function of sensory modality in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerreiro, Maria J S; Adam, Jos J; Van Gerven, Pascal W M

    2012-03-01

    It was recently hypothesized that age-related differences in selective attention depend on sensory modality (Guerreiro, M. J. S., Murphy, D. R., & Van Gerven, P. W. M. (2010). The role of sensory modality in age-related distraction: A critical review and a renewed view. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 975-1022. doi:10.1037/a0020731). So far, this hypothesis has not been tested in automatic selective attention. The current study addressed this issue by investigating age-related differences in automatic spatial cueing effects (i.e., facilitation and inhibition of return [IOR]) across sensory modalities. Thirty younger (mean age = 22.4 years) and 25 older adults (mean age = 68.8 years) performed 4 left-right target localization tasks, involving all combinations of visual and auditory cues and targets. We used stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) of 100, 500, 1,000, and 1,500 ms between cue and target. The results showed facilitation (shorter reaction times with valid relative to invalid cues at shorter SOAs) in the unimodal auditory and in both cross-modal tasks but not in the unimodal visual task. In contrast, there was IOR (longer reaction times with valid relative to invalid cues at longer SOAs) in both unimodal tasks but not in either of the cross-modal tasks. Most important, these spatial cueing effects were independent of age. The results suggest that the modality hypothesis of age-related differences in selective attention does not extend into the realm of automatic selective attention.

  5. Feature-selective attention: evidence for a decline in old age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quigley, Cliodhna; Andersen, Søren K; Schulze, Lars; Grunwald, Martin; Müller, Matthias M

    2010-04-19

    Although attention in older adults is an active research area, feature-selective aspects have not yet been explicitly studied. Here we report the results of an exploratory study involving directed changes in feature-selective attention. The stimuli used were two random dot kinematograms (RDKs) of different colours, superimposed and centrally presented. A colour cue with random onset after the beginning of each trial instructed young and older subjects to attend to one of the RDKs and detect short intervals of coherent motion while ignoring analogous motion events in the non-cued RDK. Behavioural data show that older adults could detect motion, but discriminated target from distracter motion less reliably than young adults. The method of frequency tagging allowed us to separate the EEG responses to the attended and ignored stimuli and directly compare steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) amplitudes elicited by each stimulus before and after cue onset. We found that younger adults show a clear attentional enhancement of SSVEP amplitude in the post-cue interval, while older adults' SSVEP responses to attended and ignored stimuli do not differ. Thus, in situations where attentional selection cannot be spatially resolved, older adults show a deficit in selection that is not shared by young adults. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Selective Attention, Working Memory, and Executive Function as Potential Independent Sources of Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gold, James M; Robinson, Benjamin; Leonard, Carly J; Hahn, Britta; Chen, Shuo; McMahon, Robert P; Luck, Steven J

    2017-11-11

    People with schizophrenia demonstrate impairments in selective attention, working memory, and executive function. Given the overlap in these constructs, it is unclear if these represent distinct impairments or different manifestations of one higher-order impairment. To examine this question, we administered tasks from the basic cognitive neuroscience literature to measure visual selective attention, working memory capacity, and executive function in 126 people with schizophrenia and 122 healthy volunteers. Patients demonstrated deficits on all tasks with the exception of selective attention guided by strong bottom-up inputs. Although the measures of top-down control of selective attention, working memory, and executive function were all intercorrelated, several sources of evidence indicate that working memory and executive function are separate sources of variance. Specifically, both working memory and executive function independently contributed to the discrimination of group status and independently accounted for variance in overall general cognitive ability as assessed by the MATRICS battery. These two cognitive functions appear to be separable features of the cognitive impairments observed in schizophrenia. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. The influence of caffeine on spatial-selective attention : an event-related potential study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Ruiter, MB; Snel, J; Lorist, MM; Ruijter, J

    2000-01-01

    Objectives: Following the indications of previous studies that caffeine might have a specific effect on the processing of spatial information compared with other types of information, the present study investigated the influence of caffeine on an often used spatial-selective attention task. Methods:

  8. The effects of social stress and cortisol responses on the preconscious selective attention to social threat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, K.; Bakvis, P.; Hermans, E.J.; Pelt, J. van; Honk, E.J. van

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of social stress and stress-induced cortisol on the preconscious selective attention to social threat. Twenty healthy participants were administered a masked emotional Stroop task (comparing color-naming latencies for angry, neutral and

  9. The effects of social stress and cortisol responses on the preconscious selective attention to social threat.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, K.; Bakvis, P.; Hermans, E.J.; Pelt, J. van; Honk, E.J. van

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of social stress and stress-induced cortisol on the preconscious selective attention to social threat. Twenty healthy participants were administered a masked emotional Stroop task (comparing color-naming latencies for angry, neutral and

  10. Selective Teacher Attention in Lower-Income Countries: A Phenomenon Linked to Dropout and Illiteracy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abadzi, Helen; Llambiri, Stavri

    2011-01-01

    In lower-income countries students face an important challenge that has not been well documented: selective teacher attention. In classes with many low-income students, teachers may concentrate on those few who can perform and neglect those who require more help. The latter may fail to learn, attend school less often, and eventually drop out.…

  11. Development of Auditory Selective Attention: Why Children Struggle to Hear in Noisy Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Pete R.; Moore, David R.; Amitay, Sygal

    2015-01-01

    Children's hearing deteriorates markedly in the presence of unpredictable noise. To explore why, 187 school-age children (4-11 years) and 15 adults performed a tone-in-noise detection task, in which the masking noise varied randomly between every presentation. Selective attention was evaluated by measuring the degree to which listeners were…

  12. Selective Attention to Emotional Stimuli: What IQ and Openness Do, and Emotional Intelligence Does Not

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiori, Marina; Antonakis, John

    2012-01-01

    We examined how general intelligence, personality, and emotional intelligence--measured as an ability using the MSCEIT--predicted performance on a selective-attention task requiring participants to ignore distracting emotion information. We used a visual prime in which participants saw a pair of faces depicting emotions; their task was to focus on…

  13. Associations among Selective Attention, Memory Bias, Cognitive Errors and Symptoms of Anxiety in Youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Sarah E.; Weems, Carl F.

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the linkages among selective attention, memory bias, cognitive errors, and anxiety problems by testing a model of the interrelations among these cognitive variables and childhood anxiety disorder symptoms. A community sample of 81 youth (38 females and 43 males) aged 9-17 years and their parents completed…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  15. Simulating the Role of Visual Selective Attention during the Development of Perceptual Completion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlesinger, Matthew; Amso, Dima; Johnson, Scott P.

    2012-01-01

    We recently proposed a multi-channel, image-filtering model for simulating the development of visual selective attention in young infants (Schlesinger, Amso & Johnson, 2007). The model not only captures the performance of 3-month-olds on a visual search task, but also implicates two cortical regions that may play a role in the development of…

  16. Auditory Stream Segregation Improves Infants' Selective Attention to Target Tones Amid Distracters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Nicholas A.; Trainor, Laurel J.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the role of auditory stream segregation in the selective attention to target tones in infancy. Using a task adapted from Bregman and Rudnicky's 1975 study and implemented in a conditioned head-turn procedure, infant and adult listeners had to discriminate the temporal order of 2,200 and 2,400 Hz target tones presented alone,…

  17. The Interaction of Selective Attention and Cognitive Development on Achievement in Nigerian Secondary School Genetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okoye, Namdi N. S.

    2009-01-01

    The study tried to examine the interaction between two independent variables of selective attention and cognitive development on Achievement in Genetics at the Secondary School level. In looking at the problem of this study three null hypotheses were generated for testing at 0.05 level of significance. Factorial Analysis of Variance design with…

  18. Selective attention and the auditory vertex potential. 1: Effects of stimulus delivery rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwent, V. L.; Hillyard, S. A.; Galambos, R.

    1975-01-01

    Enhancement of the auditory vertex potentials with selective attention to dichotically presented tone pips was found to be critically sensitive to the range of inter-stimulus intervals in use. Only at the shortest intervals was a clear-cut enhancement of the latency component to stimuli observed for the attended ear.

  19. Selective Attention in Web Forms: An Exploratory Case Study with Older People

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayago, Sergio; Guijarro, Jose-Maria; Blat, Josep

    2012-01-01

    This article reports on an exploratory study aimed to identify which ways of marking required and optional fields help older people fill in web forms correctly. Drawing on a pilot study and selective attention research in ageing, modified versions of widely used forms were created, in which standard asterisks were replaced with one of three…

  20. Threat Related Selective Attention Predicts Treatment Success in Childhood Anxiety Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legerstee, Jeroen S.; Tulen, Joke H. M.; Kallen, Victor L.; Dieleman, Gwen C.; Treffers, Philip D. A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Utens, Elisabeth M. W. J.

    2009-01-01

    Threat-related selective attention was found to predict the success of the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders through administering a pictorial dot-probe task to 131 children with anxiety disorders prior to cognitive behavioral therapy. The diagnostic status of the subjects was evaluated with a semistructured clinical interview at both pre-…

  1. Interference and Inhibition in Tasks of Selective Attention by Persons with and without Mental Retardation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Edward C.

    2006-01-01

    Persons with mental retardation often exhibit greater interference in visual selective attention tasks than do persons matched with them on CA. My goal here was to evaluate whether differences in distractor interference between persons with and without mental retardation may be related to differences in negative priming. Fifteen participants with…

  2. The Relation Between Selective Attention to Television Forms and Children's Comprehension of Content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvert, Sandra L.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Investigates the relationship between the moment-to-moment occurrence of selected visual and auditory formal features of a prosocial cartoon and two aspects of information processing (visual attention and comprehension). Subjects, 128 White kindergarten and third- to fourth-grade children, were equally distributed by sex and age and viewed the…

  3. Predictive distractor context facilitates attentional selection of high, but not intermediate and low, salience targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Töllner, Thomas; Conci, Markus; Müller, Hermann J

    2015-03-01

    It is well established that we can focally attend to a specific region in visual space without shifting our eyes, so as to extract action-relevant sensory information from covertly attended locations. The underlying mechanisms that determine how fast we engage our attentional spotlight in visual-search scenarios, however, remain controversial. One dominant view advocated by perceptual decision-making models holds that the times taken for focal-attentional selection are mediated by an internal template that biases perceptual coding and selection decisions exclusively through target-defining feature coding. This notion directly predicts that search times remain unaffected whether or not participants can anticipate the upcoming distractor context. Here we tested this hypothesis by employing an illusory-figure localization task that required participants to search for an invariant target amongst a variable distractor context, which gradually changed--either randomly or predictably--as a function of distractor-target similarity. We observed a graded decrease in internal focal-attentional selection times--correlated with external behavioral latencies--for distractor contexts of higher relative to lower similarity to the target. Critically, for low but not intermediate and high distractor-target similarity, these context-driven effects were cortically and behaviorally amplified when participants could reliably predict the type of distractors. This interactive pattern demonstrates that search guidance signals can integrate information about distractor, in addition to target, identities to optimize distractor-target competition for focal-attentional selection. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. A Comparison of Selective Auditory Attention Abilities in Open-Space Versus Closed Classroom Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinertsen, Gloria M.

    A study compared performances on a test of selective auditory attention between students educated in open-space versus closed classroom environments. An open-space classroom environment was defined as having no walls separating it from hallways or other classrooms. It was hypothesized that the incidence of auditory figure-ground (ability to focus…

  5. Both Handwriting Speed and Selective Attention Are Important to Lecture Note-Taking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peverly, Stephen T.; Garner, Joanna K.; Vekaria, Pooja C.

    2014-01-01

    The primary purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the relationship of handwriting speed, fine motor fluency, speed of verbal access, language comprehension, working memory, and attention (executive control; selective) to note-taking and all of the aforementioned variables to test performance (written recall). A second purpose was to…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Discriminative stimuli that control instrumental tobacco-seeking by human smokers also command selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogarth, Lee; Dickinson, Anthony; Duka, Theodora

    2003-08-01

    Incentive salience theory states that acquired bias in selective attention for stimuli associated with tobacco-smoke reinforcement controls the selective performance of tobacco-seeking and tobacco-taking behaviour. To support this theory, we assessed whether a stimulus that had acquired control of a tobacco-seeking response in a discrimination procedure would command the focus of visual attention in a subsequent test phase. Smokers received discrimination training in which an instrumental key-press response was followed by tobacco-smoke reinforcement when one visual discriminative stimulus (S+) was present, but not when another stimulus (S-) was present. The skin conductance response to the S+ and S- assessed whether Pavlovian conditioning to the S+ had taken place. In a subsequent test phase, the S+ and S- were presented in the dot-probe task and the allocation of the focus of visual attention to these stimuli was measured. Participants learned to perform the instrumental tobacco-seeking response selectively in the presence of the S+ relative to the S-, and showed a greater skin conductance response to the S+ than the S-. In the subsequent test phase, participants allocated the focus of visual attention to the S+ in preference to the S-. Correlation analysis revealed that the visual attentional bias for the S+ was positively associated with the number of times the S+ had been paired with tobacco-smoke in training, the skin conductance response to the S+ and with subjective craving to smoke. Furthermore, increased exposure to tobacco-smoke in the natural environment was associated with reduced discrimination learning. These data demonstrate that discriminative stimuli that signal that tobacco-smoke reinforcement is available acquire the capacity to command selective attentional and elicit instrumental tobacco-seeking behaviour.

  8. The effects of anticholinergic drugs on attention span and short-term memory skills in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giramonti, Karla M; Kogan, Barry A; Halpern, Leslie F

    2008-01-01

    Studies have shown cognitive problems in adults treated with anticholinergics. It is unclear if children are also susceptible to anticholinergic adverse effects. This study evaluates the effects of long-acting oxybutynin and tolterodine on short-term memory and attention in children with urgency and urge incontinence. Children with urgency or urge incontinence were recruited to take part in a prospective, randomized double-blinded placebo controlled trial using long-acting oxybutynin or tolterodine. Patients underwent a baseline test of their memory/recall ability and attention span using a standardized developmental/neuropsychological assessment tool. They were then randomized to either medication or placebo with retesting in 2 weeks, at which time they were crossed. They were retested after the second 2 weeks. Fourteen children (9 boys and 5 girls), ranging in age from 5 to 11 (M = 7.7) participated in the study. Attention and memory scores increased over time in all children, however, the analyses showed no significant negative effects of anticholinergic medications on attention or memory. Indeed, though not statistically significant, trends were for improvement in test scores in both areas. Our results in a double blinded cross-over trial suggest that long-acting oxybutynin and tolterodine do not have a deleterious effect on children's attention and memory. Other cognitive functions may be affected. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc

  9. A NEW METHOD HIGHLIGHTING PSYCHOMOTOR SKILLS AND COGNITIVE ATTRIBUTES IN ATHLETE SELECTIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Engin Sagdilek

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Talents are extraordinary but not completely developed characteristics in a field. These attributes cover a relatively wide range in sports. Tests perused in selection of athletes are generally motoric sports tests and measure predominantly conditional attributes. It is known that in sports, performance is related to cognitive skills as well as physical features and motor skills. This study explored a new method that could be utilized in the selection and tracking the level of improvement of athletes, and evaluate their attention, perception and learning levels, on athlete and other female students. 9 female table tennis athletes that trained for 16 hours per week for the last 5 years and 9 female students that never played in any sports, aged between 10 and 14 years, were participated in our study. For the Selective Action Array, developed for this study, a table tennis robot was utilized. Robot was set up to send a total of 26 balls in 3 different colors (6 whites, 10 yellows, 10 pinks to different areas of the table, in random colors and at the rate of 90 balls per minute. The participants were asked to ignore the white balls, to touch the yellow balls and to grab the pink balls using their dominant hands. Pursuant to explaining the task to the participants, two consecutive trials were executed and recorded using a camera. Every action performed/not performed by the participants was transformed into points in the scoring system. First trial total points in the Selective Action Array were 104±17 for athletes and 102±19 for non-athletes, whereas on the second trial total points were 122±11 and 105±20, respectively. The higher scores obtained in the second trial were significant for the athletes; the difference in the scores for non-athletes was minor. Non-athletes scored 33% better for the white balls as compared to the table tennis athletes. For the yellow balls, athletes and non-athletes scored similar points on the first trial, whereas

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junghöfer Markus

    2007-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schupp, Harald T; Stockburger, Jessica; Bublatzky, Florian; Junghöfer, Markus; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O

    2007-02-22

    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 (approximately 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. 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. 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-relevant stimuli. The present data suggest

  12. Cognitive load selectively influences the interruptive effect of pain on attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, David J; Eccleston, Christopher; Keogh, Edmund

    2017-10-01

    Pain is known to interrupt attentional performance. Such interference effects seem to occur preferentially for tasks that are complex and/or difficult. However, few studies have directly manipulated memory load in the context of pain interference to test this view. Therefore, this study examines the effect of experimental manipulations of both memory load and pain on 3 tasks previously found to be sensitive to pain interference. Three experiments were conducted. A different task was examined in each experiment, each comprising of a high- and low-cognitive load versions of the task. Experiment 1 comprised an attention span (n-back) task, experiment 2 an attention switching task, and experiment 3 a divided attention task. Each task was conducted under painful and nonpainful conditions. Within the pain condition, an experimental thermal pain induction protocol was administered at the same time participants completed the task. The load manipulations were successful in all experiments. Pain-related interference occurred under the high-load condition but only for the attention span task. No effect of pain was found on either the attentional switching or divided attention task. These results suggest that while cognitive load may influence the interruptive effect of pain on attention, this effect may be selective. Because pain affected the high-load version of the n-back task but did not interrupt performance on attentional switching or dual-task paradigms, this means that our findings did not completely support our hypotheses. Future research should explore further the parameters and conditions under which pain-related interference occurs.

  13. Behavioral performance follows the time course of neural facilitation and suppression during cued shifts of feature-selective attention

    OpenAIRE

    Andersen, S. K.; Müller, M. M.

    2010-01-01

    A central question in the field of attention is whether visual processing is a strictly limited resource, which must be allocated by selective attention. If this were the case, attentional enhancement of one stimulus should invariably lead to suppression of unattended distracter stimuli. Here we examine voluntary cued shifts of feature-selective attention to either one of two superimposed red or blue random dot kinematograms (RDKs) to test whether such a reciprocal relationship between enhanc...

  14. A neuromorphic VLSI device for implementing 2-D selective attention systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indiveri, G

    2001-01-01

    Selective attention is a mechanism used to sequentially select and process salient subregions of the input space, while suppressing inputs arriving from nonsalient regions. By processing small amounts of sensory information in a serial fashion, rather than attempting to process all the sensory data in parallel, this mechanism overcomes the problem of flooding limited processing capacity systems with sensory inputs. It is found in many biological systems and can be a useful engineering tool for developing artificial systems that need to process in real-time sensory data. In this paper we present a neuromorphic hardware model of a selective attention mechanism implemented on a very large scale integration (VLSI) chip, using analog circuits. The chip makes use of a spike-based representation for receiving input signals, transmitting output signals and for shifting the selection of the attended input stimulus over time. It can be interfaced to neuromorphic sensors and actuators, for implementing multichip selective attention systems. We describe the characteristics of the circuits used in the architecture and present experimental data measured from the system.

  15. The negative priming paradigm: An update and implications for selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frings, Christian; Schneider, Katja Kerstin; Fox, Elaine

    2015-12-01

    Negative Priming (NP) is an influential paradigm in cognitive psychology that was originally developed to measure attentional selection. Yet, up to the mid-1990s, a large number of experimental reports questioned whether the NP effect is based on attentional inhibition and/or episodic retrieval processes. In this review, we summarize findings since the mid-1990s and discuss new and old theoretical approaches to Negative Priming. We conclude that more than one process contributes to NP and that future research should analyze the conditions under which a particular process contributes to NP. Moreover, we argue that the paradigm--although it does not measure a single cognitive process alone--is still a useful tool for understanding selection in cognition. In fact, it might be a virtue of the paradigm that several cognitive processes work here together as selection in nonexperimental contexts is surely a multidimensional process. From this perspective, research on NP is relevant for all research fields analyzing selection. We therefore close our review by discussing the implications of the new evidence on NP for theories of selective attention.

  16. Additive effects of emotional content and spatial selective attention on electrocortical facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keil, Andreas; Moratti, Stephan; Sabatinelli, Dean; Bradley, Margaret M; Lang, Peter J

    2005-08-01

    Affectively arousing visual stimuli have been suggested to automatically attract attentional resources in order to optimize sensory processing. The present study crosses the factors of spatial selective attention and affective content, and examines the relationship between instructed (spatial) and automatic attention to affective stimuli. In addition to response times and error rate, electroencephalographic data from 129 electrodes were recorded during a covert spatial attention task. This task required silent counting of random-dot targets embedded in a 10 Hz flicker of colored pictures presented to both hemifields. Steady-state visual evoked potentials (ssVEPs) were obtained to determine amplitude and phase of electrocortical responses to pictures. An increase of ssVEP amplitude was observed as an additive function of spatial attention and emotional content. Statistical parametric mapping of this effect indicated occipito-temporal and parietal cortex activation contralateral to the attended visual hemifield in ssVEP amplitude modulation. This difference was most pronounced during selection of the left visual hemifield, at right temporal electrodes. In line with this finding, phase information revealed accelerated processing of aversive arousing, compared to affectively neutral pictures. The data suggest that affective stimulus properties modulate the spatiotemporal process along the ventral stream, encompassing amplitude amplification and timing changes of posterior and temporal cortex.

  17. Effect of Music Tempo on Attentional Focus and Perceived Exertion during Self-selected Paced Walking

    Science.gov (United States)

    SILVA, ALDO COELHO; DOS SANTOS FERREIRA, SANDRO; ALVES, RAGAMI CHAVES; FOLLADOR, LUCIO; DA SILVA, SERGIO GREGORIO

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the influence of music on the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and attentional focus during walking at a self-selected pace. Fifteen overweight and obese women volunteered to participate in the study. They underwent four sessions: the first for incremental maximal test and anthropometric measurement followed by three experimental sessions. After the first session, they were exposed to three 30-minute walking sessions at a self-selected pace in a counterbalanced order: fast-tempo music (FT), medium-tempo music (MT) and no-music control (NM). Borg’s RPE Scale and an Attentional Focus Questionnaire were used to measure the perceptual response and attentional focus, respectively. Results showed that the RPE was higher in the no-music control than in the medium-tempo music (12.05 ± 0.6 vs. 10.5 ± 0.5). Furthermore, dissociative attentional focus was greater for both conditions with music in comparison with the no-music control (NM= 39.0 ± 4.1; MT= 48.4 ± 4.1 and FT= 47.9 ± 4.5). The results indicated that the use of music during walking can modulate attentional focus, increasing dissociative thought, and medium-tempo music can reduce the RPE. PMID:27990220

  18. A spatial approach of magnitude-squared coherence applied to selective attention detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonato Felix, Leonardo; de Souza Ranaudo, Fernando; D'affonseca Netto, Aluizio; Ferreira Leite Miranda de Sá, Antonio Mauricio

    2014-05-30

    Auditory selective attention is the human ability of actively focusing in a certain sound stimulus while avoiding all other ones. This ability can be used, for example, in behavioral studies and brain-machine interface. In this work we developed an objective method - called Spatial Coherence - to detect the side where a subject is focusing attention to. This method takes into consideration the Magnitude Squared Coherence and the topographic distribution of responses among electroencephalogram electrodes. The individuals were stimulated with amplitude-modulated tones binaurally and were oriented to focus attention to only one of the stimuli. The results indicate a contralateral modulation of ASSR in the attention condition and are in agreement with prior studies. Furthermore, the best combination of electrodes led to a hit rate of 82% for 5.03 commands per minute. Using a similar paradigm, in a recent work, a maximum hit rate of 84.33% was achieved, but with a greater a classification time (20s, i.e. 3 commands per minute). It seems that Spatial Coherence is a useful technique for detecting focus of auditory selective attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Effect of Music Tempo on Attentional Focus and Perceived Exertion during Self-selected Paced Walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Aldo Coelho; Dos Santos Ferreira, Sandro; Alves, Ragami Chaves; Follador, Lucio; DA Silva, Sergio Gregorio

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the influence of music on the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and attentional focus during walking at a self-selected pace. Fifteen overweight and obese women volunteered to participate in the study. They underwent four sessions: the first for incremental maximal test and anthropometric measurement followed by three experimental sessions. After the first session, they were exposed to three 30-minute walking sessions at a self-selected pace in a counterbalanced order: fast-tempo music (FT), medium-tempo music (MT) and no-music control (NM). Borg's RPE Scale and an Attentional Focus Questionnaire were used to measure the perceptual response and attentional focus, respectively. Results showed that the RPE was higher in the no-music control than in the medium-tempo music (12.05 ± 0.6 vs. 10.5 ± 0.5). Furthermore, dissociative attentional focus was greater for both conditions with music in comparison with the no-music control (NM= 39.0 ± 4.1; MT= 48.4 ± 4.1 and FT= 47.9 ± 4.5). The results indicated that the use of music during walking can modulate attentional focus, increasing dissociative thought, and medium-tempo music can reduce the RPE.

  20. Reward speeds up and increases consistency of visual selective attention: a lifespan comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Störmer, Viola; Eppinger, Ben; Li, Shu-Chen

    2014-06-01

    Children and older adults often show less favorable reward-based learning and decision making, relative to younger adults. It is unknown, however, whether reward-based processes that influence relatively early perceptual and attentional processes show similar lifespan differences. In this study, we investigated whether stimulus-reward associations affect selective visual attention differently across the human lifespan. Children, adolescents, younger adults, and older adults performed a visual search task in which the target colors were associated with either high or low monetary rewards. We discovered that high reward value speeded up response times across all four age groups, indicating that reward modulates attentional selection across the lifespan. This speed-up in response time was largest in younger adults, relative to the other three age groups. Furthermore, only younger adults benefited from high reward value in increasing response consistency (i.e., reduction of trial-by-trial reaction time variability). Our findings suggest that reward-based modulations of relatively early and implicit perceptual and attentional processes are operative across the lifespan, and the effects appear to be greater in adulthood. The age-specific effect of reward on reducing intraindividual response variability in younger adults likely reflects mechanisms underlying the development and aging of reward processing, such as lifespan age differences in the efficacy of dopaminergic modulation. Overall, the present results indicate that reward shapes visual perception across different age groups by biasing attention to motivationally salient events.

  1. Behind the scenes: how visual memory load biases selective attention during processing of visual streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaver, Peter; Talsma, Durk

    2013-11-01

    We recorded ERPs to investigate whether the visual memory load can bias visual selective attention. Participants memorized one or four letters and then responded to memory-matching letters presented in a relevant color while ignoring distractor letters or letters in an irrelevant color. Stimuli in the relevant color elicited larger frontal selection positivities (FSP) and occipital selection negativities (OSN) compared to irrelevant color stimuli. Only distractors elicited a larger FSP in the high than in the low memory load task. Memory load prolonged the OSN for all letters. Response mapping complexity was also modulated but did not affect the FSP and OSN. Together, the FSP data suggest that high memory load increased distractability. The OSN data suggest that memory load sustained attention to letters in a relevant color until working memory processing was completed, independently of whether the letters were in working memory or not. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  2. Phonological Skills, Visual Attention Span, and Visual Stress in Developmental Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saksida, Amanda; Iannuzzi, Stéphanie; Bogliotti, Caroline; Chaix, Yves; Démonet, Jean-François; Bricout, Laure; Billard, Catherine; Nguyen-Morel, Marie-Ange; Le Heuzey, Marie-France; Soares-Boucaud, Isabelle; George, Florence; Ziegler, Johannes C.; Ramus, Franck

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we concurrently investigated 3 possible causes of dyslexia--a phonological deficit, visual stress, and a reduced visual attention span--in a large population of 164 dyslexic and 118 control French children, aged between 8 and 13 years old. We found that most dyslexic children showed a phonological deficit, either in terms of…

  3. Effects of Self-Monitoring and Recruiting Teacher Attention on Pre-Vocational Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouse, Christina A.; Everhart-Sherwood, Julie M.; Alber-Morgan, Sheila R.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the effects of teaching self-monitoring and recruiting teacher attention on the acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of pre-vocational tasks by two sixth grade boys with moderate to severe intellectual disability. While completing pre-vocational tasks (e.g., sorting hangers by size, weighing amounts in ounces), the…

  4. Multisensory Spatial Attention Deficits Are Predictive of Phonological Decoding Skills in Developmental Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facoetti, Andrea; Trussardi, Anna Noemi; Ruffino, Milena; Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Cattaneo, Carmen; Galli, Raffaella; Molteni, Massimo; Zorzi, Marco

    2010-01-01

    Although the dominant approach posits that developmental dyslexia arises from deficits in systems that are exclusively linguistic in nature (i.e., phonological deficit theory), dyslexics show a variety of lower level deficits in sensory and attentional processing. Although their link to the reading disorder remains contentious, recent empirical…

  5. Relations among Student Attention Behaviors, Teacher Practices, and Beginning Word Reading Skill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saez, Leilani; Folsom, Jessica Sidler; Al Otaiba, Stephanie; Schatschneider, Christopher

    2012-01-01

    The role of student attention for predicting kindergarten word reading was investigated among 432 students. Using "Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD Symptoms and Normal Behavior Rating Scale" behavior rating scores, the authors conducted an exploratory factor analysis, which yielded three distinct factors that reflected selective…

  6. What is the evidence of impaired motor skills and motor control among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Systematic review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaiser, M-L; Schoemaker, M M; Albaret, J-M; Geuze, R H

    2014-11-06

    This article presents a review of the studies that have analysed the motor skills of ADHD children without medication and the influence of medication on their motor skills. The following two questions guided the study: What is the evidence of impairment of motor skills and aspects of motor control among children with ADHD aged between 6 and 16 years? What are the effects of ADHD medication on motor skills and motor control? The following keywords were introduced in the main databases: attention disorder and/or ADHD, motor skills and/or handwriting, children, medication. Of the 45 articles retrieved, 30 described motor skills of children with ADHD and 15 articles analysed the influence of ADHD medication on motor skills and motor control. More than half of the children with ADHD have difficulties with gross and fine motor skills. The children with ADHD inattentive subtype seem to present more impairment of fine motor skills, slow reaction time, and online motor control during complex tasks. The proportion of children with ADHD who improved their motor skills to the normal range by using medication varied from 28% to 67% between studies. The children who still show motor deficit while on medication might meet the diagnostic criteria of developmental coordination disorder (DCD). It is important to assess motor skills among children with ADHD because of the risk of reduced participation in activities of daily living that require motor coordination and attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Mixed signals: The effect of conflicting reward- and goal-driven biases on selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preciado, Daniel; Munneke, Jaap; Theeuwes, Jan

    2017-07-01

    Attentional selection depends on the interaction between exogenous (stimulus-driven), endogenous (goal-driven), and selection history (experience-driven) factors. While endogenous and exogenous biases have been widely investigated, less is known about their interplay with value-driven attention. The present study investigated the interaction between reward-history and goal-driven biases on perceptual sensitivity (d') and response time (RT) in a modified cueing paradigm presenting two coloured cues, followed by sinusoidal gratings. Participants responded to the orientation of one of these gratings. In Experiment 1, one cue signalled reward availability but was otherwise task irrelevant. In Experiment 2, the same cue signalled reward, and indicated the target's most likely location at the opposite side of the display. This design introduced a conflict between reward-driven biases attracting attention and goal-driven biases directing it away. Attentional effects were examined comparing trials in which cue and target appeared at the same versus opposite locations. Two interstimulus interval (ISI) levels were used to probe the time course of attentional effects. Experiment 1 showed performance benefits at the location of the reward-signalling cue and costs at the opposite for both ISIs, indicating value-driven capture. Experiment 2 showed performance benefits only for the long ISI when the target was at the opposite to the reward-associated cue. At the short ISI, only performance costs were observed. These results reveal the time course of these biases, indicating that reward-driven effects influence attention early but can be overcome later by goal-driven control. This suggests that reward-driven biases are integrated as attentional priorities, just as exogenous and endogenous factors.

  8. The Effect of an Authentic Acute Physical Education Session of Dance on Elementary Students' Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulinna, P H; Stylianou, M; Dyson, B; Banville, D; Dryden, C; Colby, R

    2018-01-01

    There have been calls to test the potential benefits of different forms of physical activity (PA) to executive function, particularly in authentic settings. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an acute dance session within an existing physical education class on students' selective attention. The study employed a pre/posttest quasi-experimental design with a comparison group in one Aotearoa, New Zealand, primary school. Participants were 192 students (comparison group = 104 students) in Years 5 and 6. The intervention group participated in a dance-based physical education lesson while the comparison group continued their regular classroom work. PA during the physical education lesson was monitored using accelerometers. Selective attention was assessed at pretest and after the comparison/physical education sessions with the d2 Test of Attention. 2 × 2 ANOVA results suggested a significant time effect for all three measures, no significant group effects for any measures, and significant time by group interactions for TN and CP but not for E %. The intervention group improved significantly more than the comparison group for TN and CP. This study's findings suggest that existing school opportunities focused on cognitively engaging PA, such as dance, can improve aspects of students' selective attention.

  9. The Effect of an Authentic Acute Physical Education Session of Dance on Elementary Students’ Selective Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. H. Kulinna

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available There have been calls to test the potential benefits of different forms of physical activity (PA to executive function, particularly in authentic settings. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an acute dance session within an existing physical education class on students’ selective attention. The study employed a pre/posttest quasi-experimental design with a comparison group in one Aotearoa, New Zealand, primary school. Participants were 192 students (comparison group = 104 students in Years 5 and 6. The intervention group participated in a dance-based physical education lesson while the comparison group continued their regular classroom work. PA during the physical education lesson was monitored using accelerometers. Selective attention was assessed at pretest and after the comparison/physical education sessions with the d2 Test of Attention. 2 × 2 ANOVA results suggested a significant time effect for all three measures, no significant group effects for any measures, and significant time by group interactions for TN and CP but not for E%. The intervention group improved significantly more than the comparison group for TN and CP. This study’s findings suggest that existing school opportunities focused on cognitively engaging PA, such as dance, can improve aspects of students’ selective attention.

  10. 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.

  11. Expectation violations in sensorimotor sequences: shifting from LTM-based attentional selection to visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Rebecca M; Schneider, Werner X

    2015-03-01

    Long-term memory (LTM) delivers important control signals for attentional selection. LTM expectations have an important role in guiding the task-driven sequence of covert attention and gaze shifts, especially in well-practiced multistep sensorimotor actions. What happens when LTM expectations are disconfirmed? Does a sensory-based visual-search mode of attentional selection replace the LTM-based mode? What happens when prior LTM expectations become valid again? We investigated these questions in a computerized version of the number-connection test. Participants clicked on spatially distributed numbered shapes in ascending order while gaze was recorded. Sixty trials were performed with a constant spatial arrangement. In 20 consecutive trials, either numbers, shapes, both, or no features switched position. In 20 reversion trials, participants worked on the original arrangement. Only the sequence-affecting number switches elicited slower clicking, visual search-like scanning, and lower eye-hand synchrony. The effects were neither limited to the exchanged numbers nor to the corresponding actions. Thus, expectation violations in a well-learned sensorimotor sequence cause a regression from LTM-based attentional selection to visual search beyond deviant-related actions and locations. Effects lasted for several trials and reappeared during reversion. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.

  12. Effects of one-night sleep deprivation on selective attention and isometric force in adolescent karate athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Cheikh, Ridha; Latiri, Imed; Dogui, Mohamed; Ben Saad, Helmi

    2017-06-01

    were observed. 1NSD affects both activation processes of selective attention and maximal isometric strength, two key skills in combat sports.

  13. Neuropsychological characteristics of selective attention in children with nonverbal learning disabilities

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    静进; 王庆雄; 杨斌让; 陈学彬

    2004-01-01

    Background Children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) usually manifest defective attention function. This study sought to investigate the neuropsychological characteristics of selective attention, such as attention control, working memory, and attention persistence of the frontal lobe in children with NLD. Methods Using the auditory detection test (ADT), Wisconsin card sorting test (WCST), and C-WISC, 27 children with NLD and 33 normal children in the control group were tested, and the results of C-WISC subtests were analyzed with factor analysis. Results Compared with the control group, the correct response rate in the auditory detection test in the NLD group was much lower (P<0.01), and the number of incorrect responses was much higher (P<0.01); NLD children also scored lower in WCST categories achieved (CA) and perseverative errors (PE) (P<0.05). Factor analysis showed that perceptual organization (PO) related to visual space and freedom from distractibility (FD) relating to attention persistence in the NLD group were obviously lower than in the control group (P<0.01). Conclusions Children with NLD have attention control disorder and working memory disorder mainly in the frontal lobe. We believe that the disorder is particularly prominent in the right frontal lobe.

  14. Selective, sustained, and shift in attention in patients with diagnoses of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagh-Shenas, H; Toobai, S; Makaremi, A

    2002-12-01

    Attentional deficits are a prominent aspect of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. The present study was designed to investigate attention deficit in a group of patients with diagnosis of schizophrenia. According to the segmental set theory suggested by Hogarty and Flesher, three aspects of attention problems, selective, sustained, and shift in attention, were studied. The 30 patients hospitalized on three psychiatric wards at Shiraz and Isfahan and 30 normal healthy subjects matched for age, sex, and years of education were administered a computerized Continuous Performance Test, Stroop Color-word Test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting test. Analysis showed patients performed more poorly than control subjects on measured aspects of attention. The acute/chronic classification did not predict differences in attention scores between subtypes of schizophrenia, while the positive/negative classification did. Paranoid, undifferentiated, and residual groups by subtypes of schizophrenia showed similar performance on the Continuous Performance Test, but were significantly different on errors on the Wisconsin Card Sorting test and on reaction time to Stroop stimuli in the incongruent color-word condition. Patients with paranoid diagnosis performed better than other subtypes on these tasks. Present results suggest that the Continuous Performance Test is valuable for differentiating of schizophrenia spectrum disorder, while scores on Stroop and Wisconsin card sorting may have better diagnostic value for differentiating subtypes of the disorder.

  15. Sleep deprivation impairs object-selective attention: a view from the ventral visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Julian; Tan, Jiat Chow; Parimal, Sarayu; Dinges, David F; Chee, Michael W L

    2010-02-05

    Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD) have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW) and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA) activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition.

  16. Sleep deprivation impairs object-selective attention: a view from the ventral visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Lim

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition.

  17. At what time is the cocktail party? A late locus of selective attention to natural speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Alan J; Foxe, John J; Forde, Emma-Jane; Reilly, Richard B; Lalor, Edmund C

    2012-05-01

    Distinguishing between speakers and focusing attention on one speaker in multi-speaker environments is extremely important in everyday life. Exactly how the brain accomplishes this feat and, in particular, the precise temporal dynamics of this attentional deployment are as yet unknown. A long history of behavioral research using dichotic listening paradigms has debated whether selective attention to speech operates at an early stage of processing based on the physical characteristics of the stimulus or at a later stage during semantic processing. With its poor temporal resolution fMRI has contributed little to the debate, while EEG-ERP paradigms have been hampered by the need to average the EEG in response to discrete stimuli which are superimposed onto ongoing speech. This presents a number of problems, foremost among which is that early attention effects in the form of endogenously generated potentials can be so temporally broad as to mask later attention effects based on the higher level processing of the speech stream. Here we overcome this issue by utilizing the AESPA (auditory evoked spread spectrum analysis) method which allows us to extract temporally detailed responses to two concurrently presented speech streams in natural cocktail-party-like attentional conditions without the need for superimposed probes. We show attentional effects on exogenous stimulus processing in the 200-220 ms range in the left hemisphere. We discuss these effects within the context of research on auditory scene analysis and in terms of a flexible locus of attention that can be deployed at a particular processing stage depending on the task. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. Narrative Skills in Children with Selective Mutism: An Exploratory Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    McInnes, Alison; Fung, Daniel; Manassis, Katharina; Fiksenbaum, Lisa; Tannock, Rosemary

    2004-01-01

    Selective mutism (SM) is a rare and complex disorder associated with anxiety symptoms and speech-language deficits; however, the nature of these language deficits has not been studied systematically. A novel cross-disciplinary assessment protocol was used to assess anxiety and nonverbal cognitive, receptive language, and expressive narrative…

  19. Students' level of skillfulness and use of the internet in selected ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study examined level of skillfulness and the use of the Internet for learning among secondary school students in Lagos State, Nigeria. The descriptive survey research method was adopted for the study. A sample of 450 students was randomly selected from the three secondary schools. One intact arm was selected from ...

  20. Individual Alpha Peak Frequency Predicts 10 Hz Flicker Effects on Selective Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulbinaite, Rasa; van Viegen, Tara; Wieling, Martijn; Cohen, Michael X; VanRullen, Rufin

    2017-10-18

    Rhythmic visual stimulation ("flicker") is primarily used to "tag" processing of low-level visual and high-level cognitive phenomena. However, preliminary evidence suggests that flicker may also entrain endogenous brain oscillations, thereby modulating cognitive processes supported by those brain rhythms. Here we tested the interaction between 10 Hz flicker and endogenous alpha-band (∼10 Hz) oscillations during a selective visuospatial attention task. We recorded EEG from human participants (both genders) while they performed a modified Eriksen flanker task in which distractors and targets flickered within (10 Hz) or outside (7.5 or 15 Hz) the alpha band. By using a combination of EEG source separation, time-frequency, and single-trial linear mixed-effects modeling, we demonstrate that 10 Hz flicker interfered with stimulus processing more on incongruent than congruent trials (high vs low selective attention demands). Crucially, the effect of 10 Hz flicker on task performance was predicted by the distance between 10 Hz and individual alpha peak frequency (estimated during the task). Finally, the flicker effect on task performance was more strongly predicted by EEG flicker responses during stimulus processing than during preparation for the upcoming stimulus, suggesting that 10 Hz flicker interfered more with reactive than proactive selective attention. These findings are consistent with our hypothesis that visual flicker entrained endogenous alpha-band networks, which in turn impaired task performance. Our findings also provide novel evidence for frequency-dependent exogenous modulation of cognition that is determined by the correspondence between the exogenous flicker frequency and the endogenous brain rhythms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Here we provide novel evidence that the interaction between exogenous rhythmic visual stimulation and endogenous brain rhythms can have frequency-specific behavioral effects. We show that alpha-band (10 Hz) flicker impairs stimulus

  1. Out with the old? The role of selective attention in retaining targets in partial report.

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    Lindsey, Dakota R B; Bundesen, Claus; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Petersen, Anders; Logan, Gordon D

    2017-01-01

    In the partial-report task, subjects are asked to report only a portion of the items presented. Selective attention chooses which objects to represent in short-term memory (STM) on the basis of their relevance. Because STM is limited in capacity, one must sometimes choose which objects are removed from memory in light of new relevant information. We tested the hypothesis that the choices among newly presented information and old information in STM involve the same process-that both are acts of selective attention. We tested this hypothesis using a two-display partial-report procedure. In this procedure, subjects had to select and retain relevant letters (targets) from two sequentially presented displays. If selection in perception and retention in STM are the same process, then irrelevant letters (distractors) in the second display, which demanded attention because of their similarity to the targets, should have decreased target report from the first display. This effect was not obtained in any of four experiments. Thus, choosing objects to keep in STM is not the same process as choosing new objects to bring into STM.

  2. Does attentional selectivity in the flanker task improve discretely or gradually?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald eHübner

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available An important question is whether attentional selectivity improves discretely or continuously during stimulus processing. In a recent study, Hübner, et al. (2010 found that the discrete DSTP model accounted better for flanker-task data than various continuous improvement models. However, in a subsequent study, White, et al. (2011 introduced the continuous SSP model and showed that it was superior to the DSTP model. From this result they concluded that attentional selectivity improves continuously rather than discretely. Because different stimuli and procedures were used in these two studies, though, we questioned that the superiority of the SSP model holds generally. Therefore, we fit the SSP model to Hübner et al.’s data and found that the DSTP model was again superior. A series of four experiments revealed that model superiority depends on the response-stimulus interval (RSI. Together, our results demonstrate that methodological details can be crucial for model selection, and that further comparisons between the models are needed before it can be decided whether attentional selectivity improves continuously or discretely.

  3. A randomised controlled trial investigating motor skill training as a function of attentional focus in old age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swanenburg Jaap

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Motor learning research has had little impact on clinical applications and rarely extended to research about how older adults learn motor skills. There is consistent evidence that motor skill performance and learning can be enhanced by giving learners instructions that direct their attention. The aim of this study was to test whether elderly individuals that receive an external focus instruction during training of dynamic balance skills would learn in a different manner compared to individuals that received an internal focus instruction. Methods This randomised trial included 26 older persons (81 ± 6 years that were training functional balance twice a week for the duration of 5 weeks. Learning outcomes were recorded after every training session. Weight shifting score and dynamic balance parameters (Biodex Balance System, components of the Extended Timed-Get-Up-and-Go test, five chair rises, and falls efficacy (FES-I was assessed at baseline and post-intervention. Results Participation for training sessions was 94%. No differences between groups were found following 5 weeks of training for weight shifting score, dynamic balance index and dynamic balance time (p p = 0.16, p Sit-to-stand, p = .036; Gait initiation, p = .039; Slow down, stop, turnaround, and sit down, p = 0.011 and the Fes-I (p = 0.014 showed improvements for the total group, indicating that function improved compared to baseline. Conclusion A 5-week balance training improved weight shifting scores and dynamic balance parameters as well as functional abilities. The observed improvements were independent from the type of attentional focus instructions. The findings provide support for the proposition of different motor learning principles in older adults compared to younger adults. Trial Registration ISRCTN44627088

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Object selection costs in visual working memory: A diffusion model analysis of the focus of attention.

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    Sewell, David K; Lilburn, Simon D; Smith, Philip L

    2016-11-01

    A central question in working memory research concerns the degree to which information in working memory is accessible to other cognitive processes (e.g., decision-making). Theories assuming that the focus of attention can only store a single object at a time require the focus to orient to a target representation before further processing can occur. The need to orient the focus of attention implies that single-object accounts typically predict response time costs associated with object selection even when working memory is not full (i.e., memory load is less than 4 items). For other theories that assume storage of multiple items in the focus of attention, predictions depend on specific assumptions about the way resources are allocated among items held in the focus, and how this affects the time course of retrieval of items from the focus. These broad theoretical accounts have been difficult to distinguish because conventional analyses fail to separate components of empirical response times related to decision-making from components related to selection and retrieval processes associated with accessing information in working memory. To better distinguish these response time components from one another, we analyze data from a probed visual working memory task using extensions of the diffusion decision model. Analysis of model parameters revealed that increases in memory load resulted in (a) reductions in the quality of the underlying stimulus representations in a manner consistent with a sample size model of visual working memory capacity and (b) systematic increases in the time needed to selectively access a probed representation in memory. The results are consistent with single-object theories of the focus of attention. The results are also consistent with a subset of theories that assume a multiobject focus of attention in which resource allocation diminishes both the quality and accessibility of the underlying representations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016

  7. Selective attention supports working memory maintenance by modulating perceptual processing of distractors.

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    Sreenivasan, Kartik K; Jha, Amishi P

    2007-01-01

    Selective attention has been shown to bias sensory processing in favor of relevant stimuli and against irrelevant or distracting stimuli in perceptual tasks. Increasing evidence suggests that selective attention plays an important role during working memory maintenance, possibly by biasing sensory processing in favor of to-be-remembered items. In the current study, we investigated whether selective attention may also support working memory by biasing processing against irrelevant and potentially distracting information. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while subjects (n = 22) performed a delayed-recognition task for faces and shoes. The delay period was filled with face or shoe distractors. Behavioral performance was impaired when distractors were congruent with the working memory domain (e.g., face distractor during working memory for faces) relative to when distractors were incongruent with the working memory domain (e.g., face distractor during shoe working memory). If attentional biasing against distractor processing is indeed functionally relevant in supporting working memory maintenance, perceptual processing of distractors is predicted to be attenuated when distractors are more behaviorally intrusive relative to when they are nonintrusive. As such, we predicted that perceptual processing of distracting faces, as measured by the face-sensitive N170 ERP component, would be reduced in the context of congruent (face) working memory relative to incongruent (shoe) working memory. The N170 elicited by distracting faces demonstrated reduced amplitude during congruent versus incongruent working memory. These results suggest that perceptual processing of distracting faces may be attenuated due to attentional biasing against sensory processing of distractors that are most behaviorally intrusive during working memory maintenance.

  8. Weak surround suppression of the attentional focus characterizes visual selection in the ventral stream in autism

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    Luca Ronconi

    Full Text Available Neurophysiological findings in the typical population demonstrate that spatial scrutiny for visual selection determines a center-surround profile of the attentional focus, which is the result of recurrent processing in the visual system. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD manifest several anomalies in their visual selection, with strengths in detail-oriented tasks, but also difficulties in distractor inhibition tasks. Here, we asked whether contradictory aspects of perception in ASD might be due to a different center-surround profile of their attentional focus. In two experiments, we tested two independent samples of children with ASD, comparing them with typically developing (TD peers. In Experiment 1, we used a psychophysical task that mapped the entire spatial profile of the attentional focus. In Experiment 2, we used dense-array electroencephalography (EEG to explore its neurophysiological underpinnings. Experiment 1 results showed that the suppression, surrounding the attentional focus, was markedly reduced in children with ASD. Experiment 2 showed that the center-surround profile in TD children resulted in a modulation of the posterior N2 ERP component, with cortical sources in the lateral-occipital and medial/inferior temporal areas. In contrast, children with ASD did not show modulation of the N2 and related activations in the ventral visual stream. Furthermore, behavioural and neurophysiological measures of weaker suppression predicted more severe autistic symptomatology. The present findings, showing an altered center-surround profile during attentional selection, give an important insight to understand superior visual processing in autism as well as the experiencing of sensory overload. Keywords: EEG, Source analysis, Ventral visual stream, Perception, Rehabilitation

  9. Aging effects on selective attention-related electroencephalographic patterns during face encoding.

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    Deiber, M-P; Rodriguez, C; Jaques, D; Missonnier, P; Emch, J; Millet, P; Gold, G; Giannakopoulos, P; Ibañez, V

    2010-11-24

    Previous electrophysiological studies revealed that human faces elicit an early visual event-related potential (ERP) within the occipito-temporal cortex, the N170 component. Although face perception has been proposed to rely on automatic processing, the impact of selective attention on N170 remains controversial both in young and elderly individuals. Using early visual ERP and alpha power analysis, we assessed the influence of aging on selective attention to faces during delayed-recognition tasks for face and letter stimuli, examining 36 elderly and 20 young adults with preserved cognition. Face recognition performance worsened with age. Aging induced a latency delay of the N1 component for faces and letters, as well as of the face N170 component. Contrasting with letters, ignored faces elicited larger N1 and N170 components than attended faces in both age groups. This counterintuitive attention effect on face processing persisted when scenes replaced letters. In contrast with young, elderly subjects failed to suppress irrelevant letters when attending faces. Whereas attended stimuli induced a parietal alpha band desynchronization within 300-1000 ms post-stimulus with bilateral-to-right distribution for faces and left lateralization for letters, ignored and passively viewed stimuli elicited a central alpha synchronization larger on the right hemisphere. Aging delayed the latency of this alpha synchronization for both face and letter stimuli, and reduced its amplitude for ignored letters. These results suggest that due to their social relevance, human faces may cause paradoxical attention effects on early visual ERP components, but they still undergo classical top-down control as a function of endogenous selective attention. Aging does not affect the face bottom-up alerting mechanism but reduces the top-down suppression of distracting letters, possibly impinging upon face recognition, and more generally delays the top-down suppression of task-irrelevant information

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

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

    2003-09-01

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

  11. Online Modulation of Selective Attention is not Impaired in Healthy Aging.

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    Sekuler, Robert; Huang, Jie; Sekuler, Allison B; Bennett, Patrick J

    2017-01-01

    Background/Study Context: Reduced processing speed pervades a great many aspects of human aging and cognition. However, little is known about one aspect of cognitive aging in which speed is of the essence, namely, the speed with which older adults can deploy attention in response to a cue. The authors compared rapid temporal modulation of cued visual attention in younger (M age  = 22.3 years) and older (M age  = 68.9 years) adults. On each trial of a short-term memory task, a cue identified which of two briefly presented stimuli was task relevant and which one should be ignored. After a short delay, subjects demonstrated recall by reproducing from memory the task-relevant stimulus. This produced estimates of (i) accuracy with which the task-relevant stimulus was recalled, (ii) the influence of stimuli encountered on previous trials (a prototype effect), and (iii) the influence of the trial's task-irrelevant stimulus. For both groups, errors in recall were considerably smaller when selective attention was cued before rather than after presentation of the stimuli. Both groups showed serial position effects to the same degree, and both seemed equally adept at exploiting the stimuli encountered on previous trials as a means of supplementing recall accuracy on the current trial. Younger and older subjects may not differ reliably in capacity for cue-directed temporal modulation of selective attention, or in ability to draw on previously seen stimuli as memory support.

  12. A right-ear bias of auditory selective attention is evident in alpha oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Lisa; Rogers, Chad S; Wingfield, Arthur; Sekuler, Robert

    2017-04-01

    Auditory selective attention makes it possible to pick out one speech stream that is embedded in a multispeaker environment. We adapted a cued dichotic listening task to examine suppression of a speech stream lateralized to the nonattended ear, and to evaluate the effects of attention on the right ear's well-known advantage in the perception of linguistic stimuli. After being cued to attend to input from either their left or right ear, participants heard two different four-word streams presented simultaneously to the separate ears. Following each dichotic presentation, participants judged whether a spoken probe word had been in the attended ear's stream. We used EEG signals to track participants' spatial lateralization of auditory attention, which is marked by interhemispheric differences in EEG alpha (8-14 Hz) power. A right-ear advantage (REA) was evident in faster response times and greater sensitivity in distinguishing attended from unattended words. Consistent with the REA, we found strongest parietal and right frontotemporal alpha modulation during the attend-right condition. These findings provide evidence for a link between selective attention and the REA during directed dichotic listening. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

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

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

    2017-03-01

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

  14. Demographic Variables and Selective, Sustained Attention and Planning through Cognitive Tasks among Healthy Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afsaneh Zarghi

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Cognitive tasks are considered to be applicable and appropriate in assessing cognitive domains. The purpose of our study is to determine the relationship existence between variables of age, sex and education with selective, sustained attention and planning abilities by means of computerized cognitive tasks among healthy adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study was implemented during 6 months from June to November, 2010 on 84 healthy adults (42 male and 42 female. The whole participants performed computerized CPT, STROOP and TOL tests after being content and trained. Results: The obtained data indicate that there is a significant correlation coefficient between age, sex and education variables (p<0.05. Discussion: The above-mentioned tests can be used to assess selective, sustained attention and planning.

  15. The mere exposure effect is modulated by selective attention but not visual awareness.

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    Huang, Yu-Feng; Hsieh, Po-Jang

    2013-10-18

    Repeated exposures to an object will lead to an enhancement of evaluation toward that object. Although this mere exposure effect may occur when the objects are presented subliminally, the role of conscious perception per se on evaluation has never been examined. Here we use a binocular rivalry paradigm to investigate whether a variance in conscious perceptual duration of faces has an effect on their subsequent evaluation, and how selective attention and memory interact with this effect. Our results show that face evaluation is positively biased by selective attention but not affected by visual awareness. Furthermore, this effect is not due to participants recalling which face had been attended to. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Intrusion recognition for optic fiber vibration sensor based on the selective attention mechanism

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    Xu, Haiyan; Xie, Yingjuan; Li, Min; Zhang, Zhuo; Zhang, Xuewu

    2017-11-01

    Distributed fiber-optic vibration sensors receive extensive investigation and play a significant role in the sensor panorama. A fiber optic perimeter detection system based on all-fiber interferometric sensor is proposed, through the back-end analysis, processing and intelligent identification, which can distinguish effects of different intrusion activities. In this paper, an intrusion recognition based on the auditory selective attention mechanism is proposed. Firstly, considering the time-frequency of vibration, the spectrogram is calculated. Secondly, imitating the selective attention mechanism, the color, direction and brightness map of the spectrogram is computed. Based on these maps, the feature matrix is formed after normalization. The system could recognize the intrusion activities occurred along the perimeter sensors. Experiment results show that the proposed method for the perimeter is able to differentiate intrusion signals from ambient noises. What's more, the recognition rate of the system is improved while deduced the false alarm rate, the approach is proved by large practical experiment and project.

  17. An iPad-Based Tool for Improving the Skills of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder

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    Natalia Wrońska

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, with a worldwide prevalence of 5.29%–7.1%, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. Apart from typical symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, patients also evidence attention deficit problems with reading comprehension. This in turn causes poor school performance and widens the gap with peers without ADHD. This paper presents a novel and interactive tool based on Serious Games for Health, whose aim is not only to improve comprehension, but also hold the user’s attention. This tool is geared towards assessing reading quality and is intended for iPad devices. Preliminary results obtained from the experiment performed to evaluate the game are included in this report. A group of six typically developing children from Colegio Vizcaya aged between 8 and 12 took part in the evaluation of motivation, satisfaction and usability of the same therapy in the new media. Results obtained by participants playing the game were analysed together with questionnaires concerning the usability of the system. Game evaluation resulted in relatively good statistics-average score was 3 points out of 4 and average time for completing the exercise was 59 seconds. A SUS questionnaire with an average score of 92.75 out of 100 indicates that the game presented is user-friendly and an effective tool. Moreover, based on the feedback obtained from participants, the game had been improved and additional functionality introduced. Older participants completed the first game faster than the younger ones, but age was not influential in subsequent games.

  18. An iPad-Based Tool for Improving the Skills of Children with Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrońska, Natalia; Garcia-Zapirain, Begonya; Mendez-Zorrilla, Amaia

    2015-06-02

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with a worldwide prevalence of 5.29%-7.1%, is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children and adolescents. Apart from typical symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, patients also evidence attention deficit problems with reading comprehension. This in turn causes poor school performance and widens the gap with peers without ADHD. This paper presents a novel and interactive tool based on Serious Games for Health, whose aim is not only to improve comprehension, but also hold the user's attention. This tool is geared towards assessing reading quality and is intended for iPad devices. Preliminary results obtained from the experiment performed to evaluate the game are included in this report. A group of six typically developing children from Colegio Vizcaya aged between 8 and 12 took part in the evaluation of motivation, satisfaction and usability of the same therapy in the new media. Results obtained by participants playing the game were analysed together with questionnaires concerning the usability of the system. Game evaluation resulted in relatively good statistics-average score was 3 points out of 4 and average time for completing the exercise was 59 seconds. A SUS questionnaire with an average score of 92.75 out of 100 indicates that the game presented is user-friendly and an effective tool. Moreover, based on the feedback obtained from participants, the game had been improved and additional functionality introduced. Older participants completed the first game faster than the younger ones, but age was not influential in subsequent games.

  19. Nonverbal spatially selective attention in 4- and 5-year-old children.

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    Sanders, Lisa D; Zobel, Benjamin H

    2012-07-01

    Under some conditions 4- and 5-year-old children can differentially process sounds from attended and unattended locations. In fact, the latency of spatially selective attention effects on auditory processing as measured with event-related potentials (ERPs) is quite similar in young children and adults. However, it is not clear if developmental differences in the polarity, distribution, and duration of attention effects are best attributed to acoustic characteristics, availability of non-spatial attention cues, task demands, or domain. In the current study adults and children were instructed to attend to one of two simultaneously presented soundscapes (e.g., city sounds or night sounds) to detect targets (e.g., car horn or owl hoot) in the attended channel only. Probes presented from the same location as the attended soundscape elicited a larger negativity by 80 ms after onset in both adults and children. This initial negative difference (Nd) was followed by a larger positivity for attended probes in adults and another negativity for attended probes in children. The results indicate that the neural systems by which attention modulates early auditory processing are available for young children even when presented with nonverbal sounds. They also suggest important interactions between attention, acoustic characteristics, and maturity on auditory evoked potentials. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Psychopathic Personality Traits Associated with Abnormal Selective Attention and Impaired Cognitive Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadeh, Naomi; Verona, Edelyn

    2008-01-01

    The current study investigated how mechan