Wang, Wei; Ji, Xiangtong; Ni, Jun; Ye, Qian; Zhang, Sicong; Chen, Wenli; Bian, Rong; Yu, Cui; Zhang, Wenting; Shen, Guangyu; Machado, Sergio; Yuan, Tifei; Shan, Chunlei
To compare the effect of visual spatial training on the spatial attention to that on motor control and to correlate the improvement of spatial attention to motor control progress after visual spatial training in subjects with unilateral spatial neglect (USN). 9 cases with USN after right cerebral stroke were randomly divided into Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention and Conventional treatment group. The Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention received conventional rehabilitation therapy (physical and occupational therapy) and visual spatial attention training (optokinetic stimulation and right half-field eye patching). The Conventional treatment group was only treated with conventional rehabilitation training (physical and occupational therapy). All patients were assessed by behavioral inattention test (BIT), Fugl-Meyer Assessment of motor function (FMA), equilibrium coordination test (ECT) and non-equilibrium coordination test (NCT) before and after 4 weeks treatment. Total scores in both groups (without visual spatial attention/with visual spatial attention) improved significantly (BIT: P=0.021/P=0.000, d=1.667/d=2.116, power=0.69/power=0.98, 95%CI[-0.8839,45.88]/95%CI=[16.96,92.64]; FMA: P=0.002/P=0.000, d=2.521/d=2.700, power=0.93/power=0.98, 95%CI[5.707,30.79]/95%CI=[16.06,53.94]; ECT: P=0.002/ P=0.000, d=2.031/d=1.354, power=0.90/power=0.17, 95%CI[3.380,42.61]/95%CI=[-1.478,39.08]; NCT: P=0.013/P=0.000, d=1.124/d=1.822, power=0.41/power=0.56, 95%CI[-7.980,37.48]/95%CI=[4.798,43.60],) after treatment. Among the 2 groups, the group with visual spatial attention significantly improved in BIT (P=0.003, d=3.103, power=1, 95%CI[15.68,48.92]), FMA of upper extremity (P=0.006, d=2.771, power=1, 95%CI[5.061,20.14]) and NCT (P=0.010, d=2.214, power=0.81-0.90, 95%CI[3.018,15.88]). Correlative analysis shows that the change of BIT scores is positively correlated to the change of FMA total score (r=0.77, Pvisual spatial training could
Full Text Available The mechanisms of attention control have been extensively studied with a variety of methodologies in animals and in humans. Human studies using non-invasive imaging techniques highlighted a remarkable difference between the pattern of responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions vs. ventral fronto-parietal regions, primarily lateralized to the right hemisphere. Initially, this distinction at the neuro-physiological level has been related to the distinction between cognitive processes associated with strategic/endogenous vs. stimulus-driven/exogenous of attention control. Nonetheless, quite soon it has become evident that, in almost any situation, attention control entails a complex combination of factors related to both the current sensory input and endogenous aspects associated with the experimental context. Here, we review several of these aspects first discussing the joint contribution of endogenous and stimulus-driven factors during spatial orienting in complex environments and, then, turning to the role of expectations and predictions in spatial re-orienting. We emphasize that strategic factors play a pivotal role for the activation of the ventral system during stimulus-driven control, and that the dorsal system makes use of stimulus-driven signals for top-down control. We conclude that both the dorsal and the ventral fronto-parietal networks integrate endogenous and exogenous signals during spatial attention control and that future investigations should manipulate both these factors concurrently, so as to reveal to full extent of these interactions.
Macaluso, Emiliano; Doricchi, Fabrizio
The mechanisms of attention control have been extensively studied with a variety of methodologies in animals and in humans. Human studies using non-invasive imaging techniques highlighted a remarkable difference between the pattern of responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions vs. ventral fronto-parietal (vFP) regions, primarily lateralized to the right hemisphere. Initially, this distinction at the neuro-physiological level has been related to the distinction between cognitive processes associated with strategic/endogenous vs. stimulus-driven/exogenous of attention control. Nonetheless, quite soon it has become evident that, in almost any situation, attention control entails a complex combination of factors related to both the current sensory input and endogenous aspects associated with the experimental context. Here, we review several of these aspects first discussing the joint contribution of endogenous and stimulus-driven factors during spatial orienting in complex environments and, then, turning to the role of expectations and predictions in spatial re-orienting. We emphasize that strategic factors play a pivotal role for the activation of the ventral system during stimulus-driven control, and that the dorsal system makes use of stimulus-driven signals for top-down control. We conclude that both the dorsal and the vFP networks integrate endogenous and exogenous signals during spatial attention control and that future investigations should manipulate both these factors concurrently, so as to reveal to full extent of these interactions. PMID:24155707
Macaluso, Emiliano; Doricchi, Fabrizio
The mechanisms of attention control have been extensively studied with a variety of methodologies in animals and in humans. Human studies using non-invasive imaging techniques highlighted a remarkable difference between the pattern of responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions vs. ventral fronto-parietal (vFP) regions, primarily lateralized to the right hemisphere. Initially, this distinction at the neuro-physiological level has been related to the distinction between cognitive processes associated with strategic/endogenous vs. stimulus-driven/exogenous of attention control. Nonetheless, quite soon it has become evident that, in almost any situation, attention control entails a complex combination of factors related to both the current sensory input and endogenous aspects associated with the experimental context. Here, we review several of these aspects first discussing the joint contribution of endogenous and stimulus-driven factors during spatial orienting in complex environments and, then, turning to the role of expectations and predictions in spatial re-orienting. We emphasize that strategic factors play a pivotal role for the activation of the ventral system during stimulus-driven control, and that the dorsal system makes use of stimulus-driven signals for top-down control. We conclude that both the dorsal and the vFP networks integrate endogenous and exogenous signals during spatial attention control and that future investigations should manipulate both these factors concurrently, so as to reveal to full extent of these interactions.
Slagter, H.A.; Kok, A.; Mol, N.; Talsma, D.; Kenemans, J.L.
The present study used event-related potentials and dipole source modeling to investigate dimension specificity in attentional control. Subjects performed cued attention tasks in which the task-relevant information (a) was always the same, (b) varied between features within the same dimension, or
Velzen, José Lucia van
ln recent years the there has been growing interest in the topic of attentional control in the field of cognitive neuroscience. The first chapter of this thesis introduces the relevant theoretical concepts in the study of selective attention and gives an overview of what has become known from
Full Text Available Using event-related potentials (ERPs of the electroencephalogram, we investigated how cognitive control is altered by the scope of an attentional template currently activated in visual working memory. Participants performed a spatial cuing task where an irrelevant color singleton cue was presented prior to a target array. Blockwise, the target was either a red circle or a gray square and had to be searched within homogenous (gray circles or heterogeneous non-targets (differently colored circles or various shapes. Thereby we aimed to trigger the adoption of different attentional templates: a broader singleton or a narrower, more specific feature template. ERP markers of attentional selection and inhibitory control showed that the amount of cognitive control was overall enhanced when participants searched on the basis of a feature-specific template: the analysis revealed reduced selection (N2pc, frontal P2 and pronounced inhibition (negative shift of frontal N2 of the irrelevant color cue when participants searched for a feature target. On behavioral level attentional capture was most pronounced in the color condition with no differentiation between the task-induced scopes of the attentional template.
Linnell, Karina J.; Caparos, Serge
Caparos and Linnell (2009, 2010) used a variable-separation flanker paradigm to show that (a) when cognitive load is low, increasing perceptual load causes spatial attention to focus and (b) when perceptual load is high, decreasing cognitive load causes spatial attention to focus. Here, we tested whether the effects of perceptual and cognitive…
Kehrer, Stefanie; Kraft, Antje; Irlbacher, Kerstin; Koch, Stefan P; Hagendorf, Herbert; Kathmann, Norbert; Brandt, Stephan A
Event-related potentials were measured to investigate the role of visual spatial attention mechanisms in conflict processing. We suggested that a more difficult target selection leads to stronger attentional top-down control, thereby reducing the effects of arising conflicts. This hypothesis was tested by varying the selection difficulty in a location negative priming (NP) paradigm. The difficult task resulted in prolonged responses as compared to the easy task. A behavioral NP effect was only evident in the easy task. Psychophysiologically the easy task was associated with reduced parietal N1, enhanced frontocentral N2 and N2pc components and a prolonged P3 latency for the conflict as compared to the control condition. The N2pc effect was also obvious in the difficult task. Additionally frontocentral N2 amplitudes increased and latencies of N2pc and P3 were delayed compared to the easy task. The differences at frontocentral and parietal electrodes are consistent with previous studies ascribing activity in the prefrontal and parietal cortex as the source of top-down attentional control. Thus, we propose that stronger cognitive control is involved in the difficult task, resulting in a reduced behavioral NP conflict.
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
Duecker, Felix; Formisano, Elia; Sack, Alexander T
Lesion studies in neglect patients have inspired two competing models of spatial attention control, namely, Heilman's "hemispatial" theory and Kinsbourne's "opponent processor" model. Both assume a functional asymmetry between the two hemispheres but propose very different mechanisms. Neuroimaging studies have identified a bilateral dorsal frontoparietal network underlying voluntary shifts of spatial attention. However, lateralization of attentional processes within this network has not been consistently reported. In the current study, we aimed to provide direct evidence concerning the functional asymmetry of the right and left FEF during voluntary shifts of spatial attention. To this end, we applied fMRI-guided neuronavigation to disrupt individual FEF activation foci with a longer-lasting inhibitory patterned TMS protocol followed by a spatial cueing task. Our results indicate that right FEF stimulation impaired the ability of shifting spatial attention toward both hemifields, whereas the effects of left FEF stimulation were limited to the contralateral hemifield. These results provide strong direct evidence for right-hemispheric dominance in spatial attention within frontal cortex supporting Heilman's "hemispatial" theory. This complements previous TMS studies that generally conform to Kinsbourne's "opponent processor" model after disruption of parietal cortex, and we therefore propose that both theories are not mutually exclusive.
Berggren, Nick; Jenkins, M.; McCants, C.W.; Eimer, Martin
Glyn Humphreys and his co-workers have made numerous important theoretical and empirical contributions to research on visual search. They have introduced the concept of attentional target templates and investigated the nature of these templates and how they are involved in the control of search performance. In the experiments reported here, we investigated whether feature-specific search template for particular colours can guide target selection independently for different regions of visual s...
Jonikaitis, Donatas; Klapetek, Anna; Deubel, Heiner
Behavioral measures of decision making are usually limited to observations of decision outcomes. In the present study, we made use of the fact that oculomotor and sensory selection are closely linked to track oculomotor decision making before oculomotor responses are made. We asked participants to make a saccadic eye movement to one of two memorized target locations and observed that visual sensitivity increased at both the chosen and the nonchosen saccade target locations, with a clear bias toward the chosen target. The time course of changes in visual sensitivity was related to saccadic latency, with the competition between the chosen and nonchosen targets resolved faster before short-latency saccades. On error trials, we observed an increased competition between the chosen and nonchosen targets. Moreover, oculomotor selection and visual sensitivity were influenced by top-down and bottom-up factors as well as by selection history and predicted the direction of saccades. Our findings demonstrate that saccade decisions have direct visual consequences and show that decision making can be traced in the human oculomotor system well before choices are made. Our results also indicate a strong association between decision making, saccade target selection, and visual sensitivity. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We show that saccadic decisions can be tracked by measuring spatial attention. Spatial attention is allocated in parallel to the two competing saccade targets, and the time course of spatial attention differs for fast-slow and for correct-erroneous decisions. Saccade decisions take the form of a competition between potential saccade goals, which is associated with spatial attention allocation to those locations. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.
Caparos, Serge; Linnell, Karina J.
Selective attention has been hypothesized to reduce distractor interference at both perceptual and postperceptual levels (Lavie, 2005), respectively, by focusing perceptual resources on the attended location and by blocking at postperceptual levels distractors that survive perceptual selection. This study measured the impact of load on these…
Girardi, Giovanna; Antonucci, Gabriella; Nico, Daniele
Even when focused on an effortful task we retain the ability to detect salient environmental information, and even irrelevant visual stimuli can be automatically detected. However, to which extent unattended information affects attentional control is not fully understood. Here we provide evidences of how the brain spontaneously organizes its cognitive resources by shifting attention between a selective-attending and a stimulus-driven modality within a single task. Using a spatial cueing paradigm we investigated the effect of cue-target asynchronies as a function of their probabilities of occurrence (i.e., relative frequency). Results show that this accessory information modulates attentional shifts. A valid spatial cue improved participants' performance as compared to an invalid one only in trials in which target onset was highly predictable because of its more robust occurrence. Conversely, cuing proved ineffective when spatial cue and target were associated according to a less frequent asynchrony. These patterns of response depended on asynchronies' probability and not on their duration. Our findings clearly demonstrate that through a fine decision-making, performed trial-by-trial, the brain utilizes implicit information to decide whether or not voluntarily shifting spatial attention. As if according to a cost-planning strategy, the cognitive effort of shifting attention depending on the cue is performed only when the expected advantages are higher. In a trade-off competition for cognitive resources, voluntary/automatic attending may thus be a more complex process than expected. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Chica, Ana B; Christie, John
It has recently been stated that exogenous attention impairs temporal-resolution tasks (Hein, Rolke, & Ulrich, 2006; Rolke, Dinkelbach, Hein, & Ulrich, 2008; Yeshurun, 2004; Yeshurun & Levy, 2003). In comparisons of performance on spatially cued trials versus neutral cued trials, the results have suggested that spatial attention decreases temporal resolution. However, when performance on cued and uncued trials has been compared in order to equate for cue salience, typically speed-accuracy trade-offs (SATs) have been observed, making the interpretation of the results difficult. In the present experiments, we aimed at studying the effect of spatial attention in temporal resolution while using a procedure to control for SATs. We controlled reaction times (RTs) by constraining the time to respond, so that response decisions would be made within comparable time windows. The results revealed that when RT was controlled, performance was impaired for cued trials as compared with neutral trials, replicating previous findings. However, when cued and uncued trials were compared, performance was actually improved for cued trials as compared with uncued trials. These results suggest that SAT effects may have played an important role in the previous studies, because when they were controlled and measured, the results reversed, revealing that exogenous attention does improve performance on temporal-resolution tasks.
Spencer, Kevin M; Nestor, Paul G; Valdman, Olga; Niznikiewicz, Margaret A; Shenton, Martha E; McCarley, Robert W
While attentional functions are usually found to be impaired in schizophrenia, a review of the literature on the orienting of spatial attention in schizophrenia suggested that voluntary attentional orienting in response to a valid cue might be paradoxically enhanced. We tested this hypothesis with orienting tasks involving the cued detection of a laterally presented target stimulus. Subjects were chronic schizophrenia patients (SZ) and matched healthy control subjects (HC). In Experiment 1 (15 SZ, 16 HC), cues were endogenous (arrows) and could be valid (100% predictive) or neutral with respect to the subsequent target position. In Experiment 2 (16 SZ, 16 HC), subjects performed a standard orienting task with unpredictive exogenous cues (brightening of the target boxes). In Experiment 1, SZ showed a larger attentional facilitation effect on reaction time than HC. In Experiment 2, no clear sign of enhanced attentional facilitation was found in SZ. The voluntary, facilitatory shifting of spatial attention may be relatively enhanced in individuals with schizophrenia in comparison to healthy individuals. This effect bears resemblance to other relative enhancements of information processing in schizophrenia such as saccade speed and semantic priming. (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.
Föcker, J.; Hötting, K.; Gondan, Matthias
Behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown that spatial attention is gradually distributed around the center of the attentional focus. The present study compared uni- and crossmodal gradients of spatial attention to investigate whether the orienting of auditory and visual...... spatial attention is based on modality specific or supramodal representations of space. Auditory and visual stimuli were presented from five speaker locations positioned in the right hemifield. Participants had to attend to the innermost or outmost right position in order to detect either visual...... or auditory deviant stimuli. Detection rates and event-related potentials (ERPs) indicated that spatial attention is distributed as a gradient. Unimodal spatial ERP gradients correlated with the spatial resolution of the modality. Crossmodal spatial gradients were always broader than the corresponding...
Horschig, J.M.; Oosterheert, W.; Oostenveld, R.; Jensen, O.
Here we report that the modulation of alpha activity by covert attention can be used as a control signal in an online brain-computer interface, that it is reliable, and that it is robust. Subjects were instructed to orient covert visual attention to the left or right hemifield. We decoded the
van Leeuwen, Tessa M; Hagoort, Peter; Händel, Barbara F
Grapheme-color synesthetes perceive color when reading letters or digits. We investigated oscillatory brain signals of synesthetes vs. controls using magnetoencephalography. Brain oscillations specifically in the alpha band (∼10Hz) have two interesting features: alpha has been linked to inhibitory processes and can act as a marker for attention. The possible role of reduced inhibition as an underlying cause of synesthesia, as well as the precise role of attention in synesthesia is widely discussed. To assess alpha power effects due to synesthesia, synesthetes as well as matched controls viewed synesthesia-inducing graphemes, colored control graphemes, and non-colored control graphemes while brain activity was recorded. Subjects had to report a color change at the end of each trial which allowed us to assess the strength of synesthesia in each synesthete. Since color (synesthetic or real) might allocate attention we also included an attentional cue in our paradigm which could direct covert attention. In controls the attentional cue always caused a lateralization of alpha power with a contralateral decrease and ipsilateral alpha increase over occipital sensors. In synesthetes, however, the influence of the cue was overruled by color: independent of the attentional cue, alpha power decreased contralateral to the color (synesthetic or real). This indicates that in synesthetes color guides attention. This was confirmed by reaction time effects due to color, i.e. faster RTs for the color side independent of the cue. Finally, the stronger the observed color dependent alpha lateralization, the stronger was the manifestation of synesthesia as measured by congruency effects of synesthetic colors on RTs. Behavioral and imaging results indicate that color induces a location-specific, automatic shift of attention towards color in synesthetes but not in controls. We hypothesize that this mechanism can facilitate coupling of grapheme and color during the development of
Awh, Edward; Sgarlata, Antoinette Marie; Kliestik, John
Models of attentional control usually describe online shifts in control settings that accommodate changing task demands. The current studies suggest that online control over distractor exclusion--a core component of visual selection--can be accomplished without online shifts in top-down settings. Measurements of target discrimination accuracy…
Coventry, Kenny R.; Lynott, Dermot; Cangelosi, Angelo; Monrouxe, Lynn; Joyce, Dan; Richardson, Daniel C.
Spatial language descriptions, such as "The bottle is over the glass", direct the attention of the hearer to particular aspects of the visual world. This paper asks how they do so, and what brain mechanisms underlie this process. In two experiments employing behavioural and eye tracking methodologies we examined the effects of spatial language on…
Itthipuripat, Sirawaj; Garcia, Javier O; Serences, John T
In naturalistic settings, observers often have to monitor multiple objects dispersed throughout the visual scene. However, the degree to which spatial attention can be divided across spatially noncontiguous objects has long been debated, particularly when those objects are in close proximity. Moreover, the temporal dynamics of divided attention are unclear: is the process of dividing spatial attention gradual and continuous, or does it onset in a discrete manner? To address these issues, we recorded steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) as subjects covertly monitored two flickering targets while ignoring an intervening distractor that flickered at a different frequency. All three stimuli were clustered within either the lower left or the lower right quadrant, and our dependent measure was SSVEP power at the target and distractor frequencies measured over time. In two experiments, we observed a temporally discrete increase in power for target- vs. distractor-evoked SSVEPs extending from ∼350 to 150 ms prior to correct (but not incorrect) responses. The divergence in SSVEP power immediately prior to a correct response suggests that spatial attention can be divided across noncontiguous locations, even when the targets are closely spaced within a single quadrant. In addition, the division of spatial attention appears to be relatively discrete, as opposed to slow and continuous. Finally, the predictive relationship between SSVEP power and behavior demonstrates that these neurophysiological measures of divided attention are meaningfully related to cognitive function.
Full Text Available The human attentional system can be subdivided into three functional networks of alerting, orienting, and executive control. Although these networks have been extensively studied in the visuospatial modality, whether the same mechanisms are deployed across different sensory modalities remains unclear. In this study we used the attention network test for visuospatial modality, in addition to two auditory variants with spatial and frequency manipulations to examine cross-modal correlations between network functions. Results showed that among the visual and auditory tasks the effects of executive control, but not effects of alerting and orienting were significantly correlated. These findings suggest that while alerting and orienting functions rely more upon modality specific processes, the executive control of attention coordinates complex behavior via supramodal mechanisms.
Horschig, Jörn M; Oosterheert, Wouter; Oostenveld, Robert; Jensen, Ole
Here we report that the modulation of alpha activity by covert attention can be used as a control signal in an online brain-computer interface, that it is reliable, and that it is robust. Subjects were instructed to orient covert visual attention to the left or right hemifield. We decoded the direction of attention from the magnetoencephalogram by a template matching classifier and provided the classification outcome to the subject in real-time using a novel graphical user interface. Training data for the templates were obtained from a Posner-cueing task conducted just before the BCI task. Eleven subjects participated in four sessions each. Eight of the subjects achieved classification rates significantly above chance level. Subjects were able to significantly increase their performance from the first to the second session. Individual patterns of posterior alpha power remained stable throughout the four sessions and did not change with increased performance. We conclude that posterior alpha power can successfully be used as a control signal in brain-computer interfaces. We also discuss several ideas for further improving the setup and propose future research based on solid hypotheses about behavioral consequences of modulating neuronal oscillations by brain computer interfacing.
Full Text Available The role of attention in visual word recognition and reading aloud is a long debated issue. Studies of both developmental and acquired reading disorders provide growing evidence that spatial attention is critically involved in word reading, in particular for the phonological decoding of unfamiliar letter strings. However, studies on healthy participants have produced contrasting results. The aim of this study was to investigate how the allocation of spatial attention may influence the perception of letter strings in skilled readers. High frequency words, low frequency words and pseudowords were briefly and parafoveally presented either in the left or the right visual field. Attentional allocation was modulated by the presentation of a spatial cue before the target string. Accuracy in reporting the target string was modulated by the spatial cue but this effect varied with the type of string. For unfamiliar strings, processing was facilitated when attention was focused on the string location and hindered when it was diverted from the target. This finding is consistent the assumptions of the CDP+ model of reading aloud, as well as with familiarity sensitivity models that argue for a flexible use of attention according with the specific requirements of the string. Moreover, we found that processing of high-frequency words was facilitated by an extra-large focus of attention. The latter result is consistent with the hypothesis that a broad distribution of attention is the default mode during reading of familiar words because it might optimally engage the broad receptive fields of the highest detectors in the hierarchical system for visual word recognition.
Montani, Veronica; Facoetti, Andrea; Zorzi, Marco
The role of attention in visual word recognition and reading aloud is a long debated issue. Studies of both developmental and acquired reading disorders provide growing evidence that spatial attention is critically involved in word reading, in particular for the phonological decoding of unfamiliar letter strings. However, studies on healthy participants have produced contrasting results. The aim of this study was to investigate how the allocation of spatial attention may influence the perception of letter strings in skilled readers. High frequency words (HFWs), low frequency words and pseudowords were briefly and parafoveally presented either in the left or the right visual field. Attentional allocation was modulated by the presentation of a spatial cue before the target string. Accuracy in reporting the target string was modulated by the spatial cue but this effect varied with the type of string. For unfamiliar strings, processing was facilitated when attention was focused on the string location and hindered when it was diverted from the target. This finding is consistent the assumptions of the CDP+ model of reading aloud, as well as with familiarity sensitivity models that argue for a flexible use of attention according with the specific requirements of the string. Moreover, we found that processing of HFWs was facilitated by an extra-large focus of attention. The latter result is consistent with the hypothesis that a broad distribution of attention is the default mode during reading of familiar words because it might optimally engage the broad receptive fields of the highest detectors in the hierarchical system for visual word recognition.
Hulme, Oliver J; Whiteley, Louise Emma; Shipp, Stewart
/central-intralaminar (oculomotor thalamus), caudal intralaminar/parafascicular, suprageniculate/limitans, and medial pulvinar/lateral posterior. Hence, the cortical network generating a top-down control signal for relocating attention acts in concert with a spatially selective thalamic apparatus-the set of active nuclei mirroring...... the thalamic territory of cortical "eye-field" areas, thus supporting theories which propose the visuomotor origins of covert attentional selection.......Spatial attention modulates signal processing within visual nuclei of the thalamus--but do other nuclei govern the locus of attention in top-down mode? We examined functional MRI (fMRI) data from three subjects performing a task requiring covert attention to 1 of 16 positions in a circular array...
Leeuwen, T.M. van; Hagoort, Peter; Händel, B.F.
Grapheme-color synesthetes perceive color when reading letters or digits. We investigated oscillatory brain signals of synesthetes vs. controls using magnetoencephalography. Brain oscillations specifically in the alpha band ( approximately 10Hz) have two interesting features: alpha has been linked
Leeuwen, T.M. van; Hagoort, P.; Händel, B.F.
Grapheme-color synesthetes perceive color when reading letters or digits. We investigated oscillatory brain signals of synesthetes vs. controls using magnetoencephalography. Brain oscillations specifically in the alpha band (∼10 Hz) have two interesting features: alpha has been linked to inhibitory
Chan, L.K.; Hayward, W.G.; Theeuwes, J.
Recent studies have proposed that a common mechanism may underlie spatial attention and spatial working memory. One proposal is that spatial working memory is maintained by attention-based rehearsal [Awh, E., Jonides, J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory. Journal of
Robertson, Caroline E; Kravitz, Dwight J; Freyberg, Jan; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Baker, Chris I
Enhanced perception of detail has long been regarded a hallmark of autism spectrum conditions (ASC), but its origins are unknown. Normal sensitivity on all fundamental perceptual measures-visual acuity, contrast discrimination, and flicker detection-is strongly established in the literature. If individuals with ASC do not have superior low-level vision, how is perception of detail enhanced? We argue that this apparent paradox can be resolved by considering visual attention, which is known to enhance basic visual sensitivity, resulting in greater acuity and lower contrast thresholds. Here, we demonstrate that the focus of attention and concomitant enhancement of perception are sharper in human individuals with ASC than in matched controls. Using a simple visual acuity task embedded in a standard cueing paradigm, we mapped the spatial and temporal gradients of attentional enhancement by varying the distance and onset time of visual targets relative to an exogenous cue, which obligatorily captures attention. Individuals with ASC demonstrated a greater fall-off in performance with distance from the cue than controls, indicating a sharper spatial gradient of attention. Further, this sharpness was highly correlated with the severity of autistic symptoms in ASC, as well as autistic traits across both ASC and control groups. These findings establish the presence of a form of "tunnel vision" in ASC, with far-reaching implications for our understanding of the social and neurobiological aspects of autism.
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.
Ni, Amy M; Maunsell, John H R
Spatial attention improves perception of attended parts of a scene, a behavioral enhancement accompanied by modulations of neuronal firing rates. These modulations vary in size across neurons in the same brain area. Models of normalization explain much of this variance in attention modulation with differences in tuned normalization across neurons (Lee J, Maunsell JHR. PLoS One 4: e4651, 2009; Ni AM, Ray S, Maunsell JHR. Neuron 73: 803-813, 2012). However, recent studies suggest that normalization tuning varies with spatial location both across and within neurons (Ruff DA, Alberts JJ, Cohen MR. J Neurophysiol 116: 1375-1386, 2016; Verhoef BE, Maunsell JHR. eLife 5: e17256, 2016). Here we show directly that attention modulation and normalization tuning do in fact covary within individual neurons, in addition to across neurons as previously demonstrated. We recorded the activity of isolated neurons in the middle temporal area of two rhesus monkeys as they performed a change-detection task that controlled the focus of spatial attention. Using the same two drifting Gabor stimuli and the same two receptive field locations for each neuron, we found that switching which stimulus was presented at which location affected both attention modulation and normalization in a correlated way within neurons. We present an equal-maximum-suppression spatially tuned normalization model that explains this covariance both across and within neurons: each stimulus generates equally strong suppression of its own excitatory drive, but its suppression of distant stimuli is typically less. This new model specifies how the tuned normalization associated with each stimulus location varies across space both within and across neurons, changing our understanding of the normalization mechanism and how attention modulations depend on this mechanism. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Tuned normalization studies have demonstrated that the variance in attention modulation size seen across neurons from the same cortical
Sanabria, Daniel; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; Spence, Charles
In this study, the authors combined the cross-modal dynamic capture task (involving the horizontal apparent movement of visual and auditory stimuli) with spatial cuing in the vertical dimension to investigate the role of spatial attention in cross-modal interactions during motion perception. Spatial attention was manipulated endogenously, either…
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…
Dorrian, Jillian; McLean, Benjamin; Banks, Siobhan; Loetscher, Tobias
There is evidence that a decrease in alertness is associated with a rightward shift of attention. Alertness fluctuates throughout the day and peak times differ between individuals. Some individuals feel most alert in the morning; others in the evening. Our aim was to investigate the influence of morningness/eveningness and time of testing on spatial attention. It was predicted that attention would shift rightwards when individuals were tested at their non-optimal time as compared to tests at peak times. A crowdsourcing internet marketplace, Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) was used to collect data. Given questions surrounding the quality of data drawn from such virtual environments, this study also investigated the sensitivity of data to demonstrate known effects from the literature. Five-hundred and thirty right-handed participants took part between 6 am and 11 pm. Participants answered demographic questions, completed a question from the Horne and Östberg Morningness/Eveningness Scale, and performed a spatial attentional task (landmark task). For the landmark task, participants indicated whether the left or right segment of each of 72 pre-bisected lines was longer (longer side counterbalanced). Response bias was calculated by subtracting the 'number of left responses' from the 'number of right responses', and dividing by the number of trials. Negative values indicate a leftward attentional bias, and positive values a rightward bias. Well-supported relationships between variables were reflected in the dataset. Controlling for age, there was a significant interaction between morningness/eveningness and time of testing (morning=6 am-2.30 pm, evening=2.30 pm-11 pm) (pattention from peak to off-peak times of testing for those identifying as morning types, but not evening types. Findings support the utility of crowdsourcing internet marketplaces as data collection vehicles for research. Results also suggest that the deployment of spatial attention is modulated by an
Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.
Recent empirical and theoretical work has depicted a close relationship between visual attention and visual working memory. For example, rehearsal in spatial working memory depends on spatial attention, whereas adding a secondary spatial working memory task impairs attentional deployment in visual search. These findings have led to the proposal…
Collis, Nathan L; Kohnen, Saskia; Kinoshita, Sachiko
The present study investigated the nature of visual spatial attention deficits in adults with developmental dyslexia, using a partial report task with five-letter, digit, and symbol strings. Participants responded by a manual key press to one of nine alternatives, which included other characters in the string, allowing an assessment of position errors as well as intrusion errors. The results showed that the dyslexic adults performed significantly worse than age-matched controls with letter and digit strings but not with symbol strings. Both groups produced W-shaped serial position functions with letter and digit strings. The dyslexics' deficits with letter string stimuli were limited to position errors, specifically at the string-interior positions 2 and 4. These errors correlated with letter transposition reading errors (e.g., reading slat as "salt"), but not with the Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) task. Overall, these results suggest that the dyslexic adults have a visual spatial attention deficit; however, the deficit does not reflect a reduced span in visual-spatial attention, but a deficit in processing a string of letters in parallel, probably due to difficulty in the coding of letter position.
Grubb, Michael A.; Behrmann, Marlene; Egan, Ryan; Minshew, Nancy J.; Carrasco, Marisa; Heeger, David J.
Lay Abstract Attention allows us to selectively process the vast amount of information with which we are confronted. Focusing on a certain location of the visual scene (visual spatial attention) enables the prioritization of some aspects of information while ignoring others. Rapid manipulation of the attention field (i.e., the location and spread of visual spatial attention) is a critical aspect of human cognition, and previous research on spatial attention in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has produced inconsistent results. In a series of three experiments, we evaluated claims in the literature that individuals with ASD exhibit a deficit in voluntarily controlling the deployment and size of the spatial attention field. We measured how well participants perform a visual discrimination task (accuracy) and how quickly they do so (reaction time), with and without spatial uncertainty (i.e., the lack of predictability concerning the spatial position of the upcoming stimulus). We found that high–functioning adults with autism exhibited slower reactions times overall with spatial uncertainty, but the effects of attention on performance accuracies and reaction times were indistinguishable between individuals with autism and typically developing individuals, in all three experiments. These results provide evidence of intact endogenous spatial attention function in high–functioning adults with ASD, suggesting that atypical endogenous spatial attention cannot be a latent characteristic of autism in general. Scientific Abstract Rapid manipulation of the attention field (i.e., the location and spread of visual spatial attention) is a critical aspect of human cognition, and previous research on spatial attention in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has produced inconsistent results. In a series of three psychophysical experiments, we evaluated claims in the literature that individuals with ASD exhibit a deficit in voluntarily controlling the
Anderson, Brian A.; Wampler, Emma K.; Laurent, Patryk A.
It has long been known that the control of attention in visual search depends both on voluntary, top-down deployment according to context-specific goals, and on involuntary, stimulus-driven capture based on the physical conspicuity of perceptual objects. Recent evidence suggests that pairing target stimuli with reward can modulate the voluntary deployment of attention, but there is little evidence that reward modulates the involuntary deployment of attention to task-irrelevant distractors. We report several experiments that investigate the role of reward learning on attentional control. Each experiment involved a training phase and a test phase. In the training phase, different colors were associated with different amounts of monetary reward. In the test phase, color was not task-relevant and participants searched for a shape singleton; in most experiments no reward was delivered in the test phase. We first show that attentional capture by physically salient distractors is magnified by a previous association with reward. In subsequent experiments we demonstrate that physically inconspicuous stimuli previously associated with reward capture attention persistently during extinction—even several days after training. Furthermore, vulnerability to attentional capture by high-value stimuli is negatively correlated across individuals with working memory capacity and positively correlated with trait impulsivity. An analysis of intertrial effects reveals that value-driven attentional capture is spatially specific. Finally, when reward is delivered at test contingent on the task-relevant shape feature, recent reward history modulates value-driven attentional capture by the irrelevant color feature. The influence of learned value on attention may provide a useful model of clinical syndromes characterized by similar failures of cognitive control, including addiction, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and obesity. PMID:23437631
Rolle, Camarin E; Anguera, Joaquin A; Skinner, Sasha N; Voytek, Bradley; Gazzaley, Adam
Daily experiences demand both focused and broad allocation of attention for us to interact efficiently with our complex environments. Many types of attention have shown age-related decline, although there is also evidence that such deficits may be remediated with cognitive training. However, spatial attention abilities have shown inconsistent age-related differences, and the extent of potential enhancement of these abilities remains unknown. Here, we assessed spatial attention in both healthy younger and older adults and trained this ability in both age groups for 5 hr over the course of 2 weeks using a custom-made, computerized mobile training application. We compared training-related gains on a spatial attention assessment and spatial working memory task to age-matched controls who engaged in expectancy-matched, active placebo computerized training. Age-related declines in spatial attention abilities were observed regardless of task difficulty. Spatial attention training led to improved focused and distributed attention abilities as well as improved spatial working memory in both younger and older participants. No such improvements were observed in either of the age-matched control groups. Note that these findings were not a function of improvements in simple response time, as basic motoric function did not change after training. Furthermore, when using change in simple response time as a covariate, all findings remained significant. These results suggest that spatial attention training can lead to enhancements in spatial working memory regardless of age.
Rolle, Camarin E.; Anguera, Joaquin A.; Skinner, Sasha N.; Voytek, Bradley; Gazzaley, Adam
Daily experiences demand both focused and broad allocation of attention for us to interact efficiently with our complex environments. Many types of attention have shown age-related decline, although there is also evidence that such deficits may be remediated with cognitive training. However, spatial attention abilities have shown inconsistent age-related differences, and the extent of potential enhancement of these abilities remains unknown. Here, we assessed spatial attention in both healthy younger and older adults and trained this ability in both age groups for 5 hr over the course of 2 weeks using a custom-made, computerized mobile training application. We compared training-related gains on a spatial attention assessment and spatial working memory task to age-matched controls who engaged in expectancy-matched, active placebo computerized training. Age-related declines in spatial attention abilities were observed regardless of task difficulty. Spatial attention training led to improved focused and distributed attention abilities as well as improved spatial working memory in both younger and older participants. No such improvements were observed in either of the age-matched control groups. Note that these findings were not a function of improvements in simple response time, as basic motoric function did not change after training. Furthermore, when using change in simple response time as a covariate, all findings remained significant. These results suggest that spatial attention training can lead to enhancements in spatial working memory regardless of age. PMID:28654361
Markant, Julie; Cicchetti, Dante; Hetzel, Susan; Thomas, Kathleen M.
Early selective attention skills are a crucial building block for cognitive development, as attention orienting serves as a primary means by which infants interact with and learn from the environment. Although several studies have examined infants' attention orienting using the spatial cueing task, relatively few studies have examined…
Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J
Working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Models of working memory often incorporate an attention component, and some even equate working memory and attentional control. Although some attention-related processes, including inhibitory control of response conflict and interference resolution, are strongly associated with working memory, for other aspects of attention the link is less clear. We examined the association between working-memory performance and attentional breadth, the ability to spread attention spatially. If the link between attention and working memory is broader than inhibitory and interference resolution processes, then working-memory performance might also be associated with other attentional abilities, including attentional breadth. We tested 123 participants on a variety of working-memory and attentional-breadth measures, finding a strong correlation between performances on these two types of tasks. This finding demonstrates that the link between working memory and attention extends beyond inhibitory processes.
Göschl, Florian; Engel, Andreas K.; Friese, Uwe
Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a) focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b) pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c) to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an ‘all-or-nothing’ manner. PMID:25203102
Full Text Available Factors influencing crossmodal interactions are manifold and operate in a stimulus-driven, bottom-up fashion, as well as via top-down control. Here, we evaluate the interplay of stimulus congruence and attention in a visual-tactile task. To this end, we used a matching paradigm requiring the identification of spatial patterns that were concurrently presented visually on a computer screen and haptically to the fingertips by means of a Braille stimulator. Stimulation in our paradigm was always bimodal with only the allocation of attention being manipulated between conditions. In separate blocks of the experiment, participants were instructed to (a focus on a single modality to detect a specific target pattern, (b pay attention to both modalities to detect a specific target pattern, or (c to explicitly evaluate if the patterns in both modalities were congruent or not. For visual as well as tactile targets, congruent stimulus pairs led to quicker and more accurate detection compared to incongruent stimulation. This congruence facilitation effect was more prominent under divided attention. Incongruent stimulation led to behavioral decrements under divided attention as compared to selectively attending a single sensory channel. Additionally, when participants were asked to evaluate congruence explicitly, congruent stimulation was associated with better performance than incongruent stimulation. Our results extend previous findings from audiovisual studies, showing that stimulus congruence also resulted in behavioral improvements in visuotactile pattern matching. The interplay of stimulus processing and attentional control seems to be organized in a highly flexible fashion, with the integration of signals depending on both bottom-up and top-down factors, rather than occurring in an 'all-or-nothing' manner.
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.
Lien, Mei-Ching; Ruthruff, Eric; Johnston, James C.
The classic theory of spatial attention hypothesized 2 modes, voluntary and involuntary. Folk, Remington, and Johnston (1992) reported that even involuntary attention capture by stimuli requires a match between stimulus properties and what the observer is looking for. This surprising conclusion has been confirmed by many subsequent studies. In…
Yeshurun, Yaffa; Carrasco, Marisa
It has been shown that transient attention enhances spatial resolution, but is the effect of transient attention on spatial resolution modulated by the size of the attentional cue? Would a gradual increase in the size of the cue lead to a gradual decrement in spatial resolution? To test these hypotheses, we used a texture segmentation task in which performance depends on spatial resolution, and systematically manipulated the size of the attentional cue: A bar of different lengths (Experiment 1) or a frame of different sizes (Experiments 2-3) indicated the target region in a texture segmentation display. Observers indicated whether a target patch region (oriented line elements in a background of an orthogonal orientation), appearing at a range of eccentricities, was present in the first or the second interval. We replicated the attentional enhancement of spatial resolution found with small cues; attention improved performance at peripheral locations but impaired performance at central locations. However, there was no evidence of gradual resolution decrement with large cues. Transient attention enhanced spatial resolution at the attended location when it was attracted to that location by a small cue but did not affect resolution when it was attracted by a large cue. These results indicate that transient attention cannot adapt its operation on spatial resolution on the basis of the size of the attentional cue.
Huang, Dan; Liang, Huilou; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Meijian; Hu, Qiyi; Chen, Yao
Uncertainty regarding the target location is an influential factor for spatial attention. Modulation in spatial uncertainty can lead to adjustments in attention scope and variations in attention effects. Hence, investigating spatial uncertainty modulation is important for understanding the underlying mechanism of spatial attention. However, the temporal dynamics of this modulation remains unclear. To evaluate the time course of spatial uncertainty modulation, we adopted a Posner-like attention orienting paradigm with central or peripheral cues. Different numbers of cues were used to indicate the potential locations of the target and thereby manipulate the spatial uncertainty level. The time interval between the onsets of the cue and the target (stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA) varied from 50 to 2000ms. We found that under central cueing, the effect of spatial uncertainty modulation could be detected from 200 to 2000ms after the presence of the cues. Under peripheral cueing, the effect of spatial uncertainty modulation was observed from 50 to 2000ms after cueing. Our results demonstrate that spatial uncertainty modulation produces robust and sustained effects on target detection speed. The time course of this modulation is influenced by the cueing method, which suggests that discrepant processing procedures are involved under different cueing conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kurtz, Phillipp; Shapcott, Katharine A; Kaiser, Jochen; Schmiedt, Joscha T; Schmid, Michael C
Spatial attention allows us to make more accurate decisions about events in our environment. Decision confidence is thought to be intimately linked to the decision making process as confidence ratings are tightly coupled to decision accuracy. While both spatial attention and decision confidence have been subjected to extensive research, surprisingly little is known about the interaction between these two processes. Since attention increases performance it might be expected that confidence would also increase. However, two studies investigating the effects of endogenous attention on decision confidence found contradictory results. Here we investigated the effects of two distinct forms of spatial attention on decision confidence; endogenous attention and exogenous attention. We used an orientation-matching task, comparing the two attention conditions (endogenous and exogenous) to a control condition without directed attention. Participants performed better under both attention conditions than in the control condition. Higher confidence ratings than the control condition were found under endogenous attention but not under exogenous attention. This finding suggests that while attention can increase confidence ratings, it must be voluntarily deployed for this increase to take place. We discuss possible implications of this relative overconfidence found only during endogenous attention with respect to the theoretical background of decision confidence.
Vecera, Shaun P; Flevaris, Anastasia V; Filapek, Joseph C
In a hierarchical stage account of vision, figure-ground assignment is thought to be completed before the operation of focal spatial attention. Results of previous studies have supported this account by showing that unpredictive, exogenous spatial precues do not influence figure-ground assignment, although voluntary attention can influence figure-ground assignment. However, in these studies, attention was not summoned directly to a region in a figure-ground display. In three experiments, we addressed the relationship between figure-ground assignment and visuospatial attention. In Experiment 1, we replicated the finding that exogenous precues do not influence figure-ground assignment when they direct attention outside of a figure-ground stimulus. In Experiment 2, we demonstrated that exogenous attention can influence figure-ground assignment if it is directed to one of the regions in a figure-ground stimulus. In Experiment 3, we demonstrated that exogenous attention can influence figure-ground assignment in displays that contain a Gestalt figure-ground cue; this result suggests that figure-ground processes are not entirely completed prior to the operation of focal spatial attention. Exogenous spatial attention acts as a cue for figure-ground assignment and can affect the outcome of figure-ground processes.
Knight, Helen C; Smith, Daniel T; Knight, David C; Ellison, Amanda
Attentional control settings have an important role in guiding visual behaviour. Previous work within cognitive psychology has found that the deployment of general attentional control settings can be modulated by training. However, research has not yet established whether long-term modifications of one particular type of attentional control setting can be induced. To address this, we investigated persistent alterations to feature search mode, also known as an attentional bias, towards an arbitrary stimulus in healthy participants. Subjects were biased towards the colour green by an information sheet. Attentional bias was assessed using a change detection task. After an interval of either 1 or 2 weeks, participants were then retested on the same change detection task, tested on a different change detection task where colour was irrelevant, or were biased towards an alternative colour. One experiment included trials in which the distractor stimuli (but never the target stimuli) were green. The key finding was that green stimuli in the second task attracted attention, despite this impairing task performance. Furthermore, inducing a second attentional bias did not override the initial bias toward green objects. The attentional bias also persisted for at least two weeks. It is argued that this persistent attentional bias is mediated by a chronic change to participants' attentional control settings, which is aided by long-term representations involving contextual cueing. We speculate that similar changes to attentional control settings and continuous cueing may relate to attentional biases observed in psychopathologies. Targeting these biases may be a productive approach to treatment.
Full Text Available The spatial behavior of tourists is an important part of the research on congestion management and sustainable planning of tourism destinations. Combined with user-generated content (UGC and site-based survey data, this study conducted an overlaying analysis between street network configurations that resulted from space syntax and tourist preferences. Based on space syntax, tourist movement is influenced by the distribution of scenic spots and the structure of tourist trails in scenic mountain areas. The results reveal that the distribution of scenic spots has a significant impact on tourist flow and visitors’ choices of entrance to the mountain; the volume of online sign-ins is highly correlated with landscape attention, axial control values and the local integration value of the trails; and tourists’ attention focuses on the entrance area and the few tourist-sight markers. This study advances the understanding of the spatial patterns of within-destination tourist behavior; this knowledge will be helpful in alleviating congestion in mountain scenic areas and providing effective guidance for tourists to plan an ideal tour route.
Ciaramelli, Elisa; Lin, Olivia; Moscovitch, Morris
The study explores the bottom-up attentional consequences of episodic memory retrieval. Individuals studied words (Experiment 1) or pictures (Experiment 2) presented on the left or on the right of the screen. They then viewed studied and new stimuli in the centre of the screen. One-second after the appearance of each stimulus, participants had to respond to a dot presented on the left or on the right of the screen. The dot could follow a stimulus that had been presented, during the study phase, on the same side as the dot (congruent condition), a stimulus that had been presented on the opposite side (incongruent condition), or a new stimulus (neutral condition). Subjects were faster to respond to the dot in the congruent compared to the incongruent condition, with an overall right visual field advantage in Experiment 1. The memory-driven facilitation effect correlated with subjects' re-experiencing of the encoding context (R responses; Experiment 1), but not with their explicit memory for the side of items' presentation (source memory; Experiment 2). The results indicate that memory contents are attended automatically and can bias the deployment of attention. The degree to which memory and attention interact appears related to subjective but not objective indicators of memory strength.
Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.; Rosenbaum, Gail M.
Our visual system is highly sensitive to regularities in the environment. Locations that were important in one's previous experience are often prioritized during search, even though observers may not be aware of the learning. In this study we characterized the guidance of spatial attention by incidental learning of a target's spatial probability,…
Miller, Hilary E; Simmering, Vanessa R
Children's spatial language reliably predicts their spatial skills, but the nature of this relation is a source of debate. This investigation examined whether the mechanisms accounting for such relations are specific to language use or reflect a domain-general mechanism of selective attention. Experiment 1 examined whether 4-year-olds' spatial skills were predicted by their selective attention or their adaptive language use. Children completed (a) an attention task assessing attention to task-relevant color, size, and location cues; (b) a description task assessing adaptive language use to describe scenes varying in color, size, and location; and (c) three spatial tasks. There was correspondence between the cue types that children attended to and produced across description and attention tasks. Adaptive language use was predicted by both children's attention and task-related language production, suggesting that selective attention underlies skills in using language adaptively. After controlling for age, gender, receptive vocabulary, and adaptive language use, spatial skills were predicted by children's selective attention. The attention score predicted variance in spatial performance previously accounted for by adaptive language use. Experiment 2 followed up on the attention task (Experiment 2a) and description task (Experiment 2b) from Experiment 1 to assess whether performance in the tasks related to selective attention or task-specific demands. Performance in Experiments 2a and 2b paralleled that in Experiment 1, suggesting that the effects in Experiment 1 reflected children's selective attention skills. These findings show that selective attention is a central factor supporting spatial skill development that could account for many effects previously attributed to children's language use. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin
Representations of target-defining features (attentional templates) guide the selection of target objects in visual search. We used behavioural and electrophysiological measures to investigate how such search templates control the allocation of attention in search tasks where targets are defined by the combination of two colours or by a specific spatial configuration of these colours. Target displays were preceded by spatially uninformative cue displays that contained items in one or both tar...
Chica, Ana B; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Lupiáñez, Juan
Orienting of spatial attention is a family of phylogenetically old mechanisms developed to select information for further processing. Information can be selected via top-down or endogenous mechanisms, depending on the goals of the observers or on the task at hand. Moreover, salient and potentially dangerous events also attract spatial attention via bottom-up or exogenous mechanisms, allowing a rapid and efficient reaction to unexpected but important events. Fronto-parietal brain networks have been demonstrated to play an important role in supporting spatial attentional orienting, although there is no consensus on whether there is a single attentional system supporting both endogenous and exogenous attention, or two anatomical and functionally different attentional systems. In the present paper we review behavioral evidence emphasizing the differential characteristics of both systems, as well as their possible interactions for the control of the final orienting response. Behavioral studies reporting qualitative differences between the effects of both systems as well as double dissociations of the effects of endogenous and exogenous attention on information processing, suggest that they constitute two independent attentional systems, rather than a single one. Recent models of attentional orienting in humans have put forward the hypothesis of a dorsal fronto-parietal network for orienting spatial attention, and a more ventral fronto-parietal network for detecting unexpected but behaviorally relevant events. Non-invasive neurostimulation techniques, as well as neuropsychological data, suggest that endogenous and exogenous attention are implemented in overlapping, although partially segregated, brain circuits. Although more research is needed in order to refine our anatomical and functional knowledge of the brain circuits underlying spatial attention, we conclude that endogenous and exogenous spatial orienting constitute two independent attentional systems, with
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...
Valdés-Conroy, Berenice; Hinojosa, José A; Román, Francisco J; Romero-Ferreiro, Verónica
Building on evidence for embodied representations, we investigated whether Spanish spatial terms map onto the NEAR/FAR perceptual division of space. Using a long horizontal display, we measured congruency effects during the processing of spatial terms presented in NEAR or FAR space. Across three experiments, we manipulated the task demands in order to investigate the role of endogenous attention in linguistic and perceptual space mapping. We predicted congruency effects only when spatial properties were relevant for the task (reaching estimation task, Experiment 1) but not when attention was allocated to other features (lexical decision, Experiment 2; and color, Experiment 3). Results showed faster responses for words presented in Near-space in all experiments. Consistent with our hypothesis, congruency effects were observed only when a reaching estimate was requested. Our results add important evidence for the role of top-down processing in congruency effects from embodied representations of spatial terms. Copyright © 2017 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
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.
This thesis is about fusion of optimal stochastic motion control and physical layer communications. Distributed, networked communication systems, such as relay beamforming networks (e.g., Amplify & Forward (AF)), are typically designed without explicitly considering how the positions of the respective nodes might affect the quality of the communication. Optimum placement of network nodes, which could potentially improve the quality of the communication, is not typically considered. However, in most practical settings in physical layer communications, such as relay beamforming, the Channel State Information (CSI) observed by each node, per channel use, although it might be (modeled as) random, it is both spatially and temporally correlated. It is, therefore, reasonable to ask if and how the performance of the system could be improved by (predictively) controlling the positions of the network nodes (e.g., the relays), based on causal side (CSI) information, and exploitting the spatiotemporal dependencies of the wireless medium. In this work, we address this problem in the context of AF relay beamforming networks. This novel, cyber-physical system approach to relay beamforming is termed as "Spatially Controlled Relay Beamforming". First, we discuss wireless channel modeling, however, in a rigorous, Bayesian framework. Experimentally accurate and, at the same time, technically precise channel modeling is absolutely essential for designing and analyzing spatially controlled communication systems. In this work, we are interested in two distinct spatiotemporal statistical models, for describing the behavior of the log-scale magnitude of the wireless channel: 1. Stationary Gaussian Fields: In this case, the channel is assumed to evolve as a stationary, Gaussian stochastic field in continuous space and discrete time (say, for instance, time slots). Under such assumptions, spatial and temporal statistical interactions are determined by a set of time and space invariant
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…
Santangelo, Valerio; Spence, Charles
We compared the ability of auditory, visual, and audiovisual (bimodal) exogenous cues to capture visuo-spatial attention under conditions of no load versus high perceptual load. Participants had to discriminate the elevation (up vs. down) of visual targets preceded by either unimodal or bimodal cues under conditions of high perceptual load (in…
Golomb, Julie D
Spatial attention is thought to play a critical role in feature binding. However, often multiple objects or locations are of interest in our environment, and we need to shift or split attention between them. Recent evidence has demonstrated that shifting and splitting spatial attention results in different types of feature-binding errors. In particular, when two locations are simultaneously sharing attentional resources, subjects are susceptible to feature-mixing errors; that is, they tend to report a color that is a subtle blend of the target color and the color at the other attended location. The present study was designed to test whether these feature-mixing errors are influenced by target-distractor similarity. Subjects were cued to split attention across two different spatial locations, and were subsequently presented with an array of colored stimuli, followed by a postcue indicating which color to report. Target-distractor similarity was manipulated by varying the distance in color space between the two attended stimuli. Probabilistic modeling in all cases revealed shifts in the response distribution consistent with feature-mixing errors; however, the patterns differed considerably across target-distractor color distances. With large differences in color, the findings replicated the mixing result, but with small color differences, repulsion was instead observed, with the reported target color shifted away from the other attended color.
Burnett, Katherine E; Close, Alex C; d'Avossa, Giovanni; Sapir, Ayelet
A commonly held view in both exogenous and endogenous orienting is that spatial attention is associated with enhanced processing of all stimuli at the attended location. However, we often search for a specific target at a particular location, so an observer should be able to jointly specify the target identity and expected location. Whether attention can bias dimension-specific processes at a particular location is not yet clear. We used a dual task to examine the effects of endogenous spatial cues on the accuracy of perceptual judgments of different dimensions. Participants responded to a motion target and a colour target, presented at the same or different locations. We manipulated a central cue to predict the location of the motion or colour target. While overall performance in the two tasks was comparable, cueing effects were larger for the target whose location was predicted by the cue, implying that when attending a particular location, processing of the likely dimension was preferentially enhanced. Additionally, an asymmetry between the motion and colour tasks was seen; motion was modulated by attention, and colour was not. We conclude that attention has some ability to select a dimension at a particular location, indicating integration of spatial and feature-based attention.
Patel, Saumil S.; Red, Stuart; Lin, Eric; Sereno, Anne B.
Many neurons in the dorsal and ventral visual stream have the property that after a brief visual stimulus presentation in their receptive field, the spiking activity in these neurons persists above their baseline levels for several seconds. This maintained activity is not always correlated with the monkey’s task and its origin is unknown. We have previously proposed a simple neural network model, based on shape selective neurons in monkey lateral intraparietal cortex, which predicts the valence and time course of reflexive (bottom-up) spatial attention. In the same simple model, we demonstrate here that passive maintained activity or short-term memory of specific visual events can result without need for an external or top-down modulatory signal. Mutual inhibition and neuronal adaptation play distinct roles in reflexive attention and memory. This modest 4-cell model provides the first simple and unified physiologically plausible mechanism of reflexive spatial attention and passive short-term memory processes. PMID:26493949
Patel, Saumil S; Red, Stuart; Lin, Eric; Sereno, Anne B
Many neurons in the dorsal and ventral visual stream have the property that after a brief visual stimulus presentation in their receptive field, the spiking activity in these neurons persists above their baseline levels for several seconds. This maintained activity is not always correlated with the monkey's task and its origin is unknown. We have previously proposed a simple neural network model, based on shape selective neurons in monkey lateral intraparietal cortex, which predicts the valence and time course of reflexive (bottom-up) spatial attention. In the same simple model, we demonstrate here that passive maintained activity or short-term memory of specific visual events can result without need for an external or top-down modulatory signal. Mutual inhibition and neuronal adaptation play distinct roles in reflexive attention and memory. This modest 4-cell model provides the first simple and unified physiologically plausible mechanism of reflexive spatial attention and passive short-term memory processes.
Roy E Crist
Full Text Available Human perception of faces is widely believed to rely on automatic processing by a domain-specifi c, modular component of the visual system. Scalp-recorded event-related potential (ERP recordings indicate that faces receive special stimulus processing at around 170 ms poststimulus onset, in that faces evoke an enhanced occipital negative wave, known as the N170, relative to the activity elicited by other visual objects. As predicted by modular accounts of face processing, this early face-specifi c N170 enhancement has been reported to be largely immune to the infl uence of endogenous processes such as task strategy or attention. However, most studies examining the infl uence of attention on face processing have focused on non-spatial attention, such as object-based attention, which tend to have longer-latency effects. In contrast, numerous studies have demonstrated that visual spatial attention can modulate the processing of visual stimuli as early as 80 ms poststimulus – substantially earlier than the N170. These temporal characteristics raise the question of whether this initial face-specifi c processing is immune to the infl uence of spatial attention. This question was addressed in a dual-visualstream ERP study in which the infl uence of spatial attention on the face-specifi c N170 could be directly examined. As expected, early visual sensory responses to all stimuli presented in an attended location were larger than responses evoked by those same stimuli when presented in an unattended location. More importantly, a signifi cant face-specifi c N170 effect was elicited by faces that appeared in an attended location, but not in an unattended one. In summary, early face-specifi c processing is not automatic, but rather, like other objects, strongly depends on endogenous factors such as the allocation of spatial attention. Moreover, these fi ndings underscore the extensive infl uence that top-down attention exercises over the processing of
Full Text Available The eye movement system is sensitive to reward. However, whilst the eye movement system is extremely flexible, the extent to which changes to oculomotor behaviour induced by reward paradigms persist beyond the training period or transfer to other oculomotor tasks is unclear. To address these issues we examined the effects of presenting feedback that represented small monetary rewards to spatial locations on the latency of saccadic eye movements, the time-course of learning and extinction of the effects of rewarding saccades on exogenous spatial attention and oculomotor IOR. Reward feedback produced a relative facilitation of saccadic latency in a stimulus driven saccade task which persisted for 3 blocks of extinction trials. However this hemifield-specific effect failed to transfer to peripheral cueing tasks. We conclude that rewarding specific spatial locations is unlikely to induce long-term, systemic changes to the human oculomotor or attention systems.
Dunne, Stephen; Ellison, Amanda; Smith, Daniel T
The eye movement system is sensitive to reward. However, whilst the eye movement system is extremely flexible, the extent to which changes to oculomotor behavior induced by reward paradigms persist beyond the training period or transfer to other oculomotor tasks is unclear. To address these issues we examined the effects of presenting feedback that represented small monetary rewards to spatial locations on the latency of saccadic eye movements, the time-course of learning and extinction of the effects of rewarding saccades on exogenous spatial attention and oculomotor inhibition of return. Reward feedback produced a relative facilitation of saccadic latency in a stimulus driven saccade task which persisted for three blocks of extinction trials. However, this hemifield-specific effect failed to transfer to peripheral cueing tasks. We conclude that rewarding specific spatial locations is unlikely to induce long-term, systemic changes to the human oculomotor or attention systems.
Wijers, A A; Okita, T; Mulder, G; Mulder, L J; Lorist, M M; Poiesz, R; Scheffers, M K
ERPs and performance were measured in divided and focussed attention visual search tasks. In focussed attention tasks, to-be-attended and to-be-ignored letters were presented simultaneously. We varied display load, mapping conditions and display size. RT, P3b-latency and negativity in the ERP associated with controlled search all increased with display load. Each of these measures showed selectivity of controlled search, in that they decreased with focussing of attention. An occipital N230, on the other hand, was not sensitive to focussing of attention, but was primarily affected by display load. ERPs to both attended and unattended targets in focussed attention conditions showed and N2 compared to nontargets, suggesting that both automatic and controlled letter classifications are possible. These effects were not affected by display size. Consistent mapping resulted in shorter RT and P3b-latency in divided attention conditions, compared to varied mapping conditions, but had no effect in focussed attention conditions.
Casarotti, Marco; Lisi, Matteo; Umiltà, Carlo; Zorzi, Marco
Growing evidence indicates that planning eye movements and orienting visuospatial attention share overlapping brain mechanisms. A tight link between endogenous attention and eye movements is maintained by the premotor theory, in contrast to other accounts that postulate the existence of specific attention mechanisms that modulate the activity of information processing systems. The strong assumption of equivalence between attention and eye movements, however, is challenged by demonstrations that human observers are able to keep attention on a specific location while moving the eyes elsewhere. Here we investigate whether a recurrent model of saccadic planning can account for attentional effects without requiring additional or specific mechanisms separate from the circuits that perform sensorimotor transformations for eye movements. The model builds on the basis function approach and includes a circuit that performs spatial remapping using an "internal forward model" of how visual inputs are modified as a result of saccadic movements. Simulations show that the latter circuit is crucial to account for dissociations between attention and eye movements that may be invoked to disprove the premotor theory. The model provides new insights into how spatial remapping may be implemented in parietal cortex and offers a computational framework for recent proposals that link visual stability with remapping of attention pointers.
Yashar, Amit; White, Alex L; Fang, Wanghaoming; Carrasco, Marisa
People perform better in visual search when the target feature repeats across trials (intertrial feature priming [IFP]). Here, we investigated whether repetition of a feature singleton's color modulates stimulus-driven shifts of spatial attention by presenting a probe stimulus immediately after each singleton display. The task alternated every two trials between a probe discrimination task and a singleton search task. We measured both stimulus-driven spatial attention (via the distance between the probe and singleton) and IFP (via repetition of the singleton's color). Color repetition facilitated search performance (IFP effect) when the set size was small. When the probe appeared at the singleton's location, performance was better than at the opposite location (stimulus-driven attention effect). The magnitude of this attention effect increased with the singleton's set size (which increases its saliency) but did not depend on whether the singleton's color repeated across trials, even when the previous singleton had been attended as a search target. Thus, our findings show that repetition of a salient singleton's color affects performance when the singleton is task relevant and voluntarily attended (as in search trials). However, color repetition does not affect performance when the singleton becomes irrelevant to the current task, even though the singleton does capture attention (as in probe trials). Therefore, color repetition per se does not make a singleton more salient for stimulus-driven attention. Rather, we suggest that IFP requires voluntary selection of color singletons in each consecutive trial.
Goodhew, Stephanie C; Shen, Elizabeth; Edwards, Mark
An important but often neglected aspect of attention is how changes in the attentional spotlight size impact perception. The zoom-lens model predicts that a small ("focal") attentional spotlight enhances all aspects of perception relative to a larger ("diffuse" spotlight). However, based on the physiological properties of the two major classes of visual cells (magnocellular and parvocellular neurons) we predicted trade-offs in spatial and temporal acuity as a function of spotlight size. Contrary to both of these accounts, however, across two experiments we found that attentional spotlight size affected spatial acuity, such that spatial acuity was enhanced for a focal relative to a diffuse spotlight, whereas the same modulations in spotlight size had no impact on temporal acuity. This likely reflects the function of attention: to induce the high spatial resolution of the fovea in periphery, where spatial resolution is poor but temporal resolution is good. It is adaptive, therefore, for the attentional spotlight to enhance spatial acuity, whereas enhancing temporal acuity does not confer the same benefit.
Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.
Recent empirical and theoretical work has depicted a close relationship between visual attention and visual working memory. For example, rehearsal in spatial working memory depends on spatial attention, whereas adding a secondary spatial working memory task impairs attentional deployment in visual search. These findings have led to the proposal that working memory is attention directed toward internal representations. Here we show that the close relationship between these two constructs is limited to some but not all forms of spatial attention. In five experiments, participants held color arrays, dot locations, or a sequence of dots in working memory. During the memory retention interval they performed a T-among-L visual search task. Crucially, the probable target location was cued either implicitly through location probability learning, or explicitly with a central arrow or verbal instruction. Our results showed that whereas imposing a visual working memory load diminished the effectiveness of explicit cuing, it did not interfere with probability cuing. We conclude that spatial working memory shares similar mechanisms with explicit, goal-driven attention but is dissociated from implicitly learned attention. PMID:25401460
Andersen, Tobias; Tiippana, K.; Laarni, J.
Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre-attentive b......Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre...... from each of the faces and from the voice on the auditory speech percept. We found that directing visual spatial attention towards a face increased the influence of that face on auditory perception. However, the influence of the voice on auditory perception did not change suggesting that audiovisual...... integration did not change. Visual spatial attention was also able to select between the faces when lip reading. This suggests that visual spatial attention acts at the level of visual speech perception prior to audiovisual integration and that the effect propagates through audiovisual integration...
Full Text Available Objectives: The purpose of the present study was comparing visuo-spatial attention between children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-Inattentive (ADHD-I type and normal children. Methods: In this cross-sectional study fifteen (7-10 years of age children were classified with ADHD-I type and 15 normal children were matched for age, sex, and IQ. They were selected trough simple random sampling. Measurement tools were Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children 4th edition (WISC-IV, the Edinburgh Handedness Inventory and the Star Cancellation Test. Results: The results suggest that there is no significant difference between ADHD-I and normal children from the visuo-spatial standpoint (P>0.05. But three ADHD-I children exhibited signs of unilateral neglect. Discussion: Although, in this study the visuo-spatial attention was not different between ADHD-I group and normal group, considering this form of attention as an item in assessment and therapeutic interventions should not be neglected.
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
Green, Jessica J; Boehler, Carsten N; Roberts, Kenneth C; Chen, Ling-Chia; Krebs, Ruth M; Song, Allen W; Woldorff, Marty G
Visual spatial attention has been studied in humans with both electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) individually. However, due to the intrinsic limitations of each of these methods used alone, our understanding of the systems-level mechanisms underlying attentional control remains limited. Here, we examined trial-to-trial covariations of concurrently recorded EEG and fMRI in a cued visual spatial attention task in humans, which allowed delineation of both the generators and modulators of the cue-triggered event-related oscillatory brain activity underlying attentional control function. The fMRI activity in visual cortical regions contralateral to the cued direction of attention covaried positively with occipital gamma-band EEG, consistent with activation of cortical regions representing attended locations in space. In contrast, fMRI activity in ipsilateral visual cortical regions covaried inversely with occipital alpha-band oscillations, consistent with attention-related suppression of the irrelevant hemispace. Moreover, the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus covaried with both of these spatially specific, attention-related, oscillatory EEG modulations. Because the pulvinar's neuroanatomical geometry makes it unlikely to be a direct generator of the scalp-recorded EEG, these covariational patterns appear to reflect the pulvinar's role as a regulatory control structure, sending spatially specific signals to modulate visual cortex excitability proactively. Together, these combined EEG/fMRI results illuminate the dynamically interacting cortical and subcortical processes underlying spatial attention, providing important insight not realizable using either method alone. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Noninvasive recordings of changes in the brain's blood flow using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electrical activity using electroencephalography in humans have individually shown that shifting attention to a location in space
Henderickx, David; Maetens, Kathleen; Soetens, Eric
Briand (J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 24:1243-1256, 1998) and Briand and Klein (J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 13:228-241, 1987) demonstrated that spatial cueing effects are larger for detecting conjunction of features than for detecting simple features when spatial attention is oriented exogenously, and not when attention is oriented endogenously. Their results were interpreted as if only exogenous attention affects the posterior spatial attention system that performs the feature binding function attributed to spatial attention by Treisman's feature integration theory (FIT; 1980). In a series of 6 experiments, we attempted to replicate Briand's findings. Manipulations of distractor string size and symmetry of stimulus presentation left and right from fixation were implemented in Posner's cueing paradigm. The data indicate that both exogenous and endogenous cueing address the same attentional mechanism needed for feature binding. The results also limit the generalisability of Briand's proposal concerning the role of exogenous attention in feature integration. Furthermore, the importance to control the effect of unintended attentional capture in a cueing task is demonstrated.
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).
Theeuwes, J.; Kramer, A.F.; Irwin, D.E.
The current study shows that spatial visual attention is used to retrieve information from visual working memory. Participants had to keep four colored circles in visual working memory. While keeping this information in memory we asked whether one of the colors was present in the array. While
Rebecca E Paladini
Full Text Available Cross-modal spatial cueing can affect performance in a visual search task. For example, search performance improves if a visual target and an auditory cue originate from the same spatial location, and it deteriorates if they originate from different locations. Moreover, it has recently been postulated that multisensory settings, i.e., experimental settings, in which critical stimuli are concurrently presented in different sensory modalities (e.g., visual and auditory, may trigger asymmetries in visuospatial attention. Thereby, a facilitation has been observed for visual stimuli presented in the right compared to the left visual space. However, it remains unclear whether auditory cueing of attention differentially affects search performance in the left and the right hemifields in audio-visual search tasks. The present study investigated whether spatial asymmetries would occur in a search task with cross-modal spatial cueing. Participants completed a visual search task that contained no auditory cues (i.e., unimodal visual condition, spatially congruent, spatially incongruent, and spatially non-informative auditory cues. To further assess participants' accuracy in localising the auditory cues, a unimodal auditory spatial localisation task was also administered. The results demonstrated no left/right asymmetries in the unimodal visual search condition. Both an additional incongruent, as well as a spatially non-informative, auditory cue resulted in lateral asymmetries. Thereby, search times were increased for targets presented in the left compared to the right hemifield. No such spatial asymmetry was observed in the congruent condition. However, participants' performance in the congruent condition was modulated by their tone localisation accuracy. The findings of the present study demonstrate that spatial asymmetries in multisensory processing depend on the validity of the cross-modal cues, and occur under specific attentional conditions, i.e., when
Polly V Peers
Full Text Available Attentional control refers to the regulatory processes that ensure that our actions are in accordance with our goals. Dual-system accounts view temperament as consisting of both individual variation in emotionality (e.g. trait anxiety and variation in regulatory attentional mechanisms that act to modulate emotionality. Increasing evidence links trait variation in attentional control to clinical mood and anxiety disorder symptoms, independent of trait emotionality. Attentional biases to threat have been robustly linked to mood and anxiety disorders. However, the role of variation in attentional control in influencing such biases, and the neural underpinnings of trait variation in attentional control, are unknown. Here, we show, that individual differences in trait attentional control, even when accounting for trait and state anxiety, are related to the magnitude of an attentional blink following threat-related targets. Moreover, we demonstrate that activity in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, is observed specifically in relation to control of attention over threatening stimuli, in line with neural theories of attentional control, such as guided activation theory. These results have key implications for neurocognitive theories of attentional bias and emotional resilience.
Redel, P; Bublak, P; Sorg, C; Kurz, A; Förstl, H; Müller, H J; Schneider, W X; Perneczky, R; Finke, K
Visual selective attention was assessed with a partial-report task in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and healthy elderly controls. Based on Bundesen's "theory of visual attention" (TVA), two parameters were derived: top-down control of attentional selection, representing task-related attentional weighting for prioritizing relevant visual objects, and spatial distribution of attentional weights across the left and the right hemifield. Compared with controls, MCI patients showed significantly reduced top-down controlled selection, which was further deteriorated in AD subjects. Moreover, attentional weighting was significantly unbalanced across hemifields in MCI and tended to be more lateralized in AD. Across MCI and AD patients, carriers of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (ApoE4) displayed a leftward spatial bias, which was the more pronounced the younger the ApoE4-positive patients and the earlier disease onset. These results indicate that impaired top-down control may be linked to early dysfunction of fronto-parietal networks. An early temporo-parietal interhemispheric asymmetry might cause a pathological spatial bias which is associated with ApoE4 genotype and may therefore function as early cognitive marker of upcoming AD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Patai, Eva Zita; Buckley, Alice; Nobre, Anna Christina
A popular model of visual perception states that coarse information (carried by low spatial frequencies) along the dorsal stream is rapidly transmitted to prefrontal and medial temporal areas, activating contextual information from memory, which can in turn constrain detailed input carried by high spatial frequencies arriving at a slower rate along the ventral visual stream, thus facilitating the processing of ambiguous visual stimuli. We were interested in testing whether this model contributes to memory-guided orienting of attention. In particular, we asked whether global, low-spatial frequency (LSF) inputs play a dominant role in triggering contextual memories in order to facilitate the processing of the upcoming target stimulus. We explored this question over four experiments. The first experiment replicated the LSF advantage reported in perceptual discrimination tasks by showing that participants were faster and more accurate at matching a low spatial frequency version of a scene, compared to a high spatial frequency version, to its original counterpart in a forced-choice task. The subsequent three experiments tested the relative contributions of low versus high spatial frequencies during memory-guided covert spatial attention orienting tasks. Replicating the effects of memory-guided attention, pre-exposure to scenes associated with specific spatial memories for target locations (memory cues) led to higher perceptual discrimination and faster response times to identify targets embedded in the scenes. However, either high or low spatial frequency cues were equally effective; LSF signals did not selectively or preferentially contribute to the memory-driven attention benefits to performance. Our results challenge a generalized model that LSFs activate contextual memories, which in turn bias attention and facilitate perception.
Cohen, Marlene R.; Maunsell, John H.R.
Summary Visual attention affects both perception and neuronal responses. Whether the same neuronal mechanisms mediate spatial attention, which improves perception of attended locations, and non-spatial forms of attention has been a subject of considerable debate. Spatial and feature attention have similar effects on individual neurons. Because visual cortex is retinotopically organized, however, spatial attention can co-modulate local neuronal populations, while feature attention generally requires more selective modulation. We compared the effects of feature and spatial attention on local and spatially separated populations by recording simultaneously from dozens of neurons in both hemispheres of V4. Feature and spatial attention affect the activity of local populations similarly, modulating both firing rates and correlations between pairs of nearby neurons. However, while spatial attention appears to act on local populations, feature attention is coordinated across hemispheres. Our results are consistent with a unified attentional mechanism that can modulate the responses of arbitrary subgroups of neurons. PMID:21689604
Botta, Fabiano; Santangelo, Valerio; Raffone, Antonino; Lupiáñez, Juan; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti
In this study, we investigate how exogenous and endogenous orienting of spatial attention affect visuospatial working memory (VSWM). Specifically, we focused on two attentional effects and their consequences on storage in VSWM, when exogenous (Experiment 1) or endogenous (Experiment 2) orienting cues were used. The first effect, known as the meridian effect, is given by a decrement in behavioural performance when spatial cues and targets are presented in locations separated by vertical and/or horizontal meridians. The second effect, known as the distance effect, is given by a decrement in the orienting effects as a function of the spatial distance between cues and targets. Our results revealed a dissociation between exogenous and endogenous orienting mechanisms in terms of both meridian and distance effects. We found that meridian crossing affects performance only when endogenous cues were used. Specifically, VSWM performance with endogenous cueing depended more on the number of meridian crossings than on distance between cue and target. By contrast, a U-shaped distance dependency was observed using exogenous cues. Our findings therefore suggest that exogenous and endogenous orienting mechanisms lead to different forms of attentional bias for storage in VSWM.
Hugues, Etienne; Jose, Jorge V.
Visual scenes have enormous spatial and temporal information that are transduced into neural spike trains. Psychophysical experiments indicate that only a small portion of a spatial image is consciously accessible. Electrophysiological experiments in behaving monkeys have revealed a number of modulations of the neural activity in special visual area known as V4, when the animal is paying attention directly towards a particular stimulus location. The nature of the attentional input to V4, however, remains unknown as well as to the mechanisms responsible for these modulations. We use a biophysical neural network model of V4 to address these issues. We first constrain our model to reproduce the experimental results obtained for different external stimulus configurations and without paying attention. To reproduce the known neuronal response variability, we found that the neurons should receive about equal, or balanced, levels of excitatory and inhibitory inputs and whose levels are high as they are in in vivo conditions. Next we consider attentional inputs that can induce and reproduce the observed spiking modulations. We also elucidate the role played by the neural network to generate these modulations
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
Katus, Tobias; Eimer, Martin
The maintenance of sensory information in working memory (WM) is mediated by the attentional activation of stimulus representations that are stored in perceptual brain regions. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we measured tactile and visual contralateral delay activity (tCDA/CDA components) in a bimodal WM task to concurrently track the attention-based maintenance of information stored in anatomically segregated (somatosensory and visual) brain areas. Participants received tactile and visual sample stimuli on both sides, and in different blocks, memorized these samples on the same side or on opposite sides. After a retention delay, memory was unpredictably tested for touch or vision. In the same side blocks, tCDA and CDA components simultaneously emerged over the same hemisphere, contralateral to the memorized tactile/visual sample set. In opposite side blocks, these two components emerged over different hemispheres, but had the same sizes and onset latencies as in the same side condition. Our results reveal distinct foci of tactile and visual spatial attention that were concurrently maintained on task-relevant stimulus representations in WM. The independence of spatially-specific biasing mechanisms for tactile and visual WM content suggests that multimodal information is stored in distributed perceptual brain areas that are activated through modality-specific processes that can operate simultaneously and largely independently of each other. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Uttal, David; Franconeri, Steven
Perceiving not just values, but relations between values, is critical to human cognition. We tested the predictions of a proposed mechanism for processing categorical spatial relations between two objects—the shift account of relation processing—which states that relations such as ‘above’ or ‘below’ are extracted by shifting visual attention upward or downward in space. If so, then shifts of attention should improve the representation of spatial relations, compared to a control condition of identity memory. Participants viewed a pair of briefly flashed objects and were then tested on either the relative spatial relation or identity of one of those objects. Using eye tracking to reveal participants’ voluntary shifts of attention over time, we found that when initial fixation was on neither object, relational memory showed an absolute advantage for the object following an attention shift, while identity memory showed no advantage for either object. This result is consistent with the shift account of relation processing. When initial fixation began on one of the objects, identity memory strongly benefited this fixated object, while relational memory only showed a relative benefit for objects following an attention shift. This result is also consistent, although not as uniquely, with the shift account of relation processing. Taken together, we suggest that the attention shift account provides a mechanistic explanation for the overall results. This account can potentially serve as the common mechanism underlying both linguistic and perceptual representations of spatial relations. PMID:27695104
Johnson, Jeffrey S.; Spencer, John P.
Studies examining the relationship between spatial attention and spatial working memory (SWM) have shown that discrimination responses are faster for targets appearing at locations that are being maintained in SWM, and that location memory is impaired when attention is withdrawn during the delay. These observations support the proposal that sustained attention is required for successful retention in SWM: if attention is withdrawn, memory representations are likely to fail, increasing errors. In the present study, this proposal is reexamined in light of a neural process model of SWM. On the basis of the model's functioning, we propose an alternative explanation for the observed decline in SWM performance when a secondary task is performed during retention: SWM representations drift systematically toward the location of targets appearing during the delay. To test this explanation, participants completed a color-discrimination task during the delay interval of a spatial recall task. In the critical shifting attention condition, the color stimulus could appear either toward or away from the memorized location relative to a midline reference axis. We hypothesized that if shifting attention during the delay leads to the failure of SWM representations, there should be an increase in the variance of recall errors but no change in directional error, regardless of the direction of the shift. Conversely, if shifting attention induces drift of SWM representations—as predicted by the model—there should be systematic changes in the pattern of spatial recall errors depending on the direction of the shift. Results were consistent with the latter possibility—recall errors were biased toward the location of discrimination targets appearing during the delay. PMID:26810574
Johnson, Jeffrey S; Spencer, John P
Studies examining the relationship between spatial attention and spatial working memory (SWM) have shown that discrimination responses are faster for targets appearing at locations that are being maintained in SWM, and that location memory is impaired when attention is withdrawn during the delay. These observations support the proposal that sustained attention is required for successful retention in SWM: If attention is withdrawn, memory representations are likely to fail, increasing errors. In the present study, this proposal was reexamined in light of a neural-process model of SWM. On the basis of the model's functioning, we propose an alternative explanation for the observed decline in SWM performance when a secondary task is performed during retention: SWM representations drift systematically toward the location of targets appearing during the delay. To test this explanation, participants completed a color discrimination task during the delay interval of a spatial-recall task. In the critical shifting-attention condition, the color stimulus could appear either toward or away from the midline reference axis, relative to the memorized location. We hypothesized that if shifting attention during the delay leads to the failure of SWM representations, there should be an increase in the variance of recall errors, but no change in directional errors, regardless of the direction of the shift. Conversely, if shifting attention induces drift of SWM representations-as predicted by the model-systematic changes in the patterns of spatial-recall errors should occur that would depend on the direction of the shift. The results were consistent with the latter possibility-recall errors were biased toward the locations of discrimination targets appearing during the delay.
Fabius, J. H.; Mathôt, Sebastiaan; Schut, M. J.; Nijboer, T. C.W.; Van der Stigchel, S.
In this experiment, we demonstrate modulation of the pupillary light response by spatial working memory (SWM). The pupillary light response has previously been shown to reflect the focus of covert attention, as demonstrated by smaller pupil sizes when a subject covertly attends a location on a
Klein, Barrie P.; Fracasso, Alessio; van Dijk, Jelle A.; Paffen, Chris L.E.; te Pas, Susan F.; Dumoulin, Serge O.
Visual spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Recently, we demonstrated that voluntary spatial attention attracts population receptive fields (pRFs) toward its location throughout the visual hierarchy. Theoretically, both a feed forward or feedback mechanism could
Robidoux, Serje; Rauwerda, Derek; Besner, Derek
Whether or not lexical access from print requires spatial attention has been debated intensively for the last 30 years. Studies involving colour naming generally find evidence that "unattended" words are processed. In contrast, reading-based experiments do not find evidence of distractor processing. One theory ascribes the discrepancy to weaker attentional demands for colour identification. If colour naming does not capture all of a subject's attention, the remaining attentional resources can be deployed to process the distractor word. The present study combined exogenous spatial cueing with colour naming and reading aloud separately and found that colour naming is less sensitive to the validity of a spatial cue than is reading words aloud. Based on these results, we argue that colour naming studies do not effectively control attention so that no conclusions about unattended distractor processing can be drawn from them. Thus we reiterate the consistent conclusion drawn from reading aloud and lexical decision studies: There is no word identification without (spatial) attention.
Ruijter, J; de Ruiter, M B; Snel, J; Lorist, M M
Following the indications of previous studies that caffeine might have a specific effect on the processing of spatial information compared with other types of information, the present study investigated the influence of caffeine on an often used spatial-selective attention task. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 11 participants under conditions of caffeine (250 mg) and placebo. Spatial-selective attention effects were reflected in the ERPs as more positive going occipital P1 and broadly distributed P2 components, and more negative going occipital-temporal N1 and broadly distributed N2 components. A treatment effect was found as a more positive going frontal P2 component in the caffeine condition, whereas interactions between treatment and attention were observed for P2 and N2 components, but not for P1 and N1 components. This pattern of results suggests that caffeine has no specific influence on spatial-selective attention, but rather, has a more general facilitating effect on perceptual processing, as well as a possible effect on the frontal control mechanisms, i.e. focusing attention and increasing selectivity.
Full Text Available The limited capacity of visual working memory necessitates attentional mechanisms that selectively update and maintain only the most task-relevant content. Psychophysical experiments have shown that the retroactive selection of memory content can be based on visual properties such as location or shape, but the neural basis for such differential selection is unknown. For example, it is not known if there are different cortical modules specialized for spatial versus feature-based mnemonic attention, in the same way that has been demonstrated for attention to perceptual input. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS to identify areas in human parietal and occipital cortex involved in the selection of objects from memory based on cues to their location (spatial information or their shape (featural information. We found that TMS over the supramarginal gyrus (SMG selectively facilitated spatial selection, whereas TMS over the lateral occipital cortex selectively enhanced feature-based selection for remembered objects in the contralateral visual field. Thus, different cortical regions are responsible for spatial vs. feature-based selection of working memory representations. Since the same regions are involved in attention to external events, these new findings indicate overlapping mechanisms for attentional control over perceptual input and mnemonic representations.
Dragone, Alessio; Lasaponara, Stefano; Pinto, Mario; Rotondaro, Francesca; De Luca, Maria; Doricchi, Fabrizio
fMRI investigations in healthy humans have documented phasic changes in the level of activation of the right temporal-parietal junction (TPJ) during cued voluntary orienting of spatial attention. Cues that correctly predict the position of upcoming targets in the majority of trials, i.e., predictive cues, produce higher deactivation of the right TPJ as compared with non-predictive cues. Since the right TPJ is the recipient of noradrenergic (NE) innervation, it has been hypothesised that changes in the level of TPJ activity are matched with changes in the level of NE activity. Based on aforementioned fMRI findings, this might imply that orienting with predictive cues is matched with different levels of NE activity as compared with non-predictive cues. To test this hypothesis, we measured changes in pupil dilation, an indirect index of NE activity, during voluntary orienting of attention with highly predictive (80% validity) or non-predictive (50% validity) cues. In agreement with current interpretations of the tonic/phasic activity of the Locus Coeruleus-Norepinephrinic system (LC-NE), we found that the steady level of cue predictiveness that characterised both the predictive and non-predictive conditions caused, across consecutive blocks of trials, a progressive decrement in pupil dilation during the baseline-fixation period that anticipated the cue period. With predictive cues we observed increased pupil dilation as compared with non-predictive cues. In addition, the relative reduction in pupil size observed with non-predictive cues increased as a function of cue-duration. These results show that changes in the predictiveness of cues that guide voluntary orienting of spatial attention are matched with changes in pupil dilation and, putatively, with corresponding changes in LC-NE activity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Akyürek, Elkan G.; Schubö, Anna; Hommel, Bernhard
The relationship between attentional control and episodic representation was investigated in six experiments that employed a variant of the classic attentional blink paradigm. We introduced a task-irrelevant (unpredictive) color match between the first and second target stimulus in a three-stream
Pauszek, Joseph R; Gibson, Bradley S
Previous research suggests that the use of valid symbolic cues is sufficient to elicit voluntary shifts of attention. The present study interpreted this previous research within a broader theoretical context which contends that observers will voluntarily use symbolic cues to orient their attention in space when the temporal costs of using the cues are perceived to be less than the temporal costs of searching without the aid of the cues. In this view, previous research has not addressed the sufficiency of valid symbolic cues, because the temporal cost of using the cues is usually incurred before the target display appears. To address this concern, 70%-valid spatial word cues were presented simultaneously with a search display. In addition, other research suggests that opposing cue-dependent and cue-independent spatial biases may operate in these studies and alter standard measures of orienting. After identifying and controlling these opposing spatial biases, the results of two experiments showed that the word cues did not elicit voluntary shifts of attention when the search task was relatively easy but did when the search task was relatively difficult. Moreover, the findings also showed that voluntary use of the word cues changed over the course of the experiment when the task was difficult, presumably because the temporal cost of searching without the cue lessened as the task got easier with practice. Altogether, the present findings suggested that the factors underlying voluntary control are multifaceted and contextual, and that spatial validity alone is not sufficient to elicit voluntary shifts of attention.
Bocanegra, Bruno R; Zeelenberg, René
In the present study, we demonstrated that the emotional significance of a spatial cue enhances the effect of covert attention on spatial and temporal resolution (i.e., our ability to discriminate small spatial details and fast temporal flicker). Our results indicated that fearful face cues, as compared with neutral face cues, enhanced the attentional benefits in spatial resolution but also enhanced the attentional deficits in temporal resolution. Furthermore, we observed that the overall magnitudes of individuals' attentional effects correlated strongly with the magnitude of the emotion × attention interaction effect. Combined, these findings provide strong support for the idea that emotion enhances the strength of a cue's attentional response.
Abstract Single neurons in the primate lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) encode information about the allocation of visual attention and the features of visual stimuli. However, how this compares to the performance of neuronal ensembles at encoding the same information is poorly understood. Here, we recorded the responses of neuronal ensembles in the LPFC of two macaque monkeys while they performed a task that required attending to one of two moving random dot patterns positioned in different hemifields and ignoring the other pattern. We found single units selective for the location of the attended stimulus as well as for its motion direction. To determine the coding of both variables in the population of recorded units, we used a linear classifier and progressively built neuronal ensembles by iteratively adding units according to their individual performance (best single units), or by iteratively adding units based on their contribution to the ensemble performance (best ensemble). For both methods, ensembles of relatively small sizes (n decoding performance relative to individual single units. However, the decoder reached similar performance using fewer neurons with the best ensemble building method compared with the best single units method. Our results indicate that neuronal ensembles within the LPFC encode more information about the attended spatial and nonspatial features of visual stimuli than individual neurons. They further suggest that efficient coding of attention can be achieved by relatively small neuronal ensembles characterized by a certain relationship between signal and noise correlation structures. PMID:29568798
Pierce, Russell S; Andersen, George J
In the present study we assessed whether the limits in visual-spatial attention associated with aging affect the spatial extent of attention in depth during driving performance. Drivers in the present study performed a car-following and light-detection task. To assess the extent of visual-spatial attention, we compared reaction times and accuracy to light change targets that varied in horizontal position and depth location. In addition, because workload has been identified as a factor that can change the horizontal and vertical extent of attention, we tested whether variability of the lead car speed influenced the extent of spatial attention for younger or older drivers. For younger drivers, reaction time (RT) to light-change targets varied as a function of distance and horizontal position. For older drivers RT varied only as a function of distance. There was a distance by horizontal position interaction for younger drivers but not for older drivers. Specifically, there was no effect of horizontal position at any given level of depth for older drivers. However, for younger drivers there was an effect of horizontal position for targets further in depth but not for targets nearer in depth. With regards to workload, we found no statistically reliable evidence that variability of the lead car speed had an effect on the spatial extent of attention for younger or older drivers. In a control experiment, we examined the effects of depth on light detection when the projected size and position of the targets was constant. Consistent with our previous results, we found that drivers' reaction time to light-change targets varied as a function of distance even when 2D position and size were controlled. Given that depth is an important dimension in driving performance, an important issue for assessing driving safety is to consider the limits of attention in the depth dimension. Therefore, we suggest that future research should consider the importance of depth as a dimension of
Lien, Mei-Ching; Ruthruff, Eric; Goodin, Zachary; Remington, Roger W.
Theories of attentional control are divided over whether the capture of spatial attention depends primarily on stimulus salience or is contingent on attentional control settings induced by task demands. The authors addressed this issue using the N2-posterior-contralateral (N2pc) effect, a component of the event-related brain potential thought to…
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.
Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to investigate the after-effects of an acute bout of moderate-intensity aerobic cycling exercise on neuroelectric and behavioral indices of efficiency of three attentional networks: alerting, orienting, and executive (conflict control. Thirty young, highly fit amateur basketball players performed a multifunctional attentional reaction time task, the attention network test (ANT, with a two-group randomized experimental design after an acute bout of moderate-intensity spinning wheel exercise or without antecedent exercise. The ANT combined warning signals prior to targets, spatial cueing of potential target locations and target stimuli surrounded by congruent or incongruent flankers, which were provided to assess three attentional networks. Event-related brain potentials and task performance were measured during the ANT. Exercise resulted in a larger P3 amplitude in the alerting and executive control subtasks across frontal, central and parietal midline sites that was paralleled by an enhanced reaction speed only on trials with incongruent flankers of the executive control network. The P3 latency and response accuracy were not affected by exercise. These findings suggest that after spinning, more resources are allocated to task-relevant stimuli in tasks that rely on the alerting and executive control networks. However, the improvement in performance was observed in only the executively challenging conflict condition, suggesting that whether the brain resources that are rendered available immediately after acute exercise translate into better attention performance depends on the cognitive task complexity.
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
Klein, Barrie P.; Harvey, Ben M.; Dumoulin, Serge O.
Voluntary spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Here, we examined the effects of spatial attention on spatial position selectivity in humans. We measured population receptive fields (pRFs) using high-field functional MRI (fMRI) (7T) while subjects performed an
Sahan, Muhammet Ikbal; Verguts, Tom; Boehler, Carsten Nicolas; Pourtois, Gilles; Fias, Wim
Selective attention is not limited to information that is physically present in the external world, but can also operate on mental representations in the internal world. However, it is not known whether the mechanisms of attentional selection operate in similar fashions in physical and mental space. We studied the spatial distributions of attention for items in physical and mental space by comparing how successfully distractors were rejected at varying distances from the attended location. The results indicated very similar distribution characteristics of spatial attention in physical and mental space. Specifically, we found that performance monotonically improved with increasing distractor distance relative to the attended location, suggesting that distractor confusability is particularly pronounced for nearby distractors, relative to distractors farther away. The present findings suggest that mental representations preserve their spatial configuration in working memory, and that similar mechanistic principles underlie selective attention in physical and in mental space.
Chiara F. Sambo
Full Text Available Sustained attention to a body location results in enhanced processing of tactile stimuli presented at that location compared to another unattended location. In this paper, we review studies investigating the neural correlates of sustained spatial attention in touch. These studies consistently show that activity within modality-specific somatosensory areas (SI and SII is modulated by sustained tactile-spatial attention. Recent evidence suggests that these somatosensory areas may be recruited as part of a larger cortical network,also including higher-level multimodal regions involved in spatial selection across modalities. We discuss, in turn, the following multimodal effects in sustained tactile-spatial attention tasks. First, cross-modal attentional links between touch and vision, reflected in enhanced processing of task-irrelevant visual stimuli at tactuallyattended locations, are mediated by common (multimodal representations of external space. Second, vision of the body modulates activity underlying sustained tactile-spatial attention, facilitating attentional modulation of tactile processing in between-hand (when hands are sufficiently far apart and impairing attentional modulation in within-hand selection tasks. Finally, body posture influences mechanisms of sustained tactile-spatial attention, relying, at least partly, on remapping of tactile stimuli in external, visuallydefined, spatial coordinates. Taken together, the findings reviewed in this paper indicate that sustained spatial attention in touch is subserved by both modality-specific and multimodal mechanisms. The interplay between these mechanisms allows flexible and efficient spatial selection within and across sensory modalities.
Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Attention precues improve the performance of perceptual tasks in many but not all circumstances. These spatial attention effects may depend upon display set size or workload, and have been variously attributed to external noise filtering, stimulus enhancement, contrast gain, or response gain, or to uncertainty or other decision effects. In this study, we document systematically different effects of spatial attention in low- and high-precision judgments, with and without external noise, and in different set sizes in order to contribute to the development of a taxonomy of spatial attention. An elaborated perceptual template model (ePTM) provides an integrated account of a complex set of effects of spatial attention with just two attention factors: a set-size dependent exclusion or filtering of external noise and a narrowing of the perceptual template to focus on the signal stimulus. These results are related to the previous literature by classifying the judgment precision and presence of external noise masks in those experiments, suggesting a taxonomy of spatially cued attention in discrimination accuracy. PMID:24939234
Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin
Attention precues improve the performance of perceptual tasks in many but not all circumstances. These spatial attention effects may depend upon display set size or workload, and have been variously attributed to external noise filtering, stimulus enhancement, contrast gain, or response gain, or to uncertainty or other decision effects. In this study, we document systematically different effects of spatial attention in low- and high-precision judgments, with and without external noise, and in different set sizes in order to contribute to the development of a taxonomy of spatial attention. An elaborated perceptual template model (ePTM) provides an integrated account of a complex set of effects of spatial attention with just two attention factors: a set-size dependent exclusion or filtering of external noise and a narrowing of the perceptual template to focus on the signal stimulus. These results are related to the previous literature by classifying the judgment precision and presence of external noise masks in those experiments, suggesting a taxonomy of spatially cued attention in discrimination accuracy.
Hou, Ruihua; Moss-Morris, Rona; Risdale, Anna; Lynch, Jeannette; Jeevaratnam, Preshan; Bradley, Brendan P; Mogg, Karin
Cognitive behavioural models of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) propose that attention processes, specifically, enhanced selective attention to health-threat related cues, may play an important role in symptom maintenance. The current study investigated attentional bias towards health-threat stimuli in CFS. It also examined whether individuals with CFS have impaired executive attention, and whether this was related to attentional bias. 27 participants with CFS and 35 healthy controls completed a Visual Probe Task measuring attentional bias, and an Attention Network Test measuring executive attention, alerting and orienting. Participants also completed self-report measures of CFS and mood symptoms. Compared to the control group, the CFS group showed greater attentional bias for health-threat words than pictures; and the CFS group was significantly impaired in executive attention. Furthermore, CFS individuals with poor executive attention showed greater attentional bias to health-threat related words, compared not only to controls but also to CFS individuals with good executive attention. Thus, this study revealed a significant relationship between attentional bias and executive attention in CFS: attentional bias to threat was primarily evident in those with impaired executive attention control. Taking account of individual differences in executive attention control in current intervention models may be beneficial for CFS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. 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
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Narcolepsy with cataplexy (NC is a disabling sleep disorder characterized by early loss of hypocretin neurons that project to areas involved in the attention network. We characterized the executive control of attention in drug-free patients with NC to determine whether the executive deficits observed in patients with NC are specific to the disease itself or whether they reflect performance changes due to the severity of excessive daytime sleepiness. METHODOLOGY: Twenty-two patients with NC compared to 22 patients with narcolepsy without cataplexy (NwC matched for age, gender, intellectual level, objective daytime sleepiness and number of sleep onset REM periods (SOREMPs were studied. Thirty-two matched healthy controls were included. All participants underwent a standardized interview, completed questionnaires, and neuropsychological tests. All patients underwent a polysomnography followed by multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT, with neuropsychological evaluation performed the same day between MSLT sessions. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Irrespective of diagnosis, patients reported higher self-reported attentional complaints associated with the intensity of depressive symptoms. Patients with NC performed slower and more variably on simple reaction time tasks than patients with NwC, who did not differ from controls. Patients with NC and NwC generally performed slower, reacted more variably, and made more errors than controls on executive functioning tests. Individual profile analyses showed a clear heterogeneity of the severity of executive deficit. This severity was related to objective sleepiness, higher number of SOREMPs on the MSLT, and lower intelligence quotient. The nature and severity of the executive deficits were unrelated to NC and NwC diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that drug-free patients with NC and NwC complained of attention deficit, with altered executive control of attention being explained by the severity of objective
Irons, Jessica L.; Folk, Charles L.; Remington, Roger W.
Although models of visual search have often assumed that attention can only be set for a single feature or property at a time, recent studies have suggested that it may be possible to maintain more than one attentional control setting. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether spatial attention could be guided by multiple attentional…
Huang, Dan; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Xin; Chen, Yao
Preferentially processing behaviorally relevant information is vital for primate survival. In visuospatial attention studies, manipulating the spatial extent of attention focus is an important question. Although many studies have claimed to successfully adjust attention field size by either varying the uncertainty about the target location (spatial uncertainty) or adjusting the size of the cue orienting the attention focus, no systematic studies have assessed and compared the effectiveness of...
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…
Anna C Nobre
Full Text Available Whereas top-down attentional control is known to bias perceptual functions at many levels of stimulus analysis, its possible influence over memory-related functions remains uncharted. Our experiment combined behavioral measures and event-related potentials (ERPs to test the ability of spatial orienting to bias functions associated with visual short-term memory (VSTM, and to shed light on the neural mechanisms involved. In particular, we investigated whether orienting attention to a spatial location within an array maintained in VSTM could facilitate the search for a specific remembered item. Participants viewed arrays of one, two or four differently colored items, followed by an informative spatial (100% valid or uninformative neutral retro-cue (1500–2500 ms after the array, and later by a probe stimulus (500–1000 ms after the retro-cue. The task was to decide whether the probe stimulus had been present in the array. Behavioral results showed that spatial retro-cues improved both accuracy and response times for making decisions about the presence of the probe item in VSTM, and significantly attenuated performance decrements caused by increasing VSTM load. We also identified a novel ERP component (N3RS specifically associated with searching for an item within VSTM. Paralleling the behavioral results, the amplitude and duration of the N3RS systematically increased with VSTM load in neutral retro-cue trials. When spatial retro-cues were provided, this “retro-search” component was absent. Our findings clearly show that the infl uence of top-down attentional biases extends to mnemonic functions, and, specifically, that searching for items within VSTM can be under flexible voluntary control.
Harjunen, Ville J.; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas; Spapé, Michiel M.
Earlier studies have revealed cross-modal visuo-tactile interactions in endogenous spatial attention. The current research used event-related potentials (ERPs) and virtual reality (VR) to identify how the visual cues of the perceiver’s body affect visuo-tactile interaction in endogenous spatial attention and at what point in time the effect takes place. A bimodal oddball task with lateralized tactile and visual stimuli was presented in two VR conditions, one with and one without visible hands, and one VR-free control with hands in view. Participants were required to silently count one type of stimulus and ignore all other stimuli presented in irrelevant modality or location. The presence of hands was found to modulate early and late components of somatosensory and visual evoked potentials. For sensory-perceptual stages, the presence of virtual or real hands was found to amplify attention-related negativity on the somatosensory N140 and cross-modal interaction in somatosensory and visual P200. For postperceptual stages, an amplified N200 component was obtained in somatosensory and visual evoked potentials, indicating increased response inhibition in response to non-target stimuli. The effect of somatosensory, but not visual, N200 enhanced when the virtual hands were present. The findings suggest that bodily presence affects sustained cross-modal spatial attention between vision and touch and that this effect is specifically present in ERPs related to early- and late-sensory processing, as well as response inhibition, but do not affect later attention and memory-related P3 activity. Finally, the experiments provide commeasurable scenarios for the estimation of the signal and noise ratio to quantify effects related to the use of a head mounted display (HMD). However, despite valid a-priori reasons for fearing signal interference due to a HMD, we observed no significant drop in the robustness of our ERP measurements. PMID:28275346
Harjunen, Ville J; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas; Spapé, Michiel M
Earlier studies have revealed cross-modal visuo-tactile interactions in endogenous spatial attention. The current research used event-related potentials (ERPs) and virtual reality (VR) to identify how the visual cues of the perceiver's body affect visuo-tactile interaction in endogenous spatial attention and at what point in time the effect takes place. A bimodal oddball task with lateralized tactile and visual stimuli was presented in two VR conditions, one with and one without visible hands, and one VR-free control with hands in view. Participants were required to silently count one type of stimulus and ignore all other stimuli presented in irrelevant modality or location. The presence of hands was found to modulate early and late components of somatosensory and visual evoked potentials. For sensory-perceptual stages, the presence of virtual or real hands was found to amplify attention-related negativity on the somatosensory N140 and cross-modal interaction in somatosensory and visual P200. For postperceptual stages, an amplified N200 component was obtained in somatosensory and visual evoked potentials, indicating increased response inhibition in response to non-target stimuli. The effect of somatosensory, but not visual, N200 enhanced when the virtual hands were present. The findings suggest that bodily presence affects sustained cross-modal spatial attention between vision and touch and that this effect is specifically present in ERPs related to early- and late-sensory processing, as well as response inhibition, but do not affect later attention and memory-related P3 activity. Finally, the experiments provide commeasurable scenarios for the estimation of the signal and noise ratio to quantify effects related to the use of a head mounted display (HMD). However, despite valid a-priori reasons for fearing signal interference due to a HMD, we observed no significant drop in the robustness of our ERP measurements.
Charlotte J W Connell
Full Text Available Fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise can impair cognition and oculomotor control. These impairments can be prevented by administering psychostimulants such as caffeine. This study used two experiments to explore the influence of caffeine administered at rest and during fatiguing physical exercise on spatial attention-a cognitive function that is crucial for task-based visually guided behavior. In independent placebo-controlled studies, cohorts of 12 healthy participants consumed caffeine and rested or completed 180 min of stationary cycling. Covert attentional orienting was measured in both experiments using a spatial cueing paradigm. We observed no alterations in attentional facilitation toward spatial cues suggesting that covert attentional orienting is not influenced by exercise fatigue or caffeine supplementation. Response times were increased (impaired after exercise and this deterioration was prevented by caffeine supplementation. In the resting experiment, response times across all conditions and cues were decreased (improved with caffeine. Covert spatial attention was not influenced by caffeine. Together, the results of these experiments suggest that covert attentional orienting is robust to the effects of fatiguing exercise and not influenced by caffeine. However, exercise fatigue impairs response times, which can be prevented by caffeine, suggesting that pre-motor planning and execution of the motor responses required for performance of the cueing task are sensitive to central nervous system fatigue. Caffeine improves response time in both fatigued and fresh conditions, most likely through action on networks controlling motor function.
Connell, Charlotte J W; Thompson, Benjamin; Kuhn, Gustav; Gant, Nicholas
Fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise can impair cognition and oculomotor control. These impairments can be prevented by administering psychostimulants such as caffeine. This study used two experiments to explore the influence of caffeine administered at rest and during fatiguing physical exercise on spatial attention-a cognitive function that is crucial for task-based visually guided behavior. In independent placebo-controlled studies, cohorts of 12 healthy participants consumed caffeine and rested or completed 180 min of stationary cycling. Covert attentional orienting was measured in both experiments using a spatial cueing paradigm. We observed no alterations in attentional facilitation toward spatial cues suggesting that covert attentional orienting is not influenced by exercise fatigue or caffeine supplementation. Response times were increased (impaired) after exercise and this deterioration was prevented by caffeine supplementation. In the resting experiment, response times across all conditions and cues were decreased (improved) with caffeine. Covert spatial attention was not influenced by caffeine. Together, the results of these experiments suggest that covert attentional orienting is robust to the effects of fatiguing exercise and not influenced by caffeine. However, exercise fatigue impairs response times, which can be prevented by caffeine, suggesting that pre-motor planning and execution of the motor responses required for performance of the cueing task are sensitive to central nervous system fatigue. Caffeine improves response time in both fatigued and fresh conditions, most likely through action on networks controlling motor function.
Liu, Duo; Chen, Xi; Wang, Ying
The present study investigated the associations of visual-spatial attention with word reading fluency and spelling in 92 third grade Hong Kong Chinese children. Word reading fluency was measured with a timed reading task whereas spelling was measured with a dictation task. Results showed that visual-spatial attention was a unique predictor of…
Chun, Marvin M.; Jiang, Yuhong
Six experiments involving a total of 112 college students demonstrate that a robust memory for visual context exists to guide spatial attention. Results show how implicit learning and memory of visual context can guide spatial attention toward task-relevant aspects of a scene. (SLD)
Belopolsky, A.V.; Theeuwes, J.
The present study systematically examined the role of attention in maintenance of spatial representations in working memory as proposed by the attention-based rehearsal hypothesis [Awh, E., Jonides, J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory. Journal of Experimental
DeGutis, Joseph; Grosso, Mallory; VanVleet, Thomas; Esterman, Michael; Pistorino, Laura; Cronin-Golomb, Alice
Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) commonly demonstrate lateralized spatial biases, which affect daily functioning. Those with PD with initial motor symptoms on the left body side (LPD) have reduced leftward attention, whereas PD with initial motor symptoms on the right side (RPD) may display reduced rightward attention. We investigated whether a sustained attention training program could help reduce these spatial biases. Four non-demented individuals with PD (2 LPD, 2 RPD) performed a visual search task before and after 1 month of computer training. Before training, all participants showed a significant spatial bias and after training, all participants' spatial bias was eliminated.
Shulman, Gordon L.; Pope, Daniel L. W.; Astafiev, Serguei V.; McAvoy, Mark P.; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Corbetta, Maurizio
Spatial selective attention is widely considered to be right hemisphere dominant. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, however, have reported bilateral blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) responses in dorsal fronto-parietal regions during anticipatory shifts of attention to a location (Kastner et al., 1999; Corbetta et al., 2000; Hopfinger et al., 2000). Right-lateralized activity has mainly been reported in ventral fronto-parietal regions for shifts of attention to an unattended target stimulus (Arrington et al., 2000; Corbetta et al., 2000). However, clear conclusions cannot be drawn from these studies because hemispheric asymmetries were not assessed using direct voxel-wise comparisons of activity in left and right hemispheres. Here, we used this technique to measure hemispheric asymmetries during shifts of spatial attention evoked by a peripheral cue stimulus and during target detection at the cued location. Stimulus-driven shifts of spatial attention in both visual fields evoked right-hemisphere dominant activity in temporo-parietal junction (TPJ). Target detection at the attended location produced a more widespread right hemisphere dominance in frontal, parietal, and temporal cortex, including the TPJ region asymmetrically activated during shifts of spatial attention. However, hemispheric asymmetries were not observed during either shifts of attention or target detection in the dorsal fronto-parietal regions (anterior precuneus, medial intraparietal sulcus, frontal eye fields) that showed the most robust activations for shifts of attention. Therefore, right hemisphere dominance during stimulus-driven shifts of spatial attention and target detection reflects asymmetries in cortical regions that are largely distinct from the dorsal fronto-parietal network involved in the control of selective attention. PMID:20219998
Attention selects objects or groups as the most fundamental unit, and this may be achieved through a process in which attention automatically spreads throughout their entire region. Previously, we found that a lateralized potential relative to an attended hemifield at occipito-temporal electrode sites reflects attention-spreading in response to connected bilateral stimuli [Kasai, T., & Kondo, M. Electrophysiological correlates of attention-spreading in visual grouping. NeuroReport, 18, 93-98, 2007]. The present study examined the nature of object representations by manipulating the extent of grouping through connectedness, while controlling the symmetrical structure of bilateral stimuli. The electrophysiological results of two experiments consistently indicated that attention was guided twice in association with perceptual grouping in the early phase (N1, 150-200 msec poststimulus) and with the unity of an object in the later phase (N2pc, 310/330-390 msec). This suggests that there are two processes in object-based spatial selection, and these are discussed with regard to their cognitive mechanisms and object representations.
Kurtz, Phillipp; Shapcott, Katharine A.; Kaiser , Jochen; Schmiedt, Joscha T.; Schmid, Michael C.
Spatial attention allows us to make more accurate decisions about events in our environment. Decision confidence is thought to be intimately linked to the decision making process as confidence ratings are tightly coupled to decision accuracy. While both spatial attention and decision confidence have been subjected to extensive research, surprisingly little is known about the interaction between these two processes. Since attention increases performance it might be expected that confidence wou...
Jiang, Yi; Costello, Patricia; Fang, Fang; Huang, Miner; He, Sheng
Human observers are constantly bombarded with a vast amount of information. Selective attention helps us to quickly process what is important while ignoring the irrelevant. In this study, we demonstrate that information that has not entered observers' consciousness, such as interocularly suppressed (invisible) erotic pictures, can direct the distribution of spatial attention. Furthermore, invisible erotic information can either attract or repel observers' spatial attention depending on their ...
DeGutis, Joseph; Grosso, Mallory; VanVleet, Thomas; Esterman, Michael; Pistorino, Laura; Cronin-Golomb, Alice
Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) commonly demonstrate lateralized spatial biases, which affect daily functioning. Those with PD with initial motor symptoms on the left body side (LPD) have reduced leftward attention whereas PD with initial motor symptoms on the right side (RPD) may display reduced rightward attention. We investigated whether a sustained attention training program could help reduce these spatial biases. Four non-demented individuals with PD (2 LPD/2 RPD) performed a v...
Guzman-Martinez, Emmanuel; Grabowecky, Marcia; Palafox, German; Suzuki, Satoru
Visual spatial attention can be exogenously captured by a salient stimulus or can be endogenously allocated by voluntary effort. Whether these two attention modes serve distinctive functions is debated, but for processing of single targets the literature suggests superiority of exogenous attention (it is faster acting and serves more functions).…
Green, C. Shawn; Bavelier, Daphne
The authors investigated the effect of action gaming on the spatial distribution of attention. The authors used the flanker compatibility effect to separately assess center and peripheral attentional resources in gamers versus nongamers. Gamers exhibited an enhancement in attentional resources compared with nongamers, not only in the periphery but…
Maunsell, John H. R.
Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary “spotlight” of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused (“cued” vs “uncued”). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally
Mayo, J Patrick; Maunsell, John H R
Studies of visual attention in monkeys typically measure neuronal activity when the stimulus event to be detected occurs at a cued location versus when it occurs at an uncued location. But this approach does not address how neuronal activity changes relative to conditions where attention is unconstrained by cueing. Human psychophysical studies have used neutral cueing conditions and found that neutrally cued behavioral performance is generally intermediate to that of cued and uncued conditions (Posner et al., 1978; Mangun and Hillyard, 1990; Montagna et al., 2009). To determine whether the neuronal correlates of visual attention during neutral cueing are similarly intermediate, we trained macaque monkeys to detect changes in stimulus orientation that were more likely to occur at one location (cued) than another (uncued), or were equally likely to occur at either stimulus location (neutral). Consistent with human studies, performance was best when the location was cued, intermediate when both locations were neutrally cued, and worst when the location was uncued. Neuronal modulations in visual area V4 were also graded as a function of cue validity and behavioral performance. By recording from both hemispheres simultaneously, we investigated the possibility of switching attention between stimulus locations during neutral cueing. The results failed to support a unitary "spotlight" of attention. Overall, our findings indicate that attention-related changes in V4 are graded to accommodate task demands. Studies of the neuronal correlates of attention in monkeys typically use visual cues to manipulate where attention is focused ("cued" vs "uncued"). Human psychophysical studies often also include neutrally cued trials to study how attention naturally varies between points of interest. But the neuronal correlates of this neutral condition are unclear. We measured behavioral performance and neuronal activity in cued, uncued, and neutrally cued blocks of trials. Behavioral
Roberts, Mariel; Cymerman, Rachel; Smith, R. Theodore; Kiorpes, Lynne; Carrasco, Marisa
Certain abnormalities in behavioral performance and neural signaling have been attributed to a deficit of visual attention in amblyopia, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a diverse array of visual deficits following abnormal binocular childhood experience. Critically, most have inferred attention's role in their task without explicitly manipulating and measuring its effects against a baseline condition. Here, we directly investigate whether human amblyopic adults benefit from cov...
Katus, Tobias; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M
Orienting attention to locations in mnemonic representations engages processes that functionally and anatomically overlap the neural circuitry guiding prospective shifts of spatial attention. The attention-based rehearsal account predicts that the requirement to withdraw attention from a memorized location impairs memory accuracy. In a dual-task study, we simultaneously presented retro-cues and pre-cues to guide spatial attention in short-term memory (STM) and perception, respectively. The spatial direction of each cue was independent of the other. The locations indicated by the combined cues could be compatible (same hand) or incompatible (opposite hands). Incompatible directional cues decreased lateralized activity in brain potentials evoked by visual cues, indicating interference in the generation of prospective attention shifts. The detection of external stimuli at the prospectively cued location was impaired when the memorized location was part of the perceptually ignored hand. The disruption of attention-based rehearsal by means of incompatible pre-cues reduced memory accuracy and affected encoding of tactile test stimuli at the retrospectively cued hand. These findings highlight the functional significance of spatial attention for spatial STM. The bidirectional interactions between both tasks demonstrate that spatial attention is a shared neural resource of a capacity-limited system that regulates information processing in internal and external stimulus representations.
Jiang, Yuhong V; Sha, Li Z; Remington, Roger W
This study documented the relative strength of task goals, visual statistical learning, and monetary reward in guiding spatial attention. Using a difficult T-among-L search task, we cued spatial attention to one visual quadrant by (i) instructing people to prioritize it (goal-driven attention), (ii) placing the target frequently there (location probability learning), or (iii) associating that quadrant with greater monetary gain (reward-based attention). Results showed that successful goal-driven attention exerted the strongest influence on search RT. Incidental location probability learning yielded a smaller though still robust effect. Incidental reward learning produced negligible guidance for spatial attention. The 95 % confidence intervals of the three effects were largely nonoverlapping. To understand these results, we simulated the role of location repetition priming in probability cuing and reward learning. Repetition priming underestimated the strength of location probability cuing, suggesting that probability cuing involved long-term statistical learning of how to shift attention. Repetition priming provided a reasonable account for the negligible effect of reward on spatial attention. We propose a multiple-systems view of spatial attention that includes task goals, search habit, and priming as primary drivers of top-down attention.
Klein, Barrie P; Harvey, Ben M; Dumoulin, Serge O
Voluntary spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Here, we examined the effects of spatial attention on spatial position selectivity in humans. We measured population receptive fields (pRFs) using high-field functional MRI (fMRI) (7T) while subjects performed an attention-demanding task at different locations. We show that spatial attention attracts pRF preferred positions across the entire visual field, not just at the attended location. This global change in pRF preferred positions systematically increases up the visual hierarchy. We model these pRF preferred position changes as an interaction between two components: an attention field and a pRF without the influence of attention. This computational model suggests that increasing effects of attention up the hierarchy result primarily from differences in pRF size and that the attention field is similar across the visual hierarchy. A similar attention field suggests that spatial attention transforms different neural response selectivities throughout the visual hierarchy in a similar manner. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Connell, Charlotte J. W.; Thompson, Benjamin; Kuhn, Gustav; Gant, Nicholas
Fatigue resulting from strenuous exercise can impair cognition and oculomotor control. These impairments can be prevented by administering psychostimulants such as caffeine. This study used two experiments to explore the influence of caffeine administered at rest and during fatiguing physical exercise on spatial attention—a cognitive function that is crucial for task-based visually guided behavior. In independent placebo-controlled studies, cohorts of 12 healthy participants consumed caffeine and rested or completed 180 min of stationary cycling. Covert attentional orienting was measured in both experiments using a spatial cueing paradigm. We observed no alterations in attentional facilitation toward spatial cues suggesting that covert attentional orienting is not influenced by exercise fatigue or caffeine supplementation. Response times were increased (impaired) after exercise and this deterioration was prevented by caffeine supplementation. In the resting experiment, response times across all conditions and cues were decreased (improved) with caffeine. Covert spatial attention was not influenced by caffeine. Together, the results of these experiments suggest that covert attentional orienting is robust to the effects of fatiguing exercise and not influenced by caffeine. However, exercise fatigue impairs response times, which can be prevented by caffeine, suggesting that pre-motor planning and execution of the motor responses required for performance of the cueing task are sensitive to central nervous system fatigue. Caffeine improves response time in both fatigued and fresh conditions, most likely through action on networks controlling motor function. PMID:27768747
Bosworth, Rain G; Petrich, Jennifer A F; Dobkins, Karen R
In order to investigate differences in the effects of spatial attention between the left visual field (LVF) and the right visual field (RVF), we employed a full/poor attention paradigm using stimuli presented in the LVF vs. RVF. In addition, to investigate differences in the effects of spatial attention between the dorsal and ventral processing streams, we obtained motion thresholds (motion coherence thresholds and fine direction discrimination thresholds) and orientation thresholds, respectively. The results of this study showed negligible effects of attention on the orientation task, in either the LVF or RVF. In contrast, for both motion tasks, there was a significant effect of attention in the LVF, but not in the RVF. These data provide psychophysical evidence for greater effects of spatial attention in the LVF/right hemisphere, specifically, for motion processing in the dorsal stream. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Vossel, Simone; Mathys, Christoph; Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J
The deployment of visuospatial attention and the programming of saccades are governed by the inferred likelihood of events. In the present study, we combined computational modeling of psychophysical data with fMRI to characterize the computational and neural mechanisms underlying this flexible attentional control. Sixteen healthy human subjects performed a modified version of Posner's location-cueing paradigm in which the percentage of cue validity varied in time and the targets required saccadic responses. Trialwise estimates of the certainty (precision) of the prediction that the target would appear at the cued location were derived from a hierarchical Bayesian model fitted to individual trialwise saccadic response speeds. Trial-specific model parameters then entered analyses of fMRI data as parametric regressors. Moreover, dynamic causal modeling (DCM) was performed to identify the most likely functional architecture of the attentional reorienting network and its modulation by (Bayes-optimal) precision-dependent attention. While the frontal eye fields (FEFs), intraparietal sulcus, and temporoparietal junction (TPJ) of both hemispheres showed higher activity on invalid relative to valid trials, reorienting responses in right FEF, TPJ, and the putamen were significantly modulated by precision-dependent attention. Our DCM results suggested that the precision of predictability underlies the attentional modulation of the coupling of TPJ with FEF and the putamen. Our results shed new light on the computational architecture and neuronal network dynamics underlying the context-sensitive deployment of visuospatial attention. Spatial attention and its neural correlates in the human brain have been studied extensively with the help of fMRI and cueing paradigms in which the location of targets is pre-cued on a trial-by-trial basis. One aspect that has so far been neglected concerns the question of how the brain forms attentional expectancies when no a priori probability
Scholte, H. S.; Spekreijse, H.; Roelfsema, P. R.
In a curve-tracing task, subjects have to judge whether items are located on a single, continuous curve. Spatially separate segments of such a curve are related to each other through grouping criteria, like collinearity and connectedness. These grouping cues need to be exploited during curve
Vossel, Simone; Bauer, Markus; Mathys, Christoph; Adams, Rick A; Dolan, Raymond J; Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J
The exact mechanisms whereby the cholinergic neurotransmitter system contributes to attentional processing remain poorly understood. Here, we applied computational modeling to psychophysical data (obtained from a spatial attention task) under a psychopharmacological challenge with the cholinesterase inhibitor galantamine (Reminyl). This allowed us to characterize the cholinergic modulation of selective attention formally, in terms of hierarchical Bayesian inference. In a placebo-controlled, within-subject, crossover design, 16 healthy human subjects performed a modified version of Posner's location-cueing task in which the proportion of validly and invalidly cued targets (percentage of cue validity, % CV) changed over time. Saccadic response speeds were used to estimate the parameters of a hierarchical Bayesian model to test whether cholinergic stimulation affected the trial-wise updating of probabilistic beliefs that underlie the allocation of attention or whether galantamine changed the mapping from those beliefs to subsequent eye movements. Behaviorally, galantamine led to a greater influence of probabilistic context (% CV) on response speed than placebo. Crucially, computational modeling suggested this effect was due to an increase in the rate of belief updating about cue validity (as opposed to the increased sensitivity of behavioral responses to those beliefs). We discuss these findings with respect to cholinergic effects on hierarchical cortical processing and in relation to the encoding of expected uncertainty or precision. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3415735-08$15.00/0.
Simon G Gosling
Full Text Available Spatial attention enables us to enhance the processing of items at target locations, at the expense of items presented at irrelevant locations. Many studies have explored the neural correlates of these spatial biases using event-related potentials. More recently some studies have shown that these ERP correlates are also present when subjects search visual short-term memory. This suggests firstly that this type of mental representation retains a spatial organisation that is based upon that of the original percept, and secondly that these attentional biases are flexible and can act to modulate remembered as well as perceptual representations. We aimed to test whether it was necessary for subjects to have actually seen the memoranda at those spatial locations, or whether simply imagining the spatial layout was sufficient to elicit the spatial attention effects. On some trials subjects performed a ‘visual’ search of an array held in visual short-term memory, and upon other trials subjects imagined the items at those spatial locations. We found ERP markers of spatial attention in both the memory-search and the imagery-search conditions. However, there were differences between the conditions, the effect in the memory-search began earlier and included posterior electrode sites. By contrast the ERP effect in the imagery-search condition was apparent only over fronto-central electrode sites and emerged slightly later. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that it is not necessary for subjects to have ever seen the items at spatial locations for neural markers of spatial attention to be elicited; searching an imaginary spatial layout also triggers spatially-specific attention effects in the ERP data.
Song, Wei; Zhang, Kai; Sun, Jinhua; Ma, Lina; Jesse, Forrest Fabian; Teng, Xiaochun; Zhou, Ying; Bao, Hechen; Chen, Shiqing; Wang, Shuai; Yang, Beimeng; Chu, Xixia; Ding, Wenhua; Du, Yasong; Cheng, Zaohuo; Wu, Bin; Chen, Shanguang; He, Guang; He, Lin; Chen, Xiaoping; Li, Weidong
People with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia often display deficits in spatial working memory and attention. Evaluating working memory and attention in schizophrenia patients is usually based on traditional tasks and the interviewer's judgment. We developed a simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols (SWAPS). It takes only several minutes to complete, comprising 101 trials for each subject. In this study, we tested 72 schizophrenia patients and 188 healthy volunteers in China. In a healthy control group with ages ranging from 12 to 60, the efficiency score (accuracy divided by reaction time) reached a peak in the 20-27 age range and then declined with increasing age. Importantly, schizophrenia patients failed to display this developmental trend in the same age range and adults had significant deficits compared to the control group. Our data suggests that this simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols can be a useful tool for studies of spatial working memory and attention in neuropsychiatric disorders.
Full Text Available People with neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia often display deficits in spatial working memory and attention. Evaluating working memory and attention in schizophrenia patients is usually based on traditional tasks and the interviewer’s judgment. We developed a simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols (SWAPS. It takes only several minutes to complete, comprising 101 trials for each subject. In this study, we tested 72 schizophrenia patients and 188 healthy volunteers in China. In a healthy control group with ages ranging from 12 to 60, the efficiency score (accuracy divided by reaction time reached a peak in the 20–27 age range and then declined with increasing age. Importantly, schizophrenia patients failed to display this developmental trend in the same age range and adults had significant deficits compared to the control group. Our data suggests that this simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols can be a useful tool for studies of spatial working memory and attention in neuropsychiatric disorders.
Schäfer, Judith; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Höfler, Michael; Heinrich, Anke; Zimmermann, Peter; Siegel, Stefan; Schönfeld, Sabine
Attentional processes have been suggested to play a crucial role in resilience defined as positive adaptation facing adversity. However, research is lacking on associations between attentional biases to positive and threat-related stimuli, attentional control and trait resilience. Data stem from the follow-up assessment of a longitudinal study investigating mental health and related factors among German soldiers. Trait resilience was assessed with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and attentional control with the Attentional Control Scale. A subset of n = 198 soldiers also completed a dot probe task with happy, neutral and threatening faces. Attentional control was positively related to trait resilience. Results revealed no associations between both attentional biases and trait resilience. However, there was a negative association between attentional bias to threat and trait resilience when attentional control was low and a positive association between attentional bias to threat and trait resilience when attentional control was high. No such associations were found for attentional bias to positive stimuli. Generalizability to other populations may be limited since we exclusively focused on male soldiers. Also, the cross-sectional design does not allow for causal conclusions. Findings suggest that attentional processing may promote trait resilience. Future research on preventive interventions should consider these findings. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Chen, Yi-Chuan; Spence, Charles
The extent to which attention modulates multisensory processing in a top-down fashion is still a subject of debate among researchers. Typically, cognitive psychologists interested in this question have manipulated the participants' attention in terms of single/dual tasking or focal/divided attention between sensory modalities. We suggest an alternative approach, one that builds on the extensive older literature highlighting hemispheric asymmetries in the distribution of spatial attention. Specifically, spatial attention in vision, audition, and touch is typically biased preferentially toward the right hemispace, especially under conditions of high perceptual load. We review the evidence demonstrating such an attentional bias toward the right in extinction patients and healthy adults, along with the evidence of such rightward-biased attention in multisensory experimental settings. We then evaluate those studies that have demonstrated either a more pronounced multisensory effect in right than in left hemispace, or else similar effects in the two hemispaces. The results suggest that the influence of rightward-biased attention is more likely to be observed when the crossmodal signals interact at later stages of information processing and under conditions of higher perceptual load-that is, conditions under which attention is perhaps a compulsory enhancer of information processing. We therefore suggest that the spatial asymmetry in attention may provide a useful signature of top-down attentional modulation in multisensory processing.
Anderson, Brian A; Kim, Haena
The role of associative reward learning in the guidance of feature-based attention is well established. The extent to which reward learning can modulate spatial attention has been much more controversial. At least one demonstration of a persistent spatial attention bias following space-based associative reward learning has been reported. At the same time, multiple other experiments have been published failing to demonstrate enduring attentional biases towards locations at which a target, if found, yields high reward. This is in spite of evidence that participants use reward structures to inform their decisions where to search, leading some to suggest that, unlike feature-based attention, spatial attention may be impervious to the influence of learning from reward structures. Here, we demonstrate a robust bias towards regions of a scene that participants were previously rewarded for selecting. This spatial bias relies on representations that are anchored to the configuration of objects within a scene. The observed bias appears to be driven specifically by reinforcement learning, and can be observed with equal strength following non-reward corrective feedback. The time course of the bias is consistent with a transient shift of attention, rather than a strategic search pattern, and is evident in eye movement patterns during free viewing. Taken together, our findings reconcile previously conflicting reports and offer an integrative account of how learning from feedback shapes the spatial attention system. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Learmonth, Gemma; Benwell, Christopher S Y; Thut, Gregor; Harvey, Monika
A group-level visuospatial attention bias towards the left side of space (pseudoneglect) is consistently observed in young adults, which is likely to be a consequence of right parieto-occipital dominance for spatial attention. Conversely, healthy older adults demonstrate a rightward shift of this behavioural bias, hinting that an age-related reduction of lateralised neural activity may occur within visuospatial attention networks. We compared young (aged 18-25) and older (aged 60-80) adults on a computerised line bisection (landmark) task whilst recording event-related potentials (ERPs). Full-scalp cluster mass permutation tests identified a larger right parieto-occipital response for long lines compared to short in young adults (confirming Benwell et al., 2014a) which was not present in the older group. To specifically investigate age-related differences in hemispheric lateralisation, cluster mass permutation tests were then performed on a lateralised EEG dataset (RH-LH electrodes). A period of right lateralisation was identified in response to long lines in young adults, which was not present for short lines. No lateralised clusters were present for either long or short lines in older adults. Additionally, a reduced P300 component amplitude was observed for older adults relative to young. We therefore report here, for the first time, an age-related and stimulus-driven reduction of right hemispheric control of spatial attention in older adults. Future studies will need to determine whether this is representative of the normal aging process or an early indicator of neurodegeneration. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wang, Shuo; Fukuchi, Masaki; Koch, Christof; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu
While a single approaching object is known to attract spatial attention, it is unknown how attention is directed when the background looms towards the observer as s/he moves forward in a quasi-stationary environment. In Experiment 1, we used a cued speeded discrimination task to quantify where and how spatial attention is directed towards the target superimposed onto a cloud of moving dots. We found that when the motion was expansive, attention was attracted towards the singular point of the optic flow (the focus of expansion, FOE) in a sustained fashion. The effects were less pronounced when the motion was contractive. The more ecologically valid the motion features became (e.g., temporal expansion of each dot, spatial depth structure implied by distribution of the size of the dots), the stronger the attentional effects. Further, the attentional effects were sustained over 1000 ms. Experiment 2 quantified these attentional effects using a change detection paradigm by zooming into or out of photographs of natural scenes. Spatial attention was attracted in a sustained manner such that change detection was facilitated or delayed depending on the location of the FOE only when the motion was expansive. Our results suggest that focal attention is strongly attracted towards singular points that signal the direction of forward ego-motion. PMID:22905096
Souza, Alessandra S; Thalmann, Mirko; Oberauer, Klaus
Attention helps manage the information held in visual working memory (vWM). Perceptual attention selects the stimuli to be represented in vWM, whereas internal attention prioritizes information already in vWM. In the present study we assessed the spatial precision of perceptual and internal attention in vWM. Participants encoded eight colored dots for a local-recognition test. To manipulate attention, a cue indicated the item most likely to be tested (~65% validity). The cue appeared either before the onset of the memory array (precue) or during the retention interval (retrocue). The precue guides perceptual attention to gate encoding into vWM, whereas the retrocue guides internal attention to prioritize the cued item within vWM. If attentional selection is spatially imprecise, attention should be preferentially allocated to the cued location, with a gradual drop-off of attention over space to nearby uncued locations. In this case, memory for uncued locations should vary as a function of their distance from the cued location. As compared to a no-cue condition, memory was better for validly cued items but worse for uncued items. The spatial distance between the uncued and cued locations modulated the cuing costs: Items close in space to the cued location were insulated from cuing costs. The extension of this spatial proximity effect was larger for precues than for retrocues, mostly because the benefits of attention were larger for precues. These results point to similar selection principles between perceptual and internal attention and to a critical role of spatial distance in the selection of visual representations.
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.
Cosman, Joshua D.; Vecera, Shaun P.
A number of studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of a salient item capturing attention is dependent on the "attentional set" an individual employs in a given situation. The instantiation of an attentional set is often viewed as a strategic, voluntary process, relying on working memory systems that represent immediate task…
Foley, Nicholas C; Grossberg, Stephen; Mingolla, Ennio
How are spatial and object attention coordinated to achieve rapid object learning and recognition during eye movement search? How do prefrontal priming and parietal spatial mechanisms interact to determine the reaction time costs of intra-object attention shifts, inter-object attention shifts, and shifts between visible objects and covertly cued locations? What factors underlie individual differences in the timing and frequency of such attentional shifts? How do transient and sustained spatial attentional mechanisms work and interact? How can volition, mediated via the basal ganglia, influence the span of spatial attention? A neural model is developed of how spatial attention in the where cortical stream coordinates view-invariant object category learning in the what cortical stream under free viewing conditions. The model simulates psychological data about the dynamics of covert attention priming and switching requiring multifocal attention without eye movements. The model predicts how "attentional shrouds" are formed when surface representations in cortical area V4 resonate with spatial attention in posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC), while shrouds compete among themselves for dominance. Winning shrouds support invariant object category learning, and active surface-shroud resonances support conscious surface perception and recognition. Attentive competition between multiple objects and cues simulates reaction-time data from the two-object cueing paradigm. The relative strength of sustained surface-driven and fast-transient motion-driven spatial attention controls individual differences in reaction time for invalid cues. Competition between surface-driven attentional shrouds controls individual differences in detection rate of peripheral targets in useful-field-of-view tasks. The model proposes how the strength of competition can be mediated, though learning or momentary changes in volition, by the basal ganglia. A new explanation of
Mills, Mark; Smith, Kevin B; Hibbing, John R; Dodd, Michael D
Processing an abstract concept such as political ideology by itself is difficult but becomes easier when a background situation contextualizes it. Political ideology within American politics, for example, is commonly processed using space metaphorically, i.e., the political "left" and "right" (referring to Democrat and Republican views, respectively), presumably to provide a common metric to which abstract features of ideology can be grounded and understood. Commonplace use of space as metaphor raises the question of whether an inherently non-spatial stimulus (e.g., picture of the political "left" leader, Barack Obama) can trigger a spatially-specific response (e.g., attentional bias toward "left" regions of the visual field). Accordingly, pictures of well-known Democrats and Republicans were presented as central cues in peripheral target detection (Experiment 1) and saccadic free-choice (Experiment 2) tasks to determine whether perception of stimuli lacking a direct association with physical space nonetheless induce attentional and oculomotor biases in the direction compatible with the ideological category of the cue (i.e., Democrat/left and Republican/right). In Experiment 1, target detection following presentation of a Democrat (Republican) was facilitated for targets appearing to the left (right). In Experiment 2, participants were more likely to look left (right) following presentation of a Democrat (Republican). Thus, activating an internal representation of political ideology induced a shift of attention and biased choice of gaze direction in a spatially-specific manner. These findings demonstrate that the link between conceptual processing and spatial attention can be totally arbitrary, with no reference to physical or symbolic spatial information. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Harjunen, Ville J.; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas; Spap?, Michiel M.
Earlier studies have revealed cross-modal visuo-tactile interactions in endogenous spatial attention. The current research used event-related potentials (ERPs) and virtual reality (VR) to identify how the visual cues of the perceiver’s body affect visuo-tactile interaction in endogenous spatial attention and at what point in time the effect takes place. A bimodal oddball task with lateralized tactile and visual stimuli was presented in two VR conditions, one with and one without visible hands...
Gherri, Elena; Berreby, Fiona
To investigate whether tactile spatial attention is modulated by perceptual load, behavioural and electrophysiological measures were recorded during two spatial cuing tasks in which the difficulty of the target/non-target discrimination was varied (High and Low load tasks). Moreover, to study whether attentional modulations by load are sensitive to the availability of visual information, the High and Low load tasks were carried out under both illuminated and darkness conditions. ERPs to cued and uncued non-targets were compared as a function of task (High vs. Low load) and illumination condition (Light vs. Darkness). Results revealed that the locus of tactile spatial attention was determined by a complex interaction between perceptual load and illumination conditions during sensory-specific stages of processing. In the Darkness, earlier effects of attention were present in the High load than in the Low load task, while no difference between tasks emerged in the Light. By contrast, increased load was associated with stronger attention effects during later post-perceptual processing stages regardless of illumination conditions. These findings demonstrate that ERP correlates of tactile spatial attention are strongly affected by the perceptual load of the target/non-target discrimination. However, differences between illumination conditions show that the impact of load on tactile attention depends on the presence of visual information. Perceptual load is one of the many factors that contribute to determine the effects of spatial selectivity in touch. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Huang, Dan; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Xin; Chen, Yao
Preferentially processing behaviorally relevant information is vital for primate survival. In visuospatial attention studies, manipulating the spatial extent of attention focus is an important question. Although many studies have claimed to successfully adjust attention field size by either varying the uncertainty about the target location (spatial uncertainty) or adjusting the size of the cue orienting the attention focus, no systematic studies have assessed and compared the effectiveness of these methods. We used a multiple cue paradigm with 2.5° and 7.5° rings centered around a target position to measure the cue size effect, while the spatial uncertainty levels were manipulated by changing the number of cueing positions. We found that spatial uncertainty had a significant impact on reaction time during target detection, while the cue size effect was less robust. We also carefully varied the spatial scope of potential target locations within a small or large region and found that this amount of variation in spatial uncertainty can also significantly influence target detection speed. Our results indicate that adjusting spatial uncertainty is more effective than varying cue size when manipulating attention field size.
Mulckhuyse, Manon; Talsma, D.; Theeuwes, Jan
The present study shows that an abrupt onset cue that is not consciously perceived can cause attentional facilitation followed by inhibition at the cued location. The observation of this classic biphasic effect of facilitation followed by inhibition of return (IOR) suggests that the subliminal cue
Pan, Yi; Luo, Qianying; Cheng, Min
Previous research has indicated that attention can be biased toward those stimuli matching the contents of working memory and thereby facilitates visual processing at the location of the memory-matching stimuli. However, whether this working memory-driven attentional modulation takes place on early perceptual processes remains unclear. Our present results showed that working memory-driven attention improved identification of a brief Landolt target presented alone in the visual field. Because the suprathreshold target appeared without any external noise added (i.e., no distractors or masks), the results suggest that working memory-driven attention enhances the target signal at early perceptual stages of visual processing. Furthermore, given that performance in the Landolt target identification task indexes spatial resolution, this attentional facilitation indicates that working memory-driven attention can boost early perceptual processing via enhancement of spatial resolution at the attended location.
Full Text Available Several studies have addressed the question of the time it takes for attention to shift from one position in space to another. Here we present a behavioural paradigm which offers a direct access to an estimate of voluntary shift time by comparing, in the same task, a situation in which subjects are required to re-engage their attention at the same spatial location with a situation in which they need to shift their attention to another location, all other sensory, cognitive and motor parameters being equal. We show that spatial attention takes on average 55 ms to voluntarily shift from one hemifield to the other and 38 ms to shift within the same hemifield. In addition, we show that across and within hemifields attentional processes are different. In particular, attentional spotlight division appears to be more difficult to operate within than across hemifields.
Postle, B R; Awh, E; Jonides, J; Smith, E E; D'Esposito, M
Rehearsal in human spatial working memory is accomplished, in part, via covert shifts of spatial selective attention to memorized locations ("attention-based rehearsal"). We addressed two outstanding questions about attention-based rehearsal: the topography of the attention-based rehearsal effect, and the mechanism by which it operates. Using event-related fMRI and a procedure that randomized the presentation of trials with delay epochs that were either filled with a flickering checkerboard or unfilled, we localized the effect to extrastriate areas 18 and 19, and confirmed its absence in striate cortex. Delay-epoch activity in these extrastriate regions, as well as in superior parietal lobule and intraparietal sulcus, was also lateralized on unfilled trials, suggesting that attention-based rehearsal produces a baseline shift in areas representing the to-be-remembered location in space. No frontal regions (including frontal eye fields) demonstrated lateralized activity consistent with a role in attention-based rehearsal.
Carlson, Joshua M.; Reinke, Karen S.
Facial expressions are a basic form of non-verbal communication that convey important social information to others. The relevancy of this information is highlighted by findings that backward masked facial expressions facilitate spatial attention. This attention effect appears to be mediated through a neural network consisting of the amygdala,…
Roach, Victoria A.; Fraser, Graham M.; Kryklywy, James H.; Mitchell, Derek G. V.; Wilson, Timothy D.
Individuals with an aptitude for interpreting spatial information (high mental rotation ability: HMRA) typically master anatomy with more ease, and more quickly, than those with low mental rotation ability (LMRA). This article explores how visual attention differs with time limits on spatial reasoning tests. Participants were assorted to two…
de Ruiter, MB; Snel, J; Lorist, MM; Ruijter, J
Objectives: Following the indications of previous studies that caffeine might have a specific effect on the processing of spatial information compared with other types of information, the present study investigated the influence of caffeine on an often used spatial-selective attention task. Methods:
Bedard, Anne-Claude; Martinussen, Rhonda; Ickowicz, Abel; Tannock, Rosemary
Objective: To investigate the effect of methylphenidate (MPH) on visual-spatial memory, as measured by subtests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery (CANTAB), in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Visual-spatial memory is a core component of working memory that has been shown to be impaired in…
Mangun, G R; Buck, L A
This study investigated the simple reaction time (RT) and event-related potential (ERP) correlates of biasing attention towards a location in the visual field. RTs and ERPs were recorded to stimuli flashed randomly and with equal probability to the left and right visual hemifields in the three blocked, covert attention conditions: (i) attention divided equally to left and right hemifield locations; (ii) attention biased towards the left location; or (iii) attention biased towards the right location. Attention was biased towards left or right by instructions to the subjects, and responses were required to all stimuli. Relative to the divided attention condition, RTs were significantly faster for targets occurring where more attention was allocated (benefits), and slower to targets where less attention was allocated (costs). The early P1 (100-140 msec) component over the lateral occipital scalp regions showed attentional benefits. There were no amplitude modulations of the occipital N1 (125-180 msec) component with attention. Between 200 and 500 msec latency, a late positive deflection (LPD) showed both attentional costs and benefits. The behavioral findings show that when sufficiently induced to bias attention, human observers demonstrate RT benefits as well as costs. The corresponding P1 benefits suggest that the RT benefits of spatial attention may arise as the result of modulations of visual information processing in the extrastriate visual cortex.
Zhang, Dan; Maye, Alexander; Gao, Xiaorong; Hong, Bo; Engel, Andreas K.; Gao, Shangkai
In this paper, a novel independent brain-computer interface (BCI) system based on covert non-spatial visual selective attention of two superimposed illusory surfaces is described. Perception of two superimposed surfaces was induced by two sets of dots with different colors rotating in opposite directions. The surfaces flickered at different frequencies and elicited distinguishable steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) over parietal and occipital areas of the brain. By selectively attending to one of the two surfaces, the SSVEP amplitude at the corresponding frequency was enhanced. An online BCI system utilizing the attentional modulation of SSVEP was implemented and a 3-day online training program with healthy subjects was carried out. The study was conducted with Chinese subjects at Tsinghua University, and German subjects at University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) using identical stimulation software and equivalent technical setup. A general improvement of control accuracy with training was observed in 8 out of 18 subjects. An averaged online classification accuracy of 72.6 ± 16.1% was achieved on the last training day. The system renders SSVEP-based BCI paradigms possible for paralyzed patients with substantial head or ocular motor impairments by employing covert attention shifts instead of changing gaze direction.
Kasai, Tetsuko; Takeya, Ryuji
Attention selects objects/groups as the most fundamental units, and this may be achieved by an attention-spreading mechanism. Previous event-related potential (ERP) studies have found that attention-spreading is reflected by a decrease in the N1 spatial attention effect. The present study tested whether the electrophysiological attention effect is associated with the perception of object unity or amodal completion through the use of partly-occluded objects. ERPs were recorded in 14 participants who were required to pay attention to their left or right visual field and to press a button for a target shape in the attended field. Bilateral stimuli were presented rapidly, and were separated, connected, or connected behind an occluder. Behavioral performance in the connected and occluded conditions was worse than that in the separated condition, indicating that attention spread over perceptual object representations after amodal completion. Consistently, the late N1 spatial attention effect (180-220 ms post-stimulus) and the early phase (230-280 ms) of feature selection effects (target N2) at contralateral sites decreased, equally for the occluded and connected conditions, while the attention effect in the early N1 latency (140-180 ms) shifted most positively for the occluded condition. These results suggest that perceptual organization processes for object recognition transiently modulate spatial and feature selection processes in the visual cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Anelli, Filomena; Avanzi, Stefano; Arzy, Shahar; Mancuso, Mauro; Frassinetti, Francesca
Numerous studies agree that time is represented in spatial terms in the brain. Here we investigate how a deficit in orienting attention in space influences the ability to mentally travel in time, that is to recall the past and anticipate the future. Right brain-damaged patients, with (RBD-N+) and without neglect (RBD-N-), and healthy controls (HC) were subjected to a Mental Time Travel (MTT) task. Participants were asked to project themselves in time to past, present or future (i.e., self-projection) and, for each self-projection, to judge whether events were located relatively in the past or the future (i.e., self-reference). The MTT-task was performed before and after a manipulation, through prismatic adaptation (PA), inducing a leftward shift of spatial attention. Before PA, RBD-N+ were slower for future than for past events, whereas RBD-N- and HC responded similarly to past and future events. A leftward shift of spatial attention by PA reduced the difference in past/future processing in RBD-N+ and fastened RBD-N- and HC's response to past events. Assuming that time concepts, such as past/future, are coded with a left-to-right order on a mental time line (MTL), a recursive search of future-events can explain neglect patients' performance. Improvement of the spatial deficit following PA reduces the recursive search of future events on the rightmost part of the MTL, facilitating exploration of past events on the leftmost part of the MTL, finally favoring the correct location of past and future events. In addition, the study of the anatomical correlates of the temporal deficit in mental time travel through voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping showed a correlation with a lesion located in the insula and in the thalamus. These findings provide new insights about the inter-relations of space and time, and can pave the way to a procedure to rehabilitate a deficit in these cognitive domains. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Masse, Nicolas Y; Herrington, Todd M; Cook, Erik P
Distinguishing which of the many proposed neural mechanisms of spatial attention actually underlies behavioral improvements in visually guided tasks has been difficult. One attractive hypothesis is that attention allows downstream neural circuits to selectively integrate responses from the most informative sensory neurons. This would allow behavioral performance to be based on the highest-quality signals available in visual cortex. We examined this hypothesis by asking how spatial attention affects both the stimulus sensitivity of middle temporal (MT) neurons and their corresponding correlation with behavior. Analyzing a data set pooled from two experiments involving four monkeys, we found that spatial attention did not appreciably affect either the stimulus sensitivity of the neurons or the correlation between their activity and behavior. However, for those sessions in which there was a robust behavioral effect of attention, focusing attention inside the neuron's receptive field significantly increased the correlation between these two metrics, an indication of selective integration. These results suggest that, similar to mechanisms proposed for the neural basis of perceptual learning, the behavioral benefits of focusing spatial attention are attributable to selective integration of neural activity from visual cortical areas by their downstream targets.
Gannon, Matthew A; Knapp, Ashley A; Adams, Thomas G; Long, Stephanie M; Parks, Nathan A
Neural mechanisms of selective attention must be capable of adapting to variation in the absolute size of an attended stimulus in the ever-changing visual environment. To date, little is known regarding how attentional selection interacts with fluctuations in the spatial expanse of an attended object. Here, we use event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the scaling of attentional enhancement and suppression across the visual field. We measured ERPs while participants performed a task at fixation that varied in its attentional demands (attentional load) and visual angle (1.0° or 2.5°). Observers were presented with a stream of task-relevant stimuli while foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral visual locations were probed by irrelevant distractor stimuli. We found two important effects in the N1 component of visual ERPs. First, N1 modulations to task-relevant stimuli indexed attentional selection of stimuli during the load task and further correlated with task performance. Second, with increased task size, attentional modulation of the N1 to distractor stimuli showed a differential pattern that was consistent with a scaling of attentional selection. Together, these results demonstrate that the size of an attended stimulus scales the profile of attentional selection across the visual field and provides insights into the attentional mechanisms associated with such spatial scaling.
Matthew A Gannon
Full Text Available Neural mechanisms of selective attention must be capable of adapting to variation in the absolute size of an attended stimulus in the ever-changing visual environment. To date, little is known regarding how attentional selection interacts with fluctuations in the spatial expanse of an attended object. Here, we use event-related potentials (ERPs to investigate the scaling of attentional enhancement and suppression across the visual field. We measured ERPs while participants performed a task at fixation that varied in its attentional demands (attentional load and visual angle (1.0° or 2.5°. Observers were presented with a stream of task-relevant stimuli while foveal, parafoveal, and peripheral visual locations were probed by irrelevant distractor stimuli. We found two important effects in the N1 component of visual ERPs. First, N1 modulations to task-relevant stimuli indexed attentional selection of stimuli during the load task and further correlated with task performance. Second, with increased task size, attentional modulation of the N1 to distractor stimuli showed a differential pattern that was consistent with a scaling of attentional selection. Together, these results demonstrate that the size of an attended stimulus scales the profile of attentional selection across the visual field and provides insights into the attentional mechanisms associated with such spatial scaling.
Jiang, Yi; Costello, Patricia; Fang, Fang; Huang, Miner; He, Sheng
Human observers are constantly bombarded with a vast amount of information. Selective attention helps us to quickly process what is important while ignoring the irrelevant. In this study, we demonstrate that information that has not entered observers' consciousness, such as interocularly suppressed (invisible) erotic pictures, can direct the distribution of spatial attention. Furthermore, invisible erotic information can either attract or repel observers' spatial attention depending on their gender and sexual orientation. While unaware of the suppressed pictures, heterosexual males' attention was attracted to invisible female nudes, heterosexual females' attention was attracted to invisible male nudes, gay males behaved similarly to heterosexual females, and gay/bisexual females performed in-between heterosexual males and females.
Longo, Matthew R; Trippier, Sarah; Vagnoni, Eleonora; Lourenco, Stella F
Traditionally, the right cerebral hemisphere has been considered to be specialized for spatial attention and orienting. A large body of research has demonstrated dissociable representations of the near space immediately surrounding the body and the more distance far space. In this study, we investigated whether right hemisphere activations commonly reported for tasks involving spatial attention (such as the line bisection and landmark tasks) are specific to stimuli presented in near space. In separate blocks of trials, participants judged either whether a vertical transector was to the left or right of the centre of a line (landmark task) or whether the line was red or blue (colour task). Stimuli were seen from four distances (30, 60, 90, 120 cm). We used EEG to measure an ERP component (the 'line-bisection effect') specific to the direction of spatial attention (i.e., landmark minus colour). Consistent with previous results, spatial attention produced a right-lateralized negativity over occipito-parietal channels. The magnitude of this negativity was inversely related to viewing distance, being largest in near space and reduced in far space. These results suggest that the right occipito-temporal cortex may be specialized not just for the orientation of spatial attention generally, but specifically for orienting attention in the near space immediately surrounding the body. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Heinen, Klaartje; Feredoes, Eva; Ruff, Christian C; Driver, Jon
It is well established that the frontal eye-fields (FEF) in the dorsal attention network (DAN) guide top-down selective attention. In addition, converging evidence implies a causal role for the FEF in attention shifting, which is also known to recruit the ventral attention network (VAN) and fronto-striatal regions. To investigate the causal influence of the FEF as (part of) a central hub between these networks, we applied thetaburst transcranial magnetic stimulation (TBS) off-line, combined with functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) during a cued visuo-spatial attention shifting paradigm. We found that TBS over the right FEF impaired performance on a visual discrimination task in both hemifields following attention shifts, while only left hemifield performance was affected when participants were cued to maintain the focus of attention. These effects recovered ca. 20min post stimulation. Furthermore, particularly following attention shifts, TBS suppressed the neural signal in bilateral FEF, right inferior and superior parietal lobule (IPL/SPL) and bilateral supramarginal gyri (SMG). Immediately post stimulation, functional connectivity was impaired between right FEF and right SMG as well as right putamen. Importantly, the extent of decreased connectivity between right FEF and right SMG correlated with behavioural impairment following attention shifts. The main finding of this study demonstrates that influences from right FEF on SMG in the ventral attention network causally underly attention shifts, presumably by enabling disengagement from the current focus of attention. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Kit K. Elam
Full Text Available Emotional facial expressions are important social cues that convey salient affective information. Infants, younger children, and adults all appear to orient spatial attention to emotional faces with a particularly strong bias to fearful faces. Yet in young children it is unclear whether or not both happy and fearful faces extract attention. Given that the processing of emotional faces is believed by some to serve an evolutionarily adaptive purpose, attentional biases to both fearful and happy expressions would be expected in younger children. However, the extent to which this ability is present in young children and whether or not this ability is genetically mediated is untested. Therefore, the aims of the current study were to assess the spatial-attentional properties of emotional faces in young children, with a preliminary test of whether this effect was influenced by genetics. Five-year-old twin pairs performed a dot-probe task. The results suggest that children preferentially direct spatial attention to emotional faces, particularly right visual field faces. The results provide support for the notion that the direction of spatial attention to emotional faces serves an evolutionarily adaptive function and may be mediated by genetic mechanisms.
Higher-order cognitive processes were shown to rely on the interplay between large-scale neural networks. However, brain networks involved with the capability to split attentional resource over multiple spatial locations and multiple stimuli or sensory modalities have been largely unexplored to date. Here I re-analyzed data from Santangelo et al. (2010) to explore the causal interactions between large-scale brain networks during divided attention. During fMRI scanning, participants monitored streams of visual and/or auditory stimuli in one or two spatial locations for detection of occasional targets. This design allowed comparing a condition in which participants monitored one stimulus/modality (either visual or auditory) in two spatial locations vs. a condition in which participants monitored two stimuli/modalities (both visual and auditory) in one spatial location. The analysis of the independent components (ICs) revealed that dividing attentional resources across two spatial locations necessitated a brain network involving the left ventro- and dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex plus the posterior parietal cortex, including the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and the angular gyrus, bilaterally. The analysis of Granger causality highlighted that the activity of lateral prefrontal regions were predictive of the activity of all of the posteriors parietal nodes. By contrast, dividing attention across two sensory modalities necessitated a brain network including nodes belonging to the dorsal frontoparietal network, i.e., the bilateral frontal eye-fields (FEF) and IPS, plus nodes belonging to the salience network, i.e., the anterior cingulated cortex and the left and right anterior insular cortex (aIC). The analysis of Granger causality highlights a tight interdependence between the dorsal frontoparietal and salience nodes in trials requiring divided attention between different sensory modalities. The current findings therefore highlighted a dissociation among brain networks
Full Text Available Higher-order cognitive processes were shown to rely on the interplay between large-scale neural networks. However, brain networks involved with the capability to split attentional resource over multiple spatial locations and multiple stimuli or sensory modalities have been largely unexplored to date. Here I re-analyzed data from Santangelo et al. (2010 to explore the causal interactions between large-scale brain networks during divided attention. During fMRI scanning, participants monitored streams of visual and/or auditory stimuli in one or two spatial locations for detection of occasional targets. This design allowed comparing a condition in which participants monitored one stimulus/modality (either visual or auditory in two spatial locations vs. a condition in which participants monitored two stimuli/modalities (both visual and auditory in one spatial location. The analysis of the independent components (ICs revealed that dividing attentional resources across two spatial locations necessitated a brain network involving the left ventro- and dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex plus the posterior parietal cortex, including the intraparietal sulcus (IPS and the angular gyrus, bilaterally. The analysis of Granger causality highlighted that the activity of lateral prefrontal regions were predictive of the activity of all of the posteriors parietal nodes. By contrast, dividing attention across two sensory modalities necessitated a brain network including nodes belonging to the dorsal frontoparietal network, i.e., the bilateral frontal eye-fields (FEF and IPS, plus nodes belonging to the salience network, i.e., the anterior cingulated cortex and the left and right anterior insular cortex (aIC. The analysis of Granger causality highlights a tight interdependence between the dorsal frontoparietal and salience nodes in trials requiring divided attention between different sensory modalities. The current findings therefore highlighted a dissociation among
van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Abrahamse, Elger L; Majerus, Steve; Fias, Wim
The ability to maintain the serial order of events is recognized as a major function of working memory. Although general models of working memory postulate a close link between working memory and attention, such a link has so far not been proposed specifically for serial-order working memory. The present study provided the first empirical demonstration of a direct link between serial order in verbal working memory and spatial selective attention. We show that the retrieval of later items of a sequence stored in working memory-compared with that of earlier items-produces covert attentional shifts toward the right. This observation suggests the conceptually surprising notion that serial-order working memory, even for nonspatially defined verbal items, draws on spatial attention.
Van der Stoep, N; Spence, C; Nijboer, T C W; Van der Stigchel, S
Two processes that can give rise to multisensory response enhancement (MRE) are multisensory integration (MSI) and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention. It is, however, currently unclear what the relative contribution of each of these is to MRE. We investigated this issue using two tasks that are generally assumed to measure MSI (a redundant target effect task) and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention (a spatial cueing task). One block of trials consisted of unimodal auditory and visual targets designed to provide a unimodal baseline. In two other blocks of trials, the participants were presented with spatially and temporally aligned and misaligned audiovisual (AV) targets (0, 50, 100, and 200ms SOA). In the integration block, the participants were instructed to respond to the onset of the first target stimulus that they detected (A or V). The instruction for the cueing block was to respond only to the onset of the visual targets. The targets could appear at one of three locations: left, center, and right. The participants were instructed to respond only to lateral targets. The results indicated that MRE was caused by MSI at 0ms SOA. At 50ms SOA, both crossmodal exogenous spatial attention and MSI contributed to the observed MRE, whereas the MRE observed at the 100 and 200ms SOAs was attributable to crossmodal exogenous spatial attention, alerting, and temporal preparation. These results therefore suggest that there may be a temporal window in which both MSI and exogenous crossmodal spatial attention can contribute to multisensory response enhancement. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Edward S. Redhead
Full Text Available In this paper a series of studies and theoretical proposals about how preexposure to environmental cues affects subsequent spatial learning are reviewed. Traditionally, spatial learning had been thought to depend on gestaltic non-associative processes, and well established phenomena such as latent learning or instantaneous transfer have been taken to provide evidence for this sort of cognitive mapping. However, reviewing the literature examining these effects reveals that there is no need to advocate for gestaltic processes since standard associative learning theory provides an adequate framework for accounting for navigation skills. Recent studies reveal that attentional processes play a role in spatial learning. The need for an integrated attentional and associative approach to explain spatial learning is discussed.
Keil, Andreas; Moratti, Stephan; Sabatinelli, Dean; Bradley, Margaret M; Lang, Peter J
Affectively arousing visual stimuli have been suggested to automatically attract attentional resources in order to optimize sensory processing. The present study crosses the factors of spatial selective attention and affective content, and examines the relationship between instructed (spatial) and automatic attention to affective stimuli. In addition to response times and error rate, electroencephalographic data from 129 electrodes were recorded during a covert spatial attention task. This task required silent counting of random-dot targets embedded in a 10 Hz flicker of colored pictures presented to both hemifields. Steady-state visual evoked potentials (ssVEPs) were obtained to determine amplitude and phase of electrocortical responses to pictures. An increase of ssVEP amplitude was observed as an additive function of spatial attention and emotional content. Statistical parametric mapping of this effect indicated occipito-temporal and parietal cortex activation contralateral to the attended visual hemifield in ssVEP amplitude modulation. This difference was most pronounced during selection of the left visual hemifield, at right temporal electrodes. In line with this finding, phase information revealed accelerated processing of aversive arousing, compared to affectively neutral pictures. The data suggest that affective stimulus properties modulate the spatiotemporal process along the ventral stream, encompassing amplitude amplification and timing changes of posterior and temporal cortex.
Plamondon, André; Akbari, Emis; Atkinson, Leslie; Steiner, Meir; Meaney, Michael J; Fleming, Alison S
Experimental evidence in rodents shows that maternal stress during pregnancy (MSDP) negatively impacts spatial learning and memory in the offspring. We aim to investigate the association between MSDP (i.e., life events) and spatial working memory, as well as attention skills (attention shifting and attention focusing), in humans. The moderating roles of child sex, maternal anxiety during pregnancy and postnatal care are also investigated. Participants were 236 mother-child dyads that were followed from the second trimester of pregnancy until 4 years postpartum. Measurements included questionnaires and independent observations. MSDP was negatively associated with attention shifting at 18 months when concurrent maternal anxiety was low. MSDP was associated with poorer spatial working memory at 4 years of age, but only for boys who experienced poorer postnatal care. Consistent with results observed in rodents, MSDP was found to be associated with spatial working memory and attention skills. These results point to postnatal care and maternal anxiety during pregnancy as potential targets for interventions that aim to buffer children from the detrimental effects of MSDP. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Theeuwes, J.; Atchley, P.; Kramer, A.F.
Four experiments investigated whether directing attention to a particular plane in depth enables observers to filter out information from another depth plane. Observers viewed stereoscopic displays and searched for a red line segment among green line segments. The results showed that directing
Miles, Eleanor; Poliakoff, Ellen; Brown, Richard J
Peripheral cues are thought to facilitate responses to stimuli presented at the same location because they lead to exogenous attention shifts. Facilitation has been observed in numerous studies of visual and auditory attention, but there have been only four demonstrations of tactile facilitation, all in studies with potential confounds. Three studies used a spatial (finger versus thumb) discrimination task, where the cue could have provided a spatial framework that might have assisted the discrimination of subsequent targets presented on the same side as the cue. The final study circumvented this problem by using a non-spatial discrimination; however, the cues were informative and interspersed with visual cues which may have affected the attentional effects observed. In the current study, therefore, we used a non-spatial tactile frequency discrimination task following a non-informative tactile white noise cue. When the target was presented 150 ms after the cue, we observed faster discrimination responses to targets presented on the same side compared to the opposite side as the cue; by 1000 ms, responses were significantly faster to targets presented on the opposite side to the cue. Thus, we demonstrated that tactile attentional facilitation can be observed in a non-spatial discrimination task, under unimodal conditions and with entirely non-predictive cues. Furthermore, we provide the first demonstration of significant tactile facilitation and tactile inhibition of return within a single experiment.
probe into the spatial controlling processes of groundwater contamination, using principal component analysis (PCA). ... topography, soil type, depth of water levels, and water usage. Thus, the ... of effective sites for infiltration of recharge water.
Spatial control of groundwater contamination, using principal component analysis ... anthropogenic (agricultural activities and domestic wastewaters), and marine ... The PC scores reflect the change of groundwater quality of geogenic origin ...
Takeya, Ryuji; Kasai, Tetsuko
Attention directed to a part of an object tends to obligatorily spread over all of the spatial regions that belong to the object, which may be critical for rapid object-recognition in cluttered visual scenes. Previous studies have generally used simple rectangles as objects and have shown that attention spreading is reflected by amplitude modulation in the posterior N1 component (150-200 ms poststimulus) of event-related potentials, while other interpretations (i.e., rectangular holes) may arise implicitly in early visual processing stages. By using modified Kanizsa-type stimuli that provided less ambiguity of depth ordering, the present study examined early event-related potential spatial-attention effects for connected and separated objects, both of which were perceived in front of (Experiment 1) and in back of (Experiment 2) the surroundings. Typical P1 (100-140 ms) and N1 (150-220 ms) attention effects of ERP in response to unilateral probes were observed in both experiments. Importantly, the P1 attention effect was decreased for connected objects compared to separated objects only in Experiment 1, and the typical object-based modulations of N1 were not observed in either experiment. These results suggest that spatial attention spreads over a figural object at earlier stages of processing than previously indicated, in three-dimensional visual scenes with multiple depth cues.
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.
Jefferies, Lisa N; Enns, James T; Di Lollo, Vincent
Selective visual attention involves prioritizing both the location (orienting) and distribution (focusing) of processing. To date, much more research has examined attentional orienting than focusing. One of the most well-established findings is that orienting can be exogenous, as when a unique change in luminance draws attention to a spatial location (e.g., Theeuwes in Atten Percept Psychophys 51:599-606, 1992; Yantis and Jonides in J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 10:601, 1984), and endogenous, as when a red distractor shape diverts attention when one is looking for a red target (e.g., Bacon and Egeth in Percept Psychophys 55:485-496, 1994; Folk et al. in J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform 18:1030, 1992). Here we ask whether attentional focusing-the broadening and contracting of prioritized processing-is influenced by the same two factors. Our methodology involved a dual-stream attentional blink task; participants monitored two spatially separated streams of items for two targets that could appear unpredictably either in the same stream or in opposite streams. The spatial distribution of attention was assessed by examining second-target accuracy in relation to inter-target lag and target location (same or opposite streams). In Experiment 1, we found that attentional contracting was more rapid when the targets differed in luminance from the distractor items. In Experiments 2 and 3, we found that the rate of attentional contracting was slower when there were task-relevant distractors in the stream opposite the first target. These results indicate that the rate of attentional focusing, like orienting, can be modulated by both exogenous and endogenous mechanisms.
Storbeck, Justin; Watson, Philip
Prior research has suggested that emotion and working memory domains are integrated, such that positive affect enhances verbal working memory, whereas negative affect enhances spatial working memory (Gray, 2004; Storbeck, 2012). Simon (1967) postulated that one feature of emotion and cognition integration would be reciprocal connectedness (i.e., emotion influences cognition and cognition influences emotion). We explored whether affective judgments and attention to affective qualities are biased by the activation of verbal and spatial working memory mind-sets. For all experiments, participants completed a 2-back verbal or spatial working memory task followed by an endorsement task (Experiments 1 & 2), word-pair selection task (Exp. 3), or attentional dot-probe task (Exp. 4). Participants who had an activated verbal, compared with spatial, working memory mind-set were more likely to endorse pictures (Exp. 1) and words (Exp. 2) as being more positive and to select the more positive word pair out of a set of word pairs that went 'together best' (Exp. 3). Additionally, people who completed the verbal working memory task took longer to disengage from positive stimuli, whereas those who completed the spatial working memory task took longer to disengage from negative stimuli (Exp. 4). Interestingly, across the 4 experiments, we observed higher levels of self-reported negative affect for people who completed the spatial working memory task, which was consistent with their endorsement and attentional bias toward negative stimuli. Therefore, emotion and working memory may have a reciprocal connectedness allowing for bidirectional influence.
Simione, Luca; Raffone, Antonino; Wolters, Gezinus; Salmas, Paola; Nakatani, Chie; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; van Leeuwen, Cees
Two separate lines of study have clarified the role of selectivity in conscious access to visual information. Both involve presenting multiple targets and distracters: one simultaneously in a spatially distributed fashion, the other sequentially at a single location. To understand their findings in a unified framework, we propose a neurodynamic model for Visual Selection and Awareness (ViSA). ViSA supports the view that neural representations for conscious access and visuo-spatial working memory are globally distributed and are based on recurrent interactions between perceptual and access control processors. Its flexible global workspace mechanisms enable a unitary account of a broad range of effects: It accounts for the limited storage capacity of visuo-spatial working memory, attentional cueing, and efficient selection with multi-object displays, as well as for the attentional blink and associated sparing and masking effects. In particular, the speed of consolidation for storage in visuo-spatial working memory in ViSA is not fixed but depends adaptively on the input and recurrent signaling. Slowing down of consolidation due to weak bottom-up and recurrent input as a result of brief presentation and masking leads to the attentional blink. Thus, ViSA goes beyond earlier 2-stage and neuronal global workspace accounts of conscious processing limitations. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.
Adamo, Maha; Pun, Carson; Pratt, Jay; Ferber, Susanne
When non-informative peripheral cues precede a target defined by a specific feature, cues that share the critical feature will capture attention while cues that do not will be effectively ignored. We tested whether different attentional control sets can be simultaneously maintained over distinct regions of space. Participants were instructed to…
Nordfang, Maria; Staugaard, Camilla; Bundesen, Claus
The relationship between visual attentional selection of items in particular spatial locations and selection by nonspatial criteria was investigated in a partial report experiment with report of letters (as many as possible) from brief postmasked exposures of circular arrays of letters and digits....... The data were fitted by mathematical models based on Bundesen's (Psychological Review, 97, 523-547, 1990) theory of visual attention (TVA). Both attentional weights of targets (letters) and attentional weights of distractors (digits) showed strong variations across the eight possible target locations......, but for each of the ten participants, the ratio of the weight of a distractor at a given location to the weight of a target at the same location was approximately constant. The results were accommodated by revising the weight equation of TVA such that the attentional weight of an object equals a product...
A few studies have examined selective attention in Stroop task performance through ex-Gaussian analyses of response time (RT) distributions. It has remained unclear whether the tail of the RT distribution in vocal responding reflects spatial integration of relevant and irrelevant attributes, as
Matthias, Ellen; Bublak, Peter; Muller, Hermann J.; Schneider, Werner X.; Krummenacher, Joseph; Finke, Kathrin
Three experiments investigated whether spatial and nonspatial components of visual attention would be influenced by changes in (healthy, young) subjects' level of alertness and whether such effects on separable components would occur independently of each other. The experiments used a no-cue/alerting-cue design with varying cue-target stimulus…
Lange, J.J.; Wijers, A.A.; Mulder, L.J.M.; Mulder, G.
Two experiments were performed in which the effects of selective spatial attention on the ERPs elicited by unilateral and bilateral stimulus arrays were compared. In Experiment 1, subjects received a series of grating patterns. In the unilateral condition these gratings were presented one at a time,
Santangelo, Valerio; van der Lubbe, Robert Henricus Johannes; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; Postma, Albert
The aim of this study was to establish whether spatial attention triggered by bimodal exogenous cues acts differently as compared to unimodal and crossmodal exogenous cues due to crossmodal integration. In order to investigate this issue, we examined cuing effects in discrimination tasks and
Close, Alex; Sapir, Ayelet; Burnett, Katherine; d'Avossa, Giovanni
What limits the ability to attend several locations simultaneously? There are two possibilities: Either attention cannot be divided without incurring a cost, or spatial memory is limited and observers forget which locations to monitor. We compared motion discrimination when attention was directed to one or multiple locations by briefly presented central cues. The cues were matched for the amount of spatial information they provided. Several random dot kinematograms (RDKs) followed the spatial cues; one of them contained task-relevant, coherent motion. When four RDKs were presented, discrimination accuracy was identical when one and two locations were indicated by equally informative cues. However, when six RDKs were presented, discrimination accuracy was higher following one rather than multiple location cues. We examined whether memory of the cued locations was diminished under these conditions. Recall of the cued locations was tested when participants attended the cued locations and when they did not attend the cued locations. Recall was inaccurate only when the cued locations were attended. Finally, visually marking the cued locations, following one and multiple location cues, equalized discrimination performance, suggesting that participants could attend multiple locations when they did not have to remember which ones to attend. We conclude that endogenously dividing attention between multiple locations is limited by inaccurate recall of the attended locations and that attention poses separate demands on the same central processes used to remember spatial information, even when the locations attended and those held in memory are the same. © 2014 ARVO.
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.
Tapia, Evelina; Breitmeyer, Bruno G.; Jacob, Jane; Broyles, Elizabeth C.
Flanker congruency effects were measured in a masked flanker task to assess the properties of spatial attention during conscious and nonconscious processing of form, color, and conjunctions of these features. We found that (1) consciously and nonconsciously processed colored shape distractors (i.e., flankers) produce flanker congruency effects;…
Liu, Sisi; Liu, Duo; Pan, Zhihui; Xu, Zhengye
A growing body of research suggests that visual-spatial attention is important for reading achievement. However, few studies have been conducted in non-alphabetic orthographies. This study extended the current research to reading development in Chinese, a logographic writing system known for its visual complexity. Eighty Hong Kong Chinese children were selected and divided into poor reader and typical reader groups, based on their performance on the measures of reading fluency, Chinese character reading, and reading comprehension. The poor and typical readers were matched on age and nonverbal intelligence. A Posner's spatial cueing task was adopted to measure the exogenous and endogenous orienting of visual-spatial attention. Although the typical readers showed the cueing effect in the central cue condition (i.e., responses to targets following valid cues were faster than those to targets following invalid cues), the poor readers did not respond differently in valid and invalid conditions, suggesting an impairment of the endogenous orienting of attention. The two groups, however, showed a similar cueing effect in the peripheral cue condition, indicating intact exogenous orienting in the poor readers. These findings generally supported a link between the orienting of covert attention and Chinese reading, providing evidence for the attentional-deficit theory of dyslexia. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Van Stockum, Charles A., Jr.; DeCaro, Marci S.
Individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) increase the ability and tendency to devote greater attentional control to a task--improving performance on a wide range of skills. In addition, recent research on enclothed cognition demonstrates that the situational influence of wearing a white lab coat increases controlled attention, due…
Leszczyński, Marcin; Wykowska, Agnieszka; Perez-Osorio, Jairo; Müller, Hermann J
Recalling information from visual short-term memory (VSTM) involves the same neural mechanisms as attending to an actually perceived scene. In particular, retrieval from VSTM has been associated with orienting of visual attention towards a location within a spatially-organized memory representation. However, an open question concerns whether spatial attention is also recruited during VSTM retrieval even when performing the task does not require access to spatial coordinates of items in the memorized scene. The present study combined a visual search task with a modified, delayed central probe protocol, together with EEG analysis, to answer this question. We found a temporal contralateral negativity (TCN) elicited by a centrally presented go-signal which was spatially uninformative and featurally unrelated to the search target and informed participants only about a response key that they had to press to indicate a prepared target-present vs. -absent decision. This lateralization during VSTM retrieval (TCN) provides strong evidence of a shift of attention towards the target location in the memory representation, which occurred despite the fact that the present task required no spatial (or featural) information from the search to be encoded, maintained, and retrieved to produce the correct response and that the go-signal did not itself specify any information relating to the location and defining feature of the target.
Full Text Available Recalling information from visual short-term memory (VSTM involves the same neural mechanisms as attending to an actually perceived scene. In particular, retrieval from VSTM has been associated with orienting of visual attention towards a location within a spatially-organized memory representation. However, an open question concerns whether spatial attention is also recruited during VSTM retrieval even when performing the task does not require access to spatial coordinates of items in the memorized scene. The present study combined a visual search task with a modified, delayed central probe protocol, together with EEG analysis, to answer this question. We found a temporal contralateral negativity (TCN elicited by a centrally presented go-signal which was spatially uninformative and featurally unrelated to the search target and informed participants only about a response key that they had to press to indicate a prepared target-present vs. -absent decision. This lateralization during VSTM retrieval (TCN provides strong evidence of a shift of attention towards the target location in the memory representation, which occurred despite the fact that the present task required no spatial (or featural information from the search to be encoded, maintained, and retrieved to produce the correct response and that the go-signal did not itself specify any information relating to the location and defining feature of the target.
Ducrocq, Emmanuel; Wilson, Mark; Vine, Sam; Derakshan, Nazanin
Attentional control is a necessary function for the regulation of goal-directed behavior. In three experiments we investigated whether training inhibitory control using a visual search task could improve task-specific measures of attentional control and performance. In Experiment 1 results revealed that training elicited a near-transfer effect, improving performance on a cognitive (antisaccade) task assessing inhibitory control. In Experiment 2 an initial far-transfer effect of training was observed on an index of attentional control validated for tennis. The principal aim of Experiment 3 was to expand on these findings by assessing objective gaze measures of inhibitory control during the performance of a tennis task. Training improved inhibitory control and performance when pressure was elevated, confirming the mechanisms by which cognitive anxiety impacts performance. These results suggest that attentional control training can improve inhibition and reduce taskspecific distractibility with promise of transfer to more efficient sporting performance in competitive contexts.
Full Text Available With the growing popularity of personal digital assistant devices and smart phones, more and more consumers are becoming quite enthusiastic to appreciate videos via mobile devices. However, limited display size of the mobile devices has been imposing significant barriers for users to enjoy browsing high-resolution videos. In this paper, we present an attention-information-based spatial adaptation framework to address this problem. The whole framework includes two major parts: video content generation and video adaptation system. During video compression, the attention information in video sequences will be detected using an attention model and embedded into bitstreams with proposed supplement-enhanced information (SEI structure. Furthermore, we also develop an innovative scheme to adaptively adjust quantization parameters in order to simultaneously improve the quality of overall encoding and the quality of transcoding the attention areas. When the high-resolution bitstream is transmitted to mobile users, a fast transcoding algorithm we developed earlier will be applied to generate a new bitstream for attention areas in frames. The new low-resolution bitstream containing mostly attention information, instead of the high-resolution one, will be sent to users for display on the mobile devices. Experimental results show that the proposed spatial adaptation scheme is able to improve both subjective and objective video qualities.
Florax, Mareike; Ploetzner, Rolf
In the split-attention effect spatial proximity is frequently considered to be pivotal. The transition from a spatially separated to a spatially integrated format not only involves changes in spatial proximity, but commonly necessitates text segmentation and picture labelling as well. In an experimental study, we investigated the influence of…
Hedge, Craig; Oberauer, Klaus; Leonards, Ute
We examined the relationship between the attentional selection of perceptual information and of information in working memory (WM) through four experiments, using a spatial WM-updating task. Participants remembered the locations of two objects in a matrix and worked through a sequence of updating operations, each mentally shifting one dot to a new location according to an arrow cue. Repeatedly updating the same object in two successive steps is typically faster than switching to the other object; this object switch cost reflects the shifting of attention in WM. In Experiment 1, the arrows were presented in random peripheral locations, drawing perceptual attention away from the selected object in WM. This manipulation did not eliminate the object switch cost, indicating that the mechanisms of perceptual selection do not underlie selection in WM. Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM. Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations. Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.
Furley, Philip A; Memmert, Daniel
The controlled attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC, Engle 2002) suggests that WMC represents a domain free limitation in the ability to control attention and is predictive of an individual's capability of staying focused, avoiding distraction and impulsive errors. In the present paper we test the predictive power of WMC in computer-based sport decision-making tasks. Experiment 1 demonstrated that high-WMC athletes were better able at focusing their attention on tactical decision making while blocking out irrelevant auditory distraction. Experiment 2 showed that high-WMC athletes were more successful at adapting their tactical decision making according to the situation instead of relying on prepotent inappropriate decisions. The present results provide additional but also unique support for the controlled attention theory of WMC by demonstrating that WMC is predictive of controlling attention in complex settings among different modalities and highlight the importance of working memory in tactical decision making.
Towler, John; Kelly, Maria; Eimer, Martin
The capacity of visual working memory for faces is extremely limited, but the reasons for these limitations remain unknown. We employed event-related brain potential measures to demonstrate that individual faces have to be focally attended in order to be maintained in working memory, and that attention is allocated to only a single face at a time. When 2 faces have to be memorized simultaneously in a face identity-matching task, the focus of spatial attention during encoding predicts which of these faces can be successfully maintained in working memory and matched to a subsequent test face. We also show that memory representations of attended faces are maintained in a position-dependent fashion. These findings demonstrate that the limited capacity of face memory is directly linked to capacity limits of spatial attention during the encoding and maintenance of individual face representations. We suggest that the capacity and distribution of selective spatial attention is a dynamic resource that constrains the capacity and fidelity of working memory for faces. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jordan, Kirsten; Fromberger, Peter; von Herder, Jakob; Steinkrauss, Henrike; Nemetschek, Rebekka; Witzel, Joachim; Müller, Jürgen L.
Pedophilic disorder, a subtype of paraphilia, is defined as a recurrent sexual interest in prepubescent children, which is characterized by persistent thoughts, fantasies, urges, sexual arousal, or behavior. Besides a deviant sexual preference, sexual preoccupation was found to be a dynamic risk factor for reoffending. Thus, it is conceivable that sex offenders and especially sex offenders against children have difficulties to control their responses to sexual stimuli. In the current study pedophiles, forensic and non-forensic control subjects had to solve a cognitive task, while sexual distractors were presented simultaneously. This kind of task also requires control functions. Therefore, data were analyzed with respect to attentional control while comparing eye movements toward sexual distractors and toward the cognitive task. We were mainly interested in how early (fixation latency) and late (relative fixation time) attentional processes were allocated to both, the cognitive target stimuli and the sexual distractors. Pedophiles demonstrated significantly lower attentional control in the sexual distractor task than both control groups (non-pedophiles). They showed a shorter fixation latency and longer fixation time for sexual distractors than non-pedophiles. Furthermore, pedophiles demonstrated a longer fixation latency and shorter fixation time for cognitive target stimuli. For classification analyses, an attentional control index (ACI) was built, i.e., the difference between eye movements on cognitive target stimuli and sexual distractors. For the ACI of early attentional processes, i.e., fixation latency, a good classification between pedophiles and non-pedophiles was found. We assumed that the measured attentional control represents inhibitory executive functions, specifically interference control. Further studies should examine if low attentional control in pedophiles is due to low motivation to solve the task or rather to a lack of ability to control
Esterman, Michael; Thai, Michelle; Okabe, Hidefusa; DeGutis, Joseph; Saad, Elyana; Laganiere, Simon E.; Halko, Mark A.
Developing non-invasive brain stimulation interventions to improve attentional control is extremely relevant to a variety of neurologic and psychiatric populations, yet few studies have identified reliable biomarkers that can be readily modified to improve attentional control. One potential biomarker of attention is functional connectivity in the core cortical network supporting attention - the dorsal attention network (DAN). We used a network-targeted cerebellar transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) procedure, intended to enhance cortical functional connectivity in the DAN. Specifically, in healthy young adults we administered intermittent theta burst TMS (iTBS) to the midline cerebellar node of the DAN and, as a control, the right cerebellar node of the default mode network (DMN). These cerebellar targets were localized using individual resting-state fMRI scans. Participants completed assessments of both sustained (gradual onset continuous performance task, gradCPT) and transient attentional control (attentional blink) immediately before and after stimulation, in two sessions (cerebellar DAN and DMN). Following cerebellar DAN stimulation, participants had significantly fewer attentional lapses (lower commission error rates) on the gradCPT. In contrast, stimulation to the cerebellar DMN did not affect gradCPT performance. Further, in the DAN condition, individuals with worse baseline gradCPT performance showed the greatest enhancement in gradCPT performance. These results suggest that temporarily increasing functional connectivity in the DAN via network-targeted cerebellar stimulation can enhance sustained attention, particularly in those with poor baseline performance. With regard to transient attention, TMS stimulation improved attentional blink performance across both stimulation sites, suggesting increasing functional connectivity in both networks can enhance this aspect of attention. These findings have important implications for intervention applications
Full Text Available We measured activity in the dorsal system of the human cortex with magnetoencephalography (MEG during a matching-to-sample plus cueing paradigm, where participants judged the occurrence of changes in either categorical or coordinate spatial relations (e.g., exchanges of left versus right positions or changes in the relative distances between images of pairs of animals. The attention window was primed in each trial to be either small or large by using cues that immediately preceded the matching image. In this manner, we could assess the modulatory effects of the scope of attention on the activity of the dorsal system of the human cortex during spatial relations processing. The MEG measurements revealed that large spatial cues yielded greater activations and longer peak latencies in the right inferior parietal lobe for coordinate trials, whereas small cues yielded greater activations and longer peak latencies in the left inferior parietal lobe for categorical trials. The activity in the superior parietal lobe, middle frontal gyrus, and visual cortex, was also modulated by the size of the spatial cues and by the type of spatial relation change. The present results support the theory that the lateralization of each kind of spatial processing hinges on differences in the sizes of regions of space attended to by the two hemispheres. In addition, the present findings are inconsistent with the idea of a right-hemispheric dominance for all kinds of challenging spatial tasks, since response times and accuracy rates showed that the categorical spatial relation task was more difficult than the coordinate task and the cortical activations were overall greater in the left hemisphere than in the right hemisphere.
Jefferies, Lisa N; Enns, James T; Di Lollo, Vincent
The distribution of visual attention has been the topic of much investigation, and various theories have posited that attention is allocated either as a single unitary focus or as multiple independent foci. In the present experiment, we demonstrate that attention can be flexibly deployed as either a unitary or a divided focus in the same experimental task, depending on the observer's goals. To assess the distribution of attention, we used a dual-stream Attentional Blink (AB) paradigm and 2 target pairs. One component of the AB, Lag-1 sparing, occurs only if the second target pair appears within the focus of attention. By varying whether the first-target-pair could be expected in a predictable location (always in-stream) or not (unpredictably in-stream or between-streams), observers were encouraged to deploy a divided or a unitary focus, respectively. When the second-target-pair appeared between the streams, Lag-1 sparing occurred for the Unpredictable group (consistent with a unitary focus) but not for the Predictable group (consistent with a divided focus). Thus, diametrically different outcomes occurred for physically identical displays, depending on the expectations of the observer about where spatial attention would be required.
Tosoni, Annalisa; Shulman, Gordon L; Pope, Anna L W; McAvoy, Mark P; Corbetta, Maurizio
Success in a dynamically changing world requires both rapid shifts of attention to the location of important objects and the detection of changes in motivational contingencies that may alter future behavior. Here we addressed the relationship between these two processes by measuring the blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) signal during a visual search task in which the location and the color of a salient cue respectively indicated where a rewarded target would appear and the monetary gain (large or small) associated with its detection. While cues that either shifted or maintained attention were presented every 4 to 8 sec, the reward magnitude indicated by the cue changed roughly every 30 sec, allowing us to distinguish a change in expected reward magnitude from a maintained state of expected reward magnitude. Posterior cingulate cortex was modulated by cues signaling an increase in expected reward magnitude, but not by cues for shifting versus maintaining spatial attention. Dorsal fronto-parietal regions in precuneus and frontal eye field (FEF) also showed increased BOLD activity for changes in expected reward magnitude from low to high, but in addition showed large independent modulations for shifting versus maintaining attention. In particular, the differential activation for shifting versus maintaining attention was not affected by expected reward magnitude. These results indicate that BOLD activations for shifts of attention and increases in expected reward magnitude are largely separate. Finally, visual cortex showed sustained spatially selective signals that were significantly enhanced when greater reward magnitude was expected, but this reward-related modulation was not observed in spatially selective regions of dorsal fronto-parietal cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
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.
Saproo, Sameer; Serences, John T
Selective attention enables sensory input from behaviorally relevant stimuli to be processed in greater detail, so that these stimuli can more accurately influence thoughts, actions, and future goals. Attention has been shown to modulate the spiking activity of single feature-selective neurons that encode basic stimulus properties (color, orientation, etc.). However, the combined output from many such neurons is required to form stable representations of relevant objects and little empirical work has formally investigated the relationship between attentional modulations on population responses and improvements in encoding precision. Here, we used functional MRI and voxel-based feature tuning functions to show that spatial attention induces a multiplicative scaling in orientation-selective population response profiles in early visual cortex. In turn, this multiplicative scaling correlates with an improvement in encoding precision, as evidenced by a concurrent increase in the mutual information between population responses and the orientation of attended stimuli. These data therefore demonstrate how multiplicative scaling of neural responses provides at least one mechanism by which spatial attention may improve the encoding precision of population codes. Increased encoding precision in early visual areas may then enhance the speed and accuracy of perceptual decisions computed by higher-order neural mechanisms.
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
Burgess, Gregory C; Depue, Brendan E; Ruzic, Luka; Willcutt, Erik G; Du, Yiping P; Banich, Marie T
Attentional control difficulties in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) might reflect poor working memory (WM) ability, especially because WM ability and attentional control rely on similar brain regions. The current study examined whether WM ability might explain group differences in brain activation between adults with ADHD and normal control subjects during attentional demand. Participants were 20 adults with ADHD combined subtype with no comorbid psychiatric or learning disorders and 23 control subjects similar in age, IQ, and gender. The WM measures were obtained from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III and Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised. Brain activation was assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a Color-Word Stroop task. Group differences in WM ability explained a portion of the activation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which has been related to the creation and maintenance of an attentional set for task-relevant information. In addition, greater WM ability predicted increased activation of brain regions related to stimulus-driven attention and response selection processes in the ADHD group but not in the control group. The inability to maintain an appropriate task set in young adults with combined type ADHD, associated with decreased activity in left DLPFC, might in part be due to poor WM ability. Furthermore, in individuals with ADHD, higher WM ability might relate to increased recruitment of stimulus-driven attention and response selection processes, perhaps as a compensatory strategy. Copyright 2010 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Twedell, Emily L; Koutstaal, Wilma; Jiang, Yuhong V
Visual clutter imposes significant challenges to older adults in everyday tasks and often calls on selective processing of relevant information. Previous research has shown that both visual search habits and task goals influence older adults' allocation of spatial attention, but has not examined the relative impact of these two sources of attention when they compete. To examine how aging affects the balance between goal-driven and habitual attention, and to inform our understanding of different attentional subsystems, we tested young and older adults in an adapted visual search task involving a display laid flat on a desk. To induce habitual attention, unbeknownst to participants, the target was more often placed in one quadrant than in the others. All participants rapidly acquired habitual attention toward the high-probability quadrant. We then informed participants where the high-probability quadrant was and instructed them to search that screen location first-but pitted their habit-based, viewer-centered search against this instruction by requiring participants to change their physical position relative to the desk. Both groups prioritized search in the instructed location, but this effect was stronger in young adults than in older adults. In contrast, age did not influence viewer-centered search habits: the two groups showed similar attentional preference for the visual field where the target was most often found before. Aging disrupted goal-guided but not habitual attention. Product, work, and home design for people of all ages--but especially for older individuals--should take into account the strong viewer-centered nature of habitual attention.
Goltz, Dominique; Pleger, Burkhard; Thiel, Sabrina; Villringer, Arno; Müller, Matthias M.
The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was designed to get a better understanding of the brain regions involved in sustained spatial attention to tactile events and to ascertain to what extent their activation was correlated. We presented continuous 20 Hz vibrotactile stimuli (range of flutter) concurrently to the left and right index fingers of healthy human volunteers. An arrow cue instructed subjects in a trial-by-trial fashion to attend to the left or right index finger and to detect rare target events that were embedded in the vibrotactile stimulation streams. We found blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) attentional modulation in primary somatosensory cortex (SI), mainly covering Brodmann area 1, 2, and 3b, as well as in secondary somatosensory cortex (SII), contralateral to the to-be-attended hand. Furthermore, attention to the right (dominant) hand resulted in additional BOLD modulation in left posterior insula. All of the effects were caused by an increased activation when attention was paid to the contralateral hand, except for the effects in left SI and insula. In left SI, the effect was related to a mixture of both a slight increase in activation when attention was paid to the contralateral hand as well as a slight decrease in activation when attention was paid to the ipsilateral hand (i.e., the tactile distraction condition). In contrast, the effect in left posterior insula was exclusively driven by a relative decrease in activation in the tactile distraction condition, which points to an active inhibition when tactile information is irrelevant. Finally, correlation analyses indicate a linear relationship between attention effects in intrahemispheric somatosensory cortices, since attentional modulation in SI and SII were interrelated within one hemisphere but not across hemispheres. All in all, our results provide a basis for future research on sustained attention to continuous vibrotactile stimulation in the range of flutter
Rosen, Maya L; Stern, Chantal E; Michalka, Samantha W; Devaney, Kathryn J; Somers, David C
Visual attentional capacity is severely limited, but humans excel in familiar visual contexts, in part because long-term memories guide efficient deployment of attention. To investigate the neural substrates that support memory-guided visual attention, we performed a set of functional MRI experiments that contrast long-term, memory-guided visuospatial attention with stimulus-guided visuospatial attention in a change detection task. Whereas the dorsal attention network was activated for both forms of attention, the cognitive control network(CCN) was preferentially activated during memory-guided attention. Three posterior nodes in the CCN, posterior precuneus, posterior callosal sulcus/mid-cingulate, and lateral intraparietal sulcus exhibited the greatest specificity for memory-guided attention. These 3 regions exhibit functional connectivity at rest, and we propose that they form a subnetwork within the broader CCN. Based on the task activation patterns, we conclude that the nodes of this subnetwork are preferentially recruited for long-term memory guidance of visuospatial attention. Published by Oxford University Press 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
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.
Farzin, Faraz; Rivera, Susan M.; Whitney, David
Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of inherited intellectual impairment and the most common single-gene cause of autism. Individuals with fragile X syndrome present with a neurobehavioural phenotype that includes selective deficits in spatiotemporal visual perception associated with neural processing in frontal–parietal networks of the brain. The goal of the current study was to examine whether reduced resolution of spatial and/or temporal visual attention may underlie perceptual def...
Zago, Laure; Petit, Laurent; Jobard, Gael; Hay, Julien; Mazoyer, Bernard; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie; Karnath, Hans-Otto; Mellet, Emmanuel
The objective of this study was to validate a line bisection judgement (LBJ) task for use in investigating the lateralized cerebral bases of spatial attention in a sample of 51 right-handed healthy participants. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the participants performed a LBJ task that was compared to a visuomotor control task during which the participants made similar saccadic and motoric responses. Cerebral lateralization was determined using a voxel-based functional asymmetry analysis and a hemispheric functional lateralization index (HFLI) computed from fMRI contrast images. Behavioural attentional deviation biases were assessed during the LBJ task and a "paper and pencil" symbol cancellation task (SCT). Individual visuospatial skills were also evaluated. The results showed that both the LBJ and SCT tasks elicited leftward spatial biases in healthy subjects, although the biases were not correlated, which indicated their independence. Neuroimaging results showed that the LBJ task elicited a right hemispheric lateralization, with rightward asymmetries found in a large posterior occipito-parietal area, the posterior calcarine sulcus (V1p) and the temporo-occipital junction (TOJ) and in the inferior frontal gyrus, the anterior insula and the superior medial frontal gyrus. The comparison of the LBJ asymmetry map to the lesion map of neglect patients who suffer line bisection deviation demonstrated maximum overlap in a network that included the middle occipital gyrus (MOG), the TOJ, the anterior insula and the inferior frontal region, likely subtending spatial LBJ bias. Finally, the LBJ task-related cerebral lateralization was specifically correlated with the LBJ spatial bias but not with the SCT bias or with the visuospatial skills of the participants. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the LBJ task is adequate for investigating spatial lateralization in healthy subjects and is suitable for determining the factors underlying the
Walter, Sabrina; Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M
Visual attention can be focused concurrently on two stimuli at noncontiguous locations while intermediate stimuli remain ignored. Nevertheless, behavioral performance in multifocal attention tasks falters when attended stimuli fall within one visual hemifield as opposed to when they are distributed across left and right hemifields. This "different-hemifield advantage" has been ascribed to largely independent processing capacities of each cerebral hemisphere in early visual cortices. Here, we investigated how this advantage influences the sustained division of spatial attention. We presented six isoeccentric light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the lower visual field, each flickering at a different frequency. Participants attended to two LEDs that were spatially separated by an intermediate LED and responded to synchronous events at to-be-attended LEDs. Task-relevant pairs of LEDs were either located in the same hemifield ("within-hemifield" conditions) or separated by the vertical meridian ("across-hemifield" conditions). Flicker-driven brain oscillations, steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs), indexed the allocation of attention to individual LEDs. Both behavioral performance and SSVEPs indicated enhanced processing of attended LED pairs during "across-hemifield" relative to "within-hemifield" conditions. Moreover, SSVEPs demonstrated effective filtering of intermediate stimuli in "across-hemifield" condition only. Thus, despite identical physical distances between LEDs of attended pairs, the spatial profiles of gain effects differed profoundly between "across-hemifield" and "within-hemifield" conditions. These findings corroborate that early cortical visual processing stages rely on hemisphere-specific processing capacities and highlight their limiting role in the concurrent allocation of visual attention to multiple locations.
Kornrumpf, Benthe; Dimigen, Olaf; Sommer, Werner
Visuospatial attention is an important mechanism in reading that governs the uptake of information from foveal and parafoveal regions of the visual field. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of how attention is allocated during eye fixations are not completely understood. The current study explored the use of EEG alpha-band oscillations to investigate the spatial distribution of attention during reading. We reanalyzed two data sets, focusing on the lateralization of alpha activity at posterior scalp sites. In each experiment, participants read short lists of German nouns in two paradigms: either by freely moving their eyes (saccadic reading) or by fixating the screen center while the text moved passively from right to left at the same average speed (RSVP paradigm). In both paradigms, upcoming words were either visible or masked, and foveal processing load was manipulated by varying the words' lexical frequencies. Posterior alpha lateralization revealed a sustained rightward bias of attention during saccadic reading, but not in the RSVP paradigm. Interestingly, alpha lateralization was not influenced by word frequency (foveal load) or preview during the preceding fixation. Hence, alpha did not reflect transient attention shifts within a given fixation. However, in both experiments, we found that in the saccadic reading condition a stronger alpha lateralization shortly before a saccade predicted shorter fixations on the subsequently fixated word. These results indicate that alpha lateralization can serve as a measure of attention deployment and its link to oculomotor behavior in reading. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Williams, Melonie; Pouget, Pierre; Boucher, Leanne; Woodman, Geoffrey F.
Theories have proposed that the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory is aided by a spatial rehearsal mechanism. In this study, we used two different approaches to test the hypothesis that overt and covert visual-spatial attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory. First, we tracked observers’ eye movements while remembering a variable number of objects during change-detection tasks. We observed that during the blank retention interval, participants spontaneously shifted gaze to the locations that the objects had occupied in the memory array. Next, we hypothesized that if attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations, then drawing attention away from the object locations during the retention interval would impair object memory during these change-detection tasks. Supporting this prediction, we found that attending to the fixation point in anticipation of a brief probe stimulus during the retention interval reduced change-detection accuracy even on the trials in which no probe occurred. These findings support models of working memory in which visual-spatial selection mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations. PMID:23371773
Belopolsky, Artem V; Theeuwes, Jan
The present study systematically examined the role of attention in maintenance of spatial representations in working memory as proposed by the attention-based rehearsal hypothesis [Awh, E., Jonides, J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology--Human Perception and Performance, 24(3), 780-790]. Three main issues were examined. First, Experiments 1-3 demonstrated that inhibition and not facilitation of visual processing is often observed at the memorized location during the retention interval. This inhibition was caused by keeping a location in memory and not by the exogenous nature of the memory cue. Second, Experiment 4 showed that inhibition of the memorized location does not lead to any significant impairment in memory accuracy. Finally, Experiment 5 connected current results to the previous findings and demonstrated facilitation of processing at the memorized location. Importantly, facilitation of processing did not lead to more accurate memory performance. The present results challenge the functional role of attention in maintenance of spatial working memory representations.
Klein, Barrie P; Fracasso, Alessio; van Dijk, Jelle A; Paffen, Chris L E; Te Pas, Susan F; Dumoulin, Serge O
Visual spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Recently, we demonstrated that voluntary spatial attention attracts population receptive fields (pRFs) toward its location throughout the visual hierarchy. Theoretically, both a feed forward or feedback mechanism could underlie pRF attraction in a given cortical area. Here, we use sub-millimeter ultra-high field functional MRI to measure pRF attraction across cortical depth and assess the contribution of feed forward and feedback signals to pRF attraction. In line with previous findings, we find consistent attraction of pRFs with voluntary spatial attention in V1. When assessed as a function of cortical depth, we find pRF attraction in every cortical portion (deep, center and superficial), although the attraction is strongest in deep cortical portions (near the gray-white matter boundary). Following the organization of feed forward and feedback processing across V1, we speculate that a mixture of feed forward and feedback processing underlies pRF attraction in V1. Specifically, we propose that feedback processing contributes to the pRF attraction in deep cortical portions. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Chica, Ana B
Recent studies have consistently demonstrated that conscious perception interacts with exogenous attentional orienting, but it can be dissociated from endogenous attentional orienting (Chica Lasaponara, et al., 2011; Wyart & Tallon-Baudry, 2008). It has been hypothesized that enhanced conscious processing at exogenously attended locations results from a synergistic action of spatial orienting, bottom-up activation, and phasic alerting induced by the abrupt onset of the exogenous cue (Chica, Lasaponara, et al., 2011). Instead, as endogenous cues need more time to be interpreted, the phasic alerting they produce may have dissipated when the target appears. Furthermore, endogenous cues presumably elicit a weak bottom-up activation at the cued location. Consistent with these hypotheses, we observed that endogenous attention modulated conscious perception, but only when phasic alerting or bottom-up activation was increased. Results are discussed in the context of recent theoretical models of consciousness (Dehaene, Changeux, Naccache, Sackur, & Sergent, 2006). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Olver, James S; Pinney, Myra; Maruff, Paul; Norman, Trevor R
Few studies have investigated the effect of an acute psychosocial stress paradigm on impaired attention and working memory in humans. Further, the duration of any stress-related cognitive impairment remains unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of an acute psychosocial stress paradigm, the Trier Social Stress, on cognitive function in healthy volunteers. Twenty-three healthy male and female subjects were exposed to an acute psychosocial stress task. Physiological measures (salivary cortisol, heart rate and blood pressure) and subjective stress ratings were measured at baseline, in anticipation of stress, immediately post-stress and after a period of rest. A neuropsychological test battery including spatial working memory and verbal memory was administered at each time point. Acute psychosocial stress produced significant increases in cardiovascular and subjective measures in the anticipatory and post-stress period, which recovered to baseline after rest. Salivary cortisol steadily declined over the testing period. Acute psychosocial stress impaired delayed verbal recall, attention and spatial working memory. Attention remained impaired, and delayed verbal recall continued to decline after rest. Acute psychosocial stress is associated with an impairment of a broad range of cognitive functions in humans and with prolonged abnormalities in attention and memory. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Drago, Valeria; Finney, Glen R; Foster, Paul S; Amengual, Alejandra; Jeong, Yong; Mizuno, Tomoiuki; Crucian, Gregory P; Heilman, Kenneth M
Lesion studies demonstrate that the right temporal-parietal region (RTP) is important for mediating spatial attention. The RTP is also involved in emotional experiences that can be evoked by art. Normal people vary in their ability to allocate spatial attention, thus, people who can better allocate attention might also be more influenced by the emotional messages of the paintings (evocative impact). Seventeen healthy participants bisected an unlabeled 100mm line and their performance on this task was used to create two groups, individuals who were more (mALB) and less accurate (lALB). These participants also judged 10 paintings on five qualities, Evocative Impact, Aesthetics, Novelty, Technique, and Closure by marking a 100mm line from 1 (low degree) to 10 (high degree). An ANOVA indicated differences in accuracy on the line bisection (LB) between the two groups. Additional ANOVAs, using the quality ratings as the dependent measure, revealed that the mALB group scored the Evocative Impact greater than the lALB group. These results suggest that the differences in attentional bias between the two groups, as indicated by their LB performance, might influence their evocative impact or reactions and also be a 'barometer' of other RTP functions, including emotional processing.
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.
Ducrot, Stéphanie; Grainger, Jonathan
Four perceptual identification experiments examined the influence of spatial cues on the recognition of words presented in central vision (with fixation on either the first or last letter of the target word) and in peripheral vision (displaced left or right of a central fixation point). Stimulus location had a strong effect on word identification accuracy in both central and peripheral vision, showing a strong right visual field superiority that did not depend on eccentricity. Valid spatial cues improved word identification for peripherally presented targets but were largely ineffective for centrally presented targets. Effects of spatial cuing interacted with visual field effects in Experiment 1, with valid cues reducing the right visual field superiority for peripherally located targets, but this interaction was shown to depend on the type of neutral cue. These results provide further support for the role of attentional factors in visual field asymmetries obtained with targets in peripheral vision but not with centrally presented targets.
Asanowicz, Dariusz; Kruse, Lena; Śmigasiewicz, Kamila; Verleger, Rolf
In bilateral rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), the second of two targets, T1 and T2, is better identified in the left visual field (LVF) than in the right visual field (RVF). This LVF advantage may reflect hemispheric asymmetry in temporal attention or/and in spatial orienting of attention. Participants performed two tasks: the "standard" bilateral RSVP task (Exp.1) and its unilateral variant (Exp.1 & 2). In the bilateral task, spatial location was uncertain, thus target identification involved stimulus-driven spatial orienting. In the unilateral task, the targets were presented block-wise in the LVF or RVF only, such that no spatial orienting was needed for target identification. Temporal attention was manipulated in both tasks by varying the T1-T2 lag. The results showed that the LVF advantage disappeared when involvement of stimulus-driven spatial orienting was eliminated, whereas the manipulation of temporal attention had no effect on the asymmetry. In conclusion, the results do not support the hypothesis of hemispheric asymmetry in temporal attention, and provide further evidence that the LVF advantage reflects right hemisphere predominance in stimulus-driven orienting of spatial attention. These conclusions fit evidence that temporal attention is implemented by bilateral parietal areas and spatial attention by the right-lateralized ventral frontoparietal network. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin
We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36) and in healthy controls (n = 35). Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD. PMID:25545156
Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin
We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36) and in healthy controls (n = 35). Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD.
Venke Arntsberg Grane
Full Text Available We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36 and in healthy controls (n = 35. Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.. Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A. There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD.
Dramsdahl, Margaretha; Westerhausen, René; Haavik, Jan
The objective of the present study was to investigate the ability of adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to direct their attention and exert cognitive control in a forced instruction dichotic listening (DL) task. The performance of 29 adults with ADHD was compared with 58......-forced condition), or to focus and report either the right- or left-ear syllable (forced-right and forced-left condition). This procedure is presumed to tap distinct cognitive processes: perception (non-forced condition), orienting of attention (forced-right condition), and cognitive control (forced-left condition......). Adults with ADHD did not show significant impairment in the conditions tapping perception and attention orientation, but were significantly impaired in their ability to report the left-ear syllable during the forced-left instruction condition, whereas the control group showed the expected left...
Colzato, Lorenza S; Sellaro, Roberta; Samara, Iliana; Baas, Matthijs; Hommel, Bernhard
Meditation is becoming an increasingly popular topic for scientific research and various effects of extensive meditation practice (ranging from weeks to several years) on cognitive processes have been demonstrated. Here we show that extensive practice may not be necessary to achieve those effects. Healthy adult non-meditators underwent a brief single session of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing an Attentional Blink (AB) task - which assesses the efficiency of allocating attention over time. The size of the AB was considerably smaller after OMM than after FAM, which suggests that engaging in meditation immediately creates a cognitive-control state that has a specific impact on how people allocate their attention over time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
de Bourbon-Teles, José; Bentley, Paul; Koshino, Saori; Shah, Kushal; Dutta, Agneish; Malhotra, Paresh; Egner, Tobias; Husain, Masud; Soto, David
The role of the thalamus in high-level cognition-attention, working memory (WM), rule-based learning, and decision making-remains poorly understood, especially in comparison to that of cortical frontoparietal networks [1-3]. Studies of visual thalamus have revealed important roles for pulvinar and lateral geniculate nucleus in visuospatial perception and attention [4-10] and for mediodorsal thalamus in oculomotor control . Ventrolateral thalamus contains subdivisions devoted to action control as part of a circuit involving the basal ganglia [12, 13] and motor, premotor, and prefrontal cortices , whereas anterior thalamus forms a memory network in connection with the hippocampus . This connectivity profile suggests that ventrolateral and anterior thalamus may represent a nexus between mnemonic and control functions, such as action or attentional selection. Here, we characterize the role of thalamus in the interplay between memory and visual attention. We show that ventrolateral lesions impair the influence of WM representations on attentional deployment. A subsequent fMRI study in healthy volunteers demonstrates involvement of ventrolateral and, notably, anterior thalamus in biasing attention through WM contents. To further characterize the memory types used by the thalamus to bias attention, we performed a second fMRI study that involved learning of stimulus-stimulus associations and their retrieval from long-term memory to optimize attention in search. Responses in ventrolateral and anterior thalamic nuclei tracked learning of the predictiveness of these abstract associations and their use in directing attention. These findings demonstrate a key role for human thalamus in higher-level cognition, notably, in mnemonic biasing of attention. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Lisi, Matteo; Cavanagh, Patrick; Zorzi, Marco
Recent studies have shown that attentional facilitation lingers at the retinotopic coordinates of a previously attended position after an eye movement. These results are intriguing, because the retinotopic location becomes behaviorally irrelevant once the eyes have moved. Critically, in these studies participants were asked to maintain attention on a blank location of the screen. In the present study, we examined whether the continuing presence of a visual object at the cued location could affect the allocation of attention across eye movements. We used a trans-saccadic cueing paradigm in which the relevant positions could be defined or not by visual objects (simple square outlines). We find an attentional benefit at the spatiotopic location of the cue only when the object (the placeholder) has been continuously present at that location. We conclude that the presence of an object at the attended location is a critical factor for the maintenance of spatial constancy of attention across eye movements, a finding that helps to reconcile previous conflicting results.
Kasai, Tetsuko; Moriya, Hiroki; Hirano, Shingo
It has been proposed that the most fundamental units of attentional selection are "objects" that are grouped according to Gestalt factors such as similarity or connectedness. Previous studies using event-related potentials (ERPs) have shown that object-based attention is associated with modulations of the visual-evoked N1 component, which reflects an early cortical mechanism that is shared with spatial attention. However, these studies only examined the case of perceptually continuous objects. The present study examined the case of separate objects that are grouped according to feature similarity (color, shape) by indexing lateralized potentials at posterior sites in a sustained-attention task that involved bilateral stimulus arrays. A behavioral object effect was found only for task-relevant shape similarity. Electrophysiological results indicated that attention was guided to the task-irrelevant side of the visual field due to achromatic-color similarity in N1 (155-205 ms post-stimulus) and early N2 (210-260 ms) and due to shape similarity in early N2 and late N2 (280-400 ms) latency ranges. These results are discussed in terms of selection mechanisms and object/group representations. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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
Callahan, Patrick M; Terry, Alvin V
The ability to focus one's attention on important environmental stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli is fundamental to human cognition and intellectual function. Attention is inextricably linked to perception, learning and memory, and executive function; however, it is often impaired in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Accordingly, attention is considered as an important therapeutic target in these disorders. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the most common behavioral paradigms of attention that have been used in animals (particularly rodents) and to review the literature where these tasks have been employed to elucidate neurobiological substrates of attention as well as to evaluate novel pharmacological agents for their potential as treatments for disorders of attention. These paradigms include two tasks of sustained attention that were developed as rodent analogues of the human Continuous Performance Task (CPT), the Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5-CSRTT) and the more recently introduced Five-Choice Continuous Performance Task (5C-CPT), and the Signal Detection Task (SDT) which was designed to emphasize temporal components of attention.
Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Mundhenk, T Nathan; Baldi, Pierre; Koch, Christof; Itti, Laurent
Humans demonstrate a peculiar ability to detect complex targets in rapidly presented natural scenes. Recent studies suggest that (nearly) no focal attention is required for overall performance in such tasks. Little is known, however, of how detection performance varies from trial to trial and which stages in the processing hierarchy limit performance: bottom-up visual processing (attentional selection and/or recognition) or top-down factors (e.g., decision-making, memory, or alertness fluctuations)? To investigate the relative contribution of these factors, eight human observers performed an animal detection task in natural scenes presented at 20 Hz. Trial-by-trial performance was highly consistent across observers, far exceeding the prediction of independent errors. This consistency demonstrates that performance is not primarily limited by idiosyncratic factors but by visual processing. Two statistical stimulus properties, contrast variation in the target image and the information-theoretical measure of "surprise" in adjacent images, predict performance on a trial-by-trial basis. These measures are tightly related to spatial attention, demonstrating that spatial attention and rapid target detection share common mechanisms. To isolate the causal contribution of the surprise measure, eight additional observers performed the animal detection task in sequences that were reordered versions of those all subjects had correctly recognized in the first experiment. Reordering increased surprise before and/or after the target while keeping the target and distractors themselves unchanged. Surprise enhancement impaired target detection in all observers. Consequently, and contrary to several previously published findings, our results demonstrate that attentional limitations, rather than target recognition alone, affect the detection of targets in rapidly presented visual sequences.
Rubia, Katya; Hyde, Zoe; Halari, Rozmin; Giampietro, Vincent; Smith, Anna
Compared to our understanding of the functional maturation of brain networks underlying complex cognitive abilities, hardly anything is known of the neurofunctional development of simpler cognitive abilities such as visuo-spatial attention allocation. Furthermore, nothing is known on the effect of gender on the functional development of attention allocation. This study employed event related functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate effects of age, sex, and sex by age interactions on the brain activation of 63 males and females, between 13 to 38years, during a visual-spatial oddball task. Behaviourally, with increasing age, speed was traded for accuracy, indicative of a less impulsive performance style in older subjects. Increasing age was associated with progressively increased activation in typical areas of selective attention of lateral fronto-striatal and temporo-parietal brain regions. Sex difference analysis showed enhanced activation in right-hemispheric inferior frontal and superior temporal regions in females, and in left-hemispheric inferior temporo-parietal regions in males. Importantly, the age by sex interaction findings showed that these sex-dimorphic patterns of brain activation may be the result of underlying sex differences in the functional maturation of these brain regions, as females had sex-specific progressive age-correlations in the same right inferior fronto-striato-temporal areas, while male-specific age-correlations were in left medial temporal and parietal areas. The findings demonstrate progressive functional maturation of fronto-striato-parieto-temporal networks of the relatively simple function of attention allocation between early adolescence and mid-adulthood. They furthermore show that sex-dimorphic patterns of enhanced reliance on right inferior frontal, striatal and superior temporal regions in females and of left temporo-parietal regions in males during attention allocation may be the result of underlying sex
Falasca, N W; D'Ascenzo, S; Di Domenico, A; Onofrj, M; Tommasi, L; Laeng, B; Franciotti, R
Magnetoencephalography was recorded during a matching-to-sample plus cueing paradigm, in which participants judged the occurrence of changes in either categorical (CAT) or coordinate (COO) spatial relations. Previously, parietal and frontal lobes were identified as key areas in processing spatial relations and it was shown that each hemisphere was differently involved and modulated by the scope of the attention window (e.g. a large and small cue). In this study, Granger analysis highlighted the patterns of causality among involved brain areas--the direction of information transfer ran from the frontal to the visual cortex in the right hemisphere, whereas it ran in the opposite direction in the left side. Thus, the right frontal area seems to exert top-down influence, supporting the idea that, in this task, top-down signals are selectively related to the right side. Additionally, for CAT change preceded by a small cue, the right frontal gyrus was not involved in the information transfer, indicating a selective specialization of the left hemisphere for this condition. The present findings strengthen the conclusion of the presence of a remarkable hemispheric specialization for spatial relation processing and illustrate the complex interactions between the lateralized parts of the neural network. Moreover, they illustrate how focusing attention over large or small regions of the visual field engages these lateralized networks differently, particularly in the frontal regions of each hemisphere, consistent with the theory that spatial relation judgements require a fronto-parietal network in the left hemisphere for categorical relations and on the right hemisphere for coordinate spatial processing. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Ellis, Alissa J; Wells, Tony T; Vanderlind, W Michael; Beevers, Christopher G
Information processing biases are hallmark features of major depressive disorder (MDD). Depressed individuals display biased memory and attention for negative material. Given that memory is highly dependent on attention for initial encoding, understanding the interplay of these processes may provide important insight into mechanisms that produce memory biases in depression. In particular, attentional control-the ability to selectively attend to task-relevant information by both inhibiting the processing of irrelevant information and disengaging attention from irrelevant material-may be one area of impairment in MDD. In the current study, clinically depressed (MDD: n = 15) and never depressed (non-MDD: n = 22) participants' line of visual gaze was assessed while participants viewed positive and negative word pairs. For each word pair, participants were instructed to attend to one word (target) and ignore one word (distracter). Free recall of study stimuli was then assessed. Depressed individuals displayed greater recall of negatively valenced target words following the task. Although there were no group differences in attentional control in the context of negative words, attention to negative targets mediated the relationship between depression status and recall of negative words. Results suggest a stronger link between attention and memory for negative material in MDD.
Full Text Available The scientific interest in meditation and mindfulness practice has recently seen an unprecedented surge. After an initial phase of presenting beneficial effects of mindfulness practice in various domains, research is now seeking to unravel the underlying psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms. Advances in understanding these processes are required for improving and fine-tuning mindfulness-based interventions that target specific conditions such as eating disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. This review presents a theoretical framework that emphasizes the central role of attentional control mechanisms in the development of mindfulness skills. It discusses the phenomenological level of experience during meditation, the different attentional functions that are involved, and relates these to the brain networks that subserve these functions. On the basis of currently available empirical evidence specific processes as to how attention exerts its positive influence are considered and it is concluded that meditation practice appears to positively impact attentional functions by improving resource allocation processes. As a result, attentional resources are allocated more fully during early processing phases which subsequently enhance further processing. Neural changes resulting from a pure form of mindfulness practice that is central to most mindfulness programs are considered from the perspective that they constitute a useful reference point for future research. Furthermore, possible interrelations between the improvement of attentional control and emotion regulation skills are discussed.
Eger, E; Henson, R N A; Driver, J; Dolan, R J
Functional imaging studies of priming-related repetition phenomena have become widely used to study neural object representation. Although blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) repetition decreases can sometimes be observed without awareness of repetition, any role for spatial attention in BOLD repetition effects remains largely unknown. We used fMRI in 13 healthy subjects to test whether BOLD repetition decreases for repeated objects in ventral visual cortices depend on allocation of spatial attention to the prime. Subjects performed a size-judgment task on a probe object that had been attended or ignored in a preceding prime display of 2 lateralized objects. Reaction times showed faster responses when the probe was the same object as the attended prime, independent of the view tested (identical vs. mirror image). No behavioral effect was evident from unattended primes. BOLD repetition decreases for attended primes were found in lateral occipital and fusiform regions bilaterally, which generalized across identical and mirror-image repeats. No repetition decreases were observed for ignored primes. Our results suggest a critical role for attention in achieving visual representations of objects that lead to both BOLD signal decreases and behavioral priming on repeated presentation.
de Bourbon-Teles, José; Bentley, Paul; Koshino, Saori; Shah, Kushal; Dutta, Agneish; Malhotra, Paresh; Egner, Tobias; Husain, Masud; Soto, David
Summary The role of the thalamus in high-level cognition—attention, working memory (WM), rule-based learning, and decision making—remains poorly understood, especially in comparison to that of cortical frontoparietal networks [1–3]. Studies of visual thalamus have revealed important roles for pulvinar and lateral geniculate nucleus in visuospatial perception and attention [4–10] and for mediodorsal thalamus in oculomotor control . Ventrolateral thalamus contains subdivisions devoted to ac...
Hutchinson, J. Benjamin; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B.
Attention is strongly influenced by both external stimuli and internal goals. However, this useful dichotomy does not readily capture the ubiquitous and often automatic contribution of past experience stored in memory. We review recent evidence about how multiple memory systems control attention, consider how such interactions are manifested in the brain, and highlight how this framework for ‘memory-guided attention’ might help systematize previous findings and guide future research.
Full Text Available Many studies have shown that solving addition and subtraction problems can induce overt shifts of spatial attention. In particular, right-side targets are detected faster than left-side targets when preceded by an addition operation, while left-side targets are detected faster than right-side targets when preceded by a subtraction operation. However, the interaction between space and arithmetic in multiplication or division is hardly studied and remains controversial. In order to make a strong case for the interaction between space and mental arithmetic, we attempted to replicate the spatial-arithmetic association in addition and subtraction (Experiment 1, and at the same time investigated whether shift of spatial attention would also be induced by multiplication or division operations (Experiment 2. We found that solving addition problems facilitated the detection of right-side targets, whereas left-side targets were detected faster after solving subtraction problems. However, no interaction between space and arithmetic operation was observed in multiplication or division. The implication of these findings is discussed.
Raver, C. Cybele; Blair, Clancy
In this article, Cybele Raver and Clancy Blair explore a group of cognitive processes called executive function (EF)--including the flexible control of attention, the ability to hold information through working memory, and the ability to maintain inhibitory control. EF processes are crucial for young children's learning. On the one hand, they can…
Alten, S.; Danofsky, R.A.
Spatial power oscillations were attributed to the xenon transients in a reactor core in 1958 by Randall and St. John. These transients are usually initiated by a local reactivity insertion and lead to divergent axial flux oscillations in the core at constant power. Several heuristic manual control strategies and automatic control methods were developed to damp the xenon oscillations at constant power operations. However, after the load-follow operation of the reactors became a necessity of life, a need for better control strategies arose. Even though various advanced control strategies were applied to solve the xenon oscillation control problem for the load-follow operation, the complexity of the system created difficulties in modeling. The strong nonlinearity of the problem requires highly sophisticated analytical approaches that are quite inept for numerical solutions. On the other hand, the complexity of a system and heuristic nature of the solutions are the basic reasons for using artificial intelligence techniques such as expert systems
Matthew S Cain
Full Text Available Action video game players have demonstrated a number of attentional advantages over non-players. Here, we propose that many of those benefits might be underpinned by improved control over exogenous (i.e., stimulus-driven attention. To test this we used an anti-cuing task, in which a sudden-onset cue indicated that the target would likely appear in a separate location on the opposite side of the fixation point. When the time between the cue onset and the target onset was short (40 ms, non-players (nVGPs showed a typical exogenous attention effect. Their response times were faster to targets presented at the cued (but less probable location compared with the opposite (more probable location. Video game players (VGPs, however, were less likely to have their attention drawn to the location of the cue. When the onset asynchrony was long (600 ms, VGPs and nVGPs were equally able to endogenously shift their attention to the likely (opposite target location. In order to rule out processing-speed differences as an explanation for this result, we also tested VGPs and nVGPs on an attentional blink task. In a version of the attentional blink task that minimized demands on task switching and iconic memory, VGPs and nVGPs did not differ in second target identification performance (i.e., VGPs had the same magnitude of attentional blink as nVGPs, suggesting that the anti-cuing results were due to flexible control over exogenous attention rather than to more general speed-of-processing differences.
Okon-Singer, Hadas; Mehnert, Jan; Hoyer, Jana; Hellrung, Lydia; Schaare, Herma Lina; Dukart, Juergen; Villringer, Arno
This study investigated the neural regions involved in blood pressure reactions to negative stimuli and their possible modulation by attention. Twenty-four healthy human subjects (11 females; age = 24.75 ± 2.49 years) participated in an affective perceptual load task that manipulated attention to negative/neutral distractor pictures. fMRI data were collected simultaneously with continuous recording of peripheral arterial blood pressure. A parametric modulation analysis examined the impact of attention and emotion on the relation between neural activation and blood pressure reactivity during the task. When attention was available for processing the distractor pictures, negative pictures resulted in behavioral interference, neural activation in brain regions previously related to emotion, a transient decrease of blood pressure, and a positive correlation between blood pressure response and activation in a network including prefrontal and parietal regions, the amygdala, caudate, and mid-brain. These effects were modulated by attention; behavioral and neural responses to highly negative distractor pictures (compared with neutral pictures) were smaller or diminished, as was the negative blood pressure response when the central task involved high perceptual load. Furthermore, comparing high and low load revealed enhanced activation in frontoparietal regions implicated in attention control. Our results fit theories emphasizing the role of attention in the control of behavioral and neural reactions to irrelevant emotional distracting information. Our findings furthermore extend the function of attention to the control of autonomous reactions associated with negative emotions by showing altered blood pressure reactions to emotional stimuli, the latter being of potential clinical relevance.
Full Text Available The neural substrate of the phenomenological experience of a stable visual world remains obscure. One possible mechanism would be to construct spatiotopic neural maps where the response is selective to the position of the stimulus in external space, rather than to retinal eccentricities, but evidence for these maps has been inconsistent. Here we show, with fMRI, that when human subjects perform concomitantly a demanding attentive task on stimuli displayed at the fovea, BOLD responses evoked by moving stimuli irrelevant to the task were mostly tuned in retinotopic coordinates. However, under more unconstrained conditions, where subjects could attend easily to the motion stimuli, BOLD responses were tuned not in retinal but in external coordinates (spatiotopic selectivity in many visual areas, including MT, MST, LO and V6, agreeing with our previous fMRI study. These results indicate that spatial attention may play an important role in mediating spatiotopic selectivity.
Katus, Tobias; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M
According to the attention-based rehearsal hypothesis, maintenance of spatial information is mediated by covert orienting towards memorized locations. In a somatosensory memory task, participants simultaneously received bilateral pairs of mechanical sample pulses. For each hand, sample stimuli were randomly assigned to one of three locations (fingers). A subsequent visual retro-cue determined whether the left or right hand sample was to be memorized. The retro-cue elicited lateralized activity reflecting the location of the relevant sample stimulus. Sensory processing during the retention period was probed by task-irrelevant pulses randomized to locations at the cued and uncued hand. The somatosensory N140 was enhanced for probes delivered to the cued hand, relative to uncued. Probes presented shortly after the retro-cue showed greatest attentional modulations. This suggests that transient contributions from retrospective selection overlapped with the sustained effect of attention-based rehearsal. In conclusion, focal attention shifts within tactile mnemonic content occurred after retro-cues and guided sensory processing during retention. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Control Centers for Nuclear Power Plants have characteristically been designed for maximum attention by the operating staffs of these plants. Consequently, the monitoring, control and diagnostics oriented cognitive activities by these staffs, were mostly ''data-driven'' in nature. This paper addresses a control center concept, under development by Combustion Engineering, that promotes a more ''information-driven'' cognitive interaction process between the operator and the plant. The more ''intelligent'' and therefore less attentive nature of such interactive process utilizes computer implemented cognitive engineered algorithms. The underlying structure of these algorithms is based upon the Critical Function/Success Path monitoring principle. The paper highlights a typical implementation of the minimum attention concept for the handling of unfamiliar safety related events. (author)
Ricci, Raffaella; Salatino, Adriana; Siebner, Hartwig R
We report the following case to highlight the possible relevance of biased spatial attention in focal hand dystonia (FHD). Deficient sensorimotor inhibition is a prominent pathophysiological feature of FHD [1,2]. Low-frequency repetitive Trascranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) over contralateral...... premotor cortex (PMC) can reinforce cortical inhibition and improve motor performance and dystonic symptoms in some patients [3,4]. Here we report the case of a 41-year-old right-handed man (23 years of education) with severe task-dependent FHD, affecting the right hand index and middle fingers....
Guidi, Michael; Rani, Asha; Karic, Semir; Severance, Barrett; Kumar, Ashok; Foster, Thomas C
A decrease in N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) function is associated with age-related cognitive impairments. However, NMDAR antagonists are prescribed for cognitive decline associated with age-related neurodegenerative disease, raising questions as to the role of NMDAR activity in cognitive function during aging. The current studies examined effects of NMDAR blockade on cognitive task that are sensitive to aging. Young and middle-age rats were trained on the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) and challenged with MK-801 (0.025, 0.05, and 0.1mg/kg or vehicle). Attention deficits were apparent in middle-age and performance of young and middle-age rats was enhanced for low doses of MK-801 (0.025 and 0.05). The beneficial effects on attention were reversed by the highest dose of MK-801. Older animals exhibited a delay-dependent impairment of episodic spatial memory examined on a delayed-matching to place water maze task. Similarly, a low dose of MK-801 (0.05mg/kg) impaired performance with increasing delay and aged animals were more susceptible to disruption by NMDAR blockade. Despite MK-801 impairment of episodic spatial memory, MK-801 had minimal effects on spatial reference memory. Our results confirm that NMDARs contribute to rapidly acquired and flexible spatial memory and support the idea that a decline in NMDAR function contributes to the age-related impairments in cognition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Wilder, Matthew H; Mozer, Michael C; Wickens, Christopher D
Although diverse, theories of visual attention generally share the notion that attention is controlled by some combination of three distinct strategies: (1) exogenous cuing from locally contrasting primitive visual features, such as abrupt onsets or color singletons (e.g., L. Itti, C. Koch, & E. Neiber, 1998), (2) endogenous gain modulation of exogenous activations, used to guide attention to task-relevant features (e.g., V. Navalpakkam & L. Itti, 2007; J. Wolfe, 1994, 2007), and (3) endogenous prediction of likely locations of interest, based on task and scene gist (e.g., A. Torralba, A. Oliva, M. Castelhano, & J. Henderson, 2006). However, little work has been done to synthesize these disparate theories. In this work, we propose a unifying conceptualization in which attention is controlled along two dimensions: the degree of task focus and the contextual scale of operation. Previously proposed strategies-and their combinations-can be viewed as instances of this one mechanism. Thus, this theory serves not as a replacement for existing models but as a means of bringing them into a coherent framework. We present an implementation of this theory and demonstrate its applicability to a wide range of attentional phenomena. The model accounts for key results in visual search with synthetic images and makes reasonable predictions for human eye movements in search tasks involving real-world images. In addition, the theory offers an unusual perspective on attention that places a fundamental emphasis on the role of experience and task-related knowledge.
Vossel, Simone; Geng, Joy J.; Friston, Karl J.
In the complex scenes of everyday life, our brains must select from among many competing inputs for perceptual synthesis—so that only the most relevant are fully processed and irrelevant (distracting) information is suppressed. At the same time, we must remain responsive to salient events outside our current focus of attention—and balancing these two processing modes is a fundamental task our brain constantly needs to solve.This Research Topic examines how attentional control is guided by sen...
Nako, Rebecca; Grubert, Anna; Eimer, Martin
The question whether alphanumerical category is involved in the control of attentional target selection during visual search remains a contentious issue. We tested whether category-based attentional mechanisms would guide the allocation of attention under conditions where targets were defined by a combination of alphanumerical category and a basic visual feature, and search displays could contain both targets and partially matching distractor objects. The N2pc component was used as an electrophysiological marker of attentional object selection in tasks where target objects were defined by a conjunction of color and category (Experiment 1) or shape and category (Experiment 2). Some search displays contained the target or a nontarget object that matched either the target color/shape or its category among 3 nonmatching distractors. In other displays, the target and a partially matching nontarget object appeared together. N2pc components were elicited not only by targets and by color- or shape-matching nontargets, but also by category-matching nontarget objects, even on trials where a target was present in the same display. On these trials, the summed N2pc components to the 2 types of partially matching nontargets were initially equal in size to the target N2pc, suggesting that attention was allocated simultaneously and independently to all objects with target-matching features during the early phase of attentional processing. Results demonstrate that alphanumerical category is a genuine guiding feature that can operate in parallel with color or shape information to control the deployment of attention during visual search. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Shipstead, Zach; Harrison, Tyler L; Engle, Randall W
Complex span and visual arrays are two common measures of working memory capacity that are respectively treated as measures of attention control and storage capacity. A recent analysis of these tasks concluded that (1) complex span performance has a relatively stronger relationship to fluid intelligence and (2) this is due to the requirement that people engage control processes while performing this task. The present study examines the validity of these conclusions by examining two large data sets that include a more diverse set of visual arrays tasks and several measures of attention control. We conclude that complex span and visual arrays account for similar amounts of variance in fluid intelligence. The disparity relative to the earlier analysis is attributed to the present study involving a more complete measure of the latent ability underlying the performance of visual arrays. Moreover, we find that both types of working memory task have strong relationships to attention control. This indicates that the ability to engage attention in a controlled manner is a critical aspect of working memory capacity, regardless of the type of task that is used to measure this construct.
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.
Xu, Mengsi; Li, Zhiai; Diao, Liuting; Zhang, Lijie; Yuan, Jiajin; Ding, Cody; Yang, Dong
Many studies have investigated how exclusion affects cognitive control and have reported inconsistent results. However, these studies usually treated cognitive control as a unitary concept, whereas it actually involved two main sub-processes: conflict detection and response implementation. Furthermore, existing studies have focused primarily on exclusion’s effects on conscious cognitive control, while recent studies have shown the existence of unconscious cognitive control. Therefore, the present study investigated whether and how exclusion affects the sub-processes underlying conscious and unconscious cognitive control differently. The Cyberball game was used to manipulate social exclusion and participants subsequently performed a masked Go/No-Go task during which event-related potentials were measured. For conscious cognitive control, excluded participants showed a larger N2 but smaller P3 effects than included participants, suggesting that excluded people invest more attention in conscious conflict detection, but less in conscious inhibition of impulsive responses. However, for unconscious cognitive control, excluded participants showed a smaller N2 but larger P3 effects than included participants, suggesting that excluded people invest less attention in unconscious conflict detection, but more in unconscious inhibition of impulsive responses. Together, these results suggest that exclusion causes people to rebalance attention allocation priorities for cognitive control according to a more flexible and adaptive strategy.
Ekkel, M R; van Lier, R; Steenbergen, B
Echolocation can be beneficial for the orientation and mobility of visually impaired people. Research has shown considerable individual differences for acquiring this skill. However, individual characteristics that affect the learning of echolocation are largely unknown. In the present study, we examined individual factors that are likely to affect learning to echolocate: sustained and divided attention, working memory, and spatial abilities. To that aim, sighted participants with normal hearing performed an echolocation task that was adapted from a previously reported size-discrimination task. In line with existing studies, we found large individual differences in echolocation ability. We also found indications that participants were able to improve their echolocation ability. Furthermore, we found a significant positive correlation between improvement in echolocation and sustained and divided attention, as measured in the PASAT. No significant correlations were found with our tests regarding working memory and spatial abilities. These findings may have implications for the development of guidelines for training echolocation that are tailored to the individual with a visual impairment.
Jefferies, Lisa N; Di Lollo, Vincent
The main question examined in the present work was whether spatial attention can be deployed to an appropriate structural framework not only endogenously when the framework is displayed continuously, as in previous work, but also exogenously, when it is displayed transiently 100 ms before the target. The results of five experiments answered that question in the negative. We found that the onset transient triggered by a brief presentation of the structural framework did enhance the response to the upcoming target. That enhancement, however, was due not to the framework itself but to the alerting effect produced by its sudden onset, witness the finding that the same enhancement was produced by an onset transient triggered by a featureless stimulus (i.e., by a brief dimming of the entire screen, in the absence of a structural framework). We conclude that spatial attention can be deployed to the region demarcated by a structural framework when it is deployed endogenously but not when it is deployed exogenously. A theoretical account of the results is proposed in terms of the temporal dynamics of the locus cœruleus/norepinephrine neuromodulatory system.
Meinke, A; Thiel, C M; Fink, G R
Nicotine has been shown to specifically reduce reaction times to invalidly cued targets in spatial cueing paradigms. In two experiments, we used event-related potentials to test whether the facilitative effect of nicotine upon the detection of invalidly cued targets is due to a modulation of perceptual processing, as indexed by early attention-related event-related potential components. Furthermore, we assessed whether the effect of nicotine on such unattended stimuli depends upon the use of exogenous or endogenous cues. In both experiments, the electroencephalogram was recorded while non-smokers completed discrimination tasks in Posner-type paradigms after chewing a nicotine polacrilex gum (Nicorette 2 mg) in one session and a placebo gum in another session. Nicotine reduced reaction times to invalidly cued targets when cueing was endogenous. In contrast, no differential effect of nicotine on reaction times was observed when exogenous cues were used. Electrophysiologically, we found a similar attentional modulation of the P1 and N1 components under placebo and nicotine but a differential modulation of later event-related potential components at a frontocentral site. The lack of a drug-dependent modulation of P1 and N1 in the presence of a behavioral effect suggests that the effect of nicotine in endogenous visuo-spatial cueing tasks is not due to an alteration of perceptual processes. Rather, the differential modulation of frontocentral event-related potentials suggests that nicotine acts at later stages of target processing.
Jun, James J; Longtin, André; Maler, Leonard
Active sensing behaviors reveal what an animal is attending to and how it changes with learning. Gymnotus sp, a gymnotiform weakly electric fish, generates an electric organ discharge (EOD) as discrete pulses to actively sense its surroundings. We monitored freely behaving gymnotid fish in a large dark "maze" and extracted their trajectories and EOD pulse pattern and rate while they learned to find food with electrically detectable landmarks as cues. After training, they more rapidly found food using shorter, more stereotyped trajectories and spent more time near the food location. We observed three forms of active sensing: sustained high EOD rates per unit distance (sampling density), transient large increases in EOD rate (E-scans) and stereotyped scanning movements (B-scans) were initially strong at landmarks and food, but, after learning, intensified only at the food location. During probe (no food) trials, after learning, the fish's search area and intense active sampling was still centered on the missing food location, but now also increased near landmarks. We hypothesize that active sensing is a behavioral manifestation of attention and essential for spatial learning; the fish use spatial memory of landmarks and path integration to reach the expected food location and confine their attention to this region. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.
Toba, Monica N; Rabuffetti, Marco; Duret, Christophe; Pradat-Diehl, Pascale; Gainotti, Guido; Bartolomeo, Paolo
Visual neglect is a disabling consequence of right hemisphere damage, whereby patients fail to detect left-sided objects. Its precise mechanisms are debated, but there is some consensus that distinct component deficits may variously associate and interact in different patients. Here we used a touch-screen based procedure to study two putative component deficits of neglect, rightward "magnetic" attraction of attention and impaired spatial working memory, in a group of 47 right brain-damaged patients, of whom 33 had signs of left neglect. Patients performed a visual search task on three distinct conditions, whereby touched targets could (1) be tagged, (2) disappear or (3) show no change. Magnetic attraction of attention was defined as more left neglect on the tag condition than on the disappear condition, where right-sided disappeared targets could not capture patients' attention. Impaired spatial working memory should instead produce more neglect on the no change condition, where no external cue indicated that a target had already been explored, than on the tag condition. Using a specifically developed analysis algorithm, we identified significant differences of performance between the critical conditions. Neglect patients as a group performed better on the disappear condition than on the no change condition and also better in the tag condition comparing with the no change condition. No difference was found between the tag condition and the disappear condition. Some of our neglect patients had dissociated patterns of performance, with predominant magnetic attraction or impaired spatial working memory. Anatomical results issued from both grey matter analysis and fiber tracking were consistent with the typical patterns of fronto-parietal and occipito-frontal disconnection in neglect, but did not identify lesional patterns specifically associated with one or another deficit, thus suggesting the possible co-localization of attentional and working memory processes in
Bengson, Jesse J.; Mangun, George R.
A growing literature suggests that working memory and attention are closely related constructs. Both involve the selection of task-relevant information, and both are characterized by capacity limits. Furthermore, studies using a variety of methodological approaches have demonstrated convergent working memory and attention-related processing at the individual, neural and behavioral level. Given the varieties of both constructs, the specific kinds of attention and WM must be considered. We find...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Because pain often signals the occurrence of potential tissue damage, a nociceptive stimulus has the capacity to involuntarily capture attention and take priority over other sensory inputs. Whether distraction by nociception actually occurs may depend upon the cognitive characteristics of the ongoing activities. The present study tested the role of working memory in controlling the attentional capture by nociception. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants performed visual discrimination and matching tasks in which visual targets were shortly preceded by a tactile distracter. The two tasks were chosen because of the different effects the involvement of working memory produces on performance, in order to dissociate the specific role of working memory in the control of attention from the effect of general resource demands. Occasionally (i.e. 17% of the trials, tactile distracters were replaced by a novel nociceptive stimulus in order to distract participants from the visual tasks. Indeed, in the control conditions (no working memory, reaction times to visual targets were increased when the target was preceded by a novel nociceptive distracter as compared to the target preceded by a frequent tactile distracter, suggesting attentional capture by the novel nociceptive stimulus. However, when the task required an active rehearsal of the visual target in working memory, the novel nociceptive stimulus no longer induced a lengthening of reaction times to visual targets, indicating a reduction of the distraction produced by the novel nociceptive stimulus. This effect was independent of the overall task demands. CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE: Loading working memory with pain-unrelated information may reduce the ability of nociceptive input to involuntarily capture attention, and shields cognitive processing from nociceptive distraction. An efficient control of attention over pain is best guaranteed by the ability to maintain active goal
Brisson, Benoit; Leblanc, Emilie; Jolicoeur, Pierre
It has recently been demonstrated that a lateralized distractor that matches the individual's top-down control settings elicits an N2pc wave, an electrophysiological index of the focus of visual-spatial attention, indicating that contingent capture has a visual-spatial locus. Here, we investigated whether contingent capture required capacity-limited central resources by incorporating a contingent capture task as the second task of a psychological refractory period (PRP) dual-task paradigm. The N2pc was used to monitor where observers were attending while they performed concurrent central processing known to cause the PRP effect. The N2pc elicited by the lateralized distractor that matched the top-down control settings was attenuated in high concurrent central load conditions, indicating that although involuntary, the deployment of visual-spatial attention occurring during contingent capture depends on capacity-limited central resources.
Hutchison, Keith A.
In 2 experiments, participants completed both an attentional control battery (OSPAN, antisaccade, and Stroop tasks) and a modified semantic priming task. The priming task measured relatedness proportion (RP) effects within subjects, with the color of the prime indicating the probability that the to-be-named target would be related. In Experiment…
van Mourik, R.; Papanikolau, A.; van Gelicum-Bijlhout, J.; van Oostenbruggen, J.; Veugelers, D.; Post-Uiterweer, A.; Sergeant, J.A.; Oosterlaan, J.
The view that Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is associated with a diminished ability to control interfference is controversial and based exclusively on results of (verbal)-visual interference tasks, primarily the Stroop Color Word task. The present study compares medication-naïve
Bae, Gi-Yeul; Luck, Steven J
In human scalp EEG recordings, both sustained potentials and alpha-band oscillations are present during the delay period of working memory tasks and may therefore reflect the representation of information in working memory. However, these signals may instead reflect support mechanisms rather than the actual contents of memory. In particular, alpha-band oscillations have been tightly tied to spatial attention and may not reflect location-independent memory representations per se. To determine how sustained and oscillating EEG signals are related to attention and working memory, we attempted to decode which of 16 orientations was being held in working memory by human observers (both women and men). We found that sustained EEG activity could be used to decode the remembered orientation of a stimulus, even when the orientation of the stimulus varied independently of its location. Alpha-band oscillations also carried clear information about the location of the stimulus, but they provided little or no information about orientation independently of location. Thus, sustained potentials contain information about the object properties being maintained in working memory, consistent with previous evidence of a tight link between these potentials and working memory capacity. In contrast, alpha-band oscillations primarily carry location information, consistent with their link to spatial attention. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Working memory plays a key role in cognition, and working memory is impaired in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. Previous research has suggested that human scalp EEG recordings contain signals that reflect the neural representation of information in working memory. However, to conclude that a neural signal actually represents the object being remembered, it is necessary to show that the signal contains fine-grained information about that object. Here, we show that sustained voltages in human EEG recordings contain fine-grained information about the
Imbert, Jean-Paul; Hodgetts, Helen M; Parise, Robert; Vachon, François; Dehais, Frédéric; Tremblay, Sébastien
Large display screens are common in supervisory tasks, meaning that alerts are often perceived in peripheral vision. Five air traffic control notification designs were evaluated in their ability to capture attention during an ongoing supervisory task, as well as their impact on the primary task. A range of performance measures, eye-tracking and subjective reports showed that colour, even animated, was less effective than movement, and notifications sometimes went unnoticed. Designs that drew attention to the notified aircraft by a pulsating box, concentric circles or the opacity of the background resulted in faster perception and no missed notifications. However, the latter two designs were intrusive and impaired primary task performance, while the simpler animated box captured attention without an overhead cognitive cost. These results highlight the need for a holistic approach to evaluation, achieving a balance between the benefits for one aspect of performance against the potential costs for another. Practitioner summary: We performed a holistic examination of air traffic control notification designs regarding their ability to capture attention during an ongoing supervisory task. The combination of performance, eye-tracking and subjective measurements demonstrated that the best design achieved a balance between attentional power and the overhead cognitive cost to primary task performance.
van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Abrahamse, Elger L; Acar, Freya; Ketels, Boris; Fias, Wim
Rather than reflecting the long-term memory construct of a mental number line, it has been proposed that the relation between numbers and space is of a more temporary nature and constructed in working memory during task execution. In three experiments we further explored the viability of this working memory account. Participants performed a speeded dot detection task with dots appearing left or right, while maintaining digits or letters in working memory. Just before presentation of the dot, these digits or letters were used as central cues. These experiments show that the "attentional SNARC-effect" (where SNARC is the spatial-numerical association of response codes) is not observed when only the lastly perceived number cue--and no serially ordered sequence of cues--is maintained in working memory (Experiment 1). It is only when multiple items (numbers in Experiment 2; letters in Experiment 3) are stored in working memory in a serially organized way that the attentional cueing effect is observed as a function of serial working memory position. These observations suggest that the "attentional SNARC-effect" is strongly working memory based. Implications for theories on the mental representation of numbers are discussed.
Sweeti; Joshi, Deepak; Panigrahi, B K; Anand, Sneh; Santhosh, Jayasree
Selective visual attention is the ability to selectively pay attention to the targets while inhibiting the distractors. This paper aims to study the targets and non-targets interplay in spatial attention task while subject attends to the target object present in one visual hemifield and ignores the distractor present in another visual hemifield. This paper performs the averaged evoked response potential (ERP) analysis and time-frequency analysis. ERP analysis agrees to the left hemisphere superiority over late potentials for the targets present in right visual hemifield. Time-frequency analysis performed suggests two parameters i.e. event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) and inter-trial coherence (ITC). These parameters show the same properties for the target present in either of the visual hemifields but show the difference while comparing the activity corresponding to the targets and non-targets. In this way, this study helps to visualise the difference between targets present in the left and right visual hemifields and, also the targets and non-targets present in the left and right visual hemifields. These results could be utilised to monitor subjects' performance in brain-computer interface (BCI) and neurorehabilitation.
Brown, Thackery I; Uncapher, Melina R; Chow, Tiffany E; Eberhardt, Jennifer L; Wagner, Anthony D
People are better at remembering faces from their own race than other races-a phenomenon with significant societal implications. This Other Race Effect (ORE) in memory could arise from different attentional allocation to, and cognitive control over, same- and other-race faces during encoding. Deeper or more differentiated processing of same-race faces could yield more robust representations of same- vs. other-race faces that could support better recognition memory. Conversely, to the extent that other-race faces may be characterized by lower perceptual expertise, attention and cognitive control may be more important for successful encoding of robust, distinct representations of these stimuli. We tested a mechanistic model in which successful encoding of same- and other-race faces, indexed by subsequent memory performance, is differentially predicted by (a) engagement of frontoparietal networks subserving top-down attention and cognitive control, and (b) interactions between frontoparietal networks and fusiform cortex face processing. European American (EA) and African American (AA) participants underwent fMRI while intentionally encoding EA and AA faces, and ~24 hrs later performed an "old/new" recognition memory task. Univariate analyses revealed greater engagement of frontoparietal top-down attention and cognitive control networks during encoding for same- vs. other-race faces, stemming particularly from a failure to engage the cognitive control network during processing of other-race faces that were subsequently forgotten. Psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analyses further revealed that OREs were characterized by greater functional interaction between medial intraparietal sulcus, a component of the top-down attention network, and fusiform cortex during same- than other-race face encoding. Together, these results suggest that group-based face memory biases at least partially stem from differential allocation of cognitive control and top-down attention during
van Moorselaar, Dirk; Foster, Joshua J.; Sutterer, David W.; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N.L.; Awh, Edward
Current theories assume a functional role for covert attention in the maintenance of spatial information in working memory. Consistent with this view, both the locus of attention and positions stored in working memory can be decoded based on the topography of oscillatory alpha-band (8-12 Hz)
Schubert, Ruth; Ritter, Petra; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Preuschhof, Claudia; Curio, Gabriel; Sommer, Werner; Villringer, Arno
Recent studies investigating the influence of spatial-selective attention on primary somatosensory processing have produced inconsistent results. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of tactile spatial-selective attention on spatiotemporal aspects of evoked neuronal activity in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). We employed simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG)-functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 14 right-handed subjects during bilateral index finger Braille stimulation to investigate the relationship between attentional effects on somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) components and the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal. The 1st reliable EEG response following left tactile stimulation (P50) was significantly enhanced by spatial-selective attention, which has not been reported before. FMRI analysis revealed increased activity in contralateral S1. Remarkably, the effect of attention on the P50 component as well as long-latency SEP components starting at 190 ms for left stimuli correlated with attentional effects on the BOLD signal in contralateral S1. The implications are 2-fold: First, the correlation between early and long-latency SEP components and the BOLD effect suggest that spatial-selective attention enhances processing in S1 at 2 time points: During an early passage of the signal and during a later passage, probably via re-entrant feedback from higher cortical areas. Second, attentional modulations of the fast electrophysiological signals and the slow hemodynamic response are linearly related in S1.
Dunn, Stephanie A.; Freeth, Megan; Milne, Elizabeth
Selective attention is atypical in individuals with autism spectrum conditions. Evidence suggests this is also the case for those with high levels of autistic traits. Here we investigated the neural basis of spatial attention in those with high and low levels of self-reported autistic traits via analysis of ERP deflections associated with covert…
Harasawa, Masamitsu; Shioiri, Satoshi
The effect of the visual hemifield to which spatial attention was oriented on the activities of the posterior parietal and occipital visual cortices was examined using functional near-infrared spectroscopy in order to investigate the neural substrates of voluntary visuospatial attention. Our brain imaging data support the theory put forth in a…
Zhang, Dan; Hong, Bo; Gao, Shangkai; Röder, Brigitte
While the behavioral dynamics as well as the functional network of sustained and transient attention have extensively been studied, their underlying neural mechanisms have most often been investigated in separate experiments. In the present study, participants were instructed to perform an audio-visual spatial attention task. They were asked to attend to either the left or the right hemifield and to respond to deviant transient either auditory or visual stimuli. Steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) elicited by two task irrelevant pattern reversing checkerboards flickering at 10 and 15 Hz in the left and the right hemifields, respectively, were used to continuously monitor the locus of spatial attention. The amplitude and phase of the SSVEPs were extracted for single trials and were separately analyzed. Sustained attention to one hemifield (spatial attention) as well as to the auditory modality (intermodal attention) increased the inter-trial phase locking of the SSVEP responses, whereas briefly presented visual and auditory stimuli decreased the single-trial SSVEP amplitude between 200 and 500 ms post-stimulus. This transient change of the single-trial amplitude was restricted to the SSVEPs elicited by the reversing checkerboard in the spatially attended hemifield and thus might reflect a transient re-orienting of attention towards the brief stimuli. Thus, the present results demonstrate independent, but interacting neural mechanisms of sustained and transient attentional orienting.
Carlile, Simon; Corkhill, Caitlin
To hear out a conversation against other talkers listeners overcome energetic and informational masking. Largely attributed to top-down processes, information masking has also been demonstrated using unintelligible speech and amplitude-modulated maskers suggesting bottom-up processes. We examined the role of speech-like amplitude modulations in information masking using a spatial masking release paradigm. Separating a target talker from two masker talkers produced a 20 dB improvement in speech reception threshold; 40% of which was attributed to a release from informational masking. When across frequency temporal modulations in the masker talkers are decorrelated the speech is unintelligible, although the within frequency modulation characteristics remains identical. Used as a masker as above, the information masking accounted for 37% of the spatial unmasking seen with this masker. This unintelligible and highly differentiable masker is unlikely to involve top-down processes. These data provides strong evidence of bottom-up masking involving speech-like, within-frequency modulations and that this, presumably low level process, can be modulated by selective spatial attention.
Moore, C M; Elsinger, C L; Lleras, A
Several studies have shown that targets defined on the basis of the spatial relations between objects yield highly inefficient visual search performance (e.g., Logan, 1994; Palmer, 1994), suggesting that the apprehension of spatial relations may require the selective allocation of attention within the scene. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that depth relations might be different in this regard and might support efficient visual search. This hypothesis was based, in part, on the fact that many perceptual organization processes that are believed to occur early and in parallel, such as figure-ground segregation and perceptual completion, seem to depend on the assignment of depth relations. Despite this, however, using increasingly salient cues to depth (Experiments 2-4) and including a separate test of the sufficiency of the most salient depth cue used (Experiment 5), no evidence was found to indicate that search for a target defined by depth relations is any different than search for a target defined by other types of spatial relations, with regard to efficiency of search. These findings are discussed within the context of the larger literature on early processing of three-dimensional characteristics of visual scenes.
Full Text Available This study investigated the effects of obesity on attentional resources allocated to postural control in seating and unipedal standing.Ten non obese adults (BMI = 22.4±1.3, age = 42.4±15.1 and 10 obese adult patients (BMI = 35.2±2.8, age = 46.2±19.6 maintained postural stability on a force platform in two postural tasks (seated and unipedal. The two postural tasks were performed (1 alone and (2 in a dual-task paradigm in combination with an auditory reaction time task (RT. Performing the RT task together with the postural one was supposed to require some attentional resources that allowed estimating the attentional cost of postural control. 4 trials were performed in each condition for a total of 16 trials.(1 Whereas seated non obese and obese patients exhibited similar centre of foot pressure oscillations (CoP, in the unipedal stance only obese patients strongly increased their CoP sway in comparison to controls. (2 Whatever the postural task, the additional RT task did not affect postural stability. (3 Seated, RT did not differ between the two groups. (4 RT strongly increased between the two postural conditions in the obese patients only, suggesting that body schema and the use of internal models was altered with obesity.Obese patients needed more attentional resources to control postural stability during unipedal stance than non obese participants. This was not the case in a more simple posture such as seating. To reduce the risk of fall as indicated by the critical values of CoP displacement, obese patients must dedicate a strong large part of their attentional resources to postural control, to the detriment of non-postural events. Obese patients were not able to easily perform multitasking as healthy adults do, reflecting weakened psycho-motor abilities.
Mignardot, Jean-Baptiste; Olivier, Isabelle; Promayon, Emmanuel; Nougier, Vincent
Background This study investigated the effects of obesity on attentional resources allocated to postural control in seating and unipedal standing. Methods Ten non obese adults (BMI = 22.4±1.3, age = 42.4±15.1) and 10 obese adult patients (BMI = 35.2±2.8, age = 46.2±19.6) maintained postural stability on a force platform in two postural tasks (seated and unipedal). The two postural tasks were performed (1) alone and (2) in a dual-task paradigm in combination with an auditory reaction time task (RT). Performing the RT task together with the postural one was supposed to require some attentional resources that allowed estimating the attentional cost of postural control. 4 trials were performed in each condition for a total of 16 trials. Findings (1) Whereas seated non obese and obese patients exhibited similar centre of foot pressure oscillations (CoP), in the unipedal stance only obese patients strongly increased their CoP sway in comparison to controls. (2) Whatever the postural task, the additional RT task did not affect postural stability. (3) Seated, RT did not differ between the two groups. (4) RT strongly increased between the two postural conditions in the obese patients only, suggesting that body schema and the use of internal models was altered with obesity. Interpretation Obese patients needed more attentional resources to control postural stability during unipedal stance than non obese participants. This was not the case in a more simple posture such as seating. To reduce the risk of fall as indicated by the critical values of CoP displacement, obese patients must dedicate a strong large part of their attentional resources to postural control, to the detriment of non-postural events. Obese patients were not able to easily perform multitasking as healthy adults do, reflecting weakened psycho-motor abilities. PMID:21187914
Lorenza S Colzato
Full Text Available Despite the abundance of evidence that human perception is penetrated by beliefs and expectations, scientific research so far has entirely neglected the possible impact of religious background on attention. Here we show that Dutch Calvinists and atheists, brought up in the same country and culture and controlled for race, intelligence, sex, and age, differ with respect to the way they attend to and process the global and local features of complex visual stimuli: Calvinists attend less to global aspects of perceived events, which fits with the idea that people's attentional processing style reflects possible biases rewarded by their religious belief system.
Davidesco, Ido; Harel, Michal; Ramot, Michal; Kramer, Uri; Kipervasser, Svetlana; Andelman, Fani; Neufeld, Miri Y; Goelman, Gadi; Fried, Itzhak; Malach, Rafael
One of the puzzling aspects in the visual attention literature is the discrepancy between electrophysiological and fMRI findings: whereas fMRI studies reveal strong attentional modulation in the earliest visual areas, single-unit and local field potential studies yielded mixed results. In addition, it is not clear to what extent spatial attention effects extend from early to high-order visual areas. Here we addressed these issues using electrocorticography recordings in epileptic patients. The patients performed a task that allowed simultaneous manipulation of both spatial and object-based attention. They were presented with composite stimuli, consisting of a small object (face or house) superimposed on a large one, and in separate blocks, were instructed to attend one of the objects. We found a consistent increase in broadband high-frequency (30-90 Hz) power, but not in visual evoked potentials, associated with spatial attention starting with V1/V2 and continuing throughout the visual hierarchy. The magnitude of the attentional modulation was correlated with the spatial selectivity of each electrode and its distance from the occipital pole. Interestingly, the latency of the attentional modulation showed a significant decrease along the visual hierarchy. In addition, electrodes placed over high-order visual areas (e.g., fusiform gyrus) showed both effects of spatial and object-based attention. Overall, our results help to reconcile previous observations of discrepancy between fMRI and electrophysiology. They also imply that spatial attention effects can be found both in early and high-order visual cortical areas, in parallel with their stimulus tuning properties.
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.
Weng, Lingyan; Han, Xugao
Understanding the spatial-temporal distribution pattern of fog and haze is the base to deal with them by adjusting measures to local conditions. Taking 31 provinces in China mainland as the research areas, this paper collected data from Baidu index on the network attention of fog and haze in relevant areas from 2011 to 2016, and conducted an analysis of their spatial-temporal distribution pattern by using autocorrelation analysis. The results show that the network attention of fog and haze has an overall spatial distribution pattern of “higher in the eastern and central, lower in the western China”. There are regional differences in different provinces in terms of network attention. Network attention of fog and haze indicates an obvious geographical agglomeration phenomenon, which is a gradual enlargement of the agglomeration area of higher value with a slight shrinking of those lower value agglomeration areas.
Astle, D.E.; Nobre, A.C.; Scerif, G.
The mechanisms by which attentional control biases mnemonic representations have attracted much interest but remain poorly understood. As attention and memory develop gradually over childhood and variably across individuals, assessing how participants of different ages and ability attend to mnemonic contents can elucidate their interplay. In Experiment 1, 7-, 10-year-olds and adults were asked to report whether a probe item had been part of a previously presented four-item array. The initial array could either be uncued, preceded (“pre-cued”) or followed (“retro-cued”) by a spatial cue orienting attention to one of the potential item locations. Performance across groups was significantly improved by both cue types and individual differences in children’s retrospective attentional control predicted their visual short-term and working memory span, whereas their basic ability to remember in the absence of cues did not. Experiment 2 imposed a variable delay between the array and the subsequent orienting cue. Cueing benefits were greater in adults compared to 10-year-olds, but they persisted even when cues followed the array by nearly 3 seconds, suggesting that orienting operated on durable short-term representations for both age groups. The findings indicate that there are substantial developmental and individual differences in the ability to control attention to memory and that in turn these differences constrain visual short-term memory capacity. PMID:20680889
Lorenza S Colzato
Full Text Available Homosexuals are believed to have a “sixth sense” for recognizing each other, an ability referred to as gaydar. We considered that being a homosexual might rely on systematic practice of processing relatively specific, local perceptual features, which might lead to a corresponding chronic bias of attentional control. This was tested by comparing male and female homosexuals and heterosexuals--brought up in the same country and culture and matched in terms of race, intelligence, sex, mood, age, personality, religious background, educational style, and socio-economic situation--in their efficiency to process global and local features of hierarchically-constructed visual stimuli. Both homosexuals and heterosexuals showed better performance on global features—the standard global precedence effect. However, this effect was significantly reduced in homosexuals, suggesting a relative preference for detail. Findings are taken to demonstrate chronic, generalized biases in attentional control parameters that reflect the selective reward provided by the respective sexual orientation.
Arredondo, Maria M.; Hu, Xiao-Su; Satterfield, Teresa; Kovelman, Ioulia
Bilingualism is a typical linguistic experience, yet relatively little is known about its impact on children's cognitive and brain development. Theories of bilingualism suggest early dual-language acquisition can improve children's cognitive abilities, specifically those relying on frontal lobe functioning. While behavioral findings present much conflicting evidence, little is known about its effects on children's frontal lobe development. Using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), the findings suggest that Spanish-English bilingual children (n=13, ages 7-13) had greater activation in left prefrontal cortex during a non-verbal attentional control task relative to age-matched English monolinguals. In contrast, monolinguals (n=14) showed greater right prefrontal activation than bilinguals. The present findings suggest early bilingualism yields significant changes to the functional organization of children's prefrontal cortex for attentional control and carry implications for understanding how early life experiences impact cognition and brain development. PMID:26743118
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.
MacNamara, Annmarie; Hajcak, Greg
Aversive stimuli capture attention and elicit increased neural activity, as indexed by behavioral, electrocortical and hemodynamic measures; moreover, individual differences in anxiety relate to a further increased sensitivity to threatening stimuli. Evidence has been mixed, however, as to whether aversive pictures elicit increased neural response when presented in unattended spatial locations. In the current study, ERP and behavioral data were recorded from 49 participants as aversive and neutral pictures were simultaneously presented in spatially attended and unattended locations; on each trial, participants made same/different judgments about pictures presented in attended locations. Aversive images presented in unattended locations resulted in increased error rate and reaction time. The late positive potential (LPP) component of the ERP was only larger when aversive images were presented in attended locations, and this increase was positively correlated with self-reported state anxiety. Findings are discussed in regard to the sensitivity of ERP and behavioral responses to aversive distracters, and in terms of increased neural processing of threatening stimuli in anxiety.
Grubert, Anna; Fahrenfort, Johannes; Olivers, Christian N L; Eimer, Martin
Previous research has shown that when observers search for targets defined by a particular colour, attention can be directed rapidly and independently to two target objects that appear in close temporal proximity. We investigated how such rapid attention shifts are modulated by task instructions to selectively attend versus ignore one of these objects. Two search displays that both contained a colour-defined target and a distractor in a different colour were presented in rapid succession, with a stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) of 100ms. In different blocks, participants were instructed to attend and respond to target-colour objects in the first display and to ignore these objects in the second display, or vice versa. N2pc components were measured to track the allocation of spatial attention to target-colour objects in these two displays. When participants responded to the second display, irrelevant target-colour objects in the first display still triggered N2pc components, demonstrating task-set contingent attentional capture while a feature-specific target template is active. Critically, when participants responded to the first display instead, no N2pc was elicited by target-colour items in the second display, indicating that they no longer rapidly captured attention. However, these items still elicited a longer-latency contralateral negativity (SPCN component), suggesting that attention was oriented towards template-matching objects in working memory. This dissociation between N2pc and SPCN components shows that rapid attentional capture and subsequent attentional selection processes within working memory can be independent. We suggest that early attentional orienting mechanisms can be inhibited when task-set matching objects are no longer task-relevant, and that this type of inhibitory control is a rapid but transient process. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Background: Motion sickness may be caused by a sensory conflict between the visual and the vestibular systems. Scopolamine, known to be the most effective therapy to control the vegetative symptoms of motion sickness, acts on the vestibular nucleus and potentially the vestibulospinal pathway, which may affect balance and motor tasks requiring both attentional process and motor balance. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of scopolamine on motor control and attentional processes. Methods: Seven subjects were evaluated on four different tasks before and after a subcutaneous injection of scopolamine (0.2 mg: a one-minute balance test, a subjective visual vertical test, a pointing task and a galvanic vestibular stimulation with EMG recordings. Results: The results showed that the reaction time and the movement duration were not modified after the injection of scopolamine. However, there was an increase in the center of pressure displacement during the balance test, a decrease in EMG muscle response after galvanic vestibular stimulation and an alteration in the perception of verticality. Discussion: These results confirm that low doses of scopolamine such as those prescribed to avoid motion sickness have no effect on attentional processes, but that it is essential to consider the responsiveness of each subject. However, scopolamine did affect postural control and the perception of verticality. In conclusion, the use of scopolamine to prevent motion sickness must be considered carefully because it could increase imbalances in situations when individuals are already at risk of falling (e.g., sailing, parabolic flight.
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
Spatial discretisation plays an important role in many numerical environmental models. This paper studies the control of spatial discretisation in coastal oil spill modelling with a view to assure the quality of modelling outputs for given spatial data inputs. Spatial data analysis techniques are effective for investigating and improving the spatial discretisation in different phases of the modelling. Proposed methods are implemented and tested with experimental models. A new “Automatic Searc...
Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that multisensory stimuli can contribute to attention control. Here we investigate whether irrelevant audio-visual stimuli can affect the processing of subsequent visual targets, in the absence of any direct bottom-up signals generated by low-level sensory changes and any goal-related associations between the multisensory stimuli and the visual targets. Each trial included two pictures (cat/dog, one in each visual hemifield, and a central sound that was semantically congruent with one of the two pictures (i.e. either meow or woof sound. These irrelevant audio-visual stimuli were followed by a visual target that appeared either where the congruent or the incongruent picture had been presented (valid/invalid trials. The visual target was a Gabor patch requiring an orientation discrimination judgment, allowing us to uncouple the visual task from the audio-visual stimuli. Behaviourally we found lower performance for invalid than valid trials, but only when the task demands were high (Gabor target presented together with a Gabor distractor vs. Gabor target alone. The fMRI analyses revealed greater activity for invalid than for valid trials in the dorsal and the ventral fronto-parietal attention networks. The dorsal network was recruited irrespective of task demands, while the ventral network was recruited only when task demands were high and target discrimination required additional top-down control. We propose that crossmodal semantic congruence generates a processing bias associated with the location of congruent picture, and that the presentation of the visual target on the opposite side required updating these processing priorities. We relate the activation of the attention networks to these updating operations. We conclude that the fronto-parietal networks mediate the influence of crossmodal semantic congruence on visuo-spatial processing, even in the absence of any low-level sensory cue and any goal-driven task
Van Dillen, Lotte F; van der Wal, Reine C; van den Bos, Kees
The emotion of disgust can influence people's moral judgments, even if this emotion objectively is unrelated to the moral judgment in question. The present work demonstrates that attentional control regulates this effect. In three studies, disgust was induced. In an unrelated part of the studies, participants then judged a moral transgression. Disgust resulted in more severe moral judgments when attentional control (either measured by means of individual predisposition or manipulated with experimental control) was weak as opposed to strong (Studies 1-3). Findings further showed that attentional control mediated the positive relation between the intensity of participants' disgust responses and the severity of their moral judgments (Study 2). Moreover, attentional control has its effects through the regulation of affective processing (Study 3). Taken together, the findings suggest that unrelated influences of disgust on moral judgments are contingent on the attention system.
Full Text Available It can be difficult to identify those at risk of suicide because suicidal thoughts are often internalized and not shared with others. Yet to prevent suicide attempts it is crucial to identify suicidal thoughts and actions at an early stage. Past studies have suggested that deficits in attentional control are associated with suicide, with the argument that individuals are unable to inhibit negative thoughts and direct resources away from negative information. The current study aimed to investigate the association of suicidal behavior with neurological and behavioral markers, measuring attentional bias and inhibition in two Stroop tasks. Fifty-four participants responded to the color of color words in a standard Stroop task and the color of positive, negative, and neutral words in an emotional Stroop task. Electroencephalographic (EEG activity was recorded from frontal areas during each task and at resting. Participants were separated into a low-risk and high-risk group according to their self-reported suicidal behavior. Participants in the high-risk group showed slower response times in the color Stroop and reduced accuracy to incongruent trials, but faster response times in the emotional Stroop task. Response times to the word “suicide” were significantly slower for the high-risk group. This indicates an attentional bias toward specific negative stimuli and difficulties inhibiting information for those with high levels of suicidal behavior. In the emotional Stroop task the high-risk group showed reduced activity in leftward frontal areas, suggesting limitations in the ability to regulate emotional processing via the left frontal regions. The findings support the argument that deficits in attentional control are related to suicidal behavior. The research also suggests that under certain conditions frontal asymmetry may be associated with suicidal behavior.
Thompson, Catherine; Ong, Elsie Li Chen
It can be difficult to identify those at risk of suicide because suicidal thoughts are often internalized and not shared with others. Yet to prevent suicide attempts it is crucial to identify suicidal thoughts and actions at an early stage. Past studies have suggested that deficits in attentional control are associated with suicide, with the argument that individuals are unable to inhibit negative thoughts and direct resources away from negative information. The current study aimed to investigate the association of suicidal behavior with neurological and behavioral markers, measuring attentional bias and inhibition in two Stroop tasks. Fifty-four participants responded to the color of color words in a standard Stroop task and the color of positive, negative, and neutral words in an emotional Stroop task. Electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was recorded from frontal areas during each task and at resting. Participants were separated into a low-risk and high-risk group according to their self-reported suicidal behavior. Participants in the high-risk group showed slower response times in the color Stroop and reduced accuracy to incongruent trials, but faster response times in the emotional Stroop task. Response times to the word “suicide” were significantly slower for the high-risk group. This indicates an attentional bias toward specific negative stimuli and difficulties inhibiting information for those with high levels of suicidal behavior. In the emotional Stroop task the high-risk group showed reduced activity in leftward frontal areas, suggesting limitations in the ability to regulate emotional processing via the left frontal regions. The findings support the argument that deficits in attentional control are related to suicidal behavior. The research also suggests that under certain conditions frontal asymmetry may be associated with suicidal behavior. PMID:29593586
Talsma, D.; Kok, A.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.
To assess selective attention processes in young and old adults, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures were recorded. Streams of visual stimuli were presented from left or right locations (Experiment 1) or from a central location and comprising two different spatial frequencies
Talsma, D.; Kok, Albert; Ridderinkhof, K. Richard
To assess selective attention processes in young and old adults, behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures were recorded. Streams of visual stimuli were presented from left or right locations (Experiment 1) or from a central location and comprising two different spatial frequencies
Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Chiang, Huey-Ling
Deficits in short-term memory are common in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but their current ADHD symptoms cannot well predict their short-term performance. Taking a developmental perspective, we wanted to clarify the association between ADHD symptoms at early childhood and short-term memory in late childhood and adolescence. The participants included 401 patients with a clinical diagnosis of DSM-IV ADHD, 213 siblings, and 176 unaffected controls aged 8-17 years (mean age, 12.02 ± 2.24). All participants and their mothers were interviewed using the Chinese Kiddie Epidemiologic version of the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia to obtain information about ADHD symptoms and other psychiatric disorders retrospectively, at an earlier age first, then currently. The participants were assessed with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children--3rd edition, including Digit Span, and the Spatial working memory task of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Multi-level regression models were used for data analysis. Although crude analyses revealed that inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity symptoms significantly predicted deficits in short-term memory, only inattention symptoms had significant effects (all pshort-term memory at the current assessment. Therefore, our findings suggest that earlier inattention symptoms are associated with impaired verbal and visuo-spatial short-term memory at a later development stage. Impaired short-term memory in adolescence can be detected earlier by screening for the severity of inattention in childhood. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Maziyar Molavi, Jasmy Yunus, Nugraha P Utama Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences and Medical Engineering (FBME, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM, Johor Bahru, Johor, MalaysiaAbstract: Fasting can influence psychological and mental states. In the current study, the effect of periodical fasting on the process of emotion through gazed facial expression as a realistic multisource of social information was investigated for the first time. The dynamic cue-target task was applied via behavior and event-related potential measurements for 40 participants to reveal the temporal and spatial brain activities – before, during, and after fasting periods. The significance of fasting included several effects. The amplitude of the N1 component decreased over the centroparietal scalp during fasting. Furthermore, the reaction time during the fasting period decreased. The self-measurement of deficit arousal as well as the mood increased during the fasting period. There was a significant contralateral alteration of P1 over occipital area for the happy facial expression stimuli. The significant effect of gazed expression and its interaction with the emotional stimuli was indicated by the amplitude of N1. Furthermore, the findings of the study approved the validity effect as a congruency between gaze and target position, as indicated by the increment of P3 amplitude over centroparietal area as well as slower reaction time from behavioral response data during incongruency or invalid condition between gaze and target position compared with those during valid condition. Results of this study proved that attention to facial expression stimuli as a kind of communicative social signal was affected by fasting. Also, fasting improved the mood of practitioners. Moreover, findings from the behavioral and event-related potential data analyses indicated that the neural dynamics of facial emotion are processed faster than that of gazing, as the participants
Steinmetz, Nicholas A.; Moore, Tirin; Knudsen, Eric I.
Distinct networks in the forebrain and the midbrain coordinate to control spatial attention. The critical involvement of the superior colliculus (SC)—the central structure in the midbrain network—in visuospatial attention has been shown by four seminal, published studies in monkeys (Macaca mulatta) performing multialternative tasks. However, due to the lack of a mechanistic framework for interpreting behavioral data in such tasks, the nature of the SC's contribution to attention remains unclear. Here we present and validate a novel decision framework for analyzing behavioral data in multialternative attention tasks. We apply this framework to re-examine the behavioral evidence from these published studies. Our model is a multidimensional extension to signal detection theory that distinguishes between two major classes of attentional mechanisms: those that alter the quality of sensory information or “sensitivity,” and those that alter the selective gating of sensory information or “choice bias.” Model-based simulations and model-based analyses of data from these published studies revealed a converging pattern of results that indicated that choice-bias changes, rather than sensitivity changes, were the primary outcome of SC manipulation. Our results suggest that the SC contributes to attentional performance predominantly by generating a spatial choice bias for stimuli at a selected location, and that this bias operates downstream of forebrain mechanisms that enhance sensitivity. The findings lead to a testable mechanistic framework of how the midbrain and forebrain networks interact to control spatial attention. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Attention involves the selection of the most relevant information for differential sensory processing and decision making. While the mechanisms by which attention alters sensory encoding (sensitivity control) are well studied, the mechanisms by which attention alters decisional weighting of sensory evidence (choice
Brosowsky, Nicholaus P; Crump, Matthew J C
Recent work suggests that environmental cues associated with previous attentional control settings can rapidly and involuntarily adjust attentional priorities. The current study tests predictions from adaptive-learning and memory-based theories of contextual control about the role of intentions for setting attentional priorities. To extend the empirical boundaries of contextual control phenomena, and to determine whether theoretical principles of contextual control are generalizable we used a novel bi-dimensional stimulus sampling task. Subjects viewed briefly presented arrays of letters and colors presented above or below fixation, and identified specific stimuli according to a dimensional (letter or color) and positional cue. Location was predictive of the cued dimension, but not the position or identity. In contrast to previous findings, contextual control failed to develop through automatic, adaptive-learning processes. Instead, previous experience with intentionally changing attentional sampling priorities between different contexts was required for contextual control to develop. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Brown, T L; Donnenwirth, E E
The interaction between attentional capacity, motor control processes, and strategic adaptations to changing task demands was investigated in handwriting, a continuous (rather than discrete) skilled performance. Twenty-four subjects completed 12 two-minute handwriting samples under instructions stressing speeded handwriting, normal handwriting, or highly legible handwriting. For half of the writing samples, a concurrent auditory monitoring task was imposed. Subjects copied either familiar (English) or unfamiliar (Latin) passages. Writing speed, legibility ratings, errors in writing and in the secondary auditory task, and a derived measure of the average number of characters held in short-term memory during each sample ("planning unit size") were the dependent variables. The results indicated that the ability to adapt to instructions stressing speed or legibility was substantially constrained by the concurrent listening task and by text familiarity. Interactions between instructions, task concurrence, and text familiarity in the legibility ratings, combined with further analyses of planning unit size, indicated that information throughput from temporary storage mechanisms to motor processes mediated the loss of flexibility effect. Overall, the results suggest that strategic adaptations of a skilled performance to changing task circumstances are sensitive to concurrent attentional demands and that departures from "normal" or "modal" performance require attention.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In predictive spatial cueing studies, reaction times (RT are shorter for targets appearing at cued locations (valid trials than at other locations (invalid trials. An increase in the amplitude of early P1 and/or N1 event-related potential (ERP components is also present for items appearing at cued locations, reflecting early attentional sensory gain control mechanisms. However, it is still unknown at which stage in the processing stream these early amplitude effects are translated into latency effects. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we measured the latency of two ERP components, the N2pc and the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN, to evaluate whether visual selection (as indexed by the N2pc and visual-short term memory processes (as indexed by the SPCN are delayed in invalid trials compared to valid trials. The P1 was larger contralateral to the cued side, indicating that attention was deployed to the cued location prior to the target onset. Despite these early amplitude effects, the N2pc onset latency was unaffected by cue validity, indicating an express, quasi-instantaneous re-engagement of attention in invalid trials. In contrast, latency effects were observed for the SPCN, and these were correlated to the RT effect. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results show that latency differences that could explain the RT cueing effects must occur after visual selection processes giving rise to the N2pc, but at or before transfer in visual short-term memory, as reflected by the SPCN, at least in discrimination tasks in which the target is presented concurrently with at least one distractor. Given that the SPCN was previously associated to conscious report, these results further show that entry into consciousness is delayed following invalid cues.
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.
Lu, Aitao; Zhang, Honghong; He, Guanghui; Zheng, Dongping; Hodges, Bert H
Two experiments were carried out to investigate whether social status encoded in Chinese honorifics has metaphorical effects on up-down spatial orientation. In Experiment 1, participants judged whether a word was an elevating or denigrating term immediately prior to judging whether an arrow was pointing up or down. Arrow orientation was identified faster when its direction was congruent with the perceived social status of the preceding honorific (e.g., elevating word and up arrow). In Experiment 2, participants identified the letter p or q after judging whether honorifics were elevating or denigrating terms. Letters were identified faster when placed at the top of the screen following elevating terms, and faster at the bottom following denigrating terms. These results suggest that the mere activation of social status differences by honorific terms orients attention toward schema-congruent space. Social status appears to have pragmatic effects, not only for lexical decision-making, but also in where Chinese speakers are most likely to look.
Full Text Available Selective attention to a spatial location has shown enhance perception and facilitate behaviour for events at attended locations. However, selection relies not only on where but also when an event occurs. Recently, interest has turned to how intrinsic neural oscillations in the brain entrain to rhythms in our environment, and, stimuli appearing in or out of synch with a rhythm have shown to modulate perception and performance. Temporal expectations created by rhythms and spatial attention are two processes which have independently shown to affect stimulus processing but it remains largely unknown how, and if, they interact. In four separate tasks, this study investigated the effects of voluntary spatial attention and bottom-up temporal expectations created by rhythms in both unimodal and crossmodal conditions. In each task the participant used an informative cue, either colour or pitch, to direct their covert spatial attention to the left or right, and respond as quickly as possible to a target. The lateralized target (visual or auditory was then presented at the attended or unattended side. Importantly, although not task relevant, the cue was a rhythm of either flashes or beeps. The target was presented in or out of sync (early or late with the rhythmic cue. The results showed participants were faster responding to spatially attended compared to unattended targets in all tasks. Moreover, there was an effect of rhythmic cueing upon response times in both unimodal and crossmodal conditions. Responses were faster to targets presented in sync with the rhythm compared to when they appeared too early in both crossmodal tasks. That is, rhythmic stimuli in one modality influenced the temporal expectancy in the other modality, suggesting temporal expectancies created by rhythms are crossmodal. Interestingly, there was no interaction between top-down spatial attention and rhythmic cueing in any task suggesting these two processes largely influenced
Ribas, Valdenilson Ribeiro; Martins, Hugo André de Lima; Amorim, Gutemberg Guerra; Ribas, Renata de Melo Guerra; de Almeida, Cláudia Ângela Vilela; Ribas, Valéria Ribeiro; de Vasconcelos, Carlos Augusto Carvalho; Lima, Murilo Duarte Costa; Sougey, Everton Botelho; de Castro, Raul Manhães
Air traffic controllers simultaneously develop complex and multiple tasks in the course of their activities. In this context, concern is raised over the high level of attention needed by these professionals which can ultimately be affected by stress and fatigue. The objective of this study was to assess attention level in air traffic controllers (ATCo). 45 flight protection professionals were evaluated, comprising 30 ATCo, subdivided into ATCo with ten or more years in the profession (ATCo≥10, n=15) and ATCo with less than ten years in the profession (ATCo air traffic control activity after ten years may be associated with a high level of attention.
Harasawa, Masamitsu; Shioiri, Satoshi
The effect of the visual hemifield to which spatial attention was oriented on the activities of the posterior parietal and occipital visual cortices was examined using functional near-infrared spectroscopy in order to investigate the neural substrates of voluntary visuospatial attention. Our brain imaging data support the theory put forth in a previous psychophysical study, namely, the attentional resources for the left and right visual hemifields are distinct. Increasing the attentional load asymmetrically increased the brain activity. Increase in attentional load produced a greater increase in brain activity in the case of the left visual hemifield than in the case of the right visual hemifield. This asymmetry was observed in all the examined brain areas, including the right and left occipital and parietal cortices. These results suggest the existence of asymmetrical inhibitory interactions between the hemispheres and the presence of an extensive inhibitory network. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Accumulating evidence suggests that some degree of attentional control is required to regulate and monitor processes underlying speaking. Although progress has been made in delineating the neural substrates of the core language processes involved in speaking, substrates associated with regulatory and monitoring processes have remained relatively underspecified. We report the results of an fMRI study examining the neural substrates related to performance in three attention-demanding tasks varying in the amount of linguistic processing: vocal picture naming while ignoring distractors (picture-word interference, PWI; vocal colour naming while ignoring distractors (Stroop; and manual object discrimination while ignoring spatial position (Simon task. All three tasks had congruent and incongruent stimuli, while PWI and Stroop also had neutral stimuli. Analyses focusing on common activation across tasks identified a portion of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex that was active in incongruent trials for all three tasks, suggesting that this region subserves a domain-general attentional control function. In the language tasks, this area showed increased activity for incongruent relative to congruent stimuli, consistent with the involvement of domain-general mechanisms of attentional control in word production. The two language tasks also showed activity in anterior-superior temporal gyrus. Activity increased for neutral PWI stimuli (picture and word did not share the same semantic category relative to incongruent (categorically related and congruent stimuli. This finding is consistent with the involvement of language-specific areas in word production, possibly related to retrieval of lexical-semantic information from memory. The current results thus suggest that in addition to engaging language-specific areas for core linguistic processes, speaking also engages the anterior cingulate cortex, a region that is likely implementing domain
Pauszek, Joseph R; Gibson, Bradley S
Here we propose a rational analysis account of voluntary symbolic attention control-the Least Costs Hypothesis (LCH)-that construes voluntary control as a decision between intentional cue use and unguided search. Consistent with the LCH, the present study showed that this decision is sensitive to variations in cue processing efficiency. In Experiment 1, observers demonstrated a robust preference for using "easy-to-process" arrow cues but not "hard-to-process" spatial word cues to satisfy an easy visual search goal; Experiment 2 showed that this preference persisted even when the temporal costs of cue processing were neutralized. Experiment 3 showed that observers reported this cue type preference outside the context of a speeded task, and Experiment 4 showed empirical measures of this bias to be relatively stable over the course of the task. Together with previous evidence suggesting that observers' decision between intentional cue use and unguided search is also influenced by variations in unguided search efficiency, these findings suggest that voluntary symbolic attention control is mediated by ongoing metacognitive evaluations of demand that are sensitive to perceived variations in the time, effort, and opportunity costs associated with each course of action. Thus, voluntary symbolic attention control is far more complex than previously held. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Uengoer, Metin; Lachnit, Harald; Lotz, Anja; Koenig, Stephan; Pearce, John M
In 3 human predictive learning experiments, we investigated whether the allocation of attention can come under the control of contextual stimuli. In each experiment, participants initially received a conditional discrimination for which one set of cues was trained as relevant in Context 1 and irrelevant in Context 2, and another set was relevant in Context 2 and irrelevant in Context 1. For Experiments 1 and 2, we observed that a second discrimination based on cues that had previously been trained as relevant in Context 1 during the conditional discrimination was acquired more rapidly in Context 1 than in Context 2. Experiment 3 revealed a similar outcome when new stimuli from the original dimensions were used in the test stage. Our results support the view that the associability of a stimulus can be controlled by the stimuli that accompany it.
Shiels, Keri; Hawk, Larry W., Jr.; Lysczek, Cynthia L.; Tannock, Rosemary; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Spencer, Sarah V.; Gangloff, Brian P.; Waschbusch, Daniel A.
Working memory is one of several putative core neurocognitive processes in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present work seeks to determine whether visual-spatial working memory is sensitive to motivational incentives, a laboratory analogue of behavioral treatment. Participants were 21 children (ages 7-10) with a diagnosis of…
Gazit, Sivan; Elkana, Odelia; Dawidowicz, Liraz; Yeshayahu, Liel; Biran, Iftah
Conversion disorder (CD) is a largely enigmatic disorder, one that requires a thorough ruling-out process. Prior research suggests that metaphors and conceptualization are rooted in physical experience, and that we interpret our affective world through metaphors. Spatial metaphors (interaction of affect and vertical space) are a prominent example of the grounding of metaphors. This is a relatively unpaved direction of research of CD. The present pilot study sought to explore this view by investigating the "healthy is up, sick is down" spatial metaphors (e.g., "fell ill" and "top shape") in patients with CD, examining the correlation between the processing of bodily-related words, CD, and vertical space. We hypothesized that patients with CD, who experience their bodies as ill, will demonstrate a downwards bias when processing bodily-related words; corresponding to the "healthy is up, sick is down" spatial metaphor. A total of 8 female patients (ages M-38.13 SD-10.44) and 42 female controls (ages M-36.4 SD-14.57) performed a visual attention task. Participants were asked to identify a spatial probe at the top or the bottom of a screen, following either a bodily related (e.g., arm) or non-bodily related (e.g., clock) prime word. As predicted, when processing bodily-related words, patients with CD demonstrated a downwards attention bias. Moreover, the higher the patient's level of somatization, the faster the patient detected lower (vs upper) spatial targets. This study suggests that the changed health paradigm of patients with CD is grounded in sensorimotor perception. Further research could propose new diagnostic and treatment options for CD. Copyright © 2017 The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mueller, F; Fardadi, M; Shaffer, B; Brouwer, J; Jabbari, F
Spatial temperature feedback control has been developed for a simulated integrated non-pressurized simple cycle solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system. The fuel cell spatial temperature feedback controller is based on (1) feed-forward set-points that minimize temperature variation in the fuel cell electrode-electrolyte solid temperature profile for the system operating power range, and (2) decentralized proportional-integral based feedback to maintain the fuel cell spatial temperature profile du...
Irons, Jessica L; Remington, Roger W
Previous investigations of the ability to maintain separate attentional control settings for different spatial locations have relied principally on a go/no-go spatial-cueing paradigm. The results have suggested that control of attention is accomplished only late in processing. However, the go/no-go task does not provide strong incentives to withhold attention from irrelevant color-location conjunctions. We used a modified version of the task in which failing to adopt multiple control settings would be detrimental to performance. Two RSVP streams of colored letters appeared to the left and right of fixation. Participants searched for targets that were a conjunction of color and location, so that the target color for one stream acted as a distractor when presented in the opposite stream. Distractors that did not match the target conjunctions nevertheless captured attention and interfered with performance. This was the case even when the target conjunctions were previewed early in the trial prior to the target (Exp. 2). However, distractor interference was reduced when the upcoming distractor was previewed early on in the trial (Exp. 3). Attentional selection of targets by color-location conjunctions may be effective if facilitative attentional sets are accompanied by the top-down inhibition of irrelevant items.
Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.; Munkacsy, Michelle; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Handy, Todd C.
Executive cognitive functions play a critical role in falls risk – a pressing health care issue in seniors. In particular, intact attentional processing is integral for safe mobility and navigation. However, the specific contribution of impaired visual-spatial attention in falls remains unclear. In this study, we examined the association between visual-spatial attention to task-irrelevant stimuli and falls risk in community-dwelling older adults. Participants completed a visual target discrimination task at fixation while task-irrelevant probes were presented in both visual fields. We assessed attention to left and right peripheral probes using event-related potentials (ERPs). Falls risk was determined using the valid and reliable Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA). We found a significantly positive association between reduced attentional facilitation, as measured by the N1 ERP component, and falls risk. This relationship was specific to probes presented in the left visual field and measured at ipsilateral electrode sites. Our results suggest that fallers exhibit reduced attention to the left side of visual space and provide evidence that impaired right hemispheric function and/or structure may contribute to falls. PMID:24436970
Gunter, TC; Jackson, JL; Mulder, G
Three types of selective attention tasks were presented to 24 young (20.5 years) and 24 middle-aged (57.5 years) participants. The major aim of the experiment was to explore three different aspects of selective attention, namely a pre-attentive level (i.e. auditory passive oddball task), an
Molavi, Maziyar; Yunus, Jasmy; Utama, Nugraha P
Fasting can influence psychological and mental states. In the current study, the effect of periodical fasting on the process of emotion through gazed facial expression as a realistic multisource of social information was investigated for the first time. The dynamic cue-target task was applied via behavior and event-related potential measurements for 40 participants to reveal the temporal and spatial brain activities – before, during, and after fasting periods. The significance of fasting included several effects. The amplitude of the N1 component decreased over the centroparietal scalp during fasting. Furthermore, the reaction time during the fasting period decreased. The self-measurement of deficit arousal as well as the mood increased during the fasting period. There was a significant contralateral alteration of P1 over occipital area for the happy facial expression stimuli. The significant effect of gazed expression and its interaction with the emotional stimuli was indicated by the amplitude of N1. Furthermore, the findings of the study approved the validity effect as a congruency between gaze and target position, as indicated by the increment of P3 amplitude over centroparietal area as well as slower reaction time from behavioral response data during incongruency or invalid condition between gaze and target position compared with those during valid condition. Results of this study proved that attention to facial expression stimuli as a kind of communicative social signal was affected by fasting. Also, fasting improved the mood of practitioners. Moreover, findings from the behavioral and event-related potential data analyses indicated that the neural dynamics of facial emotion are processed faster than that of gazing, as the participants tended to react faster and prefer to relay on the type of facial emotions than to gaze direction while doing the task. Because of happy facial expression stimuli, right hemisphere activation was more than that of the left
Lin, Hsiang-Yuan; Tseng, Wen-Yih Isaac; Lai, Meng-Chuan; Matsuo, Kayako; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen
The frontoparietal control network, anatomically and functionally interposed between the dorsal attention network and default mode network, underpins executive control functions. Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) commonly exhibit deficits in executive functions, which are mainly mediated by the frontoparietal control network. Involvement of the frontoparietal control network based on the anterior prefrontal cortex in neurobiological mechanisms of ADHD has yet to be tested. We used resting-state functional MRI and seed-based correlation analyses to investigate functional connectivity of the frontoparietal control network in a sample of 25 children with ADHD (7-14 years; mean 9.94 ± 1.77 years; 20 males), and 25 age-, sex-, and performance IQ-matched typically developing (TD) children. All participants had limited in-scanner head motion. Spearman's rank correlations were used to test the associations between altered patterns of functional connectivity with clinical symptoms and executive functions, measured by the Conners' Continuous Performance Test and Spatial Span in the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Compared with TD children, children with ADHD demonstrated weaker connectivity between the right anterior prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the right ventrolateral PFC, and between the left anterior PFC and the right inferior parietal lobule. Furthermore, this aberrant connectivity of the frontoparietal control network in ADHD was associated with symptoms of impulsivity and opposition-defiance, as well as impaired response inhibition and attentional control. The findings support potential integration of the disconnection model and the executive dysfunction model for ADHD. Atypical frontoparietal control network may play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of ADHD.
Hong, Xiangfei; Wang, Yao; Sun, Junfeng; Li, Chunbo; Tong, Shanbao
Successfully inhibiting a prepotent response tendency requires the attentional detection of signals which cue response cancellation. Although neuroimaging studies have identified important roles of stimulus-driven processing in the attentional detection, the effects of top-down control were scarcely investigated. In this study, scalp EEG was recorded from thirty-two participants during a modified Go/NoGo task, in which a spatial-cueing approach was implemented to manipulate top-down selective attention. We observed classical event-related potential components, including N2 and P3, in the attended condition of response inhibition. While in the ignored condition of response inhibition, a smaller P3 was observed and N2 was absent. The correlation between P3 and CNV during the foreperiod suggested an inhibitory role of P3 in both conditions. Furthermore, source analysis suggested that P3 generation was mainly localized to the midcingulate cortex, and the attended condition showed increased activation relative to the ignored condition in several regions, including inferior frontal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, insula and uncus, suggesting that these regions were involved in top-down attentional control rather than inhibitory processing. Taken together, by segregating electrophysiological correlates of top-down selective attention from those of response inhibition, our findings provide new insights in understanding the neural mechanisms of response inhibition.
Kalinin, Yevgeniy V.; Murali, Adithya
Spatial control of chemical reactions, with micro- and nanometer scale resolution, has important consequences for one pot synthesis, engineering complex reactions, developmental biology, cellular biochemistry and emergent behavior. We review synthetic methods to engineer this spatial control using chemical diffusion from spherical particles, shells and polyhedra. We discuss systems that enable both isotropic and anisotropic chemical release from isolated and arrayed particles to create inhomogeneous and spatially patterned chemical fields. In addition to such finite chemical sources, we also discuss spatial control enabled with laminar flow in 2D and 3D microfluidic networks. Throughout the paper, we highlight applications of spatially controlled chemistry in chemical kinetics, reaction-diffusion systems, chemotaxis and morphogenesis. PMID:23145348
Pasiali, Varvara; LaGasse, A Blythe; Penn, Saundra L
Given the effect of musical training on the rate and accuracy of processing auditory information, therapeutic uses of music may potentially have remedial benefits for individuals with neurodevelopmental deficits. However, additional studies are needed to establish efficacy of music therapy interventions for attention skills in children/adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities including those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). To establish feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a group music therapy protocol to improve attention skills (sustained, selective, attentional control/switching) in adolescents diagnosed with autism and/or developmental delays. This single group pretest/posttest study took place in a private school for high functioning adolescents with neurodevelopmental delays. Nine students (4 males, 5 females), ages 13 to 20, participated in the study. Autism severity was assessed using the CARS2-HF and indicated the following distribution for study participants: severe (n = 3), mild (n = 4), or minimal/no (n = 2) symptoms. We assessed feasibility of implementing a 45-min Musical Attention Control Training (MACT) intervention delivered by a board-certified music therapist eight times over 6 weeks in a school setting. We also examined preliminary efficacy of the MACT to improve attention skills using the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch). Parental consent rate was 100%. All nine participants successfully completed testing measures and 6 weeks of the intervention. Average participation rate was 97%. Data analysis showed positive trends and improvements on measures of attentional control/switching and selective attention. The results showed that the intervention and testing measures were feasible to implement and acceptable to the participants who all completed the protocol. Data analysis demonstrated positive trends indicating that more research on the use of music therapy attention training in high-functioning adolescents with
Heeren, Alexandre; Mogoaşe, Cristina; McNally, Richard J; Schmitz, Anne; Philippot, Pierre
People with anxiety disorders often exhibit an attentional bias for threat. Attention bias modification (ABM) procedure may reduce this bias, thereby diminishing anxiety symptoms. In ABM, participants respond to probes that reliably follow non-threatening stimuli (e.g., neutral faces) such that their attention is directed away from concurrently presented threatening stimuli (e.g., disgust faces). Early studies showed that ABM reduced anxiety more than control procedures lacking any contingency between valenced stimuli and probes. However, recent work suggests that no-contingency training and training toward threat cues can be as effective as ABM in reducing anxiety, implying that any training may increase executive control over attention, thereby helping people inhibit their anxious thoughts. Extending this work, we randomly assigned participants with DSM-IV diagnosed social anxiety disorder to either training toward non-threat (ABM), training toward threat, or no-contingency condition, and we used the attention network task (ANT) to assess all three components of attention. After two training sessions, subjects in all three conditions exhibited indistinguishably significant declines from baseline to post-training in self-report and behavioral measures of anxiety on an impromptu speech task. Moreover, all groups exhibited similarly significant improvements on the alerting and executive (but not orienting) components of attention. Implications for ABM research are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Burleigh, M. R.; Richey, C. R.; Rinehart, S. A.; Quijada, M. A.; Wollack, E. J.
An absorptive half-moon aperture mask is experimentally explored as a broad-bandwidth means of eliminating spurious spectral features arising from reprocessed radiation in an infrared Fourier transform spectrometer. In the presence of the spatial filter, an order of magnitude improvement in the fidelity of the spectrometer baseline is observed. The method is readily accommodated within the context of commonly employed instrument configurations and leads to a factor of two reduction in optical throughput. A detailed discussion of the underlying mechanism and limitations of the method are provided.
Xie, Antai; Bernstein, Dennis
Active feedback noise control for rejecting broadband disturbances must contend with the Bode integral constraint, which implies that suppression over some frequency range gives rise to amplification over another range at the performance microphone. This is called spectral spillover. The present paper deals with spatial spillover, which refers to the amplification of noise at locations where no microphone is located. A spatial spillover function is defined, which is valid for both feedforward and feedback control with scalar and vector control inputs. This function is numerically analyzed and measured experimentally. Obstructions are introduced in the acoustic space to investigate their effect on spatial spillover.
Najmi, Sadia; Amir, Nader; Frosio, Kristen E.; Ayers, Catherine
Poor regulation of emotions may involve impaired attention control. In the current paper, we report the results of two studies examining the interaction of anxiety, attention control, and cognitive load. In Study I, using a performance-based task to assess attention control, we examined whether anxiety is associated with impaired attention control, and whether these effects are influenced by working memory load. In Study II we examined these effects in patients with a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) compared to non-anxious control (NAC) participants. Results of Study I showed that high anxiety was associated with increased attention control, that is decreased interference from distractors, but only under high cognitive load. These results were replicated in Study II such that individuals with GAD showed increased attention control relative to NACs, but only under high cognitive load. These results help clarify previous predictions regarding the effect of anxiety on attention control. PMID:25355423
Jones, Christopher R; Fazio, Russell H; Vasey, Michael W
We explored dispositional differences in the ability to self-regulate attentional processes in the domain of public speaking. Participants first completed measures of speech anxiety and attentional control. In a second session, participants prepared and performed a short speech. Fear of public speaking negatively impacted performance only for those low in attentional control. Thus, attentional control appears to act as a buffer that facilitates successful self-regulation despite performance anxiety.
Rizk, Mina M; Rubin-Falcone, Harry; Keilp, John; Miller, Jeffrey M; Sublette, M Elizabeth; Burke, Ainsley; Oquendo, Maria A; Kamal, Ahmed M; Abdelhameed, Mohamed A; Mann, J John
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with impaired attention control and alterations in frontal-subcortical connectivity. We hypothesized that attention control as assessed by Stroop task interference depends on white matter integrity in fronto-cingulate regions and assessed this relationship using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in MDD and healthy volunteers (HV). DTI images and Stroop task were acquired in 29 unmedicated MDD patients and 16 HVs, aged 18-65 years. The relationship between Stroop interference and fractional anisotropy (FA) was examined using region-of-interest (ROI) and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analyses. ROI analysis revealed that Stroop interference correlated positively with FA in left caudal anterior cingulate cortex (cACC) in HVs (r = 0.62, p = 0.01), but not in MDD (r = -0.05, p= 0.79) even after controlling for depression severity. The left cACC was among 4 ROIs in fronto-cingulate network where FA was lower in MDD relative to HVs (F (1,41) = 8.87, p = 0.005). Additionally, TBSS showed the same group interaction of differences and correlations, although only at a statistical trend level. The modest sample size limits the generalizability of the findings. Structural connectivity of white matter network of cACC correlated with magnitude of Stroop interference in HVs, but not MDD. The cACC-frontal network, sub-serving attention control, may be disrupted in MDD. Less cognitive control may include enhanced effects of salience in HVs, or less effective response inhibition in MDD. Further studies of salience and inhibition components of executive function may better elucidate the relationship between brain white matter changes and executive dysfunction in MDD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Sharma, Jitendra; Sugihara, Hiroki; Katz, Yarden; Schummers, James; Tenenbaum, Joshua; Sur, Mriganka
The brain uses attention and expectation as flexible devices for optimizing behavioral responses associated with expected but unpredictably timed events. The neural bases of attention and expectation are thought to engage higher cognitive loci; however, their influence at the level of primary visual cortex (V1) remains unknown. Here, we asked whether single-neuron responses in monkey V1 were influenced by an attention task of unpredictable duration. Monkeys covertly attended to a spot that remained unchanged for a fixed period and then abruptly disappeared at variable times, prompting a lever release for reward. We show that monkeys responded progressively faster and performed better as the trial duration increased. Neural responses also followed monkey's task engagement—there was an early, but short duration, response facilitation, followed by a late but sustained increase during the time monkeys expected the attention spot to disappear. This late attentional modulation was significantly and negatively correlated with the reaction time and was well explained by a modified hazard function. Such bimodal, time-dependent changes were, however, absent in a task that did not require explicit attentional engagement. Thus, V1 neurons carry reliable signals of attention and temporal expectation that correlate with predictable influences on monkeys' behavioral responses. PMID:24836689
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.
Full Text Available We propose a generic spatial domain control scheme for a class of nonlinear rotary systems of variable speeds and subject to spatially periodic disturbances. The nonlinear model of the rotary system in time domain is transformed into one in spatial domain employing a coordinate transformation with respect to angular displacement. Under the circumstances that measurement of the system states is not available, a nonlinear state observer is established for providing the estimated states. A two-degree-of-freedom spatial domain control configuration is then proposed to stabilize the system and improve the tracking performance. The first control module applies adaptive backstepping with projected parametric update and concentrates on robust stabilization of the closed-loop system. The second control module introduces an internal model of the periodic disturbances cascaded with a loop-shaping filter, which not only further reduces the tracking error but also improves parametric adaptation. The overall spatial domain output feedback adaptive control system is robust to model uncertainties and state estimated error and capable of rejecting spatially periodic disturbances under varying system speeds. Stability proof of the overall system is given. A design example with simulation demonstrates the applicability of the proposed design.
Snowden, Robert J; Curl, Catriona; Jobbins, Katherine; Lavington, Chloe; Gray, Nicola S
Abundant research has shown that men's sexual attractions are more category-specific in relation to gender than women's are. We tested whether the early automatic allocation of spatial attention reflects these sexual attractions. The dot-probe task was used to assess whether spatial attention was attracted to images of either male or female models that were naked or partially clothed. In Experiment 1, men were faster if the target appeared after the female stimulus, whereas women were equally quick to respond to targets after male or female stimuli. In Experiment 2, neutral cues were introduced. Men were again faster to female images in comparison to male or neutral images, but showed no bias on the male versus neutral test. Women were faster to both male and female pictures in comparison to neutral pictures. However, in this experiment they were also faster to female pictures than to male pictures. The results suggest that early attentional processes reveal category-specific interest to the preferred sexual category for heterosexual men, and suggest that heterosexual women do not have category-specific guidance of attentional mechanisms. The technique may have promise in measuring sexual interest in other situations where participants may not be able, or may not be willing, to report upon their sexual interests (e.g., assessment of paedophilic interest).
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.
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.
Kim, Daehyun; Cairns, David; Bartholdy, Jesper
In coastal environments, biogeographic patterns are generally influenced by surface elevation and horizontal distance from sea water. However, it is still unclear whether these major topographic factors are significant controls of vegetation patterns across spatial scales at which different physi...
Kane, Michael J; Poole, Bradley J; Tuholski, Stephen W; Engle, Randall W
The executive attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC) proposes that measures of WMC broadly predict higher order cognitive abilities because they tap important and general attention capabilities (R. W. Engle & M. J. Kane, 2004). Previous research demonstrated WMC-related differences in attention tasks that required restraint of habitual responses or constraint of conscious focus. To further specify the executive attention construct, the present experiments sought boundary conditions of the WMC-attention relation. Three experiments correlated individual differences in WMC, as measured by complex span tasks, and executive control of visual search. In feature-absence search, conjunction search, and spatial configuration search, WMC was unrelated to search slopes, although they were large and reliably measured. Even in a search task designed to require the volitional movement of attention (J. M. Wolfe, G. A. Alvarez, & T. S. Horowitz, 2000), WMC was irrelevant to performance. Thus, WMC is not associated with all demanding or controlled attention processes, which poses problems for some general theories of WMC. Copyright 2006 APA, all rights reserved.
Teunissen, H.A.; Spijkerman, R.; Schoenmakers, T.M.; Vohs, K.D.; Engels, R.C.M.
Attentional bias for alcohol cues increases craving and subsequent alcohol consumption. Override processes can be used to disengage attention from alcohol cues. This requires self-control and implies that depletion of self-control would impair the ability to disengage attention from alcohol cues.
Prediger, Rui D S; Pamplona, Fabrício A; Fernandes, Daniel; Takahashi, Reinaldo N
The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) is generally considered to be a suitable genetic model for the study of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), since it displays hyperactivity, impulsivity, poorly sustained attention, and deficits in learning and memory processes. Converging evidence suggests a primary role of disturbance in the dopaminergic neurotransmission in ADHD patients and in SHR, and in addition, some studies have also demonstrated alterations in adenosinergic neurotransmission in SHR. In the present study, adult female Wistar (WIS) and SHR rats received caffeine (1-10 mg/kg i.p.) 30 min before training, immediately after training, or 30 min before a test session in the spatial version of the Morris water maze. The effect of caffeine administration on WIS and SHR blood pressure was also measured. SHR needed significantly more trials in the training session to acquire the spatial information, but they displayed a similar profile to that of WIS rats in the test session (48 h later), demonstrating a selective deficit in spatial learning. Pre-training administration of caffeine (1-10 mg/kg i.p.) improved this spatial learning deficit in SHR, but did not alter the WIS performance. In contrast, post-training administration of caffeine (3 mg/kg i.p.) did not alter the SHR test performance, but increased memory retention in WIS rats. No dose of caffeine tested altered the mean blood pressure of WIS or SHR. These results demonstrate a selective spatial learning deficit in SHR which can be attenuated by pre-training administration of caffeine. In addition, the present findings indicate that the spatial learning deficit in SHR is not directly related to hypertension.
On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access : Parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'
Wyble, Brad; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark
On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access: parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'
Zago, Laure; Petit, Laurent; Mellet, Emmanuel; Jobard, Gaël; Crivello, Fabrice; Joliot, Marc; Mazoyer, Bernard; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie
Cerebral lateralization for language production and spatial attention and their relationships with manual preference strength (MPS) were assessed in a sample of 293 healthy volunteers, including 151 left-handers, using fMRI during covert sentence production (PROD) and line bisection judgment (LBJ) tasks, as compared to high- and low-level reference tasks. At the group level, we found the expected complementary hemispheric specialization (HS) with leftward asymmetries for PROD within frontal and temporal regions and rightward asymmetries for LBJ within frontal and posterior occipito-parieto-temporal regions. Individual hemispheric (HLI) and regional (frontal and occipital) lateralization indices (LI) were then calculated on the activation maps for PROD and LBJ. We found a correlation between the degree of rightward cerebral asymmetry and the leftward behavioral attentional bias recorded during LBJ task. This correlation was found when LBJ-LI was computed over the hemispheres, in the frontal lobes, but not in the occipital lobes. We then investigated whether language production and spatial attention cerebral lateralization relate to each other, and whether manual preference was a variable that impacted the complementary HS of these functions. No correlation was found between spatial and language LIs in the majority of our sample of participants, including right-handers with a strong right-hand preference (sRH, n=97) and mixed-handers (MH, n=97), indicating that these functions lateralized independently. By contrast, in the group of left-handers with a strong left-hand preference (sLH, n= 99), a negative correlation was found between language and spatial lateralization. This negative correlation was found when LBJ-LI and PROD-LI were computed over the hemispheres, in the frontal lobes and between the occipital lobes for LBJ and the frontal lobes for PROD. These findings underline the importance to include sLH in the study sample to reveal the underlying mechanisms of
Baldwin, Carryl L; Lewis, Bridget A
Music sometimes improves performance in sustained attention tasks. But the type of music employed in previous investigations has varied considerably, which can account for equivocal results. Progress has been hampered by lack of a systematic database of music varying in key characteristics like tempo and valence. The aims of this study were to establish a database of popular music varying along the dimensions of tempo and valence and to examine the impact of music varying along these dimensions on restoring attentional resources following performance of a sustained attention to response task (SART) vigil. Sixty-nine participants rated popular musical selections that varied in valence and tempo to establish a database of four musical types: fast tempo positive valence, fast tempo negative valence, slow tempo positive valence, and slow tempo negative valence. A second group of 89 participants performed two blocks of the SART task interspersed with either no break or a rest break consisting of 1 of the 4 types of music or silence. Presenting positive valence music (particularly of slow tempo) during an intermission between two successive blocks of the SART significantly decreased miss rates relative to negative valence music or silence. Results support an attentional restoration theory of the impact of music on sustained attention, rather than arousal theory and demonstrate a means of restoring sustained attention. Further, the results establish the validity of a music database that will facilitate further investigations of the impact of music on performance.
Dillen, L.F. van; Wal, R.C. van der; Bos, K. van den
The emotion of disgust can influence people’s moral judgments, even if this emotion objectively is unrelated to the moral judgment in question. The present work demonstrates that attentional control regulates this effect. In three studies, disgust was induced. In an unrelated part of the studies,
Shiels, Keri; Hawk, Larry W; Lysczek, Cynthia L; Tannock, Rosemary; Pelham, William E; Spencer, Sarah V; Gangloff, Brian P; Waschbusch, Daniel A
Working memory is one of several putative core neurocognitive processes in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present work seeks to determine whether visual-spatial working memory is sensitive to motivational incentives, a laboratory analogue of behavioral treatment. Participants were 21 children (ages 7-10) with a diagnosis of ADHD-combined type. Participants completed a computerized spatial span task designed to assess storage of visual-spatial information (forward span) and manipulation of the stored information (backward span). The spatial span task was completed twice on the same day, once with a performance-based incentive (trial-wise feedback and points redeemable for prizes) and once without incentives. Participants performed significantly better on the backward span when rewarded for correct responses, compared to the no incentive condition. However, incentives had no effect on performance during the forward span. These findings may suggest the use of motivational incentives improved manipulation, but not storage, of visual-spatial information among children with ADHD. Possible explanations for the differential incentive effects are discussed, including the possibility that incentives prevented a vigilance decrement as task difficulty and time on task increased.
Luo, Xiaoxiao; Zhang, Liwei; Wang, Jin
The present study aimed to examine the effects of working memory capacity (WMC) and state anxiety (SA) on attentional control. WMC was manipulated by (a) dividing participants into low- and high-WMC groups (Experiment 1), and (b) using working memory training to improve WMC (Experiment 2). SA was manipulated by creating low- and high-SA conditions. Attentional control was evaluated by using antisaccade task. Results demonstrated that (a) higher WMC indicated better attentional control (Experiments 1 and 2); (b) the effects of SA on attentional control were inconsistent because SA impaired attentional control in Experiment 1, but favored attentional control in Experiment 2; and (c) the interaction of SA and WMC was not significant (Experiments 1 and 2). This study directly manipulated WMC by working memory training, which provided more reliable evidence for controlled attention view of WMC and new supportive evidence for working memory training (i.e., far transfer effect on attentional control). And the refinement of the relationship between anxiety and attentional control proposed by Attentional Control Theory was also discussed.
Full Text Available The present study aimed to examine the effects of working memory capacity (WMC and state anxiety (SA on attentional control. WMC was manipulated by (a dividing participants into low- and high-WMC groups (Experiment 1, and (b using working memory training to improve WMC (Experiment 2. SA was manipulated by creating low- and high-SA conditions. Attentional control was evaluated by using antisaccade task. Results demonstrated that (a higher WMC indicated better attentional control (Experiments 1 and 2; (b the effects of SA on attentional control were inconsistent because SA impaired attentional control in Experiment 1, but favored attentional control in Experiment 2; and (c the interaction of SA and WMC was not significant (Experiments 1 and 2. This study directly manipulated WMC by working memory training, which provided more reliable evidence for controlled attention view of WMC and new supportive evidence for working memory training (i.e., far transfer effect on attentional control. And the refinement of the relationship between anxiety and attentional control proposed by Attentional Control Theory was also discussed.
Lien, Mei-Ching; Gemperle, Alison; Ruthruff, Eric
The present study examined whether people become more susceptible to capture by salient objects as they age. Participants searched a target display for a letter in a specific color and indicated its identity. In Experiment 1, this target display was preceded by a non-informative cue display containing one target-color box, one ignored-color box, and two white boxes. On half of the trials, this cue display also contained a salient-but-irrelevant abrupt onset. To assess capture by the target-color cue, we used the N2pc component of the event-related potential, thought to reflect attentional allocation to the left or right visual field. The target-color box in the cue display produced a substantial N2pc effect for younger adults and, most importantly, this effect was not diminished by the presence of an abrupt onset. Therefore, the abrupt onset was unable to capture attention away from the target-color cue. Critically, older adults demonstrated the same resistance to capture by the abrupt onset. Experiment 2 extended these findings to irrelevant color singleton cues. Thus, we argue that the ability to attend to relevant stimuli and resist capture by salient-but-irrelevant stimuli is preserved with advancing age. (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved.
Bareham, Corinne A; Manly, Tom; Pustovaya, Olga V; Scott, Sophie K; Bekinschtein, Tristan A
Unilateral brain damage can lead to a striking deficit in awareness of stimuli on one side of space called Spatial Neglect. Patient studies show that neglect of the left is markedly more persistent than of the right and that its severity increases under states of low alertness. There have been suggestions that this alertness-spatial awareness link may be detectable in the general population. Here, healthy human volunteers performed an auditory spatial localisation task whilst transitioning in and out of sleep. We show, using independent electroencephalographic measures, that normal drowsiness is linked with a remarkable unidirectional tendency to mislocate left-sided stimuli to the right. The effect may form a useful healthy model of neglect and help in understanding why leftward inattention is disproportionately persistent after brain injury. The results also cast light on marked changes in conscious experience before full sleep onset.
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.
Theeuwes, J.; Kramer, A.F.; Atchley, P.
Most accounts of visual perception hold that the detection of primitive features occurs preattentively, in parallel across the visual field. Evidence that preattentive vision operates without attentional limitations comes from visual search tasks in which the detection of the presence or absence of
Facoetti, Andrea; Trussardi, Anna Noemi; Ruffino, Milena; Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Cattaneo, Carmen; Galli, Raffaella; Molteni, Massimo; Zorzi, Marco
Although the dominant approach posits that developmental dyslexia arises from deficits in systems that are exclusively linguistic in nature (i.e., phonological deficit theory), dyslexics show a variety of lower level deficits in sensory and attentional processing. Although their link to the reading disorder remains contentious, recent empirical…
Van Kessel, M.E.; Van Nes, I.J.W.; Brouwer, W.H.; Geurts, A.C.H.; Fasotti, L
Asymmetry in performance and an association with non-lateralized attention are often mentioned as two important aspects of the clinical manifestation of visuospatial neglect. Both these aspects were investigated in 21 left (LH) and 24 right hemisphere (RH) stroke patients and in 20 healthy subjects.
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.
Full Text Available A recent ERP study using a spatial cueing paradigm found that the physiological indices accompanying the orienting, shifting and allocation processes of attention, and the performance on the task in terms of speed and accuracy of responding on the other hand covaried (Talsma, Mulckhuyse, Slagter, & Theeuwes, 2007. However, the stimuli used in the former study possibly allowed for bottom-up capture of attention. Therefore the results could not unequivocally be attributed to a top-down attentional process. The present study is a follow-up of the Talsma et al. (2007 study and the stimuli design used in this study controlled for possible bottom-up effects. As a result, participants needed to spatially allocate attention in a top-down way. Indeed, in this study an Event-related Potential (ERP component associated with the top-down allocation of attention was found; the N2-posterior-contralateral (N2pc. N2pc amplitudes were bigger in the fastest versus the slowest trials for the validly and non-informatively cued targets at posterior scalp sites. The present study replicated the Talsma et al. (2007 findings that the target-evoked N1 components were larger for the faster trials in the validly and non-informatively cued trials.
Yuan, Lei; Uttal, David; Franconeri, Steven
Perceiving not just values, but relations between values, is critical to human cognition. We tested the predictions of a proposed mechanism for processing categorical spatial relations between two objects--the "shift account" of relation processing--which states that relations such as "above" or "below" are extracted…
Shimi, Andria; Scerif, Gaia
What cognitive processes influence how well we maintain information in visual short-term memory (VSTM)? We used a developmentally informed design to delve into the interplay of top-down spatial biases with the nature of the internal memory codes, motivated by documented changes for both factors over childhood. Seven-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and…
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.
Full Text Available The role of body orientation in the orienting and allocation of social attention was examined using an adapted Simon paradigm. Participants categorized the facial expression of forward facing, computer-generated human figures by pressing one of two response keys, each located left or right of the observers’ body midline, while the orientation of the stimulus figure’s body (trunk, arms, and legs, which was the task-irrelevant feature of interest, was manipulated (oriented towards the left or right visual hemifield with respect to the spatial location of the required response. We found that when the orientation of the body was compatible with the required response location, responses were slower relative to when body orientation was incompatible with the response location. This reverse compatibility effect suggests that body orientation is automatically processed into a directional spatial code, but that this code is based on an integration of head and body orientation within an allocentric-based frame of reference. Moreover, we argue that this code may be derived from the motion information implied in the image of a figure when head and body orientation are incongruent. Our results have implications for understanding the nature of the information that affects the allocation of attention for social orienting.
Full Text Available Both neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging studies have identified that the posterior parietal lobe (PPL is critical for the attention function. However, the unique role of distinct parietal cortical subregions and their underlying white matter (WM remains in question. In this study, we collected both magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI data in normal participants, and evaluated their attention performance using attention network test (ANT, which could isolate three different attention components: alerting, orienting and executive control. Cortical thickness, surface area and DTI parameters were extracted from predefined PPL subregions and correlated with behavioural performance. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS was used for the voxel-wise statistical analysis. Results indicated structure-behaviour relationships on multiple levels. First, a link between the cortical thickness and WM integrity of the right inferior parietal regions and orienting performance was observed. Specifically, probabilistic tractography demonstrated that the integrity of WM connectivity between the bilateral inferior parietal lobules mediated the orienting performance. Second, the scores of executive control were significantly associated with the WM diffusion metrics of the right supramarginal gyrus. Finally, TBSS analysis revealed that alerting performance was significant correlated with the fractional anisotropy of local WM connecting the right thalamus and supplementary motor area. We conclude that distinct areas and features within PPL are associated with different components of attention. These findings could yield a more complete understanding of the nature of the PPL contribution to visuospatial attention.
Oerbeck, Beate; Kristensen, Hanne
The aim of the study was to explore the association between selective mutism (SM) and attention. In SM social anxiety seems central but language impairment and motor problems are also reported. Attention problems have been described in parental behavioral ratings, while neuropsychological studies are lacking. A neuropsychological test (the Trail Making Test) and parental ratings of attention- and anxiety problems were administered to a clinical sample of 23 children with SM (aged 7-16 years, 12 boys and 11 girls) and 46 non-referred matched controls. The SM group differed from controls on the Trail Making Test, but the group difference disappeared, when controlling for motor function and IQ. Parental ratings of attention problems were not significantly associated with the neuropsychological attention measure. Neuropsychological studies of attention controlled for IQ and motor function are needed as well as tests that measure different aspects of attention.
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.
Arrington, C. Nikki; Kulesz, Paulina A.; Francis, David J.; Fletcher, Jack M.; Barnes, Marcia A.
Little is known about how specific components of working memory, namely, attentional processes including response inhibition, sustained attention, and cognitive inhibition, are related to reading decoding and comprehension. The current study evaluated the relations of reading comprehension, decoding, working memory, and attentional control in…
Oriet, Chris; Pandey, Mamata; Kawahara, Jun-Ichiro
Distractors presented prior to a critical target in a rapid sequence of visually-presented items induce a lag-dependent deficit in target identification, particularly when the distractor shares a task-relevant feature of the target. Presumably, such capture of central attention is important for bringing a target into awareness. The results of the present investigation suggest that greater capture of attention by a distractor is not accompanied by greater awareness of it. Moreover, awareness tends to be limited to superficial characteristics of the target such as colour. The findings are interpreted within the context of a model that assumes sudden increases in arousal trigger selection of information for consolidation in working memory. In this conceptualization, prolonged analysis of distractor items sharing task-relevant features leads to larger target identification deficits (i.e., greater capture) but no increase in awareness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Xiaoxiao Luo; Liwei Zhang; Jin Wang
The present study aimed to examine the effects of working memory capacity (WMC) and state anxiety (SA) on attentional control. WMC was manipulated by (a) dividing participants into low- and high-WMC groups (Experiment 1), and (b) using working memory training to improve WMC (Experiment 2). SA was manipulated by creating low- and high-SA conditions. Attentional control was evaluated by using antisaccade task. Results demonstrated that (a) higher WMC indicated better attentional control (Experi...
Egan, John M.; Loughnane, Gerard M.; Fletcher, Helen; Meade, Emma; Lalor, Edmund C.
Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) use measures of brain activity to convey a user’s intent without the need for muscle movement. Hybrid designs, which use multiple measures of brain activity, have been shown to increase the accuracy of BCIs, including those based on EEG signals reflecting covert attention. Our study examined whether incorporating a measure of the P3 response improved the performance of a previously reported attention-based BCI design that incorporates measures of steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) and alpha band modulations. Approach. Subjects viewed stimuli consisting of two bi-laterally located flashing white boxes on a black background. Streams of letters were presented sequentially within the boxes, in random order. Subjects were cued to attend to one of the boxes without moving their eyes, and they were tasked with counting the number of target-letters that appeared within. P3 components evoked by target appearance, SSVEPs evoked by the flashing boxes, and power in the alpha band are modulated by covert attention, and the modulations can be used to classify trials as left-attended or right-attended. Main Results. We showed that classification accuracy was improved by including a P3 feature along with the SSVEP and alpha features (the inclusion of a P3 feature lead to a 9% increase in accuracy compared to the use of SSVEP and Alpha features alone). We also showed that the design improves the robustness of BCI performance to individual subject differences. Significance. These results demonstrate that incorporating multiple neurophysiological indices of covert attention can improve performance in a gaze-independent BCI.
Cousijn, J.; Watson, P.; Koenders, L.; Vingerhoets, W.A.M.; Goudriaan, A.E.; Wiers, R.W.
One of the characteristics of people suffering from addictive behaviors is the tendency to be distracted by drug cues. This attentional bias for drug cues is thought to lead to increased craving and drug use, and may draw individuals into a vicious cycle of drug addiction. In the current study we
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…
Colzato, L.S.; van den Wildenberg, W.P.M.; Hommel, B.
Despite the abundance of evidence that human perception is penetrated by beliefs and expectations, scientific research so far has entirely neglected the possible impact of religious background on attention. Here we show that Dutch Calvinists and atheists, brought up in the same country and culture
Lisi, Matteo; Bonato, Mario; Zorzi, Marco
It has long been known that the diameter of human pupil enlarges with increasing effort during the execution of a task. This has been observed not only for purely mechanical effort but also for mental effort, as for example the computation of arithmetic problems with different levels of difficulty. Here we show that pupil dilation reflects changes in visuospatial awareness induced by attentional load during multi-tasking. In the single-task condition, participants had to report the position of lateralized, briefly presented, masked visual targets ("right", "left", or "both" sides). In the multitasking conditions, participants also performed additional tasks, either visual or auditory, to increase the attentional load. Sensory stimulation was kept constant across all conditions to rule out the influence of low-level factors. Results show that event-related pupil dilation strikingly increased with task demands, mirroring a concurrent decrease in visuospatial awareness. Importantly, pupil dilation significantly differed between two dual-task conditions that required to process the same number of stimuli but yielded differed levels of accuracy (difficulty). In contrast, pupil dilation did not differ between two conditions which were equally challenging but differed both in the modality of the dual task (auditory vs. visual) and in the number of stimuli to be attended. We conclude that pupil dilation genuinely reflects the top-down allocation of supramodal attentional resources. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD responses were measured in parts of primary visual cortex that represented unstimulated visual field regions at different distances from a stimulated central target location. The composition of the visual scene varied by the presence or absence of additional peripheral distracter stimuli. Bottom-up effects were assessed by comparing peripheral activity during central stimulation vs. no stimulation. Top-down effects were assessed by comparing active vs. passive conditions. In passive conditions subjects simply watched the central letter stimuli and in active conditions they had to report occurrence of pre-defined targets in a rapid serial letter stream. Onset of the central letter stream enhanced activity in V1 representations of the stimulated region. Within representations of the periphery activation decreased and finally turned into deactivation with increasing distance from the stimulated location. This pattern was most pronounced in the active conditions and during the presence of peripheral stimuli. Active search for a target did not lead to additional enhancement at areas representing the attentional focus but to a stronger deactivation in the vicinity. Suppressed neuronal activity was also found in the non distracter condition suggesting a top-down attention driven effect. Our observations suggest that BOLD signal decreases in primary visual cortex are modulated by bottom-up sensory-driven factors such as the presence of distracters in the visual field as well as by top-down attentional processes.
Carlile, Simon; Corkhill, Caitlin
To hear out a conversation against other talkers listeners overcome energetic and informational masking. Largely attributed to top-down processes, information masking has also been demonstrated using unintelligible speech and amplitude-modulated maskers suggesting bottom-up processes. We examined the role of speech-like amplitude modulations in information masking using a spatial masking release paradigm. Separating a target talker from two masker talkers produced a 20?dB improvement in speec...
Full Text Available It is still a challenge for robots to interact with complex environments in a smooth and natural manner. The robot should be aware of its surroundings and inner status to make decisions accordingly and appropriately. Contexts benefit the interaction a lot, such as avoiding frequent interruptions (e.g., the explicit inputting requests and thus are essential for interaction. Other challenges, such as shifting attentional focus to a more important stimulus, etc., are also crucial in interaction control. This paper presents a hybrid automatic control approach for interaction, as well as its integration, with these multiple important factors, aiming at performing natural, human-like interactions in robots. In particular, a novel approach of architectural attentional control, based on affection is presented, which attempts to shift the attentional focus in a natural manner. Context-aware computing is combined with interaction to endow the robot with proactive abilities. The long-term interaction control approaches are described. Emotion and personality are introduced into the interaction and their influence mechanism on interaction is explored. We implemented the proposal in an interactive head robot (IHR and the experimental results indicate the effectiveness.
Riley, Elizabeth; Okabe, Hidefusa; Germine, Laura; Wilmer, Jeremy; Esterman, Michael; DeGutis, Joseph
Sustained attentional control is critical for everyday tasks and success in school and employment. Understanding gender differences in sustained attentional control, and their potential sources, is an important goal of psychology and neuroscience and of great relevance to society. We used a large web-based sample (n = 21,484, from testmybrain.org) to examine gender differences in sustained attentional control. Our sample included participants from 41 countries, allowing us to examine how gender differences in each country relate to national indices of gender equality. We found significant gender differences in certain aspects of sustained attentional control. Using indices of gender equality, we found that overall sustained attentional control performance was lower in countries with less equality and that there were greater gender differences in performance in countries with less equality. These findings suggest that creating sociocultural conditions which value women and men equally can improve a component of sustained attention and reduce gender disparities in cognition.
Riley, Elizabeth; Okabe, Hidefusa; Germine, Laura; Wilmer, Jeremy; Esterman, Michael; DeGutis, Joseph
Sustained attentional control is critical for everyday tasks and success in school and employment. Understanding gender differences in sustained attentional control, and their potential sources, is an important goal of psychology and neuroscience and of great relevance to society. We used a large web-based sample (n = 21,484, from testmybrain.org) to examine gender differences in sustained attentional control. Our sample included participants from 41 countries, allowing us to examine how gender differences in each country relate to national indices of gender equality. We found significant gender differences in certain aspects of sustained attentional control. Using indices of gender equality, we found that overall sustained attentional control performance was lower in countries with less equality and that there were greater gender differences in performance in countries with less equality. These findings suggest that creating sociocultural conditions which value women and men equally can improve a component of sustained attention and reduce gender disparities in cognition. PMID:27802294
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.
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.
Jeong, Su Keun; Xu, Yaoda
The human parietal cortex exhibits a preference to contralaterally presented visual stimuli (i.e., laterality) as well as an asymmetry between the two hemispheres with the left parietal cortex showing greater laterality than the right. Using visual short-term memory and perceptual tasks and varying target location predictability, this study examined whether hemispheric laterality and asymmetry are fixed characteristics of the human parietal cortex or whether they are dynamic and modulated by the deployment of top-down attention to the target present hemifield. Two parietal regions were examined here that have previously been shown to be involved in visual object individuation and identification and are located in the inferior and superior intraparietal sulcus (IPS), respectively. Across three experiments, significant laterality was found in both parietal regions regardless of attentional modulation with laterality being greater in the inferior than superior IPS, consistent with their roles in object individuation and identification, respectively. Although the deployment of top-down attention had no effect on the superior IPS, it significantly increased laterality in the inferior IPS. The deployment of top-down spatial attention can thus amplify the strength of laterality in the inferior IPS. Hemispheric asymmetry, on the other hand, was absent in both brain regions and only emerged in the inferior but not the superior IPS with the deployment of top-down attention. Interestingly, the strength of hemispheric asymmetry significantly correlated with the strength of laterality in the inferior IPS. Hemispheric asymmetry thus seems to only emerge when there is a sufficient amount of laterality present in a brain region.
Deruelle, Christine; Rondan, Cecilie; Salle-Collemiche, Xavier; Bastard-Rosset, Delphine; Da Fonseca, David
This study was aimed at investigating face categorization strategies in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Performance of 17 children with ASD was compared to that of 17 control children in a face-matching task, including hybrid faces (composed of two overlapping faces of different spatial bandwidths) and either low- or high-pass…
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.
Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin
During the retention of visual information in working memory, event-related brain potentials show a sustained negativity over posterior visual regions contralateral to the side where memorized stimuli were presented. This contralateral delay activity (CDA) is generally believed to be a neural marker of working memory storage. In two experiments, we contrasted this storage account of the CDA with the alternative hypothesis that the CDA reflects the current focus of spatial attention on a subset of memorized items set up during the most recent encoding episode. We employed a sequential loading procedure where participants memorized four task-relevant items that were presented in two successive memory displays (M1 and M2). In both experiments, CDA components were initially elicited contralateral to task-relevant items in M1. Critically, the CDA switched polarity when M2 displays appeared on the opposite side. In line with the attentional activation account, these reversed CDA components exclusively reflected the number of items that were encoded from M2 displays, irrespective of how many M1 items were already held in working memory. On trials where M1 and M2 displays were presented on the same side and on trials where M2 displays appeared nonlaterally, CDA components elicited in the interval after M2 remained sensitive to a residual trace of M1 items, indicating that some activation of previously stored items was maintained across encoding episodes. These results challenge the hypothesis that CDA amplitudes directly reflect the total number of stored objects and suggest that the CDA is primarily sensitive to the activation of a subset of working memory representations within the current focus of spatial attention.
Full Text Available Aims: Previous research on the Oculomotor Capture Task (OCT found that older adults make a greater percentage of reflexive saccades to a distractor than younger adults. This finding may be due to a decrease in ability to disengage attention. This study is aimed at determining whether performance on a Posner attentional disengagement task, and a Flanker interference task can predict error rates on the OCT in older adults. It is hypothesised that participants' performance on the Posner and Flanker tasks will positively correlate with their performance on the OCT. Method: Participants (n = 27 completed three tasks. The OCT involved participants looking at six grey dots on a computer. After 1000ms the colour of the five dots changed to red. Simultaneously, an extra dot (distractor appeared. Participants had to look at the remaining grey dot. The Flanker task required participants to respond to the identity of a letter, H or E, flanked by either congruent or incongruent letters. The Posner task comprised a red cue, followed by a square that had a gap on the top or bottom of it. Participants had to indicate which it was. Results: Results showed that there was a moderate correlation between percentage captures and the difference in RT on the Posner task, r = .35, p = .067. There was a significant correlation between age and percentage capture on the OCT, r = .53, p = .004. Conclusions: The results showed that percentage captures increased with age, supporting previous research. The moderate correlation between percentage captures and performance on the Posner task suggests that time taken to disengage attention from a distractor may predict performance on the OCT.
Schubert, Jonathan T W; Buchholz, Verena N; Föcker, Julia; Engel, Andreas K; Röder, Brigitte; Heed, Tobias
Touch can be localized either on the skin in anatomical coordinates, or, after integration with posture, in external space. Sighted individuals are thought to encode touch in both coordinate systems concurrently, whereas congenitally blind individuals exhibit a strong bias for using anatomical coordinates. We investigated the neural correlates of this differential dominance in the use of anatomical and external reference frames by assessing oscillatory brain activity during a tactile spatial attention task. The EEG was recorded while sighted and congenitally blind adults received tactile stimulation to uncrossed and crossed hands while detecting rare tactile targets at one cued hand only. In the sighted group, oscillatory alpha-band activity (8-12Hz) in the cue-target interval was reduced contralaterally and enhanced ipsilaterally with uncrossed hands. Hand crossing attenuated the degree of posterior parietal alpha-band lateralization, indicating that attention deployment was affected by external spatial coordinates. Beamforming suggested that this posture effect originated in the posterior parietal cortex. In contrast, cue-related lateralization of central alpha-band as well as of beta-band activity (16-24Hz) were unaffected by hand crossing, suggesting that these oscillations exclusively encode anatomical coordinates. In the blind group, central alpha-band activity was lateralized, but did not change across postures. The pattern of beta-band activity was indistinguishable between groups. Because the neural mechanisms for posterior alpha-band generation seem to be linked to developmental vision, we speculate that the lack of this neural mechanism in blind individuals is related to their preferred use of anatomical over external spatial codes in sensory processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Unsworth, Nash; Robison, Matthew K.
A great deal of prior research has examined the relation between working memory capacity (WMC) and attention control. The current study explored the role of arousal in individual differences in WMC and attention control. Participants performed multiple WMC and attention control tasks. During the attention control tasks participants were…
Grossberg, Stephen; Pilly, Praveen K
A neural model proposes how entorhinal grid cells and hippocampal place cells may develop as spatial categories in a hierarchy of self-organizing maps (SOMs). The model responds to realistic rat navigational trajectories by learning both grid cells with hexagonal grid firing fields of multiple spatial scales, and place cells with one or more firing fields, that match neurophysiological data about their development in juvenile rats. Both grid and place cells can develop by detecting, learning and remembering the most frequent and energetic co-occurrences of their inputs. The model's parsimonious properties include: similar ring attractor mechanisms process linear and angular path integration inputs that drive map learning; the same SOM mechanisms can learn grid cell and place cell receptive fields; and the learning of the dorsoventral organization of multiple spatial scale modules through medial entorhinal cortex to hippocampus (HC) may use mechanisms homologous to those for temporal learning through lateral entorhinal cortex to HC ('neural relativity'). The model clarifies how top-down HC-to-entorhinal attentional mechanisms may stabilize map learning, simulates how hippocampal inactivation may disrupt grid cells, and explains data about theta, beta and gamma oscillations. The article also compares the three main types of grid cell models in the light of recent data.
Casagrande, Maria; Marotta, Andrea; Canepone, Valeria; Spagna, Alfredo; Rosa, Caterina; Dimaggio, Giancarlo; Pasini, Augusto
The present study examined attentional networks performance in 39 adolescents with dysfunctional personality traits, split into two group, Group Personality Disorders. The attentional performance has been tested by means of a modified version of the Attentional Network Test (ANTI-V) which allows testing both phasic and tonic components of the alerting system, the exogenous aspect of the orienting system, the executive network and their interactions. Results showed that the orienting costs of having an invalid spatial cue were reduced in the Group ≥ 10 criteria compared to the Group splitting the sample into two categorical groups were also observed in a complementary correlation analysis keeping intact the continuous nature of such variables. These findings are consistent with the notion that dysfunctional features of personality disorders may represent the psychological manifestations of a neuropsychological abnormality in attention and executive functioning. Finally, we discuss the implications of this attentional anomaly for dysfunctional personality traits and behaviour.
J., Leijten; Seo, Jungmok; Yue, Kan; Trujillo-de Santiago, Grissel; Tamayol, Ali; Ruiz-Esparza, Guillermo U.; Ryon Shin, Su; Sharifi, Roholah; Noshadi, Iman; Moises Alvarez, Mario; Shrike Zhang, Yu; Khademhosseini, Ali
Recent years have seen tremendous advances in the field of hydrogel-based biomaterials. One of the most prominent revolutions in this field has been the integration of elements or techniques that enable spatial and temporal control over hydrogels’ properties and functions. Here, we critically review
Crump, Matthew J C; Milliken, Bruce; Leboe-McGowan, Jason; Leboe-McGowan, Launa; Gao, Xiaoqing
There are several independent demonstrations that attentional phenomena can be controlled in a context-dependent manner by cues associated with differing attentional control demands. The present set of experiments provide converging evidence that attention-capture phenomena can be modulated in a context-dependent fashion. We determined whether methods from the proportion congruent literature (listwide and item- and context-specific proportion congruent designs) that are known to modulate distractor interference effects in Stroop and flanker tasks are capable of modulating attention capture by salient feature singletons. Across experiments we found evidence that attention capture can be modulated by listwide, item-specific, and context-specific manipulations of proportion congruent. We discuss challenges associated with interpreting results from proportion congruent studies but propose that our findings converge with existing work that has demonstrated context-dependent control of attention capture. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Krizman, Jennifer; Skoe, Erika; Marian, Viorica; Kraus, Nina
Auditory processing is presumed to be influenced by cognitive processes - including attentional control - in a top-down manner. In bilinguals, activation of both languages during daily communication hones inhibitory skills, which subsequently bolster attentional control. We hypothesize that the heightened attentional demands of bilingual communication strengthens connections between cognitive (i.e., attentional control) and auditory processing, leading to greater across-trial consistency in the auditory evoked response (i.e., neural consistency) in bilinguals. To assess this, we collected passively-elicited auditory evoked responses to the syllable [da] in adolescent Spanish-English bilinguals and English monolinguals and separately obtained measures of attentional control and language ability. Bilinguals demonstrated enhanced attentional control and more consistent brainstem and cortical responses. In bilinguals, but not monolinguals, brainstem consistency tracked with language proficiency and attentional control. We interpret these enhancements in neural consistency as the outcome of strengthened attentional control that emerged from experience communicating in two languages. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gladwin, Thomas E.; ter Mors-Schulte, Mieke H. J.; Ridderinkhof, K. Richard; Wiers, Reinout W.
Automatic attentional engagement toward and disengagement from alcohol cues play a role in alcohol use and dependence. In the current study, social drinkers performed a spatial cueing task designed to evoke conflict between such automatic processes and task instructions, a potentially important task
Schankin, Andrea; Hagemann, Dirk; Schubö, Anna
When search displays are repeatedly presented, participants become faster in finding the target (contextual cueing, CC). It has been debated whether a more liberal response criterion might contribute to CC. In the current experiment, participants had to search through target-absent and target-present trials to compute d-prime as the measurement of sensitivity and beta as the measurement of response bias. Results showed that participants' sensitivity was not affected by the repetition of search displays. Although repeated displays led to both faster RTs and a more liberal response criterion, these effects were uncorrelated. In the event-related potential, RT effects were reflected by a late positive activity, which reflects response-related processes, but not by differences in the N2pc as electrophysiological correlate of focused attention. These results indicate that a more liberal response criterion is not the cause for CC effects in RTs but that other response-related processes might still contribute to the effect. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Two experiments were carried out to investigate the relation between exogenous and endogenous control of visual attention. Subjects searched for a target letter among three nontarget letters that were positioned on an imaginary circle around a fixation point. At different cue-display intervals, a centrally located arrowhead cue reliably indicated the location of the target letter. At different SOAs, a peripheral line segment near one of the letters was either abruptly switched on (Experiment 1) or abruptly switched off (Experiment 2). Presenting the central arrowhead after display onset prevents attention from being focused in advance on the critical location. In this unfocused attentional state, both onset and offset transients attracted attention. When the central arrowhead was available in advance, the focusing of attention prior to display onset precluded attention attraction to the location of the onset or offset transient. Contrary to an offset transient, an onset transient presented at the attended location disrupted performance, indicating that an onset within the spotlight of attention attracts attention. The results are reconciled by means of the zoom-lens theory of attention, suggesting that outside the focus of attention, abrupt transients are not capable of attracting attention. Since the size of the zoom lens is under voluntary control, it can be argued that transients do not fulfill the intentionality criterion of automaticity.
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.
Papazacharias, Apostolos; Taurisano, Paolo; Fazio, Leonardo; Gelao, Barbara; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Lo Bianco, Luciana; Quarto, Tiziana; Mancini, Marina; Porcelli, Annamaria; Romano, Raffaella; Caforio, Grazia; Todarello, Orlando; Popolizio, Teresa; Blasi, Giuseppe; Bertolino, Alessandro
Earlier studies have demonstrated that emotional stimulation modulates attentional processing during goal-directed behavior and related activity of a brain network including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the caudate nucleus. However, it is not clear how emotional interference modulates behavior and brain physiology during variation in attentional control, a relevant question for everyday life situations in which both emotional stimuli and cognitive load vary. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of negative emotions on behavior and activity in IFG and caudate nucleus during increasing levels of attentional control. Twenty two healthy subjects underwent event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing a task in which neutral or fearful facial expressions were displayed before stimuli eliciting increasing levels of attentional control processing. Results indicated slower reaction time (RT) and greater right IFG activity when fearful compared with neutral facial expressions preceded the low level of attentional control. On the other hand, fearful facial expressions preceding the intermediate level of attentional control elicited faster behavioral responses and greater activity in the right and left sides of the caudate. Finally, correlation analysis indicated a relationship between behavioral correlates of attentional control after emotional interference and right IFG activity. All together, these results suggest that the impact of negative emotions on attentional processing is differentially elicited at the behavioral and physiological levels as a function of cognitive load.
Higgs, Suzanne; Dolmans, Dirk; Humphreys, Glyn W.; Rutters, Femke
Motivational objects attract attention due to their rewarding properties, but less is known about the role that top–down cognitive processes play in the attention paid to motivationally relevant objects and how this is affected by relevant behavioral traits. Here we assess how thinking about food affects attentional guidance to food items and how this is modulated by traits relating to dietary self-control. Participants completed two tasks in which they were presented with an initial cue (foo...
Stawarczyk, David; Majerus, Steve; Catale, Corinne; D'Argembeau, Arnaud
Recent findings suggest that mind-wandering-the occurrence of thoughts that are both stimulus-independent and task-unrelated-corresponds to temporary failures in attentional control processes involved in maintaining constant task-focused attention. Studies supporting this proposal are, however, limited by a possible confound between mind-wandering episodes and other kinds of conscious experiences, such as external distractions (i.e., interoceptive sensations and exteroceptive perceptions). In the present study, we addressed this issue by examining, in adolescents and young adults, the relations between tasks measuring attentional control abilities and a measure of mind-wandering that is distinct from external distractions. We observed (1) that adolescents experienced more frequent external distractions, but not more mind-wandering, than young adults during the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) and (2) that, in young adults, the influence of external distractions on SART performance was fully accounted for by attentional control abilities, whereas mind-wandering was associated with decreases in SART performance above and beyond what was explained by attentional control abilities. These results show that mind-wandering cannot be entirely reduced to failures in the ability to maintain one's attention focused on task, and suggest that external distractions rather than mind-wandering are due to attentional control failures. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Pawlitzki, E; Schlenstedt, C; Schmidt, N; Rotkirch, I; Gövert, F; Hartwigsen, G; Witt, K
Postural instability is one of the most disabling and risky symptoms of advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether and how this is mediated by a centrally impaired spatial orientation. Therefore, we performed a spatial orientation study in 21 PD patients (mean age 68years, SD 8.5 years, 9 women) in a medically on condition and 21 healthy controls (mean age 68.9years, SD 5.5years, 14 women). We compared their spatial responses to the horizontal axis (Sakashita's visual target cancellation task), the vertical axis (bucket-test), the sagittal axis (tilt table test) and postural stability using the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale (FAB). We found larger deviations on the vertical axis in PD patients, although the direct comparisons of performance in PD patients and healthy controls did not reveal significant differences. While the total scores of the FAB Scale were significantly worse in PD (25.9 points, SD 7.2 points) compared to controls (35.1 points, SD 2.3 points, pbalance control. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Derlich, Malgorzata; Krecisz, Krzysztof; Kuczynski, Michal
To elucidate the mechanisms responsible for deteriorated postural control in children with hearing deficit (CwHD), we measured center-of-pressure (COP) variability, mean velocity and entropy in bipedal quiet stance (feet together) with or without the concurrent cognitive task (reaction to visual stimulus) on hard or foam surface in 29 CwHD and a…
Tan, Z.; Yang, Q.; Zheng, C.; Zheng, Y.
Elevated concentrations of geogenic arsenic in groundwater have been found in many countries to exceed 10 μg/L, the WHO's guideline value for drinking water. A common yet unexplained characteristic of groundwater arsenic spatial distribution is the extensive variability at various spatial scales. This study investigates factors influencing the spatial variability of groundwater arsenic in Bangladesh to improve the accuracy of models predicting arsenic exceedance rate spatially. A novel boosted regression tree method is used to establish a weak-learning ensemble model, which is compared to a linear model using a conventional stepwise logistic regression method. The boosted regression tree models offer the advantage of parametric interaction when big datasets are analyzed in comparison to the logistic regression. The point data set (n=3,538) of groundwater hydrochemistry with 19 parameters was obtained by the British Geological Survey in 2001. The spatial data sets of geological parameters (n=13) were from the Consortium for Spatial Information, Technical University of Denmark, University of East Anglia and the FAO, while the soil parameters (n=42) were from the Harmonized World Soil Database. The aforementioned parameters were regressed to categorical groundwater arsenic concentrations below or above three thresholds: 5 μg/L, 10 μg/L and 50 μg/L to identify respective controlling factors. Boosted regression tree method outperformed logistic regression methods in all three threshold levels in terms of accuracy, specificity and sensitivity, resulting in an improvement of spatial distribution map of probability of groundwater arsenic exceeding all three thresholds when compared to disjunctive-kriging interpolated spatial arsenic map using the same groundwater arsenic dataset. Boosted regression tree models also show that the most important controlling factors of groundwater arsenic distribution include groundwater iron content and well depth for all three
Amir, Nader; Beard, Courtney; Taylor, Charles T.; Klumpp, Heide; Elias, Jason; Burns, Michelle; Chen, Xi
The authors conducted a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial to examine the efficacy of an attention training procedure in reducing symptoms of social anxiety in 44 individuals diagnosed with generalized social phobia (GSP). Attention training comprised a probe detection task in which pictures of faces with either a threatening or…
Roderer, Thomas; Krebs, Saskia; Schmid, Corinne; Roebers, Claudia M.
Selectivity in encoding, aspects of attentional control and their contribution to learning performance were explored in a sample of preschoolers. While the children are performing a learning task, their encoding of relevant and attention towards irrelevant information was recorded through an eye-tracking device. Recognition of target items was…
Colzato, L.S.; Hommel, B.; van den Wildenberg, W.P.M.; Hsieh, S.
Increasing evidence suggests that religious practice induces systematic biases in attentional control. We used Navon's global-local task to compare attentional bias in Taiwanese Zen Buddhists and Taiwanese atheists; two groups brought up in the same country and culture and matched with respect to
Carr, Laurie; Henderson, John; Nigg, Joel T.
An important research question is whether Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is related to early- or late-stage attentional control mechanisms and whether this differentiates a nonhyperactive subtype (ADD). This question was addressed in a sample of 145 ADD/ADHD and typically developing comparison adolescents (aged 13-17). Attentional…
Full Text Available Uno de los trastornos que más condiciona el rendimiento escolar es eldéficit de atención aislado o asociado a hiperactividad o impulsividad. Este trastorno plantea dificultades a los propios estudiantes, tanto en el área verbal como en razonamiento y cálculo, así como también a sus profesores, como consecuencia de los comportamientos disruptivos. Los criterios establecidos por el Manual Diagnóstico y Estadístico de los Trastornos Mentales 4ª edición -revisada son uno de los procedimientos más aceptados para diagnosticar el déficit, distinguiéndose tres subtipos: inatento, hiperactivo-impulsivo y combinado. El objetivo central de la presente investigación ha sido contrastar si existen patrones de activación cortical y control ejecutivo diferenciales para estos tres tipos de sujetos con Trastorno por Déficit de Atención con Híperactividad (TDAH y para el grupo control sin TDAH. La muestra utilizada estaba formada por 220 estudiantes, de edades comprendidas entre 6 y 12 años: 56 grupo control, 54 con predominio de déficit de atención, 57 con déficit de atención e hiperactividad y 53 con predominio de hiperactividad-impulsividad. Los resultados obtenidos muestran que los cuatro grupos de sujetos se diferencian significativamente entre sí en las dos variables de activación cortical evaluadas (central y prefrontal, y en las cinco de control ejecutivo (inatención, impulsividad, tiempo de respuesta, variabilidad e índice general de control ejecutivo. Las comparaciones múltiples entre grupos confirman las hipótesis planteadas. Los resultados obtenidos abren una vía de gran interés cara a una evaluación diagnóstica objetiva y fiable, y a una intervención farmacológica y conductual ajustada a cada situación concreta.
control the spin wave dynamics of magnetic structures twisted spatially, we prepared the exchange-coupled films with the hard magnetic L10-FePt and...information writing of magnetic storage and spintronic applications. Introduction and Objective: Recent rapid progress in the research field of nano...scaled bilayer elements is also an important aim of this project. Approach/Method: The exchange-coupled films with the hard magnetic L10-FePt and
Msetfi, R M; Brosnan, L; Cavus, H A
People perceive that they have control over events to the extent that the same events do not occur outside of their control, randomly, in the environment or context. Therefore, perceived control should be enhanced if there is a large contrast between one's own control and the control that the context itself seems to exert over events. Given that depression is associated with low perceived control, we tested the hypothesis that enhanced attentional focus to context will increase perceived control in people with and without depression. A total of 106 non-depressed and mildly depressed participants completed a no control zero-contingency task with low and high outcome probability conditions. In the experimental context-focus group, participants were instructed to attend to the context, whereas in the control group, participants were instructed to attend to their thoughts. Irrespective of attentional focus, non-depressed participants displayed illusory control. However, people with mild depression responded strongly to the attention focus manipulation. In the control group, they evidenced low perceived control with classic depressive realism effects. In the experimental group, when asked to focus on the context in which events took place, participants with mild depression displayed enhanced perceived control or illusory control, similar to non-depressed participants. Findings are discussed in relation to whether depression effects on perceived control represent tendencies towards realism or attentional aspects of depressive thoughts.
Wang, Dangxiao; Zhang, Yuru; Yang, Xiaoxiao; Yang, Gaofeng; Yang, Yi
Focused attention has great impact on our quality of life. Our learning, social skills and even happiness are closely intertwined with our capacity for focused attention. Attention promotion is replete with examples of training-induced increases in attention capability, most of which rely on visual and auditory stimulation. Pure haptic stimulation to increase attention capability is rarely found. We show that accurate force control tasks with pure haptic feedback enhance short-term focused attention. Participants were trained by a force control task in which information from visual and auditory channels was blocked, and only haptic feedback was provided. The trainees were asked to exert a target force within a pre-defined force tolerance for a specific duration. The tolerance was adaptively modified to different levels of difficulty to elicit full participant engagement. Three attention tests showed significant changes in different aspects of focused attention in participants who had been trained as compared with those who had not, thereby illustrating the role of haptic-based sensory-motor tasks in the promotion of short-term focused attention. The findings highlight the potential value of haptic stimuli in brain plasticity and serve as a new tool to extend existing computer games for cognitive enhancement.
Naim-Feil, Jodie; Bradshaw, John L; Sheppard, Dianne M; Rosenberg, Oded; Levkovitz, Yechiel; Dannon, Pinhas; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Isserles, Moshe; Zangen, Abraham
While Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is primarily characterized by mood disturbances, impaired attentional control is increasingly identified as a critical feature of depression. Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (deepTMS), a noninvasive neuromodulatory technique, can modulate neural activity and induce neuroplasticity changes in brain regions recruited by attentional processes. This study examined whether acute and long-term high-frequency repetitive deepTMS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) can attenuate attentional deficits associated with MDD. Twenty-one MDD patients and 26 matched control subjects (CS) were administered the Beck Depression Inventory and the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) at baseline. MDD patients were readministered the SART and depressive assessments following a single session (n = 21) and after 4 weeks (n = 13) of high-frequency (20 Hz) repetitive deepTMS applied to the DLPFC. To control for the practice effect, CS (n = 26) were readministered the SART a further two times. The MDD group exhibited deficits in sustained attention and cognitive inhibition. Both acute and long-term high-frequency repetitive frontal deepTMS ameliorated sustained attention deficits in the MDD group. Improvement after acute deepTMS was related to attentional recovery after long-term deepTMS. Longer-term improvement in sustained attention was not related to antidepressant effects of deepTMS treatment.
Full Text Available While Major Depressive Disorder (MDD is primarily characterized by mood disturbances, impaired attentional control is increasingly identified as a critical feature of depression. Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (deepTMS, a noninvasive neuromodulatory technique, can modulate neural activity and induce neuroplasticity changes in brain regions recruited by attentional processes. This study examined whether acute and long-term high-frequency repetitive deepTMS to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC can attenuate attentional deficits associated with MDD. Twenty-one MDD patients and 26 matched control subjects (CS were administered the Beck Depression Inventory and the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART at baseline. MDD patients were readministered the SART and depressive assessments following a single session (n=21 and after 4 weeks (n=13 of high-frequency (20 Hz repetitive deepTMS applied to the DLPFC. To control for the practice effect, CS (n=26 were readministered the SART a further two times. The MDD group exhibited deficits in sustained attention and cognitive inhibition. Both acute and long-term high-frequency repetitive frontal deepTMS ameliorated sustained attention deficits in the MDD group. Improvement after acute deepTMS was related to attentional recovery after long-term deepTMS. Longer-term improvement in sustained attention was not related to antidepressant effects of deepTMS treatment.
Morrison, Amanda S.; Heimberg, Richard G.
The goal of the present studies was to examine whether attentional control, a self-regulatory attentional mechanism, mediates the effect of social anxiety on positive affect. We tested this mediation in two studies using undergraduate students selected to represent a broad range of severity of social anxiety. Self-report assessments of social anxiety, attentional control, and positive affect were collected in a cross-sectional design (Study 1) and in a longitudinal design with three assessment points (Study 2). Results of both studies supported the hypothesized mediational model. Specifically, social anxiety was inversely related to attentional control, which itself positively predicted positive affect. This mediation remained significant even when statistically controlling for the effects of depression. Additionally, the hypothesized model provided superior model fit to theoretically-grounded equivalent models in both studies. Implications of these findings for understanding diminished positive affect in social anxiety are discussed. PMID:23254261
Laura D. Crocker
Full Text Available The present research examined the hypothesis that cognitive processes are modulated differentially by trait and state negative affect (NA. Brain activation associated with trait and state NA was measured by fMRI during an attentional control task, the emotion-word Stroop. Performance on the task was disrupted only by state NA. Trait NA was associated with reduced activity in several regions, including a prefrontal area that has been shown to be involved in top-down, goal-directed attentional control. In contrast, state NA was associated with increased activity in several regions, including a prefrontal region that has been shown to be involved in stimulus-driven aspects of attentional control. Results suggest that NA has a significant impact on cognition, and that state and trait NA disrupt attentional control in distinct ways.
Crocker, Laura D; Heller, Wendy; Spielberg, Jeffrey M; Warren, Stacie L; Bredemeier, Keith; Sutton, Bradley P; Banich, Marie T; Miller, Gregory A
The present research examined the hypothesis that cognitive processes are modulated differentially by trait and state negative affect (NA). Brain activation associated with trait and state NA was measured by fMRI during an attentional control task, the emotion-word Stroop. Performance on the task was disrupted only by state NA. Trait NA was associated with reduced activity in several regions, including a prefrontal area that has been shown to be involved in top-down, goal-directed attentional control. In contrast, state NA was associated with increased activity in several regions, including a prefrontal region that has been shown to be involved in stimulus-driven aspects of attentional control. Results suggest that NA has a significant impact on cognition, and that state and trait NA disrupt attentional control in distinct ways.
Englert, Chris; Zwemmer, Kris; Bertrams, Alex; Oudejans, Raôul R
In the current study we investigated whether ego depletion negatively affects attention regulation under pressure in sports by assessing participants' dart throwing performance and accompanying gaze behavior. According to the strength model of self-control, the most important aspect of self-control is attention regulation. Because higher levels of state anxiety are associated with impaired attention regulation, we chose a mixed design with ego depletion (yes vs. no) as between-subjects and anxiety level (high vs. low) as within-subjects factor. Participants performed a perceptual-motor task requiring selective attention, namely, dart throwing. In line with our expectations, depleted participants in the high-anxiety condition performed worse and displayed a shorter final fixation on bull's eye, demonstrating that when one's self-control strength is depleted, attention regulation under pressure cannot be maintained. This is the first study that directly supports the general assumption that ego depletion is a major factor in influencing attention regulation under pressure.
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.
Tamber-Rosenau, Benjamin J; Esterman, Michael; Chiu, Yu-Chin; Yantis, Steven
Organisms operate within both a perceptual domain of objects and events, and a mnemonic domain of past experiences and future goals. Each domain requires a deliberate selection of task-relevant information, through deployments of external (perceptual) and internal (mnemonic) attention, respectively. Little is known about the control of attention shifts in working memory, or whether voluntary control of attention in these two domains is subserved by a common or by distinct functional networks. We used human fMRI to examine the neural basis of cognitive control while participants shifted attention in vision and in working memory. We found that these acts of control recruit in common a subset of the dorsal fronto-parietal attentional control network, including the medial superior parietal lobule, intraparietal sulcus, and superior frontal sulcus/gyrus. Event-related multivoxel pattern classification reveals, however, that these regions exhibit distinct spatio-temporal patterns of neural activity during internal and external shifts of attention, respectively. These findings constrain theoretical accounts of selection in working memory and perception by showing that populations of neurons in dorsal fronto-parietal network regions exhibit selective tuning for acts of cognitive control in different cognitive domains.
Nafati, Gilel; Vuillerme, Nicolas
This experiment was designed to investigate whether and how decreasing the amount of attentional focus invested in postural control could affect bipedal postural control. Twelve participants were asked to stand upright as immobile as possible on a force platform in one control condition and one cognitive condition. In the latter condition, they…
Verhoef, Kim M. W.; Roelofs, Ardi; Chwilla, Dorothee J.
Language switching in bilingual speakers requires attentional control to select the appropriate language, for example, in picture naming. Previous language-switch studies used the color of pictures to indicate the required language thereby confounding endogenous and exogenous control. To investigate endogenous language control, our language cues…
Kliegl, Reinhold; Wei, Ping; Dambacher, Michael; Yan, Ming; Zhou, Xiaolin
Linear mixed models (LMMs) provide a still underused methodological perspective on combining experimental and individual-differences research. Here we illustrate this approach with two-rectangle cueing in visual attention (Egly et al., 1994). We replicated previous experimental cue-validity effects relating to a spatial shift of attention within an object (spatial effect), to attention switch between objects (object effect), and to the attraction of attention toward the display centroid (attraction effect), also taking into account the design-inherent imbalance of valid and other trials. We simultaneously estimated variance/covariance components of subject-related random effects for these spatial, object, and attraction effects in addition to their mean reaction times (RTs). The spatial effect showed a strong positive correlation with mean RT and a strong negative correlation with the attraction effect. The analysis of individual differences suggests that slow subjects engage attention more strongly at the cued location than fast subjects. We compare this joint LMM analysis of experimental effects and associated subject-related variances and correlations with two frequently used alternative statistical procedures. PMID:21833292
Marcantonio M. Spada
Full Text Available The present study explored the relationship between metacognitions, attentional control, and the severity of gambling in problem gamblers. One hundred and twenty six problem gamblers completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales 21, the Meta-Cognitions Questionnaire 30, the Attentional Control Scale, and the Problem Gambling Severity Index. Results revealed that negative affect, four out of five metacognitions factors (positive beliefs about worry, negative beliefs about thoughts concerning danger and uncontrollability, cognitive confidence and beliefs about the need to control thoughts, and all attentional control factors (focusing, shifting and flexible control of thought were correlated, in the predicted directions, with the severity of gambling. The same metacognitions were also found to be correlated, in the predicted directions, with attention focusing, however only negative beliefs about thoughts concerning danger and uncontrollability and cognitive confidence were found to be correlated with attention shifting and flexible control of thought. A hierarchical regression analysis showed that beliefs about the need to control thoughts were the only predictor of the severity of gambling controlling for negative affect. Overall these findings support the hypotheses and are consistent with the metacognitive model of psychological dysfunction. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Nusbaum, Amy T; Whitney, Paul; Cuttler, Carrie; Spradlin, Alexander; Hinson, John M; McLaughlin, Ryan J
Cannabis use has increased rapidly in recent decades. The increase in cannabis use makes it important to understand the potential influence of chronic use on attentional control and other executive functions (EFs). Because cannabis is often used to reduce stress, and because stress can constrain attentional control and EFs, the primary goal of this study was to determine the joint effect of acute stress and chronic cannabis use on specific EFs. Thirty-nine cannabis users and 40 non-users were assigned to either a stress or no stress version of the Maastricht Acute Stress Test. Participants then completed two cognitive tasks that involve EFs: (1) task switching, and (2) a novel Flexible Attentional Control Task. These two tasks provided assessments of vigilant attention, inhibitory control, top-down attentional control, and cognitive flexibility. Salivary cortisol was assessed throughout the study. Reaction time indices showed an interaction between stress and cannabis use on top-down attentional control (p=0.036, n p 2 =0.059). Follow-up tests showed that cannabis users relied less on top-down attentional control than did non-users in the no stress version. Despite not relying on top-down control, the cannabis users showed no overall performance deficits on the tasks. Chronic cannabis users performed cognitive tasks involving EFs as well as non-users while not employing cognitive control processes that are typical for such tasks. These results indicate alterations in cognitive processing in cannabis users, but such alterations do not necessarily lead to global performance deficits. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gouleme, Nathalie; Gerard, Christophe Loic; Bui-Quoc, Emmanuel; Bucci, Maria Pia
The aim of this study is to examine postural control of dyslexic children using both spatial and temporal analysis. Thirty dyslexic (mean age 9.7±0.3years) and thirty non-dyslexic age-matched children participated in the study. Postural stability was evaluated using Multitest Equilibre from Framiral®. Posture was recorded in the following conditions: eyes open fixating a target (EO) and eyes closed (EC) on stable (-S-) and unstable (-U-) platforms. The findings of this study showed poor postural stability in dyslexic children with respect to the non-dyslexic children group, as demonstrated by both spatial and temporal analysis. In both groups of children postural control depends on the condition, and improves when the eyes are open on a stable platform. Dyslexic children have spectral power indices that are higher than in non-dyslexic children and they showed a shorter cancelling time. Poor postural control in dyslexic children could be due to a deficit in using sensory information most likely caused by impairment in cerebellar activity. The reliability of brain activation patterns, namely in using sensory input and cerebellar activity may explain the deficit in postural control in dyslexic children. Copyright © 2014 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kane, Michael J.; Meier, Matt E.; Smeekens, Bridget A.; Gross, Georgina M.; Chun, Charlotte A.; Silvia, Paul J.; Kwapil, Thomas R.
A large correlational study took a latent-variable approach to the generality of executive control by testing the individual-differences structure of executive-attention capabilities and assessing their prediction of schizotypy, a multidimensional construct (with negative, positive, disorganized, and paranoid factors) conveying risk for schizophrenia. Although schizophrenia is convincingly linked to executive deficits, the schizotypy literature is equivocal. Subjects completed tasks of working memory capacity (WMC), attention restraint (inhibiting prepotent responses), and attention constraint (focusing visual attention amid distractors), the latter two in an effort to fractionate the “inhibition” construct. We also assessed mind-wandering propensity (via in-task thought probes) and coefficient of variation in response times (RT CoV) from several tasks as more novel indices of executive attention. WMC, attention restraint, attention constraint, mind wandering, and RT CoV were correlated but separable constructs, indicating some distinctions among “attention control” abilities; WMC correlated more strongly with attentional restraint than constraint, and mind wandering correlated more strongly with attentional restraint, attentional constraint, and RT CoV than with WMC. Across structural models, no executive construct predicted negative schizotypy and only mind wandering and RT CoV consistently (but modestly) predicted positive, disorganized, and paranoid schizotypy; stalwart executive constructs in the schizophrenia literature — WMC and attention restraint — showed little to no predictive power, beyond restraint’s prediction of paranoia. Either executive deficits are consequences rather than risk factors for schizophrenia, or executive failures barely precede or precipitate diagnosable schizophrenia symptoms. PMID:27454042
Bressler, David W.; Fortenbaugh, Francesca C.; Robertson, Lynn C.; Silver, Michael A.
Endogenous visual spatial attention improves perception and enhances neural responses to visual stimuli at attended locations. Although many aspects of visual processing differ significantly between central and peripheral vision, little is known regarding the neural substrates of the eccentricity dependence of spatial attention effects. We measured amplitudes of positive and negative fMRI responses to visual stimuli as a function of eccentricity in a large number of topographically-organized cortical areas. Responses to each stimulus were obtained when the stimulus was attended and when spatial attention was directed to a stimulus in the opposite visual hemifield. Attending to the stimulus increased both positive and negative response amplitudes in all cortical areas we studied: V1, V2, V3, hV4, VO1, LO1, LO2, V3A/B, IPS0, TO1, and TO2. However, the eccentricity dependence of these effects differed considerably across cortical areas. In early visual, ventral, and lateral occipital cortex, attentional enhancement of positive responses was greater for central compared to peripheral eccentricities. The opposite pattern was observed in dorsal stream areas IPS0 and putative MT homolog TO1, where attentional enhancement of positive responses was greater in the periphery. Both the magnitude and the eccentricity dependence of attentional modulation of negative fMRI responses closely mirrored that of positive responses across cortical areas. PMID:23562388
Antonucci, Linda A; Taurisano, Paolo; Fazio, Leonardo; Gelao, Barbara; Romano, Raffaella; Quarto, Tiziana; Porcelli, Annamaria; Mancini, Marina; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Caforio, Grazia; Pergola, Giulio; Popolizio, Teresa; Bertolino, Alessandro; Blasi, Giuseppe
Anomalies in behavioral correlates of attentional processing and related brain activity are crucial correlates of schizophrenia and associated with familial risk for this brain disorder. However, it is not clear how brain functional connectivity during attentional processes is key for schizophrenia and linked with trait vs. state related variables. To address this issue, we investigated patterns of functional connections during attentional control in healthy siblings of patients with schizophrenia, who share with probands genetic features but not variables related to the state of the disorder. 356 controls, 55 patients with schizophrenia on stable treatment with antipsychotics and 40 healthy siblings of patients with this brain disorder underwent the Variable Attentional Control (VAC) task during fMRI. Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is allowed to identify independent components (IC) of BOLD signal recorded during task performance. Results indicated reduced connectivity strength in patients with schizophrenia as well as in their healthy siblings in left thalamus within an attentional control component and greater connectivity in right medial prefrontal cortex (PFC) within the so-called Default Mode Network (DMN) compared to healthy individuals. These results suggest a relationship between familial risk for schizophrenia and brain functional networks during attentional control, such that this biological phenotype may be considered a useful intermediate phenotype in order to link genes effects to aspects of the pathophysiology of this brain disorder. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Hester, Robert; Garavan, Hugh
In a series of three experiments, increasing working memory (WM) load was demonstrated to reduce the executive control of attention, measured via task-switching and inhibitory control paradigms. Uniquely, our paradigms allowed comparison of the ability to exert executive control when the stimulus was either part of the currently rehearsed memory set or an unrelated distractor item. The results demonstrated a content-specific effect-insofar as switching attention away from, or exerting inhibitory control over, items currently held in WM was especially difficult-compounded by increasing WM load. This finding supports the attentional control theory that active maintenance of competing task goals is critical to executive function and WM capacity; however, it also suggests that the increased salience provided to the contents of WM through active rehearsal exerts a content-specific influence on attentional control. These findings are discussed in relation to cue-induced ruminations, where active rehearsal of evocative information (e.g., negative thoughts in depression or drug-related thoughts in addiction) in WM typically results from environmental cuing. The present study has demonstrated that when information currently maintained in WM is reencountered, it is harder to exert executive control over it. The difficulty with suppressing the processing of these stimuli presumably reinforces the maintenance of these items in WM, due to the greater level of attention they are afforded, and may help to explain how the cue-induced craving/rumination cycle is perpetuated.
Nafati, Gilel; Vuillerme, Nicolas
This experiment was designed to investigate whether and how decreasing the amount of attentional focus invested in postural control could affect bipedal postural control. Twelve participants were asked to stand upright as immobile as possible on a force platform in one control condition and one cognitive condition. In the latter condition, they performed a short-term digit-span memory task. Decreased center-of-gravity displacements and decreased center-of-foot-pressure displacements minus center-of-gravity displacements were observed in the cognitive condition relative to the control condition. These results suggest that shifting the attentional focus away from postural control by executing a concurrent attention-demanding task could increase postural performance and postural efficiency.
Evrim ERSÖZ KOÇ
Full Text Available Pleasantville presents the experience of the teenage twins David and Jennifer who are transported to the 1950s TV soap opera named Pleasantville via the TV remote control. The twins introduce free sex, arts, literature, rock and roll, and jazz to this perfected town in which residents live in order. This clash of cultures results in social unrest as the residents become aware that the order is an outcome of submission and challenge the roles attributed to them. The transformation from control to resistance is the dominant motif of the film. Using Foucault’s theory of heterotopia, this study scrutinizes how the heterotopian principles in the spatial presentations provide a good lens to negotiate forms of control and resistance.
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.
Henk eVan Steenbergen
Full Text Available It has been shown that negative affect causes attentional narrowing. According to Easterbrook’s (1959 influential hypothesis this effect is driven by the withdrawal motivation inherent to negative emotions and might be related to increases in arousal. We investigated whether valence-unspecific increases in physiological arousal, as measured by pupil dilation, could account for attentional narrowing effects in a cognitive control task. Following the presentation of a negative, positive, or neutral picture, participants performed a saccade task with a prosaccade versus an antisaccade instruction. The reaction time difference between pro- and antisaccades was used to index attentional selectivity, and while pupil diameter was used as an index of physiological arousal. Pupil dilation was observed for both negative and positive pictures, which indicates increased physiological arousal. However, increased attentional selectivity was only observed following negative pictures. Our data show that motivational intensity effects on attentional narrowing can occur independently of physiological arousal effects.
Andrews-Zwilling, Yaisa; Gillespie, Anna K.; Kravitz, Alexxai V.; Nelson, Alexandra B.; Devidze, Nino; Lo, Iris; Yoon, Seo Yeon; Bien-Ly, Nga; Ring, Karen; Zwilling, Daniel; Potter, Gregory B.; Rubenstein, John L. R.; Kreitzer, Anatol C.; Huang, Yadong
Background Although extensive research has demonstrated the importance of excitatory granule neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in normal learning and memory and in the pathogenesis of amnesia in Alzheimer's disease (AD), the role of hilar GABAergic inhibitory interneurons, which control the granule neuron activity, remains unclear. Methodology and Principal Findings We explored the function of hilar GABAergic interneurons in spatial learning and memory by inhibiting their activity through Cre-dependent viral expression of enhanced halorhodopsin (eNpHR3.0)—a light-driven chloride pump. Hilar GABAergic interneuron-specific expression of eNpHR3.0 was achieved by bilaterally injecting adeno-associated virus containing a double-floxed inverted open-reading frame encoding eNpHR3.0 into the hilus of the dentate gyrus of mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of an enhancer specific for GABAergic interneurons. In vitro and in vivo illumination with a yellow laser elicited inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneurons and consequent activation of dentate granule neurons, without affecting pyramidal neurons in the CA3 and CA1 regions of the hippocampus. We found that optogenetic inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneuron activity impaired spatial learning and memory retrieval, without affecting memory retention, as determined in the Morris water maze test. Importantly, optogenetic inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneuron activity did not alter short-term working memory, motor coordination, or exploratory activity. Conclusions and Significance Our findings establish a critical role for hilar GABAergic interneuron activity in controlling spatial learning and memory retrieval and provide evidence for the potential contribution of GABAergic interneuron impairment to the pathogenesis of amnesia in AD. PMID:22792368
Full Text Available Although extensive research has demonstrated the importance of excitatory granule neurons in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus in normal learning and memory and in the pathogenesis of amnesia in Alzheimer's disease (AD, the role of hilar GABAergic inhibitory interneurons, which control the granule neuron activity, remains unclear.We explored the function of hilar GABAergic interneurons in spatial learning and memory by inhibiting their activity through Cre-dependent viral expression of enhanced halorhodopsin (eNpHR3.0--a light-driven chloride pump. Hilar GABAergic interneuron-specific expression of eNpHR3.0 was achieved by bilaterally injecting adeno-associated virus containing a double-floxed inverted open-reading frame encoding eNpHR3.0 into the hilus of the dentate gyrus of mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of an enhancer specific for GABAergic interneurons. In vitro and in vivo illumination with a yellow laser elicited inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneurons and consequent activation of dentate granule neurons, without affecting pyramidal neurons in the CA3 and CA1 regions of the hippocampus. We found that optogenetic inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneuron activity impaired spatial learning and memory retrieval, without affecting memory retention, as determined in the Morris water maze test. Importantly, optogenetic inhibition of hilar GABAergic interneuron activity did not alter short-term working memory, motor coordination, or exploratory activity.Our findings establish a critical role for hilar GABAergic interneuron activity in controlling spatial learning and memory retrieval and provide evidence for the potential contribution of GABAergic interneuron impairment to the pathogenesis of amnesia in AD.
Ma, Ili; Mies, Gabry W; Lambregts-Rommelse, Nanda N J; Buitelaar, Jan K; Cillessen, Antonius H N; Scheres, Anouk
Interference control refers to the ability to selectively attend to certain information while ignoring distracting information. This ability can vary as a function of distractor relevance. Distractors that are particularly relevant to an individual may attract more attention than less relevant distractors. This is referred to as attention bias. Weak interference control and altered reward sensitivity are both important features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, interference control is typically studied in isolation. This study integrates both. Youths (aged 9 to 17 years) with ADHD (n = 37, 25 boys) and typically-developing controls (n = 38, 20 boys) completed a Stroop task using appetitive words and matched neutral words to assess whether appetitive distractors diminished interference control more in youths with ADHD than controls. In order to test for specificity, aversive words were also included. As expected, appetitive words disrupted interference control but this effect was not stronger for youths with ADHD than the controls. Aversive words, on the other hand, facilitated interference control. Dimensional analyses revealed that this facilitation effect increased substantially as a function of ADHD symptom severity. Possible mechanisms for this effect include up-regulation of interference control as a function of induced negative mood, or as a function of increased effort. In conclusion, appetitive words do not lead to worse interference control in youths with ADHD compared with controls. Interference control was modulated in a valence-specific manner, concurrent with mood-induced effects on cognitive control.
Montoya, Juan; Aleshire, Chris; Hwang, Christopher; Fontaine, Nicolas K; Velázquez-Benítez, Amado; Martz, Dale H; Fan, T Y; Ripin, Dan
We demonstrate adaptive-spatial mode control (ASMC) in few-moded double-clad large mode area (LMA) fiber amplifiers by using an all-fiber-based photonic lantern. Three single-mode fiber inputs are used to adaptively inject the appropriate superposition of input modes in a multimode gain fiber to achieve the desired mode at the output. By actively adjusting the relative phase of the single-mode inputs, near-unity coherent combination resulting in a single fundamental mode at the output is achieved.
Doricchi, Fabrizio; Macci, Enrica; Silvetti, Massimo; Macaluso, Emiliano
Voluntary orienting of visual attention is conventionally measured in tasks with predictive central cues followed by frequent valid targets at the cued location and by infrequent invalid targets at the uncued location. This implies that invalid targets entail both spatial reorienting of attention and breaching of the expected spatial congruency between cues and targets. Here, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to separate the neural correlates of the spatial and expectancy components of both endogenous orienting and stimulus-driven reorienting of attention. We found that during endogenous orienting with predictive cues, there was a significant deactivation of the right Temporal-Parietal Junction (TPJ). We also discovered that the lack of an equivalent deactivation with nonpredictive cues was matched to drop in attentional costs and preservation of attentional benefits. The right TPJ showed equivalent responses to invalid targets following predictive and nonpredictive cues. On the contrary, infrequent-unexpected invalid targets following predictive cues specifically activated the right Middle and Inferior Frontal Gyrus (MFG-IFG). Additional comparisons with spatially neutral trials demonstrated that, independently of cue predictiveness, valid targets activate the left TPJ, whereas invalid targets activate both the left and right TPJs. These findings show that the selective right TPJ activation that is found in the comparison between invalid and valid trials results from the reciprocal cancelling of the different activations that in the left TPJ are related to the processing of valid and invalid targets. We propose that left and right TPJs provide "matching and mismatching to attentional template" signals. These signals enable reorienting of attention and play a crucial role in the updating of the statistical contingency between cues and targets.
van Rompay, Thomas Johannes Lucas; Galetzka, Mirjam; Pruyn, Adriaan T.H.; Moreno Garcia, Jaime
Previous research in environmental psychology and consumer behavior has demonstrated mostly negative effects of human density on consumer experience in retail settings. The effects of spatial density, however, have received scant attention. Results from previous studies show that retail density
Higgs, Suzanne; Dolmans, Dirk; Humphreys, Glyn W; Rutters, Femke
Motivational objects attract attention due to their rewarding properties, but less is known about the role that top-down cognitive processes play in the attention paid to motivationally relevant objects and how this is affected by relevant behavioral traits. Here we assess how thinking about food affects attentional guidance to food items and how this is modulated by traits relating to dietary self-control. Participants completed two tasks in which they were presented with an initial cue (food or non-food) to either hold in working memory (memory task) or to merely attend to (priming task). Holding food items in working memory strongly affected attention when the memorized cue re-appeared in the search display. Tendency towards disinhibited eating was associated with greater attention to food versus non-food pictures in both the priming and working memory tasks, consistent with greater attention to food cues per se. Successful dieters, defined as those high in dietary restraint and low in tendency to disinhibition, showed reduced attention to food when holding food-related information in working memory. These data suggest a strong top-down effect of thinking about food on attention to food items and indicate that the suppression of food items in working memory could be a marker of dieting success.
Full Text Available Motivational objects attract attention due to their rewarding properties, but less is known about the role that top-down cognitive processes play in the attention paid to motivationally relevant objects and how this is affected by relevant behaviour traits. Here we assess how thinking about food affects attentional guidance to food items and how this is modulated by traits relating to dietary self-control. Participants completed two tasks in which they were presented with an initial cue (food or non-food to either hold in working memory (memory task or to merely attend to (priming task. Holding food items in working memory strongly affected attention when the memorized cue re-appeared in the search display. Tendency towards disinhibited eating was associated with greater attention to food versus non-food pictures in both the priming and working memory tasks, consistent with greater attention to food cues per se. Successful dieters, defined as those high in dietary restraint and low in tendency to disinhibition, showed reduced attention to food when holding food-related information in working memory. These data suggest a strong top-down effect of thinking about food on attention to food items and indicate that the suppression of food items in working memory could be a marker of dieting success.
Robison, Matthew K; Unsworth, Nash
Although individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) typically predict susceptibility to attentional capture in various paradigms (e.g., Stroop, antisaccade, flankers), it sometimes fails to correlate with the magnitude of attentional capture effects in visual search (e.g., Stokes, 2016), which is 1 of the most frequently studied tasks to study capture (Theeuwes, 2010). But some studies have shown that search modes can mitigate the effects of attentional capture (Leber & Egeth, 2006). Therefore, the present study examined whether or not the relationship between WMC and attentional capture changes as a function of the search modes available. In Experiment 1, WMC was unrelated to attentional capture, but only 1 search mode (singleton-detection) could be employed. In Experiment 2, greater WMC predicted smaller attentional capture effects, but only when multiple search modes (feature-search and singleton-detection) could be employed. Importantly this relationship was entirely independent of variation in attention control, which suggests that this effect is driven by WMC-related long-term memory differences (Cosman & Vecera, 2013a, 2013b). The present set of findings help to further our understanding of the nuanced ways in which memory and attention interact. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Thomson, David R; Besner, Derek; Smilek, Daniel
Staying attentive is challenging enough when carrying out everyday tasks, such as reading or sitting through a lecture, and failures to do so can be frustrating and inconvenient. However, such lapses may even be life threatening, for example, if a pilot fails to monitor an oil-pressure gauge or if a long-haul truck driver fails to notice a car in his or her blind spot. Here, we explore two explanations of sustained-attention lapses. By one account, task monotony leads to an increasing preoccupation with internal thought (i.e., mind wandering). By another, task demands result in the depletion of information-processing resources that are needed to perform the task. A review of the sustained-attention literature suggests that neither theory, on its own, adequately explains the full range of findings. We propose a novel framework to explain why attention lapses as a function of time-on-task by combining aspects of two different theories of mind wandering: attentional resource (Smallwood & Schooler, 2006) and control failure (McVay & Kane, 2010). We then use our "resource-control" theory to explain performance decrements in sustained-attention tasks. We end by making some explicit predictions regarding mind wandering in general and sustained-attention performance in particular. © The Author(s) 2014.
Whitney, Paul; Hinson, John M; Satterfield, Brieann C; Grant, Devon A; Honn, Kimberly A; Van Dongen, Hans P A
Insufficient sleep is a global public health problem resulting in catastrophic accidents, increased mortality, and hundreds of billions of dollars in lost productivity. Yet the effect of sleep deprivation (SD) on decision making and performance is often underestimated by fatigued individuals and is only beginning to be understood by scientists. The deleterious impact of SD is frequently attributed to lapses in vigilant attention, but this account fails to explain many SD-related problems, such as loss of situational awareness and perseveration. Using a laboratory study protocol, we show that SD individuals can maintain information in the focus of attention and anticipate likely correct responses, but their use of such a top-down attentional strategy is less effective at preventing errors caused by competing responses. Moreover, when the task environment requires flexibility, performance under SD suffers dramatically. The impairment in flexible shifting of attentional control we observed is distinct from lapses in vigilant attention, as corroborated by the specificity of the influence of a genetic biomarker, the dopaminergic polymorphism DRD2 C957T. Reduced effectiveness of top-down attentional control under SD, especially when conditions require flexibility, helps to explain maladaptive performance that is not readily explained by lapses in vigilant attention.
Wass, Sam V; Clackson, Kaili; Georgieva, Stanimira D; Brightman, Laura; Nutbrown, Rebecca; Leong, Victoria
Previous research has suggested that when a social partner, such as a parent, pays attention to an object, this increases the attention that infants pay to that object during spontaneous, naturalistic play. There are two contrasting reasons why this might be: first, social context may influence increases in infants' endogenous (voluntary) attention control; second, social settings may offer increased opportunities for exogenous attentional capture. To differentiate these possibilities, we compared 12-month-old infants' naturalistic attention patterns in two settings: Solo Play and Joint Play with a social partner (the parent). Consistent with previous research, we found that infants' look durations toward play objects were longer during Joint Play, and that moments of inattentiveness were fewer, and shorter. Follow-up analyses, conducted to differentiate the two above-proposed hypotheses, were more consistent with the latter hypothesis. We found that infants' rate of change of attentiveness was faster during Joint Play than Solo Play, suggesting that internal attention factors, such as attentional inertia, may influence looking behaviour less during Joint Play. We also found that adults' attention forwards-predicted infants' subsequent attention more than vice versa, suggesting that adults' behaviour may drive infants' behaviour. Finally, we found that mutual gaze did not directly facilitate infant attentiveness. Overall, our results suggest that infants spend more time attending to objects during Joint Play than Solo Play, but that these differences are more likely attributable to increased exogenous attentional scaffolding from the parent during social play, rather than to increased endogenous attention control from the infant. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Moore, Adam; Gruber, Thomas; Derose, Jennifer; Malinowski, Peter
Mindfulness-based meditation practices involve various attentional skills, including the ability to sustain and focus ones attention. During a simple mindful breathing practice, sustained attention is required to maintain focus on the breath while cognitive control is required to detect mind wandering. We thus hypothesized that regular, brief mindfulness training would result in improvements in the self-regulation of attention and foster changes in neuronal activity related to attentional control. A longitudinal randomized control group EEG study was conducted. At baseline (T1), 40 meditation naïve participants were randomized into a wait list group and a meditation group, who received three hours mindfulness meditation training. Twenty-eight participants remained in the final analysis. At T1, after eight weeks (T2) and after 16 weeks (T3), all participants performed a computerized Stroop task (a measure of attentional control) while the 64-channel EEG was recorded. Between T1 and T3 the meditators were requested to meditate daily for 10 min. Event-related potential (ERP) analysis highlighted two between group effects that developed over the course of the 16-week mindfulness training. An early effect at left and right posterior sites 160–240 ms post-stimulus indicated that meditation practice improved the focusing of attentional resources. A second effect at central posterior sites 310–380 ms post-stimulus reflects that meditation practice reduced the recruitment of resources during object recognition processes, especially for incongruent stimuli. Scalp topographies and source analyses (Variable Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography, VARETA) indicate relevant changes in neural sources, pertaining to left medial and lateral occipitotemporal areas for the early effect and right lateral occipitotemporal and inferior temporal areas for the later effect. The results suggest that mindfulness meditation may alter the efficiency of allocating cognitive resources
Vollstadt-Klein S, et al. 2012. Impairment of inhibitory control in response to food - associated cues and attentional bias of obese participants...on the obesity epidemic? Int. J. Eat. Disord. 34:S117-20 104. Yokum S, Ng J, Stice E. 2011. Attentional bias to food images associated with...bias toward high palatable foods versus neutral objects was positively associated with BMI-z. These findings suggest that LOC eating and body weight
Adam W Moore
Full Text Available Mindfulness based meditation practices involve various attentional skills, including the ability to sustain and focus ones attention. During a simple mindful breathing practice, sustained attention is required to maintain focus on the breath while cognitive control is required to detect mind wandering. We thus hypothesized that regular, brief mindfulness training would result in improvements in the self regulation of attention and foster changes in neuronal activity related to attentional control.A longitudinal randomized control group EEG study was conducted. At baseline (T1, 40 meditation naïve participants were randomized into a wait list group and a meditation group, who received three hours mindfulness meditation training. 28 participants remained in the final analysis. At T1, after 8 weeks (T2 and after 16 weeks (T3, all participants performed a computerized Stroop task (a measure of attentional control while the 64-channel EEG was recorded. Between T1 and T3 the meditators were requested to meditate daily for ten minutes.Event-related potential (ERP analysis highlighted two between group effects that developed over the course of the 16-week mindfulness training. An early effect at left and right posterior sites 160 – 240 ms post stimulus indicated that meditation practice improved the focusing of attentional resources. A second effect at central posterior sites 310 – 380 ms post stimulus reflects that meditation practice reduced the recruitment of resources during object recognition processes, especially for incongruent stimuli. Scalp topographies and source analyses (VARETA indicate relevant changes in neural sources, pertaining to left medial and lateral occipitotemporal areas for the early effect and right lateral occipitotemporal and inferior temporal areas for the later effect.The results suggest that mindfulness meditation may alter the efficiency of allocating cognitive resources, leading to improved self regulation of
Akizuki, Kazunori; Ohashi, Yukari
Purpose: The influence of attention on postural control and the relationship between attention and falling has been reported in previous studies. Although a dual-task procedure is commonly used to measure attentional demand, such procedures are affected by allocation policy, which is a mental strategy to divide attention between simultaneous…
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.
Unsworth, Nash; Robison, Matthew K
Studies examining individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) have suggested that low WMC individuals have particular deficits in attention control processes compared to high WMC individuals. In the current article we suggest that part of the WMC-attention control relation is due to variation in the functioning of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system (LC-NE). Specifically, we suggest that because of dysregulation of LC-NE functioning, the fronto-parietal control network for low WMC individuals is only weakly activated, resulting in greater default-mode network activity (and greater mind-wandering) for low WMC individuals compared to high WMC individuals. This results in disrupted attention control and overall more erratic performance (more lapses of attention) for low WMC individuals than for high WMC individuals. This framework is used to examine previous studies of individual differences in WMC and attention control, and new evidence is examined on the basis of predictions of the framework to pupillary responses as an indirect marker of LC-NE functioning.
van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; de Jong, Peter J; Ostafin, Brian D; Wiers, Reinout W
This study examined whether attentional bias for alcohol stimuli was associated with alcohol use in young adolescents, and whether the frequently demonstrated relationship between reward sensitivity and adolescent alcohol use would be partly mediated by attentional bias for alcohol cues. In addition, this study investigated the potential moderating role of executive control (EC), and tested whether the relationship between alcohol-related attentional bias and alcohol use was especially present in young adolescents with weak EC. Participants were 86 adolescents (mean age=14.86), who completed a Visual Probe Task (VPT) as an index of attentional bias, a flanker-task based Attention Network Task (ANT) as an index of EC, the sensitivity of punishment and sensitivity of reward questionnaire (SPSRQ) as an index of reward sensitivity, and an alcohol use questionnaire. High reward sensitivity, high alcohol-related attentional bias, and weak EC were all related to alcohol use. The relationship between reward sensitivity and alcohol use was not mediated by alcohol-related attentional bias. As hypothesized, attentional bias was only associated with alcohol use in participants with weak EC. Together, the present findings are consistent with the view that high reward sensitivity and low EC may be considered as risk factors for adolescent alcohol use. The independent contribution of reward sensitivity and attentional bias might suggest that adolescents who are highly reward sensitive and display an attentional bias for alcohol cues are at even higher risk for excessive alcohol use and developing alcohol abuse problems. Future research using a longitudinal approach would allow an examination of these risk factors on subsequent alcohol use. Treatment implications are discussed, including the importance of strengthening EC and reducing the rewarding value of alcohol use. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Goldberg, Melissa C; Mostow, Allison J; Vecera, Shaun P; Larson, Jennifer C Gidley; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Mahone, E Mark; Denckla, Martha B
We examined the ability to use static line drawings of eye gaze cues to orient visual-spatial attention in children with high functioning autism (HFA) compared to typically developing children (TD). The task was organized such that on valid trials, gaze cues were directed toward the same spatial location as the appearance of an upcoming target, while on invalid trials gaze cues were directed to an opposite location. Unlike TD children, children with HFA showed no advantage in reaction time (RT) on valid trials compared to invalid trials (i.e., no significant validity effect). The two stimulus onset asynchronies (200 ms, 700 ms) did not differentially affect these findings. The results suggest that children with HFA show impairments in utilizing static line drawings of gaze cues to orient visual-spatial attention.
Clerkin, Elise M; Magee, Joshua C; Wells, Tony T; Beard, Courtney; Barnett, Nancy P
Attention biases may be an important treatment target for both alcohol dependence and social anxiety. This is the first ABM trial to investigate two (vs. one) targets of attention bias within a sample with co-occurring symptoms of social anxiety and alcohol dependence. Additionally, we used trial-level bias scores (TL-BS) to capture the phenomena of attention bias in a more ecologically valid, dynamic way compared to traditional attention bias scores. Adult participants (N = 86; 41% Female; 52% African American; 40% White) with elevated social anxiety symptoms and alcohol dependence were randomly assigned to an 8-session training condition in this 2 (Social Anxiety ABM vs. Social Anxiety Control) by 2 (Alcohol ABM vs. Alcohol Control) design. Symptoms of social anxiety, alcohol dependence, and attention bias were assessed across time. Multilevel models estimated the trajectories for each measure within individuals, and tested whether these trajectories differed according to the randomized training conditions. Across time, there were significant or trending decreases in all attention TL-BS parameters (but not traditional attention bias scores) and most symptom measures. However, there were not significant differences in the trajectories of change between any ABM and control conditions for any symptom measures. These findings add to previous evidence questioning the robustness of ABM and point to the need to extend the effects of ABM to samples that are racially diverse and/or have co-occurring psychopathology. The results also illustrate the potential importance of calculating trial-level <