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. . 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.
Richman, J E
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.
Chien, Y-L; Gau, S S-F; Shang, C-Y; Chiu, Y-N; Tsai, W-C; Wu, Y-Y
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.
Murphy, Cristina F B; Pagan-Neves, Luciana O; Wertzner, Haydée F; Schochat, Eliane
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.
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.
Rizzo, M; Robin, D A
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.
Engelmann, Jan B; Damaraju, Eswar; Padmala, Srikanth; Pessoa, Luiz
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.
Jan B Engelmann
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.
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.
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
Walter, Sabrina; Quigley, Cliodhna; Mueller, Matthias M
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.
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas
The nature of attention is one of the oldest and most central problems in psychology. A huge amount of research has been produced on this subject in the last half century, especially on attention in the visual modality, but a general explanation has remained elusive. Many still view attention...... research as a field that is fundamentally fragmented. This book takes a different perspective and presents a unified theory of visual attention: the TVA model. The TVA model explains the many aspects of visual attention by just two mechanisms for selection of information: filtering and pigeonholing....... These mechanisms are described in a set of simple equations, which allow TVA to mathematically model a large number of classical results in the attention literature. The theory explains psychological and neuroscientific findings by the same equations; TVA is a complete theory of visual attention, linking mind...
Habekost, Thomas; Starrfelt, Randi
Psychophysical studies have identified two distinct limitations of visual attention capacity: processing speed and apprehension span. Using a simple test, these cognitive factors can be analyzed by Bundesen's Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). The method has strong specificity and sensitivity...... to patient testing, and review existing TVA-based patient studies organized by lesion anatomy. Lesions in three anatomical regions affect visual capacity: The parietal lobes, frontal cortex and basal ganglia, and extrastriate cortex. Visual capacity thus depends on large, bilaterally distributed anatomical...... networks that include several regions outside the visual system. The two visual capacity parameters are functionally separable, but seem to rely on largely overlapping brain areas....
This work examines how a better understanding of visual perception and attention can impact visualization design. In a collection of studies, I explore how different levels of the visual system can measurably affect a variety of visualization metrics. The results show that expert preference, user performance, and even computational performance are…
Visual experience depends critically on visual attention, which selects a particular aspect of a visual display. Recent clinical, neuroimaging, and animal studies revealed that visual attention was divided into active and passive or top-down and bottom-up attention. Although these dichotomies are clear-cut in definition, visual attention could be modulated by many factors. Detailed observation of brain-injured patients provides with evidence for dynamic and fine control of visual attention. We observed patients with dorsal simultanagnosia and that with callosal disconnection syndrome. Patients with dorsal simultanagnosia demonstrated that extent of visual attention was dynamically changed depending on the level of visual processing. Despite the ability to read a kanji character and to describe its components correctly, a patient could not notice a component that he had just written and could not assemble individual components to make up a correct kanji character. He could point to an overlapping area of two figures. But once he started to color the overlapping area, he missed the margin of the area and colored much larger area. Another patient with dorsal simultanagnosia missed borderlines between columns of a newspaper and read letters continuously across columns. In contrast, he could point to lines between figures or meaningless patterns easily. These findings indicated that visual attention was directed automatically to meaningful characters. A patients with callosal disconnection syndrome demonstrated left unilateral spatial neglect only when he used his right hand to draw figures. Right hand movement, controlled by the left hemisphere, elicited visual attention to the right hemispace, resulting in the left unilateral spatial neglect. Thus visual attention is not simply top-down or bottom up, but is implicitly affected by the visual recognition as well as motor component of the task.
Gvozdenović Vasilije P.
Full Text Available The question whether visual perception is spontaneous, sudden or is running through several phases, mediated by higher cognitive processes, was raised ever since the early work of Gestalt psychologists. In the early 1980s, Treisman proposed the feature integration theory of attention (FIT, based on the findings of neuroscience. Soon after publishing her theory a new scientific approach appeared investigating several visual perception phenomena. The most widely researched were the key constructs of FIT, like types of visual search and the role of the attention. The following review describes the main studies of early vision and visual attention.
Fabricius, Charlotte; Petersen, Anders; Iversen, Helle K
Objective: Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere. However, attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed...... and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. We also relate these attentional parameters to visual word recognition, as previous studies have suggested that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Methods: Nine patients with MR-verified focal lesions in the PCA......-territory (four left PCA; four right PCA; one bilateral, all >1 year post stroke) were compared to 25 controls using single case statistics. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm allowing for hemifield-specific speed and span measurements. We also characterized visual field defects...
Wang, Lupeng; Krauzlis, Richard J
Visual selective attention is a fundamental cognitive ability that allows us to process relevant visual stimuli while ignoring irrelevant distracters and has been extensively studied in human and non-human primate subjects. Mice have emerged as a powerful animal model for studying aspects of the visual system but have not yet been shown to exhibit visual selective attention. Differences in the organization of the visual systems of primates and mice raise the possibility that selective visual attention might not be present in mice, at least not in the forms that are well established in primates. Here, we tested for selective visual attention in mice by using three behavioral paradigms adapted from classic studies of attention. In a Posner-style cueing task, a spatial cue indicated the probable location of the relevant visual event, and we found that accuracy was higher and reaction times were shorter on validly cued trials. In a cue versus no-cue task, an informative spatial cue was provided on half the trials, and mice had higher accuracy and shorter reaction times with spatial cues and also lower detection thresholds measured from psychometric curves. In a filter task, the spatial cue indicated the location of the relevant visual event, and we found that mice could be trained to ignore irrelevant but otherwise identical visual events at uncued locations. Together, these results demonstrate that mice exhibit visual selective attention, paving the way to use classic attention paradigms in mice to study the genetic and neuronal circuit mechanisms of selective attention. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Burk, Joshua A
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.
McAvinue, Laura P; Vangkilde, Signe; Johnson, Katherine A; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Bundesen, Claus; Robertson, Ian H
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.
Vision involves constant exploration of the environment by eye movements. Recent evidence suggests that a rhythmic form of exploration also occurs under covert attention, in the absence of eye movements. Sustained attention naturally fluctuates, with a periodicity in the theta (4-8 Hz) frequency range. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ATKINSON, JANETTE; BRADDICK, OLIVER
...: selective attention, sustained attention, and attentional (executive) control. These systems overlap with dorsal cortical visual streams and their disorders are related to the general hypothesis...
Chen, E Y; Lam, L C; Chen, R Y; Nguyen, D G; Chan, C K; Wilkins, A J
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.
Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius V
Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a preparatory phase before stimulus onset in which the attended dimension is internally represented. Here, we review neurophysiological, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies investigating the neural basis of preparatory attention, both when attention is directed to a location in space and when it is directed to nonspatial stimulus attributes (content-based attention) ranging from low-level features to object categories. Results show that both spatial and content-based attention lead to increased baseline activity in neural populations that selectively code for the attended attribute. TMS studies provide evidence that this preparatory activity is causally related to subsequent attentional selection and behavioral performance. Attention thus acts by preactivating selective neurons in the visual cortex before stimulus onset. This appears to be a general mechanism that can operate on multiple levels of representation. We discuss the functional relevance of this mechanism, its limitations, and its relation to working memory, imagery, and expectation. We conclude by outlining open questions and future directions. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.
Chelazzi, Leonardo; Perlato, Andrea; Santandrea, Elisa; Della Libera, Chiara
Visual selective attention is the brain function that modulates ongoing processing of retinal input in order for selected representations to gain privileged access to perceptual awareness and guide behavior. Enhanced analysis of currently relevant or otherwise salient information is often accompanied by suppressed processing of the less relevant or salient input. Recent findings indicate that rewards exert a powerful influence on the deployment of visual selective attention. Such influence takes different forms depending on the specific protocol adopted in the given study. In some cases, the prospect of earning a larger reward in relation to a specific stimulus or location biases attention accordingly in order to maximize overall gain. This is mediated by an effect of reward acting as a type of incentive motivation for the strategic control of attention. In contrast, reward delivery can directly alter the processing of specific stimuli by increasing their attentional priority, and this can be measured even when rewards are no longer involved, reflecting a form of reward-mediated attentional learning. As a further development, recent work demonstrates that rewards can affect attentional learning in dissociable ways depending on whether rewards are perceived as feedback on performance or instead are registered as random-like events occurring during task performance. Specifically, it appears that visual selective attention is shaped by two distinct reward-related learning mechanisms: one requiring active monitoring of performance and outcome, and a second one detecting the sheer association between objects in the environment (whether attended or ignored) and the more-or-less rewarding events that accompany them. Overall this emerging literature demonstrates unequivocally that rewards "teach" visual selective attention so that processing resources will be allocated to objects, features and locations which are likely to optimize the organism's interaction with the
The parietal lobe is an important key station in the network for selective attention. We found that spontaneous shift of visual attention, depending on task requirement, was impaired by parietal lobe lesions and confirmed the relationship between parietal lobes and visual attention with cortical electric stimulation. Patient 1. A 52-year-old, right-handed carpenter with a diagnosis of 'visual form' of Alzheimer disease showed marked kanji (logogram) agraphia and constructional impairment. Cerebral atrophy and hypoperfusion were observed in bilateral parietal lobes. He showed preserved form and color perception and an ability to describe spatial relationship among several items. In contrast, he could not copy or match them. He seemed to look at only the site he was drawing. Patient 2. A 77-year-old man with cerebral infarction in bilateral parietal lobes and right frontotemporal areas, demonstrated simultanagnosia and visuomotor ataxia. He readily named an object but could not describe a scene. Furthermore he noticed a line between sentences when they were written in English, but could not notice a line when sentences were written in Japanese. Cortical electric mapping, in two patients with subdural electrodes on the left or right parietal lobe, revealed circumscribed regions related to global/local attention shift or line bisection tasks.
Suzanne R. Jongman
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.
Healey, Christopher G; Enns, James T
A fundamental goal of visualization is to produce images of data that support visual analysis, exploration, and discovery of novel insights. An important consideration during visualization design is the role of human visual perception. How we "see" details in an image can directly impact a viewer's efficiency and effectiveness. This paper surveys research on attention and visual perception, with a specific focus on results that have direct relevance to visualization and visual analytics. We discuss theories of low-level visual perception, then show how these findings form a foundation for more recent work on visual memory and visual attention. We conclude with a brief overview of how knowledge of visual attention and visual memory is being applied in visualization and graphics. We also discuss how challenges in visualization are motivating research in psychophysics.
Now that the study of consciousness is warmly embraced by cognitive scientists, much confusion seems to arise between the concepts of visual attention and visual awareness. Often, visual awareness is equated to what is in the focus of attention. There are, however, two sets of arguments to separate
Summerfield, Christopher; Egner, Tobias
Visual cognition is limited by computational capacity, because the brain can process only a fraction of the visual sensorium in detail, and by the inherent ambiguity of the information entering the visual system. Two mechanisms mitigate these burdens: attention prioritizes stimulus processing on the basis of motivational relevance, and expectations constrain visual interpretation on the basis of prior likelihood. Of the two, attention has been extensively investigated while expectation has been relatively neglected. Here, we review recent work that has begun to delineate a neurobiology of visual expectation, and contrast the findings with those of the attention literature, to explore how these two central influences on visual perception overlap, differ and interact.
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.
Full Text Available Image captioning with a natural language has been an emerging trend. However, the social image, associated with a set of user-contributed tags, has been rarely investigated for a similar task. The user-contributed tags, which could reflect the user attention, have been neglected in conventional image captioning. Most existing image captioning models cannot be applied directly to social image captioning. In this work, a dual attention model is proposed for social image captioning by combining the visual attention and user attention simultaneously.Visual attention is used to compress a large mount of salient visual information, while user attention is applied to adjust the description of the social images with user-contributed tags. Experiments conducted on the Microsoft (MS COCO dataset demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method of dual attention.
Yoshiyuki Hirano; Minoru Onozuka
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 ...
Olivers, C.N.L.; Meijer, F.; Theeuwes, J.
In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly
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.
Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Onozuka, Minoru
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.
Van der Burg, Erik; Nieuwenstein, Mark R.; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N. L.
In the present study we investigated whether a task-irrelevant distractor can induce a visual attentional blink pattern. Participants were asked to detect only a visual target letter (A, B, or C) and to ignore the preceding auditory, visual, or audiovisual distractor. An attentional blink was
Mayo, J Patrick
The classical model of visual processing emphasizes the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) as the major intermediary between the retina and visual cortex. Yet, anatomical findings inspired Francis Crick to suggest an alternative model in which the thalamic reticular nucleus, which envelops the LGN, acts as the "guardian" of visual cortex by modulating LGN activity. Recent work by McAlonan and colleagues supports Crick's hypothesis, thereby enhancing our understanding of the early stages of visual processing.
When observers perform a visual search task, they are assumed to adopt an attentional set for what they are looking for. The present experiment investigates the influence of long-term visual memory associations on this attentional set. On each trial, observers were asked to search a display for a
Bangasser, Debra A; Wicks, Brittany; Waxler, David E; Eck, Samantha R
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.
This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention. I explain how in the last 25 years research on attention has characterized the effects of covert attention on spatial filters and how attention influences the selection of stimuli of interest. This review includes the effects of spatial attention on discriminability and appearance in tasks mediated by contrast sensitivity and spatial resolution; the effects of feature-based attention on basic visual processes, and a comparison of the effects of spatial and feature-based attention. The emphasis of this review is on psychophysical studies, but relevant electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies and models regarding how and where neuronal responses are modulated are also discussed. PMID:21549742
Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill
Recently there has been a growing interest in visual short-term memory (VSTM) including the neural basis of the function. Processing speed, another main aspect of visual attention capacity, has received less investigation. For both cognitive functions human lesion studies are sparse. We used...... a whole report experiment for estimation of these two parameters in 22 patients with right side stroke. Psychophysical performance was analyzed using Bundesen's [Bundesen, C. (1990). A theory of visual attention. Psychological Review, 97, 523-547] Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and compared...... for both VSTM capacity and ipsilesional processing speed. The study also showed that lesions in a large region of the right hemisphere, including the putamen, insula, and inferior frontal cortex, do not lead to general deficits in the capacity of visual attention. Udgivelsesdato: 2007-Apr-8...
Visual attention has been extensively studied in psychology, but some fundamental questions remain controversial. We focus on two questions in this study. First, we investigate how a neuron in visual cortex responds to multiple stimuli inside the receptive eld, described by either a response...... for the visual attention theories and spiking neuron models for single spike trains. Statistical inference and model selection are performed and various numerical methods are explored. The designed methods also give a framework for neural coding under visual attention theories. We conduct both analysis on real...... system, supported by simulation study. Finally, we present the decoding of multiple temporal stimuli under these visual attention theories, also in a realistic biophysical situation with simulations....
Sepede, Gianna; Spano, Maria Chiara; Lorusso, Marco; De Berardis, Domenico; Salerno, Rosa Maria; Di Giannantonio, Massimo; Gambi, Francesco
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
Olivers, Christian N. L.; Meijer, Frank; Theeuwes, Jan
In 7 experiments, the authors explored whether visual attention (the ability to select relevant visual information) and visual working memory (the ability to retain relevant visual information) share the same content representations. The presence of singleton distractors interfered more strongly with a visual search task when it was accompanied by…
M. Henderson & Ferreira, 2004; Hidalgo- Sotelo , Oliva, & Torralba, 2005; Vo & Henderson, 2009). This is implied in models like Ahissar and...and action: Eye movements and the visual world (pp. 1-58). New York: Psychology Press. Hidalgo- Sotelo , R, Oliva , A., & Torralba, A. (2005). Human
Dye, Matthew W G; Hauser, Peter C
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.
Zhu, Chen; Zhao, Yanpeng; Huang, Shuaiyi; Tu, Kewei; Ma, Yi
Visual attention, which assigns weights to image regions according to their relevance to a question, is considered as an indispensable part by most Visual Question Answering models. Although the questions may involve complex relations among multiple regions, few attention models can effectively encode such cross-region relations. In this paper, we demonstrate the importance of encoding such relations by showing the limited effective receptive field of ResNet on two datasets, and propose to mo...
Liu, Yi; Tong, Yu; Li, Hong
Previous research has demonstrated abstract concepts associated with spatial location (e.g., God in the Heavens) could direct visual attention upward or downward, because thinking about the abstract concepts activates the corresponding vertical perceptual symbols. For self-concept, there are similar metaphors (e.g., “I am above others”). However, whether thinking about the self can induce visual attention orientation is still unknown. Therefore, the current study tested whether self-reflectio...
Pinto, Yair; Vandenbroucke, Annelinde R; Otten, Marte; Sligte, Ilja G; Seth, Anil K; Lamme, Victor A F
Is conscious visual perception limited to the locations that a person attends? The remarkable phenomenon of change blindness, which shows that people miss nearly all unattended changes in a visual scene, suggests the answer is yes. However, change blindness is found after visual interference (a mask or a new scene), so that subjects have to rely on working memory (WM), which has limited capacity, to detect the change. Before such interference, however, a much larger capacity store, called fragile memory (FM), which is easily overwritten by newly presented visual information, is present. Whether these different stores depend equally on spatial attention is central to the debate on the role of attention in conscious vision. In 2 experiments, we found that minimizing spatial attention almost entirely erases visual WM, as expected. Critically, FM remains largely intact. Moreover, minimally attended FM responses yield accurate metacognition, suggesting that conscious memory persists with limited spatial attention. Together, our findings help resolve the fundamental issue of how attention affects perception: Both visual consciousness and memory can be supported by only minimal attention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Heiervang, Einar; Hugdahl, Kenneth
A cue-target visual attention task was administered to 25 children (ages 10-12) with dyslexia. Results showed a general pattern of slower responses in the children with dyslexia compared to controls. Subjects also had longer reaction times in the short and long cue-target interval conditions (covert and overt shift of attention). (Contains…
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
resources (cells) are devoted to behaviorally important objects than to less important ones. By use of the same basic equations used in TVA, NTVA accounts for a wide range of known attentional effects in human performance (reaction times and error rates) and a wide range of effects observed in firing rates......A neural theory of visual attention (NTVA) is presented. NTVA is a neural interpretation of C. Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual attention (TVA). In NTVA, visual processing capacity is distributed across stimuli by dynamic remapping of receptive fields of cortical cells such that more processing...... of single cells in the primate visual system. NTVA provides a mathematical framework to unify the 2 fields of research--formulas bridging cognition and neurophysiology....
Full Text Available Facial attractiveness is an important biological and social signal on social interaction. Recent research has demonstrated that an attractive face captures greater spatial attention than an unattractive face does. Little is known, however, about the temporal characteristics of visual attention for facial attractiveness. In this study, we investigated the temporal modulation of visual attention induced by facial attractiveness by using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP. Fourteen male faces and two female faces were successively presented for 160 ms respectively, and participants were asked to identify two female faces embedded among a series of multiple male distractor faces. Identification of a second female target (T2 was impaired when a first target (T1 was attractive compared to neutral or unattractive faces, at 320 ms SOA; identification was improved when T1 was attractive compared to unattractive faces at 640 ms SOA. These findings suggest that the spontaneous appraisal of facial attractiveness modulates temporal attention.
ALEJANDRO CASTILLO MORENO
Full Text Available In this paper we checked the principal researches and theories to explain the attention system functioning.We are going to start reviewing along time about the concept of attention, from filter theories andresources distributor theories, to the current theories in which attention is conceived as a control system.From this last point of view, we will emphasize on the attentional networks theory of Posner, thatproposes different systems to explain diverse aspects of attention, but they are related to each other. Atlast in this paper, we will mention experimental results that have been important to characterize theselective attentional mechanisms of the human visual system, using the attentional spotlight model forthis aim.
Grillon, Christian; Robinson, Oliver J; Mathur, Ambika; Ernst, Monique
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.
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.
Shalev, Nir; De Wandel, Linde; Dockree, Paul; Demeyere, Nele; Chechlacz, Magdalena
The Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) provides a mathematical formalisation of the "biased competition" account of visual attention. Applying this model to individual performance in a free recall task allows the estimation of 5 independent attentional parameters: visual short-term memory (VSTM) capacity, speed of information processing, perceptual threshold of visual detection; attentional weights representing spatial distribution of attention (spatial bias), and the top-down selectivity index. While the TVA focuses on selection in space, complementary accounts of attention describe how attention is maintained over time, and how temporal processes interact with selection. A growing body of evidence indicates that different facets of attention interact and share common neural substrates. The aim of the current study was to modulate a spatial attentional bias via transfer effects, based on a mechanistic understanding of the interplay between spatial, selective and temporal aspects of attention. Specifically, we examined here: (i) whether a single administration of a lateralized sustained attention task could prime spatial orienting and lead to transferable changes in attentional weights (assigned to the left vs right hemi-field) and/or other attentional parameters assessed within the framework of TVA (Experiment 1); (ii) whether the effects of such spatial-priming on TVA parameters could be further enhanced by bi-parietal high frequency transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) (Experiment 2). Our results demonstrate that spatial attentional bias, as assessed within the TVA framework, was primed by sustaining attention towards the right hemi-field, but this spatial-priming effect did not occur when sustaining attention towards the left. Furthermore, we show that bi-parietal high-frequency tRNS combined with the rightward spatial-priming resulted in an increased attentional selectivity. To conclude, we present a novel, theory-driven method for attentional modulation
Full Text Available Spatial terms such as "above", "in front of", and "on the left of" are all essential for describing the location of one object relative to another object in everyday communication. Apprehending such spatial relations involves relating linguistic to object representations by means of attention. This requires at least one attentional shift, and models such as the Attentional Vector Sum (AVS predict the direction of that attention shift, from the sausage to the box for spatial utterances such as "The box is above the sausage". To the extent that this prediction generalizes to overt gaze shifts, a listener's visual attention should shift from the sausage to the box. However, listeners tend to rapidly look at referents in their order of mention and even anticipate them based on linguistic cues, a behavior that predicts a converse attentional shift from the box to the sausage. Four eye-tracking experiments assessed the role of overt attention in spatial language comprehension by examining to which extent visual attention is guided by words in the utterance and to which extent it also shifts "against the grain" of the unfolding sentence. The outcome suggests that comprehenders' visual attention is predominantly guided by their interpretation of the spatial description. Visual shifts against the grain occurred only when comprehenders had some extra time, and their absence did not affect comprehension accuracy. However, the timing of this reverse gaze shift on a trial correlated with that trial's verification time. Thus, while the timing of these gaze shifts is subtly related to the verification time, their presence is not necessary for successful verification of spatial relations.
Habekost, Thomas; Rostrup, Egill
a whole report experiment for estimation of these two parameters in 22 patients with right side stroke. Psychophysical performance was analyzed using Bundesen's [Bundesen, C. (1990). A theory of visual attention. Psychological Review, 97, 523-547] Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) and compared...... to damage in the right middle frontal gyrus or leukoaraiosis. The storage capacity of VSTM was also normal for most patients, but deficits were found after severe leukoaraiosis or large strokes extending deep into white matter. Thus, the study demonstrated the importance of white-matter connectivity...... for both VSTM capacity and ipsilesional processing speed. The study also showed that lesions in a large region of the right hemisphere, including the putamen, insula, and inferior frontal cortex, do not lead to general deficits in the capacity of visual attention. Udgivelsesdato: 2007-Apr-8...
Bundesen, Claus; Larsen, Axel; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
nucleus. Frontal activations were found in a region that seems implicated in visual short-term memory (posterior parts of the superior sulcus and the middle gyrus). The reverse, color-shape comparison showed bilateral increases in rCBF in the anterior cingulate gyri, superior frontal gyri, and superior...... and middle temporal gyri. The attentional effects found by the shape-color comparison in the thalamus and the primary visual cortex may have been generated by feedback signals preserving visual representations of selected stimuli in short-term memory....
Dyrholm, Mads; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup
In this paper we take a step towards single-trial behavioral modeling within a Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). In selective attention tasks, such as the Partial Report paradigm, the subject is asked to ignore distractors and only report stimuli that belong to the target class. Nothing about...... Report trial. This result retrodicts a latent attentional state of the subject using the observed response from that particular trial and thus differs from other predictions made with TVA which are based on expected values of observed variables. We show an example of the result in single-trial analysis...
Dyrholm, Mads; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Vangkilde, Signe Allerup
In this paper we take a step towards single-trial behavioral modeling within a Theory of Visual Attention (TVA). In selective attention tasks, such as the Partial Report paradigm, the subject is asked to ignore distractors and only report stimuli that belong to the target class. Nothing about...... Report trial. This result retrodicts a latent attentional state of the subject using the observed response from that particular trial and thus differs from other predictions made with TVA which are based on expected values of observed variables. We show an example of the result in single-trial analysis...
Trisolini, Daniela Carmen; Petilli, Marco Alessandro; Daini, Roberta
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.
Meppelink, Anne Marthe; Koerts, Janneke; Borg, Maarten; Leenders, Klaus Leonard; van Laar, Teus
Visual hallucinations (VH) are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and are hypothesized to be due to impaired visual perception and attention deficits. We investigated whether PD patients with VH showed attention deficits, a more specific impairment of higher order visual perception, or both. Forty-two volunteers participated in this study, including 14 PD patients with VH, 14 PD patients without VH and 14 healthy controls (HC), matched for age, gender, education level and for level of executive function. We created movies with images of animals, people, and objects dynamically appearing out of random noise. Time until recognition of the image was recorded. Sustained attention was tested using the Test of Attentional Performance. PD patients with VH recognized all images but were significantly slower in image recognition than both PD patients without VH and HC. PD patients with VH showed decreased sustained attention compared to PD patients without VH who again performed worse than HC. In conclusion, the recognition of objects is intact in PD patients with VH; however, these patients where significantly slower in image recognition than patients without VH and HC, which was not explained by executive dysfunction. Both image recognition speed and sustained attention decline in PD, in a more progressive way if VH start to occur. (c) 2008 Movement Disorder Society.
Jongman, Suzanne R; Roelofs, Ardi; Scheper, Annette R; Meyer, Antje S
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.
Full Text Available Many critical activities require visual attention to be distributed simultaneously among distinct tasks where the attended foci are not spatially separated. In our two experiments, participants performed a large number of trials where both a primary task (enumeration of spots and a secondary task (reporting the presence/absence or identity of a distinctive shape required the division of visual attention. The spots and the shape were commingled spatially and the shape appeared unpredictably on a relatively small fraction of the trials. The secondary task stimulus (the shape was reported in inverse proportion to the attentional load imposed by the primary task (enumeration of spots. When the shape did appear, performance on the primary task (enumeration suffered relative to when the shape was absent; both speed and accuracy were compromised. When the secondary task required identification in addition to detection, reaction times increased by about 200 percent. These results are broadly compatible with biased competition models of perceptual processing. An important area of application, where the commingled division of visual attention is required, is the augmented reality head-up display (AR-HUD. This innovation has the potential to make operating vehicles safer but our data suggest that there are significant concerns regarding driver distraction.
Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; DeGutis, Joseph; Esterman, Michael
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.
Full Text Available Some objects in our environment are strongly tied to motor actions, a phenomenon called object affordance. A cup, for example, affords us to reach out to it and grasp it by its handle. Studies indicate that merely viewing an affording object triggers motor activations in the brain. The present study investigated whether object affordance would also result in an attention bias, that is, whether observers would rather attend to graspable objects within reach compared to non-graspable but reachable objects or to graspable objects out of reach. To this end, we conducted a combined reaction time and motion tracking study with a table in a virtual three-dimensional space. Two objects were positioned on the table, one near, the other one far from the observer. In each trial, two graspable objects, two non-graspable objects, or a combination of both was presented. Participants were instructed to detect a probe appearing on one of the objects as quickly as possible. Detection times served as indirect measure of attention allocation. The motor association with the graspable object was additionally enhanced by having participants grasp a real object in some of the trials. We hypothesized that visual attention would be preferentially allocated to the near graspable object, which should be reflected in reduced reaction times in this condition. Our results confirm this assumption: probe detection was fastest at the graspable object at the near position compared to the far position or to a non-graspable object. A follow-up experiment revealed that in addition to object affordance per se, immediate graspability of an affording object may also influence this near-space advantage. Our results suggest that visuospatial attention is preferentially allocated to affording objects which are immediately graspable, and thus establish a strong link between an object’s motor affordance and visual attention.
Carlisle, Nancy B; Kristjánsson, Árni
Recent evidence shows that when the contents of visual working memory overlap with targets and distractors in a pop-out search task, intertrial priming is inhibited (Kristjánsson, Sævarsson & Driver, Psychon Bull Rev 20(3):514-521, 2013, Experiment 2, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review). This may reflect an interesting interaction between implicit short-term memory-thought to underlie intertrial priming-and explicit visual working memory. Evidence from a non-pop-out search task suggests that it may specifically be holding distractors in visual working memory that disrupts intertrial priming (Cunningham & Egeth, Psychol Sci 27(4):476-485, 2016, Experiment 2, Psychological Science). We examined whether the inhibition of priming depends on whether feature values in visual working memory overlap with targets or distractors in the pop-out search, and we found that the inhibition of priming resulted from holding distractors in visual working memory. These results are consistent with separate mechanisms of target and distractor effects in intertrial priming, and support the notion that the impact of implicit short-term memory and explicit visual working memory can interact when each provides conflicting attentional signals.
.... Both high- and low-visualizers benefited equally well from attention cueing. However, an interaction effect in one subtest was observed indicating that attention cueing can result in learning interference among high-visualizers...
Bacigalupo, Felix; Luck, Steven J
When the distance between a visual target and nearby flankers falls below a critical distance, target discrimination declines precipitously. This is called "crowding." Many researchers have proposed that selective attention plays a role in crowding. However, although some research has examined the effects of directing attention toward versus away from the targets, no previous research has assessed how attentional allocation varies as a function of target-flanker distance in crowding. Here, we used ERPs to assess the operation of attention during crowding, focusing on the attention-related N2pc component. We used a typical crowding task in which participants were asked to report the category (vowel/consonant) of a lateralized target letter flanked by distractor letters at different distances. We tested the hypothesis that attention fails when the target-flanker distance becomes too small for attention to operate effectively. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that N2pc amplitude was maximal at intermediate target-flanker distances and decreased substantially when crowding became severe. In addition, we examined the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN), which reflects the amount of information being maintained in working memory. Unlike the N2pc component, the SPCN increased in amplitude at small target-flanker distances, suggesting that observers stored information about the target and flankers in working memory when attention failed to select the target. Together, the N2pc and SPCN results suggest that attention and working memory play distinctive roles in crowding: Attention operates to minimize interference from the flankers at intermediate target-flanker distances, whereas working memory may be recruited when attention fails to select the target at small target-flanker distances.
Tucha, Lara; Tucha, Oliver; Walitza, Susanne; Sontag, Thomas A.; Laufkotter, Rainer; Linder, Martin; Lange, Klaus W.
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…
This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention...
Full Text Available Stress-induced acute activation of the cerebral catecholaminergic systems has often been found in rodents. However, little is known regarding the consequences of this activation on higher cognitive functions in humans. Theoretical inferences would suggest increased distractibility in the sense of increased exogenous attention and emotional attention. The present study investigated the influence of acute stress responses on magnetoencephalographic (MEG correlates of visual attention. Healthy male subjects were presented emotional and neutral pictures in three subsequent MEG recording sessions after being exposed to a TSST-like social stressor, intended to trigger a HPA-response. The subjects anticipation of another follow-up stressor was designed to sustain the short-lived central catecholaminergic stress reactions throughout the ongoing MEG recordings. The heart rate indicates a stable level of anticipatory stress during this time span, subsequent cortisol concentrations and self-report measures of stress were increased. With regard to the MEG correlates of attentional functions, we found that the N1m amplitude remained constantly elevated during stressor anticipation. The magnetic early posterior negativity (EPNm was present but, surprisingly, was not at all modulated during stressor anticipation. This suggests that a general increase of the influence of exogenous attention but no specific effect regarding emotional attention in this time interval. Regarding the time course of the effects, an influence of the HPA on these MEG correlates of attention seems less likely. An influence of cerebral catecholaminergic systems is plausible, but not definite.
Jongman, S.R.; Roelofs, A.P.A.; Meyer, A.S.
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
This review focuses on covert attention and how it alters early vision. I explain why attention is considered a selective process, the constructs of covert attention, spatial endogenous and exogenous attention, and feature-based attention. I explain how in the last 25 years research on attention has characterized the effects of covert attention on spatial filters and how attention influences the selection of stimuli of interest. This review includes the effects of spatial attention on discrim...
Xu, Yan; Zhou, Xiao-lin; Wang, Yu-feng
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.
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.
Aik, Chong-Tek; Tway, Duane C.
It is increasingly important for timber companies to train managers in the principles and practices of sustainable forest management. One of the most effective ways to conduct such training is through use of visual training methods. This is partly because visual representations encode large amounts of information and help learners to grasp…
Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Onozuka, Minoru
.... These findings support the concept that chewing is strongly associated with cognitive function such as learning and memory and keeping and increasing attention . This relationship between chewing and cognitive functions was empirically estimated a long time ago. In 1939, Hollingworth  reported that chewing increased relaxation and the performance of cognitive ...
Bundesen, Claus; Habekost, Thomas; Kyllingsbaek, Soren
A neural theory of visual attention (NTVA) is presented. NTVA is a neural interpretation of C. Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual attention (TVA). In NTVA, visual processing capacity is distributed across stimuli by dynamic remapping of receptive fields of cortical cells such that more processing resources (cells) are devoted to behaviorally…
Klaver, Peter; Talsma, Durk
We recorded ERPs to investigate whether the visual memory load can bias visual selective attention. Participants memorized one or four letters and then responded to memory-matching letters presented in a relevant color while ignoring distractor letters or letters in an irrelevant color. Stimuli in the relevant color elicited larger frontal selection positivities (FSP) and occipital selection negativities (OSN) compared to irrelevant color stimuli. Only distractors elicited a larger FSP in the high than in the low memory load task. Memory load prolonged the OSN for all letters. Response mapping complexity was also modulated but did not affect the FSP and OSN. Together, the FSP data suggest that high memory load increased distractability. The OSN data suggest that memory load sustained attention to letters in a relevant color until working memory processing was completed, independently of whether the letters were in working memory or not. Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Malkovsky, Ela; Merrifield, Colleen; Goldberg, Yael; Danckert, James
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.
ALEJANDRO CASTILLO MORENO; ANGÉLICA PATERNINA MARÍN
... system.From this last point of view, we will emphasize on the attentional networks theory of Posner, thatproposes different systems to explain diverse aspects of attention, but they are related to each...
Van der Heijden, J.; Van Bueren, E.M.
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
Lundwall, Rebecca A; Dannemiller, James L; Goldsmith, H Hill
This study elucidates genetic influences on reflexive (as opposed to sustained) attention in children (aged 9-16 years; N = 332) who previously participated as infants in visual attention studies using orienting to a moving bar (Dannemiller, 2004). We investigated genetic associations with reflexive attention measures in infancy and childhood in the same group of children. The genetic markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms and variable number tandem repeats on the genes APOE, BDNF, CHRNA4, COMT, DRD4, HTR4, IGF2, MAOA, SLC5A7, SLC6A3, and SNAP25) are related to brain development and/or to the availability of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, or serotonin. This study shows that typically developing children have differences in reflexive attention associated with their genes, as we found in adults (Lundwall, Guo & Dannemiller, 2012). This effort to extend our previous findings to outcomes in infancy and childhood was necessary because genetic influence may differ over the course of development. Although two of the genes that were tested in our adult study (Lundwall et al., 2012) were significant in either our infant study (SLC6A3) or child study (DRD4), the specific markers tested differed. Performance on the infant task was associated with SLC6A3. In addition, several genetic associations with an analogous child task occurred with markers on CHRNA4, COMT, and DRD4. Interestingly, the child version of the task involved an interaction such that which genotype group performed poorer on the child task depended on whether we were examining the higher or lower infant scoring group. These findings are discussed in terms of genetic influences on reflexive attention in infancy and childhood. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Hoonakker, Marc; Doignon-Camus, Nadège; Marques-Carneiro, José Eduardo; Bonnefond, Anne
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.
Petersen, Anders; Vangkilde, Signe; Fabricius, Charlotte
agnosia or pure alexia. The aim of this study was to characterize visual processing speed and apprehension span following posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. In addition, the relationship between these attentional parameters and single word reading is investigated, as previous studies have suggested...... that reduced visual speed and span may explain pure alexia. Eight patients with unilateral PCA strokes (four left hemisphere, four right hemisphere) were selected on the basis of lesion location, rather than the presence of any visual symptoms. Visual attention was characterized by a whole report paradigm......Impaired visual attention is common following strokes in the territory of the middle cerebral artery, particularly in the right hemisphere, while attentional effects of more posterior lesions are less clear. Commonly, such deficits are investigated in relation to specific syndromes like visual...
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
Boerma, Tessel; Leseman, Paul; Wijnen, Frank; Blom, Elma
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
Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Bundesen, Claus; Coull, Jennifer T.
or a placebo gum. The experimental paradigm was a letter recognition task with varied stimulus durations terminated by pattern masks. The temporal threshold of conscious perception (t0), visual processing speed (C), storage capacity of visual short-term memory (K), and attentional selectivity (alpha) were...... encoding of information into visual short-term memory is begun, but (b) decreases the rate of encoding and possibly also the attentional selectivity....
Shang, Chi-Yung; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen
Atomoxetine is efficacious in reducing symptoms of attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but its effect on visual memory and attention needs more investigation. This study aimed to assess the effect of atomoxetine on visual memory, attention, and school function in boys with ADHD in Taiwan. This was an open-label 12 week atomoxetine treatment trial among 30 drug-naíve boys with ADHD, aged 8-16 years. Before administration of atomoxetine, the participants were assessed using psychiatric interviews, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 3rd edition (WISC-III), the school function of the Chinese version of the Social Adjustment Inventory for Children and Adolescents (SAICA), the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CPT), and the tasks of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) involving visual memory and attention: Pattern Recognition Memory, Spatial Recognition Memory, and Reaction Time, which were reassessed at weeks 4 and 12. Our results showed there was significant improvement in pattern recognition memory and spatial recognition memory as measured by the CANTAB tasks, sustained attention and response inhibition as measured by the CPT, and reaction time as measured by the CANTAB after treatment with atomoxetine for 4 weeks or 12 weeks. In addition, atomoxetine significantly enhanced school functioning in children with ADHD. Our findings suggested that atomoxetine was associated with significant improvement in visual memory, attention, and school functioning in boys with ADHD.
Richards, John E.; Hunter, Sharon K.
Several models of the development of infant visual attention have used information about neural development. Most of these models have been based on nonhuman animal studies and have relied on indirect measures of neural development in human infants. This article discusses methods for studying a “neurodevelopmental” model of infant visual attention using indirect and direct measures of cortical activity. We concentrate on the effect of attention on eye movement control and show how animal-base...
Marchetta, Natalie D. J.; Hurks, Petra P. M.; De Sonneville, Leo M. J.; Krabbendam, Lydia; Jolles, Jelle
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…
Molenberghs, Pascal; Gillebert, Celine R.; Schoofs, Hanne; Dupont, Patrick; Peeters, Ronald; Vandenberghe, Rik
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…
Lufi, Dubi; Bassin-Savion, Shiry; Rubel, Lilach
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.
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, ...
Willeford, Kevin T; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J; Yadav, Naveen K; Ludlam, Diana P
The purpose of this study was to develop an objective way to assess human visual attention using the alpha-band component of the visual-evoked potential (VEP). Six different attentional conditions were tested: eyes-open, eyes-closed, eyes-closed with backwards number counting, and three rapid-serial visual presentation (RSVP) tasks. Eighteen visually normal, young-adult subjects (ages 21-28 years) were tested binocularly at 1 m for each condition on two separate days. The Diopsys™ NOVA-TR system was used to obtain the visual-evoked potential (VEP) and extracted alpha wave and its related power spectrum. Additionally, the Visual Search and Attention Test (VSAT) was administered as a subjective measure of visual attention. Subjects exhibited significant decreases in power in the alpha band when comparing the eyes-closed with the eyes-open conditions, with power in the eyes-closed condition being, on average, twice as large. The response from the other four conditions did not reflect the differential attentional demands. The ratio of the power in the eyes-closed condition to the eyes-open condition in the lower-alpha frequencies (8-10 Hz) was found to be significantly correlated with the group's performance on the VSAT, especially the 10-Hz component. An individual's ability to attenuate their alpha component during visual processing may be a predictor of their visual attentional state. These findings solidify the role of the VEP alpha subcomponent as an objective electrophysiological correlate of visual attention, which may be useful in the diagnosis and treatment of human visual attention disorders in the future.
Roberts, K. L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
We report initial progress towards creating an auditory analogue of a mathematical model of visual attention: the ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990). TVA is one of the best established models of visual attention. It assumes that visual stimuli are initially processed in parallel...... to the data produces the following parameters: the minimum amount of information required for target identification (t0); the rate at which information is encoded, assuming an exponential function (v); the relative attentional weight to targets versus distractors (α); and the capacity of VSTM (K). TVA has...
Roberts, Katherine L.; Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
Mathematical and computational models have provided useful insights into normal and impaired visual attention, but less progress has been made in modelling auditory attention. We are developing a Theory of Auditory Attention (TAA), based on an influential visual model, the Theory of Visual...... the auditory data, producing good estimates of the rate at which information is encoded (C), the minimum exposure duration required for processing to begin (t0), and the relative attentional weight to targets versus distractors (α). Future work will address the issue of target-distractor confusion, and extend...
was measure in continuous manner. Results showed that the amplitude of SSVEP frequencies is higher in overt than covert attention. This indicates that by overt attention events are registered with larger power. However, exploring the harmonics of frequencies showed that covert attention generates larger 2nd...... attention. However, when covert attention is allocated to SSVEPs, frequencies are extracted from parietal and frontal areas. This shows that covert attention recruits higher cognitive function. To test how SSVEPs are represented in higher brain areas, we conducted an invasive multi-unit recording from...... harmonic (e.g. 12Hz) than the 1st harmonic (e.g. 6Hz). This pattern was not observed in overt attention. We suggest that covert attention increases the non-linearity in the visual system. Results from the source analysis showed that SSVEP signals are extracted from the primary visual cortex in overt...
Spratling, M. W.; Johnson, M H
Feedback connections are a prominent feature of cortical anatomy and are likely to have a significant functional role in neural information processing. We present a neural network model of cortical feedback that successfully simulates neurophysiological data associated with attention. In this domain, our model can be considered a more detailed, and biologically plausible, implementation of the biased competition model of attention. However, our model is more general as it can also explain a v...
Andersen, Tobias; Tiippana, K.; Laarni, J.
integration did not change. Visual spatial attention was also able to select between the faces when lip reading. This suggests that visual spatial attention acts at the level of visual speech perception prior to audiovisual integration and that the effect propagates through audiovisual integration......Auditory and visual information is integrated when perceiving speech, as evidenced by the McGurk effect in which viewing an incongruent talking face categorically alters auditory speech perception. Audiovisual integration in speech perception has long been considered automatic and pre......-attentive but recent reports have challenged this view. Here we study the effect of visual spatial attention on the McGurk effect. By presenting a movie of two faces symmetrically displaced to each side of a central fixation point and dubbed with a single auditory speech track, we were able to discern the influences...
Bruno van Swinderen
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Selective attention and memory seem to be related in human experience. This appears to be the case as well in simple model organisms such as the fly Drosophila melanogaster. Mutations affecting olfactory and visual memory formation in Drosophila, such as in dunce and rutabaga, also affect short-term visual processes relevant to selective attention. In particular, increased optomotor responsiveness appears to be predictive of visual attention defects in these mutants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To further explore the possible overlap between memory and visual attention systems in the fly brain, we screened a panel of 36 olfactory long term memory (LTM mutants for visual attention-like defects using an optomotor maze paradigm. Three of these mutants yielded high dunce-like optomotor responsiveness. We characterized these three strains by examining their visual distraction in the maze, their visual learning capabilities, and their brain activity responses to visual novelty. We found that one of these mutants, D0067, was almost completely identical to dunce(1 for all measures, while another, D0264, was more like wild type. Exploiting the fact that the LTM mutants are also Gal4 enhancer traps, we explored the sufficiency for the cells subserved by these elements to rescue dunce attention defects and found overlap at the level of the mushroom bodies. Finally, we demonstrate that control of synaptic function in these Gal4 expressing cells specifically modulates a 20-30 Hz local field potential associated with attention-like effects in the fly brain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study uncovers genetic and neuroanatomical systems in the fly brain affecting both visual attention and odor memory phenotypes. A common component to these systems appears to be the mushroom bodies, brain structures which have been traditionally associated with odor learning but which we propose might be also involved in generating oscillatory brain activity
Rerko, Laura; Souza, Alessandra S; Oberauer, Klaus
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.
Sanders-Jackson, Ashley N.; Cappella, Joseph N.; Linebarger, Deborah L.; Piotrowski, Jessica Taylor; O'Keeffe, Moira; Strasser, Andrew A.
This study examines how addicted smokers attend visually to smoking-related public service announcements (PSAs) in adults smokers. Smokers' onscreen visual fixation is an indicator of cognitive resources allocated to visual attention. Characteristic of individuals with addictive tendencies, smokers are expected to be appetitively activated by…
Theeuwes, J.; Kramer, A.F.; Irwin, D.E.
The current study shows that spatial visual attention is used to retrieve information from visual working memory. Participants had to keep four colored circles in visual working memory. While keeping this information in memory we asked whether one of the colors was present in the array. While
Huynh-Thu, Quan; Vienne, Cyril; Blondé, Laurent
Visual attention is an inherent mechanism that plays an important role in the human visual perception. As our visual system has limited capacity and cannot efficiently process the information from the entire visual field, we focus our attention on specific areas of interest in the image for detailed analysis of these areas. In the context of media entertainment, the viewers' visual attention deployment is also influenced by the art of visual storytelling. To this date, visual editing and composition of scenes in stereoscopic 3D content creation still mostly follows those used in 2D. In particular, out-of-focus blur is often used in 2D motion pictures and photography to drive the viewer's attention towards a sharp area of the image. In this paper, we study specifically the impact of defocused foreground objects on visual attention deployment in stereoscopic 3D content. For that purpose, we conducted a subjective experiment using an eyetracker. Our results bring more insights on the deployment of visual attention in stereoscopic 3D content viewing, and provide further understanding on visual attention behavior differences between 2D and 3D. Our results show that a traditional 2D scene compositing approach such as the use of foreground blur does not necessarily produce the same effect on visual attention deployment in 2D and 3D. Implications for stereoscopic content creation and visual fatigue are discussed.
What is the relation between visual attention and visual awareness? It is difficult to imagine being aware of something without attending to it, and by some, visual consciousness is simply equated to what is in the focus of attention. However, findings from psychological as well as from
Meppelink, Anne Marthe; Koerts, Janneke; Borg, Maarten; Leenders, Klaus Leonard; van Laar, Teus
Visual hallucinations (VH) are common in Parkinson's disease (PD) and are hypothesized to be due to impaired visual perception and attention deficits. We investigated whether PD patients with VH showed attention deficits a more specific impairment of higher order visual perception or both. Forty-two
Huntley, Jonathan D; Hampshire, Adam; Bor, Daniel; Owen, Adrian M; Howard, Robert J
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.
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
Scholderer, Joachim; Jeppesen, Heine
An eye-tracking experiment is reported in which the effects of alcohol intoxication on visual attention were tested. Based on findings from the psychopharmacological literature, it was hypothesised that the salience of visual elements in complex advertisements would be amplified, whereas the proc......An eye-tracking experiment is reported in which the effects of alcohol intoxication on visual attention were tested. Based on findings from the psychopharmacological literature, it was hypothesised that the salience of visual elements in complex advertisements would be amplified, whereas...
Baldwin, Carryl L; Lewis, Bridget A
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.
Faber, Leon G.; Maurits, Natasha M.; Lorist, Monicque M.
Mental fatigue is a form of fatigue, induced by continuous task performance. Mentally fatigued people often report having a hard time keeping their attention focussed and being easily distracted. In this study, we examined the relation between mental fatigue, as induced by time on task, and
Burnham, Bryan R; Sabia, Matthew; Langan, Catherine
Load theory (Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E. . Load theory of selective attention and cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 339-354.) proposes that control of attention depends on the amount and type of load that is imposed by current processing. Specifically, perceptual load should lead to efficient distractor rejection, whereas working memory load (dual-task coordination) should hinder distractor rejection. Studies support load theory's prediction that working memory load will lead to larger distractor effects; however, these studies used secondary tasks that required only verbal working memory and the central executive. The present study examined which other working memory components (visual, spatial, and phonological) influence visual selective attention. Subjects completed an attentional capture task alone (single-task) or while engaged in a working memory task (dual-task). Results showed that along with the central executive, visual and spatial working memory influenced selective attention, but phonological working memory did not. Specifically, attentional capture was larger when visual or spatial working memory was loaded, but phonological working memory load did not affect attentional capture. The results are consistent with load theory and suggest specific components of working memory influence visual selective attention. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
[Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of increased visual dependence to age, balance, attention, and vertigo. [Subjects and Methods] Twelve younger, 12 visually independent (VI) older and 12 visually dependent (VD) older adults were assessed for levels of visual dependence using Subjective Visual Vertical (SVV) tilt values, balance ability using the Clinical Test of Sensory Integration for Balance (CTSIB), and attentional requirements through the dual-task paradigm and experience of vertigo by completing the Situational Vertigo Questionnaire (SVQ). [Results] VD older adults had higher SVV tilt values, greater postural sway in a scenario where visual and proprioceptive inputs were simultaneously altered, similar dual-task cost and lower SVQ scores compared with younger and VI older adults. No difference was observed between the latter two. [Conclusion] Visual dependence may not necessarily increase with age but affect balance in a sensory condition involving visual-proprioceptive conflict. There is a non-significant trend for elevated visual dependence with increased attentional demands. Greater visual dependence is not accompanied by more frequent symptoms of vertigo in visually complex environments.
Buhmann, Carsten; Kraft, Stefanie; Hinkelmann, Kim; Krause, Sven; Gerloff, Christian; Zangemeister, Wolfgang H
In patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) we aimed at differentiating the relation between selective visual attention, deficits of programming and dynamics of saccadic eye movements while searching for a target and hand-reaction time as well as hand-movement time. Visual attention is crucial for concentrating selectively on one aspect of the visual field while ignoring other aspects. Eye movements are anatomically and functionally related to mechanisms of visual attention. Saccadic dysfunction might confound selective visual attention in PD. We studied visual selective attention in 22 medicated PD patients (clinical ON status, mild to moderate disease severity) and 22 age matched controls. We looked for possible interferences through oculomotor deficits. Two tasks were compared: free viewing of photographs and time optimal visual search of a hidden target. Visual search times (VST), task related dynamics of saccades, and hand-reaction and hand-movement times were analyzed. In the free viewing task mild to moderately affected PD patients did not differ statistically from healthy subjects with respect to saccade dynamics. However, patients differed significantly from healthy subjects in the time optimal visual search task with 25% lower rates of successful searches. Hand movement reaction time did not differ in both groups, whereas hand movement execution time was significantly prolonged in PD patients. Saccadic oculomotor control and hand movement reaction times were intact, whereas in our less severely affected treated PD patients, visual selective attention was not. The highly reduced successful search rate might be related to disturbed programming and delayed execution of saccades during time optimal visual search due to decreased execution of serial-order sequential generation of saccades. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Scocchia, Lisa; Valsecchi, Matteo; Gegenfurtner, Karl R; Triesch, Jochen
The investigation of cognitive influence on binocular rivalry has a long history. However, the effects of visual WM on rivalry have never been studied so far. We examined top-down modulation of rivalry perception in four experiments to compare the effects of visual WM and sustained selective attention: In the first three experiments we failed to observe any sustained effect of the WM content; only the color of the memory probe was found to prime the initially dominant percept. In Experiment 4 we found a clear effect of sustained attention on rivalry both in terms of the first dominant percept and of the overall dominance when participants were involved in a tracking task. Our results provide an example of dissociation between visual WM and selective attention, two phenomena which otherwise functionally overlap to a large extent. Furthermore, our study highlights the importance of the task employed to engage cognitive resources: The observed perceptual epiphenomena of binocular rivalry are indicative of visual competition at an early stage, which is not affected by WM but is still susceptible to attention influence as long as the observer’s attention is constrained to one of the two rival images via a specific concomitant task. © 2014 ARVO.
Sheremata, Summer L; Somers, David C; Shomstein, Sarah
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and attention are distinct yet interrelated processes. While both require selection of information across the visual field, memory additionally requires the maintenance of information across time and distraction. VSTM recruits areas within human (male and female) dorsal and ventral parietal cortex that are also implicated in spatial selection; therefore, it is important to determine whether overlapping activation might reflect shared attentional demands. Here, identical stimuli and controlled sustained attention across both tasks were used to ask whether fMRI signal amplitude, functional connectivity, and contralateral visual field bias reflect memory-specific task demands. While attention and VSTM activated similar cortical areas, BOLD amplitude and functional connectivity in parietal cortex differentiated the two tasks. Relative to attention, VSTM increased BOLD amplitude in dorsal parietal cortex and decreased BOLD amplitude in the angular gyrus. Additionally, the tasks differentially modulated parietal functional connectivity. Contrasting VSTM and attention, intraparietal sulcus (IPS) 1-2 were more strongly connected with anterior frontoparietal areas and more weakly connected with posterior regions. This divergence between tasks demonstrates that parietal activation reflects memory-specific functions and consequently modulates functional connectivity across the cortex. In contrast, both tasks demonstrated hemispheric asymmetries for spatial processing, exhibiting a stronger contralateral visual field bias in the left versus the right hemisphere across tasks, suggesting that asymmetries are characteristic of a shared selection process in IPS. These results demonstrate that parietal activity and patterns of functional connectivity distinguish VSTM from more general attention processes, establishing a central role of the parietal cortex in maintaining visual information. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Visual short-term memory (VSTM) and
Xue, Cheng; Kaping, Daniel; Ray, Sonia Baloni; Krishna, B Suresh; Treue, Stefan
Visual attention modulates the firing rate of neurons in many primate cortical areas. In V4, a cortical area in the ventral visual pathway, spatial attention has also been shown to reduce the tendency of neurons to fire closely separated spikes (burstiness). A recent model proposes that a single mechanism accounts for both the firing rate enhancement and the burstiness reduction in V4, but this has not been empirically tested. It is also unclear if the burstiness reduction by spatial attention is found in other visual areas and for other attentional types. We therefore recorded from single neurons in the medial superior temporal area (MST), a key motion-processing area along the dorsal visual pathway, of two rhesus monkeys while they performed a task engaging both spatial and feature-based attention. We show that in MST, spatial attention is associated with a clear reduction in burstiness that is independent of the concurrent enhancement of firing rate. In contrast, feature-based attention enhances firing rate but is not associated with a significant reduction in burstiness. These results establish burstiness reduction as a widespread effect of spatial attention. They also suggest that in contrast to the recently proposed model, the effects of spatial attention on burstiness and firing rate emerge from different mechanisms. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.
Faber, Léon G; Maurits, Natasha M; Lorist, Monicque M
Mental fatigue is a form of fatigue, induced by continuous task performance. Mentally fatigued people often report having a hard time keeping their attention focussed and being easily distracted. In this study, we examined the relation between mental fatigue, as induced by time on task, and attention-related changes in event-related potentials (ERPs). EEG, reaction times and response accuracies were obtained from 17 healthy volunteers during two hours of task performance on an adapted Eriksen flanker task. In this task, the size of targets and flankers was manipulated to discern neuronal processes that are related to processing of relevant information from processes related to the processing of irrelevant information. The ERP data showed that effects induced by target size manipulation were not affected by time on task, while an initial effect of flanker size manipulation decreased gradually with increasing time on task. We conclude that attention was affected by mental fatigue, in the form of a decrease in the ability to suppress irrelevant information. In behavioural results, this was reflected by a tendency of participants to increasingly base their response decision on irrelevant information, resulting in decreased response accuracies.
O'Halloran, Aisling M; Finucane, Ciaran; Savva, George M; Robertson, Ian H; Kenny, Rose Anne
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.
Melanie J. Murphy
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.
Bundesen, C; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Houmann, K J
Subjects were presented with briefly exposed visual displays of words that were common first names with a length of four to six letters. In the main experiment, each display consisted of four words: two names shown in red and two shown in white. The subject's task was to report the red names (tar......, visual attention was not automatically attracted by the subject's own name....
Bosse, Marie-Line; Tainturier, Marie Josephe; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span is defined as the amount of distinct visual elements which can be processed in parallel in a multi-element array. Both recent empirical data and theoretical accounts suggest that a VA span deficit might contribute to developmental dyslexia, independently of a phonological disorder. In this study, this hypothesis was…
Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Oakes, Lisa M.; Luck, Steven J.
Two experiments examined the hypothesis that developing visual attentional mechanisms influence infants' Visual Short-Term Memory (VSTM) in the context of multiple items. Five- and 10-month-old infants (N = 76) received a change detection task in which arrays of three differently colored squares appeared and disappeared. On each trial one square…
Allen, Richard J.; Baddeley, Alan D.; Hitch, Graham J.
How does executive attentional control contribute to memory for sequences of visual objects, and what does this reveal about storage and processing in working memory? Three experiments examined the impact of a concurrent executive load (backward counting) on memory for sequences of individually presented visual objects. Experiments 1 and 2 found…
Morey, Candice C.; Bieler, Malte
The role of attention in visual memory remains controversial; while some evidence has suggested that memory for binding between features demands no more attention than does memory for the same features, other evidence has indicated cognitive costs or mnemonic benefits for explicitly attending to
Pieters, RGM; Rosbergen, E; Hartog, M; Corfman, KP; Lynch, JG
Using eye-tracking data, we examine the impact of motivation and repetition on visual attention to advertisements differing in argument quality. Our analyses indicate that repetition leads to an overall decrease in the amount of attention. However, while at first high motivation subjects attend to
Chen, Yanan; Du, Feng
It has been proposed that only one visual working memory (VWM) representation can be activated to influence perception directly, whereas other VWM representations are accessory items which have little influence on visual selection. The sole active VWM representation might reflect a fundamental bottleneck in the information processing of human beings. However, the present study showed that each of two VWM representations can capture attention and interfere with concurrent visual search. In add...
Ralph, Brandon C W; Thomson, David R; Seli, Paul; Carriere, Jonathan S A; Smilek, Daniel
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.
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
McLaughlin, Paula M; Anderson, Nicole D; Rich, Jill B; Chertkow, Howard; Murtha, Susan J E
Subtle deficits in visual selective attention have been found in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). However, few studies have explored performance on visual search paradigms or the Simon task, which are known to be sensitive to disease severity in Alzheimer's patients. Furthermore, there is limited research investigating how deficiencies can be ameliorated with exogenous support (auditory cues). Sixteen individuals with aMCI and 14 control participants completed 3 experimental tasks that varied in demand and cue availability: visual search-alerting, visual search-orienting, and Simon task. Visual selective attention was influenced by aMCI, auditory cues, and task characteristics. Visual search abilities were relatively consistent across groups. The aMCI participants were impaired on the Simon task when working memory was required, but conflict resolution was similar to controls. Spatially informative orienting cues improved response times, whereas spatially neutral alerting cues did not influence performance. Finally, spatially informative auditory cues benefited the aMCI group more than controls in the visual search task, specifically at the largest array size where orienting demands were greatest. These findings suggest that individuals with aMCI have working memory deficits and subtle deficiencies in orienting attention and rely on exogenous information to guide attention. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Munneke, Jaap; Belopolsky, Artem V.; Theeuwes, Jan
Prior studies have shown that spatial attention modulates early visual cortex retinotopically, resulting in enhanced processing of external perceptual representations. However, it is not clear whether the same visual areas are modulated when attention is focused on, and shifted within a working memory representation. In the current fMRI study participants were asked to memorize an array containing four stimuli. After a delay, participants were presented with a verbal cue instructing them to actively maintain the location of one of the stimuli in working memory. Additionally, on a number of trials a second verbal cue instructed participants to switch attention to the location of another stimulus within the memorized representation. Results of the study showed that changes in the BOLD pattern closely followed the locus of attention within the working memory representation. A decrease in BOLD-activity (V1–V3) was observed at ROIs coding a memory location when participants switched away from this location, whereas an increase was observed when participants switched towards this location. Continuous increased activity was obtained at the memorized location when participants did not switch. This study shows that shifting attention within memory representations activates the earliest parts of visual cortex (including V1) in a retinotopic fashion. We conclude that even in the absence of visual stimulation, early visual areas support shifting of attention within memorized representations, similar to when attention is shifted in the outside world. The relationship between visual working memory and visual mental imagery is discussed in light of the current findings. PMID:22558165
Bublak, Peter; Finke, Kathrin; Krummenacher, Joseph
inferior parietal lesion showed a pattern of non-spatially and spatially lateralized attention deficits that is typically found in neglect patients. Results from the second patient supported the decisive role of superior frontal brain structures for top-down control of visual attention. This double...
Wykowska, Agnieszka; Anderl, Christine; Schubö, Anna; Hommel, Bernhard
Increasing evidence suggests that action planning does not only affect the preparation and execution of overt actions but also "works back" to tune the perceptual system toward action-relevant information. We investigated whether the amount of this impact of action planning on perceptual selection varies as a function of motivation for action, which was assessed online by means of pupillometry (Experiment 1) and visual analog scales (VAS, Experiment 2). Findings replicate the earlier observation that searching for size-defined targets is more efficient in the context of grasping than in the context of pointing movements (Wykowska et al., 2009). As expected, changes in tonic pupil size (reflecting changes in effort and motivation) across the sessions, as well as changes in motivation-related scores on the VAS were found to correlate with changes in the size of the action-perception congruency effect. We conclude that motivation and effort might play a crucial role in how much participants prepare for an action and activate action codes. The degree of activation of action codes in turn influences the observed action-related biases on perception.
Full Text Available Increasing evidence suggests that action planning does not only affect the preparation and execution of overt actions but also works back to tune the perceptual system towards action-relevant information. We investigated whether the amount of this impact of action planning on perceptual selection varies as a function of motivation for action, which was assessed online by means of pupillometry (Experiment 1 and visual analogue scales (VAS, Experiment 2. Findings replicate the earlier observation that searching for size-defined targets is more efficient in the context of grasping than in the context of pointing movements (Wykowska, Schubö, & Hommel, 2009. As expected, changes in tonic pupil size (reflecting changes in effort and motivation across the sessions, as well as changes in motivation-related scores on the VAS were found to correlate with changes in the size of the action-perception congruency effect. We conclude that motivation and effort might play a crucial role in how much participants prepare for an action and activate action codes. The degree of activation of action codes in turn influence the observed action-related biases on perception.
Chen, Yanan; Du, Feng
It has been proposed that only one visual working memory (VWM) representation can be activated to influence perception directly, whereas other VWM representations are accessory items which have little influence on visual selection. The sole active VWM representation might reflect a fundamental bottleneck in the information processing of human beings. However, the present study showed that each of two VWM representations can capture attention and interfere with concurrent visual search. In addition, each of two VWM representations can interfere with concurrent visual search as much as can a single cued VWM representation. Moreover, when two memory-matching distractors appear in visual search, two VWM representations produce a larger memory-driven capture effect than a single memory-matching distractor. Thus, two VWM representations can simultaneously control attention.
Danckert, J; Maruff, P
Processes of covert visual spatial attention have been closely linked to the programming of saccadic eye movements. In particular, it has been hypothesized that the reduction in saccadic latency that occurs in the gap paradigm is due to the prior disengagement of covert visual spatial attention. This explanation has received considerable criticism. No study as yet as attempted to demonstrate a facilitation of the disengagement of attention from a covertly attended object. If such facilitation were possible, it would support the hypothesis that the predisengagement of covert attention is necessary for the generation of express saccades. In two experiments using covert orienting of visual attention tasks (COVAT), with a high probability that targets would appear contralateral to the cued location, we attempted to facilitate the disengagement of covert attention by extinguishing peripheral cues prior to the appearance of targets. We hypothesized that the gap between cue offset and target onset would facilitate disengagement of attention from a covertly attended object. For both experiments, responses to targets appearing after a gap were slower than were responses in the no-gap condition. These results suggest that the prior offset of a covertly attended object does not facilitate the disengagement of attention.
This chapter provides a theoretical and methodological approach for dealing with the challenges facing sustainable urban planning. It postulates that by moving our frame of reference from prediction to exploration and speculation we are able to focus attention on theory building and other pedagogic aspects of urban models. It especially exposes our assumptions about time and space and shows that in dynamic simulation models such assumptions are less limiting. Finally, the chapter discusses the advantages of simulation models while acknowledging certain complementarities with stochastic-empirical form of modeling.
Huddleston, Wendy E.; Ernest, Brad E.; Keenan, Kevin G.
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...
Tim C Kietzmann
Full Text Available Our everyday conscious experience of the visual world is fundamentally shaped by the interaction of overt visual attention and object awareness. Although the principal impact of both components is undisputed, it is still unclear how they interact. Here we recorded eye-movements preceding and following conscious object recognition, collected during the free inspection of ambiguous and corresponding unambiguous stimuli. Using this paradigm, we demonstrate that fixations recorded prior to object awareness predict the later recognized object identity, and that subjects accumulate more evidence that is consistent with their later percept than for the alternative. The timing of reached awareness was verified by a reaction-time based correction method and also based on changes in pupil dilation. Control experiments, in which we manipulated the initial locus of visual attention, confirm a causal influence of overt attention on the subsequent result of object perception. The current study thus demonstrates that distinct patterns of overt attentional selection precede object awareness and thereby directly builds on recent electrophysiological findings suggesting two distinct neuronal mechanisms underlying the two phenomena. Our results emphasize the crucial importance of overt visual attention in the formation of our conscious experience of the visual world.
Culibrk, Dubravko; Sladojevic, Srdjan; Riche, Nicolas; Mancas, Matei; Crnojevic, Vladimir
Visual attention deployment mechanisms allow the Human Visual System to cope with an overwhelming amount of visual data by dedicating most of the processing power to objects of interest. The ability to automatically detect areas of the visual scene that will be attended to by humans is of interest for a large number of applications, from video coding, video quality assessment to scene understanding. Due to this fact, visual saliency (bottom-up attention) models have generated significant scientific interest in recent years. Most recent work in this area deals with dynamic models of attention that deal with moving stimuli (videos) instead of traditionally used still images. Visual saliency models are usually evaluated against ground-truth eye-tracking data collected from human subjects. However, there are precious few recently published approaches that try to learn saliency from eyetracking data and, to the best of our knowledge, no approaches that try to do so when dynamic saliency is concerned. The paper attempts to fill this gap and describes an approach to data-driven dynamic saliency model learning. A framework is proposed that enables the use of eye-tracking data to train an arbitrary machine learning algorithm, using arbitrary features derived from the scene. We evaluate the methodology using features from a state-of-the art dynamic saliency model and show how simple machine learning algorithms can be trained to distinguish between visually salient and non-salient parts of the scene.
Wang, Wei; Ji, Xiangtong; Ni, Jun; Ye, Qian; Zhang, Sicong; Chen, Wenli; Bian, Rong; Yu, Cui; Zhang, Wenting; Shen, Guangyu; Machado, Sergio; Yuan, Tifei; Shan, Chunlei
To compare the effect of visual spatial training on the spatial attention to that on motor control and to correlate the improvement of spatial attention to motor control progress after visual spatial training in subjects with unilateral spatial neglect (USN). 9 cases with USN after right cerebral stroke were randomly divided into Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention and Conventional treatment group. The Conventional treatment group + visual spatial attention received conventional rehabilitation therapy (physical and occupational therapy) and visual spatial attention training (optokinetic stimulation and right half-field eye patching). The Conventional treatment group was only treated with conventional rehabilitation training (physical and occupational therapy). All patients were assessed by behavioral inattention test (BIT), Fugl-Meyer Assessment of motor function (FMA), equilibrium coordination test (ECT) and non-equilibrium coordination test (NCT) before and after 4 weeks treatment. Total scores in both groups (without visual spatial attention/with visual spatial attention) improved significantly (BIT: P=0.021/P=0.000, d=1.667/d=2.116, power=0.69/power=0.98, 95%CI[-0.8839,45.88]/95%CI=[16.96,92.64]; FMA: P=0.002/P=0.000, d=2.521/d=2.700, power=0.93/power=0.98, 95%CI[5.707,30.79]/95%CI=[16.06,53.94]; ECT: P=0.002/ P=0.000, d=2.031/d=1.354, power=0.90/power=0.17, 95%CI[3.380,42.61]/95%CI=[-1.478,39.08]; NCT: P=0.013/P=0.000, d=1.124/d=1.822, power=0.41/power=0.56, 95%CI[-7.980,37.48]/95%CI=[4.798,43.60],) after treatment. Among the 2 groups, the group with visual spatial attention significantly improved in BIT (P=0.003, d=3.103, power=1, 95%CI[15.68,48.92]), FMA of upper extremity (P=0.006, d=2.771, power=1, 95%CI[5.061,20.14]) and NCT (P=0.010, d=2.214, power=0.81-0.90, 95%CI[3.018,15.88]). Correlative analysis shows that the change of BIT scores is positively correlated to the change of FMA total score (r=0.77, Pmotor control functions in
Bur, A.; Wurtz, P.; Müri, R. M.; Hügli, H.
Defined as an attentive process in the context of visual sequences, dynamic visual attention refers to the selection of the most informative parts of video sequence. This paper investigates the contribution of motion in dynamic visual attention, and specifically compares computer models designed with the motion component expressed either as the speed magnitude or as the speed vector. Several computer models, including static features (color, intensity and orientation) and motion features (magnitude and vector) are considered. Qualitative and quantitative evaluations are performed by comparing the computer model output with human saliency maps obtained experimentally from eye movement recordings. The model suitability is evaluated in various situations (synthetic and real sequences, acquired with fixed and moving camera perspective), showing advantages and inconveniences of each method as well as preferred domain of application.
Delvenne, Jean-Francois; Holt, Jessica L.
Humans have the ability to attentionally select the most relevant visual information from their extrapersonal world and to retain it in a temporary buffer, known as visual short-term memory (VSTM). Research suggests that at least two non-contiguous items can be selected simultaneously when they are distributed across the two visual hemifields. In…
Striemer, Christopher; Blangero, Annabelle; Rossetti, Yves; Boisson, Dominique; Rode, Gilles; Vighetto, Alain; Pisella, Laure; Danckert, James
Earlier research has suggested that optic ataxia, a deficit in reaching in peripheral vision, can be isolated from Balint's syndrome as it is primarily a visuomotor disorder, independent of perceptual or attentional deficits. Yet almost no research has examined the attentional abilities of these patients. We examined peripheral visual attention in two patients with unilateral optic ataxia. Results indicated that both patients were slower to respond to targets in their ataxic visual field, irrespective of cuing condition (i.e. validly, invalidly, and no cue conditions), consistent with an overall decrease in the salience of stimuli in the ataxic field. Attentional deficits in peripheral vision are therefore an important factor to consider when examining visuomotor control deficits in optic ataxia.
Andersen, Emil; Maier, Anja
associated with specific mood tones. However, it has thus far not been investigated whether these two factors, which we refer to as the perception-primacy and emotion-conveyance, are associated with attentional capture in a congruent manner. To investigate this, we conducted a visual search task study...... at a sufficiently early level of processing to influence attention. We end by discussing implications of our results for design practice and research in psychology....
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.
Roy E Crist
Full Text Available Human perception of faces is widely believed to rely on automatic processing by a domain-specifi c, modular component of the visual system. Scalp-recorded event-related potential (ERP recordings indicate that faces receive special stimulus processing at around 170 ms poststimulus onset, in that faces evoke an enhanced occipital negative wave, known as the N170, relative to the activity elicited by other visual objects. As predicted by modular accounts of face processing, this early face-specifi c N170 enhancement has been reported to be largely immune to the infl uence of endogenous processes such as task strategy or attention. However, most studies examining the infl uence of attention on face processing have focused on non-spatial attention, such as object-based attention, which tend to have longer-latency effects. In contrast, numerous studies have demonstrated that visual spatial attention can modulate the processing of visual stimuli as early as 80 ms poststimulus – substantially earlier than the N170. These temporal characteristics raise the question of whether this initial face-specifi c processing is immune to the infl uence of spatial attention. This question was addressed in a dual-visualstream ERP study in which the infl uence of spatial attention on the face-specifi c N170 could be directly examined. As expected, early visual sensory responses to all stimuli presented in an attended location were larger than responses evoked by those same stimuli when presented in an unattended location. More importantly, a signifi cant face-specifi c N170 effect was elicited by faces that appeared in an attended location, but not in an unattended one. In summary, early face-specifi c processing is not automatic, but rather, like other objects, strongly depends on endogenous factors such as the allocation of spatial attention. Moreover, these fi ndings underscore the extensive infl uence that top-down attention exercises over the processing of
Hong, Xiangfei; Sun, Junfeng; Bengson, Jesse J; Mangun, George R; Tong, Shanbao
EEG studies of cue-induced visual alpha power (8-13 Hz) lateralization have been conducted on young adults without examining differences that may develop as a consequence of normal aging. Here, we examined age-related differences in spatial attention by comparing healthy older and younger adults. Our key finding is that cue-induced alpha power lateralization was observed in younger, but not older adults, even though both groups exhibited classic event-related potential signatures of spatial orienting. Specifically, both younger and older adults showed significant early directing-attention negativity (EDAN), anterior directing-attention negativity (ADAN), late directing-attention positivity (LDAP) and contingent negative variation (CNV). Furthermore, target-evoked sensory components were enhanced for attended relative to unattended targets in both younger and older groups. This pattern of results suggests that although older adults can successfully allocate spatial attention, they do so without the lateralization of alpha power that is commonly observed in younger adults. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that younger and older adults might engage different neural mechanisms for attentional orienting, and that alpha power lateralization during visual spatial attention is a phenomenon that diminishes during normal aging. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
McDonald, John J.; Green, Jessica J.; Jannati, Ali; Di Lollo, Vincent
The presence of a salient distractor interferes with visual search. According to the salience-driven selection hypothesis, this interference is because of an initial deployment of attention to the distractor. Three event-related potential (ERP) findings have been regarded as evidence for this hypothesis: (a) salient distractors were found to…
Boerman, S.; Smit, E.; van Meurs, A.
Using eye-tracking data, we tested what elements of the ad are able to catch the eye and whether the context of the ad can draw visual attention away. Characteristics of 183 magazine ads and their direct context were systematically coded and linked to eye-tracking data. Results showed that indeed ad
Jensen, Rasmus Ramsbøl; Stets, Jonathan Dyssel; Suurmets, Seidi
The study of visual attention in humans relates to a wide range of areas such as: psychology, cognition, usability, and marketing. These studies have been limited to fixed setups with respondents sitting in front of a monitor mounted with a gaze tracking device. The introduction of wearable mobile...
De Voogd, E L; Wiers, R W; Prins, P J M; Salemink, E
An attentional bias for negative information plays an important role in the development and maintenance of (social) anxiety and depression, which are highly prevalent in adolescence. Attention Bias Modification (ABM) might be an interesting tool in the prevention of emotional disorders. The current study investigated whether visual search ABM might affect attentional bias and emotional functioning in adolescents. A visual search task was used as a training paradigm; participants (n = 16 adolescents, aged 13-16) had to repeatedly identify the only smiling face in a 4 × 4 matrix of negative emotional faces, while participants in the control condition (n = 16) were randomly allocated to one of three placebo training versions. An assessment version of the task was developed to directly test whether attentional bias changed due to the training. Self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms and self-esteem were measured pre- and post-training. After two sessions of training, the ABM group showed a significant decrease in attentional bias for negative information and self-reported social phobia, while the control group did not. There were no effects of training on depressive mood or self-esteem. No correlation between attentional bias and social phobia was found, which raises questions about the validity of the attentional bias assessment task. Also, the small sample size precludes strong conclusions. Visual search ABM might be beneficial in changing attentional bias and social phobia in adolescents, but further research with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up is needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Underbjerg, Mette; George, Melanie S; Thorsen, Poul
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...
Enns, James T; Liu, Geniva
Human vision supports both the conscious perception of objects (e.g., identifying a tea cup) and the control of visually guided action on objects (e.g., reaching for a tea cup). The distinction between these two functions is supported by neuroanatomy, neuropsychology, animal lesion studies, psychophysics and kinematics in healthy humans, as well as in overarching theories of the visual brain. Yet research on visual attention, which concerns limitations in processing information concurrently from multiple objects, has so far not fully exploited this functional distinction. Attention research has focused primarily on the conscious aspects of vision, to the relative neglect of the unconscious control of limb actions and whether we can perceive some objects concurrently while acting on others. Here we review research from our lab leading to the conclusions that (1) the finger is guided visually by an automatic pilot that uses different information from that of conscious vision, (2) conscious object identification interferes with concurrent planning of pointing to a second object, though not with the online control needed to complete the pointing action, (3) concurrent perception and action sometimes lead to benefits in motor performance, and (4) the automatic pilot is itself capacity limited in processing information concurrently from multiple locations. These findings help clarify the conditions under which interference-free multitasking is possible and point to new challenges for research on the attentional limits of unconscious visual processing.
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.
Wendt, Mike; Kähler, Svantje T.; Luna-Rodriguez, Aquiles; Jacobsen, Thomas
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
van Moorselaar, Dirk; Theeuwes, Jan; Olivers, Christian N L
Recent studies have revealed that the deployment of attention can be biased by the content of visual working memory (VWM), but that stored memories do not always interact with attention. This has led to a model which proposes a division within VWM between a single active template that interacts with perception and multiple accessory representations that do not. The present study was designed to study whether multiple memory representations are able to bias attention. Participants performed a visual search task while maintaining a variable number of colors in VWM. Consistent with earlier findings, we observed increased attentional capture by memory related distractors when VWM was filled with a single item. However, memory related capture was no longer present for memory loads beyond a single item. The absence of memory related capture at higher VWM loads was independent of individual VWM capacity, nor was it attributable to weaker encoding, forgetting, or reduced precision of memory representations. When analyses were limited to those trials in which participants had a relatively precise memory, there was still no sign of attentional guidance at higher loads. However, when observers were cued toward a specific memory item after encoding, interference with search returned. These results are consistent with a distinction within VWM between representations that interact with perception and those that do not, and show that only a single VWM representation at a time can interact with visual attention.
Full Text Available Previous studies have shown conflicting data as to whether it is possible to sequentially shift spatial attention among visual working memory (VWM representations. The present study investigated this issue by asynchronously presenting attentional cues during the retention interval of a change detection task. In particular, we focused on two types of sequential attention shifts: 1 orienting attention to one location, and then withdrawing attention from it, and 2 switching the focus of attention from one location to another. In Experiment 1, a withdrawal cue was presented after a spatial retro-cue to measure the effect of withdrawing attention. The withdrawal cue significantly reduced the cost of invalid spatial cues, but surprisingly, did not attenuate the benefit of valid spatial cues. This indicates that the withdrawal cue only triggered the activation of facilitative components but not inhibitory components of attention. In Experiment 2, two spatial retro-cues were presented successively to examine the effect of switching the focus of attention. We observed benefits of both the first and second cues in sequential cueing, indicating that participants were able to reorient attention from one location to another within VWM, and the reallocation of attention did not attenuate memory at the first cued location. In Experiment 3, we found that reducing the validity of the preceding spatial cue did lead to a significant reduction in its benefit. However, performance at the first-cued location was still better than the neutral baseline or performance at the uncued locations, indicating that the first cue benefit might have been preserved both partially under automatic control and partially under voluntary control. Our findings revealed new properties of dynamic attentional control in VWM maintenance.
Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Loureiro, Maurício Alves; Caramelli, Paulo
Many studies have suggested that structural and functional cerebral neuroplastic processes result from long-term musical training, which in turn may produce cognitive differences between musicians and non-musicians. We aimed to investigate whether intensive, long-term musical practice is associated with improvements in three different forms of visual attention ability: selective, divided and sustained attention. Musicians from symphony orchestras (n=38) and non-musicians (n=38), who were comparable in age, gender and education, were submitted to three neuropsychological tests, measuring reaction time and accuracy. Musicians showed better performance relative to non-musicians on four variables of the three visual attention tests, and such an advantage could not solely be explained by better sensorimotor integration. Moreover, in the group of musicians, significant correlations were observed between the age at the commencement of musical studies and reaction time in all visual attention tests. The results suggest that musicians present augmented ability in different forms of visual attention, thus illustrating the possible cognitive benefits of long-term musical training. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Hitch, G J
The auditory suffix effect (SE), in which recall of the terminal items of a sequence is impaired by presenting a redundant item at the end of the sequence, has been attributed to the displacement of information from auditory sensory storage. However, the SE may result entirely from unnecessary processing of the redundant item due to a failure of attentional control. Two studies examined this possibility using visual presentation to minimize the importance of sensory storage as a source of information. Experiment I first demonstrated a visual SE and showed that its magnitude did not vary when background illumination was altered, a factor which affects the duration of sensory storage. Experiment II used auditory as well as visual presentation and tested the hypothesis that training subjects to ignore the suffix would reduce the SE. Training was achieved by interpolating redundant items identical to the suffix within sequences. It abolished the visual SE but left the auditory SE unaffected. The visual SE, therefore, is not solely determined by the physical characteristics of the suffix, and cannot be based on erasure in sensory storage. The auditory data, on the other hand, were consistent with the erasure hypothesis. It was concluded that an SE does not of itself demonstrate the involvement of sensory storage, and, in particular, the visual SE appears to reflect the degree to which the redundant item can be excluded from focal attention.
Müller, Thomas; Knoll, Alois
Early visual processing as a method to speed up computations on visual input data has long been discussed in the computer vision community. The general target of a such approaches is to filter nonrelevant information from the costly higher-level visual processing algorithms. By insertion of this additional filter layer the overall approach can be speeded up without actually changing the visual processing methodology. Being inspired by the layered architecture of the human visual processing apparatus, several approaches for early visual processing have been recently proposed. Most promising in this field is the extraction of a saliency map to determine regions of current attention in the visual field. Such saliency can be computed in a bottom-up manner, i.e. the theory claims that static regions of attention emerge from a certain color footprint, and dynamic regions of attention emerge from connected blobs of textures moving in a uniform way in the visual field. Top-down saliency effects are either unconscious through inherent mechanisms like inhibition-of-return, i.e. within a period of time the attention level paid to a certain region automatically decreases if the properties of that region do not change, or volitional through cognitive feedback, e.g. if an object moves consistently in the visual field. These bottom-up and top-down saliency effects have been implemented and evaluated in a previous computer vision system for the project JAST. In this paper an extension applying evolutionary processes is proposed. The prior vision system utilized multiple threads to analyze the regions of attention delivered from the early processing mechanism. Here, in addition, multiple saliency units are used to produce these regions of attention. All of these saliency units have different parameter-sets. The idea is to let the population of saliency units create regions of attention, then evaluate the results with cognitive feedback and finally apply the genetic mechanism
Dye, Matthew W G
The major documented effect of auditory deprivation on visual processing is enhanced spatial attention, in particular to the visual periphery and to moving stimuli. However, there is a parallel literature that has reported deficits in temporal aspects of visual processing in individuals with profound hearing losses. This study builds upon previous work showing possible deficits in processing of rapid serial visual presentation streams in deaf children [Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience (2010), 28, 181-192]. Deaf native signers of American Sign Language and hearing children and adults were asked to perform a 2-AFC identification task with a visual target embedded in a stream of visual stimuli presented at 6 Hz. Both children and adults displayed attentional awakening, whereby target identification accuracy improved as the number of stimuli preceding the target increased. For deaf children, however, this awakening effect was less pronounced than that observed in hearing children, interpreted as difficulty sustaining entrainment to the stimulus stream. The data provide the first account of attentional awakening in children, showing that it improves across the 6-13 year age range. They also provide additional support to the possibility of domain-general alterations in the processing of temporal information in the absence of auditory input. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lambert, Anthony J; Wilkie, Jaimie; Greenwood, Andrea; Ryckman, Nathan; Sciberras-Lim, Evatte; Booker, Laura-Jane; Tahara-Eckl, Lenore
To what extent are shifts of attention driven by encoding of visual-spatial landmarks, associated with useful locations, or by encoding of environmental cues that act as symbolic representations, providing information about where to look next? In Experiment 1 we found that when cues were presented with a long exposure time (300 ms) attention shifts were driven by the symbolic identity of cue stimuli, independently of their visual-spatial (landmark) features; but when cues were exposed very briefly, (66 ms), attention shifts were independent of symbolic information, and were driven instead by visual landmark features. This unexpected finding was interpreted in terms of the transient and sustained response characteristics of the M-cell and P-cell inputs to the dorsal and ventral visual streams, respectively, and informed our theoretical proposal that attentional effects elicited by visual-spatial landmarks may be driven by dorsal stream ("where pathway") encoding; while attentional effects driven by the symbolic identity of cues may be driven by ventral stream ("what pathway") encoding. Detailed predictions derived from this proposal, and based on distinct physiological properties of the 2 visual streams were tested and confirmed in Experiments 2-6. Our results suggest that a 2-process view of attention shifting can be integrated with dual-stream models of vision. According to this unified theory: (a) Landmarks associated with visually useful locations elicit rapid, nonconscious shifts of attention, via nonsemantic, dorsal visual stream encoding of their features and spatial relationships; (b) Slower, endogenous shifts of attention are elicited by ventral visual stream encoding of symbolic-semantic information. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Danckert, James; Merrifield, Colleen
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.
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
Wendy E. Huddleston
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.
Franceschini, Sandro; Gori, Simone; Ruffino, Milena; Pedrolli, Katia; Facoetti, Andrea
Reading is a unique, cognitive human skill crucial to life in modern societies, but, for about 10% of the children, learning to read is extremely difficult. They are affected by a neurodevelopmental disorder called dyslexia. Although impaired auditory and speech sound processing is widely assumed to characterize dyslexic individuals, emerging evidence suggests that dyslexia could arise from a more basic cross-modal letter-to-speech sound integration deficit. Letters have to be precisely selected from irrelevant and cluttering letters by rapid orienting of visual attention before the correct letter-to-speech sound integration applies. Here we ask whether prereading visual parietal-attention functioning may explain future reading emergence and development. The present 3 year longitudinal study shows that prereading attentional orienting--assessed by serial search performance and spatial cueing facilitation--captures future reading acquisition skills in grades 1 and 2 after controlling for age, nonverbal IQ, speech-sound processing, and nonalphabetic cross-modal mapping. Our findings provide the first evidence that visual spatial attention in preschoolers specifically predicts future reading acquisition, suggesting new approaches for early identification and efficient prevention of dyslexia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available In the current study participants explored a desktop virtual environment (VE representing a suburban neighborhood with signs of public disorder (neglect, vandalism and crime, while being exposed to either room air (control group, or subliminal levels of tar (unpleasant; typically associated with burned or waste material or freshly cut grass (pleasant; typically associated with natural or fresh material ambient odor. They reported all signs of disorder they noticed during their walk together with their associated emotional response. Based on recent evidence that odors reflexively direct visual attention to (either semantically or affectively congruent visual objects, we hypothesized that participants would notice more signs of disorder in the presence of ambient tar odor (since this odor may bias attention to unpleasant and negative features, and less signs of disorder in the presence of ambient grass odor (since this odor may bias visual attention towards the vegetation in the environment and away from the signs of disorder. Contrary to our expectations the results show that the presence of an ambient odor did not affect the participants’ visual attention for signs of disorder or their emotional response. We conclude that a closer affective, semantic or spatiotemporal link between the contents of a desktop VE and ambient scents may be required to effectively establish diagnostic associations that guide a user’s attention. In the absence of these direct links, ambient scent may be more diagnostic for the physical environment of the observer as a whole than for the particular items in that environment (or, in this case, items represented in the VE.
Saksida, Amanda; Iannuzzi, Stéphanie; Bogliotti, Caroline; Chaix, Yves; Démonet, Jean-François; Bricout, Laure; Billard, Catherine; Nguyen-Morel, Marie-Ange; Le Heuzey, Marie-France; Soares-Boucaud, Isabelle; George, Florence; Ziegler, Johannes C.; Ramus, Franck
In this study, we concurrently investigated 3 possible causes of dyslexia--a phonological deficit, visual stress, and a reduced visual attention span--in a large population of 164 dyslexic and 118 control French children, aged between 8 and 13 years old. We found that most dyslexic children showed a phonological deficit, either in terms of…
Williams, Melonie; Pouget, Pierre; Boucher, Leanne; Woodman, Geoffrey F.
Theories have proposed that the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory is aided by a spatial rehearsal mechanism. In this study, we used two different approaches to test the hypothesis that overt and covert visual-spatial attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory. First, we tracked observers’ eye movements while remembering a variable number of objects during change-detection tasks. We observed that during the...
Soltanparast, Sanaz; Jafari, Zahra; Sameni, Seyed Jalal; Salehi, Masoud
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.
Full Text Available In line with the Theory of Event Coding (Hommel et al., 2001, action planning has been shown to affect perceptual processing—an effect that has been attributed to a so-called intentional weighting mechanism (Hommel, 2010; Wykowska, Schubö, & Hommel, 2009. This paper investigates the electrophysiological correlates of action-related modulations of selection mechanisms in visual perception. A paradigm combining a visual search task for size and luminance targets with a movement task (grasping or pointing was introduced, and the EEG was recorded while participants were performing the tasks. The results showed that the behavioural congruency effects, i.e., better performance in congruent (relative to incongruent action-perception trials have been reflected by a modulation of the P1 component as well as the N2pc (an ERP marker of spatial attention. These results support the argumentation that action planning modulates already early perceptual processing and attention mechanisms.
Ejaz, Naveed; Mehmood, Irfan; Baik, Sung Wook
Diagnostic hysteroscopy is a popular method for investigating the regions in the female reproductive system. The videos generated by hysteroscopy sessions of patients are recurrently archived in medical libraries. Gynecologists often need to browse these libraries in search of similar cases or for reviewing old videos of a patient. Diagnostic hysteroscopy videos contain a lot of information with abundant redundancy. Key frame extraction-based video summarization can be used to reduce this huge amount of data. Moreover, key frames can be used for browsing and indexing of hysteroscopy videos. In this article, a domain specific visual attention driven framework for summarization of hysteroscopy videos is proposed. The visual attention model is materialized by computing saliency based on color, texture, and motion. The experimental results, in comparison with other techniques, demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed framework. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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.
Koneva, L.; Plotnikov, V.; Plotnikov, D.
The complex research of properties of any visual attention has been carried out in students of the medical university (234). 178 of them additionally had the registered background EEG with computer processing of the results (indices, spectra of physiological rhythms power, cross-section and longitudinal cross correlation, coherence of rhythms). The results of the computer analysis of background EEG in 8 zones of the brain were averaged for revealing the common brain indicators, which reflect ...
Necka, Elizabeth A.; Shneidman, Laura; Krogh-Jespersen, Sheila; Gaskins, Suzanne; Berman, Marc G.; Woodward, Amanda
Top-down influences on observers? overt attention and how they interact with the features of the visual environment have been extensively investigated, but the cultural and developmental aspects of these modulations have been understudied. In this study we investigated these effects for US and Yucatec Mayan infants, children, and adults. Mayan and US participants viewed videos of two actors performing daily Mayan and US tasks in the foreground and the background while their eyes were tracked....
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen’s (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes...... four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance...... clinical tests measuring similar constructs. The empirical independence of the four TVA parameters is suggested by nonsignificant or, in the case of processing speed and working memory storage capacity, only modest correlations between the parameter values....
Itti, Laurent; Koch, Christof
Bottom-up or saliency-based visual attention allows primates to detect nonspecific conspicuous targets in cluttered scenes. A classical metaphor, derived from electrophysiological and psychophysical studies, describes attention as a rapidly shiftable `spot-light.' We use a model that reproduces the attentional scan paths of this spotlight. Simple multi-scale `feature maps' detect local spatial discontinuities in intensity, color, and orientation, and are combined into a unique `master' or `saliency' map. The saliency map is sequentially scanned, in order of decreasing saliency, by the focus of attention. We here study the problem of combining feature maps, from different visual modalities (such as color and orientation), into a unique saliency map. Four combination strategies are compared using three databases of natural color images: (1) Simple normalized summation, (2) linear combination with learned weights, (3) global nonlinear normalization followed by summation, and (4) local nonlinear competition between salient locations followed by summation. Performance was measured as the number of false detections before the most salient target was found. Strategy (1) always yielded poorest performance and (2) best performance, with a threefold to eightfold improvement in time to find a salient target. However, (2) yielded specialized systems with poor generalization. Interestingly, strategy (4) and its simplified, computationally efficient approximation (3) yielded significantly better performance than (1), with up to fourfold improvement, while preserving generality.
Stern, Pnina; Shalev, Lilach
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.
Winges, Kimberly M; Zarpellon, Ursula; Hou, Chuan; Good, William V
Delayed visual maturation (DVM) is usually a retrospective diagnosis given to infants who are born with no or poor visually-directed behavior, despite normal acuity on objective testing, but who recover months later. This condition can be organized into several types based on associated neurodevelopmental or ocular findings, but the etiology of DVM is probably complex and involves multiple possible origins. Here we report two infants who presented with delayed visual maturation (attention). They were visually unresponsive at birth but were later found to have high myopic errors. Patient 1 had -4 D right eye, -5 D left eye. Patient 2 had -9 D o.u. Upon spectacle correction at 5 and 4 months, respectively, both infants immediately displayed visually-directed behavior, suggesting that a high refractive error was the cause of inattention in these patients. These findings could add to knowledge surrounding DVM and the diagnosis of apparently blind infants. Findings presented here also indicate the importance of prompt refractive error measurement in such cases.
de Heering, Adélaïde; Dormal, Giulia; Pelland, Maxime; Lewis, Terri; Maurer, Daphne; Collignon, Olivier
Is a short and transient period of visual deprivation early in life sufficient to induce lifelong changes in how we attend to, and integrate, simple visual and auditory information [1, 2]? This question is of crucial importance given the recent demonstration in both animals and humans that a period of blindness early in life permanently affects the brain networks dedicated to visual, auditory, and multisensory processing [1-16]. To address this issue, we compared a group of adults who had been treated for congenital bilateral cataracts during early infancy with a group of normally sighted controls on a task requiring simple detection of lateralized visual and auditory targets, presented alone or in combination. Redundancy gains obtained from the audiovisual conditions were similar between groups and surpassed the reaction time distribution predicted by Miller's race model. However, in comparison to controls, cataract-reversal patients were faster at processing simple auditory targets and showed differences in how they shifted attention across modalities. Specifically, they were faster at switching attention from visual to auditory inputs than in the reverse situation, while an opposite pattern was observed for controls. Overall, these results reveal that the absence of visual input during the first months of life does not prevent the development of audiovisual integration but enhances the salience of simple auditory inputs, leading to a different crossmodal distribution of attentional resources between auditory and visual stimuli. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lobier, Muriel; Zoubrinetzky, Rachel; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span deficit hypothesis of dyslexia posits that letter string deficits are a consequence of impaired visual processing. Alternatively, some have interpreted this deficit as resulting from a visual-to-phonology code mapping impairment. This study aims to disambiguate between the two interpretations by investigating performance in a non-verbal character string visual categorization task with verbal and non-verbal stimuli. Results show that VA span ability predicts performance for the non-verbal visual processing task in normal reading children. Furthermore, VA span impaired dyslexic children are also impaired for the categorization task independently of stimuli type. This supports the hypothesis that the underlying impairment responsible for the VA span deficit is visual, not verbal. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available When subjects are asked to perceptually bind rapidly alternating colour and motion stimuli, the pairings they report are different from the ones actually occurring in physical reality. A possible explanation for this misbinding is that the time necessary for perception is different for different visual attributes. Such an explanation is in logical harmony with the fact that the visual brain is characterized by different, functionally specialized systems, with different processing times for each; this type of organization naturally leads to different perceptual times for the corresponding attributes. In the present review, the experimental findings supporting perceptual asynchrony are presented, together with the original theoretical explanation behind the phenomenon and its implication for visual consciousness. Alternative theoretical views and additional experimental facts concerning perceptual misbinding are also reviewed, with a particular emphasis given to the role of attention. With few exceptions, most theories converge on the idea that the observed misbinding reflects a difference in perception times, which is in turn due to differences in neuronal processing times for different attributes within the brain. These processing-time differences have been attributed to several different factors, attention included, with the possibility of co-existence between them.
Chamberlain, Rebecca; Wagemans, Johan
Observational drawing skill has been shown to be associated with the ability to focus on local visual details. It is unclear whether superior performance in local processing is indicative of the ability to attend to, and flexibly switch between, local and global levels of visual stimuli. It is also unknown whether these attentional enhancements remain specific to observational drawing skill or are a product of a wide range of artistic activities. The current study aimed to address these questions by testing if flexible visual processing predicts artistic group membership and observational drawing skill in a sample of first-year bachelor's degree art students (n=23) and non-art students (n=23). A pattern of local and global visual processing enhancements was found in relation to artistic group membership and drawing skill, with local processing ability found to be specifically related to individual differences in drawing skill. Enhanced global processing and more fluent switching between local and global levels of hierarchical stimuli predicted both drawing skill and artistic group membership, suggesting that these are beneficial attentional mechanisms for art-making in a range of domains. These findings support a top-down attentional model of artistic expertise and shed light on the domain specific and domain-general attentional enhancements induced by proficiency in the visual arts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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
Carriere, Jonathan S A; Eaton, Daniel; Reynolds, Michael G; Dixon, Mike J; Smilek, Daniel
For individuals with grapheme-color synesthesia, achromatic letters and digits elicit vivid perceptual experiences of color. We report two experiments that evaluate whether synesthesia influences overt visual attention. In these experiments, two grapheme-color synesthetes viewed colored letters while their eye movements were monitored. Letters were presented in colors that were either congruent or incongruent with the synesthetes' colors. Eye tracking analysis showed that synesthetes exhibited a color congruity bias-a propensity to fixate congruently colored letters more often and for longer durations than incongruently colored letters-in a naturalistic free-viewing task. In a more structured visual search task, this congruity bias caused synesthetes to rapidly fixate and identify congruently colored target letters, but led to problems in identifying incongruently colored target letters. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for perception in synesthesia.
He, M.; Gu, H.; Wang, F.
It has been proved that seismic attributes can be used to predict reservoir. The joint of multi-attribute and geological statistics, data mining, artificial intelligence, further promote the development of the seismic attribute analysis. However, the existing methods tend to have multiple solutions and insufficient generalization ability, which is mainly due to the complex relationship between seismic data and geological information, and undoubtedly own partly to the methods applied. Visual attention is a mechanism model of the human visual system which can concentrate on a few significant visual objects rapidly, even in a mixed scene. Actually, the model qualify good ability of target detection and recognition. In our study, the targets to be predicted are treated as visual objects, and an object representation based on well data is made in the attribute dimensions. Then in the same attribute space, the representation is served as a criterion to search the potential targets outside the wells. This method need not predict properties by building up a complicated relation between attributes and reservoir properties, but with reference to the standard determined before. So it has pretty good generalization ability, and the problem of multiple solutions can be weakened by defining the threshold of similarity.
Kardan, Omid; Shneidman, Laura; Krogh-Jespersen, Sheila; Gaskins, Suzanne; Berman, Marc G; Woodward, Amanda
Top-down influences on observers' overt attention and how they interact with the features of the visual environment have been extensively investigated, but the cultural and developmental aspects of these modulations have been understudied. In this study we investigated these effects for US and Yucatec Mayan infants, children, and adults. Mayan and US participants viewed videos of two actors performing daily Mayan and US tasks in the foreground and the background while their eyes were tracked. Our region of interest analysis showed that viewers from the US looked significantly less at the foreground activity and spent more time attending to the 'contextual' information (static background) compared to Mayans. To investigate how and what visual features of videos were attended to in a comprehensive manner, we used multivariate methods which showed that visual features are attended to differentially by each culture. Additionally, we found that Mayan and US infants utilize the same eye-movement patterns in which fixation duration and saccade amplitude are altered in response to the visual stimuli independently. However, a bifurcation happens by age 6, at which US participants diverge and engage in eye-movement patterns where fixation durations and saccade amplitudes are altered simultaneously.
Full Text Available Affective attention involves bottom-up perceptual selection that prioritizes motivationally significant stimuli. To clarify the extent to which this process is automatic, we investigated the dependence of affective attention on the intention to process emotional meaning. Affective attention was manipulated by presenting IAPS images with variable arousal and intentionality by requiring participants to make affective and non-affective evaluations. Polytomous rather than binary decisions were required from the participants in order to elicit relatively deep emotional processing. The temporal dynamics of prioritized processing were assessed using Early Posterior Negativity (EPN, 175-300 ms as well as P3-like (P3, 300 – 500 ms and Slow Wave (SW, 500 – 1500 ms portions of the Late Positive Potential. All analysed components were differentially sensitive to stimulus categories suggesting that they indeed reflect distinct stages of motivational significance encoding. The intention to perceive emotional meaning had no effect on EPN, an additive effect on P3, and an interactive effect on SW. We concluded that affective attention went from completely unintentional during the EPN to partially unintentional during P3 and SW where top-down signals, respectively, complemented and modulated bottom-up differences in stimulus prioritization. The findings were interpreted in light of two-stage models of visual perception by associating the EPN with large-capacity initial relevance detection and the P3 as well as SW with capacity-limited consolidation and elaboration of affective stimuli.
Ortega, Rodrigo; López, Vladimir; Carrasco, Ximena; Anllo-Vento, Lourdes; Aboitiz, Francisco
Visual spatial orienting of attention towards exogenous cues has been one of the attentional functions considered to be spared in ADHD. Here we present a design in which 60 (30 ADHD) children, age: 10.9±1.4, were asked to covertly orient their attention to one or two (out of four) cued locations, and search for a target stimulus in one of these locations, while recording behavioral responses and EEG/ERP. In all conditions, ADHD children showed delayed reaction times and poorer behavioral performance. They also exhibited larger cue-elicited P2 but reduced CNV in the preparation stage. Larger amplitude of CNV predicted better performance in the task. Target-elicited N1 and selection negativity were also reduced in the ADHD group compared to non-ADHD. Groups also differed in the early and late P3 time-windows. The present results suggest that exogenous orienting of attention could be dysfunctional in ADHD under certain conditions. This limitation is not necessarily caused by an impairment of the orienting process itself, but instead by a difficulty in maintaining the relevant information acquired during the early preparation stage through the target processing stage, when it is really needed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Jongman, Suzanne R.; Meyer, Antje S.; Roelofs, Ardi
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
Todorovic, Aleksandar; Black, John A., Jr.; Panchanathan, Sethuraman
The Human Variation Model views disability as simply "an extension of the natural physical, social, and cultural variability of mankind." Given this human variation, it can be difficult to distinguish between a prosthetic device such as a pair of glasses (which extends limited visual abilities into the "normal" range) and a visual enhancement device such as a pair of binoculars (which extends visual abilities beyond the "normal" range). Indeed, there is no inherent reason why the design of visual prosthetic devices should be limited to just providing "normal" vision. One obvious enhancement to human vision would be the ability to visually "zoom" in on objects that are of particular interest to the viewer. Indeed, it could be argued that humans already have a limited zoom capability, which is provided by their highresolution foveal vision. However, humans still find additional zooming useful, as evidenced by their purchases of binoculars equipped with mechanized zoom features. The fact that these zoom features are manually controlled raises two questions: (1) Could a visual enhancement device be developed to monitor attention and control visual zoom automatically? (2) If such a device were developed, would its use be experienced by users as a simple extension of their natural vision? This paper details the results of work with two research platforms called the Remote Visual Explorer (ReVEx) and the Interactive Visual Explorer (InVEx) that were developed specifically to answer these two questions.
Posterior Visual Spatial Attention System Eric SieroffI , Alexander Pollatsek2 , and Michael I. Posner3 1Now at Laboratoire de Neuropsychologie ...Office of Naval Research Contract N-00014-86-0289 and by National Science Foundation Grant BNS-8609336. 2. Now at Laboratoire de Neuropsychologie , Hospital
Andersen, Tobias; Kyllingsbæk, Søren
constrained by a limited processing capacity or rate, which is distributed among target and distractor objects with distractor objects receiving a smaller proportion of resources due to attentional filtering. Encoding into a limited visual short-term memory is implemented as a race model. Given its major...
Marques-Carneiro, J E; Faure, J-B; Barbelivien, A; Nehlig, A; Cassel, J-C
Even if considered benign, absence epilepsy may alter memory and attention, sometimes subtly. Very little is known on behavior and cognitive functions in the Genetic Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg (GAERS) model of absence epilepsy. We focused on different memory systems and sustained visual attention, using Non Epileptic Controls (NECs) and Wistars as controls. A battery of cognitive/behavioral tests was used. The functionality of reference, working, and procedural memory was assessed in the Morris water maze (MWM), 8-arm radial maze, T-maze and/or double-H maze. Sustained visual attention was evaluated in the 5-choice serial reaction time task. In the MWM, GAERS showed delayed learning and less efficient working memory. In the 8-arm radial maze and T-maze tests, working memory performance was normal in GAERS, although most GAERS preferred an egocentric strategy (based on proprioceptive/kinesthetic information) to solve the task, but could efficiently shift to an allocentric strategy (based on spatial cues) after protocol alteration. Procedural memory and visual attention were mostly unimpaired. Absence epilepsy has been associated with some learning problems in children. In GAERS, the differences in water maze performance (slower learning of the reference memory task and weak impairment of working memory) and in radial arm maze strategies suggest that cognitive alterations may be subtle, task-specific, and that normal performance can be a matter of strategy adaptation. Altogether, these results strengthen the "face validity" of the GAERS model: in humans with absence epilepsy, cognitive alterations are not easily detectable, which is compatible with subtle deficits. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Daniel Thomas Jäger
Full Text Available The Broaden-and-Build Theory states that positive emotions broaden cognition and therefore build personal resources. However, missing theoretical precision regarding the interaction of the cognitive processes involved offers a variety of possible explanations for the mechanisms of broadening and building. In Experiment 1 we tested the causality assumption which states that positive emotions first broaden visual attention which in turn leads to broadened cognition. We examined the effects of a broadened, narrowed or neutral attentional scope of 72 subjects (30 men on their momentary thought-action repertoire. Results showed that there were no significant differences between groups regarding the breadth or the content of the thought-action repertoire. In Experiment 2 we studied the non-causality hypothesis which assumes a non-causal relationship between cognitive processes. We did so by investigating the effects of negative, neutral, and positive affect on the visual attentional scope of 85 subjects (41 men in Experiment 2a, as well as on the thought-action repertoire of 85 participants (42 men in Experiment 2b. Results revealed an attentional broadening effect in Experiment 2a but no differences between groups concerning the breadth of the thought-action repertoire in Experiment 2b. However, a theory driven content analysis showed that positive affect promoted social actions whereas negative affect endorsed resource protecting actions. Thus, our results favor the non-causality assumption. Moreover, results indicate that positive emotions do not target personal resources in general but rather resources associated with social behavior. In conclusion, we argue that the Broaden-and-Build Theory should be refined.
Full Text Available Attending to a conversation in a crowded scene requires selection of relevant information, while ignoring other distracting sensory input, such as speech signals from surrounding people. The neural mechanisms of how distracting stimuli influence the processing of attended speech are not well understood. In this high-density electroencephalography (EEG study, we investigated how different types of speech and non-speech stimuli influence the processing of attended audiovisual speech. Participants were presented with three horizontally aligned speakers who produced syllables. The faces of the three speakers flickered at specific frequencies (19 Hz for flanking speakers and 25 Hz for the center speaker, which induced steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP in the EEG that served as a measure of visual attention. The participant’s task was to detect an occasional audiovisual target syllable produced by the center speaker, while ignoring distracting signals originating from the two flanking speakers. In all experimental conditions the center speaker produced a bimodal audiovisual syllable. In three distraction conditions, which were contrasted with a no-distraction control condition, the flanking speakers produced either audiovisual speech, moved their lips and produced acoustic noise, or moved their lips without producing an auditory signal. We observed behavioral interference in particular when the flanking speakers produced naturalistic audiovisual speech. These effects were paralleled by enhanced 19 Hz SSVEP induced by the flanking speakers, indicative of a stimulus-driven capture of attention towards these speakers. The other distraction conditions did not reveal significant interference effects. Thus, our study provides evidence that non-relevant audiovisual speech signals serve as highly salient distractors, which capture attention in a stimulus-driven fashion.
Krause, Hanna; Schneider, Till R; Engel, Andreas K; Senkowski, Daniel
Attending to a conversation in a crowded scene requires selection of relevant information, while ignoring other distracting sensory input, such as speech signals from surrounding people. The neural mechanisms of how distracting stimuli influence the processing of attended speech are not well understood. In this high-density electroencephalography (EEG) study, we investigated how different types of speech and non-speech stimuli influence the processing of attended audiovisual speech. Participants were presented with three horizontally aligned speakers who produced syllables. The faces of the three speakers flickered at specific frequencies (19 Hz for flanking speakers and 25 Hz for the center speaker), which induced steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) in the EEG that served as a measure of visual attention. The participants' task was to detect an occasional audiovisual target syllable produced by the center speaker, while ignoring distracting signals originating from the two flanking speakers. In all experimental conditions the center speaker produced a bimodal audiovisual syllable. In three distraction conditions, which were contrasted with a no-distraction control condition, the flanking speakers either produced audiovisual speech, moved their lips, and produced acoustic noise, or moved their lips without producing an auditory signal. We observed behavioral interference in the reaction times (RTs) in particular when the flanking speakers produced naturalistic audiovisual speech. These effects were paralleled by enhanced 19 Hz SSVEP, indicative of a stimulus-driven capture of attention toward the interfering speakers. Our study provides evidence that non-relevant audiovisual speech signals serve as highly salient distractors, which capture attention in a stimulus-driven fashion.
Frings, Daniel; Moss, Antony C; Albery, Ian P; Eskisan, Guleser; Wilcockson, Thomas D W; Marchant, Alexander P
Responsible drinking messages (RDMs) are used as a key tool to reduce alcohol-related harms. A common form of RDM is in a poster format displayed in places such as bars, bus stops and toilet cubicles. However, evidence for the effectiveness of RDMs remains limited. Moreover, it is not known how environmental contexts (e.g. the number of alcohol-related cues in the environment) impact how such RDMs are interacted with, nor how this in turn affects their efficacy. One hundred participants completed a pseudo taste preference task in either in a bar laboratory (alcohol cue rich environmental context) or a traditional laboratory. The walls of the laboratory displayed either RDM or control posters during this task and eye tracking was used to assess participant attention to the posters. Participants looked at the RDM posters less in the bar laboratory where the environmental context is rich in alcohol cues compared to a traditional laboratory where alcohol cues are sparse. Neither poster type or environmental context affected the amount of 'alcohol' consumed and the amount of visual attention given to RDMs was unrelated to the amount of 'alcohol' consumed. These findings provide experimental evidence that RDMs do not influence drinking behaviour in the direction intended (reduced consumption in situ). In addition, locating RDMs in alcohol-cue rich environments may result in sub-optimal behavioural responses to the RDM materials (e.g. visual attention to content). To maximize the potential impact of RDMs, the optimal location for RDMs is in environments where pre-existing alcohol cues are sparse to non-existent. Responsible drinking messages (RDMs) aim to reduce alcohol consumption, however, the findings of this study show that they may not influence in situ consumption. These findings also suggest that the optimal location for RDMs is in environments with few or no other alcohol-related cues.
Dodd, Michael D; Flowers, John H
The 59th Annual Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (The Influence of Attention, Learning, and Motivation on Visual Search) took place April 7-8, 2011, on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The symposium brought together leading scholars who conduct research related to visual search at a variety levels for a series of talks, poster presentations, panel discussions, and numerous additional opportunities for intellectual exchange. The Symposium was also streamed online for the first time in the history of the event, allowing individuals from around the world to view the presentations and submit questions. The present volume is intended to both commemorate the event itself and to allow our speakers additional opportunity to address issues and current research that have since arisen. Each of the speakers (and, in some cases, their graduate students and post docs) has provided a chapter which both summarizes and expands on their original presentations. In this chapter, we sought to a) provide additional context as to how the Symposium came to be, b) discuss why we thought that this was an ideal time to organize a visual search symposium, and c) to briefly address recent trends and potential future directions in the field. We hope you find the volume both enjoyable and informative, and we thank the authors who have contributed a series of engaging chapters.
Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael
The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full Text Available Effective interaction between a human and a robot requires the bidirectional perception and interpretation of actions and behavior. While actions can be identified as a directly observable activity, this might not be sufficient to deduce actions in a scene. For example, orienting our face toward a book might suggest the action toward “reading.” For a human observer, this deduction requires the direction of gaze, the object identified as a book and the intersection between gaze and book. With this in mind, we aim to estimate and map human visual attention as directed to a scene, and assess how this relates to the detection of objects and their related actions. In particular, we consider human head pose as measurement to infer the attention of a human engaged in a task and study which prior knowledge should be included in such a detection system. In a user study, we show the successful detection of attention to objects in a typical office task scenario (i.e., reading, working with a computer, studying an object. Our system requires a single external RGB camera for head pose measurements and a pre-recorded 3D point cloud of the environment.
Riley, Elizabeth; Okabe, Hidefusa; Germine, Laura; Wilmer, Jeremy; Esterman, Michael; DeGutis, Joseph
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.
Khaustova, Dar'ya; Fournier, Jérome; Wyckens, Emmanuel; Le Meur, Olivier
The 3D image/video quality of experience is a multidimensional concept that depends on 2D image quality, depth quantity and visual comfort. The relationship between these parameters is not yet clearly defined. From this perspective, we aim to understand how texture complexity, depth quantity and visual comfort influence the way people observe 3D content in comparison with 2D. Six scenes with different structural parameters were generated using Blender software. For these six scenes, the following parameters were modified: texture complexity and the amount of depth changing the camera baseline and the convergence distance at the shooting side. Our study was conducted using an eye-tracker and a 3DTV display. During the eye-tracking experiment, each observer freely examined images with different depth levels and texture complexities. To avoid memory bias, we ensured that each observer had only seen scene content once. Collected fixation data were used to build saliency maps and to analyze differences between 2D and 3D conditions. Our results show that the introduction of disparity shortened saccade length; however fixation durations remained unaffected. An analysis of the saliency maps did not reveal any differences between 2D and 3D conditions for the viewing duration of 20 s. When the whole period was divided into smaller intervals, we found that for the first 4 s the introduced disparity was conducive to the section of saliency regions. However, this contribution is quite minimal if the correlation between saliency maps is analyzed. Nevertheless, we did not find that discomfort (comfort) had any influence on visual attention. We believe that existing metrics and methods are depth insensitive and do not reveal such differences. Based on the analysis of heat maps and paired t-tests of inter-observer visual congruency values we deduced that the selected areas of interest depend on texture complexities.
Fuggetta, Giorgio; Bennett, Matthew A; Duke, Philip A
A theoretical framework has been put forward to understand attention deficits in schizophrenia (Luck SJ & Gold JM. Biological Psychiatry. 2008; 64:34-39). We adopted this framework to evaluate any deficits in attentional processes in schizotypy. Sixteen low schizotypal (LoS) and 16 high schizotypal (HiS) individuals performed a novel paradigm combining a match-to-sample task, with inhibition of return (using spatially uninformative cues) and memory-guided efficient visual-search within one trial sequence. Behavioural measures and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. Behaviourally, HiS individuals exhibited a spatial cueing effect while LoS individuals showed the more typical inhibition of return effect. These results suggest HiS individuals have a relative deficit in rule selection - the endogenous control process involved in disengaging attention from the uninformative location cue. ERP results showed that the late-phase of N2pc evoked by the target stimulus had greater peak latency and amplitude in HiS individuals. This suggests a relative deficit in the implementation of selection - the process of focusing attention onto target features that enhances relevant/suppresses irrelevant inputs. This is a different conclusion than when the same theoretical framework has been applied to schizophrenia, which argues little or no deficit in implementation of selection amongst patients. Also, HiS individuals exhibited earlier onset and greater amplitude of the mismatch-triggered negativity component. In summary, our results indicate deficits of both control and implementation of selection in HiS individuals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Williams, Melonie; Pouget, Pierre; Boucher, Leanne; Woodman, Geoffrey F.
Theories have proposed that the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory is aided by a spatial rehearsal mechanism. In this study, we used two different approaches to test the hypothesis that overt and covert visual-spatial attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations in visual working memory. First, we tracked observers’ eye movements while remembering a variable number of objects during change-detection tasks. We observed that during the blank retention interval, participants spontaneously shifted gaze to the locations that the objects had occupied in the memory array. Next, we hypothesized that if attention mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations, then drawing attention away from the object locations during the retention interval would impair object memory during these change-detection tasks. Supporting this prediction, we found that attending to the fixation point in anticipation of a brief probe stimulus during the retention interval reduced change-detection accuracy even on the trials in which no probe occurred. These findings support models of working memory in which visual-spatial selection mechanisms contribute to the maintenance of object representations. PMID:23371773
Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; DeGutis, Joseph; Germine, Laura; Wilmer, Jeremy B; Grosso, Mallory; Russo, Kathryn; Esterman, Michael
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.
Rochais, C; Sébilleau, M; Houdebine, M; Bec, P; Hausberger, M; Henry, S
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.
Rochais, C.; Sébilleau, M.; Houdebine, M.; Bec, P.; Hausberger, M.; Henry, S.
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.
Barraza-Bernal, Maria J; Ivanov, Iliya V; Nill, Svenja; Rifai, Katharina; Trauzettel-Klosinski, Susanne; Wahl, Siegfried
The sustained component of visual attention lowers the perceptual threshold of stimuli located at the attended region. Attentional performance is not equal for all eccentric positions, leading to variations in perception. The location of the preferred retinal locus (PRL) for fixation might be influenced by these attentional variations. This study investigated the relation between the placement of sustained attention and the location of a developed PRL using simulations of central scotoma. Thirteen normally sighted subjects participated in the study. Monocular sustained attention was measured in discrete eccentric locations of the visual field using the dominant eye. Subsequently, a six degrees macular scotoma was simulated and PRL training was performed during eight ten-minutes blocks of trials. After training, every subject developed a PRL. Subjects with high attentional capabilities in the lower hemifield generally developed PRLs in the lower hemifield (n=10), subjects with high attentional capabilities in the upper hemifield developed PRLs in the upper hemifield (n=2) and one subject with similar attentional capabilities in the upper and lower hemifield developed the PRL on the upper hemifield. Analyzed individually, the results showed that 70% of the subjects had a PRL location in the hemifield where high attentional performance was achieved. These results suggest that attentional capabilities can be used as a predictor for the development of the PRL and are of significance for low vision rehabilitation and for the development of new PRL training procedures, with the option for a preventive attentional training in early macular disease to develop a favorable PRL. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Sugimoto, Fumie; Katayama, Jun'ichi
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.
Full Text Available Humans can easily understand other people's actions through visual systems, while computers cannot. Therefore, a new bio-inspired computational model is proposed in this paper aiming for automatic action recognition. The model focuses on dynamic properties of neurons and neural networks in the primary visual cortex (V1, and simulates the procedure of information processing in V1, which consists of visual perception, visual attention and representation of human action. In our model, a family of the three-dimensional spatial-temporal correlative Gabor filters is used to model the dynamic properties of the classical receptive field of V1 simple cell tuned to different speeds and orientations in time for detection of spatiotemporal information from video sequences. Based on the inhibitory effect of stimuli outside the classical receptive field caused by lateral connections of spiking neuron networks in V1, we propose surround suppressive operator to further process spatiotemporal information. Visual attention model based on perceptual grouping is integrated into our model to filter and group different regions. Moreover, in order to represent the human action, we consider the characteristic of the neural code: mean motion map based on analysis of spike trains generated by spiking neurons. The experimental evaluation on some publicly available action datasets and comparison with the state-of-the-art approaches demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed model.
Michel, Fran?ois; Henaff, Marie-Anne
Following bi-parietal lesions patient AT showed a severe inability to relocate her attention within a visual field which perimetry proved to be near-normal. An experimental approach with tasks testing visuo-spatial attention demonstrated a shrinkage of A.T.’s attentional visual field. With her visual attention narrowed to a kind of functional tunnel vision, the patient exhibited simultanagnosia (Wolpert, 1924), a symptom previously described in 1909 by Balint under the label of Psychic paraly...
Korda, Alexandra I; Koliaraki, Mariniki; Asvestas, Pantelis A; Matsopoulos, George K; Ventouras, Errikos M; Ktonas, Periklis Y; Smyrnis, Nikolaos
The frequency of intrusive saccades during maintenance of active visual fixation has been used as a measure of sustained visual attention in studies of healthy subjects as well as of neuropsychiatric patient populations. In this study, the mechanism that generates intrusive saccades during active visual fixation was investigated in a population of young healthy men performing three sustained fixation tasks (fixation to a visual target, fixation to a visual target with visual distracters, and fixation straight ahead in the dark). Markov Chain modeling of inter-saccade intervals (ISIs) was utilized. First- and second-order Markov modeling provided indications for the existence of a non-random pattern in the production of intrusive saccades. Accordingly, the system of intrusive saccade generation may operate in two "attractor" states, one in which intrusive saccades occur at short consecutive ISIs and another in which intrusive saccades occur at long consecutive ISIs. These states might correspond to two distinct states of the attention system, one of low focused - high distractibility and another of high focused - low distractibility, such as those proposed in the adaptive gain theory for the control of attention by the noradrenergic system in the brain. To the authors knowledge, this is the first time that Markov Chain modeling has been applied to the analysis of the ISIs of intrusive saccades. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hijazi, Mona Mohamed Kamal
Attention and visual perception are important in fencing, as they affect the levels of performance and achievement in fencers. This study identifies the levels of attention and visual perception among male and female fencers and the relationship between attention and visual perception dimensions and the sport performance in fencing. The researcher employed a descriptive method in a sample of 16 fencers during the 2010/2011 season. The sample was comprised of eight males and eight females who participated in the 11-year stage of the Cairo Championships. The Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style, which was designed by Nideffer and translated by Allawi (1998) was applied. The test consisted of 59 statements that measured seven dimensions. The Test of Visual Perception Skills designed by Alsmadune (2005), which includes seven dimensions was also used. Among females, a positive and statistically significant correlation between the achievement level and Visual Discrimination, Visual-Spatial Relationships, Visual Sequential Memory, Narrow Attentional Focus and Information Processing was observed, while among males, there was a positive and statistically significant correlation between the achievement level and Visual Discrimination, Visual Sequential Memory, Broad External Attentional Focus and Information Processing. For both males and females, a positive and statistically significant correlation between achievement level and Visual Discrimination, Visual Sequential Memory, Broad External Attentional, Narrow Attentional Focus and Information Processing was found. There were statistically significant differences between males and females in Visual Discrimination and Visual-Form Constancy.
Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund
information table, a table with visual attributes levels and a realistic product mock-up presentation. Presentation format was found to exert a significant bottom-up effect on visual attention and subsequent choice. Visual attention and choice behaviour in discrete choice experiments were found to be strongly...
Pieters, F.G.M.; Rosbergen, E.; Wedel, M.
The authors examine consumers' visual attention during repeated exposures to print advertisements using eye-tracking methodology. The authors propose a statistical model comprising submodels for two key measures of visual attention to elements of the advertisement: attention duration and inter- and
Schubert, Torsten; Finke, Kathrin; Redel, Petra; Kluckow, Steffen; Müller, Hermann; Strobach, Tilo
Experts with video game experience, in contrast to non-experienced persons, are superior in multiple domains of visual attention. However, it is an open question which basic aspects of attention underlie this superiority. We approached this question using the framework of Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) with tools that allowed us to assess various parameters that are related to different visual attention aspects (e.g., perception threshold, processing speed, visual short-term memory storage capacity, top-down control, spatial distribution of attention) and that are measurable on the same experimental basis. In Experiment 1, we found advantages of video game experts in perception threshold and visual processing speed; the latter being restricted to the lower positions of the used computer display. The observed advantages were not significantly moderated by general person-related characteristics such as personality traits, sensation seeking, intelligence, social anxiety, or health status. Experiment 2 tested a potential causal link between the expert advantages and video game practice with an intervention protocol. It found no effects of action video gaming on perception threshold, visual short-term memory storage capacity, iconic memory storage, top-down control, and spatial distribution of attention after 15 days of training. However, observations of a selected improvement of processing speed at the lower positions of the computer screen after video game training and of retest effects are suggestive for limited possibilities to improve basic aspects of visual attention (TVA) with practice. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Lobier, Muriel; Palva, J Matias; Palva, Satu
Visuospatial attention prioritizes processing of attended visual stimuli. It is characterized by lateralized alpha-band (8-14 Hz) amplitude suppression in visual cortex and increased neuronal activity in a network of frontal and parietal areas. It has remained unknown what mechanisms coordinate neuronal processing among frontoparietal network and visual cortices and implement the attention-related modulations of alpha-band amplitudes and behavior. We investigated whether large-scale network synchronization could be such a mechanism. We recorded human cortical activity with magnetoencephalography (MEG) during a visuospatial attention task. We then identified the frequencies and anatomical networks of inter-areal phase synchronization from source localized MEG data. We found that visuospatial attention is associated with robust and sustained long-range synchronization of cortical oscillations exclusively in the high-alpha (10-14 Hz) frequency band. This synchronization connected frontal, parietal and visual regions and was observed concurrently with amplitude suppression of low-alpha (6-9 Hz) band oscillations in visual cortex. Furthermore, stronger high-alpha phase synchronization was associated with decreased reaction times to attended stimuli and larger suppression of alpha-band amplitudes. These results thus show that high-alpha band phase synchronization is functionally significant and could coordinate the neuronal communication underlying the implementation of visuospatial attention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Erickson, Lucy C.; Thiessen, Erik D.; Godwin, Karrie E.; Dickerson, John P.; Fisher, Anna V.
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…
Jongman, S.R.; Meyer, A.S.; Roelofs, A.P.A.
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
Pesce, Caterina; Cereatti, Lucio; Casella, Rita; Baldari, Carlo; Capranica, Loaura
This study investigated the visual attention of older expert orienteers and older adults not practicing activities with high attentional and psychomotor demands, and considered whether prolonged practice of orienteering may counteract the age-related deterioration of visual attentional performance both at rest and under acute exercise. In two discriminative reaction time experiments, performed both at rest and under submaximal physical workload, visual attention was cued by means of spatial cues of different sizes followed, at different stimulus-onset asynchronies, by compound stimuli with local and global target features. Orienteers, as compared to nonathletes, showed a faster reaction speed and a complex pattern of attentional differences depending on the time constraints of the attentional task, the demands on endogenous attentional control, and the presence or absence of a concomitant effortful motor task. Results suggest that older expert orienteers have developed attentional skills that outweigh, at least at rest, the age-related deficits of visual attentional focusing.
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition.
Lim, Julian; Tan, Jiat Chow; Parimal, Sarayu; Dinges, David F.; Chee, Michael W. L.
Background Most prior studies on selective attention in the setting of total sleep deprivation (SD) have focused on behavior or activation within fronto-parietal cognitive control areas. Here, we evaluated the effects of SD on the top-down biasing of activation of ventral visual cortex and on functional connectivity between cognitive control and other brain regions. Methodology/Principal Findings Twenty-three healthy young adult volunteers underwent fMRI after a normal night of sleep (RW) and after sleep deprivation in a counterbalanced manner while performing a selective attention task. During this task, pictures of houses or faces were randomly interleaved among scrambled images. Across different blocks, volunteers responded to house but not face pictures, face but not house pictures, or passively viewed pictures without responding. The appearance of task-relevant pictures was unpredictable in this paradigm. SD resulted in less accurate detection of target pictures without affecting the mean false alarm rate or response time. In addition to a reduction of fronto-parietal activation, attending to houses strongly modulated parahippocampal place area (PPA) activation during RW, but this attention-driven biasing of PPA activation was abolished following SD. Additionally, SD resulted in a significant decrement in functional connectivity between the PPA and two cognitive control areas, the left intraparietal sulcus and the left inferior frontal lobe. Conclusions/Significance SD impairs selective attention as evidenced by reduced selectivity in PPA activation. Further, reduction in fronto-parietal and ventral visual task-related activation suggests that it also affects sustained attention. Reductions in functional connectivity may be an important additional imaging parameter to consider in characterizing the effects of sleep deprivation on cognition. PMID:20140099
Pilling, Michael; Barrett, Doug J K
We investigated how dimension-based attention influences visual short-term memory (VSTM). This was done through examining the effects of cueing a feature dimension in two perceptual comparison tasks (change detection and sameness detection). In both tasks, a memory array and a test array consisting of a number of colored shapes were presented successively, interleaved by a blank interstimulus interval (ISI). In Experiment 1 (change detection), the critical event was a feature change in one item across the memory and test arrays. In Experiment 2 (sameness detection), the critical event was the absence of a feature change in one item across the two arrays. Auditory cues indicated the feature dimension (color or shape) of the critical event with 80 % validity; the cues were presented either prior to the memory array, during the ISI, or simultaneously with the test array. In Experiment 1, the cue validity influenced sensitivity only when the cue was given at the earliest position; in Experiment 2, the cue validity influenced sensitivity at all three cue positions. We attributed the greater effectiveness of top-down guidance by cues in the sameness detection task to the more active nature of the comparison process required to detect sameness events (Hyun, Woodman, Vogel, Hollingworth, & Luck, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 35; 1140-1160, 2009).
Shen, John; Itti, Laurent
.... In light of these findings, we sought to determine whether sex differences also existed in visual attention during a related listening task, and if so, if the differences existed among attention...
Caspersen, Ida Dyhr; Habekost, Thomas
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...
de Jong, Ritske; Toffanin, Paolo; Harbers, Marten; Martens, Sander
Frequency tagging has been often used to study intramodal attention but not intermodal attention. We used EEG and simultaneous frequency tagging of auditory and visual sources to study intermodal focused and divided attention in detection and discrimination performance. Divided-attention costs were
Poth, Christian H; Petersen, Anders; Bundesen, Claus; Schneider, Werner X
Monitoring the environment for visual events while performing a concurrent task requires adjustment of visual processing priorities. By use of Bundesen's (1990) Theory of Visual Attention, we investigated how monitoring for an object-based brief event affected distinct components of visual attention in a concurrent task. The perceptual salience of the event was varied. Monitoring reduced the processing speed in the concurrent task, and the reduction was stronger when the event was less salient. The monitoring task neither affected the temporal threshold of conscious perception nor the storage capacity of visual short-term memory nor the efficiency of top-down controlled attentional selection.
Christian H. Poth
Full Text Available Monitoring the environment for visual events while performing a concurrent task requires adjustment of visual processing priorities. By use of Bundesen's (1990 Theory of Visual Attention (TVA, we investigated how monitoring for an object-based brief event affected distinct components of visual attention in a concurrent task. The perceptual salience of the event was varied. Monitoring reduced the processing speed in the concurrent task, and the reduction was stronger when the event was less salient. The monitoring task neither affected the temporal threshold of conscious perception nor the storage capacity of visual short-term memory nor the efficiency of top-down controlled attentional selection.
Khosla, Deepak; Huber, David J.; Martin, Kevin
This paper† describes a technique in which we improve upon the prior performance of the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) EEG paradigm for image classification though the insertion of visual attention distracters and overall sequence reordering based upon the expected ratio of rare to common "events" in the environment and operational context. Inserting distracter images maintains the ratio of common events to rare events at an ideal level, maximizing the rare event detection via P300 EEG response to the RSVP stimuli. The method has two steps: first, we compute the optimal number of distracters needed for an RSVP stimuli based on the desired sequence length and expected number of targets and insert the distracters into the RSVP sequence, and then we reorder the RSVP sequence to maximize P300 detection. We show that by reducing the ratio of target events to nontarget events using this method, we can allow RSVP sequences with more targets without sacrificing area under the ROC curve (azimuth).
Yadav, Naveen K; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J
To quantify visual attention objectively using the visual-evoked potential (VEP) in those having mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) with and without a self-reported attentional deficit. Subjects were comprised of 16 adults with mTBI: 11 with an attentional deficit and five without. Three test conditions were used to assess the visual attentional state to quantify objectively the VEP alpha band attenuation ratio (AR) related to attention: (1) pattern VEP; (2) eyes-closed; and (3) eyes-closed number counting. The AR was calculated for both the individual and combined alpha frequencies (8-13 Hz). The objective results were compared to two subjective tests of visual and general attention (i.e. the VSAT and ASRS, respectively). The AR for both the individual and combined alpha frequencies was found to be abnormal in those with mTBI having an attentional deficit. In contrast, the AR was normal in those with mTBI but without an attentional deficit. The AR correlated with the ASRS, but not with the VSAT, test scores. The objective and subjective tests were able to differentiate between those having mTBI with and without an attentional deficit. The proposed VEP protocol can be used in the clinic to detect and assess objectively and reliably a visual attentional deficit in the mTBI population.
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.
Gherri, Elena; Eimer, Martin
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.
Full Text Available Following moving visual stimuli (conditioning stimuli, CS, many organisms perceive, in the absence of physical stimuli, illusory motion in the opposite direction. This phenomenon is known as the motion aftereffect (MAE. Here, we use MAE as a tool to study the neuronal basis of visual motion perception in zebrafish larvae. Using zebrafish eye movements as an indicator of visual motion perception, we find that larvae perceive MAE. Blocking eye movements using optogenetics during CS presentation did not affect MAE, but tectal ablation significantly weakened it. Using two-photon calcium imaging of behaving GCaMP3 larvae, we find post-stimulation sustained rhythmic activity among direction-selective tectal neurons associated with the perception of MAE. In addition, tectal neurons tuned to the CS direction habituated, but neurons in the retina did not. Finally, a model based on competition between direction-selective neurons reproduced MAE, suggesting a neuronal circuit capable of generating perception of visual motion.
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.
Liu, Duo; Chen, Xi; Wang, Ying
The present study investigated the associations of visual-spatial attention with word reading fluency and spelling in 92 third grade Hong Kong Chinese children. Word reading fluency was measured with a timed reading task whereas spelling was measured with a dictation task. Results showed that visual-spatial attention was a unique predictor of…
Shimi, Andria; Nobre, Anna C.; Astle, Duncan; Scerif, Gaia
How does developing attentional control operate within visual short-term memory (VSTM)? Seven-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and adults (total n = 205) were asked to report whether probe items were part of preceding visual arrays. In Experiment 1, central or peripheral cues oriented attention to the location of to-be-probed items either prior to…
Looking behavior plays a crucial role in the daily life of an infant and forms the basis for cognitive and social development. The infant's visual attentional systems undergo rapid development during the first few months of life. During the last decennia, the study of visual attentional development
Nikkelen, S.W.C.; Anschutz, D.J.; Ha, P.T.; Engels, R.C.M.E.
The present study examined the moderating effect of men's visual attention toward male images on the relationship between idealized media exposure and body dissatisfaction. Of particular interest was men's visual attention to the abdomens and upper bodies of male images. Fifty male undergraduate
Wang, Shuo; Xu, Juan; Jiang, Ming; Zhao, Qi; Hurlemann, Rene; Adolphs, Ralph
People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have pervasive impairments in social interactions, a diagnostic component that may have its roots in atypical social motivation and attention. One of the brain structures implicated in the social abnormalities seen in ASD is the amygdala. To further characterize the impairment of people with ASD in social attention, and to explore the possible role of the amygdala, we employed a series of visual search tasks with both social (faces and people with different postures, emotions, ages, and genders) and non-social stimuli (e.g., electronics, food, and utensils). We first conducted trial-wise analyses of fixation properties and elucidated visual search mechanisms. We found that an attentional mechanism of initial orientation could explain the detection advantage of non-social targets. We then zoomed into fixation-wise analyses. We defined target-relevant effects as the difference in the percentage of fixations that fell on target-congruent vs. target-incongruent items in the array. In Experiment 1, we tested 8 high-functioning adults with ASD, 3 adults with focal bilateral amygdala lesions, and 19 controls. Controls rapidly oriented to target-congruent items and showed a strong and sustained preference for fixating them. Strikingly, people with ASD oriented significantly less and more slowly to target-congruent items, an attentional deficit especially with social targets. By contrast, patients with amygdala lesions performed indistinguishably from controls. In Experiment 2, we recruited a different sample of 13 people with ASD and 8 healthy controls, and tested them on the same search arrays but with all array items equalized for low-level saliency. The results replicated those of Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, we recruited 13 people with ASD, 8 healthy controls, 3 amygdala lesion patients and another group of 11 controls and tested them on a simpler array. Here our group effect for ASD strongly diminished and all four subject
Wang, Shuo; Xu, Juan; Jiang, Ming; Zhao, Qi; Hurlemann, Rene; Adolphs, Ralph
People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have pervasive impairments in social interactions, a diagnostic component that may have its roots in atypical social motivation and attention. One of the brain structures implicated in the social abnormalities seen in ASD is the amygdala. To further characterize the impairment of people with ASD in social attention, and to explore the possible role of the amygdala, we employed a series of visual search tasks with both social (faces and people with different postures, emotions, ages, and genders) and non-social stimuli (e.g., electronics, food, and utensils). We first conducted trial-wise analyses of fixation properties and elucidated visual search mechanisms. We found that an attentional mechanism of initial orientation could explain the detection advantage of non-social targets. We then zoomed into fixation-wise analyses. We defined target-relevant effects as the difference in the percentage of fixations that fell on target-congruent vs. target-incongruent items in the array. In Experiment 1, we tested 8 high-functioning adults with ASD, 3 adults with focal bilateral amygdala lesions, and 19 controls. Controls rapidly oriented to target-congruent items and showed a strong and sustained preference for fixating them. Strikingly, people with ASD oriented significantly less and more slowly to target-congruent items, an attentional deficit especially with social targets. By contrast, patients with amygdala lesions performed indistinguishably from controls. In Experiment 2, we recruited a different sample of 13 people with ASD and 8 healthy controls, and tested them on the same search arrays but with all array items equalized for low-level saliency. The results replicated those of Experiment 1. In Experiment 3, we recruited 13 people with ASD, 8 healthy controls, 3 amygdala lesion patients and another group of 11 controls and tested them on a simpler array. Here our group effect for ASD strongly diminished and all four subject
Stutz, Aaron J
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.
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
Kim, Gho; Lee, Jang-Han
This research was conducted to examine the level of consumers' visual attention to Internet advertising. It was predicted that consumers' search type would influence visual attention to advertising. Specifically, it was predicted that more attention to advertising would be attracted in the exploratory search condition than in the goal-directed search condition. It was also predicted that there would be a difference in visual attention depending on the advertisement type (advertising type: text vs. pictorial advertising). An eye tracker was used for measurement. Results revealed that search condition and advertising type influenced advertising effectiveness.
Coutinho, Gabriel; Mattos, Paulo; Araújo, Catia; Borges, Manuela; Alfano, Angela
Despite the importance of objective measures of attention to clinical practice, there is a paucity of Brazilian standardized tests. Objective The aim of the present study was the standardization of a normative group for the third version of a computerized test of visual attention (TAVIS-3), developed to evaluate children and adolescents in the 6 to 17 years age range. Methods 631 students from 3 schools in Rio de Janeiro city were assessed with TAVIS-3, administered by experienced psychologists, following parents’ authorization. Results The normative groups were determined considering performance of different age groups: from 6 to 10 years (with scores for 5 different ages); from 11 to 12 and from 13 to 17 years. Three tasks (focused, shifted and sustained attention) were standardized for each age group. Conclusion The standardization of a normative group for TAVIS-3 discriminated performance ranges for distinct age groups, allowing its use as a neuropsychological assessment of attention. PMID:29213535
Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; Silver, Michael A; Robertson, Lynn C
It has previously been reported that visual crowding of a target by flankers is stronger in the upper visual field than in the lower, and this finding has been attributed to greater attentional resolution in the lower hemifield (He, Cavanagh, & Intriligator, 1996). Here we show that the upper/lower asymmetry in visual crowding can be explained by natural variations in the borders of each individual's visual field. Specifically, asymmetry in crowding along the vertical meridian can be almost entirely accounted for by replacing the conventional definition of visual field location, in units of degrees of visual angle, with a definition based on the ratio of the extents of an individual's upper and lower visual field. We also show that the upper/lower crowding asymmetry is eliminated when stimulus eccentricity is expressed in units of percentage of visual field extent but is present when the conventional measure of visual angle is used. We further demonstrate that the relationship between visual field extent and perceptual asymmetry is most evident when participants are able to focus their attention on the target location. These results reveal important influences of visual field boundaries on visual perception, even for visual field locations far from those boundaries. © 2015 ARVO.
Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.
Practicing a visual task commonly results in improved performance. Often the improvement does not transfer well to a new retinal location, suggesting that it is mediated by changes occurring in early visual cortex, and indeed neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies both demonstrate that perceptual learning is associated with altered activity…
Dell'Acqua, Roberto; Sessa, Paola; Toffanin, Paolo; Luria, Roy; Joliccoeur, Pierre
We measured electroencephalographic activity during visual search of a target object among objects available to perception or among objects held in visual short-term memory (VSTM). For perceptual search, a single shape was shown first (pre-cue) followed by a search-array and the task was to decide
the CT scan findings at the time of initial testing seven weeks after the ictus . At that time he still manifested some psychomotor retardation and mild...visual neglect. At the time of retesting six months after the ictus , he was alert, lucid and subtle visual neglect was evident only on a letter
Ronconi, Luca; Facoetti, Andrea; Bulf, Hermann; Franchin, Laura; Bettoni, Roberta; Valenza, Eloisa
Since subthreshold autistic social impairments aggregate in family members, and since attentional dysfunctions appear to be one of the earliest cognitive markers of children with autism, we investigated in the general population the relationship between infants' attentional functioning and the autistic traits measured in their parents.…
Wegbreit, Ezra; Suzuki, Satoru; Grabowecky, Marcia; Kounios, John; Beeman, Mark
Behavioral and neuroimaging findings indicate that distinct cognitive and neural processes underlie solving problems with sudden insight. Moreover, people with less focused attention sometimes perform better on tests of insight and creative problem solving. However, it remains unclear whether different states of attention, within individuals,…
Zhang, Zhen; Yang, Hanjun; Cao, Yong; Xu, Fenggang; Jiang, Jin; Jiao, Xuejun
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.
Ahmetoglu, Emine; Aral, Neriman; Butun Ayhan, Aynur
This study was conducted in order to (a) compare the visual perceptions of seven-year-old children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with those of normally developing children of the same age and development level and (b) determine whether the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder vary with respect to gender, having received preschool education and parents` educational level. A total of 60 children, 30 with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and 30 with normal development, were assigned to the study. Data about children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and their families was collected by using a General Information Form and the visual perception of children was examined through the Frostig Developmental Test of Visual Perception. The Mann-Whitney U-test and Kruskal-Wallis variance analysis was used to determine whether there was a difference of between the visual perceptions of children with normal development and those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and to discover whether the variables of gender, preschool education and parents` educational status affected the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The results showed that there was a statistically meaningful difference between the visual perceptions of the two groups and that the visual perceptions of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were affected meaningfully by gender, preschool education and parents` educational status.
Doolan, K J; Breslin, G; Hanna, D; Gallagher, A M
The incentive sensitisation model of obesity suggests that modification of the dopaminergic associated reward systems in the brain may result in increased awareness of food-related visual cues present in the current food environment. Having a heightened awareness of these visual food cues may impact on food choices and eating behaviours with those being most aware of or demonstrating greater attention to food-related stimuli potentially being at greater risk of overeating and subsequent weight gain. To date, research related to attentional responses to visual food cues has been both limited and conflicting. Such inconsistent findings may in part be explained by the use of different methodological approaches to measure attentional bias and the impact of other factors such as hunger levels, energy density of visual food cues and individual eating style traits that may influence visual attention to food-related cues outside of weight status alone. This review examines the various methodologies employed to measure attentional bias with a particular focus on the role that attentional processing of food-related visual cues may have in obesity. Based on the findings of this review, it appears that it may be too early to clarify the role visual attention to food-related cues may have in obesity. Results however highlight the importance of considering the most appropriate methodology to use when measuring attentional bias and the characteristics of the study populations targeted while interpreting results to date and in designing future studies.
Vissers, M.E.; Gulbinaite, R.; van den Bos, T.; Slagter, H.A.
In the presence of distraction, attentional filtering is a key predictor of efficient information storage in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Yet, the role of attention in distractor filtering, and the extent to which attentional filtering continues to protect information during post-perceptual
Roberts, Jane E.; Hatton, Deborah D.; Long, Anna C. J.; Anello, Vittoria; Colombo, John
Aberrant attention is a core feature of fragile X syndrome (FXS), however, little is known regarding the developmental trajectory and underlying physiological processes of attention deficits in FXS. Atypical visual attention is an early emerging and robust indicator of autism in idiopathic (non-FXS) autism. Using a biobehavioral approach with gaze…
Guzman-Martinez, Emmanuel; Grabowecky, Marcia; Palafox, German; Suzuki, Satoru
Visual spatial attention can be exogenously captured by a salient stimulus or can be endogenously allocated by voluntary effort. Whether these two attention modes serve distinctive functions is debated, but for processing of single targets the literature suggests superiority of exogenous attention (it is faster acting and serves more functions).…
Olivers, C.N.L.; Peters, J.; Houtkamp, R.; Roelfsema, P.R.
Recent studies have revealed a strong relationship between visual working memory and selective attention, such that attention is biased by what is currently on our mind. However, other data show that not all memorized items influence the deployment of attention, thus calling for a distinction within
Oray, Serkan; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Dawson, Michael E
To investigate the cross-modal nature of the exogenous attention system, we studied how involuntary attention in the visual modality affects ERPs elicited by sudden onset of events in the auditory modality. Relatively loud auditory white noise bursts were presented to subjects with random and long inter-trial intervals. The noise bursts were either presented alone, or paired with a visual stimulus with a visual to auditory onset asynchrony of 120 ms. In a third condition, the visual stimuli were shown alone. All three conditions, auditory alone, visual alone, and paired visual/auditory, were randomly inter-mixed and presented with equal probabilities. Subjects were instructed to fixate on a point in front of them without task instructions concerning either the auditory or visual stimuli. ERPs were recorded from 28 scalp sites throughout every experimental session. Compared to ERPs in the auditory alone condition, pairing the auditory noise bursts with the visual stimulus reduced the amplitude of the auditory N100 component at Cz by 40% and the auditory P200/P300 component at Cz by 25%. No significant topographical change was observed in the scalp distributions of the N100 and P200/P300. Our results suggest that involuntary attention to visual stimuli suppresses early sensory (N100) as well as late cognitive (P200/P300) processing of sudden auditory events. The activation of the exogenous attention system by sudden auditory onset can be modified by involuntary visual attention in a cross-model, passive prepulse inhibition paradigm.
Kiefer, Markus; Adams, Sarah C; Zovko, Monika
Classical theories of automaticity assume that automatic processes elicited by unconscious stimuli are autonomous and independent of higher-level cognitive influences. In contrast to these classical conceptions, we argue that automatic processing depends on attentional amplification of task-congruent processing pathways and propose an attentional sensitization model of unconscious visual processing: According to this model, unconscious visual processing is automatic in the sense that it is initiated without deliberate intention. However, unconscious visual processing is susceptible to attentional top-down control and is only elicited if the cognitive system is configured accordingly. In this article, we describe our attentional sensitization model and review recent evidence demonstrating attentional influences on subliminal priming, a prototypical example of an automatic process. We show that subliminal priming (a) depends on attentional resources, (b) is susceptible to stimulus expectations, (c) is influenced by action intentions, and (d) is modulated by task sets. These data suggest that attention enhances or attenuates unconscious visual processes in congruency with attentional task representations similar to conscious perception. We argue that seemingly paradoxical, hitherto unexplained findings regarding the automaticity of the underlying processes in many cognitive domains can be easily accommodated by our attentional sensitization model. We conclude this review with a discussion of future research questions regar-ding the nature of attentional control of unconscious visual processing.
Aman, Michael G.; Turbott, Sarah H.
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.…
Yamin, Stephanie; Stinchcombe, Arne; Gagnon, Sylvain
This study sought to predict driving performance of drivers with Alzheimer's disease (AD) using measures of attention, visual processing, and global cognition. Simulated driving performance of individuals with mild AD (n = 20) was contrasted with performance of a group of healthy controls (n = 21). Performance on measures of global cognitive function and specific tests of attention and visual processing were examined in relation to simulated driving performance. Strong associations were observed between measures of attention, notably the Test of Everyday Attention (sustained attention; r = -.651, P = .002) and the Useful Field of View (r = .563, P = .010), and driving performance among drivers with mild AD. The Visual Object and Space Perception Test-object was significantly correlated with the occurrence of crashes (r = .652, P = .002). Tests of global cognition did not correlate with simulated driving outcomes. The results suggest that professionals exercise caution when extrapolating driving performance based on global cognitive indicators. © The Author(s) 2015.
Peters, Benjamin; Kaiser, Jochen; Rahm, Benjamin; Bledowski, Christoph
Visual attention enables observers to select behaviorally relevant information based on spatial locations, features, or objects. Attentional selection is not limited to physically present visual information, but can also operate on internal representations maintained in working memory (WM) in service of higher-order cognition. However, only little is known about whether attention to WM contents follows the same principles as attention to sensory stimuli. To address this question, we investigated in humans whether the typically observed effects of object-based attention in perception are also evident for object-based attentional selection of internal object representations in WM. In full accordance with effects in visual perception, the key behavioral and neuronal characteristics of object-based attention were observed in WM. Specifically, we found that reaction times were shorter when shifting attention to memory positions located on the currently attended object compared with equidistant positions on a different object. Furthermore, functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate pattern analysis of visuotopic activity in visual (areas V1-V4) and parietal cortex revealed that directing attention to one position of an object held in WM also enhanced brain activation for other positions on the same object, suggesting that attentional selection in WM activates the entire object. This study demonstrated that all characteristic features of object-based attention are present in WM and thus follows the same principles as in perception. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353360-10$15.00/0.
Pottage, Claire L; Schaefer, Alexandre
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
Dong, Zhang-Ye; Liu, Dong-Qiang; Wang, Jue; Qing, Zhao; Zang, Zhen-Xiang; Yan, Chao-Gan; Zang, Yu-Feng
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.
Chechlacz, Magdalena; Gillebert, Celine R; Vangkilde, Signe A; Petersen, Anders; Humphreys, Glyn W
Visuospatial attention allows us to select and act upon a subset of behaviorally relevant visual stimuli while ignoring distraction. Bundesen's theory of visual attention (TVA) (Bundesen, 1990) offers a quantitative analysis of the different facets of attention within a unitary model and provides a powerful analytic framework for understanding individual differences in attentional functions. Visuospatial attention is contingent upon large networks, distributed across both hemispheres, consisting of several cortical areas interconnected by long-association frontoparietal pathways, including three branches of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF I-III) and the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF). Here we examine whether structural variability within human frontoparietal networks mediates differences in attention abilities as assessed by the TVA. Structural measures were based on spherical deconvolution and tractography-derived indices of tract volume and hindrance-modulated orientational anisotropy (HMOA). Individual differences in visual short-term memory (VSTM) were linked to variability in the microstructure (HMOA) of SLF II, SLF III, and IFOF within the right hemisphere. Moreover, VSTM and speed of information processing were linked to hemispheric lateralization within the IFOF. Differences in spatial bias were mediated by both variability in microstructure and volume of the right SLF II. Our data indicate that the microstructural and macrostrucutral organization of white matter pathways differentially contributes to both the anatomical lateralization of frontoparietal attentional networks and to individual differences in attentional functions. We conclude that individual differences in VSTM capacity, processing speed, and spatial bias, as assessed by TVA, link to variability in structural organization within frontoparietal pathways. Copyright © 2015 Chechlacz et al.
Kiyonaga, Anastasia; Dowd, Emma Wu; Egner, Tobias
Recent theories assert that visual working memory (WM) relies on the same attentional resources and sensory substrates as visual attention to external stimuli. Behavioral studies have observed competitive tradeoffs between internal (i.e., WM) and external (i.e., visual) attentional demands, and neuroimaging studies have revealed representations of WM content as distributed patterns of activity within the same cortical regions engaged by perception of that content. Although a key function of WM is to protect memoranda from competing input, it remains unknown how neural representations of WM content are impacted by incoming sensory stimuli and concurrent attentional demands. Here, we investigated how neural evidence for WM information is affected when attention is occupied by visual search-at varying levels of difficulty-during the delay interval of a WM match-to-sample task. Behavioral and fMRI analyses suggested that WM maintenance was impacted by the difficulty of a concurrent visual task. Critically, multivariate classification analyses of category-specific ventral visual areas revealed a reduction in decodable WM-related information when attention was diverted to a visual search task, especially when the search was more difficult. This study suggests that the amount of available attention during WM maintenance influences the detection of sensory WM representations.
Full Text Available Visual attention is a function that selectively picks up particular information to process from large amounts of visual information projected on the retina. We studied the spatial extent of visual attention by using a component of visual evoked potential called SSVEP (Steady-State Visual Evoked Potential. SSVEP is a sinusoidal modulation in the evoked potential induced by continuously flickering stimulus, which has the same temporal frequency as that of the stimulus. It has been reported that attending to one of the flickering stimuli modulates amplitude of the SSVEP of corresponding temporal frequency. We measured changes in the SSVEP amplitude at various distances from the focus of attention. We used eight stimuli arranged equidistantly along a circle (diameter = 10.0 deg, centered at the fixation point. The stimuli flickered at different temporal frequencies, and changes in the amplitude of the SSVEP were measured. Subjects conducted a detection task at one of the eight stimulus locations while directing attention to a direction designated by a cue. We found clear peaks of SSVEPs corresponding to the temporal frequency of each stimulus. We also found modulations of SSVEP amplitudes by attention. The SSVEP amplitude declined gradually with the distance from the attention focus. These SSVEP measurements succeed in measuring the spatial extent of visual attention across the visual field with an objective measure.
Full Text Available A vast amount of information about the external world continuously flows into the brain, whereas its capacity to process such information is limited. Attention enables the brain to allocate its resources of information processing to selected sensory inputs for reducing its computational load, and effects of attention have been extensively studied in visual information processing. However, how the microcircuit of the visual cortex processes attentional information from higher areas remains largely unknown. Here, we explore the complex interactions between visual inputs and an attentional signal in a computational model of the visual cortical microcircuit. Our model not only successfully accounts for previous experimental observations of attentional effects on visual neuronal responses, but also predicts contrasting differences in the attentional effects of top-down signals between cortical layers: attention to a preferred stimulus of a column enhances neuronal responses of layers 2/3 and 5, the output stations of cortical microcircuits, whereas attention suppresses neuronal responses of layer 4, the input station of cortical microcircuits. We demonstrate that the specific modulation pattern of layer-4 activity, which emerges from inter-laminar synaptic connections, is crucial for a rapid shift of attention to a currently unattended stimulus. Our results suggest that top-down signals act differently on different layers of the cortical microcircuit.
Thomson, David R; Besner, Derek; Smilek, Daniel
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.
Razza, Rachel A.; Martin, Anne; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne
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
Hillyard, S A; Mangun, G R
Harter and Aine (1984) have proposed a 'neural specificity' model of visual selective attention, based primarily on evidence from recordings of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) in human subjects. In this framework, they consider ERP components elicited during visual-spatial attention to reflect selective neural processing in the tectopulvinar-partietal pathway, whereas selection of visual attributes such as pattern, color, and orientation is manifested by ERPs arising from the geniculostriate-inferotemporal projection system. The present article examines the empirical basis for anatomically-specific hypotheses and considers alternative explanations for the observed ERP changes during selective attention.
Tas, A. Caglar; Luck, Steven J.; Hollingworth, Andrew
There is substantial debate over whether visual working memory (VWM) and visual attention constitute a single system for the selection of task-relevant perceptual information or whether they are distinct systems that can be dissociated when their representational demands diverge. In the present study, we focused on the relationship between visual attention and the encoding of objects into visual working memory (VWM). Participants performed a color change-detection task. During the retention interval, a secondary object, irrelevant to the memory task, was presented. Participants were instructed either to execute an overt shift of gaze to this object (Experiments 1–3) or to attend it covertly (Experiments 4 and 5). Our goal was to determine whether these overt and covert shifts of attention disrupted the information held in VWM. We hypothesized that saccades, which typically introduce a memorial demand to bridge perceptual disruption, would lead to automatic encoding of the secondary object. However, purely covert shifts of attention, which introduce no such demand, would not result in automatic memory encoding. The results supported these predictions. Saccades to the secondary object produced substantial interference with VWM performance, but covert shifts of attention to this object produced no interference with VWM performance. These results challenge prevailing theories that consider attention and VWM to reflect a common mechanism. In addition, they indicate that the relationship between attention and VWM is dependent on the memorial demands of the orienting behavior. PMID:26854532
Han, Suk Won
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.
Klein, Barrie P; Harvey, Ben M; Dumoulin, Serge O
Voluntary spatial attention concentrates neural resources at the attended location. Here, we examined the effects of spatial attention on spatial position selectivity in humans. We measured population receptive fields (pRFs) using high-field functional MRI (fMRI) (7T) while subjects performed an attention-demanding task at different locations. We show that spatial attention attracts pRF preferred positions across the entire visual field, not just at the attended location. This global change in pRF preferred positions systematically increases up the visual hierarchy. We model these pRF preferred position changes as an interaction between two components: an attention field and a pRF without the influence of attention. This computational model suggests that increasing effects of attention up the hierarchy result primarily from differences in pRF size and that the attention field is similar across the visual hierarchy. A similar attention field suggests that spatial attention transforms different neural response selectivities throughout the visual hierarchy in a similar manner. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fitzpatrick, C. M.; Caballero-Puntiverio, M.; Gether, U.
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....
Stuart, Samuel; Lord, Sue; Galna, Brook; Rochester, Lynn
Gait impairment is a core feature of Parkinson's disease (PD) with implications for falls risk. Visual cues improve gait in PD, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Evidence suggests that attention and vision play an important role; however, the relative contribution from each is unclear. Measurement of visual exploration (specifically saccade frequency) during gait allows for real-time measurement of attention and vision. Understanding how visual cues influence visual exploration may allow inferences of the underlying mechanisms to response which could help to develop effective therapeutics. This study aimed to examine saccade frequency during gait in response to a visual cue in PD and older adults and investigate the roles of attention and vision in visual cue response in PD. A mobile eye-tracker measured saccade frequency during gait in 55 people with PD and 32 age-matched controls. Participants walked in a straight line with and without a visual cue (50 cm transverse lines) presented under single task and dual-task (concurrent digit span recall). Saccade frequency was reduced when walking in PD compared to controls; however, visual cues ameliorated saccadic deficit. Visual cues significantly increased saccade frequency in both PD and controls under both single task and dual-task. Attention rather than visual function was central to saccade frequency and gait response to visual cues in PD. In conclusion, this study highlights the impact of visual cues on visual exploration when walking and the important role of attention in PD. Understanding these complex features will help inform intervention development. © 2018 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Jones, Alexander; Forster, Bettina
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.
Zhao, Jing; Liu, Menglian; Liu, Hanlong; Huang, Chen
With reading development, some children fail to learn to read fluently. However, reading fluency difficulty (RFD) has not been fully investigated. The present study explored the underlying mechanism of RFD from the aspect of visual attention span. Fourteen Chinese children with RFD and fourteen age-matched normal readers participated. The visual 1-back task was adopted to examine visual attention span. Reaction time and accuracy were recorded, and relevant d-prime (d') scores were computed. Results showed that children with RFD exhibited lower accuracy and lower d' values than the controls did in the visual 1-back task, revealing a visual attention span deficit. Further analyses on d' values revealed that the attention distribution seemed to exhibit an inverted U-shaped pattern without lateralization for normal readers, but a W-shaped pattern with a rightward bias for children with RFD, which was discussed based on between-group variation in reading strategies. Results of the correlation analyses showed that visual attention span was associated with reading fluency at the sentence level for normal readers, but was related to reading fluency at the single-character level for children with RFD. The different patterns in correlations between groups revealed that visual attention span might be affected by the variation in reading strategies. The current findings extend previous data from alphabetic languages to Chinese, a logographic language with a particularly deep orthography, and have implications for reading-dysfluency remediation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Hiraoka, Koichi; Mori, Nobuhiko; Horino, Hiroshi
This study investigated the immediate effect of visual attention on corticospinal excitability in the upper trapezius muscle. 10 healthy males gazed at a horizontal bar. A warning tone, indicating that a line would be slightly displaced 7,400 msec. later, was delivered in the high-attention-demand condition. A different warning tone, indicating the line would not be displaced, was delivered in the low-attention-demand condition. Participants verbally declared the direction of line displacement in the high-attention-demand condition, or stated that the warning tone meant that the line would not be displaced in the low-attention-demand condition. The amplitude of the motor-evoked potential in the upper trapezius muscle increased 7,000 msec. after the warning tone in the high-attention-demand condition. Apparently, visual attention immediately increases corticospinal excitability in the upper trapezius muscle.
Suzuki, Atsunobu; Goh, Joshua O S; Hebrank, Andrew; Sutton, Bradley P; Jenkins, Lucas; Flicker, Blair A; Park, Denise C
Emotional stimuli have been shown to preferentially engage initial attention but their sustained effects on neural processing remain largely unknown. The present study evaluated whether emotional faces engage sustained neural processing by examining the attenuation of neural repetition suppression to repeated emotional faces. Repetition suppression of neural function refers to the general reduction of neural activity when processing a repeated stimulus. Preferential processing of emotional face stimuli, however, should elicit sustained neural processing such that repetition suppression to repeated emotional faces is attenuated relative to faces with no emotional content. We measured the reduction of functional magnetic resonance imaging signals associated with immediate repetition of neutral, angry and happy faces. Whereas neutral faces elicited the greatest suppression in ventral visual cortex, followed by angry faces, repetition suppression was the most attenuated for happy faces. Indeed, happy faces showed almost no repetition suppression in part of the right-inferior occipital and fusiform gyri, which play an important role in face-identity processing. Our findings suggest that happy faces are associated with sustained visual encoding of face identity and thereby assist in the formation of more elaborate representations of the faces, congruent with findings in the behavioral literature.
Klarborg, Brith; Skak Madsen, Kathrine; Vestergaard, Martin; Skimminge, Arnold; Jernigan, Terry L; Baaré, William F C
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.
Sekerina, Irina A.; Sauermann, Antje
It is well established in language acquisition research that monolingual children and adult second language learners misinterpret sentences with the universal quantifier "every" and make quantifier-spreading errors that are attributed to a preference for a match in number between two sets of objects. The present Visual World eye-tracking…
Wagner, Jennifer B.; Luyster, Rhiannon J.; Yim, Jung Yeon; Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Nelson, Charles A.
Faces convey important information about the social environment, and even very young infants are preferentially attentive to face-like over non-face stimuli. Eye-tracking studies have allowed researchers to examine which features of faces infants find most salient across development, and the present study examined scanning of familiar (i.e.,…
Colzato, L.S.; van den Wildenberg, W.P.M.; Hommel, B.
Despite the abundance of evidence that human perception is penetrated by beliefs and expectations, scientific research so far has entirely neglected the possible impact of religious background on attention. Here we show that Dutch Calvinists and atheists, brought up in the same country and culture
Adamian, Nika; Cavanagh, Patrick
In the Fröhlich effect, the initial position of an object that suddenly appears in motion is perceived as being shifted in the direction of its motion. Here we establish that this shift is not an obligatory consequence of motion, but it is driven by focused attention. In Experiment 1 using different cueing conditions, we found that invalid cues produced larger perceptual shifts, although the Fröhlich effect was still present for valid and neutral cues. These results support Müsseler and Aschersleben's (1998) proposal that the Fröhlich effect is the result of the time it takes to shift focal attention to the moving stimulus. In Experiment 2 we found that the Fröhlich effect increased when the valid cue arrived more than 100 ms after the start of motion, suggesting again that a delay in attention's arrival shifted the location of the perceived motion onset. In Experiment 3 we compare the motion-induced shifts when the subjects attended to a set of moving stimuli as a group and when they attended to an orientation singleton. We showed that Fröhlich effect was only present when the target was individuated and disappeared when the stimulus was perceived globally. We conclude that the Fröhlich effect is a predictive spatial shift produced and modulated by focal attention.
The present study examines how various types of attention cueing and cognitive preference affect learners' comprehension of a cardiovascular system and cognitive load. EFL learners were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: non-signal, static-blood-signal, static-blood-static-arrow-signal, and animation-signal. The results indicated that…
Finke, Kathrin; Bublak, Peter; Krummenacher, Joseph
The present study investigated the usability of whole and partial report of briefly displayed letter arrays as a diagnostic tool for the assessment of attentional functions. The tool is based on Bundesen's (1990, 1998, 2002; Bundesen et al., 2005) theory of visual attention (TVA), which assumes f...... four separable attentional components: processing speed, working memory storage capacity, spatial distribution of attention, and top-down control. A number of studies (Duncan et al., 1999; Habekost & Bundesen, 2003; Peers et al., 2005) have already demonstrated the clinical relevance...... clinical tests measuring similar constructs. The empirical independence of the four TVA parameters is suggested by nonsignificant or, in the case of processing speed and working memory storage capacity, only modest correlations between the parameter values....
Sandro Franceschini; Piergiorgio Trevisan; Luca Ronconi; Sara Bertoni; Susan Colmar; Kit Double; Andrea Facoetti; Simone Gori
.... In our study, we tested reading skills and phonological working memory, visuo-spatial attention, auditory, visual and audio-visual stimuli localization, and cross-sensory attentional shifting in two...
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.
Szalma, J L; Daly, T N; Teo, G W L; Hancock, G M; Hancock, P A
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.
Luis F. Ciria
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.
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
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.
Fortenbaugh, Francesca C; Corbo, Vincent; Poole, Victoria; McGlinchey, Regina; Milberg, William; Salat, David; DeGutis, Joseph; Esterman, Michael
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.
Thiel, C M; Fink, G R
The cholinergic agonist nicotine facilitates detection of invalidly cued trials in location-cueing paradigms and reduces the associated neural activity in human inferior parietal cortex. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging we test the hypothesis that the nicotinic modulation of attentional reorienting may result from reduced use of top-down information derived from prior cues. In a within subjects design non-smoking volunteers were given either placebo or nicotine (Nicorette 2 mg gum) prior to performing a cued target discrimination task. Attention was either validly (80%) or invalidly (20%) cued to the right or left visual hemifield. The difference in reaction times to invalidly and validly cued targets is termed the 'validity effect' and indicates the costs for attentional reorienting. Nicotine reduced the validity effect and reorienting-related neural activity in right inferior parietal cortex. Further regions consistently modulated in their activity by nicotine were the right middle temporal gyrus, left middle frontal gyrus, left parahippocampal gyrus and right cerebellum. The effects of nicotine upon top-down modulation were investigated by comparing occipital activity when attending to the right vs. left visual hemifield under placebo and nicotine. If nicotine reduced the use of top-down information attentional modulation in occipital cortex should be smaller under nicotine as compared with placebo. Even though an attention-related modulation of neural activity was observed in the fusiform and middle occipital gyrus we found no evidence for differences in attentional modulation under placebo and nicotine. Our data support a role of nicotinic cholinergic receptors in facilitating several subcomponents of attentional reorienting via modulation of right inferior parietal, temporal and frontal brain activity. In contrast, the findings in the occipital cortex do not support the hypothesis that the effects of nicotine on attentional reorienting are due
Wilms, Inge Linda; Nielsen, Simon
Visual perception serves as the basis for much of the higher level cognitive processing as well as human activity in general. Here we present normative estimates for the following components of visual perception: the visual perceptual threshold, the visual short-term memory capacity and the visual...... perceptual encoding/decoding speed (processing speed) of visual short-term memory based on an assessment of 94 healthy subjects aged 60-75. The estimates are presented at total sample level as well as at gender level. The estimates were modelled from input from a whole-report assessment based on A Theory...... speed of Visual Short-term Memory (VTSM) but not the capacity of VSTM nor the visual threshold. The estimates will be useful for future studies into the effects of various types of intervention and training on cognition in general and visual attention in particular. (...
O'Halloran Aisling M
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.
Itti, L; Dhavale, N; Pighin, F
We describe a neurobiological model of visual attention and eye/head movements in primates, and its application to the automatic animation of a realistic virtual human head watching an unconstrained...
Aaron Jonas Stutz
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.
Full Text Available Following bi-parietal lesions patient AT showed a severe inability to relocate her attention within a visual field which perimetry proved to be near-normal. An experimental approach with tasks testing visuo-spatial attention demonstrated a shrinkage of A.T.’s attentional visual field. With her visual attention narrowed to a kind of functional tunnel vision, the patient exhibited simultanagnosia (Wolpert, 1924, a symptom previously described in 1909 by Balint under the label of Psychic paralysis of “Gaze”. In striking contrast AT showed an efficient and effortless perception of complex natural scenes, which, according to recent work in normal subjects, necessitate few if any attentional resources.
Michel, François; Henaff, Marie-Anne
Following bi-parietal lesions patient AT showed a severe inability to relocate her attention within a visual field which perimetry proved to be near-normal. An experimental approach with tasks testing visuo-spatial attention demonstrated a shrinkage of A.T.’s attentional visual field. With her visual attention narrowed to a kind of functional tunnel vision, the patient exhibited simultanagnosia (Wolpert, 1924), a symptom previously described in 1909 by Balint under the label of Psychic paralysis of “Gaze”. In striking contrast AT showed an efficient and effortless perception of complex natural scenes, which, according to recent work in normal subjects, necessitate few if any attentional resources. PMID:15201489
Michel, François; Henaff, Marie-Anne
Following bi-parietal lesions patient AT showed a severe inability to relocate her attention within a visual field which perimetry proved to be near-normal. An experimental approach with tasks testing visuo-spatial attention demonstrated a shrinkage of A.T.'s attentional visual field. With her visual attention narrowed to a kind of functional tunnel vision, the patient exhibited simultanagnosia (Wolpert, 1924), a symptom previously described in 1909 by Balint under the label of Psychic paralysis of "Gaze". In striking contrast AT showed an efficient and effortless perception of complex natural scenes, which, according to recent work in normal subjects, necessitate few if any attentional resources. Copyright 2004 IOS Press
Kumar Mishra, Ramesh
To Look and speak requires a dynamic synchronization of both visual attention and linguistic processing. This study explored patterns of visual attention in a group of Hindi speaking children and adults, as they generated sentences to real photographs. Photographs contained either a single human agent performing an intransitive action, an agent performing an action with an object or two actors involved in a mutual action in the presence of an object. The eye movements were recorded as parti...
Ochsner, K N; Kosslyn, S M; Cosgrove, G R; Cassem, E H; Price, B H; Nierenberg, A A; Rauch, S L
A series of eight tests of visual cognitive abilities was used to examine pre- to post-operative performance changes in a patient receiving bilateral anterior cingulotomy. Compared with a set of eight matched control participants, post-operatively, the patient exhibited deficits in (a) the ability to sequence novel cognitive operations required to generate multipart images or rotate perceptual stimuli; (b) the ability to search for, select, and compare images of objects when the instructions did not specify precisely which objects should be visualized; and, (c) the ability to select a controlled and unpracticed response over an automatic one. Other imagery and cognitive tasks were not affected. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that anterior cingulate cortex is a component of an executive control system. One of the anterior cingulate's roles may be to monitor on-line processing and signal the motivational significance of current actions or cognitions.
Amer, Tarek; Ngo, K W Joan; Hasher, Lynn
We investigated differences between participants of East Asian and Western descent in attention to and implicit memory for irrelevant words which participants were instructed to ignore while completing a target task (a Stroop Task in Experiment 1 and a 1-back task on pictures in Experiment 2). Implicit memory was measured using two conceptual priming tasks (category generation in Experiment 1 and general knowledge in Experiment 2). Participants of East Asian descent showed reliable implicit memory for previous distractors relative to those of Western descent with no evidence of differences on target task performance. We also found differences in a Corsi Block spatial memory task in both studies, with superior performance by the East Asian group. Our findings suggest that cultural differences in attention extend to task-irrelevant background information, and demonstrate for the first time that such information can boost performance when it becomes relevant on a subsequent task. © 2016 The British Psychological Society.
On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access : Parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'
Wyble, Brad; Bowman, Howard; Nieuwenstein, Mark
On the interplay between working memory consolidation and attentional selection in controlling conscious access: parallel processing at a cost-a comment on 'The interplay of attention and consciousness in visual search, attentional blink and working memory consolidation'
Salovich, Nikita A; Remington, Roger W; Jiang, Yuhong V
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.
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.
O'Halloran, Aisling M; Pénard, Nils; Galli, Alessandra; Fan, Chie Wei; Robertson, Ian H; Kenny, Rose Anne
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.
Frischen, Alexandra; Bayliss, Andrew P; Tipper, Steven P
During social interactions, people's eyes convey a wealth of information about their direction of attention and their emotional and mental states. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of past and current research into the perception of gaze behavior and its effect on the observer. This encompasses the perception of gaze direction and its influence on perception of the other person, as well as gaze-following behavior such as joint attention, in infant, adult, and clinical populations. Particular focus is given to the gaze-cueing paradigm that has been used to investigate the mechanisms of joint attention. The contribution of this paradigm has been significant and will likely continue to advance knowledge across diverse fields within psychology and neuroscience. Copyright 2007 APA
Magimairaj, Beula M.; Montgomery, James W.
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...
Chien, Sung-en; Ono, Fuminori; Watanabe, Katsumi
Shifts of visual attention cause systematic distortions of the perceived locations of visual objects around the focus of attention. In the attention repulsion effect, the perceived location of a visual target is shifted away from an attention-attracting cue when the cue is presented before the target. Recently it has been found that, if the visual cue is presented after the target, the perceived location of the target shifts toward the location of the following cue. One unanswered question is whether a single mechanism underlies both attentional repulsion and attraction effects. We presented participants with two disks at diagonal locations as visual cues and two vertical lines as targets. Participants were asked to perform a forced-choice task to judge targets' positions. The present study examined whether the magnitude of the repulsion effect and the attraction effect would differ (Experiment 1), whether the two effects would interact (Experiment 2), and whether the location or the dynamic shift of attentional focus would determine the distortions effects (Experiment 3). The results showed that the effect size of the attraction effect was slightly larger than the repulsion effect and the preceding and following cues have independent influences on the perceived positions. The repulsion effect was caused by the location of attnetion and the attraction effect was due to the dynamic shift of attentional focus, suggesting that the underlying mechanisms for the retrospective attraction effect might be different from those for the repulsion effect.
Full Text Available Shifts of visual attention cause systematic distortions of the perceived locations of visual objects around the focus of attention. In the attention repulsion effect, the perceived location of a visual target is shifted away from an attention-attracting cue when the cue is presented before the target. Recently it has been found that, if the visual cue is presented after the target, the perceived location of the target shifts toward the location of the following cue. One unanswered question is whether a single mechanism underlies both attentional repulsion and attraction effects. We presented participants with two disks at diagonal locations as visual cues and two vertical lines as targets. Participants were asked to perform a forced-choice task to judge targets' positions. The present study examined whether the magnitude of the repulsion effect and the attraction effect would differ (Experiment 1, whether the two effects would interact (Experiment 2, and whether the location or the dynamic shift of attentional focus would determine the distortions effects (Experiment 3. The results showed that the effect size of the attraction effect was slightly larger than the repulsion effect and the preceding and following cues have independent influences on the perceived positions. The repulsion effect was caused by the location of attnetion and the attraction effect was due to the dynamic shift of attentional focus, suggesting that the underlying mechanisms for the retrospective attraction effect might be different from those for the repulsion effect.
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.
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
Reynolds, Greg D.; Guy, Maggie W.; Zhang, Dantong
Past studies have identified individual differences in infant visual attention based upon peak look duration during initial exposure to a stimulus. Colombo and colleagues found that infants that demonstrate brief visual fixations (i.e., short lookers) during familiarization are more likely to demonstrate evidence of recognition memory during…
Giesbrecht, Barry; Bischof, Walter F.; Kingstone, Alan
It is widely assumed that high-level visual processes subserve the attentional blink (AB). Recent evidence from studies of visual masking during the AB that were designed to directly test the contributions of high-level masking effects, however, have failed to provide empirical support for this position.The implication is that low-level visual…
Dombrowe, I.; Olivers, C.N.L.; Donk, M.
Previous work has generated inconsistent results with regard to what extent working memory (WM) content guides visual attention. Some studies found effects of easy to verbalize stimuli, whereas others only found an influence of visual memory content. To resolve this, we compared the time courses of
Nougier, Vincent; And Others
The development of visual orienting to a cued target on the part of practicing and nonpracticing tennis players aged 13, 16, and 25 years was examined. Results indicated that practicers were not faster than nonpracticers in processing visual information and that subjects of all ages oriented attention voluntarily to cued locations. (LB)
Wei, Chun-Chun; Ma, Min-Yuan
This study investigates the relationship between visual attention and reading time using a mobile electroencephalography device. The mobile electroencephalography device uses a single channel dry sensor, which easily measures participants' attention in the real-world reading environment. The results reveal that age significantly influences visual…
Stuart, Geoffrey W.; Lambeth, Sandra E.; Day, Ross H.; Gould, Ian C.; Castles, Anne E.
Visual attention has temporal limitations. In the attentional blink (AB) a stream of stimuli such as letters or digits are presented to a participant on a computer monitor at a rapid rate. Embedded in the stream are two targets that the participant must try to identify. Identification of the second target is severely impaired if it is presented…
Smith, Philip L.; Ratcliff, Roger
The simplest attentional task, detecting a cued stimulus in an otherwise empty visual field, produces complex patterns of performance. Attentional cues interact with backward masks and with spatial uncertainty, and there is a dissociation in the effects of these variables on accuracy and on response time. A computational theory of performance in…
Oosterhoff, Benjamin; Shook, Natalie J; Ford, Cameron
Considerable evidence suggests that political liberals and conservatives vary in the way they process and respond to valenced (i.e., negative versus positive) information, with conservatives generally displaying greater negativity biases than liberals. Less is known about whether liberals and conservatives differentially prioritize certain forms of negative information over others. Across two studies using eye-tracking methodology, we examined differences in visual attention to negative scenes and facial expressions based on self-reported political ideology. In Study 1, scenes rated high in fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with less attentional engagement (i.e., lower dwell time) of disgust scenes and more attentional engagement toward neutral scenes. Socially conservative political attitudes were not significantly associated with visual attention to fear or sad scenes. In Study 2, images depicting facial expressions of fear, disgust, sadness, and neutrality were presented simultaneously. Greater endorsement of socially conservative political attitudes was associated with greater attentional engagement with facial expressions depicting disgust and less attentional engagement toward neutral faces. Visual attention to fearful or sad faces was not related to social conservatism. Endorsement of economically conservative political attitudes was not consistently associated with biases in visual attention across both studies. These findings support disease-avoidance models and suggest that social conservatism may be rooted within a greater sensitivity to disgust-related information. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
O'Halloran, Aisling M
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
Massar, Stijn A A; Lim, Julian; Sasmita, Karen; Chee, Michael W L
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.
Burnett, Timothy John
This exegesis will investigate the influence of audio stimuli and its relationship with visual perception, attention and hierarchical flow within visual communication - utilising a heuristic form of inquiry. New terminology of black and white thoughts will also be explored to analyse logical and lateral thinking when applied to problem solving. By utilising visual abstraction, cross-modal perception and iconic-coupling techniques I wish to explore how one can create stronger en...
Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A.
The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the ps...
Bays, Paul M; Taylor, Robert
An informative cue that directs attention to one of several items in working memory improves subsequent recall of that item. Here we examine the mechanism of this retro-cue effect using a model of short-term memory based on neural population coding. Our model describes recalled feature values as the output of an optimal decoding of spikes generated by a tuned population of neurons. This neural model provides a better account of human recall data than an influential model that assumes errors can be described as a mixture of normally distributed noise and random guesses. The retro-cue benefit is revealed to be consistent with a higher firing rate of the population encoding the cued versus uncued items, with no difference in tuning specificity. Additionally, a retro-cued item is less likely to be swapped with another item in memory, an effect that can also be explained by greater activity of the underlying population. These results provide a parsimonious account of the effects of retrospective attention on recall and demonstrate a principled method for investigating neural representations with behavioral tasks. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Magazzini, Lorenzo; Singh, Krish D
Oscillatory synchronization in the gamma frequency range has been proposed as a neuronal mechanism to prioritize processing of relevant stimuli over competing ones. Recent studies in animals found that selective spatial attention enhanced gamma-band synchronization in high-order visual areas (V4) and increased the gamma peak frequency in V1. The existence of such mechanisms in the human visual system is yet to be fully demonstrated. In this study, we used MEG, in combination with an optimised stimulus design, to record visual gamma oscillations from human early visual cortex, while participants performed a visuospatial attention cueing task. First, we reconstructed virtual sensors in V1/V2, where gamma oscillations were strongly induced by visual stimulation alone. Second, following the results of a statistical comparison between conditions of attention, we reconstructed cortical activity also in inferior occipital-temporal regions (V4). The results indicated that gamma amplitude was modulated by spatial attention across the cortical hierarchy, both in the early visual cortex and in higher-order regions of the ventral visual pathway. In contrast, we found no evidence for an increase in the gamma peak frequency in V1/V2 with attention. The gamma response tended to peak earlier in V1/V2 than in V4 by approximately 70 ms, consistent with a feed-forward role of gamma-band activity in propagating sensory representations across the visual cortical hierarchy. Together, these findings suggest that differences in experimental design or methodology can account for the inconsistencies in previous animal and human studies. Furthermore, our results are in line with the hypothesis of enhanced gamma-band synchronization as an attentional mechanism in the human visual cortex. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Yadav, Naveen K; Thiagarajan, Preethi; Ciuffreda, Kenneth J
The purpose of the experiment was to investigate the effect of oculomotor vision rehabilitation (OVR) on the visual-evoked potential (VEP) and visual attention in the mTBI population. Subjects (n = 7) were adults with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Each received 9 hours of OVR over a 6-week period. The effects of OVR on VEP amplitude and latency, the attention-related alpha band (8-13 Hz) power (µV(2)) and the clinical Visual Search and Attention Test (VSAT) were assessed before and after the OVR. After the OVR, the VEP amplitude increased and its variability decreased. There was no change in VEP latency, which was normal. Alpha band power increased, as did the VSAT score, following the OVR. The significant changes in most test parameters suggest that OVR affects the visual system at early visuo-cortical levels, as well as other pathways which are involved in visual attention.
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.
Cross-Villasana, Fernando; Finke, Kathrin; Hennig-Fast, Kristina
Abstract Background: Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) exhibit slowed reaction times (RTs) in various attention tasks. The exact origins of this slowing, however, have not been yet established. Potential candidates are early sensory processes mediating the deployment...... of focal-attention, stimulus-response translation processes deciding upon the appropriate motor-response, and motor processes generating the response. Methods: We combined mental chronometry (RT) measures of adult ADHD (n = 15) and healthy control (n = 15) participants with their lateralized event......-related potentials (ERP) during the performance of a visual-search task to differentiate potential sources of slowing at separable levels of processing: the posterior contralateral negativity (PCN) was used to index focalattentional selection times, while the lateralized readiness potentials synchronized to stimulus...
Britton, L A; Delay, E R
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.
Green, Jessica J; Boehler, Carsten N; Roberts, Kenneth C; Chen, Ling-Chia; Krebs, Ruth M; Song, Allen W; Woldorff, Marty G
Visual spatial attention has been studied in humans with both electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) individually. However, due to the intrinsic limitations of each of these methods used alone, our understanding of the systems-level mechanisms underlying attentional control remains limited. Here, we examined trial-to-trial covariations of concurrently recorded EEG and fMRI in a cued visual spatial attention task in humans, which allowed delineation of both the generators and modulators of the cue-triggered event-related oscillatory brain activity underlying attentional control function. The fMRI activity in visual cortical regions contralateral to the cued direction of attention covaried positively with occipital gamma-band EEG, consistent with activation of cortical regions representing attended locations in space. In contrast, fMRI activity in ipsilateral visual cortical regions covaried inversely with occipital alpha-band oscillations, consistent with attention-related suppression of the irrelevant hemispace. Moreover, the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus covaried with both of these spatially specific, attention-related, oscillatory EEG modulations. Because the pulvinar's neuroanatomical geometry makes it unlikely to be a direct generator of the scalp-recorded EEG, these covariational patterns appear to reflect the pulvinar's role as a regulatory control structure, sending spatially specific signals to modulate visual cortex excitability proactively. Together, these combined EEG/fMRI results illuminate the dynamically interacting cortical and subcortical processes underlying spatial attention, providing important insight not realizable using either method alone.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Noninvasive recordings of changes in the brain's blood flow using functional magnetic resonance imaging and electrical activity using electroencephalography in humans have individually shown that shifting attention to a location in space
McAdams, Carrie J; Reid, R Clay
Spatial attention has long been postulated to act as a spotlight that increases the salience of visual stimuli at the attended location. We examined the effects of attention on the receptive fields of simple cells in primary visual cortex (V1) by training macaque monkeys to perform a task with two modes. In the attended mode, the stimuli relevant to the animal's task overlay the receptive field of the neuron being recorded. In the unattended mode, the animal was cued to attend to stimuli outside the receptive field of that neuron. The relevant stimulus, a colored pixel, was briefly presented within a white-noise stimulus, a flickering grid of black and white pixels. The receptive fields of the neurons were mapped by correlating spikes with the white-noise stimulus in both attended and unattended modes. We found that attention could cause significant modulation of the visually evoked response despite an absence of significant effects on the overall firing rates. On further examination of the relationship between the strength of the visual stimulation and the firing rate, we found that attention appears to cause multiplicative scaling of the visually evoked responses of simple cells, demonstrating that attention reaches back to the initial stages of visual cortical processing.
Chelnokova, Olga; Laeng, Bruno; Løseth, Guro; Eikemo, Marie; Willoch, Frode; Leknes, Siri
Paying attention to others' faces and eyes is a cornerstone of human social behavior. The µ-opioid receptor (MOR) system, central to social reward-processing in rodents and primates, has been proposed to mediate the capacity for affiliative reward in humans. We assessed the role of the human MOR system in visual exploration of faces and eyes of conspecifics. Thirty healthy males received a novel, bidirectional battery of psychopharmacological treatment (an MOR agonist, a non-selective opioid antagonist, or placebo, on three separate days). Eye-movements were recorded while participants viewed facial photographs. We predicted that the MOR system would promote visual exploration of faces, and hypothesized that MOR agonism would increase, whereas antagonism decrease overt attention to the information-rich eye region. The expected linear effect of MOR manipulation on visual attention to the stimuli was observed, such that MOR agonism increased while antagonism decreased visual exploration of faces and overt attention to the eyes. The observed effects suggest that the human MOR system promotes overt visual attention to socially significant cues, in line with theories linking reward value to gaze control and target selection. Enhanced attention to others' faces and eyes represents a putative behavioral mechanism through which the human MOR system promotes social interest. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Wirth, Maria; Isaacowitz, Derek M; Kunzmann, Ute
Prominent life span theories of emotion propose that older adults attend less to negative emotional information and report less negative emotional reactions to the same information than younger adults do. Although parallel age differences in affective information processing and age differences in emotional reactivity have been proposed, they have rarely been investigated within the same study. In this eye-tracking study, we tested age differences in visual attention and emotional reactivity, using standardized emotionally negative stimuli. Additionally, we investigated age differences in the association between visual attention and emotional reactivity, and whether these are moderated by cognitive reappraisal. Older as compared with younger adults showed fixation patterns away from negative image content, while they reacted with greater negative emotions. The association between visual attention and emotional reactivity differed by age group and positive reappraisal. Younger adults felt better when they attended more to negative content rather than less, but this relationship only held for younger adults who did not attach a positive meaning to the negative situation. For older adults, overall, there was no significant association between visual attention and emotional reactivity. However, for older adults who did not use positive reappraisal, decreases in attention to negative information were associated with less negative emotions. The present findings point to a complex relationship between younger and older adults' visual attention and emotional reactions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Mueller Loose, Simone; Orquin, Jacob Lund
Objectives. Discrete choice experiments in which participants choose between alternatives differing on attribute levels are an important research method for preference elicitation. In such experiments choice stimuli is typically presented in tables with verbally described attributes, in tables...... with visual attributes, or as product mock-ups simulating realistic products as close as possible. So far little is known about how presentation formats affect visual attention patterns and choice behavior. This study addresses the question by analysing visual attention and part-worth utilities in choice...... experiments across three different presentation formats. Method. Participants’ visual attention was measured by means of eye tracking during a discrete choice experiment for yoghurt products varying on six attributes with two to four levels. The study used a mixed within-between subjects design in which...
Vangkilde, Signe Allerup; Kyllingsbæk, Søren; Habekost, Thomas
Measuring different attentional processes in a fast and reliable way is important in both clinical and experimental settings. However, most tests of visual attention are either lengthy or lack sensitivity, specificity, and reliability. To address this we developed a ten minute test procedure...... for the Swedish Betula-project, a longitudinal study investigating changes in cognitive functions over the adult life span (Nilsson et al., 2004). The test consists of a computer-based letter recognition task with stimulus displays of varied durations followed by pattern masks or a blank screen. The temporal...... threshold of conscious perception (t0), visual processing speed (C), and storage capacity of visual short-term memory (K) are estimated by use of Bundesen's (1990) Theory of Visual Attention, and the standard error of each estimate is calculated using a bootstrapping procedure. The results from the first...
Griffiths, Kristi R; Quintana, Daniel S; Hermens, Daniel F; Spooner, Chris; Tsang, Tracey W; Clarke, Simon; Kohn, Michael R
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.
Full Text Available The relationship between spatial attention and conscious access has often been pictured as a single causal link: spatial attention would provide conscious access to weak stimuli by increasing their effective contrast during early visual processing. To test this hypothesis, we assessed whether the early attentional amplification of visual responses, around 100 ms following stimulus onset, had a decisive impact on conscious detection. We recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG signals while participants focused their attention toward or away from masked stimuli which were physically identical but consciously detected half of the time. Spatial attention increased the amplitude of early occipital responses identically for both detected and missed stimuli around 100 ms, and therefore did not control conscious access. Accordingly, spatial attention did not increase the proportion of detected stimuli. The earliest neuromagnetic correlate of conscious detection, around 120 ms over the contralateral temporal cortex, was independent from the locus of attention. This early activation combined objective information about stimulus presence and subjective information about stimulus visibility, and was followed by a late correlate of conscious reportability, from 220 ms over temporal and frontal cortex, which correlated exclusively with stimulus visibility. This widespread activation coincided in time with the reorienting of attention triggered by masks presented at the uncued location. This reorienting was stronger and occurred earlier when the masked stimulus was detected, suggesting that the conscious detection of a masked stimulus at an unexpected location captures spatial attention. Altogether, these results support a double dissociation between the neural signatures of endogenous spatial attention and perceptual awareness.
Full Text Available Overnight operations pose a challenge because our circadian biology promotes sleepiness and dissipates wakefulness at night. Since the circadian effect on cognitive functions magnifies with increasing sleep pressure, cognitive deficits associated with night work are likely to be most acute with extended wakefulness, such as during the transition from a day shift to night shift.To test this hypothesis we measured selective attention (with visual search, vigilance (with Psychomotor Vigilance Task [PVT] and alertness (with a visual analog scale in a shift work simulation protocol, which included four day shifts followed by three night shifts. There was a nocturnal decline in cognitive processes, some of which were most pronounced on the first night shift. The nighttime decrease in visual search sensitivity was most pronounced on the first night compared with subsequent nights (p = .04, and this was accompanied by a trend towards selective attention becoming 'fast and sloppy'. The nighttime increase in attentional lapses on the PVT was significantly greater on the first night compared to subsequent nights (p<.05 indicating an impaired ability to sustain focus. The nighttime decrease in subjective alertness was also greatest on the first night compared with subsequent nights (p<.05.These nocturnal deficits in attention and alertness offer some insight into why occupational errors, accidents, and injuries are pronounced during night work compared to day work. Examination of the nighttime vulnerabilities underlying the deployment of attention can be informative for the design of optimal work schedules and the implementation of effective countermeasures for performance deficits during night work.
Wiegand, Iris; Petersen, Anders; Finke, Kathrin; Bundesen, Claus; Lansner, Jon; Habekost, Thomas
In the present study, we investigated effects of phasic alerting on visual attention in a partial report task, in which half of the displays were preceded by an auditory warning cue. Based on the computational Theory of Visual Attention (TVA), we estimated parameters of spatial and non-spatial aspects of visual attention and measured event-related lateralizations (ERLs) over visual processing areas. We found that the TVA parameter sensory effectiveness a, which is thought to reflect visual processing capacity, significantly increased with phasic alerting. By contrast, the distribution of visual processing resources according to task relevance and spatial position, as quantified in parameters top-down control α and spatial bias windex, was not modulated by phasic alerting. On the electrophysiological level, the latencies of ERLs in response to the task displays were reduced following the warning cue. These results suggest that phasic alerting facilitates visual processing in a general, unselective manner and that this effect originates in early stages of visual information processing.
Banich, Marie T.; Burgess, Gregory C.; Depue, Brendan E.; Ruzic, Luka; Bidwell, L. Cinnamon; Hitt-Laustsen, Sena; Du, Yiping P.; Willcutt, Erik G.
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…
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.
Jongman, Suzanne R.; Roelofs, Ardi; Scheper, Annette R.; Meyer, Antje S.
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…
Lopez, Florente; Menez, Marina; Hernandez-Guzman, Laura
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…
Jongman, S.R.; Roelofs, A.P.A.; Scheper, A.R.; Meyer, A.S.
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
De Joux, Neil; Russell, Paul N.; Helton, William S.
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…
Kahn, Julia B.; Ward, Ryan D.; Kahn, Lora W.; Rudy, Nicole M.; Kandel, Eric R.; Balsam, Peter D.; Simpson, Eleanor H.
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
Fries, P.; Womelsdorf, T.; Oostenveld, R.; Desimone, R.
Selective attention lends relevant sensory input priority access to higher-level brain areas and ultimately to behavior. Recent studies have suggested that those neurons in visual areas that are activated by an attended stimulus engage in enhanced gamma-band (30-70 Hz) synchronization compared with
Vuilleumier, Patrik; Driver, Jon
Visual processing is not determined solely by retinal inputs. Attentional modulation can arise when the internal attentional state (current task) of the observer alters visual processing of the same stimuli. This can influence visual cortex, boosting neural responses to an attended stimulus. Emotional modulation can also arise, when affective properties (emotional significance) of stimuli, rather than their strictly visual properties, influence processing. This too can boost responses in visual cortex, as for fear-associated stimuli. Both attentional and emotional modulation of visual processing may reflect distant influences upon visual cortex, exerted by brain structures outside the visual system per se. Hence, these modulations may provide windows onto causal interactions between distant but interconnected brain regions. We review recent evidence, noting both similarities and differences between attentional and emotional modulation. Both can affect visual cortex, but can reflect influences from different regions, such as fronto-parietal circuits versus the amygdala. Recent work on this has developed new approaches for studying causal influences between human brain regions that may be useful in other cognitive domains. The new methods include application of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) measures in brain-damaged patients to study distant functional impacts of their focal lesions, and use of transcranial magnetic stimulation concurrently with fMRI or EEG in the normal brain. Cognitive neuroscience is now moving beyond considering the putative functions of particular brain regions, as if each operated in isolation, to consider, instead, how distinct brain regions (such as visual cortex, parietal or frontal regions, or amygdala) may mutually influence each other in a causal manner.
Mo, Ce; He, Dongjun; Fang, Fang
Attention priority maps are topographic representations that are used for attention selection and guidance of task-related behavior during visual processing. Previous studies have identified attention priority maps of simple artificial stimuli in multiple cortical and subcortical areas, but investigating neural correlates of priority maps of natural stimuli is complicated by the complexity of their spatial structure and the difficulty of behaviorally characterizing their priority map. To overcome these challenges, we reconstructed the topographic representations of upright/inverted face images from fMRI BOLD signals in human early visual areas primary visual cortex (V1) and the extrastriate cortex (V2 and V3) based on a voxelwise population receptive field model. We characterized the priority map behaviorally as the first saccadic eye movement pattern when subjects performed a face-matching task relative to the condition in which subjects performed a phase-scrambled face-matching task. We found that the differential first saccadic eye movement pattern between upright/inverted and scrambled faces could be predicted from the reconstructed topographic representations in V1-V3 in humans of either sex. The coupling between the reconstructed representation and the eye movement pattern increased from V1 to V2/3 for the upright faces, whereas no such effect was found for the inverted faces. Moreover, face inversion modulated the coupling in V2/3, but not in V1. Our findings provide new evidence for priority maps of natural stimuli in early visual areas and extend traditional attention priority map theories by revealing another critical factor that affects priority maps in extrastriate cortex in addition to physical salience and task goal relevance: image configuration. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Prominent theories of attention posit that attention sampling of visual information is mediated by a series of interacting topographic representations of visual space known as
Treder Matthias S
Full Text Available Abstract Background In a visual oddball paradigm, attention to an event usually modulates the event-related potential (ERP. An ERP-based brain-computer interface (BCI exploits this neural mechanism for communication. Hitherto, it was unclear to what extent the accuracy of such a BCI requires eye movements (overt attention or whether it is also feasible for targets in the visual periphery (covert attention. Also unclear was how the visual design of the BCI can be improved to meet peculiarities of peripheral vision such as low spatial acuity and crowding. Method Healthy participants (N = 13 performed a copy-spelling task wherein they had to count target intensifications. EEG and eye movements were recorded concurrently. First, (covert attention was investigated by way of a target fixation condition and a central fixation condition. In the latter, participants had to fixate a dot in the center of the screen and allocate their attention to a target in the visual periphery. Second, the effect of visual speller layout was investigated by comparing the symbol Matrix to an ERP-based Hex-o-Spell, a two-levels speller consisting of six discs arranged on an invisible hexagon. Results We assessed counting errors, ERP amplitudes, and offline classification performance. There is an advantage (i.e., less errors, larger ERP amplitude modulation, better classification of overt attention over covert attention, and there is also an advantage of the Hex-o-Spell over the Matrix. Using overt attention, P1, N1, P2, N2, and P3 components are enhanced by attention. Using covert attention, only N2 and P3 are enhanced for both spellers, and N1 and P2 are modulated when using the Hex-o-Spell but not when using the Matrix. Consequently, classifiers rely mainly on early evoked potentials in overt attention and on later cognitive components in covert attention. Conclusions Both overt and covert attention can be used to drive an ERP-based BCI, but performance is markedly lower
Doolan, Katy J; Breslin, Gavin; Hanna, Donncha; Murphy, Kate; Gallagher, Alison M
Based on the theory of incentive sensitization, the aim of this study was to investigate differences in attentional processing of food-related visual cues between normal-weight and overweight/obese males and females. Twenty-six normal-weight (14M, 12F) and 26 overweight/obese (14M, 12F) adults completed a visual probe task and an eye-tracking paradigm. Reaction times and eye movements to food and control images were collected during both a fasted and fed condition in a counterbalanced design. Participants had greater visual attention towards high-energy-density food images compared to low-energy-density food images regardless of hunger condition. This was most pronounced in overweight/obese males who had significantly greater maintained attention towards high-energy-density food images when compared with their normal-weight counterparts however no between weight group differences were observed for female participants. High-energy-density food images appear to capture visual attention more readily than low-energy-density food images. Results also suggest the possibility of an altered visual food cue-associated reward system in overweight/obese males. Attentional processing of food cues may play a role in eating behaviors thus should be taken into consideration as part of an integrated approach to curbing obesity. © 2014 The Obesity Society.
Full Text Available There is an ongoing debate whether an impairment of visual attentional functions constitutes an additional or even an isolated deficit of developmental dyslexia (DD. Especially performance in tasks that require the processing of multiple visual elements in parallel has been reported to be impaired in DD. We review studies that used parameter-based assessment for identifying and quantifying impaired aspect(s of visual attention that underlie this multi-element-processing deficit in DD. These studies used the mathematical framework provided by the ‘theory of visual attention’ (TVA; Bundesen, 1990 to derive quantitative measures of general attentional resources and attentional weighting aspects on the basis of behavioral performance in whole- and partial-report tasks. Based on parameter estimates in children and adults with DD, the reviewed studies support a slowed perceptual processing speed as an underlying primary deficit in DD. Moreover, a reduction in visual short term memory storage capacity seems to present a modulating component, contributing to difficulties in written language processing. Furthermore, comparing the spatial distributions of attentional weights in children and adults suggest that having limited reading and writing skills might impair the development of a slight leftward bias, that is typical for unimpaired adult readers.
Fitzpatrick, C M; Caballero-Puntiverio, M; Gether, U; Habekost, T; Bundesen, C; Vangkilde, S; Woldbye, D P D; Andreasen, J T; Petersen, A
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.
Tsujimura, Akira; Miyagawa, Yasushi; Takada, Shingo; Matsuoka, Yasuhiro; Takao, Tetsuya; Hirai, Toshiaki; Matsushita, Masateru; Nonomura, Norio; Okuyama, Akihiko
Although men appear to be more interested in sexual stimuli than women, this difference is not completely understood. Eye-tracking technology has been used to investigate visual attention to still sexual images; however, it has not been applied to moving sexual images. To investigate whether sex difference exists in visual attention to sexual videos. Eleven male and 11 female healthy volunteers were studied by our new methodology. The subjects viewed two sexual videos (one depicting sexual intercourse and one not) in which several regions were designated for eye-gaze analysis in each frame. Visual attention was measured across each designated region according to gaze duration. Sex differences, the region attracting the most attention, and visually favored sex were evaluated. In the nonintercourse clip, gaze time for the face and body of the actress was significantly shorter among women than among men. Gaze time for the face and body of the actor and nonhuman regions was significantly longer for women than men. The region attracting the most attention was the face of the actress for both men and women. Men viewed the opposite sex for a significantly longer period than did women, and women viewed their own sex for a significantly longer period than did men. However, gaze times for the clip showing intercourse were not significantly different between sexes. A sex difference existed in visual attention to a sexual video without heterosexual intercourse; men viewed the opposite sex for longer periods than did women, and women viewed the same sex for longer periods than did men. There was no statistically significant sex difference in viewing patterns in a sexual video showing heterosexual intercourse, and we speculate that men and women may have similar visual attention patterns if the sexual stimuli are sufficiently explicit.
Khan, A Z; Prost-Lefebvre, M; Salemme, R; Blohm, G; Rossetti, Y; Tilikete, C; Pisella, L
Simultanagnosia is a deficit in which patients are unable to perceive multiple objects simultaneously. To date, it remains disputed whether this deficit results from disrupted object or space perception. We asked both healthy participants as well as a patient with simultanagnosia to perform different visual search tasks of variable difficulty. We also modulated the number of objects (target and distracters) presented. For healthy participants, we found that each visual search task was performed with a specific "attentional field" depending on the difficulty of visual object processing but not on the number of objects falling within this "working space." This was demonstrated by measuring the cost in reaction times using different gaze-contingent visible window sizes. We found that bilateral damage to the superior parietal lobule impairs the spatial integration of separable features (within-object processing), shrinking the attentional field in which a target can be detected, but causing no deficit in processing multiple objects per se. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heuer, Anna; Schubö, Anna
Visual working memory can be modulated according to changes in the cued task relevance of maintained items. Here, we investigated the mechanisms underlying this modulation. In particular, we studied the consequences of attentional selection for selected and unselected items, and the role of individual differences in the efficiency with which attention is deployed. To this end, performance in a visual working memory task as well as the CDA/SPCN and the N2pc, ERP components associated with visual working memory and attentional processes, were analysed. Selection during the maintenance stage was manipulated by means of two successively presented retrocues providing spatial information as to which items were most likely to be tested. Results show that attentional selection serves to robustly protect relevant representations in the focus of attention while unselected representations which may become relevant again still remain available. Individuals with larger retrocueing benefits showed higher efficiency of attentional selection, as indicated by the N2pc, and showed stronger maintenance-associated activity (CDA/SPCN). The findings add to converging evidence that focused representations are protected, and highlight the flexibility of visual working memory, in which information can be weighted according its relevance.
Hubert-Wallander, Bjorn; Green, C Shawn; Bavelier, Daphne
Visual attention is the set of mechanisms by which relevant visual information is selected while irrelevant information is suppressed, thus allowing the observer to function in a world made up of nearly infinite visual information. Recently, those who habitually play video games have been documented to outperform novices in a variety of visual attentional capabilities, including attention in space, in time, and to objects. Training studies have established similar improvements in groups of nongamers given experience playing these video games. Critically, not all video games seem to have such a beneficial effect on attention; it seems that fast-paced, embodied visuo-motor tasks that require divided attention (tasks commonly found in popular action games like Halo) have the greatest effect. At the core of these action video game-induced improvements appears to be a remarkable enhancement in the ability to efficiently deploy endogenous attention. The implications of such an enhancement are relevant to a variety of real-world applications, such as work force training, rehabilitation of clinical populations, and improvement of traditional educational approaches. WIREs Cogni Sci 2011 2 222-230 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.116 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Thiessen, Amber; Beukelman, David; Hux, Karen; Longenecker, Maria
Purpose: The purpose of the study was to compare the visual attention patterns of adults with aphasia and adults without neurological conditions when viewing visual scenes with 2 types of engagement. Method: Eye-tracking technology was used to measure the visual attention patterns of 10 adults with aphasia and 10 adults without neurological…
Jorrit Steven Montijn
Full Text Available In divisive normalization models of covert attention, spike rate modulations are commonly used as indicators of the effect of top-down attention. In addition, an increasing number of studies have shown that top-down attention increases the synchronization of neuronal oscillations as well, particularly those in gamma-band frequencies (25 to 100 Hz. Although modulations of spike rate and synchronous oscillations are not mutually exclusive as mechanisms of attention, there has thus far been little effort to integrate these concepts into a single framework of attention. Here, we aim to provide such a unified framework by expanding the normalization model of attention with a time dimension; allowing the simulation of a recently reported backward progression of attentional effects along the visual cortical hierarchy. A simple hierarchical cascade of normalization models simulating different cortical areas however leads to signal degradation and a loss of discriminability over time. To negate this degradation and ensure stable neuronal stimulus representations, we incorporate oscillatory phase entrainment into our model, a mechanism previously proposed as the communication-through-coherence (CTC hypothesis. Our analysis shows that divisive normalization and oscillation models can complement each other in a unified account of the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. The resulting hierarchical normalization and oscillation (HNO model reproduces several additional spatial and temporal aspects of attentional modulation.
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.
Malavita, Menaka S; Vidyasagar, Trichur R; McKendrick, Allison M
The purpose of this study was to study how, in midperipheral vision, aging affects visual processes that interfere with target detection (crowding and surround suppression) and to determine whether the performance on such tasks are related to visuospatial attention as measured by visual search. We investigated the effect of aging on crowding and suppression in detection of a target in peripheral vision, using different types of flanking stimuli. Both thresholds were also obtained while varying the position of the flanker (placed inside or outside of target, relative to fixation). Crowding thresholds were also estimated with spatial uncertainty (jitter). Additionally, we included a visual search task comprising Gabor stimuli to investigate whether performance is related to top-down attention. Twenty young adults (age, 18-32 years; mean age, 26.1 years; 10 males) and 19 older adults (age, 60-74 years; mean age, 70.3 years; 10 males) participated in the study. Older adults showed more surround suppression than the young (F[1,37] = 4.21; P attentional efficiency measured in the visual search task. There was also no significant correlation between crowding and surround suppression. We show that aging does not affect visual crowding but does increase surround suppression of contrast, suggesting that crowding and surround suppression may be distinct visual phenomena. Furthermore, strengths of crowding and surround suppression did not correlate with each other nor could they be predicted by efficiency of visual search.
Granot, Yael; Balcetis, Emily; Schneider, Kristin E; Tyler, Tom R
Why do some people demand harsher legal punishments than do others after viewing the same video evidence? We predict that inconsistent patterns of punishment decisions can be reconciled by considering the simultaneous effects of social group identification and visual attention. We tested 2 competing predictions--the attention unites and attention divides hypotheses--to understand whether visual attention exaggerates or eliminates differences in legal decision making as a function of social identification with outgroups. We measured social identification with police (Studies 1a, 1b) or manipulated identification with a novel outgroup (Study 2). Participants watched videos depicting physical altercations in which the targets' culpability was ambiguous. We surreptitiously tracked (Studies 1a, 2) or manipulated (Study 1b) visual attention to outgroup targets. Results support the attention divides hypothesis. Among participants who fixated frequently on outgroup targets, prior identification influenced punishment decisions. This relationship did not emerge among participants who fixated infrequently on the target. Subjective interpretations of and accurate recall for targets' actions mediated the relationship between identification and attention on punishment. We discuss implications for bias in legal decision making and policy. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
Hecht, Marcus; Thiemann, Ulf; Freitag, Christine M; Bender, Stephan
Post-perceptual cues can enhance visual short term memory encoding even after the offset of the visual stimulus. However, both the mechanisms by which the sensory stimulus characteristics are buffered as well as the mechanisms by which post-perceptual selective attention enhances short term memory encoding remain unclear. We analyzed late post-perceptual event-related potentials (ERPs) in visual change detection tasks (100ms stimulus duration) by high-resolution ERP analysis to elucidate these mechanisms. The effects of early and late auditory post-cues (300ms or 850ms after visual stimulus onset) as well as the effects of a visual interference stimulus were examined in 27 healthy right-handed adults. Focusing attention with post-perceptual cues at both latencies significantly improved memory performance, i.e. sensory stimulus characteristics were available for up to 850ms after stimulus presentation. Passive watching of the visual stimuli without auditory cue presentation evoked a slow negative wave (N700) over occipito-temporal visual areas. N700 was strongly reduced by a visual interference stimulus which impeded memory maintenance. In contrast, contralateral delay activity (CDA) still developed in this condition after the application of auditory post-cues and was thereby dissociated from N700. CDA and N700 seem to represent two different processes involved in short term memory encoding. While N700 could reflect visual post processing by automatic attention attraction, CDA may reflect the top-down process of searching selectively for the required information through post-perceptual attention. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Goltz, Dominique; Pleger, Burkhard; Thiel, Sabrina; Villringer, Arno; Müller, Matthias M.
The present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was designed to get a better understanding of the brain regions involved in sustained spatial attention to tactile events and to ascertain to what extent their activation was correlated. We presented continuous 20 Hz vibrotactile stimuli (range of flutter) concurrently to the left and right index fingers of healthy human volunteers. An arrow cue instructed subjects in a trial-by-trial fashion to attend to the left or right index finger and to detect rare target events that were embedded in the vibrotactile stimulation streams. We found blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) attentional modulation in primary somatosensory cortex (SI), mainly covering Brodmann area 1, 2, and 3b, as well as in secondary somatosensory cortex (SII), contralateral to the to-be-attended hand. Furthermore, attention to the right (dominant) hand resulted in additional BOLD modulation in left posterior insula. All of the effects were caused by an increased activation when attention was paid to the contralateral hand, except for the effects in left SI and insula. In left SI, the effect was related to a mixture of both a slight increase in activation when attention was paid to the contralateral hand as well as a slight decrease in activation when attention was paid to the ipsilateral hand (i.e., the tactile distraction condition). In contrast, the effect in left posterior insula was exclusively driven by a relative decrease in activation in the tactile distraction condition, which points to an active inhibition when tactile information is irrelevant. Finally, correlation analyses indicate a linear relationship between attention effects in intrahemispheric somatosensory cortices, since attentional modulation in SI and SII were interrelated within one hemisphere but not across hemispheres. All in all, our results provide a basis for future research on sustained attention to continuous vibrotactile stimulation in the range of flutter
Parker, Jason G; Zalusky, Eric J; Kirbas, Cemil
Accurate mapping of visual function and selective attention using fMRI is important in the study of human performance as well as in presurgical treatment planning of lesions in or near visual centers of the brain. Conjunctive visual search (CVS) is a useful tool for mapping visual function during fMRI because of its greater activation extent compared with high-capacity parallel search processes. The purpose of this work was to develop and evaluate a CVS that was capable of generating consistent activation in the basic and higher level visual areas of the brain by using a high number of distractors as well as an optimized contrast condition. Images from 10 healthy volunteers were analyzed and brain regions of greatest activation and deactivation were determined using a nonbiased decomposition of the results at the hemisphere, lobe, and gyrus levels. The results were quantified in terms of activation and deactivation extent and mean z-statistic. The proposed CVS was found to generate robust activation of the occipital lobe, as well as regions in the middle frontal gyrus associated with coordinating eye movements and in regions of the insula associated with task-level control and focal attention. As expected, the task demonstrated deactivation patterns commonly implicated in the default-mode network. Further deactivation was noted in the posterior region of the cerebellum, most likely associated with the formation of optimal search strategy. We believe the task will be useful in studies of visual and selective attention in the neuroscience community as well as in mapping visual function in clinical fMRI.
Elena Aleksandrovna Makarova
Full Text Available The article reflects on the role of visualization in education. Modern society is characterized by rapid growth of information that people have to process in order to maintain progress and sustainability in science and development of education. The amount of information is growing so quickly that a person is no longer able to perceive actual data about the outside world and process it using traditional methods. The basis of the “image of the world” contains not only concepts, but the semantic images created with the help of visual thinking. In our study we assume that students are quite limited in their knowledge about cognitive phenomena or in their meta-cognition and do relatively little monitoring of their own memory, comprehension, and other cognitive enterprises. But we also assume that every student is potentially capable of meta-cognition, which is thinking of how better to perform cognitive actions and to be aware of how to learn. Developing meta-cognitive awareness is important because it helps learners become more efficacious and more autonomous. For many of them it can be identified as the most effective way of acquiring knowledge. Visualizing the very process of learning can help see how well it is going. Schema theory offers different ways of using schemas, especially in education. So far, there have been researches on schema as a tool for particular skills such as better comprehension, memorizing and retrieval of the knowledge received. It means students can use schemas to better understand the process of learning and skills acquired.
Vandenbroucke, A.R.E.; Sligte, I.G.; Lamme, V.A.F.
People often rely on information that is no longer in view, but maintained in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Traditionally, VSTM is thought to operate on either a short time-scale with high capacity - iconic memory - or a long time scale with small capacity - visual working memory. Recent research
Clement, Jesper; Kokkoli, Maria
of the product package together with pictures of the pills are used as eye-catcher on-line. The market for e-health is increasing (Usher and Skinner, 2010) and distribution of consumers purchasing on-line health products looks similar to the distribution in average populations. As the on-line drug store goes...... in studying relations between human visual attention and intention to purchase (Clement, 2013). Several companies have found an additional market place on-line, whereas the appearance of the products is often very similar to the physical shop. This goes especially for pharmaceutical products, where pictures...... across culture and national borders it also challenges marketer to make the right set-up for a web-shop. In this paper customers’ visual attention during search for drugs on-line is investigated, relating visual attention and evaluation to a particular web-design....
Full Text Available We have witnessed a rapid development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs linking the brain to external devices. BCIs can be utilized to treat neurological conditions and even to augment brain functions. BCIs offer a promising treatment for mental disorders, including disorders of attention. Here we review the current state of the art and challenges of attention-based BCIs, with a focus on visual attention. Attention-based BCIs utilize electroencephalograms (EEGs or other recording techniques to generate neurofeedback, which patients use to improve their attention, a complex cognitive function. Although progress has been made in the studies of neural mechanisms of attention, extraction of attention-related neural signals needed for BCI operations is a difficult problem. To attain good BCI performance, it is important to select the features of neural activity that represent attentional signals. BCI decoding of attention-related activity may be hindered by the presence of different neural signals. Therefore, BCI accuracy can be improved by signal processing algorithms that dissociate signals of interest from irrelevant activities. Notwithstanding recent progress, optimal processing of attentional neural signals remains a fundamental challenge for the development of efficient therapies for disorders of attention.
Chan, Louis K H; Hayward, William G; Theeuwes, Jan
Recent studies have proposed that a common mechanism may underlie spatial attention and spatial working memory. One proposal is that spatial working memory is maintained by attention-based rehearsal [Awh, E., Jonides, J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (1998). Rehearsal in spatial working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 24(3), 780-790], and so a spatial attention shift during the retention interval of a spatial location should impair its memory performance. In the present study, participants engaged in single-item, parallel or serial search tasks while remembering a spatial location. Although memory tended to bias all searches, the need for an attentional shift during the retention interval impaired memory performance only in single-item search, but not in other searches. These findings suggest that previous evidence for the attention-based rehearsal account does not generalize to visual search. Results are discussed with regard to the relationship between spatial attention and spatial working memory.
Zokaei, Nahid; Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory-but not necessarily other aspects of working memory.
Heider, Maike; Husain, Masud
Working memory and attention are intimately connected. However, understanding the relationship between the two is challenging. Currently, there is an important controversy about whether objects in working memory are maintained automatically or require resources that are also deployed for visual or auditory attention. Here we investigated the effects of loading attention resources on precision of visual working memory, specifically on correct maintenance of feature-bound objects, using a dual-task paradigm. Participants were presented with a memory array and were asked to remember either direction of motion of random dot kinematograms of different colour, or orientation of coloured bars. During the maintenance period, they performed a secondary visual or auditory task, with varying levels of load. Following a retention period, they adjusted a coloured probe to match either the motion direction or orientation of stimuli with the same colour in the memory array. This allowed us to examine the effects of an attention-demanding task performed during maintenance on precision of recall on the concurrent working memory task. Systematic increase in attention load during maintenance resulted in a significant decrease in overall working memory performance. Changes in overall performance were specifically accompanied by an increase in feature misbinding errors: erroneous reporting of nontarget motion or orientation. Thus in trials where attention resources were taxed, participants were more likely to respond with nontarget values rather than simply making random responses. Our findings suggest that resources used during attention-demanding visual or auditory tasks also contribute to maintaining feature-bound representations in visual working memory—but not necessarily other aspects of working memory. PMID:24266343
Serra-Grabulosa, Josep M; Adan, Ana; Falcón, Carles; Bargalló, Núria
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.
Bogon, Johanna; Finke, Kathrin; Schulte-Körne, Gerd; Müller, Hermann J.; Schneider, Werner X.; Stenneken, Prisca
People with developmental dyslexia (DD) have been shown to be impaired in tasks that require the processing of multiple visual elements in parallel. It has been suggested that this deficit originates from disturbed visual attentional functions. The parameter-based assessment of visual attention based on Bundesen's (1990) theory of visual…
Mather, Susan M.; Clark, M. Diane
One of the ongoing challenges teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing face is managing the visual split attention implicit in multimedia learning. When a teacher presents various types of visual information at the same time, visual learners have no choice but to divide their attention among those materials and the teacher and…
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In predictive spatial cueing studies, reaction times (RT are shorter for targets appearing at cued locations (valid trials than at other locations (invalid trials. An increase in the amplitude of early P1 and/or N1 event-related potential (ERP components is also present for items appearing at cued locations, reflecting early attentional sensory gain control mechanisms. However, it is still unknown at which stage in the processing stream these early amplitude effects are translated into latency effects. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we measured the latency of two ERP components, the N2pc and the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN, to evaluate whether visual selection (as indexed by the N2pc and visual-short term memory processes (as indexed by the SPCN are delayed in invalid trials compared to valid trials. The P1 was larger contralateral to the cued side, indicating that attention was deployed to the cued location prior to the target onset. Despite these early amplitude effects, the N2pc onset latency was unaffected by cue validity, indicating an express, quasi-instantaneous re-engagement of attention in invalid trials. In contrast, latency effects were observed for the SPCN, and these were correlated to the RT effect. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results show that latency differences that could explain the RT cueing effects must occur after visual selection processes giving rise to the N2pc, but at or before transfer in visual short-term memory, as reflected by the SPCN, at least in discrimination tasks in which the target is presented concurrently with at least one distractor. Given that the SPCN was previously associated to conscious report, these results further show that entry into consciousness is delayed following invalid cues.
Full Text Available 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
Gobin, Christina M; Banks, Jonathan B; Fins, Ana I; Tartar, Jaime L
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.
Fernanda Machado Lopes
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.
Li, Linyi; Xu, Tingbao; Chen, Yun
In recent years the spatial resolutions of remote sensing images have been improved greatly. However, a higher spatial resolution image does not always lead to a better result of automatic scene classification. Visual attention is an important characteristic of the human visual system, which can effectively help to classify remote sensing scenes. In this study, a novel visual attention feature extraction algorithm was proposed, which extracted visual attention features through a multiscale process. And a fuzzy classification method using visual attention features (FC-VAF) was developed to perform high resolution remote sensing scene classification. FC-VAF was evaluated by using remote sensing scenes from widely used high resolution remote sensing images, including IKONOS, QuickBird, and ZY-3 images. FC-VAF achieved more accurate classification results than the others according to the quantitative accuracy evaluation indices. We also discussed the role and impacts of different decomposition levels and different wavelets on the classification accuracy. FC-VAF improves the accuracy of high resolution scene classification and therefore advances the research of digital image analysis and the applications of high resolution remote sensing images.
Marini, Francesco; Marzi, Carlo A
The visual system leverages organizational regularities of perceptual elements to create meaningful representations of the world. One clear example of such function, which has been formalized in the Gestalt psychology principles, is the perceptual grouping of simple visual elements (e.g., lines and arcs) into unitary objects (e.g., forms and shapes). The present study sought to characterize automatic attentional capture and related cognitive processing of Gestalt-like visual stimuli at the psychophysiological level by using event-related potentials (ERPs). We measured ERPs during a simple visual reaction time task with bilateral presentations of physically matched elements with or without a Gestalt organization. Results showed that Gestalt (vs. non-Gestalt) stimuli are characterized by a larger N2pc together with enhanced ERP amplitudes of non-lateralized components (N1, N2, P3) starting around 150 ms post-stimulus onset. Thus, we conclude that Gestalt stimuli capture attention automatically and entail characteristic psychophysiological signatures at both early and late processing stages. Highlights We studied the neural signatures of the automatic processes of visual attention elicited by Gestalt stimuli. We found that a reliable early correlate of attentional capture turned out to be the N2pc component. Perceptual and cognitive processing of Gestalt stimuli is associated with larger N1, N2, and P3.
Full Text Available In recent years the spatial resolutions of remote sensing images have been improved greatly. However, a higher spatial resolution image does not always lead to a better result of automatic scene classification. Visual attention is an important characteristic of the human visual system, which can effectively help to classify remote sensing scenes. In this study, a novel visual attention feature extraction algorithm was proposed, which extracted visual attention features through a multiscale process. And a fuzzy classification method using visual attention features (FC-VAF was developed to perform high resolution remote sensing scene classification. FC-VAF was evaluated by using remote sensing scenes from widely used high resolution remote sensing images, including IKONOS, QuickBird, and ZY-3 images. FC-VAF achieved more accurate classification results than the others according to the quantitative accuracy evaluation indices. We also discussed the role and impacts of different decomposition levels and different wavelets on the classification accuracy. FC-VAF improves the accuracy of high resolution scene classification and therefore advances the research of digital image analysis and the applications of high resolution remote sensing images.
Kim, Soyeon; Banaschewski, Tobias; Tannock, Rosemary
Background: Individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are reported to manifest visual problems (including ophthalmological and color perception problems, particularly for blue-yellow stimuli), but findings are inconsistent. Accordingly, this study investigated visual function and color perception in adolescents with ADHD using VEP. Method: Participants were 31 adolescents (aged 13-18); 16 with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD, and 15 healthy peers, matched for age, gen...
Wang, Shuo; Xu, Juan; Jiang, Ming; Zhao, Qi; Hurlemann, Rene; Adolphs, Ralph
People with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have pervasive impairments in social interactions, a diagnostic component that may have its roots in atypical social motivation and attention. One of the brain structures implicated in the social abnormalities seen in ASD is the amygdala. To further characterize the impairment of people with ASD in social attention, and to explore the possible role of the amygdala, we employed a series of visual search tasks with both social (faces and people with d...
Ni, Jianguang; Jiang, Huihui; Jin, Yixiang; Chen, Nanhui; Wang, Jianhong; Wang, Zhengbo; Luo, Yuejia; Ma, Yuanye; Hu, Xintian
Emotional stimuli have evolutionary significance for the survival of organisms; therefore, they are attention-grabbing and are processed preferentially. The neural underpinnings of two principle emotional dimensions in affective space, valence (degree of pleasantness) and arousal (intensity of evoked emotion), have been shown to be dissociable in the olfactory, gustatory and memory systems. However, the separable roles of valence and arousal in scene perception are poorly understood. In this study, we asked how these two emotional dimensions modulate overt visual attention. Twenty-two healthy volunteers freely viewed images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) that were graded for affective levels of valence and arousal (high, medium, and low). Subjects' heads were immobilized and eye movements were recorded by camera to track overt shifts of visual attention. Algebraic graph-based approaches were introduced to model scan paths as weighted undirected path graphs, generating global topology metrics that characterize the algebraic connectivity of scan paths. Our data suggest that human subjects show different scanning patterns to stimuli with different affective ratings. Valence salient stimuli (with neutral arousal) elicited faster and larger shifts of attention, while arousal salient stimuli (with neutral valence) elicited local scanning, dense attention allocation and deep processing. Furthermore, our model revealed that the modulatory effect of valence was linearly related to the valence level, whereas the relation between the modulatory effect and the level of arousal was nonlinear. Hence, visual attention seems to be modulated by mechanisms that are separate for valence and arousal. PMID:21494331
Full Text Available Emotional stimuli have evolutionary significance for the survival of organisms; therefore, they are attention-grabbing and are processed preferentially. The neural underpinnings of two principle emotional dimensions in affective space, valence (degree of pleasantness and arousal (intensity of evoked emotion, have been shown to be dissociable in the olfactory, gustatory and memory systems. However, the separable roles of valence and arousal in scene perception are poorly understood. In this study, we asked how these two emotional dimensions modulate overt visual attention. Twenty-two healthy volunteers freely viewed images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS that were graded for affective levels of valence and arousal (high, medium, and low. Subjects' heads were immobilized and eye movements were recorded by camera to track overt shifts of visual attention. Algebraic graph-based approaches were introduced to model scan paths as weighted undirected path graphs, generating global topology metrics that characterize the algebraic connectivity of scan paths. Our data suggest that human subjects show different scanning patterns to stimuli with different affective ratings. Valence salient stimuli (with neutral arousal elicited faster and larger shifts of attention, while arousal salient stimuli (with neutral valence elicited local scanning, dense attention allocation and deep processing. Furthermore, our model revealed that the modulatory effect of valence was linearly related to the valence level, whereas the relation between the modulatory effect and the level of arousal was nonlinear. Hence, visual attention seems to be modulated by mechanisms that are separate for valence and arousal.
Bayer, Mareike; Rossi, Valentina; Vanlessen, Naomi; Grass, Annika; Schacht, Annekathrin; Pourtois, Gilles
Motivation and attention constitute major determinants of human perception and action. Nonetheless, it remains a matter of debate whether motivation effects on the visual cortex depend on the spatial attention system, or rely on independent pathways. This study investigated the impact of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human primary and extrastriate visual cortex by employing a factorial manipulation of the two factors in a cued pattern discrimination task. During stimulus presentation, we recorded event-related potentials and pupillary responses. Motivational relevance increased the amplitudes of the C1 component at ∼70 ms after stimulus onset. This modulation occurred independently of spatial attention effects, which were evident at the P1 level. Furthermore, motivation and spatial attention had independent effects on preparatory activation as measured by the contingent negative variation; and pupil data showed increased activation in response to incentive targets. Taken together, these findings suggest independent pathways for the influence of motivation and spatial attention on the activity of the human visual cortex. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press.
Lenartowicz, Agatha; Simpson, Gregory V.; Haber, Catherine M.; Cohen, Mark S.
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
Zhang, Bao; Zhang, John X; Kong, Lingyue; Huang, Sai; Yue, Zhenzhu; Wang, Suiping
Recent work shows that items maintained in working memory could guide the orienting of attention in visual search, demonstrating an interesting interaction between working memory and attention. For such guidance effect, some studies emphasize the importance of search task type: for fixed-target search, task-irrelevant memory items stay inside the attentional focus and guides attention; for varied-target search, these items stay outside attentional focus and do not guide attention. With two experiments, we showed that stimulus attribute of items held in working memory can play an important role in attentional guidance. The first behavioral experiment duplicated a previous fixed-target search paradigm demonstrating robust guidance effect but failed to find such effect when the stimuli was simply changed from colored shapes to complex artificial shapes. The second event-related potential experiment duplicated a previous varied-target search paradigm that used complex shapes but did not observe any guidance effect. A clear guidance effect was found when we changed the stimuli to colored shapes. The results suggest that attentional guidance from working memory depends on stimulus attributes of the items held in working memory. When effective attribute is used, task-irrelevant items that stay outside the attentional focus are still able to guide attention. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Woodman, Geoffrey F.; Luck, Steven J.
In many theories of cognition, researchers propose that working memory and perception operate interactively. For example, in previous studies researchers have suggested that sensory inputs matching the contents of working memory will have an automatic advantage in the competition for processing resources. The authors tested this hypothesis by requiring observers to perform a visual search task while concurrently maintaining object representations in visual working memory. The hypothesis that ...
Kashiwase, Yoshiyuki; Matsumiya, Kazumichi; Kuriki, Ichiro; Shioiri, Satoshi
How attentional modulation on brain activities determines behavioral performance has been one of the most important issues in cognitive neuroscience. This issue has been addressed by comparing the temporal relationship between attentional modulations on neural activities and behavior. Our previous study measured the time course of attention with amplitude and phase coherence of steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) and found that the modulation latency of phase coherence rather than that of amplitude was consistent with the latency of behavioral performance. In this study, as a complementary report, we compared the time course of visual attention shift measured by event-related potentials (ERPs) with that by target detection task. We developed a novel technique to compare ERPs with behavioral results and analyzed the EEG data in our previous study. Two sets of flickering stimulus at different frequencies were presented in the left and right visual hemifields, and a target or distracter pattern was presented randomly at various moments after an attention-cue presentation. The observers were asked to detect targets on the attended stimulus after the cue. We found that two ERP components, P300 and N2pc, were elicited by the target presented at the attended location. Time-course analyses revealed that attentional modulation of the P300 and N2pc amplitudes increased gradually until reaching a maximum and lasted at least 1.5 s after the cue onset, which is similar to the temporal dynamics of behavioral performance. However, attentional modulation of these ERP components started later than that of behavioral performance. Rather, the time course of attentional modulation of behavioral performance was more closely associated with that of the concurrently recorded SSVEPs analyzed. These results suggest that neural activities reflected not by either the P300 or N2pc, but by the SSVEPs, are the source of attentional modulation of behavioral performance. PMID:23976966
Full Text Available Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. However, two of their challenges are to extract useful information from captured images, and to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. This paper proposes implementing a dynamic visual memory to store the information gathered from a moving camera on board a robot, followed by an attention system to choose where to look with this mobile camera, and a visual localization algorithm that incorporates this visual memory. The visual memory is a collection of relevant task-oriented objects and 3D segments, and its scope is wider than the current camera field of view. The attention module takes into account the need to reobserve objects in the visual memory and the need to explore new areas. The visual memory is useful also in localization tasks, as it provides more information about robot surroundings than the current instantaneous image. This visual system is intended as underlying technology for service robot applications in real people’s homes. Several experiments have been carried out, both with simulated and real Pioneer and Nao robots, to validate the system and each of its components in office scenarios.
Vega, Julio; Perdices, Eduardo; Cañas, José M.
Cameras are one of the most relevant sensors in autonomous robots. However, two of their challenges are to extract useful information from captured images, and to manage the small field of view of regular cameras. This paper proposes implementing a dynamic visual memory to store the information gathered from a moving camera on board a robot, followed by an attention system to choose where to look with this mobile camera, and a visual localization algorithm that incorporates this visual memory. The visual memory is a collection of relevant task-oriented objects and 3D segments, and its scope is wider than the current camera field of view. The attention module takes into account the need to reobserve objects in the visual memory and the need to explore new areas. The visual memory is useful also in localization tasks, as it provides more information about robot surroundings than the current instantaneous image. This visual system is intended as underlying technology for service robot applications in real people's homes. Several experiments have been carried out, both with simulated and real Pioneer and Nao robots, to validate the system and each of its components in office scenarios. PMID:23337333
Full Text Available The coordination of visual attention among social partners is central to many components of human behavior and human development. Previous research has focused on one pathway to the coordination of looking behavior by social partners, gaze following. The extant evidence shows that even very young infants follow the direction of another's gaze but they do so only in highly constrained spatial contexts because gaze direction is not a spatially precise cue as to the visual target and not easily used in spatially complex social interactions. Our findings, derived from the moment-to-moment tracking of eye gaze of one-year-olds and their parents as they actively played with toys, provide evidence for an alternative pathway, through the coordination of hands and eyes in goal-directed action. In goal-directed actions, the hands and eyes of the actor are tightly coordinated both temporally and spatially, and thus, in contexts including manual engagement with objects, hand movements and eye movements provide redundant information about where the eyes are looking. Our findings show that one-year-olds rarely look to the parent's face and eyes in these contexts but rather infants and parents coordinate looking behavior without gaze following by attending to objects held by the self or the social partner. This pathway, through eye-hand coupling, leads to coordinated joint switches in visual attention and to an overall high rate of looking at the same object at the same time, and may be the dominant pathway through which physically active toddlers align their looking behavior with a social partner.
Konijnenberg, Carolien; Melinder, Annika
To examine whether prenatal exposure to opioid agonist medication is associated with visual selective attention and general attention problems in early childhood. Twenty-two children (mean age = 52.17 months, SD = 1.81) prenatally exposed to methadone, 9 children (mean age = 52.41 months, SD = 1.42) prenatally exposed to buprenorphine and 25 nonexposed comparison children (mean age = 51.44 months, SD = 1.31) were tested. Visual selective attention was measured with a Tobii 1750 Eye Tracker using a spatial negative priming paradigm. Attention problems were measured using the Child Behavior Checklist. The comparison group demonstrated a larger spatial negative priming effect (mean = 23.50, SD = 45.50) than the exposed group [mean = -6.84, SD = 86.39, F(1,50) = 5.91, p = 0.019, η(2) = 0.11]. No difference in reported attention problems was found [F(1,51) = 1.63, p = 0.21, η(2) = 0.03]. Neonatal abstinence syndrome and prenatal exposure to marijuana were found to predict slower saccade latencies in the exposed group (b = 54.55, SE = 23.56, p = 0.03 and b = 88.86, SE = 32.07, p = 0.01, respectively). Although exposed children did not appear to have attention deficits in daily life, lower performance on the SNP task indicates subtle alteration in the attention system. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Bae, Gi-Yeul; Luck, Steven J
In human scalp EEG recordings, both sustained potentials and alpha-band oscillations are present during the delay period of working memory tasks and may therefore reflect the representation of information in working memory. However, these signals may instead reflect support mechanisms rather than the actual contents of memory. In particular, alpha-band oscillations have been tightly tied to spatial attention and may not reflect location-independent memory representations per se. To determine how sustained and oscillating EEG signals are related to attention and working memory, we attempted to decode which of 16 orientations was being held in working memory by human observers (both women and men). We found that sustained EEG activity could be used to decode the remembered orientation of a stimulus, even when the orientation of the stimulus varied independently of its location. Alpha-band oscillations also carried clear information about the location of the stimulus, but they provided little or no information about orientation independently of location. Thus, sustained potentials contain information about the object properties being maintained in working memory, consistent with previous evidence of a tight link between these potentials and working memory capacity. In contrast, alpha-band oscillations primarily carry location information, consistent with their link to spatial attention.Significance 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
Dana C. Thomsen
Full Text Available I explore the potential utility of visual imagery to engage viewers in connecting ways with dynamic social-ecological contexts. Constructing photographs in response to the mass stranding of birds (shearwaters on the east coast of Australia in 2013, I demonstrate the potential of wildlife and landscape photography to represent the impacts of environmental change at personal, relational, spatial, and temporal scales simultaneously. In so doing, I suggest that the production and interpretation of photographs can lead to responses that: (1 foster attentive forms of vision in familiar contexts; (2 provoke reflexive self-examination and critiques of broader, complex systems; (3 develop emotional connections with those impacted by social-ecological change; and (4 provide a foundation for precautionary behavioral change in uncertain contexts. Consequently, 'seeing' is reconceptualized as questioning, not believing, and as a valuable contribution to learning for sustainability and resilience.
Pekkola, Johanna; Ojanen, Ville; Autti, Taina; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Möttönen, Riikka; Sams, Mikko
Observing a speaker's articulatory gestures can contribute considerably to auditory speech perception. At the level of neural events, seen articulatory gestures can modify auditory cortex responses to speech sounds and modulate auditory cortex activity also in the absence of heard speech. However, possible effects of attention on this modulation have remained unclear. To investigate the effect of attention on visual speech-induced auditory cortex activity, we scanned 10 healthy volunteers with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at 3 T during simultaneous presentation of visual speech gestures and moving geometrical forms, with the instruction to either focus on or ignore the seen articulations. Secondary auditory cortex areas in the bilateral posterior superior temporal gyrus and planum temporale were active both when the articulatory gestures were ignored and when they were attended to. However, attention to visual speech gestures enhanced activity in the left planum temporale compared to the situation when the subjects saw identical stimuli but engaged in a nonspeech motion discrimination task. These findings suggest that attention to visually perceived speech gestures modulates auditory cortex function and that this modulation takes place at a hierarchically relatively early processing level. Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
McClure, Elisabeth R.; Chentsova-Dutton, Yulia E.; Holochwost, Steven J.; Parrott, W. G.; Barr, Rachel
Although many relatives use video chat to keep in touch with toddlers, key features of adult-toddler interaction like joint visual attention (JVA) may be compromised in this context. In this study, 25 families with a child between 6 and 24 months were observed using video chat at home with geographically separated grandparents. We define two types…
Weijkamp, J.; Sadakata, M.
Individuals with more musical training repeatedly demonstrate enhanced auditory perception abilities. The current study examined how these enhanced auditory skills interact with attention to affective audio-visual stimuli. A total of 16 participants with more than 5 years of musical training
Acknowledgments: We would like to thank Francis Crick , Ellen Hildreth, James Mahoney and Tomaso Poggio for their enlightening comments. Gady Geiger pointed out...the visual field -- (Atkinson, Campbell & Francis 1976). Consider next the problem of performing a conjunctive search task (Treisman & Gelade, 1080...central representation. Interestingly, Crick proposed recently (1984; see also Yingling & Skinner, 1977) - - that the attentional searchlight is controlled
In this thesis, we investigated development of motor behavior and visual attention in the first six months of life, in relation to risk factors for an adverse development and in relation to functional outcome of the children later in life. We investigated variability in motor behavior by assessing
Rosenwasser, Shirley Miller; And Others
Examined same-sex awareness by comparing the visual attention of 51 college students toward stimulus persons. Results showed men looked longer at slides of women both clothed and in bathing suits than slides of men, and women looked longest at slides of clothed women. Results suggested intrasex competitiveness and intersex attraction. (JAC)
Van Den Boer, Madelon; Van Bergen, Elsje; de Jong, Peter F.
Visual attention span, the number of orthographic units that can be processed at a glance, has been shown to predict reading performance in orthographically opaque languages (i.e., French and English), independent from phonological awareness. Whether this relation is also found in Dutch, a more
Bosse, Marie-Line; Kandel, Sonia; Prado, Chloé; Valdois, Sylviane
This research investigated whether text reading and copying involve visual attention-processing skills. Children in grades 3 and 5 read and copied the same text. We measured eye movements while reading and the number of gaze lifts (GL) during copying. The children were also administered letter report tasks that constitute an estimation of the…
Lallier, Marie; Abu Mallouh, Reem; Mohammed, Ahmed M.; Khalifa, Batoul; Perea, Manuel; Carreiras, Manuel
It is unclear whether the association between the visual attention (VA) span and reading differs across languages. Here we studied this relationship in Arabic, where the use of specific reading strategies depends on the amount of diacritics on words: reading vowelized and nonvowelized Arabic scripts favor sublexical and lexical strategies,…
Holmes, Virginia M.; Dawson, Georgia
The goal of the study was to examine the association between visual-attentional span and lexical decision in skilled adult readers. In the span tasks, an array of letters was presented briefly and recognition or production of a single cued letter (partial span) or production of all letters (whole span) was required. Independently of letter…
Bosse, Marie-Line; Valdois, Sylviane
The visual attention (VA) span deficit hypothesis was found successfully to account for variability in developmental dyslexia (Bosse, Tainturier & Valdois, 2007). We conducted a cross-sectional study on 417 typically developing children from first, third and fifth grades examining the role of VA span on the development of reading skills. A battery…
Peterson, Dwight J.; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe
An important yet unresolved question regarding visual working memory (VWM) relates to whether or not binding processes within VWM require additional attentional resources compared with processing solely the individual components comprising these bindings. Previous findings indicate that binding of surface features (e.g., colored shapes) within VWM…
Brunye, Tad T.; Mahoney, Caroline R.; Lieberman, Harris R.; Giles, Grace E.; Taylor, Holly A.
Recent work suggests that a dose of 200-400mg caffeine can enhance both vigilance and the executive control of visual attention in individuals with low caffeine consumption profiles. The present study seeks to determine whether individuals with relatively high caffeine consumption profiles would show similar advantages. To this end, we examined…
Boyer, Ty W; Maouene, Josita; Sethuraman, Nitya
Theories of embodied conceptual meaning suggest fundamental relations between others' actions, language, and our own actions and visual attention processes. Prior studies have found that when people view an image of a neutral body in a scene they first look toward, in order, the head, torso, hands, and legs. Other studies show associations between action verbs and the body-effectors used in performing the action (e.g., "jump" with feet/legs; "talk" with face/head). In the present experiment, the visual attention of participants was recorded with a remote eye-tracking system while they viewed an image of an actor pantomiming an action and heard a concrete action verb. Participants manually responded whether or not the action image was a good example of the verb they heard. The eye-tracking results confirmed that participants looked at the head most, followed by the hands, and the feet least of all; however, visual attention to each of the body-parts also varied as a function of the effector associated with the spoken verb on image/verb congruent trials, particularly for verbs associated with the legs. Overall, these results suggest that language influences some perceptual processes; however, hearing auditory verbs did not alter the previously reported fundamental hierarchical sequence of directed attention, and fixations on specific body-effectors may not be essential for verb comprehension as peripheral visual cues may be sufficient to perform the task.
Lorist, M.M.; Snel, J.; Kok, A; Mulder, G.
The influence of a single dose of caffeine was evaluated in focused and divided attention conditions of a visual selective search task in which subjects had to perform controlled search processes to locate a target item. Search processes were manipulated by varying display load. A dose of 3 mg/kg
Moerchen, Victoria A; Saeed, Mina E
This study examined infant treadmill stepping in two groups of pre-locomotor infants in response to terrestrial optic flow. The optic flow was provided via the treadmill belt for flow translation that was directionally consistent with the forward stepping of the infants. Twelve 2-5-month-old and twelve 7-10-month-old infants participated. Visual attention (duration and direction) and step responsiveness (frequency and step types) were coded from digital video, and visuomotor coupling was examined by temporally juxtaposing the visual attention and step data. Longer durations of visual attention to the patterned belt with increased step frequencies during periods of visual attention were observed, suggesting that the visuotactile calibration afforded by the patterned treadmill belt, increased visuomotor coupling and enhanced the frequency and complexity of stepping in prelocomotor infants. The findings are discussed with regard to sensorimotor experiences that enhance treadmill stepping in infants and that may have application to clinical populations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Nicholls, Michael E R; Loveless, Kellie M; Thomas, Nicole A; Loetscher, Tobias; Churches, Owen
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.
Full Text Available We propose a Stereoscopic Visual Attention- (SVA- based regional bit allocation optimization for Multiview Video Coding (MVC by the exploiting visual redundancies from human perceptions. We propose a novel SVA model, where multiple perceptual stimuli including depth, motion, intensity, color, and orientation contrast are utilized, to simulate the visual attention mechanisms of human visual system with stereoscopic perception. Then, a semantic region-of-interest (ROI is extracted based on the saliency maps of SVA. Both objective and subjective evaluations of extracted ROIs indicated that the proposed SVA model based on ROI extraction scheme outperforms the schemes only using spatial or/and temporal visual attention clues. Finally, by using the extracted SVA-based ROIs, a regional bit allocation optimization scheme is presented to allocate more bits on SVA-based ROIs for high image quality and fewer bits on background regions for efficient compression purpose. Experimental results on MVC show that the proposed regional bit allocation algorithm can achieve over 20∼30% bit-rate saving while maintaining the subjective image quality. Meanwhile, the image quality of ROIs is improved by 0.46∼0.61 dB at the cost of insensitive image quality degradation of the background image.
Zhang, Yun; Jiang, Gangyi; Yu, Mei; Chen, Ken; Dai, Qionghai
We propose a Stereoscopic Visual Attention- (SVA-) based regional bit allocation optimization for Multiview Video Coding (MVC) by the exploiting visual redundancies from human perceptions. We propose a novel SVA model, where multiple perceptual stimuli including depth, motion, intensity, color, and orientation contrast are utilized, to simulate the visual attention mechanisms of human visual system with stereoscopic perception. Then, a semantic region-of-interest (ROI) is extracted based on the saliency maps of SVA. Both objective and subjective evaluations of extracted ROIs indicated that the proposed SVA model based on ROI extraction scheme outperforms the schemes only using spatial or/and temporal visual attention clues. Finally, by using the extracted SVA-based ROIs, a regional bit allocation optimization scheme is presented to allocate more bits on SVA-based ROIs for high image quality and fewer bits on background regions for efficient compression purpose. Experimental results on MVC show that the proposed regional bit allocation algorithm can achieve over [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]% bit-rate saving while maintaining the subjective image quality. Meanwhile, the image quality of ROIs is improved by [InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.] dB at the cost of insensitive image quality degradation of the background image.
Full Text Available Successful goal directed behavior relies on a human attention system that is flexible and able to adapt to different conditions of physiological stress. However, the effects of physical activity on multiple aspects of selective attention and whether these effects are mediated by aerobic capacity, remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of a prolonged bout of physical activity on visual search performance and perceptual distraction. Two groups of participants completed a hybrid visual search flanker/response competition task in an initial baseline session and then at 17-minute intervals over a 2 hour 16 minute test period. Participants assigned to the exercise group engaged in steady-state aerobic exercise between completing blocks of the visual task, whereas participants assigned to the control group rested in between blocks. The key result was a correlation between individual differences in aerobic capacity and visual search performance, such that those individuals that were more fit performed the search task more quickly. Critically, this relationship only emerged in the exercise group after the physical activity had begun. The relationship was not present in either group at baseline and never emerged in the control group during the test period, suggesting that under these task demands, aerobic capacity may be an important determinant of visual search performance under physical stress. The results enhance current understanding about the relationship between exercise and cognition, and also inform current models of selective attention.
Full Text Available We propose a Stereoscopic Visual Attention- (SVA- based regional bit allocation optimization for Multiview Video Coding (MVC by the exploiting visual redundancies from human perceptions. We propose a novel SVA model, where multiple perceptual stimuli including depth, motion, intensity, color, and orientation contrast are utilized, to simulate the visual attention mechanisms of human visual system with stereoscopic perception. Then, a semantic region-of-interest (ROI is extracted based on the saliency maps of SVA. Both objective and subjective evaluations of extracted ROIs indicated that the proposed SVA model based on ROI extraction scheme outperforms the schemes only using spatial or/and temporal visual attention clues. Finally, by using the extracted SVA-based ROIs, a regional bit allocation optimization scheme is presented to allocate more bits on SVA-based ROIs for high image quality and fewer bits on background regions for efficient compression purpose. Experimental results on MVC show that the proposed regional bit allocation algorithm can achieve over % bit-rate saving while maintaining the subjective image quality. Meanwhile, the image quality of ROIs is improved by dB at the cost of insensitive image quality degradation of the background image.
van der Waal, Marjolein; Farquhar, Jason; Fasotti, Luciano; Desain, Peter
Healthy aging is associated with changes in many neurocognitive functions. While on the behavioral level, visual spatial attention capacities are relatively stable with increasing age, the underlying neural processes change. In this study, we investigated attention-related modulations of the stimulus-locked event-related potential (ERP) and occipital oscillations in the alpha band (8-14Hz) in young and elderly participants. Both groups performed a visual attention task equally well and the ERP showed comparable attention-related modulations in both age groups. However, in elderly subjects, oscillations in the alpha band were massively reduced both during the task and in the resting state and the typical task-related lateralized pattern of alpha activity was not observed. These differences between young and elderly participants were observed on the group level as well as on the single trial level. The results indicate that younger and older adults use different neural strategies to reach the same performance in a covert visual spatial attention task. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Carmichael, Adrian; Larson, Adam; Gire, Elizabeth; Loschky, Lester; Rebello, N. Sanjay
Research in many disciplines has used eye-tracking technology to investigate the differences in the visual attention of experts and novices. For example, it has been shown that experts in art and chess spend more time than novices looking at relevant information. Thus, it may be helpful to give novices more direct insight into the way experts allocate their visual attention, for example using attentional cueing techniques. However, not much is known about how experts allocate their attention on physics problems. More specifically, we look at physics problems where the critical information needed to answer the problem is contained in a diagram. This study uses eye movements to investigate how the allocation of visual attention differs between experts and novices on these types of physics problems. We find that in several problems tested, those who answered a question correctly spend more time looking at thematically relevant areas while those who answer incorrectly spend more time looking at perceptually salient areas of the diagram.
Full Text Available The limited capacity of visual working memory necessitates attentional mechanisms that selectively update and maintain only the most task-relevant content. Psychophysical experiments have shown that the retroactive selection of memory content can be based on visual properties such as location or shape, but the neural basis for such differential selection is unknown. For example, it is not known if there are different cortical modules specialized for spatial versus feature-based mnemonic attention, in the same way that has been demonstrated for attention to perceptual input. Here, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS to identify areas in human parietal and occipital cortex involved in the selection of objects from memory based on cues to their location (spatial information or their shape (featural information. We found that TMS over the supramarginal gyrus (SMG selectively facilitated spatial selection, whereas TMS over the lateral occipital cortex selectively enhanced feature-based selection for remembered objects in the contralateral visual field. Thus, different cortical regions are responsible for spatial vs. feature-based selection of working memory representations. Since the same regions are involved in attention to external events, these new findings indicate overlapping mechanisms for attentional control over perceptual input and mnemonic representations.
Asutay, Erkin; Västfjäll, Daniel
The ability to detect and localize sounds in an environment is critical for survival. Localizing sound sources is a computational challenge for the human brain because the auditory cortex seems to lack a topographical space representation. However, attention and task demands can modulate localization performance. Here, we investigated whether the localization performance for sounds occurring directly in front of or behind people could be modulated by emotional salience and sound-source location. We measured auditory-induced emotion by ecological sounds occurring in the frontal or rear perceptual fields, and employed a speeded localization task. The results showed that both localization speed and accuracy were higher, and that stronger negative emotions were induced when sound sources were behind the participants. Our results provide clear behavioral evidence that auditory attention can be influenced by sound-source location. Importantly, we also show that the effect of spatial location on attention is mediated by emotion, which is in line with the argument that emotional information is prioritized in processing. Auditory system functions as an alarm system and is in charge of detecting possible salient events, and alarming for an attention shift. Further, spatial processing in the auditory dorsal pathway has a function of guiding the visual system to a particular location of interest. Thus, an auditory bias toward the space outside the visual field can be useful, so that visual attention could be quickly shifted in case of emotionally significant information. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Full Text Available Os autores apresentam os dados normativos de um teste computadorizado de atenção visual (TAVIS para crianças e adolescentes, que representa o primeiro instrumento neuropsicológico deste tipo projetado e desenvolvido no Brasil. Três tarefas diferentes avaliam os apectos de seletividade, alternância e sustentação da atenção. Erros de omissão e ação, bem como o tempo de reação, são avaliados. São comentadas as vantagens e limitações do teste.The authors present the normative data of a computerized test (TAVIS that address visual attention in children and adolescents being the first neuropsychological instrument as such devised and developed in Brazil. Selective, alternate and sustained attention aspects are evaluated through three different tasks. Omission and action errors as well as time reaction are evaluated. The advantages and limitations of the test are commented.
Janelle, Christopher M
Despite extensive research devoted to determining the nature of the relationship between stress and performance, there has been little systematic examination of the mechanisms underlying this relationship. Recently, researchers have begun to empirically address the attentional mechanisms underlying theoretical accounts of how stress, anxiety and arousal influence performance. Given the critical role of visual attention to sport expertise, this paper focuses primarily on literature dealing with how visual cues are differentially identified and processed when performers are anxious. Emerging evidence indicates that gaze behaviour tendencies are reliably altered when performers are anxious, leading to inefficient and often ineffective search strategies. Alterations of these visual search indices are addressed in the context of both self-paced and externally paced sports events. Recommendations concerning the utility of perceptual training programmes and how these training programmes might be used as anxiety regulation interventions are discussed. The theoretical implications and directions for future research are also addressed.
Zhou, Jifan; Zhang, Haihang; Ding, Xiaowei; Shui, Rende; Shen, Mowei
We report on how visual working memory (VWM) forms intact perceptual representations of visual objects using sub-object elements. Specifically, when objects were divided into fragments and sequentially encoded into VWM, the fragments were involuntarily integrated into objects in VWM, as evidenced by the occurrence of both positive and negative object-based attention effects: In Experiment 1, when subjects' attention was cued to a location occupied by the VWM object, the target presented at the location of that object was perceived as occurring earlier than that presented at the location of a different object. In Experiment 2, responses to a target were significantly slower when a distractor was presented at the same location as the cued object (Experiment 2). These results suggest that object fragments can be integrated into objects within VWM in a manner similar to that of visual perception. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Nørgaard, Marianne W; Werner, Anette; Abrahamsen, Randi
pain, the amount of analgesics, anxiety, and adverse events. METHODS: A clinical controlled study with 71 patients in a control group (CG), receiving conventional care and treatment, and 76 patients in an intervention group (IG), receiving relaxation and visualization, combined with a structured......BACKGROUND: Radiofrequency (RF) ablation of atrial fibrillation (AF) can be accompanied by pain and anxiety when light conscious sedation is used. We sought to determine how visualization and structured attentive behavior during ablation of AF could reduce pain intensity, spontaneously expressed...... of anxiety, mean anxiety: CG (0.10-1.84), IG (0.9-2.03)(NS), and the number of adverse events (P = 0.241). CONCLUSION: Visualization and structured attentive behavior was shown to reduce the amount of analgesics during the RF ablation of AF. There was no difference in perception of pain intensity...
Cattaneo, Zaira; Silvanto, Juha; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Battelli, Lorella
Mental representation of numbers is believed to be spatial in nature, with small numbers occupying the left and large numbers the right side of a putative mental number line. Consistent with this, presentation of numbers from the low and high ends of the mental number line induces covert shifts of spatial attention to the left and right side of visual space, respectively. However, the effect of the presentation of the middle range (containing numbers below and above the midpoint) of the number line on visual perception has so far not been studied. Here we show in two experiments, using a line bisection task and a simple target detection task, that processing of middle-range numbers affects allocation of visuospatial attention in a similar way as processing of small numbers, with attention shifted to the left side of space. We suggest that this pattern of results arises due to "anchoring" heuristics that participants use in number processing.
Jørgensen, Søren H; Fitzpatrick, Ciarán Martin; Gether, Ulrik
Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs). The DREADD technology is an emerging and transformative method that allows selective manipulation of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling, and its broad-ranging usefulness in attention research is now beginning to emerge. We first describe...... the different DREADDs available and explain how unprecedented specificity of neuronal signalling can be achieved using DREADDs. We next discuss various studies performed in animal models of visual attention, where different brain regions and neuronal populations have been probed by DREADDs. We highlight...... the interplay between the dopamine (DA) and noradrenaline (NA) catecholamine systems in visual attention and explain why DREADD technology can untangle and help us better understand such complex systems in normal and malfunctioning conditions....
Harris, Irina M; Benito, Claire T; Dux, Paul E
We investigated distractor processing in a dual-target rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task containing familiar objects, by measuring repetition priming from a priming distractor (PD) to Target 2 (T2). Priming from a visually identical PD was contrasted with priming from a PD in a different orientation from T2. We also tested the effect of attention on distractor processing, by placing the PD either within or outside the attentional blink (AB). PDs outside the AB induced positive priming when they were in a different orientation to T2 and no priming, or negative priming, when they were perceptually identical to T2. PDs within the AB induced positive priming regardless of orientation. These findings demonstrate (1) that distractors are processed at multiple levels of representation; (2) that the view-specific representations of distractors are actively suppressed during RSVP; and (3) that this suppression fails in the absence of attention.
Shen, John; Itti, Laurent
In conversation, women have a small advantage in decoding non-verbal communication compared to men. In light of these findings, we sought to determine whether sex differences also existed in visual attention during a related listening task, and if so, if the differences existed among attention to high-level aspects of the scene or to conspicuous visual features. Using eye-tracking and computational techniques, we present direct evidence that men and women orient attention differently during conversational listening. We tracked the eyes of 15 men and 19 women who watched and listened to 84 clips featuring 12 different speakers in various outdoor settings. At the fixation following each saccadic eye movement, we analyzed the type of object that was fixated. Men gazed more often at the mouth and women at the eyes of the speaker. Women more often exhibited "distracted" saccades directed away from the speaker and towards a background scene element. Examining the multi-scale center-surround variation in low-level visual features (static: color, intensity, orientation, and dynamic: motion energy), we found that men consistently selected regions which expressed more variation in dynamic features, which can be attributed to a male preference for motion and a female preference for areas that may contain nonverbal information about the speaker. In sum, significant differences were observed, which we speculate arise from different integration strategies of visual cues in selecting the final target of attention. Our findings have implications for studies of sex in nonverbal communication, as well as for more predictive models of visual attention. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Full Text Available As visual attention is an intrinsic part of social relationships, and because relationships are built on a succession of interactions, their establishment involves learning and attention. The emotional, rewarding or punishing, content can modulate selective attention. In horses, the use of positive/negative reinforcement during training determines short and long-term human-horse relationships. In a recent study in horses, where either food or withers’ grooming were used as a reward, it appeared that only the food-rewarded horses learned the task and show better relationship with humans. In the present study, we hypothesized that this differential effect of grooming/food rewards on learning performances could be due to attentional processes. Monitoring, gazes and behaviors directed towards the trainer revealed that the use of a food reward (FR as positive reinforcement increased horses’ selective attention towards their trainer. Conversely, horses trained with grooming reward (GR expressed more inattentive responses and did not show a decrease of agitated behavior. However, individual plotting of attention versus rate of learning performances revealed a complex pattern. Thus, while all FR horses showed a window of attention related to faster learning performances, GR horses’ pattern followed an almost normal curve where the extreme animals (i.e. highest and lowest attention had the slowest learning performances. On the other hand, learning was influenced by attention: at the end of training, the more attentive horses had also better learning performances. This study, based on horses, contributes to the general debates on the place of attentional processes at the interface of emotion and cognition and open new lines of thought about individual sensitivities (only individuals can tell what an appropriate reward is, attentional processes and learning.
Full Text Available The biased competition model proposes that there is top-down directing of attention to a stimulus matching the contents of working memory (WM, even when the maintenance of a WM representation is detrimental to target relevant performance. Despite many studies elucidating that spatial WM guidance can be present early in the visual processing system, whether visual WM guidance also influences perceptual selection remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the electrophysiological correlates of early guidance of attention by WM in humans. Participants were required to perform a visual search task while concurrently maintaining object representations in their visual working memory. Behavioral results showed that response times (RTs were longer when the distractor in the visual search task was held in WM. The earliest WM guidance effect was observed in the P1 component (90-130 ms, with match trials eliciting larger P1 amplitude than mismatch trials. A similar result was also found in the N1 component (160-200 ms. These P1 and N1 effects could not be attributed to bottom-up perceptual priming from the presentation of a memory cue, because there was no significant difference in early ERP component when the cue was merely perceptually identified but not actively held in working memory. Standardized Low Resolution Electrical Tomography Analysis (sLORETA showed that the early WM guidance occurred in the occipital lobe and the N1-related activation occurred in the parietal gyrus. Time-frequency data suggested that alpha-band event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP magnitudes increased under the match condition compared with the mismatch condition. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the reappearance of a stimulus held in WM enhanced activity in the occipital area. Subsequently, this initial capture of attention by WM could be inhibited by competing visual inputs through attention re-orientation, reflecting by the alpha-band rhythm.
Mark R. Gardner
Full Text Available Experiments demonstrating level-1 visual perspective-taking have been interpreted as providing important evidence for ‘implicit mentalising’—the ability to track simple mental states in a fast and efficient manner. However, this interpretation has been contested by a rival ‘submentalising’ account that proposes that these experiments can be explained by the general purpose mechanisms responsible for attentional orienting. Here, we aim to discriminate between these competing accounts by examining whether a gaze aversion manipulation expected to enhance attention orienting would have similar effects on both perspective-taking and attention orienting tasks. Gaze aversion was operationalised by manipulating head position relative to torso of the avatar figures employed in two experiments (gaze-averted vs. gaze-maintained. Experiment 1 used a Posner cueing task to establish that gaze aversion enhanced attention orienting cued by these avatars. Using the avatar task, Experiment 2 revealed level-1 visual perspective-taking effects of equivalent magnitude for gaze-averted and gaze-maintained conditions. These results indicate that gaze aversion moderated attention orienting but not perspective-taking. This dissociation in performance favours implicit mentalising by casting doubt on the submentalising account. It further constrains theorising by implying that attention orienting is not integral to the system permitting the relatively automatic tracking of mental states.
Kim, Soyeon; Chen, Samantha; Tannock, Rosemary
Color vision and self-reported visual function in everyday life in young adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were investigated. Participants were 30 young adults with ADHD and 30 controls matched for age and gender. They were tested individually and completed the Visual Activities Questionnaire (VAQ), Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test (FMT) and A Quick Test of Cognitive Speed (AQT). The ADHD group reported significantly more problems in 4 of 8 areas on the VAQ: depth perception, peripheral vision, visual search and visual processing speed. Further analyses of VAQ items revealed that the ADHD group endorsed more visual problems associated with driving than controls. Color perception difficulties on the FMT were restricted to the blue spectrum in the ADHD group. FMT and AQT results revealed slower processing of visual stimuli in the ADHD group. A comprehensive investigation of mechanisms underlying visual function and color vision in adults with ADHD is warranted, along with the potential impact of these visual problems on driving performance. Copyright © 2013 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Zhu, Weina; Zhao, Lun; Zhang, Junjun; Ding, Xiaojun; Liu, Haiwei; Ni, Enzhi; Ma, Yuanye; Zhou, Changle
In the present study, the effects of Mozart's sonata K.448 on voluntary and involuntary attention were investigated by recording and analyzing behavioral and event-related potentials (ERPs) data in a three-stimulus visual oddball task. P3a (related to involuntary attention) and P3b (related to voluntary attention) were analyzed. The "Mozart effect" was showed on ERP but not on behavioral data. This study replicated the previous results of Mozart effect on voluntary attention: the P3b latency was influenced by Mozart's sonata K.448. But no change of P3a latency was induced by this music. At the same time, decreased P3a and P3b amplitudes in music condition were found. We interpret this change as positive "Mozart effect" on involuntary attention (P3a) and negative "Mozart effect" on voluntary attention (P3b). We conclude that Mozart's sonata K.448 has shown certain effects on both involuntary attention and voluntary attention in our study, but their effects work on different mechanisms.
Rolke, Bettina; Festl, Freya; Seibold, Verena C
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.
Chechile, R. A.; Butler, K.; Gutowski, W.; Palmer, E. A.
The effects on divided attention of visual shifts and long-term memory retrieval during a monitoring task are considered. A concurrent vigilance task was standardized under all experimental conditions. The results show that subjects can perform nearly perfectly on all of the time-shared tasks if long-term memory retrieval is not required for monitoring. With the requirement of memory retrieval, however, there was a large decrease in accuracy for all of the time-shared activities. It was concluded that the attentional demand of longterm memory retrieval is appreciable (even for a well-learned motor sequence), and thus memory retrieval results in a sizable reduction in the capability of subjects to divide their attention. A selected bibliography on the divided attention literature is provided.
Mortimer, J; Krysztofiak, J; Custard, S; McKune, A J
The effect of sport stacking on auditory and visual attention in 32 Grade 3 children was examined using a randomised, cross-over design. Children were randomly assigned to a sport stacking (n=16) or arts/crafts group (n=16) with these activities performed over 3 wk. (12 30-min. sessions, 4 per week). This was followed by a 3-wk. wash-out period after which there was a cross-over and the 3-wk. intervention repeated, with the sports stacking group performing arts/crafts and the arts/crafts group performing sports stacking. Performance on the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test, a measure of auditory and visual attention, was assessed before and after each of the 3-wk. interventions for each group. Comparisons indicated that sport stacking resulted in significant improvement in high demand function and fine motor regulation, while it caused a significant reduction in low demand function. Auditory and visual attention adaptations to sport stacking may be specific to the high demand nature of the task.
Giesbrecht, Barry; Sy, Jocelyn L; Guerin, Scott A
Environmental context learned without awareness can facilitate visual processing of goal-relevant information. According to one view, the benefit of implicitly learned context relies on the neural systems involved in spatial attention and hippocampus-mediated memory. While this view has received empirical support, it contradicts traditional models of hippocampal function. The purpose of the present work was to clarify the influence of spatial context on visual search performance and on brain structures involved memory and attention. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that activity in the hippocampus as well as in visual and parietal cortex was modulated by learned visual context even though participants' subjective reports and performance on a post-experiment recognition task indicated no explicit knowledge of the learned context. Moreover, the magnitude of the initial selective hippocampus response predicted the magnitude of the behavioral benefit due to context observed at the end of the experiment. The results suggest that implicit contextual learning is mediated by attention and memory and that these systems interact to support search of our environment. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Alastair Charles Smith
Full Text Available Language-mediated visual attention describes the interaction of two fundamental components of the human cognitive system, language and vision. Within this paper we present an amodal shared resource model of language-mediated visual attention that offers a description of the information and processes involved in this complex multimodal behaviour and a potential explanation for how this ability is acquired. We demonstrate that the model is not only sufficient to account for the experimental effects of Visual World Paradigm studies but also that these effects are emergent properties of the architecture of the model itself, rather than requiring separate information processing channels or modular processing systems. The model provides an explicit description of the connection between the modality-specific input from language and vision and the distribution of eye gaze in language mediated visual attention. The paper concludes by discussing future applications for the model, specifically its potential for investigating the factors driving observed individual differences in language mediated eye gaze.
Beste, Christian; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Ness, Vanessa; Epplen, Jörg T; Arning, Larissa
The ADORA2A gene encodes the adenosine A(2A) receptor that is highly expressed in the striatum where it plays a role in modulating glutamatergic and dopaminergic transmission. Glutamatergic signaling has been suggested to play a pivotal role in cognitive functions related to the pre-attentive processing of external stimuli. Yet, the precise molecular mechanism of these processes is poorly understood. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether ADORA2A gene variation has modulating effects on visual pre-attentive sensory memory processing. Studying two polymorphisms, rs5751876 and rs2298383, in 199 healthy control subjects who performed a partial-report paradigm, we find that ADORA2A variation is associated with differences in the efficiency of pre-attentive sensory memory sub-processes. We show that especially the initial visual availability of stimulus information is rendered more efficiently in the homozygous rare genotype groups. Processes related to the transfer of information into working memory and the duration of visual sensory (iconic) memory are compromised in the homozygous rare genotype groups. Our results show a differential genotype-dependent modulation of pre-attentive sensory memory sub-processes. Hence, we assume that this modulation may be due to differential effects of increased adenosine A(2A) receptor signaling on glutamatergic transmission and striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN) interaction. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
Harvey, Alistair J; Kneller, Wendy; Campbell, Alison C
This study tests the claim that alcohol intoxication narrows the focus of visual attention on to the more salient features of a visual scene. A group of alcohol intoxicated and sober participants had their eye movements recorded as they encoded a photographic image featuring a central event of either high or low salience. All participants then recalled the details of the image the following day when sober. We sought to determine whether the alcohol group would pay less attention to the peripheral features of the encoded scene than their sober counterparts, whether this effect of attentional narrowing was stronger for the high-salience event than for the low-salience event, and whether it would lead to a corresponding deficit in peripheral recall. Alcohol was found to narrow the focus of foveal attention to the central features of both images but did not facilitate recall from this region. It also reduced the overall amount of information accurately recalled from each scene. These findings demonstrate that the concept of alcohol myopia originally posited to explain the social consequences of intoxication (Steele & Josephs, 1990) may be extended to explain the relative neglect of peripheral information during the processing of visual scenes.
Full Text Available Visuospatial attention and short-term memory allow us to prioritize, select, and briefly maintain part of the visual information that reaches our senses. These cognitive abilities are quantitatively accounted for by Bundesen’s theory of visual attention (TVA; Bundesen, 1990. Previous studies have suggested that TVA-based assessments are sensitive to inter-individual differences in spatial bias, visual short-term memory capacity, top-down control, and processing speed in healthy volunteers as well as in patients with various neurological and psychiatric conditions. However, most neuropsychological assessments of attention and executive functions, including TVA-based assessment, make use of alphanumeric stimuli and/or are performed verbally, which can pose difficulties for individuals who have troubles processing letters or numbers. Here we examined the reliability of TVA-based assessments when stimuli are used that are not alphanumeric, but instead based on line-drawings of fruits and vegetables. We compared five TVA parameters quantifying the aforementioned cognitive abilities, obtained by modeling accuracy data on a whole/partial report paradigm using conventional alphabet stimuli versus the food stimuli. Significant correlations were found for all TVA parameters, indicating a high parallel-form reliability. Split-half correlations assessing internal reliability, and correlations between predicted and observed data assessing goodness-of-fit were both significant. Our results provide an indication that line-drawings of fruits and vegetables can be used for a reliable assessment of attention and short-term memory.
Jones, Kelly E; Craver-Lemley, Catherine; Barrett, Anna M
Research indicates that individuals with attention deficit disorder (ADD)/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may exhibit left-right asymmetric spatial attention, with deficient processing of stimuli in the left visual hemispace. However, there is controversy as to when this phenomenon can be observed. People with ADD/ADHD do not have obvious spatial bias when performing everyday tasks. Visual cancellation tasks have demonstrated behavioral asymmetry in ADD/ADHD, but results have not been consistent across studies. Children and older adults with ADD or ADHD have been assessed, but previous studies of college students with ADD/ADHD are not available. We tested 24 students with ADD or ADHD and 24 control students on a verbal and nonverbal cancellation task. The ADD/ADHD group made significantly more left-sided omission errors than controls on a letter cancellation task. This group difference was not observed for a shape cancellation task, however. These results support possible left visual inattention in college students with ADD/ADHD. Studies of functional correlates of these attentional phenomena are needed.
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.
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
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.
Machado, Christopher J; Bliss-Moreau, Eliza; Platt, Michael L; Amaral, David G
The sophisticated analysis of gestures and vocalizations, including assessment of their emotional valence, helps group-living primates efficiently navigate their social environment. Deficits in social information processing and emotion regulation are important components of many human psychiatric illnesses, such as autism, schizophrenia and social anxiety disorder. Analyzing the neurobiology of social information processing and emotion regulation requires a multidisciplinary approach that benefits from comparative studies of humans and animal models. However, many questions remain regarding the relationship between visual attention and arousal while processing social stimuli. Using noninvasive infrared eye-tracking methods, we measured the visual social attention and physiological arousal (pupil diameter) of adult male rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) as they watched social and nonsocial videos. We found that social videos, as compared to nonsocial videos, captured more visual attention, especially if the social signals depicted in the videos were directed towards the subject. Subject-directed social cues and nonsocial nature documentary footage, compared to videos showing conspecifics engaging in naturalistic social interactions, generated larger pupil diameters (indicating heightened sympathetic arousal). These findings indicate that rhesus monkeys will actively engage in watching videos of various kinds. Moreover, infrared eye tracking technology provides a mechanism for sensitively gauging the social interest of presented stimuli. Adult male rhesus monkeys' visual attention and physiological arousal do not always trend in the same direction, and are likely influenced by the content and novelty of a particular visual stimulus. This experiment creates a strong foundation for future experiments that will examine the neural network responsible for social information processing in nonhuman primates. Such studies may provide valuable information relevant to
Buschschulte, Antje; Boehler, Carsten N; Strumpf, Hendrik; Stoppel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Hopf, Jens-Max
Attention to task-relevant features leads to a biasing of sensory selection in extrastriate cortex. Features signaling reward seem to produce a similar bias, but how modulatory effects due to reward and attention relate to each other is largely unexplored. To address this issue, it is critical to separate top-down settings defining reward relevance from those defining attention. To this end, we used a visual search paradigm in which the target's definition (attention to color) was dissociated from reward relevance by delivering monetary reward on search frames where a certain task-irrelevant color was combined with the target-defining color to form the target object. We assessed the state of neural biasing for the attended and reward-relevant color by analyzing the neuromagnetic brain response to asynchronously presented irrelevant distractor probes drawn in the target-defining color, the reward-relevant color, and a completely irrelevant color as a reference. We observed that for the prospect of moderate rewards, the target-defining color but not the reward-relevant color produced a selective enhancement of the neuromagnetic response between 180 and 280 msec in ventral extrastriate visual cortex. Increasing reward prospect caused a delayed attenuation (220-250 msec) of the response to reward probes, which followed a prior (160-180 msec) response enhancement in dorsal ACC. Notably, shorter latency responses in dorsal ACC were associated with stronger attenuation in extrastriate visual cortex. Finally, an analysis of the brain response to the search frames revealed that the presence of the reward-relevant color in search distractors elicited an enhanced response that was abolished after increasing reward size. The present data together indicate that when top-down definitions of reward relevance and attention are separated, the behavioral significance of reward-associated features is still rapidly coded in higher-level cortex areas, thereby commanding effective top
Luke J. Norman
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.
Chen, Mei-Ching; Tsai, Pei-Luen; Huang, Yu-Ting; Lin, Keh-Chung
To investigate whether listening to pleasant music improves visual attention to and awareness of contralesional stimuli in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. A within-subject design was used with 19 participants with unilateral neglect following a right hemisphere stroke. Participants were tested in three conditions (pleasant music, unpleasant music and white noise) within 1 week. All musical pieces were chosen by the participants. In each condition, participants were asked to complete three sub-tests of the Behavioural Inattention Test (the Star Cancellation Test, the Line Bisection Test and the Picture Scanning test) and a visual exploration task with everyday scenes. Eye movements in the visual exploration task were recorded simultaneously. Mood and arousal induced by different auditory stimuli were assessed using visual analogue scales, heart rate and galvanic skin response. Compared with unpleasant music and white noise, participants rated their moods as more positive and arousal as higher with pleasant music, but also showed significant improvement on all tasks and eye movement data, except the Line Bisection Test. The findings suggest that pleasant music can improve visual attention in patients with unilateral neglect after stroke. Additional research using randomized controlled trials is required to validate these findings.
Murray, Alexandra M; Nobre, Anna C; Stokes, Mark G
Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is limited in capacity. Therefore, it is important to encode only visual information that is most likely to be relevant to behaviour. Here we asked which aspects of selective biasing of VSTM encoding predict subsequent memory-based performance. We measured EEG during a selective VSTM encoding task, in which we varied parametrically the memory load and the precision of recall required to compare a remembered item to a subsequent probe item. On half the trials, a spatial cue indicated that participants only needed to encode items from one hemifield. We observed a typical sequence of markers of anticipatory spatial attention: early attention directing negativity (EDAN), anterior attention directing negativity (ADAN), late directing attention positivity (LDAP); as well as of VSTM maintenance: contralateral delay activity (CDA). We found that individual differences in preparatory brain activity (EDAN/ADAN) predicted cue-related changes in recall accuracy, indexed by memory-probe discrimination sensitivity (d'). Importantly, our parametric manipulation of memory-probe similarity also allowed us to model the behavioural data for each participant, providing estimates for the quality of the memory representation and the probability that an item could be retrieved. We found that selective encoding primarily increased the probability of accurate memory recall; that ERP markers of preparatory attention predicted the cue-related changes in recall probability. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Antzaka, A; Lallier, M; Meyer, S; Diard, J; Carreiras, M; Valdois, S
Recent studies reported that Action Video Game-AVG training improves not only certain attentional components, but also reading fluency in children with dyslexia. We aimed to investigate the shared attentional components of AVG playing and reading, by studying whether the Visual Attention (VA) span, a component of visual attention that has previously been linked to both reading development and dyslexia, is improved in frequent players of AVGs. Thirty-six French fluent adult readers, matched on chronological age and text reading proficiency, composed two groups: frequent AVG players and non-players. Participants performed behavioural tasks measuring the VA span, and a challenging reading task (reading of briefly presented pseudo-words). AVG players performed better on both tasks and performance on these tasks was correlated. These results further support the transfer of the attentional benefits of playing AVGs to reading, and indicate that the VA span could be a core component mediating this transfer. The correlation between VA span and pseudo-word reading also supports the involvement of VA span even in adult reading. Future studies could combine VA span training with defining features of AVGs, in order to build a new generation of remediation software.
Kasper, Ryan W; Grafton, Scott T; Eckstein, Miguel P; Giesbrecht, Barry
Visual search can be facilitated by the learning of spatial configurations that predict the location of a target among distractors. Neuropsychological and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evidence implicates the medial temporal lobe (MTL) memory system in this contextual cueing effect, and electroencephalography (EEG) studies have identified the involvement of visual cortical regions related to attention. This work investigated two questions: (1) how memory and attention systems are related in contextual cueing; and (2) how these systems are involved in both short- and long-term contextual learning. In one session, EEG and fMRI data were acquired simultaneously in a contextual cueing task. In a second session conducted 1 week later, EEG data were recorded in isolation. The fMRI results revealed MTL contextual modulations that were correlated with short- and long-term behavioral context enhancements and attention-related effects measured with EEG. An fMRI-seeded EEG source analysis revealed that the MTL contributed the most variance to the variability in the attention enhancements measured with EEG. These results support the notion that memory and attention systems interact to facilitate search when spatial context is implicitly learned. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.
The role of central attention in visual short-term memory (VSTM) encoding and maintenance is well established, yet its role in retrieval has been largely unexplored. This study examined the involvement of central attention in retrieval from VSTM using a dual-task paradigm. Participants performed a color change-detection task. Set size varied between 1 and 3 items, and the memory sample was maintained for either a short or a long delay period. A secondary tone discrimination task was introduced at the end of the delay period, shortly before the appearance of a central probe, and occupied central attention while participants were searching within VSTM representations. Similarly to numerous previous studies, reaction time increased as a function of set size reflecting the occurrence of a capacity-limited memory search. When the color targets were maintained over a short delay, memory was searched for the most part without the involvement of central attention. However, with a longer delay period, the search relied entirely on the operation of central attention. Taken together, this study demonstrates that central attention is involved in retrieval from VSTM, but the extent of its involvement depends on the duration of the delay period. Future studies will determine whether the type of memory search (parallel or serial) carried out during retrieval depends on the nature of the attentional mechanism involved the task.
Kollei, Ines; Horndasch, Stefanie; Erim, Yesim; Martin, Alexandra
Cognitive behavioral models postulate that selective attention plays an important role in the maintenance of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). It is suggested that individuals with BDD overfocus on perceived defects in their appearance, which may contribute to the excessive preoccupation with their appearance. The present study used eye tracking to examine visual selective attention in individuals with BDD (n=19), as compared to individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) (n=21) and healthy controls (HCs) (n=21). Participants completed interviews, questionnaires, rating scales and an eye tracking task: Eye movements were recorded while participants viewed photographs of their own face and attractive as well as unattractive other faces. Eye tracking data showed that BDD and BN participants focused less on their self-rated most attractive facial part than HCs. Scanning patterns in own and other faces showed that BDD and BN participants paid as much attention to attractive as to unattractive features in their own face, whereas they focused more on attractive features in attractive other faces. HCs paid more attention to attractive features in their own face and did the same in attractive other faces. Results indicate an attentional bias in BDD and BN participants manifesting itself in a neglect of positive features compared to HCs. Perceptual retraining may be an important aspect to focus on in therapy in order to overcome the neglect of positive facial aspects. Future research should aim to disentangle attentional processes in BDD by examining the time course of attentional processing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, M.W.; Roelfsema, P.R.
Neuronal activity in early visual cortex depends on attention shifts but the contribution to working memory has remained unclear. Here, we examine neuronal activity in the different layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) in an attention-demanding and a working memory task. A current-source density
van Kerkoerle, Timo; Self, Matthew W.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.
Neuronal activity in early visual cortex depends on attention shifts but the contribution to working memory has remained unclear. Here, we examine neuronal activity in the different layers of the primary visual cortex (V1) in an attention-demanding and a working memory task. A current-source density
Brascamp, J.W.; van Boxtel, J.J.A.; Knapen, T.H.J.; Blake, R.
The elements most vivid in our conscious awareness are the ones to which we direct our attention. Scientific study confirms the impression of a close bond between selective attention and visual awareness, yet the nature of this association remains elusive. Using visual afterimages as an index, we
Harasawa, Masamitsu; Shioiri, Satoshi
The effect of the visual hemifield to which spatial attention was oriented on the activities of the posterior parietal and occipital visual cortices was examined using functional near-infrared spectroscopy in order to investigate the neural substrates of voluntary visuospatial attention. Our brain imaging data support the theory put forth in a…
Petrilli, Renée M; Roach, Gregory D; Dawson, Drew; Lamond, Nicole
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.
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.
Schneider, Daniel; Bonmassar, Claudia; Hickey, Clayton
A cue indicating the possibility of cash reward will cause participants to perform memory-based visual search more efficiently. A recent study has suggested that this performance benefit might reflect the use of multiple memory systems: when needed, participants may maintain the to-be-remembered object in both long-term and short-term visual memory, with this redundancy benefitting target identification during search (Reinhart, McClenahan & Woodman, 2016). Here we test this compelling hypothesis. We had participants complete a memory-based visual search task involving a reward cue that either preceded presentation of the to-be-remembered target (pre-cue) or followed it (retro-cue). Following earlier work, we tracked memory representation using two components of the event-related potential (ERP): the contralateral delay activity (CDA), reflecting short-term visual memory, and the anterior P170, reflecting long-term storage. We additionally tracked attentional preparation and deployment in the contingent negative variation (CNV) and N2pc, respectively. Results show that only the reward pre-cue impacted our ERP indices of memory. However, both types of cue elicited a robust CNV, reflecting an influence on task preparation, both had equivalent impact on deployment of attention to the target, as indexed in the N2pc, and both had equivalent impact on visual search behavior. Reward prospect thus has an influence on memory-guided visual search, but this does not appear to be necessarily mediated by a change in the visual memory representations indexed by CDA. Our results demonstrate that the impact of motivation on search is not a simple product of improved memory for target templates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Recent declines in pollinator populations have led to widespread concern due to their impact on food/crop production and the environment. Contrary to growing interest in the use of insecticides in urban landscapes, the relationship between pollinator-related eco-labels, visual attention, and preferences for plants is less understood. The present study combines eye tracking and stated preference experiments to examine the effects of pollinator-related labels on consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay. Results show that the pollinator-friendly attribute positively correlates with consumers’ purchasing decisions and visual attention supports that relationship. Implications of mandatory labeling of pesticide content for the horticultural industry are discussed.
Wiegand, Iris; Töllner, Thomas; Dyrholm, Mads
-related changes in attentional capacities, these ERP markers of individual differences in processing speed and storage capacity were validated in an older group. Furthermore, additional components were related to performance exclusively in older inidividuals: Anterior N1 amplitudes were reduced for slower older......The ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ quantifies an individual’s capacity of attentional resources in parameters visual processing speed C and vSTM storage capacity K. By combining TVA-based assessment with neurophysiology, we showed that distinct ERP components index inter-individual differences...... in these two functions: The posterior N1 was smaller for participants with faster relative to slower processing speed and the Contralateral Delay Activity (CDA) was larger for participants with higher relative to lower storage capacity. When we extended the approach to investigate neural underpinnings of age...
Bury, Belinda; Tiggemann, Marika; Slater, Amy
Globally there is increasing advocacy for the implementation of laws requiring disclaimer labels to be attached to media images that have been digitally altered, with the goal of reducing the known negative effects of exposure to unrealistic thin ideal imagery for women. The current study used eye tracking technology to establish how digital alteration disclaimer labels affect women's visual attention to fashion magazine advertisements, and the interrelationship with body dissatisfaction and state appearance comparison. Participants were 120 female undergraduate students who viewed four thin ideal advertisements with either no disclaimer, a generic disclaimer, or a more detailed specific disclaimer. It was found that women did attend to the disclaimers. Specifically worded disclaimers directed visual attention towards target body areas, which resulted in increased body dissatisfaction, while state appearance comparison predicted increased body dissatisfaction. Further research is imperative to provide guidance on the most effective use of disclaimer labels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cooney, Sarah; Dignam, Holly; Brady, Nuala
Determining where another person is attending is an important skill for social interaction that relies on various visual cues, including the turning direction of the head and body. This study reports a novel high-level visual aftereffect that addresses the important question of how these sources of information are combined in gauging social attention. We show that adapting to images of heads turned 25° to the right or left produces a perceptual bias in judging the turning direction of subsequently presented bodies. In contrast, little to no change in the judgment of head orientation occurs after adapting to extremely oriented bodies. The unidirectional nature of the aftereffect suggests that cues from the human body signaling social attention are combined in a hierarchical fashion and is consistent with evidence from single-cell recording studies in nonhuman primates showing that information about head orientation can override information about body posture when both are visible. PMID:26359866
Full Text Available Determining where another person is attending is an important skill for social interaction that relies on various visual cues, including the turning direction of the head and body. This study reports a novel high-level visual aftereffect that addresses the important question of how these sources of information are combined in gauging social attention. We show that adapting to images of heads turned 25° to the right or left produces a perceptual bias in judging the turning direction of subsequently presented bodies. In contrast, little to no change in the judgment of head orientation occurs after adapting to extremely oriented bodies. The unidirectional nature of the aftereffect suggests that cues from the human body signaling social attention are combined in a hierarchical fashion and is consistent with evidence from single-cell recording studies in nonhuman primates showing that information about head orientation can override information about body posture when both are visible.
hypothese getest door midde! van twee visuele zoektaken waarbij proefpersonen dienden te zoeken naar een object met een unieke kleur of naar cen object...a location reduces the distracting effect of events falling outside the attentional beam (Yantis & Jonides, 1990; Theeuwes, 1991a). Finally, Folk et...is performed serial or partially serial. visual selection operates on one or a few items at a time, blocking out the pr)ssible capturing effect of
Roberts, Jane E.; Hatton, Deborah D.; Bailey, Donald; Long, Anna C. J.; Anello, Vittoria; Colombo, John
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading known inherited cause of intellectual disability and the most common known biological cause of autism. Approximately 25% to 50% of males with FXS meet full diagnostic criteria for autism. Despite the high comorbidity between FXS and autism and the ability to diagnose FXS prenatally or at birth, no studies have examined indicators of autism in infants with FXS. The current study focused on indices of visual attention, one of the earliest and most robust ...
Jeromin, Franziska; Nyenhuis, Nele; Barke, Antonia
Background and aims Internet Gaming Disorder is included in the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th edition) as a disorder that merits further research. The diagnostic criteria are based on those for Substance Use Disorder and Gambling Disorder. Excessive gamblers and persons with Substance Use Disorder show attentional biases towards stimuli related to their addictions. We investigated whether excessive Internet gamers show a similar attentional bias, by using two established experimental paradigms. Methods We measured reaction times of excessive Internet gamers and non-gamers (N = 51, 23.7 ± 2.7 years) by using an addiction Stroop with computer-related and neutral words, as well as a visual probe with computer-related and neutral pictures. Mixed design analyses of variance with the between-subjects factor group (gamer/non-gamer) and the within-subjects factor stimulus type (computer-related/neutral) were calculated for the reaction times as well as for valence and familiarity ratings of the stimulus material. Results In the addiction Stroop, an interaction for group × word type was found: Only gamers showed longer reaction times to computer-related words compared to neutral words, thus exhibiting an attentional bias. In the visual probe, no differences in reaction time between computer-related and neutral pictures were found in either group, but the gamers were faster overall. Conclusions An attentional bias towards computer-related stimuli was found in excessive Internet gamers, by using an addiction Stroop but not by using a visual probe. A possible explanation for the discrepancy could lie in the fact that the visual probe may have been too easy for the gamers.
Xiao, Yi; Ma, Feng; Lv, Yixuan; Cai, Gui; Teng, Peng; Xu, FengGang; Chen, Shanguang
.... 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...
Pilcher, June J; Band, David; Odle-Dusseau, Heather N; Muth, Eric R
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.
Coelli, Stefania; Barbieri, Riccardo; Reni, Gianluigi; Zucca, Claudio; Bianchi, Anna Maria
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.
Concetta F Alberti
Full Text Available The ability of visually impaired people to deploy attention effectively to maximize use of their residual vision in dynamic situations is fundamental to safe mobility. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate whether tests of dynamic attention (multiple object tracking; MOT and static attention (Useful Field of View; UFOV were predictive of the ability of people with central field loss (CFL to detect pedestrian hazards in simulated driving.11 people with bilateral CFL (visual acuity 20/30-20/200 and 11 age-similar normally-sighted drivers participated. Dynamic and static attention were evaluated with brief, computer-based MOT and UFOV tasks, respectively. Dependent variables were the log speed threshold for 60% correct identification of targets (MOT and the increase in the presentation duration for 75% correct identification of a central target when a concurrent peripheral task was added (UFOV divided and selective attention subtests. Participants drove in a simulator and pressed the horn whenever they detected pedestrians that walked or ran toward the road. The dependent variable was the proportion of timely reactions (could have stopped in time to avoid a collision.UFOV and MOT performance of CFL participants was poorer than that of controls, and the proportion of timely reactions was also lower (worse (84% and 97%, respectively; p = 0.001. For CFL participants, higher proportions of timely reactions correlated significantly with higher (better MOT speed thresholds (r = 0.73, p = 0.01, with better performance on the UFOV divided and selective attention subtests (r = -0.66 and -0.62, respectively, p<0.04, with better contrast sensitivity scores (r = 0.54, p = 0.08 and smaller scotomas (r = -0.60, p = 0.05.Our results suggest that brief laboratory-based tests of visual attention may provide useful measures of functional visual ability of individuals with CFL relevant to more complex mobility tasks.
Schmidt, Ricarda; Lüthold, Patrick; Kittel, Rebekka; Tetzlaff, Anne; Hilbert, Anja
Evidence suggests that adults with binge-eating disorder (BED) are prone of having their attention interfered by food cues, and that food-related attentional biases are associated with calorie intake and eating disorder psychopathology. For adolescents with BED experimental evidence on attentional processing of food cues is lacking. Using eye-tracking and a visual search task, the present study examined visual orienting and disengagement processes of food in youth with BED. Eye-movement data and reaction times were recorded in 25 adolescents (12-20 years) with BED and 25 controls (CG) individually matched for sex, age, body mass index, and socio-economic status. During a free exploration paradigm, the BED group showed a greater gaze duration bias for food images than the CG. Groups did not differ in gaze direction biases. In a visual search task, the BED group showed a greater detection bias for food targets than the CG. Group differences were more pronounced for personally attractive than unattractive food images. Regarding clinical associations, only in the BED group the gaze duration bias for food was associated with increased hunger and lower body mass index, and the detection bias for food targets was associated with greater reward sensitivity. The study provided first evidence of an attentional bias to food in adolescents with BED. However, more research is needed for further specifying disengagement and orienting processes in adolescent BED, including overt and covert attention, and their prospective associations with binge-eating behaviors and associated psychopathology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Barnas, Adam J; Greenberg, Adam S
Object-based attention (OBA) enhances processing within the boundaries of a selected object. Larger OBA effects have been observed for horizontal compared to vertical rectangles, which were eliminated when controlling for attention shifts across the visual field meridians. We aimed to elucidate the modulatory role of the meridians on OBA. We hypothesized that the contralateral organization of visual cortex accounts for these differences in OBA prioritization. Participants viewed "L"-shaped objects and, following a peripheral cue at the object vertex, detected the presence of a target at the cued location (valid), or at a non-cued location (invalid) offset either horizontally or vertically. In Experiment 1, the single displayed object contained components crossing both meridians. In Experiment 2, one cued object and one non-cued object were displayed such that both crossed the meridians. In Experiment 3, one cued object was sequestered into one screen quadrant, with its vertex either near or far from fixation. Results from Experiments 1 and 2 revealed a horizontal shift advantage (faster RTs for horizontal shifts across the vertical meridian compared to vertical shifts across the horizontal meridian), regardless of whether shifts take place within a cued object (Experiment 1) or between objects (Experiment 2). Results from Experiment 3 revealed no difference between horizontal and vertical shifts for objects that were positioned far from fixation, although the horizontal shift advantage reappeared for objects near fixation. These findings suggest a critical modulatory role of visual field meridians in the efficiency of reorienting object-based attention.
Sripada, Chandra; Angstadt, Michael; Kessler, Daniel; Phan, K Luan; Liberzon, Israel; Evans, Gary W; Welsh, Robert C; Kim, Pilyoung; Swain, James E
The ability to volitionally regulate emotions is critical to health and well-being. While patterns of neural activation during emotion regulation have been well characterized, patterns of connectivity between regions remain less explored. It is increasingly recognized that the human brain is organized into large-scale intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) whose interrelationships are altered in characteristic ways during psychological tasks. In this fMRI study of 54 healthy individuals, we investigated alterations in connectivity within and between ICNs produced by the emotion regulation strategy of reappraisal. In order to gain a comprehensive picture of connectivity changes, we utilized connectomic psychophysiological interactions (PPI), a whole-brain generalization of standard single-seed PPI methods. In particular, we quantified PPI connectivity pair-wise across 837 ROIs placed throughout the cortex. We found that compared to maintaining one's emotional responses, engaging in reappraisal produced robust and distributed alterations in functional connections involving visual, dorsal attention, frontoparietal, and default networks. Visual network in particular increased connectivity with multiple ICNs including dorsal attention and default networks. We interpret these findings in terms of the role of these networks in mediating critical constituent processes in emotion regulation, including visual processing, stimulus salience, attention control, and interpretation and contextualization of stimuli. Our results add a new network perspective to our understanding of the neural underpinnings of emotion regulation, and highlight that connectomic methods can play a valuable role in comprehensively investigating modulation of connectivity across task conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Heuer, Anna; Crawford, J Douglas; Schubö, Anna
Information maintained in visual working memory (VWM) can be strategically weighted according to its task-relevance. This is typically studied by presenting cues during the maintenance interval, but under natural conditions, the importance of certain aspects of our visual environment is mostly determined by intended actions. We investigated whether representations in VWM are also weighted with respect to their potential action relevance. In a combined memory and movement task, participants memorized a number of items and performed a pointing movement during the maintenance interval. The test item in the memory task was subsequently presented either at the movement goal or at another location. We found that performance was better for test items presented at a location that corresponded to the movement goal than for test items presented at action-irrelevant locations. This effect was sensitive to the number of maintained items, suggesting that preferential maintenance of action relevant information becomes particularly important when the demand on VWM is high. We argue that weighting according to action relevance is mediated by the deployment of spatial attention to action goals, with representations spatially corresponding to the action goal benefitting from this attentional engagement. Performance was also better at locations next to the action goal than at locations farther away, indicating an attentional gradient spreading out from the action goal. We conclude that our actions continue to influence visual processing at the mnemonic level, ensuring preferential maintenance of information that is relevant for current behavioral goals.
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.
Holmberg, Nils; Sandberg, Helena; Holmqvist, Kenneth
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.
Holmberg, Nils; Sandberg, Helena; Holmqvist, Kenneth
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
Gardner, Mark R; Hull, Zainabb; Taylor, Donna; Edmonds, Caroline J
Experiments revealing 'spontaneous' visual perspective-taking are conventionally interpreted as demonstrating that adults have the capacity to track simple mental states in a fast and efficient manner ('implicit mentalising'). A rival account suggests that these experiments can be explained by the general purpose mechanisms responsible for reflexive attentional orienting. Here, we report two experiments designed to distinguish between these competing accounts. In Experiment 1, we assessed whether reflexive attention orienting was sufficient to yield findings interpreted as spontaneous perspective taking in the 'avatar task' (Samson et al., 2010) when the protocol was adapted so that participants were unaware that they were taking part in a perspective-taking experiment. Results revealed no evidence for perspective-taking. In Experiment 2, we employed a Posner paradigm to investigate the attentional orienting properties of the avatar stimuli. This revealed cue-validity effects only for longer stimulus onset asynchronies, which indicates a voluntary rather than reflexive shift in spatial attention. Taken together, these findings suggest that attentional orienting does indeed contribute to performance in the Samson et al. avatar task. However, attention orienting appears to be voluntary rather than reflexive, indicating that the perspective-taking phenomenon measured may be less spontaneous than first reported.
Landman, Rogier; Sharma, Jitendra; Sur, Mriganka; Desimone, Robert
In primates, visual stimuli with social and emotional content tend to attract attention. Attention might be captured through rapid, automatic, subcortical processing or guided by slower, more voluntary cortical processing. Here we examined whether irrelevant faces with varied emotional expressions interfere with a covert attention task in macaque monkeys. In the task, the monkeys monitored a target grating in the periphery for a subtle color change while ignoring distracters that included faces appearing elsewhere on the screen. The onset time of distracter faces before the target change, as well as their spatial proximity to the target, was varied from trial to trial. The presence of faces, especially faces with emotional expressions interfered with the task, indicating a competition for attentional resources between the task and the face stimuli. However, this interference was significant only when faces were presented for greater than 200 ms. Emotional faces also affected saccade velocity and reduced pupillary reflex. Our results indicate that the attraction of attention by emotional faces in the monkey takes a considerable amount of processing time, possibly involving cortical-subcortical interactions. Intranasal application of the hormone oxytocin ameliorated the interfering effects of faces. Together these results provide evidence for slow modulation of attention by emotional distracters, which likely involves oxytocinergic brain circuits.
Full Text Available Whether Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD is associated with an increased attentional bias to emotive stimuli remains controversial. Additionally, it is unclear whether comorbid depression modulates abnormal emotional processing in OCD. This study examined attentional bias to OC-relevant scenes using a visual search task. Controls, non-depressed and depressed OCD patients searched for their personally selected positive images amongst their negative distractors, and vice versa. Whilst the OCD groups were slower than healthy individuals in rating the images, there were no group differences in the magnitude of negative bias to concern-related scenes. A second experiment employing a common set of images replicated the results on an additional sample of OCD patients. Although there was a larger bias to negative OC-related images without pre-exposure overall, no group differences in attentional bias were observed. However, OCD patients subsequently rated the images more slowly and more negatively, again suggesting post-attentional processing abnormalities. The results argue against a robust attentional bias in OCD patients, regardless of their depression status and speak to generalized difficulties disengaging from negative valence stimuli. Rather, post-attentional processing abnormalities may account for differences in emotional processing in OCD.
Full Text Available Attention is a cognitive selection mechanism that allocates the limited processing resources of the brain to the sensory streams most relevant to our immediate goals, thereby enhancing responsiveness and behavioral performance. The underlying neural mechanisms of orienting attention are distributedacross a widespread cortical network. While aspects of this network have been extensively studied, details about the electrophysiological dynamics of this network are scarce. In this study, we investigated attentional networks using electrocorticographic (ECoG recordings from the surface ofthe brain, which combine broad spatial coverage with high temporal resolution, in five human subjects. ECoG was recorded when subjects covertly attended to a spatial location and responded to contrast changes in the presence of distractors in a modified Posner cueing task. ECoG amplitudes in the alpha, beta and gamma bands identified neural changes associated with covert attention and motor preparation/execution in the different stages of the task. The results show that attentional engagement was primarily associated with ECoG activity in the visual, prefrontal, premotor, and parietal cortices. Motor preparation/execution was associated with ECoG activity in premotor/sensorimotor cortices. In summary, our results illustrate rich and distributed cortical dynamics that are associated with orienting attention and the subsequent motor preparation and execution. These findings are largely consistent with and expand on primate studies using intracortical recordings and human functional neuroimaging studies.
Reimer, Christina B; Strobach, Tilo; Schubert, Torsten
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 poten