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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. Lesion Neuroanatomy of the Sustained Attention to Response Task

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Use of a sustained visual attention task to determine children at risk for learning problems.

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    Richman, J E

    1986-01-01

    Use of a sustained visual attention task to determine children "at risk" for learning problems. The purpose in the study was to compare the sustained visual attention performance of 42 first grade children on a 9.5 minute continuous performance test, as measured by error rate and off-task visual behaviors, e.g., off-task looking time and number of fixations off the task, with a measure of impulsivity and a teacher rating scale of classroom behavior designed to identify children with potential learning disabilities. The present findings suggest that the measurement of "off-task looking time" and "off-task fixations" during a sustained visual attention test are significantly related to the classroom teacher's observation of personal-social behavior and the child's decision making style. This approach for measuring sustained attention has potential use as a clinical tool in identifying and monitoring treatment methodologies for children considered "at risk" for attention and learning problems.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Combined effects of attention and motivation on visual task performance: transient and sustained motivational effects.

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    Engelmann, Jan B; Damaraju, Eswar; Padmala, Srikanth; Pessoa, Luiz

    2009-01-01

    We investigated how the brain integrates motivational and attentional signals by using a neuroimaging paradigm that provided separate estimates for transient cue- and target-related signals, in addition to sustained block-related responses. Participants performed a Posner-type task in which an endogenous cue predicted target location on 70% of trials, while motivation was manipulated by varying magnitude and valence of a cash incentive linked to task performance. Our findings revealed increased detection performance (d') as a function of incentive value. In parallel, brain signals revealed that increases in absolute incentive magnitude led to cue- and target-specific response modulations that were independent of sustained state effects across visual cortex, fronto-parietal regions, and subcortical regions. Interestingly, state-like effects of incentive were observed in several of these brain regions, too, suggesting that both transient and sustained fMRI signals may contribute to task performance. For both cue and block periods, the effects of administering incentives were correlated with individual trait measures of reward sensitivity. Taken together, our findings support the notion that motivation improves behavioral performance in a demanding attention task by enhancing evoked responses across a distributed set of anatomical sites, many of which have been previously implicated in attentional processing. However, the effect of motivation was not simply additive as the impact of absolute incentive was greater during invalid than valid trials in several brain regions, possibly because motivation had a larger effect on reorienting than orienting attentional mechanisms at these sites.

  8. Combined effects of attention and motivation on visual task performance: transient and sustained motivational effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan B Engelmann

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available We investigated how the brain integrates motivational and attentional signals by using a neuroimaging paradigm that provided separate estimates for transient cue- and target-related signals, in addition to sustained block-related responses. Participants performed a Posner-type task in which an endogenous cue predicted target location on 70% of trials, while motivation was manipulated by varying magnitude and valence of a cash incentive linked to task performance. Our findings revealed increased detection performance (d’ as a function of incentive value. In parallel, brain signals revealed that increases in absolute incentive magnitude led to cue- and target-specific response modulations that were independent of sustained state effects across visual cortex, fronto-parietal regions, and subcortical regions. Interestingly, state-like effects of incentive were observed in several of these brain regions, too, suggesting that both transient and sustained fMRI signals may contribute to task performance. For both cue and block periods, the effects of administering incentives were correlated with individual trait measures of reward sensitivity. Taken together, our findings support the notion that motivation improves behavioral performance in a demanding attention task by enhancing evoked responses across a distributed set of anatomical sites, many of which have been previously implicated in attentional processing. However, the effect of motivation was not simply additive as the impact of absolute incentive was greater during invalid than valid trials in several brain regions, possibly because motivation had a larger effect on reorienting than orienting attentional mechanisms at these sites.

  9. Text-speak processing and the sustained attention to response task.

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    Head, James; Russell, Paul N; Dorahy, Martin J; Neumann, Ewald; Helton, William S

    2012-01-01

    We examined performance in a sustained attention to response task (SART) (Experiment 1) and a more traditionally formatted vigilance task (Experiment 2) using novel word stimuli (text-speak) and normally spelt words. This enabled us to address whether the SART is a better measure of sustained attention or of response strategy, and to investigate the cognitive demands of text-speak processing. In Experiment 1, 72 participants completed a subset (text-speak) and a word SART, as well as a self-reported text experience questionnaire. Those who reported more proficiency and experience with text-speak made more errors on the subset SART, but this appeared to be due to their increase in response speed. This did not occur in the word SART. In Experiment 2, 14 participants completed high No-Go, low-Go (more traditional response format) versions of these tasks to further investigate the cognitive demands of text-speak processing. Response latency increased over periods of watch only for the text-speak task, not for the word task. The results of Experiment 1 support the perspective that the SART is highly sensitive to response strategy, and the results of both experiments together indicate target detection tasks may be a novel way of investigating the cognitive demands of text-speak processing.

  10. Sustained attention is associated with error processing impairment: evidence from mental fatigue study in four-choice reaction time task

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Xiao, Yi; Ma, Feng; Lv, Yixuan; Cai, Gui; Teng, Peng; Xu, FengGang; Chen, Shanguang

    2015-01-01

    .... In this study, we examined how error-related negativity (ERN) of a four-choice reaction time task was reduced in the mental fatigue condition and investigated the role of sustained attention in error processing...

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Comparing Treatment Effect Measurements in Narcolepsy: The Sustained Attention to Response Task, Epworth Sleepiness Scale and Maintenance of Wakefulness Test.

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    van der Heide, Astrid; van Schie, Mojca K M; Lammers, Gert Jan; Dauvilliers, Yves; Arnulf, Isabelle; Mayer, Geert; Bassetti, Claudio L; Ding, Claire-Li; Lehert, Philippe; van Dijk, J Gert

    2015-07-01

    To validate the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) as a treatment effect measure in narcolepsy, and to compare the SART with the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Validation of treatment effect measurements within a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Ninety-five patients with narcolepsy with or without cataplexy. The RCT comprised a double-blind, parallel-group, multicenter trial comparing the effects of 8-w treatments with pitolisant (BF2.649), modafinil, or placebo (NCT01067222). MWT, ESS, and SART were administered at baseline and after an 8-w treatment period. The severity of excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy was also assessed using the Clinical Global Impression scale (CGI-C). The SART, MWT, and ESS all had good reliability, obtained for the SART and MWT using two to three sessions in 1 day. The ability to distinguish responders from nonresponders, classified using the CGI-C score, was high for all measures, with a high performance for the SART (r = 0.61) and the ESS (r = 0.54). The Sustained Attention to Response Task is a valid and easy-to-administer measure to assess treatment effects in narcolepsy, enhanced by combining it with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. © 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  16. 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)

  17. Sustained Attention Ability Affects Simple Picture Naming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne R. Jongman

    2017-07-01

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

  18. Is the emotional Stroop task a special case of mood induction? Evidence from sustained effects of attention under emotion

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ben-Haim, Moshe Shay; Mama, Yaniv; Icht, Michal; Algom, Daniel

    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...

  19. The impact of 10-minute activity breaks outside the classroom on male students' on-task behaviour and sustained attention: a randomised crossover design.

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    Wilson, Andrew N; Olds, Timothy; Lushington, Kurt; Petkov, John; Dollman, James

    2016-04-01

    The aim was to evaluate the impact of a brief activity bout outside the classroom on boys' attention and on-task behaviour in the classroom setting. Fifty-eight boys (mean age 11.2 ± 0.6 years) were recruited from a boys' elementary school in Adelaide, South Australia. Two year 5 and, similarly, two year 6 classes were assigned using a crossover design to either four weeks of a 10 minute Active Lesson Break followed by four weeks of a 10 minute Passive Lesson Break (reading) or visa versa. Attention was quantified using a computerised psychomotor vigilance task, and on-task behaviour by direct observation. Neither the Active Lesson nor the Passive Lesson condition significantly affected sustained attention or on-task behaviour, and there were no significant differences between conditions. There was no impact on participants' sustained attention or on-task behaviour after a short activity break between lessons. Brief activity breaks outside the classroom do not compromise participants' on-task behaviour or attention levels upon returning to the classroom, although improvement in these variables is not seen either. However, the results suggest that active breaks are effective for accruing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity without compromising classroom behaviours. ©2015 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Differences in Visuo-Motor Control in Skilled vs. Novice Martial Arts Athletes during Sustained and Transient Attention Tasks: A Motor-Related Cortical Potential Study

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    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

  1. Differences in visuo-motor control in skilled vs. novice martial arts athletes during sustained and transient attention tasks: a motor-related cortical potential study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sanchez-Lopez

    Full Text Available 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Mind-wandering in younger and older adults: converging evidence from the Sustained Attention to Response Task and reading for comprehension.

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    Jackson, Jonathan D; Balota, David A

    2012-03-01

    One mechanism that has been hypothesized to contribute to older adults' changes in cognitive performance is goal neglect or impairment in maintaining task set across time. Mind-wandering and task-unrelated thought may underlie these potential age-related changes. The present study investigated age-related changes in mind-wandering in three different versions of the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART), along with self-reported mind-wandering during a reading for comprehension task. In the SART, both younger and older adults produced similar levels of faster reaction times before No-Go errors of commission, whereas, older adults produced disproportionate post-error slowing. Subjective self-reports of mind-wandering recorded during the SART and the reading task indicated that older adults were less likely to report mind-wandering than younger adults. Discussion focuses on cognitive and motivational mechanisms that may account for older adults' relatively low levels of reported mind-wandering.

  5. Task Engagement and Attentional Resources.

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    Matthews, Gerald; Warm, Joel S; Smith, Andrew P

    2017-02-01

    Two studies tested multivariate models of relationships between subjective task engagement and vigilance. The second study included a stress factor (cold infection). Modeling tested relationships between latent factors for task engagement and vigilance, and the role of engagement in mediating effects of cold infection. Raja Parasuraman's research on vigilance identified several key issues, including the roles of task factors, arousal processes, and individual differences, within the framework of resource theory. Task engagement is positively correlated with performance on various attentional tasks and may serve as a marker for resource availability. In the first study, 229 participants performed simultaneous and successive vigilance tasks. In the second study, 204 participants performed a vigilance task and a variable-foreperiod simple reaction-time task on two separate days. On the second day, 96 participants performed while infected with a naturally occurring common cold. Task engagement was assessed in both studies. In both studies, vigilance decrement in hit rate was observed, and task performance led to loss of task engagement. Cold infection also depressed both vigilance and engagement. Fitting structural equation models indicated that simultaneous and successive tasks should be represented by separate latent factors (Study 1), and task engagement fully mediated the impact of cold infection on vigilance but not reaction time (Study 2). Modeling individual differences in task engagement elucidates the role of resources in vigilance and underscores the relevance of Parasuraman's vision of the field. Assessment of task engagement may support diagnostic monitoring of operators performing tasks requiring vigilance.

  6. Introduction of a retention interval in a sustained attention task in rats: effects of a visual distracter and increasing the inter-trial interval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burk, Joshua A

    2004-11-30

    The impact of manipulating explicit attentional demands on working memory has not been well studied in rodents. The present experiment was designed to test the effects of incorporating a retention interval in a two-lever sustained attention task that requires discrimination of visual signals and non-signals and that has previously been shown to yield valid measures of attention in the rat. Upon establishing baseline performance, additional manipulations, including presentation of a visual distracter and increasing the length and variability of the inter-trial interval were conducted. During baseline conditions, accurate detection of signals, but not non-signals, decreased as the retention interval was increased. Presentation of a flashing houselight throughout the session eliminated delay-dependent detection of signals. Increasing the inter-trial interval improved detection of signals and decreased detection of non-signals at the longest retention interval. Finally, increasing the variability of the inter-trial interval did not have significant effects on performance above and beyond the effects of increasing the inter-trial interval. The present experiment demonstrates that manipulation of explicit attentional demands can alter working memory performance in the rat. This task may be employed to understand the neuropharmacological and neuroanatomical substrates mediating memory while attentional load is systematically varied.

  7. Mind-wandering in Younger and Older Adults: Converging Evidence from the Sustained Attention to Response Task and Reading for Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Jonathan D.; Balota, David A.

    2011-01-01

    One mechanism that has been hypothesized to contribute to older adults’ changes in cognitive performance is goal neglect or impairment in maintaining task set across time. Mind-wandering and task-unrelated thought may underlie these potential age-related changes. The present study investigated age-related changes in mind-wandering in three different versions of the Sustained Attention to Response task (SART), along with self-reported mind-wandering during a reading for comprehension task. In the SART, both younger and older adults produced similar levels of faster reaction times before No-Go errors of commission, whereas, older adults produced disproportionate post-error slowing. Subjective self-reports of mind-wandering recorded during the SART and the reading task indicated that older adults were less likely to report mind-wandering than younger adults. Discussion focuses on cognitive and motivational mechanisms that may account for older adults’ relatively low levels of reported mind-wandering. PMID:21707183

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Neuropsychological correlates of sustained attention in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, E Y; Lam, L C; Chen, R Y; Nguyen, D G; Chan, C K; Wilkins, A J

    1997-04-11

    We employed a simple and relatively undemanding task of monotone counting for the assessment of sustained attention in schizophrenic patients. The monotone counting task has been validated neuropsychologically and is particularly sensitive to right prefrontal lesions. We compared the performance of schizophrenic patients with age- and education-matched controls. We then explored the extent to which a range of commonly employed neuropsychological tasks in schizophrenia research are related to attentional impairment as measured in this way. Monotone counting performance was found to be correlated with digit span (WAIS-R-HK), information (WAIS-R-HK), comprehension (WAIS-R-HK), logical memory (immediate recall) (Weschler Memory Scale, WMS), and visual reproduction (WMS). Multiple regression analysis also identified visual reproduction, digit span and comprehension as significant predictors of attention performance. In contrast, logical memory (delay recall) (WMS), similarity (WAIS-R-HK), semantic fluency, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (perseverative errors) were not correlated with attention. In addition, no significant correlation between sustained attention and symptoms was found. These findings are discussed in the context of a weakly modular cognitive system where attentional impairment may contribute selectively to a range of other cognitive deficits.

  11. Vigilance and Sustained Attention in Children and Adults with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucha, Lara; Tucha, Oliver; Walitza, Susanne; Sontag, Thomas A.; Laufkotter, Rainer; Linder, Martin; Lange, Klaus W.

    2009-01-01

    Objective: The present article tests the hypothesis of a sustained attention deficit in children and adults suffering from ADHD. Method: Vigilance and sustained attention of 52 children with ADHD and 38 adults with ADHD were assessed using a computerized vigilance task. Furthermore, the attentional performance of healthy children (N = 52) and…

  12. Sustained attention in psychosis: Neuroimaging findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepede, Gianna; Spano, Maria Chiara; Lorusso, Marco; De Berardis, Domenico; Salerno, Rosa Maria; Di Giannantonio, Massimo; Gambi, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    To provide a systematic review of scientific literature on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies on sustained attention in psychosis. We searched PubMed to identify fMRI studies pertaining sustained attention in both affective and non-affective psychosis. Only studies conducted on adult patients using a sustained attention task during fMRI scanning were included in the final review. The search was conducted on September 10th, 2013. 15 fMRI studies met our inclusion criteria: 12 studies were focused on Schizophrenia and 3 on Bipolar Disorder Type I (BDI). Only half of the Schizophrenia studies and two of the BDI studies reported behavioral abnormalities, but all of them evidenced significant functional differences in brain regions related to the sustained attention system. Altered functioning of the insula was found in both Schizophrenia and BDI, and therefore proposed as a candidate trait marker for psychosis in general. On the other hand, other brain regions were differently impaired in affective and non-affective psychosis: alterations of cingulate cortex and thalamus seemed to be more common in Schizophrenia and amygdala dysfunctions in BDI. Neural correlates of sustained attention seem to be of great interest in the study of psychosis, highlighting differences and similarities between Schizophrenia and BDI. PMID:24976929

  13. 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.

  14. The use of music with young children to improve sustained attention during a vigilance task in the presence of auditory distractions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, David E; Noguchi, Laura K

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the use of music to sustain attention of young children during conditions of auditory distractions. Kindergarten students (N=76) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions/groups: (a) spoken story with no distraction, (b) spoken story with distraction, (c) musical story with no distraction, musical story with distraction. Participants were asked to listen to the story and to identify specific "actions" and "animals" that were presented (i.e., spoken or sung) within the story. A tally of correct responses (child pointed to correct actions/animals at appropriate times) was recorded during the listening task. Observations of participants' behaviors while listening were also made by the experimenter using narrative recording procedures. A one-way ANOVA was computed to assess the difference in mean scores across the four experimental conditions. Significant results were found. Further analysis employing a Tukey post hoc/multiple comparisons test revealed significant differences between the spoken story with distraction condition and the musical story with distraction condition. These statistical results, along with the observations of listening behaviors, were discussed in terms of providing suggestions for future research and in lending support to the use of music with young children to improve vigilance within educational and clinical settings.

  15. Effect of attention control on sustained attention during induced anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grillon, Christian; Robinson, Oliver J; Mathur, Ambika; Ernst, Monique

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety has wide-reaching and complex effects on cognitive performance. Although it can intrude on cognition and interfere with performance, it can also facilitate information processing and behavioural responses. In a previous study, we showed that anxiety induced by threat of shock facilitates performance on the Sustained Attention to Response Task, a vigilance test, which probes response inhibition to infrequent nogo stimuli. The present study sought to identify factors that may have contributed to such improved performance, including on- and off-task thinking (assessed with thought probes) and individual differences in attention control, as measured with the Attention Control Scale. Replicating our prior finding, we showed that shock threat significantly reduced errors of commission on the nogo trials. However, we extended this finding in demonstrating that this effect was driven by subjects with low attention control. We therefore confirm that anxiety increases inhibitory control of prepotent responses--a mechanism which is adaptive under threat--and show that this effect is greater in those who rely more upon such prepotent responding, i.e., those with low attentional control.

  16. [Effects of distractors on sustained attention in children with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yan; Zhou, Xiao-lin; Wang, Yu-feng

    2004-01-01

    Using an experimental design combining the sustained attention task (CPT, SART) and the flanker task, we investigated: 1) whether children with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) have deficits in their sustained attention; 2) whether distractors have different effects on response to targets at different sustained attention levels; 3) whether different subtypes of ADHD children show different patterns in sustained attention. Subjects were recruited from elementary school (Grade 2 - 6). Twenty seven ADHD children (23 male, 4 female) and 29 normal controls (24 male, 5 female) were matched by IQ and age. The cognitive experiment measuring reaction times and error rates was conducted on a computer using DMDX software. ADHD and normal children's performance in sustained attention and the effect of distractors were analyzed, and the results of subtypes of ADHD were compared. ADHD children and normal children did not show significant differences in error rates in their response to dominant (non-attentional) item. However, distractors impaired ADHD children's response to targets. ADHD children also showed more errors than normal children in the sustained attention task, but compared with the non-distractor condition, distractors facilitated their response. ADHD children have deficits in their sustained attention, reflecting the deficits in brain development. More importantly, this study found that the effects of distractors in sustained attention can be dissociated according to the level of demand on sustained attention: distractors interfered with responses to targets when the demand on sustained attention was low, and they facilitated responses to targets when the demand on sustained attention was high. There were no significant differences between ADHD-inattentive type and ADHD-combined type in their deficits in sustained attention.

  17. 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.

  18. Sustained Attention in Real Classroom Settings: An EEG Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Wei Ko

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Sustained attention is a process that enables the maintenance of response persistence and continuous effort over extended periods of time. Performing attention-related tasks in real life involves the need to ignore a variety of distractions and inhibit attention shifts to irrelevant activities. This study investigates electroencephalography (EEG spectral changes during a sustained attention task within a real classroom environment. Eighteen healthy students were instructed to recognize as fast as possible special visual targets that were displayed during regular university lectures. Sorting their EEG spectra with respect to response times, which indicated the level of visual alertness to randomly introduced visual stimuli, revealed significant changes in the brain oscillation patterns. The results of power-frequency analysis demonstrated a relationship between variations in the EEG spectral dynamics and impaired performance in the sustained attention task. Across subjects and sessions, prolongation of the response time was preceded by an increase in the delta and theta EEG powers over the occipital region, and decrease in the beta power over the occipital and temporal regions. Meanwhile, implementation of the complex attention task paradigm into a real-world classroom setting makes it possible to investigate specific mutual links between brain activities and factors that cause impaired behavioral performance, such as development and manifestation of classroom mental fatigue. The findings of the study set a basis for developing a system capable of estimating the level of visual attention during real classroom activities by monitoring changes in the EEG spectra.

  19. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Yoshiyuki Hirano; Minoru Onozuka

    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 ...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. The importance of sustained attention in early Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntley, Jonathan D; Hampshire, Adam; Bor, Daniel; Owen, Adrian M; Howard, Robert J

    2017-08-01

    There is conflicting evidence regarding impairment of sustained attention in early Alzheimer's disease (AD). We examine whether sustained attention is impaired and predicts deficits in other cognitive domains in early AD. Fifty-one patients with early AD (MMSE > 18) and 15 healthy elderly controls were recruited. The sustained attention to response task (SART) was used to assess sustained attention. A subset of 25 patients also performed tasks assessing general cognitive function (ADAS-Cog), episodic memory (Logical memory scale, Paired Associates Learning), executive function (verbal fluency, grammatical reasoning) and working memory (digit and spatial span). AD patients were significantly impaired on the SART compared to healthy controls (total error β = 19.75, p = 0.027). SART errors significantly correlated with MMSE score (Spearman's rho = -0.338, p = 0.015) and significantly predicted deficits in ADAS-Cog (β = 0.14, p = 0.004). Patients with early AD have significant deficits in sustained attention, as measured using the SART. This may impair performance on general cognitive testing, and therefore should be taken into account during clinical assessment, and everyday management of individuals with early AD. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Sustained attention assessment of narcoleptic patients: Two case reports

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirleny Moraes

    Full Text Available Abstract Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by uncontrollable REM sleep attacks which alter the patients wake state and can lead to difficulties in attention aspects, such as maintaining attention when performing activities or tasks. This study aimed to evaluate sustained attention performance of two narcoleptic patients on the d2 Test, Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D. Results showed that the maintenance of attention was associated with a slowing of the target symbols processing function in visual scanning with accuracy in task performance. A high degree of excessive sleepiness was observed, along with mild and moderate degrees of depressive signs and symptoms. One subject also presented with a nocturnal sleep disorder which could represent an important factor affecting attentional and affective capacity.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:26335441

  8. Sustained attention and frailty in the older adult population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Halloran, Aisling M; Finucane, Ciaran; Savva, George M; Robertson, Ian H; Kenny, Rose Anne

    2014-03-01

    We investigated whether sustained attention performance and variability were associated with prefrailty and frailty in the older adult population. A total of 4,317 participants aged 50 years and over from the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) completed a comprehensive health assessment. Frailty was defined by low gait speed, low grip strength, unintentional weight loss, self-reported exhaustion, and low physical activity. Scores of greater than or equal to 3, 1-2, and 0 indicated that participants were frail, prefrail, and nonfrail, respectively. Multinomial logistic regression computed associations between frailty state and measures of performance and variability on the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART). Cognitive processing speed and executive function were also measured. Mean reaction time (RT; odds ratio [OR] = 1.13, p attention (OR = 1.11, p attention performance and variability were associated with prefrailty and frailty in the older adult population and may represent a novel, objective, and modifiable cognitive marker of frailty progression.

  9. The effect of mental fatigue on sustained attention: an fNIRS study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhen; Yang, Hanjun; Cao, Yong; Xu, Fenggang; Jiang, Jin; Jiao, Xuejun

    2017-01-01

    Sustained attention is the ability to keep focused and vigilance for long time in external stimulation, which was crucial in safe-critical human-machine system. While the ability of sustained attention will decline because of mental fatigue, even lead to serious accidents in fatigue state. Therefore, it is of great significance to explore the impact of fatigue on sustained attention. Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) can measure cerebral hemoglobin in order to reflect cognitive function indirectly. In previous related fatigue studies, monotonous and long-time CPT (continuous performance test task) was often used to explore the performance change and brain activity, but the effect of time on task (TOT) was always involved. In this study, in order to avoid the TOT effect, the sustained attention task and fatigue task were separated. It was adopted in the study that the modified continuous performance test (CPT) was chosen as the sustained attention task and verbal 2-back task as the fatigue induced task. The fNIRS signals were extracted from 10 channels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) from 20 healthy subjects. Studies found that cerebral lateralization increased significantly from alert to fatigue state in sustained attention task. Besides, Average oxyhemoglobin (HBO) of PFC increased significantly from alert to fatigue task, and the spatial pattern of activity of oxyhemoglobin also changed, which c be sensitive features to fatigue detection.

  10. rTMS over bilateral inferior parietal cortex induces decrement of spatial sustained attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeyeon eLee

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Sustained attention is an essential brain function that enables a subject to maintain attention level over the time of a task. In previous work, the right inferior parietal lobe (IPL has been reported as one of the main brain regions related to sustained attention, however, the right lateralization of vigilance/sustained attention is unclear because information about the network for sustained attention is traditionally provided by neglect patients who typically have right brain damage. Here, we investigated sustained attention by applying a virtual lesion technique, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS, over the left and right superior parietal lobe (SPL and IPL. We used two different types of visual sustained attention tasks: spatial (location based and non-spatial (feature based. When the participants performed the spatial task, repetitive TMS (rTMS over either the right or left IPL induced a significant decrement of sustained attention causing a progressive increment of errors and response time. In contrast, participants’ performance was not changed by rTMS on the non-spatial task. Also, omission errors (true negative gradually increased with time on right and left IPL rTMS conditions, while commission errors (false positive were relatively stable. These findings suggest that the maintenance of attention, especially in tasks regarding spatial location, is not uniquely lateralized to the right IPL, but may also involve participation of the left IPL as well.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-24

    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 visual-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-games habits, participants were divided into Action Video Game Player and Non Action Video Game Player groups and underwent cognitive tests. The results confirm previous findings of studies of Action Video Game Players, 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 Action Video Game Player compared with the Non Action Video Game Player group. This result is consistent with our hypothesis and demonstrates a negative effect of playing action video games.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. Comparison of Single and Dual Target Visual Attention Tasks in Children with down Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie J. Murphy

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the nature of attentional processing in children with Down Syndrome (DS is imperative for developing effective education practices. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether children with DS exhibit impairment in sustained, transient, single-, or dual-target continuous performance tasks. Target detection time and accuracy was compared in children with DS to Typically Developing (TD children of similar nonverbal mental age (as measured by the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices, on single and dual- target continuous performance tasks measuring sustained attention, a visual change detection task measuring transient attention, and feature and conjunctive visual search tasks measuring both sustained and transient attention. Results showed that children with DS performed similarly to TD children on sustained and transient attention tasks that only required the detection of a single unique target, but were impaired in overall accuracy on tasks that required dual-target detection. Findings suggest a possible impairment in attention and working memory in children with DS. Error analysis of task responses revealed differences in problem solving strategy between children with DS and TD children, despite similar overall performance. Findings have implications for the education of children with DS and understanding of the nature of intellectual disability per se.

  15. Incidental Learning, Distraction, and Sustained Attention in Hyperactive and Control Subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aman, Michael G.; Turbott, Sarah H.

    1986-01-01

    Thirty-two hyperactive children (ages 5-11) and 32 controls were tested on (1) a component selection task, measuring serial memory and incidental learning and (2) a cancellation task, assessing attentional variables and distractibility. It was concluded that a deficit in sustained attention and impulsivity best described the group differences.…

  16. Boredom, sustained attention and the default mode network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danckert, James; Merrifield, Colleen

    2016-03-15

    Boredom is a ubiquitous human experience that can best be described as an inability to engage with one's environment despite the motivation to do so. Boredom is perceived as a negative experience and demonstrates strong associations with other negatively valenced states including depression and aggression. Although boredom has been shown to be elevated in neurological and psychiatric illnesses, little is known about the neural underpinnings of the state. We scanned the brains of healthy participants under four separate conditions: a resting state scan, a sustained attention task and two video-based mood inductions, one known to produce boredom and another we validated to produce a state of interest or engagement. Using independent components analyses, results showed common regions of correlated activation in posterior regions of the so-called default mode network (DMN) of the brain across all four conditions. The sustained attention and boredom induction scans were differentiated from the resting state scan by the presence of anticorrelated activity-i.e. when DMN regions were active, this region was deactivated-in the anterior insula cortex. This same region demonstrated correlated activity with both the DMN and the regions associated with attentional control during the interest mood induction. We interpret these findings to suggest that boredom represents a failure to engage executive control networks when faced with a monotonous task-in other words, when the task demands some level of engagement (watch the movie, search for infrequent targets), but is so mundane that attempts to do so fail.

  17. Adoption of Task-Specific Sets of Visual Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mike Wendt

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Evidence from behavioral and physiological studies suggests attentional weighting of stimulus information from different sources, according to task demands. We investigated the adoption of task-specific attentional sets by administering a flanker task, which required responding to a centrally presented letter while ignoring two adjacent letters, and a same-different judgment task, which required a homogenous/heterogeneous classification concerning the complete three-letter string. To assess the distribution of attentional weights across the letter locations we intermixed trials of a visual search task, in which a target stimulus occurred randomly in any of these locations. Search task reaction times displayed a stronger center-to periphery gradient, indicating focusing of visual attention on the central location, when the search task was intermixed into blocks of trials of the flanker task than into blocks of trials of the same-different task (Experiment 1 and when a cue indicated the likely occurrence of the flanker task as compared to the likely occurrence the same-different task (Experiment 2. These findings demonstrate flexible adoption of task-specific sets of visual attention that can be implemented during preparation. In addition, responses in the intermixed search task trials were faster and (marginally significantly more error-prone after preparation for a (letter task repetition than for a task switch, suggesting that response caution is reduced during preparation for a task repetition.

  18. Adoption of Task-Specific Sets of Visual Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendt, Mike; Kähler, Svantje T.; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Evidence from behavioral and physiological studies suggests attentional weighting of stimulus information from different sources, according to task demands. We investigated the adoption of task-specific attentional sets by administering a flanker task, which required responding to a centrally presented letter while ignoring two adjacent letters, and a same-different judgment task, which required a homogenous/heterogeneous classification concerning the complete three-letter string. To assess the distribution of attentional weights across the letter locations we intermixed trials of a visual search task, in which a target stimulus occurred randomly in any of these locations. Search task reaction times displayed a stronger center-to periphery gradient, indicating focusing of visual attention on the central location, when the search task was intermixed into blocks of trials of the flanker task than into blocks of trials of the same-different task (Experiment 1) and when a cue indicated the likely occurrence of the flanker task as compared to the likely occurrence the same-different task (Experiment 2). These findings demonstrate flexible adoption of task-specific sets of visual attention that can be implemented during preparation. In addition, responses in the intermixed search task trials were faster and (marginally significantly) more error-prone after preparation for a (letter) task repetition than for a task switch, suggesting that response caution is reduced during preparation for a task repetition. PMID:28536543

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. The neurodynamics underlying attentional control in set shifting tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stemme, Anja; Deco, Gustavo; Busch, Astrid

    2007-09-01

    In this work we address key phenomena observed with classical set shifting tasks as the "Wisconsin Card Sorting Test" or the "Stroop" task: Different types of errors and increased response times reflecting decreased attention. A component of major importance in these tasks is referred to as the "attentional control" thought to be implemented by the prefrontal cortex which acts primarily by an amplification of task relevant information. This mode of operation is illustrated by a neurodynamical model developed for a new kind of set shifting experiment: The Wisconsin-Delayed-Match-to-Sample task combines uninstructed shifts as investigated in Wisconsin-like tasks with a Delayed-Match-to-Sample paradigm. These newly developed WDMS experiments in conjunction with the neurodynamical simulations are able to explain the reason for decreased attention in set shifting experiments as well the different consequences of decreased attention in tasks requiring bivalent yes/no responses compared to tasks requiring multivalent responses.

  1. 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

    2017-05-01

    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 modality, conflicting evidence exists concerning the visual modality. To address the outstanding issue whether the impairment in sustained attention is limited to the auditory domain, or if it is domain-general. Furthermore, to test whether children's sustained attention ability relates to their word-production skills. Groups of 7-9 year olds with SLI (N = 28) and typically developing (TD) children (N = 22) performed a picture-naming task and two sustained attention tasks, namely auditory and visual continuous performance tasks (CPTs). Children with SLI performed worse than TD children on picture naming and on both the auditory and visual CPTs. Moreover, performance on both the CPTs correlated with picture-naming latencies across developmental groups. These results provide evidence for a deficit in both auditory and visual sustained attention in children with SLI. Moreover, the study indicates there is a relationship between domain-general sustained attention and picture-naming performance in both TD and language-impaired children. Future studies should establish whether this relationship is causal. If attention influences language, training of sustained attention may improve language production in children from both developmental groups. © 2016 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Learner Attention to Form in ACCESS Task-Based Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dao, Phung; Iwashita, Noriko; Gatbonton, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    This study explored the potential effects of communicative tasks developed using a reformulation of a task-based language teaching called Automatization in Communicative Contexts of Essential Speech Sequences (ACCESS) that includes automatization of language elements as one of its goals on learner attention to form in task-based interaction. The…

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of attentional filtering demands on preparatory ERPs elicited in a spatial cueing task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiss, Ellen; Driver, Jon; Eimer, Martin

    2009-06-01

    We used ERP measures to investigate how attentional filtering requirements affect preparatory attentional control and spatially selective visual processing. In a spatial cueing experiment, attentional filtering demands were manipulated by presenting task-relevant visual stimuli either in isolation (target-only task) or together with irrelevant adjacent distractors (target-plus-distractors task). ERPs were recorded in response to informative spatial precues, and in response to subsequent visual stimuli at attended and unattended locations. The preparatory ADAN component elicited during the cue-target interval was larger and more sustained in the target-plus-distractors task, reflecting the demand of stronger attentional filtering. By contrast, two other preparatory lateralised components (EDAN and LDAP) were unaffected by the attentional filtering demand. Similar enhancements of P1 and N1 components in response to the lateral imperative visual stimuli were observed at cued versus uncued locations, regardless of filtering demand, whereas later attentional-related negativities beyond 200 ms post-stimulus were larger the target-plus-distractor task. Our results implicate that the ADAN component is linked to preparatory top-down control processes involved in the attentional filtering of irrelevant distractors; such filtering also affects later attention-related negativities recorded after the onset of the imperative stimulus. ERPs can reveal effects of expected attentional filtering of irrelevant distractors on preparatory attentional control processes and spatially selective visual processing.

  7. A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study of Sustained Attention to Local and Global Target Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Joux, Neil; Russell, Paul N.; Helton, William S.

    2013-01-01

    Despite a long history of vigilance research, the role of global and local feature discrimination in vigilance tasks has been relatively neglected. In this experiment participants performed a sustained attention task requiring either global or local shape stimuli discrimination. Reaction time to local feature discriminations was characterized by a…

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Onozuka, Minoru

    2015-01-01

    .... These findings support the concept that chewing is strongly associated with cognitive function such as learning and memory and keeping and increasing attention [5]. This relationship between chewing and cognitive functions was empirically estimated a long time ago. In 1939, Hollingworth [6] reported that chewing increased relaxation and the performance of cognitive ...

  12. Pupil Sizes Scale with Attentional Load and Task Experience in a Multiple Object Tracking Task

    OpenAIRE

    Wahn, Basil; FERRIS, DANIEL P.; Hairston, W. David; K?nig, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have related changes in attentional load to pupil size modulations. However, studies relating changes in attentional load and task experience on a finer scale to pupil size modulations are scarce. Here, we investigated how these changes affect pupil sizes. To manipulate attentional load, participants covertly tracked between zero and five objects among several randomly moving objects on a computer screen. To investigate effects of task experience, the experiment was conducted...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caspersen, Ida Dyhr; Habekost, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    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...

  14. 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

  15. Impaired attentional control in pedophiles in a sexual distractor task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirsten Jordan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 was analyzed with respect to attentional control while comparing eye movements towards sexual distractors and towards 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 attention 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

  16. Pupil Sizes Scale with Attentional Load and Task Experience in a Multiple Object Tracking Task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basil Wahn

    Full Text Available Previous studies have related changes in attentional load to pupil size modulations. However, studies relating changes in attentional load and task experience on a finer scale to pupil size modulations are scarce. Here, we investigated how these changes affect pupil sizes. To manipulate attentional load, participants covertly tracked between zero and five objects among several randomly moving objects on a computer screen. To investigate effects of task experience, the experiment was conducted on three consecutive days. We found that pupil sizes increased with each increment in attentional load. Across days, we found systematic pupil size reductions. We compared the model fit for predicting pupil size modulations using attentional load, task experience, and task performance as predictors. We found that a model which included attentional load and task experience as predictors had the best model fit while adding performance as a predictor to this model reduced the overall model fit. Overall, results suggest that pupillometry provides a viable metric for precisely assessing attentional load and task experience in visuospatial tasks.

  17. Pupil Sizes Scale with Attentional Load and Task Experience in a Multiple Object Tracking Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahn, Basil; Ferris, Daniel P; Hairston, W David; König, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have related changes in attentional load to pupil size modulations. However, studies relating changes in attentional load and task experience on a finer scale to pupil size modulations are scarce. Here, we investigated how these changes affect pupil sizes. To manipulate attentional load, participants covertly tracked between zero and five objects among several randomly moving objects on a computer screen. To investigate effects of task experience, the experiment was conducted on three consecutive days. We found that pupil sizes increased with each increment in attentional load. Across days, we found systematic pupil size reductions. We compared the model fit for predicting pupil size modulations using attentional load, task experience, and task performance as predictors. We found that a model which included attentional load and task experience as predictors had the best model fit while adding performance as a predictor to this model reduced the overall model fit. Overall, results suggest that pupillometry provides a viable metric for precisely assessing attentional load and task experience in visuospatial tasks.

  18. Exploring the relationship between boredom and sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malkovsky, Ela; Merrifield, Colleen; Goldberg, Yael; Danckert, James

    2012-08-01

    Boredom is a common experience, prevalent in neurological and psychiatric populations, yet its cognitive characteristics remain poorly understood. We explored the relationship between boredom proneness, sustained attention and adult symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The results showed that high boredom-prone individuals (HBP) performed poorly on measures of sustained attention and showed increased symptoms of ADHD and depression. The results also showed that HBP individuals can be characterised as either apathetic-in which the individual is unconcerned with his/her environment, or as agitated-in which the individual is motivated to engage in meaningful activities, although attempts to do so fail to satisfy. Apathetic boredom proneness was associated with attention lapses, whereas agitated boredom proneness was associated with decreased sensitivity to errors of sustained attention, and increased symptoms of adult ADHD. Our results suggest there is a complex relationship between attention and boredom proneness.

  19. Distributed Attentional Deficits in Chronic Methamphetamine Abusers: Evidence from the Attentional Network Task (ANT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salo, Ruth; Gabay, Shai; Fassbender, Catherine; Henik, Avishai

    2011-01-01

    Objective: The goal of the present study was to examine distributed attentional functions in long-term but currently abstinent methamphetamine (MA) abusers using a task that measures attentional alertness, orienting, and conflict resolution. Methods: Thirty currently abstinent MA abusers (1 month-5 years) and 22 healthy non-substance using adults…

  20. 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

  1. Selective attention and response set in the Stroop task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, M.J.M.; Roelofs, A.P.A.; Rabeling-Keus, I.M.

    2010-01-01

    Response set membership contributes much to the interference in the color word Stroop task. This may be due to selective allocation of attention to eligible responses or, alternatively, to greater inhibition of distractors that are not responses. In the present article, we report two experiments

  2. Do Bilingual advantages in attentional control influence memory encoding during a divided attention task?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Natalie H; Murphy, Eric R; Vaidya, Chandan; Barr, Rachel

    2016-05-01

    The current study examined if bilingual advantages in cognitive control influence memory encoding during a divided attention task. Monolinguals, simultaneous bilinguals, and sequential bilinguals switched between classifying objects and words, then were tested for their recognition memory of stimuli previously seen during the classification task. Compared to bilingual groups, monolinguals made the most errors on the classification task and simultaneous bilinguals committed the fewest errors. On the memory task, however, no differences were found between the three language groups, but significant correlations were found between the number of errors during switch trials on the classification task and recognition memory for both target and non-target stimuli. For bilinguals, their age of second language acquisition partially accounted for the association between attentional control (number of switch errors) and subsequent memory for non-target stimuli only. These results contribute to our understanding of how individual differences in language acquisition influence interactions between cognitive domains.

  3. The Neural Basis of Sustained and Transient Attentional Control in Young Adults with ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banich, Marie T.; Burgess, Gregory C.; Depue, Brendan E.; Ruzic, Luka; Bidwell, L. Cinnamon; Hitt-Laustsen, Sena; Du, Yiping P.; Willcutt, Erik G.

    2009-01-01

    Differences in neural activation during performance on an attentionally demanding Stroop task were examined between 23 young adults with ADHD carefully selected to not be co-morbid for other psychiatric disorders and 23 matched controls. A hybrid blocked/single-trial design allowed for examination of more sustained vs. more transient aspects of…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Cristina F B; Pagan-Neves, Luciana O; Wertzner, Haydée F; Schochat, Eliane

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina F B Murphy

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

  8. Sustained and Focused Attention Deficits in Adult ADHD

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchetta, Natalie D. J.; Hurks, Petra P. M.; De Sonneville, Leo M. J.; Krabbendam, Lydia; Jolles, Jelle

    2008-01-01

    Objective: To examine the specificity of deficits in focused attention and sustained attention in adults with ADHD and to evaluate the effect of comorbidity. Method: Twenty-eight adults with ADHD without comorbidity were compared with 28 ADHD outpatients with comorbidity. Two control groups were used: 68 adults referred for ADHD but with another…

  9. 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.

  10. The Problem of Attention Management in Innovation for Sustainability

    OpenAIRE

    Brooks, H.

    1995-01-01

    The problem of attention management is one of the main challenges in the transition to environmentally sustainable development paths. The design principle that attention is scarce is very different from a principle of "more information is better". This paper discusses the issue of "attention management" in various contexts, including R&D and innovation management, scientific communities, and technology policy. The question arising from this analysis is whether dependence on personal contact, ...

  11. Human performance under sustained operations and acute sleep deprivation conditions: toward a model of controlled attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilcher, June J; Band, David; Odle-Dusseau, Heather N; Muth, Eric R

    2007-05-01

    Although a number of studies have examined the effects of sleep deprivation on performance, the results are not easily explained. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of sustained operations and acute sleep deprivation on tasks that require a wide range of information processing. The current study also provided preliminary data on the use of the controlled attention model to better understand the effects of sleep deprivation. There were 24 college students who were paid to remain awake for one night and complete a variety of cognitive and vigilance tasks. Each task was administered four times during the night, once in each testing session (17:30-21:30, 21:45-01:45, 02:30-06:30, and 06:45-10:45). All tasks were counterbalanced across the testing sessions. The data were converted to z-scores and repeated-measures ANOVAs were completed. Performance did not significantly decrease on the more complex cognitive tasks over the night of sleep deprivation. Performance on the vigilance tasks decreased significantly across the night. Examining the characteristics of the cognitive tasks indicated that although they required different types of processing, they encouraged the participants to remain attentive to and engaged in the task. In contrast, the vigilance tasks were less intrinsically interesting and engaging. Thus, it seems likely that the participants were less capable of maintaining attention on the vigilance tasks than the cognitive tasks. These results indicate that a controlled attention model may be useful in better understanding the effects of sustained operations and sleep deprivation on performance.

  12. Selective Age Effects on Visual Attention and Motor Attention during a Cued Saccade Task

    OpenAIRE

    Huddleston, Wendy E.; Ernest, Brad E.; Keenan, Kevin G.

    2014-01-01

    Objective. Visual information is often used to guide purposeful movement. However, older adults have impaired responses to visual information, leading to increased risk for injuries and potential loss of independence. We evaluated distinct visual and motor attention contributions to a cued saccade task to determine the extent to which aging selectively affects these processes. Methods. Nineteen healthy young (18–28 years) and 20 older (60–90 years) participants performed a cued saccade task u...

  13. 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.

  14. Acquisition of habitual visual attention and transfer to related tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salovich, Nikita A; Remington, Roger W; Jiang, Yuhong V

    2017-07-11

    Extensive research has shown that statistical learning affects perception, attention, and action control; however, few studies have directly linked statistical learning with the formation of habits. Evidence that learning can induce a search habit has come from location probability learning, in which people prioritize locations frequently attended to in the past. Here, using an alternating training-testing procedure, we demonstrated that the initial attentional bias arises from short-term intertrial priming, whereas probability learning takes longer to emerge, first reaching significance in covert orienting (measured by reaction times) after about 48 training trials, and in overt orienting (measured by eye movements) after about 96 training trials. We further showed that location probability learning is persistent after training is discontinued, by transferring from a letter search task to a scene search task-emulating another characteristic feature of habits. By identifying the onset of probability learning and investigating its task specificity, this study provides evidence that probability cuing can induce habitual spatial attention.

  15. Acoustic detail guides attention allocation in a selective listening task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wöstmann, Malte; Schröger, Erich; Obleser, Jonas

    2015-05-01

    The flexible allocation of attention enables us to perceive and behave successfully despite irrelevant distractors. How do acoustic challenges influence this allocation of attention, and to what extent is this ability preserved in normally aging listeners? Younger and healthy older participants performed a masked auditory number comparison while EEG was recorded. To vary selective attention demands, we manipulated perceptual separability of spoken digits from a masking talker by varying acoustic detail (temporal fine structure). Listening conditions were adjusted individually to equalize stimulus audibility as well as the overall level of performance across participants. Accuracy increased, and response times decreased with more acoustic detail. The decrease in response times with more acoustic detail was stronger in the group of older participants. The onset of the distracting speech masker triggered a prominent contingent negative variation (CNV) in the EEG. Notably, CNV magnitude decreased parametrically with increasing acoustic detail in both age groups. Within identical levels of acoustic detail, larger CNV magnitude was associated with improved accuracy. Across age groups, neuropsychological markers further linked early CNV magnitude directly to individual attentional capacity. Results demonstrate for the first time that, in a demanding listening task, instantaneous acoustic conditions guide the allocation of attention. Second, such basic neural mechanisms of preparatory attention allocation seem preserved in healthy aging, despite impending sensory decline.

  16. Selective Age Effects on Visual Attention and Motor Attention during a Cued Saccade Task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy E. Huddleston

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Visual information is often used to guide purposeful movement. However, older adults have impaired responses to visual information, leading to increased risk for injuries and potential loss of independence. We evaluated distinct visual and motor attention contributions to a cued saccade task to determine the extent to which aging selectively affects these processes. Methods. Nineteen healthy young (18–28 years and 20 older (60–90 years participants performed a cued saccade task under two conditions. We challenged motor attention by changing the number of possible saccade targets (1 or 6. Results. Older adults had difficulty in inhibiting unwanted eye movements and had greater eye movement inaccuracy in the hard condition when compared to the younger adults and to the easy condition. Also, an inverse relation existed between performance on the visual and motor components of the task in older adults, unlike younger adults. Conclusions. Older adults demonstrated difficulty in both inhibiting irrelevant saccade targets and selecting correct saccade endpoints during more complex tasks. The shift in relations among attention measures between the younger and older participants may indicate a need to prioritize attentional resources with age. These changes may impact an older adult’s ability to function in complex environments.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2017-11-10

    The capacity for superior vigilance can be trained by using knowledge of results (KR). Ourpresent experiments demonstrate the efficacy of such training using a first-person perspective movement videogame-based platform in samples ofstudents and Soldiers.Effectiveness was assessedby 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-centered 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O'Halloran Aisling M

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 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 strategies.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Halloran, Aisling M; Pénard, Nils; Galli, Alessandra; Fan, Chie Wei; Robertson, Ian H; Kenny, Rose Anne

    2011-12-19

    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. 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. Significant increases in the mean and variability of reaction time on the SART were significantly associated with both falls (p older adults. An increase in omission errors was also associated with falls (p attention was a retrospective predictor of falling (p 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 strategies.

  3. Interpersonal early-life trauma alters amygdala connectivity and sustained attention performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; Corbo, Vincent; Poole, Victoria; McGlinchey, Regina; Milberg, William; Salat, David; DeGutis, Joseph; Esterman, Michael

    2017-05-01

    Interpersonal early life trauma (I-ELT) is associated with a myriad of functional impairments in adulthood, increased risk of drug addiction, and neuropsychiatric disorders. While deficits in emotional regulation and amygdala functioning are well characterized, deficits in general cognitive functioning have also been documented. However, the neural underpinnings of cognitive dysfunction in adults with a history of I-ELT and the potential relationship between amygdala-based functional connectivity and behavioral performance are currently poorly understood. This study examined how I-ELT affects the cognitive and neural mechanisms supporting sustained attention. A total of 66 Veterans (18 with and 48 without a history of I-ELT) completed a nonemotional sustained attention task during functional MRI. The individuals with I-ELT showed significant impairments in sustained attention (i.e., higher error rates, greater response variability). This cohort exhibited increased amygdala functional connectivity with the prefrontal cortex and decreased functional connectivity with the parahippocampal gyrus when compared to those without I-ELT. These connections were significantly correlated with individual differences in sustained attention performance. Notably, classification analyses revealed that the pattern of amygdala connectivity across the whole brain was able to classify I-ELT status with 70% accuracy. These results provide evidence of a lasting negative impact for those with a history of I-ELT on sustained attention ability. They also highlight a critical role for amygdala functioning in cognitive control and sustained attention for those with a history of I-ELT, which may underlie the observed attention deficits in clinical assessments and cognitive tests involving both emotional and nonemotional stimuli.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiMenichi, Brynne C; Tricomi, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    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 (RTs)-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 RTs and greater sustained effort as a result of a competitive environment, suggesting that males may be more affected by competition in physical effort tasks. However, in Experiment 2, participants remembered fewer shapes when competing, and later recalled less of these shapes during a post-test, suggesting that competition was harmful in our memory task. The different results from these two experiments suggest that competition can improve attention in a physical effort task, yet caution the use of competition in memory tasks.

  5. Effective connectivity of ascending and descending frontal-thalamic pathways during sustained attention: Complex brain network interactions in adolescence

    OpenAIRE

    Jagtap, Pranav; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A.

    2016-01-01

    Frontal-thalamic interactions are crucial for bottom-up gating and top-down control, yet have not been well studied from brain network perspectives. We applied network modeling of fMRI signals (Dynamic Causal Modeling; DCM) to investigate frontal-thalamic interactions during an attention task with parametrically varying levels of demand. fMRI was collected while subjects participated in a sustained continuous performance task with low and high attention demands. 162 competing model architectu...

  6. Disentangling attention from action in the emotional spatial cueing task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulckhuyse, Manon; Crombez, Geert

    2014-01-01

    In the emotional spatial cueing task, a peripheral cue--either emotional or non-emotional--is presented before target onset. A stronger cue validity effect with an emotional relative to a non-emotional cue (i.e., more efficient responding to validly cued targets relative to invalidly cued targets) is taken as an indication of emotional modulation of attentional processes. However, results from previous emotional spatial cueing studies are not consistent. Some studies find an effect at the validly cued location (shorter reaction times compared to a non-emotional cue), whereas other studies find an effect at the invalidly cued location (longer reaction times compared to a non-emotional cue). In the current paper, we explore which parameters affect emotional modulation of the cue validity effect in the spatial cueing task. Results from five experiments in healthy volunteers led to the conclusion that a threatening spatial cue did not affect attention processes but rather indicate that motor processes are affected. A possible mechanism might be that a strong aversive cue stimulus decreases reaction times by means of stronger action preparation. Consequently, in case of a spatially congruent response with the peripheral cue, a stronger cue validity effect could be obtained due to stronger response priming. The implications for future research are discussed.

  7. Multiple Electrophysiological Markers of Visual-Attentional Processing in a Novel Task Directed toward Clinical Use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Bolduc-Teasdale

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Individuals who have sustained a mild brain injury (e.g., mild traumatic brain injury or mild cerebrovascular stroke are at risk to show persistent cognitive symptoms (attention and memory after the acute postinjury phase. Although studies have shown that those patients perform normally on neuropsychological tests, cognitive symptoms remain present, and there is a need for more precise diagnostic tools. The aim of this study was to develop precise and sensitive markers for the diagnosis of post brain injury deficits in visual and attentional functions which could be easily translated in a clinical setting. Using electrophysiology, we have developed a task that allows the tracking of the processes involved in the deployment of visual spatial attention from early stages of visual treatment (N1, P1, N2, and P2 to higher levels of cognitive processing (no-go N2, P3a, P3b, N2pc, SPCN. This study presents a description of this protocol and its validation in 19 normal participants. Results indicated the statistically significant presence of all ERPs aimed to be elicited by this novel task. This task could allow clinicians to track the recovery of the mechanisms involved in the deployment of visual-attentional processing, contributing to better diagnosis and treatment management for persons who suffer a brain injury.

  8. 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.

  9. 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. 

  10. Introduction of the Utrecht Tasks for Attention in Toddlers Using Eye Tracking (UTATE): A Pilot Study

    OpenAIRE

    Marjanneke eDe Jong; Marjolein eVerhoeven; Hooge, Ignace T.C.; Anneloes L van Baar

    2016-01-01

    Attention capacities underlie everyday functioning from an early age onwards. Little is known about attentional processes at toddler age. A feasible assessment of attention capacities at toddler age is needed to allow further study of attention development. In this study, a test battery is piloted that consists of four tasks which intend to measure the attention systems orienting, alerting, and executive attention: the Utrecht Tasks of Attention in Toddlers using Eye tracking [UTATE]. The UTA...

  11. 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

    Study Objectives: To identify baseline behavioral and physiologic markers that associate with individual differences in sustained attention during sleep deprivation. Design: 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. Setting: Chronobiology and Sleep Laboratory, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore. Participants: Healthy volunteers aged 22-32 years from the general population. Interventions: 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). Measurements and Results: 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). Conclusions: 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. Citation: Chua EC; Yeo SC; Lee IT; Tan LC; Lau P; Cai S; Zhang X; Puvanendran K; Gooley JJ. Sustained attention performance during sleep deprivation associates with instability in behavior and physiologic measures at baseline. SLEEP 2014;37(1):27-39. PMID:24470693

  12. 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

  13. Neurophysiological Signals of Ignoring and Attending Are Separable and Related to Performance during Sustained Intersensory Attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenartowicz, Agatha; Simpson, Gregory V.; Haber, Catherine M.; Cohen, Mark S.

    2017-01-01

    The ability to attend to an input selectively while ignoring distracting sensations is thought to depend on the coordination of two processes: enhancement of target signals and attenuation of distractor signals. This implies that attending and ignoring may be dissociable neural processes and that they make separable contributions to behavioral outcomes of attention. In this study, we tested these hypotheses in the context of sustained attention by measuring neurophysiological responses to attended and ignored stimuli in a noncued, continuous, audiovisual selective attention task. We compared these against responses during a passive control to quantify effects of attending and ignoring separately. In both sensory modalities, responses to ignored stimuli were attenuated relative to a passive control, whereas responses to attended stimuli were enhanced. The scalp topographies and brain activations of these modulatory effects were consistent with the sensory regions that process each modality. They also included parietal and prefrontal activations that suggest these effects arise from interactions between top–down and sensory cortices. Most importantly, we found that both attending and ignoring processes contributed to task accuracy and that these effects were not correlated—suggesting unique neural trajectories. This conclusion was supported by the novel observation that attending and ignoring differed in timing and in active cortical regions. The data provide direct evidence for the separable contributions of attending and ignoring to behavioral outcomes of attention control during sustained intersensory attention. PMID:24666167

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiMenichi, Brynne C.; Tricomi, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    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 (RTs)—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 RTs 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. PMID:26388801

  15. Reduced functional connectivity of fronto-parietal sustained attention networks in severe childhood abuse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heledd Hart

    Full Text Available Childhood maltreatment is associated with attention deficits. We examined the effect of childhood abuse and abuse-by-gene (5-HTTLPR, MAOA, FKBP5 interaction on functional brain connectivity during sustained attention in medication/drug-free adolescents. Functional connectivity was compared, using generalised psychophysiological interaction (gPPI analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data, between 21 age-and gender-matched adolescents exposed to severe childhood abuse and 27 healthy controls, while they performed a parametrically modulated vigilance task requiring target detection with a progressively increasing load of sustained attention. Behaviourally, participants exposed to childhood abuse had increased omission errors compared to healthy controls. During the most challenging attention condition abused participants relative to controls exhibited reduced connectivity, with a left-hemispheric bias, in typical fronto-parietal attention networks, including dorsolateral, rostromedial and inferior prefrontal and inferior parietal regions. Abuse-related connectivity abnormalities were exacerbated in individuals homozygous for the risky C-allele of the single nucleotide polymorphism rs3800373 of the FK506 Binding Protein 5 (FKBP5 gene. Findings suggest that childhood abuse is associated with decreased functional connectivity in fronto-parietal attention networks and that the FKBP5 genotype moderates neurobiological vulnerability to abuse. These findings represent a first step towards the delineation of abuse-related neurofunctional connectivity abnormalities, which hopefully will facilitate the development of specific treatment strategies for victims of childhood maltreatment.

  16. Perceived mental effort correlates with changes in tonic arousal during attentional tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howells, Fleur M; Stein, Dan J; Russell, Vivienne A

    2010-07-08

    It has been suggested that perceived mental effort reflects changes in arousal during tasks of attention. Such changes in arousal may be tonic or phasic, and may be mediated by the locus-coeruleus norepinephrine (LC-NE) system. We hypothesized that perceived mental effort during attentional tasks would correlate with tonic changes in cortical arousal, as assessed by relative electroencephalogram (EEG) band power and theta/beta ratio, and not with phasic changes in cortical arousal, assessed by P300 amplitude and latency. Forty-six healthy individuals completed tasks that engage the anterior and posterior attention networks (continuous performance task, go/no-go task, and cued target detection task). During completion of the three attentional tasks a continuous record of tonic and phasic arousal was taken. Cortical measures of arousal included frequency band power, theta/beta ratios over frontal and parietal cortices, and P300 amplitude and latency over parietal cortices. Peripheral measures of arousal included skin conductance responses, heart rate and heart rate variance. Participants reported their perceived mental effort during each of the three attentional tasks. First, changes in arousal were seen from rest to completion of the three attentional tasks and between the attentional tasks. Changes seen between the attentional tasks being related to the task design and the attentional network activated. Second, perceived mental effort increased when demands of the task increased and correlated with left parietal beta band power during the three tasks of attention. Third, increased mental effort during the go/no-go task and the cued target detection task was inversely related to theta/beta ratios. These results indicate that perceived mental effort reflects tonic rather than phasic changes in arousal during tasks of attention. We suggest that perceived mental effort may reflect in part tonic activity of the LC-NE system in healthy individuals.

  17. 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 (pCapacity 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.

  18. The role of sustained attention and display medium in reading comprehension among adolescents with ADHD and without it.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Pnina; Shalev, Lilach

    2013-01-01

    Difficulties in reading comprehension are common in children and adolescents with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The current study aimed at investigating the relation between sustained attention and reading comprehension among adolescents with and without ADHD. Another goal was to examine the impact of two manipulations of the text on the efficiency of reading comprehension: Spacing (standard- vs. double-spacing) and Type of presentation (computer screen vs. hard copy). Reading comprehension of two groups of adolescents (participants with ADHD and normal controls) was assessed and compared in four different conditions (standard printed, spaced printed, standard on computer screen, spaced on computer screen). In addition, participants completed a visual sustained attention task. Significant differences in reading comprehension and in sustained attention were obtained between the two groups. Also, a significant correlation was obtained between sustained attention and reading comprehension. Moreover, a significant interaction was revealed between presentation-type, spacing and level of sustained attention on reading comprehension. Implications for reading intervention and the importance of early assessment of attention functioning are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 test as a predictor of individual 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of state anxiety on performance using a task-switching paradigm: An investigation of attentional control theory

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Derakshan, Nazanin; Smyth, Sinéad; Eysenck, Michael W

    2009-01-01

    .... According to attentional control theory (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), anxiety impairs attentional control processes required to shift attention optimally within and between tasks...

  3. More Attention to Attention? An Eye-Tracking Investigation of Selection of Perceptual Attributes during a Task Switch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longman, Cai S.; Lavric, Aureliu; Monsell, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Switching tasks prolongs response times, an effect reduced but not eliminated by active preparation. To explore the role of attentional selection of the relevant stimulus attribute in these task-switch costs, we measured eye fixations in participants cued to identify either a face or a letter displayed on its forehead. With only 200 ms between cue…

  4. Pay attention to impulsivity: modelling low attentive and high impulsive subtypes of adult ADHD in the 5-choice continuous performance task (5C-CPT) in female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomlinson, Anneka; Grayson, Ben; Marsh, Samuel; Harte, Michael K; Barnes, Samuel A; Marshall, Kay M; Neill, Joanna C

    2014-08-01

    Varying levels of attention and impulsivity deficits are core features of the three subtypes of adult attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To date, little is known about the neurobiological correlates of these subtypes. Development of a translational animal model is essential to improve our understanding and improve therapeutic strategies. The 5-choice continuous performance task (5C-CPT) in rats can be used to examine different forms of attention and impulsivity. Adult rats were trained to pre-set 5C-CPT criterion and subsequently separated into subgroups according to baseline levels of sustained attention, vigilance, premature responding and response disinhibition in the 5C-CPT. The behavioural subgroups were selected to represent the different subtypes of adult ADHD. Consequently, effects of the clinically used pharmacotherapies (methylphenidate and atomoxetine) were assessed in the different subgroups. Four subgroups were identified: low-attentive (LA), high-attentive (HA), high-impulsive (HI) and low-impulsive (LI). Methylphenidate and atomoxetine produced differential effects in the subgroups. Methylphenidate increased sustained attention and vigilance in LA animals, and reduced premature responding in HI animals. Atomoxetine also improved sustained attention and vigilance in LA animals, and reduced response disinhibition and premature responding in HI animals. This is the first study using adult rats to demonstrate the translational value of the 5C-CPT to select subgroups of rats, which may be used to model the subtypes observed in adult ADHD. Our findings suggest that this as an important paradigm to increase our understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of adult ADHD-subtypes and their response to pharmacotherapy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  5. Simultanagnosia: a defect of sustained attention yields insights on visual information processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzo, M; Robin, D A

    1990-03-01

    Simultanagnosia, in which subjects report a piecemeal visual experience, offers an important probe of human attention. We studied 2 subjects with simultanagnosia following bilateral superior occipital strokes. Compared with controls, they could orient attention to spatial targets in visual, auditory, and mixed-modal conditions. A different task required immediate response to the appearance or disappearance at unpredictable intervals of any element in a random-dot CRT display. The subject tested could detect less than 50% of 1,600 events, and had increased "mirages" and prolonged reaction times. Undetected events occurred anywhere and formed temporal clusters. Application of signal-detection theory confirmed abnormal sensitivity and response bias (d' and beta). Yet performance improved when a valid cue introduced events in the random display. Our results suggest that simultanagnosia was related to an inability to sustain visuospatial attention across an array, corresponding to processing failure at a level of long-range (global) spatiotemporal interactions among converging inputs from early vision. The operations for orienting and sustaining attention may be dissociable at visual association cortex levels.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Gi-Yeul; Luck, Steven J

    2017-11-22

    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 StatementWorking 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

  8. Attention tasks as skills performance measures of drug effects

    OpenAIRE

    Moskowitz, H.

    1984-01-01

    1 Both empirical epidemiological data on the causes of traffic accidents and conceptual models of skilled human performance stress the central role of perception and cognition. This paper examines the effects of drugs on two major components of cognitive perceptual performance, namely, concentrated attention or vigilance and divided attention.

  9. Personality and attention: Levels of neuroticism and extraversion can predict attentional performance during a change detection task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Sowon; Buttaccio, Daniel R; Hahn, Jungwon; Lee, Taehun

    2015-01-01

    The present study demonstrates that levels of extraversion and neuroticism can predict attentional performance during a change detection task. After completing a change detection task built on the flicker paradigm, participants were assessed for personality traits using the Revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R). Multiple regression analyses revealed that higher levels of extraversion predict increased change detection accuracies, while higher levels of neuroticism predict decreased change detection accuracies. In addition, neurotic individuals exhibited decreased sensitivity A' and increased fixation dwell times. Hierarchical regression analyses further revealed that eye movement measures mediate the relationship between neuroticism and change detection accuracies. Based on the current results, we propose that neuroticism is associated with decreased attentional control over the visual field, presumably due to decreased attentional disengagement. Extraversion can predict increased attentional performance, but the effect is smaller than the relationship between neuroticism and attention.

  10. Effects of methylphenidate and behavioral contingencies on sustained attention in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a test of the reward dysfunction hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solanto, M V; Wender, E H; Bartell, S S

    1997-01-01

    Psychostimulants and behavior therapy have been postulated to be effective in treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by compensating for a pathologically elevated reward threshold, but no studies have compared reinforcement to psychostimulants in maintaining task performance. The separate and combined effects of methylphenidate (MPH, 0.6 mg/kg) and a behavioral intervention (reward plus response cost) were assessed on a continuous performance test (CPT, a measure of sustained attention) modified to deliver auditory feedback contingent upon the subject's responses. Each of 22 children (6-10 years old) with ADHD were tested under four treatment conditions: placebo + feedback, placebo + behavioral contingencies, MPH + feedback, and MPH + contingencies. CPT performance, indexed by d' (ability to discriminate between target and false targets), was significantly better with MPH than with placebo, showing reduced deterioration over time. Contingency treatment improved mean d' compared to placebo + feedback but, in contrast, had no effect on the slope of performance deterioration. Addition of contingencies to MPH did not yield further improvement. The results indicate that MPH improved sustained attention on a laboratory task (and reduced task-irrelevant and other disinhibited behaviors), whereas behavioral contingencies did not. These findings suggest that, although both interventions improved stimulus discrimination processes, only MPH enhanced processes that mediate the regulation of effort over time. In addition, the disjunction between the effects of reward and of MPH provides evidence that psychostimulant effects on attention are only partially explained by the stimulation of brain centers associated with reward.

  11. Gait in Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in a Dual-Task Paradigm

    OpenAIRE

    Manicolo, Olivia; Grob, Alexander; Hagmann-von Arx, Priska

    2017-01-01

    The aim was to examine gait in school-aged children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and typically developing controls in a dual-task paradigm. Thirty children with ADHD (without or off medication) aged 7–13 years and 28 controls walked without an additional task (single-task walking) and while performing a concurrent cognitive or motor task (dual-task walking). Gait was assessed using GAITRite recordings of spatiotemporal and variability gait parameters. Compared to singl...

  12. Role of Gestalt grouping in selective attention: Evidence from the Stroop task

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, M.J.M.; Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2007-01-01

    Selective attention has been intensively studied using the Stroop task. Evidence suggests that Stroop interference in a color-naming task arises partly because of visual attention sharing between color and word: Removing the target color after 150 msec reduces interference (Neumann, 1986). Moreover,

  13. 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

  14. 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

    2017-11-09

    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.

  15. Effect of attention division on movement detection and execution in dual-task conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Farina, Dario

    2017-01-01

    Dual tasking refers to the simultaneous execution of two tasks with different demands. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of a second task on a main task of motor execution and on the ability to detect the cortical potential related to the main task from non-invasive electroencepha......Dual tasking refers to the simultaneous execution of two tasks with different demands. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of a second task on a main task of motor execution and on the ability to detect the cortical potential related to the main task from non...... the number of sequences of special tones (dual task level). EEG signals were recorded from nine channels centered on Cz. Analysis of event-related potential (ERP) signals from Cz confirmed that the oddball task decreased the attention to the ankle dorsiflexion significantly. Furthermore, movement...

  16. 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

  17. Lost in vision: ERP correlates of exogenous tactile attention when engaging in a visual task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Alexander; Forster, Bettina

    2013-03-01

    Behavioural studies have shown that when engaging in a visual task response facilitation to tactile stimuli at exogenously cued locations is diminished. Here we investigated behavioural and also neural correlates of tactile exogenous attention when participants either watched a visual stream (single task) or also detected targets in the visual stream (dual task). During the visual stream, tactile cues were presented to the left or right hand followed by tactile targets at the same or opposite hand. Behavioural results demonstrated slowed responses to tactile targets at cued locations (i.e., IOR) in the single whilst no attention effect in the dual task. Concurrently recorded EEG revealed multiple stages of tactile processing to be attenuated when engaging in a visual task: First, the amplitude of the cueelicited somatosensory P100 component was suppressed suggesting relative early cross-modality effects in the dual task. Second, correlates of cue-induced attentional control processes showed a reduced late somatosensory negativity (LSN) in the dual compared to the single task suggesting smaller preparatory processes. Finally, early attentional selection correlates of post-target ERPs (N80) were absent in the dual task. This study demonstrated for the first time that engaging in a visual task abolished behavioural IOR in touch. ERP analyses showed that early somatosensory processing as well as specific correlates of tactile attentional orienting and target selection are diminished under visual engagement. Our findings are in line with a supramodal account of attention. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Attention effects on the processing of task-relevant and task-irrelevant speech sounds and letters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria eMittag

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs to study effects of selective attention on the processing of attended and unattended spoken syllables and letters. Participants were presented with syllables randomly occurring in the left or right ear and spoken by different voices and with a concurrent foveal stream of consonant letters written in darker or lighter fonts. During auditory phonological and non-phonological tasks, they responded to syllables in a designated ear starting with a vowel and spoken by female voices, respectively. These syllables occurred infrequently among standard syllables starting with a consonant and spoken by male voices. During visual phonological and non-phonological tasks, they responded to consonant letters with names starting with a vowel and to letters written in dark fonts, respectively. These letters occurred infrequently among standard letters with names starting with a consonant and written in light fonts. To examine genuine effects of attention and task on ERPs not overlapped by ERPs associated with target processing or deviance detection, these effects were studied only in ERPs to auditory and visual standards. During selective listening to syllables in a designated ear, ERPs to the attended syllables were negatively displaced during both phonological and non-phonological auditory tasks. Selective attention to letters elicited an early negative displacement and a subsequent positive displacement of ERPs to attended letters being larger during the visual phonological than non-phonological task suggesting a higher demand for attention during the visual phonological task. Active suppression of unattended speech during the auditory phonological and non-phonological tasks and during the visual phonological tasks was suggested by a rejection positivity to unattended syllables. We also found evidence for suppression of the processing of task-irrelevant visual stimuli in visual ERPs during auditory tasks involving

  1. 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

  2. Effective connectivity of ascending and descending frontalthalamic pathways during sustained attention: Complex brain network interactions in adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagtap, Pranav; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A

    2016-07-01

    Frontal-thalamic interactions are crucial for bottom-up gating and top-down control, yet have not been well studied from brain network perspectives. We applied network modeling of fMRI signals [dynamic causal modeling (DCM)] to investigate frontal-thalamic interactions during an attention task with parametrically varying levels of demand. fMRI was collected while subjects participated in a sustained continuous performance task with low and high attention demands. 162 competing model architectures were employed in DCM to evaluate hypotheses on bilateral frontal-thalamic connections and their modulation by attention demand, selected at a second level using Bayesian model selection. The model architecture evinced significant contextual modulation by attention of ascending (thalamus → dPFC) and descending (dPFC → thalamus) pathways. However, modulation of these pathways was asymmetric: while positive modulation of the ascending pathway was comparable across attention demand, modulation of the descending pathway was significantly greater when attention demands were increased. Increased modulation of the (dPFC → thalamus) pathway in response to increased attention demand constitutes novel evidence of attention-related gain in the connectivity of the descending attention pathway. By comparison demand-independent modulation of the ascending (thalamus → dPFC) pathway suggests unbiased thalamic inputs to the cortex in the context of the paradigm. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2557-2570, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Effective connectivity of ascending and descending frontal-thalamic pathways during sustained attention: Complex brain network interactions in adolescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagtap, Pranav; Diwadkar, Vaibhav A.

    2016-01-01

    Frontal-thalamic interactions are crucial for bottom-up gating and top-down control, yet have not been well studied from brain network perspectives. We applied network modeling of fMRI signals (Dynamic Causal Modeling; DCM) to investigate frontal-thalamic interactions during an attention task with parametrically varying levels of demand. fMRI was collected while subjects participated in a sustained continuous performance task with low and high attention demands. 162 competing model architectures were employed in DCM to evaluate hypotheses on bilateral frontal-thalamic connections and their modulation by attention demand, selected at a second level using Bayesian Model Selection. The model architecture evinced significant contextual modulation by attention of ascending (thalamus → dPFC) and descending (dPFC → thalamus) pathways. However, modulation of these pathways was asymmetric: While positive modulation of the ascending pathway was comparable across attention demand, modulation of the descending pathway was significantly greater when attention demands were increased. Increased modulation of the (dPFC → thalamus) pathway in response to increased attention demand constitutes novel evidence of attention-related gain in the connectivity of the descending attention pathway. By comparison demand-independent modulation of the ascending (thalamus → dPFC) pathway suggests unbiased thalamic inputs to the cortex in the context of the paradigm. PMID:27145923

  4. Impaired Limbic Cortico-Striatal Structure and Sustained Visual Attention in a Rodent Model of Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Samuel A.; Sawiak, Stephen J.; Caprioli, Daniele; Jupp, Bianca; Buonincontri, Guido; Mar, Adam C.; Harte, Michael K.; Fletcher, Paul C.; Robbins, Trevor W.; Neill, Jo C.

    2015-01-01

    Background: N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dysfunction is thought to contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Accordingly, NMDAR antagonists such as phencyclidine (PCP) are used widely in experimental animals to model cognitive impairment associated with this disorder. However, it is unclear whether PCP disrupts the structural integrity of brain areas relevant to the profile of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. Methods: Here we used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry to investigate structural alterations associated with sub-chronic PCP treatment in rats. Results: Sub-chronic exposure of rats to PCP (5mg/kg twice daily for 7 days) impaired sustained visual attention on a 5-choice serial reaction time task, notably when the attentional load was increased. In contrast, sub-chronic PCP had no significant effect on the attentional filtering of a pre-pulse auditory stimulus in an acoustic startle paradigm. Voxel-based morphometry revealed significantly reduced grey matter density bilaterally in the hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex, ventral striatum, and amygdala. PCP-treated rats also exhibited reduced cortical thickness in the insular cortex. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that sub-chronic NMDA receptor antagonism is sufficient to produce highly-localized morphological abnormalities in brain areas implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Furthermore, PCP exposure resulted in dissociable impairments in attentional function. PMID:25552430

  5. The sleep, subjective fatigue, and sustained attention of commercial airline pilots during an international pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrilli, Renée M; Roach, Gregory D; Dawson, Drew; Lamond, Nicole

    2006-01-01

    International commercial airline pilots may experience heightened fatigue due to irregular sleep schedules, long duty days, night flying, and multiple time zone changes. Importantly, current commercial airline flight and duty time regulations are based on work/rest factors and not sleep/wake factors. Consequently, the primary aim of the current study was to investigate pilots' amount of sleep, subjective fatigue, and sustained attention before and after international flights. A secondary aim was to determine whether prior sleep and/or duty history predicted pilots' subjective fatigue and sustained attention during the international flights. Nineteen pilots (ten captains, nine first officers; mean age: 47.42+/-7.52 years) participated. Pilots wore wrist activity monitors and completed sleep and duty diaries during a return pattern from Australia to Europe via Asia. The pattern included four flights: Australia-Asia, Asia-Europe, Europe-Asia, and Asia-Australia. Before and after each flight, pilots completed a 5 min PalmPilot-based psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) and self-rated their level of fatigue using the Samn-Perelli Fatigue Checklist. Separate repeated-measures ANOVAs were used to determine the impact of stage of flight and flight sector on the pilots' sleep in the prior 24 h, self-rated fatigue, and PVT mean response speed. Linear mixed model regression analyses were conducted to examine the impact of sleep in the prior 24 h, prior wake, duty length, and flight sector on pilots' self-rated fatigue and sustained attention before and after the international flights. A significant main effect of stage of flight was found for sleep in the prior 24 h, self-rated fatigue, and mean response speed (all p pilots should be taken into account in the development of flight and duty time regulations.

  6. Effects of noise on a simple visual attentional task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britton, L A; Delay, E R

    1989-06-01

    15 male and 15 female subjects scanned an array of lights during one of three types of white-noise conditions (continuous, 1-Hz pulse rate, and 10-Hz pulse rate) at 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 dB. Detection of light stimuli increased under the lower intensities and decreased under the higher intensities in the continuous and the 1-Hz pulse-rate conditions, but decreased as intensity increased in 10-Hz pulse-rate noise. Detection of peripheral stimuli was greatest during continuous noise and lowest during 10-Hz pulse-rate noise. These data are interpreted in terms of changes in attentional focus which result from altered levels of arousal.

  7. Effect of orthostatic hypotension on sustained attention in patients with autonomic failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Vliet, P; Hilt, A D; Thijs, R D; van Dijk, J G

    2016-02-01

    Orthostatic hypotension has been associated with impaired cognitive function, but cognitive function during orthostatic hypotension has hardly been studied. We studied the effect of orthostatic hypotension, induced by head-up tilt (HUT), on sustained attention in patients with autonomic failure. We studied the sustained attention to response task (SART) in the supine position and during HUT in 10 patients with autonomic failure and 10 age-matched and sex-matched controls. To avoid syncope, the tilting angle was tailored to patients to reach a stable systolic blood pressure below 100 mm Hg. Controls were all tilted at an angle of 60°. Cerebral blood flow velocity, blood pressure and heart rate were measured continuously. In patients, systolic blood pressure was 61.4 mm Hg lower during HUT than in the supine position (pattention. This might partly be explained by the observation that SART performance led to a blood pressure increase. Moreover, the upright position was associated with better performance in controls and, to a lesser extent, also in patients. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2011-01-01

    ...) 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...

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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....

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. The involvement of central attention in visual search is determined by task demands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Suk Won

    2017-04-01

    Attention, the mechanism by which a subset of sensory inputs is prioritized over others, operates at multiple processing stages. Specifically, attention enhances weak sensory signal at the perceptual stage, while it serves to select appropriate responses or consolidate sensory representations into short-term memory at the central stage. This study investigated the independence and interaction between perceptual and central attention. To do so, I used a dual-task paradigm, pairing a four-alternative choice task with a visual search task. The results showed that central attention for response selection was engaged in perceptual processing for visual search when the number of search items increased, thereby increasing the demand for serial allocation of focal attention. By contrast, central attention and perceptual attention remained independent as far as the demand for serial shifting of focal attention remained constant; decreasing stimulus contrast or increasing the set size of a parallel search did not evoke the involvement of central attention in visual search. These results suggest that the nature of concurrent visual search process plays a crucial role in the functional interaction between two different types of attention.

  19. The Effects of Focus of Attention and Task Objective Consistency on Learning a Balancing Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Brian H.; Holmes, Amanda M.

    2011-01-01

    In motor learning, a popular area of research has been to examine the importance of where individuals focus their attention during the acquisition of motor skills. Researchers in this area have proposed that, when teaching a motor skill, the instructions used to direct the learner's attention can affect the immediate and long-term retention of…

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus and the nucleus basalis magnocellularis: Do both have a role in sustained attention?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Latimer Mary P

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It is well established that nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NbM lesions impair performance on tests of sustained attention. Previous work from this laboratory has also demonstrated that pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg lesioned rats make more omissions on a test of sustained attention, suggesting that it might also play a role in mediating this function. However, the results of the PPTg study were open to alternative interpretation. We aimed to resolve this by conducting a detailed analysis of the effects of damage to each brain region in the same sustained attention task used in our previous work. Rats were trained in the task before surgery and post-surgical testing examined performance in response to unpredictable light signals of 1500 ms and 4000 ms duration. Data for PPTg lesioned rats were compared to control rats, and rats with 192 IgG saporin infusions centred on the NbM. In addition to operant data, video data of rats' performance during the task were also analysed. Results Both lesion groups omitted trials relative to controls but the effect was milder and transient in NbM rats. The number of omitted trials decreased in all groups when tested using the 4000 ms signal compared to the 1500 ms signal. This confirmed previous findings for PPTg lesioned rats. Detailed analysis revealed that the increase in omissions in PPTg rats was not a consequence of motor impairment. The video data (taken on selected days showed reduced lever orientation in PPTg lesioned rats, coupled with an increase in unconditioned behaviours such as rearing and sniffing. In contrast NbM rats showed evidence of inadequate lever pressing. Conclusion The question addressed here is whether the PPTg and NbM both have a role in sustained attention. Rats bearing lesions of either structure showed deficits in the test used. However, we conclude that the most parsimonious explanation for the deficit observed in PPTg rats is inadequate response

  6. Effect of Peripheral Communication Pace on Attention Allocation in a Dual-Task Situation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gueddana, Sofiane; Roussel, Nicolas

    Peripheral displays allow continuous awareness of information while performing other activities. Monitoring such a display while performing a central task has a cognitive cost that depends on its perceptual salience and the distraction it causes, i.e. the amount of attention it attracts away from the user’s primary action. This paper considers the particular case of peripheral displays for interpersonal communication. It reports on an experiment that studied the effect of peripheral communication pace on subjects’ allocation of attention in a dual-task situation: a snapshot-based peripheral monitoring task where participants need to assess the presence of a remote person, and a central text-correcting task against the clock. Our results show that the addition of the peripheral task caused a drop in the success rate of the central task. As the pace of snapshots increased, success rate decreased on the peripheral task while on the central one, success rate remained the same but failures to reply in time occurred more frequently. These results suggest that the increase in pace of snapshots caused participants to change their strategy for the central task and allocate more attention to the peripheral one, not enough to maintain peripheral performance but also not to the point where it would affect central performance. Overall, our work suggests that peripheral communication pace subtly influences attention allocation in dual-task situations. We conclude by discussing how control over information pace could help users of communication systems to adjust their local distraction as well as the attention they draw from remote users.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Sanchez-Lopez

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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...... thresholds and motor response baselines. Conclusions 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. Effects of state anxiety on performance using a task-switching paradigm: an investigation of attentional control theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derakshan, Nazanin; Smyth, Sinéad; Eysenck, Michael W

    2009-12-01

    Low- and high-anxious participants performed arithmetical tasks under task-switching or nontask-switching conditions. These tasks were low or high in complexity. The task on each trial was either explicitly cued or not cued. We assumed that demands on attentional control would be greater in the task-switching condition than in the nontask-switching condition, and would be greater with high-complexity tasks than with low-complexity ones. We also assumed that demands on attentional control would be greater when cues were absent rather than present. According to attentional control theory (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), anxiety impairs attentional control processes required to shift attention optimally within and between tasks. We predicted that there would be greater negative effects of high state anxiety in the task-switching condition than in the nontask-switching condition. Our theoretical predictions were supported, suggesting that state anxiety reduces attentional control.

  13. [Influence of balance exercises during an attention task on fear of falling among frail elderly fallen].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takai, Itsushi

    2010-01-01

    Recent research suggests that the fear of falling may be a more serious problem than actual falling among frail elderly people. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not it is possible to influence the fear of falling among frail elderly people who previously had fallen, by balance exercises under attention tasks. The subjects were 22 frail elderly people in nursing homes (3 men and 19 women, mean age 83.1+/-5.2 SD) who had fallen. Written informed consent was given for participation in the study. Subjects were divided into two groups at random: the balance exercise group (the control group) and the balance exercise during an attention task (the attention group). Balance exercise continued for 10 weeks, consisting of one 5 minute session, 3 times weekly. The control and intervention subjects were evaluated using the Fall Efficacy Scale (FES), Functional Reach Test (FRT), Timed Up & Go Test (TUGT) and walking speed, before the program, at the end of the trial, and 10 weeks after the program. There was no change in walking speed in either group, and difference in TUGT of the control group was observed. We found improvement in FRT and TUGT of the attention group. The FES decreased in the attention group. These findings indicate that balance exercise during an attention task can improve standing posture balance in frail elderly people who have fallen. These results also suggest that it is important to intervene in both motor function and attention function to decrease the fear of falling.

  14. 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.

  15. Heart rate variability and sustained attention in ADHD children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Börger, N.A.; Van der Meere, J.J.; Ronner, A.; Alberts, E.; Geuze, R.H.; Bogte, H

    The major goal of the current study was to investigate the association between continuous performance tests (CPTs) and the heart rate variability (HRV) of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) children. The HRV, specifically the 0.10-Hz component, may be considered to be a

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2017-12-20

    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.

  19. Task-Set Reconfiguration Suspends Perceptual Processing: Evidence from Semantic Priming during the Attentional Blink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vachon, Francois; Tremblay, Sebastien; Jones, Dylan M.

    2007-01-01

    When two visual targets, Target 1 (T1) and Target 2 (T2), are presented among a rapid sequence of distractors, processing of T1 produces an attentional blink. Typically, processing of T2 is markedly impaired, except when T1 and T2 are adjacent (Lag 1 sparing). However, if a shift of task set--a change in task requirements from T1 to T2--occurs,…

  20. Task-related changes in functional properties of the human brain network underlying attentional control.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuo Kida

    Full Text Available Previous studies have demonstrated task-related changes in brain activation and inter-regional connectivity but the temporal dynamics of functional properties of the brain during task execution is still unclear. In the present study, we investigated task-related changes in functional properties of the human brain network by applying graph-theoretical analysis to magnetoencephalography (MEG. Subjects performed a cue-target attention task in which a visual cue informed them of the direction of focus for incoming auditory or tactile target stimuli, but not the sensory modality. We analyzed the MEG signal in the cue-target interval to examine network properties during attentional control. Cluster-based non-parametric permutation tests with the Monte-Carlo method showed that in the cue-target interval, beta activity was desynchronized in the sensori-motor region including premotor and posterior parietal regions in the hemisphere contralateral to the attended side. Graph-theoretical analysis revealed that, in beta frequency, global hubs were found around the sensori-motor and prefrontal regions, and functional segregation over the entire network was decreased during attentional control compared to the baseline. Thus, network measures revealed task-related temporal changes in functional properties of the human brain network, leading to the understanding of how the brain dynamically responds to task execution as a network.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmberg, Nils; Sandberg, Helena; Holmqvist, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmberg, Nils; Sandberg, Helena; Holmqvist, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    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- 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. PMID:24575057

  4. 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.

  5. Age affects the attentional demands of stair ambulation: evidence from a dual-task approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojha, Heidi A; Kern, Rebecca W; Lin, Chien-Ho Janice; Winstein, Carolee J

    2009-10-01

    Approximately 75% of all injury-producing falls on steps for people of all ages occur in people 65 years of age and older. Diminished attentional capacity contributes to fall risk in older adults, particularly when task demands are high. The purpose of this study was to compare the attentional demands of ascending and descending a set of stairs (stair ambulation) in older adults and younger adults. This was a nonblinded, prospective, single-site, observational cohort study. Ten older (>65 years of age) and 10 younger (21-33 years of age) adults without disabilities were recruited. A dual-task approach was used for 2 task conditions: the first task was standing and responding verbally to an unanticipated auditory tone as quickly as possible (probe task), and the second task was ascending or descending a set of stairs with the same probe task. A 2-factor (group x task) analysis of variance with repeated measures on task (standing and stair ambulation) was performed for voice response time (VRT). Significance for the analysis was set at Ptask interaction was significant for VRT. Post hoc analyses indicated that during stair ambulation, the VRT for older adults was significantly longer than that for younger adults. For the standing task, the VRTs (X+/-SD) were similar for younger (322+/-65 milliseconds) and older (306+/-22 milliseconds) participants. For stair ascent and descent, the average VRTs were more than 100 milliseconds longer for older participants (493+/-113 and 470+/-127 milliseconds, respectively) than for younger participants (365+/-56 and 356+/-67 milliseconds, respectively). Because of the small sample size and generally fit older group, generalization of findings to older people at risk for falls is not recommended until further research is done. The results demonstrated that although both older and younger adults required similar attentional resources for the standing task, older adults required significantly more resources during stair ambulation. The

  6. 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

  7. Task-specific, dimension-based attentional shaping of motion processing in monkey area MT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schledde, Bastian; Galashan, F Orlando; Przybyla, Magdalena; Kreiter, Andreas K; Wegener, Detlef

    2017-09-01

    Nonspatially selective attention is based on the notion that specific features or objects in the visual environment are effectively prioritized in cortical visual processing. Feature-based attention (FBA), in particular, is a well-studied process that dynamically and selectively addresses neurons preferentially processing the attended feature attribute (e.g., leftward motion). In everyday life, however, behavior may require high sensitivity for an entire feature dimension (e.g., motion), but experimental evidence for a feature dimension-specific attentional modulation on a cellular level is lacking. Therefore, we investigated neuronal activity in macaque motion-selective mediotemporal area (MT) in an experimental setting requiring the monkeys to detect either a motion change or a color change. We hypothesized that neural activity in MT is enhanced when the task requires perceptual sensitivity to motion. In line with this, we found that mean firing rates were higher in the motion task and that response variability and latency were lower compared with values in the color task, despite identical visual stimulation. This task-specific, dimension-based modulation of motion processing emerged already in the absence of visual input, was independent of the relation between the attended and stimulating motion direction, and was accompanied by a spatially global reduction of neuronal variability. The results provide single-cell support for the hypothesis of a feature dimension-specific top-down signal emphasizing the processing of an entire feature class.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Cortical processing serving visual perception prioritizes information according to current task requirements. We provide evidence in favor of a dimension-based attentional mechanism addressing all neurons that process visual information in the task-relevant feature domain. Behavioral tasks required monkeys to attend either color or motion, causing modulations of response strength, variability, latency, and

  8. Attentional bias during emotional processing: evidence from an emotional flanker task using IAPS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parra, Mario A; Sánchez, Manuel Guillermo; Valencia, Stella; Trujillo, Natalia

    2018-03-01

    Attention is biased towards threat-related stimuli. In three experiments, we investigated the mechanisms, processes, and time course of this processing bias. An emotional flanker task simultaneously presented affective or neutral pictures from the international affective picture system database either as central response-relevant stimuli or surrounding response-uninformative flankers. Participants' response times to central stimuli was measured. The attentional bias was observed when stimuli were presented either for 1500 ms (Experiment 1) or 500 ms (Experiment 2). The threat-related attentional bias held regardless of the stimuli competing for attention even when presentation time was further reduced to 200 ms (Experiment 3). The results indicate that automatic and controlled mechanisms may interact to modulate the orientation of attention to threat. The data presented here shed new light on the mechanisms, processes, and time course of this long investigated by still largely unknown processing bias.

  9. 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.

  10. The effects of attention sharing in a dynamic dual task environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cliff, R. C.

    1972-01-01

    There are numerous examples of cases where the human operator is confronted with several tasks occurring simultaneously and continuously in time. The current study is an investigation into the nature of attention sharing between two continuous tasks with independent input-output modes. Eleven subjects were tested using a zero order compensatory control task with three levels of difficulty (input bandwidth) for each subject. As a secondary task on half of the trials, the subjects were also required to verbally shadow a random auditory input. Results from an extensive time and frequency domain analysis of the data are presented and discussed. The evidence supports a single channel model for continuous dual-task control.

  11. Performance of Normal and Disabled Nigerian Students on a Selective Attention Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uba, Anselm

    1982-01-01

    To determine to what extent disabled students may be selected and integrated into the regular schools in Nigeria, 42 normal and blind students were compared for differences in selective attention in a task involving letters and numbers. The hypothesis was substantiated that, because of the sociocultural stigma attached to blindness, normal…

  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. The Beneficial Effects of Additional Task Load, Positive Affect, and Instruction on the Attentional Blink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivers, Christian N. L.; Nieuwenhuis, Sander

    2006-01-01

    The attentional blink reflects the impaired ability to identify the 2nd of 2 targets presented in close succession--a phenomenon that is generally thought to reflect a fundamental cognitive limitation. However, the fundamental nature of this impairment has recently been called into question by the counterintuitive finding that task-irrelevant…

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of Auditory Attention Training with the Dichotic Listening Task: Behavioural and Neurophysiological Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallus, Jussi; Soveri, Anna; Hämäläinen, Heikki; Tuomainen, Jyrki; Laine, Matti

    2015-01-01

    Facilitation of general cognitive capacities such as executive functions through training has stirred considerable research interest during the last decade. Recently we demonstrated that training of auditory attention with forced attention dichotic listening not only facilitated that performance but also generalized to an untrained attentional task. In the present study, 13 participants underwent a 4-week dichotic listening training programme with instructions to report syllables presented to the left ear (FL training group). Another group (n = 13) was trained using the non-forced instruction, asked to report whichever syllable they heard the best (NF training group). The study aimed to replicate our previous behavioural results, and to explore the neurophysiological correlates of training through event-related brain potentials (ERPs). We partially replicated our previous behavioural training effects, as the FL training group tended to show more allocation of auditory spatial attention to the left ear in a standard dichotic listening task. ERP measures showed diminished N1 and enhanced P2 responses to dichotic stimuli after training in both groups, interpreted as improvement in early perceptual processing of the stimuli. Additionally, enhanced anterior N2 amplitudes were found after training, with relatively larger changes in the FL training group in the forced-left condition, suggesting improved top-down control on the trained task. These results show that top-down cognitive training can modulate the left-right allocation of auditory spatial attention, accompanied by a change in an evoked brain potential related to cognitive control.

  19. Stressing the feedback: attention and cardiac vagal tone during a cognitive stress task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azam, Muhammad Abid; Ritvo, Paul; Fashler, Samantha R; Katz, Joel

    2017-07-07

    The present study examined relationships among gaze behaviour and cardiac vagal tone using a novel stress-inducing task. Participants' (N = 40) eye movements and heart rate variability (HRV) were measured during an unsolvable computer-based task randomly presenting feedback of "Right" and "Wrong" answers distinctly onscreen after each trial. Subgroups were created on the basis of more frequent eye movements to the right ("Correct"-Attenders; n = 23) or wrong ("Incorrect"-Attenders; n = 17) areas onscreen. Correct-Attenders maintained HRV from baseline to the stress task. In contrast, Incorrect-Attenders spent significantly more time viewing "Wrong" feedback, exhibited a reduction in HRV during the stress condition (p attention to negative feedback ("Wrong") elicits perseverative stress and negative self-evaluations among university students. This study highlights the potential for studying attentional biases and emotional distress through combined measures of gaze behaviour and cardiac vagal tone.

  20. The effects of self-control on cognitive resource allocation during sustained attention: a transcranial Doppler investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Alexandra; Mandell, Arielle R; Tangney, June P; Chrosniak, Linda D; Shaw, Tyler H

    2015-07-01

    Vigilance, or sustained attention, is a required ability in many operational professions. While past research has consistently indicated that vigilance performance declines over time, referred to as the vigilance decrement, the theoretical mechanisms underlying the decrement continue to be explored. In the current study, trait self-control was examined to determine how this individual differences measure may contribute to the theoretical explanation of vigilance decrement. Transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD) was used as a measure of cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV), as previous research has indicated that CBFV may index attentional resource allocation during vigilance (e.g., Shaw et al. in Hum Factors Ergon Soc 50:1619-1623, 2009). Participants performed a demanding 12-min computer-based vigilance task. Prior to the task, a validated self-report measure was used to determine trait-level self-control, and subjective workload was measured after the task was completed. Participants were divided, based upon survey responses, as either low- or high-trait self-control. Performance results showed a significant decrement across participants, but no significant main effect or interaction relating to the self-control measure was observed. Results relating to the TCD measure showed a significant decline in CBFV in the low self-control group, but no CBFV decrement was observed in the high self-control group. The subjective workload results revealed a nonsignificant trend of the low self-control group becoming more frustrated after the task. These results suggest that there are differences in the resource allocation strategies between low and high self-control participants. How trait self-control can add to an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of sustained attention performance is discussed.

  1. 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

  2. Associations Among Family Environment, Sustained Attention, and School Readiness for Low-Income Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Razza, Rachel A.; Martin, Anne; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we examined the developmental pathways from children’s family environment to school readiness within a low-income sample (N = 1,046), with a specific focus on the role of sustained attention. Six distinct factors of the family environment representing maternal parenting behaviors, the physical home environment, and maternal mental health at 3 years of age were explored as independent predictors of children’s observed sustained attention as well as cognitive and behavioral outcomes at 5 years of age. Children were grouped by poverty status (poor vs. near-poor). Results suggest specificity in the associations among attention (focused attention and lack of impulsivity) and its correlates, with different patterns emerging by poverty status group. Overall, the family environment was largely unrelated to children’s sustained attention. For both groups, focused attention was associated with receptive vocabulary; however, it partially mediated the association between maternal lack of hostility and receptive vocabulary only among the near-poor. In addition, lack of impulsivity was associated with both receptive vocabulary and externalizing behaviors but only for the poor group. Findings indicate sustained attention as a potential target for efforts aimed at enhancing school readiness among predominantly poor children. PMID:20677860

  3. 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...

  4. Medial prefrontal lesions in mice impair sustained attention but spare maintenance of information in working memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, Julia B.; Ward, Ryan D.; Kahn, Lora W.; Rudy, Nicole M.; Kandel, Eric R.; Balsam, Peter D.; Simpson, Eleanor H.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory and attention are complex cognitive functions that are disrupted in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Mouse models of such human diseases are commonly subjected to maze-based tests that can neither distinguish between these cognitive functions nor isolate specific aspects of either function. Here, we have adapted a simple visual discrimination task, and by varying only the timing of events within the same task construct, we are able to measure independently the behavioral response to increasing attentional demand and increasing length of time that information must be maintained in working memory. We determined that mPFC lesions in mice impair attention but not working memory maintenance. PMID:23073640

  5. Noradrenergic versus dopaminergic modulation of impulsivity, attention and monitoring behaviour in rats performing the stop-signal task: possible relevance to ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bari, A; Robbins, T W

    2013-11-01

    Deficient response inhibition is a prominent feature of many pathological conditions characterised by impulsive and compulsive behaviour. Clinically effective doses of catecholamine reuptake inhibitors are able to improve such inhibitory deficits as measured by the stop-signal task (SST) in humans and other animals. However, the precise therapeutic mode of action of these compounds in terms of their relative effects on dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) systems in prefrontal cortical and striatal regions mediating attention and cognitive control remains unclear. We sought to fractionate the effects of global catecholaminergic manipulations on SST performance by using receptor-specific compounds for NA or DA. The results are described in terms of the effects of modulating specific receptor subtypes on various behavioural measures such as response inhibition, perseveration, sustained attention, error monitoring and motivation. Blockade of α2-adrenoceptors improved sustained attention and response inhibition, whereas α1 and β1/2 adrenergic receptor antagonists disrupted go performance and sustained attention, respectively. No relevant effects were obtained after targeting DA D1, D2 or D4 receptors, while both a D3 receptor agonist and antagonist improved post-error slowing and compulsive nose-poke behaviour, though generally impairing other task measures. Our results suggest that the use of specific pharmacological agents targeting α2 and β noradrenergic receptors may improve existing treatments for attentional deficits and impulsivity, whereas DA D3 receptors may modulate error monitoring and perseverative behaviour.

  6. Sustained attention in mice: expanding the translational utility of the SAT by incorporating the Michigan Controlled Access Response Port (MICARP).

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Peters, Megan; Cherian, Ajeesh Koshy; Bradshaw, Marc; Sarter, Martin

    2011-12-01

    Advances in mouse genetic technology have spurred increasing interest in the development of cognitive tasks for mice. Here, we describe and discuss the modifications necessary to adapt a task for the assessment of sustained attention performance for use in mice, including for taxing the top-down control of such performance. The validity of the Sustained Attention Task (SAT), including the distractor version (dSAT), has previously been demonstrated in rats and humans. This task requires moveable or retractable operanda; insertion of operanda into the operant chambers cues animals to respond to a prior signal or non-signal event, reporting either a hit or a miss, or a correct rejection or false alarm, respectively. Retractable levers did not support sufficiently high and stable levels of performance in mice. Given the widespread use of static nose-poke devices for testing operant performance in mice, we therefore designed and fabricated a retractable nose-poke device. As this device extends into chambers, a hole for nose-poking is slowly opened and closed again as the device retracts (termed the "Michigan Controlled Access Response Port", MICARP). Results describe the effects of variation of signal duration and event rate, trial outcome and trial type probability, effects of mice deprivation levels, and the reliability of SAT and dSAT performance. Mice perform the SAT and dSAT at levels comparable to those observed in rats. This task will be of assistance in expanding the translational usefulness of the SAT and dSAT. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boerma, Tessel; Leseman, Paul; Wijnen, Frank; Blom, Elma

    2017-01-01

    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 (pre)school years and reduces over time. Results furthermore suggest that the overlap may be explained by

  11. 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.

  12. Effect of attention division on movement detection and execution in dual-task conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aliakbaryhosseinabadi, Susan; Kamavuako, Ernest Nlandu; Farina, Dario

    2017-01-01

    the number of sequences of special tones (dual task level). EEG signals were recorded from nine channels centered on Cz. Analysis of event-related potential (ERP) signals from Cz confirmed that the oddball task decreased the attention to the ankle dorsiflexion significantly. Furthermore, movement......-related cortical potential (MRCP) analysis revealed that the amplitude of the MRCP and pre-movement slopes were changed significantly. These variations were significantly greater for the EEG channels corresponding to the motor cortex and the frontal-central cortex....

  13. ERP Indications for Sustained and Transient Auditory Spatial Attention with Different Lateralization Cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widmann, Andreas; Schröger, Erich

    The presented study was designed to investigate ERP effects of auditory spatial attention in sustained attention condition (where the to-be-attended location is defined in a blockwise manner) and in a transient attention condition (where the to-be-attended location is defined in a trial-by-trial manner). Lateralization in the azimuth plane was manipulated (a) via monaural presentation of l- and right-ear sounds, (b) via interaural intensity differences, (c) via interaural time differences, (d) via an artificial-head recording, and (e) via free-field stimulation. Ten participants were delivered with frequent Nogo- and infrequent Go-Stimuli. In one half of the experiment participants were instructed to press a button if they detected a Go-stimulus at a predefined side (sustained attention), in the other half they were required to detect Go-stimuli following an arrow-cue at the cued side (transient attention). Results revealed negative differences (Nd) between ERPs elicited by to-be-attended and to-be-ignored sounds in all conditions. These Nd-effects were larger for the sustained than for the transient attention condition indicating that attentional selection according to spatial criteria is improved when subjects can focus to one and the same location for a series of stimuli.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Magimairaj, Beula M.; Montgomery, James W.

    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...

  15. 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 patient-level reached) remained constant. Compliance to specific tasks increased after introducing SOP's and 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Low-frequency fluctuation in continuous real-time feedback of finger force: a new paradigm for sustained attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhang-Ye; Liu, Dong-Qiang; Wang, Jue; Qing, Zhao; Zang, Zhen-Xiang; Yan, Chao-Gan; Zang, Yu-Feng

    2012-08-01

    Behavioral studies have suggested a low-frequency (0.05 Hz) fluctuation of sustained attention on the basis of the intra-individual variability of reaction-time. Conventional task designs for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies are not appropriate for frequency analysis. The present study aimed to propose a new paradigm, real-time finger force feedback (RT-FFF), to study the brain mechanisms of sustained attention and neurofeedback. We compared the low-frequency fluctuations in both behavioral and fMRI data from 38 healthy adults (19 males; mean age, 22.3 years). Two fMRI sessions, in RT-FFF and sham finger force feedback (S-FFF) states, were acquired (TR 2 s, Siemens Trio 3-Tesla scanner, 8 min each, counter-balanced). Behavioral data of finger force were obtained simultaneously at a sampling rate of 250 Hz. Frequency analysis of the behavioral data showed lower amplitude in the low-frequency band (0.004-0.104 Hz) but higher amplitude in the high-frequency band (27.02-125 Hz) in the RT-FFF than the S-FFF states. The mean finger force was not significantly different between the two states. fMRI data analysis showed higher fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF) in the S-FFF than in the RT-FFF state in the visual cortex, but higher fALFF in RT-FFF than S-FFF in the middle frontal gyrus, the superior frontal gyrus, and the default mode network. The behavioral results suggest that the proposed paradigm may provide a new approach to studies of sustained attention. The fMRI results suggest that a distributed network including visual, motor, attentional, and default mode networks may be involved in sustained attention and/or real-time feedback. This paradigm may be helpful for future studies on deficits of attention, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and mild traumatic brain injury.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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....

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Brynne Catherine DiMenichi; Tricomi, Elizabeth M

    2015-01-01

    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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2013-01-01

    Background 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). Method Thirty-seven students with HFASD and 54 age and IQ-matched peers without symptoms of ASD were assessed in a virtual classroom public speaking paradigm. This paradigm assessed the ability to attend to 9 avatar peers seated at a table, while simultaneously answering self-referenced questions. Results 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 ADHD Inattentive symptoms, displayed more atypical social attention. Group differences were more pronounced when the classroom contained social avatars versus non-social targets. Moreover, measures of social attention rather than non-social attention were significantly associated with parent report and objective measures of learning in the classroom. Conclusions The data in this study supports 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 autism and educational intervention approaches for affected school-aged children. PMID:23696132

  9. Sustained attention and heart rate variability in children and adolescents with ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Kristi R; Quintana, Daniel S; Hermens, Daniel F; Spooner, Chris; Tsang, Tracey W; Clarke, Simon; Kohn, Michael R

    2017-03-01

    The autonomic nervous system (ANS) plays an important role in attention and self-regulation by modulating physiological arousal to meet environmental demands. Core symptoms of ADHD such as inattention and behavioral disinhibition may be related to dysregulation of the ANS, however previous findings have been equivocal. We examined autonomic activity and reactivity by assessing heart rate variability (HRV) in a large sample of un-medicated children and adolescents (6-19 years) with ADHD (n=229) compared to typically-developing controls (n=244) during rest and sustained attention. Four heart rate variability measures were extracted: Root mean square of successive differences between inter-beat-intervals (rMSSD), absolute high frequency (HFA) power, absolute low frequency (LFA) power and ratio of low frequency power to high frequency power (LF/HF). There were no group differences in HFA or rMSSD, even when assessing across child and adolescent groups separately, by gender or ADHD subtype. LF/HF however was higher in ADHD during both rest and sustained attention conditions, particularly in male children. Sustained attention was impaired in ADHD relative to controls, and a higher LF/HF ratio during sustained attention was associated with poorer performance in both groups. Lower rMSSD and HFA were associated with higher anxiety, oppositional behaviors and social problems, supporting prevailing theories that these measures index emotion regulation and adaptive social behavior. Different measures of heart rate variability provide important insights into the sustained attention and emotional and behavioral regulation impairments observed in ADHD and may aid in delineating ADHD pathophysiology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Increased visual task difficulty enhances attentional capture by both visual and auditory distractor stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugimoto, Fumie; Katayama, Jun'ichi

    2017-06-01

    Previous studies using a three-stimulus oddball task have shown the amplitude of P3a elicited by distractor stimuli increases when perceptual discrimination between standard and target stimuli becomes difficult. This means that the attentional capture by the distractor stimuli is enhanced along with an increase in task difficulty. So far, the increase of P3a has been reported when standard, target, and distractor stimuli were presented within one sensory modality (i.e., visual or auditory). In the present study, we further investigated whether or not the increase of P3a can also be observed when the distractor stimuli are presented in a different modality from the standard and target stimuli. Twelve participants performed a three-stimulus oddball task in which they were required to discriminate between visual standard and target stimuli. As the distractor stimuli, either another visual stimulus or an auditory stimulus was presented in separate blocks. Visual distractor stimuli elicited P3a, and its amplitude increased when visual standard/target discrimination was difficult, replicating previous findings. Auditory distractor stimuli elicited P3a, and importantly, its amplitude also increased when visual standard/target discrimination was difficult. This result means that attentional capture by distractor stimuli can be enhanced even when the distractor stimuli are presented in a different modality from the standard and target stimuli. Possible mechanisms and implications are discussed in terms of the relative saliency of distractor stimuli, influences of temporal/spatial attention, and the load involved in a task. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. Sustained Attention during Learning Activities: An Observational Study with Pre-School Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Florente; Menez, Marina; Hernandez-Guzman, Laura

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to analyse possible developmental trends in sustained attention through the pre-school period, as well as the influence of social and physical distractions. Three samples of children, one per each pre-school grade, were observed during learning activities required by the teacher. Children's behaviour was coded…

  16. Picture naming in typically developing and language-impaired children: The role of sustained attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Attentional demands of movement observation as tested by a dual task approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saucedo Marquez, Cinthia M; Ceux, Tanja; Wenderoth, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Movement observation (MO) has been shown to activate the motor cortex of the observer as indicated by an increase of corticomotor excitability for muscles involved in the observed actions. Moreover, behavioral work has strongly suggested that this process occurs in a near-automatic manner. Here we further tested this proposal by applying transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) when subjects observed how an actor lifted objects of different weights as a single or a dual task. The secondary task was either an auditory discrimination task (experiment 1) or a visual discrimination task (experiment 2). In experiment 1, we found that corticomotor excitability reflected the force requirements indicated in the observed movies (i.e. higher responses when the actor had to apply higher forces). Interestingly, this effect was found irrespective of whether MO was performed as a single or a dual task. By contrast, no such systematic modulations of corticomotor excitability were observed in experiment 2 when visual distracters were present. We conclude that interference effects might arise when MO is performed while competing visual stimuli are present. However, when a secondary task is situated in a different modality, neural responses are in line with the notion that the observers motor system responds in a near-automatic manner. This suggests that MO is a task with very low cognitive demands which might be a valuable supplement for rehabilitation training, particularly, in the acute phase after the incident or in patients suffering from attention deficits. However, it is important to keep in mind that visual distracters might interfere with the neural response in M1.

  1. Relations between emotion, memory, and attention: evidence from taboo stroop, lexical decision, and immediate memory tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacKay, Donald G; Shafto, Meredith; Taylor, Jennifer K; Marian, Diane E; Abrams, Lise; Dyer, Jennifer R

    2004-04-01

    This article reports five experiments demonstrating theoretically coherent effects of emotion on memory and attention. Experiments 1-3 demonstrated three taboo Stroop effects that occur when people name the color of taboo words. One effect is longer color-naming times for taboo than for neutral words, an effect that diminishes with word repetition. The second effect is superior recall of taboo words in surprise memory tests following color naming. The third effect is better recognition memory for colors consistently associated with taboo words rather than with neutral words. None of these effects was due to retrieval factors, attentional disengagement processes, response inhibition, or strategic attention shifts. Experiments 4 and 5 demonstrated that taboo words impair immediate recall of the preceding and succeeding words in rapidly presented lists but do not impair lexical decision times. We argue that taboo words trigger specific emotional reactions that facilitate the binding of taboo word meaning to salient contextual aspects, such as occurrence in a task and font color in taboo Stroop tasks.

  2. Effect of dual-attention task on attack and defensive actions in fencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Davila, Marcos; Rojas, F Javier; Gutiérrez-Cruz, Carmen; Navarro, Enrique

    2017-09-01

    The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect that the presence of two stimuli that require two different responses (dual-attention) has both, on offensive reaction-response time to a light stimulus, and on defensive response time when the stimulus is a real fencing attack. Twenty-five elite fencers and a fencing master were included in the study. The equipment included four force plates adapted to a scaffold that served as a fencing piste. Two force plates were placed, at the start position, under the fencer's feet and another two plates were placed under the master's feet. The results demonstrate that choice reaction time to visual stimuli increases in dual-task conditions with respect to simple reaction time, whereas the mean horizontal force tends to decrease in dual-task. However, when the stimulus was an opponent's movement, dual-task conditions did not have any effect on the time required to initiate a defensive action. The changes in reaction time when real movements were used as stimuli challenge the validity of the reaction time to visual stimuli paradigm as a predictor of performance in fencing. Also, the results obtained demonstrate that perceptual and attentional processes play a major role in fencer performance in real competition.

  3. 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

    2017-12-18

    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  older adults than young adults (p Older adults were less steady while performing the dorsiflexion task with the VS task (p  adults (p = .235). Performance during quiet standing was not influenced by the VS task in any stance (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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was designed to get a better understanding of the brain regions involved in sustained spatial attention to tactile events and to ascertain to what extent their activation was correlated. We presented continuous 20 Hz vibrotactile stimuli (range of flutter) concurrently to the left and right index fingers of healthy human volunteers. An arrow cue instructed subjects in a trial-by-trial fashion to attend to the left or right index finger and to detect rare target events that were embedded in the vibrotactile stimulation streams. We found blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) attentional modulation in primary somatosensory cortex (SI), mainly covering Brodmann area 1, 2, and 3b, as well as in secondary somatosensory cortex (SII), contralateral to the to-be-attended hand. Furthermore, attention to the right (dominant) hand resulted in additional BOLD modulation in left posterior insula. All of the effects were caused by an increased activation when attention was paid to the contralateral hand, except for the effects in left SI and insula. In left SI, the effect was related to a mixture of both a slight increase in activation when attention was paid to the contralateral hand as well as a slight decrease in activation when attention was paid to the ipsilateral hand (i.e., the tactile distraction condition). In contrast, the effect in left posterior insula was exclusively driven by a relative decrease in activation in the tactile distraction condition, which points to an active inhibition when tactile information is irrelevant. Finally, correlation analyses indicate a linear relationship between attention effects in intrahemispheric somatosensory cortices, since attentional modulation in SI and SII were interrelated within one hemisphere but not across hemispheres. All in all, our results provide a basis for future research on sustained attention to continuous vibrotactile stimulation in the range of flutter

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mona Maneshi

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: In idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE, a normal electroencephalogram between generalized spike and wave (GSW discharges is believed to reflect normal brain function. However, some studies indicate that even excluding GSW-related errors, IGE patients perform poorly on sustained attention task, the deficit being worse as a function of disease duration. We hypothesized that at least in a subset of structures which are normally involved in sustained attention, resting-state functional connectivity (FC is different in IGE patients compared to controls and that some of the changes are related to disease duration. METHOD: Seeds were selected based on a sustained attention study in controls. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI data was obtained from 14 IGE patients and 14 matched controls. After physiological noise removal, the mean time-series of each seed was used as a regressor in a general linear model to detect regions that showed correlation with the seed. In patients, duration factor was defined based on epilepsy duration. Between-group differences weighted by the duration factor were evaluated with mixed-effects model. Correlation was then evaluated in IGE patients between the FC, averaged over each significant cluster, and the duration factor. RESULTS: Eight of 18 seeds showed significant difference in FC across groups. However, only for seeds in the medial superior frontal and precentral gyri and in the medial prefrontal area, average FC taken over significant clusters showed high correlation with the duration factor. These 3 seeds showed changes in FC respectively with the premotor and superior frontal gyrus, the dorsal premotor, and the supplementary motor area plus precentral gyrus. CONCLUSION: Alterations of FC in IGE patients are not limited to the frontal areas. However, as indicated by specificity analysis, patients with long history of disease show changes in FC mainly within the frontal areas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. The time course of semantic and associative priming effects is different in an attentional blink task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Karen; Hunt, Hayley

    2013-08-01

    When two targets are presented using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) and the interval between the targets is 200-500 ms, report of the second target is impaired, a phenomena known as the attentional blink (AB). This study examined the time course of semantic-only and associate-semantic priming effects during an AB task. Three RSVP experiments were conducted using targets that shared either a semantic-only or an associative-semantic relationship. The results of the three experiments demonstrated semantic-only priming effects at the shortest stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). Associative-semantic priming was evident at shorter and longer SOAs. This suggests that priming in an AB task is driven by conceptual overlap facilitating lexical access at short SOAs and with longer SOAs lexical access benefits from word associations links between targets.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  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...... of attention at the age of 5 with the results reflecting a similar factor structure to that obtained in older children and adults. The results are discussed in light of contemporary models of attention function. Given the potential advantages of early intervention for attention difficulties, the findings...... population. A new test battery (TEA-Ch(J)) was adapted from measures previously used with adults and older children and administered to 172 5-year-olds. Test-retest reliability was assessed in 60 children. Ninety-eight percent of the children managed to complete all measures. Discrimination of visual...

  13. The alpha-2A adrenoceptor agonist guanfacine improves sustained attention and reduces overactivity and impulsiveness in an animal model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  14. 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.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Attentional biases using the body in the crowd task: are angry body postures detected more rapidly?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Tracy; Martin, Rachael; Coulson, Mark

    2011-06-01

    Research using schematic faces has consistently demonstrated attentional biases towards threatening information (angry faces), which are accentuated for individuals with higher levels of anxiety. However, research has yet to reveal whether this is the case for other nonverbal channels of communication. In the research reported here, ninety-five undergraduates completed a body in the crowd task analogous to the face in the crowd task, to examine whether attentional biases for threat existed for schematic body postures. Participants demonstrated faster detection of threat. A discrepant angry posture in a neutral crowd was identified quicker than a discrepant happy posture in a neutral crowd. This effect was pronounced for individuals with higher self-reported levels of trait anxiety. Results also demonstrated evidence of delayed disengagement from threat. Individuals were slower (i.e., more distracted) by identical crowds of angry postures rather than happy or neutral crowds and were slower to detect a discrepant neutral posture among an angry crowd than neutral among a happy crowd. These findings are the first to establish threat biases using body postures in a visual search paradigm. The results are in accordance with previous research using schematic face stimuli. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

  16. Impairments of Attention and Effort Among Patients With Major Affective Disorders

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cohen, Ronald; Lohr, Ilan; Paul, Robert; Boland, Robert

    2001-01-01

    .... There were low-effort and high-effort versions of each task. Significant group differences were consistently observed on tasks demanding sustained and focused attention, but not on tasks requiring visual selective attention...

  17. Impact of layover length on sleep, subjective fatigue levels, and sustained attention of long-haul airline pilots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roach, Gregory D; Petrilli, Renée M A; Dawson, Drew; Lamond, Nicole

    2012-06-01

    Long-haul airline pilots often experience elevated levels of fatigue due to extended work hours and circadian misalignment of sleep and wake periods. During long-haul trips, pilots are typically given 1-3 d off between flights (i.e., layover) to recover from, and prepare for, duty. Anecdotally, some pilots prefer long layovers because it maximizes the time available for recovery and preparation, but others prefer short layovers because it minimizes both the length of the trip, and the degree to which the body clock changes from "home time" to the layover time zone. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of layover length on the sleep, subjective fatigue levels, and capacity to sustain attention of long-haul pilots. Participants were 19 male pilots (10 Captains, 9 First Officers) working for an international airline. Data were collected during an 11- or 12-d international trip. The trips involved (i) 4 d at home prior to the trip; (ii) an eastward flight of 13.5 h across seven time zones; (iii) a layover of either 39 h (i.e., short, n = 9) or 62 h (i.e., long, n = 10); (iv) a return westward flight of 14.3 h across seven time zones; and (v) 4 d off at home after the trip. Sleep was recorded using a self-report sleep diary and wrist activity monitor; subjective fatigue level was measured using the Samn-Perelli Fatigue Checklist; and sustained attention was assessed using the psychomotor vigilance task for a personal digital assistant (PalmPVT). Mixed-model regression analyses were used to determine the effects of layover length (short, long) on the amount of sleep that pilots obtained during the trip, and on the pilots' subjective fatigue levels and capacity to sustain attention. There was no main effect of layover length on ground-based sleep or in-flight sleep, but pilots who had a short layover at the midpoint of their trip had higher subjective fatigue levels and poorer sustained attention than pilots who had a long layover. The results of this study

  18. Neuropsychological Characteristics of Right Hemisphere Damage: Investigation by Attention Tests, Concept Formation and Change Test, and Self-evaluation Task

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    水野, 雅文

    1991-01-01

    Neuropsychological characteristics of right (non-dominant) hemisphere damage were investigated by attention tests, a concept formation and change test, and a self-evaluation task on a total of 126 brain damaged subjects...

  19. 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.

  20. An Individual Differences Approach to Temporal Integration and Order Reversals in the Attentional Blink Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willems, Charlotte; Saija, Jefta D; Akyürek, Elkan G; Martens, Sander

    2016-01-01

    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 reversed order reports of both targets if these were presented in direct succession. In order to study the suggestion that reversed order reports reflect loss of temporal information, in the current study, we investigated whether individuals with a larger AB have a higher tendency to temporally integrate both targets into one visual event by using an AB paradigm containing symbol target stimuli. Indeed, we found a positive relation between the tendency to temporally integrate information and individual AB magnitude. In contrast to earlier work, we found no relation between order reversals and individual AB magnitude. The occurrence of temporal integration was negatively related to the number of order reversals, indicating that individuals either integrated or separated and reversed information. We conclude that individuals with better AB task performance use a shorter time window to integrate information, and therefore have higher preservation of temporal information. Furthermore, order reversals observed in paradigms with alphanumeric targets indeed seem to at least partially reflect temporal integration of both targets. Given the negative relation between temporal integration and 'true' order reversals observed with the current symbolic target set, these two behavioral outcomes seem to be two sides of the same coin.

  1. Trait self-focused attention, task difficulty, and effort-related cardiovascular reactivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvia, Paul J; Jones, Hannah C; Kelly, Casey S; Zibaie, Alireza

    2011-03-01

    Using motivational intensity theory as a framework, the present experiment examined how individual differences in self-focused attention interact with task difficulty to predict effort, assessed via cardiovascular reactivity. Participants (n = 50) worked on a cognitive task fixed at an easy, medium, or hard level of difficulty, and individual differences in private self-consciousness and self-reflection were measured. Regression models indicated that trait self-focus interacted with task difficulty to predict cardiovascular reactivity, particularly systolic blood pressure (SBP) reactivity. Participants low and high in trait self-focus showed similar SBP reactivity in the easy and medium conditions, but they diverged in the hard condition: High trait focus was associated with higher SBP reactivity, indicating greater effort, whereas low trait self-focus was associated with low SBP reactivity, indicating disengagement. The findings thus support the motivational intensity approach to effort and its interpretation of self-focus's role in effort mobilization. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Sustained engagement of attention is associated with increased negative self-referent processing in major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dainer-Best, Justin; Trujillo, Logan T; Schnyer, David M; Beevers, Christopher G

    2017-10-01

    This study investigated the link between self-reference and attentional engagement in adults with (n=22) and without (HC; n=24) Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants completed the Self-Referent Encoding Task (SRET). MDD participants endorsed significantly fewer positive words and more negative words as self-descriptive than HC participants. A whole-scalp data analysis technique revealed that the MDD participants had larger difference wave (negative words minus positive words) ERP amplitudes from 380 to 1000ms across posterior sites, which positively correlated with number of negative words endorsed. No group differences were observed for earlier attentional components (P1, P2). The results suggest that among adults with MDD, negative stimuli capture attention during later information processing; this engagement is associated with greater self-referent endorsement of negative adjectives. Sustained cognitive engagement for self-referent negative stimuli may be an important target for neurocognitive depression interventions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. The Effects of Highlighting on the Math Computation Performance and Off-Task Behavior of Students with Attention Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kercood, Suneeta; Grskovic, Janice A.

    2009-01-01

    This study evaluated the effects of color highlighting during a math computation task on performance accuracy and behavior of students with attention problems. Using a multiple baseline across participants design, three students solved math computation problems on worksheets with and without highlighting. Off-task behavior recorded from videotape…

  7. 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.

  8. Sustained attentional states require distinct temporal involvement of the dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Luchicchi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Attending the sensory environment for cue detection is a cognitive operation that occurs on a time scale of seconds. The dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC contribute to separate aspects of attentional processing. Pyramidal neurons in different parts of the mPFC are active during cognitive behavior, yet whether this activity is causally underlying attentional processing is not known. We aimed to determine the precise temporal requirements for activation of the mPFC subregions during the seconds prior to cue detection. To test this, we used optogenetic silencing of dorsal or ventral mPFC pyramidal neurons at defined time windows during a sustained attentional state. We find that the requirement of ventral mPFC pyramidal neuron activity is strictly time-locked to stimulus detection. Inhibiting the ventral mPFC two seconds before or during cue presentation reduces response accuracy and hampers behavioral inhibition. The requirement for dorsal mPFC activity on the other hand is temporally more loosely related to a preparatory attentional state, and short lapses in pyramidal neuron activity in dorsal mPFC do not affect performance. This only occurs when the dorsal mPFC is inhibited during the entire preparatory period. Together, our results reveal that a dissociable temporal recruitment of ventral and dorsal mPFC is required during attentional processing.

  9. Sustained Attentional States Require Distinct Temporal Involvement of the Dorsal and Ventral Medial Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luchicchi, Antonio; Mnie-Filali, Ouissame; Terra, Huub; Bruinsma, Bastiaan; de Kloet, Sybren F; Obermayer, Joshua; Heistek, Tim S; de Haan, Roel; de Kock, Christiaan P J; Deisseroth, Karl; Pattij, Tommy; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2016-01-01

    Attending the sensory environment for cue detection is a cognitive operation that occurs on a time scale of seconds. The dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) contribute to separate aspects of attentional processing. Pyramidal neurons in different parts of the mPFC are active during cognitive behavior, yet whether this activity is causally underlying attentional processing is not known. We aimed to determine the precise temporal requirements for activation of the mPFC subregions during the seconds prior to cue detection. To test this, we used optogenetic silencing of dorsal or ventral mPFC pyramidal neurons at defined time windows during a sustained attentional state. We find that the requirement of ventral mPFC pyramidal neuron activity is strictly time-locked to stimulus detection. Inhibiting the ventral mPFC 2 s before or during cue presentation reduces response accuracy and hampers behavioral inhibition. The requirement for dorsal mPFC activity on the other hand is temporally more loosely related to a preparatory attentional state, and short lapses in pyramidal neuron activity in dorsal mPFC do not affect performance. This only occurs when the dorsal mPFC is inhibited during the entire preparatory period. Together, our results reveal that a dissociable temporal recruitment of ventral and dorsal mPFC is required during attentional processing.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Learning to react: anticipatory mechanisms in children and adults during a visuospatial attention task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perchet, C; Garcia-Larrea, L

    2005-08-01

    To investigate the mechanisms underlying age-related improvement in response times during forewarned motor tasks, using reaction times (RTs) and event-related potentials (ERPs) during a variant of the Posner paradigm. Children and adults reacted to visual targets preceded by a spatial cue. As expected, adults responded faster than children whatever the cue-target combination, but this advantage could not be explained by differences in attentional orienting to, or detection of, target stimuli. ERP differences between children and adults corresponded almost exclusively to the period preceding target stimuli, where adults, but not children, exhibited a slow negative wave that extended from the delivery of the cue to slightly beyond the presentation of the target. The timing, morphology and topography of this slow negativity corresponded to those of 'Contingent Negative Variation' and 'Readiness Potential' processes. We argue that the relative slowness of motor reactions in children during this task was not due to a deficit in spatial orienting or target evaluation, but rather to a failure in developing anticipatory and preparatory reactions in response to cues, i.e. a deficit in executive functions.

  15. 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.

  16. Toward the influence of temporal attention on the selection of targets in a visual search task: An ERP study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolke, Bettina; Festl, Freya; Seibold, Verena C

    2016-11-01

    We used ERPs to investigate whether temporal attention interacts with spatial attention and feature-based attention to enhance visual processing. We presented a visual search display containing one singleton stimulus among a set of homogenous distractors. Participants were asked to respond only to target singletons of a particular color and shape that were presented in an attended spatial position. We manipulated temporal attention by presenting a warning signal before each search display and varying the foreperiod (FP) between the warning signal and the search display in a blocked manner. We observed distinctive ERP effects of both spatial and temporal attention. The amplitudes for the N2pc, SPCN, and P3 were enhanced by spatial attention indicating a processing benefit of relevant stimulus features at the attended side. Temporal attention accelerated stimulus processing; this was indexed by an earlier onset of the N2pc component and a reduction in reaction times to targets. Most importantly, temporal attention did not interact with spatial attention or stimulus features to influence visual processing. Taken together, the results suggest that temporal attention fosters visual perceptual processing in a visual search task independently from spatial attention and feature-based attention; this provides support for the nonspecific enhancement hypothesis of temporal attention. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jutta eKray

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Target and distractor processing and the influence of load on the allocation of attention to task-irrelevant threat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretherton, P M; Eysenck, M W; Richards, A; Holmes, A

    2017-09-09

    This study investigated the characteristics of two distinct mechanisms of attention - stimulus enhancement and stimulus suppression - using an event-related potential (ERP) approach. Across three experiments, participants viewed sparse visual search arrays containing one target and one distractor. The main results of Experiments 1 and 2 revealed that whereas neural signals for stimuli that are not inherently salient could be directly suppressed without prior attentional enhancement, this was not the case for stimuli with motivational relevance (human faces). Experiment 3 showed that as task difficulty increased, so did the need for suppression of distractor stimuli. It also showed the preferential attentional enhancement of angry over neutral distractor faces, but only under conditions of high task difficulty, suggesting that the effects of distractor valence on attention are greatest when there are fewer available resources for distractor processing. The implications of these findings are considered in relation to contemporary theories of attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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 (rs = 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 the

  3. Mathematical Physics Framework SustainingNatural Anticipation and Selection of Attention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfons Salden

    2005-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  5. Cortical and Spinal Mechanisms of Task Failure of Sustained Submaximal Fatiguing Contractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Petra S.; Hoffman, Richard L.; Clark, Brian C.

    2014-01-01

    In this and the subsequent companion paper, results are presented that collectively seek to delineate the contribution that supraspinal circuits have in determining the time to task failure (TTF) of sustained submaximal contractions. The purpose of this study was to compare adjustments in supraspinal and spinal excitability taken concurrently throughout the performance of two different fatigue tasks with identical mechanical demands but different TTF (i.e., force-matching and position-matching tasks). On separate visits, ten healthy volunteers performed the force-matching or position-matching task at 15% of maximum strength with the elbow flexors to task failure. Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), paired-pulse TMS, paired cortico-cervicomedullary stimulation, and brachial plexus electrical stimulation were delivered in a 6-stimuli sequence at baseline and every 2–3 minutes throughout fatigue-task performance. Contrary to expectations, the force-matching task TTF was 42% shorter (17.5±7.9 min) than the position-matching task (26.9±15.11 min; pmuscle fatigue (p = 0.59). There were no task-specific differences for the total amount or rate of change in the neurophysiologic outcome variables over time (p>0.05). Therefore, failure occurred after a similar mean decline in motorneuron excitability developed (p0.10) and an index of upstream excitation of the motor cortex remained constant (p>0.40). Together, these results suggest that as fatigue develops prior to task failure, the increase in corticospinal excitability observed in relationship to the decrease in spinal excitability results from a combination of decreasing intracortical inhibition with constant levels of intracortical facilitation and upstream excitability that together eventually fail to provide the input to the motor cortex necessary for descending drive to overcome the spinal cord resistance, thereby contributing to task failure. PMID:24667484

  6. Continuous Cognitive Task Promotes Greater Postural Stability than an Internal or External Focus of Attention in Older Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richer, Natalie; Polskaia, Nadia; Lajoie, Yves

    2017-01-01

    Background/Study Context: Recent evidence suggests that removing attention from postural control using either an external focus or a cognitive task will improve stability in healthy young adults. Due to increases in attentional requirements of upright stance in older adults, it is unclear if similar benefits would be observed in this population. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of attentional focus and of a continuous cognitive task on postural control in older adults. Sixteen healthy older adults (71.9 ± 4.32 years) were asked to stand quietly on a force platform with feet together in three different conditions: internal focus (minimizing movement of the hips), external focus (minimizing movement of markers placed on the hips), and cognitive task (silently counting the occurrence of a single digit in a 3-digit number sequence). A one-way analysis of variance with repeated measures on condition was performed for each postural control measure. Hypotheses were partially supported because the cognitive task led to greater stability than both focus conditions, as evidenced by a smaller sway area (p attention-demanding cognitive task significantly improved stability in older adults compared with an internal or external focus of attention. This suggests that older adults were able to effectively allocate their attention away from postural control, allowing a more automatic type of control to operate. Future studies should investigate a variety of cognitive tasks to determine the degree of postural improvement that can be observed in older adults.

  7. Influence of low-level stimulus features, task dependent factors, and spatial biases on overt visual attention.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sepp Kollmorgen

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Visual attention is thought to be driven by the interplay between low-level visual features and task dependent information content of local image regions, as well as by spatial viewing biases. Though dependent on experimental paradigms and model assumptions, this idea has given rise to varying claims that either bottom-up or top-down mechanisms dominate visual attention. To contribute toward a resolution of this discussion, here we quantify the influence of these factors and their relative importance in a set of classification tasks. Our stimuli consist of individual image patches (bubbles. For each bubble we derive three measures: a measure of salience based on low-level stimulus features, a measure of salience based on the task dependent information content derived from our subjects' classification responses and a measure of salience based on spatial viewing biases. Furthermore, we measure the empirical salience of each bubble based on our subjects' measured eye gazes thus characterizing the overt visual attention each bubble receives. A multivariate linear model relates the three salience measures to overt visual attention. It reveals that all three salience measures contribute significantly. The effect of spatial viewing biases is highest and rather constant in different tasks. The contribution of task dependent information is a close runner-up. Specifically, in a standardized task of judging facial expressions it scores highly. The contribution of low-level features is, on average, somewhat lower. However, in a prototypical search task, without an available template, it makes a strong contribution on par with the two other measures. Finally, the contributions of the three factors are only slightly redundant, and the semi-partial correlation coefficients are only slightly lower than the coefficients for full correlations. These data provide evidence that all three measures make significant and independent contributions and that none can be

  8. Influence of low-level stimulus features, task dependent factors, and spatial biases on overt visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kollmorgen, Sepp; Nortmann, Nora; Schröder, Sylvia; König, Peter

    2010-05-20

    Visual attention is thought to be driven by the interplay between low-level visual features and task dependent information content of local image regions, as well as by spatial viewing biases. Though dependent on experimental paradigms and model assumptions, this idea has given rise to varying claims that either bottom-up or top-down mechanisms dominate visual attention. To contribute toward a resolution of this discussion, here we quantify the influence of these factors and their relative importance in a set of classification tasks. Our stimuli consist of individual image patches (bubbles). For each bubble we derive three measures: a measure of salience based on low-level stimulus features, a measure of salience based on the task dependent information content derived from our subjects' classification responses and a measure of salience based on spatial viewing biases. Furthermore, we measure the empirical salience of each bubble based on our subjects' measured eye gazes thus characterizing the overt visual attention each bubble receives. A multivariate linear model relates the three salience measures to overt visual attention. It reveals that all three salience measures contribute significantly. The effect of spatial viewing biases is highest and rather constant in different tasks. The contribution of task dependent information is a close runner-up. Specifically, in a standardized task of judging facial expressions it scores highly. The contribution of low-level features is, on average, somewhat lower. However, in a prototypical search task, without an available template, it makes a strong contribution on par with the two other measures. Finally, the contributions of the three factors are only slightly redundant, and the semi-partial correlation coefficients are only slightly lower than the coefficients for full correlations. These data provide evidence that all three measures make significant and independent contributions and that none can be neglected in a model

  9. Dissociable Mechanisms Supporting Awareness: The P300 and Gamma in a Linguistic Attentional Blink Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karns, Christina M.; Neville, Helen

    2012-01-01

    As demonstrated by the attentional blink (AB) phenomenon, awareness for attended stimuli is governed by sharp capacity limits. We used a linguistic AB task to investigate the neural mechanisms that underlie failures of awareness, examining both event-related potentials and oscillatory brain activity to correctly reported and missed second targets (T2s) presented after a correctly reported first target (T1) in a rapid visual stream of distractors. Correctly reported targets occurring at a short lag (250 ms) after T1—within the classic AB period—elicited enhanced late gamma activity relative to incorrectly reported targets but showed no P300 modulation relative to missed targets. In contrast, correctly reported targets presented at a long lag (830 ms)—outside the classic AB period—elicited a greater P300 component but did not significantly modulate oscillatory activity. This double dissociation suggests that there are multiple neural mechanisms supporting awareness that may operate in parallel. Either the P300 or the gamma can index impairment in the cascade of processing leading to a target's entry into awareness. We conclude that the P300 and gamma activity reflect functionally distinct neural mechanisms, each of which plays an independent role in awareness. PMID:22166765

  10. 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

    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...

  11. Cortical and spinal mechanisms of task failure of sustained submaximal fatiguing contractions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petra S Williams

    Full Text Available In this and the subsequent companion paper, results are presented that collectively seek to delineate the contribution that supraspinal circuits have in determining the time to task failure (TTF of sustained submaximal contractions. The purpose of this study was to compare adjustments in supraspinal and spinal excitability taken concurrently throughout the performance of two different fatigue tasks with identical mechanical demands but different TTF (i.e., force-matching and position-matching tasks. On separate visits, ten healthy volunteers performed the force-matching or position-matching task at 15% of maximum strength with the elbow flexors to task failure. Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS, paired-pulse TMS, paired cortico-cervicomedullary stimulation, and brachial plexus electrical stimulation were delivered in a 6-stimuli sequence at baseline and every 2-3 minutes throughout fatigue-task performance. Contrary to expectations, the force-matching task TTF was 42% shorter (17.5 ± 7.9 min than the position-matching task (26.9 ± 15.11 min; p0.05. Therefore, failure occurred after a similar mean decline in motorneuron excitability developed (p0.10 and an index of upstream excitation of the motor cortex remained constant (p>0.40. Together, these results suggest that as fatigue develops prior to task failure, the increase in corticospinal excitability observed in relationship to the decrease in spinal excitability results from a combination of decreasing intracortical inhibition with constant levels of intracortical facilitation and upstream excitability that together eventually fail to provide the input to the motor cortex necessary for descending drive to overcome the spinal cord resistance, thereby contributing to task failure.

  12. Task-independent and task-specific age effects on brain activity during working memory, visual attention and episodic retrieval

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cabeza, R.; Daselaar, S.M.; Dolcos, F.; Prince, S.E.; Budde, M.; Nyberg, L.

    2004-01-01

    t is controversial whether the effects of aging on various cognitive functions have the same common cause or several different causes. To investigate this issue, we scanned younger and older adults with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing three different tasks: working

  13. Between-session intra-individual variability in sustained, selective, and integrational non-linguistic attention in aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villard, Sarah; Kiran, Swathi

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have identified impairments in one or more types/aspects of attention processing in patients with aphasia (PWA) relative to healthy controls; person-to-person variability in performance on attention tasks within the PWA group has also been noted. Studies using non-linguistic stimuli have found evidence that attention is impaired in this population even in the absence of language processing demands. An underlying impairment in non-linguistic, or domain-general, attention processing could have implications for the ability of PWA to attend during therapy sessions, which in turn could impact long-term treatment outcomes. With this in mind, this study aimed to systematically examine the effect of task complexity on reaction time (RT) during a non-linguistic attention task, in both PWA and controls. Additional goals were to assess the effect of task complexity on between-session intra-individual variability (BS-IIV) in RT and to examine inter-individual differences in BS-IIV. Eighteen PWA and five age-matched neurologically healthy controls each completed a novel computerized non-linguistic attention task measuring five types of attention on each of four different non-consecutive days. A significant effect of task complexity on both RT and BS-IIV in RT was found for the PWA group, whereas the control group showed a significant effect of task complexity on RT but not on BS-IIV in RT. Finally, in addition to these group-level findings, it was noted that different patients exhibited different patterns of BS-IIV, indicating the existence of inter-individual variability in BS-IIV within the PWA group. Results may have implications for session-to-session fluctuations in attention during language testing and therapy for PWA. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. Effects of amphetamine and methylphenidate on attentional performance and impulsivity in the mouse 5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caballero Puntiverio, Maitane; Fitzpatrick, Ciarán Martin; Woldbye, David Paul Drucker

    2017-01-01

    Background: Few studies have investigated the effects of conventional attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication in the mouse 5-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), and rat studies have yielded inconsistent results. Objective: We aimed to examine the effects of acute...

  16. Mood & alcohol-related attentional biases: New considerations for gender differences and reliability of the visual-probe task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, Noah N; Simons, Jeffrey S

    2015-11-01

    Alcohol-related attentional biases are positively associated with drinking history and may represent a mechanism by which alcohol use behavior is maintained over time. This study was designed to address two unresolved issues regarding alcohol-related attention biases. Specifically, this study tested whether acute changes in positive and negative mood increase attentional biases toward alcohol cues and whether coping and enhancement drinking motives moderate these effects. Participants were 100 college students aged 18-25, who drank alcohol at least once in the last 90 days. In a 2 × 3 mixed design, participants were randomized to one of three mood conditions (neutral, negative, or positive) and completed visual-probe tasks pre- and post-mood-induction. Attentional biases toward alcohol cues were significantly associated with alcohol consumption among men, but not women. Although the mood manipulation was highly successful, attentional biases did not vary as a function of mood condition and hypothesized moderating effects of drinking motives were not significant. The largely null findings of the experiment are discussed in light of the fact that the visual probe task had poor reliability. Issues related to the reliability of visual-probe task are discussed, as more research is needed to evaluate and improve the psychometrics of this method. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Egocentric Coding of Space for Incidentally Learned Attention: Effects of Scene Context and Task Instructions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yuhong V.; Swallow, Khena M.; Sun, Liwei

    2014-01-01

    Visuospatial attention prioritizes regions of space for perceptual processing. Knowing how attended locations are represented is critical for understanding the architecture of attention. We examined the spatial reference frame of incidentally learned attention and asked how it is influenced by explicit, top-down knowledge. Participants performed a…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Dysfunction and dysconnection in cortical-striatal networks during sustained attention: Genetic risk for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and its impact on brain network function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaibhav A. Diwadkar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Abnormalities in the brain’s attention network may represent early identifiable neurobiological impairments in individuals at increased risk for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Here we provide evidence of dysfunctional regional and network function in adolescents at higher genetic risk for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (henceforth HGR. During fMRI, participants engaged in a sustained attention task with variable demands. The task alternated between attention (120 s, visual control (passive viewing; 120 s and rest (20 s epochs. Low and high demand attention conditions were created using the rapid presentation of 2- or 3-digit numbers. Subjects were required to detect repeated presentation of numbers. We demonstrate that the recruitment of cortical and striatal regions are disordered in HGR: Relative to typical controls (TC, HGR showed lower recruitment of the dorsal prefrontal cortex, but higher recruitment of the superior parietal cortex. This imbalance was more dramatic in the basal ganglia. There, a group by task demand interaction was observed, such that increased attention demand led to increased engagement in TC, but disengagement in HGR. These activation studies were complemented by network analyses using Dynamic Causal Modeling. Competing model architectures were assessed across a network of cortical-striatal regions, distinguished at a second level using random effects Bayesian model selection. In the winning architecture, HGR were characterized by significant reductions in coupling across both frontal-striatal and frontal-parietal pathways. The effective connectivity analyses indicate emergent network dysconnection, consistent with findings in patients with schizophrenia. Emergent patterns of regional dysfunction and disconnection in cortical-striatal pathways may provide functional biological signatures in the adolescent risk state for psychiatric illness.

  4. Competition for attentional resources between low spatial frequency content of emotional images and a foreground task in early visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Matthias M; Gundlach, Christopher

    2017-03-01

    Low spatial frequency (LSF) image content has been proposed to play a superior functional role in emotional content extraction via the magnocellular pathway biasing attentional resources toward emotional content in visual cortex. We investigated whether emotionally unpleasant complex images that were presented either unfiltered or with LSF content only in the background while subjects performed a foreground task will withdraw more attentional resources from the task compared to unemotional, neutral images (distraction paradigm). We measured steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) driven by flickering stimuli of a foreground task. Unfiltered unpleasant images resulted in a significant reduction of SSVEP amplitude compared to neutral images. No statistically significant differences were found with LSF background images. In a behavioral control experiment, we found no significant differences for complexity ratings between unfiltered and LSF pictures. Content identification was possible for unfiltered and LSF picture (correct responses > 74%). An additional EEG study examined typical emotion-related components for complex images presented either as unfiltered, LSF, or high spatial frequency (HSF, as an additional control) filtered, unpleasant, and neutral images. We found a significant main effect of emotional valence in the early posterior negativity. Late positive potential differences were only found for unfiltered and HSF images. Results suggest that, while LSF content is sufficient to allow for content and emotional cue extraction when images were presented alone, LSF content is not salient enough to serve as emotional distractor that withdraws attentional resources from a foreground task in early visual cortex. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  5. Attentional Selection Can Be Predicted by Reinforcement Learning of Task-relevant Stimulus Features Weighted by Value-independent Stickiness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcarras, Matthew; Ardid, Salva; Kaping, Daniel; Everling, Stefan; Womelsdorf, Thilo

    2016-02-01

    Attention includes processes that evaluate stimuli relevance, select the most relevant stimulus against less relevant stimuli, and bias choice behavior toward the selected information. It is not clear how these processes interact. Here, we captured these processes in a reinforcement learning framework applied to a feature-based attention task that required macaques to learn and update the value of stimulus features while ignoring nonrelevant sensory features, locations, and action plans. We found that value-based reinforcement learning mechanisms could account for feature-based attentional selection and choice behavior but required a value-independent stickiness selection process to explain selection errors while at asymptotic behavior. By comparing different reinforcement learning schemes, we found that trial-by-trial selections were best predicted by a model that only represents expected values for the task-relevant feature dimension, with nonrelevant stimulus features and action plans having only a marginal influence on covert selections. These findings show that attentional control subprocesses can be described by (1) the reinforcement learning of feature values within a restricted feature space that excludes irrelevant feature dimensions, (2) a stochastic selection process on feature-specific value representations, and (3) value-independent stickiness toward previous feature selections akin to perseveration in the motor domain. We speculate that these three mechanisms are implemented by distinct but interacting brain circuits and that the proposed formal account of feature-based stimulus selection will be important to understand how attentional subprocesses are implemented in primate brain networks.

  6. Individual differences in oscillatory brain activity in response to varying attentional demands during a word recall and oculomotor dual task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gusang eKwon

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Every day, we face situations that involve multi-tasking. How our brain utilizes cortical resources during multi-tasking is one of many interesting research topics. In this study, we tested whether a dual-task can be differentiated in the neural and behavioral responses of healthy subjects with varying degree of working memory capacity (WMC. We combined word recall and oculomotor tasks because they incorporate common neural networks including the fronto-parietal (FP network. Three different types of oculomotor tasks (eye fixation; Fix-EM, predictive & random smooth pursuit eye movement; P-SPEM & R-SPEM were combined with two memory load levels (low-load: 5 words, high-load: 10 words for a word recall task. Each of those dual-task combinations was supposed to create varying cognitive loads on the FP network. We hypothesize that each dual-task requires different cognitive strategies for allocating the brain’s limited cortical resources and affects brain oscillation of the FP network. In addition, we hypothesized that groups with different WMC will show differential neural and behavioral responses. We measured oscillatory brain activity with simultaneous MEG and EEG recordings and behavioral performance by word recall. Prominent frontal midline (FM theta (4-6 Hz synchronization emerged in the EEG of the high-WMC group experiencing R-SPEM with high-load conditions during the early phase of the word maintenance period. Conversely, significant parietal upper alpha (10-12 Hz desynchronization was observed in the EEG and MEG of the low-WMC group experiencing P-SPEM under high-load conditions during the same period. Different brain oscillatory patterns seem to depend on each individual’s WMC and varying attentional demands from different dual-task combinations. These findings suggest that specific brain oscillations may reflect different strategies for allocating cortical resources during combined word recall and oculomotor dual-tasks.

  7. The effect of valence on young and older adults' attention in a rapid serial visual presentation task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmetz, Katherine R Mickley; Muscatell, Keely A; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2010-03-01

    Using a rapid serial visual presentation task, the authors examined how the emotional valence of a word affected young and older adults' abilities to detect another word that closely followed it in temporal proximity. Both age groups detected neutral words better when such words followed a positive or negative arousing word rather than a neutral arousing word. These results suggest that emotion influences attention in a similar fashion for young and older adults. Despite evidence that older adults can sometimes show a "positivity effect" in memory, we found no evidence of increased attention toward positive words for older adults.

  8. 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...

  9. Different Attentional Blink Tasks Reflect Distinct Information Processing Limitations: An Individual Differences Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Ashleigh J.; Dux, Paul E.

    2011-01-01

    To study the temporal dynamics and capacity-limits of attentional selection and encoding, researchers often employ the attentional blink (AB) phenomenon: subjects' impaired ability to report the second of two targets in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream that appear within 200-500 ms of one another. The AB has now been the subject of…

  10. 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.

  11. The Beneficial Effect of Concurrent Task-Irrelevant Mental Activity on Temporal Attention.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olivers, C.N.L.; Nieuwenhuis, S.T.

    2005-01-01

    It is believed that the human cognitive system is fundamentally limited in deploying attention over time. This limitation is reflected in the attentional blink, the impaired ability to identify the second of two visual targets presented in close succession. We report the paradoxical finding that the

  12. Effects of one night of induced night-wakings versus sleep restriction on sustained attention and mood: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, Michal; Fridenson, Shimrit; Lerer, Reut; Bar-Haim, Yair; Sadeh, Avi

    2014-07-01

    Despite their high prevalence in daily life, repeated night-wakings and their cognitive and emotional consequences have received less research attention compared to other types of sleep disturbances. Our aim was to experimentally compare the effects of one night of induced infrequent night-wakings (of ∼15 min, each requiring a purposeful response) and sleep restriction on sustained attention and mood in young adults. In a within-between subjects counterbalanced design, 61 healthy adults (40 females; aged 20-29 years) underwent home assessments of sustained attention and self-reported mood at two times: after a normal (control) sleep night, and after a night of either sleep restriction (4h in bed) or induced night-wakings (four prolonged awakenings across 8h in bed). Sleep was monitored using actigraphy and sleep diaries. Sustained attention was assessed using an online continuous performance test (OCPT), and mood was reported online using the Profile of Mood States (POMS). Actigraphic data revealed good compliance with experimental sleep requirements. Induced night-wakings and sleep restriction both resulted in more OCPT omission and commission errors, and in increased depression, fatigue and confusion levels and reduced vigor compared to the normal sleep night. Moreover, there were no significant differences between the consequences of induced awakenings and sleep restriction. Our pilot study indicates that, similar to sleep restriction, one night of life-like repeated night-wakings negatively affects mood and sustained attention. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Time estimation as a secondary task to measure workload. [attention sharing effect on operator performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, S. G.

    1975-01-01

    Variation in the length of time productions and verbal estimates of duration was investigated to determine the influence of concurrent activity on operator time perception. The length of 10-, 20-, and 30-sec intervals produced while performing six different compensatory tracking tasks was significantly longer, 23% on the average, than those produced while performing no other task. Verbal estimates of session duration, taken at the end of each of 27 experimental sessions, reflected a parallel increase in subjective underestimation of the passage of time as the difficulty of the task performed increased. These data suggest that estimates of duration made while performing a manual control task provide stable and sensitive measures of the workload imposed by the primary task, with minimal interference.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pardini, Dustin; White, Helene; Xiong, Shuangyan; Bechtold, Jordan; Chung, Tammy; Loeber, Rolf; Hipwell, Alison

    2015-01-01

    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 following 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 probl...

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Jonas Stutz

    2014-08-01

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

  17. The effects of priming in a cued dot-probe task on appearance-related attentional biases in women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Ben R; Mulgrew, Kate E; Mahar, Doug; White, Melanie J; Loughnan, Siobhan A

    2017-07-01

    The dot-probe task (DPT) is a reaction time measure of attentional bias. Research using this task has found inconsistent patterns of appearance-related attentional biases in women. This study examined the effects of a novel priming variation of the DPT, which incorporated additional cues into each trial of the task, on measurement of such biases. The study also examined associations between these biases and body image, a component of eating disorder symptomatology. A convenience sample of women from the general community (N = 103) completed body image measures online and attended a laboratory session to complete one of four DPTs: (1) an appearance-cued DPT containing images of thin-ideal models between each trial; (2) neutral-cued DPT containing images of forests; (3) time-delayed DPT controlling for time in place of an image; or (4) typical DPT containing only word stimuli. Women who completed the appearance-cued DPT demonstrated a stronger attentional bias for positive, but not negative, appearance words than women who completed the other DPT versions. Furthermore, for the appearance-cued and time-delayed DPTs, this bias correlated with poorer body image across several indicators (appearance evaluation, body dissatisfaction, self-evaluative salience of appearance, and state body satisfaction). Although it was unexpected that no attentional bias for negative-appearance words was found, the attentional bias for positive-appearance words may suggest that effects were driven by the ego-threat of positive-appearance words. Further research is warranted to determine whether such biases contribute to and maintain body image disturbance and disordered eating. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Higher burnout scores in paediatric residents are associated with increased brain activity during attentional functional magnetic resonance imaging task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Andrade, Anarella Penha Meirelles; Amaro, Edson; Farhat, Sylvia Costa Lima; Schvartsman, Claudio

    2016-06-01

    Burnout syndrome is common in healthcare workers. We evaluated its prevalence in paediatric residents and investigated its influence on cerebral function correlations, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), when they carried out an attentional paradigm. This cross-sectional descriptive study involved 28 residents from the Department of Paediatrics at the University of São Paulo. The functional MRI was carried out while the residents completed the Stroop colour word task paradigm to investigate their attentional task performance. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was applied, and stress was assessed using the Lipp Inventory of Stress Symptoms for Adults and by a visual analogue mood scale. The MBI subscales of depersonalisation and emotional exhaustion indicated that 53.1% of the residents had moderate or high burnout syndrome. The whole-brain multivariate analysis showed positive correlations between the blood oxygenation level dependent effect and the MBI depersonalisation and emotional exhaustion indices in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which controls for anxiety. Increased brain activation during an attention task, measured using functional MRI, was associated with higher burnout scores in paediatric residents. This study provides a biological basis for the implementation of measures to reduce burnout syndrome at the start of residency training programmes. ©2016 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. 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. Readers will be able to: (1) summarize the nature of dual-task paradigms, (2) identify shortcomings of existing dual-task measures of attention allocation for application to people with aphasia, (3) describe how eye-tracking measures may be recorded and analyzed to reflect differences in attention allocation across conditions, and (4) summarize potential clinical applications for eye-tracking measures of attention allocation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Age differences in reaction time and attention in a national telephone sample of adults: education, sex, and task complexity matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tun, Patricia A; Lachman, Margie E

    2008-09-01

    This study demonstrated effects of age, education, and sex on complex reaction time in a large national sample (N = 3,616) with a wide range in age (32-85) and education. Participants completed speeded auditory tasks (from the MIDUS [Midlife in the U.S.] Stop and Go Switch Task) by telephone. Complexity ranged from a simple repeated task to an alternating task that involved central executive processes including attention switching and inhibitory control. Increased complexity was associated with slower responses in older adults, those with lower education, and women, even after controlling for differences in health status. Higher levels of education were associated with greater central executive efficiency across adulthood: Overall, adults with college degrees performed on complex tasks like less educated individuals who were 10 years younger, up to age 75. These findings suggest that advanced education can moderate age differences on complex speeded tasks that require central executive processes, at least up to the point in old age at which biological declines predominate. The approach demonstrates the utility of combining laboratory paradigms with survey methods to enable the study of larger, more diverse and representative samples across the lifespan.

  1. Saccadic eye movements in a high-speed bimanual stacking task: changes of attentional control during learning and automatization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Rebecca M; Carbone, Elena; Koesling, Hendrik; Schneider, Werner X

    2011-06-10

    Principles of saccadic eye movement control in the real world have been derived by the study of self-paced well-known tasks such as sandwich or tea making. Little is known whether these principles generalize to high-speed sensorimotor tasks and how they are affected by learning and automatization. In the present study, right-handers practiced the speed-stacking task in 14 consecutive daily training sessions, while their eye movements were recorded. Speed stacking is a high-speed sensorimotor task that requires grasping, moving, rotating, and placing of objects. The following main results emerged. Throughout practice, the eyes led the hands, displayed by a positive eye-hand time span. Moreover, visual information was gathered for the subsequent manual sub-action, displayed by a positive eye-hand unit span. With automatization, the eye-hand time span became shorter, yet it increased when corrected by the decreasing trial duration. In addition, fixations were mainly allocated to the goal positions of the right hand or objects in the right hand. The number of fixations decreased while the fixation rate remained constant. Importantly, all participants fixated on the same task-relevant locations in a similar scan path across training days, revealing a long-term memory-based mode of attention control after automatization of a high-speed sensorimotor task.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Bupropion sustained release in adolescents with comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daviss, W B; Bentivoglio, P; Racusin, R; Brown, K M; Bostic, J Q; Wiley, L

    2001-03-01

    To determine whether bupropion sustained release (SR) is effective and well-tolerated in adolescents with comorbid attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression. Subjects were 24 adolescents (aged 11-16 years old) with ADHD and either major depressive disorder or dysthymic disorder. After a 2-week, single-blind placebo lead-in, subjects were treated for 8+ weeks with bupropion SR at doses flexibly titrated up to 3 mg/kg b.i.d. (mean final doses: 2.2 mg/kg q A.M. and 1.7 mg/kg q P.M.). Outcomes were global improvement in ADHD and depression (clinician-rated), along with changes in depressive symptomatology (parent- and child-rated), ADHD symptomatology (parent- and teacher-rated), and functional impairment (parent-rated). Clinicians rated 14 subjects (58%) responders in both depression and ADHD, 7 (29%) responders in depression only, and 1 (4%) a responder in ADHD only. Compared with post-placebo ratings, final parents' (p depressive symptomatology improved significantly, as did parents' (p depressive disorders. However, randomized, placebo-controlled studies are needed.

  5. Comparing the effects of sustained and transient spatial attention on the orienting towards and the processing of electrical nociceptive stimuli

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Lubbe, Robert Henricus Johannes; Blom, J.H.G.; de Kleine, Elian; Bohlmeijer, Ernst Thomas

    2017-01-01

    We examined whether sustained vs. transient spatial attention differentially affect the processing of electrical nociceptive stimuli. Cued nociceptive stimuli of a relevant intensity (low or high) on the left or right forearm required a foot pedal press. The cued side varied trial wise in the

  6. Sustained Attention Development during the Toddlerhood to Preschool Period: Associations with Toddlers' Emotion Regulation Strategies and Maternal Behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graziano, Paulo A.; Calkins, Susan D.; Keane, Susan P.

    2011-01-01

    The current study examined the role of maternal behaviour and toddlers' emotion regulation strategies in the development of children's sustained attention abilities. Participants for this study included 447 children (232 girls) obtained from three different cohorts participating in a larger ongoing longitudinal study. When the children were 2…

  7. 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.

  8. Rethinking College Students' Self-Regulation and Sustained Attention: Does Text Messaging during Class Influence Cognitive Learning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Fang-Yi Flora; Wang, Y. Ken; Klausner, Michael

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated whether texting during class influences students' cognitive learning. A theoretical model was proposed to study the relationships among college students' self-regulation, texting during class, sustained attention to classroom learning, and cognitive learning (i.e., grade-oriented academic performance and experience-oriented…

  9. 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."

  10. Attentional processes, not implicit mentalizing, mediate performance in a perspective-taking task: Evidence from stimulation of the temporoparietal junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiesteban, Idalmis; Kaur, Simran; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline

    2017-07-15

    Mentalizing is a fundamental process underpinning human social interaction. Claims of the existence of 'implicit mentalizing' represent a fundamental shift in our understanding of this important skill, suggesting that preverbal infants and even animals may be capable of mentalizing. One of the most influential tasks supporting such claims in adults is the dot perspective-taking task, but demonstrations of similar performance on this task for mentalistic and non-mentalistic stimuli have led to the suggestion that this task in fact measures domain-general processes, rather than implicit mentalizing. A mentalizing explanation was supported by fMRI data claiming to show greater activation of brain areas involved in mentalizing, including right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ), when participants made self-perspective judgements in a mentalistic, but not in a non-mentalistic condition, an interpretation subsequently challenged. Here we provide the first causal test of the mentalizing claim using disruptive transcranial magnetic stimulation of rTPJ during self-perspective judgements. We found no evidence for a distinction between mentalistic and non-mentalistic stimuli: stimulation of rTPJ impaired performance on all self-perspective trials, regardless of the mentalistic/non-mentalistic nature of the stimulus. Our data support a domain-general attentional interpretation of performance on the dot perspective-taking task, a role which is subserved by the rTPJ. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The beneficial effects of additional task load, positive affect, and instruction on the attentional blink.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olivers, C.N.L.; Nieuwenhuis, S.T.

    2006-01-01

    The attentional blink reflects the impaired ability to identify the 2nd of 2 targets presented in close succession - a phenomenon that is generally thought to reflect a fundamental cognitive limitation. However, the fundamental nature of this impairment has recently been called into question by the

  14. 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

  15. Executive and attentional functions in chronic pain: does performance decrease with increasing task load?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterman, J.; Derksen, L.C.; Wijck, A.J. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Veldhuijzen, D.S.

    2012-01-01

    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

  16. Executive and attentional functions in chronic pain: Does performance decrease with increasing task load?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosterman, J.M.; Derksen, L.C.; Wijck, A.J.M. van; Kessels, R.P.C.; Veldhuijzen, D.S.

    2012-01-01

    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. The Peripheral Detection Task (PDT) : On-line measurement of driver cognitive workload and selective attention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Horst, A.R.A. van der; Martens, M.H.

    2010-01-01

    Peaks in workload while driving might have immediate safety implications. The Peripheral Detection Task (PDT) has shown to be a sensitive objective workload measure. Drivers have to respond to the onset of a peripherally presented simple visual stimulus (red square or LED) by pressing a finger

  20. 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…

  1. Attentional control adjustments in Eriksen and Stroop task performance can be independent of response conflict

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, M.J.M.; Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2011-01-01

    In the Eriksen flanker and colour-word Stroop tasks, the response time (RT) difference between incongruent and congruent trials is smaller following incongruent trials than following congruent trials: the oGratton effecto (Gratton, Coles, Donchin, 1992). According to the prevailing

  2. 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

  3. 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

    of capture by task-irrelevant color singletons in search arrays that could also contain a shape target. In Experiment 1, all displays were visible until response onset. In Experiment 2, display duration was limited to 200 msec. With long display durations, color singleton distractors elicited an N2pc...

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. Will working memory training generalize to improve off-task behavior in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Chloe T; Long, Debra L; Green, David; Iosif, Ana-Maria; Dixon, J Faye; Miller, Meghan R; Fassbender, Catherine; Schweitzer, Julie B

    2012-07-01

    Computerized working memory and executive function training programs designed to target specific impairments in executive functioning are becoming increasingly available, yet how well these programs generalize to improve functional deficits in disorders, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), beyond the training context is not well-established. The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which working memory (WM) training in children with ADHD would diminish a core dysfunctional behavior associated with the disorder, "off-task" behavior during academic task performance. The effect of computerized WM training (adaptive) was compared to a placebo condition (nonadaptive) in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design in 26 children (18 males; age, 7 to 14 years old) diagnosed with ADHD. Participants completed the training in approximately 25 sessions. The Restricted Academic Situations Task (RAST) observational system was used to assess aspects of off-task behavior during the completion of an academic task. Traditional measures of ADHD symptoms (Conners' Parent Rating Scale) and WM ability (standardized WM tests) were also collected. WM training led to significant reductions in off-task ADHD-associated behavior on the RAST system and improvement on WM tests. There were no significant differences between groups in improvement on parent rating scales. Findings lend insight into the generalizability of the effects of WM training and the relation between deficits in WM and off-task behavioral components of ADHD. These preliminary data suggest WM training may provide a mechanism for indirectly altering academic performance in children with ADHD.

  7. Methylphenidate enhances brain activation and deactivation responses to visual attention and working memory tasks in healthy controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasi, D; Volkow, N D; Wang, G J; Wang, R; Telang, F; Caparelli, E C; Wong, C; Jayne, M; Fowler, J S

    2011-02-14

    Methylphenidate (MPH) is a stimulant drug that amplifies dopamineric and noradrenergic signaling in the brain, which is believed to underlie its cognition enhancing effects. However, the neurobiological effects by which MPH improves cognition are still poorly understood. Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used together with working memory (WM) and visual attention (VA) tasks to test the hypothesis that 20mg oral MPH would increase activation in the dorsal attention network (DAN) and deactivation in the default mode network (DMN) as well as improve performance during cognitive tasks in healthy men. The group of subjects that received MPH (MPH group; N=16) had higher activation than the group of subjects who received no medication (control group: N=16) in DAN regions (parietal and prefrontal cortex, regions increasingly activated with increased cognitive load) and had increased deactivation in the insula and posterior cingulate cortex (regions increasingly deactivated with increased cognitive load) and these effects did not differ for the VA and the WM tasks. These findings provide the first evidence that MPH enhances activation of the DAN whereas it alters DMN deactivation. This suggests that MPH (presumably by amplifying dopamine and noradrenergic signaling) modulates cognition in part through its effects on DAN and DMN. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. 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).

  9. Long-lasting attentional influence of negative and taboo words in an auditory variant of the emotional Stroop task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertels, Julie; Kolinsky, Régine; Pietrons, Elise; Morais, José

    2011-02-01

    Using an auditory adaptation of the emotional and taboo Stroop tasks, the authors compared the effects of negative and taboo spoken words in mixed and blocked designs. Both types of words elicited carryover effects with mixed presentations and interference with blocked presentations, suggesting similar long-lasting attentional effects. Both were also relatively resilient to the long-lasting influence of the preceding emotional word. Hence, contrary to what has been assumed (Schmidt & Saari, 2007), negative and taboo words do not seem to differ in terms of the temporal dynamics of the interdimensional shifting, at least in the auditory modality. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Examining task-dependencies of different attentional processes as reflected in the P3a and reorienting negativity components of the human event-related brain potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munka, Lutz; Berti, Stefan

    2006-04-03

    Unexpected changes in task-irrelevant auditory stimuli are capable to distract processing of task-relevant visual information. This effect is accompanied by the elicitation of event-related potential (ERP) components associated with attentional orientation, i.e. P3a and reorienting negativity (RON). In the present study we varied the demands of a visual task in order to test whether the RON component -- as an index of attentional reorientation after distraction -- is confined to a semantic task requiring working memory. In two ERP experiments we applied an auditory-visual distraction paradigm in which subjects were instructed to discriminate visual stimuli preceded by a task-irrelevant sound, this being either a standard tone (600 Hz, 88%) or a deviant tone (660 Hz, 12%). The visual stimuli were numbers which had to be judged on basis of a semantic (odd or even) or physical feature (either size or colour). As expected, deviance related ERP components namely the mismatch negativity (MMN), P3a, and RON were elicited. Importantly, the RON was affected by the variation of the task: within the semantic task an early RON and within the physical task a late RON was obtained. These results suggest that the RON component reflects two functionally distinct processes of attentional allocation after distraction: refocusing on task-relevant information on the working memory level, and general reorientation of attention, e.g. preparation for the upcoming task.

  12. Modeling of predictive muscular strength for sustained one-handed carrying task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kai Way; Wang, Chien Wen; Yu, Ruifeng

    2015-01-01

    Manual materials handling (MMH) tasks are common. They are considered major contributors of musculoskeletal injuries and are the sources of financial burden for industries in terms of lost work days and worker compensation costs. One-handed carrying is common and could result in arm fatigue. The purpose of this study was to establish predictive models for one-handed carrying strength considering weight handed and handedness conditions. Twenty male subjects were recruited for the study. The subject carried a weight of 6 or 12 kg using either dominant or non-dominant hand lasting a time period of 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, or 4 minutes. The results showed that handedness (p carrying strength. Predictive models of single arm carrying strength were established under handedness and weight conditions. The MADs of these models ranged from 0.39 to 2.19 kgf. The exponential function based predictive models may be adopted to describe the single arm carrying strength with reasonable predictive errors. The trend of the carrying strength after carrying a load for a certain period may be employed to describe muscular fatigue for sustained carrying tasks.

  13. 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.

  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)

    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

  15. Re-examining sustained attention deficits as vulnerability indicators for schizophrenia: stability in the long term course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shi K; Hsieh, Ming-Hsien; Hwang, Tzung J; Hwu, Hai-Gwo; Liao, Shih-Cheng; Lin, Sheng-Hsiang; Chen, Wei J

    2006-10-01

    This study examined the longitudinal patterns in the sustained attention deficits detected by the Continuous Performance Test (CPT) and the factors influencing such changes in consecutively admitted schizophrenia patients (n=224) followed up for 4-7 year. Exploratory growth mixture modeling analyses of subjects' CPT performances over successive follow-ups revealed that three major (accounting for 92.8%) plus one minor subgroups could be delineated. Subgrouping was then performed on a subsample of 104 subjects who had at least 3 times of CPT data. Based on subjects' adjusted z score of the test sensitivity index d' derived from comparing with a community sample, patients were divided into three subgroups: no impairment (-1), moderate impairment (-2.5 to -1), and severe impairment (factors did not. We concluded that there is substantial heterogeneity in schizophrenia patients' long term pattern in sustained attention deficits and those with severe impairment might represent a subgroup with stable vulnerability to schizophrenia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarborg, Brith; Skak Madsen, Kathrine; Vestergaard, Martin; Skimminge, Arnold; Jernigan, Terry L; Baaré, William F C

    2013-12-01

    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 (RTCV ). 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 anatomical regions-of-interest (ROIs) in the left hemisphere and mean global WM FA. When analyzed collectively, right hemisphere ROIs FA was significantly associated with d' independently of age. Follow-up analyses revealed that only FA of right SLF and the superior part of the right PC contributed significantly to this association. RTCV was significantly associated with right superior PC FA, but not with right SLF FA. Observed associations remained significant after controlling for FA of equivalent left hemisphere ROIs or global mean FA. In conclusion, better sustained attention performance was associated with higher FA of WM in regions connecting right frontal and parietal cortices. Further studies are needed to clarify to which extent these associations are driven by maturational processes, stable characteristics and/or experience. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Unintentional activation of translation equivalents in bilinguals leads to attention capture in a cross-modal visual task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Niharika; Mishra, Ramesh Kumar

    2015-01-01

    Using a variant of the visual world eye tracking paradigm, we examined if language non-selective activation of translation equivalents leads to attention capture and distraction in a visual task in bilinguals. High and low proficient Hindi-English speaking bilinguals were instructed to programme a saccade towards a line drawing which changed colour among other distractor objects. A spoken word, irrelevant to the main task, was presented before the colour change. On critical trials, one of the line drawings was a phonologically related word of the translation equivalent of the spoken word. Results showed that saccade latency was significantly higher towards the target in the presence of this cross-linguistic translation competitor compared to when the display contained completely unrelated objects. Participants were also slower when the display contained the referent of the spoken word among the distractors. However, the bilingual groups did not differ with regard to the interference effect observed. These findings suggest that spoken words activates translation equivalent which bias attention leading to interference in goal directed action in the visual domain.

  18. Unintentional activation of translation equivalents in bilinguals leads to attention capture in a cross-modal visual task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niharika Singh

    Full Text Available Using a variant of the visual world eye tracking paradigm, we examined if language non-selective activation of translation equivalents leads to attention capture and distraction in a visual task in bilinguals. High and low proficient Hindi-English speaking bilinguals were instructed to programme a saccade towards a line drawing which changed colour among other distractor objects. A spoken word, irrelevant to the main task, was presented before the colour change. On critical trials, one of the line drawings was a phonologically related word of the translation equivalent of the spoken word. Results showed that saccade latency was significantly higher towards the target in the presence of this cross-linguistic translation competitor compared to when the display contained completely unrelated objects. Participants were also slower when the display contained the referent of the spoken word among the distractors. However, the bilingual groups did not differ with regard to the interference effect observed. These findings suggest that spoken words activates translation equivalent which bias attention leading to interference in goal directed action in the visual domain.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2010-01-01

    Voluntary orienting of visual attention is conventionally measured in tasks with predictive central cues followed by frequent valid targets at the cued location and by infrequent invalid targets at the uncued location...

  20. Task-optimal auditory attention set restored as fast in older as in younger adults after distraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volosin, Márta; Gaál, Zsófia Anna; Horváth, János

    2017-05-01

    The present study investigated how fast younger and older adults recovered from a distracted attentional state induced by rare, unpredictable sound events. The attentional state was characterized by the auditory N1 event-related potential (ERP), which is enhanced for sound events in the focus of attention. Younger (19-26 years) and older (62-74 years) adults listened to continuous tones containing rare pitch changes (glides) and short gaps. Glides and gaps could be separated in 150ms, 250ms, 650ms or longer and the task was gap detection while ignoring glides. With longer glide-gap separations similar N1 enhancements were observable in both groups suggesting that the duration of the distracted sensory state was not affected by aging. Older adults responded, however, slower at short glide-gap separations which indicated that distraction at subsequent levels of processing may have nonetheless more impact in older than in younger adults. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Attention-shift vs. response-priming explanations for the spatial cueing effect in cross-modal tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paavilainen, Petri; Illi, Janne; Moisseinen, Nella; Niinisalo, Maija; Ojala, Karita; Reinikainen, Johanna; Vainio, Lari

    2016-06-01

    The task-irrelevant spatial location of a cue stimulus affects the processing of a subsequent target. This "Posner effect" has been explained by an exogenous attention shift to the spatial location of the cue, improving perceptual processing of the target. We studied whether the left/right location of task-irrelevant and uninformative tones produces cueing effects on the processing of visual targets. Tones were presented randomly from left or right. In the first condition, the subsequent visual target, requiring response either with the left or right hand, was presented peripherally to left or right. In the second condition, the target was a centrally presented left/right-pointing arrow, indicating the response hand. In the third condition, the tone and the central arrow were presented simultaneously. Data were recorded on compatible (the tone location and the response hand were the same) and incompatible trials. Reaction times were longer on incompatible than on compatible trials. The results of the second and third conditions are difficult to explain with the attention-shift model emphasizing improved perceptual processing in the cued location, as the central target did not require any location-based processing. Consequently, as an alternative explanation they suggest response priming in the hand corresponding to the spatial location of the tone. Simultaneous lateralized readiness potential (LRP) recordings were consistent with the behavioral data, the tone cues eliciting on incompatible trials a fast preparation for the incorrect response and on compatible trials preparation for the correct response. © 2016 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  5. The n-back test and the attentional network task as measures of child neuropsychological development in epidemiological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forns, Joan; Esnaola, Mikel; López-Vicente, Mónica; Suades-González, Elisabet; Alvarez-Pedrerol, Mar; Julvez, Jordi; Grellier, James; Sebastián-Gallés, Núria; Sunyer, Jordi

    2014-07-01

    Computerized neuropsychological tests offered several advantages for large epidemiological studies to assess child neuropsychological development. We aimed to evaluate the psychometric properties and criterion validity of 2 computerized tests (n-back and attentional network task [ANT]) used to assess the working memory and attention function, respectively. As part of the BREATHE (BRain dEvelopment and Air polluTion ultrafine particles in scHool childrEn) project, we evaluated the neuropsychological development of 2,904 children between 7 to 9 years of age. The main outcomes of the n-back test were d' scores and hit reaction time (RT) (HRT). The outcomes measured for ANT were incorrect responses, omissions, alerting, orienting, and conflict. We also collected data of child's sex, age, school achievement, ADHD symptomatology, behavioral problems, and maternal education. We observed that the d' scores and HRT showed acceptable internal consistency, reasonable factorial structure, as well as good criterion validity and statistical dependencies. Regarding the ANT, incorrect responses, omissions, and conflict score had acceptable criterion validity although the internal consistency of the ANT was low. We strongly recommend the use of these tests in environmental epidemiological studies as valid, objective, and easy-to-apply measures of child neuropsychological development.

  6. Advances in Graduate Marketing Curriculum: Paying Attention to Ethical, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, James

    2013-01-01

    This research explores the impact of coercive, mimetic, and normative isomorphic pressures on the coverage and offering of courses addressing ethical, social, and sustainability issues (ESSI) in business schools' graduate marketing curricula. Data from the Aspen Institute's Beyond Grey Pinstripes program are analyzed to detect if significant…

  7. A future task for Health Promotion research: Integration of Health Promotion and sustainable development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jelsøe, Erling; Thualagant, Nicole; Holm, Jesper

    2017-01-01

    . Despite obvious interfaces and interactions between the two, our contention is that strategies for health promotion are not sufficiently integrated with strategies for sustainable development and that policies aimed at solving health or sustainability problems may therefore cause new, undesired...

  8. The effect of contralesional limb activation training and sustained attention training for self-care programmes in unilateral spatial neglect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, F. Colin; Manly, Tom; Coyle, Donna; Robertson, Ian H.

    2000-01-01

    PURPOSE: To evaluate the effectiveness of two rehabilitation techniques for unilateral spatial neglect, contra-lesional limb activation and sustained attention training, on impaired activities of daily living. METHODS: Two single case, time-series designs incorporating baseline, intervention and post-intervention phases. RESULTS: Significant improvements were observed in both neuropsychological measures and in the independent performance of everyday activities coincident with the start of training. The benefits were well maintained during the post-training period. CONCLUSIONS: The results support the use of the two techniques in achieving functional goals for unilateral neglect patients.

  9. Medial Prefrontal Lesions in Mice Impair Sustained Attention but Spare Maintenance of Information in Working Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahn, Julia B.; Ward, Ryan D.; Kahn, Lora W.; Rudy, Nicole M.; Kandel, Eric R.; Balsam, Peter D.; Simpson, Eleanor H.

    2012-01-01

    Working memory and attention are complex cognitive functions that are disrupted in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Mouse models of such human diseases are commonly subjected to maze-based tests that can neither distinguish between these cognitive functions nor isolate specific aspects of either function. Here, we have adapted a simple visual…

  10. The Communication of Culturally Dominant Modes of Attention from Parents to Children: A Comparison of Canadian and Japanese Parent-Child Conversations during a Joint Scene Description Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takada, Akira; Okada, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    Previous findings have indicated that, when presented with visual information, North American undergraduate students selectively attend to focal objects, whereas East Asian undergraduate students are more sensitive to background information. However, little is known about how these differences are driven by culture and socialization processes. In this study, two experiments investigated how young children and their parents used culturally unique modes of attention (selective vs. context sensitive attention). We expected that children would slowly learn culturally unique modes of attention, and the experience of communicating with their parents would aid the development of such modes of attention. Study 1 tested children’s solitary performance by examining Canadian and Japanese children’s (4–6 vs. 7–9 years old) modes of attention during a scene description task, whereby children watched short animations by themselves and then described their observations. The results confirmed that children did not demonstrate significant cross-cultural differences in attention during the scene description task while working independently, although results did show rudimentary signs of culturally unique modes of attention in this task scenario by age 9. Study 2 examined parent–child (4–6 and 7–9 years old) dyads using the same task. The results indicated that parents communicated to their children differently across cultures, replicating attentional differences among undergraduate students in previous cross-cultural studies. Study 2 also demonstrated that children’s culturally unique description styles increased significantly with age. The descriptions made by the older group (7–9 years old) showed significant cross-cultural variances in attention, while descriptions among the younger group (4–6 years old) did not. The significance of parental roles in the development of culturally unique modes of attention is discussed in addition to other possible facilitators

  11. The Communication of Culturally Dominant Modes of Attention from Parents to Children: A Comparison of Canadian and Japanese Parent-Child Conversations during a Joint Scene Description Task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sawa Senzaki

    Full Text Available Previous findings have indicated that, when presented with visual information, North American undergraduate students selectively attend to focal objects, whereas East Asian undergraduate students are more sensitive to background information. However, little is known about how these differences are driven by culture and socialization processes. In this study, two experiments investigated how young children and their parents used culturally unique modes of attention (selective vs. context sensitive attention. We expected that children would slowly learn culturally unique modes of attention, and the experience of communicating with their parents would aid the development of such modes of attention. Study 1 tested children's solitary performance by examining Canadian and Japanese children's (4-6 vs. 7-9 years old modes of attention during a scene description task, whereby children watched short animations by themselves and then described their observations. The results confirmed that children did not demonstrate significant cross-cultural differences in attention during the scene description task while working independently, although results did show rudimentary signs of culturally unique modes of attention in this task scenario by age 9. Study 2 examined parent-child (4-6 and 7-9 years old dyads using the same task. The results indicated that parents communicated to their children differently across cultures, replicating attentional differences among undergraduate students in previous cross-cultural studies. Study 2 also demonstrated that children's culturally unique description styles increased significantly with age. The descriptions made by the older group (7-9 years old showed significant cross-cultural variances in attention, while descriptions among the younger group (4-6 years old did not. The significance of parental roles in the development of culturally unique modes of attention is discussed in addition to other possible facilitators of

  12. The Communication of Culturally Dominant Modes of Attention from Parents to Children: A Comparison of Canadian and Japanese Parent-Child Conversations during a Joint Scene Description Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senzaki, Sawa; Masuda, Takahiko; Takada, Akira; Okada, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    Previous findings have indicated that, when presented with visual information, North American undergraduate students selectively attend to focal objects, whereas East Asian undergraduate students are more sensitive to background information. However, little is known about how these differences are driven by culture and socialization processes. In this study, two experiments investigated how young children and their parents used culturally unique modes of attention (selective vs. context sensitive attention). We expected that children would slowly learn culturally unique modes of attention, and the experience of communicating with their parents would aid the development of such modes of attention. Study 1 tested children's solitary performance by examining Canadian and Japanese children's (4-6 vs. 7-9 years old) modes of attention during a scene description task, whereby children watched short animations by themselves and then described their observations. The results confirmed that children did not demonstrate significant cross-cultural differences in attention during the scene description task while working independently, although results did show rudimentary signs of culturally unique modes of attention in this task scenario by age 9. Study 2 examined parent-child (4-6 and 7-9 years old) dyads using the same task. The results indicated that parents communicated to their children differently across cultures, replicating attentional differences among undergraduate students in previous cross-cultural studies. Study 2 also demonstrated that children's culturally unique description styles increased significantly with age. The descriptions made by the older group (7-9 years old) showed significant cross-cultural variances in attention, while descriptions among the younger group (4-6 years old) did not. The significance of parental roles in the development of culturally unique modes of attention is discussed in addition to other possible facilitators of this

  13. Desynchronization of Theta-Phase Gamma-Amplitude Coupling during a Mental Arithmetic Task in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Won Kim

    Full Text Available Theta-phase gamma-amplitude coupling (TGC measurement has recently received attention as a feasible method of assessing brain functions such as neuronal interactions. The purpose of this electroencephalographic (EEG study is to understand the mechanisms underlying the deficits in attentional control in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD by comparing the power spectra and TGC at rest and during a mental arithmetic task.Nineteen-channel EEGs were recorded from 97 volunteers (including 53 subjects with ADHD from a camp for hyperactive children under two conditions (rest and task performance. The EEG power spectra and the TGC data were analyzed. Correlation analyses between the Intermediate Visual and Auditory (IVA continuous performance test (CPT scores and EEG parameters were performed.No significant difference in the power spectra was detected between the groups at rest and during task performance. However, TGC was reduced during the arithmetic task in the ADHD group compared with the normal group (F = 16.70, p < 0.001. The TGC values positively correlated with the IVA CPT scores but negatively correlated with theta power.Our findings suggest that desynchronization of TGC occurred during the arithmetic task in ADHD children. TGC in ADHD children is expected to serve as a promising neurophysiological marker of network deactivation during attention-demanding tasks.

  14. Applicability of the free field Sustained Auditory Attention Ability Test (SAAAT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Feniman, Mariza Ribeiro

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The attention is an underlying neuropsychology function to all the cognitive processes. The auditory deficiency compromises the normal development of the child, modifying diverse auditory abilities, including the attention. Objective: to compare the performance of children in the Test of the Ability of Auditory Attention Support, as for the different forms of application (auricular phones and free field, sort and, application order. Method: 40 children (7 years old voluntary with typical development had participated, divided in two groups: G1 and G2, composites of 20 children each. The application of the THAAS in the G1 if gave first with auricular phones and after that in free field and the G2 the process was inverse. The evaluation consisted in: specific questionnaire, auditory tests and application of the THAAS. Results: It did not have significant difference how much to the sort. For the THAAS with phones, the G1 presented greater amount of errors of carelessness and total punctuation. For the THAAS in field it had a significant difference of the G2 for the monitoring decrease. How much to the application form, the G1 demonstrated a bigger number of errors when it was used phones. The G2 did not demonstrate difference. Conclusion: It had viability in the application of the THAAS in Free Field, being able to be adopted the same used normative values for the conventional way of evaluation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narges bahmany

    2014-10-01

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

  16. Effect of Alpinia galanga on Mental Alertness and Sustained Attention With or Without Caffeine: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Shalini; Mennemeier, Mark; Pimple, Surekha

    2017-09-14

    Although Alpinia galanga has been reported to improve cognitive performance in animals, it has not been thoroughly studied for its potential psychostimulant effect in humans. A randomized, double-dummy, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study was conducted to determine the effect of A galanga on mental alertness and sustained attention in comparison with caffeine and placebo in participants with a habitual caffeine intake. Fifty-nine participants (18-40 years and body mass index of ≥18.5 and safety and tolerability, were analyzed by validated methods. In the E-AG-01 group, the alertness score was increased by 11.65 ± 23.94, 12.50 ± 19.73, and 12.62 ± 0.68 ms from baseline at 1, 3 (p = 0.042), and 5 hours, respectively, indicating its efficacy to enhance mental alertness and the increase in alertness score as compared to placebo. In the composite group (E-AG-01 with caffeine), mean response time was significantly reduced, by 15.55 ms (p = 0.026) at 3 hours. A galanga (E-AG-01) induces a beneficial effect in mental alertness and the combination of A galanga with caffeine impedes the caffeine crash and improves sustained attention at 3 hours. Thus, these stimulant effects might yield a new usage for A galanga as a key ingredient in energy drinks or similar products.

  17. Psychophysiological correlates of sexually and non-sexually motivated attention to film clips in a workload task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Sandra; Leite, Jorge; Galdo-Álvarez, Santiago; Gonçalves, Oscar F

    2011-01-01

    Some authors have speculated that the cognitive component (P3) of the Event-Related Potential (ERP) can function as a psychophysiological measure of sexual interest. The aim of this study was to determine if the P3 ERP component in a workload task can be used as a specific and objective measure of sexual motivation by comparing the neurophysiologic response to stimuli of motivational relevance with different levels of valence and arousal. A total of 30 healthy volunteers watched different films clips with erotic, horror, social-positive and social-negative content, while answering an auditory oddball paradigm. Erotic film clips resulted in larger interference when compared to both the social-positive and auditory alone conditions. Horror film clips resulted in the highest levels of interference with smaller P3 amplitudes than erotic and also than social-positive, social-negative and auditory alone condition. No gender differences were found. Both horror and erotic film clips significantly decreased heart rate (HR) when compared to both social-positive and social-negative films. The erotic film clips significantly increased the skin conductance level (SCL) compared to the social-negative films. The horror film clips significantly increased the SCL compared to both social-positive and social-negative films. Both the highly arousing erotic and non-erotic (horror) movies produced the largest decrease in the P3 amplitude, a decrease in the HR and an increase in the SCL. These data support the notion that this workload task is very sensitive to the attentional resources allocated to the film clip, although they do not act as a specific index of sexual interest. Therefore, the use of this methodology seems to be of questionable utility as a specific measure of sexual interest or as an objective measure of the severity of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. © 2011 Carvalho et al.

  18. Psychophysiological correlates of sexually and non-sexually motivated attention to film clips in a workload task.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Carvalho

    Full Text Available Some authors have speculated that the cognitive component (P3 of the Event-Related Potential (ERP can function as a psychophysiological measure of sexual interest. The aim of this study was to determine if the P3 ERP component in a workload task can be used as a specific and objective measure of sexual motivation by comparing the neurophysiologic response to stimuli of motivational relevance with different levels of valence and arousal. A total of 30 healthy volunteers watched different films clips with erotic, horror, social-positive and social-negative content, while answering an auditory oddball paradigm. Erotic film clips resulted in larger interference when compared to both the social-positive and auditory alone conditions. Horror film clips resulted in the highest levels of interference with smaller P3 amplitudes than erotic and also than social-positive, social-negative and auditory alone condition. No gender differences were found. Both horror and erotic film clips significantly decreased heart rate (HR when compared to both social-positive and social-negative films. The erotic film clips significantly increased the skin conductance level (SCL compared to the social-negative films. The horror film clips significantly increased the SCL compared to both social-positive and social-negative films. Both the highly arousing erotic and non-erotic (horror movies produced the largest decrease in the P3 amplitude, a decrease in the HR and an increase in the SCL. These data support the notion that this workload task is very sensitive to the attentional resources allocated to the film clip, although they do not act as a specific index of sexual interest. Therefore, the use of this methodology seems to be of questionable utility as a specific measure of sexual interest or as an objective measure of the severity of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder.

  19. Psychophysiological Correlates of Sexually and Non-Sexually Motivated Attention to Film Clips in a Workload Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Sandra; Leite, Jorge; Galdo-Álvarez, Santiago; Gonçalves, Óscar F.

    2011-01-01

    Some authors have speculated that the cognitive component (P3) of the Event-Related Potential (ERP) can function as a psychophysiological measure of sexual interest. The aim of this study was to determine if the P3 ERP component in a workload task can be used as a specific and objective measure of sexual motivation by comparing the neurophysiologic response to stimuli of motivational relevance with different levels of valence and arousal. A total of 30 healthy volunteers watched different films clips with erotic, horror, social-positive and social-negative content, while answering an auditory oddball paradigm. Erotic film clips resulted in larger interference when compared to both the social-positive and auditory alone conditions. Horror film clips resulted in the highest levels of interference with smaller P3 amplitudes than erotic and also than social-positive, social-negative and auditory alone condition. No gender differences were found. Both horror and erotic film clips significantly decreased heart rate (HR) when compared to both social-positive and social-negative films. The erotic film clips significantly increased the skin conductance level (SCL) compared to the social-negative films. The horror film clips significantly increased the SCL compared to both social-positive and social-negative films. Both the highly arousing erotic and non-erotic (horror) movies produced the largest decrease in the P3 amplitude, a decrease in the HR and an increase in the SCL. These data support the notion that this workload task is very sensitive to the attentional resources allocated to the film clip, although they do not act as a specific index of sexual interest. Therefore, the use of this methodology seems to be of questionable utility as a specific measure of sexual interest or as an objective measure of the severity of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. PMID:22216305

  20. Interactions among attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and problem gambling in a probabilistic reward-learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abouzari, Mehdi; Oberg, Scott; Gruber, Aaron; Tata, Matthew

    2015-09-15

    Problem gambling is thought to be highly comorbid with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We propose that the neurobiological pathologies underlying problem gambling overlap with those in ADHD. In this study, we used a simplified computerized version of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) to assess differences in reinforcement-driven choice adaptation among participants with pathological gambling and/or ADHD. The task contained two choice options with different net payouts over the session; a good bet that resulted in a win of +50 points on 60% of trials (and -50 points on 40%), and a bad bet that resulted in +100 points on 40% of the trials (and -100 points on 60%). We quantified participants' preference for the good bet over the session and their sensitivity to reinforcement. Both the control subjects and medicated ADHD nongamblers significantly increased the proportion of good bets over the 400-trial session. Subjects with problem gambling performed worse than controls and ADHD nongamblers, but better than our limited sample of unmedicated ADHD gamblers. Control subjects, medicated ADHD nongamblers, and unmedicated ADHD nongamblers tended to tolerate losses following good bets, whereas unmedicated ADHD gamblers tended to tolerate losses following bad bets. These data reveal that ADHD, particularly when treated with medication, is not associated with poor choices on the IGT, but may exacerbate pathological choices in problem gamblers. It seems that stabilization of dopamine signaling that occurs when ADHD is treated is itself also a treatment for certain forms of problem gambling. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Effects of OROS methylphenidate on academic, behavioral, and cognitive tasks in children 9 to 12 years of age with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Desiree W; Childress, Ann; Giblin, John; Williamson, David; Armstrong, Robert; Starr, H Lynn

    2011-04-01

    To assess effects of OROS methylphenidate on cognitive and academic tasks in 9 to 12 year olds with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A double-blind, within-subject, crossover design was used to compare OROS methylphenidate with placebo in a laboratory classroom setting on several cognitive and academic tasks for 68 children who met randomization criteria. Performance on the following measures was significantly better when children received individually optimized OROS methylphenidate than placebo: math fluency and accuracy measured by the Permanent Product Math Test, ADHD symptoms observed in the laboratory setting, computerized indices of attention and impulsivity as measured by the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), and visual-spatial working memory (Finger Windows Backwards). Study medication was well tolerated; adverse events were generally consistent with previous reports. OROS methylphenidate improves performance on measures of attention and vigilance, behavior, and working memory in a laboratory school setting in 9 to 12 year olds with ADHD.

  2. Early life cognitive abilities and body weight: cross-sectional study of the association of inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and sustained attention with BMI percentiles in primary school children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirt, Tamara; Schreiber, Anja; Kesztyüs, Dorothea; Steinacker, Jürgen M

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the association of different cognitive abilities with children's body weight adjusted for further weight influencing sociodemographic, family, and lifestyle factors. Cross-sectional data of 498 primary school children (7.0 ± 0.6 years; 49.8% boys) participating in a health promotion programme in southwest Germany were used. Children performed a computer-based test battery (KiTAP) including an inhibitory control task (Go-Nogo paradigm), a cognitive flexibility task, and a sustained attention task. Height and weight were measured in a standardized manner and converted to BMI percentiles based on national standards. Sociodemographic features (migration background and parental education), family characteristics (parental body weight), and children's lifestyle (TV consumption, physical activity, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and breakfast habits) were assessed via parental questionnaire. A hierarchical regression analysis revealed inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility to be significant cognitive predictors for children's body weight. There was no association concerning sustained attention. The findings suggest that especially cognitive abilities known as executive functions (inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility) are associated with children's body weight. Future longitudinal and intervention studies are necessary to investigate the directionality of the association and the potential of integrating cognitive training in obesity prevention strategies. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov DRKS00000494.

  3. Task-irrelevant expectation violations in sequential manual actions: Evidence for a “check-after-surprise” mode of visual attention and eye-hand decoupling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Martina Foerster

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available When performing sequential manual actions (e.g., cooking, visual information is prioritized according to the task determining where and when to attend, look, and act. In well-practiced sequential actions, long-term memory (LTM-based expectations specify which action targets might be found where and when. We have previously demonstrated (Foerster and Schneider, 2015b that violations of such expectations that are task-relevant (e.g., target location change cause a regression from a memory-based mode of attentional selection to visual search. How might task-irrelevant expectation violations in such well-practiced sequential manual actions modify attentional selection? This question was investigated by a computerized version of the number-connection test. Participants clicked on nine spatially-distributed numbered target circles in ascending order while eye movements were recorded as proxy for covert attention. Target’s visual features and locations stayed constant for 65 prechange-trials, allowing practicing the manual action sequence. Consecutively, a task-irrelevant expectation violation occurred and stayed for 20 change-trials. Specifically, action target number 4 appeared in a different font. In 15 reversion-trials, number 4 returned to the original font. During the first task-irrelevant change trial, manual clicking was slower and eye scanpaths were larger and contained more fixations. The additional fixations were mainly checking fixations on the changed target while acting on later targets. Whereas the eyes repeatedly revisited the task-irrelevant change, cursor-paths remained completely unaffected. Effects lasted for 2-3 change trials and did not reappear during reversion. In conclusion, an unexpected task-irrelevant change on a task-defining feature of a well-practiced manual sequence leads to eye-hand decoupling and a check-after-surprise mode of attentional selection.

  4. Anxiety and cognitive efficiency: differential modulation of transient and sustained neural activity during a working memory task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fales, C L; Barch, D M; Burgess, G C; Schaefer, A; Mennin, D S; Gray, J R; Braver, T S

    2008-09-01

    According to the processing-efficiency hypothesis (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007), anxious individuals are thought to require greater activation of brain systems supporting cognitive control (e.g.,dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; DLPFC) in order to maintain equivalent performance to nonanxious subjects. A recent theory of cognitive control (Braver, Gray, & Burgess, 2007) has proposed that reduced cognitive efficiency might occur as a result of changes in the temporal dynamics of DLPFC recruitment. In this study, we used a mixed blocked/ event-related fMRI design to track transient and sustained activity in DLPFC while high- and low-anxious participants performed a working memory task. The task was performed after the participants viewed videos designed to induce neutral or anxiety-related moods. After the neutral video, the high-anxious participants had reduced sustained but increased transient activation in working memory areas, in comparison with low-anxious participants. The high-anxious group also showed extensive reductions in sustained activation of "default-network" areas (possible deactivation). After the negative video,the low-anxiety group shifted their activation dynamics in cognitive control regions to resemble those of the high-anxious group. These results suggest that reduced cognitive control in anxiety might be due to a transient, rather than sustained, pattern of working memory recruitment. Supplementary information for this study may be found at www.psychonomic.org/archive.

  5. Gap Effect Abnormalities during a Visually Guided Pro-Saccade Task in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuo, Yuka; Watanabe, Masayuki; Taniike, Masako; Mohri, Ikuko; Kobashi, Syoji; Tachibana, Masaya; Kobayashi, Yasushi; Kitamura, Yuri

    2015-01-01

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that starts in early childhood and has a comprehensive impact on psychosocial activity and education as well as general health across the lifespan. Despite its prevalence, the current diagnostic criteria for ADHD are debated. Saccadic eye movements are easy to quantify and may be a quantitative biomarker for a wide variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including ADHD. The goal of this study was to examine whether children with ADHD exhibit abnormalities during a visually guided pro-saccadic eye-movement and to clarify the neurophysiological mechanisms associated with their behavioral impairments. Thirty-seven children with ADHD (aged 5-11 years) and 88 typically developing (TD) children (aged 5-11 years) were asked to perform a simple saccadic eye-movement task in which step and gap conditions were randomly interleaved. We evaluated the gap effect, which is the difference in the reaction time between the two conditions. Children with ADHD had a significantly longer reaction time than TD children (p < 0.01) and the gap effect was markedly attenuated (p < 0.01). These results suggest that the measurement of saccadic eye movements may provide a novel method for evaluating the behavioral symptoms and clinical features of ADHD, and that the gap effect is a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of ADHD in early childhood.

  6. Gap Effect Abnormalities during a Visually Guided Pro-Saccade Task in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuka Matsuo

    Full Text Available Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that starts in early childhood and has a comprehensive impact on psychosocial activity and education as well as general health across the lifespan. Despite its prevalence, the current diagnostic criteria for ADHD are debated. Saccadic eye movements are easy to quantify and may be a quantitative biomarker for a wide variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including ADHD. The goal of this study was to examine whether children with ADHD exhibit abnormalities during a visually guided pro-saccadic eye-movement and to clarify the neurophysiological mechanisms associated with their behavioral impairments. Thirty-seven children with ADHD (aged 5-11 years and 88 typically developing (TD children (aged 5-11 years were asked to perform a simple saccadic eye-movement task in which step and gap conditions were randomly interleaved. We evaluated the gap effect, which is the difference in the reaction time between the two conditions. Children with ADHD had a significantly longer reaction time than TD children (p < 0.01 and the gap effect was markedly attenuated (p < 0.01. These results suggest that the measurement of saccadic eye movements may provide a novel method for evaluating the behavioral symptoms and clinical features of ADHD, and that the gap effect is a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of ADHD in early childhood.

  7. The efficacy and psychophysiological correlates of dual-attention tasks in eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, Sarah J; Lee, Christopher W; Drummond, Peter D

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the psychophysiological correlates and the effectiveness of different dual-attention tasks used during eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Sixty-two non-clinical participants with negative autobiographical memories received a single session of EMDR without eye movements, or EMDR that included eye movements of either varied or fixed rate of speed. Subjective units of distress and vividness of the memory were recorded at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and 1 week follow-up. EMDR-with eye movements led to greater reduction in distress than EMDR-without eye movements. Heart rate decreased significantly when eye movements began; skin conductance decreased during eye movement sets; heart rate variability and respiration rate increased significantly as eye movements continued; and orienting responses were more frequent in the eye movement than no-eye movement condition at the start of exposure. Findings indicate that the eye movement component in EMDR is beneficial, and is coupled with distinct psychophysiological changes that may aid in processing negative memories. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Error related negativity and multi-source interference task in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-combined type

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosana Huerta-Albarrán

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective To compare performance of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders-combined (ADHD-C type with control children in multi-source interference task (MSIT evaluated by means of error related negativity (ERN. Method We studied 12 children with ADHD-C type with a median age of 7 years, control children were age- and gender-matched. Children performed MSIT and simultaneous recording of ERN. Results We found no differences in MSIT parameters among groups. We found no differences in ERN variables between groups. We found a significant association of ERN amplitude with MSIT in children with ADHD-C type. Some correlation went in positive direction (frequency of hits and MSIT amplitude, and others in negative direction (frequency of errors and RT in MSIT. Conclusion Children with ADHD-C type exhibited a significant association between ERN amplitude with MSIT. These results underline participation of a cingulo-fronto-parietal network and could help in the comprehension of pathophysiological mechanisms of ADHD.

  9. Self-Paced Preparation for a Task Switch Eliminates Attentional Inertia but Not the Performance Switch Cost

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longman, Cai S.; Lavric, Aureliu; Monsell, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    The performance overhead associated with changing tasks (the "switch cost") usually diminishes when the task is specified in advance but is rarely eliminated by preparation. A popular account of the "residual" (asymptotic) switch cost is that it reflects "task-set inertia": carry-over of task-set parameters from the…

  10. A Novel Feed-Forward Modeling System Leads to Sustained Improvements in Attention and Academic Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Ashley F; Rose, Maya; Norris, Troy; Gordon, Eric

    2016-01-28

    This study tested a novel feed-forward modeling (FFM) system as a nonpharmacological intervention for the treatment of ADHD children and the training of cognitive skills that improve academic performance. This study implemented a randomized, controlled, parallel design comparing this FFM with a nonpharmacological community care intervention. Improvements were measured on parent- and clinician-rated scales of ADHD symptomatology and on academic performance tests completed by the participant. Participants were followed for 3 months after training. Participants in the FFM training group showed significant improvements in ADHD symptomatology and academic performance, while the control group did not. Improvements from FFM were sustained 3 months later. The FFM appeared to be an effective intervention for the treatment of ADHD and improving academic performance. This FFM training intervention shows promise as a first-line treatment for ADHD while improving academic performance. © The Author(s) 2016.

  11. On the use of adjustable distraction as a measure to determine sustained attention during movie clips

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nordahl, Rolf; Korsgaard, Dannie

    2009-01-01

    Secondary task reaction time has been applied to measure the cognitive effects of movies, but has generally not produced convincing results when utilized to measure presence. We hypothesize that mixed results could be due to factors which prolong simple reaction time. This paper seeks...... to investigate the stability of a time independent alternative method (the adjustable distraction method) by testing it in relation to two other methods (heart rates and subjective intensity ratings) applied for measuring presence. In a comparison study 23 subjects were exposed to the three methods, with the aim...... of finding common and discrete patterns in the obtained results. The study showed that both the subjective ratings and the heart rates shared a common pattern, while the adjustable distraction method showed a discrete pattern. We speculate that this pattern emerged due to the great variance found...

  12. Effects of shifts in the rate of repetitive stimulation on sustained attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krulewitz, J. E.; Warm, J. S.; Wohl, T. H.

    1975-01-01

    The effects of shifts in the rate of presentation of repetitive neutral events (background event rate) were studied in a visual vigilance task. Four groups of subjects experienced either a high (21 events/min) or a low (6 events/min) event rate for 20 min and then experienced either the same or the alternate event rate for an additional 40 min. The temporal occurrence of critical target signals was identical for all groups, irrespective of event rate. The density of critical signals was 12 signals/20 min. By the end of the session, shifts in event rate were associated with changes in performance which resembled contrast effects found in other experimental situations in which shift paradigms were used. Relative to constant event rate control conditions, a shift from a low to a high event rate depressed the probability of signal detections, while a shift in the opposite direction enhanced the probability of signal detections.

  13. Daytime sleepiness associated with poor sustained attention in middle and late adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Chang-Ho; Kim, Hyun; Lee, Seung Ku; Suh, Sooyeon; Lee, Seung Hoon; Park, Seong-Ho; Thomas, Robert J; Au, Rhoda; Shin, Chol

    2015-01-01

    We aimed to determine the association between psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) performance and sleep-related factors including sleep duration, daytime sleepiness, poor sleep quality, insomnia, and habitual snoring in a population-based sample. This was a cross-sectional analysis from the ongoing prospective cohort study, the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study. We measured PVT performance and documented demographics, sleep-related factors, life style, and medical conditions in community dwelling adults (N = 2499; mean age 57.1 ± 7.3; male 1259). Associations between PVT parameters and sleep-related factors were tested, adjusting for age, gender, smoking, alcohol use, education, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, depression, and the interval between mid-sleep time and PVT test. High Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS, ≥8) was associated with slower mean reciprocal response speed (mean RRT) (3.69 ± 0.02 vs. 3.77 ± 0.01, p sleep and PVT test were also associated with poor performance. Sleep duration, habitual snoring, insomnia, or poor sleep quality (the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score > 5) was not related to PVT parameters. At the population level, our results revealed important modifiers of PVT performance, which included subjective reports of daytime sleepiness. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Using a divided-attention stepping accuracy task to improve balance and functional outcomes in an individual with incomplete spinal cord injury: A case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leach, Susan J; Magill, Richard A; Maring, Joyce R

    2017-01-01

    A spinal cord injury (SCI) frequently results in impaired balance, endurance, and strength with subsequent limitations in functional mobility and community participation. The purpose of this case report was to implement a training program for an individual with a chronic incomplete SCI using a novel divided-attention stepping accuracy task (DASAT) to determine if improvements could be made in impairments, activities, and participation. The client was a 51-year-old male with a motor incomplete C4 SCI sustained 4 years prior. He presented with decreased quality of life (QOL) and functional independence, and deficits in balance, endurance, and strength consistent with central cord syndrome. The client completed the DASAT intervention 3 times per week for 6 weeks. Each session incorporated 96 multi-directional steps to randomly-assigned targets in response to 3-step verbal commands. QOL, measured using the SF-36, was generally enhanced but fluctuated. Community mobility progressed from close supervision to independence. Significant improvement was achieved in all balance scores: Berg Balance Scale by 9 points [Minimal Detectable Change (MDC) = 4.9 in elderly]; Functional Reach Test by 7.62 cm (MDC = 5.16 in C5/C6 SCI); and Timed Up-and-Go by 0.53 s (MDC not established). Endurance increased on the 6-Minute Walk Test, with the client achieving an additional 47 m (MDC = 45.8 m). Lower extremity isokinetic peak torque strength measures were mostly unchanged. Six minutes of DASAT training per session provided an efficient, low-cost intervention utilizing multiple trials of variable practice, and resulted in better performance in activities, balance, and endurance in this client.

  15. 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

    ' 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...... anatomical regions-of-interest (ROIs) in the left hemisphere and mean global WM FA. When analyzed collectively, right hemisphere ROIs FA was significantly associated with d' independently of age. Follow-up analyses revealed that only FA of right SLF and the superior part of the right PC contributed...... significantly to this association. RT(CV) was significantly associated with right superior PC FA, but not with right SLF FA. Observed associations remained significant after controlling for FA of equivalent left hemisphere ROIs or global mean FA. In conclusion, better sustained attention performance...

  16. Sustainable Energy Solutions Task 3.0:Life-Cycle Database for Wind Energy Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Twomey, Janet M. [Wichita State Univ., KS (United States)

    2010-03-01

    developed a fundamental approach. The emphasis was place on individual unit processes as an organizing framework to understand the life cycle of manufactured products. The rearrangement of unit processes provides an efficient and versatile means of understanding improved manufactured products such as wind generators. The taxonomy and structure of unit process lci were developed in this project. A series of ten unit process lci were developed to sample the major segments of the manufacturing unit process taxonomy. Technical and economic effectiveness has been a focus of the project research in Task three. The use of repeatable modules for the organization of information on environmental improvement has a long term impact. The information developed can be used and reused in a variety of manufacturing plants and for a range of wind generator sizes and designs. Such a modular approach will lower the cost of life cycle analysis, that is often asked questions of carbon footprint, environmental impact, and sustainability. The use of a website for dissemination, linked to NREL, adds to the economic benefit as more users have access to the lci information. Benefit to the public has been achieved by a well-attended WSU conference, as well as presentations for the Kansas Wind Energy Commission. Attendees represented public interests, land owners, wind farm developers, those interested in green jobs, and industry. Another benefit to the public is the start of information flow from manufacturers that can inform individuals about products.

  17. Attention to emotion through a go/no-go task in children with oppositionality and callous-unemotional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezpeleta, Lourdes; Navarro, J Blas; de la Osa, Núria; Penelo, Eva; Trepat, Esther; Martin, Virginia; Domènech, Josep M

    2017-05-01

    There is debate about whether the difficulties that children with different degrees of oppositionality (ODD) and callous-unemotional traits (CU) have in processing emotions are global or specific. The aim of this study is to identify difficulties in recognizing emotion (happiness, anger, sadness and fear) through a go/no-go task in children with different levels of ODD and CU traits. A total of 320 8-year-old children were assessed through questionnaires filled out by teachers about oppositional defiant symptoms and CU traits and were then distributed into four groups: LowCU-HighODD, HighCU-LowODD, HighCU-HighODD and a comparison group (LowCU-LowODD). The analyses of variance comparing the 4 groups showed that the two groups with high ODD were less accurate than the control group in recognizing the emotion when the stimuli expressed happiness, fear or neutral emotion. The HighCU-HighODD group differed in the quality of the response (correct/wrong responses) but not in the reaction time in relation to the comparison group. The LowCU-HighODD group was faster to respond to emotions than the comparison group. The results show that the deficit in emotion processing is not restricted to specific distressing emotions such as fear or sadness, but they point to a global impairment in emotion processing in children scoring high in the constructs studied. The results also suggest that the difficulties that children with combined CU traits and oppositional conduct problems have in processing emotions are more of an emotional rather than an attentional nature. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Self-Rated Attentiveness Interacts with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Noise Stimulation in Reaction Time in a Go/No-Go Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikström, Sverker; Jürgensen, Anna-Maria; Haghighi, Maryam; Månsson, Daniel; Smidelik, David; Habekost, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Previous research has found that stimulating inattentive people with auditory white noise induces enhancement in cognitive performance. This enhancement is believed to occur due to a statistical phenomenon called stochastic resonance, where noise increases the probability of a signal passing the firing threshold in the neural cells. Here we investigate whether people with low attentiveness benefit to a larger extent than attentive people from stimulation by auditory white noise and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). The results show, for both auditory noise and tDCS stimulation, that the changes in performance relative to nonstimulation correlate with the degree of attentiveness in a Go/No-Go task, but not in a N-back task. These results suggest that the benefit of tDCS may interact with inattentiveness.

  19. A Componential Analysis of Visual Attention in Children With ADHD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvinue, Laura P; Vangkilde, Signe; Johnson, Katherine A; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Bundesen, Claus; Robertson, Ian H

    2015-10-01

    Inattentive behaviour is a defining characteristic of ADHD. Researchers have wondered about the nature of the attentional deficit underlying these symptoms. The primary purpose of the current study was to examine this attentional deficit using a novel paradigm based upon the Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The TVA paradigm enabled a componential analysis of visual attention through the use of a mathematical model to estimate parameters relating to attentional selectivity and capacity. Children's ability to sustain attention was also assessed using the Sustained Attention to Response Task. The sample included a comparison between 25 children with ADHD and 25 control children aged 9-13. Children with ADHD had significantly impaired sustained attention and visual processing speed but intact attentional selectivity, perceptual threshold and visual short-term memory capacity. The results of this study lend support to the notion of differential impairment of attentional functions in children with ADHD. © 2012 SAGE Publications.

  20. Sustainable Energy Solutions Task 1.0: Networked Monitoring and Control of Small Interconnected Wind Energy Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    edu, Janet. twomey@wichita. [Wichita State Univ., KS (United States)

    2010-04-30

    This report presents accomplishments, results, and future work for one task of five in the Wichita State University Sustainable Energy Solutions Project: To develop a scale model laboratory distribution system for research into questions that arise from networked control and monitoring of low-wind energy systems connected to the AC distribution system. The lab models developed under this task are located in the Electric Power Quality Lab in the Engineering Research Building on the Wichita State University campus. The lab system consists of four parts: 1. A doubly-fed induction generator 2. A wind turbine emulator 3. A solar photovoltaic emulator, with battery energy storage 4. Distribution transformers, lines, and other components, and wireless and wired communications and control These lab elements will be interconnected and will function together to form a complete testbed for distributed resource monitoring and control strategies and smart grid applications testing. Development of the lab system will continue beyond this project.

  1. Effects of Psychiatric Symptoms on Attention in North Korean Refugees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yu Jin; Jun, Jin Yong; Park, Juhyun; Kim, Soohyun; Gwak, Ah Reum; Lee, So Hee; Yoo, So Young

    2016-01-01

    Objective We investigated the performance of North Korean refugees on attention tasks, and the relationship between that performance and psychiatric symptoms. Methods Sustained and divided attention was assessed using the computerized Comprehensive Attention Test in North Korean refugees and in South Koreans. All participants also completed the Beck Depression Inventory, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised and the Dissociative Experiences Scale-II (DES-II). Results The North Korean refugees showed slower reaction times (RTs) on the visual sustained attention task compared to the South Koreans after controlling for age and sex. North Korean refugees had a greater number of omission errors (OEs) on the divided attention task and a higher standard deviation (SD) of RT. Total DES-II scores of the North Korean refugees were associated with the number of OEs and the SD of RT on the sustained attention task, and with the number of OEs on the divided attention task. Conclusion North Korean refugees showed poorer performance on computerized attention tasks. In addition, attention deficit among North Korean refugees was associated with their dissociative experiences. Our results suggest that refugees may have attention deficits, which may be related to their psychiatric symptoms, particularly dissociation. PMID:27757125

  2. Tracking performance under time sharing conditions with a digit processing task: A feedback control theory analysis. [attention sharing effect on operator performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopher, D.; Wickens, C. D.

    1975-01-01

    A one dimensional compensatory tracking task and a digit processing reaction time task were combined in a three phase experiment designed to investigate tracking performance in time sharing. Adaptive techniques, elaborate feedback devices, and on line standardization procedures were used to adjust task difficulty to the ability of each individual subject and manipulate time sharing demands. Feedback control analysis techniques were employed in the description of tracking performance. The experimental results show that when the dynamics of a system are constrained, in such a manner that man machine system stability is no longer a major concern of the operator, he tends to adopt a first order control describing function, even with tracking systems of higher order. Attention diversion to a concurrent task leads to an increase in remnant level, or nonlinear power. This decrease in linearity is reflected both in the output magnitude spectra of the subjects, and in the linear fit of the amplitude ratio functions.

  3. The relationship between language proficiency and attentional control in Cantonese-English bilingual children: Evidence from Simon, Simon switching, and working memory tasks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Shing eTse

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available By administering Simon, Simon switching, and operation-span working memory tasks to Cantonese-English bilingual children who varied in their first-language (L1, Cantonese and second-language (L2, English proficiencies, as quantified by standardized vocabulary test performance, the current study examined the effects of L1 and L2 proficiency on attentional control performance. Apart from mean performance, we conducted ex-Gaussian analyses to capture the modal and positive-tail components of participants’ reaction time distributions in the Simon task. Bilinguals’ L2 proficiency was associated with higher scores in the operation span task, and a shift of reaction time distributions in incongruent trials, relative to congruent trials (Simon effect in µ, and the tail size of reaction time distributions (τ regardless of trial types. Bilinguals’ L1 proficiency, which was strongly associated with participants’ age, showed similar results, except that it was not associated with the Simon effect in µ. In contrast, neither bilinguals’ L1 nor L2 proficiency modulated the global switch cost or local switch cost in the Simon switching task. After taking into account potential cognitive maturation by partialling out the participants’ age, only (a scores in the working memory task and (b RT in incongruent trials and (c Simon effect in µ in the Simon task could still be predicted by bilinguals’ L2 proficiency. Overall, the current findings suggest that bilingual children’s L2 proficiency was associated with their conflict resolution and working memory capacity, but not goal maintenance or task-set switching, when they performed the cognitive tasks that demanded attentional control. This was not entirely consistent with the findings of college-age bilinguals reported in previous studies.

  4. Temporally specific divided attention tasks in young adults reveal the temporal dynamics of episodic encoding failures in elderly adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Ray; Nessler, Doreen; Friedman, David

    2013-06-01

    Nessler, Johnson, Bersick, and Friedman (D. Nessler, R. Johnson, Jr., M. Bersick, & D. Friedman, 2006, On why the elderly have normal semantic retrieval but deficient episodic encoding: A study of left inferior frontal ERP activity, NeuroImage, Vol. 30, pp. 299-312) found that, compared with young adults, older adults show decreased event-related brain potential (ERP) activity over posterior left inferior prefrontal cortex (pLIPFC) in a 400- to 1,400-ms interval during episodic encoding. This altered brain activity was associated with significantly decreased recognition performance and reduced recollection-related brain activity at retrieval (D. Nessler, D. Friedman, R. Johnson, Jr., & M. Bersick, 2007, Does repetition engender the same retrieval processes in young and older adults? NeuroReport, Vol. 18, pp. 1837-1840). To test the hypothesis that older adults' well-documented episodic retrieval deficit is related to reduced pLIPFC activity at encoding, we used a novel divided attention task in healthy young adults that was specifically timed to disrupt encoding in either the 1st or 2nd half of a 300- to 1,400-ms interval. The results showed that diverting resources for 550 ms during either half of this interval reproduced the 4 characteristic aspects of the older participants' retrieval performance: normal semantic retrieval during encoding, reduced subsequent episodic recognition and recall, reduced recollection-related ERP activity, and the presence of "compensatory" brain activity. We conclude that part of older adults' episodic memory deficit is attributable to altered pLIPFC activity during encoding due to reduced levels of available processing resources. Moreover, the findings also provide insights into the nature and timing of the putative "compensatory" processes posited to be used by older adults in an attempt to compensate for age-related decline in cognitive function. These results support the scaffolding account of compensation, in which the

  5. The effect of performing a dual-task on postural control and selective attention of older adults when stepping backward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, William Wai-Nam; Chan, Vito Wai-Lok; Wong, Henry Hei; Yip, Tony Wai-Cheong; Lu, Xi

    2016-10-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of the study was to investigate the postural control and cognitive performance of older adults when stepping backward with and without a concurrent cognitive task. [Subjects and Methods] Thirty young adults and twenty-eight older adults (mean age=21.3 ± 1.2 and 72.2 ± 5.7 years, respectively) were recruited. Participants were asked to step backward and then maintain a single-leg stance for 10 seconds with and without a concurrent auditory response task. The reaction time and error rate while performing the cognitive task were recorded. Postural stability after stepping back was measured in terms of total sway path and total sway area. [Results] The older subjects had significantly longer reaction times and higher error rates in both single- and dual-tasking. When dual-tasking, both groups had significantly longer reaction times than when single-tasking. Only the older adults showed significantly higher error rates. The older adults also had significantly longer total sway paths and larger total sway areas of single-leg stance after stepping back. Neither group showed a significant difference in total sway path and sway area between single- and dual-tasking. [Conclusion] Older adults have poorer cognitive performance and postural stability during both single- and dual-tasking. They tend to prioritize postural control over cognition in dual-tasking.

  6. Active listening impairs visual perception and selectivity: an ERP study of auditory dual-task costs on visual attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gherri, Elena; Eimer, Martin

    2011-04-01

    The ability to drive safely is disrupted by cell phone conversations, and this has been attributed to a diversion of attention from the visual environment. We employed behavioral and ERP measures to study whether the attentive processing of spoken messages is, in itself, sufficient to produce visual-attentional deficits. Participants searched for visual targets defined by a unique feature (Experiment 1) or feature conjunction (Experiment 2), and simultaneously listened to narrated text passages that had to be recalled later (encoding condition), or heard backward-played speech sounds that could be ignored (control condition). Responses to targets were slower in the encoding condition, and ERPs revealed that the visual processing of search arrays and the attentional selection of target stimuli were less efficient in the encoding relative to the control condition. Results demonstrate that the attentional processing of visual information is impaired when concurrent spoken messages are encoded and maintained, in line with cross-modal links in selective attention, but inconsistent with the view that attentional resources are modality-specific. The distraction of visual attention by active listening could contribute to the adverse effects of cell phone use on driving performance.

  7. Memory-driven attentional capture reveals the waxing and waning of working memory activation due to dual-task interference

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sasin, Edyta; Nieuwenstein, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that information held in working memory (WM) actively or as a residue of previous processing can lead to attentional capture by corresponding stimuli in the environment. Here, we compared attentional capture by goal-driven and residual WM activation and exam- ined how

  8. Attention and gaze shifting in dual-task and go/no-go performance with vocal responding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lamers, M.J.M.; Roelofs, A.P.A.

    2011-01-01

    Evidence from go/no-go performance on the Eriksen flanker task with manual responding suggests that individuals gaze at stimuli just as long as needed to identify them (e.g.. Sanders, 1998). In contrast, evidence from dual-task performance with vocal responding suggests that gaze shifts occur after

  9. Comparing Auditory Noise Treatment with Stimulant Medication on Cognitive Task Performance in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Results from a Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Söderlund, Göran B W; Björk, Christer; Gustafsson, Peik

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has shown that acoustic white noise (80 dB) can improve task performance in people with attention deficits and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This is attributed to the phenomenon of stochastic resonance in which a certain amount of noise can improve performance in a brain that is not working at its optimum. We compare here the effect of noise exposure with the effect of stimulant medication on cognitive task performance in ADHD. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of auditory noise exposure with stimulant medication for ADHD children on a cognitive test battery. A group of typically developed children (TDC) took the same tests as a comparison. Twenty children with ADHD of combined or inattentive subtypes and twenty TDC matched for age and gender performed three different tests (word recall, spanboard and n-back task) during exposure to white noise (80 dB) and in a silent condition. The ADHD children were tested with and without central stimulant medication. In the spanboard- and the word recall tasks, but not in the 2-back task, white noise exposure led to significant improvements for both non-medicated and medicated ADHD children. No significant effects of medication were found on any of the three tasks. This pilot study shows that exposure to white noise resulted in a task improvement that was larger than the one with stimulant medication thus opening up the possibility of using auditory noise as an alternative, non-pharmacological treatment of cognitive ADHD symptoms.

  10. Comparing Auditory Noise Treatment with Stimulant Medication on Cognitive Task Performance in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Results from a Pilot Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Göran B W Söderlund

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Recent research has shown that acoustic white noise (80 dB can improve task performance in people with attention deficits and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD. This is attributed to the phenomenon of stochastic resonance in which a certain amount of noise can improve performance in a brain that is not working at its optimum. We compare here the effect of noise exposure with the effect of stimulant medication on cognitive task performance in ADHD. The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of auditory noise exposure with stimulant medication for ADHD children on a cognitive test battery. A group of typically developed children (TDC took the same tests as a comparison.Methods: Twenty children with ADHD of combined or inattentive subtypes and twenty typically developed children matched for age and gender performed three different tests (word recall, spanboard and n-back task during exposure to white noise (80 dB and in a silent condition. The ADHD children were tested with and without central stimulant medication.Results: In the spanboard- and the word recall tasks, but not in the 2-back task, white noise exposure led to significant improvements for both non-medicated and medicated ADHD children. No significant effects of medication were found on any of the three tasks.Conclusion: This pilot study shows that exposure to white noise resulted in a task improvement that was larger than the one with stimulant medication thus opening up the possibility of using auditory noise as an alternative, non-pharmacological treatment of cognitive ADHD symptoms.

  11. Methylphenidate normalises activation and functional connectivity deficits in attention and motivation networks in medication-naïve children with ADHD during a rewarded continuous performance task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubia, Katya; Halari, Rozmin; Cubillo, Ana; Mohammad, Abdul-Majeed; Brammer, Mick; Taylor, Eric

    2009-12-01

    Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have deficits in motivation and attention that can be ameliorated with the indirect dopamine agonist Methylphenidate (MPH). We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the effects of MPH in medication-naïve children with ADHD on the activation and functional connectivity of "cool" attentional as well as "hot" motivation networks. 13 medication-naïve children with ADHD were scanned twice, under either an acute clinical dose of MPH or Placebo, in a randomised, double-blind design, while they performed a rewarded continuous performance task that measured vigilant selective attention and the effects of reward. Brain activation and functional connectivity was compared to that of 13 healthy age-matched controls to test for normalisation effects of MPH. MPH normalised performance deficits that were observed in children with ADHD compared to controls. Under placebo, children with ADHD showed reduced activation and functional inter-connectivity in bilateral fronto-striato-parieto-cerebellar networks during the attention condition, but enhanced activation in the orbitofrontal and superior temporal cortices for reward. MPH within children with ADHD enhanced the activation of fronto-striato-cerebellar and parieto-temporal regions. Compared to controls, MPH normalised differences during vigilant attention in parieto-temporal activation and fronto-striatal and fronto-cerebellar connectivity; MPH also normalised the enhanced orbitofrontal activation in children with ADHD in response to reward. MPH normalised attention differences between children with ADHD and controls by both up-regulation of dysfunctional fronto-striato-thalamo-cerebellar and parieto-temporal attention networks and down-regulation of hyper-sensitive orbitofrontal activation for reward processing. MPH thus shows context-dependent dissociative modulation of both motivational and attentional neuro-functional networks in

  12. Deficits in Sustained Attention and Changes in Dopaminergic Protein Levels following Exposure to Proton Radiation Are Related to Basal Dopaminergic Function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine M Davis

    Full Text Available The current report assessed the effects of low-level proton irradiation in inbred adult male Fischer 344 and Lewis rats performing an analog of the human Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT, commonly utilized as an object risk assessment tool to quantify fatigue and sustained attention in laboratory, clinical, and operational settings. These strains were used to determine if genetic differences in dopaminergic function would impact radiation-induced deficits in sustained attention. Exposure to head-only proton irradiation (25 or 100 cGy disrupted rPVT performance in a strain-specific manner, with 25 cGy-exposed Fischer 344 rats displaying the most severe deficits in sustained attention (i.e., decreased accuracy and increased premature responding; Lewis rats did not display behavioral deficits following radiation. Fischer 344 rats displayed greater tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter levels in the frontal cortex compared to the Lewis rats, even though radiation exposure increased both of these proteins in the Lewis rats only. Tyrosine hydroxylase was decreased in the parietal cortex of both rat strains following radiation exposure, regardless of proton dose. Strain-specific cytokine changes were also found in the frontal cortex, with the Lewis rats displaying increased levels of putative neurotrophic cytokines (e.g., CNTF. These data support the hypothesis that basal dopaminergic function impacts the severity of radiation-induced deficits in sustained attention.

  13. 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

    2017-01-01

    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…

  14. Aggregated effects of combining daily milk consumption and aerobic exercise on short-term memory and sustained attention among female students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leong, In-Tyng; Moghadam, Sedigheh; Hashim, Hairul A

    2015-02-01

    Regular aerobic exercise and milk consumption have been found to have positive effects on certain cognitive functions such as short-term memory and sustained attention. However, aggregated effects of combining these modalities have not been explored. This study examined the combined effects of milk supplementation and aerobic exercise on the short-term memory and sustained attention of female students aged 16 yr. (N = 81). The intervention involved serving of 250 ml of regular milk during school days and/or a 1-hr. aerobic exercise period twice per week for 6 weeks. The Digit Span Test and Digit Vigilance Test were used to measure short-term memory and sustained attention, respectively. The combination group (milk and exercise) and exercise group performed significantly better than did the milk and control groups in terms of short-term memory. No significant interaction or group differences were found for sustained attention. The results suggest benefits of regular exercise for students' short-term memory.

  15. Students with Attention Deficit Disorder Carrying out Tasks of Reading Comprehension and Text Production: A Comparative Study in 4th-Grade Students of Primary Education in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabián Andrés Inostroza-Inostroza

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The present article aims to compare the performance in students with Attention Deficit Disorder to those who do not present it, in tasks of reading comprehension and text production carried out by students attending the fourth grade of primary education. This quantitative, non-experimental comparative study aims to provide evidence regarding the way in which this condition limits the learning outcomes in the tasks of comprehension and production of texts, language, and communication. One the main findings of this research was that students with attention deficit disorder showed lower reading comprehension performance than their peers who do not presented this diagnosis. This same tendency was observed in the results of the texts production tasks. This implies that the disorder affecting the attention in students with it interferes in the process of language learning. This generates challenges and new questions for those who do research in this topic; and for the case of teachers, it presents new challenges when planning the teaching in order to adapt it to the specific requirements of these students in the area of language.

  16. Impaired choice stepping in response to a visual-spatial attention demanding task among older adults at high risk of falling: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uemura, Kazuki; Yamada, Minoru; Nagai, Koutatsu; Tanaka, Buichi; Mori, Shuhei

    2012-08-01

    Impairment in visual-spatial attention can cause difficulties in planning and guiding movements, leading to falls in older adults .The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between visual-spatial attention during movement and the risk of falling in older adults. Thirty-six elderly volunteers (mean age, 73.2±6.8 years) performed a rapid choice stepping task in response to flanker task stimuli. Step errors in congruent or incongruent conditions were recorded as a measure of the accuracy of choice stepping. Four clinical measurements were also assessed: 10-min walking time, timed up and go test, functional reach test and 5- chair stand test. High-risk (HR) participants showed a significantly higher rate of step errors in the incongruent condition than low-risk (LR) ones (HR: 55.5%, LR: 18.5%; p =0.032). Step error in the incongruent condition [odds ratio (OR)=5.5; p=0.041] was the only independent variable which remained significant in the final step of the logistic regression model. Impaired choice stepping in response to a visual-spatial attention-demanding task was associated with the risk of falling in older adults.

  17. Sustainability of Long-term Care: Puzzling Tasks Ahead for Policy-Makers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosca, Ilaria; van der Wees, Philip J; Mot, Esther S; Wammes, Joost J G; Jeurissen, Patrick P T

    2016-08-17

    The sustainability of long-term care (LTC) is a prominent policy priority in many Western countries. LTC is one of the most pressing fiscal issues for the growing population of elderly people in the European Union (EU) Member States. Country recommendations regarding LTC are prominent under the EU's European Semester. This paper examines challenges related to the financial- and organizational sustainability of LTC systems in the EU. We combined a targeted literature review and a descriptive selected country analysis of: (1) public- and private funding; (2) informal care and externalities; and (3) the possible role of technology in increasing productivity. Countries were selected via purposive sampling to establish a cohort of country cases covering the spectrum of differences in LTC systems: public spending, private funding, informal care use, informal care support, and cash benefits. The aging of the population, the increasing gap between availability of informal care and demand for LTC, substantial market failures of private funding for LTC, and fiscal imbalances in some countries, have led to structural reforms and enduring pressures for LTC policy-makers across the EU. Our exploration of national policies illustrates different solutions that attempt to promote fairness while stimulating efficient delivery of services. Important steps must be taken to address the sustainability of LTC. First, countries should look deeper into the possibilities of complementing public- and private funding, as well as at addressing market failures of private funding. Second, informal care externalities with spill-over into neighboring policy areas, the labor force, and formal LTC workers, should be properly addressed. Thirdly, innovations in LTC services should be stimulated to increase productivity through technology and process innovations, and to reduce costs. The analysis shows why it is difficult for EU Member State governments to meet all their goals for sustainable LTC

  18. Sustainability of Long-term Care: Puzzling Tasks Ahead for Policy-Makers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilaria Mosca

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background The sustainability of long-term care (LTC is a prominent policy priority in many Western countries. LTC is one of the most pressing fiscal issues for the growing population of elderly people in the European Union (EU Member States. Country recommendations regarding LTC are prominent under the EU’s European Semester. Methods This paper examines challenges related to the financial- and organizational sustainability of LTC systems in the EU. We combined a targeted literature review and a descriptive selected country analysis of: (1 public- and private funding; (2 informal care and externalities; and (3 the possible role of technology in increasing productivity. Countries were selected via purposive sampling to establish a cohort of country cases covering the spectrum of differences in LTC systems: public spending, private funding, informal care use, informal care support, and cash benefits. Results The aging of the population, the increasing gap between availability of informal care and demand for LTC, substantial market failures of private funding for LTC, and fiscal imbalances in some countries, have led to structural reforms and enduring pressures for LTC policy-makers across the EU. Our exploration of national policies illustrates different solutions that attempt to promote fairness while stimulating efficient delivery of services. Important steps must be taken to address the sustainability of LTC. First, countries should look deeper into the possibilities of complementing public- and private funding, as well as at addressing market failures of private funding. Second, informal care externalities with spill-over into neighboring policy areas, the labor force, and formal LTC workers, should be properly addressed. Thirdly, innovations in LTC services should be stimulated to increase productivity through technology and process innovations, and to reduce costs. Conclusion The analysis shows why it is difficult for EU Member State

  19. Effects of Classroom-Based Physical Activities on Off-Task Behaviors and Attention: Kindergarten Case Study

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sara E Wiebelhaus; Michelle Fryer Hanson

    2016-01-01

      The qualitative case study's purpose was to determine if classroom-based physical activities would affect student off-task behaviors during instruction and students' perceptions of ability to focus...

  20. Consumer Perception of Online Advertising - The Effects of Animation, Ad Characteristics, Repetition and Task Relevancy on Attention and Memory

    OpenAIRE

    Kuisma, Jarmo

    2015-01-01

    Prior advertising research on advertising perception models has mainly focused on effects that occur after consumers have been exposed to advertising stimuli. Little research has examined how consumers are exposed to advertising and the quality of visual attention during advertising exposure. This doctoral dissertation examines how consumers allocate their visual attention to online ads and how consumers memorize ads in different viewing conditions. More precisely, the dissertation focuses on...

  1. Attending to quadrants and ring-shaped regions: ERP effects of visual attention in different spatial selection tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eimer, M

    1999-07-01

    Attentional modulations of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured when subjects were cued to attend to a visual quadrant or to a ring-shaped region of visual space to detect infrequently presented targets within the attended region. Spatial attention directed to quadrants was reflected in modulations of sensory-evoked P1 and N1 components at lateral posterior sites and enhanced negativities (Nds) at midline electrodes that started around 150 ms poststimulus. When attention was directed to ring-shaped regions, no modulations of P1 and N1 amplitudes were found, and Nd effects observed at midline electrodes were delayed by about 50 ms. These findings indicate that behavioral effects observed both when attention is directed to contiguous regions and to general areas of visual space may be caused by different underlying processes. Intraperceptual "sensory gating" mechanisms operating in a way suggested by the notion of an attentional "zoom-lens" may be responsible for the selection of single regions, quadrants, or hemifields. When relevant regions are more complex, spatial selectivity will affect primarily postperceptual processes.

  2. Resting cardiac vagal tone predicts intraindividual reaction time variability during an attention task in a sample of young and healthy adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, DeWayne P; Thayer, Julian F; Koenig, Julian

    2016-12-01

    Intraindividual reaction time variability (IIV), defined as the variability in trial-to-trial response times, is thought to serve as an index of central nervous system function. As such, greater IIV reflects both poorer executive brain function and cognitive control, in addition to lapses in attention. Resting-state vagally mediated heart rate variability (vmHRV), a psychophysiological index of self-regulatory abilities, has been linked with executive brain function and cognitive control such that those with greater resting-state vmHRV often perform better on cognitive tasks. However, research has yet to investigate the direct relationship between resting vmHRV and task IIV. The present study sought to examine this relationship in a sample of 104 young and healthy participants who first completed a 5-min resting-baseline period during which resting-state vmHRV was assessed. Participants then completed an attentional (target detection) task, where reaction time, accuracy, and trial-to-trial IIV were obtained. Results showed resting vmHRV to be significantly related to IIV, such that lower resting vmHRV predicted higher IIV on the task, even when controlling for several covariates (including mean reaction time and accuracy). Overall, our results provide further evidence for the link between resting vmHRV and cognitive control, and extend these notions to the domain of lapses in attention, as indexed by IIV. Implications and recommendations for future research on resting vmHRV and cognition are discussed. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  3. 'Sustainability does not quite get the attention it deserves': synergies and tensions in the sustainability frames of Australian food policy actors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevena, Helen; Kaldor, Jenny Claire; Downs, Shauna M

    2015-09-01

    The development of food policy is strongly influenced by the understanding and position actors adopt in their 'framing' of sustainability. The Australian Government developed a National Food Plan (2010-2013). In public consultations on the National Food Plan Green Paper, the government sought stakeholders' views on sustainability. The present study examined the way in which the food industry and civil society organizations framed sustainability in their submissions to the Green Paper. Submissions by food industry actors and civil society organizations were analysed using a framing matrix that examined positioning, drivers, underlying principles and policy solutions related to sustainability. Submissions were open coded and subsequently organized based on themes within the framing matrix. Australia. One hundred and twenty-four written submissions (1420 pages). While submissions from industry and civil society organizations often framed sustainability similarly, there were also major differences. Civil society organizations were more likely to make the link between the food supply and population health, while industry was more likely to focus on economic sustainability. Both viewed consumer demand as a driver of sustainability, welcomed the idea of a whole-of-government approach and stressed the need for investment in research and development to improve productivity and sustainable farming practices. The meaning of sustainability shifted throughout the policy process. There are opportunities for creating shared value in food policy, where the health, environment and economic dimensions of sustainability can be compatible. However, despite pockets of optimism there is a need for a shared vision of sustainability if Australia is to have a food policy integrating these dimensions.

  4. Spotting from The Rightmost Deep: A Temporal Field Advantage in A Behavioural Task of Attention And Filtering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Germán Gálvez-García

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available During the past decades, animal and human physiological studies have suggested that subcortical structures that are part of the extrageniculate pathways have an important role to play in the attentive selection of targets and the filtering of distractors. However, not much has been done to investigate the filtering of distractors in purely behavioural experiments through cues that might reveal extrageniculate functions, such as the asymmetry in performance between the nasal and the temporal visual fields. Here, under monocular conditions, participants viewed laterally and tachistoscopically presented sets of visual stimuli and were required to decide whether a target was present in the set or not. The manipulation of attention demands was achieved by varying the degree of spatial organization of the stimuli. A temporal field advantage in detection accuracy was found, and was observed only for disorganised sets of stimuli, that is, when demands on attention were greater. Furthermore, this pattern was found only for stimuli projected to the right hemisphere. The results suggest that the extrageniculate pathways of the right hemisphere in humans are involved in filtering out distractors. They are discussed in light of findings and theories about extrageniculate mediation of selective attention.

  5. Time Reproduction in Finger Tapping Tasks by Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and/or Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiffin-Richards, Margaret C.; Hasselhorn, Marcus; Richards, Michael L.; Banaschewski, Tobias; Rothenberger, Aribert

    2004-01-01

    Aim: Deficits in timing and sequencing behaviour in children with dyslexia and with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder have already been identified. However many studies have not controlled for comorbidity between dyslexia and ADHD. This study investigated timing performance of children with either dyslexia or ADHD, or ADHD + dyslexia or…

  6. A short physical activity break from cognitive tasks increases selective attention in primary school children aged 10-11

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, M.; Chin A Paw, M.J.M.; Rauh, S.P.; Toussaint, H.M.; van Mechelen, W.; Verhagen, E.A.L.M.

    2014-01-01

    Importance Evidence for an acute effect of physical activity on cognitive performance within the school setting is limited. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into acute effects of a short physical activity bout on selective attention in primary school children, specifically in the school

  7. Evaluation of Planning Dysfunction in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorders Using the Zoo Map Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salcedo-Marin, M. D.; Moreno-Granados, J. M.; Ruiz-Veguilla, M.; Ferrin, M.

    2013-01-01

    Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorders (ADHD) and Autistic-Spectrum-Disorders (ASD) share overlapping clinical and cognitive features that may confuse the diagnosis. Evaluation of executive problems and planning dysfunction may aid the clinical diagnostic process and help disentangle the neurobiological process underlying these conditions. This…

  8. Selective attention and error processing in an illusory conjunction task - An event-related brain potential study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wijers, AA; Boksem, MAS

    2005-01-01

    We recorded event-related potentials in an illusory conjunction task, in which subjects were cued on each trial to search for a particular colored letter in a subsequently presented test array, consisting of three different letters in three different colors. In a proportion of trials the target

  9. Difference in Perseverative Errors during a Visual Attention Task with Auditory Distractors in Alpha-9 Nicotinic Receptor Subunit Wild Type and Knock-Out Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pascal Jorratt

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The auditory efferent system is a neural network that originates in the auditory cortex and projects to the cochlear receptor through olivocochlear (OC neurons. Medial OC neurons make cholinergic synapses with outer hair cells (OHCs through nicotinic receptors constituted by α9 and α10 subunits. One of the physiological functions of the α9 nicotinic receptor subunit (α9-nAChR is the suppression of auditory distractors during selective attention to visual stimuli. In a recent study we demonstrated that the behavioral performance of alpha-9 nicotinic receptor knock-out (KO mice is altered during selective attention to visual stimuli with auditory distractors since they made less correct responses and more omissions than wild type (WT mice. As the inhibition of the behavioral responses to irrelevant stimuli is an important mechanism of the selective attention processes, behavioral errors are relevant measures that can reflect altered inhibitory control. Errors produced during a cued attention task can be classified as premature, target and perseverative errors. Perseverative responses can be considered as an inability to inhibit the repetition of an action already planned, while premature responses can be considered as an index of the ability to wait or retain an action. Here, we studied premature, target and perseverative errors during a visual attention task with auditory distractors in WT and KO mice. We found that α9-KO mice make fewer perseverative errors with longer latencies than WT mice in the presence of auditory distractors. In addition, although we found no significant difference in the number of target error between genotypes, KO mice made more short-latency target errors than WT mice during the presentation of auditory distractors. The fewer perseverative error made by α9-KO mice could be explained by a reduced motivation for reward and an increased impulsivity during decision making with auditory distraction in KO mice.

  10. Effects of bupropion sustained release on task-related EEG alpha activity in smokers: Individual differences in drug response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jian; Coppens, Ryan P; Rabinovich, Norka E; Gilbert, David G

    2017-02-01

    The mechanisms underlying bupropion's efficacy as an antidepressant and a smoking cessation aid are far from being fully characterized. The present study is the first to examine the effects of bupropion on visuospatial task-related parietal EEG alpha power asymmetry-an asymmetry that has previously been found to be associated with severity of depressive symptoms (i.e., the more depressive symptoms, the greater alpha power in the right vs. left parietal area [Henriques & Davidson, 1997; Rabe, Debener, Brocke, & Beauducel, 2005]). Participants, all of whom were smokers and none of whom were clinically depressed, were randomly assigned to the Placebo group (n = 79) or Bupropion group (n = 31) in a double-blind study. EEG during the performance of the visuospatial task was collected before and after 14 days on placebo or bupropion sustained-release capsules. Relative to the Placebo group, the Bupropion group (especially, the Bupropion subgroup who had a positive right versus left parietal alpha power asymmetry at pretreatment) had a reduction in the parietal alpha asymmetry (driven largely by a decrease in right parietal alpha power). These findings support the hypothesis that bupropion can induce changes in parietal EEG asymmetry that have been shown in previous literature to be associated with a reduction in depressive states and traits. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Using Goal Setting and Task Analysis to Enhance Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Joan

    2015-01-01

    Task-Based Language Learning and Teaching has received sustained attention from teachers and researchers for over thirty years. It is a well-established pedagogy that includes the following characteristics: major focus on authentic and real-world tasks, choice of linguistic resources by learners, and a clearly defined non-linguistic outcome. This…

  12. Brain wave correlates of attentional states: Event related potentials and quantitative EEG analysis during performance of cognitive and perceptual tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Frederick G.

    1993-01-01

    The increased use of automation in the cockpits of commercial planes has dramatically decreased the workload requirements of pilots, enabling them to function more efficiently and with a higher degree of safety. Unfortunately, advances in technology have led to an unexpected problem: the decreased demands on pilots have increased the probability of inducing 'hazardous states of awareness.' A hazardous state of awareness is defined as a decreased level of alertness or arousal which makes an individual less capable of reacting to unique or emergency types of situations. These states tend to be induced when an individual is not actively processing information. Under such conditions a person is likely to let his/her mind wander, either to internal states or to irrelevant external conditions. As a result, they are less capable of reacting quickly to emergency situations. Since emergencies are relatively rare, and since the high automated cockpit requires progressively decreasing levels of engagement, the probability of being seduced into a lowered state of awareness is increasing. This further decreases the readiness of the pilot to react to unique circumstances such as system failures. The HEM Lab at NASA-Langley Research Center has been studying how these states of awareness are induced and what the physiological correlates of these different states are. Specifically, they have been interested in studying electroencephalographic (EEG) measures of different states of alertness to determine if such states can be identified and, hopefully, avoided. The project worked on this summer involved analyzing the EEG and the event related potentials (ERP) data collected while subjects performed under two conditions. Each condition required subjects to perform a relatively boring vigilance task. The purpose of using these tasks was to induce a decreased state of awareness while still requiring the subject to process information. Each task involved identifying an infrequently

  13. Sustaining Nurse-Led Task-Shifting Strategies for Hypertension Control: A Concept Mapping Study to Inform Evidence-Based Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackstone, Sarah; Iwelunmor, Juliet; Plange-Rhule, Jacob; Gyamfi, Joyce; Quakyi, Nana Kofi; Ntim, Micheal; Ogedegbe, Gbenga

    2017-10-01

    The use of task-shifting is an increasingly widespread delivery approach for health interventions targeting prevention, treatment, and control of hypertension in adults living in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Addressing a gap in the literature, this research examined the sustainability of an ongoing task-shifting strategy for hypertension (TASSH) from the perspectives of community health nurses (CHNs) implementing the program. We used concept-mapping, a mixed-methods participatory approach to understand CHNs' perceptions of barriers and enablers to sustaining a task-shifting program. Participants responded to focal prompts, eliciting statements regarding perceived barriers and enablers to sustaining TASSH, and then rated these ideas based on importance to the research questions and feasibility to address. Twenty-eight community health nurses (21 women, 7 men) from the Ashanti region of Ghana completed the concept-mapping process. Factors influencing sustainability were grouped into five categories: Limited Drug Supply, Financial Support, Provision of Primary Health Care, Personnel Training, and Patient-Provider Communication. The limited supply of antihypertensive medication was considered by CHNs as the most important item to address, while providing training for intervention personnel was considered most feasible to address. This study's findings highlight the importance of examining nurses' perceptions of factors likely to influence the sustainability of evidence-based, task-shifting interventions. Nurses' perceptions can guide the widespread uptake and dissemination of these interventions in resource-limited settings. © 2017 Sigma Theta Tau International.

  14. Psychophysiological Correlates of Sexually and Non-Sexually Motivated Attention to Film Clips in a Workload Task

    OpenAIRE

    Sandra Carvalho; Jorge Leite; Santiago Galdo-Álvarez; Oscar F Gonçalves

    2011-01-01

    Some authors have speculated that the cognitive component (P3) of the Event-Related Potential (ERP) can function as a psychophysiological measure of sexual interest. The aim of this study was to determine if the P3 ERP component in a workload task can be used as a specific and objective measure of sexual motivation by comparing the neurophysiologic response to stimuli of motivational relevance with different levels of valence and arousal. A total of 30 healthy volunteers watched d...

  15. Music Recommendation System for Human Attention Modulation by Facial Recognition on a driving task: A Proof of Concept

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avila-Vázquez Roberto

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of music on driving process had been discussed in the context of driver assistance as an element of security and comfort. Throughout this document, we present the development of an audio recommender system for the use by drivers, based on facial expression analysis. This recommendation system has the objective of increasing the attention of the driver by the election of specific music pieces. For this pilot study, we start presenting an introduction to audio recommender systems and a brief explanation of the function of our facial expression analysis system. During the driving course the subjects (seven participants between 19 and 25 years old are stimulated with a chosen group of audio compositions and their facial expressions are captured via a camera mounted in the car's dashboard. Once the videos were captured and recollected, we proceeded to analyse them using the FACET™ module of the biometric capture platform iMotions™. This software provides us with the expression analysis of the subjects. Analysed data is postprocessed and the data obtained were modelled on a quadratic surface that was optimized based on the known cestrum and tempo of the songs and the average evidence of emotion. The results showed very different optimal points for each subject, that indicates different type of music for optimizing driving attention. This work is a first step for obtaining a music recommendation system capable to modulate subject attention while driving.

  16. Hippocampal volume and auditory attention on a verbal memory task with adult survivors of pediatric brain tumor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakar, Reema; King, Tricia Z; Morris, Robin; Na, Sabrina

    2015-03-01

    We examined the nature of verbal memory deficits and the possible hippocampal underpinnings in long-term adult survivors of childhood brain tumor. 35 survivors (M = 24.10 ± 4.93 years at testing; 54% female), on average 15 years post-diagnosis, and 59 typically developing adults (M = 22.40 ± 4.35 years, 54% female) participated. Automated FMRIB Software Library (FSL) tools were used to measure hippocampal, putamen, and whole brain volumes. The California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition (CVLT-II) was used to assess verbal memory. Hippocampal, F(1, 91) = 4.06, ηp² = .04; putamen, F(1, 91) = 11.18, ηp² = .11; and whole brain, F(1, 92) = 18.51, ηp² = .17, volumes were significantly lower for survivors than controls (p memory indices of auditory attention list span (Trial 1: F(1, 92) = 12.70, η² = .12) and final list learning (Trial 5: F(1, 92) = 6.01, η² = .06) were significantly lower for survivors (p Memory differences between survivors and controls are largely contingent upon auditory attention list span. Only hippocampal volume is associated with the auditory attention list span component of verbal memory. These findings are particularly robust for survivors treated with radiation. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

  17. Functional difference between sustained and transient modulations of cognitive control in the simon task: evidence from false alarm responses on no-go trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, Kunihiro; Takahashi, Shin'ya

    2013-01-01

    Cognitive control in response compatibility tasks is modulated by the task context. Two types of contextual modulations have been demonstrated; sustained (block-wise) and transient (trial-by-trial). Recent research suggests that these modulations have different underlying mechanisms. This study presents new evidence supporting this claim by comparing false alarm (FA) responses on no-go trials of the Simon task between the sustained and transient contexts. In Experiment 1, the sustained context was manipulated so that a block included a larger number of incongruent trials. Results showed that participants made more FA responses by the hand opposite to the stimulus location. This suggests a generation of response bias in which the task-irrelevant location information is utilized in a reversed manner (i.e., to respond with the right hand to a stimulus presented on the left side and vice versa). Next, Experiment 2 examined the effect of the transient context and found that overall FA rate was lower when a no-go trial was preceded by an incongruent trial than by a congruent trial, whereas such response bias as that shown in Experiment 1 was not demonstrated. This suggests that the transient conflict context enhances inhibition of the task-irrelevant process but does not make the task-irrelevant information actively usable. Based on these results, we propound two types of cognitive control modulations as adaptive behaviors: response biasing based on utilization of the task-irrelevant information under the sustained conflict context and transient enhancement of inhibition of the task-irrelevant process based on the online conflict monitoring.

  18. Dissociations between developmental dyslexias and attention deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukov, Limor; Friedmann, Naama; Shalev, Lilach; Khentov-Kraus, Lilach; Shalev, Nir; Lorber, Rakefet; Guggenheim, Revital

    2014-01-01

    We examine whether attention deficits underlie developmental dyslexia, or certain types of dyslexia, by presenting double dissociations between the two. We took into account the existence of distinct types of dyslexia and of attention deficits, and focused on dyslexias that may be thought to have an attentional basis: letter position dyslexia (LPD), in which letters migrate within words, attentional dyslexia (AD), in which letters migrate between words, neglect dyslexia, in which letters on one side of the word are omitted or substituted, and surface dyslexia, in which words are read via the sublexical route. We tested 110 children and adults with developmental dyslexia and/or attention deficits, using extensive batteries of reading and attention. For each participant, the existence of dyslexia and the dyslexia type were tested using reading tests that included stimuli sensitive to the various dyslexia types. Attention deficit and its type was established through attention tasks assessing sustained, selective, orienting, and executive attention functioning. Using this procedure, we identified 55 participants who showed a double dissociation between reading and attention: 28 had dyslexia with normal attention and 27 had attention deficits with normal reading. Importantly, each dyslexia with suspected attentional basis dissociated from attention: we found 21 individuals with LPD, 13 AD, 2 neglect dyslexia, and 12 surface dyslexia without attention deficits. Other dyslexia types (vowel dyslexia, phonological dyslexia, visual dyslexia) also dissociated from attention deficits. Examination of 55 additional individuals with both a specific dyslexia and a certain attention deficit found no attention function that was consistently linked with any dyslexia type. Specifically, LPD and AD dissociated from selective attention, neglect dyslexia dissociated from orienting, and surface dyslexia dissociated from sustained and executive attention. These results indicate that

  19. Cyclic Variations in Sustained Human Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aue, William R.; Arruda, James E.; Kass, Steven J.; Stanny, Claudia J.

    2009-01-01

    Biological rhythms play a prominent role in the modulation of human physiology and behavior. [Smith, K., Valentino, D., & Arruda, J. (2003). "Rhythmic oscillations in the performance of a sustained attention task." "Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology," 25, 561-570] suggested that sustained human performance may systematically…

  20. A "virtually minimal" visuo-haptic training of attention in severe traumatic brain injury

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dvorkin, Assaf Y; Ramaiya, Milan; Larson, Eric B; Zollman, Felise S; Hsu, Nancy; Pacini, Sonia; Shah, Amit; Patton, James L

    2013-01-01

    .... We designed a "virtually minimal" approach using robot-rendered haptics in a virtual environment to train severely injured inpatients in the early stages of recovery to sustain attention to a visuo-motor task...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafaela Behs Jarros

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  3. Near-infrared spectroscopy assessment of divided visual attention task-invoked cerebral hemodynamics during prolonged true driving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ting; Zhao, Yue; Sun, Yunlong; Gao, Yuan; Su, Yu; Hetian, Yiyi; Chen, Min

    2015-03-01

    Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents. It is imperative to develop a technique to monitor fatigue of drivers in real situation. Near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is now capable of measuring brain functional activity noninvasively in terms of hemodynamic responses sensitively, which shed a light to us that it may be possible to detect fatigue-specified brain functional activity signal. We developed a sensitive, portable and absolute-measure fNIRS, and utilized it to monitor cerebral hemodynamics on car drivers during prolonged true driving. An odd-ball protocol was employed to trigger the drivers' visual divided attention, which is a critical function in safe driving. We found that oxyhemoglobin concentration and blood volume in prefrontal lobe dramatically increased with driving duration (stand for fatigue degree; 2-10 hours), while deoxyhemoglobin concentration increased to the top at 4 hours then decreased slowly. The behavior performance showed clear decrement only after 6 hours. Our study showed the strong potential of fNIRS combined with divided visual attention protocol in driving fatigue degree monitoring. Our findings indicated the fNIRS-measured hemodynamic parameters were more sensitive than behavior performance evaluation.

  4. Alternative aviation jet fuel sustainability evaluation report - task 3 : sustainability criteria and rating systems for the use in aircraft alternative fuel supply chain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-31

    This report identifies criteria that can be used to evaluate the sustainability of biofuels introduced into the aviation fuel supply chain. It describes the inputs, criteria and outputs that can be used in a sustainability rating system. It identifie...

  5. Dissociations between developmental dyslexias and attention deficits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Limor eLukov

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We examine whether attention deficits underlie developmental dyslexia, or certain types of dyslexia, by presenting double dissociations between the two. We took into account the existence of distinct types of dyslexia and of attention deficits, and focused on dyslexias that may be thought to have an attentional basis: letter position dyslexia (LPD, in which letters migrate within words, attentional dyslexia (AD, in which letters migrate between words, neglect dyslexia, in which letters on one side of the word are omitted or substituted, and surface dyslexia, in which words are read via the sublexical route.We tested 110 children and adults with developmental dyslexia and/or attention deficits, using extensive batteries of reading and attention.For each participant, the existence of dyslexia and the dyslexia type were tested using reading tests that included stimuli sensitive to the various dyslexia types. Attention deficit and its type was established through attention tasks assessing sustained, selective, orienting, and executive attention functioning. Using this procedure,we identified 55 participants who showed a double dissociation between reading and attention: 28 had dyslexia with normal attention and 27 had attention deficits with normal reading.Each dyslexia with suspected attentional basis dissociated from attention:21 individuals with LPD,13 AD,2 neglect dyslexia,and 12 surface dyslexia. Other dyslexia types(vowel dyslexia, phonological dyslexia, visual dyslexia also dissociated from attention deficits.Examination of 55 additional individuals with both a specific dyslexia and a certain attention deficit found no attention function that was consistently linked with any dyslexia type.Specifically, LPD and AD dissociated from selective attention, neglect dyslexia dissociated from orienting, and surface dyslexia dissociated from sustained and executive attention. These results indicate that visuospatial attention deficits do not underlie

  6. The Effects of Low to Moderate Alcohol Consumption and Binge Drinking in Early Pregnancy on Selective and Sustained Attention in Five-Year-Old Children

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Underbjerg, Mette; Kesmodel, Ulrik Schiøler; Landrø, Nils Inge

    2012-01-01

    consumption, age, body mass index (BMI), parity, home environment, postnatal smoking in the home, child's health status, and indicators for hearing and vision impairments. Main outcome measures  TEACh-5 attention scores. Results  There were no significant effects on test performance in children of mothers......Please cite this paper as: Underbjerg M, Kesmodel U, Landrø N, Bakketeig L, Grove J, Wimberley T, Kilburn T, Svaerke C, Thorsen P, Mortensen E. The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on selective and sustained attention in 5-year-old children. BJOG...... 2012;119:1211-1221. Objective  The aim was to examine the effects of low to moderate maternal alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on children's attention at 5 years of age. Design  Prospective follow-up study. Setting  Neuropsychological testing in four Danish cities 2003...

  7. A novel variable delay Go/No-Go task to study attention, motivation and working memory in the head-fixed rodent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolzani, Samuel D; Nakamura, Shinya; Cooper, Donald C

    2013-01-01

    In order to parse the causal elements underlying complex behaviors and decision-making processes, appropriate behavioral methods must be developed and used in concurrence with molecular, pharmacological, and electrophysiological approaches. Presented is a protocol for a novel Go/No-Go behavioral paradigm to study the brain attention and motivation/reward circuitry in awake, head-restrained rodents. This experimental setup allows: (1) Pharmacological and viral manipulation of various brain regions via targeted guide cannula; (2) Optogenetic cell-type specific activation and silencing with simultaneous electrophysiological recording and; (3) Repeated electrophysiological single and multiple unit recordings during ongoing behavior. The task consists of three components. The subject first makes an observing response by initiating a trial by lever pressing in response to distinctive Go or No-Go tones.  Then, after a variable delay period, the subject is presented with a challenge period cued by white noise during which they must respond with a lever press for the Go condition or withhold from lever pressing for the duration of the cue in the No-Go condition. After correctly responding during the challenge period (Challenge) and a brief delay, a final reward tone of the same frequency as the initiation tone is presented and sucrose reward delivery is available and contingent upon lever pressing. Here, we provide a novel procedure and validating data set that allows researchers to study and manipulate components of behavior such as attention, motivation, impulsivity, and reward-related working memory during an ongoing operant behavioral task while limiting interference from non task-related behaviors.

  8. Boundary conditions for the influence of unfamiliar non-target primes in unconscious evaluative priming: The moderating role of attentional task sets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, Markus; Sim, Eun-Jim; Wentura, Dirk

    2015-09-01

    Evaluative priming by masked emotional stimuli that are not consciously perceived has been taken as evidence that affective stimulus evaluation can also occur unconsciously. However, as masked priming effects were small and frequently observed only for familiar primes that there also presented as visible targets in an evaluative decision task, priming was thought to reflect primarily response activation based on acquired S-R associations and not evaluative semantic stimulus analysis. The present study therefore assessed across three experiments boundary conditions for the emergence of masked evaluative priming effects with unfamiliar primes in an evaluative decision task and investigated the role of the frequency of target repetition on priming with pictorial and verbal stimuli. While familiar primes elicited robust priming effects in all conditions, priming effects by unfamiliar primes were reliably obtained for low repetition (pictures) or unrepeated targets (words), but not for targets repeated at a high frequency. This suggests that unfamiliar masked stimuli only elicit evaluative priming effects when the task set associated with the visible target involves evaluative semantic analysis and is not based on S-R triggered responding as for high repetition targets. The present results therefore converge with the growing body of evidence demonstrating attentional control influences on unconscious processing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Impaired performance on advanced Theory of Mind tasks in children with epilepsy is related to poor communication and increased attention problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunn, Judith; Lewis, Charlie; Sherlock, Christopher

    2015-02-01

    Children with epilepsy (CWE) have social difficulties that can persist into adulthood, and this could be related to problems with understanding others' thoughts, feelings, and intentions. This study assessed children's ability to interpret and reason on mental and emotional states (Theory of Mind) and examined the relationships between task scores and reports of communication and behavior. Performance of 56 CWE (8-16years of age) with below average IQ (n=17) or an average IQ (n=39) was compared with that of 62 healthy controls with an average IQ (6-16years of age) on cognition, language, and two advanced Theory of Mind (ToM) tasks that required children to attribute mental or emotional states to eye regions and to reason on internal mental states in order to explain behavior. The CWE-below average group were significantly poorer in both ToM tasks compared with controls. The CWE - average group showed a significantly poorer ability to reason on mental states in order to explain behavior, a difference that remained after accounting for lower IQ and language deficits. Poor ToM skills were related to increased communication and attention problems in both CWE groups. There is a risk for atypical social understanding in CWE, even for children with average cognitive function. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. "Hunting with a knife and ... fork": examining central coherence in autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and typical development with a linguistic task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booth, Rhonda; Happé, Francesca

    2010-12-01

    A local processing bias, referred to as "weak central coherence," has been postulated to underlie key aspects of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Little research has examined whether individual differences in this cognitive style can be found in typical development, independent of intelligence, and how local processing relates to executive control. We present a brief and easy-to-administer test of coherence requiring global sentence completions. We report results from three studies assessing (a) 176 typically developing (TD) 8- to 25-year-olds, (b) individuals with ASD and matched controls, and (c) matched groups with ASD or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The results suggest that the Sentence Completion Task can reveal individual differences in cognitive style unrelated to IQ in typical development, that most (but not all) people with ASD show weak coherence on this task, and that performance is not related to inhibitory control. The Sentence Completion Task was found to be a useful test instrument, capable of tapping local processing bias in a range of populations. (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Reduced Prefrontal Cortex Activation in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder during Go/No-Go Task: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuo Miao

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD is one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders in children and affects 3 to 5% of school-aged children. This study is to demonstrate whether functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS can detect the changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin (oxy-HB in children with ADHD and typically developing children (TD children.Method: In this study, 14 children with ADHD and 15 TD children were studied. Metabolic signals of functional blood oxygen were recorded by using fNIRS during go/no-go task. A statistic method is used to compare the fNIRS between the ADHD children and controls.Results: A significant oxy-HB increase in the left frontopolar cortex (FPC in control subjects but not in children with ADHD during inhibitory tasks. Moreover, ADHD children showed reduced activation in left FPC relative to TD children.Conclusion: Functional brain imaging using fNIRS showed reduced activation in the left prefrontal cortex (PFC of children with ADHD during the inhibition task. The fNIRS could be a promising tool for differentiating children with ADHD and TD children.

  12. Event-related variations in alpha band activity during an attentional task in preadolescents: Effects of morning nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivik, R T; Dykman, R A

    2007-03-01

    Event-related desynchronization and synchronization (ERD/ERS) methodology was used to study interactions between nutrition, brain function, cognition and behavior in children who ate or skipped breakfast after overnight fasting. Healthy preadolescents performed a cued visual Go/No-Go RT task after overnight fasting (Phase 1) and again (Phase 2) after eating breakfast (n=30) or continuing to fast (n=30). ERS and ERD determinations (8-10, 10-12Hz; frontal, central, parietal, occipital sites) and measures of sleep (overnight actigraphy) and blood glucose (finger sticks) were obtained. Feeding increased blood glucose, but the groups were similar in sleep amount and response accuracy. Between-phase comparisons showed slower RT and increased alpha synchronization in fasting subjects, but little change in those who ate breakfast. Phase 2 group differences emphasized greater frontal early ERS and late frontal-central ERD in Fed subjects. In preadolescents a brief extension of overnight fasting resulted in significant changes in brain activity and behavior that were effectively countered by eating breakfast. Delaying breakfast until mid-morning appeared to have introduced fasting effects that attenuated responses in Fed subjects. These findings show the sensitivity of brain function and behavior to subtle variations in nutritional status and argue for greater consideration of nutritional variables in neurobehavioral studies.

  13. Sustained Auditory Attention Ability Test (SAAAT) in seven-year-old children with cleft lip and palate

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lemos, Isabel Cristina Cavalcanti; Feniman, Mariza Ribeiro

    2010-01-01

    Cleft lip and palate (CLP) is a risk indicator to middle ear alterations, which may damage the development of auditory abilities such as attention that is essential to learn new skills, oral and written communication...

  14. Sustained attention in school-age children with congenital hypothyroidism: Influence of episodes of overtreatment in the first three years of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García Morales, L; Rodríguez Arnao, M D; Rodríguez Sánchez, A; Dulín Íñiguez, E; Álvarez González, M A

    2017-11-20

    Children with congenital hypothyroidism (CH) are at risk of developing mild cognitive impairment despite normal overall intellectual performance. These deficits may be caused by disease-related and treatment-related factors. This study explores the impact of abnormal thyroid function during the first 3 years of life on attention performance at school age. We included 49 children diagnosed with CH and receiving treatment for the condition: 14 boys (mean age 9.5±2.8 years) and 35 girls (9.6±2.6 years). The number of episodes of normal, under-, and overtreatment were estimated based on TSH levels during their first 3 years of life (at 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 months). Children were assessed using a computerised version of a Sustained attention test. General linear models were calculated with the attention index as the dependent variable and sex, aetiology, and number of episodes of normal, under-, and overtreatment as independent variables. Higher numbers of episodes of overtreatment (low TSH level) were associated with poorer attention performance at school age (P=.005, r=-0.45). Children with CH should be monitored closely during the first 3 years of life in order to prevent not only hypothyroidism but also any adverse effects of overtreatment that may affect attentional function at school age. Copyright © 2017 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  15. Theta-band oscillatory activity differs between gamblers and nongamblers comorbid with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in a probabilistic reward-learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abouzari, Mehdi; Oberg, Scott; Tata, Matthew

    2016-10-01

    Problemgambling is thought to be comorbid with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We tested whether gamblers and ADHD patients exhibit similar reward-related brain activity in response to feedback in a gambling task. A series of brain electrical responses can be observed in the electroencephalogram (EEG) and the stimulus-locked event-related potentials (ERP), when participants in a gambling task are given feedback regardless of winning or losing the previous bet. Here, we used a simplified computerized version of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) to assess differences in reinforcement-driven choice adaptation between unmedicated ADHD patients with or without problem gambling traits and contrasted with a sex- and age-matched control group. EEG was recorded from the participants while they were engaged in the task which contained two choice options with different net payouts and win/loss probabilities. Learning trend which shows the ability to acquire and use knowledge of the reward outcomes to obtain a positive financial outcome was not observed in ADHD gamblers versus nongamblers. Induced theta-band (4-8Hz) power over frontal cortex was significantly higher in gamblers versus nongamblers in all different high-risk/low-risk win/lose conditions. Whereas induced low alpha (9-11Hz) power at frontal electrodes could only differentiate high-risk lose between gamblers and nongamblers but not the other three conditions between the two groups. The results indicate that ADHD nongamblers do not share with problem gamblers underlying deficits in reward learning. These pilot data highlight the need for studies of ADHD in gambling to elucidate how motivational states are represented during feedback processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Delta, theta, and alpha event-related oscillations in alcoholics during Go/NoGo task: Neurocognitive deficits in execution, inhibition, and attention processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ashwini K; Kamarajan, Chella; Manz, Niklas; Chorlian, David B; Stimus, Arthur; Porjesz, Bernice

    2016-02-04

    Higher impulsivity observed in alcoholics is thought to be due to neurocognitive functional deficits involving impaired inhibition in several brain regions and/or neuronal circuits. Event-related oscillations (EROs) offer time-frequency measure of brain rhythms during perceptual and cognitive processing, which provide a detailed view of neuroelectric oscillatory responses to external/internal events. The present study examines evoked power (temporally locked to events) of oscillatory brain signals in alcoholics during an equal probability Go/NoGo task, assessing their functional relevance in execution and inhibition of a motor response. The current study hypothesized that increases in the power of slow frequency bands and their topographical distribution is associated with tasks that have increased cognitive demands, such as the execution and inhibition of a motor response. Therefore, it is hypothesized that alcoholics would show lower spectral power in their topographical densities compared to controls. The sample consisted of 20 right-handed abstinent alcoholic males and 20 age and gender-matched healthy controls. Evoked delta (1.0-3.5Hz; 200-600ms), theta (4.0-7.5Hz; 200-400ms), slow alpha (8.0-9.5Hz; 200-300ms), and fast alpha (10.0-12.5Hz; 100-200ms) ERO power were compared across group and task conditions. Compared to controls, alcoholics had higher impulsiveness scores on the Barrett Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) and made more errors on Go trials. Alcoholics showed significantly lower evoked delta, theta, and slow alpha power compared to controls for both Go and NoGo task conditions, and lower evoked fast alpha power compared to controls for only the NoGo condition. The results confirm previous findings and are suggestive of neurocognitive deficits while executing and suppressing a motor response. Based on findings in the alpha frequency ranges, it is further suggested that the inhibitory processing impairments in alcoholics may arise from inadequate early

  17. Closed-loop training of attention with real-time brain imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    deBettencourt, Megan T; Cohen, Jonathan D; Lee, Ray F; Norman, Kenneth A; Turk-Browne, Nicholas B

    2015-03-01

    Lapses of attention can have negative consequences, including accidents and lost productivity. Here we used closed-loop neurofeedback to improve sustained attention abilities and reduce the frequency of lapses. During a sustained attention task, the focus of attention was monitored in real time with multivariate pattern analysis of whole-brain neuroimaging data. When indicators of an attentional lapse were detected in the brain, we gave human participants feedback by making the task more difficult. Behavioral performance improved after one training session, relative to control participants who received feedback from other participants' brains. This improvement was largest when feedback carried information from a frontoparietal attention network. A neural consequence of training was that the basal ganglia and ventral temporal cortex came to represent attentional states more distinctively. These findings suggest that attentional failures do not reflect an upper limit on cognitive potential and that attention can be trained with appropriate feedback about neural signals.

  18. Strength-balance supplemented with computerized cognitive training to improve dual task gait and divided attention in older adults: a multicenter randomized-controlled trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van het Reve, Eva; de Bruin, Eling D

    2014-12-15

    Exercise interventions often do not combine physical and cognitive training. However, this combination is assumed to be more beneficial in improving walking and cognitive functioning compared to isolated cognitive or physical training. A multicenter parallel randomized controlled trial was conducted to compare a motor to a cognitive-motor exercise program. A total of 182 eligible residents of homes-for-the-aged (n = 159) or elderly living in the vicinity of the homes (n = 23) were randomly assigned to either strength-balance (SB) or strength-balance-cognitive (SBC) training. Both groups conducted similar strength-balance training during 12 weeks. SBC additionally absolved computerized cognitive training. Outcomes were dual task costs of walking, physical performance, simple reaction time, executive functions, divided attention, fear of falling and fall rate. Participants were analysed with an intention to treat approach. The 182 participants (mean age ± SD: 81.5 ± 7.3 years) were allocated to either SB (n = 98) or SBC (n = 84). The attrition rate was 14.3%. Interaction effects were observed for dual task costs of step length (preferred walking speed: F(1,174) = 4.94, p = 0.028, η2 = 0.027, fast walking speed: F(1,166) = 6.14, p = 0.009, η2 = 0.040) and dual task costs of the standard deviation of step length (F(1,166) = 6.14, p = 0.014, η2 = 0.036), in favor of SBC. Significant interactions in favor of SBC revealed for in gait initiation (F(1,166) = 9.16, p = 0.003, η2 = 0.052), 'reaction time' (F(1,180) = 5.243, p = 0.023, η² = 0.028) & 'missed answers' (F(1,180) = 11.839, p = 0.001, η² = 0.062) as part of the test for divided attention. Within-group comparison revealed significant improvements in dual task costs of walking (preferred speed; velocity (p = 0.002), step time (p = 0.018), step length (p = 0.028), fast speed; velocity (p attention

  19. Distinct changes in CREB phosphorylation in frontal cortex and striatum during contingent and non-contingent performance of a visual attention task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirjana eCarli

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The cyclic-AMP response element binding protein (CREB family of transcription factors has been implicated in numerous forms of behavioural plasticity. We investigated CREB phosphorylation along some nodes of corticostriatal circuitry such as frontal cortex (FC and dorsal (caudate putamen, CPu and ventral (nucleus accumbens, NAC striatum in response to the contingent or non-contingent performance of the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT used to assess visuospatial attention. Three experimental manipulations were used; an attentional performance group (contingent, master, a group trained previously on the task but for whom the instrumental contingency coupling responding with stimulus detection and reward was abolished (non-contingent, yoked and a control group matched for food deprivation and exposure to the test apparatus (untrained. Rats trained on the 5-CSRTT (both master and yoked had higher levels of CREB protein in the FC, CPu and NAC compared to untrained controls. Despite the divergent behaviour of master and yoked rats CREB activity in the FC was not substantially different. In rats performing the 5-CSRTT (master, CREB activity was completely abolished in the CPu whereas in the NAC it remained unchanged. In contrast, CREB phosphorylation in CPu and NAC increased only when the contingency changed from goal-dependent to goal-independent reinforcement (yoked. The present results indicate that up-regulation of CREB protein expression across cortical and striatal regions possibly reflects the extensive instrumental learning and performance whereas increased CREB activity in striatal regions may signal the unexpected change in the relationship between instrumental action and reinforcement.

  20. Improvements in Concentration, Working Memory, and