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Sample records for sustained attention executive

  1. Sustained attention and executive functioning performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, T.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely

  2. Sustained attention and executive functioning performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab, H.J.T.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, T.J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely

  3. Sustained attention and executive functioning performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stins, J.F.; Tollenaar, M.S.; Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.T.; Verhulst, F.C.; Polderman, J.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this study was to further refine the cognitive phenotype of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with respect to the ability to sustain attention and executive functioning. Participants were 34 boys with ADHD (combined type) and 28 normal controls. The groups were closely

  4. Positive valence music restores executive control over sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Carryl L; Lewis, Bridget A

    2017-01-01

    Music sometimes improves performance in sustained attention tasks. But the type of music employed in previous investigations has varied considerably, which can account for equivocal results. Progress has been hampered by lack of a systematic database of music varying in key characteristics like tempo and valence. The aims of this study were to establish a database of popular music varying along the dimensions of tempo and valence and to examine the impact of music varying along these dimensions on restoring attentional resources following performance of a sustained attention to response task (SART) vigil. Sixty-nine participants rated popular musical selections that varied in valence and tempo to establish a database of four musical types: fast tempo positive valence, fast tempo negative valence, slow tempo positive valence, and slow tempo negative valence. A second group of 89 participants performed two blocks of the SART task interspersed with either no break or a rest break consisting of 1 of the 4 types of music or silence. Presenting positive valence music (particularly of slow tempo) during an intermission between two successive blocks of the SART significantly decreased miss rates relative to negative valence music or silence. Results support an attentional restoration theory of the impact of music on sustained attention, rather than arousal theory and demonstrate a means of restoring sustained attention. Further, the results establish the validity of a music database that will facilitate further investigations of the impact of music on performance.

  5. Mothers' depressive symptoms in infancy and children's adjustment in grade school: The role of children's sustained attention and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yiji; Dix, Theodore

    2017-09-01

    On the basis of longitudinal data across 9 years, this study examined the contribution of sustained attention and executive function to the poor cognitive and socioemotional adjustment of school-age children whose mothers had depressive symptoms during the child's infancy. Mothers (N = 1,364) reported depressive symptoms across their child's infancy and early childhood. Maternal sensitivity was observed during laboratory interactions at 36 months. At school entry children's sustained attention and executive function were measured with computer-generated tasks. In third grade, cognitive and socioemotional adjustment was assessed with standardized tests and the reports of fathers and teachers. Using structural equation modeling, findings showed that (a) exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms during the child's infancy, independent of later exposure, uniquely predicted children's poor sustained attention and executive function at school entry; (b) deficits in children's sustained attention and executive function occurred because of depressed mothers' tendencies to display insensitive parenting behavior; and (c) these deficits explained in part relations between exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms in infancy and children's poor cognitive and socioemotional adjustment in third grade. Findings highlight the potential importance of children's exposure to mothers' depressive symptoms specifically during the child's infancy for disrupting the development of fundamental cognitive processes that may underlie the adjustment problems children of depressed mothers display in middle childhood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  6. Executive functions and sustained attention:Comparison between age groups of 19-39 and 40-59 years old

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila Rosa de Oliveira

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Few studies involving the cognition of middle-aged adults are available in the international literature, particularly investigating the process of cognitive aging, executive components and attention. Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether there are differences in performance on neuropsychological tasks of executive functions and sustained attention between two age groups. Methods: The sample consisted of 87 adults aged from 19 to 59 years old, divided into two groups according to the age variable (younger adults and middle-aged adults. All participants were Brazilian and had no sensory, psychiatric or neurological disorders; subjects also had no history of alcohol abuse, and no self-reported use of illicit drugs or antipsychotics. The neuropsychological instruments administered were the Hayling Test, Trail Making Test, Bells Test and verbal fluency tasks. Results: Groups showed no significant differences in relation to sociodemographic variables, educational level or frequency of reading and writing habits. The younger adult group performed better than the middle-aged group on tasks that involved mainly processing speed, cognitive flexibility and lexical search. Conclusions: These findings serve as a valuable reference for cognitive processing in middle-aged adults, since a large number of comparative studies focus only on the younger and later phases of adulthood. Additional studies are needed to investigate possible interaction between different factors such as age and education.

  7. Supramodal Executive Control of Attention

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    ALFREDO eSPAGNA

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The human attentional system can be subdivided into three functional networks of alerting, orienting, and executive control. Although these networks have been extensively studied in the visuospatial modality, whether the same mechanisms are deployed across different sensory modalities remains unclear. In this study we used the attention network test for visuospatial modality, in addition to two auditory variants with spatial and frequency manipulations to examine cross-modal correlations between network functions. Results showed that among the visual and auditory tasks the effects of executive control, but not effects of alerting and orienting were significantly correlated. These findings suggest that while alerting and orienting functions rely more upon modality specific processes, the executive control of attention coordinates complex behavior via supramodal mechanisms.

  8. Working-memory capacity predicts the executive control of visual search among distractors: the influences of sustained and selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole, Bradley J; Kane, Michael J

    2009-07-01

    Variation in working-memory capacity (WMC) predicts individual differences in only some attention-control capabilities. Whereas higher WMC subjects outperform lower WMC subjects in tasks requiring the restraint of prepotent but inappropriate responses, and the constraint of attentional focus to target stimuli against distractors, they do not differ in prototypical visual-search tasks, even those that yield steep search slopes and engender top-down control. The present three experiments tested whether WMC, as measured by complex memory span tasks, would predict search latencies when the 1-8 target locations to be searched appeared alone, versus appearing among distractor locations to be ignored, with the latter requiring selective attentional focus. Subjects viewed target-location cues and then fixated on those locations over either long (1,500-1,550 ms) or short (300 ms) delays. Higher WMC subjects identified targets faster than did lower WMC subjects only in the presence of distractors and only over long fixation delays. WMC thus appears to affect subjects' ability to maintain a constrained attentional focus over time.

  9. Infant Attention and Early Childhood Executive Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, Kimberly; Bell, Martha Ann

    2014-01-01

    Individual differences in infant attention are theorized to reflect the speed of information processing and are related to later cognitive abilities (i.e., memory, language, and intelligence). This study provides the first systematic longitudinal analysis of infant attention and early childhood executive function (EF; e.g., working memory,…

  10. Executive control of attention in narcolepsy.

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    Sophie Bayard

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Narcolepsy with cataplexy (NC is a disabling sleep disorder characterized by early loss of hypocretin neurons that project to areas involved in the attention network. We characterized the executive control of attention in drug-free patients with NC to determine whether the executive deficits observed in patients with NC are specific to the disease itself or whether they reflect performance changes due to the severity of excessive daytime sleepiness. METHODOLOGY: Twenty-two patients with NC compared to 22 patients with narcolepsy without cataplexy (NwC matched for age, gender, intellectual level, objective daytime sleepiness and number of sleep onset REM periods (SOREMPs were studied. Thirty-two matched healthy controls were included. All participants underwent a standardized interview, completed questionnaires, and neuropsychological tests. All patients underwent a polysomnography followed by multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT, with neuropsychological evaluation performed the same day between MSLT sessions. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Irrespective of diagnosis, patients reported higher self-reported attentional complaints associated with the intensity of depressive symptoms. Patients with NC performed slower and more variably on simple reaction time tasks than patients with NwC, who did not differ from controls. Patients with NC and NwC generally performed slower, reacted more variably, and made more errors than controls on executive functioning tests. Individual profile analyses showed a clear heterogeneity of the severity of executive deficit. This severity was related to objective sleepiness, higher number of SOREMPs on the MSLT, and lower intelligence quotient. The nature and severity of the executive deficits were unrelated to NC and NwC diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated that drug-free patients with NC and NwC complained of attention deficit, with altered executive control of attention being explained by the severity of objective

  11. Executive Attention Impairment in Adolescents With Major Depressive Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommerfeldt, Sasha L; Cullen, Kathryn R; Han, Georges; Fryza, Brandon J; Houri, Alaa K; Klimes-Dougan, Bonnie

    2016-01-01

    Neural network models that guide neuropsychological assessment practices are increasingly used to explicate depression, though a paucity of work has focused on regulatory systems that are under development in adolescence. The purpose of this study was to evaluate subsystems of attention related to executive functioning including alerting, orienting, and executive attention networks, as well as sustained attention with varying working memory load, in a sample of depressed and well adolescents. Neuropsychological functioning in 99 adolescents diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 63 adolescent healthy controls (M = 16.6 years old) was assessed on the Attention Network Test (ANT) and the Continuous Performance Test, Identical Pairs. Adolescents with MDD, particularly those who were not medicated, were slower to process conflict (slower reaction time on the Executive Attention scale of the ANT) compared to controls, particularly for those who were not undergoing psychopharmacological treatment. Tentative evidence also suggests that within the MDD group, orienting performance was more impaired in those with a history of comorbid substance use disorder, and alerting was more impaired in those with a history of a suicide attempt. Adolescents with depression showed impaired executive attention, although cognitive performance varied across subgroups of patients. These findings highlight the importance of examining neurocognitive correlates associated with features of depression and suggest an avenue for future research to help guide the development of interventions.

  12. Cognitive programs: Software for attention's executive

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    John K Tsotsos

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available What are the computational tasks that an executive controller for visual attention must solve? This question is posed in the context of the Selective Tuning model of attention. The range of required computations go beyond top-down bias signals or region-of-interest determinations, and must deal with overt and covert fixations, process timing and synchronization, information routing, memory, matching control to task, spatial localization, priming, and coordination of bottom-up with top-down information. During task execution, results must be monitored to ensure the expected results. This description includes the kinds of elements that are common in the control of any kind of complex machine or system. We seek a mechanistic integration of the above, in other words, algorithms that accomplish control. Such algorithms operate on representations, transforming a representation of one kind into another, which then forms the input to yet another algorithm. Cognitive Programs (CPs are hypothesized to capture exactly such representational transformations via stepwise sequences of operations. CPs, an updated and modernized offspring of Ullman's Visual Routines, impose an algorithmic structure to the set of attentional functions and play a role in the overall shaping of attentional modulation of the visual system so that it provides its best performance. This requires that we consider the visual system as a dynamic, yet general-purpose processor tuned to the task and input of the moment. This differs dramatically from the almost universal cognitive and computational views, which regard vision as a passively observing module to which simple questions about percepts can be posed, regardless of task. Differing from Visual Routines, CPs explicitly involve the critical elements of Visual Task Executive, Visual Attention Executive, and Visual Working Memory. Cognitive Programs provide the software that directs the actions of the Selective Tuning model of visual

  13. A three-component, hierarchical model of executive attention

    OpenAIRE

    Whittle, Sarah; Pantelis, Christos; Testa, Renee; Tiego, Jeggan; Bellgrove, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Executive attention refers to the goal-directed control of attention. Existing models of executive attention distinguish between three correlated, but empirically dissociable, factors related to selectively attending to task-relevant stimuli (Selective Attention), inhibiting task-irrelevant responses (Response Inhibition), and actively maintaining goal-relevant information (Working Memory Capacity). In these models, Selective Attention and Response Inhibition are moderately strongly correlate...

  14. Attentional Control and Subjective Executive Function in Treatment-Naive Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin

    2014-01-01

    We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36) and in healthy controls (n = 35). Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD. PMID:25545156

  15. Attentional control and subjective executive function in treatment-naive adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grane, Venke Arntsberg; Endestad, Tor; Pinto, Arnfrid Farbu; Solbakk, Anne-Kristin

    2014-01-01

    We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36) and in healthy controls (n = 35). Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.). Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A). There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD.

  16. Attentional control and subjective executive function in treatment-naive adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venke Arntsberg Grane

    Full Text Available We investigated performance-derived measures of executive control, and their relationship with self- and informant reported executive functions in everyday life, in treatment-naive adults with newly diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; n = 36 and in healthy controls (n = 35. Sustained attentional control and response inhibition were examined with the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.. Delayed responses, increased reaction time variability, and higher omission error rate to Go signals in ADHD patients relative to controls indicated fluctuating levels of attention in the patients. Furthermore, an increment in NoGo commission errors when Go stimuli increased relative to NoGo stimuli suggests reduced inhibition of task-irrelevant stimuli in conditions demanding frequent responding. The ADHD group reported significantly more cognitive and behavioral executive problems than the control group on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Adult Version (BRIEF-A. There were overall not strong associations between task performance and ratings of everyday executive function. However, for the ADHD group, T.O.V.A. omission errors predicted self-reported difficulties on the Organization of Materials scale, and commission errors predicted informant reported difficulties on the same scale. Although ADHD patients endorsed more symptoms of depression and anxiety on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA than controls, ASEBA scores were not significantly associated with T.O.V.A. performance scores. Altogether, the results indicate multifaceted alteration of attentional control in adult ADHD, and accompanying subjective difficulties with several aspects of executive function in everyday living. The relationships between the two sets of data were modest, indicating that the measures represent non-redundant features of adult ADHD.

  17. Sustained Attention Ability Affects Simple Picture Naming

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    Suzanne R. Jongman

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Sustained attention has previously been shown as a requirement for language production. However, this is mostly evident for difficult conditions, such as a dual-task situation. The current study provides corroborating evidence that this relationship holds even for simple picture naming. Sustained attention ability, indexed both by participants’ reaction times and individuals’ hit rate (the proportion of correctly detected targets on a digit discrimination task, correlated with picture naming latencies. Individuals with poor sustained attention were consistently slower and their RT distributions were more positively skewed when naming pictures compared to individuals with better sustained attention. Additionally, the need to sustain attention was manipulated by changing the speed of stimulus presentation. Research has suggested that fast event rates tax sustained attention resources to a larger degree than slow event rates. However, in this study the fast event rate did not result in increased difficulty, neither for the picture naming task nor for the sustained attention task. Instead, the results point to a speed-accuracy trade-off in the sustained attention task (lower accuracy but faster responses in the fast than in the slow event rate, and to a benefit for faster rates in the picture naming task (shorter naming latencies with no difference in accuracy. Performance on both tasks was largely comparable, supporting previous findings that sustained attention is called upon during language production.

  18. Sustained Attention of Adults with Mental Retardation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomporowski, Phillip D.; Allison, Pamela

    1988-01-01

    The sustained attention of 23 young adults with mild mental retardation and nonretarded subjects was assessed. Findings suggested that the sustained attention of the retarded differs from that of the nonretarded on those vigilance tasks that place demands on memory abilities. (Author/DB)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  20. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Executive Function Impairment: An Overview.

    OpenAIRE

    Carruthers, Lindsey.

    2016-01-01

    As with any cognitive ability, attention is vulnerable to dysfunction. The most common attentional problem is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This brief overview will highlight the symptoms and deficits associated with ADHD, its prevalence in today’s society, the association between executive function impairment and ADHD using Barkley’s (1997) work, and the personal and societal effects of the disorder.

  1. Naps Enhance Executive Attention in Preschool-Aged Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremone, Amanda; McDermott, Jennifer M; Spencer, Rebecca M C

    2017-09-01

    Executive attention is impaired following sleep loss in school-aged children, adolescents, and adults. Whether naps improve attention relative to nap deprivation in preschool-aged children is unknown. The aim of this study was to compare executive attention in preschool children following a nap and an interval of wake. Sixty-nine children, 35-70 months of age, completed a Flanker task to assess executive attention following a nap and an equivalent interval of wake. Overall, accuracy was greater after the nap compared with the wake interval. Reaction time(s) did not differ between the nap and wake intervals. Results did not differ between children who napped consistently and those who napped inconsistently, suggesting that naps benefit executive attention of preschoolers regardless of nap habituality. These results indicate that naps enhance attention in preschool children. As executive attention supports executive functioning and learning, nap promotion may improve early education outcomes. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  2. Chewing and Attention: A Positive Effect on Sustained Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Onozuka, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We ...

  3. Attentional and executive impairments in children with spastic cerebral palsy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bottcher, Louise; Flachs, Esben Meulengracht; Uldall, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Children with cerebral palsy (CP) are reported to have learning and social problems. The aim of the present study was to examine whether children with CP have impairments in attention or executive function.......Children with cerebral palsy (CP) are reported to have learning and social problems. The aim of the present study was to examine whether children with CP have impairments in attention or executive function....

  4. Chewing and Attention: A Positive Effect on Sustained Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onozuka, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We inspected the attributes of effects on attention in studies investigating the effects of chewing on attention or alertness conducted with pre-post design in healthy subjects, except elderly. We identified 151 references, 22 of which were included: 14 (64%) showed positive attributes of effects on attention, 1 (5%) showed negative attributes of effects on attention, 5 (23%) showed both positive and negative attributes of effects on attention, and 2 (9%) showed no significant attributes of effects on attention. Thus, positive attributes of effects of chewing on attention, especially on sustained attention, were shown in over half of the reports. These effects also appeared with improvement in mood and stress relief and were influenced by time-on-task effect. Further studies are needed, but chewing could be useful for modifying cognitive function. PMID:26075234

  5. Chewing and Attention: A Positive Effect on Sustained Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshiyuki Hirano

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We inspected the attributes of effects on attention in studies investigating the effects of chewing on attention or alertness conducted with pre-post design in healthy subjects, except elderly. We identified 151 references, 22 of which were included: 14 (64% showed positive attributes of effects on attention, 1 (5% showed negative attributes of effects on attention, 5 (23% showed both positive and negative attributes of effects on attention, and 2 (9% showed no significant attributes of effects on attention. Thus, positive attributes of effects of chewing on attention, especially on sustained attention, were shown in over half of the reports. These effects also appeared with improvement in mood and stress relief and were influenced by time-on-task effect. Further studies are needed, but chewing could be useful for modifying cognitive function.

  6. Chewing and attention: a positive effect on sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Onozuka, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    Chewing is crushing food not only to aid swallowing and digestion, but also to help stress relief and regulate cognitive function, especially in attention. It is well known that chewing gum is used for sleepiness prevention during work, learning, and driving, suggesting a link between chewing and sustained attention. We hypothesized that chewing elevates attention and/or alertness, leading to improvements in cognitive performance. We carried out a systematic review of the PubMed database. We inspected the attributes of effects on attention in studies investigating the effects of chewing on attention or alertness conducted with pre-post design in healthy subjects, except elderly. We identified 151 references, 22 of which were included: 14 (64%) showed positive attributes of effects on attention, 1 (5%) showed negative attributes of effects on attention, 5 (23%) showed both positive and negative attributes of effects on attention, and 2 (9%) showed no significant attributes of effects on attention. Thus, positive attributes of effects of chewing on attention, especially on sustained attention, were shown in over half of the reports. These effects also appeared with improvement in mood and stress relief and were influenced by time-on-task effect. Further studies are needed, but chewing could be useful for modifying cognitive function.

  7. Neural correlates of executive attention in adults born very preterm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcel Daamen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Very preterm birth is associated with an increased prevalence of attention problems and may especially impair executive attention, i.e., top-down control of attentional selection in situations where distracting information interferes with the processing of task-relevant stimuli. While there are initial findings linking structural brain alterations in preterm-born individuals with attention problems, the functional basis of these problems are not well understood. The present study used an fMRI adaptation of the Attentional Network Test to examine the neural correlates of executive attention in a large sample of N = 86 adults born very preterm and/or with very low birth weight (VP/VLBW, and N = 100 term-born controls. Executive attention was measured by comparing task behavior and brain activations associated with the processing of incongruent vs. congruent arrow flanker stimuli. Consistent with subtle impairments of executive attention, the VP/VLBW group showed lower accuracy and a tendency for increased response times during the processing of incongruent stimuli. Both groups showed similar activation patters, especially within expected fronto-cingulo-parietal areas, but no significant between-group differences. Our results argue for a maintained attention-relevant network organization in high-functioning preterm born adults in spite of subtle deficits in executive attention. Gestational age and neonatal treatment variables showed associations with task behavior, and brain activation in the dorsal ACC and lateral occipital areas, suggesting that the degree of prematurity (and related neonatal complications has subtle modulatory influences on executive attention processing.

  8. Alerting, Orienting, and Executive Attention in Children with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullane, Jennifer C.; Corkum, Penny V.; Klein, Raymond M.; McLaughlin, Elizabeth N.; Lawrence, Michael A.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: This study evaluated the alerting, orienting, and executive attention abilities of children with ADHD and their typically developing (TD) peers using a modified version of the adult attention network test (ANT-I). Method: A total of 25 children with ADHD, Combined Type (ADHD-C, mean age = 9.20 years), 20 children with ADHD,…

  9. Touchscreen Sustained Attention Task (SAT) for Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bangasser, Debra A; Wicks, Brittany; Waxler, David E; Eck, Samantha R

    2017-09-15

    Sustained attention is the ability to monitor intermittent and unpredictable events over a prolonged period of time. This attentional process subserves other aspects of cognition and is disrupted in certain neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, it is clinically important to identify mechanisms that impair and improve sustained attention. Such mechanisms are often first discovered using rodent models. Therefore, several behavior procedures for testing aspects of sustained attention have been developed for rodents. One, first described by McGaughy and Sarter (1995), called the sustained attention task (SAT), trains rats to distinguish between signal (i.e., brief light presentation) and non-signal trials. The signals are short and thus require careful attention to be perceived. Attentional demands can be increased further by introducing a distractor (e.g., flashing houselight). We have modified this task for touchscreen operant chambers, which are configured with a touchscreen on one wall that can present stimuli and record responses. Here we detail our protocol for SAT in touchscreen chambers. Additionally, we present standard measures of performance in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats. Comparable performance on this task in both sexes highlights its use for attention studies, especially as more researchers are including female rodents in their experimental design. Moreover, the easy implementation of SAT for the increasingly popular touchscreen chambers increases its utility.

  10. Executive attention impairment in first-episode schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orellana Gricel

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We compared the attention abilities of a group of first-episode schizophrenia (FES patients and a group of healthy participants using the Attention Network Test (ANT, a standard procedure that estimates the functional state of three neural networks controlling the efficiency of three different attentional behaviors, i.e., alerting (achieving and maintaining a state of high sensitivity to incoming stimuli, orienting (ability to select information from sensory input, and executive attention (mechanisms for resolving conflict among thoughts, feelings, and actions. Methods We evaluated 22 FES patients from 17 to 29 years of age with a recent history of a single psychotic episode treated only with atypical neuroleptics, and 20 healthy persons matched with FES patients by sex, age, and educational level as the control group. Attention was estimated using the ANT in which participants indicate whether a central horizontal arrow is pointing to the left or the right. The central arrow may be preceded by spatial or temporal cues denoting where and when the arrow will appear, and may be flanked by other arrows (hereafter, flankers pointing in the same or the opposite direction. Results The efficiency of the alerting, orienting, and executive networks was estimated by measuring how reaction time was influenced by congruency between temporal, spatial, and flanker cues. We found that the control group only demonstrated significantly greater attention efficiency than FES patients in the executive attention network. Conclusions FES patients are impaired in executive attention but not in alerting or orienting attention, suggesting that executive attention deficit may be a primary impairment during the progression of the disease.

  11. Age trends for failures of sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carriere, Jonathan S A; Cheyne, J Allan; Solman, Grayden J F; Smilek, Daniel

    2010-09-01

    Recent research has revealed an age-related reduction in errors in a sustained attention task, suggesting that sustained attention abilities improve with age. Such results seem paradoxical in light of the well-documented age-related declines in cognitive performance. In the present study, performance on the sustained attention to response task (SART) was assessed in a supplemented archival sample of 638 individuals between 14 and 77 years old. SART errors and response speed appeared to decline in a linear fashion as a function of age throughout the age span studied. In contrast, other measures of sustained attention (reaction time coefficient of variation), anticipation, and omissions) showed a decrease early in life and then remained unchanged for the rest of the life span. Thus, sustained attention shows improvements with maturation in early adulthood but then does not change with aging in older adults. On the other hand, aging across the entire life span leads to a more strategic (i.e., slower) response style that reduces the overt and critical consequences (i.e., SART errors) of momentary task disengagement. (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

  12. The role of executive attention in object substitution masking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filmer, Hannah L; Wells-Peris, Roxanne; Dux, Paul E

    2017-05-01

    It was long thought that a key characteristic of object substitution masking (OSM) was the requirement for spatial attention to be dispersed for the mask to impact visual sensitivity. However, recent studies have provided evidence questioning whether spatial attention interacts with OSM magnitude, suggesting that the previous reports reflect the impact of performance being at ceiling for the low attention load conditions. Another technique that has been employed to modulate attention in OSM paradigms involves presenting the target stimulus foveally, but with another demanding task shown immediately prior, and thus taxing executive/temporal attention. Under such conditions, when the two tasks occur in close temporal proximity relatively to greater temporal separation, masking is increased. However this effect could also be influenced by performance being at ceiling in some conditions. Here, we manipulated executive attention for a foveated target using a dual-task paradigm. Critically, ceiling performance was avoided by thresholding the target stimulus prior to it being presented under OSM conditions. We found no evidence for an interaction between executive attention load and masking. Collectively, along with the previous findings, our results provide compelling evidence that OSM as a phenomenon occurs independently of attention.

  13. Symbiosis of Executive and Selective Attention in Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André eVandierendonck

    2014-08-01

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

  14. The Role of Sustained Attention in the Production of Conjoined Noun Phrases: An Individual Differences Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongman, Suzanne R; Meyer, Antje S; Roelofs, Ardi

    2015-01-01

    It has previously been shown that language production, performed simultaneously with a nonlinguistic task, involves sustained attention. Sustained attention concerns the ability to maintain alertness over time. Here, we aimed to replicate the previous finding by showing that individuals call upon sustained attention when they plan single noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot") and perform a manual arrow categorization task. In addition, we investigated whether speakers also recruit sustained attention when they produce conjoined noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot and the bucket") describing two pictures, that is, when both the first and second task are linguistic. We found that sustained attention correlated with the proportion of abnormally slow phrase-production responses. Individuals with poor sustained attention displayed a greater number of very slow responses than individuals with better sustained attention. Importantly, this relationship was obtained both for the production of single phrases while performing a nonlinguistic manual task, and the production of noun phrase conjunctions in referring to two spatially separated objects. Inhibition and updating abilities were also measured. These scores did not correlate with our measure of sustained attention, suggesting that sustained attention and executive control are distinct. Overall, the results suggest that planning conjoined noun phrases involves sustained attention, and that language production happens less automatically than has often been assumed.

  15. Executive and attentional contributions to Theory of Mind deficit in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary, Alison; Slama, Hichem; Mousty, Philippe; Massat, Isabelle; Capiau, Tatiana; Drabs, Virginie; Peigneux, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children has been associated with attentional and executive problems, but also with socioemotional difficulties possibly associated with deficits in Theory of Mind (ToM). Socioemotional problems in ADHD are associated with more negative prognoses, notably interpersonal, educational problems, and an increased risk of developing other psychiatric disorders that emphasize the need to clarify the nature of their ToM deficits. In this study, we hypothesized that ToM dysfunction in children with ADHD is largely attributable to their attentional and/or executive deficits. Thirty-one children with ADHD (8-12 years, IQ > 85) and 31 typically developing (TD) children were assessed using executive functions (inhibition, planning, and flexibility) and attentional tasks, as well as two advanced ToM tasks (Reading the Mind in the Eyes and Faux Pas) involving different levels of executive control. Children with ADHD performed more poorly than TD children in attentional, executive function, and ToM tasks. Linear regression analyses conducted in the ADHD group indicated that inhibition scores predicted performance on the "Faux Pas" task the best, while attention scores were the best for predicting performance on the Reading the Mind in the Eyes task. When controlled for inhibition and attentional variables, ToM performance in children with ADHD was actually similar to TD children. Contrarily, controlling for ToM scores did not normalize performance for inhibition and attentional tasks in children with ADHD. This unidirectional relationship suggests that deficits in the EF and attentional domains are responsible for ToM deficits in ADHD, which therefore may contribute to their socioemotional difficulties.

  16. Sleep, attention, and executive functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreau, Vincent; Rouleau, Nancie; Morin, Charles M

    2013-11-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate potential relationships between two measures of sleep impairments (i.e., sleep duration and sleep efficiency [SE]) and attention and executive functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parents of 43 children (mean age = 10 ± 1.8 years) with ADHD completed sleep and behavioral questionnaires. Children also wore a wrist actigraph for seven nights and were subsequently assessed with the Conners' continuous performance test (CPT)-2. A significant relationship was found between lower SE and increased variability in reaction time on the CPT. Shorter sleep duration was associated with a range of executive functioning problems as reported by the parents. The relationships between sleep duration and the executive functioning measures held even after controlling for age, gender, and use of medication, but not the relationships with SE. These results suggest that sleep quantity is an important correlate of executive functioning in children with ADHD.

  17. Acute personalized habitual caffeine doses improve attention and have selective effects when considering the fractionation of executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanini, Juliana; Galduróz, José Carlos Fernandes; Pompéia, Sabine

    2016-01-01

    Caffeine is widely used, often consumed with food, and improves simple and complex/executive attention under fasting conditions. We investigated whether these cognitive effects are observed when personalized habitual doses of caffeine are ingested by caffeine consumers, whether they are influenced by nutriments and if various executive domains are susceptible to improvement. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study including 60 young, healthy, rested males randomly assigned to one of four treatments: placebo fasting, caffeine fasting, placebo meal and caffeine meal. Caffeine doses were individualized for each participant based on their self-reported caffeine consumption at the time of testing (morning). The test battery included measures of simple and sustained attention, executive domains (inhibiting, updating, shifting, dual tasking, planning and accessing long-term memory), control measures of subjective alterations, glucose and insulin levels, skin conductance, heart rate and pupil dilation. Regardless of meal intake, acute habitual doses of caffeine decreased fatigue, and improved simple and sustained attention and executive updating. This executive effect was not secondary to the habitual weekly dose consumed, changes in simple and sustained attention, mood, meal ingestion and increases in cognitive effort. We conclude that the morning caffeine "fix" has positive attentional effects and selectively improved executive updating whether or not caffeine is consumed with food. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  18. Attentional Lapses of Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Tasks of Sustained Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gmehlin, Dennis; Fuermaier, Anselm B M; Walther, Stephan; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; Lange, Klaus W; Tucha, Oliver; Weisbrod, Matthias; Aschenbrenner, Steffen

    2016-06-01

    Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show attentional dysfunction such as distractibility and mind-wandering, especially in lengthy tasks. However, fundamentals of dysfunction are ambiguous and relationships of neuropsychological test parameters with self-report measures of ADHD symptoms are marginal. We hypothesize that basic deficits in sustaining attention explain more complex attentional dysfunction in persons with ADHD and relate to ADHD symptoms. Attentional function was analyzed by computing ex-Gaussian parameters for 3 time Blocks in a 20 min test of sustained alertness. Changes in performance across these blocks were analyzed by comparing adult persons with ADHD (n = 24) with healthy matched controls (n = 24) and correlated with neuropsychological measures of selective and divided attention as well as self-report measures of ADHD symptoms. We found a significantly steeper increase in the number of slow responses (ex-Gaussian parameter τ) in persons with ADHD with time on task in basic sustained alertness. They also performed significantly worse in tasks of sustained selective and divided attention. However, after controlling for an increase in τ during the alertness task, significant differences between groups disappeared for divided and partly selective attention. Increases in τ in the sustained alertness task correlated significantly with self-report measures of ADHD symptoms. Our results provide evidence that very basic deficits in sustaining attention in adults with ADHD are related to infrequent slow responses (=attentional lapses), with changes over time being relevant for more complex attentional function and experienced ADHD symptoms in everyday life. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Intervention for executive functions in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Menezes

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate if an executive functions (EF intervention could promote these skills in individuals with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Eighteen children and adolescents, 7-13 years old, divided into experimental (EG, N = 8 and control (CG, N = 10 groups, were assessed in the Block Design and Vocabulary subtests of the WISC III and seven tests of EF. Parents answered two scales, measuring EF and inattention and hyperactivity signs. EG children participated in a program to promote EF in twice-weekly group sessions of one hour each. After 8 months of intervention, groups were assessed again. ANCOVA, controlling for age, intelligence quotient and pretest performance, revealed gains in attention/inhibition and auditory working memory measures for the EG. No effect was found for scales or measures of more complex EF. Results are not conclusive, but they illustrate some promising data about EF interventions in children and adolescents with ADHD.

  20. Recent theoretical, neural, and clinical advances in sustained attention research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortenbaugh, Francesca C.; DeGutis, Joseph; Esterman, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Models of attention often distinguish between attention subtypes, with classic models separating orienting, switching, and sustaining functions. Compared to other forms of attention, the neurophysiological basis of sustaining attention has received far less attention yet it is known that momentary failures of sustained attention can have far ranging negative impacts in healthy individuals and lasting sustained attention deficits are pervasive in clinical populations. In recent years, however, there has been increased interest in characterizing moment-to-moment fluctuations in sustained attention in addition to the overall vigilance decrement and understanding how these neurocognitive systems change over the lifespan and across various clinical populations. The use of novel neuroimaging paradigms and statistical approaches has allowed for better characterization of the neural networks supporting sustained attention, and highlighted dynamic interactions within and across multiple distributed networks that predict behavioral performance. These advances have also provided potential biomarkers to identify individuals with sustained attention deficits. These findings have led to new theoretical models of why sustaining focused attention is a challenge for individuals and form the basis for the next generation of sustained attention research, which seeks to accurately diagnose and develop theoretically-driven treatments for sustained attention deficits that affect a variety of clinical populations. PMID:28260249

  1. Executive attention and working memory in narcoleptic outpatients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirleny Moraes

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: This pioneering study aimed to evaluate executive attention and working memory in Brazilian narcoleptic outpatients. METHODS: Narcoleptic group: 19 treated narcoleptic outpatients (13 F; 6 M (mean age=37.58; SD = 8.93; control group: 19 subjects (15 F; 4 M (mean age=34.42; SD=12.31. INSTRUMENTS: Epworth Sleepiness Scale - Brazilian Portuguese Version (ESS-BR, Victoria Stroop Test (VST, Trail Making Test (TMT and Letter-Number Sequencing (LNS of WAIS-III. RESULTS: Significant difference at Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS (p<0.001 and at working memory (p=0.009 with worse results for narcoleptic patients. Patients were slower at VST-1 (p=0.002, VST-2 (p=0.045 and at TMT-A (p=0.016, TMT-B (p=0.006 and B-A (p=0.024. CONCLUSION: Narcoleptic patients showed higher degrees of EDS, an impaired executive attention at a temporal level and lower performance in working memory when compared to normal controls.

  2. Recent theoretical, neural, and clinical advances in sustained attention research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; DeGutis, Joseph; Esterman, Michael

    2017-05-01

    Models of attention often distinguish among attention subtypes, with classic models separating orienting, switching, and sustaining functions. Compared with other forms of attention, the neurophysiological basis of sustaining attention has received far less notice, yet it is known that momentary failures of sustained attention can have far-ranging negative effects in healthy individuals, and lasting sustained attention deficits are pervasive in clinical populations. In recent years, however, there has been increased interest in characterizing moment-to-moment fluctuations in sustained attention, in addition to the overall vigilance decrement, and understanding how these neurocognitive systems change over the life span and across various clinical populations. The use of novel neuroimaging paradigms and statistical approaches has allowed for better characterization of the neural networks supporting sustained attention and has highlighted dynamic interactions within and across multiple distributed networks that predict behavioral performance. These advances have also provided potential biomarkers to identify individuals with sustained attention deficits. These findings have led to new theoretical models explaining why sustaining focused attention is a challenge for individuals and form the basis for the next generation of sustained attention research, which seeks to accurately diagnose and develop theoretically driven treatments for sustained attention deficits that affect a variety of clinical populations. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  3. Attentional and non-attentional systems in the maintenance of verbal information in working memory: the executive and phonological loops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camos, Valérie; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterious effect of temporal decay and interference. A non-attentional mechanism of verbal rehearsal, similar to the one described by Baddeley in the phonological loop model, uses language processes to reactivate phonological memory traces. Besides this domain-specific mechanism, an executive loop allows the reconstruction of memory traces through an attention-based mechanism of refreshing. The present paper reviews evidence of the involvement of these two independent systems in the maintenance of verbal memory items.

  4. Attentional and non-attentional systems in the maintenance of verbal information in working memory: the executive and phonological loops

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camos, Valérie; Barrouillet, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterious effect of temporal decay and interference. A non-attentional mechanism of verbal rehearsal, similar to the one described by Baddeley in the phonological loop model, uses language processes to reactivate phonological memory traces. Besides this domain-specific mechanism, an executive loop allows the reconstruction of memory traces through an attention-based mechanism of refreshing. The present paper reviews evidence of the involvement of these two independent systems in the maintenance of verbal memory items. PMID:25426049

  5. Attentional and non-attentional systems in the maintenance of verbal information in working memory: the executive and phonological loops.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie eCamos

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterious effect of temporal decay and interference. A non-attentional mechanism of verbal rehearsal, similar to the one described by Baddeley in the phonological loop model, uses language processes to reactivate phonological memory traces. Besides this domain-specific mechanism, an executive loop allows the reconstruction of memory traces through an attention-based mechanism of refreshing. The present paper reviews evidence of the involvement of these two independent systems in the maintenance of verbal memory items.

  6. Focused and Sustained Attention Is Modified by a Goal-Based Rehabilitation in Parkinsonian Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrazzoli, Davide; Ortelli, Paola; Maestri, Roberto; Bera, Rossana; Gargantini, Roberto; Palamara, Grazia; Zarucchi, Marianna; Giladi, Nir; Frazzitta, Giuseppe

    2017-01-01

    Rehabilitation for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) is based on cognitive strategies that exploit attention. Parkinsonians exhibit impairments in divided attention and interference control. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of specific rehabilitation treatments based on attention suggests that other attentional functions are preserved. Data about attention are conflicting in PD, and it is not clear whether rehabilitative treatments that entail attentional strategies affect attention itself. Reaction times (RTs) represent an instrument to explore attention and investigate whether changes in attentional performances parallel rehabilitation induced-gains. RTs of 103 parkinsonian patients in "on" state, without cognitive deficits, were compared with those of a population of 34 healthy controls. We studied those attentional networks that subtend the use of cognitive strategies in motor rehabilitation: alertness and focused and sustained attention, which is a component of the executive system. We used visual and auditory RTs to evaluate alertness and multiple choices RTs (MC RTs) to explore focused and sustained attention. Parkinsonian patients underwent these tasks before and after a 4-week multidisciplinary, intensive and goal-based rehabilitation treatment (MIRT). Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) III and Timed Up and Go test (TUG) were assessed at the enrollment and at the end of MIRT to evaluate the motor-functional effectiveness of treatment. We did not find differences in RTs between parkinsonian patients and controls. Further, we found that improvements in motor-functional outcome measures after MIRT ( p attention, are preserved in "on" state. This explains why Parkinsonians benefit from a goal-based rehabilitation that entails the use of attention. The reduction in MC RTs suggests a positive effect of MIRT on the executive component of attention and indicates that this type of rehabilitation provides benefits by exploiting executive functions

  7. Effects of acute tryptophan depletion on memory, attention and executive functions: a systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendelsohn, Daniel; Riedel, Wim J; Sambeth, Anke

    2009-06-01

    The serotonergic system is implicated in the regulation of mood and cognition. Acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) is an experimental procedure for lowering central serotonin levels. Here, the effects of ATD on psychomotor processing, declarative memory, working memory, executive functions and attention are discussed. The most robust finding is that ATD impairs the consolidation of episodic memory for verbal information. Semantic memory appears to be unaffected by ATD although a limited variety of tasks examined effects in this domain. Similarly, evidence suggests ATD does not influence verbal, spatial and affective working memory. Most studies investigating effects on executive functions have produced non-specific or negative findings. In terms of attention, ATD either does not affect or may improve focused attention and ATD likely does not impact sustained and divided attention or attentional set-shifting. Although ATD is known to affect mood in certain vulnerable populations, the effects of ATD on cognition in non-vulnerable participants are independent of mood changes. Suggestions for future directions and implications for psychiatric illnesses are discussed.

  8. Poorer divided attention in children born very preterm can be explained by difficulty with each component task, not the executive requirement to dual-task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delane, Louise; Campbell, Catherine; Bayliss, Donna M; Reid, Corinne; Stephens, Amelia; French, Noel; Anderson, Mike

    2017-07-01

    Children born very preterm (VP, ≤ 32 weeks) exhibit poor performance on tasks of executive functioning. However, it is largely unknown whether this reflects the cumulative impact of non-executive deficits or a separable impairment in executive-level abilities. A dual-task paradigm was used in the current study to differentiate the executive processes involved in performing two simple attention tasks simultaneously. The executive-level contribution to performance was indexed by the within-subject cost incurred to single-task performance under dual-task conditions, termed dual-task cost. The participants included 77 VP children (mean age: 7.17 years) and 74 peer controls (mean age: 7.16 years) who completed Sky Search (selective attention), Score (sustained attention) and Sky Search DT (divided attention) from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children. The divided-attention task requires the simultaneous performance of the selective- and sustained-attention tasks. The VP group exhibited poorer performance on the selective- and divided-attention tasks, and showed a strong trend toward poorer performance on the sustained-attention task. However, there were no significant group differences in dual-task cost. These results suggest a cumulative impact of vulnerable lower-level cognitive processes on dual-tasking or divided attention in VP children, and fail to support the hypothesis that VP children show a separable impairment in executive-level abilities.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  10. Sustained-Paced Finger Tapping: A Novel Approach to Measure Internal Sustained Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco A. Petilli

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Sustained attention is a fundamental prerequisite for all cognitive functions and its impairment is a common aftermath of both developmental and acquired neurological disorders. To date, all the sustained attention tasks rely heavily on selective attention to external stimuli. The interaction between selective and sustained attention represents a limit in the field of assessment and may mislead researchers or distort conclusions. The aim of the present perspective study was to propose a sustained version of the Paced Finger Tapping (S-PFT test as a novel approach to measure sustained attention that does not leverage external stimuli. Here, we administered S-PFT and other attentional tasks (visual sustained attention, visuospatial attention capacity, selective attention, and divided attention tasks to 85 adolescents. Thus, we provide evidence suggesting that S-PFT is effective in causing performance decrement over time, an important trademark of sustained attention tasks. We also present descriptive statistics showing the relationship between S-PFT and the other attentional tasks. These analyses show that, unlike visual sustained attention tests, performances to our task of internal sustained attention were not correlated to measures of selective attention and visuospatial attention capacity. Our results suggest that S-PFT could represent a promising and alternative tool both for empirical research and clinical assessment of sustained attention.

  11. Attention and executive functions computer training for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bikic, Aida; Leckman, James F; Christensen, Torben Ø

    2018-01-01

    and both groups received treatment as usual and were assessed in regard to cognitive functions, symptoms, behavioral and functional outcome measures after 8, 12 and 24 weeks. There was no significant effect on the primary outcome, sustained attention (β = - 0.047; CI - 0.247 to 0.153) or the secondary...

  12. Sustained attention in infancy as a longitudinal predictor of self-regulatory functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Maria; Marciszko, Carin; Gredebäck, Gustaf; Nyström, Pär; Bohlin, Gunilla

    2015-11-01

    Previous literature suggests that attention processes such as sustained attention would constitute a developmental foundation for the self-regulatory functions executive functioning and effortful control (e.g., Garon, Bryson, & Smith, 2008; Rothbart, Derryberry, & Posner, 1994). Our main aim was to test this hypothesis by studying whether sustained attention at age 1 year can predict individual differences in self-regulatory functions at age 2 years. Longitudinal data from 66 infants and their parents were included in the study. Sustained attention was assessed during free play at age 1 year; executive functioning, measured using an eye-tracking version of the A-not-B task, and effortful control, measured using parental ratings, were assessed at both age 1 and age 2 years. The results did support a longitudinal prediction of individual differences in 2-year-olds' self-regulatory functions as a function of sustained attention at age 1 year. We also found significant improvement in both executive functioning and effortful control over time, and the two self-regulatory constructs were related in toddlerhood but not in infancy. The study helps increase our understanding of the early development of self-regulatory functions necessary for identifying developmental risks and, in the future, for developing new interventions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Sustained attention in language production: An individual differences investigation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongman, S.R.; Roelofs, A.P.A.; Meyer, A.S.

    2015-01-01

    Whereas it has long been assumed that most linguistic processes underlying language production happen automatically, accumulating evidence suggests that these processes do require some form of attention. Here we investigated the contribution of sustained attention: the ability to maintain alertness

  14. Sustained-Paced Finger Tapping: A Novel Approach to Measure Internal Sustained Attention

    OpenAIRE

    Marco A. Petilli; Marco A. Petilli; Daniela C. Trisolini; Roberta Daini; Roberta Daini; Roberta Daini

    2018-01-01

    Sustained attention is a fundamental prerequisite for all cognitive functions and its impairment is a common aftermath of both developmental and acquired neurological disorders. To date, all the sustained attention tasks rely heavily on selective attention to external stimuli. The interaction between selective and sustained attention represents a limit in the field of assessment and may mislead researchers or distort conclusions. The aim of the present perspective study was to propose a susta...

  15. ERP characterization of sustained attention effects in visual lexical categorization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clara D Martin

    Full Text Available As our understanding of the basic processes underlying reading is growing, the key role played by attention in this process becomes evident. Two research topics are of particular interest in this domain: (1 it is still undetermined whether sustained attention affects lexical decision tasks; (2 the influence of attention on early visual processing (i.e., before orthographic or lexico-semantic processing stages remains largely under-specified. Here we investigated early perceptual modulations by sustained attention using an ERP paradigm adapted from Thierry et al. [1]. Participants had to decide whether visual stimuli presented in pairs pertained to a pre-specified category (lexical categorization focus on word or pseudoword pairs. Depending on the lexical category of the first item of a pair, participants either needed to fully process the second item (hold condition or could release their attention and make a decision without full processing of the second item (release condition. The P1 peak was unaffected by sustained attention. The N1 was delayed and reduced after the second item of a pair when participants released their attention. Release of sustained attention also reduced a P3 wave elicited by the first item of a pair and abolished the P3 wave elicited by the second. Our results are consistent with differential effects of sustained attention on early processing stages and working memory. Sustained attention modulated early processing stages during a lexical decision task without inhibiting the process of stimulus integration. On the contrary, working memory involvement/updating was highly dependent upon the allocation of sustained attention. Moreover, the influence of sustained attention on both early and late cognitive processes was independent of lexical categorization focus.

  16. A longitudinal twin study on IQ, executive functioning, and attention problems during childhood and early adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polderman, Tinca J C; Gosso, M Florencia; Posthuma, Danielle; Van Beijsterveldt, Toos C E M; Heutink, Peter; Verhulst, Frank C; Boomsma, Dorret I

    2006-12-01

    Variation in human behavior may be caused by differences in genotype and by non-genetic differences ("environment") between individuals. The relative contributions of genotype (G) and environment (E) to phenotypic variation can be assessed with the classical twin design. We illustrate this approach with longitudinal data collected in 5 and 12-year-old Dutch twins. At age 5 data on cognitive abilities as assessed with a standard intelligence test (IQ), working memory, selective and sustained attention, and attention problems were collected in 237 twin pairs. Seven years later, 172 twin pairs participated again when they were 12 years old and underwent a similar protocol. Results showed that variation in all phenotypes was influenced by genetic factors. For IQ the heritability estimates increased from 30% at age 5, to 80% at age 12. For executive functioning performance genetic factors accounted for around 50% of the variance at both ages. Attention problems showed high heritabilities (above 60%) at both ages, for maternal and teacher ratings. Longitudinal analyses revealed that executive functioning during childhood was weakly correlated with IQ scores at age 12. Attention problems during childhood, as rated by the mother and the teacher were stronger predictors (r = -0.28 and -0.36, respectively). This association could be attributed to a partly overlapping set of genes influencing attention problems at age 5 and IQ at age 12. IQ performance at age 5 was the best predictor of IQ at age 12. IQ at both ages was influenced by the same genes, whose influence was amplified during development.

  17. Executive Function Training for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lan Shuai; David Daley; Yu-Feng Wang; Jin-Song Zhang; Yan-Ting Kong; Xin Tan; Ning Ji

    2017-01-01

    Background:Accumulating evidence indicates that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with core deficits in executive function (EF) which predicts poorer academic and occupational functioning.This makes early intervention targeting EF impairments important to prevent long-term negative outcomes.Cognitive training is a potential ADHD treatment target.The present study aimed to explore the efficacy,feasibility,and acceptability of a cognitive training program (targeting child's multiple EF components and involving parent support in daily life),as a nonpharmacological intervention for children with ADHD.Methods:Forty-four school-age children with ADHD and their parents participated in 12 sessions of EF training (last for 12 weeks) and 88 health controls (HC) were also recruited.Training effects were explored using both neuropsychological tests (Stroop color-word test,Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test,trail making test,tower of Hanoi,and false-belief task) and reports of daily life (ADHD rating scale-Ⅳ,Conners' parent rating scale,and behavior rating inventory of executive function [BRIEF]) by analysis of paired sample t-test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test.The differences on EF performances between children with ADHD after training and HC were explored using multivariate analysis.Results:The results (before vs.after EF training) showed that after intervention,the children with ADHD presented better performances of EF both in neuropsychological tests (word interference of Stroop:36.1 ± 14.6 vs.27.1 ± 11.1,t =4.731,P < 0.001;shift time of TMT:194.9 ± 115.4 vs.124.8 ± 72.4,Z =-4.639,P < 0.001;false-belief task:x2 =6.932,P =0.008) and reports of daily life (global executive composite of BRIEF:148.9 ± 17.5 vs.127.8 ± 17.5,t =6.433,P < 0.001).The performances on EF tasks for children with ADHD after EF training could match with the level of HC children.The ADHD symptoms (ADHD rating scale total score:32.4 ± 8.9 vs.22.9 ± 8.2,t =6.331,P

  18. 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.

  19. Executive and Attentional Functions in Chronic Pain: Does Performance Decrease with Increasing Task Load?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joukje M Oosterman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Diminished executive function and attentional control has been reported in chronic pain patients. However, the precise pattern of impairment in these aspects of cognition in chronic pain remains unclear. Moreover, a decline in psychomotor speed could potentially influence executive and attentional control performance in pain patients.

  20. Not just scenery: viewing nature pictures improves executive attention in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamble, Katherine R; Howard, James H; Howard, Darlene V

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Attention Restoration Theory (Kaplan, 1995, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15, 169-182) suggests that exposure to nature improves attention. Berman, Jonides, and Kaplan (2008, Psychological Science, 19, 1207-1212) showed that simply viewing nature pictures improves executive attention in young adults. The present study is the first to investigate this Nature Effect in older adults. The authors investigated whether executive attention could be improved in healthy older adults following brief exposure to nature pictures. Thirty healthy older adults (64-79 years old) and 26 young university students (18-25 years old) participated. They completed the Attention Network Test before and after 6 min of viewing either nature or urban pictures, with random assignment into a picture type. Attention immediately before (most fatigued) and after (most restored) picture viewing was measured, and change in attention was compared between age groups and picture types. Results showed that viewing nature, but not urban, pictures significantly improved executive attention in both older and young adults as measured by the Attention Network Test, with similar effects seen in the two age groups. Alerting and orienting attention scores were not affected by picture viewing. This was the first study to show that viewing nature pictures improves attention in older adults, and to show that it is executive attention, specifically, that is improved. Among a growing number of interventions, nature exposure offers a quick, inexpensive, and enjoyable means to provide a temporary boost in executive attention.

  1. Attention and executive functions in a rat model of chronic epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faure, Jean-Baptiste; Marques-Carneiro, José E; Akimana, Gladys; Cosquer, Brigitte; Ferrandon, Arielle; Herbeaux, Karine; Koning, Estelle; Barbelivien, Alexandra; Nehlig, Astrid; Cassel, Jean-Christophe

    2014-05-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy is a relatively frequent, invalidating, and often refractory neurologic disorder. It is associated with cognitive impairments that affect memory and executive functions. In the rat lithium-pilocarpine temporal lobe epilepsy model, memory impairment and anxiety disorder are classically reported. Here we evaluated sustained visual attention in this model of epilepsy, a function not frequently explored. Thirty-five Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to lithium-pilocarpine status epilepticus. Twenty of them received a carisbamate treatment for 7 days, starting 1 h after status epilepticus onset. Twelve controls received lithium and saline. Five months later, attention was assessed in the five-choice serial reaction time task, a task that tests visual attention and inhibitory control (impulsivity/compulsivity). Neuronal counting was performed in brain regions of interest to the functions studied (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, nucleus basalis magnocellularis, and pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus). Lithium-pilocarpine rats developed motor seizures. When they were able to learn the task, they exhibited attention impairment and a tendency toward impulsivity and compulsivity. These disturbances occurred in the absence of neuronal loss in structures classically related to attentional performance, although they seemed to better correlate with neuronal loss in hippocampus. Globally, rats that received carisbamate and developed motor seizures were as impaired as untreated rats, whereas those that did not develop overt motor seizures performed like controls, despite evidence for hippocampal damage. This study shows that attention deficits reported by patients with temporal lobe epilepsy can be observed in the lithium-pilocarpine model. Carisbamate prevents the occurrence of motor seizures, attention impairment, impulsivity, and compulsivity in a subpopulation of neuroprotected rats. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2014 International League Against Epilepsy.

  2. Sustained selective attention predicts flexible switching in preschoolers.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  3. European Sustainable Construction Regulation : Homogeneity and Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Heijden, J.; Van Bueren, E.M.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the negative impact of the construction industry and the built environment on the ecological environment, the European Commission (EC) aims to harmonise and improve sustainable construction regulatory frameworks in Member States of the European Union. This paper discusses the topics of

  4. Individual Differences In The Executive Control Of Attention, Memory, And Thought, And Their Associations With Schizotypy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Michael J.; Meier, Matt E.; Smeekens, Bridget A.; Gross, Georgina M.; Chun, Charlotte A.; Silvia, Paul J.; Kwapil, Thomas R.

    2016-01-01

    A large correlational study took a latent-variable approach to the generality of executive control by testing the individual-differences structure of executive-attention capabilities and assessing their prediction of schizotypy, a multidimensional construct (with negative, positive, disorganized, and paranoid factors) conveying risk for schizophrenia. Although schizophrenia is convincingly linked to executive deficits, the schizotypy literature is equivocal. Subjects completed tasks of working memory capacity (WMC), attention restraint (inhibiting prepotent responses), and attention constraint (focusing visual attention amid distractors), the latter two in an effort to fractionate the “inhibition” construct. We also assessed mind-wandering propensity (via in-task thought probes) and coefficient of variation in response times (RT CoV) from several tasks as more novel indices of executive attention. WMC, attention restraint, attention constraint, mind wandering, and RT CoV were correlated but separable constructs, indicating some distinctions among “attention control” abilities; WMC correlated more strongly with attentional restraint than constraint, and mind wandering correlated more strongly with attentional restraint, attentional constraint, and RT CoV than with WMC. Across structural models, no executive construct predicted negative schizotypy and only mind wandering and RT CoV consistently (but modestly) predicted positive, disorganized, and paranoid schizotypy; stalwart executive constructs in the schizophrenia literature — WMC and attention restraint — showed little to no predictive power, beyond restraint’s prediction of paranoia. Either executive deficits are consequences rather than risk factors for schizophrenia, or executive failures barely precede or precipitate diagnosable schizophrenia symptoms. PMID:27454042

  5. Sustained attention in language production: an individual differences investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongman, Suzanne R; Roelofs, Ardi; Meyer, Antje S

    2015-01-01

    Whereas it has long been assumed that most linguistic processes underlying language production happen automatically, accumulating evidence suggests that these processes do require some form of attention. Here we investigated the contribution of sustained attention: the ability to maintain alertness over time. In Experiment 1, participants' sustained attention ability was measured using auditory and visual continuous performance tasks. Subsequently, employing a dual-task procedure, participants described pictures using simple noun phrases and performed an arrow-discrimination task while their vocal and manual response times (RTs) and the durations of their gazes to the pictures were measured. Earlier research has demonstrated that gaze duration reflects language planning processes up to and including phonological encoding. The speakers' sustained attention ability correlated with the magnitude of the tail of the vocal RT distribution, reflecting the proportion of very slow responses, but not with individual differences in gaze duration. This suggests that sustained attention was most important after phonological encoding. Experiment 2 showed that the involvement of sustained attention was significantly stronger in a dual-task situation (picture naming and arrow discrimination) than in simple naming. Thus, individual differences in maintaining attention on the production processes become especially apparent when a simultaneous second task also requires attentional resources.

  6. Learning to ignore: acquisition of sustained attentional suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Matthew L; Ruppel, Justin; Pratt, Jay; De Rosa, Eve

    2009-04-01

    We examined whether the selection mechanisms committed to the suppression of ignored stimuli can be modified by experience to produce a sustained, rather than transient, change in behavior. Subjects repeatedly ignored the shape of stimuli, while attending to their color. On subsequent attention to shape, there was a robust and sustained decrement in performance that was selective to when shape was ignored across multiple-color-target contexts, relative to a single-color-target context. Thus, amount of time ignored was not sufficient to induce a sustained performance decrement. Moreover, in this group, individual differences in initial color target selection were associated with the subsequent performance decrement when attending to previously ignored stimuli. Accompanying this sustained decrement in performance was a transfer in the locus of suppression from an exemplar (e.g., a circle) to a feature (i.e., shape) level of representation. These data suggest that learning can influence attentional selection by sustained attentional suppression of ignored stimuli.

  7. Sustained attention ability in schizophrenia: Investigation of conflict monitoring mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoonakker, Marc; Doignon-Camus, Nadège; Marques-Carneiro, José Eduardo; Bonnefond, Anne

    2017-09-01

    The main goal of the current study was to assess, with a time-on-task approach, sustained attention ability in schizophrenia, and to investigate conflict monitoring underlying this ability. Behavioral and event-related potentials data (N2 and P3a amplitudes) were recorded in a long-lasting sustained attention Go/NoGo task (sustained attention to response task, SART), over a period of 30min, in 29 patients with schizophrenia and 29 pair-matched healthy subjects. Our results revealed spared sustained attention ability in patients throughout the task. Impairment of conflict detection (N2) in patients was particularly significant at the end of the task. Furthermore, both schizophrenia and healthy subjects exhibited a decline in conflict detection from the beginning to the middle of the task. Whereas controls' conflict detection recovered in the last part of the task, patients' did not, suggesting a deficit in recovery processes reflecting a lack of additional resources sustained attention Go/NoGo task. Conflict resolution (P3a) was preserved throughout the task in both groups. Conflict monitoring processes are increasingly impaired in schizophrenia during a long-lasting sustained attention Go/NoGo task. This impairment at the end of the task may rely on deficit in recovery processes, rather than a deficit in conflict detection per se in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Reaction Times to Consecutive Automation Failures: A Function of Working Memory and Sustained Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jipp, Meike

    2016-12-01

    This study explored whether working memory and sustained attention influence cognitive lock-up, which is a delay in the response to consecutive automation failures. Previous research has demonstrated that the information that automation provides about failures and the time pressure that is associated with a task influence cognitive lock-up. Previous research has also demonstrated considerable variability in cognitive lock-up between participants. This is why individual differences might influence cognitive lock-up. The present study tested whether working memory-including flexibility in executive functioning-and sustained attention might be crucial in this regard. Eighty-five participants were asked to monitor automated aircraft functions. The experimental manipulation consisted of whether or not an initial automation failure was followed by a consecutive failure. Reaction times to the failures were recorded. Participants' working-memory and sustained-attention abilities were assessed with standardized tests. As expected, participants' reactions to consecutive failures were slower than their reactions to initial failures. In addition, working-memory and sustained-attention abilities enhanced the speed with which participants reacted to failures, more so with regard to consecutive than to initial failures. The findings highlight that operators with better working memory and sustained attention have small advantages when initial failures occur, but their advantages increase across consecutive failures. The results stress the need to consider personnel selection strategies to mitigate cognitive lock-up in general and training procedures to enhance the performance of low ability operators. © 2016, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

  9. Neurofunctional Abnormalities during Sustained Attention in Severe Childhood Abuse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Mitul A.; Simmons, Andrew; Mirza, Kah; Rubia, Katya

    2016-01-01

    Childhood maltreatment is associated with adverse affective and cognitive consequences including impaired emotion processing, inhibition and attention. However, the majority of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in childhood maltreatment have examined emotion processing, while very few studies have tested the neurofunctional substrates of cognitive functions and none of attention. This study investigated the association between severe childhood abuse and fMRI brain activation during a parametric sustained attention task with a progressively increasing load of sustained attention in 21 medication-naïve, drug-free young people with a history of childhood abuse controlling for psychiatric comorbidities by including 19 psychiatric controls matched for psychiatric diagnoses, and 27 healthy controls. Behaviorally, the participants exposed to childhood abuse showed increased omission errors in the task which correlated positively trend-wise with the duration of their abuse. Neurofunctionally, the participants with a history of childhood abuse, but not the psychiatric controls, displayed significantly reduced activation relative to the healthy controls during the most challenging attention condition only in typical attention regions including left inferior and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, insula and temporal areas. We therefore show for the first time that severe childhood abuse is associated with neurofunctional abnormalities in key ventral frontal-temporal sustained attention regions. The findings represent a first step towards the delineation of abuse-related neurofunctional abnormalities in sustained attention, which may help in the development of effective treatments for victims of childhood abuse. PMID:27832090

  10. Lesion Neuroanatomy of the Sustained Attention to Response Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molenberghs, Pascal; Gillebert, Celine R.; Schoofs, Hanne; Dupont, Patrick; Peeters, Ronald; Vandenberghe, Rik

    2009-01-01

    The Sustained Attention to Response task is a classical neuropsychological test that has been used by many centres to characterize the attentional deficits in traumatic brain injury, ADHD, autism and other disorders. During the SART a random series of digits 1-9 is presented repeatedly and subjects have to respond to each digit (go trial) except…

  11. The Effect of Happiness and Sadness on Alerting, Orienting, and Executive Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finucane, Anne M.; Whiteman, Martha C.; Power, Mick J.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: According to the attention network approach, attention is best understood in terms of three functionally and neuroanatomically distinct networks--alerting, orienting, and executive attention. An important question is whether the experience of emotion differentially influences the efficiency of these networks. Method: This study examines…

  12. A 30-Minute Physical Education Program Improves Students' Executive Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubesch, Sabine; Walk, Laura; Spitzer, Manfred; Kammer, Thomas; Lainburg, Alyona; Heim, Rudiger; Hille, Katrin

    2009-01-01

    Physical activity is not only beneficial to physical health but also to cognitive functions. In particular, executive functions that are closely related to learning achievement can be improved by acute and recurring physical activity. We examined the effects of a single 30-min physical education program in contrast to a 5-min movement break on…

  13. The effect of methylphenidate on sustained attention among adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lufi, Dubi; Bassin-Savion, Shiry; Rubel, Lilach

    2015-01-01

    Twenty-seven adolescents diagnosed as having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were tested twice with a computerized MATH-CPT (mathematics continuous performance test). In one administration, the participants took medication (methylphenidate, MPH) 1.5 hr before being tested. In another administration, the MATH-CPT was administered without the medication. Treatment with MPH improved the "overall attention level" and in measures of "reaction time" and "impulsivity." MPH did not improve the performance in the four measures of sustained attention. Knowing that treatment with MPH does not improve sustained attention can be helpful in reaching a decision of whether or not a child should be treated with MPH.

  14. The Effect of Repetitive Saccade Execution on the Attention Network Test: Enhancing Executive Function with a Flick of the Eyes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edlin, James M.; Lyle, Keith B.

    2013-01-01

    The simple act of repeatedly looking left and right can enhance subsequent cognition, including divergent thinking, detection of matching letters from visual arrays, and memory retrieval. One hypothesis is that saccade execution enhances subsequent cognition by altering attentional control. To test this hypothesis, we compared performance…

  15. Baroreflex sensitivity during rest and executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The TRAILS study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dietrich, A.; Althaus, M.; Hartman, C.A.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Minderaa, R.B.; van den Hoofdakker, B.J.; Hoekstra, P.J.

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often show executive function (EF) problems and neurophysiological hypoarousal. Baroreceptor activation, as part of the baroreflex short-term blood pressure regulatory mechanism, has been linked to cortical inhibition and attenuated

  16. Baroreflex sensitivity during rest and executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The TRAILS study.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dietrich, A.; Althaus, M.; Hartman, C.A.; Buitelaar, J.K.; Mindera, R.B.; Hoofdakker, B.J. van den; Hoekstra, P.J.

    2012-01-01

    Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often show executive function (EF) problems and neurophysiological hypoarousal. Baroreceptor activation, as part of the baroreflex short-term blood pressure regulatory mechanism, has been linked to cortical inhibition and attenuated

  17. Sleep disturbance and deficits of sustained attention following stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, Samuel C; Stolwyk, Renerus J; New, Peter W; Anderson, Clare

    2016-01-01

    To simultaneously investigate the prevalence of and impact that the poststroke complications of daytime sleepiness, poor sleep quality, depression, and fatigue may be having upon deficits of sustained attention, as assessed using the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT). Twenty-two patients with stroke (mean age: 68.23 ± 12.17 years) and 20 healthy control participants (mean age: 68.1 ± 9.5 years) completed subjective measures of daytime sleepiness, sleep quality, fatigue, and depression and an objective measure of sustained attention as assessed using the PVT. Patients with stroke compared to controls showed heightened levels of fatigue (p = .001, η(2) = .29) and depression (p = .002, η(2) = .23), plus greater deficits of sustained attention as reflected by poorer performance across all PVT outcome measures including: slower mean reaction times (p = .002, η(2) = .22); increased number of lapses (p = .002, η(2) = .24); and greater variability in reaction time (RT) responses (p = .016, η(2) = .15). Reaction time distribution analysis suggested that daytime sleepiness and sleep quality had little influence across PVT performance; however, depressive symptomology was associated with longer RT responses, indicative of inattention, and fatigue impacted upon the entire distribution of PVT responses. PVT performance illustrated significant deficits across the domain of sustained attention for patients with stroke in comparison to healthy controls, in terms of inattention as well as slower sensory-motor speed. The common poststroke complications of depressive symptomology and fatigue appear to be associated with these deficits in sustained attention, warranting further investigation.

  18. Sustained attention in adult ADHD : time-on-task effects of various measures of attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tucha, Lara; Fuermaier, Anselm B.M.; Koerts, Janneke; Buggenthin, Rieka; Aschenbrenner, Steffen; Weisbrod, Matthias; Thome, Johannes; Lange, Klaus W.; Tucha, Oliver

    Neuropsychological research on adults with ADHD showed deficits in various aspects of attention. However, the majority of studies failed to explore the change of performance over time, so-called time-on-task effects. As a consequence, little is known about sustained attention performance of adults

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirk R. Daffner

    2012-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caspersen, Ida Dyhr; Habekost, Thomas

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Relationships of bullying involvement with intelligence, attention, and executive function in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Tai-Ling; Guo, Nai-Wen; Hsiao, Ray C; Hu, Huei-Fan; Yen, Cheng-Fang

    2017-11-01

    This study investigated the relationship of bullying victimization and perpetration with the levels of intelligence, attention, and executive function in children who had received a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The experiences of bullying involvement in 105 children with ADHD were assessed using the Chinese version of the School Bullying Experience Questionnaire. Their scores for four intelligence indexes on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children 4th Edition-Chinese version were determined. Their levels of attention and executive function were assessed using the Comprehensive Nonverbal Attention Test Battery. The results of logistic regression analyses indicated that a high Perceptual Reasoning Index was significantly associated with a decreased risk of being victims of bullying. A high level of executive function was significantly associated with a decreased risk of being victims and perpetrators of bullying. Bullying victimization and perpetration in children with ADHD having a low PRI and low executive function should be routinely surveyed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Effects of physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Greeff, Johannes W; Bosker, Roel J; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Visscher, Chris; Hartman, E

    2018-05-01

    The aim of this meta-analysis was to provide a systematic review of intervention studies that investigated the effects of physical activity on multiple domains of executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children (6-12 years of age). In addition, a systematic quantification of the effects of physical activity on these domains is provided. Systematic review and meta-analysis. Searches of electronic databases and examining relevant reviews between 2000 and April 2017 resulted in 31 intervention studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Four subdomains of executive functions (inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility and planning), three subdomains of attention (selective, divided and sustained) and three subdomains of academic performance (mathematics, spelling and reading) were distinguished. Effects for different study designs (acute physical activity or longitudinal physical activity programs), type of physical activity (aerobic or cognitively engaging) and duration of intervention were examined separately. Acute physical activity has a positive effect on attention (g=0.43; 95% CI=0.09, 0.77; 6 studies), while longitudinal physical activity programs has a positive effect on executive functions (g=0.24; 95% CI=0.09, 0.39; 12 studies), attention (g=0.90; 95% CI=0.56, 1.24; 1 study) and academic performance (g=0.26; 95% CI=0.02, 0.49; 3 studies). The effects did depend on the subdomain. Positive effects were found for physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children. Largest effects are expected for interventions that aim for continuous regular physical activity over several weeks. Copyright © 2017 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Interactions between Levels of Attention Ability and Levels of Bilingualism in Children's Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorge, Geoff B.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Bialystok, Ellen

    2017-01-01

    Attention difficulty is associated with poor performance on executive functioning (EF) tasks, yet EF is enhanced in bilingual children. However, no research to date has investigated the possible interaction between bilingualism and attention ability in children to determine the consequences for EF when both are present. We assessed a sample of…

  4. Attentional Lapses of Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Tasks of Sustained Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gmehlin, Dennis; Fuermaier, Anselm B.M.; Walther, Stephan; Tucha, Lara; Koerts, Janneke; Lange, Klaus W.; Tucha, Oliver; Weisbrod, Matthias; Aschenbrenner, Steffen

    Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show attentional dysfunction such as distractibility and mind-wandering, especially in lengthy tasks. However, fundamentals of dysfunction are ambiguous and relationships of neuropsychological test parameters with self-report measures of

  5. A chaotic model of sustaining attention problem in attention deficit disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baghdadi, G.; Jafari, S.; Sprott, J. C.; Towhidkhah, F.; Hashemi Golpayegani, M. R.

    2015-01-01

    The problem of keeping an attention level is one of the common symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Dopamine deficiency is introduced as one of the causes of this disorder. Based on some physiological facts about the attention control mechanism and chaos intermittency, a behavioral model is presented in this paper. This model represents the problem of undesired alternation of attention level, and can also suggest different valuable predictions about a possible cause of attention deficit disorder. The proposed model reveals that there is a possible interaction between different neurotransmitters which help the individual to adaptively inhibit the attention switching over time. The result of this study can be used to examine and develop a new practical and more appropriate treatment for the problem of sustaining attention.

  6. A comparison between effectiveness of three types of music on memory activity and sustained attention in schizophrenic patients

    OpenAIRE

    Narges bahmany; Karamatollah Zandi ghashghaee; Sadrollah Khosravi

    2014-01-01

    Background: schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder in which a lot of cognitive functions including memory, attention, motor skills, executive functions and intelligence are compromised. Numerous empirical studies showed that schizophrenic patients have problem in sustain retention and memory activity. The objective of this study was a comparison between effectiveness of three types of music on memory activity and sustain retention in schizophrenic patients. Material and Methods: A total of 6...

  7. Do attentional capacities and processing speed mediate the effect of age on executive functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilsoul, Jessica; Simon, Jessica; Hogge, Michaël; Collette, Fabienne

    2018-02-06

    The executive processes are well known to decline with age, and similar data also exists for attentional capacities and processing speed. Therefore, we investigated whether these two last nonexecutive variables would mediate the effect of age on executive functions (inhibition, shifting, updating, and dual-task coordination). We administered a large battery of executive, attentional and processing speed tasks to 104 young and 71 older people, and we performed mediation analyses with variables showing a significant age effect. All executive and processing speed measures showed age-related effects while only the visual scanning task performance (selective attention) was explained by age when controlled for gender and educational level. Regarding mediation analyses, visual scanning partially mediated the age effect on updating while processing speed partially mediated the age effect on shifting, updating and dual-task coordination. In a more exploratory way, inhibition was also found to partially mediate the effect of age on the three other executive functions. Attention did not greatly influence executive functioning in aging while, in agreement with the literature, processing speed seems to be a major mediator of the age effect on these processes. Interestingly, the global pattern of results seems also to indicate an influence of inhibition but further studies are needed to confirm the role of that variable as a mediator and its relative importance by comparison with processing speed.

  8. The Influence of Caffeine on Sustained Attention: An ERP study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    The present study investigated the effects of caffeine on sustained attention by measuring concentration and fatigue. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavioral measures were recorded from 12 participants who worked continuously for approximately 10 min in a self-paced reaction task under

  9. Media multitasking and behavioral measures of sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ralph, Brandon C W; Thomson, David R; Seli, Paul; Carriere, Jonathan S A; Smilek, Daniel

    2015-02-01

    In a series of four studies, self-reported media multitasking (using the media multitasking index; MMI) and general sustained-attention ability, through performance on three sustained-attention tasks: the metronome response task (MRT), the sustained-attention-to-response task (SART), and a vigilance task (here, a modified version of the SART). In Study 1, we found that higher reports of media multitasking were associated with increased response variability (i.e., poor performance) on the MRT. However, in Study 2, no association between reported media multitasking and performance on the SART was observed. These findings were replicated in Studies 3a and 3b, in which we again assessed the relation between media multitasking and performance on both the MRT and SART in two large online samples. Finally, in Study 4, using a large online sample, we tested whether media multitasking was associated with performance on a vigilance task. Although standard vigilance decrements were observed in both sensitivity (A') and response times, media multitasking was not associated with the size of these decrements, nor was media multitasking associated with overall performance, in terms of either sensitivity or response times. Taken together, the results of the studies reported here failed to demonstrate a relation between habitual engagement in media multitasking in everyday life and a general deficit in sustained-attention processes.

  10. Continuous Performance Tasks: Not Just about Sustaining Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roebuck, Hettie; Freigang, Claudia; Barry, Johanna G.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Continuous performance tasks (CPTs) are used to measure individual differences in sustained attention. Many different stimuli have been used as response targets without consideration of their impact on task performance. Here, we compared CPT performance in typically developing adults and children to assess the role of stimulus processing…

  11. Sustained attention problems in children with early treated congenital hypothyroidism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooistra, L.; Van der Meere, J.J.; Vulsma, T.; Kalverboer, A.F.

    Sustained attention was studied in 48 children with early treated congenital hypothyroidism and 35 healthy controls, using a computer-paced and a self-paced continuous performance task. The performance of the patients, particularly those in the low T4 group (38 patients with T4 levels 50 nmol/l at

  12. Modulating Reward Induces Differential Neurocognitive Approaches to Sustained Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esterman, Michael; Poole, Victoria; Liu, Guanyu; DeGutis, Joseph

    2017-08-01

    Reward and motivation have powerful effects on cognition and brain activity, yet it remains unclear how they affect sustained cognitive performance. We have recently shown that a variety of motivators improve accuracy and reduce variability during sustained attention. In the current study, we investigate how neural activity in task-positive networks supports these sustained attention improvements. Participants performed the gradual-onset continuous performance task with alternating motivated (rewarded) and unmotivated (unrewarded) blocks. During motivated blocks, we observed increased sustained neural recruitment of task-positive regions, which interacted with fluctuations in task performance. Specifically, during motivated blocks, participants recruited these regions in preparation for upcoming targets, and this activation predicted accuracy. In contrast, during unmotivated blocks, no such advanced preparation was observed. Furthermore, during motivated blocks, participants had similar activation levels during both optimal (in-the-zone) and suboptimal (out-of-the-zone) epochs of performance. In contrast, during unmotivated blocks, task-positive regions were only engaged to a similar degree as motivated blocks during suboptimal (out-of-the-zone) periods. These data support a framework in which motivated individuals act as "cognitive investors," engaging task-positive resources proactively and consistently during sustaining attention. When unmotivated, however, the same individuals act as "cognitive misers," engaging maximal task-positive resources only during periods of struggle. Published by Oxford University Press 2016.

  13. [Executive function training in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abad-Mas, Luis; Ruiz-Andrés, Rosalía; Moreno-Madrid, Francisca; Sirera-Conca, M Angeles; Cornesse, Marcel; Delgado-Mejía, Iván D; Etchepareborda, Máximo C

    2011-03-01

    A number of different treatments have been proposed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), yet little material has been published in the literature to improve the performance of the mechanisms behind attention, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility and working memory in these children. We think that a working model that is effective in the treatment of persons with ADHD can only be consolidated by means of a thorough understanding of the syndromes involved in this deficit. In addition to reviewing the latest and most significant proposals aimed at improving the cognitive under-standing of the disorder, this work also refers to three neurobiological syndromes that are recognised as forming part of ADHD, i.e. medial cingulate syndrome, dorsolateral syndrome and orbitofrontal syndrome. Advances in neuroscientific research and the design of computerised treatment materials offer extremely valuable data that will undoubtedly help to improve the results of psychopedagogical and neuropsychological interventions in ADHD, since they provide information about the temporal and spatial equation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, Matthew W G; Hauser, Peter C

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Motor Performance in Relation with Sustained Attention in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solmaz Solouki

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Present study compares relationship between motor performance, sustained attention and impulse control in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and normal children. Materials & Methods: In this descriptive-analytic study, 21 boys with ADHD and 21 normal boys in the age range of 7- 10 years old were participated. Motor performance by using Bruininks Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency and sustained attention and impulse control by using Continuous Performance Test were evaluated. Results: Analysis by T-Test and Mann-Whitney revealed significant difference between ADHD group and normal group in gross, fine and battery motor performance also sustained attention and impulse control (P<0.0001. Analysis by Z-Fisher test indicated no significant difference between Correlation Coefficient of inattention and gross motor performance in two groups (P=0.276 but significant difference between Correlation Coefficient of inattention and fine (P<0.0001 and battery (P<0.0001 motor performance were shown. Correlation Coefficient impulsivity and gross (P=0.379, fine (P=0.92 and battery (P=0.562 motor performance shown no significant difference between two groups. Conclusion: According to study results there was a positive relation between sustained attention and impulse control and most of motor performance in both groups. Therefore these findings help Occupational Therapist to determine rehabilitation priorities and to use exact strategies in order to enhance motor performance in children.

  18. Dysfunctional personality traits in adolescence: effects on alerting, orienting and executive control of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casagrande, Maria; Marotta, Andrea; Canepone, Valeria; Spagna, Alfredo; Rosa, Caterina; Dimaggio, Giancarlo; Pasini, Augusto

    2017-05-01

    The present study examined attentional networks performance in 39 adolescents with dysfunctional personality traits, split into two group, Group Personality Disorders. The attentional performance has been tested by means of a modified version of the Attentional Network Test (ANTI-V) which allows testing both phasic and tonic components of the alerting system, the exogenous aspect of the orienting system, the executive network and their interactions. Results showed that the orienting costs of having an invalid spatial cue were reduced in the Group ≥ 10 criteria compared to the Group splitting the sample into two categorical groups were also observed in a complementary correlation analysis keeping intact the continuous nature of such variables. These findings are consistent with the notion that dysfunctional features of personality disorders may represent the psychological manifestations of a neuropsychological abnormality in attention and executive functioning. Finally, we discuss the implications of this attentional anomaly for dysfunctional personality traits and behaviour.

  19. Selective Attention, Working Memory, and Executive Function as Potential Independent Sources of Cognitive Dysfunction in Schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gold, James M; Robinson, Benjamin; Leonard, Carly J; Hahn, Britta; Chen, Shuo; McMahon, Robert P; Luck, Steven J

    2017-11-11

    People with schizophrenia demonstrate impairments in selective attention, working memory, and executive function. Given the overlap in these constructs, it is unclear if these represent distinct impairments or different manifestations of one higher-order impairment. To examine this question, we administered tasks from the basic cognitive neuroscience literature to measure visual selective attention, working memory capacity, and executive function in 126 people with schizophrenia and 122 healthy volunteers. Patients demonstrated deficits on all tasks with the exception of selective attention guided by strong bottom-up inputs. Although the measures of top-down control of selective attention, working memory, and executive function were all intercorrelated, several sources of evidence indicate that working memory and executive function are separate sources of variance. Specifically, both working memory and executive function independently contributed to the discrimination of group status and independently accounted for variance in overall general cognitive ability as assessed by the MATRICS battery. These two cognitive functions appear to be separable features of the cognitive impairments observed in schizophrenia. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Prioritizing Information during Working Memory: Beyond Sustained Internal Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Nicholas E; Stokes, Mark G; Nobre, Anna C

    2017-06-01

    Working memory (WM) has limited capacity. This leaves attention with the important role of allowing into storage only the most relevant information. It is increasingly evident that attention is equally crucial for prioritizing representations within WM as the importance of individual items changes. Retrospective prioritization has been proposed to result from a focus of internal attention highlighting one of several representations. Here, we suggest an updated model, in which prioritization acts in multiple steps: first orienting towards and selecting a memory, and then reconfiguring its representational state in the service of upcoming task demands. Reconfiguration sets up an optimized perception-action mapping, obviating the need for sustained attention. This view is consistent with recent literature, makes testable predictions, and links WM with task switching and action preparation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Infant Responding to Joint Attention, Executive Processes, and Self-Regulation in Preschool Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hecke, Amy Vaughan; Mundy, Peter; Block, Jessica J.; Delgado, Christine E. F.; Parlade, Meaghan V.; Pomares, Yuly B.; Hobson, Jessica A.

    2011-01-01

    Infant joint attention is related to behavioral and social outcomes, as well as language in childhood. Recent research and theory suggests that the relations between joint attention and social-behavioral outcomes may reflect the role of executive self-regulatory processes in the development of joint attention. To test this hypothesis two- studies were conducted. The first, cross-sectional study examined the development of responding to joint attention skill (RJA) in terms of increasing executive efficiency of responding between 9 and 18 months of age. The results indicated that development of RJA was characterized by a decreased latency to shift attention in following another person’s gaze and head turn, as well as an increase in the proportion of correct RJA responses exhibited by older infants. The second study examined the longitudinal relations between 12-month measures of responding to joint attention (RJA) and 36-month attention regulation in a delay of gratification task. The results indicated that responding to joint attention at 12-months was significantly related to children’s use of three types of self-regulation behaviors while waiting for a snack reward at 36 months of age. These observations are discussed in light of a developmental theory of attention regulation and joint attention in infancy. PMID:22206892

  2. Working memory and executive function: the influence of content and load on the control of attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, Robert; Garavan, Hugh

    2005-03-01

    In a series of three experiments, increasing working memory (WM) load was demonstrated to reduce the executive control of attention, measured via task-switching and inhibitory control paradigms. Uniquely, our paradigms allowed comparison of the ability to exert executive control when the stimulus was either part of the currently rehearsed memory set or an unrelated distractor item. The results demonstrated a content-specific effect-insofar as switching attention away from, or exerting inhibitory control over, items currently held in WM was especially difficult-compounded by increasing WM load. This finding supports the attentional control theory that active maintenance of competing task goals is critical to executive function and WM capacity; however, it also suggests that the increased salience provided to the contents of WM through active rehearsal exerts a content-specific influence on attentional control. These findings are discussed in relation to cue-induced ruminations, where active rehearsal of evocative information (e.g., negative thoughts in depression or drug-related thoughts in addiction) in WM typically results from environmental cuing. The present study has demonstrated that when information currently maintained in WM is reencountered, it is harder to exert executive control over it. The difficulty with suppressing the processing of these stimuli presumably reinforces the maintenance of these items in WM, due to the greater level of attention they are afforded, and may help to explain how the cue-induced craving/rumination cycle is perpetuated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. The role of executive functioning in children's attentional pain control: an experimental analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeven, Katrien; Dick, Bruce; Eccleston, Christopher; Goubert, Liesbet; Crombez, Geert

    2014-02-01

    Directing attention away from pain is often used in children's pain treatment programs to control pain. However, empirical evidence concerning its effectiveness is inconclusive. We therefore sought to understand other influencing factors, including executive function and its role in the pain experience. This study investigates the role of executive functioning in the effectiveness of distraction. School children (n=164) completed executive functioning tasks (inhibition, switching, and working memory) and performed a cold-pressor task. One half of the children simultaneously performed a distracting tone-detection task; the other half did not. Results showed that participants in the distraction group were engaged in the distraction task and were reported to pay significantly less attention to pain than controls. Executive functioning influenced distraction task engagement. More specifically, participants with good inhibition and working memory abilities performed the distraction task better; participants with good switching abilities reported having paid more attention to the distraction task. Furthermore, distraction was found to be ineffective in reducing pain intensity and affect. Executive functioning did not influence the effectiveness of distraction. However, a relationship was found between executive functioning and pain affect, indicating that participants with good inhibition and working memory abilities experienced the cold-pressor task as less stressful and unpleasant. Our findings suggest that distraction as a process for managing pain is complex. While it appears that executive function may play a role in adult distraction, in this study it did not direct attention away from pain. It may instead be involved in the overall pain experience. Copyright © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Visual working memory as visual attention sustained internally over time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Marvin M

    2011-05-01

    Visual working memory and visual attention are intimately related, such that working memory encoding and maintenance reflects actively sustained attention to a limited number of visual objects and events important for ongoing cognition and action. Although attention is typically considered to operate over perceptual input, a recent taxonomy proposes to additionally consider how attention can be directed to internal perceptual representations in the absence of sensory input, as well as other internal memories, choices, and thoughts (Chun, Golomb, & Turk-Browne, 2011). Such internal attention enables prolonged binding of features into integrated objects, along with enhancement of relevant sensory mechanisms. These processes are all limited in capacity, although different types of working memory and attention, such as spatial vs. object processing, operate independently with separate capacity. Overall, the success of maintenance depends on the ability to inhibit both external (perceptual) and internal (cognitive) distraction. Working memory is the interface by which attentional mechanisms select and actively maintain relevant perceptual information from the external world as internal representations within the mind. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Exogenous orienting of attention depends upon the ability to execute eye movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Daniel T; Rorden, Chris; Jackson, Stephen R

    2004-05-04

    Shifts of attention can be made overtly by moving the eyes or covertly with attention being allocated to a region of space that does not correspond to the current direction of gaze. However, the precise relationship between eye movements and the covert orienting of attention remains controversial. The influential premotor theory proposes that the covert orienting of attention is produced by the programming of (unexecuted) eye movements and thus predicts a strong relationship between the ability to execute eye movements and the operation of spatial attention. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that impaired spatial attention is observed in an individual (AI) who is neurologically healthy but who cannot execute eye movements as a result of a congenital impairment in the elasticity of her eye muscles. This finding provides direct support for the role of the eye-movement system in the covert orienting of attention and suggests that whereas intact cortical structures may be necessary for normal attentional reflexes, they are not sufficient. The ability to move our eyes is essential for the development of normal patterns of spatial attention.

  7. 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....

  8. Alerting, Orienting or Executive Attention Networks: Differential Patters of Pupil Dilations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronny eGeva

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Attention capacities, alerting responses, orienting to sensory stimulation, and executive monitoring of performance are considered independent yet interrelated systems. These operations play integral roles in regulating the behavior of diverse species along the evolutionary ladder. Each of the primary attention constructs—alerting, orienting, and executive monitoring— involves salient autonomic correlates as evidenced by changes in reactive pupil dilation (PD, heart rate, and skin conductance. Recent technological advances that use remote high-resolution recording may allow the discernment of temporo-spatial attributes of autonomic responses that characterize the alerting, orienting, and executive monitoring networks during free viewing, irrespective of voluntary performance. This may deepen the understanding of the roles of autonomic regulation in these mental operations and may deepen our understanding of behavioral changes in verbal as well as in non-verbal species.The aim of this study was to explore differences between psychosensory pupil dilation responses in alerting, orienting, and executive conflict monitoring tasks to generate estimates of concurrent locus coeruleus (LC noradrenergic input trajectories in healthy human adults using the attention networks test (ANT. The analysis revealed a construct-specific pattern of pupil responses: alerting is characterized by an early component (Pa, its acceleration enables covert orienting, and executive control is evidenced by a prominent late component (Pe. Pupil dilation characteristics seem to be task-sensitive, allowing exploration of mental operations irrespective of conscious voluntary responses. These data may facilitate development of studies designed to assess mental operations in diverse species using autonomic responses.

  9. Executive control of stimulus-driven and goal-directed attention in visual working memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yanmei; Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D; Hitch, Graham J

    2016-10-01

    We examined the role of executive control in stimulus-driven and goal-directed attention in visual working memory using probed recall of a series of objects, a task that allows study of the dynamics of storage through analysis of serial position data. Experiment 1 examined whether executive control underlies goal-directed prioritization of certain items within the sequence. Instructing participants to prioritize either the first or final item resulted in improved recall for these items, and an increase in concurrent task difficulty reduced or abolished these gains, consistent with their dependence on executive control. Experiment 2 examined whether executive control is also involved in the disruption caused by a post-series visual distractor (suffix). A demanding concurrent task disrupted memory for all items except the most recent, whereas a suffix disrupted only the most recent items. There was no interaction when concurrent load and suffix were combined, suggesting that deploying selective attention to ignore the distractor did not draw upon executive resources. A final experiment replicated the independent interfering effects of suffix and concurrent load while ruling out possible artifacts. We discuss the results in terms of a domain-general episodic buffer in which information is retained in a transient, limited capacity privileged state, influenced by both stimulus-driven and goal-directed processes. The privileged state contains the most recent environmental input together with goal-relevant representations being actively maintained using executive resources.

  10. Caregiver ratings of long-term executive dysfunction and attention problems after early childhood traumatic brain injury: family functioning is important.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurowski, Brad G; Taylor, H Gerry; Yeates, Keith Owen; Walz, Nicolay C; Stancin, Terry; Wade, Shari L

    2011-09-01

    To evaluate the relationship of family and parenting factors to long-term executive dysfunction and attention problems after early childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI). We hypothesized that the magnitude of executive dysfunction and attention problems would be moderated by family and parenting factors. A multicenter, prospective cohort study that included an orthopedic injury (OI) reference group. Three tertiary academic children's hospital medical centers and one general medical center. Children, ages 3-7 years, hospitalized for OI, moderate TBI, or severe TBI. METHODS AND OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Parental ratings of family functioning and parenting styles were obtained 18 months after the injury occurred. The main outcome measurements, which were parental ratings of children's executive function and attention, were performed at least 24 months after the injury occurred (mean, 39 months; range, 25-63 months). Group comparisons were conducted with use of t-tests, χ(2) analysis, analysis of variance, and Pearson and Spearman correlations. Regression analysis was used to examine associations of the outcomes with family functioning and parenting styles and to test moderating effects of these factors on group differences. Participants with severe TBI demonstrated increased executive dysfunction and attention problems compared with those who sustained moderate TBI or OI. Lower levels of family dysfunction were associated with better executive function and attention across groups but did not moderate group differences. However, attention deficits after severe TBI were exacerbated under conditions of more permissive parenting relative to attention deficits after OIs. Executive function and attention problems persisted on a long-term basis (>24 months) after early childhood TBI, and positive global family functioning and nonpermissive parenting were associated with better outcomes. Better characterization of the optimal family environment for recovery from early childhood

  11. Sustained effects of attentional re-training on chocolate consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemps, Eva; Tiggemann, Marika; Elford, Joanna

    2015-12-01

    Accumulating evidence shows that cognitive bias modification produces immediate changes in attentional bias for, and consumption of, rewarding substances including food. This study examined the longevity of these attentional bias modification effects. A modified dot probe paradigm was used to determine whether alterations in biased attentional processing of food cues, and subsequent effects on consumption, were maintained at 24-h and one-week follow-up. One hundred and forty-nine undergraduate women were trained to direct their attention toward ('attend') or away from ('avoid') food cues (i.e., pictures of chocolate). Within each group, half received a single training session, the other half completed 5 weekly training sessions. Attentional bias for chocolate cues increased in the 'attend' group, and decreased in the 'avoid' group immediately post training. Participants in the 'avoid' group also ate disproportionately less of a chocolate food product in a so-called taste test than did those in the 'attend' group. Importantly, the observed re-training effects were maintained 24 h later and also one week later, but only following multiple training sessions. There are a number of limitations that could be addressed in future research: (a) the inclusion of a no-training control group, (b) the inclusion of a suspicion probe to detect awareness of the purpose of the taste test, and (c) the use of different tasks to assess and re-train attentional bias. The results showed sustained effects of attentional re-training on attentional bias and consumption. They further demonstrate the importance of administering multiple re-training sessions in attentional bias modification protocols. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Is action video gaming related to sustained attention of adolescents?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trisolini, Daniela Carmen; Petilli, Marco Alessandro; Daini, Roberta

    2018-05-01

    Over the past few years, an increasing number of studies have shown that playing action video games can have positive effects on tasks that involve attention and visuo-spatial cognition (e.g., visual search, enumeration tasks, tracking multiple objects). Although playing action video games can improve several cognitive functions, the intensive interaction with the exciting, challenging, intrinsically stimulating and perceptually appealing game environments may adversely affect other functions, including the ability to maintain attention when the level of stimulation is not as intense. This study investigated whether a relationship existed between action video gaming and sustained attention performance in a sample of 45 Italian teenagers. After completing a questionnaire about their video game habits, participants were divided into Action Video Game Player (AVGP) and Non-Action Video Game Player (NAVGP) groups and underwent cognitive tests. The results confirm previous findings of studies of AVGPs as they had significantly enhanced performance for instantly enumerating a set of items. Nevertheless, we found that the drop in performance over time, typical of a sustained attention task, was significantly greater in the AVGP compared with the NAVGP group. This result is consistent with our hypothesis and demonstrates a negative effect of playing action video games.

  13. Acute Caffeine Consumption Enhances the Executive Control of Visual Attention in Habitual Consumers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Giles, Grace E.; Taylor, Holly A.

    2010-01-01

    Recent work suggests that a dose of 200-400mg caffeine can enhance both vigilance and the executive control of visual attention in individuals with low caffeine consumption profiles. The present study seeks to determine whether individuals with relatively high caffeine consumption profiles would show similar advantages. To this end, we examined…

  14. Attentional and Executive Function Behaviours in Children with Poor Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gathercole, Susan E.; Alloway, Tracy P.; Kirkwood, Hannah J.; Elliott, Julian G.; Holmes, Joni; Hilton, Kerry A.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the profiles of classroom behaviour relating to attention and executive functions in children with very poor working memory, and to test the hypothesis that inattentive behaviour and working memory problems co-occur. Teachers rated problem behaviours of 52 children with low working memory scores aged 5/6…

  15. Family-genetic study of executive functioning in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Evidence for an endophenotype?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slaats-Willemse, D.I.E.; Swaab-Barneveld, H.J.; Sonneville, L.M. de; Buitelaar, J.K.

    2007-01-01

    This study examined familiality of attentional control and mental flexibility in multiplex attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) families. The authors hypothesized that siblings of ADHD probands, although not behaviorally expressing ADHD, have deficits in these executive functions and that

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sánchez García, Raúl; Sebastián, Miguel Ángel

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Auditory and visual sustained attention in Down syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faught, Gayle G; Conners, Frances A; Himmelberger, Zachary M

    2016-01-01

    Sustained attention (SA) is important to task performance and development of higher functions. It emerges as a separable component of attention during preschool and shows incremental improvements during this stage of development. The current study investigated if auditory and visual SA match developmental level or are particular challenges for youth with DS. Further, we sought to determine if there were modality effects in SA that could predict those seen in short-term memory (STM). We compared youth with DS to typically developing youth matched for nonverbal mental age and receptive vocabulary. Groups completed auditory and visual sustained attention to response tests (SARTs) and STM tasks. Results indicated groups performed similarly on both SARTs, even over varying cognitive ability. Further, within groups participants performed similarly on auditory and visual SARTs, thus SA could not predict modality effects in STM. However, SA did generally predict a significant portion of unique variance in groups' STM. Ultimately, results suggested both auditory and visual SA match developmental level in DS. Further, SA generally predicts STM, though SA does not necessarily predict the pattern of poor auditory relative to visual STM characteristic of DS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. EEG indices correlate with sustained attention performance in patients affected by diffuse axonal injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelli, Stefania; Barbieri, Riccardo; Reni, Gianluigi; Zucca, Claudio; Bianchi, Anna Maria

    2018-06-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the ability of EEG-based indices in providing relevant information about cognitive engagement level during the execution of a clinical sustained attention (SA) test in healthy volunteers and DAI (diffused axonal injury)-affected patients. We computed three continuous power-based engagement indices (P β /P α , 1/P α , and P β / (P α + P θ )) from EEG recordings in a control group (n = 7) and seven DAI-affected patients executing a 10-min Conners' "not-X" continuous performance test (CPT). A correlation analysis was performed in order to investigate the existence of relations between the EEG metrics and behavioral parameters in both the populations. P β /P α and 1/P α indices were found to be correlated with reaction times in both groups while P β / (P α + P θ ) and P β /P α also correlated with the errors rate for DAI patients. In line with previous studies, time course fluctuations revealed a first strong decrease of attention after 2 min from the beginning of the test and a final fading at the end. Our results provide evidence that EEG-derived indices extraction and evaluation during SA tasks are helpful in the assessment of attention level in healthy subjects and DAI patients, offering motivations for including EEG monitoring in cognitive rehabilitation practice. Graphical abstract Three EEG-derived indices were computed from four electrodes montages in a population of seven healthy volunteers and a group of seven DAI-affected patients. Results show a significant correlation between the time course of the indices and behavioral parameters, thus demonstrating their usefulness in monitoring mental engagement level during a sustained attention task.

  19. Psychometric properties of Persian version of the Sustained Auditory Attention Capacity Test in children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltanparast, Sanaz; Jafari, Zahra; Sameni, Seyed Jalal; Salehi, Masoud

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the psychometric properties (validity and reliability) of the Persian version of the Sustained Auditory Attention Capacity Test in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Persian version of the Sustained Auditory Attention Capacity Test was constructed to assess sustained auditory attention using the method provided by Feniman and colleagues (2007). In this test, comments were provided to assess the child's attentional deficit by determining inattention and impulsiveness error, the total scores of the sustained auditory attention capacity test and attention span reduction index. In the present study for determining the validity and reliability of in both Rey Auditory Verbal Learning test and the Persian version of the Sustained Auditory Attention Capacity Test (SAACT), 46 normal children and 41 children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD), all right-handed and aged between 7 and 11 of both genders, were evaluated. In determining convergent validity, a negative significant correlation was found between the three parts of the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning test (first, fifth, and immediate recall) and all indicators of the SAACT except attention span reduction. By comparing the test scores between the normal and ADHD groups, discriminant validity analysis showed significant differences in all indicators of the test except for attention span reduction (pAttention Capacity test has good validity and reliability, that matches other reliable tests, and it can be used for the identification of children with attention deficits and if they suspected to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

  20. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and executive functioning in emerging adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrett, Matthew A

    2016-02-01

    The current study examined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety symptoms in relation to self-reported executive functioning deficits in emerging adults. College students (N = 421; ages 17-25; 73.1% female) completed self-reports of ADHD, anxiety, and executive functioning in a laboratory setting. Structural equation modeling analyses revealed that self-reported executive functioning deficits were significantly related to all 3 symptom domains. Executive functioning deficits were most strongly related to inattention followed by hyperactivity/impulsivity and anxiety. Analyses based on clinical groups revealed that groups with ADHD and comorbid anxiety showed greater deficits on self-regulation of emotion and self-organization/problem solving than those with ADHD only or anxiety only. Groups with ADHD showed greater deficits with self-motivation and self-restraint than those with anxiety only. All clinical groups differed from a control group on executive functioning deficits. Overall, anxiety symptoms appear to be associated with college students' self-reported executive functioning deficits above and beyond relationships with ADHD symptomatology. Further, those with ADHD and anxiety appear to show increased difficulties with self-regulation of emotion and self-organization/problem solving, a domain which appears to overlap substantially with working memory. Future studies should seek to replicate our findings with a clinical population, utilize both report-based and laboratory task measures of executive functioning, and integrate both state and trait anxiety indices into study designs. Finally, future studies should seek to determine how executive functioning deficits can be best ameliorated in emerging adults with ADHD and anxiety. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Genetic analyses of the stability of executive functioning during childhood.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polderman, T.J.C.; Posthuma, D.; de Sonneville, L.M.J.; Stins, J.F.; Verhulst, F.C.; Boomsma, D.I.

    2007-01-01

    Executive functioning is an umbrella term for several related cognitive functions like selective- and sustained attention, working memory, and inhibition. Little is known about the stability of executive functioning during childhood. In this study the longitudinal stability of executive functioning

  2. Choking under monitoring pressure: being watched by the experimenter reduces executive attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belletier, Clément; Davranche, Karen; Tellier, Idriss S; Dumas, Florence; Vidal, Franck; Hasbroucq, Thierry; Huguet, Pascal

    2015-10-01

    Performing more poorly given one's skill level ("choking") is likely in situations that offer an incentive if a certain outcome is achieved (outcome pressure) or when one is being watched by others-especially when one's performance is being evaluated (monitoring pressure). According to the choking literature, outcome pressure is associated with reduced executive control of attention, whereas monitoring pressure is associated with increased, yet counterproductive, attention to skill processes. Here, we show the first evidence that monitoring pressure-being watched by the experimenter-may lead individuals with higher working memory to choke on a classic measure of executive control-just the task effect thought to result from outcome pressure. Not only does this finding help refine our understanding of the processes underlying choking under monitoring pressure, but it also leads to a new look at classic audience effects, with an important implication for experimental psychology.

  3. [Impairment of attention and executive functions in patients with paranoid schizophrenia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsygankov, B D; Khannanova, A N; Nekrasova, S V

    2013-01-01

    To study changes in attention and executive functions during psychopharmacotherapy in patients with paranoid schizophrenia, we have examined 120 patients with a first episode of paranoid schizophrenia treated with typical and atypical neuroleptics. Clinical and statistical analyses have revealed the heterogeneity within treatment groups that allowed to define two subgroups. These subgroups were characterized by a differed disease course (favorable or poor type). Before remission was achieved, the effect of atypical neuroleptics on cognitive performance was higher compared to typical neuroleptics. After remission, when doses of neuroleptics were decreased, a type of disease course played a main role. At 6 months after remission, attention and executive functions have improved in subgroups with favorable course of disease regardless of treatment.

  4. Structural networks involved in attention and executive functions in multiple sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Llufriu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Attention and executive deficits are disabling symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS that have been related to disconnection mechanisms. We aimed to investigate changes in structural connectivity in MS and their association with attention and executive performance applying an improved framework that combines high order probabilistic tractography and anatomical exclusion criteria postprocessing. We compared graph theory metrics of structural networks and fractional anisotropy (FA of white matter (WM connections or edges between 72 MS subjects and 38 healthy volunteers (HV and assessed their correlation with cognition. Patients displayed decreased network transitivity, global efficiency and increased path length compared with HV (p < 0.05, corrected. Also, nodal strength was decreased in 26 of 84 gray matter regions. The distribution of nodes with stronger connections or hubs of the network was similar among groups except for the right pallidum and left insula, which became hubs in patients. MS subjects presented reduced edge FA widespread in the network, while FA was increased in 24 connections (p < 0.05, corrected. Decreased integrity of frontoparietal networks, deep gray nuclei and insula correlated with worse attention and executive performance (r between 0.38 and 0.55, p < 0.05, corrected. Contrarily, higher strength in the right transverse temporal cortex and increased FA of several connections (mainly from cingulate, frontal and occipital cortices were associated with worse functioning (r between −0.40 and −0.47, p < 0.05 corrected. In conclusion, structural brain connectivity is disturbed in MS due to widespread impairment of WM connections and gray matter structures. The increased edge connectivity suggests the presence of reorganization mechanisms at the structural level. Importantly, attention and executive performance relates to frontoparietal networks, deep gray nuclei and insula. These results support the relevance of

  5. Differences in Executive Functioning in Children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Rosa Elosúa

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the interest in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and its relation to deficits in working memory (WM and more specifically the different executive functions (EFs has grown, to the point of confirming that these are quite frequent in this disorder. The aim of this study was precisely to explore differences in executive functioning of WM in fourth grade Primary school children with and without ADHD (26 and 29 children, respectively, introducing rigorous control measures in the tests used. Four EFs were analyzed: divided attention, updating, attentional shifting and inhibition, measured through four tasks, the dual-task paradigm (digits and box-crossing, the N-Back task, the Trail Making Test and the Stroop task, respectively. The results showed that participants with ADHD, compared to children with typical development (TD, exhibited a smaller verbal memory span as well as deficits in the attentional shifting and updating functions. However, a similar performance for the EF of inhibition was found for both groups of participants. Finally, an unexpected result was obtained with regard to the role of divided attention, as children with ADHD were less impaired when performing the double task than participants in the TD group.

  6. Differences in Executive Functioning in Children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elosúa, M Rosa; Del Olmo, Sandra; Contreras, María José

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, the interest in Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its relation to deficits in working memory (WM) and more specifically the different executive functions (EFs) has grown, to the point of confirming that these are quite frequent in this disorder. The aim of this study was precisely to explore differences in executive functioning of WM in fourth grade Primary school children with and without ADHD (26 and 29 children, respectively), introducing rigorous control measures in the tests used. Four EFs were analyzed: divided attention, updating, attentional shifting and inhibition, measured through four tasks, the dual-task paradigm (digits and box-crossing), the N-Back task, the Trail Making Test and the Stroop task, respectively. The results showed that participants with ADHD, compared to children with typical development (TD), exhibited a smaller verbal memory span as well as deficits in the attentional shifting and updating functions. However, a similar performance for the EF of inhibition was found for both groups of participants. Finally, an unexpected result was obtained with regard to the role of divided attention, as children with ADHD were less impaired when performing the double task than participants in the TD group.

  7. The effects of attentional focus in the preparation and execution of a standing long jump.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Kevin A; Fairbrother, Jeffrey T; Couvillion, Kaylee F

    2018-04-03

    Attentional focus research suggests an external focus leads to improved motor performance compared to an internal focus (Wulf in Int Rev Sport Exerc Psychol 6:77-104, 2013), but skilled athletes often report using an internal focus (Fairbrother et al., Front Psychol 7:1028, 2016) and sometimes shifting between different foci in the preparation and execution phases of performance (Bernier et al. in J Appl Sport Psychol 23:326-341, 2011; Bernier et al. in Sport Psychol 30:256-266, 2016). To date, focus shifts have been unexplored in experimental research, thus the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of shifting focus between the preparation and execution phases of a standing long jump. Participants (N = 29) completed two jumps in a control condition (CON), followed by two jumps in four experimental conditions presented in a counterbalanced order. Conditions included using an external focus (EF) and internal focus (IF) in both preparation and execution of the skill, as well as shifting from an internal focus in preparation to an external focus in execution (ITE), and an external focus in preparation to an internal focus in execution (ETI). Jump distance was analyzed with a repeated measures ANOVA. The main effect of condition was significant, p ITE also generated farther jumps than IF and CON (p's ITE conditions suggests that the focus employed in execution has the strongest impact on performance. Additionally, if an internal focus must be used in preparation, the performance decrement can be ameliorated by shifting to an external focus during execution.

  8. Neurocognitive functioning in parents of schizophrenia patients: Attentional and executive performance vary with genetic loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze-Rauschenbach, Svenja; Lennertz, Leonhard; Ruhrmann, Stephan; Petrovsky, Nadine; Ettinger, Ulrich; Pukrop, Ralf; Dreher, Jan; Klosterkötter, Joachim; Maier, Wolfgang; Wagner, Michael

    2015-12-30

    Neuropsychological deficits are candidate endophenotypes of schizophrenia which can assist to explain the neurocognitive impact of genetic risk variants. The identification of endophenotypes is often based on the familiality of these phenotypes. Several studies demonstrate neuropsychological deficits in unaffected biological relatives of schizophrenia patients without differentiating between genetic and non-genetic factors underlying these deficits. We assessed N=129 unaffected biological parents of schizophrenia patients, N=28 schizophrenia patients (paranoid subtype), and N=143 controls without a family history of schizophrenia with an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Direct comparison of N=22 parents with an ancestral history of schizophrenia (more likely carriers, MLC) and N=17 of their spouses without such a history (less likely carriers, LLC) allowed the separation of genetic and non-genetic aspects in cognition. Overall, parents showed significant deficits in neuropsychological tasks from all cognitive domains with medium effect sizes. Direct comparisons of MLC- and LLC-parents showed that attentional and executive tasks were most strongly affected by genetic loading. To conclude, unaffected parents of schizophrenia patients showed modest yet significant impairments in attention, memory, and executive functioning. In particular, attentional and executive impairments varied most strongly with genetic loading for schizophrenia, prioritising these dysfunctions for genotype-endophenotype analyses. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Incidental and Intentional Memory: Their Relation with Attention and Executive Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kontaxopoulou, Dionysia; Beratis, Ion N; Fragkiadaki, Stella; Pavlou, Dimosthenis; Yannis, George; Economou, Alexandra; Papanicolaou, Andrew C; Papageorgiou, Sokratis G

    2017-08-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of gender and age on incidental and intentional memory in healthy participants and to explore the strength of the association of incidental and intentional memory with attentional and executive functioning. A total number of 47 participants underwent a driving simulation experiment and went through detailed neuropsychological testing. Incidental memory was assessed with a questionnaire that evaluated the memorization of information related to the driving simulator task while intentional memory was assessed using the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised. The analysis revealed a greater impact of age on incidental as compared to intentional memory. Gender did not appear to have such an effect on either incidental or intentional memory. Finally, attentional and executive functioning were more strongly associated with incidental memory than the intentional memory measures that were utilized in the current study. Ageing appears to affect incidental rather than intentional memory to a greater extent. In addition, attentional and executive functioning seem to play a more important role in incidental than intentional encoding and consolidation processes. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. General versus executive cognitive ability in pupils with ADHD and with milder attention problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ek U

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Ulla Ek,1 Joakim Westerlund,2 Elisabeth Fernell31Department of Special Education, 2Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 3Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg and the Research and Development Centre, Skaraborg Hospital Skövde, SwedenBackground: The aim of this study was to analyze two main types of cognitive domains in school children with different types and severities of attention-related problems. The cognitive domains examined were general cognitive ability and executive abilities.Methods: Three different clinical samples of pupils with school problems were analyzed to assess their cognitive Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children profiles. In particular, the general cognitive ability index and the executive markers (ie, verbal memory index and processing speed index were of interest. Of the total sample (n = 198, two main groups were contrasted; one met the full criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/subthreshold ADHD, and one was comprised of those with milder attention problems, insufficient to meet the criteria for ADHD/subthreshold ADHD.Results: It could be demonstrated that both groups had a significantly higher score on the general cognitive ability index than on measures of working memory and processing speed. This difference was more pronounced for boys.Conclusion: These types of cognitive differences need to be considered in children with different kinds of learning, behavior, and attention problems; this is also true for children presenting with an average general intelligence quotient and with milder attention problems. Current educational expectations are demanding for children with mild difficulties, and such cognitive information will add to the understanding of the child's learning problems, hopefully leading to a better adapted education than that conventionally available.Keywords: working memory, processing speed, children, learning and

  11. Oscillatory Dynamics in the Frontoparietal Attention Network during Sustained Attention in the Ferret

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin K. Sellers

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Sustained attention requires the coordination of neural activity across multiple cortical areas in the frontoparietal network, in particular the prefrontal cortex (PFC and posterior parietal cortex (PPC. Previous work has demonstrated that activity in these brain regions is coordinated by neuronal oscillations of the local field potential (LFP. However, the underlying coordination of activity in terms of organization of single unit (SU spiking activity has remained poorly understood, particularly in the freely moving animal. We found that long-range functional connectivity between anatomically connected PFC and PPC was mediated by oscillations in the theta frequency band. SU activity in PFC was phase locked to theta oscillations in PPC, and spiking activity in PFC and PPC was locked to local high-gamma activity. Together, our results support a model in which frequency-specific synchronization mediates functional connectivity between and within PFC and PPC of the frontoparietal attention network in the freely moving animal.

  12. [Formula: see text]Attention and executive functioning profiles in children following perinatal arterial ischemic stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosenbark, Danielle D; Krivitzky, Lauren; Ichord, Rebecca; Jastrzab, Laura; Billinghurst, Lori

    2018-01-01

    Perinatal arterial ischemic stroke (PAIS) is a form of childhood stroke; the majority of those affected experience neurologic sequelae, including motor, language and neurocognitive impairments. This study examines the attention and executive functioning (EF) profiles of children following PAIS, as well as the impact of age and sex. In this single-center cross-sectional study, 40 children aged 3 to 16 years (median age 7.2 years; 58% male) who have suffered a PAIS underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological battery to assess attention and EF. Parents completed behavioral questionnaires regarding real-world functioning. Composite scores were calculated for seven attention and EF domains (Attention, Working Memory, Verbal Retrieval, Inhibitory Control, Flexibility/Shifting, Planning/Organization, and Processing Speed). The results for all measured domains of attention and EF are significantly lower in the participants compared to the normative samples (p attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Sex is not associated with performance measures or parental report of functioning. The participants demonstrate mild-to-moderate attention and EF impairment compared to the normative population. Clinicians, families, and educators should be informed about the neurocognitive sequelae of PAIS and the need for close developmental surveillance in this population to identify vulnerable children and initiate appropriate therapeutic interventions in a timely fashion.

  13. Financing sustainability: insights for investors, corporate executives, and policymakers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kerste, M.; Rosenboom, N.; Sikken, B.J.; Weda, J.

    2011-01-01

    Sustainability thinking is rapidly gaining traction. It o­ffers an inspiring vision for the future of the world and provides significant business and investment opportunities. Based on insights from over 300 empirical studies, this book explores the possibilities in the field of renewable energy

  14. Effects of Online Synchronous Instruction with an Attention Monitoring and Alarm Mechanism on Sustained Attention and Learning Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chih-Ming; Wang, Jung-Ying

    2018-01-01

    Many studies have shown that learners' sustained attention strongly affects e-learning performance, particularly during online synchronous instruction. This work thus develops a novel attention monitoring and alarm mechanism (AMAM) based on brainwave signals to improve learning performance via monitoring the attention state of individual learners…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Sustained attention to objects' motion sharpens position representations: Attention to changing position and attention to motion are distinct.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Christina J; Rollings, Victoria; Hardie, Amy

    2017-06-01

    In tasks where people monitor moving objects, such the multiple object tracking task (MOT), observers attempt to keep track of targets as they move amongst distracters. The literature is mixed as to whether observers make use of motion information to facilitate performance. We sought to address this by two means: first by superimposing arrows on objects which varied in their informativeness about motion direction and second by asking observers to attend to motion direction. Using a position monitoring task, we calculated mean error magnitudes as a measure of the precision with which target positions are represented. We also calculated perceptual lags versus extrapolated reports, which are the times at which positions of targets best match position reports. We find that the presence of motion information in the form of superimposed arrows made no difference to position report precision nor perceptual lag. However, when we explicitly instructed observers to attend to motion, we saw facilitatory effects on position reports and in some cases reports that best matched extrapolated rather than lagging positions for small set sizes. The results indicate that attention to changing positions does not automatically recruit attention to motion, showing a dissociation between sustained attention to changing positions and attention to motion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Reward sensitivity, attentional bias, and executive control in early adolescent alcohol use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; de Jong, Peter J; Ostafin, Brian D; Wiers, Reinout W

    2015-01-01

    This study examined whether attentional bias for alcohol stimuli was associated with alcohol use in young adolescents, and whether the frequently demonstrated relationship between reward sensitivity and adolescent alcohol use would be partly mediated by attentional bias for alcohol cues. In addition, this study investigated the potential moderating role of executive control (EC), and tested whether the relationship between alcohol-related attentional bias and alcohol use was especially present in young adolescents with weak EC. Participants were 86 adolescents (mean age=14.86), who completed a Visual Probe Task (VPT) as an index of attentional bias, a flanker-task based Attention Network Task (ANT) as an index of EC, the sensitivity of punishment and sensitivity of reward questionnaire (SPSRQ) as an index of reward sensitivity, and an alcohol use questionnaire. High reward sensitivity, high alcohol-related attentional bias, and weak EC were all related to alcohol use. The relationship between reward sensitivity and alcohol use was not mediated by alcohol-related attentional bias. As hypothesized, attentional bias was only associated with alcohol use in participants with weak EC. Together, the present findings are consistent with the view that high reward sensitivity and low EC may be considered as risk factors for adolescent alcohol use. The independent contribution of reward sensitivity and attentional bias might suggest that adolescents who are highly reward sensitive and display an attentional bias for alcohol cues are at even higher risk for excessive alcohol use and developing alcohol abuse problems. Future research using a longitudinal approach would allow an examination of these risk factors on subsequent alcohol use. Treatment implications are discussed, including the importance of strengthening EC and reducing the rewarding value of alcohol use. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Working Memory Capacity and the Top-Down Control of Visual Search: Exploring the Boundaries of "Executive Attention"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Michael J.; Poole, Bradley J.; Tuholski, Stephen W.; Engle, Randall W.

    2006-01-01

    The executive attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC) proposes that measures of WMC broadly predict higher order cognitive abilities because they tap important and general attention capabilities (R. W. Engle & M. J. Kane, 2004). Previous research demonstrated WMC-related differences in attention tasks that required restraint of habitual…

  1. Examining the Relative Contribution of Memory Updating, Attention Focus Switching, and Sustained Attention to Children’s Verbal Working Memory Span

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beula M. Magimairaj

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Whereas considerable developmental memory research has examined the contributions of short-term memory, processing efficiency, retention duration, and scope of attention to complex memory span, little is known about the influence of controlled attention. The present study investigated the relative influence of three understudied attention mechanisms on the verbal working memory span of school-age children: memory updating; attention focus switching; and sustained attention. Results of general linear modeling revealed that, after controlling for age, only updating accuracy emerged as a significant predictor of verbal working memory span. Memory updating speed (that subsumed attention focus switching speed also contributed but was mediated by age. The results extend the developmental memory literature by implicating the mechanism of memory updating and developmental improvement in speed of attention focus switching and updating as critical contributors to children’s verbal working memory. Theoretically, the results provide substantively new information about the role of domain-general executive attention in children’s verbal working memory.

  2. Executive function and attention span in euthymic patients with bipolar 1 disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Normala, I; Abdul, Hamid A R; Azlin, B; Nik Ruzyanei, N J; Hazli, Z; Shah, S A

    2010-09-01

    This is a cross sectional comparison study to assess executive function and attention span in euthymic patients with bipolar 1 disorder. It compares the performance of these two cognitive domains in 40 patients with bipolar 1 disorder to that of 40 healthy normal subjects using Trail Making (TMT), Digit Span (Forward and Backward) and Verbal Fluency (VF) tests. The association between demographic, clinical characteristics and performance in all tests were examined. Patients with bipolar illness showed significant impairment with moderate to large effect sizes (VF = 0.67, TMT A = 0.52, TMT B = 0.81, Digit Forward = 0.97, Digit backward = 1.10) in all tasks of executive and attention functioning. These impairments are observed in the absence of active mood symptoms while duration and severity of illness are not found to have an effect on both cognitive domains. Medications received by patients with bipolar disorder have significant association with performance on executive tasks. The results of this study add on to the existing global evidence of cognitive impairment in bipolar illness despite its cross cultural differences. Its presence in the absence of mania, depression or mixed episode indicates that cognitive impairment is stable even after symptoms recovery.

  3. Executive Dysfunction in Children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javad Alaghband-Rad

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available "nObjective: The purpose of this study is to compare the executive functions children and adolescents who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder "n(ADHD with normal children. "nMethod: Twenty children with ADHD were compared to 19 healthy children terms of some executive functions using the computerized version of Tower London, Continuous Performance Test (CPT, and Stroop Color Test. "nResults: In "Tower of London", the performance of children with ADHD was "nworse than normal children (p<0.05. In Continuous Performance Test, the "ncommission errors in children with ADHD were significantly more than the "nnormal group (p<0.01. In Stroop Test, the time spent to name the colors was "nsignificantly higher in ADHD group. A significant correlation was also found "nbetween the performance of children on Tower of London and CPT (P<0.05. "nConclusions: This study demonstrates that children and adolescents who "nsuffer from ADHD have some impairment of executive functions, particularly "nplanning and inhibition to response, but not in attention.

  4. [Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: similarities and differences in executive functioning and theory of mind].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda-Casas, Ana; Baixauli-Fortea, Immaculada; Colomer-Diago, Carla; Roselló-Miranda, Belén

    2013-09-06

    Although the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria do not overlap, the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in individuals with a clinical diagnosis of autism is quite high. At the same time, children with ADHD can have autistic traits, the most prevalent being social and communication difficulties. The analysis of the combination of executive functions and theory of mind (ToM) deficits could help to explain the overlap and differentiation between the two disorders. To review the findings of empirical studies in which children with ADHD and autism have been compared on indicators of executive functions and ToM. The literature review suggests the existence of distinct patterns in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and ADHD when the executive functioning is segmented by components. Children with ADHD experience deficits in inhibitory control, while children with ASD have problems with cognitive flexibility and planning. Regarding the domain of the mentalist skills, there are developmental differences, as well as differences in their severity. Younger children with ASD have greater deficiencies in the ToM compared to children with ADHD, and a primary deficit in social orientation. Although important progress has been made, some issues remain to be clarified, among which we can highlight the analysis of how ToM development affects poor executive functions development, using longitudinal studies that analyze the developmental paths of children with ASD and children with ADHD.

  5. Interactions between Levels of Attention Ability and Levels of Bilingualism in Children’s Executive Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorge, Geoff B.; Toplak, Maggie E.; Bialystok, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Attention difficulty is associated with poor performance on executive functioning (EF) tasks, yet EF is enhanced in bilingual children. However, no research to date has investigated the possible interaction between bilingualism and attention ability in children to determine the consequences for EF when both are present. We assessed a sample of typically-developing children who were 8- to 11-years old for their ability in attention control and level of bilingualism on the basis of questionnaires completed by parents and teachers. Children performed three tasks requiring aspects of EF: stop signal task (inhibition), flanker task (interference control), and frogs matrices task (spatial working memory). Results from hierarchical regressions confirmed that both attention ability and bilingualism contributed to performance on the EF tasks. Where interaction effects were significant, they showed that attention ability was a stronger predictor for an inhibition task, namely stop signal, and bilingualism a stronger predictor for an interference task, namely flanker. Furthermore, these results allow us to discuss the relation between EF and attention ability. PMID:26875024

  6. Where's the impairment: an examination of factors that impact sustained attention following a stressor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banks, Jonathan B; Tartar, Jaime L; Welhaf, Matthew S

    2014-01-01

    The impact of stress on cognitive functioning has been examined across multiple domains. However, few studies investigate both physical and psychological factors that impact cognitive performance. The current study examined the impact of a physical and psychosocial stressor on sustained attention and identified factors related to sustained attention, including cortisol, salivary alpha amylase (sAA) and mind wandering. A total of 53 participants completed either the socially evaluated cold pressor task or a control task followed by the sustained attention to response task with mind wandering measures. Participants also provided saliva samples following the attention task. Results indicate the stressor task did not impact mind wandering or sustained attention but increased cortisol and sAA. Mind wandering was negatively related to sustained attention and mediated the relationship between cortisol and sustained attention. The findings highlight the importance of examining multiple sources of stress-related cognitive impairments.

  7. WCST and NEUPSILIN: relationships among executive functions, attention, memory and language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Balem Yates

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the relationship between measures of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST and a brief battery of cognitive functions (NEUPSILIN with the goal of providing a better understanding of the association between executive processes and other functions. The sample included 39 people, from 14 to 61 years old, with an average education of 12.38 (SD = 3.65 years of study. The hypothesis that correlations would be moderate to strong between the measures of executive function, working memory, attention and prospective memory from NEUPSILIN and WCST scores was partially corroborated because the intensity of the correlations was below than the expected. Other correlations were also found between the WCST scores and tasks that assess semantic-episodic memory, oral language (inference processing and writing (reading components.

  8. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and executive functioning in affected and unaffected adolescents and their parents : challenging the endophenotype construct

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thissen, A. J. A. M.; Rommelse, N. N. J.; Hoekstra, P. J.; Hartman, C.; Heslenfeld, D.; Luman, M.; van Lieshout, M.; Franke, B.; Oosterlaan, J.; Buitelaar, J. K.

    Background The results of twin and sibling studies suggest that executive functioning is a prime candidate endophenotype in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, studies have not assessed the co-segregation of executive function (EF) deficits from parents to offspring directly,

  9. Thinking outside the executive functions box: theory of mind and pragmatic abilities in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geurts, H.M.; Broeders, M.; Nieuwland, M.S.

    2010-01-01

    An endophenotype for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is executive functioning. In the autism and developmental literature executive dysfunctions has also been linked to theory of mind (ToM) and pragmatic language use. The central question of this review is whether deficits in ToM

  10. Differential effects of atomoxetine on executive functioning and lexical decision in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and reading disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, Christien G. W.; van de Voorde, Séverine; Roeyers, Herbert; Raymaekers, Ruth; Allen, Albert J.; Knijff, Simone; Verhelst, Helene; Temmink, Alfons H.; Smit, Leo M. E.; Rodriques-Pereira, Rob; Vandenberghe, Dirk; van Welsen, Inge; ter Schuren, Liesbeth; Al-Hakim, Mazim; Amin, Azad; Vlasveld, Laurens; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Sergeant, Joseph A.

    2009-01-01

    The effects of a promising pharmacological treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), atomoxetine, were studied on executive functions in both ADHD and reading disorder (RD) because earlier research demonstrated an overlap in executive functioning deficits in both disorders. In

  11. Effect of Osmotic-Release Oral System Methylphenidate on Different Domains of Attention and Executive Functioning in Children with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, Nathan J.; Jawad, Abbas F.; Clarke, Angela T.; Power, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    Aim: This study investigated whether components of attention and executive functioning improve when children with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are treated with osmotic-release oral system (OROS) methylphenidate. Method: Thirty children (24 males, six females; mean age 8y 6mo, SD 1y 11mo; range 6y 5mo-12y 6mo) with ADHD combined…

  12. Vestibular involvement in cognition: Visuospatial ability, attention, executive function, and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigelow, Robin T; Agrawal, Yuri

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of literature suggests the inner ear vestibular system has a substantial impact on cognitive function. The strongest evidence exists in connecting vestibular function to the cognitive domain of visuospatial ability, which includes spatial memory, navigation, mental rotation, and mental representation of three-dimensional space. Substantial evidence also exists suggesting the vestibular system has an impact on attention and cognitive processing ability. The cognitive domains of memory and executive function are also implicated in a number of studies. We will review the current literature, discuss possible causal links between vestibular dysfunction and cognitive performance, and suggest areas of future research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scope, Alison; Empson, Janet; McHale, Sue

    2010-06-01

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

  14. A new adaptive videogame for training attention and executive functions: design principles and initial validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montani, Veronica; De Filippo De Grazia, Michele; Zorzi, Marco

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that action videogames could enhance a variety of cognitive skills and more specifically attention skills. The aim of this study was to develop a novel adaptive videogame to support the rehabilitation of the most common consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI), that is the impairment of attention and executive functions. TBI patients can be affected by psychomotor slowness and by difficulties in dealing with distraction, maintain a cognitive set for a long time, processing different simultaneously presented stimuli, and planning purposeful behavior. Accordingly, we designed a videogame that was specifically conceived to activate those functions. Playing involves visuospatial planning and selective attention, active maintenance of the cognitive set representing the goal, and error monitoring. Moreover, different game trials require to alternate between two tasks (i.e., task switching) or to perform the two tasks simultaneously (i.e., divided attention/dual-tasking). The videogame is controlled by a multidimensional adaptive algorithm that calibrates task difficulty on-line based on a model of user performance that is updated on a trial-by-trial basis. We report simulations of user performance designed to test the adaptive game as well as a validation study with healthy participants engaged in a training protocol. The results confirmed the involvement of the cognitive abilities that the game is supposed to enhance and suggested that training improved attentional control during play. PMID:24860529

  15. A new adaptive videogame for training attention and executive functions: Design principles and initial validation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronica eMontani

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available A growing body of evidence suggests that action videogames could enhance a variety of cognitive skills and more specifically attention skills. The aim of this study was to develop a novel adaptive videogame to support the rehabilitation of the most common consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI, that is the impairment of attention and executive functions. TBI patients can be affected by psychomotor slowness and by difficulties in dealing with distraction, maintain a cognitive set for a long time, processing different simultaneously presented stimuli, and planning purposeful behaviour. Accordingly, we designed a videogame that was specifically conceived to activate those functions. Playing involves visuospatial planning and selective attention, active maintenance of the cognitive set representing the goal, and error monitoring. Moreover, different game trials require to alternate between two tasks (i.e., task switching or to perform the two tasks simultaneously (i.e., divided attention / dual-tasking. The videogame is controlled by a multidimensional adaptive algorithm that calibrates task difficulty on-line based on a model of user performance that is updated on a trial-by-trial basis. We report simulations of user performance designed to test the adaptive game as well as a validation study with healthy participants engaged in a training protocol. The results confirmed the involvement of the cognitive abilities that the game is supposed to enhance and suggested that training improved attentional control during play.

  16. A new adaptive videogame for training attention and executive functions: design principles and initial validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montani, Veronica; De Filippo De Grazia, Michele; Zorzi, Marco

    2014-01-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that action videogames could enhance a variety of cognitive skills and more specifically attention skills. The aim of this study was to develop a novel adaptive videogame to support the rehabilitation of the most common consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI), that is the impairment of attention and executive functions. TBI patients can be affected by psychomotor slowness and by difficulties in dealing with distraction, maintain a cognitive set for a long time, processing different simultaneously presented stimuli, and planning purposeful behavior. Accordingly, we designed a videogame that was specifically conceived to activate those functions. Playing involves visuospatial planning and selective attention, active maintenance of the cognitive set representing the goal, and error monitoring. Moreover, different game trials require to alternate between two tasks (i.e., task switching) or to perform the two tasks simultaneously (i.e., divided attention/dual-tasking). The videogame is controlled by a multidimensional adaptive algorithm that calibrates task difficulty on-line based on a model of user performance that is updated on a trial-by-trial basis. We report simulations of user performance designed to test the adaptive game as well as a validation study with healthy participants engaged in a training protocol. The results confirmed the involvement of the cognitive abilities that the game is supposed to enhance and suggested that training improved attentional control during play.

  17. Cerebral networks of sustained attention and working memory: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study based on the Continuous Performance Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartés-Serrallonga, M; Adan, A; Solé-Casals, J; Caldú, X; Falcón, C; Pérez-Pàmies, M; Bargalló, N; Serra-Grabulosa, J M

    2014-04-01

    One of the most used paradigms in the study of attention is the Continuous Performance Test (CPT). The identical pairs version (CPT-IP) has been widely used to evaluate attention deficits in developmental, neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the specific locations and the relative distribution of brain activation in networks identified with functional imaging, varies significantly with differences in task design. To design a task to evaluate sustained attention using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and thus to provide data for research concerned with the role of these functions. Forty right-handed, healthy students (50% women; age range: 18-25 years) were recruited. A CPT-IP implemented as a block design was used to assess sustained attention during the fMRI session. The behavioural results from the CPT-IP task showed a good performance in all subjects, higher than 80% of hits. fMRI results showed that the used CPT-IP task activates a network of frontal, parietal and occipital areas, and that these are related to executive and attentional functions. In relation to the use of the CPT to study of attention and working memory, this task provides normative data in healthy adults, and it could be useful to evaluate disorders which have attentional and working memory deficits.

  18. Gender Differences in Sustained Attentional Control Relate to Gender Inequality across Countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Elizabeth; Okabe, Hidefusa; Germine, Laura; Wilmer, Jeremy; Esterman, Michael; DeGutis, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Sustained attentional control is critical for everyday tasks and success in school and employment. Understanding gender differences in sustained attentional control, and their potential sources, is an important goal of psychology and neuroscience and of great relevance to society. We used a large web-based sample (n = 21,484, from testmybrain.org) to examine gender differences in sustained attentional control. Our sample included participants from 41 countries, allowing us to examine how gender differences in each country relate to national indices of gender equality. We found significant gender differences in certain aspects of sustained attentional control. Using indices of gender equality, we found that overall sustained attentional control performance was lower in countries with less equality and that there were greater gender differences in performance in countries with less equality. These findings suggest that creating sociocultural conditions which value women and men equally can improve a component of sustained attention and reduce gender disparities in cognition.

  19. Gender Differences in Sustained Attentional Control Relate to Gender Inequality across Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Elizabeth; Okabe, Hidefusa; Germine, Laura; Wilmer, Jeremy; Esterman, Michael; DeGutis, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Sustained attentional control is critical for everyday tasks and success in school and employment. Understanding gender differences in sustained attentional control, and their potential sources, is an important goal of psychology and neuroscience and of great relevance to society. We used a large web-based sample (n = 21,484, from testmybrain.org) to examine gender differences in sustained attentional control. Our sample included participants from 41 countries, allowing us to examine how gender differences in each country relate to national indices of gender equality. We found significant gender differences in certain aspects of sustained attentional control. Using indices of gender equality, we found that overall sustained attentional control performance was lower in countries with less equality and that there were greater gender differences in performance in countries with less equality. These findings suggest that creating sociocultural conditions which value women and men equally can improve a component of sustained attention and reduce gender disparities in cognition. PMID:27802294

  20. Altered attentional control strategies but spared executive functioning in chronic cannabis users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nusbaum, Amy T; Whitney, Paul; Cuttler, Carrie; Spradlin, Alexander; Hinson, John M; McLaughlin, Ryan J

    2017-12-01

    Cannabis use has increased rapidly in recent decades. The increase in cannabis use makes it important to understand the potential influence of chronic use on attentional control and other executive functions (EFs). Because cannabis is often used to reduce stress, and because stress can constrain attentional control and EFs, the primary goal of this study was to determine the joint effect of acute stress and chronic cannabis use on specific EFs. Thirty-nine cannabis users and 40 non-users were assigned to either a stress or no stress version of the Maastricht Acute Stress Test. Participants then completed two cognitive tasks that involve EFs: (1) task switching, and (2) a novel Flexible Attentional Control Task. These two tasks provided assessments of vigilant attention, inhibitory control, top-down attentional control, and cognitive flexibility. Salivary cortisol was assessed throughout the study. Reaction time indices showed an interaction between stress and cannabis use on top-down attentional control (p=0.036, n p 2 =0.059). Follow-up tests showed that cannabis users relied less on top-down attentional control than did non-users in the no stress version. Despite not relying on top-down control, the cannabis users showed no overall performance deficits on the tasks. Chronic cannabis users performed cognitive tasks involving EFs as well as non-users while not employing cognitive control processes that are typical for such tasks. These results indicate alterations in cognitive processing in cannabis users, but such alterations do not necessarily lead to global performance deficits. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Evaluating executive function in schoolchildren with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vélez-van-Meerbeke, A; Zamora, I P; Guzmán, G; Figueroa, B; López Cabra, C A; Talero-Gutiérrez, C

    2013-01-01

    To identify impairment of executive functions (EF) in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A case-control study was performed on a sample of schoolchildren with low socioeconomic levels in Bogota, Colombia. ADHD was diagnosed using the DSM IV checklist and the Behavior Assessment System for Children scale. Children with cognitive deficits were excluded. We evaluated scores from six measurements of executive function (EF). We conducted a bivariate statistical analysis to compare the variables, a multivariate study controlled by sex and age, and a logistic regression analysis. The study sample included 119 children with ADHD and 85 controls, all aged between 6 and 12 years. Controlling by sex, age, and type of school showed that EF measurements in children with ADHD were significantly more impaired than in controls, especially for measurements of verbal and graphic fluency, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure, and cognitive flexibility. Comparison of ADHD subgroups showed that results in children with multiple deficits were similar to those in the global ADHD group. Graphic fluency impairment was the sole impairment in cases with only attention deficit or only hyperactivity-impulsivity manifestations. EF measures in children with ADHD revealed more problems, particularly those having to do within planning, inhibition, working memory and cognitive control. Age and sex may affect the degree of EF impairment. Copyright © 2012 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  2. Decreases in daily physical activity predict acute decline in attention and executive function in heart failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alosco, Michael L; Spitznagel, Mary Beth; Cohen, Ronald; Sweet, Lawrence H; Hayes, Scott M; Josephson, Richard; Hughes, Joel; Gunstad, John

    2015-04-01

    Reduced physical activity (PA) may be one factor that contributes to cognitive decline and dementia in heart failure (HF). Yet, the longitudinal relationship between PA and cognition in HF is poorly understood owing to limitations of past work, including single-time assessments of PA. This is the first study to examine changes in objectively measured PA and cognition over time in HF. At baseline and 12 weeks, 57 HF patients completed psychosocial self-report measures and a neuropsychological battery and wore an accelerometer for 7 days. At baseline, HF patients spent an average of 597.83 (SD 75.91) minutes per day sedentary. Steps per day declined from baseline to the 12-week follow-up; there was also a trend for declines in moderate-vigorous PA. Regression analyses controlling for sex, HF severity, and depressive symptoms showed that decreases in light (P = .08) and moderate-vigorous (P = .04) daily PA emerged as strong predictors of declines in attention/executive function over the 12-week period, but not of memory or language. Reductions in daily PA predicted acute decline in attention/executive function in HF, but not of memory or language. Modifications to daily PA may attenuate cognitive decline, and prospective studies are needed to test this possibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Sequential sampling of visual objects during sustained attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianrong Jia

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In a crowded visual scene, attention must be distributed efficiently and flexibly over time and space to accommodate different contexts. It is well established that selective attention enhances the corresponding neural responses, presumably implying that attention would persistently dwell on the task-relevant item. Meanwhile, recent studies, mostly in divided attentional contexts, suggest that attention does not remain stationary but samples objects alternately over time, suggesting a rhythmic view of attention. However, it remains unknown whether the dynamic mechanism essentially mediates attentional processes at a general level. Importantly, there is also a complete lack of direct neural evidence reflecting whether and how the brain rhythmically samples multiple visual objects during stimulus processing. To address these issues, in this study, we employed electroencephalography (EEG and a temporal response function (TRF approach, which can dissociate responses that exclusively represent a single object from the overall neuronal activity, to examine the spatiotemporal characteristics of attention in various attentional contexts. First, attention, which is characterized by inhibitory alpha-band (approximately 10 Hz activity in TRFs, switches between attended and unattended objects every approximately 200 ms, suggesting a sequential sampling even when attention is required to mostly stay on the attended object. Second, the attentional spatiotemporal pattern is modulated by the task context, such that alpha-mediated switching becomes increasingly prominent as the task requires a more uniform distribution of attention. Finally, the switching pattern correlates with attentional behavioral performance. Our work provides direct neural evidence supporting a generally central role of temporal organization mechanism in attention, such that multiple objects are sequentially sorted according to their priority in attentional contexts. The results suggest

  4. Elucidating X chromosome influences on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and executive function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Tamar; Bade Shrestha, Sharon; Chromik, Lindsay C; Rutledge, Keetan; Pennington, Bruce F; Hong, David S; Reiss, Allan L

    2015-09-01

    To identify distinct behavioral and cognitive profiles associated with ADHD in Turner syndrome (TS), relative to idiopathic ADHD and neurotypical controls, in order to elucidate X-linked influences contributing to ADHD. We used a multilevel-model approach to compare 49 girls with TS to 37 neurotypical females, aged 5-12, on established measures of behavior (BASC-2) and neurocognitive function (NEPSY). We further compared girls with TS to BASC-2 and NEPSY age-matched reference data obtained from children with idiopathic ADHD. Within the TS group, 51% scored at or above the "at-risk" range for ADHD-associated behaviors on the BASC-2 (TS/+ADHD). The BASC-2 behavioral profile in this TS/+ADHD-subgroup was comparable to a reference group of boys with ADHD with respect to attentional problems and hyperactivity. However, the TS/+ADHD-subgroup had significantly higher hyperactivity scores relative to a reference sample of girls with ADHD (p = 0.016). The behavioral profile in TS was associated with significantly lower attention and executive function scores on the NEPSY relative to neurotypical controls (p = 0.015); but was comparable to scores from a reference sample of children with idiopathic ADHD. Deficits in attention and executive function were not observed in girls with TS having low levels of ADHD-associated behavior (TS/-ADHD). ADHD-associated behavioral and cognitive problems in TS are prevalent and comparable in severity to those found in children with idiopathic ADHD. The ADHD phenotype in TS also appears relatively independent of cognitive features typically associated with TS, like visuospatial weaknesses. These findings suggest that X-linked haploinsufficiency and downstream biological effects contribute to increased risk for ADHD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Association of blood antioxidants status with visual and auditory sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Sotoudeh, Gity; Qorbani, Mostafa; Rostami, Reza; Sadeghi-Firoozabadi, Vahid; Narmaki, Elham

    2015-01-01

    A low antioxidants status has been shown to result in oxidative stress and cognitive impairment. Because antioxidants can protect the nervous system, it is expected that a better blood antioxidant status might be related to sustained attention. However, the relationship between the blood antioxidant status and visual and auditory sustained attention has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of fruits and vegetables intake and the blood antioxidant status with visual and auditory sustained attention in women. This cross-sectional study was performed on 400 healthy women (20-50 years) who attended the sports clubs of Tehran Municipality. Sustained attention was evaluated based on the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test using the Integrated Visual and Auditory (IVA) software. The 24-hour food recall questionnaire was used for estimating fruits and vegetables intake. Serum total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were measured in 90 participants. After adjusting for energy intake, age, body mass index (BMI), years of education and physical activity, higher reported fruits, and vegetables intake was associated with better visual and auditory sustained attention (P attention (P visual and auditory sustained attention after adjusting for age, years of education, physical activity, energy, BMI, and caffeine intake (P visual and auditory sustained attention is associated with a better blood antioxidant status. Therefore, improvement of the antioxidant status through an appropriate dietary intake can possibly enhance sustained attention.

  6. Working Memory Capacity and Focused and Sustained Attention

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Engle, Randall

    2003-01-01

    .... We see WM as a system consisting of those long-term memory traces active above threshold, the procedures and skills necessary to achieve and maintain that activation and, what we call executive...

  7. Higher dietary diversity is related to better visual and auditory sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiraseb, Farideh; Siassi, Fereydoun; Qorbani, Mostafa; Sotoudeh, Gity; Rostami, Reza; Narmaki, Elham; Yavari, Parvaneh; Aghasi, Mohadeseh; Shaibu, Osman Mohammed

    2016-04-01

    Attention is a complex cognitive function that is necessary for learning, for following social norms of behaviour and for effective performance of responsibilities and duties. It is especially important in sensitive occupations requiring sustained attention. Improvement of dietary diversity (DD) is recognised as an important factor in health promotion, but its association with sustained attention is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the association between auditory and visual sustained attention and DD. A cross-sectional study was carried out on 400 women aged 20-50 years who attended sports clubs at Tehran Municipality. Sustained attention was evaluated on the basis of the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test using Integrated Visual and Auditory software. A single 24-h dietary recall questionnaire was used for DD assessment. Dietary diversity scores (DDS) were determined using the FAO guidelines. The mean visual and auditory sustained attention scores were 40·2 (sd 35·2) and 42·5 (sd 38), respectively. The mean DDS was 4·7 (sd 1·5). After adjusting for age, education years, physical activity, energy intake and BMI, mean visual and auditory sustained attention showed a significant increase as the quartiles of DDS increased (P=0·001). In addition, the mean subscales of attention, including auditory consistency and vigilance, visual persistence, visual and auditory focus, speed, comprehension and full attention, increased significantly with increasing DDS (Pvisual and auditory sustained attention.

  8. 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.

  9. Selective attention relates to the development of executive functions in 2,5- to 3-year-olds : A longitudinal study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veer, Ilona M.; Luyten, Hans; Mulder, Hanna; van Tuijl, Cathy; Sleegers, Peter J.C.

    2017-01-01

    To study the central role of selective attention in the early development of executive functions (EFs), longitudinal relationships between selective attention, working memory, and simple response inhibition were explored. Selective attention, working memory, and simple response inhibition were

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. The Role of Sustained Attention in the Production of Conjoined Noun Phrases: An Individual Differences Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jongman, S.R.; Meyer, A.S.; Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2015-01-01

    It has previously been shown that language production, performed simultaneously with a nonlinguistic task, involves sustained attention. Sustained attention concerns the ability to maintain alertness over time. Here, we aimed to replicate the previous finding by showing that individuals call upon

  12. Executive Dysfunctions: The role in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Post-traumatic Stress neuropsychiatric disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lía Martínez

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Executive functions (EFs is an umbrella term for various cognitive processes controlled by a complex neural activity, which allow the production of different types of behaviors seeking to achieve specific objectives, one of them being inhibitory control. There is a wide consensus that clinical and behavioral alterations associated with EF, such as inhibitory control, are present in various neuropsychiatric disorders. This paper reviews the research literature on the relationship between executive dysfunction, frontal-subcortical neural circuit changes, and the psychopathological processes associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. A revision on the role of frontal-subcortical neural circuits and their presumable abnormal functioning and the high frequency of neuropsychiatric symptoms could explain the difficulties with putting effector mechanisms into action, giving individuals the necessary tools to act efficiently in their environment. Although neuronal substrate data about ADHD and PTSD has been reported in the literature, it is isolated. Therefore, this review highlights the overlapping of neural substrates in the symptomatology of ADHD and PTSD disorders concerning EFs, especially in the inhibitory component. Thus, the changes related to impaired EF that accompany disorders like ADHD and PTSD could be explained by disturbances that have a direct or indirect impact on the functioning of these loops. Initially, the theoretical model of EF according to current neuropsychology will be presented, focusing on the inhibitory component. In a second stage, this component will be analyzed for each of the disorders of interest, considering the clinical aspects, the etiology and the neurobiological basis. Additionally, commonalities between the two neuropsychiatric conditions will be taken into consideration from the perspectives of cognitive and emotional inhibition. Finally, the

  13. Executive Dysfunctions: The Role in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity and Post-traumatic Stress Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Lía; Prada, Edward; Satler, Corina; Tavares, Maria C. H.; Tomaz, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Executive functions (EFs) is an umbrella term for various cognitive processes controlled by a complex neural activity, which allow the production of different types of behaviors seeking to achieve specific objectives, one of them being inhibitory control. There is a wide consensus that clinical and behavioral alterations associated with EF, such as inhibitory control, are present in various neuropsychiatric disorders. This paper reviews the research literature on the relationship between executive dysfunction, frontal-subcortical neural circuit changes, and the psychopathological processes associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A revision on the role of frontal-subcortical neural circuits and their presumable abnormal functioning and the high frequency of neuropsychiatric symptoms could explain the difficulties with putting effector mechanisms into action, giving individuals the necessary tools to act efficiently in their environment. Although, neuronal substrate data about ADHD and PTSD has been reported in the literature, it is isolated. Therefore, this review highlights the overlapping of neural substrates in the symptomatology of ADHD and PTSD disorders concerning EFs, especially in the inhibitory component. Thus, the changes related to impaired EF that accompany disorders like ADHD and PTSD could be explained by disturbances that have a direct or indirect impact on the functioning of these loops. Initially, the theoretical model of EF according to current neuropsychology will be presented, focusing on the inhibitory component. In a second stage, this component will be analyzed for each of the disorders of interest, considering the clinical aspects, the etiology and the neurobiological basis. Additionally, commonalities between the two neuropsychiatric conditions will be taken into consideration from the perspectives of cognitive and emotional inhibition. Finally, the implications and future

  14. Competition for the focus of attention in visual working memory: perceptual recency versus executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hitch, Graham J; Hu, Yanmei; Allen, Richard J; Baddeley, Alan D

    2018-03-10

    Previous research on memory for a short sequence of visual stimuli indicates that access to the focus of attention (FoA) can be achieved in either of two ways. The first is automatic and is indexed by the recency effect, the enhanced retention of the final item. The second is strategic and based on instructions to prioritize items differentially, a process that draws on executive capacity and boosts retention of information deemed important. In both cases, the increased level of retention can be selectively reduced by presenting a poststimulus distractor (or suffix). We manipulated these variables across three experiments. Experiment 1 generalized previous evidence that prioritizing a single item enhances its retention and increases its vulnerability to interference from a poststimulus suffix. A second experiment showed that the enhancement from prioritizing one or two items comes at a cost to the recency effect. A third experiment showed that prioritizing two items renders memory for both vulnerable to interference from an irrelevant suffix. The results suggest that some but not all items in working memory compete to occupy a narrow FoA and that this competition is determined by a combination of perceptually driven recency and internal executive control. © 2018 New York Academy of Sciences.

  15. Abnormalities of resting state functional connectivity are related to sustained attention deficits in MS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Loitfelder

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Resting state (RS functional MRI recently identified default network abnormalities related to cognitive impairment in MS. fMRI can also be used to map functional connectivity (FC while the brain is at rest and not adhered to a specific task. Given the importance of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC for higher executive functioning in MS, we here used the ACC as seed-point to test for differences and similarities in RS-FC related to sustained attention between MS patients and controls. DESIGN: Block-design rest phases of 3 Tesla fMRI data were analyzed to assess RS-FC in 31 patients (10 clinically isolated syndromes, 16 relapsing-remitting, 5 secondary progressive MS and 31 age- and gender matched healthy controls (HC. Participants underwent extensive cognitive testing. OBSERVATIONS: In both groups, signal changes in several brain areas demonstrated significant correlation with RS-activity in the ACC. These comprised the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC, insular cortices, the right caudate, right middle temporal gyrus, angular gyri, the right hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Compared to HC, patients showed increased FC between the ACC and the left angular gyrus, left PCC, and right postcentral gyrus. Better cognitive performance in the patients was associated with increased FC to the cerebellum, middle temporal gyrus, occipital pole, and the angular gyrus. CONCLUSION: We provide evidence for adaptive changes in RS-FC in MS patients compared to HC in a sustained attention network. These results extend and partly mirror findings of task-related fMRI, suggesting FC may increase our understanding of cognitive dysfunction in MS.

  16. The effects of video game playing on attention, memory, and executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boot, Walter R; Kramer, Arthur F; Simons, Daniel J; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele

    2008-11-01

    Expert video game players often outperform non-players on measures of basic attention and performance. Such differences might result from exposure to video games or they might reflect other group differences between those people who do or do not play video games. Recent research has suggested a causal relationship between playing action video games and improvements in a variety of visual and attentional skills (e.g., [Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2003). Action video game modifies visual selective attention. Nature, 423, 534-537]). The current research sought to replicate and extend these results by examining both expert/non-gamer differences and the effects of video game playing on tasks tapping a wider range of cognitive abilities, including attention, memory, and executive control. Non-gamers played 20+ h of an action video game, a puzzle game, or a real-time strategy game. Expert gamers and non-gamers differed on a number of basic cognitive skills: experts could track objects moving at greater speeds, better detected changes to objects stored in visual short-term memory, switched more quickly from one task to another, and mentally rotated objects more efficiently. Strikingly, extensive video game practice did not substantially enhance performance for non-gamers on most cognitive tasks, although they did improve somewhat in mental rotation performance. Our results suggest that at least some differences between video game experts and non-gamers in basic cognitive performance result either from far more extensive video game experience or from pre-existing group differences in abilities that result in a self-selection effect.

  17. The Social Origins of Sustained Attention in One-Year-Old Human Infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chen; Smith, Linda B

    2016-05-09

    The ability to sustain attention is a major achievement in human development and is generally believed to be the developmental product of increasing self-regulatory and endogenous (i.e., internal, top-down, voluntary) control over one's attention and cognitive systems [1-5]. Because sustained attention in late infancy is predictive of future development, and because early deficits in sustained attention are markers for later diagnoses of attentional disorders [6], sustained attention is often viewed as a constitutional and individual property of the infant [6-9]. However, humans are social animals; developmental pathways for seemingly non-social competencies evolved within the social group and therefore may be dependent on social experience [10-13]. Here, we show that social context matters for the duration of sustained attention episodes in one-year-old infants during toy play. Using head-mounted eye tracking to record moment-by-moment gaze data from both parents and infants, we found that when the social partner (parent) visually attended to the object to which infant attention was directed, infants, after the parent's look, extended their duration of visual attention to the object. Looks to the same object by two social partners is a well-studied phenomenon known as joint attention, which has been shown to be critical to early learning and to the development of social skills [14, 15]. The present findings implicate joint attention in the development of the child's own sustained attention and thus challenge the current understanding of the origins of individual differences in sustained attention, providing a new and potentially malleable developmental pathway to the self-regulation of attention. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Chewing gum benefits sustained attention in the absence of task degradation.

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, A.J.; Muneem, M.; Miles, C.

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: The present study examined the effect of chewing gum on sustained attention and associated changes in subjective alertness. METHODS: In a within-participants design, 20 participants completed an extended version of the sustained attention response task (SART: Robertson et al., 1997), both with and without chewing gum. Self-rated measures of alertness, contentedness, and calmness were taken before and after the SART. RESULTS: Chewing gum was associated with improved attentional tas...

  19. Behaviour in children with neurofibromatosis type 1: cognition, executive function, attention, emotion, and social competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehtonen, Annukka; Howie, Emma; Trump, Dorothy; Huson, Susan M

    2013-02-01

    This systematic review aimed to pull together the findings from research into behavioural systems and attention in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and to identify areas that need further study. Relevant papers were identified through searches of electronic databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE) and manual searches through reference lists. In total, 5746 articles were identified and 57 met the inclusion criteria. The data were synthesized using the narrative approach, as the studies varied considerably in terms of participants and measures. The results of the review showed that intelligence, academic skills, visuospatial skills, social competence, and attention are impaired in children with NF1. Evidence of deficits in memory, motor functioning, language, and executive functions was less clear. Research has made marked progress in outlining the behavioural phenotype of NF1. However, although the general areas of impairment are becoming better known, the exact nature of the impairment is still not understood in many areas of behaviour. Care needs to be taken with the way in which behavioural constructs are defined and measured, and the variability of problems in NF1 is a particular challenge. Nevertheless, research is steadily moving towards comprehensive understanding of behaviour in children with NF1. © The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology © 2012 Mac Keith Press.

  20. Attention, processing speed, and executive functioning in pediatric brain tumor survivors treated with proton beam radiation therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonini, Tanya N; Ris, M Douglas; Grosshans, David R; Mahajan, Anita; Okcu, M Fatih; Chintagumpala, Murali; Paulino, Arnold; Child, Amanda E; Orobio, Jessica; Stancel, Heather H; Kahalley, Lisa S

    2017-07-01

    This study examines attention, processing speed, and executive functioning in pediatric brain tumor survivors treated with proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT). We examined 39 survivors (age 6-19years) who were 3.61years post-PBRT on average. Craniospinal (CSI; n=21) and focal (n=18) subgroups were analyzed. Attention, processing speed, and executive functioning scores were compared to population norms, and clinical/demographic risk factors were examined. As a group, survivors treated with focal PBRT exhibited attention, processing speed, and executive functioning that did not differ from population norms (all p>0.05). Performance in the CSI group across attention scales was normative (all p>0.05), but areas of relative weakness were identified on one executive functioning subtest and several processing speed subtests (all pexecutive functioning remained intact and within normal limits for survivors treated with focal PBRT. Among survivors treated with CSI, a score pattern emerged that was suggestive of difficulties in underlying component skills (i.e., processing speed) rather than true executive dysfunction. No evidence of profound cognitive impairment was found in either group. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Hyperactivity in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): The role of executive and non-executive functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudec, Kristen L; Alderson, R Matt; Patros, Connor H G; Lea, Sarah E; Tarle, Stephanie J; Kasper, Lisa J

    2015-01-01

    Motor activity of boys (age 8-12 years) with (n=19) and without (n=18) ADHD was objectively measured with actigraphy across experimental conditions that varied with regard to demands on executive functions. Activity exhibited during two n-back (1-back, 2-back) working memory tasks was compared to activity during a choice-reaction time (CRT) task that placed relatively fewer demands on executive processes and during a simple reaction time (SRT) task that required mostly automatic processing with minimal executive demands. Results indicated that children in the ADHD group exhibited greater activity compared to children in the non-ADHD group. Further, both groups exhibited the greatest activity during conditions with high working memory demands, followed by the reaction time and control task conditions, respectively. The findings indicate that large-magnitude increases in motor activity are predominantly associated with increased demands on working memory, though demands on non-executive processes are sufficient to elicit small to moderate increases in motor activity as well. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Working memory capacity and the top-down control of visual search: Exploring the boundaries of "executive attention".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Michael J; Poole, Bradley J; Tuholski, Stephen W; Engle, Randall W

    2006-07-01

    The executive attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC) proposes that measures of WMC broadly predict higher order cognitive abilities because they tap important and general attention capabilities (R. W. Engle & M. J. Kane, 2004). Previous research demonstrated WMC-related differences in attention tasks that required restraint of habitual responses or constraint of conscious focus. To further specify the executive attention construct, the present experiments sought boundary conditions of the WMC-attention relation. Three experiments correlated individual differences in WMC, as measured by complex span tasks, and executive control of visual search. In feature-absence search, conjunction search, and spatial configuration search, WMC was unrelated to search slopes, although they were large and reliably measured. Even in a search task designed to require the volitional movement of attention (J. M. Wolfe, G. A. Alvarez, & T. S. Horowitz, 2000), WMC was irrelevant to performance. Thus, WMC is not associated with all demanding or controlled attention processes, which poses problems for some general theories of WMC. Copyright 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Social Attention, Joint Attention and Sustained Attention in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Williams Syndrome: Convergences and Divergences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivanti, Giacomo; Fanning, Peter A. J.; Hocking, Darren R.; Sievers, Stephanie; Dissanayake, Cheryl

    2017-01-01

    There is limited knowledge on shared and syndrome-specific attentional profiles in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Williams syndrome (WS). Using eye-tracking, we examined attentional profiles of 35 preschoolers with ASD, 22 preschoolers with WS and 20 typically developing children across social and non-social dimensions of attention. Children…

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Correlations between measures of executive attention and cortical thickness of left posterior middle frontal gyrus - a dichotic listening study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lundervold Arvid

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The frontal lobe has been associated to a wide range of cognitive control functions and is also vulnerable to degeneration in old age. A recent study by Thomsen and colleagues showed a difference between a young and old sample in grey matter density and activation in the left middle frontal cortex (MFC and performance on a dichotic listening task. The present study investigated this brain behaviour association within a sample of healthy older individuals, and predicted a positive correlation between performance in a condition requiring executive attention and measures of grey matter structure of the posterior left MFC. Methods A dichotic listening forced attention paradigm was used to measure attention control functions. Subjects were instructed to report only the left or the right ear syllable of a dichotically presented consonant-vowel syllable pair. A conflict situation appears when subjects are instructed to report the left ear stimulus, caused by the conflict with the bottom-up, stimulus-driven right ear advantage. Overcoming this processing conflict was used as a measure of executive attention. Thickness and volumes of frontal lobe regions were derived from automated segmentation of 3D magnetic resonance image acquisitions. Results The results revealed a statistically significant positive correlation between the thickness measure of the left posterior MFC and performance on the dichotic listening measures of executive attention. Follow-up analyses showed that this correlation was only statistically significant in the subgroup that showed the typical bottom-up, stimulus-driven right ear advantage. Conclusion The results suggest that the left MFC is a part of an executive attention network, and that the dichotic listening forced attention paradigm may be a feasible tool for assessing subtle attentional dysfunctions in older adults.

  7. A Persian version of the sustained auditory attention capacity test and its results in normal children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanaz Soltanparast

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Sustained attention refers to the ability to maintain attention in target stimuli over a sustained period of time. This study was conducted to develop a Persian version of the sustained auditory attention capacity test and to study its results in normal children.Methods: To develop the Persian version of the sustained auditory attention capacity test, like the original version, speech stimuli were used. The speech stimuli consisted of one hundred monosyllabic words consisting of a 20 times random of and repetition of the words of a 21-word list of monosyllabic words, which were randomly grouped together. The test was carried out at comfortable hearing level using binaural, and diotic presentation modes on 46 normal children of 7 to 11 years of age of both gender.Results: There was a significant difference between age, and an average of impulsiveness error score (p=0.004 and total score of sustained auditory attention capacity test (p=0.005. No significant difference was revealed between age, and an average of inattention error score and attention reduction span index. Gender did not have a significant impact on various indicators of the test.Conclusion: The results of this test on a group of normal hearing children confirmed its ability to measure sustained auditory attention capacity through speech stimuli.

  8. Effects of preventive surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysms on attention, executive function, learning and memory: a prospective cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Joonho; Seok, Jeong-Ho; Kwon, Min A; Kim, Yong Bae; Joo, Jin-Yang; Hong, Chang-Ki

    2016-01-01

    We prospectively evaluated the effects of preventive surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysms on attention, executive function, learning and memory. Between March 2012 and June 2013, 56 patients were recruited for this study. Fifty-one patients met the inclusion criteria and were enrolled. Inclusion criteria were as follows: (1) age ≤65 years and (2) planned microsurgery or endovascular surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysm. Exclusion criteria were as follows: (1) preoperative intelligence quotient attention), WCT (executive function) and VLT (learning and memory) scores did not change significantly between the pre- and postoperative evaluations. The ACCPT, WCT, total VLT scores (verbal learning) and delayed VLT scores (memory) did not differ significantly between patients undergoing microsurgery and those undergoing endovascular surgery. However, ACCPT, WCT and delayed VLT scores decreased postoperatively in patients with leukoaraiosis on preoperative FLAIR images (OR 9.899, p = 0.041; OR 11.421, p = 0.006; OR 2.952, p = 0.024, respectively). Preventive surgery for unruptured intracranial aneurysms did not affect attention, executive function, learning or memory. However, patients with leukoaraiosis on FLAIR images might be prone to deficits in attention, executive function and memory postoperatively, whereas learning might not be affected.

  9. Executive Functioning Differences between Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Initiation, Planning and Strategy Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bramham, Jessica; Ambery, Fiona; Young, Susan; Morris, Robin; Russell, Ailsa; Xenitidis, Kiriakos; Asherson, Philip; Murphy, Declan

    2009-01-01

    Executive functioning deficits characterize the neuropsychological profiles of the childhood neurodevelopmental disorders of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). This study sought to determine whether similar impairments exist in adults with ADHD (N = 53) and ASD (N = 45) in comparison with a…

  10. Impact of Executive Function Deficits and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on Academic Outcomes in Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, Joseph; Monuteaux, Michael C.; Doyle, Alysa E.; Seidman, Larry J.; Wilens, Timothy E.; Ferrero, Frances; Morgan, Christie L.; Faraone, Stephen V.

    2004-01-01

    The association between executive function deficits (EFDs) and functional outcomes were examined among children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants were children and adolescents with (n = 259) and without (n = 222) ADHD, as ascertained from pediatric and psychiatric clinics. The authors defined EFD as…

  11. Sustained attention failures are primarily due to sustained cognitive load not task monotony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Head, James; Helton, William S

    2014-11-01

    We conducted two studies using a modified sustained attention to response task (SART) to investigate the developmental process of SART performance and the role of cognitive load on performance when the speed-accuracy trade-off is controlled experimentally. In study 1, 23 participants completed the modified SART (target stimuli location was not predictable) and a subjective thought content questionnaire 4 times over the span of 4 weeks. As predicted, the influence of speed-accuracy trade-off was significantly mitigated on the modified SART by having target stimuli occur in unpredictable locations. In study 2, 21 of the 23 participants completed an abridged version of the modified SART with a verbal free-recall memory task. Participants performed significantly worse when completing the verbal memory task and SART concurrently. Overall, the results support a resource theory perspective with concern to errors being a result of limited mental resources and not simply mindlessness per se. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Correlation between sleep disorder screening and executive dysfunction in children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Zambrano-Sanchez

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Objective To compare frequency of sleep disorders (SD and executive dysfunction (ED in children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD and a control group. Method We studied 156 children with ADHD with a mean age of 8.5 years, and a control group with 111 children with a mean age of 8.3 years. We utilized the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ to screen SD and the working memory measurement from the Wechsler intelligence scale for children (WISC-IV to screen ED. Results We did not observe an increased frequency of SD in children with ADHD compared with the controls. However, we did identify ED in children with ADHD; additionally a significant correlation was observed between the type of ADHD and SD and among ED, WISC-IV measurements, and type of SD in children with ADHD. Conclusion An increase of SD frequency in children with ADHD was not observed, but we did identify ED in children with ADHD. Additionally, a correlation among ADHD types, SD, ED, and WISC-IV measurements was observed in children with ADHD.

  13. Stroop performance in multiple sclerosis: information processing, selective attention, or executive functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macniven, J A B; Davis, C; Ho, M-Y; Bradshaw, C M; Szabadi, E; Constantinescu, C S

    2008-09-01

    Cognitive impairments in information processing speed, attention and executive functioning are widely reported in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Several studies have identified impaired performance on the Stroop test in people with MS, yet uncertainty remains over the cause of this phenomenon. In this study, 25 patients with MS were assessed with a neuropsychological test battery including a computerized Stroop test and a computerized test of information processing speed, the Graded Conditional Discrimination Tasks (GCDT). The patient group was compared with an individually age, sex and estimated premorbid IQ-matched healthy control group. The patients' reaction times (RTs) were significantly longer than those of the controls on all Stroop test trials and there was a significantly enhanced absolute (RT(incongruent)-RT(neutral)) and relative (100 x [RT(incongruent)-RT(neutral)]/RT(neutral)) Stroop interference effect for the MS group. The linear function relating RT to stimulus complexity in the GCDT was significantly steeper in the patient group, indicating slowed information processing. The results are discussed with reference to the difference engine model, a theory of diversity in speeded cognition. It is concluded that, in the assessment of people with MS, great caution must be used in the interpretation of performance on neuropsychological tests which rely on RT as the primary measure.

  14. Child Sustained Attention in Preschool-Age Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiCarlo, Cynthia F.; Baumgartner, Jennifer J.; Ota, Carrie; Geary, Kelly

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the mean duration of child attention across three teaching conditions (child choice, adult choice, or adult presentation) of 63 preschool-age children. A repeated-measures ANOVA was used to compare the means across the three teaching conditions, indicating a statistically significant difference between the teaching conditions.…

  15. Sustained attention across the lifespan in a sample of 10,000: Dissociating ability and strategy

    OpenAIRE

    Fortenbaugh, Francesca C.; DeGutis, Joseph; Germine, Laura; Wilmer, Jeremy; Grosso, Mallory; Russo, Kathryn; Esterman, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Normal and abnormal differences in sustained visual attention have long been of interest to scientists, educators, and clinicians. Still lacking, however, is a clear understanding of how sustained visual attention varies across the broad sweep of the human lifespan. Here, we fill this gap in two ways. First, powered by an unprecedentedly large, 10,430-person sample, we model age-related differences with substantially greater precision than prior efforts. Second, using the recently developed g...

  16. Bioenergy. A sustainable and reliable energy source. A review of status and prospects. Executive Summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bauen, A.; Vuille, F.; Berndes, G.; Junginger, M.; Londo, M.

    2009-08-01

    This publication is the Executive Summary of a report prepared for IEA Bioenergy. The full report 'Bioenergy - a Sustainable and Reliable Energy Source' will be available on the website of IEA Bioenergy in digital form and in hard copy in a few months time. The purpose of the project was to produce an authoritative review of the entire bioenergy sector aimed at policy and investment decision makers. The brief to the contractors was to provide a global perspective of the potential for bioenergy, the main opportunities for deployment in the short and medium term and the principal issues and challenges facing the development of the sector.

  17. Effect of yogic education system and modern education system on sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangan, R; Nagendra, H R; Bhatt, Ramachandra

    2009-01-01

    Sustained attention is a vital function mediated by the right frontoparietal cortex. The Six Letter Cancellation Task (SLCT) measures sustained attention. Development of sustained attention in a yoga-based education system compared to a modern one is the theme of the present study. To compare the effectiveness of the Modern Education System (MES) and the Gurukula Education System (GES) in developing sustained attention. Forty nine boys (11-13 years) were selected from two residential schools, one MES and the other GES, providing similar ambiance and daily routines. The boys were matched for age and socioeconomic status. The GES educational program is based around integrated yoga modules while the MES provides a conventional modern education program. Sustained attention was assessed using the SLCT at the start and end of an academic year. Within groups, the pre-post test differences were significant for both groups. However, the between groups result showed improvement in the GES group compared to the MES group at a P < 0.001 significance level. The study suggests that both MES and GES improve sustained attention in school boys, but GES is more effective.

  18. Sustaining attention to simple visual tasks: a central deficit in schizophrenia? A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoonakker, Marc; Doignon-Camus, Nadège; Bonnefond, Anne

    2017-11-01

    Impairments in sustained attention, that is, the ability to achieve and maintain the focus of cognitive activity on a given stimulation source or task, have been described as central to schizophrenia. Today, sustained attention deficit is still considered as a hallmark of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, current findings on this topic are not consistent. To clarify these findings, we attempt to put these results into perspective according to the type of assessment (i.e., overall and over time assessment), the participants' characteristics (i.e., clinical and demographic characteristics), and the paradigms (i.e., traditionally formatted tasks, go/no-go tasks, and the sustained attention task) and measures used. Two types of assessment lead to opposite findings; they do not evaluate sustained attention the same way. Studies using overall assessments of sustained attention ability tend to reveal a deficit, whereas studies using over time assessments do not. Therefore, further research is needed to investigate the underlying cognitive control mechanisms of changes in sustained attention in schizophrenia. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  19. The effect of different alcohol drinking patterns in early to mid pregnancy on the child's intelligence, attention, and executive function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kesmodel, Ulrik Schiøler; Bertrand, J.; Denny, Ch.

    2012-01-01

    Please cite this paper as: Kesmodel U, Bertrand J, Støvring H, Skarpness B, Denny C, Mortensen E, the Lifestyle During Pregnancy Study Group. The effect of different alcohol drinking patterns in early to mid pregnancy on the child's intelligence, attention, and executive function. BJOG 2012......;119:1180-1190. Objective To conduct a combined analysis of the estimated effects of maternal average weekly alcohol consumption, and any binge drinking, in early to mid pregnancy on general intelligence, attention, and executive function in 5-year-old children. Design Follow-up study. Setting Neuropsychological testing...... in four Danish cities 2003-2008. Population A cohort of 1628 women and their children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort. Methods Participants were sampled based on maternal alcohol consumption during early pregnancy. At age 5 years, the children were tested for general intelligence, attention...

  20. Visual working memory capacity increases between ages 3 and 8 years, controlling for gains in attention, perception, and executive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pailian, Hrag; Libertus, Melissa E; Feigenson, Lisa; Halberda, Justin

    2016-08-01

    Research in adults has aimed to characterize constraints on the capacity of Visual Working Memory (VWM), in part because of the system's broader impacts throughout cognition. However, less is known about how VWM develops in childhood. Existing work has reached conflicting conclusions as to whether VWM storage capacity increases after infancy, and if so, when and by how much. One challenge is that previous studies did not control for developmental changes in attention and executive processing, which also may undergo improvement. We investigated the development of VWM storage capacity in children from 3 to 8 years of age, and in adults, while controlling for developmental change in exogenous and endogenous attention and executive control. Our results reveal that, when controlling for improvements in these abilities, VWM storage capacity increases across development and approaches adult-like levels between ages 6 and 8 years. More generally, this work highlights the value of estimating working memory, attention, perception, and decision-making components together.

  1. Executive attention control and emotional responding in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — A functional MRI study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soonjo Hwang

    2015-01-01

    Conclusion: The current study demonstrated disrupted recruitment of regions implicated in executive function and impaired connectivity within those regions in children/adolescents with ADHD. There were also indications of heightened representation of emotional stimuli in patients with ADHD. However, as the findings were specific for positive stimuli, the suggestion of a general failure in emotion regulation in ADHD was not supported.

  2. Fertility treatment and child intelligence, attention, and executive functions in 5-year-old singletons: a cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bay, B; Mortensen, E L; Kesmodel, U S

    2014-12-01

    To assess the association of fertility treatment and subfertility with offspring intelligence, attention, and executive functions in 5-year-old singletons. Follow-up study. Denmark 2003-2008. A cohort of 1782 children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort. The children were tested with a neuropsychological battery at age five. In addition to tests of intelligence, attention and executive functions, the follow up included extensive information on important covariates. The analyses were conducted using multiple linear regression and adjusted for parental educational level, maternal intelligence, age, parity, body mass index, smoking in pregnancy, alcohol consumption in pregnancy and child gender, child age, and examiner. Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised, the Test of Everyday Attention for Children at Five, and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functions scores. A consistent pattern of nonsignificantly lower scores were only observed for intelligence and executive functions in children born after fertility treatment or by subfertile parents when the results were unadjusted for maternal intelligence and parental educational level. When adjusted for these and other covariates, there were no significant mean differences in intelligence (mean difference -2.8, 95% CI -7.8, 2.2), overall attention (-0.1, 95% CI -0.6, 0.3), or parent-rated executive functions (-0.1, 95% CI -3.0, 2.9) between children born after spontaneous conception and children born to parents conceiving after fertility treatment. Similarly, there were no significant mean differences in intelligence (mean difference 0.6, 95% CI -2.2, 3.4), overall attention (0.1, 95% CI -0.2, 0.4), or parent-rated executive functions (1.0, 95% CI -1.8, 3.7) between children born after spontaneous conception and children born to subfertile parents waiting more than 12 months before conceiving naturally. This study suggests that parental subfertility and fertility treatment are

  3. Global Outlook on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Policies: Taking Action Together. Executive Summary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beaton, Chris; Perera, Oshani [International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Winnepeg, Ontario (Canada); Arden-Clarke, Charles; Farah, Adriana Zacarias; Polsterer, Nicole [UNEP, Paris (France)

    2012-03-21

    This executive summary, which will be complemented by the full report, was developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with the financial support of the European Commission, The study provides a non-exhaustive review of policies and initiatives that are promoting the shift towards Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) patterns. It is illustrated by 56 case studies ranging from global multilateral agreements and regional strategies to specific policies and initiatives being implemented by governments, businesses and civil society organizations. The main objectives are to provide information about existing activities promoting SCP, to identify best practices, and to provide recommendations to adapt, replicate and scale up SCP policies and initiatives contributing to the overarching goal of achieving sustainable development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bul, Kim C M; van Baar, Anneloes L

    2012-04-01

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

  5. Genetic variant for behavioral regulation factor of executive function and its possible brain mechanism in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiao; Wu, Zhaomin; Cao, Qingjiu; Qian, Ying; Liu, Yong; Yang, Binrang; Chang, Suhua; Yang, Li; Wang, Yufeng

    2018-05-16

    As a childhood-onset psychiatric disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is complicated by phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity. Lifelong executive function deficits in ADHD are described in many literatures and have been proposed as endophenotypes of ADHD. However, its genetic basis is still elusive. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study of executive function, rated with Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), in ADHD children. We identified one significant variant (rs852004, P = 2.51e-08) for the overall score of BRIEF. The association analyses for each component of executive function found this locus was more associated with inhibit and monitor components. Further principle component analysis and confirmatory factor analysis provided an ADHD-specific executive function pattern including inhibit and monitor factors. SNP rs852004 was mainly associated with the Behavioral Regulation factor. Meanwhile, we found the significant locus was associated with ADHD symptom. The Behavioral Regulation factor mediated its effect on ADHD symptom. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analyses further showed evidence that this variant affected the activity of inhibition control related brain regions. It provided new insights for the genetic basis of executive function in ADHD.

  6. 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...

  7. The effects of acute exercise on executive functioning, mood and attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Aims: It is internationally recognised that exercise is beneficial—both physically and mentally. However, only a minority of published research has explored the unique contribution of the exercise task itself. We tested the effect an ‘acute bout of moderate exercise’ had on selective attention, executive function and mood. We hypothesised that acute exercise would improve mood and cognitive performance compared to the controls. Method: 29 females and 11 males aged between 18-50 (M=26.5, SD=8.8 were administered the Stroop Colour-Interference Test, Erikson Flanker Task and Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS.  Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (exercise or relaxation. The experimental group (N=20 performed 20 minutes of exercise on a treadmill. The control group (N=20 relaxed for 20 minutes. Measures were taken before and after the intervention. Results: An independent samples t-test compared the differences between post-test and pre-test for the two groups. Results revealed a significant difference between the exercise group and control group on the measures of mood. The exercise group reported increased positive affect (t(38 = 3.10, p = .004, d = .99 and decreased negative affect (t(38 = -3.24, p = .003, d = 1.0 on the post-test. No significant differences between the exercise and control groups were obtained for the two tasks of cognitive performance. Conclusions: A significant difference in the PANAS ratings following exercise offers strong support to earlier research demonstrating that acute exercise improves mood. Although no significant improvement in performance was observed in the two cognitive tasks following acute exercise, it is possible that fitness levels could be the relevant factor, rather than acute exercise as a task. Our findings did not support the hypothesis that acute exercise improves cognitive performance.

  8. 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

  9. Chewing gum benefits sustained attention in the absence of task degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Andrew J; Muneem, Mohammed; Miles, Christopher

    2013-07-01

    The present study examined the effect of chewing gum on sustained attention and associated changes in subjective alertness. In a within-participants design, 20 participants completed an extended version of the sustained attention response task (SART: Robertson et al., 1997), both with and without chewing gum. Self-rated measures of alertness, contentedness, and calmness were taken before and after the SART. Chewing gum was associated with improved attentional task performance. This finding was not contingent upon a general decrease in attentional performance and was apparent at all stages of the task. Subjective measures of alertness, contentedness, and calmness were higher following the chewing of gum. Changes in sustained attention co-varied with subjective alertness. The effects of chewing gum on attention and alertness are consistent with past literature and were not contingent on declines in attention. Additionally, we found evidence that gum-induced changes in self-rated alertness and attention are related. We found no support for the proposition that chewing gum can impair attention due to the division of resources.

  10. Why Does Working Memory Capacity Predict Variation in Reading Comprehension? On the Influence of Mind Wandering and Executive Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVay, Jennifer C.; Kane, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted by the executive-attention theory of WMC (e.g., Engle & Kane, 2004). We used a latent-variable, structural-equation-model approach, testing skilled adult readers on three WMC span tasks, seven varied reading comprehension tasks, and three attention-control tasks. Mind wandering was assessed using experimenter-scheduled thought probes during four different tasks (two reading, two attention-control tasks). The results support the executive-attention theory of WMC. Mind wandering across the four tasks loaded onto a single latent factor, reflecting a stable individual difference. Most importantly, mind wandering was a significant mediator in the relationship between WMC and reading comprehension, suggesting that the WMC-comprehension correlation is driven, in part, by attention control over intruding thoughts. We discuss implications for theories of WMC, attention control, and reading comprehension. PMID:21875246

  11. Why does working memory capacity predict variation in reading comprehension? On the influence of mind wandering and executive attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVay, Jennifer C; Kane, Michael J

    2012-05-01

    Some people are better readers than others, and this variation in comprehension ability is predicted by measures of working memory capacity (WMC). The primary goal of this study was to investigate the mediating role of mind-wandering experiences in the association between WMC and normal individual differences in reading comprehension, as predicted by the executive-attention theory of WMC (e.g., Engle & Kane, 2004). We used a latent-variable, structural-equation-model approach, testing skilled adult readers on 3 WMC span tasks, 7 varied reading-comprehension tasks, and 3 attention-control tasks. Mind wandering was assessed using experimenter-scheduled thought probes during 4 different tasks (2 reading, 2 attention-control). The results support the executive-attention theory of WMC. Mind wandering across the 4 tasks loaded onto a single latent factor, reflecting a stable individual difference. Most important, mind wandering was a significant mediator in the relationship between WMC and reading comprehension, suggesting that the WMC-comprehension correlation is driven, in part, by attention control over intruding thoughts. We discuss implications for theories of WMC, attention control, and reading comprehension.

  12. Anatomical substrates of the alerting, orienting and executive control components of attention: focus on the posterior parietal lobe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuntao Yin

    Full Text Available Both neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging studies have identified that the posterior parietal lobe (PPL is critical for the attention function. However, the unique role of distinct parietal cortical subregions and their underlying white matter (WM remains in question. In this study, we collected both magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI data in normal participants, and evaluated their attention performance using attention network test (ANT, which could isolate three different attention components: alerting, orienting and executive control. Cortical thickness, surface area and DTI parameters were extracted from predefined PPL subregions and correlated with behavioural performance. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS was used for the voxel-wise statistical analysis. Results indicated structure-behaviour relationships on multiple levels. First, a link between the cortical thickness and WM integrity of the right inferior parietal regions and orienting performance was observed. Specifically, probabilistic tractography demonstrated that the integrity of WM connectivity between the bilateral inferior parietal lobules mediated the orienting performance. Second, the scores of executive control were significantly associated with the WM diffusion metrics of the right supramarginal gyrus. Finally, TBSS analysis revealed that alerting performance was significant correlated with the fractional anisotropy of local WM connecting the right thalamus and supplementary motor area. We conclude that distinct areas and features within PPL are associated with different components of attention. These findings could yield a more complete understanding of the nature of the PPL contribution to visuospatial attention.

  13. A resource-control account of sustained attention: evidence from mind-wandering and vigilance paradigms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomson, David R; Besner, Derek; Smilek, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Staying attentive is challenging enough when carrying out everyday tasks, such as reading or sitting through a lecture, and failures to do so can be frustrating and inconvenient. However, such lapses may even be life threatening, for example, if a pilot fails to monitor an oil-pressure gauge or if a long-haul truck driver fails to notice a car in his or her blind spot. Here, we explore two explanations of sustained-attention lapses. By one account, task monotony leads to an increasing preoccupation with internal thought (i.e., mind wandering). By another, task demands result in the depletion of information-processing resources that are needed to perform the task. A review of the sustained-attention literature suggests that neither theory, on its own, adequately explains the full range of findings. We propose a novel framework to explain why attention lapses as a function of time-on-task by combining aspects of two different theories of mind wandering: attentional resource (Smallwood & Schooler, 2006) and control failure (McVay & Kane, 2010). We then use our "resource-control" theory to explain performance decrements in sustained-attention tasks. We end by making some explicit predictions regarding mind wandering in general and sustained-attention performance in particular. © The Author(s) 2014.

  14. Sigh rate and respiratory variability during mental load and sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlemincx, Elke; Taelman, Joachim; De Peuter, Steven; Van Diest, Ilse; Van den Bergh, Omer

    2011-01-01

    Spontaneous breathing consists of substantial correlated variability: Parameters characterizing a breath are correlated with parameters characterizing previous and future breaths. On the basis of dynamic system theory, negative emotion states are predicted to reduce correlated variability whereas sustained attention is expected to reduce total respiratory variability. Both are predicted to evoke sighing. To test this, respiratory variability and sighing were assessed during a baseline, stressful mental arithmetic task, nonstressful sustained attention task, and recovery in between tasks. For respiration rate (excluding sighs), reduced total variability was found during the attention task, whereas correlated variation was reduced during mental load. Sigh rate increased during mental load and during recovery from the attention task. It is concluded that mental load and task-related attention show specific patterns in respiratory variability and sigh rate. Copyright © 2010 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Training for vigilance on the move: a video game-based paradigm for sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szalma, J L; Daly, T N; Teo, G W L; Hancock, G M; Hancock, P A

    2018-04-01

    The capacity for superior vigilance can be trained by using knowledge of results (KR). Our present experiments demonstrate the efficacy of such training using a first-person perspective movement videogame-based platform in samples of students and Soldiers. Effectiveness was assessed by manipulating KR during a training phase and withdrawing it in a subsequent transfer phase. Relative to a no KR control condition, KR systematically improved performance for both Soldiers and students. These results build upon our previous findings that demonstrated that a video game-based platform can be used to create a movement-centred sustained attention task with important elements of traditional vigilance. The results indicate that KR effects in sustained attention extend to a first person perspective movement based paradigm, and that these effects occur in professional military as well as a more general population. Such sustained attention training can save lives and the present findings demonstrate one particular avenue to achieve this goal. Practitioner Summary: Sustained attention can be trained by means of knowledge of results using a videogame-based platform with samples of students and Soldiers. Four experiments demonstrate that a dynamic, first-person perspective video game environment can serve to support effective sustained attention training in professional military as well as a more general population.

  17. The relationship between sustained attention and aerobic fitness in a group of young adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis F. Ciria

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background A growing set of studies has shown a positive relationship between aerobic fitness and a broad array of cognitive functions. However, few studies have focused on sustained attention, which has been considered a fundamental cognitive process that underlies most everyday activities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of aerobic fitness as a key factor in sustained attention capacities in young adults. Methods Forty-four young adults (18–23 years were divided into two groups as a function of the level of aerobic fitness (high-fit and low-fit. Participants completed the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT and an oddball task where they had to detect infrequent targets presented among frequent non-targets. Results The analysis of variance (ANOVA showed faster responses for the high-fit group than for the low-fit group in the PVT, replicating previous accounts. In the oddball task, the high-fit group maintained their accuracy (ACC rate of target detection over time, while the low-fit group suffered a significant decline of response ACC throughout the task. Discussion Importantly, the results show that the greater sustained attention capacity of high-fit young adults is not specific to a reaction time (RT sustained attention task like the PVT, but it is also evident in an ACC oddball task. In sum, the present findings point to the important role of aerobic fitness on sustained attention capacities in young adults.

  18. The relationship between sustained attention and aerobic fitness in a group of young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciria, Luis F; Perakakis, Pandelis; Luque-Casado, Antonio; Morato, Cristina; Sanabria, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    A growing set of studies has shown a positive relationship between aerobic fitness and a broad array of cognitive functions. However, few studies have focused on sustained attention, which has been considered a fundamental cognitive process that underlies most everyday activities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of aerobic fitness as a key factor in sustained attention capacities in young adults. Forty-four young adults (18-23 years) were divided into two groups as a function of the level of aerobic fitness (high-fit and low-fit). Participants completed the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) and an oddball task where they had to detect infrequent targets presented among frequent non-targets. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed faster responses for the high-fit group than for the low-fit group in the PVT, replicating previous accounts. In the oddball task, the high-fit group maintained their accuracy (ACC) rate of target detection over time, while the low-fit group suffered a significant decline of response ACC throughout the task. Importantly, the results show that the greater sustained attention capacity of high-fit young adults is not specific to a reaction time (RT) sustained attention task like the PVT, but it is also evident in an ACC oddball task. In sum, the present findings point to the important role of aerobic fitness on sustained attention capacities in young adults.

  19. Sustained attention performance during sleep deprivation associates with instability in behavior and physiologic measures at baseline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Eric Chern-Pin; Yeo, Sing-Chen; Lee, Ivan Tian-Guang; Tan, Luuan-Chin; Lau, Pauline; Cai, Shiwei; Zhang, Xiaodong; Puvanendran, Kathiravelu; Gooley, Joshua J

    2014-01-01

    To identify baseline behavioral and physiologic markers that associate with individual differences in sustained attention during sleep deprivation. In a retrospective study, ocular, electrocardiogram, and electroencephalogram (EEG) measures were compared in subjects who were characterized as resilient (n = 15) or vulnerable (n = 15) to the effects of total sleep deprivation on sustained attention. Chronobiology and Sleep Laboratory, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore. Healthy volunteers aged 22-32 years from the general population. Subjects were kept awake for at least 26 hours under constant environmental conditions. Every 2 hours, sustained attention was assessed using a 10-minute psychomotor vigilance task (PVT). During baseline sleep and recovery sleep, EEG slow wave activity was similar in resilient versus vulnerable subjects, suggesting that individual differences in vulnerability to sleep loss were not related to differences in homeostatic sleep regulation. Rather, irrespective of time elapsed since wake, subjects who were vulnerable to sleep deprivation exhibited slower and more variable PVT response times, lower and more variable heart rate, and higher and more variable EEG spectral power in the theta frequency band (6.0-7.5 Hz). Performance decrements in sustained attention during sleep deprivation associate with instability in behavioral and physiologic measures at baseline. Small individual differences in sustained attention that are present at baseline are amplified during prolonged wakefulness, thus contributing to large between-subjects differences in performance and sleepiness.

  20. Language Proficiency and Sustained Attention in Monolingual and Bilingual Children with and without Language Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tessel Boerma

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The language profiles of children with language impairment (LI and bilingual children can show partial, and possibly temporary, overlap. The current study examined the persistence of this overlap over time. Furthermore, we aimed to better understand why the language profiles of these two groups show resemblance, testing the hypothesis that the language difficulties of children with LI reflect a weakened ability to maintain attention to the stream of linguistic information. Consequent incomplete processing of language input may lead to delays that are similar to those originating from reductions in input frequency.Methods: Monolingual and bilingual children with and without LI (N = 128, aged 5–8 years old, participated in this study. Dutch receptive vocabulary and grammatical morphology were assessed at three waves. In addition, auditory and visual sustained attention were tested at wave 1. Mediation analyses were performed to examine relationships between LI, sustained attention, and language skills.Results: Children with LI and bilingual children were outperformed by their typically developing (TD and monolingual peers, respectively, on vocabulary and morphology at all three waves. The vocabulary difference between monolinguals and bilinguals decreased over time. In addition, children with LI had weaker auditory and visual sustained attention skills relative to TD children, while no differences between monolinguals and bilinguals emerged. Auditory sustained attention mediated the effect of LI on vocabulary and morphology in both the monolingual and bilingual groups of children. Visual sustained attention only acted as a mediator in the bilingual group.Conclusion: The findings from the present study indicate that the overlap between the language profiles of children with LI and bilingual children is particularly large for vocabulary in early (preschool years and reduces over time. Results furthermore suggest that the overlap may be

  1. Neurological soft signs in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Their relationship to executive function and parental neurological soft signs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Jingbo; Xie, Jingtao; Chen, Gui; Zhang, Yajie; Wang, Suhong

    2015-07-30

    The correlations between neurological soft signs (NSS) in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their executive function, symptoms of inattention, and hyperactivity-impulsivity and the NSS of their parents remain unclear. This study aimed to examine: (1) the prevalence of NSS in children with ADHD and their parents; (2) the correlation between the NSS of children with ADHD and the NSS of their parents; and (3) the correlation between the NSS of children with ADHD and their executive function and symptoms. NSS were assessed with the Cambridge Neurological Inventory (CNI) in 57 children with ADHD (and 80 parents) and 60 healthy children (and 75 parents). Executive function was measured with the Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). Children with ADHD and their parents had significantly higher NSS than normal children and their parents, respectively, and the NSS of children with ADHD were correlated more strongly with the NSS of their fathers than their mothers. No correlation was found between NSS and BRIEF executive function, but Disinhibition in children with ADHD was significantly correlated with hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms. Paternal and maternal NSS provided different predictions for child NSS. It may be that NSS are more likely to be genetically transmitted by fathers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Towards an Improved Integration of Sustainability in Finance - The French (eco)system. Executive summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morel, Romain; Cochran, Ian; Robins, Nick

    2015-11-01

    In the run-up of the COP21, much international attention is focused on France. While mainly related to climate change negotiations, this creates an opportunity to take a broader look at French domestic policies and practices on sustainability. This report presents the French financial system and draws lessons from the French ongoing experience in improving the integration of sustainability issues that could be shared with other countries. The present report summarizes and analyses the key initiatives and dynamics at stake in France. It focuses on both the climate-related issues that have recently received significant attention and the development of broader Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues over the past twenty years. The dynamics that have shaped the last two decades have both led to and been influenced by the emergence of an 'ecosystem' of commercial, public and non-profit actors and experts involved in the appropriation and integration of sustainability issues across the sector. Using the framework of analysis presented in the UNEP Inquiry global report, this case study examines the landscape of actors, private initiatives and public policy that has driven the emergence of this ecosystem and helped foster capacity building and the acquisition of expertise among sectoral actors. (authors)

  3. Attentional and non-attentional systems in the maintenance of verbal information in working memory: the executive and phonological loops

    OpenAIRE

    Camos Valerie; Barrouillet Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Working memory is the structure devoted to the maintenance of information at short term during concurrent processing activities. In this respect, the question regarding the nature of the mechanisms and systems fulfilling this maintenance function is of particular importance and has received various responses in the recent past. In the time-based resource-sharing (TBRS) model, we suggest that only two systems sustain the maintenance of information at the short term, counteracting the deleterio...

  4. Retro-cue benefits in working memory without sustained focal attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rerko, Laura; Souza, Alessandra S; Oberauer, Klaus

    2014-07-01

    In working memory (WM) tasks, performance can be boosted by directing attention to one memory object: When a retro-cue in the retention interval indicates which object will be tested, responding is faster and more accurate (the retro-cue benefit). We tested whether the retro-cue benefit in WM depends on sustained attention to the cued object by inserting an attention-demanding interruption task between the retro-cue and the memory test. In the first experiment, the interruption task required participants to shift their visual attention away from the cued representation and to a visual classification task on colors. In the second and third experiments, the interruption task required participants to shift their focal attention within WM: Attention was directed away from the cued representation by probing another representation from the memory array prior to probing the cued object. The retro-cue benefit was not attenuated by shifts of perceptual attention or by shifts of attention within WM. We concluded that sustained attention is not needed to maintain the cued representation in a state of heightened accessibility.

  5. Examining the Relative Contribution of Memory Updating, Attention Focus Switching, and Sustained Attention to Children’s Verbal Working Memory Span

    OpenAIRE

    Beula M. Magimairaj; James W. Montgomery

    2013-01-01

    Whereas considerable developmental memory research has examined the contributions of short-term memory, processing efficiency, retention duration, and scope of attention to complex memory span, little is known about the influence of controlled attention. The present study investigated the relative influence of three understudied attention mechanisms on the verbal working memory span of school-age children: memory updating; attention focus switching; and sustained attention. Results of general...

  6. Falls and falls efficacy: the role of sustained attention in older adults

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    O'Halloran, Aisling M

    2011-12-19

    Abstract Background Previous evidence indicates that older people allocate more of their attentional resources toward their gait and that the attention-related changes that occur during aging increase the risk of falls. The aim of this study was to investigate whether performance and variability in sustained attention is associated with falls and falls efficacy in older adults. Methods 458 community-dwelling adults aged ≥ 60 years underwent a comprehensive geriatric assessment. Mean and variability of reaction time (RT), commission errors and omission errors were recorded during a fixed version of the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). RT variability was decomposed using the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) procedure, to help characterise variability associated with the arousal and vigilance aspects of sustained attention. The number of self-reported falls in the previous twelve months, and falls efficacy (Modified Falls Efficacy Scale) were also recorded. Results Significant increases in the mean and variability of reaction time on the SART were significantly associated with both falls (p < 0.01) and reduced falls efficacy (p < 0.05) in older adults. An increase in omission errors was also associated with falls (p < 0.01) and reduced falls efficacy (p < 0.05). Upon controlling for age and gender affects, logistic regression modelling revealed that increasing variability associated with the vigilance (top-down) aspect of sustained attention was a retrospective predictor of falling (p < 0.01, OR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.03 - 1.26) in the previous year and was weakly correlated with reduced falls efficacy in non-fallers (p = 0.07). Conclusions Greater variability in sustained attention is strongly correlated with retrospective falls and to a lesser degree with reduced falls efficacy. This cognitive measure may provide a novel and valuable biomarker for falls in older adults, potentially allowing for early detection and the implementation of preventative intervention

  7. Auditory and visual sustained attention in children with speech sound disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina F B Murphy

    Full Text Available Although research has demonstrated that children with specific language impairment (SLI and reading disorder (RD exhibit sustained attention deficits, no study has investigated sustained attention in children with speech sound disorder (SSD. Given the overlap of symptoms, such as phonological memory deficits, between these different language disorders (i.e., SLI, SSD and RD and the relationships between working memory, attention and language processing, it is worthwhile to investigate whether deficits in sustained attention also occur in children with SSD. A total of 55 children (18 diagnosed with SSD (8.11 ± 1.231 and 37 typically developing children (8.76 ± 1.461 were invited to participate in this study. Auditory and visual sustained-attention tasks were applied. Children with SSD performed worse on these tasks; they committed a greater number of auditory false alarms and exhibited a significant decline in performance over the course of the auditory detection task. The extent to which performance is related to auditory perceptual difficulties and probable working memory deficits is discussed. Further studies are needed to better understand the specific nature of these deficits and their clinical implications.

  8. Rewards boost sustained attention through higher effort: A value-based decision making approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massar, Stijn A A; Lim, Julian; Sasmita, Karen; Chee, Michael W L

    2016-10-01

    Maintaining sustained attention over time is an effortful process limited by finite cognitive resources. Recent theories describe the role of motivation in the allocation of such resources as a decision process: the costs of effortful performance are weighed against its gains. We examined this hypothesis by combining methods from attention research and decision neuroscience. Participants first performed a sustained attention task at different levels of reward. They then performed a reward-discounting task, measuring the subjective costs of performance. Results demonstrated that higher rewards led to improved performance (Exp 1-3), and enhanced attentional effort (i.e. pupil diameter; Exp 2 & 3). Moreover, discounting curves constructed from the choice task indicated that subjects devalued rewards that came at the cost of staying vigilant for a longer duration (Exp 1 & 2). Motivation can thus boost sustained attention through increased effort, while sustained performance is regarded as a cost against which rewards are discounted. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Inhibiting the Physiological Stress Effects of a Sustained Attention Task on Shoulder Muscle Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona Wixted

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate if a breathing technique could counteract the effects of hyperventilation due to a sustained attention task on shoulder muscle activity. Background: The trend towards higher levels of automation in industry is increasing. Consequently, manufacturing operators often monitor automated process for long periods of their work shift. Prolonged monitoring work requires sustained attention, which is a cognitive process that humans are typically poor at and find stressful. As sustained attention becomes an increasing requirement of manufacturing operators’ job content, the resulting stress experienced could contribute to the onset of many health problems, including work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs. Methods: The SART attention test was completed by a group of participants before and after a breathing intervention exercise. The effects of the abdominal breathing intervention on breathing rate, upper trapezius muscle activity and end-tidal CO2 were evaluated. Results: The breathing intervention reduced the moderation effect of end-tidal CO2 on upper trapezius muscle activity. Conclusions: Abdominal breathing could be a useful technique in reducing the effects of sustained attention work on muscular activity. Application: This research can be applied to highly-automated manufacturing industries, where prolonged monitoring of work is widespread and could, in its role as a stressor, be a potential contributor to WRMSDs.

  10. Inhibiting the Physiological Stress Effects of a Sustained Attention Task on Shoulder Muscle Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wixted, Fiona; O'Riordan, Cliona; O'Sullivan, Leonard

    2018-01-11

    The objective of this study was to investigate if a breathing technique could counteract the effects of hyperventilation due to a sustained attention task on shoulder muscle activity. The trend towards higher levels of automation in industry is increasing. Consequently, manufacturing operators often monitor automated process for long periods of their work shift. Prolonged monitoring work requires sustained attention, which is a cognitive process that humans are typically poor at and find stressful. As sustained attention becomes an increasing requirement of manufacturing operators' job content, the resulting stress experienced could contribute to the onset of many health problems, including work related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs). The SART attention test was completed by a group of participants before and after a breathing intervention exercise. The effects of the abdominal breathing intervention on breathing rate, upper trapezius muscle activity and end-tidal CO₂ were evaluated. The breathing intervention reduced the moderation effect of end-tidal CO₂ on upper trapezius muscle activity. Abdominal breathing could be a useful technique in reducing the effects of sustained attention work on muscular activity. This research can be applied to highly-automated manufacturing industries, where prolonged monitoring of work is widespread and could, in its role as a stressor, be a potential contributor to WRMSDs.

  11. Оrganizational attention deficit as sustainability indicator: assessment and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana Markovska-Simoska

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to contribute towards dealing with the attention indicator in a standard Pressure-State-Response (PSR framework of sustainable development. Hence, the daily information overflow is identified as a pressure variable adversely affecting the attention. This is manifested by an increased likelihood of missing key information when making decisions, diminished time for attentive reflection, difficulty in holding others’ attention, as well as by decreased ability to focus when necessary, which are symptoms of the so-called organizational attention deficit disorder - OADD. As to the state variable there were combined techniques from cognitive neuroscience and applied sciences in order to objectively measure the incidence of OADD. In particular, the use of neuropsychological procedures for objective assessment of OADD will be summarized. Namely, few attention diagnostic tests of the Amsterdam Neuropsychological Tasks Program (ANT will be considered for determining the focused, shifted and sustained attention. As intervention measure attention strengthening techniques is applied. In particular, in research were proposed the neurofeedback technique as response variable and have shown its effectiveness in coping with the OADD. This approach represents a new perspective in social psychophysiology and expands the potential applications of ANT and neurofeedback methodology. 

  12. Increased Executive Functioning, Attention, and Cortical Thickness in White-Collar Criminals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, Adrian; Laufer, William S.; Yang, Yaling; Narr, Katherine L.; Thompson, Paul; Toga, Arthur W.

    2011-01-01

    Very little is known on white collar crime and how it differs to other forms of offending. This study tests the hypothesis that white collar criminals have better executive functioning, enhanced information processing, and structural brain superiorities compared to offender controls. Using a case-control design, executive functioning, orienting, and cortical thickness was assessed in 21 white collar criminals matched with 21 controls on age, gender, ethnicity, and general level of criminal offending. White collar criminals had significantly better executive functioning, increased electrodermal orienting, increased arousal, and increased cortical gray matter thickness in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus, somatosensory cortex, and the temporal-parietal junction compared to controls. Results, while initial, constitute the first findings on neurobiological characteristics of white-collar criminals It is hypothesized that white collar criminals have information-processing and brain superiorities that give them an advantage in perpetrating criminal offenses in occupational settings. PMID:22002326

  13. A comparison between effectiveness of three types of music on memory activity and sustained attention in schizophrenic patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narges bahmany

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder in which a lot of cognitive functions including memory, attention, motor skills, executive functions and intelligence are compromised. Numerous empirical studies showed that schizophrenic patients have problem in sustain retention and memory activity. The objective of this study was a comparison between effectiveness of three types of music on memory activity and sustain retention in schizophrenic patients. Material and Methods: A total of 60 schizophrenic patients (30 males , 30 females 18-48 years old were selected from available sampling frame. Participants were otherwise healthy except for schizophrenia. Wechsler Memory Scale and cognitive diagnostic battery Kay test were taken from all subjects. Then patients were randomly divided into three experimental groups (Iranian classic, western classic and pop music and three control groups. There were 10 participants (5 male, 5 female in each group. After taking these tests, music therapy course was performed on experimental groups. After music therapy sessions were completed, tests were taken again from groups. Results: Covariance analysis results indicated that music therapy is overall effective on memory activity. But type of music had no effect in improving memory activity. There wasn’t significant difference between groups considering type of music. Furthermore, covariance analysis showed that music therapy is totally effective on sustain retention and type of music is effective in this intervention. Pop music had the most effectiveness on schizophrenic patients in improving sustain retention. Conclusion: Performing music therapy improves memory and retention. More over, using pop music particularly has the most effect in improving sustain retention in schizophrenic patients.

  14. Effects of an 8-week yoga program on sustained attention and discrimination function in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chien-Chih Chou

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated whether a yoga exercise intervention influenced the sustained attention and discrimination function in children with ADHD. Forty-nine participants (mean age = 10.50 years were assigned to either a yoga exercise or a control group. Participants were given the Visual Pursuit Test and Determination Test prior to and after an eight-week exercise intervention (twice per week, 40 min per session or a control intervention. Significant improvements in accuracy rate and reaction time of the two tests were observed over time in the exercise group compared with the control group. These findings suggest that alternative therapies such as yoga exercises can be complementary to behavioral interventions for children with attention and inhibition problems. Schools and parents of children with ADHD should consider alternatives for maximizing the opportunities that children with ADHD can engage in structured yoga  exercises.

  15. [Language and executive functioning skills of students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and in reading comprehension difficulties (RCD)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda Casas, Ana; Fernández Andrés, María Inmaculada; García Castellar, Rosa; Roselló Miranda, Belén; Colomer Diago, Carla

    2011-11-01

    The aim of this work was to study the specificity of deficits in linguistic and executive functioning of students with ADHD and with RCD and to determine the profile of deficits in the comorbid group (ADHD+RCD). Participants in the study were 84 students, ages 12-16 years divided into four groups with an equal number of subjects (N= 21): ADHD, RCD, ADHD+RCD and comparison group (without ADHD and without RCD). We measured vocabulary, oral comprehension, lexical access, verbal and visual working memory, inhibition and attention. The results show that the ADHD+RCD group presents the most important linguistic deficits, followed by the RCD group. On the other hand, the three clinical groups (ADHD, RCD and ADHD+RCD) display greater performance problems in working memory than the comparison group, whereas the two groups with ADHD had more problems in attention and inhibition. These results suggest the dissociation of linguistic and executive deficits that affect the RCD group and ADHD group to a greater extent, respectively. Lastly, the comorbid group showed deficits both in language and in executive skills. We discuss the implications of these findings for designing interventions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Impact of executive function deficits and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on academic outcomes in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, Joseph; Monuteaux, Michael C; Doyle, Alysa E; Seidman, Larry J; Wilens, Timothy E; Ferrero, Frances; Morgan, Christie L; Faraone, Stephen V

    2004-10-01

    The association between executive function deficits (EFDs) and functional outcomes were examined among children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Participants were children and adolescents with (n = 259) and without (n = 222) ADHD, as ascertained from pediatric and psychiatric clinics. The authors defined EFD as at least 2 executive function measures impaired. Significantly more children and adolescents with ADHD had EFDs than did control participants. ADHD with EFDs was associated with an increased risk for grade retention and a decrease in academic achievement relative to (a) ADHD alone, (b) controlled socioeconomic status, (c) learning disabilities, and (d) IQ. No differences were noted in social functioning or psychiatric comorbidity. Children and adolescents with ADHD and EFDs were found to be at high risk for significant impairments in academic functioning. These results support screening children with ADHD for EFDs to prevent academic failure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Guided versus Independent Play: Which Better Sustains Attention among Infants and Toddlers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner-Neblett, Nicole; Holochwost, Steven J.; Gallagher, Kathleen Cranley; Iruka, Iheoma U.; Odom, Samuel L.; Pungello, Elizabeth P.

    2016-01-01

    Rapid development of sustained attention occurs during infancy and toddlerhood, as neurological maturation allows children to increasingly attend to objects and events in the environment (Ruff & Rothbart, 1996). Play experiences during this period can serve as a context during which children's ability to attend can provide an opportunity for…

  2. Picture Naming in Typically Developing and Language-Impaired Children: The Role of Sustained Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jongman, Suzanne R.; Roelofs, Ardi; Scheper, Annette R.; Meyer, Antje S.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have problems not only with language performance but also with sustained attention, which is the ability to maintain alertness over an extended period of time. Although there is consensus that this ability is impaired with respect to processing stimuli in the auditory perceptual…

  3. Self-Alert Training: Volitional Modulation of Autonomic Arousal Improves Sustained Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Redmond G.; Bellgrove, Mark A.; Dockree, Paul M.; Lau, Adam; Fitzgerald, Michael; Robertson, Ian H.

    2008-01-01

    The present study examines a new alertness training strategy (Self-Alert Training, SAT) designed to explore the relationship between the top-down control processes governing arousal and sustained attention. In order to maximally target frontal control systems SAT combines a previously validated behavioural self-alerting technique [Robertson, I.…

  4. Sensory Modality, Temperament, and the Development of Sustained Attention: A Vigilance Study in Children and Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtindale, Lori; Laurie-Rose, Cynthia; Bennett-Murphy, Laura; Hull, Sarah

    2007-01-01

    Applying optimal stimulation theory, the present study explored the development of sustained attention as a dynamic process. It examined the interaction of modality and temperament over time in children and adults. Second-grade children and college-aged adults performed auditory and visual vigilance tasks. Using the Carey temperament…

  5. Reaction time, processing speed and sustained attention in schizophrenia: impact on social functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahera, Guillermo; Ruiz, Alicia; Brañas, Antía; Vicens, María; Orozco, Arantxa

    Previous studies have linked processing speed with social cognition and functioning of patients with schizophrenia. A discriminant analysis is needed to determine the different components of this neuropsychological construct. This paper analyzes the impact of processing speed, reaction time and sustained attention on social functioning. 98 outpatients between 18 and 65 with DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia, with a period of 3 months of clinical stability, were recruited. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected, and the following variables were measured: processing speed (Trail Making Test [TMT], symbol coding [BACS], verbal fluency), simple and elective reaction time, sustained attention, recognition of facial emotions and global functioning. Processing speed (measured only through the BACS), sustained attention (CPT) and elective reaction time (but not simple) were associated with functioning. Recognizing facial emotions (FEIT) correlated significantly with scores on measures of processing speed (BACS, Animals, TMT), sustained attention (CPT) and reaction time. The linear regression model showed a significant relationship between functioning, emotion recognition (P=.015) and processing speed (P=.029). A deficit in processing speed and facial emotion recognition are associated with worse global functioning in patients with schizophrenia. Copyright © 2017 SEP y SEPB. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  6. 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...

  7. Feature bindings are maintained in visual short-term memory without sustained focused attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delvenne, Jean-François; Cleeremans, Axel; Laloyaux, Cédric

    2010-01-01

    Does the maintenance of feature bindings in visual short-term memory (VSTM) require sustained focused attention? This issue was investigated in three experiments, in which memory for single features (i.e., colors or shapes) was compared with memory for feature bindings (i.e., the link between the color and shape of an object). Attention was manipulated during the memory retention interval with a retro-cue, which allows attention to be directed and focused on a subset of memory items. The retro-cue was presented 700 ms after the offset of the memory display and 700 ms before the onset of the test display. If the maintenance of feature bindings - but not of individual features - in memory requires sustained focused attention, the retro-cue should not affect memory performance. Contrary to this prediction, we found that both memory for feature bindings and memory for individual features were equally improved by the retro-cue. Therefore, this finding does not support the view that the sustained focused attention is needed to properly maintain feature bindings in VSTM.

  8. Executive Order 13693: Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade; Guidance for Federal Agencies on Executive Order 13693 -- Federal Fleet Management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2017-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) are issuing comprehensive guidance on the federal fleet requirements of Executive Order (E.O.) 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade (E.O. 13693), to help federal agencies subject to the executive order develop an overall approach for reducing total fleet greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fleet-wide per-mile GHG emissions, and ensure the approach helps these agencies meet their requirements. Three key GHG emissions reduction strategies - right-sizing fleets to mission, increasing fleet fuel efficiency, and displacing petroleum with alternative fuel use - are essential to meeting the requirements and are discussed further in this document. This guidance document is intended to help agency Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs) and headquarters fleet managers craft tailored executable plans that achieve the purpose of E.O. 13693. The guidance will assist agencies in completing the first phase of a comprehensive fleet management framework by identifying the strategies each agency will then implement to meet or exceed its requirements.

  9. Effects of a selected exercise programon executive function of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memarmoghaddam, M; Torbati, H T; Sohrabi, M; Mashhadi, A; Kashi, A

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a Selected exercise program on the executive function of children with ADHD. Method. The participants were 40 male students, aged 7-11 years. The participants were randomly assigned into two groups (experimental and control). The experimental group participated in an exercise program for 24 sessions, 90 minutes per session. The control group did not receive any intervention. Before and after the exercise period, all the participants were assessed with Stroop and Go-No-Go tests, and the resulting data were analyzed by using MANCOVA. Result. The results showed that the cognitive inhibition of the children in the experimental group was significantly different compared with the control group (p helps to improve the executive function in children with ADHD.

  10. Distinct effects of protracted withdrawal on affect, craving, selective attention and executive functions among alcohol-dependent patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordovil De Sousa Uva, Mariana; Luminet, Olivier; Cortesi, Marie; Constant, Eric; Derely, Marc; De Timary, Philippe

    2010-01-01

    The present study examined the effects of protracted alcohol withdrawal on affectivity, craving, selective attention and executive functions (EFs) in alcohol-dependent patients. Selective attention (The D2 Cancellation Test), flexibility (Trail Making Test), inhibition (Stroop Task), decision making (Iowa Gambling Task), craving (Obsessive-Compulsive Drinking Scale) and state affectivity (Positive and Negative Affectivity Schedule) were assessed in alcohol-dependent patients (DSM-IV, n = 35) matched to non-alcohol-dependent participants (n = 22) at the onset (T1: day 1 or 2) and at the end (T2: days 14-18) of protracted withdrawal during rehab. Alcohol-dependent patients' abilities to focus their attention on relevant information, to switch from one pattern to another, to inhibit irrelevant information and to make advantageous choices were lower than those of control participants during both times of a withdrawal cure. No effect of time emerged from analyses for selective attention and EF deficits. Conversely, significant differences between T1 and T2 were observed for craving and affect scores indicating a weakening of alcohol craving and negative affect as well as an improvement of positive affect among patients from onset to the end of cure. Control functions of the Supervisory Attentional System (Norman and Shallice, 1986) were impaired and did not improve during a 3-week withdrawal cure, whereas alcohol craving and negative state affectivity significantly improved in parallel during this period. Implications for understanding the clinical processes of withdrawal are discussed.

  11. 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

  12. Impaired sustained attention and altered reactivity to errors in an animal model of prenatal cocaine exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gendle, Mathew H; Strawderman, Myla S; Mactutus, Charles F; Booze, Rosemarie M; Levitsky, David A; Strupp, Barbara J

    2003-12-30

    Although correlations have been reported between maternal cocaine use and impaired attention in exposed children, interpretation of these findings is complicated by the many risk factors that differentiate cocaine-exposed children from SES-matched controls. For this reason, the present dose-response study (0, 0.5, 1.0, or 3.0 mg/kg cocaine HCl) was designed to explore the effect of prenatal cocaine exposure on visual attention in a rodent model, using an intravenous injection protocol that closely mimics the pharmacokinetic profile and physiological effects of human recreational cocaine use. In adulthood, animals were tested on an attention task in which the duration, location, and onset time of a brief visual cue varied randomly between trials. The 3.0 mg/kg exposed males committed significantly more omission errors than control males during the final 1/3 of each testing session, specifically on trials that followed an error, which implicates impaired sustained attention and increased reactivity to committing an error. During the final 1/3 of each testing session, the 0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg exposed females took longer to enter the testing alcove at trial onset, and failed to enter the alcove more frequently than control females. Because these effects were not seen in other tasks of similar duration and reinforcement density, these findings suggest an impairment of sustained attention. This inference is supported by the finding that the increase in omission errors in the final block of trials in each daily session (relative to earlier in the session) was significantly greater for the 1.0 mg/kg females than for controls, a trend also seen for the 0.5 mg/kg group. Unlike the cocaine-exposed males, who remain engaged in the task when attention is waning, the cocaine-exposed females appear to opt for another strategy; namely, refusing to participate when their ability to sustain attention is surpassed.

  13. Glucose and caffeine effects on sustained attention: an exploratory fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serra-Grabulosa, Josep M; Adan, Ana; Falcón, Carles; Bargalló, Núria

    2010-11-01

    Caffeine and glucose can have beneficial effects on cognitive performance. However, neural basis of these effects remain unknown. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of caffeine and glucose on sustained attention, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Forty young right-handed, healthy, low caffeine-consuming subjects participated in the study. In a double-blind, randomised design, subjects received one of the following beverages: vehicle (water, 150 ml); vehicle plus 75 g of glucose; vehicle plus 75 mg of caffeine; vehicle plus 75 g of glucose and 75 mg of caffeine. Participants underwent two scanning fMRI sessions (before and 30 min after of the administration of the beverage). A continuous performance test was used to assess sustained attention. Participants who received combined caffeine and glucose had similar performance to the others but had a decrease in activation in the bilateral parietal and left prefrontal cortex. Since these areas have been related to the sustained attention and working memory processes, results would suggest that combined caffeine and glucose could increase the efficiency of the attentional system. However, more studies using larger samples and different levels of caffeine and glucose are necessary to better understand the combined effects of both substances. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. Poor sleep quality is associated with a negative cognitive bias and decreased sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobin, Christina M; Banks, Jonathan B; Fins, Ana I; Tartar, Jaime L

    2015-10-01

    Poor sleep quality has been demonstrated to diminish cognitive performance, impair psychosocial functioning and alter the perception of stress. At present, however, there is little understanding of how sleep quality affects emotion processing. The aim of the present study was to determine the extent to which sleep quality, measured through the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, influences affective symptoms as well as the interaction between stress and performance on an emotional memory test and sustained attention task. To that end, 154 undergraduate students (mean age: 21.27 years, standard deviation = 4.03) completed a series of measures, including the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index, the Sustained Attention to Response Task, an emotion picture recognition task and affective symptom questionnaires following either a control or physical stress manipulation, the cold pressor test. As sleep quality and psychosocial functioning differ among chronotypes, we also included chronotype and time of day as variables of interest to ensure that the effects of sleep quality on the emotional and non-emotional tasks were not attributed to these related factors. We found that poor sleep quality is related to greater depressive symptoms, anxiety and mood disturbances. While an overall relationship between global Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index score and emotion and attention measures was not supported, poor sleep quality, as an independent component, was associated with better memory for negative stimuli and a deficit in sustained attention to non-emotional stimuli. Importantly, these effects were not sensitive to stress, chronotype or time of day. Combined, these results suggest that individuals with poor sleep quality show an increase in affective symptomatology as well as a negative cognitive bias with a concomitant decrease in sustained attention to non-emotional stimuli. © 2015 European Sleep Research Society.

  15. Attention, memory, visuoconstructive, and executive task performance in adolescents with anxiety disorders: a case-control community study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarros, Rafaela Behs; Salum, Giovanni Abrahão; Silva, Cristiano Tschiedel Belem da; Toazza, Rudineia; Becker, Natália; Agranonik, Marilyn; Salles, Jerusa Fumagalli de; Manfro, Gisele Gus

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess children and adolescents with mild and severe anxiety disorders for their performance in attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, executive functions, and cognitive global functioning and conduct comparative analyses with the performance of children free from anxiety disorders. Our sample comprised 68 children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 years (41 with current diagnoses of anxiety disorders and 27 controls) selected from a larger cross-sectional community sample of adolescents. Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders were categorized into two groups on the basis of anxiety severity (mild or severe). All participants underwent a neuropsychological assessment battery to evaluate attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, and executive and cognitive functions. No differences were found in any neuropsychological tests, with the single exception that the group with mild anxiety had better performance on the Digit Span backward test compared to subjects with severe anxiety and to controls (p = 0.041; η2 = 0.11). Not only might anxiety disorders spare main cognitive functions during adolescence, they may even enhance certain working memory processes.

  16. Executive function and attention in patients with stress-related exhaustion: perceived fatigue and effect of distraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krabbe, David; Ellbin, Susanne; Nilsson, Michael; Jonsdottir, Ingibjörg H; Samuelsson, Hans

    2017-07-01

    Cognitive impairment has frequently been shown in patients who seek medical care for stress-related mental health problems. This study aims to extend the current knowledge of cognitive impairments in these patients by focusing on perceived fatigue and effects of distraction during cognitive testing. Executive function and attention were tested in a group of patients with stress-related exhaustion (n = 25) and compared with healthy controls (n = 25). Perceived fatigue was measured before, during and after the test session, and some of the tests were administered with and without standardized auditory distraction. Executive function and complex attention performance were poorer among the patients compared to controls. Interestingly, their performance was not significantly affected by auditory distraction but, in contrast to the controls, they reported a clear-cut increase in mental tiredness, during and after the test session. Thus, patients with stress-related exhaustion manage to perform during distraction but this was achieved at a great cost. These findings are discussed in terms of a possible tendency to adopt a high-effort approach despite cognitive impairments and the likelihood that such an approach will require increased levels of effort, which can result in increased fatigue. We tentatively conclude that increased fatigue during cognitive tasks is a challenge for patients with stress-related exhaustion and plausibly of major importance when returning to work demanding high cognitive performance.

  17. Attention, memory, visuoconstructive, and executive task performance in adolescents with anxiety disorders: a case-control community study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela Behs Jarros

    Full Text Available Abstract Objective: The aim of the present study was to assess children and adolescents with mild and severe anxiety disorders for their performance in attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, executive functions, and cognitive global functioning and conduct comparative analyses with the performance of children free from anxiety disorders. Methods: Our sample comprised 68 children and adolescents aged 10 to 17 years (41 with current diagnoses of anxiety disorders and 27 controls selected from a larger cross-sectional community sample of adolescents. Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders were categorized into two groups on the basis of anxiety severity (mild or severe. All participants underwent a neuropsychological assessment battery to evaluate attention, verbal episodic memory, working memory, visuoconstructive skills, and executive and cognitive functions. Results: No differences were found in any neuropsychological tests, with the single exception that the group with mild anxiety had better performance on the Digit Span backward test compared to subjects with severe anxiety and to controls (p = 0.041; η2 = 0.11. Conclusions: Not only might anxiety disorders spare main cognitive functions during adolescence, they may even enhance certain working memory processes.

  18. Does multitasking mediate the relationships between episodic memory, attention, executive functions and apathetic manifestations in traumatic brain injury?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnould, Annabelle; Rochat, Lucien; Dromer, Emilie; Azouvi, Philippe; Van der Linden, Martial

    2018-03-01

    Apathy is frequently described in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI); its negative consequences particularly affect functional independence. Among apathetic manifestations, lack of initiative and lack of interest have mainly been associated with cognitive impairments. However, few studies have been conducted to precisely identify the underlying cognitive processes. Our aims were (1) to determine the best predictor of apathy from among several cognitive processes, including episodic memory and attention/executive mechanisms and multitasking, and (2) to examine to what extent multitasking could mediate the relationships between specific cognitive processes and lack of initiative/interest. Seventy participants (34 patients with TBI matched with 36 control participants) were given a questionnaire to assess anxio-depressive symptoms, four tasks to assess specific cognitive processes, and one task to assess real-life multitasking. Participants' relatives completed an apathy questionnaire. Multitasking, as assessed by the number of goals not achieved, was the only significant predictor of apathetic manifestations. In addition, the mediation analyses revealed that multitasking performance mediated the relationships between verbal episodic memory and lack of initiative/interest, whereas executive and attentional functions were only indirectly related to lack of initiative/interest due to their significant impacts on multitasking. These results shed new light on the aetiology of apathetic manifestations in patients with TBI, indicating how specific cognitive deficits are expressed in real-life multitasking, and consequently, how they may lead to the development and/or maintenance of apathetic manifestations. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.

  19. Differentiation of Rodent Behavioral Phenotypes and Methylphenidate Action in Sustained and Flexible Attention Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Richard; Shumsky, Jed; Waterhouse, Barry D.

    2016-01-01

    Methyphenidate (MPH) is the primary drug treatment of choice for ADHD. It is also frequently used off-label as a cognitive enhancer by otherwise healthy individuals from all age groups and walks of life. Military personnel, students, and health professionals use MPH illicitly to increase attention and improve workplace performance over extended periods of work activity. Despite the frequency of its use, the efficacy of MPH to enhance cognitive function across individuals and in a variety of circumstances is not well characterized. We sought to better understand MPH’s cognitive enhancing properties in two different rodent models of attention. We found that MPH could enhance performance in a sustained attention task, but that its effects in this test were subject dependent. More specifically, MPH increased attention in low baseline performing rats but had little to no effect on high performing rats. MPH exerted a similar subject specific effect in a test of flexible attention, i.e. the attention set shifting task. In this test MPH increased behavioral flexibility in animals with poor flexibility but impaired performance in more flexible animals. Overall, our results indicate that the effects of MPH are subject-specific and depend on the baseline level of performance. Furthermore, good performance in in the sustained attention task was correlated with good performance in the flexible attention task; i.e. animals with better vigilance exhibited greater behavioral flexibility. The findings are discussed in terms of potential neurobiological substrates, in particular noradrenergic mechanisms, that might underlie subject specific performance and subject specific responses to MPH. PMID:26688113

  20. Simians in the Shape School: A comparative study of executive attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Kristin; Beran, Michael J; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Washburn, David A

    2018-01-08

    Executive functions (EF) have been studied extensively in children and adults. However, EF tasks for young children can be difficult to administer and interpret. Espy (1997, Developmental Neuropsychology, 13, 495-499) designed the Shape School task to measure inhibition and switching in preschool-aged children. Shape School presents cartoon-like characters that children must flexibly name by their color, their shape, or both, depending on cues that indicate the appropriate rule. Shape School has been found to be age sensitive as well as predictive of performance on other EF tasks. We presented a computerized analogue of Shape School to seven rhesus macaques. Monkeys were trained to categorize characters by color or shape, or to inhibit this response, depending on whether the characters had eyes open, eyes closed, or wore hats. Monkeys performed above chance on the inhibition and switching components of the task. Long runs of a single classification rule and long runs of noninhibition trials had no significant impact on performance when the rule changed or inhibition was required. This nonverbal adaptation of Shape School can measure EF in nonhuman animals and could be used in conjunction with other EF tasks to provide a clearer picture of both human and nonhuman executive functions.

  1. Executive Function in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: the NIH EXAMINER battery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Jane E.; Possin, Katherine L.; Girard, Jonathan M.; Rey-Casserly, Celiane

    2014-01-01

    Theories of ADHD increasingly highlight the role of neuropsychological impairment in ADHD; however, a consistent and identifiable pattern of performance on tests is not well established. The NIH EXAMINER battery provides measures of common variance across multiple executive function tests within specific domains and was used to characterize which executive functions are most affected in children with ADHD. Thirty-two children (24 male), ages 8–15 years (M=12.02, SD=2.29), diagnosed with ADHD and no comorbid disorder completed the NIH EXAMINER battery. Sixty age and gender matched healthy controls were chosen from a database of participants enrolled in the NIH EXAMINER multi-site study. Children with ADHD performed worse on the working memory score compared with the controls. No differences were found on the cognitive control or fluency scores. For children with ADHD, poorer working memory performance predicted parent report of child learning problems. Cognitive control and fluency scores did not predict learning problems. In summary, working memory emerges as a primary impairment in children with ADHD who have no comorbid disorders. Furthermore, working memory weaknesses may underlie the academic problems often seen in children with ADHD. PMID:24103310

  2. Cognitive deficits after aneurysmal and angiographically negative subarachnoid hemorrhage : Memory, attention, executive functioning, and emotion recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buunk, Anne M; Groen, Rob J M; Veenstra, Wencke S; Metzemaekers, Joannes; van der Hoeven, Johannes H; van Dijk, J Marc C; Spikman, Jacoba M

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The authors' aim was to investigate cognitive outcome in patients with aneurysmal and angiographically negative subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH and anSAH), by comparing them to healthy controls and to each other. Besides investigating cognitive functions as memory and attention, they

  3. Deficient maturation of aspects of attention and executive functions in early onset schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jepsen, Jens Richardt M; Fagerlund, Birgitte; Pagsberg, Anne Katrine

    2010-01-01

    The few existing long-term, neuropsychological follow-up studies of early onset schizophrenia (EOS) patients have reported relative stability in some cognitive functions but abnormal developmental trajectories in verbal memory, set shifting, aspects of attention, and speed of information processing...

  4. Fertility treatment and child intelligence, attention, and executive functions in 5-year-old singletons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bay, B; Mortensen, E L; Kesmodel, U S

    2014-01-01

    for parental educational level, maternal intelligence, age, parity, body mass index, smoking in pregnancy, alcohol consumption in pregnancy and child gender, child age, and examiner. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised, the Test of Everyday Attention for Children...

  5. The executive control network and symptomatic improvement in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Francx, Winke; Oldehinkel, Marianne; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Heslenfeld, Dirk; Hartman, Catharina A.; Hoekstra, Pieter J.; Franke, Barbara; Beckmann, Christian F.; Buitelaar, Jan K.; Mennes, Maarten

    2015-01-01

    Background: One neurodevelopmental theory hypothesizes remission of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to result from improved prefrontal top-down control, while ADHD, independent of the current diagnosis, is characterized by stable non-cortical deficits (Halperin & Schulz, 2006). We

  6. Prospective associations between bilingualism and executive function in Latino children: sustained effects while controlling for biculturalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, Nathaniel R; Shin, Hee-Sung; Unger, Jennifer B; Spruijt-Metz, Donna; Pentz, Mary Ann

    2014-10-01

    The study purpose was to test 1-year prospective associations between English-Spanish bilingualism and executive function in 5th to 6th grade students while controlling for biculturalism. Participants included 182 US Latino students (50 % female). Self-report surveys assessed biculturalism, bilingualism, and executive function (i.e., working memory, organizational skills, inhibitory control, and emotional control, as well as a summary executive function score). General linear model regressions demonstrated that bilingualism significantly predicted the summary executive function score as well as working memory such that bilingual proficiency was positively related to executive function. Results are the first to demonstrate (a) prospective associations between bilingualism to executive function while controlling for the potential third variable of biculturalism, and (b) a principal role for working memory in this relationship. Since executive function is associated with a host of health outcomes, one implication of study findings is that bilingualism may have an indirect protective influence on youth development.

  7. Demographic Variables and Selective, Sustained Attention and Planning through Cognitive Tasks among Healthy Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afsaneh Zarghi

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Cognitive tasks are considered to be applicable and appropriate in assessing cognitive domains. The purpose of our study is to determine the relationship existence between variables of age, sex and education with selective, sustained attention and planning abilities by means of computerized cognitive tasks among healthy adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study was implemented during 6 months from June to November, 2010 on 84 healthy adults (42 male and 42 female. The whole participants performed computerized CPT, STROOP and TOL tests after being content and trained. Results: The obtained data indicate that there is a significant correlation coefficient between age, sex and education variables (p<0.05. Discussion: The above-mentioned tests can be used to assess selective, sustained attention and planning.

  8. Demographic Variables and Selective, Sustained Attention and Planning through Cognitive Tasks among Healthy Adults

    OpenAIRE

    Afsaneh Zarghi; Zali; A; Tehranidost; M; Mohammad Reza Zarindast; Ashrafi; F; Doroodgar; Khodadadi

    2011-01-01

    Introduction: Cognitive tasks are considered to be applicable and appropriate in assessing cognitive domains. The purpose of our study is to determine the relationship existence between variables of age, sex and education with selective, sustained attention and planning abilities by means of computerized cognitive tasks among healthy adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study was implemented during 6 months from June to November, 2010 on 84 healthy adults (42 male and 42 female). The whole part...

  9. Visual memory and sustained attention impairment in youths with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Y-L; Gau, S S-F; Shang, C-Y; Chiu, Y-N; Tsai, W-C; Wu, Y-Y

    2015-08-01

    An uneven neurocognitive profile is a hallmark of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Studies focusing on the visual memory performance in ASD have shown controversial results. We investigated visual memory and sustained attention in youths with ASD and typically developing (TD) youths. We recruited 143 pairs of youths with ASD (males 93.7%; mean age 13.1, s.d. 3.5 years) and age- and sex-matched TD youths. The ASD group consisted of 67 youths with autistic disorder (autism) and 76 with Asperger's disorder (AS) based on the DSM-IV criteria. They were assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery involving the visual memory [spatial recognition memory (SRM), delayed matching to sample (DMS), paired associates learning (PAL)] and sustained attention (rapid visual information processing; RVP). Youths with ASD performed significantly worse than TD youths on most of the tasks; the significance disappeared in the superior intelligence quotient (IQ) subgroup. The response latency on the tasks did not differ between the ASD and TD groups. Age had significant main effects on SRM, DMS, RVP and part of PAL tasks and had an interaction with diagnosis in DMS and RVP performance. There was no significant difference between autism and AS on visual tasks. Our findings implied that youths with ASD had a wide range of visual memory and sustained attention impairment that was moderated by age and IQ, which supports temporal and frontal lobe dysfunction in ASD. The lack of difference between autism and AS implies that visual memory and sustained attention cannot distinguish these two ASD subtypes, which supports DSM-5 ASD criteria.

  10. 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

  11. Vigilance on the move: video game-based measurement of sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szalma, J L; Schmidt, T N; Teo, G W L; Hancock, P A

    2014-01-01

    Vigilance represents the capacity to sustain attention to any environmental source of information over prolonged periods on watch. Most stimuli used in vigilance research over the previous six decades have been relatively simple and often purport to represent important aspects of detection and discrimination tasks in real-world settings. Such displays are most frequently composed of single stimulus presentations in discrete trials against a uniform, often uncluttered background. The present experiment establishes a dynamic, first-person perspective vigilance task in motion using a video-game environment. 'Vigilance on the move' is thus a new paradigm for the study of sustained attention. We conclude that the stress of vigilance extends to the new paradigm, but whether the performance decrement emerges depends upon specific task parameters. The development of the task, the issues to be resolved and the pattern of performance, perceived workload and stress associated with performing such dynamic vigilance are reported. The present experiment establishes a dynamic, first-person perspective movement-based vigilance task using a video-game environment. 'Vigilance on the move' is thus a new paradigm for the evaluation of sustained attention in operational environments in which individuals move as they monitor their environment. Issues addressed in task development are described.

  12. Some participants may be better than others: sustained attention and motivation are higher early in semester.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholls, Michael E R; Loveless, Kellie M; Thomas, Nicole A; Loetscher, Tobias; Churches, Owen

    2015-01-01

    Many studies use multiexperiment designs where experiments are carried out at different times of semester. When comparing between experiments, the data may be confounded by between-participants effects related to motivation. Research indicates that course-credit participants who engage in research early in semester have different personality and performance characteristics compared to those tested late in semester. This study examined whether the semester effect is caused by internal (inherent motivation of the participant) or external (looming exams, essays) factors. To do this, sustained attention and intrinsic/extrinsic motivation was measured in groups of course-credit (n = 40) and paid (n = 40) participants early and late in semester. While there was no difference in sustained attention between the groups early in semester, the course-credit group performed significantly worse late in semester. The course-credit group also showed a significant decrease in intrinsic motivation with time whereas the paid participants showed no change. Because changes were not seen for both groups, the semester difference cannot be due to external factors. Instead, the data demonstrate that course-credit participants who engage early have high sustained attention and intrinsic motivation compared to their late counterparts, who leave their participation to the last minute. Researchers who use multiexperimental designs across semester need to control for these effects--perhaps by using paid participants who do not vary across semester.

  13. Sustained attention to the owner is enhanced in dogs trained for animal assisted interventions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mongillo, Paolo; Pitteri, Elisa; Marinelli, Lieta

    2017-07-01

    Adaptation in human societies requires dogs to pay attention to socially relevant human beings, in contexts that may greatly vary in social complexity. In turn, such selective attention may depend on the dog's training and involvement in specific activities. Therefore, we recruited untrained pet dogs (N=32), dogs trained for agility (N=32) and for animal assisted interventions (N=32) to investigate differences in attention to the owner in relation to the dogs' training/working experience. Average gaze length and frequency of gaze shifting towards the owner were measured in a 'baseline attention test', where dogs were exposed to the owner walking in and out of the experimental room and in a 'selective attention test', where the owner's movements were mirrored by an unfamiliar figurant. In baseline, gazes to the owner by assistance dogs were longer than gazes by untrained dogs, which were longer than gazes by agility dogs. The latter shifted gaze to the owner more frequently than assistance and untrained dogs. In the selective attention test, assistance dogs showed longer and less frequent gazes towards the owner than untrained dogs, with intermediate values for agility dogs. Correlations were found for gaze length between the baseline and selective attention test for untrained and assistance dogs, but not for agility dogs. Therefore, dogs trained for Animal Assisted Interventions express enhanced sustained attention to their owners, and the lack of similar effects in agility dogs suggests that involvement in specific activities is associated with large differences in the patterns of attention paid by dogs to their handler/owner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Selective, sustained, and shift in attention in patients with diagnoses of schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagh-Shenas, H; Toobai, S; Makaremi, A

    2002-12-01

    Attentional deficits are a prominent aspect of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. The present study was designed to investigate attention deficit in a group of patients with diagnosis of schizophrenia. According to the segmental set theory suggested by Hogarty and Flesher, three aspects of attention problems, selective, sustained, and shift in attention, were studied. The 30 patients hospitalized on three psychiatric wards at Shiraz and Isfahan and 30 normal healthy subjects matched for age, sex, and years of education were administered a computerized Continuous Performance Test, Stroop Color-word Test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting test. Analysis showed patients performed more poorly than control subjects on measured aspects of attention. The acute/chronic classification did not predict differences in attention scores between subtypes of schizophrenia, while the positive/negative classification did. Paranoid, undifferentiated, and residual groups by subtypes of schizophrenia showed similar performance on the Continuous Performance Test, but were significantly different on errors on the Wisconsin Card Sorting test and on reaction time to Stroop stimuli in the incongruent color-word condition. Patients with paranoid diagnosis performed better than other subtypes on these tasks. Present results suggest that the Continuous Performance Test is valuable for differentiating of schizophrenia spectrum disorder, while scores on Stroop and Wisconsin card sorting may have better diagnostic value for differentiating subtypes of the disorder.

  15. Executive and motivational processes in adolescents with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jain Umesh

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The objective of the current study was to examine performance and correlates of performance on a decision-making card task involving risky choices (Iowa Gambling Task in adolescents with ADHD and comparison controls. Forty-four participants with ADHD and 34 controls were administered measures of estimated intellectual ability, working memory, and the card task. Also, behavioural ratings were obtained from parents and teachers. Results Adolescents with ADHD scored lower on the measures of intellectual ability, working memory, and made less advantageous selections on the card task compared to controls. Performance on measures of intellectual ability and working memory were unrelated to card task performance in both the ADHD and control samples. Parent ratings of hyperactivity/impulsivity were significantly associated with card task performance in the adolescents with ADHD, but not in controls. Conclusion These findings demonstrate impaired decision-making in adolescents with ADHD, and the separability of motivational and executive function processes, supporting current dual pathway models of ADHD.

  16. Decision-related factors in pupil old/new effects: Attention, response execution, and false memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocher, Andreas; Graf, Tim

    2017-07-28

    In this study, we investigate the effects of decision-related factors on recognition memory in pupil old/new paradigms. In Experiment 1, we used an old/new paradigm with words and pseudowords and participants made lexical decisions during recognition rather than old/new decisions. Importantly, participants were instructed to focus on the nonword-likeness of presented items, not their word-likeness. We obtained no old/new effects. In Experiment 2, participants discriminated old from new words and old from new pseudowords during recognition, and they did so as quickly as possible. We found old/new effects for both words and pseudowords. In Experiment 3, we used materials and an old/new design known to elicit a large number of incorrect responses. For false alarms ("old" response for new word), we found larger pupils than for correctly classified new items, starting at the point at which response execution was allowed (2750ms post stimulus onset). In contrast, pupil size for misses ("new" response for old word) was statistically indistinguishable from pupil size in correct rejections. Taken together, our data suggest that pupil old/new effects result more from the intentional use of memory than from its automatic use. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Association of long-term patterns of depressive symptoms and attention/executive function among older men with and without human immunodeficiency virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Nicole M; Surkan, Pamela J; Treisman, Glenn J; Sacktor, Ned C; Irwin, Michael R; Teplin, Linda A; Stall, Ron; Martin, Eileen M; Becker, James T; Munro, Cynthia; Levine, Andrew J; Jacobson, Lisa P; Abraham, Alison G

    2017-08-01

    Older HIV-infected men are at higher risk for both depression and cognitive impairments, compared to HIV-uninfected men. We evaluated the association between longitudinal patterns of depressive symptoms and attention/executive function in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men aged 50+ years to understand whether HIV infection influenced the long-term effect of depression on attention/executive function. Responses to the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale and attention/executive function tests (Trail Making Test Part B and Symbol Digit Modalities Test) were collected semiannually from May 1986 to April 2015 in 1611 men. Group-based trajectory models, stratified by HIV status, were used to identify latent patterns of depressive symptoms and attention/executive function across 12 years of follow-up. We identified three depression patterns for HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men (rare/never 50.0 vs. 60.6%, periodically depressed 29.6 vs. 24.5%, chronic high 20.5 vs.15.0%, respectively) and three patterns of attention/executive function for HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men (worst-performing 47.4 vs. 45.1%; average 41.9 vs. 47.0%; best-performing 10.7 vs. 8.0%, respectively). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess associations between depression patterns and worst-performing attention/executive function. Among HIV-uninfected men, those in the periodically depressed and chronic high depressed groups had higher odds of membership in the worst-performing attention/executive function group (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.45, 95% CI 1.04, 2.03; AOR = 2.25, 95% CI 1.49, 3.39, respectively). Among HIV-infected men, patterns of depression symptoms were not associated with patterns of attention/executive function. Results suggest that HIV-uninfected, but not HIV-infected, men with chronic high depression are more likely to experience a long-term pattern of attention/executive dysfunction.

  18. Can task-switching training enhance executive control functioning in children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jutta eKray

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The key cognitive impairments of children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD include executive control functions such as inhibitory control, task switching, and working memory. In this training study we examined whether task-switching training leads to improvements in these functions. Twenty children with combined type ADHD and stable methylphenidate medication performed a single-task and a task-switching training in a crossover training design. The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group started with the single-task training and then performed the task-switching training and the other group vice versa. The effectiveness of the task-switching training was measured as performance improvements (relative to the single-task training on a structurally similar but new switching task and on other executive control tasks measuring inhibitory control and verbal working memory as well as on fluid intelligence (reasoning. The children in both groups showed improvements in task switching, that is, a reduction of switching costs, but not in performing the single tasks across four training sessions. Moreover, the task-switching training lead to selective enhancements in task-switching performance, that is, the reduction of task-switching costs was found to be larger after task-switching than after single-task training. Similar selective improvements were observed for inhibitory control and verbal working memory, but not for reasoning. Results of this study suggest that task-switching training is an effective cognitive intervention that helps to enhance executive control functioning in children with ADHD.

  19. Can task-switching training enhance executive control functioning in children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kray, Jutta; Karbach, Julia; Haenig, Susann; Freitag, Christine

    2011-01-01

    The key cognitive impairments of children with attention deficit/-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include executive control functions such as inhibitory control, task-switching, and working memory (WM). In this training study we examined whether task-switching training leads to improvements in these functions. Twenty children with combined type ADHD and stable methylphenidate medication performed a single-task and a task-switching training in a crossover training design. The children were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group started with the single-task training and then performed the task-switching training and the other group vice versa. The effectiveness of the task-switching training was measured as performance improvements (relative to the single-task training) on a structurally similar but new switching task and on other executive control tasks measuring inhibitory control and verbal WM as well as on fluid intelligence (reasoning). The children in both groups showed improvements in task-switching, that is, a reduction of switching costs, but not in performing the single-tasks across four training sessions. Moreover, the task-switching training lead to selective enhancements in task-switching performance, that is, the reduction of task-switching costs was found to be larger after task-switching than after single-task training. Similar selective improvements were observed for inhibitory control and verbal WM, but not for reasoning. Results of this study suggest that task-switching training is an effective cognitive intervention that helps to enhance executive control functioning in children with ADHD.

  20. Impaired financial capacity in late life depression is associated with cognitive performance on measures of executive functioning and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackin, R Scott; Areán, Patricia A

    2009-09-01

    Few studies have evaluated the prevalence of impairments of financial capacity among individuals with psychiatric disorders. Late life depression (LLD) is a common psychiatric disorder associated with significant disability and cognitive impairment. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the prevalence and cognitive correlates of impairments of financial capacity among individuals with LLD. Participants included 65 LLD individuals and 32 comparison subjects. Assessments included measures of financial capacity, cognitive functioning, and depression symptom severity. Individuals with LLD exhibited a significantly higher rate of impaired financial capacity (22%) than the comparison group (6%). Results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that performance on measures of executive functioning and attention, but not depression severity, were most strongly associated with financial capacity performance in LLD. Our results suggest impairments of financial capacity in LLD are largely explained by cognitive functioning in these domains.

  1. Impact of combined intermittent preventive treatment of malaria and helminths on anaemia, sustained attention, and recall in Northern Ghanaian schoolchildren

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Opoku, Ernest Cudjoe; Olsen, Annette; Browne, Edmund

    2016-01-01

    albendazole plus praziquantel compared to albendazole plus praziquantel on anaemia, sustained attention, and recall in schoolchildren. DESIGN: This three-arm, open-label intervention study was carried out in Ghana among class three schoolchildren. Artemether-lumefantrine and albendazole were co...... to measure haemoglobin (Hb), while the code transmission test (CTT), adapted from the Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch), was used to measure sustained attention and recall before-and-after interventions in June 2011 and June 2012. RESULTS: We observed significant malaria parasite prevalence...... and deworming reduced prevalence of anaemia and improved sustained attention and recall in schoolchildren. Best results for sustained attention and recall were seen in Study Arm 2....

  2. Contribution of visuospatial attention, short-term memory and executive functions to performance in number interval bisection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranzini, Mariagrazia; Carbè, Katia; Gevers, Wim

    2017-05-01

    Number interval bisection consists of estimating the mid-number within a pair (1-9=>5). Healthy adults and right-brain damage patients can show biased performance in this task, underestimating and overestimating the mid-number, respectively. The role of visuospatial attention during this task, and its interplay with other cognitive abilities (e.g., working memory) is still object of debate. In this study we explored the relation between visuospatial attention and individual differences in working memory and executive functions during number interval bisection. To manipulate the deployment of visuospatial attention, healthy participants tracked a dot moving to the left or moving to the right while bisecting numerical intervals. We also collected information concerning verbal and visuospatial short-term memory span, and concerning verbal and visuospatial fluency scores. Beside replicating what is typically observed in this task (e.g., underestimation bias), a correlation was observed between verbal short-term memory and bisection bias, and an interesting relation between performance in the number interval bisection, verbal short-term memory, and visuospatial attention. Specifically, performance of those participants with low verbal span was affected by the direction of the moving dot, underestimating at a larger extent when the dot moved leftward than rightward. Finally, it was also observed that participants' verbal fluency ability contributed in the generation of biases in the numerical task. The finding of the involvement of abilities belonging to the verbal domain contributes to unveil the multi-componential nature of number interval bisection. Considering the debate on the nature of number interval bisection and its use in the clinical assessment of deficits following brain damage, this finding may be interesting also from a clinical perspective. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Uncertainty is associated with increased selective attention and sustained stimulus processing.

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    Dieterich, Raoul; Endrass, Tanja; Kathmann, Norbert

    2016-06-01

    Uncertainty about future threat has been found to be associated with an overestimation of threat probability and is hypothesized to elicit additional allocation of attention. We used event-related potentials to examine uncertainty-related dynamics in attentional allocation, exploiting brain potentials' high temporal resolution and sensitivity to attention. Thirty participants performed a picture-viewing task in which cues indicated the subsequent picture valence. A certain-neutral and a certain-aversive cue accurately predicted subsequent picture valence, whereas an uncertain cue did not. Participants overestimated the effective frequency of aversive pictures following the uncertain cue, both during and after the task, signifying expectancy and covariation biases, and they tended to express lower subjective valences for aversive pictures presented after the uncertain cue. Pictures elicited increased P2 and LPP amplitudes when their valence could not be predicted from the cue. For the LPP, this effect was more pronounced in response to neutral pictures. Uncertainty appears to enhance the engagement of early phasic and sustained attention for uncertainly cued targets. Thus, defensive motivation related to uncertainty about future threat elicits specific attentional dynamics implicating prioritization at various processing stages, especially for nonthreatening stimuli that tend to violate expectations.

  4. Relative association of processing speed, short-term memory and sustained attention with task on gait speed: a study of community-dwelling people 50 years and older.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killane, Isabelle; Donoghue, Orna A; Savva, George M; Cronin, Hilary; Kenny, Rose Anne; Reilly, Richard B

    2014-11-01

    For single gait tasks, associations have been reported between gait speed and cognitive domains. However, few studies have evaluated if this association is altered in dual gait tasks given gait speed changes with complexity and nature of task. We evaluated relative contributions of specific elements of cognitive function (including sustained attention and processing speed) to dual task gait speed in a nationally representative population of community-dwelling adults over 50 years. Gait speed was obtained using the GaitRite walkway during three gait tasks: single, cognitive (alternate letters), and motor (carrying a filled glass). Linear regression models, adjusted for covariates, were constructed to predict the relative contributions of seven neuropsychological tests to gait speed differences and to investigate gait task effects. The mean age and gait speed of the population (n = 4,431, 55% women) was 62.4 years (SD = 8.2) and 135.85 cm/s (SD = 20.20, single task), respectively. Poorer processing speed, short-term memory, and sustained attention were major cognitive contributors to slower gait speed for all gait tasks. Both dual gait tasks were robust to covariate adjustment and had a significant additional executive function element not found for the single gait task. For community-dwelling older adults processing speed, short-term memory and sustained attention were independently associated with gait speed for all gait tasks. Dual gait tasks were found to highlight specific executive function elements. This result forms a baseline value for dual task gait speed. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Rehabilitation of executive functioning with training in attention regulation applied to individually defined goals: a pilot study bridging theory, assessment, and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novakovic-Agopian, Tatjana; Chen, Anthony J-W; Rome, Scott; Abrams, Gary; Castelli, Holli; Rossi, Annemarie; McKim, Ryan; Hills, Nancy; D'Esposito, Mark

    2011-01-01

    To assess feasibility and effects of training in goal-oriented attentional self-regulation for patients with brain injury and chronic executive dysfunction. Sixteen individuals with chronic brain injury and mild to moderate executive dysfunction. Participants were divided into 2 groups: one group completed goal-oriented attentional self-regulation training during the first 5 weeks, followed by a brief (2-hour) educational instruction session as a control midway through the second 5 weeks; the other group participated in reverse order. Neuropsychological and functional performance assessed at baseline and at weeks 5 and 10. Participants found training in goal-oriented attentional self-regulation engaging, incorporated some trained strategies into daily life, and reported subjective improvements in personal functioning. At week 5, participants who completed goals training significantly improved on tests of attention and executive function and had fewer functional task failures, while performance did not change after educational instruction. At week 10, participants who crossed over from educational instruction to goals training also significantly improved on attention and executive function tests. Participants who crossed from goals training to educational instruction maintained their week 5 gains. Training in goal-oriented attentional self-regulation is theoretically driven and feasible in a research setting. Pilot results suggest improvements in cognitive and functional domains targeted by the intervention.

  6. Neuropsychological Profile Related with Executive Function of Chinese Preschoolers with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Neuropsychological Measures and Behavior Rating Scale of Executive Function-Preschool Version.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui-Feng; Shuai, Lan; Zhang, Jin-Song; Wang, Yu-Feng; Lu, Teng-Fei; Tan, Xin; Pan, Jing-Xue; Shen, Li-Xiao

    2018-03-20

    Previous studies have found that schoolchildren with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) showed difficulties in neuropsychological function. This study aimed to assess neuropsychological function in Chinese preschoolers with ADHD using broad neuropsychological measures and rating scales and to test whether the pattern and severity of neuropsychological weakness differed among ADHD presentations in preschool children. The 226 preschoolers (163 with ADHD and 63 controls) with the age of 4-5 years were included and assessed using the Behavior Rating Scale of Executive Function-Preschool Version (BRIEF-P) and a series of tests to investigate neuropsychological function. Preschoolers with ADHD showed higher scores in all domains of the BRIEF-P (inhibition: 30.64 ± 5.78 vs.20.69 ± 3.86, P ADHD subtypes, all ADHD presentations had higher scores in several domains of the BRIEF-P (P ADHD-combined symptoms (ADHD-C) group had the poorest ratings on inhibition and the ability to Plan/Organize. For neuropsychological measures, the results suggested that the ADHD-C group had poorer performances than the ADHD-predominantly inattentive symptoms (ADHD-I) group on Statue tasks (F = 7.34, η 2 = 0.12, P ADHD-hyperactive/impulsive symptoms group had significantly poorer performances compared to the ADHD-C group in the Block Construction task (F = 4.89, η 2 = 0.067, P = 0.003). However, no significant group differences were found between the ADHD-I group and normal control. Based on the combined evaluation of performance-based neuropsychological tests and the BRIEF-P, preschoolers with ADHD show difficulties of neuropsychological function in many aspects.

  7. Shared and disorder-specific task-positive and default mode network dysfunctions during sustained attention in paediatric Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and obsessive/compulsive disorder

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    Luke J. Norman

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD and obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD share problems with sustained attention, and are proposed to share deficits in switching between default mode and task positive networks. The aim of this study was to investigate shared and disorder-specific brain activation abnormalities during sustained attention in the two disorders. Twenty boys with ADHD, 20 boys with OCD and 20 age-matched healthy controls aged between 12 and 18 years completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI version of a parametrically modulated sustained attention task with a progressively increasing sustained attention load. Performance and brain activation were compared between groups. Only ADHD patients were impaired in performance. Group by sustained attention load interaction effects showed that OCD patients had disorder-specific middle anterior cingulate underactivation relative to controls and ADHD patients, while ADHD patients showed disorder-specific underactivation in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex/dorsal inferior frontal gyrus (IFG. ADHD and OCD patients shared left insula/ventral IFG underactivation and increased activation in posterior default mode network relative to controls, but had disorder-specific overactivation in anterior default mode regions, in dorsal anterior cingulate for ADHD and in anterior ventromedial prefrontal cortex for OCD. In sum, ADHD and OCD patients showed mostly disorder-specific patterns of brain abnormalities in both task positive salience/ventral attention networks with lateral frontal deficits in ADHD and middle ACC deficits in OCD, as well as in their deactivation patterns in medial frontal DMN regions. The findings suggest that attention performance in the two disorders is underpinned by disorder-specific activation patterns.

  8. Executive and perceptual attention play different roles in visual working memory: evidence from suffix and strategy effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yanmei; Hitch, Graham J; Baddeley, Alan D; Zhang, Ming; Allen, Richard J

    2014-08-01

    Four experiments studied the interfering effects of a to-be-ignored "stimulus suffix" on cued recall of feature bindings for a series of objects. When each object was given equal weight (Experiment 1) or rewards favored recent items (Experiments 2 and 4), a recency effect emerged that was selectively reduced by a suffix. The reduction was greater for a "plausible" suffix with features drawn from the same set as the memory items, in which case a feature of the suffix was frequently recalled as an intrusion error. Changing payoffs to reward recall of early items led to a primacy effect alongside recency (Experiments 3 and 4). Primacy, like recency, was reduced by a suffix and the reduction was greater for a suffix with plausible features, such features often being recalled as intrusion errors. Experiment 4 revealed a tradeoff such that increased primacy came at the cost of a reduction in recency. These observations show that priority instructions and recency combine to determine a limited number of items that are the most accessible for immediate recall and yet at the same time the most vulnerable to interference. We interpret this outcome in terms of a labile, limited capacity "privileged state" controlled by both central executive processes and perceptual attention. We suggest further that this privileged state can be usefully interpreted as the focus of attention in the episodic buffer.

  9. Mathematical Physics Framework SustainingNatural Anticipation and Selection of Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfons Salden

    2005-04-01

    Full Text Available An ambient intelligent environment is definitely a prerequisite for anticipating the needs and catching the attention of systems. But how to endow such an environment with natural anticipatory and attentive features is still a hardly ever properly addressed question. Before providing a roadmap towards such an ambient intelligent environment we first give cognitive-ergonomic accounts for how natural anticipation and selection of attention (NASA emerge in living organisms. In particular, we describe why, when and how exploratory and goal-directed acts by living organisms are controlled while optimizing their changing and limited structural and functional capabilities of multimodal sensor, cognitive and actuator systems. Next, we describe how NASA can be embedded and embodied in sustainable intelligent multimodal systems (SIMS. Such systems allow an ambient intelligent environment to (self- interact taking its contexts into account. In addition, collective intelligent agents (CIA distribute, store, extend, maintain, optimize, diversify and sustain the NASA embedded and embodied in the ambient intelligent environment. Finally, we present the basic ingredients of a mathematical-physical framework for empirically modeling and sustaining NASA within SIMS by CIA in an ambient intelligent environment. An environment which is modeled this way, robustly and reliably over time aligns multi-sensor detection and fusion; multimodal fusion, dialogue planning and fission; multi actuator fission, rendering and presentation schemes. NASA residing in such an environment are then active within every phase of perception-decision-action cycles, and are gauged and renormalized to its physics. After determining and assessing across several evolutionary dynamic scales appropriate fitness, utility and measures, NASA can be realized by reinforcement learning and self-organization.

  10. Functional impairment in adults positively screened for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: the role of symptom presentation and executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szuromi, Bálint; Bitter, István; Czobor, Pál

    2013-10-01

    While the number of symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) decreases with age, a high proportion of adults with ADHD symptoms suffer from persistent functional impairment (Fi) linked to these symptoms. Our objective was to investigate the specific roles of two potentially important predictors of this Fi: the clinical symptom presentation and the deficit in executive functions (EFs). A total of 158 subjects from a community sample positively screened for ADHD were classified into two groups: those with and without Fi. Following a detailed diagnostic process, participants were administered a self-rating scale for ADHD symptoms as well as a neuropsychological test battery containing tests of EF and attention relevant as potential cognitive endophenotypes for ADHD. The overall number as well as the number of inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive symptoms, confirmed both by examiner and self-report, were significantly higher among Fi subjects. The highest odds ratio for Fi was associated with impulsive symptoms. Additionally, self-reported complaints of problems with self-concept were significantly higher among Fi subjects. No significant relationship between Fi and neuropsychological measures of EF and attention was detected. This study revealed that the number of symptoms, in particular that of impulsivity, had a significant impact on Fi in adults with symptoms of ADHD. Furthermore, our results underline the importance of assessing complaints and behaviors related to self-concept, which are not included in DSM-IV diagnostic criteria of ADHD but nonetheless may be associated with functional outcome of the disorder. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The Impairing Effect of Mental Fatigue on Visual Sustained Attention under Monotonous Multi-Object Visual Attention Task in Long Durations: An Event-Related Potential Based Study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zizheng Guo

    Full Text Available The impairing effects of mental fatigue on visual sustained attention were assessed by event-related potentials (ERPs. Subjects performed a dual visual task, which includes a continuous tracking task (primary task and a random signal detection task (secondary task, for 63 minutes nonstop in order to elicit ERPs. In this period, the data such as subjective levels of mental fatigue, behavioral performance measures, and electroencephalograms were recorded for each subject. Comparing data from the first interval (0-25 min to that of the second, the following phenomena were observed: the subjective fatigue ratings increased with time, which indicates that performing the tasks leads to increase in mental fatigue levels; reaction times prolonged and accuracy rates decreased in the second interval, which indicates that subjects' sustained attention decreased.; In the ERP data, the P3 amplitudes elicited by the random signals decreased, while the P3 latencies increased in the second interval. These results suggest that mental fatigue can modulate the higher-level cognitive processes, in terms of less attentional resources allocated to the random stimuli, which leads to decreased speed in information evaluating and decision making against the stimuli. These findings provide new insights into the question that how mental fatigue affects visual sustained attention and, therefore, can help to design countermeasures to prevent accidents caused by low visual sustained attention.

  12. What specific facets of executive function are associated with academic functioning in youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langberg, Joshua M; Dvorsky, Melissa R; Evans, Steven W

    2013-10-01

    The purpose of the study was to evaluate the relation between ratings of Executive Function (EF) and academic functioning in a sample of 94 middle-school-aged youth with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD; Mage = 11.9; 78 % male; 21 % minority). This study builds on prior work by evaluating associations between multiple specific aspects of EF (e.g., working memory, inhibition, and planning and organization) as rated by both parents and teachers on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), with multiple academic outcomes, including school grades and homework problems. Further, this study examined the relationship between EF and academic outcomes above and beyond ADHD symptoms and controlled for a number of potentially important covariates, including intelligence and achievement scores. The EF Planning and Organization subscale as rated by both parents and teachers predicted school grades above and beyond symptoms of ADHD and relevant covariates. Parent ratings of youth's ability to transition effectively between tasks/situations (Shift subscale) also predicted school grades. Parent-rated symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and planning and organization abilities were significant in the final model predicting homework problems. In contrast, only symptoms of inattention and the Organization of Materials subscale from the BRIEF were significant in the teacher model predicting homework problems. Organization and planning abilities are highly important aspects academic functioning for middle-school-aged youth with ADHD. Implications of these findings for the measurement of EF, and organization and planning abilities in particular, are discussed along with potential implications for intervention.

  13. Assessing intraindividual variability in sustained attention: reliability, relation to speed and accuracy, and practice effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HAGEN C. FLEHMIG

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the psychometric properties of competing measures of sustained attention. 179 subjects were assessed twice within seven day's time with a test designed to measure sustained attention, or concentration, respectively. In addition to traditional performance indices [i.e., speed (MRT and accuracy (E%], we evaluated two intraindividual response time (RT variability measures: standard deviation (SDRT and coefficient of variation (CVRT. For the overall test, both indices were reliable. SDRT showed good to acceptable retest reliability for all subtests. For CVRT, retest reliability coefficients ranged from very good to not satisfactory. While the reversed-word recognition test proved highly reliable, the mental calculation test and the arrows test were not sufficiently reliable. CVRT was only slightly correlated but SDRT was highly correlated with MRT. In contrast to substantial practice gains for MRT, SDRT and E%, only CVRT proved to be stable. In conclusion, CVRT appears to be a potential index for assessing performance variability: it is reliable for the overall test, only moderately correlated with speed, and virtually not affected by practice. However, before applying CVRT in practical assessment settings, additional research is required to elucidate the impact of task-specific factors on the reliability of this performance measure.

  14. 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.

  15. Effects of modafinil on attention performance, short-term memory and executive function in university students: a randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, Alejandro; Mascayano, Franco; Lips, Walter; Painel, Andrés; Norambuena, Jonathan; Madrid, Eva

    2015-06-30

    Modafinil is a drug developed and used for the treatment of excessive lethargy. Even though very effective for sleep disorders, it is still controversial whether modafinil can improve performance in high-order cognitive processes such as memory and executive function. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial was designed to evaluate the effect of modafinil (compared to placebo) on the cognitive functions of healthy students. 160 volunteers were recruited and allocated randomly to modafinil or placebo group, and were assessed using the Stroop Test, BCET test and Digit span test. We found a significant difference in favor of modafinil compared to placebo in the proportion of correct answers of Stroop Test in congruent situation. A significant shorter latency of modafinil group in the incongruent situation of Stroop test was also found. No differences were found in Digit Span, or BCET tests. The study demonstrated that modafinil does not enhance the global cognitive performance of healthy non-sleep deprived students, except regarding non-demanding tasks. In particular, this drug does not seem to have positive effects on mental processes that sustain studying tasks in the college population under normal conditions. We expect these findings to demystify the use of this drug and help decision making concerning pharmacological public policies.

  16. Continuous performance test in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder and tic disorders: the role of sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucke, Ilse M; Lin, Charlotte; Conteh, Fatmata; Federline, Amanda; Sung, Huyngmo; Specht, Matthew; Grados, Marco A

    2015-10-01

    Pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and tic disorders (TD) are often associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In order to clarify the role of attention and inhibitory control in pediatric OCD and TD, a continuous performance test (CPT) was administered to a cohort of children and adolescents with OCD alone, TD alone, and OCD+TD. A clinical cohort of 48 children and adolescents with OCD alone (n=20), TD alone (n=15), or OCD+TD (n=13) was interviewed clinically and administered the Conners Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II). The Conners CPT-II is a 14-minute normed computerized test consisting of 6 blocks. It taps into attention, inhibitory control, and sustained attention cognitive domains. Key parameters include errors of omission (distractability), commission (inhibitory control), and variable responding over time (sustained attention). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) criteria were applied in a best-estimate process to diagnose OCD, TD, ADHD, and anxiety disorders. Children with OCD+TD had more errors of omission (p=0.03), and more hit RT block change (p=0.003) and hit SE block change (p=0.02) than subjects with OCD alone and TD alone. These deficits in sustained attention were associated with younger age and hoarding tendencies. A clinical diagnosis of ADHD in the OCD+TD group also determined worse sustained attention. A deficit in sustained attention, a core marker of ADHD, is also a marker of OCD+TD, compared to OCD alone and TD alone. Biological correlates of sustained attention may serve to uncover the pathophysiology of OCD and TD through genetic and imaging studies.

  17. Asperger syndrome and nonverbal learning difficulties in adult males: self- and parent-reported autism, attention and executive problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagberg, Bibbi; Billstedt, Eva; Nydén, Agneta; Gillberg, Christopher

    2015-08-01

    A specific overlap between Asperger syndrome (AS) and nonverbal learning difficulties (NLD) has been proposed, based on the observation that, as a group, people with AS tend to have significantly higher verbal IQ (VIQ) than performance IQ (PIQ), one of the core features of NLD. The primary aim was to assess the longer term outcome of NLD--broken down into persistent and transient forms. The present study of 68 individuals was performed in the context of a larger prospective longitudinal study to late adolescence/early adult life of 100 boys with AS. Using self- and parent-report measures, we studied the longer term outcome of the NLD (defined as VIQ > PIQ by 15 points) as regards social communication, repetitive behaviour, attention, and executive function (EF) was studied. Three subgroups were identified: (1) Persistent NLD (P-NLD), (2) Childhood "only" NLD (CO-NLD) and (3) Never NLD (NO-NLD). The P-NLD group had the worst outcome overall. The CO-NLD group had better reported EF scores than the two other AS subgroups. There were no differences between the subgroups regarding social communication, repetitive behaviour, or attentional skills. Low PIQ increased the risk of ADHD symptoms. In the context of AS in males, P-NLD carries a relatively poor outcome, particularly with regard to self-reported EF. However, CO-NLD appears to entail a significantly better outcome. The results underscore the importance of analysing the cognitive profile both at diagnosis and after several years, so as to be able to formulate a realistic prognosis.

  18. Relationships of Attention and Executive Functions to Oral Language, Reading, and Writing Skills and Systems in Middle Childhood and Early Adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berninger, Virginia; Abbott, Robert; Cook, Clayton R.; Nagy, William

    2017-01-01

    Relationships between attention/executive functions and language learning were investigated in students in Grades 4 to 9 (N = 88) with and without specific learning disabilities (SLDs) in multiword syntax in oral and written language (OWL LD), word reading and spelling (dyslexia), and subword letter writing (dysgraphia). Prior…

  19. Parent ratings of executive function in young preschool children with symptoms of attention-deficit/-hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skogan, Annette Holth; Zeiner, Pål; Egeland, Jens; Urnes, Anne-Grethe; Reichborn-Kjennerud, Ted; Aase, Heidi

    2015-04-15

    Recent research has demonstrated that deficits in basic, self-regulatory processes, or executive function (EF), may be related to symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) already during the preschool period. As the majority of studies investigating these relations in young children have been based primarily on clinically administered tests, it is not clear how early symptoms of ADHD may be related to observations of EF in an everyday context. The preschool version of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF-P) was developed to provide information about EF through observable, behavioral manifestations of self-regulation, and is the most commonly used rating scale for EF assessment in children. Relations between symptoms of ADHD reported in the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment interview (PAPA), and EF as measured by the BRIEF-P (parent form), were investigated in a large, nonreferred sample of preschool children (37-47 months, n = 1134) recruited from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The inventory's discriminative ability was examined in a subsample consisting of children who met the diagnostic criteria for either ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) or anxiety disorder, and typically developing controls (n = 308). The four groups were also compared with regard to patterns of EF difficulties reported in the BRIEF-P. Of the five BRIEF-P subscales, Inhibit and Working Memory were the two most closely related to ADHD symptoms, together explaining 38.5% of the variance in PAPA symptom ratings. Based on their scores on the Inhibit and Working Memory subscales (combined), 86.4% of the children in the ADHD and TD groups were correctly classified. ADHD symptoms were associated with more severe difficulties across EF domains, and a different EF profile in comparison to children with other symptoms (anxiety, ODD) and to typically developing controls. Early

  20. 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.

  1. Characteristics of attention-related body sensations. Temporal stability and associations with measures of body focus, affect, sustained attention, and heart rate variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tihanyi, Benedek T; Ferentzi, Eszter; Köteles, Ferenc

    2017-09-01

    This study investigated the temporal stability and correlates of attention-related body sensations that emerge without external stimulation during rest and due to focused attention on a body part. To assess attention-related body sensations, participants were asked to focus on a freely chosen body area with closed eyes, and had to report whether the sensation of that area had changed. Self-report questionnaires were used to assess various aspects of body focus (body awareness, body responsiveness, somatosensory amplification, subjective somatic symptoms), and positive and negative affectivity. Previous experiences in body-mind therapies were also measured. PEBL Continuous Performance Test was used to assess sustained attention. Heart rate variability scores were based on a 3-minute long resting heart rate measurement. Fifty-eight university students (22.3 ± 3.95 years; 34 females) participated in the study. The stability of attention-related body sensations was measured 8 weeks later on a randomly chosen sub-group (n = 28). Attention-related body sensations showed a mediocre temporal stability (r ρ  = 0.47, p = 0.012). People reporting attention-related body sensations showed significantly higher body awareness, somatosensory amplification, and resting heart rate; and marginally higher somatic symptoms. No relation was found with body-mind practice, body responsiveness, positive and negative affect, the vagal component of heart rate variability, and performance in the sustained attention task. Attention-related sensations are relatively stable over time. They are connected to some, but not to all of the aspects of body focus. Further studies are needed to elaborate the influencing stable and situational factors.

  2. Rehabilitative training of preterm children’s attention: a study on sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanna Perricone

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available This article is concerned with the description of rehabilitative training aimed at severely and moderately preterm children at preschool age who display impairments of processes of selective attention, self-control and problem solving and who are at risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders. In line with a perspective of field study suggested by pediatric psychology, the treatment calls for the involvement of parents, teachers, neonatologists and children’s reference pediatricians. To be more precise, it is a study aimed at investigating the sustainability of the training path in terms of impact and transformative valence of the focalised processes. Involved in the study was a group of 55 healthy preterm children (35 moderately preterm children and 20 severely preterm children at mean age of 5.2 years attending the third year of infancy school; a group of 55 mothers; a group of 15 pediatricians; a group of 5 neonatologists and one of 10 teachers. Specific questionnaires (the IPDAG and IPDDAI were administered to parents and teachers before and after the training sessions to detect the transformation of the focalised processes. According to a modality of continuous observation during the activities, the trainer used techniques of narrative (the critical incident technique and descriptive (encoding scheme observation. A checklist to detect the participation of adults was used. It was structured as follows: presence, production and aftermath of the effects of the personal intervention with child. A telephone follow-up was performed three months after the end of training to detect the involved adults’ considerations about the stability of promoted changes. Data show good levels of sustainability of the proposed training.

  3. A paired case-control comparison of ziprasidone on visual sustained attention and visual selective attention in patients with paranoid schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, X; Zhang, Z H; Song, Y; Yuan, W; Liu, Z X; Tang, M Q

    2015-08-01

    Cognitive impairment is one of the main targets of the treatment to schizophrenia.The atypical antipsychotic was proved to improve the cognition function of the patients. There were a few of clinical trials to detect the effect of medicine treatment on attention function. But the respective changes of sustained and selective attention in the patients with treatment of ziprasidone were rarely investigated. This present study was to explore the effect of ziprasidone on visual sustained and selective attention in schizophrenia. There were 81 patients who were treated with ziprasidone and matched with 81 healthy controls in this open-label trial. The functions were evaluated by Continuous Performance Test (CPT) and Color Word Test (CWT) at baseline and eight weeks later. Between two groups the functions were compared at the two time points, and in patients group those were compared prior to and post treatment. As compared with healthy controls, the functions of the patients were worse. But after 8 weeks treatment of ziprasidone the functions improved in some degree, which were indicated by the change of CPT and CWT indexes. Furthermore, those of patients post treatment were better than prior to treatment. Patients with paranoid schizophrenia have visual sustained and selective attention deficits. The deficits can be improved partly with ziprasidone treatment.

  4. The power of competition: Effects of social motivation on attention, sustained physical effort, and learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brynne Catherine DiMenichi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Competition has often been implicated as a means to improve effort-based learning and attention. Two experiments examined the effects of competition on effort and memory. In Experiment 1, participants completed a physical effort task in which they were rewarded for winning an overall percentage, or for winning a competition they believed was against another player. In Experiment 2, participants completed a memory task in which they were rewarded for remembering an overall percentage of shapes, or more shapes than a competitor. We found that, in the physical effort task, participants demonstrated faster reaction times—a previous indicator of increased attention— in the competitive environment. Moreover, individual differences predicted the salience of competition’s effect. Furthermore, male participants showed faster reaction times and greater sustained effort as a result of a competitive environment, suggesting that males may be more affected by competition in physical effort tasks. However, in Experiment 2, participants remembered fewer shapes when competing, and later recalled less of these shapes during a post-test, suggesting that competition was harmful in our memory task. The different results from these two experiments suggest that competition can improve attention in a physical effort task, yet caution the use of competition in memory tasks.

  5. Writing About Past Failures Attenuates Cortisol Responses and Sustained Attention Deficits Following Psychosocial Stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiMenichi, Brynne C.; Lempert, Karolina M.; Bejjani, Christina; Tricomi, Elizabeth

    2018-01-01

    Acute stress can harm performance. Paradoxically, writing about stressful events—such as past failures—has been shown to improve cognitive functioning and performance, especially in tasks that require sustained attention. Yet, there is little physiological evidence for whether writing about past failures or other negative events improves performance by reducing stress. In this experiment, we studied the effects of an acute psychosocial stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test, on attentional performance and salivary cortisol release in humans. Additionally, we investigated whether an expressive writing task could reduce the detrimental effects of stress, both on performance and physiological response. We found that when individuals were asked to write about a past failure before experiencing a stressor, they exhibited attenuated stress responses. Moreover, those who wrote about a past failure before being exposed to stress also exhibited better behavioral performance. Our results suggest that writing about a previous failure may allow an individual to experience a new stressor as less stressful, reducing its physiological and behavioral effects. PMID:29628878

  6. Writing About Past Failures Attenuates Cortisol Responses and Sustained Attention Deficits Following Psychosocial Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brynne C. DiMenichi

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Acute stress can harm performance. Paradoxically, writing about stressful events—such as past failures—has been shown to improve cognitive functioning and performance, especially in tasks that require sustained attention. Yet, there is little physiological evidence for whether writing about past failures or other negative events improves performance by reducing stress. In this experiment, we studied the effects of an acute psychosocial stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test, on attentional performance and salivary cortisol release in humans. Additionally, we investigated whether an expressive writing task could reduce the detrimental effects of stress, both on performance and physiological response. We found that when individuals were asked to write about a past failure before experiencing a stressor, they exhibited attenuated stress responses. Moreover, those who wrote about a past failure before being exposed to stress also exhibited better behavioral performance. Our results suggest that writing about a previous failure may allow an individual to experience a new stressor as less stressful, reducing its physiological and behavioral effects.

  7. Impaired sustained attention and lapses are present in patients with mild obstructive sleep apnea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luz, Gabriela Pontes; Guimarães, Thais Moura; Weaver, Terri E; Nery, Luiz E; E Silva, Luciana Oliveira; Badke, Luciana; Coelho, Glaury; Millani-Carneiro, Aline; Tufik, Sergio; Bittencourt, Lia

    2016-05-01

    Severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) directly affects the quality of life, mood, and sustained attention of individuals, but it has not yet been established in the literature, if these changes also affect patients with mild OSA. The purpose of this study was to investigate such negative effects on the parameters described above. A controlled study was held at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Department of Psychobiology. Thirty-nine mild OSA patients and 25 controls were included. Volunteers could be of both genders with body mass index (BMI) ≤35 kg/m(2) and age between 18 and 65 years. Both groups were subjected to full-night polysomnography (PSG), the subjective assessment of mood (Beck Inventory of Anxiety and Depression), Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire (FOSQ), and the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) five times during the day. We considered mild OSA patients those with apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) score between 5 and 15. The control group included subjects with AHI scores attention lapses compared with normal subjects.

  8. Embodied niche construction in the hominin lineage: semiotic structure and sustained attention in human embodied cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stutz, Aaron J.

    2014-01-01

    Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC) hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment. PMID:25136323

  9. Apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype has dissociable effects on memory and attentional-executive network function in Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolk, David A; Dickerson, Bradford C

    2010-06-01

    The epsilon4 allele of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), but limited work has suggested that APOE genotype may modulate disease phenotype. Carriers of the epsilon4 allele have been reported to have greater medial temporal lobe (MTL) pathology and poorer memory than noncarriers. Less attention has focused on whether there are domains of cognition and neuroanatomical regions more affected in noncarriers. Further, a major potential confound of prior in vivo studies is the possibility of different rates of clinical misdiagnosis for carriers vs. noncarriers. We compared phenotypic differences in cognition and topography of regional cortical atrophy of epsilon4 carriers (n = 67) vs. noncarriers (n = 24) with mild AD from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, restricted to those with a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) molecular profile consistent with AD. Between-group comparisons were made for psychometric tests and morphometric measures of cortical thickness and hippocampal volume. Carriers displayed significantly greater impairment on measures of memory retention, whereas noncarriers were more impaired on tests of working memory, executive control, and lexical access. Consistent with this cognitive dissociation, carriers exhibited greater MTL atrophy, whereas noncarriers had greater frontoparietal atrophy. Performance deficits in particular cognitive domains were associated with disproportionate regional brain atrophy within nodes of cortical networks thought to subserve these cognitive processes. These convergent cognitive and neuroanatomic findings in individuals with a CSF molecular profile consistent with AD support the hypothesis that APOE genotype modulates the clinical phenotype of AD through influence on specific large-scale brain networks.

  10. Sustained attention is associated with right superior longitudinal fasciculus and superior parietal white matter microstructure in children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klarborg, Brith; Skak Madsen, Kathrine; Vestergaard, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Sustained attention develops during childhood and has been linked to the right fronto-parietal cortices in functional imaging studies; however, less is known about its relation to white matter (WM) characteristics. Here we investigated whether the microstructure of the WM underlying and connecting...... the right fronto-parietal cortices was associated with sustained attention performance in a group of 76 typically developing children aged 7-13 years. Sustained attention was assessed using a rapid visual information processing paradigm. The two behavioral measures of interest were the sensitivity index d......' and the coefficient of variation in reaction times (RT(CV) ). Diffusion-weighted imaging was performed. Mean fractional anisotropy (FA) was extracted from the WM underlying right dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) and parietal cortex (PC), and the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), as well as equivalent...

  11. Maintaining and restoring sustainable ecosystems in southern Nevada [Chapter 7] (Executive Summary)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Burton K. Pendleton; Donald W. Sada; Steven M. Ostoja; Matthew L.. Brooks

    2013-01-01

    Resource managers in southern Nevada are faced with the challenge of determining appropriate goals and objectives and developing viable approaches for maintaining and restoring sustainable ecosystems in the face of rapid socio-ecological and environmental change. Many of southern Nevada’s ecosystems are being subjected to anthropogenic stressors that span global,...

  12. Impact of the Cognitive-Functional (Cog-Fun) Intervention on Executive Functions and Participation Among Children With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn-Markowitz, Jeri; Berger, Itai; Manor, Iris; Maeir, Adina

    We examined the effect of the Cognitive-Functional (Cog-Fun) occupational therapy intervention on executive functions and participation among children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We used a randomized, controlled study with a crossover design. One hundred and seven children age 7-10 yr diagnosed with ADHD were allocated to treatment or wait-list control group. The control group received treatment after a 3-mo wait. Outcome measures included the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM). Significant improvements were found on both the BRIEF and COPM after intervention with large treatment effects. Before crossover, significant Time × Group interactions were found on the BRIEF. This study supports the effectiveness of the Cog-Fun intervention in improving executive functions and participation among children with ADHD. Copyright © 2017 by the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

  13. Impulsiveness, overactivity, and poorer sustained attention improve by chronic treatment with low doses of l-amphetamine in an animal model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagvolden, Terje

    2011-03-30

    ADHD is currently defined as a cognitive/behavioral developmental disorder where all clinical criteria are behavioral. Overactivity, impulsiveness, and inattentiveness are presently regarded as the main clinical symptoms. There is no biological marker, but there is considerable evidence to suggest that ADHD behavior is associated with poor dopaminergic and noradrenergic modulation of neuronal circuits that involve the frontal lobes. The best validated animal model of ADHD, the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR), shows pronounced overactivity, impulsiveness, and deficient sustained attention. The primary objective of the present research was to investigate behavioral effects of a range of doses of chronic l-amphetamine on ADHD-like symptoms in the SHR. The present study tested the behavioral effects of 0.75 and 2.2 mg l-amphetamine base/kg i.p. in male SHRs and their controls, the Wistar Kyoto rat (WKY). ADHD-like behavior was tested with a visual discrimination task measuring overactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness. The striking impulsiveness, overactivity, and poorer sustained attention seen during baseline conditions in the SHR were improved by chronic treatment with l-amphetamine. The dose-response curves were, however, different for the different behaviors. Most significantly, the 0.75 mg/kg dose of l-amphetamine improved sustained attention without reducing overactivity and impulsiveness. The 2.2 mg/kg dose improved sustained attention as well as reduced SHR overactivity and impulsiveness. The effects of l-amphetamine to reduce the behavioral symptoms of ADHD in the SHR were maintained over the 14 days of daily dosing with no evidence of tolerance developing.

  14. No sustained attention differences in a longitudinal randomized trial comparing mindfulness based stress reduction versus active control.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donal G MacCoon

    Full Text Available Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR is a secular form of meditation training. The vast majority of the extant literature investigating the health effects of mindfulness interventions relies on wait-list control comparisons. Previous studies have found that meditation training over several months is associated with improvements in cognitive control and attention.We used a visual continuous performance task (CPT to test the effects of eight weeks of mindfulness training on sustained attention by comparing MBSR to the Health Enhancement Program (HEP, a structurally equivalent, active control condition in a randomized, longitudinal design (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01301105 focusing on a non-clinical population typical of MBSR participants. Researchers were blind to group assignment. 63 community participants were randomized to either MBSR (n = 31 or HEP (n = 32. CPT analyses were conducted on 29 MBSR participants and 25 HEP participants. We predicted that MBSR would improve visual discrimination ability and sustained attention over time on the CPT compared to HEP, with more home practice associated with greater improvements. Our hypotheses were not confirmed but we did find some evidence for improved visual discrimination similar to effects in partial replication of other research. Our study had sufficient power to demonstrate that intervention groups do not differ in their improvement over time in sustained attention performance. One of our primary predictions concerning the effects of intervention on attentional fatigue was significant but not interpretable.Attentional sensitivity is not affected by mindfulness practice as taught in MBSR, but it is unclear whether mindfulness might positively affect another aspect of attention, vigilance. These results also highlight the relevant procedural modifications required by future research to correctly investigate the role of sustained attention in similar samples.ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT

  15. Development and content validity of the CENA Program for Educational Training on the Neuropsychology of Learning, with an emphasis on executive functions and attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pureza, Janice R.; Fonseca, Rochele P.

    2017-01-01

    Introduction The importance of executive functions (EF) in childhood development, and their role as indicators of health, well-being, professional and academic success have been demonstrated by several studies in the literature. FE are cognitive processes that aim to control and manage behavior to achieve specific goal and included skills planning, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, (executive) attention and the central executive component of working memory (WM). In the context of education, the EF are crucial for continued learning and efficient academic performance due to their involvement in several components of the educational process. Objective The aim of this article was to describe the development and content validity of the CENA Program for Educational Training on the Neuropsychology of Learning, with an emphasis on executive functions and attention. Methods The study involved seven specialists (four responsible for evaluating the program, and three involved in brainstorming), and was carried out in three stages: Background research: neuropsychology and education; Program development - author brainstorming and Evaluation by expert judges The goals, language and methods. Results CENA Program were considered adequate, attesting to its content validity as a school-based neuropsychological intervention. Conclusion Teacher training in school neuropsychology may be an important area for future investment and contribute to academic achievement and student development in the Brazilian education system. PMID:29213497

  16. Embodied Niche Construction in the Hominin Lineage: Semiotic Structure and Sustained Attention in Human Embodied Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Jonas Stutz

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Human evolution unfolded through a rather distinctive, dynamically constructed ecological niche. The human niche is not only generally terrestrial in habitat, while being flexibly and extensively heterotrophic in food-web connections. It is also defined by semiotically structured and structuring embodied cognitive interfaces, connecting the individual organism with the wider environment. The embodied dimensions of niche-population co-evolution have long involved semiotic system construction, which I hypothesize to be an evolutionarily primitive aspect of learning and higher-level cognitive integration and attention in the great apes and humans alike. A clearly pre-linguistic form of semiotic cognitive structuration is suggested to involve recursively learned and constructed object icons. Higher-level cognitive iconic representation of visually, auditorily, or haptically perceived extrasomatic objects would be learned and evoked through indexical connections to proprioceptive and affective somatic states. Thus, private cognitive signs would be defined, not only by their learned and perceived extrasomatic referents, but also by their associations to iconically represented somatic states. This evolutionary modification of animal associative learning is suggested to be adaptive in ecological niches occupied by long-lived, large-bodied ape species, facilitating memory construction and recall in highly varied foraging and social contexts, while sustaining selective attention during goal-directed behavioral sequences. The embodied niche construction (ENC hypothesis of human evolution posits that in the early hominin lineage, natural selection further modified the ancestral ape semiotic adaptations, favoring the recursive structuration of concise iconic narratives of embodied interaction with the environment.

  17. Investigating the role of executive attentional control to self-harm in a non-clinical cohort with borderline personality features.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer eDrabble

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Self-injurious behavior (or self-harm is a frequently reported maladaptive behavior in the general population and a key feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD. Poor affect regulation is strongly linked to a propensity to self-harm, is a core component of BPD, and is linked with reduced attentional control abilities. The idea that attentional control difficulties may provide a link between BPD, negative affect and self-harm has yet to be established, however. The present study explored the putative relationship between levels of BPD features, three aspects of attentional/executive control, affect, and self-harm history in a sample of 340 non-clinical participants recruited online from self-harm forums and social networking sites. Analyses showed that self-reported levels of BPD features and attentional focusing predicted self-harm incidence, and high attentional focusing increased the likelihood of a prior self-harm history in those with high BPD features. Ability to shift attention was associated with a reduced likelihood of self-harm, suggesting that good attentional switching ability may provide a protective buffer against self-harm behavior for some individuals. These attentional control differences mediated the association between negative affect and self-harm, but the relationship between BPD and self-harm appears independent.

  18. [Adaptive behaviour and learning in children with neurodevelopmental disorders (autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Effects of executive functioning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosello-Miranda, B; Berenguer-Forner, C; Miranda-Casas, A

    2018-03-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) present difficulties in adaptive functioning and learning, possibly associated with failures in executive functioning characteristic of both disorders. To analyze the impact of executive functioning in the adaptive behaviors of socialization and daily life and in learning behaviors in children with ASD and children with ADHD. The participants were 124 children matched in age and intellectual quotient: 37 children with typical development, 52 children with ASD and 35 children with ADHD. Parents reported on their children's adaptive behaviors, while teachers provided information on learning behaviors and executive functioning in daily life. There are significant differences between the groups with ASD and ADHD with the typical development group in all domains evaluated. In addition, the group with ASD had worse socialization skills while persistence in learning was more affected in children with ADHD. Finally, the metacognitive index of executive functioning predicted the socialization and persistence of children with ASD. On the other hand, the index of behavioral regulation and the educational level of the parents predicted the socialization skills in children with ADHD. The results highlight the need to include differentiated executive strategies in the intervention of children with ASD and children with ADHD.

  19. Research Review: Executive function deficits in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder – a meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kingdon, Danielle; Cardoso, Christopher; McGrath, Jennifer J.

    2018-01-01

    Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-like symptoms are common in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD and ADHD groups both display executive function impairments; however, there is ongoing debate whether the pattern and magnitude of executive function deficits differs between these two types of disorders. Methods An electronic literature search was conducted (PubMed, PsychInfo; 1972–2013) to identify studies comparing the executive functioning of children with FASD with ADHD or control groups. FASD groups included those with and without dysmorphy (i.e., FAS, pFAS, ARND, and other FASD diagnoses). Effect sizes (Hedges’ g, standardized mean difference) were calculated. Random effects meta-analytic models were performed using the metafor package for R. Results Fifty-one studies met inclusion criteria (FASD N = 2,115; ADHD N = 453; controls N = 1,990). Children with FASD showed the strongest and most consistent deficits in planning, fluency, and set-shifting compared to controls (Hedges’ g = −0.94, −0.78) and children with ADHD (Hedges’ g = −0.72, −0.32). FASD was associated with moderate to large impairments in working memory, compared to controls (Hedges’ g = −.84, −.58) and small impairments relative to groups with ADHD (Hedges’ g = −.26). Smaller and less consistent deficits were found on measures of inhibition and vigilance relative to controls (Hedges’ g = −0.52, −0.31); FASD and ADHD were not differentiated on these measures. Moderator analyses indicated executive dysfunction was associated with older age, dysmorphy, and larger group differences in IQ. Sex and diagnostic system were not consistently related to effect size. Conclusions While FASD is associated with global executive impairments, executive function weaknesses are most consistent for measures of planning, fluency, and set-shifting. Neuropsychological measures assessing these executive function domains may improve differential diagnosis

  20. Differential impact of methylphenidate and atomoxetine on sustained attention in youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bédard, Anne-Claude V; Stein, Mark A; Halperin, Jeffrey M; Krone, Beth; Rajwan, Estrella; Newcorn, Jeffrey H

    2015-01-01

    This study examined the effects of atomoxetine (ATX) and OROS methylphenidate (MPH) on laboratory measures of inhibitory control and attention in youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It was hypothesized that performance would be improved by both treatments, but response profiles would differ because the medications work via different mechanisms. One hundred and two youth (77 male; mean age = 10.5 ± 2.7 years) with ADHD received ATX (1.4 ± 0.5 mg/kg) and MPH (52.4 ± 16.6 mg) in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. Medication was titrated in 4-6-week blocks separated by a 2-week placebo washout. Inhibitory control and attention measures were obtained at baseline, following washout, and at the end of each treatment using Conners' Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II), which provided age-adjusted T-scores for reaction time (RT), reaction time variability (RT variability), and errors. Repeated-measures analyses of variance were performed, with Time (premedication, postmedication) and Treatment type (ATX, MPH) entered as within-subject factors. Data from the two treatment blocks were checked for order effects and combined if order effects were not present. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00183391. Main effects for Time on RT (p = .03), RTSD (p = .001), and omission errors (p = .01) were significant. A significant Drug × Time interaction indicated that MPH improved RT, RTSD, and omission errors more than ATX (p attention in youth with ADHD. However, the dissociation of cognitive and behavioral change with treatment indicates that CPT measures cannot be considered proxies for symptomatic improvement. Further research on the dissociation of cognitive and behavioral endpoints for ADHD is indicated. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. © 2014 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

  1. Sustained Attention Across the Life Span in a Sample of 10,000: Dissociating Ability and Strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; DeGutis, Joseph; Germine, Laura; Wilmer, Jeremy B; Grosso, Mallory; Russo, Kathryn; Esterman, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Normal and abnormal differences in sustained visual attention have long been of interest to scientists, educators, and clinicians. Still lacking, however, is a clear understanding of how sustained visual attention varies across the broad sweep of the human life span. In the present study, we filled this gap in two ways. First, using an unprecedentedly large 10,430-person sample, we modeled age-related differences with substantially greater precision than have prior efforts. Second, using the recently developed gradual-onset continuous performance test (gradCPT), we parsed sustained-attention performance over the life span into its ability and strategy components. We found that after the age of 15 years, the strategy and ability trajectories saliently diverge. Strategy becomes monotonically more conservative with age, whereas ability peaks in the early 40s and is followed by a gradual decline in older adults. These observed life-span trajectories for sustained attention are distinct from results of other life-span studies focusing on fluid and crystallized intelligence. © The Author(s) 2015.

  2. Assessing Selective Sustained Attention in 3- to 5-Year-Old Children: Evidence from a New Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Anna; Thiessen, Erik; Godwin, Karrie; Kloos, Heidi; Dickerson, John

    2013-01-01

    Selective sustained attention (SSA) is crucial for higher order cognition. Factors promoting SSA are described as exogenous or endogenous. However, there is little research specifying how these factors interact during development, due largely to the paucity of developmentally appropriate paradigms. We report findings from a novel paradigm designed…

  3. The influences of task repetition, napping, time of day, and instruction on the Sustained Attention to Response Task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schie, M.K.M. van; Alblas, E.E.; Thijs, R.D.; Fronczek, R.; Lammers, G.J.; Dijk, J.G. van

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: The Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) helps to quantify vigilance impairments. Previous studies, in which five SART sessions on one day were administered, demonstrated worse performance during the first session than during the others. The present study comprises two

  4. Altered white matter tract property related to impaired focused attention, sustained attention, cognitive impulsivity and vigilance in attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Huey-Ling; Chen, Yu-Jen; Lo, Yu-Chun; Tseng, Wen-Yih I; Gau, Susan S

    2015-09-01

    The neural substrate for clinical symptoms and neuropsychological performance in individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has rarely been studied and has yielded inconsistent results. We sought to compare the microstructural property of fibre tracts associated with the prefrontal cortex and its association with ADHD symptoms and a wide range of attention performance in youth with ADHD and healthy controls. We assessed youths with ADHD and age-, sex-, handedness-, coil- and intelligence-matched controls using the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CCPT) for attention performance and MRI. The 10 target tracts, including the bilateral frontostriatal tracts (caudate to dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and orbitofrontal cortex), superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and cingulum bundle were reconstructed using diffusion spectrum imaging tractography. We computed generalized fractional anisotropy (GFA) values to indicate tract-specific microstructural property. We included 50 youths with ADHD and 50 healthy controls in our study. Youths with ADHD had lower GFA in the left frontostriatal tracts, bilateral SLF and right cingulum bundle and performed worse in the CCPT than controls. Furthermore, alteration of the right SLF GFA was most significantly associated with the clinical symptom of inattention in youths with ADHD. Finally, youths with ADHD had differential association patterns of the 10 fibre tract GFA values with attention performance compared with controls. Ten of the youths with ADHD were treated with methylphenidate, which may have long-term effects on microstructural property. Our study highlights the importance of the SLF, cingulum bundle and frontostriatal tracts for clinical symptoms and attention performance in youths with ADHD and demonstrates the involvement of different fibre tracts in attention performance in these individuals.

  5. 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.

  6. Behavioral and Neural Sustained Attention Deficits in Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagliaccio, David; Wiggins, Jillian Lee; Adleman, Nancy E; Curhan, Alexa; Zhang, Susan; Towbin, Kenneth E; Brotman, Melissa A; Pine, Daniel S; Leibenluft, Ellen

    2017-05-01

    Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), characterized by severe irritability, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are highly comorbid. This is the first study to characterize neural and behavioral similarities and differences in attentional functioning across these disorders. Twenty-seven healthy volunteers, 31 patients with DMDD, and 25 patients with ADHD (8 to 18 years old) completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging attention task. Group differences in intra-subject variability in reaction time (RT) were examined. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging analytic approach precisely quantified trial-wise associations between RT and brain activity. Group differences manifested in the relation between RT and brain activity (all regions: p  2.54, partial eta-squared [η p 2 ] > 0.06). Patients with DMDD showed specific alterations in the right paracentral lobule, superior parietal lobule, fusiform gyrus, and cerebellar culmen. In contrast, patients with DMDD and those with ADHD exhibited blunted compensatory increases in activity on long RT trials. In addition, youth with DMDD exhibited increased activity in the postcentral gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, and cerebellar tonsil and declive (all regions: p  2.46, η p 2 > 0.06). Groups in the imaging sample did not differ significantly in intra-subject variability in RT (F 2,79  = 2.664, p = .076, η p 2  = 0.063), although intra-subject variability in RT was significantly increased in youth with DMDD and ADHD when including those not meeting strict motion and accuracy criteria for imaging analysis (F 2,96  = 4.283, p = .017, η p 2  = 0.083). Patients with DMDD exhibited specific alterations in the relation between pre-stimulus brain activity and RT. Patients with DMDD and those with ADHD exhibited similar blunting of compensatory neural activity in frontal, parietal, and other regions. In addition, patients with DMDD showed increased RT variability compared with healthy

  7. School Board as a Pedagogical Strategy for Sustainability in Environmental Education. (Project execution

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    Nayr Del Valle Rivas Silva

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available This research was designed as a purpose to establish the school garden as a pedagogical strategy of sustainability in environmental education with the students of the National Basic School "Sebastián Araujo Briceño" of the Pedraza Municipality Barinas State; The nature of research is qualitative, the method is Research Action. For the purposes of the present study, three (03 teachers and three (03 students who belong to the institution will participate as informers and enjoy recognized responsibility and commitment at the "Sebastián Araujo Briceño" National Basic School. The technique used is the semistructured interview, And the instrument the interview guide. The analysis of the information will be done through the codification, categorization, triangulation and structuring of theories. After implementing the activities with the school garden, it is hoped to conclude that children contribute to the care of the environment and maintain in harmony the ecological balance that should reign in any space where human beings live and coexist. In this way the educational institution will present an environmental aspect in accordance with the ecological principles of environmental education immersed in the National Basic Curriculum.

  8. A Computer-Based Sustained Visual Attention Test for Pre-School Children: Design, Development and Psychometric Properties

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    Roohollah Zahedian Nasb

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: Sustained visual attention is a prerequisite for learning and memory. The early evaluation of attention in childhood is essential for their school and career success in the future. The aim of this study was to design, development and investigation of psychometric properties (content, face and convergent validity and test-retest and internal consistency reliability of the computer - based sustained visual attention test (SuVAT for healthy preschool children aged 4-6 with their special needs. Methods: This study was carried out in two stages: in the first stage computerbased SuVAT in two versions original and parallel were developed. Then the test-retest and internal consistency reliability using intra-class correlation and Cronbach’s alpha coefficients respectively were examined; Face validity was calculated through ideas gathering from 10 preschool children and content validity evaluated using CVI and CVR method and convergent validity of SuVAT with CPT was assessed using Pearson correlation. Results: The developed test showed a good content and faces validity, and also had excellent test-retest reliability. In addition, the assessment of internal consistency indicated the high internal consistency of the test (Cronbach’s alpha=0.869. SuVAT and CPT test demonstrated a positive correlation upon the convergent validity testing. Conclusion: SuVAT with good reliability and validity could be used as an acceptable sustained attention assessment in preschool children.

  9. Attention Switching and Multimedia Learning: The Impact of Executive Resources on the Integrative Comprehension of Texts and Pictures

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    Baadte, Christiane; Rasch, Thorsten; Honstein, Helena

    2015-01-01

    The ability to flexibly allocate attention to goal-relevant information is pivotal for the completion of high-level cognitive processes. For instance, in comprehending illustrated texts, the reader permanently has to switch the attentional focus between the text and the corresponding picture in order to extract relevant information from both…

  10. Independent contributions of the central executive, intelligence, and in-class attentive behavior to developmental change in the strategies used to solve addition problems.

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    Geary, David C; Hoard, Mary K; Nugent, Lara

    2012-09-01

    Children's (N=275) use of retrieval, decomposition (e.g., 7=4+3 and thus 6+7=6+4+3), and counting to solve additional problems was longitudinally assessed from first grade to fourth grade, and intelligence, working memory, and in-class attentive behavior was assessed in one or several grades. The goal was to assess the relation between capacity of the central executive component of working memory, controlling for intelligence and in-class attentive behavior, and grade-related changes in children's use of these strategies. The predictor on intercept effects from multilevel models revealed that children with higher central executive capacity correctly retrieved more facts and used the most sophisticated counting procedure more frequently and accurately than their lower capacity peers at the beginning of first grade, but the predictor on slope effects indicated that this advantage disappeared (retrieval) or declined in importance (counting) from first grade to fourth grade. The predictor on slope effects also revealed that from first grade to fourth grade, children with higher capacity adopted the decomposition strategy more quickly than other children. The results remained robust with controls for children's sex, race, school site, speed of encoding Arabic numerals and articulating number words, and mathematics achievement in kindergarten. The results also revealed that intelligence and in-class attentive behavior independently contributed to children's strategy development. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Unfazed or Dazed and Confused: Does Early Adolescent Marijuana Use Cause Sustained Impairments in Attention and Academic Functioning?

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    Pardini, Dustin; White, Helene R; Xiong, Shuangyan; Bechtold, Jordan; Chung, Tammy; Loeber, Rolf; Hipwell, Alison

    2015-10-01

    There is some suggestion that heavy marijuana use during early adolescence (prior to age 17) may cause significant impairments in attention and academic functioning that remain despite sustained periods of abstinence. However, no longitudinal studies have examined whether both male and female adolescents who engage in low (less than once a month) to moderate (at least once a monthly) marijuana use experience increased problems with attention and academic performance, and whether these problems remain following sustained abstinence. The current study used within-individual change models to control for all potential pre-existing and time-stable confounds when examining this potential causal association in two gender-specific longitudinal samples assessed annually from ages 11 to 16 (Pittsburgh Youth Study N = 479; Pittsburgh Girls Study N = 2296). Analyses also controlled for the potential influence of several pertinent time-varying factors (e.g., other substance use, peer delinquency). Prior to controlling for time-varying confounds, analyses indicated that adolescents tended to experience an increase in parent-reported attention and academic problems, relative to their pre-onset levels, during years when they used marijuana. After controlling for several time-varying confounds, only the association between marijuana use and attention problems in the sample of girls remained statistically significant. There was no evidence indicating that adolescents who used marijuana experienced lingering attention and academic problems, relative to their pre-onset levels, after abstaining from use for at least a year. These results suggest that adolescents who engage in low to moderate marijuana use experience an increase in observable attention and academic problems, but these problems appear to be minimal and are eliminated following sustained abstinence.

  12. Acute Stress Dysregulates the LPP ERP Response to Emotional Pictures and Impairs Sustained Attention: Time-Sensitive Effects.

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    Alomari, Rima A; Fernandez, Mercedes; Banks, Jonathan B; Acosta, Juliana; Tartar, Jaime L

    2015-05-20

    Stress can increase emotional vigilance at the cost of a decrease in attention towards non-emotional stimuli. However, the time-dependent effects of acute stress on emotion processing are uncertain. We tested the effects of acute stress on subsequent emotion processing up to 40 min following an acute stressor. Our measure of emotion processing was the late positive potential (LPP) component of the visual event-related potential (ERP), and our measure of non-emotional attention was the sustained attention to response task (SART). We also measured cortisol levels before and after the socially evaluated cold pressor test (SECPT) induction. We found that the effects of stress on the LPP ERP emotion measure were time sensitive. Specifically, the LPP ERP was only altered in the late time-point (30-40 min post-stress) when cortisol was at its highest level. Here, the LPP no longer discriminated between the emotional and non-emotional picture categories, most likely because neutral pictures were perceived as emotional. Moreover, compared to the non-stress condition, the stress-condition showed impaired performance on the SART. Our results support the idea that a limit in attention resources after an emotional stressor is associated with the brain incorrectly processing non-emotional stimuli as emotional and interferes with sustained attention.

  13. Executive Function: Implications for Education. NCER 2017-2000

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    Zelazo, Philip David; Blair, Clancy B.; Willoughby, Michael T.

    2016-01-01

    Executive function (EF) skills are the attention-regulation skills that make it possible to sustain attention, keep goals and information in mind, refrain from responding immediately, resist distraction, tolerate frustration, consider the consequences of different behaviors, reflect on past experiences, and plan for the future. As EF research…

  14. Attentional performance and executive functions in children with learning difficulties Desempenho atencional e funções executivas em crianças com dificuldades de aprendizagem

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    Ricardo Franco de Lima

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Studies have described changes in visual attention and executive function in children with developmental dyslexia. This study intended to compare the performance of children with and without learning difficulties on tasks of visual attention and executive functions. The participants were 23 students, aged between 9 and 14 years old, with a mean age of 10.8 years. They were divided into three groups: (a with learning difficulties; (b with dyslexia; and (c control (without any difficulty. For the evaluation, Tests of Cancellation, Trail Making Test, Stroop Color-Word Test and Tower of London Test were used. The results indicated that children with dyslexia had the worst performance on different measures of attention and executive functions, indicating that such changes may be characteristic of the disorder and keep the deficit in the phonological component of language.Estudos têm descrito alterações na atenção visual e nas funções executivas em crianças com Dislexia do Desenvolvimento. O presente trabalho pretendeu comparar o desempenho de crianças com e sem dificuldades de aprendizagem em tarefas de atenção visual e funções executivas. Participaram 23 estudantes, com idade entre 9 e 14 anos e idade média de 10,8 anos, divididos em três grupos: com dificuldades escolares, com dislexia e controle sem dificuldades. Para a avaliação foram usados os Testes de Cancelamento, Trail Making Test, Stroop Color Word Test e Tower of London. Os resultados indicaram que as crianças com dislexia apresentaram piores desempenhos em diferentes medidas atencionais e das funções executivas, indicando que tais alterações podem ser características do quadro e acompanhar o déficit no componente fonológico da linguagem.

  15. Revisiting the co-existence of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Chronic Tic Disorder in childhood-The case of colour discrimination, sustained attention and interference control.

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    Uebel-von Sandersleben, Henrik; Albrecht, Björn; Rothenberger, Aribert; Fillmer-Heise, Anke; Roessner, Veit; Sergeant, Joseph; Tannock, Rosemary; Banaschewski, Tobias

    2017-01-01

    Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Chronic Tic Disorder (CTD) are two common and frequently co-existing disorders, probably following an additive model. But this is not yet clear for the basic sensory function of colour processing sensitive to dopaminergic functioning in the retina and higher cognitive functions like attention and interference control. The latter two reflect important aspects for psychoeducation and behavioural treatment approaches. Colour discrimination using the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-hue Test, sustained attention during the Frankfurt Attention Inventory (FAIR), and interference liability during Colour- and Counting-Stroop-Tests were assessed to further clarify the cognitive profile of the co-existence of ADHD and CTD. Altogether 69 children were classified into four groups: ADHD (N = 14), CTD (N = 20), ADHD+CTD (N = 20) and healthy Controls (N = 15) and compared in cognitive functioning in a 2×2-factorial statistical model. Difficulties with colour discrimination were associated with both ADHD and CTD factors following an additive model, but in ADHD these difficulties tended to be more pronounced on the blue-yellow axis. Attention problems were characteristic for ADHD but not CTD. Interference load was significant in both Colour- and Counting-Stroop-Tests and unrelated to colour discrimination. Compared to Controls, interference load in the Colour-Stroop was higher in pure ADHD and in pure CTD, but not in ADHD+CTD, following a sub-additive model. In contrast, interference load in the Counting-Stroop did not reveal ADHD or CTD effects. The co-existence of ADHD and CTD is characterized by additive as well as sub-additive performance impairments, suggesting that their co-existence may show simple additive characteristics of both disorders or a more complex interaction, depending on demand. The equivocal findings on interference control may indicate limited validity of the Stroop-Paradigm for clinical assessments.

  16. Revisiting the co-existence of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Chronic Tic Disorder in childhood—The case of colour discrimination, sustained attention and interference control

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    Rothenberger, Aribert; Fillmer-Heise, Anke; Roessner, Veit; Sergeant, Joseph; Tannock, Rosemary; Banaschewski, Tobias

    2017-01-01

    Objective Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Chronic Tic Disorder (CTD) are two common and frequently co-existing disorders, probably following an additive model. But this is not yet clear for the basic sensory function of colour processing sensitive to dopaminergic functioning in the retina and higher cognitive functions like attention and interference control. The latter two reflect important aspects for psychoeducation and behavioural treatment approaches. Methods Colour discrimination using the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-hue Test, sustained attention during the Frankfurt Attention Inventory (FAIR), and interference liability during Colour- and Counting-Stroop-Tests were assessed to further clarify the cognitive profile of the co-existence of ADHD and CTD. Altogether 69 children were classified into four groups: ADHD (N = 14), CTD (N = 20), ADHD+CTD (N = 20) and healthy Controls (N = 15) and compared in cognitive functioning in a 2×2-factorial statistical model. Results Difficulties with colour discrimination were associated with both ADHD and CTD factors following an additive model, but in ADHD these difficulties tended to be more pronounced on the blue-yellow axis. Attention problems were characteristic for ADHD but not CTD. Interference load was significant in both Colour- and Counting-Stroop-Tests and unrelated to colour discrimination. Compared to Controls, interference load in the Colour-Stroop was higher in pure ADHD and in pure CTD, but not in ADHD+CTD, following a sub-additive model. In contrast, interference load in the Counting-Stroop did not reveal ADHD or CTD effects. Conclusion The co-existence of ADHD and CTD is characterized by additive as well as sub-additive performance impairments, suggesting that their co-existence may show simple additive characteristics of both disorders or a more complex interaction, depending on demand. The equivocal findings on interference control may indicate limited validity of the Stroop-Paradigm for

  17. Acute effects of glucose tablets on craving, withdrawal symptoms, and sustained attention in 12-h abstinent tobacco smokers.

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    Harakas, P; Foulds, J

    2002-05-01

    Glucose administration may decrease desire to smoke in abstinent smokers. Moreover, glucose administration has been associated with improved performance on measures of attention in healthy humans but evidence remains modest. The present study aimed to determine whether reported craving and nicotine withdrawal symptoms can be relieved, and sustained attention on the Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) task improved, with the administration of 12 g oral glucose in nicotine-deprived smokers. Forty-one smokers, abstinent for 12 h, participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study to examine the effect of glucose on desire to smoke, withdrawal symptoms, and attention. Participants completed the RVIP task once and then rated craving and nicotine withdrawal symptoms before chewing four 3 g glucose tablets (experimental group) or four matched placebo tablets (control group). Following tablet consumption participants rated craving and withdrawal symptoms at 5-min intervals for 20 min. Subsequently a second RVIP task was performed, followed by a final rating of craving and withdrawal symptoms. Any effect of glucose across time was not statistically significant on craving, withdrawal symptoms, or performance on the RVIP task. There were no differences between the groups in measures of 'satisfaction' or 'sickness'. The present study failed to find a significant effect of 12 g oral glucose on tobacco craving, withdrawal symptoms, or sustained attention in relatively young tobacco smokers after 12 h of tobacco abstinence.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Effect of Training Focused on Executive Functions (attention, inhibition and working memory in Preschoolers exhibiting ADHD symptoms

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    Anna Maria Re

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The development of early intervention strategies for children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD is important because it provides an opportunity to prevent severe problems in the future. The main purpose of this investigation was to determine the efficacy of a group training for the control of attention, working memory and impulsive behaviors, involving five-year-old children with ADHD symptoms. Twenty-six children with ADHD symptoms and 26 with typical development were randomly divided in two conditions. 13 children in each group were assigned to the training condition and the other to the business as usual condition (normal class activity. Children who participated in the intervention showed an improvement in the tasks measuring their control of attention, impulsive behavior and working memory. Moreover, children with typical development who attended the training also improved their competencies. The results confirm the importance of an early intervention for preschool-age children with ADHD symptoms.

  20. Sustainability.

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    Chang, Chein-Chi; DiGiovanni, Kimberly; Mei, Ying; Wei, Li

    2016-10-01

    This review on Sustainability covers selected 2015 publications on the focus of Sustainability. It is divided into the following sections : • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management.

  1. Validation of a screening tool for attention and executive functions (EpiTrack Junior) in children and adolescents with absence epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadish, Navah Ester; Baumann, Matthias; Pietz, Joachim; Schubert-Bast, Susanne; Reuner, Gitta

    2013-10-01

    Our prospective study aimed at the validation of EpiTrack Junior, a neuropsychological screening tool for attention and executive functions in children with epilepsy. Twenty-two children with absence epilepsy aged 8-17 years underwent comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation including EpiTrack Junior and measures of intelligence, verbal and nonverbal memory, word fluency and visuoconstructive organization. Concurrent and discriminant validity of EpiTrack Junior subtests and total score as well as sensitivity and specificity of the total score were analyzed. EpiTrack Junior total score was impaired in 59% of participants. Concurrent validity was demonstrated in 4/6 subtests and for the total score. Discriminant validity was shown with respect to verbal and nonverbal long-term memory. Sensitivity was higher than specificity and highest for the "working memory index". EpiTrack Junior is recommended as a sensitive and time-efficient screening tool for attention and executive functions in children with epilepsy. Impaired results should be followed up with detailed evaluation including information from the parents and school as well as counseling where indicated. © 2013.

  2. EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING IN SCHIZOPHRENIA

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    Gricel eOrellana

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The executive function (EF is a set of abilities, which allows us to invoke voluntary control of our behavioral responses. These functions enable human beings to develop and carry out plans, make up analogies, obey social rules, solve problems, adapt to unexpected circumstances, do many tasks simultaneously and locate episodes in time and place. EF includes divided attention and sustained attention, working memory, set-shifting, flexibility, planning and the regulation of goal directed behavior and can be defined as a brain function underlying the human faculty to act or think not only in reaction to external events but also in relation with internal goals and states. EF is mostly associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC. Besides EF, PFC is involved in self-regulation of behavior, i.e. the ability to regulate behavior according to internal goals and constraints, particularly in less structured situations. Self-regulation of behavior is subtended by ventral medial /orbital PFC. Impairment of EF is one of the most commonly observed deficits in schizophrenia through the various disease stages. Impairment in tasks measuring conceptualization, planning, cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency, ability to solve complex problems and working memory occur in schizophrenia. Disorders detected by executive tests are consistent with evidence from functional neuroimaging, which have shown PFC dysfunction in patients while performing these kinds of tasks. Schizophrenics also exhibit deficit in odor identifying, decision-making and self-regulation of behavior suggesting dysfunction of the orbital PFC. However, impairment in executive tests is explained by dysfunction of prefronto-striato-thalamic, prefronto-parietal and prefronto-temporal neural networks mainly. Disorders in executive functions may be considered central facts with respect to schizophrenia and it has been suggested that negative symptoms may be explained by that executive dysfunction.

  3. The alpha-2A adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine improves sustained attention and reduces overactivity and impulsiveness in an animal model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

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    Sagvolden Terje

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background ADHD is currently defined as a cognitive/behavioral developmental disorder where all clinical criteria are behavioral. Overactivity, impulsiveness, and inattentiveness are presently regarded as the main clinical symptoms. There is no biological marker, but there is considerable evidence to suggest that ADHD behavior is associated with poor dopaminergic and noradrenergic modulation of neuronal circuits that involve the frontal lobes. The best validated animal model of ADHD, the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR, shows pronounced overactivity, impulsiveness, and deficient sustained attention. While dopamine release is decreased in SHR prefrontal cortex, norepinephrine concentrations are elevated. The noradrenergic system appears to be hyperactive as a result of impaired alpha-2A adrenoceptor regulation. Thus, the present study tested behavioral effects of the centrally acting alpha-2A adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine on SHR behavior. Methods The present study tested behavioral effects of guanfacine at doses of 0.075, 0.15, 0.30 and 0.60 mg base/kg i.p. in both male SHRs and their controls, the Wistar Kyoto rat (WKY. ADHD-like behavior was tested with a visual discrimination task measuring overactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness. Results The striking impulsiveness, overactivity, and reduced sustained attention during baseline conditions in the SHR improved by treatment with guanfacine. The most pronounced improvement in SHR behavior was seen following the two highest doses (0.3 and 0.6 mg/kg of guanfacine when SHR behaviors virtually normalized. The positive effects of the drug were most marked towards the end of the session. Conclusion The results indicate that guanfacine improved poor noradrenergic modulation of neuronal circuits that involve the frontal lobes in an animal model of ADHD. The present results support the beneficial effects of guanfacine on ADHD behavior reported clinically and experimentally in primate

  4. Emotion triggers executive attention: anterior cingulate cortex and amygdala responses to emotional words in a conflict task.

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    Kanske, Philipp; Kotz, Sonja A

    2011-02-01

    Coherent behavior depends on attentional control that detects and resolves conflict between opposing actions. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging study tested the hypothesis that emotion triggers attentional control to speed up conflict processing in particularly salient situations. Therefore, we presented emotionally negative and neutral words in a version of the flanker task. In response to conflict, we found activation of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and of the amygdala for emotional stimuli. When emotion and conflict coincided, a region in the ventral ACC was activated, which resulted in faster conflict processing in reaction times. Emotion also increased functional connectivity between the ventral ACC and activation of the dorsal ACC and the amygdala in conflict trials. These data suggest that the ventral ACC integrates emotion and conflict and prioritizes the processing of conflict in emotional trials. This adaptive mechanism ensures rapid detection and resolution of conflict in potentially threatening situations signaled by emotional stimuli. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. Improvements in concentration, working memory and sustained attention following consumption of a natural citicoline-caffeine beverage.

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    Bruce, Steven E; Werner, Kimberly B; Preston, Brittany F; Baker, Laurie M

    2014-12-01

    This study examined the neurocognitive and electrophysiological effects of a citicoline-caffeine-based beverage in 60 healthy adult participants enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Measures of electrical brain activity using electroencephalogram (EEG) and neuropsychological measures examining attention, concentration and reaction time were administered. Compared to placebo, participants receiving the citicoline-caffeine beverage exhibited significantly faster maze learning times and reaction times on a continuous performance test, fewer errors in a go/no-go task and better accuracy on a measure of information processing speed. EEG results examining P450 event-related potentials revealed that participants receiving the citicoline-caffeine beverage exhibited higher P450 amplitudes than controls, suggesting an increase in sustained attention. Overall, these findings suggest that the beverage significantly improved sustained attention, cognitive effort and reaction times in healthy adults. Evidence of improved P450 amplitude indicates a general improvement in the ability to accommodate new and relevant information within working memory and overall enhanced brain activation.

  6. Competitive interactions of attentional resources in early visual cortex during sustained visuospatial attention within or between visual hemifields: evidence for the different-hemifield advantage.

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    Walter, Sabrina; Quigley, Cliodhna; Mueller, Matthias M

    2014-05-01

    Performing a task across the left and right visual hemifields results in better performance than in a within-hemifield version of the task, termed the different-hemifield advantage. Although recent studies used transient stimuli that were presented with long ISIs, here we used a continuous objective electrophysiological (EEG) measure of competitive interactions for attentional processing resources in early visual cortex, the steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP). We frequency-tagged locations in each visual quadrant and at central fixation by flickering light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at different frequencies to elicit distinguishable SSVEPs. Stimuli were presented for several seconds, and participants were cued to attend to two LEDs either in one (Within) or distributed across left and right visual hemifields (Across). In addition, we introduced two reference measures: one for suppressive interactions between the peripheral LEDs by using a task at fixation where attention was withdrawn from the periphery and another estimating the upper bound of SSVEP amplitude by cueing participants to attend to only one of the peripheral LEDs. We found significantly greater SSVEP amplitude modulations in Across compared with Within hemifield conditions. No differences were found between SSVEP amplitudes elicited by the peripheral LEDs when participants attended to the centrally located LEDs compared with when peripheral LEDs had to be ignored in Across and Within trials. Attending to only one LED elicited the same SSVEP amplitude as Across conditions. Although behavioral data displayed a more complex pattern, SSVEP amplitudes were well in line with the predictions of the different-hemifield advantage account during sustained visuospatial attention.

  7. Effect of an Ecological Executive Skill Training Program for School-aged Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial.

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    Qian, Ying; Chen, Min; Shuai, Lan; Cao, Qing-Jiu; Yang, Li; Wang, Yu-Feng

    2017-07-05

    As medication does not normalize outcomes of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), especially in real-life functioning, nonpharmacological methods are important to target this field. This randomized controlled clinical trial was designed to evaluate the effects of a comprehensive executive skill training program for school-aged children with ADHD in a relatively large sample. The children (aged 6-12 years) with ADHD were randomized to the intervention or waitlist groups. A healthy control group was composed of gender- and age-matched healthy children. The intervention group received a 12-session training program for multiple executive skills. Executive function (EF), ADHD symptoms, and social functioning in the intervention and waitlist groups were evaluated at baseline and the end of the final training session. The healthy controls (HCs) were only assessed once at baseline. Repeated measures analyses of variance were used to compare EF, ADHD symptoms, and social function between intervention and waitlist groups. Thirty-eight children with ADHD in intervention group, 30 in waitlist group, and 23 healthy children in healthy control group were included in final analysis. At posttreatment, intervention group showed significantly lower Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) total score (135.89 ± 16.80 vs. 146.09 ± 23.92, P= 0.04) and monitoring score (18.05 ± 2.67 vs. 19.77 ± 3.10, P= 0.02), ADHD-IV overall score (41.11 ± 7.48 vs. 47.20 ± 8.47, PADHD-IV overall score (F = 21.72, PADHD-rating scale-IV, and WEISS Functional Impairment Scale-Parent form (WFIRS-P) among the intervention and waitlist groups at posttreatment and HCs at baseline. This randomized controlled study on executive skill training in a relatively large sample provided some evidences that the training could improve EF deficits, reduce problematic symptoms, and potentially enhance the social functioning in school-aged children with ADHD. http

  8. Assessing the Molecular Genetics of the Development of Executive Attention in Children: Focus on Genetic Pathways Related to the Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Dopamine

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    Brocki, Karin; Clerkin, Suzanne M.; Guise, Kevin G.; Fan, Jin; Fossella, John A.

    2009-01-01

    It is well-known that children show gradual and protracted improvement in an array of behaviors involved in the conscious control of thought and emotion. Non-invasive neuroimaging in developing populations has revealed many neural correlates of behavior, particularly in the developing cingulate cortex and fronto-striatal circuits. These brain regions, themselves, undergo protracted molecular and cellular change in the first two decades of human development and, as such, are ideal regions of interest for cognitive- and imaging-genetic studies that seek to link processes at the biochemical and synaptic levels to brain activity and behavior. We review our research to-date that employs both adult and child-friendly versions of the Attention Network Task (ANT) in an effort to begin to describe the role of specific genes in the assembly of a functional attention system. Presently, we constrain our predictions for genetic association studies by focusing on the role of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and of dopamine in the development of executive attention. PMID:19344637

  9. Advances in Graduate Marketing Curriculum: Paying Attention to Ethical, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, James

    2013-01-01

    This research explores the impact of coercive, mimetic, and normative isomorphic pressures on the coverage and offering of courses addressing ethical, social, and sustainability issues (ESSI) in business schools' graduate marketing curricula. Data from the Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes program are analyzed to detect if significant…

  10. Resting-state connectivity of the sustained attention network correlates with disease duration in idiopathic generalized epilepsy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mona Maneshi

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: In idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE, a normal electroencephalogram between generalized spike and wave (GSW discharges is believed to reflect normal brain function. However, some studies indicate that even excluding GSW-related errors, IGE patients perform poorly on sustained attention task, the deficit being worse as a function of disease duration. We hypothesized that at least in a subset of structures which are normally involved in sustained attention, resting-state functional connectivity (FC is different in IGE patients compared to controls and that some of the changes are related to disease duration. METHOD: Seeds were selected based on a sustained attention study in controls. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data was obtained from 14 IGE patients and 14 matched controls. After physiological noise removal, the mean time-series of each seed was used as a regressor in a general linear model to detect regions that showed correlation with the seed. In patients, duration factor was defined based on epilepsy duration. Between-group differences weighted by the duration factor were evaluated with mixed-effects model. Correlation was then evaluated in IGE patients between the FC, averaged over each significant cluster, and the duration factor. RESULTS: Eight of 18 seeds showed significant difference in FC across groups. However, only for seeds in the medial superior frontal and precentral gyri and in the medial prefrontal area, average FC taken over significant clusters showed high correlation with the duration factor. These 3 seeds showed changes in FC respectively with the premotor and superior frontal gyrus, the dorsal premotor, and the supplementary motor area plus precentral gyrus. CONCLUSION: Alterations of FC in IGE patients are not limited to the frontal areas. However, as indicated by specificity analysis, patients with long history of disease show changes in FC mainly within the frontal areas.

  11. Medial Prefrontal Lesions in Mice Impair Sustained Attention but Spare Maintenance of Information in Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, Julia B.; Ward, Ryan D.; Kahn, Lora W.; Rudy, Nicole M.; Kandel, Eric R.; Balsam, Peter D.; Simpson, Eleanor H.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory and attention are complex cognitive functions that are disrupted in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Mouse models of such human diseases are commonly subjected to maze-based tests that can neither distinguish between these cognitive functions nor isolate specific aspects of either function. Here, we have adapted a simple visual…

  12. Social Cognition in Children with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Associations with Executive Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Miranda

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social impairments. The first objective of this study was to analyze social cognition deficits of children with ADHD, high-functioning ASD (HFASD, and typical development (TD in their performance on explicit and applied measures of theory of mind (ToM. The second objective was to investigate the relationships between executive functions and social cognition in HFASD and ADHD. One hundred and twenty-six 7- to 11-year old children, 52 with HFASD, 35 with ADHD, and 39 with TD, performed the NEPSY-II social perception subtests. Parents estimated their children's ToM skills using the Theory of Mind Inventory (ToMI. Teacher-reported data from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF were also obtained. The HFASD and ADHD groups showed worse performance on the verbal ToM task than the TD group, and only the performance of the HFASD group was significantly lower than the TD group on the contextual ToM task. Parents also estimated that the HFASD group had more difficulties on the applied ToM than the ADHD and TD groups. Furthermore, there is a different executive function-theory of mind link in the HFASD and ADHD groups: behavioral regulation processes such as inhibition and emotional control are more associated with social cognition in children with ADHD, whereas metacognitive processes such as initiation and planning have a strong association with social cognition in children with HFASD. These findings have implications for understanding social perception deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders, highlighting the need for early intervention.

  13. Walking execution is not affected by divided attention in patients with multiple sclerosis with no disability, but there is a motor planning impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogueira, Leandro Alberto Calazans; Santos, Luciano Teixeira Dos; Sabino, Pollyane Galinari; Alvarenga, Regina Maria Papais; Thuler, Luiz Claudio Santos

    2013-08-01

    We analysed the cognitive influence on walking in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, in the absence of clinical disability. A case-control study was conducted with 12 MS patients with no disability and 12 matched healthy controls. Subjects were referred for completion a timed walk test of 10 m and a 3D-kinematic analysis. Participants were instructed to walk at a comfortable speed in a dual-task (arithmetic task) condition, and motor planning was measured by mental chronometry. Scores of walking speed and cadence showed no statistically significant differences between the groups in the three conditions. The dual-task condition showed an increase in the double support duration in both groups. Motor imagery analysis showed statistically significant differences between real and imagined walking in patients. MS patients with no disability did not show any influence of divided attention on walking execution. However, motor planning was overestimated as compared with real walking.

  14. Semipalatinsk test site is the object of ISTC extra attention on the way of sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Genisaretskaya, S.V.

    2005-01-01

    This paper is dedicated to analysis of international ecological projects carried out by ISTC. The project to a greater or lesser extent touch upon Semipalatinsk nuclear test site from the point of view of sustainable development. The report provides us with statistics on ISTC projects and projects managed by scientists of National Nuclear Center of Republic of Kazakhstan as well. There is also brief description of the given projects. (author)

  15. A RCT Comparing Daily Mindfulness Meditations, Biofeedback Exercises, and Daily Physical Exercise on Attention Control, Executive Functioning, Mindful Awareness, Self-Compassion, and Worrying in Stressed Young Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bruin, Esther I; van der Zwan, J Esi; Bögels, Susan M

    2016-01-01

    Our Western society is characterized by multitasking, competition, and constant time pressure. Negative effects of stress for the individual (anxiety, depression, somatic complaints) and for organizations and society (costs due to work absence) are very high. Thus, time-efficient self-help interventions to address these issues are necessary. This study assessed the effects of daily mindfulness meditations (MM) versus daily heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) and daily physical exercise (PE) on attention control, executive functioning, mindful awareness, self-compassion, and worrying. Young adults ( n  = 75, age range 18 to 40) with elevated stress levels were randomized to MM, HRV-BF, or PE, and measurements were taken at pre-test, post-test, and follow-up. Interventions in all three groups were self-guided and lasted for 5 weeks. Generalized estimating equation analyses showed that overall, all three interventions were effective and did not differ from each other. However, practice time differed between groups, with participants in the PE group practicing much more than participants in the other two groups. Therefore, additional analyses were carried out in two subsamples. The optimal dose sample included only those participants who practiced for at least 70 % of the total prescribed time. In the equal dose sample, home practice intensity was equal for all three groups. Again, the effects of the three interventions did not differ. In conclusion, MM, HRV-BF, and PE are all effective self-help methods to improve attention control, executive functioning, mindful awareness, self-compassion, and worrying, and mindfulness meditation was not found to be more effective than HRV-biofeedback or physical exercise for these cognitive processes.

  16. Computerized assessment of sustained attention: interactive effects of task demand, noise, and anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, J C

    1996-12-01

    In a sample of 163 college undergraduates, the effects of task demand, noise, and anxiety on Continuous Performance Test (CPT) errors were evaluated with multiple regression and multivariate analysis of variance. Results indicated significantly more omission errors on the difficult task. Complex interaction effects of noise and self-reported anxiety yielded more omissions in quiet intermittent white noise, particularly for high-anxious subjects performing the difficult task. Anxiety levels tended to increase from pretest to posttest, particularly for low-anxious subjects in the quiet, difficult-task condition, while a decrease was seen for high-anxious subjects in the loud, easy-task condition. Commission errors were unrelated to any predictor variables, suggesting that "attention" cannot be considered a unitary phenomenon. The variety of direct and interactive effects on vigilance performance underscore the need for clinicians to use a variety of measures to assess attentional skills, to avoid diagnosis of attention deficits on the basis of a single computerized task performance, and to rule out anxiety and other contributors to poor vigilance task performance.

  17. Dissociations between developmental dyslexias and attention deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukov, Limor; Friedmann, Naama; Shalev, Lilach; Khentov-Kraus, Lilach; Shalev, Nir; Lorber, Rakefet; Guggenheim, Revital

    2014-01-01

    We examine whether attention deficits underlie developmental dyslexia, or certain types of dyslexia, by presenting double dissociations between the two. We took into account the existence of distinct types of dyslexia and of attention deficits, and focused on dyslexias that may be thought to have an attentional basis: letter position dyslexia (LPD), in which letters migrate within words, attentional dyslexia (AD), in which letters migrate between words, neglect dyslexia, in which letters on one side of the word are omitted or substituted, and surface dyslexia, in which words are read via the sublexical route. We tested 110 children and adults with developmental dyslexia and/or attention deficits, using extensive batteries of reading and attention. For each participant, the existence of dyslexia and the dyslexia type were tested using reading tests that included stimuli sensitive to the various dyslexia types. Attention deficit and its type was established through attention tasks assessing sustained, selective, orienting, and executive attention functioning. Using this procedure, we identified 55 participants who showed a double dissociation between reading and attention: 28 had dyslexia with normal attention and 27 had attention deficits with normal reading. Importantly, each dyslexia with suspected attentional basis dissociated from attention: we found 21 individuals with LPD, 13 AD, 2 neglect dyslexia, and 12 surface dyslexia without attention deficits. Other dyslexia types (vowel dyslexia, phonological dyslexia, visual dyslexia) also dissociated from attention deficits. Examination of 55 additional individuals with both a specific dyslexia and a certain attention deficit found no attention function that was consistently linked with any dyslexia type. Specifically, LPD and AD dissociated from selective attention, neglect dyslexia dissociated from orienting, and surface dyslexia dissociated from sustained and executive attention. These results indicate that

  18. [Executive functions and stressful characteristics of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: influence on behavioral problems during adolescence].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colomer-Diago, Carla; Miranda-Casas, Ana; Herdoiza-Arroyo, Paulina; Presentación-Herrero, M Jesús

    2012-02-29

    The identification of possible factors that are influencing the course of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will allow the development of more effective early intervention strategies. AIMS. This research, which used a longitudinal and correlational design, set out to examine the temporal consistency of the primary symptoms and ADHD associated problems. In addition, the relationships and predictive power of working memory, inhibition and stressful characteristics of children with ADHD on the disorder symptoms and behavioral problems in adolescence was analyzed. This study included 65 families with children diagnosed with ADHD. In phase 1 children performed verbal working memory, visuo-spatial and inhibition tests, and information from parents about stressful characteristics of children was collected. In phase 1 and in the follow-up phase, which took place three years later, parents and teachers reported on the primary symptoms of ADHD and behavioral problems. Inattention symptoms as well as most behavioral problems were stable over time, while hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms decreased. Moreover, neither working memory nor inhibition showed power to predict the central manifestations of ADHD or behavioral problems, while stressful characteristics of demandingness, low adaptability and negative mood had a moderate predictive capacity. These results confirm the role of stressful child characteristics as a risk factor in the course of ADHD.

  19. Effect of Alpinia galanga on Mental Alertness and Sustained Attention With or Without Caffeine: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Shalini; Mennemeier, Mark; Pimple, Surekha

    2017-01-01

    Although Alpinia galanga has been reported to improve cognitive performance in animals, it has not been thoroughly studied for its potential psychostimulant effect in humans. A randomized, double-dummy, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study was conducted to determine the effect of A galanga on mental alertness and sustained attention in comparison with caffeine and placebo in participants with a habitual caffeine intake. Fifty-nine participants (18-40 years and body mass index of ≥18.5 and caffeine consumption were enrolled. The participants had a Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 score ≤7, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≤14 and a Jin Fan's Attention Network Test alertness score of 50 ± 20 ms. The interventional product (placebo, A galanga proprietary extract [E-AG-01], caffeine, and a combination of E-AG-01 with caffeine) was administered to the participants, followed by sequential administration of the remaining interventions on the consecutive study visits; the effects on mental alertness, sustained attention, and sleep architecture, along with safety and tolerability, were analyzed by validated methods. In the E-AG-01 group, the alertness score was increased by 11.65 ± 23.94, 12.50 ± 19.73, and 12.62 ± 0.68 ms from baseline at 1, 3 (p = 0.042), and 5 hours, respectively, indicating its efficacy to enhance mental alertness and the increase in alertness score as compared to placebo. In the composite group (E-AG-01 with caffeine), mean response time was significantly reduced, by 15.55 ms (p = 0.026) at 3 hours. A galanga (E-AG-01) induces a beneficial effect in mental alertness and the combination of A galanga with caffeine impedes the caffeine crash and improves sustained attention at 3 hours. Thus, these stimulant effects might yield a new usage for A galanga as a key ingredient in energy drinks or similar products.

  20. The effects of tDCS upon sustained visual attention are dependent on cognitive load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roe, James M; Nesheim, Mathias; Mathiesen, Nina C; Moberget, Torgeir; Alnæs, Dag; Sneve, Markus H

    2016-01-08

    Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) modulates the excitability of neuronal responses and consequently can affect performance on a variety of cognitive tasks. However, the interaction between cognitive load and the effects of tDCS is currently not well-understood. We recorded the performance accuracy of participants on a bilateral multiple object tracking task while undergoing bilateral stimulation assumed to enhance (anodal) and decrease (cathodal) neuronal excitability. Stimulation was applied to the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), a region inferred to be at the centre of an attentional tracking network that shows load-dependent activation. 34 participants underwent three separate stimulation conditions across three days. Each subject received (1) left cathodal / right anodal PPC tDCS, (2) left anodal / right cathodal PPC tDCS, and (3) sham tDCS. The number of targets-to-be-tracked was also manipulated, giving a low (one target per visual field), medium (two targets per visual field) or high (three targets per visual field) tracking load condition. It was found that tracking performance at high attentional loads was significantly reduced in both stimulation conditions relative to sham, and this was apparent in both visual fields, regardless of the direction of polarity upon the brain's hemispheres. We interpret this as an interaction between cognitive load and tDCS, and suggest that tDCS may degrade attentional performance when cognitive networks become overtaxed and unable to compensate as a result. Systematically varying cognitive load may therefore be a fruitful direction to elucidate the effects of tDCS upon cognitive functions. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Attentional bias and executive control in treatment-seeking substance-dependent adolescents: A cross-sectional and follow-up study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; Wiers, Reinout W; Brook, Frank G; de Jong, Peter J

    2016-02-01

    Research in adults shows that substance dependent individuals demonstrate attentional bias (AB) for substance-related stimuli. This study investigated the role of AB in adolescents diagnosed with alcohol, cannabis, amphetamine or GHB dependency on entering therapy and six months later, and the role of executive control (EC) as a moderator of the relationship between problem severity and AB. Seventy-eight young substance-dependent (SD) patients (mean age=19.5), and 64 healthy controls (HC; mean age=19.0) were tested. Thirty-eight SD patients took part at 6-month follow-up (FU). AB was indexed by a visual probe task, EC by the attention network task, problem severity by the short alcohol (or drug) use disorder identification test and the severity of dependence questionnaire. SD patients demonstrated an AB for substance stimuli presented for 500 ms and 1250 ms, with the latter related to severity of dependence. There was a nonsignificant tendency indicating that EC was higher in HC than SD participants, but EC did not moderate the relationship between AB and dependency. Substance use, dependency, EC and AB remained unchanged in the 6 month FU period. Young SD patients showed a stronger relatively early as well as maintained AB toward substance cues. A stronger maintained attention was related to higher severity of dependence. Further, there were some indications that EC might play a role in adolescent substance use. The finding that at FU AB and problem severity were not decreased, and EC was not increased underlines the persistent character of addiction. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Attention Training for School-Aged Children with ADHD: Results of an Open Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamm, Leanne; Hughes, Carroll; Ames, Laure; Pickering, Joyce; Silver, Cheryl H.; Stavinoha, Peter; Castillo, Christine L.; Rintelmann, Jeanne; Moore, Jarrette; Foxwell, Aleksandra; Bolanos, S. Gina; Hines, Tabatha; Nakonezny, Paul A.; Emslie, Graham

    2010-01-01

    Objective: The article discusses a feasibility study conducted to examine whether Pay Attention!, an intervention training sustained, selective, alternating, and divided attention, could be utilized in a clinical setting with children diagnosed with ADHD, and whether children who received the intervention made attention and executive functioning…

  3. A Novel Feed-Forward Modeling System Leads to Sustained Improvements in Attention and Academic Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Ashley F; Rose, Maya; Norris, Troy; Gordon, Eric

    2016-01-28

    This study tested a novel feed-forward modeling (FFM) system as a nonpharmacological intervention for the treatment of ADHD children and the training of cognitive skills that improve academic performance. This study implemented a randomized, controlled, parallel design comparing this FFM with a nonpharmacological community care intervention. Improvements were measured on parent- and clinician-rated scales of ADHD symptomatology and on academic performance tests completed by the participant. Participants were followed for 3 months after training. Participants in the FFM training group showed significant improvements in ADHD symptomatology and academic performance, while the control group did not. Improvements from FFM were sustained 3 months later. The FFM appeared to be an effective intervention for the treatment of ADHD and improving academic performance. This FFM training intervention shows promise as a first-line treatment for ADHD while improving academic performance. © The Author(s) 2016.

  4. Componentes atencionais e de funções executivas em meninos com TDAH: dados de uma bateria neuropsicológica flexível Attentional components and executive functions in children with ADHD: data of a flexible neuropsychological battery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hosana Alves Gonçalves

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Comparar o desempenho de sete meninos com diagnóstico comprovado de TDAH (G1 e 14 controles saudáveis (G2 em tarefas neuropsicológicas. MÉTODO: G1 e G2 foram pareados por sexo, idade e escolaridade em tarefas atencionais e executivas (Fluência Verbal e Discurso Narrativo da Bateria MAC, Teste de Cancelamento dos Sinos - versão infantil, Geração Aleatória de Números, Go-no Go do NEUPSILIN-Inf e N-Back auditivo. RESULTADOS: Destacaram-se diferenças entre os grupos quanto à atenção concentrada seletiva, à memória de trabalho, ao automonitoramento, à iniciação e à inibição. CONCLUSÃO: Foi possível verificar contribuições incipientes para um raciocínio de relações intercomponentes das FE e atencionais em pacientes com TDAH.OBJECTIVE: To compare the performance of seven boys with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD (G1 and 14 healthy controls (G2 in neuropsychological tasks. METHOD: G1 and G2 were matched by gender, age and educational level. They were assessed through attentional and executive tasks (verbal fluency and narrative discourse from MAC Battery, Bells Test - children's version, Number Random Generation, Go-no Go and auditory N-Back. RESULTS: There were remarkable differences between groups for sustained focused attention, working memory, self-monitoring, initiation and inhibition. CONCLUSION: Contributions for incipient comprehension of relationships among cognitive components in ADHD patients could be identified.

  5. Assessing the effects of caffeine and theanine on the maintenance of vigilance during a sustained attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foxe, John J; Morie, Kristen P; Laud, Peter J; Rowson, Matthew J; de Bruin, Eveline A; Kelly, Simon P

    2012-06-01

    Caffeine and L-theanine, both naturally occurring in tea, affect the ability to make rapid phasic deployments of attention to locations in space as reflected in behavioural performance and alpha-band oscillatory brain activity (8-14 Hz). However, surprisingly little is known about how these compounds affect an aspect of attention that has been more popularly associated with tea, namely vigilant attention: the ability to maintain focus on monotonous tasks over protracted time-periods. Twenty-seven participants performed the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) over a two-hour session on each of four days, on which they were administered caffeine (50 mg), theanine (100 mg), the combination, or placebo in a double-blind, randomized, cross-over fashion. Concurrently, we recorded oscillatory brain activity through high-density electroencephalography (EEG). We asked whether either compound alone, or both in combination, would affect performance of the task in terms of reduced error rates over time, and whether changes in alpha-band activity would show a relationship to such changes in performance. When treated with placebo, participants showed a rise in error rates, a pattern that is commonly observed with increasing time-on-task, whereas after caffeine and theanine ingestion, error rates were significantly reduced. The combined treatment did not confer any additional benefits over either compound alone, suggesting that the individual compounds may confer maximal benefits at the dosages employed. Alpha-band oscillatory activity was significantly reduced on ingestion of caffeine, particularly in the first hour. This effect was not changed by addition of theanine in the combined treatment. Theanine alone did not affect alpha-band activity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Open-label administration of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate improves executive function impairments and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Thomas E; Brams, Matthew; Gao, Joseph; Gasior, Maria; Childress, Ann

    2010-09-01

    Executive function (EF) impairment in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may account for behavioral symptoms such as poor concentration, impaired working memory, problems in shifting among tasks, and prioritizing and planning complex sets of tasks or completing long-term projects at work or school. Poor self-regulation and control of emotional behaviors frequently are seen in patients with ADHD. This study assessed EF behaviors in adults with ADHD at baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment with lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX). Executive function behavior was assessed using the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) during the 4-week open-label dose-optimization phase prior to a 2-period, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of LDX (30-70 mg/day). The ADHD Rating Scale IV (ADHD-RS-IV) with adult prompts assessed ADHD symptoms. Change in EF behavioral symptoms was evaluated based on week 4 BADDS total and cluster scores; analyses of shifts from baseline among subjects with BADDS scores < 50, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and ≥ 70; and scores less than or greater than baseline 90% confidence range (eg, reliably improved or worsened, respectively). Treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were described. At week 4, BADDS total and cluster scores were reduced (ie, improved; all P < 0.0001 vs baseline [n = 127]). The ADHD-RS-IV with adult prompts scores also improved (all P < 0.0001 vs baseline). At week 4, 62.7% of subjects had a BADDS total score of < 50, and 78.9% were reliably improved; 1.4% were reliably worsened. Common TEAEs (≥ 5%) during the dose-optimization phase were decreased appetite (36.6%), dry mouth (30.3%), headache (19.7%), insomnia (18.3%), upper respiratory tract infection (9.9%), irritability (8.5%), nausea (7.7%), anxiety (5.6%), and feeling jittery (5.6%). Clinically optimized doses of LDX (30-70 mg/day) significantly improved EF behaviors in adults with ADHD. Treatment-emergent adverse events with LDX were

  7. Benefits of Sleep Extension on Sustained Attention and Sleep Pressure Before and During Total Sleep Deprivation and Recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnal, Pierrick J; Sauvet, Fabien; Leger, Damien; van Beers, Pascal; Bayon, Virginie; Bougard, Clément; Rabat, Arnaud; Millet, Guillaume Y; Chennaoui, Mounir

    2015-12-01

    To investigate the effects of 6 nights of sleep extension on sustained attention and sleep pressure before and during total sleep deprivation and after a subsequent recovery sleep. Subjects participated in two experimental conditions (randomized cross-over design): extended sleep (EXT, 9.8 ± 0.1 h (mean ± SE) time in bed) and habitual sleep (HAB, 8.2 ± 0.1 h time in bed). In each condition, subjects performed two consecutive phases: (1) 6 nights of either EXT or HAB (2) three days in-laboratory: baseline, total sleep deprivation and after 10 h of recovery sleep. Residential sleep extension and sleep performance laboratory (continuous polysomnographic recording). 14 healthy men (age range: 26-37 years). EXT vs. HAB sleep durations prior to total sleep deprivation. Total sleep time and duration of all sleep stages during the 6 nights were significantly higher in EXT than HAB. EXT improved psychomotor vigilance task performance (PVT, both fewer lapses and faster speed) and reduced sleep pressure as evidenced by longer multiple sleep latencies (MSLT) at baseline compared to HAB. EXT limited PVT lapses and the number of involuntary microsleeps during total sleep deprivation. Differences in PVT lapses and speed and MSLT at baseline were maintained after one night of recovery sleep. Six nights of extended sleep improve sustained attention and reduce sleep pressure. Sleep extension also protects against psychomotor vigilance task lapses and microsleep degradation during total sleep deprivation. These beneficial effects persist after one night of recovery sleep. © 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  8. Serum insulin like growth factor-1 is associated with working memory, executive function and selective attention in a sample of healthy, fit older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellar, D; Glickman, E L; Juvancic-Heltzel, J; Gunstad, J

    2011-03-31

    The present study examined the association between serum insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations and cognitive function in a sample of healthy, fit older adults (age: 70.8±9.3 years, body mass index (BMI): 27.3±5.7). Participants reported to the laboratory and basic anthropometric data were collected, followed by a fasted blood draw to quantify serum IGF-1. Participants then underwent cognitive testing that included the Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMSE), Trail Making Test A and B, Ruff's 2 and 7 test of selective attention and Letter Number Sequencing. Results showed the participants were generally cognitively intact (MMSE 27.6±1.8). Significant partial correlations (controlled for age, gender and years of education) emerged between serum IGF-1 concentrations and the total (r=0.381, P=0.030) and longest trial (r=0.455, P=0.011) on Letter Number Sequencing. Similar partial correlations yielded significant relationships between serum IGF-1 and Ruff's Automatic Detection Errors (r=-0.495, P=0.006), Controlled Speed Errors (r=-0.598, P=0.002) and errors made on the Trial Making Test part B (r=-0.466, P=0.010). These findings suggest that fasting levels of serum IGF-1 are related to higher levels of cognitive performance in healthy older adults, including working memory, selective attention and executive function. Further work is needed to more clearly determine possible mechanisms. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Which Executive Functioning Deficits Are Associated with AD/HD, ODD/CD and Comorbid AD/HD+ODD/CD? (Attention Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder)(Oppositional Defiant Disorder)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterlaan, Jaap; Scheres, Anouk; Sergeant, Joseph A.

    2005-01-01

    This study investigated (1) whether attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is associated with executive functioning (EF) deficits while controlling for oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD), (2) whether ODD/CD is associated with EF deficits while controlling for AD/HD, and (3) whether a combination of AD/HD and ODD/CD…

  10. Contrasting deficits on executive functions in Chinese delinquent adolescents with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder symptoms and/or reading disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Kean; Ho, Connie S-H

    2014-11-01

    Many studies reported high prevalence of reading disability (RD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among delinquent adolescents. Very few have examined their cognitive profile. The present study compared the executive functions (EFs) and severity of delinquency in delinquent adolescents with RD and/or ADHD symptoms (AS). Delinquents with AS (n=29), RD (n=24), comorbidity AS+RD (n=35) were recruited from juvenile institutions along with typically developing controls (n=29) from local schools; all completed EF assessments and self-report questionnaires on delinquency. Results showed that pure AS group exhibited impaired inhibition while the pure RD group was weak in processing speed and visual memory. The comorbidity group showed unique impairments in interference control and significantly higher delinquency severity. The present findings suggest that comorbidity AS+RD may influence delinquency severity. It also provides a more comprehensive picture of the unique EF deficits associated with different groups, allowing for better matching for future identification and intervention programme. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Child Executive Control as a Moderator of the Longitudinal Association Between Sleep Problems and Subsequent Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidwell, Katherine M; Hankey, Maren; Nelson, Jennifer Mize; Espy, Kimberly Andrews; Nelson, Timothy D

    2017-11-01

    To examine the longitudinal associations among sleep, executive control (EC), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in childhood. In this longitudinal study (N = 271), parents answered questions about sleep problems when children were 3 years old, children completed a comprehensive EC task battery at 4.5 years, and teachers completed standardized measures of child ADHD symptoms in 4th grade. Latent moderated structural equation models demonstrated that sleep problems at 3 years and EC deficits at 4.5 years were associated with ADHD symptoms in 4th grade. EC moderated the relationship between sleep problems and hyperactivity/impulsivity, such that children with both sleep problems and poor EC were particularly at risk for hyperactivity/impulsivity. Sleep problems and EC deficits early in development were associated with increased risk for ADHD symptoms in elementary school. Early assessment and intervention to promote healthy sleep and EC development may be helpful in ADHD prevention. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  12. Early Life Cognitive Abilities and Body Weight: Cross-Sectional Study of the Association of Inhibitory Control, Cognitive Flexibility, and Sustained Attention with BMI Percentiles in Primary School Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamara Wirt

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to investigate the association of different cognitive abilities with children’s body weight adjusted for further weight influencing sociodemographic, family, and lifestyle factors. Cross-sectional data of 498 primary school children (7.0 ± 0.6 years; 49.8% boys participating in a health promotion programme in southwest Germany were used. Children performed a computer-based test battery (KiTAP including an inhibitory control task (Go-Nogo paradigm, a cognitive flexibility task, and a sustained attention task. Height and weight were measured in a standardized manner and converted to BMI percentiles based on national standards. Sociodemographic features (migration background and parental education, family characteristics (parental body weight, and children’s lifestyle (TV consumption, physical activity, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and breakfast habits were assessed via parental questionnaire. A hierarchical regression analysis revealed inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility to be significant cognitive predictors for children’s body weight. There was no association concerning sustained attention. The findings suggest that especially cognitive abilities known as executive functions (inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility are associated with children’s body weight. Future longitudinal and intervention studies are necessary to investigate the directionality of the association and the potential of integrating cognitive training in obesity prevention strategies. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov DRKS00000494.

  13. Early life cognitive abilities and body weight: cross-sectional study of the association of inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and sustained attention with BMI percentiles in primary school children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirt, Tamara; Schreiber, Anja; Kesztyüs, Dorothea; Steinacker, Jürgen M

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the association of different cognitive abilities with children's body weight adjusted for further weight influencing sociodemographic, family, and lifestyle factors. Cross-sectional data of 498 primary school children (7.0 ± 0.6 years; 49.8% boys) participating in a health promotion programme in southwest Germany were used. Children performed a computer-based test battery (KiTAP) including an inhibitory control task (Go-Nogo paradigm), a cognitive flexibility task, and a sustained attention task. Height and weight were measured in a standardized manner and converted to BMI percentiles based on national standards. Sociodemographic features (migration background and parental education), family characteristics (parental body weight), and children's lifestyle (TV consumption, physical activity, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and breakfast habits) were assessed via parental questionnaire. A hierarchical regression analysis revealed inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility to be significant cognitive predictors for children's body weight. There was no association concerning sustained attention. The findings suggest that especially cognitive abilities known as executive functions (inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility) are associated with children's body weight. Future longitudinal and intervention studies are necessary to investigate the directionality of the association and the potential of integrating cognitive training in obesity prevention strategies. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov DRKS00000494.

  14. Rumination prospectively predicts executive functioning impairments in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Samantha L; Wagner, Clara A; Shapero, Benjamin G; Pendergast, Laura L; Abramson, Lyn Y; Alloy, Lauren B

    2014-03-01

    The current study tested the resource allocation hypothesis, examining whether baseline rumination or depressive symptom levels prospectively predicted deficits in executive functioning in an adolescent sample. The alternative to this hypothesis was also evaluated by testing whether lower initial levels of executive functioning predicted increases in rumination or depressive symptoms at follow-up. A community sample of 200 adolescents (ages 12-13) completed measures of depressive symptoms, rumination, and executive functioning at baseline and at a follow-up session approximately 15 months later. Adolescents with higher levels of baseline rumination displayed decreases in selective attention and attentional switching at follow-up. Rumination did not predict changes in working memory or sustained and divided attention. Depressive symptoms were not found to predict significant changes in executive functioning scores at follow-up. Baseline executive functioning was not associated with change in rumination or depression over time. Findings partially support the resource allocation hypothesis that engaging in ruminative thoughts consumes cognitive resources that would otherwise be allocated towards difficult tests of executive functioning. Support was not found for the alternative hypothesis that lower levels of initial executive functioning would predict increased rumination or depressive symptoms at follow-up. Our study is the first to find support for the resource allocation hypothesis using a longitudinal design and an adolescent sample. Findings highlight the potentially detrimental effects of rumination on executive functioning during early adolescence. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Infants' visual sustained attention is higher during joint play than solo play: is this due to increased endogenous attention control or exogenous stimulus capture?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wass, Sam V; Clackson, Kaili; Georgieva, Stanimira D; Brightman, Laura; Nutbrown, Rebecca; Leong, Victoria

    2018-04-06

    Previous research has suggested that when a social partner, such as a parent, pays attention to an object, this increases the attention that infants pay to that object during spontaneous, naturalistic play. There are two contrasting reasons why this might be: first, social context may influence increases in infants' endogenous (voluntary) attention control; second, social settings may offer increased opportunities for exogenous attentional capture. To differentiate these possibilities, we compared 12-month-old infants' naturalistic attention patterns in two settings: Solo Play and Joint Play with a social partner (the parent). Consistent with previous research, we found that infants' look durations toward play objects were longer during Joint Play, and that moments of inattentiveness were fewer, and shorter. Follow-up analyses, conducted to differentiate the two above-proposed hypotheses, were more consistent with the latter hypothesis. We found that infants' rate of change of attentiveness was faster during Joint Play than Solo Play, suggesting that internal attention factors, such as attentional inertia, may influence looking behaviour less during Joint Play. We also found that adults' attention forwards-predicted infants' subsequent attention more than vice versa, suggesting that adults' behaviour may drive infants' behaviour. Finally, we found that mutual gaze did not directly facilitate infant attentiveness. Overall, our results suggest that infants spend more time attending to objects during Joint Play than Solo Play, but that these differences are more likely attributable to increased exogenous attentional scaffolding from the parent during social play, rather than to increased endogenous attention control from the infant. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Measuring attention in very old adults using the Test of Everyday Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Leeuw, Guusje; Leveille, Suzanne G; Jones, Richard N; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M; McLean, Robert; Kiely, Dan K; Gagnon, Margaret; Milberg, William P

    2017-09-01

    There is a need for validated measures of attention for use in longitudinal studies of older populations. We studied 249 participants aged 80 to 101 years using the population-based MOBILIZE Boston Study. Four subscales of the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA) were included, measuring attention switching, selective, sustained and divided attention and a neuropsychological battery including validated measures of multiple cognitive domains measuring attention, executive function and memory. The TEA previously has not been validated in persons aged 80 and older. Among participants who completed the TEA, scores on other attentional measures strongly with TEA domains (R=.60-.70). Proportions of participants with incomplete TEA subscales ranged from 8% (selective attention) to 19% (attentional switching). Reasons for not completing TEA tests included failure to comprehend test instructions despite repetition and practice. These results demonstrate the challenges and potential value of the Test of Everyday Attention in studies of very old populations.

  17. Executive Functioning in Pediatric Chronic Pain: Do Deficits Exist?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Karen E; Harbeck-Weber, Cynthia; Zaccariello, Michael J; Kimondo, Jacqueline N; Harrison, Tracy E; Bruce, Barbara K

    2018-01-01

    Despite ample research documenting deficits in executive functioning for adults with chronic pain, the literature on pediatric patients with chronic pain is limited and provides mixed results. The current study sought to further investigate the nature of executive dysfunction in this population and also examine the relationships between pain intensity, duration, and catastrophizing with sustained attention, working memory, and self- and parent-report of executive functioning. Pediatric pain clinic and rehabilitation program. Forty adolescents with chronic pain and their parents participated in this study. Participants completed neuropsychological measures and standardized self-report questionnaires during a 45- to 60-minute testing session. Fifty percent of this sample of adolescents with chronic pain demonstrated significant difficulties on at least one measure, with nine participants indicating difficulties on multiple measures. Pain significantly increased during the testing session. Pain variables of intensity, duration, and catastrophizing are related to sustained attention and working memory. This study adds support to previous findings suggesting subclinical struggles with executive functioning for adolescents with chronic pain. One-half of the sample indicated difficulties in either sustained attention and/or working memory. Future studies that would more thoroughly examine more complex executive functioning skills in this population would be helpful to further guide multidisciplinary treatment of these patients, particularly regarding whether or not school accommodations are warranted. © 2017 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  18. Environmental heat stress enhances mental fatigue during sustained attention task performing: evidence from an ASL perfusion study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Shaowen; Li, Min; Li, Guoying; Liu, Kai; Li, Bo; Jiang, Qingjun; Li, Li; Yang, Zhen; Sun, Gang

    2015-03-01

    This study was to investigate the potential enhancing effect of heat stress on mental fatigue progression during sustained attention task using arterial spin labeling (ASL) imaging. Twenty participants underwent two thermal exposures in an environmental chamber: normothermic (NT) condition (25°C, 1h) and hyperthermic (HT) condition (50°C, 1h). After thermal exposure, they performed a twenty-minute psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) in the scanner. Behavioral analysis revealed progressively increasing subjective fatigue ratings and reaction time as PVT progressed. Moreover, heat stress caused worse performance. Perfusion imaging analyses showed significant resting-state cerebral blood flow (CBF) alterations after heat exposure. Specifically, increased CBF mainly gathered in thalamic-brainstem area while decreased CBF predominantly located in fronto-parietal areas, anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and medial frontal cortex. More importantly, diverse CBF distributions and trend of changes between both conditions were observed as the fatigue level progressed during subsequent PVT task. Specifically, higher CBF and enhanced rising trend were presented in superior parietal lobe, precuneus, posterior cingulate cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, while lower CBF or inhibited rising trend was found in dorsolateral frontal cortex, medial frontal cortex, inferior parietal lobe and thalamic-brainstem areas. Furthermore, the decrease of post-heat resting-state CBF in fronto-parietal cortex was correlated with subsequent slower reaction time, suggesting prior disturbed resting-state CBF might be indicator of performance potential and fatigue level in following task. These findings may provide proof for such a view: heat stress has a potential fatigue-enhancing effect when individual is performing highly cognition-demanding attention task. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Affective symptoms in schizophrenia are strongly associated with neurocognitive deficits indicating disorders in executive functions, visual memory, attention and social cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanchanatawan, Buranee; Thika, Supaksorn; Anderson, George; Galecki, Piotr; Maes, Michael

    2018-01-03

    The aim of this study was to assess the neurocognitive correlates of affective symptoms in schizophrenia. Towards this end, 40 healthy controls and 80 schizophrenia patients were investigated with six tests of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), assessing spatial working memory, paired-association learning, one touch stocking, rapid visual information (RVP), emotional recognition test and intra/extradimensional set shifting. The Hamilton Depression (HDRS) and Anxiety (HAMA) Rating Scales and the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS) as well as the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) were also used. There were highly significant associations between all 6 CANTAB tests and HDRS, HAMA and CDSS (except RVP) scores. The most significant items associating with neurocognitive impairments in schizophrenia were self-depreciation (CDSS), fatigue, psychomotor retardation and agitation, psychic and somatic anxiety (HDRS), fears, cognitive symptoms, somatic-muscular, genito-urinary and autonomic symptoms and anxious behavior (HAMA). The selected HDRS and HAMA symptoms indicate fatigue, fears, anxiety, agitation, retardation, somatization and subjective cognitive complaints (SCC) and are therefore labeled "FAARS". Up to 28.8% of the variance in the 6 CANTAB measurements was explained by FAARS, which are better predictors of neurocognitive impairments than the PANSS negative subscale score. Neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia are best predicted by FAARS combined with difficulties in abstract thinking. In conclusion, depression and anxiety symptoms accompanying the negative and positive symptoms of schizophrenia are associated with neurocognitive deficits indicating disorders in executive functions, attention, visual memory, and social cognition. Neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia reflect difficulties in abstract thinking and FAARS, including subjective cognitive complaints. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  20. Aggregated effects of combining daily milk consumption and aerobic exercise on short-term memory and sustained attention among female students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, In-Tyng; Moghadam, Sedigheh; Hashim, Hairul A

    2015-02-01

    Regular aerobic exercise and milk consumption have been found to have positive effects on certain cognitive functions such as short-term memory and sustained attention. However, aggregated effects of combining these modalities have not been explored. This study examined the combined effects of milk supplementation and aerobic exercise on the short-term memory and sustained attention of female students aged 16 yr. (N = 81). The intervention involved serving of 250 ml of regular milk during school days and/or a 1-hr. aerobic exercise period twice per week for 6 weeks. The Digit Span Test and Digit Vigilance Test were used to measure short-term memory and sustained attention, respectively. The combination group (milk and exercise) and exercise group performed significantly better than did the milk and control groups in terms of short-term memory. No significant interaction or group differences were found for sustained attention. The results suggest benefits of regular exercise for students' short-term memory.

  1. Attentional ability among survivors of leukaemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodgers, J; Horrocks, J; Britton, P G; Kernahan, J

    1999-04-01

    Attentional ability in 19 survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and 19 sibling controls was assessed using a neuropsychological model of attention. Analysis revealed that children who had received treatment for leukaemia exhibited significantly poorer performance on measures of the "focus encode" and "focus execute" elements of attention and on measures of the ability to respond to external cues and feedback. No significant differences in performance were found for measures of sustained attention and the ability to shift attention. These results indicate that children who have received treatment for leukaemia may experience highly specific attentional deficits that could have an impact on academic performance, particularly mathematical and reading skills. It is suggested that this underlying attentional deficit might be the source of the neuropsychological sequelae associated with the disease. Future attempts at remediation should incorporate activities specifically designed to ameliorate focusing difficulties.

  2. Developing a Mystery Shopping Measure to Operate a Sustainable Restaurant Business: The Power of Integrating with Corporate Executive Members’ Feedback

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel J. C. Chen

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Mystery shopping has been used to objectively measure whether employees follow the visions of a company’s quality service standards. It then creates a feedback loop that allows companies to train their employees to consistently deliver quality services. The main purposes of this project are aimed at examining (1 the overall benefits of mystery shopper projects in the hospitality business through literature reviews; and (2 the importance of how a company can work with an outside agency (consultant, academic institution, etc. to develop a mystery shopping program that can enhance and complement ongoing service quality programs. A casual steakhouse restaurant in the Eastern U.S. was selected as our pilot project. The basic concept of using secret shoppers is to have individuals experience real-time and onsite quality of services and record how the mystery shoppers felt about the quality of services and if the employees met or exceeded the company’s standards. For this reason, the authors believe that mystery shopping, especially in hospitality, is an important means of developing and maintaining a sustainable business. While the sustainability of a business is largely dependent upon “people, profits and planet” in the hospitality industry, it is also dependent upon meeting service standards and developing a feedback loop. Mystery shopping programs have demonstrated their ability to contribute to organizations in this regard.

  3. 'Sustainability does not quite get the attention it deserves': synergies and tensions in the sustainability frames of Australian food policy actors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevena, Helen; Kaldor, Jenny Claire; Downs, Shauna M

    2015-09-01

    The development of food policy is strongly influenced by the understanding and position actors adopt in their 'framing' of sustainability. The Australian Government developed a National Food Plan (2010-2013). In public consultations on the National Food Plan Green Paper, the government sought stakeholders' views on sustainability. The present study examined the way in which the food industry and civil society organizations framed sustainability in their submissions to the Green Paper. Submissions by food industry actors and civil society organizations were analysed using a framing matrix that examined positioning, drivers, underlying principles and policy solutions related to sustainability. Submissions were open coded and subsequently organized based on themes within the framing matrix. Australia. One hundred and twenty-four written submissions (1420 pages). While submissions from industry and civil society organizations often framed sustainability similarly, there were also major differences. Civil society organizations were more likely to make the link between the food supply and population health, while industry was more likely to focus on economic sustainability. Both viewed consumer demand as a driver of sustainability, welcomed the idea of a whole-of-government approach and stressed the need for investment in research and development to improve productivity and sustainable farming practices. The meaning of sustainability shifted throughout the policy process. There are opportunities for creating shared value in food policy, where the health, environment and economic dimensions of sustainability can be compatible. However, despite pockets of optimism there is a need for a shared vision of sustainability if Australia is to have a food policy integrating these dimensions.

  4. Specificity of executive function and theory of mind performance in relation to attention-deficit/hyperactivity symptoms in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukito, Steve; Jones, Catherine R G; Pickles, Andrew; Baird, Gillian; Happé, Francesca; Charman, Tony; Simonoff, Emily

    2017-01-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently demonstrate symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Previous findings in children with ASD have suggested that these symptoms are associated with an impairment in executive function (EF) abilities. However, studies rarely considered this association within a single framework that controls for other related factors such as Theory of Mind (ToM) abilities and ASD symptoms. We used structural equation modeling to explore the relations among EF, ToM, and symptoms of ASD and ADHD, using data from a population-based sample of 100 adolescents with ASD and full-scale IQ ≥ 50 (the Special Needs and Autism Project (SNAP) cohort). The study used a multi-measure and multi-informant approach, where performance of inhibition, planning, switching, and working memory tasks indexed EF and performance on tasks involving mentalizing indexed ToM. Measures of ASD and ADHD symptoms included parent and teacher reports and direct observation of the children. Shared source of symptom reporting was accounted for with a parental rating latent factor indexed by symptom measures reported by parents. Impairments in EF abilities were specifically associated with ADHD symptoms while impaired ToM was specifically associated with ASD symptoms, when accounting for the associations of each cognitive domain with the other factors. ASD and ADHD symptom latent factors were also correlated, but this association became nonsignificant once the shared source of reporting from parents was accounted for and within a model that also controlled for the correlated pathway between EF and ToM factors. The specific relations between the cognitive domains and behavioral symptoms remained even after controlling for IQ. In this ASD sample, symptoms of ADHD and ASD are underpinned by separate cognitive domains. The association between EF and ToM impairments is a likely partial explanation for the co-occurrence of ADHD symptoms in ASD

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. The influences of task repetition, napping, time of day, and instruction on the Sustained Attention to Response Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schie, Mojca K M; Alblas, Eva E; Thijs, Roland D; Fronczek, Rolf; Lammers, Gert Jan; van Dijk, J Gert

    2014-01-01

    The Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) helps to quantify vigilance impairments.Previous studies, in which five SART sessions on one day were administered, demonstrated worse performance during the first session than during the others. The present study comprises two experiments to identify a cause of this phenomenon. Experiment 1, counting eighty healthy participants, assessed effects of repetition,napping, and time of day on SART performance through a between-groups design. The SART was performed twice in the morning or twice in the afternoon; half of the participants took a 20-minute nap before the second SART. A strong correlation between error count and reaction time (RT) suggested effects of test instruction. Participants gave equal weight to speed and accuracy in Experiment 1; therefore, results of 20 participants were compared to those of 20 additional participants who were told to prefer accuracy (Experiment 2). The average SART error count in Experiment 1 was 10.1; the median RT was 280 ms. Neither repetition nor napping influenced error count or RT. Time of day did not influence error count, but RT was significantly longer for morning than for afternoon SARTs. The additional participants in Experiment 2 had a 49% lower error count and a 14% higher RT than the participants in Experiment 1. Error counts reduced by 50% from the first to the second session of Experiment 2, irrespective of napping or time of day. Preferring accuracy over speed was associated with a significantly lower error count. The data suggest that a worse performance in the first SART session only occurs when instructing participants to prefer accuracy, which is caused by repetition, not by napping or time of day. We advise that participants are instructed to prefer accuracy over speed when performing the SART and that a full practice session is included.

  7. Conducting the Train of Thought: Working Memory Capacity, Goal Neglect, and Mind Wandering in an Executive-Control Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVay, Jennifer C.; Kane, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    On the basis of the executive-attention theory of working memory capacity (WMC; e.g., M. J. Kane, A. R. A. Conway, D. Z. Hambrick, & R. W. Engle, 2007), the authors tested the relations among WMC, mind wandering, and goal neglect in a sustained attention to response task (SART; a go/no-go task). In 3 SART versions, making conceptual versus…

  8. Applying an Integrative Framework of Executive Function to Preschoolers With Specific Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapa, Leah L; Plante, Elena; Doubleday, Kevin

    2017-08-16

    The first goal of this research was to compare verbal and nonverbal executive function abilities between preschoolers with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The second goal was to assess the group differences on 4 executive function components in order to determine if the components may be hierarchically related as suggested within a developmental integrative framework of executive function. This study included 26 4- and 5-year-olds diagnosed with SLI and 26 typically developing age- and sex-matched peers. Participants were tested on verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention, working memory, inhibition, and shifting. The SLI group performed worse compared with typically developing children on both verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention and working memory, the verbal inhibition task, and the nonverbal shifting task. Comparisons of standardized group differences between executive function measures revealed a linear increase with the following order: working memory, inhibition, shifting, and sustained selective attention. The pattern of results suggests that preschoolers with SLI have deficits in executive functioning compared with typical peers, and deficits are not limited to verbal tasks. A significant linear relationship between group differences across executive function components supports the possibility of a hierarchical relationship between executive function skills.

  9. Applying an Integrative Framework of Executive Function to Preschoolers With Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plante, Elena; Doubleday, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    Purpose The first goal of this research was to compare verbal and nonverbal executive function abilities between preschoolers with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The second goal was to assess the group differences on 4 executive function components in order to determine if the components may be hierarchically related as suggested within a developmental integrative framework of executive function. Method This study included 26 4- and 5-year-olds diagnosed with SLI and 26 typically developing age- and sex-matched peers. Participants were tested on verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention, working memory, inhibition, and shifting. Results The SLI group performed worse compared with typically developing children on both verbal and nonverbal measures of sustained selective attention and working memory, the verbal inhibition task, and the nonverbal shifting task. Comparisons of standardized group differences between executive function measures revealed a linear increase with the following order: working memory, inhibition, shifting, and sustained selective attention. Conclusion The pattern of results suggests that preschoolers with SLI have deficits in executive functioning compared with typical peers, and deficits are not limited to verbal tasks. A significant linear relationship between group differences across executive function components supports the possibility of a hierarchical relationship between executive function skills. PMID:28724132

  10. Metacognition and executive functioning in Elementary School

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trinidad García

    Full Text Available This study analyzes differences in metacognitive skills and executive functioning between two groups of students (10-12 years with different levels of metacognitive knowledge (high n = 50, low n = 64. Groups were established based on students' score on a test of knowledge of strategy use. Metacognitive skills were assessed by means of self-report. Students reported the frequency with which they applied these strategies during the phases of planning, execution, and evaluation of learning. Information about student executive functioning was provided by families and teachers, who completed two parallel forms of a behavior rating scale. The results indicated that: a the group with high levels of metacognitive knowledge reported using their metacognitive skills more frequently than their peers in the other group. These differences were statistically significant in the phases of planning and execution; b both family and teachers informed of better levels of executive functioning in the students with high metacognitive knowledge. Statistically significant differences were found in planning, functional memory, focus, and sustained attention. These results show the existence of an association between different levels of metacognitive knowledge, and differences in metacognitive skills and executive functions, and suggest the need to emphasize this set of variables in order to encourage students to acquire increasing levels of control over their learning process.

  11. Behavioral Executive Functions Among Adolescents With Mathematics Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Marja E; Aunio, Pirjo; Björn, Piia M; Klenberg, Liisa; Korhonen, Johan; Hannula, Markku S

    2017-07-01

    This study investigates behavioral executive functions (EFs) in the mathematics classroom context among adolescents with different mathematics performance levels. The EF problems were assessed by teachers using a behavioral rating inventory. Using cutoff scores on a standardized mathematics assessment, groups with mathematics difficulties (MD; n = 124), low mathematics performance (LA; n = 140), and average or higher scores (AC; n = 355) were identified. Results showed that the MD group had more problems with distractibility, directing attention, shifting attention, initiative, execution of action, planning, and evaluation than the LA group, whereas the differences in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and sustaining attention were not significant. Compared to the AC group, the MD group showed more problems with all behavioral EFs except hyperactivity and impulsivity, while the LA group showed more problems only with shifting attention. Male adolescents showed more behavioral EF problems than female adolescents, but this gender difference was negligible within the MD group. The practical implications of the results are discussed.

  12. Relationship between Executive Functioning and Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder in 6-8 Year Old Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neely, Rachel Jane; Green, Jessica Leigh; Sciberras, Emma; Hazell, Philip; Anderson, Vicki

    2016-01-01

    This study examined relationships between executive functioning (EF) and ADHD/ASD symptoms in 339 6-8 year-old children to characterise EF profiles associated with ADHD and ADHD + ASD. ADHD status was assessed using screening surveys and diagnostic interviews. ASD symptoms were measured using the Social Communication Questionnaire, and children…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-19

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

  14. The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on selective and sustained attention in 5-year-old children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Underbjerg, Mette; Kesmodel, Ulrik S.; Landrø, Nils Inge

    2012-01-01

    Please cite this paper as: Underbjerg M, Kesmodel U, Landrø N, Bakketeig L, Grove J, Wimberley T, Kilburn T, Svaerke C, Thorsen P, Mortensen E. The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on selective and sustained attention in 5-year-old children. BJOG...... 2012;119:1211-1221. Objective  The aim was to examine the effects of low to moderate maternal alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on children's attention at 5 years of age. Design  Prospective follow-up study. Setting  Neuropsychological testing in four Danish cities 2003......-2008. Population  A cohort of 1628 women and their children sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort. Methods  Participants were sampled based on maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. At 5 years of age, the children were tested with the recently developed Test of Everyday Attention for Children...

  15. Positive Effects of Mindfulness-Based Training on Energy Maintenance and the EEG Correlates of Sustained Attention in a Cohort of Nurses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kian F. Wong

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Mindfulness based training (MBT is becoming increasingly popular as a means to improve general wellbeing through developing enhanced control over metacognitive processes. In this preliminary study, we tested a cohort of 36 nurses (mean age = 30.3, SD = 8.52; 2 male who participated in an 8-week MBT intervention to examine the improvements in sustained attention and its energetic costs that may result from MBT. Changes in sustained attention were measured using the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT and electroencephalography (EEG was collected both during PVT performance, and during a brief period of meditation. As there was substantial variability in training attendance, this variable was used a covariate in all analyses. Following the MBT program, we observed changes in alpha power across all scalp regions during meditation that were correlated with attendance. Similarly, PVT performance worsened over the 8-week period, but that this decline was mitigated by good attendance on the MBT program. The subjective energy depletion due to PVT performance (measured using self-report on Likert-type scales was also less in regular attendees. Finally, changes in known EEG markers of attention during PVT performance (P300 and alpha-band event-related desynchronization paralleled these behavioral shifts. Taken together, our data suggest that sustained attention and its associated costs may be negatively affected over time in the nursing profession, but that regular attendance of MBT may help to attenuate these effects. However, as this study contained no control condition, we cannot rule out that other factors (e.g., motivation, placebo effects may also account for our findings.

  16. Neuropsychological evaluation of deficits in executive functioning for ADHD children with or without learning disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Kitty K; Anderson, Vicki; Castiello, Umberto

    2002-01-01

    This study investigates multiple aspects of executive functioning in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These areas include attentional components, impulsiveness, planning, and problem solving. The rationale of the study is based on neurophysiological studies that suggest frontal lobe dysfunction in ADHD. As frontal lobe functioning is related to abilities in executive control, ADHD is hypothesised to be associated with deficits in various areas of executive functioning. The specific effect of comorbidity of learning disability (LD) was also investigated. Eighty-three children with ADHD and 29 age-matched controls (age 7-13) participated in the study. A battery of neuropsychological tests was utilized to evaluate specific deficits in speed of processing, selective attention, switching attention, sustained attention, attentional capacity, impulsiveness, planning and problem solving. Findings indicated that children with ADHD have slower verbal responses and sustained attention deficit. Deficits in selective attention and attentional capacity observed were largely related to the presence of LD. No specific deficit associated with ADHD or the comorbidity of LD was identified in switching attention, impulsiveness, planning, and problem solving. These results revealed that ADHD is not associated with a general deficit in executive functioning. Instead, ADHD is related to a specific deficit in regulation for attentional resources. The importance of isolating the deficit related to LDs for examining the specific deficit associated with ADHD is highlighted. Results also emphasised the importance of isolating the effect of lower level of abilities (e.g., speed of processing) and the utilization of specific definition for the examination of executive functions.

  17. Sustained attention in school-age children with congenital hypothyroidism: Influence of episodes of overtreatment in the first three years of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García Morales, L; Rodríguez Arnao, M D; Rodríguez Sánchez, A; Dulín Íñiguez, E; Álvarez González, M A

    2017-11-20

    Children with congenital hypothyroidism (CH) are at risk of developing mild cognitive impairment despite normal overall intellectual performance. These deficits may be caused by disease-related and treatment-related factors. This study explores the impact of abnormal thyroid function during the first 3 years of life on attention performance at school age. We included 49 children diagnosed with CH and receiving treatment for the condition: 14 boys (mean age 9.5±2.8 years) and 35 girls (9.6±2.6 years). The number of episodes of normal, under-, and overtreatment were estimated based on TSH levels during their first 3 years of life (at 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 months). Children were assessed using a computerised version of a Sustained attention test. General linear models were calculated with the attention index as the dependent variable and sex, aetiology, and number of episodes of normal, under-, and overtreatment as independent variables. Higher numbers of episodes of overtreatment (low TSH level) were associated with poorer attention performance at school age (P=.005, r=-0.45). Children with CH should be monitored closely during the first 3 years of life in order to prevent not only hypothyroidism but also any adverse effects of overtreatment that may affect attentional function at school age. Copyright © 2017 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  18. Differences in visuo-motor control in skilled vs. novice martial arts athletes during sustained and transient attention tasks: a motor-related cortical potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Lopez, Javier; Fernandez, Thalia; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Martinez Mesa, Juan A; Di Russo, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive and motor processes are essential for optimal athletic performance. Individuals trained in different skills and sports may have specialized cognitive abilities and motor strategies related to the characteristics of the activity and the effects of training and expertise. Most studies have investigated differences in motor-related cortical potential (MRCP) during self-paced tasks in athletes but not in stimulus-related tasks. The aim of the present study was to identify the differences in performance and MRCP between skilled and novice martial arts athletes during two different types of tasks: a sustained attention task and a transient attention task. Behavioral and electrophysiological data from twenty-two martial arts athletes were obtained while they performed a continuous performance task (CPT) to measure sustained attention and a cued continuous performance task (c-CPT) to measure transient attention. MRCP components were analyzed and compared between groups. Electrophysiological data in the CPT task indicated larger prefrontal positive activity and greater posterior negativity distribution prior to a motor response in the skilled athletes, while novices showed a significantly larger response-related P3 after a motor response in centro-parietal areas. A different effect occurred in the c-CPT task in which the novice athletes showed strong prefrontal positive activity before a motor response and a large response-related P3, while in skilled athletes, the prefrontal activity was absent. We propose that during the CPT, skilled athletes were able to allocate two different but related processes simultaneously according to CPT demand, which requires controlled attention and controlled motor responses. On the other hand, in the c-CPT, skilled athletes showed better cue facilitation, which permitted a major economy of resources and "automatic" or less controlled responses to relevant stimuli. In conclusion, the present data suggest that motor expertise

  19. Is the emotional Stroop task a special case of mood induction? Evidence from sustained effects of attention under emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Haim, Moshe Shay; Mama, Yaniv; Icht, Michal; Algom, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Sustained effects of emotion are well known in everyday experience. Surprisingly, such effects are seldom recorded in laboratory studies of the emotional Stroop task, in which participants name the color of emotion and neutral words. Color performance is more sluggish with emotion words than with neutral words, the emotional Stroop effect (ESE). The ESE is not sensitive to the order in which the two groups of words are presented, so the effect of exposure to emotion words does not extend to disrupting performance in a subsequent block with neutral words. We attribute this absence of a sustained effect to habituation engendered by excessive repetition of the experimental stimuli. In a series of four experiments, we showed that sustained effects do occur when habituation is removed, and we also showed that the massive exposure to negative stimuli within the ESE paradigm induces a commensurately negative mood. A novel perspective is offered, in which the ESE is considered a special case of mood induction.

  20. 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.

  1. Acute effects of donepezil in healthy young adults underline the fractionation of executive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginani, G E; Tufik, S; Bueno, O F A; Pradella-Hallinan, M; Rusted, J; Pompéia, S

    2011-11-01

    The cholinergic system is involved in the modulation of both bottom-up and top-down attentional control. Top-down attention engages multiple executive control processes, but few studies have investigated whether all or selective elements of executive functions are modulated by the cholinergic system. To investigate the acute effects of the pro-cholinergic donepezil in young, healthy volunteers on distinct components of executive functions we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, independent-groups design study including 42 young healthy male participants who were randomly assigned to one of three oral treatments: glucose (placebo), donepezil 5 mg or donepezil 7.5 mg. The test battery included measures of different executive components (shifting, updating, inhibition, dual-task performance, planning, access to long-term memory), tasks that evaluated arousal/vigilance/visuomotor performance, as well as functioning of working memory subsidiary systems. Donepezil improved sustained attention, reaction times, dual-task performance and the executive component of digit span. The positive effects in these executive tasks did not correlate with arousal/visuomotor/vigilance measures. Among the various executive domains investigated donepezil selectively increased dual-task performance in a manner that could not be ascribed to improvement in arousal/vigilance/visuomotor performance nor working memory slave systems. Other executive tasks that rely heavily on visuospatial processing may also be modulated by the cholinergic system.

  2. Research Paper: Executive Functions in Students With Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Symptoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bita Ajilchi

    2017-05-01

    Conclusion: The findings of this research raised specific issues in relation to the role of depression, anxiety, and stress in the disruption of the executive functions of sufferers. Selective and shifting attention and cognitive abilities are specifically affected in this regard. Meanwhile, the role of stress in impairing decision making and the major role of anxiety in impairing sustained attention was shown to be considerable.

  3. Distinguishing and Improving Mouse Behavior with Educational Computer Games in Young Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: An Executive Function-Based Interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veenstra, Baukje; van Geert, Paul L. C.; van der Meulen, Bieuwe F.

    2012-01-01

    In this exploratory multiple case study, it is examined how a computer game focused on improving ineffective learning behavior can be used as a tool to assess, improve, and study real-time mouse behavior (MB) in different types of children: 18 children (3.8-6.3 years) with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder…

  4. Attentional bias and executive control in treatment-seeking substance-dependent adolescents : A cross-sectional and follow-up study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Hemel-Ruiter, M.E.; Wiers, R.W.; Brook, F.G.; de Jong, P.J.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Research in adults shows that substance dependent individuals demonstrate attentional bias (AB) for substance-related stimuli. This study investigated the role of AB in adolescents diagnosed with alcohol, cannabis, amphetamine or GHB dependency on entering therapy and six months later,

  5. Sustainable NREL - Site Sustainability Plan FY 2015

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2015-01-01

    NREL's Site Sustainability Plan FY 2015 reports on sustainability plans for the lab for the year 2015 based on Executive Order Goals and provides the status on planned actions cited in the FY 2014 report.

  6. Execution and executability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, Robert W.; Harrison, Denise

    2015-09-01

    "We have a new strategy to grow our organization." Developing the plan is just the start. Implementing it in the organization is the real challenge. Many organizations don't fail due to lack of strategy; they struggle because it isn't effectively implemented. After working with hundreds of companies on strategy development, Denise and Robert have distilled the critical areas where organizations need to focus in order to enhance profitability through superior execution. If these questions are important to your organization, you'll find useful answers in the following articles: Do you find yourself overwhelmed by too many competing priorities? How do you limit how many strategic initiatives/projects your organization is working on at one time? How do you balance your resource requirements (time and money) with the availability of these resources? How do you balance your strategic initiative requirements with the day-to-day requirements of your organization?

  7. Strategic sustainability performance plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    In October 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13514 that sets sustainability : goals for Federal agencies and focuses on making improvements in environmental, energy and : economic performance. The Executive Order requires Federal agen...

  8. Working memory deficits in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): an examination of central executive and storage/rehearsal processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alderson, R Matt; Hudec, Kristen L; Patros, Connor H G; Kasper, Lisa J

    2013-05-01

    The current study was the first to use a regression approach to examine the unique contributions of central executive (CE) and storage/rehearsal processes to working memory (WM) deficits in adults with ADHD. Thirty-seven adults (ADHD = 21, HC = 16) completed phonological (PH) and visuospatial (VS) working memory tasks. While both groups performed significantly better during the PH task relative to the VS task, adults with ADHD exhibited significant deficits across both working memory modalities. Further, the ADHD group recalled disproportionately fewer PH and VS stimuli as set-size demands increased. Overall, the CE and PH storage/rehearsal processes of adults with ADHD were both significantly impaired relative to those of the healthy control adults; however, the magnitude of the CE effect size was much smaller compared to previous studies of children with the disorder. Collectively, results provide support for a lifelong trajectory of WM deficits in ADHD. © 2013 American Psychological Association

  9. Executive function and bilingualism in young and older adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanna eKousaie

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Research suggests that being bilingual results in advantages on executive control processes and disadvantages on language tasks relative to monolinguals. Furthermore, the executive function advantage is thought to be larger in older than younger adults, suggesting that bilingualism may buffer against age-related changes in executive function. However, there are potential confounds in some of the previous research, as well as inconsistencies in the literature. The goal of the current investigation was to examine the presence of a bilingual advantage in executive control and a bilingual disadvantage on language tasks in the same sample of young and older monolingual anglophones, monolingual francophones, and French/English bilinguals. Participants completed a series of executive function tasks, including a Stroop task, a Simon task, a sustained attention to response task (SART, the Wisconsin Card Sort Test (WCST, and the digit span subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and language tasks, including the Boston Naming Test (BNT, and category and letter fluency. The results do not demonstrate an unequivocal advantage for bilinguals on executive function tasks and raise questions about the reliability, robustness and/or specificity of previous findings. The results also did not demonstrate a disadvantage for bilinguals on language tasks. Rather, they suggest that there may be an influence of the language environment. It is concluded that additional research is required to fully characterize any language group differences in both executive function and language tasks.

  10. Attentional Lapses in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Blank Rather Than Wandering Thoughts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Driessche, Charlotte; Bastian, Mikaël; Peyre, Hugo; Stordeur, Coline; Acquaviva, Éric; Bahadori, Sara; Delorme, Richard; Sackur, Jérôme

    2017-10-01

    People with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have difficulties sustaining their attention on external tasks. Such attentional lapses have often been characterized as the simple opposite of external sustained attention, but the different types of attentional lapses, and the subjective experiences to which they correspond, remain unspecified. In this study, we showed that unmedicated children (ages 6-12) with ADHD, when probed during a standard go/no-go task, reported more mind blanking (a mental state characterized by the absence of reportable content) than did control participants. This increase in mind blanking happened at the expense of both focused and wandering thoughts. We also found that methylphenidate reverted the level of mind blanking to baseline (i.e., the level of mind blanking reported by control children without ADHD). However, this restoration led to mind wandering more than to focused attention. In a second experiment, we extended these findings to adults who had subclinical ADHD. These results suggest that executive functions impaired in ADHD are required not only to sustain external attention but also to maintain an internal train of thought.

  11. Attention processes in chronic fatigue syndrome: attentional bias for health-related threat and the role of attentional control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Ruihua; Moss-Morris, Rona; Risdale, Anna; Lynch, Jeannette; Jeevaratnam, Preshan; Bradley, Brendan P; Mogg, Karin

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive behavioural models of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) propose that attention processes, specifically, enhanced selective attention to health-threat related cues, may play an important role in symptom maintenance. The current study investigated attentional bias towards health-threat stimuli in CFS. It also examined whether individuals with CFS have impaired executive attention, and whether this was related to attentional bias. 27 participants with CFS and 35 healthy controls completed a Visual Probe Task measuring attentional bias, and an Attention Network Test measuring executive attention, alerting and orienting. Participants also completed self-report measures of CFS and mood symptoms. Compared to the control group, the CFS group showed greater attentional bias for health-threat words than pictures; and the CFS group was significantly impaired in executive attention. Furthermore, CFS individuals with poor executive attention showed greater attentional bias to health-threat related words, compared not only to controls but also to CFS individuals with good executive attention. Thus, this study revealed a significant relationship between attentional bias and executive attention in CFS: attentional bias to threat was primarily evident in those with impaired executive attention control. Taking account of individual differences in executive attention control in current intervention models may be beneficial for CFS. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 听力障碍群体的保持性注意发展%A Study on the Sustained Attention Development of Hearing Impaired Population

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    程黎; 施建农; 蹇菊华; 张兴利

    2012-01-01

    为了研究听力障碍儿童到成人的保持性注意发展的变化,采用瑞文标准推理测验筛选出207名智力正常的听力障碍儿童和听力正常儿童及成人作为被试,以划消测验作为实验材料,记录被试的加工速度、击中率和虚报率.结果显示:听力障碍和听力正常被试的加工速度都随年龄的增长而加快;7~9岁组的听力障碍被试的击中率显著低于听力正常组,其他年龄组的听力障碍被试和正常被试的击中率没有显著差异;7~14岁的听力障碍被试的虚报率显著高于听力正常被试.听力障碍被试和听力正常被试在所有指标上的发展趋势都相似,前者只有在青少年期的专注程度不如听力正常被试,对非目标的抑制能力比较弱.同时也必须看到,听力障碍被试在注意保持的时间分布上更好,他们能更为持久地维持注意.%In the present study,cancellation test was used to explore sustained attention development of hearing impaired children and adults. 207 hearing impaired and hearing participants were selected by using Raven Progressive Matrices intelligence test. Results showed clear age-related increases in processing speed for both hearing impaired and hearing participants. The hit rate of the hearing impaired children was significantly lower than that of the hearing children among aged 7-9 group,while that difference among other aged group was not found. The false alert rate of the hearing impaired adolescents was significantly higher than that of the hearing adolescents among aged 7-14 group. We interpret these results and concluded that,both hearing impaired and hearing participants had the similar developmental trajectory of the sustained attention;The ability of children's sustained attention appeared to improve with age,and in adolescence it reached the peak;The hearing impaired participants had the comparable sustained attention skills to the matched hearing peers. Besides, the

  13. Depressive symptoms as a side effect of the sustained release form of methylphenidate in a 7-year-old boy with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lakić Aneta

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Hyperkinetic disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is a clinical entity consisting of a cluster of symptoms including hyperactivity, attention disorder and impulse control disorder group. In the context of ADHD etiology we may say that genetic, clinical and imaging studies point out a disruption of the brain dopamine system, which is corroborated by the clinical effectiveness of stimulant drugs, which increase extracellular dopamine in the brain. Basically, it is a biological and not psychological disorder, which is important both for the comprehension and therapeutical approach to this problem. Today, the best recommended approach regarding children with ADHD is a combination of two therapeutic modalities: pharmacotherapy and behavioral treatment. The first-choice drugs for this disorder belong to the group of sympathomimetics - psychostimulants and atomoxetine (more recently. As the firstchoice therapy, methylphenydate in sustained release form has numerous advantages. Like all drugs, methylphenidate has its unwanted side effects. Most common are: loss of appetite, weight loss, sleeping disorders, irritability, headache. These side effects are well-known and documented in the literature. By analysing the available literature we have found cases of psychiatric side effects such as: psychosis, mania, visual hallucinations, agitation, suicidal ideas. We have not found examples of ADHD in children who use increased dosage of sustained release of methylphenidate leading to depressive symptomatology. On the other side, methylphenidate may be prescribed for off-label use in treatmentresistant cases of depression. Case report. The case of a 7- year-old boy diagnosed with ADHD was on a minimal dose of sustained release form of methylphenidate. After initial titration of the drug, i.e. after raising the dose to the next level the boy developed clinical signs of depression. The treatment was ceased and depressive

  14. The Study of the Differences of Attention Bias, Executive Functioning, and Reaction Time of Amphetamine Consumers in Comparison of Non Consumers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nezamaldin Ghasemi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Aim: Addiction to opium can be resulted to different effects. Current research designed in order to comprise if neuro-psychological functions among Amphetamine consumers and normal people. Method: Research design was causal-comparative design which performed in consumers and normal people. Research population was all opium consumers of Bahar city. Addict group included of 33 Amphetamine consumers who were referred to Baharestan addiction withdrawal center by snowball sampling. The comparison group included 39 normal people that matched with addict group with consideration of age, sex, education. All samples were studied by technical management of center and by using of perceptual diagnostic tests. Wisconsin cards, reaction time tests (simple, diagnostic, and selective and attention bias (Stroop was used. Results: the results of the research indicated that Amphetamine consumers were significantly different with normal people in consideration of error number, but there wasn’t significant difference on error in Wisconsin test. In reaction time Amphetamine consumers had least reaction time and highest number of errors, in three states. In simple trial there weren’t significant difference, but two groups were significant different in selective and diagnostic trial on time and number of errors. Also, there wasn’t significant difference on attention bias with consideration of error, but there was significant difference with consideration of time. Conclusion: on the basis of results it can be claimed Amphetamine consumption can be affected on neuro-cognitive functions. Identifying and understanding of these factors can be useful in better understanding of problem, and can be led to different therapeutic treatment.

  15. Capacity Development and Strengthening for Energy Policy formulation and implementation of Sustainable Energy Projects in Indonesia CASINDO. Deliverable No. 16. Development and execution of pilot research projects at the CASINDO partner universities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wijnker, M. [Eindhoven University of Technology TUE, Eindhoven (Netherlands)

    2011-09-15

    The overall objective of the CASINDO programme is to establish a self-sustaining and self-developing structure at both the national and regional level to build and strengthen human capacity to enable the provinces of North Sumatra, Yogyakarta, Central Java, West Nusa Tenggara and Papua to formulate sound policies for renewable energy and energy efficiency and to develop and implement sustainable energy projects. Each of the five Indonesian universities managed to develop pilot research projects and wrote research proposals to outline and strengthen their ideas. All of the universities also purchased equipment for the purpose of executing this research. UNCEN (Cenderawasih University, Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia) and UNDIP (Diponegoro University in Semarang, Java, Indonesia) managed to finalize their research within the project period and wrote reports on their results. The other universities could not yet present results due to delay in one or several of the steps within the procedure.

  16. Executive Dysfunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinovici, Gil D.; Stephens, Melanie L.; Possin, Katherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose of Review: Executive functions represent a constellation of cognitive abilities that drive goal-oriented behavior and are critical to the ability to adapt to an ever-changing world. This article provides a clinically oriented approach to classifying, localizing, diagnosing, and treating disorders of executive function, which are pervasive in clinical practice. Recent Findings: Executive functions can be split into four distinct components: working memory, inhibition, set shifting, and fluency. These components may be differentially affected in individual patients and act together to guide higher-order cognitive constructs such as planning and organization. Specific bedside and neuropsychological tests can be applied to evaluate components of executive function. While dysexecutive syndromes were first described in patients with frontal lesions, intact executive functioning relies on distributed neural networks that include not only the prefrontal cortex, but also the parietal cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus, and cerebellum. Executive dysfunction arises from injury to any of these regions, their white matter connections, or neurotransmitter systems. Dysexecutive symptoms therefore occur in most neurodegenerative diseases and in many other neurologic, psychiatric, and systemic illnesses. Management approaches are patient specific and should focus on treatment of the underlying cause in parallel with maximizing patient function and safety via occupational therapy and rehabilitation. Summary: Executive dysfunction is extremely common in patients with neurologic disorders. Diagnosis and treatment hinge on familiarity with the clinical components and neuroanatomic correlates of these complex, high-order cognitive processes. PMID:26039846

  17. Sustainable diversity. This year's Top 25 minority Executives in Healthcare highlights leadership diversity, but some question the true level of inclusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirchheimer, Barbara

    2008-04-07

    While more minority candidates are moving into top healthcare positions, many challenges remain. One is to address true inclusion, an expert says. And Andrea Price, left, selected as one of Modem Healthcare's Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare, says minorities can have a hard time rising to top positions. "The industry needs to understand that everyone doesn't start off on the same playing field," she says.

  18. Thalamus and language: interface with attention, memory and executive functions Tálamo e linguagem: interface com atenção, memória e funções executivas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcia Radanovic

    2003-03-01

    Full Text Available Subcortical structures are in a strategic functional position within the cognitive networks. Their lesion can interfere with a great number of functions. We studied six patients with thalamic vascular lesions (three left sided, two right sided and one bilateral, to characterize their repercussion in the communicative abilities and the interface between language alterations and other cognitive abilities, as attention, memory and frontal executive. All patients were evaluated through a functional interview (discourse analysis, and the following batteries: Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, Boston Naming Test, Token Test, Benton Visual Retention Test, Trail Making, Wisconsin Card Sorting and frontal scripts. All patients performed MRI and five underwent SPECT. Results show that these patients present impairment in several cognitive domains, especially attention and executive functions (working memory, planning and self-monitoring; those with right lesions have an additional visuospatial impairment. Such alterations interfere with language abilities, and this fact must be considered in the rehabilitation efforts.As estruturas subcorticais ocupam posições funcionais estratégicas nas redes cognitivas. Sua lesão pode interferir com grande número de funções. Estudamos seis pacientes com lesão vascular talâmica (três à esqueda, dois à direita e um bilateral, para caracterizar a repercussão da lesão nas suas habilidades comunicativas e a interface entre alterações de linguagem e outras habilidades cognitivas, como atenção, memória e executivas frontais. Os pacientes foram avaliados através de entrevista funcional (análise do discurso, testes de Boston para Diagnóstico da Afasia, Nomeação Boston, Token, Múltipla Escolha de Benton, Trail Making, Wisconsin Card Sorting e scripts frontais. Todos os pacientes realizaram ressonância magnética encefálica (RM e cinco realizaram SPECT. Os resultados mostram que os pacientes

  19. Focusing, Sustaining, and Switching Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-12

    Refereed articles Schwartz A and BG Shinn-Cunningham (2013). Dynamic range compression effects spatial selection of speech sounds in normal-hearing...34Foundations of binaural hearing: Why does spatial hearing matter?," Annual Meeting of the Academy of Audiology , Anaheim, CA, 3 April 2013 [invited keynote...Keynote Speaker, Binaural Active Audition Symposium, Kyoto Japan, March 2013 Keynote Speaker, Annual Meeting of the Academy of Audiology , Anaheim, CA

  20. Executive Functions in Students With Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajilchi, Bita; Nejati, Vahid

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate and compare the executive functions of students with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms with those functions in healthy ones. This study was a comparative and non-clinical analysis. The study population comprised all students of Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. A total of 448 students were recruited using convenience sampling method. They were also screened using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) test comprising 21 items. Of study participants, 30 people were depressed, 27 had anxiety, and 15 suffered from stress. Then, 50 control people were matched with them. Next, both groups were compared using the Stroop test, Wisconsin card sorting, and cognitive ability test. Using MANOVA test, data analysis revealed no significant differences among 4 groups with regard to selective attention and shifting attention. Depressed group reacted rapidly as opposed to the anxiety group with regard to measures of shifting attention and cognitive abilities; it was observed that the memory, inhibition control, planning, and flexibility of the healthy group were better than those of the 3 other groups. The findings of this research raised specific issues in relation to the role of depression, anxiety, and stress in the disruption of the executive functions of sufferers. Selective and shifting attention and cognitive abilities are specifically affected in this regard. Meanwhile, the role of stress in impairing decision making and the major role of anxiety in impairing sustained attention was shown to be considerable.

  1. Study the Relationship of Executive Functions with Behavioral Symptoms in Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vali Shiri

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The relation between autism disorder’s symptoms and cognitive capabilities can help with a better phenotype description of this disorder and can facilitate its pathological evaluation and treatment. Destruction of executive functions seems to be one of the cognitive reasons of potential phenotype in autism disorder. Thus, the present paper aims to study the relationship between executive dysfunction and autism disorder’s symptoms. Materials & Methods: In this cross-sectional research, 50 children with high-functioning autism were selected using convenience sampling method from Behara, Tehranpars and Roshd centers. Then, the GARS test and Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire was completed by therapists and neuropsychological tests of Strop and continuous performance test and shift attention were taken by the subjects. Pearson correlation coefficient and multi-variant regression were used for data analysis. Results: There is a significant positive relationship between selective attention with communicative and social interaction symptoms, sustained attention with social interaction symptoms and repetitive behaviors, shifting attention with communicative, social interaction and repetitive behavior symptoms (P<0.001 (P<0.01 (P<0.05. In addition, the results of regression analysis also revealed that selective attention and shifting attention can predict communication, and sustained attention can predict social interaction and repetitive behaviors symptoms (P<0.01 (P<0.05. Conclusion: The results obtained by this study indicate the significant role of executive functions in autistic symptoms. Thus, it is recommended to consider new treatment interventions in repairing executive functions for treatment of children with autistic disorder.

  2. Self-Reported quality of life in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and executive function impairment treated with lisdexamfetamine dimesylate: a randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler, Lenard A; Dirks, Bryan; Deas, Patrick; Raychaudhuri, Aparna; Dauphin, Matthew; Saylor, Keith; Weisler, Richard

    2013-10-09

    This study examined the effects of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX) on quality of life (QOL) in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and clinically significant executive function deficits (EFD). This report highlights QOL findings from a 10-week randomized placebo-controlled trial of LDX (30-70 mg/d) in adults (18-55 years) with ADHD and EFD (Behavior Rating Inventory of EF-Adult, Global Executive Composite [BRIEF-A GEC] ≥65). The primary efficacy measure was the self-reported BRIEF-A; a key secondary measure was self-reported QOL on the Adult ADHD Impact Module (AIM-A). The clinician-completed ADHD Rating Scale version IV (ADHD-RS-IV) with adult prompts and Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S) were also employed. The Adult ADHD QoL (AAQoL) was added while the study was in progress. A post hoc analysis examined the subgroup having evaluable results from both AIM-A and AAQoL. Of 161 randomized (placebo, 81; LDX, 80), 159 were included in the safety population. LDX improved AIM-A multi-item domain scores versus placebo; LS mean difference for Performance and Daily Functioning was 21.6 (ES, 0.93, PPsychological Health was 12.1; Life Outlook was 12.5; and Relationships was 7.3. In a post hoc analysis of participants with both AIM-A and AAQoL scores, AIM-A multi-item subgroup analysis scores numerically improved with LDX, with smaller difference for Impact of Symptoms: Daily Interference. The safety profile of LDX was consistent with amphetamine use in previous studies. Overall, adults with ADHD/EFD exhibited self-reported improvement on QOL, using the AIM-A and AAQoL scales in line with medium/large ES; these improvements were paralleled by improvements in EF and ADHD symptoms. The safety profile of LDX was similar to previous studies. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01101022.

  3. Social and leadership abilities in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: relation with cognitive-attentional capacities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Jaén, Alberto; Martín Fernández-Mayoralas, Daniel; López-Arribas, Sonia; Pardos-Véglia, Alexandra; Muñiz-Borrega, Blanca; García-Savaté, Carolina; Prados-Parra, Baldomero; Calleja-Pérez, Beatriz; Muñoz-Jareño, Nuria; Fernández-Perrone, Ana L

    2012-01-01

    We have analyzed social and leadership abilities in children with ADHD and their relationship with execution of tasks involving sustained attention and inhibitory control. A retrospective analysis of 170 patients with ADHD was performed. We evaluated leadership and social abilities, measured through the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) and their relations with the results of different neuropsychological tests, including Wechsler scale for children (WISC-IV) and Conners' continuous performance (CPT II). In the differential analysis between the IQ, results of the tests and their relation to BASC scores, a statistically significant relation was observed between attentional capacity expected according to the patient's intelligence and social skills scores (according to BASC filled out by mothers and teachers) and leadership (according to all informants) sections. Attentional difficulties are closely related to social competence in patients with ADHD, either by a direct cause-effect relationship or a shared dysexecutive substrate of this disorder.

  4. Executive summary

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Nimwegen, N.; van Nimwegen, N.; van der Erf, R.

    2009-01-01

    The Demography Monitor 2008 gives a concise overview of current demographic trends and related developments in education, the labour market and retirement for the European Union and some other countries. This executive summary highlights the major findings of the Demography Monitor 2008 and further

  5. Executive function in adolescents with Down Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanfranchi, S; Jerman, O; Dal Pont, E; Alberti, A; Vianello, R

    2010-04-01

    The present work is aimed at analysing executive function (EF) in adolescents with Down Syndrome (DS). So far, EF has been analysed mainly in adults with DS, showing a pattern of impairment. However, less is known about children and adolescents with this syndrome. Studying adolescents with DS might help us better understand whether performances on EF tasks of individuals with DS are determined by age or by Alzheimer disease, as some studies suggest, or whether their performances are directly related to DS cognitive profile. A battery of EF tasks assessing set shifting, planning/problem-solving, working memory, inhibition/perseveration and fluency, as well as a tasks assessing sustained attention has been administered to a group of 15 adolescents with DS and 15 typically developing children matched for mental age. All EF tasks were selected from previous studies with individuals with intellectual disabilities or from developmental literature and are thought to be useful for the samples considered. The present results revealed that the group of individuals with DS performed at a significantly lower level on tasks assessing set shifting, planning/problem-solving, working memory and inhibition/perseveration, but not on the tasks assessing fluency. In addition, individuals with DS demonstrated a greater number of errors and less strategy use for the sustained attention task. The results suggest a broad impairment in EF in adolescents with DS, and are consistent with several similar studies conducted with adults with DS. We assume that EF deficit is a characteristic of DS.

  6. ORNL Annual Sustainability Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lapsa, Melissa Voss [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Nichols, Teresa A. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2014-02-01

    As described in this report, we have made substantial progress across the 25 roadmaps of the Sustainable Campus Initiative. The report also outlines our plans to continue integrating sustainable practices into the planning, execution, and evaluation of all ORNL activities. We appreciate your interest in our journey to sustainability, and we welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions.

  7. Timing divided attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogendoorn, Hinze; Carlson, Thomas A; VanRullen, Rufin; Verstraten, Frans A J

    2010-11-01

    Visual attention can be divided over multiple objects or locations. However, there is no single theoretical framework within which the effects of dividing attention can be interpreted. In order to develop such a model, here we manipulated the stage of visual processing at which attention was divided, while simultaneously probing the costs of dividing attention on two dimensions. We show that dividing attention incurs dissociable time and precision costs, which depend on whether attention is divided during monitoring or during access. Dividing attention during monitoring resulted in progressively delayed access to attended locations as additional locations were monitored, as well as a one-off precision cost. When dividing attention during access, time costs were systematically lower at one of the accessed locations than at the other, indicating that divided attention during access, in fact, involves rapid sequential allocation of undivided attention. We propose a model in which divided attention is understood as the simultaneous parallel preparation and subsequent sequential execution of multiple shifts of undivided attention. This interpretation has the potential to bring together diverse findings from both the divided-attention and saccade preparation literature and provides a framework within which to integrate the broad spectrum of divided-attention methodologies.

  8. Training of attention and memory deficits in children with acquired brain injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen Sjö, Nina; Spellerberg, Stine Marie; Weidner, Susanne

    2010-01-01

    supervision in the school-setting maintains the child’s motivation throughout the training programme and (3) whether positive changes in memory, attention and executive functions are found with this implementation of the training method. Methods: Seven children with memory and ⁄ or attention deficits after......) sustaining of motivation and (3) improvements in learning and memory.......This pilot study concerns cognitive rehabilitation of children with acquired brain injury (ABI). Aim: The aim is threefold; to determine (1) whether the Amsterdam Memory and Attention Training for Children (AMAT-C) programme for children with ABI can be integrated in the child’s school, (2) whether...

  9. 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...

  10. Atención sostenida en niños en edad escolar con hipotiroidismo congénito Sustained attention in school aged children with congenital hypothyroidism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Olivares Torres

    2004-08-01

    .0 computerized battery (system for evaluation and follow-up of hypothyroid patients for the detection of disorders in children with congenital hypothyropidism (CH. Three groups of children were studied: learning disorders (LD, congenital hypothyroidism (CG and sound controls (SC. The results show that the values of the children from group CH are at an intermediate level between the SC and the LD, which is interpreted as the existance of a subclinical deficit in sustained attention. The discriminatory capacity of the software used allows its inmediate incorporation to the clinical practice of the national CH early diagnosis program as a very useful complementary tool.

  11. Attention deficits and divorce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard, Geneviève; Saint-Aubin, Jean

    2014-09-01

    Building on previous work on the role of attention deficits associated with the regulation of executive control in psychiatric disorders, we examine whether these attention deficits are related to an interpersonal disturbance, the experience of divorce. Attentional capacities of 95 randomly selected couples from the general population were measured with a well-established task, the Attentional Network Task, which assesses the efficiency of 3 attention networks (that is, alerting, orienting, and executive control). Among the 190 participants, 32 had experienced a divorce in the past. ANCOVAs were used to compare divorced people in marital or cohabiting unions with people in first unions in their performance on this purely cognitive task. Our findings indicate that divorced people who are currently living in a cohabiting relationship show significantly lower executive control than other adults living as couples, after controlling for sex, age, income, and education. This subgroup of divorced people not only exhibit greater difficulty in responding to some stimuli while ignoring irrelevant ones but also manifest cognitive deficits in conflict resolution. This study highlights the links between attention and the long-term maintenance of intimate relationships. Our results may have important implications for the identification of people at risk for divorce.

  12. Executive summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-02-01

    This paper is an 'executive summary' of work undertaken to review proposals for transport, handling and emplacement of high level radioactive wastes in an underground repository, appropriate to the U.K. context, with particular reference to: waste block size and configuration; self-shielded or partially-shielded block; stages of disposal; transportation within the repository; emplacement in vertical holes or horizontal tunnels; repository access by adit, incline or shaft; and costs. The paper contains a section on general conclusions and recommendations. (U.K.)

  13. Boys with Oppositional Defiant Disorder/Conduct Disorder Show Impaired Adaptation During Stress: An Executive Functioning Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoorl, Jantiene; van Rijn, Sophie; de Wied, Minet; van Goozen, Stephanie; Swaab, Hanna

    2018-04-01

    Evidence for problems in executive functioning (EF) in children with oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder (ODD/CD) is mixed and the impact stress may have on EF is understudied. Working memory, sustained attention, inhibition and cognitive flexibility of boys with ODD/CD (n = 65) and non-clinical controls (n = 32) were examined under typical and stressful test conditions. Boys with ODD/CD showed impaired working memory under typical testing conditions, and impairments in working memory and sustained attention under stressful conditions. In contrast to controls, performance on sustained attention, cognitive flexibility and inhibition was less influenced by stress in boys with ODD/CD. These results suggest that boys with ODD/CD show impairments in adaptation to the environment whereas typically developing boys show adaptive changes in EF.

  14. Cannabinoid modulation of executive functions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pattij, T.; Wiskerke, J.; Schoffelmeer, A.N.M.

    2008-01-01

    Executive functions are higher-order cognitive processes such as attention, behavioural flexibility, decision-making, inhibitory control, planning, time estimation and working memory that exert top-down control over behaviour. In addition to the role of cannabinoid signaling in other cognitive

  15. Attention and memory evaluation across the life span: heterogeneous effects of age and education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Pérez, Esther; Ostrosky-Solís, Feggy

    2006-05-01

    The developmental sequences of attention and memory were studied by utilizing normative data derived from the neuropsychological battery named NEUROPSI ATTENTION AND MEMORY. A sample of 521 Spanish-speaking individuals, aged 6 to 85 years, participated in this study. In the adult sample, educational level ranged from 0 to 22 years of education. Data from subtests measuring orientation, attention and concentration, executive functions, working memory, immediate and delayed verbal memory, and immediate and delayed visual memory were included. The factor structure of the analyzed battery is presented. The effects of age and education on this structure were analyzed. Results suggested that although attention and memory are related, their developmental sequences are separated from one another. During childhood, the development of selective and sustained attention, attentional-working memory, and executive functions showed a fast improvement in performance. Development of verbal memory and place and person orientation showed a slower increment in scores. In the adult sample it was found that factors related to memory are sensitive to age, whereas those related to attention and executive functions are sensitive to education. The consideration of both the developmental sequence, as well as differential effects of education, can improve the sensitivity and specificity of neuropsychological measures, allowing early diagnosis of cognitive dysfunction and implementation of adequate rehabilitation programs.

  16. Ten Years of Change in Executive Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolt, James F.

    1993-01-01

    As recently as the 1980s, most companies did not pay much attention to executive education. In the 1990s, many see executive education as a must for revamping competitive strategies, increasing productivity, improving quality, reducing cycle time, and revitalizing corporate culture. (Author/JOW)

  17. 高智商注意缺陷多动障碍儿童操作性执行功能特点%Practical executive function performance in high intelligence quotient children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    何笑笑; 钱英; 王玉凤

    2013-01-01

    目的 探讨高智商注意缺陷多动障碍(ADHD)儿童操作性执行功能特点.方法 采用横断面研究,对符合DSM-Ⅳ诊断标准的高智商[《中国韦氏儿童智力量表》(C-WISC)总智商≥120,于2003年12月至2010年9月北京大学精神卫生研究所门诊就诊的ADHD儿童]和普通智商(90≤FSIQ< 110) ADHD儿童各124例及与其年龄、智商相匹配的于2003年12月至2008年6月收集的医院周边学校正常对照儿童各68名,进行操作性执行功能任务测验(Sroop色词命名、数字字母连线、数字广度、汉诺塔、动物正确个数),测查执行功能的抑制、转换、工作记忆、计划、流畅性成分,采用多因素方差分析比较各组间差异.结果 高智商ADHD组在色词命名(3.18 ±0.05)、连线测验(4.38±0.55)差于高智商对照组(2.92±0.07和4.05±0.07),P<0.01;高智商ADHD组在连线、数字广度(4.86±0.13)、流畅性(23.0±0.5)优于普通智商ADHD组(4.10 ±0.07和19.9±0.5),P<0.01.结论 高智商ADHD儿童的抑制与转换能力均有受损,但较普通智商ADHD儿童,在转换、工作记忆、流畅性方面受损程度要轻;智商对ADHD操作性执行功能有保护作用.%Objective To explore the practical executive function profiles in high IQ (intelligence quotient) children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a Chinese sample population.Methods For this cross-sectional study,we identified 124 outpatients aged 6.8-13.1 years with a high IQ fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for ADHD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Ⅳ (DSM-Ⅳ),68 children and adolescents without ADHD aged 6.5-13.1 years with a high IQ matched by high IQ children and adolescents with ADHD,124 outpatients aged 6.8-13.2 years with an average IQ with ADHD and 68 normal children and adolescents aged 6.4-13.1 years with an average IQ matched by IQ.We operationalized high IQ as having a full scale

  18. Relationship of vestibular balancing function to executive function in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder%注意缺陷多动障碍儿童的前庭平衡功能与执行功能

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李静; 程嘉; 丰雷; 王玉凤

    2012-01-01

    目的:探讨不同前庭平衡功能状态的8~10岁注意缺陷多动障碍(ADHD)儿童的执行功能特点.方法:对符合美国精神障碍诊断与统计手册第4版( DSM-Ⅳ)诊断标准的143名ADHD儿童,采用Stroop色字命名任务、Rey复杂图形记忆、连线测试、汉诺塔、言语流畅性任务、数字广度、心理推理能力任务测查执行功能.采用人体动静态姿势测试仪,选用感觉整合测试(SOT)评定平衡功能,以前庭感觉分的中位数为界,分为平衡功能好组(n=71)与平衡差组(n=72).结果:平衡功能好组的Stroop字义命名完成时间[(19.3±5.2) svs.(21.8±8.1)s]、色字命字完成时间[(24.8±8.0)svs.(28.8±11.9)s]均少于平衡功能差组(均P<0.05);平衡功能好组汉诺塔任务完成率高于(78.9% vs.63.9%)平衡功能差组,汉诺塔任务犯规次数[1(0,2)vs.1(1,3)]少于平衡功能差组(均P<0.05).在Rey复杂图形记忆、连线测试、数字广度、心理推理能力任务比较中,两组差异无统计学意义.结论:前庭平衡功能差的ADHD儿童,其执行功能的抑制、计划能力受损更明显.%Objective: To explore the characteristics of executive function of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children in S to 10 years with varying vestibular balancing status. Methods: Totally 143 children who were diagnosed as ADHD according to the criteria of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) were selected. They were assessed with the executive function including Stroop color-word test, Rey-Osterrieth complex figure test, Trail Making Test, Tower of Hanoi task, verbal fluency test, Digital Span, theory of mind tests(deceptive container task and false-belief task), and balancing function using SMART EQUITEST Balance Master 8.0 with Sensory Organization Test (SOT). The subjects were divided into two groups according to their vestibular perception scores. The subject whose score was above the median was

  19. Cognitive Training in Children and Adolescents with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bikic, Aida

    Background: Many individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continue to experience impaired cognitive functions despite medical treatment. Inadequate medical compliance and uncertain long-term effects of treatment make it necessary to explore supplementary treatments for ADHD...... on the feasibility of the intervention. The first trial was exploratory and based on the results, the primary outcome measure in the second trial was sustained attention. Results: In the pilot trial with adolescents with ADHD, we found that it was feasible to use the intervention at home, but that the adolescents...... attention, while the active placebo had significant, beneficial effects on working memory, both with large effect sizes. In the second trial, we found no significant differences on our primary or secondary outcome measures indicating no effects on sustained attention, ADHD symptoms or executive functions...

  20. Neural correlates of attention and arousal: insights from electrophysiology, functional neuroimaging and psychopharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coull, J T

    1998-07-01

    Attention and arousal are multi-dimensional psychological processes, which interact closely with one another. The neural substrates of attention, as well as the interaction between arousal and attention, are discussed in this review. After a brief discussion of psychological and neuropsychological theories of attention, event-related potential correlates of attention are discussed. Essentially, attention acts to modulate stimulus-induced electrical potentials (N100/P100, P300, N400), rather than generating any unique potentials of its own. Functional neuroimaging studies of attentional orienting, selective attention, divided attention and sustained attention (and its inter-dependence on underlying levels of arousal) are then reviewed. A distinction is drawn between the brain areas which are crucially involved in the top-down modulation of attention (the 'sources' of attention) and those sensory-association areas whose activity is modulated by attention (the 'sites' of attentional expression). Frontal and parietal (usually right-lateralised) cortices and thalamus are most often associated with the source of attentional modulation. Also, the use of functional neuroimaging to test explicit hypotheses about psychological theories of attention is emphasised. These experimental paradigms form the basis for a 'new generation' of functional imaging studies which exploit the dynamic aspect of imaging and demonstrate how it can be used as more than just a 'brain mapping' device. Finally, a review of psychopharmacological studies in healthy human volunteers outlines the contributions of the noradrenergic, cholinergic and dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems to the neurochemical modulation of human attention and arousal. While, noradrenergic and cholinergic systems are involved in 'low-level' aspects of attention (e.g. attentional orienting), the dopaminergic system is associated with more 'executive' aspects of attention such as attentional set-shifting or working memory.

  1. Attentional networks in developmental dyscalculia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henik Avishai

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Very little is known about attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia, hence, this study was designed to provide the missing information. We examined attention abilities of participants suffering from developmental dyscalculia using the attention networks test - interactions. This test was designed to examine three different attention networks--executive function, orienting and alerting--and the interactions between them. Methods Fourteen university students that were diagnosed as suffering from developmental dyscalculia--intelligence and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder--and 14 matched controls were tested using the attention networks test - interactions. All participants were given preliminary tests to measure mathematical abilities, reading, attention and intelligence. Results The results revealed deficits in the alerting network--a larger alerting effect--and in the executive function networks--a larger congruity effect in developmental dyscalculia participants. The interaction between the alerting and executive function networks was also modulated by group. In addition, developmental dyscalculia participants were slower to respond in the non-cued conditions. Conclusions These results imply specific attentional deficits in pure developmental dyscalculia. Namely, those with developmental dyscalculia seem to be deficient in the executive function and alertness networks. They suffer from difficulty in recruiting attention, in addition to the deficits in numerical processing.

  2. Attentional networks in developmental dyscalculia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askenazi, Sarit; Henik, Avishai

    2010-01-07

    Very little is known about attention deficits in developmental dyscalculia, hence, this study was designed to provide the missing information. We examined attention abilities of participants suffering from developmental dyscalculia using the attention networks test - interactions. This test was designed to examine three different attention networks--executive function, orienting and alerting--and the interactions between them. Fourteen university students that were diagnosed as suffering from developmental dyscalculia--intelligence and reading abilities in the normal range and no indication of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder--and 14 matched controls were tested using the attention networks test-interactions. All participants were given preliminary tests to measure mathematical abilities, reading, attention and intelligence. The results revealed deficits in the alerting network--a larger alerting effect--and in the executive function networks--a larger congruity effect in developmental dyscalculia participants. The interaction between the alerting and executive function networks was also modulated by group. In addition, developmental dyscalculia participants were slower to respond in the non-cued conditions. These results imply specific attentional deficits in pure developmental dyscalculia. Namely, those with developmental dyscalculia seem to be deficient in the executive function and alertness networks. They suffer from difficulty in recruiting attention, in addition to the deficits in numerical processing.

  3. Executive summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    On 18 May 2001, the Finnish Parliament ratified the Decision in Principle on the final disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel at Olkiluoto, within the municipality of Eurajoki. The Municipality Council and the government has made positive decisions earlier, at the end of 2000, and in compliance with the Nuclear Energy Act, Parliament's ratification was then required. The decision is valid for the spent fuel generated by the existing Finnish nuclear power plants and means that the construction of the final disposal facility is considered to be in line with the overall good of society. Earlier steps included, amongst others, the approval of the technical project by the Safety Authority. Future steps include construction of an underground rock characterisation facility, ONKALO (2003-2004), and application for separate construction and operating licences for the final disposal facility (from about 2010). How did this political and societal decision come about? The FSC Workshop provided the opportunity to present the history leading up to the Decision in Principle (DiP), and to examine future perspectives with an emphasis on stakeholder involvement. This Executive Summary gives an overview of the presentations and discussions that took place at the workshop. It presents, for the most part, a factual account of the individual presentations and of the discussions that took place. It relies importantly on the notes that were taken at the meeting. Most materials are elaborated upon in a fuller way in the texts that the various speakers and session moderators contributed for these proceedings. The structure of the Executive Summary follows the structure of the workshop itself. Complementary to this Summary and also provided with this document, is a NEA Secretariat's perspective aiming to place the results of all discussions, feedback and site visit into an international perspective. (authors)

  4. Executive abilities in children with congenital visual impairment in mid-childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bathelt, Joe; de Haan, Michelle; Salt, Alison; Dale, Naomi Jane

    2018-02-01

    The role of vision and vision deprivation in the development of executive function (EF) abilities in childhood is little understood; aspects of EF such as initiative, attention orienting, inhibition, planning and performance monitoring are often measured through visual tasks. Studying the development and integrity of EF abilities in children with congenital visual impairment (VI) may provide important insights into the development of EF and also its possible relationship with vision and non-visual senses. The current study investigates non-visual EF abilities in 18 school-age children of average verbal intelligence with VI of differing levels of severity arising from congenital disorders affecting the eye, retina, or anterior optic nerve. Standard auditory neuropsychological assessments of sustained and divided attention, phonemic, semantic and switching verbal fluency, verbal working memory, and ratings of everyday executive abilities by parents were undertaken. Executive skills were compared to age-matched typically-sighted (TS) typically-developing children and across levels of vision (mild to moderate VI [MVI] or severe to profound VI [SPVI]). The results do not indicate significant differences or deficits on direct assessments of verbal and auditory EF between the groups. However, parent ratings suggest difficulties with everyday executive abilities, with the greatest difficulties in those with SPVI. The findings are discussed as possibly reflecting increased demands of behavioral executive skills for children with VI in everyday situations despite auditory and verbal EF abilities in the typical range for their age. These findings have potential implications for clinical and educational practices.

  5. A habilidade de atenção auditiva sustentada em crianças com fissura labiopalatina e transtorno fonológico Sustained auditory attention ability in children with cleft lip and palate and phonological disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tâmyne Ferreira Duarte de Moraes

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVO: Verificar a habilidade de atenção auditiva sustentada em crianças com fissura labiopalatina e transtorno fonológico, comparando o desempenho com crianças com fissura labiopalatina e ausência de transtorno fonológico. MÉTODOS: Dezessete crianças com idade entre 6 e 11 anos, com fissura labiopalatina transforame unilateral operada e ausência de queixa e/ou alteração auditiva, separadas em dois grupos: GI (com transtorno fonológico e GII (com auŝencia de transtorno fonológico. Para detecção de alteração auditiva foram realizadas audiometria e timpanometria. Para avaliação fonológica foram utilizados os seguintes instrumentos: Teste de Linguagem Infantil e Consciência Fonológica: Instrumento de Avaliação Sequencial. Para avaliar a habilidade de atenção auditiva foi aplicado o Teste da Habilidade de Atenção Auditiva Sustentada. RESULTADOS: Das sete crianças com transtorno fonológico (41%, duas (29% apresentaram alteração nos resultados do Teste da Habilidade de Atenção Auditiva Sustentada. Não houve diferença entre as crianças com fissura labiopalatina e transtorno fonológico e as crianças com fissura labiopalatina e ausência de transtorno fonológico quanto aos resultados do Teste de Habilidade de Atenção Auditiva Sustentada. CONCLUSÃO: A habilidade de atenção auditiva sustentada nas crianças com fissura labiopalatina e transtorno fonológico não difere da habilidade de atenção auditiva sustentada de crianças com fissura labiopalatina sem transtorno fonológico.PURPOSE: To verify the ability of sustained auditory attention in children with cleft lip and palate and phonological disorder, in comparison with the performance of children with cleft lip and palate and absence of phonological disorder. METHODS: Seventeen children with ages between 6 and 11 years, with repaired unilateral complete cleft lip and palate and absence of auditory complaints or hearing problems, were divided into two

  6. Caffeine Modulates Attention Network Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Taylor, Holly A.

    2010-01-01

    The present work investigated the effects of caffeine (0 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg, 400 mg) on a flanker task designed to test Posner's three visual attention network functions: alerting, orienting, and executive control [Posner, M. I. (2004). "Cognitive neuroscience of attention". New York, NY: Guilford Press]. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind…

  7. European Food and Drink Wholesalers and Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Jones

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose- The aim of this paper is to review and reflect on the sustainability agendas and achievements reported by Europe's leading food and drinks wholesalers. Design/Methodology/Approach- The paper begins with a short introduction to corporate sustainability, sustainability reporting and food and drinks wholesaling within Europe and the empirical material for the paper is drawn from reports and information posted on the leading food and drinks wholesalers' corporate websites. Findings- There are marked variations in the extent to which Europe's leading food and drinks wholesalers reported and provided information on their sustainability agendas and achievements. These agendas and achievements embraced a wide range of environmental, social and economic issues but the reporting process had a number of weaknesses that undermine its transparency and credibility. The authors also argue that the leading food and drinks wholesalers' definitions of, and commitments to, sustainability are principally driven by business imperatives as by any fundamental concern to maintain the viability and integrity of natural and social capital. More critically the authors argue that this approach is couched within existing business models centred on continuing growth and consumption Limitations- The paper is a preliminary review of the sustainability agendas and achievements publicly reported by Europe's leading food and drinks wholesalers. Originality- The role of Europe's wholesale sector in addressing sustainability has received scant attention in the academic literature and this paper will interest academics and students in business management and marketing and employees and executives working in the distribution sector of the economy.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  9. Externality or sustainability economics?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M. van den

    2010-01-01

    In an effort to develop 'sustainability economics' Baumgaertner and Quaas (2010) neglect the central concept of environmental economics-'environmental externality'. This note proposes a possible connection between the concepts of environmental externality and sustainability. In addition, attention is asked for other aspects of 'sustainability economics', namely the distinction weak/strong sustainability, spatial sustainability and sustainable trade, distinctive sustainability policy, and the ideas of early 'sustainability economists'. I argue that both sustainability and externalities reflect a systems perspective and propose that effective sustainability solutions require that more attention is given to system feedbacks, notably other-regarding preferences and social interactions, and energy and environmental rebound. The case of climate change and policy is used to illustrate particular statements. As a conclusion, a list of 20 insights and suggestions for research is offered. (author)

  10. Sustainability at BPA 2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-12-01

    BPA’s Sustainability Action Plan is grounded in our commitment to environmental stewardship and Executive Order 13514 that calls on the federal agencies to “lead by example” by setting a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target, increasing energy efficiency; reducing fleet petroleum consumption; conserving water; reducing waste; supporting sustainable communities; and leveraging federal purchasing power to promoting environmentally responsible products and technologies.

  11. Short-term effects of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis and Rosmarinus eriocalyx) on sustained attention and on energy and fatigue mood states in young adults with low energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindheimer, Jacob B; Loy, Bryan D; O'Connor, Patrick J

    2013-08-01

    The purpose was to test whether a single dose of black pepper or rosemary produced short-term enhancements in sustained attention, motivation to perform cognitive tasks, or feelings of mental energy and fatigue. Outcomes were measured in 40 young adults with below average feelings of energy before and twice after they orally consumed capsules containing either black pepper (2.0 g), rosemary (1.7 g), or a placebo (3.1 g rice flour). Sustained attention was measured using a 16-min dual task, in which, single-digit numbers were presented every second on a screen and the participant performed both a primary task [detection of three successive, different odd digits] and a secondary task [detection of the number 6]. Feelings of energy and fatigue were measured using the vigor and fatigue subscales of the Profile of Mood States and visual analog scales (VAS). Analysis of variance showed nonsignificant condition (spice versus placebo)×time (T1, T2, & T3) effects for motivation, measured with a VAS, and the intensity of energy and fatigue feelings. Unadjusted effect sizes revealed that rosemary induced small, transient reductions in false alarm errors (d=0.21) and mental fatigue (d=0.40) at isolated time periods. Time-varying analysis of covariance, controlling for motivation to perform cognitive tasks, showed no significant effects on the primary or secondary task outcomes of correct responses (hits), errors (false alarms, misses), speed of response (reaction time), and signal detection sensitivity. It is concluded that black pepper and rosemary, consumed in a capsule form, in the doses used and while wearing a nose clip to block olfactory effects, do not induce consistent short-term improvements in sustained attention, motivation to perform cognitive tasks, or feelings of mental energy and fatigue in young adults with low energy.

  12. Selected executive functions in children with ADHD in early school age

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aneta Rita Borkowska

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The study was aimed at finding out whether at the early school age the effectiveness of executive functions distinguishes children with ADHD from those of the control group. Besides, the aim was to check to what extent the use of diagnostic methods evaluating executive functions in children at the early school age is justified. The analysis comprised cognitive flexibility, sustained attention, interference control and planning ability. Those methods of neuropsychological evaluation were used which are mostly applied to characterize executive functions: Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, interference task based on the Stroop Interference Test, and tests of verbal fluency and Tower of London. The examined group consisted of 50 children aged 7-10: 25 children with hyperactivity of combined type and 25 children of the control group. Each group consisted of 23 boys and 2 girls. The average age in the criterial group was 8 years and 10 months (SD=10 months, whereas in the control group – 8 years and 6 months (SD=11 months. According to the obtained results, children with ADHD at early school age do not exhibit a wide spectrum of executive functions deficits, which is probably associated with immaturity of executive processes in all children of that age. The findings comprised only difficulties in inhibition of response, monitoring of activity, and ability of executive attention to intentional guidance of the mental effort depending on the task’s requirements. In investigations of children with ADHD at early school age the use of neuropsychological tests and trials designed for evaluation of executive functions is justified only in limited degree. They do not significantly distinguish between children with ADHD and children without this disorder, therefore the results may be mainly of descriptive, and not explanatory, value.

  13. Adolescent Heavy Drinking Does Not Affect Maturation of Basic Executive Functioning: Longitudinal Findings from the TRAILS Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelema, Sarai R.; Harakeh, Zeena; van Zandvoort, Martine J. E.; Reijneveld, Sijmen A.; Verhulst, Frank C.; Ormel, Johan; Vollebergh, Wilma A. M.

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Excessive alcohol use is assumed to affect maturation of cognitive functioning in adolescence. However, most existing studies that have tested this hypothesis are seriously flawed due to the use of selective groups and/or cross-sectional designs, which limits the ability to draw firm conclusions. This longitudinal study investigated whether patterns of alcohol use predicted differences in maturation of executive functioning in adolescence. Additionally, gender was tested as a possible moderator. Methods We used data from the Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), which comprises a cohort of 2,230 Dutch adolescents. Maturation of executive functioning was measured by assessing the standardized improvement on each of four basic executive functions (i.e., inhibition, working memory, and shift- and sustained attention) between ages 11 and 19. Participants were assigned to one of six (heavy) drinking groups (i.e., non-drinkers, light drinkers, infrequent heavy drinkers, increased heavy drinkers, decreased heavy drinkers, and chronic heavy drinkers). We conducted linear regression analyses, and adjusted for relevant confounders. Results The six drinking groups did not reveal significant differences in maturation between drinking groups. E.g., maturation executive functioning of chronic heavy drinkers in comparison to non-drinkers; inhibition: B = -0.14, 95% CI [-0.41 to 0.14], working memory: B = -0.03, 95% CI [-0.26 to 0.21], shift attention: B = 0.13, 95% CI [-0.17 to 0.41], sustained attention: B = 0.12, 95% CI [-0.60 to 0.36]. Furthermore, gender was not found to be a significant moderator. Conclusions Four years of weekly heavy drinking (i.e., chronic heavy drinkers) did not result in measurable impairments in four basic executive functions. Thus, regular heavy drinking in adolescence does not seem to affect these basic behavioural measures of executive functioning. PMID:26489080

  14. Adolescent Heavy Drinking Does Not Affect Maturation of Basic Executive Functioning: Longitudinal Findings from the TRAILS Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelema, Sarai R; Harakeh, Zeena; van Zandvoort, Martine J E; Reijneveld, Sijmen A; Verhulst, Frank C; Ormel, Johan; Vollebergh, Wilma A M

    2015-01-01

    Excessive alcohol use is assumed to affect maturation of cognitive functioning in adolescence. However, most existing studies that have tested this hypothesis are seriously flawed due to the use of selective groups and/or cross-sectional designs, which limits the ability to draw firm conclusions. This longitudinal study investigated whether patterns of alcohol use predicted differences in maturation of executive functioning in adolescence. Additionally, gender was tested as a possible moderator. We used data from the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), which comprises a cohort of 2,230 Dutch adolescents. Maturation of executive functioning was measured by assessing the standardized improvement on each of four basic executive functions (i.e., inhibition, working memory, and shift- and sustained attention) between ages 11 and 19. Participants were assigned to one of six (heavy) drinking groups (i.e., non-drinkers, light drinkers, infrequent heavy drinkers, increased heavy drinkers, decreased heavy drinkers, and chronic heavy drinkers). We conducted linear regression analyses, and adjusted for relevant confounders. The six drinking groups did not reveal significant differences in maturation between drinking groups. E.g., maturation executive functioning of chronic heavy drinkers in comparison to non-drinkers; inhibition: B = -0.14, 95% CI [-0.41 to 0.14], working memory: B = -0.03, 95% CI [-0.26 to 0.21], shift attention: B = 0.13, 95% CI [-0.17 to 0.41], sustained attention: B = 0.12, 95% CI [-0.60 to 0.36]. Furthermore, gender was not found to be a significant moderator. Four years of weekly heavy drinking (i.e., chronic heavy drinkers) did not result in measurable impairments in four basic executive functions. Thus, regular heavy drinking in adolescence does not seem to affect these basic behavioural measures of executive functioning.

  15. Executive summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    A new generation of reactor designs is being developed that is intended to meet the requirements of the 21. century. In the short term, the most important requirement is to overcome the relative non-competitiveness of current reactor designs in the de-regulated market. For this purpose, evolutionary light water reactor (LWR) designs have been maturing and are being actively promoted. These are specifically designed to be less expensive to build and operate than the previous generation of LWRs, genuinely competitive with alternative forms of generation and at the same time establish higher levels of safety. A new generation of modular, small-to-medium (100-300 MWe/module), integral design water-cooled reactors are under development. These are designed to be competitive with nuclear and non-nuclear power plants, to have significantly enhanced safety, to be proliferation-resistant and to reduce the amount of radioactive waste produced. A different approach to improve competitiveness is the re-emergence of high-temperature reactors (HTRs) using gas turbine technology to obtain higher thermal efficiencies, low construction and operating costs, inherent safety characteristics and low proliferation risk. In the longer term, assuming that the current stagnation in the market is successfully overcome, other requirements related to long-term sustainability will emerge. Important amongst these will be the need to minimise the environmental burden passed on to future generations (or at least to ensure that the cost to future generations is in balance with the benefits to the current generation), the need to establish sustainability of fuel and the need to minimise stocks of separated plutonium at the minimum possible working level and to minimise accessibility to plutonium. In this context, topics of interest to the workshop were: reactors consuming excess plutonium, advanced LWRs, HTRs, fast spectrum reactors, subcritical systems, minor-actinide systems and radical innovative

  16. Efeitos de um treino de atenção, memória e funções executivas na cognição de idosos saudáveis Effects of an attention, memory and executive functions training on the cognition of healthy elderly people

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatiana Quarti Irigaray

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUÇÃO: Estudos mostram declínio significativo em funções cognitivas, como memória, atenção e funções executivas ao longo do processo de envelhecimento normal. OBJETIVO: Verificar os efeitos de um treino de atenção, memória e funções executivas na cognição de idosos saudáveis. MÉTODOS: 76 idosos saudáveis, divididos em grupo experimental (GE e grupo controle (GC, cada um com 38 indivíduos. O GE recebeu doze sessões de treino de atenção, memória e funções executivas. RESULTADOS: O GE no pós-teste apresentou melhor desempenho em tarefas de atenção, memória de trabalho, linguagem (inferências e escrita espontânea, praxia construcional, resolução de problemas e funções executivas. Conclusão: O treino revelou resultados significativos para uma intervenção de doze sessões, indicando que idosos saudáveis podem melhorar seu desempenho cognitivo.INTRODUCTION: Studies show there is a significant decrease in cognitive functions such as attention, memory and executive functions throughout the normal aging process. OBJECTIVE: To verify the effects of an attention, memory and executive functions training on the cognition of healthy elderly people. METHODS: 76 healthy elderly subjects were divided into experimental (EG and control groups (CG, both were composed by 38 participants each. The EG received 12 training sessions in attention, memory and executive functions. RESULTS: In the post-test, the EG presented better performance in tasks of attention, working memory, language (inferences and spontaneous writing, constructional praxia, problems solving, and executive functions. CONCLUSION: The training revealed significant results for a 12-session intervention, indicating that healthy elderly individuals may improve their cognitive functions.

  17. Improving executive function using transcranial infrared laser stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Nathaniel J; Maddox, W Todd; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco

    2017-03-01

    Transcranial infrared laser stimulation is a new non-invasive form of low-level light therapy that may have a wide range of neuropsychological applications. It entails using low-power and high-energy-density infrared light from lasers to increase metabolic energy. Preclinical work showed that this intervention can increase cortical metabolic energy, thereby improving frontal cortex-based memory function in rats. Barrett and Gonzalez-Lima (2013, Neuroscience, 230, 13) discovered that transcranial laser stimulation can enhance sustained attention and short-term memory in humans. We extend this line of work to executive function. Specifically, we ask whether transcranial laser stimulation enhances performance in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task that is considered the gold standard of executive function and is compromised in normal ageing and a number of neuropsychological disorders. We used a laser of a specific wavelength (1,064 nm) that photostimulates cytochrome oxidase - the enzyme catalysing oxygen consumption for metabolic energy production. Increased cytochrome oxidase activity is considered the primary mechanism of action of this intervention. Participants who received laser treatment made fewer errors and showed improved set-shifting ability relative to placebo controls. These results suggest that transcranial laser stimulation improves executive function and may have exciting potential for treating or preventing deficits resulting from neuropsychological disorders or normal ageing. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  18. Assessing Executive Function components in 9 years old children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Reyes

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Executive Function (EF is a multidimensional construct. It includes a set of abilities that allows to execute actions with a purpose, aimed to a goal, in an efficient way. The objective of this work is to explore some of the cognitive abilities that constitute a common factor for EF in 9 years-old children. The chosen instruments: Batería de Evaluación Neuropsicológica de la Función Ejecutiva en niños (ENFEN (Battery of Neuropsychological Assessment for Executive Function in Children, along with the Backward Digits Subtestfrom the WISC-III, were administered to 101 children from private schools of Buenos Aires State, Argentina. The ENFEN consists on EF tasks, including Phonological and Semantic Fluency, Trail Making Test versions for children (gray and colored sets, Interference Task, and Planning disc movements according to a model. An initial confirmatory factor analysis didn’t show significant fit indexes, being the Inhibitory control the variable with the lower and non significant factorial weight. A second model excluding the Inhibitory control measure was conducted, and it showed excellent fit indexes. Therefore, it can be concluded that at this age, some of the cognitive abilities included on the EF are: Phonological and Semantic Fluency, Sustained and Selective attention, Planning and Working memory; which is not the case for Inhibitory Control (measured by the Interference Task in the ENFEN.

  19. Executable Operational Semantics of Solidity

    OpenAIRE

    Jiao, Jiao; Kan, Shuanglong; Lin, Shang-Wei; Sanan, David; Liu, Yang; Sun, Jun

    2018-01-01

    Bitcoin has attracted everyone's attention and interest recently. Ethereum (ETH), a second generation cryptocurrency, extends Bitcoin's design by offering a Turing-complete programming language called Solidity to develop smart contracts. Smart contracts allow creditable execution of contracts on EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) without third parties. Developing correct smart contracts is challenging due to its decentralized computation nature. Buggy smart contracts may lead to huge financial lo...

  20. Attention and Regional Gray Matter Development in Very Preterm Children at Age 12 Years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lean, Rachel E; Melzer, Tracy R; Bora, Samudragupta; Watts, Richard; Woodward, Lianne J

    2017-08-01

    This study examines the selective, sustained, and executive attention abilities of very preterm (VPT) born children in relation to concurrent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of regional gray matter development at age 12 years. A regional cohort of 110 VPT (≤32 weeks gestation) and 113 full term (FT) born children were assessed at corrected age 12 years on the Test of Everyday Attention-Children. They also had a structural MRI scan that was subsequently analyzed using voxel-based morphometry to quantify regional between-group differences in cerebral gray matter development, which were then related to attention measures using multivariate methods. VPT children obtained similar selective (p=.85), but poorer sustained (p=.02) and executive attention (p=.01) scores than FT children. VPT children were also characterized by reduced gray matter in the bilateral parietal, temporal, prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices, bilateral thalami, and left hippocampus; and increased gray matter in the occipital and anterior cingulate cortices (family-wise error-corrected pregional gray matter development appear to contribute, at least in part, to the poorer attentional performance of VPT children at school age. (JINS, 2017, 23, 539-550).

  1. Are You Paying Attention?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ørmen, Jacob

    2016-01-01

    and sustained. To study such attention practices, 16 semi-structured interviews with adult Danes are carried out. Through a thematic analysis of these interviews, the chapter explores how ways of attending relate to individual media and how patterns of daily life enable some practices and constrain others...

  2. Do Children's Executive Functions Account for Associations Between Early Autonomy-Supportive Parenting and Achievement Through High School?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindman, Samantha W; Pomerantz, Eva M; Roisman, Glenn I

    2015-08-01

    This study evaluated whether the positive association between early autonomy-supportive parenting and children's subsequent achievement is mediated by children's executive functions. Using observations of mothers' parenting from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development ( N = 1,306), analyses revealed that mothers' autonomy support over the first 3 years of life predicted enhanced executive functions (i.e., inhibition, delay of gratification, and sustained attention) during the year prior to kindergarten and academic achievement in elementary and high school even when mothers' warmth and cognitive stimulation, as well as other factors (e.g., children's early general cognitive skills and mothers' educational attainment) were covaried. Mediation analyses demonstrated that over and above other attributes (e.g., temperament), children's executive functions partially accounted for the association between early autonomy-supportive parenting and children's subsequent achievement.

  3. Changes in emotional distress, short term memory, and sustained attention following 6 and 12 sessions of progressive muscle relaxation training in 10-11 years old primary school children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashim, Hairul Anuar; Zainol, Nurul Ain

    2015-01-01

    This study compared the effects of 6 and 12 sessions of relaxation training on emotional distress, short-term memory, and sustained attention in primary school children. Participants (N = 132) aged 10 and 11 years old participated in this study. All participants and their parents provided written informed consent. Participants completed the measurement instruments before and after the completion of relaxation training. Nearly half (49%) of all respondents reported moderate to extremely severe stress, and 80 and 61% reported moderate to extremely severe anxiety and depression, respectively. The results of a one-way analysis of variance revealed a significant difference among the groups in mean changes in short-term memory. A greater memory increase was observed in the 12-session than in the six-session and no-training group. It can be conceived that 12-session of training should be considered when prescribing relaxation regimens as a nonspecific clinical treatment (i.e. for healthy students).

  4. Assessing attentional systems in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casagrande, Maria; Martella, Diana; Ruggiero, Maria Cleonice; Maccari, Lisa; Paloscia, Claudio; Rosa, Caterina; Pasini, Augusto

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency and interactions of attentional systems in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by considering the effects of reinforcement and auditory warning on each component of attention. Thirty-six drug-naïve children (18 children with ADHD/18 typically developing children) performed two revised versions of the Attentional Network Test, which assess the efficiency of alerting, orienting, and executive systems. In feedback trials, children received feedback about their accuracy, whereas in the no-feedback trials, feedback was not given. In both conditions, children with ADHD performed more slowly than did typically developing children. They also showed impairments in the ability to disengage attention and in executive functioning, which improved when alertness was increased by administering the auditory warning. The performance of the attentional networks appeared to be modulated by the absence or the presence of reinforcement. We suggest that the observed executive system deficit in children with ADHD could depend on their low level of arousal rather than being an independent disorder. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

  5. Detrimental effects of gum chewing on vigilance in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucha, Lara; Simpson, William; Evans, Lynsay; Birrel, Laura; Sontag, Thomas A; Lange, Klaus W; Tucha, Oliver

    2010-12-01

    Impairments of attention are cardinal features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and can seriously affect the daily life of children with ADHD. Despite effective treatment strategies, there is a need of further treatment options that can be added to available and well established treatments. Further treatment options are needed since available treatments are often time consuming, expensive and limited regarding their external validity. Recent research demonstrated that gum chewing has beneficial effects on cognition including certain aspects of attention. Therefore, gum chewing may benefit children with ADHD in situations requiring particular cognitive efforts. In a crossover study, attentional functioning of 32 children with ADHD and 32 children without the condition was examined. All participants were assessed with chewing gum and without chewing gum. A computerized test was used for the assessment of vigilance and sustained attention. The findings of the present study suggest that gum chewing during task execution has detrimental effects on vigilance of both healthy children and children with ADHD. Sustained attention was not affected by gum chewing. Chewing gum, therefore, appears not to improve attentional performance in children with ADHD. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Cognition, emotion, and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Oehring, Eva M; Schulte, Tilman

    2014-01-01

    Deficits of attention, emotion, and cognition occur in individuals with alcohol abuse and addiction. This review elucidates the concepts of attention, emotion, and cognition and references research on the underlying neural networks and their compromise in alcohol use disorder. Neuroimaging research on adolescents with family history of alcoholism contributes to the understanding of pre-existing brain structural conditions and characterization of cognition and attention processes in high-risk individuals. Attention and cognition interact with other brain functions, including perceptual selection, salience, emotion, reward, and memory, through interconnected ne