Hari M Bharadwaj
Full Text Available Frequency tagging of sensory inputs (presenting stimuli that fluctuate periodically at rates to which the cortex can phase lock has been used to study attentional modulation of neural responses to inputs in different sensory modalities. For visual inputs, the visual steady-state response (VSSR at the frequency modulating an attended object is enhanced, while the VSSR to a distracting object is suppressed. In contrast, the effect of attention on the auditory steady-state response (ASSR is inconsistent across studies. However, most auditory studies analyzed results at the sensor level or used only a small number of equivalent current dipoles to fit cortical responses. In addition, most studies of auditory spatial attention used dichotic stimuli (independent signals at the ears rather than more natural, binaural stimuli. Here, we asked whether these methodological choices help explain discrepant results. Listeners attended to one of two competing speech streams, one simulated from the left and one from the right, that were modulated at different frequencies. Using distributed source modeling of magnetoencephalography results, we estimate how spatially directed attention modulates the ASSR in neural regions across the whole brain. Attention enhances the ASSR power at the frequency of the attended stream in the contralateral auditory cortex. The attended-stream modulation frequency also drives phase-locked responses in the left (but not right precentral sulcus (lPCS, a region implicated in control of eye gaze and visual spatial attention. Importantly, this region shows no phase locking to the distracting stream suggesting that the lPCS in engaged in an attention-specific manner. Modeling results that take account of the geometry and phases of the cortical sources phase locked to the two streams (including hemispheric asymmetry of lPCS activity help partly explain why past ASSR studies of auditory spatial attention yield seemingly contradictory
Dalton, Polly; Santangelo, Valerio; Spence, Charles
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.
Walsh, Kyle P; Pasanen, Edward G; McFadden, Dennis
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.
Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis
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
Lakatos, Peter; Musacchia, Gabriella; O’Connell, Monica N.; Falchier, Arnaud Y.; Javitt, Daniel C.; Schroeder, Charles E.
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
Lim, Sung-Joo; Wöstmann, Malte; Obleser, Jonas
Selective attention to a task-relevant stimulus facilitates encoding of that stimulus into a working memory representation. It is less clear whether selective attention also improves the precision of a stimulus already represented in memory. Here, we investigate the behavioral and neural dynamics of selective attention to representations in auditory working memory (i.e., auditory objects) using psychophysical modeling and model-based analysis of electroencephalographic signals. Human listeners performed a syllable pitch discrimination task where two syllables served as to-be-encoded auditory objects. Valid (vs neutral) retroactive cues were presented during retention to allow listeners to selectively attend to the to-be-probed auditory object in memory. Behaviorally, listeners represented auditory objects in memory more precisely (expressed by steeper slopes of a psychometric curve) and made faster perceptual decisions when valid compared to neutral retrocues were presented. Neurally, valid compared to neutral retrocues elicited a larger frontocentral sustained negativity in the evoked potential as well as enhanced parietal alpha/low-beta oscillatory power (9-18 Hz) during memory retention. Critically, individual magnitudes of alpha oscillatory power (7-11 Hz) modulation predicted the degree to which valid retrocues benefitted individuals' behavior. Our results indicate that selective attention to a specific object in auditory memory does benefit human performance not by simply reducing memory load, but by actively engaging complementary neural resources to sharpen the precision of the task-relevant object in memory. Can selective attention improve the representational precision with which objects are held in memory? And if so, what are the neural mechanisms that support such improvement? These issues have been rarely examined within the auditory modality, in which acoustic signals change and vanish on a milliseconds time scale. Introducing a new auditory memory
Laraway, Lee Ann
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…
Sabri, Merav; Humphries, Colin; Verber, Matthew; Liebenthal, Einat; Binder, Jeffrey R; Mangalathu, Jain; Desai, Anjali
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.
Dittrich, Kerstin; Stahl, Christoph
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…
Smucny, Jason; Olincy, Ann; Eichman, Lindsay S; Tregellas, Jason R
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.
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
Koch, Iring; Lawo, Vera; Fels, Janina; Vorlander, Michael
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…
Harris, Jill; Kamke, Marc R
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.
Scalf, Paige E; Banich, Marie T; Erickson, Andrew B
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.
Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis
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
Majerus, Steve; Heiligenstein, Lucie; Gautherot, Nathalie; Poncelet, Martine; Van der Linden, Martial
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…
Bidet-Caulet, Aurélie; Fischer, Catherine; Besle, Julien; Aguera, Pierre-Emmanuel; Giard, Marie-Helene; Bertrand, Olivier
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.
Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander
Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control.
Riecke, Lars; Scharke, Wolfgang; Valente, Giancarlo; Gutschalk, Alexander
Auditory selective attention plays an essential role for identifying sounds of interest in a scene, but the neural underpinnings are still incompletely understood. Recent findings demonstrate that neural activity that is time-locked to a particular amplitude-modulation (AM) is enhanced in the auditory cortex when the modulated stream of sounds is selectively attended to under sensory competition with other streams. However, the target sounds used in the previous studies differed not only in their AM, but also in other sound features, such as carrier frequency or location. Thus, it remains uncertain whether the observed enhancements reflect AM-selective attention. The present study aims at dissociating the effect of AM frequency on response enhancement in auditory cortex by using an ongoing auditory stimulus that contains two competing targets differing exclusively in their AM frequency. Electroencephalography results showed a sustained response enhancement for auditory attention compared to visual attention, but not for AM-selective attention (attended AM frequency vs. ignored AM frequency). In contrast, the response to the ignored AM frequency was enhanced, although a brief trend toward response enhancement occurred during the initial 15 s. Together with the previous findings, these observations indicate that selective enhancement of attended AMs in auditory cortex is adaptive under sustained AM-selective attention. This finding has implications for our understanding of cortical mechanisms for feature-based attentional gain control. PMID:25259525
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…
Strait, Dana L; Slater, Jessica; O'Connell, Samantha; Kraus, Nina
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.
Liu, Ying; Hu, Huijing; Jones, Jeffery A; Guo, Zhiqiang; Li, Weifeng; Chen, Xi; Liu, Peng; Liu, Hanjun
Speakers rapidly adjust their ongoing vocal productions to compensate for errors they hear in their auditory feedback. It is currently unclear what role attention plays in these vocal compensations. This event-related potential (ERP) study examined the influence of selective and divided attention on the vocal and cortical responses to pitch errors heard in auditory feedback regarding ongoing vocalisations. During the production of a sustained vowel, participants briefly heard their vocal pitch shifted up two semitones while they actively attended to auditory or visual events (selective attention), or both auditory and visual events (divided attention), or were not told to attend to either modality (control condition). The behavioral results showed that attending to the pitch perturbations elicited larger vocal compensations than attending to the visual stimuli. Moreover, ERPs were likewise sensitive to the attentional manipulations: P2 responses to pitch perturbations were larger when participants attended to the auditory stimuli compared to when they attended to the visual stimuli, and compared to when they were not explicitly told to attend to either the visual or auditory stimuli. By contrast, dividing attention between the auditory and visual modalities caused suppressed P2 responses relative to all the other conditions and caused enhanced N1 responses relative to the control condition. These findings provide strong evidence for the influence of attention on the mechanisms underlying the auditory-vocal integration in the processing of pitch feedback errors. In addition, selective attention and divided attention appear to modulate the neurobehavioral processing of pitch feedback errors in different ways. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Schwent, V. L.; Hillyard, S. A.
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.
Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnove; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo
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...
Forte, Antonio Elia; Etard, Octave; Reichenbach, Tobias
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.
Jääskeläinen, Iiro P.; Ahveninen, Jyrki
The ability to concentrate on relevant sounds in the acoustic environment is crucial for everyday function and communication. Converging lines of evidence suggests that transient functional changes in auditory-cortex neurons, “short-term plasticity”, might explain this fundamental function. Under conditions of strongly focused attention, enhanced processing of attended sounds can take place at very early latencies (~50 ms from sound onset) in primary auditory cortex and possibly even at earlier latencies in subcortical structures. More robust selective-attention short-term plasticity is manifested as modulation of responses peaking at ~100 ms from sound onset in functionally specialized nonprimary auditory-cortical areas by way of stimulus-specific reshaping of neuronal receptive fields that supports filtering of selectively attended sound features from task-irrelevant ones. Such effects have been shown to take effect in ~seconds following shifting of attentional focus. There are findings suggesting that the reshaping of neuronal receptive fields is even stronger at longer auditory-cortex response latencies (~300 ms from sound onset). These longer-latency short-term plasticity effects seem to build up more gradually, within tens of seconds after shifting the focus of attention. Importantly, some of the auditory-cortical short-term plasticity effects observed during selective attention predict enhancements in behaviorally measured sound discrimination performance. PMID:24551458
Full Text Available 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.
Da Costa, Sandra; van der Zwaag, Wietske; Miller, Lee M.; Clarke, Stephanie
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
Smith, Nicholas A.; Trainor, Laurel J.
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,…
Schwent, V. L.; Hillyard, S. A.; Galambos, R.
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.
Schwartz, Zachary P; David, Stephen V
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.
Greimel, E; Trinkl, M; Bartling, J; Bakos, S; Grossheinrich, N; Schulte-Körne, G
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.
Bressler, Scott; Masud, Salwa; Bharadwaj, Hari; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara
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...
Bareham, Corinne A; Georgieva, Stanimira D; Kamke, Marc R; Lloyd, David; Bekinschtein, Tristan A; Mattingley, Jason B
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
Cherry, Rochelle Silberzweig
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.…
Kidd, Gerald, Jr.
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…
Yoncheva, Yuliya; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason D; McCandliss, Bruce D
Selective attention to phonology, i.e., the ability to attend to sub-syllabic units within spoken words, is a critical precursor to literacy acquisition. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence has demonstrated that a left-lateralized network of frontal, temporal, and posterior language regions, including the visual word form area, supports this skill. The current event-related potential (ERP) study investigated the temporal dynamics of selective attention to phonology during spoken word perception. We tested the hypothesis that selective attention to phonology dynamically modulates stimulus encoding by recruiting left-lateralized processes specifically while the information critical for performance is unfolding. Selective attention to phonology was captured by manipulating listening goals: skilled adult readers attended to either rhyme or melody within auditory stimulus pairs. Each pair superimposed rhyming and melodic information ensuring identical sensory stimulation. Selective attention to phonology produced distinct early and late topographic ERP effects during stimulus encoding. Data-driven source localization analyses revealed that selective attention to phonology led to significantly greater recruitment of left-lateralized posterior and extensive temporal regions, which was notably concurrent with the rhyme-relevant information within the word. Furthermore, selective attention effects were specific to auditory stimulus encoding and not observed in response to cues, arguing against the notion that they reflect sustained task setting. Collectively, these results demonstrate that selective attention to phonology dynamically engages a left-lateralized network during the critical time-period of perception for achieving phonological analysis goals. These findings suggest a key role for selective attention in on-line phonological computations. Furthermore, these findings motivate future research on the role that neural mechanisms of attention may
Lebedeva, I S; Akhadov, T A; Petriaĭkin, A V; Kaleda, V G; Barkhatova, A N; Golubev, S A; Rumiantseva, E E; Vdovenko, A M; Fufaeva, E A; Semenova, N A
Six patients in the state of remission after the first episode ofjuvenile schizophrenia and seven sex- and age-matched mentally healthy subjects were examined by fMRI and ERP methods. The auditory oddball paradigm was applied. Differences in P300 parameters didn't reach the level of significance, however, a significantly higher hemodynamic response to target stimuli was found in patients bilaterally in the supramarginal gyrus and in the right medial frontal gyrus, which points to pathology of these brain areas in supporting of auditory selective attention.
Dana L Strait
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.
Yoncheva; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason; McCandliss, Bruce
Selective attention to phonology, i.e., the ability to attend to sub-syllabic units within spoken words, is a critical precursor to literacy acquisition. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence has demonstrated that a left-lateralized network of frontal, temporal, and posterior language regions, including the visual word form area, supports this skill. The current event-related potential (ERP) study investigated the temporal dynamics of selective attention to phonology during spoken word perception. We tested the hypothesis that selective atten tion to phonology dynamically modulates stimulus encoding by recruiting left-lateralized processes specifically while the information critical for performance is unfolding. Selective attention to phonology was captured by ma nipulating listening goals: skilled adult readers attended to either rhyme or melody within auditory stimulus pairs. Each pair superimposed rhyming and melodic information ensuring identical sensory stimulation. Selective attention to phonology produced distinct early and late topographic ERP effects during stimulus encoding. Data- driven source localization analyses revealed that selective attention to phonology led to significantly greater re cruitment of left-lateralized posterior and extensive temporal regions, which was notably concurrent with the rhyme-relevant information within the word. Furthermore, selective attention effects were specific to auditory stimulus encoding and not observed in response to cues, arguing against the notion that they reflect sustained task setting. Collectively, these results demonstrate that selective attention to phonology dynamically engages a left-lateralized network during the critical time-period of perception for achieving phonological analysis goals. These findings support the key role of selective attention to phonology in the development of literacy and motivate future research on the neural bases of the interaction between phonological
Mikyska, Constanze Elisabeth Anna
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...
Bressler, Scott; Masud, Salwa; Bharadwaj, Hari; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara
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.
Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo
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.
Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo
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
Dai, Lengshi; Best, Virginia; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.
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
Payne, Lisa; Rogers, Chad S; Wingfield, Arthur; Sekuler, Robert
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.
Terreros, Gonzalo; Jorratt, Pascal; Aedo, Cristian; Elgoyhen, Ana Belén; Delano, Paul H
During selective attention, subjects voluntarily focus their cognitive resources on a specific stimulus while ignoring others. Top-down filtering of peripheral sensory responses by higher structures of the brain has been proposed as one of the mechanisms responsible for selective attention. A prerequisite to accomplish top-down modulation of the activity of peripheral structures is the presence of corticofugal pathways. The mammalian auditory efferent system is a unique neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through the olivocochlear bundle, and it has been proposed to function as a top-down filter of peripheral auditory responses during attention to cross-modal stimuli. However, to date, there is no conclusive evidence of the involvement of olivocochlear neurons in selective attention paradigms. Here, we trained wild-type and α-9 nicotinic receptor subunit knock-out (KO) mice, which lack cholinergic transmission between medial olivocochlear neurons and outer hair cells, in a two-choice visual discrimination task and studied the behavioral consequences of adding different types of auditory distractors. In addition, we evaluated the effects of contralateral noise on auditory nerve responses as a measure of the individual strength of the olivocochlear reflex. We demonstrate that KO mice have a reduced olivocochlear reflex strength and perform poorly in a visual selective attention paradigm. These results confirm that an intact medial olivocochlear transmission aids in ignoring auditory distraction during selective attention to visual stimuli. The auditory efferent system is a neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through the olivocochlear system. It has been proposed to function as a top-down filter of peripheral auditory responses during attention to cross-modal stimuli. However, to date, there is no conclusive evidence of the involvement of olivocochlear
Downer, Joshua D; Rapone, Brittany; Verhein, Jessica; O'Connor, Kevin N; Sutter, Mitchell L
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
Riecke, Lars; Peters, Judith C; Valente, Giancarlo; Kemper, Valentin G; Formisano, Elia; Sorger, Bettina
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dai, Lengshi; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G
Listeners with normal hearing thresholds (NHTs) differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in the cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding), onset event-related potentials (ERPs) from the scalp (reflecting cortical responses to sound) and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones); however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance), inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with NHTs can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on stimulus characteristics
Full Text Available Listeners with normal hearing thresholds differ in their ability to steer attention to whatever sound source is important. This ability depends on top-down executive control, which modulates the sensory representation of sound in cortex. Yet, this sensory representation also depends on the coding fidelity of the peripheral auditory system. Both of these factors may thus contribute to the individual differences in performance. We designed a selective auditory attention paradigm in which we could simultaneously measure envelope following responses (EFRs, reflecting peripheral coding, onset event-related potentials from the scalp (ERPs, reflecting cortical responses to sound, and behavioral scores. We performed two experiments that varied stimulus conditions to alter the degree to which performance might be limited due to fine stimulus details vs. due to control of attentional focus. Consistent with past work, in both experiments we find that attention strongly modulates cortical ERPs. Importantly, in Experiment I, where coding fidelity limits the task, individual behavioral performance correlates with subcortical coding strength (derived by computing how the EFR is degraded for fully masked tones compared to partially masked tones; however, in this experiment, the effects of attention on cortical ERPs were unrelated to individual subject performance. In contrast, in Experiment II, where sensory cues for segregation are robust (and thus less of a limiting factor on task performance, inter-subject behavioral differences correlate with subcortical coding strength. In addition, after factoring out the influence of subcortical coding strength, behavioral differences are also correlated with the strength of attentional modulation of ERPs. These results support the hypothesis that behavioral abilities amongst listeners with normal hearing thresholds can arise due to both subcortical coding differences and differences in attentional control, depending on
Karns, Christina M; Isbell, Elif; Giuliano, Ryan J; Neville, Helen J
Auditory selective attention is a critical skill for goal-directed behavior, especially where noisy distractions may impede focusing attention. To better understand the developmental trajectory of auditory spatial selective attention in an acoustically complex environment, in the current study we measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) across five age groups: 3-5 years; 10 years; 13 years; 16 years; and young adults. Using a naturalistic dichotic listening paradigm, we characterized the ERP morphology for nonlinguistic and linguistic auditory probes embedded in attended and unattended stories. We documented robust maturational changes in auditory evoked potentials that were specific to the types of probes. Furthermore, we found a remarkable interplay between age and attention-modulation of auditory evoked potentials in terms of morphology and latency from the early years of childhood through young adulthood. The results are consistent with the view that attention can operate across age groups by modulating the amplitude of maturing auditory early-latency evoked potentials or by invoking later endogenous attention processes. Development of these processes is not uniform for probes with different acoustic properties within our acoustically dense speech-based dichotic listening task. In light of the developmental differences we demonstrate, researchers conducting future attention studies of children and adolescents should be wary of combining analyses across diverse ages. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Karns, Christina M.; Isbell, Elif; Giuliano, Ryan J.; Neville, Helen J.
Auditory selective attention is a critical skill for goal-directed behavior, especially where noisy distractions may impede focusing attention. To better understand the developmental trajectory of auditory spatial selective attention in an acoustically complex environment, in the current study we measured auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) in human children across five age groups: 3–5 years; 10 years; 13 years; 16 years; and young adults using a naturalistic dichotic listening paradigm, characterizing the ERP morphology for nonlinguistic and linguistic auditory probes embedded in attended and unattended stories. We documented robust maturational changes in auditory evoked potentials that were specific to the types of probes. Furthermore, we found a remarkable interplay between age and attention-modulation of auditory evoked potentials in terms of morphology and latency from the early years of childhood through young adulthood. The results are consistent with the view that attention can operate across age groups by modulating the amplitude of maturing auditory early-latency evoked potentials or by invoking later endogenous attention processes. Development of these processes is not uniform for probes with different acoustic properties within our acoustically dense speech-based dichotic listening task. In light of the developmental differences we demonstrate, researchers conducting future attention studies of children and adolescents should be wary of combining analyses across diverse ages. PMID:26002721
Lakatos, Peter; Barczak, Annamaria; Neymotin, Samuel A; McGinnis, Tammy; Ross, Deborah; Javitt, Daniel C; O'Connell, Monica Noelle
Previous research demonstrated that while selectively attending to relevant aspects of the external world, the brain extracts pertinent information by aligning its neuronal oscillations to key time points of stimuli or their sampling by sensory organs. This alignment mechanism is termed oscillatory entrainment. We investigated the global, long-timescale dynamics of this mechanism in the primary auditory cortex of nonhuman primates, and hypothesized that lapses of entrainment would correspond to lapses of attention. By examining electrophysiological and behavioral measures, we observed that besides the lack of entrainment by external stimuli, attentional lapses were also characterized by high-amplitude alpha oscillations, with alpha frequency structuring of neuronal ensemble and single-unit operations. Entrainment and alpha-oscillation-dominated periods were strongly anticorrelated and fluctuated rhythmically at an ultra-slow rate. Our results indicate that these two distinct brain states represent externally versus internally oriented computational resources engaged by large-scale task-positive and task-negative functional networks.
Giuliano, Ryan J; Karns, Christina M; Neville, Helen J; Hillyard, Steven A
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual's capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70-90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals.
Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual’s capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70–90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals. PMID:25000526
Rao, Aparna; Rishiq, Dania; Yu, Luodi; Zhang, Yang; Abrams, Harvey
The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of hearing aid use and the effectiveness of ReadMyQuips (RMQ), an auditory training program, on speech perception performance and auditory selective attention using electrophysiological measures. RMQ is an audiovisual training program designed to improve speech perception in everyday noisy listening environments. Participants were adults with mild to moderate hearing loss who were first-time hearing aid users. After 4 weeks of hearing aid use, the experimental group completed RMQ training in 4 weeks, and the control group received listening practice on audiobooks during the same period. Cortical late event-related potentials (ERPs) and the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) were administered at prefitting, pretraining, and post-training to assess effects of hearing aid use and RMQ training. An oddball paradigm allowed tracking of changes in P3a and P3b ERPs to distractors and targets, respectively. Behavioral measures were also obtained while ERPs were recorded from participants. After 4 weeks of hearing aid use but before auditory training, HINT results did not show a statistically significant change, but there was a significant P3a reduction. This reduction in P3a was correlated with improvement in d prime (d') in the selective attention task. Increased P3b amplitudes were also correlated with improvement in d' in the selective attention task. After training, this correlation between P3b and d' remained in the experimental group, but not in the control group. Similarly, HINT testing showed improved speech perception post training only in the experimental group. The criterion calculated in the auditory selective attention task showed a reduction only in the experimental group after training. ERP measures in the auditory selective attention task did not show any changes related to training. Hearing aid use was associated with a decrement in involuntary attention switch to distractors in the auditory selective
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Acute stress is a stereotypical, but multimodal response to a present or imminent challenge overcharging an organism. Among the different branches of this multimodal response, the consequences of glucocorticoid secretion have been extensively investigated, mostly in connection with long-term memory (LTM. However, stress responses comprise other endocrine signaling and altered neuronal activity wholly independent of pituitary regulation. To date, knowledge of the impact of such "paracorticoidal" stress responses on higher cognitive functions is scarce. We investigated the impact of an ecological stressor on the ability to direct selective attention using event-related potentials in humans. Based on research in rodents, we assumed that a stress-induced imbalance of catecholaminergic transmission would impair this ability. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The stressor consisted of a single cold pressor test. Auditory negative difference (Nd and mismatch negativity (MMN were recorded in a tonal dichotic listening task. A time series of such tasks confirmed an increased distractibility occurring 4-7 minutes after onset of the stressor as reflected by an attenuated Nd. Salivary cortisol began to rise 8-11 minutes after onset when no further modulations in the event-related potentials (ERP occurred, thus precluding a causal relationship. This effect may be attributed to a stress-induced activation of mesofrontal dopaminergic projections. It may also be attributed to an activation of noradrenergic projections. Known characteristics of the modulation of ERP by different stress-related ligands were used for further disambiguation of causality. The conjuncture of an attenuated Nd and an increased MMN might be interpreted as indicating a dopaminergic influence. The selective effect on the late portion of the Nd provides another tentative clue for this. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Prior studies have deliberately tracked the adrenocortical influence
Ruggles, Dorea; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara
Listeners can selectively attend to a desired target by directing attention to known target source features, such as location or pitch. Reverberation, however, reduces the reliability of the cues that allow a target source to be segregated and selected from a sound mixture. Given this, it is likely that reverberant energy interferes with selective auditory attention. Anecdotal reports suggest that the ability to focus spatial auditory attention degrades even with early aging, yet there is little evidence that middle-aged listeners have behavioral deficits on tasks requiring selective auditory attention. The current study was designed to look for individual differences in selective attention ability and to see if any such differences correlate with age. Normal-hearing adults, ranging in age from 18 to 55 years, were asked to report a stream of digits located directly ahead in a simulated rectangular room. Simultaneous, competing masker digit streams were simulated at locations 15° left and right of center. The level of reverberation was varied to alter task difficulty by interfering with localization cues (increasing localization blur). Overall, performance was best in the anechoic condition and worst in the high-reverberation condition. Listeners nearly always reported a digit from one of the three competing streams, showing that reverberation did not render the digits unintelligible. Importantly, inter-subject differences were extremely large. These differences, however, were not significantly correlated with age, memory span, or hearing status. These results show that listeners with audiometrically normal pure tone thresholds differ in their ability to selectively attend to a desired source, a task important in everyday communication. Further work is necessary to determine if these differences arise from differences in peripheral auditory function or in more central function.
Anthony D Cate
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent neuroimaging studies have revealed that putatively unimodal regions of visual cortex can be activated during auditory tasks in sighted as well as in blind subjects. However, the task determinants and functional significance of auditory occipital activations (AOAs remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined AOAs in an intermodal selective attention task to distinguish whether they were stimulus-bound or recruited by higher-level cognitive operations associated with auditory attention. Cortical surface mapping showed that auditory occipital activations were localized to retinotopic visual cortex subserving the far peripheral visual field. AOAs depended strictly on the sustained engagement of auditory attention and were enhanced in more difficult listening conditions. In contrast, unattended sounds produced no AOAs regardless of their intensity, spatial location, or frequency. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Auditory attention, but not passive exposure to sounds, routinely activated peripheral regions of visual cortex when subjects attended to sound sources outside the visual field. Functional connections between auditory cortex and visual cortex subserving the peripheral visual field appear to underlie the generation of AOAs, which may reflect the priming of visual regions to process soon-to-appear objects associated with unseen sound sources.
Schwent, V. L.; Hillyard, S. A.; Galambos, R.
A randomized sequence of tone bursts was delivered to subjects at short inter-stimulus intervals with the tones originating from one of three spatially and frequency specific channels. The subject's task was to count the tones in one of the three channels at a time, ignoring the other two, and press a button after each tenth tone. In different conditions, tones were given at high and low intensities and with or without a background white noise to mask the tones. The N sub 1 component of the auditory vertex potential was found to be larger in response to attended channel tones in relation to unattended tones. This selective enhancement of N sub 1 was minimal for loud tones presented without noise and increased markedly for the lower tone intensity and in noise added conditions.
Jones, Pete R.; Moore, David R.; Amitay, Sygal
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…
Oberem, Josefa; Koch, Iring; Fels, Janina
Using a binaural-listening paradigm, age-related differences in the ability to intentionally switch auditory selective attention between two speakers, defined by their spatial location, were examined. Therefore 40 normal-hearing participants (20 young, Ø 24.8years; 20 older Ø 67.8years) were tested. The spatial reproduction of stimuli was provided by headphones using head-related-transfer-functions of an artificial head. Spoken number words of two speakers were presented simultaneously to participants from two out of eight locations on the horizontal plane. Guided by a visual cue indicating the spatial location of the target speaker, the participants were asked to categorize the target's number word into smaller vs. greater than five while ignoring the distractor's speech. Results showed significantly higher reaction times and error rates for older participants. The relative influence of the spatial switch of the target-speaker (switch or repetition of speaker's direction in space) was identical across age groups. Congruency effects (stimuli spoken by target and distractor may evoke the same answer or different answers) were increased for older participants and depend on the target's position. Results suggest that the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention to a new cued location was unimpaired whereas it was generally harder for older participants to suppress processing the distractor's speech. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Humes, Larry E; Lee, Jae Hee; Coughlin, Maureen P
In this study, two experiments were conducted on auditory selective and divided attention in which the listening task involved the identification of words in sentences spoken by one talker while a second talker produced a very similar competing sentence. Ten young normal-hearing (YNH) and 13 elderly hearing-impaired (EHI) listeners participated in each experiment. The type of attention cue used was the main difference between experiments. Across both experiments, several consistent trends were observed. First, in eight of the nine divided-attention tasks across both experiments, the EHI subjects performed significantly worse than the YNH subjects. By comparison, significant differences in performance between age groups were only observed on three of the nine selective-attention tasks. Finally, there were consistent individual differences in performance across both experiments. Correlational analyses performed on the data from the 13 older adults suggested that the individual differences in performance were associated with individual differences in memory (digit span). Among the elderly, differences in age or differences in hearing loss did not contribute to the individual differences observed in either experiment.
Gomes, Hilary; Barrett, Sophia; Duff, Martin; Barnhardt, Jack; Ritter, Walter
We examined the impact of perceptual load by manipulating interstimulus interval (ISI) in two auditory selective attention studies that varied in the difficulty of the target discrimination. In the paradigm, channels were separated by frequency and target/deviant tones were softer in intensity. Three ISI conditions were presented: fast (300ms), medium (600ms) and slow (900ms). Behavioral (accuracy and RT) and electrophysiological measures (Nd, P3b) were observed. In both studies, participants evidenced poorer accuracy during the fast ISI condition than the slow suggesting that ISI impacted task difficulty. However, none of the three measures of processing examined, Nd amplitude, P3b amplitude elicited by unattended deviant stimuli, or false alarms to unattended deviants, were impacted by ISI in the manner predicted by perceptual load theory. The prediction based on perceptual load theory, that there would be more processing of irrelevant stimuli under conditions of low as compared to high perceptual load, was not supported in these auditory studies. Task difficulty/perceptual load impacts the processing of irrelevant stimuli in the auditory modality differently than predicted by perceptual load theory, and perhaps differently than in the visual modality.
Stevens, Courtney; Paulsen, David; Yasen, Alia; Neville, Helen
Previous neuroimaging studies indicate that lower socio-economic status (SES) is associated with reduced effects of selective attention on auditory processing. Here, we investigated whether lower SES is also associated with differences in a stimulus-driven aspect of auditory processing: the neural refractory period, or reduced amplitude response at faster rates of stimulus presentation. Thirty-two children aged 3 to 8 years participated, and were divided into two SES groups based on maternal education. Event-related brain potentials were recorded to probe stimuli presented at interstimulus intervals (ISIs) of 200, 500, or 1000 ms. These probes were superimposed on story narratives when attended and ignored, permitting a simultaneous experimental manipulation of selective attention. Results indicated that group differences in refractory periods differed as a function of attention condition. Children from higher SES backgrounds showed full neural recovery by 500 ms for attended stimuli, but required at least 1000 ms for unattended stimuli. In contrast, children from lower SES backgrounds showed similar refractory effects to attended and unattended stimuli, with full neural recovery by 500 ms. Thus, in higher SES children only, one functional consequence of selective attention is attenuation of the response to unattended stimuli, particularly at rapid ISIs, altering basic properties of the auditory refractory period. Together, these data indicate that differences in selective attention impact basic aspects of auditory processing in children from lower SES backgrounds. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Saupe, Katja; Koelsch, Stefan; Rübsamen, Rudolf
To investigate the influence of spatial information in auditory scene analysis, polyphonic music (three parts in different timbres) was composed and presented in free field. Each part contained large falling interval jumps in the melody and the task of subjects was to detect these events in one part ("target part") while ignoring the other parts. All parts were either presented from the same location (0 degrees; overlap condition) or from different locations (-28 degrees, 0 degrees, and 28 degrees or -56 degrees, 0 degrees, and 56 degrees in the azimuthal plane), with the target part being presented either at 0 degrees or at one of the right-sided locations. Results showed that spatial separation of 28 degrees was sufficient for a significant improvement in target detection (i.e., in the detection of large interval jumps) compared to the overlap condition, irrespective of the position (frontal or right) of the target part. A larger spatial separation of the parts resulted in further improvements only if the target part was lateralized. These data support the notion of improvement in the suppression of interfering signals with spatial sound source separation. Additionally, the data show that the position of the relevant sound source influences auditory performance.
Stewart, Hannah J.; Amitay, Sygal
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...
Strait, Dana L.; Slater, Jessica; Abecassis, Victor; Kraus, Nina
Attention induces synchronicity in neuronal firing for the encoding of a given stimulus at the exclusion of others. Recently, we reported decreased variability in scalp-recorded cortical evoked potentials to attended compared with ignored speech in adults. Here we aimed to determine the developmental time course for this neural index of auditory…
Miran, Sina; Akram, Sahar; Sheikhattar, Alireza; Simon, Jonathan Z.; Zhang, Tao; Babadi, Behtash
Humans are able to identify and track a target speaker amid a cacophony of acoustic interference, an ability which is often referred to as the cocktail party phenomenon. Results from several decades of studying this phenomenon have culminated in recent years in various promising attempts to decode the attentional state of a listener in a competing-speaker environment from non-invasive neuroimaging recordings such as magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG). To this end, most existing approaches compute correlation-based measures by either regressing the features of each speech stream to the M/EEG channels (the decoding approach) or vice versa (the encoding approach). To produce robust results, these procedures require multiple trials for training purposes. Also, their decoding accuracy drops significantly when operating at high temporal resolutions. Thus, they are not well-suited for emerging real-time applications such as smart hearing aid devices or brain-computer interface systems, where training data might be limited and high temporal resolutions are desired. In this paper, we close this gap by developing an algorithmic pipeline for real-time decoding of the attentional state. Our proposed framework consists of three main modules: (1) Real-time and robust estimation of encoding or decoding coefficients, achieved by sparse adaptive filtering, (2) Extracting reliable markers of the attentional state, and thereby generalizing the widely-used correlation-based measures thereof, and (3) Devising a near real-time state-space estimator that translates the noisy and variable attention markers to robust and statistically interpretable estimates of the attentional state with minimal delay. Our proposed algorithms integrate various techniques including forgetting factor-based adaptive filtering, ℓ1-regularization, forward-backward splitting algorithms, fixed-lag smoothing, and Expectation Maximization. We validate the performance of our proposed
Full Text Available Humans are able to identify and track a target speaker amid a cacophony of acoustic interference, an ability which is often referred to as the cocktail party phenomenon. Results from several decades of studying this phenomenon have culminated in recent years in various promising attempts to decode the attentional state of a listener in a competing-speaker environment from non-invasive neuroimaging recordings such as magnetoencephalography (MEG and electroencephalography (EEG. To this end, most existing approaches compute correlation-based measures by either regressing the features of each speech stream to the M/EEG channels (the decoding approach or vice versa (the encoding approach. To produce robust results, these procedures require multiple trials for training purposes. Also, their decoding accuracy drops significantly when operating at high temporal resolutions. Thus, they are not well-suited for emerging real-time applications such as smart hearing aid devices or brain-computer interface systems, where training data might be limited and high temporal resolutions are desired. In this paper, we close this gap by developing an algorithmic pipeline for real-time decoding of the attentional state. Our proposed framework consists of three main modules: (1 Real-time and robust estimation of encoding or decoding coefficients, achieved by sparse adaptive filtering, (2 Extracting reliable markers of the attentional state, and thereby generalizing the widely-used correlation-based measures thereof, and (3 Devising a near real-time state-space estimator that translates the noisy and variable attention markers to robust and statistically interpretable estimates of the attentional state with minimal delay. Our proposed algorithms integrate various techniques including forgetting factor-based adaptive filtering, ℓ1-regularization, forward-backward splitting algorithms, fixed-lag smoothing, and Expectation Maximization. We validate the performance of our
Yoncheva, Yuliya N.; Maurer, Urs; Zevin, Jason D.; McCandliss, Bruce D.
ERP responses to spoken words are sensitive to both rhyming effects and effects of associated spelling patterns. Are such effects automatically elicited by spoken words or dependent on selectively attending to phonology? To address this question, ERP responses to spoken word pairs were investigated under two equally demanding listening tasks that…
Karla Maria Ibraim da Freiria Elias
Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To verify the auditory selective attention in children with stroke. METHODS: Dichotic tests of binaural separation (non-verbal and consonant-vowel and binaural integration - digits and Staggered Spondaic Words Test (SSW - were applied in 13 children (7 boys, from 7 to 16 years, with unilateral stroke confirmed by neurological examination and neuroimaging. RESULTS: The attention performance showed significant differences in comparison to the control group in both kinds of tests. In the non-verbal test, identifications the ear opposite the lesion in the free recall stage was diminished and, in the following stages, a difficulty in directing attention was detected. In the consonant- vowel test, a modification in perceptual asymmetry and difficulty in focusing in the attended stages was found. In the digits and SSW tests, ipsilateral, contralateral and bilateral deficits were detected, depending on the characteristics of the lesions and demand of the task. CONCLUSION: Stroke caused auditory attention deficits when dealing with simultaneous sources of auditory information.
Jaeger, Manuela; Bleichner, Martin G; Bauer, Anna-Katharina R; Mirkovic, Bojana; Debener, Stefan
The acoustic envelope of human speech correlates with the syllabic rate (4-8 Hz) and carries important information for intelligibility, which is typically compromised in multi-talker, noisy environments. In order to better understand the dynamics of selective auditory attention to low frequency modulated sound sources, we conducted a two-stream auditory steady-state response (ASSR) selective attention electroencephalogram (EEG) study. The two streams consisted of 4 and 7 Hz amplitude and frequency modulated sounds presented from the left and right side. One of two streams had to be attended while the other had to be ignored. The attended stream always contained a target, allowing for the behavioral confirmation of the attention manipulation. EEG ASSR power analysis revealed a significant increase in 7 Hz power for the attend compared to the ignore conditions. There was no significant difference in 4 Hz power when the 4 Hz stream had to be attended compared to when it had to be ignored. This lack of 4 Hz attention modulation could be explained by a distracting effect of a third frequency at 3 Hz (beat frequency) perceivable when the 4 and 7 Hz streams are presented simultaneously. Taken together our results show that low frequency modulations at syllabic rate are modulated by selective spatial attention. Whether attention effects act as enhancement of the attended stream or suppression of to be ignored stream may depend on how well auditory streams can be segregated.
Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and...
Full Text Available The auditory stimuli provide information about the objects and events around us. They can also carry biologically significant emotional information (such as unseen dangers and conspecific vocalizations, which provides cues for allocation of attention and mental resources. Here, we investigated whether task-irrelevant auditory emotional information can provide cues for orientation of auditory spatial attention. We employed a covert spatial orienting task: the dot-probe task. In each trial, two task irrelevant auditory cues were simultaneously presented at two separate locations (left-right or front-back. Environmental sounds were selected to form emotional vs. neutral, emotional vs. emotional, and neutral vs. neutral cue pairs. The participants’ task was to detect the location of an acoustic target that was presented immediately after the task-irrelevant auditory cues. The target was presented at the same location as one of the auditory cues. The results indicated that participants were significantly faster to locate the target when it replaced the negative cue compared to when it replaced the neutral cue. The positive cues did not produce a clear attentional bias. Further, same valence pairs (emotional-emotional or neutral-neutral did not modulate reaction times due to a lack of spatial attention capture by one cue in the pair. Taken together, the results indicate that negative affect can provide cues for the orientation of spatial attention in the auditory domain.
Gherri, Elena; Eimer, Martin
The ability to drive safely is disrupted by cell phone conversations, and this has been attributed to a diversion of attention from the visual environment. We employed behavioral and ERP measures to study whether the attentive processing of spoken messages is, in itself, sufficient to produce visual-attentional deficits. Participants searched for visual targets defined by a unique feature (Experiment 1) or feature conjunction (Experiment 2), and simultaneously listened to narrated text passages that had to be recalled later (encoding condition), or heard backward-played speech sounds that could be ignored (control condition). Responses to targets were slower in the encoding condition, and ERPs revealed that the visual processing of search arrays and the attentional selection of target stimuli were less efficient in the encoding relative to the control condition. Results demonstrate that the attentional processing of visual information is impaired when concurrent spoken messages are encoded and maintained, in line with cross-modal links in selective attention, but inconsistent with the view that attentional resources are modality-specific. The distraction of visual attention by active listening could contribute to the adverse effects of cell phone use on driving performance.
Full Text Available A series of computer simulations using variants of a formal model of attention (Melara & Algom, 2003 probed the role of rejection positivity (RP, a slow-wave electroencephalographic (EEG component, in the inhibitory control of distraction. Behavioral and EEG data were recorded as participants performed auditory selective attention tasks. Simulations that modulated processes of distractor inhibition accounted well for reaction-time (RT performance, whereas those that modulated target excitation did not. A model that incorporated RP from actual EEG recordings in estimating distractor inhibition was superior in predicting changes in RT as a function of distractor salience across conditions. A model that additionally incorporated momentary fluctuations in EEG as the source of trial-to-trial variation in performance precisely predicted individual RTs within each condition. The results lend support to the linking proposition that RP controls the speed of responding to targets through the inhibitory control of distractors.
Schwent, V. L.; Hillyard, S. A.; Galambos, R.
The effects of varying the rate of delivery of dichotic tone pip stimuli on selective attention measured by evoked-potential amplitudes and signal detectability scores were studied. The subjects attended to one channel (ear) of tones, ignored the other, and pressed a button whenever occasional targets - tones of a slightly higher pitch were detected in the attended ear. Under separate conditions, randomized interstimulus intervals were short, medium, and long. Another study compared the effects of attention on the N1 component of the auditory evoked potential for tone pips presented alone and when white noise was added to make the tones barely above detectability threshold in a three-channel listening task. Major conclusions are that (1) N1 is enlarged to stimuli in an attended channel only in the short interstimulus interval condition (averaging 350 msec), (2) N1 and P3 are related to different modes of selective attention, and (3) attention selectivity in multichannel listening task is greater when tones are faint and/or difficult to detect.
Riecke, Lars; Peters, Judith C; Valente, Giancarlo; Poser, Benedikt A; Kemper, Valentin G; Formisano, Elia; Sorger, Bettina
Paying selective attention to an audio frequency selectively enhances activity within primary auditory cortex (PAC) at the tonotopic site (frequency channel) representing that frequency. Animal PAC neurons achieve this 'frequency-specific attentional spotlight' by adapting their frequency tuning,
Full Text Available Sergio L Schmidt,1,2 Ana Lucia Novais Carvaho,3 Eunice N Simoes2 1Department of Neurophysiology, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 2Neurology Department, Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 3Department of Psychology, Fluminense Federal University, Niteroi, Brazil Abstract: The relationship between handedness and attentional performance is poorly understood. Continuous performance tests (CPTs using visual stimuli are commonly used to assess subjects suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. However, auditory CPTs are considered more useful than visual ones to evaluate classroom attentional problems. A previous study reported that there was a significant effect of handedness on students’ performance on a visual CPT. Here, we examined whether handedness would also affect CPT performance using only auditory stimuli. From an initial sample of 337 students, 11 matched pairs were selected. Repeated ANOVAs showed a significant effect of handedness on attentional performance that was exhibited even in the control group. Left-handers made more commission errors than right-handers. The results were interpreted considering that the association between ADHD and handedness reflects that consistent left-handers are less lateralized and have decreased interhemispheric connections. Auditory attentional data suggest that left-handers have problems in the impulsive/hyperactivity domain. In ADHD, clinical therapeutics and rehabilitation must take handedness into account because consistent sinistrals are more impulsive than dextrals. Keywords: attention, ADHD, consistent left-handers, auditory attention, continuous performance test
Mahajan, Yatin; Davis, Chris; Kim, Jeesun
Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR). The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioral evidence). The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex. PMID:25334021
Mahajan, Yatin; Davis, Chris; Kim, Jeesun
Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR). The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioral evidence). The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex.
Full Text Available Auditory selective attention enables task-relevant auditory events to be enhanced and irrelevant ones suppressed. In the present study we used a frequency tagging paradigm to investigate the effects of attention on auditory steady state responses (ASSR. The ASSR was elicited by simultaneously presenting two different streams of white noise, amplitude modulated at either 16 and 23.5 Hz or 32.5 and 40 Hz. The two different frequencies were presented to each ear and participants were instructed to selectively attend to one ear or the other (confirmed by behavioral evidence. The results revealed that modulation of ASSR by selective attention depended on the modulation frequencies used and whether the activation was contralateral or ipsilateral. Attention enhanced the ASSR for contralateral activation from either ear for 16 Hz and suppressed the ASSR for ipsilateral activation for 16 Hz and 23.5 Hz. For modulation frequencies of 32.5 or 40 Hz attention did not affect the ASSR. We propose that the pattern of enhancement and inhibition may be due to binaural suppressive effects on ipsilateral stimulation and the dominance of contralateral hemisphere during dichotic listening. In addition to the influence of cortical processing asymmetries, these results may also reflect a bias towards inhibitory ipsilateral and excitatory contralateral activation present at the level of inferior colliculus. That the effect of attention was clearest for the lower modulation frequencies suggests that such effects are likely mediated by cortical brain structures or by those in close proximity to cortex.
Stewart, Hannah J; Amitay, Sygal
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.
Tsang, William W N; Lam, Nazca K Y; Lau, Kit N L; Leung, Harry C H; Tsang, Crystal M S; Lu, Xi
To investigate the effects of aging on postural control and cognitive performance in single- and dual-tasking. A cross-sectional comparative design was conducted in a university motion analysis laboratory. Young adults (n = 30; age 21.9 ± 2.4 years) and older adults (n = 30; age 71.9 ± 6.4 years) were recruited. Postural control after stepping down was measured with and without performing a concurrent auditory response task. Measurement included: (1) reaction time and (2) error rate in performing the cognitive task; (3) total sway path and (4) total sway area after stepping down. Our findings showed that the older adults had significantly longer reaction times and higher error rates than the younger subjects in both the single-tasking and dual-tasking conditions. The older adults had significantly longer reaction times and higher error rates when dual-tasking compared with single-tasking, but the younger adults did not. The older adults demonstrated significantly less total sway path, but larger total sway area in single-leg stance after stepping down than the young adults. The older adults showed no significant change in total sway path and area between the dual-tasking and when compared with single-tasking conditions, while the younger adults showed significant decreases in sway. Older adults prioritize postural control by sacrificing cognitive performance when faced with dual-tasking.
Martens, Sander; Johnson, Addie; Bolle, Martje; Borst, Jelmer
The human mind is severely limited in processing concurrent information at a conscious level of awareness. These temporal restrictions are clearly reflected in the attentional blink (AB), a deficit in reporting the second of two targets when it occurs 200-500 ms after the first. However, we recently
Hannah Jamieson Stewart
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.
Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G; Best, Virginia
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.
Roberts, K. L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
modelled using a log-logistic function than an exponential function. A more challenging difference is that in the partial report task, there is more target-distractor confusion for auditory than visual stimuli. This failure of object-formation (prior to attentional object-selection) is not yet effectively......We report initial progress towards creating an auditory analogue of a mathematical model of visual attention: the ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990). TVA is one of the best established models of visual attention. It assumes that visual stimuli are initially processed in parallel......, and that there is a ‘race’ for selection and representation in visual short term memory (VSTM). In the basic TVA task, participants view a brief display of letters and are asked to report either all of the letters (whole report) or a subset of the letters (e.g., the red letters; partial report). Fitting the model...
Victorino, Kristen R; Schwartz, Richard G
Children with specific language impairment (SLI) appear to demonstrate deficits in attention and its control. Selective attention involves the cognitive control of attention directed toward a relevant stimulus and simultaneous inhibition of attention toward irrelevant stimuli. The current study examined attention control during a cross-modal word recognition task. Twenty participants with SLI (ages 9-12 years) and 20 age-matched peers with typical language development (TLD) listened to words through headphones and were instructed to attend to the words in 1 ear while ignoring the words in the other ear. They were simultaneously presented with pictures and asked to make a lexical decision about whether the pictures and auditory words were the same or different. Accuracy and reaction time were measured in 5 conditions, in which the stimulus in the unattended channel was manipulated. The groups performed with similar accuracy. Compared with their peers with TLD, children with SLI had slower reaction times overall and different within-group patterns of performance by condition. Children with TLD showed efficient inhibitory control in conditions that required active suppression of competing stimuli. Participants with SLI had difficulty exerting control over their auditory attention in all conditions, with particular difficulty inhibiting distractors of all types.
Vera Lawo; Iring Koch
Objectives. Using a novel task-switching variant of dichotic selective listening, we examined age-related differences in the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention between 2 speakers defined by their sex.
Kunert, R.; Jongman, S.R.
Many natural auditory signals, including music and language, change periodically. The effect of such auditory rhythms on the brain is unclear however. One widely held view, dynamic attending theory, proposes that the attentional system entrains to the rhythm and increases attention at moments of
Jacobsen, Thomas; Horvath, Janos; Schroger, Erich; Lattner, Sonja; Widmann, Andreas; Winkler, Istvan
The effects of lexicality on auditory change detection based on auditory sensory memory representations were investigated by presenting oddball sequences of repeatedly presented stimuli, while participants ignored the auditory stimuli. In a cross-linguistic study of Hungarian and German participants, stimulus sequences were composed of words that…
Menning, Hans; Ackermann, Hermann; Hertrich, Ingo; Mathiak, Klaus
Previous studies have shown that cross-modal processing affects perception at a variety of neuronal levels. In this study, event-related brain responses were recorded via whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG). Spatial auditory attention was directed via tactile pre-cues (primes) to one of four locations in the peripersonal space (left and right hand versus face). Auditory stimuli were white noise bursts, convoluted with head-related transfer functions, which ensured spatial perception of the four locations. Tactile primes (200-300 ms prior to acoustic onset) were applied randomly to one of these locations. Attentional load was controlled by three different visual distraction tasks. The auditory P50m (about 50 ms after stimulus onset) showed a significant "proximity" effect (larger responses to face stimulation as well as a "contralaterality" effect between side of stimulation and hemisphere). The tactile primes essentially reduced both the P50m and N100m components. However, facial tactile pre-stimulation yielded an enhanced ipsilateral N100m. These results show that earlier responses are mainly governed by exogenous stimulus properties whereas cross-sensory interaction is spatially selective at a later (endogenous) processing stage.
Stavrinos, Georgios; Iliadou, Vassiliki-Maria; Edwards, Lindsey; Sirimanna, Tony; Bamiou, Doris-Eva
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
Mulligan, Neil W; Duke, Marquinn; Cooper, Angela W
Traditional theorizing stresses the importance of attentional state during encoding for later memory, based primarily on research with explicit memory. Recent research has begun to investigate the role of attention in implicit memory but has focused almost exclusively on priming in the visual modality. The present experiments examined the effect of divided attention on auditory implicit memory, using auditory perceptual identification, word-stem completion and word-fragment completion. Participants heard study words under full attention conditions or while simultaneously carrying out a distractor task (the divided attention condition). In Experiment 1, a distractor task with low response frequency failed to disrupt later auditory priming (but diminished explicit memory as assessed with auditory recognition). In Experiment 2, a distractor task with greater response frequency disrupted priming on all three of the auditory priming tasks as well as the explicit test. These results imply that although auditory priming is less reliant on attention than explicit memory, it is still greatly affected by at least some divided-attention manipulations. These results are consistent with research using visual priming tasks and have relevance for hypotheses regarding attention and auditory priming.
Salo, Emma; Salmela, Viljami; Salmi, Juha; Numminen, Jussi; Alho, Kimmo
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.
Ahveninen, Jyrki; Hämäläinen, Matti; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P.; Ahlfors, Seppo P.; Huang, Samantha; Lin, Fa-Hsuan; Raij, Tommi; Sams, Mikko; Vasios, Christos E.; Belliveau, John W.
How can we concentrate on relevant sounds in noisy environments? A “gain model” suggests that auditory attention simply amplifies relevant and suppresses irrelevant afferent inputs. However, it is unclear whether this suffices when attended and ignored features overlap to stimulate the same neuronal receptive fields. A “tuning model” suggests that, in addition to gain, attention modulates feature selectivity of auditory neurons. We recorded magnetoencephalography, EEG, and functional MRI (fMR...
Bidet-Caulet, Aurélie; Buchanan, Kelly G.; Viswanath, Humsini; Black, Jessica; Scabini, Donatella; Bonnet-Brilhault, Frédérique; Knight, Robert T.
There is growing evidence that auditory selective attention operates via distinct facilitatory and inhibitory mechanisms enabling selective enhancement and suppression of sound processing, respectively. The lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) plays a crucial role in the top-down control of selective attention. However, whether the LPFC controls facilitatory, inhibitory, or both attentional mechanisms is unclear. Facilitatory and inhibitory mechanisms were assessed, in patients with LPFC damage, ...
Koelewijn, T.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.
It is well known that auditory and visual onsets presented at a particular location can capture a person's visual attention. However, the question of whether such attentional capture disappears when attention is focused endogenously beforehand has not yet been answered. Moreover, previous studies
Koelewijn, Thomas; Bronkhorst, Adelbert; Theeuwes, Jan
It is well known that auditory and visual onsets presented at a particular location can capture a person's visual attention. However, the question of whether such attentional capture disappears when attention is focused endogenously beforehand has not yet been answered. Moreover, previous studies have not differentiated between capture by onsets…
Isbell, Elif; Wray, Amanda Hampton; Neville, Helen J.
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…
Larson, Eric; Lee, Adrian K C
Switching attention between different stimuli of interest based on particular task demands is important in many everyday settings. In audition in particular, switching attention between different speakers of interest that are talking concurrently is often necessary for effective communication. Recently, it has been shown by multiple studies that auditory selective attention suppresses the representation of unwanted streams in auditory cortical areas in favor of the target stream of interest. However, the neural processing that guides this selective attention process is not well understood. Here we investigated the cortical mechanisms involved in switching attention based on two different types of auditory features. By combining magneto- and electro-encephalography (M-EEG) with an anatomical MRI constraint, we examined the cortical dynamics involved in switching auditory attention based on either spatial or pitch features. We designed a paradigm where listeners were cued in the beginning of each trial to switch or maintain attention halfway through the presentation of concurrent target and masker streams. By allowing listeners time to switch during a gap in the continuous target and masker stimuli, we were able to isolate the mechanisms involved in endogenous, top-down attention switching. Our results show a double dissociation between the involvement of right temporoparietal junction (RTPJ) and the left inferior parietal supramarginal part (LIPSP) in tasks requiring listeners to switch attention based on space and pitch features, respectively, suggesting that switching attention based on these features involves at least partially separate processes or behavioral strategies. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Strait, Dana L; Kraus, Nina; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Ashley, Richard
A growing body of research suggests that cognitive functions, such as attention and memory, drive perception by tuning sensory mechanisms to relevant acoustic features. Long-term musical experience also modulates lower-level auditory function, although the mechanisms by which this occurs remain uncertain. In order to tease apart the mechanisms that drive perceptual enhancements in musicians, we posed the question: do well-developed cognitive abilities fine-tune auditory perception in a top-down fashion? We administered a standardized battery of perceptual and cognitive tests to adult musicians and non-musicians, including tasks either more or less susceptible to cognitive control (e.g., backward versus simultaneous masking) and more or less dependent on auditory or visual processing (e.g., auditory versus visual attention). Outcomes indicate lower perceptual thresholds in musicians specifically for auditory tasks that relate with cognitive abilities, such as backward masking and auditory attention. These enhancements were observed in the absence of group differences for the simultaneous masking and visual attention tasks. Our results suggest that long-term musical practice strengthens cognitive functions and that these functions benefit auditory skills. Musical training bolsters higher-level mechanisms that, when impaired, relate to language and literacy deficits. Thus, musical training may serve to lessen the impact of these deficits by strengthening the corticofugal system for hearing. 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Joel S Snyder
Full Text Available Auditory perception and cognition entails both low-level and high-level processes, which are likely to interact with each other to create our rich conscious experience of soundscapes. Recent research that we review has revealed numerous influences of high-level factors, such as attention, intention, and prior experience, on conscious auditory perception. And recently, studies have shown that auditory scene analysis tasks can exhibit multistability in a manner very similar to ambiguous visual stimuli, presenting a unique opportunity to study neural correlates of auditory awareness and the extent to which mechanisms of perception are shared across sensory modalities. Research has also led to a growing number of techniques through which auditory perception can be manipulated and even completely suppressed. Such findings have important consequences for our understanding of the mechanisms of perception and also should allow scientists to precisely distinguish the influences of different higher-level influences.
Van der Burg, Erik; Nieuwenstein, Mark R.; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N. L.
In the present study we investigated whether a task-irrelevant distractor can induce a visual attentional blink pattern. Participants were asked to detect only a visual target letter (A, B, or C) and to ignore the preceding auditory, visual, or audiovisual distractor. An attentional blink was
Vachon, Francois; Hughes, Robert W.; Jones, Dylan M.
The role of memory in behavioral distraction by auditory attentional capture was investigated: We examined whether capture is a product of the novelty of the capturing event (i.e., the absence of a recent memory for the event) or its violation of learned expectancies on the basis of a memory for an event structure. Attentional capture--indicated…
Tartar, Jaime L; de Almeida, Kristen; McIntosh, Roger C; Rosselli, Monica; Nash, Allan J
Emotionally negative stimuli serve as a mechanism of biological preparedness to enhance attention. We hypothesized that emotionally negative stimuli would also serve as motivational priming to increase attention resources for subsequent stimuli. To that end, we tested 11 participants in a dual sensory modality task, wherein emotionally negative pictures were contrasted with emotionally neutral pictures and each picture was followed 600 ms later by a tone in an auditory oddball paradigm. Each trial began with a picture displayed for 200 ms; half of the trials began with an emotionally negative picture and half of the trials began with an emotionally neutral picture; 600 ms following picture presentation, the participants heard either an oddball tone or a standard tone. At the end of each trial (picture followed by tone), the participants categorized, with a button press, the picture and tone combination. As expected, and consistent with previous studies, we found an enhanced visual late positive potential (latency range=300-700 ms) to the negative picture stimuli. We further found that compared to neutral pictures, negative pictures resulted in early attention and orienting effects to subsequent tones (measured through an enhanced N1 and N2) and sustained attention effects only to the subsequent oddball tones (measured through late processing negativity, latency range=400-700 ms). Number pad responses to both the picture and tone category showed the shortest response latencies and greatest percentage of correct picture-tone categorization on the negative picture followed by oddball tone trials. Consistent with previous work on natural selective attention, our results support the idea that emotional stimuli can alter attention resource allocation. This finding has broad implications for human attention and performance as it specifically shows the conditions in which an emotionally negative stimulus can result in extended stimulus evaluation. Copyright © 2011
Ahveninen, Jyrki; Hämäläinen, Matti; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Ahlfors, Seppo P; Huang, Samantha; Lin, Fa-Hsuan; Raij, Tommi; Sams, Mikko; Vasios, Christos E; Belliveau, John W
How can we concentrate on relevant sounds in noisy environments? A "gain model" suggests that auditory attention simply amplifies relevant and suppresses irrelevant afferent inputs. However, it is unclear whether this suffices when attended and ignored features overlap to stimulate the same neuronal receptive fields. A "tuning model" suggests that, in addition to gain, attention modulates feature selectivity of auditory neurons. We recorded magnetoencephalography, EEG, and functional MRI (fMRI) while subjects attended to tones delivered to one ear and ignored opposite-ear inputs. The attended ear was switched every 30 s to quantify how quickly the effects evolve. To produce overlapping inputs, the tones were presented alone vs. during white-noise masking notch-filtered ±1/6 octaves around the tone center frequencies. Amplitude modulation (39 vs. 41 Hz in opposite ears) was applied for "frequency tagging" of attention effects on maskers. Noise masking reduced early (50-150 ms; N1) auditory responses to unattended tones. In support of the tuning model, selective attention canceled out this attenuating effect but did not modulate the gain of 50-150 ms activity to nonmasked tones or steady-state responses to the maskers themselves. These tuning effects originated at nonprimary auditory cortices, purportedly occupied by neurons that, without attention, have wider frequency tuning than ±1/6 octaves. The attentional tuning evolved rapidly, during the first few seconds after attention switching, and correlated with behavioral discrimination performance. In conclusion, a simple gain model alone cannot explain auditory selective attention. In nonprimary auditory cortices, attention-driven short-term plasticity retunes neurons to segregate relevant sounds from noise.
Dick, Frederic K; Lehet, Matt I; Callaghan, Martina F; Keller, Tim A; Sereno, Martin I; Holt, Lori L
Auditory selective attention is vital in natural soundscapes. But it is unclear how attentional focus on the primary dimension of auditory representation-acoustic frequency-might modulate basic auditory functional topography during active listening. In contrast to visual selective attention, which is supported by motor-mediated optimization of input across saccades and pupil dilation, the primate auditory system has fewer means of differentially sampling the world. This makes spectrally-directed endogenous attention a particularly crucial aspect of auditory attention. Using a novel functional paradigm combined with quantitative MRI, we establish in male and female listeners that human frequency-band-selective attention drives activation in both myeloarchitectonically estimated auditory core, and across the majority of tonotopically mapped nonprimary auditory cortex. The attentionally driven best-frequency maps show strong concordance with sensory-driven maps in the same subjects across much of the temporal plane, with poor concordance in areas outside traditional auditory cortex. There is significantly greater activation across most of auditory cortex when best frequency is attended, versus ignored; the same regions do not show this enhancement when attending to the least-preferred frequency band. Finally, the results demonstrate that there is spatial correspondence between the degree of myelination and the strength of the tonotopic signal across a number of regions in auditory cortex. Strong frequency preferences across tonotopically mapped auditory cortex spatially correlate with R 1 -estimated myeloarchitecture, indicating shared functional and anatomical organization that may underlie intrinsic auditory regionalization. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Perception is an active process, especially sensitive to attentional state. Listeners direct auditory attention to track a violin's melody within an ensemble performance, or to follow a voice in a crowded cafe. Although
Full Text Available Background and Aim: Bilingualism, as one of the discussing issues of psychology and linguistics, can influence the speech processing. Of several tests for assessing auditory processing, dichotic digit test has been designed to study divided auditory attention. Our study was performed to compare the auditory attention between Iranian bilingual and monolingual young adults. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 60 students including 30 Turkish-Persian bilinguals and 30 Persian monolinguals aged between 18 to 30 years in both genders. Dichotic digit test was performed on young individuals with normal peripheral hearing and right hand preference. Results: No significant correlation was found between the results of dichotic digit test of monolinguals and bilinguals (p=0.195, and also between the results of right and left ears in monolingual (p=0.460 and bilingual (p=0.054 groups. The mean score of women was significantly more than men (p=0.031. Conclusion: There was no significant difference between bilinguals and monolinguals in divided auditory attention; and it seems that acquisition of second language in lower ages has no noticeable effect on this type of auditory attention.
Koelewijn, T.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.
It is well known that auditory and visual onsets presented at a particular location can capture a person's visual attention. However, the question of whether such attentional capture disappears when attention is focused endogenously beforehand has not yet been answered. Moreover, previous studies have not differentiated between capture by onsets presented at a nontarget (invalid) location and possible performance benefits occurring when the target location is (validly) cued. In this study, th...
Roberts, Katherine L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
Mathematical and computational models have provided useful insights into normal and impaired visual attention, but less progress has been made in modelling auditory attention. We are developing a Theory of Auditory Attention (TAA), based on an influential visual model, the Theory of Visual...... Attention (TVA). We report that TVA provides a good fit to auditory data when the stimuli are closely matched to those used in visual studies. In the basic visual TVA task, participants view a brief display of letters and are asked to report either all of the letters (whole report) or a subset of letters (e...... the auditory data, producing good estimates of the rate at which information is encoded (C), the minimum exposure duration required for processing to begin (t0), and the relative attentional weight to targets versus distractors (α). Future work will address the issue of target-distractor confusion, and extend...
Faught, Gayle G; Conners, Frances A; Himmelberger, Zachary M
Sustained attention (SA) is important to task performance and development of higher functions. It emerges as a separable component of attention during preschool and shows incremental improvements during this stage of development. The current study investigated if auditory and visual SA match developmental level or are particular challenges for youth with DS. Further, we sought to determine if there were modality effects in SA that could predict those seen in short-term memory (STM). We compared youth with DS to typically developing youth matched for nonverbal mental age and receptive vocabulary. Groups completed auditory and visual sustained attention to response tests (SARTs) and STM tasks. Results indicated groups performed similarly on both SARTs, even over varying cognitive ability. Further, within groups participants performed similarly on auditory and visual SARTs, thus SA could not predict modality effects in STM. However, SA did generally predict a significant portion of unique variance in groups' STM. Ultimately, results suggested both auditory and visual SA match developmental level in DS. Further, SA generally predicts STM, though SA does not necessarily predict the pattern of poor auditory relative to visual STM characteristic of DS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Picolini, Mirela Machado
Full Text Available Introduction: The sustained auditory attention is crucial for the development of some communication skills and learning. Objective: To evaluate the effect of time of day and type of school attended by children in their ability to sustained auditory attention. Method: We performed a prospective study of 50 volunteer children of both sexes, aged 7 years, with normal hearing, no learning or behavioral problems and no complaints of attention. These participants underwent Ability Test of Sustained Auditory Attention (SAAAT. The performance was evaluated by total score and the decrease of vigilance. Statistical analysis was used to analysis of variance (ANOVA with significance level of 5% (p<0.05. Results: The result set by the normative test for the age group evaluated showed a statistically significant difference for the errors of inattention (p=0.041, p=0.027 and total error score (p=0.033, p=0.024, in different periods assessment and school types, respectively. Conclusion: Children evaluated in the afternoon and the children studying in public schools had a poorer performance on auditory attention sustained.
Dalton, Polly; Lavie, Nilli
The phenomenon of attentional capture by a unique yet irrelevant singleton distractor has typically been studied in visual search. In this article, the authors examine whether a similar phenomenon occurs in the auditory domain. Participants searched sequences of sounds for targets defined by frequency, intensity, or duration. The presence of a…
Fougnie, Daryl; Cockhren, Jurnell; Marois, René
Tasks that require tracking visual information reveal the severe limitations of our capacity to attend to multiple objects that vary in time and space. Although these limitations have been extensively characterized in the visual domain, very little is known about tracking information in other sensory domains. Does tracking auditory information exhibit characteristics similar to those of tracking visual information, and to what extent do these two tracking tasks draw on the same attention resources? We addressed these questions by asking participants to perform either single or dual tracking tasks from the same (visual-visual) or different (visual-auditory) perceptual modalities, with the difficulty of the tracking tasks being manipulated across trials. The results revealed that performing two concurrent tracking tasks, whether they were in the same or different modalities, affected tracking performance as compared to performing each task alone (concurrence costs). Moreover, increasing task difficulty also led to increased costs in both the single-task and dual-task conditions (load-dependent costs). The comparison of concurrence costs between visual-visual and visual-auditory dual-task performance revealed slightly greater interference when two visual tracking tasks were paired. Interestingly, however, increasing task difficulty led to equivalent costs for visual-visual and visual-auditory pairings. We concluded that visual and auditory tracking draw largely, though not exclusively, on common central attentional resources.
NELSON FROM: 59 MDW /SGYU SUBJECT: Professional Presentation Approval 1. Your paper, entitled Self - regulation of the Primary Auditory Cortex Attention via...DATE Sherwood - p.1 Self - regulation of the primary auditory cortex attention via directed attention mediated by real-time fMRI neurofeedback M S...auditory cortex hyperactivity by self - regulation of the primary auditory cortex (A 1) based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging neurofeedback
Lu, Xi; Siu, Ka-Chun; Fu, Siu N; Hui-Chan, Christina W Y; Tsang, William W N
To compare the performance of older experienced Tai Chi practitioners and healthy controls in dual-task versus single-task paradigms, namely stepping down with and without performing an auditory response task, a cross-sectional study was conducted in the Center for East-meets-West in Rehabilitation Sciences at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. Twenty-eight Tai Chi practitioners (73.6 ± 4.2 years) and 30 healthy control subjects (72.4 ± 6.1 years) were recruited. Participants were asked to step down from a 19-cm-high platform and maintain a single-leg stance for 10 s with and without a concurrent cognitive task. The cognitive task was an auditory Stroop test in which the participants were required to respond to different tones of voices regardless of their word meanings. Postural stability after stepping down under single- and dual-task paradigms, in terms of excursion of the subject's center of pressure (COP) and cognitive performance, was measured for comparison between the two groups. Our findings demonstrated significant between-group differences in more outcome measures during dual-task than single-task performance. Thus, the auditory Stroop test showed that Tai Chi practitioners achieved not only significantly less error rate in single-task, but also significantly faster reaction time in dual-task, when compared with healthy controls similar in age and other relevant demographics. Similarly, the stepping-down task showed that Tai Chi practitioners not only displayed significantly less COP sway area in single-task, but also significantly less COP sway path than healthy controls in dual-task. These results showed that Tai Chi practitioners achieved better postural stability after stepping down as well as better performance in auditory response task than healthy controls. The improved performance that was magnified by dual motor-cognitive task performance may point to the benefits of Tai Chi being a mind-and-body exercise.
Liu, Ying; Fan, Hao; Li, Jingting; Jones, Jeffery A; Liu, Peng; Zhang, Baofeng; Liu, Hanjun
When people hear unexpected perturbations in auditory feedback, they produce rapid compensatory adjustments of their vocal behavior. Recent evidence has shown enhanced vocal compensations and cortical event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to attended pitch feedback perturbations, suggesting that this reflex-like behavior is influenced by selective attention. Less is known, however, about auditory-motor integration for voice control during divided attention. The present cross-modal study investigated the behavioral and ERP correlates of auditory feedback control of vocal pitch production during divided attention. During the production of sustained vowels, 32 young adults were instructed to simultaneously attend to both pitch feedback perturbations they heard and flashing red lights they saw. The presentation rate of the visual stimuli was varied to produce a low, intermediate, and high attentional load. The behavioral results showed that the low-load condition elicited significantly smaller vocal compensations for pitch perturbations than the intermediate-load and high-load conditions. As well, the cortical processing of vocal pitch feedback was also modulated as a function of divided attention. When compared to the low-load and intermediate-load conditions, the high-load condition elicited significantly larger N1 responses and smaller P2 responses to pitch perturbations. These findings provide the first neurobehavioral evidence that divided attention can modulate auditory feedback control of vocal pitch production.
Li, Yuanqing; Long, Jinyi; Huang, Biao; Yu, Tianyou; Wu, Wei; Li, Peijun; Fang, Fang; Sun, Pei
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.
Jacobsen, Leslie K; Slotkin, Theodore A; Mencl, W Einar; Frost, Stephen J; Pugh, Kenneth R
Prenatal exposure to active maternal tobacco smoking elevates risk of cognitive and auditory processing deficits, and of smoking in offspring. Recent preclinical work has demonstrated a sex-specific pattern of reduction in cortical cholinergic markers following prenatal, adolescent, or combined prenatal and adolescent exposure to nicotine, the primary psychoactive component of tobacco smoke. Given the importance of cortical cholinergic neurotransmission to attentional function, we examined auditory and visual selective and divided attention in 181 male and female adolescent smokers and nonsmokers with and without prenatal exposure to maternal smoking. Groups did not differ in age, educational attainment, symptoms of inattention, or years of parent education. A subset of 63 subjects also underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing an auditory and visual selective and divided attention task. Among females, exposure to tobacco smoke during prenatal or adolescent development was associated with reductions in auditory and visual attention performance accuracy that were greatest in female smokers with prenatal exposure (combined exposure). Among males, combined exposure was associated with marked deficits in auditory attention, suggesting greater vulnerability of neurocircuitry supporting auditory attention to insult stemming from developmental exposure to tobacco smoke in males. Activation of brain regions that support auditory attention was greater in adolescents with prenatal or adolescent exposure to tobacco smoke relative to adolescents with neither prenatal nor adolescent exposure to tobacco smoke. These findings extend earlier preclinical work and suggest that, in humans, prenatal and adolescent exposure to nicotine exerts gender-specific deleterious effects on auditory and visual attention, with concomitant alterations in the efficiency of neurocircuitry supporting auditory attention.
Full Text Available Given that both auditory and visual systems have anatomically separate object identification ("what" and spatial ("where" pathways, it is of interest whether attention-driven cross-sensory modulations occur separately within these feature domains. Here, we investigated how auditory "what" vs. "where" attention tasks modulate activity in visual pathways using cortically constrained source estimates of magnetoencephalograpic (MEG oscillatory activity. In the absence of visual stimuli or tasks, subjects were presented with a sequence of auditory-stimulus pairs and instructed to selectively attend to phonetic ("what" vs. spatial ("where" aspects of these sounds, or to listen passively. To investigate sustained modulatory effects, oscillatory power was estimated from time periods between sound-pair presentations. In comparison to attention to sound locations, phonetic auditory attention was associated with stronger alpha (7-13 Hz power in several visual areas (primary visual cortex; lingual, fusiform, and inferior temporal gyri, lateral occipital cortex, as well as in higher-order visual/multisensory areas including lateral/medial parietal and retrosplenial cortices. Region-of-interest (ROI analyses of dynamic changes, from which the sustained effects had been removed, suggested further power increases during Attend Phoneme vs. Location centered at the alpha range 400-600 ms after the onset of second sound of each stimulus pair. These results suggest distinct modulations of visual system oscillatory activity during auditory attention to sound object identity ("what" vs. sound location ("where". The alpha modulations could be interpreted to reflect enhanced crossmodal inhibition of feature-specific visual pathways and adjacent audiovisual association areas during "what" vs. "where" auditory attention.
Jennifer L. O’Brien
Full Text Available Auditory cognitive training (ACT improves attention in older adults; however, the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms are still unknown. The present study examined the effects of ACT on the P3b event-related potential reflecting attention allocation (amplitude and speed of processing (latency during stimulus categorization and the P1-N1-P2 complex reflecting perceptual processing (amplitude and latency. Participants completed an auditory oddball task before and after 10 weeks of ACT (n = 9 or a no contact control period (n = 15. Parietal P3b amplitudes to oddball stimuli decreased at post-test in the trained group as compared to those in the control group, and frontal P3b amplitudes show a similar trend, potentially reflecting more efficient attentional allocation after ACT. No advantages for the ACT group were evident for auditory perceptual processing or speed of processing in this small sample. Our results provide preliminary evidence that ACT may enhance the efficiency of attention allocation, which may account for the positive impact of ACT on the everyday functioning of older adults.
Lawo, Vera; Koch, Iring
Using a novel task-switching variant of dichotic selective listening, we examined age-related differences in the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention between 2 speakers defined by their sex. In our task, young (M age = 23.2 years) and older adults (M age = 66.6 years) performed a numerical size categorization on spoken number words. The task-relevant speaker was indicated by a cue prior to auditory stimulus onset. The cuing interval was either short or long and varied randomly trial by trial. We found clear performance costs with instructed attention switches. These auditory attention switch costs decreased with prolonged cue-stimulus interval. Older adults were generally much slower (but not more error prone) than young adults, but switching-related effects did not differ across age groups. These data suggest that the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention in a selective listening task is not compromised in healthy aging. We discuss the role of modality-specific factors in age-related differences.
Lin, Hung-Yu; Hsieh, Hsieh-Chun; Lee, Posen; Hong, Fu-Yuan; Chang, Wen-Dien; Liu, Kuo-Cheng
This study explored auditory and visual attention in children with ADHD. In a randomized, two-period crossover design, 50 children with ADHD and 50 age- and sex-matched typically developing peers were measured with the Test of Various Attention (TOVA). The deficiency of visual attention is more serious than that of auditory attention in children with ADHD. On the auditory modality, only the deficit of attentional inconsistency is sufficient to explain most cases of ADHD; however, most of the children with ADHD suffered from deficits of sustained attention, response inhibition, and attentional inconsistency on the visual modality. Our results also showed that the deficit of attentional inconsistency is the most important indicator in diagnosing and intervening in ADHD when both auditory and visual modalities are considered. The findings provide strong evidence that the deficits of auditory attention are different from those of visual attention in children with ADHD.
Full Text Available Background and Aim: Learning disability is a term referes to a group of disorders manifesting listening, reading, writing, or mathematical problems. These children mostly have attention difficulties in classroom that leads to many learning problems. In this study we aimed to compare the auditory attention of 7 to 9 year old children with learning disability to non- learning disability age matched normal group.Methods: Twenty seven male 7 to 9 year old students with learning disability and 27 age and sex matched normal conrols were selected with unprobable simple sampling. 27 In order to evaluate auditory selective and divided attention, Farsi versions of speech in noise and dichotic digit test were used respectively.Results: Comparison of mean scores of Farsi versions of speech in noise in both ears of 7 and 8 year-old students in two groups indicated no significant difference (p>0.05 Mean scores of 9 year old controls was significant more than those of the cases only in the right ear (p=0.033. However, no significant difference was observed between mean scores of dichotic digit test assessing the right ear of 9 year-old learning disability and non learning disability students (p>0.05. Moreover, mean scores of 7 and 8 year- old students with learning disability was less than those of their normal peers in the left ear (p>0.05.Conclusion: Selective auditory attention is not affected in the optimal signal to noise ratio, while divided attention seems to be affected by maturity delay of auditory system or central auditory system disorders.
Koelsch, S; Schröger, E; Tervaniemi, M
The present study focuses on influences of long-term experience on auditory processing, providing the first evidence for pre-attentively superior auditory processing in musicians. This was revealed by the brain's automatic change-detection response, which is reflected electrically as the mismatch negativity (MMN) and generated by the operation of sensoric (echoic) memory, the earliest cognitive memory system. Major chords and single tones were presented to both professional violinists and non-musicians under ignore and attend conditions. Slightly impure chords, presented among perfect major chords elicited a distinct MMN in professional musicians, but not in non-musicians. This demonstrates that compared to non-musicians, musicians are superior in pre-attentively extracting more information out of musically relevant stimuli. Since effects of long-term experience on pre-attentive auditory processing have so far been reported for language-specific phonemes only, results indicate that sensory memory mechanisms can be modulated by training on a more general level.
Yang, Weiping; Ren, Yanna; Yang, Dan Ou; Yuan, Xue; Wu, Jinglong
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.
Soltanparast, Sanaz; Jafari, Zahra; Sameni, Seyed Jalal; Salehi, Masoud
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the psychometric properties (validity and reliability) of the Persian version of the Sustained Auditory Attention Capacity Test in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Persian version of the Sustained Auditory Attention Capacity Test was constructed to assess sustained auditory attention using the method provided by Feniman and colleagues (2007). In this test, comments were provided to assess the child's attentional deficit by determining inattention and impulsiveness error, the total scores of the sustained auditory attention capacity test and attention span reduction index. In the present study for determining the validity and reliability of in both Rey Auditory Verbal Learning test and the Persian version of the Sustained Auditory Attention Capacity Test (SAACT), 46 normal children and 41 children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD), all right-handed and aged between 7 and 11 of both genders, were evaluated. In determining convergent validity, a negative significant correlation was found between the three parts of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning test (first, fifth, and immediate recall) and all indicators of the SAACT except attention span reduction. By comparing the test scores between the normal and ADHD groups, discriminant validity analysis showed significant differences in all indicators of the test except for attention span reduction (pAttention Capacity test has good validity and reliability, that matches other reliable tests, and it can be used for the identification of children with attention deficits and if they suspected to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Riecke, Lars; Peters, Judith C; Valente, Giancarlo; Poser, Benedikt A; Kemper, Valentin G; Formisano, Elia; Sorger, Bettina
Paying selective attention to an audio frequency selectively enhances activity within primary auditory cortex (PAC) at the tonotopic site (frequency channel) representing that frequency. Animal PAC neurons achieve this 'frequency-specific attentional spotlight' by adapting their frequency tuning, yet comparable evidence in humans is scarce. Moreover, whether the spotlight operates in human midbrain is unknown. To address these issues, we studied the spectral tuning of frequency channels in human PAC and inferior colliculus (IC), using 7-T functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) and frequency mapping, while participants focused on different frequency-specific sounds. We found that shifts in frequency-specific attention alter the response gain, but not tuning profile, of PAC frequency channels. The gain modulation was strongest in low-frequency channels and varied near-monotonically across the tonotopic axis, giving rise to the attentional spotlight. We observed less prominent, non-tonotopic spatial patterns of attentional modulation in IC. These results indicate that the frequency-specific attentional spotlight in human PAC as measured with FMRI arises primarily from tonotopic gain modulation, rather than adapted frequency tuning. Moreover, frequency-specific attentional modulation of afferent sound processing in human IC seems to be considerably weaker, suggesting that the spotlight diminishes toward this lower-order processing stage. Our study sheds light on how the human auditory pathway adapts to the different demands of selective hearing. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lin, Szu-Hung; Yeh, Yei-Yu
Previous research has shown that loading information on working memory affects selective attention. However, whether the load effect on selective attention is domain-general or domain-specific remains unresolved. The domain-general effect refers to the findings that load in one content (e.g. phonological) domain in working memory influences processing in another content (e.g., visuospatial) domain. Attentional control supervises selection regardless of information domain. The domain-specific effect refers to the constraint of influence only when maintenance and processing operate in the same domain. Selective attention operates in a specific content domain. This study is designed to resolve this controversy. Across three experiments, we manipulated the type of representation maintained in working memory and the type of representation upon which the participants must exert control to resolve conflict and select a target into the focus of attention. In Experiments 1a and 1b, participants maintained digits and nonverbalized objects, respectively, in working memory while selecting a target in a letter array. In Experiment 2, we presented auditory digits with a letter flanker task to exclude the involvement of resource competition within the same input modality. In Experiments 3a and 3b, we replaced the letter flanker task with an object flanker task while manipulating the memory load on object and digit representation, respectively. The results consistently showed that memory load modulated distractibility only when the stimuli of the two tasks were represented in the same domain. The magnitude of distractor interference was larger under high load than under low load, reflecting a lower efficacy of information prioritization. When the stimuli of the two tasks were represented in different domains, memory load did not modulate distractibility. Control of processing priority in selective attention demands domain-specific resources. PMID:24866977
Krauzlis, Richard J; Bogadhi, Amarender R; Herman, James P; Bollimunta, Anil
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.
Passow, Susanne; Müller, Maike; Westerhausen, René; Hugdahl, Kenneth; Wartenburger, Isabell; Heekeren, Hauke R.; Lindenberger, Ulman; Li, Shu-Chen
Multitalker situations confront listeners with a plethora of competing auditory inputs, and hence require selective attention to relevant information, especially when the perceptual saliency of distracting inputs is high. This study augmented the classical forced-attention dichotic listening paradigm by adding an interaural intensity manipulation…
Sridharan, Devarajan; Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Schwarz, Jason S; Knudsen, Eric I
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.
Chevillet, Mark A; Jiang, Xiong; Rauschecker, Josef P; Riesenhuber, Maximilian
Debates about motor theories of speech perception have recently been reignited by a burst of reports implicating premotor cortex (PMC) in speech perception. Often, however, these debates conflate perceptual and decision processes. Evidence that PMC activity correlates with task difficulty and subject performance suggests that PMC might be recruited, in certain cases, to facilitate category judgments about speech sounds (rather than speech perception, which involves decoding of sounds). However, it remains unclear whether PMC does, indeed, exhibit neural selectivity that is relevant for speech decisions. Further, it is unknown whether PMC activity in such cases reflects input via the dorsal or ventral auditory pathway, and whether PMC processing of speech is automatic or task-dependent. In a novel modified categorization paradigm, we presented human subjects with paired speech sounds from a phonetic continuum but diverted their attention from phoneme category using a challenging dichotic listening task. Using fMRI rapid adaptation to probe neural selectivity, we observed acoustic-phonetic selectivity in left anterior and left posterior auditory cortical regions. Conversely, we observed phoneme-category selectivity in left PMC that correlated with explicit phoneme-categorization performance measured after scanning, suggesting that PMC recruitment can account for performance on phoneme-categorization tasks. Structural equation modeling revealed connectivity from posterior, but not anterior, auditory cortex to PMC, suggesting a dorsal route for auditory input to PMC. Our results provide evidence for an account of speech processing in which the dorsal stream mediates automatic sensorimotor integration of speech and may be recruited to support speech decision tasks.
Oray, Serkan; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Dawson, Michael E
To investigate the cross-modal nature of the exogenous attention system, we studied how involuntary attention in the visual modality affects ERPs elicited by sudden onset of events in the auditory modality. Relatively loud auditory white noise bursts were presented to subjects with random and long inter-trial intervals. The noise bursts were either presented alone, or paired with a visual stimulus with a visual to auditory onset asynchrony of 120 ms. In a third condition, the visual stimuli were shown alone. All three conditions, auditory alone, visual alone, and paired visual/auditory, were randomly inter-mixed and presented with equal probabilities. Subjects were instructed to fixate on a point in front of them without task instructions concerning either the auditory or visual stimuli. ERPs were recorded from 28 scalp sites throughout every experimental session. Compared to ERPs in the auditory alone condition, pairing the auditory noise bursts with the visual stimulus reduced the amplitude of the auditory N100 component at Cz by 40% and the auditory P200/P300 component at Cz by 25%. No significant topographical change was observed in the scalp distributions of the N100 and P200/P300. Our results suggest that involuntary attention to visual stimuli suppresses early sensory (N100) as well as late cognitive (P200/P300) processing of sudden auditory events. The activation of the exogenous attention system by sudden auditory onset can be modified by involuntary visual attention in a cross-model, passive prepulse inhibition paradigm.
Putkinen, Vesa; Makkonen, Tommi; Eerola, Tuomas
Previous studies indicate that positive mood broadens the scope of visual attention, which can manifest as heightened distractibility. We used event-related potentials (ERP) to investigate whether music-induced positive mood has comparable effects on selective attention in the auditory domain. Subjects listened to experimenter-selected happy, neutral or sad instrumental music and afterwards participated in a dichotic listening task. Distractor sounds in the unattended channel elicited responses related to early sound encoding (N1/MMN) and bottom-up attention capture (P3a) while target sounds in the attended channel elicited a response related to top-down-controlled processing of task-relevant stimuli (P3b). For the subjects in a happy mood, the N1/MMN responses to the distractor sounds were enlarged while the P3b elicited by the target sounds was diminished. Behaviorally, these subjects tended to show heightened error rates on target trials following the distractor sounds. Thus, the ERP and behavioral results indicate that the subjects in a happy mood allocated their attentional resources more diffusely across the attended and the to-be-ignored channels. Therefore, the current study extends previous research on the effects of mood on visual attention and indicates that even unfamiliar instrumental music can broaden the scope of auditory attention via its effects on mood. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.
Full Text Available Previous research suggests that deficits in attention-emotion interaction are implicated in schizophrenia symptoms. Although disruption in auditory processing is crucial in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, deficits in interaction between emotional processing of auditorily presented language stimuli and auditory attention have not yet been clarified. To address this issue, the current study used a dichotic listening task to examine 22 patients with schizophrenia and 24 age-, sex-, parental socioeconomic background-, handedness-, dexterous ear-, and intelligence quotient-matched healthy controls. The participants completed a word recognition task on the attended side in which a word with emotionally valenced content (negative/positive/neutral was presented to one ear and a different neutral word was presented to the other ear. Participants selectively attended to either ear. In the control subjects, presentation of negative but not positive word stimuli provoked a significantly prolonged reaction time compared with presentation of neutral word stimuli. This interference effect for negative words existed whether or not subjects directed attention to the negative words. This interference effect was significantly smaller in the patients with schizophrenia than in the healthy controls. Furthermore, the smaller interference effect was significantly correlated with severe positive symptoms and delusional behavior in the patients with schizophrenia. The present findings suggest that aberrant interaction between semantic processing of negative emotional content and auditory attention plays a role in production of positive symptoms in schizophrenia. (224 words.
Poletti, Martina; Rucci, Michele; Carrasco, Marisa
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.
Full Text Available Objectives: Rehabilitation strategies play a pivotal role in reliving the inappropriate behaviors and improving children's performance during school. Concentration and visual and auditory comprehension in children are crucial to effective learning and have drawn interest from researchers and clinicians. Vestibular function deficits usually cause high level of alertness and vigilance, and problems in maintaining focus, paying selective attention, and altering in precision and attention to the stimulus. The aim of this study is to investigate the correlation between vestibular stimulation and auditory perception in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Methods: Totally 30 children aged from 7 to 12 years with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder participated in this study. They were assessed based on the criteria of diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. After obtaining guardian and parental consent, they were enrolled and randomly matched on age to two groups of intervention and control. Integrated visual and auditory continuous performance test was carried out as a pre-test. Those in the intervention group received vestibular stimulation during the therapy sessions, twice a week for 10 weeks. At the end the test was done to both groups as post-test. Results: The pre-and post-test scores were measured and compared the differences between means for two subject groups. Statistical analyses found a significant difference for the mean differences regarding auditory comprehension improvement. Discussion: The findings suggest that vestibular training is a reliable and powerful option treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder especially along with other trainings, meaning that stimulating the sense of balance highlights the importance of interaction between inhabitation and cognition.
Hoskin, Robert; Hunter, M D; Woodruff, P W R
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.
Hoeksma, Marco R.; Kemner, Chantal; Kenemans, J. Leon; van Engeland, Herman
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…
Gutschalk, Alexander; Rupp, André; Dykstra, Andrew R
Serially presented tones are sometimes segregated into two perceptually distinct streams. An ongoing debate is whether this basic streaming phenomenon reflects automatic processes or requires attention focused to the stimuli. Here, we examined the influence of focused attention on streaming-related activity in human auditory cortex using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Listeners were presented with a dichotic paradigm in which left-ear stimuli consisted of canonical streaming stimuli (ABA_ or ABAA) and right-ear stimuli consisted of a classical oddball paradigm. In phase one, listeners were instructed to attend the right-ear oddball sequence and detect rare deviants. In phase two, they were instructed to attend the left ear streaming stimulus and report whether they heard one or two streams. The frequency difference (ΔF) of the sequences was set such that the smallest and largest ΔF conditions generally induced one- and two-stream percepts, respectively. Two intermediate ΔF conditions were chosen to elicit bistable percepts (i.e., either one or two streams). Attention enhanced the peak-to-peak amplitude of the P1-N1 complex, but only for ambiguous ΔF conditions, consistent with the notion that automatic mechanisms for streaming tightly interact with attention and that the latter is of particular importance for ambiguous sound sequences.
Chung, Kyungmi; Park, Jin Young
The aim of this study was to address the potential for the auditory mismatch negativity (aMMN) to be used in applied event-related potential (ERP) studies by determining whether the aMMN would be an attention-dependent ERP component and could be differently modulated across visual tasks or virtual reality (VR) stimuli with different visual properties and visual complexity levels. A total of 80 participants, aged 19-36 years, were assigned to either a reading-task (21 men and 19 women) or a VR-task (22 men and 18 women) group. Two visual-task groups of healthy young adults were matched in age, sex, and handedness. All participants were instructed to focus only on the given visual tasks and ignore auditory change detection. While participants in the reading-task group read text slides, those in the VR-task group viewed three 360° VR videos in a random order and rated how visually complex the given virtual environment was immediately after each VR video ended. Inconsistent with the finding of a partial significant difference in perceived visual complexity in terms of brightness of virtual environments, both visual properties of distance and brightness showed no significant differences in the modulation of aMMN amplitudes. A further analysis was carried out to compare elicited aMMN amplitudes of a typical MMN task and an applied VR task. No significant difference in the aMMN amplitudes was found across the two groups who completed visual tasks with different visual-task demands. In conclusion, the aMMN is a reliable ERP marker of preattentive cognitive processing for auditory deviance detection.
Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Qorbani, Mostafa; Sotoudeh, Gity; Rostami, Reza; Narmaki, Elham; Yavari, Parvaneh; Aghasi, Mohadeseh; Shaibu, Osman Mohammed
Attention is a complex cognitive function that is necessary for learning, for following social norms of behaviour and for effective performance of responsibilities and duties. It is especially important in sensitive occupations requiring sustained attention. Improvement of dietary diversity (DD) is recognised as an important factor in health promotion, but its association with sustained attention is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the association between auditory and visual sustained attention and DD. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 400 women aged 20-50 years who attended sports clubs at Tehran Municipality. Sustained attention was evaluated on the basis of the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test using Integrated Visual and Auditory software. A single 24-h dietary recall questionnaire was used for DD assessment. Dietary diversity scores (DDS) were determined using the FAO guidelines. The mean visual and auditory sustained attention scores were 40·2 (sd 35·2) and 42·5 (sd 38), respectively. The mean DDS was 4·7 (sd 1·5). After adjusting for age, education years, physical activity, energy intake and BMI, mean visual and auditory sustained attention showed a significant increase as the quartiles of DDS increased (P=0·001). In addition, the mean subscales of attention, including auditory consistency and vigilance, visual persistence, visual and auditory focus, speed, comprehension and full attention, increased significantly with increasing DDS (Pvisual and auditory sustained attention.
Zimmermann, Jacqueline F; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude
Long-term memory (LTM) has been shown to bias attention to a previously learned visual target location. Here, we examined whether memory-predicted spatial location can facilitate the detection of a faint pure tone target embedded in real world audio clips (e.g., soundtrack of a restaurant). During an initial familiarization task, participants heard audio clips, some of which included a lateralized target (p = 50%). On each trial participants indicated whether the target was presented from the left, right, or was absent. Following a 1 hr retention interval, participants were presented with the same audio clips, which now all included a target. In Experiment 1, participants showed memory-based gains in response time and d'. Experiment 2 showed that temporal expectations modulate attention, with greater memory-guided attention effects on performance when temporal context was reinstated from learning (i.e., when timing of the target within audio clips was not changed from initially learned timing). Experiment 3 showed that while conscious recall of target locations was modulated by exposure to target-context associations during learning (i.e., better recall with higher number of learning blocks), the influence of LTM associations on spatial attention was not reduced (i.e., number of learning blocks did not affect memory-guided attention). Both Experiments 2 and 3 showed gains in performance related to target-context associations, even for associations that were not explicitly remembered. Together, these findings indicate that memory for audio clips is acquired quickly and is surprisingly robust; both implicit and explicit LTM for the location of a faint target tone modulated auditory spatial attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Murphy, Cristina Ferraz Borges; Zachi, Elaine Cristina; Roque, Daniela Tsubota; Ventura, Dora Selma Fix; Schochat, Eliane
PURPOSE: To investigate the existence of correlations between the performance of children in auditory temporal tests (Frequency Pattern and Gaps in Noise - GIN) and IQ, attention, memory and age measurements. METHOD: Fifteen typically developing individuals between the ages of 7 to 12 years and normal hearing participated in the study. Auditory temporal processing tests (GIN and Frequency Pattern), as well as a Memory test (Digit Span), Attention tests (auditory and visual modality) and ...
Parmentier, Fabrice B. R.
Unexpected auditory stimuli are potent distractors, able to break through selective attention and disrupt performance in an unrelated visual task. This study examined the processing fate of novel sounds by examining the extent to which their semantic content is analyzed and whether the outcome of this processing can impact on subsequent behavior.…
Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Sotoudeh, Gity; Qorbani, Mostafa; Rostami, Reza; Sadeghi-Firoozabadi, Vahid; Narmaki, Elham
A low antioxidants status has been shown to result in oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. Because antioxidants can protect the nervous system, it is expected that a better blood antioxidant status might be related to sustained attention. However, the relationship between the blood antioxidant status and visual and auditory sustained attention has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of fruits and vegetables intake and the blood antioxidant status with visual and auditory sustained attention in women. This cross-sectional study was performed on 400 healthy women (20-50 years) who attended the sports clubs of Tehran Municipality. Sustained attention was evaluated based on the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test using the Integrated Visual and Auditory (IVA) software. The 24-hour food recall questionnaire was used for estimating fruits and vegetables intake. Serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were measured in 90 participants. After adjusting for energy intake, age, body mass index (BMI), years of education and physical activity, higher reported fruits, and vegetables intake was associated with better visual and auditory sustained attention (P attention (P visual and auditory sustained attention after adjusting for age, years of education, physical activity, energy, BMI, and caffeine intake (P visual and auditory sustained attention is associated with a better blood antioxidant status. Therefore, improvement of the antioxidant status through an appropriate dietary intake can possibly enhance sustained attention.
Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.
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…
Smucny, Jason; Rojas, Donald C.; Eichman, Lindsay C.; Tregellas, Jason R.
Selective attention in the presence of distraction is a key aspect of healthy cognition. The underlying neurobiological processes, have not, however, been functionally well characterized. In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine how ecologically relevant distracting noise affects cortical activity in 27…
de Jong, Ritske; Toffanin, Paolo; Harbers, Marten
Frequency tagging has been often used to study intramodal attention but not intermodal attention. We used EEG and simultaneous frequency tagging of auditory and visual sources to study intermodal focused and divided attention in detection and discrimination performance. Divided-attention costs were smaller, but still significant, in detection than in discrimination. The auditory steady-state response (SSR) showed no effects of attention at frontocentral locations, but did so at occipital locations where it was evident only when attention was divided between audition and vision. Similarly, the visual SSR at occipital locations was substantially enhanced when attention was divided across modalities. Both effects were equally present in detection and discrimination. We suggest that both effects reflect a common cause: An attention-dependent influence of auditory information processing on early cortical stages of visual information processing, mediated by enhanced effective connectivity between the two modalities under conditions of divided attention. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
de Jong, Ritske; Toffanin, Paolo; Harbers, Marten; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging has been often used to study intramodal attention but not intermodal attention. We used EEG and simultaneous frequency tagging of auditory and visual sources to study intermodal focused and divided attention in detection and discrimination performance. Divided-attention costs were
Ciaramitaro, Vivian M; Chow, Hiu Mei; Eglington, Luke G
We used a cross-modal dual task to examine how changing visual-task demands influenced auditory processing, namely auditory thresholds for amplitude- and frequency-modulated sounds. Observers had to attend to two consecutive intervals of sounds and report which interval contained the auditory stimulus that was modulated in amplitude (Experiment 1) or frequency (Experiment 2). During auditory-stimulus presentation, observers simultaneously attended to a rapid sequential visual presentation-two consecutive intervals of streams of visual letters-and had to report which interval contained a particular color (low load, demanding less attentional resources) or, in separate blocks of trials, which interval contained more of a target letter (high load, demanding more attentional resources). We hypothesized that if attention is a shared resource across vision and audition, an easier visual task should free up more attentional resources for auditory processing on an unrelated task, hence improving auditory thresholds. Auditory detection thresholds were lower-that is, auditory sensitivity was improved-for both amplitude- and frequency-modulated sounds when observers engaged in a less demanding (compared to a more demanding) visual task. In accord with previous work, our findings suggest that visual-task demands can influence the processing of auditory information on an unrelated concurrent task, providing support for shared attentional resources. More importantly, our results suggest that attending to information in a different modality, cross-modal attention, can influence basic auditory contrast sensitivity functions, highlighting potential similarities between basic mechanisms for visual and auditory attention.
Bar-Haim, Yair; Henkin, Yael; Ari-Even-Roth, Daphne; Tetin-Schneider, Simona; Hildesheimer, Minka; Muchnik, Chava
Selective mutism is a psychiatric disorder of childhood characterized by consistent inability to speak in specific situations despite the ability to speak normally in others. The objective of this study was to test whether reduced auditory efferent activity, which may have direct bearings on speaking behavior, is compromised in selectively mute children. Participants were 16 children with selective mutism and 16 normally developing control children matched for age and gender. All children were tested for pure-tone audiometry, speech reception thresholds, speech discrimination, middle-ear acoustic reflex thresholds and decay function, transient evoked otoacoustic emission, suppression of transient evoked otoacoustic emission, and auditory brainstem response. Compared with control children, selectively mute children displayed specific deficiencies in auditory efferent activity. These aberrations in efferent activity appear along with normal pure-tone and speech audiometry and normal brainstem transmission as indicated by auditory brainstem response latencies. The diminished auditory efferent activity detected in some children with SM may result in desensitization of their auditory pathways by self-vocalization and in reduced control of masking and distortion of incoming speech sounds. These children may gradually learn to restrict vocalization to the minimal amount possible in contexts that require complex auditory processing.
Burg, E. van der; Olivers, C.N.L.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.
Participants performed an attentional blink (AB) task including digits as targets and letters as distractors within the visual and auditory domains. Prior to the rapid serial visual presentation, a visual or auditory prime was presented in the form of a digit that was identical to the second target
Schupp, Harald T; Stockburger, Jessica; Bublatzky, Florian; Junghöfer, Markus; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O
Event-related potential studies revealed an early posterior negativity (EPN) for emotional compared to neutral pictures. Exploring the emotion-attention relationship, a previous study observed that a primary visual discrimination task interfered with the emotional modulation of the EPN component. To specify the locus of interference, the present study assessed the fate of selective visual emotion processing while attention is directed towards the auditory modality. While simply viewing a rapid and continuous stream of pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures in one experimental condition, processing demands of a concurrent auditory target discrimination task were systematically varied in three further experimental conditions. Participants successfully performed the auditory task as revealed by behavioral performance and selected event-related potential components. Replicating previous results, emotional pictures were associated with a larger posterior negativity compared to neutral pictures. Of main interest, increasing demands of the auditory task did not modulate the selective processing of emotional visual stimuli. With regard to the locus of interference, selective emotion processing as indexed by the EPN does not seem to reflect shared processing resources of visual and auditory modality.
McLaughlin, Paula M; Anderson, Nicole D; Rich, Jill B; Chertkow, Howard; Murtha, Susan J E
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: email@example.com.
Full Text Available It is well known that the planum temporale (PT area in the posterior temporal lobe carries out spectro-temporal analysis of auditory stimuli, which is crucial for speech, for example. There are suggestions that the PT is also involved in auditory attention, specifically in the discrimination and selection of stimuli from the left and right ear. However, direct evidence is missing so far. To examine the role of the PT in auditory attention we asked fourteen participants to complete the Bergen Dichotic Listening Test. In this test two different consonant-vowel syllables (e.g., "ba" and "da" are presented simultaneously, one to each ear, and participants are asked to verbally report the syllable they heard best or most clearly. Thus attentional selection of a syllable is stimulus-driven. Each participant completed the test three times: after their left and right PT (located with anatomical brain scans had been stimulated with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS, which transiently interferes with normal brain functioning in the stimulated sites, and after sham stimulation, where participants were led to believe they had been stimulated but no rTMS was applied (control. After sham stimulation the typical right ear advantage emerged, that is, participants reported relatively more right than left ear syllables, reflecting a left-hemispheric dominance for language. rTMS over the right but not left PT significantly reduced the right ear advantage. This was the result of participants reporting more left and fewer right ear syllables after right PT stimulation, suggesting there was a leftward shift in stimulus selection. Taken together, our findings point to a new function of the PT in addition to auditory perception: particularly the right PT is involved in stimulus selection and (stimulus-driven, auditory attention.
Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B.
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 ...
Kostopoulos, Penelope; Petrides, Michael
There is evidence from the visual, verbal, and tactile memory domains that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortex plays a critical role in the top-down modulation of activity within posterior cortical areas for the selective retrieval of specific aspects of a memorized experience, a functional process often referred to as active controlled retrieval. In the present functional neuroimaging study, we explore the neural bases of active retrieval for auditory nonverbal information, about which almost nothing is known. Human participants were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a task in which they were presented with short melodies from different locations in a simulated virtual acoustic environment within the scanner and were then instructed to retrieve selectively either the particular melody presented or its location. There were significant activity increases specifically within the midventrolateral prefrontal region during the selective retrieval of nonverbal auditory information. During the selective retrieval of information from auditory memory, the right midventrolateral prefrontal region increased its interaction with the auditory temporal region and the inferior parietal lobule in the right hemisphere. These findings provide evidence that the midventrolateral prefrontal cortical region interacts with specific posterior cortical areas in the human cerebral cortex for the selective retrieval of object and location features of an auditory memory experience.
Schupp, Harald Thomas; Stockburger, Jessica; Bublatzky, Florian; Junghöfer, Markus; Weike, Almut I.; Hamm, Alfons O.
Event-related potential studies revealed an early posterior negativity (EPN) for emotional compared to neutral pictures. Exploring the emotion-attention relationship, a previous study observed that a primary visual discrimination task interfered with the emotional modulation of the EPN component. To specify the locus of interference, the present study assessed the fate of selective visual emotion processing while attention is directed towards the auditory modality. While simply viewing a rapi...
Pilcher, June J; Jennings, Kristen S; Phillips, Ginger E; McCubbin, James A
The current study investigated performance on a dual auditory task during a simulated night shift. Night shifts and sleep deprivation negatively affect performance on vigilance-based tasks, but less is known about the effects on complex tasks. Because language processing is necessary for successful work performance, it is important to understand how it is affected by night work and sleep deprivation. Sixty-two participants completed a simulated night shift resulting in 28 hr of total sleep deprivation. Performance on a vigilance task and a dual auditory language task was examined across four testing sessions. The results indicate that working at night negatively impacts vigilance, auditory attention, and comprehension. The effects on the auditory task varied based on the content of the auditory material. When the material was interesting and easy, the participants performed better. Night work had a greater negative effect when the auditory material was less interesting and more difficult. These findings support research that vigilance decreases during the night. The results suggest that auditory comprehension suffers when individuals are required to work at night. Maintaining attention and controlling effort especially on passages that are less interesting or more difficult could improve performance during night shifts. The results from the current study apply to many work environments where decision making is necessary in response to complex auditory information. Better predicting the effects of night work on language processing is important for developing improved means of coping with shiftwork. © 2016, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Backer, Kristina C; Binns, Malcolm A; Alain, Claude
Sounds are ephemeral. Thus, coherent auditory perception depends on "hearing" back in time: retrospectively attending that which was lost externally but preserved in short-term memory (STM). Current theories of auditory attention assume that sound features are integrated into a perceptual object, that multiple objects can coexist in STM, and that attention can be deployed to an object in STM. Recording electroencephalography from humans, we tested these assumptions, elucidating feature-general and feature-specific neural correlates of auditory attention to STM. Alpha/beta oscillations and frontal and posterior event-related potentials indexed feature-general top-down attentional control to one of several coexisting auditory representations in STM. Particularly, task performance during attentional orienting was correlated with alpha/low-beta desynchronization (i.e., power suppression). However, attention to one feature could occur without simultaneous processing of the second feature of the representation. Therefore, auditory attention to memory relies on both feature-specific and feature-general neural dynamics. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/351307-12$15.00/0.
Golumbic, Elana Zion; Cogan, Gregory B.; Schroeder, Charles E.; Poeppel, David
Our ability to selectively attend to one auditory signal amidst competing input streams, epitomized by the ‘Cocktail Party’ problem, continues to stimulate research from various approaches. How this demanding perceptual feat is achieved from a neural systems perspective remains unclear and controversial. It is well established that neural responses to attended stimuli are enhanced compared to responses to ignored ones, but responses to ignored stimuli are nonetheless highly significant, leading to interference in performance. We investigated whether congruent visual input of an attended speaker enhances cortical selectivity in auditory cortex, leading to diminished representation of ignored stimuli. We recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) signals from human participants as they attended to segments of natural continuous speech. Using two complementary methods of quantifying the neural response to speech, we found that viewing a speaker’s face enhances the capacity of auditory cortex to track the temporal speech envelope of that speaker. This mechanism was most effective in a ‘Cocktail Party’ setting, promoting preferential tracking of the attended speaker, whereas without visual input no significant attentional modulation was observed. These neurophysiological results underscore the importance of visual input in resolving perceptual ambiguity in a noisy environment. Since visual cues in speech precede the associated auditory signals, they likely serve a predictive role in facilitating auditory processing of speech, perhaps by directing attentional resources to appropriate points in time when to-be-attended acoustic input is expected to arrive. PMID:23345218
de Heering, Adélaïde; Dormal, Giulia; Pelland, Maxime; Lewis, Terri; Maurer, Daphne; Collignon, Olivier
Is a short and transient period of visual deprivation early in life sufficient to induce lifelong changes in how we attend to, and integrate, simple visual and auditory information [1, 2]? This question is of crucial importance given the recent demonstration in both animals and humans that a period of blindness early in life permanently affects the brain networks dedicated to visual, auditory, and multisensory processing [1-16]. To address this issue, we compared a group of adults who had been treated for congenital bilateral cataracts during early infancy with a group of normally sighted controls on a task requiring simple detection of lateralized visual and auditory targets, presented alone or in combination. Redundancy gains obtained from the audiovisual conditions were similar between groups and surpassed the reaction time distribution predicted by Miller's race model. However, in comparison to controls, cataract-reversal patients were faster at processing simple auditory targets and showed differences in how they shifted attention across modalities. Specifically, they were faster at switching attention from visual to auditory inputs than in the reverse situation, while an opposite pattern was observed for controls. Overall, these results reveal that the absence of visual input during the first months of life does not prevent the development of audiovisual integration but enhances the salience of simple auditory inputs, leading to a different crossmodal distribution of attentional resources between auditory and visual stimuli. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ramirez, Luz Angela; Arenas, Angela Maria; Henao, Gloria Cecilia
Introduction: This investigation describes and compares characteristics of visual, semantic and auditory memory in a group of children diagnosed with combined-type attention deficit with hyperactivity, attention deficit predominating, and a control group. Method: 107 boys and girls were selected, from 7 to 11 years of age, all residents in the…
Wegrzyn, Martin; Herbert, Cornelia; Ethofer, Thomas; Flaisch, Tobias; Kissler, Johanna
Visually presented emotional words are processed preferentially and effects of emotional content are similar to those of explicit attention deployment in that both amplify visual processing. However, auditory processing of emotional words is less well characterized and interactions between emotional content and task-induced attention have not been fully understood. Here, we investigate auditory processing of emotional words, focussing on how auditory attention to positive and negative words impacts their cerebral processing. A Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study manipulating word valence and attention allocation was performed. Participants heard negative, positive and neutral words to which they either listened passively or attended by counting negative or positive words, respectively. Regardless of valence, active processing compared to passive listening increased activity in primary auditory cortex, left intraparietal sulcus, and right superior frontal gyrus (SFG). The attended valence elicited stronger activity in left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and left SFG, in line with these regions' role in semantic retrieval and evaluative processing. No evidence for valence-specific attentional modulation in auditory regions or distinct valence-specific regional activations (i.e., negative > positive or positive > negative) was obtained. Thus, allocation of auditory attention to positive and negative words can substantially increase their processing in higher-order language and evaluative brain areas without modulating early stages of auditory processing. Inferior and superior frontal brain structures mediate interactions between emotional content, attention, and working memory when prosodically neutral speech is processed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis
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
Seibold, Julia C; Nolden, Sophie; Oberem, Josefa; Fels, Janina; Koch, Iring
In an auditory attention-switching paradigm, participants heard two simultaneously spoken number-words, each presented to one ear, and decided whether the target number was smaller or larger than 5 by pressing a left or right key. An instructional cue in each trial indicated which feature had to be used to identify the target number (e.g., female voice). Auditory attention-switch costs were found when this feature changed compared to when it repeated in two consecutive trials. Earlier studies employing this paradigm showed mixed results when they examined whether such cued auditory attention-switches can be prepared actively during the cue-stimulus interval. This study systematically assessed which preconditions are necessary for the advance preparation of auditory attention-switches. Three experiments were conducted that controlled for cue-repetition benefits, modality switches between cue and stimuli, as well as for predictability of the switch-sequence. Only in the third experiment, in which predictability for an attention-switch was maximal due to a pre-instructed switch-sequence and predictable stimulus onsets, active switch-specific preparation was found. These results suggest that the cognitive system can prepare auditory attention-switches, and this preparation seems to be triggered primarily by the memorised switching-sequence and valid expectations about the time of target onset.
Murphy, Cristina Ferraz Borges; Zachi, Elaine Cristina; Roque, Daniela Tsubota; Ventura, Dora Selma Fix; Schochat, Eliane
To investigate the existence of correlations between the performance of children in auditory temporal tests (Frequency Pattern and Gaps in Noise--GIN) and IQ, attention, memory and age measurements. Fifteen typically developing individuals between the ages of 7 to 12 years and normal hearing participated in the study. Auditory temporal processing tests (GIN and Frequency Pattern), as well as a Memory test (Digit Span), Attention tests (auditory and visual modality) and intelligence tests (RAVEN test of Progressive Matrices) were applied. Significant and positive correlation between the Frequency Pattern test and age variable were found, which was considered good (p<0.01, 75.6%). There were no significant correlations between the GIN test and the variables tested. Auditory temporal skills seem to be influenced by different factors: while the performance in temporal ordering skill seems to be influenced by maturational processes, the performance in temporal resolution was not influenced by any of the aspects investigated.
Vachon, François; Labonté, Katherine; Marsh, John E.
The occurrence of an unexpected, infrequent sound in an otherwise homogeneous auditory background tends to disrupt the ongoing cognitive task. This "deviation effect" is typically explained in terms of attentional capture whereby the deviant sound draws attention away from the focal activity, regardless of the nature of this activity.…
Underbjerg, Mette; George, Melanie S; Thorsen, Poul
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...
Jorratt, Pascal; Delano, Paul H; Delgado, Carolina; Dagnino-Subiabre, Alexies; Terreros, Gonzalo
The auditory efferent system is a neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through olivocochlear (OC) neurons. Medial OC neurons make cholinergic synapses with outer hair cells (OHCs) through nicotinic receptors constituted by α9 and α10 subunits. One of the physiological functions of the α9 nicotinic receptor subunit (α9-nAChR) is the suppression of auditory distractors during selective attention to visual stimuli. In a recent study we demonstrated that the behavioral performance of alpha-9 nicotinic receptor knock-out (KO) mice is altered during selective attention to visual stimuli with auditory distractors since they made less correct responses and more omissions than wild type (WT) mice. As the inhibition of the behavioral responses to irrelevant stimuli is an important mechanism of the selective attention processes, behavioral errors are relevant measures that can reflect altered inhibitory control. Errors produced during a cued attention task can be classified as premature, target and perseverative errors. Perseverative responses can be considered as an inability to inhibit the repetition of an action already planned, while premature responses can be considered as an index of the ability to wait or retain an action. Here, we studied premature, target and perseverative errors during a visual attention task with auditory distractors in WT and KO mice. We found that α9-KO mice make fewer perseverative errors with longer latencies than WT mice in the presence of auditory distractors. In addition, although we found no significant difference in the number of target error between genotypes, KO mice made more short-latency target errors than WT mice during the presentation of auditory distractors. The fewer perseverative error made by α9-KO mice could be explained by a reduced motivation for reward and an increased impulsivity during decision making with auditory distraction in KO mice.
Full Text Available The auditory efferent system is a neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through olivocochlear (OC neurons. Medial OC neurons make cholinergic synapses with outer hair cells (OHCs through nicotinic receptors constituted by α9 and α10 subunits. One of the physiological functions of the α9 nicotinic receptor subunit (α9-nAChR is the suppression of auditory distractors during selective attention to visual stimuli. In a recent study we demonstrated that the behavioral performance of alpha-9 nicotinic receptor knock-out (KO mice is altered during selective attention to visual stimuli with auditory distractors since they made less correct responses and more omissions than wild type (WT mice. As the inhibition of the behavioral responses to irrelevant stimuli is an important mechanism of the selective attention processes, behavioral errors are relevant measures that can reflect altered inhibitory control. Errors produced during a cued attention task can be classified as premature, target and perseverative errors. Perseverative responses can be considered as an inability to inhibit the repetition of an action already planned, while premature responses can be considered as an index of the ability to wait or retain an action. Here, we studied premature, target and perseverative errors during a visual attention task with auditory distractors in WT and KO mice. We found that α9-KO mice make fewer perseverative errors with longer latencies than WT mice in the presence of auditory distractors. In addition, although we found no significant difference in the number of target error between genotypes, KO mice made more short-latency target errors than WT mice during the presentation of auditory distractors. The fewer perseverative error made by α9-KO mice could be explained by a reduced motivation for reward and an increased impulsivity during decision making with auditory distraction in KO mice.
Couperus, Jane W.
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…
Lanzetta-Valdo, Bianca Pinheiro; Oliveira, Giselle Alves de; Ferreira, Jane Tagarro Correa; Palacios, Ester Miyuki Nakamura
Introduction Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can present Auditory Processing (AP) Disorder. Objective The study examined the AP in ADHD children compared with non-ADHD children, and before and after 3 and 6 months of methylphenidate (MPH) treatment in ADHD children. Methods Drug-naive children diagnosed with ADHD combined subtype aging between 7 and 11 years, coming from public and private outpatient service or public and private school, and age-gender-matched non-ADHD children, participated in an open, non-randomized study from February 2013 to December 2013. They were submitted to a behavioral battery of AP tests comprising Speech with white Noise, Dichotic Digits (DD), and Pitch Pattern Sequence (PPS) and were compared with non-ADHD children. They were followed for 3 and 6 months of MPH treatment (0.5 mg/kg/day). Results ADHD children presented larger number of errors in DD ( p < 0.01), and less correct responses in the PPS ( p < 0.0001) and in the SN ( p < 0.05) tests when compared with non-ADHD children. The treatment with MPH, especially along 6 months, significantly decreased the mean errors in the DD ( p < 0.01) and increased the correct response in the PPS ( p < 0.001) and SN ( p < 0.01) tests when compared with the performance before MPH treatment. Conclusions ADHD children show inefficient AP in selected behavioral auditory battery suggesting impaired in auditory closure, binaural integration, and temporal ordering. Treatment with MPH gradually improved these deficiencies and completely reversed them by reaching a performance similar to non-ADHD children at 6 months of treatment.
Full Text Available Background and Aim: Sustained attention refers to the ability to maintain attention in target stimuli over a sustained period of time. This study was conducted to develop a Persian version of the sustained auditory attention capacity test and to study its results in normal children.Methods: To develop the Persian version of the sustained auditory attention capacity test, like the original version, speech stimuli were used. The speech stimuli consisted of one hundred monosyllabic words consisting of a 20 times random of and repetition of the words of a 21-word list of monosyllabic words, which were randomly grouped together. The test was carried out at comfortable hearing level using binaural, and diotic presentation modes on 46 normal children of 7 to 11 years of age of both gender.Results: There was a significant difference between age, and an average of impulsiveness error score (p=0.004 and total score of sustained auditory attention capacity test (p=0.005. No significant difference was revealed between age, and an average of inattention error score and attention reduction span index. Gender did not have a significant impact on various indicators of the test.Conclusion: The results of this test on a group of normal hearing children confirmed its ability to measure sustained auditory attention capacity through speech stimuli.
Full Text Available A unique sound that deviates from a repetitive background sound induces signature neural responses, such as mismatch negativity and novelty P3 response in electro-encephalography studies. Here we show that a deviant auditory stimulus induces a human pupillary dilation response (PDR that is sensitive to the stimulus properties and irrespective whether attention is directed to the sounds or not. In an auditory oddball sequence, we used white noise and 2000-Hz tones as oddballs against repeated 1000-Hz tones. Participants’ pupillary responses were recorded while they listened to the auditory oddball sequence. In Experiment 1, they were not involved in any task. Results show that pupils dilated to the noise oddballs for approximately 4 s, but no such PDR was found for the 2000-Hz tone oddballs. In Experiments 2, two types of visual oddballs were presented synchronously with the auditory oddballs. Participants discriminated the auditory or visual oddballs while trying to ignore stimuli from the other modality. The purpose of this manipulation was to direct attention to or away from the auditory sequence. In Experiment 3, the visual oddballs and the auditory oddballs were always presented asynchronously to prevent residuals of attention on to-be-ignored oddballs due to the concurrence with the attended oddballs. Results show that pupils dilated to both the noise and 2000-Hz tone oddballs in all conditions. Most importantly, PDRs to noise were larger than those to the 2000-Hz tone oddballs regardless of the attention condition in both experiments. The overall results suggest that the stimulus-dependent factor of the PDR appears to be independent of attention.
Liao, Hsin-I; Yoneya, Makoto; Kidani, Shunsuke; Kashino, Makio; Furukawa, Shigeto
A unique sound that deviates from a repetitive background sound induces signature neural responses, such as mismatch negativity and novelty P3 response in electro-encephalography studies. Here we show that a deviant auditory stimulus induces a human pupillary dilation response (PDR) that is sensitive to the stimulus properties and irrespective whether attention is directed to the sounds or not. In an auditory oddball sequence, we used white noise and 2000-Hz tones as oddballs against repeated 1000-Hz tones. Participants' pupillary responses were recorded while they listened to the auditory oddball sequence. In Experiment 1, they were not involved in any task. Results show that pupils dilated to the noise oddballs for approximately 4 s, but no such PDR was found for the 2000-Hz tone oddballs. In Experiments 2, two types of visual oddballs were presented synchronously with the auditory oddballs. Participants discriminated the auditory or visual oddballs while trying to ignore stimuli from the other modality. The purpose of this manipulation was to direct attention to or away from the auditory sequence. In Experiment 3, the visual oddballs and the auditory oddballs were always presented asynchronously to prevent residuals of attention on to-be-ignored oddballs due to the concurrence with the attended oddballs. Results show that pupils dilated to both the noise and 2000-Hz tone oddballs in all conditions. Most importantly, PDRs to noise were larger than those to the 2000-Hz tone oddballs regardless of the attention condition in both experiments. The overall results suggest that the stimulus-dependent factor of the PDR appears to be independent of attention.
Morris, David Jackson; Steinmetzger, Kurt; Tøndering, John
The modulation of auditory event-related potentials (ERP) by attention generally results in larger amplitudes when stimuli are attended. We measured the P1-N1-P2 acoustic change complex elicited with synthetic overt (second formant, F2 = 1000 Hz) and subtle (F2 = 100 Hz) diphthongs, while subjects...... (i) attended to the auditory stimuli, (ii) ignored the auditory stimuli and watched a film, and (iii) diverted their attention to a visual discrimination task. Responses elicited by diphthongs where F2 values rose and fell were found to be different and this precluded their combined analysis....... Multivariate analysis of ERP components from the rising F2 changes showed main effects of attention on P2 amplitude and latency, and N1-P2 amplitude. P2 amplitude decreased by 40% between the attend and ignore conditions, and by 60% between the attend and divert conditions. The effect of diphthong magnitude...
Dittmann-Balcar, A; Thienel, R; Schall, U
Mismatch negativity (MMN) is a pre-attentive event-related potential measure of echoic memory. However, recent studies suggest attention-related modulation of MMN. This study investigates duration-elicited MMN in healthy subjects (n = 12) who were performing a visual discrimination task and, subsequently, an auditory discrimination task in a series of increasing task difficulty. MMN amplitude was found to be maximal at centro-frontal electrode sites without hemispheric differences. Comparison of both attend conditions (visual vs. auditory), revealed larger MMN amplitudes at Fz in the visual task without differences across task difficulty. However, significantly smaller MMN in the most demanding auditory condition supports the notion of limited processing capacity whose resources are modulated by attention in response to task requirements.
Ikeda, Kazunari; Sekiguchi, Takahiro; Hayashi, Akiko
As determinants facilitating attention-related modulation of the auditory brainstem response (ABR), two experimental factors were examined: (i) auditory discrimination; and (ii) contralateral masking intensity. Tone pips at 80 dB sound pressure level were presented to the left ear via either single-tone exposures or oddball exposures, whereas white noise was delivered continuously to the right ear at variable intensities (none--80 dB sound pressure level). Participants each conducted two tasks during stimulation, either reading a book (ignoring task) or detecting target tones (attentive task). Task-related modulation within the ABR range was found only during oddball exposures at contralateral masking intensities greater than or equal to 60 dB. Attention-related modulation of ABR can thus be detected reliably during auditory discrimination under contralateral masking of sufficient intensity.
Seither-Preisler, Annemarie; Parncutt, Richard; Schneider, Peter
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.
Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Sanabria, Daniel
Audiovisual links in spatial attention have been reported in many previous studies. However, the effectiveness of auditory spatial cues in biasing the information encoding into visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) is still relatively unknown. In this study, we addressed this issue by combining a cuing paradigm with a change detection task in VSWM. Moreover, we manipulated the perceptual organization of the to-be-remembered visual stimuli. We hypothesized that the auditory effect on VSWM would depend on the perceptual association between the auditory cue and the visual probe. Results showed, for the first time, a significant auditory attentional bias in VSWM. However, the effect was observed only when the to-be-remembered visual stimuli were organized in two distinctive visual objects. We propose that these results shed new light on audio-visual crossmodal links in spatial attention suggesting that, apart from the spatio-temporal contingency, the likelihood of perceptual association between the auditory cue and the visual target can have a large impact on crossmodal attentional biases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Muchnik, Chava; Ari-Even Roth, Daphne; Hildesheimer, Minka; Arie, Miri; Bar-Haim, Yair; Henkin, Yael
Two efferent feedback pathways to the auditory periphery may play a role in monitoring self-vocalization: the middle-ear acoustic reflex (MEAR) and the medial olivocochlear bundle (MOCB) reflex. Since most studies regarding the role of auditory efferent activity during self-vocalization were conducted in animals, human data are scarce. The working premise of the current study was that selective mutism (SM), a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by consistent failure to speak in specific social situations despite the ability to speak normally in other situations, may serve as a human model for studying the potential involvement of auditory efferent activity during self-vocalization. For this purpose, auditory efferent function was assessed in a group of 31 children with SM and compared to that of a group of 31 normally developing control children (mean age 8.9 and 8.8 years, respectively). All children exhibited normal hearing thresholds and type A tympanograms. MEAR and MOCB functions were evaluated by means of acoustic reflex thresholds and decay functions and the suppression of transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions, respectively. Auditory afferent function was tested by means of auditory brainstem responses (ABR). Results indicated a significantly higher proportion of children with abnormal MEAR and MOCB function in the SM group (58.6 and 38%, respectively) compared to controls (9.7 and 8%, respectively). The prevalence of abnormal MEAR and/or MOCB function was significantly higher in the SM group (71%) compared to controls (16%). Intact afferent function manifested in normal absolute and interpeak latencies of ABR components in all children. The finding of aberrant efferent auditory function in a large proportion of children with SM provides further support for the notion that MEAR and MOCB may play a significant role in the process of self-vocalization. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Dye, Matthew W G; Hauser, Peter C
Deaf children have been characterized as being impulsive, distractible, and unable to sustain attention. However, past research has tested deaf children born to hearing parents who are likely to have experienced language delays. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an absence of auditory input modulates attentional problems in deaf children with no delayed exposure to language. Two versions of a continuous performance test were administered to 37 deaf children born to Deaf parents and 60 hearing children, all aged 6-13 years. A vigilance task was used to measure sustained attention over the course of several minutes, and a distractibility test provided a measure of the ability to ignore task irrelevant information - selective attention. Both tasks provided assessments of cognitive control through analysis of commission errors. The deaf and hearing children did not differ on measures of sustained attention. However, younger deaf children were more distracted by task-irrelevant information in their peripheral visual field, and deaf children produced a higher number of commission errors in the selective attention task. It is argued that this is not likely to be an effect of audition on cognitive processing, but may rather reflect difficulty in endogenous control of reallocated visual attention resources stemming from early profound deafness. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Dye, Matthew W. G.; Hauser, Peter C.
Deaf children have been characterized as being impulsive, distractible, and unable to sustain attention. However, past research has tested deaf children born to hearing parents who are likely to have experienced language delays. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an absence of auditory input modulates attentional problems in deaf children with no delayed exposure to language. Two versions of a continuous performance test were administered to 37 deaf children born to Deaf parents and 60 hearing children, all aged 6–13 years. A vigilance task was used to measure sustained attention over the course of several minutes, and a distractibility test provided a measure of the ability to ignore task irrelevant information – selective attention. Both tasks provided assessments of cognitive control through analysis of commission errors. The deaf and hearing children did not differ on measures of sustained attention. However, younger deaf children were more distracted by task-irrelevant information in their peripheral visual field, and deaf children produced a higher number of commission errors in the selective attention task. It is argued that this is not likely to be an effect of audition on cognitive processing, but may rather reflect difficulty in endogenous control of reallocated visual attention resources stemming from early profound deafness. PMID:24355653
Zhu, Weina; Zhang, Junjun; Ding, Xiaojun; Zhou, Changle; Ma, Yuanye; Xu, Dan
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.
Yang, Xiuxian; Yu, Yunmiao; Chen, Lu; Sun, Hailian; Qiao, Zhengxue; Qiu, Xiaohui; Zhang, Congpei; Wang, Lin; Zhu, Xiongzhao; He, Jincai; Zhao, Lun; Yang, Yanjie
Despite ongoing debate about gender differences in pre-attention processes, little is known about gender effects on change detection for auditory and visual stimuli. We explored gender differences in change detection while processing duration information in auditory and visual modalities. We investigated pre-attentive processing of duration information using a deviant-standard reverse oddball paradigm (50 ms/150 ms) for auditory and visual mismatch negativity (aMMN and vMMN) in males and females (n=21/group). In the auditory modality, decrement and increment aMMN were observed at 150-250 ms after the stimulus onset, and there was no significant gender effect on MMN amplitudes in temporal or fronto-central areas. In contrast, in the visual modality, only increment vMMN was observed at 180-260 ms after the onset of stimulus, and it was higher in males than in females. No gender effect was found in change detection for auditory stimuli, but change detection was facilitated for visual stimuli in males. Gender effects should be considered in clinical studies of pre-attention for visual stimuli. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cristina F B Murphy
Full Text Available Although research has demonstrated that children with specific language impairment (SLI and reading disorder (RD exhibit sustained attention deficits, no study has investigated sustained attention in children with speech sound disorder (SSD. Given the overlap of symptoms, such as phonological memory deficits, between these different language disorders (i.e., SLI, SSD and RD and the relationships between working memory, attention and language processing, it is worthwhile to investigate whether deficits in sustained attention also occur in children with SSD. A total of 55 children (18 diagnosed with SSD (8.11 ± 1.231 and 37 typically developing children (8.76 ± 1.461 were invited to participate in this study. Auditory and visual sustained-attention tasks were applied. Children with SSD performed worse on these tasks; they committed a greater number of auditory false alarms and exhibited a significant decline in performance over the course of the auditory detection task. The extent to which performance is related to auditory perceptual difficulties and probable working memory deficits is discussed. Further studies are needed to better understand the specific nature of these deficits and their clinical implications.
Van Voorhis, S.; Hillyard, S. A.
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.
Anderson, Brian A
There is growing consensus that reward plays an important role in the control of attention. Until recently, reward was thought to influence attention indirectly by modulating task-specific motivation and its effects on voluntary control over selection. Such an account was consistent with the goal-directed (endogenous) versus stimulus-driven (exogenous) framework that had long dominated the field of attention research. Now, a different perspective is emerging. Demonstrations that previously reward-associated stimuli can automatically capture attention even when physically inconspicuous and task-irrelevant challenge previously held assumptions about attentional control. The idea that attentional selection can be value driven, reflecting a distinct and previously unrecognized control mechanism, has gained traction. Since these early demonstrations, the influence of reward learning on attention has rapidly become an area of intense investigation, sparking many new insights. The result is an emerging picture of how the reward system of the brain automatically biases information processing. Here, I review the progress that has been made in this area, synthesizing a wealth of recent evidence to provide an integrated, up-to-date account of value-driven attention and some of its broader implications. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.
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.
Full Text Available Existing research has revealed that auditory attention can be tracked from ongoing electroencephalography (EEG signals. The aim of this novel study was to investigate the identification of peoples’ attention to a specific auditory object from single-trial EEG signals via entropy measures and machine learning. Approximate entropy (ApEn, sample entropy (SampEn, composite multiscale entropy (CmpMSE and fuzzy entropy (FuzzyEn were used to extract the informative features of EEG signals under three kinds of auditory object-specific attention (Rest, Auditory Object1 Attention (AOA1 and Auditory Object2 Attention (AOA2. The linear discriminant analysis and support vector machine (SVM, were used to construct two auditory attention classifiers. The statistical results of entropy measures indicated that there were significant differences in the values of ApEn, SampEn, CmpMSE and FuzzyEn between Rest, AOA1 and AOA2. For the SVM-based auditory attention classifier, the auditory object-specific attention of Rest, AOA1 and AOA2 could be identified from EEG signals using ApEn, SampEn, CmpMSE and FuzzyEn as features and the identification rates were significantly different from chance level. The optimal identification was achieved by the SVM-based auditory attention classifier using CmpMSE with the scale factor τ = 10. This study demonstrated a novel solution to identify the auditory object-specific attention from single-trial EEG signals without the need to access the auditory stimulus.
Golob, Edward J; Winston, Jenna; Mock, Jeffrey R
Short-term memory load can impair attentional control, but prior work shows that the extent of the effect ranges from being very general to very specific. One factor for the mixed results may be reliance on point estimates of memory load effects on attention. Here we used auditory attention gradients as an analog measure to map-out the impact of short-term memory load over space. Verbal or spatial information was maintained during an auditory spatial attention task and compared to no-load. Stimuli were presented from five virtual locations in the frontal azimuth plane, and subjects focused on the midline. Reaction times progressively increased for lateral stimuli, indicating an attention gradient. Spatial load further slowed responses at lateral locations, particularly in the left hemispace, but had little effect at midline. Verbal memory load had no (Experiment 1), or a minimal (Experiment 2) influence on reaction times. Spatial and verbal load increased switch costs between memory encoding and attention tasks relative to the no load condition. The findings show that short-term memory influences the distribution of auditory attention over space; and that the specific pattern depends on the type of information in short-term memory.
Edward J. Golob
Full Text Available Short-term memory load can impair attentional control, but prior work shows that the extent of the effect ranges from being very general to very specific. One factor for the mixed results may be reliance on point estimates of memory load effects on attention. Here we used auditory attention gradients as an analog measure to map-out the impact of short-term memory load over space. Verbal or spatial information was maintained during an auditory spatial attention task and compared to no-load. Stimuli were presented from five virtual locations in the frontal azimuth plane, and subjects focused on the midline. Reaction times progressively increased for lateral stimuli, indicating an attention gradient. Spatial load further slowed responses at lateral locations, particularly in the left hemispace, but had little effect at midline. Verbal memory load had no (Experiment 1, or a minimal (Experiment 2 influence on reaction times. Spatial and verbal load increased switch costs between memory encoding and attention tasks relative to the no load condition. The findings show that short-term memory influences the distribution of auditory attention over space; and that the specific pattern depends on the type of information in short-term memory.
Low, Yin Fen; Strauss, Daniel J
We propose a novel tool to evaluate the electroencephalograph (EEG) phase reset due to auditory attention by utilizing an inverse analysis of the instantaneous phase for the first time. EEGs were acquired through auditory attention experiments with a maximum entropy stimulation paradigm. We examined single sweeps of auditory late response (ALR) with the complex continuous wavelet transform. The phase in the frequency band that is associated with auditory attention (6–10 Hz, termed as theta–alpha border) was reset to the mean phase of the averaged EEGs. The inverse transform was applied to reconstruct the phase-modified signal. We found significant enhancement of the N100 wave in the reconstructed signal. Analysis of the phase noise shows the effects of phase jittering on the generation of the N100 wave implying that a preferred phase is necessary to generate the event-related potential (ERP). Power spectrum analysis shows a remarkable increase of evoked power but little change of total power after stabilizing the phase of EEGs. Furthermore, by resetting the phase only at the theta border of no attention data to the mean phase of attention data yields a result that resembles attention data. These results show strong connections between EEGs and ERP, in particular, we suggest that the presentation of an auditory stimulus triggers the phase reset process at the theta–alpha border which leads to the emergence of the N100 wave. It is concluded that our study reinforces other studies on the importance of the EEG in ERP genesis
Full Text Available Reduced neural processing of a tone is observed when it is presented after a sound whose spectral range closely frames the frequency of the tone. This observation might be explained by the mechanism of lateral inhibition (LI due to inhibitory interneurons in the auditory system. So far, several characteristics of bottom up influences on LI have been identified, while the influence of top-down processes such as directed attention on LI has not been investigated. Hence, the study at hand aims at investigating the modulatory effects of focused attention on LI in the human auditory cortex. In the magnetoencephalograph, we present two types of masking sounds (white noise vs. withe noise passing through a notch filter centered at a specific frequency, followed by a test tone with a frequency corresponding to the center-frequency of the notch filter. Simultaneously, subjects were presented with visual input on a screen. To modulate the focus of attention, subjects were instructed to concentrate either on the auditory input or the visual stimuli. More specific, on one half of the trials, subjects were instructed to detect small deviations in loudness in the masking sounds while on the other half of the trials subjects were asked to detect target stimuli on the screen. The results revealed a reduction in neural activation due to LI, which was larger during auditory compared to visual focused attention. Attentional modulations of LI were observed in two post-N1m time intervals. These findings underline the robustness of reduced neural activation due to LI in the auditory cortex and point towards the important role of attention on the modulation of this mechanism in more evaluative processing stages.
Engell, Alva; Junghöfer, Markus; Stein, Alwina; Lau, Pia; Wunderlich, Robert; Wollbrink, Andreas; Pantev, Christo
Reduced neural processing of a tone is observed when it is presented after a sound whose spectral range closely frames the frequency of the tone. This observation might be explained by the mechanism of lateral inhibition (LI) due to inhibitory interneurons in the auditory system. So far, several characteristics of bottom up influences on LI have been identified, while the influence of top-down processes such as directed attention on LI has not been investigated. Hence, the study at hand aims at investigating the modulatory effects of focused attention on LI in the human auditory cortex. In the magnetoencephalograph, we present two types of masking sounds (white noise vs. withe noise passing through a notch filter centered at a specific frequency), followed by a test tone with a frequency corresponding to the center-frequency of the notch filter. Simultaneously, subjects were presented with visual input on a screen. To modulate the focus of attention, subjects were instructed to concentrate either on the auditory input or the visual stimuli. More specific, on one half of the trials, subjects were instructed to detect small deviations in loudness in the masking sounds while on the other half of the trials subjects were asked to detect target stimuli on the screen. The results revealed a reduction in neural activation due to LI, which was larger during auditory compared to visual focused attention. Attentional modulations of LI were observed in two post-N1m time intervals. These findings underline the robustness of reduced neural activation due to LI in the auditory cortex and point towards the important role of attention on the modulation of this mechanism in more evaluative processing stages.
Low, Yin Fen; Strauss, Daniel J
We propose a novel tool to evaluate the electroencephalograph (EEG) phase reset due to auditory attention by utilizing an inverse analysis of the instantaneous phase for the first time. EEGs were acquired through auditory attention experiments with a maximum entropy stimulation paradigm. We examined single sweeps of auditory late response (ALR) with the complex continuous wavelet transform. The phase in the frequency band that is associated with auditory attention (6-10 Hz, termed as theta-alpha border) was reset to the mean phase of the averaged EEGs. The inverse transform was applied to reconstruct the phase-modified signal. We found significant enhancement of the N100 wave in the reconstructed signal. Analysis of the phase noise shows the effects of phase jittering on the generation of the N100 wave implying that a preferred phase is necessary to generate the event-related potential (ERP). Power spectrum analysis shows a remarkable increase of evoked power but little change of total power after stabilizing the phase of EEGs. Furthermore, by resetting the phase only at the theta border of no attention data to the mean phase of attention data yields a result that resembles attention data. These results show strong connections between EEGs and ERP, in particular, we suggest that the presentation of an auditory stimulus triggers the phase reset process at the theta-alpha border which leads to the emergence of the N100 wave. It is concluded that our study reinforces other studies on the importance of the EEG in ERP genesis.
Griskova-Bulanova, Inga; Ruksenas, Osvaldas; Dapsys, Kastytis
To explore the modulation of auditory steady-state response (ASSR) by experimental tasks, differing in attentional focus and arousal level.......To explore the modulation of auditory steady-state response (ASSR) by experimental tasks, differing in attentional focus and arousal level....
Sharma, Mridula; Dhamani, Imran; Leung, Johahn; Carlile, Simon
The aim of this study was to examine attention, memory, and auditory processing in children with reported listening difficulty in noise (LDN) despite having clinically normal hearing. Twenty-one children with LDN and 15 children with no listening concerns (controls) participated. The clinically normed auditory processing tests included the Frequency/Pitch Pattern Test (FPT; Musiek, 2002), the Dichotic Digits Test (Musiek, 1983), the Listening in Spatialized Noise-Sentences (LiSN-S) test (Dillon, Cameron, Glyde, Wilson, & Tomlin, 2012), gap detection in noise (Baker, Jayewardene, Sayle, & Saeed, 2008), and masking level difference (MLD; Wilson, Moncrieff, Townsend, & Pillion, 2003). Also included were research-based psychoacoustic tasks, such as auditory stream segregation, localization, sinusoidal amplitude modulation (SAM), and fine structure perception. All were also evaluated on attention and memory test batteries. The LDN group was significantly slower switching their auditory attention and had poorer inhibitory control. Additionally, the group mean results showed significantly poorer performance on FPT, MLD, 4-Hz SAM, and memory tests. Close inspection of the individual data revealed that only 5 participants (out of 21) in the LDN group showed significantly poor performance on FPT compared with clinical norms. Further testing revealed the frequency discrimination of these 5 children to be significantly impaired. Thus, the LDN group showed deficits in attention switching and inhibitory control, whereas only a subset of these participants demonstrated an additional frequency resolution deficit.
Ásgeirsson, Árni Gunnar; Kristjánsson, Árni; Bundesen, Claus
. 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...
Sörqvist, Patrik; Stenfelt, Stefan; Rönnberg, Jerker
Two fundamental research questions have driven attention research in the past: One concerns whether selection of relevant information among competing, irrelevant, information takes place at an early or at a late processing stage; the other concerns whether the capacity of attention is limited by a central, domain-general pool of resources or by independent, modality-specific pools. In this article, we contribute to these debates by showing that the auditory-evoked brainstem response (an early stage of auditory processing) to task-irrelevant sound decreases as a function of central working memory load (manipulated with a visual-verbal version of the n-back task). Furthermore, individual differences in central/domain-general working memory capacity modulated the magnitude of the auditory-evoked brainstem response, but only in the high working memory load condition. The results support a unified view of attention whereby the capacity of a late/central mechanism (working memory) modulates early precortical sensory processing.
Zimmermann, Jacqueline F.; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude
Long-term memory (LTM) has been shown to bias attention to a previously learned visual target location. Here, we examined whether memory-predicted spatial location can facilitate the detection of a faint pure tone target embedded in real world audio clips (e.g., soundtrack of a restaurant). During an initial familiarization task, participants…
Full Text Available Neural representation in the auditory cortex is rapidly modulated by both top-down attention and bottom-up stimulus properties, in order to improve perception in a given context. Learning-induced, pre-attentive, map plasticity has been also studied in the anesthetized cortex; however, little attention has been paid to rapid, context-dependent modulation. We hypothesize that context-specific learning leads to pre-attentively modulated, multiplex representation in the auditory cortex. Here, we investigate map plasticity in the auditory cortices of anesthetized rats conditioned in a context-dependent manner, such that a conditioned stimulus (CS of a 20-kHz tone and an unconditioned stimulus (US of a mild electrical shock were associated only under a noisy auditory context, but not in silence. After the conditioning, although no distinct plasticity was found in the tonotopic map, tone-evoked responses were more noise-resistive than pre-conditioning. Yet, the conditioned group showed a reduced spread of activation to each tone with noise, but not with silence, associated with a sharpening of frequency tuning. The encoding accuracy index of neurons showed that conditioning deteriorated the accuracy of tone-frequency representations in noisy condition at off-CS regions, but not at CS regions, suggesting that arbitrary tones around the frequency of the CS were more likely perceived as the CS in a specific context, where CS was associated with US. These results together demonstrate that learning-induced plasticity in the auditory cortex occurs in a context-dependent manner.
Funamizu, Akihiro; Kanzaki, Ryohei; Takahashi, Hirokazu
Neural representation in the auditory cortex is rapidly modulated by both top-down attention and bottom-up stimulus properties, in order to improve perception in a given context. Learning-induced, pre-attentive, map plasticity has been also studied in the anesthetized cortex; however, little attention has been paid to rapid, context-dependent modulation. We hypothesize that context-specific learning leads to pre-attentively modulated, multiplex representation in the auditory cortex. Here, we investigate map plasticity in the auditory cortices of anesthetized rats conditioned in a context-dependent manner, such that a conditioned stimulus (CS) of a 20-kHz tone and an unconditioned stimulus (US) of a mild electrical shock were associated only under a noisy auditory context, but not in silence. After the conditioning, although no distinct plasticity was found in the tonotopic map, tone-evoked responses were more noise-resistive than pre-conditioning. Yet, the conditioned group showed a reduced spread of activation to each tone with noise, but not with silence, associated with a sharpening of frequency tuning. The encoding accuracy index of neurons showed that conditioning deteriorated the accuracy of tone-frequency representations in noisy condition at off-CS regions, but not at CS regions, suggesting that arbitrary tones around the frequency of the CS were more likely perceived as the CS in a specific context, where CS was associated with US. These results together demonstrate that learning-induced plasticity in the auditory cortex occurs in a context-dependent manner.
Quigley, Cliodhna; Müller, Matthias M
Deficient selection against irrelevant information has been proposed to underlie age-related cognitive decline. We recently reported evidence for maintained early sensory selection when older and younger adults used spatial selective attention to perform a challenging task. Here we explored age-related differences when spatial selection is not possible and feature-selective attention must be deployed. We additionally compared the integrity of feedforward processing by exploiting the well established phenomenon of suppression of visual cortical responses attributable to interstimulus competition. Electroencephalogram was measured while older and younger human adults responded to brief occurrences of coherent motion in an attended stimulus composed of randomly moving, orientation-defined, flickering bars. Attention was directed to horizontal or vertical bars by a pretrial cue, after which two orthogonally oriented, overlapping stimuli or a single stimulus were presented. Horizontal and vertical bars flickered at different frequencies and thereby elicited separable steady-state visual-evoked potentials, which were used to examine the effect of feature-based selection and the competitive influence of a second stimulus on ongoing visual processing. Age differences were found in feature-selective attentional modulation of visual responses: older adults did not show consistent modulation of magnitude or phase. In contrast, the suppressive effect of a second stimulus was robust and comparable in magnitude across age groups, suggesting that bottom-up processing of the current stimuli is essentially unchanged in healthy old age. Thus, it seems that visual processing per se is unchanged, but top-down attentional control is compromised in older adults when space cannot be used to guide selection.
Moore, Tirin; Zirnsak, Marc
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.
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
Wimmer, Ralf D; Schmitt, L Ian; Davidson, Thomas J; Nakajima, Miho; Deisseroth, Karl; Halassa, Michael M
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.
van Lutterveld, Remko; Oranje, Bob; Abramovic, Lucija
with an auditory oddball paradigm in 18 non-psychotic individuals with AVH and 18 controls. RESULTS: P300 amplitude was increased in the AVH group as compared to controls, reflecting superior effortful attention. A trend in the same direction was found for processing negativity. No significant differences were...... found for mismatch negativity. CONCLUSION: Contrary to our expectations, non-psychotic individuals with AVH show increased rather than decreased psychophysiological measures of effortful attention compared to healthy controls, refuting a pivotal role of decreased effortful attention...
Odegaard, Brian; Wozny, David R; Shams, Ladan
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.
Kamke, Marc R; Harris, Jill
The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color). In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy) more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.
Marc R. Kamke
Full Text Available The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for detecting the target item are entirely due to involuntary orienting of spatial attention. To investigate whether contingent capture also involves a non-spatial interference, adult observers were presented with streams of visual and auditory stimuli and were tasked with simultaneously monitoring for targets in each modality. Visual and auditory targets could be preceded by a lateralized visual distractor that either did, or did not, possess the target-defining feature (a specific color. In agreement with the contingent capture hypothesis, target-colored distractors interfered with visual detection performance (response time and accuracy more than distractors that did not possess the target color. Importantly, the same pattern of results was obtained for the auditory task: visual target-colored distractors interfered with sound detection. The decrement in auditory performance following a target-colored distractor suggests that contingent capture involves a source of processing interference in addition to that caused by a spatial shift of attention. Specifically, we argue that distractors possessing the target-defining characteristic enter a capacity-limited, serial stage of neural processing, which delays detection of subsequently presented stimuli regardless of the sensory modality.
Desempenho nas habilidades auditivas de atenção seletiva e memória auditiva em um grupo de idosos protetizados: influência de perda auditiva, idade e gênero Performance in the auditory abilities of selective attention and hearing memory in a group of elderly with hearing aids: Influence of hearing loss, age and gender
Leonardo Henrique Buss
Full Text Available OBJETIVOS: verificar o desempenho nas habilidades auditivas de atenção seletiva e memória auditiva de idosos protetizados e relacioná-lo com o grau e configuração de perda auditiva, o gênero e a idade. MÉTODO: foram avaliados 29 idosos de 60 a 84 anos, sendo 17 (58,62% do gênero feminino e 12 (41,38% do gênero masculino. As avaliações realizadas incluíram meatoscopia, audiometria tonal liminar e aplicação do teste SSW em português. RESULTADOS: a análise dos dados permitiu verificar que, neste grupo de indivíduos, a idade e o grau de perda auditiva influenciaram significantemente nos escores obtidos na avaliação do processamento auditivo, diferentemente das demais variáveis. Os idosos que apresentaram perda auditiva de grau leve com configuração horizontal obtiveram escores significantemente superiores na avaliação do processamento auditivo comparados com os portadores de perda auditiva de grau moderado com configuração horizontal ou grau moderado com configuração descendente. Idosos pertencentes a faixa etária de 60-69 obtiveram desempenho superiormente significante comparado com idosos na faixa etária de 80-89 CONCLUSÃO: concluiu-se que o grau de perda auditiva e a idade influenciam nos resultados da avaliação do processamento auditivo. O gênero e a configuração de perda auditiva não foram fatores determinantes na avaliação do processamento auditivo.PURPOSE: to verify the performance in the auditory abilities of selective attention and hearing memory of elderly with prosthesis and relate it to the degree and the configuration of hearing loss, the gender and the age. METHOD: 29 elderly people from 60 to 84 years old were evaluated, 17 of them (58,62% females and 12 (41,38% males. The evaluations carried out included meatoscopy, audiometry evaluation and the use of the SSW test in Portuguese. RESULTS: the analysis of the data showed that, in this group of individuals, the age and the degree of auditory loss
Wild-Wall, Nele; Falkenstein, Michael
By using event-related potentials (ERPs) the present study examines if age-related differences in preparation and processing especially emerge during divided attention. Binaurally presented auditory cues called for focused (valid and invalid) or divided attention to one or both ears. Responses were required to subsequent monaurally presented valid targets (vowels), but had to be suppressed to non-target vowels or invalidly cued vowels. Middle-aged participants were more impaired under divided attention than young ones, likely due to an age-related decline in preparatory attention following cues as was reflected in a decreased CNV. Under divided attention, target processing was increased in the middle-aged, likely reflecting compensatory effort to fulfill task requirements in the difficult condition. Additionally, middle-aged participants processed invalidly cued stimuli more intensely as was reflected by stimulus ERPs. The results suggest an age-related impairment in attentional preparation after auditory cues especially under divided attention and latent difficulties to suppress irrelevant information.
Calvert, Sandra L.; And Others
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…
Squire, Ryan F; Noudoost, Behrad; Schafer, Robert J; Moore, Tirin
The faculty of attention endows us with the capacity to process important sensory information selectively while disregarding information that is potentially distracting. Much of our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this fundamental cognitive function comes from neurophysiological studies within the visual modality. Past evidence suggests that a principal function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is selective attention and that this function involves the modulation of sensory signals within posterior cortices. In this review, we discuss recent progress in identifying the specific prefrontal circuits controlling visual attention and its neural correlates within the primate visual system. In addition, we examine the persisting challenge of precisely defining how behavior should be affected when attentional function is lost.
Harrison, Neil R; Woodhouse, Rob
Previous research has demonstrated that threatening, compared to neutral pictures, can bias attention towards non-emotional auditory targets. Here we investigated which subcomponents of attention contributed to the influence of emotional visual stimuli on auditory spatial attention. Participants indicated the location of an auditory target, after brief (250 ms) presentation of a spatially non-predictive peripheral visual cue. Responses to targets were faster at the location of the preceding visual cue, compared to at the opposite location (cue validity effect). The cue validity effect was larger for targets following pleasant and unpleasant cues compared to neutral cues, for right-sided targets. For unpleasant cues, the crossmodal cue validity effect was driven by delayed attentional disengagement, and for pleasant cues, it was driven by enhanced engagement. We conclude that both pleasant and unpleasant visual cues influence the distribution of attention across modalities and that the associated attentional mechanisms depend on the valence of the visual cue.
Silva, Fúlvia Eduarda da; Sanchez, Tanit Ganz
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
Van der Burg, Erik; Olivers, Christian N; Bronkhorst, Adelbei W; Koelewijn, Thomas; Theeuwes, Jan
The second of two targets is often missed when presented shortly after the first target--a phenomenon referred to as the attentional blink (AB). Whereas the AB is a robust phenomenon within sensory modalities, the evidence for cross-modal ABs is rather mixed. Here, we test the possibility that the absence of an auditory-visual AB for visual letter recognition when streams of tones are used is due to the efficient use of echoic memory, allowing for the postponement of auditory processing. However, forcing participants to immediately process the auditory target, either by presenting interfering sounds during retrieval or by making the first target directly relevant for a speeded response to the second target, did not result in a return of a cross-modal AB. Thefindings argue against echoic memory as an explanation for efficient cross-modal processing. Instead, we hypothesized that a cross-modal AB may be observed when the different modalities use common representations, such as semantic representations. In support of this, a deficit for visual letter recognition returned when the auditory task required a distinction between spoken digits and letters.
Andreas L. Schulz
Full Text Available Goal directed behavior and associated learning processes are tightly linked to neuronal activity in the ventral striatum. Mechanisms that integrate task relevant sensory information into striatal processing during decision making and learning are implicitly assumed in current reinforcementmodels, yet they are still weakly understood. To identify the functional activation of cortico-striatal subpopulations of connections during auditory discrimination learning, we trained Mongolian gerbils in a two-way active avoidance task in a shuttlebox to discriminate between falling and rising frequency modulated tones with identical spectral properties. We assessed functional coupling by analyzing the field-field coherence between the auditory cortex and the ventral striatum of animals performing the task. During the course of training, we observed a selective increase of functionalcoupling during Go-stimulus presentations. These results suggest that the auditory cortex functionally interacts with the ventral striatum during auditory learning and that the strengthening of these functional connections is selectively goal-directed.
Full Text Available Objectives: The amplitude of the auditory steady-state response (ASSR is enhanced in tinnitus. As ASSR ampli¬tude is also enhanced by attention, the effect of tinnitus on ASSR amplitude could be interpreted as an effect of attention mediated by tinnitus. As attention effects on the N1 are signi¬fi¬cantly larger than those on the ASSR, if the effect of tinnitus on ASSR amplitude were due to attention, there should be similar amplitude enhancement effects in tinnitus for the N1 component of the auditory evoked response. Methods: MEG recordings of auditory evoked responses which were previously examined for the ASSR (Diesch et al. 2010 were analysed with respect to the N1m component. Like the ASSR previously, the N1m was analysed in the source domain (source space projection. Stimuli were amplitude-modulated tones with one of three carrier fre¬quen¬cies matching the tinnitus frequency or a surrogate frequency 1½ octaves above the audio¬metric edge frequency in con¬trols, the audiometric edge frequency, and a frequency below the audio¬metric edgeResults: In the earlier ASSR study (Diesch et al., 2010, the ASSR amplitude in tinnitus patients, but not in controls, was significantly larger in the (surrogate tinnitus condition than in the edge condition. In the present study, both tinnitus patients and healthy controls show an N1m-amplitude profile identical to the one of ASSR amplitudes in healthy controls. N1m amplitudes elicited by tonal frequencies located at the audiometric edge and at the (surrogate tinnitus frequency are smaller than N1m amplitudes elicited by sub-edge tones and do not differ among each other.Conclusions: There is no N1-amplitude enhancement effect in tinnitus. The enhancement effect of tinnitus on ASSR amplitude cannot be accounted for in terms of attention induced by tinnitus.
Zink, Rob; Hunyadi, Borbála; Van Huffel, Sabine; De Vos, Maarten
Objective. In the past few years there has been a growing interest in studying brain functioning in natural, real-life situations. Mobile EEG allows to study the brain in real unconstrained environments but it faces the intrinsic challenge that it is impossible to disentangle observed changes in brain activity due to increase in cognitive demands by the complex natural environment or due to the physical involvement. In this work we aim to disentangle the influence of cognitive demands and distractions that arise from such outdoor unconstrained recordings. Approach. We evaluate the ERP and single trial characteristics of a three-class auditory oddball paradigm recorded in outdoor scenario’s while peddling on a fixed bike or biking freely around. In addition we also carefully evaluate the trial specific motion artifacts through independent gyro measurements and control for muscle artifacts. Main results. A decrease in P300 amplitude was observed in the free biking condition as compared to the fixed bike conditions. Above chance P300 single-trial classification in highly dynamic real life environments while biking outdoors was achieved. Certain significant artifact patterns were identified in the free biking condition, but neither these nor the increase in movement (as derived from continuous gyrometer measurements) can explain the differences in classification accuracy and P300 waveform differences with full clarity. The increased cognitive load in real-life scenarios is shown to play a major role in the observed differences. Significance. Our findings suggest that auditory oddball results measured in natural real-life scenarios are influenced mainly by increased cognitive load due to being in an unconstrained environment.
Kingma, A.; LaHeij, W.; Fasotti, L.; Eling, P.
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
Stojmenova, Kristina; Sodnik, Jaka
There are 3 standardized versions of the Detection Response Task (DRT), 2 using visual stimuli (remote DRT and head-mounted DRT) and one using tactile stimuli. In this article, we present a study that proposes and validates a type of auditory signal to be used as DRT stimulus and evaluate the proposed auditory version of this method by comparing it with the standardized visual and tactile version. This was a within-subject design study performed in a driving simulator with 24 participants. Each participant performed 8 2-min-long driving sessions in which they had to perform 3 different tasks: driving, answering to DRT stimuli, and performing a cognitive task (n-back task). Presence of additional cognitive load and type of DRT stimuli were defined as independent variables. DRT response times and hit rates, n-back task performance, and pupil size were observed as dependent variables. Significant changes in pupil size for trials with a cognitive task compared to trials without showed that cognitive load was induced properly. Each DRT version showed a significant increase in response times and a decrease in hit rates for trials with a secondary cognitive task compared to trials without. Similar and significantly better results in differences in response times and hit rates were obtained for the auditory and tactile version compared to the visual version. There were no significant differences in performance rate between the trials without DRT stimuli compared to trials with and among the trials with different DRT stimuli modalities. The results from this study show that the auditory DRT version, using the signal implementation suggested in this article, is sensitive to the effects of cognitive load on driver's attention and is significantly better than the remote visual and tactile version for auditory-vocal cognitive (n-back) secondary tasks.
Ikeda, Kazunari; Hayashi, Akiko; Sekiguchi, Takahiro; Era, Shukichi
It is known in humans that electrophysiological measures such as the auditory brainstem response (ABR) are difficult to identify the attention effect at the auditory periphery, whereas the centrifugal effect has been detected by measuring otoacoustic emissions. This research developed a measure responsive to the shift of human scalp potentials within a brief post-stimulus period (13 ms), that is, displacement percentage, and applied it to an experiment to retrieve the peripheral attention effect. In the present experimental paradigm, tone pips were exposed to the left ear whereas the other ear was masked by white noise. Twelve participants each conducted two conditions of either ignoring or attending to the tone pips. Relative to averaged scalp potentials in the ignoring condition, the shift of the potentials was found within early component range during the attentive condition, and displacement percentage then revealed a significant magnitude difference between the two conditions. These results suggest that, using a measure representing the potential shift itself, the peripheral effect of attention can be detected from human scalp potentials.
Josef J. Bless
Full Text Available Emerging evidence of the validity of collecting data in natural settings using smartphone applications has opened new possibilities for psychological assessment, treatment, and research. In this study we explored the feasibility and effectiveness of using a mobile application for self-supervised training of auditory attention. In addition, we investigated the neural underpinnings of the training procedure with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, as well as possible transfer effects to untrained cognitive interference tasks. Subjects in the training group performed the training task on an iPod touch two times a day (morning/evening for three weeks; subjects in the control group received no training, but were tested at the same time interval as the training group. Behavioral responses were measured before and after the training period in both groups, together with measures of task-related neural activations by fMRI. The results showed an expected performance increase after training that corresponded to activation decreases in brain regions associated with selective auditory processing (left posterior temporal gyrus and executive functions (right middle frontal gyrus, indicating more efficient processing in task-related neural networks after training. Our study suggests that cognitive training delivered via mobile applications is feasible and improves the ability to focus attention with corresponding effects on neural plasticity. Future research should focus on the clinical benefits of mobile cognitive training. Limitations of the study are discussed including reduced experimental control and lack of transfer effects.
Arie, Miri; Henkin, Yael; Lamy, Dominique; Tetin-Schneider, Simona; Apter, Alan; Sadeh, Avi; Bar-Haim, Yair
Because abnormal Auditory Efferent Activity (AEA) is associated with auditory distortions during vocalization, we tested whether auditory processing is impaired during vocalization in children with Selective Mutism (SM). Participants were children with SM and abnormal AEA, children with SM and normal AEA, and normally speaking controls, who had to detect aurally presented target words embedded within word lists under two conditions: silence (single task), and while vocalizing (dual task). To ascertain specificity of auditory-vocal deficit, effects of concurrent vocalizing were also examined during a visual task. Children with SM and abnormal AEA showed impaired auditory processing during vocalization relative to children with SM and normal AEA, and relative to control children. This impairment is specific to the auditory modality and does not reflect difficulties in dual task per se. The data extends previous findings suggesting that deficient auditory processing is involved in speech selectivity in SM.
Zhang, Yu-Xuan; Barry, Johanna G; Moore, David R; Amitay, Sygal
Attention modulates auditory perception, but there are currently no simple tests that specifically quantify this modulation. To fill the gap, we developed a new, easy-to-use test of attention in listening (TAIL) based on reaction time. On each trial, two clearly audible tones were presented sequentially, either at the same or different ears. The frequency of the tones was also either the same or different (by at least two critical bands). When the task required same/different frequency judgments, presentation at the same ear significantly speeded responses and reduced errors. A same/different ear (location) judgment was likewise facilitated by keeping tone frequency constant. Perception was thus influenced by involuntary orienting of attention along the task-irrelevant dimension. When information in the two stimulus dimensions were congruent (same-frequency same-ear, or different-frequency different-ear), response was faster and more accurate than when they were incongruent (same-frequency different-ear, or different-frequency same-ear), suggesting the involvement of executive control to resolve conflicts. In total, the TAIL yielded five independent outcome measures: (1) baseline reaction time, indicating information processing efficiency, (2) involuntary orienting of attention to frequency and (3) location, and (4) conflict resolution for frequency and (5) location. Processing efficiency and conflict resolution accounted for up to 45% of individual variances in the low- and high-threshold variants of three psychoacoustic tasks assessing temporal and spectral processing. Involuntary orientation of attention to the irrelevant dimension did not correlate with perceptual performance on these tasks. Given that TAIL measures are unlikely to be limited by perceptual sensitivity, we suggest that the correlations reflect modulation of perceptual performance by attention. The TAIL thus has the power to identify and separate contributions of different components of attention
Brewster, Ryan C; King, Tricia Z; Burns, Thomas G; Drossner, David M; Mahle, William T
White matter disruptions have been identified in individuals with congenital heart disease (CHD). However, no specific theory-driven relationships between microstructural white matter disruptions and cognition have been established in CHD. We conducted a two-part study. First, we identified significant differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) of emerging adults with CHD using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics (TBSS). TBSS analyses between 22 participants with CHD and 18 demographically similar controls identified five regions of normal appearing white matter with significantly lower FA in CHD, and two higher. Next, two regions of lower FA in CHD were selected to examine theory-driven differential relationships with cognition: voxels along the left uncinate fasciculus (UF; a tract theorized to contribute to verbal memory) and voxels along the right middle cerebellar peduncle (MCP; a tract previously linked to attention). In CHD, a significant positive correlation between UF FA and memory was found, r(20)=.42, p=.049 (uncorrected). There was no correlation between UF and auditory attention span. A positive correlation between MCP FA and auditory attention span was found, r(20)=.47, p=.027 (uncorrected). There was no correlation between MCP and memory. In controls, no significant relationships were identified. These results are consistent with previous literature demonstrating lower FA in younger CHD samples, and provide novel evidence for disrupted white matter integrity in emerging adults with CHD. Furthermore, a correlational double dissociation established distinct white matter circuitry (UF and MCP) and differential cognitive correlates (memory and attention span, respectively) in young adults with CHD.
Plude, D J; Doussard-Roosevelt, J A
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.
ter Huurne, Niels; Fallon, Sean James; van Schouwenburg, Martine; van der Schaaf, Marieke; Buitelaar, Jan; Jensen, Ole; Cools, Roshan
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.
McWalter, Richard Ian; McDermott, Josh H.
longer than previously reported integration times in the auditory system. Integration also showed signs of being restricted to sound elements attributed to a common source. The results suggest an integration process that depends on stimulus characteristics, integrating over longer extents when......To overcome variability, estimate scene characteristics, and compress sensory input, perceptual systems pool data into statistical summaries. Despite growing evidence for statistical representations in perception, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. One example...... it benefits statistical estimation of variable signals and selectively integrating stimulus components likely to have a common cause in the world. Our methodology could be naturally extended to examine statistical representations of other types of sensory signals. Sound texture perception is thought...
Roper, Zachary J J; Vecera, Shaun P
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.
Zachary Joseph Jackson Roper
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.
Hill, N. J.; Schölkopf, B.
We report on the development and online testing of an electroencephalogram-based brain-computer interface (BCI) that aims to be usable by completely paralysed users—for whom visual or motor-system-based BCIs may not be suitable, and among whom reports of successful BCI use have so far been very rare. The current approach exploits covert shifts of attention to auditory stimuli in a dichotic-listening stimulus design. To compare the efficacy of event-related potentials (ERPs) and steady-state auditory evoked potentials (SSAEPs), the stimuli were designed such that they elicited both ERPs and SSAEPs simultaneously. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided online, based on subjects' modulation of N1 and P3 ERP components measured during single 5 s stimulation intervals. All 13 healthy subjects were able to use the BCI, with performance in a binary left/right choice task ranging from 75% to 96% correct across subjects (mean 85%). BCI classification was based on the contrast between stimuli in the attended stream and stimuli in the unattended stream, making use of every stimulus, rather than contrasting frequent standard and rare ‘oddball’ stimuli. SSAEPs were assessed offline: for all subjects, spectral components at the two exactly known modulation frequencies allowed discrimination of pre-stimulus from stimulus intervals, and of left-only stimuli from right-only stimuli when one side of the dichotic stimulus pair was muted. However, attention modulation of SSAEPs was not sufficient for single-trial BCI communication, even when the subject's attention was clearly focused well enough to allow classification of the same trials via ERPs. ERPs clearly provided a superior basis for BCI. The ERP results are a promising step towards the development of a simple-to-use, reliable yes/no communication system for users in the most severely paralysed states, as well as potential attention-monitoring and -training applications outside the context of assistive technology.
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.
Franceschini, Sandro; Trevisan, Piergiorgio; Ronconi, Luca; Bertoni, Sara; Colmar, Susan; Double, Kit; Facoetti, Andrea; Gori, Simone
Dyslexia is characterized by difficulties in learning to read and there is some evidence that action video games (AVG), without any direct phonological or orthographic stimulation, improve reading efficiency in Italian children with dyslexia. However, the cognitive mechanism underlying this improvement and the extent to which the benefits of AVG training would generalize to deep English orthography, remain two critical questions. During reading acquisition, children have to integrate written letters with speech sounds, rapidly shifting their attention from visual to auditory modality. In our study, we tested reading skills and phonological working memory, visuo-spatial attention, auditory, visual and audio-visual stimuli localization, and cross-sensory attentional shifting in two matched groups of English-speaking children with dyslexia before and after they played AVG or non-action video games. The speed of words recognition and phonological decoding increased after playing AVG, but not non-action video games. Furthermore, focused visuo-spatial attention and visual-to-auditory attentional shifting also improved only after AVG training. This unconventional reading remediation program also increased phonological short-term memory and phoneme blending skills. Our report shows that an enhancement of visuo-spatial attention and phonological working memory, and an acceleration of visual-to-auditory attentional shifting can directly translate into better reading in English-speaking children with dyslexia.
Melzer, Itshak; Damry, Elad; Landau, Anat; Yagev, Ronit
In order to evaluate the effect of an auditory-memory attention-demanding task on balance control, nine blind adults were compared to nine age-gender-matched sighted controls. This issue is particularly relevant for the blind population in which functional assessment of postural control has to be revealed through "real life" motor and cognitive function. The study aimed to explore whether an auditory-memory attention-demanding cognitive task would influence postural control in blind persons and compare this with blindfolded sighted persons. Subjects were instructed to minimize body sway during narrow base upright standing on a single force platform under two conditions: 1) standing still (single task); 2) as in 1) while performing an auditory-memory attention-demanding cognitive task (dual task). Subjects in both groups were required to stand blindfolded with their eyes closed. Center of Pressure displacement data were collected and analyzed using summary statistics and stabilogram-diffusion analysis. Blind and sighted subjects had similar postural sway in eyes closed condition. However, for dual compared to single task, sighted subjects show significant decrease in postural sway while blind subjects did not. The auditory-memory attention-demanding cognitive task had no interference effect on balance control on blind subjects. It seems that sighted individuals used auditory cues to compensate for momentary loss of vision, whereas blind subjects did not. This may suggest that blind and sighted people use different sensorimotor strategies to achieve stability. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Schneider, Darryl W
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.
Sanders, Lisa D; Zobel, Benjamin H
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.
Spence, C; Ranson, J; Driver, J
In three experiments, we investigated whether the ease with which distracting sounds can be ignored depends on their distance from fixation and from attended visual events. In the first experiment, participants shadowed an auditory stream of words presented behind their heads, while simultaneously fixating visual lip-read information consistent with the relevant auditory stream, or meaningless "chewing" lip movements. An irrelevant auditory stream of words, which participants had to ignore, was presented either from the same side as the fixated visual stream or from the opposite side. Selective shadowing was less accurate in the former condition, implying that distracting sounds are harder to ignore when fixated. Furthermore, the impairment when fixating toward distractor sounds was greater when speaking lips were fixated than when chewing lips were fixated, suggesting that people find it particularly difficult to ignore sounds at locations that are actively attended for visual lipreading rather than merely passively fixated. Experiments 2 and 3 tested whether these results are specific to cross-modal links in speech perception by replacing the visual lip movements with a rapidly changing stream of meaningless visual shapes. The auditory task was again shadowing, but the active visual task was now monitoring for a specific visual shape at one location. A decrement in shadowing was again observed when participants passively fixated toward the irrelevant auditory stream. This decrement was larger when participants performed a difficult active visual task there versus fixating, but not for a less demanding visual task versus fixation. The implications for cross-modal links in spatial attention are discussed.
Matzel, Louis D; Kolata, Stefan
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.
Yorzinski, Jessica L; Platt, Michael L
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.
Oberfeld, Daniel; Klöckner-Nowotny, Felicitas
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.
Oberfeld, Daniel; Klöckner-Nowotny, Felicitas
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
Liebel, Spencer W; Nelson, Jason M
We investigated the auditory and visual working memory functioning in college students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and clinical controls. We examined the role attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder subtype status played in working memory functioning. The unique influence that both domains of working memory have on reading and math abilities was investigated. A sample of 268 individuals seeking postsecondary education comprise four groups of the present study: 110 had an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnosis only, 72 had a learning disability diagnosis only, 35 had comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and learning disability diagnoses, and 60 individuals without either of these disorders comprise a clinical control group. Participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, and licensed psychologists employed a multi-informant, multi-method approach in obtaining diagnoses. In the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder only group, there was no difference between auditory and visual working memory functioning, t(100) = -1.57, p = .12. In the learning disability group, however, auditory working memory functioning was significantly weaker compared with visual working memory, t(71) = -6.19, p attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder only group, there were no auditory or visual working memory functioning differences between participants with either a predominantly inattentive type or a combined type diagnosis. Visual working memory did not incrementally contribute to the prediction of academic achievement skills. Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder did not demonstrate significant working memory differences compared with clinical controls. Individuals with a learning disability demonstrated weaker auditory working memory than individuals in either the attention-deficit/hyperactivity or clinical control groups. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University
Hagen, John William; Zukier, Henry
This study investigated the effects of distractors on children's task-relevant (central) and task-irrelevant (incidental) recall on a short term visual memory task involving pictures of familiar animals and household articles. The effect of mode of distractor (auditory or visual) and the effect of developmental level were also studied. Subjects…
Soskey, Laura N; Allen, Paul D; Bennetto, Loisa
One of the earliest observable impairments in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a failure to orient to speech and other social stimuli. Auditory spatial attention, a key component of orienting to sounds in the environment, has been shown to be impaired in adults with ASD. Additionally, specific deficits in orienting to social sounds could be related to increased acoustic complexity of speech. We aimed to characterize auditory spatial attention in children with ASD and neurotypical controls, and to determine the effect of auditory stimulus complexity on spatial attention. In a spatial attention task, target and distractor sounds were played randomly in rapid succession from speakers in a free-field array. Participants attended to a central or peripheral location, and were instructed to respond to target sounds at the attended location while ignoring nearby sounds. Stimulus-specific blocks evaluated spatial attention for simple non-speech tones, speech sounds (vowels), and complex non-speech sounds matched to vowels on key acoustic properties. Children with ASD had significantly more diffuse auditory spatial attention than neurotypical children when attending front, indicated by increased responding to sounds at adjacent non-target locations. No significant differences in spatial attention emerged based on stimulus complexity. Additionally, in the ASD group, more diffuse spatial attention was associated with more severe ASD symptoms but not with general inattention symptoms. Spatial attention deficits have important implications for understanding social orienting deficits and atypical attentional processes that contribute to core deficits of ASD. Autism Res 2017, 10: 1405-1416. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Dutke, Stephan; Jaitner, Thomas; Berse, Timo; Barenberg, Jonathan
Research on effects of acute physical exercise on performance in a concurrent cognitive task has generated equivocal evidence. Processing efficiency theory predicts that concurrent physical exercise can increase resource requirements for sustaining cognitive performance even when the level of performance is unaffected. This hypothesis was tested in a dual-task experiment. Sixty young adults worked on a primary auditory attention task and a secondary interval production task while cycling on a bicycle ergometer. Physical load (cycling) and cognitive load of the primary task were manipulated. Neither physical nor cognitive load affected primary task performance, but both factors interacted on secondary task performance. Sustaining primary task performance under increased physical and/or cognitive load increased resource consumption as indicated by decreased secondary task performance. Results demonstrated that physical exercise effects on cognition might be underestimated when only single task performance is the focus.
Deng, Wei (Sophia); Sloutsky, Vladimir M.
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
Deng, Wei Sophia; Sloutsky, Vladimir M
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.
Lawo, Vera; Fels, Janina; Oberem, Josefa; Koch, Iring
Using an auditory variant of task switching, we examined the ability to intentionally switch attention in a dichotic-listening task. In our study, participants responded selectively to one of two simultaneously presented auditory number words (spoken by a female and a male, one for each ear) by categorizing its numerical magnitude. The mapping of gender (female vs. male) and ear (left vs. right) was unpredictable. The to-be-attended feature for gender or ear, respectively, was indicated by a visual selection cue prior to auditory stimulus onset. In Experiment 1, explicitly cued switches of the relevant feature dimension (e.g., from gender to ear) and switches of the relevant feature within a dimension (e.g., from male to female) occurred in an unpredictable manner. We found large performance costs when the relevant feature switched, but switches of the relevant feature dimension incurred only small additional costs. The feature-switch costs were larger in ear-relevant than in gender-relevant trials. In Experiment 2, we replicated these findings using a simplified design (i.e., only within-dimension switches with blocked dimensions). In Experiment 3, we examined preparation effects by manipulating the cueing interval and found a preparation benefit only when ear was cued. Together, our data suggest that the large part of attentional switch costs arises from reconfiguration at the level of relevant auditory features (e.g., left vs. right) rather than feature dimensions (ear vs. gender). Additionally, our findings suggest that ear-based target selection benefits more from preparation time (i.e., time to direct attention to one ear) than gender-based target selection.
Scholes, Kirsty E; Martin-Iverson, Mathew T
Controversy exists as to the cause of disturbed prepulse inhibition (PPI) in patients with schizophrenia. This study aimed to clarify the nature of PPI in schizophrenia using improved methodology. Startle and PPI were measured in 44 patients with schizophrenia and 32 controls across a range of startling stimulus intensities under two conditions, one while participants were attending to the auditory stimuli (ATTEND condition) and one while participants completed a visual task in order to ensure they were ignoring the auditory stimuli (IGNORE condition). Patients showed reduced PPI of R(MAX) (reflex capacity) and increased PPI of Hillslope (reflex efficacy) only under the INGORE condition, and failed to show the same pattern of attentional modulation of the reflex parameters as controls. In conclusion, disturbed PPI in schizophrenia appears to result from deficits in selective attention, rather than from preattentive dysfunction.
Hill, N J; Schölkopf, B
We report on the development and online testing of an EEG-based brain-computer interface (BCI) that aims to be usable by completely paralysed users—for whom visual or motor-system-based BCIs may not be suitable, and among whom reports of successful BCI use have so far been very rare. The current approach exploits covert shifts of attention to auditory stimuli in a dichotic-listening stimulus design. To compare the efficacy of event-related potentials (ERPs) and steady-state auditory evoked potentials (SSAEPs), the stimuli were designed such that they elicited both ERPs and SSAEPs simultaneously. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided online, based on subjects’ modulation of N1 and P3 ERP components measured during single 5-second stimulation intervals. All 13 healthy subjects were able to use the BCI, with performance in a binary left/right choice task ranging from 75% to 96% correct across subjects (mean 85%). BCI classification was based on the contrast between stimuli in the attended stream and stimuli in the unattended stream, making use of every stimulus, rather than contrasting frequent standard and rare “oddball” stimuli. SSAEPs were assessed offline: for all subjects, spectral components at the two exactly-known modulation frequencies allowed discrimination of pre-stimulus from stimulus intervals, and of left-only stimuli from right-only stimuli when one side of the dichotic stimulus pair was muted. However, attention-modulation of SSAEPs was not sufficient for single-trial BCI communication, even when the subject’s attention was clearly focused well enough to allow classification of the same trials via ERPs. ERPs clearly provided a superior basis for BCI. The ERP results are a promising step towards the development of a simple-to-use, reliable yes/no communication system for users in the most severely paralysed states, as well as potential attention-monitoring and -training applications outside the context of assistive technology. PMID:22333135
Block, Richard A; Gruber, Ronald P
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.
Guerreiro, Maria J S; Adam, Jos J; Van Gerven, Pascal W M
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.
Huang-Pollock, Cynthia L; Nigg, Joel T; Carr, Thomas H
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.
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…
Lallier, Marie; Donnadieu, Sophie; Valdois, Sylviane
The simultaneous auditory processing skills of 17 dyslexic children and 17 skilled readers were measured using a dichotic listening task. Results showed that the dyslexic children exhibited difficulties reporting syllabic material when presented simultaneously. As a measure of simultaneous visual processing, visual attention span skills were…
The main aim of the present study was to determine whether adult dyslexic readers demonstrate the "Asynchrony Theory" (Breznitz [Reading Fluency: Synchronization of Processes, Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, Mahwah, NJ, USA, 2006]) when selective attention is studied. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavioral parameters were collected from nonimpaired readers group and dyslexic readers group performing alphabetic and nonalphabetic tasks. The dyslexic readers group was found to demonstrate asynchrony between the auditory and the visual modalities when it came to processing alphabetic stimuli. These findings were found both for behavioral and ERPs parameters. Unlike the dyslexic readers, the nonimpaired readers showed synchronized speed of processing in the auditory and the visual modalities while processing alphabetic stimuli. The current study suggests that established reading is dependent on a synchronization between the auditory and the visual modalities even when it comes to selective attention.
Lewald, Jörg; Hanenberg, Christina; Getzmann, Stephan
Successful speech perception in complex auditory scenes with multiple competing speakers requires spatial segregation of auditory streams into perceptually distinct and coherent auditory objects and focusing of attention toward the speaker of interest. Here, we focused on the neural basis of this remarkable capacity of the human auditory system and investigated the spatiotemporal sequence of neural activity within the cortical network engaged in solving the "cocktail-party" problem. Twenty-eight subjects localized a target word in the presence of three competing sound sources. The analysis of the ERPs revealed an anterior contralateral subcomponent of the N2 (N2ac), computed as the difference waveform for targets to the left minus targets to the right. The N2ac peaked at about 500 ms after stimulus onset, and its amplitude was correlated with better localization performance. Cortical source localization for the contrast of left versus right targets at the time of the N2ac revealed a maximum in the region around left superior frontal sulcus and frontal eye field, both of which are known to be involved in processing of auditory spatial information. In addition, a posterior-contralateral late positive subcomponent (LPCpc) occurred at a latency of about 700 ms. Both these subcomponents are potential correlates of allocation of spatial attention to the target under cocktail-party conditions. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Degerman, Alexander; Rinne, Teemu; Salmi, Juha; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo
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.
Wronkiewicz, Mark; Larson, Eric; Lee, Adrian Kc
Brain-computer interface (BCI) technology allows users to generate actions based solely on their brain signals. However, current non-invasive BCIs generally classify brain activity recorded from surface electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes, which can hinder the application of findings from modern neuroscience research. In this study, we use source imaging-a neuroimaging technique that projects EEG signals onto the surface of the brain-in a BCI classification framework. This allowed us to incorporate prior research from functional neuroimaging to target activity from a cortical region involved in auditory attention. Classifiers trained to detect attention switches performed better with source imaging projections than with EEG sensor signals. Within source imaging, including subject-specific anatomical MRI information (instead of using a generic head model) further improved classification performance. This source-based strategy also reduced accuracy variability across three dimensionality reduction techniques-a major design choice in most BCIs. Our work shows that source imaging provides clear quantitative and qualitative advantages to BCIs and highlights the value of incorporating modern neuroscience knowledge and methods into BCI systems.
Bonato Felix, Leonardo; de Souza Ranaudo, Fernando; D'affonseca Netto, Aluizio; Ferreira Leite Miranda de Sá, Antonio Mauricio
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.
Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Ahveninen, Jyrki; Belliveau, John W; Raij, Tommi; Sams, Mikko
Converging lines of evidence suggest that auditory system short-term plasticity can enable several perceptual and cognitive functions that have been previously considered as relatively distinct phenomena. Here we review recent findings suggesting that auditory stimulation, auditory selective attention and cross-modal effects of visual stimulation each cause transient excitatory and (surround) inhibitory modulations in the auditory cortex. These modulations might adaptively tune hierarchically organized sound feature maps of the auditory cortex (e.g. tonotopy), thus filtering relevant sounds during rapidly changing environmental and task demands. This could support auditory sensory memory, pre-attentive detection of sound novelty, enhanced perception during selective attention, influence of visual processing on auditory perception and longer-term plastic changes associated with perceptual learning.
ALEJANDRO CASTILLO MORENO
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.
Huang-Pollock, Cynthia L.; Nigg, Joel T.; Carr, Thomas H.
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:…
Yang, Ming-Tao; Hsu, Chun-Hsien; Yeh, Pei-Wen; Lee, Wang-Tso; Liang, Jao-Shwann; Fu, Wen-Mei; Lee, Chia-Ying
Inattention (IA) has been a major problem in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), accounting for their behavioral and cognitive dysfunctions. However, there are at least three processing steps underlying attentional control for auditory change detection, namely pre-attentive change detection, involuntary attention orienting, and attention reorienting for further evaluation. This study aimed to examine whether children with ADHD would show deficits in any of these subcomponents by using mismatch negativity (MMN), P3a, and late discriminative negativity (LDN) as event-related potential (ERP) markers, under the passive auditory oddball paradigm. Two types of stimuli-pure tones and Mandarin lexical tones-were used to examine if the deficits were general across linguistic and non-linguistic domains. Participants included 15 native Mandarin-speaking children with ADHD and 16 age-matched controls (across groups, age ranged between 6 and 15 years). Two passive auditory oddball paradigms (lexical tones and pure tones) were applied. The pure tone oddball paradigm included a standard stimulus (1000 Hz, 80%) and two deviant stimuli (1015 and 1090 Hz, 10% each). The Mandarin lexical tone oddball paradigm's standard stimulus was /yi3/ (80%) and two deviant stimuli were /yi1/ and /yi2/ (10% each). The results showed no MMN difference, but did show attenuated P3a and enhanced LDN to the large deviants for both pure and lexical tone changes in the ADHD group. Correlation analysis showed that children with higher ADHD tendency, as indexed by parents' and teachers' ratings on ADHD symptoms, showed less positive P3a amplitudes when responding to large lexical tone deviants. Thus, children with ADHD showed impaired auditory change detection for both pure tones and lexical tones in both involuntary attention switching, and attention reorienting for further evaluation. These ERP markers may therefore be used for the evaluation of anti-ADHD drugs that aim to
Full Text Available Inattention has been a major problem in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, accounting for their behavioral and cognitive dysfunctions. However, there are at least three processing steps underlying attentional control for auditory change detection, namely pre-attentive change detection, involuntary attention orienting, and attention reorienting for further evaluation. This study aimed to examine whether children with ADHD would show deficits in any of these subcomponents by using mismatch negativity (MMN, P3a, and late discriminative negativity (LDN as event-related potential (ERP markers, under the passive auditory oddball paradigm. Two types of stimuli - pure tones and Mandarin lexical tones - were used to examine if the deficits were general across linguistic and non-linguistic domains. Participants included 15 native Mandarin-speaking children with ADHD and 16 age-matched controls (across groups, age ranged between 6 and 15 years. Two passive auditory oddball paradigms (lexical tones and pure tones were applied. Pure tone paradigm included standard stimuli (1000 Hz, 80% and two deviant stimuli (1015 Hz and 1090 Hz, 10% each. The Mandarin lexical tone paradigm’s standard stimuli was /yi3/ (80% and two deviant stimuli were /yi1/ and /yi2/ (10% each. The results showed no MMN difference, but did show attenuated P3a and enhanced LDN to the large deviants for both pure and lexical tone changes in the ADHD group. Correlation analysis showed that children with higher ADHD tendency, as indexed by parents’ and teachers’ rating on ADHD symptoms, showed less positive P3a amplitudes when responding to large lexical tone deviants. Thus, children with ADHD showed impaired auditory change detection for both pure tones and lexical tones in both involuntary attention switching, and attention reorienting for further evaluation. These ERP markers may therefore be used for evaluation of anti-ADHD drugs that aim to alleviate these
静进; 王庆雄; 杨斌让; 陈学彬
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.
Flevaris, Anastasia V.; Bentin, Shlomo; Robertson, Lynn C.
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…
Klemen, Jane; Büchel, Christian; Bühler, Mira; Menz, Mareike M; Rose, Michael
Attentional interference between tasks performed in parallel is known to have strong and often undesired effects. As yet, however, the mechanisms by which interference operates remain elusive. A better knowledge of these processes may facilitate our understanding of the effects of attention on human performance and the debilitating consequences that disruptions to attention can have. According to the load theory of cognitive control, processing of task-irrelevant stimuli is increased by attending in parallel to a relevant task with high cognitive demands. This is due to the relevant task engaging cognitive control resources that are, hence, unavailable to inhibit the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli. However, it has also been demonstrated that a variety of types of load (perceptual and emotional) can result in a reduction of the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli, suggesting a uniform effect of increased load irrespective of the type of load. In the present study, we concurrently presented a relevant auditory matching task [n-back working memory (WM)] of low or high cognitive load (1-back or 2-back WM) and task-irrelevant images at one of three object visibility levels (0%, 50%, or 100%). fMRI activation during the processing of the task-irrelevant visual stimuli was measured in the lateral occipital cortex and found to be reduced under high, compared to low, WM load. In combination with previous findings, this result is suggestive of a more generalized load theory, whereby cognitive load, as well as other types of load (e.g., perceptual), can result in a reduction of the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli, in line with a uniform effect of increased load irrespective of the type of load.
Rivière, James; Brisson, Julie
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.
Chan, Edgar; Mattingley, Jason B.; Huang-Pollock, Cynthia; English, Therese; Hester, Robert; Vance, Alasdair; Bellgrove, Mark A.
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…
Meiran, Nachshon; Dimov, Eduard; Ganel, Tzvi
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…
Ruff, Christian C; Kristjánsson, Arni; Driver, Jon
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.
Arrabito, G Robert; Ho, Geoffrey; Aghaei, Behzad; Burns, Catherine; Hou, Ming
Performance and mental workload were observed for the administration of a rest break or exogenous vibrotactile signals in auditory and visual monitoring tasks. Sustained attention is mentally demanding. Techniques are required to improve observer performance in vigilance tasks. Participants (N = 150) monitored an auditory or a visual display for changes in signal duration in a 40-min watch. During the watch, participants were administered a rest break or exogenous vibrotactile signals. Detection accuracy was significantly greater in the auditory than in the visual modality. A short rest break restored detection accuracy in both sensory modalities following deterioration in performance. Participants experienced significantly lower mental workload when monitoring auditory than visual signals, and a rest break significantly reduced mental workload in both sensory modalities. Exogenous vibrotactile signals had no beneficial effects on performance, or mental workload. A rest break can restore performance in auditory and visual vigilance tasks. Although sensory differences in vigilance tasks have been studied, this study is the initial effort to investigate the effects of a rest break countermeasure in both auditory and visual vigilance tasks, and it is also the initial effort to explore the effects of the intervention of a rest break on the perceived mental workload of auditory and visual vigilance tasks. Further research is warranted to determine exact characteristics of effective exogenous vibrotactile signals in vigilance tasks. Potential applications of this research include procedures for decreasing the temporal decline in observer performance and the high mental workload imposed by vigilance tasks. © 2015, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of National Defence.
Rinne, Teemu; Muers, Ross S; Salo, Emma; Slater, Heather; Petkov, Christopher I
The cross-species correspondences and differences in how attention modulates brain responses in humans and animal models are poorly understood. We trained 2 monkeys to perform an audio-visual selective attention task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), rewarding them to attend to stimuli in one modality while ignoring those in the other. Monkey fMRI identified regions strongly modulated by auditory or visual attention. Surprisingly, auditory attention-related modulations were much more restricted in monkeys than humans performing the same tasks during fMRI. Further analyses ruled out trivial explanations, suggesting that labile selective-attention performance was associated with inhomogeneous modulations in wide cortical regions in the monkeys. The findings provide initial insights into how audio-visual selective attention modulates the primate brain, identify sources for "lost" attention effects in monkeys, and carry implications for modeling the neurobiology of human cognition with nonhuman animals. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.
Muers, Ross S.; Salo, Emma; Slater, Heather; Petkov, Christopher I.
Abstract The cross-species correspondences and differences in how attention modulates brain responses in humans and animal models are poorly understood. We trained 2 monkeys to perform an audio–visual selective attention task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), rewarding them to attend to stimuli in one modality while ignoring those in the other. Monkey fMRI identified regions strongly modulated by auditory or visual attention. Surprisingly, auditory attention-related modulations were much more restricted in monkeys than humans performing the same tasks during fMRI. Further analyses ruled out trivial explanations, suggesting that labile selective-attention performance was associated with inhomogeneous modulations in wide cortical regions in the monkeys. The findings provide initial insights into how audio–visual selective attention modulates the primate brain, identify sources for “lost” attention effects in monkeys, and carry implications for modeling the neurobiology of human cognition with nonhuman animals. PMID:28419201
Pachur, Thorsten; Schulte-Mecklenbeck, Michael; Murphy, Ryan O; Hertwig, Ralph
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).
Benitez, Viridiana L; Vales, Catarina; Hanania, Rima; Smith, Linda B
Stability and flexibility are fundamental to an intelligent cognitive system. Here, we examined the relationship between stability in selective attention and explicit control of flexible attention. Preschoolers were tested on the Dimension Preference (DP) task, which measures the stability of selective attention to an implicitly primed dimension, and the Dimension Change Card Sort (DCCS) task, which measures flexible attention switching between dimensions. Children who successfully switched on the DCCS task were more likely than those who perseverated to sustain attention to the primed dimension on the DP task across trials. We propose that perseverators have less stable attention and distribute their attention between dimensions, whereas switchers can successfully stabilize attention to individual dimensions and, thus, show more enduring priming effects. Flexible attention may emerge, in part, from implicit processes that stabilize attention even in tasks not requiring switching. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Müller, Jana Annina; Kollmeier, Birger; Debener, Stefan; Brand, Thomas
The aim of this study was to investigate whether attentional influences on speech recognition are reflected in the neural phase entrained by an external modulator. Sentences were presented in 7 Hz sinusoidally modulated noise while the neural response to that modulation frequency was monitored by electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings in 21 participants. We implemented a selective attention paradigm including three different attention conditions while keeping physical stimulus parameters constant. The participants' task was either to repeat the sentence as accurately as possible (speech recognition task), to count the number of decrements implemented in modulated noise (decrement detection task), or to do both (dual task), while the EEG was recorded. Behavioural analysis revealed reduced performance in the dual task condition for decrement detection, possibly reflecting limited cognitive resources. EEG analysis revealed no significant differences in power for the 7 Hz modulation frequency, but an attention-dependent phase difference between tasks. Further phase analysis revealed a significant difference 500 ms after sentence onset between trials with correct and incorrect responses for speech recognition, indicating that speech recognition performance and the neural phase are linked via selective attention mechanisms, at least shortly after sentence onset. However, the neural phase effects identified were small and await further investigation. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Gregersen, Jón; Hatzigeorgiadis, Antonis; Galanis, Evangelos; Comoutos, Nikos; Papaioannou, Athanasios
This study examined the effects of a self-talk intervention on selective attention in a state of ego depletion. Participants were 62 undergraduate students with a mean age of 20.02 years (SD = 1.17). The experiment was conducted in four consecutive sessions. Following baseline assessment, participants were randomly assigned into experimental and control groups. A two-session training was conducted for the two groups, with the experimental group using self-talk. In the final assessment, participants performed a selective attention test, including visual and auditory components, following a task inducing a state of ego depletion. The analysis showed that participants of the experimental group achieved a higher percentage of correct responses on the visual test and produced faster reaction times in both the visual and the auditory test compared with participants of the control group. The results of this study suggest that the use of self-talk can benefit selective attention for participants in states of ego depletion.
Treder, Matthias S.; Purwins, Hendrik; Miklody, Daniel
. Here, we explore polyphonic music as a novel stimulation approach for future use in a brain-computer interface. In a musical oddball experiment, we had participants shift selective attention to one out of three different instruments in music audio clips, with each instrument occasionally playing one...... 11 participants. This is a proof of concept that attention paid to a particular instrument in polyphonic music can be inferred from ongoing EEG, a finding that is potentially relevant for both brain-computer interface and music research....
Shioiri, Satoshi; Honjyo, Hajime; Kashiwase, Yoshiyuki; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Kuriki, Ichiro
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.
Full Text Available Background: The procognitive actions of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR agonist nicotine are believed, in part, to motivate the excessive cigarette smoking in schizophrenia, a disorder associated with deficits in multiple cognitive domains, including low level auditory sensory processes and higher order attention-dependent operations. Objectives: As N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR hypofunction has been shown to contribute to these cognitive impairments, the primary aims of this healthy volunteer study were to: a to shed light on the separate and interactive roles of nAChR and NMDAR systems in the modulation of auditory sensory memory (and sustained attention, as indexed by the auditory event-related brain potential (ERP – mismatch negativity (MMN, and b to examine how these effects are moderated by a predisposition to auditory hallucinations/delusions (HD. Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled design involving a low intravenous dose of ketamine (.04 mg/kg and a 4 mg dose of nicotine gum, MMN and performance on a rapid visual information processing (RVIP task of sustained attention were examined in 24 healthy controls psychometrically stratified as being lower (L-HD, n = 12 or higher (H-HD for HD propensity. Results: Ketamine significantly slowed MMN, and reduced MMN in H-HD, with amplitude attenuation being blocked by the co-administration of nicotine. Nicotine significantly enhanced response speed (reaction time and accuracy (increased % hits and d΄ and reduced false alarms on the RIVIP, with improved performance accuracy being prevented when nicotine was administered with ketamine. Both % hits and d΄, as well as reaction time were poorer in H-HD (vs. L-HD and while hit rate and d΄ was increased by nicotine in H-HD, reaction time was slowed by ketamine in L-HD. Conclusions: Nicotine alleviated ketamine-induced sensory memory impairments and improved attention, particularly in individuals prone to HD.
Faber, Leon G.; Maurits, Natasha M.; Lorist, Monicque M.
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
Power, Alan J; Foxe, John J; Forde, Emma-Jane; Reilly, Richard B; Lalor, Edmund C
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.
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 ...
Walther, Dirk; Itti, Laurent; Riesenhuber, Maximilian; Poggio, Tomaso; Koch, Christof
...% at a high level is sufficient to recognize multiple objects. To determine the size and shape of the region to be modulated, a rough segmentation is performed, based on pre-attentive features already computed to guide attention. Testing with synthetic and natural stimuli demonstrates that our new approach to attentional selection for recognition yields encouraging results in addition to being biologically plausible.
Bavelier, D; Achtman, RL; Mani, M; Föcker, J
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...
Wyatt, Natalie; Machado, Liana
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…
Xu, Haiyan; Xie, Yingjuan; Li, Min; Zhang, Zhuo; Zhang, Xuewu
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.
Furey, Maura L; Tanskanen, Topi; Beauchamp, Michael S; Avikainen, Sari; Uutela, Kimmo; Hari, Riitta; Haxby, James V
We studied attentional modulation of cortical processing of faces and houses with functional MRI and magnetoencephalography (MEG). MEG detected an early, transient face-selective response. Directing attention to houses in "double-exposure" pictures of superimposed faces and houses strongly suppressed the characteristic, face-selective functional MRI response in the fusiform gyrus. By contrast, attention had no effect on the M170, the early, face-selective response detected with MEG. Late (>190 ms) category-related MEG responses elicited by faces and houses, however, were strongly modulated by attention. These results indicate that hemodynamic and electrophysiological measures of face-selective cortical processing complement each other. The hemodynamic signals reflect primarily late responses that can be modulated by feedback connections. By contrast, the early, face-specific M170 that was not modulated by attention likely reflects a rapid, feed-forward phase of face-selective processing.
Jessen, Tanja Lund; Rodway, Paul
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.
Bourgeois, A; Chelazzi, L; Vuilleumier, P
Motivational stimuli such as rewards elicit adaptive responses and influence various cognitive functions. Notably, increasing evidence suggests that stimuli with particular motivational values can strongly shape perception and attention. These effects resemble both selective top-down and stimulus-driven attentional orienting, as they depend on internal states but arise without conscious will, yet they seem to reflect attentional systems that are functionally and anatomically distinct from those classically associated with frontoparietal cortical networks in the brain. Recent research in human and nonhuman primates has begun to reveal how reward can bias attentional selection, and where within the cognitive system the signals providing attentional priority are generated. This review aims at describing the different mechanisms sustaining motivational attention, their impact on different behavioral tasks, and current knowledge concerning the neural networks governing the integration of motivational influences on attentional behavior. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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
Pomper, U.; Chait, M.
Subjective experience suggests that we are able to direct our auditory attention independent of our visual gaze, e.g when shadowing a nearby conversation at a cocktail party. But what are the consequences at the behavioural and neural level? While numerous studies have investigated both auditory attention and visual gaze independently, little is known about their interaction during selective listening. In the present EEG study, we manipulated visual gaze independently of auditory attention wh...
Full Text Available All sensory systems need to continuously prioritize and select incoming stimuli in order to avoid overflow or interference, and provide a structure to the brain's input. However, the characteristics of this input differ across sensory systems; therefore, and as a direct consequence, each sensory system might have developed specialized strategies to cope with the continuous stream of incoming information. Neural oscillations are intimately connected with this selection process, as they can be used by the brain to rhythmically amplify or attenuate input and therefore represent an optimal tool for stimulus selection. In this paper, we focus on oscillatory processes for stimulus selection in the visual and auditory systems. We point out both commonalities and differences between the two systems and develop several hypotheses, inspired by recently published findings: (1 The rhythmic component in its input is crucial for the auditory, but not for the visual system. The alignment between oscillatory phase and rhythmic input (phase entrainment is therefore an integral part of stimulus selection in the auditory system whereas the visual system merely adjusts its phase to upcoming events, without the need for any rhythmic component. (2 When input is unpredictable, the visual system can maintain its oscillatory sampling, whereas the auditory system switches to a different, potentially internally oriented, “mode” of processing that might be characterized by alpha oscillations. (3 Visual alpha can be divided into a faster occipital alpha (10 Hz and a slower frontal alpha (7 Hz that critically depends on attention.
Jayakar, Reema; King, Tricia Z; Morris, Robin; Na, Sabrina
We examined the nature of verbal memory deficits and the possible hippocampal underpinnings in long-term adult survivors of childhood brain tumor. 35 survivors (M = 24.10 ± 4.93 years at testing; 54% female), on average 15 years post-diagnosis, and 59 typically developing adults (M = 22.40 ± 4.35 years, 54% female) participated. Automated FMRIB Software Library (FSL) tools were used to measure hippocampal, putamen, and whole brain volumes. The California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition (CVLT-II) was used to assess verbal memory. Hippocampal, F(1, 91) = 4.06, ηp² = .04; putamen, F(1, 91) = 11.18, ηp² = .11; and whole brain, F(1, 92) = 18.51, ηp² = .17, volumes were significantly lower for survivors than controls (p memory indices of auditory attention list span (Trial 1: F(1, 92) = 12.70, η² = .12) and final list learning (Trial 5: F(1, 92) = 6.01, η² = .06) were significantly lower for survivors (p attention, but none of the other CVLT-II indices. Secondary analyses for the effect of treatment factors are presented. Volumetric differences between survivors and controls exist for the whole brain and for subcortical structures on average 15 years post-diagnosis. Treatment factors seem to have a unique effect on subcortical structures. Memory differences between survivors and controls are largely contingent upon auditory attention list span. Only hippocampal volume is associated with the auditory attention list span component of verbal memory. These findings are particularly robust for survivors treated with radiation. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.
Stone, Scott A; Tata, Matthew S
Many salient visual events tend to coincide with auditory events, such as seeing and hearing a car pass by. Information from the visual and auditory senses can be used to create a stable percept of the stimulus. Having access to related coincident visual and auditory information can help for spatial tasks such as localization. However not all visual information has analogous auditory percepts, such as viewing a computer monitor. Here, we describe a system capable of detecting and augmenting visual salient events into localizable auditory events. The system uses a neuromorphic camera (DAVIS 240B) to detect logarithmic changes of brightness intensity in the scene, which can be interpreted as salient visual events. Participants were blindfolded and asked to use the device to detect new objects in the scene, as well as determine direction of motion for a moving visual object. Results suggest the system is robust enough to allow for the simple detection of new salient stimuli, as well accurately encoding direction of visual motion. Future successes are probable as neuromorphic devices are likely to become faster and smaller in the future, making this system much more feasible.
Scott A Stone
Full Text Available Many salient visual events tend to coincide with auditory events, such as seeing and hearing a car pass by. Information from the visual and auditory senses can be used to create a stable percept of the stimulus. Having access to related coincident visual and auditory information can help for spatial tasks such as localization. However not all visual information has analogous auditory percepts, such as viewing a computer monitor. Here, we describe a system capable of detecting and augmenting visual salient events into localizable auditory events. The system uses a neuromorphic camera (DAVIS 240B to detect logarithmic changes of brightness intensity in the scene, which can be interpreted as salient visual events. Participants were blindfolded and asked to use the device to detect new objects in the scene, as well as determine direction of motion for a moving visual object. Results suggest the system is robust enough to allow for the simple detection of new salient stimuli, as well accurately encoding direction of visual motion. Future successes are probable as neuromorphic devices are likely to become faster and smaller in the future, making this system much more feasible.
Talsma, D.; Woldorff, Marty G.
We used event-related potentials (ERPs) to evaluate the role of attention in the integration of visual and auditory features of multisensory objects. This was done by contrasting the ERPs to multisensory stimuli (AV) to the sum of the ERPs to the corresponding auditory-only (A) and visual-only (V)
Schwark, Jeremy D; Dolgov, Igor; Sandry, Joshua; Volkman, C Brooks
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.
Karla M. I. Freiria Elias
Full Text Available Objective To investigate central auditory processing in children with unilateral stroke and to verify whether the hemisphere affected by the lesion influenced auditory competence. Method 23 children (13 male between 7 and 16 years old were evaluated through speech-in-noise tests (auditory closure; dichotic digit test and staggered spondaic word test (selective attention; pitch pattern and duration pattern sequence tests (temporal processing and their results were compared with control children. Auditory competence was established according to the performance in auditory analysis ability. Results Was verified similar performance between groups in auditory closure ability and pronounced deficits in selective attention and temporal processing abilities. Most children with stroke showed an impaired auditory ability in a moderate degree. Conclusion Children with stroke showed deficits in auditory processing and the degree of impairment was not related to the hemisphere affected by the lesion.
Mulligan, Neil W
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.
Andrew C. Talk
Full Text Available Loss of function of the hippocampus or frontal cortex is associated with reduced performance on memory tasks, in which subjects are incidentally exposed to cues at specific places in the environment and are subsequently asked to recollect the location at which the cue was experienced. Here, we examined the roles of the rodent hippocampus and frontal cortex in cue-directed attention during encoding of memory for the location of a single incidentally experienced cue. During a spatial sensory preconditioning task, rats explored an elevated platform while an auditory cue was incidentally presented at one corner. The opposite corner acted as an unpaired control location. The rats demonstrated recollection of location by avoiding the paired corner after the auditory cue was in turn paired with shock. Damage to either the dorsal hippocampus or the frontal cortex impaired this memory ability. However, we also found that hippocampal lesions enhanced attention directed towards the cue during the encoding phase, while frontal cortical lesions reduced cue-directed attention. These results suggest that the deficit in spatial sensory preconditioning caused by frontal cortical damage may be mediated by inattention to the location of cues during the latent encoding phase, while deficits following hippocampal damage must be related to other mechanisms such as generation of neural plasticity.
Talk, Andrew C.; Grasby, Katrina L.; Rawson, Tim; Ebejer, Jane L.
Loss of function of the hippocampus or frontal cortex is associated with reduced performance on memory tasks, in which subjects are incidentally exposed to cues at specific places in the environment and are subsequently asked to recollect the location at which the cue was experienced. Here, we examined the roles of the rodent hippocampus and frontal cortex in cue-directed attention during encoding of memory for the location of a single incidentally experienced cue. During a spatial sensory preconditioning task, rats explored an elevated platform while an auditory cue was incidentally presented at one corner. The opposite corner acted as an unpaired control location. The rats demonstrated recollection of location by avoiding the paired corner after the auditory cue was in turn paired with shock. Damage to either the dorsal hippocampus or the frontal cortex impaired this memory ability. However, we also found that hippocampal lesions enhanced attention directed towards the cue during the encoding phase, while frontal cortical lesions reduced cue-directed attention. These results suggest that the deficit in spatial sensory preconditioning caused by frontal cortical damage may be mediated by inattention to the location of cues during the latent encoding phase, while deficits following hippocampal damage must be related to other mechanisms such as generation of neural plasticity. PMID:27999366
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…
Burnham, Bryan R; Sabia, Matthew; Langan, Catherine
Load theory (Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E. . 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.
Middlebrooks, Catherine D; Kerr, Tyson; Castel, Alan D
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.
Elliott, Taffeta M; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Kelley, Darcy B
click rates ranged from 4 to 50 Hz, the rate at which the clicks begin to overlap. Frequency selectivity and temporal processing were characterized using response-intensity curves, temporal-discharge patterns, and autocorrelations of reduplicated responses to click trains. Characteristic frequencies...... of the rate of clicks in calls. The majority of neurons (85%) were selective for click rates, and this selectivity remained unchanged over sound levels 10 to 20 dB above threshold. Selective neurons give phasic, tonic, or adapting responses to tone bursts and click trains. Some algorithms that could compute...
Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hysaj, Kristjana; Niebur, Ernst
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.
Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan
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...
Wang, Wuyi; Viswanathan, Shivakumar; Lee, Taraz; Grafton, Scott T
Cortical theta band oscillations (4-8 Hz) in EEG signals have been shown to be important for a variety of different cognitive control operations in visual attention paradigms. However the synchronization source of these signals as defined by fMRI BOLD activity and the extent to which theta oscillations play a role in multimodal attention remains unknown. Here we investigated the extent to which cross-modal visual and auditory attention impacts theta oscillations. Using a simultaneous EEG-fMRI paradigm, healthy human participants performed an attentional vigilance task with six cross-modal conditions using naturalistic stimuli. To assess supramodal mechanisms, modulation of theta oscillation amplitude for attention to either visual or auditory stimuli was correlated with BOLD activity by conjunction analysis. Negative correlation was localized to cortical regions associated with the default mode network and positively with ventral premotor areas. Modality-associated attention to visual stimuli was marked by a positive correlation of theta and BOLD activity in fronto-parietal area that was not observed in the auditory condition. A positive correlation of theta and BOLD activity was observed in auditory cortex, while a negative correlation of theta and BOLD activity was observed in visual cortex during auditory attention. The data support a supramodal interaction of theta activity with of DMN function, and modality-associated processes within fronto-parietal networks related to top-down theta related cognitive control in cross-modal visual attention. On the other hand, in sensory cortices there are opposing effects of theta activity during cross-modal auditory attention.
Nakai, Toshiharu; Kato, Chikako; Matsuo, Kayako
In human life, discrimination of a target voice from other voices or sounds is indispensable, and inability for such discrimination results in sensory aphasia. To investigate the neuronal basis of the attentional system for human voices, we evaluated brain activity during listening comprehension tasks using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3T. Diotic listening comprehension tasks, in which a narration was superimposed by another given by the same speaker (SV experiment) or by a different speaker (DV experiment), were presented to normal volunteers. The story indicated in the baseline task blocks, in which only one narration was presented, was intensively followed during the superimposed task blocks. In each experiment, 6 task blocks, 3 blocks for each condition, and 7 rest blocks were alternatively repeated, and the contrast of the superimposed condition to the baseline condition in each session was obtained. In the DV experiment, compared with the control condition, activation in Wernicke's area (BA22) was increased. In the SV experiment, activation in the frontal association cortex (BA6, BA9/46, BA32, BA13/47) was additionally increased. These results suggested that difficulty in phonological processing to discriminate human voices calls for further semantic, syntactic, and prosodic processing, as well as augmented selective attention. (author)
Stockburger, Jessica; Renner, Britta; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O; Schupp, Harald T
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.
Mondelli, Maria Fernanda Capoani Garcia
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.
Remington, R.; Pierce, L.
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.
Caspersen, Ida Dyhr; Habekost, Thomas
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...
Qiu, Fangtu T; Sugihara, Tadashi; von der Heydt, Rüdiger
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.
Reimer, Christina B; Strobach, Tilo; Schubert, Torsten
Visual attention and response selection are limited in capacity. Here, we investigated whether visual attention requires the same bottleneck mechanism as response selection in a dual-task of the psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm. The dual-task consisted of an auditory two-choice discrimination Task 1 and a conjunction search Task 2, which were presented at variable temporal intervals (stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA). In conjunction search, visual attention is required to select items and to bind their features resulting in a serial search process around the items in the search display (i.e., set size). We measured the reaction time of the visual search task (RT2) and the N2pc, an event-related potential (ERP), which reflects lateralized visual attention processes. If the response selection processes in Task 1 influence the visual attention processes in Task 2, N2pc latency and amplitude would be delayed and attenuated at short SOA compared to long SOA. The results, however, showed that latency and amplitude were independent of SOA, indicating that visual attention was concurrently deployed to response selection. Moreover, the RT2 analysis revealed an underadditive interaction of SOA and set size. We concluded that visual attention does not require the same bottleneck mechanism as response selection in dual-tasks.
Bavelier, D; Achtman, R L; Mani, M; Föcker, J
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.
Nikouei Mahani, Mohammad-Ali; Haghgoo, Hojjat Allah; Azizi, Solmaz; Nili Ahmadabadi, Majid
In our daily life, we continually exploit already learned multisensory associations and form new ones when facing novel situations. Improving our associative learning results in higher cognitive capabilities. We experimentally and computationally studied the learning performance of healthy subjects in a visual-auditory sensory associative learning task across active learning, attention cueing learning, and passive learning modes. According to our results, the learning mode had no significant effect on learning association of congruent pairs. In addition, subjects' performance in learning congruent samples was not correlated with their vigilance score. Nevertheless, vigilance score was significantly correlated with the learning performance of the non-congruent pairs. Moreover, in the last block of the passive learning mode, subjects significantly made more mistakes in taking non-congruent pairs as associated and consciously reported lower confidence. These results indicate that attention and activity equally enhanced visual-auditory associative learning for non-congruent pairs, while false alarm rate in the passive learning mode did not decrease after the second block. We investigated the cause of higher false alarm rate in the passive learning mode by using a computational model, composed of a reinforcement learning module and a memory-decay module. The results suggest that the higher rate of memory decay is the source of making more mistakes and reporting lower confidence in non-congruent pairs in the passive learning mode.
Poirier, Colline; Boumans, Tiny; Vellema, Michiel
BACKGROUND: Like human speech, birdsong is a learned behavior that supports species and individual recognition. Norepinephrine is a catecholamine suspected to play a role in song learning. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of norepinephrine in bird's own song selectivity, a prope...
Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Higgins, Beth A; Rycroft, Jane A; Owen, Gail N; Mahoney, Jeannette; Shpaner, Marina; Foxe, John J
: Ingestion of the nonproteinic amino acid theanine (5-N-ethylglutamine) has been shown to increase oscillatory brain activity in the so-called alpha band (8-14 Hz) during resting electroencephalographic recordings in humans. Independently, alpha band activity has been shown to be a key component in selective attentional processes. Here, we set out to assess whether theanine would cause modulation of anticipatory alpha activity during selective attentional deployments to stimuli in different sensory modalities, a paradigm in which robust alpha attention effects have previously been established. : Electrophysiological data from 168 scalp electrode channels were recorded while participants performed a standard intersensory attentional cuing task. : As in previous studies, significantly greater alpha band activity was measured over parieto-occipital scalp for attentional deployments to the auditory modality than to the visual modality. Theanine ingestion resulted in a substantial overall decrease in background alpha levels relative to placebo while subjects were actively performing this demanding attention task. Despite this decrease in background alpha activity, attention-related alpha effects were significantly greater for the theanine condition. : This increase of attention-related anticipatory alpha over the right parieto-occipital scalp suggests that theanine may have a specific effect on the brain's attention circuitry. We conclude that theanine has clear psychoactive properties, and that it represents a potentially interesting, naturally occurring compound for further study, as it relates to the brain's attentional system.
Gondan, Matthias; Blurton, Steven Paul; Hughes, F.
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...
McIntyre, Miranda M; Graziano, William G
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.
Stockburger, Jessica; Renner, Britta; Weike, Almut I.; Hamm, Alfons O.; Schupp, Harald Thomas
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...
Hahn, Britta; Wolkenberg, Frank A; Ross, Thomas J; Myers, Carol S; Heishman, Stephen J; Stein, Dan J; Kurup, Pradeep K; Stein, Elliot A
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.
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.
Bartolozzi, Chiara; Indiveri, Giacomo
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.
Beeghly, Marjorie; Rose-Jacobs, Ruth; Martin, Brett M; Cabral, Howard J; Heeren, Timothy C; Frank, Deborah A
Neuropsychological processes such as attention and memory contribute to children's higher-level cognitive and language functioning and predict academic achievement. The goal of this analysis was to evaluate whether level of intrauterine cocaine exposure (IUCE) alters multiple aspects of preadolescents' neuropsychological functioning assessed using a single age-referenced instrument, the NEPSY: A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment (NEPSY) (Korkman et al., 1998), after controlling for relevant covariates. Participants included 137 term 9.5-year-old children from low-income urban backgrounds (51% male, 90% African American/Caribbean) from an ongoing prospective longitudinal study. Level of IUCE was assessed in the newborn period using infant meconium and maternal report. 52% of the children had IUCE (65% with lighter IUCE, and 35% with heavier IUCE), and 48% were unexposed. Infants with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, HIV seropositivity, or intrauterine exposure to illicit substances other than cocaine and marijuana were excluded. At the 9.5-year follow-up visit, trained examiners masked to IUCE and background variables evaluated children's neuropsychological functioning using the NEPSY. The association between level of IUCE and NEPSY outcomes was evaluated in a series of linear regressions controlling for intrauterine exposure to other substances and relevant child, caregiver, and demographic variables. Results indicated that level of IUCE was associated with lower scores on the Auditory Attention and Narrative Memory tasks, both of which require auditory information processing and sustained attention for successful performance. However, results did not follow the expected ordinal, dose-dependent pattern. Children's neuropsychological test scores were also altered by a variety of other biological and psychosocial factors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Beeghly, Marjorie; Rose-Jacobs, Ruth; Martin, Brett M.; Cabral, Howard J.; Heeren, Timothy C.; Frank, Deborah A.
Neuropsychological processes such as attention and memory contribute to children's higher-level cognitive and language functioning and predict academic achievement. The goal of this analysis was to evaluate whether level of intrauterine cocaine exposure (IUCE) alters multiple aspects of preadolescents' neuropsychological functioning assessed using a single age-referenced instrument, the NEPSY: A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment (NEPSY) , after controlling for relevant covariates. Participants included 137 term 9.5-year-old children from low-income urban backgrounds (51% male, 90% African American/Caribbean) from an ongoing prospective longitudinal study. Level of IUCE was assessed in the newborn period using infant meconium and maternal report. 52% of the children had IUCE (65% with lighter IUCE, and 35% with heavier IUCE), and 48% were unexposed. Infants with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, HIV seropositivity, or intrauterine exposure to illicit substances other than cocaine and marijuana were excluded. At the 9.5-year follow-up visit, trained examiners masked to IUCE and background variables evaluated children's neuropsychological functioning using the NEPSY. The association between level of IUCE and NEPSY outcomes was evaluated in a series of linear regressions controlling for intrauterine exposure to other substances and relevant child, caregiver, and demographic variables. Results indicated that level of IUCE was associated with lower scores on the Auditory Attention and Narrative Memory tasks, both of which require auditory information processing and sustained attention for successful performance. However, results did not follow the expected ordinal, dose-dependent pattern. Children's neuropsychological test scores were also altered by a variety of other biological and psychosocial factors. PMID:24978115
Wang, Hongyan; Zhang, Gaoyan; Liu, Baolin
Semantic priming is an important research topic in the field of cognitive neuroscience. Previous studies have shown that the uni-modal semantic priming effect can be modulated by attention. However, the influence of attention on cross-modal semantic priming is unclear. To investigate this issue, the present study combined a cross-modal semantic priming paradigm with an auditory spatial attention paradigm, presenting the visual pictures as the prime stimuli and the semantically related or unrelated sounds as the target stimuli. Event-related potentials results showed that when the target sound was attended to, the N400 effect was evoked. The N400 effect was also observed when the target sound was not attended to, demonstrating that the cross-modal semantic priming effect persists even though the target stimulus is not focused on. Further analyses revealed that the N400 effect evoked by the unattended sound was significantly lower than the effect evoked by the attended sound. This contrast provides new evidence that the cross-modal semantic priming effect can be modulated by attention.
Gmehlin, Dennis; Kreisel, Stefan H; Bachmann, Silke; Weisbrod, Matthias; Thomas, Christine
The frontal hypothesis of aging predicts an age-related decline in cognitive functions requiring inhibitory or attentional regulation. In Alzheimer's disease, preattentive gating out of redundant information is impaired. Our study aimed to examine changes associated with physiological aging in both pre- and early attentive inhibition of recurrent acoustic information. Using a passive double-click paradigm, we recorded mid-latency (P30-P50) and late-latency (N100 and P200) evoked potentials in healthy young (26 ± 5 years) and healthy elderly subjects (72 ± 5 years). Physiological aging did not affect auditory gating in amplitude measures. Both age groups exhibited clear inhibition in preattentive P50 and attention-modulated (N100) components, whereas P30 was not attenuated. Irrespective of age, the magnitude of inhibition differed significantly, being most pronounced for N100 gating. Inhibition of redundant information seems to be preserved with physiological aging. Early attentive N100 gating showed the maximum effect. Further studies are warranted to evaluate sensory gating as a suitable biomarker of underlying neurodegenerative disease.
Úbeda-Gómez, J; León-Palacios, M G; Escudero-Pérez, S; Barros-Albarrán, M D; López-Jiménez, A M; Perona-Garcelán, S
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among self-focused attention, mindfulness and distress caused by the voices in psychiatric patients. Fifty-one individuals with a psychiatric diagnosis participated in this study. The Psychotic Symptom Rating Scale (PSYRATS) emotional factor was applied to measure the distress caused by the voices, the Self-Absorption Scale (SAS) was given for measuring the levels of self-focused attention, and the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) was used to measure mindfulness. The results showed that distress caused by the voices correlated positively with self-focused attention (private and public) and negatively with mindfulness. A negative correlation was also found between mindfulness and self-focused attention (private and public). Finally, multiple linear regression analysis showed that public self-focus was the only factor predicting distress caused by the voices. Intervention directed at diminishing public self-focused attention and increasing mindfulness could improve distress caused by the voices.
Kamke, Marc R.; Harris, Jill
The involuntary capture of attention by salient visual stimuli can be influenced by the behavioral goals of an observer. For example, when searching for a target item, irrelevant items that possess the target-defining characteristic capture attention more strongly than items not possessing that feature. Such contingent capture involves a shift of spatial attention toward the item with the target-defining characteristic. It is not clear, however, if the associated decrements in performance for...
Ahmed, Lubna; de Fockert, Jan W
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.
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
O'Sullivan, James A.; Power, Alan J.; Mesgarani, Nima; Rajaram, Siddharth; Foxe, John J.; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.; Slaney, Malcolm; Shamma, Shihab A.; Lalor, Edmund C.
How humans solve the cocktail party problem remains unknown. However, progress has been made recently thanks to the realization that cortical activity tracks the amplitude envelope of speech. This has led to the development of regression methods for studying the neurophysiology of continuous speech. One such method, known as stimulus-reconstruction, has been successfully utilized with cortical surface recordings and magnetoencephalography (MEG). However, the former is invasive and gives a relatively restricted view of processing along the auditory hierarchy, whereas the latter is expensive and rare. Thus it would be extremely useful for research in many populations if stimulus-reconstruction was effective using electroencephalography (EEG), a widely available and inexpensive technology. Here we show that single-trial (≈60 s) unaveraged EEG data can be decoded to determine attentional selection in a naturalistic multispeaker environment. Furthermore, we show a significant correlation between our EEG-based measure of attention and performance on a high-level attention task. In addition, by attempting to decode attention at individual latencies, we identify neural processing at ∼200 ms as being critical for solving the cocktail party problem. These findings open up new avenues for studying the ongoing dynamics of cognition using EEG and for developing effective and natural brain–computer interfaces. PMID:24429136
Yorzinski, Jessica L; Patricelli, Gail L; Babcock, Jason S; Pearson, John M; Platt, Michael L
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.
Qiao, Zhengxue; Yang, Aiying; Qiu, Xiaohui; Yang, Xiuxian; Zhang, Congpei; Zhu, Xiongzhao; He, Jincai; Wang, Lin; Bai, Bing; Sun, Hailian; Zhao, Lun; Yang, Yanjie
Gender differences in rates of major depressive disorder (MDD) are well established, but gender differences in cognitive function have been little studied. Auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) was used to investigate gender differences in pre-attentive information processing in first episode MDD. In the deviant-standard reverse oddball paradigm, duration auditory MMN was obtained in 30 patients (15 males) and 30 age-/education-matched controls. Over frontal-central areas, mean amplitude of increment MMN (to a 150-ms deviant tone) was smaller in female than male patients; there was no sex difference in decrement MMN (to a 50-ms deviant tone). Neither increment nor decrement MMN differed between female and male patients over temporal areas. Frontal-central MMN and temporal MMN did not differ between male and female controls in any condition. Over frontal-central areas, mean amplitude of increment MMN was smaller in female patients than female controls; there was no difference in decrement MMN. Neither increment nor decrement MMN differed between female patients and female controls over temporal areas. Frontal-central MMN and temporal MMN did not differ between male patients and male controls. Mean amplitude of increment MMN in female patients did not correlate with symptoms, suggesting this sex-specific deficit is a trait- not a state-dependent phenomenon. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Seymour, Jenessa L; Low, Kathy A; Maclin, Edward L; Chiarelli, Antonio M; Mathewson, Kyle E; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele; Dye, Matthew W G
Theories of brain plasticity propose that, in the absence of input from the preferred sensory modality, some specialized brain areas may be recruited when processing information from other modalities, which may result in improved performance. The Useful Field of View task has previously been used to demonstrate that early deafness positively impacts peripheral visual attention. The current study sought to determine the neural changes associated with those deafness-related enhancements in visual performance. Based on previous findings, we hypothesized that recruitment of posterior portions of Brodmann area 22, a brain region most commonly associated with auditory processing, would be correlated with peripheral selective attention as measured using the Useful Field of View task. We report data from severe to profoundly deaf adults and normal-hearing controls who performed the Useful Field of View task while cortical activity was recorded using the event-related optical signal. Behavioral performance, obtained in a separate session, showed that deaf subjects had lower thresholds (i.e., better performance) on the Useful Field of View task. The event-related optical data indicated greater activity for the deaf adults than for the normal-hearing controls during the task in the posterior portion of Brodmann area 22 in the right hemisphere. Furthermore, the behavioral thresholds correlated significantly with this neural activity. This work provides further support for the hypothesis that cross-modal plasticity in deaf individuals appears in higher-order auditory cortices, whereas no similar evidence was obtained for primary auditory areas. It is also the only neuroimaging study to date that has linked deaf-related changes in the right temporal lobe to visual task performance outside of the imaging environment. The event-related optical signal is a valuable technique for studying cross-modal plasticity in deaf humans. The non-invasive and relatively quiet characteristics of
Lineweaver, Tara T; Kercood, Suneeta; O'Keeffe, Nicole B; O'Brien, Kathleen M; Massey, Eric J; Campbell, Samantha J; Pierce, Jenna N
Two studies addressed how young adult college students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (n = 44) compare to their nonaffected peers (n = 42) on tests of auditory and visual-spatial working memory (WM), are vulnerable to auditory and visual distractions, and are affected by a simple intervention. Students with ADHD demonstrated worse auditory WM than did controls. A near significant trend indicated that auditory distractions interfered with the visual WM of both groups and that, whereas controls were also vulnerable to visual distractions, visual distractions improved visual WM in the ADHD group. The intervention was ineffective. Limited correlations emerged between self-reported ADHD symptoms and objective test performances; students with ADHD who perceived themselves as more symptomatic often had better WM and were less vulnerable to distractions than their ADHD peers.
Klemen, Jane; Buchel, Christian; Buhler, Mira; Menz, Mareike M.; Rose, Michael
Attentional interference between tasks performed in parallel is known to have strong and often undesired effects. As yet, however, the mechanisms by which interference operates remain elusive. A better knowledge of these processes may facilitate our understanding of the effects of attention on human performance and the debilitating consequences…
Nah, Joseph C; Neppi-Modona, Marco; Strother, Lars; Behrmann, Marlene; Shomstein, Sarah
Visual input typically includes a myriad of objects, some of which are selected for further processing. While these objects vary in shape and size, most evidence supporting object-based guidance of attention is drawn from paradigms employing two identical objects. Importantly, object size is a readily perceived stimulus dimension, and whether it modulates the distribution of attention remains an open question. Across four experiments, the size of the objects in the display was manipulated in a modified version of the two-rectangle paradigm. In Experiment 1, two identical parallel rectangles of two sizes (thin or thick) were presented. Experiments 2-4 employed identical trapezoids (each having a thin and thick end), inverted in orientation. In the experiments, one end of an object was cued and participants performed either a T/L discrimination or a simple target-detection task. Combined results show that, in addition to the standard object-based attentional advantage, there was a further attentional benefit for processing information contained in the thick versus thin end of objects. Additionally, eye-tracking measures demonstrated increased saccade precision towards thick object ends, suggesting that Fitts's Law may play a role in object-based attentional shifts. Taken together, these results suggest that object-based attentional selection is modulated by object width.
Roper, Zachary J J; Vecera, Shaun P
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.
Mulet, B; Valero, J; Gutiérrez-Zotes, A; Montserrat, C; Cortés, M J; Jariod, M; Martorell, L; Vilella, E; Labad, A
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.
Popovich, C; Dockstader, C; Cheyne, D; Tannock, R
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.
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.
Krusemark, Elizabeth A; Kiehl, Kent A; Newman, Joseph P
Psychopathic individuals are prone to act on urges without adequate consideration of future consequences or the rights of other individuals. One interpretation of this behavior is that it reflects abnormal selective attention (i.e., a failure to process information that is incongruent with their primary focus of attention; Hiatt, Schmitt, & Newman, Neuropsychology, 18, 50-59, 2004). Unfortunately, it is unclear whether this selective attention abnormality reflects top-down endogenous influences, such as the strength or specificity of attention focus (i.e., top-down set) apart from other, more exogenous (bottom-up), effects on attention. To explore this question, we used an early visual event-related potential (N2pc) in combination with a modified visual search task designed to assess the effect of early endogenous (i.e., top-down) attention on the processing of set-congruent information. The task was administered to a sample of 70 incarcerated adult males, who were assigned to high, intermediate, and low psychopathy groups using Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (Hare, 2003). Based on the assumption that their failure to process set-incongruent information reflects the exaggerated effects of endogenous attention, we predicted that participants with high psychopathy scores would show an exaggerated N2pc response to set-congruent information. The results supported the hypothesis and provide novel electrophysiological evidence that psychopathy is associated with exaggerated endogenous attention effects during early stages of processing. Further research is needed to examine the implications of this finding for the well-established failure of psychopathic individuals to process set-incongruent information and inhibit inappropriate responses.
Spaulding, Tammie J.; Plante, Elena; Vance, Rebecca
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.…
van der Stelt, O.; van der Molen, M.W.; Gunning, W.B.; Kok, A.
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
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.
Sasse, Laura K; Gamer, Matthias; Büchel, Christian; Brassen, Stefanie
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.
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…
Risko, Evan F.; Blais, Chris; Stolz, Jennifer A.; Besner, Derek
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…
Huang, Liqiang; Pashler, Harold
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…
Fernandez-Duque, Diego; Black, Sandra E.
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…
Rosner, Tamara M; D'Angelo, Maria C; MacLellan, Ellen; Milliken, Bruce
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.
Lussier, I; Stip, E
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
Vorobyev, Victor A; Alho, Kimmo; Medvedev, Svyatoslav V; Pakhomov, Sergey V; Roudas, Marina S; Rutkovskaya, Julia M; Tervaniemi, Mari; Van Zuijen, Titia L; Näätänen, Risto
Positron emission tomography (PET) was used to investigate the neural basis of selective processing of linguistic material during concurrent presentation of multiple stimulus streams ("cocktail-party effect"). Fifteen healthy right-handed adult males were to attend to one of three simultaneously presented messages: one presented visually, one to the left ear, and one to the right ear. During the control condition, subjects attended to visually presented consonant letter strings and ignored auditory messages. This paper reports the modality-nonspecific language processing and visual word-form processing, whereas the auditory attention effects have been reported elsewhere [Cogn. Brain Res. 17 (2003) 201]. The left-hemisphere areas activated by both the selective processing of text and speech were as follows: the inferior prefrontal (Brodmann's area, BA 45, 47), anterior temporal (BA 38), posterior insular (BA 13), inferior (BA 20) and middle temporal (BA 21), occipital (BA 18/30) cortices, the caudate nucleus, and the amygdala. In addition, bilateral activations were observed in the medial occipito-temporal cortex and the cerebellum. Decreases of activation during both text and speech processing were found in the parietal (BA 7, 40), frontal (BA 6, 8, 44) and occipito-temporal (BA 37) regions of the right hemisphere. Furthermore, the present data suggest that the left occipito-temporal cortex (BA 18, 20, 37, 21) can be subdivided into three functionally distinct regions in the posterior-anterior direction on the basis of their activation during attentive processing of sublexical orthography, visual word form, and supramodal higher-level aspects of language.
Rehme, Anne K; Bey, Katharina; Frommann, Ingo; Mogg, Karin; Bradley, Brendan P; Bludau, Julia; Block, Verena; Sträter, Birgitta; Schütz, Christian G; Wagner, Michael
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.
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
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.
Wang, Encong; Sun, Li; Sun, Meirong; Huang, Jing; Tao, Ye; Zhao, Xixi; Wu, Zhanliang; Ding, Yulong; Newman, Daniel P; Bellgrove, Mark A; Wang, Yufeng; Song, Yan
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder with prominent impairments in directing and sustaining attention. The aim of this study was to identify the neurophysiologic bases of attention deficits in ADHD, focusing on electroencephalography markers of attentional selection (posterior contralateral N2 [N2pc]) and suppression (distractor positivity [P D ]). The electroencephalography data were collected from 135 children 9-15 years old with and without ADHD while they searched for a shape target in either the absence (experiment 1) or the presence (experiment 2) of a salient but irrelevant color distractor. In experiment 1, the shape target elicited a smaller N2pc in children with ADHD (n = 38) compared with typically developing children (n = 36). The smaller N2pc amplitude predicted higher levels of inattentive symptoms in children with ADHD. Moreover, the target-elicited N2pc was followed by a positivity in typically developing children but not in children with ADHD. In experiment 2, the salient but irrelevant color distractor elicited a smaller P D component in children with ADHD (n = 32) compared with typically developing children (n = 29). The smaller P D predicted higher inattentive symptom severity as well as lower behavioral accuracy in children with ADHD. The correlation between N2pc/P D amplitudes and ADHD symptom severity suggests that these signals of attentional selection and suppression may serve as potential candidates for neurophysiologic markers of ADHD. Our findings provide a neurophysiologic basis for the subjective reports of attention deficits in children with ADHD and highlight the importance of spatial attention impairments in ADHD. Copyright © 2016 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Pauletti, Caterina; Mannarelli, Daniela; De Lucia, Maria Caterina; Locuratolo, Nicoletta; Currà, Antonio; Missori, Paolo; Marinelli, Lucio; Fattapposta, Francesco
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.
Hahn, Constanze; Hahn, Eric; Dettling, Michael; Güntürkün, Onur; Ta, Thi Minh Tam; Neuhaus, Andres H
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.
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.
Sun, Meirong; Wang, Encong; Huang, Jing; Zhao, Chenguang; Guo, Jialiang; Li, Dongwei; Sun, Li; Du, Boqi; Ding, Yulong; Song, Yan
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.
Phélip, Marion; Donnot, Julien; Vauclair, Jacques
In their groundbreaking work featuring verbal dichotic listening tasks, Mondor and Bryden showed that tone cues do not enhance children's attentional orienting, in contrast to adults. The magnitude of the children's right-ear advantage was not attenuated when their attention was directed to the left ear. Verbal cues did, however, appear to favour the orientation of attention at around 10 years, although stimulus-onset asynchronies (SOAs), which ranged between 450 and 750 ms, were not rigorously controlled. The aim of our study was therefore to investigate the role of both types of cues in a typical CV-syllable dichotic listening task administered to 8- to 10-year-olds, applying a protocol as similar as possible to that used by Mondor and Bryden, but controlling for SOA as well as for cued ear. Results confirmed that verbal cues are more effective than tone cues in orienting children's attention. However, in contrast to adults, no effect of SOA was observed. We discuss the relative difficulty young children have processing CV syllables, as well as the role of top-down processes in attentional orienting abilities.
Reimer, Christina B; Schubert, Torsten
Both response selection and visual attention are limited in capacity. According to the central bottleneck model, the response selection processes of two tasks in a dual-task situation are performed sequentially. In conjunction search, visual attention is required to select the items and to bind their features (e.g., color and form), which results in a serial search process. Search time increases as items are added to the search display (i.e., set size effect). When the search display is masked, visual attention deployment is restricted to a brief period of time and target detection decreases as a function of set size. Here, we investigated whether response selection and visual attention (i.e., feature binding) rely on a common or on distinct capacity limitations. In four dual-task experiments, participants completed an auditory Task 1 and a conjunction search Task 2 that were presented with an experimentally modulated temporal interval between them (Stimulus Onset Asynchrony, SOA). In Experiment 1, Task 1 was a two-choice discrimination task and the conjunction search display was not masked. In Experiment 2, the response selection difficulty in Task 1 was increased to a four-choice discrimination and the search task was the same as in Experiment 1. We applied the locus-of-slack method in both experiments to analyze conjunction search time, that is, we compared the set size effects across SOAs. Similar set size effects across SOAs (i.e., additive effects of SOA and set size) would indicate sequential processing of response selection and visual attention. However, a significantly smaller set size effect at short SOA compared to long SOA (i.e., underadditive interaction of SOA and set size) would indicate parallel processing of response selection and visual attention. In both experiments, we found underadditive interactions of SOA and set size. In Experiments 3 and 4, the conjunction search display in Task 2 was masked. Task 1 was the same as in Experiments 1 and 2
Ohoyama, Keiko; Motomura, Eishi; Inui, Koji; Nishihara, Makoto; Otsuru, Naofumi; Oi, Motoyasu; Kakigi, Ryusuke; Okada, Motohiro
Quickly detecting changes in the surrounding environment is one of the most important functions of sensory processing. Comparison of a new event with preceding sensory conditions is necessary for the change-detection process. A sudden change in a continuous sound elicits auditory evoked potentials that peak approximately 100 ms after the onset of the change (Change-N1). In the present study, we recorded Change-N1 under an oddball paradigm in 19 healthy subjects using an abruptly moving sound (SM-stimulus) as a deviant stimulus and investigated effects of the probability of the SM-stimulus to reveal whether Change-N1 is a memory-based response. We compared the amplitude and latency of Change-N1 elicited by the SM-stimulus among three probability conditions (33, 50 and 100%). As the probability of the SM-stimulus decreased, the amplitude of Change-N1 increased and its latency decreased. The present results indicate that the preceding sensory history affects Change-N1 elicited by the SM-stimulus. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.
Anthony P. Turner
Full Text Available Purpose. To monitor physiological and attention responses of drivers and codrivers during a World Rally Championship (WRC event. Methods. Observational data were collected from ten male drivers/codrivers on heart rate (HR, core body (Tcore and skin temperature (Tsk, hydration status (urine osmolality, fluid intake (self-report, and visual and auditory selective attention (performance tests. Measures were taken pre-, mid-, and postcompetition day and also during the precompetition reconnaissance. Results. In ambient temperatures of 20.1°C (in-car peak 33.9°C mean (SD peak HR and Tcore were significantly elevated (P<0.05 during rally compared to reconnaissance (166 (17 versus 111 (16 beats·min−1 and 38.5 (0.4 versus 37.6 (0.2°C, resp.. Values during competitive stages were substantially higher in drivers. High urine osmolality was indicated in some drivers within competition. Attention was maintained during the event but was significantly lower prerally, though with considerable individual variation. Conclusions. Environmental and physical demands during rally competition produced significant physiological responses. Challenges to thermoregulation, hydration status, and cognitive function need to be addressed to minimise potentially negative effects on performance and safety.
Yorzinski, Jessica L; Patricelli, Gail L; Bykau, Siarhei; Platt, Michael L
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.
Elena V Orekhova
Full Text Available The extended phenotype of autism spectrum disorders (ASD includes a combination of arousal regulation problems, sensory modulation difficulties, and attention re-orienting deficit. A slow and inefficient re-orienting to stimuli that appear outside of the attended sensory stream is thought to be especially detrimental for social functioning. Event-related potentials (ERPs and magnetic fields (ERFs may help to reveal which processing stages underlying brain response to unattended but salient sensory event are affected in individuals with ASD. Previous research focusing on two sequential stages of the brain response - automatic detection of physical changes in auditory stream, indexed by mismatch negativity (MMN, and evaluation of stimulus novelty, indexed by P3a component, - found in individuals with ASD either increased, decreased or normal processing of deviance and novelty. The review examines these apparently conflicting results, notes gaps in previous findings, and suggests a potentially unifying hypothesis relating the dampened responses to unattended sensory events to the deficit in rapid arousal process. Specifically, ‘sensory gating’ studies focused on pre-attentive arousal consistently demonstrated that brain response to unattended and temporally novel sound in ASD is already affected at around 100 ms after stimulus onset. We hypothesize that abnormalities in nicotinic cholinergic arousal pathways, previously reported in individuals with ASD, may contribute to these ERP/ERF aberrations and result in attention re-orienting deficit. Such cholinergic dysfunction may be present in individuals with ASD early in life and can influence both sensory processing and attention re-orienting behavior. Identification of early neurophysiological biomarkers for cholinergic deficit would help to detect infants at risk who can potentially benefit from particular types of therapies or interventions.
Hiatt, Kristina D; Schmitt, William A; Newman, Joseph P
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)
Zizlsperger, Leopold; Sauvigny, Thomas; Haarmeier, Thomas
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.
Burg, E. van der; Olivers, C.N.L.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Koelewijn, T.; Theeuwes, J.
Als binnen een halve seconde twee visuele items in een serieel aangeboden stroom moeten worden geselecteerd, is de prestatie voor het tweede item vaak relatief slecht (er treedt een attentional blink op); wanneer het eerste echter item auditief wordt aangeboden, verdwijnt de blink meestal. We
Hughes, Robert W.; Vachon, Francois; Jones, Dylan M.
A novel attentional capture effect is reported in which visual-verbal serial recall was disrupted if a single deviation in the interstimulus interval occurred within otherwise regularly presented task-irrelevant spoken items. The degree of disruption was the same whether the temporal deviant was embedded in a sequence made up of a repeating item…
Shalev, Nir; De Wandel, Linde; Dockree, Paul; Demeyere, Nele; Chechlacz, Magdalena
The Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) provides a mathematical formalisation of the "biased competition" account of visual attention. Applying this model to individual performance in a free recall task allows the estimation of 5 independent attentional parameters: visual short-term memory (VSTM) capacity, speed of information processing, perceptual threshold of visual detection; attentional weights representing spatial distribution of attention (spatial bias), and the top-down selectivity index. While the TVA focuses on selection in space, complementary accounts of attention describe how attention is maintained over time, and how temporal processes interact with selection. A growing body of evidence indicates that different facets of attention interact and share common neural substrates. The aim of the current study was to modulate a spatial attentional bias via transfer effects, based on a mechanistic understanding of the interplay between spatial, selective and temporal aspects of attention. Specifically, we examined here: (i) whether a single administration of a lateralized sustained attention task could prime spatial orienting and lead to transferable changes in attentional weights (assigned to the left vs right hemi-field) and/or other attentional parameters assessed within the framework of TVA (Experiment 1); (ii) whether the effects of such spatial-priming on TVA parameters could be further enhanced by bi-parietal high frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) (Experiment 2). Our results demonstrate that spatial attentional bias, as assessed within the TVA framework, was primed by sustaining attention towards the right hemi-field, but this spatial-priming effect did not occur when sustaining attention towards the left. Furthermore, we show that bi-parietal high-frequency tRNS combined with the rightward spatial-priming resulted in an increased attentional selectivity. To conclude, we present a novel, theory-driven method for attentional modulation
Jacobson, Mark W; Delis, Dean C; Bondi, Mark W; Salmon, David P
Some studies of elderly individuals with the ApoE-e4 genotype noted subtle deficits on tests of attention such as the WAIS-R Digit Span subtest, but these findings have not been consistently reported. One possible explanation for the inconsistent results could be the presence of subgroups of e4+ individuals with asymmetric cognitive profiles (i.e., significant discrepancies between verbal and visuospatial skills). Comparing genotype groups with individual, modality-specific tests might obscure subtle differences between verbal and visuospatial attention in these asymmetric subgroups. In this study, we administered the WAIS-R Digit Span and WMS-R Visual Memory Span subtests to 21 nondemented elderly e4+ individuals and 21 elderly e4- individuals matched on age, education, and overall cognitive ability. We hypothesized that a) the e4+ group would show a higher incidence of asymmetric cognitive profiles when comparing Digit Span/Visual Memory Span performance relative to the e4- group; and (b) an analysis of individual test performance would fail to reveal differences between the two subject groups. Although the groups' performances were comparable on the individual attention span tests, the e4+ group showed a significantly larger discrepancy between digit span and spatial span scores compared to the e4- group. These findings suggest that contrast measures of modality-specific attentional skills may be more sensitive to subtle group differences in at-risk groups, even when the groups do not differ on individual comparisons of standardized test means. The increased discrepancy between verbal and visuospatial attention may reflect the presence of "subgroups" within the ApoE-e4 group that are qualitatively similar to asymmetric subgroups commonly associated with the earliest stages of AD.
Full Text Available Following a multi-talker conversation relies on the ability to rapidly and efficiently shift the focus of spatial attention from one talker to another. The current study investigated the listening costs associated with shifts in spatial attention during conversational turn-taking in 16 normally-hearing listeners using a novel sentence recall task. Three pairs of syntactically fixed but semantically unpredictable matrix sentences, recorded from a single male talker, were presented concurrently through an array of three loudspeakers (directly ahead and +/-30° azimuth. Subjects attended to one spatial location, cued by a tone, and followed the target conversation from one sentence to the next using the call-sign at the beginning of each sentence. Subjects were required to report the last three words of each sentence (speech recall task or answer multiple choice questions related to the target material (speech comprehension task. The reading span test, attention network test, and trail making test were also administered to assess working memory, attentional control, and executive function. There was a 10.7 ± 1.3% decrease in word recall, a pronounced primacy effect, and a rise in masker confusion errors and word omissions when the target switched location between sentences. Switching costs were independent of the location, direction, and angular size of the spatial shift but did appear to be load dependent and only significant for complex questions requiring multiple cognitive operations. Reading span scores were positively correlated with total words recalled, and negatively correlated with switching costs and word omissions. Task switching speed (Trail-B time was also significantly correlated with recall accuracy. Overall, this study highlights i the listening costs associated with shifts in spatial attention and ii the important role of working memory in maintaining goal relevant information and extracting meaning from dynamic multi
Full Text Available Selective mutism (SM is a relatively rare psychiatric disorder of childhood characterized by consistent inability to speak in specific social situations despite the ability to speak normally in others. SM typically involves severe impairments in social and academic functioning. Common complications include school failure, social difficulties in the peer group, and aggravated intra-familial relationships. Although SM has been described in the medical and psychological literatures for many years, the potential underlying neural basis of the disorder has only recently been explored. Here we explore the potential role of specific auditory neural mechanisms in the psychopathology of SM and discuss possible implications for treatment.
Si, Xia-Meng; Liu, Yun; Xiong, Fei; Zhang, Yan-Chao; Ding, Fei; Cheng, Hui
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.
Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R.; Robertson, Elaine R.; Mikels, Joseph A.; Carstensen, Laura L.; Gotlib, Ian H.
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
Maess, Burkhard; Jacobsen, Thomas; Schröger, Erich; Friederici, Angela D
Changes in the pitch of repetitive sounds elicit the mismatch negativity (MMN) of the event-related brain potential (ERP). There exist two alternative accounts for this index of automatic change detection: (1) A sensorial, non-comparator account according to which ERPs in oddball sequences are affected by differential refractory states of frequency-specific afferent cortical neurons. (2) A cognitive, comparator account stating that MMN reflects the outcome of a memory comparison between a neuronal model of the frequently presented standard sound with the sensory memory representation of the changed sound. Using a condition controlling for refractoriness effects, the two contributions to MMN can be disentangled. The present study used whole-head MEG to further elucidate the sensorial and cognitive contributions to frequency MMN. Results replicated ERP findings that MMN to pitch change is a compound of the activity of a sensorial, non-comparator mechanism and a cognitive, comparator mechanism which could be separated in time. The sensorial part of frequency MMN consisting of spatially dipolar patterns was maximal in the late N1 range (105-125 ms), while the cognitive part peaked in the late MMN-range (170-200 ms). Spatial principal component analyses revealed that the early part of the traditionally measured MMN (deviant minus standard) is mainly due to the sensorial mechanism while the later mainly due to the cognitive mechanism. Inverse modeling revealed sources for both MMN contributions in the gyrus temporales transversus, bilaterally. These MEG results suggest temporally distinct but spatially overlapping activities of non-comparator-based and comparator-based mechanisms of automatic frequency change detection in auditory cortex.
Zimmermann, Jacqueline F; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude
Attention to memory describes the process of attending to memory traces when the object is no longer present. It has been studied primarily for representations of visual stimuli with only few studies examining attention to sound object representations in short-term memory. Here, we review the interplay of attention and auditory memory with an emphasis on 1) attending to auditory memory in the absence of related external stimuli (i.e., reflective attention) and 2) effects of existing memory on guiding attention. Attention to auditory memory is discussed in the context of change deafness, and we argue that failures to detect changes in our auditory environments are most likely the result of a faulty comparison system of incoming and stored information. Also, objects are the primary building blocks of auditory attention, but attention can also be directed to individual features (e.g., pitch). We review short-term and long-term memory guided modulation of attention based on characteristic features, location, and/or semantic properties of auditory objects, and propose that auditory attention to memory pathways emerge after sensory memory. A neural model for auditory attention to memory is developed, which comprises two separate pathways in the parietal cortex, one involved in attention to higher-order features and the other involved in attention to sensory information. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Liu, Da-Rong; Chuang, Shun-Po; Lee, Hung-yi
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 ...
Ratneshwar, S; Warlop, Luk; Mick, DG; Seeger, G
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 ...
Mun, Sungchul; Kim, Eun-Soo; Park, Min-Chul
This study investigated behavioral responses to and auditory event-related potential (ERP) correlates of mental fatigue caused by mobile three-dimensional (3D) viewing. Twenty-six participants (14 women) performed a selective attention task in which they were asked to respond to the sounds presented at the attended side while ignoring sounds at the ignored side before and after mobile 3D viewing. Considering different individual susceptibilities to 3D, participants' subjective fatigue data were used to categorize them into two groups: fatigued and unfatigued. The amplitudes of d-ERP components were defined as differences in amplitudes between time-locked brain oscillations of the attended and ignored sounds, and these values were used to calculate the degree to which spatial selective attention was impaired by 3D mental fatigue. The fatigued group showed significantly longer response times after mobile 3D viewing compared to before the viewing. However, response accuracy did not significantly change between the two conditions, implying that the participants used a behavioral strategy to cope with their performance accuracy decrement by increasing their response times. No significant differences were observed for the unfatigued group. Analysis of covariance revealed group differences with significant and trends toward significant decreases in the d-P200 and d-late positive potential (LPP) amplitudes at the occipital electrodes of the fatigued and unfatigued groups. Our findings indicate that mentally fatigued participants did not effectively block out distractors in their information processing mechanism, providing support for the hypothesis that 3D mental fatigue impairs spatial selective attention and is characterized by changes in d-P200 and d-LPP amplitudes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Tyler, Sarah C; Dasgupta, Samhita; Agosta, Sara; Battelli, Lorella; Grossman, Emily D
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.
Vincent, Benjamin T
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.
Talsma, D.; Kok, A.
Focuses on the question of whether inter-and intramodal forms of attention are reflected in activation of the same or different brain areas. ERPs were recorded while Ss (aged 18-41 yrs) were presented a random sequence of visual and auditory stimuli. They were instructed to attend to nonspatial
Talsma, D.; Kok, Albert
The present study focuses on the question of whether inter- and intramodal forms of attention are reflected in activation of the same or different brain areas. ERPs were recorded while subjects were presented a random sequence of visual and auditory stimuli. They were instructed to attend to
Talsma, D.; Doty, Tracy J.; Woldorff, Marty G.
Interactions between multisensory integration and attention were studied using a combined audiovisual streaming design and a rapid serial visual presentation paradigm. Event-related potentials (ERPs) following audiovisual objects (AV) were compared with the sum of the ERPs following auditory (A) and
Uncapher, Melina R; Rugg, Michael D
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.
Uncapher, Melina R.; Rugg, Michael D.
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
Kristjánsson, Tómas; Thorvaldsson, Tómas Páll; Kristjánsson, Arni
Previous research involving both unimodal and multimodal studies suggests that single-response change detection is a capacity-free process while a discriminatory up or down identification is capacity-limited. The trace/context model assumes that this reflects different memory strategies rather than inherent differences between identification and detection. To perform such tasks, one of two strategies is used, a sensory trace or a context coding strategy, and if one is blocked, people will automatically use the other. A drawback to most preceding studies is that stimuli are presented at separate locations, creating the possibility of a spatial confound, which invites alternative interpretations of the results. We describe a series of experiments, investigating divided multimodal attention, without the spatial confound. The results challenge the trace/context model. Our critical experiment involved a gap before a change in volume and brightness, which according to the trace/context model blocks the sensory trace strategy, simultaneously with a roaming pedestal, which should block the context coding strategy. The results clearly show that people can use strategies other than sensory trace and context coding in the tasks and conditions of these experiments, necessitating changes to the trace/context model.
Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M; Hillyard, Steven A
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
Yao, Bo; Belin, Pascal; Scheepers, Christoph
In human communication, direct speech (e.g., Mary said: "I'm hungry") is perceived to be more vivid than indirect speech (e.g., Mary said [that] she was hungry). However, for silent reading, the representational consequences of this distinction are still unclear. Although many of us share the intuition of an "inner voice," particularly during silent reading of direct speech statements in text, there has been little direct empirical confirmation of this experience so far. Combining fMRI with eye tracking in human volunteers, we show that silent reading of direct versus indirect speech engenders differential brain activation in voice-selective areas of the auditory cortex. This suggests that readers are indeed more likely to engage in perceptual simulations (or spontaneous imagery) of the reported speaker's voice when reading direct speech as opposed to meaning-equivalent indirect speech statements as part of a more vivid representation of the former. Our results may be interpreted in line with embodied cognition and form a starting point for more sophisticated interdisciplinary research on the nature of auditory mental simulation during reading.
Andrade, Brendan F.; Brodeur, Darlene A.; Waschbusch, Daniel A.; Stewart, Sherry H.; McGee, Robin
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…
Stevens, Courtney; Bavelier, Daphné
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...
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
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…
Wood, Katherine; Simons, Daniel J.
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...
Dye, Matthew W. G.; Hauser, Peter C.; Bavelier, Daphne
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
Henkin, Yael; Bar-Haim, Yair
Selective mutism (SM) is a relatively rare psychiatric disorder of childhood characterized by consistent inability to speak in specific social situations despite the ability to speak normally in others. SM typically involves severe impairments in social and academic functioning. Common complications include school failure, social difficulties in the peer group, and aggravated intra-familial relationships. Although SM has been described in the medical and psychological literatures for many years, the potential underlying neural basis of the disorder has only recently been explored. Here we explore the potential role of specific auditory neural mechanisms in the psychopathology of SM and discuss possible implications for treatment. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Gondan, Matthias; Blurton, Steven P.; Hughes, Flavia; Greenlee, Mark W.
When participants respond to auditory and visual stimuli, responses to audiovisual stimuli are substantially faster than to unimodal stimuli (redundant signals effect, RSE). In such tasks, the RSE is usually higher than probability summation predicts, suggestive of specific integration mechanisms underlying the RSE. We investigated the role of…
Stevens, Courtney; Bavelier, Daphne
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
Stevens, Courtney; Bavelier, Daphne
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.
Furey, Maura L; Pietrini, Pietro; Haxby, James V; Drevets, Wayne C
The cholinergic neurotransmitter system is critically linked to cognitive functions including attention. The current studies were designed to evaluate the effect of a cholinergic agonist and an antagonist on performance during a selective visual attention task where the inherent salience of attended/unattended stimuli was modulated. Two randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover studies were performed, one (n=9) with the anticholinesterase physostigmine (1.0 mg/h), and the other (n=30) with the anticholinergic scopolamine (0.4 mc/kg). During the task, two double-exposure pictures of faces and houses were presented side by side. Subjects were cued to attend to either the face or the house component of the stimuli, and were instructed to perform a matching task with the two exemplars from the attended category. The cue changed every 4-7 trials to instruct subjects to shift attention from one stimulus component to the other. During placebo in both studies, reaction time (RT) associated with the first trial following a cued shift in attention was longer than RT associated with later trials (pattention to houses condition (pattention to faces. Scopolamine increased RT relative to placebo selectively during trials greater than one (pattention to faces condition (pselective attention (ie trials greater than 1). Moreover, effects of cholinergic manipulation depend on the selective attention condition (ie faces vs houses), which may suggest that cholinergic activity interacts with stimulus salience. The findings are discussed within the context of the role of acetylcholine both in stimulus processing and stimulus salience, and in establishing attention biases through top-down and bottom-up mechanisms of attention.
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
Stormark, K M; Laberg, J C; Nordby, H; Hugdahl, K
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.
Sabatino, M; Di Nuovo, S; Sardo, P; Abbate, C S; La Grutta, V
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.
Stone, M.; Ladd, S. L.; Gabrieli, J. D.
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.
Kohl, R. L.
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.
J.S. Legerstee (Jeroen); J.H.M. Tulen (Joke); V.L. Kallen (Victor); G.C. Dieleman (Gwen); P.D.A. Treffers (Philip); F.C. Verhulst (Frank); E.M.W.J. Utens (Elisabeth)
textabstractAbstract OBJECTIVE: The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders
Legerstee, Jeroen S.; Tulen, Joke H. M.; Kallen, Victor L.; Dieleman, Gwen C.; Treffers, Philip D. A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Utens, Elisabeth M. W. J.
The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. Participants
Goldstein, E B; Fink, S I
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.
Full Text Available Participants were requested to respond to a sequence of visual targets while listening to a well-known lullaby. One of the notes in the lullaby was occasionally exchanged with a pattern deviant. Experiment 1 found that deviants capture attention as a function of the pitch difference between the deviant and the replaced/expected tone. However, when the pitch difference between the expected tone and the deviant tone is held constant, a violation to the direction-of-pitch change across tones can also capture attention (Experiment 2. Moreover, in more complex auditory environments, wherein it is difficult to build a coherent neural model of the sound environment from which expectations are formed, deviations can capture attention but it appears to matter less whether this is a violation from a specific stimulus or a violation of the current direction-of-change (Experiment 3. The results support the expectation violation account of auditory distraction and suggest that there are at least two different expectations that can be violated: One appears to be bound to a specific stimulus and the other would seem to be bound to a more global cross-stimulus rule such as the direction-of-change based on a sequence of preceding sound events. Factors like base-rate probability of tones within the sound environment might become the driving mechanism of attentional capture--rather than violated expectations--in complex sound environments.
Nöstl, Anatole; Marsh, John E; Sörqvist, Patrik
Participants were requested to respond to a sequence of visual targets while listening to a well-known lullaby. One of the notes in the lullaby was occasionally exchanged with a pattern deviant. Experiment 1 found that deviants capture attention as a function of the pitch difference between the deviant and the replaced/expected tone. However, when the pitch difference between the expected tone and the deviant tone is held constant, a violation to the direction-of-pitch change across tones can also capture attention (Experiment 2). Moreover, in more complex auditory environments, wherein it is difficult to build a coherent neural model of the sound environment from which expectations are formed, deviations can capture attention but it appears to matter less whether this is a violation from a specific stimulus or a violation of the current direction-of-change (Experiment 3). The results support the expectation violation account of auditory distraction and suggest that there are at least two different expectations that can be violated: One appears to be bound to a specific stimulus and the other would seem to be bound to a more global cross-stimulus rule such as the direction-of-change based on a sequence of preceding sound events. Factors like base-rate probability of tones within the sound environment might become the driving mechanism of attentional capture--rather than violated expectations--in complex sound environments.
Qiu, Fangtu T.; Sugihara, Tadashi; von der Heydt, Rüdiger
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...
Morey, Rajendra A.; Mitchell, Teresa V.; Inan, Seniha; Lieberman, Jeffrey A.; Belger, Aysenil
Individuals with schizophrenia demonstrate impairments in selective attention and sensory processing. The authors assessed differences in brain function between 26 participants with schizophrenia and 17 comparison subjects engaged in automatic (unattended) and controlled (attended) auditory information processing using event-related functional MRI. Lower regional neural activation during automatic auditory processing in the schizophrenia group was not confined to just the temporal lobe, but also extended to prefrontal regions. Controlled auditory processing was associated with a distributed frontotemporal and subcortical dysfunction. Differences in activation between these two modes of auditory information processing were more pronounced in the comparison group than in the patient group. PMID:19196926
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 ...
Blair, Mark R.; Watson, Marcus R.; Walshe, R. Calen; Maj, Fillip
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…
Horki, P; Bauernfeind, G; Schippinger, W; Pichler, G; Müller-Putz, G R
Two challenges need to be addressed before bringing non-motor mental tasks for brain-computer interface (BCI) control to persons in a minimally conscious state (MCS), who can be behaviorally unresponsive even when proven to be consciously aware: first, keeping the cognitive demands as low as possible so that they could be fulfilled by persons with MCS. Second, increasing the control of experimental protocol (i.e. type and timing of the task performance). The goal of this study is twofold: first goal is to develop an experimental paradigm that can facilitate the performance of brain-teasers (e.g. mental subtraction and word generation) on the one hand, and can increase the control of experimental protocol on the other hand. The second goal of this study is to exploit the similar findings for mentally attending to someone else's verbal performance of brain-teaser tasks and self-performing the same tasks to setup an online BCI, and to compare it in healthy participants to the current "state-of-the-art" motor imagery (MI, sports). The response accuracies for the best performing healthy participants indicate that selective attention to verbal performance of mental subtraction (SUB) is a viable alternative to the MI. Time-frequency analysis of the SUB task in one participant with MCS did not reveal any significant (pselective attention task (i.e. mentally attending to someone else's verbal performance of mental subtraction) can modulate both induced and evoked changes in EEG, and be used for yes/no communication in an auditory scanning paradigm. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Correani, Alessia; Humphreys, Glyn W
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.
Wahlström, Viktor; Åhlander, Fredrik; Wynn, Rolf
Psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder, may sometimes be difficult to diagnose. There is a great need for a valid and reliable diagnostic tool to aid clinicians in arriving at the diagnoses in a timely and accurate manner. Prior studies have suggested that patients suffering from schizophrenia and ADHD may process certain sound stimuli in the brainstem in an unusual manner. When these patient groups have been examined with the electrophysiological method of brainstem audiometry, some studies have found illness-specific aberrations. Such aberrations may also exist for patients suffering from bipolar disorder. In this study, we will examine whether the method of brainstem audiometry can be used as a diagnostic tool for patients suffering from schizophrenia, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. The method includes three steps: (1) auditory stimulation with specific sound stimuli, (2) simultaneous measurement of brainstem activity, and (3) automated interpretation of the resulting brain stem audiograms with data-based signal analysis. We will compare three groups of 12 individuals with confirmed diagnoses of schizophrenia, ADHD, or bipolar disorder with 12 healthy subjects under blinded conditions for a total of 48 participants. The extent to which the method can be used to reach the correct diagnosis will be investigated. The project is now in a recruiting phase. When all patients and controls have been recruited and the measurements have been performed, the data will be analyzed according to a previously arranged algorithm. We expect the recruiting phase and measurements to be completed in early 2015, the analyses to be performed in mid-2015, and the results of the study to be published in early 2016. If the results support previous findings, this will lend strength to the idea that brainstem audiometry can offer objective diagnostic support for patients suffering from schizophrenia, ADHD, and
Full Text Available Sensory systems adapt their neural code to changes in the sensory environment, often on multiple time scales. Here, we report a new form of adaptation in a first-order auditory interneuron (AN2 of crickets. We characterize the response of the AN2 neuron to amplitude-modulated sound stimuli and find that adaptation shifts the stimulus-response curves toward higher stimulus intensities, with a time constant of 1.5 s for adaptation and recovery. The spike responses were thus reduced for low-intensity sounds. We then address the question whether adaptation leads to an improvement of the signal's representation and compare the experimental results with the predictions of two competing hypotheses: infomax, which predicts that information conveyed about the entire signal range should be maximized, and selective coding, which predicts that "foreground" signals should be enhanced while "background" signals should be selectively suppressed. We test how adaptation changes the input-response curve when presenting signals with two or three peaks in their amplitude distributions, for which selective coding and infomax predict conflicting changes. By means of Bayesian data analysis, we quantify the shifts of the measured response curves and also find a slight reduction of their slopes. These decreases in slopes are smaller, and the absolute response thresholds are higher than those predicted by infomax. Most remarkably, and in contrast to the infomax principle, adaptation actually reduces the amount of encoded information when considering the whole range of input signals. The response curve changes are also not consistent with the selective coding hypothesis, because the amount of information conveyed about the loudest part of the signal does not increase as predicted but remains nearly constant. Less information is transmitted about signals with lower intensity.
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.
Atkinson, Leslie; Leung, Eman; Goldberg, Susan; Benoit, Diane; Poulton, Lori; Myhal, Natalie; Blokland, Kirsten; Kerr, Sheila
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.
Rohr, Christiane S; Vinette, Sarah A; Parsons, Kari A L; Cho, Ivy Y K; Dimond, Dennis; Benischek, Alina; Lebel, Catherine; Dewey, Deborah; Bray, Signe
Early childhood is a period of profound neural development and remodeling during which attention skills undergo rapid maturation. Attention networks have been extensively studied in the adult brain, yet relatively little is known about changes in early childhood, and their relation to cognitive development. We investigated the association between age and functional connectivity (FC) within the dorsal attention network (DAN) and the association between FC and attention skills in early childhood. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data was collected during passive viewing in 44 typically developing female children between 4 and 7 years whose sustained, selective, and executive attention skills were assessed. FC of the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and the frontal eye fields (FEF) was computed across the entire brain and regressed against age. Age was positively associated with FC between core nodes of the DAN, the IPS and the FEF, and negatively associated with FC between the DAN and regions of the default-mode network. Further, controlling for age, FC between the IPS and FEF was significantly associated with selective attention. These findings add to our understanding of early childhood development of attention networks and suggest that greater FC within the DAN is associated with better selective attention skills. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hahn, Britta; Ross, Thomas J; Wolkenberg, Frank A; Shakleya, Diaa M; Huestis, Marilyn A; Stein, Elliot A
Attention-enhancing effects of nicotine appear to depend on the nature of the attentional function. Underlying neuroanatomical mechanisms, too, may vary depending on the function modulated. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study recorded blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity in minimally deprived smokers during tasks of simple stimulus detection, selective attention, or divided attention after single-blind application of a transdermal nicotine (21 mg) or placebo patch. Smokers' performance in the placebo condition was unimpaired as compared with matched nonsmokers. Nicotine reduced reaction time (RT) in the stimulus detection and selective attention but not divided attention condition. Across all task conditions, nicotine reduced activation in frontal, temporal, thalamic, and visual regions and enhanced deactivation in so-called "default" regions. Thalamic effects correlated with RT reduction selectively during stimulus detection. An interaction with task condition was observed in middle and superior frontal gyri, where nicotine reduced activation only during stimulus detection. A visuomotor control experiment provided evidence against nonspecific effects of nicotine. In conclusion, although prefrontal activity partly displayed differential modulation by nicotine, most BOLD effects were identical across tasks, despite differential performance effects, suggesting that common neuronal mechanisms can selectively benefit different attentional functions. Overall, the effects of nicotine may be explained by increased functional efficiency and downregulated task-independent "default" functions.
Giesbrecht, Barry; Sy, Jocelyn; Bundesen, Claus
The human attention system helps us cope with a complex environment by supporting the selective processing of information relevant to our current goals. Understanding the perceptual, cognitive, and neural mechanisms that mediate selective attention is a core issue in cognitive neuroscience. One...... prominent model of selective attention, known as load theory, offers an account of how task demands determine when information is selected and an account of the efficiency of the selection process. However, load theory has several critical weaknesses that suggest that it is time for a new perspective. Here...... is integrated to provide efficient attentional selection and allocation of perceptual processing resources....
Kennel, Susan; Taylor, Ann Gill; Lyon, Debra; Bourguignon, Cheryl
The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the potential for the use of binaural auditory beat stimulation to reduce the symptom of inattention in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This pilot study had a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design. Twenty participants were randomly assigned to listen to either an audio program on compact disk that contained binaural auditory beats or a sham audio program that did not have binaural beats for 20 minutes, three times a week for 3 weeks. The Children's Color Trails Test, the Color Trails Test, the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), and the Homework Problem Checklist were used to measure changes in inattention pre- and postintervention. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to analyze pre- and postintervention scores on the Color Trails Tests, Homework Problem Checklist, and the TOVA. The effect of time was significant on the Color Trails Test. However, there were no significant group differences on the Color Trails Test or the TOVA scores postintervention. Parents reported that the study participants had fewer homework problems postintervention. The results from this study indicate that binaural auditory beat stimulation did not significantly reduce the symptom of inattention in the experimental group. However, parents and adolescents stated that homework problems due to inattention improved during the 3-week study. Parents and participants stated that the modality was easy to use and helpful. Therefore, this modality should be studied over a longer time frame in a larger sample to further its effectiveness to reduce the symptom of inattention in those diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Full Text Available Brain-machine interfaces (BMI rely on the accurate classification of event-related potentials (ERPs and their performance greatly depends on the appropriate selection of classifier parameters and features from dense-array electroencephalography (EEG signals. Moreover, in order to achieve a portable and more compact BMI for practical applications, it is also desirable to use a system capable of accurate classification using information from as few EEG channels as possible. In the present work, we propose a method for classifying P300 ERPs using a combination of Fisher Discriminant Analysis (FDA and a multiobjective hybrid real-binary Particle Swarm Optimization (MHPSO algorithm. Specifically, the algorithm searches for the set of EEG channels and classifier parameters that simultaneously maximize the classification accuracy and minimize the number of used channels. The performance of the method is assessed through offline analyses on datasets of auditory ERPs from sound discrimination experiments. The proposed method achieved a higher classification accuracy than that achieved by traditional methods while also using fewer channels. It was also found that the number of channels used for classification can be significantly reduced without greatly compromising the classification accuracy.
Trimmel, Karin; Schätzer, Julia; Trimmel, Michael
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 ...
Thompson, Sarah K.; Carlyon, Robert P.; Cusack, Rhodri
Three experiments studied auditory streaming using sequences of alternating "ABA" triplets, where "A" and "B" were 50-ms tones differing in frequency by [delta]f semitones and separated by 75-ms gaps. Experiment 1 showed that detection of a short increase in the gap between a B tone and the preceding A tone, imposed on one ABA triplet, was better…
Dawes, Piers; Bishop, Dorothy
Background: Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) does not feature in mainstream diagnostic classifications such as the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition" (DSM-IV), but is frequently diagnosed in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and is becoming more frequently diagnosed in the United Kingdom. Aims: To…
Tokoro, Kazuhiko; Sato, Hironobu; Yamamoto, Mayumi; Nagai, Yoshiko
Attention is the process by which information and selection occurs, the thalamus plays an important role in the selective attention of visual and auditory information. Selective attention is a conscious effort; however, it occurs subconsciously, as well. The lateral geniculate body (LGB) filters visual information before it reaches the cortex (bottom-up attention). The thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) provides a strong inhibitory input to both the LGB and pulvinar. This regulation involves focusing a spotlight on important information, as well as inhibiting unnecessary background information. Behavioral contexts more strongly modulate activity of the TRN and pulvinar influencing feedforward and feedback information transmission between the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital cortical areas (top-down attention). The medial geniculate body (MGB) filters auditory information the TRN inhibits the MGB. Attentional modulation occurring in the auditory pathway among the cochlea, cochlear nucleus, superior olivary complex, and inferior colliculus is more important than that of the MGB and TRN. We also discuss the attentional consequence of thalamic hemorrhage.
Pritchard, Verena E.; Neumann, Ewald; Rucklidge, Julia J.
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…
He, Jie; Jin, Xinyi; Zhang, Meng; Huang, Xiang; Shui, Rende; Shen, Mowei
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.
Rattat, Anne-Claire; Picard, Delphine
The present study sought to determine the format in which visual, auditory and auditory-visual durations ranging from 400 to 600 ms are encoded and maintained in short-term memory, using suppression conditions. Participants compared two stimulus durations separated by an interval of 8 s. During this time, they performed either an articulatory suppression task, a visuospatial tracking task or no specific task at all (control condition). The results showed that the articulatory suppression task decreased recognition performance for auditory durations but not for visual or bimodal ones, whereas the visuospatial task decreased recognition performance for visual durations but not for auditory or bimodal ones. These findings support the modality-specific account of short-term memory for durations.
Nelissen, Natalie; Stokes, Mark; Nobre, Anna C; Rushworth, Matthew F S
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.
Stokes, Mark; Nobre, Anna C.; Rushworth, Matthew F. S.
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
Raymond, Jane E; O'Brien, Jennifer L
Learning to associate the probability and value of behavioral outcomes with specific stimuli (value learning) is essential for rational decision making. However, in demanding cognitive conditions, access to learned values might be constrained by limited attentional capacity. We measured recognition of briefly presented faces seen previously in a value-learning task involving monetary wins and losses; the recognition task was performed both with and without constraints on available attention. Regardless of available attention, recognition was substantially enhanced for motivationally salient stimuli (i.e., stimuli highly predictive of outcomes), compared with equally familiar stimuli that had weak or no motivational salience, and this effect was found regardless of valence (win or loss). However, when attention was constrained (because stimuli were presented during an attentional blink, AB), valence determined recognition; win-associated faces showed no AB, but all other faces showed large ABs. Motivational salience acts independently of attention to modulate simple perceptual decisions, but when attention is limited, visual processing is biased in favor of reward-associated stimuli.
Tyndall, Ian; Ragless, Liam; O'Hora, Denis
The present study examined whether increasing visual perceptual load differentially affected both Socially Meaningful and Non-socially Meaningful auditory stimulus awareness in neurotypical (NT, n = 59) adults and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, n = 57) adults. On a target trial, an unexpected critical auditory stimulus (CAS), either a Non-socially Meaningful ('beep' sound) or Socially Meaningful ('hi') stimulus, was played concurrently with the presentation of the visual task. Under conditions of low visual perceptual load both NT and ASD samples reliably noticed the CAS at similar rates (77-81%), whether the CAS was Socially Meaningful or Non-socially Meaningful. However, during high visual perceptual load NT and ASD participants reliably noticed the meaningful CAS (NT = 71%, ASD = 67%), but NT participants were unlikely to notice the Non-meaningful CAS (20%), whereas ASD participants reliably noticed it (80%), suggesting an inability to engage selective attention to ignore non-salient irrelevant distractor stimuli in ASD. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Turk, David J; Brady-van den Bos, Mirjam; Collard, Philip; Gillespie-Smith, Karri; Conway, Martin A; Cunningham, Sheila J
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.
Farkas, Mitchell S.; Hoyer, William J.
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)
Legerstee, Jeroen S; Tulen, Joke H M; Kallen, Victor L; Dieleman, Gwen C; Treffers, Philip D A; Verhulst, Frank C; Utens, Elisabeth M W J
The present study examined whether threat-related selective attention was predictive of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders and whether age moderated this association. Specific components of selective attention were examined in treatment responders and nonresponders. Participants consisted of 131 children with anxiety disorders (aged 8-16 years), who received standardized cognitive-behavioral therapy. At pretreatment, a pictorial dot-probe task was administered to assess selective attention. Both at pretreatment and posttreatment, diagnostic status of the children was evaluated with a semistructured clinical interview (the Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children). Selective attention for severely threatening pictures at pretreatment assessment was predictive of treatment success. Examination of the specific components of selective attention revealed that nonresponders showed difficulties to disengage their attention away from severe threat. Treatment responders showed a tendency not to engage their attention toward severe threat. Age was not associated with selective attention and treatment success. Threat-related selective attention is a significant predictor of treatment success in children with anxiety disorders. Clinically anxious children with difficulties disengaging their attention away from severe threat profit less from cognitive-behavioral therapy. For these children, additional training focused on learning to disengage attention away from anxiety-arousing stimuli may be beneficial.
Schwartz, Andrew H; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G
Many hearing aids introduce compressive gain to accommodate the reduced dynamic range that often accompanies hearing loss. However, natural sounds produce complicated temporal dynamics in hearing aid compression, as gain is driven by whichever source dominates at a given moment. Moreover, independent compression at the two ears can introduce fluctuations in interaural level differences (ILDs) important for spatial perception. While independent compression can interfere with spatial perception of sound, it does not always interfere with localization accuracy or speech identification. Here, normal-hearing listeners reported a target message played simultaneously with two spatially separated masker messages. We measured the amount of spatial separation required between the target and maskers for subjects to perform at threshold in this task. Fast, syllabic compression that was independent at the two ears increased the required spatial separation, but linking the compressors to provide identical gain to both ears (preserving ILDs) restored much of the deficit caused by fast, independent compression. Effects were less clear for slower compression. Percent-correct performance was lower with independent compression, but only for small spatial separations. These results may help explain differences in previous reports of the effect of compression on spatial perception of sound.
Söderlund, Göran B W; Jobs, Elisabeth Nilsson
The most common neuropsychiatric condition in the in children is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), affecting ∼6-9% of the population. ADHD is distinguished by inattention and hyperactive, impulsive behaviors as well as poor performance in various cognitive tasks often leading to failures at school. Sensory and perceptual dysfunctions have also been noticed. Prior research has mainly focused on limitations in executive functioning where differences are often explained by deficits in pre-frontal cortex activation. Less notice has been given to sensory perception and subcortical functioning in ADHD. Recent research has shown that children with ADHD diagnosis have a deviant auditory brain stem response compared to healthy controls. The aim of the present study was to investigate if the speech recognition threshold differs between attentive and children with ADHD symptoms in two environmental sound conditions, with and without external noise. Previous research has namely shown that children with attention deficits can benefit from white noise exposure during cognitive tasks and here we investigate if noise benefit is present during an auditory perceptual task. For this purpose we used a modified Hagerman's speech recognition test where children with and without attention deficits performed a binaural speech recognition task to assess the speech recognition threshold in no noise and noise conditions (65 dB). Results showed that the inattentive group displayed a higher speech recognition threshold than typically developed children and that the difference in speech recognition threshold disappeared when exposed to noise at supra threshold level. From this we conclude that inattention can partly be explained by sensory perceptual limitations that can possibly be ameliorated through noise exposure.
Göran B W Söderlund
Full Text Available The most common neuropsychiatric condition in the in children is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, affecting approximately 6-9 % of the population. ADHD is distinguished by inattention and hyperactive, impulsive behaviors as well as poor performance in various cognitive tasks often leading to failures at school. Sensory and perceptual dysfunctions have also been noticed. Prior research has mainly focused on limitations in executive functioning where differences are often explained by deficits in pre-frontal cortex activation. Less notice has been given to sensory perception and subcortical functioning in ADHD. Recent research has shown that children with ADHD diagnosis have a deviant auditory brain stem response compared to healthy controls. The aim of the present study was to investigate if the speech recognition threshold differs between attentive and children with ADHD symptoms in two environmental sound conditions, with and without external noise. Previous research has namely shown that children with attention deficits can benefit from white noise exposure during cognitive tasks and here we investigate if noise benefit is present during an auditory perceptual task. For this purpose we used a modified Hagerman’s speech recognition test where children with and without attention deficits performed a binaural speech recognition task to assess the speech recognition threshold in no noise and noise conditions (65 dB. Results showed that the inattentive group displayed a higher speech recognition threshold than typically developed children (TDC and that the difference in speech recognition threshold disappeared when exposed to noise at supra threshold level. From this we conclude that inattention can partly be explained by sensory perceptual limitations that can possibly be ameliorated through noise exposure.
López Bonal, María Teresa; Fernández Caballero, Antonio; Saiz Valverde, Sergio
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...
Francis T. Pleban
Full Text Available A review study was conducted to examine the adverse effects of styrene, styrene mixtures, or styrene and/or styrene mixtures and noise on the auditory system in humans employed in occupational settings. The search included peer-reviewed articles published in English language involving human volunteers spanning a 25-year period (1990â2015. Studies included peer review journals, caseâcontrol studies, and case reports. Animal studies were excluded. An initial search identified 40 studies. After screening for inclusion, 13 studies were retrieved for full journal detail examination and review. As a whole, the results range from no to mild associations between styrene exposure and auditory dysfunction, noting relatively small sample sizes. However, four studies investigating styrene with other organic solvent mixtures and noise suggested combined exposures to both styrene organic solvent mixtures may be more ototoxic than exposure to noise alone. There is little literature examining the effect of styrene on auditory functioning in humans. Nonetheless, findings suggest public health professionals and policy makers should be made aware of the future research needs pertaining to hearing impairment and ototoxicity from styrene. It is recommended that chronic styrene-exposed individuals be routinely evaluated with a comprehensive audiological test battery to detect early signs of auditory dysfunction. Keywords: auditory system, human exposure, ototoxicity, styrene
Holmes, Emma; Kitterick, Padraig T; Summerfield, A Quentin
Restoring normal hearing requires knowledge of how peripheral and central auditory processes are affected by hearing loss. Previous research has focussed primarily on peripheral changes following sensorineural hearing loss, whereas consequences for central auditory processing have received less attention. We examined the ability of hearing-impaired children to direct auditory attention to a voice of interest (based on the talker's spatial location or gender) in the presence of a common form of background noise: the voices of competing talkers (i.e. during multi-talker, or "Cocktail Party" listening). We measured brain activity using electro-encephalography (EEG) when children prepared to direct attention to the spatial location or gender of an upcoming target talker who spoke in a mixture of three talkers. Compared to normally-hearing children, hearing-impaired children showed significantly less evidence of preparatory brain activity when required to direct spatial attention. This finding is consistent with the idea that hearing-impaired children have a reduced ability to prepare spatial attention for an upcoming talker. Moreover, preparatory brain activity was not restored when hearing-impaired children listened with their acoustic hearing aids. An implication of these findings is that steps to improve auditory attention alongside acoustic hearing aids may be required to improve the ability of hearing-impaired children to understand speech in the presence of competing talkers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Stevens, Courtney; Pakulak, Eric; Hampton Wray, Amanda; Bell, Theodore A.; Neville, Helen J.
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
Isbell, Elif; Stevens, Courtney; Pakulak, Eric; Hampton Wray, Amanda; Bell, Theodore A; Neville, Helen J
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.
Madden, D J; Blumenthal, J A
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.
Lavie, Nilli; Hirst, Aleksandra; de Fockert, Jan W.; Viding, Essi
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…
Demany, Laurent; Montandon, Gaspard; Semal, Catherine
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.
Fernandez-Castillo, Antonio; Gutierrez-Rojas, Maria Esperanza
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…
Hubner, Ronald; Steinhauser, Marco; Lehle, Carola
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…
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.
van Schouwenburg, Martine R; den Ouden, Hanneke E M; Cools, Roshan
The prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia interact to selectively gate a desired action. Recent studies have shown that this selective gating mechanism of the basal ganglia extends to the domain of attention. Here, we investigate the nature of this action-like gating mechanism for attention using a spatial attention-switching paradigm in combination with functional neuroimaging and dynamic causal modeling. We show that the basal ganglia guide attention by focally releasing inhibition of task-relevant representations, while simultaneously inhibiting task-irrelevant representations by selectively modulating prefrontal top-down connections. These results strengthen and specify the role of the basal ganglia in attention. Moreover, our findings have implications for psychological theorizing by suggesting that inhibition of unattended sensory regions is not only a consequence of mutual suppression, but is an active process, subserved by the basal ganglia. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.