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; 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.
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.
Schwent, V. L.; Hillyard, S. A.
Ten subjects were presented with random, rapid sequences of four auditory tones which were separated in pitch and apparent spatial position. The N1 component of the auditory vertex evoked potential (EP) measured relative to a baseline was observed to increase with attention. It was concluded that the N1 enhancement reflects a finely tuned selective attention to one stimulus channel among several concurrent, competing channels. This EP enhancement probably increases with increased information load on the subject.
Van Voorhis, S.; Hillyard, S. A.
Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were recorded to sequences of flashes delivered to the right and left visual fields while subjects responded promptly to designated stimuli in one field at a time (focused attention), in both fields at once (divided attention), or to neither field (passive). Three stimulus schedules were used: the first was a replication of a previous study (Eason, Harter, and White, 1969) where left- and right-field flashes were delivered quasi-independently, while in the other two the flashes were delivered to the two fields in random order (Bernoulli sequence). VEPs to attended-field stimuli were enhanced at both occipital (O2) and central (Cz) recording sites under all stimulus sequences, but different components were affected at the two scalp sites. It was suggested that the VEP at O2 may reflect modality-specific processing events, while the response at Cz, like its auditory homologue, may index more general aspects of selective attention.
Anthony Thomas Herdman
Full Text Available In adult readers, letters and words are rapidly identified within visual networks to allow for efficient reading abilities. Neuroimaging studies of orthography have mostly used words and letter strings that recruit many hierarchical levels in reading. Understanding how single letters are processed could provide further insight into orthographic processing. The present study investigated orthographic processing using single letters and pseudoletters when adults were encouraged to pay attention to or away from orthographic features. We measured evoked potentials (EPs to single letters and pseudoletters from adults while they performed an orthographic-discrimination task (letters vs. pseudoletters, a colour-discrimination task (red vs. blue, and a target-detection task (respond to #1 and #2. Larger and later peaking N1 responses (~170ms and larger P2 responses (~250 ms occurred to pseudoletters as compared to letters. This reflected greater visual processing for pseudoletters. Dipole analyses localized this effect to bilateral fusiform and inferior temporal cortices. Moreover, this letter-pseudoletter difference was not modulated by task and thus indicates that directing attention to or away from orthographic features didn’t affect early visual processing of single letters or pseudoletters within extrastriate regions. Paying attention to orthography or colour as compared to disregarding the stimuli (target-detection task elicited selection negativities at about 175 ms, which were followed by a classical N2-P3 complexes. This indicated that the tasks sufficiently drew participant’s attention to and away from the stimuli. Together these findings revealed that visual processing of single letters and pseudoletters, in adults, appeared to be sensory-contingent and independent of paying attention to stimulus features (e.g., orthography or colour.
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.
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...
Zhao, Shuo; Li, Chunlin; Uono, Shota; Yoshimura, Sayaka; Toichi, Motomi
The ability to assess another person's direction of attention is paramount in social communication, many studies have reported a similar pattern between gaze and arrow cues in attention orienting. Neuroimaging research has also demonstrated no qualitative differences in attention to gaze and arrow cues. However, these studies were implemented under simple experiment conditions. Researchers have highlighted the importance of contextual processing (i.e., the semantic congruence between cue and target) in attentional orienting, showing that attentional orienting by social gaze or arrow cues could be modulated through contextual processing. Here, we examine the neural activity of attentional orienting by gaze and arrow cues in response to contextual processing using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results demonstrated that the influence of neural activity through contextual processing to attentional orienting occurred under invalid conditions (when the cue and target were incongruent versus congruent) in the ventral frontoparietal network, although we did not identify any differences in the neural substrates of attentional orienting in contextual processing between gaze and arrow cues. These results support behavioural data of attentional orienting modulated by contextual processing based on the neurocognitive architecture.
Katyal, Sucharit; Ress, David
Human superior colliculus (SC) responds in a retinotopically selective manner when attention is deployed on a high-contrast visual stimulus using a discrimination task. To further elucidate the role of SC in endogenous visual attention, high-resolution fMRI was used to demonstrate that SC also exhibits a retinotopically selective response for covert attention in the absence of significant visual stimulation using a threshold-contrast detection task. SC neurons have a laminar organization according to their function, with visually responsive neurons present in the superficial layers and visuomotor neurons in the intermediate layers. The results show that the response evoked by the threshold-contrast detection task is significantly deeper than the response evoked by the high-contrast speed discrimination task, reflecting a functional dissociation of the attentional enhancement of visuomotor and visual neurons, respectively. Such a functional dissociation of attention within SC laminae provides a subcortical basis for the oculomotor theory of attention.
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
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…
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
Kim, Soyeon; Banaschewski, Tobias; Tannock, Rosemary
Individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are reported to manifest visual problems (including ophthalmological and color perception, particularly for blue-yellow stimuli), but findings are inconsistent. Accordingly, this study investigated visual function and color perception in adolescents with ADHD using color Visual Evoked Potentials (cVEP), which provides an objective measure of color perception. Thirty-one adolescents (aged 13-18), 16 with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD, and 15 healthy peers, matched for age, gender, and IQ participated in the study. All underwent an ophthalmological exam, as well as electrophysiological testing color Visual Evoked Potentials (cVEP), which measured the latency and amplitude of the neural P1 response to chromatic (blue-yellow, red-green) and achromatic stimuli. No intergroup differences were found in the ophthalmological exam. However, significantly larger P1 amplitude was found for blue and yellow stimuli, but not red/green or achromatic stimuli, in the ADHD group (particularly in the medicated group) compared to controls. Larger amplitude in the P1 component for blue-yellow in the ADHD group compared to controls may account for the lack of difference in color perception tasks. We speculate that the larger amplitude for blue-yellow stimuli in early sensory processing (P1) might reflect a compensatory strategy for underlying problems including compromised retinal input of s-cones due to hypo-dopaminergic tone. Copyright © 2014 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Negrao, Bianca Lee; Bipath, Priyesh; van der Westhuizen, Deborah; Viljoen, Margaretha
The aim of this study was to assess autonomic nervous system functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to examine the effects of methylphenidate and focussed attention. Children with ADHD (n = 19) were tested while they were stimulant free and during a period in which they were on stimulants. On both occasions, autonomic nervous system functioning was tested at baseline and during focussed attention. Autonomic nervous system functioning of control subjects was also tested at baseline and during focussed attention. Autonomic nervous system activity was determined by means of heart rate variability (HRV) and skin conductivity analyses. Attention was evoked by means of the BioGraph Infiniti biofeedback apparatus. HRV was determined by time domain, frequency domain and Poincaré analysis of RR interval data. Skin conductivity was determined by the BioGraph Infiniti biofeedback apparatus. The main findings of this study were (a) that stimulant-free children with ADHD showed a sympathetic underarousal and parasympathetic overarousal of the sympathovagal balance relative to control subjects; (b) methylphenidate shifted the autonomic balance of children with ADHD towards normal levels; however, a normal autonomic balance was not reached, and (c) stimulant-free children with ADHD exhibited a shift in the sympathovagal balance towards the sympathetic nervous system from baseline to focussed attention; however, methylphenidate appeared to abolish this shift. Stimulant-free children with ADHD have a parasympathetic dominance of the autonomic balance, relative to control subjects. Methylphenidate attempts to restore the normal autonomic balance in children with ADHD, but inhibits the normal autonomic nervous system response to a cognitive challenge. These results indicate that methylphenidate may have a suppressive effect on the normal stress response. Although this may be of benefit to those who interact with children who suffer from ADHD
Thomas, Bianca Lee; Viljoen, Margaretha
The aim of this study was to assess baseline EEG brain wave activity in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to examine the effects of evoked attention and methylphenidate on this activity. Children with ADHD (n = 19) were tested while they were stimulant free and during a period in which they were on stimulant (methylphenidate) medication. Control subjects (n = 18) were tested once. EEG brain wave activity was tested both at baseline and during focussed attention. Attention was evoked and EEG brain wave activity was determined by means of the BioGraph Infiniti biofeedback apparatus. The main finding of this study was that control subjects and stimulant-free children with ADHD exhibited the expected reactivity in high alpha-wave activity (11-12 Hz) from baseline to focussed attention; however, methylphenidate appeared to abolish this reactivity. Methylphenidate attenuates the normal cortical response to a cognitive challenge. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Santos, Isabel M; Iglesias, Jaime; Olivares, Ela I; Young, Andrew W
Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate the role of attention on the processing of facial expressions of fear and disgust. Stimuli consisted of overlapping pictures of a face and a house. Participants had to monitor repetitions of faces or houses, in separate blocks of trials, so that object-based attention was manipulated while spatial attention was kept constant. Faces varied in expression and could be either fearful or neutral (in the fear condition) or disgusted or neutral (in the disgust condition). When attending to faces, participants were required to signal repetitions of the same person, with the facial expressions being completely irrelevant to the task. Different effects of selective attention and different patterns of brain activity were observed for faces with fear and disgust expressions. Results indicated that the perception of fear from faces is gated by selective attention at early latencies, whereas a sustained positivity for fearful faces compared to neutral faces emerged around 160ms at central-parietal sites, independent of selective attention. In the case of disgust, ERP differences began only around 160ms after stimulus onset, and only after 480ms was the perception of disgust modulated by attention allocation. Results are interpreted in terms of different neural mechanisms for the perception of fear and disgust and related to the functional significance of these two emotions for the survival of the organism.
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…
Bonds, A B
Adaptation that is spatially specific for the adapting pattern has been seen psychophysically in humans. This is indirect evidence for independent analyzers (putatively single units) that are specific for orientation and spatial frequency in the human visual system, but it is unclear how global adaptation characteristics may be related to single unit performance. Spatially specific adaptation was sought in the cat visual evoked potential (VEP), with a view towards relating this phenomenon with what we know of cat single units. Adaptation to sine-wave gratings results in a temporary loss of cat VEP amplitude, with induction and recovery similar to that seen in human psychophysical experiments. The amplitude loss was specific for both the spatial frequency and orientation of the adapting pattern. The bandwidth of adaptation was not unlike the average selectivity of a population of cat single units.
Hajcak, Greg; MacNamara, Annmarie; Foti, Dan; Ferri, Jamie; Keil, Andreas
Emotional stimuli capture and hold attention without explicit instruction. The late positive potential (LPP) component of the event related potential can be used to track motivated attention toward emotional stimuli, and is larger for emotional compared to neutral pictures. In the frequency domain, the steady state visual evoked potential (ssVEP) has also been used to track attention to stimuli flickering at a particular frequency. Like the LPP, the ssVEP is also larger for emotional compared to neutral pictures. Prior work suggests that both the LPP and ssVEP are sensitive to "top-down" manipulations of attention, however the LPP and ssVEP have not previously been examined using the same attentional manipulation in the same participants. In the present study, LPP and ssVEP amplitudes were simultaneously elicited by unpleasant and neutral pictures. Partway through picture presentation, participants' attention was directed toward an arousing or non-arousing region of unpleasant pictures. In line with prior work, the LPP was reduced when attention was directed toward non-arousing compared to arousing regions of unpleasant pictures; similar results were observed for the ssVEP. Thus, both electrocortical measures index affective salience and are sensitive to directed (here: spatial) attention. Variation in the LPP and ssVEP was unrelated, suggesting that these measures are not redundant with each other and may capture different neurophysiological aspects of affective stimulus processing and attention. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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…
Horki, P; Bauernfeind, G; Schippinger, W; Pichler, G; Müller-Putz, G R
Two challenges need to be addressed before bringing non-motor mental tasks for brain-computer interface (BCI) control to persons in a minimally conscious state (MCS), who can be behaviorally unresponsive even when proven to be consciously aware: first, keeping the cognitive demands as low as possible so that they could be fulfilled by persons with MCS. Second, increasing the control of experimental protocol (i.e. type and timing of the task performance). The goal of this study is twofold: first goal is to develop an experimental paradigm that can facilitate the performance of brain-teasers (e.g. mental subtraction and word generation) on the one hand, and can increase the control of experimental protocol on the other hand. The second goal of this study is to exploit the similar findings for mentally attending to someone else's verbal performance of brain-teaser tasks and self-performing the same tasks to setup an online BCI, and to compare it in healthy participants to the current "state-of-the-art" motor imagery (MI, sports). The response accuracies for the best performing healthy participants indicate that selective attention to verbal performance of mental subtraction (SUB) is a viable alternative to the MI. Time-frequency analysis of the SUB task in one participant with MCS did not reveal any significant (pselective attention task (i.e. mentally attending to someone else's verbal performance of mental subtraction) can modulate both induced and evoked changes in EEG, and be used for yes/no communication in an auditory scanning paradigm. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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
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.
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…
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.
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.
Barboni, M.T.S.; Gomes, B.D.; Souza, G.S.; Rodrigues, A.R.; Ventura, D.F.; Silveira, L.C.L.
The purpose of the present study was to measure contrast sensitivity to equiluminant gratings using steady-state visual evoked cortical potential (ssVECP) and psychophysics. Six healthy volunteers were evaluated with ssVECPs and psychophysics. The visual stimuli were red-green or blue-yellow horizontal sinusoidal gratings, 5° × 5°, 34.3 cd/m2 mean luminance, presented at 6 Hz. Eight spatial frequencies from 0.2 to 8 cpd were used, each presented at 8 contrast levels. Contrast threshold was obtained by extrapolating second harmonic amplitude values to zero. Psychophysical contrast thresholds were measured using stimuli at 6 Hz and static presentation. Contrast sensitivity was calculated as the inverse function of the pooled cone contrast threshold. ssVECP and both psychophysical contrast sensitivity functions (CSFs) were low-pass functions for red-green gratings. For electrophysiology, the highest contrast sensitivity values were found at 0.4 cpd (1.95 ± 0.15). ssVECP CSF was similar to dynamic psychophysical CSF, while static CSF had higher values ranging from 0.4 to 6 cpd (P chromatic functions showed no specific tuning shape; however, at high spatial frequencies the evoked potentials showed higher contrast sensitivity than the psychophysical methods (P chromatic red-green CSFs in agreement with psychophysical thresholds, mainly if the same temporal properties are applied to the stimulus. For blue-yellow CSF, correlation between electrophysiology and psychophysics was poor at high spatial frequency, possibly due to a greater effect of chromatic aberration on this kind of stimulus. PMID:23369980
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.
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.
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
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,…
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wilaiprasitporn, Theerawit; Yagi, Tohru
This research demonstrates the orientation-modulated attention effect on visual evoked potential. We combined this finding with our previous findings about the motion-modulated attention effect and used the result to develop novel visual stimuli for a personal identification number (PIN) application based on a brain-computer interface (BCI) framework. An electroencephalography amplifier with a single electrode channel was sufficient for our application. A computationally inexpensive algorithm and small datasets were used in processing. Seven healthy volunteers participated in experiments to measure offline performance. Mean accuracy was 83.3% at 13.9 bits/min. Encouraged by these results, we plan to continue developing the BCI-based personal identification application toward real-time systems.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Yadav, Naveen K; Thiagarajan, Preethi; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J
The purpose of the experiment was to investigate the effect of oculomotor vision rehabilitation (OVR) on the visual-evoked potential (VEP) and visual attention in the mTBI population. Subjects (n = 7) were adults with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Each received 9 hours of OVR over a 6-week period. The effects of OVR on VEP amplitude and latency, the attention-related alpha band (8-13 Hz) power (µV(2)) and the clinical Visual Search and Attention Test (VSAT) were assessed before and after the OVR. After the OVR, the VEP amplitude increased and its variability decreased. There was no change in VEP latency, which was normal. Alpha band power increased, as did the VSAT score, following the OVR. The significant changes in most test parameters suggest that OVR affects the visual system at early visuo-cortical levels, as well as other pathways which are involved in visual attention.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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).
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.
Talsma, D.; Woldorff, Marty G.
We used event-related potentials (ERPs) to evaluate the role of attention in the integration of visual and auditory features of multisensory objects. This was done by contrasting the ERPs to multisensory stimuli (AV) to the sum of the ERPs to the corresponding auditory-only (A) and visual-only (V)
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
Hindi Attar, Catherine; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M
Selective attention to a primary task can be biased by the occurrence of emotional distractors that involuntary attract attention due to their intrinsic stimulus significance. What is largely unknown is the time course and magnitude of competitive interactions between a to-be-attended foreground task and emotional distractors. We used pleasant, unpleasant and neutral pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) that were either presented in intact or phase-scrambled form. Pictures were superimposed by a flickering display of moving random dots, which constituted the primary task and enabled us to record steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) as a continuous measure of attentional resource allocation directed to the task. Subjects were required to attend to the dots and to detect short intervals of coherent motion while ignoring the background pictures. We found that pleasant and unpleasant relative to neutral pictures more strongly influenced task-related processing as reflected in a significant decrease in SSVEP amplitudes and target detection rates, both covering a time window of several hundred milliseconds. Strikingly, the effect of semantic relative to phase-scrambled pictures on task-related activity was much larger, emerged earlier and lasted longer in time compared to the specific effect of emotion. The observed differences in size and duration of time courses of semantic and emotional picture processing strengthen the assumption of separate functional mechanisms for both processes rather than a general boosting of neural activity in favor of emotional stimulus processing. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
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
Slavutskaia, A V; Gerasimenko, N Iu; Mikhaĭlova, E S
In 16 men and 15 women analyzed the accuracy, reaction time and visual evoked potentials during the recognition of familiar objects at different levels of spatial transformation. We used the three levels of transformation: in a fixed position relative to each other details were carried out (1) the displacement of all the details in the radial direction and (2 and 3) a similar shift in conjunction with the rotation of all the details of the figure by +/- 0-45 and +/- 45-90 degrees. The task performance was not dependent on gender: the transformation of the image led to a deterioration of identification with the most identification impairment in the case of maximal details' rotation. Changes in evoked potentials (ERP) are different for men and women. Only in men early (100 ms after stimulus) response of the parietal cortex associated with the level of figure transformation: the more rotation evoked the higher the response. In women figure transformation evoked the ERP changes in the time window of negativity N170, they are associated with figure ungrouping but not with details rotation, and are localized in other visual areas--occipital and temporal. The data obtained are discussed in light of theory of gender specificity of the visual representations of space.
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
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.
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
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.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Acute stress is a stereotypical, but multimodal response to a present or imminent challenge overcharging an organism. Among the different branches of this multimodal response, the consequences of glucocorticoid secretion have been extensively investigated, mostly in connection with long-term memory (LTM. However, stress responses comprise other endocrine signaling and altered neuronal activity wholly independent of pituitary regulation. To date, knowledge of the impact of such "paracorticoidal" stress responses on higher cognitive functions is scarce. We investigated the impact of an ecological stressor on the ability to direct selective attention using event-related potentials in humans. Based on research in rodents, we assumed that a stress-induced imbalance of catecholaminergic transmission would impair this ability. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The stressor consisted of a single cold pressor test. Auditory negative difference (Nd and mismatch negativity (MMN were recorded in a tonal dichotic listening task. A time series of such tasks confirmed an increased distractibility occurring 4-7 minutes after onset of the stressor as reflected by an attenuated Nd. Salivary cortisol began to rise 8-11 minutes after onset when no further modulations in the event-related potentials (ERP occurred, thus precluding a causal relationship. This effect may be attributed to a stress-induced activation of mesofrontal dopaminergic projections. It may also be attributed to an activation of noradrenergic projections. Known characteristics of the modulation of ERP by different stress-related ligands were used for further disambiguation of causality. The conjuncture of an attenuated Nd and an increased MMN might be interpreted as indicating a dopaminergic influence. The selective effect on the late portion of the Nd provides another tentative clue for this. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Prior studies have deliberately tracked the adrenocortical influence
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fisher, Jonathan A. N.; Gumenchuk, Iryna
Objective. The use of transcranial, low intensity focused ultrasound (FUS) is an emerging neuromodulation technology that shows promise for both therapeutic and research applications. Among many, one of the most exciting applications is the use of FUS to rehabilitate or augment human sensory capabilities. While there is compelling empirical evidence demonstrating this capability, basic questions regarding the spatiotemporal extent of the modulatory effects remain. Our objective was to assess the basic, yet often overlooked hypothesis that FUS in fact alters sensory-evoked neural activity within the region of the cerebral cortex at the beam’s focus. Approach. To address this knowledge gap, we developed an approach to optically interrogate patterns of neural activity in the cortex directly at the acoustic focus, in vivo. Implementing simultaneous wide-field optical imaging and FUS stimulation in mice, our experiments probed somatosensory-evoked electrical activity through the use of voltage sensitive dyes (VSDs) and, in transgenic mice expressing GCaMP6f, monitored associated Ca2+ responses. Main results. Our results demonstrate that low-intensity FUS alters both the kinetics and spatial patterns of neural activity in primary somatosensory cortex at the acoustic focus. When preceded by 1 s of pulsed ultrasound at intensities below 1 W cm‑2 (I sppa), the onset of sensory-evoked cortical responses occurred 3.0 ± 0.7 ms earlier and altered the surface spatial morphology of Ca2+ responses. Significance. These findings support the heretofore unconfirmed assumption that FUS-induced sensory modulation reflects, at least in part, altered reactivity in primary sensory cortex at the site of sonication. The findings are significant given the interest in using FUS to target and alter spatial aspects of sensory receptive fields on the cerebral cortex.
Fisher, Jonathan A N; Gumenchuk, Iryna
The use of transcranial, low intensity focused ultrasound (FUS) is an emerging neuromodulation technology that shows promise for both therapeutic and research applications. Among many, one of the most exciting applications is the use of FUS to rehabilitate or augment human sensory capabilities. While there is compelling empirical evidence demonstrating this capability, basic questions regarding the spatiotemporal extent of the modulatory effects remain. Our objective was to assess the basic, yet often overlooked hypothesis that FUS in fact alters sensory-evoked neural activity within the region of the cerebral cortex at the beam's focus. To address this knowledge gap, we developed an approach to optically interrogate patterns of neural activity in the cortex directly at the acoustic focus, in vivo. Implementing simultaneous wide-field optical imaging and FUS stimulation in mice, our experiments probed somatosensory-evoked electrical activity through the use of voltage sensitive dyes (VSDs) and, in transgenic mice expressing GCaMP6f, monitored associated Ca 2+ responses. Our results demonstrate that low-intensity FUS alters both the kinetics and spatial patterns of neural activity in primary somatosensory cortex at the acoustic focus. When preceded by 1 s of pulsed ultrasound at intensities below 1 W cm -2 (I sppa ), the onset of sensory-evoked cortical responses occurred 3.0 ± 0.7 ms earlier and altered the surface spatial morphology of Ca 2+ responses. These findings support the heretofore unconfirmed assumption that FUS-induced sensory modulation reflects, at least in part, altered reactivity in primary sensory cortex at the site of sonication. The findings are significant given the interest in using FUS to target and alter spatial aspects of sensory receptive fields on the cerebral cortex.
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
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.
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.
Tu, Yiheng; Huang, Gan; Hung, Yeung Sam; Hu, Li; Hu, Yong; Zhang, Zhiguo
Event-related potentials (ERPs) are widely used in brain-computer interface (BCI) systems as input signals conveying a subject's intention. A fast and reliable single-trial ERP detection method can be used to develop a BCI system with both high speed and high accuracy. However, most of single-trial ERP detection methods are developed for offline EEG analysis and thus have a high computational complexity and need manual operations. Therefore, they are not applicable to practical BCI systems, which require a low-complexity and automatic ERP detection method. This work presents a joint spatial-time-frequency filter that combines common spatial patterns (CSP) and wavelet filtering (WF) for improving the signal-to-noise (SNR) of visual evoked potentials (VEP), which can lead to a single-trial ERP-based BCI.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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…
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
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
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…
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.
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.
Morikawa, Naoki; Tanaka, Toshihisa; Islam, Md Rabiul
Mixed frequency and phase coding (FPC) can achieve the significant increase of the number of commands in steady-state visual evoked potential-based brain-computer interface (SSVEP-BCI). However, the inconsistent phases of the SSVEP over channels in a trial and the existence of non-contributing channels due to noise effects can decrease accurate detection of stimulus frequency. We propose a novel command detection method based on a complex sparse spatial filter (CSSF) by solving ℓ 1 - and ℓ 2,1 -regularization problems for a mixed-coded SSVEP-BCI. In particular, ℓ 2,1 -regularization (aka group sparsification) can lead to the rejection of electrodes that are not contributing to the SSVEP detection. A calibration data based canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and CSSF with ℓ 1 - and ℓ 2,1 -regularization cases were demonstrated for a 16-target stimuli with eleven subjects. The results of statistical test suggest that the proposed method with ℓ 1 - and ℓ 2,1 -regularization significantly achieved the highest ITR. The proposed approaches do not need any reference signals, automatically select prominent channels, and reduce the computational cost compared to the other mixed frequency-phase coding (FPC)-based BCIs. The experimental results suggested that the proposed method can be usable implementing BCI effectively with reduce visual fatigue. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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.
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...
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.
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
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.
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...
Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and...
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.
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
Giuliano, Ryan J; Karns, Christina M; Neville, Helen J; Hillyard, Steven A
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual's capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70-90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals.
Giuliano, Ryan J.; Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen J.; Hillyard, Steven A.
A growing body of research suggests that the predictive power of working memory (WM) capacity for measures of intellectual aptitude is due to the ability to control attention and select relevant information. Crucially, attentional mechanisms implicated in controlling access to WM are assumed to be domain-general, yet reports of enhanced attentional abilities in individuals with larger WM capacities are primarily within the visual domain. Here, we directly test the link between WM capacity and early attentional gating across sensory domains, hypothesizing that measures of visual WM capacity should predict an individual’s capacity to allocate auditory selective attention. To address this question, auditory ERPs were recorded in a linguistic dichotic listening task, and individual differences in ERP modulations by attention were correlated with estimates of WM capacity obtained in a separate visual change detection task. Auditory selective attention enhanced ERP amplitudes at an early latency (ca. 70–90 msec), with larger P1 components elicited by linguistic probes embedded in an attended narrative. Moreover, this effect was associated with greater individual estimates of visual WM capacity. These findings support the view that domain-general attentional control mechanisms underlie the wide variation of WM capacity across individuals. PMID:25000526
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
Alfimova, M V; Golimbet, V E; Lebedeva, I S; Korovaĭtseva, G I; Lezheĭko, T V
We studied influence of the anxiety-related trait Harm Avoidance and the COMT gene, which is an important modulator of prefrontal functioning, on event-related potentials in oddball paradigm and performance effectiveness of selective attention. For 50 individuals accuracy and time of searching words among letters at any desired rate and then under an instruction to perform the task as quickly and accurate as possible were measured. Scores on the Harm Avoidance scale from Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory, N100 and P300 parameters, and COMTVa1158Met genotypes were obtained for them as well. Searching accuracy and time were mainly related to N100 amplitude. The COMT genotype and Harm Avoidance did not affect N100 amplitude; however, the N100 amplitude modulated their effects on accuracy and time dynamics. Harm Avoidance was positively correlated with P300 latency. The results suggest that anxiety and the COMT gene effects on performance effectiveness of selective attention depend on cognitive processes reflected in N100 parameters.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Full Text Available Following a multi-talker conversation relies on the ability to rapidly and efficiently shift the focus of spatial attention from one talker to another. The current study investigated the listening costs associated with shifts in spatial attention during conversational turn-taking in 16 normally-hearing listeners using a novel sentence recall task. Three pairs of syntactically fixed but semantically unpredictable matrix sentences, recorded from a single male talker, were presented concurrently through an array of three loudspeakers (directly ahead and +/-30° azimuth. Subjects attended to one spatial location, cued by a tone, and followed the target conversation from one sentence to the next using the call-sign at the beginning of each sentence. Subjects were required to report the last three words of each sentence (speech recall task or answer multiple choice questions related to the target material (speech comprehension task. The reading span test, attention network test, and trail making test were also administered to assess working memory, attentional control, and executive function. There was a 10.7 ± 1.3% decrease in word recall, a pronounced primacy effect, and a rise in masker confusion errors and word omissions when the target switched location between sentences. Switching costs were independent of the location, direction, and angular size of the spatial shift but did appear to be load dependent and only significant for complex questions requiring multiple cognitive operations. Reading span scores were positively correlated with total words recalled, and negatively correlated with switching costs and word omissions. Task switching speed (Trail-B time was also significantly correlated with recall accuracy. Overall, this study highlights i the listening costs associated with shifts in spatial attention and ii the important role of working memory in maintaining goal relevant information and extracting meaning from dynamic multi
Full Text Available 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zhang, Dan; Huang, Bisheng; Wu, Wei; Li, Siliang
Although accurate recognition of the idle state is essential for the application of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) in real-world situations, it remains a challenging task due to the variability of the idle state. In this study, a novel algorithm was proposed for the idle state detection in a steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP)-based BCI. The proposed algorithm aims to solve the idle state detection problem by constructing a better model of the control states. For feature extraction, a maximum evoked response (MER) spatial filter was developed to extract neurophysiologically plausible SSVEP responses, by finding the combination of multi-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) signals that maximized the evoked responses while suppressing the unrelated background EEGs. The extracted SSVEP responses at the frequencies of both the attended and the unattended stimuli were then used to form feature vectors and a series of binary classifiers for recognition of each control state and the idle state were constructed. EEG data from nine subjects in a three-target SSVEP BCI experiment with a variety of idle state conditions were used to evaluate the proposed algorithm. Compared to the most popular canonical correlation analysis-based algorithm and the conventional power spectrum-based algorithm, the proposed algorithm outperformed them by achieving an offline control state classification accuracy of 88.0 ± 11.1% and idle state false positive rates (FPRs) ranging from 7.4 ± 5.6% to 14.2 ± 10.1%, depending on the specific idle state conditions. Moreover, the online simulation reported BCI performance close to practical use: 22.0 ± 2.9 out of the 24 control commands were correctly recognized and the FPRs achieved as low as approximately 0.5 event/min in the idle state conditions with eye open and 0.05 event/min in the idle state condition with eye closed. These results demonstrate the potential of the proposed algorithm for implementing practical SSVEP BCI systems.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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…
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Shioiri, Satoshi; Honjyo, Hajime; Kashiwase, Yoshiyuki; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Kuriki, Ichiro
Visual attention spreads over a range around the focus as the spotlight metaphor describes. Spatial spread of attentional enhancement and local selection/inhibition are crucial factors determining the profile of the spatial attention. Enhancement and ignorance/suppression are opposite effects of attention, and appeared to be mutually exclusive. Yet, no unified view of the factors has been provided despite their necessity for understanding the functions of spatial attention. This report provides electroencephalographic and behavioral evidence for the attentional spread at an early stage and selection/inhibition at a later stage of visual processing. Steady state visual evoked potential showed broad spatial tuning whereas the P3 component of the event related potential showed local selection or inhibition of the adjacent areas. Based on these results, we propose a two-stage model of spatial attention with broad spread at an early stage and local selection at a later stage.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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…
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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…
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.
Reid, Chelsea A; Green, Jeffrey D; Wildschut, Tim; Sedikides, Constantine
Can scents evoke nostalgia; what might be the psychological implications of such an evocation? Participants sampled 12 scents and rated the extent to which each scent was familiar, arousing and autobiographically relevant, as well as the extent to which each scent elicited nostalgia. Participants who were high (compared to low) in nostalgia proneness reported more scent-evoked nostalgia, and scents elicited greater nostalgia to the extent that they were arousing, familiar and autobiographically relevant. Scent-evoked nostalgia predicted higher levels of positive affect, self-esteem, self-continuity, optimism, social connectedness and meaning in life. In addition, scent-evoked nostalgia was characterised by more positive emotions than either non-nostalgic autobiographical memories or non-nostalgic non-autobiographical memories. Finally, scent-evoked nostalgia predicted in-the-moment feelings of personal (general or object-specific) nostalgia. The findings represent a foray into understanding the triggers and affective signature of scent-evoked nostalgia.
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.
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...
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...
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.
Dagnino, Bruno; Gariel-Mathis, Marie-Alice; Roelfsema, Pieter R
Previous transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies suggested that feedback from higher to lower areas of the visual cortex is important for the access of visual information to awareness. However, the influence of cortico-cortical feedback on awareness and the nature of the feedback effects are not yet completely understood. In the present study, we used electrical microstimulation in the visual cortex of monkeys to test the hypothesis that cortico-cortical feedback plays a role in visual awareness. We investigated the interactions between the primary visual cortex (V1) and area V4 by applying microstimulation in both cortical areas at various delays. We report that the monkeys detected the phosphenes produced by V1 microstimulation but subthreshold V4 microstimulation did not influence V1 phosphene detection thresholds. A second experiment examined the influence of V4 microstimulation on the monkeys' ability to detect the dimming of one of three peripheral visual stimuli. Again, microstimulation of a group of V4 neurons failed to modulate the monkeys' perception of a stimulus in their receptive field. We conclude that conditions exist where microstimulation of area V4 has only a limited influence on visual perception. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
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.
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.
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.
Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius V
Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a preparatory phase before stimulus onset in which the attended dimension is internally represented. Here, we review neurophysiological, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies investigating the neural basis of preparatory attention, both when attention is directed to a location in space and when it is directed to nonspatial stimulus attributes (content-based attention) ranging from low-level features to object categories. Results show that both spatial and content-based attention lead to increased baseline activity in neural populations that selectively code for the attended attribute. TMS studies provide evidence that this preparatory activity is causally related to subsequent attentional selection and behavioral performance. Attention thus acts by preactivating selective neurons in the visual cortex before stimulus onset. This appears to be a general mechanism that can operate on multiple levels of representation. We discuss the functional relevance of this mechanism, its limitations, and its relation to working memory, imagery, and expectation. We conclude by outlining open questions and future directions. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.
Arnfred, S; Chen, A C; Eder, Derek N
We studied cerebral evoked potentials on the scalp to the stimulation of the right hand from a change in weight of 400-480 g in ten subjects. Rise-time was 20g/10 ms, Inter Stimulus Interval 2s and stimulus duration was 100 ms. The cerebral activations were a double positive contralateral C3'/P70......). Further studies of the PEP are needed to assess the influence of load manipulations and of muscle contraction and to explore the effect of attentional manipulation....
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.
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.
Arnfred, S.M.; Hansen, Lars Kai; Parnas, J.
A proprioceptive stimulus consisting of a weight change of a handheld load has recently been shown to elicit an evoked potential. Previously, somatosensory gamma oscillations have only been evoked by electrical stimuli. We conjectured that a natural proprioceptive stimulus also would be able...... to evoke gamma oscillations. EEG was recorded using 64 channels in 14 healthy subjects. In each of three runs a stimulus of 100 g load increment in each hand was presented in 120 trials. Data were wavelet transformed and runs collapsed. Inter-trial phase coherence (ITPC) was computed as the best measure...
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
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 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.
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
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
van Tilburg, Wijnand A P; Sedikides, Constantine; Wildschut, Tim
Four studies examined the link between adverse weather and the palliative role of nostalgia. We proposed and tested that (a) adverse weather evokes nostalgia (Hypothesis 1); (b) adverse weather causes distress, which predicts elevated nostalgia (Hypothesis 2); (c) preventing nostalgia exacerbates weather-induced distress (Hypothesis 3); and (d) weather-evoked nostalgia confers psychological benefits (Hypothesis 4). In Study 1, participants listened to recordings of wind, thunder, rain, and neutral sounds. Adverse weather evoked nostalgia. In Study 2, participants kept a 10-day diary recording weather conditions, distress, and nostalgia. We also obtained meteorological data. Adverse weather perceptions were positively correlated with distress, which predicted higher nostalgia. Also, adverse natural weather was associated with corresponding weather perceptions, which predicted elevated nostalgia. (Results were mixed for rain.) In Study 3, preventing nostalgia (via cognitive load) increased weather-evoked distress. In Study 4, weather-evoked nostalgia was positively associated with psychological benefits. The findings pioneer the relevance of nostalgia as source of comfort in adverse weather.
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
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.
Elberling, C; Parbo, J; Johnsen, N J
Stimulated acoustic emissions were recorded in response to tonal stimuli at 60 dB p.e. SPL in a small group of normal-hearing adults. Power spectral analysis reveals that the evoked activity from each ear contains energy in preferential frequency bands and the change of stimulus frequency has only...
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.
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.
Benwell, Christopher S Y; Harvey, Monika; Gardner, Stephanie; Thut, Gregor
Systematic biases in spatial attention are a common finding. In the general population, a systematic leftward bias is typically observed (pseudoneglect), possibly as a consequence of right hemisphere dominance for visuospatial attention. However, this leftward bias can cross-over to a systematic rightward bias with changes in stimulus and state factors (such as line length and arousal). The processes governing these changes are still unknown. Here we tested models of spatial attention as to their ability to account for these effects. To this end, we experimentally manipulated both stimulus and state factors, while healthy participants performed a computerized version of a landmark task. State was manipulated by time-on-task (>1 h) leading to increased fatigue and a reliable left- to rightward shift in spatial bias. Stimulus was manipulated by presenting either long or short lines which was associated with a shift of subjective midpoint from a reliable leftward bias for long to a more rightward bias for short lines. Importantly, we found time-on-task and line length effects to be additive suggesting a common denominator for line bisection across all conditions, which is in disagreement with models that assume that bisection decisions in long and short lines are governed by distinct processes (Magnitude estimation vs Global/local distinction). Our findings emphasize the dynamic rather than static nature of spatial biases in midline judgement. They are best captured by theories of spatial attention positing that spatial bias is flexibly modulated, and subject to inter-hemispheric balance which can change over time or conditions to accommodate task demands or reflect fatigue. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Wu, Chia-Chien; Wang, Hsueh-Cheng; Pomplun, Marc
A previous study (Vision Research 51 (2011) 1192-1205) found evidence for semantic guidance of visual attention during the inspection of real-world scenes, i.e., an influence of semantic relationships among scene objects on overt shifts of attention. In particular, the results revealed an observer bias toward gaze transitions between semantically similar objects. However, this effect is not necessarily indicative of semantic processing of individual objects but may be mediated by knowledge of the scene gist, which does not require object recognition, or by known spatial dependency among objects. To examine the mechanisms underlying semantic guidance, in the present study, participants were asked to view a series of displays with the scene gist excluded and spatial dependency varied. Our results show that spatial dependency among objects seems to be sufficient to induce semantic guidance. Scene gist, on the other hand, does not seem to affect how observers use semantic information to guide attention while viewing natural scenes. Extracting semantic information mainly based on spatial dependency may be an efficient strategy of the visual system that only adds little cognitive load to the viewing task. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cazzoli, Dario; Hopfner, Simone; Preisig, Basil; Zito, Giuseppe; Vanbellingen, Tim; Jäger, Michael; Nef, Tobias; Mosimann, Urs; Bohlhalter, Stephan; Müri, René M; Nyffeler, Thomas
An impairment of the spatial deployment of visual attention during exploration of static (i.e., motionless) stimuli is a common finding after an acute, right-hemispheric stroke. However, less is known about how these deficits: (a) are modulated through naturalistic motion (i.e., without directional, specific spatial features); and, (b) evolve in the subacute/chronic post-stroke phase. In the present study, we investigated free visual exploration in three patient groups with subacute/chronic right-hemispheric stroke and in healthy subjects. The first group included patients with left visual neglect and a left visual field defect (VFD), the second patients with a left VFD but no neglect, and the third patients without neglect or VFD. Eye movements were measured in all participants while they freely explored a traffic scene without (static condition) and with (dynamic condition) naturalistic motion, i.e., cars moving from the right or left. In the static condition, all patient groups showed similar deployment of visual exploration (i.e., as measured by the cumulative fixation duration) as compared to healthy subjects, suggesting that recovery processes took place, with normal spatial allocation of attention. However, the more demanding dynamic condition with moving cars elicited different re-distribution patterns of visual attention, quite similar to those typically observed in acute stroke. Neglect patients with VFD showed a significant decrease of visual exploration in the contralesional space, whereas patients with VFD but no neglect showed a significant increase of visual exploration in the contralesional space. No differences, as compared to healthy subjects, were found in patients without neglect or VFD. These results suggest that naturalistic motion, without directional, specific spatial features, may critically influence the spatial distribution of visual attention in subacute/chronic stroke patients. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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
Burnham, Bryan R.; Neely, James H.
C. L. Folk, R. W. Remington, and J. C. Johnston's (1992) contingent involuntary orienting hypothesis states that a salient visual feature will involuntarily capture attention only when the observer's attentional set includes similar features. In four experiments, when the target's relevant feature was its being an abruptly onset singleton,…
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
Matthews, Allison Jane; Martin, Frances Heritage
To investigate facilitatory and inhibitory processes during selective attention among adults with good (n=17) and poor (n=14) phonological decoding skills, a go/nogo flanker task was completed while EEG was recorded. Participants responded to a middle target letter flanked by compatible or incompatible flankers. The target was surrounded by a small or large circular cue which was presented simultaneously or 500ms prior. Poor decoders showed a greater RT cost for incompatible stimuli preceded by large cues and less RT benefit for compatible stimuli. Poor decoders also showed reduced modulation of ERPs by cue-size at left hemisphere posterior sites (N1) and by flanker compatibility at right hemisphere posterior sites (N1) and frontal sites (N2), consistent with processing differences in fronto-parietal attention networks. These findings have potential implications for understanding the relationship between spatial attention and phonological decoding in dyslexia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Itthipuripat, Sirawaj; Cha, Kexin; Byers, Anna; Serences, John T
Selective attention supports the prioritized processing of relevant sensory information to facilitate goal-directed behavior. Studies in human subjects demonstrate that attentional gain of cortical responses can sufficiently account for attention-related improvements in behavior. On the other hand, studies using highly trained nonhuman primates suggest that reductions in neural noise can better explain attentional facilitation of behavior. Given the importance of selective information processing in nearly all domains of cognition, we sought to reconcile these competing accounts by testing the hypothesis that extensive behavioral training alters the neural mechanisms that support selective attention. We tested this hypothesis using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure stimulus-evoked visual responses from human subjects while they performed a selective spatial attention task over the course of ~1 month. Early in training, spatial attention led to an increase in the gain of stimulus-evoked visual responses. Gain was apparent within ~100 ms of stimulus onset, and a quantitative model based on signal detection theory (SDT) successfully linked the magnitude of this gain modulation to attention-related improvements in behavior. However, after extensive training, this early attentional gain was eliminated even though there were still substantial attention-related improvements in behavior. Accordingly, the SDT-based model required noise reduction to account for the link between the stimulus-evoked visual responses and attentional modulations of behavior. These findings suggest that training can lead to fundamental changes in the way attention alters the early cortical responses that support selective information processing. Moreover, these data facilitate the translation of results across different species and across experimental procedures that employ different behavioral training regimes.
Cha, Kexin; Byers, Anna; Serences, John T.
Selective attention supports the prioritized processing of relevant sensory information to facilitate goal-directed behavior. Studies in human subjects demonstrate that attentional gain of cortical responses can sufficiently account for attention-related improvements in behavior. On the other hand, studies using highly trained nonhuman primates suggest that reductions in neural noise can better explain attentional facilitation of behavior. Given the importance of selective information processing in nearly all domains of cognition, we sought to reconcile these competing accounts by testing the hypothesis that extensive behavioral training alters the neural mechanisms that support selective attention. We tested this hypothesis using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure stimulus-evoked visual responses from human subjects while they performed a selective spatial attention task over the course of ~1 month. Early in training, spatial attention led to an increase in the gain of stimulus-evoked visual responses. Gain was apparent within ~100 ms of stimulus onset, and a quantitative model based on signal detection theory (SDT) successfully linked the magnitude of this gain modulation to attention-related improvements in behavior. However, after extensive training, this early attentional gain was eliminated even though there were still substantial attention-related improvements in behavior. Accordingly, the SDT-based model required noise reduction to account for the link between the stimulus-evoked visual responses and attentional modulations of behavior. These findings suggest that training can lead to fundamental changes in the way attention alters the early cortical responses that support selective information processing. Moreover, these data facilitate the translation of results across different species and across experimental procedures that employ different behavioral training regimes. PMID:28654635
Fattorini, E; Pinto, M; Merola, S; D'Onofrio, M; Doricchi, F
The relationship between number and space representation is still one of the most debated topics in studies of mathematical cognition. Here we offer a concise review of two important behavioral effects that have pointed out the use of a spatially left-to-right oriented mental number line (MNL) in healthy participants: the SNARC effect and the attentional SNARC effect (Att-SNARC). Following a brief summary of seminal investigations on the introspective properties of the MNL, we review recent empirical evidence and theories on the functional origin of the SNARC effect, where upon left/right response choices faster reaction times are found for small numbers with left-side responses and for large numbers with right-side responses. Then we offer a summary of the studies that have investigated whether the mere perception of visual Arabic numbers presented at central fixation can engender spatially congruent lateral shifts of attention, ie, leftward for small numbers and rightward for large ones, ie, the Att-SNARC effect. Finally, we summarize four experiments that tested whether the Att-SNARC depends on an active rather than passive processing of centrally presented digit cues. In line with other recent studies, these experiment do not replicate the original Att-SNARC and show that the mere perception of Arabic numerals does not trigger automatic shifts of attention. These shifts are instead found when the task requires the explicit left/right spatial coding of digit cues, ie, Spatial Att-SNARC (Fattorini et al., 2015b). Nonetheless, the reliability of the Spatial Att-SNARC effect seems not as strong as that of conventional SNARC effects where left/right codes are mapped onto responses rather than directly mapped on digit cues. Comparing the magnitude of digits to a numerical reference, ie, "5," also produced a Magnitude Comparison Att-SNARC that was weaker than the spatial one. However, the reliability of this Magnitude Comparison Att-SNARC should be considered with
Battistoni, E.; Stein, T.; Peelen, M.V.
Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a
Röder, Brigitte; Föcker, Julia; Hötting, Kirsten; Spence, Charles
Changes in limb posture (such as crossing the hands) can impair people's performance in tasks such as those involving temporal order judgements, when one tactile stimulus is presented to either hand. This crossed hands deficit has been attributed to a conflict between externally and anatomically anchored reference systems when people localize tactile stimuli. Interestingly, however, the performance of congenitally blind adults does not seem to be affected by crossing the hands, suggesting a default use of an anatomically rather than an externally anchored reference system for tactile localization. In the present study, 12 congenitally blind and 12 sighted adults were instructed to attend to either the left or the right hand on a trial-by-trial basis in order to detect rare deviants (consisting of a double touch) at that hand, while ignoring both deviants at the other hand and frequent standard stimuli (consisting of a single touch) presented to either hand. Only the sighted participants performed less accurately when they crossed their hands. Concurrent electroencephalogram recordings revealed an early contralateral attention positivity, followed by an attention negativity in the sighted group when they adopted the uncrossed hands posture. For the crossed hand posture, only the attention negativity was observed with reduced amplitude in the sighted group. By contrast, the congenitally blind group displayed an event-related potential attention negativity that did not vary when the posture of their hands was changed. These results demonstrate that the default use of an external frame of reference for tactile localization seems to depend on developmental vision.
Slavutskaia, M V; Moiseeva, V V; Shul'govskiĭ, V V
The difference in parameters of visually guided and memory-guided saccades was shown. Increase in the memory-guided saccade latency as compared to that of the visually guided saccades may indicate the deceleration of saccadic programming on the basis of information extraction from the memory. The comparison of parameters and topography of evoked components N1 and P1 of the evoked potential on the signal to make a memory- or visually guided saccade suggests that the early stage of the saccade programming associated with the space information processing is performed predominantly with top-down attention mechanism before the memory-guided saccade and bottom-up mechanism before the visually guided saccade. The findings show that the increase in the latency of the memory-guided saccades is connected with decision making at the central stage of the saccade programming. We proposed that wave N2, which develops in the middle of the latent period of the memory-guided saccades, is correlated with this process. Topography and spatial dynamics of components N1, P1 and N2 testify that the memory-guided saccade programming is controlled by the frontal mediothalamic system of selective attention and left-hemispheric brain mechanisms of motor attention.
The past decade has seen great progress in the measurement of evoked potentials in man; a steady increase in our understanding of their charac teristics, their origins and their usefulness; and a growing application in the field of clinical diagnosis. The topic is a truly multidisciplinary one. Important research contributions have been made by workers of many different backgrounds and clinical applications span the specialities. This book represents a revised and updated version of the work originally presented at the international evoked potential symposium held in Nottingham 4-6 1978. The Nottingham Symposium provided a forum for a state-of-the-art discussion amongst workers from many different disciplines and from many different countries. For each major topic in the field an expert review set the scene for discussion of current research presentations. This format is retained in the book: the chapters in Part A provide the context in which the research presented in Part B is set. The task of selecting m...
Frey, Hans-Peter; Schmid, Anita M; Murphy, Jeremy W; Molholm, Sophie; Lalor, Edmund C; Foxe, John J
We often face the challenge of simultaneously attending to multiple non-contiguous regions of space. There is ongoing debate as to how spatial attention is divided under these situations. Whereas, for several years, the predominant view was that humans could divide the attentional spotlight, several recent studies argue in favor of a unitary spotlight that rhythmically samples relevant locations. Here, this issue was addressed by the use of high-density electrophysiology in concert with the multifocal m-sequence technique to examine visual evoked responses to multiple simultaneous streams of stimulation. Concurrently, we assayed the topographic distribution of alpha-band oscillatory mechanisms, a measure of attentional suppression. Participants performed a difficult detection task that required simultaneous attention to two stimuli in contiguous (undivided) or non-contiguous parts of space. In the undivided condition, the classic pattern of attentional modulation was observed, with increased amplitude of the early visual evoked response and increased alpha amplitude ipsilateral to the attended hemifield. For the divided condition, early visual responses to attended stimuli were also enhanced, and the observed multifocal topographic distribution of alpha suppression was in line with the divided attention hypothesis. These results support the existence of divided attentional spotlights, providing evidence that the corresponding modulation occurs during initial sensory processing time-frames in hierarchically early visual regions, and that suppressive mechanisms of visual attention selectively target distracter locations during divided spatial attention. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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.
Salvato, Gerardo; Patai, Eva Z; McCloud, Tayla; Nobre, Anna C
Apolipoprotein (APOE) ɛ4 genotype has been identified as a risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). The memory system is mostly involved in AD, and memory deficits represent its key feature. A growing body of studies has focused on the earlier identification of cognitive dysfunctions in younger and older APOE ɛ4 carriers, but investigation on middle-aged individuals remains rare. Here we sought to investigate if the APOE ɛ4 genotype modulates declarative memory and its influences on perception in the middle of the life span. We tested 60 middle-aged individuals recruited according to their APOE allele variants (ɛ3/ɛ3, ɛ3/ɛ4, ɛ4/ɛ4) on a long-term memory-based orienting of attention task. Results showed that the APOE ɛ4 genotype impaired neither explicit memory nor memory-based orienting of spatial attention. Interestingly, however, we found that the possession of the ɛ4 allele broke the relationship between declarative long-term memory and memory-guided orienting of visuo-spatial attention, suggesting an earlier modulation exerted by pure genetic characteristics on cognition. These findings are discussed in light of possible accelerated brain ageing in middle-aged ɛ4-carriers, and earlier structural changes in the brain occurring at this stage of the lifespan. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
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…
Facoetti, Andrea; Corradi, Nicola; Ruffino, Milena; Gori, Simone; Zorzi, Marco
Phonological skills are foundational of reading acquisition and impaired phonological processing is widely assumed to characterize dyslexic individuals. However, reading by phonological decoding also requires rapid selection of sublexical orthographic units through serial attentional orienting, and recent studies have shown that visual spatial…
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…
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…
Belfi, Amy M; Karlan, Brett; Tranel, Daniel
Music is strongly intertwined with memories-for example, hearing a song from the past can transport you back in time, triggering the sights, sounds, and feelings of a specific event. This association between music and vivid autobiographical memory is intuitively apparent, but the idea that music is intimately tied with memories, seemingly more so than other potent memory cues (e.g., familiar faces), has not been empirically tested. Here, we compared memories evoked by music to those evoked by famous faces, predicting that music-evoked autobiographical memories (MEAMs) would be more vivid. Participants listened to 30 songs, viewed 30 faces, and reported on memories that were evoked. Memories were transcribed and coded for vividness as in Levine, B., Svoboda, E., Hay, J. F., Winocur, G., & Moscovitch, M. [2002. Aging and autobiographical memory: Dissociating episodic from semantic retrieval. Psychology and Aging, 17, 677-689]. In support of our hypothesis, MEAMs were more vivid than autobiographical memories evoked by faces. MEAMs contained a greater proportion of internal details and a greater number of perceptual details, while face-evoked memories contained a greater number of external details. Additionally, we identified sex differences in memory vividness: for both stimulus categories, women retrieved more vivid memories than men. The results show that music not only effectively evokes autobiographical memories, but that these memories are more vivid than those evoked by famous faces.
Drisdelle, Brandi Lee; Aubin, Sébrina; Jolicoeur, Pierre
The objective of the present study was to assess the robustness and reliability of independent component analysis (ICA) as a method for ocular artifact correction in electrophysiological studies of visual-spatial attention and memory. The N2pc and sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), electrophysiological markers of visual-spatial attention and memory, respectively, are lateralized posterior ERPs typically observed following the presentation of lateral stimuli (targets and distractors) along with instructions to maintain fixation on the center of the visual search for the entire trial. Traditionally, trials in which subjects may have displaced their gaze are rejected based on a cutoff threshold, minimizing electrophysiological contamination by saccades. Given the loss of data resulting from rejection, we examined ocular correction by comparing results using standard fixation instructions against a condition where subjects were instructed to shift their gaze toward possible targets. Both conditions were analyzed using a rejection threshold and ICA correction for saccade activity management. Results demonstrate that ICA conserves data that would have otherwise been removed and leaves the underlying neural activity intact, as demonstrated by experimental manipulations previously shown to modulate the N2pc and the SPCN. Not only does ICA salvage and not distort data, but also large eye movements had only subtle effects. Overall, the findings provide convincing evidence for ICA correction for not only special cases (e.g., subjects did not follow fixation instruction) but also as a candidate for standard ocular artifact management in electrophysiological studies interested in visual-spatial attention and memory. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
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.
Isikman, Elif; MacInnis, Deborah J; Ülkümen, Gülden; Cavanaugh, Lisa A
Whereas prior literature has studied the positive effects of curiosity-evoking events that are integral to focal activities, we explore whether and how a curiosity-evoking event that is incidental to a focal activity induces negative outcomes for enjoyment. Four experiments and 1 field study demonstrate that curiosity about an event that is incidental to an activity in which individuals are engaged, significantly affects enjoyment of a concurrent activity. The reason why is that curiosity diverts attention away from the concurrent activity and focuses attention on the curiosity-evoking event. Thus, curiosity regarding an incidental event decreases enjoyment of a positive focal activity but increases enjoyment of a negative focal activity. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved
Polinsky, Naomi; Perez, Jasmin; Grehl, Mora; McCrink, Koleen
Longitudinal spatial language intervention studies have shown that greater exposure to spatial language improves children's performance on spatial tasks. Can short naturalistic, spatial language interactions also evoke improved spatial performance? In this study, parents were asked to interact with their child at a block wall exhibit in a…
Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes than do ignored stimuli, the method has been used to investigate the neural mechanisms of spatial attention. However, up to now it has not been shown whether the amplitude of the SSVEP is sensitive to gradations of attention and there has been debate about whether attention effects on the SSVEP are dependent on the tagging frequency used. We thus compared attention effects on SSVEP across three attention conditions-focused, divided, and ignored-with six different tagging frequencies. Participants performed a visual detection task (respond to the digit 5 embedded in a stream of characters). Two stimulus streams, one to the left and one to the right of fixation, were displayed simultaneously, each with a background grey square whose hue was sine-modulated with one of the six tagging frequencies. At the beginning of each trial a cue indicated whether targets on the left, right, or both sides should be responded to. Accuracy was higher in the focused- than in the divided-attention condition. SSVEP amplitudes were greatest in the focused-attention condition, intermediate in the divided-attention condition, and smallest in the ignored-attention condition. The effect of attention on SSVEP amplitude did not depend on the tagging frequency used. Frequency tagging appears to be a flexible technique for studying attention.
Understanding the relation between attention and consciousness is an important part of our understanding of consciousness. Attention, unlike consciousness, can be systematically manipulated in psychophysical experiments and a law-like relation between attention and consciousness is waiting to be discovered. Most attempts to discover the nature of this relation are focused on a special type of attention: spatial visual attention. In this review I want to introduce another type of attention to ...
An attention cascade model is proposed to account for attentional blinks in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) of stimuli. Data were collected using single characters in a single RSVP stream at 10 Hz [Shih, S., & Reeves, A. (2007). "Attentional capture in rapid serial visual presentation." "Spatial Vision", 20(4), 301-315], and single words,…
Dan'ko, S G; Kachalova, L M; Solov'eva, M L
Electroencephalograms (EEG) were recorder in 19 standard derivations in 88 healthy subjects, while they were in the states: rest with eyes open; memorization (learning) of verbal bilingual semantic pairs (Latin and Russian languages); the retrieval of the rote information from memory (control). We compared estimates of EEG coherence in these states for the frequency bands theta (4-7 Hz), alpha-1 (7-10 Hz), alpha-2 (10-13 Hz), beta-1 (13-18 Hz), beta-2 (18-30 Hz), gamma (30-40 Hz). When compared with the rest most strongly expressed: for memorization a decrease of coherence in the pairs of derivations from frontal and central areas of the cortex in the EEG frequency bands; for retrieval an increase of coherence in interhemispheric derivation pairs of pariental-occipital region in majority of the frequency bands. For the retrieval also increases of coherence in the beta2 and gamma bands, along with coherence decreases at low frequencies take place in pairs formed by derivations from the parieto-occipital region with derivations from the frontal and the central ones. Dynamics of EEG coherence in comparisons of memorization and retrieval from the rest and each are expressed significantly more in the interhemispheric and crosshemispheric pairs of derivations than in the intrahemispheric pairs. Revealed topographic specificity of the dynamics of EEG coherence by changing the states is considered in terms of ideas about cognitive-specific forms of sustained goal-directed mental attention.
Dalenberg, Jelle R; Gutjar, Swetlana; Ter Horst, Gert J; de Graaf, Kees; Renken, Remco J; Jager, Gerry
In the current study we show that non-verbal food-evoked emotion scores significantly improve food choice prediction over merely liking scores. Previous research has shown that liking measures correlate with choice. However, liking is no strong predictor for food choice in real life environments. Therefore, the focus within recent studies shifted towards using emotion-profiling methods that successfully can discriminate between products that are equally liked. However, it is unclear how well scores from emotion-profiling methods predict actual food choice and/or consumption. To test this, we proposed to decompose emotion scores into valence and arousal scores using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and apply Multinomial Logit Models (MLM) to estimate food choice using liking, valence, and arousal as possible predictors. For this analysis, we used an existing data set comprised of liking and food-evoked emotions scores from 123 participants, who rated 7 unlabeled breakfast drinks. Liking scores were measured using a 100-mm visual analogue scale, while food-evoked emotions were measured using 2 existing emotion-profiling methods: a verbal and a non-verbal method (EsSense Profile and PrEmo, respectively). After 7 days, participants were asked to choose 1 breakfast drink from the experiment to consume during breakfast in a simulated restaurant environment. Cross validation showed that we were able to correctly predict individualized food choice (1 out of 7 products) for over 50% of the participants. This number increased to nearly 80% when looking at the top 2 candidates. Model comparisons showed that evoked emotions better predict food choice than perceived liking alone. However, the strongest predictive strength was achieved by the combination of evoked emotions and liking. Furthermore we showed that non-verbal food-evoked emotion scores more accurately predict food choice than verbal food-evoked emotions scores.
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.
The present study is focused on a review of the current state of investigating music-evoked emotions experimentally, theoretically and with respect to their therapeutic potentials. After a concise historical overview and a schematic of the hearing mechanisms, experimental studies on music listeners and on music performers are discussed, starting with the presentation of characteristic musical stimuli and the basic features of tomographic imaging of emotional activation in the brain, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), which offer high spatial resolution in the millimeter range. The progress in correlating activation imaging in the brain to the psychological understanding of music-evoked emotion is demonstrated and some prospects for future research are outlined. Research in psychoneuroendocrinology and molecular markers is reviewed in the context of music-evoked emotions and the results indicate that the research in this area should be intensified. An assessment of studies involving measuring techniques with high temporal resolution down to the 10 ms range, as, e.g., electroencephalography (EEG), event-related brain potentials (ERP), magnetoencephalography (MEG), skin conductance response (SCR), finger temperature, and goose bump development (piloerection) can yield information on the dynamics and kinetics of emotion. Genetic investigations reviewed suggest the heredity transmission of a predilection for music. Theoretical approaches to musical emotion are directed to a unified model for experimental neurological evidence and aesthetic judgment. Finally, the reports on musical therapy are briefly outlined. The study concludes with an outlook on emerging technologies and future research fields. PMID:29225563
Dalenberg, Jelle R.; Gutjar, Swetlana; ter Horst, Gert J.; de Graaf, Kees; Renken, Remco J.; Jager, Gerry
In the current study we show that non-verbal food-evoked emotion scores significantly improve food choice prediction over merely liking scores. Previous research has shown that liking measures correlate with choice. However, liking is no strong predictor for food choice in real life environments.
Full Text Available The term "own-race bias" refers to the phenomenon that humans are typically better at recognizing faces from their own than a different race. The perceptual expertise account assumes that our face perception system has adapted to the faces we are typically exposed to, equipping it poorly for the processing of other-race faces. Sociocognitive theories assume that other-race faces are initially categorized as out-group, decreasing motivation to individuate them. Supporting sociocognitive accounts, a recent study has reported improved recognition for other-race faces when these were categorized as belonging to the participants' in-group on a second social dimension, i.e., their university affiliation. Faces were studied in groups, containing both own-race and other-race faces, half of each labeled as in-group and out-group, respectively. When study faces were spatially grouped by race, participants showed a clear own-race bias. When faces were grouped by university affiliation, recognition of other-race faces from the social in-group was indistinguishable from own-race face recognition. The present study aimed at extending this singular finding to other races of faces and participants. Forty Asian and 40 European Australian participants studied Asian and European faces for a recognition test. Faces were presented in groups, containing an equal number of own-university and other-university Asian and European faces. Between participants, faces were grouped either according to race or university affiliation. Eye tracking was used to study the distribution of spatial attention to individual faces in the display. The race of the study faces significantly affected participants' memory, with better recognition of own-race than other-race faces. However, memory was unaffected by the university affiliation of the faces and by the criterion for their spatial grouping on the display. Eye tracking revealed strong looking biases towards both own-race and own
Mathieu, Romain; Epinat-Duclos, Justine; Sigovan, Monica; Breton, Audrey; Cheylus, Anne; Fayol, Michel; Thevenot, Catherine; Prado, Jérôme
Do mathematical symbols evoke spatial representations? Although behavioral studies have long demonstrated interactions between space and the processing of Arabic digits, how to interpret these results remains controversial. Here, we tested whether activity in regions supporting spatial processing contributes to the processing of symbols conveying fundamental arithmetic concepts-such as operation signs-even in the absence of associated digits. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that merely perceiving a "+" sign triggers activity in brain regions that support the orienting of spatial attention in adults. Activity in these regions was greater for "+" than for "×" signs, indicating that it is modulated by whether an operator reflects an operation that evokes numerical manipulation (rather than rote memorization). Finally, the degree to which subjects activated a spatial region in response to a "+" sign was correlated with the degree to which subjects benefited from being briefly presented with that sign before having to calculate a single-digit addition problem, an effect termed operator-priming. Therefore, not only are some arithmetic operators linked to spatial intuitions, but such intuitions might also have an important role during arithmetic calculation. More generally, our findings support the view that mathematical symbols inherently evoke spatial representations.
Maat, B; Wit, HP; van Dijk, P
Click-evoked otoacoustic emissions (CEOAEs) and acoustical responses evoked by bandlimited Gaussian noise (noise-evoked otoacoustic emissions; NEOAEs) were measured in three normal-hearing subjects. For the NEOAEs the first- and second-order Wiener kernel and polynomial correlation functions up to
Dalenberg, Jelle R.; Gutjar, Swetlana; ter Horst, Gert J.; de Graaf, Kees; Renken, Remco J.; Jager, Gerry
In the current study we show that non-verbal food-evoked emotion scores significantly improve food choice prediction over merely liking scores. Previous research has shown that liking measures correlate with choice. However, liking is no strong predictor for food choice in real life environments. Therefore, the focus within recent studies shifted towards using emotion-profiling methods that successfully can discriminate between products that are equally liked. However, it is unclear how well ...
Lenz, Daniel; Krauel, Kerstin; Flechtner, Hans-Henning; Schadow, Jeanette; Hinrichs, Hermann; Herrmann, Christoph S.
Neurophysiological studies yield contrary results whether attentional problems of patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are related to early visual processing deficits or not. Evoked gamma-band responses (GBRs), being among the first cortical responses occurring as early as 90 ms after visual stimulation in human EEG, have…
Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric
In these years digital media and wireless networks are introduced in upper secondary schools in Denmark. This implies new “attentional objects” like updates on Facebook or tweets on Twitter within instant reach of the pupils and teachers. Also it implies new kinds of attention (awareness) like when...... pupils try to listen to the teacher and simultaneously participate in online games. To this new social setting the teachers has reacted with either prohibition or unconcern. What has not been realised is that the introduction of new media profoundly challenges the way attention hitherto has functioned...... as a psychic prerequisite for the social interaction between pupils and teachers. New kinds of “split attention” arise and new kinds of social mediation (regulation and “use”) of psychic attention become necessary if teaching in the new digital medium milieu shall be beneficial. In this paper we qualify...
Quigley, Cliodhna; Müller, Matthias M
Deficient selection against irrelevant information has been proposed to underlie age-related cognitive decline. We recently reported evidence for maintained early sensory selection when older and younger adults used spatial selective attention to perform a challenging task. Here we explored age-related differences when spatial selection is not possible and feature-selective attention must be deployed. We additionally compared the integrity of feedforward processing by exploiting the well established phenomenon of suppression of visual cortical responses attributable to interstimulus competition. Electroencephalogram was measured while older and younger human adults responded to brief occurrences of coherent motion in an attended stimulus composed of randomly moving, orientation-defined, flickering bars. Attention was directed to horizontal or vertical bars by a pretrial cue, after which two orthogonally oriented, overlapping stimuli or a single stimulus were presented. Horizontal and vertical bars flickered at different frequencies and thereby elicited separable steady-state visual-evoked potentials, which were used to examine the effect of feature-based selection and the competitive influence of a second stimulus on ongoing visual processing. Age differences were found in feature-selective attentional modulation of visual responses: older adults did not show consistent modulation of magnitude or phase. In contrast, the suppressive effect of a second stimulus was robust and comparable in magnitude across age groups, suggesting that bottom-up processing of the current stimuli is essentially unchanged in healthy old age. Thus, it seems that visual processing per se is unchanged, but top-down attentional control is compromised in older adults when space cannot be used to guide selection.
Bekisz, Marek; Bogdan, Wojciech; Ghazaryan, Anaida; Waleszczyk, Wioletta J.; Kublik, Ewa; Wróbel, Andrzej
Selective attention can be focused either volitionally, by top-down signals derived from task demands, or automatically, by bottom-up signals from salient stimuli. Because the brain mechanisms that underlie these two attention processes are poorly understood, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) from primary visual cortical areas of cats as they performed stimulus-driven and anticipatory discrimination tasks. Consistent with our previous observations, in both tasks, we found enhanced beta activity, which we have postulated may serve as an attention carrier. We characterized the functional organization of task-related beta activity by (i) cortical responses (EPs) evoked by electrical stimulation of the optic chiasm and (ii) intracortical LFP correlations. During the anticipatory task, peripheral stimulation that was preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations evoked large-amplitude EPs compared with EPs that followed low-amplitude beta. In contrast, during the stimulus-driven task, cortical EPs preceded by high-amplitude beta oscillations were, on average, smaller than those preceded by low-amplitude beta. Analysis of the correlations between the different recording sites revealed that beta activation maps were heterogeneous during the bottom-up task and homogeneous for the top-down task. We conclude that bottom-up attention activates cortical visual areas in a mosaic-like pattern, whereas top-down attentional modulation results in spatially homogeneous excitation. PMID:26730705
McAdams, Carrie J; Reid, R Clay
Spatial attention has long been postulated to act as a spotlight that increases the salience of visual stimuli at the attended location. We examined the effects of attention on the receptive fields of simple cells in primary visual cortex (V1) by training macaque monkeys to perform a task with two modes. In the attended mode, the stimuli relevant to the animal's task overlay the receptive field of the neuron being recorded. In the unattended mode, the animal was cued to attend to stimuli outside the receptive field of that neuron. The relevant stimulus, a colored pixel, was briefly presented within a white-noise stimulus, a flickering grid of black and white pixels. The receptive fields of the neurons were mapped by correlating spikes with the white-noise stimulus in both attended and unattended modes. We found that attention could cause significant modulation of the visually evoked response despite an absence of significant effects on the overall firing rates. On further examination of the relationship between the strength of the visual stimulation and the firing rate, we found that attention appears to cause multiplicative scaling of the visually evoked responses of simple cells, demonstrating that attention reaches back to the initial stages of visual cortical processing.
Full Text Available Time-variant muscle responses under electrical stimulation (ES are often problematic for all the applications of neuroprosthetic muscle control. This situation limits the range of ES usage in relevant areas, mainly due to muscle fatigue and also to changes in stimulation electrode contact conditions, especially in transcutaneous ES. Surface electrodes are still the most widely used in noninvasive applications.Electrical field variations caused by changes in the stimulation contact condition markedly affect the resulting total muscle activation levels. Fatigue phenomena under functional electrical stimulation (FES are also well known source of time-varying characteristics coming from muscle response under ES. Therefore it is essential to monitor the actual muscle state and assess the expected muscle response by ES so as to improve the current ES system in favour of adaptive muscle-response-aware FES control. To deal with this issue, we have been studying a novel control technique using evoked electromyography (eEMG signals to compensate for these muscle time-variances under ES for stable neuroprosthetic muscle control. In this perspective article, I overview the background of this topic and highlight important points to be aware of when using ES to induce the desired muscle activation regardless of the time-variance. I also demonstrate how to deal with the common critical problem of ES to move toward robust neuroprosthetic muscle control with the Evoked Electromyographically Controlled Electrical Stimulation paradigm.
Chen, Ke; Ye, Yanyan; Xie, Jiushu; Xia, Tiansheng; Mo, Lei
A recent study observed a working memory (WM) Stroop effect with a magnitude equivalent to that of the classic Stroop effect, indicating that WM operates over the same representations as attention. However, more research is needed to examine this proposal. One unanswered question is whether the WM Stroop effect occurs when the WM item and the perceptual task do not have an overlapping response set. We addressed this question in Experiment 1 by conducting an attentional word-color task and a WM word-color task. The results showed that a WM Stroop effect also occurred in that condition, as a word that only indirectly evoked a color representation could interfere with the color judgement in both the attentional task and WM task. In Experiment 2, we used a classic Simon task and a WM Simon task to examine whether holding visuo-spatial information rather than verbal information in WM could interfere with perceptual judgment as well. We observed a WM Simon effect of equivalent magnitude to that of the classic Simon effect. The well-known stimulus-response compatibility effect also existed in the WM domain. The two experiments together demonstrated that WM operates over the same representations as attention, which sheds new light on the hypothesis that working memory is internally directed attention.
Chiu, Yu-Chin; Esterman, Michael; Han, Yuefeng; Rosen, Heather; Yantis, Steven
Attention is a neurocognitive mechanism that selects task-relevant sensory or mnemonic information to achieve current behavioral goals. Attentional modulation of cortical activity has been observed when attention is directed to specific locations, features, or objects. However, little is known about how high-level categorization task set modulates perceptual representations. In the current study, observers categorized faces by gender (male vs. female) or race (Asian vs. White). Each face was perceptually ambiguous in both dimensions, such that categorization of one dimension demanded selective attention to task-relevant information within the face. We used multivoxel pattern classification to show that task-specific modulations evoke reliably distinct spatial patterns of activity within three face-selective cortical regions (right fusiform face area and bilateral occipital face areas). This result suggests that patterns of activity in these regions reflect not only stimulus-specific (i.e., faces vs. houses) responses but also task-specific (i.e., race vs. gender) attentional modulation. Furthermore, exploratory whole-brain multivoxel pattern classification (using a searchlight procedure) revealed a network of dorsal fronto-parietal regions (left middle frontal gyrus and left inferior and superior parietal lobule) that also exhibit distinct patterns for the two task sets, suggesting that these regions may represent abstract goals during high-level categorization tasks.
Maheux, Manon; Jolicœur, Pierre
We examined the role of attention and visual working memory in the evaluation of the number of target stimuli as well as their relative spatial position using the N2pc and the SPCN. Participants performed two tasks: a simple counting task in which they had to determine if a visual display contained one or two coloured items among grey fillers and one in which they had to identify a specific relation between two coloured items. The same stimuli were used for both tasks. Each task was designed to permit an easier evaluation of either the same-coloured or differently-coloured stimuli. We predicted a greater involvement of attention and visual working memory for more difficult stimulus-task pairings. The results confirmed these predictions and suggest that visuospatial configurations that require more time to evaluate induce a greater (and presumably longer) involvement of attention and visual working memory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Bachmann, Talis; Murd, Carolina
Previous research has reported that attention to color afterimages speeds up their decay. However, the inducing stimuli in these studies have been overlapping, thereby implying that they involved overlapping receptive fields of the responsible neurons. As a result it is difficult to interpret the effect of focusing attention on a phenomenally projected target-afterimage. Here, we present a method free from these shortcomings. In searching for a target-afterimage patch among spatially separate alternatives the target fades from awareness before its competitors. This offers a good means to study neural correlates of visual awareness unconfounded with attention and enabling a temporally extended pure phenomenal experience free from simultaneous inflow of sensory transients. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention. I explain how in the last 25 years research on attention has characterized the effects of covert attention on spatial filters and how attention influences the selection of stimuli of interest. This review includes the effects of spatial attention on discriminability and appearance in tasks mediated by contrast sensitivity and spatial resolution; the effects of feature-based attention on basic visual processes, and a comparison of the effects of spatial and feature-based attention. The emphasis of this review is on psychophysical studies, but relevant electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies and models regarding how and where neuronal responses are modulated are also discussed. PMID:21549742
Andrillon, Thomas; Kouider, Sid; Agus, Trevor; Pressnitzer, Daniel
Experience continuously imprints on the brain at all stages of life. The traces it leaves behind can produce perceptual learning , which drives adaptive behavior to previously encountered stimuli. Recently, it has been shown that even random noise, a type of sound devoid of acoustic structure, can trigger fast and robust perceptual learning after repeated exposure . Here, by combining psychophysics, electroencephalography (EEG), and modeling, we show that the perceptual learning of noise is associated with evoked potentials, without any salient physical discontinuity or obvious acoustic landmark in the sound. Rather, the potentials appeared whenever a memory trace was observed behaviorally. Such memory-evoked potentials were characterized by early latencies and auditory topographies, consistent with a sensory origin. Furthermore, they were generated even on conditions of diverted attention. The EEG waveforms could be modeled as standard evoked responses to auditory events (N1-P2) , triggered by idiosyncratic perceptual features acquired through learning. Thus, we argue that the learning of noise is accompanied by the rapid formation of sharp neural selectivity to arbitrary and complex acoustic patterns, within sensory regions. Such a mechanism bridges the gap between the short-term and longer-term plasticity observed in the learning of noise [2, 4-6]. It could also be key to the processing of natural sounds within auditory cortices , suggesting that the neural code for sound source identification will be shaped by experience as well as by acoustics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Luiga, I; Bachmann, T
Enns and Di Lollo [Psychological Science, 8 (2), 135-139, 1997] have introduced the object substitution theory of visual masking. Object substitution masking occurs when focusing attention on the target is delayed. However, Posner (Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 32, 3-25, 1980) has already shown that attention can be directed to a target at least in two ways: intentionally (endogenously) and automatically (exogenously). We conducted two experiments to explore the effects of endogenous and exogenous cues on substitution masking. The results showed that when attention was shifted to the target location automatically (using a local peripheral pre-cue), masking was attenuated. A decrease in target identification dependent on a delay of mask offset, typical to substitution masking, was not observed. However, strong substitution masking occurred when the target location was not pre-cued or when attention was directed to the target location intentionally (using a symbolic pre-cue displayed centrally). The hypothesis of two different mechanisms of attentional control in substitution masking was confirmed.
Luijten, M.; Field, M.; Franken, I.H.A.
Attentional bias in substance-dependent patients is the tendency to automatically direct attention to substance-related cues in the environment. Preclinical models suggest that attentional bias emerges as a consequence of dopaminergic activity evoked by substance-related cues. The aim of the current
From genes to brain development to phenotypic behavior: "dorsal-stream vulnerability" in relation to spatial cognition, attention, and planning of actions in Williams syndrome (WS) and other developmental disorders.
Atkinson, Janette; Braddick, Oliver
Visual information is believed to be processed through two distinct, yet interacting cortical streams. The ventral stream performs the computations needed for recognition of objects and faces ("what" and "who"?) and the dorsal stream the computations for registering spatial relationships and for controlling visually guided actions ("where" and "how"?). We initially proposed a model of spatial deficits in Williams syndrome (WS) in which visual abilities subserved by the ventral stream, such as face recognition, are relatively well developed (although not necessarily in exactly the same way as in typical development), whereas dorsal-stream functions, such as visuospatial actions, are markedly impaired. Since these initial findings in WS, deficits of motion coherence sensitivity, a dorsal-stream function has been found in other genetic disorders such as Fragile X and autism, and as a consequence of perinatal events (in hemiplegia, perinatal brain anomalies following very premature birth), leading to the proposal of a general "dorsal-stream vulnerability" in many different conditions of abnormal human development. In addition, dorsal-stream systems provide information used in tasks of visuospatial memory and locomotor planning, and these systems are closely coupled to networks for attentional control. We and several other research groups have previously shown deficits of frontal and parietal lobe function in WS individuals for specific attention tasks [e.g., Atkinson, J., Braddick, O., Anker, S., Curran, W., & Andrew, R. (2003). Neurobiological models of visuospatial cognition in children with Williams Syndrome: Measures of dorsal-stream and frontal function. Developmental Neuropsychology, 23(1/2), 141-174.]. We have used the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch) which aims to attempt to separate components of attention with distinct brain networks (selective attention, sustained attention, and attention control-executive function) testing a group of older
Stormer, Viola S.; Passow, Susanne; Biesenack, Julia; Li, Shu-Chen
Attention and working memory are fundamental for selecting and maintaining behaviorally relevant information. Not only do both processes closely intertwine at the cognitive level, but they implicate similar functional brain circuitries, namely the frontoparietal and the frontostriatal networks, which are innervated by cholinergic and dopaminergic…
Event-related potential (ERP) was used to examine the interactions between working memory and selective attention. We combined two unrelated tasks, one requiring working memory and the other selective attention, which were performed by some undergraduates. The ERP results revealed that both congruent and incongruent stimuli in the selective attention task evoked an N400 component, reaching the peak point at around 500 ms. The N400 evoked by incongruent stimuli was more negative than that of congruent, which indicated the difference of semantic N400. Furthermore, working memory load had a significant influence on the N400 evoked by selective attention task in parietal region. And working memory load showed difference in the ERPs of working memory retrieval in central and parietal regions. The ERPs of probe under high working memory load were more positive from 350 to 550 ms post-stimulus; however, stimulus type of selective attention had no influence on working memory retrieval. The present study shows that working memory does not play a major role in the selective attention, especially in ignoring distracter, but it influences the performance of the selective attention as the background. The congruency of target and distracter in the selective attention task does not influence the working memory retrieval.
Jonas, Jacques; Frismand, Solène; Vignal, Jean-Pierre; Colnat-Coulbois, Sophie; Koessler, Laurent; Vespignani, Hervé; Rossion, Bruno; Maillard, Louis
Electrical brain stimulation can provide important information about the functional organization of the human visual cortex. Here, we report the visual phenomena evoked by a large number (562) of intracerebral electrical stimulations performed at low-intensity with depth electrodes implanted in the occipito-parieto-temporal cortex of 22 epileptic patients. Focal electrical stimulation evoked primarily visual hallucinations with various complexities: simple (spot or blob), intermediary (geometric forms), or complex meaningful shapes (faces); visual illusions and impairments of visual recognition were more rarely observed. With the exception of the most posterior cortical sites, the probability of evoking a visual phenomenon was significantly higher in the right than the left hemisphere. Intermediary and complex hallucinations, illusions, and visual recognition impairments were almost exclusively evoked by stimulation in the right hemisphere. The probability of evoking a visual phenomenon decreased substantially from the occipital pole to the most anterior sites of the temporal lobe, and this decrease was more pronounced in the left hemisphere. The greater sensitivity of the right occipito-parieto-temporal regions to intracerebral electrical stimulation to evoke visual phenomena supports a predominant role of right hemispheric visual areas from perception to recognition of visual forms, regardless of visuospatial and attentional factors. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Katus, Tobias; Eimer, Martin
The short-term retention of sensory information in working memory (WM) is known to be associated with a sustained enhancement of neural activity. What remains controversial is whether this neural trace indicates the sustained storage of information or the allocation of attention. To evaluate the storage and attention accounts, we examined sustained tactile contralateral delay activity (tCDA component) of the event-related potential. The tCDA manifests over somatosensory cortex contralateral to task-relevant tactile information during stimulus retention. Two tactile sample sets (S1, S2) were presented sequentially, separated by 1.5 s. Each set comprised two stimuli, one per hand. Human participants memorized the location of one task-relevant stimulus per sample set and judged whether one of these locations was stimulated again at memory test. The two relevant pulses were unpredictably located on the same hand (stay trials) or on different hands (shift trials). Initially, tCDA components emerged contralateral to the relevant S1 pulse. Sequential loading of WM enhanced the tCDA after S2 was presented on stay trials. On shift trials, the tCDA's polarity reversed after S2 presentation, resulting in delay activity that was now contralateral to the task-relevant S2 pulse. The disappearance of a lateralized neural trace for the relevant S1 pulse did not impair memory accuracy for this stimulus on shift trials. These results contradict the storage account and suggest that delay period activity indicates the sustained engagement of an attention-based rehearsal mechanism. In conclusion, somatosensory delay period activity marks the current focus of attention in tactile WM. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/356689-07$15.00/0.
Full Text Available Background Visuospatial processing requires wide distribution or narrow focusing of attention to certain regions in space. This mechanism is described by the zoom lens model and predicts an inverse correlation between the efficiency of processing and the size of the attentional scope. Little is known, however, about the exact timing of the effects of attentional scaling on visual searching and whether or not additional processing phases are involved in this process. Method Electroencephalographic recordings were made while participants performed a visual search task under different attentional scaling conditions. Two concentric circles of different sizes, presented to the participants at the center of a screen modulated the attentional scopes, and search arrays were distributed in the space areas indicated by these concentric circles. To ensure consistent eccentricity of the search arrays across different conditions, we limited our studies to the neural responses evoked by the search arrays distributed in the overlapping region of different attentional scopes. Results Consistent with the prediction of the zoom lens model, our behavioral data showed that reaction times for target discrimination of search arrays decreased and the associated error rates also significantly decreased, with narrowing the attentional scope. Results of the event-related potential analysis showed that the target-elicited amplitude of lateral occipital N1, rather than posterior P1, which reflects the earliest visuospatial attentional processing, was sensitive to changes in the scaling of visuospatial attention, indicating that the modulation of the effect of changes in the spatial scale of attention on visual processing occurred after the delay period of P1. The N1 generator exhibited higher activity as the attentional scope narrowed, reflecting more intensive processing resources within the attentional focus. In contrast to N1, the amplitude of N2pc increased with the
Thomas Edward Gladwin
Full Text Available Attention plays a central role in theories of alcohol dependence; however, its precise role in alcohol-related biases is not yet clear. In the current study, social drinkers performed a spatial cueing task designed to evoke conflict between automatic processes due to incentive salience and control exerted to follow task-related goals. Such conflict is a potentially important task feature from the perspective of dual-process models of addiction. Subjects received instructions either to direct their attention towards pictures of alcoholic beverages, and away from non-alcohol beverages; or to direct their attention towards pictures of non-alcoholic beverages, and away from alcohol beverages. A probe stimulus was likely to appear at the attended location, so that both spatial and non-spatial interference was possible. Activation in medial parietal cortex was found during Approach Alcohol versus Avoid Alcohol blocks. This region is associated with the, possibly automatic, shifting of attention between stimulus features, suggesting that subjects may have shifted attention away from certain features of alcoholic cues when attention had to be directed towards an upcoming stimulus at their location. Further, activation in voxels close to this region was negatively correlated with riskier drinking behavior. A tentative interpretation of the results is that risky drinking may be associated with a reduced tendency to shift attention away from potentially distracting task-irrelevant alcohol cues. The results suggest novel hypotheses and directions for future study, in particular towards the potential therapeutic use of training the ability to shifting attention away from alcohol-related stimulus features.
Riecke, Lars; Peters, Judith C; Valente, Giancarlo; Kemper, Valentin G; Formisano, Elia; Sorger, Bettina
A sound of interest may be tracked amid other salient sounds by focusing attention on its characteristic features including its frequency. Functional magnetic resonance imaging findings have indicated that frequency representations in human primary auditory cortex (AC) contribute to this feat. However, attentional modulations were examined at relatively low spatial and spectral resolutions, and frequency-selective contributions outside the primary AC could not be established. To address these issues, we compared blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) responses in the superior temporal cortex of human listeners while they identified single frequencies versus listened selectively for various frequencies within a multifrequency scene. Using best-frequency mapping, we observed that the detailed spatial layout of attention-induced BOLD response enhancements in primary AC follows the tonotopy of stimulus-driven frequency representations-analogous to the "spotlight" of attention enhancing visuospatial representations in retinotopic visual cortex. Moreover, using an algorithm trained to discriminate stimulus-driven frequency representations, we could successfully decode the focus of frequency-selective attention from listeners' BOLD response patterns in nonprimary AC. Our results indicate that the human brain facilitates selective listening to a frequency of interest in a scene by reinforcing the fine-grained activity pattern throughout the entire superior temporal cortex that would be evoked if that frequency was present alone. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
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.
Janata, Petr; Tomic, Stefan T; Rakowski, Sonja K
Despite music's prominence in Western society and its importance to individuals in their daily lives, very little is known about the memories and emotions that are often evoked when hearing a piece of music from one's past. We examined the content of music-evoked autobiographical memories (MEAMs) using a novel approach for selecting stimuli from a large corpus of popular music, in both laboratory and online settings. A set of questionnaires probed the cognitive and affective properties of the evoked memories. On average, 30% of the song presentations evoked autobiographical memories, and the majority of songs also evoked various emotions, primarily positive, that were felt strongly. The third most common emotion was nostalgia. Analyses of written memory reports found both general and specific levels of autobiographical knowledge to be represented, and several social and situational contexts for memory formation were common across many memories. The findings indicate that excerpts of popular music serve as potent stimuli for studying the structure of autobiographical memories.
Stewart, Hannah J; Amitay, Sygal
To establish the modality specificity and generality of selective attention networks. Forty-eight young adults completed a battery of four auditory and visual selective attention tests based upon the Attention Network framework: the visual and auditory Attention Network Tests (vANT, aANT), the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA), and the Test of Attention in Listening (TAiL). These provided independent measures for auditory and visual alerting, orienting, and conflict resolution networks. The measures were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis to assess underlying attention constructs. The analysis yielded a four-component solution. The first component comprised of a range of measures from the TEA and was labeled "general attention." The third component was labeled "auditory attention," as it only contained measures from the TAiL using pitch as the attended stimulus feature. The second and fourth components were labeled as "spatial orienting" and "spatial conflict," respectively-they were comprised of orienting and conflict resolution measures from the vANT, aANT, and TAiL attend-location task-all tasks based upon spatial judgments (e.g., the direction of a target arrow or sound location). These results do not support our a-priori hypothesis that attention networks are either modality specific or supramodal. Auditory attention separated into selectively attending to spatial and non-spatial features, with the auditory spatial attention loading onto the same factor as visual spatial attention, suggesting spatial attention is supramodal. However, since our study did not include a non-spatial measure of visual attention, further research will be required to ascertain whether non-spatial attention is modality-specific.
Miyazaki, Masahito; Hashimoto, Toshiaki; Murakawa, Kazuyoshi; Tayama, Masanobu; Kuroda, Yasuhiro
In ten patients with infantile spasms, brainstem evoked potentials and MRI examinations were performed to evaluate the brainstem involvement. The result of short latency somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEP) following the right median nerve stimulation revealed abnormal findings including the absence or low amplitudes of the waves below wave P3 and delayed central conduction time in 7 of the ten patients. The result of auditory brainstem responses (ABR) revealed abnormal findings including low amplitudes of wave V, prolonged interpeak latency of waves I-V and absence of the waves below wave IV in 5 of the ten patients. The result of the MRI examinations revealed various degrees of the brainstem atrophy in 6 of the ten patients, all of whom showed abnormal brainstem evoked potentials. The result of this study demonstrates that patients with infantile spasms are frequently associated with brainstem dysfunction and raises the possibility that brainstem atrophy might be a cause of infantile spasms. (author)
von Wedel, H; Opitz, H J
Human cortical evoked potentials under conditions of stimuation are registrated in the post-stimulatory phase of a five minutes lasting equally masking white noise (90 dB HL). Changes of the evoked potentials during adaptation, possible analogy with high tone losses after noise representation and the origin of tinnitus are examined. Stimulation was started 3 sec after the off-effect of the noise. For five minutes periodically tone bursts were represented. Each train of stimulation consists of tone bursts of three frequencies: 2 kcs, 4 kcs, 8 kcs. The 0.5 sec lasting tones were separated by pauses of 2 sec. During the experiment stimulation and analysis were controlled by a computer. Changes in latency and amplitudes of the cortical evoked potentials were registered. Changes of the adaptation patterns as a function of the poststimulatory time are discussed.
Doose, Jens; Lindner, Benjamin
Single cell stimulation in vivo is a powerful tool to investigate the properties of single neurons and their functionality in neural networks. We present a method to determine a cell-specific stimulus that reliably evokes a prescribed spike train with high temporal precision of action potentials. We test the performance of this stimulus in simulations for two different stochastic neuron models. For a broad range of parameters and a neuron firing with intermediate firing rates (20-40 Hz) the reliability in evoking the prescribed spike train is close to its theoretical maximum that is mainly determined by the level of intrinsic noise.
Music is a universal feature of human societies, partly owing to its power to evoke strong emotions and influence moods. During the past decade, the investigation of the neural correlates of music-evoked emotions has been invaluable for the understanding of human emotion. Functional neuroimaging studies on music and emotion show that music can modulate activity in brain structures that are known to be crucially involved in emotion, such as the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, hypothalamus, hippocampus, insula, cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal cortex. The potential of music to modulate activity in these structures has important implications for the use of music in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders.
Koelsch, Stefan; Skouras, Stavros; Fritz, Thomas; Herrera, Perfecto; Bonhage, Corinna; Küssner, Mats B; Jacobs, Arthur M
This study investigates neural correlates of music-evoked fear and joy with fMRI. Studies on neural correlates of music-evoked fear are scant, and there are only a few studies on neural correlates of joy in general. Eighteen individuals listened to excerpts of fear-evoking, joy-evoking, as well as neutral music and rated their own emotional state in terms of valence, arousal, fear, and joy. Results show that BOLD signal intensity increased during joy, and decreased during fear (compared to the neutral condition) in bilateral auditory cortex (AC) and bilateral superficial amygdala (SF). In the right primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b) BOLD signals increased during exposure to fear-evoking music. While emotion-specific activity in AC increased with increasing duration of each trial, SF responded phasically in the beginning of the stimulus, and then SF activity declined. Psychophysiological Interaction (PPI) analysis revealed extensive emotion-specific functional connectivity of AC with insula, cingulate cortex, as well as with visual, and parietal attentional structures. These findings show that the auditory cortex functions as a central hub of an affective-attentional network that is more extensive than previously believed. PPI analyses also showed functional connectivity of SF with AC during the joy condition, taken to reflect that SF is sensitive to social signals with positive valence. During fear music, SF showed functional connectivity with visual cortex and area 7 of the superior parietal lobule, taken to reflect increased visual alertness and an involuntary shift of attention during the perception of auditory signals of danger. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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…
This article examines the shifts in attention and focus as one teacher introduces and explains an image that represents the processes involved in a numeric problem that his students have been working on. This paper takes a micro-analytic approach to examine how the focus of attention shifts through what the teacher and students do and say in the…
Shucard and Horn (1972), Galbraith, Gliddon, and Busk (1970), and Callaway (1975), the latter using Navy recruits. Callaway’s own work was reported at...G.C., Gliddon, J.B., & Busk , J. (1970). Visual evoked responses in mentally retarded and nonretarded subjects. American Journal of Mental Deficiency
of such a platform, the World Bank’s online game Urgent Evoke, which has been designed with the pur- pose of engaging citizens in developing innovative solutions for sociopolitical problems like poverty. The analysis is based on Nonaka’s concept of Ba, which means “place” and is described as a platform for advancing...
Smith, D. B. D.; Strawbridge, P. J.
Experimental study of the auditory and visual averaged evoked potentials (AEPs) recorded during hyperoxia, and investigation of the effect of hyperoxia on the so-called contingent negative variation (CNV). No effect of hyperoxia was found on the auditory AEP, the visual AEP, or the CNV. Comparisons with previous studies are discussed.
Layne, 1965) and of patients with Korsakoff’s syndrome (Malerstein and Callaway, 1969) . In the schizophrenics, the high variability is related to poor...communication. Malerstein, A. J., Callaway, E. Two-tone average evoked response in Korsakoff patients. J. Psychiatr. Res. 6: 253-260, 1969. Marsh, G
Hannah Jamieson Stewart
Full Text Available Objective: To establish the modality specificity and generality of selective attention networks. Method: Forty-eight young adults completed a battery of four auditory and visual selective attention tests based upon the Attention Network framework: the visual and auditory Attention Network Tests (vANT, aANT, the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA, and the Test of Attention in Listening (TAiL. These provided independent measures for auditory and visual alerting, orienting, and conflict resolution networks. The measures were subjected to an exploratory factor analysis to assess underlying attention constructs. Results: The analysis yielded a four-component solution. The first component comprised of a range of measures from the TEA and was labeled ‘general attention’. The third component was labeled ‘auditory attention’, as it only contained measures from the TAiL using pitch as the attended stimulus feature. The second and fourth components were labeled as ‘spatial orienting’ and ‘spatial conflict’, respectively – they were comprised of orienting and conflict resolution measures from the vANT, aANT and TAiL attend-location task – all tasks based upon spatial judgments (e.g., the direction of a target arrow or sound location. Conclusions: These results do not support our a-priori hypothesis that attention networks are either modality specific or supramodal. Auditory attention separated into selectively attending to spatial and non-spatial features, with the auditory spatial attention loading onto the same factor as visual spatial attention, suggesting spatial attention is supramodal. However, since our study did not include a non-spatial measure of visual attention, further research will be required to ascertain whether non-spatial attention is modality-specific.
Lasaponara, Stefano; Chica, Ana B; Lecce, Francesca; Lupianez, Juan; Doricchi, Fabrizio
Several studies have proved that the reliability of endogenous spatial cues linearly modulates the reaction time advantage in the processing of targets at validly cued vs. invalidly cued locations, i.e. the "validity effect". This would imply that with non-predictive cues, no "validity effect" should be observed. However, contrary to this prediction, one could hypothesize that attentional benefits by valid cuing (i.e. the RT advantage for validly vs. neutrally cued targets) can still be maintained with non-predictive cues, if the brain were endowed with mechanisms allowing the selective reduction in costs of reorienting from invalidly cued locations (i.e. the reduction of the RT disadvantage for invalidly vs. neutrally cued targets). This separated modulation of attentional benefits and costs would be adaptive in uncertain contexts where cues predict at chance level the location of targets. Through the joint recording of manual reaction times and event-related cerebral potentials (ERPs), we have found that this is the case and that relying on non-predictive endogenous cues results in abatement of attentional costs and the difference in the amplitude of the P1 brain responses evoked by invalidly vs. neutrally cued targets. In contrast, the use of non-predictive cues leaves unaffected attentional benefits and the difference in the amplitude of the N1 responses evoked by validly vs. neutrally cued targets. At the individual level, the drop in costs with non-predictive cues was matched with equivalent lateral biases in RTs to neutrally and invalidly cued targets presented in the left and right visual field. During the cue period, the drop in costs with non-predictive cues was preceded by reduction of the Early Directing Attention Negativity (EDAN) on posterior occipital sites and by enhancement of the frontal Anterior Directing Attention Negativity (ADAN) correlated to preparatory voluntary orienting. These findings demonstrate, for the first time, that the segregation
Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes
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.
Herskovits, E. H.; Megalooikonomou, V.; Davatzikos, C.; Chen, A.; Bryan, R. N.; Gerring, J. P.
PURPOSE: To determine whether there is an association between the spatial distribution of lesions detected at magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the brain in children after closed-head injury and the development of secondary attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data obtained from 76 children without prior history of ADHD were analyzed. MR images were obtained 3 months after closed-head injury. After manual delineation of lesions, images were registered to the Talairach coordinate system. For each subject, registered images and secondary ADHD status were integrated into a brain-image database, which contains depiction (visualization) and statistical analysis software. Using this database, we assessed visually the spatial distributions of lesions and performed statistical analysis of image and clinical variables. RESULTS: Of the 76 children, 15 developed secondary ADHD. Depiction of the data suggested that children who developed secondary ADHD had more lesions in the right putamen than children who did not develop secondary ADHD; this impression was confirmed statistically. After Bonferroni correction, we could not demonstrate significant differences between secondary ADHD status and lesion burdens for the right caudate nucleus or the right globus pallidus. CONCLUSION: Closed-head injury-induced lesions in the right putamen in children are associated with subsequent development of secondary ADHD. Depiction software is useful in guiding statistical analysis of image data.
Evans, Karla K; Horowitz, Todd S; Howe, Piers; Pedersini, Roccardo; Reijnen, Ester; Pinto, Yair; Kuzmova, Yoana; Wolfe, Jeremy M
A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, 'visual attention' describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act upon. They allow for concurrent selection of some (preferably, relevant) information and inhibition of other information. This selection permits the reduction of complexity and informational overload. Selection can be determined both by the 'bottom-up' saliency of information from the environment and by the 'top-down' state and goals of the perceiver. Attentional effects can take the form of modulating or enhancing the selected information. A central role for selective attention is to enable the 'binding' of selected information into unified and coherent representations of objects in the outside world. In the overview on visual attention presented here we review the mechanisms and consequences of selection and inhibition over space and time. We examine theoretical, behavioral and neurophysiologic work done on visual attention. We also discuss the relations between attention and other cognitive processes such as automaticity and awareness. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 503-514 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.127 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Wee, Serena; Chua, Fook K.
Four experiments addressed the question of whether attention may be captured when the visual system is in the midst of an attentional blink (AB). Participants identified 2 target letters embedded among distractor letters in a rapid serial visual presentation sequence. In some trials, a square frame was inserted between the targets; as the only…
Chen, X; Zhang, M; Wang, J; Lou, F; Liang, J
To investigate the variations of auditory evoked potentials (AEP) and visual evoked potentials (VEP) of patients with idiot savant (IS) syndrome. Both AEP and VEP were recorded from 7 patients with IS syndrome, 21 mentally retarded (MR) children without the syndrome and 21 normally age-matched controls, using a Dantec concerto SEEG-16 BEAM instrument. Both AEP and VEP of MR group showed significantly longer latencies (P1 and P2 latencies of AEP, P savant syndrome presented normalized AEP and VEP.
van 't Ent, D.; van Soelen, I.L.C.; Stam, K.J.; de Geus, E.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.
We tested for a genetic influence on magnetoencephalogram (MEG)-recorded somatosensory evoked fields (SEFs) in 20 monozygotic (MZ) and 14 dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs. Previous electroencephalogram (EEG) studies that demonstrated a genetic contribution to evoked responses generally focused on
Huys, Raoul; Jirsa, Viktor K; Darokhan, Ziauddin
attractor. Its existence guarantees that evoked spiking return to the spontaneous state. However, the spontaneous ongoing spiking state and the visual evoked spiking states are qualitatively different and are separated by a threshold (separatrix). The functional advantage of this organization...
Hardt, Oliver; Nadel, Lynn
Cognitive map theory suggested that exploring an environment and attending to a stimulus should lead to its integration into an allocentric environmental representation. We here report that directed attention in the form of exploration serves to gather information needed to determine an optimal spatial strategy, given task demands and characteristics of the environment. Attended environmental features may integrate into spatial representations if they meet the requirements of the optimal spatial strategy: when learning involves a cognitive mapping strategy, cues with high codability (e.g., concrete objects) will be incorporated into a map, but cues with low codability (e.g., abstract paintings) will not. However, instructions encouraging map learning can lead to the incorporation of cues with low codability. On the other hand, if spatial learning is not map-based, abstract cues can and will be used to encode locations. Since exploration appears to determine what strategy to apply and whether or not to encode a cue, recognition memory for environmental features is independent of whether or not a cue is part of a spatial representation. In fact, when abstract cues were used in a way that was not map-based, or when they were not used for spatial navigation at all, they were nevertheless recognized as familiar. Thus, the relation between exploratory activity on the one hand and spatial strategy and memory on the other appears more complex than initially suggested by cognitive map theory.
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.
In creating the value-added product in not distant future, it is necessary and inevitable to establish a holistic and though-evoking approach to the engineering problem, which should be at least associated with the inter-disciplinary knowledge and thought processes across the whole engineering spheres. It is furthermore desirable to integrate it with trans-disciplinary aspects ranging from manufacturing culture, through liberal-arts engineering, and industrial sociology. The thought-evoking approach can be exemplified and typified by representative engineering problems: unveiling essential features in ‘Tangential Force Ratio and Interface Pressure’, prototype development for ‘Bio-mimetic Needle’ and application of ‘Water-jet Machining to Artificial Hip Joint’, product innovation in ‘Heat Sink for Computer’, application of ‘Graph Theory’ to similarity evaluation of production systems, leverage among reciprocity attributes in ‘Industrial and Engineering Designs for Machine Enclosure’,...
Horwitz, Anna; Mortensen, Erik L; Osler, Merete; Fagerlund, Birgitte; Lauritzen, Martin; Benedek, Krisztina
HIGHLIGHTS Memory correlates with the difference between single and double-sensory evoked steady-state coherence in the gamma range (Δ C ).The correlation is most pronounced for the anterior brain region (Δ C A ).The correlation is not driven by birth size, education, speed of processing, or intelligence.The sensitivity of Δ C A for detecting low memory capacity is 90%. Cerebral rhythmic activity and oscillations are important pathways of communication between cortical cell assemblies and may be key factors in memory. We asked whether memory performance is related to gamma coherence in a non-task sensory steady-state stimulation. We investigated 40 healthy males born in 1953 who were part of a Danish birth cohort study. Coherence was measured in the gamma range in response to a single-sensory visual stimulation (36 Hz) and a double-sensory combined audiovisual stimulation (auditive: 40 Hz; visual: 36 Hz). The individual difference in coherence (Δ C ) between the bimodal and monomodal stimulation was calculated for each subject and used as the main explanatory variable. Δ C in total brain were significantly negatively correlated with long-term verbal recall. This correlation was pronounced for the anterior region. In addition, the correlation between Δ C and long-term memory was robust when controlling for working memory, as well as a wide range of potentially confounding factors, including intelligence, length of education, speed of processing, visual attention and executive function. Moreover, we found that the difference in anterior coherence (Δ C A ) is a better predictor of memory than power in multivariate models. The sensitivity of Δ C A for detecting low memory capacity is 92%. Finally, Δ C A was also associated with other types of memory: verbal learning, visual recognition, and spatial memory, and these additional correlations were also robust enough to control for a range of potentially confounding factors. Thus, the Δ C is a predictor of memory
Pavlova A. A.
Full Text Available Background. Previous studies have shown that brain response to a written word depends on the task: whether the word is a target in a version of lexical decision task or should be read silently. Although this effect has been interpreted as an evidence for an interaction between word recognition processes and task demands, it also may be caused by greater attention allocation to the target word. Objective. We aimed to examine the task effect on brain response evoked by non- target written words. Design. Using MEG and magnetic source imaging, we compared spatial-temporal pattern of brain response elicited by a noun cue when it was read silently either without additional task (SR or with a requirement to produce an associated verb (VG. Results.The task demands penetrated into early (200-300 ms and late (500-800 ms stages of a word processing by enhancing brain response under VG versus SR condition. The cortical sources of the early response were localized to bilateral inferior occipitotemporal and anterior temporal cortex suggesting that more demanding VG task required elaborated lexical-semantic analysis. The late effect was observed in the associative auditory areas in middle and superior temporal gyri and in motor representation of articulators. Our results suggest that a remote goal plays a pivotal role in enhanced recruitment of cortical structures underlying orthographic, semantic and sensorimotor dimensions of written word perception from the early processing stages. Surprisingly, we found that to fulfil a more challenging goal the brain progressively engaged resources of the right hemisphere throughout all stages of silent reading. Conclusion. Our study demonstrates that a deeper processing of linguistic input amplifies activation of brain areas involved in integration of speech perception and production. This is consistent with theories that emphasize the role of sensorimotor integration in speech understanding.
Deco, Gustavo; Thiele, Alexander
Attention is a rich psychological and neurobiological construct that influences almost all aspects of cognitive behaviour. It enables enhanced processing of behaviourally relevant stimuli at the expense of irrelevant stimuli. At the cellular level, rhythmic synchronization at local and long-range spatial scales complements the attention-induced firing rate changes of neurons. The former is hypothesized to enable efficient communication between neuronal ensembles tuned to spatial and featural aspects of the attended stimulus. Recent modelling studies suggest that the rhythmic synchronization in the gamma range may be mediated by a fine balance between N-methyl-D-aspartate and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate postsynaptic currents, whereas other studies have highlighted the possible contribution of the neuromodulator acetylcholine. This review summarizes some recent modelling and experimental studies investigating mechanisms of attention in sensory areas and discusses possibilities of how glutamatergic and cholinergic systems could contribute to increased processing abilities at the cellular and network level during states of top-down attention.
van Hooff, Johanna C; van Buuringen, Melanie; El M'rabet, Ihsane; de Gier, Margot; van Zalingen, Lilian
Although threatening images are known to attract and keep our attention, little is known about the existence of emotion-specific attention effects. In this study (N=46), characteristics of an anticipated, disgust-specific effect were investigated by means of a covert orienting paradigm incorporating pictures that were either disgust-evoking, fear-evoking, happiness-evoking or neutral. Attention adhesion to these pictures was measured by the time necessary to identify a peripheral target, presented 100, 200, 500, or 800 ms after picture onset. Main results showed that reaction times were delayed for targets following the disgust-evoking pictures by 100 and 200 ms, suggesting that only these pictures temporarily grabbed hold of participants' attention. These delays were similar for ignore- and attend-instructions, and they were not affected by the participants' anxiety levels or disgust sensitivity. The disgust-specific influence on early attention processes thus appeared very robust, occurring in the majority of participants and without contribution of voluntary- and strategic-attention processes. In contrast, a smaller and less reliable effect of all emotional (arousing) pictures was present in the form of delayed responding in the 100 ms cue-target interval. This effect was more transitory and apparent only in participants with relatively high state-anxiety scores. Practical and theoretical consequences of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Buunk, BP; Dijkstra, P; Buunk, Abraham (Bram)
This study examined the role of waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and shoulder-to-hip ratio (SHR) of the rival in evoking jealousy in an adult sample of 70 men and 69 women. Women paid more attention to the rivals' waist, hips, and hair, and men paid more attention to the rivals' shoulders. Potential rivals
34 Meeting of the Northeast Music Cognition Group, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT Kidd, G. Jr. and Mason, C.R. (2015) "Double entendre: embedding a... cognitive intrusions by competing sounds was explored on a linguistic level by varying syntactic structure and by using more formal means for varying...the work that was completed from 2012-2015 achieved its intended broad goal: our understanding of the auditory and cognitive processes underlying
Hutchings, Elizabeth J.; Waller, Jennifer L.
A common feature of the neuropsychiatric disorders for which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed is cognitive dysfunction, yet the effects of long-term antipsychotic treatment on cognition are largely unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of long-term oral treatment with the first-generation antipsychotic haloperidol (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg daily) and the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg daily) on the acquisition and performance of two radial-arm maze (RAM) tasks and a five-choice serial reaction-time task (5C-SRTT) in rats during days 15–60 and 84–320 days of treatment, respectively. In the RAM, neither antipsychotic significantly affected the acquisition or performance of a spatial win shift or a delayed non–match-to-position task. Conversely, in the rats administered 5C-SRTT, haloperidol was associated with profound deficits in performance, and the subjects were not able to progress through all stages of task acquisition. Depending on the dose, risperidone was associated with a greater number of trials to meet specific performance criteria during task acquisition compared with vehicle-treated controls; however, most subjects were eventually able to achieve all levels of task acquisition. Both haloperidol and risperidone also increased the number of perseverative and time-out responses during certain stages of task acquisition, and the response and reward latencies were slightly higher than controls during several stages of the study. These results in rats suggest that while long-term treatment with haloperidol or risperidone may not significantly affect spatial working or short-term memory, both antipsychotics can (depending on dose) impair sustained attention, decrease psychomotor speed, increase compulsive-type behaviors, and impair cognitive flexibility. PMID:24042161
Hutchings, Elizabeth J; Waller, Jennifer L; Terry, Alvin V
A common feature of the neuropsychiatric disorders for which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed is cognitive dysfunction, yet the effects of long-term antipsychotic treatment on cognition are largely unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of long-term oral treatment with the first-generation antipsychotic haloperidol (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg daily) and the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg daily) on the acquisition and performance of two radial-arm maze (RAM) tasks and a five-choice serial reaction-time task (5C-SRTT) in rats during days 15-60 and 84-320 days of treatment, respectively. In the RAM, neither antipsychotic significantly affected the acquisition or performance of a spatial win shift or a delayed non-match-to-position task. Conversely, in the rats administered 5C-SRTT, haloperidol was associated with profound deficits in performance, and the subjects were not able to progress through all stages of task acquisition. Depending on the dose, risperidone was associated with a greater number of trials to meet specific performance criteria during task acquisition compared with vehicle-treated controls; however, most subjects were eventually able to achieve all levels of task acquisition. Both haloperidol and risperidone also increased the number of perseverative and time-out responses during certain stages of task acquisition, and the response and reward latencies were slightly higher than controls during several stages of the study. These results in rats suggest that while long-term treatment with haloperidol or risperidone may not significantly affect spatial working or short-term memory, both antipsychotics can (depending on dose) impair sustained attention, decrease psychomotor speed, increase compulsive-type behaviors, and impair cognitive flexibility.
He, David; Grant, Brian; Holden, Ronald R.; Gilron, Ian
Abstract. Introduction:. The distinction between pain at rest and pain evoked by touch or movement has important clinical implications and may be associated with different mechanisms. However, current methods of clinical pain assessment pay little attention to directly distinguishing between these contrasting components of symptom burden. Objectives:. We developed the 10-item “Functional Impact of Neuropathic Evoked and Spontaneous Symptom Evaluation” questionnaire designed to distinguish ...
Loganovsky, K; Kuts, K
The article provides an overview of modern physiological evidence to support the hypothesis on cortico limbic sys tem dysfunction due to the hippocampal neurogenesis impairment as a basis of the brain interhemispheric asym metry and neurocognitive deficit after radiation exposure. The importance of the research of both evoked poten tials and fields as a highly sensitive and informative method is emphasized.Particular attention is paid to cerebral sensor systems dysfunction as a typical effect of ionizing radiation. Changes in functioning of the central parts of sensory analyzers of different modalities as well as the violation of brain integrative information processes under the influence of small doses of ionizing radiation can be critical when determining the radiation risks of space flight. The possible long term prospects for manned flights into space, including to Mars, given the effects identified are discussed. Potential risks to the central nervous system during space travel comprise cognitive functions impairment, including the volume of short term memory short ening, impaired motor functions, behavioral changes that could affect human performance and health. The remote risks for CNS are considered to be the following possible neuropsychiatric disorders: accelerated brain aging, Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. The new radiocerebral dose dependent effect, when applied cog nitive auditory evoked potentials P300 technique with a possible threshold dose of 0.05 Gy, manifesting in a form of disruption of information processing in the Wernicke's area is under discussion. In order to identify neurophys iological biological markers of ionizing radiation further international researches with adequate dosimetry support are necessary. K. Loganovsky, K. Kuts.
Evans, K.K.; Horowitz, T.S.; Howe, P.; Pedersini, R.; Reijnen, E.; Pinto, Y.; Wolfe, J.M.
A typical visual scene we encounter in everyday life is complex and filled with a huge amount of perceptual information. The term, ‘visual attention’ describes a set of mechanisms that limit some processing to a subset of incoming stimuli. Attentional mechanisms shape what we see and what we can act
Börner, Dirk; Kalz, Marco; Specht, Marcus
This software sketch was used in the context of an experiment for the PhD project “Ambient Learning Displays”. The sketch comprises a custom-built attention sensor. The sensor measured (during the experiment) whether a participant looked at and thus attended a public display. The sensor was built
Balslev, Daniela; Gowen, Emma; Miall, R Chris
The oculomotor and spatial attention systems are interconnected. Whereas a link between motor commands and spatial shifts in visual attention is demonstrated, it is still unknown whether the recently discovered proprioceptive signal in somatosensory cortex impacts on visual attention, too...
Treder Matthias S
Full Text Available Abstract Background In a visual oddball paradigm, attention to an event usually modulates the event-related potential (ERP. An ERP-based brain-computer interface (BCI exploits this neural mechanism for communication. Hitherto, it was unclear to what extent the accuracy of such a BCI requires eye movements (overt attention or whether it is also feasible for targets in the visual periphery (covert attention. Also unclear was how the visual design of the BCI can be improved to meet peculiarities of peripheral vision such as low spatial acuity and crowding. Method Healthy participants (N = 13 performed a copy-spelling task wherein they had to count target intensifications. EEG and eye movements were recorded concurrently. First, (covert attention was investigated by way of a target fixation condition and a central fixation condition. In the latter, participants had to fixate a dot in the center of the screen and allocate their attention to a target in the visual periphery. Second, the effect of visual speller layout was investigated by comparing the symbol Matrix to an ERP-based Hex-o-Spell, a two-levels speller consisting of six discs arranged on an invisible hexagon. Results We assessed counting errors, ERP amplitudes, and offline classification performance. There is an advantage (i.e., less errors, larger ERP amplitude modulation, better classification of overt attention over covert attention, and there is also an advantage of the Hex-o-Spell over the Matrix. Using overt attention, P1, N1, P2, N2, and P3 components are enhanced by attention. Using covert attention, only N2 and P3 are enhanced for both spellers, and N1 and P2 are modulated when using the Hex-o-Spell but not when using the Matrix. Consequently, classifiers rely mainly on early evoked potentials in overt attention and on later cognitive components in covert attention. Conclusions Both overt and covert attention can be used to drive an ERP-based BCI, but performance is markedly lower
Sandra Theresia Weber-Glass
Full Text Available Fragrances, such as plant odors, have been shown to evoke autonomic response patterns associated with Ekman’s (Ekman et al., 1983 basic emotions happiness, surprise, anger, fear, sadness and disgust. Inducing positive emotions by odors in highly frequented public spaces could serve to improve the quality of life in urban environments. Thus, the present study evaluated the potency of ambient odors connoted with an urban environment to evoke basic emotions on an autonomic and cognitive response level. Synthetic mixtures representing the odors of disinfectant, candles / bees wax, summer air, burnt smell, vomit and musty smell as well as odorless water as a control were presented five times in random order to 30 healthy, non-smoking human subjects with intact sense of smell. Skin temperature, skin conductance, breathing rate, forearm muscle activity, blink rate and heart rate were recorded simultaneously. Subjects rated the odors in terms of pleasantness, intensity and familiarity and gave verbal labels to each odor as well as cognitive associations with the basic emotions. The results showed that the amplitude of the skin conductance response varied as a function of odor presentation. Burnt smell and vomit elicited significantly higher electrodermal responses than summer air. Also, a negative correlation was revealed between the amplitude of the skin conductance response and hedonic odor valence indicating that the magnitude of the electrodermal response increased with odor unpleasantness. The analysis of the cognitive associations between odors and basic emotions showed that candles / bees wax and summer air were specifically associated with happiness whereas burnt smell and vomit were uniquely associated with disgust. Our findings suggest that city odors may evoke specific cognitive associations of basic emotions and that autonomic activity elicited by such odors is related to odor hedonics.
Quigley, Cliodhna; Andersen, Søren K; Schulze, Lars; Grunwald, Martin; Müller, Matthias M
Although attention in older adults is an active research area, feature-selective aspects have not yet been explicitly studied. Here we report the results of an exploratory study involving directed changes in feature-selective attention. The stimuli used were two random dot kinematograms (RDKs) of different colours, superimposed and centrally presented. A colour cue with random onset after the beginning of each trial instructed young and older subjects to attend to one of the RDKs and detect short intervals of coherent motion while ignoring analogous motion events in the non-cued RDK. Behavioural data show that older adults could detect motion, but discriminated target from distracter motion less reliably than young adults. The method of frequency tagging allowed us to separate the EEG responses to the attended and ignored stimuli and directly compare steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) amplitudes elicited by each stimulus before and after cue onset. We found that younger adults show a clear attentional enhancement of SSVEP amplitude in the post-cue interval, while older adults' SSVEP responses to attended and ignored stimuli do not differ. Thus, in situations where attentional selection cannot be spatially resolved, older adults show a deficit in selection that is not shared by young adults. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Addleman, Douglas A; Tao, Jinyi; Remington, Roger W; Jiang, Yuhong V
To what degree does spatial attention for one task spread to all stimuli in the attended region, regardless of task relevance? Most models imply that spatial attention acts through a unitary priority map in a task-general manner. We show that implicit learning, unlike endogenous spatial cuing, can bias spatial attention within one task without biasing attention to a spatially overlapping secondary task. Participants completed a visual search task superimposed on a background containing scenes, which they were told to encode for a later memory task. Experiments 1 and 2 used explicit instructions to bias spatial attention to one region for visual search; Experiment 3 used location probability cuing to implicitly bias spatial attention. In location probability cuing, a target appeared in one region more than others despite participants not being told of this. In all experiments, search performance was better in the cued region than in uncued regions. However, scene memory was better in the cued region only following endogenous guidance, not after implicit biasing of attention. These data support a dual-system view of top-down attention that dissociates goal-driven and implicitly learned attention. Goal-driven attention is task general, amplifying processing of a cued region across tasks, whereas implicit statistical learning is task-specific. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
Ali Akbar Tahaei
Full Text Available Auditory processing deficits have been hypothesized as an underlying mechanism for stuttering. Previous studies have demonstrated abnormal responses in subjects with persistent developmental stuttering (PDS at the higher level of the central auditory system using speech stimuli. Recently, the potential usefulness of speech evoked auditory brainstem responses in central auditory processing disorders has been emphasized. The current study used the speech evoked ABR to investigate the hypothesis that subjects with PDS have specific auditory perceptual dysfunction. Objectives. To determine whether brainstem responses to speech stimuli differ between PDS subjects and normal fluent speakers. Methods. Twenty-five subjects with PDS participated in this study. The speech-ABRs were elicited by the 5-formant synthesized syllable/da/, with duration of 40 ms. Results. There were significant group differences for the onset and offset transient peaks. Subjects with PDS had longer latencies for the onset and offset peaks relative to the control group. Conclusions. Subjects with PDS showed a deficient neural timing in the early stages of the auditory pathway consistent with temporal processing deficits and their abnormal timing may underlie to their disfluency.
Full Text Available Migraine is a neurologic disease, which often is associated with a unilateral headache. Vestibular abnormalities are common in migraine. Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMPs assess otolith function in particular functional integrity of the saccule and the inferior vestibular nerve. We used VEMP to evaluate if the migraine headache can affect VEMP asymmetry parameters. A total of 25 patients with migraine (22 females and 3 males who were diagnosed according to the criteria of IHS-1988 were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Control group consisted of 26 healthy participants (18 female and 8 male, without neurotological symptoms and history of migraine. The short tone burst (95 dB nHL, 500 Hz was presented to ears. VEMP was recorded with surface electromyography over the contracted ipsilateral sternocleidomastoid (SCM muscle. Although current results showed that the amplitude ratio is greater in migraine patients than normal group, there was no statistical difference between two groups in mean asymmetry parameters of VEMP. Asymmetry measurements in vestibular evoked myogenic potentials probably are not indicators of unilateral deficient in saccular pathways of migraine patients.
Zheng, H.Y.; Rosseinsky, David; Lim, G.C.
Laser-evoked coloration in polymers has long been a major aim of polymer technology for potential applications in product surface decoration, marking personalised images and logos. However, the coloration results reported so far were mostly attributed to laser-induced thermal-chemical reactions. The laser-irradiated areas are characterized with grooves due to material removal. Furthermore, only single color was laser-induced in any given polymer matrix. To induce multiple colors in a given polymer matrix with no apparent surface material removal is most desirable and challenging and may be achieved through laser-induced photo-chemical reactions. However, little public information is available at present. We report that two colors of red and green have been produced on an initially transparent CPV/PVA samples through UV laser-induced photo-chemical reactions. This is believed the first observation of laser-induced multiple-colors in the given polymer matrix. It is believed that the colorants underwent photo-effected electron transfer with suitable electron donors from the polymers to change from colorless bipyridilium Bipm 2+ to the colored Bipm + species. The discovery may lead to new approaches to the development of laser-evoked multiple coloration in polymers
Juliana Almeida Nogueira da Gama
Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP evaluates the integrity of the auditory pathways to the brainstem. The aim of this study was to evoke BAEPs in 21 clinically normal horses. The animals were sedated with detomidine hydrochloride (0.013mg.kg-1 BW. Earphones were inserted and rarefaction clicks at 90 dB and noise masking at 40 dB were used. After performing the test, the latencies of waves (I, II, III, IV, and V and interpeaks(I-III, III-V, and I-V were identified. The mean latencies of the waves were as follows: wave I, 2.4 ms; wave II, 2.24 ms; wave III, 3.61ms; wave IV, 4.61ms; and wave V, 5.49ms. The mean latencies of the interpeaks were as follows: I-III, 1.37ms; III-V, 1.88ms; and I-V, 3.26ms. This is the first study using BAEPs in horses in Brazil, and the observed latencies will be used as normative data for the interpretation of tests performed on horses with changes related to auditory system or neurologic abnormalities.
Nakamura, A; Akio, T; Matsuda, E; Wakami, Y
We previously developed a new method for estimating objective visual acuity by means of pattern visual evoked potentials (PVEP). In this study, this method was applied to the diagnosis of malingering. Six patients ranging in age from 40 to 54 years (mean 47 years) with suspected malingering were evaluated by means of the visual evoked potential test, optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) inhibition test, and the visual field test. In the PVEP study, the stimulus consisted of black and white checkerboards (39', 26', 15', and 9') with a visual angle of 8 degrees, contrast level of 15%, and a frequency of 0.7 Hz. One hundred PVEP responses were averaged per session. Routine ophthalmic examinations were normal in all patients. Five patients had a tubularly constricted visual field, and the remaining patient had a normal visual field. The objective visual acuities of the six patients estimated from PVEP were better than their subjective visual acuities estimated with Landolt rings. Among a variety of psychophysical and electrophysiologic ancillary tests, we consider our PVEP method a useful method for objectively determining visual acuity in a patient with signs of ocular malingering.
Full Text Available Cortical evoked potentials (EP provide localized data regarding brain function and may offer prognostic information and insights into the pathologic mechanisms of malariamediated cerebral injury. As part of a prospective cohort study, we obtained somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs and brainstem auditory EPs (AEPs within 24 hours of admission on 27 consecutive children admitted with cerebral malaria (CM. Children underwent follow-up for 12 months to determine if they had any long term neurologic sequelae. EPs were obtained in 27 pediatric CM admissions. Two children died. Among survivors followed an average of 514 days, 7/25 (28.0% had at least one adverse neurologic outcome. Only a single subject had absent cortical EPs on admission and this child had a good neurologic outcome. Among pediatric CM survivors, cortical EPs are generally intact and do not predict adverse neurologic outcomes. Further study is needed to determine if alterations in cortical EPs can be used to predict a fatal outcome in CM.
Abe, Daijyu; Arai, Makoto; Itokawa, Masanari
Previous studies have reported that people with schizophrenia have impaired musical abilities. Here we developed a simple music-based assay to assess patient's ability to associate a minor chord with sadness. We further characterize correlations between impaired musical responses and psychiatric symptoms. We exposed participants sequentially to two sets of sound stimuli, first a C-major progression and chord, and second a C-minor progression and chord. Participants were asked which stimulus they associated with sadness, the first set, the second set, or neither. The severity of psychiatric symptoms was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Study participants were 29 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and 29 healthy volunteers matched in age, gender and musical background. 37.9% (95% confidence interval [CI]:19.1-56.7) of patients with schizophrenia associated the minor chord set as sad, compared with 97.9% (95%CI: 89.5-103.6) of controls. Four patients were diagnosed with treatment-resistant schizophrenia, and all four failed to associate the minor chord with sadness. Patients who did not recognize minor chords as sad had significantly higher scores on all PANSS subscales. A simple test allows music-evoked emotions to be assessed in schizophrenia patient, and may show potential relationships between music-evoked emotions and psychiatric symptoms. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Gut, Małgorzata; Szumska, Izabela; Wasilewska, Marzena; Jaśkowski, Piotr
In the brain, numbers are thought to be represented in a spatially organised fashion on what is known as the Mental Number Line (MNL). The SNARC (Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Codes) effect refers to the faster responses to digits when the reaction side is congruent with the digit position on the MNL (e.g. a left-handed response to a small magnitude) and the slowing down of responses (inhibition) in the case of incongruity. We examined the electrophysiological correlates of conflict, which are linked to that of inhibition, to shed light on the relationship between the SNARC effect and executive attention. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from twenty-nine participants during a parity-judgment task. The participants responded more quickly on congruent than on incongruent trials. The congruency effect was reflected in early sensory (N1, N2) components above parieto-occipital and frontal regions, as well as in the later P3 component above centro-parietal areas. Moreover, both the N1 amplitude and N2 latency were greater with high than low magnitude digit targets. P3 amplitude modulation implies that the SNARC effect is the result of first evoking the parallel processing of digit magnitude categorisation (in the occipital and central areas) and numeric conflict detection (in the parieto-occipital and frontal areas) and secondly conflict monitoring and resolution localised in the centro-parietal and frontal sites. These results also suggest that the left hemisphere specialises in conflict processing of high magnitude digit targets, while the right hemisphere of low digit magnitudes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Chen, Zikuan; Calhoun, Vince D
Conventionally, independent component analysis (ICA) is performed on an fMRI magnitude dataset to analyze brain functional mapping (AICA). By solving the inverse problem of fMRI, we can reconstruct the brain magnetic susceptibility (χ) functional states. Upon the reconstructed χ dataspace, we propose an ICA-based brain functional χ mapping method (χICA) to extract task-evoked brain functional map. A complex division algorithm is applied to a timeseries of fMRI phase images to extract temporal phase changes (relative to an OFF-state snapshot). A computed inverse MRI (CIMRI) model is used to reconstruct a 4D brain χ response dataset. χICA is implemented by applying a spatial InfoMax ICA algorithm to the reconstructed 4D χ dataspace. With finger-tapping experiments on a 7T system, the χICA-extracted χ-depicted functional map is similar to the SPM-inferred functional χ map by a spatial correlation of 0.67 ± 0.05. In comparison, the AICA-extracted magnitude-depicted map is correlated with the SPM magnitude map by 0.81 ± 0.05. The understanding of the inferiority of χICA to AICA for task-evoked functional map is an ongoing research topic. For task-evoked brain functional mapping, we compare the data-driven ICA method with the task-correlated SPM method. In particular, we compare χICA with AICA for extracting task-correlated timecourses and functional maps. χICA can extract a χ-depicted task-evoked brain functional map from a reconstructed χ dataspace without the knowledge about brain hemodynamic responses. The χICA-extracted brain functional χ map reveals a bidirectional BOLD response pattern that is unavailable (or different) from AICA. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gopalakrishnan, Raghavan; Burgess, Richard C; Plow, Ela B; Floden, Darlene P; Machado, Andre G
Pain experience is not only a function of somatosensory inputs. Rather, it is strongly influenced by cognitive and affective pathways. Pain anticipatory phenomena, an important limitation to rehabilitative efforts in the chronic state, are processed by associative and limbic networks, along with primary sensory cortices. Characterization of neurophysiological correlates of pain anticipation, particularly during very early stages of neural processing is critical for development of therapeutic interventions. Here, we utilized magnetoencephalography to study early event-related fields (ERFs) in healthy subjects exposed to a 3 s visual countdown task that preceded a painful stimulus, a non-painful stimulus or no stimulus. We found that the first countdown cue, but not the last cue, evoked critical ERFs signaling anticipation, attention and alertness to the noxious stimuli. Further, we found that P2 and N2 components were significantly different in response to first-cues that signaled incoming painful stimuli when compared to non-painful or no stimuli. The findings indicate that early ERFs are relevant neural substrates of pain anticipatory phenomena and could be potentially serve as biomarkers. These measures could assist in the development of neurostimulation approaches aimed at curbing the negative effects of pain anticipation during rehabilitation. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Averbeck, B; Rucker, F; Laubender, R P; Carr, R W
Thunberg's thermal grill produces a sensation of strong heat upon skin contact with spatially interlaced innocuous warm and cool stimuli. To examine the classes of peripheral axons that might contribute to this illusion, the effects of topical l-menthol, an activator of TRPM8, and cinnamaldehyde, a TRPA1 agonist, on the magnitude of thermal sensations were examined during grill stimulation in healthy volunteers. Under control conditions, cutaneous grill stimulation (interlaced 20/40 °C) evoked a sensation of heat, and for individual subjects, the magnitude of this heat sensation was positively correlated with cold pain threshold (CPT). Menthol increased the CPT and enhanced the magnitude of grill-evoked heat. Cinnamaldehyde intensified warm sensations, reduced heat pain threshold and also enhanced grill-evoked heat. Both TRPM8-expressing and TRPA1-expressing afferent axons can affect grill-evoked thermal sensations. The enhancement of grill-evoked sensations of temperature with menthol and cinnamaldehyde may provide an additional clinically relevant means of testing altered thermal sensitivity, which is often affected in neuropathic patient groups. © 2012 European Federation of International Association for the Study of Pain Chapters.
Kawakami, Ai; Furukawa, Kiyoshi; Okanoya, Kazuo
Why do we listen to sad music? We seek to answer this question using a psychological approach. It is possible to distinguish perceived emotions from those that are experienced. Therefore, we hypothesized that, although sad music is perceived as sad, listeners actually feel (experience) pleasant emotions concurrent with sadness. This hypothesis was supported, which led us to question whether sadness in the context of art is truly an unpleasant emotion. While experiencing sadness may be unpleasant, it may also be somewhat pleasant when experienced in the context of art, for example, when listening to sad music. We consider musically evoked emotion vicarious, as we are not threatened when we experience it, in the way that we can be during the course of experiencing emotion in daily life. When we listen to sad music, we experience vicarious sadness. In this review, we propose two sides to sadness by suggesting vicarious emotion.
Petersen, Anders; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Bundesen, Claus
Studies of the time course of visual attention have identified a temporary functional blindness to the second of two spatially separated targets: attending to one visual stimulus may lead to impairments in identifying a second stimulus presented about 200-500 ms later than the first. The phenomenon...... is known as the attentional dwell time (e.g. Duncan, Ward, Shapiro, 1994). Previous studies of attentional dwell time have all used naive subjects running few (.... The results suggest that the majority of subjects may learn to optimize their performance reducing the attentional dwell time effect substantially. Further, the reduction in the attentional dwell time effect seems to be closely linked to the ability of the subject to inhibit eye movements while performing...
Walsh, Kyle P.; Pasanen, Edward G.; McFadden, Dennis
Human subjects performed in several behavioral conditions requiring, or not requiring, selective attention to visual stimuli. Specifically, the attentional task was to recognize strings of digits that had been presented visually. A nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emission (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was collected during the visual presentation of the digits. The segment of the physiological response discussed here occurred during brief silent periods immediately following the SFOAE-evoking stimuli. For all subjects tested, the physiological-noise magnitudes were substantially weaker (less noisy) during the tasks requiring the most visual attention. Effect sizes for the differences were >2.0. Our interpretation is that cortico-olivo influences adjusted the magnitude of efferent activation during the SFOAE-evoking stimulation depending upon the attention task in effect, and then that magnitude of efferent activation persisted throughout the silent period where it also modulated the physiological noise present. Because the results were highly similar to those obtained when the behavioral conditions involved auditory attention, similar mechanisms appear to operate both across modalities and within modalities. Supplementary measurements revealed that the efferent activation was spectrally global, as it was for auditory attention. PMID:24732070
Chasteen, Alison L.; Burdzy, Donna C.; Pratt, Jay
The concepts of God and Devil are well known across many cultures and religions, and often involve spatial metaphors, but it is not well known if our mental representations of these concepts affect visual cognition. To examine if exposure to divine concepts produces shifts of attention, participants completed a target detection task in which they…
Smith, Daniel T; Schenk, Thomas
Spatial attention and eye-movements are tightly coupled, but the precise nature of this coupling is controversial. The influential but controversial Premotor theory of attention makes four specific predictions about the relationship between motor preparation and spatial attention. Firstly, spatial attention and motor preparation use the same neural substrates. Secondly, spatial attention is functionally equivalent to planning goal directed actions such as eye-movements (i.e. planning an action is both necessary and sufficient for a shift of spatial attention). Thirdly, planning a goal directed action with any effector system is sufficient to trigger a shift of spatial attention. Fourthly, the eye-movement system has a privileged role in orienting visual spatial attention. This article reviews empirical studies that have tested these predictions. Contrary to predictions one and two there is evidence of anatomical and functional dissociations between endogenous spatial attention and motor preparation. However, there is compelling evidence that exogenous attention is reliant on activation of the oculomotor system. With respect to the third prediction, there is correlational evidence that spatial attention is directed to the endpoint of goal-directed actions but no direct evidence that this attention shift is dependent on motor preparation. The few studies to have directly tested the fourth prediction have produced conflicting results, so the extent to which the oculomotor system has a privileged role in spatial attention remains unclear. Overall, the evidence is not consistent with the view that spatial attention is functionally equivalent to motor preparation so the Premotor theory should be rejected, although a limited version of the Premotor theory in which only exogenous attention is dependent on motor preparation may still be tenable. A plausible alternative account is that activity in the motor system contributes to biased competition between different sensory
Katus, Tobias; Müller, Matthias M
Working memory (WM) recruits neural circuits that also perform perception- and action-related functions. Among the functions that are shared between the domains of WM and perception is selective attention, which supports the maintenance of task-relevant information during the retention delay of WM tasks. The tactile contralateral delay activity (tCDA) component of the event-related potential (ERP) marks the attention-based rehearsal of tactile information in somatosensory brain regions. We tested whether the tCDA reflects the competition for shared attention resources between a WM task and a perceptual task under dual-task conditions. The two tasks were always performed on opposite hands. In different blocks, the WM task had higher or lower priority than the perceptual task. The tCDA's polarity consistently reflected the hand where the currently prioritized task was performed. This suggests that the process indexed by the tCDA is not specific to the domain of WM, but mediated by a domain-unspecific attention mechanism. The analysis of transient ERP components evoked by stimuli in the two tasks further supports the interpretation that the tCDA marks a goal-directed bias in the allocation of selective attention. Larger spatially selective modulations were obtained for stimulus material related to the high-, as compared to low-priority, task. While our results generally indicate functional overlap between the domains of WM and perception, we also found evidence suggesting that selection in internal (mnemonic) and external (perceptual) stimulus representations involves processes that are not active during shifts of preparatory attention. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dick, Frederic K; Lehet, Matt I; Callaghan, Martina F; Keller, Tim A; Sereno, Martin I; Holt, Lori L
Auditory selective attention is vital in natural soundscapes. But it is unclear how attentional focus on the primary dimension of auditory representation-acoustic frequency-might modulate basic auditory functional topography during active listening. In contrast to visual selective attention, which is supported by motor-mediated optimization of input across saccades and pupil dilation, the primate auditory system has fewer means of differentially sampling the world. This makes spectrally-directed endogenous attention a particularly crucial aspect of auditory attention. Using a novel functional paradigm combined with quantitative MRI, we establish in male and female listeners that human frequency-band-selective attention drives activation in both myeloarchitectonically estimated auditory core, and across the majority of tonotopically mapped nonprimary auditory cortex. The attentionally driven best-frequency maps show strong concordance with sensory-driven maps in the same subjects across much of the temporal plane, with poor concordance in areas outside traditional auditory cortex. There is significantly greater activation across most of auditory cortex when best frequency is attended, versus ignored; the same regions do not show this enhancement when attending to the least-preferred frequency band. Finally, the results demonstrate that there is spatial correspondence between the degree of myelination and the strength of the tonotopic signal across a number of regions in auditory cortex. Strong frequency preferences across tonotopically mapped auditory cortex spatially correlate with R 1 -estimated myeloarchitecture, indicating shared functional and anatomical organization that may underlie intrinsic auditory regionalization. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Perception is an active process, especially sensitive to attentional state. Listeners direct auditory attention to track a violin's melody within an ensemble performance, or to follow a voice in a crowded cafe. Although
Strauss, Daniel J; Delb, Wolfgang; D'Amelio, Roberto; Low, Yin Fen; Falkai, Peter
Large-scale neural correlates of the tinnitus decompensation might be used for an objective evaluation of therapies and neurofeedback based therapeutic approaches. In this study, we try to identify large-scale neural correlates of the tinnitus decompensation using wavelet phase stability criteria of single sweep sequences of late auditory evoked potentials as synchronization stability measure. The extracted measure provided an objective quantification of the tinnitus decompensation and allowed for a reliable discrimination between a group of compensated and decompensated tinnitus patients. We provide an interpretation for our results by a neural model of top-down projections based on the Jastreboff tinnitus model combined with the adaptive resonance theory which has not been applied to model tinnitus so far. Using this model, our stability measure of evoked potentials can be linked to the focus of attention on the tinnitus signal. It is concluded that the wavelet phase stability of late auditory evoked potential single sweeps might be used as objective tinnitus decompensation measure and can be interpreted in the framework of the Jastreboff tinnitus model and adaptive resonance theory.
van Lent, Liza Gg; Sungur, Hande; Kunneman, Florian A; van de Velde, Bob; Das, Enny
In 2014, the world was startled by a sudden outbreak of Ebola. Although Ebola infections and deaths occurred almost exclusively in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, few potential Western cases, in particular, caused a great stir among the public in Western countries. This study builds on the construal level theory to examine the relationship between psychological distance to an epidemic and public attention and sentiment expressed on Twitter. Whereas previous research has shown the potential of social media to assess real-time public opinion and sentiment, generalizable insights that further the theory development lack. Epidemiological data (number of Ebola infections and fatalities) and media data (tweet volume and key events reported in the media) were collected for the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and Twitter content from the Netherlands was coded for (1) expressions of fear for self or fear for others and (2) psychological distance of the outbreak to the tweet source. Longitudinal relations were compared using vector error correction model (VECM) methodology. Analyses based on 4500 tweets revealed that increases in public attention to Ebola co-occurred with severe world events related to the epidemic, but not all severe events evoked fear. As hypothesized, Web-based public attention and expressions of fear responded mainly to the psychological distance of the epidemic. A chi-square test showed a significant positive relation between proximity and fear: χ 2 2 =103.2 (Pfear for self in the Netherlands showed peaks when Ebola became spatially closer by crossing the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Fear for others was mostly predicted by the social distance to the affected parties. Spatial and social distance are important predictors of public attention to worldwide crisis such as epidemics. These factors need to be taken into account when communicating about human tragedies. ©Liza GG van Lent, Hande Sungur, Florian A Kunneman, Bob van de Velde, Enny Das
Chiou, Rocco; Rich, Anina N
Our cognitive system tends to link auditory pitch with spatial location in a specific manner (ie high-pitched sounds are usually associated with an upper location, and low sounds are associated with a lower location). Recent studies have demonstrated that this cross-modality association biases the allocation of visual attention and affects performance despite the auditory stimuli being irrelevant to the behavioural task. There is, however, a discrepancy between studies in their interpretation of the underlying mechanisms. Whereas we have previously claimed that the pitch-location mapping is mediated by volitional shifts of attention (Chiou & Rich, 2012, Perception, 41: , 339-353), other researchers suggest that this cross-modal effect reflects automatic shifts of attention (Mossbridge, Grabowecky, & Suzuki, 2011, Cognition, 121: , 133-139). Here we report a series of three experiments examining the effects of perceptual and response-related pressure on the ability of nonpredictive pitch to bias visual attention. We compare it with two control cues: a predictive pitch that triggers voluntary attention shifts and a salient peripheral flash that evokes involuntary shifts. The results show that the effect of nonpredictive pitch is abolished by pressure at either perceptual or response levels. By contrast, the effects of the two control cues remain significant, demonstrating the robustness of informative and perceptually salient stimuli in directing attention. This distinction suggests that, in contexts of high perceptual demand and response pressure, cognitive resources are primarily engaged by the task-relevant stimuli, which effectively prevents uninformative pitch from orienting attention to its cross-modally associated location. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the link between pitch and location affects attentional deployment via volitional rather than automatic mechanisms. © 2015 SAGE Publications.
Full Text Available When adding or subtracting two quantities, adults often compute an estimated outcome that is larger or smaller, respectively, than the actual outcome, a bias referred to as “operational momentum”. The effects of attention on operational momentum were investigated. Participants viewed a display in which two arrays of objects were added, or one array was subtracted from another array, and judged whether a subsequent outcome (probe array contained the correct or incorrect number of objects. In a baseline condition, only the arrays to be added or subtracted were viewed. In divided attention conditions, participants simultaneously viewed a sequence of colors or shapes, and judged which color (a non-spatial judgment or shape (a spatial judgment was repeated. Operational momentum occurred in all conditions, but was higher in divided attention conditions than in the baseline condition, primarily for addition problems. This pattern suggests that dividing attention, rather than decreasing operational momentum by decreasing attentional shifts, actually increased operational momentum. These results are consistent with a heightened use of arithmetic heuristics under conditions of divided attention.
Tao, Ting; Wang, Ligang; Fan, Chunlei; Gao, Wenbin; Shi, Jiannong
We explored the development of attention among elementary school children. Three hundred and sixty-five primary school children aged 7–12 years completed seven attention tests (alertness, focused attention, divided attention, attentional switching, sustained attention, spatial attention, and supervisory attention). A factor analysis indicated that there was no stable construct of attention among 7- to 8-year-old children. However, from 9 years on, children’s attention could be separated into ...
Full Text Available HIGHLIGHTSMemory correlates with the difference between single and double-sensory evoked steady-state coherence in the gamma range (ΔC.The correlation is most pronounced for the anterior brain region (ΔCA.The correlation is not driven by birth size, education, speed of processing, or intelligence.The sensitivity of ΔCA for detecting low memory capacity is 90%.Cerebral rhythmic activity and oscillations are important pathways of communication between cortical cell assemblies and may be key factors in memory. We asked whether memory performance is related to gamma coherence in a non-task sensory steady-state stimulation. We investigated 40 healthy males born in 1953 who were part of a Danish birth cohort study. Coherence was measured in the gamma range in response to a single-sensory visual stimulation (36 Hz and a double-sensory combined audiovisual stimulation (auditive: 40 Hz; visual: 36 Hz. The individual difference in coherence (ΔC between the bimodal and monomodal stimulation was calculated for each subject and used as the main explanatory variable. ΔC in total brain were significantly negatively correlated with long-term verbal recall. This correlation was pronounced for the anterior region. In addition, the correlation between ΔC and long-term memory was robust when controlling for working memory, as well as a wide range of potentially confounding factors, including intelligence, length of education, speed of processing, visual attention and executive function. Moreover, we found that the difference in anterior coherence (ΔCA is a better predictor of memory than power in multivariate models. The sensitivity of ΔCA for detecting low memory capacity is 92%. Finally, ΔCA was also associated with other types of memory: verbal learning, visual recognition, and spatial memory, and these additional correlations were also robust enough to control for a range of potentially confounding factors. Thus, the ΔC is a predictor of memory
Treder, Matthias S; Blankertz, Benjamin
In a visual oddball paradigm, attention to an event usually modulates the event-related potential (ERP). An ERP-based brain-computer interface (BCI) exploits this neural mechanism for communication. Hitherto, it was unclear to what extent the accuracy of such a BCI requires eye movements (overt attention) or whether it is also feasible for targets in the visual periphery (covert attention). Also unclear was how the visual design of the BCI can be improved to meet peculiarities of peripheral vision such as low spatial acuity and crowding. Healthy participants (N = 13) performed a copy-spelling task wherein they had to count target intensifications. EEG and eye movements were recorded concurrently. First, (c)overt attention was investigated by way of a target fixation condition and a central fixation condition. In the latter, participants had to fixate a dot in the center of the screen and allocate their attention to a target in the visual periphery. Second, the effect of visual speller layout was investigated by comparing the symbol Matrix to an ERP-based Hex-o-Spell, a two-levels speller consisting of six discs arranged on an invisible hexagon. We assessed counting errors, ERP amplitudes, and offline classification performance. There is an advantage (i.e., less errors, larger ERP amplitude modulation, better classification) of overt attention over covert attention, and there is also an advantage of the Hex-o-Spell over the Matrix. Using overt attention, P1, N1, P2, N2, and P3 components are enhanced by attention. Using covert attention, only N2 and P3 are enhanced for both spellers, and N1 and P2 are modulated when using the Hex-o-Spell but not when using the Matrix. Consequently, classifiers rely mainly on early evoked potentials in overt attention and on later cognitive components in covert attention. Both overt and covert attention can be used to drive an ERP-based BCI, but performance is markedly lower for covert attention. The Hex-o-Spell outperforms the
Matsunaga, Masahiro; Isowa, Tokiko; Yamakawa, Kaori; Kawanishi, Yoko; Tsuboi, Hirohito; Kaneko, Hiroshi; Sadato, Norihiro; Oshida, Akiko; Katayama, Atsushi; Kashiwagi, Mitsuyoshi; Ohira, Hideki
The "Proust phenomenon" occurs when a certain smell evokes a specific memory. Recent studies have demonstrated that odor-evoked autobiographic memories are more emotional than those elicited by other sensory stimuli because of the direct neural communication between the olfactory system and the amygdala. The amygdala is known to regulate various physiological activities including the endocrine and immune systems; therefore, odor-evoked autobiographic memory may trigger various psychological and physiological responses; however, the responses elicited by this memory remains obscure. In this study, we aimed to investigate the psychological and physiological responses accompanying odor-evoked autobiographic memory. We recruited healthy male and female volunteers and investigated changes in their mood states and autonomic nervous, endocrine, and immune activities when autobiographic memory was evoked in the participants by asking them to smell an odor(s) that was nostalgic to them. The autobiographic memories associated with positive emotion resulted in increased positive mood states, such as comfort and happiness, and decreased negative mood states, such as anxiety. Furthermore, heart rate was decreased, skin-conductance level was increased, and peripheral interleukin-2 level was decreased after smelling the nostalgic odor. These psychological and physiological responses were significantly correlated. The present study suggests that odor-evoked autobiographic memory along with a positive feeling induce various physiological responses, including the autonomic nervous and immune activities. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to observe an interaction between odor-evoked autobiographic memories and immune function.
Huys, Raoul; Jirsa, Viktor K.; Darokhan, Ziauddin; Valentiniene, Sonata; Roland, Per E.
Neurons in the primary visual cortex spontaneously spike even when there are no visual stimuli. It is unknown whether the spiking evoked by visual stimuli is just a modification of the spontaneous ongoing cortical spiking dynamics or whether the spontaneous spiking state disappears and is replaced by evoked spiking. This study of laminar recordings of spontaneous spiking and visually evoked spiking of neurons in the ferret primary visual cortex shows that the spiking dynamics does not change: the spontaneous spiking as well as evoked spiking is controlled by a stable and persisting fixed point attractor. Its existence guarantees that evoked spiking return to the spontaneous state. However, the spontaneous ongoing spiking state and the visual evoked spiking states are qualitatively different and are separated by a threshold (separatrix). The functional advantage of this organization is that it avoids the need for a system reorganization following visual stimulation, and impedes the transition of spontaneous spiking to evoked spiking and the propagation of spontaneous spiking from layer 4 to layers 2–3. PMID:26778982
Casper, Brandon; Mann, David
Auditory evoked potentials (AEP) were first used to examine hearing in elasmobranchs by Corwin and Bullock in the late 1970s and early 1980s, marking the first time AEPs had been measured in fishes. Results of these experiments identified the regions of the ear and brain in which sound is processed, though no actual hearing thresholds were measured. Those initial experiments provided the ground work for future AEP experiments to measure fish hearing abilities in a manner that is much faster and more convenient than classical conditioning. Data will be presented on recent experiments in which AEPs were used to measure the hearing thresholds of two species of elasmobranchs: the nurse shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum, and the yellow stingray, Urobatis jamaicencis. Audiograms were analyzed and compared to previously published audiograms obtained using classical conditioning with results indicating that hearing thresholds were similar for the two methods. These data suggest that AEP testing is a viable option when measuring hearing in elasmobranchs and can increase the speed in which future hearing measurements can be obtained.
Høydal, Erik Harry; Lein Størmer, Carl Christian; Laukli, Einar; Stenklev, Niels Christian
Our focus in this study was the assessment of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) in a large group of rock musicians. A further objective was to analyse tinnitus among rock musicians as related to TEOAEs. The study was a cross-sectional survey of rock musicians selected at random. A control group was included at random for comparison. We recruited 111 musicians and a control group of 40 non-musicians. Testing was conducted by using clinical examination, pure tone audiometry, TEOAEs and a questionnaire. TEOAE SNR in the half-octave frequency band centred on 4 kHz was significantly lower bilaterally in musicians than controls. This effect was strongly predicted by age and pure-tone hearing threshold levels in the 3-6 kHz range. Bilateral hearing thresholds were significantly higher at 6 kHz in musicians. Twenty percent of the musicians had permanent tinnitus. There was no association between the TEOAE parameters and permanent tinnitus. Our results suggest an incipient hearing loss at 6 kHz in rock musicians. Loss of TEOAE SNR in the 4 kHz half-octave frequency band was observed, but it was related to higher mean 3-6 kHz hearing thresholds and age. A large proportion of rock musicians have permanent tinnitus.
Lütkenhöner, Bernd; Basel, Türker
The vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) and the associated variance modulation can be understood by a convolution model. Two functions of time are incorporated into the model: the motor unit action potential (MUAP) of an average motor unit, and the temporal modulation of the MUAP rate of all contributing motor units, briefly called rate modulation. The latter is the function of interest, whereas the MUAP acts as a filter that distorts the information contained in the measured data. Here, it is shown how to recover the rate modulation by undoing the filtering using a deconvolution approach. The key aspects of our deconvolution algorithm are as follows: (1) the rate modulation is described in terms of just a few parameters; (2) the MUAP is calculated by Wiener deconvolution of the VEMP with the rate modulation; (3) the model parameters are optimized using a figure-of-merit function where the most important term quantifies the difference between measured and model-predicted variance modulation. The effectiveness of the algorithm is demonstrated with simulated data. An analysis of real data confirms the view that there are basically two components, which roughly correspond to the waves p13-n23 and n34-p44 of the VEMP. The rate modulation corresponding to the first, inhibitory component is much stronger than that corresponding to the second, excitatory component. But the latter is more extended so that the two modulations have almost the same equivalent rectangular duration. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Forst, Johanna C; Blok, Derek C; Slopsema, Julia P; Boss, John M; Heyboer, Lane A; Tobias, Carson M; Polasek, Katharine H
Surface electrical stimulation (SES) is being investigated as a noninvasive method to evoke natural sensations distal to electrode location. This may improve treatment for phantom limb pain as well as provide an alternative method to deliver sensory feedback. The median and/or ulnar nerves of 35 subjects were stimulated at the elbow using surface electrodes. Strength-duration curves of hand sensation were found for each subject. All subjects experienced sensation in their hand, which was mostly described as a paresthesia-like sensation. The rheobase and chronaxie values were found to be lower for the median nerve than the ulnar nerve, with no significant difference between sexes. Repeated sessions with the same subject resulted in sufficient variability to suggest that recalculating the strength-duration curve for each electrode placement is necessary. Most of the recruitment curves in this study were generated with 28 to 36 data points. To quickly reproduce these curves with limited increase in error, we recommend 10 data points. Future studies will focus on obtaining different sensations using SES with the strength-duration curve defining the threshold of the effective parameter space.
Ali, Abdulla; Puthusserypady, Sadasivan
This paper presents a novel brain-computerinterface (BCI) system that could potentially be used for enhancing the attention ability of subjects with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It employs the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) paradigm. The developed system consists...
Strait, Dana L; Slater, Jessica; O'Connell, Samantha; Kraus, Nina
Selective attention decreases trial-to-trial variability in cortical auditory-evoked activity. This effect increases over the course of maturation, potentially reflecting the gradual development of selective attention and inhibitory control. Work in adults indicates that music training may alter the development of this neural response characteristic, especially over brain regions associated with executive control: in adult musicians, attention decreases variability in auditory-evoked responses recorded over prefrontal cortex to a greater extent than in nonmusicians. We aimed to determine whether this musician-associated effect emerges during childhood, when selective attention and inhibitory control are under development. We compared cortical auditory-evoked variability to attended and ignored speech streams in musicians and nonmusicians across three age groups: preschoolers, school-aged children and young adults. Results reveal that childhood music training is associated with reduced auditory-evoked response variability recorded over prefrontal cortex during selective auditory attention in school-aged child and adult musicians. Preschoolers, on the other hand, demonstrate no impact of selective attention on cortical response variability and no musician distinctions. This finding is consistent with the gradual emergence of attention during this period and may suggest no pre-existing differences in this attention-related cortical metric between children who undergo music training and those who do not. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Reaves, Sarah; Strunk, Jonathan; Phillips, Shekinah; Verhaeghen, Paul; Duarte, Audrey
Behavioral research has shown that spatial cues that orient attention toward task relevant items being maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM) enhance item memory accuracy. However, it is unknown if these retrospective attentional cues (?retro-cues?) enhance memory beyond typical short-term memory delays. It is also unknown whether retro-cues affect the spatial information associated with VSTM representations. Emerging evidence suggests that processes that affect short-term memory maint...