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Sample records for sustained attention tasks

  1. 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.

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

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    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.

  3. Continuous Performance Tasks: Not Just about Sustaining Attention

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    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…

  4. Lesion Neuroanatomy of the Sustained Attention to Response Task

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    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…

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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...

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  10. Sustained and transient attention in the Continuous Performance Task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smid, HGOM; de Witte, MR; Homminga, [No Value; van den Bosch, RJ

    One of the most frequently applied methods to study abnormal cognition is the Continuous Performance Task (CPT). It is unclear, however, which cognitive functions are engaged in normal CPT performance. The aims of the present study were to identify the neurocognitive functions engaged in the main

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

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    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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

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

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    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...

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

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    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

  17. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  20. 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.

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    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.

  1. Computerized assessment of sustained attention: interactive effects of task demand, noise, and anxiety.

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    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.

  2. 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.

  3. The influences of task repetition, napping, time of day, and instruction on the Sustained Attention to Response Task.

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    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.

  4. Assessing the effects of caffeine and theanine on the maintenance of vigilance during a sustained attention task.

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    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.

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

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Environmental heat stress enhances mental fatigue during sustained attention task performing: evidence from an ASL perfusion study.

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    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.

  7. Effects of Caffeine on Classroom Behavior, Sustained Attention, and a Memory Task in Preschool Children.

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    Baer, Ruth A.

    1987-01-01

    The investigation of the effect of normative amounts of caffeine on the behavior of six normal kindergarten children found that caffeine exerted only small and inconsistent effects on such classroom behaviors as time off-task and gross motor activity. (Author/DB)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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 ...

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Differential Long-Term Effects of Haloperidol and Risperidone on the Acquisition and Performance of Tasks of Spatial Working and Short-Term Memory and Sustained Attention in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchings, Elizabeth J.; Waller, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    A common feature of the neuropsychiatric disorders for which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed is cognitive dysfunction, yet the effects of long-term antipsychotic treatment on cognition are largely unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of long-term oral treatment with the first-generation antipsychotic haloperidol (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg daily) and the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg daily) on the acquisition and performance of two radial-arm maze (RAM) tasks and a five-choice serial reaction-time task (5C-SRTT) in rats during days 15–60 and 84–320 days of treatment, respectively. In the RAM, neither antipsychotic significantly affected the acquisition or performance of a spatial win shift or a delayed non–match-to-position task. Conversely, in the rats administered 5C-SRTT, haloperidol was associated with profound deficits in performance, and the subjects were not able to progress through all stages of task acquisition. Depending on the dose, risperidone was associated with a greater number of trials to meet specific performance criteria during task acquisition compared with vehicle-treated controls; however, most subjects were eventually able to achieve all levels of task acquisition. Both haloperidol and risperidone also increased the number of perseverative and time-out responses during certain stages of task acquisition, and the response and reward latencies were slightly higher than controls during several stages of the study. These results in rats suggest that while long-term treatment with haloperidol or risperidone may not significantly affect spatial working or short-term memory, both antipsychotics can (depending on dose) impair sustained attention, decrease psychomotor speed, increase compulsive-type behaviors, and impair cognitive flexibility. PMID:24042161

  15. Differential long-term effects of haloperidol and risperidone on the acquisition and performance of tasks of spatial working and short-term memory and sustained attention in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchings, Elizabeth J; Waller, Jennifer L; Terry, Alvin V

    2013-12-01

    A common feature of the neuropsychiatric disorders for which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed is cognitive dysfunction, yet the effects of long-term antipsychotic treatment on cognition are largely unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of long-term oral treatment with the first-generation antipsychotic haloperidol (1.0 and 2.0 mg/kg daily) and the second-generation antipsychotic risperidone (1.25 and 2.5 mg/kg daily) on the acquisition and performance of two radial-arm maze (RAM) tasks and a five-choice serial reaction-time task (5C-SRTT) in rats during days 15-60 and 84-320 days of treatment, respectively. In the RAM, neither antipsychotic significantly affected the acquisition or performance of a spatial win shift or a delayed non-match-to-position task. Conversely, in the rats administered 5C-SRTT, haloperidol was associated with profound deficits in performance, and the subjects were not able to progress through all stages of task acquisition. Depending on the dose, risperidone was associated with a greater number of trials to meet specific performance criteria during task acquisition compared with vehicle-treated controls; however, most subjects were eventually able to achieve all levels of task acquisition. Both haloperidol and risperidone also increased the number of perseverative and time-out responses during certain stages of task acquisition, and the response and reward latencies were slightly higher than controls during several stages of the study. These results in rats suggest that while long-term treatment with haloperidol or risperidone may not significantly affect spatial working or short-term memory, both antipsychotics can (depending on dose) impair sustained attention, decrease psychomotor speed, increase compulsive-type behaviors, and impair cognitive flexibility.

  16. 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.…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The role of time on task performance in modifying the effects of gum chewing on attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucha, Lara; Simpson, William

    2011-04-01

    Recent research examined the effects of chewing gum on attention and reported a significant interaction of gum chewing with time. Using a crossover within-subject design, the present study examined the effect of gum chewing on sustained attention in healthy adults over a period of 30 min. The results revealed a significant main effect of time and a significant interaction between gum chewing and time. The findings suggest that gum chewing differentially affects attention performance. While gum chewing has detrimental effects on sustained attention in earlier stages of the task, beneficial effects on sustained attention were observed at later stages. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Acute physical exercise affected processing efficiency in an auditory attention task more than processing effectiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutke, Stephan; Jaitner, Thomas; Berse, Timo; Barenberg, Jonathan

    2014-02-01

    Research on effects of acute physical exercise on performance in a concurrent cognitive task has generated equivocal evidence. Processing efficiency theory predicts that concurrent physical exercise can increase resource requirements for sustaining cognitive performance even when the level of performance is unaffected. This hypothesis was tested in a dual-task experiment. Sixty young adults worked on a primary auditory attention task and a secondary interval production task while cycling on a bicycle ergometer. Physical load (cycling) and cognitive load of the primary task were manipulated. Neither physical nor cognitive load affected primary task performance, but both factors interacted on secondary task performance. Sustaining primary task performance under increased physical and/or cognitive load increased resource consumption as indicated by decreased secondary task performance. Results demonstrated that physical exercise effects on cognition might be underestimated when only single task performance is the focus.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Explicit goal-driven attention, unlike implicitly learned attention, spreads to secondary tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addleman, Douglas A; Tao, Jinyi; Remington, Roger W; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2018-03-01

    To what degree does spatial attention for one task spread to all stimuli in the attended region, regardless of task relevance? Most models imply that spatial attention acts through a unitary priority map in a task-general manner. We show that implicit learning, unlike endogenous spatial cuing, can bias spatial attention within one task without biasing attention to a spatially overlapping secondary task. Participants completed a visual search task superimposed on a background containing scenes, which they were told to encode for a later memory task. Experiments 1 and 2 used explicit instructions to bias spatial attention to one region for visual search; Experiment 3 used location probability cuing to implicitly bias spatial attention. In location probability cuing, a target appeared in one region more than others despite participants not being told of this. In all experiments, search performance was better in the cued region than in uncued regions. However, scene memory was better in the cued region only following endogenous guidance, not after implicit biasing of attention. These data support a dual-system view of top-down attention that dissociates goal-driven and implicitly learned attention. Goal-driven attention is task general, amplifying processing of a cued region across tasks, whereas implicit statistical learning is task-specific. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of Task Performance and Task Complexity on the Validity of Computational Models of Attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koning, L. de; Maanen, P.P. van; Dongen, K. van

    2008-01-01

    Computational models of attention can be used as a component of decision support systems. For accurate support, a computational model of attention has to be valid and robust. The effects of task performance and task complexity on the validity of three different computational models of attention were

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Training Attentional Control Improves Cognitive and Motor Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrocq, Emmanuel; Wilson, Mark; Vine, Sam; Derakshan, Nazanin

    2016-10-01

    Attentional control is a necessary function for the regulation of goal-directed behavior. In three experiments we investigated whether training inhibitory control using a visual search task could improve task-specific measures of attentional control and performance. In Experiment 1 results revealed that training elicited a near-transfer effect, improving performance on a cognitive (antisaccade) task assessing inhibitory control. In Experiment 2 an initial far-transfer effect of training was observed on an index of attentional control validated for tennis. The principal aim of Experiment 3 was to expand on these findings by assessing objective gaze measures of inhibitory control during the performance of a tennis task. Training improved inhibitory control and performance when pressure was elevated, confirming the mechanisms by which cognitive anxiety impacts performance. These results suggest that attentional control training can improve inhibition and reduce taskspecific distractibility with promise of transfer to more efficient sporting performance in competitive contexts.

  4. Selective attention to task-irrelevant emotional distractors is unaffected by the perceptual load associated with a foreground task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hindi Attar, Catherine; Müller, Matthias M

    2012-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that emotionally arousing stimuli are preferentially processed in the human brain. Whether or not this preference persists under increased perceptual load associated with a task at hand remains an open question. Here we manipulated two possible determinants of the attentional selection process, perceptual load associated with a foreground task and the emotional valence of concurrently presented task-irrelevant distractors. As a direct measure of sustained attentional resource allocation in early visual cortex we used steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) elicited by distinct flicker frequencies of task and distractor stimuli. Subjects either performed a detection (low load) or discrimination (high load) task at a centrally presented symbol stream that flickered at 8.6 Hz while task-irrelevant neutral or unpleasant pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) flickered at a frequency of 12 Hz in the background of the stream. As reflected in target detection rates and SSVEP amplitudes to both task and distractor stimuli, unpleasant relative to neutral background pictures more strongly withdrew processing resources from the foreground task. Importantly, this finding was unaffected by the factor 'load' which turned out to be a weak modulator of attentional processing in human visual cortex.

  5. Selective attention to task-irrelevant emotional distractors is unaffected by the perceptual load associated with a foreground task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Hindi Attar

    Full Text Available A number of studies have shown that emotionally arousing stimuli are preferentially processed in the human brain. Whether or not this preference persists under increased perceptual load associated with a task at hand remains an open question. Here we manipulated two possible determinants of the attentional selection process, perceptual load associated with a foreground task and the emotional valence of concurrently presented task-irrelevant distractors. As a direct measure of sustained attentional resource allocation in early visual cortex we used steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs elicited by distinct flicker frequencies of task and distractor stimuli. Subjects either performed a detection (low load or discrimination (high load task at a centrally presented symbol stream that flickered at 8.6 Hz while task-irrelevant neutral or unpleasant pictures from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS flickered at a frequency of 12 Hz in the background of the stream. As reflected in target detection rates and SSVEP amplitudes to both task and distractor stimuli, unpleasant relative to neutral background pictures more strongly withdrew processing resources from the foreground task. Importantly, this finding was unaffected by the factor 'load' which turned out to be a weak modulator of attentional processing in human visual cortex.

  6. 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.

  7. Decoding task-based attentional modulation during face categorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Yu-Chin; Esterman, Michael; Han, Yuefeng; Rosen, Heather; Yantis, Steven

    2011-05-01

    Attention is a neurocognitive mechanism that selects task-relevant sensory or mnemonic information to achieve current behavioral goals. Attentional modulation of cortical activity has been observed when attention is directed to specific locations, features, or objects. However, little is known about how high-level categorization task set modulates perceptual representations. In the current study, observers categorized faces by gender (male vs. female) or race (Asian vs. White). Each face was perceptually ambiguous in both dimensions, such that categorization of one dimension demanded selective attention to task-relevant information within the face. We used multivoxel pattern classification to show that task-specific modulations evoke reliably distinct spatial patterns of activity within three face-selective cortical regions (right fusiform face area and bilateral occipital face areas). This result suggests that patterns of activity in these regions reflect not only stimulus-specific (i.e., faces vs. houses) responses but also task-specific (i.e., race vs. gender) attentional modulation. Furthermore, exploratory whole-brain multivoxel pattern classification (using a searchlight procedure) revealed a network of dorsal fronto-parietal regions (left middle frontal gyrus and left inferior and superior parietal lobule) that also exhibit distinct patterns for the two task sets, suggesting that these regions may represent abstract goals during high-level categorization tasks.

  8. Household Task Participation of Children with and without Attentional Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Louise; Coster, Wendy J.; Orsmond, Gael I.; Cohn, Ellen S.

    2009-01-01

    Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often demonstrate problems in their participation in family occupations, such as household tasks, due to their needs for assistance and their behavior. Because participation in household tasks is part of family life and may be one way that families prepare children for adult roles, it…

  9. Parietal theta burst TMS: Functional fractionation observed during bistable perception not evident in attention tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schauer, Georg; Kanai, Ryota; Brascamp, Jan W

    2016-02-01

    When visual input is ambiguous, perception spontaneously alternates between interpretations: bistable perception. Studies have identified two distinct sites near the right intraparietal sulcus where inhibitory transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) affects the frequency of occurrence of these alternations, but strikingly with opposite directions of effect for the two sites. Lesion and TMS studies on spatial and sustained attention have also indicated a parcellation of right parietal cortex, into areas serving distinct attentional functions. We used the exact TMS procedure previously employed to affect bistable perception, yet measured its effect on spatial and sustained attention tasks. Although there was a trend for TMS to affect performance, trends were consistently similar for both parietal sites, with no indication of opposite effects. We interpret this as signifying that the previously observed parietal fractionation of function regarding the perception of ambiguous stimuli is not due to TMS-induced modification of spatial or sustained attention. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Matching cue size and task properties in exogenous attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burnett, Katherine E; d'Avossa, Giovanni; Sapir, Ayelet

    2013-01-01

    Exogenous attention is an involuntary, reflexive orienting response that results in enhanced processing at the attended location. The standard view is that this enhancement generalizes across visual properties of a stimulus. We test whether the size of an exogenous cue sets the attentional field and whether this leads to different effects on stimuli with different visual properties. In a dual task with a random-dot kinematogram (RDK) in each quadrant of the screen, participants discriminated the direction of moving dots in one RDK and localized one red dot. Precues were uninformative and consisted of either a large or a small luminance-change frame. The motion discrimination task showed attentional effects following both large and small exogenous cues. The red dot probe localization task showed attentional effects following a small cue, but not a large cue. Two additional experiments showed that the different effects on localization were not due to reduced spatial uncertainty or suppression of RDK dots in the surround. These results indicate that the effects of exogenous attention depend on the size of the cue and the properties of the task, suggesting the involvement of receptive fields with different sizes in different tasks. These attentional effects are likely to be driven by bottom-up mechanisms in early visual areas.

  11. Genetic Influence on Slope Variability in a Childhood Reflexive Attention Task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca A Lundwall

    Full Text Available Individuals are not perfectly consistent, and interindividual variability is a common feature in all varieties of human behavior. Some individuals respond more variably than others, however, and this difference may be important to understanding how the brain works. In this paper, we explore genetic contributions to response time (RT slope variability on a reflexive attention task. We are interested in such variability because we believe it is an important part of the overall picture of attention that, if understood, has the potential to improve intervention for those with attentional deficits. Genetic association studies are valuable in discovering biological pathways of variability and several studies have found such associations with a sustained attention task. Here, we expand our knowledge to include a reflexive attention task. We ask whether specific candidate genes are associated with interindividual variability on a childhood reflexive attention task in 9-16 year olds. The genetic makers considered are on 11 genes: APOE, BDNF, CHRNA4, COMT, DRD4, HTR4, IGF2, MAOA, SLC5A7, SLC6A3, and SNAP25. We find significant associations with variability with markers on nine and we discuss the results in terms of neurotransmitters associated with each gene and the characteristics of the associated measures from the reflexive attention task.

  12. 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...

  13. Impaired Attentional Control in Pedophiles in a Sexual Distractor Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Kirsten; Fromberger, Peter; von Herder, Jakob; Steinkrauss, Henrike; Nemetschek, Rebekka; Witzel, Joachim; Müller, Jürgen L.

    2016-01-01

    Pedophilic disorder, a subtype of paraphilia, is defined as a recurrent sexual interest in prepubescent children, which is characterized by persistent thoughts, fantasies, urges, sexual arousal, or behavior. Besides a deviant sexual preference, sexual preoccupation was found to be a dynamic risk factor for reoffending. Thus, it is conceivable that sex offenders and especially sex offenders against children have difficulties to control their responses to sexual stimuli. In the current study pedophiles, forensic and non-forensic control subjects had to solve a cognitive task, while sexual distractors were presented simultaneously. This kind of task also requires control functions. Therefore, data were analyzed with respect to attentional control while comparing eye movements toward sexual distractors and toward the cognitive task. We were mainly interested in how early (fixation latency) and late (relative fixation time) attentional processes were allocated to both, the cognitive target stimuli and the sexual distractors. Pedophiles demonstrated significantly lower attentional control in the sexual distractor task than both control groups (non-pedophiles). They showed a shorter fixation latency and longer fixation time for sexual distractors than non-pedophiles. Furthermore, pedophiles demonstrated a longer fixation latency and shorter fixation time for cognitive target stimuli. For classification analyses, an attentional control index (ACI) was built, i.e., the difference between eye movements on cognitive target stimuli and sexual distractors. For the ACI of early attentional processes, i.e., fixation latency, a good classification between pedophiles and non-pedophiles was found. We assumed that the measured attentional control represents inhibitory executive functions, specifically interference control. Further studies should examine if low attentional control in pedophiles is due to low motivation to solve the task or rather to a lack of ability to control

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Nonstrategic Contributions to Putatively Strategic Effects in Selective Attention Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risko, Evan F.; Blais, Chris; Stolz, Jennifer A.; Besner, Derek

    2008-01-01

    Proportion compatible manipulations are often used to index strategic processes in selective attention tasks. Here, a subtle confound in proportion compatible manipulations is considered. Specifically, as the proportion of compatible trials increases, the ratio of complete repetitions and complete alternations to partial repetitions increases on…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Relationship between weekend catch-up sleep and poor performance on attention tasks in Korean adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seog Ju; Lee, Yu Jin; Cho, Seong-Jin; Cho, In-Hee; Lim, Weonjeong; Lim, Wonshin

    2011-09-01

    To investigate the relationship between insufficient sleep and poor attention in Korean adolescents, adjusting for potential confounding factors of depressed mood and habitual snoring. School-based cross-sectional study. Eight high schools in 3 cities in the Republic of Korea. A sample of 2638 urban high school students (42.2% male and 57.8% female; mean [SD] age, 17.3 [0.6] years [age range, 14-19 years]) completed questionnaires and computerized attention tasks during the school term. Weekend catch-up sleep. Self-reported sleep schedules and habits, including sleep duration, bedtime, wake-up time, depressed mood, and habitual snoring. Also measured were numbers of omission and commission errors on computerized attention tasks. The mean (SD) sleep duration on weekdays was 5 hours 42 minutes (1 hour 0 minutes) per day and on weekends was 8 hours 24 minutes (1 hour 36 minutes) per day. The mean (SD) weekend catch-up sleep was 2 hours 42 minutes (1 hour 42 minutes) per day. After adjusting for age, sex, depressed mood (Beck Depression Inventory score, ≥10), habitual snoring, and weekday sleep duration, increased weekend catch-up sleep was significantly associated with more omission and commission errors on sustained attention tasks (P sleep as an indicator of insufficient weekday sleep is associated with poor performance on objective attention tasks. Assessment of catch-up sleep and sleep duration may be useful for physicians to evaluate sleep insufficiency and its adverse effects on attention in adolescents.

  2. 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.

  3. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faragó, Kinga Bettina; Lőrincz, András

    2018-01-01

    In this study we investigate the strategies of subjects in a complex divided attention task. We conducted a series of experiments with ten participants and evaluated their performance. After an extensive analysis, we identified four strategic measures that justify the achievement of the participants, by highlighting the individual differences and predicting performance in a regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Selecting the more urgent task and user action between multiple simultaneous possibilities form two of the strategic decisions, respectively. The third one refers to choosing a response within the same task when the opportunity is present. The fourth and most important measure of strategy involves thinking ahead and executing an action before a situation would become critical. This latter one has the effect of reducing later cognitive load or timing constraints and it is shown to explain almost as much variance in performance as the other three, more straightforward predictors together. In addition to determining these strategic predictors, we also show how manipulating task difficulty induces a shift in strategy, thus impairing human performance in the rehearsed task. The results of this study indicate that considerable differences in the divided attention ability of normal subjects can be identified early and with simple measurements. The importance of describing and analyzing strategies is also emphasized, which can substantially influence performance in complex tasks and may serve training needs. PMID:29621292

  4. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Róbert Adrian Rill

    Full Text Available In this study we investigate the strategies of subjects in a complex divided attention task. We conducted a series of experiments with ten participants and evaluated their performance. After an extensive analysis, we identified four strategic measures that justify the achievement of the participants, by highlighting the individual differences and predicting performance in a regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Selecting the more urgent task and user action between multiple simultaneous possibilities form two of the strategic decisions, respectively. The third one refers to choosing a response within the same task when the opportunity is present. The fourth and most important measure of strategy involves thinking ahead and executing an action before a situation would become critical. This latter one has the effect of reducing later cognitive load or timing constraints and it is shown to explain almost as much variance in performance as the other three, more straightforward predictors together. In addition to determining these strategic predictors, we also show how manipulating task difficulty induces a shift in strategy, thus impairing human performance in the rehearsed task. The results of this study indicate that considerable differences in the divided attention ability of normal subjects can be identified early and with simple measurements. The importance of describing and analyzing strategies is also emphasized, which can substantially influence performance in complex tasks and may serve training needs.

  5. Strategic predictors of performance in a divided attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rill, Róbert Adrian; Faragó, Kinga Bettina; Lőrincz, András

    2018-01-01

    In this study we investigate the strategies of subjects in a complex divided attention task. We conducted a series of experiments with ten participants and evaluated their performance. After an extensive analysis, we identified four strategic measures that justify the achievement of the participants, by highlighting the individual differences and predicting performance in a regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Selecting the more urgent task and user action between multiple simultaneous possibilities form two of the strategic decisions, respectively. The third one refers to choosing a response within the same task when the opportunity is present. The fourth and most important measure of strategy involves thinking ahead and executing an action before a situation would become critical. This latter one has the effect of reducing later cognitive load or timing constraints and it is shown to explain almost as much variance in performance as the other three, more straightforward predictors together. In addition to determining these strategic predictors, we also show how manipulating task difficulty induces a shift in strategy, thus impairing human performance in the rehearsed task. The results of this study indicate that considerable differences in the divided attention ability of normal subjects can be identified early and with simple measurements. The importance of describing and analyzing strategies is also emphasized, which can substantially influence performance in complex tasks and may serve training needs.

  6. The Attentional Boost Effect: Transient increases in attention to one task enhance performance in a second task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swallow, Khena M; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2010-04-01

    Recent work on event perception suggests that perceptual processing increases when events change. An important question is how such changes influence the way other information is processed, particularly during dual-task performance. In this study, participants monitored a long series of distractor items for an occasional target as they simultaneously encoded unrelated background scenes. The appearance of an occasional target could have two opposite effects on the secondary task: It could draw attention away from the second task, or, as a change in the ongoing event, it could improve secondary task performance. Results were consistent with the second possibility. Memory for scenes presented simultaneously with the targets was better than memory for scenes that preceded or followed the targets. This effect was observed when the primary detection task involved visual feature oddball detection, auditory oddball detection, and visual color-shape conjunction detection. It was eliminated when the detection task was omitted, and when it required an arbitrary response mapping. The appearance of occasional, task-relevant events appears to trigger a temporal orienting response that facilitates processing of concurrently attended information (Attentional Boost Effect). Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Feature-based attentional modulation increases with stimulus separation in divided-attention tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sally, Sharon L; Vidnyánsky, Zoltán; Papathomas, Thomas V

    2009-01-01

    Attention modifies our visual experience by selecting certain aspects of a scene for further processing. It is therefore important to understand factors that govern the deployment of selective attention over the visual field. Both location and feature-specific mechanisms of attention have been identified and their modulatory effects can interact at a neural level (Treue and Martinez-Trujillo, 1999). The effects of spatial parameters on feature-based attentional modulation were examined for the feature dimensions of orientation, motion and color using three divided-attention tasks. Subjects performed concurrent discriminations of two briefly presented targets (Gabor patches) to the left and right of a central fixation point at eccentricities of +/-2.5 degrees , 5 degrees , 10 degrees and 15 degrees in the horizontal plane. Gabors were size-scaled to maintain consistent single-task performance across eccentricities. For all feature dimensions, the data show a linear increase in the attentional effects with target separation. In a control experiment, Gabors were presented on an isoeccentric viewing arc at 10 degrees and 15 degrees at the closest spatial separation (+/-2.5 degrees ) of the main experiment. Under these conditions, the effects of feature-based attentional effects were largely eliminated. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that feature-based attention prioritizes the processing of attended features. Feature-based attentional mechanisms may have helped direct the attentional focus to the appropriate target locations at greater separations, whereas similar assistance may not have been necessary at closer target spacings. The results of the present study specify conditions under which dual-task performance benefits from sharing similar target features and may therefore help elucidate the processes by which feature-based attention operates.

  10. Nicotine-induced enhancement of attention in the five-choice serial reaction time task: the influence of task demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, B; Shoaib, M; Stolerman, I P

    2002-07-01

    Beneficial effects of nicotine on cognitive processes including attention have potential therapeutic uses and have been proposed as incentives for tobacco smoking. To establish task conditions under which the effects of nicotine on attention are obtained reliably and to characterise such effects further. Rats were trained in a modified version of the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) to detect 1-s light stimuli with greater than 70% accuracy and fewer than 20% omission errors. Nicotine was tested under different task requirements by varying signal event rate, stimulus duration and stimulus predictability, and by introducing white-noise distractors. Nicotine (0.05-0.2 mg/kg, s.c.) repeatedly improved accuracy and reduced omission errors and reaction times, leading to increases in numbers of reinforcers earned. Anticipatory responding was increased. Parametric modifications intended to increase demands on sustained attention did not affect performance in a manner suggesting that this subtype of attention was being taxed, and the effects of nicotine were not more marked under such conditions. Shorter stimulus durations impaired performance, but this manipulation weakened the effect of nicotine on accuracy. In contrast, the presence of noise distractors facilitated the effects of nicotine to the extent that distractor-induced impairments were abolished by the drug. The 5-CSRTT can provide a sensitive rodent model for the attention-enhancing effects of nicotine. Changes made to the procedure may have increased its sensitivity to nicotine, particularly with respect to accuracy. There were indications that the effects of nicotine were largest on processes of selective attention or on disengaging attention from irrelevant events and shifting it to behaviourally significant stimuli.

  11. Subjective cognitive impairment: functional MRI during a divided attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodda, J; Dannhauser, T; Cutinha, D J; Shergill, S S; Walker, Z

    2011-10-01

    Individuals with subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) have persistent memory complaints but normal neurocognitive performance. For some, this may represent a pre-mild cognitive impairment (MCI) stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Given that attentional deficits and associated brain activation changes are present early in the course of AD, we aimed to determine whether SCI is associated with brain activation changes during attentional processing. Eleven SCI subjects and 10 controls completed a divided attention task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. SCI and control groups did not differ in sociodemographic, neurocognitive or behavioural measures. When group activation during the divided attention task was compared, the SCI group demonstrated increased activation in left medial temporal lobe, bilateral thalamus, posterior cingulate and caudate. This pattern of increased activation is similar to the pattern of decreased activation reported during divided attention in AD and may indicate compensatory changes. These findings suggest the presence of early functional changes in SCI; longitudinal studies will help to further elucidate the relationship between SCI and AD. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  12. Interhemispheric interaction expands attentional capacity in an auditory selective attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalf, Paige E; Banich, Marie T; Erickson, Andrew B

    2009-04-01

    Previous work from our laboratory indicates that interhemispheric interaction (IHI) functionally increases the attentional capacity available to support performance on visual tasks (Banich in The asymmetrical brain, pp 261-302, 2003). Because manipulations of both computational complexity and selection demand alter the benefits of IHI to task performance, we argue that IHI may be a general strategy for meeting increases in attentional demand. Other researchers, however, have suggested that the apparent benefits of IHI to attentional capacity are an epiphenomenon of the organization of the visual system (Fecteau and Enns in Neuropsychologia 43:1412-1428, 2005; Marsolek et al. in Neuropsychologia 40:1983-1999, 2002). In the current experiment, we investigate whether IHI increases attentional capacity outside the visual system by manipulating the selection demands of an auditory temporal pattern-matching task. We find that IHI expands attentional capacity in the auditory system. This suggests that the benefits of requiring IHI derive from a functional increase in attentional capacity rather than the organization of a specific sensory modality.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Selective visual attention and motivation: the consequences of value learning in an attentional blink task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Jane E; O'Brien, Jennifer L

    2009-08-01

    Learning to associate the probability and value of behavioral outcomes with specific stimuli (value learning) is essential for rational decision making. However, in demanding cognitive conditions, access to learned values might be constrained by limited attentional capacity. We measured recognition of briefly presented faces seen previously in a value-learning task involving monetary wins and losses; the recognition task was performed both with and without constraints on available attention. Regardless of available attention, recognition was substantially enhanced for motivationally salient stimuli (i.e., stimuli highly predictive of outcomes), compared with equally familiar stimuli that had weak or no motivational salience, and this effect was found regardless of valence (win or loss). However, when attention was constrained (because stimuli were presented during an attentional blink, AB), valence determined recognition; win-associated faces showed no AB, but all other faces showed large ABs. Motivational salience acts independently of attention to modulate simple perceptual decisions, but when attention is limited, visual processing is biased in favor of reward-associated stimuli.

  18. Stroop tasks reveal abnormal selective attention among psychopathic offenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiatt, Kristina D; Schmitt, William A; Newman, Joseph P

    2004-01-01

    Selective attention among offenders with psychopathy was investigated using 3 Stroop paradigms: a standard color-word (CW) Stroop, a picture-word (PW) Stroop, and a color-word Stroop in which the word and color were spatially separated (separated CW). Consistent with "overselective" attention, offenders with psychopathy displayed reduced Stroop interference on the separated CW and PW tasks relative to offenders who were not psychopathic. However, offenders with psychopathy displayed normal Stroop interference on the standard CW Stroop. Further, the reduced interference of offenders with psychopathy on the separated CW Stroop was accompanied by normal facilitation. These findings suggest a circumscribed attentional deficit in psychopathy that hinders the use of unattended information that is (a) not integrated with deliberately attended information and (b) not compatible with current goal-directed behavior. ((c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)

  19. 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.

  20. Using frequency tagging to quantify attentional deployment in a visual divided attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander

    2009-06-01

    Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes than do ignored stimuli, the method has been used to investigate the neural mechanisms of spatial attention. However, up to now it has not been shown whether the amplitude of the SSVEP is sensitive to gradations of attention and there has been debate about whether attention effects on the SSVEP are dependent on the tagging frequency used. We thus compared attention effects on SSVEP across three attention conditions-focused, divided, and ignored-with six different tagging frequencies. Participants performed a visual detection task (respond to the digit 5 embedded in a stream of characters). Two stimulus streams, one to the left and one to the right of fixation, were displayed simultaneously, each with a background grey square whose hue was sine-modulated with one of the six tagging frequencies. At the beginning of each trial a cue indicated whether targets on the left, right, or both sides should be responded to. Accuracy was higher in the focused- than in the divided-attention condition. SSVEP amplitudes were greatest in the focused-attention condition, intermediate in the divided-attention condition, and smallest in the ignored-attention condition. The effect of attention on SSVEP amplitude did not depend on the tagging frequency used. Frequency tagging appears to be a flexible technique for studying attention.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. Functional localization and effective connectivity of cortical theta and alpha oscillatory activity during an attention task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuichi Kitaura

    Full Text Available Objectives: The aim of this paper is to investigate cortical electric neuronal activity as an indicator of brain function, in a mental arithmetic task that requires sustained attention, as compared to the resting state condition. The two questions of interest are the cortical localization of different oscillatory activities, and the directional effective flow of oscillatory activity between regions of interest, in the task condition compared to resting state. In particular, theta and alpha activity are of interest here, due to their important role in attention processing. Methods: We adapted mental arithmetic as an attention ask in this study. Eyes closed 61-channel EEG was recorded in 14 participants during resting and in a mental arithmetic task (“serial sevens subtraction”. Functional localization and connectivity analyses were based on cortical signals of electric neuronal activity estimated with sLORETA (standardized low resolution electromagnetic tomography. Functional localization was based on the comparison of the cortical distributions of the generators of oscillatory activity between task and resting conditions. Assessment of effective connectivity was based on the iCoh (isolated effective coherence method, which provides an appropriate frequency decomposition of the directional flow of oscillatory activity between brain regions. Nine regions of interest comprising nodes from the dorsal and ventral attention networks were selected for the connectivity analysis. Results: Cortical spectral density distribution comparing task minus rest showed significant activity increase in medial prefrontal areas and decreased activity in left parietal lobe for the theta band, and decreased activity in parietal-occipital regions for the alpha1 band. At a global level, connections among right hemispheric nodes were predominantly decreased during the task condition, while connections among left hemispheric nodes were predominantly increased. At more

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Animacy and attentional processes: Evidence from the Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugaiska, Aurélia; Grégoire, Laurent; Camblats, Anna-Malika; Gelin, Margaux; Méot, Alain; Bonin, Patrick

    2018-04-01

    In visual perception, evidence has shown that attention is captured earlier and held longer by animate than inanimate stimuli. The former are also remembered better than the latter. Thus, as far as attentional processes are concerned, animate entities have a privileged status over inanimate entities. We tested this hypothesis further using an adaptation of the Stroop paradigm. Adults had to categorise the colours of words that referred to either animate or inanimate concepts. In two experiments, we found that it took longer to process the ink colour of animate than inanimate words. Indeed, this effect was found when the words were presented in an oral animacy Stroop task (Experiment 1) and in a manual animacy Stroop task (Experiment 2). Using ex-Gaussian analyses and examining the distribution of RTs as a function of vincentiles per animacy condition, we did not find a specific localisation of the animacy effect. The findings are interpreted as providing further evidence that animates are prioritised in processing because their fitness value is higher than that of inanimates.

  14. 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. 

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The Attentional Dependence of Emotion Cognition is Variable with the Competing Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Chen

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between emotion and attention has fascinated researchers for decades. Many previous studies have used eye-tracking, ERP, MEG and fMRI to explore this issue but have reached different conclusions: some researchers hold that emotion cognition is an automatic process and independent of attention, while some others believed that emotion cognition is modulated by attentional resources and is a type of controlled processing. The present research aimed to investigate this controversy, and we hypothesized that the attentional dependence of emotion cognition is variable with the competing task. Eye-tracking technology and a dual-task paradigm were adopted, and subjects’ attention was manipulated to fixate at the central task to investigate whether subjects could detect the emotional faces presented in the peripheral area with a decrease or near-absence of attention. The results revealed that when the peripheral task was emotional face discrimination but the central attention-demanding task was different, subjects performed well in the peripheral task, which means that emotional information can be processed in parallel with other stimuli, and there may be a specific channel in the human brain for processing emotional information. However, when the central and peripheral tasks were both emotional face discrimination, subjects could not perform well in the peripheral task, indicating that the processing of emotional information required attentional resources and that it is a type of controlled processing. Therefore, we concluded that the attentional dependence of emotion cognition varied with the competing task.

  4. A novel test for evaluating horses' spontaneous visual attention is predictive of attention in operant learning tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochais, C; Sébilleau, M; Houdebine, M; Bec, P; Hausberger, M; Henry, S

    2017-08-01

    Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: 'overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and 'fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P attentional skills was assessed by comparing the results, for the same horses, with those obtained in both a 'classical' experimental attention test the 'five-choice serial reaction time task' (5-CSRTT) and a work situation (lunge working context). Our results revealed that (i) individual variations remained consistent across tests and (ii) the VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. The development of children's knowledge of attention and resource allocation in single and dual tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dossett, D; Burns, B

    2000-06-01

    Developmental changes in kindergarten, 1st-, and 4th-grade children's knowledge about the variables that affect attention sharing and resource allocation were examined. Findings from the 2 experiments showed that kindergartners understood that person and strategy variables affect performance in attention-sharing tasks. However, knowledge of how task variables affect performance was not evident to them and was inconsistent for 1st and 4th graders. Children's knowledge about resource allocation revealed a different pattern and varied according to the dissimilarity of task demands in the attention-sharing task. In Experiment 1, in which the dual attention tasks were similar (i.e., visual detection), kindergarten and 1st-grade children did not differentiate performance in single and dual tasks. Fourth graders demonstrated knowledge that performance on a single task would be better than performance on the dual tasks for only 2 of the variables examined. In Experiment 2, in which the dual attention tasks were dissimilar (i.e., visual and auditory detection), kindergarten and 1st-grade children demonstrated knowledge that performance in the single task would be better than in the dual tasks for 1 of the task variables examined. However, 4th-grade children consistently gave higher ratings for performance on the single than on the dual attention tasks for all variables examined. These findings (a) underscore that children's meta-attention is not unitary and (b) demonstrate that children's knowledge about variables affecting attention sharing and resource allocation have different developmental pathways. Results show that knowledge about attention sharing and about the factors that influence the control of attention develops slowly and undergoes reorganization in middle childhood.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Hilary E; Simmering, Vanessa R

    2018-08-01

    Children's spatial language reliably predicts their spatial skills, but the nature of this relation is a source of debate. This investigation examined whether the mechanisms accounting for such relations are specific to language use or reflect a domain-general mechanism of selective attention. Experiment 1 examined whether 4-year-olds' spatial skills were predicted by their selective attention or their adaptive language use. Children completed (a) an attention task assessing attention to task-relevant color, size, and location cues; (b) a description task assessing adaptive language use to describe scenes varying in color, size, and location; and (c) three spatial tasks. There was correspondence between the cue types that children attended to and produced across description and attention tasks. Adaptive language use was predicted by both children's attention and task-related language production, suggesting that selective attention underlies skills in using language adaptively. After controlling for age, gender, receptive vocabulary, and adaptive language use, spatial skills were predicted by children's selective attention. The attention score predicted variance in spatial performance previously accounted for by adaptive language use. Experiment 2 followed up on the attention task (Experiment 2a) and description task (Experiment 2b) from Experiment 1 to assess whether performance in the tasks related to selective attention or task-specific demands. Performance in Experiments 2a and 2b paralleled that in Experiment 1, suggesting that the effects in Experiment 1 reflected children's selective attention skills. These findings show that selective attention is a central factor supporting spatial skill development that could account for many effects previously attributed to children's language use. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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. Response time scores on a reflexive attention task predict a child's inattention score from a parent report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundwall, Rebecca A; Sgro, Jordan F; Fanger, Julia

    2018-01-01

    Compared to sustained attention, only a small proportion of studies examine reflexive attention as a component of everyday attention. Understanding the significance of reflexive attention to everyday attention may inform better treatments for attentional disorders. Children from a general population (recruited when they were from 9-16 years old) completed an exogenously-cued task measuring the extent to which attention is captured by peripheral cue-target conditions. Parents completed a questionnaire reporting their child's day-to-day attention. A general linear model indicated that parent-rated inattention predicted the increase in response time over baseline when a bright cue preceded the target (whether it was valid or invalid) but not when a dim cue preceded the target. More attentive children had more pronounced response time increases from baseline. Our findings suggest a link between a basic measure of cognition (response time difference scores) and parent observations. The findings have implications for increased understanding of the role of reflexive attention in the everyday attention of children.

  12. The role of attention during retrieval in working-memory span: a dual-task study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healey, M Karl; Miyake, Akira

    2009-04-01

    We tested the hypothesis that retrieving target words in operation span (OSpan) involves attention-demanding processes. Participants completed the standard OSpan task and a modified version in which all equations preceded all target words. Recall took place under either full attention or easy versus hard divided-attention conditions. Recall suffered under divided attention with the recall decrement being greater for the hard secondary task. Moreover, secondary-task performance was disrupted more by the standard OSpan task than by the modified version with the hard secondary task showing the larger decrement. Finally, the time taken to start recalling the first word was considerably longer for the standard version than for the modified version. These results are consistent with the proposal that successful OSpan task performance in part involves the attention-demanding retrieval of targets from long-term memory.

  13. Metacognition of Multi-Tasking: How Well Do We Predict the Costs of Divided Attention?

    OpenAIRE

    Finley, Jason R.; Benjamin, Aaron S.; McCarley, Jason S.

    2014-01-01

    Risky multi-tasking, such as texting while driving, may occur because people misestimate the costs of divided attention. In two experiments, participants performed a computerized visual-manual tracking task in which they attempted to keep a mouse cursor within a small target that moved erratically around a circular track. They then separately performed an auditory n-back task. After practicing both tasks separately, participants received feedback on their single-task tracking performance and ...

  14. Divided-attention task on driving simulator: comparison among three groups of drivers

    OpenAIRE

    FREYDIER, Chloé; PAXION, Julie; BERTHELON, Catherine; Bastien-Toniazzo, Mireille

    2013-01-01

    Introduction: Driving is a complex and dynamic task that requires performing simultaneously several sub-tasks, as traffic management and vehicle control. Driving involves both automatic and controlled processing depending on situation met and drivers’ experience. Method: Three groups of drivers with different driving experience were submitted to a divided-attention task in order to assess the interference linked to a secondary task on driving behaviour. The main task was a car-following...

  15. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking) did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention.

  16. Cardiac responsiveness to attention-demanding tasks in socially maladaptive children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Althaus, M; Aarnoudse, CC; Minderaa, RB; Mulder, Gysbertus; Mulder, Lambertus

    Cardiac responsiveness to attention-demanding tasks in socially maladaptive children A psychofysiological study of the cardiac adaptivity to attention-demanding reaction time tasks demonstrated that children with a lesser variant of the pervasive developmental disorder (DSM-IV: PDDNOS) exhibit less

  17. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnöve; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dual-tasking) did not recruit additional cortical regions, but resulted in increased activity in medial and lateral frontal regions which were also activated by the component tasks when performed separately. Areas involved in semantic language processing were revealed predominantly in the left lateral prefrontal cortex by contrasting incongruent with congruent sentences. These areas also showed significant activity increases during divided attention in relation to selective attention. In the sensory cortices, no crossmodal inhibition was observed during divided attention when compared with selective attention to one modality. Our results suggest that the observed performance decrements during dual-tasking are due to interference of the two tasks because they utilize the same part of the cortex. Moreover, semantic dual-tasking did not appear to recruit additional brain areas in comparison with single tasking, and no crossmodal inhibition was observed during intermodal divided attention. PMID:25745395

  18. Neural Determinants of Task Performance during Feature-Based Attention in Human Cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Mengyuan

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Studies of feature-based attention have associated activity in a dorsal frontoparietal network with putative attentional priority signals. Yet, how this neural activity mediates attentional selection and whether it guides behavior are fundamental questions that require investigation. We reasoned that endogenous fluctuations in the quality of attentional priority should influence task performance. Human subjects detected a speed increment while viewing clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise (CCW) motion (baseline task) or while attending to either direction amid distracters (attention task). In an fMRI experiment, direction-specific neural pattern similarity between the baseline task and the attention task revealed a higher level of similarity for correct than incorrect trials in frontoparietal regions. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), we disrupted posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and found a selective deficit in the attention task, but not in the baseline task, demonstrating the necessity of this cortical area during feature-based attention. These results reveal that frontoparietal areas maintain attentional priority that facilitates successful behavioral selection. PMID:29497703

  19. 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.

  20. Validation of a novel attentional bias modification task: the future may be in the cards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notebaert, Lies; Clarke, Patrick J F; Grafton, Ben; MacLeod, Colin

    2015-02-01

    Attentional bias modification (ABM) is a promising therapeutic tool aimed at changing patterns of attentional selectivity associated with heightened anxiety. A number of studies have successfully implemented ABM using the modified dot-probe task. However others have not achieved the attentional change required to achieve emotional benefits, highlighting the need for new ABM methods. The current study compared the effectiveness of a newly developed ABM task against the traditional dot-probe ABM task. The new person-identity-matching (PIM) task presented participants with virtual cards, each depicting a happy and angry person. The task encourages selective attention toward or away from threat by requiring participants to make matching judgements between two cards, based either on the identities of the happy faces, or of the angry faces. Change in attentional bias achieved by both ABM tasks was measured by a dot-probe assessment task. Their impact on emotional vulnerability was assessed by measuring negative emotional reactions to a video stressor. The PIM task succeeded in modifying attentional bias, and exerting an impact on emotional reactivity, whereas this was not the case for the dot-probe task. These results are considered in relation to the potential clinical utility of the current task in comparison to traditional ABM methodologies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Brain activity during divided and selective attention to auditory and visual sentence comprehension tasks

    OpenAIRE

    Moisala, Mona; Salmela, Viljami; Salo, Emma; Carlson, Synnove; Vuontela, Virve; Salonen, Oili; Alho, Kimmo

    2015-01-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we measured brain activity of human participants while they performed a sentence congruence judgment task in either the visual or auditory modality separately, or in both modalities simultaneously. Significant performance decrements were observed when attention was divided between the two modalities compared with when one modality was selectively attended. Compared with selective attention (i.e., single tasking), divided attention (i.e., dua...

  2. Speech Perception Engages a General Timer: Evidence from a Divided Attention Word Identification Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casini, Laurence; Burle, Boris; Nguyen, Noel

    2009-01-01

    Time is essential to speech. The duration of speech segments plays a critical role in the perceptual identification of these segments, and therefore in that of spoken words. Here, using a French word identification task, we show that vowels are perceived as shorter when attention is divided between two tasks, as compared to a single task control…

  3. A Software Environment for an Adaptive Human-Aware Software Agent Supporting Attention-Demanding Tasks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosse, T.; Memon, Z.A.; Oorburg, R.; Umair, M.; Treur, J.; de Vos, M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a software environment providing human-aware ambient support for a human performing a task that demands substantial amounts of attention. The agent obtains human attention-awareness in an adaptive manner by use of a dynamical model of human attention, gaze sensoring by an

  4. Attention and Implicit Memory in the Category-Verification and Lexical Decision Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Neil W.; Peterson, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    Prior research on implicit memory appeared to support 3 generalizations: Conceptual tests are affected by divided attention, perceptual tasks are affected by certain divided-attention manipulations, and all types of priming are affected by selective attention. These generalizations are challenged in experiments using the implicit tests of category…

  5. Investigating the visual span in comparative search: the effects of task difficulty and divided attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomplun, M; Reingold, E M; Shen, J

    2001-09-01

    In three experiments, participants' visual span was measured in a comparative visual search task in which they had to detect a local match or mismatch between two displays presented side by side. Experiment 1 manipulated the difficulty of the comparative visual search task by contrasting a mismatch detection task with a substantially more difficult match detection task. In Experiment 2, participants were tested in a single-task condition involving only the visual task and a dual-task condition in which they concurrently performed an auditory task. Finally, in Experiment 3, participants performed two dual-task conditions, which differed in the difficulty of the concurrent auditory task. Both the comparative search task difficulty (Experiment 1) and the divided attention manipulation (Experiments 2 and 3) produced strong effects on visual span size.

  6. Task relevance of emotional information affects anxiety-linked attention bias in visual search.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodd, Helen F; Vogt, Julia; Turkileri, Nilgun; Notebaert, Lies

    2017-01-01

    Task relevance affects emotional attention in healthy individuals. Here, we investigate whether the association between anxiety and attention bias is affected by the task relevance of emotion during an attention task. Participants completed two visual search tasks. In the emotion-irrelevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of neutral, middle-aged faces was old or young. Irrelevant to the task, target faces displayed angry, happy, or neutral expressions. In the emotion-relevant task, participants were asked to indicate whether a discrepant face in a crowd of middle-aged neutral faces was happy or angry (target faces also varied in age). Trait anxiety was not associated with attention in the emotion-relevant task. However, in the emotion-irrelevant task, trait anxiety was associated with a bias for angry over happy faces. These findings demonstrate that the task relevance of emotional information affects conclusions about the presence of an anxiety-linked attention bias. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Orienting attention in visual working memory requires central capacity: decreased retro-cue effects under dual-task conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janczyk, Markus; Berryhill, Marian E

    2014-04-01

    The retro-cue effect (RCE) describes superior working memory performance for validly cued stimulus locations long after encoding has ended. Importantly, this happens with delays beyond the range of iconic memory. In general, the RCE is a stable phenomenon that emerges under varied stimulus configurations and timing parameters. We investigated its susceptibility to dual-task interference to determine the attentional requirements at the time point of cue onset and encoding. In Experiment 1, we compared single- with dual-task conditions. In Experiment 2, we borrowed from the psychological refractory period paradigm and compared conditions with high and low (dual-) task overlap. The secondary task was always binary tone discrimination requiring a manual response. Across both experiments, an RCE was found, but it was diminished in magnitude in the critical dual-task conditions. A previous study did not find evidence that sustained attention is required in the interval between cue offset and test. Our results apparently contradict these findings and point to a critical time period around cue onset and briefly thereafter during which attention is required.

  8. 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.

  9. Acute effects of glucose tablets on craving, withdrawal symptoms, and sustained attention in 12-h abstinent tobacco smokers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Modulation of the attentional span by foveal and parafoveal task load: An ERP study using attentional probes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornrumpf, Benthe; Sommer, Werner

    2015-09-01

    Due to capacity limitation, visual attention must be focused to a limited region of the visual field. Nevertheless, it is assumed that the size of that region may vary with task demands. We aimed to obtain direct evidence for the modulation of visuospatial attention as a function of foveal and parafoveal task load. Participants were required to fixate the center word of word triplets. In separate task blocks, either just the fixated word or both the fixated and the parafoveal word to the right should be semantically classified. The spatiotemporal distribution of attention was assessed with task-irrelevant probes flashed briefly at center or parafoveal positions, during or in between word presentation trials. The N1 component of the ERP elicited by intertrial probes at possible target positions increased with task demands within a block. These results suggest the recruitment of additional attentional resources rather than a redistribution of a fixed resource pool, which persists across trials. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  11. Visual attention and emotional memory: recall of aversive pictures is partially mediated by concurrent task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pottage, Claire L; Schaefer, Alexandre

    2012-02-01

    The emotional enhancement of memory is often thought to be determined by attention. However, recent evidence using divided attention paradigms suggests that attention does not play a significant role in the formation of memories for aversive pictures. We report a study that investigated this question using a paradigm in which participants had to encode lists of randomly intermixed negative and neutral pictures under conditions of full attention and divided attention followed by a free recall test. Attention was divided by a highly demanding concurrent task tapping visual processing resources. Results showed that the advantage in recall for aversive pictures was still present in the DA condition. However, mediation analyses also revealed that concurrent task performance significantly mediated the emotional enhancement of memory under divided attention. This finding suggests that visual attentional processes play a significant role in the formation of emotional memories. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved

  12. The role of metacognition in prospective memory: anticipated task demands influence attention allocation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, Jan; Meiser, Thorsten

    2013-09-01

    The present study investigates how individuals distribute their attentional resources between a prospective memory task and an ongoing task. Therefore, metacognitive expectations about the attentional demands of the prospective-memory task were manipulated while the factual demands were held constant. In Experiments 1a and 1b, we found attentional costs from a prospective-memory task with low factual demands to be significantly reduced when information about the low to-be-expected demands were provided, while prospective-memory performance remained largely unaffected. In Experiment 2, attentional monitoring in a more demanding prospective-memory task also varied with information about the to-be-expected demands (high vs. low) and again there were no equivalent changes in prospective-memory performance. These findings suggest that attention-allocation strategies of prospective memory rely on metacognitive expectations about prospective-memory task demands. Furthermore, the results suggest that attentional monitoring is only functional for prospective memory to the extent to which anticipated task demands reflect objective task demands. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Processing Resources in Attention, Dual Task Performance, and Workload Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-07-01

    levels of processing in encoding and memory ( Craik & Lockhart , 1972) employs the capacity metaphore when describing the amount of processing ...depending upon the nature of a paired task. Second, encoding or rehearsal of verbal material may differ in the "depth of processing " ( Craik & Lockhart ...F.I.M., & Lockhart , F.S. Levels of processing : A framework for mem- ory research. Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior, 1972, 11, 671-684.

  14. Dividing attention between tasks : Testing whether explicit payoff functions elicit optimal dual-task performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farmer, George D.; Janssen, C.P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/412781654; Nguyen, Anh T; Brumby, Duncan P.

    2018-01-01

    We test people's ability to optimize performance across two concurrent tasks. Participants performed a number entry task while controlling a randomly moving cursor with a joystick. Participants received explicit feedback on their performance on these tasks in the form of a single combined score.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Effect of alcohol and divided attention task on simulated driving performance of young drivers

    OpenAIRE

    FREYDIER , Chloé; BERTHELON , Catherine; Bastien-Toniazzo , Mireille; GINEYT , Guy

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate driving impairment linked to divided attention task and alcohol and determinate if it is higher for novice drivers compared to more experienced drivers. Sixteen novice drivers and sixteen experienced drivers participated in three experimental sessions corresponding to blood alcohol concentration [BAC] of 0.0 g/L, 0.2 g/L and 0.5 g/L. They performed a divided attention task [car-following task combined with a number parity identification task], and their re...

  18. Attentional fluctuations in preschoolers: Direct and indirect relations with task accuracy, academic readiness, and school performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Elif; Calkins, Susan D; Swingler, Margaret M; Leerkes, Esther M

    2018-03-01

    Attentional control fluctuates in the presence of internal and external distractors, wandering on and off a given task. The current study investigated individual differences in attentional fluctuations in 250 preschoolers. Attentional fluctuations were assessed via intra-individual variability in response time in a Go/No-Go task. Greater fluctuations in attentional control were linked to lower task accuracy. In addition, greater attentional fluctuations predicted lower performance in a task of cognitive flexibility, the Dimensional Change Card Sort task. Attentional fluctuations were also associated with laboratory measures of academic readiness in preschool, as assessed by the Applied Problems and Letter-Word Identification subscales of the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement, which in turn predicted teacher reports of academic performance in first grade. Attentional fluctuations also had indirect associations with emergent math skills in preschool, via cognitive flexibility, as well as indirect associations with first-grade teacher reports of academic performance, via the relations between cognitive flexibility and emergent math skills in preschool. These results suggest that consistency is an important aspect of attentional control during early childhood. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Effects of chewing gum and time-on-task on alertness and attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, A P; Smith, A P

    2012-07-01

    Chewing gum has been shown to reliably increase subjective alertness whereas the effects on attention are more variable. It has been suggested that chewing gum only enhances attention when the person has been performing a task for some time. The current research aimed to investigate if time-on-task trends enhancing effects of chewing gum could be observed in alertness and attention during and following chewing. Study 1 used tests of reported mood, including reported mood, and tests of attention (categoric search, focussed attention, simple reaction time, and vigilance). These tasks were performed shortly after the start of chewing. Study 2 examined effects of previous and current chewing on reported alertness and the attention tests. Study 1 showed that chewing gum increased reported alertness and hedonic tone and improved performance on the categoric search task. Chewing gum maintained reported alertness across sessions in study 2. In the first experimental session of study 2 gum improved categoric search performance, and during the second session gum broadened focus of attention and quickened vigilance reaction time. This effect on vigilance reaction time was moderated by time-on-task, with an initial negative effect being replaced by a positive effect. The results confirm the robust effect of chewing gum on reported alertness and show that changes in the effects of chewing gum on attention require further investigation. Future research may also determine underlying mechanisms for an alerting effect.

  20. 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.

  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. Visual Attention Allocation Between Robotic Arm and Environmental Process Control: Validating the STOM Task Switching Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickens, Christopher; Vieanne, Alex; Clegg, Benjamin; Sebok, Angelia; Janes, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    Fifty six participants time shared a spacecraft environmental control system task with a realistic space robotic arm control task in either a manual or highly automated version. The former could suffer minor failures, whose diagnosis and repair were supported by a decision aid. At the end of the experiment this decision aid unexpectedly failed. We measured visual attention allocation and switching between the two tasks, in each of the eight conditions formed by manual-automated arm X expected-unexpected failure X monitoring- failure management. We also used our multi-attribute task switching model, based on task attributes of priority interest, difficulty and salience that were self-rated by participants, to predict allocation. An un-weighted model based on attributes of difficulty, interest and salience accounted for 96 percent of the task allocation variance across the 8 different conditions. Task difficulty served as an attractor, with more difficult tasks increasing the tendency to stay on task.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Examining Age-Related Differences in Auditory Attention Control Using a Task-Switching Procedure

    OpenAIRE

    Vera Lawo; Iring Koch

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. Using a novel task-switching variant of dichotic selective listening, we examined age-related differences in the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention between 2 speakers defined by their sex.

  6. The role of time on task performance in modifying the effects of gum chewing on attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tucha, Lara; Simpson, William

    Recent research examined the effects of chewing gum on attention and reported a significant interaction of gum chewing with time. Using a crossover within-subject design, the present study examined the effect of gum chewing on sustained attention in healthy adults over a period of 30 min. The

  7. Location versus task relevance: The impact of differing internal focus of attention instructions on motor performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelleck, Valerie; Passmore, Steven R

    2017-05-01

    Impaired performance while executing a motor task is attributed to a disruption of normal automatic processes when an internal focus of attention is used. What remains unclear is whether the specificity of internally focused task instructions may impact task performance. The present study assessed the implications of changing the attentional focus of novice and skilled golfers by measuring behavioural, neurophysiological and kinematic changes during a golf putting task. Over six blocks of ten putting trials each, attention was directed either externally (towards the target) or internally in one of two ways: 1) proximal (keeping the elbows extended and the hands gripping the putter); or 2) distal (keeping the weight evenly distributed between both legs) to the critical elements of the task. Results provided evidence that when novice participants use an internal focus of attention more closely associated with task performance that their: 1) execution; 2) accuracy; 3) variability of surface electromyography (sEMG) activity; and 4) kinematics of the putter movement are all adversely affected. Skilled golfers are much more resilient to changes in attentional focus, while all participants interpret a distal internal focus of attention similar to an external focus. All participants produced decreased activity in the muscle (tibialis anterior) associated with the distal (less task relevant) focus of attention even when the "internal" focus was on the lower extremity. Our results provide evidence that the skill level of the participant and the distance of the internal focus of attention from the key elements of a motor skill directly impact the execution, muscle activity, and movement kinematics associated with skilled motor task performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karly Maree Turner

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Lengshi; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lengshi Dai

    2016-10-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The effect of divided attention on novices and experts in laparoscopic task performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghazanfar, Mudassar Ali; Cook, Malcolm; Tang, Benjie; Tait, Iain; Alijani, Afshin

    2015-03-01

    Attention is important for the skilful execution of surgery. The surgeon's attention during surgery is divided between surgery and outside distractions. The effect of this divided attention has not been well studied previously. We aimed to compare the effect of dividing attention of novices and experts on a laparoscopic task performance. Following ethical approval, 25 novices and 9 expert surgeons performed a standardised peg transfer task in a laboratory setup under three randomly assigned conditions: silent as control condition and two standardised auditory distracting tasks requiring response (easy and difficult) as study conditions. Human reliability assessment was used for surgical task analysis. Primary outcome measures were correct auditory responses, task time, number of surgical errors and instrument movements. Secondary outcome measures included error rate, error probability and hand specific differences. Non-parametric statistics were used for data analysis. 21109 movements and 9036 total errors were analysed. Novices had increased mean task completion time (seconds) (171 ± 44SD vs. 149 ± 34, p 0.05). Divided attention conditions in theatre environment require careful consideration during surgical training as the junior surgeons are less able to focus their attention during these conditions.

  16. Attention Deficit ِDuring Dual-Task Performance in Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Salehi

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The aims of the present investigation was the evaluation of divided attention deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD patients by using dual-task paradigm in order to ascertain whether this method can be useful in the early diagnosis of AD or not.  Methods & Materials: A total of 23 elderly individuals (11 females and 12 males voluntarily participated in the investigation: 13 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD and 10 healthy elderly individuals. The experimental setup consisted of (a single -task and (b dual-task trials at two levels of difficulty. In singletask condition, the participants were asked to recite the months of the year continuously with normal order (easy and backward (difficult. They also performed a computerized visuospatial/motor tracking task. The participants then performed the tracking task in conjunction with each of the months reciting tasks as dual-task condition. Results: The results showed a significant interaction (disease×level of difficulty effect. So that, the performance impairment on combine performance in two simultaneous tasks was related to task difficulty, but the elderly control group did not differ in the easy and difficult conditions. Conclusion: These findings not only increase our understanding of the attention deficits in AD patients, but also have implications for the mediating effect of cognitive load in using dual-task paradigm for studying attention mechanisms of cognitively suffered individuals.

  17. Developmental changes in children's abilities to share and allocate attention in a dual task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin-Chase, H; Burns, B

    2000-09-01

    Characterizing developmental changes in children's dual-task performance has been problematic because differences in divided attention abilities are easily confounded with differences in overall capacity. Two experiments showed that after individual differences in children's capacity for single-task performance were controlled for, age differences between second- (M = 8.1 years) and fifth-grade (M = 11.1 years) children did not exist in dual-task performance when tasks were of equal priority. However, when tasks had different priorities, only fifth-grade children could differentially allocate attention in the dual task. Results are discussed within the coordination hypothesis framework (see A. F. Kramer & J. L. Larish, 1996), which suggests that changes in dual-task performance with aging are due to changes in the ability to coordinate and control the allocation of attention. It is argued that linking the investigations of children's attention with research on attention and aging provides both methodological and theoretical benefits. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

  18. 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.

  19. Enhancement of selective attention by tDCS: interaction with interference in a Sternberg task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gladwin, T.E.; den Uyl, T.E.; Fregni, F.F.; Wiers, R.W.

    2012-01-01

    Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) enhances performance on working memory tasks. However, such effects may be dependent on modulation of specific aspects of working memory. We therefore tested the hypothesis that tDCS improves selective attention in the context of a Sternberg task.

  20. Effects of Task Repetition on Learners' Attention Orientation in L2 Oral Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuta, Junya

    2016-01-01

    Task repetition facilitates learners' performance, at least temporarily: Since learners are already familiar with the content of the task at the initial enactment, they are capable of focusing their attention on linguistic form during the following enactment. However, the analysis in previous studies treated various aspects of "form" as…

  1. Differential brain activation patterns in adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) associated with task switching

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dibbets, P.; Evers, E.A.; Hurks, P.P.; Bakker, K.; Jolles, J.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: The main aim of the study was to examine blood oxygen level-dependent response during task switching in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Method: Fifteen male adults with ADHD and 14 controls participated and performed a task-switching paradigm. Results:

  2. An individual differences approach to temporal integration and order reversals in the attentional blink task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willems, Charlotte; Saija, Jefta D.; Akyurek, Elkan G.; Martens, Sander

    2016-01-01

    Background The reduced ability to identify a second target when it is presented in close temporal succession of a first target is called the attentional blink (AB). Studies have shown large individual differences in AB task performance, where lower task performance has been associated with more

  3. Attentional Demand of a Virtual Reality-Based Reaching Task in Nondisabled Older Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi-An; Chung, Yu-Chen; Proffitt, Rachel; Wade, Eric; Winstein, Carolee

    2015-01-01

    Attention during exercise is known to affect performance; however, the attentional demand inherent to virtual reality (VR)-based exercise is not well understood. We used a dual-task paradigm to compare the attentional demands of VR-based and non-VR-based (conventional, real-world) exercise: 22 non-disabled older adults performed a primary reaching task to virtual and real targets in a counterbalanced block order while verbally responding to an unanticipated auditory tone in one third of the trials. The attentional demand of the primary reaching task was inferred from the voice response time (VRT) to the auditory tone. Participants' engagement level and task experience were also obtained using questionnaires. The virtual target condition was more attention demanding (significantly longer VRT) than the real target condition. Secondary analyses revealed a significant interaction between engagement level and target condition on attentional demand. For participants who were highly engaged, attentional demand was high and independent of target condition. However, for those who were less engaged, attentional demand was low and depended on target condition (i.e., virtual > real). These findings add important knowledge to the growing body of research pertaining to the development and application of technology-enhanced exercise for elders and for rehabilitation purposes. PMID:27004233

  4. Attentional Demand of a Virtual Reality-Based Reaching Task in Nondisabled Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yi-An; Chung, Yu-Chen; Proffitt, Rachel; Wade, Eric; Winstein, Carolee

    2015-12-01

    Attention during exercise is known to affect performance; however, the attentional demand inherent to virtual reality (VR)-based exercise is not well understood. We used a dual-task paradigm to compare the attentional demands of VR-based and non-VR-based (conventional, real-world) exercise: 22 non-disabled older adults performed a primary reaching task to virtual and real targets in a counterbalanced block order while verbally responding to an unanticipated auditory tone in one third of the trials. The attentional demand of the primary reaching task was inferred from the voice response time (VRT) to the auditory tone. Participants' engagement level and task experience were also obtained using questionnaires. The virtual target condition was more attention demanding (significantly longer VRT) than the real target condition. Secondary analyses revealed a significant interaction between engagement level and target condition on attentional demand. For participants who were highly engaged, attentional demand was high and independent of target condition. However, for those who were less engaged, attentional demand was low and depended on target condition (i.e., virtual > real). These findings add important knowledge to the growing body of research pertaining to the development and application of technology-enhanced exercise for elders and for rehabilitation purposes.

  5. Enhancing perceptual and attentional skills requires common demands between the action video games and transfer tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Adam C.; Patterson, Michael D.

    2015-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that shows action video game play improves perceptual and cognitive skills, the mechanisms of transfer are not well-understood. In line with previous work, we suggest that transfer is dependent upon common demands between the game and transfer task. In the current study, participants played one of four action games with varying speed, visual, and attentional demands for 20 h. We examined whether training enhanced performance for attentional blink, selective attention, attending to multiple items, visual search and auditory detection. Non-gamers who played the game (Modern Combat) with the highest demands showed transfer to tasks of attentional blink and attending to multiple items. The game (MGS Touch) with fewer attentional demands also decreased attentional blink, but to a lesser degree. Other games failed to show transfer, despite having many action game characteristics but at a reduced intensity. The results support the common demands hypothesis. PMID:25713551

  6. Enhancing perceptual and attentional skills requires common demands between the action video games and transfer tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oei, Adam C; Patterson, Michael D

    2015-01-01

    Despite increasing evidence that shows action video game play improves perceptual and cognitive skills, the mechanisms of transfer are not well-understood. In line with previous work, we suggest that transfer is dependent upon common demands between the game and transfer task. In the current study, participants played one of four action games with varying speed, visual, and attentional demands for 20 h. We examined whether training enhanced performance for attentional blink, selective attention, attending to multiple items, visual search and auditory detection. Non-gamers who played the game (Modern Combat) with the highest demands showed transfer to tasks of attentional blink and attending to multiple items. The game (MGS Touch) with fewer attentional demands also decreased attentional blink, but to a lesser degree. Other games failed to show transfer, despite having many action game characteristics but at a reduced intensity. The results support the common demands hypothesis.

  7. Enhancing perceptual and attentional skills requires common demands between the action video games and transfer tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam C Oei

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Despite increasing evidence that shows action video game play improves perceptual and cognitive skills, the mechanisms of transfer are not well understood. In line with previous work, we suggest that transfer is dependent upon common demands between the game and transfer task. In the current study, participants played one of four action games with varying speed, visual, and attentional demands for twenty hours. We examined whether training enhanced performance for attentional blink, selective attention, attending to multiple items, visual search and auditory detection. Non-gamers who played the game (Modern Combat with the highest demands showed transfer to tasks of attentional blink and attending to multiple items. The game (MGS Touch with fewer attentional demands also decreased attentional blink, but to a lesser degree. Other games failed to show transfer, despite having many action game characteristics but at a reduced intensity. The results support the common demands hypothesis

  8. More attentional focusing through binaural beats: evidence from the global-local task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colzato, Lorenza S; Barone, Hayley; Sellaro, Roberta; Hommel, Bernhard

    2017-01-01

    A recent study showed that binaural beats have an impact on the efficiency of allocating attention over time. We were interested to see whether this impact affects attentional focusing or, even further, the top-down control over irrelevant information. Healthy adults listened to gamma-frequency (40 Hz) binaural beats, which are assumed to increase attentional concentration, or a constant tone of 340 Hz (control condition) for 3 min before and during a global-local task. While the size of the congruency effect (indicating the failure to suppress task-irrelevant information) was unaffected by the binaural beats, the global-precedence effect (reflecting attentional focusing) was considerably smaller after gamma-frequency binaural beats than after the control condition. Our findings suggest that high-frequency binaural beats bias the individual attentional processing style towards a reduced spotlight of attention.

  9. Effects of prolonged wakefulness combined with alcohol and hands-free cell phone divided attention tasks on simulated driving.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iudice, A; Bonanni, E; Gelli, A; Frittelli, C; Iudice, G; Cignoni, F; Ghicopulos, I; Murri, L

    2005-03-01

    Simulated driving ability was assessed following administration of alcohol, at an estimated blood level of 0.05%, and combined prolonged wakefulness, while participants were undertaking divided attention tasks over a hands-free mobile phone. Divided attention tasks were structured to provide a sustained cognitive workload to the subjects. Twenty three young healthy individuals drove 10 km simulated driving under four conditions in a counterbalanced, within-subject design: alcohol, alcohol and 19 h wakefulness, alcohol and 24 h wakefulness, and while sober. Study measures were: simulated driving, self-reported sleepiness, critical flicker fusion threshold (CFFT), Stroop word-colour interference test (Stroop) and simple visual reaction times (SVRT). As expected, subjective sleepiness was highly correlated with both sleep restriction and alcohol consumption. The combination of alcohol and 24 h sustained wakefulness produced the highest driving impairment, significantly beyond the alcohol effect itself. Concurrent alcohol and 19 h wakefulness significantly affected only driving time-to-collision. No significant changes of study measures occurred following alcohol intake in unrestricted sleep conditions. CFFT, SVRT and Stroop results showed a similar trend in the four study conditions. Thus apparently 'safe' blood alcohol levels in combination with prolonged wakefulness resulted in significant driving impairments. In normal sleep conditions alcohol effects on driving were partially counteracted by the concomitant hands-free phone based psychometric tasks. 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Attention improves encoding of task-relevant features in the human visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jehee, Janneke F.M.; Brady, Devin K.; Tong, Frank

    2011-01-01

    When spatial attention is directed towards a particular stimulus, increased activity is commonly observed in corresponding locations of the visual cortex. Does this attentional increase in activity indicate improved processing of all features contained within the attended stimulus, or might spatial attention selectively enhance the features relevant to the observer’s task? We used fMRI decoding methods to measure the strength of orientation-selective activity patterns in the human visual cortex while subjects performed either an orientation or contrast discrimination task, involving one of two laterally presented gratings. Greater overall BOLD activation with spatial attention was observed in areas V1-V4 for both tasks. However, multivariate pattern analysis revealed that orientation-selective responses were enhanced by attention only when orientation was the task-relevant feature, and not when the grating’s contrast had to be attended. In a second experiment, observers discriminated the orientation or color of a specific lateral grating. Here, orientation-selective responses were enhanced in both tasks but color-selective responses were enhanced only when color was task-relevant. In both experiments, task-specific enhancement of feature-selective activity was not confined to the attended stimulus location, but instead spread to other locations in the visual field, suggesting the concurrent involvement of a global feature-based attentional mechanism. These results suggest that attention can be remarkably selective in its ability to enhance particular task-relevant features, and further reveal that increases in overall BOLD amplitude are not necessarily accompanied by improved processing of stimulus information. PMID:21632942

  11. 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).

  12. More attentional focusing through binaural beats: Evidence from the global-local task

    OpenAIRE

    Colzato, L.S.; Barone, H.; Sellaro, R.; Hommel, B.

    2017-01-01

    A recent study showed that binaural beats have an impact on the efficiency of allocating attention over time. We were interested to see whether this impact affects attentional focusing or, even further, the top-down control over irrelevant information. Healthy adults listened to gamma-frequency (40?Hz) binaural beats, which are assumed to increase attentional concentration, or a constant tone of 340?Hz (control condition) for 3?min before and during a global?local task. While the size of the ...

  13. Using frequency tagging to quantify attentional deployment in a visual divided attention task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Toffanin, Paolo; de Jong, Ritske; Johnson, Addie; Martens, Sander

    Frequency tagging is an EEG method based on the quantification of the steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) elicited from stimuli which flicker with a distinctive frequency. Because the amplitude of the SSVEP is modulated by attention such that attended stimuli elicit higher SSVEP amplitudes

  14. Force control tasks with pure haptic feedback promote short-term focused attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dangxiao; Zhang, Yuru; Yang, Xiaoxiao; Yang, Gaofeng; Yang, Yi

    2014-01-01

    Focused attention has great impact on our quality of life. Our learning, social skills and even happiness are closely intertwined with our capacity for focused attention. Attention promotion is replete with examples of training-induced increases in attention capability, most of which rely on visual and auditory stimulation. Pure haptic stimulation to increase attention capability is rarely found. We show that accurate force control tasks with pure haptic feedback enhance short-term focused attention. Participants were trained by a force control task in which information from visual and auditory channels was blocked, and only haptic feedback was provided. The trainees were asked to exert a target force within a pre-defined force tolerance for a specific duration. The tolerance was adaptively modified to different levels of difficulty to elicit full participant engagement. Three attention tests showed significant changes in different aspects of focused attention in participants who had been trained as compared with those who had not, thereby illustrating the role of haptic-based sensory-motor tasks in the promotion of short-term focused attention. The findings highlight the potential value of haptic stimuli in brain plasticity and serve as a new tool to extend existing computer games for cognitive enhancement.

  15. Attentional Capture by Salient Distractors during Visual Search Is Determined by Temporal Task Demands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiss, Monika; Grubert, Anna; Petersen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    The question whether attentional capture by salient but taskirrelevant visual stimuli is triggered in a bottom–up fashion or depends on top–down task settings is still unresolved. Strong support for bottom–up capture was obtained in the additional singleton task, in which search arrays were visible...... until response onset. Equally strong evidence for top–down control of attentional capture was obtained in spatial cueing experiments in which display durations were very brief. To demonstrate the critical role of temporal task demands on salience-driven attentional capture, we measured ERP indicators...... component that was followed by a late Pd component, suggesting that they triggered attentional capture, which was later replaced by location-specific inhibition. When search arrays were visible for only 200 msec, the distractor-elicited N2pc was eliminated and was replaced by a Pd component in the same time...

  16. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Correlates of First-Episode Psychoses during Attentional and Memory Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Casale, Antonio; Kotzalidis, Georgios D; Rapinesi, Chiara; Sorice, Serena; Girardi, Nicoletta; Ferracuti, Stefano; Girardi, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    The nature of the alteration of the response to cognitive tasks in first-episode psychosis (FEP) still awaits clarification. We used activation likelihood estimation, an increasingly used method in evaluating normal and pathological brain function, to identify activation changes in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of FEP during attentional and memory tasks. We included 11 peer-reviewed fMRI studies assessing FEP patients versus healthy controls (HCs) during performance of attentional and memory tasks. Our database comprised 290 patients with FEP, matched with 316 HCs. Between-group analyses showed that HCs, compared to FEP patients, exhibited hyperactivation of the right middle frontal gyrus (Brodmann area, BA, 9), right inferior parietal lobule (BA 40), and right insula (BA 13) during attentional task performances and hyperactivation of the left insula (BA 13) during memory task performances. Right frontal, parietal, and insular dysfunction during attentional task performance and left insular dysfunction during memory task performance are significant neural functional FEP correlates. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. 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…

  18. Sustained attention in skilled and novice martial arts athletes: a study of event-related potentials and current sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Residual attentional capacity amongst young and elderly during dual and triple task walking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Læssøe, Uffe; Hoeck, Hans C.; Simonsen, Ole

    2008-01-01

    to the cognitive task the elderly increased their temporal stride-to-stride variability by 39% in the walking task and by 57% in the combined motor task. These increases were significantly larger than observed for the young. Equivalent decreases in trunk acceleration autocorrelation coefficients and gait speed...... in the study. The participants walked along a figure-of-eight track at a self-selected speed. The effect of introducing a concurrent cognitive task and a concurrent functional motor task was evaluated. Stride-to-stride variability was measured by heel contacts and by trunk accelerometry. In response...... were found. A combination of sufficiently challenging motor tasks and concurrent cognitive tasks can reveal signs of limited residual attentional capacity during walking amongst the elderly....

  20. Emotion has no impact on attention in a change detection flicker task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Colin Alan Bendall

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Past research provides conflicting findings regarding the influence of emotion on visual attention. Early studies suggested a broadening of attentional resources in relation to positive mood. However, more recent evidence indicates that positive emotions may not have a beneficial impact on attention, and that the relationship between emotion and attention may be mitigated by factors such as task demand or stimulus valence. The current study explored the effect of emotion on attention using the change detection flicker paradigm. Participants were induced into positive, neutral, and negative mood states and then completed a change detection task. A series of neutral scenes were presented and participants had to identify the location of a disappearing item in each scene. The change was made to the centre or the periphery of each scene and it was predicted that peripheral changes would be detected quicker in the positive mood condition and slower in the negative mood condition, compared to the neutral condition. In contrast to previous findings emotion had no influence on attention and whilst central changes were detected faster than peripheral changes, change blindness was not affected by mood. The findings suggest that the relationship between emotion and visual attention is influenced by the characteristics of a task, and any beneficial impact of positive emotion may be related to processing style rather than a broadening of attentional resources.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Effects of the Use of Social Network Sites on Task Performance: Toward a Sustainable Performance in a Distracting Work Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinyoung Min

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available As the use of social network sites (SNS has become increasingly prevalent, its effect on sustainable performance has received much attention. The existing literature has taken either a positive or negative view of SNS, arguing that it either decreases performance by taking time and effort away from work, or increases performance by providing social benefits for enhancing performance. In contrast, this experimental study, investigates how SNS use can disturb or enhance the performance of different types of tasks differently, thus influencing the sustainability of task performance. Based on distraction-conflict theory, this study distinguishes between simple and complex tasks, examines the role of SNS, and analyzes data including electroencephalography data captured by a brain-computer interface. The results show that task performance can be sustainable such that SNS use positively influences performance when participants are engaged in a simple task and influences performance neither positively nor negatively when participants are engaged in a complex task. The study finds the former result is attributable to the positive effect of the psychological arousal induced by SNS use and the latter result to the negative effect of the psychological arousal offsetting the positive effect of reduced stress resulting from SNS use.

  4. The effects of task difficulty and resource requirements on attention strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Teresa

    1991-01-01

    The patterns of attention strategies for task difficulty/resource tasks for which experimental results are presented and analyzed support the hypothesis that subjects may adopt an alternating (rather than concurrent one) when compelled to do so by either the size or the complexity of a visual display. According to the multiple resource model, if subjects had been performing the two tasks concurrently, the cost of this strategy would have been shown by a decrement in the spatial format, rather than the verbal format, due to competition for the same resource. Subjects may apply different strategies as a function of task difficulty and/or resource demand.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

    Orienting attention to locations in mnemonic representations engages processes that functionally and anatomically overlap the neural circuitry guiding prospective shifts of spatial attention. The attention-based rehearsal account predicts that the requirement to withdraw attention from a memorized location impairs memory accuracy. In a dual-task study, we simultaneously presented retro-cues and pre-cues to guide spatial attention in short-term memory (STM) and perception, respectively. The spatial direction of each cue was independent of the other. The locations indicated by the combined cues could be compatible (same hand) or incompatible (opposite hands). Incompatible directional cues decreased lateralized activity in brain potentials evoked by visual cues, indicating interference in the generation of prospective attention shifts. The detection of external stimuli at the prospectively cued location was impaired when the memorized location was part of the perceptually ignored hand. The disruption of attention-based rehearsal by means of incompatible pre-cues reduced memory accuracy and affected encoding of tactile test stimuli at the retrospectively cued hand. These findings highlight the functional significance of spatial attention for spatial STM. The bidirectional interactions between both tasks demonstrate that spatial attention is a shared neural resource of a capacity-limited system that regulates information processing in internal and external stimulus representations.

  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. 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.…

  9. 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...

  10. Cultural differences in attention: Eye movement evidence from a comparative visual search task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alotaibi, Albandri; Underwood, Geoffrey; Smith, Alastair D

    2017-10-01

    Individual differences in visual attention have been linked to thinking style: analytic thinking (common in individualistic cultures) is thought to promote attention to detail and focus on the most important part of a scene, whereas holistic thinking (common in collectivist cultures) promotes attention to the global structure of a scene and the relationship between its parts. However, this theory is primarily based on relatively simple judgement tasks. We compared groups from Great Britain (an individualist culture) and Saudi Arabia (a collectivist culture) on a more complex comparative visual search task, using simple natural scenes. A higher overall number of fixations for Saudi participants, along with longer search times, indicated less efficient search behaviour than British participants. Furthermore, intra-group comparisons of scan-path for Saudi participants revealed less similarity than within the British group. Together, these findings suggest that there is a positive relationship between an analytic cognitive style and controlled attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. L-theanine and caffeine improve task switching but not intersensory attention or subjective alertness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Einöther, Suzanne J L; Martens, Vanessa E G; Rycroft, Jane A; De Bruin, Eveline A

    2010-04-01

    Tea ingredients L-theanine and caffeine have repeatedly been shown to deliver unique cognitive benefits when consumed in combination. The current randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over study compared a combination of L-theanine (97 mg) and caffeine (40 mg) to a placebo on two attention tasks and a self-report questionnaire before, and 10 and 60 min after consumption. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine significantly improved attention on a switch task as compared to the placebo, while subjective alertness and intersensory attention were not improved significantly. The results support previous evidence that L-theanine and caffeine in combination can improve attention. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Game-based training of flexibility and attention improves task-switch performance: near and far transfer of cognitive training in an EEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olfers, Kerwin J F; Band, Guido P H

    2018-01-01

    There is a demand for ways to enhance cognitive flexibility, as it can be a limiting factor for performance in daily life. Video game training has been linked to advantages in cognitive functioning, raising the question if training with video games can promote cognitive flexibility. In the current study, we investigated if game-based computerized cognitive training (GCCT) could enhance cognitive flexibility in a healthy young adult sample (N = 72), as measured by task-switch performance. Three GCCT schedules were contrasted, which targeted: (1) cognitive flexibility and task switching, (2) attention and working memory, or (3) an active control involving basic math games, in twenty 45-min sessions across 4-6 weeks. Performance on an alternating-runs task-switch paradigm during pretest and posttest sessions indicated greater overall reaction time improvements after both flexibility and attention training as compared to control, although not related to local switch cost. Flexibility training enhanced performance in the presence of distractor-related interference. In contrast, attention training was beneficial when low task difficulty undermined sustained selective attention. Furthermore, flexibility training improved response selection as indicated by a larger N2 amplitude after training as compared to control, and more efficient conflict monitoring as indicated by reduced Nc/CRN and larger Pe amplitude after training. These results provide tentative support for the efficacy of GCCT and suggest that an ideal training might include both task switching and attention components, with maximal task diversity both within and between training games.

  13. Task switching in video game players: Benefits of selective attention but not resistance to proactive interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karle, James W; Watter, Scott; Shedden, Judith M

    2010-05-01

    Research into the perceptual and cognitive effects of playing video games is an area of increasing interest for many investigators. Over the past decade, expert video game players (VGPs) have been shown to display superior performance compared to non-video game players (nVGPs) on a range of visuospatial and attentional tasks. A benefit of video game expertise has recently been shown for task switching, suggesting that VGPs also have superior cognitive control abilities compared to nVGPs. In two experiments, we examined which aspects of task switching performance this VGP benefit may be localized to. With minimal trial-to-trial interference from minimally overlapping task set rules, VGPs demonstrated a task switching benefit compared to nVGPs. However, this benefit disappeared when proactive interference between tasks was increased, with substantial stimulus and response overlap in task set rules. We suggest that VGPs have no generalized benefit in task switching-related cognitive control processes compared to nVGPs, with switch cost reductions due instead to a specific benefit in controlling selective attention. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Attentional bias modification based on visual probe task: methodological issues, results and clinical relevance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Machado Lopes

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Attentional bias, the tendency that a person has to drive or maintain attention to a specific class of stimuli, may play an important role in the etiology and persistence of mental disorders. Attentional bias modification has been studied as a form of additional treatment related to automatic processing. Objectives: This systematic literature review compared and discussed methods, evidence of success and potential clinical applications of studies about attentional bias modification (ABM using a visual probe task. Methods: The Web of Knowledge, PubMed and PsycInfo were searched using the keywords attentional bias modification, attentional bias manipulation and attentional bias training. We selected empirical studies about ABM training using a visual probe task written in English and published between 2002 and 2014. Results: Fifty-seven studies met inclusion criteria. Most (78% succeeded in training attention in the predicted direction, and in 71% results were generalized to other measures correlated with the symptoms. Conclusions: ABM has potential clinical utility, but to standardize methods and maximize applicability, future studies should include clinical samples and be based on findings of studies about its effectiveness.

  15. Sex differences in the Simon task help to interpret sex differences in selective attention

    OpenAIRE

    Stoet, Gijsbert

    2016-01-01

    In the last decade, a number of studies have reported sex differences in selective attention, but a unified explanation for these effects is still missing. This study aims to better understand these differences and put them in an evolutionary psychological context. 418 adult participants performed a computer-based Simon task, in which they responded to the direction of a left or right pointing arrow appearing left or right from a fixation point. Women were more strongly influenced by task-irr...

  16. Attentional bias in high math-anxious individuals: evidence from an emotional Stroop task

    OpenAIRE

    Su?rez-Pellicioni, Macarena; N??ez-Pe?a, Maria Isabel; Colom?, ?ngels

    2015-01-01

    Attentional bias towards threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias towards math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present s...

  17. The control of attentional target selection in a colour/colour conjunction task

    OpenAIRE

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the time course of attentional object selection processes in visual search tasks where targets are defined by a combination of features from the same dimension, we measured the N2pc component as an electrophysiological marker of attentional object selection during colour/colour conjunction search. In Experiment 1, participants searched for targets defined by a combination of two colours, while ignoring distractor objects that matched only one of these colours. Reliable N2pc com...

  18. Task-irrelevant own-race faces capture attention: eye-tracking evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Rong; Wang, Shuzhen; Rao, Congquan; Fu, Jia

    2013-04-01

    To investigate attentional capture by face's race, the current study recorded saccade latencies of eye movement measurements in an inhibition of return (IOR) task. Compared to Caucasian (other-race) faces, Chinese (own-race) faces elicited longer saccade latency. This phenomenon disappeared when faces were inverted. The results indicated that own-race faces capture attention automatically with high-level configural processing. © 2013 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology © 2013 The Scandinavian Psychological Associations.

  19. Acute Stress Dysregulates the LPP ERP Response to Emotional Pictures and Impairs Sustained Attention: Time-Sensitive Effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Consequences of mild traumatic brain injury on information processing assessed with attention and short-term memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malojcic, Branko; Mubrin, Zdenko; Coric, Bojana; Susnic, Mirica; Spilich, George J

    2008-01-01

    In this investigation, we explored the impact of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) upon short term or working memory and attention. The performance of 37 individuals with mTBI was compared with that of 53 age, sex and education-matched controls. All participants were staff members or individuals seeking medical care at a University hospital serving a large metropolitan area. A battery of computerized tests measured sustained visual attention, short-term memory (STM), simple reaction time, and decision time. Individuals with mTBI showed a performance deficit at sustained visual attention, STM scanning and a trend towards slowing in choice decision making. These observed changes in the cognitive performance of mTBI individuals are hypothesized to be a consequence of impaired central information processing. Our results suggest that mTBI can elicit meaningful cognitive deficits for several months post-injury. Additionally, we believe that the tasks employed in the current investigation demonstrate their utility for understanding cognitive deficits in mTBI individuals.

  1. Teaching Sustainable Process Design Using 12 Systematic Computer-Aided Tasks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Babi, Deenesh K.

    2015-01-01

    (tasks 4-7) and then sizing, costing and economic analysis of the designed process (tasks 8-9). This produces a base case design. In tasks 10-12, the student explores opportunities for heat and/or mass integration, followed by a sustainability analysis, in order to evaluate the base case design and set......In this paper a task-based approach for teaching (sustainable) process design to students pursuing a degree in chemical and biochemical engineering is presented. In tasks 1-3 the student makes design decisions for product and process selection followed by simple and rigorous model simulations...... targets for further improvement. Finally, a process optimization problem is formulated and solved to obtain the more sustainable process design. The 12 tasks are explained in terms of input and output of each task and examples of application of this approach in an MSclevel course are reported....

  2. Advert saliency distracts children's visual attention during task-oriented internet use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nils eHolmberg

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The general research question of the present study was to assess the impact of visually salient online adverts on children's task-oriented internet use. In order to answer this question, an experimental study was constructed in which 9-year-old and 12-year-old Swedish children were asked to solve a number of tasks while interacting with a mockup website. In each trial, web adverts in several saliency conditions were presented. By both measuring children's task accuracy, as well as the visual processing involved in solving these tasks, this study allows us to infer how two types of visual saliency affect children's attentional behavior, and whether such behavioral effects also impacts their task performance. Analyses show that low-level visual features and task relevance in online adverts have different effects on performance measures and process measures respectively. Whereas task performance is stable with regard to several advert saliency conditions, a marked effect is seen on children's gaze behavior. On the other hand, task performance is shown to be more sensitive to individual differences such as age, gender and level of gaze control. The results provide evidence about cognitive and behavioral distraction effects in children's task-oriented internet use caused by visual saliency in online adverts. The experiment suggests that children to some extent are able to compensate for behavioral effects caused by distracting visual stimuli when solving prospective memory tasks. Suggestions are given for further research into the interdiciplinary area between media research and cognitive science.

  3. A computational model of focused attention meditation and its transfer to a sustained attention task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moye, Amir Sep; van Vugt, Marieke; van Vugt, Marieke K; Banks, Adrian P; Kennedy, William G

    2017-01-01

    Although meditation and mindfulness practices are widely discussed and studied more and more in the scientific literature, there is little theory about the cognitive mechanisms that comprise it. Here we begin to develop such a theory by creating a computational cognitive model of a particular type

  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. Are divided attention tasks useful in the assessment and management of sport-related concussion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Register-Mihalik, Johna K; Littleton, Ashley C; Guskiewicz, Kevin M

    2013-12-01

    This article is a systematic review of the literature on divided attention assessment inclusive of a cognitive and motor task (balance or gait) for use in concussion management. The systematic review drew from published papers listed in PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL databases. The search identified 19 empirical research papers meeting the inclusion criteria. Study results were considered for the psychometric properties of the paradigms, the influence of divided attention on measures of cognition and postural control and the comparison of divided attention task outcomes between individuals with concussion and healthy controls (all samples were age 17 years or older). The review highlights that the reliability of the tasks under a divided attention paradigm presented ranges from low to high (ICC: 0.1-0.9); however, only 3/19 articles included psychometric information. Response times are greater, gait strategies are less efficient, and postural control deficits are greater in concussed participants compared with healthy controls both immediately and for some period following concussive injury, specifically under divided attention conditions. Dual task assessments in some cases were more reliable than single task assessments and may be better able to detect lingering effects following concussion. Few of the studies have been replicated and applied across various age groups. A key limitation of these studies is that many include laboratory and time-intensive measures. Future research is needed to refine a time and cost efficient divided attention assessment paradigm, and more work is needed in younger (pre-teens) populations where the application may be of greatest utility.

  6. The fate of task-irrelevant visual motion: perceptual load versus feature-based attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taya, Shuichiro; Adams, Wendy J; Graf, Erich W; Lavie, Nilli

    2009-11-18

    We tested contrasting predictions derived from perceptual load theory and from recent feature-based selection accounts. Observers viewed moving, colored stimuli and performed low or high load tasks associated with one stimulus feature, either color or motion. The resultant motion aftereffect (MAE) was used to evaluate attentional allocation. We found that task-irrelevant visual features received less attention than co-localized task-relevant features of the same objects. Moreover, when color and motion features were co-localized yet perceived to belong to two distinct surfaces, feature-based selection was further increased at the expense of object-based co-selection. Load theory predicts that the MAE for task-irrelevant motion would be reduced with a higher load color task. However, this was not seen for co-localized features; perceptual load only modulated the MAE for task-irrelevant motion when this was spatially separated from the attended color location. Our results suggest that perceptual load effects are mediated by spatial selection and do not generalize to the feature domain. Feature-based selection operates to suppress processing of task-irrelevant, co-localized features, irrespective of perceptual load.

  7. The effect of sleep deprivation on BOLD activity elicited by a divided attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Melinda L; Hughes, Matthew E; Croft, Rodney J; Howard, Mark E; Crewther, David; Kennedy, Gerard A; Owens, Katherine; Pierce, Rob J; O'Donoghue, Fergal J; Johnston, Patrick

    2011-06-01

    Sleep loss, widespread in today's society and associated with a number of clinical conditions, has a detrimental effect on a variety of cognitive domains including attention. This study examined the sequelae of sleep deprivation upon BOLD fMRI activation during divided attention. Twelve healthy males completed two randomized sessions; one after 27 h of sleep deprivation and one after a normal night of sleep. During each session, BOLD fMRI was measured while subjects completed a cross-modal divided attention task (visual and auditory). After normal sleep, increased BOLD activation was observed bilaterally in the superior frontal gyrus and the inferior parietal lobe during divided attention performance. Subjects reported feeling significantly more sleepy in the sleep deprivation session, and there was a trend towards poorer divided attention task performance. Sleep deprivation led to a down regulation of activation in the left superior frontal gyrus, possibly reflecting an attenuation of top-down control mechanisms on the attentional system. These findings have implications for understanding the neural correlates of divided attention and the neurofunctional changes that occur in individuals who are sleep deprived.

  8. The control of attentional target selection in a colour/colour conjunction task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berggren, Nick; Eimer, Martin

    2016-11-01

    To investigate the time course of attentional object selection processes in visual search tasks where targets are defined by a combination of features from the same dimension, we measured the N2pc component as an electrophysiological marker of attentional object selection during colour/colour conjunction search. In Experiment 1, participants searched for targets defined by a combination of two colours, while ignoring distractor objects that matched only one of these colours. Reliable N2pc components were triggered by targets and also by partially matching distractors, even when these distractors were accompanied by a target in the same display. The target N2pc was initially equal in size to the sum of the two N2pc components to the two different types of partially matching distractors and became superadditive from approximately 250 ms after search display onset. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the superadditivity of the target N2pc was not due to a selective disengagement of attention from task-irrelevant partially matching distractors. These results indicate that attention was initially deployed separately and in parallel to all target-matching colours, before attentional allocation processes became sensitive to the presence of both matching colours within the same object. They suggest that attention can be controlled simultaneously and independently by multiple features from the same dimension and that feature-guided attentional selection processes operate in parallel for different target-matching objects in the visual field.

  9. 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...

  10. Functional mobility in a divided attention task in older adults with cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Sheila de Melo; Radanovic, Márcia; Forlenza, Orestes Vicente

    2015-01-01

    Motor disorders may occur in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and at early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD), particularly under divided attention conditions. We examined functional mobility in 104 older adults (42 with MCI, 26 with mild AD, and 36 cognitively healthy) using the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) under 4 experimental conditions: TUG single task, TUG plus a cognitive task, TUG plus a manual task, and TUG plus a cognitive and a manual task. Statistically significant differences in mean time of execution were found in all four experimental conditions when comparing MCI and controls (p .8, p .7, p < .001 for MCI vs. AD). The authors conclude that functional motor deficits occurring in MCI can be assessed by the TUG test, in single or dual task modality.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2012-01-01

    A few studies have examined selective attention in Stroop task performance through ex-Gaussian analyses of response time (RT) distributions. It has remained unclear whether the tail of the RT distribution in vocal responding reflects spatial integration of relevant and irrelevant attributes, as

  12. Effects of Attentional Focus and Age on Suprapostural Task Performance and Postural Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNevin, Nancy; Weir, Patricia; Quinn, Tiffany

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Suprapostural task performance (manual tracking) and postural control (sway and frequency) were examined as a function of attentional focus, age, and tracking difficulty. Given the performance benefits often found under external focus conditions, it was hypothesized that external focus instructions would promote superior tracking and…

  13. Priming T2 in a Visual and Auditory Attentional Blink Task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burg, E. van der; Olivers, C.N.L.; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Theeuwes, J.

    2008-01-01

    Participants performed an attentional blink (AB) task including digits as targets and letters as distractors within the visual and auditory domains. Prior to the rapid serial visual presentation, a visual or auditory prime was presented in the form of a digit that was identical to the second target

  14. Interference and Inhibition in Tasks of Selective Attention by Persons with and without Mental Retardation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Edward C.

    2006-01-01

    Persons with mental retardation often exhibit greater interference in visual selective attention tasks than do persons matched with them on CA. My goal here was to evaluate whether differences in distractor interference between persons with and without mental retardation may be related to differences in negative priming. Fifteen participants with…

  15. Examining age-related differences in auditory attention control using a task-switching procedure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawo, Vera; Koch, Iring

    2014-03-01

    Using a novel task-switching variant of dichotic selective listening, we examined age-related differences in the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention between 2 speakers defined by their sex. In our task, young (M age = 23.2 years) and older adults (M age = 66.6 years) performed a numerical size categorization on spoken number words. The task-relevant speaker was indicated by a cue prior to auditory stimulus onset. The cuing interval was either short or long and varied randomly trial by trial. We found clear performance costs with instructed attention switches. These auditory attention switch costs decreased with prolonged cue-stimulus interval. Older adults were generally much slower (but not more error prone) than young adults, but switching-related effects did not differ across age groups. These data suggest that the ability to intentionally switch auditory attention in a selective listening task is not compromised in healthy aging. We discuss the role of modality-specific factors in age-related differences.

  16. Attentional Sensitization of Unconscious Cognition: Task Sets Modulate Subsequent Masked Semantic Priming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, Markus; Martens, Ulla

    2010-01-01

    According to classical theories, automatic processes are autonomous and independent of higher level cognitive influence. In contrast, the authors propose that automatic processing depends on attentional sensitization of task-congruent processing pathways. In 3 experiments, the authors tested this hypothesis with a modified masked semantic priming…

  17. Attention, gaze shifting, and dual-task interference from phonological encoding in spoken word planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2008-01-01

    Controversy exists about whether dual-task interference from word planning reflects structural bottleneck or attentional control factors. Here, participants named pictures whose names could or could not be phonologically prepared. and they manually responded to arrows presented away from (Experiment

  18. Effect of Psychostimulants on Distinct Attentional Parameters in Attentional Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    OpenAIRE

    LÓPEZ, JAVIER; LÓPEZ, VLADIMIR; ROJAS, DANIEL; CARRASCO, XIMENA; ROTHHAMMER, PAULA; GARCÍA, RICARDO; ROTHHAMMER, FRANCISCO; ABOITIZ, FRANCISCO

    2004-01-01

    Although there is extensive literature about the effects of stimulants on sustained attention tasks in attentional deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), little is known about the effect of these drugs on other attentional tasks involving different neural systems. In this study we measured the effect of stimulants on ADHD children, both in the electroencephalographic (EEG) activity during sustained attentional tasks and in psychometric performance during selective attentional tasks. These tas...

  19. Selective effects of cholinergic modulation on task performance during selective attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furey, Maura L; Pietrini, Pietro; Haxby, James V; Drevets, Wayne C

    2008-03-01

    The cholinergic neurotransmitter system is critically linked to cognitive functions including attention. The current studies were designed to evaluate the effect of a cholinergic agonist and an antagonist on performance during a selective visual attention task where the inherent salience of attended/unattended stimuli was modulated. Two randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover studies were performed, one (n=9) with the anticholinesterase physostigmine (1.0 mg/h), and the other (n=30) with the anticholinergic scopolamine (0.4 mc/kg). During the task, two double-exposure pictures of faces and houses were presented side by side. Subjects were cued to attend to either the face or the house component of the stimuli, and were instructed to perform a matching task with the two exemplars from the attended category. The cue changed every 4-7 trials to instruct subjects to shift attention from one stimulus component to the other. During placebo in both studies, reaction time (RT) associated with the first trial following a cued shift in attention was longer than RT associated with later trials (pattention to houses condition (pattention to faces. Scopolamine increased RT relative to placebo selectively during trials greater than one (pattention to faces condition (pselective attention (ie trials greater than 1). Moreover, effects of cholinergic manipulation depend on the selective attention condition (ie faces vs houses), which may suggest that cholinergic activity interacts with stimulus salience. The findings are discussed within the context of the role of acetylcholine both in stimulus processing and stimulus salience, and in establishing attention biases through top-down and bottom-up mechanisms of attention.

  20. Mindfulness Training Improves Attentional Task Performance in Incarcerated Youth: A Group Randomized Controlled Intervention Trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noelle R Leonard

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the impact of cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness training (CBT/MT on attentional task performance in incarcerated adolescents. Attention is a cognitive system necessary for managing cognitive demands and regulating emotions. Yet persistent and intensive demands, such as those experienced during high-stress intervals like incarceration and the events leading to incarceration, may deplete attention resulting in cognitive failures, emotional disturbances, and impulsive behavior. We hypothesized that CBT/MT may mitigate these deleterious effects of high stress and protect against degradation in attention over the high-stress interval of incarceration. Using a group randomized controlled trial design, we randomly assigned dormitories of incarcerated youth, ages 16 to 18, to a CBT/MT intervention (youth n = 147 or an active control intervention (youth n = 117. Both arms received approximately 750 minutes of intervention in a small-group setting over a 3-5 week period. Youth in the CBT/MT arm also logged the amount of out-of-session time spent practicing MT exercises. The Attention Network Test was used to index attentional task performance at baseline and 4 months post-baseline. Overall, task performance degraded over time in all participants. The magnitude of performance degradation was significantly less in the CBT/MT vs. control arm. Further, within the CBT/MT arm, performance degraded over time in those with no outside-of-class practice time, but remained stable over time in those who practiced mindfulness exercises outside of the session meetings. Thus, these findings suggest that sufficient CBT/MT practice may protect against functional attentional impairments associated with high-stress intervals. Keywords: adolescent development, incarcerated adolescents, detained adolescents, stress, attention, mindfulness meditation.

  1. Attention demanding tasks during treadmill walking reduce step width variability in young adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy Karen L

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The variability of step time and step width is associated with falls by older adults. Further, step time is significantly influenced when performing attention demanding tasks while walking. Without exception, step time variability has been reported to increase in normal and pathologically aging older adults. Because of the role of step width in managing frontal plane dynamic stability, documenting the influence of attention-demanding tasks on step width variability may provide insight to events that can disturb dynamic stability during locomotion and increase fall risk. Preliminary evidence suggests performance of an attention demanding task significantly decreases step width variability of young adults walking on a treadmill. The purpose of the present study was to confirm or refute this finding by characterizing the extent and direction of the effects of a widely used attention demanding task (Stroop test on the step width variability of young adults walking on a motorized treadmill. Methods Fifteen healthy young adults walked on a motorized treadmill at a self-selected velocity for 10 minutes under two conditions; without performing an attention demanding task and while performing the Stroop test. Step width of continuous and consecutive steps during the collection was derived from the data recorded using a motion capture system. Step width variability was computed as the standard deviation of all recorded steps. Results Step width decreased four percent during performance of the Stroop test but the effect was not significant (p = 0.10. In contrast, the 16 percent decrease in step width variability during the Stroop test condition was significant (p = 0.029. Conclusion The results support those of our previous work in which a different attention demanding task also decreased step width variability of young subjects while walking on a treadmill. The decreased step width variability observed while performing an attention

  2. Effects of emotion regulation strategies on smoking craving, attentional bias, and task persistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szasz, Paul Lucian; Szentagotai, Aurora; Hofmann, Stefan G

    2012-05-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of different strategies for regulating emotions associated with smoking on subjective, cognitive, and behavioral correlates of smoking. Emotion regulation was manipulated by instructing participants to reappraise (n = 32), accept (n = 31), or suppress (n = 31) their emotions associated with smoking. The dependent measures included subjective reports of craving, negative affect, and attentional biases, as measured by a modified dot-probe task, and persistence during a task to measure distress tolerance. Individuals who were encouraged to reappraise the consequences of smoking showed diminished craving, lower negative affect, had reduced attentional biases for smoking-related cues, and exhibited greater task persistence than those who were instructed to accept and suppress their urge to smoke. These findings suggest that reappraisal techniques are more effective than acceptance or suppression strategies for targeting smoking-related problems. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Attentional Demands of Balance Under Dual Task Conditions in Young Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monire Nobahar Ahari

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the role of attentional process in postural control using choice reaction time task while changing the visual and proprioceptive cues under difficult balance task (standing on one-leg. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted by participating 20 young people (22.75±2.29. Each subject performed one-leg standing as balance task for each of the following 2 test conditions: free balance position (single task, and balancing while performing secondary cognitive task (choice reaction time task. Each test was carried out for each of the following 3 sensory conditions: on hard surface with open eyes, on hard surface with closed eyes and on foam surface with closed eyes. One way ANOVA was used for analysis. Results: Analyses of the task conditions didn’t show significant difference between single and dual task under two sensory conditions, in open and in closed eye on hard surface (P>0.05, but there was significant difference between single and dual tasks on soft foam with closed eyes [t(19=-2.391, P=0.027]. Discussion: Findings revealed that significant difference in balance performance of individuals under three different sensory conditions caused by reduction in base of support and this effect can be seen in dual task condition as well. Therefore it can be concluded that the nature of the primary task have the most influence on balance performance and this is not the effect of dual task condition.

  4. Central as well as peripheral attentional bottlenecks in dual-task performance activate lateral prefrontal cortices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre J Szameitat

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Human information processing suffers from severe limitations in parallel processing. In particular, when required to respond to two stimuli in rapid succession, processing bottlenecks may appear at central and peripheral stages of task processing. Importantly, it has been suggested that executive functions are needed to resolve the interference arising at such bottlenecks. The aims of the present study were to test whether central attentional limitations (i.e., bottleneck at the decisional response selection stage as well as peripheral limitations (i.e., bottleneck at response initiation both demand executive functions located in the lateral prefrontal cortex. For this, we re-analysed two previous studies, in which a total of 33 participants performed a dual-task according to the paradigm of the psychological refractory period (PRP during fMRI. In one study (N=17, the PRP task consisted of two two-choice response tasks known to suffer from a central bottleneck (CB group. In the other study (N=16, the PRP task consisted of two simple-response tasks known to suffer from a peripheral bottleneck (PB group. Both groups showed considerable dual-task costs in form of slowing of the second response in the dual-task (PRP effect. Imaging results are based on the subtraction of both single-tasks from the dual-task within each group. In the CB group, the bilateral middle frontal gyri and inferior frontal gyri were activated. Higher activation in these areas was associated with lower dual-task costs. In the PB group, the right middle frontal and inferior frontal gyrus were activated. Here, higher activation was associated with higher dual-task costs. In conclusion we suggest that central and peripheral bottlenecks both demand executive functions located in lateral prefrontal cortices. Differences between the CB and PB groups with respect to the exact prefrontal areas activated and the correlational patterns suggest that the executive functions resolving

  5. Auditory Attention and Comprehension During a Simulated Night Shift: Effects of Task Characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilcher, June J; Jennings, Kristen S; Phillips, Ginger E; McCubbin, James A

    2016-11-01

    The current study investigated performance on a dual auditory task during a simulated night shift. Night shifts and sleep deprivation negatively affect performance on vigilance-based tasks, but less is known about the effects on complex tasks. Because language processing is necessary for successful work performance, it is important to understand how it is affected by night work and sleep deprivation. Sixty-two participants completed a simulated night shift resulting in 28 hr of total sleep deprivation. Performance on a vigilance task and a dual auditory language task was examined across four testing sessions. The results indicate that working at night negatively impacts vigilance, auditory attention, and comprehension. The effects on the auditory task varied based on the content of the auditory material. When the material was interesting and easy, the participants performed better. Night work had a greater negative effect when the auditory material was less interesting and more difficult. These findings support research that vigilance decreases during the night. The results suggest that auditory comprehension suffers when individuals are required to work at night. Maintaining attention and controlling effort especially on passages that are less interesting or more difficult could improve performance during night shifts. The results from the current study apply to many work environments where decision making is necessary in response to complex auditory information. Better predicting the effects of night work on language processing is important for developing improved means of coping with shiftwork. © 2016, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

  6. Functional localization of a "Time Keeper" function separate from attentional resources and task strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tracy, J I; Faro, S H; Mohamed, F B; Pinsk, M; Pinus, A

    2000-03-01

    The functional neuroanatomy of time estimation has not been well-documented. This research investigated the fMRI measured brain response to an explicit, prospective time interval production (TIP) task. The study tested for the presence of brain activity reflecting a primary time keeper function, distinct from the brain systems involved either in conscious strategies to monitor time or attentional resource and other cognitive processes to accomplish the task. In the TIP task participants were given a time interval and asked to indicate when it elapsed. Two control tasks (counting forwards, backwards) were administered, in addition to a dual task format of the TIP task. Whole brain images were collected at 1.5 Tesla. Analyses (n = 6) yielded a statistical parametric map (SPM ¿z¿) reflecting time keeping and not strategy (counting, number manipulation) or attention resource utilization. Additional SPM ¿z¿s involving activation associated with the accuracy and magnitude the of time estimation response are presented. Results revealed lateral cerebellar and inferior temporal lobe activation were associated with primary time keeping. Behavioral data provided evidence that the procedures for the explicit time judgements did not occur automatically and utilized controlled processes. Activation sites associated with accuracy, magnitude, and the dual task provided indications of the other structures involved in time estimation that implemented task components related to controlled processing. The data are consistent with prior proposals that the cerebellum is a repository of codes for time processing, but also implicate temporal lobe structures for this type of time estimation task. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Differential effects of a visuospatial attention task on measures of postural control in young and older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jeffrey J; Keenan, Kevin G

    2018-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of a visuospatial attention task on three measures of postural control in young and older adults. 20 young (19-36  years) and 20 older (67-91 years) adults performed a choice stepping response time (CSRT) task, a submaximal dorsiflexion force steadiness task, and quiet standing in 3 bilateral stances. All tasks were performed with and without a visuospatial (VS) attention task that involved visualizing a star moving within a 2 × 2 grid. CSRT increased with the addition of the VS task in both groups (p   .084). The findings suggest that visuospatial attention differentially affects postural control in young and older adults and the effect is task-specific. These findings suggest the need to include stepping and force control tasks to further determine what role visuospatial attention plays in postural control. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. 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

  10. The director task: A test of Theory-of-Mind use or selective attention?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio-Fernández, Paula

    2017-08-01

    Over two decades, the director task has increasingly been employed as a test of the use of Theory of Mind in communication, first in psycholinguistics and more recently in social cognition research. A new version of this task was designed to test two independent hypotheses. First, optimal performance in the director task, as established by the standard metrics of interference, is possible by using selective attention alone, and not necessarily Theory of Mind. Second, pragmatic measures of Theory-of-Mind use can reveal that people actively represent the director's mental states, contrary to recent claims that they only use domain-general cognitive processes to perform this task. The results of this study support both hypotheses and provide a new interactive paradigm to reliably test Theory-of-Mind use in referential communication.

  11. Neural Correlates of Expert Behavior During a Domain-Specific Attentional Cueing Task in Badminton Players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chun-Hao; Tu, Kuo-Cheng

    2017-06-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the neural correlates associated with sports expertise during a domain-specific task in badminton players. We compared event-related potentials activity from collegiate male badminton players and a set of matched athletic controls when they performed a badminton-specific attentional cueing task in which the uncertainty and validity were manipulated. The data showed that, regardless of cue type, the badminton players had faster responses along with greater P3 amplitudes than the athletic controls on the task. Specifically, the contingent negative variation amplitude was smaller for the players than for the controls in the condition involving higher uncertainty. Such an effect, however, was absent in the condition with lower uncertainty. We conclude that expertise in sports is associated with proficient modulation of brain activity during cognitive and motor preparation, as well as response execution, when performing a task related to an individual's specific sport domain.

  12. Competitive interactions of attentional resources in early visual cortex during sustained visuospatial attention within or between visual hemifields: evidence for the different-hemifield advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) applied to mice in the 5-choice serial reaction time task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fitzpatrick, C. M.; Caballero-Puntiverio, M.; Gether, U.

    2017-01-01

    Rationale The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) is widely used to measure rodent attentional functions. In humans, many attention studies in healthy and clinical populations have used testing based on Bundesen’s Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) to estimate visual processing speeds...... on an individual level. Scopolamine HBr dose-dependently reduced 5-CSRTT attentional performance while also increasing reward collection latency at the highest dose. Upon TVA modelling, scopolamine HBr significantly reduced visual processing speed at both doses, while having less pronounced effects on visual...... modelled using a new three-parameter version of TVA to obtain estimates of visual processing speeds, visual thresholds and motor response baselines in each mouse. Results The parameter estimates for each animal were reliable across sessions, showing that the data were stable enough to support analysis...

  14. Task-irrelevant novel sounds improve attentional performance in children with and without ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana eTegelbeckers

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Task-irrelevant salient stimuli involuntarily capture attention and can lead to distraction from an ongoing task, especially in children with ADHD. However, there has been tentative evidence that the presentation of novel sounds can have beneficial effects on cognitive performance. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the influence of novel sounds compared to no sound and a repeatedly presented standard sound on attentional performance in children and adolescents with and without ADHD. We therefore had 32 patients with ADHD and 32 typically developing children and adolescents (8 to 13 years executed a flanker task in which each trial was preceded either by a repeatedly presented standard sound (33%, an unrepeated novel sound (33% or no auditory stimulation (33%. Task-irrelevant novel sounds facilitated attentional performance similarly in children with and without ADHD, as indicated by reduced omission error rates, reaction times, and reaction time variability without compromising performance accuracy. By contrast, standard sounds, while also reducing omission error rates and reaction times, led to increased commission error rates. Therefore, the beneficial effect of novel sounds exceeds cueing of the target display by potentially increased alerting and/or enhanced behavioral control.

  15. Contingent attentional capture across multiple feature dimensions in a temporal search task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Motohiro; Kawahara, Jun I

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined whether attention can be flexibly controlled to monitor two different feature dimensions (shape and color) in a temporal search task. Specifically, we investigated the occurrence of contingent attentional capture (i.e., interference from task-relevant distractors) and resulting set reconfiguration (i.e., enhancement of single task-relevant set). If observers can restrict searches to a specific value for each relevant feature dimension independently, the capture and reconfiguration effect should only occur when the single relevant distractor in each dimension appears. Participants identified a target letter surrounded by a non-green square or a non-square green frame. The results revealed contingent attentional capture, as target identification accuracy was lower when the distractor contained a target-defining feature than when it contained a nontarget feature. Resulting set reconfiguration was also obtained in that accuracy was superior when the current target's feature (e.g., shape) corresponded to the defining feature of the present distractor (shape) than when the current target's feature did not match the distractor's feature (color). This enhancement was not due to perceptual priming. The present study demonstrated that the principles of contingent attentional capture and resulting set reconfiguration held even when multiple target feature dimensions were monitored. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

    Peripheral cues are thought to facilitate responses to stimuli presented at the same location because they lead to exogenous attention shifts. Facilitation has been observed in numerous studies of visual and auditory attention, but there have been only four demonstrations of tactile facilitation, all in studies with potential confounds. Three studies used a spatial (finger versus thumb) discrimination task, where the cue could have provided a spatial framework that might have assisted the discrimination of subsequent targets presented on the same side as the cue. The final study circumvented this problem by using a non-spatial discrimination; however, the cues were informative and interspersed with visual cues which may have affected the attentional effects observed. In the current study, therefore, we used a non-spatial tactile frequency discrimination task following a non-informative tactile white noise cue. When the target was presented 150 ms after the cue, we observed faster discrimination responses to targets presented on the same side compared to the opposite side as the cue; by 1000 ms, responses were significantly faster to targets presented on the opposite side to the cue. Thus, we demonstrated that tactile attentional facilitation can be observed in a non-spatial discrimination task, under unimodal conditions and with entirely non-predictive cues. Furthermore, we provide the first demonstration of significant tactile facilitation and tactile inhibition of return within a single experiment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca E Paladini

    Full Text Available Cross-modal spatial cueing can affect performance in a visual search task. For example, search performance improves if a visual target and an auditory cue originate from the same spatial location, and it deteriorates if they originate from different locations. Moreover, it has recently been postulated that multisensory settings, i.e., experimental settings, in which critical stimuli are concurrently presented in different sensory modalities (e.g., visual and auditory, may trigger asymmetries in visuospatial attention. Thereby, a facilitation has been observed for visual stimuli presented in the right compared to the left visual space. However, it remains unclear whether auditory cueing of attention differentially affects search performance in the left and the right hemifields in audio-visual search tasks. The present study investigated whether spatial asymmetries would occur in a search task with cross-modal spatial cueing. Participants completed a visual search task that contained no auditory cues (i.e., unimodal visual condition, spatially congruent, spatially incongruent, and spatially non-informative auditory cues. To further assess participants' accuracy in localising the auditory cues, a unimodal auditory spatial localisation task was also administered. The results demonstrated no left/right asymmetries in the unimodal visual search condition. Both an additional incongruent, as well as a spatially non-informative, auditory cue resulted in lateral asymmetries. Thereby, search times were increased for targets presented in the left compared to the right hemifield. No such spatial asymmetry was observed in the congruent condition. However, participants' performance in the congruent condition was modulated by their tone localisation accuracy. The findings of the present study demonstrate that spatial asymmetries in multisensory processing depend on the validity of the cross-modal cues, and occur under specific attentional conditions, i.e., when

  18. Spatiotemporal oscillatory dynamics of visual selective attention during a flanker task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Timothy J; Wiesman, Alex I; Proskovec, Amy L; Heinrichs-Graham, Elizabeth; Wilson, Tony W

    2017-08-01

    The flanker task is a test of visual selective attention that has been widely used to probe error monitoring, response conflict, and related constructs. However, to date, few studies have focused on the selective attention component of this task and imaged the underlying oscillatory dynamics serving task performance. In this study, 21 healthy adults successfully completed an arrow-based version of the Eriksen flanker task during magnetoencephalography (MEG). All MEG data were pre-processed and transformed into the time-frequency domain. Significant oscillatory brain responses were imaged using a beamforming approach, and voxel time series were extracted from the peak responses to identify the temporal dynamics. Across both congruent and incongruent flanker conditions, our results indicated robust decreases in alpha (9-12Hz) activity in medial and lateral occipital regions, bilateral parietal cortices, and cerebellar areas during task performance. In parallel, increases in theta (3-7Hz) oscillatory activity were detected in dorsal and ventral frontal regions, and the anterior cingulate. As per conditional effects, stronger alpha responses (i.e., greater desynchronization) were observed in parietal, occipital, and cerebellar cortices during incongruent relative to congruent trials, whereas the opposite pattern emerged for theta responses (i.e., synchronization) in the anterior cingulate, left dorsolateral prefrontal, and ventral prefrontal cortices. Interestingly, the peak latency of theta responses in these latter brain regions was significantly correlated with reaction time, and may partially explain the amplitude difference observed between congruent and incongruent trials. Lastly, whole-brain exploratory analyses implicated the frontal eye fields, right temporoparietal junction, and premotor cortices. These findings suggest that regions of both the dorsal and ventral attention networks contribute to visual selective attention processes during incongruent trials

  19. Does compliance to patient safety tasks improve and sustain when radiotherapy treatment processes are standardized?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Pascale A M; Houben, Ruud; Benders, Jos; Pijls-Johannesma, Madelon; Vandijck, Dominique; Marneffe, Wim; Backes, Huub; Groothuis, Siebren

    2014-10-01

    To realize safe radiotherapy treatment, processes must be stabilized. Standard operating procedures (SOP's) were expected to stabilize the treatment process and perceived task importance would increase sustainability in compliance. This paper presents the effects on compliance to safety related tasks of a process redesign based on lean principles. Compliance to patient safety tasks was measured by video recording of actual radiation treatment, before (T0), directly after (T1) and 1.5 years after (T2) a process redesign. Additionally, technologists were surveyed on perceived task importance and reported incidents were collected for three half-year periods between 2007 and 2009. Compliance to four out of eleven tasks increased at T1, of which improvements on three sustained (T2). Perceived importance of tasks strongly correlated (0.82) to compliance rates at T2. The two tasks, perceived as least important, presented low base-line compliance, improved (T1), but relapsed at T2. The reported near misses (patient-level not reached) on accelerators increased (P improvements sustained after 1.5 years, indicating increased stability. Perceived importance of tasks correlated positively to compliance and sustainability. Raising the perception of task importance is thus crucial to increase compliance. The redesign resulted in increased willingness to report incidents, creating opportunities for patient safety improvement in radiotherapy treatment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Functional neuroimaging of visuospatial working memory tasks enables accurate detection of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubi Hammer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Finding neurobiological markers for neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, is a major objective of clinicians and neuroscientists. We examined if functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI data from a few distinct visuospatial working memory (VSWM tasks enables accurately detecting cases with ADHD. We tested 20 boys with ADHD combined type and 20 typically developed (TD boys in four VSWM tasks that differed in feedback availability (feedback, no-feedback and reward size (large, small. We used a multimodal analysis based on brain activity in 16 regions of interest, significantly activated or deactivated in the four VSWM tasks (based on the entire participants' sample. Dimensionality of the data was reduced into 10 principal components that were used as the input variables to a logistic regression classifier. fMRI data from the four VSWM tasks enabled a classification accuracy of 92.5%, with high predicted ADHD probability values for most clinical cases, and low predicted ADHD probabilities for most TDs. This accuracy level was higher than those achieved by using the fMRI data of any single task, or the respective behavioral data. This indicates that task-based fMRI data acquired while participants perform a few distinct VSWM tasks enables improved detection of clinical cases.

  1. Alternative Aviation Jet Fuel Sustainability Evaluation Report Task 1 : Report Evaluating Existing Sustainability Evaluation Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-10-25

    This report describes how existing biofuel sustainability evaluation programs meet requirements that are under consideration or are in early phases of adoption and implementation in various US and international contexts. Biofuel sustainability evalua...

  2. 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...

  3. The relationship between bilingualism and selective attention in young adults: Evidence from an ambiguous figures task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung-Fat-Yim, Ashley; Sorge, Geoff B; Bialystok, Ellen

    2017-03-01

    Previous research has shown that bilinguals outperform monolinguals on a variety of tasks that have been described as involving executive functioning, but the precise mechanism for those effects or a clear definition for "executive function" is unknown. This uncertainty has led to a number of studies for which no performance difference between monolingual and bilingual adults has been detected. One approach to clarifying these issues comes from research with children showing that bilinguals were more able than their monolingual peers to perceive both interpretations of an ambiguous figure, an ability that is more tied to a conception of selective attention than to specific components of executive function. The present study extends this notion to adults by assessing their ability to see the alternative image in an ambiguous figure. Bilinguals performed this task more efficiently than monolinguals by requiring fewer cues to identify the second image. This finding has implications for the role of selective attention in performance differences between monolinguals and bilinguals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

    Distractors presented prior to a critical target in a rapid sequence of visually-presented items induce a lag-dependent deficit in target identification, particularly when the distractor shares a task-relevant feature of the target. Presumably, such capture of central attention is important for bringing a target into awareness. The results of the present investigation suggest that greater capture of attention by a distractor is not accompanied by greater awareness of it. Moreover, awareness tends to be limited to superficial characteristics of the target such as colour. The findings are interpreted within the context of a model that assumes sudden increases in arousal trigger selection of information for consolidation in working memory. In this conceptualization, prolonged analysis of distractor items sharing task-relevant features leads to larger target identification deficits (i.e., greater capture) but no increase in awareness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Social attention in a virtual public speaking task in higher functioning children with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarrold, William; Mundy, Peter; Gwaltney, Mary; Bailenson, Jeremy; Hatt, Naomi; McIntyre, Nancy; Kim, Kwanguk; Solomon, Marjorie; Novotny, Stephanie; Swain, Lindsay

    2013-10-01

    Impairments in social attention play a major role in autism, but little is known about their role in development after preschool. In this study, a public speaking task was used to study social attention, its moderators, and its association with classroom learning in elementary and secondary students with higher functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). Thirty-seven students with HFASD and 54 age- and intelligence quotient (IQ)-matched peers without symptoms of ASD were assessed in a virtual classroom public speaking paradigm. This paradigm assessed the ability to attend to nine avatar peers seated at a table, while simultaneously answering self-referenced questions. Students with HFASD looked less frequently to avatar peers in the classroom while talking. However, social attention was moderated in the HFASD sample such that students with lower IQ, and/or more symptoms of social anxiety, and/or more attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder inattentive symptoms, displayed more atypical social attention. Group differences were more pronounced when the classroom contained social avatars versus nonsocial targets. Moreover, measures of social attention rather than nonsocial attention were significantly associated with parent report and objective measures of learning in the classroom. The data in this study support the hypothesis of the Social Attention Model of ASD that social attention disturbance remains part of the school-aged phenotype of autism that is related to syndrome-specific problems in social learning. More research of this kind would likely contribute to advances in the understanding of the development of the spectrum of autism and educational intervention approaches for affected school-aged children. © 2013 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Feature-selective Attention in Frontoparietal Cortex: Multivoxel Codes Adjust to Prioritize Task-relevant Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jade; Rich, Anina N; Williams, Mark A; Woolgar, Alexandra

    2017-02-01

    Human cognition is characterized by astounding flexibility, enabling us to select appropriate information according to the objectives of our current task. A circuit of frontal and parietal brain regions, often referred to as the frontoparietal attention network or multiple-demand (MD) regions, are believed to play a fundamental role in this flexibility. There is evidence that these regions dynamically adjust their responses to selectively process information that is currently relevant for behavior, as proposed by the "adaptive coding hypothesis" [Duncan, J. An adaptive coding model of neural function in prefrontal cortex. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2, 820-829, 2001]. Could this provide a neural mechanism for feature-selective attention, the process by which we preferentially process one feature of a stimulus over another? We used multivariate pattern analysis of fMRI data during a perceptually challenging categorization task to investigate whether the representation of visual object features in the MD regions flexibly adjusts according to task relevance. Participants were trained to categorize visually similar novel objects along two orthogonal stimulus dimensions (length/orientation) and performed short alternating blocks in which only one of these dimensions was relevant. We found that multivoxel patterns of activation in the MD regions encoded the task-relevant distinctions more strongly than the task-irrelevant distinctions: The MD regions discriminated between stimuli of different lengths when length was relevant and between the same objects according to orientation when orientation was relevant. The data suggest a flexible neural system that adjusts its representation of visual objects to preferentially encode stimulus features that are currently relevant for behavior, providing a neural mechanism for feature-selective attention.

  7. Distraction task rather than focal attention modulates gamma activity associated with auditory steady-state responses (ASSRs)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griskova-Bulanova, Inga; Ruksenas, Osvaldas; Dapsys, Kastytis

    2011-01-01

    To explore the modulation of auditory steady-state response (ASSR) by experimental tasks, differing in attentional focus and arousal level.......To explore the modulation of auditory steady-state response (ASSR) by experimental tasks, differing in attentional focus and arousal level....

  8. Divided visual attention: A comparison of patients with multiple sclerosis and controls, assessed with an optokinetic nystagmus suppression task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Isla M; Schofield, Peter; Khade, Neha; Abel, Larry A

    2016-12-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) frequently causes impairment of cognitive function. We compared patients with MS with controls on divided visual attention tasks. The MS patients' and controls' stare optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) was recorded in response to a 24°/s full field stimulus. Suppression of the OKN response, judged by the gain, was measured during tasks dividing visual attention between the fixation target and a second stimulus, central or peripheral, static or dynamic. All participants completed the Audio Recorded Cognitive Screen. MS patients had lower gain on the baseline stare OKN. OKN suppression in divided attention tasks was the same in MS patients as in controls but in both groups was better maintained in static than in dynamic tasks. In only dynamic tasks, older age was associated with less effective OKN suppression. MS patients had lower scores on a timed attention task and on memory. There was no significant correlation between attention or memory and eye movement parameters. Attention, a complex multifaceted construct, has different neural combinations for each task. Despite impairments on some measures of attention, MS patients completed the divided visual attention tasks normally. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Conflict Tasks of Different Types Divergently Affect the Attentional Processing of Gaze and Arrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Lingxia; Yu, Huan; Zhang, Xuemin; Feng, Qing; Sun, Mengdan; Xu, Mengsi

    2018-01-01

    The present study explored the attentional processing mechanisms of gaze and arrow cues in two different types of conflict tasks. In Experiment 1, participants performed a flanker task in which gaze and arrow cues were presented as central targets or bilateral distractors. The congruency between the direction of the target and the distractors was manipulated. Results showed that arrow distractors greatly interfered with the attentional processing of gaze, while the processing of arrow direction was immune to conflict from gaze distractors. Using a spatial compatibility task, Experiment 2 explored the conflict effects exerted on gaze and arrow processing by their relative spatial locations. When the direction of the arrow was in conflict with its spatial layout on screen, response times were slowed; however, the encoding of gaze was unaffected by spatial location. In general, processing to an arrow cue is less influenced by bilateral gaze cues but is affected by irrelevant spatial information, while processing to a gaze cue is greatly disturbed by bilateral arrows but is unaffected by irrelevant spatial information. Different effects on gaze and arrow cues by different types of conflicts may reflect two relatively distinct specific modes of the attentional process.

  10. An investigation into the temporal dimension of the Mozart effect: evidence from the attentional blink task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Cristy; Mason, Oliver; Spence, Charles

    2007-05-01

    In the present study, we examined whether the 'Mozart effect' would influence participants' temporal attention using a visual attentional blink (AB) task that provides a reliable measure of the temporal dynamics of visual attention. The 'Mozart effect' refers to the specific claim that listening to Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K.448 can improve the performance in spatio-temporal tasks. Participants had to try and identify two target digits (in their correct order of presentation) presented amongst a stream of distractor letters in three different conditions (presented in separate blocks of trials): while listening to the Mozart sonata played normally, while listening to the same Mozart sonata played in reverse, and while in silence. The results showed that the participants were able to detect the second target (T2) significantly more accurately (given the correct detection of the first target, T1) in the AB stream when the Mozart sonata was played normally than in either of the other two conditions. Possible explanations for the differential effects of Mozart's music being played normally and in reverse and potential confounds in previous studies reporting a facilitatory 'Mozart effect' are discussed. Our results therefore provide the first empirical demonstration supporting the existence of a purely temporal component to the 'Mozart effect' using a non-spatial visual AB task.

  11. 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.

  12. An Attentional Resources-effectiveness Measure in Complex Diagnostic Tasks in NPPs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ha, Jun Su; Seong, Poong Hyun

    2007-01-01

    The main role of the human operators in main control rooms (MCRs) of nuclear power plants (NPPs) is generally to supervise and operate the system. The operator's tasks in NPPs are performed through a series of cognitive activities: monitoring the environment, detecting data or information, understanding and assessing the situation, diagnosing the symptoms, decision-making, planning responses, and implementing the responses. In NPPs, there are a lot of information sources that should be monitored but the operators have only limited capacity of attention and memory. Because it is impossible to monitor all information sources, the operators continuously decide where to allocate their attentional resources. This kind of cognitive skill is called selective attention. In order for operators to effectively monitor, detect, and thus understand the state of a system, the operator should allocate their attentional resources to valuable information sources. Hence, the effectiveness of selective attention is expected to be able to reflect the effectiveness of monitoring, detection, and eventually understanding. In this study, an attentional resources effectiveness measure is proposed which based on cost benefit (or resource-effectiveness) principle

  13. An Attentional Resources-effectiveness Measure in Complex Diagnostic Tasks in NPPs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ha, Jun Su; Seong, Poong Hyun [KAIST, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2007-07-01

    The main role of the human operators in main control rooms (MCRs) of nuclear power plants (NPPs) is generally to supervise and operate the system. The operator's tasks in NPPs are performed through a series of cognitive activities: monitoring the environment, detecting data or information, understanding and assessing the situation, diagnosing the symptoms, decision-making, planning responses, and implementing the responses. In NPPs, there are a lot of information sources that should be monitored but the operators have only limited capacity of attention and memory. Because it is impossible to monitor all information sources, the operators continuously decide where to allocate their attentional resources. This kind of cognitive skill is called selective attention. In order for operators to effectively monitor, detect, and thus understand the state of a system, the operator should allocate their attentional resources to valuable information sources. Hence, the effectiveness of selective attention is expected to be able to reflect the effectiveness of monitoring, detection, and eventually understanding. In this study, an attentional resources effectiveness measure is proposed which based on cost benefit (or resource-effectiveness) principle.

  14. Improvements in concentration, working memory and sustained attention following consumption of a natural citicoline-caffeine beverage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Working memory benefits creative insight, musical improvisation, and original ideation through maintained task-focused attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Dreu, Carsten K W; Nijstad, Bernard A; Baas, Matthijs; Wolsink, Inge; Roskes, Marieke

    2012-05-01

    Anecdotes from creative eminences suggest that executive control plays an important role in creativity, but scientific evidence is sparse. Invoking the Dual Pathway to Creativity Model, the authors hypothesize that working memory capacity (WMC) relates to creative performance because it enables persistent, focused, and systematic combining of elements and possibilities (persistence). Study 1 indeed showed that under cognitive load, participants performed worse on a creative insight task. Study 2 revealed positive associations between time-on-task and creativity among individuals high but not low in WMC, even after controlling for general intelligence. Study 3 revealed that across trials, semiprofessional cellists performed increasingly more creative improvisations when they had high rather than low WMC. Study 4 showed that WMC predicts original ideation because it allows persistent (rather than flexible) processing. The authors conclude that WMC benefits creativity because it enables the individual to maintain attention focused on the task and prevents undesirable mind wandering.

  16. Attentional bias in high math-anxious individuals: evidence from an emotional Stroop task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez-Pellicioni, Macarena; Núñez-Peña, Maria Isabel; Colomé, Àngels

    2015-01-01

    Attentional bias toward threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias toward math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present study seeks to avoid. Twenty high math-anxious (HMA) and 20 low math-anxious (LMA) individuals were presented with an emotional Stroop task including math-related and neutral words. Participants in the two groups did not differ in trait anxiety or depression. We found that the HMA group showed slower response times to math-related words than to neutral words, as well as a greater attentional bias (math-related – neutral difference score) than the LMA one, which constitutes the first demonstration of an attentional bias toward math-related words in HMA individuals. PMID:26539137

  17. Attentional bias in high math-anxious individuals: evidence from an emotional Stroop task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MACARENA eSUÁREZ PELLICIONI

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Attentional bias towards threatening or emotional information is considered a cognitive marker of anxiety, and it has been described in various clinical and subclinical populations. This study used an emotional Stroop task to investigate whether math anxiety is characterized by an attentional bias towards math-related words. Two previous studies failed to observe such an effect in math-anxious individuals, although the authors acknowledged certain methodological limitations that the present study seeks to avoid. Twenty high math-anxious (HMA and 20 low math-anxious (LMA individuals were presented with an emotional Stroop task including math-related and neutral words. Participants in the two groups did not differ in trait anxiety or depression. We found that the HMA group showed slower response times to math-related words than to neutral words, as well as a greater attentional bias (math-related – neutral difference score than the LMA one, which constitutes the first demonstration of an attentional bias towards math-related words in HMA individuals.

  18. Beyond attentional bias: a perceptual bias in a dot-probe task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocanegra, Bruno R; Huijding, Jorg; Zeelenberg, René

    2012-12-01

    Previous dot-probe studies indicate that threat-related face cues induce a bias in spatial attention. Independently of spatial attention, a recent psychophysical study suggests that a bilateral fearful face cue improves low spatial-frequency perception (LSF) and impairs high spatial-frequency perception (HSF). Here, we combine these separate lines of research within a single dot-probe paradigm. We found that a bilateral fearful face cue, compared with a bilateral neutral face cue, speeded up responses to LSF targets and slowed down responses to HSF targets. This finding is important, as it shows that emotional cues in dot-probe tasks not only bias where information is preferentially processed (i.e., an attentional bias in spatial location), but also bias what type of information is preferentially processed (i.e., a perceptual bias in spatial frequency). PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Validation of auditory detection response task method for assessing the attentional effects of cognitive load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stojmenova, Kristina; Sodnik, Jaka

    2018-07-04

    There are 3 standardized versions of the Detection Response Task (DRT), 2 using visual stimuli (remote DRT and head-mounted DRT) and one using tactile stimuli. In this article, we present a study that proposes and validates a type of auditory signal to be used as DRT stimulus and evaluate the proposed auditory version of this method by comparing it with the standardized visual and tactile version. This was a within-subject design study performed in a driving simulator with 24 participants. Each participant performed 8 2-min-long driving sessions in which they had to perform 3 different tasks: driving, answering to DRT stimuli, and performing a cognitive task (n-back task). Presence of additional cognitive load and type of DRT stimuli were defined as independent variables. DRT response times and hit rates, n-back task performance, and pupil size were observed as dependent variables. Significant changes in pupil size for trials with a cognitive task compared to trials without showed that cognitive load was induced properly. Each DRT version showed a significant increase in response times and a decrease in hit rates for trials with a secondary cognitive task compared to trials without. Similar and significantly better results in differences in response times and hit rates were obtained for the auditory and tactile version compared to the visual version. There were no significant differences in performance rate between the trials without DRT stimuli compared to trials with and among the trials with different DRT stimuli modalities. The results from this study show that the auditory DRT version, using the signal implementation suggested in this article, is sensitive to the effects of cognitive load on driver's attention and is significantly better than the remote visual and tactile version for auditory-vocal cognitive (n-back) secondary tasks.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.…

  6. 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.

  7. Concurrent deployment of visual attention and response selection bottleneck in a dual-task: Electrophysiological and behavioural evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimer, Christina B; Strobach, Tilo; Schubert, Torsten

    2017-12-01

    Visual attention and response selection are limited in capacity. Here, we investigated whether visual attention requires the same bottleneck mechanism as response selection in a dual-task of the psychological refractory period (PRP) paradigm. The dual-task consisted of an auditory two-choice discrimination Task 1 and a conjunction search Task 2, which were presented at variable temporal intervals (stimulus onset asynchrony, SOA). In conjunction search, visual attention is required to select items and to bind their features resulting in a serial search process around the items in the search display (i.e., set size). We measured the reaction time of the visual search task (RT2) and the N2pc, an event-related potential (ERP), which reflects lateralized visual attention processes. If the response selection processes in Task 1 influence the visual attention processes in Task 2, N2pc latency and amplitude would be delayed and attenuated at short SOA compared to long SOA. The results, however, showed that latency and amplitude were independent of SOA, indicating that visual attention was concurrently deployed to response selection. Moreover, the RT2 analysis revealed an underadditive interaction of SOA and set size. We concluded that visual attention does not require the same bottleneck mechanism as response selection in dual-tasks.

  8. Divided Attention in Younger and Older Adults: Effects of Strategy and Relatedness on Memory Performance and Secondary Task Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe; Craik, Fergus I. M.; Guez, Jonathan; Kreuger, Sharyn

    2005-01-01

    Divided attention at encoding leads to a significant decline in memory performance, whereas divided attention during retrieval has relatively little effect; nevertheless, retrieval carries significant secondary task costs, especially for older adults. The authors further investigated the effects of divided attention in younger and older adults by…

  9. 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.

  10. A few of my favorite things: circumscribed interests in autism are not accompanied by increased attentional salience on a personalized selective attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Owen E; Bayliss, Andrew P; Remington, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Autistic individuals commonly show circumscribed or "special" interests: areas of obsessive interest in a specific category. The present study investigated what impact these interests have on attention, an aspect of autistic cognition often reported as altered. In neurotypical individuals, interest and expertise have been shown to result in an automatic attentional priority for related items. Here, we examine whether this change in salience is also seen in autism. Adolescents and young adults with and without autism performed a personalized selective attention task assessing the level of attentional priority afforded to images related to the participant's specific interests. In addition, participants performed a similar task with generic images in order to isolate any effects of interest and expertise. Crucially, all autistic and non-autistic individuals recruited for this study held a strong passion or interest. As such, any differences in attention could not be solely attributed to differing prevalence of interests in the two groups. In both tasks, participants were asked to perform a central target-detection task while ignoring irrelevant distractors (related or unrelated to their interests). The level of distractor interference under various task conditions was taken as an indication of attentional priority. Neurotypical individuals showed the predicted attentional priority for the circumscribed interest images but not generic items, reflecting the impact of their interest and expertise. Contrary to predictions, autistic individuals did not show this priority: processing the interest-related stimuli only when task demands were low. Attention to images unrelated to circumscribed interests was equivalent in the two groups. These results suggest that despite autistic individuals holding an intense interest in a particular class of stimuli, there may be a reduced impact of this prior experience and expertise on attentional processing. The implications of this

  11. Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) applied to mice in the 5-choice serial reaction time task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, C M; Caballero-Puntiverio, M; Gether, U; Habekost, T; Bundesen, C; Vangkilde, S; Woldbye, D P D; Andreasen, J T; Petersen, A

    2017-03-01

    The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) is widely used to measure rodent attentional functions. In humans, many attention studies in healthy and clinical populations have used testing based on Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) to estimate visual processing speeds and other parameters of attentional capacity. We aimed to bridge these research fields by modifying the 5-CSRTT's design and by mathematically modelling data to derive attentional parameters analogous to human TVA-based measures. C57BL/6 mice were tested in two 1-h sessions on consecutive days with a version of the 5-CSRTT where stimulus duration (SD) probe length was varied based on information from previous TVA studies. Thereafter, a scopolamine hydrobromide (HBr; 0.125 or 0.25 mg/kg) pharmacological challenge was undertaken, using a Latin square design. Mean score values were modelled using a new three-parameter version of TVA to obtain estimates of visual processing speeds, visual thresholds and motor response baselines in each mouse. The parameter estimates for each animal were reliable across sessions, showing that the data were stable enough to support analysis on an individual level. Scopolamine HBr dose-dependently reduced 5-CSRTT attentional performance while also increasing reward collection latency at the highest dose. Upon TVA modelling, scopolamine HBr significantly reduced visual processing speed at both doses, while having less pronounced effects on visual thresholds and motor response baselines. This study shows for the first time how 5-CSRTT performance in mice can be mathematically modelled to yield estimates of attentional capacity that are directly comparable to estimates from human studies.

  12. Influence of dual-tasking with different levels of attention diversion on characteristics of the movement-related cortical potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

    Dual tasking is defined as performing two tasks concurrently and has been shown to have a significant effect on attention directed to the performance of the main task. In this study, an attention diversion task with two different levels was administered while participants had to complete a cue-based motor task consisting of foot dorsiflexion. An auditory oddball task with two levels of complexity was implemented to divert the user's attention. Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings were made from nine single channels. Event-related potentials (ERPs) confirmed that the oddball task of counting a sequence of two tones decreased the auditory P300 amplitude more than the oddball task of counting one target tone among three different tones. Pre-movement features quantified from the movement-related cortical potential (MRCP) were changed significantly between single and dual-task conditions in motor and fronto-central channels. There was a significant delay in movement detection for the case of single tone counting in two motor channels only (237.1-247.4ms). For the task of sequence counting, motor cortex and frontal channels showed a significant delay in MRCP detection (232.1-250.5ms). This study investigated the effect of attention diversion in dual-task conditions by analysing both ERPs and MRCPs in single channels. The higher attention diversion lead to a significant reduction in specific MRCP features of the motor task. These results suggest that attention division in dual-tasking situations plays an important role in movement execution and detection. This has important implications in designing real-time brain-computer interface systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Encoding tasks dissociate the effects of divided attention on category-cued recall and category-exemplar generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Andrew; Dagnall, Neil; Munley, Gary

    2012-01-01

    The combined effects of encoding tasks and divided attention upon category-exemplar generation and category-cued recall were examined. Participants were presented with pairs of words each comprising a category name and potential example of that category. They were then asked to indicate either (i) their liking for both of the words or (ii) if the exemplar was a member of the category. It was found that divided attention reduced performance on the category-cued recall task under both encoding conditions. However, performance on the category-exemplar generation task remained invariant across the attention manipulation following the category judgment task. This provides further evidence that the processes underlying performance on conceptual explicit and implicit memory tasks can be dissociated, and that the intentional formation of category-exemplar associations attenuates the effects of divided attention on category-exemplar generation.

  14. Negative Affect during a Collective (but Not an Individual Task Is Associated with Holistic Attention in East Asian Cultural Context

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hitoshi Tominaga

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have suggested that individuals from East Asian cultures are more likely to show holistic attention—a pattern of attention that incorporates contextual information into focal stimuli—than individuals from North American cultures. Holistic attention is also prevalent in communities that require close cooperation. However, it is not yet known how cooperation is related to holistic attention. We theorized that holistic attention increases when people experience negative affect (e.g., worry, sadness, and frustration during collective tasks (but not during individual tasks because negative affect in social contexts signals the existence of potential threats to social harmony, thus indicating a need to restore social harmony. To examine this hypothesis, an experiment was conducted in which participants performed a musical duet either with another participant (a collective task requiring cooperation, or individually with a computer (an individual task. After the musical task, the Framed Line Task (FLT was administered to examine their holistic attention. Participants also reported their emotional states both before and after the music task. Results suggested that negative affect in the collective task—but not the individual task—was positively correlated with a holistic pattern of attention. The function of negative affect in social contexts as motivation to restore relationships and how this enhances holistic attention is discussed. The moderating effect of social context on the link between negative affect and cognition is also discussed.

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

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    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

  16. Resting-state connectivity of the sustained attention network correlates with disease duration in idiopathic generalized epilepsy.

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    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.

  17. High levels of time contraction in young children in dual tasks are related to their limited attention capacities.

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    Hallez, Quentin; Droit-Volet, Sylvie

    2017-09-01

    Numerous studies have shown that durations are judged shorter in a dual-task condition than in a simple-task condition. The resource-based theory of time perception suggests that this is due to the processing of temporal information, which is a demanding cognitive task that consumes limited attention resources. Our study investigated whether this time contraction in a dual-task condition is greater in younger children and, if so, whether this is specifically related to their limited attention capacities. Children aged 5-7years were given a temporal reproduction task in a simple-task condition and a dual-task condition. In addition, different neuropsychological tests were used to assess not only their attention capacities but also their capacities in terms of working memory and information processing speed. The results showed a shortening of perceived time in the dual task compared with the simple task, and this increased as age decreased. The extent of this shortening effect was directly linked to younger children's limited attentional capacities; the lower their attentional capacities, the greater the time contraction. This study demonstrated that children's errors in time judgments are linked to their cognitive capacities rather than to capacities that are specific to time. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Attentional biases in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD): Eye-tracking using the emotional Stroop task.

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    Toh, Wei Lin; Castle, David J; Rossell, Susan L

    2017-04-01

    Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterised by repetitive behaviours and/or mental acts occurring in response to preoccupations with perceived defects or flaws in physical appearance. This study aimed to examine attentional biases in BDD via the emotional Stroop task with two modifications: i) incorporating an eye-tracking paradigm, and ii) employing an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) control group. Twenty-one BDD, 19 OCD and 21 HC participants, who were age-, sex-, and IQ-matched, were included. A card version of the emotional Stroop task was employed based on seven 10-word lists: (i) BDD-positive, (ii) BDD-negative, (iii) OCD-checking, (iv) OCD-washing, (v) general positive, (vi) general threat, and (vii) neutral (as baseline). Participants were asked to read aloud words and word colours consecutively, thereby yielding accuracy and latency scores. Eye-tracking parameters were also measured. Participants with BDD exhibited significant Stroop interference for BDD-negative words relative to HC participants, as shown by extended colour-naming latencies. In contrast, the OCD group did not exhibit Stroop interference for OCD-related nor general threat words. Only mild eye-tracking anomalies were uncovered in clinical groups. Inspection of individual scanning styles and fixation heat maps however revealed that viewing strategies adopted by clinical groups were generally disorganised, with avoidance of certain disorder-relevant words and considerable visual attention devoted to non-salient card regions. The operation of attentional biases to negative disorder-specific words was corroborated in BDD. Future replication studies using other paradigms are vital, given potential ambiguities inherent in emotional Stroop task interpretation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Investigation of attention via the counting Stroop task in patients with functional constipation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yi; Li, Xiao-Yi; Yao, Lin-Yan; Zhao, Lan; Dai, Ning; Wu, Hao

    2012-02-01

    The etiology and pathology of functional constipation (FC) is unclear. Some researches suggest that psychological factors may be related to this common problem. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between attention processing and emotional status in FC patients compared with healthy controls. We investigated selective attention and emotional status in patients with FC using the counting Stroop task. Thirty-five FC patients (FCP group) and 24 healthy controls (HCs) underwent an event-related potential (ERP) study while performing the task. Response time, latency and amplitude of P300 were collected and compared between the two groups. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD-17), Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA), Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) and Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) were administered prior to the counting Stroop task. Scores for the FCP group differed significantly from those for the HCs on the HAMD-17, HAMA, SCL-90 (Global Severity Index, Positive Symptoms Total, dimensions of somatization, obsessive-compulsive, depression, anxiety, and psychosis), as well as extraversion and neurosis dimensions of the EPQ (P 0.05). ERP results showed prolonged latency at F4, additionally found enhanced activation at F3, FC1 and T8, and decreased activation at sites FC6 and P7 in the patients with FC. Statistically, significant differences of P300 latency at site F4 (P well as somatization, obsessive-compulsive tendencies and other neurotic personality characteristics. Patients may employ psychological defense mechanisms to avoid the pain of depression and anxiety. ERP results imply there may be some brain dysfunction and attention deficits in patients with FC.

  20. Children's Failure in Analogical Reasoning Tasks: A Problem of Focus of Attention and Information Integration?

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    Glady, Yannick; French, Robert M; Thibaut, Jean-Pierre

    2017-01-01

    Children's improved performance with age in analogy tasks has been explained by an increase in semantic knowledge of the items and the relations between them or by the development of an increased ability to inhibit irrelevant information. We tested the so-called "unbalanced attentional focus hypothesis" that claims that a failure to choose the "analogical" match can be the result of a difficulty to focus on all the relevant information available. Previous eye-tracking research has suggested, in analogies of the A:B::C:D format, that 5-6 year-olds organize their search around the C item. They focused significantly less than adults on the A:B pair, thereby hindering their discovering the relation(s) between A and B. We hypothesized that inducing them to focus their attention on the A:B pair at the beginning of the trial would affect their performance. In Experiment 1, increasing children's focus on the A:B pair did, indeed, lead to better performance. In contrast, in Experiment 2, focusing their attention on the A:B pair impaired performance when the most salient relation holding between A and B was, in fact, irrelevant for the analogy. By contrast, the obvious-but-irrelevant relation in the A:B pair had no negative effect on performance when no explicit A:B focusing was induced. These results are discussed in terms of the temporal organization of the task and availability of information, and of children's difficulties to disengage from the main goal of the task, when necessary.

  1. Verbal and facial-emotional Stroop tasks reveal specific attentional interferences in sad mood.

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    Isaac, Linda; Vrijsen, Janna N; Eling, Paul; van Oostrom, Iris; Speckens, Anne; Becker, Eni S

    2012-01-01

    Mood congruence refers to the tendency of individuals to attend to information more readily when it has the same emotional content as their current mood state. The aim of the present study was to ascertain whether attentional interference occurred for participants in sad mood states for emotionally relevant stimuli (mood-congruence), and to determine whether this interference occurred for both valenced words and valenced faces. A mood induction procedure was administered to 116 undergraduate females divided into two equal groups for the sad and happy mood condition. This study employed three versions of the Stroop task: color, verbal-emotional, and a facial-emotional Stroop. The two mood groups did not differ on the color Stroop. Significant group differences were found on the verbal-emotional Stroop for sad words with longer latencies for sad-induced participants. Main findings for the facial-emotional Stroop were that sad mood is associated with attentional interference for angry-threatening faces as well as longer latencies for neutral faces. Group differences were not found for positive stimuli. These findings confirm that sad mood is associated with attentional interference for mood-congruent stimuli in the verbal domain (sad words), but this mood-congruent effect does not necessarily apply to the visual domain (sad faces). Attentional interference for neutral faces suggests sad mood participants did not necessarily see valence-free faces. Attentional interference for threatening stimuli is often associated with anxiety; however, the current results show that threat is not an attentional interference observed exclusively in states of anxiety but also in sad mood.

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

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    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.

  3. Hemodynamic Responses on Prefrontal Cortex Related to Meditation and Attentional Task

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    Singh eDeepeshwar

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Recent neuroimaging studies state that meditation increases regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF in the prefrontal cortex (PFC. The present study employed functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS to evaluate the relative hemodynamic changes in prefrontal cortex during a cognitive task. Twenty-two healthy male volunteers with ages between 18 and 30 years (group mean age ± SD; 22.9 ± 4.6 years performed a color-word stroop task before and after 20 minutes of meditation and random thinking. Repeated measures ANOVA was performed followed by a post-hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons between the mean values of ‘During’ and ‘Post’ with ‘Pre’ state. During meditation there was an increased in oxy-hemoglobin (∆HbO and total hemoglobin (∆THC concentration with reduced deoxy-hemoglobin (∆HbR concentration over the right prefrontal cortex (rPFC, whereas in random thinking there was increased ∆HbR with reduced total hemoglobin concentration on the rPFC. The mean reaction time was shorter in stroop color word task with reduced ∆THC after meditation, suggestive of improved performance and efficiency in task related to attention. Our findings demonstrated that meditation increased cerebral oxygenation and enhanced performance, which was associated with prefrontal cortex activation.

  4. How attention can create synaptic tags for the learning of working memories in sequential tasks.

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    Jaldert O Rombouts

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Intelligence is our ability to learn appropriate responses to new stimuli and situations. Neurons in association cortex are thought to be essential for this ability. During learning these neurons become tuned to relevant features and start to represent them with persistent activity during memory delays. This learning process is not well understood. Here we develop a biologically plausible learning scheme that explains how trial-and-error learning induces neuronal selectivity and working memory representations for task-relevant information. We propose that the response selection stage sends attentional feedback signals to earlier processing levels, forming synaptic tags at those connections responsible for the stimulus-response mapping. Globally released neuromodulators then interact with tagged synapses to determine their plasticity. The resulting learning rule endows neural networks with the capacity to create new working memory representations of task relevant information as persistent activity. It is remarkably generic: it explains how association neurons learn to store task-relevant information for linear as well as non-linear stimulus-response mappings, how they become tuned to category boundaries or analog variables, depending on the task demands, and how they learn to integrate probabilistic evidence for perceptual decisions.

  5. The impact of social threat cues on a card sorting task with attentional-shifting demands.

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    Mohlman, Jan; DeVito, Alyssa

    2017-12-01

    The current study investigated social anxiety and attentional control using two versions of a task designed to tap intentional shifting of attention and set switching: the standard Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST; Heaton, 1981) and a modified version that included emotionally salient pictorial stimuli, the Emotional Faces Card Sorting Test (EFCST). A Group (lower-, higher-SPS) by Condition (WCST, EFCST) by Sorting Rule (color, form, number) interaction was expected in which the higher-SPS EFCST group would have worse overall performance and make more perseverative errors than the other groups. No differences were predicted on nonperseverative errors, which are typically caused by brief attentional lapses. Participants were 80 undergraduate students who scored in the upper and lower quartile of the distribution on the Social Phobia Scale (SPS; Mattick & Clarke, 1998) were randomly assigned to complete either the WCST or EFCST. On the WCST, the higher-SPS group showed performance similar to that of the lower-SPS group. On the EFCST, the higher-SPS group evidenced more perseverative errors in the condition that depicted angry faces. Interpretations based on a non-clinical sample limit the generalisability of the conclusions. Reliability of this new measure has yet to be established. Successful completion of the WCST requires more than set-shifting processes. These results suggest that the higher-SPS group in the EFCST condition might have had trouble disengaging attention from threat-related cues, despite ongoing corrective feedback. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. 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

  7. The Persistence of Experience: Prior Attentional and Emotional State Affects Network Functioning in a Target Detection Task.

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    Stern, Emily R; Muratore, Alexandra F; Taylor, Stephan F; Abelson, James L; Hof, Patrick R; Goodman, Wayne K

    2015-09-01

    Efficient, adaptive behavior relies on the ability to flexibly move between internally focused (IF) and externally focused (EF) attentional states. Despite evidence that IF cognitive processes such as event imagination comprise a significant amount of awake cognition, the consequences of internal absorption on the subsequent recruitment of brain networks during EF tasks are unknown. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study employed a novel attentional state switching task. Subjects imagined positive and negative events (IF task) or performed a working memory task (EF task) before switching to a target detection (TD) task also requiring attention to external information, allowing for the investigation of neural functioning during external attention based on prior attentional state. There was a robust increase of activity in frontal, parietal, and temporal regions during TD when subjects were previously performing the EF compared with IF task, an effect that was most pronounced following negative IF. Additionally, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was less negatively coupled with ventromedial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices during TD following IF compared with EF. These findings reveal the striking consequences for brain activity following immersion in an IF attentional state, which have strong implications for psychiatric disorders characterized by excessive internal focus. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. The deployment of attention in short-term memory tasks: trade-offs between immediate and delayed deployment.

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    Bunting, Michael F; Cowan, Nelson; Colflesh, Greg H

    2008-06-01

    Memory at times depends on attention, as when attention is used to encode incoming, serial verbal information. When encoding and rehearsal are difficult or when attention is divided during list presentation, more attention is needed in the time following the presentation and just preceding the response. Across 12 experimental conditions observed in several experiments, we demonstrated this by introducing a nonverbal task with three levels of effort (no task, a natural nonverbal task, or an unnatural version of the task) during a brief retention interval in a short-term digit recall task. Interference from the task during the retention interval was greater when resources were drawn away from the encoding of the stimuli by other factors, including unpredictability of the end point of the list, rapid presentation, and a secondary task during list presentation. When those conditions complicate encoding of the list, we argue, attention is needed after the list so that the contents of passive memory (i.e., postcategorical phonological storage and/or precategorical sensory memory) may be retrieved and become the focus of attention for recall.

  9. A novel test for evaluating horses' spontaneous visual attention is predictive of attention in operant learning tasks

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    Rochais, C.; Sébilleau, M.; Houdebine, M.; Bec, P.; Hausberger, M.; Henry, S.

    2017-08-01

    Attention is described as the ability to process selectively one aspect of the environment over others. In this study, we characterized horses' spontaneous attention by designing a novel visual attention test (VAT) that is easy to apply in the animal's home environment. The test was repeated over three consecutive days and repeated again 6 months later in order to assess inter-individual variations and intra-individual stability. Different patterns of attention have been revealed: `overall' attention when the horse merely gazed at the stimulus and `fixed' attention characterized by fixity and orientation of at least the visual and auditory organs towards the stimulus. The individual attention characteristics remained consistent over time (after 6 months, Spearman correlation test, P work situation (lunge working context). Our results revealed that (i) individual variations remained consistent across tests and (ii) the VAT attention measures were not only predictive of attentional skills but also of learning abilities. Differences appeared however between the first day of testing and the following test days: attention structure on the second day was predictive of learning abilities, attention performances in the 5-CSRRT and at work. The VAT appears as a promising easy-to-use tool to assess animals' attention characteristics and the impact of different factors of variation on attention.

  10. The Effect of 2 Types of Dual-Task Training on the Balance of Older Adults: Allocated Attention Ability

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    Hesam Iranmanesh

    2016-04-01

    Conclusion: The superiority of training with dual-task over single one and the superiority of dual-task training with variable priority over the fixed one (under dual-task condition may be due to the “limited capacity of attention” theory, which explains the reduction in performance when performing imultaneous tasks. This difference and dominance may also be explained by other mechanisms, such as the capability of attention and focus on doing tasks simultaneously, involved in this process. Therefore, by designing balance training based on dual-task methods, especially training based on the ability to turn the focus of cognitive capabilities and their suitable allocation, the attention to these tasks improves and consequently, the risk of falling decreases in the older adults.

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

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    Pierce, Russell S; Andersen, George J

    2014-06-01

    In the present study we assessed whether the limits in visual-spatial attention associated with aging affect the spatial extent of attention in depth during driving performance. Drivers in the present study performed a car-following and light-detection task. To assess the extent of visual-spatial attention, we compared reaction times and accuracy to light change targets that varied in horizontal position and depth location. In addition, because workload has been identified as a factor that can change the horizontal and vertical extent of attention, we tested whether variability of the lead car speed influenced the extent of spatial attention for younger or older drivers. For younger drivers, reaction time (RT) to light-change targets varied as a function of distance and horizontal position. For older drivers RT varied only as a function of distance. There was a distance by horizontal position interaction for younger drivers but not for older drivers. Specifically, there was no effect of horizontal position at any given level of depth for older drivers. However, for younger drivers there was an effect of horizontal position for targets further in depth but not for targets nearer in depth. With regards to workload, we found no statistically reliable evidence that variability of the lead car speed had an effect on the spatial extent of attention for younger or older drivers. In a control experiment, we examined the effects of depth on light detection when the projected size and position of the targets was constant. Consistent with our previous results, we found that drivers' reaction time to light-change targets varied as a function of distance even when 2D position and size were controlled. Given that depth is an important dimension in driving performance, an important issue for assessing driving safety is to consider the limits of attention in the depth dimension. Therefore, we suggest that future research should consider the importance of depth as a dimension of

  12. Mice haploinsufficient for Map2k7, a gene involved in neurodevelopment and risk for schizophrenia, show impaired attention, a vigilance decrement deficit and unstable cognitive processing in an attentional task: impact of minocycline.

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    Openshaw, R L; Thomson, D M; Penninger, J M; Pratt, J A; Morris, B J

    2017-01-01

    Members of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) family of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, and the upstream kinase MKK7, have all been strongly linked with synaptic plasticity and with the development of the neocortex. However, the impact of disruption of this pathway on cognitive function is unclear. In the current study, we test the hypothesis that reduced MKK7 expression is sufficient to cause cognitive impairment. Attentional function in mice haploinsufficient for Map2k7 (Map2k7 +/- mice) was investigated using the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT). Once stable performance had been achieved, Map2k7 +/- mice showed a distinctive attentional deficit, in the form of an increased number of missed responses, accompanied by a more pronounced decrement in performance over time and elevated intra-individual reaction time variability. When performance was reassessed after administration of minocycline-a tetracycline antibiotic currently showing promise for the improvement of attentional deficits in patients with schizophrenia-signs of improvement in attentional performance were detected. Overall, Map2k7 haploinsufficiency causes a distinctive pattern of cognitive impairment strongly suggestive of an inability to sustain attention, in accordance with those seen in psychiatric patients carrying out similar tasks. This may be important for understanding the mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in clinical populations and highlights the possibility of treating some of these deficits with minocycline.

  13. Mental rotation impairs attention shifting and short-term memory encoding: neurophysiological evidence against the response-selection bottleneck model of dual-task performance.

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    Pannebakker, Merel M; Jolicœur, Pierre; van Dam, Wessel O; Band, Guido P H; Ridderinkhof, K Richard; Hommel, Bernhard

    2011-09-01

    Dual tasks and their associated delays have often been used to examine the boundaries of processing in the brain. We used the dual-task procedure and recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate how mental rotation of a first stimulus (S1) influences the shifting of visual-spatial attention to a second stimulus (S2). Visual-spatial attention was monitored by using the N2pc component of the ERP. In addition, we examined the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN) believed to index the retention of information in visual short-term memory. We found modulations of both the N2pc and the SPCN, suggesting that engaging mechanisms of mental rotation impairs the deployment of visual-spatial attention and delays the passage of a representation of S2 into visual short-term memory. Both results suggest interactions between mental rotation and visual-spatial attention in capacity-limited processing mechanisms indicating that response selection is not pivotal in dual-task delays and all three processes are likely to share a common resource like executive control. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Sex differences in the Simon task help to interpret sex differences in selective attention.

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    Stoet, Gijsbert

    2017-05-01

    In the last decade, a number of studies have reported sex differences in selective attention, but a unified explanation for these effects is still missing. This study aims to better understand these differences and put them in an evolutionary psychological context. 418 adult participants performed a computer-based Simon task, in which they responded to the direction of a left or right pointing arrow appearing left or right from a fixation point. Women were more strongly influenced by task-irrelevant spatial information than men (i.e., the Simon effect was larger in women, Cohen's d = 0.39). Further, the analysis of sex differences in behavioral adjustment to errors revealed that women slow down more than men following mistakes (d = 0.53). Based on the combined results of previous studies and the current data, it is proposed that sex differences in selective attention are caused by underlying sex differences in core abilities, such as spatial or verbal cognition.

  15. 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.

  16. Assessment of pedophilic sexual interest with an attentional choice reaction time task.

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    Mokros, Andreas; Dombert, Beate; Osterheider, Michael; Zappalà, Angelo; Santtila, Pekka

    2010-10-01

    Choice-reaction time (CRT) is an experimental information-processing paradigm. Based on an interference effect in visual attention, the CRT method has been shown to be suitable for measuring sexual orientation in men and women. The present study assessed the potential of the CRT to identify deviant (i.e., pedophilic) sexual interest. Participants were patients from forensic-psychiatric hospitals: 21 child molesters and 21 non-sex offenders. The dependent variable was reaction time in an ostensible seek-and-locate task (i.e., identifying the position of a dot superimposed on a picture of a person). There was an interaction effect between stimulus age category and participant group status: Child molesters took longer to respond to pictures of children relative to pictures of adults. Non-sex offenders showed an opposite pattern (i.e., longer reaction times with pictures of adults than with pictures of children). In addition, the data supported the notion of sexual content induced delay: Subjects took longer for the task with nude stimuli than with clothed ones. A subtractive preference index, derived from the reaction times for child and adult stimulus material, allowed distinguishing participants from both groups almost perfectly (ROC-AUC = .998). We conclude that a match of sexual interest with properties of visual stimuli led to a cognitive interference effect: Attentional resources were drawn from the ostensible task of locating the dot towards exploring the picture. This opens up the possibility of using this interference effect (i.e., the delay of response times) for diagnostic purposes.

  17. Intrinsic motivation and attentional capture from gamelike features in a visual search task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Andrew T; Palmer, Evan M

    2014-03-01

    In psychology research studies, the goals of the experimenter and the goals of the participants often do not align. Researchers are interested in having participants who take the experimental task seriously, whereas participants are interested in earning their incentive (e.g., money or course credit) as quickly as possible. Creating experimental methods that are pleasant for participants and that reward them for effortful and accurate data generation, while not compromising the scientific integrity of the experiment, would benefit both experimenters and participants alike. Here, we explored a gamelike system of points and sound effects that rewarded participants for fast and accurate responses. We measured participant engagement at both cognitive and perceptual levels and found that the point system (which invoked subtle, anonymous social competition between participants) led to positive intrinsic motivation, while the sound effects (which were pleasant and arousing) led to attentional capture for rewarded colors. In a visual search task, points were awarded after each trial for fast and accurate responses, accompanied by short, pleasant sound effects. We adapted a paradigm from Anderson, Laurent, and Yantis (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(25):10367-10371, 2011b), in which participants completed a training phase during which red and green targets were probabilistically associated with reward (a point bonus multiplier). During a test phase, no points or sounds were delivered, color was irrelevant to the task, and previously rewarded targets were sometimes presented as distractors. Significantly longer response times on trials in which previously rewarded colors were present demonstrated attentional capture, and positive responses to a five-question intrinsic-motivation scale demonstrated participant engagement.

  18. 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.

  19. Electroencephalogram complexity analysis in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder during a visual cognitive task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarafshan, Hadi; Khaleghi, Ali; Mohammadi, Mohammad Reza; Moeini, Mahdi; Malmir, Nastaran

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate electroencephalogram (EEG) dynamics using complexity analysis in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared with healthy control children when performing a cognitive task. Thirty 7-12-year-old children meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria for ADHD and 30 healthy control children underwent an EEG evaluation during a cognitive task, and Lempel-Ziv complexity (LZC) values were computed. There were no significant differences between ADHD and control groups on age and gender. The mean LZC of the ADHD children was significantly larger than healthy children over the right anterior and right posterior regions during the cognitive performance. In the ADHD group, complexity of the right hemisphere was higher than that of the left hemisphere, but the complexity of the left hemisphere was higher than that of the right hemisphere in the normal group. Although fronto-striatal dysfunction is considered conclusive evidence for the pathophysiology of ADHD, our arithmetic mental task has provided evidence of structural and functional changes in the posterior regions and probably cerebellum in ADHD.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

    Selective visual attention is the ability to selectively pay attention to the targets while inhibiting the distractors. This paper aims to study the targets and non-targets interplay in spatial attention task while subject attends to the target object present in one visual hemifield and ignores the distractor present in another visual hemifield. This paper performs the averaged evoked response potential (ERP) analysis and time-frequency analysis. ERP analysis agrees to the left hemisphere superiority over late potentials for the targets present in right visual hemifield. Time-frequency analysis performed suggests two parameters i.e. event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) and inter-trial coherence (ITC). These parameters show the same properties for the target present in either of the visual hemifields but show the difference while comparing the activity corresponding to the targets and non-targets. In this way, this study helps to visualise the difference between targets present in the left and right visual hemifields and, also the targets and non-targets present in the left and right visual hemifields. These results could be utilised to monitor subjects' performance in brain-computer interface (BCI) and neurorehabilitation.

  1. Does attentional selectivity in the flanker task improve discretely or gradually?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald eHübner

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available An important question is whether attentional selectivity improves discretely or continuously during stimulus processing. In a recent study, Hübner, et al. (2010 found that the discrete DSTP model accounted better for flanker-task data than various continuous improvement models. However, in a subsequent study, White, et al. (2011 introduced the continuous SSP model and showed that it was superior to the DSTP model. From this result they concluded that attentional selectivity improves continuously rather than discretely. Because different stimuli and procedures were used in these two studies, though, we questioned that the superiority of the SSP model holds generally. Therefore, we fit the SSP model to Hübner et al.’s data and found that the DSTP model was again superior. A series of four experiments revealed that model superiority depends on the response-stimulus interval (RSI. Together, our results demonstrate that methodological details can be crucial for model selection, and that further comparisons between the models are needed before it can be decided whether attentional selectivity improves continuously or discretely.

  2. Effects of alcohol on attention orienting and dual-task performance during simulated driving: an event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wester, Anne E; Verster, Joris C; Volkerts, Edmund R; Böcker, Koen B E; Kenemans, J Leon

    2010-09-01

    Driving is a complex task and is susceptible to inattention and distraction. Moreover, alcohol has a detrimental effect on driving performance, possibly due to alcohol-induced attention deficits. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of alcohol on simulated driving performance and attention orienting and allocation, as assessed by event-related potentials (ERPs). Thirty-two participants completed two test runs in the Divided Attention Steering Simulator (DASS) with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of 0.00%, 0.02%, 0.05%, 0.08% and 0.10%. Sixteen participants performed the second DASS test run with a passive auditory oddball to assess alcohol effects on involuntary attention shifting. Sixteen other participants performed the second DASS test run with an active auditory oddball to assess alcohol effects on dual-task performance and active attention allocation. Dose-dependent impairments were found for reaction times, the number of misses and steering error, even more so in dual-task conditions, especially in the active oddball group. ERP amplitudes to novel irrelevant events were also attenuated in a dose-dependent manner. The P3b amplitude to deviant target stimuli decreased with blood alcohol concentration only in the dual-task condition. It is concluded that alcohol increases distractibility and interference from secondary task stimuli, as well as reduces attentional capacity and dual-task integrality.

  3. Effects on automatic attention due to exposure to pictures of emotional faces while performing Chinese word judgment tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junhong, Huang; Renlai, Zhou; Senqi, Hu

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to investigate the automatic processing of emotional facial expressions while performing low or high demand cognitive tasks under unattended conditions. In Experiment 1, 35 subjects performed low (judging the structure of Chinese words) and high (judging the tone of Chinese words) cognitive load tasks while exposed to unattended pictures of fearful, neutral, or happy faces. The results revealed that the reaction time was slower and the performance accuracy was higher while performing the low cognitive load task than while performing the high cognitive load task. Exposure to fearful faces resulted in significantly longer reaction times and lower accuracy than exposure to neutral faces on the low cognitive load task. In Experiment 2, 26 subjects performed the same word judgment tasks and their brain event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured for a period of 800 ms after the onset of the task stimulus. The amplitudes of the early component of ERP around 176 ms (P2) elicited by unattended fearful faces over frontal-central-parietal recording sites was significantly larger than those elicited by unattended neutral faces while performing the word structure judgment task. Together, the findings of the two experiments indicated that unattended fearful faces captured significantly more attention resources than unattended neutral faces on a low cognitive load task, but not on a high cognitive load task. It was concluded that fearful faces could automatically capture attention if residues of attention resources were available under the unattended condition.

  4. 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.

  5. Using Activity Schedules to Increase On-Task Behavior in Children at Risk for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirelli, Christe A.; Sidener, Tina M.; Reeve, Kenneth F.; Reeve, Sharon A.

    2016-01-01

    The effects of activity schedules on on-task and on-schedule behavior were assessed with two boys at risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and referred by their public school teachers as having difficulty during independent work time. On-task behavior increased for both participants after two training sessions. Teachers, peers,…

  6. Effects of transdermally administered nicotine on aspects of attention, task load, and mood in women and men.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimmel, Michael; Wittberger, Susanne

    2004-07-01

    This double-blind placebo-controlled study was conducted to determine nicotine effects on diverse types of attentional performance, task load, and mood considering sex effects as suggested by animal studies. Twelve smokers, 12 deprived smokers and 12 nonsmokers (6 females, 6 males in each group) were investigated. Participants were treated either by 5 mg/16 h nicotine patches (Nicorette) or placebo. Effects of treatment were examined by a computerized attention-test battery; mood was assessed by the Berliner-Alltagssprachliches-Stimmungs-Inventar and task load by the NASA Task Load Index (NASA-TLX). Results showed that nicotine significantly increased the number of hits and decreased reaction time (RT) in the vigilance task. In the selective attention task combined with irrelevant speech as background noise, nicotine enhanced rate of hits. Although it was indicated that nicotine leads to a generally higher accuracy in attention tasks, response time of visual search was prolonged, contradicting a universal facilitation by nicotine. Participants experienced mental demand and temporal demand lower and rated alertness higher when in the nicotine condition. These effects were independent of smoking status, indicating "true" nicotine effects. Females took significant advantage of nicotine in the vigilance task, reaching the performance level of males, accompanied by a higher rated alertness. Results indicate task- and sex-dependent nicotine effects.

  7. Self-Management of On-Task Homework Behavior: A Promising Strategy for Adolescents with Attention and Behavior Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelrod, Michael I.; Zhe, Elizabeth J.; Haugen, Kimberly A.; Klein, Jean A.

    2009-01-01

    Students with attention and behavior problems oftentimes experience difficulty finishing academic work. On-task behavior is frequently cited as a primary reason for students' failure to complete homework assignments. Researchers have identified self-monitoring and self-management of on-task behavior as effective tools for improving homework…

  8. Heart Rate Variability During a Joint Attention Task in Toddlers With Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Billeci

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD are a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental disorders featuring early impairments in social domain, with autonomic nervous system (ANS unbalance possibly representing a useful marker for such disturbances. Impairments in joint attention (JA are one of the earliest markers of social deficits in ASD. In this study, we assessed the feasibility of using wearable technologies for characterizing the ANS response in ASD toddlers during the presentation of JA stimuli.Methods: Twenty ASD toddlers and 20 age- and gender-matched typically developed (TD children were recorded at baseline and during a JA task through an unobtrusive chest strap for electrocardiography (ECG. Specific algorithms for feature extraction, including Heart Rate (HR, Standard Deviation of the Normal-to-Normal Intervals (SDNN, Coefficient of Variation (CV, pNN10 as well as low frequency (LF and high frequency (HF, were applied to the ECG signal and a statistical comparison between the two groups was performed.Results: As regards the single phases, SDNN (p = 0.04 and CV (p = 0.021 were increased in ASD at baseline together with increased LF absolute power (p = 0.034. Moreover, CV remained higher in ASD during the task (p = 0.03. Considering the phase and group interaction, LF increased from baseline to task in TD group (p = 0.04 while it decreased in the ASD group (p = 0.04.Conclusions: The results of this study indicate the feasibility of characterizing the ANS response in ASD toddlers through a minimally obtrusive tool. Our analysis showed an increased SDNN and CV in toddlers with ASD particularly at baseline compared to TD and lower LF during the task. These findings could suggest the possibility of using the proposed approach for evaluating physiological correlates of JA response in young children with ASD.

  9. Is performance on probed serial recall tasks in schizophrenia related to duration of Attentional Blink?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David P. McAllindon

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Schizophrenia is associated with a deficit in working memory, with the degree of working memory impairment related to the level of social and occupational functioning. This study tests the hypothesis that the working memory deficits in individuals with schizophrenia can be explained by slow processing of visual stimuli, as measured by the attentional blink (AB task. Individuals with schizophrenia (SC and controls (HC were recruited from an early intervention service for psychosis and the local community. Data from 16 SC (11M/5F, mean = 26.4 yo and 20 age-matched HC (11M/9F, mean = 25.8 yo were analyzed. Each subject performed an AB task to determine their AB duration, defined as the lag to reach their plateau performance (ltpp. As expected, mean AB duration in the SC group (575 ms was significantly slower than HC (460 ms; p = 0.007. Recall accuracy of the SC group on a working memory task, a 6-item probed serial recall task (PSR, was reduced compared to the HC group at a standard interstimulus interval (ISI (p = 0.002. When the individual's AB duration was then used to adjust the ISI on the PSR task to three relative ISI rates (Slow (2 × ltpp, Medium (ltpp and Fast (1/2 × ltpp, performance on the PSR task was affected by group, position and ISI and qualified by an ISI ∗ position (p = 0.001 and a trend to a triple interaction (p = 0.054. There was main effect of group at all ISIs, but group ∗ position interaction only at Slow ISI (p = 0.01. Our interpretation of the results is that absolute ISI, rather than ISI relative to AB duration, affected performance.

  10. Interval Timing Deficits Assessed by Time Reproduction Dual Tasks as Cognitive Endophenotypes for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang-Gu, Shoou-Lian; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen

    2015-01-01

    The literature has suggested timing processing as a potential endophenotype for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, whether the subjective internal clock speed presented by verbal estimation and limited attention capacity presented by time reproduction could be endophenotypes for ADHD is still unknown. We assessed 223 youths with DSM-IV ADHD (age range: 10-17 years), 105 unaffected siblings, and 84 typically developing (TD) youths using psychiatric interviews, intelligence tests, verbal estimation and time reproduction tasks (single task and simple and difficult dual tasks) at 5-second, 12-second, and 17-second intervals. We found that youths with ADHD tended to overestimate time in verbal estimation more than their unaffected siblings and TD youths, implying that fast subjective internal clock speed might be a characteristic of ADHD, rather than an endophenotype for ADHD. Youths with ADHD and their unaffected siblings were less precise in time reproduction dual tasks than TD youths. The magnitude of estimated errors in time reproduction was greater in youths with ADHD and their unaffected siblings than in TD youths, with an increased time interval at the 17-second interval and with increased task demands on both simple and difficult dual tasks versus the single task. Increased impaired time reproduction in dual tasks with increased intervals and task demands were shown in youths with ADHD and their unaffected siblings, suggesting that time reproduction deficits explained by limited attention capacity might be a useful endophenotype of ADHD. PMID:25992899

  11. 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....

  12. Use of Multichannel Near Infrared Spectroscopy to Study Relationships Between Brain Regions and Neurocognitive Tasks of Selective/Divided Attention and 2-Back Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomita, Nozomi; Imai, Shoji; Kanayama, Yusuke; Kawashima, Issaku; Kumano, Hiroaki

    2017-06-01

    While dichotic listening (DL) was originally intended to measure bottom-up selective attention, it has also become a tool for measuring top-down selective attention. This study investigated the brain regions related to top-down selective and divided attention DL tasks and a 2-back task using alphanumeric and Japanese numeric sounds. Thirty-six healthy participants underwent near-infrared spectroscopy scanning while performing a top-down selective attentional DL task, a top-down divided attentional DL task, and a 2-back task. Pearson's correlations were calculated to show relationships between oxy-Hb concentration in each brain region and the score of each cognitive task. Different brain regions were activated during the DL and 2-back tasks. Brain regions activated in the top-down selective attention DL task were the left inferior prefrontal gyrus and left pars opercularis. The left temporopolar area was activated in the top-down divided attention DL task, and the left frontopolar area and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were activated in the 2-back task. As further evidence for the finding that each task measured different cognitive and brain area functions, neither the percentages of correct answers for the three tasks nor the response times for the selective attentional task and the divided attentional task were correlated to one another. Thus, the DL and 2-back tasks used in this study can assess multiple areas of cognitive, brain-related dysfunction to explore their relationship to different psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.

  13. The influence of an auditory-memory attention-demanding task on postural control in blind persons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melzer, Itshak; Damry, Elad; Landau, Anat; Yagev, Ronit

    2011-05-01

    In order to evaluate the effect of an auditory-memory attention-demanding task on balance control, nine blind adults were compared to nine age-gender-matched sighted controls. This issue is particularly relevant for the blind population in which functional assessment of postural control has to be revealed through "real life" motor and cognitive function. The study aimed to explore whether an auditory-memory attention-demanding cognitive task would influence postural control in blind persons and compare this with blindfolded sighted persons. Subjects were instructed to minimize body sway during narrow base upright standing on a single force platform under two conditions: 1) standing still (single task); 2) as in 1) while performing an auditory-memory attention-demanding cognitive task (dual task). Subjects in both groups were required to stand blindfolded with their eyes closed. Center of Pressure displacement data were collected and analyzed using summary statistics and stabilogram-diffusion analysis. Blind and sighted subjects had similar postural sway in eyes closed condition. However, for dual compared to single task, sighted subjects show significant decrease in postural sway while blind subjects did not. The auditory-memory attention-demanding cognitive task had no interference effect on balance control on blind subjects. It seems that sighted individuals used auditory cues to compensate for momentary loss of vision, whereas blind subjects did not. This may suggest that blind and sighted people use different sensorimotor strategies to achieve stability. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Effects of task and image properties on visual-attention deployment in image-quality assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alers, Hani; Redi, Judith; Liu, Hantao; Heynderickx, Ingrid

    2015-03-01

    It is important to understand how humans view images and how their behavior is affected by changes in the properties of the viewed images and the task they are given, particularly the task of scoring the image quality (IQ). This is a complex behavior that holds great importance for the field of image-quality research. This work builds upon 4 years of research work spanning three databases studying image-viewing behavior. Using eye-tracking equipment, it was possible to collect information on human viewing behavior of different kinds of stimuli and under different experimental settings. This work performs a cross-analysis on the results from all these databases using state-of-the-art similarity measures. The results strongly show that asking the viewers to score the IQ significantly changes their viewing behavior. Also muting the color saturation seems to affect the saliency of the images. However, a change in IQ was not consistently found to modify visual attention deployment, neither under free looking nor during scoring. These results are helpful in gaining a better understanding of image viewing behavior under different conditions. They also have important implications on work that collects subjective image-quality scores from human observers.

  15. Impaired distractor inhibition on a selective attention task in unmedicated, depressed subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacQueen, G M; Tipper, S P; Young, L T; Joffe, R T; Levitt, A J

    2000-05-01

    Impaired distractor inhibition may contribute to the selective attention deficits observed in depressed patients, but studies to date have not tested the distractor inhibition theory against the possibility that processes such as transient memory review processes may account for the observed deficits. A negative priming paradigm can dissociate inhibition from such a potentially confounding process called object review. The negative priming task also isolates features of the distractor such as colour and location for independent examination. A computerized negative priming task was used in which colour, identification and location features of a stimulus and distractor were systematically manipulated across successive prime and probe trials. Thirty-two unmedicated subjects with DSM-IV diagnoses of non-psychotic unipolar depression were compared with 32 age, sex and IQ matched controls. Depressed subjects had reduced levels of negative priming for conditions where the colour feature of the stimulus was repeated across prime and probe trials but not when identity or location was the repeated feature. When both the colour and location feature were the repeated feature across trials, facilitation in response was apparent. The pattern of results supports studies that found reduced distractor inhibition in depressed subjects, and suggests that object review is intact in these subjects. Greater impairment in negative priming for colour versus location suggests that subjects may have greater impairment in the visual stream associated with processing colour features.

  16. An attentional bias for LEGO® people using a change detection task: Are LEGO® people animate?

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaPointe, Mitchell R P; Cullen, Rachael; Baltaretu, Bianca; Campos, Melissa; Michalski, Natalie; Sri Satgunarajah, Suja; Cadieux, Michelle L; Pachai, Matthew V; Shore, David I

    2016-09-01

    Animate objects have been shown to elicit attentional priority in a change detection task. This benefit has been seen for both human and nonhuman animals compared with inanimate objects. One explanation for these results has been based on the importance animate objects have served over the course of our species' history. In the present set of experiments, we present stimuli, which could be perceived as animate, but with which our distant ancestors would have had no experience, and natural selection could have no direct pressure on their prioritization. In the first experiment, we compared LEGO® "people" with LEGO "nonpeople" in a change detection task. In a second experiment, we attempt to control the heterogeneity of the nonanimate objects by using LEGO blocks, matched in size and colour to LEGO people. In the third experiment, we occlude the faces of the LEGO people to control for facial pattern recognition. In the final 2 experiments, we attempt to obscure high-level categorical information processing of the stimuli by inverting and blurring the scenes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Aging, Emotion, Attention, and Binding in the Taboo Stroop Task: Data and Theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKay, Donald G.; Johnson, Laura W.; Graham, Elizabeth R.; Burke, Deborah M.

    2015-01-01

    How does aging impact relations between emotion, memory, and attention? To address this question, young and older adults named the font colors of taboo and neutral words, some of which recurred in the same font color or screen location throughout two color-naming experiments. The results indicated longer color-naming response times (RTs) for taboo than neutral base-words (taboo Stroop interference); better incidental recognition of colors and locations consistently associated with taboo versus neutral words (taboo context-memory enhancement); and greater speed-up in color-naming RTs with repetition of color-consistent than color-inconsistent taboo words, but no analogous speed-up with repetition of location-consistent or location-inconsistent taboo words (the consistency type by repetition interaction for taboo words). All three phenomena remained constant with aging, consistent with the transmission deficit hypothesis and binding theory, where familiar emotional words trigger age-invariant reactions for prioritizing the binding of contextual features to the source of emotion. Binding theory also accurately predicted the interaction between consistency type and repetition for taboo words. However, one or more aspects of these phenomena failed to support the inhibition deficit hypothesis, resource capacity theory, or socio-emotional selectivity theory. We conclude that binding theory warrants further test in a range of paradigms, and that relations between aging and emotion, memory, and attention may depend on whether the task and stimuli trigger fast-reaction, involuntary binding processes, as in the taboo Stroop paradigm. PMID:26473909

  18. Aging, Emotion, Attention, and Binding in the Taboo Stroop Task: Data and Theories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald G. MacKay

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available How does aging impact relations between emotion, memory, and attention? To address this question, young and older adults named the font colors of taboo and neutral words, some of which recurred in the same font color or screen location throughout two color-naming experiments. The results indicated longer color-naming response times (RTs for taboo than neutral base-words (taboo Stroop interference; better incidental recognition of colors and locations consistently associated with taboo versus neutral words (taboo context-memory enhancement; and greater speed-up in color-naming RTs with repetition of color-consistent than color-inconsistent taboo words, but no analogous speed-up with repetition of location-consistent or location-inconsistent taboo words (the consistency type by repetition interaction for taboo words. All three phenomena remained constant with aging, consistent with the transmission deficit hypothesis and binding theory, where familiar emotional words trigger age-invariant reactions for prioritizing the binding of contextual features to the source of emotion. Binding theory also accurately predicted the interaction between consistency type and repetition for taboo words. However, one or more aspects of these phenomena failed to support the inhibition deficit hypothesis, resource capacity theory, or socio-emotional selectivity theory. We conclude that binding theory warrants further test in a range of paradigms, and that relations between aging and emotion, memory, and attention may depend on whether the task and stimuli trigger fast-reaction, involuntary binding processes, as in the taboo Stroop paradigm.

  19. Changes in attention to an emotional task after sleep deprivation: neurophysiological and behavioral findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfarra, Ramey; Fins, Ana I; Chayo, Isaac; Tartar, Jaime L

    2015-01-01

    While sleep loss is shown to have widespread effects on cognitive processes, little is known about the impact of sleep loss on emotion processes. In order to expand on previous behavioral and physiological findings on how sleep loss influences emotion processing, we administered positive, negative, and neutral affective visual stimuli to individuals after one night of sleep deprivation while simultaneously acquiring EEG event related potential (ERP) data and recording affective behavioral responses. We compared these responses to a baseline testing session. We specifically looked at the late positive potential (LPP) component of the visual ERP as an established sensitive measure of attention to emotionally-charged visual stimuli. Our results show that after sleep deprivation, the LPP no longer discriminates between emotional and non-emotional pictures; after sleep deprivation the LPP amplitude was of similar amplitude for neutral, positive, and negative pictures. This effect was driven by an increase in the LPP to neutral pictures. Our behavioral measures show that, relative to baseline testing, emotional pictures are rated as less emotional following sleep deprivation with a concomitant reduction in emotional picture-induced anxiety. We did not observe any change in cortisol concentrations after sleep deprivation before or after emotional picture exposure, suggesting that the observed changes in emotion processing are independent of potential stress effects of sleep deprivation. Combined, our findings suggest that sleep loss interferes with proper allocation of attention resources during an emotional task. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Attention bias towards personally relevant stimuli: the individual emotional Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingenfeld, Katja; Bullig, Renate; Mensebach, Christoph; Hartje, Wolfgang; Driessen, Martin; Beblo, Thomas

    2006-12-01

    The emotional Stroop task is a widely used method for investigating attentional bias towards stimuli due to mood or affect. In general, standardized stimuli are used, which might not be appropriate when investigating individual contextual frameworks. It was investigated whether words chosen to be related to individuals' personal life events would produce more pronounced Stroop interference (as an indicator of attentional bias) than stimuli without any personal relevance. Twenty-six nonclinical subjects, 20 female and 6 male, participated in the study. Mean age was 36.1 yr. (SD = 18.1). All were recruited by means of local advertising. Stimulus material consisted of four word types: personal words related to negative life events with and without current personal relevance, and negative and neutral words without any personal relevance. Words were presented in three blocks. Analysis of variance showed main effects for word type and blocks, with slower reactions in the personally relevant conditions than in the negative, or neutral conditions, and in response to the first blocks as opposed to the last. These findings indicate that regardless of the word valence, personally relevant stimuli evoke more pronounced Stroop interference than do stimuli without personal relevance.

  1. Aging, Emotion, Attention, and Binding in the Taboo Stroop Task: Data and Theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKay, Donald G; Johnson, Laura W; Graham, Elizabeth R; Burke, Deborah M

    2015-10-14

    How does aging impact relations between emotion, memory, and attention? To address this question, young and older adults named the font colors of taboo and neutral words, some of which recurred in the same font color or screen location throughout two color-naming experiments. The results indicated longer color-naming response times (RTs) for taboo than neutral base-words (taboo Stroop interference); better incidental recognition of colors and locations consistently associated with taboo versus neutral words (taboo context-memory enhancement); and greater speed-up in color-naming RTs with repetition of color-consistent than color-inconsistent taboo words, but no analogous speed-up with repetition of location-consistent or location-inconsistent taboo words (the consistency type by repetition interaction for taboo words). All three phenomena remained constant with aging, consistent with the transmission deficit hypothesis and binding theory, where familiar emotional words trigger age-invariant reactions for prioritizing the binding of contextual features to the source of emotion. Binding theory also accurately predicted the interaction between consistency type and repetition for taboo words. However, one or more aspects of these phenomena failed to support the inhibition deficit hypothesis, resource capacity theory, or socio-emotional selectivity theory. We conclude that binding theory warrants further test in a range of paradigms, and that relations between aging and emotion, memory, and attention may depend on whether the task and stimuli trigger fast-reaction, involuntary binding processes, as in the taboo Stroop paradigm.

  2. 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.

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

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    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.

  4. 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

  5. Distinction between perceptual and attentional processing in working memory tasks: a study of phase-locked and induced oscillatory brain dynamics.

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    Deiber, Marie-Pierre; Missonnier, Pascal; Bertrand, Olivier; Gold, Gabriel; Fazio-Costa, Lara; Ibañez, Vicente; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon

    2007-01-01

    Working memory involves the short-term storage and manipulation of information necessary for cognitive performance, including comprehension, learning, reasoning and planning. Although electroencephalogram (EEG) rhythms are modulated during working memory, the temporal relationship of EEG oscillations with the eliciting event has not been well studied. In particular, the dynamics of the neural network supporting memory processes may be best captured in induced oscillations, characterized by a loose temporal link with the stimulus. In order to differentiate induced from evoked functional processes, the present study proposes a time-frequency analysis of the 3 to 30 Hz EEG oscillatory activity in a verbal n-back working memory paradigm. Control tasks were designed to identify oscillatory activity related to stimulus presentation (passive task) and focused attention to the stimulus (detection task). Evoked theta activity (4-8 Hz) phase-locked to the visual stimulus was evidenced in the parieto-occipital region for all tasks. In parallel, induced theta activity was recorded in the frontal region for detection and n-back memory tasks, but not for the passive task, suggesting its dependency on focused attention to the stimulus. Sustained induced oscillatory activity was identified in relation to working memory in the theta and beta (15-25 Hz) frequency bands, larger for the highest memory load. Its late occurrence limited to nonmatched items suggests that it could be related to item retention and active maintenance for further task requirements. Induced theta and beta activities displayed respectively a frontal and parietal topographical distribution, providing further functional information on the fronto-posterior network supporting working memory.

  6. Virtual environment to quantify the influence of colour stimuli on the performance of tasks requiring attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frère Annie F

    2011-08-01

    where tasks, that require attention, were most affected. Conclusions The game proved to be a user-friendly tool capable to detect and quantify the influence of color on the performance of people executing tasks that require attention and showed to be attractive for people with ADHD.

  7. Virtual environment to quantify the influence of colour stimuli on the performance of tasks requiring attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Alessandro P; Frère, Annie F

    2011-08-19

    Recent studies indicate that the blue-yellow colour discrimination is impaired in ADHD individuals. However, the relationship between colour and performance has not been investigated. This paper describes the development and the testing of a virtual environment that is capable to quantify the influence of red-green versus blue-yellow colour stimuli on the performance of people in a fun and interactive way, being appropriate for the target audience. An interactive computer game based on virtual reality was developed to evaluate the performance of the players.The game's storyline was based on the story of an old pirate who runs across islands and dangerous seas in search of a lost treasure. Within the game, the player must find and interpret the hints scattered in different scenarios. Two versions of this game were implemented. In the first, hints and information boards were painted using red and green colours. In the second version, these objects were painted using blue and yellow colours. For modelling, texturing, and animating virtual characters and objects the three-dimensional computer graphics tool Blender 3D was used. The textures were created with the GIMP editor to provide visual effects increasing the realism and immersion of the players. The games were tested on 20 non-ADHD volunteers who were divided into two subgroups (A1 and A2) and 20 volunteers with ADHD who were divided into subgroups B1 and B2. Subgroups A1 and B1 used the first version of the game with the hints painted in green-red colors, and subgroups A2 and B2 the second version using the same hints now painted in blue-yellow. The time spent to complete each task of the game was measured. Data analyzed with ANOVA two-way and posthoc TUKEY LSD showed that the use of blue/yellow instead of green/red colors decreased the game performance of all participants. However, a greater decrease in performance could be observed with ADHD participants where tasks, that require attention, were most affected

  8. Mathematical Physics Framework SustainingNatural Anticipation and Selection of Attention

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    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.

  9. The neural substrates associated with attentional resources and difficulty of concurrent processing of the two verbal tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuno, Kei; Tanaka, Masaaki; Tanabe, Hiroki C; Sadato, Norihiro; Watanabe, Yasuyoshi

    2012-07-01

    The kana pick-out test has been widely used in Japan to evaluate the ability to divide attention in both adult and pediatric patients. However, the neural substrates underlying the ability to divide attention using the kana pick-out test, which requires participants to pick out individual letters (vowels) in a story while also reading for comprehension, thus requiring simultaneous allocation of attention to both activities, are still unclear. Moreover, outside of the clinical area, neuroimaging studies focused on the mechanisms of divided attention during complex story comprehension are rare. Thus, the purpose of the present study, to clarify the neural substrates of kana pick-out test, improves our current understanding of the basic neural mechanisms of dual task performance in verbal memory function. We compared patterns of activation in the brain obtained during performance of the individual tasks of vowel identification and story comprehension, to levels of activation when participants performed the two tasks simultaneously during the kana pick-out test. We found that activations of the left dorsal inferior frontal gyrus and superior parietal lobule increase in functional connectivity to a greater extent during the dual task condition compared to the two single task conditions. In contrast, activations of the left fusiform gyrus and middle temporal gyrus, which are significantly involved in picking out letters and complex sentences during story comprehension, respectively, were reduced in the dual task condition compared to during the two single task conditions. These results suggest that increased activations of the dorsal inferior frontal gyrus and superior parietal lobule during dual task performance may be associated with the capacity for attentional resources, and reduced activations of the left fusiform gyrus and middle temporal gyrus may reflect the difficulty of concurrent processing of the two tasks. In addition, the increase in synchronization between

  10. Altered visual strategies and attention are related to increased force fluctuations during a pinch grip task in older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keenan, Kevin G; Huddleston, Wendy E; Ernest, Bradley E

    2017-11-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine the visual strategies used by older adults during a pinch grip task and to assess the relations between visual strategy, deficits in attention, and increased force fluctuations in older adults. Eye movements of 23 older adults (>65 yr) were monitored during a low-force pinch grip task while subjects viewed three common visual feedback displays. Performance on the Grooved Pegboard test and an attention task (which required no concurrent hand movements) was also measured. Visual strategies varied across subjects and depended on the type of visual feedback provided to the subjects. First, while viewing a high-gain compensatory feedback display (horizontal bar moving up and down with force), 9 of 23 older subjects adopted a strategy of performing saccades during the task, which resulted in 2.5 times greater force fluctuations in those that exhibited saccades compared with those who maintained fixation near the target line. Second, during pursuit feedback displays (force trace moving left to right across screen and up and down with force), all subjects exhibited multiple saccades, and increased force fluctuations were associated ( r s = 0.6; P = 0.002) with fewer saccades during the pursuit task. Also, decreased low-frequency (attention z scores. Comparison of these results with our previously published results in young subjects indicates that saccadic eye movements and attention are related to force control in older adults. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The significant contributions of the study are the addition of eye movement data and an attention task to explain differences in hand motor control across different visual displays in older adults. Older participants used different visual strategies across varying feedback displays, and saccadic eye movements were related with motor performance. In addition, those older individuals with deficits in attention had impaired motor performance on two different hand motor control tasks, including

  11. Effects of an attention demanding task on dynamic stability during treadmill walking

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    Troy Karen L

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background People exhibit increased difficulty balancing when they perform secondary attention-distracting tasks while walking. However, a previous study by Grabiner and Troy (J. Neuroengineering Rehabil., 2005 found that young healthy subjects performing a concurrent Stroop task while walking on a motorized treadmill exhibited decreased step width variability. However, measures of variability do not directly quantify how a system responds to perturbations. This study re-analyzed data from Grabiner and Troy 2005 to determine if performing the concurrent Stroop task directly affected the dynamic stability of walking in these same subjects. Methods Thirteen healthy volunteers walked on a motorized treadmill at their self-selected constant speed for 10 minutes both while performing the Stroop test and during undisturbed walking. This Stroop test consisted of projecting images of the name of one color, printed in text of a different color, onto a wall and asking subjects to verbally identify the color of the text. Three-dimensional motions of a marker attached to the base of the neck (C5/T1 were recorded. Marker velocities were calculated over 3 equal intervals of 200 sec each in each direction. Mean variability was calculated for each time series as the average standard deviation across all strides. Both "local" and "orbital" dynamic stability were quantified for each time series using previously established methods. These measures directly quantify how quickly small perturbations grow or decay, either continuously in real time (local or discretely from one cycle to the next (orbital. Differences between Stroop and Control trials were evaluated using a 2-factor repeated measures ANOVA. Results Mean variability of trunk movements was significantly reduced during the Stroop tests compared to normal walking. Conversely, local and orbital stability results were mixed: some measures showed slight increases, while others showed slight decreases

  12. Specialization in the default mode: Task-induced brain deactivations dissociate between visual working memory and attention.

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    Mayer, Jutta S; Roebroeck, Alard; Maurer, Konrad; Linden, David E J

    2010-01-01

    The idea of an organized mode of brain function that is present as default state and suspended during goal-directed behaviors has recently gained much interest in the study of human brain function. The default mode hypothesis is based on the repeated observation that certain brain areas show task-induced deactivations across a wide range of cognitive tasks. In this event-related functional resonance imaging study we tested the default mode hypothesis by comparing common and selective patterns of BOLD deactivation in response to the demands on visual attention and working memory (WM) that were independently modulated within one task. The results revealed task-induced deactivations within regions of the default mode network (DMN) with a segregation of areas that were additively deactivated by an increase in the demands on both attention and WM, and areas that were selectively deactivated by either high attentional demand or WM load. Attention-selective deactivations appeared in the left ventrolateral and medial prefrontal cortex and the left lateral temporal cortex. Conversely, WM-selective deactivations were found predominantly in the right hemisphere including the medial-parietal, the lateral temporo-parietal, and the medial prefrontal cortex. Moreover, during WM encoding deactivated regions showed task-specific functional connectivity. These findings demonstrate that task-induced deactivations within parts of the DMN depend on the specific characteristics of the attention and WM components of the task. The DMN can thus be subdivided into a set of brain regions that deactivate indiscriminately in response to cognitive demand ("the core DMN") and a part whose deactivation depends on the specific task. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. The comparison of Selective Attention Deficit in Dual Task Performance in Elderly Alzheimer Patients and Healthy Elderly Individuals

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    A. m. Azadian

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to compare selective attention deficit in elderly Alzheimer patients and healthy elderly individuals using the dual task. Therefore, 23 subjects (11 females and 12 males age 62 to 81 years; 13 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD and 10 healthy elderly subjects (EHI with normal cognitive function participated in this study. people with Alzheimer's disease. healthy people was selected through some neurologist identified Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ. After obtaining the average number of correct counting of months of the year in both simple and difficult cognitive task the overall error (E or Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE, and variable error (VE were calculated for the tracking task. Then each person performed 10 tasks simultaneously (under Dual-task in both simple and difficult mode. Analysis of variance in cognitive tasks showed that there was a significant interaction between task difficulty and risk of AD (p0.05. In other words, at dual conditions of tracking task, accuracy and consistency of both groups was equally reduced, which was most prominent in difficult conditions. This decrease indicates increased interference at response level due to defects in the mechanisms of selective attention in dual cognitive and tracking tasks and both groups.

  14. Synthetic Synchronisation: From Attention and Multi-Tasking to Negative Capability and Judgment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stables, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Educational literature has tended to focus, explicitly and implicitly, on two kinds of task orientation: the ability either to focus on a single task, or to multi-task. A third form of orientation characterises many highly successful people. This is the ability to combine several tasks into one: to "kill two (or more) birds with one…

  15. Neural basis of superior performance of action videogame players in an attention-demanding task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Jyoti; Zinni, Marla; Bavelier, Daphne; Hillyard, Steven A

    2011-01-19

    Steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) were recorded from action videogame players (VGPs) and from non-videogame players (NVGPs) during an attention-demanding task. Participants were presented with a multi-stimulus display consisting of rapid sequences of alphanumeric stimuli presented at rates of 8.6/12 Hz in the left/right peripheral visual fields, along with a central square at fixation flashing at 5.5 Hz and a letter sequence flashing at 15 Hz at an upper central location. Subjects were cued to attend to one of the peripheral or central stimulus sequences and detect occasional targets. Consistent with previous behavioral studies, VGPs detected targets with greater speed and accuracy than NVGPs. This behavioral advantage was associated with an increased suppression of SSVEP amplitudes to unattended peripheral sequences in VGPs relative to NVGPs, whereas the magnitude of the attended SSVEPs was equivalent in the two groups. Group differences were also observed in the event-related potentials to targets in the alphanumeric sequences, with the target-elicited P300 component being of larger amplitude in VGPS than NVGPs. These electrophysiological findings suggest that the superior target detection capabilities of the VGPs are attributable, at least in part, to enhanced suppression of distracting irrelevant information and more effective perceptual decision processes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Executive cognitive functions play a critical role in falls risk – a pressing health care issue in seniors. In particular, intact attentional processing is integral for safe mobility and navigation. However, the specific contribution of impaired visual-spatial attention in falls remains unclear. In this study, we examined the association between visual-spatial attention to task-irrelevant stimuli and falls risk in community-dwelling older adults. Participants completed a visual target discrimination task at fixation while task-irrelevant probes were presented in both visual fields. We assessed attention to left and right peripheral probes using event-related potentials (ERPs). Falls risk was determined using the valid and reliable Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA). We found a significantly positive association between reduced attentional facilitation, as measured by the N1 ERP component, and falls risk. This relationship was specific to probes presented in the left visual field and measured at ipsilateral electrode sites. Our results suggest that fallers exhibit reduced attention to the left side of visual space and provide evidence that impaired right hemispheric function and/or structure may contribute to falls. PMID:24436970

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Flexible attention allocation to visual and auditory working memory tasks : manipulating reward induces a trade-off

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morey, Candice Coker; Cowan, Nelson; Morey, Richard D.; Rouder, Jeffery N.

    Prominent roles for general attention resources are posited in many models of working memory, but the manner in which these can be allocated differs between models or is not sufficiently specified. We varied the payoffs for correct responses in two temporally-overlapping recognition tasks, a visual

  20. Cardiac adaptivity to attention-demanding tasks in children with a pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Althaus, M; Aarnoudse, CC; Minderaa, RB; Mulder, Gysbertus; Mulder, Lambertus

    1999-01-01

    Background: Decreases in heart rate variability (HRV) have been repeatedly demonstrated to be an index of effort allocation to attention-demanding tasks. Children with autistic-type problems in social interaction and in adapting to unfamiliar situations (DSM-IV: PDD-NOS) have been shown to have

  1. Integrating Mindfulness Practices into the Elementary Curriculum to Improve Attention-to-Task Behaviors and Social Relations

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    Kanagy-Borofka, Lori

    2013-01-01

    This study examined effects of integrating mindfulness practices into the 5th grade curriculum to improve attention-to-task, including inattention and executive functioning, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and social relations. As academic requirements become more rigorous, students have been expected to demonstrate increased skills in…

  2. The Development of Memory Maintenance: Children's Use of Phonological Rehearsal and Attentional Refreshment in Working Memory Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Helen; Jarrold, Christopher; Baddeley, Alan D.; Sabatos-DeVito, Maura

    2010-01-01

    Past research suggests that children begin to phonologically rehearse at around 7 years of age. Less is known regarding the development of refreshment, an attention-based maintenance mechanism. Therefore, the use of these two maintenance methods by 6- and 8-year-olds was assessed using memory span tasks that varied in their opportunities for…

  3. Neuro-Oscillatory Mechanisms of Intersensory Selective Attention and Task Switching in School-Aged Children, Adolescents and Young Adults

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Jeremy W.; Foxe, John J.; Molholm, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    The ability to attend to one among multiple sources of information is central to everyday functioning. Just as central is the ability to switch attention among competing inputs as the task at hand changes. Such processes develop surprisingly slowly, such that even into adolescence, we remain slower and more error prone at switching among tasks…

  4. The Roles of Feature-Specific Task Set and Bottom-Up Salience in Attentional Capture: An ERP Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eimer, Martin; Kiss, Monika; Press, Clare; Sauter, Disa

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the roles of top-down task set and bottom-up stimulus salience for feature-specific attentional capture. Spatially nonpredictive cues preceded search arrays that included a color-defined target. For target-color singleton cues, behavioral spatial cueing effects were accompanied by cue-induced N2pc components, indicative of…

  5. Facial expression movement enhances the measurement of temporal dynamics of attentional bias in the dot-probe task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caudek, Corrado; Ceccarini, Francesco; Sica, Claudio

    2017-08-01

    The facial dot-probe task is one of the most common experimental paradigms used to assess attentional bias toward emotional information. In recent years, however, the psychometric properties of this paradigm have been questioned. In the present study, attentional bias to emotional face stimuli was measured with dynamic and static images of realistic human faces in 97 college students (63 women) who underwent either a positive or a negative mood-induction prior to the experiment. We controlled the bottom-up salience of the stimuli in order to dissociate the top-down orienting of attention from the effects of the bottom-up physical properties of the stimuli. A Bayesian analysis of our results indicates that 1) the traditional global attentional bias index shows a low reliability, 2) reliability increases dramatically when biased attention is analyzed by extracting a series of bias estimations from trial-to-trial (Zvielli, Bernstein, & Koster, 2015), 3) dynamic expression of emotions strengthens biased attention to emotional information, and 4) mood-congruency facilitates the measurement of biased attention to emotional stimuli. These results highlight the importance of using ecologically valid stimuli in attentional bias research, together with the importance of estimating biased attention at the trial level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Mazindol attenuates ketamine-induced cognitive deficit in the attentional set shifting task in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikiforuk, Agnieszka; Gołembiowska, Krystyna; Popik, Piotr

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia await an effective treatment. In order to model schizophrenia-like cognitive deficits in rats, we evaluated the effects of ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic NMDA/glutamate receptor channel blocker in the attentional set-shifting task (ASST). Acute administration of ketamine (10 but not 3mg/kg) selectively impaired solving of the extradimensional (ED) set-shifting component. Next, we investigated whether the co-administration of mazindol, a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor would protect rats from ketamine-induced deficits. Mazindol dose-dependently and selectively alleviated ketamine-induced ED deficit with a minimal effective dose of 0.5mg/kg. The ED component improvement was noted primarily in ketamine - but not in vehicle co-treated rats, in which the drug facilitated ED shift solving at the dose as high as 5mg/kg. A "positive control", sertindole (2.5mg/kg) also ameliorated ketamine-induced ED deficit. Microdialysis of the prefrontal cortex in a separate group of animals revealed that 2-3h after the administration of 5mg/kg of mazindol and ketamine (i.e., at the time of ED component solving), the extracellular concentrations of dopamine were enhanced by ~300% as compared to the baseline and were intermediate between the mazindol- and ketamine-treated reference groups. However, at that time the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin and glutamate appeared unaffected. We conclude that ketamine may be useful in mimicking deficits specifically related to cognitive inflexibility observed in schizophrenia, and suggest that these anomalies could be ameliorated by mazindol. The beneficial effects of mazindol on ASST performance may have therapeutic implications for the treatment of schizophrenia.

  7. A single bout of meditation biases cognitive control but not attentional focusing: Evidence from the global-local task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colzato, Lorenza S; van der Wel, Pauline; Sellaro, Roberta; Hommel, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies show that a single bout of meditation can impact information processing. We were interested to see whether this impact extends to attentional focusing and the top-down control over irrelevant information. Healthy adults underwent brief single bouts of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing a global-local task. While the size of the global-precedence effect (reflecting attentional focusing) was unaffected by type of meditation, the congruency effect (indicating the failure to suppress task-irrelevant information) was considerably larger after OMM than after FAM. Our findings suggest that engaging in particular kinds of meditation creates particular cognitive-control states that bias the individual processing style toward either goal-persistence or cognitive flexibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The Effects of Divided Attention on Speech Motor, Verbal Fluency, and Manual Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dromey, Christopher; Shim, Erin

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The goal of this study was to evaluate aspects of the "functional distance hypothesis," which predicts that tasks regulated by brain networks in closer anatomic proximity will interfere more with each other than tasks controlled by spatially distant regions. Speech, verbal fluency, and manual motor tasks were examined to ascertain whether…

  9. Templates for Rejection: Configuring Attention to Ignore Task-Irrelevant Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arita, Jason T.; Carlisle, Nancy B.; Woodman, Geoffrey F.

    2012-01-01

    Theories of attention are compatible with the idea that we can bias attention to avoid selecting objects that have known nontarget features. Although this may underlie several existing phenomena, the explicit guidance of attention away from known nontargets has yet to be demonstrated. Here we show that observers can use feature cues (i.e., color)…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Common region wins the competition between extrinsic grouping cues: Evidence from a task without explicit attention to grouping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoro, Pedro R; Villalba-García, Cristina; Luna, Dolores; Hinojosa, José A

    2017-12-01

    The competition between perceptual grouping factors is a relatively ignored topic, especially in the case of extrinsic grouping cues (e.g., common region or connectedness). Recent studies have examined the integration of extrinsic cues using tasks that induce selective attention to groups based on different grouping cues. However, this procedure could generate alternative strategies for task performance, which are non-related to the perceptual grouping operations. In the current work, we used an indirect task, i.e. repetition discrimination task, without explicit attention to grouping cues to further examine the rules that govern dominance between competing extrinsic grouping factors. This procedure allowed us to obtain an unbiased measure of the competition between common region and connectedness cues acting within the same display. The results corroborate previous data showing that grouping by common region dominated the perceived organization of the display, even though the phenomenological strength of the grouping cues was equated for each participant by means of a preliminary scaling task. Our results highlight the relevance of using indirect tasks as an essential tool for the systematic study of the integration of extrinsic grouping cues.

  13. Moderation of Nicotine Effects on Covert Orienting of Attention Tasks by Poor Placebo Performance and Cue Validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, David G.; Rzetelny, Adam; Rabinovich, Norka E.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction and Rationale Given baseline-dependent effects of nicotine on other forms of attention, there is reason to believe that inconsistent findings for the effects of nicotine on attentional orienting may be partly due to individual differences in baseline (abstinence state) functioning. Individuals with low baseline attention may benefit more from nicotine replacement. Method The effects of nicotine as a function of baseline performance (bottom, middle, and top third of mean reaction times during placebo) were assessed in 52 habitual abstinent smokers (26 females/26 males) utilizing an arrow-cued covert orienting of attention task. Results Compared to a placebo patch, a 14 mg nicotine patch produced faster overall reaction times (RTs). In addition, individuals with slower RTs during the placebo condition benefitted more from nicotine on cued trials than did those who had shorter (faster) RTs during placebo. Nicotine also enhanced the validity effect (shorter RTs to validly vs. invalidly cued targets), but this nicotine benefit did not differ as a function of overall placebo-baseline performance. Conclusions These findings support the view that nicotine enhances cued spatial attentional orienting in individuals who have slower RTs during placebo (nicotine-free) conditions; however, baseline-dependent effects may not generalize to all aspects of spatial attention. These findings are consistent with findings indicating that nicotine’s effects vary as a function of task parameters rather than simple RT speeding or cognitive enhancement. PMID:27461547

  14. Can attentional control settings be maintained for two color-location conjunctions? Evidence from an RSVP task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irons, Jessica L; Remington, Roger W

    2013-07-01

    Previous investigations of the ability to maintain separate attentional control settings for different spatial locations have relied principally on a go/no-go spatial-cueing paradigm. The results have suggested that control of attention is accomplished only late in processing. However, the go/no-go task does not provide strong incentives to withhold attention from irrelevant color-location conjunctions. We used a modified version of the task in which failing to adopt multiple control settings would be detrimental to performance. Two RSVP streams of colored letters appeared to the left and right of fixation. Participants searched for targets that were a conjunction of color and location, so that the target color for one stream acted as a distractor when presented in the opposite stream. Distractors that did not match the target conjunctions nevertheless captured attention and interfered with performance. This was the case even when the target conjunctions were previewed early in the trial prior to the target (Exp. 2). However, distractor interference was reduced when the upcoming distractor was previewed early on in the trial (Exp. 3). Attentional selection of targets by color-location conjunctions may be effective if facilitative attentional sets are accompanied by the top-down inhibition of irrelevant items.

  15. The effect of methylphenidate on postural stability under single and dual task conditions in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - a double blind randomized control trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobi-Polishook, Talia; Shorer, Zamir; Melzer, Itshak

    2009-05-15

    To investigate the effects of Methylphenidate (MPH) on postural stability in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children in single and dual task conditions. A randomized controlled double-blind study analyzing postural stability in 24 ADHD children before and after MPH vs. placebo treatments, in three task conditions: (1) Single task, standing still; (2) dual task, standing still performing a memory-attention demanding task; (3) standing still listening to music. MPH resulted in a significant improvement in postural stability during the dual task condition and while listening to music, with no equivalent improvement in placebo controls. MPH improves postural stability in ADHD, especially when an additional task is performed. This is probably due to enhanced attention abilities, thus contributing to improved balance control during performance of tasks that require attention. MPH remains to be studied as a potential drug treatment to improve balance control and physical functioning in other clinical populations.

  16. 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.

  17. Increase or Decrease of fMRI Activity in Adult Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder: Does It Depend on Task Difficulty?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biehl, Stefanie C; Merz, Christian J; Dresler, Thomas; Heupel, Julia; Reichert, Susanne; Jacob, Christian P; Deckert, Jürgen; Herrmann, Martin J

    2016-05-27

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder has been shown to affect working memory, and fMRI studies in children and adolescents with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder report hypoactivation in task-related attentional networks. However, studies with adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients addressing this issue as well as the effects of clinically valid methylphenidate treatment are scarce. This study contributes to closing this gap. Thirty-five adult patients were randomized to 6 weeks of double-blind placebo or methylphenidate treatment. Patients completed an fMRI n-back working memory task both before and after the assigned treatment, and matched healthy controls were tested and compared to the untreated patients. There were no whole-brain differences between any of the groups. However, when specified regions of interest were investigated, the patient group showed enhanced BOLD responses in dorsal and ventral areas before treatment. This increase was correlated with performance across all participants and with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in the patient group. Furthermore, we found an effect of treatment in the right superior frontal gyrus, with methylphenidate-treated patients exhibiting increased activation, which was absent in the placebo-treated patients. Our results indicate distinct activation differences between untreated adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients and matched healthy controls during a working memory task. These differences might reflect compensatory efforts by the patients, who are performing at the same level as the healthy controls. We furthermore found a positive effect of methylphenidate on the activation of a frontal region of interest. These observations contribute to a more thorough understanding of adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and provide impulses for the evaluation of therapy-related changes. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf

  18. 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

  19. Can Dual Task Walking Improve in Parkinson's Disease After External Focus of Attention Exercise? A Single Blind Randomized Controlled Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Eric N; Intzandt, Brittany N; Almeida, Quincy J

    2018-01-01

    It may be possible to use attention-based exercise to decrease demands associated with walking in Parkinson's disease (PD), and thus improve dual task walking ability. For example, an external focus of attention (focusing on the effect of an action on the environment) may recruit automatic control processes degenerated in PD, whereas an internal focus (limb movement) may recruit conscious (nonautomatic) control processes. Thus, we aimed to investigate how externally and internally focused exercise influences dual task walking and symptom severity in PD. Forty-seven participants with PD were randomized to either an Externally (n = 24) or Internally (n = 23) focused group and completed 33 one-hour attention-based exercise sessions over 11 weeks. In addition, 16 participants were part of a control group. Before, after, and 8 weeks following the program (pre/post/washout), gait patterns were measured during single and dual task walking (digit-monitoring task, ie, walking while counting numbers announced by an audio-track), and symptom severity (UPDRS-III) was assessed ON and OFF dopamine replacement. Pairwise comparisons (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) and repeated-measures analyses of variance were conducted. Pre to post: Dual task step time decreased in the external group (Δ = 0.02 seconds, CI 0.01-0.04). Dual task step length (Δ = 2.3 cm, CI 0.86-3.75) and velocity (Δ = 4.5 cm/s, CI 0.59-8.48) decreased (became worse) in the internal group. UPDRS-III scores (ON and OFF) decreased (improved) in only the External group. Pre to washout: Dual task step time ( P = .005) and percentage in double support ( P = .014) significantly decreased (improved) in both exercise groups, although only the internal group increased error on the secondary counting task (ie, more errors monitoring numbers). UPDRS-III scores in both exercise groups significantly decreased ( P = .001). Since dual task walking improvements were found immediately, and 8 weeks after the cessation of an

  20. 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...

  1. Brain indices of nicotine's effects on attentional bias to smoking and emotional pictures and to task-relevant targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, David G; Sugai, Chihiro; Zuo, Yantao; Rabinovich, Norka E; McClernon, F Joseph; Froeliger, Brett

    2007-03-01

    Aversive and smoking-related stimuli are related to smoking urges and relapse and can be potent distractors of selective attention. It has been suggested that the beneficial effect of nicotine replacement therapy may be mediated partly by the ability of nicotine to reduce distraction by such stimuli and thereby to facilitate attention to task-relevant stimuli. The present study tested the hypothesis that nicotine reduces distraction by aversive and smoking-related stimuli as indexed by the parietal P3b brain response to a task-relevant target digit. We assessed the effect of nicotine on distraction by emotionally negative, positive, neutral, and smoking-related pictures immediately preceding target digits during a rapid visual information processing task in 16 smokers in a double-blind, counterbalanced, within-subjects design. The study included two experimental sessions. After overnight smoking deprivation (12+ hr), active nicotine patches were applied to participants during one of the sessions and placebo patches were applied during the other session. Nicotine enhanced P3b responses associated with target digits immediately subsequent to negative emotional pictures bilaterally and subsequent to smoking-related pictures only in the right hemisphere. No effects of nicotine were observed for P3bs subsequent to positive and neutral distractor pictures. Another measure of attention, contingent negative variation amplitude in anticipation of the target digits also was increased by nicotine, especially in the left hemisphere and at posterior sites. Together, these findings suggest that nicotine reduces the distraction by emotionally negative and smoking-related stimuli and promotes attention to task-related stimuli by modulating somewhat lateralized and task-specific neural networks.

  2. 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...

  3. Attentional Modulation of Word Recognition by Children in a Dual-Task Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sangsook; Lotto, Andrew; Lewis, Dawna; Hoover, Brenda; Stelmachowicz, Patricia

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated an account of limited short-term memory capacity for children's speech perception in noise using a dual-task paradigm. Method: Sixty-four normal-hearing children (7-14 years of age) participated in this study. Dual tasks were repeating monosyllabic words presented in noise at 8 dB signal-to-noise ratio and…

  4. 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.

  5. Learned Predictiveness Influences Rapid Attentional Capture: Evidence from the Dot Probe Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Pelley, Mike E.; Vadillo, Miguel; Luque, David

    2013-01-01

    Attentional theories of associative learning and categorization propose that learning about the predictiveness of a stimulus influences the amount of attention that is paid to that stimulus. Three experiments tested this idea by looking at the extent to which stimuli that had previously been experienced as predictive or nonpredictive in a…

  6. 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.

  7. Direct and indirect effects of attention and visual function on gait impairment in Parkinson's disease: influence of task and turning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Samuel; Galna, Brook; Delicato, Louise S; Lord, Sue; Rochester, Lynn

    2017-07-01

    Gait impairment is a core feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) which has been linked to cognitive and visual deficits, but interactions between these features are poorly understood. Monitoring saccades allows investigation of real-time cognitive and visual processes and their impact on gait when walking. This study explored: (i) saccade frequency when walking under different attentional manipulations of turning and dual-task; and (ii) direct and indirect relationships between saccades, gait impairment, vision and attention. Saccade frequency (number of fast eye movements per-second) was measured during gait in 60 PD and 40 age-matched control participants using a mobile eye-tracker. Saccade frequency was significantly reduced in PD compared to controls during all conditions. However, saccade frequency increased with a turn and decreased under dual-task for both groups. Poorer attention directly related to saccade frequency, visual function and gait impairment in PD, but not controls. Saccade frequency did not directly relate to gait in PD, but did in controls. Instead, saccade frequency and visual function deficit indirectly impacted gait impairment in PD, which was underpinned by their relationship with attention. In conclusion, our results suggest a vital role for attention with direct and indirect influences on gait impairment in PD. Attention directly impacted saccade frequency, visual function and gait impairment in PD, with connotations for falls. It also underpinned indirect impact of visual and saccadic impairment on gait. Attention therefore represents a key therapeutic target that should be considered in future research. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Sustained negative BOLD response in human fMRI finger tapping task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yadong Liu

    Full Text Available In this work, we investigated the sustained negative blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD response (sNBR using functional magnetic resonance imaging during a finger tapping task. We observed that the sNBR for this task was more extensive than has previously been reported. The cortical regions involved in sNBR are divided into the following three groups: frontal, somatosensory and occipital. By investigating the spatial structure, area, amplitude, and dynamics of the sNBR in comparison with those of its positive BOLD response (PBR counterpart, we made the following observations. First, among the three groups, the somatosensory group contained the greatest number of activated voxels and the fewest deactivated voxels. In addition, the amplitude of the sNBR in this group was the smallest among the three groups. Second, the onset and peak time of the sNBR are both larger than those of the PBR, whereas the falling edge time of the sNBR is less than that of the PBR. Third, the long distance between most sNBR foci and their corresponding PBR foci makes it unlikely that they share the same blood supply artery. Fourth, the couplings between the sNBR and its PBR counterpart are distinct among different regions and thus should be investigated separately. These findings imply that the origin of most sNBR foci in the finger-tapping task is much more likely to be neuronal activity suppression rather than "blood steal."

  9. Sustained negative BOLD response in human fMRI finger tapping task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yadong; Shen, Hui; Zhou, Zongtan; Hu, Dewen

    2011-01-01

    In this work, we investigated the sustained negative blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response (sNBR) using functional magnetic resonance imaging during a finger tapping task. We observed that the sNBR for this task was more extensive than has previously been reported. The cortical regions involved in sNBR are divided into the following three groups: frontal, somatosensory and occipital. By investigating the spatial structure, area, amplitude, and dynamics of the sNBR in comparison with those of its positive BOLD response (PBR) counterpart, we made the following observations. First, among the three groups, the somatosensory group contained the greatest number of activated voxels and the fewest deactivated voxels. In addition, the amplitude of the sNBR in this group was the smallest among the three groups. Second, the onset and peak time of the sNBR are both larger than those of the PBR, whereas the falling edge time of the sNBR is less than that of the PBR. Third, the long distance between most sNBR foci and their corresponding PBR foci makes it unlikely that they share the same blood supply artery. Fourth, the couplings between the sNBR and its PBR counterpart are distinct among different regions and thus should be investigated separately. These findings imply that the origin of most sNBR foci in the finger-tapping task is much more likely to be neuronal activity suppression rather than "blood steal."

  10. Compelled attention: the effects of viewing trauma-related stimuli on concurrent task performance in posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chemtob, C M; Roitblat, H L; Hamada, R S; Muraoka, M Y; Carlson, J G; Bauer, G B

    1999-04-01

    We examined the ability of Vietnam veterans with PTSD to focus attention on a primary digit detection task while concurrently viewing neutral or Vietnam-related picture and word distractors. Controlling for combat exposure, military service, and psychopathology, veterans with PTSD took longer to detect the target when Vietnam-related pictures were distractors. There were no reaction time differences when word stimuli were distractors. The latency effect was specific to trials with trauma-related pictures and did not spread to neutral trials interleaved within a mixed block of trauma and neutral pictures. Individuals with PTSD recalled proportionally more Vietnam-related words than other groups, implying differential attention to Vietnam-related words. Attending to trauma-related pictures interferes with performance of a concurrent task by individuals with PTSD.

  11. Changes in decibel scale wavelength properties of EEG with alertness levels while performing sustained attention tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arjunan, Sridhar P; Kumar, Dinesh K; Jung, Tzyy-Ping

    2009-01-01

    Loss of alertness can have dire consequences for people controlling motorized equipment or for people in professions such as defense. Electroencephalogram (EEG) is known to be related to alertness of the person, but due to high level of noise and low signal strength, the use of EEG for such applications has been considered to be unreliable. This study reports the fractal analysis of EEG and identifies the use of maximum fractal length (MFL) as a feature that is inversely correlated with the alertness of the subject. The results show that MFL (of only single channel of EEG) indicates the loss of alertness of the individual with mean (inverse) correlation coefficient = 0.82.

  12. 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.

  13. Attentional network task in schizophrenic patients and theirs unaffected first degree relatives: a potential endofenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, S Guerra; Fuster, J Iglesias; Reyes, M Martín; Collazo, T M Bravo; Quiñones, R Mendoza; Berazain, A Reyes; Rodríguez, M A Pedroso; Días de Villarvilla, T; Bobés, M Antonieta; Valdés-Sosa, M

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, reports of attentional deficits in schizophrenic patients and in their biological relatives have rapidly increased, including an important effort to search for the endophenotypes in order to link specific genes to this illness. Posner et al. developed a test, the Attention Network Test (ANT), to study the neural networks. This test provides a separate measure for each one of the three anatomically-defined attention networks (alerting, orienting and executive control). In this paper, we investigate the attentional performance in 32 schizophrenic patients, 29 unaffected first degree relatives and 29 healthy controls using the ANT through a study of family association. We have studied the efficiency of the segregated executive control, alerting and orienting networks by measuring how response latencies (reaction time) were modified by the cue position and the flanking stimuli. We also studied the familial association of these attentional alterations. The ANOVA revealed main effects of flanker and cue condition and a significant interaction effect between flanker and groups studied. The schizophrenic patients and their relatives had a longer median reaction time than the control group. The probands and their relatives significantly differed from the healthy controls in terms of their conflict resolution; however, the alerting network appeared to be conserved. Our results support the thesis of a specific attentional deficit in schizophrenia and show the segregation of the three attentional networks. The family association of these reported alterations supports the idea of a potential endophenotype in schizophrenia.

  14. Adult age-differences in subjective impression of emotional faces are reflected in emotion-related attention and memory tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joakim eSvard

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Although younger and older adults appear to attend to and remember emotional faces differently, less is known about age-related differences in the subjective emotional impression (arousal, potency, and valence of emotional faces and how these differences, in turn, are reflected in age differences in various emotional tasks. In the current study, we used the same facial emotional stimuli (angry and happy faces in four tasks: emotional rating, attention, categorical perception, and visual short-term memory (VSTM. The aim of this study was to investigate effects of age on the subjective emotional impression of angry and happy faces and to examine whether any age differences were mirrored in measures of emotional behavior (attention, categorical perception, and memory.In addition, regression analyses were used to further study impression-behavior associations. Forty younger adults (range 20-30 years and thirty-nine older adults (range 65-75 years participated in the experiment. The emotional rating task showed that older adults perceived less arousal, potency, and valence than younger adults and that the difference was more pronounced for angry than happy faces. Similarly, the results of the attention and memory tasks demonstrated interaction effects between emotion and age, and age differences on these measures were larger for angry than for happy faces. Regression analyses confirmed that in both age groups, higher potency ratings predicted both visual search and visual short-term memory efficiency. Future studies should consider the possibility that age differences in the subjective emotional impression of facial emotional stimuli may explain age differences in attention to and memory of such stimuli.

  15. Using task effort and pupil size to track covert shifts of visual attention independently of a pupillary light reflex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocher, Andreas; Harbecke, Raphael; Graf, Tim; Memmert, Daniel; Hüttermann, Stefanie

    2018-03-07

    We tested the link between pupil size and the task effort involved in covert shifts of visual attention. The goal of this study was to establish pupil size as a marker of attentional shifting in the absence of luminance manipulations. In three experiments, participants evaluated two stimuli that were presented peripherally, appearing equidistant from and on opposite sides of eye fixation. The angle between eye fixation and the peripherally presented target stimuli varied from 12.5° to 42.5°. The evaluation of more distant stimuli led to poorer performance than did the evaluation of more proximal stimuli throughout our study, confirming that the former required more effort than the latter. In addition, in Experiment 1 we found that pupil size increased with increasing angle and that this effect could not be reduced to the operation of low-level visual processes in the task. In Experiment 2 the pupil dilated more strongly overall when participants evaluated the target stimuli, which required shifts of attention, than when they merely reported on the target's presence versus absence. Both conditions yielded larger pupils for more distant than for more proximal stimuli, however. In Experiment 3, we manipulated task difficulty more directly, by changing the contrast at which the target stimuli were presented. We replicated the results from Experiment 1 only with the high-contrast stimuli. With stimuli of low contrast, ceiling effects in pupil size were observed. Our data show that the link between task effort and pupil size can be used to track the degree to which an observer covertly shifts attention to or detects stimuli in peripheral vision.

  16. The Effects of Group Relaxation Training/Large Muscle Exercise, and Parental Involvement on Attention to Task, Impulsivity, and Locus of Control among Hyperactive Boys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Sally S.; Omizo, Michael M.

    1984-01-01

    The study examined the effects of group relaxation training/large muscle exercise and parental involvement on attention to task, impulsivity, and locus of control among 34 hyperactive boys. Following treatment both experimental groups recorded significantly higher attention to task, lower impulsivity, and lower locus of control scores. (Author/CL)

  17. A Novel Eye-Tracking Method to Assess Attention Allocation in Individuals with and without Aphasia Using a Dual-Task Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heuer, Sabine; Hallowell, Brooke

    2015-01-01

    Numerous authors report that people with aphasia have greater difficulty allocating attention than people without neurological disorders. Studying how attention deficits contribute to language deficits is important. However, existing methods for indexing attention allocation in people with aphasia pose serious methodological challenges. Eye-tracking methods have great potential to address such challenges. We developed and assessed the validity of a new dual-task method incorporating eye tracking to assess attention allocation. Twenty-six adults with aphasia and 33 control participants completed auditory sentence comprehension and visual search tasks. To test whether the new method validly indexes well-documented patterns in attention allocation, demands were manipulated by varying task complexity in single- and dual-task conditions. Differences in attention allocation were indexed via eye-tracking measures. For all participants significant increases in attention allocation demands were observed from single- to dual-task conditions and from simple to complex stimuli. Individuals with aphasia had greater difficulty allocating attention with greater task demands. Relationships between eye-tracking indices of comprehension during single and dual tasks and standardized testing were examined. Results support the validity of the novel eye-tracking method for assessing attention allocation in people with and without aphasia. Clinical and research implications are discussed. PMID:25913549

  18. The Effect of Different Attentional Focus Instructions during Finger Movement Tasks in Healthy Subjects: An Exploratory Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giacomo Rossettini

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available External focus of attention (EFA and internal focus of attention (IFA represent commonly used strategies to instruct subjects during exercise. Several studies showed EFA to be more effective than IFA to improve motor performance and learning. To date the role of these strategies on motor performance during finger movement was less studied. The objective of the study was to investigate motor performance, patient’s preference induced by IFA and EFA, and the focus during control condition. Ten healthy right-handed participants performed a finger movement task in control, EFA, and IFA conditions (counterbalanced. Errors, patient’s preference, and type of attentional focus spontaneously adopted during the control condition were recorded. EFA determined less error (p<0.01 compared to control and IFA. Participants preferred EFA against IFA and control condition. In the control group 10% of subjects adopted a purely EFA, 70% of subjects adopted a purely IFA, and 20% of subjects adopted a mixture of the two foci. Our results confirm that EFA is more effective than IFA and control in finger movement task. Due its clinical relevance, the interaction between attention and finger movement should be further investigated.

  19. Glaucomatous retinal nerve fiber layer thickness loss is associated with slower reaction times under a divided attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatham, Andrew J; Boer, Erwin R; Rosen, Peter N; Della Penna, Mauro; Meira-Freitas, Daniel; Weinreb, Robert N; Zangwill, Linda M; Medeiros, Felipe A

    2014-11-01

    To examine the relationship between glaucomatous structural damage and ability to divide attention during simulated driving. Cross-sectional observational study. Hamilton Glaucoma Center, University of California San Diego. Total of 158 subjects from the Diagnostic Innovations in Glaucoma Study, including 82 with glaucoma and 76 similarly aged controls. Ability to divide attention was investigated by measuring reaction times to peripheral stimuli (at low, medium, or high contrast) while concomitantly performing a central driving task (car following or curve negotiation). All subjects had standard automated perimetry (SAP) and optical coherence tomography was used to measure retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness. Cognitive ability was assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and subjects completed a driving history questionnaire. Reaction times to the driving simulator divided attention task. The mean reaction times to the low-contrast stimulus were 1.05 s and 0.64 s in glaucoma and controls, respectively, during curve negotiation (P divide attention, RNFL thickness measurements provided additional information. Information from structural tests may improve our ability to determine which patients are likely to have problems performing daily activities, such as driving. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Attentional Bias in Psychopathy: An Examination of the Emotional Dot-Probe Task in Male Jail Inmates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edalati, Hanie; Walsh, Zach; Kosson, David S

    2016-08-01

    Numerous studies have identified differences in the identification of emotional displays between psychopaths and non-psychopaths; however, results have been equivocal regarding the nature of these differences. The present study investigated an alternative approach to examining the association between psychopathy and emotion processing by examining attentional bias to emotional faces; we used a modified dot-probe task to measure attentional bias toward emotional faces in comparison with neutral faces, among a sample of male jail inmates assessed using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). Results indicated a positive association between psychopathy and attention toward happy versus neutral faces, and that this association was attributable to Factor 1 of the psychopathy construct. © The Author(s) 2015.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. HIV-positive females show blunted neurophysiological responses in an emotion-attention dual task paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartar, Jaime L; McIntosh, Roger C; Rosselli, Monica; Widmayer, Susan M; Nash, Allan J

    2014-06-01

    Although HIV is associated with decreased emotional and cognitive functioning, the mechanisms through which affective changes can alter cognitive processes in HIV-infected individuals are unknown. We aimed to clarify this question through testing the extent to which emotionally negative stimuli prime attention to a subsequent infrequently occurring auditory tone in HIV+ compared to HIV- females. Attention to emotional compared to non-emotional pictures was measured via the LPP ERP. Subsequent attention was indexed through the N1 and late processing negativity ERP. We also assessed mood and cognitive functioning in both groups. In HIV- females, emotionally negative pictures, compared to neutral pictures, resulted in an enhanced LPP to the pictures and an enhanced N1 to subsequent tones. The HIV+ group did not show a difference in the LPP measure between picture categories, and accordingly, did not show a priming effect to the subsequent infrequent tones. The ERP findings, combined with neuropsychological deficits, suggest that HIV+ females show impairments in attention to emotionally-laden stimuli and that this impairment might be related to a loss of affective priming. This study is the first to provide physiological evidence that the LPP, a measure of attention to emotionally-charged visual stimuli, is reduced in HIV-infected individuals. These results set the stage for future work aimed at localizing brain activation to emotional stimuli in HIV+ individuals. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. Expectations impact short-term memory through changes in connectivity between attention- and task-related brain regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinke, Christopher; Forkmann, Katarina; Schmidt, Katharina; Wiech, Katja; Bingel, Ulrike

    2016-05-01

    Over the recent years, neuroimaging studies have investigated the neural mechanisms underlying the influence of expectations on perception. However, it seems equally reasonable to assume that expectations impact cognitive functions. Here we used fMRI to explore the role of expectations on task performance and its underlying neural mechanisms. 43 healthy participants were randomly assigned to two groups. Using verbal instructions, group 1 was led to believe that pain enhances task performance while group 2 was instructed that pain hampers their performance. All participants performed a Rapid-Serial-Visual-Presentation (RSVP) Task (target detection and short-term memory component) with or without concomitant painful heat stimulation during 3T fMRI scanning. As hypothesized, short-term memory performance showed an interaction between painful stimulation and expectation. Positive expectations induced stronger neural activation in the right inferior parietal cortex (IPC) during painful stimulation than negative expectation. Moreover, IPC displayed differential functional coupling with the left inferior occipital cortex under pain as a function of expectancy. Our data show that an individual's expectation can influence cognitive performance in a visual short-term memory task which is associated with activity and connectivity changes in brain areas implicated in attentional processing and task performance. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Selective attention and avoidance on a pictorial cueing task during stress in clinically anxious and depressed participants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellenbogen, Mark A; Schwartzman, Alex E

    2009-02-01

    Although it is well established that attentional biases exist in anxious populations, the specific components of visual orienting towards and away from emotional stimuli are not well delineated. The present study was designed to examine these processes. We used a modified spatial cueing task to assess the speed of engagement and disengagement from supraliminal and masked pictorial cues depicting threat, dysphoria, or neutral content in 36 clinically anxious, 41 depressed and 41 control participants. Participants were randomly assigned to a stress or neutral condition. During stress, anxious participants were slow to disengage from masked left hemifield pictures depicting threat or dysphoria, but were quick to disengage from supraliminal threat pictures. Information processing in anxious participants during stress was characterized by early selective attention of emotional stimuli, occurring prior to full conscious awareness, followed by effortful avoidance of threat. Depressed participants were distinct from the anxious group, displaying selective attention for stimuli depicting dysphoria, but not threat, during the neutral condition. In sum, attentional biases in clinical populations are associated with difficulties in the disengagement component of visual orienting. Further, a vigilant-avoidant pattern of attentional bias may represent a strategic attempt to compensate for the early activation of a fear response.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Design and Validation of HABTA: Human Attention-Based Task Allocator (Extended Abstract)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maanen, P.P. van; Koning, L. de; Dongen, C.J.G. van

    2008-01-01

    Several challenges can be identified for work on future naval platforms. Information volumes for navigation, system monitoring, and tactical tasks will increase as the complexity of the internal and external environment also increases. The trend of reduced manning is expected to continue as a result

  11. Interference within the Focus of Attention: Working Memory Tasks Reflect More than Temporary Maintenance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shipstead, Zach; Engle, Randall W.

    2013-01-01

    One approach to understanding working memory (WM) holds that individual differences in WM capacity arise from the amount of information a person can store in WM over short periods of time. This view is especially prevalent in WM research conducted with the visual arrays task. Within this tradition, many researchers have concluded that the average…

  12. Visual Attention During Brand Choice : The Impact of Time Pressure and Task Motivation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pieters, R.; Warlop, L.

    1998-01-01

    Measures derived from eye-movement data reveal that during brand choice consumers adapt to time pressure by accelerating the visual scanning sequence, by filtering information and by changing their scanning strategy. In addition, consumers with high task motivation filter brand information less and

  13. Older Adults Do Not Notice Their Names: A New Twist to a Classic Attention Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe; Kilb, Angela; Maddox, Geoffrey B.; Thomas, Jenna; Fine, Hope C.; Chen, Tina; Cowan, Nelson

    2014-01-01

    Although working memory spans are, on average, lower for older adults than young adults, we demonstrate in 5 experiments a way in which older adults paradoxically resemble higher capacity young adults. Specifically, in a selective-listening task, older adults almost always failed to notice their names presented in an unattended channel. This is an…

  14. Working Memory, Attention Control, and the N-Back Task: A Question of Construct Validity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Michael J.; Conway, Andrew R. A.; Miura, Timothy K.; Colflesh, Gregory J. H.

    2007-01-01

    The n-back task requires participants to decide whether each stimulus in a sequence matches the one that appeared n items ago. Although n-back has become a standard "executive" working memory (WM) measure in cognitive neuroscience, it has been subjected to few behavioral tests of construct validity. A combined experimental-correlational study…

  15. ASSESSMENT OF ATTENTION THRESHOLD IN RATS BY TITRATION OF VISUAL CUE DURATION DURING THE FIVE CHOICE SERIAL REACTION TIME TASK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas J.; Grigg, Amanda; Kim, Susy A.; Ririe, Douglas G.; Eisenach, James C.

    2014-01-01

    Background The 5 choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT) is commonly used to assess attention in rodents. We sought to develop a variant of the 5CSRTT that would speed training to objective success criteria, and to test whether this variant could determine attention capability in each subject. New Method Fisher 344 rats were trained to perform a variant of the 5CSRTT in which the duration of visual cue presentation (cue duration) was titrated between trials based upon performance. The cue duration was decreased when the subject made a correct response, or increased with incorrect responses or omissions. Additionally, test day challenges were provided consisting of lengthening the intertrial interval and inclusion of a visual distracting stimulus. Results Rats readily titrated the cue duration to less than 1 sec in 25 training sessions or less (mean ± SEM, 22.9 ± 0.7), and the median cue duration (MCD) was calculated as a measure of attention threshold. Increasing the intertrial interval increased premature responses, decreased the number of trials completed, and increased the MCD. Decreasing the intertrial interval and time allotted for consuming the food reward demonstrated that a minimum of 3.5 sec is required for rats to consume two food pellets and successfully attend to the next trial. Visual distraction in the form of a 3 Hz flashing light increased the MCD and both premature and time out responses. Comparison with existing method The titration variant of the 5CSRTT is a useful method that dynamically measures attention threshold across a wide range of subject performance, and significantly decreases the time required for training. Task challenges produce similar effects in the titration method as reported for the classical procedure. Conclusions The titration 5CSRTT method is an efficient training procedure for assessing attention and can be utilized to assess the limit in performance ability across subjects and various schedule manipulations. PMID

  16. Attentional Predictors of 5-Month-Olds' Performance on a Looking A-Not-B Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcovitch, Stuart; Clearfield, Melissa W.; Swingler, Margaret; Calkins, Susan D.; Bell, Martha Ann

    2016-01-01

    In the first year of life, the ability to search for hidden objects is an indicator of object permanence and, when multiple locations are involved, executive function (i.e. inhibition, cognitive flexibility and working memory). The current study was designed to examine attentional predictors of search in 5-month-old infants (as measured by the…

  17. Verbal and facial-emotional Stroop tasks reveal specific attentional interferences in sad mood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Isaac, L.; Vrijsen, J.N.; Eling, P.A.T.M.; Oostrom, I.I.H. van; Speckens, A.E.M.; Becker, E.S.

    2012-01-01

    Mood congruence refers to the tendency of individuals to attend to information more readily when it has the same emotional content as their current mood state. The aim of the present study was to ascertain whether attentional interference occurred for participants in sad mood states for emotionally

  18. Design and Implementation of Cancellation Tasks for Visual Search Strategies and Visual Attention in School Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tsui-Ying; Huang, Ho-Chuan; Huang, Hsiu-Shuang

    2006-01-01

    We propose a computer-assisted cancellation test system (CACTS) to understand the visual attention performance and visual search strategies in school children. The main aim of this paper is to present our design and development of the CACTS and demonstrate some ways in which computer techniques can allow the educator not only to obtain more…

  19. Impaired Conflict Resolution and Alerting in Children with ADHD: Evidence from the Attention Network Task (ANT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Katherine A.; Robertson, Ian H.; Barry, Edwina; Mulligan, Aisling; Daibhis, Aoife; Daly, Michael; Watchorn, Amy; Gill, Michael; Bellgrove, Mark A.

    2008-01-01

    Background: An important theory of attention suggests that there are three separate networks that execute discrete cognitive functions. The "alerting" network acquires and maintains an alert state, the "orienting" network selects information from sensory input and the "conflict" network resolves conflict that arises between potential responses.…

  20. Attentional capture by irrelevant transients leads to perceptual errors in a competitive change detection task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eSchneider

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Theories on visual change detection imply that attention is a necessary but not sufficient prerequisite for aware perception. Misguidance of attention due to salient irrelevant distractors can therefore lead to severe deficits in change detection. The present study investigates the mechanisms behind such perceptual errors and their relation to error processing on higher cognitive levels. Participants had to detect a luminance change that occasionally occurred simultaneously with an irrelevant orientation change in the opposite hemi-field (conflict condition. By analyzing event-related potentials in the EEG separately in those error prone conflict trials for correct and erroneous change detection, we demonstrate that only correct change detection was associated with the allocation of attention to the relevant luminance change. Erroneous change detection was associated with an initial capture of attention towards the irrelevant orientation change in the N1 time window and a lack of subsequent target selection processes (N2pc. Errors were additionally accompanied by an increase of the fronto-central N2 and a kind of error negativity (Ne or ERN, which, however, peaked prior to the response. These results suggest that a strong perceptual conflict by salient distractors can disrupt the further processing of relevant information and thus affect its aware perception. Yet, it does not impair higher cognitive processes for conflict and error detection, indicating that these processes are independent from awareness.

  1. Classification effects of real and imaginary movement selective attention tasks on a P300-based brain-computer interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvaris, Mathew; Sepulveda, Francisco

    2010-10-01

    Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) rely on various electroencephalography methodologies that allow the user to convey their desired control to the machine. Common approaches include the use of event-related potentials (ERPs) such as the P300 and modulation of the beta and mu rhythms. All of these methods have their benefits and drawbacks. In this paper, three different selective attention tasks were tested in conjunction with a P300-based protocol (i.e. the standard counting of target stimuli as well as the conduction of real and imaginary movements in sync with the target stimuli). The three tasks were performed by a total of 10 participants, with the majority (7 out of 10) of the participants having never before participated in imaginary movement BCI experiments. Channels and methods used were optimized for the P300 ERP and no sensory-motor rhythms were explicitly used. The classifier used was a simple Fisher's linear discriminant. Results were encouraging, showing that on average the imaginary movement achieved a P300 versus No-P300 classification accuracy of 84.53%. In comparison, mental counting, the standard selective attention task used in previous studies, achieved 78.9% and real movement 90.3%. Furthermore, multiple trial classification results were recorded and compared, with real movement reaching 99.5% accuracy after four trials (12.8 s), imaginary movement reaching 99.5% accuracy after five trials (16 s) and counting reaching 98.2% accuracy after ten trials (32 s).

  2. A Computer-Based Sustained Visual Attention Test for Pre-School Children: Design, Development and Psychometric Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. The assessment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children using continous performance tasks in virtual environments

    OpenAIRE

    Gutiérrez Maldonado, José; Letosa Porta, A.; Rus Calafell, M.; Peñaloza Salazar, C.

    2009-01-01

    The assessment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) involves the use of different instruments, and one of the most frequently used is the Continuous Performance Test (CPT). Virtual reality allows for the achieving of the presentation of stimuli with high levels of control. In addition, it facilitates the presentation of distracters with a high level of resemblance to elements which in fact can be found in the real world by placing them in a similar context. Thus, it is possible ...

  4. Human performance across decision making, selective attention, and working memory tasks: Experimental data and computer simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Stocco

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available This article describes the data analyzed in the paper “Individual differences in the Simon effect are underpinned by differences in the competitive dynamics in the basal ganglia: An experimental verification and a computational model” (Stocco et al., 2017 [1]. The data includes behavioral results from participants performing three cognitive tasks (Probabilistic Stimulus Selection (Frank et al., 2004 [2], Simon task (Craft and Simon, 1970 [3], and Automated Operation Span (Unsworth et al., 2005 [4], as well as simulationed traces generated by a computational neurocognitive model that accounts for individual variations in human performance across the tasks. The experimental data encompasses individual data files (in both preprocessed and native output format as well as group-level summary files. The simulation data includes the entire model code, the results of a full-grid search of the model's parameter space, and the code used to partition the model space and parallelize the simulations. Finally, the repository includes the R scripts used to carry out the statistical analyses reported in the original paper.

  5. Human performance across decision making, selective attention, and working memory tasks: Experimental data and computer simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocco, Andrea; Yamasaki, Brianna L; Prat, Chantel S

    2018-04-01

    This article describes the data analyzed in the paper "Individual differences in the Simon effect are underpinned by differences in the competitive dynamics in the basal ganglia: An experimental verification and a computational model" (Stocco et al., 2017) [1]. The data includes behavioral results from participants performing three cognitive tasks (Probabilistic Stimulus Selection (Frank et al., 2004) [2], Simon task (Craft and Simon, 1970) [3], and Automated Operation Span (Unsworth et al., 2005) [4]), as well as simulationed traces generated by a computational neurocognitive model that accounts for individual variations in human performance across the tasks. The experimental data encompasses individual data files (in both preprocessed and native output format) as well as group-level summary files. The simulation data includes the entire model code, the results of a full-grid search of the model's parameter space, and the code used to partition the model space and parallelize the simulations. Finally, the repository includes the R scripts used to carry out the statistical analyses reported in the original paper.

  6. Inflexible minds: impaired attention switching in recent-onset schizophrenia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henderikus G O M Smid

    Full Text Available Impairment of sustained attention is assumed to be a core cognitive abnormality in schizophrenia. However, this seems inconsistent with a recent hypothesis that in schizophrenia the implementation of selection (i.e., sustained attention is intact but the control of selection (i.e., switching the focus of attention is impaired. Mounting evidence supports this hypothesis, indicating that switching of attention is a bigger problem in schizophrenia than maintaining the focus of attention. To shed more light on this hypothesis, we tested whether schizophrenia patients are impaired relative to controls in sustaining attention, switching attention, or both. Fifteen patients with recent-onset schizophrenia and fifteen healthy volunteers, matched on age and intelligence, performed sustained attention and attention switching tasks, while performance and brain potential measures of selective attention were recorded. In the sustained attention task, patients did not differ from the controls on these measures. In the attention switching task, however, patients showed worse performance than the controls, and early selective attention related brain potentials were absent in the patients while clearly present in the controls. These findings support the hypothesis that schizophrenia is associated with an impairment of the mechanisms that control the direction of attention (attention switching, while the mechanisms that implement a direction of attention (sustained attention are intact.

  7. Children’s Failure in Analogical Reasoning Tasks: A Problem of Focus of Attention and Information Integration?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yannick Glady

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Children’s improved performance with age in analogy tasks has been explained by an increase in semantic knowledge of the items and the relations between them or by the development of an increased ability to inhibit irrelevant information. We tested the so-called “unbalanced attentional focus hypothesis” that claims that a failure to choose the “analogical” match can be the result of a difficulty to focus on all the relevant information available. Previous eye-tracking research has suggested, in analogies of the A:B::C:D format, that 5–6 year-olds organize their search around the C item. They focused significantly less than adults on the A:B pair, thereby hindering their discovering the relation(s between A and B. We hypothesized that inducing them to focus their attention on the A:B pair at the beginning of the trial would affect their performance. In Experiment 1, increasing children’s focus on the A:B pair did, indeed, lead to better performance. In contrast, in Experiment 2, focusing their attention on the A:B pair impaired performance when the most salient relation holding between A and B was, in fact, irrelevant for the analogy. By contrast, the obvious-but-irrelevant relation in the A:B pair had no negative effect on performance when no explicit A:B focusing was induced. These results are discussed in terms of the temporal organization of the task and availability of information, and of children’s difficulties to disengage from the main goal of the task, when necessary.

  8. Children’s Failure in Analogical Reasoning Tasks: A Problem of Focus of Attention and Information Integration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glady, Yannick; French, Robert M.; Thibaut, Jean-Pierre

    2017-01-01

    Children’s improved performance with age in analogy tasks has been explained by an increase in semantic knowledge of the items and the relations between them or by the development of an increased ability to inhibit irrelevant information. We tested the so-called “unbalanced attentional focus hypothesis” that claims that a failure to choose the “analogical” match can be the result of a difficulty to focus on all the relevant information available. Previous eye-tracking research has suggested, in analogies of the A:B::C:D format, that 5–6 year-olds organize their search around the C item. They focused significantly less than adults on the A:B pair, thereby hindering their discovering the relation(s) between A and B. We hypothesized that inducing them to focus their attention on the A:B pair at the beginning of the trial would affect their performance. In Experiment 1, increasing children’s focus on the A:B pair did, indeed, lead to better performance. In contrast, in Experiment 2, focusing their attention on the A:B pair impaired performance when the most salient relation holding between A and B was, in fact, irrelevant for the analogy. By contrast, the obvious-but-irrelevant relation in the A:B pair had no negative effect on performance when no explicit A:B focusing was induced. These results are discussed in terms of the temporal organization of the task and availability of information, and of children’s difficulties to disengage from the main goal of the task, when necessary. PMID:28588516

  9. Unfazed or Dazed and Confused: Does Early Adolescent Marijuana Use Cause Sustained Impairments in Attention and Academic Functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Decision-making on an explicit risk-taking task in preadolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drechsler, R; Rizzo, P; Steinhausen, H-C

    2008-01-01

    Inappropriate risk-taking and disadvantageous decision-making have been described as major behavioural characteristics of patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However these behaviours are difficult to measure in laboratory contexts and recent studies have yielded inconsistent results which might be related to task characteristics. The present study adopted the Game of Dice Task, a test procedure in which risks are made explicit and the load on working memory is minimal. As a result, preadolescents with ADHD (N = 23) made significantly more risky choices and suffered major losses of money compared to normal controls (N = 24) but only when they played the game a second time. Differences in risk-taking correlated significantly with hyperactivity as rated by parents and with inhibitory control, but not with working memory performance. The results are discussed in the context of current theories of ADHD.

  11. Emotion triggers executive attention: anterior cingulate cortex and amygdala responses to emotional words in a conflict task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Glucose administration prior to a divided attention task improves tracking performance but not word recognition: evidence against differential memory enhancement?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholey, Andrew B; Sünram-Lea, Sandra I; Greer, Joanna; Elliott, Jade; Kennedy, David O

    2009-01-01

    The cognition-enhancing effects of glucose administration to humans have been well-documented; however, it remains unclear whether this effect preferentially targets episodic memory or other cognitive domains. The effect of glucose on the allocation of attentional resources during memory encoding was assessed using a sensitive dual-attention paradigm. One hundred and twenty volunteers (mean age 21.60, SD 4.89, 77 females) took part in this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel groups study where each consumed a 25-g glucose drink or a placebo. Half of the participants in each drink condition attempted to track a moving on-screen target during auditory word presentation. The distance between the cursor and the tracking target was used as an index of attentional cost during encoding. Effects of drink and tracking on recognition memory and drink on tracking performance were assessed. Self-rated appetite and mood were co-monitored. Co-performing the tracking task significantly impaired memory performance irrespective of drink condition. In the placebo-tracking condition, there was a cost to tracking manifest as greater deviation from target during and immediately following word presentation. Compared with placebo, the glucose drink significantly improved tracking performance during encoding. There were significant time-related changes in thirst and alertness ratings but these were not differentially affected by drink or tracking conditions. Tracking but not memory was enhanced by glucose. This finding suggests that, under certain task conditions, glucose administrations does not preferentially enhance memory performance. One mechanism through which glucose acts as a cognition enhancer is through allowing greater allocation of attentional resources.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. Behavioral and ERP measures of attentional bias to threat in the dot-probe task: Poor reliability and lack of correlation with anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S. Kappenman

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The dot-probe task is often considered a gold standard in the field for investigating attentional bias to threat. However, serious issues with the task have been raised. Specifically, a number of studies have demonstrated that the traditional reaction time measure of attentional bias to threat in the dot-probe task has poor internal reliability and poor test-retest reliability. In addition, although threatening stimuli capture attention in other paradigms, attentional bias to threat has not usually been found in typical research participants in the dot-probe task. However, when attention is measured in the dot-probe task with the N2pc component of the event-related potential (ERP waveform, substantial attentional orienting to threat is observed, and the internal reliability is moderate. To provide a rigorous comparison of the reliability of this N2pc measure and the conventional behavioral measure, as well as to examine the relationship of these measures to anxiety, the present study examined the N2pc in conjunction with reaction time in the dot-probe task in a large sample of participants (N = 96. As in previous studies, reaction time showed no bias to threatening images across the sample and exhibited poor internal reliability. Moreover, this measure did not relate to trait anxiety. By contrast, the N2pc revealed a significant initial shift of attention to threat, and this measure was internally reliable. However, the N2pc was not correlated with trait anxiety, indicating that it does not provide a meaningful index of individual differences in anxiety in the dot-probe task. Together, these results indicate a serious need to develop new tasks and methods to more reliably investigate attentional bias to threat and its relationship to anxiety in both clinical and non-clinical populations.

  17. Neural Control of a Tracking Task via Attention-Gated Reinforcement Learning for Brain-Machine Interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yiwen; Wang, Fang; Xu, Kai; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Zhang, Shaomin; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2015-05-01

    Reinforcement learning (RL)-based brain machine interfaces (BMIs) enable the user to learn from the environment through interactions to complete the task without desired signals, which is promising for clinical applications. Previous studies exploited Q-learning techniques to discriminate neural states into simple directional actions providing the trial initial timing. However, the movements in BMI applications can be quite complicated, and the action timing explicitly shows the intention when to move. The rich actions and the corresponding neural states form a large state-action space, imposing generalization difficulty on Q-learning. In this paper, we propose to adopt attention-gated reinforcement learning (AGREL) as a new learning scheme for BMIs to adaptively decode high-dimensional neural activities into seven distinct movements (directional moves, holdings and resting) due to the efficient weight-updating. We apply AGREL on neural data recorded from M1 of a monkey to directly predict a seven-action set in a time sequence to reconstruct the trajectory of a center-out task. Compared to Q-learning techniques, AGREL could improve the target acquisition rate to 90.16% in average with faster convergence and more stability to follow neural activity over multiple days, indicating the potential to achieve better online decoding performance for more complicated BMI tasks.

  18. Chronic cannabis use and ERP correlates of visual selective attention during the performance of a flanker go/nogo task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholls, Clare; Bruno, Raimondo; Matthews, Allison

    2015-09-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between chronic cannabis use and visual selective attention by examining event-related potentials (ERPs) during the performance of a flanker go/nogo task. Male participants were 15 chronic cannabis users (minimum two years use, at least once per week) and 15 drug naive controls. Cannabis users showed longer reaction times compared to controls with equivalent accuracy. Cannabis users also showed a reduction in the N2 'nogo effect' at frontal sites, particularly for incongruent stimuli, and particularly in the right hemisphere. This suggests differences between chronic cannabis users and controls in terms of inhibitory processing within the executive control network, and may implicate the right inferior frontal cortex. There was also preliminary evidence for differences in early selective attention, with controls but not cannabis users showing modulation of N1 amplitude by flanker congruency. Further investigation is required to examine the potential reversibility of these residual effects after long-term abstinence and to examine the role of early selective attention mechanisms in more detail. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Influence of acute high-intensity aerobic interval exercise bout on selective attention and short-term memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Christiano R R; Tessaro, Victor H; Teixeira, Luis A C; Murakava, Karina; Roschel, Hamilton; Gualano, Bruno; Takito, Monica Y

    2014-02-01

    Acute moderate intensity continuous aerobic exercise can improve specific cognitive functions, such as short-term memory and selective attention. Moreover, high-intensity interval training (HIT) has been recently proposed as a time-efficient alternative to traditional cardiorespiratory exercise. However, considering previous speculations that the exercise intensity affects cognition in a U-shaped fashion, it was hypothesized that a HIT session may impair cognitive performance. Therefore, this study assessed the effects of an acute HIT session on selective attention and short-term memory tasks. 22 healthy middle-aged individuals (M age = 53.7 yr.) engaged in both (1) a HIT session, 10 1 min. cycling bouts at the intensity corresponding to 80% of the reserve heart rate interspersed by 1 min. active pauses cycling at 60% of the reserve heart rate and (2) a control session, consisting of an active condition with low-intensity active stretching exercise. Before and after each experimental session, cognitive performance was assessed by the Victoria Version of the Stroop test (a selective attention test) and the Digit Span test (a short-term memory test). Following the HIT session, the time to complete the Stroop "Color word" test was significantly lower when compared with that of the control session. The performances in the other subtasks of the Stroop test as well as in the Digit Span test were not significantly different. A HIT session can improve cognitive function.

  20. Interactive effects between gaze direction and facial expression on attentional resources deployment: the task instruction and context matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricciardelli, Paola; Lugli, Luisa; Pellicano, Antonello; Iani, Cristina; Nicoletti, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    In three experiments, we tested whether the amount of attentional resources needed to process a face displaying neutral/angry/fearful facial expressions with direct or averted gaze depends on task instructions, and face presentation. To this end, we used a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation paradigm in which participants in Experiment 1 were first explicitly asked to discriminate whether the expression of a target face (T1) with direct or averted gaze was angry or neutral, and then to judge the orientation of a landscape (T2). Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1 except that participants had to discriminate the gender of the face of T1 and fearful faces were also presented randomly inter-mixed within each block of trials. Experiment 3 differed from Experiment 2 only because angry and fearful faces were never presented within the same block. The findings indicated that the presence of the attentional blink (AB) for face stimuli depends on specific combinations of gaze direction and emotional facial expressions and crucially revealed that the contextual factors (e.g., explicit instruction to process the facial expression and the presence of other emotional faces) can modify and even reverse the AB, suggesting a flexible and more contextualized deployment of attentional resources in face processing. PMID:26898473

  1. Sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Improvements and important considerations for the 5-choice serial reaction time task-An effective measurement of visual attention in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Jayant; Daya, Ritesh; Mishra, Ram K

    2016-09-01

    The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) is an automated operant conditioning task that measures rodent attention. The task allows the measurement of several parameters such as response accuracy, speed of processing, motivation, and impulsivity. The task has been widely used to investigate attentional processes in rodents for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder and has expanded to other illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, depression, and schizophrenia. The 5-CSRTT is accompanied with two significant caveats: a time intensive training period and largely varied individual rat capability to learn and perform the task. Here we provide a regimented acquisition protocol to enhance training for the 5-CSRTT and discuss important considerations for researchers using the 5-CSRTT. We offer guidelines to ensure that inferences on performance in the 5-CSRTT are in fact a result of experimental manipulation rather than training differences, or individual animal capability. According to our findings only rats that have been trained successfully within a limited time frame should be used for the remainder of the study. Currently the 5-CSRTT employs a training period of variable duration and procedure, and its inferences on attention must overcome heterogeneous innate animal differences. The 5-CSRTT offers valuable and valid insights on various rodent attentional processes and their translation to the underpinnings of illnesses such as schizophrenia. The recommendations made here provide important criteria to ensure inferences made from this task are in fact relevant to the attentional processes being measured. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Deficits in Interval Timing Measured by the Dual-Task Paradigm among Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Shoou-Lian; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Hsu, Wen-Yau; Wu, Yu-Yu

    2010-01-01

    Background: The underlying mechanism of time perception deficit in long time intervals in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is still unclear. This study used the time reproduction dual task to explore the role of the attentional resource in time perception deficits among children and adolescents with ADHD. Methods: Participants…

  4. Effects of Attention and Levels of Processing on Explicit and Implicit Memory Function with Interesting and Uninteresting Tasks in University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdavian, Alireza; Kormi-Nouri, Reza

    This study aims to investigate the effect of attention and levels of processing on memory function and recalling words in two situations when students are interested in the subject and when they are not. This is an experimental study of 160 students conducted individually using a computer software. Results reveal focused attention, interest in the subject and deep processing caused the explicit memory to be at its highest level of functionality. On the contrary, shallow processing, divided attention and lack of interest in the subject plunged memory function into its lowest levels. Variables have different effects on attention, explicit and implicit memory. That is, interesting tasks with focused attention and deep processing have the highest effect on explicit memory in order. Also, interesting tasks, focused attention, respectively affect implicit memory. But level of processing does not affect implicit memory significantly.

  5. Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder exhibit altered emotional processing and attentional control during an emotional Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanna, M M; Badura-Brack, A S; McDermott, T J; Embury, C M; Wiesman, A I; Shepherd, A; Ryan, T J; Heinrichs-Graham, E; Wilson, T W

    2017-08-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often associated with attention allocation and emotional regulation difficulties, but the brain dynamics underlying these deficits are unknown. The emotional Stroop task (EST) is an ideal means to monitor these difficulties, because participants are asked to attend to non-emotional aspects of the stimuli. In this study, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) and the EST to monitor attention allocation and emotional regulation during the processing of emotionally charged stimuli in combat veterans with and without PTSD. A total of 31 veterans with PTSD and 20 without PTSD performed the EST during MEG. Three categories of stimuli were used, including combat-related, generally threatening and neutral words. MEG data were imaged in the time-frequency domain and the network dynamics were probed for differences in processing threatening and non-threatening words. Behaviorally, veterans with PTSD were significantly slower in responding to combat-related relative to neutral and generally threatening words. Veterans without PTSD exhibited no significant differences in responding to the three different word types. Neurophysiologically, we found a significant three-way interaction between group, word type and time period across multiple brain regions. Follow-up testing indicated stronger theta-frequency (4-8 Hz) responses in the right ventral prefrontal (0.4-0.8 s) and superior temporal cortices (0.6-0.8 s) of veterans without PTSD compared with those with PTSD during the processing of combat-related words. Our data indicated that veterans with PTSD exhibited deficits in attention allocation and emotional regulation when processing trauma cues, while those without PTSD were able to regulate emotion by directing attention away from threat.

  6. A specific implicit sequence learning deficit as an underlying cause of dyslexia? Investigating the role of attention in implicit learning tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staels, Eva; Van den Broeck, Wim

    2017-05-01

    Recently, a general implicit sequence learning deficit was proposed as an underlying cause of dyslexia. This new hypothesis was investigated in the present study by including a number of methodological improvements, for example, the inclusion of appropriate control conditions. The second goal of the study was to explore the role of attentional functioning in implicit and explicit learning tasks. In a 2 × 2 within-subjects