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Sample records for spatial attention signals

  1. Is attention based on spatial contextual memory preferentially guided by low spatial frequency signals?

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    Patai, Eva Zita; Buckley, Alice; Nobre, Anna Christina

    2013-01-01

    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.

  2. Spatial attention related SEP amplitude modulations covary with BOLD signal in S1--a simultaneous EEG--fMRI study.

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    Schubert, Ruth; Ritter, Petra; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Preuschhof, Claudia; Curio, Gabriel; Sommer, Werner; Villringer, Arno

    2008-11-01

    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.

  3. Spatiotopic coding of BOLD signal in human visual cortex depends on spatial attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofia Crespi

    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.

  4. Spatial attention during saccade decisions.

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    Jonikaitis, Donatas; Klapetek, Anna; Deubel, Heiner

    2017-07-01

    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.

  5. Unimodal and crossmodal gradients of spatial attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Föcker, J.; Hötting, K.; Gondan, Matthias

    2010-01-01

    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...

  6. Spatially distributed encoding of covert attentional shifts in human thalamus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulme, Oliver J; Whiteley, Louise Emma; Shipp, Stewart

    2010-01-01

    /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...

  7. Spatial Language, Visual Attention, and Perceptual Simulation

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    Coventry, Kenny R.; Lynott, Dermot; Cangelosi, Angelo; Monrouxe, Lynn; Joyce, Dan; Richardson, Daniel C.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  8. Temporal dynamics of divided spatial attention.

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    Itthipuripat, Sirawaj; Garcia, Javier O; Serences, John T

    2013-05-01

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Cueing spatial attention through timing and probability.

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    Girardi, Giovanna; Antonucci, Gabriella; Nico, Daniele

    2013-01-01

    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.

  11. Spatial attention in written word perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica eMontani

    2014-02-01

    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.

  12. Spatial attention in written word perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montani, Veronica; Facoetti, Andrea; Zorzi, Marco

    2014-01-01

    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.

  13. Enhanced facilitation of spatial attention in schizophrenia.

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    Spencer, Kevin M; Nestor, Paul G; Valdman, Olga; Niznikiewicz, Margaret A; Shenton, Martha E; McCarley, Robert W

    2011-01-01

    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.

  14. Visual Spatial Attention Training Improve Spatial Attention and Motor Control for Unilateral Neglect Patients.

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    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  15. Spatial attention does improve temporal discrimination.

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    Chica, Ana B; Christie, John

    2009-02-01

    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.

  16. Single Canonical Model of Reflexive Memory and Spatial Attention

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    Patel, Saumil S.; Red, Stuart; Lin, Eric; Sereno, Anne B.

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. Single Canonical Model of Reflexive Memory and Spatial Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Saumil S; Red, Stuart; Lin, Eric; Sereno, Anne B

    2015-10-23

    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.

  18. Attention and predictions: control of spatial attention beyond the endogenous-exogenous dichotomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emiliano eMacaluso

    2013-10-01

    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.

  19. Attention and predictions: control of spatial attention beyond the endogenous-exogenous dichotomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macaluso, Emiliano; Doricchi, Fabrizio

    2013-01-01

    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

  20. Attention and predictions: control of spatial attention beyond the endogenous-exogenous dichotomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macaluso, Emiliano; Doricchi, Fabrizio

    2013-01-01

    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.

  1. Spatial working memory maintenance: does attention play a role?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chan, L.K.; Hayward, W.G.; Theeuwes, J.

    2009-01-01

    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

  2. Spatial Attention and Audiovisual Interactions in Apparent Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanabria, Daniel; Soto-Faraco, Salvador; Spence, Charles

    2007-01-01

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Spatial Working Memory Interferes with Explicit, but Not Probabilistic Cuing of Spatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  5. 47 CFR 10.520 - Common audio attention signal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 47 Telecommunication 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Common audio attention signal. 10.520 Section... Equipment Requirements § 10.520 Common audio attention signal. A Participating CMS Provider and equipment manufacturers may only market devices for public use under part 10 that include an audio attention signal that...

  6. Attention Modulates Visual-Tactile Interaction in Spatial Pattern Matching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göschl, Florian; Engel, Andreas K.; Friese, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. Attention modulates visual-tactile interaction in spatial pattern matching.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian Göschl

    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.

  8. Generating a taxonomy of spatially cued attention for visual discrimination: Effects of judgment precision and set size on attention

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    Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2014-01-01

    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

  9. Generating a taxonomy of spatially cued attention for visual discrimination: effects of judgment precision and set size on attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hetley, Richard; Dosher, Barbara Anne; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2014-11-01

    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.

  10. Relating Dopaminergic and Cholinergic Polymorphisms to Spatial Attention in Infancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markant, Julie; Cicchetti, Dante; Hetzel, Susan; Thomas, Kathleen M.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  11. The effects of transient attention on spatial resolution and the size of the attentional cue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeshurun, Yaffa; Carrasco, Marisa

    2008-01-01

    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.

  12. The time course of attention modulation elicited by spatial uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Dan; Liang, Huilou; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Meijian; Hu, Qiyi; Chen, Yao

    2017-09-01

    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.

  13. Exogenous spatial attention influences figure-ground assignment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecera, Shaun P; Flevaris, Anastasia V; Filapek, Joseph C

    2004-01-01

    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.

  14. Encoding of Spatial Attention by Primate Prefrontal Cortex Neuronal Ensembles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treue, Stefan

    2018-01-01

    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

  15. Episodic memory for spatial context biases spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciaramelli, Elisa; Lin, Olivia; Moscovitch, Morris

    2009-01-01

    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.

  16. Guidance of Spatial Attention by Incidental Learning and Endogenous Cuing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.; Rosenbaum, Gail M.

    2013-01-01

    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,…

  17. Hemispheric asymmetry: Looking for a novel signature of the modulation of spatial attention in multisensory processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi-Chuan; Spence, Charles

    2017-06-01

    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.

  18. Working memory-driven attention improves spatial resolution: Support for perceptual enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yi; Luo, Qianying; Cheng, Min

    2016-08-01

    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.

  19. Spatial Attention Is Attracted in a Sustained Fashion toward Singular Points in the Optic Flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Fukuchi, Masaki; Koch, Christof; Tsuchiya, Naotsugu

    2012-01-01

    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

  20. Linguistic and Perceptual Mapping in Spatial Representations: An Attentional Account.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdés-Conroy, Berenice; Hinojosa, José A; Román, Francisco J; Romero-Ferreiro, Verónica

    2018-03-01

    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.

  1. Negative emotion provides cues for orienting auditory spatial attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erkin eAsutay

    2015-05-01

    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.

  2. Spatial attention enhances the selective integration of activity from area MT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masse, Nicolas Y; Herrington, Todd M; Cook, Erik P

    2012-09-01

    Distinguishing which of the many proposed neural mechanisms of spatial attention actually underlies behavioral improvements in visually guided tasks has been difficult. One attractive hypothesis is that attention allows downstream neural circuits to selectively integrate responses from the most informative sensory neurons. This would allow behavioral performance to be based on the highest-quality signals available in visual cortex. We examined this hypothesis by asking how spatial attention affects both the stimulus sensitivity of middle temporal (MT) neurons and their corresponding correlation with behavior. Analyzing a data set pooled from two experiments involving four monkeys, we found that spatial attention did not appreciably affect either the stimulus sensitivity of the neurons or the correlation between their activity and behavior. However, for those sessions in which there was a robust behavioral effect of attention, focusing attention inside the neuron's receptive field significantly increased the correlation between these two metrics, an indication of selective integration. These results suggest that, similar to mechanisms proposed for the neural basis of perceptual learning, the behavioral benefits of focusing spatial attention are attributable to selective integration of neural activity from visual cortical areas by their downstream targets.

  3. Covert spatial attention is functionally intact in amblyopic human adults

    OpenAIRE

    Roberts, Mariel; Cymerman, Rachel; Smith, R. Theodore; Kiorpes, Lynne; Carrasco, Marisa

    2016-01-01

    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...

  4. Long-Term Memory Biases Auditory Spatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, Jacqueline F.; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude

    2017-01-01

    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…

  5. Multisensory Cues Capture Spatial Attention Regardless of Perceptual Load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangelo, Valerio; Spence, Charles

    2007-01-01

    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…

  6. Divided spatial attention and feature-mixing errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golomb, Julie D

    2015-11-01

    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.

  7. Spatial attention can be biased towards an expected dimension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnett, Katherine E; Close, Alex C; d'Avossa, Giovanni; Sapir, Ayelet

    2016-11-01

    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.

  8. Spatially tuned normalization explains attention modulation variance within neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Amy M; Maunsell, John H R

    2017-09-01

    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

  9. Face processing is gated by visual spatial attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy E Crist

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Human perception of faces is widely believed to rely on automatic processing by a domain-specifi c, modular component of the visual system. Scalp-recorded event-related potential (ERP recordings indicate that faces receive special stimulus processing at around 170 ms poststimulus onset, in that faces evoke an enhanced occipital negative wave, known as the N170, relative to the activity elicited by other visual objects. As predicted by modular accounts of face processing, this early face-specifi c N170 enhancement has been reported to be largely immune to the infl uence of endogenous processes such as task strategy or attention. However, most studies examining the infl uence of attention on face processing have focused on non-spatial attention, such as object-based attention, which tend to have longer-latency effects. In contrast, numerous studies have demonstrated that visual spatial attention can modulate the processing of visual stimuli as early as 80 ms poststimulus – substantially earlier than the N170. These temporal characteristics raise the question of whether this initial face-specifi c processing is immune to the infl uence of spatial attention. This question was addressed in a dual-visualstream ERP study in which the infl uence of spatial attention on the face-specifi c N170 could be directly examined. As expected, early visual sensory responses to all stimuli presented in an attended location were larger than responses evoked by those same stimuli when presented in an unattended location. More importantly, a signifi cant face-specifi c N170 effect was elicited by faces that appeared in an attended location, but not in an unattended one. In summary, early face-specifi c processing is not automatic, but rather, like other objects, strongly depends on endogenous factors such as the allocation of spatial attention. Moreover, these fi ndings underscore the extensive infl uence that top-down attention exercises over the processing of

  10. Rewards modulate saccade latency but not exogenous spatial attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen eDunne

    2015-07-01

    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.

  11. Rewards modulate saccade latency but not exogenous spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunne, Stephen; Ellison, Amanda; Smith, Daniel T

    2015-01-01

    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.

  12. Paying attention through eye movements: a computational investigation of the premotor theory of spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casarotti, Marco; Lisi, Matteo; Umiltà, Carlo; Zorzi, Marco

    2012-07-01

    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.

  13. Feature singletons attract spatial attention independently of feature priming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashar, Amit; White, Alex L; Fang, Wanghaoming; Carrasco, Marisa

    2017-08-01

    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.

  14. Entrainment to an auditory signal: Is attention involved?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kunert, R.; Jongman, S.R.

    2017-01-01

    Many natural auditory signals, including music and language, change periodically. The effect of such auditory rhythms on the brain is unclear however. One widely held view, dynamic attending theory, proposes that the attentional system entrains to the rhythm and increases attention at moments of

  15. Selective attention modulates human auditory brainstem responses: relative contributions of frequency and spatial cues.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Lehmann

    Full Text Available Selective attention is the mechanism that allows focusing one's attention on a particular stimulus while filtering out a range of other stimuli, for instance, on a single conversation in a noisy room. Attending to one sound source rather than another changes activity in the human auditory cortex, but it is unclear whether attention to different acoustic features, such as voice pitch and speaker location, modulates subcortical activity. Studies using a dichotic listening paradigm indicated that auditory brainstem processing may be modulated by the direction of attention. We investigated whether endogenous selective attention to one of two speech signals affects amplitude and phase locking in auditory brainstem responses when the signals were either discriminable by frequency content alone, or by frequency content and spatial location. Frequency-following responses to the speech sounds were significantly modulated in both conditions. The modulation was specific to the task-relevant frequency band. The effect was stronger when both frequency and spatial information were available. Patterns of response were variable between participants, and were correlated with psychophysical discriminability of the stimuli, suggesting that the modulation was biologically relevant. Our results demonstrate that auditory brainstem responses are susceptible to efferent modulation related to behavioral goals. Furthermore they suggest that mechanisms of selective attention actively shape activity at early subcortical processing stages according to task relevance and based on frequency and spatial cues.

  16. Functional connectivity between prefrontal and parietal cortex drives visuo-spatial attention shifts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinen, Klaartje; Feredoes, Eva; Ruff, Christian C; Driver, Jon

    2017-05-01

    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.

  17. Selective spatial enhancement: Attentional spotlight size impacts spatial but not temporal perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodhew, Stephanie C; Shen, Elizabeth; Edwards, Mark

    2016-08-01

    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.

  18. Spatial working memory interferes with explicit, but not probabilistic cuing of spatial attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Bo-Yeong; Jiang, Yuhong V.

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. The role of visual spatial attention in audiovisual speech perception

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Tobias; Tiippana, K.; Laarni, J.

    2009-01-01

    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...

  20. Visuo-Spatial Attention in ADHD Children: Investigating the Asymmetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faranak Aliabadi

    2011-04-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-03

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

  2. Morningness/eveningness and the synchrony effect for spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorrian, Jillian; McLean, Benjamin; Banks, Siobhan; Loetscher, Tobias

    2017-02-01

    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

  3. Long-term memory biases auditory spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, Jacqueline F; Moscovitch, Morris; Alain, Claude

    2017-10-01

    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).

  4. Tunnel vision: sharper gradient of spatial attention in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Caroline E; Kravitz, Dwight J; Freyberg, Jan; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Baker, Chris I

    2013-04-17

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  6. Attention on our mind: the role of spatial attention in visual working memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Theeuwes, J.; Kramer, A.F.; Irwin, D.E.

    2011-01-01

    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

  7. Impact of Spatial and Verbal Short-Term Memory Load on Auditory Spatial Attention Gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golob, Edward J; Winston, Jenna; Mock, Jeffrey R

    2017-01-01

    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.

  8. Impact of Spatial and Verbal Short-Term Memory Load on Auditory Spatial Attention Gradients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J. Golob

    2017-11-01

    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.

  9. Cortical and Subcortical Coordination of Visual Spatial Attention Revealed by Simultaneous EEG-fMRI Recording.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jessica J; Boehler, Carsten N; Roberts, Kenneth C; Chen, Ling-Chia; Krebs, Ruth M; Song, Allen W; Woldorff, Marty G

    2017-08-16

    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

  10. Attentional reorienting triggers spatial asymmetries in a search task with cross-modal spatial cueing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  11. Deployment of spatial attention towards locations in memory representations. An EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leszczyński, Marcin; Wykowska, Agnieszka; Perez-Osorio, Jairo; Müller, Hermann J

    2013-01-01

    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.

  12. Deployment of spatial attention towards locations in memory representations. An EEG study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin Leszczyński

    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.

  13. Using neuronal populations to study the mechanisms underlying spatial and feature attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Marlene R.; Maunsell, John H.R.

    2012-01-01

    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

  14. The role of visual spatial attention in adult developmental dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collis, Nathan L; Kohnen, Saskia; Kinoshita, Sachiko

    2013-01-01

    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.

  15. Exogenous and endogenous spatial attention effects on visuospatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Fabiano; Santangelo, Valerio; Raffone, Antonino; Lupiáñez, Juan; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti

    2010-08-01

    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.

  16. A Biophysical Neural Model To Describe Spatial Visual Attention

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hugues, Etienne; Jose, Jorge V.

    2008-01-01

    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

  17. Distinct representations for shifts of spatial attention and changes of reward contingencies in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosoni, Annalisa; Shulman, Gordon L; Pope, Anna L W; McAvoy, Mark P; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2013-06-01

    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.

  18. Multiple foci of spatial attention in multimodal working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Eimer, Martin

    2016-11-15

    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.

  19. Spatial auditory attention is modulated by tactile priming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menning, Hans; Ackermann, Hermann; Hertrich, Ingo; Mathiak, Klaus

    2005-07-01

    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.

  20. Switching auditory attention using spatial and non-spatial features recruits different cortical networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Eric; Lee, Adrian K C

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. Signals in Science - On the Importance of Signaling in Gaining Attention in Science

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H.P. van Dalen (Hendrik); K. Henkens

    2004-01-01

    textabstractWhich signals are important in gaining attention in science? For a group of 1,371 scientific articles published in 17 demography journals in the years 1990-1992 we track their influence and discern which signals are important in receiving citations. Three types of signals are examined:

  2. Testing a Dynamic Field Account of Interactions between Spatial Attention and Spatial Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeffrey S.; Spencer, John P.

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. Testing a dynamic-field account of interactions between spatial attention and spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jeffrey S; Spencer, John P

    2016-05-01

    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.

  4. Reliability-Weighted Integration of Audiovisual Signals Can Be Modulated by Top-down Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noppeney, Uta

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Behaviorally, it is well established that human observers integrate signals near-optimally weighted in proportion to their reliabilities as predicted by maximum likelihood estimation. Yet, despite abundant behavioral evidence, it is unclear how the human brain accomplishes this feat. In a spatial ventriloquist paradigm, participants were presented with auditory, visual, and audiovisual signals and reported the location of the auditory or the visual signal. Combining psychophysics, multivariate functional MRI (fMRI) decoding, and models of maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), we characterized the computational operations underlying audiovisual integration at distinct cortical levels. We estimated observers’ behavioral weights by fitting psychometric functions to participants’ localization responses. Likewise, we estimated the neural weights by fitting neurometric functions to spatial locations decoded from regional fMRI activation patterns. Our results demonstrate that low-level auditory and visual areas encode predominantly the spatial location of the signal component of a region’s preferred auditory (or visual) modality. By contrast, intraparietal sulcus forms spatial representations by integrating auditory and visual signals weighted by their reliabilities. Critically, the neural and behavioral weights and the variance of the spatial representations depended not only on the sensory reliabilities as predicted by the MLE model but also on participants’ modality-specific attention and report (i.e., visual vs. auditory). These results suggest that audiovisual integration is not exclusively determined by bottom-up sensory reliabilities. Instead, modality-specific attention and report can flexibly modulate how intraparietal sulcus integrates sensory signals into spatial representations to guide behavioral responses (e.g., localization and orienting). PMID:29527567

  5. Focus of spatial attention during spatial working memory maintenance : Evidence from pupillary light response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fabius, J. H.; Mathôt, Sebastiaan; Schut, M. J.; Nijboer, T. C.W.; Van der Stigchel, S.

    2017-01-01

    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

  6. Cortical depth dependent population receptive field attraction by spatial attention in human V1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, Barrie P.; Fracasso, Alessio; van Dijk, Jelle A.; Paffen, Chris L.E.; te Pas, Susan F.; Dumoulin, Serge O.

    2018-01-01

    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

  7. Spatial Configuration and Online Attention: A Space Syntax Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peixue Liu

    2018-01-01

    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.

  8. Expectancy modulates pupil size during endogenous orienting of spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dragone, Alessio; Lasaponara, Stefano; Pinto, Mario; Rotondaro, Francesca; De Luca, Maria; Doricchi, Fabrizio

    2018-05-01

    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.

  9. Dissociable Decoding of Spatial Attention and Working Memory from EEG Oscillations and Sustained Potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Gi-Yeul; Luck, Steven J

    2018-01-10

    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

  10. Manipulating Bodily Presence Affects Cross-Modal Spatial Attention: A Virtual-Reality-Based ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harjunen, Ville J.; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas; Spapé, Michiel M.

    2017-01-01

    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

  11. Manipulating Bodily Presence Affects Cross-Modal Spatial Attention: A Virtual-Reality-Based ERP Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harjunen, Ville J; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas; Spapé, Michiel M

    2017-01-01

    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.

  12. Positional information generated by spatially distributed signaling cascades.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Muñoz-García

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The temporal and stationary behavior of protein modification cascades has been extensively studied, yet little is known about the spatial aspects of signal propagation. We have previously shown that the spatial separation of opposing enzymes, such as a kinase and a phosphatase, creates signaling activity gradients. Here we show under what conditions signals stall in the space or robustly propagate through spatially distributed signaling cascades. Robust signal propagation results in activity gradients with long plateaus, which abruptly decay at successive spatial locations. We derive an approximate analytical solution that relates the maximal amplitude and propagation length of each activation profile with the cascade level, protein diffusivity, and the ratio of the opposing enzyme activities. The control of the spatial signal propagation appears to be very different from the control of transient temporal responses for spatially homogenous cascades. For spatially distributed cascades where activating and deactivating enzymes operate far from saturation, the ratio of the opposing enzyme activities is shown to be a key parameter controlling signal propagation. The signaling gradients characteristic for robust signal propagation exemplify a pattern formation mechanism that generates precise spatial guidance for multiple cellular processes and conveys information about the cell size to the nucleus.

  13. Emotional cues enhance the attentional effects on spatial and temporal resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocanegra, Bruno R; Zeelenberg, René

    2011-12-01

    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.

  14. Cortical depth dependent population receptive field attraction by spatial attention in human V1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Barrie P; Fracasso, Alessio; van Dijk, Jelle A; Paffen, Chris L E; Te Pas, Susan F; Dumoulin, Serge O

    2018-04-27

    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.

  15. Attraction of position preference by spatial attention throughout human visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klein, Barrie P.; Harvey, Ben M.; Dumoulin, Serge O.

    2014-01-01

    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

  16. Paying attention to working memory: Similarities in the spatial distribution of attention in mental and physical space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahan, Muhammet Ikbal; Verguts, Tom; Boehler, Carsten Nicolas; Pourtois, Gilles; Fias, Wim

    2016-08-01

    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.

  17. Endogenous spatial attention: evidence for intact functioning in adults with autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubb, Michael A.; Behrmann, Marlene; Egan, Ryan; Minshew, Nancy J.; Carrasco, Marisa; Heeger, David J.

    2012-01-01

    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

  18. Sustained Spatial Attention in Touch: Modality-Specific and Multimodal Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara F. Sambo

    2011-01-01

    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.

  19. Manipulating cell signaling with subcellular spatial resolution

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Yushchenko, Dmytro A.; Nadler, A.; Schultz, C.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 8 (2016), s. 1023-1024 ISSN 1538-4101 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : arachidonic acid * caging group * insulin secretion * photorelease * signaling lipids Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.530, year: 2016

  20. BOLD repetition decreases in object-responsive ventral visual areas depend on spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eger, E; Henson, R N A; Driver, J; Dolan, R J

    2004-08-01

    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.

  1. Enhancing Spatial Attention and Working Memory in Younger and Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolle, Camarin E; Anguera, Joaquin A; Skinner, Sasha N; Voytek, Bradley; Gazzaley, Adam

    2017-09-01

    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.

  2. Enhancing Spatial Attention and Working Memory in Younger and Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolle, Camarin E.; Anguera, Joaquin A.; Skinner, Sasha N.; Voytek, Bradley; Gazzaley, Adam

    2018-01-01

    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

  3. Using spatial uncertainty to manipulate the size of the attention focus

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Dan; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Xin; Chen, Yao

    2016-01-01

    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...

  4. Abnormal Spatial Asymmetry of Selective Attention in ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. 33 CFR 83.36 - Signals to attract attention (Rule 36).

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Signals to attract attention... SECURITY INLAND NAVIGATION RULES RULES Sound and Light Signals § 83.36 Signals to attract attention (Rule 36). If necessary to attract the attention of another vessel, any vessel may make light or sound...

  6. Hemispheric lateralization in top-down attention during spatial relation processing: a Granger causal model approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falasca, N W; D'Ascenzo, S; Di Domenico, A; Onofrj, M; Tommasi, L; Laeng, B; Franciotti, R

    2015-04-01

    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.

  7. Early Warning Signals of Ecological Transitions: Methods for Spatial Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, William A.; Carpenter, Stephen R.; Ellison, Aaron M.; Livina, Valerie N.; Seekell, David A.; Scheffer, Marten; van Nes, Egbert H.; Dakos, Vasilis

    2014-01-01

    A number of ecosystems can exhibit abrupt shifts between alternative stable states. Because of their important ecological and economic consequences, recent research has focused on devising early warning signals for anticipating such abrupt ecological transitions. In particular, theoretical studies show that changes in spatial characteristics of the system could provide early warnings of approaching transitions. However, the empirical validation of these indicators lag behind their theoretical developments. Here, we summarize a range of currently available spatial early warning signals, suggest potential null models to interpret their trends, and apply them to three simulated spatial data sets of systems undergoing an abrupt transition. In addition to providing a step-by-step methodology for applying these signals to spatial data sets, we propose a statistical toolbox that may be used to help detect approaching transitions in a wide range of spatial data. We hope that our methodology together with the computer codes will stimulate the application and testing of spatial early warning signals on real spatial data. PMID:24658137

  8. Generating spatial and nonspatial attentional control: an ERP study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slagter, H.A.; Kok, A.; Mol, N.; Talsma, D.; Kenemans, J.L.

    2005-01-01

    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

  9. Control processes in visual spatial attention : an electrophysiological investigation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velzen, José Lucia van

    2005-01-01

    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

  10. The Impact of Visual-Spatial Attention on Reading and Spelling in Chinese Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Duo; Chen, Xi; Wang, Ying

    2016-01-01

    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…

  11. Contextual Cueing: Implicit Learning and Memory of Visual Context Guides Spatial Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Marvin M.; Jiang, Yuhong

    1998-01-01

    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)

  12. No functional role of attention-based rehearsal in maintenance of spatial working memory representations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Belopolsky, A.V.; Theeuwes, J.

    2009-01-01

    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

  13. Perceptual and Cognitive Load Interact to Control the Spatial Focus of Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linnell, Karina J.; Caparos, Serge

    2011-01-01

    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…

  14. Working-memory performance is related to spatial breadth of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreitz, Carina; Furley, Philip; Memmert, Daniel; Simons, Daniel J

    2015-11-01

    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.

  15. Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callahan, Patrick M; Terry, Alvin V

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Sustained attention training reduces spatial bias in Parkinson's disease: a pilot case series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGutis, Joseph; Grosso, Mallory; VanVleet, Thomas; Esterman, Michael; Pistorino, Laura; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2016-01-01

    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.

  17. Visual search and spatial attention: ERPs in focussed and divided attention conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijers, A A; Okita, T; Mulder, G; Mulder, L J; Lorist, M M; Poiesz, R; Scheffers, M K

    1987-08-01

    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.

  18. The influence of endogenous and exogenous spatial attention on decision confidence

    OpenAIRE

    Kurtz, Phillipp; Shapcott, Katharine A.; Kaiser , Jochen; Schmiedt, Joscha T.; Schmid, Michael C.

    2017-01-01

    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...

  19. A gender- and sexual orientation-dependent spatial attentional effect of invisible images

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang, Yi; Costello, Patricia; Fang, Fang; Huang, Miner; He, Sheng

    2006-01-01

    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 ...

  20. Sustained Attention Training Reduces Spatial Bias in Parkinson's Disease: A Pilot Case Series

    OpenAIRE

    DeGutis, Joseph; Grosso, Mallory; VanVleet, Thomas; Esterman, Michael; Pistorino, Laura; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2015-01-01

    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...

  1. The Influence of Endogenous and Exogenous Spatial Attention on Decision Confidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurtz, Phillipp; Shapcott, Katharine A; Kaiser, Jochen; Schmiedt, Joscha T; Schmid, Michael C

    2017-07-25

    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.

  2. A Unique Role of Endogenous Visual-Spatial Attention in Rapid Processing of Multiple Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman-Martinez, Emmanuel; Grabowecky, Marcia; Palafox, German; Suzuki, Satoru

    2011-01-01

    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).…

  3. Effect of Action Video Games on the Spatial Distribution of Visuospatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, C. Shawn; Bavelier, Daphne

    2006-01-01

    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…

  4. Graded Neuronal Modulations Related to Visual Spatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maunsell, John H. R.

    2016-01-01

    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

  5. Graded Neuronal Modulations Related to Visual Spatial Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo, J Patrick; Maunsell, John H R

    2016-05-11

    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

  6. Children's attention to task-relevant information accounts for relations between language and spatial cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Hilary E; Simmering, Vanessa R

    2018-08-01

    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.

  7. Common mechanisms of spatial attention in memory and perception: a tactile dual-task study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M

    2014-03-01

    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.

  8. Modulation of spatial attention by goals, statistical learning, and monetary reward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yuhong V; Sha, Li Z; Remington, Roger W

    2015-10-01

    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.

  9. Attraction of position preference by spatial attention throughout human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Barrie P; Harvey, Ben M; Dumoulin, Serge O

    2014-10-01

    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.

  10. Two cognitive and neural systems for endogenous and exogenous spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chica, Ana B; Bartolomeo, Paolo; Lupiáñez, Juan

    2013-01-15

    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

  11. Distribution of attention modulates salience signals in early visual cortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulckhuyse, M.; Belopolsky, A.V.; Heslenfeld, D.J.; Talsma, D.; Theeuwes, J.

    2011-01-01

    Previous research has shown that the extent to which people spread attention across the visual field plays a crucial role in visual selection and the occurrence of bottom-up driven attentional capture. Consistent with previous findings, we show that when attention was diffusely distributed across

  12. Effects of spatial attention on motion discrimination are greater in the left than right visual field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosworth, Rain G; Petrich, Jennifer A F; Dobkins, Karen R

    2012-01-01

    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.

  13. The spatial profile of visual attention in mental curve tracing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scholte, H. S.; Spekreijse, H.; Roelfsema, P. R.

    2001-01-01

    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

  14. Directing spatial attention to locations within remembered and imagined mental representations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon G Gosling

    2013-04-01

    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.

  15. Mechanisms of value-learning in the guidance of spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Brian A; Kim, Haena

    2018-05-11

    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.

  16. Effects of Spatial and Selective Attention on Basic Multisensory Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gondan, Matthias; Blurton, Steven P.; Hughes, Flavia; Greenlee, Mark W.

    2011-01-01

    When participants respond to auditory and visual stimuli, responses to audiovisual stimuli are substantially faster than to unimodal stimuli (redundant signals effect, RSE). In such tasks, the RSE is usually higher than probability summation predicts, suggestive of specific integration mechanisms underlying the RSE. We investigated the role of…

  17. Flux and polarization signals of spatially inhomogeneous gaseous exoplanets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karalidi, T.; Stam, D.M.; Guirado, D.

    2013-01-01

    Aims. We present numerically calculated, disk-integrated, spectropolarimetric signals of starlight that is reflected by vertically and horizontally inhomogeneous gaseous exoplanets. We include various spatial features that are present on Solar System’s gaseous planets: belts and zones, cyclonic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-23

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

  19. Readout from iconic memory and selective spatial attention involve similar neural processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, Christian C; Kristjánsson, Arni; Driver, Jon

    2007-10-01

    Iconic memory and spatial attention are often considered separately, but they may have functional similarities. Here we provide functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence for some common underlying neural effects. Subjects judged three visual stimuli in one hemifield of a bilateral array comprising six stimuli. The relevant hemifield for partial report was indicated by an auditory cue, administered either before the visual array (precue, spatial attention) or shortly after the array (postcue, iconic memory). Pre- and postcues led to similar activity modulations in lateral occipital cortex contralateral to the cued side. This finding indicates that readout from iconic memory can have some neural effects similar to those of spatial attention. We also found common bilateral activation of a fronto-parietal network for postcue and precue trials. These neuroimaging data suggest that some common neural mechanisms underlie selective spatial attention and readout from iconic memory. Some differences were also found; compared with precues, postcues led to higher activity in the right middle frontal gyrus.

  20. Obama cares about visuo-spatial attention: perception of political figures moves attention and determines gaze direction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Mark; Smith, Kevin B; Hibbing, John R; Dodd, Michael D

    2015-02-01

    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.

  1. The guidance of spatial attention during visual search for colour combinations and colour configurations

    OpenAIRE

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    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...

  2. Manipulating Bodily Presence Affects Cross-Modal Spatial Attention: A Virtual-Reality-Based ERP Study

    OpenAIRE

    Harjunen, Ville J.; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas; Spap?, Michiel M.

    2017-01-01

    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...

  3. The effect of perceptual load on tactile spatial attention: Evidence from event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherri, Elena; Berreby, Fiona

    2017-10-15

    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.

  4. Using spatial uncertainty to manipulate the size of the attention focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Dan; Xue, Linyan; Wang, Xin; Chen, Yao

    2016-09-01

    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.

  5. Grabbing attention without knowing: Automatic capture of attention by subliminal spatial cues

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulckhuyse, Manon; Talsma, D.; Theeuwes, Jan

    2007-01-01

    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

  6. Cross-modal cueing in audiovisual spatial attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blurton, Steven Paul; Greenlee, Mark W.; Gondan, Matthias

    2015-01-01

    effects have been reported for endogenous visual cues while exogenous cues seem to be mostly ineffective. In three experiments, we investigated cueing effects on the processing of audiovisual signals. In Experiment 1 we used endogenous cues to investigate their effect on the detection of auditory, visual......, and audiovisual targets presented with onset asynchrony. Consistent cueing effects were found in all target conditions. In Experiment 2 we used exogenous cues and found cueing effects only for visual target detection, but not auditory target detection. In Experiment 3 we used predictive exogenous cues to examine...

  7. The spatial and temporal deployment of voluntary attention across the visual field.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilhem Ibos

    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.

  8. The where and how of attention-based rehearsal in spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postle, B R; Awh, E; Jonides, J; Smith, E E; D'Esposito, M

    2004-07-01

    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.

  9. Spatial early warning signals in a lake manipulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butitta, Vince L.; Carpenter, Stephen R.; Loken, Luke; Pace, Michael L.; Stanley, Emily H.

    2017-01-01

    Rapid changes in state have been documented for many of Earth's ecosystems. Despite a growing toolbox of methods for detecting declining resilience or early warning indicators (EWIs) of ecosystem transitions, these methods have rarely been evaluated in whole-ecosystem trials using reference ecosystems. In this study, we experimentally tested EWIs of cyanobacteria blooms based on changes in the spatial structure of a lake. We induced a cyanobacteria bloom by adding nutrients to an experimental lake and mapped fine-resolution spatial patterning of cyanobacteria using a mobile sensor platform. Prior to the bloom, we detected theoretically predicted spatial EWIs based on variance and spatial autocorrelation, as well as a new index based on the extreme values. Changes in EWIs were not discernible in an unenriched reference lake. Despite the fluid environment of a lake where spatial heterogeneity driven by biological processes may be overwhelmed by physical mixing, spatial EWIs detected an approaching bloom suggesting the utility of spatial metrics for signaling ecological thresholds.

  10. Feature integration and spatial attention: common processes for endogenous and exogenous orienting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderickx, David; Maetens, Kathleen; Soetens, Eric

    2010-05-01

    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.

  11. Spatial Attention-Related Modulation of the N170 by Backward Masked Fearful Faces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Joshua M.; Reinke, Karen S.

    2010-01-01

    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,…

  12. Time Limits in Testing: An Analysis of Eye Movements and Visual Attention in Spatial Problem Solving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roach, Victoria A.; Fraser, Graham M.; Kryklywy, James H.; Mitchell, Derek G. V.; Wilson, Timothy D.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  13. The influence of caffeine on spatial-selective attention : an event-related potential study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Ruiter, MB; Snel, J; Lorist, MM; Ruijter, J

    2000-01-01

    Objectives: Following the indications of previous studies that caffeine might have a specific effect on the processing of spatial information compared with other types of information, the present study investigated the influence of caffeine on an often used spatial-selective attention task. Methods:

  14. Methylphenidate Improves Visual-Spatial Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit- hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedard, Anne-Claude; Martinussen, Rhonda; Ickowicz, Abel; Tannock, Rosemary

    2004-01-01

    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…

  15. Sustained visual-spatial attention produces costs and benefits in response time and evoked neural activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangun, G R; Buck, L A

    1998-03-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasai, Tetsuko; Takeya, Ryuji

    2012-07-01

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

  17. ViSA: a neurodynamic model for visuo-spatial working memory, attentional blink, and conscious access.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simione, Luca; Raffone, Antonino; Wolters, Gezinus; Salmas, Paola; Nakatani, Chie; Belardinelli, Marta Olivetti; van Leeuwen, Cees

    2012-10-01

    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.

  18. Dynamic multiprotein assemblies shape the spatial structure of cell signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nussinov, Ruth; Jang, Hyunbum

    2014-01-01

    Cell signaling underlies critical cellular decisions. Coordination, efficiency as well as fail-safe mechanisms are key elements. How the cell ensures that these hallmarks are at play are important questions. Cell signaling is often viewed as taking place through discrete and cross-talking pathways; oftentimes these are modularized to emphasize distinct functions. While simple, convenient and clear, such models largely neglect the spatial structure of cell signaling; they also convey inter-modular (or inter-protein) spatial separation that may not exist. Here our thesis is that cell signaling is shaped by a network of multiprotein assemblies. While pre-organized, the assemblies and network are loose and dynamic. They contain transiently-associated multiprotein complexes which are often mediated by scaffolding proteins. They are also typically anchored in the membrane, and their continuum may span the cell. IQGAP1 scaffolding protein which binds proteins including Raf, calmodulin, Mek, Erk, actin, and tens more, with actin shaping B-cell (and likely other) membrane-anchored nanoclusters and allosterically polymerizing in dynamic cytoskeleton formation, and Raf anchoring in the membrane along with Ras, provides a striking example. The multivalent network of dynamic proteins and lipids, with specific interactions forming and breaking, can be viewed as endowing gel-like properties. Collectively, this reasons that efficient, productive and reliable cell signaling takes place primarily through transient, preorganized and cooperative protein-protein interactions spanning the cell rather than stochastic, diffusion-controlled processes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew A Gannon

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

  1. Detection of auditory signals in quiet and noisy backgrounds while performing a visuo-spatial task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vishakha W Rawool

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Context: The ability to detect important auditory signals while performing visual tasks may be further compounded by background chatter. Thus, it is important to know how task performance may interact with background chatter to hinder signal detection. Aim: To examine any interactive effects of speech spectrum noise and task performance on the ability to detect signals. Settings and Design: The setting was a sound-treated booth. A repeated measures design was used. Materials and Methods: Auditory thresholds of 20 normal adults were determined at 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 kHz in the following conditions presented in a random order: (1 quiet with attention; (2 quiet with a visuo-spatial task or puzzle (distraction; (3 noise with attention and (4 noise with task. Statistical Analysis: Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA with three repeated factors (quiet versus noise, visuo-spatial task versus no task, signal frequency. Results: MANOVA revealed significant main effects for noise and signal frequency and significant noise–frequency and task–frequency interactions. Distraction caused by performing the task worsened the thresholds for tones presented at the beginning of the experiment and had no effect on tones presented in the middle. At the end of the experiment, thresholds (4 kHz were better while performing the task than those obtained without performing the task. These effects were similar across the quiet and noise conditions. Conclusion: Detection of auditory signals is difficult at the beginning of a distracting visuo-spatial task but over time, task learning and auditory training effects can nullify the effect of distraction and may improve detection of high frequency sounds.

  2. A gender- and sexual orientation-dependent spatial attentional effect of invisible images.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yi; Costello, Patricia; Fang, Fang; Huang, Miner; He, Sheng

    2006-11-07

    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.

  3. Are Categorical Spatial Relations Encoded by Shifting Visual Attention between Objects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uttal, David; Franconeri, Steven

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. Emotional Faces Capture Spatial Attention in 5-Year-Old Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kit K. Elam

    2010-10-01

    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.

  5. Signal Adaptive System for Space/Spatial-Frequency Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veselin N. Ivanović

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper outlines the development of a multiple-clock-cycle implementation (MCI of a signal adaptive two-dimensional (2D system for space/spatial-frequency (S/SF signal analysis. The design is based on a method for improved S/SF representation of the analyzed 2D signals, also proposed here. The proposed MCI design optimizes critical design performances related to hardware complexity, making it a suitable system for real time implementation on an integrated chip. Additionally, the design allows the implemented system to take a variable number of clock cycles (CLKs (the only necessary ones regarding desirable—2D Wigner distribution-presentation of autoterms in different frequency-frequency points during the execution. This ability represents a major advantage of the proposed design which helps to optimize the time required for execution and produce an improved, cross-terms-free S/SF signal representation. The design has been verified by a field-programmable gate array (FPGA circuit design, capable of performing S/SF analysis of 2D signals in real time.

  6. Large-Scale Brain Networks Supporting Divided Attention across Spatial Locations and Sensory Modalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangelo, Valerio

    2018-01-01

    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

  7. Large-Scale Brain Networks Supporting Divided Attention across Spatial Locations and Sensory Modalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerio Santangelo

    2018-02-01

    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

  8. Spatial attention interacts with serial-order retrieval from verbal working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Abrahamse, Elger L; Majerus, Steve; Fias, Wim

    2013-09-01

    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.

  9. An Integrated Theory of Attention and Decision Making in Visual Signal Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Philip L.; Ratcliff, Roger

    2009-01-01

    The simplest attentional task, detecting a cued stimulus in an otherwise empty visual field, produces complex patterns of performance. Attentional cues interact with backward masks and with spatial uncertainty, and there is a dissociation in the effects of these variables on accuracy and on response time. A computational theory of performance in…

  10. On the relative contributions of multisensory integration and crossmodal exogenous spatial attention to multisensory response enhancement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Stoep, N; Spence, C; Nijboer, T C W; Van der Stigchel, S

    2015-11-01

    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.

  11. Preexposure effects in spatial learning: From gestaltic to associative and attentional cognitive maps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward S. Redhead

    2002-01-01

    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.

  12. Additive effects of emotional content and spatial selective attention on electrocortical facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keil, Andreas; Moratti, Stephan; Sabatinelli, Dean; Bradley, Margaret M; Lang, Peter J

    2005-08-01

    Affectively arousing visual stimuli have been suggested to automatically attract attentional resources in order to optimize sensory processing. The present study crosses the factors of spatial selective attention and affective content, and examines the relationship between instructed (spatial) and automatic attention to affective stimuli. In addition to response times and error rate, electroencephalographic data from 129 electrodes were recorded during a covert spatial attention task. This task required silent counting of random-dot targets embedded in a 10 Hz flicker of colored pictures presented to both hemifields. Steady-state visual evoked potentials (ssVEPs) were obtained to determine amplitude and phase of electrocortical responses to pictures. An increase of ssVEP amplitude was observed as an additive function of spatial attention and emotional content. Statistical parametric mapping of this effect indicated occipito-temporal and parietal cortex activation contralateral to the attended visual hemifield in ssVEP amplitude modulation. This difference was most pronounced during selection of the left visual hemifield, at right temporal electrodes. In line with this finding, phase information revealed accelerated processing of aversive arousing, compared to affectively neutral pictures. The data suggest that affective stimulus properties modulate the spatiotemporal process along the ventral stream, encompassing amplitude amplification and timing changes of posterior and temporal cortex.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. The influence of caffeine on spatial-selective attention: an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruijter, J; de Ruiter, M B; Snel, J; Lorist, M M

    2000-12-01

    Following the indications of previous studies that caffeine might have a specific effect on the processing of spatial information compared with other types of information, the present study investigated the influence of caffeine on an often used spatial-selective attention task. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 11 participants under conditions of caffeine (250 mg) and placebo. Spatial-selective attention effects were reflected in the ERPs as more positive going occipital P1 and broadly distributed P2 components, and more negative going occipital-temporal N1 and broadly distributed N2 components. A treatment effect was found as a more positive going frontal P2 component in the caffeine condition, whereas interactions between treatment and attention were observed for P2 and N2 components, but not for P1 and N1 components. This pattern of results suggests that caffeine has no specific influence on spatial-selective attention, but rather, has a more general facilitating effect on perceptual processing, as well as a possible effect on the frontal control mechanisms, i.e. focusing attention and increasing selectivity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Heuer

    2016-08-01

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

  16. Investigating the time course of tactile reflexive attention using a non-spatial discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Eleanor; Poliakoff, Ellen; Brown, Richard J

    2008-06-01

    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.

  17. Object-based spatial attention when objects have sufficient depth cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeya, Ryuji; Kasai, Tetsuko

    2015-01-01

    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.

  18. Deficits of spatial and task-related attentional selection in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redel, P; Bublak, P; Sorg, C; Kurz, A; Förstl, H; Müller, H J; Schneider, W X; Perneczky, R; Finke, K

    2012-01-01

    Visual selective attention was assessed with a partial-report task in patients with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and healthy elderly controls. Based on Bundesen's "theory of visual attention" (TVA), two parameters were derived: top-down control of attentional selection, representing task-related attentional weighting for prioritizing relevant visual objects, and spatial distribution of attentional weights across the left and the right hemifield. Compared with controls, MCI patients showed significantly reduced top-down controlled selection, which was further deteriorated in AD subjects. Moreover, attentional weighting was significantly unbalanced across hemifields in MCI and tended to be more lateralized in AD. Across MCI and AD patients, carriers of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (ApoE4) displayed a leftward spatial bias, which was the more pronounced the younger the ApoE4-positive patients and the earlier disease onset. These results indicate that impaired top-down control may be linked to early dysfunction of fronto-parietal networks. An early temporo-parietal interhemispheric asymmetry might cause a pathological spatial bias which is associated with ApoE4 genotype and may therefore function as early cognitive marker of upcoming AD. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Verbal makes it positive, spatial makes it negative: working memory biases judgments, attention, and moods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storbeck, Justin; Watson, Philip

    2014-12-01

    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.

  20. The effect of Ramadan fasting on spatial attention through emotional stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Molavi M

    2016-05-01

    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

  1. Attentional weights in vision as products of spatial and nonspatial components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nordfang, Maria; Staugaard, Camilla; Bundesen, Claus

    2018-01-01

    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...

  2. Chemogenetic Modulation of G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signalling in Visual Attention Research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Søren H; Fitzpatrick, Ciarán Martin; Gether, Ulrik

    2017-01-01

    Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs). The DREADD technology is an emerging and transformative method that allows selective manipulation of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling, and its broad-ranging usefulness in attention research is now beginning to emerge. We first describe......Attention is a fundamental cognitive process involved in nearly all aspects of life. Abnormal attentional control is a symptom of many neurological disorders, most notably recognized in ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Although attentional performance and its malfunction has been...... the different DREADDs available and explain how unprecedented specificity of neuronal signalling can be achieved using DREADDs. We next discuss various studies performed in animal models of visual attention, where different brain regions and neuronal populations have been probed by DREADDs. We highlight...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Brian A

    2017-03-01

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

  4. Attention, spatial integration, and the tail of response time distributions in Stroop task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2012-01-01

    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

  5. The Influence of Alertness on Spatial and Nonspatial Components of Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthias, Ellen; Bublak, Peter; Muller, Hermann J.; Schneider, Werner X.; Krummenacher, Joseph; Finke, Kathrin

    2010-01-01

    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…

  6. ERP effects of spatial attention and display search with unilateral and bilateral stimulus displays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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,

  7. Spatial attention triggered by unimodal, crossmodal, and bimodal exogenous cues: a comparison of reflexive orienting mechanisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  8. Attention to multiple locations is limited by spatial working memory capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Close, Alex; Sapir, Ayelet; Burnett, Katherine; d'Avossa, Giovanni

    2014-08-21

    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.

  9. High spatial validity is not sufficient to elicit voluntary shifts of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauszek, Joseph R; Gibson, Bradley S

    2016-10-01

    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.

  10. Visual unimodal grouping mediates auditory attentional bias in visuo-spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Sanabria, Daniel

    2013-09-01

    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.

  11. Spatial Attention Effects during Conscious and Nonconscious Processing of Visual Features and Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia, Evelina; Breitmeyer, Bruno G.; Jacob, Jane; Broyles, Elizabeth C.

    2013-01-01

    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;…

  12. The association between reading abilities and visual-spatial attention in Hong Kong Chinese children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Sisi; Liu, Duo; Pan, Zhihui; Xu, Zhengye

    2018-03-25

    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.

  13. The effects of age and workload on 3D spatial attention in dual-task driving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Russell S; Andersen, George J

    2014-06-01

    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

  14. Costs of switching auditory spatial attention in following conversational turn-taking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaven eLin

    2015-04-01

    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

  15. An Attention-Information-Based Spatial Adaptation Framework for Browsing Videos via Mobile Devices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Houqiang

    2007-01-01

    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.

  16. What Contributes to the Split-Attention Effect? The Role of Text Segmentation, Picture Labelling, and Spatial Proximity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florax, Mareike; Ploetzner, Rolf

    2010-01-01

    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…

  17. Selection in spatial working memory is independent of perceptual selective attention, but they interact in a shared spatial priority map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedge, Craig; Oberauer, Klaus; Leonards, Ute

    2015-11-01

    We examined the relationship between the attentional selection of perceptual information and of information in working memory (WM) through four experiments, using a spatial WM-updating task. Participants remembered the locations of two objects in a matrix and worked through a sequence of updating operations, each mentally shifting one dot to a new location according to an arrow cue. Repeatedly updating the same object in two successive steps is typically faster than switching to the other object; this object switch cost reflects the shifting of attention in WM. In Experiment 1, the arrows were presented in random peripheral locations, drawing perceptual attention away from the selected object in WM. This manipulation did not eliminate the object switch cost, indicating that the mechanisms of perceptual selection do not underlie selection in WM. Experiments 2a and 2b corroborated the independence of selection observed in Experiment 1, but showed a benefit to reaction times when the placement of the arrow cue was aligned with the locations of relevant objects in WM. Experiment 2c showed that the same benefit also occurs when participants are not able to mark an updating location through eye fixations. Together, these data can be accounted for by a framework in which perceptual selection and selection in WM are separate mechanisms that interact through a shared spatial priority map.

  18. The effect of Ramadan fasting on spatial attention through emotional stimuli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molavi, Maziyar; Yunus, Jasmy; Utama, Nugraha P

    2016-01-01

    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

  19. The Focus of Spatial Attention Determines the Number and Precision of Face Representations in Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towler, John; Kelly, Maria; Eimer, Martin

    2016-06-01

    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: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Spatially restricted actin-regulatory signaling contributes to synapse morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel A.; Cahill, Michael E.; Tulisiak, Christopher T.; Geinisman, Yuri; Penzes, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The actin cytoskeleton in dendritic spines is organized into microdomains, but how signaling molecules that regulate actin are spatially governed is incompletely understood. Here we examine how the localization of the RacGEF kalirin-7, a well-characterized regulator of actin in spines, varies as a function of postsynaptic density (PSD) area and spine volume. Using serial section electron microscopy (EM), we find that extrasynaptic, but not synaptic, expression of kalirin-7 varies directly with synapse size and spine volume. Moreover, we find that overall expression levels of kalirin-7 differ in spines bearing perforated and non-perforated synapses, due primarily to extrasynaptic pools of kalirin-7 expression in the former. Overall, our findings indicate that kalirin-7 is differentially compartmentalized in spines as a function of both synapse morphology and spine size. PMID:22458534

  1. Focusing narrowly or broadly attention when judging categorical and coordinate spatial relations: a MEG study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raffaella Franciotti

    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.

  2. The flexible focus: whether spatial attention is unitary or divided depends on observer goals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferies, Lisa N; Enns, James T; Di Lollo, Vincent

    2014-04-01

    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.

  3. Nonverbal spatially selective attention in 4- and 5-year-old children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Lisa D; Zobel, Benjamin H

    2012-07-01

    Under some conditions 4- and 5-year-old children can differentially process sounds from attended and unattended locations. In fact, the latency of spatially selective attention effects on auditory processing as measured with event-related potentials (ERPs) is quite similar in young children and adults. However, it is not clear if developmental differences in the polarity, distribution, and duration of attention effects are best attributed to acoustic characteristics, availability of non-spatial attention cues, task demands, or domain. In the current study adults and children were instructed to attend to one of two simultaneously presented soundscapes (e.g., city sounds or night sounds) to detect targets (e.g., car horn or owl hoot) in the attended channel only. Probes presented from the same location as the attended soundscape elicited a larger negativity by 80 ms after onset in both adults and children. This initial negative difference (Nd) was followed by a larger positivity for attended probes in adults and another negativity for attended probes in children. The results indicate that the neural systems by which attention modulates early auditory processing are available for young children even when presented with nonverbal sounds. They also suggest important interactions between attention, acoustic characteristics, and maturity on auditory evoked potentials. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. A spatial approach of magnitude-squared coherence applied to selective attention detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonato Felix, Leonardo; de Souza Ranaudo, Fernando; D'affonseca Netto, Aluizio; Ferreira Leite Miranda de Sá, Antonio Mauricio

    2014-05-30

    Auditory selective attention is the human ability of actively focusing in a certain sound stimulus while avoiding all other ones. This ability can be used, for example, in behavioral studies and brain-machine interface. In this work we developed an objective method - called Spatial Coherence - to detect the side where a subject is focusing attention to. This method takes into consideration the Magnitude Squared Coherence and the topographic distribution of responses among electroencephalogram electrodes. The individuals were stimulated with amplitude-modulated tones binaurally and were oriented to focus attention to only one of the stimuli. The results indicate a contralateral modulation of ASSR in the attention condition and are in agreement with prior studies. Furthermore, the best combination of electrodes led to a hit rate of 82% for 5.03 commands per minute. Using a similar paradigm, in a recent work, a maximum hit rate of 84.33% was achieved, but with a greater a classification time (20s, i.e. 3 commands per minute). It seems that Spatial Coherence is a useful technique for detecting focus of auditory selective attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Spatial attention improves the quality of population codes in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saproo, Sameer; Serences, John T

    2010-08-01

    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.

  6. Amplitude spectrum EEG signal evidence for the dissociation of motor and perceptual spatial working memory in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyrnis, Nikolaos; Protopapa, Foteini; Tsoukas, Evangelos; Balogh, Allison; Siettos, Constantinos I; Evdokimidis, Ioannis

    2014-02-01

    This study investigated the question whether spatial working memory related to movement plans (motor working memory) and spatial working memory related to spatial attention and perceptual processes (perceptual spatial working memory) share the same neurophysiological substrate or there is evidence for separate motor and perceptual working memory streams of processing. Towards this aim, ten healthy human subjects performed delayed responses to visual targets presented at different spatial locations. Two tasks were attained, one in which the spatial location of the target was the goal for a pointing movement and one in which the spatial location of the target was used for a perceptual (yes or no) change detection. Each task involved two conditions: a memory condition in which the target remained visible only for the first 250 ms of the delay period and a delay condition in which the target location remained visible throughout the delay period. The amplitude spectrum analysis of the EEG revealed that the alpha (8-12 Hz) band signal was smaller, while the beta (13-30 Hz) and gamma (30-45 Hz) band signals were larger in the memory compared to the non-memory condition. The alpha band signal difference was confined to the frontal midline area; the beta band signal difference extended over the right hemisphere and midline central area, and the gamma band signal difference was confined to the right occipitoparietal area. Importantly, both in beta and gamma bands, we observed a significant increase in the movement-related compared to the perceptual-related memory-specific amplitude spectrum signal in the central midline area. This result provides clear evidence for the dissociation of motor and perceptual spatial working memory.

  7. Different Signal Enhancement Pathways of Attention and Consciousness Underlie Perception in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Boxtel, Jeroen J A

    2017-06-14

    It is not yet known whether attention and consciousness operate through similar or largely different mechanisms. Visual processing mechanisms are routinely characterized by measuring contrast response functions (CRFs). In this report, behavioral CRFs were obtained in humans (both males and females) by measuring afterimage durations over the entire range of inducer stimulus contrasts to reveal visual mechanisms behind attention and consciousness. Deviations relative to the standard CRF, i.e., gain functions, describe the strength of signal enhancement, which were assessed for both changes due to attentional task and conscious perception. It was found that attention displayed a response-gain function, whereas consciousness displayed a contrast-gain function. Through model comparisons, which only included contrast-gain modulations, both contrast-gain and response-gain effects can be explained with a two-level normalization model, in which consciousness affects only the first level and attention affects only the second level. These results demonstrate that attention and consciousness can effectively show different gain functions because they operate through different signal enhancement mechanisms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The relationship between attention and consciousness is still debated. Mapping contrast response functions (CRFs) has allowed (neuro)scientists to gain important insights into the mechanistic underpinnings of visual processing. Here, the influence of both attention and consciousness on these functions were measured and they displayed a strong dissociation. First, attention lowered CRFs, whereas consciousness raised them. Second, attention manifests itself as a response-gain function, whereas consciousness manifests itself as a contrast-gain function. Extensive model comparisons show that these results are best explained in a two-level normalization model in which consciousness affects only the first level, whereas attention affects only the second level

  8. Spatial Attention and Temporal Expectation Under Timed Uncertainty Predictably Modulate Neuronal Responses in Monkey V1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Jitendra; Sugihara, Hiroki; Katz, Yarden; Schummers, James; Tenenbaum, Joshua; Sur, Mriganka

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. Aging affects the balance between goal-guided and habitual spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twedell, Emily L; Koutstaal, Wilma; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2017-08-01

    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.

  10. Sustained Spatial Attention to Vibrotactile Stimulation in the Flutter Range: Relevant Brain Regions and Their Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goltz, Dominique; Pleger, Burkhard; Thiel, Sabrina; Villringer, Arno; Müller, Matthias M.

    2013-01-01

    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

  11. Modulation of auditory spatial attention by visual emotional cues: differential effects of attentional engagement and disengagement for pleasant and unpleasant cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Neil R; Woodhouse, Rob

    2016-05-01

    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.

  12. Resolution of spatial and temporal visual attention in infants with fragile X syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Farzin, Faraz; Rivera, Susan M.; Whitney, David

    2011-01-01

    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...

  13. Sustained Splits of Attention within versus across Visual Hemifields Produce Distinct Spatial Gain Profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Sabrina; Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M

    2016-01-01

    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.

  14. Lateralization of posterior alpha EEG reflects the distribution of spatial attention during saccadic reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornrumpf, Benthe; Dimigen, Olaf; Sommer, Werner

    2017-06-01

    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.

  15. Neural correlates of the spatial and expectancy components of endogenous and stimulus-driven orienting of attention in the Posner task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doricchi, Fabrizio; Macci, Enrica; Silvetti, Massimo; Macaluso, Emiliano

    2010-07-01

    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.

  16. Visual-Spatial Attention Aids the Maintenance of Object Representations in Visual Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Melonie; Pouget, Pierre; Boucher, Leanne; Woodman, Geoffrey F.

    2013-01-01

    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

  17. No functional role of attention-based rehearsal in maintenance of spatial working memory representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belopolsky, Artem V; Theeuwes, Jan

    2009-10-01

    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.

  18. Spatial attention can bias search in visual short-term memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna C Nobre

    2008-03-01

    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.

  19. Basic processes in reading aloud and colour naming: towards a better understanding of the role of spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robidoux, Serje; Rauwerda, Derek; Besner, Derek

    2014-05-01

    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.

  20. When endogenous spatial attention improves conscious perception: effects of alerting and bottom-up activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Chica, Ana B

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. Impairments of spatial working memory and attention following acute psychosocial stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olver, James S; Pinney, Myra; Maruff, Paul; Norman, Trevor R

    2015-04-01

    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.

  2. Spatial-attention and emotional evocation: line bisection performance and visual art emotional evocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drago, Valeria; Finney, Glen R; Foster, Paul S; Amengual, Alejandra; Jeong, Yong; Mizuno, Tomoiuki; Crucian, Gregory P; Heilman, Kenneth M

    2008-03-01

    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.

  3. An integrated theory of attention and decision making in visual signal detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Philip L; Ratcliff, Roger

    2009-04-01

    The simplest attentional task, detecting a cued stimulus in an otherwise empty visual field, produces complex patterns of performance. Attentional cues interact with backward masks and with spatial uncertainty, and there is a dissociation in the effects of these variables on accuracy and on response time. A computational theory of performance in this task is described. The theory links visual encoding, masking, spatial attention, visual short-term memory (VSTM), and perceptual decision making in an integrated dynamic framework. The theory assumes that decisions are made by a diffusion process driven by a neurally plausible, shunting VSTM. The VSTM trace encodes the transient outputs of early visual filters in a durable form that is preserved for the time needed to make a decision. Attention increases the efficiency of VSTM encoding, either by increasing the rate of trace formation or by reducing the delay before trace formation begins. The theory provides a detailed, quantitative account of attentional effects in spatial cuing tasks at the level of response accuracy and the response time distributions. (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved

  4. Dissociable influences of auditory object vs. spatial attention on visual system oscillatory activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyrki Ahveninen

    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.

  5. Deployment of spatial attention to words in central and peripheral vision.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrot, Stéphanie; Grainger, Jonathan

    2007-05-01

    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.

  6. Lateralization of spatial rather than temporal attention underlies the left hemifield advantage in rapid serial visual presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asanowicz, Dariusz; Kruse, Lena; Śmigasiewicz, Kamila; Verleger, Rolf

    2017-11-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  8. Recognizing the degree of human attention using EEG signals from mobile sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ning-Han; Chiang, Cheng-Yu; Chu, Hsuan-Chin

    2013-08-09

    During the learning process, whether students remain attentive throughout instruction generally influences their learning efficacy. If teachers can instantly identify whether students are attentive they can be suitably reminded to remain focused, thereby improving their learning effects. Traditional teaching methods generally require that teachers observe students' expressions to determine whether they are attentively learning. However, this method is often inaccurate and increases the burden on teachers. With the development of electroencephalography (EEG) detection tools, mobile brainwave sensors have become mature and affordable equipment. Therefore, in this study, whether students are attentive or inattentive during instruction is determined by observing their EEG signals. Because distinguishing between attentiveness and inattentiveness is challenging, two scenarios were developed for this study to measure the subjects' EEG signals when attentive and inattentive. After collecting EEG data using mobile sensors, various common features were extracted from the raw data. A support vector machine (SVM) classifier was used to calculate and analyze these features to identify the combination of features that best indicates whether students are attentive. Based on the experiment results, the method proposed in this study provides a classification accuracy of up to 76.82%. The study results can be used as a reference for learning system designs in the future.

  9. Classification of EEG signals to identify variations in attention during motor task execution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Jiang, Ning; Farina, Dario; Mrachacz-Kersting, Natalie

    2017-06-01

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) systems in neuro-rehabilitation use brain signals to control external devices. User status such as attention affects BCI performance; thus detecting the user's attention drift due to internal or external factors is essential for high detection accuracy. An auditory oddball task was applied to divert the users' attention during a simple ankle dorsiflexion movement. Electroencephalogram signals were recorded from eighteen channels. Temporal and time-frequency features were projected to a lower dimension space and used to analyze the effect of two attention levels on motor tasks in each participant. Then, a global feature distribution was constructed with the projected time-frequency features of all participants from all channels and applied for attention classification during motor movement execution. Time-frequency features led to significantly better classification results with respect to the temporal features, particularly for electrodes located over the motor cortex. Motor cortex channels had a higher accuracy in comparison to other channels in the global discrimination of attention level. Previous methods have used the attention to a task to drive external devices, such as the P300 speller. However, here we focus for the first time on the effect of attention drift while performing a motor task. It is possible to explore user's attention variation when performing motor tasks in synchronous BCI systems with time-frequency features. This is the first step towards an adaptive real-time BCI with an integrated function to reveal attention shifts from the motor task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Measuring attention in rodents: comparison of a modified signal detection task and the 5-choice serial reaction time task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karly Maree Turner

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuropsychiatric research has utilised cognitive testing in rodents to improve our understanding of cognitive deficits and for preclinical drug development. However, more sophisticated cognitive tasks have not been as widely exploited due to low throughput and the extensive training time required. We developed a modified signal detection task (SDT based on the growing body of literature aimed at improving cognitive testing in rodents. This study directly compares performance on the modified SDT with the traditional test for measuring attention, the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on either the 5CSRTT or the SDT. Briefly, the 5CSRTT required rodents to pay attention to a spatial array of 5 apertures and respond with a nose poke when an aperture was illuminated. The SDT required the rat to attend to a light panel and respond either left or right to indicate the presence of a signal. In addition, modifications were made to the reward delivery, timing, control of body positioning and the self-initiation of trials. It was found that less training time was required for the SDT, with both sessions to criteria and daily session duration significantly reduced. Rats performed with a high level of accuracy (>87% on both tasks, however omissions were far more frequent on the 5CSRTT. The signal duration was reduced on both tasks as a manipulation of task difficulty relevant to attention and a similar pattern of decreasing accuracy was observed on both tasks. These results demonstrate some of the advantages of the SDT over the traditional 5CSRTT as being higher throughput with reduced training time, fewer omission responses and their body position at stimulus onset was controlled. In addition, rats performing the SDT had comparable high levels of accuracy. These results highlight the differences and similarities between the 5CSRTT and a modified SDT as tools for assessing attention in preclinical animal

  11. Auditory spatial attention to speech and complex non-speech sounds in children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soskey, Laura N; Allen, Paul D; Bennetto, Loisa

    2017-08-01

    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.

  12. Attention-spreading based on hierarchical spatial representations for connected objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasai, Tetsuko

    2010-01-01

    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.

  13. Spatial constancy of attention across eye movements is mediated by the presence of visual objects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisi, Matteo; Cavanagh, Patrick; Zorzi, Marco

    2015-05-01

    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.

  14. Are objects the same as groups? ERP correlates of spatial attentional guidance by irrelevant feature similarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasai, Tetsuko; Moriya, Hiroki; Hirano, Shingo

    2011-07-05

    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.

  15. Subtle Distinctions: How Attentional Templates Influence EEG Parameters of Cognitive Control in a Spatial Cuing Paradigm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Mertes

    2018-03-01

    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.

  16. A bottom-up model of spatial attention predicts human error patterns in rapid scene recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Mundhenk, T Nathan; Baldi, Pierre; Koch, Christof; Itti, Laurent

    2007-07-20

    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.

  17. Effects of age and sex on developmental neural networks of visual-spatial attention allocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubia, Katya; Hyde, Zoe; Halari, Rozmin; Giampietro, Vincent; Smith, Anna

    2010-06-01

    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

  18. 47 CFR 11.51 - EAS code and Attention Signal Transmission requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... interfere with other visual messages. (e) Analog class D non-commercial educational FM stations as defined in § 73.506 of this chapter, digital class D non-commercial educational FM stations, analog Low Power... Message (EOM) codes using the EAS Protocol. The Attention Signal must precede any emergency audio message...

  19. Cortical Coupling Reflects Bayesian Belief Updating in the Deployment of Spatial Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vossel, Simone; Mathys, Christoph; Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J

    2015-08-19

    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

  20. Addition and Subtraction but Not Multiplication and Division Cause Shifts of Spatial Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mengjin Li

    2018-05-01

    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.

  1. CHARACTERIZATION OF THE EFFECTS OF INHALED PERCHLOROETHYLENE ON SUSTAINED ATTENTION IN RATS PERFORMING A VISUAL SIGNAL DETECTION TASK

    Science.gov (United States)

    The aliphatic hydrocarbon perchloroethyelene (PCE) has been associated with neurobehavioral dysfunction including reduced attention in humans. The current study sought to assess the effects of inhaled PCE on sustained attention in rats performing a visual signal detection task (S...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preciado, Daniel; Munneke, Jaap; Theeuwes, Jan

    2017-07-01

    Attentional selection depends on the interaction between exogenous (stimulus-driven), endogenous (goal-driven), and selection history (experience-driven) factors. While endogenous and exogenous biases have been widely investigated, less is known about their interplay with value-driven attention. The present study investigated the interaction between reward-history and goal-driven biases on perceptual sensitivity (d') and response time (RT) in a modified cueing paradigm presenting two coloured cues, followed by sinusoidal gratings. Participants responded to the orientation of one of these gratings. In Experiment 1, one cue signalled reward availability but was otherwise task irrelevant. In Experiment 2, the same cue signalled reward, and indicated the target's most likely location at the opposite side of the display. This design introduced a conflict between reward-driven biases attracting attention and goal-driven biases directing it away. Attentional effects were examined comparing trials in which cue and target appeared at the same versus opposite locations. Two interstimulus interval (ISI) levels were used to probe the time course of attentional effects. Experiment 1 showed performance benefits at the location of the reward-signalling cue and costs at the opposite for both ISIs, indicating value-driven capture. Experiment 2 showed performance benefits only for the long ISI when the target was at the opposite to the reward-associated cue. At the short ISI, only performance costs were observed. These results reveal the time course of these biases, indicating that reward-driven effects influence attention early but can be overcome later by goal-driven control. This suggests that reward-driven biases are integrated as attentional priorities, just as exogenous and endogenous factors.

  3. Cholinergic stimulation enhances Bayesian belief updating in the deployment of spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vossel, Simone; Bauer, Markus; Mathys, Christoph; Adams, Rick A; Dolan, Raymond J; Stephan, Klaas E; Friston, Karl J

    2014-11-19

    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.

  4. Maintenance of tactile short-term memory for locations is mediated by spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katus, Tobias; Andersen, Søren K; Müller, Matthias M

    2012-01-01

    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.

  5. Normalizing biased spatial attention with parietal rTMS in a patient with focal hand dystonia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ricci, Raffaella; Salatino, Adriana; Siebner, Hartwig R

    2014-01-01

    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....

  6. Age-related reduction of hemispheric lateralisation for spatial attention: An EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Learmonth, Gemma; Benwell, Christopher S Y; Thut, Gregor; Harvey, Monika

    2017-06-01

    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.

  7. Contribution of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors to attention and episodic spatial memory during senescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidi, Michael; Rani, Asha; Karic, Semir; Severance, Barrett; Kumar, Ashok; Foster, Thomas C

    2015-11-01

    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.

  8. Asymmetry in auditory and spatial attention span in normal elderly genetically at risk for Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Mark W; Delis, Dean C; Bondi, Mark W; Salmon, David P

    2005-02-01

    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.

  9. Learning to echolocate in sighted people: a correlational study on attention, working memory and spatial abilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekkel, M R; van Lier, R; Steenbergen, B

    2017-03-01

    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.

  10. Deployment of spatial attention to a structural framework: exogenous (alerting) and endogenous (goal-directed) factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferies, Lisa N; Di Lollo, Vincent

    2017-10-01

    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.

  11. Effects of nicotine on visuo-spatial selective attention as indexed by event-related potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinke, A; Thiel, C M; Fink, G R

    2006-08-11

    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.

  12. Active sensing associated with spatial learning reveals memory-based attention in an electric fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jun, James J; Longtin, André; Maler, Leonard

    2016-05-01

    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.

  13. Spatial selective attention in a complex auditory environment such as polyphonic music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saupe, Katja; Koelsch, Stefan; Rübsamen, Rudolf

    2010-01-01

    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.

  14. Component deficits of visual neglect: "Magnetic" attraction of attention vs. impaired spatial working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toba, Monica N; Rabuffetti, Marco; Duret, Christophe; Pradat-Diehl, Pascale; Gainotti, Guido; Bartolomeo, Paolo

    2018-01-31

    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

  15. Individual working memory capacity is uniquely correlated with feature-based attention when combined with spatial attention

    OpenAIRE

    Bengson, Jesse J.; Mangun, George R.

    2011-01-01

    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...

  16. Effects of spatial attention on mental time travel in patients with neglect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anelli, Filomena; Avanzi, Stefano; Arzy, Shahar; Mancuso, Mauro; Frassinetti, Francesca

    2018-04-01

    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.

  17. Hemispheric differences in the voluntary control of spatial attention: direct evidence for a right-hemispheric dominance within frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duecker, Felix; Formisano, Elia; Sack, Alexander T

    2013-08-01

    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.

  18. Decreased visual attention further from the perceived direction of gaze for equidistant retinal targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balslev, Daniela; Gowen, Emma; Miall, R Chris

    2011-01-01

    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...

  19. Electrophysiological evidence for cognitive control during conflict processing in visual spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehrer, Stefanie; Kraft, Antje; Irlbacher, Kerstin; Koch, Stefan P; Hagendorf, Herbert; Kathmann, Norbert; Brandt, Stephan A

    2009-11-01

    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.

  20. A working memory account of the interaction between numbers and spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dijck, Jean-Philippe; Abrahamse, Elger L; Acar, Freya; Ketels, Boris; Fias, Wim

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. Study of target and non-target interplay in spatial attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeti; Joshi, Deepak; Panigrahi, B K; Anand, Sneh; Santhosh, Jayasree

    2018-02-01

    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.

  2. An independent brain-computer interface using covert non-spatial visual selective attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dan; Maye, Alexander; Gao, Xiaorong; Hong, Bo; Engel, Andreas K.; Gao, Shangkai

    2010-02-01

    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.

  3. Spatially selective alpha oscillations reveal moment-by-moment trade-offs between working memory and attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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)

  4. Electrophysiological Evidence of Atypical Spatial Attention in Those with a High Level of Self-Reported Autistic Traits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Stephanie A.; Freeth, Megan; Milne, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    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…

  5. Asymmetrical Brain Activity Induced by Voluntary Spatial Attention Depends on the Visual Hemifield: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harasawa, Masamitsu; Shioiri, Satoshi

    2011-01-01

    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…

  6. Exploring the temporal dynamics of sustained and transient spatial attention using steady-state visual evoked potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dan; Hong, Bo; Gao, Shangkai; Röder, Brigitte

    2017-05-01

    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.

  7. Selective spatial attention modulates bottom-up informational masking of speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlile, Simon; Corkhill, Caitlin

    2015-03-02

    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.

  8. Visual attention and the apprehension of spatial relations: the case of depth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, C M; Elsinger, C L; Lleras, A

    2001-05-01

    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.

  9. Spatial and object-based attention modulates broadband high-frequency responses across the human visual cortical hierarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidesco, Ido; Harel, Michal; Ramot, Michal; Kramer, Uri; Kipervasser, Svetlana; Andelman, Fani; Neufeld, Miri Y; Goelman, Gadi; Fried, Itzhak; Malach, Rafael

    2013-01-16

    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.

  10. Right hemisphere dominance during spatial selective attention and target detection occurs outside the dorsal fronto-parietal network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulman, Gordon L.; Pope, Daniel L. W.; Astafiev, Serguei V.; McAvoy, Mark P.; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2010-01-01

    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

  11. Exploring BOLD changes during spatial attention in non-stimulated visual cortex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Heinemann

    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.

  12. Crossmodal semantic congruence can affect visuo-spatial processing and activity of the fronto-parietal attention networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serena eMastroberardino

    2015-07-01

    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

  13. Research on the Spatial-Temporal Distribution Pattern of the Network Attention of Fog and Haze in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weng, Lingyan; Han, Xugao

    2018-01-01

    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.

  14. A gaze independent hybrid-BCI based on visual spatial attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, John M.; Loughnane, Gerard M.; Fletcher, Helen; Meade, Emma; Lalor, Edmund C.

    2017-08-01

    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.

  15. Modulation of Posterior Alpha Activity by Spatial Attention Allows for Controlling A Continuous Brain-Computer Interface

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horschig, J.M.; Oosterheert, W.; Oostenveld, R.; Jensen, O.

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Lengshi; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lengshi Dai

    2016-10-01

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

  18. Divided multimodal attention sensory trace and context coding strategies in spatially congruent auditory and visual presentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristjánsson, Tómas; Thorvaldsson, Tómas Páll; Kristjánsson, Arni

    2014-01-01

    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.

  19. Anxiety and spatial attention moderate the electrocortical response to aversive pictures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacNamara, Annmarie; Hajcak, Greg

    2009-11-01

    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.

  20. Cortical feedback signals generalise across different spatial frequencies of feedforward inputs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revina, Yulia; Petro, Lucy S; Muckli, Lars

    2017-09-22

    Visual processing in cortex relies on feedback projections contextualising feedforward information flow. Primary visual cortex (V1) has small receptive fields and processes feedforward information at a fine-grained spatial scale, whereas higher visual areas have larger, spatially invariant receptive fields. Therefore, feedback could provide coarse information about the global scene structure or alternatively recover fine-grained structure by targeting small receptive fields in V1. We tested if feedback signals generalise across different spatial frequencies of feedforward inputs, or if they are tuned to the spatial scale of the visual scene. Using a partial occlusion paradigm, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) we investigated whether feedback to V1 contains coarse or fine-grained information by manipulating the spatial frequency of the scene surround outside an occluded image portion. We show that feedback transmits both coarse and fine-grained information as it carries information about both low (LSF) and high spatial frequencies (HSF). Further, feedback signals containing LSF information are similar to feedback signals containing HSF information, even without a large overlap in spatial frequency bands of the HSF and LSF scenes. Lastly, we found that feedback carries similar information about the spatial frequency band across different scenes. We conclude that cortical feedback signals contain information which generalises across different spatial frequencies of feedforward inputs. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Exercise-Induced Fatigue and Caffeine Supplementation Affect Psychomotor Performance but Not Covert Visuo-Spatial Attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Exercise-Induced Fatigue and Caffeine Supplementation Affect Psychomotor Performance but Not Covert Visuo-Spatial Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connell, Charlotte J W; Thompson, Benjamin; Kuhn, Gustav; Gant, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Illuminating the role of cholinergic signaling in circuits of attention and emotionally salient behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio eLuchicchi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh signaling underlies specific aspects of cognitive functions and behaviors, including attention, learning, memory and motivation. Alterations in ACh signaling are involved in the pathophysiology of multiple neuropsychiatric disorders. In the central nervous system, ACh transmission is mainly guaranteed by dense innervation of select cortical and subcortical regions from disperse groups of cholinergic neurons within the basal forebrain (e.g. diagonal band, medial septal, nucleus basalis and the pontine-mesencephalic nuclei, respectively. Despite the fundamental role of cholinergic signaling in the CNS and the long standing knowledge of the organization of cholinergic circuitry, remarkably little is known about precisely how ACh release modulates cortical and subcortical neural activity and the behaviors these circuits subserve. Growing interest in cholinergic signaling in the CNS focuses on the mechanism(s of action by which endogenously released ACh regulates cognitive functions, acting as a neuromodulator and /or as a direct transmitter via nicotinic and muscarinic receptors. The development of optogenetic techniques has provided a valuable toolbox with which we can address these questions, as it allows the selective manipulation of the excitability of cholinergic inputs to the diverse array of cholinergic target fields within cortical and subcortical domains. Here, we review recent papers that use the light-sensitive opsins in the cholinergic system to elucidate the role of ACh in circuits related to attention and emotionally salient behaviors. In particular, we highlight recent optogenetic studies which have tried to disentangle the precise role of ACh in the modulation of cortical-, hippocampal- and striatal-dependent functions.

  6. Visual attention to spatial and non-spatial visual stimuli is affected differentially by age: effects on event-related brain potentials and performance data.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Talsma, D.; Kok, A.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.

    2006-01-01

    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

  7. Selective attention to spatial and non-spatial visual stimuli is affected differentially by age: Effects on event-related brain potentials and performance data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Talsma, D.; Kok, Albert; Ridderinkhof, K. Richard

    2006-01-01

    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

  8. A simple spatial working memory and attention test on paired symbols shows developmental deficits in schizophrenia patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2013-01-01

    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.

  9. Exercise-Induced Fatigue and Caffeine Supplementation Affect Psychomotor Performance but Not Covert Visuo-Spatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connell, Charlotte J. W.; Thompson, Benjamin; Kuhn, Gustav; Gant, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. A Simple Spatial Working Memory and Attention Test on Paired Symbols Shows Developmental Deficits in Schizophrenia Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Song

    2013-01-01

    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.

  11. Looking up to others: Social status, Chinese honorifics, and spatial attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Aitao; Zhang, Honghong; He, Guanghui; Zheng, Dongping; Hodges, Bert H

    2014-06-01

    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.

  12. Independent effects of bottom-up temporal expectancy and top-down spatial attention. An audiovisual study using rhythmic cueing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander eJones

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. Asymmetrical brain activity induced by voluntary spatial attention depends on the visual hemifield: a functional near-infrared spectroscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harasawa, Masamitsu; Shioiri, Satoshi

    2011-04-01

    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.

  14. Segregating Top-Down Selective Attention from Response Inhibition in a Spatial Cueing Go/NoGo Task: An ERP and Source Localization Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Xiangfei; Wang, Yao; Sun, Junfeng; Li, Chunbo; Tong, Shanbao

    2017-08-29

    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.

  15. Spatial signals link exit from mitosis to spindle position.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falk, Jill Elaine; Tsuchiya, Dai; Verdaasdonk, Jolien; Lacefield, Soni; Bloom, Kerry; Amon, Angelika

    2016-05-11

    In budding yeast, if the spindle becomes mispositioned, cells prevent exit from mitosis by inhibiting the mitotic exit network (MEN). The MEN is a signaling cascade that localizes to spindle pole bodies (SPBs) and activates the phosphatase Cdc14. There are two competing models that explain MEN regulation by spindle position. In the 'zone model', exit from mitosis occurs when a MEN-bearing SPB enters the bud. The 'cMT-bud neck model' posits that cytoplasmic microtubule (cMT)-bud neck interactions prevent MEN activity. Here we find that 1) eliminating cMT- bud neck interactions does not trigger exit from mitosis and 2) loss of these interactions does not precede Cdc14 activation. Furthermore, using binucleate cells, we show that exit from mitosis occurs when one SPB enters the bud despite the presence of a mispositioned spindle. We conclude that exit from mitosis is triggered by a correctly positioned spindle rather than inhibited by improper spindle position.

  16. The Effects of Incentives on Visual-Spatial Working Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiels, Keri; Hawk, Larry W., Jr.; Lysczek, Cynthia L.; Tannock, Rosemary; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Spencer, Sarah V.; Gangloff, Brian P.; Waschbusch, Daniel A.

    2008-01-01

    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…

  17. Identification of Auditory Object-Specific Attention from Single-Trial Electroencephalogram Signals via Entropy Measures and Machine Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun Lu

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Existing research has revealed that auditory attention can be tracked from ongoing electroencephalography (EEG signals. The aim of this novel study was to investigate the identification of peoples’ attention to a specific auditory object from single-trial EEG signals via entropy measures and machine learning. Approximate entropy (ApEn, sample entropy (SampEn, composite multiscale entropy (CmpMSE and fuzzy entropy (FuzzyEn were used to extract the informative features of EEG signals under three kinds of auditory object-specific attention (Rest, Auditory Object1 Attention (AOA1 and Auditory Object2 Attention (AOA2. The linear discriminant analysis and support vector machine (SVM, were used to construct two auditory attention classifiers. The statistical results of entropy measures indicated that there were significant differences in the values of ApEn, SampEn, CmpMSE and FuzzyEn between Rest, AOA1 and AOA2. For the SVM-based auditory attention classifier, the auditory object-specific attention of Rest, AOA1 and AOA2 could be identified from EEG signals using ApEn, SampEn, CmpMSE and FuzzyEn as features and the identification rates were significantly different from chance level. The optimal identification was achieved by the SVM-based auditory attention classifier using CmpMSE with the scale factor τ = 10. This study demonstrated a novel solution to identify the auditory object-specific attention from single-trial EEG signals without the need to access the auditory stimulus.

  18. Selective attention moderates the relationship between attentional capture by signals of nondrug reward and illicit drug use

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Albertella, L.; Copeland, J.; Pearson, D.; Watson, P.; Wiers, R.W.; Le Pelley, M.E.

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The current study examined whether cognitive control moderates the association between (non-drug) reward-modulated attentional capture and use of alcohol and other drugs (AOD). METHODS: Participants were 66 university students who completed an assessment including questions about AOD

  19. Altered visual-spatial attention to task-irrelevant information is associated with falls risk in older adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.; Munkacsy, Michelle; Liu-Ambrose, Teresa; Handy, Todd C.

    2014-01-01

    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

  20. Focussing on aging : An electrophysiological exploration of spatial and attentional processing during reading

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gunter, TC; Jackson, JL; Mulder, G

    1996-01-01

    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

  1. Spatial resolution of cAMP signaling by soluble adenylyl cyclase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldieri, Giusi

    2016-01-01

    G protein–coupled receptor signaling starts at the plasma membrane and continues at endosomal stations. In this issue, Inda et al. (2016. J. Cell Biol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201512075) show that different forms of adenylyl cyclase are activated at the plasma membrane versus endosomes, providing a rationale for the spatial encoding of cAMP signaling. PMID:27402955

  2. Bayesian spatial filters for source signal extraction: a study in the peripheral nerve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Y; Wodlinger, B; Durand, D M

    2014-03-01

    The ability to extract physiological source signals to control various prosthetics offer tremendous therapeutic potential to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from motor disabilities. Regardless of the modality, recordings of physiological source signals are contaminated with noise and interference along with crosstalk between the sources. These impediments render the task of isolating potential physiological source signals for control difficult. In this paper, a novel Bayesian Source Filter for signal Extraction (BSFE) algorithm for extracting physiological source signals for control is presented. The BSFE algorithm is based on the source localization method Champagne and constructs spatial filters using Bayesian methods that simultaneously maximize the signal to noise ratio of the recovered source signal of interest while minimizing crosstalk interference between sources. When evaluated over peripheral nerve recordings obtained in vivo, the algorithm achieved the highest signal to noise interference ratio ( 7.00 ±3.45 dB) amongst the group of methodologies compared with average correlation between the extracted source signal and the original source signal R = 0.93. The results support the efficacy of the BSFE algorithm for extracting source signals from the peripheral nerve.

  3. Spatial modeling of the membrane-cytosolic interface in protein kinase signal transduction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Giese

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The spatial architecture of signaling pathways and the interaction with cell size and morphology are complex, but little understood. With the advances of single cell imaging and single cell biology, it becomes crucial to understand intracellular processes in time and space. Activation of cell surface receptors often triggers a signaling cascade including the activation of membrane-attached and cytosolic signaling components, which eventually transmit the signal to the cell nucleus. Signaling proteins can form steep gradients in the cytosol, which cause strong cell size dependence. We show that the kinetics at the membrane-cytosolic interface and the ratio of cell membrane area to the enclosed cytosolic volume change the behavior of signaling cascades significantly. We suggest an estimate of average concentration for arbitrary cell shapes depending on the cell volume and cell surface area. The normalized variance, known from image analysis, is suggested as an alternative measure to quantify the deviation from the average concentration. A mathematical analysis of signal transduction in time and space is presented, providing analytical solutions for different spatial arrangements of linear signaling cascades. Quantification of signaling time scales reveals that signal propagation is faster at the membrane than at the nucleus, while this time difference decreases with the number of signaling components in the cytosol. Our investigations are complemented by numerical simulations of non-linear cascades with feedback and asymmetric cell shapes. We conclude that intracellular signal propagation is highly dependent on cell geometry and, thereby, conveys information on cell size and shape to the nucleus.

  4. Spatial Organization in Protein Kinase A Signaling Emerged at the Base of Animal Evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peng, Mao; Aye, Thin Thin; Snel, Berend; Van Breukelen, Bas; Scholten, Arjen; Heck, Albert J R

    2015-01-01

    In phosphorylation-directed signaling, spatial and temporal control is organized by complex interaction networks that diligently direct kinases toward distinct substrates to fine-tune specificity. How these protein networks originate and evolve into complex regulatory machineries are among the most

  5. Attention-dependent modulation of cortical taste circuits revealed by Granger causality with signal-dependent noise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Luo

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available We show, for the first time, that in cortical areas, for example the insular, orbitofrontal, and lateral prefrontal cortex, there is signal-dependent noise in the fMRI blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD time series, with the variance of the noise increasing approximately linearly with the square of the signal. Classical Granger causal models are based on autoregressive models with time invariant covariance structure, and thus do not take this signal-dependent noise into account. To address this limitation, here we describe a Granger causal model with signal-dependent noise, and a novel, likelihood ratio test for causal inferences. We apply this approach to the data from an fMRI study to investigate the source of the top-down attentional control of taste intensity and taste pleasantness processing. The Granger causality with signal-dependent noise analysis reveals effects not identified by classical Granger causal analysis. In particular, there is a top-down effect from the posterior lateral prefrontal cortex to the insular taste cortex during attention to intensity but not to pleasantness, and there is a top-down effect from the anterior and posterior lateral prefrontal cortex to the orbitofrontal cortex during attention to pleasantness but not to intensity. In addition, there is stronger forward effective connectivity from the insular taste cortex to the orbitofrontal cortex during attention to pleasantness than during attention to intensity. These findings indicate the importance of explicitly modeling signal-dependent noise in functional neuroimaging, and reveal some of the processes involved in a biased activation theory of selective attention.

  6. Neural dynamics of object-based multifocal visual spatial attention and priming: object cueing, useful-field-of-view, and crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Nicholas C; Grossberg, Stephen; Mingolla, Ennio

    2012-08-01

    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

  7. Improvement of range spatial resolution of medical ultrasound imaging by element-domain signal processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, Hideyuki

    2017-07-01

    The range spatial resolution is an important factor determining the image quality in ultrasonic imaging. The range spatial resolution in ultrasonic imaging depends on the ultrasonic pulse length, which is determined by the mechanical response of the piezoelectric element in an ultrasonic probe. To improve the range spatial resolution without replacing the transducer element, in the present study, methods based on maximum likelihood (ML) estimation and multiple signal classification (MUSIC) were proposed. The proposed methods were applied to echo signals received by individual transducer elements in an ultrasonic probe. The basic experimental results showed that the axial half maximum of the echo from a string phantom was improved from 0.21 mm (conventional method) to 0.086 mm (ML) and 0.094 mm (MUSIC).

  8. From spectral holeburning memory to spatial-spectral microwave signal processing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Babbitt, Wm Randall; Barber, Zeb W; Harrington, Calvin; Mohan, R Krishna; Sharpe, Tia; Bekker, Scott H; Chase, Michael D; Merkel, Kristian D; Stiffler, Colton R; Traxinger, Aaron S; Woidtke, Alex J

    2014-01-01

    Many storage and processing systems based on spectral holeburning have been proposed that access the broad bandwidth and high dynamic range of spatial-spectral materials, but only recently have practical systems been developed that exceed the performance and functional capabilities of electronic devices. This paper reviews the history of the proposed applications of spectral holeburning and spatial-spectral materials, from frequency domain optical memory to microwave photonic signal processing systems. The recent results of a 20 GHz bandwidth high performance spectrum monitoring system with the additional capability of broadband direction finding demonstrates the potential for spatial-spectral systems to be the practical choice for solving demanding signal processing problems in the near future. (paper)

  9. Age-dependent impairment of auditory processing under spatially focused and divided attention: an electrophysiological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild-Wall, Nele; Falkenstein, Michael

    2010-01-01

    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.

  10. Automatic Direction of Spatial Attention to Male Versus Female Stimuli: A Comparison of Heterosexual Men and Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snowden, Robert J; Curl, Catriona; Jobbins, Katherine; Lavington, Chloe; Gray, Nicola S

    2016-05-01

    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).

  11. Real color captures attention and overrides spatial cues in grapheme-color synesthetes but not in controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Leeuwen, Tessa M; Hagoort, Peter; Händel, Barbara F

    2013-08-01

    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

  12. Effects of dynamic range compression on spatial selective auditory attention in normal-hearing listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Andrew H; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G

    2013-04-01

    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.

  13. Intentional switching in auditory selective attention: Exploring age-related effects in a spatial setup requiring speech perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberem, Josefa; Koch, Iring; Fels, Janina

    2017-06-01

    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.

  14. Caffeine improves spatial learning deficits in an animal model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -- the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prediger, Rui D S; Pamplona, Fabrício A; Fernandes, Daniel; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2005-12-01

    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.

  15. Pseudoneglect in line bisection judgement is associated with a modulation of right hemispheric spatial attention dominance in right-handers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zago, Laure; Petit, Laurent; Jobard, Gael; Hay, Julien; Mazoyer, Bernard; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie; Karnath, Hans-Otto; Mellet, Emmanuel

    2017-01-08

    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

  16. Category-based guidance of spatial attention during visual search for feature conjunctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nako, Rebecca; Grubert, Anna; Eimer, Martin

    2016-10-01

    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).

  17. The association between hemispheric specialization for language production and for spatial attention depends on left-hand preference strength.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zago, Laure; Petit, Laurent; Mellet, Emmanuel; Jobard, Gaël; Crivello, Fabrice; Joliot, Marc; Mazoyer, Bernard; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie

    2016-12-01

    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

  18. Refining Lane-Based Traffic Signal Settings to Satisfy Spatial Lane Length Requirements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanping Liu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In conventional lane-based signal optimization models, lane markings guiding road users in making turns are optimized with traffic signal settings in a unified framework to maximize the overall intersection capacity or minimize the total delay. The spatial queue requirements of road lanes should be considered to avoid overdesigns of green durations. Point queue system adopted in the conventional lane-based framework causes overflow in practice. Based on the optimization results from the original lane-based designs, a refinement is proposed to enhance the lane-based settings to ensure that spatial holding limits of the approaching traffic lanes are not exceeded. A solution heuristic is developed to modify the green start times, green durations, and cycle length by considering the vehicle queuing patterns and physical holding capacities along the approaching traffic lanes. To show the effectiveness of this traffic signal refinement, a case study of one of the busiest and most complicated intersections in Hong Kong is given for demonstration. A site survey was conducted to collect existing traffic demand patterns and existing traffic signal settings in peak periods. Results show that the proposed refinement method is effective to ensure that all vehicle queue lengths satisfy spatial lane capacity limits, including short lanes, for daily operation.

  19. On bandlimited signals with minimal product of effective spatial and spectral widths

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. V. Venkatesh

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available It is known that signals (which could be functions of space or time belonging to 𝕃2-space cannot be localized simultaneously in space/time and frequency domains. Alternatively, signals have a positive lower bound on the product of their effective spatial andeffective spectral widths, for simplicity, hereafter called the effective space-bandwidthproduct (ESBP. This is the classical uncertainty inequality (UI, attributed to many, but, from a signal processing perspective, to Gabor who, in his seminal paper, established the uncertainty relation and proposed a joint time-frequency representation in which the basis functions have minimal ESBP. It is found that the Gaussian function is the only signal that has the lowest ESBP. Since the Gaussian function is not bandlimited, no bandlimited signal can have the lowest ESBP. We deal with the problem of determining finite-energy, bandlimited signals which have the lowest ESBP. The main result is as follows. By choosing the convolution product of a Gaussian signal (with σ as the variance parameter and a bandlimited filter with a continuous spectrum, we demonstrate that there exists a finite-energy, bandlimited signal whose ESBP can be made to be arbitrarily close (dependent on the choice of σ to the optimal value specified by the UI.

  20. The integration of signalling and the spatial organization of the T cell synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremie eRossy

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Engagement of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR triggers signalling pathways that lead to T cell selection, differentiation and clonal expansion. Superimposed onto the biochemical network is a spatial organization that describes individual receptor molecules, dimers, oligomers and higher order structures. Here we review recent finding about TCR organization in naïve and memory T cells. A key question that has emerged is how antigen-TCR interactions encode spatial information to direct T cell activation and differentiation. Single molecule super-resolution microscopy may become an important tool in decoding receptor organization at the molecular level.

  1. Identification of two-phase flow pattern by using specific spatial frequency of differential pressure signal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han Bin; Tong Yunxian; Wu Shaorong

    1992-11-01

    It is a classical method by using analysis of differential pressure fluctuation signal to identify two-phase flow pattern. The method which uses trait peak in the frequency-domain will result confusion between bubble flow and intermittent flow due to the influence of gas speed. Considering the spatial geometric significance of two-phase slow patterns and using the differential pressure gauge as a sensor, the Strouhal number 'Sr' is taken as the basis for distinguishing flow patterns. Using Strouhal number 'Sr' to identify flow pattern has clear physical meaning. The experimental results using the spatial analytical technique to measure the flow pattern are also given

  2. The effects of incentives on visual-spatial working memory in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiels, Keri; Hawk, Larry W; Lysczek, Cynthia L; Tannock, Rosemary; Pelham, William E; Spencer, Sarah V; Gangloff, Brian P; Waschbusch, Daniel A

    2008-08-01

    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.

  3. Losing the left side of the world: rightward shift in human spatial attention with sleep onset.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bareham, Corinne A; Manly, Tom; Pustovaya, Olga V; Scott, Sophie K; Bekinschtein, Tristan A

    2014-05-28

    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.

  4. Neural Correlates of Visual-Spatial Attention in Electrocorticographic Signals in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-23

    PEST) procedure (Taylor and Creelman , 1967; Hammett and Snowden, 1995) that was run at the beginning of the session. The PEST procedure selected the...Medical Publishers, Inc. Taylor, M. M., and Creelman , C. D. (1967). PEST: efficient estimates on probabil- ity functions. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 41

  5. Preconditioning of Spatial and Auditory Cues: Roles of the Hippocampus, Frontal Cortex, and Cue-Directed Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew C. Talk

    2016-12-01

    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.

  6. Preconditioning of Spatial and Auditory Cues: Roles of the Hippocampus, Frontal Cortex, and Cue-Directed Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talk, Andrew C.; Grasby, Katrina L.; Rawson, Tim; Ebejer, Jane L.

    2016-01-01

    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

  7. Brain correlates of the orientation of auditory spatial attention onto speaker location in a "cocktail-party" situation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewald, Jörg; Hanenberg, Christina; Getzmann, Stephan

    2016-10-01

    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.

  8. Attentional effects on preattentive vision: Spatial precues affect the detection of simple features

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Theeuwes, J.; Kramer, A.F.; Atchley, P.

    1999-01-01

    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

  9. Multisensory Spatial Attention Deficits Are Predictive of Phonological Decoding Skills in Developmental Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facoetti, Andrea; Trussardi, Anna Noemi; Ruffino, Milena; Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Cattaneo, Carmen; Galli, Raffaella; Molteni, Massimo; Zorzi, Marco

    2010-01-01

    Although the dominant approach posits that developmental dyslexia arises from deficits in systems that are exclusively linguistic in nature (i.e., phonological deficit theory), dyslexics show a variety of lower level deficits in sensory and attentional processing. Although their link to the reading disorder remains contentious, recent empirical…

  10. Visuospatial asymmetry and non-spatial attention in subacute stroke patients with and without neglect

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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.

  11. The Spatial Focus of Attention Is Controlled at Perceptual and Cognitive Levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caparos, Serge; Linnell, Karina J.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  12. Endogenous attention signals evoked by threshold contrast detection in human superior colliculus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katyal, Sucharit; Ress, David

    2014-01-15

    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.

  13. Are Categorical Spatial Relations Encoded by Shifting Visual Attention between Objects?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Lei; Uttal, David; Franconeri, Steven

    2016-01-01

    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…

  14. The Interplay of Spatial Attentional Biases and Mental Codes in VSTM: Developmentally Informed Hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimi, Andria; Scerif, Gaia

    2015-01-01

    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…

  15. The role of social cues in the deployment of spatial attention: Head-body relationships automatically activate directional spatial codes in a Simon task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iwona ePomianowska

    2012-02-01

    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.

  16. Influence of auditory spatial attention on cross-modal semantic priming effect: evidence from N400 effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongyan; Zhang, Gaoyan; Liu, Baolin

    2017-01-01

    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.

  17. Attention capture without awareness in a non-spatial selection task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oriet, Chris; Pandey, Mamata; Kawahara, Jun-Ichiro

    2017-02-01

    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.

  18. The spatially global control of attentional target selection in visual search

    OpenAIRE

    Berggren, Nick; Jenkins, M.; McCants, C.W.; Eimer, Martin

    2017-01-01

    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...

  19. Pupil dilation reveals top-down attentional load during spatial monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisi, Matteo; Bonato, Mario; Zorzi, Marco

    2015-12-01

    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.

  20. Modulation of Posterior Alpha Activity by Spatial Attention Allows for Controlling A Continuous Brain-Computer Interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horschig, Jörn M; Oosterheert, Wouter; Oostenveld, Robert; Jensen, Ole

    2015-11-01

    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.

  1. Selective spatial attention modulates bottom-up informational masking of speech

    OpenAIRE

    Carlile, Simon; Corkhill, Caitlin

    2015-01-01

    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...

  2. Dynamic change of ERPs related to selective attention to signals from left and right visual field during head-down tilt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jinhe; Zhao, Lun; Van, Gongdong; Chen, Wenjuan; Ren, Wei; Duan, Ran

    To study further the effect of head-down tilt(HDT) on slow positive potential in the event-related potentials(ERPs), the temporal and spatial features of visual ERPs changes during 2 hour HDT(-10 °) were compared with that during HUT(+20°) in 15 normal subjects. The stimuli were consisted of two color LED flashes appeared randomly in left or right visual field(LVF or RVF) with same probability. The subjects were asked to make switch response to target signals(T) differentially: switching to left for T in LVF and to right for T in RVF, ignoring non-target signals(N). Five sets of tests were made during HUT and HDT. ERPs were obtained from 9 locations on scalp. The mean value of the ERPs in the period from 0.32-0.55 s was taken as the amplitude of slow positive potential(P400). The main results were as follows. 1)The mean amplitude of P400 decreased during HDT which was more significant at the 2nd, 3rd and 5th set of tests; 2)spatially, the reduction of mean P400 amplitude during HDT was more significant for signals from RVF and was more significant at posterior and central brain regions than that on frontal locations. As that the positive potential probably reflects the active inhibition activity in the brain during attention process, these data provide further evidence showing that the higher brain function was affected by the simulated weightlessness and that this effect was not only transient but also with interesting spatial characteristics.

  3. Dynamic Modulation of Sensory Cortex by Top-Down Spatial Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-15

    Farwell LA, Donchin E (1988) Talking off the top of your head: toward a mental prosthesis utilizing event-related brain potentials...analyzed our switching conditions independently, we feel the resultant ipsilateral/contralateral signals are sufficiently similar in their gross

  4. A spatial-spectral approach for deriving high signal quality eigenvectors for remote sensing image transformations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rogge, Derek; Bachmann, Martin; Rivard, Benoit

    2014-01-01

    Spectral decorrelation (transformations) methods have long been used in remote sensing. Transformation of the image data onto eigenvectors that comprise physically meaningful spectral properties (signal) can be used to reduce the dimensionality of hyperspectral images as the number of spectrally...... distinct signal sources composing a given hyperspectral scene is generally much less than the number of spectral bands. Determining eigenvectors dominated by signal variance as opposed to noise is a difficult task. Problems also arise in using these transformations on large images, multiple flight...... and spectral subsampling to the data, which is accomplished by deriving a limited set of eigenvectors for spatially contiguous subsets. These subset eigenvectors are compiled together to form a new noise reduced data set, which is subsequently used to derive a set of global orthogonal eigenvectors. Data from...

  5. Data for spatial characterization of AC signal propagation over primary neuron dendrites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hojeong Kim

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Action potentials generated near the soma propagate not only into the axonal nerve connecting to the adjacent neurons but also into the dendrites interacting with a diversity of synaptic inputs as well as voltage gated ion channels. Measuring voltage attenuation factors between the soma and all single points of the dendrites in the anatomically reconstructed primary neurons with the same cable properties, we report the signal propagation data showing how the alternating current (AC signal such as action potentials back-propagates over the dendrites among different types of primary neurons. Fitting equations and their parameter values for the data are also presented to quantitatively capture the spatial profile of AC signal propagation from the soma to the dendrites in primary neurons. Our data is supplemental to our original study for the dependency of dendritic signal propagation and excitability, and their relationship on the cell type-specific structure in primary neurons (DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2015.10.017 [1]. Keywords: Primary neurons, Dendritic signal processing, AC signal propagation, Voltage attenuation analysis

  6. Not sensitive, yet less biased: A signal detection theory perspective on mindfulness, attention, and recognition memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenstreich, Eyal; Ruderman, Lital

    2016-07-01

    The practice of mindfulness has been argued to increase attention control and improve memory performance. However, it was recently suggested that the effect of mindfulness on memory may be due to a shift in response-bias, rather than to an increase in memory-sensitivity. The present study examined the mindfulness-attention-memory triad. Participants filled in the five-facets of mindfulness questionnaire, and completed two recognition blocks; in the first attention was full, whereas in the second attention was divided during the encoding of information. It was found that the facet of non-judging (NJ) moderated the impact of attention on memory, such that responses of high NJ participants were less biased and remained constant even when attention was divided. Facets of mindfulness were not associated with memory sensitivity. These findings suggest that mindfulness may affect memory through decision making processes, rather than through directing attentional resources to the encoding of information. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Disrupting Jagged1-Notch signaling impairs spatial memory formation in adult mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargin, Derya; Botly, Leigh C P; Higgs, Gemma; Marsolais, Alexander; Frankland, Paul W; Egan, Sean E; Josselyn, Sheena A

    2013-07-01

    It is well-known that Notch signaling plays a critical role in brain development and growing evidence implicates this signaling pathway in adult synaptic plasticity and memory formation. The Notch1 receptor is activated by two subclasses of ligands, Delta-like (including Dll1 and Dll4) and Jagged (including Jag1 and Jag2). Ligand-induced Notch1 receptor signaling is modulated by a family of Fringe proteins, including Lunatic fringe (Lfng). Although Dll1, Jag1 and Lfng are critical regulators of Notch signaling, their relative contribution to memory formation in the adult brain is unknown. To investigate the roles of these important components of Notch signaling in memory formation, we examined spatial and fear memory formation in adult mice with reduced expression of Dll1, Jag1, Lfng and Dll1 plus Lfng. We also examined motor activity, anxiety-like behavior and sensorimotor gating using the acoustic startle response in these mice. Of the lines of mutant mice tested, we found that only mice with reduced Jag1 expression (mice heterozygous for a null mutation in Jag1, Jag1(+/-)) showed a selective impairment in spatial memory formation. Importantly, all other behavior including open field activity, conditioned fear memory (both context and discrete cue), acoustic startle response and prepulse inhibition, was normal in this line of mice. These results provide the first in vivo evidence that Jag1-Notch signaling is critical for memory formation in the adult brain. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Intentional attention switching in dichotic listening: exploring the efficiency of nonspatial and spatial selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawo, Vera; Fels, Janina; Oberem, Josefa; Koch, Iring

    2014-10-01

    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.

  9. Spatial selective auditory attention in the presence of reverberant energy: individual differences in normal-hearing listeners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggles, Dorea; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara

    2011-06-01

    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.

  10. The impact of top-down spatial attention on laterality and hemispheric asymmetry in the human parietal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Su Keun; Xu, Yaoda

    2016-08-01

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Preciado, Daniel; Munneke, Jaap; Theeuwes, Jan

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Classification of EEG signals to identify variations in attention during motor task execution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Jiang, Ning

    2017-01-01

    attentionlevels onmotor tasks ineachparticipant. Then, a globalfeature distribution was constructed with the projected time-frequency features of all participants from all channels and applied for attention classification during motor movement execution. Results: Time-frequency features led to significantly...... BCI systems with time-frequency features. This is the first step towards an adaptive real-time BCI with an integrated function to reveal attention shifts from the motor task....

  13. Does Contralateral Delay Activity Reflect Working Memory Storage or the Current Focus of Spatial Attention within Visual Working Memory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2016-12-01

    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.

  14. Spatial memory impairment is associated with hippocampal insulin signals in ovariectomized rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fang; Song, Yan-Feng; Yin, Jie; Liu, Zi-Hua; Mo, Xiao-Dan; Wang, De-Gui; Gao, Li-Ping; Jing, Yu-Hong

    2014-01-01

    Estrogen influences memory formation and insulin sensitivity. Meanwhile, glucose utilization directly affects learning and memory, which are modulated by insulin signals. Therefore, this study investigated whether or not the effect of estrogen on memory is associated with the regulatory effect of this hormone on glucose metabolism. The relative expression of estrogen receptor β (ERβ) and glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) in the hippocampus of rats were evaluated by western blot. Insulin level was assessed by ELISA and quantitative RT-PCR, and spatial memory was tested by the Morris water maze. Glucose utilization in the hippocampus was measured by 2-NBDG uptake analysis. Results showed that ovariectomy impaired the spatial memory of rats. These impairments are similar as the female rats treated with the ERβ antagonist tamoxifen (TAM). Estrogen blockade by ovariectomy or TAM treatment obviously decreased glucose utilization. This phenomenon was accompanied by decreased insulin level and GLUT4 expression in the hippocampus. The female rats were neutralized with hippocampal insulin with insulin antibody, which also impaired memory and local glucose consumption. These results indicated that estrogen blockade impaired the spatial memory of the female rats. The mechanisms by which estrogen blockade impaired memory partially contributed to the decline in hippocampal insulin signals, which diminished glucose consumption.

  15. Oscillatory activity reflects differential use of spatial reference frames by sighted and blind individuals in tactile attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Jonathan T W; Buchholz, Verena N; Föcker, Julia; Engel, Andreas K; Röder, Brigitte; Heed, Tobias

    2015-08-15

    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.

  16. Coordinated learning of grid cell and place cell spatial and temporal properties: multiple scales, attention and oscillations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossberg, Stephen; Pilly, Praveen K

    2014-02-05

    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.

  17. Partial discharge signal denoising with spatially adaptive wavelet thresholding and support vector machines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mota, Hilton de Oliveira; Rocha, Leonardo Chaves Dutra da [Department of Computer Science, Federal University of Sao Joao del-Rei, Visconde do Rio Branco Ave., Colonia do Bengo, Sao Joao del-Rei, MG, 36301-360 (Brazil); Salles, Thiago Cunha de Moura [Department of Computer Science, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 6627 Antonio Carlos Ave., Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, MG, 31270-901 (Brazil); Vasconcelos, Flavio Henrique [Department of Electrical Engineering, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 6627 Antonio Carlos Ave., Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, MG, 31270-901 (Brazil)

    2011-02-15

    In this paper an improved method to denoise partial discharge (PD) signals is presented. The method is based on the wavelet transform (WT) and support vector machines (SVM) and is distinct from other WT-based denoising strategies in the sense that it exploits the high spatial correlations presented by PD wavelet decompositions as a way to identify and select the relevant coefficients. PD spatial correlations are characterized by WT modulus maxima propagation along decomposition levels (scales), which are a strong indicative of the their time-of-occurrence. Denoising is performed by identification and separation of PD-related maxima lines by an SVM pattern classifier. The results obtained confirm that this method has superior denoising capabilities when compared to other WT-based methods found in the literature for the processing of Gaussian and discrete spectral interferences. Moreover, its greatest advantages become clear when the interference has a pulsating or localized shape, situation in which traditional methods usually fail. (author)

  18. Is contextual cueing more than the guidance of visual-spatial attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schankin, Andrea; Hagemann, Dirk; Schubö, Anna

    2011-04-01

    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.

  19. Error Probability of Binary and -ary Signals with Spatial Diversity in Nakagami- (Hoyt Fading Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duong Trung Q

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyze the exact average symbol error probability (SEP of binary and -ary signals with spatial diversity in Nakagami- (Hoyt fading channels. The maximal-ratio combining and orthogonal space-time block coding are considered as diversity techniques for single-input multiple-output and multiple-input multiple-output systems, respectively. We obtain the average SEP in terms of the Lauricella multivariate hypergeometric function . The analysis is verified by comparing with Monte Carlo simulations and we further show that our general SEP expressions particularize to the previously known results for Rayleigh ( = 1 and single-input single-output (SISO Nakagami- cases.

  20. Rendering visual events as sounds: Spatial attention capture by auditory augmented reality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Scott A; Tata, Matthew S

    2017-01-01

    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.

  1. Rendering visual events as sounds: Spatial attention capture by auditory augmented reality.

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    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.

  2. The TOR Signaling Pathway in Spatial and Temporal Control of Cell Size and Growth

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    Suam Gonzalez

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Cell size is amenable by genetic and environmental factors. The highly conserved nutrient-responsive Target of Rapamycin (TOR signaling pathway regulates cellular metabolic status and growth in response to numerous inputs. Timing and duration of TOR pathway activity is pivotal for both cell mass built up as well as cell cycle progression and is controlled and fine-tuned by the abundance and quality of nutrients, hormonal signals, growth factors, stress, and oxygen. TOR kinases function within two functionally and structurally discrete multiprotein complexes, TORC1 and TORC2, that are implicated in temporal and spatial control of cell size and growth respectively; however, recent data indicate that such functional distinctions are much more complex. Here, we briefly review roles of the two complexes in cellular growth and cytoarchitecture in various experimental model systems.

  3. Major Depression Detection from EEG Signals Using Kernel Eigen-Filter-Bank Common Spatial Patterns.

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    Liao, Shih-Cheng; Wu, Chien-Te; Huang, Hao-Chuan; Cheng, Wei-Teng; Liu, Yi-Hung

    2017-06-14

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) has become a leading contributor to the global burden of disease; however, there are currently no reliable biological markers or physiological measurements for efficiently and effectively dissecting the heterogeneity of MDD. Here we propose a novel method based on scalp electroencephalography (EEG) signals and a robust spectral-spatial EEG feature extractor called kernel eigen-filter-bank common spatial pattern (KEFB-CSP). The KEFB-CSP first filters the multi-channel raw EEG signals into a set of frequency sub-bands covering the range from theta to gamma bands, then spatially transforms the EEG signals of each sub-band from the original sensor space to a new space where the new signals (i.e., CSPs) are optimal for the classification between MDD and healthy controls, and finally applies the kernel principal component analysis (kernel PCA) to transform the vector containing the CSPs from all frequency sub-bands to a lower-dimensional feature vector called KEFB-CSP. Twelve patients with MDD and twelve healthy controls participated in this study, and from each participant we collected 54 resting-state EEGs of 6 s length (5 min and 24 s in total). Our results show that the proposed KEFB-CSP outperforms other EEG features including the powers of EEG frequency bands, and fractal dimension, which had been widely applied in previous EEG-based depression detection studies. The results also reveal that the 8 electrodes from the temporal areas gave higher accuracies than other scalp areas. The KEFB-CSP was able to achieve an average EEG classification accuracy of 81.23% in single-trial analysis when only the 8-electrode EEGs of the temporal area and a support vector machine (SVM) classifier were used. We also designed a voting-based leave-one-participant-out procedure to test the participant-independent individual classification accuracy. The voting-based results show that the mean classification accuracy of about 80% can be achieved by the KEFP

  4. Major Depression Detection from EEG Signals Using Kernel Eigen-Filter-Bank Common Spatial Patterns

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    Shih-Cheng Liao

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Major depressive disorder (MDD has become a leading contributor to the global burden of disease; however, there are currently no reliable biological markers or physiological measurements for efficiently and effectively dissecting the heterogeneity of MDD. Here we propose a novel method based on scalp electroencephalography (EEG signals and a robust spectral-spatial EEG feature extractor called kernel eigen-filter-bank common spatial pattern (KEFB-CSP. The KEFB-CSP first filters the multi-channel raw EEG signals into a set of frequency sub-bands covering the range from theta to gamma bands, then spatially transforms the EEG signals of each sub-band from the original sensor space to a new space where the new signals (i.e., CSPs are optimal for the classification between MDD and healthy controls, and finally applies the kernel principal component analysis (kernel PCA to transform the vector containing the CSPs from all frequency sub-bands to a lower-dimensional feature vector called KEFB-CSP. Twelve patients with MDD and twelve healthy controls participated in this study, and from each participant we collected 54 resting-state EEGs of 6 s length (5 min and 24 s in total. Our results show that the proposed KEFB-CSP outperforms other EEG features including the powers of EEG frequency bands, and fractal dimension, which had been widely applied in previous EEG-based depression detection studies. The results also reveal that the 8 electrodes from the temporal areas gave higher accuracies than other scalp areas. The KEFB-CSP was able to achieve an average EEG classification accuracy of 81.23% in single-trial analysis when only the 8-electrode EEGs of the temporal area and a support vector machine (SVM classifier were used. We also designed a voting-based leave-one-participant-out procedure to test the participant-independent individual classification accuracy. The voting-based results show that the mean classification accuracy of about 80% can be

  5. Visuospatial selective attention in chickens.

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    Sridharan, Devarajan; Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Schwarz, Jason S; Knudsen, Eric I

    2014-05-13

    Voluntary control of attention promotes intelligent, adaptive behaviors by enabling the selective processing of information that is most relevant for making decisions. Despite extensive research on attention in primates, the capacity for selective attention in nonprimate species has never been quantified. Here we demonstrate selective attention in chickens by applying protocols that have been used to characterize visual spatial attention in primates. Chickens were trained to localize and report the vertical position of a target in the presence of task-relevant distracters. A spatial cue, the location of which varied across individual trials, indicated the horizontal, but not vertical, position of the upcoming target. Spatial cueing improved localization performance: accuracy (d') increased and reaction times decreased in a space-specific manner. Distracters severely impaired perceptual performance, and this impairment was greatly reduced by spatial cueing. Signal detection analysis with an "indecision" model demonstrated that spatial cueing significantly increased choice certainty in localizing targets. By contrast, error-aversion certainty (certainty of not making an error) remained essentially constant across cueing protocols, target contrasts, and individuals. The results show that chickens shift spatial attention rapidly and dynamically, following principles of stimulus selection that closely parallel those documented in primates. The findings suggest that the mechanisms that control attention have been conserved through evolution, and establish chickens--a highly visual species that is easily trained and amenable to cutting-edge experimental technologies--as an attractive model for linking behavior to neural mechanisms of selective attention.

  6. The effects of virtual reality displays on visual attention and detection of signals performance for main control room training

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Shiaufeng; Lin Chiuhsiang Joe; Wang Rouwen; Yang Lichen; Yang Chihwei; Cheng Tsungchieh; Wang Jyhgang

    2011-01-01

    The nuclear power plant (NPP) mainly serve the purpose to provide low-cost and stable electricity for the people, but this purpose must be dependent upon the premise of 'safety first.' The reason for this is that the occurrence of nuclear power plant accidents could cause catastrophic damage to the people, property, society, and the environment. Therefore, training in superior and high reliability system is very important in accident prevention. In recent years, the Virtual Reality (VR) technology advances very fast as well as the technology for e-learning environment. VR systems have been applied for education, safety training of NPP and flying simulators. In particular, VR is an interactive and reactive technology; it allows users to interact and navigate with objects in the virtual environment. Development of VR and simulation techniques contributes to an accurate and immersive training environment for NPP operators. Main Control Room (MCR) training simulator based on VR is a more cost effective and efficient alternative to traditional simulator based training methods. The VR simulation for MCR training is a complex task. Since VR not only reinforces the visual presentation of the training materials but also provides ways to interact with the training system, it becomes more flexible and possibly more powerful in the training system. In the VR training system, the MCR operators may use just one display to view the wide range of the real world displays. The field of view (FOV) will be different from the real MCR environment in which many displays exist for the operators to view. Thus operator's immersion and visual attention will be reduced. This is the problem of MCR virtual training compared with the traditional simulator based training systems. Therefore, improving the operator's visual attention and the detection of signals in VR training system is a very important issue. This investigation intends to contribute in assessing benefits of visual attention and

  7. The COP9 signalosome converts temporal hormone signaling to spatial restriction on neural competence.

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    Yi-Chun Huang

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available During development, neural competence is conferred and maintained by integrating spatial and temporal regulations. The Drosophila sensory bristles that detect mechanical and chemical stimulations are arranged in stereotypical positions. The anterior wing margin (AWM is arrayed with neuron-innervated sensory bristles, while posterior wing margin (PWM bristles are non-innervated. We found that the COP9 signalosome (CSN suppresses the neural competence of non-innervated bristles at the PWM. In CSN mutants, PWM bristles are transformed into neuron-innervated, which is attributed to sustained expression of the neural-determining factor Senseless (Sens. The CSN suppresses Sens through repression of the ecdysone signaling target gene broad (br that encodes the BR-Z1 transcription factor to activate sens expression. Strikingly, CSN suppression of BR-Z1 is initiated at the prepupa-to-pupa transition, leading to Sens downregulation, and termination of the neural competence of PWM bristles. The role of ecdysone signaling to repress br after the prepupa-to-pupa transition is distinct from its conventional role in activation, and requires CSN deneddylating activity and multiple cullins, the major substrates of deneddylation. Several CSN subunits physically associate with ecdysone receptors to represses br at the transcriptional level. We propose a model in which nuclear hormone receptors cooperate with the deneddylation machinery to temporally shutdown downstream target gene expression, conferring a spatial restriction on neural competence at the PWM.

  8. Signal enhancement, not active suppression, follows the contingent capture of visual attention.

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    Livingstone, Ashley C; Christie, Gregory J; Wright, Richard D; McDonald, John J

    2017-02-01

    Irrelevant visual cues capture attention when they possess a task-relevant feature. Electrophysiologically, this contingent capture of attention is evidenced by the N2pc component of the visual event-related potential (ERP) and an enlarged ERP positivity over the occipital hemisphere contralateral to the cued location. The N2pc reflects an early stage of attentional selection, but presently it is unclear what the contralateral ERP positivity reflects. One hypothesis is that it reflects the perceptual enhancement of the cued search-array item; another hypothesis is that it is time-locked to the preceding cue display and reflects active suppression of the cue itself. Here, we varied the time interval between a cue display and a subsequent target display to evaluate these competing hypotheses. The results demonstrated that the contralateral ERP positivity is tightly time-locked to the appearance of the search display rather than the cue display, thereby supporting the perceptual enhancement hypothesis and disconfirming the cue-suppression hypothesis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Lanthanum chloride impairs spatial memory through ERK/MSK1 signaling pathway of hippocampus in rats.

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    Liu, Huiying; Yang, Jinghua; Liu, Qiufang; Jin, Cuihong; Wu, Shengwen; Lu, Xiaobo; Zheng, Linlin; Xi, Qi; Cai, Yuan

    2014-12-01

    Rare earth elements (REEs) are used in many fields for their diverse physical and chemical properties. Surveys have shown that REEs can impair learning and memory in children and cause neurobehavioral defects in animals. However, the mechanism underlying these impairments has not yet been completely elucidated. Lanthanum (La) is often selected to study the effects of REEs. The aim of this study was to investigate the spatial memory impairments induced by lanthanum chloride (LaCl3) and the probable underlying mechanism. Wistar rats were exposed to LaCl3 in drinking water at 0 % (control, 0 mM), 0.25 % (18 mM), 0.50 % (36 mM), and 1.00 % (72 mM) from birth to 2 months after weaning. LaCl3 considerably impaired the spatial learning and memory of rats in the Morris water maze test, damaged the synaptic ultrastructure and downregulated the expression of p-MEK1/2, p-ERK1/2, p-MSK1, p-CREB, c-FOS and BDNF in the hippocampus. These results indicate that LaCl3 exposure impairs the spatial learning and memory of rats, which may be attributed to disruption of the synaptic ultrastructure and inhibition of the ERK/MSK1 signaling pathway in the hippocampus.

  10. Association between early attention-deficit/hyperactivity symptoms and current verbal and visuo-spatial short-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Chiang, Huey-Ling

    2013-01-01

    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.

  11. Express attentional re-engagement but delayed entry into consciousness following invalid spatial cues in visual search.

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    Benoit Brisson

    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.

  12. Effect of spatial inhomogeneities on the membrane surface on receptor dimerization and signal initiation

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    Romica Kerketta

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Important signal transduction pathways originate on the plasma membrane, where microdomains may transiently entrap diffusing receptors. This results in a non-random distribution of receptors even in the resting state, which can be visualized as clusters by high resolution imaging methods. Here, we explore how spatial in-homogeneities in the plasma membrane might influence the dimerization and phosphorylation status of ErbB2 and ErbB3, two receptor tyrosine kinases that preferentially heterodimerize and are often co-expressed in cancer. This theoretical study is based upon spatial stochastic simulations of the two-dimensional membrane landscape, where variables include differential distributions and overlap of transient confinement zones (domains for the two receptor species. The in silico model is parameterized and validated using data from single particle tracking experiments. We report key differences in signaling output based on the degree of overlap between domains and the relative retention of receptors in such domains, expressed as escape probability. Results predict that a high overlap of domains, which favors transient co-confinement of both receptor species, will enhance the rate of hetero-interactions. Where domains do not overlap, simulations confirm expectations that homo-interactions are favored. Since ErbB3 is uniquely dependent on ErbB2 interactions for activation of its catalytic activity, variations in domain overlap or escape probability markedly alter the predicted patterns and time course of ErbB3 and ErbB2 phosphorylation. Taken together, these results implicate membrane domain organization as an important modulator of signal initiation, motivating the design of novel experimental approaches to measure these important parameters across a wider range of receptor systems.

  13. Spatial focalization of pheromone/MAPK signaling triggers commitment to cell–cell fusion

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    Merlini, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Cell fusion is universal in eukaryotes for fertilization and development, but what signals this process is unknown. Here, we show in Schizosaccharomyces pombe that fusion does not require a dedicated signal but is triggered by spatial focalization of the same pheromone–GPCR (G-protein-coupled receptor)–MAPK signaling cascade that drives earlier mating events. Autocrine cells expressing the receptor for their own pheromone trigger fusion attempts independently of cell–cell contact by concentrating pheromone release at the fusion focus, a dynamic actin aster underlying the secretion of cell wall hydrolases. Pheromone receptor and MAPK cascade are similarly enriched at the fusion focus, concomitant with fusion commitment in wild-type mating pairs. This focalization promotes cell fusion by immobilizing the fusion focus, thus driving local cell wall dissolution. We propose that fusion commitment is imposed by a local increase in MAPK concentration at the fusion focus, driven by a positive feedback between fusion focus formation and focalization of pheromone release and perception. PMID:27798845

  14. Sustained Attention in Auditory and Visual Monitoring Tasks: Evaluation of the Administration of a Rest Break or Exogenous Vibrotactile Signals.

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    Arrabito, G Robert; Ho, Geoffrey; Aghaei, Behzad; Burns, Catherine; Hou, Ming

    2015-12-01

    Performance and mental workload were observed for the administration of a rest break or exogenous vibrotactile signals in auditory and visual monitoring tasks. Sustained attention is mentally demanding. Techniques are required to improve observer performance in vigilance tasks. Participants (N = 150) monitored an auditory or a visual display for changes in signal duration in a 40-min watch. During the watch, participants were administered a rest break or exogenous vibrotactile signals. Detection accuracy was significantly greater in the auditory than in the visual modality. A short rest break restored detection accuracy in both sensory modalities following deterioration in performance. Participants experienced significantly lower mental workload when monitoring auditory than visual signals, and a rest break significantly reduced mental workload in both sensory modalities. Exogenous vibrotactile signals had no beneficial effects on performance, or mental workload. A rest break can restore performance in auditory and visual vigilance tasks. Although sensory differences in vigilance tasks have been studied, this study is the initial effort to investigate the effects of a rest break countermeasure in both auditory and visual vigilance tasks, and it is also the initial effort to explore the effects of the intervention of a rest break on the perceived mental workload of auditory and visual vigilance tasks. Further research is warranted to determine exact characteristics of effective exogenous vibrotactile signals in vigilance tasks. Potential applications of this research include procedures for decreasing the temporal decline in observer performance and the high mental workload imposed by vigilance tasks. © 2015, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of National Defence.

  15. Selective attention and the auditory vertex potential. 2: Effects of signal intensity and masking noise

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    Schwent, V. L.; Hillyard, S. A.; Galambos, R.

    1975-01-01

    A randomized sequence of tone bursts was delivered to subjects at short inter-stimulus intervals with the tones originating from one of three spatially and frequency specific channels. The subject's task was to count the tones in one of the three channels at a time, ignoring the other two, and press a button after each tenth tone. In different conditions, tones were given at high and low intensities and with or without a background white noise to mask the tones. The N sub 1 component of the auditory vertex potential was found to be larger in response to attended channel tones in relation to unattended tones. This selective enhancement of N sub 1 was minimal for loud tones presented without noise and increased markedly for the lower tone intensity and in noise added conditions.

  16. Experimental Effects and Individual Differences in Linear Mixed Models: Estimating the Relationship between Spatial, Object, and Attraction Effects in Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kliegl, Reinhold; Wei, Ping; Dambacher, Michael; Yan, Ming; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2011-01-01

    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

  17. The winner takes it all: Event-related brain potentials reveal enhanced motivated attention toward athletes' nonverbal signals of leading.

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    Furley, Philip; Schnuerch, Robert; Gibbons, Henning

    2017-08-01

    Observers of sports can reliably estimate who is leading or trailing based on nonverbal cues. Most likely, this is due to an adaptive mechanism of detecting motivationally relevant signals such as high status, superiority, and dominance. We reasoned that the relevance of leading athletes should lead to a sustained attentional prioritization. To test this idea, we recorded electroencephalography while 45 participants saw brief stills of athletes and estimated whether they were leading or trailing. Based on these recordings, we assessed event-related potentials and focused on the late positive complex (LPC), a well-established signature of controlled attention to motivationally relevant visual stimuli. Confirming our expectation, we found that LPC amplitude was significantly enhanced for leading as compared to trailing athletes. Moreover, this modulation was significantly related to behavioral performance on the score-estimation task. The present data suggest that subtle cues related to athletic supremacy are reliably differentiated in the human brain, involving a strong attentional orienting toward leading athletes. This mechanism might be part of an adaptive cognitive strategy that guides human social behavior.

  18. Voluntary resistance running with short distance enhances spatial memory related to hippocampal BDNF signaling.

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    Lee, Min Chul; Okamoto, Masahiro; Liu, Yu Fan; Inoue, Koshiro; Matsui, Takashi; Nogami, Haruo; Soya, Hideaki

    2012-10-15

    Although voluntary running has beneficial effects on hippocampal cognitive functions if done abundantly, it is still uncertain whether resistance running would be the same. For this purpose, voluntary resistance wheel running (RWR) with a load is a suitable model, since it allows increased work levels and resultant muscular adaptation in fast-twitch muscle. Here, we examined whether RWR would have potential effects on hippocampal cognitive functions with enhanced hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), as does wheel running without a load (WR). Ten-week-old male Wistar rats were assigned randomly to sedentary (Sed), WR, and RWR (to a maximum load of 30% of body weight) groups for 4 wk. We found that in RWR, work levels increased with load, but running distance decreased by about half, which elicited muscular adaptation for fast-twitch plantaris muscle without causing any negative stress effects. Both RWR and WR led to improved spatial learning and memory as well as gene expressions of hippocampal BDNF signaling-related molecules. RWR increased hippocampal BDNF, tyrosine-related kinase B (TrkB), and cAMP response element-binding (CREB) protein levels, whereas WR increased only BDNF. With both exercise groups, there were correlations between spatial memory and BDNF protein (r = 0.41), p-CREB protein (r = 0.44), and work levels (r = 0.77). These results suggest that RWR plays a beneficial role in hippocampus-related cognitive functions associated with hippocampal BDNF signaling, even with short distances, and that work levels rather than running distance are more determinant of exercise-induced beneficial effects in wheel running with and without a load.

  19. Visual spatial attention enhances the amplitude of positive and negative fMRI responses to visual stimulation in an eccentricity-dependent manner

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressler, David W.; Fortenbaugh, Francesca C.; Robertson, Lynn C.; Silver, Michael A.

    2013-01-01

    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

  20. Selective olfactory attention of a specialised predator to intraspecific chemical signals of its prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cárdenas, Manuel; Jiroš, Pavel; Pekár, Stano

    2012-08-01

    Prey-specialised predators have evolved specific cognitive adaptations that increase their prey searching efficiency. In particular, when the prey is social, selection probably favours the use of prey intraspecific chemical signals by predatory arthropods. Using a specialised ant-eating zodariid spider, Zodarion rubidum, which is known to prey on several ant species and possesses capture and venom adaptations more effective on Formicinae ants, we tested its ability to recognise chemical cues produced by several ant species. Using an olfactometer, we tested the response of Z. rubidum towards air with chemical cues from six different ant species: Camponotus ligniperda, Lasius platythorax and Formica rufibarbis (all Formicinae); and Messor structor, Myrmica scabrinodis and Tetramorium caespitum (all Myrmicinae). Z. rubidum was attracted to air carrying chemical cues only from F. rufibarbis and L. platythorax. Then, we identified that the spiders were attracted to airborne cues coming from the F. rufibarbis gaster and Dufour's gland, in particular. Finally, we found that among several synthetic blends, the decyl acetate and undecane mixture produced significant attraction of spiders. These chemicals are produced only by three Formicine genera. Furthermore, we investigated the role of these chemical cues in the communication of F. rufibarbis and found that this blend reduces their movement. This study demonstrates the chemical cognitive capacity of Z. rubidum to locate its ant prey using chemical signals produced by the ants. The innate capacity of Z. rubidum to olfactory detect different ant species is narrow, as it includes only two ant genera, confirming trophic specialisation at lower than subfamily level. The olfactory cue detected by Zodarion spiders is probably a component of the recruitment or trail pheromone.

  1. Signals of recent spatial expansions in the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus

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    Chikhi Lounès

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pleistocene events have shaped the phylogeography of many taxa worldwide. Their genetic signatures in tropical species have been much less explored than in those living in temperate regions. We analysed the genetic structure of a Malagasy primate species, a mouse lemur with a wide distribution (M. murinus, in order to investigate such phylogeographic processes on a large tropical island. We also evaluated the effects of anthropogenic pressures (fragmentation/deforestation and natural features (geographic distance, rivers on genetic structure in order to complement our understanding of past and present processes of genetic differentiation. Results The analysis of the mitochondrial D-loop sequences of 195 samples from 15 study sites (10 from a continuous forest and five from isolated forest fragments from two adjacent Inter-River-Systems (IRSs revealed that forest fragmentation and the river restrict gene flow, thereby leading to an increased genetic differentiation between populations beyond the effect of isolation-by-distance. Demographic simulations detected signals of two successive spatial expansions that could be preliminarily dated to the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. The haplotype network revealed geographic structure and showed deep molecular divergences within and between the IRSs that would be congruent with a two-step colonization scenario. Conclusions This study supports the hypothesis of a relatively recent spatial expansion of the grey mouse lemur in northwestern Madagascar, which may also explain why this taxon, in contrast to its congeners, has not yet undergone allopatric speciation in the studied area and possibly across its presently wide range.

  2. Evidence for impairments in using static line drawings of eye gaze cues to orient visual-spatial attention in children with high functioning autism.

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    Goldberg, Melissa C; Mostow, Allison J; Vecera, Shaun P; Larson, Jennifer C Gidley; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Mahone, E Mark; Denckla, Martha B

    2008-09-01

    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.

  3. Contingent capture of visual-spatial attention depends on capacity-limited central mechanisms: evidence from human electrophysiology and the psychological refractory period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brisson, Benoit; Leblanc, Emilie; Jolicoeur, Pierre

    2009-02-01

    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.

  4. Effect of harmonicity on the detection of a signal in a complex masker and on spatial release from masking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Astrid Klinge

    Full Text Available The amount of masking of sounds from one source (signals by sounds from a competing source (maskers heavily depends on the sound characteristics of the masker and the signal and on their relative spatial location. Numerous studies investigated the ability to detect a signal in a speech or a noise masker or the effect of spatial separation of signal and masker on the amount of masking, but there is a lack of studies investigating the combined effects of many cues on the masking as is typical for natural listening situations. The current study using free-field listening systematically evaluates the combined effects of harmonicity and inharmonicity cues in multi-tone maskers and cues resulting from spatial separation of target signal and masker on the detection of a pure tone in a multi-tone or a noise masker. A linear binaural processing model was implemented to predict the masked thresholds in order to estimate whether the observed thresholds can be accounted for by energetic masking in the auditory periphery or whether other effects are involved. Thresholds were determined for combinations of two target frequencies (1 and 8 kHz, two spatial configurations (masker and target either co-located or spatially separated by 90 degrees azimuth, and five different masker types (four complex multi-tone stimuli, one noise masker. A spatial separation of target and masker resulted in a release from masking for all masker types. The amount of masking significantly depended on the masker type and frequency range. The various harmonic and inharmonic relations between target and masker or between components of the masker resulted in a complex pattern of increased or decreased masked thresholds in comparison to the predicted energetic masking. The results indicate that harmonicity cues affect the detectability of a tonal target in a complex masker.

  5. Stimulus- and state-dependence of systematic bias in spatial attention: additive effects of stimulus-size and time-on-task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benwell, Christopher S Y; Harvey, Monika; Gardner, Stephanie; Thut, Gregor

    2013-03-01

    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.

  6. Establishing the functional connectivity of the frontotemporal network in pre-attentive change detection with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and event-related optical signal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tse, Chun-Yu; Long-Yin, Yip; Lui, Troby Ka-Yan; Xiao, Xue-Zhen; Wang, Yang; Chu, Winnie Chiu Wing; Parks, Nathan Allen; Chan, Sandra Sau-Man; Neggers, Sebastiaan Franciscus Wijnandus

    2018-06-18

    Current theories of pre-attentive deviant detection postulate that before the Superior Temporal Cortex (STC) detects a change, the Inferior Frontal Cortex (IFC) engages in stimulus analysis, which is particularly critical for ambiguous deviations (e.g., deviant preceded by a short train of standards). These theories rest on the assumption that IFC and STC are functionally connected, which has only been supported by correlational brain imaging studies. We examined this functional connectivity assumption by applying Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to disrupt IFC function, while measuring the later STC mismatch response with the event-related optical signal (EROS). EROS can localize brain activity in both spatial and temporal dimensions via measurement of optical property changes associated with neuronal activity, and is inert to the electromagnetic interference produced by TMS. Specifically, the STC mismatch response at 120-180 ms elicited by a deviant preceded by a short standard train when IFC TMS was applied at 80 ms was compared with the STC mismatch responses in temporal control (TMS with 200 ms delay), spatial control (sham TMS at vertex), auditory control (TMS pulse noise only), and cognitive control (deviant preceded by a long standard train) conditions. The STC mismatch response to deviants preceded by the short train was abolished by TMS of the IFC at 80 ms, while the STC responses remained intact in all other control conditions. These results confirm the involvement of the IFC in the STC mismatch response and support a functional connection between IFC and STC. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. The roles of scene gist and spatial dependency among objects in the semantic guidance of attention in real-world scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chia-Chien; Wang, Hsueh-Cheng; Pomplun, Marc

    2014-12-01

    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.

  8. Improving the spatial resolution in CZT detectors using charge sharing effect and transient signal analysis: Simulation study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zheng, Xiaoqing; Cheng, Zeng [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University (Canada); Deen, M. Jamal, E-mail: jamal@mcmaster.ca [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University (Canada); School of Biomedical Engineering, McMaster University (Canada); Peng, Hao, E-mail: penghao@mcmaster.ca [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McMaster University (Canada); School of Biomedical Engineering, McMaster University (Canada); Department of Medical Physics, McMaster University, Ontario L8S 4K1, Hamilton (Canada)

    2016-02-01

    Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) semiconductor detectors are capable of providing superior energy resolution and three-dimensional position information of gamma ray interactions in a large variety of fields, including nuclear physics, gamma-ray imaging and nuclear medicine. Some dedicated Positron Emission Tomography (PET) systems, for example, for breast cancer detection, require higher contrast recovery and more accurate event location compared with a whole-body PET system. The spatial resolution is currently limited by electrode pitch in CZT detectors. A straightforward approach to increase the spatial resolution is by decreasing the detector electrode pitch, but this leads to higher fabrication cost and a larger number of readout channels. In addition, inter-electrode charge spreading can negate any improvement in spatial resolution. In this work, we studied the feasibility of achieving sub-pitch spatial resolution in CZT detectors using two methods: charge sharing effect and transient signal analysis. We noted that their valid ranges of usage were complementary. The dependences of their corresponding valid ranges on electrode design, depth-of-interaction (DOI), voltage bias and signal triggering threshold were investigated. The implementation of these two methods in both pixelated and cross-strip configuration of CZT detectors were discussed. Our results show that the valid range of charge sharing effect increases as a function of DOI, but decreases with increasing gap width and bias voltage. For a CZT detector of 5 mm thickness, 100 µm gap and biased at 400 V, the valid range of charge sharing effect was found to be about 112.3 µm around the gap center. This result complements the valid range of the transient signal analysis within one electrode pitch. For a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of ~17 and preliminary measurements, the sub-pitch spatial resolution is expected to be ~30 µm and ~250 µm for the charge sharing and transient signal analysis methods

  9. The influence of naturalistic, directionally non-specific motion on the spatial deployment of visual attention in right-hemispheric stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazzoli, Dario; Hopfner, Simone; Preisig, Basil; Zito, Giuseppe; Vanbellingen, Tim; Jäger, Michael; Nef, Tobias; Mosimann, Urs; Bohlhalter, Stephan; Müri, René M; Nyffeler, Thomas

    2016-11-01

    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 © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Dose and Spatial Effects in Long-Distance Radiation Signaling In Vivo: Implications for Abscopal Tumorigenesis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mancuso, Mariateresa; Giardullo, Paola; Leonardi, Simona; Pasquali, Emanuela; Casciati, Arianna; De Stefano, Ilaria; Tanori, Mirella; Pazzaglia, Simonetta; Saran, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the dose and spatial dependence of abscopal radiation effects occurring in vivo in the mouse, along with their tumorigenic potential in the central nervous system (CNS) of a radiosensitive mouse model. Methods and Materials: Patched1 (Ptch1) +/− mice, carrying a germ-line heterozygous inactivating mutation in the Ptch1 gene and uniquely susceptible to radiation damage in neonatal cerebellum, were exposed directly to ionizing radiation (1, 2, or 3 Gy of x-rays) or treated in a variety of partial-body irradiation protocols, in which the animals' head was fully protected by suitable lead cylinders while the rest of the body was exposed to x-rays in full or in part. Apoptotic cell death was measured in directly irradiated and shielded cerebellum shortly after irradiation, and tumor development was monitored in lifetime groups. The same endpoints were measured using different shielding geometries in mice irradiated with 3 or 10 Gy of x-rays. Results: Although dose-dependent cell death was observed in off-target cerebellum for all doses and shielding conditions tested, a conspicuous lack of abscopal response for CNS tumorigenesis was evident at the lowest dose of 1 Gy. By changing the amount of exposed body volume, the shielding geometry could also significantly modulate tumorigenesis depending on dose. Conclusions: We conclude that interplay between radiation dose and exposed tissue volume plays a critical role in nontargeted effects occurring in mouse CNS under conditions relevant to humans. These findings may help understanding the mechanisms of long-range radiation signaling in harmful effects, including carcinogenesis, occurring in off-target tissues

  11. A Static Color Discontinuity Can Capture Spatial Attention when the Target Is an Abrupt-Onset Singleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnham, Bryan R.; Neely, James H.

    2008-01-01

    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,…

  12. High spatial correspondence at a columnar level between activation and resting state fMRI signals and local field potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Zhaoyue; Wu, Ruiqi; Yang, Pai-Feng; Wang, Feng; Wu, Tung-Lin; Mishra, Arabinda; Chen, Li Min; Gore, John C

    2017-05-16

    Although blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI has been widely used to map brain responses to external stimuli and to delineate functional circuits at rest, the extent to which BOLD signals correlate spatially with underlying neuronal activity, the spatial relationships between stimulus-evoked BOLD activations and local correlations of BOLD signals in a resting state, and whether these spatial relationships vary across functionally distinct cortical areas are not known. To address these critical questions, we directly compared the spatial extents of stimulated activations and the local profiles of intervoxel resting state correlations for both high-resolution BOLD at 9.4 T and local field potentials (LFPs), using 98-channel microelectrode arrays, in functionally distinct primary somatosensory areas 3b and 1 in nonhuman primates. Anatomic images of LFP and BOLD were coregistered within 0.10 mm accuracy. We found that the point spread functions (PSFs) of BOLD and LFP responses were comparable in the stimulus condition, and both estimates of activations were slightly more spatially constrained than local correlations at rest. The magnitudes of stimulus responses in area 3b were stronger than those in area 1 and extended in a medial to lateral direction. In addition, the reproducibility and stability of stimulus-evoked activation locations within and across both modalities were robust. Our work suggests that the intrinsic resolution of BOLD is not a limiting feature in practice and approaches the intrinsic precision achievable by multielectrode electrophysiology.

  13. Monitoring the Simultaneous Presentation of Multiple Spatialized Speech Signals in the Free Field

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Nelson, W. T; Bolia, Robert S; Ericson, Mark A; McKinley, Richard L

    1998-01-01

    .... Factorial combinations of three variables, including the number of localized speech signals, the location of the speech signals along the horizontal plane, and the sex of the talker were employed...

  14. Spatial attention and reading ability: ERP correlates of flanker and cue-size effects in good and poor adult phonological decoders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Allison Jane; Martin, Frances Heritage

    2015-12-01

    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.

  15. Intrahippocampal Administration of Amyloid-β1–42 Oligomers Acutely Impairs Spatial Working Memory, Insulin Signaling, and Hippocampal Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson-Leary, Jiah; McNay, Ewan C.

    2017-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that abnormal brain accumulation of amyloid-β1–42 (Aβ1–42) oligomers plays a causal role in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and in particular may cause the cognitive deficits that are the hallmark of AD. In vitro, Aβ1–42 oligomers impair insulin signaling and suppress neural functioning. We previously showed that endogenous insulin signaling is an obligatory component of normal hippocampal function, and that disrupting this signaling led to a rapid impairment of spatial working memory, while delivery of exogenous insulin to the hippocampus enhanced both memory and metabolism; diet-induced insulin resistance both impaired spatial memory and prevented insulin from increasing metabolism or cognitive function. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that Aβ1–42 oligomers could acutely impair hippocampal metabolic and cognitive processes in vivo in the rat. Our findings support this hypothesis: Aβ1–42 oligomers impaired spontaneous alternation behavior while preventing the task-associated dip in hippocampal ECF glucose observed in control animals. In addition, Aβ1–42 oligomers decreased plasma membrane translocation of the insulin-sensitive glucose transporter 4 (GluT4), and impaired insulin signaling as measured by phosphorylation of Akt. These data show in vivo that Aβ1–42 oligomers can rapidly impair hippocampal cognitive and metabolic processes, and provide support for the hypothesis that elevated Aβ1–42 leads to cognitive impairment via interference with hippocampal insulin signaling. PMID:22430529

  16. On the instability and constraints of the interaction between number representation and spatial attention in healthy humans: A concise review of the literature and new experimental evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattorini, E; Pinto, M; Merola, S; D'Onofrio, M; Doricchi, F

    2016-01-01

    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

  17. Spatial coordinate systems for tactile spatial attention depend on developmental vision: evidence from event-related potentials in sighted and congenitally blind adult humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röder, Brigitte; Föcker, Julia; Hötting, Kirsten; Spence, Charles

    2008-08-01

    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.

  18. NMDA Signaling in CA1 Mediates Selectively the Spatial Component of Episodic Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Place, Ryan; Lykken, Christy; Beer, Zachery; Suh, Junghyup; McHugh, Thomas J.; Tonegawa, Susumu; Eichenbaum, Howard; Sauvage, Magdalena M.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies focusing on the memory for temporal order have reported that CA1 plays a critical role in the memory for the sequences of events, in addition to its well-described role in spatial navigation. In contrast, CA3 was found to principally contribute to the memory for the association of items with spatial or contextual information in…

  19. Leveraging Mechanism Simplicity and Strategic Averaging to Identify Signals from Highly Heterogeneous Spatial and Temporal Ozone Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown-Steiner, B.; Selin, N. E.; Prinn, R. G.; Monier, E.; Garcia-Menendez, F.; Tilmes, S.; Emmons, L. K.; Lamarque, J. F.; Cameron-Smith, P. J.

    2017-12-01

    We summarize two methods to aid in the identification of ozone signals from underlying spatially and temporally heterogeneous data in order to help research communities avoid the sometimes burdensome computational costs of high-resolution high-complexity models. The first method utilizes simplified chemical mechanisms (a Reduced Hydrocarbon Mechanism and a Superfast Mechanism) alongside a more complex mechanism (MOZART-4) within CESM CAM-Chem to extend the number of simulated meteorological years (or add additional members to an ensemble) for a given modeling problem. The Reduced Hydrocarbon mechanism is twice as fast, and the Superfast mechanism is three times faster than the MOZART-4 mechanism. We show that simplified chemical mechanisms are largely capable of simulating surface ozone across the globe as well as the more complex chemical mechanisms, and where they are not capable, a simple standardized anomaly emulation approach can correct for their inadequacies. The second method uses strategic averaging over both temporal and spatial scales to filter out the highly heterogeneous noise that underlies ozone observations and simulations. This method allows for a selection of temporal and spatial averaging scales that match a particular signal strength (between 0.5 and 5 ppbv), and enables the identification of regions where an ozone signal can rise above the ozone noise over a given region and a given period of time. In conjunction, these two methods can be used to "scale down" chemical mechanism complexity and quantitatively determine spatial and temporal scales that could enable research communities to utilize simplified representations of atmospheric chemistry and thereby maximize their productivity and efficiency given computational constraints. While this framework is here applied to ozone data, it could also be applied to a broad range of geospatial data sets (observed or modeled) that have spatial and temporal coverage.

  20. Brain source localization: A new method based on MUltiple SIgnal Classification algorithm and spatial sparsity of the field signal for electroencephalogram measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergallo, P.; Lay-Ekuakille, A.

    2013-08-01

    Brain activity can be recorded by means of EEG (Electroencephalogram) electrodes placed on the scalp of the patient. The EEG reflects the activity of groups of neurons located in the head, and the fundamental problem in neurophysiology is the identification of the sources responsible of brain activity, especially if a seizure occurs and in this case it is important to identify it. The studies conducted in order to formalize the relationship between the electromagnetic activity in the head and the recording of the generated external field allow to know pattern of brain activity. The inverse problem, that is given the sampling field at different electrodes the underlying asset must be determined, is more difficult because the problem may not have a unique solution, or the search for the solution is made difficult by a low spatial resolution which may not allow to distinguish between activities involving sources close to each other. Thus, sources of interest may be obscured or not detected and known method in source localization problem as MUSIC (MUltiple SIgnal Classification) could fail. Many advanced source localization techniques achieve a best resolution by exploiting sparsity: if the number of sources is small as a result, the neural power vs. location is sparse. In this work a solution based on the spatial sparsity of the field signal is presented and analyzed to improve MUSIC method. For this purpose, it is necessary to set a priori information of the sparsity in the signal. The problem is formulated and solved using a regularization method as Tikhonov, which calculates a solution that is the better compromise between two cost functions to minimize, one related to the fitting of the data, and another concerning the maintenance of the sparsity of the signal. At the first, the method is tested on simulated EEG signals obtained by the solution of the forward problem. Relatively to the model considered for the head and brain sources, the result obtained allows to

  1. Cortical feedback signals generalise across different spatial frequencies of feedforward inputs

    OpenAIRE

    Revina, Yulia; Petro, Lucy S.; Muckli, Lars

    2017-01-01

    Visual processing in cortex relies on feedback projections contextualising feedforward information flow. Primary visual cortex (V1) has small receptive fields and processes feedforward information at a fine-grained spatial scale, whereas higher visual areas have larger, spatially invariant receptive fields. Therefore, feedback could provide coarse information about the global scene structure or alternatively recover fine-grained structure by targeting small receptive fields in V1. We tested i...

  2. Real color captures attention and overrides spatial cues in grapheme-color synesthetes but not in controls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, T.M. van; Hagoort, Peter; Händel, B.F.

    2013-01-01

    Grapheme-color synesthetes perceive color when reading letters or digits. We investigated oscillatory brain signals of synesthetes vs. controls using magnetoencephalography. Brain oscillations specifically in the alpha band ( approximately 10Hz) have two interesting features: alpha has been linked

  3. Big Pylons: Mixed signals for transmission. Spatial planning for energy distribution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ritchie, Heather; Hardy, Maelíosa; Lloyd, M. Greg; McGreal, Stanley

    2013-01-01

    The effective delivery of a sustainable energy future raises many challenges in relation to energy distribution where a new understanding of spatial planning is needed in relation to energy production, consumption and storage. Understanding the emergent low carbon energy economy in terms of its production, distribution and consumption characteristics has prompted a deliberate spatial planning interest. This paper examines issues relating to spatial planning, regulation, political legitimacy and accountability in the current and future systems for energy distribution. In particular it examines the Beauly Denny public inquiry in Scotland as a case study in terms of demonstrating the changing state–market–civil relations in an energy transition context with differentiated values and interests. The case study highlights implications for the regulation in the public interest of highly contested spaces, places and development schemes, together with a synopsis of government structure and change that is influencing the future of spatial planning and energy distribution in particular. - Highlights: • We examine links between spatial planning and regulation of energy distribution. • We examine the Beauly Denny public inquiry in Scotland. • We highlight challenges surrounding the development of a resilient energy system. • We highlight links between spatial planning and infrastructural development

  4. Apolipoprotein ɛ4 breaks the association between declarative long-term memory and memory-based orienting of spatial attention in middle-aged individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvato, Gerardo; Patai, Eva Z; McCloud, Tayla; Nobre, Anna C

    2016-09-01

    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.

  5. Association between Early Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Symptoms and Current Verbal and Visuo-Spatial Short-Term Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Chiang, Huey-Ling

    2013-01-01

    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…

  6. Visual Spatial Attention and Speech Segmentation are Both Impaired in Preschoolers at Familial Risk for Developmental Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facoetti, Andrea; Corradi, Nicola; Ruffino, Milena; Gori, Simone; Zorzi, Marco

    2010-01-01

    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…

  7. Resolving Visual Interference During Covert Spatial Orienting: Online Attentional Control Through Static Records of Prior Visual Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awh, Edward; Sgarlata, Antoinette Marie; Kliestik, John

    2005-01-01

    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…

  8. Attention to Low- and High-Spatial Frequencies in Categorizing Facial Identities, Emotions and Gender in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deruelle, Christine; Rondan, Cecilie; Salle-Collemiche, Xavier; Bastard-Rosset, Delphine; Da Fonseca, David

    2008-01-01

    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…

  9. Multiplex multivariate recurrence network from multi-channel signals for revealing oil-water spatial flow behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Zhong-Ke; Dang, Wei-Dong; Yang, Yu-Xuan; Cai, Qing

    2017-03-01

    The exploration of the spatial dynamical flow behaviors of oil-water flows has attracted increasing interests on account of its challenging complexity and great significance. We first technically design a double-layer distributed-sector conductance sensor and systematically carry out oil-water flow experiments to capture the spatial flow information. Based on the well-established recurrence network theory, we develop a novel multiplex multivariate recurrence network (MMRN) to fully and comprehensively fuse our double-layer multi-channel signals. Then we derive the projection networks from the inferred MMRNs and exploit the average clustering coefficient and the spectral radius to quantitatively characterize the nonlinear recurrent behaviors related to the distinct flow patterns. We find that these two network measures are very sensitive to the change of flow states and the distributions of network measures enable to uncover the spatial dynamical flow behaviors underlying different oil-water flow patterns. Our method paves the way for efficiently analyzing multi-channel signals from multi-layer sensor measurement system.

  10. Dealing with ocular artifacts on lateralized ERPs in studies of visual-spatial attention and memory: ICA correction versus epoch rejection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drisdelle, Brandi Lee; Aubin, Sébrina; Jolicoeur, Pierre

    2017-01-01

    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.

  11. High frequency seismic signal generated by landslides on complex topographies: from point source to spatially distributed sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangeney, A.; Kuehnert, J.; Capdeville, Y.; Durand, V.; Stutzmann, E.; Kone, E. H.; Sethi, S.

    2017-12-01

    During their flow along the topography, landslides generate seismic waves in a wide frequency range. These so called landquakes can be recorded at very large distances (a few hundreds of km for large landslides). The recorded signals depend on the landslide seismic source and the seismic wave propagation. If the wave propagation is well understood, the seismic signals can be inverted for the seismic source and thus can be used to get information on the landslide properties and dynamics. Analysis and modeling of long period seismic signals (10-150s) have helped in this way to discriminate between different landslide scenarios and to constrain rheological parameters (e.g. Favreau et al., 2010). This was possible as topography poorly affects wave propagation at these long periods and the landslide seismic source can be approximated as a point source. In the near-field and at higher frequencies (> 1 Hz) the spatial extent of the source has to be taken into account and the influence of the topography on the recorded seismic signal should be quantified in order to extract information on the landslide properties and dynamics. The characteristic signature of distributed sources and varying topographies is studied as a function of frequency and recording distance.The time dependent spatial distribution of the forces applied to the ground by the landslide are obtained using granular flow numerical modeling on 3D topography. The generated seismic waves are simulated using the spectral element method. The simulated seismic signal is compared to observed seismic data from rockfalls at the Dolomieu Crater of Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion).Favreau, P., Mangeney, A., Lucas, A., Crosta, G., and Bouchut, F. (2010). Numerical modeling of landquakes. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(15):1-5.

  12. Area PEc Neurons Use a Multiphasic Pattern of Activity to Signal the Spatial Properties of Optic Flow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milena Raffi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The cortical representation of visual perception requires the integration of several-signal processing distributed across many cortical areas, but the neural substrates of such perception are largely unknown. The type of firing pattern exhibited by single neurons is an important indicator of dynamic circuitry within or across cortical areas. Neurons in area PEc are involved in the spatial mapping of the visual field; thus, we sought to analyze the firing pattern of activity of PEc optic flow neurons to shed some light on the cortical processing of visual signals. We quantified the firing activity of 152 optic flow neurons using a spline interpolation function, which allowed determining onset, end, and latency of each neuronal response. We found that many PEc neurons showed multiphasic activity, which is strictly related to the position of the eye and to the position of the focus of expansion (FOE of the flow field. PEc neurons showed a multiphasic activity comprised of excitatory phases interspersed with inhibitory pauses. This phasic pattern seems to be a very efficient way to signal the spatial location of visual stimuli, given that the same neuron sends different firing patterns according to a specific combination of FOE/eye position.

  13. Real color captures attention and overrides spatial cues in grapheme-color synesthetes but not in controls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, T.M. van; Hagoort, P.; Händel, B.F.

    2013-01-01

    Grapheme-color synesthetes perceive color when reading letters or digits. We investigated oscillatory brain signals of synesthetes vs. controls using magnetoencephalography. Brain oscillations specifically in the alpha band (∼10 Hz) have two interesting features: alpha has been linked to inhibitory

  14. Finite energy wave signals of extremal amplitude in the spatial NLS-dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Groesen, Embrecht W.C.; Andonowati, A.

    2006-01-01

    With the aim to find extremal properties of extreme waves, we consider waves of maximal crest (and wave) height in the model of the spatial NLS-dynamics. Using the two motion invariants momentum and Hamiltonian as constraints, we show that so-called cornered solitons provide the maximal crest

  15. Amplitude and Phase Characteristics of Signals at the Output of Spatially Separated Antennas for Paths with Scattering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anikin, A. S.

    2018-06-01

    Conditional statistical characteristics of the phase difference are considered depending on the ratio of instantaneous output signal amplitudes of spatially separated weakly directional antennas for the normal field model for paths with radio-wave scattering. The dependences obtained are related to the physical processes on the radio-wave propagation path. The normal model parameters are established at which the statistical characteristics of the phase difference depend on the ratio of the instantaneous amplitudes and hence can be used to measure the phase difference. Using Shannon's formula, the amount of information on the phase difference of signals contained in the ratio of their amplitudes is calculated depending on the parameters of the normal field model. Approaches are suggested to reduce the shift of phase difference measured for paths with radio-wave scattering. A comparison with results of computer simulation by the Monte Carlo method is performed.

  16. Chronically Increased G[subscript s][alpha] Signaling Disrupts Associative and Spatial Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourtchouladze, Rusiko; Patterson, Susan L.; Kelly, Michele P.; Kreibich, Arati; Kandel, Eric R.; Abel, Ted

    2006-01-01

    The cAMP/PKA pathway plays a critical role in learning and memory systems in animals ranging from mice to "Drosophila" to "Aplysia." Studies of olfactory learning in "Drosophila" suggest that altered expression of either positive or negative regulators of the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway beyond a certain optimum range may be deleterious. Here we…

  17. Decoding spatial and temporal features of neuronal cAMP/PKA signaling with FRET biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Liliana R V; Guiot, Elvire; Polito, Marina; Paupardin-Tritsch, Daniéle; Vincent, Pierre

    2014-02-01

    Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and the cyclic-AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) regulate a plethora of cellular functions in virtually all eukaryotic cells. In neurons, the cAMP/PKA signaling cascade controls a number of biological properties such as axonal growth, pathfinding, efficacy of synaptic transmission, regulation of excitability, or long term changes. Genetically encoded optical biosensors for cAMP or PKA are considerably improving our understanding of these processes by providing a real-time measurement in living neurons. In this review, we describe the recent progress made in the creation of biosensors for cAMP or PKA activity. These biosensors revealed profound differences in the amplitude of the cAMP signal evoked by neuromodulators between various neuronal preparations. These responses can be resolved at the level of individual neurons, also revealing differences related to the neuronal type. At the sub-cellular level, biosensors reported different signal dynamics in domains like dendrites, cell body, nucleus, and axon. Combining this imaging approach with pharmacology or genetic models points at phosphodiesterases and phosphatases as critical regulatory proteins. Biosensor imaging will certainly emerge as a forefront tool to decipher the subtle mechanics of intracellular signaling. This will certainly help us to understand the mechanism of action of current drugs and foster the development of novel molecules for neuropsychiatric diseases. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. The effectiveness of signaling principle in virtual reality courseware towards achievement of transfer learning among students with different spatial ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yahaya, Wan Ahmad Jaafar Wan; Ahmad, Awaatif

    2017-10-01

    Past research revealed that students and society, in general, are relatively under-skilled in performing the practice of Islamic funeral management which is one of the "ibadah fardu kifayah" (a legal obligation that must be discharged by the Muslim community as a whole) in Islam. Participation among youth in managing funerals is relatively low, partly due to the ineffectiveness of the instructional approach. This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of the signaling principle in virtual reality courseware pertaining to the topic of Islamic Funeral Management in the Islamic Education subject to ensure the accomplishment of transfer learning among students with different spatial abilities. The study comprises of two phases namely the courseware development phase and treatment phase. The courseware development employs the Instructional Design Model by Alessi and Trollip. Besides that, the courseware is integrated with components of CLE, principles in Theory of CATLM and signaling principle in multimedia learning. The sample consisted of 130 Form Two students who were selected randomly from four Malaysian secondary schools. They were divided into two experimental groups with 63 students in group one and 67 students in group two. The experimental group one used VR courseware without the signaling principle (VRTI) while experimental group two used the VR courseware with the signaling principle (VRDI). The experiment lasted for three weeks. ANOVA was utilised to analyse the data from this research. The findings showed significant differences between students who used VRDI in the transfer of learning compared to students who used VRTI.

  19. Attention and Olfactory Consciousness

    OpenAIRE

    Keller, Andreas

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the relation between attention and consciousness is an important part of our understanding of consciousness. Attention, unlike consciousness, can be systematically manipulated in psychophysical experiments and a law-like relation between attention and consciousness is waiting to be discovered. Most attempts to discover the nature of this relation are focused on a special type of attention: spatial visual attention. In this review I want to introduce another type of attention to ...

  20. The Attention Cascade Model and Attentional Blink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Shui-I

    2008-01-01

    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,…

  1. [Electroencephalographic characteristic of cognitive-specific alerting attention in verbal learning--III: Localized characteristics of EEG spatial synchronization].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dan'ko, S G; Kachalova, L M; Solov'eva, M L

    2010-01-01

    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.

  2. Insulin protects against Aβ-induced spatial memory impairment, hippocampal apoptosis and MAPKs signaling disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghasemi, Rasoul; Zarifkar, Asadollah; Rastegar, Karim; maghsoudi, Nader; Moosavi, Maryam

    2014-10-01

    Alzheimer disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by extracellular deposits of beta amyloid (Aβ) and neuronal loss particularly in the hippocampus. Accumulating evidences have implied that insulin signaling impairment plays a key role in the pathology of AD; as much as it is considered as type 3 Diabetes. MAPKs are a group of signaling molecules which are involved in pathobiology of AD. Therefore this study was designed to investigate if intrahippocampal insulin hinders Aβ-related memory deterioration, hippocampal apoptosis and MAPKs signaling alteration induced by Aβ. Adult male Sprague-Dawely rats weighing 250-300 g were used in this study. The canules were implanted bilaterally into CA1 region. Aβ25-35 was administered during first 4 days after surgery (5 μg/2.5 μL/daily). Insulin treatment (0.5 or 6 mU) was done during days 4-9. The animal's learning and memory capability was assessed on days 10-13 using Morris water maze. After finishing of behavioral studies the hippocampi was isolated and the amount of hippocampal cleaved caspase 3 (the landmark of apoptosis) and the phosphorylated (activated) forms of P38, JNK and ERK was analyzed by western blot. The results showed that insulin in 6 but not 0.5 mU reversed the memory loss induced by Aβ25-35. Western blot analysis revealed that Aβ25-35 induced elevation of caspase-3 and all 3 MAPks subfamily activity, while insulin in 6 mu restored ERK and P38 activation but has no effect on JNK. This study disclosed that intrahippocampal insulin treatment averts not only Aβ-induced memory deterioration but also hippocampal caspase-3, ERK and P38 activation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Single-molecule tracking of small GTPase Rac1 uncovers spatial regulation of membrane translocation and mechanism for polarized signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Sulagna; Yin, Taofei; Yang, Qingfen; Zhang, Jingqiao; Wu, Yi I.; Yu, Ji

    2015-01-01

    Polarized Rac1 signaling is a hallmark of many cellular functions, including cell adhesion, motility, and cell division. The two steps of Rac1 activation are its translocation to the plasma membrane and the exchange of nucleotide from GDP to GTP. It is, however, unclear whether these two processes are regulated independent of each other and what their respective roles are in polarization of Rac1 signaling. We designed a single-particle tracking (SPT) method to quantitatively analyze the kinetics of Rac1 membrane translocation in living cells. We found that the rate of Rac1 translocation was significantly elevated in protrusions during cell spreading on collagen. Furthermore, combining FRET sensor imaging with SPT measurements in the same cell, the recruitment of Rac1 was found to be polarized to an extent similar to that of the nucleotide exchange process. Statistical analysis of single-molecule trajectories and optogenetic manipulation of membrane lipids revealed that Rac1 membrane translocation precedes nucleotide exchange, and is governed primarily by interactions with phospholipids, particularly PI(3,4,5)P3, instead of protein factors. Overall, the study highlights the significance of membrane translocation in spatial Rac1 signaling, which is in addition to the traditional view focusing primarily on GEF distribution and exchange reaction. PMID:25561548

  4. Gradients of Rac1 Nanoclusters Support Spatial Patterns of Rac1 Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remorino, Amanda; De Beco, Simon; Cayrac, Fanny; Di Federico, Fahima; Cornilleau, Gaetan; Gautreau, Alexis; Parrini, Maria Carla; Masson, Jean-Baptiste; Dahan, Maxime; Coppey, Mathieu

    2017-11-14

    Rac1 is a small RhoGTPase switch that orchestrates actin branching in space and time and protrusion/retraction cycles of the lamellipodia at the cell front during mesenchymal migration. Biosensor imaging has revealed a graded concentration of active GTP-loaded Rac1 in protruding regions of the cell. Here, using single-molecule imaging and super-resolution microscopy, we show an additional supramolecular organization of Rac1. We find that Rac1 partitions and is immobilized into nanoclusters of 50-100 molecules each. These nanoclusters assemble because of the interaction of the polybasic tail of Rac1 with the phosphoinositide lipids PIP2 and PIP3. The additional interactions with GEFs and possibly GAPs, downstream effectors, and other partners are responsible for an enrichment of Rac1 nanoclusters in protruding regions of the cell. Our results show that subcellular patterns of Rac1 activity are supported by gradients of signaling nanodomains of heterogeneous molecular composition, which presumably act as discrete signaling platforms. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Spatially defined InsP3-mediated signaling in embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidhi Kapoor

    Full Text Available The functional role of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3 signaling in cardiomyocytes is not entirely understood but it was linked to an increased propensity for triggered activity. The aim of this study was to determine how InsP3 receptors can translate Ca(2+ release into a depolarization of the plasma membrane and consequently arrhythmic activity. We used embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (ESdCs as a model system since their spontaneous electrical activity depends on InsP3-mediated Ca(2+ release. [InsP3]i was monitored with the FRET-based InsP3-biosensor FIRE-1 (Fluorescent InsP3 Responsive Element and heterogeneity in sub-cellular [InsP3]i was achieved by targeted expression of FIRE-1 in the nucleus (FIRE-1nuc or expression of InsP3 5-phosphatase (m43 localized to the plasma membrane. Spontaneous activity of ESdCs was monitored simultaneously as cytosolic Ca(2+ transients (Fluo-4/AM and action potentials (current clamp. During diastole, the diastolic depolarization was paralleled by an increase of [Ca(2+]i and spontaneous activity was modulated by [InsP3]i. A 3.7% and 1.7% increase of FIRE-1 FRET ratio and 3.0 and 1.5 fold increase in beating frequency was recorded upon stimulation with endothelin-1 (ET-1, 100 nmol/L or phenylephrine (PE, 10 µmol/L, respectively. Buffering of InsP3 by FIRE-1nuc had no effect on the basal frequency while attenuation of InsP3 signaling throughout the cell (FIRE-1, or at the plasma membrane (m43 resulted in a 53.7% and 54.0% decrease in beating frequency. In m43 expressing cells the response to ET-1 was completely suppressed. Ca(2+ released from InsP3Rs is more effective than Ca(2+ released from RyRs to enhance INCX. The results support the hypothesis that in ESdCs InsP3Rs form a functional signaling domain with NCX that translates Ca(2+ release efficiently into a depolarization of the membrane potential.

  6. The effects of distraction and a brief intervention on auditory and visual-spatial working memory in college students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lineweaver, Tara T; Kercood, Suneeta; O'Keeffe, Nicole B; O'Brien, Kathleen M; Massey, Eric J; Campbell, Samantha J; Pierce, Jenna N

    2012-01-01

    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.

  7. Selective attention and the auditory vertex potential. I - Effects of stimulus delivery rate. II - Effects of signal intensity and masking noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwent, V. L.; Hillyard, S. A.; Galambos, R.

    1976-01-01

    The effects of varying the rate of delivery of dichotic tone pip stimuli on selective attention measured by evoked-potential amplitudes and signal detectability scores were studied. The subjects attended to one channel (ear) of tones, ignored the other, and pressed a button whenever occasional targets - tones of a slightly higher pitch were detected in the attended ear. Under separate conditions, randomized interstimulus intervals were short, medium, and long. Another study compared the effects of attention on the N1 component of the auditory evoked potential for tone pips presented alone and when white noise was added to make the tones barely above detectability threshold in a three-channel listening task. Major conclusions are that (1) N1 is enlarged to stimuli in an attended channel only in the short interstimulus interval condition (averaging 350 msec), (2) N1 and P3 are related to different modes of selective attention, and (3) attention selectivity in multichannel listening task is greater when tones are faint and/or difficult to detect.

  8. Signal Processing Implementation and Comparison of Automotive Spatial Sound Rendering Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bai MingsianR

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Design and implementation strategies of spatial sound rendering are investigated in this paper for automotive scenarios. Six design methods are implemented for various rendering modes with different number of passengers. Specifically, the downmixing algorithms aimed at balancing the front and back reproductions are developed for the 5.1-channel input. Other five algorithms based on inverse filtering are implemented in two approaches. The first approach utilizes binaural (Head-Related Transfer Functions HRTFs measured in the car interior, whereas the second approach named the point-receiver model targets a point receiver positioned at the center of the passenger's head. The proposed processing algorithms were compared via objective and subjective experiments under various listening conditions. Test data were processed by the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA method and the least significant difference (Fisher's LSD method as a post hoc test to justify the statistical significance of the experimental data. The results indicate that inverse filtering algorithms are preferred for the single passenger mode. For the multipassenger mode, however, downmixing algorithms generally outperformed the other processing techniques.

  9. Representing Space through the Interplay between Attention and Multisensory Integration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emiliano Macaluso

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Multisensory integration has been traditionally thought to rely on a restricted set of multisensory brain areas, and to occur automatically and pre-attentively. More recently, it has become evident that multisensory interactions can be found almost everywhere in the brain, including areas involved in attention control and areas modulated by attention. In a series of fMRI experiments, we manipulated concurrently the position of multisensory stimuli and the distribution of spatial attention. This enabled us to highlight the role of high-order fronto-parietal areas, as well as sensory-specific occipital cortex, for multisensory processing and spatial attention control. We found that specific task constraints regarding the nature of attentional deployment (endogenous vs. exogenous, the spatial relationship between stimulus position and attended location, and attentional load shape the interplay between attention and multisensory processing. We suggest that multisensory integration acts as a saliency-defining process that can interact with attentional control beyond any within-modality mechanism. We propose that an anatomically-distributed, but functionally-integrated, representation of space makes use of multisensory interactions to help attention selecting relevant spatial locations. Stimuli at the attended location undergo enhanced processing, including boosting of multisensory signals there. In this perspective, attention and multisensory integration operate in an interactive manner jointly determining the activity of a wide-spread network that includes high-order fronto-parietal regions and sensory-specific areas.

  10. DRD2/AKT1 interaction on D2 c-AMP independent signaling, attentional processing, and response to olanzapine treatment in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasi, Giuseppe; Napolitano, Francesco; Ursini, Gianluca; Taurisano, Paolo; Romano, Raffaella; Caforio, Grazia; Fazio, Leonardo; Gelao, Barbara; Di Giorgio, Annabella; Iacovelli, Luisa; Sinibaldi, Lorenzo; Popolizio, Teresa; Usiello, Alessandro; Bertolino, Alessandro

    2011-01-18

    The D2/AKT1/GSK-3β signaling pathway has been involved in the downstream intracellular effects of dopamine, in the pathophysiology of cognitive deficits and related brain activity in schizophrenia, as well as in response to treatment with antipsychotics. Polymorphisms in the D2 (DRD2 rs1076560) and AKT1 (AKT1 rs1130233) genes have been associated with their respective protein expression and with higher-order cognition and brain function, including attention. Given the strong potential for their relationship, we investigated the interaction of these polymorphisms on multiple molecular and in vivo phenotypes associated with this signaling pathway. We measured AKT1 and GSK-3β proteins and phosphorylation in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, functional MRI cingulate response during attentional control, behavioral accuracy during sustained attention, and response to 8 wk of treatment with olanzapine in a total of 190 healthy subjects and 66 patients with schizophrenia. In healthy subjects, we found that the interaction between the T allele of DRD2 rs1076560 and the A allele of AKT1 rs1130233 was associated with reduced AKT1 protein levels and reduced phosphorylation of GSK-3β, as well as with altered cingulate response and reduced behavioral accuracy during attentional processing. On the other hand, interaction of these two alleles was associated with greater improvement of Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores in patients with schizophrenia after treatment with olanzapine. The present results indicate that these functional polymorphisms are epistatically associated with multiple phenotypes of relevance to schizophrenia. Our results also lend support to further investigation of this downstream molecular pathway in the etiology and treatment of this disorder.

  11. Initiation of Antiviral B Cell Immunity Relies on Innate Signals from Spatially Positioned NKT Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaya, Mauro; Barral, Patricia; Burbage, Marianne; Aggarwal, Shweta; Montaner, Beatriz; Warren Navia, Andrew; Aid, Malika; Tsui, Carlson; Maldonado, Paula; Nair, Usha; Ghneim, Khader; Fallon, Padraic G; Sekaly, Rafick-Pierre; Barouch, Dan H; Shalek, Alex K; Bruckbauer, Andreas; Strid, Jessica; Batista, Facundo D

    2018-01-25

    B cells constitute an essential line of defense from pathogenic infections through the generation of class-switched antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) in germinal centers. Although this process is known to be regulated by follicular helper T (TfH) cells, the mechanism by which B cells initially seed germinal center reactions remains elusive. We found that NKT cells, a population of innate-like T lymphocytes, are critical for the induction of B cell immunity upon viral infection. The positioning of NKT cells at the interfollicular areas of lymph nodes facilitates both their direct priming by resident macrophages and the localized delivery of innate signals to antigen-experienced B cells. Indeed, NKT cells secrete an early wave of IL-4 and constitute up to 70% of the total IL-4-producing cells during the initial stages of infection. Importantly, the requirement of this innate immunity arm appears to be evolutionarily conserved because early NKT and IL-4 gene signatures also positively correlate with the levels of neutralizing antibodies in Zika-virus-infected macaques. In conclusion, our data support a model wherein a pre-TfH wave of IL-4 secreted by interfollicular NKT cells triggers the seeding of germinal center cells and serves as an innate link between viral infection and B cell immunity. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Muscle-type Identity of Proprioceptors Specified by Spatially Restricted Signals from Limb Mesenchyme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poliak, Sebastian; Norovich, Amy L; Yamagata, Masahito; Sanes, Joshua R; Jessell, Thomas M

    2016-01-28

    The selectivity with which proprioceptive sensory neurons innervate their central and peripheral targets implies that they exhibit distinctions in muscle-type identity. The molecular correlates of proprioceptor identity and its origins remain largely unknown, however. In screens to define muscle-type proprioceptor character, we find all-or-none differences in gene expression for proprioceptors that control antagonistic muscles at a single hindlimb joint. Analysis of three of these genes, cadherin13 (cdh13), semaphorin5a (sema5a), and cartilage-acidic protein-1 (crtac1), reveals expression in proprioceptor subsets that supply muscle groups located at restricted dorsoventral and proximodistal domains of the limb. Genetically altering the dorsoventral character of the limb mesenchyme elicits a change in the profile of proprioceptor cdh13, sema5a, and crtac1 expression. These findings indicate that proprioceptors acquire aspects of their muscle-type identity in response to mesenchymal signals expressed in restricted proximodistal and dorsoventral domains of the developing limb. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Muscle-type identity of proprioceptors specified by spatially-restricted signals from limb mesenchyme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poliak, Sebastian; Norovich, Amy L.; Yamagata, Masahito; Sanes, Joshua R.; Jessell, Thomas M.

    2016-01-01

    The selectivity with which proprioceptive sensory neurons innervate their central and peripheral targets implies that they exhibit distinctions in muscle-type identity. The molecular correlates of proprioceptor identity and its origins remain largely unknown, however. In screens to define muscle-type proprioceptor character we find all-or-none differences in gene expression for proprioceptors that control antagonistic muscles at a single hindlimb joint. Analysis of three of these genes, cadherin13 (cdh13), semaphorin5a (sema5a) and cartilage-acidic protein-1 (crtac1), reveals expression in proprioceptor subsets that supply muscle-groups located at restricted dorso-ventral and proximo-distal domains of the limb. Genetically altering the dorso-ventral character of the limb mesenchyme elicits a change in the profile of proprioceptor cdh13, sema5a and crtac1 expression. These findings indicate that proprioceptors acquire aspects of their muscle-type identity in response to mesenchymal signals expressed in restricted proximo-distal and dorso-ventral domains of the developing limb. PMID:26824659

  14. Generation of signaling specificity in Arabidopsis by spatially restricted buffering of ligand-receptor interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrash, Emily B; Davies, Kelli A; Bergmann, Dominique C

    2011-08-01

    Core signaling pathways function in multiple programs during multicellular development. The mechanisms that compartmentalize pathway function or confer process specificity, however, remain largely unknown. In Arabidopsis thaliana, ERECTA (ER) family receptors have major roles in many growth and cell fate decisions. The ER family acts with receptor TOO MANY MOUTHS (TMM) and several ligands of the EPIDERMAL PATTERNING FACTOR LIKE (EPFL) family, which play distinct yet overlapping roles in patterning of epidermal stomata. Here, our examination of EPFL genes EPFL6/CHALLAH (CHAL), EPFL5/CHALLAH-LIKE1, and EPFL4/CHALLAH-LIKE2 (CLL2) reveals that this family may mediate additional ER-dependent processes. chal cll2 mutants display growth phenotypes characteristic of er mutants, and genetic interactions are consistent with CHAL family molecules acting as ER family ligands. We propose that different classes of EPFL genes regulate different aspects of ER family function and introduce a TMM-based discriminatory mechanism that permits simultaneous, yet compartmentalized and distinct, function of the ER family receptors in growth and epidermal patterning.

  15. Two-Component Signal Transduction Systems That Regulate the Temporal and Spatial Expression of Myxococcus xanthus Sporulation Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarwar, Zaara; Garza, Anthony G

    2016-02-01

    When starved for nutrients, Myxococcus xanthus produces a biofilm that contains a mat of rod-shaped cells, known as peripheral rods, and aerial structures called fruiting bodies, which house thousands of dormant and stress-resistant spherical spores. Because rod-shaped cells differentiate into spherical, stress-resistant spores and spore differentiation occurs only in nascent fruiting bodies, many genes and multiple levels of regulation are required. Over the past 2 decades, many regulators of the temporal and spatial expression of M. xanthus sporulation genes have been uncovered. Of these sporulation gene regulators, two-component signal transduction circuits, which typically contain a histidine kinase sensor protein and a transcriptional regulator known as response regulator, are among the best characterized. In this review, we discuss prototypical two-component systems (Nla6S/Nla6 and Nla28S/Nla28) that regulate an early, preaggregation phase of sporulation gene expression during fruiting body development. We also discuss orphan response regulators (ActB and FruA) that regulate a later phase of sporulation gene expression, which begins during the aggregation stage of fruiting body development. In addition, we summarize the research on a complex two-component system (Esp) that is important for the spatial regulation of sporulation. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  16. Adaptive Spatial Filter Based on Similarity Indices to Preserve the Neural Information on EEG Signals during On-Line Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denis Delisle-Rodriguez

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This work presents a new on-line adaptive filter, which is based on a similarity analysis between standard electrode locations, in order to reduce artifacts and common interferences throughout electroencephalography (EEG signals, but preserving the useful information. Standard deviation and Concordance Correlation Coefficient (CCC between target electrodes and its correspondent neighbor electrodes are analyzed on sliding windows to select those neighbors that are highly correlated. Afterwards, a model based on CCC is applied to provide higher values of weight to those correlated electrodes with lower similarity to the target electrode. The approach was applied to brain computer-interfaces (BCIs based on Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA to recognize 40 targets of steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP, providing an accuracy (ACC of 86.44 ± 2.81%. In addition, also using this approach, features of low frequency were selected in the pre-processing stage of another BCI to recognize gait planning. In this case, the recognition was significantly ( p < 0.01 improved for most of the subjects ( A C C ≥ 74.79 % , when compared with other BCIs based on Common Spatial Pattern, Filter Bank-Common Spatial Pattern, and Riemannian Geometry.

  17. Neural signals of selective attention are modulated by subjective preferences and buying decisions in a virtual shopping task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goto, Nobuhiko; Mushtaq, Faisal; Shee, Dexter; Lim, Xue Li; Mortazavi, Matin; Watabe, Motoki; Schaefer, Alexandre

    2017-09-01

    We investigated whether well-known neural markers of selective attention to motivationally-relevant stimuli were modulated by variations in subjective preference towards consumer goods in a virtual shopping task. Specifically, participants viewed and rated pictures of various goods on the extent to which they wanted each item, which they could potentially purchase afterwards. Using the event-related potentials (ERP) method, we found that variations in subjective preferences for consumer goods strongly modulated positive slow waves (PSW) from 800 to 3000 milliseconds after stimulus onset. We also found that subjective preferences modulated the N200 and the late positive potential (LPP). In addition, we found that both PSW and LPP were modulated by subsequent buying decisions. Overall, these findings show that well-known brain event-related potentials reflecting selective attention processes can reliably index preferences to consumer goods in a shopping environment. Based on a large body of previous research, we suggest that early ERPs (e.g. the N200) to consumer goods could be indicative of preferences driven by unconditional and automatic processes, whereas later ERPs such as the LPP and the PSW could reflect preferences built upon more elaborative and conscious cognitive processes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Behavioural and ERP indices of response inhibition during a Stop-signal task in children with two subtypes of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnstone, Stuart J; Barry, Robert J; Clarke, Adam R

    2007-10-01

    Previous research has shown that children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder of the Combined Type (AD/HDcom) have problems with response inhibition, with poorer task performance and atypical inhibition-related ERPs relative to control subjects, while little is known about response inhibition in children with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder of the Predominantly Inattentive Type (AD/HDin). In this study children with AD/HDin (N=12), AD/HDcom (N=13) and age-matched controls (N=13) aged between 8 and 14 years completed a Stop-signal task, with visual Go and auditory Stop-signal stimuli, while EEG was recorded. The results indicated that the groups did not differ on any inhibitory task performance measure, but the AD/HD groups showed more errors of omission to Go stimuli than controls. ERPs to the visual Go stimuli differed between children with AD/HDin and controls (increased central N1 and N2, decreased central P2 and increased parietal P3), while the AD/HDcom group showed only minor scalp distribution differences for N2 and P3. The AD/HDin group showed amplitude differences from controls to Stop signals (larger central N1 and parietal P3; reduced midline N2) and did not show a Successful vs. Failed inhibition effect for P3. The AD/HDcom group showed reduced parietal P3 to Stop signals, with the Trial Type effect present for N2 but not P3. These data suggest that the apparent atypical inhibitory processing at N2 and P3 may stem, at least in part, from atypical early sensory/alerting processing of all stimuli in children with AD/HDin.

  19. The cognitive impact of the ANK3 risk variant for bipolar disorder: initial evidence of selectivity to signal detection during sustained attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaia Ruberto

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Abnormalities in cognition have been reported in patients with Bipolar Disorder (BD and their first degree relatives, suggesting that susceptibility genes for BD may impact on cognitive processes. Recent genome-wide genetic studies have reported a strong association with BD in a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP (rs10994336 within ANK3, which codes for Ankyrin 3. This protein is involved in facilitating the propagation of action potentials by regulating the assembly of sodium gated ion channels. Since ANK3 influences the efficiency of transmission of neuronal impulses, allelic variation in this gene may have widespread cognitive effects. Preclinical data suggest that this may principally apply to sequential signal detection, a core process of sustained attention. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: One hundred and eighty-nine individuals of white British descent were genotyped for the ANK3 rs10994336 polymorphism and received diagnostic interviews and comprehensive neurocognitive assessment of their general intellectual ability, memory, decision making, response inhibition and sustained attention. Participants comprised euthymic BD patients (n = 47, their unaffected first-degree relatives (n = 75 and healthy controls (n = 67. The risk allele T was associated with reduced sensitivity in target detection (p = 0.0004 and increased errors of commission (p = 0.0018 during sustained attention regardless of diagnosis. We found no effect of the ANK3 genotype on general intellectual ability, memory, decision making and response inhibition. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that allelic variation in ANK3 impacts cognitive processes associated with signal detection and this mechanism may relate to risk for BD. However, our results require independent replication and confirmation that ANK3 (rs10994336 is a direct functional variant.

  20. On the other side of the fence: effects of social categorization and spatial grouping on memory and attention for own-race and other-race faces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadine Kloth

    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

  1. Curcumin Improves Amyloid β-Peptide (1-42 Induced Spatial Memory Deficits through BDNF-ERK Signaling Pathway.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Zhang

    Full Text Available Curcumin, the most active component of turmeric, has various beneficial properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor effects. Previous studies have suggested that curcumin reduces the levels of amyloid and oxidized proteins and prevents memory deficits and thus is beneficial to patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying curcumin's effect on cognitive functions are not well-understood. In the present study, we examined the working memory and spatial reference memory in rats that received a ventricular injection of amyloid-β1-42 (Aβ1-42, representing a rodent model of Alzheimer's disease (AD. The rats treated with Aβ1-42 exhibited obvious cognitive deficits in behavioral tasks. Chronic (seven consecutive days, once per day but not acute (once a day curcumin treatments (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg improved the cognitive functions in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the beneficial effect of curcumin is accompanied by increased BDNF levels and elevated levels of phosphorylated ERK in the hippocampus. Furthermore, the cognition enhancement effect of curcumin could be mimicked by the overexpression of BDNF in the hippocampus and blocked by either bilateral hippocampal injections with lentiviruses that express BDNF shRNA or a microinjection of ERK inhibitor. These findings suggest that chronic curcumin ameliorates AD-related cognitive deficits and that upregulated BDNF-ERK signaling in the hippocampus may underlie the cognitive improvement produced by curcumin.

  2. Neural Correlates of Divided Attention in Natural Scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagioli, Sabrina; Macaluso, Emiliano

    2016-09-01

    Individuals are able to split attention between separate locations, but divided spatial attention incurs the additional requirement of monitoring multiple streams of information. Here, we investigated divided attention using photos of natural scenes, where the rapid categorization of familiar objects and prior knowledge about the likely positions of objects in the real world might affect the interplay between these spatial and nonspatial factors. Sixteen participants underwent fMRI during an object detection task. They were presented with scenes containing either a person or a car, located on the left or right side of the photo. Participants monitored either one or both object categories, in one or both visual hemifields. First, we investigated the interplay between spatial and nonspatial attention by comparing conditions of divided attention between categories and/or locations. We then assessed the contribution of top-down processes versus stimulus-driven signals by separately testing the effects of divided attention in target and nontarget trials. The results revealed activation of a bilateral frontoparietal network when dividing attention between the two object categories versus attending to a single category but no main effect of dividing attention between spatial locations. Within this network, the left dorsal premotor cortex and the left intraparietal sulcus were found to combine task- and stimulus-related signals. These regions showed maximal activation when participants monitored two categories at spatially separate locations and the scene included a nontarget object. We conclude that the dorsal frontoparietal cortex integrates top-down and bottom-up signals in the presence of distractors during divided attention in real-world scenes.

  3. Effects of mobile phone distraction on pedestrians' crossing behavior and visual attention allocation at a signalized intersection: An outdoor experimental study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Kang; Ling, Feiyang; Feng, Zhongxiang; Ma, Changxi; Kumfer, Wesley; Shao, Chen; Wang, Kun

    2018-06-01

    With the rapid growth in mobile phone use worldwide, traffic safety experts have begun to consider the impact of mobile phone distractions on pedestrian crossing safety. This study sought to investigate how mobile phone distractions (music distraction, phone conversation distraction and text distraction) affect the behavior of pedestrians while they are crossing the street. An outdoor-environment experiment was conducted among 28 college student pedestrians. Two HD videos and an eye tracker were employed to record and analyze crossing behavior and visual attention allocation. The results of the research showed that the three mobile phone distractions cause different levels of impairment to pedestrians' crossing performance, with the greatest effect from text distraction, followed by phone conversation distraction and music distraction. Pedestrians distracted by music initiate crossing later, have increased pupil diameter, and reduce their scanning frequency, fixation points and fixation times toward traffic signal area priorities. In addition to the above effects, pedestrians distracted by phone conversation cross the street more slowly, direct fewer fixation points to the right traffic area, and spend less fixation time and lower average fixation duration on the left traffic area. Moreover, pedestrians distracted by texting look left and right less often and switch, distribute and maintain less visual attention on the traffic environment. These findings may inform researchers, policy makers, and pedestrians. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. [Effect of baicalin on ATPase and LDH and its regulatory effect on the AC/cAMP/PKA signaling pathway in rats with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Rong-Yi; Wang, Jiao-Jiao; You, Yue; Sun, Ji-Chao; Song, Yu-Chen; Yuan, Hai-Xia; Han, Xin-Min

    2017-05-01

    To study the effect of baicalin on synaptosomal adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and its regulatory effect on the adenylate cyclase (AC)/cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway in rats with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A total of 40 SHR rats were randomly divided into five groups: ADHD model, methylphenidate hydrochloride treatment (0.07 mg/mL), and low-dose (3.33 mg/mL), medium-dose (6.67 mg/mL), and high-dose (10 mg/mL) baicalin treatment (n=8 each). Eight WKY rats were selected as normal control group. Percoll density gradient centrifugation was used to prepare brain synaptosomes and an electron microscope was used to observe their structure. Colorimetry was used to measure the activities of ATPase and LDH in synaptosomes. ELISA was used to measure the content of AC, cAMP, and PKA. Compared with the normal control group, the ADHD model group had a significant reduction in the ATPase activity, a significant increase in the LDH activity, and significant reductions in the content of AC, cAMP, and PKA (PATPase activity (PATPase activity (PATPase activity (PATPase and LDH activities in rats with ADHD. The effect of baicalin is dose-dependent, and high-dose baicalin has a significantly greater effect than methylphenidate hydrochloride. Baicalin exerts its therapeutic effect possibly by upregulating the AC/cAMP/PKA signaling pathway.

  5. Measuring Auditory Selective Attention using Frequency Tagging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hari M Bharadwaj

    2014-02-01

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

  6. Ridding fMRI data of motion-related influences: Removal of signals with distinct spatial and physical bases in multiecho data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Jonathan D; Plitt, Mark; Gotts, Stephen J; Kundu, Prantik; Voon, Valerie; Bandettini, Peter A; Martin, Alex

    2018-02-27

    "Functional connectivity" techniques are commonplace tools for studying brain organization. A critical element of these analyses is to distinguish variance due to neurobiological signals from variance due to nonneurobiological signals. Multiecho fMRI techniques are a promising means for making such distinctions based on signal decay properties. Here, we report that multiecho fMRI techniques enable excellent removal of certain kinds of artifactual variance, namely, spatially focal artifacts due to motion. By removing these artifacts, multiecho techniques reveal frequent, large-amplitude blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes present across all gray matter that are also linked to motion. These whole-brain BOLD signals could reflect widespread neural processes or other processes, such as alterations in blood partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO 2 ) due to ventilation changes. By acquiring multiecho data while monitoring breathing, we demonstrate that whole-brain BOLD signals in the resting state are often caused by changes in breathing that co-occur with head motion. These widespread respiratory fMRI signals cannot be isolated from neurobiological signals by multiecho techniques because they occur via the same BOLD mechanism. Respiratory signals must therefore be removed by some other technique to isolate neurobiological covariance in fMRI time series. Several methods for removing global artifacts are demonstrated and compared, and were found to yield fMRI time series essentially free of motion-related influences. These results identify two kinds of motion-associated fMRI variance, with different physical mechanisms and spatial profiles, each of which strongly and differentially influences functional connectivity patterns. Distance-dependent patterns in covariance are nearly entirely attributable to non-BOLD artifacts.

  7. Attention to Attention

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tække, Jesper; Paulsen, Michael Eric

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

  8. Rescue of cAMP response element-binding protein signaling reversed spatial memory retention impairments induced by subanesthetic dose of propofol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hao; Zhang, Shao-Bo; Zhang, Qing-Qing; Liu, Meng; He, Xing-Ying; Zou, Zui; Sun, Hai-Jing; You, Zhen-Dong; Shi, Xue-Yin

    2013-07-01

    The intravenous anesthetic propofol caused episodic memory impairments in human. We hypothesized propofol caused episodic-like spatial memory retention but not acquisition impairments in rats and rescuing cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) signaling using selective type IV phosphodiesterase (PDEIV) inhibitor rolipram reversed these effects. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into four groups: control; propofol (25 mg/kg, intraperitoneal); rolipram; and rolipram + propofol (pretreatment of rolipram 25 min before propofol, 0.3 mg/kg, intraperitoneal). Sedation and motor coordination were evaluated 5, 15, and 25 min after propofol injection. Invisible Morris water maze (MWM) acquisition and probe test (memory retention) were performed 5 min and 24 h after propofol injection. Visible MWM training was simultaneously performed to resist nonspatial effects. Hippocampal CREB signaling was detected 5 min, 50 min, and 24 h after propofol administration. Rolipram did not change propofol-induced anesthetic/sedative states or impair motor skills. No difference was found on the latency to the platform during the visible MWM. Propofol impaired spatial memory retention but not acquisition. Rolipram reversed propofol-induced spatial memory impairments and suppression on cAMP levels, CaMKIIα and CREB phosphorylation, brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) and Arc protein expression. Propofol caused spatial memory retention impairments but not acquisition inability possibly by inhibiting CREB signaling. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Risperidone reverses the spatial object recognition impairment and hippocampal BDNF-TrkB signalling system alterations induced by acute MK-801 treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guangdong; Lin, Xiaodong; Li, Gongying; Jiang, Diego; Lib, Zhiruo; Jiang, Ronghuan; Zhuo, Chuanjun

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a commonly-used atypical antipsychotic, risperidone, on alterations in spatial learning and in the hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-tyrosine receptor kinase B (TrkB) signalling system caused by acute dizocilpine maleate (MK-801) treatment. In experiment 1, adult male Sprague-Dawley rats subjected to acute treatment of either low-dose MK801 (0.1 mg/kg) or normal saline (vehicle) were tested for spatial object recognition and hippocampal expression levels of BDNF, TrkB and the phophorylation of TrkB (p-TrkB). We found that compared to the vehicle, MK-801 treatment impaired spatial object recognition of animals and downregulated the expression levels of p-TrkB. In experiment 2, MK-801- or vehicle-treated animals were further injected with risperidone (0.1 mg/kg) or vehicle before behavioural testing and sacrifice. Of note, we found that risperidone successfully reversed the deleterious effects of MK-801 on spatial object recognition and upregulated the hippocampal BDNF-TrkB signalling system. Collectively, the findings suggest that cognitive deficits from acute N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor blockade may be associated with the hypofunction of hippocampal BDNF-TrkB signalling system and that risperidone was able to reverse these alterations. PMID:28451387

  10. Eye and hand movements during reconstruction of spatial memory

    OpenAIRE

    Burke, MR; Allen, RJ; Gonzalez, C

    2012-01-01

    © 2012 a Pion publication Recent behavioural and biological evidence indicates common mechanisms serving working memory and attention (e.g., Awh et al, 2006 Neuroscience 139 201-208). This study explored the role of spatial attention and visual search in an adapted Corsi spatial memory task. Eye movements and touch responses were recorded from participants who recalled locations (signalled by colour or shape change) from an array presented either simultaneously or sequentially. The time de...

  11. Eye and Hand Movements during Reconstruction of Spatial Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Melanie Rose Burke; Richard Allen; Matilda Webster; Claudia Gonzalez

    2012-01-01

    Recent behavioural and biological evidence indicates common mechanisms serving working memory and attention (eg, Awh et al 2006, Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10, 124–130). This study explored the role of spatial attention and visual search in an adapted Corsi spatial memory task. Eye movements and touch responses were recorded from participants who recalled locations (signalled by colour or shape change) from an array presented either simultaneously or sequentially. The time delay between tar...

  12. Attractive faces temporally modulate visual attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Koyo; Kawabata, Hideaki

    2014-01-01

    Facial attractiveness is an important biological and social signal on social interaction. Recent research has demonstrated that an attractive face captures greater spatial attention than an unattractive face does. Little is known, however, about the temporal characteristics of visual attention for facial attractiveness. In this study, we investigated the temporal modulation of visual attention induced by facial attractiveness by using a rapid serial visual presentation. Fourteen male faces and two female faces were successively presented for 160 ms, respectively, and participants were asked to identify two female faces embedded among a series of multiple male distractor faces. Identification of a second female target (T2) was impaired when a first target (T1) was attractive compared to neutral or unattractive faces, at 320 ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA); identification was improved when T1 was attractive compared to unattractive faces at 640 ms SOA. These findings suggest that the spontaneous appraisal of facial attractiveness modulates temporal attention. PMID:24994994

  13. Attractive faces temporally modulate visual attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koyo eNakamura

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Facial attractiveness is an important biological and social signal on social interaction. Recent research has demonstrated that an attractive face captures greater spatial attention than an unattractive face does. Little is known, however, about the temporal characteristics of visual attention for facial attractiveness. In this study, we investigated the temporal modulation of visual attention induced by facial attractiveness by using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP. Fourteen male faces and two female faces were successively presented for 160 ms respectively, and participants were asked to identify two female faces embedded among a series of multiple male distractor faces. Identification of a second female target (T2 was impaired when a first target (T1 was attractive compared to neutral or unattractive faces, at 320 ms SOA; identification was improved when T1 was attractive compared to unattractive faces at 640 ms SOA. These findings suggest that the spontaneous appraisal of facial attractiveness modulates temporal attention.

  14. Spatially resolved RNA-sequencing of the embryonic heart identifies a role for Wnt/β-catenin signaling in autonomic control of heart rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burkhard, Silja Barbara

    2018-01-01

    Development of specialized cells and structures in the heart is regulated by spatially -restricted molecular pathways. Disruptions in these pathways can cause severe congenital cardiac malformations or functional defects. To better understand these pathways and how they regulate cardiac development we used tomo-seq, combining high-throughput RNA-sequencing with tissue-sectioning, to establish a genome-wide expression dataset with high spatial resolution for the developing zebrafish heart. Analysis of the dataset revealed over 1100 genes differentially expressed in sub-compartments. Pacemaker cells in the sinoatrial region induce heart contractions, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying their development. Using our transcriptome map, we identified spatially restricted Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity in pacemaker cells, which was controlled by Islet-1 activity. Moreover, Wnt/β-catenin signaling controls heart rate by regulating pacemaker cellular response to parasympathetic stimuli. Thus, this high-resolution transcriptome map incorporating all cell types in the embryonic heart can expose spatially restricted molecular pathways critical for specific cardiac functions. PMID:29400650

  15. Differential engagement of attention and visual working memory in the representation and evaluation of the number of relevant targets and their spatial relations: Evidence from the N2pc and SPCN.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maheux, Manon; Jolicœur, Pierre

    2017-04-01

    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.

  16. Covert spatial attention in search for the location of a color-afterimage patch speeds up its decay from awareness: introducing a method useful for the study of neural correlates of visual awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, Talis; Murd, Carolina

    2010-06-01

    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.

  17. Characterizing the spatial variability of local and background concentration signals for air pollution at the neighbourhood scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shairsingh, Kerolyn K.; Jeong, Cheol-Heon; Wang, Jonathan M.; Evans, Greg J.

    2018-06-01

    Vehicle emissions represent a major source of air pollution in urban districts, producing highly variable concentrations of some pollutants within cities. The main goal of this study was to identify a deconvolving method so as to characterize variability in local, neighbourhood and regional background concentration signals. This method was validated by examining how traffic-related and non-traffic-related sources influenced the different signals. Sampling with a mobile monitoring platform was conducted across the Greater Toronto Area over a seven-day period during summer 2015. This mobile monitoring platform was equipped with instruments for measuring a wide range of pollutants at time resolutions of 1 s (ultrafine particles, black carbon) to 20 s (nitric oxide, nitrogen oxides). The monitored neighbourhoods were selected based on their land use categories (e.g. industrial, commercial, parks and residential areas). The high time-resolution data allowed pollutant concentrations to be separated into signals representing background and local concentrations. The background signals were determined using a spline of minimums; local signals were derived by subtracting the background concentration from the total concentration. Our study showed that temporal scales of 500 s and 2400 s were associated with the neighbourhood and regional background signals respectively. The percent contribution of the pollutant concentration that was attributed to local signals was highest for nitric oxide (NO) (37-95%) and lowest for ultrafine particles (9-58%); the ultrafine particles were predominantly regional (32-87%) in origin on these days. Local concentrations showed stronger associations than total concentrations with traffic intensity in a 100 m buffer (ρ:0.21-0.44). The neighbourhood scale signal also showed stronger associations with industrial facilities than the total concentrations. Given that the signals show stronger associations with different land use suggests that

  18. Spatial Computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-12-01

    Computation and today’s microprocessors with the approach to operating system architecture, and the controversy between microkernels and monolithic kernels...Both Spatial Computation and microkernels break away a relatively monolithic architecture into in- dividual lightweight pieces, well specialized...for their particular functionality. Spatial Computation removes global signals and control, in the same way microkernels remove the global address

  19. Visual attention: The past 25 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Marisa

    2012-01-01

    This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention. I explain how in the last 25 years research on attention has characterized the effects of covert attention on spatial filters and how attention influences the selection of stimuli of interest. This review includes the effects of spatial attention on discriminability and appearance in tasks mediated by contrast sensitivity and spatial resolution; the effects of feature-based attention on basic visual processes, and a comparison of the effects of spatial and feature-based attention. The emphasis of this review is on psychophysical studies, but relevant electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies and models regarding how and where neuronal responses are modulated are also discussed. PMID:21549742

  20. A full Bayes before-after study accounting for temporal and spatial effects: Evaluating the safety impact of new signal installations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sacchi, Emanuele; Sayed, Tarek; El-Basyouny, Karim

    2016-09-01

    Recently, important advances in road safety statistics have been brought about by methods able to address issues other than the choice of the best error structure for modeling crash data. In particular, accounting for spatial and temporal interdependence, i.e., the notion that the collision occurrence of a site or unit times depend on those of others, has become an important issue that needs further research. Overall, autoregressive models can be used for this purpose as they can specify that the output variable depends on its own previous values and on a stochastic term. Spatial effects have been investigated and applied mostly in the context of developing safety performance functions (SPFs) to relate crash occurrence to highway characteristics. Hence, there is a need for studies that attempt to estimate the effectiveness of safety countermeasures by including the spatial interdependence of road sites within the context of an observational before-after (BA) study. Moreover, the combination of temporal dynamics and spatial effects on crash frequency has not been explored in depth for SPF development. Therefore, the main goal of this research was to carry out a BA study accounting for spatial effects and temporal dynamics in evaluating the effectiveness of a road safety treatment. The countermeasure analyzed was the installation of traffic signals at unsignalized urban/suburban intersections in British Columbia (Canada). The full Bayes approach was selected as the statistical framework to develop the models. The results demonstrated that zone variation was a major component of total crash variability and that spatial effects were alleviated by clustering intersections together. Finally, the methodology used also allowed estimation of the treatment's effectiveness in the form of crash modification factors and functions with time trends. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Different effects of the two types of spatial pre-cueing: what precisely is "attention" in Di Lollo's and Enns' substitution masking theory?

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    Luiga, I; Bachmann, T

    2007-11-01

    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.

  2. The effect of feature-based attention on flanker interference processing: An fMRI-constrained source analysis.

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    Siemann, Julia; Herrmann, Manfred; Galashan, Daniela

    2018-01-25

    The present study examined whether feature-based cueing affects early or late stages of flanker conflict processing using EEG and fMRI. Feature cues either directed participants' attention to the upcoming colour of the target or were neutral. Validity-specific modulations during interference processing were investigated using the N200 event-related potential (ERP) component and BOLD signal differences. Additionally, both data sets were integrated using an fMRI-constrained source analysis. Finally, the results were compared with a previous study in which spatial instead of feature-based cueing was applied to an otherwise identical flanker task. Feature-based and spatial attention recruited a common fronto-parietal network during conflict processing. Irrespective of attention type (feature-based; spatial), this network responded to focussed attention (valid cueing) as well as context updating (invalid cueing), hinting at domain-general mechanisms. However, spatially and non-spatially directed attention also demonstrated domain-specific activation patterns for conflict processing that were observable in distinct EEG and fMRI data patterns as well as in the respective source analyses. Conflict-specific activity in visual brain regions was comparable between both attention types. We assume that the distinction between spatially and non-spatially directed attention types primarily applies to temporal differences (domain-specific dynamics) between signals originating in the same brain regions (domain-general localization).

  3. Role of Oculoproprioception in Coding the Locus of Attention.

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    Odoj, Bartholomaeus; Balslev, Daniela

    2016-03-01

    The most common neural representations for spatial attention encode locations retinotopically, relative to center of gaze. To keep track of visual objects across saccades or to orient toward sounds, retinotopic representations must be combined with information about the rotation of one's own eyes in the orbits. Although gaze input is critical for a correct allocation of attention, the source of this input has so far remained unidentified. Two main signals are available: corollary discharge (copy of oculomotor command) and oculoproprioception (feedback from extraocular muscles). Here we asked whether the oculoproprioceptive signal relayed from the somatosensory cortex contributes to coding the locus of attention. We used continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) over a human oculoproprioceptive area in the postcentral gyrus (S1EYE). S1EYE-cTBS reduces proprioceptive processing, causing ∼1° underestimation of gaze angle. Participants discriminated visual targets whose location was cued in a nonvisual modality. Throughout the visual space, S1EYE-cTBS shifted the locus of attention away from the cue by ∼1°, in the same direction and by the same magnitude as the oculoproprioceptive bias. This systematic shift cannot be attributed to visual mislocalization. Accuracy of open-loop pointing to the same visual targets, a function thought to rely mainly on the corollary discharge, was unchanged. We argue that oculoproprioception is selective for attention maps. By identifying a potential substrate for the coupling between eye and attention, this study contributes to the theoretical models for spatial attention.

  4. 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.

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    Atkinson, Janette; Braddick, Oliver

    2011-01-01

    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

  5. Dopaminergic and Cholinergic Modulations of Visual-Spatial Attention and Working Memory: Insights from Molecular Genetic Research and Implications for Adult Cognitive Development

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    Stormer, Viola S.; Passow, Susanne; Biesenack, Julia; Li, Shu-Chen

    2012-01-01

    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…

  6. Blockade of IP[subscript 3]-Mediated SK Channel Signaling in the Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex Improves Spatial Working Memory

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    Brennan, Avis R.; Dolinsky, Beth; Vu, Mai-Anh T.; Stanley, Marion; Yeckel, Mark F.; Arnsten, Amy F. T.

    2008-01-01

    Planning and directing thought and behavior require the working memory (WM) functions of prefrontal cortex. WM is compromised by stress, which activates phosphatidylinositol (PI)-mediated IP[subscript 3]-PKC intracellular signaling. PKC overactivation impairs WM operations and in vitro studies indicate that IP[subscript 3] receptor (IP[subscript…

  7. Thyroid Hormone Supplementation Restores Spatial Memory, Hippocampal Markers of Neuroinflammation, Plasticity-Related Signaling Molecules, and β-Amyloid Peptide Load in Hypothyroid Rats.

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    Chaalal, Amina; Poirier, Roseline; Blum, David; Laroche, Serge; Enderlin, Valérie

    2018-05-23

    Hypothyroidism is a condition that becomes more prevalent with age. Patients with untreated hypothyroidism have consistently reported symptoms of severe cognitive impairments. In patients suffering hypothyroidism, thyroid hormone supplementation offers the prospect to alleviate the cognitive consequences of hypothyroidism; however, the therapeutic value of TH supplementation remains at present uncertain and the link between cellular modifications associated with hypothyroidism and neurodegeneration remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we therefore evaluated the molecular and behavioral consequences of T3 hormone replacement in an animal model of hypothyroidism. We have previously reported that the antithyroid molecule propylthiouracil (PTU) given in the drinking water favors cerebral atrophy, brain neuroinflammation, Aβ production, Tau hyperphosphorylation, and altered plasticity-related cell-signaling pathways in the hippocampus in association with hippocampal-dependent spatial memory deficits. In the present study, our aim was to explore, in this model, the effect of hippocampal T3 signaling normalization on various molecular mechanisms involved in learning and memory that goes awry under conditions of hypothyroidism and to evaluate its potential for recovery of hippocampal-dependent memory deficits. We report that T3 supplementation can alleviate hippocampal-dependent memory impairments displayed by hypothyroid rats and normalize key markers of thyroid status in the hippocampus, of neuroinflammation, Aβ production, and of cell-signaling pathways known to be involved in synaptic plasticity and memory function. Together, these findings suggest that normalization of hippocampal T3 signaling is sufficient to reverse molecular and cognitive dysfunctions associated with hypothyroidism.

  8. Lateralized delay period activity marks the focus of spatial attention in working memory: evidence from somatosensory event-related brain potentials.

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    Katus, Tobias; Eimer, Martin

    2015-04-29

    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.

  9. Attention flexibly trades off across points in time.

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    Denison, Rachel N; Heeger, David J; Carrasco, Marisa

    2017-08-01

    Sensory signals continuously enter the brain, raising the question of how perceptual systems handle this constant flow of input. Attention to an anticipated point in time can prioritize visual information at that time. However, how we voluntarily attend across time when there are successive task-relevant stimuli has been barely investigated. We developed a novel experimental protocol that allowed us to assess, for the first time, both the benefits and costs of voluntary temporal attention when perceiving a short sequence of two or three visual targets with predictable timing. We found that when humans directed attention to a cued point in time, their ability to perceive orientation was better at that time but also worse earlier and later. These perceptual tradeoffs across time are analogous to those found across space for spatial attention. We concluded that voluntary attention is limited, and selective, across time.

  10. Pupil size signals mental effort deployed during multiple object tracking and predicts brain activity in the dorsal attention network and the locus coeruleus.

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    Alnæs, Dag; Sneve, Markus Handal; Espeseth, Thomas; Endestad, Tor; van de Pavert, Steven Harry Pieter; Laeng, Bruno

    2014-04-01

    Attentional effort relates to the allocation of limited-capacity attentional resources to meet current task demands and involves the activation of top-down attentional systems in the brain. Pupillometry is a sensitive measure of this intensity aspect of top-down attentional control. Studies relate pupillary changes in response to cognitive processing to activity in the locus coeruleus (LC), which is the main hub of the brain's noradrenergic system and it is thought to modulate the operations of the brain's attentional systems. In the present study, participants performed a visual divided attention task known as multiple object tracking (MOT) while their pupil sizes were recorded by use of an infrared eye tracker and then were tested again with the same paradigm while brain activity was recorded using fMRI. We hypothesized that the individual pupil dilations, as an index of individual differences in mental effort, as originally proposed by Kahneman (1973), would be a better predictor of LC activity than the number of tracked objects during MOT. The current results support our hypothesis, since we observed pupil-related activity in the LC. Moreover, the changes in the pupil correlated with activity in the superior colliculus and the right thalamus, as well as cortical activity in the dorsal attention network, which previous studies have shown to be strongly activated during visual tracking of multiple targets. Follow-up pupillometric analyses of the MOT task in the same individuals also revealed that individual differences to cognitive load can be remarkably stable over a lag of several years. To our knowledge this is the first study using pupil dilations as an index of attentional effort in the MOT task and also relating these to functional changes in the brain that directly implicate the LC-NE system in the allocation of processing resources.

  11. Impaired insulin signaling and spatial learning in middle-aged rats: The role of PTP1B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuga, Gabriel Keine; Muñoz, Vitor Rosetto; Gaspar, Rafael Calais; Nakandakari, Susana Castelo Branco Ramos; da Silva, Adelino Sanchez Ramos; Botezelli, José Diego; Leme, José Alexandre Curiacos de Almeida; Gomes, Ricardo José; de Moura, Leandro Pereira; Cintra, Dennys Esper; Ropelle, Eduardo Rochete; Pauli, José Rodrigo

    2018-04-01

    The insulin and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) signaling in the hippocampus promotes synaptic plasticity and memory formation. On the other hand, aging is related to the cognitive decline and is the main risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) is related to several deleterious processes in neurons and emerges as a promising target for new therapies. In this context, our study aims to investigate the age-related changes in PTP1B content, insulin signaling, β-amyloid content, and Tau phosphorylation in the hippocampus of middle-aged rats. Young (3 months) and middle-aged (17 months) Wistar rats were submitted to Morris-water maze (MWM) test, insulin tolerance test, and molecular analysis in the hippocampus. Aging resulted in increased body weight, and insulin resistance and decreases learning process in MWM. Interestingly, the middle-aged rats have higher levels of PTP-1B, lower phosphorylation of IRS-1, Akt, GSK3β, mTOR, and TrkB. Also, the aging process increased Tau phosphorylation and β-amyloid content in the hippocampus region. In summary, this study provides new evidence that aging-related PTP1B increasing, contributing to insulin resistance and the onset of the AD. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Adult-onset hyperthyroidism impairs spatial learning: possible involvement of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitiktaş, Soner; Kandemir, Başak; Tan, Burak; Kavraal, Şehrazat; Liman, Narin; Dursun, Nurcan; Dönmez-Altuntaş, Hamiyet; Aksan-Kurnaz, Işil; Suer, Cem

    2016-08-03

    Given evidence that mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation is part of the nongenomic actions of thyroid hormones, we investigated the possible consequences of hyperthyroidism for the cognitive functioning of adult rats. Young adult rats were treated with L-thyroxine or saline. Twenty rats in each group were exposed to Morris water maze testing, measuring their performance in a hidden-platform spatial task. In a separate set of rats not exposed to Morris water maze testing (untrained rats), the expression and phosphorylated levels of p38-MAPK and of its two downstream effectors, Elk-1 and cAMP response element-binding protein, were evaluated using quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR and western blotting. Rats with hyperthyroidism showed delayed acquisition of learning compared with their wild-type counterparts, as shown by increased escape latencies and distance moved on the last two trials of daily training in the water maze. The hyperthyroid rats, however, showed no difference during probe trials. Western blot analyses of the hippocampus showed that hyperthyroidism increased phosphorylated p38-MAPK levels in untrained rats. Although our study is correlative in nature and does not exclude the contribution of other molecular targets, our findings suggest that the observed impairments in acquisition during actual learning in rats with hyperthyroidism may result from the increased phosphorylation of p38-MAPK.

  13. The amygdala and basal forebrain as a pathway for motivationally guided attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck, Christopher J; Salzman, C Daniel

    2014-10-08

    Visual stimuli associated with rewards attract